21HR01A.qxd 8/20/2012 6:53 PM Page 1 Page-1 Hisar 29 34 c m y b RESERVATION ISSUE AMBALA-HISAR HIGHWAY 3 Jats gear up to fight yet another battle 4 Railway overbridge develops cracks The Tribune VOICE OF THE PEOPLE Haryana Plus Chandigarh Tuesday August 21 2012 Late surrender, dodging police put Kanda in the dock www.tribuneindia.com ENCROACHMENTS ON LAND Army adopts tough stance against MES contractors Kept on changing locations; sent cellphone to Nepal SUNIT DHAWAN/TNS GURGAON, AUGUST 20 Even as former Haryana minister Gopal Goyal Kanda is in the custody of the Delhi Police, the moves made by him prior to his surrender have given a dramatic twist to the entire episode. Kanda is the prime accused in a case of abetment to suicide of Geetika Sharma, who used to be an air-hostess with the now defunct MDLR Airlines, owned by the former minister. Geetika committed suicide at her home in Delhi and held Kanda responsible for her death in a suicide note. After the Delhi Police lodged an FIR against Kanda, he was forced to quit the minister’s post. After resigning, Kanda stated that he had been asked to join investigations by the Delhi Police and he would do so. However, Kanda was untraceable after he left his home in the Civil Lines area of Gurgaon on the morning Gopal Kanda of August 8. The former minister resurfaced when he surrendered before the Delhi Police in the wee hours on August 18. Like the surrender episode, the 10-day period during which Kanda was on the run also seemed to be inspired by some Bollywood blockbuster. The former minister reportedly kept on changing his locations while the police was looking for him. Kanda was provided shelter by his friends, relatives and reliable political acquaintances. According to sources, he mainly stayed in the national capital region (NCR); reportedly also went to Jaipur, Sirsa and Goa; and is said to have travelled by a helicopter at least once during this period. In a bid to mislead the investigators looking for Kanda, his cellphone was sent to Nepal at one point of time. The Delhi Police officials, who had been relying on the location of Kanda’s cellphone to track him, were stumped by the move. Kanda surrendered after he was pushed to a corner and left with little choice. His bail applications had been rejected and non-bailable warrants issued against him. The former minister’s counsel reportedly advised him to surrender so that his fresh bail plea could be considered sympathetically. However, with the Delhi Police hell bent on arresting Kanda rather than letting him surrender by his own will, the surrender, too, was not a He has enemies in INLD as well as Congress SUSHIL MANAV TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE SIRSA, AUGUST 20 A lull has descended on Sirsa ever since former minister Gopal Kanda, who represents this town in the Haryana Assembly, has been arrested by the Delhi Police in connection with the Geetika Sharma suicide case. Except for the political parties, particularly those in the opposition, who seem thirsty for his blood, common people have been observing a studied silence on the issue, though many of them express their views on condition of anonymity. Ever since Kanda has emerged on the political scene of Sirsa, he has remained in the thick of one controversy or the other. While he has no dearth of enemies in the opposition parties, particularly the INLD, where he took his first lessons of politics, Kanda does not enjoy many friends in the ruling dispensation, too. Leaders of the INLD have been leaving no stone unturned to castigate Kanda after his arrest in the Geetika Sharma case. Former Chief Minister Om Parkash Chautala, who recent- Except for the political parties, particularly those in the opposition, who seem thirsty for his blood, common people have been observing a studied silence on the issue, though many of them express their views on condition of anonymity ly addressed two rallies at Gorakhpur in Fatehabad and Kalanwali in Sirsa, concentrated his speech on Kanda. The party secretary-general, Ajay Singh Chautala, went to the extent of demanding his removal from the Haryana Assembly and said the party was also exploring legal options for this. The BJP and the HJC burnt his effigies. However, those in the Congress have been maintaining a silence on this issue. The Sirsa MP, Ashok Tanwar, who does not see eye to eye with Gopal Kanda and the two have had a spat in the public on more than one occasion, refuses to make any comment on the recent controversy involving the former minister. So are most of the Congress leaders, who, though, are not able to hide their joy at the development as they see it as a political opportunity for them. Gokul Setia, son of one such contender, Sunita Setia, even organised a procession against Gopal Kanda after the Geetika Sharma incident surfaced. The local people, particularly the businessmen, are neither happy with the Kanda supporters not of the INLD, who both forced them to lose their business and keep their shops closed on the issue recently. However, they have their own views on the episode, which they express only on condition of anonymity. “It has come to me as a shock that a man, who feigned being religious, has been accused of moral turpitude of the lowest order,” said a local doctor on Dabwali road of Sirsa town. “I wish the police investigate the case in a transparent manner and Geetika Sharma’s family gets justice,” she said. A college Principal also echoed the sentiments of the doctor and said the truth should prevail in the end and the guilty should not be spared, however highly placed he might be. convenient option. Hence, a surrender strategy was chalked out. Around midnight on the intervening night of August 17 and 18, Kanda’s brother, Govind, went to the Ashok Vihar police station in Delhi and stated that Gopal Kanda wished to surrender before them. The police officials present there informed their bosses. In a jiffy, all roads leading to the Ashok Vihar police station were swarming with police personnel. Numerous barricades and checkpoints were instantly set up to prevent Kanda from reaching the police station. However, Kanda did manage to reach the police station by a media van of UP News channel. UP News as well as Haryana News channels are owned by STV, a company owned by the Kandas. By travelling in the media van, he dodged the police personnel manning the barricades and checkpoints en route. Oppn obstructing development, says Deepender BHANU P LOHUMI/TNS INDRI/GARI BIRBAL (KARNAL), AUGUST 20 Congress MP from Rohtak Deepender Singh Hooda has accused opposition leaders of ‘obstructing’ development works for deriving political mileage and regretted that the precious time and energy, which should have been used for working for the people, was being wasted in ‘politicking’. Hitting out at the opposition leaders during a series of meetings at Indri, Tikri, Bara Gaon, Gari Birbal, Kalsaura and Patehera during his one-day tour of Karnal, Deepender said, “I am here to know about your problems and pending works and want them to be completed before the next elections. The opposition leaders are busy in blocking projects like nuclear power plant at Gorakhpur and an international-level education city at Rai”. “Whether you want a government committed to the development and welfare of the people or a government that is only interested in opposing the development activities to meet their own political ends,” he asked. Referring to drought-like situation created by Continued on page 2 The site where the Army carried out a demolition drive in Ambala. Photo: Dev Dutt Sharma MANISH SIRHINDI TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE AMBALA, AUGUST 20 After adopting a tough stance against MES contractors by demolishing their stores that existed on Army land here, the Army assured the contractors that they would be accommodated at some other place. According to senior officers of the Army, who had ordered the demolition drive against the MES contractors, a total of three acres of Army land in Ambala Cantonment had been encroached upon by the contractors. The officers stated that the land had been given to the contractors for a period of 11 months to set up stores while undertaking construction works in the Govt mulls over right to play Act: Bhukkal RAVINDER SAINI JHAJJAR, AUGUST 20 In a bid to promote sports activities besides hunting for sports talent at school level across the state, the Haryana Government is mulling over the right to play Act on the pattern of Right to Education Act so as to ensure participation of children in games. Geeta Bhukkal, Haryana Education and Social Empower Minister, stated this while interacting with mediapersons after listening to pubic grievances at her residence here recently. She said, “Sport is the sign of development and the government is determined to introduce the Right to Play Act and make Haryana a model in sports promotion”. The minister said the move aimed at creating sports atmosphere even at the block level, hunt for talent by Continued on page 2 c m y b cantonment area. But, instead of vacating the land after completion of the work, the contractors continued to occupy the Army land illegally. The contractors lamented that the Army demolished their stores without issuing them a notice, following which they had been staging a dharna outside Army offices here for the past two days. They had accused the Army authorities of causing huge losses to them. Senior officers of the Army maintained that the MES contractors had been served with two notices prior to the demolition drive. According to the standard operating procedure (SOP) adopted by the Army, any contractor undertaking construction work in the cantonment area is allotted 200 square yards of land to set up a store. This land is given to him for 11 months or till the construction work is completed, whichever is earlier. But in this case, as many as 22 contractors who had been given small plots to set up stores had encroached upon the Army land and started using it as their workshops for the past eight years. Some had even managed to get illegal power connections allegedly in connivance with MES officials and were drawing power, the bills of which were being paid by the Army. Some had set up welding workshops at these sites, Col Baljit Singh, administrative officer of the can- tonment said. Not only this, labourers deployed by the contractors at these stores, who had migrated here from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, had even managed to get their voter cards and ration cards made at these addresses, even as the land belonged to the Army. Meanwhile, Rakesh Kumar Garg, president of the contractors association, said the action taken by the Army was uncalled for as many of them were still undertaking construction works for the Army. Later in the evening, Yashwant Singh, chief engineer of MES, met the contractors and assured them that the Army would provide them with some other land to set up their stores.
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