N C R   S T O R I E S


HC tells son to end aged parents’ plight
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 30
The Delhi High Court has asked a man, who allegedly tortured his septuagenarian parents, to sort out his ‘differences’ with them or face a police probe into his parents’ allegations.

A Division Bench of Chief Justice B. C. Patel and Justice B. D. Ahmed issued the warning to Naveen Arora on hearing his father Suraj Prakash Kawatra’s plight in court.

“You sort it out or we will ask the police to investigate the matter,” the Bench told Arora’s counsel Rajat Aneja and adjourned the case to April 26.

The court was told that Naveen forced his father to execute a general power of attorney (GPA) in his favour at knife-point and used it to transfer the property in his wife’s name after he cancelled the GPA in 2000.

“This cannot be done. It is not a valid transfer of property”, the Bench observed last week. Earlier, the court had asked Delhi Government counsel V. K. Shali, Kawatra’s counsel R. K. Saini and the son’s counsel Aneja to sit together and sort out the issue amicably.

However, Mr Shali informed the court that despite best efforts of the lawyers the issue remained unresolved. Treating a letter from Suraj Prakash Kawatra (78) and Raj Rani Kawatra (75) of Mansarovar Garden here as a PIL, the court had in December last issued notices to their son Naveen, his wife Neeru and the police. It had also directed the police to provide protection to the two senior citizens.

The aged couple, who had sought action against their children for alleged torture, refused to accept maintenance from the son, seeking an end to their harassment first.

Naveen Arora had offered Rs 5,000 per month to his aged parents following a directive of the high court that he should “see to it that the needs of the old couple are looked after properly and they are not put to trouble”.

However, his father Suraj Prakash Kawatra turned down the offer, saying that he had not approached the court for money. Highlighting their plight, the couple had informed the court in the letter that driven by “uncontrollable lust for money”, Naveen and Neeru, in connivance with her brothers, pushed them to the confines of one-third of their house and captured the rest along with all valuables and fixtures.

Naveen and Neeru had allegedly obtained a general power of attorney from Kawatra on August 14, 2000, on the pretext of getting construction done through a builder. But the father cancelled the same after 15 days as he ‘smelt a rat’.

However, Naveen illegally executed a sale deed in favour of Neeru on September 12, 2000, in respect of the said house, Kawatra had alleged, adding that he suffered a paralytic stroke due to the “unexpected betrayal”.

Earlier, Naveen and Neeru had also “snatched” a shop run by Kawatra at Mahavir Bazaar, leaving the couple and their younger son with no source of income, the letter had alleged.

“My son Naveen and his wife Neeru have stooped to such an extent that we are subjected to physical and mental torture and beating very often and thereby we have been reduced to mental wrecks,” he had alleged.

It was also alleged that Neeru had tried to strangulate her mother-in-law on a few occasions.


Default in flat allotment
SC ‘no’ to flat rate of compensation
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 30
The Supreme Court has taken strong exception to the decisions of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) granting 18 per cent interest on the refund amount to be paid by the Ghaziabad Development Authority in flat allotment default cases.

Stating that the commission’s approach was wrong as the rate of interest depended on hardship faced by the consumer in each case, a Bench comprising Justice S. N. Variava and Mr Justice H. K. Sema said: “The award of compensation must be under different separate heads and must vary from case to case, depending on the facts of each case”.

Upholding the forum’s power to grant compensation for the hardship suffered by consumers due to the “misfeasance in public office”, the Bench said, “The power and duty to award compensation does not mean that irrespective of facts of the case compensation can be awarded in all matters at a uniform rate of 18 per cent per annum”.

“The NCDRC has been awarding interest at a flat rate of 18 per cent per annum, irrespective of the facts of each case. This, in our view, is unsustainable,” it said. The apex court said in all future matters the commission and the consumer forums must award compensation under various heads, if it was concluded that there had been deficiency of service or misfeasance in public service.

However, the court clarified that the GDA will not reimburse the interest amount to consumers to whom it had already paid at the rate of 18 per cent per annum. 


Pesticides for taste, tadpole for flavour!
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, March 30
Bottled soft drinks, which have already acquired a reputation for allegedly containing pesticides, may not be safe from the contamination point of view either.

The office-bearers of the Citizens Welfare Association, a district-level registered society based at Palwal, were shocked to see a sealed bottle of a cola of a well-known brand containing something similar to a tadpole on Monday.

The bottle was brought to the society’s office by an advocate who had purchased a 24-bottle crate from the local supplier of the soft drink. The advocate, Mr Pramod Mangla, informed the society that the agency which had supplied the cola to him had refused to issue a receipt against the purchase.

He said the contamination in the bottle was detected by his son who just before uncapping the bottle noticed something amiss. After minute examination he found a tadpole which was dead. He wondered what would have happened if the bottle had been opened in inadequate light and consumed by someone.

The society has demanded that the authorities concerned should immediately arrange to send the bottle for a detailed examination in the laboratory and take proper action against the culprits. Suspecting a racket in production and marketing of spurious and fake drinks on a large scale, the association has claimed that if tough measures are not taken then the life of the common man would be at risk. This amounted to violation of the fundamental right of the people to have safe and pure products. The association has asked the district authorities to activate the officials responsible for checking food adulteration and ensuring that such incidents do not recur.

And water without chlorine

Ghaziabad: Though the importance of chlorination is always stressed for drinking water, the GDA and the nagar nigam are both supplying potable water in various colonies of Ghaziabad with zero chlorination.

This is true even of most of the posh colonies like Vaishali and Indira Puram. The Chief Medical Officer, Dr M. P. Singh, says he has apprised the Meerut Divisional Commissioner, the Chief Nagar Adhikari of the nagar nigam and the Vice-Chairman of the DGA of the situation in writing.

The special team constituted for checking the quality of drinking water by the Health Department has found that in water being supplied to Sectors 3, 5, and F Block of Indira Puram, Vaishali Phathak, Kailash Nagar, Jassi Pura, New Arya Nagar, Naya Bus stand C Block, and Lohiya Nagar the chlorine content in drinking water equals a big zero.

It was only after receiving this report that Dr M. P. Singh acquainted the officials with the ground reality in writing. — OC


Farmhouse parties: Norms laid down, charges fixed
Syed Ali Ahmed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 30
The owners of farmhouse in the National capital territory of Delhi will be allowed to organise wedding and other parties after shelling out an amount ranging from Rs. 20, 000 to Rs 40, 000, depending on the size of the premises.

The permission to organise such functions in farmhouses was given by the Urban Development Department of Delhi government recently, which has also laid down certain guidelines to be followed by the owners, the MCD and the traffic police.

The guidelines have been issued through the MCD as the farmhouses fall in its jurisdiction.

According to the Municipal Commissioner, Mr. Rakesh Mehta, the guidelines had been circulated to the Deputy Commissioners.

Mr Mehta said that as social functions like marriages take place on auspicious days, the permission would be granted for 120 days in a year only.

According to the guidelines, given the size of an average gathering (500 to 1,000 persons), the kitchen area, the food area, the parking area, the sitting area, the public utility area and the maneuvering area, the farmhouse should be spread over at least 2.5 acres.

A one-acre area would be earmarked for parking, the proviso being that the area should be properly developed for parking of vehicles within the boundary wall of the farmhouse. The construction of the farmhouse should conform to the sanctioned building plan and should be located on a 40-feet wide road.

As per guidelines of the Urban Development Department, a committee under the chairmanship of the Zonal Deputy Commissioner — with the Assistant Commissioner of Police (traffic), the sub-divisional magistrate and a representative of the DDA, in case the land is with the DDA, as members — would scrutinise the applications. A police officer of the district concerned would also be a member of the screening committee. To obtain permission, the owner of the farmhouse will have to apply on a prescribed form.

The applicant will also submit an affidavit through the Citizen Service Bureau, stating that all conditions are being fulfilled.

The permission to organise functions will be given on a rotational basis, so that no farmhouse is used on a regular basis in a month and the permission will be based on factors such as the number of guests, the approximate number of vehicles and the nature of function. 


Businessman robbed of Rs 8.5 lakh
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 30
Two motor cycle-borne youths robbed a businessman of Rs 8.5 lakh when he was going to Panipat in his Matiz car this afternoon. The incident took place around 1.30 pm near Vaishali Enclave in the Pitampura area in North-West district.

The victim, Sandeep Ahuja (33), had collected the money from different traders in the Capital and had left the Capital for Panipat where he had his business. As soon as he reached near Vaishali Enclave his vehicle was intercepted by the robbers who were in the age group of 25-30 years. They had a heated argument with the victim, the police said.

While he was busy arguing with one of the robbers the other one took out a stick and attacked him. As he fell down, the robbers took out the briefcase kept in the car and drove away. The money was kept in the briefcase.

The incident took place in full view of passersby but nobody dared to intervene. After the robbers the victim himself reported the matter to the police. The local police reached the place and examined the scene of the crime. 


public angst
Parents’ body opposes school fee hike move
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 30
The reported move to increase the fees in some public schools has caused worry among parents. A perturbed Delhi Abhibhavak Mahasangh (DAM) has announced its decision to fight the fee hike with “vigour and vehemence”.

A few public schools in the Capital had hinted at a fee hike ranging between 10 to 20 per cent. The schools claim this has been done to meet the expenditure incurred over the salary payment to staff members.

The schools offered that owing to the DA merger and the proposed move to admit students from underprivileged sections the schools were finding it difficult to manage their finances.

These reasons, however, have not gone down too well with the parents, especially the DAM, which has dashed off a letter to the Director of Education, Government of NCT of Delhi.

The president of the DAM, Mr Vijender Kumar, has referred to the “long drawn battle” over the issue of fee hike, which resulted in the Delhi High Court’s intervention and guidelines about seven years ago.

The DAM has also alleged that the schools have been flouting the norms of providing free education to underprivileged students in exchange for subsidised land. It was also pointed out that the schools had accrued a large corpus over the years and that they could easily manage to make provisions for salary and other expenditure.

DUTA petitions President on Vice-Chancellor

Teachers’ representatives and office-bearers of the Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA) met the Secretary to the President of India yesterday. They handed over the white paper to him to be forwarded to the President, requesting him to initiate an inquiry into the alleged malpractices by the Vice-Chancellor of the university.

According to the DUTA president, Mr Aditya Narayan Misra, “We met Mr P. M. Nair, Secretary to the President of India, and handed over the white paper to him mentioning the wrong decisions taken by the Vice-Chancellor of Delhi University. He has assured us that he would convey our message to the President. He also assured the teachers that an inquiry would be initiated against the VC, Prof Deepak Nayyar.”

“We informed Mr Nair about the blatant violations of the provisions in the DU ACT, statute, ordinances and regulations; the gross financial irregularities in purchases and construction activities and stalling the appointment of treasurer for more than two years; large-scale manipulation in appointments; misuse and abuse of emergency powers,” he added.

He said that since the inquiry into the matter had been assured DUTA would not observe a strike during the examinations of Delhi University. “We have also told them that if no inquiry is initiated against the VC DUTA will go on indefinite strike”, he added.

Mr Misra said the teachers were now hopeful that the President would look into the matter and would do the needful.


road rage
SP leader fires at students
Our Correspondent

Dadri (Ghaziabad), March 30
Samey Pal Singh Yadav, a Samajwadi Party leader from Parthala Khanjarpur, was chased and arrested by the Dadri police when he was fleeing after firing at some students. The bullet had hit a bystander, Satypal, near the Dadri bus stand.

The injured has been rushed to a private nursing home in Ghaziabad.

Samey Pal Singh Yadav was taking his brother for an examination in his Maruti Gypsy (UP14J0606) when it was involved in an accident with another vehicle. While the Samajwadi Party leader was abusing the driver of the other vehicle some students waiting for a bus nearby also joined in the argument. Samey Pal Singh is alleged to have assaulted the other driver.

At this, the students reportedly supported the other driver and beat up Samey Pal Singh Yadav. A lot of people, who had gathered there, intervened and resolved the matter.

Samey Pal Singh, who was seen walking towards his Gypsy, came back soon with a pistol in hand and challenged the students. He fired a few shots, one of which hit a youth waiting for a bus. Thereafter, he sped away.

Dadri police inspector C. P. Singh chased the SP leader on learning of the scuffle and the firing. The police force was able to nab him near Kot village.

The inspector said Samey Pal Singh had thrown the pistol used in the firing somewhere on the way. The police are trying to locate it.


Sonepat shows first-timers are always winners
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, March 30
If the records of the election results of the Sonepat parliamentary constituency, which came into existence in 1977, are taken into account it proves that the constituency has been lucky one for almost all those who contested their first parliamentary elections from this constituency.

Except the veteran leader, Mr Mukhtiyar Singh Malik, who was the first to represent the constituency in the Lok Sabha in 1977, was sitting MP from Rohtak constituency from 1971 to 1977 when Sonepat region was part of Rohtak constituency, others including Mr Rizak Ram, Mr Dharampal Singh Malik, Mr Kapil Dev Shastri, Dr Arvind Sharma and the sitting MP, Mr Kishan Singh Sangwan, have been lucky ones to win their first elections.

Ch Devi Lal contested his first parliamentary election from this constituency in 1980 mid-term elections and won the seat. However, after his election as MLA in 1982 state Assembly elections and he resigned from the seat paving the way for a bi-election. But he against threw his hat in the ring during 1983 bi-election. The bi-election was held in 1983 and Ch Rizak Ram for the first time tried his luck as Congress candidate and won the seat in triangular contest defeating Ch Devi Lal and Kitab Singh Malik.

In 1984 mid-term elections, which were held after the assassination of Mrs Indira Gandhi, Mr Dharampal Singh Malik, as first timer, contested the election as Congress nominee and recorded a sensational win over Ch Devi Lal who tasted the second consecutive defeat from the constituency.

But in 1989 Lok Sabha elections, Mr Malik was defeated by the first timer, Kapil Dev Shastri of Janata Dal. However, Mr Malik avenged his defeat in 1991 mid-term elections by defeating Kapil Dev Shastri. But Mr Malik was again floored by the first timer and Independent candidate, Dr Arvind Sharma in 1996 general elections.

In 1998 mid-term elections, Mr Kishan Singh Sangwan for the first time contested the Lok Sabha election as INLD candidate from the constituency and came out victorious in a four-corner contest with Independent sitting MP Dr Arvind Sharma, HVP’s Abhai Ram Dahiya and Congress nominee Balbir Singh Malik. Again in 1999 mid-term elections, Mr Sangwan succeeded in retaining the seat as BJP candidate.

As the Congress has not yet announced its candidate from the constituency so far and the BJP has already fielded Mr Sangwan, candidates of other parties - INLD’s Krishna Malik, HVP’s Jagbir Singh Malik, LJP’s Capt Shamsher Singh Malik are the first times to contest a Lok Sabha election from the constituency.

It is also relevant to point out that many a first timers-including former MLA Kitab Singh Malik in 1983, Rajinder Singh Dahiya of Janata Dal and, Dr Dharambir Nandal of BJP in 1991, Abhai Ram Dahiya of HVP in 1996 and Balbir Singh Malik of Congress in 1998, also faced defeats.


Mukhi says Dikshit suffers from BJP phobia
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 30
Prof Jagdish Mukhi today blamed the Sheila Dikshit-led government of “failing” to perform in areas where the powers rest with it. Accusing the state government of cribbing about the lack of powers, he said the Congress has a BJP “phobia.”

Prof Mukhi said the unit area method, which has been embroiled in a controversy, was implemented by the Congress and only passed by the Central Government.

He said the Congress had similarly tried to pass on the blame to the Centre for the frequency of the Northern Grid. Prof Mukhi pointed out that the Centre had asked the Delhi government to strengthen its distribution and transmission links.

He pointed out that despite the privatisation of the DVB, the power supply in the city has not improved and the people are being burdened with inflated bills.

He also accused the state government of failing to identify 60,000 people who were to benefit from the Antodaya Anna Yojana. He said the Congress’s inability to do so has hindered the feasibility of the plan.

Prof Mukhi also blamed the state government for failing to effectively run the mid day meal scheme in schools. He cited the recent cases of food poisoning and distribution of unfit food in schools as examples.


When administration uses coercion to fill up small savings coffers
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, March 30
The District Administration is allegedly adopting coercive methods to collect funds for various small savings schemes and achieve a target of Rs 134 crore, fixed for the current financial year by the state government.

According to a report, the officials of various government departments are exerting pressure on traders, petty shopkeepers, industrialists, owners of hotels, dhabas and restaurants, privately managed schools, nursing homes, clinics, halwais, owners of petrol pumps, brick kilns and wholesale dealers of kerosene oil to make deposits in the schemes, so that the target could be achieved during the stipulated period.

Sources claim that the officials of the Food and Supplies Department are approaching owners of fair price shops, wholesale kerosene dealers, LPG agencies, petrol pumps, brick kilns and traders and threatening them with dire consequences, if they failed to make the deposits.

Likewise, the officials of the District Industries Centre (DIC), the Labour Department and the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) were allegedly pressurising industrialists and shopkeepers to cooperate in meeting the small savings target by March 31.

If any one has any work in a government department, he, too, is being forced to make a deposit.

Sources also claim that the directives in this regard are being issued by the office of the Deputy Commissioner, who is said to be monitoring the collections. The district administration has allegedly fixed the following targets for various government offices in the district: food and supplies department Rs 52 crore; excise department Rs.52 crore; Market Committee, Sonepat, Ganaur and Gohana Rs 8 crore; health department Rs 7 crore; big hotels Rs two lakh each; big dhabas Rs 1.50 lakh each; small shopkeeper Rs 10,000; big shopkeeper Rs 25,000 each; privately managed schools Rs 5 lakh each; government employees (Class 1) Rs 1 lakh each; Class III Rs 50,000 each and Class III Rs 25,000 each; and big trader Rs 1 crore each.

The civic bodies, the gram panchayats, block samitis and the Sonepat Zila Parishad have been also directed to make deposits in the small savings schemes.

According to sources, the officials have already achieved the targets fixed for their departments by the district administration, so that they could earn the goodwill of the Deputy Commissioner in this regard.

However, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr M R Anand, has denied that the district administration has adopted coercive methods to achieve the targets in the district. He claimed that the officials of various departments had mobilised the people to deposit the amount

in the small savings schemes voluntarily. He also claimed that no one had been threatened by the officials for depositing the amount.

He disclosed that a sum of Rs 66 crores had been deposited in the small savings schemes in the district and only 51.23 per cent target had so far been achieved in this regard. He called upon the people to cooperate with the district officials in achieving the target fixed for the small savings schemes.


Displaced kids from J& K call on President, LG
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 30.
It was a holiday, which they will always cherish. The first real trip outside the confines of the shelters they call home. For the 75 children from Jammu and Kashmir, who were here thanks to the SOS Village, the outing was more fun than they could imagine.

Apart from the usual frolic, which holidays entail, these children, who have been displaced from their home state, also got a rare chance to meet the President, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, and the Lt. Governor, Mr. Vjai Kapoor.

The weeklong trip, which concluded here today, also included visits places of historic importance, including the Teen Murti Bhavan, Red Fort and Qutab Minar. Agra and Mathura were also on the itinerary for these children who were on their first ever trip outside J&K.

While the Lt. Governor had words of encouragement, the President too was full of warmth. Mr. Kapoor advised them to boldly face challenges and also emphasised on the need to have exchange programme with schools, whereby these children can associate and integrate with their counterparts from the rest of the country.

The trip was organised by the SOS Children’s Village. It’s President, Mr. J N Kaul, has been working tirelessly to broaden the horizons of these displaced children.

The SOS village has helped scores of displaced children attain vocational training that has helped them land jobs. And while the future awaits these 75 children, they head home with a bundle of stories to tell about their flight into a beautiful world.



‘People to people contact must for better Indo-Pak ties’
Our Correspondent

Noida, March 30
A seminar was organised by Indo-Pakistan Soldiers’ Initiative for Peace here yesterday in which a team of Pakistan political parties under the president of Pakistan People’s Party Ameen Fadim had also participated.

The seminar discussed the steps to bring people of India-Pakistan closer for a durable peace in the sub-continent. In the seminar it was stressed that increasing contacts between the peoples of the two neighbouring countries in different fields like, arts, culture, music, films, education, sports, poetic symposium and trade and industry, could play a significant role for building an atmosphere of trust and camaraderie among the people.

The Pakistan team included, Ameen Faadim, Nafees Ahmed Sadiqui, Mohd Yusuf Talpur, Ms Fozya Habib, Chaudhri Manzur Ahmed, Anwar Beg, Mrs and Sardar Assif Ahmed Ali.

Former Law minister Shashi Bhushan, Balbir Punj, M. P. Gen Chadha and Yusaf Tarogami. The meeting was conducted by Rotarian A. C. Potter and was attended by Noida’s leading citizens also.


Probe demanded into nexus between officials and petroleum agencies
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, March 30
Widespread resentment prevails among the consumers who are being supplied underweight LPG cylinders as a result of the nexus between the officials of the Food and Supplies Department and the petroleum agencies here.

The consumers have demanded a high-level probe to expose the nexus between the officials of the department and the petroleum agencies. Many consumers alleged that their repeated complaints to the authorities in this regard have fallen on deaf ears.

It is alleged that the sale of unauthorised LPG cylinders was common on the G T Road passing through this district. Kundli, Rai, Rasoi, Biswan Meel, Murthal, Bari and Ganaur are the focal points where these cylinders are easily available.

Recently, the officials of the Food and Supplies Department had impounded a vehicle carrying underweight LPG cylinders of a Sonepat-based Kumar Gas Company.

A case was registered with the Murthal police against the employees of the gas dealer.

The officials, however, failed to take any action against the owner of the agency.

Meanwhile, inquiries have revealed that the officials of the Food and Supplies Department had been inspecting the various LPG agencies and petrol pumps in the district.

However, the officials failed to provide information about the results of such inspections and the action taken against the erring petrol pumps and the LPG agencies.


Honoured for excellence in photography
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 30
Avinash Pasricha and Thakur Dalip Singh have been presented the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award 2004’ by the Academy of Visual Media for their contribution and excellence in the field of photography.

Conferring the awards on them, Prof. Rajeev Lochan, Director, The National Gallery of Modern Art, said that the Gallery was trying to provide more space for photo exhibitions so that the works of great photographers can inspire the new generation.

Among the recipients of the ‘Achievement Awards’ for the year 2004 are Mohan Gidwani, freelance photographer, V Rajagopal, senior photographer with The Telegraph, Somesh Goyal, IPS, Manoj Kesharwani, chief photographer with The Times of India and B. Prabhakar, a photographer from Hyderabad.

The awards are presented to photographers who have achieved excellence by the Academy of Visual Media, a trust for the promotion of art and photography.

A photo exhibition, displaying the works of the photographers, was also inaugurated at the Lalit Kala Academy here recently. Pasricha, who hails from a family of photographers, has over the last four decades covered a wide range of issues in photojournalism, industrial photography, portraits and even performing arts.

Pasricha is also the proud owner of the largest personal library of over 10,000 images of the performing artists of India. Thakur Dalip Singh’s foray into the world of photography began in childhood when inspired by his father, the young Dalip Singh, he began clicking.

A sports lover and promoter, Singh is an agriculturist and is the founder member of the India International Photographic Council. Having won numerous honours and awards, Singh has to his credit the photographs that were converted into postage stamps and first day covers.


Seminar to highlight export potential of India’s preferred delicacies
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 30
Organised by the NNS with the support of the ‘National Achaar-Murabba Association (NAMA) and ‘All Indian Food Processors’ Association (AIFPA)’, the ‘national seminar on pickles and murabbas’, to be held on April 4, 2004, at Pragati Maidan, will be inaugurated by the Delhi Industry Minister, Mr Mangat Ram Singhal.

Officials from the Food Processing Ministry and APEDA will highlight the export potential of India’s most preferred delicacies-pickles and murabbas. In a joint statement, president of NAMA, Mr Om Prakash Sahu and Managing Director, NNS, Mr Rajesh Gupta, said that the seminar will have participation from manufacturers, processors and exporters of pickles and murabbas from all over India. According to Mr Sahu, the seminar will discuss important issues concerning the food processing industry and highlight the problems faced by this industry. He said the delegates would be informed about the new developments in this industry apart from the need of FPO registration. Mr Gupta said that with the entry of the MNCs, new challenges had arisen for the domestic industry. It also calls for the need to upgrade the processing standards so as to meet the international standards, Mr Gupta said.

Moreover, the seminar will provide vital inputs on pickle and murabba processing. It would also highlight the emerging export opportunities in various countries. A souvenir will also be released on the occasion.


Fifteen persons injured in cylinder explosion
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 30
Fifteen people, including two women and two girls, were injured when a gas cylinder exploded in a slum cluster in the Tughlakabad area of South Delhi this morning. The injured persons were admitted to the LNJP and the AIIMS while one person was discharged after being administered first aid treatment.

The accident occurred early in the morning near the Okhla container depot. The injured were identified as Sagir (45), Shabnam (35), Rukhsana (2), Farah (3), Salma, Syed Alam (13), Dolly (16), Bitoo (23), Fazal (40), Indu (35), Bharat (30), Amjad (17), Amrish (40) and Manjula Devi (25).

Metro Rail police station inaugurated

The Delhi Police Commissioner, Mr K. K. Paul, today inaugurated the Metro Rail police station at Rithala in Rohini. The Police Commissioner commended the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) for setting high-standards in excellence and praised the Crime Branch for having prevented any major crimes on the Metro route. He said the security would be enhanced with the expansion of the Metro Rail. The police station will look after the security of passengers of the Metro Rail.

Earlier, the Delhi Police had approached the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and sought the sanction of additional manpower. The building located in North-West Delhi, has been denoted by the DMRC. The Inderlok-Rithala Metro Rail section was to be opened for commercial use today. However, it was postponed as the board of directors of the Delhi Metro failed to arrive at a decision on the fare hike yesterday. The 8.8-km section is expected to be inaugurated tomorrow.

Vote bank politics flayed

Addressing a election meeting, the BJP candidate from Karol Bagh parliamentary constituency, Ms Anita Arya, accused the Congress party of using the underprivileged sections of the society as vote bank to be exploited only during the elections. She claimed that the condition of the women in the country had improved during the rule of the BJP-led NDA alliance at the Centre.

Women have occupied important posts in public as well as private sectors, she claimed. Ms Arya accused the Congress government in the national Capital ignoring the common people, particularly the women, who faced hardships due to lack of basic amenities such as water and electricity. The implementation of the Unit Area System for assessment and collection of property tax would adversely affect the people living in the slums and unauthorised colonies. From April, they would have to bear the burden of the new scheme of tax assessment, she alleged.


One person killed as tractor-trolley overturns
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, March 30
One person was killed and two others escaped unhurt when a tractor trolley overturned on the G T road near Ganaur Chowk, about 20 km from here last night. According to a report, the victim was identified as Mr Mansoor Ali, a resident of Kunj Vihar in West Bengal. The police have sent the body for the postmortem examination. The tractor driver and his associate, who escaped unhurt, however, managed to escape immediate after the accident. The police have registered the case and launched a hunt to apprehend the driver. It is stated that the tractor driver lost his control, which overturned the tractor-trolley.

According to another report, three persons, including a woman were injured when a tempo carrying them overturned near Tharu village, about 5 km from here last evening. All the injured persons were rushed to the local civil hospital from where one of them was referred to the PGIMs at Rohtak for treatment. The police have registered the case and further investigations were in progress. However, no arrest had been made in this connection.


ncr briefs 
Case of traders’ kidnapping handed over to CIA
Our Correspondents

Sonepat, March 30
In a bid to solve the alleged kidnapping of two traders, namely Mr Sunni Jain and Mr Ashu Jain, both cousins, the Superintendent of Police, Mr Kuldip Singh Sihag, has transferred the case to the CIA with immediate effect.

With the police failing to achieve any breakthrough in the case so far the parents of the traders as well as the people at large are resentful. Five teams of officials had been constituted by the police, who had carried out raids in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and some other places. They had, however, failed to find any clue about the traders and the alleged kidnappers.

The alleged kidnappers had demanded a sum of Rs 2 crore as ransom from the parents of the traders who were forced to sell their house to meet the demand. Both the traders were allegedly kidnapped when they were on their way to Gohana in a car on the night of March 25 last.

In the meantime, the Kharkhauda police have also failed to achieve any breakthrough in the alleged kidnapping of the three-year-old son of Dr Dharminder Sharma, owner of Sharma Hospital at Farmana village. Ozu, alias Ojasvi, was allegedly kidnapped by some unidentified persons while he was playing in a street outside the hospital 17 days ago. Since then, there has been no trace of him.

Meanwhile, a youth, Dharminder, was reported to be missing from his house at Pai village in this district since March 25. It is stated that he had left his house for going to Kharkhauda town but failed to reach there. The police are still investigating into the case.

The recent spate of kidnappings has caused considerable panic among residents of this city and surrounding villages.

Manch demands list of recognised schools

Faridabad: The ‘Faridabad Abhibhawak Ekta Manch’ has demanded that the district administration publish the list of private schools recognised by the government. The executive committee of the Manch stated that this was necessary so that the parents are not fooled by the private schools.

The president of the Manch, Mr.O.P Sharma, advised the parents to check the credentials of the schools before admitting their children.

It was stated that majority of such schools not only been charged heavy fee at the time of admission, but also forced parents to buy the books, school dress and other material from the school at a high price.

According to the Manch, the authorities had ignored the complaints of the violation of norms by the schools. The Manch has launched a drive to create awareness among the people and activate the parents throughout the state on this issue. It has decided to hold a state-level conference here on April 11 in this connection.

Wood stock gutted

Sonepat: A large quantity of woods worth several thousands of rupees was gutted in a fire, which broke out at Rampur Kundal village, about 25 km from here last evening.

According to a report, the fire was brought under control by the municipal fire-brigade, which was summoned immediately after the incident. The cause of the fire was not immediately known.


Prominent builder held for contract killing
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 30
With the arrest of a prominent builder from the Daryaganj area, along with three other conspirators, the Central district police have claimed to have solved the murder of a builder, identified as Yogesh Sharma alias Babli, on February 25 in the Moti Mahal area.

The builder, identified as Mahinder Nigam, was the main conspirator in the murder of Yogesh Sharma. Mahinder Nigam had arranged the contract killers for Rs 10 lakh, the police said.

The other conspirators in the crime were identified as Mahesh, Rakesh and Ganesh Nigam, the brother-in-law of Mahender.

It was revealed that Yogesh was murdered after some share dispute with Mahinder.

Earlier, the police arrested the shooters, identified as Aakil alias Javed and Sayed Abrar Hussain on March 20.

The other conspirator, identified as Nadir, was arrested on March 23. The police said that Nadir had contacted Aakil and Abrar for carrying out the killing. During interrogation of Aakil, Abrar and Nadir, it was revealed that Mahesh and Rakesh, both brothers, had contacted Nadir for arranging the murder for Rs 10 lakh, said the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central), Mr M M Oberoi.

The police said that Rs 2.1 lakh was paid to Aakil and Abrar, while Nadir got Rs 2 lakh.

The police received a secret information that Mahesh and Rakesh were asked by Mahinder to meet him near J. K. Temple in Kanpur on March 28.

Subsequently, Mahesh, Rakesh and Ganesh, brother-in-law Mahinder, were apprehended with the help of the UP Police.

Later, Mahender was also arrested based on the information received during the interrogation. Mahinder told the police that Yogesh was also involved in the murder of one builder, identified as Pramod Tiwari, in Chandni Chowk in 1996.

Later, Yogesh joined Mahinder in the construction business. Mahinder said that he had developed differences over some business deal with Yogesh, which had led to the murder. 

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