Sunday, April 9, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


NRI restrained from flying to UK
By Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 8 — An elderly British national had a first hand taste of Punjab Police 'hospitality'. He was reportedly "illegally detained" for several hours at Amritsar's Raja Sansi airport on April 7 and not allowed to board a flight back home. His passport was confiscated by officials on the charge that it was fake.

Narrating the harrowing experience, 75-year-old Mohan Singh Ghataode, who has been living in Chandigarh for the past 15 years in connection with some property disputes, said the policeman at the immigration counter checked his documents and told him that he could not board the flight since the papers and the passport he was travelling on were fake.

He has a valid passport (number 750056139) issued by the British High Commission in 1995, besides a Turkmenistan Airlines ticket, (number 2 542 4400037122 6). His boarding pass too had been issued, he added.

Narrating his tale of woe, he was made to sit for more than six hours without a sip of water. He alleged the officials concerned did not have a valid explanation for the act and kept repeating that the passport and his residential permit issued by the Chandigarh police were forged.

They finally let him go without his passport and said they they would conduct an enquiry before he could board another flight. However, no case was registered against him.

He reached the city late in the evening and met police officers today who gave him a strongly worded letter reiterating the fact that he had been living legally in the city during this period and was indeed a British national. His present residential permit was due to retire on April 10.

He said his family back home was distressed at hearing the news. They have been calling him up to know the current status and asking when would he be able to leave finally. He will approach the BHC tomorrow to raise the issue with the authorities concerned, he said.

A family friend accompanying Mr Ghataode said he had been living in Sector 18 A and was fighting a legal battle with his tenants. His children, all settled in England, had advised him that whatever the outcome of the cases, he should now return home and live the rest of his days in comfort. By this time, he too had become fed up with the drawn up legal proceedings and had sold his property, he added.Back


Traffic case: HC directive to officials
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 8 — The Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed “all senior officers from different sections of the respective governments” to be present in the court for the traffic regulation and pollution control case “in the event the lawyers are not appearing”.

Pronouncing the orders in the open court, Mr Justice Swatanter Kumar of the high court also fixed April 20 as the next date of hearing “as prayed for”. Mr Justice Swatanter Kumar, earlier had asked the local Commissioner to file a comprehensive report regarding the compliance and non-compliance of the directions.

The high court, in the order pronounced on July 9 last year, had made helmets compulsory both for men and women riders, and those on the pillion. Persons wearing turbans, however, had been granted exemption.

The use of black films had also been banned. Exemption was provided only for security reasons. The high court had also directed the introduction of one way traffic in Sector 24 and 17 and the commercial sectors in the city within 15 days.

The court had further ordered the demolition of two shops constructed on the road in Sector 24 and the restoration of the road to the original as they were a hindrance to the free flow of traffic.

The high court Bench, comprising Mr Justice Sat Pal and Mr Justice Swatanter Kumar, had also directed the punching of licence for each traffic offence. Licences were also made compulsory for conductors. The administration was also told to demarcate parking areas in each sector for vehicles within a month.

Banning the use of musical and even power horns, the court had also ordered all vehicles, light and heavy, to carry first-aid boxes.Back


Sarin denies encroachment charge
Calls Khosla report vague and incorrect
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 8 — The Haryana Advocate- General, Mr M.L. Sarin, has asked the Chief Administrator of HUDA, Mr N.C. Wadhwa, to let him know whether there was any plot or house in his name in Sector 2 of Panchkula.

Reacting to a news report where a Court Commissioner in his report has referred to him as an “encroacher”, he said, “I was shocked. As the newspaper report did not refer to the plot or house where the alleged encroachment has been made by me, I requested Mr Rupinder Khosla, Court Commissioner, for a copy of his report. Unfortunately, the report also did not mention the plot or house number where I have allegedly made encroachments.

“Though Mr Khosla’s report pertains to plots and houses in Sectors 6,7,8,9 and 10, I have learnt that as per photographs attached with his report I have allegedly made encroachments in Sector 2, Panchkula. I do not own any house or plot in Sector 2, Panchkula nor am I a tenant or an occupant of a plot or house in Sector 2. Thus the question of making encroachment on public land in Sector 2 by me does not arise,”.

“Mr Sarin said that in his capacity as Advocate-General of Haryana, he would like to ensure that there were no encroachments on public land not only in Panchkula but throughout the state of Haryana and that rules and byelaws framed are not only obeyed but strictly enforced.Back


Kundras shifted
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 8 — The Union Home Ministry, yesterday, ordered the transfer of Mr Asish Kundra, Subdivisional Magistrate (South), and his wife Ms Geetanjali Kundra, Subdivisional Magistrate (East), to Mizoram immediately. The Kundras belong to the UT cadre.

Though the transfers of Kundras appear to be linked to the case of the UT Home Secretary, N.K. Jain, and Office Superintendent, K.B. Goel, no official version is available on the transfers.Back

Advani tight-lipped on Jain case
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 8 — "The Union Home Ministry will do what is required of it in the case of the Chandigarh Home Secretary," the Union Home Minister, Mr L.K. Advani, said here yesterday. The Home Minister, in reply to a question on what he had to say about the CBI raids conducted at four places in the city yesterday, including the official residence of the Home Secretary of Chandigarh.Back


‘First attempt’ clause vexes GMCH admission aspirants
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 8 — An otherwise academically brilliant local plus-two student who misses the annual examination cannot appear in the qualifying examination for the local Government Medical College because he needs to clear plus-two "in the first attempt'.

The biggest causalities of the provision are students who could not appear in the qualifying examination due an unforeseen circumstance, including medical grounds or trouble at home.

A parent whose child is facing trouble because of this rule told The Tribune that no such provision exists (or remains unspecified) in other reputed institutes in the region.

The GMCH instruction specifies that eligibility for the qualifying entrance examination is restricted to "all such candidates who have passed both plus-one and plus-two examination from schools and colleges recognised by the Chandigarh Administration. They should have obtained 50 per cent marks in aggregate of physics, chemistry and biology at plus-two in the first attempt. However, in case of Scheduled Castes, a relaxation not exceeding 10 per cent will be given."

The Combined Entrance Test provision bars students of the National Open School from appearing. Candidates appearing in plus-two examination this year (2000) can appear .However, their admissions stand cancelled in case they do not score the qualifying marks .

The All India Pre-Medical and Pre-Dental entrance examination, CBSE level, asks that "students must have passed in the subjects of Physics, Chemistry, Biology and English up to plus-two with 50 per cent and their equivalence determined as per regulations of the Medical Council of India."

Affected candidates feel that "it was unjustified to disallow candidates from appearing in the examination particularly one's who were forced by nature or other circumstances from clearing the plus two examination continuously."

The Punjab PMT also does not mention "first attempt". All Punjab domicile candidates who have secured at least 50 per cent (45 per cent in case of Scheduled Caste candidates) of plus-two or equivalent examination are eligible.

The Pt Bhagwat Dayal Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Rohtak, requires candidate to have cleared the qualifying examination with at least 33 per cent in each subject. The total however should be 50 per cent.

A senior official of the Panjab University examination branch agreed that "the existing rule was a disadvantage to many deserving candidates". Government Medical College Director Principal Dr V.K.Kak did not go into detail about the provision but said that it had existed since long Back


Administration turns blind eye to fire-trap markets
By Surbhi Bhalla

CHANDIGARH, April 8 — It's no secret that rehri markets are fire-traps. The mystery is why authorities remain indifferent to the markets' blatant violation of fire safety norms.

But for routine meetings and issuing of challans, the UT Fire Department has done nothing to ensure strict conformity to fire-prevention rules, even though the city has witnessed some major fires over the years..

Every sector in the city has a rehri market and each of these markets attracts customers in droves throughout the day. The corridors are clogged with highly inflammable goods and a fire would sweep through the market within minutes with devastating casualties. It would be impossible to rush fire-fighters in or get people out. Even were shoppers to be seized with panic over something like a bomb rumour, one could expect casualties since a stampede through the congested aisles would certainly see many trampled.

Corridors and passageways have been encroached, stalls have been extended onto the main roads and parking lots. Electric wires criss-cross above plywood partitions and tarpaulins stretch from shop- roof to shop-roof. Many dhabas and tea-stalls are located deep inside the markets and their stoves and gas cylinders constitute an ever-present risk of fire.

The problem has been further compounded by lack of fire-fighting equipment in the markets. No hydrants are located near by and the merchants keep no extinguishers or bags of sand. Given the perfect conditions for fire to spread, perhaps it makes no difference whether or not there are extinguishers since a fire would sweep through too fast for such measures to do any good, says a Fire Department official.

There are about nearly 600 stalls in 12 regularised markets in the city and the same story. Most rehri-market merchants justify encroaching on the corridors because their stalls are "too small", but they too agree that dhabas and tea-stalls should be shifted out.

"We have taken up the matter with the market committee president, but you know such matters cannot be sorted out at our level since nobody wants to take the first step or create bad blood," explained one shopkeeper.

Dhaba-owners refused to comment on the issue but insisted that they take adequate precautions. They did not specify exactly what these "precautions" were.

Fire Department officials frown on the encroachments but claim that they are "always ready to face any eventuality". "It is up to the Administration to crack down on the offenders," said an official. Back


Encroachers rob highway of space
From Our Correspondent

ZIRAKPUR, April 8 — Encroachment by shopkeepers and vendors in the local market has resulted in the Chandigarh-Ambala highway here becoming a traffic hazard since the past many years.

Long queues outside their shops not only put customers to great inconvenience but also result in the road getting congested. The vendors which sell their wares on the road have made it an accident hazard.

Rehris on the road also add to the inconvenience of the road users and customers. Parking of vehicles on the road further aggravates the problem by reducing its usable width.

Nearly 1-km-long stretch of the Chandigarh-Ambala and Zirakpur-Patiala highways have virtually turned into death traps and the accident incidence has also gone up at the traffic-lights point here. The commuters also face difficulty in boarding buses.

Persons said shopkeepers should charge from the vendors for allowing them to sit in front of their shops.

In the market, local farmers sit along the road to sell their vegetables. A large number of residents gather to buy fresh vegetables and the market gets rather congested in the evening.

Mr Inder Singh, a resident of Lohgarh village, says customers have to cross the road many times to go from one shop to another. Moreover, traffic violators are also common.

‘‘Though the government has created a Nagar Panchayat here, the condition of the market has gone worse. Neither the Punjab Public Works Department (B and R) nor the Nagar Panchayat authorities have take any action to solve these problems,’’ said Mr Abhey Singh, a local resident.

Mr Surjit Singh, Administrator, however, said all encroachments by shopkeepers and the vendors on the Nagar Panchayat land would be removed. ‘‘It is the job of the PWD (Band R) to remove the encroachments on the highway,’’ he said.Back


Ordination of Bishop today
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 8 — The episcopal ordination of the new Bishop of the Shimla-Chandigarh Diocese, Dr Gerlad J Mathias, will be held at the Sector 26 Sacred Heart Convent School tomorrow at 10 a.m.

According to the Diocesan Administrator, Father Thomas Anchanickal, Dr Gerald J. Mathias has been appointed by Pope John Paul II as the new Bishop on retirement of Bishop Gilbert B. Rego. He said langar would follow the consecration ceremony.

The Arch Bishop of Delhi, Dr Alan de Lastic, who is also the President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India, will perform the sacred ceremony along with 15 other Bishops from across the country. A good number of Catholic priests and nuns are expected to witness the ceremony. There would be a “Sarva Matha Sammelan” prayer meeting before the ordination ceremony.

The new Bishop would be accorded a civic reception in the evening at the Sector 9 Carmel Convent School.

The new Bishop has been the Parish Priest of Lucknow Cathedral Church. Hailing from Mangalore, Dr Mathias was born on September 20,1953. He has four brothers and as many sisters. He has a Doctorate in Sacred Theology from Lateran University in Rome.

He taught in the Nagpur seminary from 1979 to 1982 and later was Vice-Rector from 1988 to 1994. He is also the member of important national bodies of Church in India and a Counsellor of the Commission of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India, which is the apex body of the Bishops in India.Back


Kargil martyrs' kin get Rs 50,000 each
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 8 — Widows and next of kin of 10 martyrs of Kargil were presented Rs 50,000 each at a function organised by the management of Vancouver-based Punjabi weekly, the Indo-Canadian Times, in collaboration with the Department of Sainik Welfare of Punjab here today. The money was collected from Punjabi immigrants of Canada.

The Vice-Chairman of the National Minorities Commission, Mr Tarlochan Singh, who presided over the function, urged the Union Government to review its list of black-listed Punjabi immigrants and withdraw visa restrictions imposed on them. He said that such lists were prepared long time ago and needed to be reviewed to facilitate movement of such people to their motherland.

The families of Lt Joga Singh of 10 Sikh LI, L.Nk Nirmal Singh of 13 Sikh LI; L.Nk Narata ram of 3 J&K Rifles; Grenadier Binder Singh of 7 Rashtriya Rifles; Sepoy Kamaljit Singh of 12 Sikh LI; Sub Kuldip Singh of 10 Field Regiment; Spr Nazar Singh of 113 Engineers Regiment; Sep Rajesh Kumar, Hav Surinder Singh of 5 Dogras and Ajmer Singh of Dhurkot were felicitated and presented bank drafts for Rs 50,000 each.

Brig Kuldip Singh Kahlon (retd), Director, Sainik Welfare, Punjab and Dr Deepak Manmohan Singh of Panjab University were among others who spoke on the occasion.Back


Woman killed in fire
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, April 8 — A 30-year-old handicapped woman, Balesh, died in a fire which had broken out in jhuggis near a petrol pump in Old Panchkula late past night. In all, 10 jhuggis were gutted in the fire which lasted about an hour. Food items and kitchenware were also reported to be destroyed in the fire.

Suicide committed: A 28-year-old boy, Sanjay Bengali, committed suicide in Rail Vihar at Mansa Devi past evening after a failed love affair. Working as a contractor in the colony, he was allegedly having an affair with the daughter of a resident of the colony.

Sources said yesterday, he visited her house in an effort to take the girl away, who was out of her house at that time to take her examination. After talking to her mother for sometime and allegedly threatening her with a country-made pistol, he was forcibly locked in a room by the mother. Later, she informed the police, but, before the police arrived, he shot himself in the head. An inquiry under Section 174 of the CrPC was conducted.


Bills forged: The police has registered a case against four persons on the charges of receiving payments on the basis of forged bills.

According to the police sources, Mr I.S. Chahal, Assistant Controller of Printing and Stationery in Haryana, reported that S.K. Jain, S.L. Puri, Ajay Bharti and Hari Om Bansal, had received payments released by the department on the basis of forged bills.

A case under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471 and 120-B of the IPC has been registered.

Molester booked: The police has registered a case against Rajesh Kumar who had attempted to outrage the modesty of a girl in Sector 34. He, later, threatened her with dire consequences. A case has been registered.

Liquor seized: Gulshan Kumar of Burail has been arrested from Sector 34 with 60 pouches of liquor. A case under the Excise Act has been registered against him. Back


Protest against police inaction
From Our Correspondent

KHARAR, April 8 — A procession was taken out here today by some prominent and political figures of the township in protest against the failure of the local police in taking proper and timely action against Mr Pawan Kumar Jain, a correspondent of an English daily, and his son, who had allegedly taken forcible possession of a rented shop on the night of April 1.

They raised slogans against the police and press reporters. The procession ended in a rally near the police station. The processionists included Mr Ranbir Singh Kala, President of the Municipal Council, Mr Om Parkash Sharma, Mr Gurmakh Singh, Mr Prem Singh, President of local unit of SAD, Mr Natrajan Kaushal, Municipal Commissioner, Mr Mohan Lal Saitia, Mr Roshan Lal, Municipal Commissioner, Mr Mehar Singh, President of the Block Congress Committee, Mr Sukhdev Rai Aggarwal, Mr Pishori Lal, Ms Ram Tikai, Mr Surjit Singh Toni, Mr Sudarshan Verma, Mr Surinder Kumar, Dr Om Parkash and Mr Jaswinder Singh Jassi.

The local police registered a case under Sections 457, 380 and 34 of the IPC on April 4, against Mr Pawan Kumar Jain and his son on a complaint filed by Ms Nirmla Sahni, who said she closed her shop as usual on April 1. She alleged that when she came to open the shop, owned by Mr Jain, on April 2, she found the shed over the front of the shop missing and the lock broken. The roof had been demolished and Rs 10,000 and some goods were missing from the shop, she added. She suspected that the theft had been committed by Mr Jain and his son, who wanted to get the shop vacated from her forcibly.

The processionist also met Mr Rupinder Singh, DSP, Kharar. They said although one week had passed, the police had not been able to recover the stolen goods and the accused had not been arrested.

When five advocates came yesterday to meet the SHO, he did not meet them, they complained. The DSP assured them that he would see that proper action was taken in this regard. He visited the spot and inspected the situation.

Meanwhile, on the basis of orders passed by the local court on a complaint filed by Mr Jain, the local police registered a case against Ms Nirmla Devi, her husband, Mr Prem Sagar, and their son. Mr Jain alleged that the accused had threatened and assaulted him. Mr Jain while talking to reporters, he said the allegations against him were false.Back


Sites for milkmen sought
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 8 — Alternative sites for milkmen of Nizampur Burail and Jhumru villages were demanded by the local unit of the Bharatiya Janata party here yesterday.

In a memorandum submitted to the Union Home Minister, Mr L.K. Advani, here, the local unit demanded that dairy farmers must be offered alternative sites before being dispossessed of their present sites from where they have been carrying out their business for the past 20 or more years. Since the Administration has acquired the land, the dairy farmers are being threatened with eviction.

The BJP delegation was led by the Vice-President of the local unit, Mr Jai Ram Joshi.

Meanwhile, the Federation of Small Scale Industries in a separate memorandum submitted to Mr Advani, demanded ownership rights to CITCO shed holders, permission to transfer CITCO sheds and industrial plots; notification regarding enhancement of power load; permission for vertical growth of Industrial Area and removal of scrap dealers who had been encroaching upon public land in the Industrial Area.

The Chandigarh Beopar Mandal also called on the Home Minister and submitted to him a detailed memorandum regarding revision of Sales Tax and Building Byelaws in the Union Territory.

The Adviser to the Administrator, Mrs Vineeta Rai, who was present during the meeting, promised that she would consider the demands of the beopar mandal regarding new building byelaws.Back

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