N C R   S T O R I E S


Gang involved in printing currency smashed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 5
With the arrest of three persons, the North-East district police today claimed to have busted a gang involved in printing and circulation of fake currency in the Capital. Currency worth Rs 12.12 lakh, printing machines, scanner and other equipment were recovered from their possession.

The accused have been identified as Zikrur Rehman, alias Zikru Kana, alias Khalifa, (53), resident of Inderolk; Rahisuddin, alias Rahis, (22), resident of Gautampuri; and Mauzzam Khan (24), resident of Chauhan Banger.

The kingpin of the racket, Zikrur, a businessman, was also the president of the Inderlok Market Association.

He had been earlier arrested in 2001 under the Wildlife Prevention Act in Alwar, Rajasthan. He also owns as many as 20 shops and has property in his name.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (North-East) Praveer Ranjan said that based on a tip-off that a gang member involved in the operation of fake currency would be visiting a park opposite Yamuna Vihar bus depot, they apprehended Rahisuddin and recovered 20 notes of Rs 1,000 denomination worth Rs 20,000 from his possession.

Raisuddin told the police that he was supported by Zikrur who wanted him to print currency worth Rs 1 crore. Raisuddin was trained in computers in the Gautampuri area before starting the printing of currency. Raisuddin told the police that Zikrur had supported him financially for acquiring the machines.

Another accused Mauzzam Khan was arrested from the Shahdara Railway Station while he was trying to escape with the currency worth Rs 52,000. Mauzzsam had earlier been arrested in 2001 for the same offence. He used to give a fake note of Rs 1,000 in lieu of a genuine note of Rs 500. Zikrur told the police that he used to visit Nepal frequently for some business. The police are now trying to ferret out his contacts.


Traffic police brass asked to man busy roads
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 5
Lack of adequate traffic discipline on the Delhi roads has led the Delhi Police Commissioner, Mr K K Paul, to order the presence of senior traffic police officials on the roads to get the first-hand experience of traffic problems in Delhi.

In a note issued to Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Qamar Ahmed, Mr Paul has asked him to direct all the senior officers to visit spots so that they could observe the problems and take immediate steps. He also asked a feedback for the note issued by him by February 7, from Ahmed.

He said, “During the peak hours, the traffic inspectors, assistant commissioners of police should be seen moving around, checking the nature of briefings and the effectiveness of the output of the traffic personnel.”

Mr Paul had earlier mentioned that traffic would remain one of his important priorities.

For instance, in his three days of observation after taking over as the Delhi Police Commissioner, he has observed that the TIs were not spotted in the busy Daryaganj traffic point to manage traffic. When the traffic inspectors are not spotted in such busy intersections, what would then be the situation in the lanes and bye-lanes, Mr Paul questioned.

He said that the senior officers must properly brief their junior field officers on their nature of duties to be performed in a professional manner. “The behaviour of the field officers, particularly at the roundabouts is a manifestation of lack of briefing and professional skills,” he observed.

Also the turn-out and the drills of traffic police personnel particularly those deployed near important locations like Rashtrapati Bhawan, North Block, South Block, Prime Minister’s office and Parliament Street need to be spruced up.

Mr Paul said that the officers and the men from Police Control Room (PCR) vans and also the Armed Police, specially deployed in the high security areas, should show an element of smartness, disciplined behaviour and visible improvement in their disposition to prove professional competence.

Traffic snarls at the border check posts as well as on the Ring Road and the connecting segments of the national highway network, need to be taken care of immediately, Mr Paul added. 


Panel to verify claims on basic amenities in MCD schools
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 5
While the Delhi Government and the MCD authorities have been quick to claim that all is well in the schools run by them, the High Court has sought more proof.

Hearing a case filed by Social Jurists highlighting the lack of basic amenities in the government and MCD-run schools, a bench comprising Chief Justice, B C Patel and Justice B D Ahmed have asked a committee of lawyers to verify whether the contents of the affidavits submitted in the court by the government as well as the MCD are correct.

The Directorate of Education, NCT of Delhi and the MCD had yesterday submitted affidavits in the court, claming that they have carried out the complete repair work in all schools and made provisions for water and electricity as directed by the court earlier.

A similar affidavit was also submitted by the Chief Engineer, PWD zone II and the Municipal Commissioner that the PWD maintained 654 school buildings are fully equipped with all necessary infrastructure.

However, the claims made by both the agencies were disputed when the Social Jurists produced photo evidence in the court depicting the apologetic state of these schools. “The court was shown photographs taken on the previous day of the MCD primary school in Hoeambi Kalan resettlement colony. The photographs clearly showed how the school was run in tents and how the toilet space was used for storing materials,” said Ashok Aggarwal, advocate.

The bench has now asked the committee of lawyers, constituted by the High Court, to visit the schools and verify the contents of the affidavits.

The Directorate of Education had mentioned in their affidavit that directions for supplying water and electricity had been given to the agencies concerned and provisions for the handicapped were also being made.

The MCD on its part also claimed the same. It was pointed out that in some schools where Delhi Jal Board supply was not available, alternative arrangements, including tankers and deep bore pumps were relied upon.


HC stays eviction of Yamun Pushta encroachers
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 5
The Delhi High Court has imposed a stay order till Monday on the campaign by the city authorities to simultaneously evict and relocate encroachers from Yamuna Pushta, an illegal hutment colony along the river in the Capital. The MCD tried to demolish the illegal structures last month, but it could not do so due to the opposition of the residents and local politicians.

Mr Justice Vikramajit Sen put off the drive which was to start from today till February 9, by when the Delhi Government and the Delhi Development Authority would have to produce photographic evidence that the basic amenities have been provided at the proposed resettlement sites.

The directions came while the judge was dealing with the petitions, alleging that the basic amenities like drinking water, sewerage system, electricity, schools and hospitals had not been provided at more than 25 proposed resettlement sites in different parts of the Capital.

The petitioners, through counsels Kapil Sibal and Arun Maitri, also sought transparency in the survey report, based on which ‘allotment slips’ were ‘discriminatory and arbitrarily’ issued to some hutment dwellers only.

On January 30, the High Court had upheld the policy of simultaneous eviction and relocation of the authorities saying it was necessary to ‘plug the mischief’ by the people removed from the land they had encroached upon.

Mr Justice Sen said some of problems would have to be faced by some people for the general good of society at large, but efforts could be made to alleviate the sufferings of such people.

The judge said this while disposing of the petitions filed by 10 ‘residents’ of Yamuna Pushta, through counsels Mohammad Rashid and Mohammad Nasiruddin, challenging the January 10 simultaneous eviction and relocation notice of the land owning authorities. The petitioners had sought allotment of land at the resettlement site and also time to construct a dwelling before being dispossessed from the land they had encroached upon at present.

The court, however, allowed some concessions for the people who were entitled allotment of alternative dwelling site.The local authorities were told to issue allotment papers to such people after they had paid a token amount of Rs 500, the balance amount of Rs 6,500 could be paid by them in 60 days. The authorities were told to arrange for transportation of the personal belongings of such affected people.

The government was told to arrange for the transport of the schoolchildren from the new or alternative site to schools situated near their present residence in the on-going academic session and admission to school in the new area later.

The benefits were not meant for commercial buildings or activity going on in the unauthorised colony.

Mr Justice Sen noted the efforts to rid the Yamuna of the encroachments and create a green belt there, and also steps to have a heritage corridor starting from the Red Fort to the Humayun’s Tomb.

On January 28, taking a suo motu notice of the ‘inaction’ by the authorities to remove encroachments along the Yamuna in the Capital despite court orders, the Delhi High Court had issued notice to the Delhi Government.


Court notice to EC on ‘no-dues’ certificate
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 5
The Delhi High Court has issued notice to the Election Commission wanting to know why a condition requiring electoral candidates to produce a ‘no-dues’ certificate from the government departments was withdrawn five days before the last date of nominations in the recent Assembly polls.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice BC Patel and Justice BD Ahmed also sought to know whether the commission would be imposing such a condition on all the candidates in the coming general elections.

The judges were dealing with a petition filed by Krishak Bharat, seeking directions to the authorities to recover outstanding water, electricity, phone and hotel bills of various present and former MPs, political parties and government departments/ministries running into crores of rupees. The court was informed that the past and present MPs and political parties had dues worth Rs 10 crore towards Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL). They also owed Rs 18 lakh to the Indian Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC), and MPs alone had unpaid electricity bills amounting to Rs 3 crore which were to be paid to the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC).

The judges felt that insistence upon the said condition by the EC could help the authorities in recovering their dues from at least the candidates who were mostly past and present MPs.


Telecom major asked to compensate for deficient service
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 5
A Delhi consumer court has ordered telecom major Reliance Infocomm to pay Rs 40,000 to a customer as compensation for deficiency in service and return Rs 3,000 paid by him as the first instalment to the company for its mobile services.

“The account of harassment and expenses the complainant was subjected to by Reliance Infocomm Services is agonising,”

Delhi Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum (North) President K K Chopra, Members Neeru Mittal and S C Jain, said in the order.

“The callous attitude of the Reliance company towards its consumer or complainant makes it justifiable where the complainant should be awarded a compensation of Rs 20,000 as payable by Reliance and it will pay Rs 20,000 as compensation to the complainant for deficiency in service,” the forum said.

The consumer court also asked the company to pay litigation cost of Rs 1,000 to the complainant. Complainant Dinesh Kumar had booked one telephone connection with Reliance Infocomm through its agent and given the cheque of Rs 3,000 as per the terms and the same was encashed by the company. But the company did not provide any telephone connection to him despite repeated requests and personal visits, Kumar alleged. The company contended that the telephone was taken to the complainant by its officials but he refused to accept it. This argument was denied by Kumar.

Triple murder in Rohini

New Delhi: Three persons, including a woman were murdered this evening in Sector 7 Rohini. The victims were identified as Ankit (9), son of Maninder Singh; Rajesh Kishore (27), son of Jugal Kishore and Mritula Kishore (55), w/o Jugal Kishore. Police have registered a case of murders and suspect family dispute behind the crime. TNS


Crime Branch probing murder of PM’s grandnephew
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 5
The Delhi Police Crime Branch is carrying out independent investigations into the murder of Prime Minister’s grandnephew Manish Mishra.

Manish, an undergraduate student, and two of his friends, were allegedly beaten up and thrown out of the Chhattisgarh Express at Kosi Kalan in Mathura on January 24 when they tried to stop some miscreants from eve-teasing.

Sources said the Delhi Police had offered assistance to their counterparts in neighbouring Mathura in solving the case.

According to the description provided by the fellow passengers travelling in the compartment, the Crime Branch sleuths prepared the sketches of the three suspects involved in the crime.

The eyewitnesses also claimed that the suspects involved in the crime were in their twenties.

Police suspect that the accused had criminal background and were earlier involved in some other crimes.

Ghaziabad admn struggles to put the clock back

Noida: The interim stay ordered by the Allahabad High Court seems to have caught the Ghaziabad district administration on the wrong foot. The administration which thought that the die had been cast with the government denotifying the district is trying to cope with the changed situation of stay order. It has asked the Noida and Greater Noida offices to send all the files to the DM office, Ghaziabad in back dates.

The charge of the treasury in Noida could not be taken by an official sent for the purpose as the Allahabad High Court had ordered that a status quo be maintained. And till that day, the charge was not with the Ghaizabad Treasury Officer. It is learnt that ADM Shiv Prasad is sitting in the camp office of DM Noida. He has been ordered not to discharge any function from there. The members of the Bar Association which had taken an active part in the ‘Save GB Nagar District’ struggle have threatened that if files and records are sent from GB Nagar in back date, “it will result in serious and disastrous consequences”. OC


Cong in combative mode after HC’s Bofors verdict
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 5
The Delhi High Court’s quashing of graft charges in the Bofors case against late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on Thursday brought back a spring in the steps of the Indian National Congress’ (INC’s) rank and file as they poured out into the streets and registered their protest against the “vilification” campaign unleashed by political parties over the past decade and more.

The clean chit to the Gandhis appears to have infused new life and optimism in the Grand Old Party ahead of the Lok Sabha election as the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) got together to hold a sit-in near Parliament House. They raised slogans and sought a public trial of those who levelled unfounded charges against the family.

Taking a cue from INC president Sonia Gandhi, who broke her silence of years to ridicule the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and others for spreading canards and accusing her late husband of receiving kickbacks in the Bofors gun deal, DPCC president Prem Singh and several legislators assembled at Jantar Mantar in the morning.

They then proceeded to the Parliament House but were stopped short of it by the police personnel. Addressing the demonstrators near the Parliament Street police station, where they were detained, Prem Singh said that Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee ought to tender a public apology for besmirching the name of the late Rajiv Gandhi.

“The NDA government has set a world record in corruption…. corrupt ministers have been roaming around freely. Mr George Fernandes was continuing in the Ministry of Defence despite clear evidence against him of misuse of his official position in various defence purchases,” Singh told the demonstrators.

Present on the occasion were Jagdish Tytler, Sajjan Kumar, Mukesh Sharma, Krishna Tirath, Ramakant Goswami, Narendra Nath, Naseeb Singh, Kiran Chaudhary, Balram Tanwar, Rajesh Jain, Mateen Ahmed, corporators of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and office bearers of the Delhi Pradesh Youth Congress.

The DPCC president said that the BJP and its allies had dragged the Gandhi family’s name in the Bofors case without ascertaining the truth. “Now that the court has given a clean chit, those responsible for spreading lies, rumours and canards to gain cheap political mileage should be put on trial for treason and anti-national activity,” he said. Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar, in turn, said that certain politicians had colluded with their foreign masters to defame the name of the late Prime Minister. The court verdict, they said, was a clear vindication of the party’s track record stand taken by the party right from day one that the Gandhi family was innocent of any wrongdoing. 


DPCC plans to expose those behind Bofors conspiracy
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 5
The Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) is putting its head together to draw up an elaborate plan to tell the people of the truth behind the Bofors conspiracy and expose those political parties that levelled baseless allegations against the late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

DPCC President Prem Singh said that the party would instruct its cadres to reveal the truth and mount a campaign to demand action against those who spread canards about the Gandhis receiving kickbacks in the Bofors gun deal.

“The Congress will make the clean chit given to Shri Rajiv Gandhi by the honourable court an election issue and seek an open trial of those who raked up the Bofors issue without any foundation just to gain cheap political mileage,” Singh said.

Observers said that the quashing of graft charges against the late prime minister had given a new lease of life to the party and an emotive issue to sway public opinion ahead of the parliamentary election due sometime in March and April.

The BJP won all seven seats in the 1999 Lok Sabha poll. The Congress led by it president Prem Singh and Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, who late last year won an unprecedented second term in office, is looking to improve its tally.

The party now hopes that the emotive issue of clean chit being given to the late Rajiv Gandhi, besides the twin issues of statehood for NCT of Delhi and development, would lend its campaign strength and help put up a spirited performance in the forthcoming poll.


Cleanliness work handed over to private contractors
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, February 5
A number of resolutions, including the one to hand over the cleanliness work of 10 out 31 wards to private contractors, were passed in the meeting of the local municipal council held on Wednesday.

Following shortage of safai karamcharis with the municipal council, cleanliness was in disarray in the wards, and there were demands from the residents to hand over cleanliness work to private parties.

Though this proposal was being discussed in the various meetings of the council in the past, the final decision on this issue had been postponed.

However, this meeting, which was presided over by the chairman of the council, Mr Satpal Goyal, approved the proposal unanimously.

As per the approved proposal, 10 wards on the western side of the railway track in the town would be leased to private contractors.

In the other resolutions passed, the council accorded its sanction for installation of a booster pump in the premises of the abandoned civil hospital and replacement of the 8-year-old water tank in Kot Mohalla area of the town. The chairman hoped that the water supply problem of the old areas of the town would be overcome with these steps.

The council also sanctioned an amount of Rs one lakh for improving the street lighting system of the town. Besides approving winter dresses for the employees of the fire fighting services of the council, the progress made on the process of the solid waste management was also discussed.

The progress on the ongoing metalling of roads and pavements in the town was also reviewed in the meeting.

Man killed

A man was killed after consuming spurious liquor in his house at Rajpur village, about 10 km from here last night.

According to a report, the police have sent the body of the victim for the postmortem examination.

The police are making concerted efforts to trace the liquor vend from where the victim had purchased the spurious liquor.

It is alleged that the sale of spurious liquor was on the increase in the areas of Ganaur, Murthal, Kundli and Rai, particularly at the hotels, restaurants and dhabas situated on the National Highway No. 1. Unfortunately, the officials of the Excise Department and the police have failed to check the sale spurious liquor in the area.


This artiste casts a spell over viewers with her pottery
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, February 5
Though a selected few and expert artistes get a chance to display their craft and expertise at the internationally acclaimed ‘Surajkund Crafts Fair’ here, there are only some of them who are really able to attract the attention of the visitors. The “Polystone designer pottery” by Mrs Ravi Chawla of Chandigarh is one of them.

Allotted hut no 192 near the Chaupal of the mela, the artwork produced by Mrs Chawla, has been one of the most visited and adorned by one and all who halt here, as this is the only stall where one can find the latest in the polystone pottery, wall murals, sculpted items, stained glass and glass fusion work. Mrs Chawla who started participating in the fair about 10 years ago, has been able to come out with new additions each year. This year she has depicted specially designed ‘consoles’ for the art lovers. Finely polished, the consoles look as if these were made of very precious wood. Mr M. P. S Chawla, husband of the artist, and who looks after the marketing aspect told the ‘NCR Tribune’ that while over 70 types of items had been made available, the most sought-after products included the central table, wall murals and stone-studded pottery items. The central table displayed here is quite unique and has been the centre of attraction for the majority of the visitors to the stall. “The table was like a masterpiece and normally not seen in the drawing rooms so far,” said Dr Tarun Kashyap, a resident of Sector-9 here.

He said the concept of having a beautiful female as the base of the centre table was just unique, irrelevant of the cost. The stone-studded idols and figure have also been attracting many buyers to the stall.

According to Mrs Chawla, these items presented for the first time had stonework on them, known as ‘Kundanwork’ in the art circle. She claimed that many orders, including those from the foreign visitors have already been placed.

Although Mrs Chawla’s art is still to get a national recognition formally, her fame has already reached various quarters. She has the credit of doing the glasswork of the summer vacation residence of the Prime Minister at Manali, besides many of her artifacts adorning the walls of the buildings like the Rashtrapati Bhawan and various embassies in Delhi. She was amazed when the team of the well-known teleserial ‘Desh Mein Nikla Hoga Chand’ dropped at her place in Chandigarh and asked for many of the artifacts to be used at the sets. Mrs Chawla, who started the pottery work as only a hobby, has now turned a professional who engage the students of the art college to produce the items under her guidance and supervision.

The students are paid according to their contribution and this move not only helps the art students financially, but also the mission of the workshop set up by Mrs Chawla in the industrial area of Chandigarh.

It is also quite interesting that Mrs Chawla has no formal training in this field as she had done a diploma in the interior designing only and focussed on stain glass, artwork on glass and terracotta work only initially. The first pottery item was produced way back in 1991-92, and since then she has not looked back. She said that she wanted to do something extraordinary in the pottery field and save this age-old art with new experiments.

Mrs Chawla said that the response to the work had been fantastic and she wanted to popularise the art through formal education and training besides producing unique items in the future.


‘Need to change mindset against evil of gender bias’
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 5
A two-day national consultation on ‘Emerging Dimensions of Women’s Empowerment’ began at the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) here today.

Inaugurated by the former Chief Justice, Mr. J S Verma, the programme aims at providing a platform to experts, women’s organisations and official agencies to deliberate and arrive at a consensus on the conceptualisation of girls and women’s empowerment related issues.

Participants will discuss and deliberate on five themes including conceptualisation of empowered girls and empowered women: conceptualisation, dimension and indicators: functional empowerment of women: empowerment despite challenges, empowerment from within, towards empowerment: bringing attitudinal change in society and empowerment as a continuum through life cycle.

Organised by the Department of Women Studies, the programme is part of NCERT’s initiative to promote girls’ empowerment through education and women’s empowerment through planning and implementation of suitable interventions in policy planning, curriculum transactions and teacher education.

Speaking at the inaugural, Justice Verma said, “our main issue is development and it becomes critical to discuss strategies for the women population”.

Expressing concern over the declining sex ratio he said, “our principal strategy is to change the mind set against the social evil of gender bias against women.” He added, “it is unfortunate that technological advancement has side effects too that we do not allow female baby to take birth. Women’s empowerment will help us grow economically, socially and politically strong.”

The Director of NCERT, Prof. J S Rajput, said, “problem of elementary education in India lies in bringing girl child to school and retaining her for five years in school.” He further said, “Department of Women’s Studies needs to attract the attention of policy makers on girls education and to project successfully initiatives taken in this direction.”

Prof. Poonam Aggarwal saw women’s empowerment as an “investment into a better world”.


Mother Dairy hikes milk prices
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 5
Milk distributor Mother Dairy today announced a hike of rupee one in milk prices with immediate effect.

A Mother Dairy official pointed out that the cost of raw milk has gone up. Ghee and milk powder prices have also increased. It was also pointed out that the expected downturn in the winter months not having taken place the Mother Dairy is being compelled to increase the rates.

Officials said the average milk procurement prices had gone up to Rs 15 per litre from Rs 13 per litre, yet mother dairy had held back any hike in retail prices, hoping the situation will improve during the flush winter season, but it did not happen.

Accordingly, the rates have now been increased to Rs 14 per litre from Rs 13 per litre for bulk vended milk. In the pouched milk category, for full cream milk the hike is from Rs. 18 to Rs. 19 per litre.

With one rupee hike in prices, the toned milk will now cost Rs 15 per litre against Rs 14 per litre earlier. Double toned milk prices have also been increased from Rs 12 to Rs 13 a litre.

Mother Dairy officials said though milk supplies generally increase during the winter months, this year it did not happen to the expected extent. As a result, of which, milk and milk product prices have remained on the higher side even during the flush season, leaving the company with no option but to accord the commensurate increase in the retail rates as well.

Other distributors of milk are also expected to follow suit. The hike in rates is being linked to drought in major producing areas for the last three years.

Consequently, the milk-powder prices have been hiked to Rs 100 per kg against Rs 75 per kg in February last year. During the period, ghee prices have also shot up to Rs 150 a kg against Rs 115-120 a kg.


Unauthorised vendors occupy railway station
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, February 5
Unauthorised vendors supplying sub-standard eatables on platforms and trains with the blessings of the railway authorities and the enforcement agencies have mushroomed at the Sonepat railway station. This has not only put the health of the passengers at risk, but also adversely affected the reputation of the pantry car contractors and authorised vendors.

It is alleged that a parallel catering service is operating on the Sonepat-Delhi section with the connivance of the railway staff and law enforcement agencies. A group of youths under the supervision of a tough are alleged to be operating on this section with the reported support of railway officials. The reported income of about Rs 5,000 or above per day is shared among the law enforcement agencies and other officials for turning a blind eye to their services. These unauthorised vendors are reportedly inflicting revenue loss of lakhs of rupees to the Northern Railway. They also not only sell unhygienic food articles but also banned liquor and cigarette.

When the GRP and RPF officials were asked to comment on uninterrupted activities of unauthorised vendors they declined to comment. However, the circulating areas of railway stations, particularly in Sonepat, are also encroached upon by these unauthorised vendors with the connivance of senior officials and law enforcement agencies.

A high-level inquiry into the racket, is likely to expose the irregularities and malpractices of the railway officials and law enforcing agencies.


Fire in eight trains due to sabotage
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 5
Of the nine incidents of fire in trains parked in stations in Delhi since November 2003, eight were suspected to have been caused by sabotage or mischief, costing the Railways over Rs 2.4 crore, the Lok Sabha was informed today.

Except for one case that took place on December 3 at Shahdara Railway Station where the lighting staff were held responsible for a short circuit, all other cases were due to suspected sabotage or miscreant activity, the Railway Minister, Mr. Nitish Kumar, said during the Question Hour.

While investigation of these cases was continuing, the Railway Protection Force and other railway staff were found negligent, and action was being taken against them at the department level, he said.

Rakes of Rajdhani Express, Kaifiat Express, Brahmaputra Mail, Purushottam Express, Prayagraj Express, Lucknow Mail and Ashram Express were burnt in the incidents.


Cong Govt accused of ignoring slum dwellers
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 5
The Union Ministers Sahib Singh Verma and Vijay Goel today accused the Delhi Government of ignoring the interest of the 30 lakh people living in the unauthorised colonies. They demanded that Congress-led Delhi Government should submit the list of such settlements to the High Court as early as possible.

“The Delhi High Court had on February 27, 2001, sought the list of colonies to be regularised. However, no list has been sent by the Delhi Government till date,” they said, Thanking the Prime Minister, Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and the Union Urban Development Minister, Mr Bandaru Dattatreya, for the regularisation of unauthorised colonies in Delhi existing as on March 2002, Mr Verma said lakhs of people residing in these areas would heave a sigh of relief. He said it was now for the Delhi Government to provide them the basic amenities instead of “dabbling in petty politics”. Mr Goel alleged that while the Centre was trying to provide benefit to the people, the Delhi Government was trying to create hurdles. Both the Union Ministers said they would be meet the Delhi Chief Minister, Mrs Sheila Dikshit, to ensure the expeditious regularisation of these colonies so that the people did not suffer any longer.

AC meeting adjourned

The Academic Council meeting organised to discuss the issues raised by members was adjourned today without transacting any business. According to the members of the AC, 10 members began a protest in the meeting hall following the Vice- Chancellor’s refusal to discuss the issues, which they had requisitioned for on January 10 this year. Among the issues to be discussed were the filling up of teaching posts on regular basis, introduction of preceptorials and tutorials for Science streams and making the administrative staff available on Saturdays for effective six day week. It was pointed out that the Vice- Chancellor, Prof. Deepak Nayyar, adjourned the meeting after the protest lasted for over two hours.

Police transfers

The Delhi Police Commissioner, Mr K. K. Paul, today ordered the transfer of 5 Assistant Commissioners of Police with immediate effect. Assistant Commissioner of Police, Ms Varsha Sharma, has been transferred from Parliament Street to Hauz Khas while Mr Swantra Kumar, ACP, who was in New Delhi PG cell, has been transferred to Parliament Street.

ACP O.P Yadav, who was in Hauz Khas, has been transferred to PTC, Jharoda Kalan. R C Gaur, ACP, Lajpat Nagar, has been transferred to the 7th Battalion, DAP, while S M Bhaskar, who was ACP, C and R, has been transferred to Lajpat Nagar.


Hi-tech media management for ‘Mission-2004’
Our Correspondents

Bhiwani, February 5
With hi-tech strategy having played an important role in the electoral success in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, the Bharatiya Janata Party is trying to replicate the same in the district here for the forthcoming Parliamentary elections.

Preparations are on to arm the media cell of the party here with IT (Information Technology). The party believes that the aim of ‘Mission-2004’ to win 300 seats in the elections would require the strengthening of its media cell at all level. The persons responsible for dealing with the media have been provided training in New Delhi.

The party leaders here believe that ‘Mission-2004’ will not be achieved without the cooperation of the print and the electronic media. Those interacting with the media have been asked to maintain cordial relations with journalists and should be up-to-date with the local, state and central news and developments taking place.

Sources said that the media-managers have been asked to highlight the party programmes and keep vigil on the news and statements related to the Opposition parties. They have also been asked put their viewpoints with substantial datas. However, they have been asked to avoid unnecessary statements.

A workshop had been organised by the BJP in New Delhi on January 28-29 wherein as many as 116 persons dealing with the media from 27 states had participated.

According to sources, classes were organised which were addressed by senior leaders like Pramod Mahajan, Arun Jaitely, Sushma Swaraj, Narender Modi, Prakash Javdekar and Prakash Jha.

They party workers were told how to interact with the media and the necessary precautions to be taken while replying to their questions. The participants were expected to be cautious about their dress during press conferences.

The media managers, sources said, were directed to highlight the ‘Feel good factor’ while publicising the achievements of the central government. The party workers have also been asked to highlight the foreign origin of Congress leader Sonia Gandhi.

They have also been directed to hold at least two press conferences in a week and press release should be issued on a daily basis. The BJP has issued two software Express PR to its media cell, besides providing computers and scanners. Sources said that workshops would be organised by the state media cells at the district level to publicise the achievements of the party.

Course in German and Russian languages

Sonepat: The Hindu Institute of Management has decided to introduce a certificate course in German and Russian languages from February 15. According to a report, there will be 30 seats in each course. The students would be taught by lecturers from Delhi University twice a week on Saturday and Sunday. Courses in French, Japanese and Chinese languages would also be started in the near future.

Woman burnt

An aged woman, identified as Shakuntala (55), sustained 80 per cent burn injuries when her clothes caught fire while watching the TV in her house in Rishi colony here last evening. According to a report, her son, Surinder, who came to her help, also sustained burn injuries on his hands and face. Both the injured persons were rushed to the local civil hospital from where the woman was referred to Safdarjang Hospital at Delhi for further treatment. It is stated that the woman had kept a lighted earthen lamp on one side of the cot, which fell on her quilt and caught fire immediately. The woman became aware only after her clothes caught fire.


Hit and run case

Sonepat: A man, identified as Sanjay of Kirti Nagar (Delhi), was seriously injured after being hit by an unknown vehicle while he was crossing the National Highway No. 1 near Pio Munayri, about 15 km from here last evening. According to a report, he was rushed to the local civil hospital and was stated to be out of danger. The driver of the vehicle, however, managed to escape after the accident. The police have registered the case in this connection. OC


Traffic advisory

New Delhi: The Delhi Traffic Police has made arrangement of parking for buses and cars on Velodrome Road near IG Stadium and Raj Ghat for cars due to the Vjay Sankalp Abhiyan at Ambedkar Stadium, Satsang at Ram Lila Ground, procession in connection with Birthday Anniversary of Guru Ravi Dass from Parade Ground, via Chandni Chowk to Guru Ravi Dass Mandir, Dev Nagar and Karol Bagh. These functions will be held tomorrow. The Vijay Sankalp Abhiyan will be taken out by the BJP. TNS


Currency racket busted
Our Correspondent

Noida, February 5
The Noida police have succeeded in nabbing three master cheats, who used to print fake currency notes and put them into circulation in major parts of western UP from Meerut, Muradnagar, Ghaziabad, Bulandshahar, Gautam Budh Nagar etc.

The police recovered fake currency of Rs.14,000 from their possession and arrested the trio. But police could not lay their hand on the kingpin of the gang.

The police had been receiving reports that fake currency was being put in circulation in the market. Raids were conducted on many places, but the accused could not be nabbed.

In village Raja Jalalpur under Bisarakh police station, cops learnt that some people were lurking in suspicious circumstances.

After encircling them, the police were able to arrest Mukesh of Jalalpur, Praveen of Milk Lachhi and Somveer of Simbhawali in Ghaizabad. On frisking, police found 35 hundred-rupee notes from Mukesh, 90 hundred-rupee notes from Praveen and 23 notes of 50 rupees denomination from Somveer, totalling to Rs.13,650.

After questioning, they led the police to a place where computers and other equipment used in printing fake currency notes were recovered.

The gang members confessed that their fake currency network was quite widespread and they had marketed their notes in a large area.

They have agents in Muradabad, Meerut, Ghaziabad and other districts who put the fake currency into market on commission basis. Fake currency notes amounting to lakhs was in circulation, they told the police.

The police team was headed by Bisarakh police station in-charge Alok Kumar Sharma and SI Harish Kumar and cops Parminder, Sanjay.

The police have launched a hunt to nab the other members of the fake currency racket.


Prostitution racket busted, 10 held from parlours
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 5
The Delhi Police today raided two beauty parlours and arrested 10 prostitutes and three pimps. The pimps of the two beauty parlours, “Classic Classic” and “Beauty Palace” were identified as Raj Kumar Rai, Sudhir Kumar and Shane Alam.

The suspects used to advertise in national dailies about the beauty parlours with swanky massages. Based on a secret tip-off that a prostitution racket was being run from the beauty parlours, the police constituted a special team and raided the place.

During interrogation, the suspects disclosed that they lured girls into the trade by giving advertisements in the newspapers.

Apart from the arrested manager owner, identified as Sudhir Kumar, a number of persons have been identified who were involved in the illegal activities. Most of the girls arrested belonged to he lower middle class out to make quick money, the police said.

Murder Of College Student Worked Out

The Crime Branch of the Delhi Police today claimed to have worked out the murder case of a student, Manpreet Kaur, of Mata Sundari College.

The suspects were identified as Harminder Singh, the brother-in-law (Jija) of the deceased, and his cousin, Palwinder Singh.

According to the police, Manpreet had wanted to convert her on going affair with Harminder Singh into a marriage.

However, Harminder, who had two children from his first wife, was not ready for such a relationship.

When Harminder found that Manpreet was insisting on the marriage, he planned to kill her.

On the fateful day, Harminder picked her from her college in his car. The car was driven by Palwinder. During the heated discussion in the car, Harminder strangulated her to death, the police said. 

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