C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Virk case: Ex-minister summoned
Tribune News Service

Patiala, March 7
Patiala SSP S.K. Asthana, the inquiry officer in the case pertaining to former DGP S.S. Virk, today summoned former Congress minister Chaudhury Jagjit Singh to his mini secretariat office.

Earlier, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had ordered the setting up of a one-man commission to inquire into the disproportion case against Virk.

However, according to sources, the minister gave an application in which he said he was ill and could not attend the proceedings.

The former Congress minister, who came with his counsel Chaman Lal Pawar, had asked in his application for some more time before being summoned again. A couple of district-level Congress leaders were also present.





Jagriti Yatra enters Patiala
Tribune News Service

Patiala, March 7
Thousands of devotees from all parts of Patiala district paid obeisanceto the Jagriti Yatra by showering flower petals on the vehicle carrying the weapons of Guru Gobind Singh and the hand written ‘bir’ (holy book of the Sikhs).

The yatra entered Patiala today and was accorded a warm welcome by the district administration led by deputy commissioner D.S. Grewal and local residents at Tractor Market on Rajpura road.

Devotees and leaders of the SAD bowed their heads in reverence to the Guru Manyo Granth Jagriti Yatra this evening. The yatra was followed by a ‘nagar kirtan’.

Former president of the SGPC Kirpal Singh Badungar said, “It is first time in the history that the hand written ‘bir’ was carried out in public.”

The procession, which was more than 3-km long, included ‘kirtani jatha’, ‘dhadi jatha’ and gatka performers and passed through the town at a snail’s pace. Traffic came to a standstill on the busy Rajpura-Patiala road forcing the authorities to divert traffic to Patiala-Sirhind road.

The holy articles of the tenth guru will be kept for two nights at Patiala.

The procession has already passed through more than 10 states, including Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhatisgarh, Orissa, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal and Haryana.



‘Harassed’ by CIA staff, man commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Dera Bassi, March 7
Kuldeep Singh (24), a resident of Balongi, allegedly committed suicide by throwing himself before a moving train here last evening.

The victim reportedly ended his life as he was being “harassed” by the Kharar CIA staff for a crime which he had not committed.

According to the Railway police, the victim’s body was found on the Ambala-Chandigarh railway tracks near Janetput village almost five kms towards Ambala from here.

Kuldeep belonged to Gurdaspur and was working with a mobile service provider. He was reportedly involved in a theft case in Kharar for which the CIA staff had been calling him for questioning.

A suicide note written in Punjabi was reportedly found on the victim when he was found last evening, which said he was killing himself due to harassment by cops. However, the police did not show the note to anyone.

Kharar CIA staff in-charge Parshottam Singh said the police was not involved in the suicide.

Lalru Railway police post in-charge Ram Pal said the victim was carrying a slip on him that had some mobile numbers. They called on one of the numbers, which turned out to be that of his maternal uncle. He was told about the incident and it helped in identification of the body.

The body was sent to the Dera Bassi civil hospital for post mortem.



Peddler held
Our Correspondent

Bassi Pathana, March7
The newly-created narcotic wing of the district police today arrested a peddler and recovered 3.5 gms of smack and other intoxicants from him.

According to Ajay Pal Singh, incharge of the wing, the SSP Dr Kaustubh Sharma has created a special wing just to curb the menace of drugs.

He added that the wing has started a campaign against anti-social elements, especially drug peddlers.

Ajay Pal said on a tip-off, police raided the house of Jaswant Singh alias Goldy, resident of Guru Nanak Mohalla, Bassi Pathana, and during search recovered 3.5 gms of smack and 5,500 intoxicanting tablets from him. Police have registered a case under sections 21, 61, 85 of the NDPS Act.



Function held for Pak pilgrims
Our Correspondent

Bassi Pathana, March 7
Deputy commissioner Ashok Kumar Singla today organised a function in honour of the 48-member jatha of Pakistani pilgrims.

Led by Sayeed Musharar Husain Alipur Saheedan, they had come to pay obeisance at the annual Urs commemorated in the memory of great Sufi Saint Sheikh Ahmad Farooqui Sirhindi at Rauza Sharif.

The function was attended by prominant citizens, officers, journalists and heads of social organisations.The DC welcomed the pilgrims.

Expressing their views, the pilgrims said it would be in the benefit of both the countries to decrease the budget on defense and use that money on development.

The pilgrims appreciated the bus service between Amritsar and Nankana Sahib. They said that people of both countries should be allowed easy assess to their respective religious places and visa restrictions should be simplified.

Members of the group also demanded that the stop of the Delhi Lahore Bus should be made at Rauza Sharif instead of the Floating restaurant. The DC assured the pilgrims that their demands would be taken up with the Central government.



Residents demand clearing of sewer water
Our Correspondent

Bassi Pathana, March 7
Residents of Balmiki basti in Mullanpur village of Bassi Pathana block are having sleepless nights these days. Reason: Sewer water of the entire village has flooded their houses.

The SC/ST citizens of the village, led by Gurwinder Singh Dhillon, general secretary of Punjab BSP unit, in a representation to the deputy commissioner Ashok Singla have urged for an immediate solution to the problem.

In the representation, residents have alleged that certain influential people from the village have knowingly directed sullage water towards Balmiki basti and the site earmarked for Balmik Mandir.

They alleged that although drains have been constructed in the village, but to harrass them sullage water of their houses is not allowed to fall in these drains.

Residents further alleged that certain supporters of the sarpanch openly declare that they won't allow sullage water to flow in front of their houses.

Meanwhile, the DC assured the delegation that the problem would be sorted out at the earliest and justice would be done.



Balwinder fashions team victory
Tribune News Service

Fatehgarh Sahib, March 7
Balwinder Singh, a first year student of mechanical engineering, was the star performer, who scored two goals for the team in the final of the Chitkara Football League, played at the Chitkara campus here today.

The final match was played between first year students of mechanical engineering and fourth year students of electrical engineering. For mechanical wing, Balwinder scored the first goal in the very first minute of match.

In the 15th minute, he scored another field goal. Vikramjit and Nitish scored two more goals making the score 4-0. Vishesh Saini of electrical wing scored 2 goals.

The winning team received a cash prize of Rs 15,000 and the runners’ up received a cash prize of Rs 10,000.



Pauline lifts Chandigarh Ladies Golf Trophy
Donald Banerjee

Chandigarh, March 7
Pauline J.M. Singh shot a birdie on the par 5 seventh hole and returned to be tournament’s best 11 over par 83 card to clinch the title in the Chandigarh Ladies Golf Championship that concluded on the par 72 greens of the Chandigarh Golf Club here today.

Pauline made her intentions clear as she overtook the overnight leader Dimple Minocha on the sixth hole where Dimple double-bogeyed. Then she sank a birdie on the seventh to be three strokes ahead of Dimple after the first nine.

Pauline maintained this lead till the end with both playing 43 on the return nine to emerge winner with a three-day tally of 41 over par 257. Dimple finished three strokes behind to settle for the runner-up spot.

However, Dimple clinched the Lady Governor Cup in the above 50 category with Madhu Brar finishing runner-up at 288.

Fourteen-year-old Jaipreet S. Ghuman finished third at 272 in the main gross event. Playing with a handicap of 18, Jaipreet cinched the Challenge Bowl for her net tally of 218 with her mother Pauline finishing runner-up in this category.

Jaipreet made it a double when she clinched the Bawa Gill Trophy with her best gross tally of 272 in the 13-24 handicap category. Madhu Brar at 288 finished runner-up.

Babbles Singh picked up the Meter and Instruments Trophy with her gross tally of 305 in the 25-36 handicap category. Neelu Chopra finished four strokes behind to occupy the second slot.

Chandigarh’s Irina Brar and Simran Singh gave away the prizes.

Final results: Gross Grewal Salver: 1 Pauline J.M. Singh 257, 2 Dimple Minocha 260, 3 Jaipreet S. Ghuman 272. Challenge Bowl (net): 1 Jaipreet S. Ghuman 215, 2 Pauline J.M. Singh, 3 Dimple Minocha and Dalbir Sahi 224 each. Bawa Gill Trophy (13-24 handicap gross): 1 Jaipreet S. Ghuman 272, 2 Madhu Brar 288, 3 Mala Singh 292.

Rani Jagdish Kaur Cup (13-24 net): 1 Jaipreet S. Ghuman 218, 2 Dalbir Sahi 224, 3 Madhu Brar 231. Meter and Instruments Cup (25-36 gross): 1 Babbles Singh 305, 2 Neelu Chopra 309, 3 Hema Bedi 341.

Ell Ess Trophy (25-36 net): 1 Neelu Chopra 225, 2 Babbles Singh 230, 3 Baljinder Mangat 239. Lady Governor Cup (above 50 gross): 1 Dimple Minocha 260, 2 Madhu Brar 288, 3 Mala Singh 292. Lady Governor Cup (above 50 net): 1 Dimple Minocha and Dalbir Sahi 224, 2 Neelu Chopra 225.



‘I have to keep my winning spree intact’
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 7
Satisfaction, relief and happiness writ large on Munish Bali’s face while coming out of the local airport along with his successful disciples Siddharth Kaul and Perry Goyal here.

For Bali, the assistant coach of the under-19 world cup winning squad, this was the toughest task of his career that has been successfully completed.

“I have to keep my winning spree intact. I am much relieved at the achievement of these youngsters,” said the level III coach, who had guided the u-15 Punjab team to victory in 2004-05.

In 2005-06, the under-17 team brought laurels by clinching top honours and last year, the u-19 Punjab team won one-day championship for the first time under his guidance.

“Undoubtedly, the bunch was very talented and the team efforts played key role in the win. Moreover, our performance remained consistent throughout the tournament,” said Bali, who started his coaching career five years ago and did his level III coaching course along with Team India’s bowling coach Venkatesh Prasad, fielding coach Robin Singh and assistant coach Lal Chand Rajput from National Cricket Academy in 1994.

“The exposure, that the young team got on foreign soils before the start of the tournament, has helped a lot. We toured South Africa, New Zealand, England and Bangladesh before going to Malaysia. So, having played under different conditions with different teams proved to be a great help,” said Bali.

On his experience with the chief coach of the team Dev Whatmore, Bali said he learnt a lot from the coach. “Working with Dev is a learning experience. He is a quick decision maker and understands the needs of every player,” said Bali, who was a playing member of the Punjab under-19 team in 1992, has also represented Indian University against England-A team in 1995.



Car rally tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 7
The Santa Banta.com Women’s Car Rally-2008 and The SantaBanta.com Vintage and Classic Car Rally-2008 will be held on March 9 here.

The rally is being organising by a media portal SantaBanta.com. During the rally, participants have to cover around 80 km in two legs.

The first leg starting from the city would culminate at Barog. From there, the rallyists have to come back to the city to complete the second leg.

“The Vintage and Classic Car Rally-2008 is open to any car manufactured prior to 1960. The scrutiny of cars would take place at Lake Club on March 8”, said the organisers.

Special prizes like the best-dressed couple, the best period costume to compliment the vintage or classic car, the best looking vintage and classic car, the oldest vintage car and the oldest classic car would also be given after the rally.

Dr A.R. Kidwai, Governor of Haryana, will flag off the rallies from the Lake Club at 8 am on March 9. The event will terminate at the Lake Club for prize distribution function.

The rally will be conducted in Time/Speed/Distance (TSD) format, in compliance with the National Competition Rules (NCR) of the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI).



Cricket cup from March 23
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 7
The Chandigarh Cricket Association will organise the Corporate Cup-2008 from March 23 here.

A total of eight teams will be given entry on first-cum-first serve basis in the tournament, which will be played on league-cum-knockout basis following Twenty-20 international pattern and rules.

Entry will be strictly for the corporate sector teams only, said Surinder Singh Baijee, general secretary of the association. Interested teams may contact the general secretary.



Sports help curb drug menace: Bhattal
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

The lady in white seems to be well-rehearsed too (For a cricket duel with the Akalis or...).
The lady in white seems to be well-rehearsed too (For a cricket duel with the Akalis or...). — Tribune photo by Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, March 7
Sports are the effective medium to keep youth away from drugs as well as other illegal means, said Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, former Chief Minister of Punjab.

Talking to The Tribune at DAV Senior Secondary School, Sector 8 cricket grounds, where she came to join practice session for the forthcoming match between Akali Dal and Congress teams, the Punjab Congress president Bhattal said, “It always saddened me to see our young generation going in wrong direction. Once our youth was considered the stoutest in the country but now a day most of them cannot even meet the physical standards during the recruitments of defence services. In my viewpoint, the only way to save them from such menaces is sports”.

Bhattal, a national level volleyball player, seemed very happy to be at the cricket ground, where the team members of Congress were toiling under the supervision of former Indian player Yograj Singh.

Getting nostalgic, she said she remembered her college days after mingling with the young sportspersons here.

“I used to play volleyball in my school and college days. It gave me an immense pleasure to be among the young cricketers as the hectic schedule and political affairs hardly allow us (the politicians) to relax”, said Bhattal after facing a few deliveries while batting on 22-yard stick.

The other politicians, who were practicing there were Randeep Nabha, MLA Nabha, Sukhpal Khaira, MLA Plith, Ripjeet Brar, MLA Kotkapura, Rana Gurmit Sodhi, MLA Guru Harsahai and Kewal Dhillon, MLA Barnala.

About the charity match, which will take place at PCA Stadium on March 13, Bhattal said, “We have selected over 15 players.

The final team will be announced on March 10. I assure that it will be a serious but enjoyable cricket battle among the politicians of both parties”.



First child to get pacemaker at PGI talks big
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Sirjjan Preet
Sirjjan Preet

Chandigarh, March 7
She flashes a mysterious smile and doesn’t let it fade. “That’s the way I like to be,” says the 25-year-old, who has survived on a pacemaker all her life.

As a three-year-old, she created history at the PGI, which had to import a small pacemaker to run her tiny heart.

Till then, only big pacemakers used to be available for older heart patients. The PGI was handling a congenital heart block problem in a child for the first time.

Sirjjan Preet’s heart has since grown bigger, and she loves the way it beats - at its own pace. Five operations and countless moments of trial later, the brave heart is now ready to script the finest chapter of her life.

Armed with a specialisation in financial econometrics from the University of Nottingham in the UK, she is looking out for jobs - Planning Commission of India being her favourite haunt.

A new area of human endeavour, financial econometrics is all about analysing economic data in more novel and precise ways. Sirjjan topped the stream at the university, where she also mastered certain other new subjects like Time series econometrics, besides options and futures market.

Given the nature of subjects, job opportunities may be limited. But Sirjjan is not the one to be intimidated by this fact.

“I am confident of landing myself a job. I have also applied to the National Council for Applied Economic Research. There are few but fascinating openings in my field,” she said today in an interview to The Tribune, her demeanour confident and voice firm.

She has always been like that, says Ravi Bedi, chief functionary of the Youth Technical Training Society, for which Sirjjan worked for a year before moving to the UK. She was head of the society’s Palsora branch where children from the slums are taught school syllabus and vocation.

“The job involved a lot of running around which she did. We never discriminated against her on grounds of her medical condition. She was an equal and proved much the same,” Bedi says.

Sirjjan for her part downplays her success: “I feel normal except that I can’t exert my arm. Also, I have to guard against objects hitting my heart. For example, I can play tennis as long as the ball spares my heart,” says the Young Turk, whose father J.S. Thukral has been by her side in sun and shade. She lost her mother young, but has fond memories of her.

Just one of them is this - “My first pacemaker was huge and would hang out along side my heart. My mother would hold it for me till the time PGI got a small pacemaker that could match my heart,” Sirjjan recalls.



Badal village health centre to be linked with PGI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 7
The union ministry of science and technology on Wednesday approved tele-linking of Primary Health Centre (PHC), Badal village, and Community Health Centre (CHC), Machhiwara, with the PGI, here.

The facility would help in providing world-class medical and diagnostic facilities in these rural areas.

Disclosing this, medical education and research minister Tikshan Sud said the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) would be tele-linking these two rural health centres with the PGI and the patients living in these villages and surrounding areas would be able to get the benefit of specialised medical facilities.

The minister said three more centres in Punjab would be provided telemedicine link with the PGI in near future.

In fact, the CDAC has undertaken projects of customised development and implementation of telemedicine application for rural and remote areas of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab.

Many sites in Himachal Pradesh, including Keylong, Mandi, Dharmsala, Bharmour, Jhanjeli, Tissa, Shaillai, Sangra, Pooh, Chamba, Hamirpur, Kullu, Nahan, Recong Peo, Rohru, Rampur, Banjar, Karsog, and Nerwa, have already been linked to the PGI and Indira Gandhi Medical College, Shimla. 



Police parties raid Punjabi daily’s office
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, March 7
Police teams from Ludhiana and Jalandhar raided the office of a Punjabi daily “Rozana Spokesman” here today in connection with an alleged derogatory article published about a particular community even as its managing director termed the raids as “politically motivated”.

While the police team from Ludhiana was headed by Gurbans Singh, SHO, that from Jalandhar was headed by M.S. Bhullar, DSP (City 1).

The Ludhiana team reached the newspaper office around noon and stayed there for about two hours. Soon after this team left Mohali, the Jalandhar team reached the office.

Sub-inspector Raj Kumar of the Ludhiana team said a case was registered against Joginder Singh, editor-in-chief, and Harbhajan Singh, writer, under Section 295-A of the IPC on a complaint of Shiv Ram Saroye and Balwinder Singh of the Guru Ravidass Mission on February 25.

The police had come here to meet the editor-in-chief of the paper and the writer of the article so as to involve them in the investigations.

The Jalandhar DSP, however, told The Tribune that he had come to arrest the editor-in-chief and the writer of the paper in a connection with a police case registered against them in Jalandhar.

According to a senior journalist of the daily, Harbhajan Singh was arrested by the Jalandhar team in Nayagaon.

The DSP said national secretary of the SC/ST cell of the BJP Rajesh Bagga had lodged a complaint that a write-up on Guru Ravidass was published in the daily on February 24, where some objectionable language was allegedly used. As such a case was registered against the editor-in-chief of the newspaper and the writer of the article.

The DSP said the police got to know the address of Harbhajan through his mobile phone number and his bank account. Harbhajan had an account in the Khuda Ali Sher branch of the SBOP. The address mentioned was that of Nayagaon. But, when the police team reached Nayagaon, it did not find any house at that address.

Jagjit Kaur, managing director of the newspaper and wife of Joginder, requested the Jalandhar police to give her time till 2 p.m. tomorrow. She would either produce Harbhajan or present herself before the police.

Jagjit said her husband suffered from heart ailment and got admitted to the PGI, Chandigarh, on February 21. He got discharged on February 23 but did not come to the office for some days.

As such he could not go through the article of Harbhajan that was published in the paper. She said when they got to know that a demonstration was held in Ludhiana in connection with the write-up, an apology was published. She said there was no intention to hurt the sentiments of anybody.

She alleged that the raids a part of the political game of the Punjab government. As many as 20 offices of the newspaper in Punjab were smashed and staff beaten up some months ago but the government allegedly failed to sympathise in this regard. She alleged that the Punjab government wanted to close down the paper.



Theft case
Woman alleges police bias
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 7
Accusing the Chandigarh police of acting with bias, a Sector 44-based woman today alleged that her husband was arrested in a false case of theft and illegal entry into a house.

Namrata Sexena of Sector 44 told The Tribune that her husband Sunil Chander was arrested by officials of the Sector 34 police station on Wednesday soon after they returned from their honeymoon.

She claimed that her husband was having a dispute with Reeta Sehgal, who was charging rent for the house in which he had been living for the past over three years.

Sehgal wanted to get the house vacated, which belonged to an NRI woman, claiming that she had a power of attorney made by the original owner of the house in her name.

Sexena claimed that her husband had lodged a civil suit in a court and the court had issued a stay order in the case.

After that the woman got registered a case of theft and illegal entry against Chander, which was later quashed in a court. Despite that, the police, ignoring the previous record of the case, arrested her husband.

The SHO of the Sector 34 police station, inspector Sudarshan Kumar Thakur, maintained that the case was registered after inquiring into the matter.



SMEs need ‘better’ governance systems
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 7
The small-scale industry contributes about 39 per cent of the manufacturing output and around 33 per cent of the total export of the country.

This was stated by Dr J. Sadakkadulla, regional director of the RBI. He was addressing a seminar organised by the PHD Chamber on strengthening micro, small and medium enterprises here yesterday.

Giving an overview of the SSI sector, he also mentioned about the recent government policy initiatives for small and medium enterprises. Inadequate technology penetration is one of the main reasons for inefficiency of the sector in global competition, said Dr Sadakkadulla.

He concluded by saying that collecting authentic data on MSMEs, educating entrepreneurs, evolving suitable risk models and close monitoring of accounts and better corporate governance systems in the SME sector, were some of the measures necessary to overcome the challenges faced by MSMEs.



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