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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS

Voices to remove DGP get shriller
Parties, NGOs reject CID inquiry into youth’s death as mere eyewash
Agitated Congress workers burn an effigy of the police administration in Dehradun on Sunday.Dehradun, July 5
Political parties and social organisations allege that police excesses in the recent past have transformed Uttarakhand into a “police state”.


Agitated Congress workers burn an effigy of the police administration in Dehradun on Sunday. Tribune photo: Vinod Pundir

The French connection
Interiors of Plaisance that has been turned into a hotel in Mussoorie. Mussoorie, July 5
Ever since Captain Frederick Young made his residence in Mussoorie in 1826 and named it Mullingar, after his county in Ireland, many other Irish, Welsh and Scots followed suit.

Interiors of Plaisance that has been turned into a hotel in Mussoorie. Photo by writer


EARLIER EDITIONS


Gandhigiri

A worker repairs the statue of Mahatma Gandhi, which was damaged by  miscreants a few
A worker repairs the statue of Mahatma Gandhi, which was damaged by miscreants a few days ago, at Dehradun’sGandhi Park. Tribune photo:Vinod Pundir

Protests in Haridwar
Haridwar, July 5
Political parties, social organisations and local residents today held a protest against police “excesses” and demanded stringent action against police personnel involved in the “fake” encounter of 24-year-old Ranbir Singh.

Doon turns paradise for shopaholics
Dehradun, July 5
The city is catching up with latest trends of fashion, which have made their mark in metropolitans. Many high-end brands like Levi’s, Wills Lifestyle, Van Heusen, Arrow, Fabindia, Hidesign, Nike, Adidas are ruling the Doon markets. The latest international entries in the business are IBD, Puma and Carlton London.

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Voices to remove DGP get shriller
Parties, NGOs reject CID inquiry into youth’s death as mere eyewash
Umesh Dewan
Tribune News Service

Dehradun, July 5
Political parties and social organisations allege that police excesses in the recent past have transformed Uttarakhand into a “police state”.

death of a 24-year-old youth from Ghaziabad in a “fake encounter” has agitated leaders of the Congress, the Left parties and non-government organisations.

Demanding an inquiry by the CBI into the killing of MBA graduate Ranbir Singh, they describe the incident as a glaring example of police excesses.

Awadhesh Kaushal, chairperson, Rural Litigation and Entitelement Kendra (RLEK), said here today that he would approach the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the High Court besides resorting to an agitation in case the government failed to concede their demands for a CBI probe and removal of DGP Subhash Joshi and Dehradun SSP Amit Kumar Sinha in three days.

Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank has ordered a CID probe into the matter but the demand for a CBI probe has gained momentum with the Congress, the CPI (ML) and the Rural Litigation and Entitelement Kendra terming the inquiry as a mere eyewash.

Speaking to The Tribune, Kaushal said: “The crime graph has gone dramatically up in the past few years. This increase is attributed to the failure of the police in preventing crimes such as rape, murder and robbery, casting a doubt over the functioning of the department. “The recent cold-blooded murder of Ranbir brings to light the blatant violation of Article 21 of the Constitution by the police.”

Kaushal said there was a need to ensure proper functioning of the police and to ensure that human rights violations did not recur. “A CB-CID enquiry would violate the principles of natural justice, as an accused cannot be investigator in his own case. This shall be the position if the CID is allowed to undertake any investigation.

“Also, the accused policemen should be suspended and an inquiry initiated with immediate effect. This would stop the accused from tampering with evidence and taking law in his hands,” he said.

Coming down heavily on the police chief, Kaushal said the crime in the state had witnessed steep increase ever since Subhash Joshi took over as DGP. “The police setup has become insensitive to the demands of the common man and has not been able to deal with crimes in a just manner.

“Also, fake encounters are not an unknown phenomenon. Therefore, the DGP and the SSP should be removed immediately,” he insisted.

Kaushal said the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) had been constituted in the state to discourage political interference in police functioning and for redressal of complaints against policemen. Unfortunately, the authority had not yielded results.

“Therefore, there is an urgent need to revamp the body and bring in members of integrity who will ensure its proper functioning,” he suggested.

State in charge of the CPI (ML) Raja Bahuguna said police brutality was increasing. “It has been eight years since Uttarakhand was born but there has been no effort to set up a human rights commission to look into rights violations which in the absence of a commission go unreported.”

Time and again, the People’s Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL), Uttarakhand Chapter, have demanded a rights commission in Uttarakhand.

Senior Congress leader Suryakant Dhasmana said a CB-CID inquiry had no meaning and the government must order a CBI probe into the “ fake encounter”. He said the Congress would ensure the family of Ranbir got justice. He expressed dismay over the functioning of the state police.

He said despite the insidence of rights violations having increased in the past few years, it was unfortunate that the government had failed to set up a rights commission.

“Uttarakhand was formed in 2000. However, till date no rights panel has not been formed. The panel, apart from other objectives, could take up suo motu action on complaints regarding rights violation.

“It is of outmost importance that this commission is formed,” said the chairman of Rural Litigation and Entitelement Kendra.

Leaders of the Uttarakhand Jat Mahasabha have extended support to the family of the deceased.

“The police has killed an innocent youth in a fake encounter and ,hence, a CBI probe into the matter must be ordered. In case, the government fails to take action, we will launch an agitation,” threatrened the secretary of the Mahasabha, Harbir Singh.

Leaders of the Congress today burnt the effigy of the police administration at Ashley Hall Chowk. Raising slogans against the police, the leaders demanded a CBI probe into Ranbir’s death. 

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The French connection
Sanjay Tamta

Mussoorie, July 5
Ever since Captain Frederick Young made his residence in Mussoorie in 1826 and named it Mullingar, after his county in Ireland, many other Irish, Welsh and Scots followed suit and named their residences after their respective counties.
The Plaisance, located in the Happy Valley, was built in 1826 by a certain Forbes who was a shipping tycoon in the East India Company.

Most of the old buildings in and around the town still bear the names that pertain to the United Kingdom, except for the one and only estate that embraces a French connection - The Plaisance

Located in the Happy Valley, the house belonged to a certain Forbes who was a shipping tycoon in the East India Company.

Forbes married a beautiful 18-year-old girl Ilene, whose mother was French and father was one of the Nawabs in Lucknow who was exiled to Matiabridge in Calcutta after the revolt of 1857.

It was there that Forbes met Ilene in a party and was charmed by her beauty. Later, he married her and brought his young wife to the Queen of Hills. He gave his residence an entire French décor and named it Plaisance.

Only the beveled glasses were imported from Belgium and the fireplaces were from Birmingham. The rare articles of interior, that includes an autographed picture of King Edward that the King himself presented to Forbes, are masterpieces of fragile craftsmanship that are still in fine shape and functional even after 100 years.

And the credit for the preservation goes to the family of barrister Ranjit Singh, the zamindar of Shahpur Gonda near Lucknow, who bought the property from Ilene after the death of Forbes in England in the late1930s.

The family has brilliantly maintained the delicate serenity at the Plaisance, although their forefathers being Tuand Rajput fought fierce battles with Aurangzeb and the British as an ally of Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Punjab.

Barrister Ranjit Singh’s son Satyendrajit Singh, was called by the government authorities at the Indo-Nepal border to shoot down man-eaters, trophies of which are still there at the Plaisance.

Satyendrajit Singh turned the Plaisance into a Heritage hotel in 1980 and named it Carlton’s Plaisance after their heritage hotel in Lucknow.

The Carlton’s Plaisance is now managed by his son Ajit Singh and daughter-in-law Anu Singh.

Apart from its tranquil location, the Plaisance has found a place in various national and international publications for its culinary delights, especially the original French delicacies and, of course, the Awadhi grills, which include Gilawat Kebabs and Kakori Kebabs. The menu also includes Dak Banglow roast chicken, which has a story of its own. “We are very fond of good food and offering the same to the guests. I personally manage the ingredients and preparations,” reveals Ajit Singh.

The Plaisance orchard produces juicy plums, apples, apricots, almonds and quinces, the jams, squashes and marmalades of which are world famous.

“Our fruit goods are homemade, organic and without preservatives. It gives us a nice feeling when our guests ask for the same in small containers to carry back home,” said Anu Singh. Their guests include some well-known national and international names, and the visitors’ book has some rare quotations. While their elder son Vikramajit Singh is an engineer in the US and the younger one is a lawyer in Lucknow, Ajit and Anu find it a haven in the Plaisance, a part of which they intend to set up as a wedding destination. The two continue to live cozily in the elusive French retreat in the Queen of the Hills. 

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Protests in Haridwar
Tribune News Service

Haridwar, July 5
Political parties, social organisations and local residents today held a protest against police “excesses” and demanded stringent action against police personnel involved in the “fake” encounter of 24-year-old Ranbir Singh.

The Congress and its affiliated students wing, National Students Union of India, held a rally and burnt the effigy of the Dehradun police.

City congress chief OP Chauhan said the police killed innocent people but was unable to nab criminals who went scot free. The NSUI activists gathered at Arya Nagar Chowk and burned an effigy of the police. NSUI city head Pramod Khari demanded of a CBI inquiry into the matter.

Youth Congressactivists also burnt an effigy of the police and sought the resignation of the Dehradun SSP and the BJP government.

The Gandhivadi Ekta Manch condemned the encounter as heinous. “This has exposed the flaws in our police system. A CBI investigation should be held into every encounter and prison death,” said Sanjay Chopra, convener of the manch.

“In the Kargil war, Uttarakhand suffered the maximum casualties and made every Uttarakhandi proud, but the police has put a blot on us,” said Uttarakhand Kranti Manch chief JP Pandey. IG (Garhwal range) MA Ganapathy’s name has been recommended for President’s Police Medal and it is in his jurisdiction that the encounter has occurred. 

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Doon turns paradise for shopaholics
Divya Semwal
Tribune News Service

A showroom displays branded clutch bags.
A showroom displays branded clutch bags. A Tribune photograph

Dehradun, July 5
The city is catching up with latest trends of fashion, which have made their mark in metropolitans. Many high-end brands like Levi’s, Wills Lifestyle, Van Heusen, Arrow, Fabindia, Hidesign, Nike, Adidas are ruling the Doon markets. The latest international entries in the business are IBD, Puma and Carlton London.

“Its been a month since Carlton London, a famous brand of shoes and bags, launched in the city and shopaholics here are well aware about what they need from the brand. Carlton London offers stuff in genuine leather and silk. The range starts at Rs 200 and goes up Rs 5,000 and beyond,” said Sanjeev Goyal, proprietor Carlton London.

“I am glad that the city is catching up with styles of metropolitan cities and making shopping an enjoyable as well a comfortable experience due to easy accessibility of all major brands in the city,” said Shweta, a resident.

Puma is opening its showroom on July 5 with a motive to provide world famous sports wear to all sports enthusiasts. “The showroom is yet to open, but we are glad people in the city are already coming and inquiring about the stuff. We will offer the latest collection in Puma and once we get to know the taste of Doonites we would keep on adding more stuff. We are expecting a good business here,” said Aashish, manager Puma.

“At M&B we have got brands of shoes such as Lee Cooper, Provogue and internationally acclaimed brands such as Geox and Merrel. Its been five months to our shop and the response has been satisfactory. We provide variety of brands under one roof,” said Monika Sharma, store manager at M&B.

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