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


Three Armymen face GCM for assault
By Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 9 — Three Army personnel who had allegedly beaten up two officers under the influence of liquor during an official function are now being tried for their offences by a general court martial (GCM). All the accused, including a senior non-commissioned officer (NCO), are from the Army Medical Corps.

The incident is said to have occurred at the Bathinda military station while a party to observe a formation’s raising day was in progress at an Officers’ Mess.

As per available information, one of the accused had, allegedly under the influence of liquor, made his way to the dance floor where several persons, including ladies, were dancing. Despite attempts to make him leave, he refused to leave the floor and in the process fell down.

Thereafter, a Captain took him to one of the rear rooms in the mess. As he was being taken away, two others, also said to be under the influence of liquor, instigated violence and the Captain, along with a Lieutenant-Colonel who was also present, were allegedly beaten up by the trio in the presence of two other officers.

A subsequent court of inquiry ordered into the incident by the Station Commander held the accused blameworthy, following which the General Officer Commanding 10 Corps ordered the accused to be tried by a court martial. The court martial is being presided over by Col Shukl from the Corps HQ.

The accused have been charged separately under Sections 40(A), 34 and 66 for use of criminal force against a superior officer, common intention and abetment.

While the accused have pleaded non-guilty to the said charges, the defence is yet to examine witnesses and record statements.Back


MC violates High Court directive on physical fitness of firemen
By Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 9 — Notwithstanding the many fires that have struck Chandigarh during the past fortnight as well as during the past few years, the Municipal Corporation continues to violate the 1996 judgment of the Punjab and Haryana High Court which lays specific stress on “regular medical examination of personnel of the Fire Department.”

The High Court had passed the judgment for upgrading fire services in the city way back on October 17, 1996, following a fire in its civil revision branch. In the said judgment delivered by the Division Bench of Mr Justice Amarjeet Chaudhary (retd) and Mr Justice M.L. Singhal on October 17, 1996, the court had specifically observed: “We hope that the Chandigarh Administration and the Municipal Corporation will take appropriate steps to modernise its fire equipment...It is also desirable that the personnel be sent for training to equip them in latest technology. Their physical fitness be also determined from time to time.”

Although about four years have passed by, the MC has not yet taken any steps to medically examine the current staff of the Fire Department. Resultantly, about 11 personnel of the department are reported to be handicapped, apart from some others who suffer from mental and physical ailments. After the HC judgment, the MC has not, till date, bothered to take up the medical examination exercise even once. Officials concerned inform that although the process was started, it could not be effectively culminated.

Ironically, the station fire officers who are directly in charge of an emergency situation, are themselves not fully equipped to handle the situation. While the acting Chief Fire Officer, Mr G.S. Bajwa, is a heart patient, the Station Fire Officer of Sector 32, Mr S.K. Gosain, is suffering from an amputated leg ever since he met with an accident on February 14, 1992. In a medical certificate issued in August, 1993, the Principal Medical Officer concerned had even declared Mr Gosain “unfit for operational duties.”

The official answer to this problem is that the said ailments came during the course of service. Mr Bajwa, when contacted, admitted that he suffered from the enlargement of heart, and hypertension but at the same time he maintained that “he was efficient in conducting his duties and that he had always reacted promptly to emergency situations.” He also informed that hypertension was natural to occur in his kind of a job. “That’s because we are always exposed to shock situations,” he said.

Mr Gosain, meanwhile, maintained that his job was of a supervisory nature and there was little filed work involved. “I have never given anybody a chance to complain against me,” he said.

Another fact that came to light during investigations is that despite standing orders of the UT Administration passed way back in 1992 requiring that fire officers reside in the official accommodation provided to them, two of the three station Fire Officers are currently not residing at the fire station. While Mr Gosain, in-charge, Sector 32 station, is residing in Sector 23, Mr Lakhwinder Singh, in-charge, Industrial Area and Mani Majra, is living at Mohali. With the officers in-charge not readily available for supervision, effective handling of the situation is naturally bound to suffer.

The problem sounds graver in the context of the fact that in the fire which occurred in Sector 46 rehri market recently, fire tenders reached after about 20 minutes. Incidentally, the Fire Officer in-charge was not available immediately.

Although the officers concerned maintained that it was not mandatory for them to stay in the station, sources said that it was. Significantly, Mr Bajwa, when questioned in this regard, said that there were no specific rules governing the Fire Department. He added: “I will try to get some rules framed and I will preferably suggest that the station fire officers should reside in the fire station itself.”

It’s further significant to mention that a PIL seeking the court to restrain the Administration and the MC from passing plans of fire-prone buildings in the city, is still pending in the district courts. The PIL was filed way back on January 23, 1999, and till date the Administration has not filed its reply (even after its right to reply was struck off by the court). Interestingly, among the buildings which do not come up to the fire safety norms, is also the building of the MC which controls the Fire Department.Back


Total strike by staff of newspapers, news agencies and hawkers
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 9 — Residents of Chandigarh and its satellite towns of SAS Nagar and Panchkula had to go without newspapers following a strike by employees of newspapers and news agencies and the hawkers’ unions a day earlier in protest against the inordinate delay in announcing the Manisana Wage Board.

The strike was total as the managements of the local and several national newspapers had decided not to publish the newspapers in view of the strike. However, a couple of vernacular and national dailies, which came to the city were not distributed by the hawkers.

Tension was in the air in Sector 22 as the irate hawkers and newspaper employees burnt the copies of the vernacular dailies published from Jalandhar against the decision of the newspaper managements to publish the newspapers even on the day of the strike.

Meanwhile, the newspapers, news agencies and hawkers held protest rallies in front of different newspaper offices followed by a protest march starting from The Tribune office yesterday.

The protesting employees also blocked traffic on the major roundabouts on their way to the Sector 17 Plaza where a rally was held. They also raised slogans against the Central Government, the Manisana Wage Board and newspaper managements.

Addressing the rally, the convener of the Coordination Committee of the Chandigarh Newspapers, News Agencies Employees Unions, Mr Jagtar Singh Sidhu, warned that if the Central Government failed to take necessary steps for the immediate implementation of the recommendations of the wage board, the employees would not hesitate to go on an indefinite strike in association with the hawkers.

Various speakers lambasted the role of the Central Government, wage board and the newspaper managements for dilly-dallying in finalising and implementing the wages. Among those who addressed the rally were Mr Parvesh Kumar, General Secretary of the Panchkula Hawkers Union, Mr Mukhtiar Singh, president of the Chandigarh Hawkers Union, Mr Raj Kumar Srivastava, vice-president of the Indian Express Employees Union, Mr Pradeep Saurabh, president of the Chandigarh Journalists Association, Mr Roshan Lal, General Secretary of the PTI Employees Union and Mr Prabhjit Singh from UNI.

Others, who spoke were Mr Balbir Singh Jandu and Mr L.S. Chaturvedi, president and General Secretary of the Tribune Employees Union, Mr Shiv Mohan and Mr Harish Vasisht, both Vice-Presidents of the union. Mr ID Sharma, Mr Rakesh Sharma, Mr Surinder Singh, Mr Prabhjot Singh and Mr Sunil Mittal, all from The Tribune, also spoke.

The protesters burnt the effigies of RK Manisana Singh, Chairman of the Wage Board and Mr Satyanarayan Reddy, and Union Labour Minister, who had been promising the early announcement of the wage board award for more than a year.

The Tribune, Indian Express, The Hindustan Times, The Times of India, PTI, UNI, Amar Ujala, Desh Sewak and Dainik Bhaskar, were among the newspapers and news agencies which observed a complete strike. The newspapers having contractual employees also joined the strike, a press note of the coordination committee added.


SSP’s directive on orderlies
By Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 9 — The reportedly illegal practice of using the services of orderlies other than the purpose they were intended for has been put to an end following the transfer of 11 orderlies to the police lines with immediate effect.

Orders to this effect were issued by Mr Parag Jain, SSP, here late this evening. The orders were issued after the IGP was reportedly informed that this illegal practice had been going on and no one had done anything in this context. The officers whose orderlies have been transferred include two DSPs and nine Inspectors.

According to norms, all officers of the rank of Inspector and above are entitled to the services of a constable as an orderly. Presently there are 12 DSPs and 50 Inspectors in the force. In all 45 officers, DSPs and Inspectors were using the services of the orderlies while the others had opted not to.

Commenting on the developments, Mr Jain said it had come to the notice of the IGP that many officers were using the services of orderlies for ‘unofficial purposes’. This had been taken seriously by the IGP, who instructed that all the orderlies should be asked to report at once at the headquarters. As many as 35 reported while the others did not present themselves.

Following this their transfer orders were issued with the directions that they should report at the police lines positively by 10 a.m. tomorrow.

Mr Jain said he had also directed all the orderlies to mark their attendance in the ‘roznamcha’ of their respective police stations (place of posting) once a day without fail. In case they did not comply strict action against them would be initiated.

In the past the officers used to forward an attendence slip to the department on the basis of which their salaries were disbursed. This left a lot of scope to misuse their services.

He, however, said that the matter was under investigation and in case the officers could not give a plausible reason for the absence, action would be taken against them as per rules. This was a serious matter, he added.

The SSP said that in future the orderlies would also be used for routine policing duties if the need arose.

Police sources said as per norms, the orderlies are posted to do odd jobs around the house on the pattern followed in the Army. But in the city, certain officers were using them at their farmhouses or were allowing them to remain absent for long durations. The issue of doing so for extraneous considerations could not be ruled out, the sources alleged. Back


HUDA destroys mini-cacti garden
By Yoginder Gupta
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, May 9 — A retired Haryana IAS Officer, Dr Tarsem Lal, was in tears when the HUDA authorities uprooted his precious treasure of cacti and bonsai here yesterday.

Dr Lal had collected and grown the plants over the past 30 years. His fault was that he had grown the plants on a stretch of land adjoining his house but belonging to HUDA.

He wrote to HUDA four times urging it to sell the land to him under its 1987 policy so that he could house the plants, many of them are rare. No reply was received by him.

A visitor’s book kept by the former bureaucrat shows that many people from the other parts of the country as well as from abroad used to come to see his collection. His house is located at the dead end of the road, causing no obstruction to traffic.

Dr Lal says the HUDA authorities had themselves declared his house along with 63 other houses in the locality as flood-prone during the rainy season. The authorities had also reported that till arrangements were made to drain out flood waters, walls constructed by these houses should not be demolished. But these facts, he says, were not brought to the notice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, which is monitoring the anti-encroachment drive launched by HUDA in the town. Dr Lal estimates the value of his collection at Rs 15 lakh.

He had contributed some rare plants to the Panchkula Cactus Garden also.

HUDA sources say the plants were uprooted after giving due notices to Dr Lal. A court Commissioner had identified Dr Lal’s house where encroachment had been done on the HUDA land in his report. They also say that Dr Lal started using HUDA land even before it was allotted to him.Back


Telephone subscribers can now pay bills directly through banks
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 9 — The local Department of Telecommunications today launched a scheme under which subscribers can pay telephone bills directly through banks, while the amount of the bill is automatically debited from the saving or current accounts.

The decision to pay the bills through the bank account or not has however, been left to the subscriber. This system will eliminate the need to physically go and stand in a queue to deposit the bill at a designated place. The amount of the bill will be automatically transferred from the subscribers’ bank accounts to the bank accounts of the Telecom Department, the Principal General Manager Telecom (PGMT), Mr Prithipal Singh said.

This will done once the bill goes to the subscriber. In this case a copy of the bill will go to the subscriber for records while another copy will go to the bank from where the payments will come. The bank will ‘’electronically transfer” the money to the accounts of the Telecom Department. Since the bills are sent in advance, it will also give the subscriber a chance to contest a bill if he chooses to the authorities said.

The transfer of money will be through the same process that is used to transfer money through account payee cheques between two persons — the payee and the receiver. In this case, however, no cheque will be required but the bank and the Telecom Department have to be informed by the subscriber to allow transfer of money from his or her account number. The other modes of depositing telephone bills like the facility at the various telecom bill collection centres or the post offices will continue. Till date about 300 subscribers have opted for the scheme that will start from the present billing cycle.

The department had mailed letters to subscribers informing about the facility. The letter was also accompanied by a letter of consent in which the subscriber mentions his or her bank and the account number through which the payments can be sent directly to the department. The bank authorities also stamp and sign the letter.

The Chandigarh telecom circle that also covers Panchkula and SAS Nagar is among the few places in DoT for this project.Back


More controversy as DPR Tewari is shifted
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 9 — The appointments in Panjab University have once again turned controversial with the transfer of Mr Sanjeev Tewari, Director Public Relations, to the Publication Bureau.

Mr Tewari, on receiving an official communication about his transfer as Secretary in the Publication Bureau, is understood to have proceeded on a leave. Prof R.S. Grewal, a former Dean Students Welfare, took over as Director Public Relations. Both appointments have been called "temporary" in the official letters.

Senior Syndics said the appointment was illegal and the decision was biased. The university authorities defended the move and said the transfer was aimed at having a better skilled person in a department which had a potential to generate revenue.

Prof Charanjit Chawla, a Syndic, said, "Mr Tewari was apolitical in running the affairs of the university. His appointment was made with a specific purpose when he was brought on deputation from the Punjab Government in September 1986. He was made the DPR by the Senate in 1990."

Prof Chawla said since the appointment had been made with a specific purpose, so, he could not be transferred. He said the action amounted to an attack on professionalism.

Dr Deepak Manmohan, Dean Colleges, said the university move was rather better for Mr Tewari. He said the new job was of a senior-level and a more responsible one.

Dr R.D. Anand, another Syndic, also said Mr Tewari was "apolitical and an absolute professional". "The transfer is illegal, irregular and without jurisdiction. He was appointed by the Senate to perform a particular function. It was upto the Senate to decide a change, if necessary," Dr Anand said.

Prof M.M. Puri, Vice-Chancellor, said the move had shifted a highly professional worker to an area which needed his expertise and and experience. He said the university had a chances to generate revenue through the Publication Bureau and could use the expertise of Mr Tewari."

Prof Ram Prakash, a Syndic, also termed the appointment as illegal. He said printing press, publication and public relations were different areas. Transfer of officials from one area to the other needed approval of the house.

It was also said the new appointment in the Public Relations Department was not a full-time job. Mr Tewari could have managed both bureaus. However, Mr Tewari was not available for comments.

Mr Grewal, after joining the new office, said he was on a temporary duty according to the official communication. "I am comfortable in the department where I have worked over the past several years. However, the new job will give me a different experience," he said.

Faculty members said the university move was uncalled for. Mr Tewari is known for his gentle and professional nature. His job was tiring, full of pressure and struggle against time, it was added.

Ms Sneh Mahajan, a senior fellow and Principal of MCM DAV College, said the transfer was a highly unprofessional act. She said Mr Tewari was qualified for working in a different field than where he is being sent. She said the university Senate needed to be informed about such acts before the implementation. Ms Mahajan said some other aspects of the move were also "doubtful".Back


Facing the music in Badal Colony
From Our Correspondent

ZIRAKPUR, May 9 — Lack of basic amenities such as roads, sewerage system, streets, street lights, water, frequent power cuts, low voltage and other problems put the residents of the Badal Colony in Lohgarh village the great inconvenience for the past many years. The problems have aggravated since the formation of the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat.

According to sources, the land belongs to Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister of Punjab, who sold it to some property dealers some years ago. The colonisers reportedly sold the residential plots to the purchasers in an unplanned manner without leaving sufficient space for roads and streets. In the absence of internal pucca roads and streets within the colony, the residents have to adopt the broken and uneven footpaths in the colony. During rains they have to wade through the slush accumulated over there. The absence of street lights further puts them into great inconvenience during the night.

The absence of sewerage system and drains results into the accumulation of rainy and other waste water at various places in the colony. Ponds of stinking water at different spots in the colony have not only posed a health hazard but also gives an invitation to water-borne and other diseases.

‘‘The nagar panchayat has hardly taken any concrete step to provide drinking water to the residents of the colony. As the summer is on its full swing, the water scarcity has adversely affected the colony residents. Even handpumps provide muddy water,’’ complains Sarla Devi, a resident.

The sanitation conditions are forcing them to live a miserable life. Heaps of garbage and other waste at different places have compounded their problems. The nagar panchayat has hardly installed any street light post in the colony which further puts them into great inconvenience during the night. Moreover, the deep potholes on the streets and the roads have resulted in death-traps, said Mr Param Singh.

‘‘As the summer is on its full swing, the frequent power cuts often put the residents to great inconvenience. During power failure, we have to spend sleepless nights, ’’ commented Mr Krishan Pal.

Moreover, the high tension power cables are hanging at a less height in the colony, posing a serious threat to human life. Despite of a number of representations, the Electricity Department has shown a negligent attitude towards this serious threat which may claim any life at any time, he added.

Telephones in the colony often remain unoperational, which further complicates their problems.Back


Tension over the location of liquor vend
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, May 9 —The Sector 19 police has been on its toes since the last couple of days trying to maintain law and order but tension reached a pinnacle here today over the site of a liquor vend operating in the sector.

After being pulled down twice by the residents in its vicinity at night for two days, a posse of police personnel stood guard at the vend along with people of the contractor this evening to ward off any trouble and meet any eventuality which may arise out of the mounting tension.

The dispute came about after the contractor, having a licence for the vend in question, opened it near the level crossing in Sector 19 on May 5, only to see it dismantled by the morning. Again, he re-established his vend on the other side of the level crossing only to meet the same fate on the night of May 6.

While a handful of residents pulled it down on the first day, the members of the Mahila Morcha achieved the same the next day. The protesters contend that this was necessary because the contractor had opened the vend on the only road leading to their colonies and such establishments are a ``nuisance’’.

Last night, the protesters raised slogans till late in the night amidst police presence to protest against the new site where the vend was shifted following the agitation by residents. This new site is an open space earmarked for a school.

The site ran into trouble yet again since the residents have now taken the plea that the new location was against terms and conditions sanctioned for the opening of a liquor vend. An office-bearer of the Sanatan Dharma Mandir,

Mr Desraj Sharma, says, “How can we allow the opening of a vend when our temple is not even 50 yards away? We have already written to the Deputy Commissioner and will oppose its establishment tooth and nail. If we sit back for a few days and wait for the officials concerned to take action, we will never be able to get it shifted.’’

Also, from its present position, a primary school is functioning in a building right opposite the vend. The teachers of the school expressed concern over the opening of the vend which would attract all sorts of customers and would be a bottleneck in the functioning of the school.

While this new site was permitted by a couple of associations of the housing boards in the sector, the others have opposed it and no amicable solution has been arrived at.

However, tired of moving out, the contractor has taken a stern stand and expressed his helplessness to shift to another place and the local police is posted at the “trouble spot’’ to maintain law and order. Meanwhile, Mr YK Kaushik, an office-bear of one of the housing board colonies in the sector, said that they, along with the Mahila Mandal, would continue to protest peacefully and have the vend removed from its present site also. Back


India, China should trust each other and work for mutual benefit’
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, May 9 — India and China should work together to strengthen their relations characterised with mutual trust, equality, mutual benefit, friendship and cooperation. This was stated by the Counsellor of Chinese Embassy to India, Mr Jiang Weiming, here yesterday.

Mr Weiming was in the town to participate in a symposium on " An era of cooperation, Competition, conflict and conciliation " organised by the India-China Friendship Association (ICFA) to celebrate 50 years of India-China relations at Paragoan senior Secondary School here.

He said :" The prerequisite for the development of the Sino-Indian relations must be that each side will not regard the other side as a threat and the foundation of the development should be the five principals of co existence. Dr BS Brar, Professor of Political Science, Panjab University, in his key note address said that era of hostility and misunderstanding between India and China was over. There was a lot of difference between the Chian of 1962 and today's China.

Mr HS Halwarvi, Editor of Punjabi Tribune, said the historical burden of hostility towards China had to be left behind. He said it was a mistake to ignore existence of a neighbour which had gained considerable importance in international scenario. Dr HS Mehta, an eminent scholar, said economy of the developed world could not grow without the India and China. Population and Size were the biggest assets of the two neighbours. He said the parametres governing the Sino-India cooperation in the eco-political affairs had to be decided.

Mr Narinder Singh, State Public Health Minister, Mr Mohan Lal, State Higher Education MInster , Mr Jiwan Tewari, President of the ICFA and Mr BS Shergill, General Secretary of the ICFA also spoke on the occasion. Mr Cheng Shuai, Cultural Attache in Chinese Embassy to India was also present on the occasion.Back


Dhobis begin fast
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, April 9—Nearly 100 dhobis began an indefinite fast in front of the office of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) in Sector 6, here today to protest against the laxity in working out a solution to their demand of allotment of a workplace. Their illegal work-shelters were destroyed during a drive undertaken by the Enforcement Wing of the Estate Office.

They alleged that contrary to the understanding with HUDA, the department had failed to give any shape to their rehabilitation plan and that the Estate Office had resorted to demolition again.

The Chairman of the Dhobi Mahasabha, Mr SK Jain, said it was decided that all dhobis of the township would keep off work to lodge their protest till their demands were met.

The charter of demands includes allotment of permanent workplace for them, construction of a dhobi-ghat with water and electricity, putting an end to demolition being carried out till an alternative is made available to them and the provision of soft coke at a fixed and subsidised rate.Back


Chandigarh Adventure Festival from June 15
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 9 — The second Chandigarh Adventure Festival, being organised by the Chandigarh Adventure Association, will be held from June 15 to June 20.

A statement issued here today said that the opening ceremony will be held at Fun City Amusement Park near here, which will be followed by joy rides, dinner and a dance party.

On June 16 participants will arrive at the base camp at Fagu near Shimla where they will be acclimatised, be initiated into camp craft and undertake tree plantation.

Yoga, rock climbing, rappelling, horse-riding and night jungle march will be undertaken on June 17, while trekking to Desu, Mahasu temples and Chinese bungalows, kite flying, quiz contest and a treasure hunt will be held on the next day.

A visit to Narkanda, trekking to Hatu Peak (11,000) feet, bon-fire and a cultural evening will be held on June 19, while the concluding day will be marked by parasailing, sight seeing at Shimla and a prize distribution ceremony at Rainbowz Country Park near Chandigarh.Back


Encroachers, watch out!
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, May 9 — Encroachers on public land, beware! In the forthcoming civic body polls in Punjab, if you have encroached upon any inch of public land you may not be eligible to contest the elections.

In a significant decision the Local Government Department has directed the SAS Nagar Municipal Council to ask for a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) from the aspirants in the forthcoming civic body polls. The persons who had erected fences, hedges or other type of structures in front of their houses are also likely to come under the ambit of the guidelines of the Local Government Department.

The Principal Secretary of the Local Government Department, Mr N.K. Arora, told TNS that the civic bodies had been asked to ask for NOC from the candidates. Mr Jaipal Singh, Administrator of the council, said he would write to the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority ( PUDA) to verify before issuing the NOC to the person concerned.

In fact the decision by the Local Government Department had been taken after the local Anti-Encroachment Committee took up the issue with the government. Mr S.R. Chaudhuri, President of the Environment Protection Society, said Section 208 of the Panchayati Raj Act provides for disqualification of members who had unauthorisedly occupied property belonging to panchayats / local bodies.

He said in light of the legal provision the government would have little hesitation in introducing the clause of disqualification of those candidates seeking to fight the civic body elections.

The Punjab Government is likely to issue a fresh notification regarding elections to the civic bodies, including the SAS Nagar Municipal Council by tomorrow. Without specifying the exact date of holding the elections, Mr N.K. Arora, Principal Secretary, Local Government Department, said it would be a short date. Back


Major anti-encroachment drive
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 9—In a major joint anti-encroachment drive, the enforcement wings of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) and the Estate Office removed over illegal 120 rehri and pharis from the Sri Krishna Rehri Market in Dhanas yesterday.

According to sources, the rehris had mushroomed over the years on the government land. The operation, which started around 11 a.m. continued for about four hours.

While the officials claimed that the rehriwalas has encroached upon the government land, the rehriwalas, however, claimed that it was registered market.

A strong police posse prevented any untoward incident. The irate rehriwalas, including women, however, blocked the traffic on Mullanpur-Chandigarh road for about half-an-hour. The president of the rehri union, Mr Mohinder Singh, told The Tribune that they had been carrying out their business since 1989. As no prior notices was served on them , goods worth over Rs 6 lakh were damaged in the demolition drive, he alleged. He demanded immediate rehabilitation of the affected persons.

Meanwhile, a delegation of the union, led by the former Mayor, Mr Kewal Krishan Addiwal, called on the Adviser to the Administrator, Ms Vineeta Rai, and urged her to rehabilitate the rehriwalas.

The Adviser reportedly assured the delegation that she would study the whole issue in two days.Back


2 brothers held for stealing Rs 3.25 lakh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 9 — The police has arrested two brothers on the charge of stealing Rs 3. 25 lakh from their friend in Sector 17.

According to police sources, Amit Mann and his brother Ajay, were arrested and the entire sum has been recovered from the rented house of the latter in Sector 38. The money had been wrapped in a polythene bag and had been tucked in a corner of a ledge in an under construction room on the top floor.

Central SHO Satbir Singh said Panchkula businessman Deepak Prashar reported that the money had been stolen from a briefcase from the car of the accused which was parked outside an eating joint in Sector 17 yesterday afternoon. He was in the company of two of his friends, Amit and Abhishek at the time of the incident. The car, CH 01 7641 (T) belongs to the former.

He said Deepak had gone along with them and withdrawn the money from a bank in Pinjore. They had come to the city and had called on Amit’s brother, Ajay, who works as a manager in a software firm in Sector 34. After this they visited a friend in the Panjab University and later went for lunch.

It was here that the money was stolen. During the course of investigation, it was found that while Abhishek went to purchase some cigarettes, Amit made some calls from his cell phone to someone while Deepak waited on the first floor of the eating joint. After they came out, they found that the money had been stolen and the briefcase, which has a numbered lock, was filled with rocks.

This arose the suspicion of the cops, who on interrogating arrived at the truth. The brother had connived and while Amit kept his friends busy, the money was stolen by Ajay, since the door on the driver’s side had been left unlocked thereby facilitating the theft.

During investigations, it was established that Amit’s business, was running at a loss and he needed money to pay off his debts.

The accused belong to a well-to-do family. While their father is an income tax lawyer while their mother is a bank employee in Sector 7, he added

Fake currency notes: The police has registered a case against a resident of Mohali on the charge of presenting 14 fake currency notes at the Haryana Cooperative Bank at the state civil secretariat. Mr Karnail Singh, manager of the bank, reported that Gurjeet Singh came to the bank on May 8 to deposit Rs 20, 000 in his account. On inspection, 14 notes were found to be fake. The accused however managed to slip away.

A case under Section 489 - A of the IPC, has been registered while further investigations are on.

Case of cheating: Mr Chaman Lal, a resident of Fatehpur, Ambala, reported that Kulwant Singh and Ranjit Singh, residents of Sector 22, had taken Rs 3, 75, 000 on the pretext of sending him abroad. They neither fulfilled their promise nor returned the money dispute several pleas.

A case under Section 420, 120 - B, IPC, has been registered.

Hit by car: Mr Sushil Garg, a resident of Sector 27, was hit and injured by a car, (CHOIQ 0006), near a house in Sector 20. While he was admitted to the hospital the car driver, Sohan Lal, a resident of Sector 7, has been arrested. A case under Section 279 \ 337, IPC, has been registered.

Imposter held: The police has arrested a person who posed himself as an Inspector of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for getting some concessions from a Sector 17 businessman here today.

According to Dr Sagar Preet Hooda, ASP, Central, Sector 23 resident Om Parkash Bhardwaj, went to M\s Bajaj Enterprises in Sector 17 at about noon and disclosed his identity as Inspector O. P. Sharma, CBI. He claimed that he was investigating the case of N.K. Jain, former UT Home Secretary and enquired about the flats in the housing societies in Sectors 48\49.

He then forcefully asked Vipin Bhardwaj, the proprietor, to arrange a flat at cheaper rates in one of the housing societies or he will have to bear the consequences. He told him that he was present at the time of the raids at the residence of the HS. During the investigations, he had also suggested to the HS to surrender, he claimed.

Dr Hooda said to the misfortune of the accused an Inspector of the CBI happened to visit the shop, countered his claim and asked him to prove his identity. At this, the accused flared up and asked him what authority he had to do so. Upon this, he was overpowered and handed over to the police.

A case under Section 179\419\506, IPC, has been registered at the Central police station.


Employees duped: A case of cheating and forgery involving certain employees of the Punjab Communications Limited (PCL) has been registered by the local police. According to information available, an employee of the company, Surinder Jeet Singh Gill, approached his colleagues in August 1994, stating that he had formed a credit society of the PCL employees.

The potential investors were told that each of the enrolled member would have to deposit Rs 200 per month. The profit earned by the society would be distributed among its members. Passbooks were issued to 140 members. In March 1999, members were told that the society was being wound up and the money earned would be distributed among them.

Enquires by members revealed that they were never enrolled by the society registered with the Registrar Cooperative Societies. Only 12 members had been registered. A case under Sections 406, 420, 465, 467, 468 and 120-B of the IPC has been registered on a complaint lodged by an employee of company, Mr Didar Singh.Back


Fridge of the poor

AS the summer sun unleashes its fury, earthen surahis and pitchers have appeared on roadside stalls. The vendors, mostly potters, are in for brisk business. With the passage of time, the popularity of earthenware has diminished a lot, no doubt, but still there are people who cannot afford refrigerators to drink cold water and have to resort to buying earthen pitchers and surahits.

And that is not the only reason. “In spite of infiltration of refrigerators into the domain of earthen pitcher, the latter still holds its charm. Its sweet and fragrant water quenches thirst in a better way, in addition to providing a special kind of mental satisfaction”, says Poonam Khanna, curator of Chandigarh Museum. “It refreshes the sweet memories of our childhood days, when there were no refrigerators and we used to quench our thirst with sweet water of a pitcher” adds Jatin Salwan, an advocate.

This ‘fridge of the poor’ is significant for the travellers too. Cold water of a pitcher buried in earth is far better than soft drinks of multinational companies. But what is the status of the ‘manufacturer’ of this ‘fridge’?

Potter, the humble rural craftsman, has been serving mankind for the last five thousand years. But till date he has remained scantily clad and poorly fed. The modern society is crazy to decorate their homes with his various creations and spend a lot of money for the same. But is the potter gainer? Not the least. The real profit is earned by some entrepreneurs, usually girls or women, who buy such items from the potter at very cheap rates, paint them, and then sell them at exorbitant rates. Should we call it exploitation of the ‘gentle artisan’ or marketing acumen of the ‘modern women’?

Banarsi Dass, a potter living in Chandigarh, creates beautiful shapes with his simple tools — a thick circular stone and a rod to rotate it. He puts kneaded clay at the centre of the stone and then rotates it. Putting his wet hands on the sides of spinning lump of clay, he moulds it into various shapes; and in the end takes it off from the stone by cutting its base with a piece of thread. Sweating from dawn to dusk to uplift his family, he keenly sends his children to school so that they do not have to adopt to the family profession.

— Thakur ParamjitBack


2000 students take part in fest
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 9 — It was a rare chance for about 2000 students from 10 city schools to participate in various interactive activities at Coke bottling plant at Baddi. And even as the Coke Fest-2000 culminated here yesterday, the students were still longing for more.

The conclusion function, hosted here at Musafir Auditoruim, was attended by President and CEO, Coca Cola, India Mr Alex Von Behr, apart from many other top executives. The entire event was organised by Strides events.

The aim of the entire effort was to encourage team spirit among the participating students. At the bottling plant they were taken involved in a variety of contests including singing, dancing, slogan writing, painting etc. Interestingy, organisers of the function, Kandhari Beverages Limited, took the children of government schools free of cost.

The function concluded with all the schools sending in their cultural teams to compete in the category of Punjabi group dancing, Punjabi group singing and Punjabi ballet. Among the jurists were Mr Sardar Anjum, Mrs Savita Bhatti and Ms Manikideep.

The winners of various events in the order of merit are as follows:

Sammi dance: YPS; Gidda: Government Model School, Sector 35; Bhangra: St. Stephen’s School.

Painting (Class IV): Eeshanee Arya (Hansraj Public School), Haroop Sidhu (St. Stephen’s) and Divya (Government Model).

Painting (Class V): Harmandeep Singh (Shivalik Public School), Amandeep Singh (YPS), Palak Bansal (Hansraj Public School)

Slogan writing: Sherbir Penag (YPS), Bhavika Sayal (Hansraj Public School), Manraj Singh (Guru Nanak Public School).Back


Bansal opens computer centre
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 9 — The local M.P. Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, today inaugurated a typing, short-hand and computer centre set up by the Satguru Kabir Sabha in Dadu Majra Colony.

Speaking on the occasion Mr Bansal lauded the efforts of Mrs Santosh Ladwal, President of the sabha, in setting up the centre for downtrodden communities. He assured the sabha of all possible help in running this centre, which was the first in the locality.

Mr Sadanand, a former Adviser to the Punjab Governor, suggested that a chair in the name of Satguru Kabir Sabha should also be set up at Panjab University on the pattern of other saints like Guru Nanak Dev, Guru Ravi Dass and Swami Dayanand.

Mrs Ladwal stressed the need of opening a students’ hostel consisting of 38 rooms for accommodating 58 students. She revealed that the sabha had opened a sewing embroidery and adult education centre on the premises of this institute.

Prominent among others who attended the function were Mr K.C. Shinmar, former Inspector-General of Police (Prisons), Punjab, and Mr Suraj Bhan Nagoria, former Haryana Deputy Secretary.Back

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