N C R   S T O R I E S


‘Osama Bin Laden’ man held for extortion
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 17
A resident of Ambala who was posing as a member of Al-Qaida’s organisation of “Osama Bin Laden Network” to extort money from the industrialists and jewellers was apprehended by the Delhi Police Special Cell.

The man used to send threatening e-mails and letters to his victims.

One computer, CPU, floppy and a paper containing the e-mail address of jewellers and industrialists were recovered from his possession.

The accused has been identified as Rakesh Kumar Kashyap (31), resident of Ambala. He was caught from a cyber café in Paharganj on May 16 while he was trying to send the threatening e-mails.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) Ashok Chand said that the sleuths received complaints from a Delhi-based jeweller, having branches in Delhi and Jaipur, that he received an

e-mail from “Osama Bin Laden Network”, demanding Rs 25 lakh, failing which he and his family members would be killed.

In a similar manner, another Delhi-based industrialist received threatening letters and e-mails from the same organisation, demanding Rs 1 crore.

During interrogation, Kashyap told the sleuths that he used to send the letters by speedpost in Delhi and e-mails from cyber cafés and then proceed to Ambala the same day.

He also told the sleuths that as he was in dire need of money, he decided to extort money from the businessmen after reading about Osama Bin Laden through newspapers and magazines.

He also picked up the e-mail address and mailing address of the industrialists and jewellers from the Internet. So far, he had sent letters and e-mails to three industrialists and two jewellers.

Kashyap told the sleuths that after his under-graduation, he took admission in a coaching institute at Jammu, but came to Ambala without completing the coarse.

In Ambala, he joined Aptech and later in partnership with a friend, he opened a cyber café, Symbiosis. However, he was out of that business soon and told his parents that he was working for a pharmaceutical company. He borrowed money from his friends and relatives to sustain his lavish lifestyle.

In 2003, he met his relative Jaspal Singh, resident of Ambala and got Rs 11.25 lakh from him on the pretext of setting up a petrol pump and a travel agency. He told Jaspal that he would offer him partnership in the business.

Kashyap told him that he had purchased a plot on Delhi-Haryana border for this purpose, but soon Jaspal came to know about the fraud and started pressuring him to return the money.



Delhi-Meerut road jammed, powerhouse attacked
Parmindar Singh

Ghaziabad, May 17
The entire Ghaziabad district comprising areas as diverse as Dadri, Kasna, Greater Noida, Noida, Ghaziabad, Nandgram, Dhukna, Sihani Gate, Modinagar and Muradnagar, reeling from shortage of power and water, was witness to widespread protests today.

Protesting people spilled on to the roads at many places.

The busy Delhi-Meerut road was jammed by livid people for over one hour today. As a result, long queues of vehicles had piled up on the road opposite Dhukna mode.

With the rise of mercury the power and water crisis here seems to be deepening with the authorities giving the appearance of being least bothered by the hardships faced by the people.

In villages around Greater Noida there is a power cut for an average of 20 hours a day. Even in various sectors of Greater Noida power shortage for 14 to 18 hours has become the routine since many days now. In Greater Noida, power supply is the responsibility of a private sector organisation, the Noida Power Company Ltd (NPCL), which has a dubious record of never coming up to the expectations of the people of the area even for a few days during the past one decade.

In Ghaziabad people raised slogans against the nagar nigam. People say prolonged power cuts are being imposed without any announcement or a schedule. The non-availability of power affects the water supply also.

The police from Sihani Gate had a tough time in persuading the agitating people to lift the jam. Incidentally, a majority of the protesters were women who are finding it difficult to manage their cooking and other household chores without power and water.

A high-tension wire had snapped near Nandgram last night. After repeated phone calls the electricity staff came by. But when they failed to rectify the fault people attacked the Nandgram power sub-station. Angry protesters pelted stones on the powerhouse and damaged fixtures and furniture there. The scooters of employees were also torched. The Power Corporation employees ran away from their office to escape the people’s wrath.

The Sihani Gate police restored normalcy after half an hour. A case against three protesters was registered by the police for damaging government property and interfering in the working of government offices.

No one has, however, been arrested so far.



Sajjan Kumar gets court notice
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 17
The Delhi High Court today issued notice to Sajjan Kumar on the appeals, challenging the acquittal of the Congress leader and others by the trial court.

The appeal was filed by three persons, affected by the 1984 anti-Sikh riot and the Siromani Gurdwara Prabhandak Committee (SGPC).

A division bench comprising Justices D K Jain and A K Sikri issued notices, returnable on July 15, to Sajjan Kumar and others on the pleas by Anwar Kaur, Fota Singh, Salawati Kaur and the SGPC.

The court also gave time to the respondents to reply to the additional affidavit filed by the CBI in support of its application for condoning the delay in making an appeal against the acquittal.

On April 6, the High Court had asked the CBI to file an additional affidavit to support its plea for condoning delay in filing an appeal against the acquittal of the Congress leader and others.

The division bench had told Additional Solicitor General K K Sud appearing for the investigating agency to file the affidavit within a week and posted the matter to be heard on May 17.

Sajjan gets highest number of votes

New Delhi: Newly elected Congress MP from Outer Delhi Mr Sajjan Kumar has recorded polling the maximum number of votes, totalling to 8,55,543 in the just-concluded elections.

In sharp contrast is Mr Ashok Kumar of Chandni Chowk, who has made it to the record books for getting the minimum number of votes, a petty 45.

As for the candidates who have had to forfeit their deposits, the number in Delhi alone is quite high.

The EC has revealed that 85 per cent to 97 per cent of the candidates have had their deposits forfeited in the national Capital.


RI for three women accused of abetting rape 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 17
Three women—all self-proclaimed social workers and claiming to be political activists—have been sentenced to a maximum of seven years’ rigorous imprisonment and ordered to pay a fine of Rs 3,000.

They were charged with abetting the rape of a pregnant woman in 1994 and forcing her to register a false case against another man for their personal gains.

Additional Sessions Judge (Mahila Court) Bimla Makin sentenced Manjit Kaur (48) to rigorous imprisonment of seven years and ordered her to pay a fine of Rs 3,000.

The court also handed down four-year jail term to Kaur’s accomplice Birmati (40) and Shanta Bhandari (44). Both were also asked by the court to pay a fine of Rs 1,000 each. In a hard-hitting order, the court said “Everybody is crying in Delhi day in and day out that women are not safe here and the general perception is that men are responsible for their insecurity.

“Here are three women, who in the name of social workers and workers of political parties and Mahila Mandals, were the worst enemies of a destitute woman,” the court said.

Paul urged to suspend IO in hospital rape case

New Delhi: Chairperson of the National Commission for Women, Dr Poornima Advani today urged the Commissioner of Police, Dr K.K. Paul, to suspend the investigation officer of the rape case in Safdarjung Hospital on May 13 as many loopholes are allegedly found in the report.

The NCW has also made an investigation report of the case which will be submitted to the police soon. The investigation team of the NCW consists of Dr Poornima Advani and two members of the commission — Nafisa Hussain and Baby Rani Maurya.

She said that the victim was reported missing on May 12. She returned to her house on May 14 and then her parents reported the police about the case. But the FIR was not lodged and the cloths of the girl were not sealed either by the police. The FIR was lodged after 22 hours of the incident. The investigation report prepared by the police has allegedly hidden a number of important points in the case.

The police have not given significant evidence to support their claim that she had been raped by the suspect, Dr Ravi Kumar, an intern in the hospital. Expressing surprise, Dr Advani pointed out that the victim was taken to AIIMS for medical examination by the police along with the suspect. To cap it, the suspect allegedly lived in staff quarters of the hospital which was illegal. Someone had sublet him a room.



No power for more than 12 hours

Sonepat: Thousands of residents living in various residential colonies along the Sonepat-Rohtak Road remained without power for more than 12 hours yesterday following the snapping of the electricity wires. The aged persons, women and children were the worst-hit and they continued to sit outside their houses and wait for the restoration of power supply.

According to a report, the wires snapped around 10 am and the residents informed the employees of the complaint centre on Sonepat-Gohana Road around 10.30 am, but they failed to repair the electricity lines till 10 pm. Thereafter, some employees reached the spot and repaired the wires, thereby restoring the supply around midnight.

The affected residential colonies include Garhi Ghasita, Vikas Nagar, Shiv Nagar, Dev Nagar and Kakroi Road.

The residents alleged that the officials of the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) from the junior engineers to the superintending engineer were not contacted on their telephones as they were not available in their residences on account of Sunday, a public holiday.

The UHBVN officials have failed to set up a central control room on Sunday and other gazetted holidays for the removal of the public complaints about the power breakdowns, trippings, low voltage, loadsheddings, etc.

According to another report, the residents of Kharkhauda town and Khanda village remained powerless for a few hours on account of loadshedding resorted to by the UHBVN officials. OC



Held for throwing chemical on girl

Ghaziabad: The Kavi Nagar police have arrested a factory worker for throwing some chemical on a young girl, while a hunt is on for three others involved in the crime.

On Wednesday night, certain youths threw chemical on Soniya, daughter of Rajveer Singh, a resident of Industrial Area on Bulandshahr Road under Kavi Nagar police station.

The chemical was thrown on Soniya while she was returning from her office–VLCC, Raj Nagar. Her hair and face around eyes were affected. She was treated in a private hospital. On the basis of the report filed by Soniya’s family, police have arrested Anurag, an employee of a factory in Vivekanand Nagar.

SO police station, Shatru Dhan Upadhyay said the police were trying to nab other three accused also. OC



‘Saffronised’ books to be revised, hope academicians
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 17
Even as the Congress government gets ready to assume office, educationists and academicians have already completed their groundwork on what will be a part of the new government’s must-do assignments.

Academicians are hopeful that the books produced by the National Council of Educational Training and Research (NCERT) during the BJP’s tenure, which gained notoriety for being ‘saffronised’ and ‘doctored’ will be revised.

“The immediate step that the new government has to take is to take up the issue of communalising education, particularly History. The BJP had simply discarded the curriculum framework without examining its pros and cons,” says Prof. Arjun Dev, noted Historian.

Apart from the ‘doctored’ texts, the education bill mooted by the outgoing government too has come under sharp criticism. Voices are also being raised over the ‘effectiveness’ of the,

‘Free and Compulsory Education Bill 2004’

“The bill should be immediately withdrawn. It intends to legalise the dual education system, i.e. learning centres and para-teachers for the poor and regular schools for others. It intends to promote and give legal sanctions to the educational centres run by private sectors, NGOs, shishu mandirs, vidya mandirs of the RSS and also keeps children out of purviews of the authorities being created at various levels. It negates the principles of 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment,” said Ashok Agarwal, Convenor, Social Jurist.

It was also pointed out that the bills intends to create separate ‘special education’ system for the disabled being discarded worldwide and against the principals of inclusive education.

Educationists point out that the funding under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) too needs to be ‘probed’ as many “organisations with communal ideology” have been receiving MHRD funding to run their schools, such as ‘ekal vidyalaya’ (one-teacher-school).

The new Government has also been petitioned to “revive CABE (Central Advisor Board of Education), a consultative mechanism abandoned by the previous government”.

“If the CABE had been reconstructed, the goof-ups in the NCERT textbooks would not have surfaced. In the absence of the CABE, the council pushed its agenda of doctoring History through a handpicked group of authors,” complained a senior lecturer in the History department of the Delhi University.



DPCC president welcomes coalition partners’ support
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 17
Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) president Chaudhary Prem Singh today heartily welcomed the decision of the coalition partners of the Congress party for endorsing their support to party president Sonia Gandhi’s leadership paving the way for her becoming the Prime Minister at the centre.

Hailing their decision, he said that it was historic event in the annals of the country and it was only due to Sonia Gandhi’s unmatched and inspiring leadership that the coalition partners willingly endorsed their support for her leadership.

The DPCC president asserted that Mrs Gandhi would fully live up to the faith reposed in her leadership by other coalition partners as she would lead the government in an efficient and corruption-free manners to take the country forward, on the path of progress and development. Her emergence as the undisputed leader for the top constitutional post was a historic decision and showed her acceptability to the pan-Indian leadership, cutting across region and religion.

He said that the country was facing many daunting tasks like poverty, unemployment, communalism, sectarianism and law and order, which would have to be tackled on a priority basis to bring order and stability in the country. He alleged that the BJP led NDA government had institutionalised corruption as scams and scandals had become a day-to-day occurrence during their rule, and the philandering ways of the NDA leadership had brought the economic condition of the country to its knees.

Giving thanks to the coalition parties, Chaudhary Prem Singh condemned the highly objectionable utterances of some disgruntled BJP leaders against Mrs Gandhi who had emerged as the undisputed leader of he Congress coalition.

The BJP and its allies have not been able to digest the facts that the people have inflicted a terrible defeat on them exposing the ‘national stature’ of some miniature leaders.



Jagmohan accepts people’s mandate ‘gracefully’
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 17
The outgoing Tourism and Culture Minister, Mr Jagmohan, who acquired the image of a “political reformist” following his no nonsense attitude today claimed to have accepted the people’s mandate in the 14th Lok Sabha elections “gracefully”.

“‘Whatever has happened has happened, and there is no need on my part to make comments on the poll outcome,” Mr Jagmohan told reporters after attending an emotional send-off by his ministry officials.

Mr Jagmohan, who served as Tourism and Culture Minister for about two years, refused to make any forthright comment on the BJP’s debacle in the just-concluded elections that saw the NDA being upstaged from the perch of power.

He, however, conceded that experience in the election was “not good”.

Mr Jagmohan, who lost election to Delhi Assembly Speaker Ajay Maken by a margin of over 12,000 votes in the New Delhi Lok Sabha constituency, said his decision to relocate slum dwellers from the banks of Yamuna could well be a reason for his defeat. He however added, “but I did not want to uproot them (slum dwellers). I basically wanted to resettle them”.

Throughout his 20-minute interface with newspersons, he, however maintained a steady line that there was not much to comment on people’s mandate. “Even after the announcement of the election result, I did not make any comment and neither do I wish to do it now”.

When pointed out that Mr Maken had talked about him in glowing terms and even suggested that the latter be given a berth in the Rajya Sabha for his vision and reforms, Mr Jagmohan quipped “I have not given any thought to this idea. If any such offer comes, I will decide then.”

The former Minister concluded by saying, “it is for you people to judge how I have fared”, and went on to add, “but I will continue to be active in public life and will probably write a book on it”.



Illegal constructions at every corner mar Sonepat’s landscape
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 17
There are illegal constructions galore, big and small, commercial and residential, in all corners of this city in the absence of any check by the Sonepat Municipal Council, the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), the Country and Town Planning Department and other official agencies.

The menace, which has been quietly spreading its tentacles, comes into focus as and when the authorities concerned suddenly decide to remove illegal and unauthorised constructions raised under their nose.

Such constructions are given power and water connections only to be removed later on.

If the money involved in real estate is any indication the sums are mind-boggling. According to an estimate, there are more than 5,000 illegal constructions in different parts of the city, both small and big, and more public land is being encroached upon.

Take the case of big houses built on the embankments of drain no 6, passing through the heart of the city, in contravention of the laid rules. There is a flourishing nexus between the officials of the Irrigation Department and land grabbers as well as the district and police administration and the local politicians and above all the moneyed builders. In another case, the shopkeepers have encroached upon the land meant for a park near the ESI dispensary and the button factory and built a concrete platform for keeping their goods there for sale besides parking their vehicles. The municipal authorities have so far failed to take any action against the land grabbers in this area.

Talking individually to each constituent of the unholy nexus, the conclusion one could draw is the shifting of responsibility to the other. As a matter of act, all of them benefit from the encroachments with the help of politicians topping the list.

The district authorities are now turning their attention to such buildings in other parts of the city although the manner in which the targets are selected by them has raised doubts in the public mind. The feeling among the people is that the targets are selected by the authorities to force the owners of the particular building to fall in line and accept the wishes of the power that is the authorities offer another explanation. Flatly denying that there was any foul play in selecting the illegal constructions for demolition, an official said only those buildings were selected which were free from judicial complications as most of them had already filed suits to protect their illegal constructions.

Citing an instance, an official said the owners of such buildings had gone to the court of law once the notices were issued to them for the removal or demolition of their illegal constructions. Most of them even avoided replying to the notices. As and when the courts dismiss their pleas, the authorities plan demolitions. He, however, admitted that whenever a demolition was taken up it was the usual complaint that others had been left untouched. In come cases, the civic staff had been beaten up. Sometimes, non-availability of the police force for protection was one strong reason for the delay in demolitions and selecting only few targets, he added.

According to this official, no priority list had been drawn for demolitions. But certainly the field staff had been advised to concentrate on big buildings rather than wasting time on small cases. Why are such big buildings allowed to be built which later necessitate demolitions?

Is it due to the negligence of the civic staff or its connivance? The sources in the municipal council and other official agencies admit total connivance of their staff in allowing unauthorised constructions. The amount of money involved in the deals is certainly an allurement. But then nobody talks about the people who are ready to pay large amounts for illegal constructions.

If people talk of the nexus they in general are part of it. Why do they opt for encroachments and illegal constructions and then offer huge amounts as bribe for regularisation? The official questioned. What the authorities do in the name of checking unauthorised constructions is just a drop in the ocean which hardly has any impact on the overall scene. The steps taken by as are just of exemplary nature and are aimed at creating awareness among the people, he said. At the same time, he admits that these steps till date have not affected the encroachments scene in any manner.



Parents’ bodies gear up to get SC order implemented
Tribune News Service

Sonepat, May 17
While the recent judgement of the Supreme Court about arbitrary fee hike and other charges and violation of certain rules and regulations by private unaided schools in the national Capital is likely to have far reaching consequences on school education it seems to have come as a morale booster for various parents welfare associations who have now decided to pep up their efforts on this front in Haryana also.

The Faridabad Abhibhawak Ekta Manch, a leading body of parents of school students here, held a meeting here yesterday to discuss the various aspects of the apex court’s judgement recently and the ways and means to get the new education rules and regulation policy implemented properly in this state also.

According to a spokesman of the Abhibhawak Ekta Manch, the state government had failed to exhibit its resolve to put the new policy in practice although an announcement had been made last year to implement it. He said the new regulations, which got the approval of the President on May 4, 1999, were due to be adopted in the state from June 30, 2003, but sadly due to lack of firm resolve and political pressure the new policy was perhaps put in the cold.

The authorities were still to announce its proper implementation although the new academic session had already begin. He said due to the dilly-dallying attitude of the Education Department several private teaching shops were still in operation which, he alleged, had not only been exploiting the students and parents commercially but had also failed to comply with any of the norms in a proper manner.

The manch, which had filed a PIL in the Punjab and Haryana High Court in 1997, felt the recent judgement of the Supreme Court on private schools was a welcome development and it had brightened up the chances of a similar judgement so that erring schools could be taken to task. The manch had made as many as 25 local schools, the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), the CBSE and the Education Department of Haryana a party to the case that was still pending.

It is learnt that HUDA and the Education Department had submitted their replies to the notices served to them in this regard. The manch has been alleging a majority of private and public schools that had been allotted plots by HUDA at subsidised rates had been blatantly violating all rules laid by the authority and despite serving of notices to many schools all violators had been either spared from any punishment or had evaded any action due to their connections and political interference. 

he manch also claims there were many illegal private teaching shops functioning who did not follow the rules adopted by the state education department or the CBSE. To streamline education and keep a check on rampant commercialisation the manch has recommended taking drastic steps and measures, both by the Centre and the state government.

The meeting organised by the manch here was attended by Mr Ashok Aggarwal, advocate and president of the Delhi Abhibhawak Mahasangh, who represented the parents in the PIL against Modern School in the Supreme Court. Recently. Mr O P Sharma, chief of the
Faridabad Abhibhawak Ekta Manch, Mr Kailash Sharma, Mr Suresh Kaushik, Mr B R Singla, Mr Virender Dutt, Mr H S Rathi and Mrs Asha Sharma were among others who attended it.



Farmers urge probe into canal water scarcity
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 17
Representatives of various farmers’ organisations, including the BKU and the Kisan Sabha, today urged the state government to order a high-level probe into the complaints of the farmers about the continuous shortage of canal water and its erratic supply as well as non-reaching of the tail-end villages falling under the jurisdiction of the Rai water service division in this district.

In a joint memorandum sent to the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, a copy of which was released to the press here, they also expressed grave concern over the inefficient and unsatisfactory working of this division and demanded immediate suspension of the executive engineer, the SDEs and other subordinate officials responsible for the scarcity of canal water even during the period of rotation. Such an action would certainly ensure an independent and impartial inquiry into the scandalous working of this division and expose the misdeeds of the officials concerned.

The memorandum blamed the officials of this division for not cleaning the canals, distributaries and minors properly despite the clear instructions issued by the state government and the Chief Minister.

It alleged the desilting and deweeding operations carried out occasionally by the officials were merely an eyewash as the farmers whose fields are situated at the tail-end had been facing shortage of canal water for irrigation purposes and suffering a huge financial loss when the crops start withering away on account of this.

Meanwhile, the farmers of the tail-end villages have also expressed grave concern over the canal water crisis and urged the state government to take immediate and effective steps for ensuring the supply of canal water at their tail-end fields.



NHRC seeks top cop’s report in beating case
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 17
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) today asked the Delhi Police Commissioner, Dr K. K. Paul, to look into a media report that alleged beating up of a minor by a CBI officer in the Vasant Kunj area of the Capital last month.

Taking suo motu cognisance of the April 28 news report in a daily, which alleged that eight-year-old Sahil was brutally beaten up and abused by CBI DSP Onkar Nath Kaul, the NHRC Chairperson, Dr Justice A. S. Anand, asked the Commissioner to submit his comments within three weeks.

According to the article, a copy of which has also been sent to the Commissioner by the NHRC, the incident took place after the windshield of the police officer’s car was broken by the boy while playing cricket.

The report said the boy was rushed to Safdurjung Hospital after he was beaten up but the medical report had not been received yet. The report also stated that the Vasant Kunj police had refused to register a case despite the boy’s mother having called a PCR van due to the influence wielded by the officer.

Dr Justice Anand observed that if the contents of the report were true it would amount to violation of human rights.



Experimental photography

Head of the faculty of photography in Triveni Kala Sangam, the grand old man of Indian photography has been instrumental in popularising experimental photography in the country. Recipient of a number of awards, O. P. Sharma is quiet happy while giving free guidance to the budding photographers. In a conversation with Nalini Ranjan, he is concerned about the limited institutional arrangement for training photographers in our country.

The founder president of India International Photographic Council (IIPC), Mr O. P. Sharma, is the grand old man of Indian photography. Presently, he is the head of the faculty of photography in Triveni Kala Sangam.

He has organised over 150 national and international exhibitions and contests for the advancement of the art of photography.

This 68-year-old photographer, based in Bharti Artist Colony (East Delhi), has achieved the unique distinction of having been conferred with the coveted ‘Stuyvesant Pea Award’ instituted by American Photographic Council for excellence in photography.

He has been instrumental in popularising experimental photography in the country.

He has been fellow of various photographic councils and societies including FIIPC, FRPC, FRSA, FPSA, PSNY, FPS, PSA, MJIPF and FPSG. He has held exhibitions at the national and international levels and his works have been kept in the museums in other countries including USA, Brazil and Australia.

He has been part of jury in more than 200 exhibitions and competitions and received a number of medals and citations for his works.

He has been honoured with a number of awards including the ‘Man of Year’ award by the American Biographical Institute, the honorary Doctor of Photography and ‘Chitrakala Shiromani’ for outstanding contributions in the field of photography.

His book ‘Basic Photography’ has sold over two lakh copies, benefiting millions of amateur and professional photographers all over world. The book is also being used as a textbook in schools and colleges.

His books on the works of legendary photographers such as K. G. Maheshwari and A. L. Syed and Rasa Bhava Darsha are also popular. He has been involved in the production of a number of documentaries, two of them as part of Indo-American productions.

He has edited the SNAP monthly from 1969 to 1974 and was the guest editor for the column ‘Zoom Photo’ for The Illustrated Weekly of India from 1981 to 1982.

He was also the joint editor of ‘Indian Photography and Cinematography’ monthly from 1981 to 1997. Above all, he has provided free guidance to budding photographers.

In a conversation with the NCR Tribune, he shared his experiences in this field.

How did IIPC come into existence?

IIPC is a worldwide organisation for the promotion of photography. The Royal Photographic Society, UK, (RPS) and the Photographic Society, America, have been two other international bodies concerned with the advancement of photographic art and science.

There was a vacuum in the eastern hemisphere as these two were in the West.

This lacuna was felt by eminent photographers in India and abroad.

Therefore, IIPC with its headquarter in Delhi was established in 1983 on the lines of PSA and RPS.

In a short span of 21 years, it has emerged as a prominent body for the photographers. Membership has crossed the 10,000 mark.

Many of these photographers are from countries such as the USA, UK, Germany, Austria, Finland, Hong Kong, Australia, Canada and Singapore.

Leading photographers like Yousuf Karsh, Wellington Lee, R. H. Masoan, Margaret Harker, Fritz Garbur, Norman Rothschild, Erick Hosking, Peter Gowland, Michel Langford, John Hedgecore, Ted Dickinson, Stephen Dalton, Jerry N Uelsmann, Paul D Yarrow, Dewitt Bishop, Firtz Henle, Andreas Feininger, Dan Heidell, Victor Blackman, Istvan Toth, A L Syed, R R Bhardwaj, O C Adward, P L Raota, T Kashi Nath, Datta Khopkar, K G Maheshawari, Prof. Mathe and many others are among the founders, fellows and members of the council.

How can one obtain membership of this council?

People from all walks of life and age group with varying degree of standing in the field of photography can be members of this council.

Membership is open to anyone and anywhere in the world. One can join it as an individual member or as a lifetime member. Photography clubs, societies and federations can become organisational members.

What are the main activities of the council?

We confer worldwide honours in the field of photography, which are well respected. These honours are awarded to outstanding members and even to non-members for lifetime achievements.

For over two decades, we have built up a historic collection from different parts of the world. A museum is being planned with several hundred works graciously donated by outstanding artists from all over the world. They include photographic prints, slides, old journals, books and equipment. We invite members and well-wishers to contribute for this collection. International and national exhibitions are regular feature of the council.

It enables artistes to show their talent and at the same time educating the people on the wonderful possibilities of this medium.

Apart from this, we regularly organise regional workshops. These workshops have immensely enriched the knowledge of those attending them and providing a unique opportunity for amateurs and professionals to work under one roof with fellow photographers of international repute.

Our council is divided in many divisions like pictorial division, colour division, video division, techniques division, advertising and fashion division, nature and wildlife division, photo journalism, education and technology division, recorded programme division, digital imaging division, travel photography division and exhibitors grading division.

Our photographic technique division is unique. Over the last 100 years, talented, innovative, and creative photographers have invented new techniques to widen the horizons of the medium. One can learn to use these techniques for creative and imaginative picture making, colour separation, solarization, paper negative process, texture screen and bass relief are some of the techniques used for creating contemporary pictures.

Our digital imaging division is also very informative. Digital photography and electronic imaging is a new branch and artistes want to know more about it. This division provides information and help regarding equipment and other related things like computer, scanning, image processing and softwares.

Could you tell us about your first lessons in photography?

The most influential accessory was a book, which enabled me to gain thorough knowledge of photography. This was W.D. Emmanuel’s ‘All in One Camera Book,’ which had an almost naïve, basic and instructional style. It was simple with fundamentals of camera use and darkroom operations.

It taught me to study the basics, instead of relying on trial and error with flawed logic.

Basically from Agra, my father, Shiv Sharma, served in the British Army and had even fought in the Second World War. An international photo exhibition at the university thrilled me while I was doing my BSc from Lucknow University in 1958.

It was a pleasure for me to see the photos of renowned photographers. I also developed some interest in painting. So naturally, I was attracted towards photography.

Are you satisfied with the status of this medium in India?

Like in other countries such as the United States of America, Japan, France and England, the history of photography is very old in our country. However, we are lagging behind, as there is little support from the government side. Above all, there is limited organised arrangement for training photographers in our country.



Inter-state goons held, arms seized
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 17
The Crime Branch has claimed to have nabbed two active members of inter-state gangster Anil Bhagte near the MCD Park in Adarsh Nagar of North-West Delhi.

One country-made weapon and two live cartridges were recovered from his possession.

The gang members, who were actively involved in kidnapping, ransom, extortion and murder have been identified as Anwar Hussain (27), resident of Pitampura and Sandeep Sehrawat, alias Pehalwan (23), resident of Bawana.

The sleuths received a secret information that the gang members would be coming to the Adarsh Nagar area and accordingly laid a trap on May 15. At around 8.15 pm, the sleuths spotted two persons in a Hero Honda motorcycle and soon they were apprehended.

During interrogation, the duo revealed that they were operating on the behalf of Anil Bhagte in the Outer Delhi area.

While Sandeep came into contact with Anil through his cousin Jitender in Sonepat jail, Anwar met Anil in the Sonepat jail also through Jintender.

Youths roughed up in police custody

Sonepat: Two youths, namely Sunil of Sasrauli village in Jhajjar district and his cousin Sanjay of Bhatgaon village in Sonepat district, were reportedly roughed up during the police custody for three days at a stretch and admitted to the local civil hospital for treatment.

The victims had been picked up by the Jhajjar police after the disappearance of a 19-year-old girl Santosh of Sasrauli village in Jhajjar district. It is also stated that Balraj, father of Sunil, and his another son Vinod, were also detained by the police for interrogation and they too were maltreated and beaten up during the police custody. The detained youths and their parents were released on bail, it is stated.

House burgled

Thieves are reported to have entered the house of one Randhir at Thana Kalan village about 15 km from here last night and decamped with the booty worth lakhs of rupees from it.

According to a report, the owner of the house and other inmates were in asleep on the roof of the house when the thieves forced their way into the house. The stolen articles include Rs 10,000 in cash, gold and silver ornaments and other valuables. The owner of the house has lodged a complaint with the police for investigation. OC

Cyclist crushed to death

Jhajjar: A cyclist was reportedly crushed to death, near Subzimandi here, by a truck on Sunday.

According to information, Mukesh, a resident of Kashi Village, had come to the town on his bicycle. He was knocked down by a speeding truck.

The driver of the truck escaped while the truck was impounded by the police.

Health dept gets ambulances

The District Health Department has acquired four ambulances to ferry accident victims to hospitals. The ambulances have been allotted to hospitals in Jhajjar, Bahadurgarh, Dighal and Jamalpur. OC



MCD directive on licences
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 17
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi today advised owners and drivers of cycle rickshaws, cycle rickshaw trolleys, handcrafts, bullock- carts, buffalo-carts and kharkharas to get the licence of their vehicle renewed from their respective zones.

Spokesman of the MCD said that the corporation had decided that the renewal of the licenses or registration of the slow moving vehicles like rickshaws, cycle rickshaws-trolleys, handcrafts, bullock carts, buffalo-carts and kharkharas would be done through the citizen service bureau (CSB) at the zonal level with immediate effect at the prevailing rates of fees or taxes including late fee, wherever applicable.

The CSBs are situated at all the 12 zonal offices of the corporation. The transaction fee of Rs 5 per vehicle will be paid by the applicant to the bureau. Application for renewal can be made on printed application forms costing Rs 1 each, which can be obtained from the office of cycle-rickshaw supervisor of the zones as well as the counters of the bureaus.

Scientific session on heart diseases

A scientific session was organised by the Lajpat Nagar-based Malhotra Heart Institute (A unit of Metro Group of Hospitals, Noida) at Hotel Hyatt Regency today.

Then session was attended by more than 150 heart specialists of Delhi. Dr Purshotam Lal, Chairman of the Metro Group of Hospitals, inaugurated the function and gave light on the latest developments and techniques of treating heart diseases. He also gave advice to use the drug-coated stents rather than conventional stents.

Prof. J. C. Mohan, Chief Interventional Cardiologist of the hospital, gave detailed information as to different modalities of treating the big killer heart attacks. Dr Vinod Sharma, Senior Interventional Cardiologist of the hospital, intimated the importance of precautionary interventions in diabetic patients. Dr Deepak Talwar, Medical Director of the hospital, thrown light on Pulmonary Embolism. At last, general manager of the hospital, Mr D. K. Chopra, informed that the institute provides complete cardiac care under one roof with the state-of-the-art equipment and world class cardiologists.

The event was compared by Prof Ramesh Arora, former professor and head of department of G.B. Pant Hospital and presently chief cardiologist of the institute.

Nathaniel re-elected president of YMCA

Mr E. N Nathaniel has been re-elected unanimously as the president of the New Delhi YMCA.

Mr Raymond Myles, Air Commodore B J Berry and Mr. George Varghese (UNI), have been elected vice presidents while Mr Stephen DaCosta, principal, Frank Anthony School, has been elected as the honorary treasurer.

Mr. Arnold James, Dr James Thomas, Mr Dalip Williams and Mr Clement R Raj Kumar have been elected members of the Board of Directors for 2004-07.



Criminals had office above bank building
SBI dacoity in model town
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, May 17
It is after six months of the dacoity, in which the culprits escaped with Rs 81 lakh and also murdered a security guard in the Model Town branch of the State Bank of India here, the police have discovered that a history-sheeter had set up an office on top of the branch’s premises.

The gang of the dreaded history sheeter, it is now learnt, had set up an office on a floor above the SBI branch some time before the bank dacoity, that took place on November 17 last year.

This was disclosed by an IB Inspector invited for his expert advice, who questioned the very basis of the police investigation regarding the case.

The dacoits had targetted the SBI, Model Town, Gandhi Nagar, and after killing the security guard, had taken away Rs 81 lakh, cutting open the cash chest in the strong room.

The shocking incident had scarred the image of the Ghaziabad police.

After the local police had failed to crack the case, help from Special Task Force (STF) and Intelligence Bureau (IB) was sought.

Since the police had already interrogated some 200 suspects in the case, the Intelligence Bureau inspector had expressed his inability to handle the case. Even lie detector had been used to bring out the truth from these suspects. The IB inspector, it is authoritatively learnt, reprimanded the local police for its slackness. The official is understood to have given his comments on 25 important points.

The criminals had first cut opened the strong room door, and then opened the lock of a safe that had notes of Rs 50 denominations. However, the culprits did not touch them.

The IB inspector has said that the criminals must have known that these were all rejected notes, a fact which could be in the knowledge of a bank employee only. Even a bank locker was left open, which again raises the suspicion of a bank employee’s involvement in the conspiracy.

Interestingly the companion of a dreaded history sheeter of the district had opened his office above the bank’s premises a few days before the dacoity. The criminals were often seen in that office, a fact unknown to the local police.

The morning after the incident, the office of the suspect was found locked.

Reportedly, the history-sheeter had a local MLA as his godfather due to which the police did not even question him.

He was later caught by the Sihani Gate police, after he was shot at and wounded, but even then the police did not question him.



Two dozen paintings stolen from Delhi
College of Arts
Tribune news Service

New Delhi, May 17
Nearly two dozen paintings were reported stolen from a store room in the Sahitya Kala Academy on the premises of the Delhi College of Arts here today.

The police said that they received a call from the Academy staff that the lock of the room on the fourth floor was found broken at around 2.15 pm and several paintings were missing. However, the lock of the main entry was found intact.

Since the mysterious missing of the paintings appeared to be the handiwork of the staff working in the academy, the police have obtained details of the staff members and launched an investigation to nab the culprits.

The stolen paintings were the work of the students of the academy.

Earlier, some valuable artifacts were stolen from the Lal Bahadur Shastri Memorial in the Capital.

But the stolen books and manuscripts were traced within hours and two securitymen were arrested for selling those to rag pickers.



Sangwan’s nephew booked in criminal case

Sonepat, May 17
The Baroda police have registered a criminal case against Ajit Singh, son of the brother of Mr Kishan Singh Sangwan, newly elected BJP MP from Sonepat and started investigation into the complaint lodged by one Anil of Nooran Khera village.

According to a report, the complainant alleged that he was waylaid on a pistol point and threatened with dire consequences. The police have not yet arrested Ajit Singh so far.

INLD activist assaulted

Mr Mansha Ram, sarpanch and a supporter of the ruling Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), was allegedly beaten up by a supporter of the BJP at Deepalpur village about 13 km from here last evening.

A discussion at the success of the BJP candidate Kishan Singh Sangwan and the defeat of the INLD nominee Krishna Malik was the main cause of the assault. The injured sarpanch has been admitted to the local civil hospital and the police have registered the case. Further investigations are on. However, no arrest has been made in this connection. OC



Two killed in road mishaps

Sonepat, May 17
Two persons were killed and three injured in three different accidents occurred on the National Highway No. 1 and the Sonepat-Meerut inter-state road last evening.

Mohan Lal, a factory worker was hit by a tractor-trolley when he was going towards his factory near Pio Munyari village on the G T Road. He was killed on the spot. According to another report, an unidentified man was killed when he was hit by an unknown vehicle on the G T Road near Murthal Chowk. OC



NDMC chairman opens online CNG station
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 17
Mrs Sindhushree Khuller, IAS, Chairman, NDMC, today inaugurated IGL’s first Online CNG station in the Connaught Place area amid much fanfare. The online station at Udyan Marg will be a big boon to vehicles plying in the CP area as its compression capacity has increased by almost 2.5 times (from 180 kg/hour to 435 kg/hour now). Among other vehicles, such as commercial taxis and cars, autos will be the main beneficiaries, as autos form the largest chunk of vehicles getting their CNG supply from this station.

This station, which was earlier, a Daughter Booster station, has been converted into an online station by laying an MDP pipeline of 3 km at an estimated cost of Rs 67 lakhs. It, incidentally, was IGL’s highest selling daughter booster NCG station and used to cater mainly to autos, commercial taxis and cars.

While elaborating on IGL’s plans, Mr A. K. De, Managing Director, Indraprastha Gas Limited, said: “It has been our constant endeavor to provide maximum comfort and ease to our customers. In last one year, our focus has been on converting the daughter and daughter booster stations into Online and Mother stations, thus providing faster service to our customers.”

“To convert this station into an online station was a challenge as it is relatively far from our existing steel pipeline network. Therefore, we decided to use low suction compressor, which can be connected through MDPE pipeline and can carry Natural Gas at very low pressure i.1. 1.5 BAR only. Special low suction pressure compressors, are required to increase the pressure from 1.5 Bar to 250 Bar (CNG is supplied to vehicles at a pressure not exceeding 200 Bar),” he added.

Starting from nine CNG stations in 98, IGL has created an impressive network of 121 CNG stations. Out of these, 59 CNG stations have been created on IGL’s land, 19 have been created in the premises of DTC depots and 43 have been created on the retail outlets of oil marketing companies.

These stations with combined compression capacity of 16.47 lakh kg per day are today catering to around 90,000 CNG vehicles.


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | National Capital |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |