Sunday, December 17, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


500 families fear displacement
By Nishikant Dwivedi

TIRA (Kharar), Dec 16— Despite the Punjab government’s claim that the people of the 29 villages to be acquired for Anandgarh would not be displaced, there are at least 500 families who live outside the lal dora of the villages, and are fearing displacement. The New Town Planning and Development Authority, Anandgarh, says that it would acquire the land which falls outside the lal dora only and would not touch the villages.

According to sources in the Punjab government, Tira would be one of the six villages to be acquired in the first phase for Anandgarh. There are over 50 families in the area outside the lal dora of the village. Between the last three decades they were the residents of Karsan and Burail villages of Chandigarh. And one fateful night, they claim, the bulldozer of the Chandigarh Administration razed their homes. They kept wandering here and there for almost six months and then they settled outside Tira village.

Ms Jeevani could not control her tears when she told about that fateful night.     “It was my brother-in-law’s marriage night and those machines rammed our house. They did not even spare the tent”. And today she shivers at the very thought of the “machines” once again.

About 25 years ago, after being evicted from Karsan village (Chandigarh) over 50 families settled outside the lal dora, of Tira village. Today they are facing a threat of yet another eviction and this time because of the upcoming township of Anandgarh.

Once beaten is twice shy — goes the adage. These people are not ready to buy the government’s word of being “suitably rehabilitated” after their eviction. Women folk in the families say they would rather die in front of the bulldozer, along with their kids, then to give up their houses which they have built over 30 years ago.

They say even if the government gives them money against their land, they will not accept the deal. According to them, they cannot buy land anywhere else as land has become “very costly”.

Ms Chindo, who along with her other family members, sell vegetables and fruits to earn their livelihood, came here 25 years ago when her house at Karsan was razed. She said, “For six days my kids lived without food and then at last I sold the chairs to buy food”. And she too trembles at the very thought of another evacuation.

And most of the women in the colony say: “They (government) better throw a gola (bomb) on us so that at least we would not become refuges for the second time within 30 years. Last time we sold our everything and we were about to began our somewhat easy life, and now Badal is talking about removing us again. We will prefer to die than giving up our homes”.

The others say: “How can the government force them out from their own property? “Agaar Badal ko Anandgarh banana hai to aapne elaake mein ja ke banaye”. A woman remarked, “Kya government ke Baap ka raj hai ke hum ko hata dega”.

Gafoor, who along with his family lived in a tent after evacuation from Karsan, say “Last time the government took our land and house, and in return gave me Rs 6,000. We do not trust the governments. Once they take away our land, where would I go with my small children”?

And the story is same in other villages also. Mr Arvind Puri, whose newly built school at Mulanpur-Garibdas village also falls on the land outside lal dora says: “The government would have to spare the school. The villagers would not let the government bulldoze the school”.

When contacted Mr Karan A Singh, Chief Executive Officer, Anandgarh Development Authority said: “Technically we would acquire those houses but they would be suitably rehabilitated inside the town only”.


Admn invokes ESMA against postal staff
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 16 — With a view to normalising postal services, the Chandigarh Administration has invoked the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) against the striking postal staff.

The officials absenting themselves from duty will attract the provisions of the ESMA and they will be liable for disciplinary action. However, ESMA is still to be enforced in Punjab, where the postal authorities claim that there has been a marked improvement in the postal services.

An order to this effect was issued by the UT Home Department late last night. The order said the employment under the Department of Posts was essential for maintaining postal services, necessary for the life of the community in the Union Territory.

The UT Administrator, in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 4 of the East Punjab Essential Services (Maintenance) Act,1947, has authorised three postal officers “to make orders directing the persons engaged in the department not to depart out of their assigned places of work during duty hours.”

The officers, Mr Sarwan Singh, Assistant Postmaster General, Mr S.P. Jain, Senior Superintendent, Post Office, and Mr L.K. Mishra, OSD, have been authorised to make complaints in writing for the offences punishable under the Act.

The authorities had chalked out an elaborate strategy for restoring normalcy and appropriate disciplinary action might be taken against any employee who did not join duty. The police may be called wherever necessary to ensure that nobody obstructs and hinders the restoration of normalcy, a press note said. The name of the officials, who disregard the directions of the Delhi High Court, may be faxed to the circle office and appropriate action initiated against them for exhibiting gross misconduct.

The Chief Postmaster General, Mr A.S.I.S. Paul, claimed that postal services in the districts of Gurdaspur, Jalandhar, Amritsar and Ludhiana, besides Chandigarh, were near normal, with more staff reporting for duty. Today, 1,290 posts offices of the total of 3,900 remained open and rendered essential services

Keeping in view the inconvenience to the general public due to the strike, all head post offices in Punjab and Chandigarh and main sub-offices at the district headquarters will remain open tomorrow, according to a press note.


City police settles 172 complaints
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 16 — A happy smile played on her lips as 84-year-old landlady Amrit Kaur walked out of the Sector 17 Police Station, “feeling good”. Along with her problem, the Chandigarh Police today redressed complaints of 172 city residents.

At the top on the list were complaints alleging fraud in money transactions followed by grievances of landlords and tenants. Acting on a complaint, a case was even registered by the Economic Offences Wing.

Giving details, Senior Superintendent of Chandigarh police Parag Jain said 57 complaints related to money transactions, 56 were lodged by landlords or tenants, 42 were about minor civil disputes, nine were regarding matrimonial and family problems. Eight others pertained to public nuisance.

The SSP added that 102 complaints were disposed of by the Central Division, 43 were taken up by the South Division, nine were heard by the East Division while 18 were disposed of by the Special Crime Cell. The complaints, he added, were received by the police through e-mail, post, even courier.

Meanwhile, leaning against her walking stick, Amrit Kaur said, “My tenants were harassing me. They were blocking the driveway by parking four to five cars every night. I had reported the matter to the police and was waiting for some action against them. Today, the cops told them not to cause any inconvenience to me till the matter was settled by the court”.

Others too left more or less satisfied. They had started to gather at the offices of the sub divisional police officers in the morning. Some were even accompanied by their advocates. For the public’s convenience, the police had set up chairs in the open.

Throughout the proceedings, the Deputy Superintendents of Police, along with the investigating officers, was present for lending confidence to the parties and to remove all kinds of apprehensions.

The meetings, on the pattern of Lok Adalats, were held not only for saving the complainants and the witnesses the inconvenience of going through the legal rigmarole, but also to help the police in disposing of the complaints.


HC regularises services of 18 UT lecturers
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Dec 16 — A Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court comprising Mr Justice R.S. Mongia and Mr Justice K.C.Gupta today regularised the services of 18 UT lecturers after setting aside the order of the Central Administrative Tribunal ( CAT) delivered in April, 1998, and directed the UT Administration “to pay them all consequential benefits with effect from the dates of initial recruitments.”

The Bench handed down this 45-page order on 18 writ petitions filed by Mr Satyavir Singh, Ms Gunita Chadha, Mr Rajender Pal Singh and Ms Madhurima Sharma and 14 other lecturers.

The Bench observed, the Supreme Court on October 17, 1995, in Gagan Inder Kaur versus UT Administration case had ruled that appointments have been described ad hoc on nature on the erroneous impression. The consultation with the UPSC ( Union Public Service Commission ) was necessary at 1977 for making regular appointment on the post. Since the Punjab Rules of 1937 had continued in force and consultation with the UPSC was not required for the post of lecturer which continues to be class III post till the publication of Rules 1990 on February 21,1991.

“It is no doubt true that as a result of retrospective effect given to Rules 1990, Class II status has been conferred on lecturers with effect from April 1, 1975, as a result of which lecturer has to be treated as class-II post”, the Bench observed further.

On December 9, 1990, certain posts of lecturers were advertised by the UT Administration. The academic qualifications in the advertisement were the same as in Rules 1990 which were published in the gazet on February 21, 1991. Interviews were held on different dates but for the post of lecturer in zoology and botany interviews were held on February 23 and March 10, 1991, that is after the publication of Rules 1990 gazet. All lecturers selected were given appointments after February 21 1991. It is the case of the petitioners that the qualification which was advertised for the different posts were not the one mentioned in 1990 rules,the Bench observed further.

“But were these qualifications similar to the those mentioned by the UGC” questioned the Bench, adding that “on being selected after following the same procedure as in the Gagan Inder Kaur’s case , the petitioners were issued appointment letters. It was mentioned that appointments were on ad hoc basis till regular appointments were made by the UPSC on regular basis.”

The petitioners had petitioned the CAT pleading to regularise appointments to the post of lecturer college cadre UT Chandigarh from the date of their appointment as held by the apex court in the Gagan Inder Kaur’s case and to direct the respondent to apply Punjab Rules of 1937 to the applicants/petitioners.

However, the CAT declined their prayers. The petitioners moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court against the CAT order and the Bench ruled, “ We are of the view that merely because the process of selection and recruitment in the case of lecturer had started prior to February 21,1991, according to us it would not make any difference. Appointments in both cases were after promulgation of the rules as per the judgement of the Supreme Court that the posts which are vacant prior to the amendment of rules have to be filled up by unamended Rules. In such circumstances as to when did the process of recruitment started pales into insignificance .”

“Petitioners were entitled to be regularised in the same term. Apart from this the petitioners are working as lecturers for the past 7 to 9 years and have become over age now, “ the Bench added.

For the reasons given above, the Bench said , “We allow these writ petitions, set aside the order of the CAT dated April 2,1998, and hold that the petitioners are to be treated as having been regularly appointed as lecturers with effect from the dates of initial recruitment with all consequential benefits.”


Abandoned baby found
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Dec 16 — An abandoned girl, five days old, was found last night by a patrolling police party in old Panchkula. Members of the police party who brought the abandoned child to the hospital last night, said that she was found in the market place and nobody came forward to claim her. Not knowing what to do with her, she was brought to the General Hospital, Sector 6.

Police sources said that the girl, wearing a red shirt and a peach sweater, was found crying on a rehri last nigh at 10 p.m. by Rajinder, a resident of Majri. He, in turn, informed the police who took the child to hospital where she was stated to be normal. The SMO, Dr Kamla Singh, said that the girl seemed 10 days old. She was shifted to Bal Niketan in Sector 2 this afternoon on the orders of the Deputy Commissioner.

The orphanage would wait till February for any claimants after which the child would be put up for adoption. 


‘Mayor to be chosen unanimously’
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 16 — The differences in the local unit of the BJP will be sorted out and the new Mayor will be chosen unanimously. This was stated by Mr Ram Dass Aggarwal, MP, while addressing mediapersons here today. He was recently appointed in charge of the local unit and is on his first visit to the city. The Mayor, Ms Shanta Hitabhilashi, was present on the occasion.

The differences were evident as leaders of a faction could be seen sitting with him while the others waited in the lobby of the UT Guest House. It may be recalled that the unit has witnessed bitter rivalry between the groups and had so far failed to arrive at a consensus on the new Mayor, who demits office on December 22.

Commenting on this issue, he said he was new to the unit and would take his time arriving at a view point which would be conveyed to the party high command. “I am meeting all the leaders and party workers to ascertain their views,” he said.

In this contest the claim of the Akalis, who are a coalition partner in the Municipal Corporation, would also be heard and any decision would reflect their stand on any post in the setup. I will be meeting the Akali leadership and will deliberate on various issues, he said.

Reacting to a query whether those councillors who had betrayed the party in the elections by going against the official candidate would be considered, he answered in the affirmative.

Condemning the Congress party for politicising the Babri Masjid issue, Mr Aggarwal said it was a ploy to garner the vote banks which had slipped from the Congress kitty.

He said the party would provide a protective atmosphere to nurture the small scale sector. The entry of multi national companies would be regulated. Efforts were afoot to strengthen the sector and if need be restrictions would be laid on the entry of MNCs in certain areas.

On the other hand the open stand taken by the opposing groups - led by former MP Satya Pal Jain and Dharam Pal Gupta - to get the name of their candidate for the post of Mayor approved would not make the task of Mr Aggarwal easier.

Both faction leaders met Mr Aggarwal and pleaded their case and impressed upon him to announce the name of the candidate.

Sources said while the Jain group was strongly supporting the candidature of Mr Prem Sagar Jain and Mr R L Arora, the other faction was recommending the candidature of Senior Deputy Mayor, Mr Des Raj Tandon, for the post. But that stance changed today, when the name of Ms Ranjana Shahi was aired for the first time for the post of Mayor.

This was done to counter the candidature of Mr Jain, who is a seasoned party leader and was the senior deputy mayor twice. It is learnt that with municipal corporation polls scheduled for next year, Ms Shahi would be able to carry out her brief more effectively. 


Parking blues at District Courts
By Kiran Deep

CHANDIGARH, Dec 16 — The parking space at the district Courts complex has become a headache for the visitors. The place has become accident and theft prone due to the shortage of space. There is always the fear of a vehicle being damaged or being stolen.

Litigants, lawyers and employees of the district courts face this problem every day. Visitors park their vehicles wherever they find space, even in the middle of the road.

A car was stolen from the district courts parking area on November 13 and a case was registered at the Sector 17 police station. there have also been some unreported cases of theft. Helmets, even those locked with scooters are an easy target of the thieves.

The District Bar Association President, Mr N.K. Nanda, says that there has always been a parking problem. Even the space meant for advocates is not enough and is always full of garbage. He has complained to the Chief Engineer of the Municipal Corporation in this regard and demanded a fence to be built-around the parking area.

The DSP of Traffic Police, Mr S.S. Randhawa, said that the Traffic Police had challaned 8500 persons and impounded 3000 vehicles for wrong parking. He said that two policemen were deployed to manage traffic around the district courts complex and there had not been any complaint in this regard.

But a number of lawyers, litigants, employees and visitors maintained that there always were traffic jams in the area and the only parking place for visitors next to the courts’ boundary was neither sufficient nor safe.

Mr Amar Singh Chahal, President of the Lawyers for Human Rights, suggested the construction of an underground parking lot to ease the congestion.

Ms Kamalpreet, a litigant, said she had parked her car in the Sector 17 market and walked to the courts.

A lawyer recalled that there was no such problem 10 years ago when he started practice. Now the number of vehicles had increased immensely and it was difficult to find a parking space.


Red tape withers bouquet
From Our Correspondent

SAS NAGAR, Dec 16 — It’s bureaucrats “at work” again. Red tape has deprived residents of perhaps the first-ever two day flower show which was planed to begin today.

Chandigarh and Panchkula have their own flower shows every year and when SAS Nagar decided to follow suit, the plan ran into rough weather and everything ended up in smoke.

The Municipal Council had applied about a month ago to the Directorate of Local Government for sanction to incur expenditure on the show. It was planned to be held in the Silvi Garden in Phase X and included an on-the-spot painting competition and a baby show.

The amount for which sanction was sought was a mere Rs 1.5 lakh — and that, too, from the civic body’s own well-filled coffers. But the rusted wheels of babudom turned far too slowly. The sanction was given (only for Rs 75,000) by the Directorate and the letter was received at the council office yesterday — a day before the date fixed for the show.

Earlier, the Deputy Director, Urban Local Bodies, Ludhiana, Dr Karamjit Singh Sra, had put his foot down, saying that the relevant resolution passed for holding the show was not clear. The resolution was passed when the council was under an Administrator, Mr J.P. Singh. Besides, Dr Sra said the sanction for the expenditure was to be given by the Directorate. Sanction had to be taken as the expenditure on the show was not part of the planned budget of the council.

The council had been making preparations for the flower show when this “stay” by Dr Sra brought matters to a grinding halt. In fact, an advertisement on the show had been given in newspapers, forms cyclostyled for the baby show and orders given for preparing brochures and putting up banners. Not only that advance payments had been made, judges invited and schools requested to send participants.


Vijay Divas celebrated
Tribune News Service

CHANDIMANDIR, Dec 16 — As a ceremonial guard reversed arms and buglers sounded the Last Post at the Veer Smriti war memorial, the valour displayed and sacrifices made by officers as well as men during the 1971 Indo-Pak war were once again brought to the forefront during the Vijay Diwas celebrations in the cantonment today.

It was on this day 29 years ago that 93,000 Pakistani troops under the command of Lt Gen A.A.K. Niazi laid down their arms before the Indian forces.

The surrender, the largest ever in contemporary military history, resulted in the birth of Bangladesh as a sovereign state. The day is since celebrated as Vijay Diwas every year.

At a solemn ceremony, a wreath was laid at the memorial on behalf of all ranks of the Western Command by the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Lt Gen Surjit Singh. Several gallantry awardees and war veterans also paid floral tributes to the unknown soldier.

Among those who laid wreaths at the memorial were Air Marshal Randhir Singh (Retd), former AOC-in-C, IAF Training Command, Lt Gen R.S. Dayal (retd), former GOC-in-C, Southern Command, Brig Sant Singh (retd), who had captured Lt Gen Niazi during the 1971 war, Brig K.S. Chandpuri, (retd) hero of the Battle of Laungewala and Brig N S Sandhu (retd).

A large number of officers and other ranks attended the memorial service.

Later, the President of the Western Command unit of the Army Wives Welfare Association, Mrs Deep Surjit Singh played host to wives and kin of soldiers killed in the line of duty. As man as 16 kin, mostly wives and mothers were present on the occasion.

The AWWA president met each one of them and listened to their problems.

Talking to media persons on the occasion, she said that the welfare of widows and next of kin of martyrs is a gigantic task, which needs support from the society. She added that it would be her endeavour to work for self reliance of the widows by way of imparting vocational training.

In the evening, a social get-together was held at the Command Officers Mess, which was graced by the Western Army Commander, Lt Gen Surjit Singh. A large number of serving as well as retired officers attended the function.

In another function the Governor of Punjab, Lieut-Gen J F R Jacob (retd) organised “At Home” function at Punjab Raj Bhawan here today.

General Jacob was serving as Chief of Staff, Eastern Command, during the 1971 Indo-Pak war.

Ex-servicemen from Punjab and Chandigarh, serving Army personnel from the Western Command and distinguished civilians attended the function.

Among those who greeted the Governor were the Western Army Commander, Lieut Gen Surjit Singh, Chief Secretary, Punjab, Mr R S Mann, and Advisor to Administrator, Ms Vineeta Rai. Jawans of 3 Field Regiment, which was originally raised by General Jacob, were also present.


Youth hospitalised with burns
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 16 — A Head Constable’s son fell from the roof of his house in Sector 20 after sustaining serious burn injuries while heating water for his bath today morning.

Bablu’s clothes reportedly caught fire after he sprinkled kerosene on the burning wood to flare up the flame. Frightened, he reportedly rushed out of the room, but in the process fell of the roof. His sister-in-law also suffered burn injuries while trying to save him. His father, Mr Devi Dayal, is posted with VIP security.

The injured was immediately taken to the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, where he was admitted. Doctors on duty said 24-year-old Bablu had sustained 62 per cent burns.

A senior police official, when contacted, said Bablu’s statement had been recorded by a magistrate. He added that further investigation into the matter were on and the Police would proceed in accordance with the law after recording the statement of witnesses. 


Winter camp for challenged kids
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 16 — As many as 40 children are participating in the on going winter camp at Government Institute for Mentally Retarded Children.

According to Prof B.S. Chavan, Head, Department of Psychiatry, GMCH, out of these 14 are mildly retarded, 19 moderately retarded, six severely retarded and one child has been found to be profoundly mentally retarded.

The children were initially screened for their intellectual capabilities and activities of their daily living. The aim of the camp is not only recreational but also teach them the basic skills like eating, dressings and social interaction through play.

Dr Chavan, says the children have shown spontaneous receptiveness to the action poems, doll making, music, dance and yoga. Children with mild and moderate retardation have also been initiated into the activities like craft, block printing and thread painting. Group therapy is also the part of winter camp to improve their communication skills . As special treat, a day of outing has also been planned.


Plaza carnival
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 16 — The evening at the Plaza Carnival began with colourful dances by Sahiba Madan, Devanshi Mishra, Aditi Chawla, Harmanjit Mani, Rishabh Dev, Jagjit, Hanish, Shiven, Karan and Sahil.

This was followed by a hour and half of songs, music and dance by Manjit Roopowalia, a popular Punjabi singer.


PU employee dies
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 16 — A Panjab University employee was declared dead on arrival at the PGI, Chandigarh. Jaspal Singh, according to sources in the police department, died due to natural causes.

Sources in the police department stated that the body had, however, been sent for post-mortem examinations. They added that 45-year-old Jaspal Singh, working as a sweeper, had complained of pain in the chest before leaving his residence on the campus itself. Senior police officials, when contacted, said they were looking into the matter.

Pedestrian injured

A pedestrian was admitted to GMCH, Sector 32 with injuries after being hit by a car. According to sources, the accident occurred while Dilbagh Singh was crossing the road. A case of rash and negligent driving has been registered.

Theft from car

The theft of a music system from a Tata Sierra was reported to the Chandigarh police by a Sector 39 resident. In his complaint Bhai Jaskaran Singh claimed that the vehicle was parked in Sector 17. The Police has registered a case and is investigating.

Girl consumes acid

A Sector 20 resident was admitted to the Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital in the afternoon today after she consumed acid. According to sources, 23-year-old Amanpreet Kaur’s condition was reported to be stable.

Forged draft

Acting on a complaint filed by a senior bank manager alleging forgery of a draft, the Chandigarh police has registered a case. In his complaint before the Police, Mr M.R. Kohli of Punjab and Sind Bank alleged that a draft of Rs 8,88,000, handed over by one Deepak Suri, was found to be forged upon verification by the bank staff.


Hit-and-run case

PANCHKULA: A 23-year-old boy, Shivdeep Singla, died in a hit-and-run accident on the Pinjore-Kalka road, last night. He was found by the roadside this morning though the scooter he was riding could not be found.

Police sources said the boy, from Mansa in Punjab, had come to Mohali to appear in an MBA exam. Yesterday, he left his relatives place in Mohali on his cousin’s scooter for Pinjore to meet his friends.

It is learnt that he stopped over on the way and ate his dinner at a nearby dhaba with three other boys. After their meal they all left the place. This morning his body was found on the road side though the scooter he was riding was missing.



Woman dupes husband
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 16 — After nearly seven years of marriage, a husband was allegedly duped off ancestral jewellery by his wife. Instead of going abroad after selling the ornaments, she allegedly tied the knot for the second time.

In a complaint before the police, Tejinder Singh of Kajheri alleged that the jewellery given by his family was sold by the accused to arrange money for going abroad.

He added that his wife, instead of leaving the country, “fraudulently married another person”. Tejinder Singh claimed that a passport was procured by his wife in a “fake name” after furnishing “fake ration card and matriculation certificate”. Their marriage, he said, had taken place in September 1993 at Panipat.

Taking up his complaint, the Chandigarh police has registered a case of cheating and forgery under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471 and 494 of the IPC. A senior Police official, when contacted, said the FIR was lodged after an enquiry was conducted.


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