Chandigarh Tribune
Tuesday, January 11, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Celebrating Lohri with singing stars
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 10— Revarian tey phulleh, bhangra tey giddhey, aai Lohri, balle, balle. Lohri dey do Lohri — a familiar chant.

It was in the presence of a host of stars that the festival of Lohri was celebrated here this evening at Parade Ground, Sector 17, with Punjabi pop and folk artistes who made the audience sway to their beats.

'Sundar Mundriya Ho- The Lohri Dhamaka' was presented by Alpha Television Punjabi as the "first Lohri of the millennium". This programme would be telecast on Alpha TV Punjabi on January 13 at 8 pm.

The evening began with Preeti Sapru, a well-known face in the Punjabi film industry, dancing to the tune of Sundar mundriya ho. Followed by a group of dancers, Preeti, attired in a bright red suit, welcomed the audience.

The function was inaugurated by the Chief Ministers of both Punjab and Haryana — Mr Parkash Singh Badal and Mr Chautala. Mr Badal thanked the artistes for inviting him to a star-studded show, "because this makes people like us happy, who are always lost in issues of transfers and files". Mr Chautala also said that such cultural programmes should be encouraged and wished everyone a happy Lohri.

But Chandigarh Administration officials seemed conspicuous by their absence. A lot of people from the audiences could later be found sittings on sofas marked for officers of the Administration.

One celebrity who was thoroughly enjoying the show was Bollywood actress Mink, who landed here after she was told by her friend, Mika, about the "mega Lohri" celebrations. She was seen among the audience with her mother and aunt.

One of the first artistes to come on stage was Surjeet Bindrakhiya to dole out his hit number Mukhda dekh key mar gaya ni, followed by some lesser-heard songs.

He was followed by Dolly Guleria's foot-tapping numbers Charkah chanan da, Saukan meley di and Nabhey diye band bootley.

Bhagwant Mann and Jaswinder Bhalla, Punjabi comedy artistes, regaled the audiences with their ticklish jokes.

One of the comperes, Sunil Grover, also came up with some interesting fillers.

But the environment 'heated' up when Jasbir Jassi, of the Kudi Gujarat di fame came in front of the audiences. Most of the youngsters could be seen dancing on their seats and the others tapping their feet and crooning along with Jassi when he sang his latest hit, the pulsating Kudi kudi. His Gujarat di was a sure success, and so was Ti ti ra ra.

The venue again resonated with spirited and animated songs when Mika of the Sawan main lag gayee aag fame climbed the stage. He went on to sing Terey tor from his yet-to-be released album, Sajni, and had the audiences asking for more.

Harbhajan Mann's Gallan goriyan was another scene stealer. Though Mann was one of the last to appear on the stage, he managed to keep up with the expectations of the audiences, who had braved a chilly night to be with their singing stars.

The other singers included Satwinder Bitti of the Nal nal chaliyan, Devender Khanne Wala, Hira Dhami, Sarabjeet Cheema and Manpreet Akhtar of the Tujhe yaad na merey aaye from the film, Kuch-Kuch Hota Hai.

Vishal Sapru, Preeti Sapru's younger brother, whom she would be soon introducing in films, presented a dance item.

Preeti Sapru was the creative director of this extravaganza and the music director was Surender Bachan, known for having rendered music for movies like Pratigya and Kachehri.


Preeti Sapru's ambitious projects
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 10 — "City Beautiful be ready, I'm bringing Madhuri Dixit here to perform live on the stage," said an excited Preeti Sapru, who has been associated with the Punjabi film industry for more than 20 years now. Preeti was here today to perform at the Lohri dhamaka at the Sector 17 Parade Ground and as the creative director of this event.

Preeti Sapru, dressed in a simple kurta-churidar, while talking exclusively to TNS, said: "This is my first stage show and I just hope to make this is a success and a huge one at that."

Commenting on the level and status of Punjabi films that had been made over the years, the producer-director-actor said: "Punjabi films have a very limited regional base. And one of the main problems has always been the limited budget, which films like Mahaul Theek Hai or Shaheed Udham Singh did not have to face. But attempts have always been made to do good films even in Punjabi."

Currently Preeti is busy with the making of a Hindi film Shahdat on the Indo-Pakistan relations. The film has Sanjay Dutt, Nasseerudin Shah and Pooja Batra, besides a "host of other stars". She is also planning to launch her brother Vishal in this film.

And some more surprises in store from this actress — she is introducing the singer of Oye-oye fame, Harbhajan Mann, in a Punjabi film with Ashima Bhalla and then singer Mika, better known as Daler Mehndi's brother, in a Punjabi musical serial.

Her other ambitious projects include a Punjabi talk show on the lines of Simi Grewal's ''Rendezvous''. "And no, I have no time for acting in anybody else's serial or film right now as my hands are full with my own projects," Preeti said in an animated tone.

Preeti's to-be-television star, Mika, of Sawan mein lag gayi aag fame, said: "I have never been fond of acting or even taking up offers for playback singing. But I have known Preetiji since I was very young, so I would be doing this serial soon."

Mika, who is perhaps one of the youngest artistes to join the tribe of Punjabi pop, while commenting on his controversy in cancelling a show at the last moment in August last year, said: "It was just not in the kismet of the city to have me around at that time. And now I am here, but that is all that I would like to say about that show."

His second album Sajni is due for release some time this month. He said: "Punjabi pop has ensured that even the beats of the dhol are given recognition. And so what if we have mixed Western tunes with our music, we are still going international."

Claiming that he is performing for the Lohri function free of cost, Mika added: "My shows otherwise cost something like Rs 10 lakh; not me but my entire show."


I am next to Zeenat Aman: Mink
By Sonoo Singh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 10 — "All my co-stars are angry with me, since I have never been linked with any of them. Not even in the media," said Mink, jokingly. She is a Bollywood actress who has been seen in some forgettable movies like Yamraj and Ganga Ki Kasam, both with Jackie Shroff. She also featured as a guest star in a couple of other Hindi films.

She was seen at Lohri Dhamaka, where she was among the audience, as her friend Mika had invited her to the show tonight at Parade Ground in Sector 17. "I was en route from Delhi where Competition Success Review had given me the Super Personality Award, so, I decided to come here and enjoy the show."

Mink, in an exclusive chat with the TNS, with the loud music of Jasbir Jassi and Mika playing in the background, talked about her film career.

She is a discovery of Dev Anand and her full name is Mink Brar, but, she uses Mink Singh. She said, "I am one of the most glamorous heroines in the industry today, after Zeenat Aman. I have only not been able to get the kind of films where I can prove my worth."

Dressed in a sleeveless white and silver dress and loads of bangles, Mink said, "I am a lucky mascot for most of my films. Even if the film does not do well, the songs that are picturised on myself become major hits." People have seen her in the song Uday Uday Hosh of the film Yamraj or in Jaspinder Narula's album Haina.

The 20-year old actress said, "I started very young in this industry, while I was still studying in Germany. So, I had to shuttle between India and Germany. For a long time, filmmakers thought that I was just not interested in doing films, but, I am."

Her forthcoming films include Chalo Ishq Ladaye with Govinda and Abbas Mastan.

Commenting on the 'casting-couch' industry, Mink said the film industry treated you the way you wanted to be treated. "No one has ever dared to make a pass at me and I value my self-respect," she said.

On her being only a matriculate, Mink said, "I never had the urge to study further and would like to have a career in this industry now. I am a beginner even today and it is a long race which I am confident of winning one day." About the parental pressure, she said, "My mother has always supported me and she has never pushed me into anything. I am very close to my mother, who accompanies me to the sets and looks after most of the affairs of my life. I cannot think of doing things on my own, as I am very dependent on her."


Rs 4.6 lakh relief for accident victim
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 10 — Nearly four years after the right arm of a computer instructor was crushed under the front wheel of a bus, the UT Additional District and Sessions Judge, Mr. S.K. Goel has ordered Rs 4.60 lakh to her as compensation.

Sangeeta Sharma (24) had to be operated upon twice after being admitted to hospital for over two months following the accident. She had sustained injuries on December 8, 1996, after the scooter she was riding was hit from behind by a Contessa car near the “small chowk of Sector 43 and 44”.

Sangeeta, according to the claim petition, had fallen on the road after the car, in turn, was hit by a bus. It was alleged that the accused were responsible for driving the car and the bus rashly and negligently.

Pronouncing the orders in open court, the judge observed: “Sangeeta Sharma is awarded Rs 4.60 lakh. 50 per cent of this amount will be paid by the New India Insurance Company as the Contessa car was insured with them. The rest will be paid by the driver and the owner of the bus”.

The Judge also observed: “The owner of the car is entitled to Rs 50,000 as claim for damages caused by the driver of the bus. The liability of the driver and the owner is joint and severally. The claimants are also entitled to interest at the rate of 12 per cent per annum from the date of filing of the claim petition till its realisation”. The judge further observed: “Out of the awarded amount to Sangeeta Sharma, 60 per cent would be invested in FDR in her name for six years with the liberty to draw the interest quarterly”.


4 years of savings lost in 5 minutes
By Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 10 — Even after 36 hours of the incident in which she lost her vanity case containing nearly 750 gm of gold jewellery, Rs 18,000 in cash and other valuables from inside the Chandigarh Shatabdi Express at New Delhi railway station, Monica, a city girl, is still dazed.

"I am broke," she said, maintaining that she has been unable to recover from the shock. "I took great pains and worked hard in the past four years by working in a hotel in Dubai to collect all this. And it took just five minutes for it to disappear from very much my own hands."

Monica lost her father some years ago. Her mother and younger brother, whose marriage is fixed for January 15, live here in Sector 45.

"I got married to Asish only six months ago. He also works in Dubai. We came to India on December 16. For the past four years, I have been converting my savings into gold jewellery which I wanted to use for the wedding of my brother. In the last week of December, my brother got engaged. That was perhaps the only day when I wore a part of my jewellery.

"But for the engagement and subsequent wedding of my brother, I would have returned to Dubai on January 5. Now I am going back on January 18, empty handed, having lost my entire hard-earned labour. Perhaps, it was destined to happen that way.

"I was supposed to return to Chandigarh on the evening of January 9. But since we got delayed in a wedding, I cancelled my reservation and made fresh reservation," she says.

Her husband, Ashish, says that the "thief" had coffee with them while they all were waiting for the train to arrive at Platform No 1. He was dressed in a blue suit, wore Oxford party shoes and immaculate single piece colour glasses. He was also carrying a cellular phone and looked a decent person. Though they did not talk to each other, he got into Coach No 4 and took a seat exactly behind them.

"It was perhaps our mistake to get into the train early. We were in the train immediately after it rolled into Platform No 1. Before that, I had opened my vanity box to take out about Rs 1,000. Perhaps, because I had fresh mehndi on my hands and was wearing some ornaments and carrying a brand new vanity case that I was made a target. When Ashish got down to smoke a cigarette, I was little panicky about having packed all my jewellery, watch, cash and all other things in the vanity box. All the while, I was toying with the idea of putting the box up on the overhead rack. Five minutes later, when I looked for the vanity case which I had safely tucked under my seat, it was gone. I immediately shouted for the police and my husband. The man in the suit too had disappeared. Instead, women passengers with reservation for the seats behind us had occupied the seats.

"One of passengers told us that he had seen the man in blue suit going out with a brand new vanity bag. Though there was one policeman in the coach, he was of no help. No other policeman was on the platform. Those inside the train expressed their helplessness as they maintained that they cannot do anything outside the train.

"For me, everything was lost. I broke down. Many passengers tried to reason with Government Railway Police personnel and Railway officials, but to no avail. We decided to cancel our tickets and got only a 50 per cent refund.

"Ultimately, we went to the police post outside the railway station and lodged a formal FIR. We gave the police a complete description of the man. They made a computer printout resembling the suspect. Later, in the afternoon, we came back to Chandigarh by bus," recalls Monica.

Ashish, on the other hand, maintains that when they went to Delhi by the Kalka Mail, they felt very safe. But a prestigious train like the Shatabdi and VIP platform failed to provide them either protection or safety of their baggage.

"I do not know what would happen if someone stabs someone on the platform in such a pathetic security environment on this VIP platform. None from the police or Railways was of any help. Everyone was trying to pass the buck.

Someone told them that a couple of weeks ago, a similar bag belonging to a relative of a Punjab Chief Minister was stolen. But in that case it was recovered within a couple of hours. "But in our case, even after 36 hours, nothing has progressed. We are from lower middle class family, " adds Mr Ashish Kumar.

The family now hopes that the Delhi police would act fast and Monica may get back her jewellery soon.


2 get RI for keeping stolen motor cycles
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 10 — Two city residents, accused of keeping stolen motor cycles, were today sentenced to a one year rigorous imprisonment by UT Judicial Magistrate (First Class) Paramvir Nijjar.

The duo— Mukesh Kumar and Surinder Kumar — were earlier booked by the Chandigarh Police for “dishonestly receiving stolen property knowing it to be stolen” and theft under Sections 411 and 379 of the Indian Penal Code.

According to the prosecution, the accused had dishonestly kept in their possession motor cycles belonging to Anil Kumar and Rajnish “knowing or having reasons to believe the same to be stolen”.

Pronouncing the orders in the open court, the Judicial Magistrate observed: “I hereby hold both accused guilty for the commission of an offence punishable Under Section 411 IPC and convict them thereunder”.

Rejecting the plea for taking a lenient view against the two, the judge observed “Keeping in view the fact that there has been heavy recovery from the possession of both the convicts which included two motor cycles in question, I am not inclined to take a lenient view.”


CTCC to be reconstituted
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 10 — The Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee (CTCC) will be reconstituted in March this year, Mr Moti Lal Vora, AICC General Secretary and in charge of Chandigarh, indicated here today.

In a brief chat with reporters after flagging off the “sankalp yatra” outside the Congress Bhavan in Sector 35 here, Mr Vora said that the election process for recasting various Congress units had been set in motion and it would be completed by March. However, the current local set-up will be “activated”, he said without elaborating.

Answering a question on the Congress strategy for the Haryana State Assembly, which goes to the polls on February 22, he said as of now the party would go to the polls alone. However, he did not rule out the possibility of an alliance with “secular parties” if the situation warranted.

He said he had met various factions of the party here and would submit his report to the party high command soon.

Earlier, addressing party workers, Mr Vora urged them to expose the Central Government’s failures on many fronts, including the removal of poverty, environmental degradation and its communal policies.

Mr Narayanswamy, AICC Secretary, alleged that the government, which was a conglomerate of 24 parties, was pursuing a communal and casteist agenda.

The local MP, Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, claimed the country could only become strong if the Congress, which had been on the forefront of the freedom struggle, became strong.

A former Union Minister, Mr Harmohan Dhawan, wanted that the party high command should take a stern action against certain Congress leaders, who left no stone unturned to defeat Mr Bansal in the recent Lok Sabha poll. In spite of best efforts by “traitors”, the party won the election, he said, alleging that his party workers, who merged with the Congress recently, had not been given due respect by the Congress.

A strong contender for the CTCC chief’s post, Mr Dhawan, today made it clear that he would not accept any party post for the next two years. Addressing party workers at the Congress Bhavan, he reacted sharply to the demand by certain local Congress leaders that Mr Dhawan should be a primary member of the Congress for at least two years to be eligible for the party post. “I am a grass-root leader and had never lobbied for the party post like the other “arm chair” Congressmen”, he added.


Air Defence Artillery Day celebrated
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 10 — The sixth Air Defence Artillery Day was celebrated with enthusiasm and zeal by Air Defence Artillery troops at Chandi Mandir Military Station near here today. To mark the occasion, a wreath-laying ceremony was held at Veer Smriti to pay homage to those who had laid down their lives in the line of duty.

A statement issued here said that the Major-General Air Defence Artillery, Western Command, Maj-Gen S.S. Uppal paid floral tributes at the memorial on behalf of all ranks. A social get-together for serving as well as retired officers was also organised.

One of the youngest arms of the Indian Army, the Corps of Air Defence Artillery (ADA), was created in 1994 after bifurcating the Regiment of Artillery due to operational necessity and to keep up with the dynamics of modern warfare. The exponential advancement of air power has brought the role of air defence to the centre stage in dominating the battle zone.

Equipped with modern weapon systems, including the Tunguska air defence system, ZSU 23-4 guns, OSA-AK missiles, as well as Reporter, UP-12 and P-12 radars besides other weapons, the ADA is responsible for providing air defence cover to advancing Army formations as well as certain static establishments.

Living up to its motto of “Akashe Shatrun Jahi”, units of air defence units artillery have participated with distinction in 1965 and 1971 wars as well as the recent Kargil conflict.

In addition to their primary task, ADA units are actively involved in counter-insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir where they are carrying out anti-militant operations as well as conducting patrolling, road opening and protection duties.



City loses illustrious soldier
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 10 — The city lost an illustrious soldier when Brig Raj Mohan Singh (retd) passed away here this morning. He was 78. A decorated officer, he was born in Burail (Sector 45) village in 1922.

Commissioned into the British Indian Army in 1944, he had a distinguished career as a soldier. He saw action in the World War II in the North West Frontier Province and then in Kashmir during the1947-48 conflict. He also served with the UN Peacekeeping Force in Vietnam in 1957.

His son, Maj-Gen Bhupinder Singh, who is presently serving as Military Secretary to the President, said that Birgadier Singh had been ailing for the past few months. He leaves behind two other sons and a daughter.

His cremation will take place tomorrow in Sector 25 at 11 a.m.



Poor students given pullovers
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Jan 10 — In the wake of the continued dry spell in the region, 50 pullovers were distributed among poor students of Government Primary School in Phase 5 here at a function organised by the House Owners Welfare Society in the school premises today. The pullovers were distributed by the Subdivisional Magistrate, Mr O.P.Popli.

Earlier, the society had distributed 300 pullovers among students of various schools in the township. Speaking on the occasion, Mr A.S.Shyam, General Secretary of the society, said earth filling was required to raise the level of the courtyard of the school. The SDM said funds would be arranged from the Planning Board for the purpose.

Mr Jai Singh, Secretary of the society, read out its activities. On the occasion, Mr Amarjit Singh Virk, a Non-Resident Indian, donated Rs 10,000 to the society. Later, the SDM released a directory of the society.


Nagar kirtan procession
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 10 — A colourful nagar kirtan procession will be held on January 12 to mark the birth anniversary celebrations of Sri Guru Gobind Singh. A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the Nagar Kirtan Tal Mel Committee which met under the chairmanship of Major N.S. Rangi (retd). The procession will start from the Sector 34 gurdwara on January 12 at 12.30 p.m. and pass through Sectors 33, 32, 20, 21, 22, 23, 36 and 37 before terminating at the Sector 38 gurdwara.

Major Rangi said the Chandigarh Administration had been requested to declare a half day holiday on January 12 and holiday on January 14 to enable Sikhs to join the celebrations in gurdwaras. Back


Two students granted bail
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 10 — Two city students, accused of being involved in a brawl at a Sector 22 discotheque on the New Year’s eve, were granted bail by the UT Additional District and Sessions Judge Mr S.K. Goel.

The two — Sarabjit Singh and Vikas Bawa of SAS Nagar — were directed to be released upon furnishing bail bonds of Rs 20, 000 along with sureties of the like amount.

They were earlier booked by the Chandigarh Police on the complaint of one Sanjay. He had alleged that the accused had threatened to kill him. His eyes, the complainant had added, were affected after something was sprayed in the hall by the accused.

Today, pronouncing the orders in open court, the judge observed: “Both accused are students. There is nothing in the file to show that they are habitual offenders. The accused are in judicial custody since December 3, 1999”.

The judge also observed: “Without commenting upon the merits of the case, no useful purpose would be served by keeping the applicants in judicial custody without trial. Therefore, they are ordered to be released on bail....”



Held with fake number plate
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 10 — The police has arrested Gurmeet Singh, a resident of Badni Kalan village in Moga district, on a charge of having a fake number plate on his motor cycle.

During routine checking near Ramgarhia Bhavan in Sector 27, it was found that the accused had put a fake number plate, PAN 1, on his bike while the actual number is PAN 1584. The motor cycle was reportedly registered at Moga.

The police said the driving licence was also forged.

A case has been registered.

Liquor seized
The police has arrested Binder Singh of Burail village from near the Sector 44-45 roundabout and recovered 150 pouches of whisky from his possession.

In another incident, Santro, a woman of Bapu Dham Colony, has been arrested from near her house and 47 quarters of whisky recovered from her.

Separate cases have been registered against them.

The police has arrested a car driver of Lalheri Kalan village in Yamunanagar district, Sukhjinder Singh, on a charge of injuring a local resident.

Scooterist hit
The police said the scooter of TR Guna Shekharan, a resident of Janata Colony, Sector 25, was hit by the car (PB-19-6401) near the Sector 16-17 turn yesterday.

The injured had been admitted to the PGI.


Murder case
The Sohana police has registered a case of murder against the brother-in-law of a woman of Kambal village who was admitted to the Sector 32 Government College and Hospital after she suffered 70 per cent burns at her in-laws house on December 27.

The victim succumbed to her injuries yesterday. According to the police, the victim's brother-in-law had poured kerosene on her as she was issueless after 12 years of marriage. Earlier the police had registered a case under Section 307 of the IPC.


Charas seized
The jail authorities today seized 75 gram of charas from three prisoners Kesho Ram, Dalbir Singh and Dharam Singh lodged in Ambala Central Jail.

The Police has registered a case under the NDPS Act against the prisoners.

Meanwhile, the GRP police recovered 10 kg of husk from a coach of Howrah Mail at Ambala city railway station. According to the GRP report, the husk was kept under the seat in a bag.


Charged with eloping
The police has registered a case against Tejwant, a resident of Lashkariwala village, for eloping with a 22-year girl of the same village.

The two left their house together following which a complaint was registered by the father of the girl, Balbir Singh.

The police nabbed them from Nahan after which the boy was arrested by the police while the girl was handed over to her parents.

A case under Section 366 of the IPC has been registered.


Shopkeeper murdered
A 65-year-old shopkeeper was found murdered at his residence in Garg Colony, Rajpura town, on Monday morning.

The victim was alone in the house. His 16-year-old son, an adopted one, had gone to Hisar to play in a cricket tournament.

The body was found lying on the edge of the bed.

According to the Rajpura police, his neighbour, Mr Jagdish Chand Goyal who is also happens a relative, spotted the body in the morning and reported to the police.

According to the police, robbery seems to the motive behind the crime though other reasons cannot be ruled out.

Fingerprints of a few persons have been found from near the outer wall which showed signs of being scaled. The door and a window was also broken and the house ransacked.

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