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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
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Rape repercussions
Office-goers stranded on roads, Metro stations

New Delhi, December 24
The office-goers in the city today had a harrowing time being stranded on the roads for hours as major roads leading to India Gate and Rajpath along with nine Metro stations were closed in order to stop people from reaching Vijay Chowk.

BJP gives cheque for Rs 5 lakh to victimís family
New Delhi, December 24
The Delhi BJP today presented a cheque for Rs 5 lakh to the family members of the 23-year-old gangrape victim in Safdarjung Hospital. In the meeting of core group of the BJP Delhi Pradesh, the incident of lathicharge on students at Vijay Chowk, India Gate and other places was strongly condemned.

Scribes protest police crackdown
New Delhi, December 24
Members of the press in the Capital today protested against the Delhi police crackdown at India Gate yesterday evening which left as many as 40 journalists injured.
Journalists shout slogans during a protest against the Delhi police in New Delhi on Monday Journalists shout slogans during a protest against the Delhi police in New Delhi on Monday. Tribune photo: Mukesh Aggarwal


EARLIER STORIES



A heavy traffic jam at Ashram (R) Commuters finding it hard to board the buses in New Delhi on Monday
A heavy traffic jam at Ashram (R) Commuters finding it hard to board the buses in New Delhi on Monday. Tribune photos: Manas Ranjan Bhui

Cong MLAs seek 33% quota for women in police
New Delhi, December 24
Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) of the ruling party today demanded 33 per cent reservation for women in the Delhi police along with setting up of a centralized mechanism to file an FIR in order to ensure quick action by the police in case of any serious crime.

181 helpline for distressed women
New Delhi, December 24
A round-the-clock helpline with '181' as the number for women in distress was announced today by the Delhi government. The helpline would be operational from the last day of this year and set up in the Chief Minister Office at Delhi Secretariat.

DU council gives green light to 4-yr UG courses
New Delhi, December 24
Delhi University's Academic Council today gave the nod to the four-year undergraduate courses. The council also authorized the Vice-Chancellor to form committees of various subjects to prepare detailed courses for consideration of the course committees.

Eight-coach Metro trains started
New Delhi, December 24
Delhi Metro today introduced its eight-coach trains on the Jahangirpuri-HUDA City Centre corridor. Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) officials said that these eight-coach trains have a capacity of carrying about 2,400 commuters, or nearly 300 passengers in each coach.
The DMRC introduces an eight-coach Metro train on Line-2 in New Delhi in Monday. Tribune photo
The DMRC introduces an eight-coach Metro train on Line-2 in New Delhi in Monday

Dense fog hits air, train services
New Delhi, December 24
People in the city woke up to a foggy morning today. Dense fog remained throughout the day, affecting a total of 50 flights and 150 trains. The minimum temperature today dipped to 7.7 degree Celsius while the maximum was recorded at 19.1 degree Celsius, which was three degrees below normal, said an IMD official.





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Rape repercussions
Office-goers stranded on roads, Metro stations
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 24
The office-goers in the city today had a harrowing time being stranded on the roads for hours as major roads leading to India Gate and Rajpath along with nine Metro stations were closed in order to stop people from reaching Vijay Chowk.

According to the traffic police officials, the roads were closed following yesterday's pitched battles at Rajpath and India Gate between the police personnel and protestors agitating over the rape of a 23-year-old girl on a moving bus here last Sunday night.

Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic), Satyendra Garg, said, "Due to security reasons, the roads leading to India Gate were closed today."

The traffic was diverted today to the areas near India Gate and Rajpath, according to him. The diversions were directed to Maulana Azad Road, Rajendra Prasad Road and other nearby roads. All the routes leading to Rajpath were closed by the police.

Garg said, "The traffic diversions will remain until the situation (protests) is under control."

Chaos also ruled outside Metro stations as thousands of commuters, unaware of the shutdown, were turned away from the major stations, including the busiest Rajiv Chowk in Central Delhi.

People were seen waiting for the public transport for hours while vehicles got stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic snarls at several places across the Capital.

Though inter-change was allowed at Rajiv Chowk and Central Secretariat stations, it was not of much help to the people as stations nearby were also closed.

There was traffic chaos at Pragati Maidan, Nizamuddin Bridge, Shantipath, Chanakyapuri, Mother Teresa Crescent Road, Mathura Road, Khan Market, Mandi House and Barakhamba Road, besides other major sections.

Metro stations at Pragati Maidan, Mandi House, Barakhamba Road, Rajiv Chowk, Patel Chowk, Central Secretariat, Udyog Bhawan, Race Course Road and Khan Market Metro were closed.

Closing of the entry points to Rajpath and India Gate were the main reasons for the mayhem on the roads, which were dotted with policemen.

ITO Bridge, one of the major connections in the Capital, remained clogged with vehicles since morning and the chaos only aggravated as the day progressed with people waiting inside their vehicles for hours.

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BJP gives cheque for Rs 5 lakh to victimís family
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 24
The Delhi BJP today presented a cheque for Rs 5 lakh to the family members of the 23-year-old gangrape victim in Safdarjung Hospital. In the meeting of core group of the BJP Delhi Pradesh, the incident of lathicharge on students at Vijay Chowk, India Gate and other places was strongly condemned.

The party demanded that Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde should take responsibility of the gangrape incident, failed law and order and public transport system in the city.

"There should be a judicial enquiry into the incident of lathicharge because media clippings show that the police brutally assaulted the girls sitting on a peaceful dharna," said BJP president Vijender Gupta.

The BJP workers said that they will take out a candle march at 300 places of Delhi to protest against the incident of gangrape. "We have called upon the BJP workers that they should conduct the movement peacefully in Delhi," said Gupta.

He went to Safdarjung Hospital to enquire about the condition of the victim. "Girl's parents were presented a cheque for Rs 5 lakh collected from the party workers," he said.

The workers demanded that the accused should be summarily tried and given death penalty. Leader of the Opposition in the assembly Vijay Kumar Malhotra said that the government should also take the responsibility of failed public transport system in Delhi as the system is under the control of bus mafia.

"The private bus owners employ drivers and conductors with criminal background. The government has knowledge of these things, but it does not care," said Malhotra.

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Scribes protest police crackdown
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 24
Members of the press in the Capital today protested against the Delhi police crackdown at India Gate yesterday evening which left as many as 40 journalists injured. Camera equipment of many TV channels was also destroyed in the lathicharge.

The protest at the Press Club of India today saw the participation from several organizations, including the Delhi Union of Journalists, the Press Association of India, the PTI Confederation and the UNI union.

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Cong MLAs seek 33% quota for women in police
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 24
Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) of the ruling party today demanded 33 per cent reservation for women in the Delhi police along with setting up of a centralized mechanism to file an FIR in order to ensure quick action by the police in case of any serious crime.

The MLAs have written a letter to the Union Home Minister and the copies of the same have been endorsed to the UPA chairperson, Sonia Gandhi and the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh.

Referring to the recent incident of gangrape and spontaneous outrage in the city, the MLAs have urged the Delhi police to be more sensitive and responsive. "We are concerned about such ghastly incident. It is necessary to provide security to the women in the city," said Parliamentary Secretary to the Chief Minister Mukesh Sharma.

They have stated that suitable steps may be taken to avoid the occurrence of such incidents in future. The MLAs have asked for a trial against the culprits in the fast track courts. They have demanded the harshest punishment to the culprits.

Sharma suggested that 33 per cent reservation for women in the police force would go a long way in instilling confidence among women in Delhi.

The MLAs have also demanded setting up of a centralized mechanism to file an FIR from any of the police station in the city.

Besides, the MLAs have sought deployment of at least one woman SHO in all 182 police stations, including 152 territorial police stations at the earliest. "There is a need to plug the loopholes in the present set-up of the Delhi police to make it a people-friendly force," Sharma added.

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181 helpline for distressed women
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 24
A round-the-clock helpline with '181' as the number for women in distress was announced today by the Delhi government. The helpline would be operational from the last day of this year and set up in the Chief Minister Office at Delhi Secretariat.

"The Union Ministry of Information Technology has allotted number 181 for the helpline which is to be made operational before December 31," said a senior government official.

The official said that the city government is in the process of completing all the formalities to ensure its commissioning.

"The dedicated helpline will go a long way in providing a mode to contact the CM office and seek any assistance from the law enforcing agencies in case of any distress faced by women," said the official.

According to the Chief Minister, she has requested Additional Solicitor General Indira Jaisingh to prepare a draft bill in order to make the law against sexual harassment more stringent so that it acts as a deterrent.

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DU council gives green light to 4-yr UG courses
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 24
Delhi University's Academic Council today gave the nod to the four-year undergraduate courses. The council also authorized the Vice-Chancellor to form committees of various subjects to prepare detailed courses for consideration of the course committees.

The changes proposed by the task force include compulsory paper on Indian literature and five classes per week for language foundation papers.

A statement from the registrar's office said that the university has adopted the resolution by the task force with the majority of 80 to 6 votes.

"The resolution adopts from 2013 a revolutionary four-year undergraduate programme with multiple degree options ranging from an Associate Baccalaureate in two years, a Baccalaureate in three years and a Baccalaureate with honours in four years. This historic decision offers the students a range of foundation and discipline courses enhanced through application courses. Cultural and sport activities will form the part of the curriculum for the first time. The Academic Council resolved to accept the recommendation of the task force," the statement read.

Even as the meeting continued for most part of the day, protests from teachers and students affiliated to Leftist organizations continued, condemning the manner in which this important decision was being tabled today.

At the meeting, the six elected members affiliated to Leftist organisations protested at the way the proposal was being pushed through as they demanded a comprehensive debate on the proposed shift.

"The proposal needs to be sent back to the departments and college staff councils to be considered and debated in minute detail before the radical shift is brought about," said an elected AC member who dissented the proposal.

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Eight-coach Metro trains started
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 24
Delhi Metro today introduced its eight-coach trains on the Jahangirpuri-HUDA City Centre corridor. Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) officials said that these eight-coach trains have a capacity of carrying about 2,400 commuters, or nearly 300 passengers in each coach.

"The first two eight-coach trains started functioning today at 11.30 am today. The eight-coach trains were introduced to mark the completion of 10 years of its operations in Delhi," said a Delhi Metro official.

Out of the first 68 eight-coach trains to be introduced in the network, 37 will ply on the Yellow Line (Jahangirpuri-HUDA City Centre) and 31 on the Blue Line (Dwarka Sec-21 to Noida City Centre/Vaishali). They will be inducted in a phased manner.

Delhi Metro has also decided to reserve more seats for senior citizens and the disabled.

"Four additional seats will be earmarked for senior citizens and physically challenged people in the coach having train operator's cabin and eight seats in the middle coaches," the Metro official said.

At present, the six and four-coach trains have four seats reserved for the aged and the disabled in each car of a train.

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Dense fog hits air, train services
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 24
People in the city woke up to a foggy morning today. Dense fog remained throughout the day, affecting a total of 50 flights and 150 trains. The minimum temperature today dipped to 7.7 degree Celsius while the maximum was recorded at 19.1 degree Celsius, which was three degrees below normal, said an IMD official.

As per railway officials, as many as 100 trains were delayed, 46 rescheduled and four cancelled due to reduced visibility.

About 35 flights were delayed while 15 cancelled as dense fog continues to envelop Delhi for the second day today. One of the international flights was diverted to Jaipur, airport officials said.

At one time, the runway visibility dropped to zero at one end of the third runway.

The operations remained suspended for major part of the morning due to poor visibility, said the officials.

General visibility reduced to less than 100 metres in the morning, leading to delay in departures of early morning flights.

According to airport sources, the fog has disrupted the schedule of over 50 domestic and international flights.

Over 100 flights were affected yesterday due to dense fog, disrupting operations and causing inconvenience to passengers.

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