SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
H A R Y A N A

SYL must as parallel water carrier
Chandigarh, July 12
Irrigation engineers in Haryana feel the construction of the SYL canal is necessary not only to bring the state’s due share in the river waters of joint Punjab but also to serve as an alternative carrier system to the Bhakra Main Line.


Index:
Punjab annuls all water pacts
It will lead to constitutional crisis, warns Chautala

Arrest warrants against Karnal legislator
Karnal, July 12
A local court today issued arrest warrants of Independent MLA Jai Prakash Gupta in a Rs 92-lakh paddy scam. The police has launched a hunt for the MLA and raided many places in Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, New Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.

SAD suffers setback in Haryana
Karnal, July 12
The Shirmoni Akali Dal (SAD) has suffered a major setback in Haryana in the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) elections. It has managed to secure only four out of the 11 seats in the state. Rebels under the banner of the Haryana Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (adhoc) have won seven seats.

Bhanokheri wins SGPC Ambala seat
Ambala, July 12
SAD candidate Gurdeep Singh Bhanokheri after being elected to SGPC from Ambala Shiromani Akali Dal, Haryana unit, candidate for SGPC poll, Gurdeep Singh Bhanokheri has won from the Ambala constituency.


SAD candidate Gurdeep Singh Bhanokheri after being elected to SGPC from Ambala on Monday. — Photo by Neeraj Chopra


Stories from Haryana towns falling in the National Capital Region are put in
 Delhi & neighbourhood.


YOUR TOWN
Ambala
Chandigarh
Fatehabad
Karnal
Rewari
Rohtak


EARLIER STORIES
 

Sony’s closure at Rewari big blow to Chautala
Chandigarh, July 12
The Haryana Opposition’s campaign, accusing the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, of driving away industries from the state by his actions and the government’s policies, is likely to assume a more strident tone in the wake of the decision of the Japanese giant Sony to shut down a unit at Rewari.

MC notice to Siti cable for Rs 80 lakh recovery
Karnal, July 12
The Municipal Council (MC) here has served a notice on local Siti cable network for Rs 80 lakh ground rent for using public space to put up poles and laying cables. Last week, the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) removed main communication lines of Siti cable operators in the urban estate area for not paying Rs 78 lakh of ground rent. More than one-third of city population in the urban estate has been without access to cable TV network for past five days.

Haryana transfers 6 IAS officers
Chandigarh, July 12
The Haryana Government today issued transfer and posting orders of six IAS officers with immediate effect. Mr S.S. Dhillon, awaiting posting orders, has been posted as Registrar, Cooperative Societies, vice Mr.Abhilaksh Likhi.

Water samples found contaminated
Fatehabad, July 12
Following reports of the outbreak of gastroenteritis in Jandwala Sottar village in this district samples of potable water from most parts of the district have been found unsatisfactory.

2 new names mooted for VC’s post
Rohtak, July 12
The state government’s efforts to appoint a Vice-Chancellor of its choice for Maharshi Dayanand University here received a jolt today as the Executive Council (EU) of the university named two new members for the search panel for recommending names for appointment despite the presence of the education and finance secretaries.

Cong seeks removal of councillor
Ambala, July 12
The District Congress Committee (Urban), Ambala Cantt, today demanded the removal of Mr Lalita Prasad from the Municipal Council for using unparliamentary language in the general House meeting.

Husband, in-laws booked in dowry death case
Jhajjar, July 12
The police today registered a case of dowry death against the husband and in-laws of a woman who was burnt to death along with her two-year-old daughter in Mubarikpur village of the district last night.

Leaf from History
A prominent school of undivided Punjab
B.D. High School, Ambala cantonment. AMBALA: Ninety-year-old Banarsi Dass High School of Ambala Sadar was one of the prominent schools of undivided Punjab. The school was set up in 1914 so that quality education could be easily accessible to the local people. A number of senior residents of Ambala Sadar are alumni of this institution.

B.D. High School, Ambala cantonment.
— Photo by Neeraj Chopra

Awareness drive for train passengers
Ambala, July 12
An awareness rally being held at the Ambala Cantt railway station on Monday. A train passenger awareness programme was launched at Ambala Cantt railway station today. Divisional Railway Manager Keshav Chandra inaugurated the programme which will generate awareness about the need for maintaining cleanliness and hygiene on trains and railway platforms.

An awareness rally being held at the Ambala Cantt railway station on Monday. 
— Photo by Neeraj Chopra

Spare a thought for Shaheedi Park
The dried up Bua ka Talab, a historic monument situated in the middle of Shaheedi Park in Jhajjar. Jhajjar: Noted film director Ketan Mehta may have discovered this historic site in Jhajjar to give a real touch to his film, The Rising, based on the first martyr of the 1857 rising, Mangal Pande, who raised the banner of revolt against foreign rule. 



The dried up Bua ka Talab, a historic monument situated in the middle of Shaheedi Park in Jhajjar. — Photo Ajit Yadav


Sonika tops in B.Sc I exam
Our Correspondent

Ambala, July 12

Sonika, student of DAV College, Ambala City, has topped in the first year of the B.Sc (non-medical) examination of Kurukshetra University (KU). A student of SD College, Ambala Cantonment, Kalpana Sharma, got the second position in the university in the examination. She secured 86.8 per cent marks.

Theft in 2 houses
Rewari, July 12
A gang of thieves committed thefts in several houses in Shiv Nagar Colony here early today. The thieves broke into the house of an Income Tax Department employee, Mr Suresh Kumar Sharma, and decamped with cash and ornaments worth about Rs 1 lakh.

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SYL must as parallel water carrier
Yoginder Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
Irrigation engineers in Haryana feel the construction of the SYL canal is necessary not only to bring the state’s due share in the river waters of joint Punjab but also to serve as an alternative carrier system to the Bhakra Main Line (BML).

A senior engineer working in the Haryana Irrigation Department told TNS here today that the second aspect of the SYL canal as an alternative channel to the BML, was equally important as was its first purpose to bring river water to Haryana.

The existing BML is the only system for carrying waters of the Ravi and Beas to Haryana, Rajasthan and Delhi. It was commissioned on July 8, 1954. The Bhakra Beas Management Board was justifiably proud when it celebrated the Golden Jubilee of the BML. The engineer, who did not want to be identified, said during the last 50 years the BML had run efficiently and “performed excellently”. The engineering community, he said, was legitimately proud of constructing such a wonderful canal.

The construction of the BML started in 1948 and was completed in six years. At that time the dominant consideration behind carrying river waters was irrigation. Over the years, many canal-based drinking water schemes were constructed and commissioned in Haryana and Rajasthan. The raw water for these schemes was supplied through the Bhakara canal system.

In view of the perennial nature of the Bhakra canal system, the engineer said, no provision had been made for storing water at many of the drinking water schemes. The BML also carries raw water for meeting substantive requirement of drinking water in the National Capital. He said in Delhi also, there was no facility to store water.

He said it was because of the compulsion providing drinking water to Delhi and to the people of Haryana and Rajasthan, it had never been possible to close the BML even for urgent repairs. He said periodical repairs of a canal was must how-so-ever well-designed and well-constructed it might be. The maintenance of the BML had been compromised because of its non-closure.

He said the construction of a parallel carrier channel was, therefore, essentially needed, at least for meeting drinking water requirement of the people of the vast region comprising Haryana, Rajasthan and Delhi. The SYL canal could very well serve as the alternative carrier system. 
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Arrest warrants against Karnal legislator
Kulwinder Sandhu
Tribune News Service

Karnal, July 12
A local court today issued arrest warrants of Independent MLA Jai Prakash Gupta in a Rs 92-lakh paddy scam. The police has launched a hunt for the MLA and raided many places in Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, New Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.

Investigating officer Surinder Pal Singh, Deputy Superintendent of Police, told The Tribune that the police obtained the arrest warrants of Jai Prakash Gupta from the judicial court of Mr Devinder Singh this morning. The police, in its application filed before the court, had pleaded that custodial interrogation of the MLA was necessary to find the truth behind the paddy scam, he said.

The District and Sessions Court of Mr Lakshman Sharma had on Saturday dismissed the anticipatory bail application of Jai Prakash Gupta and his brother Paras Ram Gupta. The application was filed in the court on July 1. During the intervening period, the MLA and his brother were granted stay on arrest.

Another application of the MLA seeking a blanket bail is pending before the Punjab and Haryana High Court in which the state government has been issued a show-cause notice.

Counsel of the MLA Y.K. Kalia said, “We will move the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday for anticipatory bail”. He claimed that the MLA cooperated with the local police and appeared before the investigating officer on June 5 as per the court order for investigation. Therefore, custodial interrogation was not mandatory.

The MLA and his brother were booked under Sections 406, 420, 120-B, 467, 468 and 471 of the IPC along with former DM of Confed V.P. Gupta in the 2002 on the complaint of Confed for alleged irregularities in a rice mill allegedly owned by the MLA and his brother. The former DM is at present in judicial custody.

Later, during the investigation the Karnal police also added Section 13-1(D) of the Prevention of Corruption Act against the MLA as the challan was yet to be filed against him in the court.

Meanwhile, the Karnal police has launched a hunt to nab the MLA and his brother. Separate teams of police were dispatched to the possible hideouts of the Guptas at Mansa, Ludhiana (Punjab), Karnal, Kurukshetra (Haryana), Ghaziabad, Noida (UP), New Delhi and Chandigarh. 
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SAD suffers setback in Haryana
Tribune Reporters

Karnal, July 12
The Shirmoni Akali Dal (SAD) has suffered a major setback in Haryana in the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) elections. It has managed to secure only four out of the 11 seats in the state. Rebels under the banner of the Haryana Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (HGPC) (adhoc) have won seven seats.

The rebels have been demanding a separate gurdwara parbandhak committee to manage the affairs of gurdwaras in Haryana. They extensively talked against Sikh leaders of Punjab during the campaign and managed to influence a sizable section of Sikh population in Haryana, giving a blow to the SAD supremo, Mr Parkash Singh Badal.

In the previous elections, the SAD had managed to secure all 11 seats of Haryana. Although no reaction has come from the SAD leadership over the debacle in Haryana, it is widely believed that the death of former SGPC president Gurcharan Singh Tohra has adversely affected Sikh voters in the state.

The Karnal seat witnessed an interesting contest from where executive member of the SGPC Bhupinder Singh Assandh lost to Mr Jagdish Singh Jhinda of the Haryana Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (adhoc) by a margin of 2,341 votes.

From Kurukshetra, Ms Harvinder Kaur and Mr Didar Singh Kambol, from Dabhwali Mr Surjit Singh and Mr Hardev Singh, from Hissar Mr Baldev Singh and from Kaithal Mr Avtar Singh of the HGPC won.

Jathedar Surjit Singh Darar, president of the Haryana Sikh Sangat (HSS) and once a close confidant of Gurcharan Singh Tohra, while talking to The Tribune, said a majority of Sikhs who were loyal to Tohra, had come to be identified separately in Haryana. “We were always tagged with either Mr Badal or Mr Tohra in Haryana, where the SAD leadership never though of politically uplifiting Sikhs,” he alleged.

Mr Nawab Singh, vice-president of the HGPC said they were adamant on forming a separate managing committee to manage the affairs of gurdwaras in Haryana. He said their members would raise the issue in the next general house meeting of the SGPC.

YAMUNANAGAR: The SAD candidate, Mr Baldev Singh Kaimpuri, has been elected to the SGPC. Supporters of Mr Kaimpuri later took out a victory march in the twin townships of Yamunanagar and Jagadhri besides rural areas of the district.

The HGPC candidate, Mr Joga Singh, finished third in the elections.

Mr Kaimpuri was choice of as many as 7333 voters in the district. An Independent candidate, Major Harbans Singh Gadhola (retd), was favoured by 5373 voters while only 5315 votes were polled in the favour of Mr Joga Singh. Independent candidate Kirpal Singh Bajwa secured 1408 votes and Mr Ajaib Singh Patvi 2031 votes.

KAITHAL: Mr Avtar Singh Chakku, a candidate sponsored by the HGPC, won the SGPC elections from this constituency . He defeated his only rival, Mr Sharan Jit Singh Sotha of the SAD by 2661 votes.
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Bhanokheri wins SGPC Ambala seat
Tribune News Service

Ambala, July 12
Shiromani Akali Dal, Haryana unit, candidate for SGPC poll, Gurdeep Singh Bhanokheri has won from the Ambala constituency. Mr Bhanokheri defeated his closest rival Mr Harpal Singh Pali of the Shiromani Akali Dal, Haryana State, by about 1,300 votes. The results were available today though the unofficial information about Mr Bhanokheri’s victory was learnt late last night.

Mr Bhanokheri polled 6,515 votes while Mr Pali polled 5,233 votes. Mr Preetam Singh Majri, Independent candidate, secured 2,345 votes and Haryana Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (ad hoc) candidate Khushpal Singh got 1,493 votes.

A total of 59.63 per cent votes were polled. The voter turnout in rural areas was much higher as compared to the urban areas.

Nagar kirtan was taken out this afternoon to mark the victory of Mr Bhanokheri.

The procession started from Gurdwara Manji Sahib.Top

 

Sony’s closure at Rewari big blow to Chautala
Shubhadeep Choudhury
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
The Haryana Opposition’s campaign, accusing the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, of driving away industries from the state by his actions and the government’s policies, is likely to assume a more strident tone in the wake of the decision of the Japanese giant Sony to shut down a unit at Rewari.

It was learnt that the company had shut down its audio-manufacturing unit situated at the southern district. As a result of the closure, 478 employees working in the unit have lost their jobs and the state government has lost a huge amount of revenue which it used to get from the unit. “We closed down the unit last month. June 30 was our last working day”, a representative of Sony said. The unit was set up in 1998, he said.

Closure of the unit is considered a major blow to Mr Om Prakash Chautala, who has cited the expansion of the existing Japanese manufacturing units to justify his foreign trips ostensibly undertaken to invite foreign direct investments.

The closure prompted Captain Ajay Singh Yadav, officiating leader of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP), and himself an MLA from Rewari, to launch a vicious attack against the Chief Minister. He alleged that the state government’s taxation policy, coupled with Mr Chautala’s “anti-industry attitude”, had led to the closure of the factory.

“This is not the first time that an industrial unit has shut down in Haryana. There have been a continuous flight of industries from Haryana since the INLD government came to power in the state. Yadav claimed that Sony was shifting its unit from Haryana to Rajasthan where the industrial climate was better.

Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, MP from Rohtak Lok Sabha constituency and former HPCC chief, also came down heavily on Mr Chautala for the closure of the Japanese unit. “When the existing industries are driven away from the state, how can Mr Chautala talk about bringing in new industries “, Mr Hooda said and alleged that extortion by state government machinery is resulting into shifting of industries from Haryana to elsewhere.

A spokesman of Sony, however, denied that controversial tax like the Local Area Development Tax (LADT) or “extortion” as alleged by Opposition leaders, have forced them to close the unit. He claimed the unit was shut down in view of intense competition in the audio market. The spokesman also added that there was no immediate chance of re-opening of the unit elsewhere.
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MC notice to Siti cable for Rs 80 lakh recovery
Tribune News Service

Karnal, July 12
The Municipal Council (MC) here has served a notice on local Siti cable network for Rs 80 lakh ground rent for using public space to put up poles and laying cables. Last week, the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) removed main communication lines of Siti cable operators in the urban estate area for not paying Rs 78 lakh of ground rent. More than one-third of city population in the urban estate has been without access to cable TV network for past five days.

An official of the MC proposed if the rent was not deposited in one week, stern action will be taken against the Siti cable on the pattern of HUDA, like cutting main communication lines and uprooting of poles.

Star and Sony satellite channels also stopped providing link to the Siti cable due to non-payment of subscriptions and transferred transmission rights to New Balaji cable network for broadcasting their channels. Proprietor of New Balaji cable network Brij Gupta told The Tribune that he had secured exclusive rights to transmit Star and Sony pay channels.

He claimed, “I recently got permission from the authorities to erect poles and lay cables in the urban estate area by paying required amount to the HUDA. He claimed he would start transmission this week. People here allleged that there was tussle for supremacy between Siti and Balaji cable networks for many months. A few years back, both parties had joined hands when the INLD government assumed power but differences resurfaced after the HUDA action.

Meanwhile, the Star India also complained to the District Magistrate here demanding action against the franchisees of the Siti cable for the violation of the copyright by transmitting pay channels without paying the subscription.

Mr Chand Parvej, an official of the Star India said the Siti cable network had been evading payment subscription of pay channels for the past one year. Till January 2004, the subscription due was Rs 20 lakh. According to an estimate, the subscription due till June 2004 increased to over Rs 32 lakh.

He also said that a complaint had been made to the District Magistrate against the Siti cable network for the alleged violation of the copyright. Sources in the DM’s office said that the investigation into alleged violation of copyright by the Siti cable was in progress. However, details were not available.

Mr Umesh Uppal, an official of the Sony TV confirmed that the rights of beaming their pay channels had been withdrawn from the Siti cable network for non-payment of subscription of more than Rs 10 lakh. This amount has been due for the past four months, he said.

A senior official of the district administration ruled out political interference in the case and said, “It is a case of evasion of ground rent”. “We have served notices from time to time through HUDA and the MC to recover the amount but none bothered to deposit the arrears”, he added. The Siti cable is owned by a relative of local independent MLA Jai Prakash Gupta evading arrest in a case of Rs 92 lakh fraud.

The franchisee of Siti cable has already filed a complaint against the State Government in the Punjab and Haryana High Court for harassment due to political reasons.

There is a resentment among a large section of city population denied access to cable network for the past five days.

The government may hand over investigation of the cable to the Vigilance Bureau against the franchisees.
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Haryana transfers 6 IAS officers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
The Haryana Government today issued transfer and posting orders of six IAS officers with immediate effect. Mr S.S. Dhillon, awaiting posting orders, has been posted as Registrar, Cooperative Societies, vice Mr.Abhilaksh Likhi.

Mr Abhilaksh Likhi, who is also holding the charge of Managing Director, Haryana State Federation of Cooperative Sugar Mills, has been posted as Administrator, HUDA (Headquarters), relieving Mr Balwant Singh.

Mr Avtar Singh, Special Secretary, Urban Development Department, has been posted as Special Secretary, Secretariat Establishment, vice Mr.R.P.Bhardwaj.

Mr Hawa Singh Dhankar, Deputy Commissioner, Mahendragarh, has been given the additional charge of Director and Joint Secretary, Archives, relieving Mrs Navraj Sandhu of the said charge.

Mr Balraj Singh, Deputy Commissioner, Sirsa, has been given the additional charge of Joint Secretary, Land Use Board, against a vacant post.

Mr Suresh Kumar Goyal, Joint Secretary, Public Works (Public Health), has been given the additional charge of Joint Secretary, Agriculture, during the leave period of Mr Lal Singh.
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Water samples found contaminated
Our Correspondent

Fatehabad, July 12
Following reports of the outbreak of gastroenteritis in Jandwala Sottar village in this district samples of potable water from most parts of the district have been found unsatisfactory. Contaminated water’s consumption can cause gastroenteritis, jauncice and typhoid. Water samples for testing were taken from places, like bus stand, community health centres, court complex and tehsil complex.

Water samples taken from ice factories of Rattia town passed the tests.

According to sources samples of potable water taken from community health centre at Rattia town in the district on June 26 contained 19 coliform bacteria per 100 millilitres of water rendering it unfit for consumption. Samples from near New Era Convent School at Rattia was also unfit with 12 coliform bacteria per 100 millilitre of water. Sample from the Tohana Road and Tehsil Complen of Rattia town contained 20 and 14 coliform bacteria respectively and were unfit. Water with such number of harmful bacteria is classified grade-IV water. Gradation is given according to the quality of water. Grade I is excellent, grade II is safe, grade III is suspicious while grade IV is unfit.

Not only residents of Rattia are forced to drink contaminated water. Potable water at Tohana, another subdivisional town of the district, is even worse. Water samples taken from the bus stand of the town contaminated 45 coliform bacteria per 100 millilitre of water. Samples from main bazar, railway road bazar and court complex were also found unsatisfactory. Water samples taken from Civil Hospital Tohana was slightly better but it, fell in suspicious category.

At Bhuna town in the district, samples were taken from four different places and all samples were found highly contaminated. Samples taken from places in Jakhal block were also found contaminated, Water samples from Cheemo village were lesser contaminated fell in suspicious category.

Functioning of the Public Health authorities responsible for providing safe drinking water to people has been exposed. Reports reveal that if quality of water supplied in the district was not improved water-borne diseases could break out.

District Health Officer, Dr N.K. Goyal, said samples of potable water were taken from places from time to time and when samples failed the Health authorities were requested to take remedial steps.
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2 new names mooted for VC’s post
Tribune News Service

Rohtak, July 12
The state government’s efforts to appoint a Vice-Chancellor of its choice for Maharshi Dayanand University here received a jolt today as the Executive Council (EU) of the university named two new members for the search panel for recommending names for appointment despite the presence of the education and finance secretaries.

According to sources, the EC decided the issue by voting after a heated debate during which the two secretaries wanted the council to stick to the two members who had been nominated to the panel in April.

The sources said the council nominated Dr L.R. Verma, VC, Himachal Pradesh University and Dr V.R. Mehta, a former VC of Delhi University, to the panel. The council decided the issue with 10 votes for fresh nominations and seven in favour of retaining the earlier panel.

However, the suggestion was opposed by several members, most of them senior dons of MDU. They stuck to their stand that the nominations could not have been made before the post of the VC fell vacant.

The EC had nominated the Vice-Chancellors of Guru Jambheshwar University and Haryana Agricultural University to the panel at the last meeting in April presided over by the then VC, Major-Gen Bhim Singh Suhag (retd). He had still not resigned then.

Later, the EC at a meeting last month annulled the nominations and decided to make fresh ones. The government in the meanwhile tried to appoint a VC and convened meetings of the search panel a number of times.
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Cong seeks removal of councillor
Tribune News Service

Ambala, July 12
The District Congress Committee (Urban), Ambala Cantt, today demanded the removal of Mr Lalita Prasad from the Municipal Council for using unparliamentary language in the general House meeting.

In a memorandum submitted to the Deputy Commissioner, the Congress Municipal Councillors and other Congress activists stated that Mr Lalita Prasad must be removed as a Municipal Councillor under Section 14(c) of Municipal Act, 1973.

They alleged that Mr Lalita Prasad used intemperate language in meetings. “He used vulgar language in the House meeting on July 7 when the MC president, Executive Officer, secretary and women MCs were present after the issue of encroachments in Mr Lalita Prasad’s ward was brought up,” the memorandum states.

They demanded that an inquiry must be held into the incident and it must be investigated as to why Mr Lalita Prasad became agitated when encroachments in his ward were pointed out.
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Husband, in-laws booked in dowry death case
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, July 12
The police today registered a case of dowry death against the husband and in-laws of a woman who was burnt to death along with her two-year-old daughter in Mubarikpur village of the district last night.

According to a police spokesperson, deceased Sudesh, wife of Ashok Kumar, set herself ablaze after sprinkling petrol along with her two-year-daughter Sonia at her house. The father of the deceased, Hawa Singh, a resident of Nakloi village, alleged that the husband and other family members had been harassing his daughter for bringing inadequate dowry since her marriage seven years ago. He further alleged that she was burnt by the family of her husband.

He said that due to the dowry dispute she had been living with them at her parental house for about 16 months and returned to her husband’s house after intervention of relatives in December last year.

However, the husband’s family has maintained that nobody was present at home when the incident occurred. Sher Singh, father-in-law, said that villagers brought her in burnt condition to the Civil Hospital and on being informed they also joined them. He said that he immediately informed her parents. Both the families rushed to the Civil Hospital at Jhajjar last night. The district police has registered a case of dowry death against husband Ashok, father-in-law Sher Singh and mother-in-law Murti Devi. No arrest has been made so far.
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Leaf from History
A prominent school of undivided Punjab
Rahul Das
Tribune News Service

AMBALA: Ninety-year-old Banarsi Dass High School of Ambala Sadar was one of the prominent schools of undivided Punjab. The school was set up in 1914 so that quality education could be easily accessible to the local people. A number of senior residents of Ambala Sadar are alumni of this institution.

Mr Manmohan Sarup Gupta, who studied in the school in the 1930s, said it was set up by noted philanthropist Lala Banarsi Dass primarily for those who could not afford expensive education. “The school was the pioneer educational institution up to the matric standard not only in Ambala district but also in the states of Punjab and Haryana,” he said.

An estimated Rs 2.14 lakh was spent on the construction of the school and BD Women Hospital. The early management of the school was in the hands of Rai Bahadur Lala Banarsi Dass till a trust was formed on March 3, 1938. The members included Lala Banarsi Dass as Life member-president, Lala Rajeshwar Prashad, Managing Director of RB L BD & Co, Lala Hari Narain, Dr Milki Ram, medical practitioner, Lala Diali Ram and Pandit Hari Dass, inspector of schools.
Mr Nand Kishore Gupta, secretary, RB L BD&Co, was appointed honoary secretary and ex-officio member of the trust. Dr Milki Ram was the manager of the school, followed by Lala Sunder Lall, cloth dealer and brick-kiln owner.

Mr Manmohan Sarup Gupta recalled that the relations between teachers and students were cordial. “The teachers maintained a personal touch with each and every student. They taught with dedication. There was no private tuition system. On the other hand, when university exam days approached, special extra classes without any extra charges, were held before and after school hours. The extra classes helped improve the overall results and secure distinctions for students,” he said.

He said the teaching staff consisted of qualified and learned persons with very high moral character. Among those who taught at the school were Mr Chiranji Lall, Mr Kesar Dass, Pandit Daulat Ram Sharma and Mr Chandra Shekhar.

“Pandit Kalu Mal Sharma was a genius in mathematics. He was a teacher with a fresh approach and thinking. He authored a number of interesting maths books in Hindi and Urdu. Master Nanak Chand and Master Faqir Chand were good teachers. Mr Gian Chand Sharma has been the headmaster since 1992,” he said.

Mr Sharma recalled that they used to use the “G” nib for English and the “Z” nib for writing in Urdu. “No fountain pen or ballpens were permitted. In junior classes, wooden ‘takhtis’, black ink and a `kalam’ made of `sarkanda’ were used in language classes,” he said.

 

Awareness drive for train passengers
Tribune News Service

Ambala, July 12
A train passenger awareness programme was launched at Ambala Cantt railway station today. Divisional Railway Manager Keshav Chandra inaugurated the programme which will generate awareness about the need for maintaining cleanliness and hygiene on trains and railway platforms.

Scouts and Guides will actively participate in the programme. The programme also aims to discouraging ticketless travel. The railway personnel will encourage people to throw garbage in dustbins and not to litter the area.

Through pamphlets and skits, the railway personnel will reach out to passengers and try to inculcate good habits.

Among others, ADRM Dayal Dogra, senior DCM Aneet Dullat and Mr G.S. Hira were present.

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Spare a thought for Shaheedi Park
Deepinder

Jhajjar: Noted film director Ketan Mehta may have discovered this historic site in Jhajjar to give a real touch to his film, The Rising, based on the first martyr of the 1857 rising, Mangal Pande, who raised the banner of revolt against foreign rule. But Shaheedi Park, a memorial to those unknown heroes who sacrificed their lives in the first war of Independence, continues to be in a state of neglect on account of sheer negligence in its upkeep by the authorities.

The district administration has at last decided to resurrect this historic park and has chalked out a much-touted project of giving it a facelift. However, the project has already run into rough weather due to non-arrival of a grant of Rs 50 lakh , which was promised on the occasion of Shaeedi Divas in September, 2002. As a result, work came to a standstill about two years ago due to paucity of funds with the local municipal committee, which had taken up the task with the help of the district administration and the state government.

The park spread over 5.5 acres of land on the Bahadurgarh road near Dilli Gate also included the historic Bua ka Talab. The Talab, a classical example of Mughal architecture of the fourteenth century, had dried up long ago.

According to information, Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala sanctioned Rs 22 lakh in a Sarkar Apke Dwar programme here in early 2002. But this amount was spent in raising the boundary wall, installing fountains and retro-electronic lights fitted on about 100 poles .It proved insufficient in giving a proper look to the park. As the work of the renovation remained suspended for a long time, the funds already spent also seemed to have gone down the drain. A visit to the park exposed the pathetic tale of the site as all the electric bulbs on the poles were damaged. The pond was dry as ever and the floor of the park was not being properly maintained.

The MC sources confirmed that Rs 50 lakh grant, which was promised on the occasion of Sheehidi Divas on September 23, 2002, was cancelled and the administration has now sent proposed to both the Haryana Tourism Corporation and the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI ) to take over the park for its preservation. The sources told that if any of these agencies took over the site, the park and Bua ka Talab could be developed as tourist spots along with preservation of Bua ka Talab as a historic monument.

The memorial was built in 1957 to commemorate the supreme sacrifice of the freedom fighters on the occasion of the completion of the centenary of the mutiny of 1857.Thus the park came into existence.The people of the town say that the park used to be one of the most beautiful places in the region earlier. However, as the years went by, the park suffered a long spell of neglect as neither the local administration nor the municipal committee took pains in its renovation and upkeep. This resulted in it turning into a big bin filled with the garbage released by the town for a long time. However, some scenes of the Amir Khan- starrer film,The Rising ,is being shot at the historic Kalalon ke Makbaras, adjacent to the park. The film is also a tribute to the first martyr of the mutiny of 1857, Mangal Pande. 
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Theft in 2 houses
Our Correspondent

Rewari, July 12
A gang of thieves committed thefts in several houses in Shiv Nagar Colony here early today. The thieves broke into the house of an Income Tax Department employee, Mr Suresh Kumar Sharma, and decamped with cash and ornaments worth about Rs 1 lakh.

They took away a trunk which they abandoned in a neighbouring field after removing cash and ornaments.

Later, the thieves broke into another house in the neighbourhood. They broke open the locks of the rooms of the two tenants, Narender Kumar and Nawal Kishore, as well as of the house-owner. They took away cash and valuables from there.
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