N C R   S T O R I E S


Fly-by-night lady ‘who conned businessmen’
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 20
The Fraud and Cheating Section of the Economic Offences Wing, Crime Branch, Delhi Police, today claimed to have arrested an alleged cheat, Mrs Susan D’Souza, 47, who had been at large after jumping bail for about a year.

She is alleged to be the kingpin of a racket and cheated industrialists and businessmen out of crores on the fake assurance that she would arrange for loans from foreign banks.

A complaint of Mr Gautam Raghuvanshi, Director M/S Gold Jelly Co. P. Ltd., 37/4 Maa Darshan Dairy Compound, Geeta Bhawan, Indore (MP), was received in the EOW, Crime Branch, stating that he had invested Rs 2 crore towards the construction of a building and site development for installing a paraffin wax manufacturing factory in district Dhar (MP) and he was in the need of about Rs 8 crore as loan for the factory/plant machinery and raw material etc.

As he was approaching various banks/establishments for a loan of Rs 8 crore, he came in contact with Ms Susan D’Souza and her daughter Ms Shobha who presented themselves as directors of M/s Folio Holding India P.Ltd, a company registered with the Registrar of Companies, Delhi and Haryana.

After going through the project report and plan of the complainant, Ms Susan D’Souza said that her company had been arranging funds for the industrial units.

Mrs Susan D’Souza assured the complainant that she would get a loan of Rs 7.44 crore within 10 days at 8 per cent interest per annum on easy terms of refund in 10 years. For this facility, she offered to charge 11 per cent of the loan amount as processing fees and budgetary charges.

The complainant was thus lured into an agreement, dated 11/1/02.

Similarly, both parties also executed an ECB loan agreement the same day.

The complainant was allegedly induced to deliver Rs 77 lakh to Ms Susan D’Souza by means of drafts and in cash on several occasions on different pretexts as processing fees. However, neither Ms Susan D’Suoza, nor her company M/s Folio Holding India P. Ltd, had arranged for any loan for the complainant to date.

The police said that a case was registered, vide FIR No. 515/02 at PS Mehrauli, New Delhi. Investigation revealed that the alleged accused Mrs Susan D’Souza had opened at least six-seven bank accounts of her company in various banks and a large number of cheques running into lakhs of rupees had been dishonoured in these accounts.

Another case, FIR No. 411/03, was registered against accused Susan D’Souza and her associates, R K Aggarwal, Ashok Dass et al on the complaint of Mr Vinod Sehgal, director M/s Jaideva Mattresses Pvt. Ltd.

As Susan D’Souza had disappeared by jumping bail in the above case, her Non-Bailable Warrants were procured from the trial court. Despite all-out efforts, she remained at large.


CM to talk ‘growth’ with Faridabad Inc
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, February 20
The ‘Manchester of the North’ is still waiting for drastic measures to put the development of the region on the fast track.

The Chief Minister of Haryana will be meeting the industrialists and entrepreneurs here tomorrow to discuss various issues concerning the fast growth of industries.

He had earlier addressed a similar programme here about one and a half years ago. The entrepreneurs were then assured of full cooperation of the government in improving the overall industrial and business environment.

However, nothing much has happened.

Sources in the industry claim that without some changes in policy and drastic measures to improve the infrastructure, it was not possible to bring about any change which, they say, was a must to meet the growing competition in the teeth of globalisation.

It is reported that many large and medium-size industrial units had been either closed, shifted or facing a downtrend due to adverse factors here in the past one decade. This has reduced the job opportunities and caused sickness in various units.

According to a senior office-bearer of a leading organisation of entrepreneurs, there were certain issues which, he said, were still to be considered and implemented. They include an early solution to the traffic snarls at the Badarpur border, withdrawal of the Local Area Development Tax (LADT), change in the Floor Area Ratio Act for the units, repair and construction of high-tech roads with proper sewerage and streetlights in the industrial sectors, and some motivational steps to attract the new industry, which could include tax benefits, and cheaper rates of power and land.

Experts feel that Faridabad which has the advantage of being a prominent town of the NCR, linked with important road and rail tracks, could take the lead if certain infrastructural problems were addressed.

It is claimed that the construction of the DND flyway and express quality roads connecting Noida and Greater Noida had helped these satellite town in attracting many foreign and domestic industrial units to set up their plants there in the past few years.

Some of the entrepreneurs here feel that Faridabad badly need a ‘mother industry’ which could support many other ancillaries.

It is claimed that certain big units which had been serving as ‘mother units’ had either lost their sheen or split up due to decline in demand.

It is learnt that the authorities here had recently submitted a proposal of the Union government for setting up an ‘Industrial Cluster’ here. In this scheme, about 85 per cent of the funds for developing the facilities would be borne by the Centre, while the rest shall be contributed by the entrepreneurs.


Minor servant held for Jangpura murder
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 20
With the arrest of a domestic help, who belonged to Nepal, the South district police today claimed to have cracked the murder of a Jangpura housewife. The suspect’s accomplice is still absconding.

The arrested servant is a minor, who had been employed by the husband of the victim a year back. He used to work in the jewellery shop owned by the victim’s husband and run domestic chores for him. The accomplice, Shyam (27), was employed as a driver by the couple. A wristwatch, a gold ring and some cash have been recovered from the minor’s possession. The remaining cash and stolen goods are with Shyam. The police are now trying to trace him.

The police said that on February 3 the suspects were sent by Mr. Guari Shankar Gupta, the victim’s husband, to his residence for some chore. There, they found the victim, Mrs Vijay Kumari Gupta, alone and clubbed her to death. They also robbed cash and jewellery worth Rs 2.5 lakh.

The police suspected their involvement from day one as they were missing after the crime. One of them was last seen locking the main gate on the fateful day. When he was locking the gate, some one inquired about Mrs. Gupta. The inquisitive neighbour was told that she had gone out. But, later, it turned out that she had been murdered.

The post-mortem report gave the approximate time of death around the time the servants were seen near the house.

In Mr. Gupta’s records, their permanent address was Sitamarhi, Bihar. But, in fact, they were from Nepal. Their Nepal address was obtained from another source. The police played a trick on the servant. He was sent a letter stating that his father had been arrested in a case. The servant, as expected, rushed to his local address at Sarai Kale Khan to verify the fact. The police had, in the meantime, laid a trap and arrested him.

He disclosed that his associate belonged to Janakpur district in Nepal.

The police said that they used to address the victim as “mummy” and she used to take care of them and allowed them to handle large amounts of cash. The arrested suspect has been produced before the Juvenile Court and remanded to judicial custody till March 4.


Mast lights rust as MLAs, councillors slug it out
Nalini Ranjan

New Delhi, February 20
About 100 high mast lights, installed at a cost of Rs. 1.5 crore by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi two and half years ago in various parks in East Delhi, are now rusting as no funds were ever earmarked for their repair.

As a result, the very purpose of installing these powerful lights in parks for the benefit of the public and to keep anti social elements at bay has been defeated. Despite repeated complaints by the residents, the officials have expressed their inability to do anything as there is no money.

The councillors as well as the local MLAs have also washed their hands of the entire affair, claiming that it was the responsibility of others to provide funds for their maintenance.

According to corporation rules, these mast lights can be repaired with the money from the area councillor’s funds. However, the councilors feel differently. There are obviously better and more lucrative ways of spending their corpus.

The MLAs, on the other hand, maintain that their fund is only for developmental works, not for repair and maintenance. As a result, in most parts of East Delhi the councillors and the MLAs are engaged in a kind of cold war.

This shifting of onus, however, is costing the residents dear as without lights these parks have become a virtual turf of anti social elements. Residents have alleged that drinking and gambling was commonplace. Even drugs were consumed openly by the anti-social elements, and the police presence was negligible. 


DPCC hails EC stay on demolitions
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 20
The Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) has welcomed the Election Commission’s (EC’s) directive to suspend demolition and eviction drives till the completion of the Lok Sabha poll. DPCC President Prem Singh said the directive vindicated the party’s stand that Union Tourism Minister Jagmohan and the BJP-led NDA Government were demolishing slums in the Capital to deny the slum-dwellers their voting rights.

The EC’s letter, addressed to the Chief Secretary and Chief Electoral Officer of Government of NCT of Delhi, said that in cases of unavoidable dislocation, the government shall place before the Commission all relevant facts, including a suitable rehabilitation plan. This, the letter said, would enable the EC to give appropriate orders to ensure that such dislocated electors are not deprived of their voting rights.

“Wherever there are any problems in the implementation of the decision of the Commission, because of orders issued by any court of law, the government of the state or the Centre, as the case may be, shall bring the matter to the notice of the Commission for appropriate directions to ensure due compliance with the court’s orders,” the EC said in a letter to the state and Central governments.

The EC also said that whenever any eviction or demolition drive is taken up by a civic agency, leading to the dislocation of the existing electors from their residence, the relevant part of the electoral roll of the Assembly constituency gets affected and becomes defective. This would also mean that once the electoral rolls become defective, the dislocated voters lose their right to vote at the polling stations to which they have been assigned.

“The Congress party’s objection to the relocation process was that it was being done in a selective and hasty manner to benefit the BJP in the Lok Sabha election and not with the intention of giving a better deal to the poor and the slum clusters. The DDA, at the behest of Jagmohan, has been carrying out the demolitions, without giving any thought to the plight of the children, women and the aged who have suffered the worst”, Singh said.

He said the poor had not only been robbed of their dwelling units and their voting rights, but the demolitions had also disturbed the education of their children. “Lakhs of people have been rendered homeless and jobless”, he added. 


Cops ‘save’ alleged rapist from livid mob
Our Correspondent

Rewari, February 20
The Dalit samaj here is highly agitated over the alleged rape of a 4-year-old girl by a young rickshaw-puller in Qutubpur locality on Thursday evening.

In fact, the police had to intervene to save the accused, Bhag Chand Jatav, alias Lal Chand Jatav (40), from the fury of the livid mob which was hell-bent on teaching the accused a lesson, when he was being taken to the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Bimlesh Tanwar in the afternoon today. Later, the CJM remanded the accused in judicial custody till March 4, 2004.

Earlier, a case of kidnapping (abduction) and rape under sections 363 and 376 of the IPC was registered against the accused by the police following a medical examination of the accused as well as the victim, conducted by doctors of the civil hospital here last night. The accused, who had virtually been besieged by the irate crowd after the incident, was assiduously taken into custody and brought to the civil hospital by the police.

Incidentally, the accused, Bhag Chand Jatav, son of Soka Ram, resident of Ond Meena village under Salampur police station of Dausa district of Rajasthan, is also a member of the Dalit samaj.

It is reported that the victim’s father, Khiali Ram, an employee of the Haryana Electricity Board here, as well as the accused Bhag Chand Jatav, had been living as tenants in a house in Adrash Nagar Colony of Qutubpur locality. Taking advantage of his intimacy with the victim’s family, Bhag Chand Jatav reportedly took the girl in his rickshaw to a lonely spot, where she was allegedly raped.

SHOs, Addl SHOs transferred

New Delhi: In a major shake-up, the Commissioner of Police, Dr K.K. Paul has effected the transfer of SHOs and Addl SHOs.

Their names are as follows: Chander Kant Sharma from FRRO to SHO/Okhla, Rajender Bakshi from Crime and Railway to SHO/Hauz Khas, Ram Phal from Hauz Khas to SHO/Nabi Karim, Ranbir Singh from the Crime and Railway to SHO Chanakya Puri, Om Prakash Budhwar from Security to SHO R.K. Puram, Ashok Kumar Saxena from the Departmental Enquiry Cell to SHO Geeta Colony, Ishwar Singh from Special Cell to SHO Uttam Nagar, Balram Solanki from PTC to SHO Paschim Vihar, Kanta Prasad Kukreti from Vigilance to SHO Ambedkar Nagar, Sahadev Singh from PCR to SHO H. Nizamuddin, Shobhan Singh from the Crime and Railway to SHO Sarita Vihar, Har Surinder Pal Singh from the Crime and Railway to SHO Khajuri Khas, Rajender Singh Yadav from Vigilance to SHO M.S. Park, Iqbal Mohd. from Sarita Vihar to Traffic, Hari Darshan Kumar from Chandani Mahal to SHO Gulabi Bagh, Jeet Singh Joon from 5th Bn. DAP to SHO Pandav Nagar, Shikesh Singh from Pandav Nagar to Security, Maharaj Singh from Geeta Colony to PTC, Maluk Singh from Khajuri Khas to 4th Bn. DAP, Ved Prakash from Nabi Karim to FRRO, Mahesh Kumar from Ambedkar Nagar to Crime and Railway, Surender Singh from Uttam Nagar to 7th Bn. DAP, Jeevan Singh Gill from Pashchim Vihar to Central District, Raghubir Prasad Addl. SHO from Pashchim Vihar to Addl. SHO/Darya Ganj, Sanjeev Gupta from Chanakya Puri to Rashtrapati Bhawan, Jagram from M.S. Park to North-West Distt., Jai Prakash from Gulabi Bagh to North-West Distt., Anil Kumar from H N Din to 8th Bn. DAP, Samar Pal from R K Puram to Special Branch, Rajbir Singh Malik from PTC to Addl. SHO/Rohini, Ram Chander from Rohini to Addl. SHO Jahangirpuri. TNS


Sonepat residents grapple with traffic congestion
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, February 20
Long and seemingly endless traffic snarls, hawkers everywhere on the pavements and spilling over the streets, yawning holes on roads driving motorists to madness, apathy of safai workers leaving piles of garbage all over the city and the grim power situations have thrown the normal life out of gear.

According to a report, each day breaks with office and schoolgoers confronting the same ordeal of spending tortuous spells in crowded public vehicles caught in traffic jams. Be it the Gita Bhawan Chowk or the major road junctions around the general bus stand and the railway crossing near the Hindu College, vehicles move at the snail’s pace or not at all, turning a short drive into a journey without end.

The traffic police and the people have their own versions of the ridiculous traffic story in the city. The traffic police point out that the basic problem relates to the awfully inadequate road space while the car population has increased manifolds. The traffic police also lay the blame on the tendency among a large section of motorists as well as pedestrians to violate all traffic rules and norms at the slightest provocation.

But most people think that it is the total lack of traffic administration and the nexus between the police and the private transporters, which have thrown into complete disarray whatever system was there. Many people alleged that the traffic policemen openly take bribe from offending truck drivers. In more recent times, traffic constables have been seen taking similar tokens from the truck drivers who are among the worst violators of traffic rules. They and the truck drivers too, would stop at any place, including major road crossings, to unload the goods even if the vehicle is overloaded. Yet, the traffic situation in the city did show definite signs of improvement in recent years.

Meanwhile, the civic amenities in the city are far from satisfactory, going by the never-ending drinking water crisis. The complaints against the poor streetlight system continue to pour in as before, while cleanliness appears to be a dirty word.

The winter rains during the last month have further deteriorated the conditions of the roads and streets, which were in fairly bad shape for the last few decades.

Waterlogging was also reported from some areas of the city causing much inconvenience to the residents. Whereas some officials of the Sonepat Municipal Council, the PWD (B and R), the HUDA and some other official agencies present a rosy picture of the overall scenario when their comments are sought on the matter. Others advance the usual plea that they are not in a position to do much in view of the paucity of funds.

Frequent and prolonged power trippings from Panipat and Bhakra systems have made the life miserable. The daily trippings for hours together have caused strong resentment among the residents.

The situation in the villages of the district is still worse. Here, power was not available for most of the day and night. The people in general are piqued at the present power situation, but the students in particular are sore as the annual examinations are round the corner. The leaders of various students’ organisations have threatened to resort to an agitation if the power supply is not regularised with immediate effect.

The power supply position in a number of villages in Gohana and Ganaur sub-divisions has worsened, as they had no electricity for the last few days following the burning of the electricity transformers. The irate village people are contemplating to gherao the officials of the UHBVN if the power situation was not improved.

Meanwhile, the cases of power thefts are on the increase in the areas of Murthal, Kharkhauda, Ganaur sub-divisions and also in the industrial area sub-division of Sonepat thanks to the failure of the authorities concerned to check the unscrupulous consumers. It is alleged that some officials of the UHBVN are also involved in the racket and they regularly get the ‘nazrana’ from these consumers in a bid to overlook the power pilferage.


Haryana govt invites tender for sale of old wheat
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, February 20
The Haryana Government has invited the tenders for the sale of 3,36,579 metric tonnes of old wheat lying in the godowns of various official procurement agencies in different parts of the state.

According to a report, the wheat was purchased during 1998-1999, 1999-2000, and 2000-2001, and had been lying in the godowns of Food and Supplies Department, the HAFED, the Haryana Agro Industries Corporation (HAIC), the Haryana Ware-housing Corporation HWC) and the CONFED at Karnal, Kaithal, Kharkhauda, Jind, Rohtak, Hissar, Sirsa, Faridabad, Gurgaon, Sonepat, Fatehabad and Panipat.

The details of the wheat stock are as follows: Karnal (94,730 metric tonnes), Kaithal (1,30,315 metric tonnes), Kharkhauda (44,555 metric tonnes), Jind (17,535 metric tonnes), Rohtak (841 metric tonnes), Hissar (2,546 metric tonnes), Sirsa (12,007 metric tonnes), Faridabad (11,925 metric tonnes), Gurgaon (3,655 metric tonnes), Sonepat (5,633 metric tonnes), Fatehabad (9,387 metric tonnes) and Panipat (3,430 metric tonnes).

Official sources also revealed that 1,37,122 metric tonnes belonged to the Food and Supplies Department, 1,34,975 metric tonnes belonged to the HAFED, 30,126 metric tonnes belonged to the HAIC, 12,455 metric tonnes belonged to HWC and 21,901 metric tonnes belonged to the CONFED. The last date for receiving the tenders has been fixed at February 24 next.

Meanwhile a scandal relating to the lifting and sale of wheat stock from the Gohana foodgrains market has come to the surface. This wheat stock was purchased during the year 2000 by the Food and Supplies Department and this had been lying in the open since then. Most of the wheat stock had become unfit for human consumption and its lifting and sale have become a mystery. A high-level probe into this scandal is likely to expose the misdeeds of the officials and the owners of the fair price shops in the district. The transfers of all the officials will ensure an independent and impartial inquiry into the scandal.




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.

Many organisations set the targets to achieve and deadlines to meet, but very few of them achieve them on time. The Delhi Metro is among the few.

Apart from meeting the deadlines, it has made Delhi, nay, India proud as it has been recognised as a world-class Metro. Today many countries like Sri Lanka are asking for help from the Delhi Metro. For all this, the credit goes to all those who are engaged in turning this dream into reality—the employees. It’s their commitment towards the organisation, hard work and dedication which is bearing fruit today..

Delhi Metro is ahead of other organisations not only in terms of technology but also in work culture. Unlike other organisations, it must remain ahead in keeping its employees—the reason behind its success—in good humour.

It must know about the problems which the employees are facing. It must at least arrange for some weekly or monthly interaction programmes within the organisation (like it’s doing in the areas where Delhi Metro’s construction work is going on) where every employee devoid of his/her rank/position will be given a chance to put his problem, suggestion in front of the top management.

This interaction will turn healthy as it will make the management aware of the areas of improvement and give it a chance to solve the problems on time before they turn into big issues.

Most importantly, it will make the employees give their best.


Hats off to Sheila

I would like to say that the people of Delhi are lucky to have a Chief Minister like Sheila Dikshit. In my opinion, she is trying her best to care for the health of Delhiites. During the introduction of the Metro Rail, she did a remarkable job for the people of Delhi.

Now she has requested the people of the National Capital Region (NCR) to use bicycle as much as possible. First of all, she has advised the schoolchildren to go to schools on their bicycle and avoid car and other mode of transport. This step will help conserve fuel and reduce noise pollution. As a mater of fact, school-going children make a lot of noise while zooming in their cars.

Parents of children should encourage their wards to use riding of bicycles as much as possible.


The key role of science practical

The role of science practical in the teaching of science subjects—physics, chemistry and life science—is immense. Students can easily understand the subject and become curious if they are allowed to see the science apparatuses and do the experiments themselves in the laboratory.

However, in the government schools as well as in private schools, most of the students pass their senior secondary examinations without looking at the sample science apparatuses. Cork, test tubes, thistle funnel, etc remain foreign to them.

As of now, according to the board rule, science master of the school concerned conducts practical exams of their own students. So, they remain passive and don’t have to prepare the students for the said exam. And in some schools, teachers of subjects other than science have to conduct the science practical exams.

A PTI had to discharge the duty of an examiner of science practical exam recently.

Umed Singh, PTI of Government Middle School Fatehpuri (Rewari), had to perform this duty under duress.

Either the Board authority or the head of the institute should see the lapse of this kind and arrange for a competent teacher for the job.

To inculcate a scientific temper in our generation, it’s time to give a serious thought in this regard. Science laboratories should remain well equipped and money collected from the students in the name of science fund should be utilised for their benefit. The scenario of science sans practical should change.


Check concrete jungles

This is with reference to an ex- Australian resident letter “Concrete increasing, soil cover shrinking” (NCR February).

The writer has highlighted that concrete jungles of cement are coming up in the cities, towns and even villages, replacing farms and forests.

In this connection, I wish to say that almost all the hill stations in the country are decaying due to man-made concrete structures and the tourism industry. Hill stations are being burdened with highrise concrete buildings, hotels and tourist resorts. There has been a large-scale felling of hill forests without caring for their replantation. This has led to frequent cloudbursts, landslides and forced the rivers and rivulets to change their course.

In fact, the whole ecological balance of the hill system has been disturbed due to man-made intrusions.

Therefore, immediate steps are needed to save the plains and the hill areas from the spread of the concrete jungles of cement. The government should formulate strict laws for regulating the use of concrete materials in the construction activity in the hills and the plains.

O P SHARMA, Faridabad

V-Day lovers, spare a thought for Basant

In the NCR, the Valentine’s Day fever is catching on. In fact, the over-hyped Valentine’s Day celebration on February 14, has become de rigueur with the neo-rich middle-class Indians, particularly the youngsters, who have started aping the western lifestyle in every walk of life.

An important spring festival of North India, Basant Panchami, passed off on January 26, without a murmur. The Capital’s English media, both print and electronic, almost ignored this festival, giving it only a sketchy coverage.

Despite the fact that the Valentine’s Day does not conform to the Indian traditions and social ethos, our English print and electronic media go gaga over the day and are largely responsible for giving it a big boost, at the expense of the Indian festivals.

I request the Indian neo-rich middle-class, particularly the youngsters, to spare some time for the Indian festivals as well, to understand their cultural and seasonal significance.

SUJATA SHARMA, FaridabadBack

Pray, where is the shine?

I would like to congratulate our Prime Minister, Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee, on the successful completion of his Government’s five-year term. The time of election has come again. And before the election, the Government is saying that India is shining. I want to ask it a question: where is India shining?

On Republic Day, when the entire country was celebrating, a man and a woman hanged themselves in Bombay after giving poison to their children because they were not able to return the loan taken from bank.

In Orissa, a woman sold her child for only Rs 10 because of poverty. Thousands of people die from cold in our country. The unemployment problem in is staggering as 15 crore people were without jobs. And the Government of India is saying, “India is shining”.

From Bofors to Telgi and telecom to stock, corruption and scams have always been an inalienable past of the Indian psyche. Believe it or not, in our country, warrants have been issued against the innocent people like our President and the Chief Justice of India for just Rs 4,00,000.

Corruption has become a part of our system. After seeing all this, I don’t think our country is shining.

India will shine only when there is no corruption in our system, when everybody’s life and honour is safe and the most important point: when our minister to whom we give power and a carte blanche start thinking about the welfare of a common man instead of their chair. Our country will shine only then.

PUNEET WADHWA, MBA student, RohtakBack


Make Shivaratri an instrument for bringing social change: Agnivesh
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 20
“Religious festival should not be confined to religious rituals and ceremonies, but should have social relevance. They should be able to awaken and enable people to root out vices and evils like greed, attachments, additions and gender discriminations from the self and society.”

Swami Agnivesh, the Arya Samaj leader and chief of Bandhua Mukti Morcha, said this while addressing a Dharma Sammelan, organised by Prajapita Brahma Kumaris Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya at Talkatora Indoor Stadium here.

Addressing the sammelan, which was organised on the auspicious occasion of Maha Shivaratri, he said that ways and means should be worked out to make Shvaratri an instrument and vehicle for bringing about social change and betterment.

He stressed that government and non-governmental organisations should work for ending social injustice gender discrimination, female feoticide and dowry deaths.

Mahamandaleswar Swami Sarvanand Saraswati, head of Mahashaktipeeth, said that attainment of power to rule over time, discipline and self was the key to peace and happiness in life. He said that practice of divine knowledge and meditation on incorporeal Supreme Soul Shiva could result in elimination of five vices in self and in making life pure, healthy and prosperous.

Dr Anand Mohan Zutsi Gulzar Delvi, national poet and freedom fighter, said that practice and promotion of compassion, fellow feeling and service to society, which all religions preached, were essential to establish individual and world peace. He said that restoration of universal faith on one incorporeal supreme soul God could bring unity in diversity by making universal brotherhood and one-world-family a reality.

Mr Madhavkant Mishra, Executive Director of Sadhna channel, said that spiritual and social awakening of masses through the popularisation of godly knowledge and Rajyoga meditation could result in making people and society better.

Brahma Kumari Chakradhari, Director of Rajyoga Centres in Russia, speaking on the topic ‘Reestablishment of New Age by Supreme Soul Shiva’, said that God Shiva who is world benefactor, spiritually empowers seekers through his divine knowledge and teachings on Rajyoga meditation, to eliminate inner vices and to embellish virtues in them.

Presiding over the function, Brahma Kumari Geeta, Director of Brahmakumaris Academy for Better World, said that self-realisation and transformation through inculcation of spiritual wisdom and values could restore peace and progress in society.

The Sammelan was inaugurated by lighting candles and releasing balloons in the stadium. Mass meditation was conducted by Brahmakumari Pushpa of Karol Bagh Rajyoga Centre.


Marketing board’s auction of commercial plots
a damp squib

Sonepat, February 20
Despite making all publicity efforts, the state marketing board failed to achieve desired success in auctioning the commercial plots and booths in new grain market and new vegetable market of Gohana town, which is a subdivisional headquarter of the district.

In an open auction on Thursday, only 29 out of 167 plots and booths could be auctioned. And over that, number of bidders who have purchased the plots and booths, have reportedly not deposited the entire one-fourth amount of the total cost after the auction and have asked some more time to deposit the amount.

As many as three shop plots and 25 booths were to be auctioned in the new vegetable market being developed at Gohana-Sonepat Road on the outskirts of Gohana town. And before commencing the auction, the officials of marketing board tried to motivate and convince the bidders to buy these without any hesitation stating that the Chief Minister has promised to provide sheds, concrete roads and boundary wall of the market and two residential sectors would also be developed around the market. But response from the auctioneers was so poor that only one booth could be auctioned.

However, there were some consolations to the board officials as 28 plots and one booth could be auctioned in the new grain market at Gohana-Jind road. But, here also the bidders reportedly connived not to increase the amount of bids. And the board officials were also helpless, as the bids were just higher than minimum price fixed by the board. OC


Arya flays govt for transferring upkeep of roads to PWD

New Delhi, February 20
Mr Subhash Arya, leader of Opposition in MCD, strongly criticised the act of Delhi Government on Thursday to hand over maintenance of eight MCD roads to Public Works Department.

He described it as infringement of rights of MCD, which is against democratic traditions enshrined in the Constitution of India. He said that in his budget speech he had brought to the notice of the house about the miserable conditions of roads in Delhi.

Mr Arya further disclosed that in a survey carried out by Central Road Research Institute (CRRI), 42 per cent roads under MCD jurisdiction are in miserable conditions, as far as quality is concerned. On these very basis, Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit transferred the work of maintenance of MCD roads to PWD. TNS


Road blockade against disruption in power supply
Our Correspondents

Jhajjar, February 20
Hundreds of resident of Matanhale village put up blockade on the Jhajjar-Bahujholri road against the disruption in power supply in the rural areas of the district. The road blockade was led by the former Sarpanch of the village, Mr Umed Singh. The villagers raised slogans against the state government and the district administration. The villagers alleged that the burnt transformer had not been replaced for the last two months. The district officials, including the ASP, Mr Y. Puran Kumar, and the SDM, Mr Satish Katyal, reached the spot and assured them that the damaged transformer would be replaced within three days.

Ph.D. awarded

Mr Dharambir Singh Taxak, an official of the Haryana State Land Development Bank, has been awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) by Chaudhary Charan Singh University, Meerut. He was awarded the degree on completion of his research work on the topic: “The role of Haryana state cooperative land development bank in providing long term finance to agriculture sector in Haryana”.

Group clash

Sonepat: One person was killed and four others, including a woman, were injured in a group clash in the nearby villages. The injured persons were hospitalised and the body of the victim was sent to the hospital for the postmortem examination. The police have registered the cases and further investigations were in progress. However, no arrest had been made in this connection. Meanwhile, a truck loaded with building materials over-turned on the Kharkhauda-Delhi road, about 25 km from here last evening. According to a report, no one was hurt in this accident.

Motorcycles stolen

A motorcycle was stolen from outside a house in Mohalla Mashad here last evening. According to a report, the motorcycle belonging to Mr Madan Gopal, was parked outside his house. According to another report, the motorcycle of one Dr Karamvir, SMO, was stolen from the community health centre at Gohana town, 35 km from here yesterday. Both the cases have been reported to the police.

Visit by croatian Ambassador

The ambassador of the Republic of Croatia, Mr Dino Debelzuh, visited a mushroom farm at Akbarpur Barota village, about 8 km from here yesterday. According to a report, he was given a rousing reception by a large number of dignitaries and other residents of the village.

Later, he left for Panipat where he visited a number of handloom industries. In the evening, he returned to the city and had dinner with schoolchildren.

Body found

The Government Railway Police (GRP) found the body of a 26-year-old woman, identified as Mrs Nargis Bibi, lying on the railway track near the railway crossing last night. According to a report, she was hit by a train when she was crossing the railway track. The GRP has sent the body for the postmortem examination.


Highway robbers held
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, February 20
With the arrest of two youths, the special police staff has busted a gang of highway robbers operating between Khanpur Kalan and Kasandi villages in the Gohana sub-division of this district.

According to a report, the duo has been identified as Satbir and Vijay of Bajana Kalan village. The police seized a gun, two country-made pistols and some live cartridges from their possession.

The police received a tip-off that they were engaged in looting passersby.

The police reached the spot and nabbed the two.

However, others escaped under the cover of darkness.

Further details are still awaited. The police have registered the case and further investigations were in progress.

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