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

Minor molested in moving bus
New Delhi, December 30
Yet another girl was allegedly molested in a moving cluster bus last night at a time when the entire nation mourns the death of the 23-year-old medical student who was brutally gangraped in a moving bus on December 16.

Home guard sacked for dereliction of duty
New Delhi, December 30
A home guard who was deputed in a night service bus (route number 72 from ISBT Kashmere Gate to Najafgarh) yesterday was dismissed from his services by the Delhi Home Guard on charge of dereliction of duty.

5 Metro stations reopen
New Delhi, December 30
Five out of the 10 Metro stations in Central Delhi, that were closed down for an indefinite period in the wake of the death of the gangrape victim, were opened this afternoon.
The Gate No. 6 of the Rajiv Chowk Metro station reopens in New Delhi on Sunday. The Gate No. 6 of the Rajiv Chowk Metro station reopens in New Delhi on Sunday. Tribune photo



EARLIER STORIES

Activists take out candlelight march from Delhi Gate to PHQ
Teachers and students of Delhi University take out a candlelight vigil to pay homage to the gangrape victim on DU campus in New Delhi on Sunday. New Delhi, December 30
A large number of activists of Manav Adhikar Suraksha Samiti (MASS) today took a candle march from Delhi Gate to the headquarters of Delhi Police against the rape incidents and harassment of girls in the city. Later, they also held a protest at Jantar Mantar.

Teachers and students of Delhi University take out a candlelight vigil to pay homage to the gangrape victim on DU campus in New Delhi on Sunday. Tribune photo


A divided skyline in New Delhi on Sunday.
SKYSCAPE: A divided skyline in New Delhi on Sunday. Tribune photo: Manas Ranjan Bhui

DMRC to set up hostel for women staff
New Delhi, December 30
In the backdrop of brutal gangrape case of a 23-year-old physiotherapist, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation has decided to have a working women's hostel soon for its staff staying alone in the Capital.

Dikshit tells DJB not to hike tariff
New Delhi, December 30
The Chief Minister, Sheila Dikshit, who is also chairperson of the Delhi Jal Board (DJB), has instructed the DJB not to effect any hike in water tariff in the capital city. As per the decision of the DJB, the revision of the water tariff was due on January 1, 2013.

E-rickshaw drivers fall foul of law
New Delhi, December 30
When the e-rickshaw came into existence in the national Capital, it was welcomed by the city which had always longed for a better transport. The Centre for Equity and Inclusion (CEQUIN), an NGO, run by Sachin Pilot's wife Sara Pilot, donated an e-rickshaw to a woman, Kohinoor, in the Gaffar Manzil area of South Delhi, saying that it was pollution-free and would help women drivers earn their livelihood.





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Minor molested in moving bus
Driver, two conductors suspended
Jyoti Rai
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 30
Yet another girl was allegedly molested in a moving cluster bus last night at a time when the entire nation mourns the death of the 23-year-old medical student who was brutally gangraped in a moving bus on December 16.

The girl, a 16-year-old girl who had run away from her home in Khayala, was allegedly molested by an off-duty conductor Ranjeet Singh in a moving cluster (orange colour) bus. Bus Cluster number 410- (Khayala-Lajpat Nagar route) was stopped by the police at Tansen Marg near Mandi House Metro station after the girl was spotted crying in the bus.

The case was registered after a few protestors returning from Jantar Mantar intervened and accompanied the victim to the Barakhamba police station.

"The girl left her house at around 9.30 pm. The bus reached Mandi House at around 11 pm when the molestation took place. A separate case of kidnapping is found registered about the same girl at her home police station, said the police.

The cops patrolling near Mandi House arrested the accused, Ranjeet Singh, and detained the driver and the on-duty conductor of the bus. The detainees were released later after questioning.

"A case under sections 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) and 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of Indian Penal Code has been registered at Barakhamba Road police station and further investigations are under way," said the police official.

According to a witness who intervened in the matter at Tansen Marg, the girl told him that she had run away from home to avoid her stepmother.

"She was weeping, begging not to be sent back home. She said that 12 people were present inside the bus when she boarded, but everyone had got off before before Mandi House, except Ranjeet Singh. He started drinking out of a plastic glass and sat next to her and made attempts to grope her. The driver did not stop the bus while the conductor attempted in vain to push Ranjeet back," the witness said.

He said that attempts to reach the new 24-hour helpline number 181 announced by Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit proved futile.

"No one answered the phone for over half an hour. Finally, a man picked up and instead of assisting us, started asking inappropriate questions which were regardless in the case. We wanted to make sure that the girl was in safe hands and hence accompanied her to the police station. Surprisingly, there was not a single woman officer in the station's special women's wing. One official arrived after some time who took the girl to the woman police centre," another witness added.

Meanwhile, Transport Minister Ramakant Goswami suspended all the three accused. He said, "The home guards are to be deployed in the night service buses from 11 pm. In my knowledge, the incident occurred around 10.30 pm. It wasn't a night service bus."

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Home guard sacked for dereliction of duty
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 30
A home guard who was deputed in a night service bus (route number 72 from ISBT Kashmere Gate to Najafgarh) yesterday was dismissed from his services by the Delhi Home Guard on charge of dereliction of duty.

The home guard, Raj Bir Singh, (ID number 7912) was on night duty yesterday. When the bus reached Dhaula Kuan, a woman found him missing from his duty and informed the official concerned. Taking serious note of this, the Delhi Home Guard dismissed him.

The DTC has also suspended the driver, Rajpal and issued a show cause notice to the conductor, Deepak, for termination of his contractual services.

Since the gangrape case has been reported, security of women in buses and elsewhere in the capital has become an issue of discussion at every forum.

People are protesting at Jantar Mantar, India Gate. Peace marches are being taken out, demanding for strengthening the security of women in city and formulation of strict laws to punish the accused.

Under this pressure, the Delhi government, a few days back, had decided to deploy home guard in night service buses.

A helpline has also been announced to inform the authorities concern, if any untoward incident takes place.

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5 Metro stations reopen

New Delhi, December 30
Five out of the 10 Metro stations in Central Delhi, that were closed down for an indefinite period in the wake of the death of the gangrape victim, were opened this afternoon.

The stations which opened are Pragati Maidan, Mandi House, Barakhamba Road, Rajiv Chowk and Patel Chowk.

However, Central Secretariat, Udyog Bhawan, Race Course, Jor Bagh and Khan Market stations will remain closed till further orders.

However, inter-change facility will be available at the Central Secretariat station, DMRC officials said.

The decision to close down the Metro stations was taken by the Delhi Police which is making all out efforts to prevent protesters from reaching India Gate.

They have already cordoned off the entire India Gate area.

Police had last week as well closed down Metro stations to prevent protesters from reaching the protest sites.

Meanwhile, three stations in and around Connaught Place will be closed three-and-a-half hours before the usual time tomorrow in view of security restrictions due to New Year celebrations.

Rajiv Chowk, Barakhamba Road and Patel Chowk Metro stations will be closed from 7:30 pm on New Year's Eve.

However, inter-change will be allowed at Rajiv Chowk station. PTI

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Activists take out candlelight march from Delhi Gate to PHQ
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 30
A large number of activists of Manav Adhikar Suraksha Samiti (MASS) today took a candle march from Delhi Gate to the headquarters of Delhi Police against the rape incidents and harassment of girls in the city. Later, they also held a protest at Jantar Mantar.

Addressing the activists, chairman of the MASS, Chaudhary Jamshed Aalam demanded from the government to make strict law to punish the gangrape accused.

This kind of crime is not tolerable. People are demanding this from the day one when the incident came to light but the government has, so far, done nothing.

He said that such cases should be on trial in fast track court on day-to-day basis so that the accused could be punished within a month.

This is the responsibility of the government and the security forces to control such cases.

But, the society should also come forward to pressurize the authorities concerned to take action against such incidents.

Meanwhile, the Delhi unit of the BJP will have condolence meeting tomorrow at its headquarters in memory of courageous girl.

Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitely, former national president of the party Rajnath Singh, MP Shahnawaj Hussain, BJP Delhi Pradesh president Vijender Gupta and hther senior party leaders will also present on the occasion.

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DMRC to set up hostel for women staff
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 30
In the backdrop of brutal gangrape case of a 23-year-old physiotherapist, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation has decided to have a working women's hostel soon for its staff staying alone in the Capital.

The DMRC has also cancelled the annual celebrations at the Metro Museum and other events relating to New Year in view of the recent incidents in the city.

"Managing Director Mangu Singh has ordered setting up of working women's hostel for DMRC's lady staff staying alone in the city," said DMRC spokesman Anuj Dayal.

Delhi Metro has a number of women staff in all spheres, including train operators.

Dayal said Singh has also ordered the cancellation of the Metro Museum Anniversary and other celebrations.

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Dikshit tells DJB not to hike tariff
Tribune News Service

Sheila Dikshit
Sheila Dikshit

New Delhi, December 30
The Chief Minister, Sheila Dikshit, who is also chairperson of the Delhi Jal Board (DJB), has instructed the DJB not to effect any hike in water tariff in the capital city. As per the decision of the DJB, the revision of the water tariff was due on January 1, 2013.

The Chief Minister directed the DJB to make its revenue management system smooth and settle the issues related to billing.

She also stressed upon the need of immediate resolution of consumer grievances and other issues arisen in the early days of revenue management system.

She added that the consumers have a justified right to re-dressal of their grievances, hence, the DJB must act swiftly with a sympathetic view. The decision is, in fact, a New Year gift to the consumers.

The DJB has already waived off penalty on domestic water bills up to December 31, 2012, as per instructions of the Chief Minister.

The DJB has allowed the consumers to make payment of their dues in two easy installments.

All these measures will substantially reduce the hardship being faced by the consumers, said a senior official of the DJB.

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E-rickshaw drivers fall foul of law
Syed Ali Ahmed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 30
When the e-rickshaw came into existence in the national Capital, it was welcomed by the city which had always longed for a better transport. The Centre for Equity and Inclusion (CEQUIN), an NGO, run by Sachin Pilot's wife Sara Pilot, donated an e-rickshaw to a woman, Kohinoor, in the Gaffar Manzil area of South Delhi, saying that it was pollution-free and would help women drivers earn their livelihood.

A man drives an e-rickshaw in New Delhi.
A man drives an e-rickshaw in New Delhi. Tribune photo: Manas Ranjan Bhui

Only a few such rickshaws were seen on Delhi roads those days and the government had no objection. Gradually, the number of e-rickshaws has started increasing. It was seen even at the India Gate roundabout and other areas of Lutyens' Delhi. The police did not object to its plying even in such areas though it was not allowed there.

Gone are those days, however. Now the drivers of e-rickshaws are reportedly harassed by the policemen. It is very hard for an illiterate driver to answer the technical questions of a cop, said a man who drives an e-rickshaw in South Delhi.

When the e-rickshaw came on roads, Arvinder Singh Lovely was Transport Minister who has brought about a lot of changes in public transport such as introducing low-floor and cluster buses, Gramin Sewa, etc.

By the time Ramakant Goswami took charge of the Transport Department, e-rickshaws mushroomed and were seen in many areas and the authorities noticed that it was a battery-charged vehicle.

According to law, e-rickshaws should have a battery which is less than 250 watt and their speed should also be less than 20 kilometer per hour.

So, the minister called a meeting of the senior officers of the three civic bodies, Environment and Transport Department last month to find a way to stop these e-rickshaws.

Any vehicle that has a battery of 250 watt or more and has a speed of 20 kilometer per hour comes under the Motor Vehicle Act and before coming on the road, all the legal formalities are required to be completed, said the minister.

The minister directed the manufacturers to abide by the legal formalities. In case of any lapse, such vehicles will be challaned and action taken against the manufacturers.

As the police started taking action against the e-rickshaws, the drivers took out a protest march at Jantar Mantar.

Rakesh, a 25-year-old man who has an e-rickshaw, said since the government had issued direction for having a battery of less than 250 watt, the policemen have started harassing us. "We do not know how to get the battery checked. Without giving a bribe, they do not leave us. Earlier, nobody cared about our vehicles."

The manufacturers have now stopped manufacturing such e-rickshaws. New vehicles have a battery of less than 250 watt.

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