Thursday, June 1, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


IAF changing strategy on copters?
By Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 31 — It was during the Kargil conflict last year that the Indian Air Force (IAF) felt the need for well-armed combat helicopters equipped with precision weapons, advanced navigational aids, avionics and electronic counter-measures capable of providing air support in day as well as night to army formation in rugged mountainous terrain along the Line of Control. About a year after specific IAF establishments were asked to undertake studies for suitably modifying and re-equipping choppers for the task, there appears to have been a change in the operational perception of the IAF.

Though No. 3 Base Repair Depot here, responsible for maintenance of all Soviet origin choopers, had carried out certain functional modifications to MI-17 choppers during the conflict — converting them for dedicated high-altitude combat roles the plan is understood to have been put on the back-burner.

While “few” MI-17 choppers have been equipped with global positioning systems, navigational systems and related paraphernalia for night operations, as envisioned earlier, the project appears to be a far cry.

These choppers, armed with unguided rocket pods and in some instances machine-guns, had been used for straffing positions of the infiltrators during the first few days of the operations but were then withdrawn after one was downed by the intruders. These wrer replaced by the Mirage-2000s for carrying out precision strike fro stand-of position, keeping them out of range of tactical weapons.

“There is a difference of perception among the top brass,” a source said. “A section feels that helicopters are not the best platforms to launch precision weapons as their low airspeed would not give the initially required momentum to the ordance being released,” he added.

This is in sharp contrast to the thinking prevailing among the service brass at the time of the conflict.

Sources say that in there had been “near panic” in the IAF during and in the immediate aftermath of the Kargil operations and it had then been decided to suitably modify and re-equip MI-17s high-altitude combat operations, including those at night.

The thinking in the forces at that time was that in any full-scale war, the IAF may not be able to use Mirage-2000s in a similar role as in Kargil because of other operational commitments and tactical implications. For providing close air support to ground forces in Kargil-like terrain, sources say that the IAF would have to use attack helicopters.

Further, sources add that the answer to identify pin-pont targets in the face of limited recce capability is to send in armed choppers to spot and attack positions from close range. The IAF learnt in Kargil that the height, terrain and speed of fighter aircraft and their inability to dive towards the target, as well as the small size of targets which required precision attacks from longer distances reduced the cost-effectiveness of air attacks.

The IAF was then examining two options — re-equip and re-arm the versatile MI-17 in a major way or augment the service ceilling of the MI-35 attack helicopter. Though the IAF has three squadrons of the MI-25 and MI-35 attack helocopters, these could not be used in the Kargil Sector because of their inability to operate at such altitude. This resulted in the IAF using the MI-17 choppers with their auxiliary armament of unguided rockets, which have been operating at altitude up to 20,000 feet.

Sources say that modifications thought for the MI-17 had been equipping it with a sophisticated integral weapon system, including laser rangers, precision weapons, electronic counter-measures, advanced avionics and navigational capabilities besides structural modifications, including protection for the air-crew. The requirements for MI-25/35 had been decreasing its gross weight and modifying the performance of its powerplant to enable it to operate at high altitude without compromising on combat capability.Back


Chandigarh produces the best CBSE +2 results of the decade
Students show more inclination towards commerce

Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 31 — The city has witnessed the highest pass percentage in the results of the Central Board of Secondary Examination (CBSE) over the past decade for plus two classes declared here today.

The city has witnessed a pass percentage of 81.20, Mr Yog Raj Sachdeva, a senior functionary of the board, said while talking to The Tribune here today. Boys show a pass percentage of 76.70, while the success rate for girls is 86.90.

There is, however, a general agreement in the academic circles that the marks percentage had seen a heavy improvement in terms of aggregate over the years. Nearly two dozen students were reported to have secured over 90 per cent . The count of those who secured above 80 per cent is also sizeable.

Trends show that there is a greater inclination towards dreams of future in the commerce field among students. The merit shows inclination of interests according to current trends.

Amrita Kaur from Carmel Convent scored 95.8 per cent. A student of commerce stream, Amrita becomes the topper of all streams in the region, sources said.

A random survey by The Tribune revealed that Arti Syal from DAV Model, Sector 15, also features amongst the highest scorers with 93.6 per centage in the commerce stream. She was the 10th topper of the CBSE examination for matriculation .

Manpreet Singh again from the commerce stream has secured 91.4 per cent. Manpreet travels daily from Mullanpur on cycle to PML SD Public School and is son of a security staffer in Panjab University. Dr A.C. Vaid, principal of GGDSD College, promised free education and hostel facility in case he maintained his academic results.

Nivedita from the same institution has secured 90.2 per cent. The candidate also had commerce stream. The school claims to have more than 35 candidates securing above 80 per cent.

Romika Dhar from Government Model Senior Secondary School., Sector 46, scored 91.6 per cent in the medical stream.Teachers said she was a hard-working ward of parents working for the World Health Organisation.

Manpreet Sandhu from Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 35, has secured 93 per cent and is the fourth medical stream. Divya of the same school has secured 91.8 per cent. One more candidate who secured above 90 per cent is Sikha Malhotra from the commerce stream.

Yudhishthira Sapru from DAV College secured 90.4 in the non-medical stream.Kanwalpreet Singh Chanana from Government Model School, Sector 19, secured 90 per cent in the non-medical stream. He aspires to be a computer engineer.

Nidhi Bansal from Sacred Heart School secured 92.6 per cent. She is currently in Mumbai to attend a national level Olympiad.

In DAV Model, Sector 15, Poornima Seghal features in the list of above 90 per cent. Sikha Tandon has secured 91, while Natasha Manchanda is reported to have secured 90.2 per cent.

In the non-medical stream of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 16, Nidhi Bansal is said to have top-scored with 92.6 per cent. Priyanka Jain with 91.4 and Astha Jain with 91.2 also figure among the toppers. Sonam scored 91.2 per cent.

In the same school Ekjot Kaur with 90.2 per cent topped the medical stream while Narata Kumar secured 90 per cent.

Yuvamakhana with 92.2 topped the commerce stream. Neha Gupta secured 90.8 per cent.

In Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 16, Radhika Dhamija scored 93.2 per cent while Echa Sethi scored 92.6 per cent. Lotika Puri scored 92.4 per cent. Also on the list are Preetika Bhasin and Apurv Anand.In DAV Model, Sector 15, Poornima scored 92.6 in the commerce stream. Sikha Tandon and Natasha Manchanda also feature in the merit list of above 90 percentage marks.

Government schools in the city show a pass percentage of 80.2. Of the total 77 per cent are boys while 82.6 per cent are girls. The pass percentage is 82.60 in Jawahar Navodyavidyalaya and 83.70 in Kendriya Vidyalayas.

Vivek High School, Sacred Heart and Bhavan Vidyalaya are reported to have achieved 100 per cent success.


After burning the midnight oil for months on end, it was finally time for students to rejoice and they began pouring in to their respective schools for the results of the Class XII CBSE examination which were declared today. The 10 toppers of the township contended that though there is no substitute for hard work yet tuitions and that extra bit to come out above the rest.

Having secured 91.8 per cent in the commerce stream, Raman Bansal, a student of DC Model, Sector 7, says, “Tuition work supplemented the hard work of the teachers in the classroom which contributed to my success in the examination. I aim to get into chartered accountancy and hope I can sustain my hard work till then. For now, the credit goes to my teachers.’’

At second position from the same school with 89.6 per cent, Shweta Bector claims that classroom teaching is more than sufficient for regular subjects and that she put in serious study of six hours daily for these marks. “I took tuitions only in maths since it requires a lot of practice. I managed the rest on my own and firmly believe in quality of work put in rather than quantity,’’ she added.

Placed third with 89.4 per cent, Keshav Kumar Mittal, says he never felt the need to take any outside help.``My teachers also offered to devote extra time to me but I declined the offer. I would study for five hours daily though never beyond 11 p.m. However, I am not satisfied with the result and expected to do better,’’ he opined.

Ten hours of concentrated study in addition to tuitions was all it took for 86.21 per cent marks secured by Romina Ghai, a student of Chaman Lal DAV School, Sector 11. She contends that self-study accompanied by tuitions is what ultimately make a difference in the final scores. Also, additional information and methods of tackling the paper are never given in classroom teaching, she claims.

With 85.4 per cent and 85.2 per cent marks respectively, Charu Tanwar and Shivani Gupta, from DC Model School, explained that during the examination, their life revolved around their books only. “In addition to classwork, tuitions were essential since repeated attempts at tough questions made us perfect. Further, personal attention is not usually possible in classroom and tuitions help in addressing individual problems,’’ they said.

At the seventh, eighth and ninth position, Akash Piplani (84 per cent), Shivani Verma (84 per cent) and Kanu Jain (83.8 per cent) of Satluj Public School, Sector 4, attribute their success to the efforts from all quarters. They contend that while the teachers did their job in the classroom, they followed it up with keeping up with the classwork even at home and the tuitions were a great help.

The 10th position went to Satinder Kaur, a student of Chaman Lal DAV School. She secured 83.6 per cent in the examination and gave the credit of her performance to her mother. “She encouraged me throughout the examination and I also put in over 10 hours of study to get these marks. I am relieved that my effort paid off,’’ she added.Back


Mohali MC poll postponed
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, May 31 — Taking a serious note of large-scale irregularities in the preparation of electoral rolls of SAS Nagar Municipal Council, the Punjab State Election Commission today postponed elections to the civic body scheduled for June 17. The Election Commission has asked the Punjab Government to re-notify the new date of election.

The Commission has asked the District Electoral Officer, Ropar, to fix responsibility on the enumeration staff so as to initiate disciplinary action against it. The Election Commission has taken the decision on the basis of a report given by the Electoral Registration Officer-cum- Sub-Divisional Magistrate, SAS Nagar, who had recommended that the electoral rolls be prepared afresh in order to conduct a free and fair election.

Passing the order, the State Election Commissioner, Mr C.D. Cheema, said the Commission had received at least 15 complaints involving hundreds of fake votes and deletion of genuine votes under political pressure pertaining to voters’ list of the municipal council. The complaints from different wards were forwarded to the Additional Deputy Commissioner ( Development)-cum- District Electoral Officer, Ropar.

Mr Cheema citing the report of the SDM said it had been mentioned that 81609 voters were registered in the draft electoral rolls and 15458 claims and 1529 objections were received. As a result of this, the number of voters rose to 95,538. Observing that five months ago the population of the town had been mentioned as 1,06,819, the Commission said it was not possible that of the total population, only 11281 persons were below 18 years. The SDM, Mr Jaipal Singh in his report has mentioned irregularities in ward no. 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, , 7, 8, 9, 190, 11, 12, 13, 17 and 23. 


City weathered record duststorms this May
By Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 31 — Duststorms with high wind speeds have bothered city residents during May this year like never before in the recent past leading to disruption of normal life, frequent breakdowns in power supply, communication lines and disturbance for vehicular traffic.

In May five major storms hit the city and its surrounding areas. Conditions are still favourable for a duststorm in the next 48 hours and this could be accompanied by rain as the atmosphere presently has enough moisture to cause a downpour.

Barring the exceptionally high wind speed on one occasion, duststorms during this time of the year are normal phenomena, according to meteorological experts. Probably the high wind speeds have created an opinion among residents of frequent duststorms.

Absence of rain after the storms has left behind blankets of dust everywhere and those allergic to dust are having a harrowing time. The last major storm occurred late last night. And as if it was synchronised with the duststorms, power supply in the city went haywire in many areas which was restored several hours later or in the morning. Even the requirement of power has shot up due to the rise in mercury.

Explaining the phenomena of duststorms, Director of the local met office S.C. Bhan said:'' Each year in the summer the atmosphere develops conditional instability leading to duststorms. ''

He said as a natural phenomenon, "the hot air goes upwards and on the way it cools 10 degrees Celsius for every 1000 metres in height. Along the way the air does not exchange its energy with the surrounding atmosphere. After attaining a certain height the rising air becomes warmer than the surrounding atmosphere. The air then rises on its own. This causes instability in the atmosphere and results in formation of tall clouds. The clouds have an updraft and heavy water droplets are formed. After a certain stage the atmosphere just can't hold the clouds and the droplets come down with great force called a down draft in met parlance."

"This down draft of wind kicks up dust and results in duststorms. There has been almost negligible rain on five previous occasions as the atmosphere had little moisture that could cause rain met officials added.

The last night's dust storm in the city followed a similar pattern as the power supply failed for several hours. First it was switched off as precautionary measure and latter the feeders could not be revived due to one snag or the other. In some areas there was no power till morning. This also affected water supply in areas where the supply is based on tubewells. Telephone lines in certain areas were also snapped. The storm started around 12:30 a.m and continued for more than 90 minutes and ended in a light drizzle.



Victim seeks FIR against flesh traders in complaint to IGP
By Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 31 — The clean facade of the City Beautiful might witness some blemishes as the police enquiry into bone cancer patient Sangeeta’s formal complaint against alleged flesh trade racketeers of the city progresses. The IGP has reportedly marked an enquiry into the complaint.

Sangeeta, whose condition, is being widely reported in the media, today went on record against some city residents who allegedly forced her into flesh trade by taking advantage of her innocence. She specifically mentions three names in the complaint — Sunita and Sureshtha, the two sisters who were living in the house opposite to Sunita’s in Ambala; and that of Vipin Bhatia, who was living with the above mentioned two sisters and who is allegedly the man responsible for Sangeeta’s pregnancy.

Another development is the revelation of some startling facts by few neighbours of the above-mentioned three people. In its representation submitted along with Sangeeta’s complaint here today, a local organisation, Lawyers For Human Rights International, also stated that “these neighbours have revealed to their office a list of vehicles of Sunita’s clients. It was added that the entire racket was earlier brought to the notice of the city police which preferred to take no action .” A detailed list of all these vehicles has also been submitted along with the complaint.

Meanwhile, Sangeeta, in her complaint seeking the IGP to book the culprits for indulgence in immoral traffic, also revealed that “many influential people of the city apart from some police officials, were among Sunita’s clients, and “it was on this very account that Sunita often succeeded in getting some girls working for her released from the police.”

Narrating her history, Sangeeta mentioned of how one day she was invited by Sunita who came with a request to teach her son, but later bolted her in a room with Vipin who allegedly committed rape on Sangeeta. She further mentioned that again one day Sunita asked her to come over to her place for a check-up. “When I accompanied her to her house, I was again raped by Vipin,” alleged Sangeeta, who added that later the three also caused the termination of her pregnancy.

Sangeeta alleged that in due course of time Sureshtha disclosed to her family that she was sharing a sexual relationship with Vipin. After this incident, Sangeeta stated that she was helped by the two sisters in fleeing from her home and later she was even apparently married to Vipin at some function which was arranged by Vipin himself.

She, however, alleged that Vipin and his two accomplices were into flesh trade and they used to lure girls in the same way in which they lured her. Sangeeta further alleged that although she informed police personnel of Sector 39 about the racket, no action was taken. She added that on certain occasions the girls working for Sunita were even arrested by the police during raids but they used to be released later due to “high connections enjoyed by Sunita.”

On the above-stated grounds, Sangeeta sought that the alleged culprits be booked for offences under the Suppression of Immoral Traffic Act.Back


Applications invited
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, May 31 — The District Child Welfare Office has invited applications for national awards to children under the age of 16 who perform acts of bravery. DC SK Monga said that these awards would be for exemplary acts of bravery of these children performed between April 1, 1999, and March 31, 2000.

The application form for the same is available with the District Child Welfare Officer and should be deposited with xerox copies of police records, newspaper cuttings and birth certificate, till August 10.Back


SI Ram Dayal in a dilemma
By Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 31 — What would be the mental state of a young officer, serving with the United Nations Peace Keeping Mission in Kosovo, who not only has to come to grips with the reality of losing his legs but also arrange nearly 52,000 Deutschmark (about Rs 13 lakh) for the reimbursement of his medical expenses all by himself.

This dilemma dogs 31-year-old Chandigarh Police-Sub-Inspector Ram Dayal, who was involved in a tragic accident in the subway in Frankfurt, Germany, while on earned leave with the UN. He is presently admitted to a hospital in the German city and is pulling all strings to come up with the money the hospital authorities have asked him to arrange as soon as possible.

Hailing from Hukran village in Hoshiarpur, Ram Dayal’s left leg has been amputated from the thigh, his right leg too has been amputated from the knee. He received more than 40 stitches to close his head injuries, has an arm with multiple fractured in addition to several broken ribs.

Even though the department knows the incident since May 16, little is being done to help the injured cop, who is facing all the misfortune by himself in a distant land sans his relatives and friends.

But for the friends of Mr A. S. Mann, a local samaritan and businessman, Ram Dayal would have had nobody and nothing to even arrange for the bare necessities ever since he regained consciousness on the night intervening May 24/25.

However, German authorities during all this time had been thinking that he was an illegal immigrant, says Mr A. S. Mann, whose friends — Mr Darshan Singh, Mr Jeewandeep Singh and Mr Gurpreet Singh, all restaurateurs — are doing all they can for a “ guest from my city”.

Narrating the sequence of events, he said he was sitting in the office of a senior police officer, when a telegram about the accident was received. Sensing that he had to do something for the officer, he called up his friends in Frankfurt and asked them to ascertain which hospital and in what condition the cop was in.

He also called upon the family of the officer, staying in Sector 46, assuring them that some of his friends were already attending on Ram Dayal, and offered his services in any way he could. But the family was daunted by the prospect of raising Rs 13 lakh by themselves.

Meanwhile, the wife of the officer and her two-year-old daughter boarded a flight to Germany today and would be staying with my friends till the time he gets well and come back home, Mr Mann revealed.

“While I am trying to raise money from my own resources, yet any help from people who are desirous of helping the cop in distress can contact me at telephone numbers 608189 and 605054”, Mr Mann said. 


Plea to ban smoking in public
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 31 — Tobacco smoking, chewing and eating is the largest single cause of preventable early death. With a view to disseminate information about the menace of smoking and how serious the probem is in the present day context, various functions were organised in the city today to commemorate the Anti Tobacco Day in the city.

Prof A.K Janmeja, Head of the Department of Chest and TB, GMCH-32, pointed out that incidence of smoking in the West has fallen by 5-15 per cent due to the implementation of better control programmes, wheras in India the incidence of smoking has witnessed an increase.

He further said that passive smokers are equally exposed to the risks of tobacco smoking. It is equally harmful to the body and needs to be objected to by one and all even at public places.

Senior specialists from PGI examined patients during a health awarness camp organised by the Chandigarh State Branch of Indian Medical Association today. Free X-rays of the chest and lung function tests were also carried out on the needy patients.

In his welcome address, Dr G.S Kochhar, State president, IMA,highlighted that the incidence of smoking is not showing any signs of decline and millions of people the world over suffer from Nicotine addiction.

Dr S.K Jindal, Prof and head, Department of Pulmonary Medicine, PGI revealed that smoking remains the leading cause of preventable premature death. Tobacco use in any form or amount is harmful and it has been found that people use tobacco have 50 per cent chances of dying prematurely. The deaths caused by tobacco chewing are more than the total deaths caused by HIV, TB, maternal mortality, matermal mortality, suicidal deaths etc.


On the occasion of Anti-Tobacco Day the local Sikh Citizens Council today organised a function at Gurudwara Amb Sahib here. The participants, while talking on the bad effects of drugs and smoking, demanded that smoking at public places should be strictly enforced, there would be strict control of drug peddling, and visual media advertisements, relating to liquor, chewing tobacco and cigarettes should be banned. The function was presided over by Mr Hardeep Singh, a member of the SGPC.Back


Administration notifies Zila Parishad
members’ nomination
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 31 — The Chandigarh Administration has notified the nomination of 10 members of Zila Parishad, duly elected in 1996.

The notification was delayed due to specific directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court not to declare the results in a writ petition filed by a few sarpanches of Badheri, Buterla and others.

Due to the dismissal of the petition by the High Court, the results were declared in 1997. Thereafter when the notification for the 10 elected members was notified in November last year, it was found that two names were included wrongly due to certain clerical errors. After obtaining the necessary clarification from the State Election Commission, NCT, Delhi and UT Chandigarh, this gazette notification has been issued.

After the issuance of notification, the process of constituting the Zila Parishad has been set in motion. The Deputy Commissioner or his authorised nominee would call the first meeting of the elected representatives to elect Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Zila Parishad.

In the three-tier Panchayati Raj system, after the Zila Parishad at the district level, the next at Block level will be Panchayat Samiti with the panchayats at the village level. Since the panchayats are already in position as elections were held in January, 1999, the second tier — the Panchayat Samiti, is yet to be commissioned.

The Panchayat Samiti will consist of six directly elected members from six different Panchayat Samiti Zones and nine indirectly elected members out of Sarpanches as per the earlier provisions of the Punjab Panchayati Raj Act, 1994, and as extended to Chandigarh. But there was a technical problem regarding the number of proposers and seconders required for the nine members to be elected indirectly. In the UT, the number of Panchayats is 17, whereas members to be elected indirectly out of Sarpanches at least nine proposers and nine seconders, in addition to the nine candidates was required.

This has been corrected by the amendment in the relevant provisions of the Act vide Government of India notification dated April 12,1999. Now all 15 members of the Panchayat Samiti are to be directly elected. Accordingly, the Administration has taken up the matter with the State Election Commission.


Held for using foul language
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 31 — In separate incidents, the police arrested two persons on the charges of eve-teasing and using foul language.

While Tarlochan Singh was arrested from near the Sector 34 market for eve-teasing, Niraj Kumar was nabbed from Sector 20 for misbehaving and using foul language against a woman. Cases under Sections 294 and 506, IPC, have been registered.

Scooters stolen: The police has registered two cases of scooter theft in the city. While Sector 12 resident Rajesh Kumar reported that someone had stolen his scooter, KBR 5132, from the PGI parking, K.S. Shastri, a Sector 32 resident, alleged that his scooter CH-01-J-8415, was stolen from his residence. Cases under Section 379, IPC, have been registered.

Arrested: Madrasi Colony residents Vijay and Prem Kumar have been arrested under Section 107/151, Cr PC, for apprehension of breach of peace.


Cyclist killed: A cyclist, Kartar Singh, resident of Bhiwani, was killed when a tourist bus hit him near Surajpur. A case has been registered under Sections 279, 304-A of the IPC on a complaint of Ramesh Chandra, a resident of Kangra.

Scooterist injured: A scooterist, Jagdish, was injured when a truck (HR02A-7253) knocked his scooter (HNX5009) on the Nalagarh road. A case has been registered under Sections 279, 337, 338 of the IPC against the truck driver, Kamal Kishore.

Liquor seized: The police seized 12 bottles and 25 pouches of country-made liquor from the possession of Sohan Lal from Bagpath and Diwan Chand, a resident of Kalka, respectively. A case under Sections 61-1-14 of the Excise Act has been registered against them.Back


Property dealer commits suicide
From Our Correspondent

DERA BASSI, May 31 — A resident of Gulabgarh and father of two children reportedly committed suicide by consuming some poisonous substance early this morning.

Forty-year-old Jaswant Singh, a property dealer, left home on Tuesday morning without informing his family members. He later went to a relatives’ house is the same locality and asked for a glass of water.

According to sources, he is said to have swallowed tablets of some poisonous substance, suspectedly sulphos, and walked to nearby field leaving his car behind. His body was later discovered from the fields nearby.

When he did not return for a long time his family members got suspicious and started looking for him. They found him in an unconscious state gasping for breath, said Mr Rakesh Kumar, a neighbour.

Later, he was rushed to Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, in Chandigarh where he breathed his last. A case has been registered by the local police in this regard.

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