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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

mattoo case
HC blasts police for ‘messing’ up case 
Soft approach shown by brothers in uniform, says court

New Delhi, October 17
Delhi Police, which handled the Priyadarshani Mattoo murder case initially before it was transferred to the CBI, came in for sharp attack by the Delhi High Court for messing up the investigation.

high court
Schools asked not to conduct interviews

New Delhi, October 17
In a judgement that spells relief for children and their parents, the Delhi High Court has ordered that the nursery school admissions should be based on the recommendations of the Ashok Ganguly Committee.

Awareness campaign on school buses in Gurgaon
Gurgaon, October 17
The district traffic police have launched a special drive to spread awareness about the safety measures, which must be adopted by the school authorities and students while commuting to school. The Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Traffic, Mr Satyavir Singh informed TNS that the department had prepared posters for the schools and the parents, guiding them about the steps they must take.

 

 




Activists of the Rahul-Priyanka brigade burning the effigy of Farooq Abdullah for his mercy plea on Afzal, at Jantar Mantar in the Capital
Activists of the Rahul-Priyanka brigade burning the effigy of Farooq Abdullah for his mercy plea on Afzal, at Jantar Mantar in the Capital on Tuesday. — Tribune photo by Rajeev Tyagi

Minister advises clean surroundings to check dengue
New Delhi, October 17

Delhi Health Minister Yoganand Shastri said that citizens should save themselves from the deadly dengue fever by cleaning their houses and surrounding areas. This is the only way to control the disease.

MCD chief reviews anti-dengue drive
New Delhi, October 17

The Municipal Commissioner, Mr A. K. Nigam, today reviewed the ongoing anti-dengue operations and sanitation drive.

MCD asked to file fresh affidavit
New Delhi, October 17

The Delhi High Court today directed the state government and the MCD to file fresh affidavit detailing the steps they have taken to prevent the spread of dengue in the Capital.

Divali, a harrowing time for patients of respiratory disorders
New Delhi, October 17
Medical practitioners in the Capital have cautioned people prone to respiratory problems to protect themselves from the increase in toxic fumes in the atmosphere during the period around Divali.

Delhi likely to have cool Divali
New Delhi, October 17
The Capital may finally have a cool Divali if the Met office is to be believed. A build up of a fresh Western disturbance today indicated a possibility of some rainfall in North India in the next three to four days which in turn could bring the temperatures down in the National Capital Territory of Delhi.

Dreaded criminal shot on court premises
Ghaziabad, October 17
Dreaded criminal Ravinder Bhura, brought to the Meerut court amid strong police security, was one of the four gunned down in the court compound last afternoon. His nephew and a policeman deployed for his security were also killed.

Man ends life by jumping off mall
New Delhi, October 17
A 25-year-old employee of a local brewery today committed suicide by jumping off a multi-storey shopping mall in a West Delhi locality.

Two killed in Gurgaon village
Gurgaon, October 17
The police today registered a case against seven persons in connection with two killings last night. Raju (Langda), Ashok and Sandeep got a message from their accomplice, Chellu, that they should reach Garholi village, near here, in search of one Kushal Pal.

BSF welfare expo held 
New Delhi, October 17
A three-day BSF welfare exhibition organised by BSF Wives Welfare Association (BWWA) began today at CBI Ground near CGO Complex, here.



Role Model: BSF jawan Sushil Kumar Manjhi modelled as Gandhi to attract visitors at the BSF Wives Welfare Association Mela on Tuesday. —Tribune photo by Rajeev Tyagi

Role Model: BSF jawan Sushil Kumar Manjhi modelled as Gandhi to
 

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mattoo case
HC blasts police for ‘messing’ up case 
Soft approach shown by brothers in uniform, says court 
S.S. Negi
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, October 17
Delhi Police, which handled the Priyadarshani Mattoo murder case initially before it was transferred to the CBI, came in for sharp attack by the Delhi High Court for messing up the investigation.

While analysing the entire evidence in an appeal by the CBI against acquittal of accused Santosh Kumar Singh, a practicing lawyer, held guilty in a reversal of the trial court judgement, the High Court said some officials of Delhi Police made attempt to save the accused.

Since Santosh’s father J P Singh was a high-ranking police officer and retired as DGP, Pondicherry, the reason for “fudging” with the evidence was thought to be apparent by the High Court Bench of Mr Justice R S Sodhi and Mr Justice P K Bhasin.

Among various lapses attributed to the Delhi Police in its voluminous judgement, the Bench pointed out that Inspector Lalit Mohan, who handled the case initially, did not record the statement of a crucial witness Kuppuswamy soon after the crime.

Kuppuswamy was neighbour of Mattoo and had reportedly seen Santosh on the premises on the day the crime was committed.

“It is indicative of soft approach shown by brothers in uniform,” the High Court said, while endorsing trial Judge G P Thareja’s severe strictures against the investigating agencies for shoddy investigation.

Since Mattoo, a law student in Delhi University, was allegedly being stalked constantly by Santosh and she had even registered an FIR in this regard, still the police failed to pursue her complaint to a logical end, the court pointed out.

“None of the police officers to whom such complaints were made had reacted as was expected of them under law,” the Bench observed.

It was apparent that at every stage, the police had kept in mind the interests of the accused thinking that he was the son of a high-ranking officer, the High Court said.

Just before the crime, Santosh’s father J P Singh was considered to be a strong contender for the post of Delhi Police Commissioner, the court said, “Obviously at every stage, they (police officials concerned probing the case) had in their mind that the accused was the son of their superior officer.”

As the police had failed to pursue the complaint of Mattoo in right earnest, the case pertaining to her harassment remained pending in a court at Tis Hazari here for many years and was disposed of only after Santosh was acquitted by the trial court in December 1999, more than three years after the crime was committed on January 23, 1996.

Apart from charges of harassment, she had accused him of outraging her modesty by holding her hand on the university campus in full glare of other students.

But the police had taken a plea in the court later that since Priyadarshani Mattoo was no more, the charges against the accused could not be probed.

The High Court also said that the broken visor of Santosh’s helmet recovered from the premises of Mattoo residence, clearly proved that he had visited her house on the day of the crime.

He had used the helmet to assault the victim and in the process its visor had broken. Santosh had also fractured his wrist in the process. When the police recovered the helmet on January 25, two days after the crime, its visor was found broken, which was a strong circumstantial evidence in the case, the High Court said.

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high court
Schools asked not to conduct interviews
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 17
In a judgement that spells relief for children and their parents, the Delhi High Court has ordered that the nursery school admissions should be based on the recommendations of the Ashok Ganguly Committee.

The court while ruling that schools shall not interview children or their parents for nursery admissions, said the applicants will be assessed on a scale of 1-100.

A Division Bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Vijender Jain and Justice Kailash Gambhir said the admission procedure based on the recommendations should be implemented from the next academic session on a trial basis.

The court ruled that schools will have to take in students on the basis of neighbourhood policy and disabled children will be given preference in the admission process.

Stressing the neighbourhood school model, the court said priority should be given to children staying within three-km radius of the schools for admissions. Twenty points will be given to the kids living within the 3-km periphery of any nursery school, said the court.

The points decrease with the increased distance in the school and the admission seeker. The ward of teachers and alumnus of the schools will get preference during the admission process.

Schools have also been given flexibility to give 20 points as per their parameters for the admission. Disabled students and girl child will get benefit of five points each, the court noted.

Hailing the decision, advocate Ashok Agarwal who filed the petition against interviews said, “Community participation will be promoted. Each neighbourhood will know what happens in the schools in their areas. New schools will be opened in some areas and there will be a big support to education for the girls and differently abled.”

He added, “We must however not forget that this is on experimental basis and in the next one year, we will see what are the changes that need to be incorporated and how to make the admission process more efficient.”

Mr Vijender Gupta, president, Delhi Abhibhawak Mahasangh and Municipal Councillor has welcomed the decision of the court. He described the judgement as foundation stone of equal rights to education throughout the nation.

Mr Gupta said during the last many years, Delhi Abhibhawak Mahasangh had been fighting a battle against the scandal in admissions to nursery classes in public schools for affluent classes of society. 

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Ruling evokes mixed reaction 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 17
The High Court’s judgement banning interviews has come as a welcome relief for parents, but the condition that calls for allotting marks on the basis of the parents’ educational qualifications has left many apprehensive.

Schools that will have to implement the revised admission process on their part are gearing for a meeting to discuss the “complex” procedure.

“The rules laid down by the committee are complex. They can give rise to complexity in the admission procedure. The process needs to be studied and it should be simplified,” said Laxman Public School Principal Dr Usha Ram.

She said the division of the points system is a complex one. “The qualification of the parents has been taken into account and that means you are limiting the chances of a student whose parents are illiterate,” she said.

Principals have also expressed concern that they will be prevented from “choosing their students”. “Schools should be allowed to choose who they want on rolls. Taking away this right interferes with their autonomy,” said a principal of a public school.

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Awareness campaign on school buses in Gurgaon
Our Correspondent

Gurgaon, October 17
The district traffic police have launched a special drive to spread awareness about the safety measures, which must be adopted by the school authorities and students while commuting to school.

The Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Traffic, Mr Satyavir Singh informed TNS that the department had prepared posters for the schools and the parents, guiding them about the steps they must take.

He informed that the school bus/van driver must have an experience of minimum five years and must be well conversant with all traffic rules. In his previous record, the driver must have not been challaned for careless driving, resulting in killing or hurting someone. He must always wear a uniform while driving the vehicle, added the officer.

The school authority must ensure that all vehicles should be fitted with the speed limit equipment which allows maximum speed up to 40 km per hour. The bus/van must be painted in yellow colour and have first-aid box and fire extinguisher.

‘School Bus’ must be painted on the front and the back of the vehicle, added the officer.

The vehicle is not allowed to carry more students. For example, if the vehicle has 40 seats, then the number of students must not exceed 60, clarified the officer.

The vehicle must not be run illegally on LPG or CNG fuels as it is highly inflammable, added the DSP (Traffic).

It must be ensured by the school authorities that at least one schoolteacher or staff of school accompanies the students in every school bus till all the children reach their destinations. He further advised the students to always follow the queue, board or alight from the bus only after it has come to a halt, without rushing in or pushing others.

Parents, on the other hand, must ensure that the children acquire the right knowledge and skills for safe use of roads. They should teach their children the basic rules such as how to walk and cross the road and the way to board and alight a bus, etc.

Children are very good observers and, therefore, parents must set an example by meticulously observing even small traffic rules, suggested the officer to the parents.

They must not allow children to drive two/four wheelers themselves.

As per the direction of the Supreme Court, these guidelines are mandatory for all school buses, clarified the DSP.

On the question whether all rules are being implemented in the district, the DSP opined that prevention is always better than cure. The traffic police would guide and aware them about the safety measures and then strictly enforce them if they do not follow them, added the officer.

Mrs Anita Makkar, principal of DAV School, Sector 14 said that it was a good exerciser of traffic police that it had started an awareness campaign.

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Minister advises clean surroundings
to check dengue

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 17
Delhi Health Minister Yoganand Shastri said that citizens should save themselves from the deadly dengue fever by cleaning their houses and surrounding areas. This is the only way to control the disease.

The Health Department discovered breeding in various houses during a drive. The breeding was found in water containers, overhead tanks, coolers, etc. The house owners were challaned. Fogging and fumigation is being done but mosquito breeding cannot be controlled before public participation. The mosquito menace erupts every year from October to mid-November. In November, the temperature comes down which finishes the breeding, he said.

An official of the Health Department said that dengue claimed one more life at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) today, taking the total number of reported deaths due to the viral disease to 37. A Faridabad resident Preetam (55) succumbed to the dengue fever early today at the institute. The total number of reported cases in Delhi has crossed 1,548, officials said.

The total number of dengue patients undergoing treatment at AIIMS now stands at 183, AIIMS superintendent Dr D K Sharma said.

About 170 suspected cases are under observation in the hospital. “On an average, we are screening about 800 to 1,000 people daily at the emergency OPD,” he added.

More than 19,000 patients have been screened at the AIIMS emergency OPD since October 3, doctors said.

The hospital is conducting about 1,600 platelet-counting tests daily with the help of four separator machines, functioning round the clock.

MCD officials said that Central Zone, Najafgarh and Shahdara (North) continued to remain worst affected areas which have reported 194, 123 and 121 cases respectively.

Doctors at the premier healthcare institute are struggling to keep pace with the dengue deluge.

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MCD chief reviews anti-dengue drive
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 17
The Municipal Commissioner, Mr A. K. Nigam, today reviewed the ongoing anti-dengue operations and sanitation drive.

He directed the additional commissioners, municipal health officers and deputy commissioners to personally undertake field inspections to ensure that anti-dengue operations are carried out within the areas under their jurisdiction.

He sanctioned additional staff and fogging vans in the most dengue-prone zones like central, Najafgarh and Shahdra areas.

The Municipal Commissioner denied that there was an attempt on the MCD’s part to underplay the dengue cases. The MCD is the nodal agency to which all the hospitals, nursing homes and doctors are statutorily bound to inform the occurrence of dengue or death due to it. 

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MCD asked to file fresh affidavit
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 17
The Delhi High Court today directed the state government and the MCD to file fresh affidavit detailing the steps they have taken to prevent the spread of dengue in the Capital.

A Bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Vijender Jain and Justice Kailash Gambhir directed both the authorities to file ‘better’ affidavit as the court was not satisfied with the present one.

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Divali, a harrowing time for patients
of respiratory disorders

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 17
Medical practitioners in the Capital have cautioned people prone to respiratory problems to protect themselves from the increase in toxic fumes in the atmosphere during the period around Divali.

Doctors say that this increase in toxic fumes, which are emitted by firecrackers, may lead to choking, asthma or other respiratory problems.

“Divali means celebration time for almost all of us, but for people suffering from asthma and related conditions, it can trigger choking spells,” says a prominent medical practitioner.

Dr Manish Mohil, Senior Consultant at G M Modi Hospital, pointed out: “There is a sharp rise in the levels of toxic particulate matter and noxious gases during Divali time because of fireworks; those minute particles have the ability to traverse deep into the lungs and cause damage to respiratory passages.” 

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Delhi likely to have cool Divali
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 17
The Capital may finally have a cool Divali if the Met office is to be believed. A build up of a fresh Western disturbance today indicated a possibility of some rainfall in North India in the next three to four days which in turn could bring the temperatures down in the National Capital Territory of Delhi.

“A western disturbance is approaching and is likely to cause scattered rainfall activity over the western Himalayan Region and isolated rains over the adjoining plains of North India from Friday onwards,” the Met office said.

Under the influence of north Westerlies, the minimum temperature today dropped to 20 degree Celsius, from 21 degrees.

Even though the Capital has witnessed dry weather over the last few days, the cool north Westerlies have resulted in a sharp fall in mercury levels in the last three days.

While the maximum temperature has dropped from nearly 36 degree C on Friday to 34 degree C, the minimum too has decreased from nearly 24 degree C on Friday to 20 degree C today.

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Dreaded criminal shot on court premises
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, October 17
Dreaded criminal Ravinder Bhura, brought to the Meerut court amid strong police security, was one of the four gunned down in the court compound last afternoon. His nephew and a policeman deployed for his security were also killed.

In retaliatory action, the police were able to gun down one of the assailants, who was considered the most active member of the Ajay Jadeja gang. Four persons were shot dead in indiscriminate firing on the Meerut court premises while five policemen, including two passersby, were injured. The whole shootout is being viewed as a part of a gang war between Ajay Jadeja and Bhura. Bhura had once contested the assembly elections on the BJP ticket.

The shootout took place at 1.10 pm when Bhura was scheduled to appear before a fast track court-II in connection with a looting case.

All hell broke loose when he was alighting from a police vehicle in the court complex. He tried to take shelter behind a bike, but the assailants shot him dead in a volley of shots. His nephew, Gaurav, who was seen covering Bhura, was also killed. PAC personnel and other policemen then shot dead the assailant. There was panic in the compound with people, advocates and shopkeepers running into shops for cover. Shops and advocates chambers were closed. SSP Navnet Sakera reached there with a heavy police force and cordoned off the area. 

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Man ends life by jumping off mall

New Delhi, October 17
A 25-year-old employee of a local brewery today committed suicide by jumping off a multi-storey shopping mall in a West Delhi locality.

Deepak Kumar Sharma leapt off the City Square Mall in Rajouri Garden in the wee hours of the day. He was rushed to a hospital nearby where he was declared brought dead.

Sharma, a resident of East Rohtash Nagar in Shahdara, was a lab technician at a beer manufacturing plant in Greater Noida.—OC

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Two killed in Gurgaon village
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, October 17
The police today registered a case against seven persons in connection with two killings last night. Raju (Langda), Ashok and Sandeep got a message from their accomplice, Chellu, that they should reach Garholi village, near here, in search of one Kushal Pal.

When they reached Garholi, the native village of gangster Sandip, they met Sunil, the former’s brother. At present, the gangster is in jail. The three were assured by Sunil that he would take them where Kushal Pal was staying. However, they were detained in a house. Sandip was let off later.

Sunil and his accomplices attacked Raju and Ashok and killed them. Subsequently, they dumped the bodies at a vacant plot in Sector 12 in the city.

A case was registered today.

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BSF welfare expo held 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 17
A three-day BSF welfare exhibition organised by BSF Wives Welfare Association (BWWA) began today at CBI Ground near CGO Complex, here.

Mrs Renu Kumar, wife of Mr Ashwini Kumar, former DG BSF, inaugurated the exhibition.

Mrs Reena Mitra, Chairman of BSF Wives Welfare Association (BWWA) welcomed the chief guest and informed about the activities of BWWA.

The main aim of BWWA is to provide assistance to the widows of BSF in their rehabilitation. This exhibition will continue up to October 19.

A blood donation camp has also been organized and 150 BSF jawans donated blood.

The BSF Medical Directorate made special efforts to spread awareness about the dengue, and displayed larvae of dengue mosquito. ‘Ganhusia’ fish which eats larvae of the mosquito responsible for dengue malaria and filaria was also displayed in the exhibition.

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