Sunday, December 3, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Stolen child back in mother’s lap
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 2 — In less than 24 hours of being lifted from the Sector 16 General Hospital allegedly by a Mansa district resident for pleasing her childless second husband, the day-old boy was in his mother’s arms again this afternoon.

The alleged kidnapper — Narinder Kaur of Boha village — and her sister Ginni, a resident of Mani Majra, were taken into custody by the Chandigarh police today morning.

Initial interrogation of the accused reportedly revealed that Narinder, mother of two from her first marriage, was under a tremendous pressure from her second husband to give birth to his child also. A bit overweight, she had reportedly told him that she was pregnant, before coming to Chandigarh on the pretext of delivering the baby.

She, along with her sister, had then reportedly hatched the conspiracy of lifting a child from the hospital. Police sources revealed that Ginni had waited outside while Narinder had gone inside to execute the plan. The two had left the institute for Mani Majra on an autorickshaw.

Today, a Mani Majra resident, after reading the news about the kidnapping, realised that the child had been lifted by her neighbour. Acting fast, she informed a constable, who reported the matter to the Station House Officer. They reached the spot to recover the child.

Confirming the arrest, ASP, Sagar Preet Hooda, said, “A lady constable was initially sent to the house to verify the facts. Narinder Kaur was asked to show the documents, including the hospital reports. She, however, broke down and told the entire story”.

Sources added that the accused, along with the child, were taken to the police station before informing the distressed relatives. They rushed to the police station and identified the baby. A case of kidnapping under Section 363 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered and further investigations into the matter are on.

The mother’s condition, sources in the hospital said, had considerably deteriorated since her child was lifted. They added that two bottles of blood were administered to her.

Narinder Kaur, had allegedly taken the new-born away on the pretext of getting him vaccinated yesterday afternoon. The mother, Rani, had handed over the baby to Narinder, thinking her to be a member of the hospital staff.


Rail mishap injured in city hospitals
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 2 — Some victims of the Fatehgarh Sahib rail accident continued to be wheeled in the PGI and General Hospital, Sector 16, till late this evening. Most of the victims admitted in the two hospitals are from UP and Bihar.

As many as 36 persons were killed while 136 injured in the accident which took place when the Howrah-Amritsar Mail rammed into some derailed wagons of a goods train near Jeonpura village near Fatehgarh Sahib early this morning.

Till the filing of this report, 23 persons had been admitted to the PGI while three — referred from the Civil Hospital, Fatehgarh Sahib — were undergoing treatment at the General Hospital, Sector 16. Out of these the condition of five admitted at the PGI and one in the GH, is said to be serious.

According to the Medical Superintendent of the PGI, Dr A.K. Gupta, around 9 a.m. the Director, Health Services, Dr Joginder Singh, informed the PGI Director, Prof, S.K. Sharma, about the accident. All senior officers, including specialists in orthopaedics, cardio thoracic vascular surgery and general physicians were present at the emergency.

The accident victims receive free treatment for the first 24 hours. Since most of the patients were from far off places, help from NGOs was also being taken. The Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, has announced all the medical expenses would be borne by the state government.

The first batch of eight patients was brought in at around 10 a.m. According Dr Gupta most of the victims were suffering from fractures and multiple trauma injuries.

Following is the list of injured admitted to the PGI and the GH, Sector 16, Surjit Kaur-village Behrampur, Bareilly (UP); Hussain Mian, Bans Barreilly (UP); Mushtakh Hussain, Bans Bareilly (UP); and Satish — village Dharampur, district Patna, Bihar and Teja Singh (address unknown); Mithlesh Kumar from Bihar, all serious.

The list of injured, admitted to the PGI includes Janki Prasad, Sudanpur (UP); Bada Lal — village Marnapatti, District Pratapgarh (UP); Dharminder Singh — village Nurpur, Bihar, Mohinder Pal — village Sudanpur, Barreilly (UP); Anil Kumar — village Dharmorlal, PO Anisabad, Patna, Bihar; Shiv Kumar — village Pratapur, district Pratapgarh (UP); Brij lal Pal — village Laxman ka Purba, district Partapgarh (UP); Parmod village Bhundi, district Arhabhojpur, Bihar and Rajesh — village Badhukher, Rai Barreilly; Satish Kumar — village Nisarpur, distt. Gaya Patna; Ram Bharose — distt Baliya, Partapgarh, (UP), Kailash — village Ramnagar, Tehsil Patti, distt Partapgarh (UP); Rajiv Misra distt Phagaria, Bihar; Ram Pal — village Balatkai, distt Barrelly (UP); Rajinder Yadav — village Dev Rahin, distt Ballia, (UP); Rajesh Ranjan Misra, PO Digwara, distt Saran, Bihar, Radhey Lal, village Lal Kapur, distt Rai Barrelly (UP) and Sunita (address unknown).

Dev Moni from Bihar and Bhutam Singh from Punjab have been admitted to the GH-16, with fracture and shoulder dislocation. 


Cheating case: probe ordered
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Dec 2 — The Senior Superintendent of Police, Ropar, has marked an inquiry into the registration of a case of cheating against a Chandigarh-based entrepreneur on the basis of a complaint lodged by a PCS officer, Miss Kiran Rosy, who is posted at Chandigarh. The SSP marked the enquiry to the Superintendent of Police (Detective), Mr J.S. Kahlon, after the entrepreneur, Mr Ashok Aggarwal, lodged a complaint against the registration of a false FIR by the local police. In this connection, an ASI had also been sent to the police lines.

Mr Aggarwal has alleged that the PCS officer had taken a loan from M/s Ashok Oil and General Mills and a case against her and seven others was already going on in the lower judicial courts at Chandigarh. Mr Aggarwal alleged that the PCS officer had used influence to register a false case. A cheque of Rs 3 lakh issued by her had bounced. Ms Kiran Rosy, in her complaint to the police said her cheque book issued by Oriental Bank of Commerce was lost on July 1998 and she subsequently informed the manager of the bank in this regard. She got a new cheque book issued.

In November she got a notice from the lawyer of Ashok Aggarwal, that her cheque of Rs 3 lakh had been dishonoured.


PU student arrested for theft
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 2 — Claiming to have solved two cases of theft in Hotel Mountview and one in Hotel Shivalikview after arresting Panjab University law student Navdeep Bedi, along with “young professional” Yuv Raj Sobati, the Chandigarh Police, today, alleged that goods worth Rs 4.25 lakh were recovered on the basis of their “disclosure statement”.

Sources in the Police Department revealed that two laptop computers, a mobile phone, a camera, a printer, an Indian Airlines ticket, “valuable” toys, besides a suitcase and two leather jackets, were taken into possession.

Initial interrogation, according to sources, revealed that the accused were allegedly picking up the “valuables” after “peeping into the open rooms at odd hours”.

One of them, sources added, was a member of a health club in Hotel Mountview. Navdeep Bedi is a resident of Sector 15, while Yuv Raj is putting up in Sector 40.

The two were arrested by a special team comprising Inspector Satbir Singh and Sub Inspector Rajinder Singh. It was functioning under the supervision of Assistant Superintendent of Chandigarh Police Mr Hargobinder Singh Dhaliwal.

A senior police officer, when contacted, said further investigations into the matter were on. He claimed that other accomplices were likely to be arrested in the near future. It was added that the police was on the look out for other gangs involved in similar cases of theft.


Tractors pull crowds 
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 2 — The most happening place in Chandigarh these days is Agro-Tech 2000. The place is abuzz with the city residents, the rich and not so rich farmers from nearby villages, exhibitors and the young students of the city who are working at the stalls to make a quick buck.

The maximum crowd is seen around the new tractors, the tillers and the harvesters — three symbols of the rich and techno-savvy farmers of the region. “Our boys here want to buy the Farmtrac simply because it looks better then any car and is cheaper than most of them. In fact my son’s friends have a tractor in Sector 10 for gedis here,” said Mr Balwant Singh from Mandi Gobindgarh.

Farmer magazines, websites and newspapers
Also noticeable are the large number of magazines and newspapers now available for the farmers and providing information about the latest in technology and events happening in the world of farming and technology. Floriculture Today, Oils and Fats Today, Agri Business and Horticulture, Krishi Jagran, Agriculture World, were some on display. deals with selling and buying of farm produce and farm machinery online.

Exotic Vegetables
Also crowded were the stalls displaying farm fresh exotic vegetables and fruits. Yellow and red capsicum, exotic leafy vegetables, Kiwi fruit, baby corn etc. Women were having their day out at the sabzi mandi at these stalls. Also being sold were mushrooms along with the technology to grow them at one of the Himachal stalls.

Mini brinjals, onions and bitter gourds
The Tamil Nadu Stall was an interesting mix of fruits and vegetables most of which we never get to see in this part of the world. The kali mirch stalk when it is green, the cashew nut fruit along with its apple, nut meg along with its netted coat which is used at a herb. Mini brinjals, bitter gourds and onions. Mangosteen fruit also called the queen of fruits, durians, pummello and red bananas were also on display.

Tinned sarson ka saag and kala chana curry
Processed and packaged food stalls were doing brisk business with Markfed having made available sarson ka saag and kala chana curry in a tin. Other than fresh fruits and vegetables, semi cooked food like french fries, and tikkis were available in ready-to-cook packs.

Machine for dates
One of the machines on display was for marking the date of packing, batch number etc on individual items. The machine is of a foreign make and uses computer aided ink jet technology to give uniform imprints on almost any kind of surface.

Milkfed exposition
The process right from the procurement of milk at the village level to the treatment of milk before being supplied to the consumer is on display at a stall put up by Milkfed, Punjab, the co-sponsors of the Agro-Tech Dairy Expo-2000, here. The range of products being manufactured by Milkfed is also on display at the stall.

Knowledge about dairy farming is also being given to the farmers on the occasion. The latest technology, for hygienic milk treatment and for improving the breed of the milch cattle is on display the stall.


‘Step up export of medicinal herbs’
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 2 — While Indians knew about medicinal values of various herbs for centuries, courtesy ayurveda, India earns only a fraction of what countries like China and Thailand get from export of herbs. Mr J.P. Negi, Executive Director of the National Horticulture Board (NHB), who was making presentation at the CII office here, said that while India could earn an estimated only Rs 436 crore annually from export of medicinal herbs, the corresponding figure for China was a mindboggling Rs 24,000 crore, while for Thailand, it was Rs 10,000 crore.

Pointing out other lacunas in the horticulture management in the country, Mr Negi said that 92 per cent space available in the cold stores in the country was used for storing potato. Mr Negi said that storage facilities in the country must be expanded and also setting up of food processing industries be encouraged to prevent wastage of fruits and vegetables.

Mr Ajay Sharma, a horticulture expert with the CII, also took part in the discussion on the topic, “ Indian Horticulture—Investment Opportunities”, organised in connection with the Agri Business fair organised by the CII here.


‘Seven middlemen between farmer, consumer’
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 2 — India, the world’s second largest producer with annual production of 602 million tonnes, processes merely 2 per cent of its total produce. The food processing policy and the Food Processing Development Act, which are in the process of formulation, are expected to help the Indian agricultural sector. Stating this at the International Conference on Food Processing (a part of Agro Tech 2000), Mr Omesh Saigal, Secretary, Department of Food Processing Industries, emphasised on the need to develop food parks on the lines of technology parks in the country.

Mr Saigal said the government was working to establish proper linkages between fields and the market. “On an average, there are seven middlemen between the farmer and the consumer. This leads to five times increase in the price of the products, which is far more as compared to the developed countries”, he said.

Mr Hans Megens, MD, Food and Agri Business, Robobank International, said the retailers, agricultural input providers and food processors should ally to organise the supply chain . “Despite a major portion of expenditure being allocated to food products, the Indian fruit and vegetable industry has not chalked out its positioning strategy”, he said. Mr Hans Hannart, MD, Robo India Finance, said the growth in domestic demand was not very encouraging due to high taxes. “It is important to educate the consumer about the benefits of accepting processed foods and a sufficient and organised retail infrastructure has also to be developed”, he said.

Mr Ferry Dubbers, Project Consultant, Ferry Dubbers BV, Netherlands, emphasised on preservation of food and vegetables . “The philosophy that food can promote health beyond its basic nutritional value is gaining acceptance among nutritionists and health professionals”, said Mr Wilmot B Wijeratne, Director, Research and Food Technology, Insta Pro International, USA. He said the development of “functional foods” had evolved as food and nutritional science had advanced beyond the treatment of primary deficiency of proteins, calories, vitamins and minerals. The current emergence of this concept in the western countries could present an opportunity for the Indian food industry to process and market valuable functional foods in the global market, he added.

Mr N C Saha, Joint Director, Indian Institute of Packaging, emphasised on the importance of food packaging.


Gen Jacob for amending byelaws to help the handicapped
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 2 — The Chandigarh Administration will soon amend building byelaws to remove structures that hinder the movement of handicapped persons, said the Punjab Governor and Chandigarh Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), here today.

He was speaking after distributing the cheques of grants among various social welfare agencies at the Institute for the Blind. The General said a committee constituted to amend byelaws had suggested that the ground floors of all commercial establishments and shops should be fully accessible to the handicapped and the Chandigarh Administration would make necessary amendments in the byelaws.

General Jacob said he was also instructing all the departments of the Administration to expedite identifying of the post for which the talent of handicapped persons could be utilised. To encourage the handicapped in self-employment ventures, the Administrator said, the Department of Social Welfare had accelerated the process of granting loans. He said during the last three months alone, ten handicapped persons had been given advance.

The Government of India had agreed to enhance the income limit for loan eligibility to Rs 1 lakh. He said the Social Welfare Department had been asked to organise Entrepreneur Development Programme to assist in the self-employment ventures of handicapped persons.

Listing the various concessions available to the handicapped, the Administrator said the Chandigarh Administration was giving pension of Rs 200 per month, in addition to unemployment allowance ranging from Rs 150 to Rs 300 per month, to the handicapped.

They were also entitled to prosthetic aids with maximum cost of Rs 20,000. The CTU was giving 50 per cent travel concession to the handicapped and 100 per cent travel concession to the blind. Later, the General gave away cheques for Rs 12.5 lakh to the Society for the Care of Blind, the Jyot Charitable Trust, the Indian Council for Child Welfare, Government Medical College and Government Institute for Mentally Retarded Children.

Lauding the work of Institute for the mentally retarded working in the GMCH, Sector 32, the Administrator said sufficient space would be provided to them to enable them to function effectively. 


A thought for the disabled

The world community observes several occasions around the year which have local, regional and global importance. One such occasion, which transcends all geographical boundaries, is the 'World Disabled Day'. It is celebrated across the world with a lot of fervour and enthusiasm, as it is one of the few platforms that invite the attention of the world community to the problems faced by the handicapped, such as psycho-social isolation, education and rehabilitation.

The third day of December is an attempt to highlight the achievements and progress of the physically challenged as well as a day to involve strategies to improve their conditions. Though the concept of observing this day came from Europe, especially Switzerland and Sweden, in order to engage the attention of their respective governments, gradually, welfare activities acquired universal dimensions to assess and resolve difficulties as and when they arose.

It was in the year 1981 that the UNO adopted a proposal to declare it as the International Year for Disabled Persons. It helped in enlightening the masses about the plight and suffering of the disabled. Various governments launched massive drives to provide a conducive environment and special services for them and to bring them into the mainstream of society. However, the objectives of the initiative were not fully realised and hence it was resolved on December 3, 1982 that the decade from January1, 1983 to December 31, 1992 would be observed as World Disabled Day.

The significance of the day is that it provides a forum to people with a disability to voice their concern for protection of their rights, provision of equal opportunities and optimum participation in the society. The main objectives which are highlighted are as follows:

*Relaxing the bounds of orthodoxy i.e. religious beliefs as to why a person becomes disabled.

*Creating an environment that is conducive to the needs and requirements of people suffering from disabilities.

*To encourage a positive attitude of the society towards the disabled and promote healthy interaction with them

*To ensure their participation in decision making and policy making committees

Although it is the print and the electronic media who generally highlight the reasons for the observance of this day, yet many governments give away national rewards to recognise the outstanding work done by institutions and individuals for the rehabilitation and education of disabled people.

Let us strive on this day to meet the needs of people with special requirements.

— J.S. Jayara


1 held with stolen tractor 
From Our Correspondent

LALRU, Dec 2 — The police has arrested Ishwar Singh, a resident of Kalian Jukla, and recovered a stolen tractor from his possession.

According to Mr H.S. Bhullar, DSP, Dera Bassi, the accused, along with an accomplice, had snatched the tractor from Mr Banta Ram of Panjothra in Ambala district and his friends in March. They had also snatched Rs 13,560 in cash from Mr Banta Singh.

Mr Bhullar said the accused was nabbed while he was driving the vehicle on Jaroth road by putting a fake number on it. He disclosed the names of his accomplice as Bal Kishan, alias Doctor, Karam Singh, alias Fauji, and Kala of Noniola in Ambala district. A case under Sections 379, 411 and 420 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered.


Home Secy gets additional charge
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 2 — In a reshuffle ordered today, Home Secretary Mr R.S. Gujral has been given the additional charge of Secretary, Medical Education and Research. It was earlier with the Finance Secretary Mr Rakesh Singh.

The work of Secretary, Animal Husbandry, besides that of Secretary, Rural Development and Agriculture, along with the charge of Secretary, Science and Technology, has been given to Mr M.P. Singh, Commissioner Municipal Corporation. These three departments were earlier handled by Mr Rakesh Singh.


Plea to make SAS Nagar dist headquarters
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Dec 2 — The local ex-servicemen cell has urged the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, to declare the town as the district headquarters. Citing the case of upcoming healthcare infrastructure and the efforts by the government to attract the information technology (IT) industry to the town, Lt Col S.S. Sohi (retd), general secretary of the cell said the population of the town had touched the 2 lakh mark.

The residents, he said, had to go to Ropar for administrative and judicial work. Brig Harwant Singh, president of the cell, said the government should shift the state-level offices of boards and corporations. He said till the town was a district headquarter, the Deputy Commissioner could sit in the town for two days in a week. The judicial courts should also function from the town on fixed days in a week.


Road mishaps up by 24 pc in Mohali
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Dec 2 — A special drive by the traffic police to enforce the traffic rules notwithstanding, the road accidents in this town are increasing. Records of the police say that there has been an over 24 per cent increase in the number of road accidents in the town in the past 11 months compared to the same period in the previous year.

Apart from an increase in the vehicular traffic on the roads, failure of the traffic police in checking speeding and faulty designing of the major road junctions are also accentuating the problem. In fact, alarmed at the spurt in the number of accidents at the Kumbhra traffic lights junction where the Chandigarh-Sohana highway joins the road leading to the local bus stand, the residents of Sector 70 today organised an Akhand Path in the memory of those who lost their lives in mishaps at this junction.

Mr H.S. Cheema, along with other residents of the areas has written to PUDA officials to provide slip roads and take effective measures to regulate traffic. The Phase 7 and 8 traffic lights junction on the Chandigarh-Sohana road has also become a headache for the traffic policemen. Police officials said faulty designs of roads and lack of planning to absorb the swelling vehicular traffic had compounded the problem.

The PTL traffic lights, traffic lights of Phase 3 and 5, Frenco traffic lights in Phase 2 and PCA lights in Phase 9 are learnt to be some of the major traffic hazards in the town. A police official said the speed limit on all roads had been fixed and there were radars with the traffic wing to check the speeding vehicles.

An official of the traffic wing said the maximum number of accidents took place after darkness. To counter this, officials of the local council had been asked to increase the duration of the traffic lights beyond 10 p.m. The police had also written to the civic body and PUDA to put fencing on the road dividers to prevent accidents.


Liaison cell prepares for Navy Day
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 2 — The Indian Navy’s only organisation in this region functioning directly under Naval Headquarters — the Navy Liaison Cell — situated at No.3 Base Repair Depot here is observing Navy Day in a big way on December 4.

Navy Day is observed on December 4 each year to mark the highly successful missile raid by the Indian Navy’s Osa Class boats on Karachi harbour and oil refinery during the 1971 Indo-Pak war.

The Naval Liaison Cell (NLC) is the link between Naval Headquarters and the Air Force as far as maintenance, repair and overhaul of aircraft engines of Soviet origin aircraft in the Navy’s service is concerned. Besides, the NLC is also responsible for the routing of electrical, electronic and certain communication equipment for repair at 3 BRD.

The repair and overhaul of all Soviet origin helicopters and specific aircraft engines in IAF service is the responsibility of 3 BRD. The Navy also operates several Soviet-origin aircraft and being the Government’s policy to avoid duplication of infrastructure and capabilities, Naval equipment is also flown in here for repairs or overhaul.

To this extent, the NLC was established in 1982. Headed by an officer of the rank of Commander, it functions directly under Naval Headquarters, New Delhi.

In the backdrop of the Soviet Union disintegrating and procurement of spares becoming difficult and expensive, Indigenisation of aero-spares is a hot issue in the services, specially the IAF.

Sources say that as far as repair, maintenance and overhaul of choppers are concerned, the IAF hopes to achieve 70 per cent indigenisation of aero-spares by 2002.

IAF officers say that there are two types of spares — mandatory spares and non-mandatory spares. Mandatory spares, of which there are about 4500 types, are those which have to be replaced every time an engine is brought in for repairs or overhaul. On the other hand, there are about 30,000 types of non-mandatory spares, whose requirement varies from 3 to 100 per year.

The IAF target is to achieve 95 per cent indigenisation of aero-spares. The remaining 5 per cent, sources point out “simply cannot be indigenised” owing to technical or cost factors.

A major issue concerning indigenisation of spares is saving foreign exchange (FOREX). As per available information, the FOREX savings resulting from indigenisation at 3 BRD were 94 lakhs in 1992, which crossed Rs 8 crore during the 1999-2000 financial year.

Till 1999-2000, 3 BRD is reported to have indigenised about 7,000 aircraft components, 2,000 rubber items and 1,000 types of hoses. The indigenised target for 2000-01 is set at 1,500 types. Most of the production of aero-spares has been done in-house, with participation by the industry being limited to about 25 per cent.


AIDS awareness on canvas
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Dec 2 — “Safe sex” was the theme of about 30 paintings put on display at the Government Museum and Art Gallery, Sector 10, here on the occasion of World AIDS Day yesterday. The paintings were done by a city-based artist Sanjana Bhradwaj.

Multiple aspects of the dreaded AIDS, right from its origin to spreading awareness about the disease, were showcased in oil by the artist. Starting with a mythological theme where the AIDS virus was shown as a devil spreading its claws over human beings, Sanjana effectively portrayed the magnitude of the problem.

Trying to “break the silence” of the ignorant masses, her artistic attempt at creating awareness about AIDS led her to deal with basic issues about the disease in her paintings like ‘What is AIDS’. In this painting, she showed a man, painted in brown and blue, who is deep in thought about the problem and its cure. Tracing the origin of the HIV virus”, the artist in her painting captioned “Virus”, showed Africa from where the virus is believed to have spread all over the world.

In another painting, circles dotted by human faces from all over the world conveyed the simple message that AIDS spared no one. Highlighting the theme of safe sex, Sanjana painted a series titled “Unsafe Sex”, “Don’t sell sex” and “Multiple will die” conveying the risk involved in commercial sex and having more than one partner.

Highlighting the areas affected by the HIV virus in India by showing a red ribbon around the map of India, Sanjana successfully depicted the magnitude of the problem in our country. Paintings done in bright colours titled “one step out side of married life can be disastrous”, “Healthy Mother”, “Drugs can kill”, “Broken Family”, “Poverty and AIDS” reinforced the theme.

However, the artist ended on an optimistic note with “Let us save our future” and symbols of happy life depicted by “Lotus” and colourful flowers.

On the occasion of World AIDS Day, a poster exhibition on AIDS was also organised by the State AIDS Control Society at the Government Museum and Art Gallery yesterday. About 50 colourful posters highlighting various aspects of AIDS were exhibited by students of Government College of Arts, Sector 10, “Bond with the best” by Deepika Gulati, “AIDS —the dead end” by Jitender Kumar, “A question of his future” by Daisy Garg, “I have AIDS, hug me; it will not infect you” by Gurpreet Kaur , “Enjoying or destroying life” by Mandeep Kaur, “One for one” by Nitin, “AIDS se bachiye” by Monika Malhotra and “Let us grow awareness to free earth from AIDS” by Monika Angrish were prize-winning entries.


Land grab case: contradiction
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 2 — Bhai Kartar Singh, who claims to be the owner of 2 acres in Fatehgarh Sahib district, has claimed that a news item published in Chandigarh Tribune under the heading ‘‘Punjab CM’s kin grab land , say villagers’’ on November 30, was incorrect.

The report was carried at the behest of a group of persons with vested interest, he said. The article, it seems, had been published to defame him and the Punjab Chief Minister, added Mr Kartar Singh.

He claimed that the land in question was his ancestral property, inherited by him and his cousins. The land measured around two acres and not four acres, as mentioned in the news report. In addition to this, there was another piece of land where samadhis of his ancestors were located. The land was not shamlat deh, as shamlat deh land could never be within the lal dora of the village. It was part of agriculture land of the village, claimed Mr Kartar Singh.

‘‘I inherited the land in 1967 after the death of my father Bhai Avtar Singh. I visited the village occasionally to pay my respects at the samadhis of my ancestors. During my visits in the 90s, I noticed that some persons were encroaching upon the land. I protested and told them not to do so. In spite of my protest, some persons had built some structures illegally,’’ he elaborated.

‘‘On September 28, 1997, a meeting of the SHO of Badali, the sarpanch of Puwala and concerned residents of the village was held on this land. The sarpanch and the SHO asked for any claimants. Only one person came up with a document written in Urdu, which read that my father had sold a portion of the land. There was a map giving the dimensions of the land sold, drawn on the documents. This claim was honoured as I recognised the signatures of my father. After this, the whole area was fenced with barbed wire, excluding the area that had been sold. I encircled the area to prevent further encroachment. This was done peacefully in broad daylight in the presence of the SHO, the sarpanch and the residents. Fearing that my land would be grabbed, I started building a boundary wall on November 16 and the work was completed on November 25 after dark,’’ he claimed.

He further alleged that Bachitter Dass, Jai Kishen and Balwinder attacked one of his sympathisers, Mr Sarmukh Singh, and injured him on his head. A case has also been registered against them in Badali police station. ‘‘Fearing that we might also be attacked, we sought police protection. Four or five police personnel were deputed to maintain peace and the wall was completed,’’ he added.


Gujarat, MP home to dinosaurs
By Nishikant Dwivedi

CHANDIGARH, Dec 2 — Believe it or not — 65 million years ago, India had one of the largest population of dinosaurs! Dr Ashu Khosla, a scientist at the Department of Geology, Panjab University, has bagged the Young Scientist Project for the second time from the Ministry of Science and Technology for his study on dinosaur skeletal material from Central India.

Dr Khosla says, “The three-year project was awarded for studying skeletal remains of Indian dinosaurs.” He claims to have more than 60 complete, collapsed and fragmented dinosaur eggs and eggshell fragments, apart from bones. He adds, “Under the project, I will excavate dinosaur skeletals which are 65 million years old (Late Cretaceous Age).” He claims to have recently found a more or less complete theropod (meat-eating dinosaur) skeleton, comprising two well-preserved femur (thigh bone), two tibia (inner bone of the lower leg) and other bones.

Talking about his findings, he says Indian dinosaur nesting sites are extensive and are found along a 10,000 sq km stretch along the river Narmada, from Jabalpur district in Madhya Pradesh to Anjar in Gujarat. He says the fossils belong to the late Cretaceous period, about 65 million years ago. These huge animals used to live around lakes and rivers and due to highly calcic rich soils and desiccation cracks in soil bearing dinosaur eggs and eggshells, rapid matrix cementation took place, promoting burial and preservation of the nests. During that period, a massive volcanic eruption, which lasted for one to four million years, hit the Deccan plateau, which formed a blanket cover over the nests, leading to their preservation.

“A dinosaur egg varies between 12 and 22 cm in diameter and weighs between 1 and 1.5 kg,” says Dr Khosla. He has kept some eggs and bones of dinosaurs in his room. Studies till date pointed out that most of the Indian dinosaurs were vegetarian. Last year, a team found 60 complete and broken eggs of meat-eating dinosaurs in Rahioli village in Gujarat.

Dr Khosla has published about 15 research papers in foreign countries. He rues that in other countries, scientists use helicopters and advance tools in excavation, but no such facilities are available in India. He says in Gujarat, tribals worship the eggs. Recently they started selling dinosaur eggs to foreigners. He has urged the department concerned to develop dinosaur parks.


Crown to Priyanka: Jaspal Bhatti raises questions
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 2 — Jaspal Bhatti has demanded a CBI enquiry into the Miss World 2000 contest. “There is a high level of apprehension surrounding the consecutive crowning of Indian beauties as the Miss World,” stated Mr Bhatti in a press statement issued here today.

He added, “The poor CBI staff which has till date been burdened with investigating hawala, fodder scam, match fixing cases, should now shift its focus to this glamour industry.”

“If the government turns a deaf ear to my plea, then I request the CBI authorities to come forward themselves and do something for their own well being,” he added.


1 hospitalised with burn injuries
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 2 — A Bihar resident was admitted to the Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital with serious burn injuries, sustained after an empty chemical drum caught fire in the process of welding.

According to sources, Raghuvir Singh was standing in the welding shop when the incident occurred. Sources said the drum had been brought to the shop for getting a tap welded. His condition is reported to be serious but stable.

Fake rubber stamps
Rubber stamps of fake organisations, along with several ration cards and a large number of photographs, were reportedly recovered from a room in Sector 27, occupied by a self-styled political leader, after it was opened by the landlord following court orders. According to sources in the police department, the “leader” had allegedly accepted “large sums of money” for “various jobs”. The police is looking into the matter.

Bags stolen
In a complaint to the police, a Sector 7 resident, Ms Kuldeep Kaur Kang, alleged that her bag, containing jewellery and Rs 250, was stolen from the Sector 19 Community Centre. Taking up her complaint, the police has registered a case of theft under Section 379 of the IPC.

In another case, a Mansa Devi resident, Mr Rajinder Chibber, reported that his bag, containing Rs 5,000, a watch and a driving licence, was stolen. A case under Section 380 of the IPC has been registered. Further investigations are on.

Theft reported
The theft of a camera, a calculator and Rs 170, allegedly by domestic servant Pappu of Uttaranchal, was reported to the police by Ms Nirmal Singh of Sector 33. The police has registered a case and is investigating.

Motor cycle stolen
On a complaint by a Sector 34 resident, Mr G. Adyathsati, alleging the theft of a Yamaha motor cycle from near Hotel Shivalikview in Sector 17, the police has registered a case under Section 379 of the IPC. Further investigations are on.


One lakh stolen
Burglars broke into in a unit in Industrial Estate here last night and decamped with over Rs 1 lakh after breaking open the safe locks. A case under Sections 380 and 457 of the IPC has been registered on the complaint of Mr Anugrah Aggarwal.

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