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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

Poisonous sewer gases consume three lives
The sewer near the Anand Vihar railway station in New Delhi where three persons died New Delhi, November 19
Efforts to extract garbage piled up in a seven-foot-deep sewer near the Anand Vihar railway station became fatal for three people who were killed after inhaling poisonous gases, while two people were rescued in a critical condition.


The sewer near the Anand Vihar railway station in New Delhi where three persons died on Saturday. Tribune photo

1 lakh expected at Advaniís rally today
New Delhi, November 19
The BJP has decided to make tomorrow's rally in Delhi a momentous event as it expects a gathering of around one lakh people who will receive the Jan Chetna Yatra of L. K. Advani at Ramlila Grounds. The yatra will enter the Capital from Ghazipur with about 35 cars. Party activists will be on camels, horses and bikes to welcome the yatra.
Advani will address the people at Ghazipur village for a few minutes.


EARLIER STORIES



DU semester exams begin on Nov 23 amid teachersí worries
New Delhi, November 19
Delhi University is all set to conduct its semester system examinations for all the undergraduate courses on November 23, even as concerns about attendance shortage, internal assessment, incompletion of course and overburdening of students remain unaddressed.


Jamia VC, students differ on elections 

Student bodies at Jamia Millia Islamia are not happy with the vice-chancellor Najeeb Jung's recent comments on elections in the university.

Schoolchildren get right to health
New Delhi, November 19
Delhi has become the first state to provide right to health to the schoolchildren under the Chacha Nehru Sehat Yojna scheme. This is the second scheme launched by the state for children after the Right to Education Act.


Child dies in fire at night shelter 
The charred remains of a night shelter near Rakabgunj Gurdwara in New Delhi that caught fire
The charred remains of a night shelter near Rakabgunj Gurdwara in New Delhi that caught fire on Saturday. A child died in the blaze. Tribune photo

60 CCTVs for Gurgaon roads
Gurgaon, November 19
As many as 60 photo-sensitive CCTV cameras with recording facility will be installed at 15 major traffic intersections along the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway.

Noida eway underpasses to be widened
Noida, November 19
The Noida Authority (NA) has finally noticed the problem of narrow underpasses of expressways. It has decided to widen the roads of five underpasses of Gautam Budh Nagar Expressway that fall under its jurisdiction.

High excise rate forces Noida drug firms to shut, shift
Noida, November 19
Around 50 per cent of the drug companies in Gautam Budh Nagar district have either closed down or shifted out. The owners of the companies say "too high" excise tax, 16 per cent, is the reason behind their move. Those left may not also survive in the area for long as their situation is equally shaky.

Fair opens for public, gets one lakh visitors 
New Delhi, November 19
A large crowd turned up at the trade fair on Saturday, the day it opened for public in New Delhi The 31st India International Trade Fair at Pragati Maidan today opened its gates to general public after five exclusive business days and wowed everyone with the intrinsic thematic displays at state pavilions, rich handicrafts and food delights.




A large crowd turned up at the trade fair on Saturday, the day it opened for public in New Delhi on Saturday. Tribune photo: Mukesh Aggarwal

Court orders filing of cases against cops
Noida, November 19
A district court has ordered registration of cases against a circle officer, two inspectors, two sub-inspectors and 25 jawans of PAC and the district police for allegedly gangraping a woman during the farmers' agitation in Bhatta and Parsaul villages in May this year.

Former scavenger Indira Athwal (R) who won the New Princess 2011 award during a function to mark World Toilet Day with former Miss India Neha Dhupia in
Former scavenger Indira Athwal (R) who won the New Princess 2011 award during a function to mark World Toilet Day with former Miss India Neha Dhupia in
New Delhi on Saturday. Tribune photo

3 killed in shootout at Gzb wedding
Ghaziabad, November 19
Three persons were killed and four injured when unidentified gunmen opened fire at a rival gang leader who was attending a marriage function here on Friday night.

Bikers injured as cops block way for PMís cavalcade
New Delhi, November 19
Two motorcycle-borne men were injured when policemen allegedly placed a rope abruptly in front of their moving vehicle, while trying to prevent the traffic from blocking the cavalcade of the Prime Minister and the President at Sardar Patel Marg two days ago.

Spurned lover abducts, thrashes girl
New Delhi, November 19
A 24-year-old man has been arrested for abducting and thrashing a teenaged girl as she had refused his advances, the police said today.





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Poisonous sewer gases consume three lives
Shaurya Karanbir Gurung
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 19
Efforts to extract garbage piled up in a seven-foot-deep sewer near the Anand Vihar railway station became fatal for three people who were killed after inhaling poisonous gases, while two people were rescued in a critical condition.

One of the injured, Ramesh, who is out of danger, is a private driver of the Quick Reaction Team (QRT) of Delhi police. The other injured person is named Sonu, who is a food vendor operating near the Anand Vihar railway station. The deceased are unidentified, said the police. They are employees of Sonu, who is a resident of Seemapuri, Delhi.

Sources said that the locals of that area called them Das, Bhandari and Dada. They are natives of Bihar and West Bengal. They were in their twenties.

The incident happened about 8.30 am today outside the exit of the Anand Vihar railway station, according to the police.

A police official said that the three persons fell unconscious when they went inside the sewer.

"Three persons were killed due to asphyxiation after inhaling poisonous gases. One of them was trying to remove the garbage from the sewer. Two persons, Sonu and Ramesh, were injured. The fire brigade had pulled out three persons. All of them were rushed to the Lal Bahadur Shastri Hospital, where Das, Bhandari and Dada were declared brought dead," said the official.

The police said that Sonu was referred to the ICU ward of the Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, where he is in a critical condition. He is suffering from breathing problems. Ramesh, however, was discharged from the Lal Bahadur Shastri Hospital this afternoon. The bodies of the three deceased are kept at the mortuary of the same hospital.

Sources said that the local police and the Government Railway Police (GRP) were engaged in a spat on the issue as to where the case should be registered. After a long delay, a case of negligence was registered by the GRP.

The police is yet to determine the civic agency responsible for the maintenance of the sewer.

According to an eyewitness, Ajay, "Das was trying to remove the garbage and some plates from the sewer, but he fell unconscious after inhaling the poisonous gases. Dada and Bhandari rushed inside to get him out. But, they also fell unconscious. When Sonu, their employer, tried to get them out, he too lost consciousness. The driver of the Delhi police then tried getting them out, but in vain. The incident happened abruptly when there were a lot of people eating breakfast at the different food stalls near the sewer. The police immediately came a few minutes after the incident. There were ambulances and doctors to escort the dead and the injured to the hospital."

Onlookers said that water was overflowing from the sewer.

Sources said that yesterday, MCD workers had visited the area and advised the locals to clean the sewer. The MCD, Anand Vihar railway authorities and other departments concerned are trying to shirk off the responsibility of the incident.

However, local MCD officials commented that the sewer fell under the jurisdiction of Flood and Irrigation Department. They said that the MCD had nothing to do with the sewer. 

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1 lakh expected at Advaniís rally today
Syed Ali Ahmed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 19
The BJP has decided to make tomorrow's rally in Delhi a momentous event as it expects a gathering of around one lakh people who will receive the Jan Chetna Yatra of L. K. Advani at Ramlila Grounds.

The yatra will enter the Capital from Ghazipur with about 35 cars. Party activists will be on camels, horses and bikes to welcome the yatra.

Advani will address the people at Ghazipur village for a few minutes.

Later, all the party activists will follow their leader to Ramlila Grounds. Two thousand youths on motorcycles decked with the party flags will lead the gathering to its concluding point.

Senior party leaders--national president Nitin Gadkari, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, Sharad Yadav, S.S. Dhindsa, Vijender Gupta, Shiv Sena leader Ananth Geete and Haryana leader Kuldeep Bishnoi will be present at Ramlila Grounds to receive Advani's Jan Chetna Yatra.

Yogender Chandolia, chairman, Standing Committee in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, and Delhi BJP spokesman Vivek Sharma who were looking after the arrangement for tomorrow's event, said that all the district heads of the party have been asked to bring at least 6,000 persons.

The women wing of the party units will also bring people.

Apart from the party efforts, people may also come on their own as the rally is taken out in protest against inflation, corruption and black money.

The Delhi BJP spokesman added, "We have been preparing for the rally for the last one week. The tent has been erected in the entire Ramlila Grounds."

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DU semester exams begin on Nov 23 amid teachersí worries
Jyoti Rai
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 19
Delhi University is all set to conduct its semester system examinations for all the undergraduate courses on November 23, even as concerns about attendance shortage, internal assessment, incompletion of course and overburdening of students remain unaddressed.

With more than 50,000 students expected to take the exams from Wednesday, the teachers at large are worried about the results this year. Even last year when 13 science undergraduate courses underwent semester exams, teachers followed an extremely lenient mode for checking the answer sheets. Students were given grace marks and the really bad cases were also helped to sail through the second semester. This year as well, teachers fear that all is not well.

"If the same pattern is witnessed in results of all the three streams this year--humanities, commerce and science; it would definitely reflect badly on the university. Bright students will do everything to pass the exams, even if it includes mugging up syllabus portion that is still untouched. They might even pass, but the standard and quality of education will deteriorate," said one of the Academic Council elected members, requesting anonymity.

"The entire logic that the university presented while introducing the semester system was that it will help improve the education standards and upgrade draconian courses which haven't been touched for ages. Now, the syllabus in most subjects remains the same. It has just been bifurcated into two. The academic calendar is such that teachers have to take extra classes to finish syllabus. In many cases, even that didn't help. Even till today, there were departments that held extra classes," added Mithi Goel, life sciences faculty at South campus.

"The papers are not balanced and students didn't get time to study. The classes were on till today and they are expected to sit for the exams from Wednesday. The situation will get worse in the next semester as we will have to cover a year's course in just six months," added Nandita Narain, a faculty member of St Stephen's College.

The semester exams will start on November 23 and end on December 7. The administration is planning to declare the results by mid-January. However, their version of the situation is much more optimistic.

"This is a major exercise for us, and the challenges are that we have to complete the process on time and as per the notification. So far, the process has been smooth, and it has been made possible because of the cooperation of the departments, colleges and teachers. We are planning to complete the exams without glitches and then declare the results within a month of the completion of the exams," said RC Sharma, Dean of examinations.

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Jamia VC, students differ on elections 

Student bodies at Jamia Millia Islamia are not happy with the vice-chancellor Najeeb Jung's recent comments on elections in the university.

Jung had said that the university's environment was a bit too volatile for elections as of now. However, students are still holding talks with senior university officials, including the proctor.

The parleys indicate that elections are not possible in the near future. Students are disappointed as they feel that such talks are just a hollow attempt to put off elections.

"We have to constantly try to see that the issue remains alive. However, it may still take some time before Jamia can witness students' union elections again," said one of the student activists, involved in the campaign.

MCD expands e-governance

Expanding its services through e-governance, the MCD finally sanctioned its first building plan through online system. The facility would be extended to the zonal offices to make the procedure hassle-free.

The scheme is restricted to fresh proposals in respect of properties in residential plots.

From December 1, 2011, the facility would be extended to two zonal offices---South Zone and Rohini zone---and by January 1, 2012, it would be extended to all the remaining zones of the city.

Reimbursement of fee for poor

At a recent meeting of the Sikh Advisory Committee in the Delhi Minorities' Commission, a number of Sikh community activists raised the issue of fee reimbursement for poor students enrolled at public schools.

The activists said that a large number of people were not able to pay the tuition fee of public schools.

According to the scheme, the Delhi government would reimburse the fee of public school students whose parents' annual income is up to Rs 60,000.

The Sikh Advisory Committee has moved a resolution, asking the government that this bar of income should be raised to Rs 2 lakh per annum.

Poor emergency response

Even the national Capital is unequipped when it comes to emergency medical response system.

Time and again, this functional inadequacy has come to light as it was seen during a mishap at Nizamuddin Railway Station recently.

At the site, there wasn't even a single ambulance to carry a grievously injured man to hospital.

Bhagwan Porwal, who slipped and landed between a coach and the platform while boarding the Indore Inter-City, had to be taken in a police van to hospital, almost an hour after the accident.

By the time he reached the AIIMS Trauma Centre, he succumbed to his injuries. Hope the city government betters its fleet of CATS ambulance and service sooner, thereby reducing the site response time following an emergency call.

(Contributed by Jyoti Rai, Himani Chandel, Syed Ali Ahmed, Ananya Panda)

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Schoolchildren get right to health
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 19
Delhi has become the first state to provide right to health to the schoolchildren under the Chacha Nehru Sehat Yojna scheme. This is the second scheme launched by the state for children after the Right to Education Act.

The health scheme came into force today with the check-up of some school students.

The plan was announced by Chief Minister Sheila Diskhit in her budget speech delivered on March 22, 2011.

Speaking at the launch, Dikshit said the scheme aimed at providing free of cost medical checkups to all children in Delhi. Under the first phase, the government would cover nearly 14 lakh students of the schools run by it, the Chief Minister said.

In the subsequent phases, the government planned to cover the children studying in the schools of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, New Delhi Municipal Corporation, private schools with no medical checkup facilities and also the non-school going children, she added.

The government is running 954 schools, which will be covered in one year by nearly 125 teams, each comprising a doctor, nurse and data entry operator.

The teams will disseminate messages about physical hygiene to avoid many diseases. 

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60 CCTVs for Gurgaon roads
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, November 19
As many as 60 photo-sensitive CCTV cameras with recording facility will be installed at 15 major traffic intersections along the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway.

A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the local police and HUDA authorities with the expressway concessionaire DSC Ltd here today.

The officials also discussed plans to improve traffic in all parts of the city by incorporating measures like repairing and widening of roads and creating more slip roads, among others.

The HUDA administrator, Dr Praveen Kumar, said they had also decided to push a pending litigation for a 100 metre land near IFFCO chowk and write to the NHAI to increase the number of toll gates at the Delhi-Gurgaon as well as Kherki Daula toll plazas in the city.

DCP (Traffic) Bharti Arora said "We have told the parties concerned, including DSC Ltd, to have proper safety and precautionary measures in place on the expressway and other city roads so to check accidents."

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Noida eway underpasses to be widened
Our Correspondent

Noida, November 19
The Noida Authority (NA) has finally noticed the problem of narrow underpasses of expressways. It has decided to widen the roads of five underpasses of Gautam Budh Nagar Expressway that fall under its jurisdiction.

The underpasses will be widened using the push-through technology, after which these single-lane roads will have four lanes. From the existing width of 3.5 metres, they will have a width of 5.5 metres. After widening, the underpasses will be connected to the service lanes of the expressway, which will help resolve the connectivity problem of the sectors developed along it.

The Noida Authority will spend Rs 100 crore on these underpasses.

"A consultant will be appointed by November 22. He will give us a detailed project report (DPR), which will be sent to IIT-Delhi for an approval. The work will begin by the end of December," said Santram, chief project engineer (CPE), NA.

Residents have welcomed the move.

"This is something that the authority should have done before developing the sectors along the expressway. Still, better late than never," said Om Veer Sharma, a resident of Sector 108.

"Connecting the underpasses to the expressway through the service lanes is a very good idea. It will make our travel very easy," said Beenu Sahgal, a student of Amity University.

Meanwhile, the Noida Authority has decided to construct subways instead of foot-over bridges (FOBs), as planned earlier.

The Authority, after consultation with the traffic police, had decided to construct FOBs at 14 spots in the city. 

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High excise rate forces Noida drug firms to shut, shift
Parmindar Singh

Noida, November 19
Around 50 per cent of the drug companies in Gautam Budh Nagar district have either closed down or shifted out. The owners of the companies say "too high" excise tax, 16 per cent, is the reason behind their move. Those left may not also survive in the area for long as their situation is equally shaky.

Around three years ago, 14 medicine companies used to operate here, while only seven are left now. The number of cosmetic-manufacturing companies in the district has also come down from 22 to 17.

In states like Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, the companies do not have to pay any excise duty and they operate under single window system. No wonder drug companies are doing well in these states.

In Noida, the drug companies have to pay 10.3 per cent excise tax on the raw materials and 5.13 per cent on finished products. Unlike Noida, the drug companies can avail of many benefits in other parts of the national capital region (NCR). They get raw materials at a cheaper rate due to proximity with Delhi. Besides, the products have a ready market in Delhi. Even the transportation expenses are lesser.

According to the managing director of Unicure Pharmaceutical, Abdul Matin, excise duty in Noida is higher than most states and the companies setting up units in other states are getting the benefit of lesser duty.

Companies will stop shifting from here if the excise duty was reduced significantly, he felt.

Besides, the government needed to provide power, security and other facilities to the manufacturers, Matin added.

Sushil Kumar Aggarwal, managing director of GS Industries, said the government policies had many shortcomings. According to him, the parameters are very stifling for the local companies and they are left with no option but to close down or shift to other states.

In its desire to promote multi-national companies, the Uttar Pradesh government had made circumstances so difficult for the small companies that would not survive for a long time, Aggarwal added.

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Fair opens for public, gets one lakh visitors 
Jyoti Rai
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 19
The 31st India International Trade Fair at Pragati Maidan today opened its gates to general public after five exclusive business days and wowed everyone with the intrinsic thematic displays at state pavilions, rich handicrafts and food delights.

The fair witnessed around one lakh people on the first day of the public visit today. The organizers are expecting the numbers to rise. The rush is expected to be more tomorrow.

The ITPO officials said that the rush was so much today that the tickets were sold out before the day ended. Ticket counters were shut at Pragati Maidan around 3 pm, though the time limit is 4 pm. Anticipating overcrowding, the police officials started asking the visitors who were unable to procure tickets to go back.

Inside the fair, state pavilions and the handicraft products displayed at stalls remained the star attractions today.

Everything from jute, khadi, leather and wooden products to gems and pearls, handmade textiles, junk jewellery items to electronic appliances attracted visitors on the first day.

"I visit the fair every year for antique bowls at the Turkish stall and junk jewellery at Thailand and West Bengal stall. Laakh bangles, jutis, bandhini scarves and duppattas at the Rajasthan pavilion are also a must pick for me. I will visit the fair again tomorrow for more shopping," said Kirti Kapur, a city-based interior designer.

For B John and family from South Extension, their main purpose to visit the fair is shopping for some bamboo decorations besides eating at some of the most famous international state pavilions.

"The Pakistani kebabs, Afghani hummus and biryani, were our favourite. We couldn't help but munch on daal baati choorma at the Rajasthani pavilion, sandesh at West Bengal and authentic bhej puri and sev puri at Maharashtra pavilion," said John.

Owner at the Pakistani stall, lovingly called "Khan Bhai" responded, "The authentic masala provides the best taste in meat. Our special dish, khadai gosht, is prepared over a long period of time so that all the flavours are absorbed well. There is huge rush on general days. All our 14 varieties of kebabs, biryanis and curries run out of stock fast, but we manage to feed everyone. This year we find that the chicken reshmi kebabs and mutton.

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Bhatta-Parsaul Gangrape
Court orders filing of cases against cops
Parmindar Singh

Noida, November 19
A district court has ordered registration of cases against a circle officer, two inspectors, two sub-inspectors and 25 jawans of PAC and the district police for allegedly gangraping a woman during the farmers' agitation in Bhatta and Parsaul villages in May this year.

The order has been issued by the CJM on the complaint of a woman of one of the villages.

The police personnel have also been accused of taking away Rs 1 lakh and some gold ornaments from the victim's house.

Some of the accused policemen are: Circle officer Dharmaveer Khokher, inspectors Anuj Chaudhary and Rajiv Kumar and SIs Inder Badola and Hemant Gautam

Ved Prakash Sharma, the victim's advocate, said CJM Vipin Sharma has ordered the SHO of the Dankore police station to register gangrape cases against the accused policemen.

Sharma said her client's husband was not an accused in the Bhatta-Parsaul violence.

This is not the first case of registration of gangarape cases against policemen in connection with the Bhatta-Parsaul farmers' agitation. Earlier, on the complaint of a woman of Bhatta, a court had ordered registration of gangrape cases against 19 policemen.

On May 7, 2011, residents of Bhatta and Parsaul villages had clashed with the police over the issue of land acquisition. According to the victim, during the clash, the accused policemen barged into her house on the pretext of investigation and gangraped her. 

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3 killed in shootout at Gzb wedding

Ghaziabad, November 19
Three persons were killed and four injured when unidentified gunmen opened fire at a rival gang leader who was attending a marriage function here on Friday night.

Sundar Bhati, who is named in a number of criminal cases in Greater Noida, was attending the marriage of his niece Neelam Singh at a guesthouse in Sahibabad when suddenly a group of men barged in and started firing at him.

The police said the attack was led by Amit Kasana, the nephew of Naresh Bhati, a former chairman of the Gautam Budh Nagar district panchayat, who was allegedly killed by the Sundar Bhati gang in 2003.

Sundar Bhati and his men retaliated, taking the cover of furniture at the venue.

The firing left three dead - Bhati's private gunner Shokeen, nephew Naveen and Jabar Singh, a member of the Amit Kasana gang.

The four injured were rushed to hospital.

Both the groups later fled the spot.

Assistant superintendent of police Amit Verma said: "The police has recovered 30 used cartridges of different calibers, including prohibited bore 9 mm. The use of AK-47 is also being investigated."

"Sundar Bhati is a known criminal of Greater Noida. His name figures in over two dozen criminal cases in police stations of Greater Noida, Noida, Bulandshahr, Ghaziabad and Faridabad. Amit Kasana is also an active criminal in Greater Noida," he added.

While no arrests have been made, seven people have been detained for questioning. -- IANS

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Bikers injured as cops block way for PMís cavalcade
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 19
Two motorcycle-borne men were injured when policemen allegedly placed a rope abruptly in front of their moving vehicle, while trying to prevent the traffic from blocking the cavalcade of the Prime Minister and the President at Sardar Patel Marg two days ago.

The victims are identified as Pramod Tanwar (44), a businessman and his employee, Subhas Kumar. Pramod was driving the motorcycle, while Subhas was the pillion rider.

The incident happened on November 17, when they were returning from the Sai Baba temple at Lodhi Road, according to sources. They were heading to their homes in Naraina.

Pramod sustained severe neck injuries, while Subhas suffered minor bruises. Pramod is being treated at the Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital. Sources said that his food pipe was damaged in the accident.

"Pramod is unable to open his mouth. He is being fed through drips. The only way he can communicate is by writing on a notepad," said a source.

Sources said that Pramod wrote in his notepad, "My colleague and I were returning from the Sai Baba temple in Lodhi Colony. When we reached Sardar Patel Marg, we saw that the roads were blocked for the traffic, to make way for the cavalcade of the Prime Minister and the President. When the PM's convoy passed, I started driving my motorcycle. And, suddenly some policemen raised a rope from the ground. I didn't see it and the rope struck my neck and I fell off the motorcycle."

Pramod alleged that the policemen who lifted the rope had immediately fled the spot. Later, a PCR van rushed Pramod and Subhash to the RML Hospital.

Pramod's wife, Alka has lodged a complaint against the policemen who were responsible for the accident.

However, the police asserts that there was no negligence on its part and Pramod is solely responsible for the accident.

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Spurned lover abducts, thrashes girl

New Delhi, November 19
A 24-year-old man has been arrested for abducting and thrashing a teenaged girl as she had refused his advances, the police said today.

The youth, identified as Vikram Singh Rawat, a resident of R.K. Puram in south Delhi, was attracted to his 19-year-old neighbour.

Though the two were acquainted with each other, the girl was not aware of the man's interest in her, the police said.

The girl was returning home from her fashion designing class yesterday when Rawat and his friend Manish Kumar, 24, accosted her.

Rawat first proposed to the girl, but she rejected him. Furious, he dragged and bundled her into a waiting car.

Rawat and his friend then drove around in the car for over two hours, during which he tried to convince her to accept his proposal.

When she refused all his overtures, Rawat beat the girl up and dumped her near her home. - IANS

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