N C R   S T O R I E S


Parcel worth its weight in gold seized from railway station
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 4
The police, with the help of some specialized agencies, are trying to ascertain the actual destination of the booty in gold, silver ornaments and cash, worth lakhs of rupees, recovered from eight sacks, at the Old Delhi Railway Station last night.

The agencies are questioning several people, currently under detention, to unravel the mystery of the seized ornaments and whether they were supposed to reach the hands of narco-terrorists. It is also possible that the booty was intended for elections or belonged to an organized criminal gang.

The seized goods included 7.6 kg of gold, 886 kg of silver and Rs 56 lakh in cash; the consignment was booked for Ahmedabad by the Ashram Express. The Rs 56 lakh in cash has been handed over to the Enforcement Directorate while the consignment of gold and silver has been handed over to the custom authorities.

The police and the specialized agencies have already questioned 12 persons, who were occasionally sending consignments to Ahmedabad, said an official.

The police disclosed that the name of one Ravi Bhai, a resident of Ahmedabad, had often surfaced in internal hawala transactions, but over the years he had never been questioned regarding the hawala operations. Mostly he was dealing with Gujarat and neighbouring states.

The eight sacks were being loaded on the Ashram Express when they were seized by the officials. These sacks had been registered in the general goods category and contained silver slabs and jewellery, including anklets, chains and earrings. The police also questioned an agent of Jailakshmi Parcel service in Sarai Rohilla, who made the booking for these goods.

The police had received information about this consignment a week ago and had visited the railway station thrice before finally seizing the sacks last night. In fact, the police team followed the agent with the sacks from Chandni Chowk to the goods offices, where they were weighed for being loaded on the train.


DPCC struggling to shortlist candidates
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 4
The Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee is finding it extremely difficult to shortlist names for the seven Lok Sabha seats in the National Capital territory of Delhi with various pressure groups demanding their due.

While the Congress leadership has repeatedly maintained that “winnability” will be the sole criterion while selecting the candidates for the parliamentary elections, the ground reality is far removed from this public posture, sources said.

The Bharatiya Janata Party, which won all the seven seats in the last elections, is way ahead as the sitting MPs have been given the green signal by the party high command to go ahead and start campaigning in right earnest. DPCC sources maintain that the Congress has lost considerable ground because of this dilly-dallying.

What has added to the DPCC’s problems is the recent assertiveness of the younger leadership, which is demanding adequate representation, even as stalwarts like Sajjan Kumar and Jagdish Tytler are staking their claim.

Equally vehement is the faction opposed to them, which feels that by bringing them in the forefront the party would antagonise a large chunk of Sikh and Punjabi electorate because of their alleged role in the 1984 riots.

The DPCC and the Sheila Dikshit government has been going all out to woo this section of the electorate by announcing various concessions like making Punjabi an official second language, proposing a separate faculty for the study of Guru Granth Sahib and a permanent chair in the Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University run by it.

To an extent, these moves have been successful. The pro-Congress Shiromani Akali Dal Delhi, led by the former chief of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, Sardar Paramjit Singh Sarna, has managed to retain control of the Sikh body.

The DPCC chief, Chowdhary Prem Singh, has had several rounds of meetings with various leaders, including the chief minister, Mrs. Sheila Dikshit, and her MLAs. Mrs. Dikshit is credited with having catapulted the Congress back into the saddle for a second term in the NCT of Delhi, successfully trouncing the incumbency factor.

Sources say that faced with these problems, the DPCC has a tough task ahead in selecting the candidates for the seven seats who could take on the sitting BJP MPs.



GB Nagar land scam probe halts in its tracks
Parmindar Singh

Greater Noida, March 4
The scrapping of Gautam Budh Nagar district has thrown a spanner into the probe instituted into land scams, reinforcing the general perception that Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav had scrapped the district only to benefit the land mafia. According to Ghaziabad D. M. Santosh Yadav, the probes have not been scuttled but have slowed down due to the month-long agitation against scrapping of G.B. Nagar district. But soon determined action will be taken against the land mafia, he asserts. Soon after taking command of the state administration, Mulayam Singh Yadav had entrusted a land scam probe to the then G.B. Nagar DM, Mr L. Venkateshwer Lu. The probe had unearthed 27 land scams.

For instance, allege the administration sources, the mafia had illegally occupied village society land worth Rs. 500 crore by tampering with the revenue records.

The mafia had, in connivance with administrative officials, also occupied the land of the forest department. This is not all. The mafia had, in league with the Greater Noida Authority officials, got 330 bighas of community land transferred into the region of Greater Noida Authority. This scam was exposed in the media in the first week of August 2003, after which the administration woke up and ordered a probe. Two administrative officers, Ashok Kumar Singh and Mange Ram Dhiman, were later suspended, but the land still stands in the name of the mafia in revenue records.

Fictitious entries have allegedly been made in Berodi Chakarsenpur village under Khasra No.78, and Khasra No. 10 of Sakipur village. In Rehalapur village, under Khasra No. 2 and 3 along the Expressway, 25 bighas has been shown as abadi land in a fraudulent manner. Similarly, in Shahpur, Goverdanpur, Nalgarha, Gulawati and a few other villages illegal titles have reportedly been registered on village samaj land.

Illegal titles have also been allegedly registered on 1200 bighas of custodial land, left behind by those who fled to Pakistan at the time of Partition.

The G.B. Nagar D.M., Mr L. Venkateshwer Lu, had, after getting these scams probed, recommended the suspension from service of Javer Deputy. Collector Rajiv Gupta, Noida Authority’s Administrative Officer Vishal Gupta and Sadar Tehsildar Chander Babu. But the state government is yet to take against these officials.


Public places
Vacant Palika Place offices turn into godowns
Nalini Ranjan

New Delhi, March 4
The ambitious Palika Place complex, constructed by the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) on Punchkuian Road in 1987 at a cost of several crore of rupees, has become a burden as only four of its 66 offices have been taken on rent despite the prime location. This at a time when office and shop space is going at a premium.

With virtually no maintenance over the years, these office spaces have become a dumping ground and got converted into unauthorised godowns by default, compounding the civic body’s losses. What is intriguing is the fact that even after so many years, the shops in the complex have found no takers. According to a rough estimate, the NDMC is losing Rs. 15 lakhs per month.

The reason perhaps is the lack of foresight and planning at the time of construction of the complex. The secretary of the Palika Palace Office-cum-Shopkeeper’s Association, Mr. Chunni Lal, says that the main reason was the lack of adequate parking space. Forget the customers, there is not even parking space for the allotees of these offices and shops. Almost all the parking space earmarked for different shops and office owners has been usurped by transporters who have turned their premises into offices.

Now, the situation is that around 300 tourist cars and buses are parked round the clock at the complex, choking the entire parking space. Even the entrance to the complex is blocked. “We have brought this matter to the notice of the higher authorities of the NDMC many times, but to no avail. Apart from this there is no lift in the complex. There is no provision for security either. At the time of its construction, the NDMC had deployed its security personnel at the complex, but they disappeared after some time.

Sanitation is also a major problem. Most of the urinals in the toilets are broken and dirty. When contacted in this regard, the Director (PR) of NDMC, Mr. Madan Thapliyal, said that the civic body had recently invited tenders for these vacant offices and shops.

As far as the complaints of the allotees were concerned, these were being looked into and a solution would be found soon.

The conversion of NDMC space into unauthorised godowns can be considered the worst kind of public squandor.


Caught in the act
SI nabbed accepting bribe in court complex
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 4
A Delhi court today remanded a Delhi Police sub-inspector to one-day CBI custody after he was nabbed allegedly accepting a bribe from a complainant inside the Patiala House District Court complex.

The Special Judge, Mr. H. P. Sharma, remanded the accused, Sanjay Sharma, posted at Vasant Kunj police station, in CBI custody for intensive interrogation about some incriminating documents and Rs 3,25,000 in cash seized from his house during a raid yesterday.

The accused was arrested on Wednesday around 3 P.M. while accepting Rs 2,500 as bribe from complainant, Om Prakash, for not opposing the bail application of his relative who was arrested in a petty case.

According to the complainant, Sharma, who was the investigating officer in the case, had arrested the accused for picking up a fight with another person. Sharma had demanded Rs 5000 as bribe but settled for Rs 2,500.

The CBI had conducted raids on his official and residential premises. The preliminary investigation revealed that Sharma had been staying on rent in a flat in upmarket Pandara Road in Central Delhi, which had been allotted to another government official.


Breathe easy, carjacker gangs busted
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 4
The South-West district police claim to have apprehended five persons involved in cases of carjacking in the Najafgarh and the Dwarka area of South-West district. The accused were nabbed in Surakhpur, near Jharoda Kalan in Najafgarh, after an encounter. Three country-made weapons, cartridges, a stolen Maruti Zen car, a mobile phone and cash worth Rs 22,000 were recovered from their possession.

The accused have been identified as Satish Mann (20), Rajesh Rathi (21), Vikram Rathi alias Vicky (22), Satish Mann (20), residents of Jhajjar, Haryana, and their informer, Satish Saini (20), a resident of Najafgarh. Satish used to tip-off the gangs about his business associates, their ravel plans the amount of cash they were carrying and the vehicle numbers.

The accused were on their way to rob a petrol pump on Nangloi road when they were nabbed. They had also planned to rob the DSIDC liquor shops just before the day’s collections were to be deposited in banks.

The police are also looking out for one Naresh Mann, a dismissed Delhi Police constable, as he was also involved in the crimes along with his relative Satish Mann.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (South-West) Tajender Luthra said that since the gang had been involved in some dramatic car jacking cases in the district, a special team under ACPs Rajesh Deo and R P Meena was constituted to nab the accused.

In another case, the North-West district police have arrested three persons — Mukesh (22), Devender, alias Billu (21), residents of Rohini, and Dheer Singh, alias Dheeraj, alias Kala (23), resident of Baghpat, who were involved in carjacking cases in North-West, Central and West districts..

The gang members mostly targeted vehicles like Toyota Qualis, Santro, Indica and Maruti. The police have seized three Toyota Qualis, a Santro, a Maruti and an Indica from their possession. Apart from these, the police have also seized nine other vehicles, which were parked in various lots; they are ascertaining whether these vehicles were stolen.

Joint Commissioner of Police (Northern Range) Ranjit Narayan said that the police team had cracked the cases after studying the modus operandi of the carjackers. In fact, the accused were so well trained that they gave the police a tough time.



Haryana BJP hopes to ride feel-good wave
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, March 4
A pro-BJP wave was sweeping not only in Haryana but in the whole country, the ‘feel good’ factor to the BJP was working well in the minds of the masses and the party would get as many as 300 seats in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections for forming its own government at the Centre.

Stating this, Mr Kishan Singh Sangwan, a former MP and the spokesman of the Haryana BJP, told mediapersons here today that Atal Behari Vajpayee will be the next Prime Minister of the country as more and more leaders of other parties have expressed their faith in his leadership and they have joined the party without any prior condition.

He disclosed that during its election campaign the party would highlight the achievements of the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre during the past five years compared to the 50-year rule of the country in the country.

The focus of the elections this time, he said, is development and the this quality change would be beneficial for the country’s democracy. He also said that the vote of the people for the BJP would be a vote for development and the prosperity of the country in general and Haryana in particular.

Mr Sangwan claimed that the BJP has championed the cause of the farmers during its tenure and assured to do more for them after winning the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. He also claimed that the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre had done a lot to improve the lot of the farmers and it had taken several steps like starting crop insurance, introducing Kisan Credit Cards and reducing the rate of interest on the agriculture loans.

He blasted the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) party for its failure to deliver the goods as promised to the voters in the last Assembly election manifesto. He alleged that Mr Chautala had done nothing for the farmers and was more interested in his own family. He also alleged that Mr Chautala had instituted false criminal cases against the leaders of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) and other farmers organisations and put them behind the bars on flimsy charges. He further alleged that Mr Chautala had also launched a campaign against his political opponents and got cases registered against them.

Mr Sangwan also alleged that Mr Chautala had created a reign of terror in the state and utterly failed on all the fronts. The lawlessness and a jungle raj prevail in the state and the people feel insecure and they were fed up with the functioning of the Chautala government in the state.

He said that the BJP had decided to go alone in the coming Lok Sabha elections and claimed it would win all the 10 seats in Haryana. He said that corruption by the Chautala government would be the main issue of the BJP in the general elections. Denying any possibility of alliance with Mr Chautala in future, he said that the BJP would contest the next Assembly elections with like minded parties but it was certain that there would be no role for INLD in that alliance.

The BJP leader maintained that there would be a contest between the BJP and the Congress and other parties would be eliminated. He challenged the Chief Minister Mr Chautala to contest the Lok Sabha elections against him from Sonepat seat and test his popularity. He warned that the party would not allow booth capturing by the INLD in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. And if the ruling party tried to repeat the Meham episode then the electorates would teach a lesson to Mr Chautala.

He said that he would start his election campaign on March 8 from Rai and visit each and every village before the polling date. Deputy Prime Minister L. K. Advani’s Rath Yatra will pass through Sonepat on en-route to Amritsar. He asked the party workers to go to the people and enlighten them about the policies, programmes and achievements of the Vajpayee government.


Call for DGP to resign: Candidate wife cries foul
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, March 4
The INLD candidate from Sonepat Parliamentary constituency, Mrs Krishna Malik, launched her election campaign with a meeting of the party workers from Baroda and Gohana Assembly constituencies at Satsang Bhawan in Gohana town on Thursday. Mrs Malik asked the workers to seek vote in the name of record development and ideals of Tau Devi Lal who always remained committed to the welfare of people.

She also thanked Chief Minister and party supremo Om Prakash Chautala for nominating her as party candidate and promised that she would remain committed for the uplift and welfare of the women folk. She claimed that the state had witnessed an era of record development during last more than four years of INLD rule under the leadership of chief minister Om Prakash Chautala.

The INLD MLAs Ram Kumar Saini and Ramesh Kumar Khattak, District president Ranbir Dahiya and other INLD office-bearers and workers were present in the meeting.

Later, talking to mediapersons, she said there was no logic in demanding the resignation of her husband, Mr M. S. Malik, DGP Haryana, for her nomination as candidate in the coming Lok Sabha Election. “When the sons and daughters of the chief ministers, bureaucrats and even the prime ministers can contest the election and no one demands their resignations, then what is the logic in demanding the resignation of DGP,” she questioned.

The opposition candidates have been demoralised by her nomination and out of frustration they are raising such baseless issues, she said and them not to indulge in issuing such statements.

She specifically referred to the statements of the sitting MP and BJP nominee, Kishan Singh Sangwan and claimed that because of family relations, and him like her elder brother, his wife will also vote for her.

“If I got a chance to enter into the highest panchayat (Lok Sabha) of the country, I will not only raise the voice of women but will try to get the status of university to the largest girls education institute of north India – Kanya Gurukul Khanpur Kalan,” she said. She also added that she would remain committed through out her life for eradication of the social evil of foeticide and protection of women rights.


Transparency needed to keep govt depts free of petty politics
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, March 4
The lack of transparency and petty politics in the functioning of the Food and Supply Department has raised doubt about its effectiveness in implementing the various schemes in the district. The recent controversy in the distribution of tender forms to bid for the packing and transportation of wheat procured by the various state agencies was a clear reminder of “underhand dealing” alleged by some of the contractors.

A dharna had to be staged by two Haryana legislators outside the office of the District Food and Supply Department in support of contractors who complained that they had been denied tender forms to bid for the packing and transportation of wheat procured by the various state owned agencies. The dharna staged by the MLAs and their supporters continued till the officials agreed to make the forms available to the contractors.

Although the officials concerned denied that there was any “problem” regarding the distribution of tender forms, Mr Karan Singh Dalal, MLA from Palwal and Mr Krishan Pal Gurjar, MLA from the Mewla Maharajpur constituency, alleged that it was a well-planned move to debar certain contractors so that the work could be awarded to the people close to the ruling party and the government.

They alleged that tender forms were unavailable even though today was the last date for the submission of the forms.

They alleged that though the applicants had been visiting the office for the past few days, “absurd reasons” were being put forward to deny them the tender forms.

Mr Dalal said the authorities had created similar “hurdles” last year also, and a number of contractors were unable to take part in the auction for the loading work.

This was part of a move by persons close to the government and their supporters so that only “favourites” could get the contract.

Several contractors had contacted him and told them about the “unnecessary harassment” faced by them due to the biased attitude of the administration, he claimed.

He said the dharna had led to the intervention of senior district authorities, who later ensured the distribution of tender forms to the contractors waiting outside.

It may be recalled that tender forms for the auctioning of cleaning, packing, loading and transportation of wheat procured by the state government agencies like HAFED, CONFED, Warehousing Corporation, Haryana Agro and the Food and Supply Department are released every year.


Kerala stars to converge in Delhi
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 4
It is really a good news for the Malayalees living in Delhi as around 120 super stars of Kerala cinema are coming to Delhi. They are here for a cultural extravaganza in which Kerala superstars including Mammootty, Mohanlal and Suresh Gopi, are participating.

The programme, ‘Malayalee Samagamam 2004’, is being jointly organised by the Kerala television and the Kerala Education society and it is a three-and-a-half hour stage show by well-known director Siddique starring national award winners Mammootty, Mohallal, Suresh Gopi, Jayaram, Dileep, Boban and more.

Mimicry, solo dances led by actresses Shobana, Navya Nair and Kavya Madhavan will be other attractions of the March 14 programme. The proceeds of the event would go to the Kerala School in Mayur Vihar Phase III and DMA cultural centre at R K Puram in South Delhi, said the officials.

It is a big gathering of Malayalees in and around Delhi ever organised before.

Among others who are expected to participate the event are Harishri Ashokan, Salim Kumar, Cochin Haneefa, Vineet Kumar, Vineet, Indrajit, Poornima Mohan, Siddique, Mamu Koya, Maniyan Pillai Raju, T. P. Madhavan, Edavella Babu, Jayakumar, Sai Kumar, Indrans, Kottyam Nazeer, Kalabhavan Navas, Siddique (director), Raju, Mrs Raju, Nithya Das, Mavya Madhavan, Geethu Mohandas, Malaika Sukumaran, Madhu Balakrishnan, Radhika Tilak, Vidhu Pratap, Tennison, Jayakumar, Manoj, Biju, Sukumari, Bindu Panicker, KPAC Lalitha, Jassigift, Jyotsana, Gayatari, Janardhanan and Kalpana.

The programme, to be held on a state-of-the-art stage, the first of its kind in Delhi, by Mumbai-based Create-Rehash, would cost Rs 30 lakh, officials said.


RCI to hold workshop on communication strategies
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 4
The Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI) is going to organise a workshop to bring physical challenged persons and communication experts on one common platform to explore strategies for cooperation and partnership. The workshop would be organised in association with the Indian Institute of Mass Communication from March 8 to 10.

The workshop would be attended by the representatives from print and electronic media as well as filmmakers and practitioners of both new and alternate media.

Many ongoing successful communication strategies will be presented at the three-day workshop, which will also explore ways of giving further boost to these efforts. The workshop also demonstrates alternate models of communication media and that already has successful ongoing relationship with the disability sector.

According to Major H. P. S. Ahluwalia, Chairman, RCI, “The RCI, through its media committee, has organised a series of sensitisation programmes for the media which has culminated in the present effort.”

There will be presentation on two alternate print magazines, which despite several problems are brought out regularity by its promoters. Among the practitioners of electronic media, there would be presentations by Sahara Samay and Ahimsa channel both of that have shown a positive commitment to highlight the issues torching on the lives of persons who are physically challenged.

On the first day of the workshop, there will be an interaction of the participants with the achievers, panel comprising George Abraham, Sanjeev Sachdeva, Akhil Mehta and Bittoo Sondhi. The workshop will prepare an action plan for promoting disability communication holistically. There will also be a discussion in sensitising working journalists as well as young journalists.

Other interesting presentations during the workshop would be using puppetry for disability communication by Ranjana Pandey of Jan Madhyam, use of new media to fill in the information gap by Ajay Sinha of Jamia Millia Islamia and a critical overview of the role played by the two public broadcasters radio and television towards highlighting disability issues.



Parade to highlight road safety on WHO Day
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 4
The Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and the Delhi Government along with a number of NGOs will organise a joint-parade to highlight the WHO Day slogan, ‘Road Safety is No Accident’.

The parade, to be held on April 4, will cover a distance of 15-km. The parade would start from Moolchand Hospital and culminate at the historic Red Fort in Chandini Chowk.

This was announced today by the Executive Vice- President of the HCFI, Dr K.K. Aggarwal. Giving details of the parade, Dr. Aggarwal said that more than 200 tableaux with colourful messages on road safety would be part of the parade.

A large number of people, besides NGOs and school and college students will join the parade at various locations of the Capital.

The various branches of the Delhi Medical Association (DMA) will participate in the parade and highlight the problems faced by the medical professionals, said Dr I. P. Dhalla, who will take over as DMA president on April 1.

He said awareness needed to be created about the rising menace of quackery in the city. Other problems faced by the medical fraternity in the city will also be highlighted such as those relating to the new property tax to be implemented from April 1, where the medical establishments have been placed in category IV. In effect, a 5-10 bed hospital would now have to pay a heavy property tax.

They would also have to pay commercial tariff on water and electricity, he said.

‘’This would lead to the closure of large number of clinics and nursing homes in residential areas, which have played an important role in strengthening the medical infrastructure in the city,” he added.

He urged the government to put such establishments under the public utility category so that they did not have to pay excessive commercial taxes.

The Municipal Commissioner, Mr Rakesh Mehta, announced yesterday that the corporation would constitute a special committee to formulate guidelines for assessment of property tax of hospitals, institutions and public utility land.


NCERT exam postponed to May 15
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 4
In view of the forthcoming elections, the National Council of Education Research and Training (NCERT) has decided to postpone the date of National Talent Search Examination scheduled for May 9 to May 15. Now the examination would be held on Saturday, May 15, 2004.

Religious meet for peace

A ‘Sarva Dharma Sammelan’ (All Religion Meet) will be held in the Capital tomorrow, with a call for a united, harmonious and peaceful India. A pledge to promote the unity of India amid diversity will be taken at the meet, to be inaugurated by the Delhi Chief Minister, Ms Sheila Dikshit.

The former Chief Justice of India, Mr Ranganath Misra, will preside over the function. The function would be attended by the Chairman of the National Minorities Commission, Mr Tarlochan Singh, Lama Lobzang of Ladakh, Sayed Nazim Ali Nizami of Nizamuddin Durgah and Patrick Motilalji of the Free Church. ‘Manav Ekta Manch’, an organisation devoted to the cause of universal brotherhood, national unity and communal harmony, will host the religion meet.

Chemist arrested for dowry harassment

Sonepat: The Mahila police have arrested Sajjan Dahiya, president of the Sonepat Chemist and Druggists Association, his father and mother under Sections 498-A, 406, 506, 323 and 34 IPC and the Indian Arms Act on the complaint lodged by his wife, Jyoti, alleging harassment and torture for dowry.

According to a report, the three accused were produced before the Civil Judge, Mr Rakesh Kumar, yesterday who remanded them to judicial custody for 14 days.

The victim alleged that though her parents tried to accommodate most of the demands of her husband and her in-laws, she was continuously ill-treated. Her husband even started beating her for her failure to accommodate all his demands.

When she could not bear it any longer, she escaped from her in-laws house and got the case registered against her husband and other members of the family with the police.

Girl crushed

An eight-year-old girl, identified as Savita, was killed by a truck on the Sonepat-Rohtak road near Rohat village, about 6 km from here last evening. According to a report, the girl was crossing the road when the accident occurred. The police have arrested the truck driver and registered of a case of rash and negligent driving causing death. The body of the victim has been sent for the postmortem examination.

According to another report, Mr Murari, a resident of this city, was injured when he was hit by a vehicle near the Kumahran Gate here last evening. He was immediately rushed to the local civil hospital for treatment and was stated to be out of danger. The police are still investigating into the case.


Delhi digest
BJP warns of water crisis getting out of control
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 4
Prof. Vijay Kumar Malhotra has criticised the Congress-led Delhi Government for its indifferent attitude towards the impending water crisis in the Capital, particularly in the urban villages of South-West Delhi.

In a letter addressed to the Chief Minister, Ms Sheila Dikshit, Prof. Malhotra has requested her to direct the Delhi Jal Board to immediately chalk out a contingency plan for the affected areas.

Prof. Malhotra has warned of the crisis getting out of control in the months of May and June if the matter is not addressed immediately.

Prof. Malhotra was attending to the complaints of those affected by the scarce supply of drinking water.

He Delhi Government cannot shirk its responsibility of supplying adequate drinking water to the citizens, he said.

Prof. Malhotra reminded the Chief Minister that she had declared during the recently held Assembly elections that Delhiites would not face drinking water shortage during the coming summer season.

It seems the Chief Minister has forgotten her promise soon after occupying the Chief Minister’s chair, Prof. Malhotra said.

He has made it clear that he is going to raise this matter as a major electoral issue, which would make it tough for the Congress government to face the electorate on the issue.

Prof. Malhotra has demanded that reboring of the existing tubewells be permitted in the urban villages. Promising to extend all possible cooperation to tide over the crisis, Prof.

Malhotra has requested the Chief Minister to apprise him of the action taken by her government on the matter.

Holi milan at Palika Kendra

The NDMC Workers’ Federation organised a Holi milan at Palika Kendra today, where colourful cultural programmes were held. Others present on the occasion included Tajdar Babar, MLA and member, NDMC, Ashok Ahuja, MLA, Mr U K Worah, Secretary, Mrs Meenakshi Gupta, Chief Auditor, Mrs Rashmi Singh, Director, Welfare along with other officials.

Extending her Holi greetings to all the employees, Babar said that one should celebrate this festival in a cordial manner. Mr Ashok Ahuja, Mr U K Worah and Mrs Rashmi Singh also addressed the gathering. Mr Ganga Ram, president, NDMC Workers’ Federation, also addressed the gathering.


Two Krishan Pehalwan gang members held with sophisticated weapon
Tribune News service

New Delhi, March 4
The Crime Branch of the Delhi Police today claimed to have arrested two members of notorious Krishan Pehalwan gang, who were active in the national Capital and Haryana.

The suspects, identified as Satpal and Vishambhar, were arrested from Rohini, where they were exchanging a sophisticated weapon along with live cartridges.

The police arrested them while they were travelling in a white Santro car (DL-4CB-8706) near the CNG filling station in Sector 23, Rohini.

The Anti-Extortion Cell of the Crime Branch developed an information that ruffians owning allegiance to the Krishan Pehalwan gang were operating in Delhi and Haryana border area.

They also received a tip-off that they were mostly armed with sophisticated weapons and may regroup for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. Subsequently, the Crime Branch constituted a special team to develop the information.

Last evening, the police team laid a trap in the Sultanpuri area on indications that some of the gang members would be moving around in the national Capital.

They intercepted a white Santro car near the CNG filling station and saw two persons exchanging weapons.

When the suspects saw that they had been encircled, they challenged the police party. However, the police party overpowered them.

During interrogation, Satpal disclosed that he had a diploma in Electrical Engineering and had been lured into criminal activities of intimidating contractors in the border areas of the Capital under the patronage of the Krishan Pehalwan gang.

He had come to the area to receive a sophisticated weapon from Vishambhar. The vehicle belonged to one his associates in North West district, the police said.


Four highway robbers arrested
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 4
The North East district police today claimed to have arrested four suspects, who had come to the Capital to commit robbery on the National Highway number 24.

They were identified as Ram Dutt Sharma, Dharambir Singh, Vikas and Kuldeep Singh, all from Mathura in UP. They were arrested from near Shyam Lal College during a special drive to check vehicle yesterday. They were travelling in a Mahindra Bolero jeep.

During interrogation, Dharambir Singh disclosed that they had planned to commit robbery on the National highway number 24. They also confessed they involvement in number of cases of murder, dacoity and under the Arms Act, the police said.

In another case, the police arrested two persons, identified as Prakash alias Pappu and Chand for smuggling liquor. The police seized 90 cartons of illicit liquor from their possession.

During a special drive, the police team searched a TATA 407 (HR-38J-2644) and seized 90 packs of Bonnie Scot malted whisky (quarters) from the vehicle.

Each pack contained 48 quarters of liquor. The liquor was smuggled from Rajasthan to be sold during the Holi festival in Trans Yamuna area. The suspects were arrested under the Excise Act, the police said.

Man killed with stone

A man was killed after being hit by a stone in the Tilak Marg police station area. The victim, identified as Subhash, sustained serious injuries and was taken to RML Hospital by the PCR van, where the doctors declared him brought dead. The culprit, identified as Pappu, has been arrested, the police said.


Army man arrested for beating wife

Sonepat: A retired Army man, identified as Inderjit (37), was arrested for allegedly beating his wife in Hanuman Nagar here last night.

According to a report, the woman sustained multiple injuries and was hospitalised. The culprit was an alcoholic.

Journalist seeks security

Some unidentified miscreants reportedly forced their way into the house of a journalist, Pradeep Bhardwaj, on the Sonepat-Mehlana road near here last night and smashed the windowpanes of his car. According to a report, Mr Bhardwaj has lodged a complaint with the police and further investigations were in progress. However, no arrest has been made in this connection so far.

The police are investigating the case. Meanwhile, Mr Bhardwaj has approached the Superintendent of Police seeking security for himself. OC


PNB to strengthen centralised banking solution
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 4
The Punjab National Bank (PNB) organized a “Customers Meet” today, which was attended by about 1000 customers from its 157 branches in Delhi.

The Chairman and Managing Director of the bank, Mr S. S. Kohli, was the chief guest. The other executives who participated in the meeting included Mr V K Nagar, General Manager, Delhi Zone, Mr V Nagaraja and Mr D L Rawal, General Managers at Head Office.

Addressing the customers, Mr Kohli said that the Punjab National Bank, with over a century of service to the nation through around 4,500 offices, enjoys top position amongst the nationalized banks in many respects. The bank has taken a number of initiatives in the recent past to further strengthen its bond with the customers. The Punjab National Bank has already implemented ‘Centralised Banking Solution’ providing connectivity to 501 branches all over India, said Mr Kohli. The number of ATM cards all over India has crossed the figure of 5 lakhs. Mr V K Nagar said the Punjab National Bank is providing services through 157 branches and 35 extension counters in Delhi, Faridabad and Noida.

The Punjab National Bank has installed 45 ATMs in Delhi. The Delhi zone has networked 55 branches under CBS providing ‘anywhere anytime banking’ to the customers. The Punjab National Bank has also introduced ‘Single window Service’ in 12 branches. It will be implemented in all CBS branches by March 31, 2004.

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