Sunday, June 16, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


10 school board officials in vigilance net
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, June 15
The Punjab Vigilance Bureau has zeroed in on at least 10 officials of the Punjab School Education Board for their involvement in grave financial and administrative irregularities detected during the tenure of the SAD-BJP Government.

In the case of recruitment of 136 clerks, the Vice-Chairman of the board and his private secretary were next on the list of the bureau. Some of the officials, who had been appointed in the education board in violation of the rules may also lose their jobs, said sources in the bureau. The investigating agency was in the process of recommending the state government to cancel their appointments.

This follows registration of a case against the former Education Minister, Mr Tota Singh and Chairman of the Punjab School Education Board, Dr Kehar Singh. The former Minister is already in the custody of the vigilance sleuths.

The Punjab Vigilance Bureau is also probing in the assets of the senior functionaries of the Punjab School Education Board.

The sources said on probing in the sleuths had found that the procedure adopted in the selections was not fair. A study of the merit list revealed that the re-examination of 60 candidates from Moga was a mere eyewash. The original answer sheets and other records pertaining to their examination had been burnt in order to destroy the evidence. New answer sheets , showing the candidates as having scored good points had been placed to set the records rights. The private secretary to the Vice-Chairman had a major role to play in the episode, said the sources.

Though officials of the Vigilance Bureau refused to divulge details about the officials to be arrested or interrogated, it is learnt that the OSD to the Chairman was also going to face action over her “illegal” appointment. The OSD was already in the vigilance net for signing the logbook of the board’s car which was used by the former Education Minister.

An official of the Vigilance Department said in the course of investigations in the case registered against the former minister and the Chairman of the education board, more officials would be booked under criminal offences. The investigating agency was expected to conduct searches at the house of officials of the board after getting relevant orders from the court. The Punjab Government has already put the decisions taken by the board management between January and April this year on hold. At least two board meetings were held during the four-month period. Sources in the education department said some of the decisions taken at the board meeting held in January have a direct bearing on the irregularities. The Vigilance Bureau has already registered a case. 


Poor show by govt schools
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 15
Schools affiliated to the Haryana School Education Board showed dismal performance in the plus two results declared today. The pass percentage in the district is mere 39.6 per cent, with over 900 students in the district failing to clear the examinations.

According to information, as many as 1513 students studying in around 30 government, private and recognised schools had appeared in the examinations conducted in April earlier this year. No school in the district — be it government, private or recognized — has been able to achieve a cent percent result.

Though the pass percentage of private schools in the district had shown an increase over the past few years (63 per cent students in private schools have cleared the examinations) , the performance of government schools in the district has once again raised many eyebrows.

The pass percentage in the 22 government schools here is 38 per cent only. These schools had fared badly last year too, with the pass percentage being a little over 35 per cent. In fact, in one of the schools, of the 101 students who had appeared in the examinations, 60 have flunked. In most of the schools, the number of compartment cases is more than the number of pass students.

Similar is the case with the recognised schools with the number of failed candidates and those getting compartments far outnumbering the number of pass candidates.

It may be noted that poor performance by government and recognised schools last year had shaken the district administration. It was then decided to appoint teachers for each school and keep check on their attendance in schools to improve the results. But this move apparently failed to yield results.

Sunil Kumar, a student of Government Senior Secondary School, has topped in the district by securing 77.7 per cent marks in the science stream. Geetanjali, a student of New India Senior Secondary School, Sector 15, has topped in the arts stream by securing 75.6 per cent marks, followed by Poonam Jain of the same school, who has secured 74.4 per cent marks in the Arts stream.

In the commerce stream, Puja Mittal of Hindu Girls Senior Secondary School, Kalka, has secured the highest that is 72.6 per cent marks.


Agnihotri’s bail plea: Notice to CBI
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 15
Acting on an anticipatory bail plea moved by the former Punjab and Haryana High Court Judge and the Chairman of Oil Selection Board, Mr M.R Agnihotri, in a Prevention of Corruption Act case registered against him by the Central Bureau of Investigation(CBI), a local court today issued a notice to the CBI for June 17 for filing a reply in the case.

The bail plea had come for hearing before the UT Additional and Sessions Judge, Ms Sneh Prashar, in the morning. Interestingly, the case has been given special treatment. The case was not mentioned in the list displayed in the notice board of the court.

The CBI had registered a case against the accused on June 10 under Sections 420, 120-B, 467, 468, 471 of IPC and under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1998. The CBI sources informed that Rs 1.80 crore worth of moveable and immovable property in the form of cash, jewellery, property and fixed deposits had been recovered by the CBI from bank lockers and the residences of Mr M.R Agnihotri, and his family members here today.

The CBI sources revealed that a total of 144 petrol pumps were allotted during Mr Agnihotri’s tenure as Chairman. Out of 144, about 100 petrol pumps were allegedly allotted, ignoring norms. One such pump, allotted to Ms Saroj in Ludhiana, was allegedly given to her at a premium of Rs 30 lakh. The CBI, which raided the Sector 9 residence of the former Judge in connection with an alleged petrol pump allotment scam, also seized documents related to flats, plots and an SCF in Sector 19, most of which have allegedly been registered at much lower prices than the original cost, sources added.

The CBI sleuths on June 12 opened the three bank lockers of the Agnihotri family in State Bank of Patiala, Sector 8. One of the lockers in the name of Ms Urvashi, wife of Deepak Agnihotri, reportedly contained gold jewellery worth about Rs 5 lakh, Rs 60,000 in cash and FDRs valued at Rs. 5,48, 153. In another locker owned by Ms Taru, wife of the elder son, Mr Girish Agnihotri, the CBI found Rs 50,000 in cash and five to six tolas of gold.

The third locker contained gold jewellery weighing about 1.5 kg and bonds, LIC papers and other documents. Interestingly the sleuths found over 50 passbooks of banks from the locker, said sources. According to them, it was one of the biggest seizure of passbooks by the agency. Besides, the Agnihotri family owns a Tata Safari and two Maruti Zen cars. The Sector 9 house has household goods estimated at Rs 25 lakh, sources further added.


Water harvesting plan gets under way
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 15
The Haryana Urban Development Authority has begun work on rain water harvesting structures in the township, in order to recharge the depleting ground water resources.

With monsoons round-the-corner, work has already begun on a defunct tubewell to create a water harvesting structure, which is likely to be completed within a fortnight. It has also been decided to turn all other eight abandoned tubewells in the township into water harvesting structures at a later stage.

The system is being so developed on the abandoned tubewell in Industrial Area, Phase I, that it will take care of ground recharging with surface rain water flowing in the storm drain created near HUDA nursery here. A double walled well is being created to collect the rain water, which will be channeled underground.

Officials in the department inform that other than this, an injection well for roof top harvesting will also be constructed on the HUDA office building in Sector 6. It has also been decided that during the first phase roof top harvesting will be undertaken at the Senior Secondary School, Sector 12- A ( Interestingly, the school building is under construction). Another injection well for diverting the flood water in Industrial Area, Phase I and Sector 19, which remains water logged in monsoons, is proposed to be constructed.

Tenders have already been floated for the three above mentioned water harvesting structures. It is estimated that these structures, alongwith the one being built at the abandoned tubewell , would be constructed at the cost of Rs 9.90 lakh. The Haryana Urban Development Authority will itself bear the expense of these structures.

It may be noted that the concept of rain water harvesting was recently made mandatory for Urban Estate, Panchkula. A feasibility study was carried out and it was observed that the top 30 feet layer of earth consisted of sand and boulder, followed by an impervious layer of hard clay upto a depth of 160 feet below ground level. It is beyond this depth that the water borne strata starts, which needs recharging.

Thus, it was decided that that the injection wells for harvesting rain water be dug 160 to 200 feet deep. Since the well has to be dug in the strata consisting of sand, clay and boulders, it will increase the cost of construction considerably. It was also observed that recharging the top 30 feet layer of earth would serve no useful purpose as it would result in water logging in surrounding areas.

The water supply of the town is based on tubewells and about 100 tubewells have been installed for meeting the water requirement ( 27 MGD) of Panchkula, Mansa Devi Complex and Panchkula Extension. As a result, the continuous drawl of water has depleted the water table.

Meanwhile, rainwater harvesting structures for other government buildings several other government buildings like Senior Secondary Schools, police stations, community centres, restaurant building in City Centre, Group Housing schemes and institutional buildings and government complexes will also be constructed shortly.Back



Aided colleges on warpath again
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 15
Private-aided colleges of Punjab and Chandigarh are on the warpath yet again. This time round, they claim, the government has virtually killed the pension-cum-gratuity scheme by washing its hands off the financing scheme.

The federations of managements, principals and teachers allege that the government has gone back on all three promises it made to the teaching community. The 95 per cent grant-in-aid to these colleges has been received with a 10 per cent cut and humiliation to teachers has come by way of arrests for tuitions when departmental action would have sufficed, they said.

The latest “attack” had come by way of the pension scheme where the Government had directed the private colleges to create a corpus to be funded by college managements and teachers while the government share would be restricted to the grants being received by the colleges. The managements had also started questioning the need for a government notification if everything was to be managed by them with no additional grants coming from the government, they said.

The Secretary of the Sikh Education Society, running five colleges in Punjab and Chandigarh, Mr Bharpoor Singh, pointed out that the managements were running colleges with grants from the government. “If they were self-supporting where was the need for these grants? In its present form, the government is only hoping the proposal will fail and not see the light of day and the failure would not be attributed to them. Instead, the private managements would be held responsible,” he said.

“Back-tracking from the approved pension scheme, the government has called for an agitation and the first protest is slated for June 27. This will be followed by a “black day” on July 1. Later, we will call a convention of all affected colleges,” said the General Secretary of the Principals Federation, Mr P.S. Sangha. Reacting to the scheme, Principal Tarsem Raj Bahia said this was a social security measure which could not be self-supporting as made out to be by the government.

“The scheme has been hurriedly sent to hoodwink the high court which directed the government to implement it by June 15,” he stated.


Check misuse of symbols on vehicles

RECENTLY some organisations criticised the unauthorised use of the Red Cross symbol. This brought to my mind the Red Cross sign that our immediate neighbour, a professor in a private academic college, put on his car a few years ago soon after he obtained his Ph.D degree!

Almost every employee of a medical institution, public or private, uses this sign on his or her vehicle, whether a car or a bicycle. Similarly the “Press” sign is used by almost every member of the staff which includes the administrative and technical staff of all media organisations. Also one often notices “Police” or “Army” written prominently on a number of private vehicles.

Though the “Press” sign or any other such pronouncement on private vehicles cannot be equated with the distinguished Red Cross sign, their frequent use on private vehicles too have been debated a number of times. Since objections in this regard come generally from the traffic police, one question that always haunts every right-thinking person is which particular traffic rule permits the vehicle driver to make use of the signs as mentioned above.

Even if it is not explicitly stated in the rulebook, it is understandable if an ambulance with the Red Cross sign, honking and displaying its flickering top blue light, is allowed to pass a road crossing when the traffic light turns red. For, even a little delay in shifting a serious patient or an accident victim to the hospital can prove to be fatal. It is another matter that one never comes across such a situation. On the contrary, one has often heard of stories where patients were made to wait for hours till the caravan of VVIP vehicles passes that route.

I am reminded here of an incident in a developed country. A doctor, a real medicine man and not a Ph.D, was rushing in his car to attend an emergency case. In that haste, he forgot that he was driving at a much higher speed than that was prescribed for that very particular road. Having seen this, a vigilant mobile traffic police van intercepted it and signalled the rash doctor-driver to stop. However, instead of slowing down, he picked up his stethoscope from the adjoining seat and showed it to the police officer to demonstrate his sense of urgency. To this, the police officer reacted not only firmly but also with the similar swiftness that the doctor had displayed. He raised his hand and showed the speeding doctor a pair of handcuffs!

The moral of the story thus is that if our police sincerely considers every road-user equally and apprehends every traffic rule violator without falling to partisan practices, it would be immaterial whether one shows a stethoscope or a Red Cross sign, or any other symbol, including red light on his/her vehicle.

BALVINDER, Chandigarh

Number plate colour

Apropos of the report ‘Change number plate colour till June 30’ (May 29), the wisdom of requiring vehicles to change the colour scheme of their number plates now is beyond me, when these will have to be changed once again not long after this to conform to yet another special specification — the security number plates, whatever that is and whenever that is.

I fail to comprehend as to how will the present change, i.e. inverting the colour scheme, stop or at least help reduce the number of thefts involving vehicles. Will someone kindly enlighten the likes of me about this, please? Can this exercise in futility not wait till someone makes up his or her mind, finally? Should public be made to suffer just because someone at the helm of affairs suddenly has an urge to put 2 and 2 together, and make 22?

Every now and then those at the helm of affairs, well-ensconced in their environment-controlled confines, for the lack of better things to do, churn out nuggets of wisdom that they try to shove down the gullet of the common man. Already, there is no distinction between old version of commercial vehicles’ number plates and that of the new registration plates of private vehicles.  Most private vehicles still have old colour scheme for number plates. If the final plates are going to be of a special type, why create confusion and harass public at this stage unnecessarily? Please do some constructive thinking and stop squandering away human resources, time, energy and the tax-payer’s money uselessly.

Another important point is that as the number plates are affixed generally on front bumpers, even minor accidents while driving make it necessary to remove the bumpers for denting and painting or other minor repairs. So, this will make it mandatory and awfully cumbersome for vehicle owners to get the new security plates hot-stamped at the Registration Counters in endless queues, adding to already long queues.


Exploiting teachers

I would like to thank you for the write-up (May 15) that highlighted the exploitation of teachers by private recognised schools in Chandigarh. Being an alumni of Shishu Niketan School (though now settled in the USA), I am really pained to hear such bad practices, being adopted by private schools.

I have only one thing to say to Shishu Niketan School (and similar other schools) that doesn’t respect their teachers or pay them their rightful dues...Shame on you. Hope all students will repeat that in support of their teachers’ rights.

Today this school (and especially the founder Mrs Khurana and family) lost all respect that I (being an ex-student) had for my school, where I studied from nursery to class X. Earlier, I used to give credit to the school for all success that I achieved in the world but now I think the credit goes only to the teachers and not to such money-making institutes.

I hope people will become increasingly aware of these malpractices adopted by such schools. By boycotting such schools and moving kids to other schools, they can use their collective force against these shadowy business houses. They shall not let them turn these schools into money-making business houses for a few families, that even don’t want to follow the rules but just mint money (and also such blood of teachers by not paying them their legitimate dues).

I would strongly favour strict action by the authorities concerned and hope that they will follow the rules in letter and spirit, and derecognise such schools that don’t want to obey the laws of the land except for their own convenience. I hope Governor J.F.R. Jacob and his team will do their part to prove that the law still prevails in the country and will take right decisions that are expected in a cultured, well-educated society and award exemplary punishment in such cases

It’s more important that teachers are given due respect, with all their rights protected, as our future is in the hands of the students who are being taught by these teachers. We all owe a lot to them.

Hope better sense will prevail on the school authorities and other schools that are into such practices and they will understand their responsibility towards teachers and society...

A.Sharma, Los Angeles, California


Package for SSI units in border areas
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 15
The government is seriously considering to announce a package for the SSI industries in border areas on the pattern of J&K and Himachal Pradesh. The package would be included in the new industrial policy and the state Budget to be presented shortly in the state Legislative Assembly. This was disclosed by Mr Mukul Joshi, Principal Secretary, Industries and Secretary, Excise and Taxation, here today.

He was speaking at a one day workshop on ‘New Exim Policy’. The workshop was jointly organised by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Konrad Adenauer Foundation.

Inaugurating the workshop, Mr Joshi said, ‘‘The small and medium enterprises are the backbone of industry in Punjab and it is crucial to increase their competitiveness in the global economy.’’ He admitted that the support of the government was crucial to increase their competitiveness in the global economy. He acknowledged that the support of the government was imperative, as infrastructure would play a crucial role to provide a conducive climate for industrialisation.

The PHD chamber urged the state and central governments to provide assistance for the development of infrastructure and upgradation of technology in the state as the small-scale industry in the region was on the verge of collapse. Mr R.S. Sachdeva, co-chairman, Punjab committee, PHDCCI asserted that though the SSI sector occupied an important position in the Indian economy, the successive governments had not done any justice to this segment. Ironically, he said, it contributed 40 per cent to the total manufacturing and 36 per cent to the total exports from the country. Further, due to locational disadvantage, the SSI sector of Punjab required special attention. He urged the state government to seek special funds from the Centre for the exporters considering that Punjab was a landlocked state and special concessions would help boost exports.

Mr C.M. Krishna, Adviser, speaking on the new exim policy highlighted that the policy has a fixed target of 1 per cent share of world trade by 2006-07. This would mean that the exports would have to be increased from the present level of $ 46 billion to $ 80 billion over the tenth plan. Mr Beant Singh, Resident Editor, PHDCII, said that in the post-quantitative restriction regime, the SSIs have been exposed to stiff competition from cheap imported products from the South East Asian countries and especially from China. Such workshops would help the industry at large to gear up to face competition, he added. 


City to have Cheshire Home
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 15
Cheshire Home — a place where disabled are taken care of — will be opened in the city within the next three months. A few places have been selected to open the home which will be spread across two or three acres. Initially the place is likely to start off from the International hostel in Sector 15 along the Madhya Marg.

A basement lying in disuse in the building is one of the possibilities. Among the permanent sites shortlisted for the home are in Sector 46. Another site is next to the existing old age home in Sector 43. Also in the list is another site next to the upcoming botanical gardens in Sarangpur village on the western edge of the Union Territory.

Maj Gen A.S. Kahlon, Chairman of the local managing committee today held a meeting with the Chairman of the Eastern Region of Cheshire Homes, Maj Gen Virendre Singh and also former Governor of Punjab, Gen O.P. Malhotra. General Malhotra is nowadays actively involved with the Cheshire movement.

There are 26 Cheshire homes across the country. Each home is autonomous and looks after the welfare of quadraplegics and paraplegics. The homes do not admit people with mental sickness and are run on voluntary donations. General Virendre Singh told The Tribune, “we do not call people in Cheshire homes as inmates but they are referred to as residents. An initial grant of about £ 2000 has been made for Chandigarh where the first Cheshire Home is coming up.

This was long overdue as the state has a large number of ex-defence personnel. General Virendre Singh, who also works with the World Memorial Fund for Disaster Relief informed that donations to this fund are totally exempt from income tax. Besides this donations to the Cheshire homes are entitled for income tax benefits under Section 80-G of the Income Tax Act.


Mayor invites car accessory dealers
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 15
A dharna by the Chandigarh Car Accessories Dealers’ Association against the callous attitude of the Chandigarh Administration and the Municipal Corporation towards their demands entered second day here today. The association has alleged that UT Estate Office staff had threatened them against fitting accessories in cars outside the shops allotted to them.

The association in a press note claimed that because of the strike a large number of persons suffered “harassment” as they could not got accessories fitted into their cars. It was claimed that various political leaders visited the dharna site and interacted with agitating dealers. A delegation of the Beopar Mandal also assured the dealers of their full cooperation. The note signed by Mr Ramesh Goel and Mr S.P. Singh, president and general secretary of the association, respectively, claimed that the Mayor, Ms Lalit Joshi, has invited them for a meeting on Monday.


PGI animal house in state of neglect
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 15
The animal house of the PGIMER is in a bad condition. This has been indicated by the Committee for the Purpose of Control Supervision of Experiments on Animals (CPCSEA) nominee and chairman of the People for Animals (PFA), Haryana.

According to a press note the nominee has picked up three animals (two rabbits and a rat) in an injured condition. Today he inspected the Panjab University Animal House.

The inspection report of the Central Animal House, PU, says that the wing for experimental animals was not clean to a level of satisfaction and needed improvement. Infrastructure for humidity and temperature is not installed in some of the rooms; health of certain animals was poor, flooring of the rooms of sheep was wet and full of faecal material; and a section of animals in cages were not provided proper bedding.

Suggestions have been made for improvement for wing of experimental animals, injured animals should not be used for collecting data; broken panes need repair; and air conditioners need to be installed for temperature control.

The visiting team also found certain flaws at the Idma Lab, Panchkula.Back



Rain in region likely today

Chandigarh, June 15
The temperature in the north-west region today increased slightly, but remained near normal even as the weather office here predicted rains and thundershowers at a few places in Punjab and Himachal Pradesh and at isolated places in Haryana in the next 24 hours.

The Met office said that besides rains and thundershowers, a thunder squal with wind speed of 45 km is likely to hit at isolated places in Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.

The maximum temperature in the city was 38.6°C which is normal. Patiala had a high of 40.2°C with no departure while Amritsar and Ludhiana recorded 39.2°C and 38.9°C respectively, which is 1°C to 2°C below normal.

Ambala in Haryana recorded 40.5°C while Shimla, had a high 26.1°C. PTI



Bhullar releases directory
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 15
The president of the Chandigarh Senior Citizens Association, Brig Keshav Chandra, said efforts would be made to encourage the young generation to be courteous to senior citizens at home and at public places.

Addressing the general body meeting of the association at Art Gallery auditorium in Sector 10, Mr Keshav informed that the honorary membership of the association had been given to the heads of the Servants of the People Society, Shri Sathya Sai Trust, Satyaksh Seva Trust and Senior Citizen Councils of SAS Nagar and Panchkula.

The chairman of Association, Maj-Gen J.S. Bhullar, released the directory of the members of the association. It was also decided to increase the frequency of picnic for senior citizens around and outside the city. A cultural get-together would be arranged at the senior citizens home in Sector 23 on June 29. 


Erratic power supply in Sector 61
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 15
The residents of Sector 61 today complained of erratic power supply throughout the day. They claimed that after every few minutes the supply was being suspended, damaging the electrical equipment in the process.

This was not all. The residents called up The Tribune office to say that since couple of weeks the voltage too was low as a result of which it became impossible for them to switch on the television sets and coolers particularly late in the evening. 


Vets association meeting held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 15
Regional meeting of the Indian Veterinary Association was held here today under the chairmanship of Dr R.S. Sharma, President IVA, for holding the 28th Indian Veterinary Conference and National Seminar on Biological threats and Disaster Management — role of veterinarians to be held on 9th - 11th August 2002 at Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana.

The topics regarding this seminar would be discussed with presentations by professionals, eminent scientists from veterinary, medical and social science fields. More than 2000 delegates from all over India as well as abroad are expected to be present during the conference.

Dr G.S. Chahal, Director, Animal Husbandry, Punjab while speaking on the occasion said, the topic is very much relevant in the current global situation where every one is rightly scared of biological terrorism, similarly disaster management is developing into a school of thought in itself due to Natural Calamities, Human Failure and Terrorism.

Dr K.S. Dangi, Director Animal Husbandry Haryana added that Animal Breeders conference will be held on August 11 wherein progressive farmers, cattle breeders, pet animals lovers and animal owners from different states will interact with the eminent scientists, who will answer their queries.

Dr Ashok Sharma, president , PSVOA told that there will be exhibition where drug companies, feed manufacturers, Medical Instrument and Equipment manufacturers will display their products for the benefit of professionals and farmers.

During the deliberations at the meeting, Dr R.S. Sharma took serious notice of the so called Punjab state veterinary officers association headed by Dr Rajinder Singh. He said there was only one association of veterinarians in the state and it was headed by Dr Ashok Sharma. He further told that only this PSVOA was affiliated to the Indian Veterinary Association.

In addition to Dr Darshan Singh and Dr Harprem Singh Gill, Deputy Directors, the other delegates who spoke on the occasion were Dr Ashok Mantro from Haryana, Dr Rajiv Walia and Dr Paramjit Singh Negi from Himachal Pradesh, Dr Gurinder Singh Walia and Dr Harbans Singh Dhalla, Chief Editor, Vets Bulletin.


Employees’ rally on June 17
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 15
Employees of Punjab and the Chandigarh Administration will hold a rally and demonstration on June 17 to protest against the policies of the Central and Punjab governments and the Chandigarh Administration.

To mobilise workers, employees of the Chandigarh Administration held gate meetings and rallies under the banner of “UT employees and workers” here today.

Speakers condemned the ‘‘anti-people and anti-employee’’ policies of the government. Leaders who addressed the rallies included Mr Bhagmal Rana, Mr Man Mohan Singh, Mr Vijay Singh, Mr Gopal Dutt Joshi, Mr Swaroop Singh Rawat, Mr Ram Sarup, Mr Pradeep Kumar and Mr Paramjit Singh.


Santoshi, Devgan to visit city today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 15
Ace director Raj Kumar Santoshi could not have selected a more opportune time to visit the hub of Punjab. Now that his ambitious project in the shape of ‘The Legend of Bhagat Singh’ is already rocking cinemas in the region and has secured a better standing than Dharamendra’s venture, the director is all set to come calling to the city.

The best part of Raj Kumar Santoshi’s visit, which is scheduled for tomorrow, is that this time he will be accompanied by most of the actors who feature in the patriotic saga, including Ajay Devgan, the man of the moment. After his two heartening performances in ‘Company’ and ‘The Legend of Bhagat Singh’, Ajay is already on his journey to the zenith. The unit is said to be visiting Chandigarh to get an overall feel of the response to the film in Punjab. The visiting actors will also include Akhilendra Mishra (who played Chandrashekhar Azad) and Sushant Singh, who acted as Sukhdev.


3 held for forging number plates
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 15
Two private buses plying on city roads with fake number plates were impounded and three persons were arrested in connection with cheating, criminal breach of trust, forgery and other sections of the IPC by the local Operation Cell here this evening. Police sources informed that more arrests in the case were likely to be made “soon”.

According to police sources, one Ravinder Singh, a resident of Trikuta Nagar, Jammu, had forged documents of at least two buses one of which he had bought at a much lower price than the market value. The sources informed that Ravinder Singh had bought a 1993 model bus (HP-01-1585) from his brother-in-law, Charnjit Singh for Rs 1.80 lakh. He bought another Super Delux bus (PB-01-5043) (1999 model) from one Randhawa of Batala, for Rs 2.60 lakh. Interestingly, he bought the bus without the necessary documents, said police sources. The prevailing price of such buses is said to be around Rs 15 lakh.

The sources added that Ravinder Singh allegedly forged documents and transferred the registration number of the 1993 model bus to the Super Delux bus. Now the delux bus with original registration number (PB-01-5043) got a fake licence plate (HP-01-1585). The bus with fake licence plate was later attached to the Haridwar Travellers, Sector 22, here.

For the 1993 model bus, (now sans registration number), he allegedly purchased a registration number (HP 34 3077) of a “total loss” vehicle from a scrap dealer. Later, he sold this bus to one Harjinder Singh of Ram Darbar, Phase II for a sum of Rs 1.60 lakh. This was currently said to be used as a ‘school bus’ and was plying between Chandigarh and Panchkula.

Ravinder Singh allegedly changed the chasis number of the bus with help of Gurnam Singh, a mechanic based at Motor Market, Mani Majra. The police has arrested the mechanic and has also seized the tools allegedly used to forge the chasis number of the bus.

Acting on a secret information Ravinder Singh (36), Gurnam Singh and Harjinder Singh (45) were arrested this evening by a team led by Inspector Nenha Ram. The first two were arrested from Mani Majra, while Harjinder was arrested from Ram Darbar. A case under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471, 472, 473, 482 and 120 of the IPC has been registered. The accused will be produced in a local court tomorrow. 


Man’s body found
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 15
The police today found the body of Darshan Singh (30), a resident of Chamoli district, Uttranchal, from a room in Sood Bhavan, Sector 18. The deceased had allegedly committed suicide sometime yesterday. A suicide note has also been found by the police. Sources said Darshan had written in the note that he was taking the extreme step as his business was deteriorating for the past five years and thus he was not giving any happiness to his wife and mother. Police sources said he had hired a room in the bhavan yesterday.

THEFT: The police arrested Lalan Kumar (Ram Darbar) and Sanjay Kumar (Kajheri village) and claimed to recover 40 shirts, 10 T-shirts, 15 sarees, 32 pants and 49 ladies suit here yesterday. The two had allegedly stolen the garments from the shop of Mr Charanjit Singh, a resident of Sector 46, where they were working as servants.

OPIUM SEIZED: The police arrested Ramandeep Singh, a resident of Sector 32 from near Dhanas under the NDPS Act and claimed to recover 10 grams of opium from his possession yesterday. The accused was reportedly carrying the seized opium in his car. Meanwhile, Bhupinder Singh of Nawanshahar, Punjab was also arrested from ISBT, Sector 17 and 15 kg of poppy husk was allegedly recovered from his possession here yesterday.

VEHICLE THEFT: Mr Kulwant Singh, a resident of Sector 33, reported to the police that his car (CHO1 6991) was stolen from his residence yesterday. A case has been registered.

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