Chandigarh Tribune
Saturday, January 29, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Bylaws revised: now erect hedges 6 ft from kerb
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 28 — The Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) today amended the the Chandigarh (Control and Regulation of Hedges and Fences) Byelaws,1971.

Under the revised byelaws, which were passed at a meeting of the 29-member House here today without any discussion, the house owners can erect or re-erect the hedges six feet away from the nearest kerb line of the adjoining V-6 roads. Till now, the byelaws allowed the erection of hedges at a distance of 10 feet away from the nearest kerb line of the adjoining roads.

The meeting also recommended the levy of a licence fee of Rs 25 per 100 square feet per year on the area covered by the hedges.

Through another important resolution, the House urged the Chandigarh Administration to transfer 100 per cent of taxes to the civic body as it maintained a major portion of the roads, besides providing essential services like sanitation, eradication of malaria, public toilets and fire control services, most of which were non-revenue earning services.

Mr Gian Chand Gupta, a former Mayor, wanted to know whether the administration was transferring the existing 50 per cent of the tax share to which the Chief Account Officer, Mr H. S. Sood, replied that the MCC was receiving Rs 13 crore as half of the tax share from the administration.

Another issue which led to a lot of discussion was the issuance of a show-cause notice to the civic body on why the resolution regularising houses in Pocket Nos 2 and 11 in Mani Majra not be rescinded. Mr R. L. Arora suggested that a three-member committee be formed to have discussions with administration officials to evolve a consensus on the issue. The Commissioner, Mr M. P. Singh, informed the House that the 10 days' time for filing the reply, which expired on January 17, had been extended.

Earlier, the House rejected the revised estimate of earth-filling and road work in Mauli Jagran amounting to about Rs 60 lakh. Mr Prem Sagar Jain (BJP) wanted that the administration release funds for undertaking the job. He was supported by several BJP members, who said the job should be undertaken by the administration since it had transferred unlevelled land to the MCC.

Participating in the discussion on increasing the maximum fine from Rs 500 to Rs 1,000 on encroachers, several BJP councillors alleged that corporation officials were shielding certain hotels like Piccadily and Pankaj and were not removing encroachment as per the MCC resolution passed at the January 17 meeting. To this the Commissioner, Mr M. P. Singh, replied that the encroached land had been taken into possession by the civic body.

Several members, including Ms Harjinder Kaur (SAD) and Mr Harish Bhanot, wanted strengthening of the enforcement wing and uniform policy for all types of encroachments. Ultimately, the resolution could not be passed as it was felt that the extension of the Punjab Act to Chandigarh was under the purview of Parliament.

To strengthen the enforcement wing, the meeting sanctioned three posts of driver and 20 of beldar.

Besides giving nod to the installation of 17 new tubewells in Mani Majra and Sectors 26 and 39, the House approved estimates amounting to Rs 70 lakh for the improvement of water supply in 18 low-pressure pockets in the city.

A Congress councillor, Ms Kamlesh, alleged that the sanitation contract of certain areas had been given to the contractor, who had quoted the highest rate and his work had not been satisfactory.

Meanwhile, a resolution for checking the influx of population to Chandigarh, moved by Maj-Gen Gurdial Singh (retd), a nominated councillor was rejected by the House since in went against provisions of the Constitution. In his resolution, he had suggested that no person should be made a voter in Chandigarh unless he had a house, a permanent government job or a proper business premises and had stayed in the city for five years.Back


Electric engines for Delhi-UT trains
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 28 — All express and goods trains running between New Delhi and Chandigarh will be hauled by electric locos once the ongoing project of electrification between Chandigarh and Kalka is complete. The deadline for the same has been set as March 31. Work on only a small stretch of a few kilometres is pending and it will be carried out by the deadline, railway sources say.

Once this is done, trains will be hauled by electric locos. The travelling time on board Shatabadi Express will not be cut down much. But in the case of Himalayan Queen, the travelling time will be cut down by at least 15 minutes. The shift to electric locos is a part of a policy of the railways to cut down on pollution generated by diesel engines. The costs of running a train on a diesel engine is more than a train run by an electric loco.

The Divisional Railway Manager, Ambala Railway Division, Mr Vijay Kumar, said work was going on at full speed and the work would be carried out by the deadline. He said all trains, excepting passenger trains, would be hauled by electric locos.

The Shatabadi Express from Delhi to Chandigarh in the morning has been put on an electric engine. Other trains cannot be put on electric engines as they terminate at Kalka, where full scale maintenance facilities exist. All trains between Delhi and Chandigarh can still be hauled by electric locos till Chandigarh but to cover the distance till Kalka, an engine change is required, which means needless waste of time.

Meanwhile, the Sirhind-Ropar section has been electrified, making movement of freight wagons easier. Earlier, a change of locomotive from electric to diesel or vice versa was required at Sirhind for goods trains carrying coal for the Ropar Thermal Plant. Each day five rakes travel to Ropar and another five return.Back


IGP to probe harassment of Khanna
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 28 — The Adviser to the Administrator of Chandigarh, Mrs Vineeta Rai, has asked the officiating Inspector-General Of Police, Mr Ajay Kashyap, to look into the harassment of Mr Vineet Khanna, an eminent social worker, by policemen manning gates at the Sector 17 Parade Ground on Republic Day.

Mr Khanna was made to shuttle between one gate and another for three-quarters of an hour before he was allowed entry in the ground where he was honoured with the state award by the Administration in recognition of his good work in educating slum children.

Official sources maintained that the "harassment of Mr Vineet Khanna" was unfortunate. Though the "security was extraordinarily tight because of threats of disruption of R-Day functions by the Pakistan-based ISI, there was no reason for the policemen to treat Mr Vineet Khanna, a respected and eminent social worker, in such a manner," the sources said.

They further said that the Deputy Commissioner rang up Mr Khanna and apologised for the inconvenience and harassment caused to him. In fact, it was the Deputy Commissioner, Mr M. Ramsekhar, himself, who had assisted the driver of Mr Khanna, to get the state awardee down from his specially designed Sumo car at the entrance of VIP gate at about 9.30 a.m. before escorting him to the special seats arranged for the awardees.

The Adviser, Mrs Rai, has also reportedly written a letter to Mr Khanna regretting the incident.Back


Suspect was framed, DSP admits in court
By Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 28 — In what may be the first instance of its kind, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) has admitted in court that a suspect was reportedly framed for illegal possession of a narcotic substance.

The deposition of the gazetted-rank officer in a case filed under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act is being viewed seriously by the Police Department but action is to be initiated once the observations of the court are received. Due to lack of evidence — lack of corroboration being of great importance — the accused would be in all likelihood freed by the court, senior officers of the department opined.

The officer in question is Mr Daya Nand, presently posted in the operations cell of the force. He was DSP, Detective branch, when the case was filed. The accused in the case is one Munish Punj, who was reportedly charged with the illegal possession of 200 gm of charas.

Sources said the DSP in his statement to the public prosecutor said: “It is correct that the charas was recovered from the pocket of the pant which the accused was wearing. I have stated by mistake that it was recovered from the pocket of the shirt. It is also correct that the recovery note is not signed by the accused, Munish Punj. It is signed by SI Satwinder Singh, Prem Singh and me as witnesses. I have stated just by mistake that the recovery memo was signed by the accused and the charas was recovered from his shirt pocket”.

While being cross-examined by counsel for the accused, the DSP “said” I did not see my statement after it was recorded by the investigating officer (IO). It is presumed that the IO, who is a responsible officer, shall record it correctly. My statement was recorded by SI Bhupinder Singh. It was recorded at about 9.30 p.m. on the spot. I reached the palce of the occurrence at 8 p.m. and did not leave till 10.30 p.m.

He further deposed that “in his opinion, the accused has been falsely implicated”.

It is this statement that has reportedly taken the department by surprise. As per the Act, any recovery has to be made in the presence of a gazetted officer.

Sources said this is further compounded by an application moved by the IO of the case that the officer allegedly deposed wrongly to help the accused.

This episode has reportedly raised questions about the functioning of the police in such cases despite the fact that the Act clearly stipulates the procedure to be followed and the resultant punishment in case the offciers err on their part. The sentences and fines or both handed down by the trial courts are very stiff, the sources said.

The sources maintain that “even if the accused is freed due to lack of evidence, it still leaves the aspect as to where the drug came from, who was the original accused or was it an attempt by the police to frame up an innocent person for ulterior motives.”Back


Students in trouble over university inaction
By Peeyush Agnihotri
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 28 — Lackadaisical approach of Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot, is sending homoeopathy students towards darkness.

The university is dilly-dallying in granting affiliation to the Institute of Postgraduate Homoeopathic Medical Education and Research (IPGHMER), SAS Nagar.

The IPGHMER, established in 1993, was earlier affiliated with Punjabi University, Patiala. Later the institute sought affiliation from Baba Farid varsity as, according to a government directive, all educational institutions of health sciences in Punjab were to be affiliated to it “to establish a uniformity in the standard of education in all faculties of health sciences.”

In the PMET examination notice, published by Baba Farid university in 1999, the name of the IPGHMER was missing, thereby adversely affecting the admission procedures. Students were admitted to the BHMS course after an interview conducted in the presence of the Registrar, Baba Farid University. Ironically, the university authorities then sent a team on January 14 to assess the reasons for the poor admissions.

Though the varsity officials have been an inseparable part of the admission and inspection procedure and the list of selected candidates was sent to the institute under the signature of the Registrar, yet they are delaying the grant of affiliation to the institute, jeopardising the career of students.

As a result while the college authorities are running from pillar to post for seeking affiliation, students have started an agitation, demanding their registration and holding of examinations.

“The university should at least think about the future of students and honour the earlier affiliation granted by Punjabi University,” says Dr Alok, Principal of the college, and adds that a meeting was held with the Baba Farid varsity Dean concerned on January 24. “He has assured us that the issue would be resolved,” .

Sources say that a decision on the future of the students already admitted to the institute would be taken at the university’s board meeting on February 21. Till then it would be a long wait both for the college authorities and the future homoeopaths.Back


Roundabout or death-trap?
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Jan 28 — The roundabout of sectors 5,4,10 and 11 here is a potential death-trap with motorists, especially bus drivers, making a habit to take a wrong turn in an effort to save a few kilometres to reach the bus stand. Most motorists wanting to get to the other side by avoiding the long route follow suit.

The danger is greater when the traffic lights turns green at one end and the halted vehicles comes into motion. Meanwhile, from the other end, motorists try to move through the traffic coming from the opposite direction, which results in chaos and sometimes in accidents.

The local police, seeing drivers flouting rules with impunity, had initially posted a constable to keep a check on this growing tendency of drivers. However, things are back to square one in the absence of any police personnel.

Though bus drivers have started taking note of traffic rules and have restrained themselves from using the shortcut, rickshaw-pullers have started using the wrong side of the road to cross over to bus stand for business. This has proved to be more hazardous since these move slowly and take more time to enter the bus stand.

A businessman in the vicinity says, “The violations had gone down considerably after the deployment of police personnel at the roundabout. However, now the situation is worse since everybody has started using the wrong road for getting into the bus stand or into Sector 5. This has been happening for quite a few years now and the police has been unsuccessful in removing it”.Back


Separated at Partition, meeting in 2000
By Poonam Batth
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 28 — It makes more than a Bollywood melodramatic film story. It is the story of two countries —India and Pakistan.

Recently, the consistent efforts of Col Partap Singh Gill (retd), a former Governor of Goa and Chairman of the Indo-Pak Pariwar Milap Trust, were instrumental in uniting a girl, who was left back in Pakistan at the time of Partition, with her mother in Kurukshetra. The main objective of the trust is to reunite many such girls.

Mohinder Kaur alias Anwar Sadiqa, then five years old, was separated from her parents and brought up by a Christian family. She grew under Christian influence and came in contact with a Muslim, Khushi Mohammed of Sheikhu Pura. Each tried to convince the other to change faith. Ultimately, she converted to Islam and married him. After marriage, she shared with him whatever little memories she had of her childhood and her mother Dharam Kaur.

Khushi Mohammed made various trips to Nankana Sahib/Panja Sahib and met Sikh yatris to find the whereabouts of her parents. When Colonel Gill went to Pakistan in 1999, he met her and presented her with a ‘Koran’. Five other women were also given copies of the Koran. This gesture had a great impact on the Pakistan Government and they agreed to give her a visa to visit her family in India. Colonel Gill had asked Mohinder Kaur to live the life of a devout Muslim and read the religious scriptures regularly.

Clad in white clothes, Khushi Mohammed, a leading salt merchant in Pakistan, while talking to Chandigarh Tribune, said his wife Anwar Sadiqa looked after her mother. She also had 11 children. “The only way I can pay her back is by looking after her mother and giving her the opportunity to meet her relatives, who have been separated from her for the past 50 years,’’ he said.

The joy of Anwar Sadiqa knows no bounds as she gets an opportunity to meet and spend some time with her mother in Kurukshetra. “I only hope that the government gives us multiple visas in the future so that I can meet other relatives settled in other parts of Punjab and Haryana”, she says. She wears a ‘burqa’ and during her two-day stay with Colonel Gill, she also visited the mosque in Sector 20.

She laments that it is not easy to get visas. While the visa fee is paltry, a visit to Islamabad costs Rs 4,000 per person. She and her husband have appealed to the government to issue multiple visas.Back


Rs 100 fake notes confiscated
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 28 — The police has confiscated 35 fake Rs 100 notes.

According to police sources, Mr V. K. Bali, an advocate and Sector 35 resident, reported that he was engaged by four persons to plead their case in the Punjab and Haryana High Court and paid Rs 10,000 as fees. When he went to deposit the money in the bank on the court premises, he was told that 35 of the Rs 100 notes in the wad were fake.

A case under Sections 420 and 489-B, IPC, has been registered at the North police station.Back


Scooter-borne youths snatch jewellery
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Jan 28 — Two scooter-borne youths snatched gold jewellery from two women at gunpoint in Phase 5 last night. The victims, Pushpinder and Saroj, residents of Phase V, were strolling on a road near a mandir in Phase V when the incident took place.

According to the information available, the youths, who had covered their faces and were in their early twenties, came on a Bajaj Chetak scooter and escaped under the cover of darkness. The victims, in their statement given to the police, said they could not read the registration number of the scooter due to the darkness.

The snatchers are reported to have taken gold earrings and bangles. The incident took place at around 10 pm. The Superintendent of Police, Mr B.S. Randhawa, who visited the spot in the evening, said a First Information Report had been registered under Section 356 and 379 of the IPC.

He said according to the details given by the victims, the snatchers were drunk. The incident took place on a C-road with houses on both its sides. This is one of the several reported incidents in the township in the past few months, though police had claimed to have arrested snatchers on two occasions.

Autopsy conducted: The autopsy of Jasbir Khan of Sohana, who had died under mysterious circumstances after he allegedly consumed poison while in police custody, was done at the Sector 16 General Hospital at Chandigarh by a panel of doctors. Sources said there were no injury marks on the body of the victim and his viscera was being sent for chemical examination. The last rites of the victim were performed at Sohana village.

Woman arrested: A woman of Phase II was arrested by the police for her involvement in a case of assault on Ms Promila of Phase II. The victim had suffered serious injuries when she was attacked by some persons after she objected to alleged immoral activity by a woman, who was a tenant in her house. A case under Sections 148, 149, 382, 354 and 506 of the IPC has been registered against the woman, Raj Kaur, and another woman, Bablee.


Fake certificates: Mr B. R. Chawla, Secretary of the Haryana Staff Selection Commission, has reported that five persons — Sushma, Rajbir Singh, Surinder, Anil Kumar and Manju - had applied for the post of JBT teachers in 1996. It was later found that the certificates attached with their applications were fake.

False addresses given: Mr Sanjay Garg, Manager, Haryana State Industrial Development Corporation, reported that Balwant Rai Kapoor, a resident of Sohana, along with three others has taken a loan from the corporation in March. The addresses of the witnesses on scrutiny were found to be false.

Dowry case: Seema, a resident of Sector 18-C, has reported that she was being harassed by her in-laws for bringing inadequate dowry.

Assault: Mr Santosh Kumar, a resident of Mauli Jagran, has reported that Abdul Samad and Khazan Singh assaulted him and injured him.


Caught gambling: A case under the Gambling Act has been registered against six persons of Devi Nagar village at the Sector 5 police station.

The police recovered Rs 368 from their possession after they were allegedly caught gambling near the Ghaggar river bed.

Another case has been registered against Jitender Kumar of Kalka for involvement in satta and recovered Rs 650 from his possession. A case has been registered at the Kalka police station.

Injured: Gaud Ram of Kalka was injured when a car hit him near Government College, Kalka.

A case under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC has been registered following a complaint by Janardhan, a resident of Kalka.Back


Mill holds camp for labourers
From Our Correspondent

KHARAR, Jan 28 — The Central Labour Education Board of the Labour Ministry organised a camp here in Kharar Textile Mills, a unit of the Government of India, from January 24 to 28 in which 20 labourers and their wives participated.

According to a press note issued here today by Mr N.K. Shrivastwa, Labour Welfare Officer of the Kharar Textile Mills, the labourers and their wives were given guidance about family planning, child welfare, cleanliness, AIDS, family welfare, family budgeting and other aspects by various speakers.

The camp was inaugurated by Mr R.L. Puri, General Manager of the mill. The participants had a talk with senior doctors of the Civil Hospital, Kharar. The participants were given a sum of Rs 35 each per day on the concluding day of the function.Back


BP scheme
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 28 — The “Takdeer ka Badshah” scheme, launched by BP-21, the retail outlet of the Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited here on January 24, drew an overwhelming response with over 42,000 persons visiting the outlet.

Meanwhile, Ms Nandini Goyal, a resident of Sector 23, has won the first prize in four-wheeler category of the contest. While Mr D.C. Bansal of Sector 15 won the second prize, Mr JC Gulati, a resident of Sector 34, won the third prize.

In the two-wheeler category, Mr Ajay Kumar of Sector 9 in Panchkula won the first prize. Mr Darshan Singh of Sector 44 won the second prize while Maninder Singh from AIR, Sector 34, bagged the third prize.

Under the scheme, the first prize winner would get free petrol refuelling for one year. The second and third prize winners will get free petrol refuelling for six and three months, respectively.Back

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