Thursday, September 26, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Police alert in city
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 25
In the wake of the carnage at Gandhinagar's Akshardham Temple, the Chandigarh police has sounded an alert and security has been beefed up at prominent religious places in the city.

Apart from intensifying patrolling in the city, the police personnel have been directed to remain extra vigilant, especially till the Navratras. Vigilance at the Inter-State Bus Terminus and the railway station has also been increased.

The Punjab Governor and Administrator, Union Territory, Chandigarh, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), and the Inspector-General of Police, Mr B.S. Bassi, reviewed the situation.

As per sources, the police has been asked to keep an eye on sensitive places and take all precautionary measures. The police control vehicles have been posted at religious places. Cops were seen checking vehicles entering the city.

The cops will identify communally sensitive areas in the city. The community leaders and temple managements have been asked to remain vigilant and bring to the notice any suspicious activities.

According to a senior police official, the commandoes of the Chandigarh police will be provided with sniper rifles and bullet-proof vests and they will be attached to the quick reaction team (QRT). The police is also in touch with the various intelligence agencies.


BJP opposes bandh call by Cong, VHP, Sena
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
The BJP today opposed the bandh calls given by the Congress in Gujarat and the VHP and Shiv Sena at the national level saying these would add fuel to the fire in the wake of attack on the Swaminarain Temple in Gandhinagar.

‘’The Congress bandh in Gujarat will worsen the situation in the state,’’ BJP national general secretary Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told a press conference here today after launching the party’s ‘’gaon chalo abhiyan’’ at Kaimbwala village of the union territory.

‘’We also do not support the nation-wide bandh call of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Shiv Sena,’’ he said, while replying to a question as to if the party was also opposed to the September 26 bandh call of the VHP and the Shiv Sena.

A similar bandh call by the VHP post Godhara incident had led to communal riots in February and March in Gujarat.

Revealing he was earlier opposed to the ‘’gaurav yatra of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’’, he said: ‘’But now we will want the yatra to continue for five or even 10 years to crush the forces of terrorism getting strengthened by pseudo-secular posturing.’’

The BJP leader held Pakistan responsible for the massacre of devotees in Swaminarain temple seeking to link it with Pakistan President General Musharraf’s reference to Gujarat in UN General Assembly saying the comment encouraged terrorists to choose the state as a ‘’soft target.’’

He, however, could not say whether his allegation was based on any concrete information.

Mr Naqvi said Pakistan conspired to attack the devotees in frustration after its failure to sabotage elections in Jammu and Kashmir, which have seen good voter turn out and were free and fair.

He rejected suggestions that the attack had exposed the security failure despite intelligence reports saying the security forces had always crushed conspiracy of terrorists. Mr Naqvi urged the international community, especially the USA and European Union, to ‘’lock the factories of terrorism in Pakistan to be able to fight the menace world over.’’

Mr Naqvi also rejected the statement that the attack on the temple could have been linked to communal tension in the state and gaurav yatra of Mr Modi, saying if this was the message to be sent by terrorists the yatra must continue for five or even 10 years.

The BJP general secretary ruled out that the party would not be able to continue its ‘’Gram Chalo Abhiyan’’ in Punjab in the wake of MSP still not being announced.

Local party unit president Yashpal Mahajan said the party would hold padyatras in all 22 villages of the union territory as part of its social expansion exercise.

Mr Bhajan Singh of the Kisan Morcha, Mr Ramvir Bhatti of the Rural Development Cell and Mr Shangara Singh of the Panchayati Raj Cell organised the abhiyan.

Col (retd) Jordan Carnalis, general secretary William Gosain and its convener Dr Anwar Ali organised a BJP Minority Morcha programme where Mr Naqvi urged the minorities to concentrate on education and employment.


Moderate Hindu, Sikh leaders may be targeted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
Variance in opinion over the provocation for the terrorist attack on the Akshardham temple at Gandhinagar in Gujarat last evening notwithstanding, security arrangements have been beefed up as intelligence agencies have quoted “moderate Sikh and Hindu leaders” and government buildings as “soft targets” in the region.

Sources, both in intelligence and security wings of police organisations of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh, maintain that there have been “regular inputs” on the possibility of “strikes” on “soft targets”.

Political affiliations apart, the security of some eminent political leaders, including most of the Opposition leaders in Punjab, have been a subject of constant review for the past three months.

“Though we do take into considerations the political will of the state, at the same time, security is one area in which no compromise can be made. Immediately after the terrorist attack took place at Gandhinagar, the entire security set-up was reviewed and wherever need was felt, reinforcements were ordered,” said a senior functionary of the government.

The intelligence and security officials of the region vary in their opinion about the immediate provocation for yesterday’s condemnable attack, but they agree that security cover of “sensitive areas”, including public places, need to be augmented.

Eversince the Godra carnage, the intelligence inputs have been suggesting more “suicidal attacks” to engineer a “communal divide” in the country. They have been simultaneously indicating that some of the moderate Sikh leaders with leanings towards the BJP were also on the “heightened risk list”.

At one stage when the new Congress government took over in Punjab, it wrote to the Union Government for withdrawal of NSG security cover given to some of the top Punjab politicians, including the President of the Shiromani Akali Dal, Mr Parkash Singh Badal. The Union Government, however, ignored the request on the plea that intelligence input did not support such a recommendation.

There is a feeling that though most of the individuals on the “high-risk list” were adequately secured, the level of security cover at public places was far from adequate. The mercenaries have been targeting untended and crowded places. The attack at the Gandhinagar temple was an example.

The Punjab Police has a number of problems on hand, including the “gaon chalo abhiyan” being started by the BJP from September 27, besides social unrest among farmers, government employees, students and a few other important segments of society.

Though some of the agencies are keeping a watch on areas with “minority and migrant population”, the next few days — a bandh tomorrow and “juma” the day after, may be crucial for maintenance of law and order.

It is on Friday next that the BJP’s ‘gaon chalo abhiyan’ gets underway from Khanna — the nerve centre for any major agitation by farmers as well as the BJP heartland — and an acid test for the security agencies starts.

The intelligence and security officials also do not rule out any spillover of both Jammu and Kashmir and the Gujarat violence.


Appointments of clerks cancelled
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, September 25
The Punjab School Education Board today cancelled the appointments of 134 clerks and decided to keep them on contract. They will be required to appear in a fresh test for getting regular appointment.

The decision was taken at a meeting of a high-level panel held here. The clerks were removed from service in the first week of August and they had moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court in this connection. The court had given a stay and said that the decision on their services would be taken by the board, which was an autonomous body.

It is alleged that the Principal Secretary of the Education Department, Mr K.K. Bhatnagar, held a separate meeting with certain board members said to be sympathetic to the government before the start of the main meeting.

Among those present at the main meeting were Mr D.S. Saroya, Vice-Chairman of the board, Mr K.S. Aulakh, Vice-Chancellor of Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, and Mr Ashok Sharma and Mr Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, MLAs.

The Chairman of the Board, Dr Kehar Singh, was not present at the meeting. Meanwhile, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, former Punjab Finance Minister, said that the decision taken by the board was unfortunate.


Admn gives land on water
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
While the Forest Department has said on record that certain areas in Sector 48 are waterlogged, authorities have allotted a huge chunk of such a land to a housing society. Now, multistorey apartments are to come up there.

Not only these flats will be unsafe in case of even a minor earthquake, but also saving the foundation from water will be tough. All this, if the building is ever constructed, as digging for laying its foundation will be virtually impossible.

In this small pocket opposite the newly developed green belt in Sector 48-A, the impervious layer of soil does not allow water to seep in. This creates an artificial trough of water a few feet under the ground. This water is also killing newly planted trees in southern sectors. A building just could not be constructed here, sources said.

Hundreds of middle-class salaried persons who paid several lakhs rupees each for owning a flat in the society, are now, not sure of their fate, as construction cannot start in the area. The worst sufferer is the Popular Co-operative House Building Society. There is a two-foot deep pool of stagnant water at the site and there is no natural slope for the water to drain out. Even if the water is drained out, the soil will not dry out on its own. A source said it was not only impossible, but also dangerous to build a multistorey building at this site.

Even at a nearby site of the Universal Co-operative Society, the water table is high, meaning that one cannot dig beyond a certain depth. The core problem sectors are 48, 42 and 47, where impervious layer threatens to cause an ecological disaster. Dying trees here were a mystery till experts linked the problem to excess groundwater.

Plantation is failing in certain parts of the city, as this excess water is not allowing the plants to have enough air. High saline content in the soil is adding to the problem.

The answer is to drill holes in the impervious layer at specified points to allow the trough water to seep in and join the real water table that is much lower. This has been tried with good results in Najafgarh and Nangloi areas of New Delhi.


High fee, rents keep Nigerians away
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
“Nigeria continues to look towards India in many areas, including advancement of technology,” says Mr G.D. Akpan, Minister Counsellor (Information) in the Nigerian High Commission, maintaining that the two countries have always enjoyed the best of relations.

Mr Akpan, who is on his first-ever visit to Chandigarh, says that both India and Nigeria have so many “commonalities” and that may be the reason for cordial bilateral relations. Nigeria, of course, has been one of the biggest trade partners of India from the African continent.

“Though I came to India in January last year, it is for the first time that I am in Chandigarh and the city has impressed me very much. We also have a beautiful planned capital city in Abuja, which is perhaps one of the best modern cities of the world,” says Mr Akpan.

“We are the sixth largest oil-producing nation in the world. We have tremendous potential in mines as we have gold, iron, coal and timber. Our coal and timber are one of the best in the world. We are exporting coal, timber to India and get mainly machine tools in return.”

“If India is the second most-populated nation after China in Asia, Nigeria enjoys the same status in Africa. Like India, Nigeria is a diverse country with 350 ethnic communities living there. Besides, both India and Nigeria have been trying for a permanent seat of the Security Council from Asia and Africa, respectively,” said Mr Akpan, maintaining that the main purpose of his visit has been “familiarisation” with this part of the country where youngsters from his country come here for studies.

Joined by Mr Dave Otokhine, President of the All-India Nigerian students and Community Association of Punjab,Haryana and Chandigarh chapter, Mr Akpan expressed surprise at “high rents” in India.

“Nigerian students are moving away from Panjab University for a number of reasons. The university has introduced a hefty foreign students registration fee. Compared to Panjab University, this foreign students registration fee is much lower in Punjabi and Kurukshetra Universities.

“An Other reason is that Panjab University admits foreign students, especially Africans, only in humanities or arts stream while in south they get admission into professional courses, including medicine, engineering, also.

“The third reason is the exorbitant rents in Chandigarh. Normally, it is difficult for a Nigerian to get good accommodation. Even if they get, it is exorbitant. Compare it with Nigeria where rented accommodation is much more cheaper,” add Mr Akpan and Mr Otokhine, claiming that New Delhi was even worse than Chandigarh in rents.

Mr Akpan says that Nigeria has been keen on attracting Indian investors, especially in machine tools, information technology and related areas. A parliamentary delegation from Nigeria visited India in April to woo investors.


Paddy: Badal, Chautala join hands
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
Former Punjab Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal and Haryana Chief Minister, Om Prakash Chautala have decided to pool their efforts to step up pressure on the Centre for helping farmers on the paddy issue. They have also decided to contact Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, Chandrababu Naidu in this regard.

In a statement a SAD spokesman said today that Mr Badal and Mr Chautala were together in Jind where they discussed the paddy procurement related issues. Mr Badal today urged Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee to intervene to redress the problems of paddy growers. In a letter to Mr Vajpayee, Mr Badal said a grave situation had arisen following a delay in the start of procurement of paddy and the announcement of the minimum support price( MSP). Mr Badal had also asked Union Minister, Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa to use his influence in the cabinet to help farmers. Mr Dhindsa was expected to meet the Prime Minister tonight or early morning tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Mr Dhindsa is awaiting a response from the Punjab Chief Minister to his two communications asking for details of the representations made to the Union Agricultural and Food Ministers on the paddy issue. Mr Dhindsa said Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal had been asked to contact Telugu Desam MPs for mobilising support on the MSP issue.

Mr Badal had sought Rs 750 per quintal as the MSP and immediate starting of procurement.


‘Musharraf’s actions and promises mismatch’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
There is a big gap between Pakistan President General Musharraf’s promises and what he has delivered. As a result Pakistani involvement to destabilise India and cross-border terrorism continues unabated, said Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), the Governor of Punjab, in his inaugural address at a seminar on ‘Problems in India’s security’ organised by the Centre for Defence and National Security Studies at the ICSSR Complex in Panjab University here yesterday. General Jacob first inaugurated the new building of the centre.

General Jacob said “while domestic compulsions of General Musharraf need to be factored in, they cannot continue to be an excuse of inaction on his part. The religious fundamentalists, both domestic and foreign, who have been allowed to grow by successive Pakistani governments from past two three decades will not be easy to rein in”.

He said there must be a will to face terrorism and insurgency squarely and firmly in early stages. Insurgency and terrorism once they took roots were difficult to eradicate and though they could be suppressed they could be easily resurrected. There was no purely political solution on its own to end insurgency and terrorism. There was no purely military decision, either, he said.

The Governor said in the Indian context modern terrorism and insurgency were communal except in case of the Naxalite movement. Insurgency and terrorism were not new in India and both movements tend to merge into each other. General Jacob sought the PU centre to devote time to evaluate the regional military equations and balances.

A former Chief of the Army Staff, General V.P. Malik, in his keynote address dwelled on non-military factors which defined the security of a country. “ No country can survive if it is economically and morally diseased inside”, he said.

Economic reasons played a major role in internal security, General Malik said. A bulk of problems prevailed because of fragile ‘social security’. Even ethnic battles resulted from sharing of limited resources. Stronger economic bonds, even with neighbouring countries, could reduce border tensions. Economically weaker nations could maintain security because sound economics is the cornerstone of strength.

Demographic imbalances added to problems of refugees and migration were also vital areas of consideration. The ecological damage due to global warming was an area to watch. Drug supply posed another question to be probed because of a major bulk of supplies flowed in the country which was house to the infamous supply routes of the ‘golden triangle’ in one corner and the ‘golden crescent’ on the other, he said

Corruption affected vitals of a nation. Country became morally and ethically weak which was the cause of socio-economic problems which led to socio-political problems affecting vitals of the nation, General Malik added.

Prof K.N. Pathak, Vice Chancellor, welcomed the speakers.


Seek probe against Advani, BJP told
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
The Congress today urged the BJP to demand an inquiry against Home Minister L. K. Advani, who controls the Chandigarh Administration, for the allotment of land to the Heritage Society involving local Congress MP Pawan Bansal and senior Congress leader Ms Ambika Soni.

“Why should the BJP and former MP Satyapal Jain seek the inquiry from the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs or hold a protest in front of the Municipal Corporation when they could have got it annulled from their leader Mr Advani,” Congress president B. B. Bahl and its general secretary Subhash Chawla said.

They said the Chandigarh Administration, which is under Mr Advani’s control, allotted the land and the inquiry should now be on whether Mr Bansal influenced Mr Advani to the chagrin of the local BJP leaders.

The Congress leaders flanked by the INTUC president Rampal Sharma urged Mr Jain not to mislead the people by making out Mr Pranab Mukherjee’s political engagement on September 22 ahead of a Parliamentary committee’s programmes on September 23 as violation of Parliamentary conventions.

They reminded the BJP that their union ministers Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj and Himachal Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal during their official visits had been coming to the BJP office and engaging in political programmes.

Mr Bahl said Mr Jain owed an explanation to the people about what ‘relations’ he had with suspended Haryana bureaucrat N.K. Jain.

He said Mr Jain, instead of raising these issues, should answer six allegations levelled by the Congress.

Mr Bahl clarified that Ms Ambika Soni had come to the city for taking a rest at her house as she was unwell and returned without Participating in Parliamentary committee’s proceedings.

The two Congress leaders expressed apprehensions that the BJP leaders were seeking to make an issue in the wake of early Lok Sabha elections.

The Congress condemned the attack of devotees in the Swaminarain Temple and urged the Gujarat Government to provide relief to the affected. Mr Chawla said with the attack on the temple the BJP had proved to be inefficient in protecting both minorities and the majority community.


MCC to prune trees in southern sectors
Monica Sharma

Chandigarh, September 25
To make driving at night more safe, the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh(MCC) is launching a campaign to prune branches of trees which are camouflaging streetlights.

The MCC will also prune branches trees blocking the vision of commuters, thus preventing them from seeing traffic lights.

Sources in the Horticulture Wing said the drive was expected to begin in the middle of the next month and would continue till the end of the year.

“We are working out the modalities,” said a senior officer in the Horticulture Wing. “It all depends upon the availability of manpower. And if all goes well, the drive will start from October 15 and continue till December.” He said the campaign would initially concentrate on southern sectors.

The decision is significant as branches of trees, hanging along roadside, are a nuisance for city residents. The branches, covering the streetlights, adversely affect the lighting of roads at night and during day it becomes impossible for commuters to see a traffic light from distance.

“You cannot see the lights till you almost reach a cross-section,” said Mr Dinesh Verma, a businessman staying in Sector 38. “As a result, you have to apply brakes suddenly. At times, I have also seen this leading to mishaps,” he said.

“ Even hedges on road dividers are a traffic hazard. Last week, a scooterist, while overtaking a speeding car, got bruised badly due to these hedges,” said Mr Harjeet Singh Randhawa, a marketing executive with a city-based firm.

The problem intensifies during the rainy season. Mr Raman Sharma, a shopkeeper in Sector 47 said, “After a storm, branches break and fall on the electricity cables resulting in power failure. Sometimes it takes hours together to get the fault rectified.”

Aware of these problems, the Resident's Welfare Wing of the Chandigarh Parents' Association had given representations to the MCC Commissioner, the Administrator, the Advisor to the Administrator and officials of the Horticulture Department.

The Association claimed that in a many sectors trees were pruned while in others they had been let to grow out of hand. The chairman of the association , Mr Bhim Sen Sehgal, also urged the authorities to carry out a sector-wise survey and identify the areas requiring immediate attention.

The association also requested residents to submit individual complaints in this regard.


Financiers’ plea to police
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
Financial institutions and companies dealing in sale and purchase of vehicles in the city have sought that the Chandigarh police allows repossession of their vehicle.

Stating a recent judgement of the Supreme Court in the Tarun Bhargava v/s State of Haryana case, wherein orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court against forcible repossession of a hypothecated item by a creditor had been stayed, the financiers said that a major racket of financing vehicles and defaulting on the instalments was going on in the city.

The list of defaulters purchasing vehicles is increasing. Investigations reveal that people after being declared defaulters go to another bank to get a vehicle financed and repeat the exercise several times.

By an estimate, an amount of Rs 30 crore was to be paid by defaulters and the number of such defaulters was over 1,500. The data-sharing would enable the financiers to check the credentials of an applicant, said an official of a private bank in Sector 35.


Seminar on emerging trends in EPF
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, September 25
The National Institute of Personnel Management (Punjab Chapter in collaboration with the Regional Provident Fund Commissioner’s office organised a seminar on “Emerging trends in EPF’ here yesterday.

The seminar was inaugurated by Mr A.D. Nagpal, Member, Central Board of Trustees (EPF).

Mr N.N. Sharma, Regional Provident Fund Commissioner, Punjab & Union Territory of Chandigarh, addressed the participants regarding initiatives being undertaken to make the scheme more customer-centric.

He lauded the role played by NIPM (Punjab Chapter) in serving as a bridge between the government and employers/employees by organising such interactions.

The seminar was also addressed by the Regional PF Commissioner (Finance), Mr K.L. Goyal, Regional PF Commissioner, (Compliance), Mr J.R. Sharma and Assistant Provident Fund Commissioner, Mr B.S. Gosain. The seminar was attended by around 100 participants.


Immigration consultancy launched
Tribune news Service

Chandigarh, September 25
Mr D.S. Bedi, director-principal, Shivalik Public School, Chandigarh, today inaugurated the office of Vibgyor Immigration Consultancy Services at Mani Majra, on the Chandigarh-Kalka road.

Mr J.S. Bedi, director of the consultancy,claimed that their firm would provide professional consultancy service to persons interested in migrating to Canada, New Zealand and Australia at a much lower rate than other firms in the city.


40-yr-old woman jumps to death
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, September 25
Mamta Bakshi (40), a resident of Sector 2 here, allegedly committed suicide after jumping from the fourth storey of the Hafed building located in Sector 5 here, this afternoon.

Her body was noticed by some labourers, working in the adjacent building, at about 4 p.m. Subsequently Hafed officials and the police were informed about the incident.

According to the police, the victim was identified from a slip that was found from a knot in her dupatta. The victim had noted down her name, husband’s name and address, besides her mother’s telephone number on the slip.

She was living with her husband, Mr Manmohan Bakshi, and three children in Sector 2 for the past over two months. Mr Bakshi is employed with a SAS Nagar-based telephone company.

The woman reportedly went unnoticed upstairs and then to the corridor on the fourth floor. She then jumped through a window to end her life.

The exact motive behind the step could not be ascertained at the initial stage.

Meanwhile, members of the woman’s family were called and the body sent to the General Hospital in Sector 6 for post-mortem. The police has started inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the CrPC.


Car crushes woman to death
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, September 25
A woman was crushed to death, while two others were injured in three separate accidents in the city during the past 24 hours.

According to the police, Rajni Kumari, a cyclist, died on the spot when a Santro car (HP-23-A-0107) knocked her down on the Ambala-Kalka highway, near Chandi Mandir, yesterday. She was a resident of Bir Ghaggar village.

A case under Sections 279 and 304-A of the IPC has been registered with the Chandi Mandir police station.

Injured: In a hit-and-run case, a motorcyclist, Pratap Kumar, sustained injuries when a truck (HP-68-0977) rammed into his motor bike (PB-12E-3995) near Manyaka village. The police has registered a case under Sections 279,337 and 338 of the IPC on the complaint of Mr Pawan Malhotra, a resident of Ramgarh.

In a similar case, the police has booked Ravesh Kumar for causing hurt to Mr Kadam Singh of Khatola village while driving negligently near Khatola T-point last evening. A case under Sections 279, 336, 337 and 338 of the IPC has been registered against the car driver (HP-15-1498).

Four arrested: The police has arrested four persons, including a woman, for their alleged involvement in a theft case.

According to the police, three persons — Amit, alias Pappu, Babloo, alias Punnu and Mukesh, all residents of Rajiv colony — were arrested from the Sector 16 park last evening.

They have been arrested on the complaint of Mr Rajesh Kumar, a resident of Sector 25. In his complaint, Mr Kumar has alleged that the persons had decamped with a stereo, silver coins and jewellery. A case under Sections 454 and 380, IPC, were registered against them at Chandi Mandir police station.

The police has also arrested Malkiat Kaur of Gila-kheir village in Punjab for stealing a chain. She was arrested from Nada Sahib village. Earlier, Ms Surjit Kaur had complained about the theft and a case was registered against her at Chandi Mandir police station.

Molestation charge: The police has arrested Shri Kant, a jhuggi-dweller in Sector 3, for molesting a girl, while she was returning home from the school on September 4.

He was booked under Sections 376, 506 and 120 of the IPC on the complaint of the victim’s mother, Ms Vidya Devi , a resident of Majri village.

In her complaint, Ms Vidya Devi had alleged that Shri Kant, Sunita Devi and three others detained and molested her daughter near the Baba Mandir in Sector 3 while she was on her way back home. The other four accused in the case are still at large.

Two held: The police has arrested Raju and Sachin on charge of stealing Rs 830 from the cash box of a PCO at Pinjore. The duo had gone to the PCO to make a call. When the owner, Balwant Singh, went out for a while, they tried to steal money. They were caught red-handed.

Illicit liquor seized: Seven bottles and 100 pouches of illicit liquor were seized in two separate incidents. While 100 pouches of liquor were seized from an auto-rickshaw driver, Devendra Singh, in Barwala, an unidentified person ran away leaving behind 10 bottles of liquor near a police naka in Raipur Rani.

Liquor smuggler held: In less than 24 hours after the police arrested two persons for carrying 70 bottles of country-made liquor from two separate places in Zirakpur area, another liquor smuggler was nabbed while carrying 100 pouches of country-made liquor near here on Tuesday.

The police said Rinku Rajori, a resident of Maulijagran colony in Chandigarh, was arrested at a naka.

A case under the Excise Act has been registered at the Lohgarh police post.


Theft cases: During the past 24 hours, three cases of theft have been registered in different police stations here.

Mr Abheyjeet Chaudhary, a resident of Sector 23, reported that a shield of his scooter was stolen from a parking lot of Sector 17 here yesterday. Mr Vikas Awasthi of Sector 7 reported that someone has stolen computer parts and a computer CPU from his residence yesterday.

A Sector 22 resident, Mr Manoj Kumar, has alleged that one Sandeep, alias Babloo, a resident of Mujafarpur village, has stolen six tolas of gold and Rs 1,500 from his residence. The alleged theft took place on the night of September 5.

Hurt: Ms Sunita Kaur, a resident of SAS Nagar, was injured after the Moped she was riding was hit by a scooter on the Khuda Alisher road here on September 8. The scooterist fled from the spot. A case has been registered.

Four held: The police has arrested four persons for consuming liquor at public places and three persons for carrying liquor pouches. Six cases have been registered.


Boy crushed to death
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 25
A seven-year-old boy, Rajan, was crushed to death by a speeding truck while he was returning home after attending his school here this afternoon. The driver fled from the spot in the truck. However, the registration number of the vehicle was noted down by some persons present at the site.

The accident took place at around 2 pm near the PGI serai. The truck was coming from the Mullanpur-Garibdas side. The victim was a student of Class II at a Sector 12 school.

The boy was a resident of Janta Colony, Nayagaon. His father is a private employee and the mother works as maid in some houses here. Komal, victim’s younger sister, is four-year-old. Relatives of the boy informed this correspondent that every day Rajan was picked up by somebody from the school but this afternoon he started for home on his own.

The post-mortem of the body will be performed tomorrow. A case under Sections 279 and 304A of the IPC has been registered.


Man assaulted, dies in hospital
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 25
A 30-year-old man, Surinder Kumar, died in Sector 11 under mysterious circumstances after allegedly being beaten up by two persons here today.

As per police sources, Surinder, a resident of Housing Board Colony, Dhanas, who used to sell shoes and bathroom sleepers on a rehri in the Sector 11 market, had some altercation with two fellow rehriwalas, Kulwinder and Dhanna.

The two allegedly assaulted Surinder and the latter started bleeding from the nose and the mouth.

While the market people were trying to calm down the two agitated parties, Surinder fainted and was rushed to the PGI where he was declared brought dead.

Sources further added that the victim was a heart patients. It is being suspected that he died of a heart attack due to excitement.

As per a police official, the exact cause of the death would be known only after the post mortem, which will be performed tomorrow. However, a case has been registered. No arrest has been made.


CTU driver held with poppy husk
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 25
A driver of the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking was arrested allegedly with 10 kg of poppy husk near The Tribune chowk here late this evening. According to police sources, Nasib Singh, driver of a CTU bus, which plies between Chandigarh and Jaipur, was carrying the poppy husk in 20 packets of 500 gm each.


Building house without it is unthinkable
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Dreaming of fixtures in a house? You can not do without checking up varieties in this market for adding internal aesthetics to it without visiting this market.

But the claim of fulfilling the dream of fixtures needed does not reflect in the size of the market stretching from shop number 2901 to 2946, too few shops to cater to a vast market of Himachal, Haryana and Punjab apart from the city and neighbouring towns of Panchkula and SAS Nagar.

The market has got a bit of a challenge from its neighbouring market of the Bajwara Sector 22 D due to an insignificant happening years ago.

It was the king of retail fixtures market till a small roundabout on the Dakshin Marg bang opposite the petrol pump towards the market was removed to check accidents on the road, Mr. Surinder Nagpal, one of the active shopkeepers known as ''pardhanji'', said.

He said after the removal of the round about, the customer coming from the direction of Ambala tended to stop in the Bajwara D Market for buying the same things instead of coming to us.

Still, it did not lag behind in business grossing an average annual turnover of Rs. 30 to 35 crore and attracting at least a thousand visitors.

The market also has faced competition from a scattering of shops selling similar products in many sectors of the city.

The spirits of the shopkeepers are, however, not down and they are thinking of bringing in fun in an otherwise monotonous life by a weekly picnic programme outstations in a bus and having been celebrating Radhashtmi, Krishan Janmashtmi and Chhabeels every year.

They have also been organising Navratras for the last nine years followed a day after by a langar along with labourers working in the market.

The shopkeepers seem to do business when the sun literally shines with street lights absent for at least 15 years.

The fate of the market has been tied to the development of the city with certain shopkeepers like the kalka Timber Store and Punjab Tin Supply Company having seen the growth of the market since its rehabilitation process began in 1958.

Mr. Rajesh Gupta of the Kalka Plywood and also a councillor remembers he was born in the Bajwara Market and saw the rehabilitation process of around 1000 shops in different phases over two decades.

He said most of timber shops were offered plots in the timber market in Sector 26, where his father bought one.

Mr. Gupta said it was in 1978 when the process of the rehabilitation of the Bajwara C seemed to have been completed. The shopkeepers of Bajwara, however, had to wait for almost couple of years after demolition of their shops in Bajwara to be rehabilitated at the present site.

Shops in Bajwara were razed during the Emergency, Mr. Surinder Nagpal said.

He said his father Shree Narsingh Dass Nagpal was elected President of the Bajwara Market in 1974 and probably junior Nagpal seemed to have got the tag of pardhanji from there despite the market having no formal association.

Mr. Surinder Nagpal remembered how he had to wait for almost two years since 1978 for another shop to be started from the Bajwara 22 C Market. His shop, the Punjab Tin Supply Company, was the first one to come to the market followed by Haryana Pipe store and host of others subsequently.

He said in the beginning there used to be a time when he would always sit outside the shop waiting for a customer.

The market then grew to a situation where big names like S. K. Sanitaries, Haryana Pipe Store, Laxmi Electricals, Kalka Ply Palace, K. P. Electricals, Gupta Electricals, Ply Samrat, Ply Plaza, Bombay Plywood, Prem Marbles and Hanuman Trading Company emerged in the market.

Jain Glass Company boasting of being equipped with computers to do engravings on glass was another feather in its cap and claims to be the only one in the area with this technology.

Though exteriors of the market may not speak of the volume of business they do but it is relatively free of encroachments sans parking mismanagement.



  • The areas has been in the dark for almost 15 years as even power cables have been dithered.
  • With 10 to 12 government offices in the area, parking has become a major problem.
  • Internal roads have not been recarpeted since market came into being in 1978 and developed virtual craters.
  • Roads are water-logged during monsoon putting pressure on parking space and spoiling already deteriorated roads.
  • Tiles on pavements have worn out as they have not been replaced, except for a patch of 15 to 20 feet.
  • Shopkeepers have built a one-foot high wall in the backside as water logging in the backside is even worse threatening to enter shops from behind. During water logging toilets start throwing back sewage.
  • Parking of private operators' buses is gobbling up parking space.
  • With most of the goods in the area being transported by trucks, the shopkeepers are not able to load and unload their material during the day causing a loss to business volume.
  • The shopkeepers demand entry of trucks should be allowed in the market during a certain period during the day like in Sector 26 and 7 on Madhya Marg.
  • The common water tank is damaging the road in the area in the absence of an underground outlet for water flowing from the tank.


Smart card cos unveil global partnerships
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
India’s smart card companies, Smart Chip Limited and Syscom Corporation, have announced their global technology partnerships under the banner Team-Smart India.

Syscom and Smart Chip have played a big role in the GSM and non-GSM smart card-based system integration market, having delivered over seven million smart cards.

Team-Smart India comprises world leaders in various technology areas, namely, IBM, ACG, Veridicom, Watchdata and Rajpurohit GMP.

According to Mr Sanjeev Shriya, managing director, Smart Chip Limited and Syscom Corporation, “Syscom and Smart Chip are perceived as strong smart card technology players, primarily due to the immense commitment of all our partners to meet the challenges of the Indian market.”

“We have continuously and successfully demonstrated path-breaking e-governance applications on smart card platforms and are confident that the idea of machine-readable national ID cards, announced the Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee will be successfully implemented by Team-Smart India.”

“India has already broken the 10 million barrier for smart SIM cards,” informed Mr Shriya, “of which nearly 45 per cent have been supplied by Syscom, which also introduced India’s first state-of-the-art 32K SIM card.”

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