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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

INLD to raise renaming issue in Parliament
Gurgaon, February 18
Mr Ajay Chautala, INLD general secretary and party MP, who is also son of former Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala, said here today that opposition parties at the Centre would raise the issue of Haryana Government changing the name of Tau Devi Lal Panipat thermal power plant in Parliament.

In Noida, nobody feels safe anymore 
Noida, February 18
Lawlessness, lootings and housebreaks have become so common that people here feel they are no longer safe even in their own homes. Day or night, criminals can choose their own time and place to strike.

Protestors clash with police, 25 hurt
Ghaziabad, February 18
Around 25 people, including nine policemen, were injured when a crowd incited by a sting operation beamed on a TV news channel today attacked a police station in Sahibabad area of the district, a senior police official said today.

Govt committed to implement order on free education: CM
New Delhi, February 18
Delhi Chief Minister Ms Sheila Dikshit has announced that the government would consider constituting two committees to look into the economic factor relating to free-ship and training of teachers to impart education to economically-backward children studying in recognised un-aided schools in the Capital.


 

EARLIER STORIES
 
Muslim women under the banner of the BJP Minority Cell protest against the publication of cartoons of Prophet Mohammed in a Danish newspaper at Jantar Mantar in the Capital on Saturday
Muslim women under the banner of the BJP Minority Cell protest against the publication of cartoons of Prophet Mohammed in a Danish newspaper at Jantar Mantar in the Capital on Saturday. — Tribune photo by Mukesh Aggarwal 

Staff shortage ails trans-Yamuna hospital
New Delhi, February 18
At a time when the Delhi government is laying emphasis on upgrading all important hospitals of the trans-Yamuna area keeping in view the Common Wealth Games in 2010, it is ironical that a major hospital of this area, Dr Hedgewar Arogya Sansthan, Karkardooma, has been facing an acute shortage of staff for years. Normal functioning in the hospital suffers for this very reason.

Demolitions: Centre to seek ‘minor’ reprieve
New Delhi, February 18
The Union Urban Development Ministry will approach the Delhi High Court on Monday seeking reprieve for minor violations of building bye-laws in the Capital. DPCC president Ram Babu Sharma made the announcement following an hour-long meeting on the issue here. Local party MPs, including, Union Minister of State for Urban Development Ajay Maken, attended the meeting.

Rs 5 lakh penalty slapped on Noida Authority
Noida, February 18
Finding it guilty of incomplete construction of a house for 18 long years, the District Consumer Forum has ordered the Noida Authority to compensate the complainant by giving Rs 5 lakh.

Mass transfers in Land Revenue Dept
Noida, February 18
In view of the connivance of ‘amins’ in a number land scams in the district, DM Santosh Yadav has ordered the transfer of 23 amins and clerks from the Land Revenue Department. All these employees have been posted out of Gautam Budh Nagar district to far-off districts like Gorakhpur, Deveriya and Gonda.

JNU readies itself to protest against Bush’s visit
New Delhi, February 18
They gave a rousing welcome to the Venezuelan President, Mr Hugo Chavez; they showed black flags to their own Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh; and now with the US President, Mr George W Bush’s visit to the country drawing near, the liberal think-tank in Jawaharlal Nehru University that slams wars and imperialism has begun preparations to show their disapproval.

Kidnapped child rescued
New Delhi, February 18
Police today claimed to have solved a case of kidnapping of a three-year-old child within 24 hours of abduction with the arrest of three persons. A complaint was received by Sadar Bazar police yesterday from one Mohd Saeed, a government contractor residing in Nai Basti of B H Rao locality in North Delhi that his son Arham had gone missing, a Delhi Police release said.

Parking attendant takes off in car
Noida, February 18
A parking lot boy in Sector 18 here is reported to have fled with a parked car. Prof Ajit Jha of Delhi University had come to the Sector 18 market in his Maruti Zen car (DL-4CN-0793) and parked it opposite Vishal Chambers. Parking boy Bubbloo is reported to have given Professor Jha the parking ticket and taken the car key from him.

Spurned youth throws acid on girl
Ghaziabad, February 18
A youth whose advances were spurned threw acid on the girl’s face, badly charring her face and hands. The girl has been rushed to a hospital and the police have started investigations after registering a case against the accused youth.

Salary drawn with fake signature
Noida, February 18
A case of drawing salary in the Basic Education Department with fake signatures has come to light. The salary bills of a headmaster and three assistant teachers were found to be fictitious on Thursday. An attempt has been made to withdraw money with the fictitious signatures of Assistant Basic Education Officer Kamlesh Saxena while no bill was found to have been entered in the official record.

Man gets five years’ RI for robbery
New Delhi, February 18
A city court has sentenced a man to five years’ rigorous imprisonment for robbing a train passenger after plying him with drug-laced biscuits at the Old Delhi Railway Station.

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INLD to raise renaming issue in Parliament
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, February 18
Mr Ajay Chautala, INLD general secretary and party MP, who is also son of former Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala, said here today that opposition parties at the Centre would raise the issue of Haryana Government changing the name of Tau Devi Lal Panipat thermal power plant in Parliament.

Mr Ajay Singh, who was here at a private function, said that the BJP, the CPM, the Samajwadi Party and the Shiromani Akali Dal had promised to take up the issue in both Houses of Parliament during its current session. According to him, the matter would be raised on the floor of the Lok Sabha on February 20 and in the Rajya Sabha on February 22.

The Haryana Cabinet recently took a decision to re-christen the thermal power plant at Panipat by striking out the name of late Devi Lal who was once the Deputy Prime Minister and the INLD supremo.

Criticising the move of the Haryana Government, he attributed the same to political prejudice on the part of the ruling Congress. In case the government did not annul its decision the INLD would be constrained to soon launch a statewide struggle against it on the issue.

Referring to the functioning of the Congress government, he said its claim of providing better law and order had proved to be hollow. The crime incidents had increased in the state. The anti-social elements had picked up courage now to open fire on court premises. The entire state was reeling under shortage of power and water.

He further alleged that prices of foodgrains had increased manifold under the Congress-led government and its rule in the state. During the time of INLD rule wheat used to sell at Rs 7 per kg. But now the same was being sold at more than Rs 12 per kg. In response to a question, he said that the INLD was watching the situation and would soon formulate a strategy which would include party workers going to the masses on the issues agitating the public.

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In Noida, nobody feels safe anymore 
Our Correspondent

Noida, February 18
Lawlessness, lootings and housebreaks have become so common that people here feel they are no longer safe even in their own homes. Day or night, criminals can choose their own time and place to strike.

The robbery in the house of Microsoft executive Rakesh Mohan Bakshi’s house (C-207, Sector 44) is the latest incident. Armed criminals had not only overpowered the guard but had even taken Bakshi’s daughter as hostage.

This is despite the fact that hundreds of IAS and IPS officers live in Noida. Besides, a large number of senior serving and retired officers of the armed forces also live in this town. Some ambassadors and central ministers too have made Noida their home.

Still, there is no stemming the tide of crime here. Even DIG R. K. Vishwkarma had come down from Meerut to inspect the house of Rakesh Mohan Bakshi. The incident seems to have jolted everybody and proved once more that in Noida no one is safe.

In Noida, Sectors 14, 14-A, 15-A, 39, 49, 41, 44 are inhabited by senior bureaucrats holding top positions and the cream of industrialists while the armed forces top brass live in Sectors 21, 25, 37, 28 and 29. Still, robberies and dacoities keep happening with menacing frequency here.

The Chairman of Noida and Greater Noida Authorities, Mr Rakesh Bahadur, is also worried about the deteriorating law and order situation in the area.

In a letter to the DIG Police, Meerut Range, he has expressed grave concern over the fast deteriorating law and order situation in Noida and Greater Noida. Hardly a day passes without a major crime taking place in the area, he said.

The Chairman has called upon the top police brass of western UP to do something urgently to stem the tide as the rising crime has already affected the pace of development in the Noida and Greater Noida belt.

Mr Rakesh Bahadur has called a meeting of the top brass of western UP police to discuss the law and order situation and increasing number of murders, loot and dacoities which have become a daily occurrence. The criminal elements have become so bold that they commit murders and dacoities even during daytime while the police force has become a mute spectator, Mr Rakesh Bahadur pointed out.

Crime must be brought under control at any cost, the Chairman of Noida and Greater Noida emphasised. He has asked the DIG to come down for a meeting to discuss the law and order situation threadbare so that whatever is necessary can be done.

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Protestors clash with police, 25 hurt
Tribune News Service

Ghaziabad, February 18
Around 25 people, including nine policemen, were injured when a crowd incited by a sting operation beamed on a TV news channel today attacked a police station in Sahibabad area of the district, a senior police official said today.

One of those admitted to a hospital in Mohan Nagar had received a bullet injury amid claims by protestors that he was hurt in police firing.

Senior Superintendent of Police J N Singh denied the claim and said the agitators opened fire and Deen Mohammed of Pasonda village was injured after which the police used batons to disperse the crowd.

The protestors indulged in heavy brickbatting in which six vehicles, including three DTC buses, were damaged, City SP Ram Chander Yadav said adding that at least nine policemen were among the 25 hurt in the incident.

The trouble erupted after a news channel aired a sting operation last night showing personnel of Karan Gate police station allegedly taking a bribe of Rs 30,000 for the release of two persons “illegally detained”.

Yadav said the two were sent to jail on the charge of possession of six kgs of ‘dhoda’ (an intoxicant) on Wednesday.

After watching the episode on TV, relatives of the two amassed a crowd and attacked the police station.

The SSP has ordered an ‘independent inquiry’ by SP (Traffic) Asif Ahmad into the incident. 

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Govt committed to implement order on free education: CM
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 18
Delhi Chief Minister Ms Sheila Dikshit has announced that the government would consider constituting two committees to look into the economic factor relating to free-ship and training of teachers to impart education to economically-backward children studying in recognised un-aided schools in the Capital.

Reiterating that her government is fully committed to implement the order of the Delhi High Court directing free education for students in recognised un-aided schools in Delhi, she said the economic factor committee would look into entire gambit of consequences relating to grant of free-ship in these schools. Though diverse views were presented in the meeting, there was unanimity over issue of providing free-ship to poor children.

Ms Dikshit called upon all representatives to help in finalizing modalities of implementation. Director (NCERT) Prof. Krishna Kumar, who was also present at the meeting with the CM, said that the order of the High Court is in tune with views of great educationists Prof. Kothari and Prof. J.P. Naik who were supporters of common schooling system.

He added that every child matters in realizing goal of universalisation of education. The children from different diverse backgrounds would only help in enriching all children. Prof. Kumar said the court’s decision should be implemented rather than debated.

The representative of MCD said that the decision of providing 25 percent free-ship to poor children would be implemented in true spirit in all recognized primary schools from the next academic year.

The meeting was attended by Delhi Education Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely, Chief Secretary S. Regunathan, Secretary (Education), Secretary (Law), Director (Education), Director (NCERT) and representatives of public schools, their organizations, MCD and social jurists.

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Staff shortage ails trans-Yamuna hospital
Nalini Ranjan

New Delhi, February 18
At a time when the Delhi government is laying emphasis on upgrading all important hospitals of the trans-Yamuna area keeping in view the Common Wealth Games in 2010, it is ironical that a major hospital of this area, Dr Hedgewar Arogya Sansthan, Karkardooma, has been facing an acute shortage of staff for years. Normal functioning in the hospital suffers for this very reason.

According to sources, this 200-bedded hospital has shortage of more than 100 staff as against the sanctioned post of 357. The posts had been sanctioned years back. There should be at least 460 posts now, seeing the increasing number of patients every year.

About 2,000 to 2,500 patients come to the OPD every day.

“The state of the affairs in the hospital can be judged by the fact that only one nurse is deployed in the nursery while as per medical rules, one nurse must be deployed in every ward,” said a senior doctor on condition of anonymity.

The Medical Superintendent, Dr Chandi Shukla Das said, “We are definitely aware of the problem. The hospital administration had demanded additional 254 staff from the Health Directorate last year to cope with the situation, but it is surprising that no action was taken. Now we are planning to send a reminder to the directorate and hope that some solution will be found. Besides, a drop box for grievances has been installed near the emergency ward for the benefit of patients,” said Dr Das.

According to the president of Rashtriya Jan Jagirti Manch, Mr Purshottam Bhardwaj, the hospital is the second major hospital of East Delhi district after the Lal Bahadur Shastri Hospital, Khichripur. Though it is not a super-speciality hospital, aspects like sanitation, infrastructure, administration are up to the mark here. Thanks to its location in East district, even patients from North-East district, Noida, Ghaziabad and other adjoining districts feel convenient to come here.

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Demolitions: Centre to seek ‘minor’ reprieve
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 18
The Union Urban Development Ministry will approach the Delhi High Court on Monday seeking reprieve for minor violations of building bye-laws in the Capital.
DPCC president Ram Babu Sharma made the announcement following an hour-long meeting on the issue here. Local party MPs, including, Union Minister of State for Urban Development Ajay Maken, attended the meeting.

The UDH Ministry will plead for a reprieve from the demolition squad for such constructions till the five-member committee looking into the issue submits its report in three months, he said.

Barring Mr Sandeep Dikshit, all party MPs from the NCT attended the meeting.

Incidentally, the BJP has demanded an amnesty scheme to allow minor violations of building bye-laws in Delhi in the wake of court rulings on the large-scale demolition of unauthorised constructions yesterday.

“The government should immediately bring an amnesty scheme to help common people except in cases of encroachments and major violations”, BJP spokesman V K Malhotra told reporters on Friday.

Accusing the Congress government both in Delhi and at the Centre of being responsible for the situation, he said that ordinary people were facing the nightmare that their buildings would be bulldozed.

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Rs 5 lakh penalty slapped on Noida Authority
Parmindar Singh

Noida, February 18
Finding it guilty of incomplete construction of a house for 18 long years, the District Consumer Forum has ordered the Noida Authority to compensate the complainant by giving Rs 5 lakh.

The construction of a house on a plot allotted by the Noida Authority in Sector 23 here was held up when farmers had challenged the authority in a court for allotment of the plot, saying that it was part of gram sabha land. The Ghaziabad court had ordered that the construction be stopped. Though permission to construct the building had been obtained sooner after, the Noida Authority officials did not complete the construction work.

The forum ruled that due to the failure of the Noida Authority to complete the house, complainant Mahesh Kumar Saxena had to live in a rented house. The plot had been allotted to Mr Saxena for Rs 1.17 lakh under a reserved category.

The complainant told the consumer court that he was getting the house constructed according to approved plan and only lintel was to be laid when the work was stopped. The Noida Authority said it was just following the Ghaziabad court orders.

After hearing both the sides, the consumer forum ordered the Noida Authority to compensate the complainant with Rs 5 lakh and pay another Rs 2,000 as litigation expenses. This amount would be paid along with 4 per cent interest in case the authority fails to make the payment within the period stipulated by the court.

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Mass transfers in Land Revenue Dept
Our Correspondent

Noida, February 18
In view of the connivance of ‘amins’ in a number land scams in the district, DM Santosh Yadav has ordered the transfer of 23 amins and clerks from the Land Revenue Department. All these employees have been posted out of Gautam Budh Nagar district to far-off districts like Gorakhpur, Deveriya and Gonda.

Mr Yadav said these people had been posted out due to administrative reasons. It is, however, gathered that District Magistrate was receiving complaints about these officials being corrupt. All of them had been posted in GB Nagar for many years now.

As such, they had become well entrenched in their posts and were hand in glove with corrupt persons indulging in land scams etc. That is why the DM had to post them all out and away from the district.

They all had an active role in the land acquisition in the area after the formation of Noida and Greater Noida Authorities. The transferred amins and clerks had worked in the revenue offices for 15 to 20 years. During this period, most of them had acquired properties worth crores each.

Additional DM Yoginder Yadav also said the transfers were all due to administrative reasons. He said the work of land acquisition would be taken up speedily as soon as the new staff joined their duties in this district.

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JNU readies itself to protest against Bush’s visit
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 18
They gave a rousing welcome to the Venezuelan President, Mr Hugo Chavez; they showed black flags to their own Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh; and now with the US President, Mr George W Bush’s visit to the country drawing near, the liberal think-tank in Jawaharlal Nehru University that slams wars and imperialism has begun preparations to show their disapproval.

Referring to the US Premier as the “face of imperialism”, the students affiliated to the Left-supported, Students’ Federation of India and All India Students’ Federation (SFI-AISF) have planned a “series of protests”.

“We are planning a series of programmes, public meetings, some innovative forms of protest…to show our disapproval of the Bush administration. There will be street plays in various hostels and a music concert that will relay anti-imperialist messages,” said Rohit, an SFI member and a former president of the JNU students’ union.

While leaders Sitaram Yechury and AB Bhardhan are scheduled to kick off the protest series on the 19th with a public meeting on campus, Rahul Ram, the lead singer of the group, Indian Ocean, is likely to perform on the 24th.

“The students’ community in the university is upset with the shift in India’s foreign policy. They are against India’s decision to vote against Iran at the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Association) and condemn the US strikes against Iraq,” Rohit said.

A student of the School of Environmental Studies, who wished to remain anonymous said, “India should learn to stand independent of what the US thinks. We are a country of a billion-plus, do we need someone to tell us what to do.

After what happened in Iraq, the US is already targeting Iran, why should India follow their lead?”

Rahul Ram, who will be performing on the 24th, had this to say, “He (Bush) is an egomaniac who thinks he can rule the world…sorry, it doesn’t work that way.”

Faculty members too are voicing their concerns. “In the School of International Studies close to 25 faculty members have already signed a signature campaign against the shift in India’s foreign policy. They are upset, first with what happened in Afghanistan and Iraq and now with the recent statements of Bush referring to possible strikes against nuclear sites in Iran,” said Prof. Kamal Mitra Chenoy.

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Kidnapped child rescued
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 18
Police today claimed to have solved a case of kidnapping of a three-year-old child within 24 hours of abduction with the arrest of three persons.
A complaint was received by Sadar Bazar police yesterday from one Mohd Saeed, a government contractor residing in Nai Basti of B H Rao locality in North Delhi that his son Arham had gone missing, a Delhi Police release said.

A team was constituted to investigate the matter and they suspected the involvement of one Muzaffar Ali, Saeed’s nephew who also works for him.

Ali was interrogated during which he confessed to his involvement in the crime and admitted having kidnapped Arham with the help of his two associates— Wasim and Harun, the release said.

He revealed that he kidnapped the child as he and his family were humiliated by Saeed and denied their due share in property, it said. Ali decided to take revenge and extract heavy amount of money from Saeed.

Meanwhile, Shahdra police arrested two persons — Wasim and Harun— after a brief encounter at Shahdra and recovered a child, whom they were taking to Uttar Pradesh for demanding ransom, the release added. 

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Parking attendant takes off in car
Our Correspondent

Noida, February 18
A parking lot boy in Sector 18 here is reported to have fled with a parked car.
Prof Ajit Jha of Delhi University had come to the Sector 18 market in his Maruti Zen car (DL-4CN-0793) and parked it opposite Vishal Chambers. Parking boy Bubbloo is reported to have given Professor Jha the parking ticket and taken the car key from him.

When Professor Jha returned after his shopping, he could neither find his car in the parking lot nor the parking boy. Mr Jha informed the police post in Sector 18 about it. But the police have so far failed to trace the boy.

Another car owner, Rajeev Kumar, informed the Sector 20 police that his car parked in Sector 18 had also been stolen by criminals.

Carjacking is very common in the Sector 18 market where cars are stolen with the connivance of parking boys.

The police post in-charge has reportedly recommended to the Noida Authority to cancel the parking contract in Sector 18. The CEO, Noida, is understood to have decided to cancel the contract and hand it over to the Ex-Servicemen’s Board. A notice has been issued to the parking lot contractor.

According to sources, the Noida Authority will take action against parking contractors under rules and the parking contract would be cancelled on receipt of the contractor’s reply.

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Spurned youth throws acid on girl
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, February 18
A youth whose advances were spurned threw acid on the girl’s face, badly charring her face and hands. The girl has been rushed to a hospital and the police have started investigations after registering a case against the accused youth.

Majid lives with his family in Pasaunda village under the Sahibabad police station area. Two days ago, three youths of the area had reportedly harassed his 15-year-old daughter. When she reacted strongly, the youths had fled away.

Later, according to the police, when Shahnaz was standing outside her house in the evening, one of the youths threw acid on her face and hand, causing severe burns. On Majid’s complaint, the police have registered a case against Nabi Hassan, son of Hebib of Shamshed Colony.

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Salary drawn with fake signature
Our Correspondent

Noida, February 18
A case of drawing salary in the Basic Education Department with fake signatures has come to light. The salary bills of a headmaster and three assistant teachers were found to be fictitious on Thursday. An attempt has been made to withdraw money with the fictitious signatures of Assistant Basic Education Officer Kamlesh Saxena while no bill was found to have been entered in the official record.

The official concerned has ordered a departmental inquiry into the matter which is being handed over to police. Besides, all bills received from June 2005 till date are being scrutinised again.

The teachers involved in salary bills with fake signatures include Headmaster Adi Ram Sharma, assistant teachers Rajinder Prasad, Mukesh Kumar and Kusum Lata of the primary school situated at Hareva Farm, Dankaur block.

Three bills included arrear bills of these teachers amounting to Rs 3,600 of Adi Ram, Rs 3,200 of Rajinder Prasad, Rs 2,825 of Mukesh Kumar and Rs 4,005 of Kusum Lata. 

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Man gets five years’ RI for robbery

New Delhi, February 18
A city court has sentenced a man to five years’ rigorous imprisonment for robbing a train passenger after plying him with drug-laced biscuits at the Old Delhi Railway Station.

Additional Sessions Judge S C Rajan slapped a fine of Rs 3,700 on convict Dharmender after finding him guilty of robbery and causing hurt under the IPC and various sections of the Indian Railways Act.

The convict, on the night of October 16, 2004, befriended victim Megha Nand Jha near East Booking Hall of the Old Delhi Railway depot and offered him biscuits laced with the drug ‘Lorazepam’ from a packet. Jha fell unconscious after taking a bite or two. Taking advantage of the situation, the accused stripped him of his travelling bag and some cash.—TNS

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