N C R   S T O R I E S


Inter-state gang smashed, eight arrested
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 16
With the arrest of eight members of the Aslam-Ayub gang, the North-East district police claimed to have busted an inter-state gang of dacoits who used to create terror among the residents of Trans-Yamuna and some places in western Uttar Pradesh.

The police also claimed to have recovered five country made pistols, one knife and 14 live cartridges from their possession.

The accused were identified as Ayub alias Lamberdar alias Ajam alias Mastar Ji (26), Sanjay (28), Irfan alias Pappu (32), Mobin alias Abid (32), Tanvir alias Tannu (22), Juber (28), Khalid (27) and Avesh alias Sonu (25), all residents of Meerut.

Earlier the North-East district police had arrested at least 13 members of the gang.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (North-East) Praveer Ranjan said that the gang leader Ayub was arrested on April 15. He informed the police that his seven accomplices would meet near Gagan Cinema for planning a dacoity.

Accordingly, the team spotted the gangsters and apprehended them the same day.

When the police asked them to surrender, the accused started running and fired at the policemen.

During interrogation, the accused told the police that they used to conduct a recce to find out the potential targets during the day and always entered the house posing as policemen.

Once inside the house, they would spend at least 30 minutes to commit dacoity by tying the hands and legs of their victims.

In another case, the North-East district police claimed to have apprehended four persons and averted a robbery bid in the Seemapuri area.

Based on a secret information, the police apprehended Gulfan alias Gulloo (20), resident of Jafrabad, Irfan (20), resident of Sahibabad, Nadim Ahmed (19), resident of New Seemapuri and Shehjad (20), resident of Sahibabad.

One countrymade pistol, one live cartridge and three knives were recovered from their possession.


Cost-effective backpack to fight fires in Capital
Tribune News service

New Delhi, April 16
The Delhi Fire service has ordered the import of a new machine from Germany, “Water Mist Fire Fighting System”, to fight fires in the Capital. This machine uses 700 times less water to extinguish the fire as compared to the present system, the Delhi Fire Service Chief, Mr R.C. Sharma claimed.

A fire which generally requires 6000 litres of water, equivalent to the capacity of almost two to three fire engines, can now be extinguished with only nine litres of water.

The DFS chief said that apart from being four times cost-effective, the new system requires much less manpower as one man can carry the nine-litre system on his shoulder as a backpack or it can be mounted on motorcycles or jeep.

This will allow easy access for fire-fighters to reach the narrow bylanes and crowded places, which is generally not possible with existing big-sized fire engines. The machine built by the German company, AFT, will be supplied to the DFS by the Delhi-based B.L. Health and Safety Private Limited by the end of this month.

The DFS has ordered five backup systems of nine litres and five trolley systems of 50 litres.

The DFS chief said, “The new machine will not replace the present fire fighting system but will supplement the traditional fire engines. With the backpacks the fire-fighters can easily access the narrow bylanes, crowded places and slums, where fire accidents are common during summers.

Apart from this, new machine uses very little water.

Elaborating the latest technology of fire fighting, the Country Manager of the AFT, Mr Dipak Kumar Mitra, said, “This is AFTs patent technology and is being used in Germany, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan and South Africa. The AFT’s water mist, with a droplet size of 100 to 150 microns, penetrates deep into the flame and smothers the fire at its core or root.

These droplets having penetrated into the fire get converted in steam and expand by 1640 times to form a steam blanket over the fire to cut off air supply at the same time takes away heat from the fire while forming steam. Thus, the fire cools down and does not re-ignite.


HC stays price hike of Noida flats
Parmindar Singh

Noida, April 16
The Noida Authority got a jolt yesterday when the Allahabad High Court stayed the hike in price of flats, announced by the Noida Authority after having given the possession of flats to the allottees.

The two-member bench of the High Court had given its verdict accepting the petition filed by 15 allottees of Sector 71, Noida.

The 15 members of EWS organisation of Sector 71, including Muna Kumar Sharma, who was one of those who had spearheaded the agitation against the Noida Authority’s order, had filed a petition in the High Court on April 13.

The two-member High Court bench had accepted the plea of the petitioners and stayed the price hike.

The petitioners had pleaded that the Noida Authority had no reason to hike the price of flats after giving the possession. Along with the Noida Authority, the petitioners had also made industries department of the state government a respondent. The matter had become a hotly contested public issue when on February 6, 2004, the Noida Authority had chosen to announce a price hike retrospectively while the allottees were to deposit their last installment of the payment as per the provision of allotment orders. This price hike ranged from 30 to 50 per cent.


Bribing one’s way to property registration
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, April 16
Officials of the sub-registrars of Kharkhauda, Ganaur and Gohana tehsils are allegedly charging unofficial commission of one per cent from the property owners who come to the office for registration of their sold properties. This is happening despite the District Collector having fixed the land rates in various parts of urban and rural areas in the district and the registration deeds being valued accordingly.

It is learnt that the unofficial commission being charged is unaccounted for and is distributed among the clerical staff and officials of the sub-registrars’ offices.

The officials, while admitting that the unofficial commission is being charged, say that they have to incur huge expenditure during VIP visits and in various government functions, for which funds are not provided by the State Government.

It is also alleged that the officials also have to spend money for the entertainment of the high officials who stay at rest houses for official or even personal work.

The practice has been going on for the last few decades. However, the State Government has not taken any action in this connection so far.

The posts of the registration clerks as well as licensing clerks are ‘lucrative’ and these are filled on the recommendations of bureaucrats and legislators of the ruling party.

Once these posts are filled, the registration clerks and the officials mint money. Meanwhile, the government has raised the licence as well as registration fees for the motor vehicles and the vehicle owners have been burdened with extra expenditure.

The officials of the licensing and registration authority in this district have not stopped charging ‘suvidha shulk’ from the people, seeking registration of new vehicles and renewal as well as issue of fresh driving licences.

These officials seem to enjoy the blessings of the authorities concerned and that is why no action was taken to curb this menace. Leaders of various parties, including the Congress and the HVP have demanded a high-level probe in this scandal.


Red Fort shootout case shifted to DJ
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 16
After the main accused in the Red Fort shootout case complained that he did not have faith in the court, a Delhi court hearing the December 2000 case today sent the case file to the District Judge.

Lashkar-e-Toiba militant Ashfaq’s case is likely to be taken up by District Judge J P Singh tomorrow. Additional Sessions Judge O P Saini refused to record depositions by witnesses after the Pakistani national moved an application submitting that he did not have faith in the court.

Directing the transfer of the file to the District Judge, Mr Saini said the accused was free to put forth his grievances before him. He ordered that the file be sent to the District Judge expeditiously so that he may give a hearing tomorrow.

Further, he refused to record depositions by four witnesses, CFSL expert Amichand, public witness Raghubir Singh, Inspector Sunderlal and Sub-Inspector A Jain summoned by the court for evidence today.

The prosecution, however, said that the High Court had designated the court as a special court for trial the case on a day to day basis.

The court has already examined over 200 witnesses in the case. The prosecution has listed 222 witnesses in the case in which two Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militants made their way into the historical monument and killed three persons, including two army jawans. The court had framed charges against the 11 accused on January 7, 2003, two years after the two LeT militants opened fire inside the Fort on December 22, 2000.

The main accused, LeT’s Ashfaq, was charged under Sections 121A (Waging War Against The Government), 120B (Criminal Conspiracy), 302 (Murder), 420 (Cheating), 468 (Forgery), and 471 (Using A Forged Document) of the Indian Penal Code.

He had also been charged under Foreigners Act, Explosives Act and the Arms Act. His wife Rehmana and Babar were charged under Sections 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 216 (harbouring an accused) of the IPC.


India forced to use resources to find alternative technologies: Kalam
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 16
Addressing the students of Maharaja Agrasen Institute of Technology, the President, Dr A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, today said India had been forced to use all its resources to find alternative technological solutions whenever it had been denied technology from abroad.

This had been achieved by bringing together the best brains in the country, Dr Kalam told a delegation of 50 students, faculty and management representatives of Maharaja Agrasen Institute of Technology, which called on him today.

He was asked by a student to clarify his statement that “technology denied was technology gained,” according to a release from the institute.

During his interaction with the students, Dr Kalam was asked how technology could be taken to rural areas.

He said the PURA (Providing Urban amenities in Rural Areas) programme was ideal for this purpose and could create jobs in villages.

The President stressed that it was necessary to have a ‘Second Vision’ for the country so that it would become a developed nation by 2020, the release said.

Dr Kalam also advised the students to transform themselves into leaders characterised by a quality of selflessness. He told them to teach at least five persons from the outskirts of Delhi who did not know how to read and write and also plant five saplings each.


A new chapter in the life of disabled children
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 16
With the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) placing emphasis on ‘education for all’, including children with disability, the Rehabilitation Council of India has been receiving several requests from the state governments from across the country to sensitise and train regular schoolteachers so that the integration of disabled children into regular schools becomes easy.

The two states that have recently sent the plea are Orissa and Karnataka. The governments of both the states want to train 70,000 and 73,000 teachers respectively. The RCI, in collaboration with the District Institutes of Education & Training in the two states, will train these teachers on disability management. The 45-day training (face to face) or alternatively, a 90-day distance mode training to the teachers will enable them to imbibe knowledge, understanding, attitudes and skills to impart education to children with various disabilities.

“The best way to educate a disabled child in a country like ours is to send him/her to a normal school. However, to facilitate that, it is important that the existing infrastructure is strengthened and the component on disability in SSA is fully understood and implemented thereafter,” says Major HPS Ahluwalia, Chairman, Rehabilitation Council of India.

Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSsA) has devoted a chapter to integration of children with disabilities in regular schools and defined the role of each one of the stakeholders— teacher, parent, principal, special educator, other students, etc – for speeding up the integration of disabled children into regular schools. As a result, SSA, a well-defined infrastructure at the state, district and block level, has also been created to look after the education of children with disabilities. As many as 20 states have coordinators to look after the inclusive education programme under the SSA.

The SSA has also emphasised the need for a resource teacher in every block. Resource teachers are specially trained teachers, capable of teaching children with special needs in all settings. Their main role is to provide remedial assistance to a child in those content areas in which he/she is having comprehension problems in a regular classroom.


Life term for murdering trader

Faridabad: A fast track court here has sentenced a person accused of looting and murdering a trader at Ballabgarh town in 2002 to life imprisonment and fined him Rs 10,000. According to the prosecution, the accused, identified as Ajit Kumar, and an accomplice had attacked the shopkeeper, Mr Vinod Kumar, when he was alone and preparing to down the shutters at night on July 20, 2002. While the victim succumbed to the stab injuries in the hospital, the accused fled with the cash in the shop. They were arrested later.

Life term for killing beloved’s brother

New Delhi: A man was sentenced to life imprisonment for killing his girl friend’s brother who disapproved of their relationship. Additional Sessions Judge R K Yadav also imposed a fine of Rs 4,000 on Shyam Singh who killed Banwarilal after he refused to divulge the whereabouts of his sister Sunita who had been shifted to their native village in Rajasthan. TNS

Two killed in mishaps

Jhajjar: Two persons have been killed in different road accidents in the district today. Samunder Singh, resident of Suhra village, was coming towards Jhajjar on his tractor along with his son Akshay on the Gurgaon Road, when a private transport bus coming from the opposite direction collided with it. The driver, Samunder, died on the spot. In another incident, Ikbal, son of Ramkumar, resident of Alwar district in Rajasthan, was knocked down by a speeding Maruti car when he was checking the headlights of his tractor by parking along the roadside. He died on the spot. OC


Three-member panel to monitor poll ads

New Delhi: The Chief Electoral Officer of Delhi today constituted a three-member committee to scrutinise and monitor poll advertisements for the Lok Sabha elections.

Joint Chief Electoral officer of Delhi SS Ghonkrokta would head the committee and Sadar Chandraker Bharti will be the returning officer. Deputy Secretary in the Information and Broadcasting Ministry Seema Jerevisht will be the member, CEO Arun Goyal said.

The committee, which will be on the job from today itself, will receive and consider applications from all parties and individuals or organisations having registered offices in Delhi, he said. The Election Commission had issued the guidelines for constituting the committee yesterday in the light of the Supreme Court order of April 13. TNS


BJP can’t win under its own steam in Haryana: Chautala
Our Correspondent

Rewari, April 16
Launching a scathing attack on the BJP, the Haryana Chief Minister and INLD chief, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, said here today the BJP could go to any extent in its bid to recapture power at the Centre.

Mr Chautala made these comments while addressing a massive election rally in support of his party nominee, Swami Dharma Dev, in the Ram Lila ground here this afternoon. He said that it was disdainful that the BJP had fielded Mahant Chand Nath, who was an accused in a case of murder in the neighbouring Alwar constituency of Rajasthan and also bestowed respectability on INLD defector Kartar Singh Bhadana by making him its nominee from the Dausa constituency of Rajasthan in utter disregard of the sanctity of the provisions of the anti-defection Act.

He expressed the hope that the electorate of Alwar and Dausa would frustrate the designs of the BJP by giving a resounding defeat to such candidates at the hustings.

Ridiculing the much hyped “ feel good and India shining” propaganda of the BJP, the INLD chief said that puffed up at the landslide victory in the assembly elections of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhatisgarh the BJP opted for a snap poll in the hope of securing similar rich dividends whereas the truth was that the people of these three states, who were fed up with the misrule of the Congress, had virtually voted the Congress out of power.

As regards Haryana, Mr. Chautala explained that he had taken great pains to make the BJP leaders realise the truth that they could not contest any election here without crutches. But they insisted on going alone in the Lok Sabha poll and now things were there for everyone to see. He said that such was the state of affairs in the BJP that even at this late hour the final announcement of its candidate was lying in abeyance.

He also said that by fielding candidates enjoying a clean image and healthy reputation the INLD had further made things tougher for the BJP as well as the Congress in Haryana.

Reiterating that his government had carried out stupendous development throughout the state during the past four years he said that he now wanted the people here and elsewhere to repay him in the form of their support to the INLD candidates.

The Chief Minister also made it a point to declare that no one should remain in doubt that the assembly elections in Haryana would be held in March 2005.

The meeting was also addressed by Swami Dharam Dev who earlier filed his nomination papers as well.


It’s bahu!
Smriti Irani BJP nominee from Chandni Chowk
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 16
Actress Smriti Malhotra Irani is the BJP’s candidate in the Chandni Chowk parliamentary constituency. The general secretary of the party, Mr Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, today said that the party’s president, Mr Venkaiah Naidu, has approved her name.

The actress, who became a member of the BJP a few weeks ago, has been pitted against Mr Kapil Sibal of the INC. A senior advocate in the Supreme Court, Mr Sibal is a sitting member of the Rajya Sabha and the spokesman of the All India Congress Committee (AICC).

Ms Smriti Malhotra Irani became a household name after her role as Tulsi, the ideal Bahu (daughter-in-law), in the popular television serial “Kyonki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thee”. The BJP and the INC have now declared their candidates for all seven seats in the NCT of Delhi.

The declaration of Ms Smriti Irani has put an end to speculation about the party’s choice of candidate for the Chandni Chowk seat. Incidentally, the BJP decided on Ms Irani’s name a month after it renominated six Members of Parliament in the 13th Lok Sabha.

The trading community of Chandni Chowk was pitching for a local as opposed to the party nominating an outsider. Secretaries of the Federation of Delhi Trade Associations Narender Madan and Satender Jain had said that Chandni Chowk was traditionally a “traders’ seat”.

Anita Arya files nomination

The BJP candidate in the Karol Bagh (Reserved) constituency, Ms Anita Arya, today filed her nomination papers for the Lok Sabha election. Mr Javed Abidi of the Disabled Rights Group also filed his nomination. He is contesting as an Independent candidate.

Ms Anita Arya is contesting the election from the Karol Bagh (Reserved) constituency. Ms Krishna Tirath of the INC is her rival. Ms Arya was a member of the 13th Lok Sabha. Ms Tirath, who is Deputy Speaker of Delhi Legislative Assembly, is making her debut.


Goel rakes up the ghost of Sikh riots
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 16
The BJP candidate in the Sadar parliamentary constituency, Mr Vijay Goel, today raised a question mark over the educational qualification of his Congress rival Jagdish Tytler and wanted to know what prompted him not to disclose it. He also asked why the Congress was putting up Mr Tytler, who had been involved in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

“The who’s who does not mention Tytler’s educational qualification.... Why is he hiding his educational qualification.... There is something fishy in it”, Mr Goel told mediapersons after being introduced to the media as the BJP candidate in Sadar by Union Law and Justice Minister Arun Jaitley.

Meanwhile, the party’s candidate in the South Delhi parliamentary constituency, Mr Vijay Kumar Malhotra, today said that the Sikh community had not forgotten the misdeeds of the Congress and that come May 10 the Sikhs would give a befitting reply to the INC candidates in Sadar, Outer Delhi and elsewhere.

Mr Vijay Kumar Malhotra, who was the chief guest at a public meeting organised by the Shiromani Akali Dal in Govindpuri, said that the INC had rubbed salt into the wounds of the Sikhs. The INC, he said, did not care for the sentiments of the minorities in general and the Sikh community in particular.

Meanwhile, the Socialist Unity Centre of India (SUCI) has fielded its candidate in the East Delhi parliamentary constituency from where Mr Lal Bihari Tiwari of the BJP and Mr Sandeep Dikshit of the INC are contesting. The party has nominated Mr Harish Tyagi, who filed his nomination papers today before the returning officer in Shastri Nagar.

On the occasion, Mr Tyagi said that both the BJP and the INC were trying to divert the people’s attention from the devastating effects of the policies of liberalisation, globalisation and privatisation being pursued by them since 1990. He called for a militant mass movement against such anti-people policies.


SAD attacks Cong for fielding Sajjan, Tytler
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 16
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has stepped up its attack on the INC for fielding two controversial leaders as its candidates in the Lok Sabha election but the new head of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) refused to comment.

“The move has pulled the mask of secularism off the Congress face”, said SAD Delhi chief Avtar Singh Hit, a close lieutenant of former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal in the wake of the INC naming Mr Sajjan Kumar and Mr Jagdish Tytler as its candidates.

In a separate statement, the Sikh Forum headed by Lt-Gen Jagjit Singh Aurora (retd) also slammed the INC. “For some time, it was heartening to observe the reversal in approach of the Congress when it joined other groups to get justice for the victims of the Gujarat riots”, the statement read, “but it has turned out that the Congress party has no regard and respect for the sentiments of the Sikhs”.

However, DSGMC President Prehlad Singh Chandok refused to comment. “I have nothing to say till I meet Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit”, he said but several other Akali leaders loyal to Mr Badal said they would raise the matter in the election.


Administration told to introduce CNG-based autorickshaws
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, April 16
While the three-wheeler autorickshaws in the town have been a synonym of the increasing air pollution and a cause of heavy congestion on the main roads, their owners, too, are not happy with the present conditions governing their plying. They have even asked the local administration to introduce the clean fuel on pattern of Delhi to get a control over the pollution menace.

The measures announced earlier by the district administration to check the problems connected with the plying of the three-wheeler autorickshaws here has not been able to bring the desired results. Although, the authorities had announced to ban the plying of the vehicles older then 15 years, but it is learnt that there were hundreds of outdated autorickshaws that were speeding on the city roads as usual.

While the authorities had directed the plying of these vehicles on odd and even number basis, but it is the fact that many of the three-wheelers had not been following this rule as they had hardly any number plate or proper registration number. As the number of such vehicles in the town has been nearly 1,5,000 at present, the authorities are still to chalk out and prepare any strategy to introduce CNG-based autorickshaws here.

The town, which is already in the list of the ten most polluted cities of the country, is still to have any CNG pump here although such a demand had been raised by the locals from time to time. Even the owners and drivers of the smoke spewing autorickshaws have also supported any such move.

A demand in this regard was raised by a delegation of the three-wheeler autorickshaw union, which met the district authorities here yesterday. The union had gone to submit a memorandum to seek construction of a proper auto stand at the Badarpur border.

Claiming that the police had been harassing them for parking the autos at the border, they said chaos like situation was prevailing due to no permanent stand there. They also added that the administration had promised to construct permanent parking stands for the autos in the town, but said nothing had been done so far. Demanding that the limit of the age of the auto be raised from the present 15 years to 20 years, they said the owners be allowed to purchase new vehicles on the old permit only and all the irrelevant taxes be withdrawn.

Alleging that adulterated petrol and diesel was being sold by many pumps, they said the authorities should keep a check on such a practice. According to certain members of the union, the autorickshaw owners were ready to switch over to the clean fuel like CNG if the authorities adopt a cooperative attitude and provide such facilities.

It is stated that the introduction of the ‘city bus service’ had not been able to provide the much-needed relief and the auto were still the main medium of local conveyance for majority of the residents.


HC notice to Delhi Govt over autorickshaw quota
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 16
The Delhi High Court today issued notices to the city Government and Road Transport Secretary on a petition filed by an autorickshaw union, seeking a direction to them not to divert the quota of CNG-run autorickshaw permits reserved for the OBC and the ST category to the General category.

Justice Manmohan Sarin asked the Delhi Government and its Road Transport Secretary to file their reply and fixed September 6 for further hearing.

In the meantime, all permits issued by the Government to the ‘autorickshaw wallahs’ would be subject to the outcome of the writ petition, Justice Sarin said.

Petitioner Bhartiya Tipahya Chalak Sangh alleged that by not adhering to the quota, the Delhi Government was violating its own notification of July 7, 2003.

Petitioner’s counsel Pramod Kumar Sharma submitted that the Supreme Court had on December 20, 2002 allowed issuance of 5,000 new CNG-run autorickshaws.

Later, by a notification in July 2003, the Delhi Government said of these, 750 permits would go to the SC category while 375 and 1350 permits would be given to the ST and OBC candidates respectively. The rest 2,525 permits were to go to the General category candidates.

Stating that there was no problem with the permits issued under SC category, Mr Sharma alleged that the Transport Department did not deal with the applications under OBC and ST categories properly.

Only 140 OBC applicants were issued permits despite the fact that there were only 750 applications for 1350 permits, he alleged, apprehending the Department might divert the OBC quota to the General category.


Wheat crop worth Rs 4 lakh destroyed
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, April 16
Standing wheat crop in 37 acres of cultivable land worth about Rs 4 lakh was destroyed in a devastating fire caused by a short circuit at Gangesar village, about 50 km from here, yesterday. On receipt of information, the municipal fire brigade was rushed to the site. The fire was brought under control after a few hours.

Reports of the fire were also received from Jhundpur, Jakhauli, Kakroi and Mohana villages where the standing wheat crop in 11 acres of land and a trailer of a tractor were burnt. The municipal fire brigade from Sonepat rushed to the site after receiving information and brought the fire under control.

Meanwhile, the district administration has cancelled the leave of employees of the municipal fire brigades at Sonepat, Ganaur and Gohana towns. This step has been taken in view of incidents of fire reported from the various villages in this district.

Labourer killed

Shiv Ram, a labourer from Rajasthan, was killed on the spot when the wall of a shop in the foodgrain market collapsed at Kharkhauda town, 19 km from here, on Thursday evening.

The victim was easing himself near the wall when a truck hit the wall from the back which collapsed on him. The victim belonged to Somra village in Rajasthan. The truck driver, however, managed to escape. The police have registered a case against him. A hunt is on to apprehend him. The police have sent the body for a post-mortem examination. Sonu, a four-year-old child, succumbed to his injuries in the PGIMS at Rohtak on Thursday. He was hit by a truck and injured seriously at Kharkhauda town on Wednesday and rushed to the PGIMS, Rohtak, for further treatment. The child had come to Kharkhauda town along with his mother for attending a marriage party there.

Court directs ‘piada’ to beat drums outside college

Mr Rakesh Singh, Judicial Magistrate First Class (Senior Division), yesterday fixed April 20 as the date of next hearing in a petition filed by Geeta, a BA Part III student of Hindu Girls College, Sonepat, who had challenged the withholding of her roll number by Dr Shamim Sharma, Principal of the college.

The magistrate had issued summons against the Principal for appearing in the court on April 15 but the summons were returned after the reported refusal by the Principal to accept it. Thereupon, the Magistrate directed the ‘piada’ of the court to inform the Principal concerned about the next date of hearing by beating drums outside the college.

The student, in her petition, has stated that her roll number was issued by Maharishi Dayanand University (MDU), Rohtak, but it was withheld by the Principal for reasons best known to her.


Sonepat residents plagued by shortage of water
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, April 16
The drinking water supply system in this fast growing historical city, which is a district headquarters in Haryana, continued to be critical with little hope for any speedy solution. If poor quality and low pressure are the common grudges of the people, many areas have been left without a single drop of water for the past several days.

The member of the Residents Welfare Association, Mr K. K. Sharma, said the entire city has been divided into zones and its residents get water for about half-an-hour or so once in a day. The evening supply had been cut off since March 15 last without any prior information and or reason. In fact, several areas in the old section of the city and the Indira Colony have not been getting water for the past one week. All our complaints to the officials of the Public Health Department have gone unheeded, the residents alleged.

The situation in other areas was the same. The residents have complained of shortage in water supply and its odd timings. “We get water only for about 15 minutes daily that too at 3 or 4 am. Besides, the pressure is so low that it does not reach the first floor, said many residents of Mohalla Kot, Mohalla Kalan, Ram Bazar and Mohalla Mashad etc. Even when there is water in the taps, there is so much of dirt that it is not fit for human consumption, they added.

Some other residents point out that they use water purifiers, but even then, they are not sure whether it is safe enough. The amount of dirt that settles down in the purifier tells the whole story, they said. Elsewhere, the scene is more or less similar.

Mr Sharma blamed the superintending engineer, the executive engineer and the SDOs for the mess and alleged that they have no control on the Junior Engineers, keymen and the operators of the main waterworks at Murthal and the boosting stations in the city.

He also alleged that these officials do not bother about the public complaints about the inadequate, erratic and contaminated water.


Farm workers denied wages

Dadri, April 16
A large number of farm workers, who were employed in spraying insecticides and pesticides in the villages during outbreak of epidemics in 2002 and 2003, have not yet been paid for their work.

The funds meant for disbursement, as wages to these labourers, are understood to have been usurped by the dealing officials in the office of the CMO, Gautam Budh Nagar district. The case pertains to year 2002 and 2003 when the Government Hospital, Dadri, had employed a number of labourers for spraying insecticides and pesticides in the villages during the period of suspected epidemics.

According to labourers, Rajpal, Amarnath, Karan and several others, they have not been paid any money for the work done by them. The amount involved is estimated to be around Rs 6,000. According to the labourers, whenever they made enquiries in the Dadri or Noida CMO’s office, they were told by the officials that “the budget is yet to come and when we receive the funds, you will be paid your dues”.

The government had however, sanctioned Rs 30,000 for the purpose, considering it an emergency service. Enquiries in CMO Office, Noida, revealed that the amount for payment of wages to labourers had been withdrawn in December 2003 itself, but nothing has yet been paid to the workers till date. OC


Baba Saheb’s birth anniversary celebrated
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 16
The 113th birth anniversary of Baba Saheb Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar was celebrated by the All India Punjab and Sind Bank SC/ST Employees Welfare Council at the Parliament Street here on Wednesday.

Chairman and Managing Director of Punjab and Sind Bank, Mr V. K. Chopra, inaugurated the function.

Addressing the gathering, Mr Chopra appealed to the employees to make more efforts for the bank’s development.

He also assured the employees that the bank would adopt Government’s reservations policies in true spirit.

Mr R Sareen, General Manager of the bank, was among others who attended the function.


Rights group protests eviction in Yamuna Pushta

New Delhi: The ‘forced eviction’ of Yamuna Pushta residents in East Delhi had activists, organisations and groups staging a protest today against what they alleged was the ‘’high-handed’’ ways of the government to uproot people from their dwellings.

Calling upon the people to join the movement against this injustice, activists under the umbrella of Visthapan Virodhi Abhiyaan have asked for immediate halt to evictions.

‘’Besides being a human disaster this was a violation of the citizen’s human and constitutional rights,’’ said Ranjana of the VVA. Stressing that the government had refused to engage in a dialogue with the slum dwellers or any one else, she said the action even lacked the basic tenet of adhering to the ‘masterplan’ and ‘national slum policy’.

Charging that wrong figures were being presented by the government, Lalit Batra of Hazards Centre alleged that only 16 per cent of the 8,800 evicted families had been relocated with most ‘resettled’ having lost their jobs and children unable to appear in their exams. “Also, basic amenities like water, electricity, toilets, dispensaries, schools are nowhere in sight, he added.” TNS


Two get six months’ RI under Excise Act
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, April 16
The Judicial Magistrate First Class, Ms Rajni Yadav, yesterday convicted two accused, Jaibeer and Jai Bhagwan, under the Excise Act and sentenced them to six months’ rigorous imprisonment each.

According to the prosecution story, the Kharkhauda police had registered a case on October 11, 1997, against the duo following the recovery of 410 bottles of country liquor from their possession. The police had arrested them and sent their challans to the court.

Anganwadi workers take out march

A large number of anganwadi workers and helpers took out a procession here on Friday in support of their long-standing demands.

Carrying placards and raising anti-government slogans, they marched through the main bazaars of the city and reached the office of the District Child Development and Programme Officer where a rally was held. The speakers criticised the government for not accepting their demands and warned that if these demands were not fulfilled direct action would be launched to force it to fulfil the long-standing demands of the agitating anganwadi workers and helpers.

The main demands, among other things, include the grant of increased remuneration and other facilities on a par with other government employees.

The speakers also disclosed that a statewide dharna in support of the demands would be held on April 25 at Rohtak.

Woman missing since March 14

Mystery shrouds the disappearance of a woman, Mrs Kesar Devi, from Sewli village since March 14.

She had left her house for going to Narela (Delhi) but failed to reach there. Mr Bhup Singh, a son of the woman, had lodged an FIR with the Rai police in this connection.

Two hit by vehicle, hospitalised

Two youths, Balwan and Devi Singh, were injured seriously when they were hit by a vehicle on the Sonepat-Murthal road near Shubham Garden, about 3 km from here, on Thursday evening.

Both the injured youths were immediately hospitalised and are stated to be out of danger. The police are still investigating into the case.


Delhi Fire Service pins flag on Lt-Governor
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 16
The Delhi Fire Service today pinned a flag on the Lieutenant-Governor, Mr Vijai Kapoor, here today in connection with Fire Service Week. On this occasion, the Lt-Governor also presented a cheque of Rs 500 towards the welfare of firemen. Fire Service Week is observed throughout the country to commemorate and pay homage to those officers and men of fire services in the country who laid down their lives while fighting fires and undertaking rescue operations.

Three held for cricket betting

With the arrest of three suspects, the Crime Branch of the Delhi Police on Friday claimed to have worked out a cricket betting racket. The suspects were identified as Ram Swaroop, Naresh Kumar and Raj Mohammad. The betting was on the match being played between India and Pakistan in Rawalpindi. The police had information that satta was going on at Munirka village on a cricket match. The information was developed and premises which were taken on rent by the suspects were raided. The suspects were arrested from Munirka village. The police recovered one recording machine attached with two mobile phones, two calculators, three WWL phones, one colour TV with remote, one set top box and Rs 3000 in cash.

Two found murdered

Two persons, including a woman, were reportedly murdered in two different places in the city in the past 24 hours.

In the first incident, one Akhil (25), resident of Baljit Nagar, was found dead with a stab wound in his chest last night. However, his personal belongings were found intact. The incident came to light when one Manmohan Duggal (65) saw the deceased lying dead in front of his house while he was coming home with his family members.

The police said that Akhil used to work for a company called Flexione in Green Park, which had some contract with the BSES. The police have registered a case and are trying to solve the mystery behind the murder.

In the second incident, one woman, Prabha Jain (39), was found murdered with her throat slit in her Bhajanpura residence this afternoon. Prabha’s husband owns a thread factory in the same area. Her body was discovered when her younger son, Amol Jain (7), in her house this afternoon.




Do you have a grouse against the apathetic attitude of the authorities? Are you fed up with the dilly-dallying tactics of officialdom and the stranglehold of red tapism? If so, please write to us. We have a full half page every week reserved just for you. The letters should be clearly marked, Speaking out, NCR Tribune,
First Floor, Dyal Singh Library Building, 1 Deen Dayal Upadhaya Marg, New Delhi-110002.

The menace of copying in Matriculation and Secondary examinations could not be checked despite all the efforts put in by the Haryana School Board authorities.

However, it was a matter of satisfaction that the Haryana School Board authorities and the district administrations were determined to check this menace.

They took some vital decisions in this regard.

Obviously, students are vulnerable to this menace, particularly when temptation is so high all around us. There were examination centres where invigilators and school staff members were fully involved in facilitating the use of unfair means in the examinations.

A number of centre superintendents were even dismissed for being caught red-handed encouraging the use of unfair means in the examinations.

It is a shame that those who had the responsibility of conducting the examinations have failed to maintain the sanctity of the examination process. A number of teachers involved in this ‘racket’ were found to be running coaching centres, which promises “hundred per cent results”. These coaching institutes or tuition centres attract students because they promise “hundred per cent results”.

Selfishness and greed will have to be shunned by the teaching community if the board is to succeed in ending this menace.

Teachers must halt the declining reputation of the teaching community. They should be attentive to the cause of the students throughout the year and not only in during the examination period.


Pray make the right choice while you vote

These are election times. Every leader is busy wooing the voters in their own way. The issue of caste, community, religion and region are sought to be mixed up with development issues. No one is bothered about what the common people want. No one wants to face the stark realities of widespread poverty, illiteracy, unemployment and lack of basic health care in our country.

There is no doubt that we have come a long way since our country gained Independence in 1947.

We have made major progress in ending dependency on foreign food supply. Poverty has been reduced marginally.

However, lots need to be done to ameliorate the sufferings of common people. Why don’t the political parties and its leaders exert themselves in solving the problem of population explosion?

It is high time that the political parties should ignore the non-serious issues and get down to offering solutions to the burning problems such as illiteracy, unemployment, corruption and deteriorating law and order situation.

They should come out with concrete plans for solving the problem related to housing for the large segment of our population living in the slums of he urban cities. Our so-called `Netas’ have massive security for themselves. The resources of our country are wasted on providing expensive security to the representatives, who proclaim their popularity from the rooftop.

They have failed to understand the plight of common people, who are unsure of the safety of their life and property due to deteriorating law and order situation.

The newspapers are full of cases of rapes, thefts, act of corruption and murders. Was this the India for which our illustrious forefathers laid down their lives? I hope the people vote for those with unblemished record in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.


Model Code of Conduct

It was heartening to learn that the Delhi Police Commissioner, Dr K. K. Paul, has convened a special meeting of political parties and leaders so as to successfully implement the Model Code of Conduct during the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.

I would also like to appeal to all the political parties to follow the Model Code of Conduct as announced by the Election Commission.

Democracy means fair competition for the vote of the people. Those seeking the support of the people must adhere to the rules laid down by the Election Commission. And one of the most important rules is that the election campaign must be issue based. Above all, the election campaign must avoid personal attack. It is incorrect for the party to interfere in the private life of other candidate and rake up issues from their personal life.

It is also important to see that criminals and anti-social elements are kept away from the election fray. If the wrong people manage to enter the political process, it is but obvious that the image of the political process will suffer a great blow.

In that respect, the meeting called by the Delhi Police Commissioner is timely. Moreover, one such meeting is not enough. The police must keep up its guard to keep the election process free of criminal elements so that there is no law and order problem in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.

MDU, Rohtak

Positive issues need to be highlighted

India is the largest democracy in the world. Since it declared itself a Republic, it has successfully conducted a number of elections, both at the state and the national level. It has even implemented a highly successful Panchayati Raj institutions, which has helped to empower the masses at the village level. It is a matter of pride that a number of developing countries have sent observers to see the Indian democracy in action.

However, there has been a marked deterioration in the level of our democratic experiment in the last two decades. Corruption and anti-social elements have come to haunt our election process. Many fear that the present elections to the Lok Sabha may show some of the worst side to our electoral process.

When the Bharatiya Janata Party won the recent elections to the state Assemblies of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh on the plank of development, many looked upon it as a positive sign for our maturing democracy.

Quite rightly, construction of roads, better water and power supply and ending poverty and starvation were positive issues put in front of the electorate. In all fairness, the people appreciated the effort of the Bharatiya Janata Party to give a new turn to the electoral politics in the country.

However, the people of India have been disillusioned by the conduct of the election process by the Bharatiya Janata Party in the early stage of the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Some of the issues raised by the party resemble propaganda, offering little choice to the electorate and only showing the Opposition in bad light.

Mr L. K. Advani is on a `Bharat Uday Yatra’ and Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee is always taking a ‘moralist stand’ while his party men rake up personal issues.

Few have been convinced with its India Shinning’ slogan. No one has been impressed with the slogan when poverty and starvation is all around us.

It has underlined the non-issues.

It is more interested in washing dirty linen in public. It has lost sight of the noble issues like elimination of poverty, provision of employment, removal of illiteracy, corruption and setting up of a transparent administration.

Harping on the negative aspect of Sonia Gandhi would not help the BJP in the long run. Even the construction of the Ram Mandir would not be able to please the electorate, which essentially is interested in basic issues of bread and butter.

The peace parleys with the minority community may click. It will have a positive impact on its electoral fortune. The fear of the minorities needs to be addressed.

There is no point in harping on the foreign origin of the Congress president Sonia Gandhi. Even though she was born in Italy, she is an elected Member of Parliament and the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha.

By this account, she is no longer a foreign lady. She has been accepted as an Indian citizen both by the Constitutional norms and the people of India. She has made sterling sacrifices and proved better than many other political leaders.



Gulf Oil launches auto workshops

New Delhi, April 16
The Gulf Oil launched has seven well-equipped auto workshops called Gulf Authorised Mechanic Services (GAMS) on Thursday in New Delhi and NCR region.

The company is in the business of lubricants and has ventured into an agreement with workshops for 24-hour preventive automobile maintenance and service schedule for cars. The GAMS will be spread across various cities and highways throughout the country. In West Delhi, Nirmal Motors at Jhandewalan will be the GAMS offering its services to the customers in the region. Other six GAMS, which were also inaugurated the same day are: Noorie Service Station in Karnal Road, Auto Engineers in Noida, Brooklyn Engineers in East Delhi, Saraswati Automobiles in Faridabad, and Sharanam Motor Service in Okhla. TNS

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