SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
D E L H I   A N D   N E I G H B O U R H O O D

BJP MLAs seek CBI probe into budget ‘leak’
New Delhi, July 28
Seeking a CBI probe into the alleged budget leak, the BJP MLAs today met the Lt-Governor, Mr B L Joshi, and sought the dismissal of Delhi Finance Minister A K Walia.

Dr Jagdish Mukhi along with Delhi BJP president Dr Harsha Vardhan presenting a memorandum to Lt-Governor B. L. Joshi on the Budget ‘leakage’ at Raj Niwas in the Capital Dr Jagdish Mukhi along with Delhi BJP president Dr Harsha Vardhan presenting a memorandum to Lt-Governor B. L. Joshi on the Budget ‘leakage’ at Raj Niwas in the Capital on Wednesday. — Tribune photo

Anti-Budget dharna today
New Delhi, July 28
The BJP Delhi Pradesh will hold a dharna tomorrow at 10 am near Master Chandgi Ram Akhara situated in front of the Delhi Vidhan Sabha in protest against the budget presented by the Congress-led Delhi government.

Traders discuss VAT with FM
New Delhi, July 28
A delegation of traders under the leadership of the president of the Akhil Bharatiya Vyapar Mandal, Mr Sanjay Sethi, met the Finance Minister to discuss their reservations of the Value Added Tax (VAT).


 

EARLIER STORIES

 
BJP leader Sahib Singh Verma protesting the registration of police cases against him in the Capital on Wednesday.
BJP leader Sahib Singh Verma protesting the registration of police cases against him in the Capital on Wednesday. — Tribune photo

Six get life imprisonment for murder
New Delhi, July 28
A city court today sentenced six persons, including five of a family, to life imprisonment for murdering their neighbour in Shadipur village in West Delhi seven years ago.

  • Three held in kidnapping, murder case

10 held with five Pak passports
Ghaziabad, July 28
The Ghaziabad police have arrested 10 persons, including two women and three minors of the same family in Kela Bhatta area. Five Pakistani passports have been recovered from them. Eight of them had come to India on these passports four years ago and gone underground after the expiry of their visas.

SP leader survives murderous attack
Greater Noida, July 28
Four criminals fired a hail of bullets from a Maruti van on Gautam Budh Nagar district chief of Samajwadi Party Brijender Bhatti in Greater Noida. The assailants were seen to have sped towards Kasna. The Surajpur and Kasna police have launched a hunt for the assailants.

India – the Diabetic Capital of World: WHO
New Delhi, July 28
The time is not far when in a crowded place you randomly tap on a person’s shoulder to find he too is a diabetic. Already, a whopping 3.5 crore diabetics in India alone are a clear testimony to the latent volcano waiting to explode in our faces.

Survey to assess damage to kharif crop
New Delhi, July 28
A survey has been ordered by the Delhi Government to assess the damage to kharif crop and vegetables due to the drought-like situation in the Capital. The Delhi Development Minister, Mr Raj Kumar Chauhan, has directed the Divisional Commissioner to conduct the survey and submit his report within ten days.

  • Seminar against use of tobacco

Fill vacancies in Safdarjung Hospital: HC
New Delhi, July 28
Taking exception to downsizing of staff in hospitals, the Delhi High Court today directed the Centre to immediately fill the 643 vacancies in Safdarjung Hospital where 142 children died in the paediatric ward here last month.

Don’t roll back diesel tax hike: CSE
New Delhi, July 28
The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) today urged the Delhi Government not to roll back the environment cess on diesel cars and the hike in sales tax on fuel under pressure of industry lobbies.

Petroleum dealers defer strike
New Delhi, July 28
In what was a major relief to the public, petrol pumps in the Capital remained open today as the Delhi Petrol Dealers Association called off its agitation to protest against the proposed hike in the sales tax on diesel.

Evolution of India through photography
New Delhi, July 28
Fifty-seven years, 11 photographers, 95 photographs and you have one of the most eye-catching, reflective, evocative and priceless recounts of the evolution of India.

Sisters missing from school
Noida, July 28
Two students of Khaitan Public School, Noida, who are reported to be real sisters, have been missing since yesterday afternoon.

Minister gives full marks to IGNOU
New Delhi, July 28
Inaugurating the new academic complex of IGNOU, Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh complimented the efforts of Indira Gandhi National Open University on democratisation of education and hoped that IGNOU would continue contributing to create an educated India.

Sewer connections in Najafgarh
New Delhi, July 28
Member of Parliament from Outer Delhi Sajjan Kumar today announced that sewerage would be provided to the residents of Najafgarh township.

Constable shoots himself
Noida, July 28
A constable, working as Munshi (PA) in Kakode police station, shot himself yesterday afternoon.

Two robbers arrested, Rs 90,000 seized
New Delhi, July 28
The Special Staff of the West district police claimed to have arrested two robbers, identified as Dharmender Rathi and Ajay Kumar, and seized Rs 90,000 from their possession.

  • Computer training centre

  • Sikh religious institutions’ meeting

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BJP MLAs seek CBI probe into budget ‘leak’
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 28
Seeking a CBI probe into the alleged budget leak, the BJP MLAs today met the Lt-Governor, Mr B L Joshi, and sought the dismissal of Delhi Finance Minister A K Walia.

Led by Leader of the Opposition Jagdish Mukhi, the BJP legislators asked the Lt-Governor to order a CBI inquiry to fix accountability for the reported leak.

They also asked that Mr Joshi, as constitutional head of the NCT of Delhi, should write to the Union Home Minister to dismiss Dr Walia for breaking the budget secrecy.

The Lt-Governor is the representative of the Union Home Minister who appoints the Delhi Ministers. Mr Mukhi later told newspersons that if the inquiry is not ordered, leaking the budget might become a tradition.

The leaders also submitted a memorandum to the Lt-Governor in this regard. They pointed out that parts of the tax proposals appeared in a newspaper a day before the budget presentation.

The newspaper had explicitly stated that sales tax on diesel would be increased from 12 to 20 per cent, on paper from four to eight cent and on life-saving surgical equipment from zero to eight per cent, while CNG would be exempted from taxation. All these were proved to be correct when the budget was presented in the Assembly on July 22.

Demanding the resignation of Dr Walia, they cited various cases of budget leak and subsequent resignations. The BJP MLAs had to refer to history to buttress their contention.

They said James Henry Thomas, who served as Colonial Secretary in 1935-36 was forced to resign when he hinted to the stock exchange speculators about tax changes.

He shouted ‘’Tee up’’ while playing Golf with them suggesting that duties on tea were to rise. Similarly Hugh Dalton, Chancellor of the Exchequer also had to resign when he made an off-the-cuff remark to a journalist about his 1947 budget proposal.

The BJP MLAs also drew the attention of the Lt-Governor to the arrest of three persons for the Rajasthan Budget leak on October 31, 2001.

“It is a matter of regret that the Chief Minister of Delhi has not taken our complaints of budget leakage seriously and the finance minister has not been directed to resign. No action has been initiated

against any guilty officer either. Thus, we request you to dismiss the finance minister A K Walia and order a CBI probe into the leakage,’’ the memorandum said.

Walia denies charges

Even as the opposition continues to seek his dismissal over the alleged budget leak, Delhi Finance Minister A K Walia today vehemently denied all the allegations.

Dismissing the assertions that the budget had been leaked, he said the increase in the sales tax on diesel, paper, surgical and other items were the recommendations of the high-powered committee made long ago.

The committee had asked all state governments to maintain uniform floor rates to be eligible for Central grants, Dr Walia said.

He said that the media knew about the uniform floor rates and the increase in taxes was an intelligent guess.

The hike, the minister said, in diesel tax from 12 to 20 per cent, tax on paper from four to eight per cent and increase in other items were all uniform floor rates fixed long ago. We had to increase the rates otherwise our Central grants would have been stopped.

He said the diesel tax in Uttar Pradesh was 21 per cent, Punjab 8.8 per cent, Haryana 12 per cent and Maharashtra 34 per cent. These states along with Delhi had been asked to maintain a uniform floor rate.

Reacting to the BJP’s demand for a CBI enquiry, he said, Leader of the Opposition Jagdish Mukhi knew about it, but due to political compulsions, he had to oppose the budget.
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Anti-Budget dharna today
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 28
The BJP Delhi Pradesh will hold a dharna tomorrow at 10 am near Master Chandgi Ram Akhara situated in front of the Delhi Vidhan Sabha in protest against the budget presented by the Congress-led Delhi government.

The BJP will demand a rollback of the new tax provisions imposed on essential commodities. Dr Harsh Vardhan said that this budget could not be designated as pro-people and now its ill-effects are apparent. After the budget, the prices of vegetables have gone up. The prices of readymade garments, diesel, parking fee etc. have also increased.

Dr Harsh Vardhan said that the budget of the Delhi government was nothing but a deception and it amounted to pickpocketing by the Finance Minister of the Delhi government.

In the bulky budget of Rs 12,780 crore, the government has totally ignored the public amenities, and in this regard, a provision of just Rs 5,000 crore provided definite signal that this government was least bothered towards the living standards of the people, the minister said.

He said the Delhi government was already indebted to the tune of Rs 14,000 crore and a large part of the revenue went towards the interest payment. The government has not made any plan to reduce its revenue losses and this is the reason the government is not looking towards the sensitive issues like public amenities. The budget will fully facilitate dearness. Imposition of additional taxes on paper and diesel has overburdened the people. The minister said additional losses in revenue are definite due to tax hike on diesel prices. Additional taxes on paper will overburden the students and their parents.

In this budget, he said, the government has not even spared the patients. Consequently, the health services will become affected. Citizens of Delhi are already upset by additional tax on diesel, excise policy, new parking policy etc.

In fact, every class of society has given a negative reaction to the budget, the minister added.
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Traders discuss VAT with FM
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 28
A delegation of traders under the leadership of the president of the Akhil Bharatiya Vyapar Mandal, Mr Sanjay Sethi, met the Finance Minister to discuss their reservations of the Value Added Tax (VAT).

The delegation submitted a memorandum demanding that VAT should not be implemented and a new taxation policy, which is transparent, liberal and flexible, should be introduced.

The Finance Minister assured the delegation that ‘anti-trader’ provisions in the VAT will be removed. He also assured them that similar interactions would take place with the trading community, who would be involved at each stage of the policy formulation.

The Finance Minister said that he would abide by the directions of the National Common Minimum Programme, which stipulates the implementation of the VAT only after the consultation with the traders.

Mr Sethi said that even as interaction with the Finance Minister would continue, the members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vyapar Mandal would try to persuade the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh and the Congress president, Mrs Sonia Gandhi, so that a new taxation policy could be implemented.

Others members of the delegation included Mr M. L. Kapoor, President of the Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal, Mr T. R. Singla, Secretary, Mangi Lal Soni, President of the ABVM of Chhattisgarh unit, Mr Chand Soni, President of Andhra Pradesh unit, Mr Ashwini Alawadhi, national committee members, Mr A. L. Ghai, Mr Deepak Arora and Mr Devender Singh. 
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Six get life imprisonment for murder
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 28
A city court today sentenced six persons, including five of a family, to life imprisonment for murdering their neighbour in Shadipur village in West Delhi seven years ago.

Additional Sessions Judge I.S. Mehta also imposed a fine of Rs 3,500 each on the convicts, Ram Singh (58), his wife Rajbala (57), sons Lalit (32), Kuldeep (28), Rupesh (24), and one Intzar Husain (32).

Intzar’s brother, Ansar, also an accused, is absconding and has been declared a proclaimed offender. According to the complainant, Vinod, on June 19, 1997, Intzar, had blocked their way in front of their house with a cart. When Vinod’s father Lakhan Singh objected to it, Intzar and Ansar beat up Lakhan.

When Lakhan’s wife Usha tried to save him, Rajbala came out of her residence and caught Usha. Rajbala also shouted that Lakhan’s family should be eliminated.

After some time when Yoginder, Vinod’s brother, came out to save his father Lakhan, Rajbala’s sons Kuldeep, Lalit and Rupesh, along with Intzar and Ansar, stabbed Yoginder.

While Yoginder was declared brought dead, Lakhan and Usha sustained injuries.

The court also noted that besides the fact that all the accused had common intention to finish off Lakhan’s family, the weapons used to commit the crime were recovered by the police acting on the disclosure statements of Kuldeep and Intzar.

Three held in kidnapping, murder case

With the arrest of three persons, including a woman, the South district police today claimed to have solved a kidnapping-cum-murder case of a six-year old child after three years.

The police have recovered the skeletal remains of the child, Anand, who was kidnapped from near his house in Sarita Vihar in 2001.

The kidnappers initially demanded Rs 12 lakh from Anand’s parents and later murdered him when the ransom money was not paid.

The police have arrested Jaipal Singh (35), resident of Aligarh, Raj Kumar alias Raju (28) and his wife Chotti, residents of Khurja. The police have now launched a hunt to trace the other suspects Chander, Pratap and Reshmpal.

During investigation the police initially arrested three persons, Tinchu Chobey, Vijay and Manoj, all residents of Aligarh, while they were found accepting the ransom at Tinkoli Bridge in Aligarh. But interrogation of these three persons did not help in solving the case.

On July 19, the police received a secret information the some persons from Aligarh and Khurja were involved in the case and accordingly arrested Raj Kumar and his wife.

In the meantime, the main accused, Jaipal knowing about the arrest of Raj Kumar and his wife, managed to acquire a warrant from Bulandshahr to avoid his arrest.

But the police managed to get a production warrant against Jaipal and got him to Delhi for interrogation.

During interrogation, Raj Kumar and Jaipal revealed that they had committed the murder of Anand along with Pratap and Reshmpal and later disposed the body in a gutter near the Delhi-Ghaziabad border.

They also said that one Chander, a neighbour of the victim, had provided them with the information about the financial position of the family. He also facilitated kidnapping of the child in Sarita Vihar. 
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10 held with five Pak passports
Parmindar Singh

Ghaziabad, July 28
The Ghaziabad police have arrested 10 persons, including two women and three minors of the same family in Kela Bhatta area. Five Pakistani passports have been recovered from them. Eight of them had come to India on these passports four years ago and gone underground after the expiry of their visas.

During their stay, two more children were born to them.

The police have registered a case of fraud under the Foreign Nationals Act and the Passport Act against all of them.

SSP J.N. Singh said police intelligence sources had learnt that some Pakistani nationals were living illegally in Kela Bhatta and Mussori areas. After investigation, 10 members of the same family were nabbed who had stayed on illegally after the expiry of their visas.

A police team under SI Anil Tyagi of LIU raided the house of one Yaseen in Kela Bhatta area on Tuesday and arrested them. They had been living here in a rented house for the last four years.

Bashir Ahmed, son of Ali Mohammed, his wife Akhtari Begum, son Allaha Meher, daughter-in-law Fardaus, alias Nanhi, son Allah Nur had travelled on Pakistani Passport Nos. C-228054 (Bashir), C-228057 (wife Akhtari), F-149850 (Allah Meher, J-068923 (Fardaus) and F-948488 (son Allah Nur). All the passports were made on an address in District Dehra Ghazi Khan in Pakistan. All of them travelled to India on these passports on October 11, 2000 on 15 days’ visa.

According to SI Tygai, Bashir’s two sons, Arif, 15, and Ali Hassan, 13, had also travelled with their mother Akhtari to India. Besides, a five-month-old son Shafique had also travelled on Fardaus’ passport. During his stay in India, Allah Meher has sired two more children, Nafees, 2, and eight-month-old Nafeesa.

According to police, all of them are Pakistani nationals.
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SP leader survives murderous attack
Our Correspondent

Greater Noida, July 28
Four criminals fired a hail of bullets from a Maruti van on Gautam Budh Nagar district chief of Samajwadi Party Brijender Bhatti in Greater Noida. The assailants were seen to have sped towards Kasna. The Surajpur and Kasna police have launched a hunt for the assailants.

The incident occurred when Brijender Bhatti was going to attend a function at Mangalpur village along with his security guards in his car when the murderous attempt was made on his life.

According to police, as Bhatti turned his car from Mosser Baer factory near Surajpur police station, he stopped to talk to his friend whose car was parked there.

While both were talking, a Maruti van came from behind and its four occupants started firing on Bhatti. The Samajwai Party leader’s two security guards had also taken aim of the assailants, but they fled towards Kasna.
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India – the Diabetic Capital of World: WHO
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 28
The time is not far when in a crowded place you randomly tap on a person’s shoulder to find he too is a diabetic. Already, a whopping 3.5 crore diabetics in India alone are a clear testimony to the latent volcano waiting to explode in our faces. If the situation is left unchecked, by 2025 AD, if not earlier, as many as six crores Indians will be diabetic! Experts believe it is high time when India gears up to provide preventive and curative treatment for diabetes comprehensively to face the surfacing threat.

More shocking is that every fifth patient visiting a consulting physician, and every seventh patient visiting a family physician, is a diabetic.

The WHO has declared India the “Diabetic Capital of the World”. Conventionally, diabetes in India is more prevalent in the 30-40 years are group, but recent trend has shown that younger generation is also increasingly becoming more prone to diabetes.

Diabetes is very common in the metro cities like Delhi, especially affecting people shifting from rural to urban areas. In Delhi itself, the rate at which diabetics are growing - an alarming 12 per cent per annum, is very high and would swell to an unmanageable position by the next 15 years. So, what can be done to save the diabetics from being drawn into this swirling blackhole? Answering this pertinent question, says Dr Y. P. Munjal, Head of Centre for Diabetes and Lifestyle Disease, Banarasidas Chandiwala Institute of Medical Sciences, “Diabetes needs an umbrella of holistic care where the right professional attitude and comprehensive approach to treatment could prove to be a valuable milestone in patient welfare and should include the patient a partner in his own care.”

Describing the magnitude of problem and the challenge at hand, Dr Munjal says, “At current pace and with the current rate of growth in diabetes management centres, India will touch 6.0 crore mark in number of diabetics by 2025. The current average annual spend on every diabetic patient is Rs 5,000. By the year 2025, the expenditure per diabetic will double. This translates into approximately Rs 57,000 crore (Rs 570 billion) in annual medical costs that would need to be incurred by the country by 2025 on managing diabetes alone! The cost will substantially increase with an increase in allied complications like blindness, heart diseases and renal failure.

The country will face an enormous economic burden due to diabetes in years to come unless proactive and aggressive preventive steps are taken.” Many of us are oblivious of the fact that preventive and indicative steps for diabetes may start as early as when person is just born into this world!

According to a study published in the February 26 issue of New England Journal of Medicine, children born in India with smaller body type are more prone to develop both insulin resistance and ‘Type 2’ diabetes when they become young adults.
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Survey to assess damage to kharif crop
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 28
A survey has been ordered by the Delhi Government to assess the damage to kharif crop and vegetables due to the drought-like situation in the Capital. The Delhi Development Minister, Mr Raj Kumar Chauhan, has directed the Divisional Commissioner to conduct the survey and submit his report within ten days.

Mr Chauhan also said that after receiving the report, steps would be taken by the government to provide adequate relief to the farmers of the Capital.

The Minister has also directed the Chief Engineer of Irrigation and Flood Control Department to work out the feasibility and modalities for installation of deep bore tube-wells in the rural areas of the Capital. This should be done in consultation with the Central Water Commission for providing irrigation facilities to the farmers of Delhi to cope with the draught-like situation, he added.

Seminar against use of tobacco

A seminar on ‘No Tobacco Day and Poverty’ was jointly organised by the NDMC, the Delhi Commission for Women and Ayam, an NGO, today at the Bapu Samaj Sewa Kendra, Panchkuian Road. The programme was supported by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and WHO. 
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Fill vacancies in Safdarjung Hospital: HC
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 28
Taking exception to downsizing of staff in hospitals, the Delhi High Court today directed the Centre to immediately fill the 643 vacancies in Safdarjung Hospital where 142 children died in the paediatric ward here last month.

A Division Bench of Chief Justice B.C. Patel and Justice B.D. Ahmed asked how the policy of downsizing could be adopted when the question related to public health, particularly in this hospital that is largely visited by the poor and kids.

They pointed out that the doctors were finding it difficult to perform their duties due to shortage of staff as the number of patients was increasing.

“Downsizing must be done with proper application of mind”, the Bench, which had earlier taken suo moto cognisance of media reports in this regard and issued notices to the Centre and Safdarjung Hospital, observed.

The court asked Additional Solicitor General (ASG) P.P. Malhotra to furnish statistics of deaths in paediatric wards of other hospitals within two weeks to see if the 10 per cent mortality rate among child patients in Safdarjung Hospital was “usual” as claimed by the Government.

The matter will now be heard on August 18.

The Government had, on July 21, told the court that there was “nothing unusual” about the deaths in the paediatric ward of the Safdurjung Hospital and asserted that the high mortality rate was not due to lack of medical care.

Earlier, Safdarjung Hospital Medical Superintendent R.N. Salhan told the court that there were 643 vacancies, including 39 doctors and 305 nursing staff and the hospital was unable to recruit new people due to a circular from the Department of Personnel calling for downsizing of staff.
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Don’t roll back diesel tax hike: CSE
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 28
The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) today urged the Delhi Government not to roll back the environment cess on diesel cars and the hike in sales tax on fuel under pressure of industry lobbies.

Expressing concern over the alarming rate of ‘’dieselisation’’ in the Capital, the CSE said these steps and the proposal to impose an additional entry tax on diesel vehicles registered outside Delhi, were ‘’path-breaking decisions’’.

Addressing the mediapersons here today, the CSE Director, Ms Sunita Narain, said the decisions taken by the Delhi Government were long awaited to arrest the increasing pollution caused by the fuel.

The automobile industry, transporters and fuel retailers were trying to scuttle the move in total disregard to public health, she said.

The coordinator of CSE’s ‘Right to Clean Air Campaign’, Ms Anumita Roy Chowdhury, said the number of diesel cars in Delhi has been growing at the rate of 106 per cent annually, as against the 12 per cent increase in petrol cars.

From 1881 in 1999, the number of diesel cars have shot up to 13,890 in Delhi, according to the data provided by the State Transport Authority.

Ms Chowdhury said that even after the hike in sales tax from 12 to 20 per cent, the price of diesel per litre in Delhi at Rs 25.50 would still be below the rate in Mumbai (Rs 28.62) and almost at par with the prevailing rate in Lucknow (Rs 25.09) and Chennai (Rs 25.35).

She dismissed as “rubbish” the claims of the Auto Industry Association, which said the environment cess on diesel cars was not scientific as it discriminated between vehicles that meet emission norms and comply with government regulations.

The industry was concealing the fact that Euro II emission norms that were currently in force in the city were discriminatory, as they allow diesel cars to pollute more, she said.

Diesel cars are designed to emit more nitrogen oxides and particulate compared to petrol cars, she said, adding that growing scientific evidence points to the highly toxic effect of poor quality of diesel.

Ms Chowdhury quoted a US Environment Protection Authority (USEPA) report that showed that diesel engines emit almost 100 times more particulate matter than petrol engines.
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Petroleum dealers defer strike
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 28
In what was a major relief to the public, petrol pumps in the Capital remained open today as the Delhi Petrol Dealers Association called off its agitation to protest against the proposed hike in the sales tax on diesel.

Association president Atul Peshawaria said all the petrol pumps in the city had been functioning since morning following a positive feedback from the Delhi government to their demand to revoke the hike proposed in the sales tax on high-speed diesel.

He said the association decided to defer their agitation after the government’s assurance that it was looking into its representation.

Mr Peshwaria said the association has decided to wait for a day or two as their previous experience with the Delhi government has been good.

The association had sent a representation to the Chief Minister opposing the hike in sales tax from 12 per cent to 20 per cent and this would result in Delhi Petrol pump owners losing diesel sales heavily to the neighbouring states of Haryana and Punjab. The Delhi government would lose Rs 100 crore of revenue by increasing the tax rate, the representation pointed out.
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Evolution of India through photography
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 28
Fifty-seven years, 11 photographers, 95 photographs and you have one of the most eye-catching, reflective, evocative and priceless recounts of the evolution of India.

In its continuous endeavour to celebrate the spirit of achievement beyond the ordinary, Teacher’s has some very priceless and some never seen before photographs by eleven renowned photographers, including Raghu Rai, the reclusive Henri Cartier-Bresson, Ram Rehman among others, tracing the ever changing India since its Independence.

Supported by Teacher’s along with Anant Art Gallery, the exhibition titled, ‘Middle Age Spread-Imaging India 1947-2004’, was inaugurated by the Delhi Chief Minister, Mrs Sheila Dikshit, yesterday at the National Museum, and will be open for public viewing till August 18, 2004.

To capture these masterpiece collections of photographs for eternity, a special limited edition book, titled ‘Middle Age Spread’ has been published.

Supported by Teacher’s and marketed by Creatigies, the book has been written by Gayatri Sinha, who describes it as “a treasure of images of India in which we can, perhaps through the photographer’s eyes, find truth and beauty, which may have otherwise gone unnoticed.”
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Sisters missing from school
Our Correspondent

Noida, July 28
Two students of Khaitan Public School, Noida, who are reported to be real sisters, have been missing since yesterday afternoon.

Ms Arousi Vats, 14, a student of 9th standard and Ansi Vats, 9, a student of 5th standard in Khaitan Public School, had attended their classes in the school yesterday. At 2 pm, they did not board the school bus to go home but told the driver that they were going to a friend’s house in A Block, Sector-40, Noida.

At the house of their friend Vidhya, they had taken lunch and after changing their dress, which they had brought along from home in the morning, they have gone missing.

The Principal of the Khaitan School has refused to comment on the issue.

It is learnt the sisters did not get along well with their father, Anand Kumar, who has a software shop in Kondli. The mother of the girls, Arousi and Ansi, had died of cancer last year.
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Minister gives full marks to IGNOU
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 28
Inaugurating the new academic complex of IGNOU, Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh complimented the efforts of Indira Gandhi National Open University on democratisation of education and hoped that IGNOU would continue contributing to create an educated India.

Mr Singh also addressed a national-level consultation on education with academics and educationists via teleconferencing at the Electronic Media Production Centre of IGNOU.

The academic complex has been constructed at a cost of Rs 21.5 crore and will accommodate schools of Studies, Computer Centre, Library and Canteen. The university has developed two gardens Gyan Vatika and Sanchar Vatika, which have added to the beauty of the campus. About five acres have been developed to grow organic vegetables.

HRD Secretary B S Baswan highlighted the role of distance education as the best alternative for higher education in India due to use of information and communication technology in delivery of education and reach remote areas of the country.

IGNOU Vice-Chancellor H P Dikshit said IGNOU course material was well recognised all over the world and several countries have adapted its course material. With student enrolment of 1.2 million, its academic programmes have spread over 26 countries in the world. 
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Sewer connections in Najafgarh
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 28
Member of Parliament from Outer Delhi Sajjan Kumar today announced that sewerage would be provided to the residents of Najafgarh township.

He made the announcement on the occasion of foundation stone laying ceremony of a community hall in the area.

He urged the chief executive officer of the Delhi Jal Board to organise a special camp at Najafgarh for the residents to deposit development charges and get sewer connection letters on the spot. Mr Kumar also announced that a new vegetables market would be set up in the area.
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Constable shoots himself

Noida, July 28
A constable, working as Munshi (PA) in Kakode police station, shot himself yesterday afternoon.

The profusely bleeding policeman Jaipal Singh was rushed to Bulandshahr government hospital from where he was referred to Yashoda Hospital Ghaziabad. His condition continues to be serious.

Nobody from the police or his family has come forward to explain the cause of suicide.

The SO of the Kakode police station was away at the time of incident. Jaipal Singh who lives in the police station complex used to have fights with his family members. — OC
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Two robbers arrested, Rs 90,000 seized
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 28
The Special Staff of the West district police claimed to have arrested two robbers, identified as Dharmender Rathi and Ajay Kumar, and seized Rs 90,000 from their possession.

They were arrested from near the Peeragarhi Chowk by the Special Staff after receiving a tip-off that the two robbers would be in the area with the looted money.

Computer training centre

The vice-chairperson of the NDMC, Mrs Tajdar Babar, inaugurated a computer training centre for the SC/ST and physically handicapped category.

The NDMC has decided to impart training to about 94 data entry operators belonging to the SC/ST and physically handicapped category in four batches. Each batch will be given training for 15 days.

Sikh religious institutions’ meeting

A meeting of the Sikh religious institutions was held at Gurudwara Gandhi Nagar here. Mr Tehal Singh, president, Shiromani Gurudwara Sewadar Committee, congratulated Mr Parkash Singh (Badal) for the glorious victory of his party in the SGPC elections. An appeal was made to Mr Badal to nominate three SGPC members from Delhi.
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