Thursday, December 28, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


City to get power from Nathpa-Jhakri
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 27 — The Union Power Ministry has assured the Chandigarh Administration to provide a share in the upcoming Nathpa-Jhakri project in Himachal Pradesh and Tehri Dam in Uttaranchal, said the UT Administrator Lieut-Gen J.F. R. Jacob (retd) while laying the foundation stone of a vital 220 kv grid sub station in Mani Majra here this afternoon.

Supply to this 220 kv Grid sub station will help improve voltage and bring Chandigarh on the national grid map. The project will be completed in 15 months from now. Earlier the city had been operating at the 66 kv voltage level which cannot cope with the increase in demand. The supply to this substation would be through a 220 kv line from the 400 kv Nalagarh sub station, which has already been commissioned by the Power Grid Corporation of India as part of the power evacuation arrangement from the Nathpa-Jhakri Hydro project in Himachal Pradesh.

This will enable Chandigarh to utilise power directly from various central generation projects and not depend solely on the Bhakra complex.

During his address, the Lieut-Gen Jacob added that since Chandigarh was the seat of the governments of Punjab and Haryana and has a large number of Central Government Organisations and Defence installations operating from this territory the supply link is vital. Further the city has gained importance as Administration has decided to promote this territory as a centre for information technology. He told the audience that the Union Ministry of Power shelved the project of having a captive power generation project. It was good this happened as the consequences of a similar project in Maharashtra are there for everyone to see .

The Chairman-cum-Managing Director of Powergrid, Mr R.P. Singh, explained that a ring of 66 kv substations will be formed for distribution of this power.

The Secretary Engineering, Mr Rakesh Singh, informed that till now the city power supply system was operating at 66 kv level right from the date of the creation of Union Territory of Chandigarh. On the power scenario, the people of Chandigarh would recall that they had a difficult summer of 1998 because of the 66 kv underground cable between Sector 39 and 66 kv substation, Sector 52 having developed certain technical problems. The Engineering Department of the Chandigarh Administration had then taken a decision to provide a 66 kv overhead link. One of the circuits was commissioned during the year 1999 and the second circuit has been commissioned during the current year, because of which the power position during this summer had, by and large, been comfortable all over the city.

Six indoor 11kv substations with an aggregate capacity of 12 MVA have been provided. In addition to this four indoor substations are in the pipeline and work is likely to be completed during the current financial year.

On the distribution front, 20 pole-mounted transformers have been added, with an aggregate distribution capacity of 5 MVA in various pockets of the city, where additional demand came up or where the existing transformers were overloaded.

There has also been an increase in the revenue by about 10 crore with reference to the previous financial year on account of extensive checking of industrial and commercial premises under a special drive, as well by installing electronic energy meters instead of the traditional electro mechanical meter. 


Don’t shut door to layman: CJI 
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 27 — Urging judges to act as the trustees of the people, the Chief Justice of India, Dr A.S. Anand, has said the courts should function within established parameters and constitutional bounds.

Delivering the Lala Achint Ram Memorial Lecture — 2000 at the Lajpat Rai Bhavan here today, Dr Anand said: “The judiciary must remember that judicial activism is not an unguided missile: it has to be controlled and properly channelised.”

He said the people of the country had reposed faith and trust in courts and therefore judges have to act as trustees. Betrayal of that trust would lead to judicial despotism, which posterity would not forgive, he asserted.

Referring to the misuse of public interest litigation (PIL), Dr Anand said care had to be taken that the PILs essentially remained in the public interest and did not become political, personal or publicity interest litigation.

Judicial authoritarianism cannot be permitted under any circumstances, but at the same time it must be remembered that the higher judiciary in India found the necessity of judicial intervention when approached in cases where the executive refused to carry out the legislative will or thwarted it. It was under those circumstances, considered legitimate, for courts to step in and ensure compliance with the legislative mandate, he pointed out.

Justifying judicial activism, the CJI said if the law did not keep pace with society it would lag behind while society would move on and it would be bad for both. “If the judiciary would also shut its door to citizens, who find that the legislative as not responding and the executive indifferent, citizens would take to the streets and that would be bad both for the rule of law and the democratic functioning of the state.

Judicial activism was aimed at making the constitutional protections a reality. It is being used in the exercise of judicial review. The judiciary is indeed conscious of the fact that the courts cannot run the government but at the same time it was alive to its obligations that the executive cannot be allowed to get away with its acts of omission and commission.

And with a view to see that judicial activism did not become “judicial adventurism,” courts must act with caution and proper restraint, he added.

Earlier, in his presidential address, Mr Krishan Kant, Vice-President of India, said the struggle for human rights was the struggle of the mankind and not of any caste or individual.

Saying that the judiciary alone could not protect human rights, he called upon the NGOs to come forward in this direction as they were much closer to the common man.

While introducing the subject, the Secretary of the Servants of the People Society, Mr Onkar Chand, lauded the services of Lala Achint Ram towards the socio-economic uplift of society after Independence.

‘Indian legal system is best in world’
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Dec 27 — Indian legal system is best in the world but it is not applied judiciously, said Dr Bharat Bhusan Parsoon, Member Secretary, UT State Legal Services Authority, while addressing the Chandigarh Management Association here today.

Dr Parsoon speaking on the subject of “Common man and legal system”, said that law had no self propulsion system except that it had to be articulated by the lawyers and the judges. But it was unfortunate, he said, that despite the failure of legal system to deliver justice in time, it continued to be accepted by the people since there was no alternative available.

Mr Parsoon pointed out that the formation of the State Legal Authority by the government in 1994 had brought some signs of relief for the common man, because any pending case in any judicial or quasi-judicial court of law could be brought before the Lok Adalat and settled.


Creation of judicial service demanded
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 27 — The Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Young Lawyers Association has demanded the creation of an all-India judicial service on the IAS pattern for young lawyers.

This demand was raised in a memorandum submitted by the association to the Vice-President, Mr Krishan Kant, and the Chief Justice of India, Dr AS Anand. The young lawyers could also be considered for appointment as warrant officers by the courts and it would be a perfect mode to educate the young lawyers about the warrant procedures, it demanded.

The selection process of the subordinate judicial officers should be brought under the respective high courts, it demanded, adding that chambers should also be provided to the young lawyers to establish their offices in the courts.

Besides funds at the state-level needed to be created for young lawyers so that stipends could be paid to them in the initial years of practice for purchasing books and setting up basic infrastructure, it demanded.


Reform opponents hypocrites: Bhagwati
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 27 — Prof Jagdish N. Bhagwati, a world renowned economist, today called on the people of India to join forces with those who were trying to speed up economic reforms in the country to accelerate the growth rate, increase income, alleviate poverty and improve literacy.

“Let me urge you not just to think on a bigger canvas about reforms and their favourable impact on poverty and social agendas, but to think concretely and at a level of personal experience about them and ask: how does each of the reforms work out for the common man? I would venture the thought that the reforms would emit fragrance like roses once you do that....,” he said.

These remarks were made by Professor Bhagwati, Arthur Lehman Professor of Economics and Professor of Political Science, Columbia University, USA, who was conferred the degree of Doctor of Literature ( honoris causa) by Mr Krishan Kant Vice-President and Chancellor, at the 50th annual convocation of Panjab University here today.

Professor Bhagwati also referred to certain economists who made contemptuous references to the reforms programme and said these economists were like the politicians who espoused the cause of the poor but were themselves the unwitting cause of the perpetuation of that poverty. “This is not just ironic, it is tragic. The true heroes in India, I urge you, then are not those who go around talking about development with a humane face, or noting with a touch of moral fervour the need to eliminate abysmal poverty in India,” he said.

Rather, they are those who like Dr Manmohan Singh have vigorously worked for reforms which alone can translate these time-worn sentiments into concrete reality.

Earlier, Prof K.N. Pathak, Vice-Chancellor, presented the honoris causa degree saying, “I submit that the Senate has recommended the name of Professor Bhagwati which I pray may be conferred on him”. The Chancellor said, “I confer”.

Continuing his convocation address, Professor Bhagwati said, “there is no doubt that many among today’s graduates will turn to participating in one way or the other in such activities that constitute today what is called the “civil society”. But that is not enough. The problems are so acute that national policies must be used intelligently to bring about rapid growth and prosperity in the whole economy”.

He said the large number of NGOs had to do with the growth of female education and woman sufferage worldwide. There seems little doubt that more women on an average do rather good compared to men. “White man’s burden has become white women’s burden. In India too, the men who frequently led the earlier reform movements have been replaced by increasing number of women”, Professor Bhagwati said.

He said, “Poverty will fall with sustainable growth. To get the literacy rate up we have to build schools and pay teachers better salaries. This requires both commitment and the resources which only a growing economy can provide.

“In short, sometimes all good things go together: growth improves income, pulls people out of the clutches of poverty, improves literacy, helps spend more on public health and does much more along these lines”, he added

The Chancellor conferred degrees in 33 groups. This was preceded by “let the candidates be presented”. The Chancellor conferred degrees to 33 groups. This was followed by Prof K.N. Pathak giving out honours to 17 groups. The medal winners figured at last.

The function ended with the national anthem.


Decorum, solemnity lack at convocation
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 27 — The convocation of Panjab University held here this morning was marred by lack of proper arrangements.

In fact, most of the students left the auditorium as soon as they got their degrees, displaying disdain and lack of discipline for the solemn occasion .

The function began with a vandana performed by a group which stood in front all invitees on stage, including the Chancellor, Mr Krishan Kant, who is also the Vice-President and Prof Jagdish Bhagwati who was honoured with the D Litt degree on the occasion.

Probably for the first time, the convocation had the fellows seated far away from the stage in the midst of the audience.” It looked a little embarrassing”, a senior fellow said. One fellow in fact underlined the need for a proper auditorium for the university.

Pradeep Kumar, a visually-challenged research scholar, stood in front of the Chancellor far longer than required because the officials got busy finding his degree. He was the only student who received thunderous crowd appreciation.

The stage had movements of the escorts and even the programme co-ordinators. The show exhibited clear signs of poor rehearsal.

Hardly had the function begun, when the seats began emptying . As soon as they got their award, most of the students left the venue. Also seen leaving were the parents and their relatives accompanying the wards. The jam-packed balcony presented a deserted site when their wards cleared the hall.


Economic freedom vital: Bhagwati
By Aditya Rishi
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 27 — Prof Jagdish Bhagwati, Arthur Lehman Professor of Economics and Professor of Political Science in Columbia University, New York, was here today to attend the convocation of Panjab University. He has been the chief economic adviser to Mr Arthur Dunkel, former Director-General of GATT. He often writes in newspapers and magazines like Wall Street Journal, Financial Times and New York Times.

In an exclusive interview with Chandigarh Tribune here today, he said, “The WTO has an enormous shortage of staff. That is why it cannot take up new tasks. There are many environment-related issues that are in like the shrimp-turtle case. We have to negotiate these things, but social clause and labour issues are not there.”

Answering a question on environment bodies not being heard in the WTO, he said the United Nations Environment Programme and multinational environment agreements have special agreements on those and these issued were being addressed on merit. “GATT was turned into WTO. It did not have to give in to it. It was just strengthened and transformed into the WTO. It was a non-institution that had lots of weaknesses. However, it is still young and needs to evolve. There are many issues like the compatibility of environment agreements, the WTO provisions and moral issues like shrimp-turtles,” he added.

Speaking about agricultural overproduction and famines in India, he said, “Famine is a matter of not being able to buy. I do not know what the zonal restrictions are at the moment, but at the time of the Bihar famine, though there was enough food in the country, the surplus states were not allowing this food to go out. This is to do with the federal nature of our democracy. Sometimes, the richer states do not part with their food because they fear that there will be a food crisis in their states if they do this. I disagree with Professor Amartya Sen when he says that famines do not happen in democracies and that democracy is good for famine relief. We had the Bihar famine and it was our democratic structure that created the problem.”

“Democracy is too vague a word. We have a federal democracy. At the time of the Bihar famine in 1966-67, surplus states were not parting with their food. What was happening was that at night, lorries laden with food would go out of the state illegally. It was economic freedom that was doing it, but the federal nature of the government meant that Ms Gandhi could see the food in the country, but could not impound it. Then, she had to go out to Washington to get the food,” he continued.

“Economic freedom is more important than political freedom, because whenever something goes scarce in some part of the country, people move in with supplies immediately. It was done illegally in Bihar. It lowers the price of food for people who are starving, assuming that they have some income. If they do not have income, it makes no difference whatsoever,” he stated.

Talking about the Japanese going on a buying spree in the USA and in India and trying to force the Chairman of Maruti Udyog Limited to step down, he said, “ The Japanese like to keep control of Japanese things in their hands. They are more like Marwaris who like to have people around them whom they can trust. Very few of them have external cultures like western culture. Wherever they go, they tend to use their own people, but this is not true of all multinationals. These hire people from everywhere like I am hired in New York. Take the case of stock ownership of Nokia, where 90 per cent of share ownership belongs to outsiders. If some of them actually get together, they can even take over. If you lose a job, you can join the IBM. These things should not matter.”

Replying to a question about control over big conglomerates or economies of the world, he said, “Nobody is controlling these economies in that sense. The ownerships of the big conglomerates are all over the world. In the 1980s, the Japanese were leading the pattern. There always is a turnover and no country dominates completely.”

Talking about guarding equities, like in the Maruti case, he said, “Many countries try to do that to develop their own national identity, but I have never been impressed by these things and why Maruti is so important. There are lots of car manufactures all over the world. If they are producing here, what difference does it make to anyone? Provide them with the best working conditions and it does matter if the company is called Daewoo or Suzuki. A country of our size should not worry about these things. Only a small country like Zaire should do that. People like Mr Rahul Bajaj worry about these things. He can also use some foreign collaboration. If he does not want to sell, he will not sell. If the firm is public, we should not worry about who owns it. We want some of the better business practices to come in here.”

Regarding the fear of pullout being a hurdle to globalisation, he stated, “If they pull out, then we just buy it off. It is not like a short-term capital flow. Working conditions should be good for domestic and foreign investors for efficient business. At a micro level, there is bound to be a flux. The fear that everything will go away suddenly is baseless.”

Professor Bhagwati declined to comment on India overplaying Nasdaq. He was also not for free immigration because, according to him, it was not sociologically and politically possible. “Even if talented persons leave the country, we can produce many more like them. We are a country of one billion people,” he asserted.

He was of the view that the WTO was heading nowhere at the moment. Things would have to wait till next year, when the Bush administration settled in in the USA, he added. He opined that with the advent of Bush Jr, the US foreign policy towards India would be favourable on the whole after the Clinton visit. That Indian immigrants did not vote for Bush was the illusion from New York, where Ms Hillary Rodham Clinton was running for the Senate, he said. There were Indian-Americans campaigning for Republicans also, he emphasised. He did not agree that Bush Sr had traditionally been anti-India. Mr Dallas and Mr Nixon had been anti-India to an extent, he claimed.


Farmer killed ‘by mistake’, police clueless
From Bipin Bhardwaj

RAIPUR RANI (Panchkula), Dec 27 — The Panchkula police is clueless about the poachers who killed a farmer by mistake and injured another of Rampur Thadiyon village near Raipur Rani on the night of November 17.

The poachers had accidentally fired on two farmers while they were going to water their wheat fields along the banks of Bhoor river in Kambala village. In the incident, Ajmer Singh, a 23-year-old, was killed on the spot while his companion, Mr Ram Swaroop (40) of Bharoli village, sustained serious injuries in his neck. Mr Ram Swaroop was admitted to the PGI in Chandigarh, where he underwent treatment for 25 days and was discharged on December 12.

Family members of the deceased have alleged, ‘‘The poachers were residents of Sector 4, Panchkula, and frequented the area for hunting. They used to stay with local shikaris who helped them in their hunting pursuits”.

Ms Amaro Devi, mother of Ajmer Singh, and Ms Nimmo Devi, wife of Mr Ram Swaroop, allege the shikaris who come from Chandigarh, Panchkula, S.A.S. Nagar and surrounding areas stay in the house of Mr Beeru Ram, a resident of Kambala village. He is allegedly a close associate of Mr Om Prakash, a local politician, of Devi Nagar village.

The residents of Thadiyon and Bharoli villages claim to have identified the two accused, who are residents of Sector 4, Panchkula. They have also alleged that the accused stayed in the house of Mr Om Prakash a day before the night the incident occurred and went for hunting in the nearby fields along the bed of Bhoor river.

Dr C.S. Rao, Superintendent of Police, denied the allegations and said the police had interrogated the accused. He, however, admitted that the investigations process of the case had slowed down as the investigation officer (IO) of the case had been transferred.

The investigations have been restarted because IO has been just given the job and it will take its own course. There is a possibility to hand over the case to CIA staff for investigation, but the victims will be given justice, claims Dr Rao.

An injured Mr Ram Swaroop said: ‘‘On the particular night, the poachers used a newly set-up machan and fired from a close range and on the same height. As Ajmer Singh was shorter in height than me, a splinter of a bullet hit him on his head, killing him on the spot and another splinter pierced my neck”, said Mr Ram Swaroop.

‘‘I was shocked as Ajmer fell down and a piece of bullet hit me on my neck. I bowed down and rested for a while. A young man clad in a jacket, wearing a cap and holding a gun in his hand approached us. As he realised that he had shot down some humans instead of an animal, he fled from the spot,’’ Mr Swaroop recalled.

Holding back her tears, 80-year-old Amaro Devi, the shattered mother of Ajmer Singh, said her son was killed just three months ahead of his marriage and the police was playing in the hands of politically connected people.

‘‘None of the police officials have come with any clue about the criminals who gunned down my son as his fault was that he was going to water the crop fields. We are uneducated and belong to Gujjar community. So we are being victimised by the well connected persons,’’ lamented Amaro Devi.

In a joint representation to the President, Prime Minister and Home Minister of India, Ms Amaro Devi and Ms Nimmo Devi, alleged that Mr Om Prakash was a well connected person and was shielding Mr Beeru Ram and other residents who helped poachers fleeing from the spot.

‘‘On the directions of a former DGP, some suspects were brought to Raipur Rani police station for identification by the Deputy Superintendent of Police. No inquiries were done due to the intervention of Mr Om Prakash’’, alleged the women.

Family members of the victims said security personnel of the Chief Minister of Haryana, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, did not allow them to meet the CM, who had come to laid the foundation stone of a primary health centre in Kot Billa village on December 5. The villagers, who were about 50 in number, alleged the security personnel tore the application of grievances which they had decided to submit. 


Mohali municipal limits to be extended
From Our Correspondent

SAS NAGAR, Dec 27 — At the first meeting of the recently elected Municipal Council, members today cleared the proposal for an extension of the municipal limits to include newly developed areas.

The council president, Mr Kulwant Singh, told the meeting that a few factories and residential areas had come up after the extension of the civic body’s jurisdictional limits in 1995. Those living or operating in these new areas were using the town’s infrastructure but not paying octroi. The council was losing revenue on this account and thus it was necessary to extend the limits.

The meeting also cleared the proposal of the Public Health Department (PHD) to sink five tubewells — in Phases I, II, IV, IX and XI — on a priority basis. Mr Amrik Singh Mohali, a councillor, wanted to know why only these residential phases had been selected for the purpose when other areas too were facing a water shortage. The council president said the PHD wanted to sink 10 tubewells in all but had suggested that the aforesaid five should be sunk on priority to tackle the water problem.

During zero hour, Mr N.K. Marwaha, a councillor, said one of the two Executive Officers (EOs) of the civic body was doing almost all work assigned to such officials ‘while the other had very little to do. He proposed that the entire work should be appropriately divided between the two. This was cleared at the meeting. The allocation of work will be done by the council president.

The House also took up the issue of the giving of 1 per cent of the budget income of the council for the construction of the proposed local government bhavan. A letter to this effect had been received from the Director, Local Government. The council was required to deposit Rs 19.10 lakh for the bhavan. The meeting kept the matter pending as members felt that the council office itself was housed in rented accommodation and the civic body should first consider constructing its own building.

The meeting also cleared the directive issued by the Local Government Directorate stating that a junior assistant, Mr Dharam Pal Verma, should be given contract employment from January 1, 2001, to June 30, 2001. This person has already been working on a salary of Rs 3,500 a month. However, Mr Manjit Singh Sethi, a councillor, objected to the grant of the contract job to a retired person and favoured a fresh appointment to the post.

The meeting kept the issue of the blacklisting of a firm, CMS Traffic Systems, pending. Councillors said the relevant legal procedure should be followed before taking such action. The meeting was told that the traffic lights installed by the firm at the Phase III - VII chowk had not been functioning properly.

The other items on the agenda cleared at the meeting included the purchase of chairs for the council meeting hall, medical bills of employees and the grant of Rs 10,000 as loan for the marriage of an employee’s daughter.

Before the agenda items were actually taken up, Mr Sethi raised an objection to the sending of council safai sewaks to work at the homes of various senior officers. The council president, however, said that these employees had been recalled and he had checked the attendance records.

Another councillor, Mr Sukhdev Singh Patwari, said the main bus stand should be in the centre of the town and opposed moves to shift it to another site which was not centrally located. He said a resolution to this effect should be passed by the council.


Year of hits, misses and controversies
By Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 27 — It has been a happening year for city residents. Several beneficial administrative decisions were taken and the city was positioned as a major information technology hub in the north. Important development works were kicked off and long pending issues like allotment of land to cooperative societies and allowing of auction of freehold property were sorted out. Controversies have been around as usual and several tasks remain unfinished.

One of the major achievements of the Chandigarh Administration this year, was the exhaustive list of amendments in the building byelaws. Several need-based amendments were allowed in residences, providing for much-needed relief. However, some homework still needs to be done on commercial buildings, especially on the issue of need-based partitions, by allowing more flexibility.

Nine years after the Administration collected money from cooperative housing societies, 140 acres in Sectors 48,49, 50 and 51 was allotted for construction of multi- storeyed flats. This was done due to the interest taken by the UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd). For the first time, freehold residential property was also put to auction. Actually, throughout the year, the direct intervention of General Jacob on various issues had a positive impact on the working of the Administration.

The city was projected as an IT destination. A detailed IT policy laying down a road map was announced and the Administration signed a Memorandum of Understanding with five IT companies to make Chandigarh the first fully wired city of the country. A full-fledged IT Department was formed and it participated in various IT related activities across the country.

Another change was the allowing of multiplex movie theatres on the lines of Delhi and Mumbai. Also on the entertainment front, two major music stores were opened in the city. The Chandigarh carnival was revived.

The Administration also launched an anti-encroachment drive in small booths of Sectors 22, 19 and 20, among other places. A major failure was the Administration’s inaction in evicting slum-dwellers from Sector 31. Close of 2,500 families were allotted alternative sites but they did not shift out, wasting crores of rupees in an unsuccessful rehabilitation scheme. Another scheme to rehabilitate 16,000 migrants from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar was started, which would cost Rs 200 crore.

The first-ever Zila Parishad was formed and Mr Darshan Singh was elected its chairman. Work on a flyover between Chandigarh and Panchkula was started. Night schools were a hit, with demands pouring in from more areas to start night schools. On the other hand, the contract to dredge the lake had to be cancelled as the Administration did want its partner, the Dredging Corporation of India, to sub-contract the work to someone else. The year started off with the CHB chairperson, Mr Balbir Singh, being shifted, reportedly over a tiff with another official. In April the Vice-Chancellor of Panjab University, Prof M.M. Puri, alleged that the UT Administration was delaying release of funds to PU as the wife of a senior official was refused a job. The Administration rubbished the allegations, saying Professor Puri was indulging in wasteful expenditure. Later a CHB flat in the name of Professor Puri’s wife was cancelled the case is pending appeal.

* Major amendments allowed in building byelaws, relief for residents,
* Land allotted to cooperative societies after nine years ,
* Freehold property put to auction for the first time,
* City positioned as IT destination in the north,
* Controversy between Admn and VC of Panjab University,
* N.K. Jain, former Home Secretary, arrested, released six months later
* Work started on City-Ludhiana rail link,
* Night schools were a big hit.
* First ever Zila Parishad formed,
* PCS and HCS officials shuffled several times,
* New Home Secretary and IG , Adviser on her way out,
* Admn fails to clear Sec 31 shums, launches another scheme to rehabliatate 16,000 encroachers
* Contract to dredge Sukhna Lake cancelled 

Former UT Home Secretary, Mr N.K. Jain, was arrested on charges of corruption, only to be released on bail after about six months. The city also got a new Home Secretary, Mr Raminder Singh Gujral, in September. He was involved in controversy due to his wife. Mr Gujral claimed that his wife had married him despite being married to another man. The new Inspector-General of Police, Mr Bhim Sain Bassi took over from Mr S.K. Singh.

Prof O.N. Nagi of the PGI declined to join as Director-Principal of the GMCH, saying he would join only if he was also given charge of Secretary, Medical Education and Research. Prof S.B.S. Mann, also of the PGI, was then offered the post. He joined laying to rest a controversy which seemed like a divide between technocrats and bureaucrats .

The Adviser, Ms Vineeta Rai, is on her way out. She is likely to be promoted and posted in Delhi. Speculation is rife about the new Adviser. This year, the Administration also took a decision of having two IPS officers as ASPs in the police divisions. Some PCS and HCS officers were perpetually on the move due to frequent transfers.

For the first time since Independence, the city got some kind of investment from the Railways. Work started on the Chandigarh-Ludhiana rail link. A direct train connection between Chandigarh and Mumbai was established.

On the political front an old warhorse of the Congress, Mr B.B. Bahl, once again became the president of the local unit of the Congress after a patch-up between the Pawan Bansal and the Venod Sharma groups. This left out another aspirant, Mr Harmohan Dhawan. 


Hotels, clubs gear up for New Year bash
By Poonam Batth
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 27 — With barely four days to go, hectic preparations are on in city clubs, hotels and restaurants to ring in the new year-2001. Like every year, they are vying with each other in terms of offering the best. Be it Music, food and drinks or ambience. But for the common man, ushering in the New year in style at these places is a taxing proposition, going by the charges being levied.

Starting with Clubs — each outfit is making ample efforts to usher in the New Year, the beginning of the New millennium, special for its members.

The prestigious Golf club, Sector 6 has major plans for the revellers on that night. A special dance floor with a DJ to liven up the night, snacks, drinks, dinner and fireworks are among the highlights.

According to the general manager, Brig AJS Behl, a member couple will be required to pay Rs 500, while a single or dependent couple will pay Rs 300, and for the guests, it’s Rs 1,500 for single and Rs 2,000 for the couple, respectively. A single member can also buy a pass for Rs 100 without dinner. The passes, which are available at the Golf Club reception from Dec 27 onwards will be available at double the amount on December 31.

At the Chandigarh Club, while popular singer Malkit Singh will enthral the audiences from 9 pm onwards, a DJ will play the latest numbers for the youngsters. According to Mr Chaman Lal Sharma, president of the club, the members and their families do not have to pay anything for entry. This year no guests including members from the affiliated clubs from other parts of the country will be allowed on that day. Liquor will be served but on payment basis and even for the wide variety of snacks and food offered by their caterers one will have to pay.

The DSOI will this year have the performance by famous Bhartiya Kala Kunj troupe from Rajasthan for their members, besides bumper tambola. The executive secretary, Col Harinder Singh, said that the army men can walk in with their dancing shoes to shake their leg to the accompaniment of live orchestra and a DJ, while few others can enjoy the ball-room dance.

There will be lot of prizes for the best dancing and best dressed couples among the old, middle aged and the younger lot, besides few attractive prizes sponsored by various groups for the tambola.While a few brands of liquor will be available at reduced rates, variety of “eats” will be available at reasonable rates in the10 odd stalls put up by, both the civilians and members. While the members and their families can enter free by showing their membership cards, the guests can walk in by paying Rs 300. However, there will be no sale of tickets on December 31.

The Sector 27 Chandigarh Press club also has a lot to lure its members, as part of the bonanza. The President of the club, Mr Jagtar Singh Sidhu said that the three houses of bumper tambola will have sponsored prizes of more than Rs 1 lakh including free air ticket from Chandigarh to Goa for a couple and other utility electronic gadgets and household items. A cultural programme will further add to fun n frolic with the performances by Amar Virdi, Gurkirat pal Sonapuri, Karan Jasbir and local musical troupe of Naresh Jacob. Prizes will also be given for dancing couple and other best dancers in various categories. Liquor and snacks will, however be available at normal rates. For children, the club plans to give some gifts and cold drink at concessional rates, he added. The guest passes are limited and will be given on first serve first basis for Rs 100 per head. The passes will be issued from the club — 12 noon on December 29 to 4 pm on Dec 31.

The Central Club in Sector 9 will also be organising a musical nite that evening, where a local musical troupe will be performing to the delight of the members. The members and their families will not have to pay anything but the guests will be paying the charges. Liquor and food will be served on order by payment.

All units of leading hotels and restaurants are not far behind in the preparations for the gala evening. The residents of the city have already started checking them out to make a final choice, which will offer them quality entertainment with adequate value of money.

At Hotel Aroma, the oldest hotel in the city, all the restaurants ( The Eating House, Grape Wine and Silver Oaks) will be open to everyone without any extra charges. ` We firmly believe that those who patronise us year long should not be charged anything extra on the New Year eve,’’ says its chief executive, Mr Manmohan Kohli. Food and Liquor will be served at nor mal rates.

Top CITCO hotels, Mountview in Sector 10, and Shivalikview in Sector 17, will have DJ’s with their dance troupes and orchestra for the D-day. According to Mr Bhandari, GM ( Hotel Mountview), Big Bang will be the DJ of the evening, who will play a blend of popular English, Punjabi and Hindi numbers till midnight. Best dancing couple, best dressed couple and Made for Each other prizes will be given by the sponsors.

Multi-cuisine food will be arranged for the evening. However, those interested to shake a leg here will have to pay Rs 2,200 per couple and Rs 1,700 for a single member, who has to be accompanied with a couple. But this includes entertainment and dinner. The Chinese restaurant, Magic Wok, will also be open, where couples will pay Rs 900 for a buffet meal, while the singles will have to dish out Rs 500. While they can order also, but the buffet will offer them variety of soup, starters and salads, besides the main course. Jacob’s troupe will perform at both these places.

Hotel Shivalikview has this year arranged a DJ from Delhi this year. Those going here, can look forward to attractive prizes for being the best dressed and best dancing couple, besides lucky dips. They may be able to win a free stay of two nights and three days at Hotel Ashok, Bangalore or Sterling resorts in Darjeeling. The couples will have to pay Rs 1700 while the singles accompanied by the couple will pay Rs 1300 for entertainment and dinner. However, they will have to pay separately for the liquor. Buffet will also be available at their Chinese restaurant, Yangtse, for Rs 650 per couple and Rs 300 for a single, besides the normal order. Music makers, a local group will play here.

At Chopsticks -II, Rodrigues will be performing after a long absence. Mr Sarv Mittar says that couples can walk in without any charges and enjoy candle light dinner. The lucky ones can walk away with the best dressed and best dancing couple prizes, besides surpirse gifts. The menu though special will be fixed.

According to managing partner of Hotel Khyber, Mr Gurvinder Juneja, a special dance party, special menu in the restaurant and a magician in attendance will be the highlights of the evening. Besides prizes for best dressed and best dancing couple, children will also be given little gifts. The charges for couples are Rs 1200, while for singles it is Rs 600, which includes good quality liquor and meals. The general public are free to cool their heels in the pub, Wild west.

Hotel Piccadily, Sector 22, has on the cards a candlelight dinner and good music. While the couple entry here is for Rs 700, it is Rs 400 for the singles. Banquet manager, Tushar said that though food will be part of this along with a welcome drink but all other liquor will be paid for.

Hotel Sunbeam in Sector 22 will be having special lighting arrangement at their roof top restaurant with some light music for their guests. A popular DJ will also be there. The couple charges are Rs 950. Hotel Mehfil also plans a dance party, besides of course booze and food. It will be a couple party and the entry will be Rs 1200. Ghazal in Sector 17 will have special rates on that day.

Hotel Regency, Sector 35 plans to convert its banquet hall into a dance floor, where the visitors will get an opportunity to dance with some known models and a known DJ mixing the music. The charges will be Rs 1,000 per couple. Metro-35 will have a live band, but no extra charges.

At Down Under of Hot Millions, a groups of friends will usher in the new year dancing away to great mix of music,

besides enjoying sumptuous food and good ambience. The lucky couples have lots in store — a ticket to London as the first prize and a ticket to Dubai as the second prize. A similar party is also being organised at Hotel Maya Palace, Sector 35. A sea-food, offering variety of sea cuisine is on till December 31.


Police tells club, hotel owners to remain alert
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 27 — The Chandigarh police has asked hoteliers and club owners to look out for suspicious objects during New Year celebrations.

The police has also requested them to keep their eyes open for militants-in-disguise in the city.

The appeal come in the wake of the Red Fort incident. Admitting the possibility of a similar attack by militants in the city, senior police officers say, “Chandigarh is an ideal target due to the presence of defence installations, besides its proximity to the border. It is easy for the militants to attack and escape”.

Intelligence reports regarding the likelihood of such attacks in the city have also been received by the police. Though police officers are tight-lipped about it, they accept being in regular touch with the intelligence agencies.

The police is keeping a close tab on the activities of certain fresh settlers in the city. “The chances of terrorist striking roots in the city by setting up their own business to avoid suspicion can not be ruled out,” says a senior officer. “We are on the look-out for militants storing arms and ammunition in their office godowns”.

Men in plain clothes have been posted at the parking lots to look out for abandoned vehicles, besides carrying out regular checks.

“We are not taking chances,” says Inspector-General of Police, Mr B.S. Bassi. “As planting of explosives on such an occasion cannot be ruled out, we are pressing additional force into service. The staff posted at the headquarters has also been asked to be on its toes”.


Plan to open new reservation centre
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 27 — Railway officials are looking to open a new reservation office either at the second Inter-State Bus Terminus (ISBT) in Sector 43 or at S.A.S. Nagar, the Divisional Railway Users Consultative Committee was informed at a meeting held in Ropar today. The idea is to help residents living live in south Chandigarh and S.A.S. Nagar.

The new Divisional Railway Manager, Mr Deepak Krishan, informed the meeting that the recent accident at Sarai Banjara had not taken place due to a fracture in the tracks. In fact the time to carry out track testing ultra sonic flaw detection (USFD) has been reduced from 9 months to 4 months. One of the members, Mr Sandeep Singh, demanded that separate entry and exit be provided for VIP movement at the Chandigarh railway station.

Whenever there is VIP movement members of the public have to wait and are delayed. Mr Sandeep Singh also demanded more parking space as there was a lot of congestion at the time of departure and arrival of trains.

More city booking offices where private persons will be allowed to sell unreserved railway tickets will come up in important towns of the Ambala division.

On the Chandigarh-Ludhiana rail link, the DRM had explained during the meeting that land from Punjab was still under transfer and till this was done no work could be carried out, sources indicated.


Pinjore zoo to be closed
From Our Correspondent

PINJORE, Dec 27 — The Haryana State Forest Wildlife Department has decided to wind up the 30-year-old mini zoo at Pinjore Gardens in the next couple of months. The zoo inmates will be sent to other zoological parks or released in phases.

At least four other zoos in the state will also meet the same fate, according to sources. A decision in this context was taken after detailed deliberations at two high-level meetings.

Sources added that the meetings called by the Haryana State Wildlife Advisory Board and the special meeting called by Secretary Forest (wild life) were attended by officials of the Forest Department to finalise the action plan. The meeting of the Haryana State Wildlife Advisory Board was chaired by the Chief Minister of Haryana.

Sources informed that it was primarily on the directions of the Central Zoo Authority of India (CZA), which had raised a number of objections pertaining to poor up-keep and management at several zoos in the state. The sources added that the department had been facing difficulty in their proper management due to paucity of funds and expert hands.

The zoos at Bhiwani, Jind, Panipat, and Abu Shahah (Sirsa) would also be closed, as the CZA had found out that the zoos did not have adequate cages, their rooms are not as per sizes and specificatiions and rooms for their treatment, including post-mortem rooms, are also not as per the sizes and specifications. It had also objected to the absence of adequate number of veterinary doctors there.


Major snag hits Mohali phones
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 27 — Communication links to almost the entire neighbouring township of S.A.S. Nagar were cut off from the rest of the world for more than five hours today as the optical fibre cable link between Chandigarh and S.A.S Nagar developed a major snag, sources said.

This resulted in loss of business for STD PCO holders, businessmen and also made a mockery of any sort of information technology related claim of the BSNL for the township. The fault also stopped any kind of communication forcing people to use mobile phones or travel to Chandigarh to make a call.

Officials of the BSNL said it was an equipment failure and the fault was identified and engineers were working to rectify it. Till about 10 p.m the fault had not been corrected. About 26,000 telephones are working in the township and about 20,000 were affected due to the snag.


Seminar on communication
 From Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, Dec 27 — A seminar-cum-workshop on “Communication beyond 2000” under the banner of Nationwide Footprints was organised by the Symbiosis, Institute of Mass Communication, Pune, in the Museum Auditorium, Sector 10, here today.

In his inaugural address, the Associate Editor of The Tribune, Mr K.P. Sinha said,” Journalism was born as a mission. It subsequently became a profession, and now it is, in the world of commercialisation, becoming a source of rampant exhibitionism. It needs to be freed from the shackles of corruption, materialism and unethical practices.”

More than 200 people, including students, senior citizens, media professionals from different institutions, undergraduate students of Panjab University, Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan, College of Arts, DAV, GCG and various colleges attended the workshop.

Addressing the seminar, Jaspal Bhatti shared his experience with budding journalists. He remembered the days when he started his career as a cartoonist with The Tribune.

Col D.S. Cheema, Principal of Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan, said,’’ Media has exposed certain scandals and benefited the society. However, the tendency to thrive on sensational and juicy stories persists.

Star News reporter Chetan Bhattacharya shared his experiences with media aspirants and gave tips to young journalists.

Dr Sanjay Tyagi, Additionnal Director, and center head, Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) while talking about the latest in IT announced that Chandigarh is going to be the Silicon Valley of North in the coming years.

The city coordinator, Ms Neeti Arora, said the motive behind “Communication beyond 2000” was to collect media professionals and aspirants to have face-to-face interaction so that queries about the latest in IT and media communication could be discussed.


Gallantry awards given
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Dec 27 — At a grand investiture ceremony, 89 awards for gallantry and distinguished services were presented to soldiers of the Indian Army at the ceremony held at Kangra auditorium, Ambala cantt, on December 23.

At the ceremony, six Yudh Seva medals, 78 Sena medals and five Vishishth Seva medals were awarded, while 10 Seva medals were a warded posthumously. These medals were presented by General Officer Commanding-in-chief, Western Command, Lt Gen Surjit Singh, PVSM, VSM, at the ceremony attended by a galaxy of senior civil and Army officials.

Those awarded posthumously include: Ms Trishma Devi, mother of paratorooper Gopal Singh (Para regiment); Ms Poonam Devi, Wife of Naik Ashwinin Kumar (Para regiment); Ms Payar Kaur, mother of gunner Dilbagh Singh (34 RR); Mr Jagir Singh, father of Lance Naik Sathwinder Singh (20 Punjab); Ms Baljit Kaur, wife of Havaldar Gurmeet Singh (20 Punjab); Ms Kuldeep Kaur, wife of havaldar Tarsem Singh (20 Punjab); Ms Adarsha Pal Kaur, wife of Subedar Naunihal Singh (20 Punjab).

The Army personnel belonging to 20 Punjab lost their lives in the operation at PAIO forest near Rajauri fighting terrorists on March 1, 1999.

The Governor, Punjab, Lt-Gen JFR Jacob (retd), was the chief guest at the function.


‘Seat belts a must in school buses’
By Monica Sharma

CHANDIGARH, Dec 27 — Two months ago, a student, who had dosed off, suffered a head injury after falling off from the bus seat. He was taken to a city hospital and was given first aid.

Wary of such incidents, a city school got seat belts installed in its buses. Students of other schools still face the danger of sustaining injuries after falling asleep.

The absence of seat belts is in the violation of the Punjab and Haryana High Court direction making seat belts compulsory for all four-wheelers. According to the direction, it is mandatory for all four-wheelers to have seat belts. Seat belts are compulsory for the driver as well as for the occupant. The vehicle, according to the direction, should also have seat belts for all the passengers in the vehicle. These four wheelers include car, bus, vans, truck and jeep.

Parents feel that seat belts should be made compulsory in school buses and vans. Ms Monika Rana, a teacher in a playway school, says children get up early in the morning and by the time they reach home, they feel sleepy and tend to fall off from the seat.

Teachers of some schools, say the safety of the wards coming to the schools is their foremost duty and seat belts are a must in schools buses and vans. In case of an accident, the seat belt will save the child from the jerk or getting hit with a push, they say.

Arun Shouri, father of a five-year-old son says, when he sends his child to school in the van, most of the time a fear arises about the safety of the child. Seat belts in school buses and vans will ensure the safety of the child to some extent, he adds.

Ms Daisy, believes that seat belts should be made compulsory for all school vans and buses. Little children when sleepy, cannot balance themselves and seat belts will help them travel smoothly. she contends.


Grasim Mr India contest
From Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, Dec 27 — Among 49 young men who contested for the Chandigarh phase of the northern regional round of the 7th Grasim Mr India contest held in Hotel Mountview here today, seven boys were shortlisted for the final contest.

Refusing to disclose the names of the winners, the media coordinator of the event, Mr Anil Malhotra, said the selected contestants would further undergo a test for the final shortlisting. The contestants would be informed by the core group through a letter soon, he added.

Besides the main title Grasim Mr India 2001, which is going to be held in Calcutta on February 24, the participants will also be contesting for five sub-contests like Grasim Mr Physique, Grasim Best Dressed Male, Grasim Mr Photogenic, Grasim Best Smile and Grasim Mr Popular.

Besides providing the winner with an opportunity to compete globally at various international pageants, including Grasim Mr International, Best Male Model of the World and Mr International, the winner also gets a cash prize worth Rs 3 lakh. 


Mixed response to ushering in new millennium
By Ruchika Mohindra Khanna
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 27 — With the new millennium just round the corner, residents of City Beautiful have surprisingly failed to match up to the hype and festivity that was witnessed here last year.

Though the city’s elite and outgoing class has found many innovative idea to usher in the new millennium, the majority of the people here seemingly prefer to treat the change in the wheels of time as just another new year and have not made any great plans to usher it in.

Interestingly, barring the uppermost echelons of society who think of it as a perfect opportunity to dole out a few lakhs and get into the festive mood by taking cruises to far-away lands or going on a long vacation abroad, a majority of the city residents plan to have a quite New Year, but one which holds a lot of promise for the future.

A cross section of city residents who were contacted by The Tribune team here today said they looked forward to the new millennium with hope that all vices of ahankaar, kama, krodh, lobha and moha were left behind in this millennium and the wheels of time that were now ready to turn around brought forth peace, prosperity and happiness all round.

A veteran journalist, Dhani Ram Chaudhary, said, “From being a civilisation that had piety, sacrifice, respect for elders and service towards the less fortunate as its four pillars, there has been a rapid deterioration in our consciousness. I hope that when we enter the new millennium, the imbibing of these values should be considered.

Mrs Vidyawanti, another senior city resident, too, emphasised on retaining the virtues and doing away with the vices. She said, “During my youth, women were treated as third rate citizens and were denied even the basic rights. With things changing in the 60s and early 70s, women finally got their due. One cannot go on harping on the ‘lost world’, but has to count the blessings that the past gave us and then move towards the future”.

Mr B.S. Thind, a lawyer practicing in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, said, “I have no regrets about the era gone by. I just hope that the new millennium brings further prosperity and progress for the human race.”

Simrandeep, a college student, said her biggest desire was that the country was able to solve the problem of Kashmir and wished that the new era brought more opportunity for progress by providing better opportunities for employment, new technology for further development and happiness. Her views were supported by another student, Sunita Saini, who wished that the new millennium saw the country become a world power.

Nirbhay Singh, a rickshaw-puller originally hailing from Baga Purana village in Faridkot district said, “Mazdoor ke liye kya farak hai. Woh to abhi bhi apni daal roti ke chakkar mein hai aur agli sadi mein bhi yehi hoga.”


Harcharan, Bhatti kept out of WPF
By A.S.Prashar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, Dec 27— Dr Harcharan Singh, chairman, and Mr H.S. Bhatti, general secretary respectively of the Punjab Arts Council, have been left out of the World Punjabiat Foundation, set up at the four-day World Punjabi Conference which concluded here on Monday.

The foundation was the brainchild of Dr Harcharan Singh and Mr Bhatti but it kicked off such a storm of protest from its constituent bodies namely Lalit Kala Akademi, Sahitya Akademi, and Sangeet Natak Akademi, that at one time, it seemed that the proposal might have to be dropped altogether. However, it was with some deft handling on the part of Dr Deepak Manmohan Singh, a Panjab University don who conducted the stage on the concluding day of the conference, that the proposal was through.

Both Dr Harcharan Singh and Mr Bhatti are understandbly hurt by their exclusion from the foundation. But at the same time, they feel that it is perhaps in the larger interest of the body and the Punjabi community worldwide.

The composition of the foundation, which was announced here last night, saw the exclusion of both from the body. Instead, the charge was handed over to Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Union Minister for Fertilisers and Chemicals and his brother-in-law, Mr Kanwarjit Singh Sandhu, a Mumbai-based builder. While Mr Dhindsa has been appointed chairman, Mr Sandhu has been named president of the foundation. Mr Santokh Singh Mander, who hails from Vancouver, is secretary-general.

The foundation is being projected as a representative body of the Punjabis all over the world. The foundation will have its headquarters in Punjab, most probably at SAS Nagar while the camp office has been set up in Chandigarh.

The foundation will have a corpus fund of Rs 1 crore in the beginning, which will gradually be increased to Rs 5 crore, according to Mr Mander. The donations and contributions to this corpus fund will come largely from non-resident Indians, but contributions from Indian donors will also be accepted.

The foundation plans to later set up the central headquarters in a multi-storeyed building having all modern facilities like computerised offices, business meeting halls, auditorium, library and guest rooms to provide the latest facilities in the foundation’s complex.

The main objectives of the World Punjabiat Foundation shall be to bring together Punjab is in all parts of the world, including Pakistan, on a single platform to solve the problems on a global basis and in individual countries. The subjects to be covered are literature, arts, language, professions including science, information technology, agriculture, industry and investment. Particular attention will be paid to the development of sports on the global arena to help Punjabis achieve supremacy in every field. Exchange of cultural delegations and performs will be a major function. Provision of technology to Punjab and India by mobilising support from NRIs for setting up of industries, educational centres and uplift of education in rural areas will be a guiding principle.

The promoters of the World Punjabiat Foundation comprise eminent NRIs from various countries of the world. They are Mr Santokh Singh Mander (Vancouver), Mr Charanjit Singh Batth (California), Prof (Ms) Afzal Toseef (Lahore), Mr Zoravar Singh (London), Mr Jasbir Singh Sandhu (The Netherland), Mr Surinder Singh Manchanda (Bangkok), Dr Amarjit Singh Marwah (California), Yogi Harbhajan Singh Khalsa (New Mexico), Mr Amarjeet Singh (Melbourne), Mr Tarlochan Singh (New Delhi) and Mr H.S. Mattewal (Chandigarh).

Mr Mander said the foundation was being exclusively promoted by NRIs but apart from its global activities, it would also help writers, cultural, sports and information technology organisations in Punjab with latest technology and much-needed financial support. 


Decision on property welcomed
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 27 — A decision of the Chandigarh Administration to allow persons who own freehold property in the city to mortgage it without the mandatory ‘‘ permission to mortgage ’’ from the Estate Office has been welcomed by several city residents.

Welcoming the step, Mr Chaman Lal Sharma and Mr Amarjit Singh Sethi, president and general secretary, respectively, of the Chandigarh Nagrik Sabha, said the step would go long way in promoting residential and freehold commercial property activity in Chandigarh. A landlord in Sector 15 said he was relieved as this would save time and energy.

Earlier getting the permission used to take months and even a couple of years. A few months ago, a computerisation effort reduced the time-frame to procure the permission. But still it was considered unnecesary that the owner should take permission to mortgage after spending lakhs to buy freehold property in Chandigarh.

The finance companies in the public or private sector which provide for housing loans also wanted the property mortgaged in their own names and it was redundant for the owner to seek permission. The delay held up any immediate needs of the business community to raise loans by mortgaging property. 


Female foetus found
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Dec 27 — A female foetus was found abandoned near the water tank at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research here today.

A case under Section 318 of the Indian Penal Code was registered.

Earlier during the day, acting on an information given by PGI employee Paramjit Singh, the police party reached the spot and took the foetus for post-mortem. A senior police officer said the post-mortem report would reveal whether it was a case of premature delivery or a case of abortion.

Another senior police officer added that they were looking into the matter. He added that the people residing in the vicinity were being asked regarding the presence of suspicious persons. He further added that the police was proceeding on the basis of “vital evidence” gathered from the spot. 


Shop, PCO burgled
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Dec 27—Over Rs 26,000 and items worth Rs 2500 were reportedly stolen from a PCO in Sector 7 and a department store in Sector 18, here today, with intruders adopting a similar modus operandi of breaking open the locks.

The owner of the PCO, Mr ML Sharma, said he left the place last night around 10.50 pm and came in the morning at 7.30 am. Though the lock on the back door was intact, the door of the PCO was ajar.

The cupboard lock had been broken and the cash was missing. Nothing else had been touched.”It was as if somebody knew that cash was lying in that cupboard. I left behind the whole amount of the bill since I could not pay it yesterday,’’ he said.

He added that many people used to walk into his PCO and ask for change.”I would invariably go up to the cupboard and come back with the money. Most probably, it was one of them,’’ he informed. In the backyard and the front garden, two dhobis were asleep. They admitted they heard nothing during the night.

In a department store across the road in Sector 18, a theft of a similar kind was reported. The intruders broke open the locks holding the shutters at around 5.30 am. This raised the suspicion of an old woman staying on the floor above the shop. She stepped out and called out. A man answered and said they were from the family and had come to pick up something.

“One man kept strolling outside, keeping watch, while the other gathered cash to the tune of Rs 4000 and items like tea packets and shampoos worth Rs 2500 from the shop. In 15 minutes, the woman heard the shutter coming down. It was only when I came to open the shop, I realised a theft had taken place,’’ said the owner of the shop, Mr Mukesh Goyal.

Preliminary investigations have been carried out by police personnel who visited the two places. A case is yet to be registered.


2 head constables suspended
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 27 — Acting on the complaint of a city resident alleging harassment and misbehavior, the Chandigarh Police today placed two head constables under suspension.

In her complaint before the Inspector-General of Chandigarh Police, Mr B.S. Bassi, Ms Neelam of Sector 28 had earlier alleged that the two — Bhup Singh and Balbir Singh — demanded Rs 4,000 after detaining them in their house for over three hours. The two, she added, were drunk.

Giving details, she added that the two, in jackets covering their uniforms, forcibly entered their house following a minor accident of her brother with their official Gypsy. One of the officials even tried to “lure her” while she was trying to jot down the number of the Gypsy.

Going into the background, she stated that her brother, Surinder Singh, was thrashed by the cops after the scooter he was riding accidentally banged into the Gypsy parked near the Sector 28 ITI Complex on November 28. She added that her brother was returning home from a marriage party.

The complainant added that the cops were initially asking for Rs 4,000 but settled down for Rs 500. She added that the money was returned when the two came to know that the police authorities had been contacted. 


Three thefts reported
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Dec 27 — During the plast 24 hours, three case of theft, including one snatching incident by stopping a Maruti van, has been reported form different parts of the city. The police has arrested the accused in the snatching case.

A resident of Ram Darbar was going in his Maruti van last night when he was stopped and looted by another Ram Darbar resident. In his complaint, Mr Manjit Singh said Arjun stopped his vehicle near a gas agency in Industrial Area, Phase II, at about 9.30 p.m. and took away his purse, which had Rs 200 and a driving licence.

Acting on the complaint, the police arrested the accused under the Section 382 of the Indian Penal Code. Police sources said they were in process of interrogating the accused.

In another case of theft, Rs 18,000 was stolen from a jacket pocket from near the office of the District Commissioner, Sector 17, here yesterday. Mr Gurdas Ram, a resident of Sector 20, reported that his money was stolen at about 12 noon. The police has registered a case under the Section 379 of the Indian Penal Code. No arrest has been made and the police in investigating.

In the third theft case, Mr N K Goel, a Sector 22 resident, complained that a theft took place in his house while he was out of station. The thieves reportedly decamped with Rs 4,000, a colour television, a camera and two wrist watches.

A case under Sections 457 and 380 of the IPC has been registered. Sources in the police department said they were investigating the matter.

Cop injured
A Punjab police Assistant Sub- Inspector was hit by a car near the Sectors 18 and 19 light point here yesterday. Mr Phura Ram posted at SAS Nagar, reportedly suffered fracture in his both legs and was admitted to the PGI. His condition is reportedly stable.

Meanwhile, Karambir Singh, the driver of the car was arrested. A case under Sections 279 and 338 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered.

Liquor seized
A resident of Dadu Majra, Sandeep Kumar, was arrested by the police for carrying 91 pouches of whisky. A case under the Excise Act has been registered.

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