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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

New welfare package for kin of defence personnel
Delhi Cabinet also approves allotment of 664 industrial plots to small industries

New Delhi, June 26
In a meeting here today, the Delhi Cabinet approved allotment of 664 industrial plots presently available with the DSIDC to industrialists from residential or non-conforming and local commercial areas on priority. A new welfare package to the families of personnel killed or disabled during war and counter insurgency operations has also been approved by the Cabinet.

Many fail to make the cut in first DU list
New Delhi, June 26
On the first day of admissions to the undergraduate programmes at the University of Delhi, even 90 per cent marks seemed not good enough. Many students failed to make it to the college and course of their choice despite having done well in their class XII examinations.

Hopeful candidates scan the first cut-off list at a DU college in the Capital

Hopeful candidates scan the first cut-off list at a DU college in the Capital on Monday. Tribune photo by Mukesh Aggarwal





BJP activists led by city unit president Dr Harshvardhan protesting against rising commodity prices in the Capital
BJP activists led by city unit president Dr Harshvardhan protesting against rising commodity prices in the Capital on Monday. — Tribune photo by Rajeev Tyagi

Ensure toilet facilities for schoolgirls’
New Delhi, June 26
Absence of proper toilets in government and MCD-run schools is not just a health hazard and violation of rights, it has been identified as a reason that precipitates the dropout rate. Pointing out that in the absence of clean and functional toilets, both the lady teachers and the girl students are compelled to skip school, an NGO, ‘Right to Education Task Force’, has written to the Chairperson of the Delhi Commission for Women, Dr Kiran Walia.

Trade tax staff on strike against DM’s ‘sting operation’
Ghaziabad, June 26
The staff of the Trade Tax Department here has gone on strike against the ‘sting operation’ by the District Magistrate who had caught some officials red-handed while taking bribe from the public and imbibing liquor in an illegal bar in Ansal building during a surprise visit.

Power plant to be set up in Chhatisgarh
New Delhi, June 26
Aiming to make the national Capital independent of the Northern Grid, Delhi Government has decided to set up a power plant of 2000 MW capacity in coal-rich Chhatisgarh.

Monsoon may miss its date with Capital
New Delhi, June 26
The South-West monsoon, which hit Kerala coast a week early, is likely to miss its June 29 date with the national Capital as it had entered a weak phase and yet to cover Central India entirely.

Substance abuse by teenagers on the rise, says report
New Delhi, June 26
Having a cup of wine every night or drinking a beer at a ball game seems glamorous and fun, but having these substances can cause profound acute and chronic effect on the behavior and emotional state of the consumer.

Faridabad admn clueless about number of addicts
Faridabad, June 26
The government may be spending crores on the campaign aimed at checking drug abuse and addiction of various kinds in the district, but there is no record of the number of people affected by drug abuse.

Pimps sent to judicial custody
New Delhi, June 26
Three girls, arrested on charges of being involved in flesh trade, were today granted bail by a city court which remanded two alleged pimps to 14 days of judicial custody.

Taxi driver murdered over payment dispute
Noida, June 26
The driver of a taxi has reportedly been murdered at Etawah in UP by three young men from Hoshiarpur village here over a payment dispute.

Bid to blow up railway tracks
Noida, June 26
Anti-social elements reportedly tried to blow up railway tracks on the Delhi-Howrah line near Khurja station yesterday. A big tragedy was averted by a margin of a few seconds.

Four crushed to death by dumper
Faridabad, June 26
Four young persons aged between 20 and 22 years were killed while two were injured seriously in a road accident that took place on National Highway No. 2 here last night.

 

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New welfare package for kin of defence personnel
Delhi Cabinet also approves allotment of 664 industrial plots to small industries

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 26
In a meeting here today, the Delhi Cabinet approved allotment of 664 industrial plots presently available with the DSIDC to industrialists from residential or non-conforming and local commercial areas on priority.

A new welfare package to the families of personnel killed or disabled during war and counter insurgency operations has also been approved by the Cabinet.

While briefing media after the Cabinet meeting, Chief Minister Ms Sheila Dikshit said that her government was committed to relocate industries in the new industrial estates in Delhi as per direction of the Supreme Court.

The Cabinet has given its nod to allotment of 664 industrial plots to 407 eligible existing applicants from residential or non-conforming areas and 257 applicants from local commercial areas.

The balance 82 applicants from local commercial areas would be considered for allotment of plots along with the fresh applications to be invited for relocation of industries from these areas.

23,133 units were declared eligible for allotment of industrial plots. This figure does not include units which had taken refund of deposited money.

22,387 units have already been allotted plots. 746 eligible units are pending for allotment, including 339 units from local commercial areas who had applied under the old scheme.

Ms Dikshit added that all eligible applicants belonging to the local commercial areas who have paid 100 per cent cost of allotted plots would be handed over possession.

She said that the Cabinet has decided to implement uniform rate benefits to war widows and war disabled soldiers as per instructions issued by Ministry of Defence after the Kargil War. This would enable enhanced ex-gratia amount apart from new benefits of housing assistance including subsidy and children’s education allowance.

Ex-gratia amount for dependants of deceased in war has been increased from Rs 1 lakh, Rs 75,000 and Rs 50,000 to Rs 2 lakh, Rs 3 lakh and Rs 5 lakh.

The parents of martyrs would get ex-gratia amount of Rs. 2 lakh, the widows in case parents of deceased are alive would get Rs 3 lakh, the widows in case parents are not alive would get Rs 5 lakh, the parents of unmarried deceased personnel would also get Rs 5 lakh and the nominee of unmarried deceased personnel in case parents are not alive would get Rs 5 lakh.

Disabled personnel with 60 per cent and above disabilities would get an ex-gratia amount of Rs 5 lakh and with disability up to 59 per cent would get Rs 3 lakh.

Disabled officers, JCOs and other ranks with disability above 51 per cent were getting Rs 1 lakh, Rs 75,000 and Rs 50,000 respectively whereas those with disability ranging from 20 to 50 per cent were getting Rs 50,000, Rs 37,500 and Rs 25,000 respectively.

Ms Dikshit added that the new benefits under the modified package include children’s education allowances including free tuition fee, books and transportation or financial assistance up to 10+2, graduation and P.G. courses Rs 8,000, Rs 10,000 and Rs 20,000 respectively.

As per new package, officers would be entitled for 35 per cent subsidy or assistance of Rs 5,00,000 and JCOs and other ranks would be entitled to 50 per cent subsidy or assistance up to Rs 5 lakh in case they don’t own a house.

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Many fail to make the cut in first DU list
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 26
On the first day of admissions to the undergraduate programmes at the University of Delhi, even 90 per cent marks seemed not good enough.

Many students failed to make it to the college and course of their choice despite having done well in their class XII examinations.

As students queued outside colleges to catch a glimpse of the cut-offs, there were many disappointed faces. “Though I have the requisite cut-off, I still didn’t make it for Economics (Hons) because I don’t have the required marks in the subject,” said Neha Tiwari, who wants to join “prestigious colleges like the Hindu”.

While cut-off marks invariably show an increase each year, this time, they have skyrocketed for commerce. “Each year we see a rise of 0.5 to 2 per cent, but this year the cut- offs for subjects like B.Com and Economics have really shot up. Students with 90 plus marks are finding it difficult to get admission in colleges like SRCC and Hindu. The cut-offs for Science and Arts are between 0.5 to 3 per cent, but here too in subjects like Physics and Computers the jump is beyond 5 per cent in some colleges,” said a university official.

He blamed the “CBSE’s lenient marking system” for the “abnormal cut-offs”.

“If you dole out marks like this, the cut-offs are naturally going to go up. Half of the students who have scored more than 90 per cent may not have done so if the marking was a little more stringent,” he said.

The cut-off for B.Com (Honours), the most sought after course in the university, has risen in most of the colleges.

In SRCC, the cut-off required for B.Com (Honours) stands at 94.5- 96.5 per cent as against 93-97 per cent last year. In Hindu college, though there has been a decrease of 1.5 per cent, the students still require between 93.5 and 96.5 per cent to secure a seat in the course.

At Sri Venkateswara college, the cut-off is 90 per cent for B.Com Honours.

The same is the trend with Economics Honours. At Sri Venkateswara College there has been a three per cent increase to stand at 93-94 per cent compared with 90-92 per cent last year.

At Ramjas College the cut-off marks for Economic (Honours) is 88-93 per cent. At Hindu College this time round, cut-off marks for Economics (Honours) is 88.5-93.5 per cent compared with 88-93 per cent last year.  At Hans Raj, the cut-off for the course is 92.75 per cent.

However, the cut-off marks for Science courses in some colleges have remained the same, while other courses have seen a marginal decrease.

In Arts courses, History Honours has seen a drop of one per cent at Hans Raj College this year to stand at 79-85 per cent compared with 80-86 per cent last year.

Miranda House requires students to have between 81-83 per cent aggregate for Political Science (Honours) this year. The restructured B.Sc Life Sciences has seen a drop of 5 per cent at Sri Venkateswara College to stand at 80 per cent.

And as students hope to find a place in the university, it is a long wait for those with marks between 70-80 per cent, who are now awaiting the second list.

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Ensure toilet facilities for schoolgirls’
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 26
Absence of proper toilets in government and MCD-run schools is not just a health hazard and violation of rights, it has been identified as a reason that precipitates the dropout rate. Pointing out that in the absence of clean and functional toilets, both the lady teachers and the girl students are compelled to skip school, an NGO, ‘Right to Education Task Force’, has written to the Chairperson of the Delhi Commission for Women, Dr Kiran Walia.

The NGO, which has been seeking quality education for underprivileged children, has urged the DCW to seek an explanation from the Municipal Commissioner of Delhi and the Secretary, Education, Government of NCT of Delhi, for their failure to provide amenities like clean toilets in schools.

“This is a denial of basic human rights to girl students and women teachers in government and MCD Schools in Delhi. The DCW should ask the MCD Commissioner and the Secretary what they are doing to ensure that there are proper toilets in their school and what is the timeframe within which these basic facilities will be made available,” said Ashok Agarwal of the Social Jurists, and advisor, RETF.

He said even education officers, in a workshop on improving the state-run schools, had recently conceded that girls and lady teachers face problems in the absence of toilets, especially during their menstruation.

It was mentioned that with no provision for water, toilets in MCD and government-run schools remain dirty, thereby creating an unhygienic environment.

“Since there is no provision for a clean toilet, girl students and teachers avoid coming to school…it is clear that lack of clean toilet facilities for women leads to denial of right to education for girl students and the denial of basic human rights to women teachers,” said Mr Agarwal.

Accepting that the condition in schools is far from satisfactory, Dr Walia on her part was quick to point out that while changes are being introduced in the government-run schools, it is the MCD schools, which need to better their performance.

“The Chief Minister is very keen to improve the condition of schools; she has given discretionary powers to principals asking them to go ahead with whatever needs to be done to improve the infrastructure. Both money and encouragement are being given to schools to improve. But these things take time and it is up to us to ensure that conditions are amended,” added Dr Walia.

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Trade tax staff on strike against DM’s ‘sting operation’
Parmindar Singh

Ghaziabad, June 26
The staff of the Trade Tax Department here has gone on strike against the ‘sting operation’ by the District Magistrate who had caught some officials red-handed while taking bribe from the public and imbibing liquor in an illegal bar in Ansal building during a surprise visit.

The District Magistrate, Mr S. K. S. Sundraram, had caught some government officials red-handed while taking bribes.

At the Mohan Nagar checkpost, two employees were arrested for taking bribes while two others were nabbed at the Shalimar Garden power substation. On Friday, when the DM went out with his staff at 10 pm, he took the Kavi Nagar police SO to task when he found a liquor bar functioning in Ansal building.

Mr Sundaram then rang up the Hindon fire station, informing them about a fire in the nearby area. He was very happy to find that fire engines reached before his car arrived on the spot. He patted the fire officer and his team for their prompt response.

At the Mohan Nagar check post, the DM was furious when Nabi Ahmed Khan and Madan were nabbed for taking Rs 20 each from some truckers. The duo were arrested. Mr Sundaram has sought an explanation from the Assistant Commissioner Trade Tax regarding this. He has ordered action against Madan and Nabi Khan.

At the Shalimar Garden power station, he found SSO Lokinder and linemen Manoj and Nikku asleep.

The staff of the Trade Tax Department have not been arraigned for the first time. Corrupt officials have been nabbed for taking bribes and later arrested by former Finance minister Baleshwar Prasad as also the Principal Secretary. But none of the guilty officials or employees has ever been punished.

Five years ago, Minister Baleshwar Tyagi had caught three employees red-handed while taking bribe at Mohan Nagar. He had suspended all three but they managed to get reinstated. No action has been taken against them till date.

Principal Secretary George T. Joseph had also caught red-handed many employees taking bribe at the Mohan Nagar checkposts. One trade tax official was caught for taking Rs 75,000 bribe for releasing a truck. Similarly, previous DM Santosh Kumar Yadav had also arrested an employee last year. But, with vested interests playing their part during investigations, it becomes difficult to take action against the guilty persons.

West UP Udyog Vapar Mandal secretary Tilak Raj Arora and general secretary K. K. Singhal have praised the District Magistrate for his action.

They have suggested that the DM should conduct a similar surprise visit at other departments too to root out corruption. They said it should be ensured that the employees caught red-handed were brought to book. If corrupt officials were allowed to go scot-free after being arrested, it amounts to institutionalising and tacitly approving corruption, they said.

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Power plant to be set up in Chhatisgarh
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 26
Aiming to make the national Capital independent of the Northern Grid, Delhi Government has decided to set up a power plant of 2000 MW capacity in coal-rich Chhatisgarh.

The proposal for setting up the power plant, to be set up at an estimated cost of Rs 10,000 crore for exclusively meeting the Capital’s electricity needs, was discussed at a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Ms Sheila Dikshit today, sources said.

The meeting follows a visit of the proposed site for the power plant in Chhatisgarh by a government team.

The sources said the power plant will soon be taken up by the Delhi Cabinet and Ms Dikshit has given directions for a Cabinet note to be prepared on the project.

Bids will be soon floated to invite private parties to invest in the power plant.

The power plant, expected to be set up in four years’ time at an estimated cost of Rs 10,000 crore, will supply electricity exclusively to the national Capital, enabling it to be independent of the Northern Grid.

The power project will have the Delhi Government setting up the plant and putting in place the transmission system to bring electricity here, while private parties will be invited to fund and operate it.

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Monsoon may miss its date with Capital
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 26
The South-West monsoon, which hit Kerala coast a week early, is likely to miss its June 29 date with the national Capital as it had entered a weak phase and yet to cover Central India entirely.

The Capital experienced wet spell late last week but the weather office attributed it to local disturbance and not pre-monsoon phenomenon

“Though the monsoon hit the Kerala coast a week early and set in over Mumbai 10 days in advance, its movement thereafter was not encouraging,” a senior Met official said.

The weather office had earlier said that the monsoon would reach Delhi on June 29.

Above normal rainfall was recorded in parts of the country in the first week of June, after the monsoon hit the Kerala coast on May 26.

The monsoon entered a weak phase on June 8 which has led to a staggered advancement all over the country. 

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Substance abuse by teenagers on the rise, says report
Rollet Hepshiba Grace

New Delhi, June 26
Having a cup of wine every night or drinking a beer at a ball game seems glamorous and fun, but having these substances can cause profound acute and chronic effect on the behavior and emotional state of the consumer.

Adolescent and young adults who use these substances are more likely to be alcohol dependent and have a substance abuse disorder. Despite attempts to limit access to psychoactive substances for young persons, the use of such substances is becoming common among adolescents and growing alarmingly in some groups.

Apart from depression, it raises the risk of certain types of strokes and can cause cirrhosis, or scarring of the liver, and problems with the immune system. Teenage substance abuse can lead to serious psychiatric disorders in adulthood.

Teenagers are tempted to try all sorts of substances. “When we think of substance abuse we usually think of alcohol or illegal drugs, but they can also be medicines, nicotine by smoking, cannabis related substances (grass, weed), opium related substances (brown sugar), party drugs like Ecstasy, magic mushrooms, inhalants like diluter of ink, prescription drugs like sedatives, painkillers, cough syrup and even glue. Some substances are more addictive than others: drugs like crack or heroin are extremely addictive,” says an expert.

According to the annual survey conducted by the Centre for Disease Control (CDC), published in MMWR as “Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance”, nationwide 9.5 per cent of students had used a form of cocaine (eg. powder, crack) during their lifetime. Nationwide, 14.6 percent of students had sniffed glue, breathed the contents of aerosol spray can, or inhaled paints or spray to get high during their lifetime.

The substance use is hazardous so the drug-addicted person must respond to alerting signs and get treated. The most obvious signs are psychological and physical.

Substance use also results in depression, anxiety, anger, mood swings, low self-esteem and irresponsible behaviour.

Experts suggest immediate intervention. “For substance use disorder, a psychiatrist must be seen, as a comprehensive long-term treatment would be under the expert guidance of a psychiatrist,” says Dr Samir Parikh, chief of Department of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences.

It is important to match treatment settings, interventions and service to each individual’s particular problems and needs. This is critical to his or her ultimate success in returning to healthy functioning in the family, school and society, he says

Despite popular belief, mental health therapy goes far beyond the traditional image of a person lying on a couch and talking to a psychiatrist. Therapists help you change your environment so that self-defeating behaviour is no longer rewarded.

Counseling and other behavioural therapies are critical components of effective treatment.

In therapy, teens look at the issue of motivation, build skills to resist drug use, replace drug using activities with constructive and rewarding behaviour, improve problem solving skills and also facilitate interpersonal relationship and teen ability to function in the home and community.

Strong motivation from parents and friends help in fast recovery. Many parents believe that teen substance use is just part of growing up and is not a problem unless it “gets out of hand”.

Being an adolescent is tough, but being the parent of an adolescent can be tougher. As kids approach their teen years, they are exposed to many outside influences — peers, the media and internet, to name just a few.

To tackle the teens and lead them on the right path, parents have to talk to them and understand their view, continue to offer support and encouragement because parents, better than anyone else, know their child and know what is usual behaviour for their child. Apart from parents, the role of school, friends and media is important, the report points out. 

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Faridabad admn clueless about number of addicts
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, June 26
The government may be spending crores on the campaign aimed at checking drug abuse and addiction of various kinds in the district, but there is no record of the number of people affected by drug abuse.

Though the Deaddiction Centre run here by the District Red Cross Society has treated over 30,000 cases of addiction and drug abuse in the past about 17 years, the authorities here have no details of the number of persons affected by the problem in the district or the region.

At a function held here today to mark the ‘International Day against Drug Abuse’, the officials of the Red Cross Society revealed that the deaddiction centre here had been providing free treatment to addicts.

Releasing details of the type of addiction, income, age, occupation and social strata of the persons treated here, it is claimed that the total number of persons treated here has been around 30,355 since 1989. However, the Society has not given any details of the percentage of the people that could be in the grip of the drug abuse, especially in the rural areas.

It is learnt that no detailed survey has been carried out by any agency in the district or the region regarding drug abuse in the recent past, said a volunteer associated with such activities.

It is stated that while the details prepared by the Deaddiction Centre here could provide some information on the type of addiction and a cause behind it, it is difficult to get an inside view of the problem in the interior areas of the district.

According to figures released by the Centre, alcohol is the addiction in about 64 per cent of the persons treated here. While more than 12.5 per cent have been addicted to smack, 4.02 and 3.99 per cent have been taking opium and injections.

Regarding the income and educational status of such persons, it is reported that a majority of them have been from the poor and the middle income classes. But age is the main cause of concern as it has been revealed that about 36.72 per cent of them have been just 13 to 21 years, which points to the gravity of the problem, claimed an official.

Over 77 per cent of the addicts brought here for treatment have been below 30 years.

About the cause of getting into such an abuse, the study shows that a whopping 49.79 persons take to it due to personal problems.

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Pimps sent to judicial custody
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 26
Three girls, arrested on charges of being involved in flesh trade, were today granted bail by a city court which remanded two alleged pimps to 14 days of judicial custody.

The girls— Muskan, Nisha and Preeti— who were arrested yesterday from West Delhi, were directed to furnish personal bond and surety of Rs 25,000 each by Metropolitan Magistrate.

The pimps —Hitesh Sharma and Kamal Kumar — were sent to judicial custody till July 9.

All the accused were arrested from a house in Sector 7, Rohini in North-West Delhi.

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Taxi driver murdered over payment dispute
Our Correspondent

Noida, June 26
The driver of a taxi has reportedly been murdered at Etawah in UP by three young men from Hoshiarpur village here over a payment dispute.

Interestingly, the car was booked by a policeman for “his relatives”. When the driver failed to return many days after he had gone to Etawah, a search was launched for him. It was found that driver had been murdered by the passengers. It was only on the intervention of senior police officers that a kidnapping report about the driver was registered by the Sector 49 police.

Now, a police team has been dispatched to recover the body of the driver.

According to the police, Kanwarjit of Hoshiarpur village was the driver of an Indica car owned by S. N. Singh of Aravalli Apartments in Sector 34 here .

On June 15, Constable Ram Naresh Yadav, posted at the Sector 24 police station, had gone along with one Anil to book the car. It was on Ram Naresh’s surety that Kanwarjit had agreed to go to Etawah with Anil, his wife Shashi and father-in-law Chatru Pahelwan.

When Kanwarjit did not return from Etawah for many days, car owner S. N. Singh and Kanwarjit’s family started looking for him.

Anil was traced through the constable whose interrogation brought to light the grim reality of the murder of Kanwarjit. After dropping his wife and father-in-law, Anil had consumed liquor along with his friends Rakesh and Yoginder and driver Kanwarjit.

Meanwhile, Anil had an argument with Kanwarjit on payment of the taxi charges to him. Anil and his friends then strangled Kanwarjit and dumped his body in a canal in the Jaswant Nagar area. Anil then parked the Indica car at the house of a relative in Mainpura village.

Kanwarjit’s brother Rakesh Kumar has lodged a report with the Sector 49 police who have now been jolted into action.

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Bid to blow up railway tracks
Our Correspondent

Noida, June 26
Anti-social elements reportedly tried to blow up railway tracks on the Delhi-Howrah line near Khurja station yesterday. A big tragedy was averted by a margin of a few seconds.

There was a blast just a few minutes after the Rajdhani Express had thundered past the spot.

A worker who was trying to drive a pendrol clip nearby was badly charred. He has been referred to a Delhi hospital.

Two detonators with wires attached have been found near the track. It has not been ascertained as to who could have planted the explosives.

On Sunday, keyman Sardar Singh was examining the pendrol when he noticed that one of the clips had been removed between pole numbers 1365/12 and 14 near the Kamalpur railway crossing under the Khurja Dehat police station at 8 am.

While he was trying to drive the clip down, an explosion took place, charring him seriously. 

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Four crushed to death by dumper
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, June 26
Four young persons aged between 20 and 22 years were killed while two were injured seriously in a road accident that took place on National Highway No. 2 here last night.

According to police, the mishap took place around 11.45 pm near Baghola village when a dumper truck coming from the wrong direction rammed a Maruti car going towards Palwal town. The six occupants of the ill-fated car were going home after celebrating a birthday party of their friend here.

While four of the victims identified as Sunil, Pravin, Lucky and Sunny, all residents of Jawahar Camp of Palwal town, died before getting medical treatment, two others identified as Nikhil and Nitin have been admitted to Apollo Hospital, Delhi and Diamond Hospital, Palwal respectively.

It is stated that the dumper which was to go to Davil village had taken to the right side of the Highway from a wrong cut. The driver of the truck is absconding along with the vehicle, but the police have got the registration number of the truck.

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