C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


City on high alert as PM arrives
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 23
The Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh arrived in the city this afternoon for an overnight stay. He was received by the Governors of Punjab and Haryana at the Chandigarh airport and was later accompanied to Ludhiana by senior Congress leaders. After inaugurating SPS Apollo Hospital there, he arrived back in the city late at night and held informal and formal meetings with representatives of various sections of society at the Punjab Raj Bhawan.

The Prime Minister will preside over a function of The Tribune Trust’s 125-year celebrations at the PGI tomorrow before inaugurating the Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technology Park (CTO) and Media Towers at the Chandigarh Press Club. During the day he would also meet with Punjab Congressmen at the Punjab Congress Bhawan in the afternoon.

He was received at the Chandigarh airport by Mr A.R. Kidwai, Governor, Haryana, Gen (Retd.) S.F Rodrigues, Governor Punjab, Punjab Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh, Punjab Congress president, Mr Samsher Singh Dullo, Congress leader Ambika Soni, Haryana Congress Minister Vinod Sharma, city MP Mr. Pawan Bansal, city Mayor Anu Chatrath and several other Punjab and Haryana Congress leaders.

From the airport itself, the Prime Minister, accompanied by his wife, Mrs Gursharan Kaur, flew to Ludhiana along with Captain Amarinder Singh and Mr Dullo, only to return to the city late in the evening. Among those whom the Prime Minister met at the Punjab Raj Bhawan was a delegation of the Chandigarh Industrial Association, which is demanding a reversion in conversion rates for the industrial plots. Mr. Pawan Bansal pleaded their case and Dr. Manmohan Singh assured them of a favourable response. He also spoke for the Chandigarh Pradesh Valmiki Sabha that gave a representation to him demanding notification for issuing of pending Schedule Caste certificates.

Meanwhile, all preparations have been completed with respect to the three venues which the PM will visit tomorrow. An officer of the rank of DIG with the Special Protection Group (SPG) has reviewed the security arrangements, while officials of the Chandigarh Administration have given final touches to other arrangements for catering, etc. At the CTP, a hotline has been set up and a separate enclosure has been made where the PM, wife, Mrs. Gursharan Kaur will be seated.

On the other hand the city has been spruced up with cleaning machines that were pressed into service on the route that the PM travelled on today and travel on tomorrow. Officials remained busy supervising finishing touches. A fresh coat of paint was applied on road berms and rotaries. Non-functional street lights were also repaired.

Security personnel were omnipresent, especially on the Madhya Marg, three hours prior to his arrival. Armed with automatics and semi-automatics, they marched up and down the road, stopping everyone who was roaming under suspicious circumstances. Each and every autorickshaw plying on the road was stopped and checked thoroughly. Even passengers travelling on local buses were frisked.

Besides this, the members of the Chandigarh mounted police could also be seen trotting on horses. As a result of the beefed-up security, a large number of commuters took to alternative roads and streets cutting through the length and breadth of the city, resulting in a heavy rush and “minor” traffic jams on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway and at other places.

The shoppers also had to walk those extra yards for reaching the showrooms in Sector 26 as they were not allowed to park their vehicles in the front parking lots. Things were hardly different at the other venues as police and intelligence agencies patrolled the area. Antecedents of shopkeepers and jhuggi dwellers on the road leading to the CTP were verified and re-verified by the cops.

The sources in the local police said Anganwari workers who gathered around Matka Chowk to protest against alleged ‘anti-employee policies’ were asked to leave the place by the men-in-khaki. Security was also beefed up around Halomajra and Kishangarh villages following intelligence reports about protest by dwellers against the acquisition of land for development purposes. A senior officer of the Chandigarh Police said as many as 1,500 cops, snipers belonging to the operation cell and Home Guards had been deployed at the venues of different functions.



A divided Congress greets Manmohan
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 23
On a day when the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, is in the city, the infighting in the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee (CTCC) has returned.

Putting up a disunited front, the factions led by MP Pawan Bansal and CTCC chief B.B. Bahl met the Prime Minister separately to put forth their point of view.

Though both delegations were unanimous in airing the grievances of people, difference cropped up on the constitution of the Assembly for the city. Mr Bahl’s, who was accompanied by eight delegates and three councillors, came strongly in favour of the Assembly for the city.

He also raised the issues of the Rent Control Act, extension of “lal dora,” construction of dwelling units for slum-dwellers, allotment of funds to UT, and appointment of political persons as chairpersons of boards and corporations.

All these demands were supported by the Bansal faction. However, it proved to be a virtual show of strength with the Bansal faction trooping in with 16 of the 24 delegates of the Territorial Congress Committee (TCC) and at least 10 councillors, including the Mayor.

Former Mayors, Lalit Joshi Bhardwaj and Mr Subhash Chawla, Mr H.S. Lucky and a former Senior Deputy Mayor, were part of the delegation.

Mr Bansal preferred to focus on the “inaccessibility” of the local bureaucracy to the common man.

Mr Bansal facilitated the meetings of several delegates comprising industrialists, traders and the Federation of Sector Welfare Associations.

Dr Manmohan Singh seemed unperturbed by the infighting, sources said.



Small entrepreneurs meet PM
Seek succour on conversion policy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 23
Small-scale industrialists, part of the Chandigarh Industrial Association, met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today, along with local MP Pawan Kumar Bansal, with regard to the newly introduced industrial Conversion Policy by the Chandigarh Administration.

Mr M.P.S. Chawla, Mr Deepak Joshi, Mr Tejinder Singh, Mr Manmohan Singh Chadha and Mr Chander Verma met the Prime Minister who assured them that he would look into the matter.

The issue at the centre of the meeting was the newly announced ‘Industrial Conversion Policy’, in which charges have been fixed at Rs 18,000 per square yard, which according to the complaint, “is not viable as in all other cases of the Chandigarh Administration, conversion charges are 15 per cent to 20 per cent of the prevailing market price and in the case of small-scale industries it is 166 per cent high.”

In the written complaint, the industrialists said, “We presume that this conversion policy has been framed only for 3 or 4 highly influential builders / monopolists of the country and not for the local industrialists.”

They said according to the Chandigarh Administration the policy was optional.

“Yes, we agree it is optional, but not affordable, why should we not avail this policy? We are facing a tough time in running the industry and not even a single industrialist can afford to pay in crores (Rs. 1 crore for 500 square yards and Rs 10 crore for a one-acre plot) for our own land just for conversion of land use from industry to commercial,” they said.

The small-scale industrialists have recommended that the conversion charges be brought down to Rs. 3000 per square yard, which is the average price value being charged all over the country.

In the meanwhile, even the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee Ex-Servicemen Cell, under the aegis of their Chairman Maj D.S. Sandhu (retd.), submitted a memorandum regarding long standing demands of ex-servicemen.

The demands deal with the following issues:

1. One rank / one pension

2. Full pension criteria of 33 years service. It is the established norm that in order to keep the Armed forces young, the Defence personnel are compelled to retire even when they are fit. They start retiring after putting in 17 years of service onwards depending on their ranks. It is therefore not possible for soldiers to earn 33 years of service for earning a full pension.

3. Collateral induction: depending on the ranks, the service personnel start retiring after putting in 17 years of service onwards. The solution in using these trained personnel is inducting them into the para-military forces that will get experienced and mentally re-oriented manpower. This will save the huge expense being incurred on the training of raw individuals directly.

Further the Central and state governments can play an important role in rehabilitating ex-servicemen by filling up the vacancies reserved for them on a regular basis.

The civil governments must run short courses exclusively for ex-servicemen to make them eligible for the jobs reserved for them.

More importantly, all three services must run short re-settlement courses / cadres at their respectively Regimental Centres / Records Offices, one year before retirement.

4. Disability percentages for those who retired before January 1, 1996

5. Use of Defence funds for war widows

6. Separate pay commission for defence forces

The Prime Minister heard the grievances of the ex-servicemen cell and assured them that he would look into the issues.



UT villagers meet PM
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 23
A delegation of UT villagers, led by member of Parliament Pawan Kumar Bansal, today met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The villagers sought regularisation of structures outside the lal dora of the villages.

Comprising of Mr Bhupinder Singh Badheri, Mr Didar Singh, Mr Narata Singh, Mr Kesar Singh, Mr Manmohan Singh, Mr Nand Singh, and Mr Suphinder Singh, the delegation urged the Prime Minister to stay the move of the Administration to acquire land of Deep Complex, Hallomajra.

In a memorandum given to the Prime Minister the villagers have stated that the city was carved out by evacuating villages and late Indira Gandhi had to intervene to save the UT villages.

As the size of families has grown, the existing houses have become too small to accommodate all members of the family.

It has been pointed in the memorandum that the concept of Panchayati Raj exists on papers only.



PM to lay stone of media tower today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 23
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will inaugurate the silver jubilee celebrations of the Chandigarh Press Club by laying the foundation stone of the Media Tower on the Club premises tomorrow.

President of the club Mr Jagtar Singh Sidhu said recently certain influential people holding high posts had tried to intimidate the institution but the club had never bowed down to threats and had continued with its work.

It has also played the role of the facilitator in bringing mediapersons of two Punjab’s of India and Pakistan. By hosting the “Panj Darya Media Conference earlier this year, he said.

Mr Sidhu recalled that the club owed its existence not only to its founding members’ relentless efforts to have a nesting place of their own, but also to two political giants of the 1980s — Giani Zail Singh, the then Union Home Minister, and Darbara Singh, the then Chief Minister of Punjab.

The founding members’ desire to have their own club almost coincided with the elevation of Giani Zail Singh to the exalted position at the Centre after which Chandigarh came under his charge. The then Chief Commissioner of Chandigarh, Mr J.C. Agarwal, soon laid the foundation stone of the building, constructed on the pattern of the city’s community centres in each sector.

Eventually the club founder, Mr H.S. Sodhi, was rushed with a 100-rupee note to deposit the lease money in the government treasury. The lease deed had been executed.

The function will begin tomorrow at 4.10 pm.



PM’s wife to visit Bal Niketan

Panchkula, September 23
Ms Gursharan Kaur, wife of the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, will visit Bal Niketan and interact with children and staff of the SOS village.

Dr Madhu Sharma, Honorary Secretary of Bal Niketan, said Ms Gursharan Kaur would reach Bal Niketan around 12 noon. She would be shown around the home and would also have lunch with them. TNS



3 held for killing Food Inspector
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 23
It took the police over one-and-half-month to solve the “blind” murder case of an Inspector of Punjab’s Food and Supply Department. The police today claimed that the victim was robbed and brutally murdered by three rag-pickers arrested this morning.
Accused Tittu disclosed before the media that they only wanted to rob the victim of his money and had no intension of killing him. They only killed him later releasing that the victim could disclose their identity to the police. He said they distributed Rs 600 among themselves. Kaka, the youngest of the group was given Rs 50. Breaking down, he said, “I have committed a grave crime and should be punished.”

Food Inspector Mustkeen Singh’s body was found beside his motorcycle near the Markfed office in Sector 35 around midnight of August 4.

The accused, Tittu of Shahpur Colony, Ravi of Dadu Majra village and Sandeep alias Kaka of Maloya village, all in their early twenties, were arrested from Maloya village, the police claimed.

Addressing mediapersons DSP (South) S.S. Randhawa said telephone call details helped the police in cracking the blind murder case. He added that initially the police was working on murder theory because of personal enmity.

The police started working on the murder due to robbery theory only after Mustkeen Singh’s family disclosed that the victim’s gold ring and a mobile phone were missing.

Elaborating upon the sequence of events, DSP Randhawa added that 45-year-old Mustkeen Singh of Khanna was coming from Mohali on his motorcycle after having drinks with his friends. He was “dead drunk” and could not ride. When the accused noticed Mustkeen staggering and struggling to push the bike, Tittu offered help. He then rode the motorcycle with Mustkeen riding pillion. The Food Inspector was taken to a secluded place near Markfed building as the other two followed them in a rehri.

Tittu stopped the bike behind a parked bus and they tried to rob the victim. As they were about to remove the gold ring, Mustkeen reportedly regained his senses and objected.

Apprehending identification by the victim, they smashed his head with a concrete slab lying nearby and escaped from the spot. Thereafter, they dined out in a Sector 22 dhaba.

Giving details of the method in which the case was cracked, DSP Randhawa said the police was constantly in touch with mobile operator for tracing the accused. On August 26, the mobile phone was used by Rakesh Kumar of Dadu Majra Colony. The unique identification number of Mustkeen’s mobile phone was matched with the caller’s set. This provided the breakthrough to the police and they ultimately zeroed in on the accused. When asked about the antecedents of accused Rakesh Kumar, the DSP said the matter was under investigation.

The police has yet to make recoveries in this case and the police has no answer to the missing turban of Mustkeen Singh.



Pregnant woman sexually harassed by Punjab cops
Turns to HC for justice
Maneesh Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 23
In a shocking incident, some Punjab police personnel allegedly illegally detained a pregnant woman for over six hours, sexually harassed her and abused her, before releasing her and two of her relatives after taking a bribe from her.

Ms Puro, a resident of Sector 33 here, has now moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court, seeking action against those guilty.

In her petition, she stated that while returning from her sister’s house in Fatehgarh Sahib on August 21 along with her sister’s 14-year-old daughter and another male relative, two constables stopped them and took them to a police post at Basantpura.

All three were lodged in different rooms there. After some time, four police personnel, including Amanpal Virk, in charge of the police post, Gurcharan Singh, munshi, and constable Swaran Singh allegedly entered the room in which she was and gave her a beating, which allegedly resulted in the termination of her pregnancy. She was also allegedly stripped and sexually harassed.

Later, they called a photographer and allegedly took her photographs. She was told that if she “satisfied” them and paid Rs 10,000, she would be released.

Her relative, Balbir, was also thrashed. The cops also allegedly threatened to treat the young girl in a similar manner.

The petition stated that all three were let off after the petitioner’s sister came and gave Rs 10,000 to the cops, with a promise to pay Rs 10,000 more. The petitioner’s photographs were kept by the cops as security against the balance payment.

Claiming that despite sending a complaint to the Punjab DGP on August 29 no action has been initiated against the guilty cops, the petitioner has prayed that directions be issued to the respondents to register a case against the police personnel and also initiate disciplinary proceedings against them.

After hearing her counsel, Mr Justice Rajive Bhalla issued notice of motion for September 26.



City all set to enter second phase of e-governance
Naveen S. Garewal

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 23
As the Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technology Park comes of age, the Chandigarh Administration is all set to launch another IT initiative that will bridge the gap between the administration and the people and take e-governance a step ahead.

The “Grievances Acceptance and Delivery System” (GADS) would be launched next week from the seven existing e-Sampark centres and would ensure a time-bound redressal of grievances of city residents without the need for them to visit government offices.

The system will be based on the principal of making officials accountable for the problems pertaining to their sphere of work. Once a complaint has been received by the official concerned, he or she will be bound to respond within three or four days and a clear reply will be given to the complainant by the sixth day. This new initiative will cover simple problems such as fused street lights, low pressure water supply, broken pavements, etc to complex ones like harassment at the hands of government servant and police matters etc.

The programme will work as an interface between an official and the residents. Every complaint registered with the e-Sampark centre will be monitored in the office of the Deputy Commissioner, the Finance Secretary and the Home Secretary. These officers will be able to see from the touch of a mouse-click, pending complaints in various offices. The Director, Information Technology, Mr Vivek Atray said the administration hoped to resolve 75 per cent of complaints with GADS.

“Initially either a runner will take complaints from the seven existing e-Sampark centres and give them to the departments concerned, but soon this would be replaced with scanning and e-mailing these complaints to nodal officers in each department, who will be responsible to pass them on to the officials concerned and elicit a reply”, Mr Atray said.

Each complaint will get a “red” sticker with a number and date of receipt. If a person is not satisfied with the reply he receives after six days, he or she can then approach the officer concerned with the copy of the complaint. Since, the matter would already be in the notice of the official concerned, it would be resolved sooner.

According to the Secretary, Information Technology, Mr S. K. Sandhu, the project is absolutely ready, all software, etc is in place and it can be launched within the next few days. The UT Administrator has given his nod for its implementation.

Besides, the UT Administration will widely circulate e-mail addresses of all nodal officers in every department so that city residents can file their complaints sitting at home. They would be sent replies by e-mail. The Administration is also testing another service called mobile-Sampark or m-Sampark, where it has tied up with a Short Message Service (SMS) company, where people can send a message like “sbill” from their mobile phones and ask for details about their electricity and water bills. They will receive an instant reply on their mobile phones.

In the second stage the Administration also proposes to start video-conferencing linking the e-Sampark centres with the offices of the officials of the administration for a remote interaction. Meanwhile, the eighth e-Sampark centre would be started in Industrial area soon. The seven existing e-Sampark centres are in Sectors 10, 15, 18, 23, 43, 47 and Manimajra.



Mental patient’s trial on hold for 27 years
Maneesh Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 23
Twenty-seven years have passed since Jai Singh was accused of murder. But his trial has not even commenced as he is a schizophrenic and has been declared unfit to stand trial.

Doctors at the Government Mental Hospital, Amritsar, where he is admitted to since 1979, say there is “no hope” of Jai Singh ever becoming normal. This means, his trial may never end.

On May 3, 1979, the Additional Sessions Judge, Kurukshetra, ordered that Jai Singh, accused of murdering his mother, be admitted to Government Mental Hospital, Amritsar. Since then, he has been confined to a room in the hospital.

“When he came to us, he was just over 30 years of age. Now, he is touching 60. I don’t think he will be able to stand trial. His condition has shown no sign of improvement”, said a doctor.

A resident of village Bubka in Yamunanagar district of Haryana, Jai Singh allegedly murdered his mother on March 3, 1976. After coming to know of his mental state, the District and Sessions Judge, Karnal, on September 23, 1977, ordered that he be medically examined at PGI, Rohtak. After spending some time in the Rohtak hospital, he was finally shifted to Amritsar.

In a report submitted to the National Human Rights Commission on January 9, 2004, the Superintendent of Central Jail, Ambala, intimated that Jai Singh was still suffering from schizophrenia. He also wrote that because of his medical condition, he could not be expected to stand trial.

Meanwhile, his wife, Ms Maya Devi, in February 2004, moved a petition in the NHRC stating that she had been refused meetings with her husband. She also prayed for his release on humanitarian grounds.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court is seized of cases like Jai Singh’s and had recently sought a report from the Punjab Government in this regard.

When contacted, Dr D.L. Goel, Director, Government Mental Hospital, Amritsar, stated that Jai Singh’s condition had not improved to such an extent that he could stand trial. “As for his future, the High Court is going to decide that,” he added.



Passing Thru

What brings you to the city?

Ajay Bisht
Ajay Bisht, fashion choreographer, stylist

I am on the advisory board and faculty of the IMS Academy of Fashion and Jewellery Design and I am here to audition young people interested in enrolling for our personal grooming and modelling classes.

What other projects are you involved with?

I currently feature as a stylist on the NDTV Profit for the ‘Make Over Show’ and on the NDTV India’s ‘Style Guru’. I am also a consultant with the Institute of Management Studies for their vocational courses in the media industry. I also do choreography and styling for shows.

What is important for a person auditioning to be a model?

There has to be something that goes beyond sheer physical beauty, a stimulating, presence and an unique aura. Amongst the Indian models, Indrani Dasgupta has transcended print and ramp and is a sheer magic while Ujjwala Raut literally glides on the ramp.

Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?

I want to do a course abroad on fashion styling and journalism. We need someone who knows the industry from inside to keep checks and balances. I would eventually like to get into aesthetics management which is handling everything from the style to the look and the entire production details.

— Gayatri Rajwade



Kin of Sutlej victims to be given DNA test
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 23
The Army has decided to get DNA tests conducted for identifying the mutilated bodies of three Army personnel fished out of the Sutlej river in Kinnaur district a few days ago. The tests will be undertaken by the Central Forensic Science Laboratory here, which possesses the requisite expertise and facilities, sources said.

Blood samples are being collected from the family members of soldiers who were killed after the bridge they were reconstructing at Kharo on the Hindustan-Tibet Road, collapsed, according to officers at Headquarters Western Command, Chandimandir. It is however, not yet known by when the samples would be available.

On September 8, 34 personnel from the 18 Engineer Regiment, including two officers, were killed after falling into the raging Sutlej. The unidentified bodies are being kept in the mortuary at the Command Hospital in Chandimandir.

The swift flow of the river, and the rocky terrain badly mutilated the bodies. Also, they have remained in water for over two weeks, severely affecting the skin and tissue.

The bodies have to be identified so that they can be handed over to the next of kin for last rites and for administrative purposes and Army records.

The Army has recovered six bodies so far from various places downstream, out of which three have been identified. The mortal remains of Lieut-Col Amardeep Singh, a resident of Mohali, were cremated with full military honours here last week. The bodies of two others, Hav Ravi Selvan and L/Nk S. Muthuraj were sent to their native places in South India earlier. Personnel in this unit are predominantly from Tamil Nadu and Kerala.



Mohali MC takes up Sethi issue
3-member committee to probe the matter
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, September 23
The case related to a municipal councillor, Mr Manjit Singh Sethi, was discussed at the monthly meeting of the Municipal Council held here today even when all other items on the agenda were unanimously passed by the General House.

A three-member committee of municipal councillors has been formed to look into the case related to Mr Sethi so that an early solution could be found.

The members of the committee are Mr N.K. Marwaha, Mr Yog Raj and Mr Amrik Singh Mohali.

Employees of the civic body have been protesting since September 15 against the behaviour of Mr Sethi alleging that he abused a sanitary inspector.

Mr Sethi, however, said he had only been raising an issue related to corruption which had been given a twist by the protesting employees.

Mr Amrik Singh Mohali said why were employees allowed to carry on the protest for so many days as it adversely affected the working of the council and why was the meeting fixed at a time when employees were holding their protest.

Mr Sethi said that it should be brought to the notice of the government that municipal employees were not working for two hours after marking their attendance since the day they started the protest against him.

No employee attended to the councillors at the meeting. Even the agenda of the meeting was passed without reading.

The Executive Officer of the council, Mr Amarjit Singh Sekhon, said that he was ready to read the items on the agenda but councillors did not agree.

Regarding the item related to the construction of police booths, traffic umbrellas and gypsy shelters for the police by a private company, many councillors said that the rate being offered by the company for using the land were very low and should be hiked.

The municipal councillors, who came to attend the meeting, were received by employees holding black flags.



Pit left open after repair work
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 23
The residents of this township are getting used to “death traps” that dot the city's roads. With telecom companies having dug trenches all over the town, and open manholes, one should be driving at one's own risk.

One such death hole is right near House No 661 in Sector 10. The trench was dug by the HUDA authorities to repair a water pipeline and was allegedly left open. Luckily, till date no passerby has strayed into it. Adjacent to this hole is an uncovered sewer opening, which is also very dangerous.

Residents of the area say that the pit was dug by HUDA almost four months ago to repair a leaking water pipeline. “But the authorities simply forgot to fill the trench. Nor was any warning sign erected near the it. Many a times, I stand guard near the trench, warning passers by to be careful as they negotiate the road turn," says Ms Shanta Newton.

Her son, Mr Sandeep Newton, alleges that they have lodged numerous complaints with the authorities, but no one has bothered to fill the trench or cover the manhole.

Since the pit and open sewer are located on a turn, the two openings have become more risky.

“The uncovered pits are dangerous and should be closed immediately", says another resident, Mr Nand Lal. 



Parents-turned-‘kidnappers’ send police into tizzy
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 23
A couple who reportedly “ran away” from their parents in Jalandhar following objections to their alleged “affair”, had the entire police force in Sohana and Kharar on their toes here this evening.

The girl’s parents, along with some other relatives, came from Jalandhar looking for their daughter and found her with the boy near Sohana Gurdwara this evening.

The distraught parents stopped the Qualis car they were in and forced the couple into the car. The couple protested but to no avail.

Onlookers rushed to help them presuming that they were being kidnapped but the car had sped away towards Landran road by then.

The Sohana police was immediately informed about the “kidnapping” and the car number flashed across the district.

Finally the car was stopped by the Kharar police near the Sohana police post. The occupants of the car were taken to the police station, Kharar. Much to their surprise, they realised that the “kidnappers” were in fact the girl’s parents.

“The girl’s parents are now alleging that the boy kidnapped their daughter from Jalandhar while the girl is saying that she came on her own with him. The parents had also complained about this to the Jalandhar police. If the girl is a major then there is no case but if the girl is a minor then we would book the boy she came with,” said DSP Kharar, Mr Rajbachan Singh Sandhu.



Rights panel seek action against SHO
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 23
Lawyers for Human Rights International have demanded action against the SHO of the Phase VIII police station here for allegedly beating up a resident of Phase I and keeping him in illegal custody.

A representative of the organisation said that Mr Gurpreet Singh was allegedly picked up by Mr Gurcharan Singh, SHO, from Phase I. The SHO then allegedly beat him up and kept him illegally in police custody.

The SHO, however, said that Mr Gurpreet Singh was signalled to stop on a road by a police party but he failed to do so. He was then picked up on suspicion as two cases of snatching had taken place in the town. He claimed that Mr Gurpreet Singh was not beaten up and was released immediately when a local Congress leader approached the police in this connection.



Unconventional power in LAC village
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 23
The Army has set up a multi-source power supply system based on solar, wind and hydel energy sources at Demchok village in Ladakh. This is part of its ongoing efforts to promote the use of non-conventional energy systems to conserve the fragile ecology of the region

The power system, installed under Operation Sadbhavana, was inaugurated today by the General Officer Commanding 14 Corps, Lieut-Gen M.L. Naidu, according to a statement issued here.

Demchok is a border village located on the junction of the Indus river and Charding Nala, just a kilometer away from the Line of Actual Control (LAC) on the proposed new route to Kailash Mansarovar.

The village has been provided with solar lanterns for houses, 50-watt solar panels with 11-watt CFL lamps for street lighting, two wind energy generators of 400-watts and a micro-hydel project of 1000-watts. A fibre-glass hut has also been constructed to house the central battery bank.



Aid pours in for kidney patient

Chandigarh, September 23
Kidney patient Vinod Nandan Sinha’s plight, highlighted by The Tribune on September 17, has received an overwhelming response from the region. With more than 30 persons having responded with cheques, drafts and money pouring in, including Rs. 2.5 lakh from the Punjab Chief Minister’s Relief Fund, the family is breathing a sigh of relief.

“We feel so thankful to everyone who has contributed their good wishes and their money. We are sure that with everyone’s prayers my husband will recover soon,” said Veena Sinha.

The estimate, given by the hospital, for the transplant and medical care was a little over Rs 3 lakh. The donations have ensured that the treatment can start off now. Vinod Nandan will recover from haematoma. The transplant surgery will be scheduled once it is determined whether Veena’s kidney matches with that of Vinod.

In addition to the surgery, the follow up treatment, can cost upward of Rs. 20,000 per month. — TNS



Kin seeks probe into cop’s ‘suicide’
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 23
Wife and a sister of Mohan Singh, a Head Constable who worked with the Chandigarh police, have demanded a probe into his death.

Mrs Paramjit Kaur and Mrs Bhupinder Kaur, wife and sister, respectively, of Mohan Singh, said that he had not committed suicide but had been allegedly murdered.

They said that Mohan Singh used to tell them that he was receiving threatening phone calls after he had seized liquor worth Rs 5 lakh.



Art of Living satsang on Sept 25

Chandigarh, September 23
Vikram Hazara, a senior Art of Living teacher and a renowned singer and composer, will conduct a satsang at DAV College, Sector 10, on Sunday.

The Art of Living (AOL) Foundation, founded by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is an international non-profit educational and charitable non-government organisation (NGO) registered with the United Nations with its presence in more than 140 countries. The foundation is celebrating its 25th year in early 2006. Sri Ravi Shankar has been an inspiration behind innumerable international non-profit charitable organisations across the world, which are involved in the service projects in the areas of health, education, social and community development. — TNS



Goods worth Rs 1.5 lakh gutted
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 23
Fire broke out in a shop dealing with sports goods in Phase V here today.

It is estimated that goods worth about Rs 1.5 lakh got damaged in the fire which broke out in a room where goods were stored.

The fire was noticed by the owner in the morning when he went to open the shop. When the door was opened he found the room full of smoke. The fire was brought under control with the help of other shopkeepers in the area. The fire brigade was not informed about the incident.



Husband booked for attempt to murder wife
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 23
A person had been booked on the allegations of attempting to kill his wife with a servant’s help and a gang of “illegal lottery vendors” operating in the city busted by the police during the past 24 hours.

Ms Sushma Rani of Modern Housing Complex alleged that her husband Ashok Kumar and servant Meenu administered poisonous substance in an attempt to kill her. As such, she was admitted to a primary health centre in Mani Majra.

The police has registered a case of attempt to murder and subjecting a married woman to cruelty under Section 307 and 498-A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against Ashok Kumar.

The gang of illegal lottery vendors was busted by the Crime Branch of the police with the arrest of Neelamwar Yadav, Deepak Taneja, Krishan Kumar and Darshan Kumar. They were allegedly selling lottery tickets of Mizoram State in a Sector 34 parking lot in violation of prohibitory orders issued by the Chandigarh Administration.

They told the police that they had been carrying out the illegal business in the city for the past five or six days. They used to purchase lottery tickets from Delhi and sell these in nearby areas.

Mr Jaswinder Behal of Sector 47 claimed that his Bajaj Chetak scooter (CH-01-Y-0144) had been stolen from Sector 34 market, while Dev Raj Sharma of Sector 56 reported that his Indica car (CH-03-R-8070) had been stolen. In both the matters, cases of theft have been registered.

A camera, Rs 5,000 cash and other goods, were stolen from the Sector 51 residence of Mr Vishal Rattan Bali. A case under Section 454 and 380 of the IPC has been registered.

Besides, two persons were taken into custody on the allegations of possessing illegal liquor. Amrik Singh of Maloya village and Surjan Kumar of Dadumajra Colony, have been booked under the provisions of the Excise Act.



Gangrape: third accused held
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 23
The police today arrested the third accused of yesterday’s gang rape case.

Sources in the police said 42-year-old Shemsher Singh of Kajheri village was arrested from his residence this morning. Shemsher Singh father of two daughters and two sons.

The other two accused in this case Sajan and Sharvan were arrested by the police yesterday. They were produced before a local court, which remanded them to the judicial custody.

The police had registered a case of rape and kidnapping on the basis of a complaint filed by a 24-year-old mother of two children. The victim alleged that she was allegedly picked up from near Gurdial Singh Petrol pump in Sector 22 on Wednesday evening at around 8.40 pm. She was allegedly dropped near rehri market in Sector 45 at mid-night after being raped by the accused.



Man held with poppy husk
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 23
The Pinjore police arrested Nirmal Singh of Basola village with 35 kg of poppy husk from near his house in the village. The police says that it received a secret information that he had stocked poppy husk at his residence and was involved in its smuggling and sale.

This is the third time that Nirmal Singh has been arrested by the police on the charges of drug pedalling. In a case registered against him at the Chandi Mandir police station, he has been acquitted by a court while he is facing trial in another case registered under the NDPS Act. 



No clue to woman’s murder
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 23
The police has been unable to solve the mystery of Meena, whose semi-nude body was found in Sector 12- A yesterday.

Her husband, Vim Bahadur, reached here from Delhi late last night. He reportedly informed the police that he had left Meena three years ago, and had not been in touch with her since. He said that she was an alcoholic, which is why they had parted ways. Vim Bahadur also said they had three children.

Meanwhile, police sources say that inquiries made at a liquor vend in Sector 12-A, revealed that she had visited the vend on the night on September 21, hours before she was killed.

The police says interrogation of Raj Kumar and Jai Ram, who were picked up for questioning, have failed to yield desired results.



PWD driver ends life
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 23
Tormented by the behaviour of his senior officers, a 40-year-old driver of the Punjab Public Works Department (Bridges and Roads) allegedly ended his life by consuming a poisonous substance this afternoon. He was shifted to the PGI in a critical condition where he succumbed later.

The police has registered a case of abetment to suicide under Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code on the basis of the suicide note.

The SHO of Sector 19 police station said Dharampal of Sector 19, in his suicide note, alleged that SDO Parvesh Kumar, Gurcharan Singh, a junior engineer and Raj Kumar, working in his office were harassing him. The deceased held them responsible for his suicide.

The SHO added that the victim was taken to the PGI by the family of the Dharampal after they noticed his deteriorating condition. The police received a message at around 4.15 pm.



No breakthrough in murder case
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 23
The Kharar police has not been able to make any breakthrough in the murder of the 55-year-old man, who was hacked to death in Rampur Taparian village on Wednesday night.

According to Kharar DSP Rajbachan Singh Sandhu, the police is on the lookout for those named by the family and will be able to nab them soon. Darbara Singh was hacked to death by a group of at least four persons at his residence in the village near Kurali.



Auction of commercial sites put off
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 23
The auction of commercial sites, including a five star hotel site and sites for shopping malls here, has been postponed. The auction was scheduled to be held on October 10.

With the model code of conduct in place for the Rohtak parliamentary elections, the auction has been put off by almost two weeks. Sources in HUDA said the auction schedule was ready, but they could release the advertisement till the code of conduct was in place.

About 50 commercial sites were slated for auction in most sectors. An over acre site for a hotel (three star or five star) in Sector 3, shopping mall sites in Sector 3 and Mansa Devi Complex, HUDA booths in Sector 14 and Mansa Devi Complex Sector 4 were being offered in the auction.


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