Saturday, June 23, 2001, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S



Two children killed for ‘revenge’
‘Land dispute’ at the bottom of murder
Kulwinder Sangha

SAS Nagar, June 22
Two children were murdered in a nearby village allegedly, following a dispute between two families over the use of a piece of land.

The bodies of the children, Vikram Preet (9) and Raman Preet (5), were found this morning by their families in the pond of Siau village, a few kilometres from Phase XI here. The boys were first cousins and had gone to the village gurdwara in the evening, after which they went missing.

When this correspondent visited the village, there was a pall of gloom all around. Ms Jagmohan Kaur, mother of Vikram Preet, and Ms Jaswinder Kaur, mother of the other child, were weeping uncontrollably in their house. A large number of persons had gathered there to console them.

Ms Jagmohan Kaur said the children, after having a bath at a tap, had returned home. Vikram Preet had asked her for his shorts as the children had decided to go to the gurdwara.

Ms Jaswinder Kaur said, “I was busy chopping vegetables when my child Raman Preet left for the gurdwara with his cousin.”

The bereaved mothers, who are married to two brothers, Mr Dhani Ram and Mr Jarnail Singh, respectively, said they had guests in their house that evening and they had been preparing meals for them when the children left the home a little after 7 p.m.

It was about 8 p.m., when the meal was being served, that the families noticed that the children had not returned. A search for the missing children began and an announcement was also made in this regard over the gurdwara loudspeaker. Reportedly, the gurdwara granthi said the children had taken parsad from the gurdwara and left.

Ms Jaswinder Kaur said, after the search had proved futile, a report had been lodged at the Sohana police station at 12.40 a.m.

The mothers said the bodies had been found at about 6 a.m. today. The women, who said their families belonged to the Harijan community, also said they had a dispute over the dumping of cowdung on a piece of land in the village with a Jat family comprising four brothers. The dispute had been continuing for four years and a compromise had been reached at least twice. The women said the Jat family used to dump cowdung on a land which was in their possession.

They said, “On May 30, one of the four brothers, Meeha Singh, tried to remove cowdung from the land. When Ms Swaran Kaur, grandmother of the murdered children, objected to this, Meeha Singh attacked and injured her with a spade. She was admitted to Command Hospital at Chandi Mandir, as her younger son, Mr Jarnail Singh, is in the Army. She received six stitches on her arm.”

The mothers alleged that a senior leader of the youth wing of the Shiromani Akali Dal was supporting the opposite family, due to which, the police had not been registering a case. However, Mr Jarnail Singh, using his contacts in the Army, managed to get a case registered and Meeha Singh was arrested yesterday at about 4 p.m. — on the same evening the children went missing.

The women suspected a revenge motive in the murder of the children. The said, after the registration of the case on May 30, pressure was being put on their families to withdraw it and reach a compromise. They alleged that they had also been threatened by some outsiders and a son of the village Sarpanch.

The Sarpanch of Siau village, Ms Jarnail Kaur, said the disputed land belonged to the government and her son had never threatened the families of Mr Dhani Ram and Mr Jarnail Singh. The bodies of the children were brought to the Phase VI Civil Hospital here for a post mortem examination. On of request of the police, a three-member board of doctors was set up to conduct the examination. Dr S.K. Nain, Dr Ashok Saini and Dr Manjit Singh carried out the post mortem and sent the viscera for chemical examination to Patiala.

The Superintendent of Police, Mr Gurmeet Singh Chauhan, said the three-member board had been set up to rule out any suspicion that might be in the minds of the affected families. A case under Sections 302, 148 and 149 of the IPC has been registered against Swaran Singh, Mewa Singh, Gurnam Singh, Nirmal Singh and Gurcharan Singh. Nirmal and Gurcharan were detained for questioning, while the others were missing.



Court canteen back to ‘unhealthy’ ways
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 22
It was business as usual at the District Courts canteen here today, a day after raids by food inspectors on the complaint of lawyers.

The canteen contractor had fled with the eatables before the raids yesterday, which made the lawyers allege that the inspectors were hand in glove with the contractor.

However, yesterday’s tension was nowhere to be seen in the canteen today and lawyers were being served drinks and snacks as usual.

The contractor, Mr Mulk Raj Arora, said he had discussed the matter with the President of the Bar Association and reopened the canteen after getting the Bar’s permission. He said he had got the contract at Rs 14,000 only a month ago and the allegations that adulterated food was being served in the canteen were baseless.

When contacted, the President of the District Bar Association, Mr H.S. Hundal, said the Bar had warned the contractor to ensure that hygiene in the canteen was maintained. He said that the Bar would also hold regular canteen inspections and inform the local Health Department if it received any complaint of adulteration.

However, a number of members of the association were dissatisfied with the decision. They also suspect the competence of the local health officials.

The office of the local Health Department does not have a telephone to receive any complaint. Everyone has to call up at the residences of officials or contact the Director of the department to lodge a complaint. The department has only one pager to receive the complaints.

Due to this lack of communication, offenders often have enough time to destroy the evidence or flee. Legally, food samples can only be obtained in the presence of contractors or owners of food joints.

A number of lawyers had complained yesterday that, though they had bought two rajmah-chapatti plates from the canteen at Rs 15 per plate, the food inspectors had been unable to take it as a sample because the owner had managed to flee. Lawyers alleged that the Health Department had given the contractor enough time to escape.



Burglary in Sector 12 house
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, June 22
Burglars struck at a house in Sector 12-A and decamped with goods worth Rs 4 lakh, including some gold jewellery, cash and a video camera here late last night.

The burglary, which was committed in the house of Mr Vinod Puri, was noticed this morning. Mr Puri along with his family was out of station for the night.

Mr Puri said that he found the grill of a window broken and the entire house ransacked.

The burglars ransacked the almirahs, cupboards and took away the jewellery from an almirah kept inside the store. Apart from this, they also took away about Rs 15,000 and a video camera worth Rs 70,000.

Later, the police was informed and a dog squad was pressed into service. A team of forensic experts has been called by the police.

A case has been registered and investigations are on.



Early monsoon unleashes fury in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
Monsoon unleashed with full fury as strong winds and heavy rains lashed the city and its surrounding areas during the past 24 hours. The torrential rain, which began around 1 pm today, continued for about two hours and threw normal life out of gear. Several parts of the city and its surrounding areas also experienced a thunderstorm last night.

According to weathermen, the arrival of the monsoon in the city is about a week ahead of schedule and the conditions for its further advancement into the remaining parts of the region are favourable. With the south-west monsoon advancing into most parts of Himachal Pradesh, parts of Haryana and Chandigarh, widespread rain was also experienced in the region.

Data available with the local meteorological office shows that till 2.30 pm today, the city received 43 mm rain, while the mercury dipped to 33.2°C — about six degrees below normal.

Electricity wires dangle perilously in Sector 39, Chandigarh on Friday after the city was lashed with strong winds and torrential rains.
Electricity wires dangle perilously in Sector 39, Chandigarh on Friday after the city was lashed with strong winds and torrential rains.
 — Photo Manoj Mahajan

Yesterday’s weather forecast had not anticipated the downpour and squall, with the Met Office forecasting partly cloudy skies and a possibility of thundery development without much change in day temperature.

Though change in the weather caused apparent inconvenience to many residents, it also brought a respite from the sultry summer by bringing down humidity levels.

A large number of roundabouts were inundated and several roads turned into rivulets, while water flooded low-lying areas and slums. Motor vehicles and two wheelers were stranded in ankle-deep to knee-deep water on the streets — negating claims of the administrations that the sewerage system has been geared up for the monsoon.

A large number of vehicle owners were seen wading through the flooded streets, dragging two-wheelers which refused to start. Roadside mechanics did a roaring business. Hawkers, rickshaw-pullers and cyclists went off the road, while bus shelters and market corridors were crowded with commuters seeking shelters from the rain.

Strong winds, with speeds up to 88 km per hour, uprooted trees and snapped overhead wires at several places, leading to road blocks and black-outs. Residents from Sector 33, 34, 29 and Burail reported heavy fluctuation in voltage, which resulted in electrical appliances being damaged. Several parts of the City had to go without power during the night.

Water and slush collected around slums and several unauthorised colonies, which have sprung up around the city. A number of jhuggies were reported to be broken, while the tin roofs of several tenements were blown away. Rain water also entered tenements.

Reports of rain from neighbouring parts have also come in. Ambala, which was also lashed by heavy rain, recorded about 11 mm rain, while Patiala received just 3.2 mm rain. Shimla is reported to have received 10.6 mm rain, while reports also state that the catchment areas of Bhakra, including Nangal, Pandoh and Sunni experienced heavy rainfall.

While heavy rainfall in the Bhakra region is good news, rain in this season is stated to be beneficial for the newly sown paddy crop.



FDO’s office sealed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
The office of Mr M.G. Sharma, Finance and development Officer of Panjab University, who was suspended yesterday, was sealed today. Security guards have been posted outside the locked door of his office.

This action of the university authorities has caused a large amount of speculation among the university Senators and the teaching faculty if the enquiry against the FDO is really over or not.

Mr Sharma was suspended yesterday following the submission of the report by Justice D.V. Sehgal and Ms M. Chatterji, recommending action based on the findings of the Verma Committee, which had found Mr Sharma guilty of financial irregularities.


Admission to language courses till July 20
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
The date of submitting the forms for languages courses offering certificates and diploma in the evening session in Panjab University extends till July 20. This is far ahead of the last date of submitting forms for the routine MA I languages classes, including English, Hindi, Punjabi and Sanskrit. The last date of submitting the forms here is June 25.

An aptitude test will be conducted for entry in the English Department. The merit of the qualifying class will also be added in addition to other weightages, including former students of the colleges affiliated to the PU.

The date for the aptitude test is July 3. The date of final interview will be decided later.

Interviews for the Hindi Department are scheduled for July 6. The admission is purely merit based in addition to marks of special weightages and categories. The department has 60 seats. June 25 is the last date of submission of admission forms.

The Sanskrit Department will conduct a written examination on July 9. The department has 40 seats. The students have to show their special aptitude for the paper. The marks of the entrance test will be added to the academic merit.

The Punjabi Department will have interviews on July 3 for the MA I courses. The department has 10 additional seats for the NRI quota. There will be no entrance test for admissions.

In the Urdu Department, the last date of submitting the forms is June 25. However, no final date for the interview has yet been decided. The department has a provision for 15 seats.

In the South Indian languages section, PU has only Tamil courses. The department offers certificate course which can be followed up by a diploma and further by an advanced diploma. Each course duration is one year only.

The last date of submission of forms in July 30. Admissions will be carried on till August 13 without any late fee. The course is offered in the evening session only. The department is also considering starting courses in other languages. However, no final decision has yet been taken.

The German Department will accept applications till July 20. The course has 100 odd seats in the certificate course. There are 25 seats in the diploma course and 15 in the advanced diploma course.

The French Department will also accept forms till July 20. Even here there are provisions for the certificate, diploma and advanced diploma courses.

The French, German, South Indian courses are offered in the evening sessions only. A number of regular postgraduate students have shown willingness to join these courses.


Punjabi munda makes city sway to his music
A Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 22
Parade Ground tonight was the place for die-hard Sukhbir fans only but for others it was just not worth it! There was trouble right from the onset, as one had to wade through a daunting crowd of rickshaw-pullers of the city, who seemed to have descended there in great numbers. Once one got to the entry gate, after much mental and physical harassment, it was to find it shut tight and jammed against one’s face with much abuse flying around and even a slap or two for the over enthusiastic fellow who rubbed the cops the wrong way.

Finally inside, it was to find that the VVIP and VIP section had been sealed and all that was left was open ground to stand upon, even for the pass holders. Irate audience were everywhere, complaining about the riff-raff that had been allowed to get inside. And as if that was not enough, once inside, people were not being allowed to get out — for the fear of others getting in!

After all these uncomfortable experiences attention was finally drawn to happenings on stage. Mohini Singh, of ‘Akhiyon se goli maare’ and ‘Mehboob mere’ fame was holding forth with her movie hits as the Punjabi-craving crowd waited desperately for Sukhbir. When the man arrived, he arrived with style to say the least. But his frequent breaks did bring the excitement level down a bit.

After singing his popular numbers like ‘Gal ban gayee’ and ‘Punjabi munde paun bhangra’ he shifted gear to all-time favourites like ‘Gud naalon ishq mitha’ which had the crowd rocking in no time at all. The excitement was tangible, with people doing bhangra, dancing on chairs and generally clapping away. Needless to say, this was the male section of the audience. The females just wanted to get out.

Once Sukhbir moved on to relatively less known numbers, attention was caught by the flames, the smoke and the many bhangra dancers on the stage. As such, the scene was really rocking and alive and even though his initial greeting had got a tepid reaction, towards the end of the show Sukhbir’s ‘Let me hear you scream’ got an amazingly loud response from the city youth. Attired in his signature black clothes and sunglasses, Sukhbir is definitely one of the best loved performers in the city.


CBI raids without permission: Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh , June 22
The PGI Director, Prof S.K. Sharma, today said that CBI had not sought permission from any official of the PGI administration before conducting surprise checks on the Cath Lab on Wednesday. “I was away to Delhi in connection with some important meetings. But the CBI officials could have informed me on my cell phone,” he added.

A team of the CBI had conducted surprise checks following a preliminary inquiry case against a senior heart surgeon. Sources add that more than 100 unaccounted stents, used for opening the arteries of the heart, besides other items, were recovered from the lab. The total value of these items was said to be more than Rs 1 crore.

Prof Sharma said that surprise checks were indeed a sad incident . “ However, before commenting any further on this issue, I would prefer to first ascertain the facts of the situation.”

Meanwhile, people connected with the Cardiology Department said that matter had been blown out of proportion.” 



Protesting villagers block traffic
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, June 22
Angry villagers blocked traffic on the Chandigarh-Sirhind road, near here, today in protest against the deteriorating power supply position in the rural areas.

The protesters, who came from several villages under the Sohana subdivision of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB), sat in dharna at the Landran chowk, from where roads branch out to Kharar, Banur, Chandigarh and Sirhind. They raised slogans against the SAD-BJP government and the PSEB.

Although queues of vehicles formed on roads, the effect of the protest was minimised by the police, which diverted traffic away from the scene. A large number of police personnel had reached the proposed venue of the protest in the morning.

The protesters, who included residents of Sohana, Lakhnaur and Chandida, said no power was supplied to villages in the area during the day. In the evening the supply was only for about two hours and none during the night. The power was restored around 4 a.m. and that too for a short period.

The villagers said in the Sohana subdivision of the PSEB there were not many tubewells and there were mostly domestic consumers.

The dharna was called off after the Executive Engineer concerned visited the scene.

Officials of the PSEB said the agricultural feeders were provided with an eight-hour supply of power. They said power supply had been disrupted yesterday because of last night’s storm.

The protesters also met the Superintending Engineer, PSEB, who is reported to have given an assurance that the power problem in 11 villages would be solved soon.

Mr Balbir Singh Sidhu, organising secretary of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, who was present at the dharna scene, said the SAD-BJP government was compelling villagers to resort to agitation in support of their demands. He claimed the Badal government was giving “step-motherly” treatment to the Kharar constituency. Those who had voted the SAD-BJP alliance to power now wanted to know why promises made at the time of the previous elections were not being fulfilled.

Mr Sidhu said the “sangat darshan” programme of Mr Parkash Singh Badal was in reality “chon darshan”. He wondered why Mr Badal, who claimed to be a champion of farmers, was adopting an indifferent attitude towards their needs.



Direct contest for CBM chief’s post
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh , June 22
The election to the post of the president of the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal (CBM), scheduled to be held on July 1, will see a direct contest.

On the last day of filing the nomination papers, Mr Charanjiv Singh filed nomination for the top post before the CBM Chairman, Mr Joginder Singh Sawhney, who is also the presiding officer. Yesterday, Mr Jagdish Arora had filed his nomination papers.

The convoy of Mr Charanjiv Singh started from the Sector 20 office of the late founder-president Inder Lal Batra and reached the office of Mr Sawhney where his papers were proposed by Mr Sat Pal Gupta and seconded by Mr M.R Nandwani.

Mr Charanjiv Singh, a founder-member, was a general secretary in the last executive, filed 26 set of papers for the post. Mr BK Bhutani filed papers as the covering candidate.

Mr Charanjiv Singh announced that if elected president, he would endeavour to keep the CBM a non-political body. Besides a five-member flying squad of the members would be created to redress the grievances of the traders, he said, adding that the detailed manifesto would be released in a couple of days.



Problems of farm labourers highlighted
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 22
Green revolution may have benefited a certain section of society but when it comes to the labour class it has done nothing for them and had added further woes to their already miserable lives. This was the message that came across the documentary “Born in debt,” which was screened at the Press Club in Sector 27 here today.

A project sponsored by the ILO, the documentary had made an attempt to highlight the problems of bonded labourers in agriculture in Punjab.

Apart from the financial burden the labourers carry on their shoulders since their childhood, the documentary also highlights some associated problems like the privileged section debarring the labourers from collecting weeds from their fields.

The documentary, which was a maiden venture of director Daljit Ami, was poor in technical aspects. In the absence of a running commentary, it was hard for the audience to comprehend the scenes which lacked continuity.

Later addressing the mediapersons, Dr Manjit Singh from the Department of Sociology, Panjab University, who was in charge of the research for the documentary, said keeping in view the high suicide rate among the farmers, the need of the hour is to work on a strategy to provide alternative employment to these indebted farmers and also provide them with easy loan facility, adequate health services and proper education.


Hot’n sour, Indian style
Harvinder Khetal
Tribune News Service

Gol guppas. The very mention can send a trickle of longing in your mouth. I go for the spicy treat mainly for the jeera pani that fills the round hollow balls. How would you feel if you got seven pieces filled with pani giving seven different flavours? Simply mouth watering?

Before I tell you more about the pani, let me take you to ‘Ram Chat Bhandar’, the only place in the city that offers this heady mix. It is a booth in Sector 34 market, behind ‘Maa Durga Sweets’.

Three brothers — Dinesh, Rakesh and Mukesh Sharma— from Ambala set up this venture here last year. Their flourishing business back home encouraged them to branch out. Rakesh and Mukesh hold the fort at their shop in Ambala which their grandfather set up in Halwai Bazaar in 1978. Now this narrow lane is famous for gol guppas and chaat shops.

Dinesh brings the goodies daily around 2 p.m. from Ambala to Chandigarh. And, from 3 p.m. till about 10 p.m., he is busy as Chandigarhians pop the gol guppas in their mouths deftly avoiding the spilling of the flavoured pani.

Every day, with the help of four workers, the shy and soft-spoken brothers make chaat, tikkis and gol guppas that can serve more than 600 customers. No wonder, ‘Ram Chat Bhandar’ gets bookings for parties in Haryana, Punjab, Chandigarh, and Himachal Pradesh and even some parts of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. On such occasions, one of the brothers goes to meet the outstation demands.

But the preparation is made in their Ambala kitchen and transported to the venue. Their basic rule is to provide clean eatables. So, first quintals of water is boiled in huge cauldrons before the condiments and masaalas are added. The left-over pani is thrown at the end of the day.

Now, back to the strange gol guppas. Your tummy does a double take as it experiences seven different flavours in as many minutes. First comes jeera pani, then heeng pani, pudina, kevda (it is sweet), khatta-metha, dahi and sweet chuntney and sweet and pudina chutney combined. In their Ambala shop there also is kali mirch flavour. The chaat also comes in varieties of bhalla, papri, bhalla-papri mixed and stuffed gol guppas. The aloo ki tikki with a filling of moong ki daal is fried in desi ghee. With every item at Rs 10 per plate, the chatpata helpings are known to help ease stomach ailments even as some customers swear that gol guppas do wonders to their cough or sore throats.

Everything is purely vegetarian. Even onion and garlic are not used, keeping in mind the sentiments of Jains and some other communities.

Their gulab jamuns, available only in winter, are made from panir and khoya only so that even persons observing a fast can also have them.

This is definitely an Indian-oriented hot’n sour vegetarian joint. Perhaps, that is the secret of their success. Besides, of course, the secret mix of masaalas that invade your being and leave you craving for more.



Indo-Pak talks a litmus test: Samata Party
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
The much-awaited Indo-Pakistan dialogue next month is a step towards strengthening democratic process in Pakistan, the Samata Party, a major constituent of the NDA, said here today.

‘‘The talks between Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf will be a litmus test of democracy as it is one of the steps to strengthen democracy in Pakistan,’’ Samata Party National President VV Krishna Rao told reporters here.

The talks, if held under congenial atmosphere, would bear fruitful results and help in resolving problems amicably, he said, adding that despite border skirmishes or other problems the dialogue was necessary for both the countries to bear fruits of independence.

‘‘The NDA is making concerted efforts to make India stronger than ever,’’ he said, adding that wars were not the solution of any problem in the subcontinent.

Mr Rao, who was in the city to strengthen the party base, said that the US criticism of General Musharraf for his elevation to President was unnecessary.

‘‘The USA is purely a commercial country. When it wants to sell its commodities then it is friendly otherwise not,’’ he added.

He said that the long-pending ceasefire with Nagas, which was extended beyond Nagaland had ‘hurt’ the sentiments of the people of Assam and Bihar.

He said that the NDA would safeguard the interests of farmers while taking any decision at the WTO level. He ruled out any dispute between the BJP and the Samata after the Manipur issue.

Mr Vajpayee would take back former Defence Minister George Fernandes, who resigned following the Tehlka expose, in the Union Cabinet at an ‘appropriate time’, he said.

He said that his party was opposed to the entry of foreign print media in the country as this form of media was not global.


Dharna by safai karamcharis
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
Members of the UT Safai Karamchari Sangharsh Samiti today demonstrated in front of the Bridge Market in Sector 17 in support of their long-pending demand for changing the uniform of safai karamcharis working in the Health Department of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation.

According to the general secretary of the association, Mr K.P. Kherwal, instead of changing the uniform, the authorities had once again purchased the material of inferior quality. He demanded an inquiry into the matter.

The rally was also addressed by Mr Devinder Singh Babla and Mr Sandeep Singh of the Chandigarh Vikas Manch.



Pak artistes yearn for peace
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
Na hisab mango, na hisab do (do not give any excuses for your failures nor ask for one from us), seems to be the theme of the visit of the 13-member Alami Punjabi Parivar delegation from Pakistan presently on a trip to the City Beautiful.

The cherished lines of the famous Urdu couplet was read out by a senior member of the team during an interaction with scribes at the Chandigarh Press Club here even as another member said in as many words that the much awaited summit between Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and new Pakistan President Gen Pervez Musharraf would bring about some constructive solution to the pending issues.

“For the first time in 50 years people of Pakistan are resting all hopes. I am sure that they would certainly arrived at some logical conclusion,” Parvaiz Bhandara, noted singer and the delegation leader remarked taking a rather uncomfortable question.

The interaction generally confined to art and culture, films and music as both sides often found a common point in the rich Punjabi tradition. The visiting delegation comprises celebrated silver screen actress Laila, ace lyricist Khwaza Pervez, ghazal singers Suraiya Khanam and Humaira Chana, comedian Hassan Abbas and Lahore-based pop singer Javad Ahmad.

While lyricist Khwaza Pervez did most of the talking punctuated with his couplets and making repeated mention about his friendship with film stars from other side like Raj Babbar, Suraiya Khannam and Humaira Chana rendered voice to a few top numbers.

Khanam sang the famous number “Tenu yad kao sau rabdi” while Chana rendered her golden voice to a popular song from the film “Bandit Queen”. Comedian Hassan Abbas proved to be the most favourite as he mimicked music doyens like Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Mehdi Hasan and Reshma but cautiously refrained from trying his tricks on politicians.

The veteran lyricist, Khwaja Parvez, who holds the record of penning over 10,000 songs, was also at his humourous best when he asked an Indian scribe “why did you visit Karachi, you should have come to Lahore”. The journalist had complained about some embarrassment caused to him during his recent visit to the port city.



Dhaliwal, others quit Samata Party
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
A large number of the members of the Lok Jan Shakti Party, led by its president, Mr Hem Raj, joined the Samata Party at a function held at Panchayat Bhavan here today.

Welcoming the members to the party fold, the national president of the Samata Party, Mr VV Krishana Rao, said that he would take up the matter of starting a direct train to Bihar with the Central Government.

Meanwhile, Mr Ranjeet Singh Dhaliwal, president of the local unit of the Samata Party, along with the executive members, resigned from the party against the working style of Mr Rao.

In a written statement, Mr Dhaliwal said he was astonished to learn that Mr Rao was attending a meeting of the “non-members” about which the local unit had no information.

A delegation of the local unit had brought this to the notice of the party high command. But in spite of that the party president attended today’s meeting without consulting and taking into confidence the local unit.

The statement said the local unit condemned the undemocratic and unprincipled manner adopted by Mr Rao who told us that he was attending the meeting under instructions from the party high command.

Announcing the resignation from the party, he stated that the local unit would join the Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Mission protesting against the undemocratic methods of Mr Rao, which were against the norms of a democratic party. The resignations have been sent to Mr George Fernandes, a former Defence Minister, and Mr Shambu Srivastva, it added. 


Old PAU students visit Pingalwara
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
Twentyone families of old boys of agricultural engineering, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, Chandigarh chapter, from nearby areas of Chandigarh, SAS Nagar and Panchkula visited the UT branch of Pingalwara at Palsora village today.

The members of the visiting group spent about four hours with the inmates of Pingalwara, and served meals, sweets and fruits to them. They provided new clothes, slippers to all the inmates, besides donating Rs 3,100.

The visitors planted ornamental, shady and fruit trees on the campus.

These old students of agricultural engineering are at present occupying high posts in Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Himachal Pradesh. The visitors appreciated the efforts of the management of the Chandigarh unit of Pingalwara, according to Mr Jagmohan Singh, honorary representative, All-India Pingalwara Charitable Society, Amritsar, UT branch.



Sanawar school aid for quake-hit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
Moved by the destruction and misery caused by the January 26 earthquake, members of the staff and students of the Lawrence School at Sanawar have collected Rs 1,50, 364, for the Gujarat Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.

Mr Andrew S. Gray, Principal of the School, has sent a draft of Rs 1,50,364, to the Editor, The Tribune, for onward transmission to the Gujarat Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.  


Gypsy set on fire
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, June 22
A Gypsy was set afire by some unidentified persons in Sector 9 last night. Mr Sushil Malik, owner of the vehicle, said he noticed the flames coming out of the vehicle at about 2 am. Fire engines were called to put out the blaze and the police was informed. The police had found an empty bottle near the vehicle. Personal rivalry is said to be the reason behind the incident.



Pathways and stepping in a garden

The garden is a very important part of a house. Feng Shui starts with the garden because from here the house starts. Everyone does not have a garden in his or her living space. About this one should not worry. But if you do have a garden, a lot of care should be taken to bring luck and harmony in the house.

Many people think that Feng Shui can only be applied inside the house. In fact it can be applied everywhere. For a garden a pathway is excellent because it creates a visual flow that encourages Chi to accumulate. One thing which one should keep in mind when making a pathway is that it should never be built as a straight line with sharp angles. Such paths will cause Chi to rush through the garden and become hostile. It is important to remember that Chi should first settle and increase and then flow through the pathway. Another important thing to be careful about is that the pathway should never come straight towards your main door. This creates the flooding of bad Chi in the house. 


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Toyota Qualis taken away
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
A Toyota Qualis was reportedly taken away from a taxi driver at pistol-point near Mansa in Punjab. This was hired by the three accused from the MLA Hostel, Haryana, for Delhi on May 18.

According to an FIR registered under Sections 392 and 34 of the IPC and Sections 25, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act, Mr Dalip Singh has alleged that three persons hired his vehicle (CH-03C-9503) from the hostel for Delhi, but later on asked him to go via Mansa in Punjab.

He has alleged that they robbed his vehicle at pistol-point and pushed him out of the vehicle. It was after reaching here that he lodged a complaint with the police and subsequently an FIR was registered.

Three arrested:
The police today arrested Sukhwinder Singh, Dharminder Kumar, both of Tajpura village in Kurali and Mandeep Kumari from a house in Sector 36. They have been booked under Section 109 of the Cr PC, following a complaint by a neighbour, who apprehended that they were indulging in immoral activities. They were later produced before the Sub-Divisional Magistrate and released.

Theft cases:
Rs 10,000 cash and gold ornaments were stolen from a house in Maloya Colony this morning, while the family was away. The theft was noticed only when neighbours saw fumes emanating from the one-room house and found that the mattresses on the bed had caught fire.

It is learnt that in the meantime, the owner of the house, Suresh Kumar returned back and noticed that the cash and jewellery was missing. A case under Sections 436, 453 and 380 of the IPC has been registered.

A Maruti car ( CHE- 713) and a motor cycle (CH-01D- 6029) were also stolen from different parts of the city. The car was stolen from the Sector 44 residence of Dr Deo Krishan Chander, the mobike was stolen from the Sector 47-C residence of Ms Mamta Roy.

Girl abducted:
A minor girl is alleged to have been abducted by Ashwani Kumar alias Bobby from the victim’s residence in Milk Colony, Dhanas, on June 18. A case under Sections 363 and 366 of the IPC has been registered on the complaint of Ms Urmila Sharma.

Two arrested:
Ram Chander and Ms Anita were arrested and 40 pouches of whisky were recovered from them. They have been booked under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act.


Gamblers arrested:
The Panchkula police has arrested four persons for gambling near K.C. Theatre in Sector 5 and seized Rs 2,000 from their possession, here on Friday.

Police sources said that the accused — Satpal Singh of Sector 8, Raju Tiwari of Sector 25, Bhagwati Prasad of Sector 11 and Shambhu Prasad, alias Raju, a resident of Nanakpur in district Badaich — were nabbed red handed while playing satta.

Mr Manoj Yadav, SP, said that the police had been raiding various lottery sites following a complaint by the Lottery Department of Haryana. In the complaint, the authorities had said that sale of lottery tickets had declined in Panchkula. He said that investigations revealed that a majority of the agents selling lottery tickets were actively involved in satta.

One injured:
A scooterist was injured after an head on collision between a petrol tanker and a truck loaded with iron rods near Nada Sahib here yesterday evening. Petrol from the tanker reportedly spilled in the area and the traffic was disrupted for about half an hour. A scooterist, Mr Hansraj, Inspector in Haryana Cooperative Department, who crossing by sustained injuries because of the collision. He reportedly received injuries and was admitted to the Civil Hospital in Sector 6.

The accident resulted into disruption of traffic. The local police called the fire brigade to avoid any fire which could have been caused because of the spilled petrol.



Hitman Bunty ‘escapes to Kolkata’
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
Has the henchman of the Babloo Srivastava gang, Balwinder Pal Singh ‘Bunty’, who had been hiding in Panchkula for the past couple of months, managed to give the police of Chandigarh and Panchkula a slip and escaped to Kolkata?

According to the highly placed sources, Balwinder has escaped to Kolkata with three of his accomplices. The police of Chandigarh and Panchkula had launched a massive manhunt for him three weeks ago.

It has been learnt that, after Bunty slipped into Punjab from Panchkula this month, the city and the Panchkula police were vying with each other to arrest him. He had reportedly been staying in a rented accommodation in Sector 19 of Panchkula for the past three months. Three of his close aides — Manoj, Michael and Pappu — who are also believed to be hiding in the region — were in close contact with him throughout his stay here.

Sources said all these members of the Babloo Srivastava gang had escaped from the Bhuj jail after the earthquake on January 26. They were serving sentence for killing a policeman and facing trial for a series of kidnappings in Ahmedabad. They are also allegedly involved in several cases of kidnappings in Kanpur and Yamunanagar. After their escape from the jail, they chose Panchkula as a hideout because it was not only safe but also a hideout of their friend-turned-foe, Manjit Singh Mange of the same gang, with whom they wanted to settle a score.

The police sources say that Mange and Bunty were introduced to each other by Satinder Makkar two years ago. Mange and Makkar had been together in Kolkata jail, where they had become friends. Later, Bunty, then a car thief in Punjab, was introduced to Mange and included in the Babloo Srivastava gang.

However, their relation turned sour after Bunty’s estranged wife began living in with Mange. Mange was arrested by a Delhi police team on June 7 from a Sector 7 house of Panchkula and produced in a local court in Chandigarh. After a day’s transit remand was obtained, he was taken to Delhi on June 8. Bunty’s wife was also reportedly staying with him at that time.

Mange’s arrest and the reports of Bunty and his three accomplices hiding here has given many sleepless nights to the local police. It is being suspected that the accused chose the city for a hideout because of some other underworld gangs that operate from here.

After the two main hitmen of the gang — Virender Pant and Sanjay Khanna — had been killed in an encounter in Delhi earlier this year, Mange had became the main hitmen of Babloo Srivastava and his two UAE-based aides — Fazlur Rehman and Abu Salem. Babloo is in a jail in Uttar Pradesh.



Husband held for demanding dowry
Our Correspondent

Lalru, June 22
The police has arrested a man and booked three others allegedly for harassing his wife to bring more dowry here today.

Sources in the police said that Lalit Sharma, a resident of Rajpura town, has been arrested while his father Ram Nath, brother Sanjiv Kumar and sister-in-law Narjo Sharma have absconded.

Earlier, Minakshi Sharma of Nagla village, near Lalru, had complained to the police that her in-laws were harassing and beating her for more dowry. A case under Sections 498-A, 406, 506 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered.


Woman commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
A 30-year-old woman committed suicide by hanging herself from the ceiling fan at her Sector 46 residence this morning. She was reportedly under a severe depression and was undergoing treatment at the PGI.

Savita was found hanging from the fan at her residence by her mother-in-law this morning. It is learnt that it was during her second pregnancy recently that she developed depression.

According to the police, Savita asked her mother-in-law to sit outside as there was no electricity. It was after a while that the latter came in and found her hanging from the fan. Her husband, Jolly, is an employee in a television manufacturing unit and was out on tour.



1 pc more on deposits by senior citizens
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
Mr K.K. Mehta, Deputy General Manager of the State Bank of India, today gave details of various schemes offered by the SBI, which offer higher rates of interest to the senior citizens.

Speaking at a pensioners meeting organised by the State Bank of India, Sector 7, Madhya Marg branch, he informed the pensioners that with a view to enhancing the quality of services especially to the senior citizens, the State Bank of India had brought out an attractive deposit scheme for them called the ‘Senior Citizens’ Deposit Scheme’. Under the scheme, the senior citizens i.e. all citizens above 60 years of age shall get the benefit of earning 1 per cent extra interest rate above the normal interest rates for all fixed deposits kept with the bank for periods ranging from one year to less than three years. The minimum amount of fixed deposit should be Rs 10,000 and thereafter, in multiples of Rs 1,000.

And for deposits kept for period of three years and above they shall enjoy 0.75 per cent extra interest rate compared to normal interest rate.

Mr C.L. Sethi, Additional General Manager, who was also present on the occasion, said that in addition to this the bank had also sought to ease their financial problems further by extending them loans against pension under its SBI loan to pensioners scheme. Under the said scheme all pensioners up to 70 years of age, drawing pension from the SBI can avail loan up to six times of their pension and maximum up to Rs 40,000 and repay it easily in 24 months. No margin is required to be kept. With this the bank is thus poised to fully show its care and commitment to the senior citizens.

Mr S.K. Gupta, Chief Manager of Sector 7 branch, assured all senior citizens excellent service by opening extra counters on the pension day.


RBI to remain closed on June 30
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
The offices of the Reserve Bank of India will remain closed on June 30 for public transactions on account of yearly closing of its accounts.

This was announced by the Regional Director, RBI, Chandigarh, Mr Surinder Kumar, here today.Back


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