C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S



Rush at petrol stations after price hike
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 5
Though the hike in prices of petrol and diesel was expected for some time, the sharp hike has come in as a shock for residents of the tri-cities.
The government today raised the price of petrol by Rs 4 per litre and diesel by Rs 2 per litre in line with the rising crude oil prices.

As the news of the hike in fuel prices spread, a large number of motorists made a beeline for petrol stations for a top-up of tanks of their vehicles.

The new prices (a hike of Rs 4.25-Rs 5 per litre in petrol and Rs 2-Rs 2.50 per litre in diesel) will be effective from Monday midnight.

Following the hike, petrol will continue to be the cheapest in Panchkula as compared to Chandigarh and Mohali, while diesel will be the costliest in Chandigarh out of the three places.

Heavy rush was witnessed at most of the petrol stations in the city as people queued for a top-up of tanks of their vehicles at old prices.

The rush was more pronounced at CITCO filling station, Sector 9 and BP filling station in Sector 21, besides a few company-owned and operated petrol stations, including the one in Sector 33.

A few petrol stations reportedly closed an hour before the closing time tonight following the hike, thereby putting motorists to inconvenience.

The general reaction of the city residents was that of disappointment. “I think I will start moving about on a scooter for it gives better average. Driving a car at these prices is an expensive proposition, more so because one has to shell out Rs 5 for parking every now and then,” said Chander Kapoor, a resident of Sector 8.

Expressing concern over the latest increase in petrol and diesel prices, college student Parvinder Singh rued that his monthly fuel bill would go up by Rs 500.

“It was not long ago when prices were hiked by Rs 3 per litre for petrol, and Rs 2 a litre for diesel.”

Housewives, too, are worried at this hike and fear that an increase in diesel prices will lead to an increase in the prices of almost all products of daily consumption as transportation costs will rise.

“The worst hit will be the prices of essential commodities like vegetables, etc. as their transportation from the nearby townships is completely dependent on trucks,” said Prachi Gupta, a housewife from Sector 18.

Private taxi operators are also feeling the heat of the hiked fuel prices and are expected to request the Chandigarh Administration to revise their fares, as these have not been revised since 2001.

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CITCO fails to transfer industrial sheds to allottees 
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 5
The Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation (CITCO) has failed in its commitment to transfer sheds in the Industrial Area in name of allottees affecting 500 cases. It was to transfer the sheds after 15 years.

The allottees feel they cannot enjoy several financial benefits, including the loan facility, until the time they get the plots transferred in their names. They are crying hoarse over CITCO not honouring its commitment. They are saying that CITCO is now asking them to pay subletting fees. It has also been pointed out that CITCO is not honouring wills in the transfer of property cases.

The Chandigarh CITCO Shed Owners Association has pointed out to the administration that CITCO is asking the allottees to contact the Estate Office for the transfer of property. “The Estate Office is not doing it. It says when CITCO has collected the money how can the Estate Office issue the certificate”.

Official sources say CITCO has committed a mistake. They say, “The leasehold rights of the industrial sheds of the corporation shall be transferred in your favour after the expiry of 15 years from the date of allotment. How can CITCO transfer the sheds, which is in the name of the Estate Office”?

A senior official says, “A large number of disgruntled owners were those who hold general power of attorneys. Legally, they are not supposed to be hiring out these even on GPA. It, practically, amounts to subletting and in case they do that they will have to pay the fees”. He says in case of the question of will, “We don’t have any trouble in accepting wills in case of blood relation. In majority of other cases the will amounted to general power of attorney cases and this was not permitted”.

The official says, “As far as the case of transfer of sheds in the names of original allottees is concerned the matter will likely be decided in their favour. The matter will be taken up shortly by the Board of Directors”.

At a meeting of a committee constituted by the Chandigarh Administration recently, it was clearly pointed out that, “The industrial sheds were allotted by the Chandigarh Administration on leasehold basis for a period of 99 years. After the expiry of 15 years, CITCO was to be allowed by the administration to sell or transfer rights subject to 50 per cent of the unearned increase in the value of land.

It was also pointed out that, “CITCO did not adhere to leasehold conditions. Instead of renting out sheds it allotted them on leasehold, which was not as per the standard terms and conditions”.

The meeting had felt that, “The original leasehold deeds should be handed over to the Estate Office. The lease deed exercised by CITCO did not contain the standard terms. “It has been recommended that a fresh lease deed be prepared. The matter will be taken up by CITCO with the Finance department and the Estate Office once it was cleared by the Board of Directors. 

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Gang of bookies busted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 5
The Chandigarh police today claimed to have busted a gang of bookies allegedly involved in organising bets on the Test match between Sri Lanka and England, besides the one between India and West Indies. The gang was allegedly a part of an international racket.

At least three persons — Girish Verma, Jaswinder Singh and Rajnish Sharma — have so far been arrested by the police after raids at a Sector 49 house. More arrests-are likely to follow on the basis of information gathered by the cops. Even the bidders, mostly local residents, would also be proceeded against.

After preliminary investigations, sources in the local police said as much as Rs 20 lakh had been put on stake during the first three days of the two Test matches.

They added that as many as six mobile phones, besides two mobile phone memory cards allegedly used for the purpose, along with two digital calculators, were recovered from the house.

At least two of the recovered mobiles were used by the accused for keeping in touch with the “prime” bookies of Delhi for providing them on-line information about the national and the international cricket satta market.

A register containing records of the bidders, along with the bidding amount, was also seized from the house. Giving details of the modus operandi, the sources assert that the gang would promise the bidders one-and-a-half times the bidding amount on the winning bet.

The bid amount would be forefeited in case they lost the bet.

The sources added that they accused were not even fair in their dealings. In case someone managed to win “handsome amount”, they would threaten him with dire consequences instead of paying him the money, cheated them 
in the process.

The accused were subsequently produced before a local court and were remanded in police custody. Further investigations in the matter are on. For the purpose, the seized record and the details of the phone calls were being scrutinized. 

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Capt Kohli case: abetment to suicide not ruled out
Court of inquiry completed
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 5
The court of inquiry(COI) investigating into the circumstances behind the death of Capt Sumit Kohli of 18 Rashtriya Rifles(RR) has been completed and sent up the chain of command for action.

Initial reports emerging from Northern Command suggest the COI opined that no one was to be blamed for the officer's death.

Sources said the COI, presided over by a Brigadier, had not ruled out the possibility of abetment to suicide. Towards this end, the bodies of four porters, allegedly killed by 18 RR in a fake encounter, were to be exhumed for DNA and forensic tests.

It is believed that the bodies hold the key to the circumstances leading to Captain Kohli's death. The sources added that the families of the porters were claiming compensation and the DNA tests would also identify their antecedents.

A signal received at Headquarters 15 Corps from higher authorities states that the Government of Jammu and Kashmir had been requested for exhuming the bodies and the Army formations concerned were to supervise the process and assist the civilian authorities.

Captain Kohli had reportedly died from gunshot wounds on April 30 near Kupwara. The Army said he had committed suicide, though this contention was refuted by his family. A few weeks before his death, he had been decorated with Shaurya Chakra.

The bodies in question are of four porters who were allegedly gunned down in 2004. An FIR to this effect was registered under Sections 302 and 364 of the IPC against three officers of the unit, including the Commanding Officer, Col R. Pandey.

Sources claim that the unit had hired daily wage porters who were later killed in a fake encounter, ostensibly for projecting the unit's achievements. Captain Kohli was aware of the details of the case.

Sources in the intelligence revealed that after the incident, anonymous letters were circulated in the region, alleging the misuse of intelligence-gathering funds, siphoning off ration, fuel and supplies and other misappropriations. Some of the allegations were investigated.

Meanwhile, an anonymous letter purportedly written by an artillery officer known to Captain Kohli, has alleged that some officers and personnel of the unit were involved in fake encounters, financial irregularities and large scale felling of trees to make furniture.

The writer also contends that Captain Kohli had confided in him that he was being targeted and certain officers were planning to kill him during a raid or an ambush. The letter also lists several items, including two pistols, 50 rounds, 300 kg of dry fruit, furniture, VCD, shawls and Rs 5 lakh which were sent by the unit's CO to senior officers.

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Chandigarh Calling

Photo by Manoj Mahajan Sunny showers of the Amaltas: Flowering trees give this city of ours a special character. There is the season of the Gulmohar, the season of the Amaltas and the cooler days of the Akashneel. But these days it is the season of the sunny showers of Amaltas and bloom in bright yellow and are gradually bleached pale by the scorching sun and then they fall. It is a short-lived existence but a glorious one that has inspired a Tribune colleague Ramesh K. Dhiman to pen an ode to the yellow blossoms and here are the mystic concluding lines of the poem: ‘The fallen heap of flowers/ Glow in the reflected glory/Eternally mingling/ With the sands of time/ Bidding adieu/To this mortal world.’

Nature study: To capture nature in its splendour, students of the Government College of Art have visited Nature Observatory, Sector 26, and transformed the beauty onto the canvas. After the painting session, the students displayed their works at a two-day exhibition that was inaugurated by the Chief Architect of the UT, Ms Renu Saigal, last week. They painted sketches of trees; lotus and lily flowers blossoming in the pond, chirping and flapping winged beauties, etc. The aim of the exhibition was to bring the budding artists close to nature, said Mr S.K. Sharma, president, Environment Society of India, who is the brain behind reviving the silted pond in the park.

For a cause: For young 20-something Canadian theatre actor Anita Majumdar, playing Davinder Kaur Samra in the film ‘Murder Unveiled’ based on the ‘honour-killing’ of Canadian-Indian Jaswinder Kaur Sidhu some years ago has opened her “sheltered existence” to speaking up as a woman and keeping the issues important to her, alive. “More than being an actor, I want to make a difference to the world. Acting can be so self-indulgent if you let it be. I feel almost guilty because I feel I could channel my skills into something more productive,” she says wryly and while the film may have ended, she speaks at length about the justice denied. Perhaps her way of speaking up for what is right.

What a relief: It was the turn of positive relief this week, a sigh of respite. And one was gladder by the fact that it was instantaneous impact of a piece in these columns. Last week it was pointed out that while work on some roads in the southern sectors is finished the malba dotting the new road was an eyesore. It seems the Administration/Municipal Corporation have realised that the commuters deserve pothole-free roads as much as cleanliness. As you smoothly zip across the freshly re-carpeted and broader road dividing Sectors 34 and 33, the sight of labourers clearing the side as well central kerbs is indeed heartening. Here’s wishing that the road arpeting/broadening work is harmoniously synchronised with operation clean-up in the work on the neighbouring roads as well.

Green brigade: The city schools are now lending a hand in preserving the environment. The Lotus Eco-Club of Government School, Sector 46, took the initiative. They celebrated Environment Day by organising a rally, tree plantation and other activities. About a hundred students took part in the rally and marched in residential areas with banners and play-cards. Poster-making and a Quiz on environmental issues was also organised.

Street smart: Irritating beggars have always put a frown on our faces but of late, they have been putting a grin or two. The new generation beggars have for sure changed their begging strategies. They look like young executives striking a deal, like give them money and you’ll get someone like Salman or Aishwarya for your soul mate or you’ll get a good job and the list goes on and on. Whether it has helped them to increase their profit or not is not known but if you happen to give them anything below their expectation, you’ll probably be looked down with contempt. So much so that you’ll end up feeling like a beggar yourself. So next time you come across a beggar, think twice before giving what you are giving.

Contributors: Gayatri Rajwade, Harvinder Khetal, Vishal Gulati, Shreyasi Thakur, Pankhuri Sood and Nirupama Dutt

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Dutt may join as Airport Director
Amrita Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 5
The city airport may soon have an Airport Director. Mr Sunil Dutt from Indore is expected to be the Airport Director and is expected to join by the end of this month. According to sources, Mr Dutt is from the communication background and with his joining, it is expected that departments which were earlier working independently would now come under him.

It may be mentioned here that earlier the highest ranking officer was the senior Aerodrome Officer, Mr A.K. Verma. He, too, would now be under the Airport Director.

This new post, according to sources, is a step towards the proposed expansion.

Meanwhile, the airport authorities are busy preparing estimates and plans for the new building that is expected to come up within the next six months.

Though the Air force and the Army authorities are yet to give their final nod for the expected 2.5 and 4.5 acres of land, respectively, for the airport, the Engineering Department is all prepared with a tentative design of the new building.

The building will be constructed in a proposed area of 17 acres.

The new building will be centrally air-conditioned and is expected to be completed within the next 2-3 years.

The new building will come up in place of the existing car parking and is proposed to have a capacity double of the existing airport and would cater to about 400 passengers. More space to park four air buses (boeing aircrafts) is also being considered.

The current airport has space for two airbuses only. Extended facilities for the physically handicapped are also in the pipeline.

Close circuit cameras and escalators proposed for the new building.

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Cycle tracks or shortcuts?
Tribune News service

Chandigarh, June 5
The Chandigarh police has virtually turned a blind eye to the flow of traffic on cycle tracks that have been constructed at a cost of crores of rupees. In the absence of a regulatory mechanism, these tracks are being used by all sorts of vehicles defying the very purpose for which they were built. The cycle tracks are used to jump red lights, skirt busy traffic lanes and for several other reasons, except for diverting slow moving traffic to clear way for faster automobiles.

Several individuals and organisations have asked the Chandigarh Administration to deploy traffic policemen at the entrances of all cycle tracks to ensure that they clear the main roads for heavy and faster traffic.

Traffic conditions in the city are getting worse, feel many city residents. Mr. B.L Gupta, who has been living in Chandigarh since the early 60’s says that in good old days one could actually count the number of cars that one saw on the city roads during the entire stretch of the day. But today it is impossible to keep tack of the number of cars that pass you in five minutes.

Col. S.S. Dhillon, a Sector 21 resident says that unless immediate remedial measures are taken to streamline the flow of traffic in the city, it is only a matter of time that Chandigarh will be compared to Ludhiana or Delhi for the traffic chaos on the roads. Despite the periodic widening of most roads, there is hardly any free space on the roads today.

Most people say that there is need to educate the people about traffic rules. The Chandigarh Police is more concerned about imposing fines on people, but little is done to educate the public about commonly committed mistakes.

One mistake most people in the city commit is not following the right of way which generally leads to accidents. It is a well established principle and old city residents remember the signboards near round abouts saying “traffic from the right has the right of way”. Neither are these signs visible anywhere nowadays, nor has the Chandigarh police taken any initiative to educate the people.

“Has the Chandigarh police ever challaned anyone for entering a roundabout wrongly?” question all those who are concerned about the growing traffic chaos in the city. It is argued that the administration continues to blame the traffic chaos at roundabout to increased traffic and thus installs traffic lights in place of roundabouts. Since in Chandigarh there are such crossings every 750 meters or less, the city will soon become a hopeless traffic grid.

The only way to ensure a smooth traffic flow is by educating the people about the traffic rules and by ensuring that cycle tracks, etc used to divide the slow and fast moving traffic is properly implemented.

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PSEB staff stage dharna
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 5
Employees of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) staged a dharna outside its office here today in protest against the alleged anti-employee policies of the power board.

The dharna was organised by the Sanjha Sangarsh Talmel Committee. It was led by Mr Lakha Singh, circle unit president.

The protesters said the board management was not conceding to the long standing demands of PSEB employees. A state-level strike was being held on June 8.

Speakers alleged that the government wanted to hand over the power board to the private sector which would adversely affect different sections of the society. Residents would be get power at higher rates and employees of the board would lose their jobs. As employees were against privatisation, they would show their resentment against the move of the government by striking down work on June 8.

The president of the state unit, Mr Gurdial Bhangal, who also took part in the dharna here, said the employees would strike down work from the midnight of June 7 which would go on till the midnight of June 8. Those who spoke on the occasion included Mr Janak Raj , Mr Balvir Singh, Mr Jasveer Singh, Mr Jagdeep Singh, Mr Gurbaksh Singh, Mr Paramjit Singh, Mr Vijay Kumar and Mr Gurcharan Singh.

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Badal back from USA 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 5
The President of the Shiromani Akali Dal, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, returned to India last night from his 14-day trip to the USA.
Mr Badal, accompanied by his wife, Mrs Surinder Kaur, and Mr Vikram Majitha, a brother-in-law of Mr Sukhbir Badal, arrived on board a British Airways flight that landed at Indira Gandhi airport in New Delhi late last night, a press release of the party said today.

A large number of party leaders and supporters welcomed Mr Badal, who was in good health, said a party spokesperson.

Rumours had been doing the rounds that doctors had removed a major part of Mr Badal's liver . 

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Toy train mishap: none hurt
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 5
The toy train that gives joy rides to kids at the lake met with an “accident” here this evening when three of the bogies reportedly derailed from the train’s toy track. While 20 kids seated in the train escaped unhurt, the parents and the kids were visibly shocked.

Some parents, however, found the reaction of the contractors running the train at the lake even more appalling. According to Mr Ashok Huria, a resident of Sector 16 who had taken his grandson to the lake, the bogey derailed and fell on the side.

“The kids were obviously shaken and it was sheer luck that no one was hurt. When we told the contractors that they should be making these rides safer, we were shown a board which said that these rides were to be taken on our own risk,” he said.

Mr Huria, who is the honorary secretary of the National Safety Council, North Zone Chapter, said he tried contacting the police for action. “Just after the incident at about 8 pm I tried to call the police but was told that I would have to complain at the police post for their intervention. They refused to come to the spot without a visit to the police post,” he added.

When contacted, CITCO authorities pointed out that the joy rides at the club were being run by the owners of a private amusement park and the safety of the rides, too, was their responsibility.

Mr Ramandeep Singh, marketing manager of the amusement park, stated that the train was brand new and it was put in place a year ago. “We are running a big amusement park and have had no problems with any of our rides. Safety of the users is our first concern and normally accidents like this never take place. This ride at the lake runs almost 500 rounds in a day and we have had no problem. I believe that even after this ride the train rides will continue. However, we will be sprucing up the safety measures,” he said.

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Bahuguna for simple living
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 5
Students and staff of Dev Samaj College of Education, Sector 36, here celebrated World Environment Day today on their campus.
Renowned environmentalist Sunder Lal Bahuguna participated in the day’s celebrations. Director Environment and Forest Ishwar Singh was also present. Yuvsatta co-ordinator Parmod Sharma preside over the function.

College Principal Dr Satinder Dhillon explained the various green initiatives of the college students and staff in 2005-06 especially popularising bicycles among youngsters, love for trees, making college poly bag-free, recycling waste products, etc.

Bahuguna asked students to incorporate the sprit of simplicity, service and sacrifice in their life.

He stressed the need for reducing once needs so that the coming generation could enjoy the creation of nature.

“Earth could provide for everyone’s need but not for anyone greed,” he said. Students of the eco-club of the college sang songs appreciating the role of trees and environment in lives. Dr Dhillon presented a vote of thanks.

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Change lifestyle to save environment: Bahuguna 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 5
Exhorting the industry to play a bigger role in safeguarding environment, noted environmentalist Sunder Lal Bahuguna today said industrialists should decongest industries and the youth should make an effort to change their lifestyle, which is resulting in tremendous waste of scarce natural resources.

Mr Bahuguna, the pioneer of Chipko Movement, was addressing delegates at a sensititsation session on “Water Conservation” organised to commemorate the World Environment Day by CII’s Chandigarh Council here.

Expressing concern over the degradation of main water resources like Gangotri glacier in the country, he urged the present generation not to repeat the mistakes of the past generation, and preserve a cleaner, greener and healthier environment.

Finance Secretary-cum-Secretary Environment, Chandigarh Administration, S.K. Sandhu said: “The issue of water conservation and maintenance assumes a greater significance considering the fact that India is consistently facing water scarcity and per capita availability of water is depleting rapidly.”

Complementing CII’s initiative of constitution of the Water Task Force in collaboration with the Chandigarh Administration, Mr Sandhu said: “The CII has taken a step further in environment conservation by focussing on a very vital issue of water conservation, which does not get due attention despite being so vital.”

Director, Environment and Deputy Conservator of Forests, Chandigarh, Ishwar Singh; Hydro Geologist, Central Ground Water Board, Chandigarh, G.P. Singh and E&QC, Chambal Fertilisers and Chemicals Ltd, New Delhi, Dr R.P.S. Jakhar also spoke on the occasion.

Earlier, welcoming the participants, Chairman, CII, Chandigarh Council, Partap Aggarwal said it was with the objective of sensitising industry towards the vital issue of water conservation that the CII launched the Water Conservation Campaign.

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SBI celebrates environment day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 5
The local head office of State Bank of India and its branches today observed “World Environment Day” by planting saplings at various places in the city.
Banners on keeping the city and pollution free were displayed in the bank branches.

As many as 20 saplings each were planted in the State Bank Learning Centre, Panchkula, in AFS, Chandigarh, and in Haryana Civil Secretariat. About 50 saplings were also planted at Shiv Kamal Mandir, Ram Darbar. 

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Revenue room opened
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 5
The newly constructed district revenue room in Mini Secretariat, Panchkula, was inaugurated by Dr Mahavir Singh, Commissioner (Ambala Range), here today.
With the setting up of the district revenue room in Panchkula, the district residents have taken a sigh of relief. The residents earlier had go to Ambala for their revenue records. The Commissioner also inaugurated a solar energy shop on the occasion.

He also distributed sewing machines among 50 beneficiaries in a function organised by the District Red Cross Society and cheques of Rs 3 lakh.

Mr Brijendra Singh, Deputy Commissioner, Panchkula, claimed that the Central government had sanctioned a sum of Rs 2.75 crore for 100 per cent literacy in Panchkula, out of which only Rs 70 lakhs had been released. The district has 140 education centres, including 34 in urban and 106 in rural areas.

Mr RP Singla, secretary of district literacy committee, highlighted the activities to be carried out at different centers. 

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Fauji Beat
Cantonment boards no more relevant

A senior resident of Amritsar Cantonment, Mr Swaranjit Singh Butt, said the other day that elections to cantonment boards were held on the whims and fancies of the Army. He further said that suitable amendments in the Cantonment Act of 1924 was the need of the hour.

The cantonment boards, being a colonial legacy, have not only lost their usefulness but also become unmanageable because of the population in their civil areas having grown manifold.

In 1903, under the Kitchener’s reorganisation plan, 19 cantonments were established in India. With the strength of the Army increasing over the years, the number of the military cantonments also continued to grow. All the old cantonments were managed by the cantonment boards under the Cantonment Act 1924, which was amended in 1983.

During the British regime, civil areas in the cantonments were considered necessary to meet the troops’ requirement of tradesmen such as tailors, barbers, conservancy sweepers, bhishtis and malis, etc. The present day units and formations are self-contained in allied services and do not need any help from tradesmen and others residing in civil areas.

Most modern cantonments do not have civil areas. Many new cantonments have come up in the northern and eastern sectors without them. Bathinda in Punjab, which is the biggest cantonment in the country, does not have civil areas. The new cantonments do not function under the Cantonment Act. What needs to be done is to hand over civil areas of the old cantonments to municipalities and abolish cantonment boards.

Returning of medals

In the last few days, we have had two cases from Moga in Punjab, where a retired officer and a widow of a jawan decided to return the military medals to the President of India. Lieut-Col Ranjit Singh (retd) took this decision after a grievous humiliation by an ASI of the police. On May 30, Manjit Kaur, widow of Sepoy Zora Singh, who was awarded Kirti Chakra posthumously in the Kargil war, resorted to this step on allegedly being harassed by the Principal of Shaheed Zora Singh Government School Baghelewala (named after her husband). The widow, Manjir Kaur, who is a Class IV employee at the school, has stated that if no action is taken against the Principal by June 9, she would return the medals of her martyred husband.

It was on the Independence Day in 1983 that ex-servicemen gathered on the lawns of India Gate with their gallantry awards pinned on a black board reading “Farewell to recognition of valour and sacrifice”. They wanted to return their medals to the President of India because they had failed to get their genuine demands accepted by the government. On being persuaded by an MP of the ruling party, they finally abandoned their plan. In 1989, the ex-servicemen planned to repeat the exercise of 1983. But they were again persuaded out of it.

How far “returning of medals” exercise succeeds is debatable. No doubt, it gets media attention by which the public gets informed and authorities sit up and take notice. But if this exercise is made a common practice to express resentment in individual cases, it is bound to lose its sting.

Minicoy Light House revisited

The golden jubilee of taking over of the Minicoy Light House from the British was celebrated by the Indian Navy. The light house was built by the British in 1885 on the Minicoy island, which forms part of the Lakshadweep group of islands. The light house was transferred by the British to the Indian government in 1956.

After its take over, the naval headquarters deployed INS Tir to take charge of the island.

To commemorate the anniversary of the historic unfurling of the Tricolour atop the light house a function was held at the premises of the light house, which was attended by eight of the then mid-shipmen. These officers of the 8th NDA course, who are now in their 70s, embarked onboard INS Tir and INS Krishana to reach Minicoy. It was a great occasion for them to relive the memorable event and reminisce over the days when they were young.

— Pritam Bhullar

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Child bitten by monkey
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 6
Yet another case of monkey bite was reported in a park of Sector 7 here today evening. Munna, a 10-year old, was bitten by a monkey when he went to play with his friends.

Munna had to be rushed to a doctor for medical aid, reliable sources said. Mr N.K.Jhingan, secretary of the KSKA Sudhar Kalyan Sabha, Sector 7, said “we are crying over the alarming proportions of the monkey menace in the area, particularly over the past one month, however, to no avail. There have been certain cases of bites, even earlier”.

Mr Jhingan said it was very dangerous for the children, even the elderly, to take a walk outside the premises of their homes. The monkeys even enter the houses and dig into eatables, even in the refrigerators.

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Rally by ’84 riot victims
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 5
Over 100 affected families of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots today took out a rally and petitioned the Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, General S.F. Rodrigues, to protest against the alleged apathetic attitude of the authorities in releasing the Rs 2-lakh rehabilitation grant for each affected family announced by the Centre.

The families gathered at Gurdwara Sahib, Sector 22. A protest march was then organised from there to the Governor’s house. The police stopped them at Matka Chowk from where a five-member delegation proceeded to hand over a memorandum to the 
Governor.

The families stated that in case there was no positive response from the Governor, they would try and approach the Prime Minister.

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Tribune employees for Amarnath Yatra
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 5
Nearly 33 employees of The Tribune today left for the Amarnath Yatra via Baltal route. The pilgrimage is being led by Mr Sanjeev Khosla, who is going for the sixth time, and Mr Dinesh Kumar, who is going for the eighth time. The employees will also participate in langar (community kitchen) at Baltal.



Employees of The Tribune before their departure for Amarnath in Chandigarh on Monday. — A Tribune photograph

Employees of The Tribune before their departure for Amarnath in Chandigarh on Monday

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Additional charge for Joint Secy (Finance)

Chandigarh, June 5
The Chandigarh Administration today said that the Joint Secretary Finance, would also look after the work of the Department of Local Government in addition to her duties.
The work relating to Health and Medical Education has been assigned to the Joint Secretary Home in the capacity of Joint Secretary (Health and Medical Education) in addition to his own duties. — TNS

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Undertrial jumps to death
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 5
An undertrial, accused of being involved in her father’s murder, jumped from the window of a washroom on the fifth floor of the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research here. She breathed her last at about 5 this morning. The undertrial, identified as Varinder Jyoti of Mukerian, was in custody of the Ludhiana Police when the incident occurred.

The sources in the local police said the undertrial, admitted to the female ward on the fifth floor, complained of uneasiness and asked the constable in charge to take her to the washroom as she wanted to vomit.

The constable came out of the washroom after the undertrial started to puke, but got suspicious after she did not come out for quite sometime. The sources added that she entered the washroom to find the window open and the under-trial lying on the floor below.

Going into the background, they added that Jyoti was admitted to the hospital for ENT checkup about three days ago. A senior police officer said they were looking into the circumstances leading to the extreme step and whether there was any lapse on the part of the escorting police party.

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5 hurt as armed youths attack house 

Mohali, June 5 
Five persons were injured, one of them seriously, when a group of nearly 30 youths attacked the house of a rival boy in Phase IX here late tonight.
According to reports, the youths, who were armed with swords, iron rods and lathis, caused damage to property in the house.

The injured persons, Mr Raghbir Singh, Ms Ravinder Kaur, Mr Harjeet Singh, Ranmeet and Jatinder, were taken to the Civil Hospital in Phase VI. Mr Raghbir Singh, who sustained head injuries, was referred to the PGI, Chandigarh. The police rounded up one person, Raja, in this connection.

It is reported that Sunny, a son of Harjeet Singh, had a quarrel with Raja, another youth living in the area, over some matter a few days ago. There was, however, a compromise.

Some friends of Raja allegedly came to the house of Sunny and told him to come out. Later, they made an attempt to beat him up. When some relatives of Sunny, who had come for dinner, came out to find out what was happening, they were attacked by the armed youths. — OC

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Scooterist dies in road mishap
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 5
A Halo Majra resident was killed after the scooter he was riding was rammed by a PRTC bus on the Chandigarh-Ambala road. The victim has been identified as 35-year-old Rajinder Kumar.

Sources in the local police said he was going towards Panchkula from Halo Majra with Amar Kumar when the bus collided with their scooter as they were trying to overtake a cycle.

They added that a case of causing death due to rash and negligent act under Section 304-A of the Indian Penal Code has been registered against the bus driver. Further investigations in the matter were on, they claimed. 

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Theft bid in Sec 67 house
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 5
After two cases of theft during the past about 20 days in Sector 67, a theft bid was made again in a house in the same locality here today. The thief was caught by residents of the area and handed over to the police.

Mr Ishwar Babbar said the thief could not succeed in committing the crime as the former had installed a security system in his residence, which got activated when the thief tried to break the metal grill of the kitchen window.

On hearing the alarm, the thief fled, but was caught after some time. Mr Babbar, working in an insurance company, said he left his house around noon and there was nobody else at home. At about 12.45 p.m. he got a call from his neighbour that the alarm system at the former’s house was on.

He said he immediately came back and saw that the thief had initially tried to break a lock to gain entry into the building, but when he failed to break the lock, he probably thought of breaking the grill.

Mr Harbhajan Singh, secretary of the House Owners Welfare Association, Sector 67, said residents had started feeling insecure in the area.

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