Chandigarh Tribune
Saturday, January 8, 2000,
Chandigarh, India

C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Army should be given all help to deal with security threats: Governor
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 7 — The annual Civil- Military Liaison Conference (CML) of the states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi was held at the Western Command Headquarters, Chandi Mandir, today. Besides the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Command, Lt Gen Vijay Oberoi, formation commanders and senior staff officers, Chief Secretaries, Home Secretaries, Director-Generals of Police of these states as well as senior officers from the BSF, the CRPF and the ITBP stationed in the region attended the meet.

Inaugurating the conference, the Governor of Haryana, Mr Mahabir Prashad, praised the Army for its valour and sacrifices in the Kargil operations as well as for providing timely aid to civil authorities in cyclone-hit areas of Orissa.

He said that even during peace time, the Army had always extended prompt help to the state administrations whenever called for, but it was done at the cost of training and combat readiness. Army assistance, therefore, should be sought as a last resort after pressing into service all available resources, he added.

Referring to recent incidents in the subcontinent, the Governor observed that Pakistan continued to adopt a hostile attitude towards India in spite of our efforts to improve bilateral relations. He expressed confidence that India would be able to effectively contain militancy aided and abetted by Pakistan and win the proxy war in the same manner as the Kargil intrusions were repulsed.

Calling for a concerted effort at all levels, the Governor stressed that the civil administration and paramilitary forces should extend all co-operation to the Army to deal with internal and external security threats.

Pointing out that maximum representation in the armed forces is from the states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan and that most of the soldiers who laid down their lives are from these states, he said that it was the primary duty to the civil and police administration to look after the welfare of their families. He also welcomed various proposals announced by the states for the welfare of jawans and desired that benefits reach the rightful persons at the earliest.

Welcoming the Governor and the delegates, the Lt-Gen Oberoi thanked the state governments for the honour given to the Kargil heroes and for mobilising massive public support.

Referring to the heavy commitment of the Army in internal security duties, he emphasised the need to reduce it as it was adversely affecting operational preparedness and combat potential. He called for active utilisation of other instruments available with the government.

Later, talking to media persons, Lt-Gen Oberoi, said that the purpose of the CML is to ensure that various issues affecting the Army and the civil organisations are resolved. He said that synergy between different organisations is very important and it can be achieved only with coordination. He said that there is a lot of give and take between the Army and the civil organisations and the CML provides a forum for finalising them.

On the current controversy involving the arrest of an Army Major at Ambala, he said that with a million-strong Army spread across the country, stray incidents do occur, but there is a system to sort them out at the local level.

A separate Army-Paramilitary Commanders Conference, chaired by the Chief of Staff, Western Command, Lt-Gen B.S. Malik, was held in the afternoon, where integrated training and issues of mutual interest were discussed.


Files’ case goes to CBI forensic lab
By Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 7 — Adding a new chapter to the unending saga of the missing files’ case, the Chandigarh Police has referred the matter of the alleged reconstruction of the files at a later date to the forensic science laboratory of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Delhi.

The case, which had rocked the department when the missing files were recovered last year on February 4, continues to be a source of great embarrassment even today. As many as five officials, including two DSPs and one Inspector, had been suspended following an enquiry. While one DSP was reinstated, the others are still under suspension.

It may be recalled that the files pertaining to the murder of Inder Pal Gupta, local president of the Hindu Suraksha Samiti (FIR 177 of 1984), and Ganpat Rai, a resident of Uchahar, Rae Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh (FIR 85 of 1983), had been reported missing.

During investigations it was found that the officials had reportedly prepared the files after the case came to light. Several inaccuracies were noticed and an enquiry was ordered into the whole affair, which was conducted by the then Legal Remembrancer.

The aspect of the alleged preparation of records, a criminal offence, was being re-investigated by Mr Ajay Kashyap, SSP, HQ, on the directions of the IGP.

Commenting on the factual position in this case, Mr S K Singh, IGP, said that the matter had been referred to the forensic laboratory of the CBI as it was felt that the reports and replies of the officers examined had not been helpful in deciding the matter beyond a shadow of doubt. Keeping in mind the sensitivity of the matter, he wanted to leave no stone upturned.

He said the key witness, a forensic expert had not ratified his earlier statement before the LR, and had instead stated that he could not give a specific answer whether the files had been fabricated later on. He had initially stated that the matter was referred to the CFSL, Punjab, where too the experts could not give a unanimous decision on the exact time the record was prepared.

It may be recalled that the same expert had stated that “the files could not be original since the paper sheets have freshness in their sheen and the writing instruments are gel-based inks which were not in vogue in 1983-84. The signatures of the investigating officer (IO) do not show ageing due to the passage of 15-16 years. The year too has been wrongly mentioned at many places”, he had observed.

Mr Singh said a final decision in the case will be taken once the report from Delhi was received.

The case was first highlighted by The Tribune on February 4, 1999, under the heading “ Files Missing from the police station”. The then Home Secretary had ordered an enquiry by the Legal Remembrancer. The enquiry report not only lists certain officers as being responsible but also castigates the functioning of the uniformed force.



CM announces relief at darbar
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Jan 7 — Nearly 150 complaints of panchayats were heard at the “Sarkar Aapke Dwar” programme chaired by the Chief Minister of Haryana, Mr Om Praksah Chautala, at Yavnika, Sector 5, here today. Most of these dealt with problems of electricity supply, bad roads and paucity of drinking water, besides construction of chaupals and upgradation of schools in the rural areas. From the township, the nature of complaints was primarily on encroachments and land allotment.

He said that electricity poles would be put up all over the state and the wires hanging loose tied up on war-footing. Further, he declared that boosting stations would be installed and new water works would be developed to meet the growing demand of drinking water.

The issue of the Nagar Palika of Pinjore which was dissolved in the last darbar held at Kalka over a week back came in for a bit of controversy with the councillors demanding that the government should reconsider its decision. Mr Chautala sanctioned Rs 1 lakh for village streets, upgradation of primary school to middle school and addition of two more rooms at village Thandardu. On the demand of the panchayat of Mandra, he sanctioned the construction of a road from Jalan to Mandra, boundary wall of high school and supply of drinking water to the residents, besides Rs 1 lakh for streets of Thar village.

Another Rs 1 lakh was sanctioned for making of a pavement in Kundi village and Rs 1 lakh more for streets of Bunga village. He also sanctioned the construction of a retaining wall of a pond at Sunderpur, pucca passage upto the temple besides many other constructions of roads and chaupals in different villages.

Earlier, he inaugurated a building of the community centre and a primary school in Sector 4 of Mansa Devi complex and a dispensary in Sector 20.



Student loses eye in New Year brawl
By Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 7 — A midnight brawl with unknown assailants cost a student of Panjab University his eye on New Year's Eve.

Harmeet Singh, a fourth semester student of the Law Department, lies on bed with an eye covered with bandages. The repercussion of the injury is that it nearly closes doors for job opportunities in several sectors which Harmeet aspired for.

Family sources said on the night of December 31, Harmeet Singh along with a couple of friends was returning from the DSOI Club. On the way, a car carrying four passengers, shouting and drinking, came across them. The travellers were enjoying the New Year celebrations when Harmeet's car overtook them. They, in return, oversped and nearly banged into the car.

The cars stopped and the passengers of the other car allegedly tried to bash up Harmeet and his friends. One of the assaulters banged a baseball bat on the ground and broke it. Others were also carrying such 'weapons', a family member said.

After an argument, Harmeet along with his friends left for the university hostel. After dropping his friends, he returned to the car to pick up his remaining friends from the DSOI. As soon as he came down, the rival group which had parked its car in the dark, walked down and allegedly cornered Harmeet.

Meanwhile, the assaulter carrying the broken baseball bat pushed it through Harmeet's eyes. Seeing the blood, the assaulters ran away.Back


Fire-prone buildings: UT defence struck off
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 7 — Striking off the UT Administration's defence in the civil suit for restraining the defendants from passing the plans of fire-prone buildings, the UT Civil Judge (Junior Division), Mr A.K. Bishnoi, today fixed March 3 as the next date of hearing.

Pronouncing the orders in the open court, the Civil Judge observed: "A perusal of the file would show that defendant number one (UT Administration) has already availed several opportunities for filing the written statement, but to no avail. Circumstances of the case warrant that no opportunity should be given to the defendant for this purpose."

In his detailed order, the Civil Judge further observed: "Accordingly, finding no jurisdiction for further delaying the matter for this purpose, the defence of defendant number one is hereby struck off."

Alleging a delay of over one year by the UT Administration in replying to the suit, the plaintiff — Janata Party's local unit President Ajay Jagga, on the last date of hearing, had sought the forfeiture of their right to file the written statement.

Claiming the involvement of an "important matter", the plaintiff had stated that the delay was adversely "affecting the rights of the plaintiff and the public at large." If the "state of affairs continued as such, the occurrence of any disaster any day could not be ruled out", he had added.

Seeking the passing of "appropriate orders", the plaintiff had further added that the defendant was "evidently adopting adamant attitude so as to disobey the orders of the court."

It may be recalled that the plaintiff, seeking directions for restraining the Administration, besides the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh, from passing plans of fire-prone buildings, had also asked for the adoption of fire safety measures in the city buildings.

Directions to the UT Chief Fire Officer to seal the "premises where safety norms had been flouted", besides the removal of encroachments in the markets, had also been asked for.

In their reply, counsel for the corporation had stated that fire-fighting measures had been adopted in hospitals, the Punjab and Haryana High Court and the cinema halls.

The other buildings where fire-fighting measures had been taken included the UT Secretariat, discotheques, pubs, counsel had added. Measures were also being taken in government buildings, including the 30-Bay Building, Municipal Corporation building and the Deputy Commissioner's office.Back


Students’ rally on road safety
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 7 — A mass rally by students of various schools of the city to mark the Road Safety Week was organised at Parade Ground, Sector 17, today. The rally was organised by Shivalik Public School, Sector 41, on behalf of the CBSE and the Ministry of Surface Transport, Government of India.

About 1500 students from different parts of the city participated in the rally. They carried posters and placards on road safety measures.

Mr Parag Jain, SSP of Chandigarh, presided over the function. He laid stress on the need and urgency for making the journey on roads safer and sensitised the students on the same.

Students presented group songs and skits on the theme of road safety. A poster-making competition was also held on the school premises yesterday. The winners were Manpal Singh, Shivalik Public School (1), Anjani Khanna, Sacred Heart Convent School, Sector 26 (2) and Arjun Singh, Shishu Niketan School, Sector 22 (3).

These students were awarded cash prizes of Rs 1,000, Rs 500 and Rs 250, respectively. Five consolation prizes of Rs 200 each were given to Zubeena Boprai, sacred Heart School, Apurav, Shivalik Public School, Anil Sofat, St Kabir’s Public School, Sector 26, Priyanka Khandelwal, Sacred Heart School, and Ashna, Shishu Niketan School.



Private schools undecided on timings
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 7 — Private schools of the city are yet to take a decision on changing the school timings, even though the foggy weather conditions and chilly winds refuse to relent for some time.

At a meeting of private schools held today at Shivalik Public School, Sector 41, to discuss this issue, the participating schools could reach no consensus.

The meeting was called by Mr D.S. Bedi, President of the Independent Schools Association. The meeting was attended by 25 schools of the city, out of which, Mr Bedi said, about 50 per cent had already changed their timings before the meeting. The rest are still to decide. These schools may decide to delay their morning timings only after evaluating if this change will result in any conveyance problems to children.

It was on account of the severe cold and foggy conditions that the Education Department of the Chandigarh Administration had decided to change the timings of all the UT schools with effect from January 6. However, most private schools either flouted this order or chose to stick to their own set of changed timings.

The notice concerning the change in school timings had stated that schools would now open at 8.45 am instead of 8 am and close at 2.30 pm till February 29. But most private schools are still following the old timings of 8 am to 2 pm.

Meanwhile, the administration is saying that it "will not tolerate any cruelty towards children".

Another issue which was taken up at the meeting of private schools was of a hike of ten per cent in the school fees with effect from the next session.



Monkey terror
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Jan 7 — A monkey has caused panic in a pocket of houses in Phase 9 here after reports of the simian attacking children spread in the area.

The monkey today bit a 4-year-old girl, Simran, who was playing in a ground opposite her house. A few days back, the monkey had attacked an 11-year-old boy in the phase. Residents of the area remained indoors fearing attack from the animal. Harried residents say that complaints to the authorities about the creature in the past 10 to 15 days had failed to make any impact.

Id celebrations today
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 7 — Id-ul-fitr will be celebrated with traditional gaiety in the mosques of the city tomorrow, according to information received from the mosque in Sector 20 here today.

The Id prayers will be held at 9:30am in Sector 20, while prayer meetings will also be held at other mosques, including those in Sector 26, 29 and Burail village.



Rs 2.50 lakh robbed
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 7 — As many as four armed persons robbed an official of the Baddi branch of the Punjab National Bank of Rs 2. 50 lakh today morning.

According to police sources, Mr B R Vohra, manager of the bank, was bringing the amount from a branch of the State Bank of Patiala in his van from another part of the town when he was stopped near the post office in the busy vegetable market and the bag containing the amount snatched by pistol wielding robbers.

The accused then fled towards the under construction road linking Baddi and Chandigarh.The registration number of the vehicle could not be taken down.



Two booked for injuring man
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 7 — The police has registered a case against two Patiala residents on the charges of injuring a scooterist, kidnapping him and subsequently abandoning him. A case under Sections 279, 337, 363, 307, 201 and 34 of the IPC has been registered at the Sector 39 police station.

According to the police sources, Santokh Singh, a resident of Teera village, was hit and injured near Jhampur barrier late last night by Arjun Singh and Labh Singh, who were travelling on a tractor trolley driven by Arjun. They, reportedly, lifted the injured person, put him in the trolley and abandoned him near some brick kilns. He was spotted by Gurmit Singh in the morning and rushed to the PGI.

Power theft
The police has arrested Ganeshwar Jain, a resident of Sector 42, on the charge of pilfering electricity. A case under Section 379 of the IPC and Section 39 of the Indian Electricity Act, 1939, has been registered against him on the complaint of the SDO of Division Number 9.

Thief caught
Anil Kumar, a resident of Sector 44, was arrested for stealing main hole covers from Sector 35. A case under Section 379 and 411 of the IPC has been registered.


Body found
Body of a 25-year-old Nepali youth was found under mysterious circumstances near Sekhan Majra village under the Sohana police station. Sources in the police said no visible signs of injury were found on the body of the deceased. The autopsy will be conducted tomorrow at Civil Hospital in Phase VI here.

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