N C R   S T O R I E S


TU stir sends work in banks, FIs for a toss
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 24
The one-day strike called by the workers’ unions paralysed the working of public sector banks, financial institutions and undertakings in Delhi today. The employees of these organisations struck work as part of the countrywide protests, demanding, among other things, a review of the Supreme Court order barring the government employees from going on strike.

The strike was called by the All India Trade Union Congress (AICTU), CITU, AICCTU, TUCC, UTUC and UTUC-LS. However, the unions associated with the BMS and HMS stayed away from the protest.

The Delhi University and the JNU teachers have also supported the employees. The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) staff held a demonstration in front of the Town Hall here to express solidarity with their cause. The strikers claimed that economic policies of the NDA Government were anti-people.

Employees of public sector banks, insurance companies and other public sector undertakings held a joint demonstration in front of the State Bank of India Building on Parliament Street here.

Besides, workers took out a rally in the Capital.

The joint demonstration in front of the SBI building was addressed by Mr Gurudas Gupta, general secretary of the All India Trade Union Congress (AICTU), who called upon the workers to put up a joint front against the ‘sinister’ move to weaken the workers’ movement by depriving them of the right to strike.

He demanded that the Union Government should review the Supreme Court order barring the government employees from going on strike. This is against the basic principles of democracy. He, along with other members of the AICTU, held a demonstration at the main gate of the bank here, shouting slogans against the ‘draconian law.’

They were addressed by the All India Reserve Bank Employees Association (AIRBEA) president, Mr M.L. Malkotia, and the Reserve Bank Employees Association (RBEA) secretary, Mr K. K. Sharma. The employees associated with different trade unions took out rallies in different parts of the Capital, protesting the government ‘reluctance’ to review the ban on strike.

The AICTU leaders claimed that the strike was total in banks and insurance offices.


Public suffers as essential services
succumb to strike call
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, February 24
The nationwide strike observed by the state government employees had a paralysing effect on several services in the district.

The most affected were the passengers who had to cool their heels for hours for want of any bus as the Roadways staff had joined the strike en masse in the district. Residents also faced hardship as they found nearly all the public sector banks and the insurance company offices closed.

The power consumers were helpless as well. Their complaints were not entertained since all the offices of the Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam remained closed.

It is reported that the staff of all the subdivisional offices and complaint centres joined the strike.

Mr Subhash Lamba, a spokesperson of the Joint Action Committee of the various employees associations, including the Sarva Karamchari Sangh, Haryana, claimed that the employees of all the departments, including excise, forest, PWD, health, roadways, power, Haryana Urban Development Authority and the Municipal Corporation and other civic bodies in the district, joined the strike.

Claiming it a total success, he said almost all the banks and insurance companies downed their shutters, in support of the demands raised by the employees.

It is reported that a large number of people got stranded at the bus stands here as no bus of the roadways left the terminal. Even some private bus operators did not ply their transport. Though private taxies and vehicles did come out, but only to take advantage of the situation. They reportedly fleeced the passengers. The protesting employees raised anti-government slogans and staged dharnas and demonstrations outside their offices.

The members of the SKS took out a procession through the main market and held a rally near B.K Chowk here.

It learnt that there are about 25,000 government employees in the district, which include about 15,000 belonging to the various departments of the state government.

The strike remained peaceful and no untoward incident was reported from anywhere, according to the police sources.


Sonepat goes without water

Sonepat, February 24
The entire city with a population of more than 2 lakh people did not get water throughout the day today following the strike by the employees of the Public Health Department along with the employees of other departments like Haryana Roadways, Irrigation, Forest Department, Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam and Anganwadi workers and the helpers in protest against the anti-employee and anti-worker attitude of the BJP-led NDA Government at the Centre and the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) in Haryana, headed by Mr Om Parkash Chautala. According to a report, not a single Haryana Roadways bus was allowed to ply from the main bus stand at Sonepat. The employees of the nationalised banks and the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) also joined the strike. They assembled outside their banks and offices and shouted slogans against the government for its anti-labour policies.

Earlier, a rally was held and the speakers protested against the apathetic attitude of the Central government and said that the feel-good was not being felt by the people at large. They also opposed the privatisation policy of the government and warned to continue their struggle against it.

The workers also resolved to get the right to strike. Later, a huge procession was taken out in the city by the employees. Carrying placards and raising anti-government slogans, they marched through the main bazaars of the city and reached the mini-secretariat where they held a demonstration in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s office. OC


Expulsion of nine councillors revoked

New Delhi: The Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee president, Mr Prem Singh, revoked the suspension and expulsion order of nine Municipal Councillors. He also withdrew the show-cause notices issued to four councillors during the Delhi Assembly elections for their anti-party activities.

The decisions were taken by the Disciplinary Action Committee, where Mr Prem Singh and the Chairman of the committee, Mr Jagdish Titler, were present along with other office-bearers.

The councillors promised to work sincerely for the success of the Congress candidates in the Lok Sabha elections and also reposed confidence in the leadership of the Congress president, Ms Sonia Gandhi.

The members whose suspension has been revoked are Pana Lal Kherewal, Jai Kishan Sharma, Nathu Ram Nagar, Praveen Massy, Preeti, Praveen Bansal, Bhagvir, Harish Abrol, Shanti Yadav, Amarjit Singh Solanki, Davender Yadav, Madhu Khurana and Sadhna Sharma. TNS


Discom row
L-G urged to look into transfer of govt shareholding
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 24
Mr Vijender Gupta, Member, Standing Committee, MCD and secretary, Delhi Pradesh BJP, has demanded that the Lt-Governor should intervene in the matter of transferring the government shareholding to DISCOMS. He should direct the Delhi Government that the terms and conditions as notified on November 22, 2001, be adhered to and the present ratio in shareholdings between the private investors and the Government be maintained, said Mr Gupta.

He said that the reported proposal of the Delhi Government to raise the present holding of equity shares of private sector investor from 51 per cent to 76 per cent, is against the original provisions of policy directions.

The present move is a conspiracy of the state Congress leadership, higher echelons of the bureaucracy and the private investors with a view to siphoning off the public funds by adopting all tactics.

Mr Gupta said that the property, interest in property, liabilities, obligations, personnel, etc of the Delhi Vidyut Board, have been already transferred to DISCOMS. However, DISCOMS have not paid the huge amount running into hundreds of crore to the MCD due to political patronage.

The sum includes the electricity tax arrears of Rs 500 crore, property tax arrears amounting to Rs 32 crore; and Rs 260 crore, the charges for using

Municipal land, besides huge arrears legally due to the MCD under other heads. The non-payment of this amount to the MCD, besides other factors, appears to be the main cause of not discharging the financial liabilities owed to the public.

Resultantly, the MCD has been forced to raise funds through some other taxes which were deferred in the past in public interest.

He alleged that under the MOU made between the Delhi government and DISCOMS, the difference between the amount billed and the amount released and 16 per cent assured return on the issues and paid-up capital, have also been made factors for the calculation of revenue gap.

It is illogical, so much so that share holders can only be paid bonus and not interest and the arrears can be recovered by using methods provided under the Electricity Act.

He alleged that due to reduction in the AT and C losses with each consecutive year and injecting of public funds to the tune of Rs 2,600 crore with a waiver on interest and moratorium on principal repayment for the first four years, DISCOMS are set to earn profit.


Arya seeks probe into toll tax tender controversy
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 24
The Leader of Opposition in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), Mr Subhash Arya, in a letter to Lt Governor Vijai Kapoor, has demanded a CBI inquiry into the awarding of tenders for collection of toll tax.

He alleged that this was a major scam in the MCD: the ruling Congress wanted to award contracts to companies, which safeguard their interest in the guise of pre-qualification tender process. This could be a source of revenue loss to the corporation.

He disclosed that Mayor Ashok Jain had also objected to the proposal of pre-qualification tender process.

The mayor had also sought a clarification on the proposal passed by the Standing Committee of the corporation.

He had directed the Municipal Commissioner, Mr Rakesh Mehta, to amend the proposal, if it favoured a particular company.

Giving details, Mr Arya alleged that the contract of collection of toll tax was awarded last year to M/s Banas Sands on payment of a lump sum amount of Rs 70 crore. Due to the obstruction of traffic on the National Highways by the toll tax collection posts, the National Highway Authority of India and the Central Public Works Department had advised the corporation to install computerised toll tax collection posts.

Pre-qualification tenders were thus invited to draw a list of eligible firms for collecting the tax. The screening committee had found only five firms out of 14 eligible for the contract.

A proposal for approval of pre-qualification tenders was placed before the Standing Committee on December 2, 2003. The Standing Committee constituted a subcommittee to consider the proposal. The subcommittee, in its report, opposed the pre-qualification tenders.

Mr Arya disclosed that despite the objections of the opposition, the MCD had passed the resolution last month.

Mr Arya further disclosed that the Mayor had also objected to this proposal and directed the commissioner to respond to certain clarifications and then submit the amended proposal before the Standing Committee.

The Commissioner, in his amended proposal, clarified that five firms, as proposed by the screening committee, should be kept in the list of eligible firms, so that a healthy competition would ensue, thereby ensuring higher revenue.


Gurgaon cops to man 50 key points
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, February 24
The new police chief of Gurgaon district, Mr Paramjit Singh Ahlawat, will focus on the ‘strategic’ visibility of police in the key areas of the city in order to deter criminals.

The fresh preventive and post-crime strategic efforts should provide a shot in the arm to the police, Mr Ahlawat added.

The police have identified about 50 key points where their visibility would be increased.

This apart, checking of vehicles in the inter-city roads will be strengthened.

The police have prepared a list of the lesser-known criminals with the dual purpose to prevent crimes and gather information on the unsolved cases.

To cap it, the authorities will give thrust to improve the quality of investigations so as to ensure that the
prosecution stand the gamut in the court and the culprits were brought
to book.

The district police chief was of the opinion that policing Gurgaon was a challenge on account of burgeoning population and the continual expansion in the geographical mass of the city.

Mr Ahlawat said community participation to help the police in its duty is one aspect which he would work for.


Uphaar case
Bid to implead Kanth: CBI gets time to reply 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 24
A Delhi court gave the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) more time to reply to a plea by the Association of Victims of Uphaar Tragedy for making Joint Commissioner of Police Amod Kanth an accused in the case.

The association, in its application, claimed that Kanth, who was then the DCP (Licensing) in 1979, “deliberately and knowingly turned a blind eye to the safety rules and regulations as laid down in the Delhi Cinematographic Rules, 1953, by permitting the Uphaar Cinema owners to completely block the right hand side gangway, so as to retain the extra seats, vide order dated December 24, 1979”.

Hearing the case, Additional Sessions Judge Mamta Sehgal gave the agency some more time till March 5 to reply to AVUT’s application. Earlier, the court had on February 12 directed the agency to file its reply today. However, the CBI counsel prayed for more time today.

The association alleged that Kanth had granted the permission “with complete knowledge and that it amounted to compromising the safety of the visiting public by denying them the exit in terms of safety rules as envisaged under the Act and the Rules”. The association prayed that he be summoned and tried for being “directly responsible for the tragedy”.

At least 59 persons had lost their lives in the tragedy which occurred during the screening of Hindi blockbuster, Border, on June 13, 1997.

Couple commit suicide, leave behind infant

Jhajjar: A newly married couple reportedly committed suicide by taking sulphas tablets in their house, leaving behind their three-month-old infant in Bahadurgarh yesterday. According to information, Dony, son of Sher Singh, resident of Shakti Nagar, was married to Babita about a year ago. The family members rushed them to the hospital where both passed away. Domestic strife is stated to the reason behind the suicide. OC


NSUI defends active support to Cong in polls
Our Correspondent

Bhiwani, February 24
The national president of National Students Union of India (NSUI), Mr Ashok Tanwar has endorsed the role of the active members of NSUI in publicising the policies of the Congress party even to the remote areas and maintained that efforts will be done to get tickets for those who have actively been a part of such campaigns.

Talking to mediapersons here at PWD rest house today, he asserted that the NSUI had remarkable stronghold in Haryana. Praising the efforts of the present state president of the unit, he said that Verender Kaushik had vitalised the party by bringing more youths to party fold. Mr Kaushik would remain continue on his post till the coming Lok Sabha elections, he added.

Taking a dig at the state government, he said that NSUI had risen time to time to protest the anti-people and anti-students policies of the INLD government. He said that Chautala did not fulfil his pre-election promises of restoration of student unions elections and fee-reduction even during his four years government.

He also said that there was Congress wave in the country and INLD government would have to pay for the resentment in the ensuing elections. The NSUI activists would take part on large scale in the road show of the Congress president Sonia Gandhi on February 25-26. The meeting passed a resolution to appoint Verender Kaushik as the next state president of the youth wing of the Congress party. The resolution has been sent to the general secretary Mukul Vasnik through NSUI president Ashok Tanwar. Presidents of all districts and members of executive body of the union were among those who present in the meeting.

Owners told to cover their trollies

The tractor-trolly owners who are engaged in earth filling, have been directed to cover their trollies while transporting balu sand to the town.

Some NGOs had complained to the administration that the balu sand diffuse in the air and spread on the counters of the shop and houses besides disinfecting eyes of the common man. The dust sat on the food items and was causing breath ailments, they said. The administration ordered that such vehicles plying uncovered on the road would be seized immediately. District Transport Officer Mir Singh disclosed that an awareness drive had been launched to educate the tractor owners against the harms to be occurred to such negligence.

Also, the administration would take stern action against the vehicle owners who were found playing vulgar songs through their stereos, Mr Singh added.


Farmers miffed at govt’s inaction on
de-weeding issue
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, February 24
Resentment prevails among the farmers of the district as the state government has not undertaken repair and desilting of minors and distributaries for the past few years.

According to a report, although the state government had claimed that it had allocated funds for the de-weeding and desilting of distributaries, minors and canals but the authorities of various water service divisions disputed the claim of the state government on the issue. The situation is likely to get worse if the prediction of the meteorological department is proved correct that the monsoon rain will be less than normal.

According to most of the farmers, the remodeling of the canal system could not be achieved if the state government failed to release the funds for this purpose. As a result, most of the distributaries and canals would not be repaired and desilted on time. They also pointed out that weeds had now choked the distributaries and minors preventing the smooth flow of water for irrigation. Some farmers also point out that the minors had neither been repaired or desilted for the past four to five years due to the non-allocation of funds.

Sources also revealed that repeated requests made by the authorities of the irrigation department to the state government to allocate funds have proved futile so far.

The tail-end fields of the farmers continue to remain dry and the canal water had not been reaching there, even the period of rotation. Many farmers alleged that the embankments of various canals and distributaries were facing the problem of siltage resulting in waterlogging of large areas. They also alleged that many officials of the department are minting money by preparing bogus muster rolls as the appointment of labourers exist only on paper.

It is alleged that the vigilance cell in the irrigation department has turned into a corruption den as the officials of the cell have utterly failed to check the ongoing works and misdeeds of the officials entrusted to the jobs for the execution of the works.

With the aim to root out corruption from the irrigation department, the state government has now created the post of an executive engineer and he had already taken the charge on the post. Hitherto, a SDO, Vigilance, had been working for the last few years and the successive SDOs had never detected irregularities and malpractices of the officials of various water service divisions in the district.

The Xen, the SDO and other subordinate staff of the vigilance cell are required to supervise the works relating to the maintenance of canal network and also to check the ongoing works as well as the malpractices in the utilisation of public funds by the officials. But no substantial action had been taken in the past by the officials of the cell.

However, informed sources have revealed that whenever letters of credit (LOC) are received by various water service divisions, the officials of the cell are reported to be in the habit of receiving the amount of commission on the LOC for overlooking the lapses and malpractices indulged in the execution of the works by them.

Meanwhile, the farmers of many villages have expressed their grave concern over the inadequate and erratic supply of canal water and blamed the officials for not cleaning the canals and distributaries despite the clear instructions by the state government and the Chief Minister, Mr Om Parkash Chautala. The farmers, whose fields are situated on the tail-end, have demanded a high-level probe into their complaints about the non-reaching of the canal water and stern action against the erring officials.

They also demanded transfers of the officials of the vigilance cell as they had utterly failed to check the misdeeds of the officials.


Passengers have a field day in the absence of TTE
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, February 24
The Sonepat railway station is fast turning into a haven for the ticketless passengers, thanks to the failure of the ticket collectors to check them.

According to a report, the railway board have appointed three ticket collectors at the railway station, but none of them turn up at the railway gates when the trains arrive. As a result, ticketless passengers have a field day. A few passengers are even able to carry huge consignments of goods in the absence of any ticket collector at the main gate. However, such passengers are hauled up by the jawans of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) who collects small sums from them for letting them of.

Long queues of passengers and commuters can be seen outside the booking office every day on account of mismanagement and shortage of staff. The women staff always adopted indifferent attitude towards the passengers who turn up in the queues to purchase the tickets and the monthly passes. Many passengers and commuters who failed to get the tickets and monthly passes in the queues are forced to board the trains without tickets. On many occasions, the ticketless passengers are caught by the special ticket checkers in the running trains and they have to be penalised without their fault.

Many commuters alleged that all their complaints made to the Chief Booking Clerk (CBC) and the Station Superintendent in this regard have fallen on deaf ears. Similar situation exists in the reservation office, where the staff always put up a signboard indicating that “computer is out of order”. The passengers feel harassed when they go to the reservation office for the reservation of seats in the long-distance trains.

Unauthorised hawkers sell their goodies on the premises of the railway station in connivance with the railway officials and the RPF as well as the policemen. This has been causing a huge loss to the licensed hawkers who look on helplessly.

Moreover, food items are also sold in running trains by unlicensed hawkers again with the connivance of the railway officials and the police. Such hawkers mint money as they charge exorbitant rates.

The Sonepat railway station is an example of poor neglect and poor passengers amenities. The station superintendent and other railway authorities appear to be least concerned in improving the condition. Instead, sanitary conditions are bad as the garbage is thrown in the open space and the passengers are forced to ease themselves in the open, as the toilets remain dirty most of the time. There is no regular water supply in the toilets and water taps are missing.

Similarly, the water coolers remain defective and no cold water for drinking is available to the passengers in summers. The ad hoc employees posted at ‘pios’ are forced to work at the houses of the staff and they always remain on ‘furloughs’.

Small sheds provided on platform numbers 1, 2 and 3 are inadequate to cope with the rush of the passengers. A large number of them are exposed to the fury of the sun and rain while waiting for the trains on the platforms.

Corruption was rampant in the goods office at the railway station and the traders are forced to give ‘nazrna’ amount to the staff for loading and unloading operations.

Even the officials of the procurement agencies are not spared during the procurement seasons of paddy and wheat. The staff employed in the goods office is in the habit of minting money in unauthorised ways.

The Daily Railway Passengers Welfare Association has sent a memorandum to the Union Railway Minister, Mr Nitish Kumar, urging him to order the stoppage of long-distance trains including Shan-e-Punjab, Shatabadi and Superfast at Sonepat railway station, which is a largest revenue earning station on the DUK section of Northern Railway. It pointed out that Sonepat city is a historical and industrial city and a district headquarters of Haryana, where from 20,000 to 30,000 commuters commute daily between Sonepat and Delhi and vice-versa, but they have been denied the facility of boarding the long-distance trains and they have to go either to Delhi or Panipat for boarding them.

The memorandum also demanded the stoppage of the Bathinda bound Bathinda-Delhi Intercity Express and the Amritsar bound Superfast Express at Subzimandi railway station for facilitating the commuters and other passengers to board these trains at Subzimandi railway station. By boarding these trains, they could reach their homes on time in the wake of late running of the 4647 UP Flying Mail bound for Amritsar.


Devotees participate in Guru Puja Diwas
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 24
Addressing a mammoth gathering on the occasion of Guru Puja Diwas, Nirankari Baba Hardev Singh Ji Maharaj said those who find the company of saints are fortunate because it provides spiritual strength.

Nirankari Baba Hardev Singh Ji Maharaj was speaking at the Guru Puja Diwas organized here yesterday to celebrate his 50th birthday.

Devotees participating in this special samagam had come from Delhi and adjoining areas. In addition, a large number of devotees had come from other states and abroad to participate in the samagam.

The Guru Puja Diwas was celebrated all over the world by the followers of the Mission. However, the cake-cutting ceremony was performed only in the national Capital.

Baba Hardev Singh Ji Maharaj described himself as fortunate to have found the company of saints right from his childhood.

He received love and affection not only from Baba Avtar Singh Ji and Baba Gurbachan Singh Ji, but also from other saints. Due to their teachings and guidance he has been able to serve the Mission and take its message to the masses, he said.

Baba Hardev Singh Ji Maharaj pointed out that the world today is laden with jealousy, hatred and violence. Man seems to have lost interest in love.

However, when we join the company of saints we receive love and respect without any selfishness. Saints always act for the welfare of all.

Prior to this, the volunteers of Sant Nirankari Sewa Dal presented a colourful rally to rededicate themselves to the service of the True Master, the Mission and mankind.

The impressive cultural programme expressed the joy of the devotees’ on the birth anniversary of Baba Hardev Singh Ji Maharaj.

Addressing the rally, Baba Hardev Singh Ji Maharaj appreciated the services of the sewa dal during the Mission’s congregations and Samagams but also during natural calamities.

He complimented them for their spirit of cooperation, discipline and coordination. He said they have provided a beautiful example of selfless service to the society.


NCR briefs
Rs 5,000 fine imposed on BSNL
Our Correspondents

Jhajjar, February 24
The district consumer disputes redressal forum imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 on a BSNL employee for negligence in Majra Dubaldhan village of the district.

According to information, Bhupender Singh, a resident of Majra village, filed a case with the forum on July 18, 2003, that his telephone (number 287914) was out of order for last three and a half months despite repeated complaint to the BSNL office in this regard.

He said that he was a transport operator and had suffered economic loss due to the negligence on part of the BSNL.

He demanded a compensation of Rs 50,000 from the BSNL.

However, the consumer forum directed the local BSNL office to pay Rs 5,000, of which Rs 1,000 was to be deducted from the salary of the erring employee.

The forum also directed the waver of rent for the 50 days that the telephone was out of order.

Strike against privatisation policy

The one-day strike by the ‘Sarve Karamchari Sangh’ to protest against the ongoing privatization policy of the government received good response.

According to reports, the transport sector was worst affected as the roadway employees participated in large numbers.

Buses did not ply due to the strike. The joint action committee of both the employees union in the state supported the strike call.

All the banks in the district also remained close for the day.

Insurance and electricity offices, Public Health Department and other state government and corporate offices were affected by the strike.

However, the offices of the Union Government including telecom offices and post office were not affected by the strike.

The employees were protesting against the privatization of the government departments by the state and Union Government and demanded the restoration of the right to strike to the employees.

Question papers reevaluated

Bhiwani: The question papers of Hindi, English, Science, Mathematics and Social Studies of the Haryana School Education Board for the middle annual examination 2004 held from February 17 to 22 was reevaluated by experts. All the question papers were in order except question number seven of Set (Code)-C of the Mathematics paper where the word ‘factor’ was mentioned in place of ‘multiplication’. As a result, the question had become difficult to attempt, a spokesman said.

Based on the proposal of the experts, instructions had been issued to the evaluators to give full marks to the students for this question.


Delhi digest
Medical centres to be upgraded to cut rush at hospitals
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 24
The Delhi Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Mr Yoganand Shastri, said that all the medical centers under the Delhi Government would be provided with basic infrastructure so that there would be less rush in the city hospitals. He was speaking today at the inauguration of a health centre in Vasundhara Enclave.

He was hopeful that this step would decrease the rush of patients in the hospitals. He said that this medical centre would cater to the residents of Vasundhara Enclave, Mayur Vihar-phase-3, New Kondli village etc. A medical centre at Vasundhara Enclave was a long-pending demand of the residents of the area.

The medical center has been built on 10,000 square feet at a cost of Rs 90 lakh. The medical center has 21 rooms.

In view of the demand for more facilities in the Delhi hospitals, the government had increased the number of beds in the Lal Bahadur Shastri Hospital and opened new hospitals in the city, said the Minister.

As per the data available, presently there are 174 medical centers running in the national Capital. Of these, 24 medical centres are running in east Delhi. There are 15 medical centers where the treatment is available for 12 hours while round the clock treatment is available in 12 centers, the Minister said.

Boycott call by DSGMC

The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee has decided to boycott the three-day programme being organised by the Delhi Government on Guru Manyo Granth at the Talkatora Stadium from February 27 to 29.

The general-secretary of the committee, Sardar Harbhajan Singh, said that the Congress president, Ms Sonia Gandhi, did not give due respect to them during the foundation laying ceremony of Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib. The foundation laying ceremony was organised on National Highway-I on February 18.

He said members of DSGMC, schoolchildren and other dignitaries were not allowed to participate in the function. Mr Singh also appealed to the Sikh community not to attend the forthcoming function. 


Unidentified body found from bushes
near Hindu College
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, February 24
The body of a youth was found from the bushes near the railway crossing in the Hindu College area here yesterday.

According to a report, the unidentified body bore several knife injuries and the police believe it to be a case of murder. The body has been sent for the postmortem examination.

Meanwhile, a youth, identified as Rakesh (22) of Ladpur village, sustained knife injuries when he was allegedly assaulted by four miscreants near the Rathdhanna Railway Station, about 8 km from here last night.

The injured youth was rushed to the local civil hospital for treatment and was stated to be out of danger.

The injured youth told the police that he was assaulted by four miscreants in the streets near the railway station. The miscreants put a blanket over him and first tried to kidnap him. However, he grappled with the miscreants, who fled from the spot after injuring him.

Brothers injured over plot dispute

Two brothers, identified as Sunil and Susheel, sustained knife injuries when they were attacked by some persons at Rampur Kundal Village, about 25 km from here last evening.

Both the injured youths were immediately hospitalised and were stated to be out of danger.

A dispute over some plot was stated to be the main cause of the assault. Those involved in the assault belonged to a rival group. The police are still investigating into the case. No arrest has, however, been made in this connection so far.

Country-made pistol, gold ornaments seized

The special staff of the Sonepat police arrested a youth, identified as Narinder of Simili village in Rohtak district, who was found moving in suspicious circumstances on the Sonepat-Kami.

Road near Jahri village, about 5-km from here last night. The police seized a country-made pistol and gold ornaments worth several thousands of rupees from him.

According to a report, the youth tried to escape when the police tried to stop him for identity verification. However, after a brief chase, the police overpowered him.

During the interrogation, the suspect told the police that he along with other associates had committed a theft in a shop on the Rohtak-Jhajjar road near the octroi post and escaped with goods worth about Rs 50,000. Moreover, they had looted Rs 80,000 in cash from the house of one Sajjan Kumar.

The suspect also confessed to his involvement in a number of theft cases committed at Rohtak and in his village. The police have registered the case against the suspect and further investigations were in progress.


Accountant, associate held for siphoning
off Rs 35 lakh
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 24
The Economic Offences Wing of the Crime Branch today claimed to have arrested a former accountant of the NAFED Thrift and Credit Society along with his associate for siphoning off Rs 35 lakh from the society account. After a prolonged effort, the sleuths arrested the main accused, H C Srivastava and his associate, Vinod Kumar. The fraud came to light after it was detected that Rs 35 lakh was missing from the society account. The accused was working as the accountant of the society from 1993-2000. After a complaint was lodged with the Economic Offences Wing, the sleuths started verifying the antecedents of the accused.

During the investigation, the sleuths found that the accused had issued a demand draft of Rs 10.93 lakh in favour of non-members including his friends and relatives.

It was also found that Rs 20.26 lakh withdrawn for distribution among the members had been misappropriated. Moreover, Rs 3.43 lakh received as installments from members had been misused. His associate Vinod, who had opened a fake bank account with the Punjab National Bank, Maharani Bagh branch, was also arrested by the sleuths. The bank account was opened in the name of one Suresh Chand Saini. Srivastava was arrested after a massive hunt from New Ashok Nagar locality in the Trans Yamuna area. The accused was residing in the area in a fictitious name.

The police have arrested two persons, including a woman, for cheating innocent people by promising them jobs in government schools.

The accused identified as Kala Sharma (38), and her husband, Sudesh Sharma (51), were residents of Hari Nagar. The accused had cheated one Anupama, resident of Laxmi Nagar, in March 2003, by promising her a teacher’s job in a government school.

The accused demanded Rs 40,000 from Anupama and received the payment in two installments. However, she failed to arrange the job for her.


2 youths held for stealing Rs 50,000
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, February 24
The Ganaur police have arrested two youths for allegedly stealing Rs 50,000 from a farmer of Zaffarpur village. The police have registered a case against them.

According to a report, the farmer, identified as Suresh, had withdrawn the money from the Punjab National Bank at Ganaur and gone to the foodgrains market to purchase fertilisers.

He had hidden the bag containing the money in the tractor when he went to purchase fertiliser. The duo had seen him hiding the money.

When the farmer stopped on the Ganaur-Khubru road to purchase some household articles, the duo took the bag containing the money and fled. However, the people apprehended them after a brief chase. They were later handed over to the police.

Man crushed on GT Road

A resident of Asawarpur village, identified as Rajbir, was killed on the spot when he was crushed by a car while he was crossing the G. T. Road near Rai village, about 13 km from here last evening.

According to a report, the car driver, however, managed to escape immediately after the accident. The police have registered the case against the car driver and launched a hunt to apprehend him.

Electrician receives burn injuries

An electrician, Rajinder Singh, sustained serious burn injuries when a control panel exploded in a factory at Rai village, about 13 km from here last evening. According to a report, the injured worker was rushed to the local civil hospital for treatment where he was stated to be out of danger. It is stated that he was working on the control panel after switching off the electric connection.


Travel agent held human trafficking
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 24
The Economic Offences Wing of the Delhi Police today claimed to have arrested a travel agent on charges of human trafficking. The accused was identified as Sukhvinder Singh, alias Billa. His two accomplices, identified as Manjit Kaur and Balvinder Singh, are still absconding. The suspects reportedly sent three men to Thailand on tourist visa and assured them of jobs in Thailand and Malaysia.

Balvinder Singh accompanied them to Thailand and handed them over to one Lalji. Lalji took them to Malaysia and introduced them to his contacts there.

However, they were arrested in Malaysia as they were without valid visa. Later, they were deported back to India. Each of the victims had paid Rs 2 lakh to the suspects. hen they came back to India, they met the agents and demanded their money back. However, the agent returned only Rs 10,000 to each one of them and promised to return the remaining money at a latter date. However, they soon disappeared from the scene. Finally, the victims reported the matter to the Economic Offences Wing of the Delhi Police. The sleuths of the EOW arrested Sukhvinder Singh and are on the lookout to trace his other accomplices, the police said.

Langar organised

The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee organised a langar from February 22 to February 24 for the victims whose jhuggies were gutted in a fire in Laxmibai Nagar on Sunday night.

NTPC film bags award

The NTPC film “Tamaso Ma Jyotir Gamaya” (From darkness to light), directed by Shyam Benegal, has won the best film award on “Corporate Social Responsibility” in the Fifth All India Competition of CD-Rom/ video production and house journal conducted by Public Relations Society of India, Andhra Pradesh Chapter. 


Youth killed as truck rams motorcycle
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, February 24
A youth was killed and another injured when a motorcycle was hit by a truck on the G T Road near Pipli Khera village, about 15 km from here last evening.

According to a report, the victim was identified as Roshan of Ganaur and the injured as Krishan of Ganaur. The police have registered the case and sent the body for the postmortem examination. The injured was immediately hospitalised and was stated to be out of danger.

Woman commits suicide

An aged woman, identified as Krishna (58), reportedly committed suicide by taking sulphas tablets in her house at Jawahar Nagar here last evening.

According to a report, she had been suffering from a chronic disease and took this extreme step in a state of depression.

The police are investigating into the case and the body has been sent for the postmortem examination.

Smuggled liquor seized

The Mohana police intercepted a car carrying 40 boxes of liquor and arrested its two occupants during a nakkabandi on the Sonepat-Gohana road near Mohana village, about 19 km from here last night.

According to a report, the two occupants were handed over to the officials of the Excise Department. Further investigations were in progress.

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