Friday, September 22, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Sector 38 murder case: kin arrested
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 21 — It was the lure of easy money that led a man and his nephew to murder their kin in cold blood. The blind murder was solved within a week of the commission of the crime.

The accused have been identified as Satwinder Singh alias Mintoo, and his uncle Nirmal Singh. Both are residents of Pohirh, Ludhiana. Both are drug addicts and have no means of livelihood. The latter has been disowned by his parents.

Sector 38-A resident Sukhdev Kaur was found lying in a pool of blood in the living room of her house by her daughter. Robbery by some one known to the deceased was suspected to be the motive behind the murder.

According to police sources, a special team headed by Inspector Mani Ram, SHO of Sector 39 police station, with SI Jai Singh and SI Harmit Singh, under the supervision of DSP B D Bector visited the scene of the crime and experts from the CFSL were also summoned. The Crime Branch was closely associated with the investigation.

Apart from other clues, a set of keys along with a small wooden show piece were recovered from the spot. The objects were identified by the son of the deceased as belonging to his motor-cycle, which he had sold to his cousin, Satwinder Singh, alias Mintoo

Armed with this information, a police party was sent to their native village where it was found that they had disappeared from the village since the day of the crime. Following this police parties were sent to various places.

The team received secret information that the accused were travelling in a car, PB 10 M 9833, in the vicinity of Ludhiana. Another police party accompanied by Mr Joginder Singh, the husband of the deceased was sent to their native village. It was also established that they would be coming to Chandigarh in the car to consult an advocate on September 14, the day the crime was committed.

Three nakas were set up and the car was signalled to stop near Sector 39. Both of them were identified by Joginder Singh, who was present with the police party.

Upon interrogation, they admitted to the crime and revealed that they knew that the deceased’ s daughter was to be married shortly and that a large trousseau and money would be present in the house. They decided to rob the house.

When they reached the house they were welcomed by Sukhdev Kaur. According to the initial plan while one was to keep her busy the other was to go inside and search the house. The old lady did go inside but caught them sifting through the drawers and accosted them.

Since she tried to raise the alarm, they caught her and slit her throat. They later took away cash and gold ornaments from the house and fled. They admitted that the car was stolen from Ludhiana and they were plying it with a fake registration number.

Further investigations are on. 


A ray of hope for disabled
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 21 — Forty-year-old Bahadur Ali, a resident of Uri district in Kashmir, made a living from a measly Rs 50 a day and somehow made both ends meet. About eight months back, his life changed. For the worse. He was unfortunate enough to walk into a landmine. Two days later, when he gained consciousness in a hospital, he was informed by doctors that one of his leg, below the knee, had been amputated.

Since then, life has not been a struggle for survival. Perhaps now, when he hopes to get a new lease of life, thanks to the joint efforts of the Army Development Group of 15 Corps and the Navedac Prosthetic Center at Daulatsinghwala, near Chandigarh. " With a below knee prosthesis, Bahadur Ali will be able to lead a normal life, even climb up the mountains," says Dr V.J.S. Vohra, Managing Director of the centre.

Millions of civilians throughout the world are victims of Improvised Explosives Devices (IEDs) and loosing their precious life or limbs for no fault of their. In the Kashmir valley many innocent men, women and children have lost their limbs due to IEDs.

The Army Development Group, initiated by its former GOC Lieut-Gen Krishan Pal, have started Operation Sadbhavna, which besides other schemes also undertakes the unique and challenging project of rehabilitating Kashmiri civilians, who have lost their limbs in landmines.

According to Dr Vohra, the current batch of 14 disabled persons is the third that the center has received since 1998. In 1998-99 and 1999-2000, the centre provided more than 200 artificial limbs. The Army, besides providing the basic cost of process also looks after the lodging and boarding of the patients, the centre provides subsidised meals.

The beauty of the project lies in the fact that not only the persons injured in the landmines, but those disabled in accidents are also given a chance to lead a normal life.

Bilar Ahmed was just six-year-old when he lost his leg below the knee following an accident in 1992. Today at the age of 14, he is a student of Class 7. Dr Vohra is confident that this young boy from Baramula district, after being fitted with a symes ankle prosthesis, will be able to walk.

"We all are very grateful to the Army," says Ali Mohammad, father of 18-year-old Nusrat Ali. Nusrat lost her leg below the knee following an accident."

Sixtyfive-year-old Mohammad Pyre has also lost his leg after he walked into an IED in Kupwara district.

Army officer accompanying the group explains that it takes a lot of efforts to motivate these people to agree for leaving their native places. For example, the case of Mohammad Amin, who had lost his leg 20 years back after being injured in a fire. Today he is grateful to the Army for having brought him to Chandigarh. 


Post not jinxed, says former Home Secretary
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 21 — Former UT Home Secretary Anuradha Gupta today said that her name was being needlessly drawn into news items by a section of the media while reporting that the post of UT Home Secretary has been embroiled in controversy or it was jinxed.

She said it was not easy to take action against the corrupt and those who had the grit to do so made history and not controversies as being projected by a section of the media.

Such attempts to link my name continue and I feel compelled to put the record straight, said Mrs Gupta while adding that the post of Home Secretary was never jinxed and I look back at my tenure with satisfaction. There was certainly more to do by way of creative ideas, independence of actions, ideals and principles during my tenure.

A projection in the media was that the Jerath case created controversy. Jerath continued to be in jail and his repeated bail pleas had been turned down by various courts, she said.

There was projection in the media that Ms Kiran Bedi and I were transferred for the same reasons and this was wrong. Ms Bedi stayed in the city for just 40 days was released on the orders of the Ministry of Home Affairs. I was repatriated to my parent state as I had already completed my deputation of three years . An year’s extension was allowed by the ministry following requests from the Chandigarh Administration and the Chief Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) so that sensitive vigilance cases were not jeopardised, she remarked.

The procedure to appoint the new Home Secretary had been initiated much before Ms Bedi had joined as IGP. The appointment of Mr N.K. Jain was made much before the case of missing police files happened and an inquiry ordered. I was to leave charge any day on clearance from the election commission.

“Also its trivialisation of the vital issue of discipline and integrity expected of a uniformed force to say that I and Ms Kiran Bedi had a slanging match. I only did my duty of initiating action against the police officials found guilty of suppression of murder investigations and forgery of records. The IGP, on the other hand, sought to shield guilty officers. The real facts of the specific cases were brushed under the carpet by raising the bogey of “interference”. No specific instance of mala fide interference was cited. Is it wrong to take action against corrupt police officials,” Mrs Gupta added. 


Spurious drugs a ‘major problem’
From Our Correspondent

SAS NAGAR, Sept 21 — The sale of spurious and substandard drugs in the country has become a major problem and efforts will be made to provide good quality drugs, Mr Suresh P. Prabhu, Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers, said here today.

The minister, who was talking to mediapersons after dedicating the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) to the nation, said the responsibility of the pharmaceutical industry was with his department while the control over drugs lay with the Department of Health. As such, both departments had held a meeting which was attended by Drug Controllers from all over the country, at which emphasis was laid on maintaining drug quality. The drug prices should be low but not at the cost of quality.

When asked why chemists sold drugs without the prescriptions of doctors, he said certain medicines like Aspro could be sold over the counter. However, certain drugs should be on the list of medicines which should not be sold without a prescription.

The drug policy, the minister said, was being given final touches. It would have “more serious dimensions”. It was coming at a time when the pharmaceutical industry was facing a challenge. While framing the policy international scenario and public interests were being kept in mind.

Mr Prabhu agreed that there should be uniform taxes on drugs. He had already appealed to the state governments not to go beyond the floor rates. He said there should be a countrywide value-added tax (VAT).

Earlier, while addressing a gathering at the dedication function, Mr Prabhu said the ceremony had added to the responsibility of NIPER. It was a coincidence that the dedication to the nation was being done at a time when the WTO agreement had been signed. Everyone wanted to find out what impact the WTO could have not only on the world scenario but also on human life.

He said the Bio-diversity Act was in the pipeline and NIPER could play an important role in that sphere.

Institutes like NIPER, linked with research and development could survive not only on government funds but by mobilising their own resources also. The government was there as a partner and promoter but there were many

other stakeholders in the society and reaching out to them was a challenge. The success of any institute depended not only on its buildings but on the way it benefited other institutions.

Pharmaceutical education was a challenging task before the nation. The set standards had to be improved. As it was an on-going process there was a need to redefine the standards to enable competitors reach international levels. An institution like NIPER should set standards which the world would like to reach. The added responsibility of NIPER was not going to measured in terms of evaluation or comparison with other institutes. The evaluation from now on would be done by millions of people of the country to whom the institute had been dedicated.

In the copy of the printed speech of Mr Prabhu distributed among mediapersons, it was mentioned that Indian pharmaceutical industry had made a remarkable progress in terms of development of infrastructure, technology base, production and its range. Today India ranked fourth in the world, accounting for 8 per cent of the world’s production by volume. The exports had shown an impressive growth and the Indian pharma sector was now a net foreign exchange earner. The cost of new drug development in India was about one tenth of that in the developed countries.

Mr Ramesh Bais, Union Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilisers, said during the past 10 years the pharmaceutical industry had made much progress which helped it to make a place for itself at the international level. But the status of pharmacy education was not satisfactory despite the fact that 400 postgraduate schools were imparting diploma, degrees and postgraduate education. The course content of these institutions was not creative.

Among those present on the occasion were Mr Arvind Verma, Secretary, Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals, Government of India, Mr Gurinder Singh Garewal, DC, Ropar, Mr G.P.S. Bhullar, SSP, Ropar, and Mr C.L. Kaul, Director, NIPER.


City elated as Yuvraj makes it to Indian squad
By Ajay Banerjee and
Arvind Katyal
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 21 — Eighteen-year-old left-handed all-rounder Yuvraj Singh, made it into the Indian cricket team today, that will play in the ICC Cup tournament in Kenya next month.

By the afternoon, it was celebration time in cricketing circles in Chandigarh as Yuvi became the fifth cricketer from the city to make it into the Indian team. It was after a gap of 16 years that someone from the city had made it into the Indian team, the last being Chetan Sharma in October 1984.

“My mother burst into tears when I told her about my selection, while I am yet to talk to my father,’’ Yuvraj told The Tribune over the phone from his hotel room in Chennai this evening. Within minutes of calling up his mother, Shabnam, Yuvi, called up his coach Sukhwinder Bawa around 2 pm.

Bawa said Yuvi was mentally ready for big-time cricket. Yuvraj, who will turn 19 in December, admitted that at first he could not believe it and then it took sometime to sink in.

It had been a long-standing dream for his father that Yuvi plays for India. Meanwhile, Yuvi, not to be taken in by his selection, said, ‘‘I want to stay in the team and make a place for myself.

His mother, Shabnam, said, ‘‘I am as happy as a mother should be.’’ Yuvraj ‘s younger brother, 12-year-old Zorawar Singh, is also elated but he more interested in music. When Yuvi called up this afternoon, he joked saying he had not been selected in the team, said his mother.

This tournament will give exposure to this fine all-rounder all test-playing countries will take part. Yuvraj has been practising at the National Cricket Academy, Bangalore, for the past few months.

He had been practising DAV Senior Secondary School, Coaching Centre, Sector 8 under the watchful eyes of Sports Authority of India coach Sukhwinder Bawa. The all-rounder had been receiving good offers from corporate sectors such as ONGC and MRF, said Shabnam.

Yuvraj led his country in winning the World Youth Cup for under-19 and recently had scored 358 runs while playing against Bihar in the Under 19 final. He followed this up with 149 against Haryana. Bawa said Yuvraj was regular at practice and was in for achieving the best by bowling and batting in perfection.

Mr Ravinder Talwar, Principal of DAV School, Sector 8, termed it as another achievement by local cricketers. Senior cricketers and Yuvi’s friends distributed sweets. Joining in were the probables from the Women’s World Cup, who are practising in the city nowadays.



SDM’s driver booked
From Our Correspondent

PANCHKULA, Sept 21 — The police has booked, Mangat Ram, driver of the Kalka Sub Divisional Magistrate for producing fake documents for getting promotion.

According to sources, the accused was reportedly working as a peon and had studied up to class IV. He allegedly produced fake certificates of class VIII and was promoted as a driver by the department.

It is learnt that the case was registered against after the intervention of Mr S.K. Monga, Deputy Commissioner, Panchkula, as he received complaints against the alleged promotion of Mangat Ram.

A case under Sections 420, 467 and 468 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered.


Biwis no 2 on the rise in city
By Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 21— Bigamy cases in the city could be rare but their number is definitely increasing say by day. An example perhaps of the changing social ethos, feel social scientists. Statistics-wise, last year the Chandigarh police registered three such cases. This year, with still about five months to go, four cases of bigamy have already been registered.

Sociologists believe that the city represents suave urban face of the northern region with a upwardly mobile people, having lot of expectations and desires. The city, says Dr Rajesh Gill, Reader, Department of Sociology, Panjab University, has an altogether different social ethos. "Here uniqueness underlines the fact that except in the lower segments or slums, there is no social or cultural affiliation."

Social trends and changing values indicate this is just the tip of the ice berg. "Many prefer to hide, others complain directly in the courts and quite a few actually find it difficult to register their cases in police stations. We live in city where only bureaucrats, politically and socially well connected people are heard of. Believe it or not, many cases are not even registered." reveals a police officer.

Therefore, it will be safe to predict that actual figures could be much more. As officials admit that it takes lot of effort to get such cases registered. "These figures are certainly not indicative of the true picture. A study of the dowry and family maladjustment cases will reveal that all is not well in the modern contemporary society," says Dr Gill.

Sociologists add that a case may gain significance and media attention if the accused happens to be a woman belonging to the so-called creme de la creme of society. "Significance of bigamy and remarriage changes with gender. The case of Manpreet Gujral, wife of Mr R.S. Gujral, Home Secretary, Chandigarh, has hit the headlines because Mr Gujral happens to occupy an important government post. Otherwise, bigamy is age-old in rural areas and accepted in our country since ancient times. Chandigarh is the true picture of the north India's patriarchal feudal character. Being a male chauvinistic society, it is considered perfectly normal if a man commits bigamy."

Bigamy, say legal experts, is non-cognizable bailable offence. Meaning, the police cannot take cognizance of the offence unless the aggrieved party files a complaint before the competent authority. "Even if we know for certain that a man or a woman is committing bigamy, we are helpless unless there is a complaint against them," reveals an official.

The bigamy cases are registered under Section 494 of the IPC which specifies that nobody can marry someone if he is married to someone and the person is alive. It further clarifies that if both the partners are alive, none of them can marry somebody else unless and until divorce has been granted or the marriage declared as null and void by the court of law.

The condition doesn't apply if one of the partners has been missing or not been heard of for as many as seven years. Since bigamy in the country, except for Andhra Pradesh, is not a cognizable offence, the case has to be clubbed with other sections of the IPC to get the FIR formally registered. Most of the time the accused is booked under Section 420, IPC, for cheating, Section 406 for breach of trust and Section 120-B for pre-planned criminal conspiracy.

Dr Gill says the middle class morality might force people report such cases. "Incidentally, bigamy in upper and the lower classes is quite common. Amongst the top brass many relationships are established to further careers and ambitions. There are numerous cases even at top levels but no one raises an eyebrow, let alone file a case."

She, however, asserts that the number of cases registered reveal that in Chandigarh situation is not as grim as perhaps rest of the country. "A reason could be that we, in the city, have a large number of alert and active mediapersons. In any case, for society which is still hung up at the inter-cast marriage, bigamy as a concept is still very difficult to digest."

Another reason for hiding such cases could be the social stigma attached with divorce. "We could be in the 21st century, but public opinion forces families to hide the previous marriages. A clean slate of the past and virginity still holds lot of meaning," asserts Dr Gill.


India-China can be world power’
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 21 —India and China on a common front will definitely be a world power to reckon with and would definitely emerge as the strongest power point of the sub-continent.

These views were expressed by Mr Yang Linhai, Cultural Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy, at a function to honour the China National Day celebrations (October 1) by the India-China Friendship Association ( Punjab Chapter) at Panjab University here today.

Mr Linhai said, the India-China unison and its global picture was relevant in the context of a recent sentiment voiced by the USA regarding the “potential power of a US-India union”.

It was relevant to focus on the common problems shared by both the developing nations. This had natural potential of cooperation and mutual development, he said.

Both the countries have an ancient bond. There have been ups and downs in their relations but if worked, such problems are not permanent features. India is among the first countries to have recognised free China.

Mr Linhai said he would like to mention that “I am happy to come to the local chapter and meet people who speak my language. Next time I dream of coming and speaking in my own language”.

Some ICFA members were also decorated for academic and civic achievements. These included Dr Sansar Chand, Dr D.S. Gupt, Dr Sashi Kala, Mrs Harbans Kaur, Mr Kulwant Shergill and Balraj Shergill.

Dr K.N. Pathak, Vice-Chancellor, was the chief guest on the occasion. He traced the history of the development of the countries and the sharing of relations.

Mr Balramji Dass Tandon, Punjab Minister of Local Government, Labour and Employment, said both countries were the big power-nations of Asia. Dispelling misunderstandings and creating an atmosphere of cooperation was suitable in national and global interests.

Mr Jiwan Tewari, president of the ICFA, introduced the subject and gave a little background of the chapters. We already have 17,000 members and the commitment was evident from the actual work.”

Prof H.S. Mehta , a progressive intellectual, impressed the audience by the depth of matter revealed through a talk on contemporary facts and the changed face of China.

He said China had shown a consistent growth rate of 6.4 per cent between 1965 and 1980 which was not even by leading developed nations. There was “no stopping China” from place under the existing conditions.

Dr Renu Sharma gave a talk on “China on the move” highlighting the change over the past half a century. Mr H.S. Halwarvi, the working president, proposed the vote of thanks. 


Encroachers remove pharis voluntarily
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 21 — After warnings by the authorities concerned, the vendors of Sector 22-D removed their “pharis” voluntarily here today.

A team of the enforcement staff led by the Anti-Encroachment Magistrate, Mr H S Sohal, and Mr Ashwani Kumar, Assistant Commissioner-II and Secretary of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh, today descended on the “phari” market opposite the Kiran cinema and asked the vendors to remove the encroachments.

After initial reluctance, the vendors removed their stalls, from corridors of the verandah and the open space in front of the market. It may be recalled that the vendors had been occupying the prime space obstructing passage meant for the public.

Though the operation was peaceful but the “phariwalas” held a demonstration and raised slogans against the civic body. There was slight tension but the police that there was no untoward incident. The president of the vendors’ association, Mr Partap, while demanding the alternative sites for the “phariwalas”, warned of agitation against the action of the authorities.

Last year also the MCC had removed the encroachment, but due to lack of follow-up action the encroachers were back again.

After operation at the “phari’ market, the enforcement staff moved to Shastri Market in the sector. There also vendors removed the temporary structures just at the entrance of the market.

Meanwhile, to ensure that the encroachers did not come back, the MCC staff would be posted at the market from 12 noon to 8 p.m.

Similarly, 20 police personnel would be exclusively posted in the market to ensure the encroachers were not back to business, said Dr Sagar Preet Hooda, ASP (Central), adding that strict action would be taken against the encroachers.


Param Jit Kumar’s death anniversary
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 21 — The first death anniversary of Param Jit Kumar, founder-chairman of the National Unity and Security Council, was largely-attended at the Mansa Devi Temple complex today.

A skilled ayurvedic physician, he was the author of several books. Among his prominent books are “Scourge from the sky”, “Till God wakes”, “Roll call of death” and “Lest we become slaves”.

Apart from his socio-economic activities, he campaigned for world peace through nuclear disarmament under the auspices of Navjivan International, of which he was the founder-chairman.


Clue to murder found
From Our Correspondent

KHARAR, Sept 21 — The police has got a clue to the murder and looting incident which took place in Kharar on May 30 and hopes to solve the case soon.

According to information the police yesterday moved an application in the court of Mrs Neelam Arora, Sub Divisional Judicial Magistrate, Kharar seeking production warrant against one of the alleged accused Mukrim, a resident of Rajpura, who at present is lodged in Central Jail Ambala in some other cases.

According to the application the police pleaded that it came to know about the involvement of the said accused in the above mentioned incident from a resident of Kharar and it had recorded his statement about this.

It is worth mentioning that Kesar Singh, a resident of Ranjit Nagar and an employee of Punjab Agriculture University, Ludhiana was killed and some of his family members were seriously injured when a gang of over six miscreants who could not be identified struck in the early hours on May 30.

The incident created terror in Kharar and the surrounding areas at that time. The court has fixed September 23 for considering the application moved by the police. 



3 held with liquor
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 21 — The police has arrested three persons, including a woman, and recovered 42 bottles and 100 pouches of liquor from their possession.

According to police sources, Santosh Rani of Shiv Colony, Karnal, was arrested from near Sector 22 and 100 pouches of whisky were recovered from her. Similarly, Surinder Kumar and Bir Singh were arrested and 42 bottles of whisky was seized from them.

House burgled
A Sector 40 resident reported that someone had broken into his house and decamped with gold jewellery and Rs 10,000 in cash. A case under Section 457 and 380 of the IPC has been registered.

Breach of trust
Mr Joginder Singh of Dadu Majra reported that Gehna Singh of Sector 43 took his vehicle (HR-06C-4742) and did not return it. As such, he had he committed criminal breach of trust. A case under Section 406 of the IPC has been registered.

Hit by car
Mr Surinder Singh of Sector 43 reported that he was hit by a car (CH-03A-2209) in the same sector. He was injured and rushed to a hospital. The driver, Rajiv Gupta of Sector 43, has been arrested and booked under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC.


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