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SC declines independent hearing to traders 
Asks them to become party to the main case 

New Delhi, September 8
The Supreme Court today declined to hear a petition of Delhi traders independent of the already pending petitions on the issue of sealing of commercial complexes in residential areas, saying that it had made it amply clear that the law providing one-year moratorium on sealing and demolitions was being examined by it.

Fake rape case: HC summons police chief, DCP
New Delhi, September 8
The Delhi High Court today issued notices to the Police Commissioner and a Deputy Commissioner of Police to appear before the court on September 18 in connection with a case in which a Delhi-based businessman was framed in a false rape case by some Delhi Police officials.

Court rejects bail plea of constable 
New Delhi, September 8
A city court today dismissed the bail application of a Delhi Police constable who was arrested for allegedly selling countrymade pistols here.

Maken for big role for private developers
New Delhi, September 8
Private players will get a major share in infrastructure development with the government deciding in principle to limit the role of state departments, particularly the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) in the national capital territory of Delhi.


 




EVMs a big hit with DU students
New Delhi, September 8
It was neither the candidates nor the issues they raised, but the novelty factor of the electronic voting machines (EVMs) introduced this year that resulted in more than 50 per cent voter turnout at the elections to the Delhi University Students’ Union.


Students queue up to cast their vote for the DUSU elections in the Capital on Friday. — Tribune photo by Mukesh Aggarwal

Students queue up to cast their vote for the DUSU elections in the Capital

Missing girl’s grandfather alleges inaction
New Delhi, September 8
It has been one year since an FIR was lodged at the Khajuri Khas police station regarding the attempt to rape a three-year-old girl. No further action has been taken yet.

Three health centres to come up at Dwarka
New Delhi, September 8
Health Minister Yoganand Shastri today announced 925.50 sq m land had been acquired from the Delhi Development Authority for the construction of a health centre costing Rs 62 lakh.
President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam looking at a floral display at the second International Flora Expo 2006 in the Capital
President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam looking at a floral display at the second International Flora Expo 2006 in the Capital on Friday. — Tribune photo by Mukesh Aggarwal

Free camp on cosmetic surgery 
New Delhi, September 8
The Department of Arthritic and Cosmetic Surgery at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital is holding a free camp on non-invasive cosmetic surgery procedure. The main focus at the camp would be anti-aging, a spokesman said.

DCW unhappy with AIIMS doctors
New Delhi, September 8
Taking a serious view of a rape victim allegedly kept waiting at the AIIMS for seven hours for her medical examination, the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) today wrote to the Institute Director P Venugopal about the incident.

Arjun Singh’s effigy burnt in Gurgaon
Gurgaon, September 8
A voluntary organisation, Sir Chhotu Ram Educational and Cultural Society, today organised a march in the city protesting the derogatory references made against the Jat community in NCERT textbooks of standard VII and XII.

Cops use teargas to fob off protesters 
New Delhi, September 8
The police resorted to using teargas to disperse hundreds of protesting people against the ongoing MCD demolition drive in the Seelampur area of North-East district here today. he protesters clashed with police personnel and started pelting stones on them and their vehicles at the Seelampur market when an MCD team came there to remove encroachments from public land, sparking angry protests from the locals.




Police controlling the mob during the MCD demolition drive in the Seelampur area on Friday. Tribune photograph

Police controlling the mob during the MCD demolition drive in the Seelampur area

Shots fired at Vande Mataram procession
Ghaziabad, September 8
When the procession celebrating the 100 years of national song Vande Mataram was passing through Phalauda town in Mawana tehsil of Meerut district, some people of a community threw stones and opened fire in the presence of the SDM and the circle officer yesterday.

Sultry weather rules, dryness to continue
New Delhi, September 8
It was another bright and sunny day here today with high humidity, leading to the return of sultry weather conditions in the Capital. The warm and humid weather has prevailed in the region since Sunday with the area experiencing rather dry conditions throughout the week after 210 mm of rainfall last week.

Capital put on high alert
New Delhi, September 8
The National Capital Territory of Delhi was today put on high alert in the wake of a blast in Maharashtra’s textile town of Malegaon.

First martyrs’ memorial to be built in Dadri 
Noida, September 8
Laying the foundation stone of country’s first Shahid Ashram at Phalda village in Dadri, Air Marshal J.N. Verma said, “Armed forces of the country are above race, region, community, religion or caste and all the servicemen fight for the defence of the country with full dedication.”

 

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SC declines independent hearing to traders 
Asks them to become party to the main case 
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, September 8
The Supreme Court today declined to hear a petition of Delhi traders independent of the already pending petitions on the issue of sealing of commercial complexes in residential areas, saying that it had made it amply clear that the law providing one-year moratorium on sealing and demolitions was being examined by it.

Senior advocate Fali S. Nariman, appearing for traders, told a Bench of Chief Justice Y. K. Sabharwal and Mr Justice C. K. Thakker that the Federation of the Delhi Traders Associations (FDTA) wanted the indulgence of the court in view of the government permitting mixed land use in certain areas even in the earlier notification.

Mr Nariman said at least in those areas where mixed land use was permitted the traders having their shops should not be disturbed.

The court said it was not denying hearing to the traders, but their petition would only be heard along with the pending matters, which include petitions by two welfare associations of residents, challenging the Delhi Laws (Special Provision) Act, 2006, granting one-year moratorium on demolition and sealing.

For that, the FDTA needed to file an application for impleading itself as a party in the pending case, the Chief Justice told Mr Nariman.

Agreeing to the suggestion, Mr Nariman said he would advise the traders to move the impleadment application soon so that it could be put up for hearing along with the other cases.

The court had earlier said it was of the “prima facie” view that the Delhi Laws (Special Provision) Act passed by the UPA government was “contrary” to the provisions of the Constitution.

The court is examining the law, which provides that all commercial complexes and unauthorised constructions that existed prior to January 1, 2006, will not be disturbed.

The traders had sought enforcement of that Act in those areas where the mixed land use plan was permitted.

In view of the court taking a hard stand on the issue, the DDA yesterday notified an amended Master Plan, providing relief to certain categories of commercial establishments operating in the residential areas.

The mixed land use would allow running of guesthouses, schools, nursing homes, banks, fitness centres and professional establishments by doctors, lawyers, chartered accountants and architects in the residential localities under certain specifications.

For the purpose of such relief, the localities had been divided in four – A, B, C and D – categories according to the width of the roads for allowing commercial activities.

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Fake rape case: HC summons police chief, DCP

New Delhi, September 8
The Delhi High Court today issued notices to the Police Commissioner and a Deputy Commissioner of Police to appear before the court on September 18 in connection with a case in which a Delhi-based businessman was framed in a false rape case by some Delhi Police officials.

A division bench of Justices R S Sodhi and P K Bhasin asked the two senior officials to be present in the court on the said date and apprise of all the details of investigations into the case.

The order came on a suo motu notice of a report published in a national English daily on September 5.

West Delhi-based businessman Sushil Gulati was allegedly framed in a false rape case by police officers who connived to take revenge against the businessman for deposing against a police officer, CM Dutta. The officer had allegedly molested a woman in Rajouri Garden in 2000.

Several police officials are alleged to be involved in the conspiracy including Inspector C M Dutta, two SHOs, two SIs, a couple of lawyers and a woman who acted as the victim.— UNI

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Court rejects bail plea of constable 
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, September 8
A city court today dismissed the bail application of a Delhi Police constable who was arrested for allegedly selling countrymade pistols here.

“A person who is in disciplined service and is indulging in a crime does not deserve the concession of bail or any leniency at all,” Additional Sessions Judge Narottam Kaushal observed while rejecting the bail application of Dinesh Kumar, who was arrested on August 29 while allegedly selling countrymade pistols.

In an application, counsel for the accused submitted the applicant was a government servant and his career would be jeopardised if he was detained in custody for a long time.

The accused, who was arrested under various provisions of the Arms Act, has been in judicial custody since the day of his arrest by the Narela police.

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Maken for big role for private developers
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 8
Private players will get a major share in infrastructure development with the government deciding in principle to limit the role of state departments, particularly the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) in the national capital territory of Delhi.

“Private developers are doing a good job...particularly in Delhi, we are going to invite private players in a big way,” Union Minister for Urban Development and Poverty Alleviation Ajay Maken said.

The Master Plan for the development of Delhi envisages opening up of 27,000 hectares for urban development till 2021 with a requirement of 2.4 million dwelling units, the minister disclosed at the launch of Building Materials and Construction Technologies (BMCT) 2007 International Exhibition and Conference here last evening.

The minister was in favour of private companies for construction work. The DDA has been responsible for planning, building and regulating housing construction in g to let the DDA construct a single unit out of the 2.4 million units required by the year 2021. We would like the DDA to work only as a planner and regulator or either of the two. It (DDA) should be responsible only for town planning and the rest should be left to market forces.”

Asserting that there was a huge potential for infrastructure developers in the country, particularly in Delhi, he said, “Private companies are badly required. Our planning in the past has been a mistake as the floor area ratio(FAR) has been artificially suppressed. The FAR limits must be removed to stop the urban sprawl,” the minister told reporters.

With 30 crore people living in cities and towns, (28 per cent of the population), urban India is the second largest in the world.

The outlook is that 70 per cent people would be living in urban areas by 2045, Mr Maken revealed.

At present, the country has 5,200 small and big towns and by 2050 an additional 3,000 townships will be required.

The exhibition and conference on BMCT is scheduled to be held from March 24-27 next year at Pragati Maidan here.

Being organised jointly by the Builders Association of India (BAI) and FICCI in association with the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), at least 180 exhibitors from 20 countries are expected to take part in BMCT 2007.

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EVMs a big hit with DU students
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 8
It was neither the candidates nor the issues they raised, but the novelty factor of the electronic voting machines (EVMs) introduced this year that resulted in more than 50 per cent voter turnout at the elections to the Delhi University Students’ Union.

The sharp rise in the polling rate, up from last year’s 40 per cent, is being attributed to the “curiosity over the EVMs”.

“We decided to cast our vote because we wanted to check out the EVMs,” said a group of students from Kirori Mal College where the voter turnout was an impressive 70 per cent.

These students, all from the third year, said they were voting for the first time. “We skipped the poll for the past two years because we are against the politicisation of student politics. None of these candidates, whether they are from the NSUI or the ABVP, make a difference. This year, however, we wanted to experience the all-new voting process and also wanted to extend support to the candidate who raised the issue of reservation, an issue that is most relevant to students today,” said these students.

The authorities, too, acknowledged the polling rate this year had gone up significantly. “It could be the EVMs, but the polling rate has definitely improved, it wouldn’t be incorrect to say that this polling rate of 50-55 per cent is an all-time high,” said Prof Gurmeet Singh, Chief Election Officer.

The authorities had to increase the polling time by an hour in each shift. “Students took a long time to get familiar with the EVMs. Teachers had to explain how to use them. Since the whole procedure has been changed we thought it best to increase the duration of the polling so that no one is left behind,” said a senior official of the university.

Amid tight security, students of DU cast their votes to choose their representatives from the 40 candidates in the fray. While 52 colleges are part of the elections, about 20 colleges do not take part in the electoral process.

While no untoward incident was reported, supporters, despite the two-week time given for canvassing, seemed unwilling to let go of the last-minute whisper campaign. Risking breach of the code of conduct, these supporters continued to woo voters right until the time they went into the polling booths.

Though electioneering this year has been low-key, the contest for the president’s post between NSUI’s Amrita Dhawan and ABVP’s Gargi Lakhanpal was a keenly observed spectacle. As the two leading ladies tried to assert their advantage over the other, their supporters tried to outdo each other in sloganeering.

To ensure that the election hullabaloo did not turn ugly, more than 200 police personnel had been deputed to keep a close watch. Students without identity cards were barred from entering college premises and apart from Police Control Room (PCR) vans in all colleges security personnel in plain clothes were also on the job.

The results for the individual college counsellors are to be declared later in the day and for the DUSU panel on Saturday. 

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Missing girl’s grandfather alleges inaction
Nalini Ranjan

New Delhi, September 8
It has been one year since an FIR was lodged at the Khajuri Khas police station regarding the attempt to rape a three-year-old girl. No further action has been taken yet.

The grandfather of the victim, Mr Rajendra Singh Tomar (81), a resident of Sonia Vihar and a former Army officer, has been frequenting the police station and the office of the DCP of North-East district. When he failed in his efforts to meet the Police Commissioner, he eventually submitted a complaint in this regard to his office recently.

“I have won many wars as a brave soldier of the Indian Army but now I feel defeated,” he says with tears in his eyes.

“It was August 28 last year. My granddaughter was outside the house as she wanted to catch a glimpse of the Janmashtami procession. After a while, she disappeared. When her father tried to trace her, she was found crying in a nearby property dealer’s shop. An old person, employed there for the upkeep of the shop, was sexually harassing the child.

An FIR was registered at the Khajuri Khas police station and the accused was arrested at that time.

Mr Tomar goes on to say his family is in the dark regarding the course of action taken by the police. “Despite my repeated requests, they are reluctant to give a copy of the FIR and the medical report to me. The local police are trying to shield the culprit for some vested interests. The police had arrived late at the spot and delayed in taking my granddaughter to a nearby hospital for a medical check-up,” alleges the distraught man.

Continuing with his tale, he says, “My other granddaughter, a 14-year-old, was abducted on September 5 last year while she was going to her school in Bhajanpura. An FIR was registered at the Khajuri Khas police station. This incident could be connected to the previous one. The police have advised me to make efforts to trace my granddaughter. What are the policemen doing?” he asks heatedly. 

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Three health centres to come up at Dwarka
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 8
Health Minister Yoganand Shastri today announced 925.50 sq m land had been acquired from the Delhi Development Authority for the construction of a health centre costing Rs 62 lakh.

The minister said the 20-room centre would be completed in record time and provide services to 50,000 people.

He was speaking at the inauguration of a health centre at Raj Nagar Part II, Palam.

Dr Shastri said with the opening of this health centre the total number would come to 183. In the past two years, 21 health centres had been opened.

He said 12 health centres were renovated and five dispensaries shifted to the newly constructed complexes. Dr Shastri said five more health centres would be opened in Dwarka in Sectors 10, 14 and 17, Tajpur and Guli Gulyan Dariba.

Construction at the health centres in Rawata and Kanti Nagar was in the final stages, he said, adding that these would provide ayurvedic and homoeopathic treatment along with allopathic.

Dr Shastri said the facilities rendered by them would include free distribution of medicines, check-ups and consultation by specialist doctors, vaccination, mother and child care and family planning. Besides these, the dispensaries run by the Delhi Government would also run programmes on pulse polio, leprosy, AIDS, tuberculosis, cancer and other diseases regularly.

The minister informed plans for constructing dispensaries at Kondali, Mayur Vihar Phase III, Saket, Hiran Kudana, Teekari Kalan, Janakpuri, Madanpur Khadar and Mularband (Gautam Puri) were being processed.

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Free camp on cosmetic surgery 

New Delhi, September 8
The Department of Arthritic and Cosmetic Surgery at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital is holding a free camp on non-invasive cosmetic surgery procedure. The main focus at the camp would be anti-aging, a spokesman said.

Dr B. K. Kapoor, Additional Medical Superintendent, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, said consultation would be free.

There would be 75 per cent discount on certain categories of treatment.—TNS

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DCW unhappy with AIIMS doctors

New Delhi, September 8
Taking a serious view of a rape victim allegedly kept waiting at the AIIMS for seven hours for her medical examination, the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) today wrote to the Institute Director P Venugopal about the incident.

The 17-year-old girl, a resident of Mehrauli in South Delhi, had lodged a rape complaint with the police yesterday, after which she was taken to the premier health institute for medical examination.

“The girl was made to wait for seven hours. The doctors were not conducting the medical examination, saying the girl had refused to get examined,” DCW Chairperson Kiran Walia said.— PTI

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Arjun Singh’s effigy burnt in Gurgaon
Ravi S.Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, September 8
A voluntary organisation, Sir Chhotu Ram Educational and Cultural Society, today organised a march in the city protesting the derogatory references made against the Jat community in NCERT textbooks of standard VII and XII.

The protesters burnt the effigy of Union Minister of Human Resource and Development Arjun Singh, holding him responsible for the ‘howler’ and its continuance. They demanded that the anomaly be rectified forthwith by withdrawing the textbooks from the schools in the country. Besides, the amended textbooks must be provided free of charge to the students. They also submitted a memorandum to President Dr A.P.J Abdul Kalam.

The memorandum expressed concern that the four-member national committee set up by the Human Resource and Development Ministry does not have a single member from the Jat community.

The committee has been assigned the task to look into the alleged anomaly and is to submit its report by September 30. It has suggested the names of Dr Nathan Singh, Dr Veer Singh and Dr Suraj Bhan Dahiya—all academicians—with whom the committee could consult on anything relating to the Jat community before submitting its report.

The protesters raised slogans against Mr Arjun Singh.

Earlier, prominent members of the community addressed a public meeting at Old Judicial complex. The ire of the speakers against Mr Arjun Singh was apparently for his ministry allegedly not handling the controversy in a proper way. Their grouse was that the controversy was being allowed to hang fire.

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Cops use teargas to fob off protesters 
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, September 8
The police resorted to using teargas to disperse hundreds of protesting people against the ongoing MCD demolition drive in the Seelampur area of North-East district here today.

The protesters clashed with police personnel and started pelting stones on them and their vehicles at the Seelampur market when an MCD team came there to remove encroachments from public land, sparking angry protests from the locals.

The police burst teargas shells and used water cannons to disperse the unruly crowd.

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Shots fired at Vande Mataram procession
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, September 8
When the procession celebrating the 100 years of national song Vande Mataram was passing through Phalauda town in Mawana tehsil of Meerut district, some people of a community threw stones and opened fire in the presence of the SDM and the circle officer yesterday.

The processionists also reportedly threw stones in retaliation. Six persons, including two children were injured in stone-pelting.

Shopkeepers pulled down the shutters and schools and colleges were closed abruptly due to tension in the town.

The SP Rural and the Addl District Magistrate rushed to the spot to bring the situation under control.

Some political leaders took out a procession demanding arrest of the miscreants. Some of them even offered themselves for arrest. In view of tension in the town, a large posse of police and PAC have been stationed in Phalauda town.

The Vande Mataram procession was taken out at 12.30 pm yesterday from Mahadev Mandir in Phalauda town as per the pre-announced programme.

When SDM Gaurav Dayal and CO police B.P. Singh learnt of deviation in the route of the procession, they rushed to meet the office-bearers of the organizers. But some enthusiastic processionists had already reached Kani Patti and raised the Vande Mataram slogans while sprinkling ‘gulal’.

The procession was stoned by the youths of other community. Some miscreants opened fire which caused a lot of panic. Some 20 shots were fired in which a 12-year-old boy Rahul was seriously injured. He fell down after being hit with the pellets. Some victims identified as Devinder, Dhiraj, Manchand, Nitin and Raja Ram were injured and rushed to a Meerut hospital. A flag march was ordered by the district authorities to restore peace in the town.

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Sultry weather rules, dryness to continue
Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 8
It was another bright and sunny day here today with high humidity, leading to the return of sultry weather conditions in the Capital. The warm and humid weather has prevailed in the region since Sunday with the area experiencing rather dry conditions throughout the week after 210 mm of rainfall last week.

This makes the rainfall in Delhi 20 per cent in excess during this season. The dryness in weather is expected to prevail for the rest of the week with the weather office forecasting isolated rainfall in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal with mainly dry weather over the rest of north-west India.

The monsoon has turned weak in north-west India, eluding rains in Punjab and Haryana during the past 24 hours. In any case, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal and Uttar Pradesh have received deficient rainfall this season, while in Rajasthan it poured this season, causing floods, death and destruction well beyond anybody’s imagination.

The Met Department, which terms such incidents “uncommon” but not “unusual”, is now trying to find out why monsoon-2006 went haywire and turned up with a few more idiosyncrasies this time.

The monsoon, a Met official explains, is underlined with many mysteries and still not completely understood by weather experts. While haphazard infrastructure development, excessive urbanisation and increase in population density coupled with ancient drainage systems are a major factor as to why the rains these days cause so much damage, the Met official adds that this is certainly not the first time that Barmer in Rajasthan received such heavy rain.

On August 22 this year, Barmer in Rajasthan recorded 162.9 mm rain, but there have been several precedents in the past with much heavier rainfall. On August 18, 1973, Barmer received 231.1 mm rain, on August 7, 1990, 253.6 mm rain and August 13, 1944, 256.6 mm rain.

“The rain this year cannot be termed unusual as all previous records still hold good and that too for the very same month,” explains the Met Office. Its research wing is, however, now studying “uncommon events” of this year as it does every time any such incident takes place.

The likely explanation for what happened this time is that there was a well-marked low-pressure area over the area in Rajasthan, which was continuously being fed by moisture from the sea.

The report card for other parts of the North-West is not too encouraging with the region recording minus five per cent deficiency on the whole. A majority of its meteorological sub-divisions did not receive good rainfall.

This huge variation, where one part of the country is facing deluge and another bordering on near drought-like situation, can be attributed to the fact that India is a big country. Monsoon rains are accompanied with a system and one system is not able to cover all regions of a big country like India, weathermen say.

Also, this year in particular, the monsoon trough has been either normal or south of normal leading to enhanced activity over Central India.

Experts are now planning to study this latest phenomenon of high intensity rainfall over the western coast, especially since the past decade or so, which they hope will help in better monsoon management as far as storage and early warning goes.

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Capital put on high alert

New Delhi, September 8
The National Capital Territory of Delhi was today put on high alert in the wake of a blast in Maharashtra’s textile town of Malegaon.

The police said security had been stepped up at all vital installations and places of worship while checking had been intensified at all entry and exit points. A tight vigil was also being maintained at crowded places, including railway and bus stations, cinema halls and marketplaces.

“We have alerted our personnel,” Commissioner of Police K. K. Paul said.

The police have also asked the public to inform them immediately in case any suspicious object is found.—TNS

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First martyrs’ memorial to be built in Dadri 
Our Correspondent

Noida, September 8
Laying the foundation stone of country’s first Shahid Ashram at Phalda village in Dadri, Air Marshal J.N. Verma said, “Armed forces of the country are above race, region, community, religion or caste and all the servicemen fight for the defence of the country with full dedication.”

He said Shahid Ashram was being built by the efforts of Rashtriya Sainik Sanstha. Each state should set up a Shahid Ashram in memory of the members of the three armed forces who sacrifice their life for the defence of the country. Uttar Pradesh, he said, has taken a lead in this connection.

Servicemen, women and students from American, Polish, and British universities also took part in the function.

Mrs Harkesh, wife of Shahid Bhim Singh, Mrs Saroj Devi, wife of Subedar Rajpal Singh and relatives of Vir Chakra winner Daya Ram were honoured at the function.

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