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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

Moneylender held for techie’s murder in Rohini
New Delhi, December 28
The Delhi police has arrested a man for allegedly murdering a 28-year-old software professional. The accused has been identified as Surya Prakash (36), a moneylender.

Rain adds to chill, but dilutes fog
New Delhi, December 28
Delhi shivered today as the skies remained covered with a thick blanket of fog accompanied by light rain in the first half of the day dragging the day temperature almost seven degrees down the average.

Motorists had a tough time driving in fog and drizzle as auto drivers huddle around a bonfire in New Delhi on Tuesday.
Motorists had a tough time driving in fog and drizzle as auto drivers huddle around a bonfire in New Delhi on Tuesday. Tribune photos: Manas Ranjan Bhui


EARLIER STORIES


Punjabi teachers denied full pay
New Delhi, December 28
Hundreds of Punjabi language teachers, who have been working in Delhi government and Municipal Corporation of Delhi schools in various capacities for 25 years, are feeling neglected by the government as they still do not get full scale.

Public schools plan fee hike
New Delhi, December 28
Come February, most schools in the Capital are preparing to go in for a substantial fee hike. This time the reason given is that extra funds are required by schools to cover the financial burden that they have to bear in providing free education to the students from the economically weaker sections (EWS).

Reports on hike in rates of AIIMS pvt wards speculative: Ministry
New Delhi, December 28
The Union health ministry today rejected reports that the government was set to raise the treatment charges at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and termed them as "speculative" and "distortion of facts".

Cong protests hike in toll tax
New Delhi, December 28
The Opposition Congress party in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) today protested against 30 per cent hike in the toll tax rate by the ruling BJP and demanded to eliminate the tax.

Blaze chokes 3 to death in factory
Ghaziabad, December 28
Three workers were choked to death as a fire broke out in a garment factory in Tronica City late on Monday night.

Court asks police chief to probe SI’s role in shielding rape accused
New Delhi, December 28
A city court has questioned the conduct of a sub-inspector for his alleged attempts to save the accused in a rape case though it still found enough evidence to convict him.

Gurgaon Citibank manager siphons off Rs 100 cr
Gurgaon, December 28
A manager at the Gurgaon branch of Citibank allegedly siphoned off at least Rs 100 crore after luring customers into depositing money in the bank after promising to double the amount, the police said today.

Eunuchs castrate man
Ghaziabad, December 28
A man who played the dholak with a group of eunuchs was allegedly castrated by them following an argument in the Modi Nagar area of Ghaziabad, the police said today.

Metro’s new helpline
New Delhi, December 28
The new helpline number of the Delhi Metro, to be operational from the January 1, 2011, will be 155370 instead of 155363, as announced earlier.

Train crushes 5 bikes, derails
Ghaziabad, December 28
A train's engine and five coaches derailed after five motor cycles were crushed under it at a railway crossing in Ghaziabad, the police said.

Bilateral hip replacement surgery done
Noida, December 28
Doctors in Fortis Hospital, Noida, have performed the first successful bilateral uncemented hip replacement in the city.

Masked men shoot criminal in Narela
New Delhi, December 28
A 23-year-old man was shot dead by some masked assailants in the Narela area of outer district in broad daylight today, sending waves of shock and fear in the market.

National School Games start
New Delhi, December 28
The Delhi government will continue to encourage budding players by providing infrastructure and other basic facilities in stadiums, said Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit today while inaugurating 56th National School Games at Chhatrasal Stadium.

S1 channel head held for cheating
New Delhi, December 28
The Delhi police yesterday arrested a builder for being allegedly involved in several cases of cheating.

Guard flees with valuables
Noida, December 28
A security guard in a garment export factory in Sector-57 Noida allegedly served drug-laced liquor to his two companion guards and when they became unconscious, he decamped with goods worth lakhs.

Student dies in mishap
Ghaziabad, December 28
A 21-year-old student was crushed to death and a man injured critically after their motorcycles collided and the two were then overrun by a car on Link road in Ghaziabad tosday, the police said.





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Moneylender held for techie’s murder in Rohini
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 28
The Delhi police has arrested a man for allegedly murdering a 28-year-old software professional. The accused has been identified as Surya Prakash (36), a moneylender.

Prakash was arrested from his residence in north Delhi's Chirag Dilli. The police has recovered the weapon of offence from his possession.

The arrest was made on the complaint of Manmeet Gulia, a friend of the victim who is an eyewitness in the case.

On interrogation, Prakash broke down and confessed to the crime.

On the intervening night of December 26 and 27, the police received a call that a youth had been shot dead at DDA Market, Sector 17, Rohini.

Gulia told the police that he along with the victim, Himanshu Batra, a resident of Rani Bagh, was sitting in a car while their three other friends-- Himanshu, Saurav Rawat and Naveen Nagi-- had gone to get something to eat.

Then Himanshu thought of joining his friends. But as soon as he opened the car door, it accidentally hit Prakash.

This enraged Prakash and he started fighting with Himanshu. After sometime, Prakash, who was accompanied by one Parveen Beniwal, shot at Himanshu and fled the spot.

Himanshu was rushed to the BSA Hospital where he was declared brought dead.

Prakash has been declared a 'bad character' by the Shahbad Dairy police station. He is wanted in 12 cases under Arms Act.

Prakash has two children and works as a financier, lending money to petty shopkeepers in Rohini.

The police is now looking for Beniwal, who is absconding since then.

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Rain adds to chill, but dilutes fog
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 28
Delhi shivered today as the skies remained covered with a thick blanket of fog accompanied by light rain in the first half of the day dragging the day temperature almost seven degrees down the average.

Though the fog in the early hours did not trigger travel chaos as it did yesterday, the light rain and cold winds blowing across the city led the maximum temperature to drop to 15.2 degree Celsius. The rain gauges today measured 0.9 mm rainfall till 5:30 pm. The minimum temperature however was recorded at 7.4 degree Celsius this morning, up from yesterday's 6.1 degree Celsius. Even though the minimum temperature rose slightly, the day remained shivery cold as the sun also gave the city skies a miss.

The meteorological department has further said that there will be no respite from these weather conditions soon and that the cold and damp conditions will continue to prevail tomorrow. The maximum and the minimum temperatures are expected to hover between 6 and 20 degrees tomorrow.

"There is a western disturbance over Jammu and Kashmir, because of which Delhi witnessed light rainfall on Tuesday morning," said an India Meteorological Department official. "The skies will remain cloudy throughout the day tomorrow with a possibility of more rain in the later part. There will be further rain till Dec 31," he said.

The rain however helped in diluting the fog and the visibility today remained well above 300 metres. The flight operations at the IGI airport were normal with no diversions or cancellations though the rail services continued to be hit with more than 50 trains being affected.

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Punjabi teachers denied full pay
Syed Ali Ahmed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 28
Hundreds of Punjabi language teachers, who have been working in Delhi government and Municipal Corporation of Delhi schools in various capacities for 25 years, are feeling neglected by the government as they still do not get full scale.

President of the Punjabi Bhasha Teachers Association Gurjeet Kaur said that it seemed that the second language status given to Punjabi by the Delhi government was eyewash as people were not getting its benefit. Punjabis are in a majority in the national Capital still the language is not being taught in all the government schools.

Urdu also enjoys the status of the second language. It is being taught in the schools located where Muslims are in a majority, she said.

Gurjeet pointed out that in class ninth and tenth, it is necessary for students to opt for a second language among Urdu, Punjabi and Sanskrit. Muslims opt for Urdu, but Punjabis do not have this choice as the language is not being taught in all the schools. Thousands of youngsters are qualified for the teaching posts, but they are not given jobs.

She said that 106 teachers are working as TGT and PGT in various schools on part-time basis on consolidated salaries of Rs 11,000 and Rs 13,000 per month respectively. Besides, 600 teachers are working as assistant teachers in MCD schools. These teachers have been appointed through the Delhi Punjabi Academy.

Jitender Kaur, who teaches in Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya at Bharat Nagar, said that she had been working for 25 years but still she did not get full scale. The government has policy to promote assistant teachers as TGT. In case of Punjabi teachers, the department concerned neglects all the rules. The same is the condition of Vinod Bayal and other Punjabi teachers.

When asked, the chairman of the Delhi Punjabi Academy, Dr Rawail Singh said that the academy was not a job provider. It is for the promotion of the language. Teachers given to the government by the academy is a temporary arrangement. When the government feels need for full-time teachers, it appoints through Delhi Subordinate Selection Board, he said.

The chairman of the Delhi Punjabi Academy added, "At present, the academy has given 706 teachers to the government, but all are not qualified. According to rules, they cannot be absorbed against permanent posts."

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Public schools plan fee hike
Charu Singh
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 28
Come February, most schools in the Capital are preparing to go in for a substantial fee hike. This time the reason given is that extra funds are required by schools to cover the financial burden that they have to bear in providing free education to the students from the economically weaker sections (EWS).

According to the RTE act, all the schools are expected to reserve 25% of their seats for the students from the economically weaker sections and schools are expected to provide education to EWS students free of charge.

Meanwhile, there has been no indication from the government that it will reimburse schools for the extra expenditure incurred by them. Many school principals are of the opinion that under the circumstances, they will have to effect a fee hike to cover the cost of education of the EWS students.

R C Jain, president, public school association, said, "The school management is facing a problem regarding the education of the 25% students from the EWS sections. However, the government has to date not taken responsibility for funding the education of these students and this is not a small expense for a school."

He added, "Under the circumstances, we have been discussing a fee hike which may be put into practice soon. However, we are awaiting a circular from the government on this issue right now."

Meanwhile, the Delhi government is sending signals that it does not approve of this proposed fee hike.

Delhi education minister Arvinder Singh Lovely, recently said schools would not be allowed to go in for a fee hike and were expected to adjust the extra expenditure within the budget they already had.

The guidelines on nursery admissions that were issued on December 15 had made no mention on the issue of a fee hike to cover the cost of the education of EWS students.

Principal of the Bal Bharati School, L.V. Sehgal commented, "Schools are expected to finance the education of some 25% EWS students, a very noble enterprise, but if we do not have a fee hike immediately from where else the money will come for this endeavour. These EWS students will require uniforms, school books, school shoes etc, their parents cannot afford such expenses. It is the school that has to come out with the solution to this problem. The government has not made any offer to reimburse schools on this issue."

If schools are planning to go in for a fee hike, parents are already dreading that this might well happen. There have been a number of protests against fee hike led by parents' associations. Joyeeta Mukherjee, a parent with two children in Laxman Public School, said, "If there is another hike, we will be forced to resort to desperate measures. This free education for the EWS students should not come at the cost of other parents."

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Reports on hike in rates of AIIMS pvt wards speculative: Ministry
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 28
The Union health ministry today rejected reports that the government was set to raise the treatment charges at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and termed them as "speculative" and "distortion of facts".

However, it said the government has been mooting the idea of stepping up the charges of services and procedures in the private wards for meeting the cost of treatment services and procedures of the general wards.

Last week, the ministry brought a proposal for hiking the private ward charges at AIIMS by up to 76 per cent and after this, the cost of A class de luxe room would shoot up from Rs 1,700 per day to almost Rs 3,000.

It was in 2005 that the ministry had planned to revise the user charges, but the plan had to be roled back in view of protests.

In response to the media report, it issued a statement, which reads, "The government attention has been drawn to a news item in a section of the press that AIIMS plans to introduce user charges for all the facilities. The report is speculative and subjective interpretation of facts."

The ministry maintains the revision of costs was only for the patients undergoing treatment in the private wards and no such proposal was considered for the general wards.

The statement reads further, "The institute's standing finance committee and the governing body have approved the proposal...and the additional revenues to be generated through such enhancement would be used to drive down the cost for various services and procedures in the general wards," the ministry statement said.

In this context in November, a circular was issued by the AIIMS' finance department asking for various user charges in the institute, and this step, the ministry said, was intended to draw an estimate about the costs incurred on the medical services rather than aiming towards heightening revenues.

While the procedure is on towards working out revised rates for admission and services offered to patients in private wardsof the hosiptal, it is yet to come into effect. Currently, those admitted to private wards are supposed to arrange medicines and consumables on their own, but under the new scheme, AIIMS would take care of it.

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Cong protests hike in toll tax
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 28
The Opposition Congress party in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) today protested against 30 per cent hike in the toll tax rate by the ruling BJP and demanded to eliminate the tax.

The Leader of Opposition, Jai Kishan Sharma said that the toll tax be abolished completely and the property tax net should be widened to increase the revenue generation.

He said the toll tax is not required, so it should be abolished as it creates additional burden on the public.

"Due to the MCD's mismanagement and wrong planning, an unwarranted additional burden has been put on the public which is already bearing the brunt of rising prices. Increasing the tax rates will make their life more miserable," said Sharma.

Earlier, the toll tax was increased by 40 per cent, now it has been increased by 15 per cent to 30 per cent. This will put additional burden on the commercial vehicles entering Delhi, said Sharma.

He said the BJP has also proposed to increase the rates of property tax twice. Earlier, it increased the rates by up to 2 per cent, but now it has proposed to increase the rates by 5 per cent.

"If the BJP widens the property tax net and bring 20 lakh properties into the tax net, there will be no need to increase the property tax rate. The MCD will not have to seek anybody's help for grant or loan," he added.

The Congress also charged BJP with awarding parking tenders to own people without following the procedure.

"There seems to be a scam in procurement of ayurvedic medicines and the unauthorised hoardings can be seen all around the city just because the advertising agencies are earning crores with the connivance of the BJP," said Sharma.

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Blaze chokes 3 to death in factory
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, December 28
Three workers were choked to death as a fire broke out in a garment factory in Tronica City late on Monday night.

Fire brigade personnel brought the blaze under control and brought the bodies of the dead out of the factory.

Later, senior officers inspected the site. The cause of the blaze is suspected to be a shortcircuit.

The factory, Bhaskar Interprilo, in Tronica City, is owned by Ashok Bhaskar. The rear part of the factory had been let out to a hosepipe manufacturing unit, Delco Company owned by Ramesh Marwaha.

Around 1 am, security guards informed Bhaskar who informed Marwaha that smoke and flames were emanating from rear part of the factory. Ramesh Marwaha along with his son. Harsh reached Tronica City to find that a major part of the factory had been gutted.

The deceased included Gurcharan Singh, 35, a worker in the factory for 10 years, Ramesh, 50, and Guddu, 25. 

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Court asks police chief to probe SI’s role in
shielding rape accused

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 28
A city court has questioned the conduct of a sub-inspector for his alleged attempts to save the accused in a rape case though it still found enough evidence to convict him.

Additional sessions judge Kamini Lau has asked the Delhi police commissioner to probe the complicity of sub-inspector Bahadur Singh with rape accused Madan Kumar as the former did not pay heed to the complaints of the illiterate victim in May 2007.

The court also took note of the fact that the police slapped the rape charge on the accused only after a court order which came five months after the victim had first gone to the police.

The police, the court said, had earlier registered an FIR against the accused, that too after five days of the crime, on less serious charges, which included beating the victim.

"The conduct of SI Bahadur Singh is certainly required to be placed before the commissioner of police for appropriate action," the order read.

"A copy of the judgment and order on sentence is also directed to be placed before the commissioner of police for information and appropriate action against the officer, under intimation to this court," it said.

The court, however, found adequate evidence to declare Kumar, a Kakrola resident, guilty of rape. He has been sentenced to 10 years in jail for raping the Nangloi-based woman. The court also slapped a fine of Rs 50,000 on the accused.

After registration of the case, the sub-inspector made attempts to subvert the probe and his investigation smacked of malafide intentions, the judge said, adding that the SI had tried his best to save the accused.

Since the woman was illiterate, the investigating officer got her signature on a complaint which he had written at her behest and deliberately omitted out the allegation of rape. 

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Gurgaon Citibank manager siphons off Rs 100 cr

Gurgaon, December 28
A manager at the Gurgaon branch of Citibank allegedly siphoned off at least Rs 100 crore after luring customers into depositing money in the bank after promising to double the amount, the police said today.

Shivraj Puri, a relationship manager at the bank, opened three accounts in the branch in the name of his relatives Premnath, Sheela and Deeksha.

“He asked customers to deposit the money in those accounts in a scheme to double their money. When the money was deposited, Puri transferred it into his account,” a police officer said.

“The bank officials are still not sure of the amount but at least Rs.100 crore was deposited in the three accounts. The amount could be higher,” he added.

A Citibank spokesperson said internal investigations were on.

“We recently initiated an investigation into a certain set of suspicious transactions based on documents forged by an employee involving a few accounts in our Gurgaon branch. We immediately reported the matter to all the relevant regulatory and law enforcement authorities,” the spokesperson said.

“Identified suspicious transactions have been isolated and we are providing full assistance to the authorities in their investigations. This issue does not impact other accounts, transactions or customers of the bank,” the spokesperson added.

Cases of cheating and forgery were registered at the DLF Phase 2 police station Monday night, the police officer said. — IANS

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Eunuchs castrate man

Ghaziabad, December 28
A man who played the dholak with a group of eunuchs was allegedly castrated by them following an argument in the Modi Nagar area of Ghaziabad, the police said today.

"Rohit, originally a resident of Basti district (in Uttar Pradesh), was staying at Kirti Nagar. He had joined a group of eunuchs some time back and played the dholak (hand drum) for them wherever they went. On Monday night, two of them - Nisha and Ehsaan - had a tiff with him at Sikri village in Modi Nagar," superintendent of police (rural) M.M. Begh said.

"The two eunuchs first gave Rohit something laced with sedatives and then castrated him," he said.

Some locals found Rohit lying in a pool of blood this morning at the Bhatjan intersection in Bhojpur and informed the police.

Nisha and Ehsaan have been arrested, Begh said. — IANS

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Metro’s new helpline
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 28
The new helpline number of the Delhi Metro, to be operational from the January 1, 2011, will be 155370 instead of 155363, as announced earlier.

Due to some hiccups, the department of telecommunications has change the telephone number allotted to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC).

After the new helpline number starts working, the existing number, 128128, will stop functioning.

The DMRC has brought the new number after it received many complaints that the existing number is not reachable from some GSM/CDMA mobile phones.

The new number has been provided with caller ID facility. The officials concerned will be immediately informed about the complaint to ensure that a quick solution to the problem is provided.

Those residing outside Delhi can avail the service by prefixing Delhi's STD code to the number.

The calls made on this service are not toll free.

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Train crushes 5 bikes, derails

Ghaziabad, December 28
A train's engine and five coaches derailed after five motor cycles were crushed under it at a railway crossing in Ghaziabad, the police said.

No one was injured.

The bikes were reduced to mangled steel by the New Delhi-bound Shramjeevi Express, coming from Patna, at Kotgaon crossing around 11.25 am.

The vehicle owners had a narrow escape.

"Barring the five coaches that had derailed, the remaining 13 out of a total of 18 were sent to the destination station after shifting the remaining passengers in them," a Railway Protection Force (RPF) official said. No one was injured in the incident.

The official said the bikes were cut into pieces after being hit by the train while their owners were trying to cross the tracks.

Railway engineering officials and RPF personnel rushed to the spot, about half a kilometre from Ghaziabad railway station. — IANS

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Bilateral hip replacement surgery done
Our Correspondent

Noida, December 28
Doctors in Fortis Hospital, Noida, have performed the first successful bilateral uncemented hip replacement in the city.

The surgery was performed by a team of qualified doctors under the leadership of Dr Brajesh Koushle and Dr Kaushal Kant Mishra. The 3-hour surgery for both hips was performed on 57-year-old Dev Singh from Dehra Dun today.

Bilateral hip replacement involves the replacement of both hip joints at the same time or in a staged process. The procedure generally has a longer post-operative recovery period.

Dr Koushle, senior consultant, orthopaedics, said Dev Singh was suffering from severe both hip joint pains. He was also suffering from a skin disease and diabetes which led to further complications.

Explaining the challenges involved and outcomes of the landmark surgery, Dr Mishra said, “The patient has arthritis that involves the spine.Also, there was no movement in the hip joints which made the surgery more complicated and challenging. The patient is recovering and he was able to walk with support from the second day of the surgery. He will be able to walk without support after a month.”

“I was facing trouble in walking, standing and was not even able to perform daily chores. I am happy with the outcomes of the surgery,” said Dev Singh. 

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Masked men shoot criminal in Narela
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 28
A 23-year-old man was shot dead by some masked assailants in the Narela area of outer district in broad daylight today, sending waves of shock and fear in the market.

The police said the incident occurred around 11.30 am and the man has been identified as Sushil who was a history-sheeter in police records. He was accompanied by his wife Preeti and they were purchasing some clothes when gunmen pumped two bullets in his chest and stomach.

He was rushed to Raja Harish Chandra Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

Police officials said it appeared to be a case of old enmity as the killers had come with the aim of murdering him.

"There were no arguments. They were apparently following him and shot him at an opportune moment," an official said.

Assailants were wearing masks. They fled on a bike. The police said the deceased lived in Narela with his wife and other family members in a rented accommodation. 

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National School Games start
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 28
The Delhi government will continue to encourage budding players by providing infrastructure and other basic facilities in stadiums, said Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit today while inaugurating 56th National School Games at Chhatrasal Stadium.

The government is providing nutritious diet and scientific training to budding players. It has also made mandatory for every government school student to take part in one of the offered sports. Delhi has rendered valuable contribution in all the fields, including sports, the Chief Minister said.

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S1 channel head held for cheating
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 28
The Delhi police yesterday arrested a builder for being allegedly involved in several cases of cheating.

The accused has been identified as Vijay Dixit (55), chairman and managing director of Senior Builders Ltd. and owner of S1 TV channel.

Dixit was apprehended from near Ring Road in the South Extension area while he was on way to his residence.

He has been accused of luring people into investing in his fake projects.

"Posing as a big builder, Dixit boasted of various projects in Gurgaon, Faridabad and Noida. After people invested money in his projects, he cheated them," said a senior police official.

He was arrested on the compliant of one Sheena Swaroop. In her complaint, Swaroop has stated that in 2004-2005, Dixit, through advertisements, asked public to invest in his projects.

"He assured handsome returns on the investment. Swaroop paid Rs 14,50,000, Rs 17,00,000, and Rs 18,00,000 for purchasing three shops in Dixit's malls at Gurgaon and Faridabad," officials added.

As per the agreement, Swaroop was to receive Rs 90,886 per month as assured return, but she did not receive any money. When she came to Delhi to check her shops, she found that one Suman Malhotra, director of U and I Fashions, has been allotted the shops.

A case was registered at the Dhaula Kuan police station. Later, it came to be known that Dixit was wanted in various cases pending in different courts under the Negotiable Instrument Act.

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Guard flees with valuables
Our Correspondent

Noida, December 28
A security guard in a garment export factory in Sector-57 Noida allegedly served drug-laced liquor to his two companion guards and when they became unconscious, he decamped with goods worth lakhs.

According to the police, Bablu, Ravinder and Sanjay Katyar of a security agency were deployed at an export garment company in block A of Sector-57. Ravinder had reportedly served drug-laced liquor to Sanjay Katyar and Bablu.

When both of them became drunk, Ravinder fled with clothes and garments worth lakh from the factory.

When other workers came in the morning, the clothes were missing from the premises.

When the management questioned the guards, they feigned ignorance. Later, when police questioned Bablu and Katyar they narrated what had happened the previous night.

The security agency confessed that police verification of Ravinder had not been done. 

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Student dies in mishap

Ghaziabad, December 28
A 21-year-old student was crushed to death and a man injured critically after their motorcycles collided and the two were then overrun by a car on Link road in Ghaziabad tosday, the police said.

Deepak, enrolled at an institute in Noida, rammed his bike into another two-wheeler. They were then hit by an Alto car, which fled the spot.The two were rushed to a hospital, where Deepak was pronounced dead. Amit, an electronic engineer, is in critical condition. — IANS

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