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Loan form row: Lokayukta asks for details
New Delhi, September 18
Delhi Lokayukta Justice Manmohan Sarin today asked the BJP to find out more details about the forms meant for getting loan by the Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST), Other Backward Classes (OBC) and Minorities, when an advocate of the saffron party submitted a verbal complaint against the city government about loan form bearing photographs of the Chief Minister, Sheila Dikshit, and PWD Minister Rajkumar Chauhan.

DU panel to look into poll rule violations
New Delhi, September 18
The Delhi University administration has set up a committee to look into the alleged violations of the Lyngdoh Committee guidelines during the recently- concluded students' union elections.

Teen help found dead
New Delhi, September 18
The body of a 15-year-old girl, who was a domestic help at the house of a retired judge in Saraswati Vihar, North-West Delhi, was recovered on Monday morning.

BRTs to get disabled friendly
New Delhi, September 18
The Delhi government has decided to upgrade the bus rapid transit (BRT) corridors to ensure that they are more comfortable and accessible for the disabled.


EARLIER STORIES



Universal food security bill sought
Activists of the National Federation of Indian Women protest on Tuesday. New Delhi, September 18
Decrying the government's proposed National Food Security Bill, currently lying with the Parliamentary Standing Committee, representatives of the National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW) today observed a ''demand day'', urging the government to guarantee food as a fundamental right for all.


Activists of the National Federation of Indian Women protest on Tuesday. Tribune photo: Manas Ranjan Bhui

Couple held for cheating
New Delhi, September 18
A couple was arrested who used to cheat people of their money by changing smaller amounts on cheques with bigger amount using a pen whose ink can be erased.

Fake notes: 2 held
New Delhi, September 18
The police yesterday arrested two men --Harender (26) and Sanjay Sharma (39) -- for being allegedly dealing in fake Indian notes. Fake notes of more than Rs 1 lakh have been seized. TNS





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Loan form row: Lokayukta asks for details
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 18
Delhi Lokayukta Justice Manmohan Sarin today asked the BJP to find out more details about the forms meant for getting loan by the Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST), Other Backward Classes (OBC) and Minorities, when an advocate of the saffron party submitted a verbal complaint against the city government about loan form bearing photographs of the Chief Minister, Sheila Dikshit, and PWD Minister Rajkumar Chauhan.

The BJP has made a complaint that fixing photographs of the Chief Minister and the minister on loan forms are not legal. Action should be taken against them, said Anil Soni who appeared before the Lokayukta.

The Lokayukta asked the BJP counsel to find out the actual cost of the form. Earlier, the form was free of cost but now the government is selling it for Rs 100.

The forms were distributed yesterday at a loan mela organised by the government under the Dilli Swarojgar Yojna at Trilokpuri where the Chief Minister was the chief guest. He also asked whether the Dilli Swarojgar Yojna was an old scheme for providing loan to unemployed youth of the SC, ST, OBC and Minorities or it is a new one. The Lokayukta said, "I have not ordered any inquiry. I just asked the complainant to find out the actual cost of the form."

Sources in the government said that earlier the form was free of cost. Now it is being given to loan seekers at the cost of Rs 100.

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DU panel to look into poll rule violations
Lottery to choose joint secy on Sept 20 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 18
The Delhi University administration has set up a committee to look into the alleged violations of the Lyngdoh Committee guidelines during the recently- concluded students' union elections.

"The vice-chancellor, in the capacity of the patron of Delhi University Student Union (DUSU) and on the proposal of the chief election officer, has constituted a fact-finding committee to look into the cases of violation of code of conduct and the issue of show- cause notices to 11 candidates."

The election commission had last week issued the notices after noting gross violations of the Lyngdoh Committee recommendations. The candidates were found to be violating the rule that forbids the use of printed material during canvassing and were asked to explain in writing why action should not be taken against them.

Those who were served the notices include the victorious candidates of NSUI Arun Hooda, Varun Khari and Varun Choudhary.

In their responses, the candidates had maintained that they were not responsible for the distribution of the posters and pamphlets in question and were not aware of any such violation.

"We are aware of what violations that have taken place during the canvassing. Distribution of freebies is a violation of the code of conduct for the elections. But we are not blaming either NSUI or ABVP now. We will forward the issue to the panel that has been set up. The panel will probe the matter and find out who is guilty," said CS Dubey, chief election officer, DUSU.

The three-member committee that will look into the matter has Prof Ramesh Gautam of the Hindi department, who is also the director of ILLL; Prof RC Kuhad the department of microbiology and Sunil Sondhi member principal, Maharaja Agrasen College.

Reacting to the formation of the panel, the ABVP, which has accused the administration of bias in the elections, has cried foul and alleged that the "committee is Congress-minded and not expected to come out with a fair decision".

"This defeats the entire purpose of a probe. We do not believe that these people have been appointed with an intention of arriving at a fair decision. We want that a person from outside the university, like a retired judge, should look into the issue," said ABVP state secretary Rohit Chahal.

Meanwhile, a lottery on September 20 will decide as to who will become the next DUSU joint secretary, as the poll result showed a tie for the post between the NSUI's Raveena Choudhary and Vishnu Basoya from the ABVP at 13,164 votes.

If two candidates happen to secure the highest number of votes of equal number, the result will have to be declared by a draw of lot, according to the commission's handbook for returning officers.

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Teen help found dead
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 18
The body of a 15-year-old girl, who was a domestic help at the house of a retired judge in Saraswati Vihar, North-West Delhi, was recovered on Monday morning.

She died under mysterious circumstances as the police has not confirmed any cause of death. The victim has been identified as Poonam, a resident of Shakurpur. She was working in the judge's house for the past three months. She was found lying unconscious in front of Jhulelal Apartments by the judge's driver.

Poonam's family alleges that she was murdered, but the police is waiting for autopsy and forensic reports to ascertain the cause of death. A "Preliminary investigation suggests that Poonam either fell down from the lobby of the third floor of the building or committed suicide," said a police official. The police has not ruled out foul play and will get the postmortem done.

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BRTs to get disabled friendly
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 18
The Delhi government has decided to upgrade the bus rapid transit (BRT) corridors to ensure that they are more comfortable and accessible for the disabled.

This was said by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit while speaking at TRANSED, an international conference on mobility and transport for elderly and disabled, held today.

TRANSED was attended by secretary of the Union Urban Development Ministry and foreign delegates.

The Chief Minister said, "In our offices, washrooms have been built for special people. As per the directions of the city government, all new government buildings will be constructed with disabled and elderly-friendly features."

She expressed hope that TRANSED 2012 will not only help the government to address the challenges associated with improving mobility and transportation needs of the elderly and disabled, but will make the national as well as the sate governments work towards making the country barrier free.

The TRANSED conference is designed to review advances in research, profile international breakthroughs and explore perspectives of technological innovations in response to the mobility challenges of an ageing population and persons with disabilities. It also aims to examine ways to address challenges associated with improving mobility and transportation needs for the elderly and disabled.

Delhi Transport Minister Ramakant Goswami stated that the theme of the conference, "Seamless access for all: Universal design in transport system and built infrastructure, a key element in the creation of livable cities" is quite relevant.

The transport department of the Delhi government has been instructed to ensure a barrier-free accessibility for the disabled and elderly people. 

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Universal food security bill sought
Ananya Panda
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 18
Decrying the government's proposed National Food Security Bill, currently lying with the Parliamentary Standing Committee, representatives of the National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW) today observed a ''demand day'', urging the government to guarantee food as a fundamental right for all.

During a demonstration in front of Krishi Bhawan here, activists rejected the proposed cash transfer system as an alternative to the public distribution system (PDS) as introduced on a pilot basis by several state governments.

The government is not only limiting even the existing entitlements of wheat and rice, but also dismantling the existing PDS by cash transfer, they said.

Even in Delhi, the government had taken up a survey on 1,000 households early this year to gauge the response of people towards cash transfer but following fervent protests of NGOs in May, it remained inconclusive.

Prior to this, the Delhi government, along with SEWA, had conducted another survey of 100 families in which 99 per cent households apparently preferred the proposed change over the PDS but when a similar survey done by the NFIW brought out contradictory findings, the city government was compelled to rethink over its miniscule survey.

Expressing strong reservations on the government's version of the bill, NFIW secretary Annie Raja rebutted the recommendation of reducing the entitlement of grain from the extant 35 kg per household as spelt out by the Supreme Court to 25 kg in the Food Security Bill.

"The government is trying to dilute the bill through its plan B of universal PDS in which 33 per cent of the total families will be excluded from the benefits. This blanket 33 per cent without any demarcation indicates the narrow vision of UPA 2 as that has deprived the real needy and majority people from food and nutritional security," she remarked.

The fact that 46 per cent of children in India are malnourished and deaths due to starvation still reported and on several counts, India lags behind evident from the Global Hunger Index, reports of Human Development, UNICEF, the National Family Health, etc. necessitates a universalisation of food security.

But according to activists, the government continues to be nonchalant to these major concerns clearly reflected in the proposed bill which talks just about entitlements not of food security.

"Three years have passed by, still the UPA-2 failed to pass the Food Security Bill, which they promised to do within 100 days. Lack of political will and social commitment is the only reason for this unjustified delay and people continue to reel under uncontrolled price rise," they said, while pushing for a comprehensive and universal Food Security Act.

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Couple held for cheating

New Delhi, September 18
A couple was arrested who used to cheat people of their money by changing smaller amounts on cheques with bigger amount using a pen whose ink can be erased.

Deepak Girdhari and his wife Shobhna, residents of Haridwar, have been arrested from Dilshad Garden.

The matter came to light after Madhubala, a resident of Rani Bagh, complained to the police that she was cheated of Rs 59,000 by a couple, pretending to be from HDFC Bank, told her that it could help her in obtaining loans at cheaper rate of interest.

On August 28, the couple collected some documents from Madhubala. Two days later she received mobile alerts that amount of Rs 30,000 was withdrawn from her husband's account and Rs 29,000 was withdrawn from her account only to be found that the amount was withdrawn from their accounts using the cheques given to the couple.

Deepak had worked as a loan agent and knew the formalities of applying for loans. He devised this method of duping people of their money. TNS

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