Friday, March 10, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Servant kills lady of house; caught
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 9 — The police has arrested a resident of Uttar Pradesh on a charge of the cold-blooded murder of an elderly housewife in Sector 15 here this afternoon. She was all alone in the three-storeyed home when the incident occurred.

Rae Bareilly resident Ram Karan, the 22-year-old servant of Mrs Prakash Kaur (60) and Mr Acchar Singh, has been arrested in the case after he admitted to the crime following an interrogation. He had earlier led the police into believing that he was innocent.

According to police sources, the couple lived alone.

Mr Singh, who retired as deputy director from the Punjab Agriculture Department, said the accused was almost like a family member and had been in their service for the past one-and-a-half years.

Today, as usual he left for Zirakpur, where he was constructing a godown, at about 10 30 a.m. and that was the last time he saw his wife alive. When he came home at about 12.40 p.m., he found the front grill of the house locked from the outside.

Suspicious, he opened it went inside and saw his wife lying in the bedroom with blood oozing from her mouth. The room had been ransacked and things were strewn all over the place. While he was trying to come to terms with the tragedy, Ram Karan came in and expressed his shock over the incident. Subsequently, the police was informed.

The answers by the accused aroused the suspicions of the police and he was taken into custody. Following interrogation, he admitted that he had reportedly strangled her. After killing her, he had left home so that he would not arouse the suspicions of the cops. He had also turned away the maid when she came for her chores in the afternoon.

He earlier went through the entire house, took all the valuables and stashed them in his room in the rear of the house. He intended to wait for the furore to die down before making good his escape, he revealed.

Sources said he was completely trusted by the elderly couple and had come to know that they had brought some gold and diamond jewellery from the bank to be used during some social functions in the coming days. Jewellery worth Rs 1 lakh besides some cash were recovered from his room, the sources added.

A case under Sections 302 and 354, IPC, has been registered at the Sector 11 police station. Further investigations are on.


MC takes control of cinema parking lots
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 9 — Adopting a tough posture against the powerful cinema hall owners of the city, the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) today took under its control the parking lots allegedly occupied illegally by the cinema owners around their respective cinemas.

In the past, several of these parking lots were being used by the theatre managers to charge a sum from cine-goers for parking their vehicles, while not a penny was being paid in return to the government exchequer. None of the parking lots were auctioned as the cinema owners had managed to obtain a stay from the courts against attempts of the Chandigarh Administration or the MC.

Today, all this changed as the staff of the civic body, in a swift move, put up the boards around the parking lots saying that this was municipal land. And from the 6 pm movie show onwards, the MC handed out tickets for parking lots in all cinema houses to cine-goers free of cost. Around 8 to10 persons have been deputed for each parking. For the three cinemas in Sector 17, an SDO has been posted to oversee the operations. Other officials have been posted on duty outside the other cinemas.

On each ticket the location of the parking lot was indicated by mentioning the name of the cinema. Corporation authorities later said that the MC was left with no other option. The next hearing for vacation of stay on auctioning of the parking lots around the cinema houses is scheduled for March 13. The MC has to file an affidavit in the court stating the action taken by it on the directions of the court. Actually the Estate Officer, Mr M. Ramsekhar had pointed out to the MC that as per the court order the compliance report for evoking the relevant provisions of law was to be submitted on February 15.

Mr Naresh Batra of the Chandigarh Cinema Exhibitors Association said that parking sites have been earmarked in the site plans approved for the cinema houses as this was facility for cine-goers. He claimed that cinema house owners had paid much more by way of auction money to the government to get their sites on lease.

Meanwhile, sources in the MC said that the present directions of the court stem from a case between the Chandigarh Administration and the Piccadily Cinema in Sector 34 over the construction of an electricity substation in the parking area allegedly occupied by the cinema. The cinema owners moved the court but the plea was dismissed.

However, the court disapproved the conduct of the concerned authorities in the Chandigarh Administration, who have for the last many years refrained from enforcing the provisions of the law against the petitioners, who have not only used land belonging to the government without paying a single penny to the government but have also given contract to some person for collecting the parking fee.

No explanation has been offered by the respondents (Chandigarh Administration) as to why the concerned authority did not take action in the matter to plug the pilferage of revenue which the Administration would have earned by giving contract of the parking sites, the court had further observed.


The comedy of three FIRs
By Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 9 — Three separate cases of theft which took place on different dates and venues have one thing in common, the First Information Report (FIR). Sounds unbelievable but is true.

Case 1: Mr Upinder Singh, General Manager (Finance), Punjab Industrial Development Corporation, informed the Police Control Room at SAS Nagar at 11.20 p.m. on January 12 over the telephone about the theft of his Maruti car No PB12B-0655 from outside his residence H. No 2965, Phase VII, SAS Nagar. On January 13, he visited the police station, Phase VIII, and made a written complaint about the theft of his vehicle. Since no FIR was registered, he sent a registered letter on January 17 and again visited the police station on January 26. He was asked to write a fresh complaint.

Case 2: Mr Kamaljeet Singh, a resident of H. No 1306/2, Phase XI, SAS Nagar, lodged a complaint with the Phase VIII police station that his scooter — CH-01M-3347 — was stolen on the night intervening January 25 and 26. He lodged a complaint with the police on January 26 at about 9 a.m.

Case 3: Mr Neeraj Chaudhary,a resident of House No 71, Sector 4, Panchkula, complained that he had given one set of gold weighing 90.510 gm, 16 bangles weighing about 198.810 gm and 2 karas (bracelets) weighing about 39.470 gm to Bhalla jewellers at his residence 622, Phase I and came to collect his items on January 15. The jeweller had returned these items in a box which he had put on the co-driver seat of his car CH-01Y-2478 which he had parked outside the house of the jeweller. Suddenly he realised that he had left his mobile phone inside and went to fetch it.He sat inside with Mr Bhalla for 15 minutes and when he came out, the box containing the jewellery was gone. He went to the police station, Phase VIII, to lodge a formal FIR on the same day.

All the three cases, however, have been registered together under Section 379 of the Indian Penal Code at the Phase VIII police station. The First Information Report No for all the cases is 29.

Interestingly, in all the three cases, complainants have filed claims with their respective insurance companies.

Mr Sudarshan Singh Sachar, who retired as Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Punjab, in a letter to the Director-General of Police, Punjab, Mr Sarabjit Singh, has urged him to hold an independent enquiry into the entire episode.

Based on his investigations in the case, Mr Sudarshan Singh said that the “clubbing” of different complaints was not only illegal but was an outrageous abuse of law in framing incorrect First Information Reports in which information furnished in at least two of the cases was either incorrect or has been concealed with an ulterior motive.

He said that this was done to facilitate payment of compensation to the complainants without ever holding preliminary investigations in the cases. The police connivance in such cases, he said, must be investigated.

Mr Sachar held that in case of the theft of the scooter, neither did the First Information Report mentioned the place from where the scooter was stolen, nor was the date mentioned.

In the case of theft of jewellery, he said that H.No 71, Sector 4, did not exist as it was vacant plot. The complainant was, however, traced to be living at H. No 79 in the same sector.

Interestingly, the perusal of the FIR mentions only the name of Mr Upinder Singh through ASI Rajesh Kumar as the informer in the theft case. At the top of the page, the time of incident (theft) has been mentioned as January 12 evening which also pertains to the theft of the car of Mr Upinder Singh. As such, this portion of the FIR only mentions one incident and one complainant.


4 of family injured as house catches fire
From Our Correspondent

DERA BASSI, March 9 — Four members of a family were admitted to the Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital in Chandigarh with burn injuries after their house in Rauni Mohalla, caught fire this morning.

One of the victims was discharged after first aid while the condition of the remaining three was reported to be stable.

The loss in the incident is yet to be ascertained. Hearing a hue and cry, neighbours gathered and helped the fire engine control the flames. the process took more than 45 minutes.

Household goods went up in flames as owner Pawan Kumar, who was going to fill fuel in the scooter, slipped, resulting in the spilling of petrol on the floor, which caught fire from a burning hearth.

The victims — Pawan Kumar (45), his daughters, Manjit (13) and Deepika (9) and wife, Jarnail Kaur (40) — sustained burn injuries and were rushed to the local Civil Hospital. After first aid, the victims were referred to Government Hospital, Sector 32.

Ms Jarnail Kaur was discharged after initial treatment, while Manjit, Pawan Kumar and Deepika have been admitted with burn injuries.

"The incident took place at about 8 a.m. while Pawan Kumar was getting ready to go to the PGI, Chandigarh, to get his son, Harjit, checked up. Manjit and Deepika were getting ready for their schools to appear in their examinations," said Ms Ram Rekhi (65), Pawan’s mother.

According to eyewitnesses, a blast was heard and they came out of their houses. "I heard cries, saw flames coming out of the house and rushed there. There was a thick smoke and nothing was visible," said Jasmin, a neighbour.

The victims caught inside the house were rescued with great difficulty because there was only one door in the house.


Health Dept plans for summer
From Gautam Dheer

PANCHKULA, March 9 — With summers approaching fast, the district health authorities are accelerating preventive measures to meet health contingencies. However, they believe that lakhs of rupees to be spent on various drives would go down the drain if their action plans were not adequately complemented by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA).

The health authorities in the district had, reportedly, recorded two cases of dengue and Japanese encephalitis (JE) in 1999. It had become a cause of concern for them. They will spend more than Rs 2 lakh in this season on the prevention of these diseases, particularly JE.

Sources in the Health Department say that laxity on part of HUDA to undertake durable drives to eradicate sources of various contagious diseases has led to an irreparable situation. Various action plans initiated by the authorities have failed to gather momentum. The effects of these have been temporary. Consequently, the problem persists.

There are, reportedly, 244 permanent stale-water ditches and about 950 temporary ones along with two permanent nullahs streaming through almost all sectors of the township, spreading various water-borne diseases, including dengue. Medical sources say that pigs are the main carriers of the JE virus which causes fatal illness in more than 50 per cent of the cases. A recent survey by the department reveals that there are 200 sties with scores of pigs in various villages and colonies here.

The Chief Medical Officer of Panchkula, Dr H.C. Nagpal, said until all potential sources, including sties and ditches were removed by the authorities concerned, all endeavours of men, material and time would be useless. Medical sources said if a water-ditch existed for more than a week, it gave rise to various infecting viruses in the breeding season.

However, despite all limitations, the health authorities have formulised a discrete action plan, especially to prevent the breakthrough of JE and dengue. Dr H.C. Nagpal, said all potential pockets, especially Pinjore, Kaushalya huts and high-risk slum colonies were included in the action plan. Even low-risk pockets with less than two cases of malaria per 1,000 persons, usually not recommended for vaccine-spray, were being included in order to minimise risks.

Apart from continuing the four-point anti-malaria action plan, the Health Department will enforce the drives with the assistance of 30 squads which would be made operational for the purpose. "Training to doctors and health workers, in this regard, has been imparted," the CMO said. Stock of insecticides, to be sprayed on paddy farms from where pigs get the JE virus, have been received for the this year.

The CMO said information, education and communication (IEC) programmes with regard to safety and preventive measures, especially in rural areas, had already begun. In all, 334 Drug Distribution Centers (DDC) had been set up which would cover an estimated 78,676 houses in the district. Dr Nagpal said the Health Department had already conducted two rounds of Malathion spray in high-risk areas of Kalka and Pinjore.

Sources say that the health authorities have several times urged HUDA for assistance in the cause, but, to no effect. Dr H.C. Nagpal, said all cases of diseases like dengue, leprosy, JE reported in the district had been related to the migrant-labour population residing in villages and colonies where state of sanitation was deplorable.Back


Women still being exploited’
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, March 9 — In continuation with the Women’s Day celebrations, the staff members of Government College, Sector 1, organised a discussion on ``Role of Intellectuals in the Empowerment of Women’’ at the premises, here today.

Speaking at the function, the in charge of the Women’s Cell, Dr Kapila Sharda, said that women’s issues have been relegated to the papers and that no back-up in the form of action on these discussions has ever come out. The ground reality was much the same — they were still being exploited.

She added that women were better placed and had more status in historical times though their status took a drubbing in the middle ages. Now, times are changing and women are becoming more aware of their rights in spite of the fact that crime against women was on the rise.

A lecturer of history, Ms Sneh Kumar, pointed out that most men suffer from a superiority complex and their ``ego stands in the way’’ of accepting women as equally competent. Another lecturer, Ms Indira Rani, stated that the teachers must make efforts to enlighten the girl students of their rights while parents must encourage the girl child in their homes.


Rs 10 lakh relief for mishap victim's kin
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 9 — Nearly one year after a city businessman died after the scooter he was riding was hit by a truck on the Zirakpur-Chandigarh Highway, a city court has awarded a compensation of Rs 10,81,250 to his widow, minor daughters and mother.

The victim — Ram Kumar Gupta — was admitted to hospital with serious injuries on April 16, 1999, after the truck "being driven rashly and negligently", rammed into the scooter from behind.

Seeking Rs 25,00,000 as compensation, the claimants had stated that the 34-year-old businessman was earning Rs 12,000 per month before the accident occurred.

Pronouncing the orders in the open court, UT Additional District and Sessions Judge R.C. Godara observed: "The claimants are held entitled to recover a sum of Rs 10,81,250 from all the three respondents jointly and severally. The claimants are also entitled to interest on the awarded sum at the rate of 12 per cent per annum from the date of institution of the petition till its realisation".

The Judge also added: "Out of the awarded sum, the widow of the deceased will be entitled to a sum of Rs 4,00,000 because, besides herself, she has to maintain her minor daughters. Out of her share, she would be paid a sum of Rs 1,00,000 in cash and the remaining amount along with interest accrued till date shall be deposited in a fixed deposit scheme of some nationalised bank...."


Spectacular flower show at Chandi Mandir
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 9 — The two-day garden and flower show organised by the Army at Chandi Mandir cantonment concluded today with prizes being distributed to winners in various categories by the President, Army Wives Welfare Association (Regional), Mrs Daulat Oberoi.

Expressing sadness at the low level of participation this year, the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Command, Lt-Gen Vijay Oberoi, while speaking on the occasion, expressed hope that there would be a lot more entries for the show next year. He also suggested participation by schools.

The Army Commander also called upon all ranks to further improve the environment of the cantonment as it plays an important role in the development of society and its culture, besides having a far reaching impact on the well being of the inhabitants of the station.

There were a total of 16 categories in the competition and a five-member panel of judges comprising of Col P K Tikoo, Col S S Jaswal, Lt Col Karnail Singh, Mrs Iona D’cunha and Mrs Roma Bindra. The competition was open to army establishments and residents based at Chandi Mandir, an N-Area.

The winners, in the order of merit, are —

Institutions and officers’ messes : Officers’ Mess, HQ Western Command, Officers’ Mess, 140 AD Regt, Transit Officers Mess, N-Area, Officers’ Mess WC Signals Regt.

Unit garders (Major Units) : WC Signals regt, 213 Rocket Regt, 50 AD Regt.

Unit Garders (Minor Units): Station HQ, HQ N-Area, 767 TPT Coy, TA Group HQ.

Independent houses: Mrs Kamal Sinha, Maj Gen P Vig, Maj Gen R K Batra, Maj Gen I J S Dhillon.

Sector A (GF) : Col K K Singh, Mrs R Sarai, Mrs Roma Bindra.

Sector A (FF) : Col V R Gadekar.

Sector B: Col P K Tikoo, Mrs Suman Sharma, Yogender Gupta.

Kitchen Gardens (JCO): Nb Sub S P Singh, Sub Maj K K Tewari, Sub K S S Nair, Sub S K R Talkudar, Sub BTA Suryamani, Sub Joginder Singh, Sub M G K Reddy, Nb Sub S K Singh, Sub Maj Charan Das.

Kitchen Garden (NCO) : Nk Subba Reddy, L/Hav M J Joseph, Hav Rambir Singh, L/Nk Santosh Naik, Nk N Mathiagan, Nk Love Kush.

Dahlias : Mrs R Sarai, Maj Gen P Vig, Maj Gen V K Singh, Col John Joseph.

Annuals: Col K K Singh, Brig S K Sinha, Mrs R Sarai, Maj Krishan Chander.

Cacti: Brig H V Nanda, Brig Dalip Kapoor, WC Signals Regt, Maj Gen Virender Singh.

Bonsai: Maj Gen V K Singh, Col A K Seth, Command Hospital.

Perennials: Brig S K Sinha, Col K K Singh, Maj Gen P Vig, Brig Dalip Kapoor.

Fresh flowers: Mrs Kavita Seth, Mrs Raminder Dhillon.

Dry Flowers Mrs Kavita Seth.

Special prize: Hav Roy (WC Signals Regt).


Editor releases book of short stories
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 9 — Dhara ke Virudh, a book of short stories by noted Hindi writers Subash Rastogi and Prem Vij, was released by Mr Vijay Saigal, Editor, Dainik Tribune, here today.

The book contains short stories of 23 eminent writers of the northern region. These stories deal with the realities of life and main theme of these stories was based on the hardships and struggles of life.Back


AOC-in-C arrives in city
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 9 — The Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Air Command, Air Marshal S. Krishnaswamy, arrived at the Chandigarh Air Force Station today on a three-day official visit.

On his arrival here, he was received by Air Officer Commanding, Advance Headquarters, Air Vice-Marshal B.M. Bali, and Air Officer Commanding No.12 Wing, Air Commodore S.K. Banerjee.

This is his first visit here since he assumed charge as the Western Air Force Commander. He was also introduced to senior Air Force and Army officers, before inspecting a guard of honour.

Air Marshal Krishnaswamy also visited different squadrons and units based here, including Base Operations, Air Traffic Control and various laboratories and work stations.

A presentation on local activities and operations was made to him by Air Cmde Banerjee at Station Headquarters. He also addressed officers of the station.

During his stay here, he is scheduled to visit Air Force installations at Mullanpur and Barwala, MIG 23/27 TETTRA School and Advance Headquarters, besides calling on the GOC-in-C, Western Command, Lt-Gen. Vijay Oberoi. He will also meet some retired air marshals residing in the city.


Cattle menace
From Our Correspondent

PANCHKULA, March 9 —The Citizens Welfare Association, Panchkula, has expressed concern over the increasing cattle menace in the township.

The association has lamented that the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) has not done anything to check the increase in the number of stray cattle in the area.

The President of the association, Mr SK Nayar, said in a press note here today, that illegal extension of villages and slums, coupled with the absence of cowsheds, had led to this situation. He urged the HUDA to provide alternative cowsheds to the villagers, away from the residential areas.

The association regretted that the villagers tethered their cattle in open spaces in front of residential houses, which caused filth and foul smell. The President of the association said the cattle were let loose on the roads, which often resulted in accidents. Green belts in various sectors were being used as cattlesheds, he said.

The association criticised the HUDA for continuing its drive against the removal of hedges without finding a solution to the cattle menace, as both the issues were interlinked.


Markets flooded with water bottles
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, March 9 — With the approaching summer season, the markets are flooded with water bottles of all shapes and sizes in various colours and designs. Alongside, shopkeepers are busy stocking water bottles, water cans, ice tray, flasks and taking out “leftovers’’ of last time.

However, they contend that sales of these items are yet to pick up and are highest in the beginning of April though a few customers do turn up once in a while asking for these.

Shops in Sector 7 and Sector 11 house of most of these “summer essentials’’ and they are not available in the booths in most sectors. They opine that it is still early for summer sales and are likely to keep the minimum items later in the season.

Plastic water bottles for children in Sector 11 are priced between Rs 50 and Rs 125 depending on the size of the bottle while the prices of flasks go up to Rs 300. The price of ice trays also varies from Rs 10 to Rs 20 in spite of the fact that the size is the same. The difference lies in the size of the cubes and its shape. Only one size of the camper is available in the market and is being sold for Rs 185.

The shopkeepers are of the view that there has been negligible change in prices from last year though these will also show a marked rise in the peak of summer and on the arrival of new stock.

In Sector 7, where fresh stock is available along with last summer’s items which are priced marginally lower, all items are available in all crockery shops. While small water bottles for children are priced at Rs 50, the medium size is being sold for Rs 65 and the big bottles for Rs 75. Flasks can also be bought for Rs 65 to Rs 350 depending on the quality and size.

Ice trays are available in three prices of Rs 10, 15 and 20 and water cans of two litres, and three litres were being sold for Rs 20 and Rs 30 respectively. Two-litre cans are also available for Rs 25 in the market and are priced higher since they are more attractive due to use of coloured plastic. Water bottles for the fridge can be bought for Rs 10. Water campers are priced between Rs 150 and Rs 300 with the difference in size being the only consideration.


Held on charge of attempt to rape
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 9 — The police has arrested a resident of Mauli Jagran on the charge of attempting to rape an 11-year-old here today.

According to police sources, Sat Narain (32), who worked as a labourer in loading and unloading material from trucks in the Industrial Area, came into contact with the family of the victim who is a small time tea vendor. The accused is married and is the father of two children.

Today, he somehow managed to lure her away and took her on his bicycle to the woods near the cremation ground of the colony and tried to rape her. When she raised the alarm, people came to her rescue and overpowered him.

A case under Section 366-A, 376, 511, IPC, has been registered.

4 held for gambling

The police has arrested four persons on the charges of gambling at a public place.

According to police sources, Jai Prakash, Bacchi Bapu, Raja Yadav and Navdev Kumar, were arrested from Sector 47 and Rs 250 were recovered from their possession. A case under Section 13/3/67 of the Gambling Act, has been registered.

Detained for eve-teasing

The police has arrested Mohammad Alam, a resident of Burail, on the charges of eve teasing from the village following a compliant. He has been booked under Section 294, IPC, and a case registered at the Sector 34 police station.

Hit and injured by car

Dr Kamal Lalit, a resident of Sector 37, reported that he was hit and injured by a car, CH-01-R 1970, on the Sector 36/42 dividing road. The driver of the vehicle fled away from the scene of the crime.

A case under Section 279/337, IPC, has been registered.

Theft reported

Mrs Usha Sharma, a resident of Sector 15, Panchkula, reported that some one had stolen Rs 1, 000 from her on the pretext of helping her. In her complaint she said she was coming near the cricket stadium on her scooter when her purse fell down.

A person came to help collect her belongings and somehow managed to steal the envelope containing the money. When she realised this, she ran after the person and accosted him. He denied having the money and fled from the scene. She then caught his companion, who revealed his name as Aman, standing across the road. He gave her Rs 300 in cash, besides her identity card but said he did not have the rest of the money.

He was handed over to the police and a case under Section 379/411, IPC, was registered at the Central police station. The police is on the lookout for the other accused.

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