Sunday, September 24, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Vital documents relating to Manpreet's marriage seized
By Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 23 — If documents recovered by the Ludhiana police are to be believed then Manpreet Oberoi, 30- year-old-wife of UT Home Secretary R. S. Gujral, had previously tied the knot with Ludhiana-based Vishal Aggarwal, who has all along been denying the allegations levelled by the Home Secretary (HS) in this regard.

Manpreet continues to be in the USA where she had gone on honeymoon with the Home Secretary. Her sister and brother also live in the USA and she is presently staying with either of them.

The documents with the police are self explanatory and contain information quite similar to what had been alleged in the FIR by the Home Secretary against his wife, her father and Vishal Aggarwal four days ago. The Ludhiana police, following raids in Delhi and a search of Manpreet's flat in Sector 33, has seized certain legal and other documents which show that on several occasions Manpreet had given her identification as Manpreet Aggarwal, wife of Vishal Aggarwal, well placed sources have confirmed.

If copies of the documents in possession of the Tribune are taken into account then it is apparent that Vishal Aggarwal, aged about 27 years, has been giving misleading statements in the media about his marital status. Among the seized documents, copies of which were procured through secret sources, is a bank account opening form submitted to the Bank of America, Barakhamba Road, Delhi. In this Vishal had admitted that he was married and living in A-54, Defence Colony, Delhi. In a separate statement to the same bank, Manpreet has given her name as Manpreet Aggarwal on the same address and also admitted that she is married, according to the documents.

In May, 1999, almost 18 months after opening the account, in a hand written letter, Manpreet requested the bank stating ‘‘...change my name Manpreet Aggarwal to Manpreet Kaur Oberoi as I still have a lot of transactions in my maiden name.’’

The legal documents seized by the police include a lease deed executed by Manpreet to rent a house in Lajpat Nagar in Delhi. This agreement made in March 1998 with Mr Kulwinder Singh, the owner of the house, clearly mentions Manpreet Aggarwal, wife of Vishal Aggarwal, resident of 27, first floor, MIG Flats, Civil Lines, Ludhiana, as the lessee. Even the stamp paper numbered 71204 and dated March, 26, 1998, has been purchased in the name of Manpreet Aggarwal, wife of Vishal Aggarwal from a stamp vendor Davinder Kumar at the Patiala House Courts in Delhi.

In another legal document dating back to 1994, when Manpreet was working with Khelgaon Resorts, Delhi, she has signed as a witness in lease deed for Khelgaon resorts. Once again she identifies herself as Manpreet Aggarwal, wife of Vishal Aggarwal, resident of A-54 Defence Colony, Delhi. As identification she has produced an identity card that says freelance journalist ‘Press’.

Though all this may be circumstantial evidence, legal sources say it is very strong evidence and is the same evidence that has set the police do a rethink on the statements of Vishal Aggarwal. Knowledgeable sources say that temples or gurdwaras have started issuing certificates of marriage from only about five years ago. Prior to this the system of certificates for marriages in temples or gurdwaras was not in place. The other way to establish conclusively that Manpreet and Vishal had married is to get a witness who had attended that marriage or get photos. The duo had married in a temple in Delhi. Both probabilities would be impossible now after all the media publicity, say police sources.

The SSP, Ludhiana, could not be connected on his official or mobile phone.


UT Admn, Microsoft to sign MoU
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 23 — A memorandum of understanding (MoU) between US-based computer software giant Microsoft and the Chandigarh Administration will be signed before October 15. This will usher in a new era of use of IT application in the city.

This was decided following a series of high-level meetings between officials of Microsoft and the Chandigarh Administration today. Microsoft will concentrate on certain applications in the information technology sector while providing its expertise in the much talked about e-governance project of the Administration.

A high-level meeting between Microsoft and a team of the Chandigarh Administration comprising the UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), (Adviser to the UT Administrator, Vineeta Rai, Finance Secretary Rakesh Singh, Home Secretary R.S. Gujral and the Director, Information Technology, Mr Vivek Atray, was held.

A meeting had also been held with Microsoft officials in Delhi a week ago and the Microsoft team was headed by Mr Christophe Aulnette, Regional Director, South Asia Region. This was to lay down the initial framework before the MoU is signed.

Microsoft will also be setting up a centre of excellence at Punjab Engineering College . In this the company will showcase all its latest technologies. This will be for the use of city residents to learn. Today, Microsoft also presented its vision statement for the city and the country in which it revealed its plans which included signing of MoUs with several other states.

Microsoft will usher in the concept and philosophy of computerisation in departments of the Administration and the futuristic e-governance project. Already in the opinion of Microsoft officials Chandigarh had the potential to be an ideal IT destination. The software giant is also keen on pursuing the fact that the Government of India declares Chandigarh as a model IT city. 


No single service can win a war: Oberoi
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 23 — Synergy and 'jointmanship' between the three services — the key element in the 21st century battlefield environment and the focus of several recent military exercises in the country — is still lacking.

Expressing this here today, the outgoing GOC-in-C, Western Command, Lieut-Gen Vijay Oberoi, said, "I am afraid that till today we have not achieved the level of 'jointmanship' as it ought to be among the three services. Today, no war can be won by a single service." He was speaking to mediapersons at Headquarters, Western Command, Chandi Mandir, today. The Army Commander takes over as Vice-Chief of Army Staff at Army Headquarters (AHQ) and would be directly supervising the military operations and the intelligence directorates and coordinating all other branches of the AHQ.

"Being in that position it would be his endeavour to restructure the higher defence organisation and focus on overall modernisation and operational preparedness of the army," he said, adding that the structure as well as infrastructure of the military intelligence required a vast improvement. Restructuring, he said, had to be relative to modernisation and the changing battlefield environment.

The Army, he said, had suffered a set-back in the past 10 years due to monetary constraints and the Army was not getting required funds for the purpose. Modernisation, he added, was an ongoing process and any delay means pumping additional funds at a later stage. He said that though the modernisation of the infantry had also suffered due to constant deployment in CI operations and IS duties, the Army was trying to equip troops with better weapons as militants had been given modern weapons by their mentors across the borders.

General Oberoi said that it would be his endeavour to get the Army out of the web of rules and regulations in which the services were so entwined that it takes a long time for projects to materialise. "It is unfortunate that we are bound by rules made over a 100 years ago. Decentralisation of budget and procurement is required," he said.

The Army Commander also stressed upon greater use of information technology and the concept of information warfare. "The Army is aware that the IT revolution which is sweeping across the globe will have a revolutionary effect on warfare. We do not want to lag behind," he stated.

Stating that a very high degree of induction of computer hardware and software as well as attaining computer literacy had been achieved, he added that the Army had come up with a 10-year IT road map. "The Western Command is ahead of all that was supposed to have been achieved by this time as per the road map," he remarked.

Highlighting other achievements during his tenure, General Oberoi said that operational posture and training of the Western Command was "significantly enhanced" than it was a year ago. "One of my goals was operational focus and operational posture of the Western Army. We trained hard and at various levels. Exercise Bramhastra, the highest level exercise ever held, as well as other training exercises were organised. We have achieved quite a lot in training," he said.

Quality of life, administration and infrastructure in all military stations under the Western Command were another priority areas and the Army Commander said that quite a lot had been achieved. He said that his endeavour to reach out to the people of the country and tell them about the Army and its functioning by organising Army shows and equipment exhibitions in various military stations had "succeeded in some measure".


Coop societies to have land soon
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 23 — The Chandigarh Administration is all set to allot land to Cooperative House Building Societies in Phase III sectors.

According to official sources, the allotment of land in Sectors 49, 50 and 51 will be done by draw of lots. Tentatively, draws will be taken out by the middle of next month.

The allotment of land to the societies, which had made the initial deposit of 25 per cent of earnest money, has been hanging fire for a long time. Though the Administration had been announcing from time to time that land would be allotted by draw of lots soon, but all previous announcements remained in paper only.

One of the reasons for delay in allotment has been the decision of the Administration to revise the rate of land to be allotted to the societies. Though the societies deposited the earnest money at the rate of Rs 750 per sq yard, the Administration decided to revise it upwards to Rs 2,500 per sq yard.

The revised rate led to a lot of resentment among members of the societies. They maintained that instead of allotting land at the previous rates, the Administration was asking for more money from them to make them eligible for allotment of land. This, they alleged, was discriminatory as they could not be charged the new rate after payment of earnest money several years ago.

Other major issue coming in the way of the land was its acquisition and clearing it of all encumbrances.

Now when the Administration has launched a concerted campaign to clear the city of all encroachments, it plans to clear all encroachments in Sectors 49, 50 and 51 before the draw of lots for the societies.

At present, there are some unauthorised dairies in these sectors which are likely to be removed in coming weeks.

The Administration has also drawn a tentative plan to clear the Sector 25 Kumhar Colony of all its encroachments so as to restore the land to Panjab University, the original allottee. This drive, the sources said, is expected to be completed by beginning of November.


Sangra to be new GOC-in-C
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 23 — Lt Gen Surjit Singh Sangra will assume charge as the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Command, at Chandimandir on September 30. He is presently GOC-in-C of the Central Command based at Lucknow, a post he has held for the past two years.

General Sangra will take over from Lt Gen Vijay Oberoi, who proceeds to Army Headquarters on the same day to take up his new appointment as Vice Chief of the Army Staff. Lt General Oberoi was appointed GOC-in-C, Western Command in October last year.

Commissioned into the Dogra Regiment in 1961, he has extensive experience in counter insurgency operations, having served in the north-east as well as in Jammu and Kashmir. He has also commanded a corps in the western sector and has served as Chief of Staff of the southern command.

The Army Commander is a recipient of the Vishisht Seva Medal and the Param Vishisht Seva Medal for distinguished services.


Give equal respect to girls: Jacob
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 23 — The Punjab Governor, Lt-Gen JFR Jacob (retd), today gave a call to launch a campaign to abolish gender-based discrimination in society. Speaking at a function, “Meena, the girl child” organised by the Child Welfare Council, Punjab, at Punjab Raj Bhavan, he said it was sad that nearly half of our population was being neglected due to lack of awareness, education and prejudices.

Stressing the need for launching a literacy drive, especially amongst the girls, he said once literate, a girl became aware of her rights. He said the girls were an asset of society and should be given equal respect and opportunity to grow.

General Jacob said the 73rd amendment in the Constitution ensuring a percentage of seats in panchayats for women had given a voice to the rural women and they were gradually becoming aware of their rights.

Earlier, the Secretary of the Child Welfare Council, Ms Uma Ratra, said that Meena was a symbolic child presenting the discriminated girl child of society. A song and a letter by Meena highlighted the discrimination and a play on the same theme was also staged.


Youth awarded for bravery
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 23 — The day Sumit Singh Sheoran, a student of Government College for Men, Sector 11, plunged into fire to save the life of a five year old boy at Sonepat, he did so without expecting any returns for his bravery.

But gradually as the word about his act of bravery travelled, a lot of private institutions came forward to honour him. Lions Club, Chandigarh Plaza awarded Sumit with a trophy and a certificate for saving the life of the child in November 1999. At that time Sumit was a student of Moti Ram Arya Senior Secondary Model School, Sector 27.

As a gesture of support, the area manager of Wintech Computers, Mr Sanjiv Sahni, offered Sumit a course on Internet operations free of cost. The biggest achievement of Sumit, however, has been the additional seat in B.Com (Ist year) which was created for him at GCM, Sector 11 on special reference by the DPI, Colleges.

Sumit, however, remains a little sad over the fact that his act has not been recognised by the state as yet, with his file lying pending in the Home Secretary’s office.



Development plan for Ram Darbar sought
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 23 — A women literacy awareness and awards distribution camp was organised by the Ratna Memorial Charitable Trust in collaboration with the Dr Ambedkar Social Justice Forum, India, the Mother Kheevi Women Educational and Training Society, the Naujawan Educational and Training Forum and the Sri Guru Ravi Bhavan Society at Ram Darbar today.

The chief guest, Mr M. Ramshekhar, Deputy Commissioner, UT Chandigarh, Mr Prithi Chand, SDM (Central), Chandigarh, Mr Amarnath Sarhadi addressed women activists.

Dr K.S. Raju, chairman of the trust, stressed on the DC to formulate a special development plan for the upliftment of Ram Darbar which was one of the most backward areas as far as literacy and income was concerned. He also brought to the notice of those present that only 30 per cent of the population was semi-literate and women of the area were mostly illiterate.

The chief guest distributed certificates to the 32 trainees who had completed the tailoring six month course at Mother Kheevi Educational and Training Centre. The chief guest also initiated an adult education class, consisting of 15 women and men. He also assured all those who were present of help for all such efforts.

The DC also visited the parks of Karsan Colony which required attention the drainage problems of the place. Mrs Sushil Kaur, secretary of the trust, showed the DC around bringing the various problems to his notice. The DC assured them immediate help.

Mrs Sushil Kaur also demanded that efforts of educating women and girls whose educations had to be stopped due to extreme poverty. She also requested that the efforts of those workers who made candles, soaps, paper etc in the training institutes be exhibited in Super Bazars to solve the marketing problems that they were facing.

Mrs S. Kalra and Mrs Surjit Kaur, Deputy Director, Education, explained the significance of women literacy and also complained about the poor response in the nine adult education centers already opened by the UT administration.


CTU employees’ suspension revoked
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 23 — Local bus traffic in the city was partially disrupted for more than an hour today as two suspended employees of the Chandigarh Transport Understanding (CTU) stopped buses at the main ISBT to protest against their suspension.

The employees, belonging to the mechanical staff, were suspended yesterday after they were allegedly found to be sitting idle on duty by the checking staff. At first the employees started a sort of protest at the depot and then moved to the Sector 17 bus stand. Senior CTU officials headed by Director Dr Amarpal Singh, rushed to the bus stand and diffused the situation by revoking the suspension of the employees.


"Develop refresher course in fisheries"
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 23 — A farmers' meet on "fisheries development" was held at the Department of Zoology, Panjab University, today as part of the last day of the three-day Indian Fisheries Science Congress.

The meet was organised by Dr M.P.Singh Kohli, founder and Chairman of the Indian Society of Fisheries Professional, under the convenership of Dr M.S.Johal, head of the Zoology Department, Panjab University. The meet and valedictory function was chaired by Dr P.V.Dehadrai, a former Director-General, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi.

Mr Kohli welcomed guests, farmers, students and scientists. Mr M.L.Kaushal, Director, Fisheries, Punjab, emphasised the development of refresher course in fisheries and extension policy in the state.

Prominent farmers and the winner of Best Farmer Award, Mr Darshan Singh, was honored and he shared his experiences with other fellow colleagues. Mr C.J. Juneja, Assistant Commissioner, Fisheries, and Wing Commander S.S. Grewal (retd) also spoke on the occasion.


Martyrs’ sacrifices recalled
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Sept 23 — The Deputy Commissioner, Mr S.K. Monga, has appealed to the youth to derive inspiration from the lives of the martyrs to promote unity and bonding among countrymen.

He said this while speaking at a district-level function held to observe Haryana Heroes and Martyrs day, here today.

He said that it was because of the sacrifice of these brave soldiers that the people were enjoying the independence.

A two-minute’s silence was observed in the memory of the martyrs. 


8 samiti seats reserved for women
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 23 — Eight of the 15 seats of Chandigarh Panchayat Samiti have been reserved for women and candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes.

According to a notification issued by the Chandigarh Administration, of the three seats reserved for candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes, one would be for a woman candidate belonging to the Scheduled Castes.

Four seats have been reserved for women candidates belonging to the general category.

The notification also specifies all the 15 constituencies. They are 1 — Raipur Khurd, Raipur Kalan and Makhanmajra; 2 — Mauli Jagran; 3 — Daria; 4— Kishengarh with Basti Bhagwanpura (reserved for women — general); 5 — Kaimbwala (reserved for women- general); 6 — Khuda Alisher (reserved for SC); 7 — Khuda Jassu and Khuda Lahora; 8 — Sarangpur (reserved for women-general): 9 — Dhanas; 10 — Dadumajra and Shahpur (reserved for women - general); 11 — Maloya (reserved for Scheduled Caste women candidates); 12 — Palsora; 13 — Kajheri (reserved for Scheduled Caste); 14 — Hallomajra and 15 — Behlana.


Body found at Balongi
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Sept 23 — An unidentified body of a youth was found lying amid wild growth at Balongi along the SAS Nagar-Kharar road near here today. The body was noticed by a passer- by, who informed the police.

A police official said the body was decomposed beyond recognition. The deceased wore black trousers and blue striped shirt. A wallet containing a badly damaged driving licence, some cash and the address of a construction company of Phase 6 was found from the victim’s possession. The cause of death of the victim has not been ascertained. 


Milk booth looted; one arrested
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 23 — Alertness on the part of the public resulted in arrest of a robber who along with his accomplices robbed a milk booth in Sector 15, late last night.

According to police sources, three youths came to the booth on two motorcycles, asked for a packet of milk. When the milk attendant turned to fetch the milk they assaulted him with sharp-edged weapons and injured him. While he fell down, one of the robbers took out about Rs 7,000 and tried to flee. The attendant raised the alarm following which some persons who were strolling nearby managed to nab one of the accused. He has been identified as Sailesh Gupta of Sector 23-D.

He was handed over to the police and booked under Sections 382, 34 of the IPC.

10 gamblers held
As many as 10 persons were arrested in the city on the charge of gambling from the Sector 35 Community Club. Rs 23,730 were recovered from their possession. A case under Sections 13/3/67 of the Gambling Act has been registered against them.

Theft cases registered
As many as three incidents of theft have been reported from the city. Panchkula resident Ashok Kumar reported that his car (HR 01 9005) was stolen from Sector 17. Similarly, Sukh Dev Singh and Rajan Yadav lodged complaints that their scooters were stolen. Cases under Section 379 of the IPC have been registered.


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