N C R   S T O R I E S


Nigerian, two DU students in cocaine ring
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 29
With the arrest of three persons, a Nigerian and two Delhi University graduates, the Delhi Police Special Cell has claimed to have busted a ‘cocaine ring’ in the city.

The sleuths also seized 18.7 kilograms of cocaine and Rs 60,000 from their possession.

The three persons have been identified as Nchedo Emmanuel Okafor (27), hailing from Nigeria and residing in Savitri Nagar, Vikram Singh, alias Sunny (27), resident of Maharani Bagh and Rohit Thakral (24), resident of Old Rajender Nagar.

The sleuths received information that a foreigner is involved in cocaine peddling in the Capital and particularly in South Delhi.

Accordingly, the sleuths on May 28 at around 9.15 pm, spotted one person getting into a car No PB-07-N-1701 and subsequently, the car was intercepted near Panchsheel Enclave.

Later, the three occupants were nabbed and the sleuths recovered 15 packets of cocaine and Rs 35,000 from Okafor, five packets of cocaine and Rs 1,100 from Vikram and two packets of cocaine and Rs 25,000 from Thakral.

During interrogation, Okafor disclosed that he came to Delhi on December 25, 2003 on a tourist visa and met his friend Sabatri Mavinakar, also from Nigeria and involved in cocaine peddling in Delhi.

Since Okafor felt that cocaine peddling is very lucrative, he also joined Mavinakar and started selling one gram of cocaine for Rs 4,000-5,000 to various customers.

Vikram, a Delhi University graduate became a Disc Jockey and started performing in various pubs and hotels in Delhi, Mumbai and Gurgaon.

He told the sleuths that he started taking cocaine when he visited Europe for a programme in 2001 and after his return, he wanted to give up the habit and even got himself rehabilitated. Yet he couldn’t give up the habit and continued taking cocaine.


Woman brings back son’s body from mortuary
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 29
The body of a 14-year-old youth Vijay was whisked away by her mother from the mortuary of the civil hospital here last night.

According to a report, this caused panic among the employees of the civil hospital and they informed the police about it. Thereupon, the police rushed to the house of the woman and brought back the body to the mortuary for a postmortem.

It is stated that the youth died after taking some poisonous substance in his house near Sector 12. The mother of the youth told the police that she had been feeling very depressed after the death of her son, and that’s why, she brought his body back to the house.

The police have not yet registered the case in this connection.

According to another report, a youth Jatinder was reported to have made an attempt to commit suicide by taking sulphas tablets in his house at Tihar bagru village about 8 km from here last night. When his condition worsened, the parents took him to the local civil hospital.

According to yet another report, an aged man Satpal Sharma (60) was reported to have committed suicide by taking sulphas tablets in his house in Laxmi Nagar area of Garhi Brahmanan, a village on the outskirts of this city last night. He was suffering from some chronic disease. The police have registered the case and sent the body for a postmortem.


Inaction on missing 2,229 bags of wheat
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 29
At least 2,229 bags of wheat worth several lakhs of rupees were found missing from the godown of the Food and Supplies Department at Ganaur town a few days ago. However, the department authorities have maintained silence on the issue.

According to a report, none of the higher officers has bothered to conduct the inquiry so far. Even the District Food and Supplies Controller, Mr P K Sharma, was trying to force the erring inspector to bring back all the bags and keep them in the godown so that the stock is complete. The inspector has reportedly assured the DFSC that he would complete the stock of wheat as soon as possible. It is stated that the inspector had brought back as many as 1,457 bags of wheat and kept it in the godown in two phases.

On May 14 last, he had brought back at least 800 bags of wheat in two trucks and again on May 16, at least 657 bags were brought back in two trucks from Panipat. The remaining 772 bags of wheat are still to be brought back.

Sources also say that the inspector has assured the DFSC that he would arrange for 250 bags of wheat within a couple of days and the remaining bags in a week or so.

However, the DFSC claimed that a department inquiry had been initiated and the official would be taken to task soon.

Meanwhile, the state government has suffered a huge financial loss on account of non-lifting of wheat stock from the grain markets of the district. Thousands of bags are still lying in the open. They have become wet due to the heavy rains which had lashed the district during the past few days. It is feared that this stock would become unfit for human consumption if it is not lifted to the covered godowns by the officials of the procurement agencies.

Man gets 10-yr RI for robbing car

New Delhi: A city court has sentenced a man to 10 years’ rigorous imprisonment for robbing a person of his car at gunpoint. The court has also asked convict Samunder to pay a fine of Rs 7,000. In the intervening night of August 15/16, 2001, complainant Rajender Thakur and his driver were going in a car from Jalandar to Gonda in Uttar Pradesh. They had to stop the car at Jindpur crossing on Upper G T K Road as the rear glass of the vehicle broke. Soon three youths came there in another car, whipped out a country-made pistol. They robbed their car and fled. The accused had left behind their car.

On June 26, 2002, Samunder was arrested. Thereafter, other two Krishan Kumar and Umed Singh were also arrested. However, the court acquitted Kumar and Singh for want of evidence. TNS


Delhi Govt gets HC notice on teachers’ certificates
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 29
The Delhi High Court has issued notice to the Delhi Government on a plea seeking verification of the qualifications and certificates of the teachers working with all recognised public schools in the Capital.

A division bench comprising the Chief Justice, Mr B. C. Patel and Mr Justice B. D. Ahmed issued notice, returnable on August 18, to the State Government’s Education Department on the petition that also sought action against the teachers who had taken employment with the help of false certificates and the schools that had appointed such persons.

The petitioner, Chippiwara Zone Welfare Society through the counsel, Mr T. S. Ahuja and A. K Ahuja, said coming across numerous cases of teachers working in private schools with fake B.Ed. degrees, it had brought them to the notice of the High Court last year.

That petition was ordered to be treated as a representation to the Delhi Government’s Education Department, which conducted an enquiry and found that the petitioner’s claim was correct, the petition said.

However, in spite of the findings, the Directorate of Education did not take any action against the teachers or the management of the private schools, which allegedly were in collusion with such teachers who were working in their protection, it was claimed.

The petition thus sought verification of the qualifications and certificates of the teachers working with all recognised public schools in the city.


Motilal College worker shot at

New Delhi: Two persons today injured an employee of the Motilal Nehru College in a shootout near the IGI Airport. The victim Karambir Solanki, a Central Counsellor in the Motilal Nehru Evening College who was shot at his hip, has been admitted to the Safdarjung Hospital. The police have identified the suspects P K Sherawat and Joginder Singh and launched a hunt for them.

The police said that Solanki had gone for swimming in Munirka at around 6.45 am and entered into an altercation with Sherawat and Singh over some issue.

Nursing a grudge, the duo later waited for Solanki near the IGI Airport to teach him a lesson. At around 9.15 am, the duo spotted the car in which Solanki along with his two friends Sanjay and Vishnu were travelling. Immediately one of the suspects fired at the car, damaging the windows. Another bullet hit Solanki in his hip. TNS


Faridabad shines in Board exams
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, May 29
Faridabad seems to have a secured a top slot at the national and state level in academic excellence at the Board level of both the CBSE and the State Education Board.

Maintaining the momentum, two local students have got second and third position at the national level in the Matric examination of the CBSE, whose results were declared yesterday. Last year, a Faridabaite had topped the CBSE (Matric) at the national level.

According to information available, students of Faridabad schools have also secured first, second and fourth slots in the entire state this year. Ms Sonal Garg, a student of local MVN School has brought laurels by securing 98.4 per cent marks and by getting second position at the national level in the CBSE Matric examination.

Delhi students are reported to have topped this examination this time. Nitish Aggarwal of Delhi Public school here has remained at third spot with 97.6 per cent marks.

Sonal got 100 per cent mark both in science and maths. Deepti, another student here also got more than 97 per cent marks. Swati Sharma of the Apeyay School here secured 97.4 per cent marks and became the first student of the school to achieve the feat. She also remained in the top 10 list of the region. There are over 250 students of various schools in the district who have got 90 per cent or more in this examination.

Last year, a girl student of DAV School, Sector-14 here had topped the matric (CBSE) examination with 97.6 per cent marks. A boy student of the same school had got second position at the national level.

In 2002, another girl student of DAV School, Palwal, had topped the exam at the national level. The students of various schools have been achieving various feats for the past many years not in the Board results, but also in the entrance exams of various medical and engineering institutes. Similarly, local students have also been doing quite well in the Matric and plus-two examination of the Haryana Board.

A large number of students secured their position in the merit list of Matric examination whose result was declared recently. One of the local students was declared joint topper of this examination.


Crime maze
Two RPF men held for alleged gang rape
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 29
The Delhi Police today claimed to have arrested two personnel of the Railway Protection Force after a woman alleged that four men posted in the RPF had raped her on May 27 on the pretext of showing her a rented accommodation.

The police said that two of the four accused, Jahan Singh and Karamveer, were arrested yesterday after the 35-year-old woman lodged a complaint in Sarai Rohilla police station in North Delhi about the alleged crime that took place on Thursday evening.

The Delhi Police have now sought the assistance of the RPF to ascertain the whereabouts of the other two accused, Harshveer and Tejpal.

Meanwhile, both Jahan and Karamveer were produced in the court this morning and have been remanded in police custody for interrogation.

The woman, who lives with her husband and three sons in a rented house in the area, had been asked by her landlord to vacate the house. She was looking for another accommodation and went to the locality where the RPF quarters are located to find a house. It was there the victim met the four RPF personnel who took her to a quarter on the pretext of showing her the rental accommodation and then committed the crime, sources said.

All the four have been suspended from the force after the Delhi Police reported the matter to the RPF authorities.

RI for bid to burn self, girl

A city court has sentenced a 38-year-old man to three years’ rigorous imprisonment for trying to commit suicide by setting himself on fire and simultaneously attempting to kill a teenaged girl by hugging her after she spurned his advances several times.

The Additional Sessions Judge, Mr R K Jain, also imposed a fine of Rs 500 on convict Brahm Dev.

Mamta (19) was residing at Mangolpur Kalan village with her brother Vinod and her sister-in-law Sheela.

Dev, a married man, was staying in the flat above their’s as their tenant. Dev was infatuated with Mamta and used to pursue her despite the objections by the girl and her family.

In the morning of January 22, 2001, he spotted Mamta and then poured kerosene over himself. He set himself ablaze and burnt her also by forcibly hugging her. Though Vinod extinguished the fire by pouring water, Dev and Mamta were hospitalised for months with serious burn injuries.


On Campus
School of Design at Delhi University
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 29
In the marathon meeting of the Academic Council of University of Delhi, it has been approved to establish a ‘School of Design’ at the University of Delhi. The school would be a part of the newly created faculty of design. It would have a residential campus.

To begin with, the school would offer a three-year BA Programme in Design for school pass-outs. It would have five specialisation courses at the undergraduate level: Visual Communication, Space, 3D Design, Fashion and Craft, subsequently an MA and PHD programme would also be introduced.

The university is expecting this course to be introduced by July 2006.

The Academic Council has also approved the foundation courses, besides the application, language and discipline courses for the restructured BA programme that is being introduced from July 2004. This replaces the erstwhile BA (Pass) Programme that has remained almost unchanged for half a century.

The special attribute of the restructured BA Programme is the introduction of foundation courses, that would provide students with a depth of understanding about society and application courses that would provide students with a range of knowledge and skills in diverse areas of interest to them.

The Registrar of the Delhi University said the Academic Council has also approved the introduction of some new courses: B.Sc. (Hons.) in polymer science and post-graduate diplomas in International Marketing Business, Journalism and Portuguese Language.

In addition, it approved major revisions in the syllabi of B.Sc. (Hons) courses in Geology, Zoology, Anthropology and Microbiology. Revisions in B.Sc. general courses and Zoology courses were also approved.

All these new courses would be introduced from July 2004.

Meanwhile, some teachers have protested against the introduction of new courses, saying that the syllabus for some of the previously started courses was yet to be structured and in such circumstances, it would not be wise to introduce more new courses as it might affect the prestige of the university.

Dr Shiba C. Panda and Dr Dinesh Adlakha pointed out that a number of departments have yet to frame their syllabi for the new course. 


‘Cong, the only alternative to INLD’
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 29
Senior Congress leader and member of the Congress Working Committee, Mr Birender Singh, today claimed that the recently concluded parliamentary elections had proved that the Congress was the only alternative to the INLD in Haryana, as people had rejected the leaderships of the BJP and HVP in the state.

Talking to mediapersons here, Mr Singh said a large number of farmers from the state would go to Delhi on June 1 to thank the Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for adopting pro-farmer policies in the CMP.

Regarding the claims to chief ministership made by Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Bhajan Lal, in case the Congress came to power in the next assembly elections, Mr Singh said the issue of leadership is to be decided by the Congress President Sonia Gandhi and the elected representatives of the party in the assembly.

“Its not really an issue. It will be settled at the right time.”

Now we have to concentrate on reaching to the people with the employment and rural development oriented programme of the Congress led UPA government in the centre, he said and claimed that the CMP have been appreciated by almost every section of the society.

Haryana, being a leading agricultural state, the agricultural policies of the new government assume high significance, he said.

He refused to comment on the allegations that the local Congress leaders having affiliations with Bhupinder Singh Hooda have worked against the party nominee Dharampal Singh Malik from this constituency. Later, he addressed a meeting of the party workers in the local Congress bhavan and asked the workers to motivate maximum number of people from the district for participation on June 1.


Sheila’s statement on splitting MCD a violation of poll code: Gupta

New Delhi: The Leader of the Opposition in the MCD Standing Committee, Mr Vijender Gupta, today said the declaration of the Chief Minister, Mrs Sheila Dikshit, for splitting the corporation into three zones by the year was an intentional violation of the rules notified under the election model code of conduct. Hence, legal action, as per provisions of the model code of conduct, should be taken against the persons who are responsible for making the policy statement having direct effect on the scheduled byelections of the corporation.

The Election Commission of the NCT of Delhi has been delegated powers to conduct all elections to the MCD.

The Election Commissioner has already declared dates for the byelections of the vacancies of the councillors lying in the corporation.

As such the model code of conduct has come into force with the date of declaration of the byelections. No change could be made till the byelection was held for the vacant posts in the corporation, Mr Vijender Gupta said. TNS


Hike in circle rates on cards
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, May 29
The district administration is likely to increase circle rates by 40-50 per cent in the Ghaziabad district.

The date for filing objections has also been extended from June 1 to June 8.

According to sources, with an increase in demand for official premises and residential accommodation from Delhi, the population in the district is set to increase rapidly.

This has resulted in a hike in the prices of land and property.

Reportedly, people are getting their properties registered almost 10 times lower than the market price. However, as the government is unaware of this fact, it is causing huge revenue losses.

It has been decided to hike the official prices of properties so that government too can reap benefits. The hike will take place in a large number of localities in Noida, Greater Noida and across Hindon areas.

Circles rates in Ghaziabad’s Vasundhra, Indirapuram, Vaishali, Koshambhi, Shalimar Garden, Noida and Greater Noida will be steeply hiked, it is learnt.

As multi-storey flats are also abound in these areas, the circle rates of ground floors and terraces will be worked out separately.

Those who had brought property for their own use, but had not gone in for registry, will be the biggest losers.

According to the Assistant Commissioner Stamps, Mr Ajay Kumar Goel, with a large number of offices from Delhi shifting to Ghaziabad and thereby an increase in the demand for official as well as residential accommodation, circle rates of properties in Ghaziabad, Noida and Greater Noida are likely to be revised upwards.

Upward revision of circle rates will, apart from controlling the population increase, will raise the government revenues as well.

Mr Goel informed that the date for inviting objections had been extended by the DM, Mr Santosh Kumar Yadav.

The final decision will be taken only after arriving on a consensus.


Sheila takes stock of civic amenities in
Holambi Kalan
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 29
After visiting the resettlement colonies in Holambi Kalan last week, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit toured the resettlement colonies in Bawana in the day to take stock of the civic amenities and other infrastructure there.

On the occasion, she instructed officials of the Department of Education to submit a report on the construction of new school buildings in the area.

The chief minister also asked North Delhi Power Limited (NDPL) to expedite the work of providing individual power connections to the people living in the resettlement colonies.

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) was asked to come up with a scheme of monthly passes for use of community toilets in the resettlement colonies.

Interacting with the residents, she said she would review the progress of works in the area within 10 days. The legislator, Mr Surender Kumar, and MCD Commissioner Rakesh Mehta accompanied her.

The chief minister had earlier gone on a similar visit to Holambi Kalan and, according to her aides, is scheduled to undertake inspections in other resettlement colonies.

Officials accompanying the chief minister said her visits were a follow-up of the visit by INC President Sonia Gandhi’s to Holambi Kalan earlier this year.


Declining child sex ratio, the biggest challenge
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 29
With a view to sensitise captains of the Indian industry about the evil practice of sex selection and pre-birth elimination of females, the Population Foundation of India (PFI) and Plan India, two leading NGOs of the country, organised a workshop in association with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here.

Corporates were urged to play a larger and more active role in eliminating this social-menace, which, if left unchecked, will have a catastrophic effect on the socio-economic development of the country.

Female foeticide refers to a practice where the female foetuses are selectively eliminated after prenatal sex determination, thus avoiding the birth of girls.

Speaking at the workshop, Mr A R Nanda, Executive Director, Population Foundation of India said: “The issue of the missing girls is the biggest challenge the country is facing and it can be tackled with a collective rights based approach toward the issue of population and development. Advocacy programmes to change the mindset on issues like family linege and inheritance, performance of last rites, dowry system is the need of the hour.”

“NGOs, corporates and the government should join hands to take this campaign further. Policies like one-child/two-child norms, incentives and disincentives for family planning, female sterilization etc, have proved counter productive not only in saving the girl child but also in population stabilization process”, added Mr Nanda.

According to Census 2001, the child sex ratio in Delhi is 865 girls per 1000 boys. Among all the states and union territories, this is the fifth lowest ratio in the country after Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh.

Compared to the Child Sex Ratio of 1991 Census (915), the Child ratio in 2001 shows a decline of 50 points.

According to Census 2001, all the nine districts of Delhi have recorded a decline in child sex ratio. Six districts recorded a decline of fifty or above points.

These districts are south west (-59), north west (-59), west (-55), north east (-50), east (-50) and north (-50).

At the tehsil level, 22 out of 27 tehsils have child sex ratio less than 900. 


Chandni Chowk to have ‘Food Street of India’
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 29
The Chief Minster of Delhi, Ms Sheila Dikshit, in a meeting here yesterday assured the Union State Minister, Mr Kapil Sibbal, of constituting a committee of independent experts of tourism to set up ‘Food Street of India’ in the Chandni Chowk. The food market will remain open throughout night.

Mr Sibbal, who won the parliamentary elections from Chandni Chowk, met the Chief Minister and submitted her a memorandum regarding setting up of a food market in the Chandni Chowk.

The food market, that will remain open between 8 pm and 8 am, will be operational between October 1 and March 31. The decision has been taken in order to attract more tourists.

Ms Dikshit said problems related to drinking water supply, traffic and hanging electricity wires in Paharganj and Ballimaran areas would have to be solved before the Food Street of India was established.

To discuss traffic related problems in Chandni Chowk, the Joint Commissioner of Police (traffic), Mr Qamar Ahmed, was also called to attend the meeting.

The CM has asked Mr Ahmed to submit a plan to remove traffic hazards in this area.

The Chief Minister also informed the local MP that an MoU had been signed between the MCD and the private power company, BSES, to remove hanging electricity wires. All such wires will be removed by September 30.

Ms Dikshit also directed all the MLAs and Councillors of the Chandni Chowk parliamentary constituency area, the DCs and the SDMs to work out these problems.


Cop’s wife found murdered
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 29
The wife of a Delhi Police constable was found murdered this morning in the Narela police colony in North-West district.

The incident was discovered by a sweeper, Suresh, at around 8 this morning. When Suresh knocked at the door there was no response. This made him break open the door. After opening the door he found Meena (30) lying dead with cut marks on her neck. He later informed the neighbours about the incident. The police now suspect the hand of her husband, Ravinder (34), posted in the Crime Cell of North district, in the murder since he has been absconding ever since the incident took place this morning. The police said Meena was six months’ pregnant and the couple has a three-year-old son.

Five dacoits arrested

The Central district police claimed to have arrested five dacoits who were planning to commit a dacoity near the Government Press on Minto Road. The police also claimed to have seized two countrymade weapons, one live cartridge and three knives from their possession.

The police received secret information that the dacoits would assemble near the Government Press on Minto road and accordingly nabbed them at around 11 last night. The accused persons who were arrested have been identified as Hari Shankar, alias Pappu, resident of Badam district, Raj Kumar, alias Raju, alias DP, resident of Etah, Raju, alias Mantle, resident of Bihar, Sanjit, alias Kalia, resident of Bihar, and Changa Lal, resident of Lucknow.

Man gets life term for killing teenager

A Delhi court today sentenced a man to life imprisonment for killing a 17-year-old boy after taking him away from his house in Uttam Nagar area on December 22, 2002.

The other two accused, being minors, were put to a separate trial before a juvenile court. Additional Sessions Judge R. K. Yadav also imposed a fine of Rs 500 on Satbir Singh who, along with two others, had taken Gaurav along with them in the presence of his father.

The victim’s father said Satbir and others came to their house in the evening and asked Gaurav to accompany them. Gaurav’s body was recovered from a mustard field in Kakrola village the next morning.

The police later arrested Satbir and the two minors and recovered the victim’s purse and belt from them. On the defence contending that there could be no conviction in the absence of motive the court said the failure to discover motive for an offence did not signify its non-existence.

‘’Gaurav was last seen alive with Satbir. No explanation had been offered by the accused as to why Gaurav was taken by him or where and when he parted ways,’’ the court said, adding that when facts were clearly established it was immaterial that no motive had been proved.


Farmers bear brunt of erratic water supply
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 29
Farmers in villages at the tail-end are facing great inconvenience due to lack of water supply for irrigation. Repeated complaints and efforts by the irrigation department have failed to ensure canal water supplies at tail-end of the distributaries.

According to reports available from different regions of the district, the residents of Khanpur Kalan, Gamri, Kailana Khas, Garhi Sarai Namdar Khan and Nagar in the Gohana sub-division are the worst hit. There has been no water supply in Rajbaha no. 9 for over nine months. The canal water is simultaneously released in Rajbaha no. 9 for the last nine months, but in Rajbaha it hardly reaches at its tail-end areas, whereas normal flow continues, the farmers alleged. The irrigation department officials have not taken permanent any remedial steps to solve this decades old problem of the villages,” they added.

The farmers of Garhi Ujale Khan village alleged that the sub-soil water in the region is not fit for irrigation and thus they totally depend on canal water supplies. But as canal supplies are not available, many a farmers from the region have sold their lands and purchased lands in other states like Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.

Similar situation is being faced by the residents of more than a dozen villages falling under the irrational zones of Katwal Minor and Tihar Minor. And the main reason behind the problem is the theft of canal water by the farmers in the upstream villages of the Minors and Rajbahas.


Rising crime has traders up in arms against admn
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, May 29
There is no relief in sight from rising crime and victimisation of traders by the criminals. The popular perception, supported by facts, is that crime in western UP has registered a rise since the Mulayam Singh government took over.

Even District Magistrate Santosh Kumar Yadav has agreed that crime in Ghaziabad has increased. The DM was accepting a memorandum at a rally by traders and businessmen.

The Western UP Udyog Vapar Mandal demonstrated in front of the Collectorate and traders sat on a dharna at the Ghaziabad Collectorate.

The traders raised slogans against criminals and the police. Mahanagar president Mahesh Kumar Ahuja alleged that incidents of looting, dacoities, murders and extortion had increased in Ghaziabad recently and the police had failed to put a check on crime against the business community. He alleged Rs 45 lakh had been looted from traders in the past 45 days.

Traders said this amount was looted from businessmen in five or six major looting incidents during April and May alone. If the administration and the police can’t control the situation traders will be forced to launch a major agitation.

Mr Tilak Raj Aroa said the policemen were deployed more on VIP duties rather than taking care of their primary responsibility, law and order. He called upon the government and administration to stem the rising crime otherwise trade and industry would be doomed and Ghaziabad would be known solely as a crime infested city.

The Navyug Market traders downed their shutters. Gauging the mood of the livid traders as steel merchant Satish Goel was robbed of Rs 14 lakh recently, the DIG , Mr C. B. Rai, who was scheduled to visit Ghaziabad to inaugurate some programme, cancelled his visit to the city.

Newly elected Congress MP Surinder Kumar Goel, while chastising the cops, said the police were in the habit of quoting crime figures of the past couple of years to prove that crime had declined. The fact of the matter was that incidents of traders being robbed, murders, kidnapping etc were continuously on the rise. The police have got into the habit of resolving so-called fictitious cases. 


Sonepat gets new Deputy Commissioner

Sonepat: Mr Vidyadhar has taken over charge as the new Deputy Commissioner of Sonepat in place of Mr M. R. Anand who has been transferred to Faridabad as such. Mr Anand was given farewell parties by officials of various government departments and other social, industrial and voluntary organisations during the past two days. The name of the new DC figures in the list of bureaucrats allegedly involved in the JBT teachers’ recruitment scam that is being probed by the CBI on the instructions of the Supreme Court.

Judge transferred

Mr Surinder Kumar, an Additional Sessions Judge of Sonepat, has been transferred to Bhiwani as such.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court had reinstated him recently.

Three of family assaulted

Three members of a family were injured when they were assaulted by a group of persons belonging to another group at Kilorad village, about 8 km from here, on Friday night. All injured persons were hospitalised.

The police have registered a case and further investigations are in progress. The alleged assailants are still absconding and evading arrest. OC


NCR briefs
Noida admn evicts aged artist from stadium
Our Correspondent

Noida, May 29
The way the Noida Authority officials have insulted and evicted a great art lover and known artist, Sher Singh Kukkal, from the Noida stadium has come as a shock to residents and various socio-cultural organisations here.

Kukkal’s artefacts and valuable paintings were thrown on the road in a vulgar display of authority. Kukkal was running a non-profit outfit where he used to impart teaching and acquaint young art lovers of the town with various techniques of painting.

Representatives of various socio-cultural organisations at a meeting in the Noida stadium condemned the “almost barbaric treatment meted out to the elderly artist”. They have decided to give a memorandum to the Noida Chairman and take out a peaceful protest march through Noida sectors. They all agreed the Noida Authority had indeed disgraced itself by treating a senior artist in such a shabby way.

The meeting was held on the initiative of the Chairman of Navrattan, Mr Ashok Srivastava. The Chairman and Secretary-General of the Federation of Noida Residents Welfare Associations, Mr Sushil Agarwal and Mr P.S. Jain, respectively, Mr Mahesh Saxena of the Noida Lok Manch, Mr Kishen Chand Khemka, Mr Raj Mani Tiwari of the Uttar Pradesh Samaj, the Sector 20 President, Mr Rampal Singh Bhatti, the General Secretary, Mr Suresh Tiwari, senior advocate Shiv Sagar Tiwari, Mr R.K. Saxena, Mr A.K. Bhatnagar of the Kayasth Samaj and a large number of well-wishers and supporters had attended it. They condemned the Noida Authority’s action at the meeting.

They said the Noida Authority’s action had damaged the dignity and hurt the self-respect of all artists.

The speakers said when Additional CEO Radha S. Chaudhan had given a month’s notice to Sher Singh Kukkal then where was the need for officials to evict him suddenly and without prior information and in such an insulting manner

The meeting has urged the Noida Authority to ask for an explanation from the officials involved. It has also asked for Kukkal to be compensated in a befitting manner. If these demands are not accepted by the authority then a peaceful protest march will be taken out against the Noida Authority’s reprehensible action.

FIA meeting to be held tomorrow

Faridabad: The 51st annual general meeting of the Faridabad Industries Association (FIA) will be held at FIA House here on May 31. Mr Brij Mohan Munjal, Chairman, Hero Honda Motors, will inaugurate the meeting and will be the chief guest.

According to Mr H. R. Gupta, President of the FIA, the meeting will start from 9.30 am and have a business session for its members till 12 noon. After this, an open session will start with the chief guest inaugurating it formally. The Deputy Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister will be the guest of honour.

New DC, police chief take charge

The new Deputy Commissioner, Mr M. R. Anand, has taken over charge of the office here. He replaces Mr Anil Malik, who remained at the post for less than two years. Mr Anand was holding the same post at Panipat earlier. Meanwhile, Mr S. Kaviraj has taken charge as the new district police chief here.


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Prayer in the life of individuals and nations

Praying is as natural to man as breathing or eating. It is a universal practice acknowledged in almost all religions. “Prayer is and remains the native and deepest impulse of the soul of man,” wrote Carlyle in a letter to his friend.

One would expect a retired Lieutenant General like M M Walia, to dwell on the importance of physical health and prowess or promote adventurous sports like mountain climbing. Instead he has chosen to write a few interesting booklets (published by Sterling Publishers Private Limited) and an interesting one is on prayer. “Today as never before, prayer is a binding necessity in the lives of people and nations. The lack of emphasis on the spiritual sense may bring the world to the edge of destruction. Prayer, the basic exercise of the spirit, must be actively practised in our private lives. The neglected soul of man must be made strong to assert itself. For, if the power of prayer is again released and used in the lives of men and women, there is hope that our prayers for a better world will be answered,” he observes.

Mahatma Gandhi was a man of prayer. He emphasised that it was his praying that brought him peace in the midst of all his struggles. “In spite of despair staring me in the face on the political horizon, I have never lost my peace. That peace, I tell you, comes from prayer. I am not a man of learning but I humbly claim to be a man of prayer.”

He led group prayer services in the communities he founded in South Africa and India, These services were held every morning and evening. For this purpose, he compiled, over a period, a hymnal of poetry and scripture taken from many religious traditions - including Hindu, Christian and Moslem.

Since his passing away, India has missed the soul stirring prayer of the Father of the Nation through which he sought to keep the people united to face all crisis and challenges. Though prayer meetings are occasionally organised at his memorial in Rajghat, whenever there is a national crisis, they no longer exercise the kind of influence or power wielded by Gandhiji’s prayer meetings. He had even compiled, over a period of decades, a hymnal of poetry and scripture taken from many religious traditions - including Hindu, Christian and Moslem, for use at such prayer sessions.

In 1930, Gandhi produced a translation of this collection into English. Book of Prayers included selections from the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, and the inspired poetry of Kabir, Mira, Tulsi and other Indian mystics. Its message, however, crosses cultural boundaries, and speaks directly to universal spiritual aspirations.

Perhaps there is a need to foster such activity by well meaning people to promote harmony among people of various faiths and backgrounds. Religion can be a force for good when people learn to sit together to pray for national concerns. Prayer can change people and make them compassionate towards the poor and the underprivileged. In our country, we can use prayer sessions as a means to overcome prejudices and divisive attitudes; to foster greater tolerance and acceptance of one another. For this men of goodwill and broad vision need to come together. This need not go against the secular nature of our political system; on the other, such prayers should have the effect of promoting those universal values common to all religions.

A daily relationship with God in prayer helps those in public life, according to Senator Mark Hatfield, who had a distinguished career in American politics. He observed: “Anyone in public life who thinks he can ‘go it alone’ is tragically mistaken. No one has enough love, enough concern, enough humility, enough strength, and enough courage. In an individual’s friendship with God there comes each day the humility of having fallen short, the joy of being forgiven and the strength of being renewed.”

It is said that prayer changes people, situations and circumstances. Prayer also results in increased physical buoyancy, greater intellectual vigour, moral stamina and a deepening of human relationships. Prayer alters life in a profound way. Those who are in the habit of praying has the advantage of a spiritual exercise that is sure to counter the natural elements of pride, selfishness, greed and fear entrenched in human nature. Those in public service needs to guard themselves from the perils of handling power by seeking divine help in keeping themselves humble and free from the temptations of using it for self-aggrandisement and profit.

We have situations not only at the individual level but also in the matter of national issues when human frailties render solutions difficult. For more than two decades, the civil war in Sudan wrought havoc killing millions and man appeared helpless to end his own inhumanity. For more than fifty years, India and Pakistan had been pouring billions of rupees in armaments over the Kashmir issue. In West Asia, men yearning for peace still keep terrorising each other over the Palestine issue. On all these issues, the spirit of enmity needs to be replaced by love. And the prayer must be for an end to man’s spilling of blood by fellowmen. Then there must be prayer that the poverty of millions must also end by the more prosperous learning to share their wealth. When the rains fail and land and animals thirst for water, men come to recognise that they are not masters of their own destiny. Then, they naturally take to prayer. “When helpers fail and comforts flee” individuals have an innate tendency to turn to God; it should be no different for nations. Governments can have common minimum programmes to ensure good governance, but the rulers and the ruled need grace from above for ensuring responsible behaviour so that they are enabled to function in the larger interests of the nation.

M P K Kutty


Man shot at by son, two others
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 29
A local resident, Mr Surinder Malik, was shot at and wounded at Bhainswal Kalan village, about 25 km from here, last evening.

The alleged assailants, Devinder Malik, son of Surinder Malik, and his two other accomplices, Karma of Bhainswal Kalan village and Mota halwai of Bidhal village, however, managed to escape immediately after the incident. The injured person was rushed to the PGIMS at Rohtak for treatment and his condition is stated to be serious.

The police have registered a case under Section 307 of the IPC against the three and launched a massive hunt to apprehend them.

It is stated that Manjit, a resident of Khewra village, came to the house of Mr Surinder Malik to take his sister and the wife of Devinder Malik to his home a few days ago. Mr Surinder Malik, father of Devinder, acceded his request and sent his daughter-in-law with her brother for proceeding towards her parents’ house. This was the main cause of the dispute between father and son and the murderous assault.

Fire brigade still at it in cold store

Employees of the fire brigades from Narela (Delhi), Sonepat and Ganaur have so far failed to put out the fire that broke out in a cold store on the Pio Munyari-Narela road, about 20 km from here, on Thursday.

The fire broke out in this cold store at 9 am on Thursday. It was brought under control by 2 pm on the same day. But smoke from the bags continued to come out. Workers have failed to control it.

Thereupon, fire brigades were summoned from Narela (Delhi), Sonepat and Ganaur. They are still continuing with their efforts to control it. The loss runs into several crores of rupees. Several traders of Delhi had kept their goods in this cold store.


Three killed, five hurt on highway
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 29
Three persons were killed and five others injured last night in different road accidents on National Highway 1 that passes through this district.

A canter driver, Kewal Krishan, died on the spot when his vehicle was hit by a truck near Kundli village along the Haryana-Delhi border. The victim belonged to Sadar Bazar, Karnal, and was on his way from Karnal to Delhi. The police have registered a case against truck driver Ramji Lal who managed to escape immediately after the accident. The police have also launched a massive hunt to apprehend him.

According to another report, Kewal Krishan (35) of Karnal and a 16-year-old youth, Vikki, of Bijnore (UP) were also killed in road accidents. The police have sent their bodies for a post-mortem examination.

The highway police have identified the body of Ravi Dogra (40) of Pehowa town in Kuruskhetra district which was found lying on the GT Road near Bari village on Thursday evening.

In yet another incident, five persons, including two drivers, Devanand and Jagminder, were injured when two canters collided with each other on the GT Road near Bahalgarh village. All five injured persons were immediately hospitalised and are stated to be out of danger.

One of the canters, loaded with fridges, was going from Kundli to Sirsa. A driver of a police jeep was injured when the vehicle dashed against a divider and struck against a signboard on the GT Road near Kundli village along the Haryana-Delhi border.

He was immediately hospitalised and is stated to be out of danger.

The police jeep was on its way from Delhi to Sonepat.


Small scale paint assn holds biennial conference
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 29
The Indian Small Scale Paint Association (ISSPA) is holding its 8th biennial conference at Hotel Taj Palace here between May 28 and 31. The MP, Mr Ajay Maken, as chief guest inaugurated the conference yesterday at the hotel. The Indian Small Scale Paint Association (ISSPA) formed in the year 1956 today has a strength of more than 1400 members.

Inaugurating the conference, Mr Ajay Makan said after agriculture the small scale industry in India was number two providing employment. He further said the paint industry had a bright future in the country so efforts should be made to ensure that it could compete with the international market.

Mr Madhukar Shah, current president of the association, in his address said the association was providing service to the members by seeking redressal of members’ grievances and problems by actively being a facilitator with the central and state government for problems relating to national and state levels, respectively.

The association exclusively caters to the needs of the small and medium scale paint industry in India. The ISSPA reaches out to its members for personalised service all over India. The difficulties of the ISSPA members are many and call for diverse, intensive and immediate action.


400 cos owe over Rs 200 cr to UPFC
Our Correspondent

Noida, May 29
The UP Finance Development Corporation (UPFC) has recovered Rs 31 crore from the Noida companies. But the balance amount to be recovered is still over Rs 200 crore from some 400 defaulting companies.

Units in Noida and some outside industrial companies had been offered some very attractive facilities to set up shop here.

A large number of industrialists had availed of these loans and also taken advantage of tax holidays offered by the state government in setting up units in Noida.

But quite a few had taken loans from banks also. Later, they pretended that they had become loss making units over the years and then fled from the area.

The department, it is learnt, did not have the addresses of a large number of such entrepreneurs who had given the slip to the department.

But now the UPFC is understood to have somehow collected the address of the defaulters. They are being issued notices for recovering dues in an organised and time-bound manner.

According to UPFC sources, there are still 400 defaulting units which owe the UP Finance Corporation over Rs 200 crore.

This year the corporation has recovered only Rs 31 crore while the UPFC MD, Ms Sunanda Prasad, had fixed a target of Rs 50 crore.

The regional GM, Mr Dinesh Kumar Gupta, said it was only due to the efforts of the staff that Rs 31 crore had been recovered.

In the coming months the recovery process would be stepped up further, Mr Gupta added. 


Olympiad Challenge concludes
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 29
The more than a month-long Olympiad Challenge organised by the Department of Education for students from nearly 800 schools across the city has concluded.

Education Secretary Gita Sagar gave away prizes and special certificates to the winners of the essay writing, debate and painting competitions.

The finalists came through three rounds of intense competition staged in the true Olympic spirit. The Olympiad Challenge kicked off on April 21 with an intra-school competition.

The best in each category then participated in the zonal rounds; the champions of the zonal rounds took on their counterparts from other zones at the district-level contest.

The 2004 Olympic Games will be held in Athens.

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