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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

Hold assembly polls within a year: Vardhan
New Delhi, May 18
Delhi BJP president Dr Harsh Vardhan who has been reiterating the point that his party does not believe in forming the government by using unfair means, today categorically said that the assembly elections in Delhi should be held within a year.
A man looks at a huge hoarding of BJP showing all the seven winning candidates at the state party office in New Delhi on Sunday A man looks at a huge hoarding of BJP showing all the seven winning candidates at the state party office in New Delhi on Sunday. Tribune photo: Manas Ranjan Bhui

Congress rubbishes report on supporting AAP again
New Delhi, May 18
The Delhi Congress today said it will prefer fresh election than supporting the Aam Aadmi Party to form a government as favoured by a section of AAP MLAs following the debacle in the Lok Sabha polls.


EARLIER EDITIONS



AAP rules out forming government in Delhi
New Delhi, May 18
Refuting speculation that the Aam Aadmi Party is contemplating over forming government in Delhi with Congress' support, the party today said that there is no intention of forming a government again and the media is just resorting to spreading rumours.
TIME TO READ THE PULSE OF VOTERS AGAIN: Aam Aadmi workers at the party office near Connaught Place in New Delhi on Sunday. Tribune photo: Manas Ranjan Bhui
TIME TO READ THE PULSE OF VOTERS AGAIN: Aam Aadmi workers at the party office near Connaught Place in New Delhi on Sunday

Embassy worker booked for slapping cop
New Delhi, May 18
An Indian woman, working with the German Embassy here, has been booked for allegedly slapping and abusing a traffic constable when he stopped her car for the passage of the Prime Minister's cavalcade in Lodhi Estate area.

IN FOCUS
Airlines need to improve baggage safety record
New Delhi, May 18
Incidents of theft from the passengers' baggage at Indira Gandhi International Airport have been increasing this year even as the Delhi Police and the Central Industrial Security Force are trying hard to check them. According to them, these instances mostly occur when the baggage is being kept inside the aircraft.

Holiday-makers make the most of balmy weather at Boat Club near India Gate in New Delhi on Sunday
Holiday-makers make the most of balmy weather at Boat Club near India Gate in New Delhi on Sunday. Tribune photo: Manas Ranjan Bhui

Two held for cheating, posing as policemen
New Delhi, May 18
With the arrest of two cheats--Akhlakh Mehandi and Sagar Mishra--Special Staff, South District police claimed to have busted a gang of cheats, who posed as police personnel. Two cases of cheating have been solved and gold jewellery worth Rs 3.5 lakh has been recovered.

DMRC to change rules for smart card add value
New Delhi, May 18
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has decided to increase the smart card add value and change the refund rules from May 21 as with the opening of rapid Metro and more corridors of Phase III, the maximum fare will increase. Increasing the minimum add value of the cards will help the commuters as they will not have to stand in queue and recharge their cards time and again.

Monk commits suicide
New Delhi, May 18
A 47-year-old Buddhist monk from Arunachal Pradesh committed suicide by hanging himself from a ceiling fan at his residence here, police said on Sunday.





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Hold assembly polls within a year: Vardhan
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 18
Delhi BJP president Dr Harsh Vardhan who has been reiterating the point that his party does not believe in forming the government by using unfair means, today categorically said that the assembly elections in Delhi should be held within a year.

Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government had resigned in February, thereafter the President's rule was imposed. One year will be completed in February 2015 since the departure of AAP government. The elections should be held within this period, he said.

Vardhan said that there was no alternative to the elections as the AAP had resigned and the BJP did not have the required numbers to form the government. Now the President rule is imposed for six months. It may be extended for another six months. Thereafter, through a normal procedure, the assembly elections should be held.

Sources said the BJP is sure that if the election is held again, it will come into power with a full majority. At present, it has 32 MLAs four short of forming the government. It is in no hurry for making the government. The focus will be on the Central government right now. Once all the things at Centre are settled, the BJP will think of Delhi.

Three BJP MLAs-Dr Harsh Vardhan, Pravesh Verma and Ramesh Bidhuri-have been elected as MPs. Now their seats are vacant. The party has to decide new names for all the three seats.

When asked about these seats, Vardhan said that this is not an issue. When the elections in Delhi are held, the party will look for candidates for all the 70 seats.

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Congress rubbishes report on supporting AAP again
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 18
The Delhi Congress today said it will prefer fresh election than supporting the Aam Aadmi Party to form a government as favoured by a section of AAP MLAs following the debacle in the Lok Sabha polls.

In this regard, the chief of Delhi's Congress unit, Arvinder Singh Lovely, dismissed reports of his party reaching out to Arvind Kejriwal's party to prevent another election.

He said he has sent no such proposal of support and neither has there been any such discussion within the party members.

The AAP doesn't have the moral right to talk about formation of a government in Delhi again after it went to the Supreme Court seeking dissolution of the assembly and demanding fresh elections, said chief spokesperson of Delhi Congress Mukesh Sharma.

Despite the poor show of his party, it is ready for fresh elections. "We are ready for elections. There is no question of extending support to the AAP to form a government. Arvind Kejriwal had deserted people of Delhi by resorting to theatrics. He had gone to the Supreme Court seeking dissolution of the House. We will not support the party again," Sharma said.

After a splendid debut in the assembly polls, the AAP drew a blank in the Lok Sabha polls even as its candidate stood second in all the seven constituencies relegating all the sitting Congress MPs, including Kapil Sibal, Ajay Maken and Krishna Tirath to the third position.

"Congress never withdrew support to the AAP government. Kejriwal quit the government and left the people of Delhi in the lurch to gain a political mileage in the Lok Sabha polls. As they did not succeed, they are talking about forming the government again," said Sharma.

In the Lok Sabha polls, the BJP not only won all the seven seats but also led in 60 assembly segments out of 70 while the AAP managed to have the top slot only in 10 assembly constituencies.

Sharma accused Kejriwal of "helping" the BJP by ensuring "division of secular votes" in Delhi and elsewhere.

"Kejriwal has been helping BJP. He ensured BJP's sweep in Delhi through a division of secular votes. There is a possibility of some AAP MLAs defecting to BJP. If that happens, Kejriwal will be responsible," said Sharma.

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AAP rules out forming government in Delhi
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 18
Refuting speculation that the Aam Aadmi Party is contemplating over forming government in Delhi with Congress' support, the party today said that there is no intention of forming a government again and the media is just resorting to spreading rumours.

Party leaders said AAP has always sought a re-election and there is no question of forming the government in Delhi with any party's support.

Following the party's dismal performance, some MLAs of the AAP yesterday had reportedly mooted a proposal to form government in Delhi, with support of either the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) or the Congress.

A section in the party said that the party should not opt for polls immediately and should explore forming the government once again. As confirmed by a few party insiders, a section of the sitting MLAs were not in favour of fresh election immediately thinking the "Modi wave" may impact their chances if polls are held anytime soon.

The AAP had challenged the decision of the Centre and Lieutenant Governor to impose President's rule in Delhi in the Supreme Court. It had asked the court to direct the Central government and Lieutenant Governor to dissolve the Delhi assembly, and order fresh elections.

The BJP which was silent earlier over the issue now has expressed its wish for a re-election.

"While the BJP and the Congress were running away from re-elections and waited for the national elections to get over first, the AAP has sought repolls since the day of resignation," the party said. 

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Embassy worker booked for slapping cop

New Delhi, May 18
An Indian woman, working with the German Embassy here, has been booked for allegedly slapping and abusing a traffic constable when he stopped her car for the passage of the Prime Minister's cavalcade in Lodhi Estate area.

The incident took place on May 5 when Delhi Traffic police constable Mohd Fahrukh, who was on duty at Maharishi Raman Marg, stopped the traffic for the passage of the Prime Minister's cavalcade, police said today.

The constable in his complaint alleged that when he asked the 34-year-old woman to stop her vehicle, she insisted on being allowed to go.

When he did not let her vehicle pass, she came out of the car and allegedly started abusing him and later slapped him, the constable alleged.

When other commuters and Fahrukh's colleague gathered at the spot, the woman drove away, a police official said.

The constable alleged that the woman also tried to run him over while fleeing from the spot.

Soon after the incident, a message was flashed mentioning the number of her car but she could not be nabbed immediately. However, police was later able to identify her through the car's paperwork.

Although the woman, who works with the German Embassy in Chanakyapuri area, is an Indian citizen and does not enjoy diplomatic immunity, she has not been arrested so far.

When contacted, a senior police official said they have registered a case and the woman's address and other credentials have been traced and she can be arrested in this connection.

Police have registered a case under IPC sections 186 (obstructing a public servant in discharge of duty), 332 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty). PTI

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IN FOCUS
Airlines need to improve baggage safety record
As many as fifty-eight cases of theft have been registered this year and 16 people arrested by the Delhi Police
Shaurya Karanbir Gurung
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 18
Incidents of theft from the passengers' baggage at Indira Gandhi International Airport have been increasing this year even as the Delhi Police and the Central Industrial Security Force are trying hard to check them. According to them, these instances mostly occur when the baggage is being kept inside the aircraft.

Fifty-eight cases of theft have been registered by the Delhi Police this year and 16 people arrested in this regard. Last year, 68 cases were registered and 15 people arrested. In 2012, as many as 52 cases of theft were registered and 40 people arrested.

"Most of these thefts took place inside the buildings of Terminal-3 and Terminal-1 of Indira Gandhi International Airport. A few of them took place outside the terminal buildings, the cargo area and Terminal-2. However, the thefts at these locations were of items such as iron grills, iron sheets and cable wires," said a police officer, privy to the details of the cases.

The officer explained that the theft inside the terminal buildings were mainly of valuables that were stolen from the baggage of passengers.

"The complaints we received were from passengers who travelled from a particular destination and when they reached another destination, they found certain valuables missing from their baggage," said the officer.

The places where the "registered baggage" is kept on a trolley and taken to the aircraft or when the baggage is loaded on to the aircraft are "blind spots" where theft takes place, explained the officer.

"The people who are arrested for theft at the airport are loaders or the ground handling staff. They have said that the thefts happen at these blind spots," added the officer.

The police are examining the possibility of the theft of valuables that are taken out of a bag when it is transported to the aircraft. "The valuables are then hidden in the trolley," said the officer.

While explaining other methods adopted in the incidents of theft, another police officer said that there is a loader sitting inside the belly of the aircraft, where the luggage is kept and he is tasked to arrange the luggage.

"This person has enough time to identify baggage which could contain valuables. He can break the lock of bags and conceal the valuables in his clothes. There are no CCTV cameras installed in this part of the aircraft," explained the officer.

Sources in the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) said that around April this year, they had caught a man walking away with an iphone near an aircraft. "He was taking it home. He said that he had stolen it from the aircraft," said the sources.

The CISF which guards IGI Airport said that it is not mandated to check the baggage which is sent to the aircraft or be present with the ground handling staff.

"The Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) has laid down guidelines for airlines that their security personnel have to be present with the ground handling staff. The airline also has to ensure that when a loader comes out of the aircraft, he should be frisked," explained a CISF officer.

On the other hand, Air India officials said that they have deployed the airline's security personnel with the ground handling staff to supervise the transportation of the baggage and frisk loaders.

In view of the increase in the number of cases of theft at the airport, they said, "The belly of the aircraft is most vulnerable to thefts. Security is lax at times and so we regularly direct our personnel to be vigilant."

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Two held for cheating, posing as policemen
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 18
With the arrest of two cheats--Akhlakh Mehandi and Sagar Mishra--Special Staff, South District police claimed to have busted a gang of cheats, who posed as police personnel. Two cases of cheating have been solved and gold jewellery worth Rs 3.5 lakh has been recovered.

South Delhi police received a complaint from a woman on April 23 that when she was going to Sector-8 market, R.K. Puram, two persons in plain clothes introduced themselves as police personnel and advised her to keep her gold bangles and earrings in the bag as someone might snatch these items, the police said.

As she was trying to keep them in her bag, one of the two persons tried to help her keep the items in her bag.

When the complainant reached the market, she found that both of them had disappeared with her gold bangles, the police said.

The police received another complaint of the same nature on May 6. When South Delhi police received two complaints of the same nature, they handed over the case to the Special Staff.

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DMRC to change rules for smart card add value
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 18
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has decided to increase the smart card add value and change the refund rules from May 21 as with the opening of rapid Metro and more corridors of Phase III, the maximum fare will increase. Increasing the minimum add value of the cards will help the commuters as they will not have to stand in queue and recharge their cards time and again.

A spokesperson of the DMRC said that with this decision, the initial minimum add value of the smart cards will increase from the existing Rs 50 to Rs 100. From the next transaction, the minimum add value will be of Rs 200 and further add values can be in multiples of Rs 100, that is Rs 200, Rs 300, Rs 400, up to Rs 1000.

In case of web top-up, minimum add value amount will be Rs 100 and multiple of Rs 50, that is Rs 100, Rs 150, Rs 200, Rs 250, up to Rs 1000.

About 12,000 smart cards are refunded every day, of which nine per cent are purchased and refunded on the same day.

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Monk commits suicide

New Delhi, May 18
A 47-year-old Buddhist monk from Arunachal Pradesh committed suicide by hanging himself from a ceiling fan at his residence here, police said on Sunday.

The body of T.G. Rimpoche was found by his sister inside his first-floor flat in Vasant Kunj area of south Delhi around 1 a.m. on Saturday.

A suicide note written in Tibetan language was recovered from his possession. IANS

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