C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Muskan murder case
Police releases suspect’s sketch, Muskan cremated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 12
The murder of a “call girl,” Muskan, in the Hotel Shivalikview could have been a handiwork of a pimp as she reportedly provided tip-off to the police leading to the arrest of call girls in the surrounding areas of the city.

Autopsy report has been kept pending till the chemical examination report of viscera to find out if Muskan was drugged also is received .

Muskan during struggle to survive had scratches on body parts of the suspected murderer as she had hair and skin in her clutch.

Apart from two injuries on face and lips, she had biting injuries on her arm.

Semi-digested food was found in her stomach.

Sources in the Chandigarh Police said apart from a possible blackmail by Muskan of a customer, the police was also examining that the “call girl” might have given tip-off about sex rackets in the surrounding areas and in Chandigarh inviting wrath of certain pimps.

The Panchkula police has recently arrested 90 girls. Sources in the Panchkula police said they were sure that they had not been given leads by Muskan nor had she ever operated in Panchkula.

Theories of rivalry in the call girl racket and blackmail has some ground, the sources said as driver of the auto-rickshaw Kulwinder Singh said, he had not seen this person before. Kulwinder Singh is assisting the police in identifying those who had been in contact with Muskan.

The police recovered a few photographs and phone numbers. The photos recovered from her house in Sector 38 (West) include those of other call girls. Except for a photograph of a leading Punjabi singer, the other photographs of males recovered from her house have not yet been identified.

Kulwinder told the police that Muskan had told him to pick her at 8 pm. This lone call led to the police tracing the auto-rickshaw driver. The police has sought details of the calls coming to and going from Muskan’s mobile phone to zero in on the suspect.

The police suspects that the murder was planned and could not have been on a spur of the moment as the man who brought her to the hotel came alone without any luggage. He gave wrong address and name and did not mention about who else was to be with him nor did he even specify the gender.

The investigation of the police on the blackmail theory is getting difficult as the call girl was allegedly feigning affair with many persons without letting anyone of them know about her other affairs. According to the police, she might have been feigning pregnancy with someone to either financially or emotionally blackmail the person. The police today released a computer sketch of the suspect in the call girl’s murder case. The eyes of Muskan’s father, mother and brother were misty but her sleazy past apparently forced them to cremate her in Sector 25 cremation ground. Her father Darshan Singh and brother Paramjit and mother had come to the city but decided to cremate Muskan here only.

Her parents revealed to the police that she was married but deserted by her husband. Her mother said she was in touch with them and told the family members that she was working as a marketing executive in Sector 22 and selling some products.

Her mother knew that the girl had booked by the Chandigarh Police in 2002 and had later reformed. She had then visited Muskan. Muskan had been hiding the fact to the police that she was married.

Muskan was brought to the city by a pimp in Mohali in 2000 but she formed her own group of four or five girls and set up her base in Sector 37. One of her room partners from Allahabad committed suicide by taking sleeping pills here only.

In fact, from the Sector 37 house another woman was also arrested separately. Muskan then shifted to Sector 45 along with another girl but had to leave Sector 45 after she had a scuffle with a policeman. She then shifted to Sector 38 (West) to alone operate from there.



Home away from home for this sambar
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Pinjore, December 12
A week ago when the Wildlife Department found a critically wounded sambar on the Nalagarh road near here, it had little hope that the month-old sambar would survive.

But thanks to the efforts of the vets of the department and two families of Bitna Colony here, the animal is on its way to recovery.

However, as the animal has been separated from its mother, it cannot be released in the wild. Once its wounds are healed, the animal will be kept either in the confines of a rescue centre or the Pipli Mini Zoo.

Wildlife officials fear that the animal will be unable to show any resistance to dogs and might be attacked and killed if it is released in the wild.

The officials say the sambar has developed an affinity for humans and dogs, as it has been staying among them for the past one week.

“It will be unable to protect itself from attack by other animals. Though we have not yet decided on where to keep it after it has recuperated, it will definitely be kept in captivity,” says Wildlife Inspector Sada Ram.

Chintu, as its is now fondly called by Wildlife officials, was found wounded by Forest Range officer of Pinjore Sanjeev Chaturvedi on the Nalagarh road on the night of December 4. He then informed his staff.

Wildlife Inspector Sada Ram and Ramesh Kumar rescued the wounded animal and brought it to the Veterinary Hospital at Bitna Colony here.

Dr Anil Kumar, veterinarian with the Wildlife Department, says: “The sambar had sustained deep cuts and received injuries to visceral organs. It appeared as if it had been hit by a vehicle. It required intensive suturing of wounds and we had little hope that it would pull out of this. Since there is no space in the vet clinic to keep animals, we requested the family of Rakesh Kumar, alias Mangu Ram, to keep the sambar at his house while it recuperated after the surgery.”

Mangu Ram kept the sambar at his house and Veterinary Livestock Assistant Om Prakash Ranga monitored the health of the animal.

It took three days of intensive care to enable the sambar to move around the house and start consuming milk and water.

Within seven days of being with Mr Ram’s family, the sambar has now befriended his children and his brothers children.

“We keep it in the house during the night and release it in a vacant plot near our neighbour, Parsu Ram’s, house during the day. His family also looks after it and provides it with food and medicine,” says Mangu Ram’s mother, Kamla Devi, as she medicates the animal.

The officials say the stitches on the wounds will be removed on December 14 and it will be shifted either to the rescue centre or zoo later this week.



Sec 21 residents oppose Admn’s move
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 12
Residents of Sector 21, under the banner of Citizen’s Association, organised a dharna in protest against the anti-residents attitude of the UT Administration, here today, with regard to floating a 2-acre land in the open ground for a middle school.

The President of the association, Mr P.C. Sanghi, said the Administration had advertised the allotment of a school despite opposition by residents. He said the allotment of the ground to a private school was cancelled by the then Governor, Mr N.K. Mukherjee, in 1989-90 and the development of this ground as a full-fledged park was finalised.

He said the setting up of a middle school would involve uprooting trees and waste of Rs 2.93 lakh due to the dismantling of infrastructure,

Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, MP, assured the residents of his support. He criticised the Administration for advertising the ground for a school

A delegation of the residents handed over a memorandum to the Governor in this regard.



Ghaggar bridge repaired, opened to heavy vehicles
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 12
The two-week-long nightmare of commuters on the Kalka-Ambala highway finally got over after the normal vehicular traffic was restored today.

With the damaged bridge on the Ghaggar at Bhankarpur village, around 12 km from here, fully repaired, heavy vehicles, including trucks, were allowed to ply, giving relief to thousands of commuters on the busy segment.

Buses were allowed to pass the bridge last evening and passage of trucks was allowed from 2 pm today, Mr P.K. Kalia, SDO of the Punjab Public Works Department, said.

According to sources, a nine-metre laminated fibre sheet had been attached to the damaged beam of the fifth span of the bridge to provide extra strength to the bridge, constructed in early 50s.

Since the sheet was not available in the local market, it was requisitioned from a Goa-based company.

An official informed that after the completion of the repair work, the bridge was being kept “under observation”.

This was done to ensure that the bridge withstood heavy vehicular traffic. Consequently, trucks were allowed to use the bridge today.

It may be recalled that one of the spans of the bridge had developed depression on November 30.

Since then, heavy vehicular traffic bound for Chandigarh from Ambala was being diverted to the Rajpura-Banur-Zirakpur route.

The traffic going towards Ambala from here took the Panchkula-Barwala-Dera Bassi route.

Thousands of commuters were inconvenienced as besides making a detour, they had to shell out Rs 3 more on the Ambala-Chandigarh route as Haryana Roadways reportedly charged for the extra kilometres covered.

Chandigarh Tribune had today highlighted the old Kalka-Ambala highway as an alternative in case the Kalka-Ambala highway was closed for traffic.



Fixed tenure system for all-India services
cadre being considered

Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 12
The Union Government is considering starting a fixed tenure system to encourage efficiency and accountability among those in the All- India Service cadre. The Union Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pension and Parliamentary Affairs, Mr Suresh Pachouri, said many such issues pertaining to the recruitment, training and service conditions of the All-India services were part of the recommendations put forth by the task force established by the government.

The report of the task force submitted in October this year was to be tabled before Parliament in the current session. He added that the government would, following the tabling of the report, seek to establish an Administrative Reforms Commission to review the entire gamut of service rules being followed in the country. Representatives from various services would form a part of the Commission and the focus would be to bring changes so as to make administration responsive, transparent and competent.

Mr Pachouri was talking to The Tribune after inaugurating a two- day workshop, “Police and Community Interface: Problematics and Remedies” organized by the Institute for Development and Communication (IDC) here today.

Stating that there was a problem of adjustment of 'surplus employees' following winding up of departments, Mr Pachauri pointed out that it was the duty of the parent department to pay for the salaries of such employees. He said a final decision regarding employment of contractual employees versus regular employees was pending but was under serious consideration. "We agree that generally, contractual employees perform better than those kept on a permanent basis,"he said.

Mr Pachauri said that two separate points of view were being considered with regard to recruitment to the All-India Civil Services. "The Ministry of Personnel had launched a web site for gathering suggestions regarding the changes required in the recruitment system. Broadly, one point of view holds that the civil services examination should be held following class XII and the specialisation subject be chosen later. The other view is of holding the examination after graduation. But both options have their pitfalls and advantages. A final decision on the issue would be taken only after a thorough debate and in depth analysis," he said.

He said there were too many transfers of civil servants that had led to a lowering of efficiency. "It is not possible for a person to stay for a few months at a place and get to know the geographical, cultural and historical context of the problems he is expected to sort out. Adequate time was needed for a person to stay in a place to be able to administer it well. We would try to impress upon the state governments also to follow a fixed tenure system. However, as far as all-India service personnel are concerned we ask them to work in the state freely, frankly and fearlessly," he said. 



Will Muslim law do justice to Iranian Sikh family?
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 12
Will Ms Damanpal Kaur Anand, widow of an Iranian Sikh, Kultaran Singh, get justice when the trial of the killer of her husband starts in a Tehran criminal court on December 15.

She has been given to understand by her lawyers that since her husband was a Gursikh whereas the perpetrator of the heinous crime, a Muslim, justice may elude her.

Ms Anand has not only sought intervention of the Government of India through the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, but also of the Sikh diaspora worldwide as well as of a Nobel laureate and a human rights lawyer, Mrs Shirein Ebadi.

“Can there be two sets of laws for people belonging to two different religious backgrounds for the same crime in the same country?,” she asks, maintaining that “I have two sons, Jaspreet Singh (20), who is staying with me to seek justice, and Gursimar Singh (15), who is studying in an international school in New Delhi.

“My sons dare not succeed their father’s traditional automotive components business for three generations in Tehran unless justice takes place or else it would be a total loss for us,” she says. “I want to awaken the community as well as the authorities concerned that India and Punjab are watching this and that there is solidarity among global sikhs to seek justice on this issue on the principle of equality,” she said in an interaction with The Tribune on the Net.

Kultaran Singh, a Gursikh born in Iran, was brutally killed on August 7 last year. The killing not only shook the confidence of the small Sikh and Indian community of Iran which has been living there for three generations now but has also created a sense of insecurity among the minorities there.

The alleged killer, whose public confession was covered by the entire Iranian media, will be tried by a Tehran criminal court on December 15. But, unfortunately, the lawyers believe that since the deceased was a Gursikh (a non-Muslim) in an Islamic Republic, and the perpetrator of the crime a Muslim, it is questionable whether justice will be served. At the most, the family could claim and be awarded Diya compensation up to Rs 10 lakh (around US $23,000). The widow and the community, however, want that the killer should be given exemplary punishment.

“The Sikhs in Iran are a small business community of a hundred plus families and if justice is denied, it will expose this small religious minority to further risk. The Sikh residents of Iran must be accorded the benefits enjoyed by Iranian citizens,” says Ms Anand.

“Furthermore, Islam has also laid down universal fundamental rights for humanity which are to be observed and respected in all circumstances. Kultaran Singh was born in Iran, became a citizen of an Islamic state where he lived till his death, and thus he should enjoy equal rights along with those who acquire Iranian citizenship by birth. The life, property, and honour of Kultaran Singh are to be respected and protected in exactly the same way as that of a Muslim citizen. Nor should there be a difference between a Muslim and a non-Muslim citizen with respect to civil or criminal law as prescribed in Islam,” argues Ms Anand.

The entire Sikh diaspora has appealed to the highest authorities of India and Iran to intervene in this case and restore the confidence, future, and security of the Sikh community in Iran by seeking justice for the murder of Kultaran Singh, following requests from Mrs Damanpal Kaur Anand. “I have sent various petitions to the Prime Minister of India, Dr Manmohan Singh, the Ministry of External Affairs of India in New Delhi, Mr Krishan Chander Singh, Indian Ambassador in Iran, seeking their support and intervention.

“Furthermore, I need the help of Gursikh scholars of the Sikh diaspora to send me a draft petition that can be submitted to the highest religious authorities of Iran for intervention. It should convince them that the Sikhs believe in One God and our Holy Guru Granth Sahib quotes and recognises one Creator who is remembered by different people in different ways. Some know the creator as Allah”, says Ms Anand.

In her letter to Dr Manmohan Singh, Ms Anand said, “Life of any human being and security of Indian nationals cannot be compromised with for any reason whatsoever and Indian nationals must be accorded reciprocal facilities and applications of reciprocal byelaws. Honourable Prime Minister may provide for the relief of all Indians living in Iran and ensure their future and security or else there is no future for us if justice is denied”.

In another letter to a Nobel laureate, Ms Shirien Ebadi, a lawyer for human rights, Ms Anand said if the justice was denied, it would put the small Indian and Sikh religious minority in Iran to further risk. Kultaran Singh by being born in Iran should enjoy equal rights along with those who acquire Iranian citizenship by birth. The life, property, and honour of Kultaran Singh are to be respected and protected in exactly the same way as that of a Muslim citizen.

“There is a strong plea that when we recognise the creation of Allah prescribed in our holy scriptures and the name of Allah appears then why my husband should not be given equal status as a Muslim, as he followed the path of Allah the merciful,” she added.



Illegal sale of liquor in Chandigarh Club
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 12
A party of the Excise Department today detected illegal sale of liquor in the Chandigarh Club during a marriage party function.

Official sources said a party of the Excise Department raided the club. The raiding party confiscated 10 cases of Royal Challenge and a beer brand being served in the club without permit.

During investigation, it was found out that the same liquor brought from Punjab and Haryana had not been shown in the accounts of the club.

When asked, the club staff could not explain nor could show any record of permit.

The official sources said the “irregularities” in the accounts were seen during an regular checking exercise in the club.



Tehelka case: Only 18 tapes sent to
London for forensic examination

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 12
The Secretary of the erstwhile Phukan Commission of Inquiry, Mr S K Dasgupta, today stated before a military court trying an Army officer allegedly involved in the Tehelka scam that only 18 out of a total of 105 video tapes shot by operatives of tehelka.com had been sent to London for forensic examination.

The commission was set up by the Central Government to investigate allegations of corruption in defence deals brought out through a sting operation, in which operatives of tehelka.com posed as arms dealers and caught top politicians, senior army officers and Defence Ministry functionaries allegedly demanding and accepting bribes on video tapes shot through hidden cameras.

The original tapes had been handed over by tehelka.com to the Venkataswamy Commission of Inquiry and later, its successor, the Phukan Commission ordered the tapes to be sent to London for forensic examination to establish their authenticity and determine whether they had been edited or tampered. The commission has now been wound up with the government deciding to hand over the probe to the Central Bureau of Investigation.

Mr Dasgupta stated before the court that nobody other than the commission had access to the tapes. He further added that no forensic expert had examined the tapes except, Mr James Cass in London, where the tapes had been sent.

Earlier, Mr Dasgupta handed over certified copies of 11 tapes to the court, which had been sought by the defence. The copies were compared with the original tapes by running them simultaneously in the court. The copies had been made in the presence of Mr Dasgupta, who is the custodian of the original tapes.

The defence counsel, Major K Ramesh, asked the secretary whether he had made a visual examination or an expert examination to compare the tapes, Mr Dasgupta stated that he had carried out a visual examination only.

The prosecution counsel, Mr Arvind Moudgil, sought time till December 16 to begin cross- examination of the accused, Col Anil Sahgal. The accused himself had been examined as a defence witness. The prosecution contended that some time was required to view the tapes as they had been admitted in evidence for the first time and did not form part of the court of inquiry or the summary of evidence.

The court, however, fixed December 13 as the next date of hearing.



Expert for screening premature babies
to prevent blindness

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 12
Timely screening of the new born premature babies by medical specialists can go a long way in minimising the risk of total blindness, the incidence of which is very high among the premature and low birth weight babies in the country.

Addressing the media persons here yesterday, Dr M. R Dogra, Additional Professor at the Department of Ophthalmology at the PGI, says that blindness among the premature babies, termed as Retinopathy Of Prematurity (ROP) is easily preventable if detected in time by the ophthalmologists.

“The babies which are delivered between 26 to 34 weeks of the gestation period are likely to develop ROP more than the other newborns. Moreover, if the baby weighs less than 1700 gm at the time of birth the chances of developing blindness are higher,'' says Dr Dogra.

The studies at the PGI have shown that 47 per cent of all the premature babies born in the Institute develop ROP, out of which 10 to 15 per cent children are rendered blind for the rest of their lives.

“Premature babies have to be screened within 4 to 6 weeks of the birth to detect the treatable stage of the ROP. If the detection is delayed then chances of restoring the vision are lost and the children can never see again. That is why the initial period after birth is very crucial,'' adds Dr Dogra.

In fact, it is the responsibility of the neonatologist and the pediatrician that the premature baby should be screened by the ophthalmologist to rule out ROP.

However, the high number of newborn children becoming blind could be avoided easily if the doctors in all the specialities are made more aware about the disease.

“There is lack of awareness among the doctors and the increase in the number of the neonatal clinics in the country is, in fact, leading to the number of premature babies suffering from ROP.

This is because, unlike in the past, the lives of the premature and low birth babies is being saved due to advanced techniques but the lack of awareness about the preventable ROP is leading to total vision loss among the children,'' says the doctor.

Laser treatment of ROP even within incubator
The technique of laser is proving to be the most cost-effective procedure to treat ROP among the newborn babies. Hailed as the breakthrough, the PGI has been able to perform the laser treatment surgery even when the baby is inside the incubator and the neonatologists do not recommend it to be taken out at all. The technique has been demonstrated at the international conferences.

The PGI is currently studying the incidence of the ROP among the high-weight babies, weighing between 1600 gm to 1800 gm, where the disease occurs due to lack of proper care of the new born. 



Police needs attitudinal change, says Naidu
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 12
“The Police Act 1861, the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 and the Criminal Procedure Code need to be reviewed and amended to make the criminal justice system responsive to the needs of modern day society,” said Union Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pension and Parliamentary Affairs Suresh Pachouri while inaugurating a two-day workshop here today.

“Police and Community Interface: Problematics and Remedies” was organised by the Institute for Development and Communication (IDC), Chandigarh, in association with the IPS Association, Punjab, and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, New Delhi.

Mr Pachouri quoted Mahatma Gandhi to stress that the police should perform the role of a reformer and give up its colonial legacy of suppressing people.

“In the changing global order, there was a need for the police to work in partnership with the people and make institutions like the police station as the hub of social change, as protectors of human rights and civil liberties and democratic values. The police has to make sincere efforts so that the expectations of the poor are met,” he said.

He visualised a greater role of the community in the functioning of the police. “Schemes like special police officers, neighbourhood watch, crime prevention weeks, etc. were experiments that had been successful in many states. The time has come that these experiments grow into full-fledged participation of people in policing. These can be achieved through an effective internal control mechanism with the police system,” he said.

He added that there was an urgent need to reorient the internal procedures of the police force so that the police was seen as an instrument to protect and help people.

The minister complimented the Punjab Police for weeding out terrorism from the state.

The second session of the workshop was chaired by Mr M. Vankiah Naidu, former president of the BJP.

He said the criminal judicial system in India was not working in vacuum and there were many actors that played important roles in imparting justice to the common man.

He suggested that the judiciary be made accountable. He asked for evaluation of performance of police officers and a fixed tenure for their posting.

He also suggested the selection of public prosecutors by the UPSC and establishment of a security board to look into the problems and grievances of policemen.

Stressing that the police should have a human face, Mr Naidu said the police needed an attitudinal change and certain service-related reforms.

Mr Naidu said although politicians were the first to be criticised for the state of the nation, the other pillars of democracy needed to stand up and own the responsibility.

Mr Naidu said the media needed to be more responsible. Criticising the negative role being played by human rights bodies, Mr Naidu said in majority of cases the focus of the human rights bodies was misplaced.

“They should stand with the helpless and not with ones who have violated the law of the land,” he said.



People feel unhappy with police, judiciary: CJ
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 12
Senior police officers today demanded the implementation of the Malimath Committee report on reforms in the criminal justice system. They were speaking on the first day of the two-day seminar on “Police and Community Interface: Problematics and Remedies” organised by the Institute for Development and Communication (IDC), Chandigarh, members of the IPS Association.

Speaking during the morning session, Chief Justice, Himachal Pradesh High Court, V.K. Gupta, favoured a drive to reverse the process of desensitization in the justice, delivery system. He said there was major paradox that while the police and the judiciary had failed on various accounts, the people had no other option for a remedy. He opined that jurisdiction of the police and the condition of the police stations be reviewed regularly.

Mr Gurbachan Jagat, a Member the UPSC, in the key-note address discussed the challenges before the police, democracy, control mechanism and the accountability of policemen to the statute. He was of the view that the Malimath and the Dharamvira Committee’s recommendations regarding police reforms be accepted. He added that officers should avoid running for plum posts and give up the attitude of being the ruling class.

Introducing the theme of the workshop, Dr. Pramod Kumar, Director, Institute Development and Communication, said that policing had to face the challenges posed by globalization of rights and crimes, technological revolution, active generations, plural community and human mobility and diaspora. The role of police has become central in view of four-fold increase in intra-state violence in the nineties. He also emphasized that in the new era, therefore, the aim of policing had to shift from an enforcement perspective targeting community as potential criminals to crime prevention with community participation. However, a lack of understanding of the power structures operating within the society could result in overlooking the needs of women, the scheduled castes and migrants.

A book written by DGP Punjab, A.A. Siddiqui, “Police sub-culture” published by the Guru Nanak Dev University was also released on the occasion.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. G.S. Aujla, Director principal, PPA Phillaur pointed out that there was major ambivalence between the formal and informal quest for accountability. Mr. Pawan Bansal, Member of Parliament, in his approved of political supervision of the policing system to some extent and even justified the use of certain degree of force in investigations.

Mr K. Koshy, Additional DG, Haryana, highlighted the problems in policing India and suggested that there was need to move away from simple institutional reforms and bring about a radical change in the concept of policing. Giving an example he said in the East Godavari District in AP, as the costs of policing went down, the efficiency of policing went up and there is greater cooperation from the public for policing activities. Because, now it was the community that is doing the policing for its own good rather than the state policing the community in order to protect its sovereignty

Mr Harpreet Sidhu, stated that most of the recommendations made by the various police commissions were within the realm of the police force to implement. Hence the need is for the police force to stop crying about the absence of political will and simply implement the reforms.

Dr M Rajivlochan said that a police officer should be working only for eight hour a day and not more and every police station should be properly housed that has enough rooms for all the staff to sit and relax. 



Concern expressed over communication
gap between Bench, media

Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 12
Mr Justice P. Venkatarama Reddi of the Supreme Court today expressed concern over the communication gap between the people, Judges and media. He said that facts had not been coming out properly, especially when it came to the judiciary, and this anomaly needed to be removed.

Saying that lawyers must be very disciplined, Mr Justice Reddi remarked that quality education could go a long way in inculcating this value.

Speaking at the veledictory function of the two-day workshop organised by the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana here today, Mr Justice Reddi also asserted that delay in the cases could not be said to be only due to judiciary. "The investigating agencies as well as the prosecution take their own time. Judges alone are not responsible for delay in disposal of cases," he said.

Another Supreme Court Judge, Mr Justice B.P. Singh, in his address, advised young lawyers to work with more zeal and spirit. He also favoured better relations between the Bar and Bench.

"Both sides need to be ready to understand each other's expectations and try to fulfil them," he added.



Writing on relationships in Japan
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 12
Life had been fast turning into a big misery for him. The ghost of unemployment had started gnawing his creative faculties. He had started withering from within. But then all of a sudden lady luck smiled on him. A dear friend settled in Japan, invited him to work with him in a hotel. And that invitation set a new path to move on for Jasbir Mand, who, first as writer, then as a cook and now as a hotelier, has travelled a long way in a short span of five years. Undoubtedly, Mand is the most promising Punjabi novelist among the younger generation of Punjabi writers.

After his friend Rana Sodhi's call from Japan, Mand got training as a cook and then left for the land of technical wizards to try his luck. Rana Sodhi and his brother Parminder Sodhi, also an established writer, helped Mand to be his natural self. After some time, both brothers supported him to open his independent hotel named as Khalsa at Osaka, Japan's most industrialised city.

Japanese are very fond of Indian food. In fact, Japanese have taste buds that relish foods of all continents. In order of preference, they first go for the Chinese food and then for Italian dishes. Indian food is their third choice, says Mand, who is here on a brief vacation.

But inspite of doing well in Japan, Mand is not satisfied with what he is today. " I want to keep the writer inside me alive and am eager to get back to my original pursuit of writing. The constant fight between a writer and businessman within my soul, mind and body has become a big question for me to resolve", says Mand. " Often, I long to return to my roots that is Hirdepur village near Kurali. But then I pacify myself as realities of life stare in my face", he adds.

Before leaving for Japan, Mand wrote a novel "Aur de Beej" in two parts. It was very well received and published by Gursharan Singh, a leading theatre personality. His other novel," Akhari Pind De Katha" also made a roaring entry in to Punjabi literary world. A story " Utho Virsa Singh" put him in the top bracket of young Punjabi writers.

Mand has been observing Japanese society for the past five years. On the basis of his observations, he has written a long novel on relationships in Japan. " It is very hard to assimilate in Japanese social milieu. They are very sensitive people. Neither they disturb any one nor like to be disturbed. But they are best in the world as far as maintaining of the human relations is concerned,” says Mand. They are also fans of Indian movies.



Venkaiah takes a dig at Congress, Left
Triune News Service

Chandigarh, December 12
Taking a dig at the Congress-led and Left-supported United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, Mr Venkaiah Naidu, former (BJP) president, was at his humorous best while addressing party workers at the BJP office, Sector 33, here today.

Beginning his speech on the note that there was lack of collective responsibility on the part of the UPA, he said it was unclear who was the boss at the Centre.

“Usually, the (Prime Minister) is head but in the UPA, we have a PM, an SPM (Super PM) in Ms Sonia Gandhi, the CPM and a UPM (Ultra PM) in Mr Laloo Prasad Yadav who is a law unto himself,” he said.

Referring to the recent showdown between Mr Yadav and Mr Ram Vilas Paswan, Mr Naidu said it was unprecedented and against the constitutional and federal structure.

The PM, undoubtedly, is a nice man but expressed helplessness in the face of such indiscipline,” he maintained.

Mr Naidu said it seemed the PM was at the mercy of the CPM. “At a recent rally, the CPM said the PM sat and stood according to its direction.

The CPM must spare Dr Manmohan Singh for the trouble of sitting and standing again and again.

He is in a government not a school where it is punishing him at the drop of a hat,” the BJP leader maintained.

Mr Naidu said the CPM also had an equal role in the bad governance of the UPA government.

“When issue is discussed, the CPM shows the UPA a green flag. Outside, it projects a different image altogether and pretends to see red like on issue of LPG and fuel hike.

Their protests are only a pretension. The reality is that the CPM and Congress are hand-in-glove on every issue,” he said.

Pointing out to the lack of cohesion in the UPA, Mr Naidu said the “right hand proposes, the left opposes and the mind disposes”.

He said unlike the Congress where one family pulled the strings, the BJP provided a chance to workers on the basis of calibre and performance.

“The Congress is all about suppression, depression and oppression. We will strike back, the next rounds belongs to us,” he concluded.



MC extends city's date with chrysanthemum
Tribune News Service

A cultural programme in progress at the Chrysanthemum show in the Terraced Garden, Sector 33, Chandigarh on Sunday.
A cultural programme in progress at the Chrysanthemum show in the Terraced Garden, Sector 33, Chandigarh on Sunday. — Photo by Parvesh Chauhan

Chandigarh, December 12
The overwhelming response of the flower lovers in the city to the Chrysanthemum Show has forced its organisers, the Municipal Corporation, to extended it by two more days.

The show, which began at the Terraced Garden, Sector 33 on Friday, was initially planned for three days but the huge Sunday crowd has made the MC think otherwise which has decided to postpone the retreat till Tuesday.

The weekend attracted a large crowd to the show where a large number of visitors came to see the different and rare varieties of chrysanthemum, which are on display under various categories.

The Horticulture Department of the MC and the competitors in the category of individuals, amateur, private and government agencies have showcased their flower collection at the garden, where more than 8500 pots are on display.

Today, the prize distribution ceremony was also held and the Mayor, Ms Kamlesh, gave away prizes to the winners of various categories.

A resident of Sector 8, Panchkula, Mr Virender Sharma, won 24 prizes in different varieties of flowers as also the Prince of Flowers title.

An industrialist by profession, tending to flowers is his hobby and he spends nearly five hours daily while nurturing his chrysanthemums.

Mr Sharma has been pursuing his romance with the chrysanthemums for the last 14 years and also has a nursery at this factory at the industrial area here.

At the prize-distribution function, a number of cultural programmes were also presented by the school children.

Folk dances and rustic notes of folk songs dominated the celebrations in the afternoon.



Guinea fowls on sale along Kalka highway
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 12
It’s a mandi for guinea fowls. Right along the Panchkula-Kalka highway, some men from Allahabad have set up a shop to sell guinea fowls, relished as a delicacy and in demand for wholesome eggs.

Over 500 guinea fowls are on sale. The fowls are not covered under the Wildlife Act.

However, the cruelty being meted out to the fowls as they are kicked around or stuffed in cane baskets (about 70 - 100 in one basket), is going unnoticed by the authorities.

Lal Chand Verma and Bari Lal say that they have been here for the past week and the sales have been good. As many as six to seven pairs of fowls are being sold a day. A pair of these fowls is being sold for Rs 250.

Lal Chand says that they rear the fowls in their village and transport these here in trucks in winter. Bari Lal says that they buy a quintal of barley to feed the fowls. “We are now planning to shift the fowls to Himachal because it is cold there and the fowls are preferred as a delicacy in cold areas,” he adds.



Search Within
Investing in youth for peace in society

The Jamia Millia Islamia has set up a centre for the study of comparative religions. It is significant that the Centre organised a symposium in collaboration with the Catholic Bishops Conference of India on building a harmonious society on December 6, anniversary of the much-lamented demolition of the 400 -year-old mosque.

Only around 100, most of them probably from the world of academics and religion, were present to listen to all exhortations about religious Harmony from a number of speakers. Naturally one wonders how such Centres are going to make an impact on the ground situation. How does such sweet talk impact the terrorists and fanatics of all hues?

Dr M.D. Thomas, director of the National Commission for Religious Harmony, a unit of the CBCI, has this answer. Among the schemes of his commission is one for undertaking joint programmes with educational institutions. These are aimed at creating a positive leadership for harmony in society. To promote such joint action, the commission had already set up 600 units in different parts of the country.

"Since universities are the abodes of the elite in society and are Centres of universal thinking and action," they are to be the focal points for promoting valued-based and enlightened leadership in the country, he had said in the welcome address.

That seems to be a sound strategy for inculcating in the youth the importance of harmony and a means of checking the unhealthy sprouting of communal seeds planted in the sly by communal elements of society. If the youth can be insulated against the communal virus, that would amount to a major achievement.

Students, it will be admitted, constitute a major force in any country in bringing about changes even in the political sphere. Hence the importance of enlisting their support in the quest for harmony in society.

Lauding the launching of the Centre, Dr Karan Singh, MP, and philosopher statesman, has called upon all concerned to launch a movement for religious harmony on the lines of the environment drive that has now caught on.

Delivering the keynote address, he touched upon the indifference of the media on the issue and said that nearly 6000 delegates had attended the World Parliament of Religions held at Cape Town recently. Millions of dollars were spent on the arrangements and deliberations, yet not a line had appeared in the Indian newspapers.

Similarly, conservation of environment and prevention of pollution were non-issues till 1972, when the media took it up and mobilised public opinion for the same.

In his welcome address, Dr M.D. Thomas, director of the Commission for Religious harmony, expressed deep appreciation of the role played by Prof Mushirul Hasan, vice-chancellor of Jamia Millia in setting up the centre as well as for his commitment to religious harmony.

He pointed out that the multi-faith movement was the most promising religious development of the 20th century, very much unprecedented in the world. A spirit of complementariness is slowly emerging among religions and their practitioners. There is an awakening of a sense of belonging together to the same Creator with a common origin, existence and destiny.

The diverse faith traditions of the world, he said, must rise above the petty boundaries of caste, class, creed, ethnicity, language, gender, ideology and cultural affiliations.

The commission director admitted that while diverse religious traditions had made great contributions to human society, they had, in more or less degrees, divided the human society. They had caused wars and tensions, massacres and murders through their provocative actions. There had been no dearth of exaggerated theories, exclusive interpretations and scandalous reports that inflamed ordinary folks and turned them into fiery rebels. The result was that religion earned a bad name.

This can not go on. Religious communities need to develop a culture of recognizing "the rich uniqueness of one another and of learning from it, of maintaining goodwill, understanding and respect towards each other. They need to collaborate in checking conflicts and promoting harmony so as to create conditions for development of society. "A new mindset vibrating with a harmonious perspective of life is the dire need of the hour," he added.

Professor Mushirul Hasan, vice-chancellor, quoted profusely from historian Toyanbee who had stressed the importance of learning to live together despite all differences of religion, race, nationality and other factors. He pointed attention to the lack of infrastructure at the Centre and favoured the setting up of more centres for religious harmony at various institutions of learning.

Earlier inaugurating the symposium, Mohataram Janab Fakhruddin T Khorakiwala, Chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia, lamented that an environment of hatred has been created in the country and this was politically motivated. The culture had been a binding force creating amity among people who followed different faiths but the situation was changing. While the physical distances had been reduced, emotionally they had drifted apart.

He also stressed that secularism only meant equality of religions and not absence of religion. The tendency to reduce religion to a few rituals was unfortunate. In the process people had lost sight of the original message. Religion, in its right sense, is intended to create a better human being.

Mr Khorakhiwala said that there was need for a study of similarities of all religions for an understanding by the youth that the messages contained the same truth would reduce conflicts and tensions.

Dr George Mathew of Indian Social Institute, said that the mixing of religion with power and the formation of political communities based on religion were behind the troubles fomented by fanaticism.

Prof Imtiaz Ahmed also drew attention to the increasing use of religion for political ends. Others who spoke on the occasion were Archbishop Vioncent Concessao, Prof Vagesh Shukla, Dr (Mrs) M.K. Gill and Dr A.K. Merchant and Prof I.H. Azad Faruqi.

— MPK Kutty



Domestic workers hold march for recognition
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 12
As part of the International Human Rights Day celebrations, members of the National Domestic Workers Movement today organised a march for the protection of human rights.

Carrying placards and banners, scores of domestic workers, registered at Catholic Church, Sector 19, shouted slogans, demanding their recognition as workers through the legislation. The march, which was flagged off by Dr Gerald John Mathias, Bishop of Shimla-Chandigarh Diocese from the church, passed through Sector 18 before culminating at the church.

Attempts in 1990 and 1996 to introduce a legislation for the recognition of the rights of the domestic workers have been stalled, alleged Sister Namrata, a spokesman for the movement. The domestic workers were routinely denied basic rights and were virtually living in forced labour, she added.

There was a lot difference between the rights outlined by the international bodies like the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and actual rights enjoyed by them, a press note said.

Since the domestic workers belonged to the economically-weaker sections of the society, they were physically, mentally and sexually abused by their employers, the sister alleged, adding that even basic rights were denied to them.



Architects moot planned growth of city periphery
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 12
The Chandigarh chapter of the Indian Institute of Architects (IIA) has decided to constitute a panel of experts to suggest ways for planned development of the periphery of Chandigarh.

The panel would be given parameters guiding the planned development.

The decision was taken at a seminar on 'Planned development of periphery of Chandigarh' organised by the Chandigarh chapter of the IIA here today.

The prominent speakers at the seminar were Mr Aditya Parkash and Mr S. Bhatti, both former principals of the Chandigarh College of Architecture, Mr V.P. Anil, a former Chief Architect of Punjab, Mr J.S. Sekhon, a former Chief Architect of Punjab and Mr S.S. Sandhu, a former Chief Architect of Chandigarh.

Mr Aditya Parkash said the city was heading towards becoming a traffic jam-prone city as unplanned vehicular movement was worsening the situation. There was a need to focus on popularising public transport system and other non-motorized means of travelling. Mr VP Anil said hardly any periphery was left.

Mr Jeet K. Gupta, President of the Chandigarh Chapter of the IIA, said the focus should be on planned and focused development.

He said the proposed panel would give its recommendations to the concerned authorities of Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana.



9 get Ambedkar Mission awards
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 12
The Canada-based Dr Ambedkar International Mission(AIM) today presented Dr Ambedkar International Mission Literary Awards-2003 to nine writers for their contribution in the field of Dalit literature.

At a function organised at the Dr Ambedkar Bhavan in Sector 37 here,Dr D Behera, Professor in the Department of Pulmonary Medicine of the PGI, presented the AIM International Award to Mohan Dass Nemishray. The AIM Literary Women’s Award was given to Saroj Aglawe.

While the AIM Literary Buddhist Award went to Vilas Wagh, the AIM Literary Magazine Award was presented to Govind Gare. The AIM Literary Punjab State Award was bagged by DD Kalyani and AIM Literary Andhra Pradesh was given to Vizia Bharati. DR Jatava walked away with Lifetime Achievement Award.

However, S Kaliaperumal, who was awarded the AIM Literary Punjab State Award, could not be present on the occasion. 



MC chief holds darbar in village
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 12
The municipal council president, Seema Chaudhary, today held open darbars at Maheshpur village and in Sector 11 here, to hear problems of the residents.

The darbar at Maheshpur village was organised in the morning, and a large number of people came forward to discus the problems and demanded better civic amenities in the area. Councillor, Ms Anita Aggarwal, was also present in the darbar.

The residents demanded that the kucha phirni in Maheshpur village be levelled and made pukka. They also demanded that the solar lights in the area be repaired and efforts made to check the leakage from the water supply lines. Resident of Madrasi Colony, which is near the village, also attended the darbar. They demanded that mobile toilets or temporary toilets be made in the colony for the residents.

Ms Chaudhary assured them that their problems would be resolved soon. She said that the MC would soon pass the Budget for the development work, including construction of toilets in Madrasi Colony.

During the open darbar at Sector 11 in the evening, the residents complained about the encroachments on the back of showrooms and jhuggis coming up on vacant plots. The residents also demanded that the parks in the sector be developed and levelled after filling plinth. The MC president promised to make budgetray provisions for the development of parks soon.



Stress laid on rights of AIDS patients
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 12
Focusing on the rights of HIV positive patients, the Servants of the People Society observed the International Human Rights Day here on Friday.

The aim of the meet, which was held in the Maloya Colony in collaboration with the local State AIDS Control Society, was to sensitise the public about those who are living with the HIV infections and the need to care for them.

Emphasising on making the fundamental rights available to those living with HIV\AIDS, project coordinator, Sandeep Mittal said since everyone was entitled to the fundamental rights without discrimination, people living with HIV\AIDS had the same rights as (those not infected with HIV to education, employment, health, travel, marriage, procreation, privacy, social security and scientific benefits among many other privileges.

Dr Gaurav Gaur emphasised on the need to provide special care for those living with HIV/AIDS and said it was the responsibility of the government to provide all facilities to those suffering from the disease. 



Residents celebrate Gurpurb
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 12
The Residents Welfare Association (HIG flats), Phase II, held a function in connection with the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev today.

The celebrations were marked by path and kirtan in the Phase II complex here. Speakers focused on the life and teachings of the Guru. Children also made presentations relating to the Guru and Gurbani and were later given mementos. The function concluded with langar.



Osho meditation camp held
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 12
A meditation camp and santoor vadan recital was organised at Osho Dhara Trust here yesterday, as part of the birthday celebrations of Osho.

A number of people from Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab attended the meditation camp, which was conducted by Swami Atmoninad, from Shimla. The participants were taught techniques of meditation and later a satsang was organised, informed Swami Narayan Satyarthi.

In the evening, Dr Varsha, an artiste from Ujjai gave santoor vadan recital. She was accompanied by Mr Lalit Mohant on the percussion. The recital went on for two hours and the audience was spell bound.



Police remand for five youths
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 12
The five youths who were caught by the police yesterday, after a chase near Sector 20 here, were today produced before a local court and remanded in police custody till December 18.

The police claimed that the accused were involved in several other crimes, including snatchings, thefts and drug trafficking, and that they needed time to interrogate and unearth the cases.

The accused — later identified as Sunny Sachdeva, Sandeep, Bharat Bhushan, Gauravjit and Sudhir Chaudhary — were reportedly coming to Chandigarh in their car (HR-07E-07278). They stopped at a petrol pump near Mattanwala village — which reportedly belongs to an Inspector — General of Police — and got fuel worth Rs 1,100 filled from the pump. They, however, did not pay the money and sped away.

Interestingly, a police constable posted by the IG at his pump, chased the miscreants on his motorcycle for some time, and also alerted the police at Ramgarh. It was after a chase of 20 minutes , and after breaking through two police barricades, that the accused were finally nabbed.

One dead

One person was killed when his Indica car (CH-03C-5663) was hit by a Scorpio (DL-ICD-2683) near Pinjore today. The victim has been identified as Munish of Sector 7, Chandigarh, while the Scorpio driver could not be identified. The police has registered a case.


Man booked

The police has booked a resident of Chilla Manouli village for allegedly cheating another resident and selling his land by misusing the power of attorney.

According to the police, Pritam Singh has complained that he had given a power of attorney to Karamjit Singh to sort out a problem regarding his land in PUDA. However, the accused misused the power of attorney and sold 5 qilas.

The complainant added that the deal was struck allegedly with the connivance of the lambardar of the village and the naib tehsildar.

The police has booked the lambardar along with four others. The naib tehsildar has been called for questioning by the police tomorrow.

Plea for post-mortem

The death of a 74-year-old woman in Phase VII here has led to a row among her family members. Bakshish Kaur died at her house in Phase VII here last evening, the police said. Police sources said her daughter-in-law, who stayed on the first floor of the house, had reportedly got a dowry case registered against her.

Her husband who was in the USA had been reportedly declared a proclaimed offender.

The police said under these circumstances, the family of the deceased had requested the police to get a post-mortem done on her to rule out foul play.



Two die in accidents
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 12
Two persons, including a woman, were killed in separate accidents in the city.

A scooterist from Balongi Nasib Singh died when his scooter was allegedly hit by a Haryana Roadways bus near Sector 43 internal road. He was declared brought dead in the GMCH.

A Sector 35 resident Neelam riding pillion on a motor-cycle was allegedly hit by a car at the Sectors 22 and 23 dividing road.

The motorcycle rider Ajay Kumar received injuries and was admitted to the Sector 16 General Hospital. Cases have been registered in both cases and drivers arrested and bailed out.



Electronics market gropes in the dark
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 12
One of the oldest markets in the city, the electronics market in Sector 18-D here, is a study in contrast. The market, which provides a variety of electronic appliances to city residents, is virtually groping in the dark thanks to the non-functioning of a majority of streetlights.

In fact, the non-functioning streetlights are not the only problem of the market, that had been grappling with problems for several years now. And what irks over 100 electronics shop owners here is the fact that both the Chandigarh Administration and the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) have failed to spare a thought for the market.

The area is represented by Mr Rajesh Gupta, a Councillor of the BJP, which is in hopeless minority in the MCC. Despite assurances by the Mayor, Ms Kamlesh, about six months back, nothing concrete seems to have been done by the civic body to redress grievances of the shopkeepers.

Inadequate parking space in the market forces shoppers to park their vehicles on the road with the result that the area in front of the market has become “accident-prone”, says Mr Jaspal Singh, general secretary of the Market Dealers’ Association. The underutilised area at the back of the booths could be developed as parking area.

A number of accidents have been reported here during the night time due to non-functioning streetlights. Only recently a number of mobile phone sets were stolen from one of the shops during night. The pruning of trees has not been done for several years, which has only added to the darkness in the market.

With an expansion in the electronic goods industry, the number of products and spares has grown manifold. The space in booths is insufficient in comparison and shopkeepers are unanimous in demanding that the administration should allow construction in the basements or on the roofs of the booths.

Another shopkeeper highlighted that one lavatory was insufficient keeping in view the rush in the market. And more often than not, the sewerage in the market remains chocked, putting the shopkeepers and shoppers to inconvenience.

Moreover, encroachments in verandahs continue with impunity. This hinders movement of customers in certain areas. It has been a long-standing demand of the shopkeepers to regulate working of the electronics workers in verandahs.

Currently, the removal of the mechanics depends on the whims and fancies of the enforcement staff and there are allegations that certain persons are favoured by the staff.

The cleanliness of the area, the shopkeepers allege, remains much to be desired.



Biz Clips

ISO-9001 certificate: The State Bank of Patiala branch at Sector 8-C has been awarded the ISO-9001: 2001 certificate from the Bureau of Indian Standard. The certification has been given in recognition of the initiatives taken in providing personalised banking service to individual customers. The Chief Manager of the bank, Mr K.N Pental said the branch had achieved a business of Rs 180 crore up to October, 2004. The House loan cell of the bank had also distributed 274 house loans amounting to Rs 12.48 crore. TNS

Tie-up: Aar Aar Castings, an ISO 9001:2000 company, has recently commissioned a composite steel plant near here at Barotiwala (Himachal Pradesh). The company has entered into a technical collaboration with “Tempcore” of Germany to manufacture TMT steel. TNS

Pact with insurance firm: Windshield Experts, announced its tie-up with National Insurance, Chandigarh Regional Office -I, Punjab, to manage all automotive glass claims. With this, Windshield Experts has access to 50 per cent of car issuance holders in Chandigarh, Jalandhar and Ludhiana. TNS

SOUP FESTIVAL: Around 25 cooking enthusiasts took part in “The Hommade soup festival” which concluded yesterday. The contestants exhibited culinary skills and tried best to win the “Best soup recipe” in the two-day festival held on Friday and Saturday. OC


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