C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


50 pc drop in poultry products’ demand
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

The Panchkula district administration today swung into action and called a meeting of poultry farmers in the Barwala poultry belt. SDM, Panchkula, Mr Virender Dahiya, and District Health Officer, Dr Lalit Virmani, chaired a meeting of poultry farmers, and asked them to report cases of large scale bird mortality. Six teams have been formed to check the poultry farms regularly. They asked the farmers to bury dead birds (normal bird mortality) in 12 feet deep pits, and keep these pits covered properly. Information was also disseminated about the drugs for curing avian flu — Tamiflu and prophalectic dose. Workers in poultry farms, too, have been asked to wear masks.

Chandigarh, February 19
The scare of avian flu has drastically brought down the demand for poultry products in the city and satellite towns of Panchkula and Mohali. With cases of avian flu being reported in India (Maharashtra) for the first time, the demand for poultry products in the tri-city reportedly fell by almost 50 per cent.

Sources in the poultry business say that since yesterday the sale of poultry products has fallen by 40 - 50 per cent. “Till yesterday, broiler was selling at Rs 80- 70 per kg and eggs at the rate of Rs 125 per 100 eggs. But today, there was minimal demand for the poultry products,” informed Mr Darshan Lal Singla, president of the Haryana Poultry Farmers Association, Barwala.

Incidentally, Barwala is the biggest poultry belt in North India, with over 120 poultry farms and a bird population of over 70 lakh. Though over 150 samples of dead birds from these poultry farms have been sent for testing of the deadly H5N1 virus strain (this leads to avian flu), no incidence of avian flu has been reported. “The sale of poultry product has come down because of the fear psychosis among people. Even though there is no threat of getting infected if poultry products are consumed after cooking,” informed Mr Singla.

Mr Pawan Deedsonkar, a wholesale dealer of poultry products in the city, said there has been a 50 per cent decline in the sale of chicken. “For the past two days, people are instead opting for fish and mutton, and the sale of these products has doubled,” added Mr Paramjit Singh Chawla, of Non-Veg Gallery, Sector 46. He, however, said the decline in the sale of poultry products was around 15 per cent.

In fact, sources reveal, that there was a decline in the production of poultry this year and an increase in demand during the winter, months, leading to a hike in prices of poultry products in December and January. The price of broiler rose by almost Rs 15 to 20 per kg between November 2005 and January 2006 (from Rs 75 to Rs 90), while the price of eggs increased by Rs 50 per 100 eggs (from Rs 140 - 145 per 100 eggs, to Rs 194 per kg). The reason for price hike was that because of the bird flu scare, a number of poultry farmers had killed their young birds, thus leading to scarcity. However, by January end, the prices had declined again and stabilised at Rs 140- 145 per 100 eggs and Rs 85 a kg for broiler.



Admn fully prepared
Bird flu scare

Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

  • Team of Chandigarh Administration carry out sampling of birds in local poultry farms
  • Health Department ready with Rapid Response Surveillance Team
  • Review meeting of both teams tomorrow
  • Joint meeting on bird flu with representatives of Punjab and Haryana likely
  • History of travel key to identification of flu in case of patients.

Chandigarh, February 19
Bird flu in the city, so far is a non-issue. There’s no scare and thus no reason to panic as yet. While the Chandigarh Administration is geared up, man and machine in place, to meet any exigencies that may arise, the Health Department, too, is on an alert in case Bird flu does come visiting.

While the Chandigarh Administration has it’s own team which has been carrying out regular intensive sampling in the poultry farms of the city since November last year, the Health Department, too, has a Rapid Response Surveillance team ready to deal with the outbreak of any epidemic.

“We can only have a precautionary action plan since there is no real cause for concern. Our team has been visiting poultry farms in the city on a regular basis since November last year. We have carried out sampling of thousands of birds in the past four months and sent 150 samples to the Regional Disease Diagnostic Lab in Jalandhar from where these are sent to the high security lab in Madhya Pradesh. The good news is that our birds have tested negative for bird flu,” says Ms Raji P. Shrivastava, Joint Secretary (Finance) who is also the Director, Animal husbandry.

In fact, in the past 48 hours, too, another round of sampling has been carried out by the department concerned following reports of bird flu from Maharatshtra. “Our team is even educating these poultry farm owners not to indulge in trasportaion in or out of the city. While we will hold a review meeting of our arrangements tomorrow, we will hold a joint meeting with the officers of the adjoining states of Punjab and Haryana tomorrow to discuss the matter since our decisions can’t be isolation. At present, there is no move to seal our borders with other states,” she explained.

The Director, Health Services, Dr Inderjeet Kaur Walia, said their department was on alert. “We have a team led by the malaria officer comprising a microbiologist, an epidemiologist and a medical specialist. Dedicated para medical staff, too, is available to this team. If and when the problem of bird flu arises, we will be fully prepared to tackle it without delay,” she stated.

While there is no “immediate threat” from bird flu but doctors suggest certain precautionary measures to keep the influenza at bay. Prof S Verma, Head of the Department, Internal Medicine, PGIMER says, “There is no reason to panic. Poultry products cooked at 70°C will have no traces of the virus. There are no symptoms typical of bird flu since it is like any other flu, causing fever, sore throat, body ache and red eyes in some cases. The risk of acquiring bird flu is higher in those handling the birds rather than those consuming it. The only precaution that can be taken is that bird deaths in any farm should be immediately brought to the notice of the authorities.”

Prof Sanjay Jain from the same department adds, “There is no reason for worry but people should be vigilant about reporting flu specially in case of a person who has visited the affected state recently. The travel history of the patient would be of significance in such a situation. While bird flu is essentially a rural problem, its spread in the urban areas can’t be ruled out. Precautions that individuals can take include maintaining respiratory hygiene, covering the mouth when coughing or sneezing and washing hands regularly and especially before eating something.”



Panic dips chicken sales
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
There is widespread panic among chicken-eaters in the city, following reports of avian flu hitting the country.
Sale of chicken have reportedly fallen at most places, even though retailers are not willing to acknowledge it. Most consumers have decided to avoid eating chicken and many hotels and catering companies acknowledge there is panic among clients. Many hosts during the ongoing wedding season have asked for replacing chicken dishes with sea food.

The Chandigarh Administration along with the Punjab and Haryana governments have come out with statements saying there is no reason to panic. But with television reporting the death of a farmer on a poultry farm in Maharashtra, people are not easily convinced.

With the news of avian flu hitting headlines on a weekend, when maximum number of people eat out or cook non-vegetarian food, the Sector 21 meat and fish market saw a spurt in sale of mutton and a fish and slight decline in chicken sales.

Mr Alamjit Singh Mann, proprietor of M.M. Caterers said many of his clients have replaced non-vegetarian dishes with vegetarian ones the past one or two days.

Though there is no considerable fall in the number of people ordering chicken dishes, but we anticipate there may be some trickle down effect in a day or two. If that happens, we will reduce our order with our suppliers”, said Mr Anu K. Bansal, general manager, G.K International, in Sector 35.

Mr R.P Singla, general manager, Hotel Mount View said so far the demand had not gone down. He said the hotel was serving chicken cooked over 70 degree Celsius that left no scope for the H5N1 virus to survive.

Similarly, Mr Satinder Singh, banquet manager at Richmond Garden in Silver City said there was no change in menu for today’s party.

Mr Pawan Kumar, one of the suppliers of chicken to many hotels and clubs was a little guarded in his response while saying, “News reports were bound to impact sales, but there was no major reason to worry even if a few people stopped eating chicken for a few days, there are enough Punjabis who would still eat ‘tandoori chicken, and ‘butter chicken”.

The Chandigarh Administration has said it is keeping a close watch on the situation and is ready to deal with any eventuality. Specific instructions have been issued to poultry farm owners to report any unnatural death on their farms.



UT Excise Dept fails to realise tax from cellular operators
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
The UT Excise and Taxation Department has not been able to realise much tax and activation fee on the SIM cards being sold to the consumers.
Barring two cellular operators, others have not deposited the tax which runs into several lakh rupees. A senior officer in the Excise Department told the Chandigarh Tribune that ever since the cellular operators went to the Supreme Court against the recovery of the tax, the operators have stopped paying the tax. “Though the judgment of the apex court has been reserved, the recovery had been stayed in an interim order,” added the officer.

As per the Punjab General Sales Tax Act of 1948, as applicable to the UT, all IT products, including SIM cards and activation fee, are taxable at the first stage in the UT.

This means that any person or company selling these products for the first time must pay sales tax. Under the VAT Act, the items are taxable at a rate of 12 per cent.

In its judgment of February 15, 2002, against a cellular operator, the Kerala High Court had held that SIM cards and activation fee were covered under sales and, so, were taxable.

This judgment was upheld by the Supreme Court of India. Following this the UT Excise Department had served notices on the cellular operators in the city. The tax liability was being worked out. One of the cellular operators did deposit the sum of around Rs 1 crore as the tax and another deposited a few lakhs. But the other one did not deposit any money.

The official said since the judgment in the case was reserved, the issue could be resolved after the judgment was pronounced. The dealers of the companies were paying the tax, added the officer.



Absence of top players affects team’s performance
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
The absence of top hockey players during the training camp in the run up to the Indo-Pak series may have proved costly to the Indian team. However, the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) is least perturbed by it.

In fact, the authorities, including the chief coach Rajinder Singh Junior are yet to concede that the absence of key players affected the performance of the team in the first match of the series. The team lost both matches of the Indian leg of the high-profile Indo-Pak series held at Chandigarh.

“Playing inter-department tournaments is mandatory for the players as they get their salaries from their respective departments, said Mr Rajinder Singh Junior, when asked if the result of the first match would have been different had the players not left the camp midway.

However, the coach did not agree that such attitude would affect the performance of the team in the ongoing series. “Missing some good chances was the reason of our defeat, but I am satisfied with the overall performance of my boys”, said Singh.

It may be recalled that the key players of the team, including Rajpal Singh, Tushar Khandekar, Hari Prasad, Didar Singh and Sardara Singh had left the national training camp, held in the city, to play in the inter-petroleum meet at New Delhi just before the start of the series.

“Allowing players to leave such crucial training session midway is a blunder on the part of the IHF, the as it could harm team spirit. It also disturbs coordination among the players, besides spreading indiscipline during the camp”, said a local hockey coach on condition of anonymity.

“If the chief coach is of the view that playing inter-department tournament by the team players is more important than playing for the country, then only God save Indian hockey”, he added.



Citizens felicitate Bansal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
Residents of the city felicitated the new Minister of State for Finance, Mr Pawan Bansal, at a “nagrik abhinandan” ceremony organised at the Sector 22-D Market here today.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Bansal assured the residents that various ongoing projects in the city, including the expansion of the local airport and the railway station, were on the priority list of the Congress-led UPA Government.

Assuring relaxations in the building bylaws, Mr Bansal assured the audience that he had already taken up the issue of the “balanced” Rent Act with the departments concerned. The issue of Scheduled Caste certificates for the local residents would be resolved soon, he added.

“The function was organised to celebrate the proud moment for residents of Chandigarh on the inclusion of Mr Bansal in the Union Cabinet,” Mr Pradeep Chabbra, a former Senior Deputy Mayor of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) and one of the organisers, said.

Prominent among those present on the occasion were Mr Surinder Singh — Mayor, Ms Lalit Joshi Bhardwaj, Ms Anu Chatrath, Mr Subhash Chawla, all former Mayors, Mr Bhupinder Singh Badheri, Mr KS Panchhi, Mr DD Jindal, Mr Rampal Sharma, Mr Balraj Singh, Ms Geeta Rani, Mr Narinder Sharma, and Mr Phool Singh, all senior Congress leaders.

Mr Subhash Sethi, president of the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal, Mr PC Sanghi and Dr KS Raju, both MCC councillors and Mr GK Chatrath, a Senator of Panjab University, were also present.

Meanwhile, The Union State Finance Minister, Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, was today felicitated at the Panjab University also.

Present on the occasion were the city Mayor Surinder Singh, former Mayor Anu Chatrath, G.K. Chatrath, Ashok Goel, Vikas Chatrath, Senator, Panjabi University, faculty members of different departments and other Senators. Speaking on the occasion, Mr Bansal said he has great feeling for the university as he himself is a product of the institution. He promised all support and help needed for the development of the university.



Study shows lower spending by states on social sector
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
There is a decline in expenditure on the social sector, especially health, in all states with only a few exceptions. The lack of resources at the state level and the declining share of the Centre in health have compelled the states to accept privatisation as a new framework for the health sector.

These were the findings of a report presented by Prof Shree Mulay, McGill University , Canada , and Dr Atul Sood of Jawaharlal Nehru University ( JNU), Delhi, at a workshop on the "Impact of liberalisation and international trade regimes on access to medicines and health services in India ( case study : Punjab and Haryana )" held at Mohali yesterday.

The workshop was jointly organised by the Institute for Development and Communication (IDC), Chandigarh, and JNU. It was sponsored by Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute , New Delhi .

The study said the privatisation of primary healthcare in Punjab turned out to be a costly experiment and led to a severe decline in the healthcare infrastructure. The Punjab Health Systems Corporation ( PHSC), which was created in 1996, led to the state ending up with more debt and worse health services.

Finally the state Disinvestment Commission recommended the closing down of the PHSC in 2002.

However, Mr T.R. Sarangal, Managing Director , PHSC , was of the opinion that the setting up of the corporation in the health sector in Punjab had , in fact , increased the access of poor people to the health system .

The study in which the IDC was also involved said that another dimension of the changing healthcare scenario in the country was guided by the changing nature of Centre-state fiscal relations.

The priorities of health at the state level were implicitly decided by the Central Government by increasing the focus on national programmes, often funded by grants from international agencies. The fiscal burden for health had shifted to the states with a change in spending priorities. There had been a noticeable decline in health expenditures which had contributed to the overall decline in the health services in all states of India over the past decade. This had hit the health status of citizens.

The study found that the incidence of morbidity was marginally higher among women in Punjab and Haryana. Lifestyle diseases were more common among women than men in Punjab than in the case of Haryana. Asthma appeared to be more frequent among women which correlated directly to the type of fuel used for cooking such as the chullah.

In developed states like Punjab and Haryana, the lack of basic infrastructure for clean drinking water, sanitation and hygiene was found to be a major source of morbidity. Two-thirds of those reporting diarrhoea used drinking water from open wells or hand pumps in both states, while two thirds of those who reported this disease in Haryana did not have sanitation facilities in their homes.

Dr Pramod Kumar , Director , IDC, said that along with certain social security measures , livelihood issues must be made integral to the state policy. Mr Rajesh Khullar, Director , Agriculture , Haryana , highlighted the initiative for controlling diseases which were spreading due to pest control chemicals and fertilisers

Mr Rajan Kashyap , Punjab State Chief Information Commissioner , observed that the advantage which the pharmaceutical industry could have under the WTO must percolate to the people for keeping the prices of medicines 
under control.



Shiv Sena urges Centre to cancel import of wheat
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
The Shiv Sena has urged the Central Government to cancel its decision to import 5 lakh metric tonnes of wheat at a cost of Rs 900 per quintal as the new wheat crop was expected to arrive in the market in the next few weeks. Also, the party has demanded that the farmer be paid a minimum support price of Rs 700 per quintal instead of paying huge sums to importing agencies.

Mr K.L. Gidwani, convenor, Action Committee of Essential Commodities of the Shiv Sena, addressed a press conference here today on the issue. In his opinion: “Lack of correct planning by the Government of India has brought about a situation of importing wheat. This is a completely wrong, unjustified and uncalled for decision”.

Mr Gidwani, whose party is the principal opponent to the Union Agriculture Food Minister, Mr Sharad Pawar, in Maharashtra, alleged that there seemed something fishy in the proposed import of wheat as the prices of wheat went up immediately after the Government announced the wihdrawal of duty on the import of wheat.

He demanded that the Central Government must put on hold the global tender that had been floated, and concentrate on procuring wheat from the new crop. Once the procurement was completed, the situation should be reviewed and a decision taken in regard to importing wheat, if required, he added.

Mr Gidwani said the decision to import wheat had only caused a panic situation in the country and claimed to have written letters to the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, the Finance Minister, Mr P.Chidambaram, and the Food Minister, Mr Sharad Pawar, in this regard.

He said the multinational companies, that were currently allowed to procure any quantity and stock, would control the market if the Government of India did not procure at least 30 million metric tonnes. This stock would help in controlling the price and availability of wheat in the open market.

The expected production of wheat this year was approximately 75 million metric tonnes as against last year’s production of 68 million metric tonnes, he added.



Better services in Sampark Kranti Express sought
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
The Malayalee Samajam, Mohali, has sought that the number of seats in the 3-tier AC coaches or the second class sleepers in the Chandigarh-Kerala Sampark Kranti Express should be increased for its optimum use. The weekly train had started in July last year.

Presently, the Sampark Kranti Express has six or more general compartments other than 2AC, 3AC and 2nd Sleeper. In a memorandum to the Railway Ministry, it has been pointed out that since the train stops at very few stations, most of the general compartments remain unoccupied. Therefore at least four of the general compartments should be converted to 3 Tier AC or 2nd Class sleeper.

President of the Samajam, Mr Benny Thomas, said the people were thankful of the Railway authorities for providing direct train link to Punjab with Kerala, benefiting thousands of Keralites and other communities of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. But certain teething problems were yet to be addressed.

Mr Thomas, who travelled on the train on February 15, said the compartments were not clean. Even after repeated requests to the Railway authorities at the Chandigarh railway station, nothing happened. The contact number of the contractor, who has been assigned the responsibility of cleaning, was not made available to him.

He said the halting time of the train at stations in Kerala should be increased. The train halts for just 2 minutes only which, according to him, is very less to board the train. Therefore, the halting time of the train should be increased by another 3 minutes. It has also been demanded that the train should run for two days in a week. Mr Thomas also pointed out that the water tanks on the train become empty during half of the journey.

He said the issues have been referred to the Railway authorities on many occasions earlier. But there has been no redressal. A copy of the memorandum has also been submitted to the Minister of State for Finance, Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal.



Simi wins Maruti fun drive
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
Simi Malhotra went home with the first prize in a fun drive “Swift road romance” organised by Maruti Udyog Limited in the city for the owners of Maruti Swift. Rajeev Daniel and Mohinder Pal bagged the second and third positions, respectively, in the event.

The rally started from the Sector 17 Circus Ground. The participants were given a navigation chart, where in the route directions and driving speed were given. The route was spread across 50 km within the city. There were five time control points on route. Different speed limits had to be maintained between the different check points.

The maximum speed limit was restricted to 40 km per hour to ensure safe driving. Adherence to traffic rules was given special emphasis. The meter reading and timing of each car was noted at each check point. Penalty points were awarded to participants who missed any time control or did not adhere to speed limits given in the navigation chart. The winners were decided on the basis of least number of penalties accumulated.

In order to give the participants, which were around 100 in number, a fun filled experience, games, quiz and dance were also part of the occasion. A painting competition for kids was also organised. Every participant was gifted a Swift t-shirt, cap and a gift hamper.

A free check-up of all participating cars was also conducted.



Saraswati Samman for Prof Paniker
Tribune News Service

K. Ayyappa PanikerChandigarh, February 19
Prof K. Ayyappa Paniker has been selected for the prestigious ‘Saraswati Samman 2005’ award for “Ayyappa Panikerude Kritikal’’, a collection of poems in Malayalam. This was disclosed in a communication by the K.K. Birla Foundation. Prof Paniker’s poems were considered along with works of several poets in 22 Indian languages published between 1995-2004.

The Saraswati Samman is instituted by the K.K Birla Foundation and is recognised as the most prestigious and the highest literary honour in the country. It is given every year for a literary work written in any Indian language by a selection committee (Chayan Parishad), currently presided over by former Chief Justice of India, Justice G.B Patnaik. The award carries an award money of Rs 5 lakh.

Previous recipients of the award include Dr Harivansh Rai Bachhan (1991), Ramakanta Rath (1992), Vijay Tandulkar (1993) Dr Harbhajan Singh (1994) Smt Balamani Amma (1995), Shamsur Rahman Faruqi (1996), Manubhai Pancholi (1997), Prof Sanka Ghosh (1998), Dr Indira Parthasarathy (1999), Manoj Dass (2000), Dr Dalip Kaur Tiwana (2001), Mahesh Elkunchwar (2002), Prof Govind Chandra Pande (2003) and Sunil Ganopadhyay (2004).



Bhajan sandhya enthrals devotees
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
The Telephone Residents Welfare Committee organised a “bhajan sandhya“ at the Mandi Ground, Sector 43-A, here yesterday,
Famous maestro, Govind Bhargav of Kanpur was the main singer, who enthralled the devotees, said Mr Ravi Aggarwal, chairperson of the organising committee.

Prof S.K. Sharma, former Director of PGI was the chief guest. A large gathering listened to the programme till well past midnight. The programme started with the recitation of “Mujhe charnon se laga le.....” by noted bhajan singer Sunil Dhyani, followed by “Hare Krishna maha mantra dhun” by the ISKCON troupe from Australia.

The bhajans recited by Gobind Bhargava included “Main khelungi Shyam sang holi aaj......” , “Sri Radha Rani meri sarkar....”, “Asin tere bin rul jana....” etc. Sri Geeta Prachar Samiti also distributed books on Srimad Bhagvad Gita and other religious books among the devotees.



Rail traffic hit on Chd-Ambala section
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
Rail traffic on the Chandigarh-Ambala section remained suspended for over five hours when a multi-axle truck got stuck at a level crossing in Zirakpur.
The level crossing falls on the busy Panchkula-Zirakpur section of the National Highway No. 22.

A senior Railways official said due to the blockade, the Kalka-Howrah train left the Chandigarh station at 3.40 a.m. instead of the standard time of 1.30 am. Another passenger train between Ambala and Kalka was also affected.

As the front axle of the truck got stuck on the tracks, cranes were called to clear the track. An official of the GRP said the driver of the truck escaped from the scene.



Physically challenged hail pension hike
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 19
The increase in monthly pension for the physically challenged by the Haryana government has been a blessing for the 836 physically challenged persons in the district.

The government had recently hiked the pension for those suffering from complete disability from Rs 300 per month to Rs 600 per month. The retainer fee of the physically challenged persons, who are engaged in caning chairs, has been hiked from Rs 1500 to Rs 2000 per month, while the retirement age of those suffering from 70 per cent disability has been increased from 58 years to 60 years.

A physically challenged youth, Vijay, of Kauna village near here, expressed gratitude for the increase in this pension by the government. “With the increase in pension for the physically challenged last month, we are able to make both ends meet,” he said.



Residents to hold protest
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 19
Residents plan to hold a protest on February 25 against the hike in water and sewerage charges in the town.
Mr Manjit Singh Sethi, Mr Amrik Singh and Mr Manmohan Singh Lang, all former municipal councillors, among other residents, said at a press conference here yesterday that the Director, Local Government, had ordered the local Municipal Council on December 12 to implement the revised water and sewerage rates with immediate affect.

The orders were given after the term of the elected body expired on November 23. They said meetings were held in different phases to draw up a plan to launch the agitation in which members of various organisations would participate. They appealed to the residents to participate in large numbers.



Traders rue shortage of CST forms
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
Traders have rued the shortage of Central Sales Tax (CST) forms in the city.
After the October, 2005, notification in the CST Act, the traders were supposed to submit the C form on a quarterly basis and the F form on a monthly basis. But due to scarcity of forms, the traders were facing a lot of hardship.

The UT Excise and Taxation Department was issuing limited forms due to shortage. In wake of the notification, the department should have given the order for adequate number of forms in advance, said a trader. 



Plea to Kalam
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
The Regional Tibetan Youth Congress and the Mahatma Gandhi Global Council (MGAC) have appealed to the President of India to express his concern about the freedom struggle of Tibet.

Dr Mahesh Yadav, president of the MGAC, and many Tibetan students studying in various educational institutions wrote letters in their blood to the President.



Boy missing
Our Correspondent

Sanjay Chandigarh, February 19
A 13-year-old boy from Sanjay Labour Colony is reported missing since Friday morning. Mr Budhi Chauhan, the father of the boy, in his complaint told the police that his son Ranjit Chauhan went away from home without informing anyone.

He was wearing a white shirt and trousers and has a fair complexion. He is four and a half feet tall. The police has lodged a daily diary report in this regard in the Industrial Area police station.



Bhandara panel chief dead
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
Bimal Jain, president of the Maha Mai Mansa Devi Charitable Bhandara Committee, Mani Majra, died of a heart attack yesterday. He was 56.
His cremation at the Sector 25 crematorium was largely-attended. He is survived by his wife and three sons.



Revolver, cash stolen from Sector 43 house
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 19
Thieves decamped with an imported revolver, 25 live cartridges, Rs 51,000 and jewellery from a house in Sector 43.
Mr Harjinder Singh of Sector 43, an agriculturist, lodged a complaint with the police, alleging that an imported .32 bore revolver (make Astera no. 800873 along with 25 live cartridges), two gold sets, Rs 51,000 and other articles were stolen from his residence on February 18.

He told the police that he was away to Fatehabad along with his family and came to know about the theft on his arrival on Saturday when he found his house ransacked.

Station House Officer (SHO) of the Sector 36 police station, Inspector Ishwar Singh Mann said the inspection of the house indicated the involvement of some criminal tribe in the theft. After having committed the theft they had reportedly not only eased themselves in the house, but also scattered butts of bidi and spitted at several places. He added that the thieves remained in the house for quite a long time and carried out theft at leisure, as they had prepared tea.

Experts of the Central Forensic Science Laboratory and the dog squad were pressed into service to pick clues from the house. Fingerprints have been taken from the glasses used by the gang members.

2 motor cycles stolen: Mr Rajesh Kumar of Sector 21 lodged a complaint with the police alleging that an unidentified man decamped with his motor cycle, which he had taken on the pretext of a test drive. Mr Kumar told the police that he had gone to State Bank of Patiala, Sector 32, on February 11. An unidentified man approached him and expressed his wish to test drive Mr Kumar’s motor cycle. Mr Kumar realised that the conman had fled with the bike when he did not return for long.

The police has registered a case under Section 406 of the Indian Penal Code.

Mr Devinder Kumar of Phase II, Ram Darbar reported to the police alleging that his Bajaj Pulsar Motorcycle was stolen near Laxmi Bai Hostel in Panjab University on Saturday. A case of theft has been registered.

One held: The police has arrested Des Raj of Shanti Nagar in Manimajra and Karam Singh of Ghuman Colony in Naya Gaon for allegedly creating nuisance at a public place in Sector 48 on Saturday. A case under Section 160 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered against them. They were later released on bail.

Liquor seized: The police has arrested Shri Niwas of Hallomajra village from the same locality on the charges of allegedly carrying 28 nips of country made liquor on Saturday. A case under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act has been registered,

Smack seized: The police has arrested Joginder Singh of Dadumajra Colony from Maloya on the allegation of possessing two grams of smack on Saturday. A case under Section 21 of the NDPS Act has been registered.


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