Saturday, May 20, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


“Defence officers’ daughters get more exposure, have greater confidence and are better groomed”
By Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 19 — What has Sushmita Sen in common with Gul Panag and Lara Dutta ?

They all are Miss Femina India title winners. Another common feature of them all is that they come from families of defence officers. While fathers of both Sushmita Sen and Lara Dutta served the Indian Air Force, Gul Panag’s father is an Army officer.

What makes daughters of defence officers dominate beauty pageants, both at the national and international level ?

Chandigarh Tribune buttonholed Gul Panag out of her busy schedule as she is preparing for her statistics exam tomorrow. We posed seven questions to her on “Why do daughters of defence officers do so well in beauty/fashion pageants?”

What do you think is the reason for daughters of defence officers to do so well in Miss Femina India, Miss Universe and Miss World contests ?

Daughters of defence officers get so much exposure in their life that they mature early. Their grooming is such that they feel comfortable in adjusting to new situations quickly and easily.

How are they better placed than their counterparts in other Central services ?

The social life as enjoyed by families of defence personnel is perhaps not available to families of other Central Government employees. Families of defence officers have a wide social circle where they interact on social occasions much more frequently than any other section of Central Government employees.

Since defence officers get postings in remote and backward areas, where there are hardly any facilities for their training, how do they make up for this drawback ?

It is a misconception that to succeed in contests like Miss Femina India or Miss Universe, you need any formal training. Can you train a poet? It is a natural gift. It is a question of self confidence. Believe me, no one can be taught things like self-confidence and good public speaking. They have to come from within. In a remote area, there may not be established names of dress designers but then necessity is the mother of invention. Some of the people in remote and backward areas are equally innovative and enterprising.

Who is the role model in such cases , father or mother, or both ?

In my case, there have been many people who shaped my life. I have inherited determination and confidence from my father. It has been my “Bhua” — my father’s sister - who has been a great influence on my life. Then, of course, my mother. All these three persons have been great influence in my life, and what I am today is greatly because of them.

Do you think that upbringing in cantonments or defence areas with emphasis on welfare of families of all — from jawan to officer — has anything to do with confidence building of girls interested in the glamour world ?

People in defence forces are definitely more socially sensitive to their environs than elsewhere. They look after each other so well. Such sensitiveness is normally missing from civilians’ life. They are close to their fellow beings in the same cantonment or same area than in any other locality in a civil area. They have so much in common that civilians cannot even have an idea of it.

Don’t you think that girls in the civilian sector have more opportunities or exposure to prepare themselves for such prestigious contests than those from the defence forces ?

Yes, girls in the civilian sector have more exposure but not the confidence. The quality of confidence the daughters of defence officers have in them is enough to help them do well. In general circumstances, people lack confidence. As far as attitude of parents is concerned, defence officers are more broadminded than their civilian counterparts.

How would you look at beauty pageants in India after the country has done so well in Miss Universe and Miss World contests during the past one decade ?

It is a great pride that Indian girls have been doing consistently well. Now India is a global player and it is established that the Indian face is marketable. What is the role of Miss Universe or Miss World. Basically they have to do marketing — raise funds for charities. I pray, pray and pray that Priyanka Chopra brings back the crown which Yukta Mookhie won. Priyanka is pretty, very good but obviously it will be tough for the same country to retain the Miss World Crown for the second successive year. What I mean to say is that if Yukta won, we just cannot come to the conclusion that she is better than Annie Thomas who did not win the crown. Both have been excellent. But there are many other factors which work. Now people accept Indian girls as global players. 


Women, children uproot liquor kiosk
From Bipin Bhardwaj

JHEURHERRI (SAS NAGAR), May 19 — Hell hath no fury like a women who abhor liquor. This was apparent when women of this sleepy hamlet forcibly tossed aside a tin kiosk which had been placed outside the village for the sale of whisky.

Scores of irate women, some carrying children in their arms, and youth of the village damaged the yet unfunctional kiosk after a two-day dharna, here this morning. The agitators also vowed not to allow the functioning of a vend in the village.

They also uprooted the foundation and floor of the shed to show their resentment against the “ drink of Satan”.

Elderly women of the village alleged that the kiosk owner came to the village and put a tin shack on the link road hardly 50 yards from the residential area. On the very second day, some workers levelled a piece of land and installed the shack there. They disclosed that the wine contractor of the area would open a sub-vend in the village which shocked them, said the agitating women.

According to sources, a resident of Jagatpura village had purchased a piece of land in the village some time back but had now leased it out to the contractor for Rs 12,000 per annum. A deal of four liquor bottles per month was also settled between the land owner and the vend owner, the sources alleged.

As the women came to know about the proposal, they arranged a dharna before the shack and asked the village Sarpanch not to allow the owner to open an outlet as it would be the cause of great nuisance, besides ruining their families, says Ms Daljit Kaur.

Opposing the liquor shop, Ms Dilwar Kaur, said, ‘‘ We do not want it in the village at any cost as it will have a bad effect on the children and on our marital life. Young girls of the village often go to the school through this road, if the shop comes up they will have to face difficulties while passing from here.’’

‘‘The lure to make money and to push the new generation in the dark world of alcoholism, some selfish persons have started setting a liquor shop in a village of nearly 1,500 population. There is no need as shops are there at Zirakpur, Bakarpur, Faidan and Jagatpura villages for people who drink,’’ said Ms Harwansh Kaur.

Mr Jaswinder Singh, Sarpanch, said that shop owner had assured him sometime back that the outlet would not be opened in the village in view of the resentment. But two days later, the erected the shack and stated putting liquor and other articles in it. ‘‘The panchayat will give a representation to the police regarding this,’’ he said.

The wine contractor could not be contacted for his comments. 


Ranjit-Sunny fight was over a girl
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 19 — The “ fight” for the affection of a teenager from Sector 16 is suspected to be the root-cause behind the Ranjit Bajaj - Sunny Garg fight which led the former to kidnap, assault and illegally confine the latter at his residence in the same sector on May 16.

Meanwhile, a complaint of Mr B. R. Bajaj, a senior Punjab IAS officer, refuting the allegations in the FIR against his son, has been entrusted to the ASP, Central, for necessary action. On the other hand, raids at the reported hideouts of Ranjit, Bobby, Sarwan and their fourth accomplice, suspected to be Sector 6, Panchkula, resident Rajesh Godara, are continuing.

Sources said the trouble started some time back when Ranjit came into contact with the girl who is said to be a plus two student in a local college and the two were reportedly going steady for quite some time. She was also known to Sunny who was a friend of the former.

It seems she had a benefactor in Bagga, who could not tolerate her association with Ranjit. He is reported to have warned him to stop meeting her or face the consequences. Since he preferred to ignore him, Bagga one day brought the steady girlfriend, a resident of Sector 2, to Ranjit’s house when he and the girl in question were together.

This was resented by Ranjit, who is stated to have threatened to fix him for spoiling his relationship with his girlfriend. On the other hand he reportedly kept on meeting the girl in question. During one of these meetings in Sector 11, Bagga and his friends attacked Ranjit with sharp-edged weapons, as a result of which

Ranjit was hospitalised with more than 90 stitches. The girl is stated to have been sitting in the car when the incident occurred. Bagga is presently absconding.

Following this incident, Sunny is reported to have “cultivated” the girl by telling her that Ranjit was not a good person and that she was better off with him. He is stated to have taken her to some of the ‘happening spots’ of the city.

Influential guardians,
 insinuating brats

This is not the first instance that the wards and relatives of VVIPs and VIPs have been known to flout the law with impunity.

Manoj Godara, a nephew of a former Haryana minister, Mr Mani Ram Godara, is one of the accused among a group that killed a youth in broad day light in the Sector 10 market.

Kamaldeep Singh alias Bobby, son of former Punjab Minister Bhagwan Dass Arora, accompanied by his gunman allegedly tried to kidnap a shopkeeper and robbed him of Rs 17, 000.

Aman Beniwal, a nephew of Mr Vidya Beniwal, allegedly shot a security guard at the Piccadilly cinema, injuring him seriously.

Punjab MLA Manjit Singh Barkhandi and DSP Jagjit Singh were reportedly involved in the shootout outside the local district courts in July. Kamaljeet Singh, son of Punjab MLA Joginder Singh, was involved in a major brawl and a case was registered.

Gurkirat Singh, a grandson of slain Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh, injured a local police SI. He was also one of the accused in the infamous Katia abduction case.

These are some of the instances where cases were registered but police sources claim that many cases are hushed up due to pressure from high-ups.

 But the bubble burst when she met Ranjit one day and spilled the beans that Sunny was bad-mouthing him behind his back.

This could not be digested by Ranjit, who, on seeing Sunny on May 14, forcibly took him to his residence. He is said to have beaten him, and also allegedly recovered some of the articles purported to have been stolen from the Bajaj residence, a charge vehemently denied by the Garg family.

A case under Section 392, 364, 342, 323, 506, IPC, was registered at the central police station. However, no arrests have been carried out though raids are on at various places, the sources added.  


Spectacular show of daredevilry at Sukhna
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 19 — It was a daredevils’ show at the Sukhna Lake here this evening. Jawans of Home Guards and the Civil Defence Department, Haryana, demonstrated their skills at mock exercise of flood relief operations.

Jawans of the department came from different parts of Haryana to participate in the exercise. The programme began with a march past in the lake through various modes of flood relief operations. The organisers of the event said during the flood days, remote villages of the state remained inundated under deep water and household items such as a cot, long wooden log, empty bottles, tree trunks, empty tins of ghee and other available items were of immense help during the flood. The use of such house- hold items was demonstrated in a very immaculate manner by the trained personnel.

An exercise to save a person who did not know swimming by agile motor boat personnel was also well appreciated by all. Then at the other end of the lake at the island, few persons were shown to be trapped so they called for help which was immediately attended to. The first aid and post rescue operations were also performed on the affected people by these personnel.

Mr R.S. Chaudhary Deputy Chairman of the State Planning Board, Haryana, who was present on the occasion, said the state government was actively considering to raise the daily allowance of the home guards from at present Rs 50 to Rs 70 as a recognition to their courageous and brave deeds. He further said that the Chief Minister had directed to make Haryana a flood-free state but even then during any eventuality one should be prepared to face and act accordingly.

He lauded the role performed by home guards who presented an impressive show at lake. It depicted a real life situation when floods actually enveloped the people leaving them in disarray.

Mr Ramesh Sehgal, Director-General, Home Guards and Civil Defence, said that the force was deployed to assist the police during emergency operations such as fire fighting, floods, drought and in various other national calamities. It was these home guards personnel who show exemplary courage by protecting the people.

The prizes were also distributed on this occasion. Also present were BD Dalia , Financial Commissioner and Home Secretary, Haryana, Mr LD Narwal, DG, Joint Training Centre (HG) and Mr Madan Mohan coordinator of the department.


'Anandgarh will not affect forest cover'
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 19 — The Punjab Government today said the Anandgarh project would not affect the forest cover in the lower Shivalik Hills. The Housing and Urban Development Minister and Co-Chairman of the Anandgarh Development Authority, Dr Upinderjit Kaur, in a statement, said, "The government was conscious of the need to maintain the forest cover in the region in particular and all over the state in general."

The minister said with a view to preserving the forest, the government had decided to acquire 20,000 acres to set up a nature reserve. She said the Land Preservation Act was in force in the area and it was also covered under the Forest Conservation Act, but, change in use of the privately-owned land was going on. Due to limited resources of the Forest Department and time-consuming legal process, it was not possible to preserve the character of the area.

She said the change in land use could also affect the area earmarked for the Anandgarh project. No change in the land use would be allowed without the approval of the authorities concerned.

"Since there was no ban on the acquisition of land in the area covered under the Land Preservation Act, the issuing of the notifications was not illegal. The acquisition notification was issued by the government only after the Forest Department of Punjab said as long as the authorities did not change the land use, it had no objection to the acquisition," the minister said.


‘Media's liberty unquestioned’
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 19 — The acting Director Public Relations of Panjab University, in a press note issued here today, said he was aware that neither the DPR nor the university could legally stop anyone from passing information to the press.

Prof R.S. Grewal was reacting to a report in The Tribune under the headline Order on press reports published on May 18. The press note said the department offices could dig up old stories needing clarifications and pass these to the DPR office.

Prof Grewal said the liberty of media could not be restricted with regard to its right to have free access to information.


Alternative power-production method
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 19 — An alternative method for electricity production without the use of mineral and water resources was disclosed at a press conference here on Wednesday.

Mr Vikrant Suri and Mr Simmerpal Somal, men behind the development, addressed the function. Both innovators do not have an academic background in engineering.

It was said the energy output was "unconventional and revolutionary". It provided an alternative to depleting fossil fuels, besides being eco-friendly.

Mr Suri said at the experimental stage, the system had shown excellent results. It was for the funding agencies, particularly the government, to invest in it.

The process of producing energy from the vacuum energy provider was also explained.


Two burglars nabbed
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 19 — The police arrested two burglars who had broken into the house of a Burail resident and had stolen a wrist watch and a briefcase.

Joginder Singh and Sher Singh, residents of Kangra and Garhwal, have been arrested and the stolen goods recovered from them. A case under Section 454 and 380 of the IPC had been registered against them.

Molestation bid: Ms Salana, of Bhattal Colony near Sukhna Lake, lodged a complaint that Machalu and his friend had attempted to outrage her modesty while she was sleeping outside her house late yesterday night. A case under Section 354 of the IPC, has been registered.

Hit by car: Ms Rehha of Sector 30 reported that she was hit and injured by a car (CH01-8398) while she was going on a rickshaw near the Sector 21 market. The driver sped away from the scene of the crime. A case under Section 279 and 337 of the IPC, has been registered.

Four arrested: Gurmail Singh, Darshan, Om Parkash and Jasbir Singh were arrested for drinking liquor at a public place. A case under Section 61, 1 and 14 of the IPC, has been registered.

Theft complaint: Ms Prem Wati of Indira Colony said Lal Singh of the same colony had stolen a gold ring, Rs 250 and some other valuables. A case under Section 380 of the IPC, has been registered.


Three booked: At least three persons have been booked under Sections 342, 382, 148, 149 and 506 of the IPC on the basis of a complaint lodged by Gurpreet Singh. The persons against whom the case has been registered are Malkiat, Gurmeet and Sat Narayan.



Workers fired without notice
From Our Correspondent

DERA BASSI, May 19 — Resentment prevailed among workers of a spare-part manufacturing unit at Kuranwala village on the Dera Bassi-Barwala road when some staff members were fired, without prior notice.

According to two workers, Mr Madan Lal and Mr Gurmeet Singh, they were fired and pushed out of the factory with the help of security personnel without any reason.

Moreover, they have not even been paid for more than two months. “Benefits like bonus, Provident Fund and ESI are not being given to the employees”, they alleged.

Mr Karun, Manager of the unit, however, denied this.


PCL workers’ stir continues
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, May 19 — The agitation by the PCL Workers Union over the dismissal of four members in an alleged case of assault on an executive of the company entered its fourth day today. The agitating workers continued to sit on dharna at a distance of 50 metres from the premises of the factory.

Meanwhile, the agitating women workers of the factory alleged that they were being harassed by the management of the company. Complaining to the Vice-President of the Ropar unit of the BJP, Ms Veena Verma, the women workers gave a written statement in this regard to her.


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