Bright side of delay
Scheduled to open in November last year,the new domestic terminal of the Indira Gandhi International Airport has still not opened its doors to passengers. Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel announced last week that terminal 1D would be ready by the last week of February,but even that seems quite unlikely. However,theres a bright side: CISF officials say additional personnel for the new terminal had already been deployed in November. Now,the additional manpower is being utilised to handle the daily confusion at the airport as frequent changes are made in its layout plan. Traffic routes change every now and then due to the ongoing development work by the Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL),the airport operator. At least for now,one can say,theres some method to this madness.
In and out
Based on the information given to him by Deepak Kumar,political activist Udit Raj went to town about the irregularities in the DDA housing scheme. However,Raj,a complainant in the case,was confronted with a rather embarrassing situation when it emerged that his informer was not as prudent as he would have liked us to believe. The day after Kumars arrest,Raj beat a hasty retreat by telling anyone who would care to listen that Deepak Kumar was just someone who walked into my office,I did not know him personally. Raj is also known to have gone out of town for a few days after Kumars arrest.
In the multi-crore DDA scam,the Delhi Polices Economic Offences Wing (EOW) says it needs to conduct an intensive investigation to unearth the entire scam. But after receiving the complaint on December 16,the agency took almost 20 days to file an FIR in the case. Was the agency really keen to investigate the matter,or was it media pressure that made it work?
To compare or not
On January 16,when Commissioner of Police Y S Dadwal met journalists at an annual press conference,he spent a lot of time explaining that Delhi does not feature anywhere near the top in the list of crime-prone cities. He also stated that Delhis crime figures should not be compared with those of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. However,after only few minutes,he was comparing Delhi with other cities,saying the citys rank is beyond 10th as far as crime in mega cities goes.
Police chief Y S Dadwal keeps emphasising that the citys crime rate has gone down. At a recently held conference he again reiterated the point. This time,however,a number of media personnel got up and informed him that many cases,including some serious ones,were not being registered,therefore,the figures are misleading. Reporters did not just stop at this. At least six reporters narrated their personal experiences,where officers had simply refused to register cases. The chief heard them but did not comment. After some time,he said: They will be looked into,but the good work of police cannot be nullified because of these few incidents.
Informal interaction with parents during nursery admissions seems to be getting more informal than needed. During one such session,parents were asked if forceps were used during the birth of the child. In another case,parents were asked to recount whether having a single child was a conscious decision or the couple would consider having another child. While the court has allowed informal interaction for verification of documents,in some schools parents have been grilled on their personal matters. Parents are obviously enraged about the intrusive questions,but anything for admissions,they grumble.
Recently,the BSPs Delhi unit celebrated Mayawatis birthday,and then within days released names of four candidates for the Lok Sabha elections. However,the candidates are far from relaxed: What do we do to ensure that no one replaces us before the elections? Barely weeks before the recent Assembly elections in Delhi,Mayawati had thrown out candidates slated to contest. The BSP supremo had even replaced the president of the Delhi unit. Now,even as the candidates talked about the hard work required to stay put as the final candidates from their constituencies,a party worker summed it up: They (the candidates) are all rich,so they should not worry; but only those who worked their way up as good disciples (of Mayawati) will survive.
The dear old lady
After the media circus played itself out over Latika Sarkars house in upscale Hauz Khas,with both IPS officer Nirmal Dhuandiyal and former help Ranjita Bharati giving news bytes justifying their presence in her house,it seems Sarkar herself has vanished from Delhi. The former head of the Delhi Universitys Law Faculty has been whisked away to Mumbai by her relatives for a short holiday away from the stress. The relatives took the old lady away from Dhuandiyal on pretext of taking her out on lunch. Meanwhile,the Dhaundiyals have been left defending themselves while hunting for Sarkar,and Bharati continues to camp in a crumbling room on the second floor.
Threatened by the Press?
During an ongoing trial,a Delhi Police officer allegedly threatened a CBI officer,forcing the latter to take the matter to court. When asked about the threat,the police officer said he instead felt threatened about the issue appearing in press. Though the officer acknowledged that the matter is in court,he swore by the divine that he never threatened anybody. He further pleaded not to be named in the news report,fearing adverse reactions. Show some compassion as I am anyway witnessing bad days and you will make them worse, he said.
Even as the Bar Associations stopped work in the district courts on Wednesday to protest against the amendments in the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC),a few lawyers,not as affluent as others,found a way out to earn their bread and butter for the day. Dressed in semi-formal clothes,they appeared in the court representing the accused in urgent matters like bail and custody. However,to escape the ire of senior bar members,they made it a point that no order sheet bore their names,and requested the court staff not to mark their attendance in the document. So there was no evidence that they worked.