N C R   S T O R I E S


Mother’s throat slit, son strangled with wire
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 23
A 30-year-old woman and her five-year-old son were brutally killed in their house in Jagatpuri, East Delhi last night. While Mrs Bindu Tiwari was killed with a sharp-edged weapon, her son Om was strangulated with the wire of a mobile-charger and his body dumped in a cupboard.

The police said that some jewellery and other valuables were missing from the house.

A former servant is suspected to have committed the crime. The incident came to light after the woman’s husband, Shishir Tiwari, returned from work at around 8 pm and found the door of the house locked from outside. After waiting for an hour, Shishir suspected something amiss. He broke open the door and found his wife lying on the bed with her throat slit. He found his son inside a cupboard with strangulation marks on his neck and a mobile-charger wire lying nearby.

The police said that their former servant, 18-year-old Babloo, who had been a regular visitor to the house, is suspected to have committed the crime. Robbery could be the cause of the cold-blooded murders, the police added.

The brutal double murder caused considerable panic in the predominantly middle class East Delhi colony. Neighbours said that they last saw Babloo with the family at about 4 pm yesterday. The bodies of the mother and son are being taken to the family’s paternal home in Etawah, Uttar Pradesh for cremation after the postmortem. Senior police officers who visited the site said that the crime team and the dog squad were also summoned to the spot. Some vital clues had been picked up and further investigations were continuing.

Preliminary inquiries have revealed that Babloo had worked with the family for more than a year and had left just about a year ago. He also belonged to Etawah and was close to the family. The police said that cases of murder had been registered and efforts were being made to trace the suspect. His description had been flashed to all the police stations and a team also sent to his village in Etawah.


Harihera villagers thirst for water
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, April 23
The residents of Harihera village, about 20 km from here, have been facing the scarcity of potable water for the past eight months. After several months of living off false assurances from the authorities, the villagers today took to street to press for an early solution to their problem. They demonstrated outside the residence of the Deputy Commissioner, Gurgaon, Mr Anil Rastogi, on the issue. Many of the agitators were women and elderly persons. The agitation was led by a HVP leader from the Sohna Assembly segment, Mr Ramchander Yadav. In fact, the village falls in Sohna Tehsil.

The development militates the assertions of Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala that the state was providing 70 litres of drinking water to each resident in the state.

The Panchayat member, Mr Subh Ram, said that they had met the local MLA and the authorities regarding the shortage of potable water, but in vain. He said that the pipe bored in the ground to draw out water came into disuse as the underground water table had gone further down. The duty to provide drinking water to the village is that of the Public Health Department. For the past few months, the villagers had been managing with the water from the tubewells. The tubewell owners operate them only during the farming season. With the wheat season over, the tubewells have stopped operation. As summer is in, the residents have started feeling the pinch. The village has a population of 3,000. Gujjars, Muslims and Scheduled Castes form the bulk of the population. After holding demonstrations against the state government and the authorities, the protestors had an audience with the Deputy Commissioner.


Surajpur in grip of cholera
Our Correspondent

Greater Noida, April 23
Cholera has broken out in Surajpur due to all-pervading unhygienic conditions and supply of contaminated drinking water. Dozen of cholera patients are admitted to the private hospitals.

The health department has not stirred into action and failed to take steps to deal with the alarming situation.

Incidentally, Surajpur had been declared a model village by the Greater Noida Authority which is doing precious little to rid the town of waste, a breeding-ground for cholera.

Most of the patients, admitted to the hospitals, are children. They have been admitted to the private hospitals. Some of them: Pawan Kumar, Vandana, Ashok and Dropiti were admitted to Prayag Hospital.

According to one Bhagwat Kumar Shastri, Surajpur has not been cleaned for over a month now. Waste and drain water overflows on roads and in bylanes.

Representatives of villagers have personally met the Authority officials, but of no avail. The people get only the assurances.


sign of times
‘Gandhian’ in jail for 7 yrs for assault
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 23
A self-proclaimed Gandhian, who attempted to kill a man for taking a stroll at Rajghat and ‘showing disrespect’ to the Father of the Nation, was today sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for seven years by a city court. Additional Sessions Judge R K Yadav also imposed a fine of Rs 500 on the convict Raj Ballabh.

Early in the morning on February 18, 2003, Amit Goyal, a resident of Lahori Gate, was taking a walk at Rajghat with his brother and driver. Suddenly, he was attacked by the 33-year-old Ballabh at the public gate of the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial without provocation. Ballabh, a native of Chhapra in Bihar, hit Goyal on the head with an iron rod. He had become angry, thinking that Goyal was being disrespectful by roaming near Rajghat, but not paying homage to Mahatma Gandhi. Ballabh was immediately arrested and the blood-stained weapon used for committing the offence was recovered from him. Though the defence claimed that Ballabh was mentally unstable, the court said it was not able to show that he had been suffering from any ailment.

Medical student gets 7 years RI for carrying explosives

A city court has sentenced a medical student of Jammu and Kashmir to rigorous imprisonment for seven years. He was caught in the Capital with a huge amount of explosives in October 2000.

Additional Sessions Judge Rajpal Singh Teji also imposed a fine of Rs 12,000 on 30-year-old Ali Mohammad Bhatt who was a second year student of Government Medical College in Srinagar at the time of his arrest.

The Special Cell of Delhi Police, on a tip-off, had intercepted Bhatt in Daryaganj area on October 10, 2000 and recovered 3 kg RDX, eight live cartridges and time pencils in a plastic box.

Bhatt was living in hotel Safina in Jama Masjid area here. Following his arrest, the police also recovered Rs 10 lakh from his room in the hotel.

Labourers commit suicide

Two labourers hailing from Bihar committed suicide last night by hanging from a ceiling fan with a rope in the Dilshad Garden area of North-East district.

The deceased, both cousins, were identified as Murari (26) and Dharmender (21), originally from Shahjenabad district of Bihar. They were working as labourers in the Shahdara area. The police said that the duo came to their rented accommodation in the Dilshad Garden area last night and allegedly committed suicide.

The suicide was discovered by their landlady around midnight when she went to give them food. The police recovered a piece of paper from the pocket of one of the labourers. The note written on it alluded to his affair with a girl.


Capital scene
Heavy vehicles take a heavy toll on human life
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 23
Delhi roads are increasingly proving unsafe for motorists and pedestrians with heavy vehicles like trucks and buses becoming a menace.

They are largely responsible for the deaths in the accidents. In fact, most fatal accidents are caused by heavy vehicles.

These are the findings of a report prepared by the Transporatation Research and Injury Prevention Programme (TRIPP) of Indian Ins titute of Technology.

According to the report, there is a need to study the role of alcohol and other drugs vis-à-vis the road accidents in the country.

If statistics were to be believed, as many as 1,736 people lost their lives on roads in the Capital city in 2000, followed by 1,361 in Mumbai, 671 in Chennai, 659 in Bangalore and 452 in Kolkata.

The report pointed out that pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists comprised more than 80 per cent of the fatalities in Delhi and Mumbai while the car occupants, less than five per cent.

“Buses and trucks were involved in a higher proportion of fatal crashes with the pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists than in non-fatal crashes, while the two-wheelers and cars have a higher involvement in non-fatal crashes than in fatal ones,” the report said.

It said the reason for the involvement of heavy vehicles in higher proportion of fatal crashes than cars is that the heavy vehicles use the centre or the curbside lanes which are also used by the vulnerable road users.

Data from Delhi shows that 40 per cent of the fatal bicycle crashes occur during peak hours when the volume is significantly higher but the speed is lower, at about 20-30 km/h.

During this period, there is a serious conflict—both the motorised and the non-motorised vehicles sharing the same curbside lane, the report said.

Of the fatalities during peak hours, 62 per cent involve collisions with buses or trucks, it said.

The fatalities have been rising in the national Capital despite claims of traffic having been streamlined.


constituency profile
Straight fight on cards with Shoaib opting out
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 23
This morning, Shoaib Iqbal offered his usual Friday prayers. Unusual though was his decision to not file his nomination papers for the Chandni Chowk parliamentary constituency.

The Janata Dal (Secular) candidate contested the last three Lok Sabha elections – in 1999 and 1998 polls from Chandni Chowk and New Delhi in 1996 – but has opted out of the race this year.

His withdrawal has rendered the contest in the Chandni Chowk parliamentary constituency a straight fight between Smriti ‘Tulsi’ Irani of the BJP and Kapil Sibal of the INC.

“I have opted out to prevent division of the secular votes,” he explained. It could force the BJP to rethink its strategy. The INC, in contrast, will not have any such worries.

Shoaib, who is Matia Mahal’s member in the Delhi Legislative Assembly, would have been a major headache for the INC in a constituency that has a sizable minority population.

Sibal, in turn, says he was contesting with an advantage of a thorough base as in the Assembly election his party had won in the three segments of Balli Maran, Paharganj and Chandni Chowk.

Haroon Yusuf, who holds the portfolios of power and transport in the Sheila Dikshit Ministry, is the legislator of the Balli Maran Assembly constituency.

Anjali Rai and Prahlad Singh Sawhney are the party’s legislators from Paharganj and Chandni Chowk Assembly constituencies. Shoaib is the MLA from Matia Mahal.

Chandni Chowk is considered a traditional INC stronghold. Vijay Goel of the BJP, however, wrested this seat in the 1998 and 1999 parliamentary elections.

On both the occasions, JP Aggarwal of the INC lost by a margin of 4349 votes and 1995 votes, respectively. Shoaib’s jumping into the fray apparently cost the INC precious votes.

In the 1998 election, Shoaib won 67,547 votes and 52,721 votes in the last parliamentary election in 1999. (He contested the 1996 poll from the New Delhi constituency.)

The smallest constituency area-wise, Chandni Chowk (10 sq km) has 3.7 lakh odd voters with the minority votes numbering more than the Vaish, Scheduled Caste or the Punjabi communities. Vijay Goel, who won this seat in the last two elections, is contesting this year from the neighbouring Sadar parliamentary constituency. Actress Smriti Irani replaces him.

Irani, who is a popular figure because of her role in the television serial, “Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thee”, hopes to cash in on her image of a traditional Indian ‘Bahu’ (daughter-in-law).

Kapil Sibal is the INC spokesperson and eminent lawyer. He says the BJP (Goel) has done nothing for the development of the constituency and not fulfilled any of its promises.

“He had sensed defeat in Chandni Chowk because of his poor performance, which was the reason he has shifted to the Sadar parliamentary constituency this time,” he says.

The BJP is contesting on the confidence of having won this seat in the last two elections. Goel wrested the seat from Jai Prakash Aggarwal of the INC in 1998.

Agarwal had defeated Tarachand Khandelwal of the BJP in the 1996 election. The seat had returned Agarwal in the 1989 and 1984 elections, too. He was a strong aspirant for the ticket this time. The constituency had returned a Jana Sangh candidate in 1967. In the 1977 election, it was Sikandar Bakht, a candidate of the Janata Party.


No anti-incumbency wave against NDA, claims Verma
Our Correspondent

Sahib Singh VermaSonepat, April 23
Rejecting the claim of an anti-incumbency wave against the BJP-led NDA government, the Union Labour Minister, Mr Sahib Singh Verma, alleged that the Congress party was a “divided house” and would once again fail to come to power at the Centre.

Addressing an election rally in support of the BJP candidate from Sonepat, Mr Kishan Singh Sangwan, here yesterday, he said that the Congress party stood segmented into many camps led by Mr Bhajan Lal, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Mr Shamsher Singh Surjewala and Mr Birender Singh etc.

He alleged that a group in the Congress party had ruled the country for over 50 years without any ideological foundation. Their sole aim was to gain power at any cost.

He said that several top leaders of the Congress party had quit the organisation over the question of leadership of Mrs Sonia Gandhi.

He claimed the BJP-led NDA government would form the government at the Centre and the hope of the Congress to return to power would remain unfulfilled.

Lashing out at the Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, for his charge of discrimination against Haryana by the BJP-led NDA government, Mr Verma wondered why Mr Chautala had kept mum during the past four years.

He claimed that Mr Chautala had never raised the issue of discrimination against Haryana during the past four years in any of the meetings of the NDA.

Expressing grave concern over the deteriorating law and order situation in Haryana, the Union Minister blamed the Chautala government for its failure to curb the activities of anti-social elements in the state.

The Union Minister for Sports, Mr Vikram Verma, alleged Mr Chautala had created a family fiefdom in the state and the state administration was being run by Mr Chautala and his sons. They had put a stranglehold on legislators and bureaucrats in the state, he added.

Meanwhile, Mr Kishan Singh Sangwan has more than Rs 1.11 crore in the form of cash deposits in various banks and agricultural land. Mr Sangwan, while filing his nomination papers from the Sonepat parliamentary constituency, showed his movable and immovable properties as under: cash - Rs 20,000, bank deposits in Delhi- Rs 88,456 and in Gohana Rs 92,694, LIC policy Rs 2 lakh, two Jeeps worth Rs 6,000, one pistol worth Rs 70,000, agricultural land at Nooran Khera village and Gohana town worth Rs 1.75 crore, one plot at Gohana worth Rs 4 lakh, 11 shops and one house at Gohana worth Rs 12.79 lakh, another house in Vikas Nagar, Gohana, worth Rs 18,600, a house under construction in Sector 14, Sonepat, valued at Rs 13.50 lakh. According to Mr Sangwan, a loan of Rs 8,47,138.35 had been sought from the Central Bank of India, Sonepat Branch.

The assets of Mrs Roshn Devi, wife of Mr Sangwan are as follows: cash Rs 5,000, deposits in cooperative bank Rs 54,693, one fixed deposit Rs 2,72,405 and second fixed deposit Rs 10,000, gold 200 grams worth Rs 1.20 lakh and a house under construction in Sector 14, Sonepat, valued at Rs 13.50 lakh.

The movable and immovable properties declared by Pradeep, a son of Mr Sangwan who has filed his nomination papers as a covering candidate are as follows: cash Rs 25,000, bank deposits in Delhi Rs 7959.73 and Gohana Bank Rs 25,366, Sahara Bank at Kharkhauda Rs 1 lakh, LIC policy of Rs 6 lakh, two cars worth Rs 2.30 lakh, gold 10 grams worth Rs 6,000, one pistol and one gun worth Rs 85,000, agricultural land in Makrauli village and Kharkhauda valued at Rs 2.97 lakh, one plot in Hardwar worth Rs 12 lakh.

Moreover, the assets of his wife are as follows: cash Rs 15,000, bank deposit Rs 500, gold 200 grams worth Rs 1.20 lakh.

Mr Sant Ram of Sikandarpur Majra village and Mr Balbir Chhachhia of Sham Nagar Sonepat have also filed their nomination papers yesterday.


Sibal, Tytler, Irani file papers
Tribune News Service

Congress candidate from Chandni Chowk, Kapil Sibal, after filing his nomination, with Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit in the Capital
Congress candidate from Chandni Chowk, Kapil Sibal, after filing his nomination, with Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit in the Capital on Friday. — Photo by Kamal Singh 

New Delhi, April 23
Veteran Congressmen Kapil Sibal and Jagdish Tytler, and BJP candidate Smriti Irani today filed their nomination papers for the May 10 Lok Sabha elections. Mr Sibal and Ms Irani filed their papers for the Chandni Chowk Lok Sabha seat.

Mr Tytler filed his papers for the Delhi Sadar seat, where he is facing BJP candidate Vijay Goel. Mr Goel has been shifted this time from Chandni Chowk from where he had won the last election.

Friday was the last day of filing nominations for seven Lok Sabha seats and one Assembly seat in NCT of Delhi where the elections will be held on May 10, the last phase of polling.

The other Congress candidates who have filed their papers so far are: Ajay Maken (New Delhi), Sajjan Kumar (Outer Delhi), R.K. Anand (South Delhi), Sandeep Dikshit (East Delhi) and Krishna Tirath (Karol Bagh-SC).

The BJP candidates for these seats, respectively, are Jagmohan, Sahib Singh, Vijay Kumar Malhotra, Lal Bihari Tiwari and Anita Arya. The scrutiny of papers will be held tomorrow. Candidates can withdraw their nominations by April 26.

Meanwhile, the BJP candidate in the Chandni Chowk parliamentary constituency, Ms Smriti Irani, continued her campaign today. Walking through the narrow lanes of Old Delhi, the TV star drew a lot of crowd.


INLD, HVP nominees file papers
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, April 23
Normal life in the town was thrown out of gear following a heavy turnout of the supporters of the INLD and the HVP at the time of filing of nominations by the candidates of their parties—Krishna Malik of INLD and Jagbir Singh Malik of HVP.

Nearly a thousand vehicles, including tractor-trollies, jeeps, matadors, cars, canters, trucks and buses from all parts of the Sonepat parliamentary constituency started arriving in the town. By noon, all roads in the town mainly bus stand to railway station, bus stand to Sector-14, Gita Bhawan Chowk to Railway Crossing, Atlas Road were packed with the vehicles.

Though the local police made all efforts to control the vehicular flow, gung-ho crowd gave the third degree, as it were, to the traffic police. It became difficult for even the two-wheelers and cyclists to cross the road for hours.

Fearing some untoward incident, the shopkeepers on Railway Road and Gita Bhawan Chowk put down their shutters. They opened their shops only after the crowd and vehicles had left the town.

It is pointed out that after witnessing a large turnout of he people at the times of filing of nominations by the Congress candidate Dharampal Singh Malik and BJP’s Kishan Singh Sangwan a few days before, it became a prestige question for the INLD and the HVP to show their strength.

And true to their expectations, thousands of people reached Sonepat and both the parties showed their strength.

Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala boosted the morale of the INLD candidate and party supporters by addressing a well-attended rally before filing the nomination papers.

Similarly, the HVP secretary general and party nominee from Bhiwani Lok Sabha constituency, Surender also came here to lead the party procession.

However, the police and the towners heaved a sigh of relief when the crowd left the town in their vehicles after 4 pm.


INLD supporters join BJP
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, April 23
The ruling Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) received a big jolt yesterday when Mr Prem Singh Atrey, former president of the Sonepat District Bar Association along with his supporters quit the party and joined the BJP in the presence of Mr Sahib Singh Verma, Mr Vikram Verma and the president of the state unit of the BJP, Prof Ganeshi Lal.

The other leaders who joined the BJP included Mr Sukhbir Singh Rathi, Mr Jatinder Singh Lathar, Mr Davinder Kaushik, Ms Anita, Mr Subedar Singh, Mr Sunil Dalal, a former municipal councillor of Sonepat, Mr Narinder Dahiya, advocate, and Mr Jagdish of Deepalpur village.

Mr Atrey had been the president of the Gaur Brahman Vidya Pracharni Sabha for the last many years. He had contested the Vidhan Sabha election on the INLD ticket. After joining the BJP Mr Atrey alleged the INLD leadership had failed to give credit to the party workers.


poll cost
Election office losing a fortune on wrong ID cards
Our Correspondent

Noida, April 23
A number of wrong voter ID cards issued by the election office are causing a huge financial loss to the government besides resentment to the electorate.

The common mistakes occur while recording name, age, address and sex. The election office has to incur an expenditure of Rs 9.20 on an ID card; Rs 7.50 on the photograph alone.

The officials blame the contractors for the errors and assert that the department does not make any payment to the contractors for the wrong cards prepared.

It is unfortunate that in spite of the photography having been done thrice during the last five years, the right cards are not made available to most of people.


Parkash Purab of Guru Angad celebrated 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 23
The Servants of Humanity, an NGO based in Delhi, celebrated the fifth centenary Parkash Purab of Guru Angad Dev Ji with much enthusiasm and respect. A special programme was organised at the residence of the society’s president, Mr Tehal Singh, in which members of Nirvair Sewak Jatha recited Gurbani Kirtan, followed by Ardas for the Sehaj Path being performed by Giani Ranjit Singh Ji, Head Granthi of Gurdwara Bangla Sahib. The Sehaj Path of Guru Granth Sahib Ji was conducted by the president of the society himself on the occasion of this centenary.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Harinderpal Singh, member, SGPC, Amritsar, emphasised on the need of doing Sehaj Path by the entire Sikh community as it would help the sangat know about the Sikh concepts laid by the Guru Sahibans and by this way the preaching of Guru-Shabad could be easily done.

He added that this was the only true method of celebrating the coming fourth centenary of the First Parkash of Guru Granth Sahib Ji. Also, DSGMC general secretary H. S. Matharoo congratulated the society for celebrating the centenary in a unique way. He told the sangat about the activities of the DSGMC for the forthcoming centenaries this year. Apart from these, DSGMC member Gurcharan Singh Gatka Master and Mr Tarjeet Singh Nagi also participated in the celebrations.



Schoolchildren launch drive against smoking
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 23
To create awareness about the need to reduce smoking in public places, schoolchildren in the Capital today launched a major drive against cigarettes and other tobacco products in an effort to ensure effective enforcement of the Indian Tobacco Control Act.

Nearly 3,000 restaurant and hotel managers in the city will soon receive a copy of the Act from the children as part of their awareness campaign to reduce smoking.

The health activist group, ‘’Students against Tobacco,’’ working under Delhi-based NGOs, HRIDAY (Health Related Information Dissemination amongst Youth) and SHAN (Student Health Action Network) initiated the campaign which will continue till the month-end.

The rules for three provisions of the Act, prohibition of smoking in public spaces, prohibition of sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products to minors and prohibition of advertisement of such products, are enforceable from May 1 this year.

According to Ms Monika Arora, Programme Manager, ‘’As this law is applicable to the whole of India, we plan to launch the campaign in several other states too.

‘’In the next phase of the programme from May 1 we will launch a watchdog campaign to monitor whether the restaurants are displaying boards with the warning ‘No Smoking Area’ or ‘Smoking Here is an Offence’ and whether the managements are ensuring physical segregation of the smoking and non-smoking areas, ‘’she said.

She further said, ‘’Subsequently, we will initiate similar health advocacy programme in collaboration with ‘’Teachers against Tobacco’’ and ‘’Parents against Tobacco’’ to inform airport authorities, government establishments and others to keep public spaces smoke-free and will also report violations, if any, to the appropriate authorities.’’

Schools participating in the campaign include Amity International, Saket, Mothers International School, Aurobindo Marg, Kalka Public School, Alaknanda, Government Boys Senior Secondary School, Ranjit Nagar, Mount Carmel, Anand Niketan, and The Air Force Public School, Subroto Park.


Truck catches fire at welding shop
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, April 23
A truck was burnt in a fire which broke out during the process of welding at a shop in Lehrara village on the Sonepat-Rohtak road, 3 km from here, today.

The truck was on its way from Charkhi Dadri to Sonepat when it developed a mechanical defect and the driver stopped it at a welding shop. While the welding process was on the shopkeeper did not take care of the oil tank of the truck. The fire broke out from the first spark of welding and it spread in the oil tank, resulting in the burning of the tyres and the cabin of the truck driver.

On receipt of information, the municipal fire brigade was rushed to the site.

The blaze was brought under control after an hour or so.

In another incident, medicines and furniture worth about Rs 60,000 were burnt in a fire which broke out in a medicine shop near Murthal Adda here today. The municipal fire brigade was rushed to the site which put out the fire. The cause of the fire was not immediately known.

Standing wheat crop in two acres of land worth several thousands of rupees was burnt in the fire which broke out in the fields at Gopalpur village, about 25 km from here today. The cause of the fire was still being ascertained.

Fodder worth several thousands of rupees was also burnt in a fire that broke out at Hullaheri village, about 8 km from here, today.


She aspires to infuse art into your daily life 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 23
Necessity, they say, is the mother of invention. When Manju Singh could not find the right furniture for her husband’s study, she got down to making it. Along with the raw materials and artisans Singh ensured that her designs take shape.

And today, more than two decades later, she has not just earned herself a name for her creativity, but has also been responsible for elevating the status of cane furniture from plain garden furnishings to a part of elite décor.

Under the name Vetasa, Manju has been steadily working to provide elegant furniture to those with an eye for aesthetics. Currently holding an exhibition of her work at the Chinmaya Centre, Manju, who is the wife of the former foreign secretary, S K Singh, has an envious clientele, including the Raj Vilas and Congress President Sonia Gandhi.

Working with cane, Manju offers that her furniture is hand made, with the designs ranging from classic to modern. Apart from the fact that cane looks pleasing to the eye and is easier to maintain, Singh claims that it is an alternative to wood. She explains that unlike wood, which takes almost 20 years to mature, cane matures in barely five.

The exhibition, which is on till the 25th of this month, showcases pieces that have been made to last long and use modern mixed mediums including metal with wicker and leather with cane.

Having displayed her wares in various countries Manju who has to her credit various exhibitions says, “my art is concerned with nature and the environment. Cane is my muse. I aspire to let people use my art in their daily life”.


Rain damages wheat, forces power cuts
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, April 23
The duststorm accompanied with heavy downpour last evening may have brought some relief from the scorching heat, but it soaked wheat lying in open mandis apart from leading to several hours long power cuts.

The unseasonal rain led to a power cut of several hours in a large number of villages here. It also soaked the wheat lying in the open in Mandis and in the fields at many places.

According to reports, several colonies of the Ballabgarh sub-division and many villages in the area went without power supply till this morning. Rajender, a resident of the Fajjupur village said that the power supply in the village was cut off at around 5.30 pm last evening and was not restored till 8 am today.

Mr Subhash Dagar, a resident of Sagarpur village of the same subdivision, stated that neither of the villages in their neighborhood had power supply last night.

It is reported that the villages that went without power after the squall include Sunped, Sahupura, Malerna, Unchagaon, Fatehpur Billauch and Prahaladpur.

Meanwhile, it is also reported that wheat in the mandis of Palwal, Ballabhgarh, Tigaon and Hassanpur was soaked due to the rain.

The damage to the wheat could be worth several lakhs, said sources in the Mandi here. 




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New Delhi-110002.

It is a common sight to see large number of people assembled at the offices of the Faridabad Nagar Nigam. The people are being served with notices regarding the latest House Tax by the Faridabad Nagar Nigam.

The burden is being felt as the taxes have been increased by ten to twelve times for the residential houses and twenty times for commercial buildings.

Even though the notice clearly allow the tax-payers to appeal and file their objections within one month to the Joint Commissioner of their respective zones, the truth is that the common man is caught up in the bureaucratic web.

In most cases, the staff at the zonal offices are hesitant in entertaining appeal from the aggrieved citizens.

They scare them away with the singular argument: ‘either to deposit the tax and avail of the ten per cent deduction or have the tax multiplied by another ten per cent as penalty’.

As it is often proclaimed, the Faridabad Nagar Nigam is a democratically elected and autonomous civic body. However, it is unfortunate that the representatives as well as the civil servants have failed to address the people’s grievances.

The MLAs and MP consider it below their dignity to intervene in such “lowly matters” and prefer to remain silent.

In such a situation, the people live at the mercy of God and find no one to turn to in their hour of need.

I am sure that if we go through the appeal of the people most of them are genuine. The basis for calculating the tax is the covered area. It constitutes RCC, ACC and wooden-battens. A large number of dwellers are the refugees from Pakistan, who shifted to these areas in the post Partition days.

They were allotted plots for two-room sets in 233 sq yards. The rooms cannot be called RCC area. No one can raise a double storey unless the are demolished. Moreover, they were allotted in 1949.The addition and alterations raised by some are simple shelters and shorn of luxuries.

Therefore, I think the depreciation comes to zero.

Most of the houses in these refugee colonies are occupied by widows/widowers, who are supported by paltry pensions.

However, it is unfortunate that the Faridabad Nagar Nigam has no time to address the genuine grievances of the people. Will someone in the government listen to their appeal? Ujjal Pal Singh, NIT, Faridabad

Reserving seats for needy children in schools

It is time that the authorities take steps to improve the system of schooling in our country. To many the present system of education in our country, whether run by the ICSE or the CBSE, is tilted in favour of the rich and the powerful.

The schools under the CBSE and the ICSE have become a model for encouraging elitism. In most of the elite schools the children from the poor background cuts a sorry figure. The schooling provided in these schools are such that the poor children are overawed by the activities that encourage consumerism.

In such circumstances, education is hardly leading to equality and liberty for all. It is particularly important to check the use of unfair means in the examinations.

Often, even the courts fail to come to the rescue of the needy and deserving. It is time that the court intervenes and set strict guidelines for providing 30 per cent seats for the needy among the poor in the elite schools.

This is the only way that talented poor are rescued from the clutches of a system that is tailor-made for the rich people. — RAMAUTAR, Rewari

Happy home can create a peaceful world

This is with reference to principal Madhu Chandra’s article “Your behaviour betrays your status in life” (NCR April 5). I agree with the writer that education, coupled with congenial environment, mould the child’s character, habits and behaviour.

Some one has beautifully observed-”If the child lives with shame, he learns to feel guilty”. A happy home should, therefore, be the heritage of everyone who comes into this world. If children everywhere were given the right kind of home training, there would be no more wars, no more crimes and no more loose behaviour.

Proper home training develops a balanced personality. Selfish people never create happy homes. Their personalities are too immature. The true centre of every home is the mother. Her tastes, her desires, her ideals, like those of a little mother bird, will influence the events in the house.

To build a happy home, both parents must be prepared to get along well with each other.

The success of the family, the community, the nation and the world depends on the environment in the house. — RITU SHARMA, Faridabad

Pleasure of walking

Subhash Taneja in his letter, ‘Promoting health consciousness among people’ (NCR April 10), has highlighted the importance of regular walk in preventing certain diseases.

Both morning and evening walks are enjoyable and pleasant. During the morning walk, the cool and fresh air invigorates us. The sight of green grass and brightly coloured flowers fill our hearts with joy. Dew drops on the blades of grass and on leaves of tiny plants look like pearls. The sweet small of flowers serves as tonic for our brain.

A walk in the evening is wholesome and refreshing. It is welcome after a days hard work. It affords a pleasant relief from worries and is as important as morning walk to keep us healthy. It makes us enjoy a sound sleep at night.

Thus, regular morning and evening walks make us healthy and keep us cheerful through out the day. — O.P. SHARMA, Faridabad

Mantras for successful life

Principal Madhu Chandra in her article, “Hard work, an open sesame to successful life” (NCR April 12), has rightly observed that in the real world, success comes to the doers, not observers. The truth is that without hard work there is no success.

It has been observed that in all those who succeed in life, we find 5 characteristics: Perseverance-they are not discouraged by failures. If they fail they recover themselves without delay; Cheerfulness and confidence-they know how to look at everything optimistically. They are always hopeful about the future and confident of success; Single mindedness-they keep the end in view steadily before them;

Hard work and efficiency-this means learning to do things in the best, easiest and quickest way, not only for material accomplishments but for other goals of life as well.

So, if we want a fruitful and successful life, we should avoid vagueness, carelessness and hasty decisions. We should also do away with useless steps and rationalise our activities according to the above mentioned five characteristics. — Ashwani Kumar, Faridabad

Making the right choice

This is with reference to Tara Saxena’s letter, “Pray make the right choice while you vote”. The word vote signifies the voice of the electorate. In this regard, I wish to say that we should first satisfy our self about the right candidate.

In order to make the right choice, the electorate (voters), should vote according to their inner voice. — O. P. SHARMA, Faridabad



ncr briefs 
Wife axed to death
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, April 23
A married woman, Santosh (25), was allegedly murdered with a sharp-edged weapon, `kulhari’, by her husband Balraj, in their house at Dabarpur village, about 20 km from here, last night. According to a report, the alleged assailant, however, managed to escape immediately after the murder. The police have registered a case and launched a massive hunt to apprehend him. According to information available, the alleged assailant found his wife with her paramour in a compromising condition. He got furious and assaulted her with ‘lathis and kulharis’. Santosh leaves behind two children. It is alleged that the woman had developed illicit relations with a neighbour and her husband had come to know about the same.

Woman loots house

An unidentified woman is reported to have forced her way in the house of one Mr Ajmer. The woman took away Rs 8,000 cash and other gold ornaments worth several thousands of rupees from the house at Garhi Ujale Khan village about 40 km from here yesterday.

The police are investigating the matter. It is stated that the same woman had visited this house a few days ago and sold some household goods to the inmates. She succeeded in seeing a woman inmate of the house take some money that was hidden under the bed.

Mobike rider knocked down

An 18-year-old girl, Sonia, sustained injuries when the motorcycle on which she was riding was hit by a jeep on the Kakroi Chowk here last evening. According to a report, she was going with her brother on the motorcycle when the accident occurred. The jeep driver, however, managed to escape and the police have noted down the number of the jeep. The injured girl was immediately hospitalised and is stated to be out of danger.

Youths hurt in clash

Two youths, Rajpal and Vijay Kumar, were injured in a clash that took place between two rival groups in Adarsh Nagar colony here last evening. According to a report, both the injured youths were immediately hospitalised and are stated to be out of danger. The police are investigating the matter.

Missing boy untraced

The police have failed to achieve any breakthrough in the case of disappearance of an 11-year-old boy, Deepak, who had been missing from his house since April 10 at Panchi Jatan village in this district. According to a report, the boy had gone to fields but did not return to his house.

Kadian lashes out at Chautala

Jhajjar: Calling upon the residents here to vote for the Congress, Mr Raghubir Singh Kadian, DCC President and MLA from Beri lashed out at the INLD chief Om Prakash Chautala who, he said, could be sent to jail for firing on the farmers in Kandela village during a farmers’ agitation. Mr Kadian claimed that numerous scams by the present government would come to light once this government is dethroned. Addressing a public meeting in support of Congress nominee from Rohtak in Maharana village today, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda took strong exception to the statement of the Chief Minister regarding imprisonment of Congress leader Anand Singh Dnagi. 



National conference on waste management
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 23
Army Hospital, Delhi Cantt, will organise a two-day national hospital waste management conference on April 24 and 25. The conference being headed by Lt. Gen. J R Bhardwaj, Director General Armed Forces Medical Services and Chairman of the Indian Society for Hospital Waste Management, who will discuss various aspects of management of waste.

Hospital waste is considered a serious health hazard and it is being pointed out that there is an urgent need to train medical and paramedic staff to deal with the waste.

HVDS network project starts in Shiv Vihar

After the successful launch of the High Voltage Distribution System (HVDS) project at Chattarpur in South Delhi, BSES today started another project of HVDS network

at Shiv Vihar Phase V in east Delhi. Under this project, Shiv Vihar, which consists of 722 plots and 15 streets, will be covered by 82 single phase 25 KVA transformers mounted on 170 PCC poles. The project has a potential to cater to the immediate registration of over 500 consumers.

Under the HVDS plan, power will be distributed at 11 KV, thus eliminating scope for any power pilfering. Further, losses under the HVDS plan with single phase distribution system are 0.708 per cent as against 6.9 per cent in conventional Low Voltage Distribution System (LVDS).

Mr Rakesh Aggarwal, CEO, BSES Discoms, said, “This high technology HVDS network will help in reduction of pilferage, lower system losses, enhance reliability and curb the problem of theft as this system eliminates the LT network. Moreover, the consumers will also get the benefit of better quality power supply.”

Based on this project, the electrification of the remaining regularised or unauthorised colonies is also scheduled to be accelerated with a view to grant individual connections and to do away with any existing SPD connections in a progressive manner.

HVDS system is also being planned to be taken up as LT modernisation project in some theft-prone electrified areas to reduce high incidence of transmission and distribution losses and to provide quality supply at declared voltage.


Fake nephew bolts with auntie’s cash, jewellery as neighbours watch
Parmindar Singh

Noida, April 23
“Where are you auntie, I am standing outside your house? The house is locked, how do I get in? You tell me shall I break open the lock?”

While the neighbours remained mute spectators, the padlock on the door was broken by the young man, posing to be the nephew of danseuse Jyoti Srivastava in sector 55, Noida, on Wednesday afternoon, who was attending some programme.

Saying that ‘‘auntie’’ had called him and he had to collect some documents, he invented a new modus operandi in an area known for fraudulent crimes.

Soon a number of neighbours had collected. The fake nephew dialed a number on his cell phone and proclaimed loudly: “Auntie, I am at your house. As had I told you I need to collect some documents immediately. Otherwise, my career will be jeopardized. Tell me, shall I break the lock. Of course, I shall put a new lock and hand over the keys to your neighbours”.

For a few moments, the youth had so mesmerized the neighbours with his gift of the gab that all seemed to give their consent and a few even offered to help in breaking open the lock.

After breaking into "auntieji’s’’ house, the miscreant got into action, helping himself to cash, jewellery and other valuables kept in the house , before making a quiet exit.

When Ms Jyoti Srivastava came back, she was flabbergasted to find her house ransacked. The sector 58 police were informed and the SP City, Anant Dev, issued special instructions to the cops to deal with the loot.

Seven contract killers nabbed

Bisarakh police have nabbed seven members of a gang of criminals which specialized in contract killings and other crimes.

These criminals had murdered eight persons and had been involved in a number of other heinous crimes, the police said.

Six revolvers, one rifle and 20 live cartridges were recovered from the criminals. The criminals were in the area to murder a trader for which they had taken a contract for Rs.4 lakh.

The gang members were travelling by a car when they were intercepted by a police team near New Holland Trijunction . The team was led by SI Alok Sharma.

Those arrested were identified as Ashok Tiwari of Sehroi, Shiv Kumar of Aligarh, Dharnesh Sharma of Hathras, Saloo of Gobhana, Om Hari Sharma of Mati Basari and Shyam Babu Sharma of Aligarh.

The criminals told the police that two months ago they had looted a milk trader in Bulandshahar in which a helper had been shot dead. They had also looted a motor bike on the Aligarh-Serohi road. They had also looted 2.5 kg gold and 3 kg silver and cash from the house of one Pratima Sharma. The gold and the silver had been sold by the criminals to a jeweller in Aligarh.

They had stabbed one Rehman to death in Roorkee for Rs.10,000 and looted Rs 2 lakh from the house of a teacher. In December 2001 they had murdered Rajesh Roshan in village Lathore. In April 2002, the gang had killed a security guard while looting a tractor on the Roorkee-Hardwar road. They had also murdered two persons before looting Rs 70,000 from them on Hardwar-Jawalpur road.

In April last year, they had shot dead Rohtash and Sukhbir in village Thakur and looted cash and jewellery.


EOW cracks Rs 16 crore cheating case
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 23
With the arrest of three persons, the Economic Offences wing (EOW), Crime Branch of the Delhi Police, today claimed to have worked out a cheating case involving an amount of Rs 16 crore. The suspects were identified as Udey Dutt (42), Rama Shankar Gupta (32) and Rakesh Paliwal (34).

They were allegedly involved in cheating M/s International Industries Limited. They cheated the company on the basis of false assurances, fabrication of records and fudging figures in the books of accounts, the Deputy Commissioner of Police of EOW said.

The Director of M/s International Industries Limited, Mr Ravi Mandhotra, lodged a complaint against the suspects saying that Udey Dutt allegedly hatched a criminal conspiracy with his accomplices to cheat M/s Minerva Holding Limited in particular and share holders or investors in general. Late Ajay Shankar, Ex-MD of the M/s Minerva Holding Limited had assigned various works to Udey Dutt who was the director of M/s Dimensions Investment and Securities Limited (DISL), Quasar India Limited (QIL), in 2002 including originating, identifying and providing assistance in evaluating investment opportunities as well as negotiating with the investor company and sale of investments etc. In lieu of these services, Udey Dutt was to receive three per cent commission from Minerva Holding Limited.

The DCP said that Udey Dutt, after joining Minerva Holding, in connivance with its MD and others misappropriated the funds of Minerva Holding by transferring an amount of Rs 7 crore in DISL and Rs 3 crore in QIL during March 2001 to May 2001. It was not explained that on what account the amounts were transferred from Minerva Holding to DISL and QIL. During investigation of he case it was found that DISL and QIL functioned under the de-facto control of Udey Dutt.

In January 2002, Udey Dutt became the director of a company, M/s Anila Leasing Private Limited in order to adjust the misappropriated amount of Rs 10 crore. Udey Dutt and the other accused projected sale of 29,700 equity shares of Anila Leasing company of Rs 10 each at a much higher premium of Rs 2,990 per share to Minerva Holding for a total consideration of Rs 8.91 crores.

The DCP said that the paid up capital of Anila Leasing was only Rs 80 lakh and shares were also neither listed nor had any market value. As per the balance sheet of Anila Leasing the total profits of the company were only Rs 13,000. The suspects siphoned off funds of M/s Minerva Holding to the tune of Rs 16 crore in a clandestine manner by fudging figures in the books of accounts.

During interrogation they disclosed that they had siphoned off Rs 10 crore from M/s Minerva Holding on bogus accounts of DSIL and QIL. Later, after about one year, that amount was shown as an expenditure on acquisition of 29,700 shares of Anila Leasing having a face value of Rs 10 at an abnormally high price of Rs 3,000.

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