C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Gulati Silk Store raided, 8 shahtoosh shawls seized
Owner picked up for questioning
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 20
A showroom Gulati Silk and Sarees in Sector 17 was raided by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Wildlife Trust of India jointly (WTI) this afternoon.

The team, led by Mr Khalil Sarvar, CBI Inspector, and Mr Ashok Kumar, Senior Adviser of the Trust, raided the premises and seized eight shahtoosh shawls and other products.

Shahtoosh shawls are made by killing an endangered species, Tibetan antelope (chiru), a Schedule I animal protected under the Wildlife Protection Act.There is a large demand for shawls in the international market and animal rights activists had been demanding strict enforcement of the Act.

The killing of the animal and marketing of the products made from it is a cognizable offence. Conviction under the Act entails a sentence of three years and a fine.

Sources said the raid was conducted following a tip-off that the shahtoosh shawls were being sold by the store. Recently the Gulatis had organised an exhibition-cum-sale of the Kashmiri products, including shahtoosh shawls, at a showrooms adjoining the Gulati Silk and Sarees in Sector 17.

Mr Pawan Gulati of the store was also picked up for questioning by the team, which also seized certain documents for verification, sources said.

The WTI a New Delhi based NGO had been demanding a ban on the manufacture and sale of the shahtoosh shawls. Shahtoosh shawl is costly and the range starts from Rs 25,000.

The Gulatis have a chain of stores in Chandigarh, including in Sector 17 and 22, and Panchkula.



Drug trafficker outsmarts guards, flees
Was arrested for possessing 155 kg charas
Ramanjit Sidhu

Big lapse
  • There was no lockup where Lior was lodged.
  • Constables on duty had no weapons.
  • Why did the constables remove the handcuffs from both the hands, though only one hand is generally released.
  • Why did one constable go to buy cigarettes for the accused leaving behind his fellows?

Chandigarh, February 20
In a great setback to the Narcotics Control Bureau, an international drug trafficker and Israeli citizen, arrested for smuggling charas earlier this month escaped from its custody last night. Lior Avi Ben Moyal (37), who was caught along with two other persons with 155 kg of charas by the bureau, escaped from the NCB office in Sector 2.

The smuggler attacked NCB officials, broke a teeth of one of them, and escaped.

Lior was remanded in custody of the NCB till February 21 while the other two accomplices were sent to judicial custody yesterday.

According to SHO, Sector 3 police station, Kulwant Singh Pannu, Lior gave a slip to NCB guards around 10 pm. Three constables were guarding him at
that time.

Lior requested one of the constables, Ramesh Kumar, to fetch cigarettes for him. He then asked the other two employees to remove his handcuffs as he wanted to go to the toilet.

As soon as his handcuffs were removed, Lior followed constable Paramjit Singh, who went into a room to fetch a towel for him. Lior locked him in the room.

Finding the third constable, Tilak Raj, alone, the accused punched the former in the face, breaking his teeth, and slipped away by scaling the backyard wall, the SHO quoted Investigation Officer Inspector R.K. Pawar as saying.

The Mr Pawar had gone to take his dinner when the incident occurred.

A case has been registered against Lior under Sections 332, 353 (causing hurt to prevent a government servant from discharging his duty), 451 and 224 (obstruction by a person to his lawful apprehension) of the IPC in the Sector 3 police station.

The police and the NCB have sounded an alert at all railway stations, bus stands and airports in the region.

The local police is conducting raids on city hotels and guest houses in the surrounding areas.

NCB officials, on the condition of anonymity, accepted lapse of security on their part. Despite repeated efforts, the Zonal Director of the NCB, Mr Shrikant Jadav, could not be contacted.

It may be recalled that Lior Avi Ben Moyal, his Czech accomplice Andreevi Jiri, and Kulu resident Narender Kumar Gupta were arrested from plot No. 653 in Industrial Area, Phase I, by a team of the NCB on February 10.

The contraband was estimated at Rs 15 to 20 crore in the international market.



PU employee, maid die in mishap
Tribune News Service

The condition of a Maruti car after the accident at Mullanpur Garibdass
The condition of a Maruti car after the accident at Mullanpur Garibdass on Sunday. — A Tribune photograph

Kharar, February 20
A Panjab University employee and his maid were killed in an accident here late last night. According to the police, the two, Robert B. Singh and Sonia, were returning to the campus from the Mullanpur Garibdass when the car were in crashed into a stationary truck. Both were killed on the spot.

The police said the accident took place at 9.30 pm when the two were returning in a white Maruti car (CH03 N7732). The car was at high speed and crashed into a truck (HR03 7857) that was standing on the road at the police check post. The car’s driver was getting his truck’s papers verified when the accident took place. The police said he fled the spot.

Robert B Singh (45) was working as a laboratory technician in the Panjab University and was staying in the university campus. His family had employed Sonia, a 16-year-old girl living in the Kumhar colony Sector 25, to take care of the children. Sonia’s father Rajinder Singh, according to the police is a daily wager.

The police has registered a case against the unknown driver on the truck under Sections 283 and 304 of the IPC.



Six arrested for burglaries
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 20
Superintendent of Police Mohali Rakesh Agarwal said at a press conference here today that six persons were arrested for 15 burglaries.

They were arrested today from near the leisure valley. “The five who were arrested today were on two scooters and were entering Mohali when they were nabbed by a police party led by DSP Mohali Harpreet Singh,” said Mr Agarwal.

The five arrested include Hahif alias Rahima, Amit, Shahadat, Vassan alias Bachan and Ved Prakash alias Bedi alias Ashok. They were operating here for the past two years and also kept returning to Akhroli village, Moradabad in UP from where they belonged,” he added.

“They chose houses closer to the main road or on the main roads.

The police has recovered an airgun, a. 9 mm pistol, a kirpan and many rods from them.

The SP stated that 16 crimes have been solved with the arrest of this gang.

Giving a list of burglaries that the six admitted to have committed the SP said the first of these was done on 4.8.2002 and the latest was carried out on February 9 this year. “They have constructed houses for themselves in their village from that money they had stolen,” said Mr Agarwal.



120 cases of liquor seized, one held
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 20
The Excise Department, Ropar seized 120 cases of liquor from a Punjab bound truck here this morning.

The truck (GJ-7Z 8900) was coming from Chandigarh in the morning and was signalled near Daon village on the Mohali-Kharar road. The driver did not stop. The excise team chased the truck.

Near Gharuan the truck driver lost control of the vehicle and lurched to the side of the road. Driver Sarwar Singh was nabbed and truck along with liquor impounded.

“As many as 102 cases of IMFL and 18 cases of beer were seized from the truck. The cases were covered with rice bags.

A case under section 61-A of the Punjab Excise Act was registered. This that would entail a penalty of Rs one lakh.



JobsFest: no takers for call centres jobs
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 20
With unemployment on the rise and jobs hard to get, jobs being offered at call centres are going abegging. Seven Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) companies that set up shop at the two-day JobsFest 2005 which concluded at a hotel here today, have had a dismal response.

Against nearly 150-odd candidates they were looking to recruit, they claim they would consider themselves lucky even if they manage to fill 10 per cent of what they expected. This is in sharp contrast to other participants from the service industry who found it difficult to even filter out the best from the ordinary, given the over-whelming response from the applicants.

The BPOs offering salaries anywhere between Rs 8000 to 10000 for fresh recruits, say this pay packet is certainly not a bad option for a plain graduate. "However, the BPO industry is a victim of popular perception. Everybody just loves to harp on night shifts for work, their fallout on quality living and impact on health," rues National Recruitment Head of Mumbai-based e-Serve, Mr Vishal Mehra.

From GECIS, Mr Gautam Khattar, too echoed the same sentiments. He added, "Nobody seems to be appreciative of the fact that here is an industry segment which is willing to provide employment to hundreds of graduates with fluency in English." While candidates at the JobsFest chose to cold-shoulder this segment wanting to employ more hands, they trooped in where they had fewer chances of being taken in.

The participants, Convergys, Daksh, HCL, IDS, too, were similarly placed and could not meet their targets. All of them unanimously opined that the BPOs had the fastest growing track record in the industry. Dismissing the rumours that the BPOs would shut shop and leave its employees high and dry, Mr Mehra said that all this perception was an outcome of negative publicity. "Most of the BPOs are backed by major players in the industry. And, big industrial houses don't go out of business overnight," he stated.

Maintaining that BPOs were fighting against ill-founded "negative perceptions", the participants disclosed that NASCOM had taken on itself to contest this negative outlook and decided to launch an exhaustive campaign in favour of the BPOs.

"We hope public-thinking will change and things will improve for us. Everybody seems in a hurry to get to the top quickly. They don't realise that if they stick around for a couple of years, they could earn a few lakhs and even get promoted as team leaders, managing 80 to 90 people at a time. Now, that certainly is good by any standard for a mere graduate," Mr Mehra emphasised.

The company representatives felt that a campaign by all BPOs from a common platform would help demolish the myths doing the rounds in the public.

"The candidates, the parents and peers could do with a little education on the fact that BPOs are being painted blacker than they really are.

The only option before us is to stand on a street corner with a soap box and explain to every passer-by to try us before writing us off completely," they held.



1,800 offered jobs at fest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 20
JobsFest 2005, an employment generating event, concluded at hotel here today.

Eliciting response from 76 leading corporate from service industry, the festival saw 9,000 graduates showing up for interviews and over 1,800 getting job offers, including on hold, after being short-listed by various segments of the service industry.

Organised by the Institute of Tourism and Future Management Trends, the institute’s director, Dr Gulshan Sharma, said if unemployed youth of the region could be channelled through such event, the economic multiplier to the region would be manifold with new business opportunities emerging with corporate houses.

Retail, hospitality, airlines, travel and tourism, healthcare, IT/BPOs, banks and financial institutions, insurance, media and entertainment companies, events management companies, and many other arms of the service industry participated in the event.

The USP of the event was the bond being developed between e-Serve, Mumbai, and ITFT-Chandigarh to visit 40 major towns in the northern region to interact with the unemployed graduate youth to help them in developing skills for entry into fast growing service industry with focus on ITES and BPOs.

Taking clue from e-Serve, Mumbai, many other leading corporate houses have offered to join the crusade for the cause, for which separate arrangements are being worked out.

The econometric model developed by the ITFT-Chandigarh for Punjab, if implemented, could help generate one lakh direct employment opportunities and one lakh entrepreneurship with economic multiplier effect to the economy generating revenue of Rs 5,000 crore.

Mr Vishal Mehra, national recruitment, head of e-Serve, made a multi-media presentation highlighting the global information technology enabled services scenario.

He said the sector was now poised to grow at 60 to 70 per cent, which would generate a large number of job opportunities.

Mr Bejan Dinshaw from Air Deccan with Mr Nalin Kohli from Media and Entertainment and Mr Ajit Sehgal from Travel and Tourism also spoke on the occasion.



From washroom cleaner to high-end manager
Nirupama Dutt
Tribune News Service

Surinder Rehill
Surinder Rehill

Chandigarh, February 20
As a student of Government College, Hoshiarpur, Surinder Rehill enacted a role way back in 1971 in a play called Der Hai Andher Nahin. Later this Doaba boy translated into reality the title of the play by dint of sheer hard work as he struggled to make a place for himself in Canada. NRI Surinder’s is a unique success story, for he began his career as a washroom cleaner with the Canadian Pacific Railway Company and rose to be part of top management as Manager, Employment and Human Resources Development.

Looking back Surinder says, “As a student in Hoshiarpur I was active in cultural activities. Besides drama, I wrote verses in Punjabi and recited them at poetical symposia during youth festivals. I was also the leader of the college bhangra troupe and had dreams of becoming a poet or an actor. But fate wanted me to dance otherwise.”

Before completing his graduation he decided on an impulse to move to Canada, an option most Doabians with small land holdings are always open to. So he reached Calgary and soon the reality immigrating to the promised land dawned upon him. “The going was very tough and it became a struggle for survival. So in January, 1973, I took up a job to clean washrooms with this second major railway company of Canada,” he says.

However, hard work paid and just three years later he was made the shift supervisor. The story was not to end here and a few years later he was asked if I would like to move in the management cadre. “I was taken aback for I knew nothing of management. However, they must have noticed something in me that they moved me into the Human Resources Department and also paid for me to do my business management in the University of Calgary.” He was promoted as Personnel Development Officer and he was the first ‘coloured’ person to be taken into management. In 1998, he was made Manager, Employment. “This involved complete hiring and coaching, training and framing of policies. I took care to never walk the talk and live by the policy that had been framed,” says Surinder.

Last year Surinder took benefit of the voluntary retirement scheme. He says, “I thought I have worked hard enough and now I wanted to do more on humanitarian grounds and also devote some time to reading and maybe writing too.”

At present, he is working as a volunteer with the Ministry of Higher Education, Ethiopia, besides heading the Indo-Canadian Cultural Association in Calgary. Surinder, who is visiting Chandigarh and Punjab to be with relatives and friends, says: “I never forgot my college days or the experience gained in extracurricular activities. Very often that experience has come in handy in making decisions later at work.”



Junior army men have edge over civil officers
in pay market

Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 20
While Armed Forces officers in the top echelon continue to remain at a disadvantage vis-a-vis senior civil services officers as far as promotions are concerned, those in the junior and middle rung Army officers now have a distinct advantage over their counterparts in the civvy street.

With the Army implementing some of the recommendations of the A.V. Singh Committee on officer-cadre restructuring, junior officers in the Army, besides getting paid more than Group-A civilian officers in the same service bracket, are also moving up the hierarchy much faster.

According to a comparative study done by locally based officers, a lieutenant is eligible for promotion to the next rank after two years of service, whereas his civil service counterpart (junior time scale/sub divisional magistrate) has to put in four years of service before he gets his first promotion.

Similarly, a captain requires six years of service to become a major, whereas an officer in the senior time scale (under secretary/additional deputy commissioner) requires nine years service to move on to the next grade.

Army officers, however, lose advantage of faster promotions at the level of lieutenant colonel, where the stipulated service period for both the services is 13 years. Army officers,however, still draw a higher salary.

The A.V. Singh Committee had significantly reduced the service period for Army officers to be eligible for promotions.

Earlier, the service period required by Army officers was much higher and in the case of promotion to major and lieutenant colonel, it was higher than that stipulated for the civil services.

Army officers said that the advantage over civil service officers was applicable only in the first 15 years or so of their service. Thereafter, the promotions of officers in the IAS/IPS cadre are not only faster, but unlike as in the case of Armed Forces, are more or less assured.

While the Army has implemented some of the recommendations of the A V SIngh Committee, the Air Force and the Navy are yet to do so.

The Navy had openly expressed its reluctance to implement the recommendations.

The Air Force, on the other hand, wants to restructure its promotion policy differently to suit its own requirements.



Passport seekers advised to avoid fraud agencies
Tribune News Service

Arvind Kumar
Arvind Kumar

Chandigarh, February 20
“Do not engage an unauthorised agency while filling in your passport forms and related documents,” said Mr Arvind Kumar, Regional Passport Officer, while talking to The Tribune.

Mr Arvind Kumar was talking about his experience in the Regional Passport Office as he nears the end of his tenure. An IPS officer, he was the first IPS officer to head a passport office in the country. He now prepares to go back to his service cadre state of Madhya Pradesh.

Expressing satisfaction over his tenure in the Chandigarh office, the RPO said he was greatly concerned about commoners who fell into unscrupulous hands. Such a faux pas is expected in case of the uneducated class. However, the passport office has seen that a large section of the educated class also liked to engage the services of outsiders, often fraud agencies, for filling their forms.

Due to the complete computerisation in the office, the cases of fake details and fake identities are easily detected. A large number of cases who got more than one passport made have come to light.

Mr Arvind Kumar said one common habit which led to last-minute confusion was not filling the papers within time. A large number of people were coming to our office wanting documents at the last minute. They should get their formalities completed at the earliest.

“We have attempted decentralisation of the passport services for the comfort of the people. People had to travel long distances to deposit their forms. The passport office covers 36 revenue districts and 40 police districts in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh,” he said

“Under the new provisions, people can go to their district’s Deputy Commissioner’s Office and submit their forms. The verification is done by the police before the forms reach us. This saves time and is convenient to the public,” he said.

Mr Arvind Kumar said, “The hallmark of any tenure in the city has been the computerisation of the passport office. This saves time and makes for the easier availability of records for the perusal by the office. The office was shifted to a new building in Sector 34 about year back. The new place is more public friendly in terms of services. The entire computer details have been etched out by the National Informatics Centre. The records which run into lakhs in terms of number have now been planned on an index which will make enquiry easier and faster”.



Passing Thru

Dr Kuldip Kumar, Adviser, Fisheries, Himachal Government
Dr Kuldip Kumar, Adviser, Fisheries, Himachal Government

How rich Himachal Pradesh is in fish fauna?

It is aptly called a storehouse of aquatic biodiversity. Its finest rivers, streams and reservoirs are home to 87 species, including rohu, catla, mrigal and rainbow trout.

How serious the government is in conserving fish species?

The government is conscious about their preservation. But still most of the species are under threat. There has been a sharp decline in the overall catches. The population is declining due to various reasons, including the construction of dams, power projects, pollution and unscientific quarrying. The construction of dams restricts the movement of the fish. Most of the species have become landlocked, which results in inbreeding. Nearly 600-km stretch of trout, encompassing the world-renowned streams — the Pabbar, Baspa, Beas and the Ravi — is also under threat.

Which area is more suitable for angling?

Pong Dam wetlands are an angler’s delight. The wetlands support 20 freshwater fish species, including game fish, golden mahseer etc. One can pit one’s wits against mahseer.

— Vishal Gulati



Tribune Impact
A house that good Samaritans built
Gitanjali Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 20
The chhoti si asha of the four destitute orphans has been fulfilled. They finally have a roof over their heads.

From a small dilapidated shack, they have moved into a double-storeyed house, comprising two rooms and a bathroom. “It is all thanks to a story published in The Tribune that we could collect about Rs 1.2 lakh for the construction of their house,” says Nutan Shukla, a housewife.

Single-handedly, Ms Shukla had not only overcome bureaucratic hurdles for a year to have a plot allotted to them but also resolved to complete the construction on it. The jhuggi of the children’s parents was demolished in October 1993 and they themselves had died in 1996. The story of the four orphans and the determination of Ms Shukla to help them get their due was published in the Chandigarh Tribune dated September 13, 2004. (A chhoti si asha near fulfilment) The report had mentioned that at least Rs 50,000 were required to construct a one-room set on the 12 by 15 sq feet plot allotted to them by the Administration.

Now five months later, the four children, Bindu (15), Aarti (14), Munna (13) and Guddu (8) have shifted into their new house. “It is amazing how help poured in in cash and kind from so many quarters. The construction, which once seemed such an out-of-reach task, went on so smoothly that it was hard to believe when it was over, a week ago,” says Ms Shukla.

A number of people came forward to lend a hand in the construction. Though most of the donors belonged to the city, a doctor couple from Sirhind and a girl from the UK also got in touch to help. The Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Amarinder Singh, contributed Rs 50,000, which has been put in a fixed deposit to help the children pay the monthly instalment of the plot.

Among the most notable societal contributions, says Ms Shukla, has been that from Sri Sathya Seva Organisation, Chandigarh, which has adopted the family and is giving them free ration. It also donated bricks as well as cement for the construction. A retired teacher and widow, Ms Chanchal Sharma, took it upon herself to shell out the labour charges. Her brother, Avinder, supervised the construction, which took almost three months.

Initially, the plan was to construct just one room, but with some additional funds it was possible to construct one room and balcony on the first floor too. “We’ve all tried to give the children the best that could be given in the limited money.”

As Bindu proudly shows the house, it is hard to miss that a lot of thought has gone into the construction. Complete utilisation of space has been made.

The only construction problems were the lack of water and power supply, rues Ms Shukla. While the Administration had allowed construction on the plots in Sector 25, there was still no water and power supply to the area. Water had to be collected from a hand pump 200 metres away.

But it was heartening to see that the city’s good Samaritans had gone all out to help turn this dream into reality.



City to have another new electric crematorium
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 20
The city is all set to have a new electric crematorium. The development is important in the context that the existing facility in the city was outdated and it often broke down.

Considering the environment friendly benefits of the electric crematorium, the Municipal Corporation has decided to set up a second crematorium. The proposal has already been cleared by the Finance and Contract Committee of the corporation as a part of the proposed budget.

A provision of Rs 40 lakh has been made by the corporation for construction of this facility during 2005-06. A formal decision will be taken on February 25.

The existing electric crematorium in the city was constructed way back in 1974-75 in Sector 25. It had provision for only one electric furnace.

The old machinery had developed faults very frequently because of which it was often rendered useless. The corporation budget made sizeable allotments for upkeep of machinery each year.

The new crematorium is also proposed to be set up in Sector 25.



‘3Qs for success in business’
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 20
The National Institute of Personnel Management (Punjab Chapter) organised a one day seminar 3Qs for corporate excellence in Chandigarh yesterday.

Mr V. Aswatha Ramaiah, a management trainer, identified 3Qs for success in the corporate world: intelligence quotient (IQ), emotional quotient (EQ) and spiritual quotient (SQ).

The programme was aimed at giving an insight into these three important quotients, for success in the present-day world. Stating that intelligence quotient (IQ) was responsible for logical and analytical thinking, rationality and intelligently collating data to draw meaningful conclusions and make correct decisions in the organisations, Mr Ramaiah pointed out that emotional quotient (EQ) was being increasingly identified as more important than IQ.

“Seated in the right part of the human brain, it enhances interpersonal skills, team work, people management skills, empathy, creativity and stress management capability.

Topping the IQ and EQ is the spiritual quotient (SQ), the buzz word in the corporate world. Although belated, corporates have woken up to the fact that SQ is the basic substratum and quintessence of both IQ and EQ. Awareness, consciousness, realisation of transcendental laws, extra sensory perceptions (ESP) and the identification of the common denominator in all beings and materials in the universe are the domain of SQ,” he said.

The seminar was attended by more than 50 human resource managers and CEOs from various renowned corporates from Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh.



Sarav dharam sabha on Beant’s birth anniversary
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 20
On the occasion of his 82nd birth anniversary, a sarav dharam sabha was held at the samadhi of the late Mr Beant Singh, former Chief Minister of Punjab, yesterday.

Besides the Speaker of the Punjab Assembly, Dr Kewal Krishan, Congress MLAs, including Mr Amrik Singh, Mr Malkiat Singh Dakha, Mr Tarlochan Singh Soond and Mr Gurbinder Singh Atwal, were present. Mrs Jaswant Kaur, widow of Mr Beant Singh and other family members, also attended the sabha. However, Mr Tej Parkash Singh and his son, Mr Gurkirat Singh, could not attend as they are away to the USA for the liver transplantation surgery of Gurkirat’s mother.

No one from the Punjab Ministers turned up at the sabha. A large number of family supporters from Payal, Doraha and Jalandhar participated in the sabha.



Postal staff’s strike on March 15
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 20
Postal employees in the city will go on an indefinite strike from March 15.

The employees of the Punjab postal circle, which comprises Chandigarh and Punjab, will go on the strike on a call given by the central employees’ bodies in the postal department, the National Federation of Postal Employees and the Federation of National Postal Organisation.

The employees demands are scrapping of the proposed amendment in the Indian Post Office Act, 1898, upgradation of their pay scales, regularisation of the contractual employees, merger of 50 per cent DA with the basic pay of the Extra-Department Employees (EDE) in the rural areas.



2 brothers beaten up; police inaction alleged
Bipin Bhardwaj

Panchkula, February 20
Owners of a chicken corner in Sector 7, who were allegedly beaten up by a group of lottery vendors on Wednesday night for not serving them chicken in odd hours, have alleged that the Panchkula police ishushing up the case.

The owners were allegedly attacked by armed lottery vendors when they expressed inability to serve them chicken as they were closing their shop at about 11.15 pm.

Residents of Bapu Dham Colony in Chandigarh, the brothers have been running the chicken corner for the past eight years.

The victims Lucky Sonkar (27) and Ranjit Sonkar (25), admitted to the PGI Emergency with injuries on February 16 were discharged on Saturday evening.

The brothers alleged that the police had not taken any action against four persons - Malhotra, Kang, Hero and Rana.

They said the four reached their shop at about 11 pm. “Since we were closing the shop, the four, under the influence of liquor, demanded chicken. On our refusal they indulged in arguments which later took an ugly turn,” revealed Mr Lucky.

Some of their other accomplices joined them. For defence, we rushed to the police post nearby. No cop was present there. They attacked on us inside the police post”, alleged Mr Ranjit.

Some persons informed the PCR and the injured were taken to local General Hospital, Sector 6. The injured were later referred to the PGI.

In the clash, Lucky sustained injuries on his face and other body parts while Ranjit got his left hand fractured, besides serious head injuries.

The injured alleged that the assailants attacked them with iron rods, sticks and sharp-edged weapons with an intention to kill them. They also alleged that lottery vendors of the locality, in connivance with the police, have created panic in the area.

Mr SP Ranga, SP Panchkula, said action would be taken as per the law against the suspects only after receiving reports of the hospital.



Thieves took away his taxi; police dilly-dallies
Our Correspondent

Col G.S. Sandhu (retd)
Col G.S. Sandhu (retd)

Chandigarh, February 20
A taxi driver from Patti near Amritsar in Punjab is unsuccessfully running from pillar to post to get an FIR registered by the Punjab police, even after a week of his vehicle having been hijacked by unidentified persons after offering him a drink laced with some sleep-inducing substance.

The SSP of Ferozpore, Mr S.S. Srivastava, when contacted said the matter was brought to his notice only yesterday. He assured that the police would take action according to law after investigation. He also said the problem of jurisdiction was very common in Punjab.

The matter came to light when Col. G.S. Sandhu (retd.), chairman, Majha Ex-Servicemen Human Rights Front, highlighted the issue before the mediapersons here today, terming it nothing but ‘indifferent attitude of the Punjab police’. Colonel Sandhu said in the afternoon of February 12, five persons including two well-dressed women, hired a Tata Safari (PB-02-S-7896), belonging to Gursahib Singh of Mari Megha village, as a taxi from Patti to go to Faridkot. They all went to a market in Harike Pattan and spent an hour there before leaving for Makhu, where they halted for another one hour and also filled diesel worth Rs 1,000 in the vehicle. Thereafter, they reached Zira at about 6:30 pm, by then it was dark. There they began to take liquor in the vehicle. The driver of the vehicle even complained to them that they are getting late and they could not reach Faridkot. They told the driver not to worry and assured him a compensation for delay. They also offered a drink to Gursahib, which he had accepted.

Colonel Sandhu further said they asked the driver to stop the vehicle near Talwandi Bhai Ke village as they wanted to ease themselves. One person among them then asked the taxi driver to let him drive his vehicle saying that the former looked sleepy. After that the taxi driver said he did not remember anything. He only gained consciousness next morning and found himself lying in the fields wrapped in a blanket.

Gursahib Singh, went to Khal Khurd police station to register an FIR, where the SHO Balbir Singh refused to register the FIR saying as the taxi had been hired in Patti and asked him to go to Patti police. On the other hand, the SHO of Patti police station told him to go back to Khal Khurd police station as the crime was committed in their jurisdiction. Gursahib Singh met DSP Balwinder Singh, who also directed him to go to Patti police. Later, Gursahib Singh also contacted SSP Taran Tarn, Ms P.S. Grewal, who said it was the duty of Ferozpore police to register the case.

Colonel Sandhu said Gursahib came to him on February 19 and he tried to contact the DGP, Mr S.S. Virk to apprise him of the case but he was not available. Thereafter he contacted the IG, Zonal and Border Range, Mr S.K. Sharma who assured that the case would be registered by the Ferozpore police as it fell under their jurisdiction.



Cop remanded in custody
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 20
A court remanded Punjab Police constable Gurpreet Singh in two days’ police custody, on Sunday. The SHO of Sector 3 police station said that working on information given by the accused police parties had been sent to Batala to recover some cars stolen from the city. Gurpreet Singh, posted at the Punjab Police Headquarters in Sector 9 was caught red handed while stealing a Honda City car from a parking lot in Sector 9, on Saturday. He was breaking the windowpane of the car when its owner noticed him and raised the alarm which led to his arrest.

Car scooter stolen

A car and a scooter were stolen from the city, while the police has arrested four persons for gambling and two for carrying liquor illegally, today.

Sushil Kumar of Aggarsen colony in Sirsa district reported to the police that his car (HR-57-1319) was stolen from Sector 15 during the night of February 18. A case of theft, under Section 379 of the IPC, has been registered in the Sector 11 police station.

In another incident, Mr Harwinder Singh of Sector 27 complained to the police that his scooter (CH-01-P-1687) was stolen from NAC, Mani Majra. A case of theft has been registered in the Mani Majra police station.


The police has arrested Rudan Sahni, Shiv Nandan, Babu Khan — all residents of Colony Number 4 and Shushil Kumar of Ram Darbar from Phase I, Industrial Area, for gambling at a public place, yesterday. The police recovered Rs 510 from their possession. A case under Sections 13, 3 and 67 of the Gambling Act has been registered against them in the Industrial Area police station.

Liquor seized

The police has Ram Singh of Palsora village with four bottles of liquor and Rakesh Kumar of Daddu Majra Colony with three bottles of liquor, yesterday. A case under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act has been registered against them.



Ambala resident dies in mishap
Our Correspondent

Lalru, February 20
Rajesh Kumar of Kaula Jandli village in Ambala, died after being hit by a motorcyclist at the Lalru bus stand late last evening.

An employee of a canteen in an industrial unit at Kuranwala village, Rajesh was waiting for a bus to Ambala when a motorcyclist, heading towards the direction, hit the vehicle into Rajesh leaving him seriously injured.

Some persons informed the police and took the injured to the Civil Hospital, Dera Bassi.

According to the police, Rajesh succumbed to injuries on the way to the hospital. The body was handed over to his family after post-mortem examinations at Civil Hospital, Rajpura.

The police has registered a case of rash and negligent riding against the motorcyclist (HR-04-9769) on the complaint of Mr Narinder Singh, a resident of Barwala village.



Boy stabbed

Panchkula, February 20
Amit, an 18-year-old boy of Haripur village, was allegedly stabbed by some unidentified youths, late last evening.

According to family members, about six or eight youths came to their house and called Amit outside. After discussing some issue, they attacked him with some
sharp-edged weapon. Leaving him injured on the spot, the assailants fled from the scene.

The family members later took Amit to General Hospital, Sector 6. The police has registered a case. TNS



Tent dealers’ bandh today

Chandigarh, February 20
Supporting the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal (CBM), the Chandigarh Tent Dealers Welfare Organisation decided to observe half-day bandh tomorrow.

According to a press note here today, dharna will be organised in Sector 35. Call for bandh has been given by the All-India Beopar Mandal to protest against VAT. TNS


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