SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



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

Delhiites brave January chill; dense fog hits flights
New Delhi, January 9
The nail-freezing winter has taken Delhi and adjoining areas under its shivering clout, disrupting normal life in the city. While dense fog cover enveloping the city, gave a harrowing time to the passengers in reaching the airports on Sunday, the chilly winds blowing across the city gave a tough time, especially to those living on the city's pavements.
A vendor warms himself at India Gate on a foggy and cold day in New Delhi A vendor warms himself at India Gate on a foggy and cold day in New Delhi on Sunday. Tribune photo: Manas Ranjan Bhui

Excise Dept earns Rs 1.70 cr revenue on New Year's Eve
New Delhi, January 9
The Excise Department of the Delhi government has earned revenue on the eve of New Year celebrations more than a normal day, sources said. According to the record of the department concerned, the government earned Rs 1.70 crore on December 31 that is many times more than a normal day.


EARLIER STORIES



Liquor sale touched all-time high in Dec
New Delhi, January 9
Liquor sale in the Capital touched nearly Rs 190 crore in December, recording an all-time high for the month, when severe cold conditions prevailed in the city. Delhiites consumed more than 13 lakh cases of liquor including scotch, rum, vodka, gin and beer in December last year as against 11 lakh cases in December 2009.

Indian flowers going to flourish in global market
New Delhi, January 9
Cymbidiums orchids, the unique large sized orchids exclusive to altitudes of 4,500 to 5,500 meter of Sikkim as far as India is concerned, is among the most expensive flowers produced here.

All Praise: Girls pose with cymbidium orchids at the expo in New Delhi on Sunday. Tribune photo: Manas Ranjan Bhui

All Praise: Girls pose with cymbidium orchids at the expo in New Delhi

Firms ready to build FOBs for free
Want advertising rights, says MCG
Gurgaon, January 9
If the local municipal authorities are to be believed, certain companies are ready to construct foot over-bridges (FOBs) at different locations in the city free of cost. This was stated by Gurgaon municipal commissioner Rajesh Khullar at a recent meeting with the district as well as the HUDA authorities.

Attack on Mirchpur Dalits
Court orders shifting of 100 accused to Tihar
New Delhi, January 9
A Delhi court has directed the Haryana government to transfer the 100 inmates of the Hisar Jail, accused in a case related to attack on the Dalits allegedly by upper caste Hindus at Mirchpur village in April last year, to the Tihar Jail here.

Family members of Nihkil Kadyan, Samantha, Divay Sharma and Siddarth, killed last month in an accident at Gazipur border, hold a candlelight march to demand arrest of the accused in New Delhi
Family members of Nihkil Kadyan, Samantha, Divay Sharma and Siddarth, killed last month in an accident at Gazipur border, hold a candlelight march to demand arrest of the accused in New Delhi on Sunday. Tribune photo

Delhi finance minister A.K. Walia takes part in a cleanliness campaign at R. K. Puram in New Delhi
Delhi finance minister A.K. Walia takes part in a cleanliness campaign at R. K. Puram in New Delhi on Sunday. Tribune photo

Noida troubled by stray dogs
Noida, January 9
Stray dog menace has assumed alarming proportions in Noida. In December alone, as many as 925 anti-rabies injections were administered at district government hospital.

Books capture the burden of history in South Africa
New Delhi, January 9
Celebrated author Dr Kusum Ansal's books-"Beyond Silence" (English) and "Khamoshi ki Goonj" (Hindi), which were released this evening in the national Capital, came up as perfect mementos to all the Indians, especially to those living in South Africa.

2 held on charges of extortion
New Delhi, January 9
The crime branch of the Delhi police has arrested a young man and his teenaged friend for attempting to extort Rs 30 lakh from his former employer to pay a debt incurred in chit fund business.

Chatterati
Politicos spend hols in fine style
The holiday season began in Delhi with lots of Christmas parties and a jovial mood. Right after Christmas to New Year, a lot of ministers went for their holidays. The new destination for them seemed to be Thailand. Some flew to the famous Thai spas outside Bangkok while some headed to Phuket, an Indian destination which is still very famous in Goa.

Parkash Utsav on Jan 11
New Delhi, January 9
Congress MLA and parliamentary secretary of Delhi government, Tarvinder Singh Marwah will take out a procession of Parkash Utsav on the birth anniversary of the 10th Guru Gobind Singh on January 11.

Gang of vehicle thieves busted
Ghaziabad, January 9
Police today claimed to have busted a gang of vehicle lifters with the arrest of five persons in the district. The accused, Komal, Mohan, Sanjeev Gupta, Layak Singh and Ranbeer, were taken into the police custody in Kotwali here yesterday where they confessed that they had sold stolen vehicles in UP and Delhi using forged documents, officials said.

Manís body found in drain
New Delhi, January 9
A 33-year-old man was found dead in a drain in north-west Delhi today morning, the police said. The victim has been identified as Pyare Lal. Lal's body was recovered from a drain in Mahendra Park, A-Block.

2 held for murdering contract killer
Ghaziabad, January 9
Two persons have been arrested for the murder of an alleged contract killer. The body of the victim, Gaurav, was found on December 23 in Vijay Nagar here with stab wounds.

Minor fire in CP
New Delhi, January 9
A minor fire broke out near the Air India office in Connaught Place in central Delhi on Sunday morning, fire brigade officials said. No one was injured in the fire. "We got a call about a fire near the Air India office in Connaught Place around 11 am and we rushed two fire engines to the spot," a fire brigade official said.





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Delhiites brave January chill; dense fog hits flights
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 9
The nail-freezing winter has taken Delhi and adjoining areas under its shivering clout, disrupting normal life in the city. While dense fog cover enveloping the city, gave a harrowing time to the passengers in reaching the airports on Sunday, the chilly winds blowing across the city gave a tough time, especially to those living on the city's pavements.

At Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport, operation of the majority of flights remained affected with dense fog reducing the visibility to fewer than 100 metres even as the visibility improved after 8 am.

Given the low visibility on the runaways, seven flights, including one international and two domestic, were diverted, while two were cancelled, said an official statement from the IGI airport.

"Low visibility procedures (LVP) was implemented last night around 8.30 pm until visibility climbed to 200 metres this morning after 8:30 and in total 151 flights were operated under LVP. Besides, diversion of six flights last night, two domestic flights to Bangalore and Mumbai were cancelled while Air India had to reschedule three to New York, Chicago and Toronto," said an airport official.

Apart from hindrance to flight procedures, commuters on the city's roads also had a difficult time in braving the biting cold, with the mercury levels plummeting to below normal. Though the minimum temperature bettered today, going up from Saturday's 4.3 degree Celsius, to settle at 5.1 degrees Celsius, still two notches less than the normal for this time.

The high temperature during the day too remained at record low around 11 degree Celisus, a day after the maximum was touched almost 12 degree Celisus, nine notches below the normal.

According to the officials of the Indian Meterological Department (IMD), the city could experience colders days ahead, with the mercury levels expected to plummet to further lows.

Low mercury levels coupled with winds, have added to the chill, which seems to be gradually gripping the city, compelling Delhiites to stay indoors packed with layers of woollens even as a few less lucky managed to find corners in the designated night shelters.

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Excise Dept earns Rs 1.70 cr revenue on New Year's Eve
Syed Ali Ahmed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 9
The Excise Department of the Delhi government has earned revenue on the eve of New Year celebrations more than a normal day, sources said. According to the record of the department concerned, the government earned Rs 1.70 crore on December 31 that is many times more than a normal day. Country liquor was sold of Rs 90 lakh while imported foreign liquor was of Rs 80 lakh.

A senior official of the department said the sale of liquor increased every year but this year there was decline in some heads like L53 department stores and M and TP. As far as entertainment and luxury tax is concerned, there is an increase of 6.48 per cent as a whole. However, there is a decline in B tax, cable, penalty interest on late payment of entertainment tax.

He said last year the total revenue through excise till December 31 was Rs 1,165 crore while this year it is Rs 1,429 crore that has given an increase of 22.65 per cent in the total revenue. As far as entertainment and luxury tax is concerned the department had earned Rs 202 crore last year and this year it has gone up to Rs 215 crore till December 31, 2010, that is 6.48 per cent more than the last year.

The official said the sale of liquor from the department stores had come down by 41.21 per cent as the government had opened its sale counters in most of the markets resulting in people do not go to malls and other places to purchase liquor.

The department has earned revenue of Rs 833 crore through corporations and penalties while Rs 2,671 crore from L53 private outlets.

Given the break-up of revenue through other heads of excise, the official said the department earned Rs 2,861 crore from CSD canteen, Rs 1,644 crore country liquor, Rs 450 crore hotel club restaurant, Rs 2,615 import permits, Rs 422 crore imported foreign liquor, Rs 354 crore L49A licence fees L56 private outlets Rs 107 crore and M and TP 190 lakh.

The break-up of the entertainment and luxury tax is as follows: Cinema Rs 301 crore, penalty Rs 2,000, luxury tax Rs 1,688 crore, miscellaneous Rs 5 crore, interest on late payment Rs 13 lakh.

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Liquor sale touched all-time high in Dec

New Delhi, January 9
Liquor sale in the Capital touched nearly Rs 190 crore in December, recording an all-time high for the month, when severe cold conditions prevailed in the city. Delhiites consumed more than 13 lakh cases of liquor including scotch, rum, vodka, gin and beer in December last year as against 11 lakh cases in December 2009.

"The sale figure has touched Rs 188 crore in December 2010 while it was Rs 165 crore in December 2009," a senior excise official said.

According to the excise data, a total of 1,325,456 cases of liquor were sold in the Capital in December 2010 as against 1,124,103 in December 2009. Rum topped the list of liquor segments when it came to sales figures. A total of 1,80,601 cases of rum were sold in the region in December 2010 as against 1,19,521 cases in December 2009. The official said, "The population has increased since last year and the number of shops and restaurants has also gone up in the city. ó PTI

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Indian flowers going to flourish in global market
Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 9
Cymbidiums orchids, the unique large sized orchids exclusive to altitudes of 4,500 to 5,500 meter of Sikkim as far as India is concerned, is among the most expensive flowers produced here.

The sturdy orchid, a stem of which costs between Rs 100 and Rs 200 in domestic markets depending upon the grade of the flower and length of the stick, is now headed for Gulf markets for the first time, adding new dimension to India's growing cut-flower industry.

The flower trade in India largely restricted to Bangalore and Pune primarily because of right weather conditions and logistics infrastructure required is expanding beyond the two cities. "If properly handled, cymbidium can survive for almost 20 to 25 days, even a month in current weather," Sikkim Deputy Director Padam Subba, who was in Delhi for Horti Expo and Flora Expo that concluded today, says.

Expo coordinator S Jafar Naqvi explains that as far as flowers are concerned, India has advantages of robust gene pool, climatic conditions and large agriculture lands.

However, though Ooty, Kodai and even foothills of the Himalayas in north India have right weather conditions, floriculture operations are difficult there because flowers are highly perishable and air connectivity is a must for the business. "In the entire farm sector in India, there is a huge distance between growers and bulk buyers. The effect is more pronounced in floriculture. The distance can be reduced with better infrastructure and technology. Farmers are taking risks and experimenting with diverse cash crops. Large corporate houses are taking to horticulture as a profitable business opportunity by bringing in investments and latest technologies. However, cold chain infrastructure is an issue that needs to be addressed," he adds.

India's growing flower power even the world's largest name in the business, the Netherlands, acknowledges. While India is among top producers of horticulture commodities and Holland is the world leader in cut flower exports and trade, explaining thereby the growing interest of the Netherlands in India's industry.

Henk van Duijn, Counselor for Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality of The Netherlands, says "The growing importance of India in the supply of affordable high-tech propagation material and seedling for the world has made the Dutch companies take keen interest in being the natural partners with India. Our focus and areas of interest in India will be on production of vegetables, fruits, potatoes and vegetables seeds. Floriculture will be another major thrust area which includes flower production, greenhouse, greenhouse management, water efficiency management".

Duijin is part of a Dutch delegation comprising technocrats, horticulturists, breeders, flower growers and technology suppliers that attended the expo. The delegation will meet government officials and horticulture and flower growers to tap joint venture opportunities in India.

According to Netherlands Ambassador Bob Hiensch, "major investments have been made by the Indo-Dutch private sector as well by the Dutch government to establish and promote a strong floriculture and horticulture base in India. India has enormous potential and that there are possibilities of collaboration between the two countries, especially with trade in agriculture products in general and trade in floriculture and horticulture products in particular."

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Firms ready to build FOBs for free
Want advertising rights, says MCG
Sunit Dhawan
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, January 9
If the local municipal authorities are to be believed, certain companies are ready to construct foot over-bridges (FOBs) at different locations in the city free of cost. This was stated by Gurgaon municipal commissioner Rajesh Khullar at a recent meeting with the district as well as the HUDA authorities.

"We are exploring the possibilities of getting FOBs constructed on the busy roads of the city without having to spend any money from our coffers," Khullar told to the participants as he laid out his plan before them.

Khullar, who has been under fire from various quarters for chronic inefficiency and slackness in the functioning of the municipal body, said the busy roads of the city made it difficult for the pedestrians to cross the road. He noted that FOBs were needed in the city to ensure the safety and convenience of the local residents.

"The Municipal Corporation Gurgaon (MCG) had recently invited proposals for constructing FOBs at different locations in the MCG area on build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis," he said, adding that in response to the advertisement, proposals from seven companies had been received.

Khullar maintained that a majority of the companies were ready to construct the FOBs free of cost and wanted only advertising rights for some years on those FOBs in return.

HUDA administrator Nitin Yadav said in the meeting that they had got a draft mobility plan prepared after conducting a survey of road traffic in Gurgaon through an agency.

"The plan also recommends nearly 20 FOBs in Gurgaon and before reaching a final conclusion regarding the location of these FOBs, the recommendations of the plan should also be assimilated," he asserted and added that the Metro stations at Shankar Chowk and MG Road could be used as FOBs for crossing the roads. There is also an agreement with the DLF for constructing a FOB on the Golf Course road, he pointed out.

The meeting discussed that the FOBs were required at the bus stand, Dundahera road, Palam Vihar T-Junction on Old Delhi Road, on the road from Shankar Chowk to Trident Hotel, near Civil Hospital, Gallaria Market, Badshahpur village, Umang Bhardwaj Chowk on Patoudi Road and elevated path connecting IFFCO Metro station with IFFCO Chowk, including the crossing of MG Road.

Of these, the proposed FOBs at Badshahpur village and near Gallaria Market would have escalators. Khullar asked DTP (Planning) Vijender Kumar and the HUDA authorities to identify more of such places where FOBs were required and could be constructed without any legal hassles. He asked them to submit the list within a week.

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Attack on Mirchpur Dalits
Court orders shifting of 100 accused to Tihar
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 9
A Delhi court has directed the Haryana government to transfer the 100 inmates of the Hisar Jail, accused in a case related to attack on the Dalits allegedly by upper caste Hindus at Mirchpur village in April last year, to the Tihar Jail here.

Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau directed the Jail Superintendent of Hisar district to ensure that the accused lodged at the jail were transferred here if they were not facing criminal proceedings in any other cases.

The Supreme Court had on December 9, 2010, transferred the case to a special designated court in Delhi to ensure free and fair trial. It added that the designated court at Rohini could re-examine witnesses already examined by the Additional Sessions Judge in Hisar. It was transferred to the special court here designated under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

The directions came after the court examined the affidavits filed by two advocates, who stated that the witnesses were under a constant threat due to the hostile atmosphere created by the accused.

On April 21 last year, a 70-year-old Dalit man and his physically-challenged daughter were allegedly burnt alive in violence against the community by a mob of 102 members of an upper caste, forcing about 150 families to flee Mirchpur village in Hisar.

Out of 102 persons facing trial in the case, one has got bail and another is a juvenile.

Meanwhile, the Haryana government informed the court that it had requested the NCR government to appoint a special public prosecutor to follow the case.

The court fixed the matter for further hearing on January 14.

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Noida troubled by stray dogs
Our Correspondent

Noida, January 9
Stray dog menace has assumed alarming proportions in Noida. In December alone, as many as 925 anti-rabies injections were administered at district government hospital.

As per the hospital records on Saturday, 56 anti-rabies injections were administered to dog bite victims. Some of the victims are Vinod Kumar (35) and Sahil (10) Arzina (30), Akhtar (22), Jitender (22), Braham Singh (27) and others.

In September, 530 victims were given anti-rabies injection. In October, 240 victims got injection. In November, 805 victims got injections and in December it rose to 925 cases.

These are the figures of district hospital alone. Community health centres, primary health centres and private clinics too administer around a hundred anti-rabies injection to dog bite victims daily.

"Around 20 anti-rabies injections are administered every day," said Dr R.K. Garg of Dankore Community Health Centre. Likewise Dadri, Bisrakh and Jewar blocks too reported an average of 20 to 30 victims every day.

Dr S.P. Sharma, chief veterinary officer, also secretary of Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) hospital at Noida, told The Tribune, "We normally capture the dogs and after sterilisation put them on roads again. Sick dogs are kept at the SPCA hospital. At present, there are 350 dogs at the hospital. There will be around 3,000 dogs in Noida and Greater Noida."

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Books capture the burden of history in South Africa
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 9
Celebrated author Dr Kusum Ansal's books-"Beyond Silence" (English) and "Khamoshi ki Goonj" (Hindi), which were released this evening in the national Capital, came up as perfect mementos to all the Indians, especially to those living in South Africa.

More so as the occasion coincides with South Africa celebrating 150 years of Indians on its soil and what could have been more apt than the Granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi, herself a peace activist and Padma Bhushan awardee Dr Ela Gandhi, releasing the books at a glittering function here.

While unveiling the books, Ela Gandhi commented on Ansal's efforts to depict the lives and struggles of Indians settled in South Africa through her latest novels and hoped that works like these would help the readers gather a better understanding about the struggle.

The works, the author's eighth fiction, maps a journey through the protagonist as the celebrated author Kusum travels to South Africa to capture the many-layered ties that India and South Africa have historically shared with each other.

This historic year has led to many artistic and cultural exchanges between the two countries, but things weren't the same when thousands of Indians had to migrate to the foreign soil of Africa.

The novel, says Kusum, depicts the saga about the trails and the tribulations undergone by Indians at the hands of the British yoke. "It talks about the struggle how Indians suffered humiliations and eventually managed to rise up to get a living," she said.

Besides, many from the literary and social circle, who attended the event, there were deputy high commissioner of South Africa in India, Debora Balatseng, noted actress Deepti Nawal, many prominent industrialists and who is who of the literary and social circles of the Capital were present on the occasion.

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2 held on charges of extortion
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 9
The crime branch of the Delhi police has arrested a young man and his teenaged friend for attempting to extort Rs 30 lakh from his former employer to pay a debt incurred in chit fund business.

According to Additional DCP (Crime) PS Kushwah, Suraj Kumar Singh (20), a school dropout, and his friend Gaurav Verma (19) ran into a police trap in Geeta Colony yesterday when they reached there to collect the extortion money from a businessman.

Singh allegedly plotted the extortion bid after two of his friends fled with Rs 15-16 lakh they collected from around 50 persons after starting a chit fund scheme. He worked in the shop of the complainant for about five years and left the job in 2007.

"Eight months ago, he, along with his two friends, started a chit fund scheme. They collected a huge amount of money from 50 persons on the pretext of making the amount double in one month, but his two friends fled with the money. Singh owed Rs 15-16 lakh to the investors in the scheme," Kushwah said, adding that Singh then shared the plan to extort money from his former employer with Verma who was promised Rs 2 lakh if the plan went through.

"They bought an air pistol from Sadar Bazaar for Rs 2,200 to threaten the complainant. The pistol was capable of firing pellet shots sufficient enough to cause injury and making sound like a gun fire," Kushwah said. They allegedly threatened the businessman, based in Gandhi Nagar, that they will kill his son if he did not pay up. The duo also damaged the windscreen of the complainant's car to threaten him.

3 hurt in factory fire

Three persons were injured when a fire broke out at a footwear factory in the Ashok Vihar area of east Delhi. According to fire officials, the blaze was reported around 9 am and it took about 20 minutes for the two fire trucks to douse it. The cause of fire is yet to be ascertained.

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Chatterati
Politicos spend hols in fine style
by Devi Cherian

Priyanka Gandhi with Robert Vadra The holiday season began in Delhi with lots of Christmas parties and a jovial mood. Right after Christmas to New Year, a lot of ministers went for their holidays. The new destination for them seemed to be Thailand. Some flew to the famous Thai spas outside Bangkok while some headed to Phuket, an Indian destination which is still very famous in Goa.

Politicians like Salman Khurshid, Ravi Shankar Prasad and Rudy Singh were seen in Goa. The others spotted in Goa were Priyanka and Robert Vadra. Farooq Abdullah and Anand Sharma spent their Christmas and New Year in London with their families who live there most of the times.

Shahnawaz Hussain went off to the other popular destination for New Year, that is Kerala. M.S. Gill also headed to Kerala. Hopefully 2011 will witness less scams, more punishments for the guilty and the "aam-admi" will get some respite from the inflation and crime situation in the Capital.

'Adda and temiz'

Mohsina KidwaiMohsina Kidwai, the senior Congress leader, got her granddaughter married last week. The guest list had the Prime Minister, Sheila Dikshit with family, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Salman Khurshid, Ahmed Patel along with Vir Bahadur Singh and Rajeev Shukla.

It was a simple and elegant affair. The conversation was of course on the ongoing Cabinet reshuffle. Nobody actually knew what was in store for them as they sipped on the hot soup.

It was really interesting to see the women of the family dressed in typical Muslim way with their ghara and chunies all in place, and the men in their elegant sherwanis.

Must say that the 'adda and temiz' is so good to see in these old Muslim families where even children are brought up in the same manner. The food was delicious as it reminded of one of the Lucknow kebabs and "Awadhi khana". Obviously the cooks had flown in from there for this elegant reception.

A cry for justice

Aarushi TalwarDelhiites are shocked as the Aarushi murder case has left a bad taste in their mouth. Candle marches are on by various groups every day. It is disgusting. How government agencies can do such shoddy work. One's heart goes out to Aarushi. A young girl was killed by someone who was close to her. Closed house, locked doors, enough clues to know who the murderer is. What kind of a country do we live in? What is it that scares the CBI and the cops for arresting the person who killed this innocent girl? This is everyday drawing room conversation today in Delhi across all the sections of people.

When no one can solve the case, it is given to the CBI and what the CBI does in this case. It closes the case. What confidence does a common man have today in the police and the CBI?

This case should have been an open and shut case. It's absurd. A servant's body is found dead and the owners do not even know of it. They have no knowledge of the happening in their own house, while they are in the house. They have come up with lame excuses. The CBI knows who the murderer is. Hopefully, the court will make sure that justice is done in this murder of the innocent.

As it is, this whole system stinks for the common man today and their credibility is at its lowest today. God only knows what this government will have to do to gain its credibility. Price rise, scams and now Bofors again. The investigating agencies better get their act together as the "aam admi" does not really have any trust left in any system of this government.

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Parkash Utsav on Jan 11
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 9
Congress MLA and parliamentary secretary of Delhi government, Tarvinder Singh Marwah will take out a procession of Parkash Utsav on the birth anniversary of the 10th Guru Gobind Singh on January 11.

Marwah who is leading a religious procession for the first time in his political career said that this is his beginning in community politics.

He appealed to Singh Sabha and gurdwaras in Delhi to observe the Parkash Utsav on January 11.

He said that Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) celebrated Parkash Utsav on January 5, but the other takhats of the religion would observe the utsav on January 11.

Marwah said that by bringing out the procession on the auspicious occasion, he followed the direction of Shri Akal Takhat Sahib.

Guru Gobind Singh who laid down his life at Nanded in Maharashtra founded the Khalsa Panth at Anandpur Sahib in Punjab.

Marwah said that the governments of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan have declared January 11 holiday.

Shiromani Akali Dal (Delhi-UK) president Jasjit Singh (UK) said that Sikhs should respect the order of Shri Akhal Takhat Sahib.

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Gang of vehicle thieves busted

Ghaziabad, January 9
Police today claimed to have busted a gang of vehicle lifters with the arrest of five persons in the district. The accused, Komal, Mohan, Sanjeev Gupta, Layak Singh and Ranbeer, were taken into the police custody in Kotwali here yesterday where they confessed that they had sold stolen vehicles in UP and Delhi using forged documents, officials said.

While Komal and Layak Singh stole the vehicles, Ranbeer and Mohan looked for potential buyers. Sanjeev was assigned the job of preparing forged documents.

All five accused hail from Moradabad district, they said. ó PTI

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Manís body found in drain
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 9
A 33-year-old man was found dead in a drain in north-west Delhi today morning, the police said. The victim has been identified as Pyare Lal. Lal's body was recovered from a drain in Mahendra Park, A-Block.

The body was taken to the Babu Jag Jivan Ram Hospital where doctors declared that Lal died due to drowning.

While according to the police, the case appears to be of an accident, the family members of the victim claim Lal was murdered by robbers as his ring and mobile phone were missing.

"Prima facie it appears that the victim was drunk and might have accidentally slipped into the drain and drowned. However, the body has been sent for postmortem. We are waiting for the reports to know the actual cause of death," said a senior police official.

Lal, who worked as a goldsmith with his maternal uncle, had left his house last night.

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2 held for murdering contract killer

Ghaziabad, January 9
Two persons have been arrested for the murder of an alleged contract killer. The body of the victim, Gaurav, was found on December 23 in Vijay Nagar here with stab wounds.

During investigation, it emerged that the victim was a contract killer. The police was able to construct the sequence of events leading to Gaurav's alleged murder, said officials.

One of the accused, Susheel, had allegedly given Gaurav Rs 50,000 to bump off a man named Veeru, who happened to be the victim's friend. Gaurav, who alerted Veeru about the plan, was called by Susheel under the pretext of paying him for his assigned work and stabbed him to death. ó PTI

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Minor fire in CP

New Delhi, January 9
A minor fire broke out near the Air India office in Connaught Place in central Delhi on Sunday morning, fire brigade officials said. No one was injured in the fire. "We got a call about a fire near the Air India office in Connaught Place around 11 am and we rushed two fire engines to the spot," a fire brigade official said.

"The waste material near the office building had caught fire and it was of a minor nature," the official added.

The fire was doused in minutes, he said, adding that no one was injured.

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