N C R   S T O R I E S


Can Cong breach the South Delhi citadel?
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 21
A pocket borough of the BJP, the South Delhi parliamentary constituency is witnessing a contest between distant relatives: Veteran Vijay Kumar Malhotra of the BJP and debutant RK Anand of the INC.

Anand, the high-profile Supreme Court lawyer and member of the Rajya Sabha who joined the INC three years ago, is slugging it out against an opponent who has spent the last 52 years in Delhi’s politics.

Home to the middle- and upper middle class, the South Delhi parliamentary constituency has 10 lakh-odd voters. If New Delhi is the elite constituency, South Delhi is considered the posh one.

There are 10 Assembly segments in the South Delhi parliamentary constituency. The INC won six Assembly constituencies in the 2003 election; the BJP won four seats.

However, the INC has lost ground here albeit marginally. The party had bagged seven seats in the 1998 Assembly election. (It lost the Delhi Cantonment Assembly seat in the December election.)

The INC had won the Okhla, Kalkaji, Malviya Nagar, RK Puram, Hauz Khas and Rajouri Garden seats. The BJP had won the Tilak Nagar, Hari Nagar, Janakpuri and Delhi Cantonment seats.

In spite of a decent performance in the Assembly elections, the INC has not managed to wrest this parliamentary constituency since 1985 when Arjun Singh won the by-election.

Arjun Singh contested, and won, the bypoll after sitting Member of Parliament Lalit Maken was killed. South Delhi has since come to be known as the INC’s Waterloo.

The reasons for this parliamentary constituency becoming a stronghold of the BJP are not far to seek. To begin with, history is not on the side of the INC.

The BJP has won the South Delhi seat in every election since 1989. The predominantly Punjabi population, mostly first- and second generation post-Partition refugees, has sided with the BJP ever since.

Malhotra, who landed in Delhi after Partition as a young boy just out of school, has kept up the party’s tradition. He trounced Manmohan Singh of the INC in the 1999 election.

The INC watchers also attribute the decline in the party’s electoral fortunes to the internecine infighting and wrangling among its legislators and councillors.

That, perhaps, explains Manmohan Singh’s words of caution soon after inaugurating Anand’s election office on April 9. He had said that the mistakes of the past should not be repeated.

The party’s legislators and councillors, Singh had added for good measure, should work hard for the success of Mr Anand. Ajay Maken, too, has contested and lost the election from this seat.

In 1996, the INC fielded lawyer Kapil Sibal from this constituency but BJP’s Sushma Swaraj defeated him by a margin of 1,14,006 votes. In 1998, Swaraj repeated the feat.

That year, she beat Ajay Maken by 1,16,713 votes. In the 1999 elections, Malhotra defeated Manmohan Singh by a comparatively modest margin of 29,999 votes.

Besides the ‘evergreen’ issues of water and electricity, the unit area method of assessing property tax is being hotly debated this time around and is steadily becoming a key issue.

Besides Malhotra, Anand has to also contend with talk about his role as a lawyer for certain persons accused in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case and his being an outsider.

Anand calls himself a ‘pucca’ South Delhi man what with his office and farmhouse situated here. He dismisses insinuations by certain groups of Sikhs as a political stunt.

Malhotra exudes confidence about his prospects this time, saying that the INC has fielded against him a candidate who has nothing to lose if he is defeated in the election.

“I know of other Congressmen whose names were being considered for the seat but who chickened out”, he guffaws. “He (Anand) is giving it a try in South Delhi because he has nothing to lose”.


Yet one more tremor in Delhi
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 21
The Capital was jolted by yet another tremor, the eighth in the past one month, at 11 am today. The quake was of slight intensity like the previous ones and measured 1.5 on the Richter scale. Its epicentre lay 28.6 degrees north latitude and 77.3 degrees east longitude.

Taking cognisance of the increased frequency of tremors in Delhi over the past one month, the Seismology Department has intensified seismic monitoring and will install four more observatories in the Capital this month.

Delhi, which experienced one more quake this morning, the eighth over the past one month, lies very close to the Himalayan fault zone; so, intensive monitoring of seismic activity was a must, the Director, Seismology, of the India Meterological Department(IMD), Dr A. K. Shukla said.

Generally, tremors of this scale are not recorded at the national level, said Dr Shukla.


Hospital incinerators release carcinogens, claims NGO
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 21
Environmentalists have pointed out that incinerators being used in all government hospitals pose a serious threat to health as they release a host of pollutants, including carcinogens.

‘’It is shocking to note that the government hospitals continue to threaten the health of the city’s population by releasing pollutants through the burning of medical wastes which are way above the permissible limits,’’ said Mr Ravi Aggrawal of Toxic Link, an NGO.

Releasing a book, ‘Resources Up in Flames,’ here today, which was brought out by Global Alliance of Incinerator Alternatives, an alliance of 227 groups and individuals from 61 countries working to end all forms of incineration, Mr Aggarwal said incineration was a dying technology.

“Delhi had around 59 medical waste incinerators in 2000, but because of the complexities involved in meeting the emission standards most private hospitals decided to shut operations. However, the government hospitals turn a blind eye to the menace,’’ he said.

According to the report, burning of waste of any kind causes the emission of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) like dioxins and furans, which can cause a variety of health problems like impairment of the nervous system, the endocrine system and the reproductive system. The report further adds that the Central Pollution Control Board recently issued guidelines on common biomedical waste treatment facility and on the design and construction of biomedical waste incinerators, which discouraged on-site incinerators.


Patrons of musclemen arrested
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 21
The Crime Branch inter-state cell and the anti-extortion cell have arrested four gangsters who were planning to offer musclemen services during the elections in two different operations in the Outer Delhi and Rohini areas. While the inter-state cell seized two countrymade weapons and six live cartridges besides recovering one stolen Maruti Zen car the anti-extortion cell seized one countrymade weapon and three live cartridges.

The inter-state cell received secret information that certain criminals from Haryana jails were in touch with their accomplices and operating in Delhi, Haryana and NCR regions through mobile phones.

Accordingly, a team was constituted and rushed to the Bawana road. The gangsters were spotted and overpowered by the sleuths.

They were identified as Ishwar, alias Ravi, alias Vikas (27), Narender, alias Secretary (28), and Jogender (39), all residents of Haryana. The accused persons had committed several crimes earlier and were involved in at least 20 criminal cases each. They told the sleuths that they were in touch with the criminals and were operating at their behest. They were planning to earn good money by offering musclemen services to the politicians.

In another operation, the anti-extortion cell arrested Ram Dayal, alias Billoo, from the Rohini area of North-West district. The sleuths also claimed to have seized one countrymade weapon and three live cartridges from his possession.


Even donkeys have their day
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 21
It was a day out for the donkeys, the most neglected of the animal species. For once, the poor man’s asset, the donkeys received their share of care and attention as the NGO, Circle of Animals, organised Donkey Day today.

Claiming that being the poor workers’ animals the donkeys were neglected and devoid of even basic health care, the Circle of Animals drew attention to the need for providing a healing touch to them.

Donkey Day, which was organised here yesterday, began at Deoli Bund at 4 pm and witnessed donkeys with their masters arrive with not just anticipation but also happiness. It was a welcome change for the donkeys to receive caresses on their backs instead of the customary kicks.

Donkeys, considered beasts of burden, are subject to ridicule owing to their looks. Despite no evidence to prove that donkeys are dumb as they are often perceived to be they are ill-treated and left to fend for themselves once they outlive their utility. Ninety-two donkeys with their owners were given special treatment by the Circle of Animals and their doctors, trained specially to cater to the animals.


Rohtak constituency: Three women battling it out for first time
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, April 21
The parliamentary election in Rohtak constituency is one of its kinds on many counts this time. Here are some facts, which are unprecedented in the history of Rohtak Lok Sabha elections.

Three women candidates are in the fray from Rohtak for the first time.

Of which, two are nominees of national parties including the Republican Party of India and Bahujan Samaj Party, while third one is contesting on the Haryana Vikas Party ticket.

Ms Bimla Kadian, Ms Geeta Grewal and Ms Usha Ahlawat are the respective candidates of these parties.

Before these elections, the only woman candidate from this constituency was late Gayatri Devi, wife of former Prime Minister late Charan Singh and mother of RLD president Mr Ajit Singh, who lost her security deposit in the 1989 elections.

As many as five candidates contesting from this seat are hailing from Beri Assembly segment.

The HVP candidate Ms Usha Ahlawat belongs to Dujana village, while Bisan is the native village of INLD candidate Mej-Gen Bhim Singh Suhag.

Mr Bharpoor Singh Jakhar of the RLD is from Talao village, while Ms Bimla Kadian of the RPI and Mr Anoop Singh of the SUCI, are hailing from villages of Beri block.

The leader of the opposition Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda is contesting from here for the fifth time, of which he had defeated late Mr Devi Lal three times, but lost to Capt Inder Singh last time. The battle between father-in-law, Mr Hooda, and his daughter-in-law, Ms Geeta Grewal, wife of Hooda’s son, is also unprecedented.

While two candidates riding the raths for their campaigning, is also first time in the constituency. Mr Hooda and Mr Suhag have been rolling their raths throughout the constituency.

A proprietor of a Hindi daily published from Rohtak has also decided to join the battle for ballot on the BJP ticket. It is for the first time that a newspaper owner battling it out from here.

His entry has raised a controversy of sorts as the rival candidates are making an issue of his business deals in another state, alleging his involvement in any coal scam.

In fact, his entry in the fray is causing uneasiness in the Congress circles, who have decided to collect donations from the supporters to take on the wealth of this mighty contest.


30 seats declared sensitive in Meerut division
Our Correspondent

Meerut, April 21
The Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary, Mr V. K. Diwan, said that 30 parliamentary constituencies in the state have so far been identified as sensitive and hypersensitive. Besides, the administration has made elaborate arrangements to conduct free and fair election. The administration has arranged videography to identify these sensitive polling booths.

After reviewing the election preparation, Mr Diwan told mediapersons that three seats - Meerut, Baghpat and Bulandshahar of the Meerut division, have been included to sensitive and most sensitive category. Replying a query, he said communal or caste tension and VVIP contestants are the main causes to put these seats into sensitive category. Mr Diwan further added that security was beefed up in the areas where some VVIP are contesting and videography of the polling will also be done to put psychological pressure on the candidates and unsocial elements. The police and paramilitary forces would be dispatched to eighteen Lok Sabha seats for the first and second phase elections of central and eastern UP.

After inspecting the election preparation of Meerut division, the Chief Secretary said that ‘Red Card’ should be issued to the unsocial elements in the Meerut division. He also directed to the wine vendors to stop liquor smuggling from the neighbouring states.


When poll processions become a nightmare for commuters
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Rewari, April 21
With the election season on in full swing it has become a nightmare for the average resident here to travel on road. People find themselves caught for long hours in traffic snarls in the scorching sun when leaders of political parties take out processions.

The district administration has got flak from the residents for allegedly not ensuring smooth flow of traffic.

Rewari has been designated the seat of the returning officer for the Mahendragarh parliamentary constituency. The nominees of political parties file their nomination papers here. As it is election time, the nominees indulge in a show of strength to boost their election campaign and increase the margin of victory while filing their nomination papers. Rewari is considered to be the nerve centre of Ahirwal’s cultural and political activities.

Residents were subjected to one of the worst traffic related hardships on April 19, the day HVP nominee Anil Rao filed his nomination papers. He filed his papers after taking out a procession in the city. His procession had, according to a conservative estimate, about 600 cars, jeeps, tractors and other kinds of vehicles. Many residents say the number of vehicles in the procession on the occasion of mere filing of nomination papers was “unprecedented.” The procession, starting from the HVP’s Central Election Office near KLP college, took the route passing Dharuhera octroi post, Circular Road, Bus Stand, Brass Market, Circular Road to the Mini Secretariat. Although the distance from KLP College to the Mini Secretariat is about one kilometre the procession took more than two hours to cover the ground, causing miseries to the commuters.

The hardship was most severe to commuters travelling on the public transport system, especially who were on long-distance routes. A large number of buses of Haryana Roadways were seen waiting on Circular Road near the general bus stand. The worst part was that no security person was seen tackling the situation.

Though not of the same magnitude the residents were subjected to another spell of ordeal when the BJP nominee, Mrs Sudha Yadav, took out a procession in the city yesterday on the occasion of her filing the nomination papers. The procession chose interior parts of the city, including Railway Road, Gokal Road, Moti Chowk, Old Subzi Road, Bhadawas Road and Circular Road.

The procession taken out by the Samajwadi Party candidate, Mr Raghu Yadav, who filed his nomination papers today, was less troublesome. Many attribute it to its comparatively shorter tail. His party leaders said the procession was a simple affair as he was getting late for filing the papers.

However, when the ruling INLD nominee, Swami Dharam Dev, filed his papers the traffic was smooth. It is attributed to the alertness of the administration as he is a nominee of the ruling party.


Four-hour ordeal in Sonepat as traffic goes for a toss
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, April 21
The city today witnessed traffic snarls on different roads as a mammoth procession wound its way to the office of the Returning Officer-cum-Deputy Commissioner where the Congress nominee from this parliamentary constituency, Mr Dharam Pal Singh Malik, today filed his nomination papers. Thousands of party supporters and hundreds of vehicles formed part of the procession which worked its way over four hours to reach the DC’s office. The local police had a tough time managing the traffic.

The procession commenced from Mr Malik’s residence in Model Town just before noon.

It took more than four hours to reach the judicial complex. A large number of Congress leaders from different assembly segments of the constituency had reached Sonepat for the purpose.

Earlier, talking to mediapersons at his residence Mr Malik demanded the deployment of paramilitary forces, alleging that there was every possibility of booth-capturing by the criminals at the behest of the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala. He expressed fears about four constituencies, Sonepat, Bhiwani, Rohtak and Kurukshetra, and urged the Election Commission to consider these as hyper-sensitive as the INLD nominees at Bhiwani and Kurukshetra were the Chief Minister’s sons. A relative was contesting from Rohtak.

At Sonepat the wife of the Haryana DGP was the candidate. Mr Malik also demanded that like in the case of previous elections the Election Commission must ban the entry of the Chief Minister in the state on the polling day.

The most interesting development of the day for the Congress nominee was at the press conference when District Congress Committee president and MLA Jitender Malik and City Congress president Vijay Chaudhary shared the dais with him for the first time. They promised to support Mr D.P.S. Malik whole-heartedly during the election. Both of them are from the Bhupinder Singh Hooda group and so far have not enjoyed good relations with him.

Mr Jitender Malik, however, immediately left for Rohtak, pleading that he had to participate in the nomination filing programme of Mr Hooda today.

BSP candidate Shagun Gupta also filed his nomination accompanied by hundreds of supporters.


Back to the basics: Canvassing on foot
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 21
Recalling her role as Tulsi in the serial, Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi Smriti Irani of the BJP has said that she would make relentless effort to keep the people of Chandni Chowk united as a family just like the character she played in the serial. She is the BJP candidate in the Chandni Chowk parliamentary constituency.

Continuing her campaign today, Ms Irani canvassed on foot. Her walk originated at Tel Mandi Chowk and culminated in a public meeting at Dr Munje Chowk in Paharganj, after passing through the narrow lanes and bylanes of Gali Ram Nath Patwa, Dariba Pan, Kaseruwalan, Sangatrashan, Mantola and Ghee Mandi. On the way, she was greeted by women who applied the traditional tilak and showered rose petals on her. Members of the Sikh Samaj, who greeted her elsewhere, presented her with a Siropa. Also lending their support were the members of the Punjabi Biradari, Jatav Samaj, Prajapati Samaj and the Balmiki Samaj.

Meanwhile, the BJP candidate in the South Delhi parliamentary constituency, Mr Vijay Kumar Malhotra’s wife Krishna today campaigned in the Alakananda Apartments. Daughter-in-law Ruchi Malhotra and daughter Anupama canvassed in Okhla and Sukhdev Vihar DDA flats as did son Ajay in Janakpuri.

Malhotra himself took to the day’s campaigning early in the morning. He started the day’s campaign from Village Garhi and made his way through Okhla, Kalkaji and Shastri Market to Janakpuri. He addressed meetings in Greater Kailash I and II, Safdarjung Enclave, Gopi Nath Bazar, Hari Nagar, Vishnu Garden and Sudershan Park.

The INC candidate in the Moti Nagar Assembly constituency, which has been vacated by Governor of Rajasthan Madan Lal Khurana, today filed his nomination papers. He reached the venue in a procession that began from his election office.

Accompanied by the party’s candidate in the Sadar parliamentary constituency, Mr Jagdish Tytler, and supporters, Mr Ram Maggo filed his nomination papers in the deputy commissioner’s office in Ram Pura. He performed a havan (religious ceremony) at his election office prior to leaving for the deputy commissioner’s office.

Bhagat Singh’s nephew joins BJP

Martyr Bhagat Singh’s nephew Babar Singh Sandhu today joined the BJP, protesting against the INC decision to field “anti-Sikh riot tainted leaders” from Lok Sabha seats in the NCT of Delhi.

Mr Sandhu, son of the martyr’s younger brother Kulbir, also expressed his strong opposition against the INC’s projecting Ms Sonia Gandhi as Prime Minister.

“Three generations of my family took part in the freedom movement not to see the reins of the country in the hands of foreigners again”, he told media persons after becoming a BJP member.


Building bylaws in Delhi have become obsolete: LG
Tribune News Service

New Delhi April 21
The building bylaws in Delhi have become outdated. They were framed at a time when people were not used to city life. They have become bulky and detailed, said Lt-Governor of Delhi Vijai Kapoor, at a workshop on ‘Making Building Bylaws Work for Delhi’, organised by the MCD in cooperation with the INDO-USAID-FIRE (D) PROJECT, National Institute of Urban affairs, and the Times Research Foundation of Kolkata here today.

While inaugurating the workshop, the Lt-Governor said that current building bylaws should be replaced with simple codes or regulations, which are transparent in nature, easy to implement and capable of transforming the national Capital into an international city while taking care of its historic character.

A person who invests in a building is expected to engage an architect and adhere to the necessary provisions and other regulatory aspects. What the people need is a building code and not building bylaws. The implementation of the farmer is the duty of the architects and later of the municipal functionaries.

He said that building bylaws are extremely complex and at times not transparent. They have plenty of scope for corrupt practices. The proposed building bylaws should be complimentary to the Master Plan 2021.

The Municipal Commissioner, Mr Rakesh Mehta, said that a number of defects and limitations had been found in the existing bylaws. Therefore, it is imperative to come up with new building bylaws, which are realistic and responsive to the present urban scenario of Delhi. The new bylaws will take care of Delhiites, they will be transparent, preserve the green character of the Capital and its heritage. They help the city to rise to international standards, encourage the decaying parts of the city so that they could be rejuvenated and enable the use of high technology in urban areas.

The Vice-Chairman of the DDA, Mr Madhukar Gupta, stressed the need for rethinking about the nature of architectural and building controls. There have been significant changes in economic policies and the whole governance process, dominated by deregulation, decontrol and decentralisation since the promulgation of the unified building bylaws in 1983 and Master Plan of Delhi, 2001.

He said that there was strong need for integrating unplanned areas into the main stream planning process since they provide a major source of a variety of services to the city populace.

The Director of the USAID, Ms Rebecca Black, opined that building bylaws should keep in place with the government policy of liberalisation, globalisation and decontrolled economic activity. It should form an important component in implementation of urban agenda in government’s Reform plan. The bylaws should promote the growth of cities, states and ultimately the nation itself. The bylaws should be practical, have vision and contain in built system for responsiveness.


Nirankari Mission to host blood donation camps
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 21
The Sant Nirankari Mission will organise 58 blood donation camps in various parts of the country on April 24, 2004. The Sant Nirankari Mission plans to hold another 43 camps by September 2004. Last year, it had organized 129 camps all over the country.

The main camp will be held in the national Capital, which will be inaugurated by the spiritual head of the Mission, Baba Hardev Singh Ji.

There is a lot of enthusiasm among the devotees of the Mission, particularly the volunteers of the Sant Nirankari Sewa Dal to donate blood. The commencement of these camps coincides with the ‘Manav Ekta Diwas’, observed every year on April 24 to commemorate the supreme sacrifice of the Mission’s former Head, Baba Gurbachan Singh Ji.

The donation of blood is a matter of devotion for the followers of the Mission.

The camp in Delhi is being organized in close co-ordination with the Indian Red Cross Society and leading hospitals of the Capital. The same pattern is to be followed at other centres.

Of the camps being organized outside Delhi on April 24, 13 are being organized in Maharashtra, seven in Uttar Pradesh, 5 in Punjab, 3 each in Haryana, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, two each in Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand and Assam and one each in Chandigarh, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttaranchal, Bihar, Tripura, Goa, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Andaman.


Committee constituted to look into inconvenience of house tax payers
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 21
The Municipal Commissioner, Mr Rakesh Mehta, said that ‘Hardship and Anomaly Committee’, which had been constituted to look after any hardship or anomaly in respect of the property tax assessment under the Unit Area Method had started functioning under the chairmanship of K. Dharmarajan from today. The committee will function from it’s office at Core A, 3rd floor, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road.

The Municipal Commissioner has issued directions to the ‘Assessment and Collection Department’ to ensure that there is no inconvenience to the tax payers at the counters and the self-assessment forms are accepted alongside the payments without any queries being raised during the filing of returns.

He has also directed that all the Citizen Service Bureau (CSB) and office of the Assessment and Collection Department should have ample supply of self-assessment forms, which should be provided free of cost to the general public and should have prominent display boards giving guidelines on how to fill up the form. The name and telephone numbers of the officer concerned to be contacted in case of difficulty must be given on display boards.

He said that the committee would conduct periodic hearings and make recommendations to the corporation on cases of hardship or anomalies from time to time. It would also provide guidelines and technical support to the Assessment and Collection Department to ensure smooth implementation of the system to minimize any hardship and ensure that anomalies do not arise in the new system. The committee is also considering various alternatives to simplify the measurement of covered area and is specifically looking for adoption of a simple formula for calculation of the covered area in the DDA flats where allotments have been made according to carpet area. The committee will also consider petitions from groups of affected persons.

The committee has advised the citizens that members of the public may send their representations relating to hardships arising out of assessment of property tax under the Unit Area System to the committee through courier or by email to for redressal.


Central observers to monitor elections in Sonepat
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, April 21
The three central observers, appointed by the Election Commission to oversee the poll process in the Sonepat Parliamentary constituency, have been put up at the PWD (B and R) rest house here.

According to a report, Mr Padamvir Singh, an IAS officer of the 1977 batch from Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh) and Mr V. K.

Suburaj, an IAS officer of the 1980 batch, will work as general observers. Those wishing to get in touch with them may contact them on telephone numbers

2201711 and 2246672 respectively. The third observer is Mr Satyanarain Murt, an IAS officer of the 1991 batch, who will look after the poll expenditure. Those wishing to get in touch with him may contact him on telephone number 2247488.

It may be recalled that the Election Commission has fixed Rs 25 lakh as the upper limit for the poll expenses of a candidate.

Meanwhile, the district election authorities have also set up a “helpline” for the benefit of the voters during the polls. Anybody who wish to know about their polling booth and other relevant information regarding the polls could contact the helpline telephone number 2222180 between 9 AM and 9 PM daily.

Meanwhile, it has become extremely difficult for the mediapersons here to get information regarding the poll process due to the failure of the administration to streamline the process.

Kuchha Banyan gang strikes at farmhouse

At least 18 members of the ‘Kuchha Banyan’ gang of criminals, armed with weapons, struck a farmhouse near Hassanpur Kurar village, about 10 km from here last night. They took away wheat worth several thousands of rupees from it after injuring two labourers who were asleep there.

According to a report, the injured labourers were identified as Meharbaan and his grandson, Aseem. They were hospitalised and stated to be out of danger.

On receipt of information, the Murthal police, who launched a hunt to trace them, failed to apprehend them.

The injured person belonged to Baghpat (UP) and had been living in this farmhouse along with his family members for the past 15 years. The incident has caused a panic among the residents of the village.

Raids conducted to trace kidnapped girl

A police team from Nasik (Maharashtra) led by Sub Inspector Pradeep Kamad conducted raids at the possible hideouts of Dinesh Shivraj Tyagi at Ganaur town yesterday. However, the police failed to nab Dinesh Shivraj Tyagi. According to a report, Tyagi, a resident of Ganaur, had kidnapped a college girl, identified as Savita, from Nasik after developing illicit relationship with her.

The father of the girl had lodged an FIR with the Nasik police station in this connection. The Nasik police officials had sought the help of the local police in carrying out the raids to trace the culprit and the girl.

Petition filed against principal

The principal of the local Hindu Girls College, Dr Shamim Sharma, appeared before the Additional Civil Judge, Mr Rakesh Singh, here yesterday in a petition filed by a girl student alleging that he had withheld her roll number issued by the Maharishi Dayanand University (MDU), Rohtak, for ulterior motives.

According to a report, the petitioner has alleged that she has lost one year in the college due to the misuse of authority by the principal. The Additional Civil Judge has fixed April 23 as the next date of hearing in the case. It may be recalled that Dr Sharma had refused to receive the summons issued by the court. The Judge had ordered that the principal be informed by beating of drums about the date of hearing in the case.

Protest against erratic water supply

A large number of women from Mashad Mohalla and neighbouring areas took out a procession here today in protest against inadequate and erratic water supply by the Public Health Department.

Carrying pitchers and raising anti-government slogans, they reached the office of the Executive Engineer of the PHD in Model Town where they held a demonstration and raised slogans against the department.

According to a report, the protestors alleged that great inconvenience had been caused to them due to lack of water supply for the past two weeks.

Resultantly, they had to fetch water from the distant places, they alleged.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that the residents of Sarang road, Jandi road, Housing Board Colony, Krishna Colony, Nandwani Nagar, Eight-marla Colony, Mohalla Kalan, Ram Bazar and Chauhan Colony have also facing water crisis for the past two months.

Five persons burnt

At least five persons, including two women, sustained burn injuries when they tried to bring a fire under control at Juan village, about 15 km from here yesterday.

According to a report, the fire broke out due to sparks in the power transmission lines, which spread to the fields.

The fire gutted the standing wheat crop in the fields. The loss is still being ascertained by the farmers.


NCR Briefs
Sub-inspector held for bribe

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 21
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today arrested a Sub-Inspector of the Delhi Police for allegedly demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs 10,000 for accepting a bail bond from a person.

The person arrested has been identified as Baldhar Singh, who was posted at Nizamuddin Police Station. The CBI sleuths laid a trap and arrested the accused from the police station, said the CBI spokesman.

The accused had allegedly been demanding a bribe of Rs 10,000 for the acceptance of the bail bond that the complainant had secured from a court for a case registered against him on April 1, he added.

The complainant had repeatedly approached the cop, who in turn demanded the bribe or threatened to cancel the bail bond. Later, the Sub-Inspector was produced before the Deputy Magistrate, the spokesman said.

Woman beaten up by daughter-in-law

Sonepat: A woman was allegedly beaten up by her daughter-in-law at Mohalla Kot here last evening.

According to a report, the victim, identified as Angoori Devi, sustained injuries and was admitted to the civil hospital for treatment. She was later referred to the PGIMS at Rohtak in a serious condition. The police are still investigating into the case. No arrest has been made in this connection so far.

It is stated that the alleged assailant had filed a case of separation from her husband, which had led to the assault on the woman.

Seven persons held for assaulting constable

The police have arrested seven persons involved in a lottery business in connection with the alleged assault on a police constable in the lottery bazar on the Bawa-Tarana road here last evening. The police constable, identified as Raj, was posted at the HUDA Sector 14 police post. According to a report, the trouble arose when one Ram Teerath of Palri village along with police constable Raj demanded that Ghanshyam, involved in lottery business, return back Rs 20,000 taken from him.

However, Ram Teerath and Raj were roughed up by the supporters of Ghanshyam.

Later, when the police at the police post were informed of the incident, about half-a-dozen policemen rushed to the lottery bazar “to sort out the matter”. The police are still investigating into the case. Reportedly, an influential politician is trying to shield the assailants. OC


Uzbekistani girls involved in flesh racket arrested
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 21
The Delhi Police Crime Branch claimed to have arrested two girls from Uzbekistan for their involvement in prostitution. Based on a secret information that the girls were coming to a hotel in Pitampura, the sleuths nabbed them after a decoy customer struck a deal for Rs 15,000.

The girls were nabbed at around 4 PM when they arrived at the hotel in an auto-rickshaw. During interrogation, the girls disclosed that they came to India on February 29 on a six-month tourist visa. They had traveled to Mumbai and had arrived in the national Capital a week back.

In another case, the sleuths arrested a massage parlour kingpin, identified as Sushil Kumar alias Tiger, from the Preet Vihar area of East district.

The accused, an engineering graduate, has at least ten beauty parlours in different places such as Preet Vihar, Mukherjee Nagar, Rohini, Pitampura and Shakarpur. He has been in the business for more than a year.

The parlours were operating in the names of Cottage, Classic, Captain, Cute, Cazy, Kasis, Moriya, Care and so on.

According to the police, he has been living a lavish lifestyle and had purchased two houses at Mukherjee Nagar and Nehru Vihar. The sleuths have now launched a hunt to nab his associates, identified as Sanjeev Sinha and Vipul Sehlani, who arranged girls for these parlours.


Housewife commits suicide
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, April 21
A 23-year-old housewife was reported to have committed suicide by hanging herself in her house at Gumar village, about 15 km from here last evening.

According to a report, a family quarrel was stated to be the cause for her suicide.

The body has been sent for the postmortem examinations. The police are still investigating into the case.


Real estate developers hold annual meet
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 21
The real estate developers and integrated entrepreneur of the New Delhi and NCR region celebrated their annual meet, which was organised by ‘Friends’ (forum of real estate developers and integrated entrepreneurs of national capital region of Delhi state).

Friends, a member of Confederation of Real Estate Developers association of India (CREDAI), provides a common platform for the industry players to express themselves, share their concern and derive conclusions for the problems faced by the industry.

Prominent builders like Mr Sanjeev Aerens, Vice-Chairman, Operations, AEZ, Mr S. K. Gupta, president, Friends, and Gold Souk, Mr Kailash Gupta, Secretary, Friends, attended the annual meet.

Mr Mailash Gupta, Managing Director, Friends, said: “Friends is committed to encourage the feeling of cooperation and promotion of ethical business practices for the benefit of our industry. Our association has seen a very good growth in the number of members this year due to our various initiatives.”


BSNL announces new services to take on private players
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, April 21
The Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), the largest landline phone service provider in the district, has announced new incentives for the consumers including providing ‘answering machine’ facility, upgradation of the telephone exchanges and lines.

Announcing these, the General Manager of the BSNL, Mr R.C Hooda, said today that the Nigam had taken several steps to improve its services and become more consumer-friendly.

Admitting that the entry of the private phone and Internet service providers had pushed BSNL into adopting new measures and strategy, he said, the consumers in Faridabad could now use the ‘Answering Machine Service (AMS) launched for the first time.

He said this free service could be activated through a simple process. He said the AMS was beneficial to the consumers when their phone was busy or when nobody was there to attend the phone.

He said it would record the messages and the consumer could retrieve them whenever required. However, the retrieval of the recorded message was chargeable at the rate of local call, he added.

It is stated that the AMS could also be de-activated by the consumer whenever required.

All the 14 C-DOT exchanges of the district had been upgraded with the state-of-the-art technology to improve its functioning.

He claimed that the department had provided more than 5000 new connections in the financial period 2003-04.

He said ‘Centrax’, which facilitates free talk among the members of a group, have been provided to about 10,000 customers in the town, including business associations, Residents Welfare Associations and commercial users.

He said about 2,489 disconnected phones were restored in the last financial year and an amount of about Rs 60 lakh was recovered from them.

He said while telephone connections were available on demand in Faridabad and Palwal cities, the waiting list in the rural areas was sought to be cleared through the use of the state-of-the-art technology.

The department had installed three touch screen kiosks for issuing duplicate bills at SGM Nagar, Sector-3 and Sector- 21, he said.

The BSNL authorities also declared that Internet users, using the Sancharnet connection through the card, could now enjoy an extra 30 hours connection under the dial–up telephone connection in plan–599. Consumer unable to use this extra period would have this (freehours) added in the next months’ account. The BSNL has over 1.33 lakh consumers in the district.

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