Tuesday, December 12, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Power strike: 900 cops on duty in city
to prevent sabotage
Hospitals have made arrangements for generators
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, Dec 11 — As part of the preventive steps taken by the power authorities, about 900 policemen have been put on duty in Chandigarh in power houses, sub stations and to monitor transmissions lines. In Panchkula field officials have been put on alert and a special task force has been formed.

In Chandigarh the area Station House Officers (SHO’s) have been asked to be alert and prevent any attempt of sabotage by any striking employee. Meanwhile the local Municipal Corporation authorities said in case of disruption in power supply will result in low pressure as standby power generators will not be able to supply the kind of load required to pump water.

As many as 20 private water tankers have been arranged to meet any exigency. Officers have been put on special duty at the water works to deal with problems on the spot. The Superintending Engineer Public Health, Mr Manmohanjit Singh, has also spoken to Chief Engineer Punjab to ensure full water pressure from Kajauli — the place from where all water to Chandigarh is sourced.

There is nothing to worry if a fire breaks out anywhere in the city tomorrow. The fire authorities have filled 15 tankers and have also stored 1 lakh gallons of water in case of an emergency, claimed The Chief Fire Officer, Mr G.S. Bajwa today.

Also in case all water in Chandigarh is used up, tankers can go to the Bhakra Mailine canal to fill up located about 30 km away in adjoining Ropar district. The Sukhna lake can be another option. 

Today the local power authorities put in place an emergency drill to check for procedures. The UT Chief Engineer, Mr R.K. Jain, said indoor sub-stations have been locked and is case power in maintained from Dhulkot in Haryana then certain sectors and vital hospitals like the PGI and the General Hospital will continue to have power supply, however, no such promise can be made for the GMCH as it gets power from neighbouring S.A.S. Nagar, where employees are on strike, Mr Jain added.

The PGI authorities have said all planned surgeries will be carried out. Meanwhile the GMCH authorities said no surgeries have been postponed because generators will be put to use. Water has been filled in all overhead tanks. At the General Hospital, Sector 16, water has been boosted today to fill the overhead tanks. The GH also has generators and will be using them.

SAS NAGAR: In wake of the tomorrow’s strike call given by the electricity employees, the local authorities have posted over 100 policemen to protect the vital electrical installations in the sub division. To maintain water supply pressure in the town would remain low. Efforts were being made by the Public Health Department to ensure that the three boosting stations — in Sector 57, Phase 6 and Phase X — pump water at at least 50 per cent of their optimum capacity with the help of diesel power generators.

Mr S.S. Ghuman, Executive Engineer of Public Health, said the water reserviors of three boosting stations with a total storage capacity of around 40 lakh litres had been stored and would be pumped with the help of diesel sets. The supply from 43 tubewells, which are dependent on power, would be affected. The public health authorities are hopeful of getting around 4 million gallons of water of the total 7.5 mgd supply coming from the Kajauli water works.

Meanwhile the local administration has made elaborate arrangements to avoid any mischief by the striking electricity employees. The Deputy Superintendent of Police, SAS Nagar had been made Cops to prevent sabotage

In-charge of the five sub stations— one 220 KV and four 66 KV sub stations. An official of the state electricity board said efforts were being made to ensure normal supply. An earlier order of imposing a power cut on the heavy industry had been withdrawn.

PANCHKULA: All Deputy Commissioners and Superintendents of Police have been alerted to meet any exigency arising out of the strike call given by the powermen. This even as the Haryana Vidyut Prasaran Nigam is not expecting much trouble, according to the spokesperson of the department.

A special task force had been set up to ensure regular power supply and field officials had been put on alert and special duties already assigned to them, the spokesperson added.


Home Guards sort mail 
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 11 — As mail services across the region remained paralysed home guards were pressed into service here today even as the nation-wide indefinite strike by postal employees entered its seventh day today. The Army was formally called in this evening to the department to tide over the crises.

The Chief Post Master General of Punjab-Chandigarh circle, A.S.I.S. Paul, said there were no immediate signs of achieving any breakthrough on the issue. Keeping in view the inconvenience faced by public, the department today pressed into service 24 Home Guards for security, of mail sorting and delivering of mail to important offices.’’

All districts headquarters may have Home Guards assisting them from tomorrow, Mr Paul added. Regarding functioning of post offices in the region, he claimed that the situation had marginally improved with post offices registering 17 per cent attendance. He said important items like sale of stamps, UPSC examination forms, postal order and delivery of passports and speed posts was being carried out normally. He informed that in Patiala students were actively helping in mail delivery. He added that the possibility of the same being implemented here was being worked out.

Meanwhile requisite orders to invite the Army were received at Western Command Headquarters, Chandi Mandir, today. An Army spokesperson said the role of the Army Postal Service (APS) will be limited to carrying postal bags from one field post office to another. The number of postal bags that will be carried, however, will depend on the capacity of the APS’s mail vans. Postal bags will have to be delivered to and collected from the FPOs by postal authorities.

The Army has its own postal set-up, connecting various stations with field establishments and forward posts. Majority of APS personnel, both officers as well as other ranks, are “civilians in uniform”, being drawn from the Department of Posts for a specified service period. They are given Army ranks commensurate with their civilian appointments and are subject to the Army Act. APS is responsible for all mail traffic in field areas and classified establishments.

Meanwhile the indefinite strike of Postal employees entered its seventh day today. The agitating employees also held a rally in front of the General Post Office, Sector 17.

The Joint Council of Action of Postal Employees claimed that Postal services remained paralysed throughout Punjab and Chandigarh, as no booking of registered articles, parcels, money orders did take place.

The leaders while addressing the rally criticised the Union Government for its attitude towards the postal strike. They also condemned the Postal administration for using the army. The Union Minister of Communications also came under criticism. Their demands include the implementation of December, 1998 agreement between the Postal Federations and the Department of Posts.

The JCA further regrets the inconvenience being caused to public due to the ongoing postal strike, stated Mr Surinder Pal, convener of the JCA, in a press note.

A total of 721 post office remained partially open today and rendered essential postal services to people as per details below, claimed a press release issued by the department here tonight.

Collection of revenue of Rs 1.11 crore was made in the from of telephone bills; savings bank deposit; money orders booked and postal orders sold. The payments made to the public amounted to Rs 71 lakhs in the forms of money order payments and saving bank transactions were performed. Sales of postal stamps and stationary amounting to Rs 69,332 was made . A total of 239 speed post articles and 2534 registered articles were booked. Besides this 200 speed post articles were delivered with the help of inspecting staff and officers. The press release of the department appreciated the efforts of volunteers in providing essential services to the public.


Multi-storey parking lots move rejected
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 11 — Rejecting the proposal for constructing multi-storey parking lots in the city, the Chandigarh Police has recommended that the commercial sectors be declared “car-free zones”.

The cars, under the proposed scheme, will be parked in the peripheries of “busy sectors”, including Sector 17, 22 and 34. The two-wheelers will, however, be permitted to pierce through the crowd to reach the heart of the shopping complexes.

Police also plans to “better utilise” the existing parking lots. The strategy under consideration includes earmarking space for parking two-wheelers before posting cops to man the traffic, besides cleaning the underground parkings.

The proposal for setting up multi-storey parkings was mooted by “quite a number of privately practising architects and town planners” during seminars and discussions on solving parking problems held from time to time in the city.

Multi-storey parkings, they had claimed, were the “only solution” as “almost 100 vehicles were added to the existing population everyday”. They added that the “underground parking lots in the city too were faulty”. A survey conducted by the Chandigarh Police had also confirmed the fact “only an expert could drive out of the basement parkings”.

The police, however, believes that the underground parkings are “fit for two-wheelers, once cleaned”. Senior officers in the Police Department add that “the existing parking lots are enough to accommodate the vehicles even during the rush hours once the cars are not allowed to move in”.

The move, they assert, is significant as haphazardly parked cars in the markets are creating bottlenecks, making it impossible for the traffic to move to and fro. “Minor mishaps” and “scratching of paint” while moving in and out of the lots was being regularly reported to the police.

Claiming to be in touch with authorities in the Chandigarh Administration and the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh, a senior police officer says that the modalities are being worked out “for putting the proposal into practice”.


Lobbying begins for Mayor’s post 
By Poonam Batth
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 11 — Lobbying has begun among the councillors of the ruling BJP for the post of Mayor of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh.

With only 12 days left for the election of the Mayor, hectic lobbying is on. The election to be held on December 23 is crucial because this is the last year of the five-year term of the MC. At present, the post is held by Ms Shanta Hit Abhilashi.

According to sources, the names of Mr Prem Sagar Jain, Mr Raghubir Lal Arora and Mr Om Parkash Goyal are figuring among the top contenders for the post. All are from former MP Sat Pal Jain’s group of the BJP. Air Marshal R.S. Bedi, another elected councillor from the same group, may also be considered for the post. The final decision with regard to the selection of a suitable candidate for the post lies with the Rashtriya Swayam-sewak Sangh (RSS), which will declare the candidate a day before the filing of nominations on December 19, sources add.

The Administration has appointed Mr Harish Bhanot, seniormost nominated councillor, as the presiding officer on the day of the elections. The ruling BJP is divided in the city, the new Mayor in all probability will be a BJP councillor as the BJP-Akali Dal alliance has a clean majority of 15 in the 29-member house. While the Congress has five Councillors, nine are nominated members.

The name of Mr Prem Sagar Jain is reportedly being considered seriously. He has also been the senior Deputy Mayor. Some members of his own group who are also aspiring for the post are not in favour of his selection.

Mr Jain said he was committed to the party and the decision of the party would be acceptable to him. He was hopeful that the party would give him a chance. He claimed that he had ten years’ experience on the governing body of local bodies as he had served as the president and vice-president of Kurali municipal committee.

Refuting the allegations, he said he had resigned as Senior Deputy Mayor to give other members of the party a chance to serve on important posts. Following his resignation, Mr Kanhya Lal was appointed Senior Deputy Mayor and Ms Ranjana Shahi was made the F & CC committee member.

Sources reveal that Mr Arora has been controversial and not acceptable within the organisation. But since he has not been given any key post in the five year tenure of the House, he stands a good chance. He opined that the decision of the party would be acceptable to all members of the ruling alliance, irrespective of any group.

Mr Goyal reportedly does not find much favour with the party, for he has allegedly has been the root cause of various disputes. He is also held responsible for the split in the party. He was the first to be expelled from the party. Mr Goyal claimed that he had knowledge about the working of the MC and knew the problems of the city. He further maintained that he also had the will and guts to take decisions. He claimed to have a good rapport with most of the councillors in the House, barring those from the Gupta group.

Air Marshal Bedi, who is also keen for the post, may benefit from the dispute among the various contenders of the Jain group of the BJP. But that too is not going to be easy for if his candidature is cleared, he will have to stand up against contenders in his own group. On the other hand, he is not a sangh member and does not even attend the meetings of the organisation.

The BJP in the city is divided into two groups — the Jain group and the Gupta group. If there is any confrontation between the two groups and the party high command is not able to resolve the same, the Jain group will be able to have a Mayor from its group by entering into an agreement with the Congress councillors. They may have to promise them the next post of Senior Deputy Mayor in return of the support.

The local Akali Dal president, Mr Gurpratap Singh Riar, demanded that since the term of the present House would expire in 2001, the post of Mayor should be given to the Deputy Mayor, Mr Mohinder Singh. Though BJP-SAD combine is the ruling alliance in the House, all the four previous Mayors have been from the BJP. This does not find favour with the BJP councillors, who feel that they cannot stake claim to the top posts, as they are only two in number.


Housing societies to get 140 acres
By Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, Dec 11 — A total of 140 acres spread across four southern sectors of the city has been identified for allotment to various co-operative housing societies for construction of multi-storey residential flats.

The land is likely to be allotted formally within next week to about 60 group housing co-operative societies, well-placed sources in the Chandigarh Administration said today. The piece of good news ends here. After allotment of land — which in any case has been delayed by nine years leading to acrimonious court cases — some of the societies will find that they have been allotted land abutting the city’s largest slum; colony number 5. The land is being allotted at Rs 2,500 per square yard for the societies and will net Rs 170 crore for the Administration by way of revenue.

The slum would straddle the land being allotted to societies in sectors 50 - A and 51- B, sources said, while showing on the map how close the slum would be to the proposed flats. There is neither any mention of the slum anywhere in the detail maps of the Chandigarh Administration dealing with the scheme for societies, nor is a concrete proposal in place to shift the slum in the near future. The slum is spread across portions of sectors 50 and 51.

Each flat, will cost each member approximately Rs 15 lakh, says the president of a society, which is on the list of allotment scheduled next week. After paying so much, if any society got land abutting the slum it would be unfair, he said.

Societies are also to be allotted land in Sectors 48- C and 49 - C and D. In these two sectors the first phase of the co-operative societies have built flats. In the first phase, societies were allotted land and this area was by and large free from slums. The Administration carried out the process to club various societies to bring about a uniformity in size of land.

To weed out any chance of allegations about allotment of prime land, the Administration has come out with the idea to hold a draw of lots. In the first phase of allotment in 1991, land was allotted on the whim and fancy of the babus. As the Administration prepares to charge Rs 2,500 per square yard, the bifurcation of money is yet to be worked out.


Mystery surrounds student’s disappearance
Family says he was kidnapped
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 11 — Mystery shrouds the disappearance of a 16-year-old school student from outside the Sector 37 mini market today. Amit Mittal’s family is insisting that the plus one student was kidnapped by “unidentified persons” travelling in a van while he was cycling his way to the school for taking maths examination. The police is, however, maintaining that Amit went off to Shimla on his own.

The boy, accompanying Amit when he was “abducted” at about 7.45 a.m., has reportedly been changing his statements. According to Amit’s brother Jatinder Mittal, the boy had initially told them that his friend was forcibly pushed inside the van. He later told the police that Amit had been planning to go to Shimla since December 6, Jatinder asserted.

The Sector 37 market remained closed throughout the day to express solidarity with Amit Mittal’s family. According to the President of Sector 37 Rohit Sood Bambi, the shutters will remain down till the boy was found. He added that a meeting of the association to chalk further course of action will be held at 9 a.m. on Tuesday.

He added that the police took his father, Mr Mahavir Mittal, to Shimla for “bringing the boy home”. Accusing the police of concocting stories, Jatinder added that the search proved futile. He also accused the police of not permitting them to question the boy.

Amit, according to initial reports, was kidnapped after he and his friend were stopped by the persons in the “un-numbered” van. They had asked for the address of Saini Bhavan before putting a handkerchief on Amit’s mouth. The cycle was thrown on the road and Amit was dragged into the vehicle. The family was informed by the “trembling” friend.

Senior police officers, when contacted, said the boy had left on his own. Refuting the allegations of Amit being kidnapped, they added that the two had planned the “holiday” since long.


HC quashes amendment to allotment rules
By Yoginder Gupta
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 11 — The Punjab and Haryana High Court has struck down an amendment to the Government Residences (Chandigarh Administration General Pool) Allotment Rules, 1996, clearing the decks for the allotment of government houses to chairpersons and members of various commissions, boards and consumer forums, etc.

The judgement was delivered by a Division Bench comprising Mr Justice Jawahar Lal Gupta and Mr Justice K.S. Grewal.

The rules were promulgated by the Chandigarh Administration on June 28, 1996. The definition of an eligible employee was amended on July 28, 1998, to exclude chairpersons, presidents and members of various commissions, boards and consumer forums. etc., set up by Punjab, Haryana and the Chandigarh Administration from the allotment of government houses.

The notification was challenged in the high court by the Punjab State Human Rights Commission, which described it as wholly arbitrary and violative of Article 14 of the Constitution.

The Administration stated that there was a scarcity of houses and it had to cater to the needs of its own officers as also of Punjab, Haryana and the high court. In view of the high pressure on the government accommodation, it had to make the amended provision.

Writing judgement for the Bench, Mr Justice Gupta said it was, undoubtedly, correct that Article 14 permitted classification. However, it was equally settled that the classification must have a reasonable nexus with the object which was sought to be achieved.

“The members of commissions, boards and consumer forums are like other employees working in connection with the affairs of the state... Are they different from the members of the state or the all-India services?...Why can’t the members of the commissions or boards should be allowed to stand in queue along with the other civil servants who have to wait for long time for the allotment of houses? Why should they be treated differently from the other eligible employees? The written statement (of the respondents) discloses no reason.

“In this country we face shortages in every field except the human population. There is shortage of seats in schools and beds in hospitals. Similarly, there is shortage of government accommodation. An exclusion can be justified only for valid reasons. In the present case no reason for the exclusion has been disclosed. Thus, there appears to be no rational basis for the impugned provision”.

Referring to the position of the National Human Rights Commission, Mr Justice Gupta said though there was shortage of houses even in Delhi, yet the Centre had declared the commission as an eligible body for allotment of general pool office as well as residential accommodation. He said: “In Chandigarh the instructions of the Centre are invariably followed. Why has the Administration adopted a different yardstick in respect of the State Human Rights Commission? No reason for adoption of a different yardstick has been disclosed. In our view, the mere fact that there is shortage of accommodation cannot form a valid basis for exclusion.”

Noting the submission of counsel for the Administration that the proposal for exclusion was initiated at the instance of the Punjab Chief Secretary, the Bench said the manner of initiation of the proposal would not justify the provision unless a valid basis was made out. “None having been disclosed, we are unable to sustain the impugned notification,” the Bench held.


PU Senate to meet on Dec 26
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, Dec 11 — The next meeting of the Panjab University Senate will be held on December 26. The faculties will meet on December 27, 28 and 29, a press release said here today.

The arts, science and language faculty will meet on December 27, where the election of eight members of the Syndicate will take place, three each from the arts and science faculties and two from the languages.

The law, medical science and combined faculty will meet on December 28, for the election of two members of the Syndicate from law, two from medical science and three from the combined faculty. Elections of Deans from these faculties will also take place the same day while election of Deans of engineering and technology, design and fine arts and pharmaceutical sciences will take place on December 29.

Earlier, the Senate was to meet on December 17, but was indefinitely postponed.


‘Need of the hour is to educate people about human rights’
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 11— Human rights are violated by all. Be it the politicians, the mafia or the police and the need of the hour is to educate people about these rights, stated Dr Sagarpreet Hooda, IPS, ASP (east), at the Human Rights Day celebrations at the UNESCO Centre, Panjab University, here today.

He further stated that it was wrong to believe that the people got the police they deserved and it was the duty of the universities to inculcate better training programmes for the police to improve.

The function started with Prof Surinder Singh Suri, a well-known social scientist, who in his address emphasised the importance of the Human Rights Charter in view of the changed times when ecology and information technology had brought about major changes in the world and the original concepts of abilities, rights and responsibilities needed to be redefined.

Prof Shashi Sharma of the Department of Laws traced the history of the declaration of human rights and highlighted that equality should be there for all without any political and prejudicial considerations for the power blocks, vote banks, dominant minorities and fundamentalism.

Prof S.P. Singh, of the Department of Management emphasised that the main duty of every citizen was to abide by the law and act according to the principles of living. Prof Pam Rajput, Director, Women Studies, said that globalisation and modernisation have further eroded the rights of women and women were the biggest sufferers of human rights violations.

Dr R.D. Anand, spoke about human rights and the role of education. He said that the right to dignified living is possible only if people are granted the right to education and any compromise on universal education leads to exploitation and abuse.

Prof Jai Prakash of Hindi Department talked about traditions and history of India as guiding principles to protect the rights of women, children and minorities. In his presidential address, Prof Jitender Mohan, Honorary Director, UNESCO Centre, said that the Human Rights Day is a time for serious thinking assessment and getting committed to the equality of all and the dignity of all.


‘LPG cylinders underweight, we are being overcharged’ 
By Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Dec 11— A case pertaining to the supply of an underweight cylinder by a local gas agency came to light following a complaint by a resident of Sector 16. The cylinder was replaced by the agency. However, the matter was taken up in the monthly grievances committee meeting.

In Kalka, the residents strongly protested against alleged over-charging on gas cylinders being supplied to them. The officials stated that the extra charges were being levied on account of supply in hilly areas. After much debate, the delivery charges were reduced to the satisfaction of the customers.

In a surprise raid conducted in restaurants, hotels and eating joints by officials of an oil and gas company, it was found that most of them were using domestic cylinders instead of the approved commercial cylinders in violation of rules.

Trucks of gas agencies supplying gas cylinders to Barwala and Raipur Rani were doing so by charging extra money. Also, empty cylinders were being exchanged for refills by any agency which happened to arrive at a village first. This is illegal according to the rules laid down.

These are some of the irregularities connected with the supply of gas cylinders in the district in the past one year. Many more go unreported either on account of the hassle to the customers or for lack of knowledge and ignorance on such issues.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr S.K. Monga, announced the formation of area-wise committees to put a check on the practice but officials contend that the move is not likely to achieve much in the end.

“Even if we are able to catch the agencies for irregularities, our hands our tied. We have nothing in our rules or clauses to punish them. At the most, we can write against them to the oil companies who are empowered to take suitable action,” said Mr Harbans Lal, District Food and Supplies Officer.

The last committee to undertake inspection and checking of supply of cylinders was undertaken as early as 1996. The new committees are being formed on the same lines and would comprise of an officer not below the rank of an Inspector of the Food and Supplies Department and an official from the Weights and Measures Department besides an member nominated by the Deputy Commissioner.

The exercise of “nabbing the culprits” is not likely to yield results since the officials will be required to be present when the supply is handed over to the consumer.``Either we measure the cylinders they supply while they are being taken off the supply truck or arrive at the godown and measure cylinders at random while they are being loaded. We will have to see how this can be worked out,’’ Mr Lal informed.

Agency owners, meanwhile, say they are not entirely to blame for underweight cylinders since these make their way to the agency from the bottling plants as well. Quoting an instance, they said in case of supply of underweight cylinders, a case was registered against the bottling plant as well.

While there are scheme tailor-made to address the problem of underweight cylinders and over-charging by agencies, there is the issue of taking another agencies cylinder and giving a refill which goes unattended. Against norms, action against erring agencies is possible only when they are caught redhanded.

Mr Lal added that the supply of cylinders by a gas agency could be made up to 30 km and Barwala and Raipur Rani were well within their reach from where such complaints were received.``They are functioning well within the framework of rules and we have no reason to object,’’ he informed.

However, this is the moot problem and consumers in these pockets contend that they have yet to be compensated. With no agency outlet in the area, they use cylinders hoping no complaints of leakage or any such problem will crop up. They add that supply is most irregular there and that they are forced to take refills from any truck at whatever cost in the face of uncertainty over the next unloading of refills in their area by their agency.

Acknowledging that the illegal practice existed in the district, Mr Chander Mukhi Sharma, the President of the LPG Distributors Association, said most of the agencies indulging in this ``business’’ were from Chandigarh and Ambala while there could be an odd case from Panchkula as well.

There are eight gas agencies in the entire district. Based at Kalka, one agency supplies gas cylinders to Kalka and Morni, while the seven others in different sectors of Panchkula were catering to the rest of the district. 


City cops ill-clad for winter
By Nishikant Dwivedi

CHANDIGARH, Dec 11 — With the onset of winter the policemen on Police Control Room (PCR) vans and those who do the patrolling on motorcycles prepare themselves to brave the dipping mercury. The department has provided them with jackets, woollen shirts and trousers, but the policemen complain about their quality. The home guards receive a worse treatment. They are provided only with woollen shirts and many of the them have to purchase the shirts. The orders are that no policemen will use blankets.

Speaking to policemen on PCRs van ad on motorcycles, this reporter found that the woollens provided to them were “not sufficient”. Most of them said that they often had to resort to the use of blankets or to light fires to save themselves from the freezing cold at night.

The jackets provided to them are not meant for Chandigarh’s type of winter, allege the policemen. Even the quality of the jackets provided to them is not good. One of them asserted that the colour of his jacket started fading after one wash. The jackets are changed after five years.

Even the pull-overs provided to them “do not seem very warm”. These are replaced every two years. One of them said the department should give them money and they could add some more from their pockets and buy pull-overs and jackets of better quality.

Formerly, the policemen were issued long coats which they claim were better and warmer. But these have now been replaced by “smart-looking” jackets. The idea is to make movement easy. But a policeman pointed out that in the city today, they need not run after thieves. They now have modern vehicles.

The home guards who are put on patrol duty along with the policemen do not even get the jackets. A home guard on a PCR van said," We bring our own jackets to ward off the cold but the officers object to these jackets as these are multicoloured”.

Mr Ajay Kashyap, Deputy Inspector General of Chandigarh Police, says that the policemen are provided with sufficient winter garments. He said," The jackets provided to them are the same as those worn by the BSF and ITBP personnel all over the country. Even the home guard jawans are getting clothes according to the prescribed scale”.


Murdered jeweller’s family awaits justice
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Dec 11 — As the family of a 39 year-old jeweller of Chandigarh, who was murdered in a Phase 7 house here, anxiously waits for the news about the arrest of the suspects, the Ropar police is groping in the dark about their whereabouts even after 120 days of the incident. The suspects had cleaved the body of the victim, Ashok Kumar, into four pieces before dumping them at secluded places along a nullah in the periphery of the town.

The three assailants, Gurvinder alias Gary, Ranbir, alias Shera and Lakha alias Rana, who were identified on the day of the murder on the basis of information given by Kulwinder Singh, an eyewitness to the incident, have been evading the police despite the police claiming on several occasions that it was on the verge of arresting them. The police had recovered the car in which the severed parts of the body of the victim were dumped.

What arouses suspicion about the investigations by the police is that several times it was close to arresting the assailants but missed. Sources in the police said a police party which had gone to arrest them from a flat at Delhi missed them by a few minutes — casting aspersions that the suspects knew about the plans of the police. The sources said the suspects had been making frantic efforts to escape from the country and might have succeeded. The police was in the know of things that the main suspect Gary was reportedly trying to procure a fake passport to escape the country.

The outcome of an earlier move by the Ropar police to flash the photographs and detailed information about the absconding suspects on the popular television show India’s Most Wanted could not be ascertained. Details about the identity of the murderers had been sent to the senior police officials for being supplied to the organisers of the television show.

The local police had written to the DIG (Crime), Punjab, to pursue the matter with different investigative agencies concerned. Photographs of the suspects had been sent to the Airport Authorities at Mumbai, Delhi and Calcutta under the lookout for criminals category to prevent the suspects from leaving the country.

In June last, the police during search operations conducted at the Phase 3B1 house of Gary had recovered at least 440 grams of charas, several bottles of foreign liquor and a knife. Separate cases under the NDPS Act, Arms Act were registered. Around 70 tolas of gold ornaments, two video cameras, several video cassettes, 49 expensive watches, two swords, an expensive mattress, a leopard skin, a stuffed black buck and a stuffed head of a sambhar were also recovered from the house.

Meanwhile, the sources said the police was approaching the court concerned to attach the property of the suspects.


Punjab Librarian Award for H.K. Kaul 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, Dec 11 — Dr H.K. Kaul, Director, DELNET received the Punjab Librarian award while the young Librarian award went to Dr T.S. Kumbar, INFLIBNET and Prof. K. Navlani former Professor of Library Science, Punjabi University, Patiala won the Woman Librarian Award at a function organised in the Panjab University here today.

The Panjab University Library, played host today to the lecture-cum panel discussion on Punjab librarianship: Celebrating successes, confronting challenges organised under the auspices of the Satinder Kaur Memorial Trust for the Advancement of Librarianship (SATKAL), to commemorate the library’s foundation day.

Prof G.S. Randhawa, former Vice Chancellor GNDU, presided over the function and regretted that education and health had been matters of low priority with the Governments in India and the states.

Prof P.N. Kaula, National Professor of Library Science, in his inaugural address gave an overview of the Punjab Library Movement. Earlier Mr A.R. Sethi, university librarian and president of the trust in his welcome address briefed the audience about the background and the constitution of the trust.

Dr Joginder Singh Ramdev, first deputy librarian and teacher of library science of the university during the 1960s, now settled in the USA spoke on the occasion and relived his memories of the university and traced his emotional link with the place.

Ranganathan Quiz on library science was also organised on the occasion and the team from GNDU won the running trophy for it. Two books were also released on the occasion.


Humour has a message: Mann
From Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, Dec 11 — Humour is the presentation of day-to-day activities in a lighter vein with a message. Nowadays life is full of stress and hurry and in it the aim is to make people laugh for a while.

These views were expressed by humourist and comedian Bhagwant Mann during a talk with mediapersons here today. Mann, whose latest cassette, “Bhagwant Mann Hazir Ho”, released by T-series, which has turned out to be highly popular, said he drew his humour from everyday life, including from “saths” (common platform in villages where elders usually meet daily).

Mann said while presenting jokes in his cassettes — he already has 15 to his credit — he always preserved the sanctity of certain relationships and avoided comment on these.

Mann criticised the commercialisation of culture today. He wondered whether culture was merely dancing and singing with obscene overtones. He said he always made his family hear his every cassette before allowing it to be released in the market. His aim was to ensure that contents were not obscene and it could be heard by the entire family anywhere.

Mann, who was accompanied by Mr Anil Kakar, chief executive, Media, T-series , and Jagtar Jaggi, Mann’s partner in humourous presentations, said the latest cassette had for the first time been released all over India. There was a plan to have a fresh cassette in Hindi too.

He said entertainment should be healthy and long-lasting. He said he made a satire on the system and often chose national topics and made social evils his target. He also presented parody.

Asked who was the top comedian or humourist in Punjab, he could not give a name. However, in Pakistan, he said, popular comedians were Amaanullah and Shuki Khan.

Mann, who belongs to Satluj, a backward village in Sunam tehsil, said even today the village school had only two teachers and residents did not educate their children beyond classes VIII or IX. He said he wanted to hold shows to collect money to get a hospital opened in that area. He said it was unfortunate that village residents did not have access to gynaecological facilities and women suffered as a result.


Confusion at Haryana Youth Festival 
From Our Correspondent

Panchkula, Dec 11— Chaos and confusion marked the 7th Haryana State Youth Festival organised by Sports and Youth Welfare Department, Haryana, in collaboration with District Administration, here today.

Except for the folk song competition, events which were scheduled for today, drew lukewarm response from both participants and audience. The classical dance competition which began after a delay of three hours was attended by only two participants. Amrit Pal Kaur from S.D. College, Panipat, and Subhra from Kurukshetra performed kathak.

The programme which expected participants in manipuri, oddissi, bharatnatyam, kathak and kuchipuddi form of dance was shifted from it’s original venue Janj Ghar, Sector 10 to Haryana Model School, Sector 10, which also added woes to already miserable audience and judges.

However, a few good one-act plays based on social and political theme were enacted by four different groups as part of this cultural bonanza at D.C. Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 7, today. “Sangharsh Jari” presented by the drama team from Gurgaon, highlighted the indifferent attitude of the public towards corruption and social evils. Written and directed by Rupesh Yadav, the message came through a set of deaf, dumb and blind characters played by Manoj Bhardwaj, Jyoti Phawsal and Anita Sharma, respectively.

An experiment in monolouge drama was tried out by the drama team from Hisar. “scoot. com” directed by Sandeep Chopra showed the invasion of technology in our society. The message was conveyed by only one character Pol Gumrah, the poet and a narrator.

“Inteezar” a play dedicated to the Kargil martyrs was staged by Ajay Sharma and his team from Kurukshetra. Another play researched “Research” on human psychology was enacted by the Rohtak group.

A competition in folk songs was also organised where participants from different districts of Haryana took part. Mr Rajkumar Bali, Mr R.H. Vats and Ms Suneeta Dhaliwal, eminent personalities in the field of music were on the panel of judges.

Earlier, inaugurating the festival at Yavanika, Mr Sampat Singh, Finance Minister, Haryana, stressed upon providing an opportunity to the youth to channalise their talent. Saying that the youth festival provided a platform to the rural youth to exhibit their culture, the minister said it also helped in uniting today’s generation.


Don’t leave history to scribes alone: expert 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, Dec 11 — “In recent decades contemporary history has become important for the professional historian too and not to be left to the journalists alone,” stated Dr J.S. Grewal, an eminent historian, in his inaugural address at the opening of the three-week-long UGC sponsored refresher course in the Department of History, Panjab University, here today.

The refresher course on Modern historiography on Indian society, Economy and Culture: Trends and Prospects is being organised by the department in collaboration with the Academic Staff College and more than 50 history teachers from all over the region are attending the course.

Professor Grewal, speaking on the scope of history added that its periodisation had to be treated as a hypothesis, which the historians use based on the criteria of change. Starting from the imperialistic periodisation of Hindu, Muslim and Christian eras of history to the ancient, medieval and modern periods, now there are almost eight periods of Indian history. The coordinator of the course and the chairman of the department, Dr J.S. Dhanki welcomed the participants and stated that the scope of the discipline of history was constantly expanding due to the breaking of the traditional intellectual barriers and the increasing interaction with other social sciences. He also highlighted that the aim of the course is to make the history teachers familiar with the latest trends in historiography and in the process identify areas where they could undertake independent research. The first presentation in the inaugural session was delivered by Prof Shireen Ratnagar an authority on archaeology from JNU, New Delhi. She focussed on the latest developments in the study of the Indus Valley civilisation.

The course will continue till December 31 and senior faculty members of the department and the university will be acting as resource persons for the course. Prof Shireen Moosvi, Prof K.L. Tuteja, Prof A.R. Khan, Prof S.K. Gupta are some of the eminent historians who will be coming to deliver lectures.Back


Dullo’s assurance to Khanpur residents
From Our Correspondent

KHARAR, Dec 11 — Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, MP, has assured the residents of Khanpur village, which falls in the Kharar Municipal Committee, that he would raise the issue of common land of village Khanpur worth crores of rupees which allegedly has been grabbed by some influential persons, in the Lok Sabha. He assured them that he would send the memorandum given to him to the District Grievances Removal Committee.

Mr Dullo gave this assurance to a deputation of Khanpur village which met him today here in the Civil Hospital Rest House. Mr Natrajan Kaushal, councillor from the area, Mr Gurinderpal Singh, Mr Vijay Sood, Mr Mehar Singh and many other Congress workers were present on the occasion.

Mr Dullo criticised the administration for working for the SAD. He assured that whenever the Congress government would come in power in Punjab strict action would be taken against the officers involved in the Khanpur land case.

The villagers have demanded in the memorandum that the CBI should hold an enquiry into the land scam.


Medical representatives hold protest
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 11 — Medical representatives from all over Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh gathered here today to protest against the non implementation of minimum wages act non fixing of working hours and not being given provident fund by the pharmaceutical companies operating in the region.

The medical representatives were also agitating against the non implementation of the Sales Promotion Employees Act.

Implementation of this act, according to them, was the responsibility of the state governments and the labour commissioner of the three states.

The Punjab and Chandigarh Medical and Sales Representatives Union also demanded that they be given the status of highly skilled workers, besides demanding for the appointment of an inspector for the pharmaceutical companies.

The rally was addressed by Mr A. Sawhney, president and Mr Inderjeet Singh, general secretary of the union. Other speakers in the rally included Mr Chander Shekhar, State General Secretary, CITU, Mr Inderjeet Grewal, member CPM and Mr Balbir Singh, secretary, CITU, Chandigarh.


Caterer, 3 waiters arrested for theft
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 11 — In a major breakthrough, the Chandigarh Police arrested three waiters with a local caterer late in the evening today on the allegations of stealing a scooter, besides a car stereo and water meters. The accused have been identified as Das, Kailash and Ajay.

According to sources in the Police department, as many as 13 water meters, stolen from Sector 31, were also recovered on the basis of their disclosure statement.

Sources added that a scooter, stolen from Sector 32, along with a stereo pulled out from the car of a Wing Commander residing in Sector 31, were also recovered. They claimed that the accused used to commit the offences while returning home after serving at “parties”.

Confirming the arrest, Deputy Superintendent of Chandigarh Police Mr. S.C. Sagar, when contacted, said further investigations into the matter were on and the police would proceed in accordance with the law after recording the statement of witnesses. 


House burgled 
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, Dec 11 — Cash, jewellery and goods worth nearly one lakh rupees were stolen from a house in Sector 15 after the thieves broke open the front door of the house while the occupants of the house were out of town.

The owner Mr R C Jindal said that Rs 25000 cash, gold ornaments and a color TV were among the items missing from the house. The family had left for Hoshiarpur on Thursday and returned today evening to discover the their house had been ransacked.

Mr Jindal said that the telephone wire had been snapped before the thieves gained entry into the house.


Two scooters stolen 
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Dec 11 — Two scooters have been stolen from Sector 32 during the past 24 hours. Mr Krishan Kumar, a resident of Sector 32 reported that his scooter (CH-01-W-9691) was stolen from his residence, last night. In another complaint, Mr Ram Rattan reported that his scooter (CHT-4554) was stolen from his residence on Sunday night. The police has registered the cases under the Section 379 of the IPC.

Man attacked

A resident of Ram Darbar lodged a report with the police that certain persons pelted stones at him, here yesterday evening. Mr Jai Singh in his complaint said that one Gopal along with some more persons reached his residence at 6 p.m. and started pelting stones at him. Mr Jai Singh reportedly received minor injuries. The cause of stone pelting could not be ascertained.

The police has arrested Gopal but the others are reportedly at large. A case under the Sections 147, 148, 149 and 323 has been registered in the Police Station, Sector 31.

Liquor seized

Narjit Singh was arrested by the police after 1200 pouches of country liquor were recovered from his car, here yesterday. In another incident the police arrested Manu, a resident of Mauli Jagran and recovered 60 pouches of liqour from his possession. Cases under the Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act has been registered.

Briefcase stolen

Mr Rakesh Darji of Ram Darbar reported that his briefcase was stolen from his residence after breaking open the lock, here yesterday. The complainant claimed that the briefcase contained two railway tickets, school certificates, some clothes besides Rs 13, 000 in cash.

A case under the Sections 380 and 457 of the IPC has been registered.

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