C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Steep hike in house tax
Shopkeepers see red
Umesh Dewan
Tribune News Service

Patiala, February 27
Shopkeepers and owners of commercial establishments in the town are up in arms against the municipal corporation over the exorbitant hike in the annual house tax.

Claiming that the civic body has increased the house tax by almost five times, most shopkeepers and those running shop-cum-office complexes have demanded the corporation to withdraw the notices served on them in this regard.

“In case the corporation fails to review its decision to effect a steep rise in the house tax, we will be forced to approach senior government functionaries,” said shopkeepers of several markets.

Sometime back, the corporation had initiated the process of revision of the house tax being levied on commercial establishments operating from within the jurisdiction of the civic body.

After conducting a survey of the town, the house tax branch of the corporation issued notices pertaining to the revision of the annual house tax.

However, the drastic increase in the house tax of a considerable chunk of shops and other commercial establishments did not go down well with the shopkeepers.

The owner of a shop-cum-office in Chhoti Baradari Market, while preferring anonymity, said: “Earlier they were paying an annual house tax of Rs 9,100 but now the corporation has sent a notice, revising the house tax to Rs 64,000. This is unfair and the corporation must ensure that the revised tax is not beyond 50 per cent of what we have been paying earlier.”

An interaction with shopkeepers brought to light the fact that the house tax had been increased by five to six times in most cases.

Expressing resentment, several shopkeepers said the house tax branch of the corporation had unilaterally revised the tax without taking into account the fact that hundreds of shopkeepers would have to bear the brunt of such a drastic increase.

However, MC Commissioner Manjit Singh Narang said they had only issued notices for the revision in the house tax.

“Those who have been served notice can submit their objections within 30 days of issuance of the notice. We will consider the objections as per the civic laws,” he added.



Documentary on farmers’ plight
Tribune News Service

Patiala, February 27
A documentary on the plight of marginal and small farmers in Punjab was screened today at the department of journalism and mass communication, Punjabi University, Patiala. The documentary is directed by Tom Dieters, a political science scholar, Holland.

Tom Dieters, who came to the department on a special invitation, has done graduation in international relations. He came to India to carry out his research project and got interested in development patterns in Punjab.

While interacting with the journalism students, he said he was keen on carrying out a research on the rising suicide cases of farmers in Punjab. He has covered Lehragaga belt of Sangrur district for his short film. He told the students and faculty that he drew inspiration from environmentalist Vandana Shiva’s book "Staying Alive" and found the suicide cases in progressive state like Punjab a matter of serious concern. 



ADGP’s gunman dies in freak accident
Tribune News Service

Kharar, February 27
A Punjab ADGP’s (rural) gunman was killed in a freak accident at the former’s farmhouse in Balongi here today.

According to the police, commando Harvinder Singh (36) had been deputed at the ADGP’s farmhouse just four days ago. He was a resident of Bhattal Bhaike village in Tarn Taran.

Harvinder was watching television after having lunch with his colleagues around 11.45 am when he suddenly left the room and went to his tent. Moments later, his colleagues heard a gunshot and they rushed towards the tent.

They found Harvinder lying in a pool of blood. They victim’s service rifle, an SLR, was found beneath the body. The bullet was lodged in the skull.

Harvinder was earlier posted at the MLA flats in Chandigarh and had gone on leave.

When he returned, he was transferred to the farmhouse of ADGP Rajinder Singh. His colleagues told the police that the victim had been under mental stress for some time.

The police has initiated inquest proceedings under Section 174, CrPC, on the statement of havildar Sukhdeep Singh.

The body has been kept at the local civil hospital.

The police said there was no eyewitness to the incident. Also, no suicide note was found on the victim.

The victim’s colleagues said the bullet might have accidentally hit him while cleaning the rifle.



Protest over booking of SAD leader
Tribune News Service

Rajpura, February 27
A section of residents held a protest against the police and a senior BJP leader over the registration of a case against Pepsu Township Development Board vice-chairman and SAD leader Jagdish Jagga and 11 others.

Preeti, a resident of Amritsar, had lodged a complaint with the police alleging outrage of her modesty and assault following a property dispute.

The protesters led by Jagdish Jagga accused the senior BJP leader of being instrumental in the registration of the case as the latter did not want any Akali worker to rise from the area.

Preeti had lodged a complaint with the police against Jagga and others for trying to encroach upon a house in the Dashmesh Nagar area.

Preeti had claimed that she had been living in the house for the past four years with her husband, who had died around five months ago.

The woman was taken to the local civil hospital with another relative after they were allegedly beaten up by the accused.

Police officials said they had registered a case against Jagga and others on Preeti’s complaint.



Chandumajra averse to mudslinging
Tribune News Service

Fatehgarh Sahib,February 27
SAD general secretary Prem Singh Chandumajra today said mudslinging was not the right way to deal with issues. The SAD leader was addressing mediapersons during his visit to the town today.

Referring to the recent reports of abuses and counter-abuses by some Congress and SAD workers, he said it was a wrong approach adopted by leaders.

He, however, added that the Congress leaders had no issue to discuss with the people of the state and were upset over the development works being carried out by the current regime.

The SAD leader alleged that the recent exposé of corruption in the central government had upset the countrymen. He pointed out that the Congress had failed to provide justice to the victims of the 1984 riots.

He said the central government was also reluctant in bring back the black money to the country.

Baljit Singh, Hardev Singh, Harbhajan Singh and Jagdip Singh were among the others who were also present.



Protesting farmers to embark on ‘Jago’
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, February 27
The protesting farmers of Bhankarpur village have decided to launch a “Jago” campaign against the SAD-BJP government in four districts of Punjab. They have been staging dharna for the past 35 days to get the ownership right over 650 acres of land.

The campaign aims at highlighting the anti-farmer policies of the state government.

Members of the committee spearheading the farmers’ protest said they would visit every village of Mohali, Patiala, Ropar and Fatehgarh Sahib districts as part of the campaign.

Meanwhile, Mehar Singh, leader of the Bharti Kissan Union (Sidhupur), visited the dharna site and extended support to the farmers.

The farmers have been staging a dharna in the village to seek the ownership right over 650 acres of land that they claim to have been cultivating for the past 50 years.

They have been protesting against the panchayat director’s decision to declare 650 acres as common land.



26,000 kids given polio drops
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, February 27
Polio vaccine was administered to over 26,000 children in the sub-division as part of the polio eradication campaign here today.

Around 43,000 children will be covered under the campaign.

The campaign was inaugurated by MLA Jasjit Singh Bunny at the local civil hospital. SMO Dr Meena Hardeep Singh was also present. Rotary International distributed material to raise awareness about the disease.



Healthy lifestyle stressed upon
Tribune News Service

Ambala, February 27
Dr Naresh Trehan, a cardiologist, has underlined the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle to avoid heart ailments. He was delivering the “21st Gian Chand Memorial Lecture” organised by the Gian Chand Memorial Foundation, Ambala Cantonment, at SD College here today.

Dr Trehan said over six crore people were suffering from different heart ailments in the country and the number was increasing every year.

He underlined the importance of healthy lifestyle and suggested physical exercise, including yoga, to keep heart ailments at bay.

Dr Trehan, who has done over 45,000 cardiac surgeries, said they were now trying to conduct maximum cardiac surgeries using the minimal invasive technique.

In his lecture, he focussed on the current scenario of the Indian healthcare system.

He stressed the need for finding long-term solutions to public health challenges. He said one crore people were in the danger zone of contracting heart ailments and they could stay healthy if they started physical exercises.

Traditional medicine systems with its proper standardisation could be integrated with the western medicine, which would make healthcare less expensive and involve less invasive procedures.

Dr Ashok Vaid, a cancer specialist, dwelled on the symptoms of cancer and precautionary measures.

Dr Ashok Raj Gopal, an orthopaedic surgeon, elaborated on increasing incidents of joint problems.



Assault on minors
Sec-7 resident granted bail
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 27
The local court today granted bail to IS Sekhon, a resident of Sector 7, after he was arrested by the police yesterday for brutally assaulting two minor girls at his house on Friday evening.

Duty magistrate Jyoti Birbian granted bail to Sekhon, who had been admitted to the General Hospital, Sector 6, after he complained of hypertension late last night.

After getting the bail, Sekhon was discharged from the hospital within half an hour.

Sekhon was arrested by the Sector-5 police last evening for assaulting domestic helps aged 11 and eight.

One of the minors who was allegedly hit with an iron rod managed to escape and narrated her plight and that of a co-worker to Dr YP Arora, a neighbour, who further informed the police control room.

A case under Sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 342 (wrongful confinement), 506 (criminal intimidation), IPC, and Sections 16 and 18 of the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976 has been registered against Sekhon and other family members. His family members are at large.

Meanwhile, Manjit Kaur, a member of the Juvenile Justice Board, today claimed that she did not know the accused or any member of his family. She added that she wasn’t even aware of the address of the accused.

Superintendent of Police Maneesh Chaudhary said police teams had been dispatched to various places to arrest the remaining accused in the case.



Gold chain snatched
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 27
Two motorcycle-borne youths snatched a gold chain of a woman outside her house in Sector 10 here this afternoon.

The victim, Sunita Devi, a resident of Sector 10, in her complaint to the police claimed that she was sitting outside her house when two unidentified youths, riding a Pulsar motorcycle, snatched her gold chain weighing around 35 gm. Though the victim raised the alarm, the youths sped away from the scene.

A case has been registered and investigations are on in this regard.



Rose Festival: IPRS official booked for extortion

Chandigarh, February 27
The UT police have registered a case of extortion and cheating against an official with the Indian Performing Rights Society (IPRS) Limited, Delhi, Arvind Sharma.

He has been charged with taking money for providing a no-objection certificate (NOC) to the marketing manager of Pashchatya Entertainment Private Limited for organising programmes at the three-day Rose Festival, which concluded at the Rose Garden in Sector 16 here today.

The marketing manager of Paschatya Entertainment, Arun Sharma, filed a complaint with the police against Arvind last night, following which a case was registered today. In his complaint, Arun stated that Arvind charged an additional Rs 33,000 from him, without reason, to allow him to organise programs at the Rose Festival.

While the manager had paid the fee of Rs 1.25 lakh for organising programmes, the additional sum was illegally demanded, he alleged. He added that Arvind initially demanded Rs 1.8 lakh as full fee, but later lowered the amount to Rs 1.25 lakh.

Arvind also asked him to apply for an NOC eight days before the festival, Arun said, adding that after he made the payment of Rs 1.25 lakh, Arvind asked him to deposit a demand draft for Rs 66,000 in the account of the IPRS and took Rs 33,000 more from him. — TNS



St John’s alumni clinch golf title
Our Golf Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 27
The alumni of St John's School emerged champions in the SJOBA Inter-Alumni Golf Tournament held on the par-72 greens of the Chandigarh Golf Club here today.

The foursome comprising Rupinder Singh Grewal, Vaiobhav Mehan, Ashwani Sharma and Capt KBS Khanna logged the highest number of points in the competition.

Doon School, Dehra Dun, and PPS, Nabha, finished second and third, respectively, in the tournament in which alumni teams from Yadavindra Public School, Patiala, Lawrence School, Sanawar, and Bishop Cotton School, Shimla, aslo took part.

According to SJOBA president Nagendra Singh, this was the first time that SJOBA had invited the alumni of other schools to take part in the golf competition. “Looking at the response this will become an integral part of the SJOBA Golf Tournament,” he added.

The best gross card among SJOBA members was carded by Vaibhav Mehan at 79 with Anupinder Singh Grewal finishing runners-up two strokes behind at 81. The best gross for other schools was carded by Tony Bedi of YPS at 82 with Brig HS Gill of PPS, finishing one stroke behind at 83.

Tournament convener SPS Ghai said Anurag Chopra had the longest drive, while Grp Cpt KS Rana was nearest to the pin.

Chandigarh Golf Club president BS Gill gave away the prizes.



Madras going strong, beat Calcutta
Tribune News Service

A player of the Madras University in action during the All-India Inter-University Tennis Tournament at Panjab University in Chandigarh on Sunday.
FEROCIOUS FOREHAND: A player of the Madras University in action during the All-India Inter-University Tennis Tournament at Panjab University in Chandigarh on Sunday. A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, February 27
Madras University defeated Calcutta University in the semifinal match of the All-India Inter-University Lawn Tennis (Women) Championship being organised by the Panjab University here today.

Madras University won the match by 2-1. In singles’ category, Dipti defeated Neena Reddy by 3-6, 0-6, whereas Preethi defeated Danielle in straight sets by 6-1and 6-1

In the doubles’ category, the team of Preethi and Neena defeated the duo Dipti and Danielle by 6-1, 4-6 and 6-0 in a three set decider.

In the second semifinal match of the day, Delhi University defeated rivals Jamia Millia Islamia University by 2-1.

In the singles’ category, Prerna defeated Jilke in straight sets by 6-0 and 6-0, whereas second player Garima went down against Parul by 5-7 and 3-6.

In the doubles’ category, Prerna and Garima drub Parul and Jilke by 6-2 and 6-2 in straight sets.



6 DSPs, 13 cops for players’ security 24/7
Deepankar Sharda

Chandigarh, February 27
In wake of “threat” news carried by a section of media, the Chandigarh police and their counterpart in Mohali are in no mood to take any risk for the upcoming ICC- Cricket World Cup matches schedule to be held in Mohali.

As the city police is all set to provide protection to the cricket teams arriving here tomorrow, the police will provide more security to the players this time due to the latest advisory by Intelligence Bureau.

The city police has decided to appoint six DSPs, and 13 inspectors, who will supervise the security measurements round-the-clock.

According to DSP communication Roshan Lal, “Earlier, nearly 200 policemen were appointed by the authorities at the venue where the team stayed, but this time there will be more than 250 policemen to take care of players’ security,” he added.

Besides six DSPs, two more DSPs will be appointed to escort the team to the PCA.

The players will also get a special security cover at public places, the DSP said.

“There will be a team of eight DSPs and policemen who will escort the team to the stadium so that there will be no fear among players. Also, there will be security on the team’s route leading to the PCA,” said Roshan.

Besides, the Mohali police will deploy more than 1,500 policemen in and around the venue and CCTV cameras at the venue will help in covering all the minute details, he added.

According to the sources, authorities concerned will deploy private security personnel inside the stadium to keep a check. Viewers will also have to go through a proper security check.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |