Saturday, November 4, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Gen Malik nominated to PU Senate
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Nov 3 — The Chancellor of Panjab University has exercised an appreciable balance in the representation of the Senate by including leading personalities in his list of nominations.

The list represents prominent persons from different walks of life. A few leading names on the list include Gen V.P. Malik, a former Chief of the Army Staff, Justice Rajinder Sachar, a former Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court, Justice D.V. Seghal, Chairman of the Lok Adalat, Mr Hari Jaisingh, Editor of The Tribune, Mr Harbhajan Singh Soch, Vice-Chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar and Mr B.G. Verghese, a former Editor of The Indian Express.

Also on the list are members of Panjab University, including Prof Bhuvan Chandel, Prof M.M. Sharma and Dr M.R. Aggarwal. Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal , Mr Satya Pal Jain, Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, Mr Swaraj Kaushal, Mr Lajpat Rai, Mr Sat Pal Dang, and Mr R.L.Bhatia also figure in the list. The list also features Dr S.K. Sharma, Director of the PGIMER, Mr K.C. Shenmar, a former IGP, Punjab, and Mr R.S. Verma, a former IAS officer. The local MCM DAV College Principal once again will feature in the House. This time Mrs Usha Gupta, new Principal, will be the representative.

Panjab University will have a number of serving teachers in the House. These include Dr Manoj Kumar, a lecturer in the Panjab University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Dr Bhajhan Kaur, Law Department, Prof S.M. Handa, Zoology Department, Dr Akhtar Mehmood, Department of Biochemistry, Dr Cecilla Antony, Department of French, and Dr Santosh Sharma.

Important among the former faculty members include Dr S.L. Sharma, Sociology Department, Prof Rama Kant Agniras, Sanskrit Department, and Prof S.L. Sharma, Botany Department. The list features the names of Dr Amarjit Singh, Director of the Research and Development, Panacea Biotech, Dr S.S. Kumar and Prof Madan Gopal Gandhi. The list also includes Prof M.P. Kapoor, Director of the Thapar Institute of Engineering, Mr Vijay Chopra, Chief Editor of the Hind Samachar Group Jalandhar, and Mr G.P. Chopra, DAV College Management Committee.

Dr Devi Sirohi, President, Panjab University Teachers’ Association, also appears among the names on the list.

A senior Fellow said there was usually a practice of nominating 29 members. This list this time had 36. This could have been done to adjust seats of ex-officio members but the change came rather as a surprise.



Hoping for the world to be a better place
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Nov 3 — “Stop corruption and make the world a better place to live in”, screams a poster, while another poster depicts the movement of a “file on wheels of rupee coins” to reflect the contemporary life where corruption has come a long way.

After threatening to devour the common man, corruption has now spread its fangs to sports and games, cricket being its latest victim.

It is not only the growing tentacles of corruption, but also the inner feelings of the young minds on this national menace which have been reflected in the paintings made by school students at a competition organised by Semiconductors Limited here as a part of the ongoing Vigilance Week celebrations.

All the entries, including those of the children of the employees of the Semiconductors Limited, have been displayed at the SCL complex. Students of class IX to XII of various schools took part in the competition.

The paintings reflect the genuine feelings and despair of the youngsters. One of them painted three cricketers with their hands and feet tied to reflect the ongoing controversy over “match- fixing”.

One of the young participants symbolised corruption through a python threatening to devour the common man.

Another attraction of the exhibition are the paintings contributed by Mr S. Bhattacharya, an employee of a Punjab Government undertaking at SAS Nagar, who not only paints well but also volunteers to teach youngsters paintings and poster making.

Some of the school students had catchy slogans on corruption.

The employees of Semiconductors took a pledge on October 31 to work unstintingly for eradication of corruption in all spheres of life to mark the beginning of the Vigilance Awareness Week. On the next day, Semiconductors organised poster-making/slogan-writing competition on November 1.

Today a seminar on “Malaise of Corruption — A challenge for 21st century” was organised by Vigilance Cell of Semiconductors. The main speakers at the seminar were Dr Balram K. Gupta, a former Chairman of the Department of Law of Panjab University, and Mrs Laxmi Kanta Chawla, BJP MLA from Amritsar.


Kidnapped girl recovered 
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Nov 3 — Nearly eight months after the seven-year-old daughter of a school canteen contractor was allegedly kidnapped by a carpenter, the Chandigarh police today brought the girl to the city from a creche at Sonepat.

The victim, Kamaljit Kaur, alias Chinky, was recovered after the arrest of the accused, Ravinder Kumar, and his wife Monika. The duo had allegedly kidnapped Chinky while she was playing with their son Ajay outside their residence in Sector 41.

They had reportedly taken her from Badheri, where they were initially putting up, to Attawa, then to Panipat, later to Delhi, before shifting to Sonepat. To conceal Chinky’s identity, her hair were trimmed. Worse, she was not permitted to meet or contact anybody.

Chinky, when asked by the police regarding her experience, reportedly told the cops that she was forced to do a “lot of household work” and was given food just once a day.

Claiming Chinky’s recovery to be “a result of sustained investigation”, the SSP, Mr Parag Jain, said, “The investigation of the case was transferred to the Crime Branch. The team obtained information regarding their whereabouts and circulated the photographs of the accused, his son and his wife among the residents of that area. The case was worked out with the active co-operation of the public”.

He added that the accused had attempted to kidnap a minor girl from Burail village in 1998 also but no action could be taken against them as complaint was not lodged by the girl’s parents.

Describing the girl’s experience as “traumatic”, the SSP said the help of a social scientist, working in the field of psychology, would be taken for her treatment.

It may be recalled that the police had registered a case of kidnapping on March 28 under Sections 363 and 384 of the IPC on the complaint of Mr Narinder Singh, who was running a canteen in St John’s School in Sector 26.


Movies, meals and shopping too
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Nov 3 — Visiting a cinema house in Chandigarh is not going to be the same in the future. Major private players have expressed interest in setting up multiplexes — which will house small-sized cinema halls, food courts, video game zones, card shops, entertainment places and other sundry shops under one roof — in the city.

Making it like the major multiplexes in the metros across the country. The multiplex is basically a global concept where single screen cinemas are on the way out and multiplex that offer a variety of entertainment are in.

Already one of the local cinema halls had tied up with a leading Indian company in the entertainment business to revamp the existing structure to have small cinema halls between four and eight in number. The proposal presented by the company to the Chandigarh Administration envisages a major overhaul in the way city residents watch movies. Once this starts viewers will have movies to choose from at one place itself. The show timings will be staggered in such way that a movie begins every 30 minutes thus allowing flexibility to viewers, who can adjust their visits according to the movie they want to watch.

This will stagger the parking patterns also as people will keep coming in and going out.

The multiplex will house a food court where culinary delights will be served to visitors. It will also have a music store, gift shop besides, a flower and card shop. Also lined up is a shopping area with a unique range of products. Selected versions of indoor amusement rides will also be available and so will be a shopping area with a range of products. The multiplex will allow a visitor to combine multiple leisure activities like combining a movie with a meal. There will be time saving also for the visitors as everything will be available under one roof, says the projection of the company. As far a movie viewing goes each of the movie complex will be fully carpetted and seats will be comfortable.

Meanwhile sources say the Chandigarh Administration is already working out a scheme to run multiplexes in the city. This will cover various complexities like rules and regulations and to what extent will the Administration allow the changes in existing cinema houses. 


Appointment of Nagi challenged
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Nov 3 — A bench comprising Mr Justice G.C. Garg and Mr G.S. Maingi, administrative members of CAT, today issued notice on a petition filed by Dr Krishan Vij, professor and head of the Department of Forensic Medicine, Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Chandigarh, challenging the appointment of Prof O.N. Nagi as the new Principal-cum-Director of GMCH on deputation.

The Chandigarh Administration on October 30, 2000, appointed Prof. Nagi as the new Principal Director of GMCH and, therefore, sent a letter to the PGI Director requesting him to obtain the approval of the Union Health Minister to allow Prof. Nagi to move to the GMCH on deputation. The letter issued said this deputation will be for a period of two years initially.

Dr Vij in his petition maintained that the post of Principal is governed by the Punjab Medical Education Service Class-I Rules 1978. At first instance the eligible U.T. professors were required to be considered for appointment by selection. In case they were found to be suitable, there would appear to be an obligation to appoint them. However, if they were not found to be suitable, the authorities concerned were within their rights to take persons on deputation.


Life past midnight no more a dream
By Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Nov 3—Silhouetted figures against flashy, colourful lights pounding the floors till midnight have been enthralled that life past midnight is no more a dream and Chandigarh has finally come of age. Whether it is boys pumping iron at local gyms or girls bunking college, the dance floor comes as a great leveller where they don't hesitate to shake a leg and sweat it out.

It has elated youngsters like the first flush of romance and has indicated that the Administration is “alive and committed” to make Chandigarh a happening city. The beginning has come with extending time for closure of discos till 1 am has added fuel to the dance floors

Dishevelled hair, jeans torn at the knees and high-heeled shoes give Nonnie Kalra the rugged look, he has worked hard to achieve. “I come down at the weekend from as far as Jalandhar since the temptation to be a part of the group that rocks the floor is irresistible. It is not a hassle for a whole lot of accompanying fun. Longer `nights' in discos amounts to extended fun hours,'' he holds.

All the way from Khanna comes a die-hard fan of the disco mania, Naveen Gupta.``I am helping my dad in his business and take time off to drive down to Chandigarh to sway with the music. For our parents' sake, we tell them that we are staying over at a friend's place and manage to give them the slip. Its great to be here and after the discos close down we drive back,'' he says.

While afternoons see a lot of youngsters missing classes for a ``freaky'' time, a lot of youngsters employed in nearby offices also come in for a break. The nights are usually different with families stepping into the spotlight.

The owner of Arrizona in Sector 9, Mr Surinder Singh, comments, “Once the parents come and see for themselves what goes on inside, the youngsters will have no problem seeking permission. Its a lot of clean fun and the extension comes as a boost for our business also.”

From Cloud 9 in Sector 22, Mr Vicky Malhotra, says that private security employed by the discotheque owners is sufficient back up to keep the house in order. Checking is thorough and drunkards are kept at an arm's length. " A special permit for a day to serve liquor is sought in case of a special party only otherwise these are completely banned,” he adds.

Studying in Architecture college, Gauri is of the opinion that parents are beginning to come to terms with the night-life culture in the city and raise fewer questions for a late night in discos. " We come with the permission of our parents and if they can give a nod for midnight, they are also amenable to extending celebrations by an hour. It hardly makes a difference,” she explains.

A regular at the discos, Sonia Aggarwal has welcomed the extension of fun hours for youngsters. She contends,“With the one-hour extension to discos, police personnel will have to be more alert. Though the element of risk while returning cannot be ruled out, the Administration must take initiative to provide adequate security as well.”

Rajbir Singh and Beauty, under disco mania, rue the time when Ms Kiran Bedi had virtually managed to bring the music at the discos to a stop though they are eagerly awaiting pleasant times ahead. " This comes as a big step in bringing back life into the dead city. After a day of studies, we need to unwind, relax and have a good time. The discos are ideal and an extended hour only means we get to party for longer hours,” they inform.

Akshay Narang, doing his BCA, comes to discos for a cool time and is awaiting cooler days with crowds staying for longer hours. However, Harry Nagra laments the discrimination against men. “While girls can walk in without a hitch, we are forced to have partners if we are seeking entry into a disco. This is unjust and uncalled for. Consequently, we keep hanging outside the discos, looking for a damsel who will rescue her knight in distress,” he rues.

For local model, Candy Brar the night out is over by 10.30 pm yet she adds, " The fun just begins around that time and it is enjoyable to see so many youngsters swaying to the music, be it Indipop western or plain fast beats, unmindful of prying eyes.”

While discotheque owners regale in the new found liberty to function after midnight which works out to be a lucrative proposition, the young are al set to be a little foot loose and fancy free even if it takes a minor lie to keep the party going, the music blaring and the feet tapping. 


Banks beware of forged DDs!
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Nov 3 — Banks beware! A gang of alleged cheats is presenting demand drafts for encashment in different city banks after forging them.

The registration of two FIR’s by the Economic Offences Wing of the Chandigarh police, on the allegations of cheating and forgery, following complaints by a bank manager, is a testimony to this effect.

The modus operandi is not so complicated. A demand draft, issued by an outstation branch, is presented at the counter. Everything appears to be in order. Even the signatures of the authorised official tally. But upon confirmation from the drawee bank, it becomes evident that the draft was not issued by them.

Confirming the increase in the number of such cases, a senior official in the police department, when contacted, said investigations into allegations of banking scams were on and the culprits were likely to be arrested soon.

The alleged scam came to light with the submission of two complaints by the branch manager of Syndicate Bank, Mr R.P. Vohra. Claiming fraudulent encashment, Mr Vohra, in his complaint, said a draft of Rs 4,85,000, “purported to be issued by their Mumbai branch”, was submitted to them. He added that the draft was paid as it was “in order”. However, when the confirmation was sought from the drawee branch, they found that the draft had not been issued by them.

In the other complaint, Mr Vohra added that an attempt to fraudulently encash a demand draft of Rs 3,75,000 was made. Giving details, he alleged that the draft, purported to have been issued by their Kanpur branch, was submitted to them. He added that a fax message from the Kanpur branch, however, confirmed that the draft was not issued by them.


Finding “voice” with radio jockey
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Nov 3 — They promise to make you the masters of your voice, and that is exactly what they are here for. The much-awaited workshop on radio anchoring is finally on at Aroma hotel, and conducting its first session is a renowned radio jockey, AIR FM and TV anchor Suchet Malhotra who is in town for the purpose.

The first lesson went rolling today, with the 25-year-old Suchet taking on about 37 participants of the workshop who have come forward in a big way. Although the organising company, IAAN Creations, received about 300 applications for this workshop which was earlier supposed to be held from October 25, they had to short list 37 for obvious reasons.

Among the participants today there were, apart from students, also middle-aged housewives, advocates and other well-settled professionals. The class began with the 25-year-old Suchet working on the voice of each participant in totality. Suchet concentrated immensely on breath and also suggested to the team various techniques of relaxation. “It is important to modulate your voice when you are reading a script and also to go on when the script has ended. So, to be able to hold on one’s breath for long is very important. For this, meditation is a must, or we may call it relaxation,’ said Suchet who is anchoring programmes for DD World and is also a voice over artist for many famous advertisements like Zee Breakfast Show, India Today, and Music Today.

Today he focused on technical things quite effortlessly, and towards the end of the two-hour lesson, each participant was going home satisfied. Interesting to note was the fact that nothing sounded or appeared as technical as it normally would, because Suchet was putting across ideas quite creatively. He had initiated a full-fledged game process in the deliberation hall of a Sector 22 hotel today. For testing the capability of participants he asked them to count as much as they could in one breath. The game was won by Shubhra.

There was yet another test in which the participants were asked to read one long sentence as many times as they could with a held breath. So it was fun all the way.

“The fun element must be restored at all costs. That will help bring out the best in each participant. They must shed all inhibitions and be what they are,” said Suchet who also got talking to The Tribune about himself. He has spent a major part of his childhood in this city, and has studied from class VI to X in the Central School, Sector 47.

After that, Delhi has been Suchet’s home. With a formal MBA degree in finance and marketing from the Fore School of Management, New Delhi, Suchet went on to become a radio jockey with AIR FM. Now he is hosting a programme called “Get connected” on the FM daily at 7 pm. “That is the time when the traffic is clogged. So I have to catch the listeners and play some good music for them. This programme also has a number of school children paging me. So we play lots of jokes for them,” said Suchet who is hosting another programme titled Music on the rocks on FM. This one is relayed at 10 pm every Wednesday, and features a culturally strong package.

Besides, he is also anchoring a show for DD World titled Yours Truly which is telecast every Saturday at 12.30 pm. The latest achievement of Suchet is that he already has about 16 workshops on voice modulation to his credit. “This one is the 17th I am conducting. I am here to tell the participants all about FM and how it is superior to rest of the channels.”

For those of you who have confusion on this — FM is the frequency at which it is possible to split sound waves into left and right channels. So a shift from mono to stereo (which is not possible in other channels) is possible in FM. The workshop continues tomorrow at hotel Aroma.


Ordeal that disabled went through
By Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Nov 3 — Destiny has been unkind to them and the authorities of the Punjab Food Supply Department were no better. Physically challenged candidates called for interviews perching on railing, languishing in the corridors or just cooling their heels on the two-wheelers, waited for their turn, thanks to the inefficient arrangements of the department.

The disabled candidates who were called for the interviews at the PUNSUP office, Sector 34 and the food supply office of Punjab, Sector 17, had no other option but to find a place for themselves on the scooters parked outside the offices, on the iron railing in Sector 17 and in the corridors of the office..

It was a scene that could move anybody. Despite coming from far flung areas by travelling in the buses they were not given a proper seat to sit or rest for a while. Most of them were not able to stand on their own. Some of them were not even able to sit on the ground due to the disability.

The situation was worst in Sector 17. The department had not arranged for any shelter for the disabled.

The parents accompanying their wards were feeling helpless. A father accompanying his daughter had come from Jagraon. Sitting in the window space of the office,” he said. “I am disgusted to see that it does not matter to the authorities that these people are already suffering and if they will have no place to sit will add to their agony here. What to them?

Similar was the scene of the PUNSUP office. The office had spread a small rug in a corridor and it was supposed to be a perfect resting place for the candidates. As many as 600 candidates were called for the interview against a single vacancy of Food Supply Officer. Almost 200 candidates were called in a day.

Here the candidates were seen sitting on the floor of the corridors, on the scooters parked in the parking space and some of them had no place to sit. The drinking water arrangements consisted of a small table, a bucket filled with water and a few tumbler.

A candidate who had come from Amritsar said that he was sitting there since morning and was finding it very difficult to sit. “They have not arranged for a single chair for candidates. I find it very difficult to sit on the ground for long. But cant help it. I may not get the job here but this day of discomfort I will never forget in life.” he said.

A woman from Amritsar was accompanying her sister. Her polio-afflicted sister was sitting on the scooter and she was standing nearby. “They had called us at 2 pm and now they want us to come at 3 pm. This is no way. Why are they bothering us?” she complained.

The interview which was held for the post of a Food Supply Officer, two Food Supply Inspectors, a Food Supply Controller and the post of a clerk witnessed more than 1200 candidates in various rounds. Resentment prevailed among the candidates for the reason that against a single vacancy there were 600 candidates.

“It is very difficult to get a job in India. You can see that even for reserved seat there are so many candidates.”


Stir against sadhu’s release likely
From Our Correspondent

DERA BASSI, Nov 3 — A major agitation is on the cards against the ‘‘release “of a well connected sadhu ’’ by the police who is the main accused in a case of trespass and assault on two servants of Mr Kuljeet Singh Randhawa, president of the Bassi- Mubarikpur Truck Operators Union, on Wednesday.

The accused — Ramdass — enjoys the patronage of certain politicians as well as the top brass of the state police and is said to have sought shelter with a top cop of the state. This cop is reportedly a disciple of the accused and is credited with shielding him on many occasions previously.

High drama ensued as the accused Ramdass, said to be on close terms with certain politicians and senior police officers, contacted his benefactors and managed to secure his release even after his name figured in the FIR registered on Wednesday.

The protesters alleged that while he was being taken to a court at Rajpura, a car with a red light but without number plates pulled up alongside the police vehicle, which stopped and Ramdass was directed to sit in the get away vehicle.

Ramdass, armed with .12 bore gun, barged into the house of the complainant in the wee hours of the day with his supporters armed with tridents besides another supporter who is said to be wielding a pistol. Mr Randhawa’s servants — Mr Prakash Ram and Mr Dalbira — were beaten up while Mr Randhawa escaped.

The truckers subsequently blocked the Chandigarh- Ambala national highway for over one hour in Dera Bassi. The blockade was removed on the assurance of Mr H.S. Bhullar, DSP, that the culprit would be arrested soon.

Meanwhile, representatives of the truck unions at Banur, Patiala, SAS Nagar, Kharar and Ropar held a meeting today to review the situation and discuss the inaction of the police in apprehending the culprit. In case the accused is not arrested by tomorrow evening, a major regional agitation is being planned.

Villagers of the nearby areas could be seen pouring in at the local truck union to express their sympathy with the affected family and tempers were high since the accused is said to have assaulted many persons in the past and had managed to get away with it.

It was alleged that Ramdass had assaulted another person and was occupying the land of a businessman at Mubarikpur.

DSP H S Bhullar said no stone would be left unturned in apprehending the accused and his suspected hideouts were being raided.


Water features, the latest fad
By Parbina Rashid

CHANDIGARH, Nov 3 — Create a water body right next to your door! That is the idea which is now clicking with the more-than-rich ones in town who are on the hunt for novel means of adorning their houses, as also their surroundings.

The latest in the line of beautification is water — which is being channelised in the form of waterfalls in many homes of the city. Call it a fad or a hobby, the fact of the matter is that water is featuring in home gardens in a big way. Ask Geeta Singh, the city-based landscape artist, and she tells you of how important a place water holds in many lives.

“Japanese-style gardens with water features has become a status symbol for the people these days,” says Geeta, who has been landscaping gardens for the city clients for the last about 12 years. “Miniature waterfalls, where water from a jet pump is made to cascade into the ambience of the home, have become one of the hot favourites among those who own a decent patch of land for a garden,” she adds.

Mrs Kiran Sodhi, who carried out a survey on water features in the city said as water is one of the most important component of the nature, installation of water features in the garden lend an aesthetic value to it. To maintain harmony between the garden and a water feature, she said co-ordination between the two was important. For a simple garden a simple water feature is more appropriate, she said.

Creating water features in the garden which started as a hobby for many has become a full-fledged profession now. Mr Deepak Sood who has been landscaping gardens and installing water features in Chandigarh and its vicinity said that the business picked up some 10 years ago. The beautification of the city roundabouts inspired people to beautify their surroundings, he said .

Coming to the cost of maintaining one such fall — any single water feature, even of the smallest order, costs anything between Rs 20,000 and Rs 2 lakh, according to Geeta. The whole procedure of creating a waterfall or a pond involves a lot of intricacies, which can get quite technical in nature.

Some interior decorators of the city, when contacted, said though outdoor fountains of elaborate style were not affordable to many, indoor variety of mini fountains are a common rage with the residents here. Mr Anup Sachdeva, manager of a leading interior decoration showroom of the city, said indoor fountains, ranging from Rs 2,000 to Rs 15,000, were affordable as well as easy to maintain.

Dr A.R. Rajwade, who owns a beautiful cacti garden laced with cascading waterfalls in Sector 8, said he conceived the waterfall about four years ago when he handpicked stones from the Ghaggar. “I have used these stones to beautify the fountain in my garden,” he said. Dr Rajwade, who landscaped his garden with his own imagination, said that about four years ago, the cost of the entire process worked out within Rs 20,000.

Mrs Harjit Sodhi, another creative housewife from the city who owns a beautiful garden and a miniature waterfalls, said that she derived pleasure out of her creations. “It feels nice to stand in the soothing ambience which is further enforced by water bodies. “Having water around complements rest of the things in the garden, like flowers and shrubs,” she said.

Mrs Jitie Sodhi, another proud owner of such a waterfall with a hand pump as an accessory said that one needs a well landscaped garden as surroundings to complement such water features.


Consultation on conflict resolution
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Nov 3 — To sensitize the methods of conflict resolution by peaceful means, the Asia Regional Consultation on Conflict resolution — strategies and skills is going to be inaugurated by the Punjab Finance and Planning Minister Capt Kanwaljit Singh, here tomorrow.

The consultation which aims at focussing on the latest developments in the field of conflict resolution, peace promotion, negotiation and mediation is being organised by the Commonwealth Youth Programme (CYP): Asia Centre in collaboration with the Department of Peace Reseach, Uppasalla University, Sweden and the Institute of Development and Communication here, according to a press note issued by Dr Bhagbanprakash, human resource development lead officer of the CYP.

During this ten-day consultation which is an advanced programme on Conflict transformation by non- violent modes, relevant course material will be presented through lectures, group work, exercises and presentations, besides discussing regional cases to explain concepts and theoretical constructs.

Participants including teachers, researchers, mediapersons and social activists from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal will be taking part in the deliberations. Mr Mustafa Faruque Mohammed, High Commissioner for the People’s Republic of Bangladesh will be the guest of honour and Mrs Raka Rashid, the regional director of the CYP: Asia Centre will preside over the function.

The panel of experts include Prof Peter Wallensteen and Prof Kjell-Ake Norquist, Department of Peace Research, Uppasala University; Mr Amarjit Chandan from London, Prof Paul Wallace, University of Missouri, Columbia, Dr Promod Kumar, Institute of Development and Communication.

Special lectures shall also be delivered by Prof Peter Wallensteen on violent conflicts and scope for humanitarian interventions by Prof Randhir Singh, renowned political theorist on Conflict and peace in the age of globalisation, by Dr S.N. Subba Rao on Gandhian framework on conflict resolution and by Mr Mustafa Faruque Mohammed on Strategies for conflict resolution: A case Chittagong Hill.


Thorny beauties find large admirers
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Nov 3 — For the admirers of the thorny genre of plants, it was paradise. And by the turnout which was witnessed at Lala Lajpat Rai Bhawan which is hosting the 24th annual cacti show being organised by the National Cactus and Succulent Society, it was quite clear — that the city had many appreciators of succulent plants. The show saw a gathering of over 500 people treating themselves to over 1000 varieties of thorny beauties from regions as far as America, Africa, Madagascar and Asia.

The beauty of the plants has further been enhanced by their attractive display. The show, which will be on till November 5, features plants which have been made to acclimatise to the local environment conditions. Interestingly, there are many local growers of the varieties on the display. In fact, some of the growers and collectors of these plants in India are rated among the best in the world.

The plants on show will also be adjudged for awards. There will be about 50 trophies and prizes to be awarded to successful competitors. The National Cactus and Succulent Society of India has been holding this show since a very long time and their aim is to promote the cultivation of cactus and other succulent plants, to sponsor research and also organise field expeditions for Indian succulent plants. 



Today’s singers or puppets of companies?
From Our Correspondent

SAS NAGAR, Nov 3 — Today’s singer has become a puppet in the hands of companies. He should be able to object during the picturisation of songs to things that go against our culture.

These views were expressed by well-known song writer Devinder Khannewala at an interaction with mediapersons here today.

Devinder, who has also recently taken to singing and has two albums — Nachde Ne Sare and Teri Tor baliye — to his credit, said there was nothing wrong with songs. It was picturisation which could be bad and contrary to our culture.

He said the younger generation today wanted to “see” songs rather than listening to them. However, pop was short-lived and soon the traditional way of singing and instruments like the toombi and the dhol would be back.

Devinder, who had come to participate in a sabhyacharak mela to be organised by the Virsa Punjab da Sabhyacharak Manch here tomorrow, said he was fond of singing from his early years and used to present items during his college days. He said he had written between 80 and 100 songs, some of which had been sung by popular singers.

He said he had high regard for all singers and did not charge them for using his songs in their presentations. Describing singer Gurdas Mann as a frient and guide in the world of music, he said he encouraged him to write songs.

Devinder said among his songs sung by popular artistes were Channa Main Tera Na Bhul Gayee, and Rakh Sambh ke Jawani Tere Kam Ayugi (both sung by Gurdas Mann); NachanTon Pehlan Hoka Diyange, Lal Garara, Dur Dur Rehande Ho and Aa Ja Nach Laye (all by Hans Raj Hans); Chithiye Ni Chithiye (Harbhajan Mann); Husna De Maalko and Berian De Ber Khaniye (Sardul Sikander); Mundri Gawach Gayee and Nandoiya thanedar (Asha Bhonsle); Sajre Chale Muklave, Sat Rang Da Lishkara and Baliye Banake Jhanjar (Manmohan Waris).


Former MD of firm held
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Nov 3 — Inderjit Singh, a former Managing Director of Domino Leathers Limited, Sector 34, was arrested by the Regional office of the Provident Commissioner here today.

The company ‘s managers had not deposited PF dues of workers and directors of the firm. Inderjit Singh, who was M.D. of the firm during 1997-98 was considered responsible for the P.F. default, Mr J.R. Sharma, Regional Provident Commissioner, said. A fortnight ago he was issued a notice by the Regional Provident Commissioner (RPFC) to furnish the dues within 15 days failing which he was arrested today. According to Mr Sharma, the former MD was arrested for four hours and was released on the condition of furnishing an affidavit saying that he would pay up the arrears with in 15 days’ time. 


24,000 stolen from scooter
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Nov 3 — A theft of Rs 24,400, along with a pass book, from the glove compartment of a scooter was reported to the Chandigarh police by a Mani Majra resident.

The police has registered a case of theft under Section 379 of the IPC and is investigating the matter, according to sources.

Theft reported

In a complaint before the police, a Panchkula resident today alleged that Rs 10,000 were stolen from his car parked outside a sweet shop in Sector 17.

Taking up the complaint lodged by Mr Surinder Maggu, the police has registered a case of theft under Section 379 of the IPC.

Five arrested

The police on Friday arrested five persons from certain parts of the city for allegedly staying in the city without intimating the police. According to sources, three cases under Section 188 have been registered.

Whisky pouches seized

As many as 200 pouches of whisky were recovered after Panipat resident Mohinder Kumar, alias Kalu, was arrested from Sector 17 Inter-State Bus Terminus.

According to sources, a case under Sections 61/1/14 of the Excise Act has been registered and the police is investigating the matter.



Two from Mumbai nabbed for theft
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Nov 3 — Two Mumbai residents were today apprehended by the Chandigarh police for allegedly stealing a purse and a bag after opening the door of a car with a master key. The car was parked outside a shop-cum-office in Sector 22.

According to sources in the Police Department, the third accused escaped the sources said the accused, standing near the car, opened the door with a key before taking out a purse with Rs 150 in it, along with a bag containing two bottles of perfume.

The sources added that while Shajid and Mohammed Shafeek were nabbed, Anif escaped. It was further added that the stolen goods were recovered from them.

The police has registered a case of theft under Sections 379 and 411 of the Indian Penal Code and further investigations were on. A senior police officer, when contacted, said that they were on the look out for the absconding accused.



Prayer meeting disturbed: 6 arrested
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Nov 3 — Tension prevailed in Sector 38 today too after six activists of BJP’s Yuva Morcha, and other organisations, were reportedly rounded up by the Chandigarh police for allegedly disturbing a Christian prayer meeting.

The activist reportedly included Yuva Morcha president Mr. Satinder Singh. They had reportedly raised anti-conversion slogans during the meeting.

Senior police officials, when contacted late in the evening, said the six had not been formally arrested, but had been taken to a hospital for medical examination.

RSS-VHP leaders, meanwhile, claimed that Mr Satinder Singh and others had also been attacked by the rival group during the meeting. Alleging inaction, they added that the police had not registered their complaint. They also gathered around the venue and carried out a prayer session following which the traffic came to a standstill.

It may be recalled that four leader, along with another activist, were taken into custody on November 1 also after they had raised slogans during the meeting.

The activists had launched the agitation that day soon after former MP Satya Pal Jain, who was also the guest of honour, reportedly said he had studied in a Christian School till Class VI and that all religions were equal.

Hearing the slogans, the volunteers present on the spot had reportedly tried to push them out following which the hot words were exchanged. 


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