SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
H A R Y A N A

Cabinet takes major decision on civic bodies
Chandigarh, August 17
In a major, but controversial decision the Haryana Cabinet today initiated a move which would enable the government to call for general elections to the Panchayati Raj institutions and the civic bodies four months before the expiry of the five-year term of existing members.

Decks cleared for contract farming in Haryana
Chandigarh, August 17
The Haryana Cabinet, which met under the chairmanship of Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, here today, has paved the way for contract farming in the state.

BJP flays Cong on SYL
Panipat, August 17
Former Prime Minister, Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee had written to Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh to convene an all-party meeting on the issue of Sutlej Yamuna Link canal.

IAF team returns from Alaska
Ambala, August 17
The Indian Air Force contingent, which participated in the multi-national exercise —Cooperative Cope Thunder — in Alaska, returned to the Ambala air base today.
Jaguar Pilot Flt Lt V. Tomar gets a welcome kiss from his daughter Isha. Flt Lt Tomar returned to Ambala with the IAF team from Alaska
Jaguar Pilot Flt Lt V. Tomar gets a welcome kiss from his daughter Isha. Flt Lt Tomar returned to Ambala with the IAF team from Alaska on Tuesday.— Photo by Neeraj Chopra

MiG-21 is fit, says air chief 
Ambala, August 17
The Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal S. Krishnaswamy, today reiterated that MiG-21 fighter aircraft are fighting fit. An IAF fighter aircraft contingent will be participating in an exercise in South Africa soon.


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


YOUR TOWN
Ambala
Bhiwani
Fatehabad
Jind
Panchkula
Panipat
Rohtak
Sonepat


EARLIER STORIES
 
People miss favourite serials
Rohtak, August 17
The cable TV operators’ strike today triggered off unpredictable responses among different strata of society. While bored housewives from well-heeled families went on impulsive shopping sprees and visited friends to fill the void, others rediscovered familial and friendly ties by inviting their dear ones over for a meal.

2 cops punished for misbehaviour
Bhiwani, August 17
A munshi and a havildar have been sent to police lines on account of misbehaviour with traders last week. The traders were demonstrating against “lawlessness” outside the city police station. Four persons, identified as Balwan of Vidya Nagar, Sunil and Surat Singh of Mehtab Das Dhani and Ajay Kumar, had been arrested for forcibly occupying shop here.

Cut in power rates for tubewells welcomed
Ambala, August 17
Mr Jasbir Malor, MLA from the Naggal constituency, said the decision of the state government to discontinue the slab system in the electricity bills and reduction in the rate of power for tubewell owners would benefit over 14,000 farmers in the district.

Free-of-cost delivery of babies at govt hospitals
Panchkula, August 17
The Health Department has introduced free-of-cost delivery of babies in all government-run hospitals in Haryana. With the state having a meagre 26 per cent institutional delivery percentage (deliveries in hospitals/ nursing homes), of which 16 per cent deliveries take place in government hospitals, this is being seen as a welcome step for improving maternal and child health care.

Tributes paid to M.L. Dhingra
Fatehabad, August 17
Tributes were paid to martyr Madan Lal Dhingra, on his 95th martyrdom day celebrations here, today. The programme was organised by the Haryani Punjabi Sabha.

Medical staff strike work
Jind, August 17
Medical and para-medical staff of the local General Hospital today suspended work in protest against the beating up of Dr Satyawan Sharma, Medical Officer, General Hospital, Narwana. They also staged a dharna in front of the hospital. They were demanding registration of a case against the culprits and their immediate arrest.

3 killed in rail, road accidents
Sonepat, August 17
Three persons were killed and five others injured in different road and rail accidents in and around the town during the past 24 hours. According to a report, Prem Dass, a peon of a factory, was crushed to death by an unidentified vehicle on the G.T. Road near Bad Khalsa village, 13 km from here, today.

Slew of relief measures for flood victims
Fatehabad, August 17
The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Mahtab Singh Sehrawat, today ordered uninterrupted power supply to the flood-affected villages in the district. Mr Sehrawat, accompanied by senior officers of various government departments, toured these villages and reviewed the relief measures provided by the administration.

High Court
Lokayukta appointment
Chandigarh, August 17
The Haryana government today informed the court that steps had been initiated to appoint a Lokayukta in the state. This information was provided during hearing in a public interest petition filed by Mr Naresh Kumar Kadian, Haryana unit chairman of Peoples for Animals, seeking direction to the state government to appoint a Lokayukta.

Two get 10-year jail term
Bhiwani, August 17
A local court yesterday convicted two accused for committing robbery and sentenced them to 10-year of imprisonment and fined Rs 2,000. According to the prosecution, an employee of a petrol pump located on the Loharu road and owner’s son were interrupted by four persons and snatched Rs 50,000 when the former were going to deposit it in a bank on September 22, 2003. 

Three held in murder case
Sonepat, August 17
With the arrest of three youths, the police today claimed to have solved the murder of Rajbir, an autorickshaw driver and resident of Rajpur village, on July 29.

Lineman electrocuted
Jhajjar, August 17
A lineman of the Electricity Department fell to death when he received an electric shock while repairing a transformer at Badli village in the district today. According to information, deceased Hawa Singh was repairing the transformer when he received an electric jolt. He stumbled on the pole and fell on the road. He died on the spot.

Minor gang-raped

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Cabinet takes major decision on civic bodies
Yoginder Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 17
In a major, but controversial decision the Haryana Cabinet today initiated a move which would enable the government to call for general elections to the Panchayati Raj institutions and the civic bodies four months before the expiry of the five-year term of existing members. It also decided to amend the eligibility terms for the appointment of the State Election Commissioner (SEC).

The Cabinet, which met under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, approved amendments in the Haryana Panchayati Raj Act, the Haryana Municipal Corporation Act and the Haryana Municipal Act for, what official sources claimed, “meeting any exigency compelling the government to request the State Election Commission to hold general elections to the Panchayati Raj institutions four months(120 days in case municipal bodies) before the expiry of their duration of five years”.

Immediately reacting to the move, the officiating Leader of the Haryana Congress Legislature Party, Capt Ajay Singh Yadav, dubbed it as “a conspiracy”. He said the ruling party obviously wanted to install its own men in the Panchayati Raj institutions and the municipal institutions for the next five years. Since the existing term of these institutions would expire well after the term of the Assembly, the Indian National Lok Dal(INLD), which had seen its defeat written on the wall, would like to hold these elections before the next Assembly elections.

Interestingly, the proposed amendment says that the names of the new members and office-bearers would not be notified earlier than one week before the expiry of the term of the existing bodies. This decision has perhaps been taken in view of the high court judgement in the case of Punjab. When Punjab wanted to hold elections to the panchayats well before the expiry of the term of the existing bodies, the matter went to the high court, which held that the term could not be curtailed.

Capt Yadav said since the existing members would be allowed to complete their term, one failed to understand what the government meant by saying that it was taking this decision to “meet any exigency”.

The amendment in the Municipal Corporation Act would also enable the government to divide the Faridabad civic body in such wards as it may prescribe.

In another controversial move the cabinet also approved the draft of an ordinance, to be known as “the Appointment and Conditions of Service of Haryana State Election Commissioner Ordinance-2004”, which would enable the government to appoint even a former chairman of the Public Service Commission or a former vice-chancellor as the SEC. Under the existing provisions, only a retired high court Judge or a former senior bureaucrat of the rank of at least commissioner can be appointed the SEC.

Earlier, the cabinet had approved an amendment in the rules for the appointment of the SEC on similar lines. However, the governor had said that he should be apprised of the eligibility conditions for the SECs in the other states. It seems the governor had not approved the amended rules. Hence, the cabinet seems to have taken recourse to the ordinance route. However, official sources claimed that this was being done to “put the matters relating to the conditions of the service of the SEC on a higher legal pedestal”. The draft ordinance also lowers the minimum age of the SEC to 45 years. It also provides for the second term for an SEC if he has not attained the age of 65 years.

Accusing the government of attempting to destroy constitutional institutions, Capt Yadav said the constitution framers had rightly not provided for the second term to the Chief Election Commissioner of India, so that he might not be offered a carrot by the ruling party. The same principle was adopted when the law for the appointment of the SEC was made. 

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Decks cleared for contract farming in Haryana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 17
The Haryana Cabinet, which met under the chairmanship of Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, here today, has paved the way for contract farming in the state. It approved the draft of the Punjab Agricultural Produce Markets (Haryana Amendment) Bill, 2004, to amend the Punjab Agricultural Produce Markets Act, 1961.

The Bill aims at providing assured marketing of agricultural produce of the farmers at mutually agreed price by a contract.

According to an official spokesman, the amendment is essential to safeguard the interests of the farmers by way of written guarantee to the farming community for remunerative price of their agricultural produce. The companies desirous of contract farming would have to get themselves registered with the prescribed authority and they would have to execute an agreement with the farmers for buying their produce at the contract price.

According to the new legislation, the contract farming sponsor will be the buyer of the agricultural produce covered under the contract farming agreement. The business premises of the sponsor would be the private market yard for the purpose of conducting business, unless denotified by the state government.

No title, rights, ownership or possession of the land would be transferred or alienated or vested in the contract farming sponsor or his successor or his agent as a consequence arising out of the agreement.

The disputes arising out of the contract farming agreement would be referred to any authority prescribed in this behalf for settlement and the authority would resolve the dispute in a summary manner within 30 days after giving the parties a reasonable opportunity of hearing. A party aggrieved by the decision of the prescribed authority might prefer an appeal to an appellate authority as may be prescribed, within 30 days from the date of the decision. The appellate authority would dispose of the appeal within 30 days after giving the parties a reasonable opportunity of being heard and the decision of the appellate authority would be final.

In order to improve the financial position of the Haryana Dairy Development Cooperative Federation the Cabinet decided to waive off 70 per cent of the interest and the penal interest of over Rs 21.92 lakh on the loan of Rs 1 crore, which the federation had obtained from the government. The federation has already returned the principal amount.

The Cabinet approved the draft of the Punjab Sugarcane (Regulation of Purchase and Supply) Haryana Amendment Bill, 2004, to clarify the power of the state government to fix the price of sugarcane, an important cash crop of the state. The amendment has been necessitated in view of the judgement of the Supreme Court in the UP Cane Union’s Federation case upholding the power of the state government to fix the price of sugarcane.

It also approved a proposal of the Transport Department to reduce the lumpsum passenger tax from existing Rs 35,000 per month to Rs 20,000 per month for private bus operators under the privatisation scheme-2001. The concession would be applicable from September 1 next. The Cabinet also approved the proposal of the Department of Public Works (Building and Roads) to amend Rule 9 of Punjab Service of Engineers Class-II PWD (B&R) Branch Rules 1965, to constitute a departmental promotion committee to consider the cases for promotion to Group ‘A’ and ‘B’ posts. The committee to be headed by Secretary, Public Works Department (B&R), would have three members — a member of Haryana Public Service Commission, the Engineer-in-Chief of Public Works Department and the seniormost Chief Engineer of the department.

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BJP flays Cong on SYL
Tribune News Service

Panipat, August 17
Former Prime Minister, Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee had written to Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh to convene an all-party meeting on the issue of Sutlej Yamuna Link canal. This was stated by the state BJP general secretary, Mr Veer Kumar Yadav, while talking to mediapersons here today.

Mr Veer said despite the letter of the former PM, the Congress-led UPA Government had not convened an all-party meeting on the issue till date, which showed that it was not taking the matter seriously.

Mr Veer also criticised the Congress leadership of the state for its alleged failure in pursuing the state’s point of view on the issue with its central leadership. He criticised the Haryana Government for not providing free power and water to farmers. 

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IAF team returns from Alaska
Rahul Das
Tribune News Service

Ambala, August 17
The Indian Air Force contingent, which participated in the multi-national exercise —Cooperative Cope Thunder — in Alaska, returned to the Ambala air base today.
Senior Air Force officers, including Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal S Krishnaswamy, AOC-in-C Western Command Air Marshal SP Tyagi and AOC Ambala Air Commodore LK Malhotra accorded a warm welcome to the team.

The team left the country from Jamnagar on June 23. The aircraft were ferried to Eielson Air Force base at Alaska through Middle East, North African, Mediterranean, Europe and Canada. The aircraft transited through four continents and the total distance covered was about 19,000 kms.

Air Commodore L.K. Malhotra, coordinator of the contingent, said that the team performance was excellent. “The exercise gave an opportunity to our pilots to be with other professionals. This was indeed a trendsetter,” he said.

“They observed the latest in avionics and technology. It was for the first time that fighter aircraft had gone right across the globe to participate in the exercise,” he said.

The 200-strong team, comprising 45 pilots, left the Ambala airbase on June 21 and returned after nearly two months. The pilots got an opportunity to do rear-cockpit flying in aircraft of other nations.

He stated that training for the exercise was imparted at the Ambala airbase.

Group Captain SJ Nanodkar, said that the multi-national exercise was a unique experience. “Ten developed as well as developing nations participated in the exercise. We were equal in some aspects, in many other aspects we were ahead of others” he said.

He said that the team from the United Kingdom was impressed with our performance on the Jaguars. “Every person in our team did his assigned task professionally, we were received well at stopovers during our journey to Alaska,” he added.

Group Captain Nanodkar observed that while the USA was comparatively ahead in terms of technology, in terms of avionics, the difference was marginal. “The deployment of our aircraft was a challenge. The other challenge was a concentrated dose of training particularly in a new terrain,” he said.

Besides our contingent there were contingents from the USA, Canada, UK, Germany, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia and Sri Lanka.

It was a warm homecoming for the IAF contingent. Family members of the team members were eagerly waiting near the tarmac to receive them. A young girl ran up to her father, a fighter pilot, and hugged him.

It is for the first time, that IAF fighter aircraft have participated in an international exercise outside Indian subcontinent. The decision to participate in the exercise was taken during the eighth executive steering group meeting was ratified by the Defence Policy Group in August 2003.

In Cope Thunder exercise, held in 2001 and 2002, the IAF had sent observers. And one IL-76 aircraft participated in 2003.

The team IAF contingent comprised six Jaguars, two IL-76 and two IL-78 flight refuelling aircraft. This was the first time that IAF flight refuelling aircraft was deployed in international airspace for overseas deployment of the fighter aircraft.

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MiG-21 is fit, says air chief 
Tribune News Service

Air Chief Marshal S. Krishnaswamy meets Air Force personnel on their return from international exercise Co-operative Cope Thunder-04 at Alaska
Air Chief Marshal S. Krishnaswamy meets Air Force personnel on their return from international exercise Co-operative Cope Thunder-04 at Alaska (USA), in Ambala on Tuesday. — Photo by Neeraj Chopra

Ambala, August 17
The Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal S. Krishnaswamy, today reiterated that MiG-21 fighter aircraft are fighting fit. An IAF fighter aircraft contingent will be participating in an exercise in South Africa soon.

Talking to mediapersons at the Ambala air base after addressing Air Force officers and personnel who returned from multi-national exercise Cooperative Cope Thunder in Alaska, Air Chief Marshal Krishnaswamy said MiG-21 fighter aircraft is a good aircraft. “MiG-21 is an upgraded version which is doing well,” he said.

Air Chief Marshal Krishnaswamy said the multi-national exercise was an opportunity for training with other nations with professionalism. “Such training leads to a better force and the Air Force is strengthened,” he said.

The IAF carried out an exercise with France last year. “An exercise will be carried out with Singapore Air Force in Gwalior. Next month, an IAF contingent will participate in an exercise in South Africa,” he said.

The Air Chief Marshal said the IAF participation in the Cooperative Cope Thunder was expensive. “We keep in mind that the effort required must conform to the cost. Our input is a pittance as compared to air force of developed nations, but we are one of the best,” he said.

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People miss favourite serials
Raman Mohan
Tribune News Service

Rohtak, August 17
The cable TV operators’ strike today triggered off unpredictable responses among different strata of society. While bored housewives from well-heeled families went on impulsive shopping sprees and visited friends to fill the void, others rediscovered familial and friendly ties by inviting their dear ones over for a meal.

The upmarket stores in Model Town and Quila Bazar here were pleased to receive an unusually high number of women customers despite a hot and humid weather. The brisk sales which began around noon continued unabated till the evening. Storeowners said most customers came without shopping lists and leisurely browsed counters. Parmod Gugnani, a local storeowner, said most women ultimately narrowed down their search to handicrafts, artificial jewellery and other low-cost knick-knacks. Readymade garments stores also did good business with children’s wear topping the list. Gugnani said normally business was sluggish in the second half of the month, but today was an exception.

Eateries, too, registered unusually high sales during the day. Most fast-food joints and restaurants here do brisk business only in the evenings. But it was different today as women chose to partake of pizzas, burgers and noodles after shopping. The owner of a popular local fast-food joint said, “I normally come to the eatery around five since the rush hours begin around 6 pm. But I had to rush there in the afternoon as the staff called to say that they needed somebody at the cash counter.”

Haryana Tourism’s two restaurants here had several groups of women for lunch. “The restaurant was a noisy place this afternoon as women had long extended lunches. They laughed, gossiped, cracked jokes and emptied their shopping bags on the tables to get their purchases appraised”, said the manager of the Haryana Tourism’s Myna restaurant. He said he expected a similar rush in the bar later in the evening though, for a change, the clientele would be male.

The elderly, however, were the worst sufferers. With only the news channels on air due to strike, the senior citizens had no option but to turn to newspapers and then a long nap. Col D.N. Mor who retired last year said he missed several favourite serials on Discovery and National Geographic channels besides the action at Athens Olympics. “I invited my friends over for a game of bridge. Later, we had beer and then I slept for three hours. I don’t know how I would pass the evening”, he wondered.

However, despite the need to kill time, not many chose to visit the neighbourhood libraries. Even the Maharshi Dayanand University library did not see a rush of book lovers. An official of the library said barring a few elderly parents of staff members, who visited the periodical section, there were no unusual visitors. 

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2 cops punished for misbehaviour
Our Correspondent

Bhiwani, August 17
A munshi and a havildar have been sent to police lines on account of misbehaviour with traders last week. The traders were demonstrating against “lawlessness” outside the city police station. Four persons, identified as Balwan of Vidya Nagar, Sunil and Surat Singh of Mehtab Das Dhani and Ajay Kumar, had been arrested for forcibly occupying shop here.

About a dozen armed persons had attempted to take forcible possession of a shop, reportedly occupied by a soap manufacturer, on August 13. They had beaten up the owner and his accountant and threw out the goods before locking the shop. Later, local traders pulled down their shutters and demonstrated against the hooligans and the police “inaction”.

When the traders went to city police station, a few policemen allegedly misbehaved with the traders. The traders had observed a complete bandh in the town on Saturday and demanded action against the guilty policemen. The SP had assured the agitators of action in the matter by Monday. Later, the traders had met the Chief Minister, who was here to preside over a meeting. The Chief Miniser had also assured the traders of justice.

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Cut in power rates for tubewells welcomed
Our Correspondent

Ambala, August 17
Mr Jasbir Malor, MLA from the Naggal constituency, said the decision of the state government to discontinue the slab system in the electricity bills and reduction in the rate of power for tubewell owners would benefit over 14,000 farmers in the district. He said it would be a big incentive to the farmers who had been facing the drought and the flood this year.

A number of farmers, sarpanches and panches have also welcomed and this decision. Harkesh Singh of Mohri village and Dayal Singh of Lalana said this step would give a great relief to the farmers. They said the farmers had been demanding for it for a long time.

Randhir Singh, a farmer of Mulana, pointed out that former Chief Minister Bansi Lal during his regime had also introduced the slab system for tubewells of villages without taking the opinion of the farmers. Some of the farmers had been paying the electricity bills at the rate of Rs 48 per horse power while the others were paying at higher rate. He said this anomaly in the rate had been a major cause of resentment against the HVP government.

The District President of the INLD, Mr Surjit Singh Saonta, said the farmers who had been paying the electricity bill at the flat rate had also got the relief as the rates had been brought down to 35.

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Free-of-cost delivery of babies at govt hospitals
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 17
The Health Department has introduced free-of-cost delivery of babies in all government-run hospitals in Haryana.
With the state having a meagre 26 per cent institutional delivery percentage (deliveries in hospitals/ nursing homes), of which 16 per cent deliveries take place in government hospitals, this is being seen as a welcome step for improving maternal and child health care.

Most babies are delivered by unskilled dais and mid-wives all over the state, which has led to a high infant mortality rate (IMR) of 65 per cent in rural areas and 56 per cent in urban areas of Haryana. The maternal mortality rate (MMR) in the state is 4 per cent, as compared to the national MMR of 4.5 per cent.

It has thus been decided to introduce this welfare scheme of free delivery , including Caesarean cases, that come to various government hospitals. "They will be provided free medicines and there would be no need to arrange for replacement of blood. The expectant mothers will not even have to pay bed charges, while in the hospital. Fearing expensive treatment, most people shy away from coming to hospitals for child birth, thus risking the life of the mother and the baby. ''By providing free treatment, we hope to change the mind set of people and improve maternal and child health standards in the state," says Director-General of Health B S Dahiya, who is the brain behind this welfare scheme.

All equipment required for the delivery will also be provided for by the hospital authorities. Several delivery trays, which include all surgical equipment and cloth sheets for wrapping the new- borns, have been provided for at all hospitals, so that the equipment is readily available when the baby has to be delivered.

Dr Dahiya says that 40 health care institutions have been identified all over the state, where a gynae ward will be set up and a gynaecologist will be available round the clock for conducting deliveries. Instructions have been given that only doctors deliver the babies, rather than auxiliary nurses.

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Tributes paid to M.L. Dhingra
Our Correspondent

Fatehabad, August 17
Tributes were paid to martyr Madan Lal Dhingra, on his 95th martyrdom day celebrations here, today. The programme was organised by the Haryani Punjabi Sabha.

Mr Udai Bhanu Hans, a state poet of Haryana, Mr Sarvadanand Arya, a former Vice-Chancellor of Haryana Agricultural University, Ms Swatantra Bala Chowdhary, MLA, Mr Dev Raj Batra, a local philanthropist, Mr Prem Singh Kamboj, president of the Haryana Kamboj Sabha, Mr Hari Chand Mehta were present to pay their tributes to the martyr, Swami Divyanandji of the Tapowan Hardwar was the chief guest on the occasion.

The speakers lauded the role of Dhingra in the country’s struggle for freedom and described how he, a son of Amritsar’s Civil Surgeon, became a revolutionary. Dhingra gunned down Lord Carson Vilely on July 1, 1909. The British government tried him and after a summary trial which lasted, merely for 23 days, was awarded the capital punishment. He was hanged on August 17, 1909. Dingra is considered the first Punjabi martyr of the 20th century.

Haryanavi Punjabi Sabha president Sant Kumar placed several resolutions on this occasion, all were passed with voice votes by the convention. The sabha, in these resolutions demanded the setting up of the Madan Lal Dhingra Chair in Kurukshetra University, according the Punjabi language the full-fledged status of a second language in the state and constructing a memorial in Delhi for Punjabis who died during the partition.

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Medical staff strike work
Our Correspondent

Jind, August 17
Medical and para-medical staff of the local General Hospital today suspended work in protest against the beating up of Dr Satyawan Sharma, Medical Officer, General Hospital, Narwana. They also staged a dharna in front of the hospital. They were demanding registration of a case against the culprits and their immediate arrest.

According to a spokesman of the medical staff, five youths came to the General Hospital and asked Dr Satyawan Sharma for some illegal work. On refusal by Dr Sharma to do so, the youths allegedly manhandled him.

According to Dr Narvir Singh, Civil Surgeon Jind the police has registered a case against the culprits at Narwana police station and assured the medical staff that the culprits would be arrested very soon.

He said on the assurance of the police medical and paramedical staff resumed their duties.

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3 killed in rail, road accidents
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, August 17
Three persons were killed and five others injured in different road and rail accidents in and around the town during the past 24 hours.
According to a report, Prem Dass, a peon of a factory, was crushed to death by an unidentified vehicle on the G.T. Road near Bad Khalsa village, 13 km from here, today. He was returning home from the factory. The police sent the body for a post-mortem examination.

In another incident, Dilbagh Singh (40), a resident of Nooran Khera village, died on the Sonepat-Gohana road, near Mohana village, 19 km from here, last night. The police has registered a case and sent the body for a post-mortem examination. The victim was going home on a scooter.

Meanwhile, railway police recovered a body lying on the track near Rathdhanna railway station, 8 km from here, today. The GRP has sent it for a post-mortem examination. It was stated that he was run over by a train. The body has not yet been identified.

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Slew of relief measures for flood victims
Our Correspondent

Fatehabad, August 17
The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Mahtab Singh Sehrawat, today ordered uninterrupted power supply to the flood-affected villages in the district. Mr Sehrawat, accompanied by senior officers of various government departments, toured these villages and reviewed the relief measures provided by the administration. He also listened to the grievances of the flood victims.

The Deputy Commissioner also asked the public health authorities to provide sufficient safe drinking water to these villages so that there was no fear of any epidemic breaking out. He ordered free medicines for ailing cattle.

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High Court
Lokayukta appointment
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 17
The Haryana government today informed the court that steps had been initiated to appoint a Lokayukta in the state.
This information was provided during hearing in a public interest petition filed by Mr Naresh Kumar Kadian, Haryana unit chairman of Peoples for Animals, seeking direction to the state government to appoint a Lokayukta.

The Lokayukta deals with complaints against politicians holding public offices, such as ministers and chairpersons of boards and corporations. The case was later adjourned to September 23.

Transfer policy: Hearing in the public interest litigation seeking directions to the Haryana government to strictly enforce its policy of not retaining any government employee at one place for over three years was on Tuesday adjourned to September 23 by a Bench of the High Court.

In the petition, petitioner Parmanand, who retired from HUDA, has stated that continuation of some officers at some posts led to corruption. 

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Two get 10-year jail term
Our Correspondent

Bhiwani, August 17
A local court yesterday convicted two accused for committing robbery and sentenced them to 10-year of imprisonment and fined Rs 2,000.
According to the prosecution, an employee of a petrol pump located on the Loharu road and owner’s son were interrupted by four persons and snatched Rs 50,000 when the former were going to deposit it in a bank on September 22, 2003. They snatched the money on pistol point. The police had registered a case on the statement of the employee under Sections 395, 397 of the IPC and 24, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act.

The accused Gaurav of Dhanana, and Manoj, of Bamla village, were sentenced for 10 years.

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Three held in murder case
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, August 17
With the arrest of three youths, the police today claimed to have solved the murder of Rajbir, an autorickshaw driver and resident of Rajpur village, on July 29.

The arrested youths were identified as Sham, Anil and Ram Avtar, all residents of Kurar village. Two other suspects, Vinod and Devinder, are still at large and a hunt is on to apprehend them.

The police said all the five accused were planning to loot passers-by on the Sonepat-Kami road. On receiving information, the police conducted a raid and arrested three of them, while the other two escaped under the cover of darkness. However, during the course of interrogation, they confessed to their involvement in the murder of Rajbir. The police has registered a case.

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Lineman electrocuted
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, August 17
A lineman of the Electricity Department fell to death when he received an electric shock while repairing a transformer at Badli village in the district today. According to information, deceased Hawa Singh was repairing the transformer when he received an electric jolt. He stumbled on the pole and fell on the road. He died on the spot.

In another incident, one person was killed and another injured seriously when their motor cycle collided with a jeep near Akheri Madanpur village. According to information, deceased Harkesh, son of Hosiar Singh, a resident of Simana village, was going to Kondrawali village. On his way, another person, Vinod, took a lift on his motor cycle. As they reached near Akehari Madanpur village, a jeep coming from opposite direction hit their bike. Harkesh died on the spot, while Vinod was rushed to the PGIMS at Rohtak in serious condition.

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Minor gang-raped

Rohtak, August 17
A minor girl was allegedly gang-raped by three youths in the Kartarpura colony last night. According to the police, the girl was sleeping in her house on the ground floor while her parents were on the first floor. She was forcibly taken to a room in the adjoining street and raped. All three have been arrested. They were identified as Sonu, Rohtas and Satte. — TNS

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