Sunday, December 31, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Wine shop murder case: police claims sound hollow
By Kiran Deep

CHANDIGARH, Dec 30 — The largest dacoity ever reported in the city, involving an amount of Rs 64 lakh and murder of two salesmen working in wine shop was mentioned in the noteworthy achievements list the annual review released by the police department, despite the fact that the three accused, including the main accused had not been arrested yet. The case that had sent shock waves in the city and kept the police on tenderhooks as to how the incident could have happened in one of the most well-protected and peaceful sectors of the city. Questions were also being raised as to how such a gruesome tragedy could take place which is just 150 m from the Sector 24 police post. The area is also home to senior officers of the local administration, Punjab and Haryana, besides High Court judges.

The annual review report was released by the Chandigarh police department on December 29, in a press conference organised at the Police Lines here. There is a need to modify the review as the achievement mentioned, lacks some facts, particularly the claim of the Chandigarh Police about the case mentioned in the 5th place in the list of some noteworthy achievements of Chandigarh police on page number 14. The police Department had claimed that nine cases of robbery were reported, out of which six cases had been worked out,which amount to 75 per cent. The most important case under this head was the wine shop’s double murder case, successful arrest of the accused, and recovery of the 54 lakh rupees.

When the Tribune contacted the IGP Chandigarh police, Mr Bheem Sain Bassi,he replied, “A special team of crime branch is working on this case and DSP Crimes taking care of the case and soon we will arrest the suspected accused. Mr Bassi, said that this case was mentioned in the cases of robbery, because the Chandigarh Police Crime Branch had worked out the case in record time and had arrested two accused and recovered money.

But there are many things,which needed to be recalled in the case. It may recalled that on August 17, five persons struck at a liquor vend in Sector 24, and had allegedly hacked to death two employees sleeping inside the shop. The two suspected co-accused, Jhia Lal and Sobh Nath were arrested by the Special Crime staff of the local police on August 22, in a case of theft and criminal conspiracy under Section 420,120b of the Indian Penal Code and recovered Rs 54 lakh. Now the case was pending in the district courts, the challan against Jhia Lal and Sobh Nath were produced. The bail application moved by one of the accused had also been rejected by the court. Although the city police had conducted a series of raids and special teams had been sent to different states to arrest the rest of the accused, but the police had failed to arrest the rest of the three accused, including the main accused. Some contradiction had also arisen, when the Amethi police had denied the claim made by the city police that they had recovered Rs 54 lakh from somewhere in Chandigarh. The Amethi police had refuted the claim of the city police and had said that it was the Amethi police which had recovered money from Amethi. Later the dispute was surprisingly solved.

The deceased have been identified as 34-year-old Roop Lal and 28-year-old Nand Kishore, who were working as salesmen at the liquor shop owned by Lada Liquors, a prominent group, of the city. The body of one of the deceased was taken out from the toilet in the rear of the shop while that of the other was lying in a pool of blood on a bed adjacent to the counter in the front. The duo had been reportedly hacked with a sharp-edged weapon.


Cops in mufti to check hooliganism
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 30 — All you hunks in leather jackets, do not put your arms around the reed-thin strangers in micro-minis twirling around the polished dance floors in the discotheques on the New Year’s Eve. If you pick up a fight by acting fresh, the Chandigarh Police will take no time to round you up.

For combating hooliganism inside and outside the discotheques, the police here is posting men-in-plain-clothes. Sources in the Police Department disclose that the cops will mingle incognito with the partying crowd, gather information, and even issue stranger roll before the ruffians indulge in “mischief”.

Confirming the presence of cops in plain clothes outside the discotheques, Superintendent of Chandigarh Police, Mr Baldev Singh says, “Officers from the Intelligence Wing of the police, besides CID officials, will keep a regular vigil. They will be assisted by the regular police force”.

Another senior police officer adds that the cops will rush to the aid of the security guards in case of an argument. They will even help the guards in frisking the visitors, besides looking for unclaimed vehicles in the parking lots.

The decision to post the cops around the discotheques is significant as, according to sources, incidents of violence have been reported to the police in the recent past.

A senior police officer reveals that a few years ago, a youngster had even pulled out a pistol after seeing the “girl of his desire” cutting foot loose with another guy.

Claiming arguments with the baton-yielding security gaurds to be “common”, the officer says several cases of drunken brawls in the parking lots in front of the discotheques have also “come to their notice”. Muscle men deployed by the owners are “sometimes not enough”, he adds.

Recently, two groups had also clashed in a market place. Cops had confirmed that the fight was an aftermath of an argument between the two gangs in a discotheque over a girl.

“Our aim is not to spoil the mood but to ensure against harassment,” says the Inspector General of Chandigarh Police, Mr Bhim Sain Bassi. “We will allow the revellers to raise their hands only till they don’t reach the nose of others”.


Chemists beware, men in khaki are watching you
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 30 — For checking over-the-counter sale of drugs to be supplied strictly on prescription, the Chandigarh police will start sending decoy customers to chemists.

The decision to carry out the checks was conveyed to over 100-odd chemists during a meeting convened by Assistant Superintendent of Police, Dr Sagar Preet Hooda, at his Sector 26 office.

The move assumes significance as, according to sources in the police department, the menace of consuming such drugs is on the rise. Sources add that drug addicts are continuously harassing the chemists to provide them with these medicines. Some chemists, they add, are more than willing to supply the drugs for profit motive.

Confirming the decision, Dr Hooda, when contacted, said, “Prevention is better than cure — with this maxim in mind, the meeting was held with the chemists. They were informed about the implications of selling the stuff and requested against supplying these in future”.

The chemists, he added, were also told that the consumption of such cough syrups and other medicines was leading to an increase in crime and preventing it was their social responsibility. “They were also asked to inform us about the presence of addicts who were harassing them,” Dr Hooda said.

The meeting, Dr Hooda revealed, “Was a part of Samvad — a programme where public related problems were discussed with an aim to solve the problems by educating the masses”.

Dr Hooda added that a meeting with over 100 dhaba owners was also held. They were asked not to serve alcohol illegally. “We have also requested them to inform us about any cop trying to harass them”. 


North to ‘import’ 450 MW of power
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 30 — To meet the power shortage in the coming summer season, the Northern Region Electricity Board will bring 450 MW from the Eastern region to the northern region. At present only 60 MW of electricity is being brought to the northern states from the surplus eastern states due to technical constraints.

This decision was taken at a meeting of the Northern Region Electricity Board held here today under the chairmanship of Mr Ajit Kumar, Principal Secretary in the Power Department of Jammu and Kashmir. At the meeting the states of Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana were represented by senior officers of their power boards and departments.

The Haryana team was led by Mrs Meenakshi Anand Chaudhary, Secretary, Power Chairperson of the Haryana power utilities. Its other members were Mr Sameer Mathur, Managing Director of the Haryana Vudyut Prasaran Nigam, and Mr N.K. Gupta, a Director of the nigam.

The board is hopeful that by the first quarter of the next financial year, all technical snags will be removed to enable the region to “import” 450 MW of electricity from the eastern sector.

Mr Ajit Kumar informed the meeting that the Central Government had prepared an accelerated power generation project under which it had earmarked Rs 1000 crore to give to the States opting for the project. While 25 per cent of the amount would be given as grant, 25 per cent would be in the form of loan. The remaining 50 per cent of the project cost would have to be raised by the States.

The meeting also decided that the work to install capacitors should be expedited because the capacitors not only stabilised the voltage but they also saved the power.Back


Agitated shopkeepers block traffic
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Dec 30—Agitated shopkeepers and mechanics of the Old Panchkula Motor Market Association blocked traffic on the Shimla-Kalka road for over an hour in protest against police laxity in dealing with thefts reported in the previous month.

The immediate provocation of the agitation was the misbehaviour by a police personnel attending the phone in the Sector 6 police post. The president of the motor market, Mr O.P. Katyal, said that reporting the theft of tyres elicited rude behaviour. “He categorically told us that he would send somebody when there was time. Thefts have been taking place regularly and the police has been taking it all very lightly,” he added.

In the last month, three thefts of tyres and attempted stealing of a truck took place. In one such case, the thieves drugged the driver sleeping in his truck, took him in their truck and left him at the transport crossing in Sector 26, Chandigarh, after beating him up.

On receiving information of a blockade by the shopkeepers, the police immediately reached on the spot. In an effort to placate the agitating shopkeepers, they said that action would be taken against the police personnel in question and a case would be registered. Subsequently, the police registered a case under Section 379, IPC.


Servant decamps with valuables
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 30 — Ms Jaspreet Kaur was surprised when she entered her house in Sector 37 after being out for a week. The scooter was missing. She soon realised that her colour television set and a music system, besides other valuables, had also been taken away by her servant.

In her complaint before the police, Ms Kaur alleged that her servant Harish, reportedly from Nepal, decamped with the goods while she was out of station for a week from December 21.

Her neighbours, when contacted, said the servant used to ride the scooter often in their absence as he had a duplicate key. They added that nothing was heard as the accused used to play the television set at full volume in the absence of the owners.

Another servant residing in the neighbourhood added that on December 26, the servant was visited by a friend. He added that the lean and lanky accused, who used to sport long hair, had got it chopped just before the incident.

Senior police officials, when contacted, said further investigations into the matter were on and police would proceed against the accused in accordance with the law after recording the statement of the witnesses.


Focus on IT, rise in crime
By Kulwinder Sangha

SAS NAGAR, Dec 30 — The Municipal Council elections, activities in the sphere of information technology, extension plans for the town by PUDA and the gradual rise in the crime graph were among the points of focus during the year that has come to a close.

It took about 10 months for the new civic body to be constituted after the term of the previous elected body expired in January. Elections were held in August after frustrating postponements for one reason or the other. It was a black day at the Municipal Council when there was pandemonium, scuffles and tearing up of ballot papers when the newly elected councillors met for the first time in November to choose the president. Another meeting of the councillors had to be held when Mr Kulwant Singh secured majority support and was declared elected head of the council. He was sworn in on November 27.

During the year the town, as part of the thrust of the Punjab Government to make it a top IT centre of the country, managed to attract prominent companies to set up shop. The Mahendra Knowledge Park, which will benefit IT companies among others, is also in the process of taking shape. The PSEB made efforts to ensure an uninterrupted supply of power so that IT firms did not turn their back on the town, but a great deal yet remains to be done by the board.

The number of cybercafes kept rising over the year and, following intense competition, the surfing charges dropped, much to the delight of residents, particularly the younger lot.

The PUDA authorities remained active, auctioning freehold plots and booth sites and announcing plans for the development of five new sectors (from 76 to 80). The response of residents to the schemes for plots there has been encouraging. PUDA, however, could not dispose of by auction a city plaza site in Phase III B2. Its step in introducing single-window service at its office in Phase I drew appreciation.

The PUDA authorities made little headway in developing Sector 62. It built booths in Phase X for the benefit of riot-hit persons who had set up business by encroaching on land near Gurdwara Amb Sahib in Phase VIII. The process of shifting of these persons to the new site is on.

Even though the police solved several cases of crime, including those relating to illicit drug sale and highway robbery, and effected arrests, the crime graph rose as compared to 1999. There was an increase in the number of cases of murder, rape, fraud and sale of illicit liquor. Among the reasons for this, according to police officials, are the shortage of staff, lack of the required facilities, including adequate number of vehicles, and the increase in the town’s population.

The number of accidents showed a rise with traffic management needing a great deal of more attention. Even though the police has been challaning offenders, speed limits are rarely observed and traffic, even at accident-prone spots, remains chaotic. The traffic police continued to suffer from staff shortage and functioned without the authorities providing it with items like speed check radars and breathalysers.

In the sphere of healthcare, residents looked forward to the early completion of the Fortis Heart Institute, which, according to the management, will have the latest facilities and be the largest in Asia. The Civil Hospital, too, is to be upgraded, though the plan to set up a much-needed blood bank there has still not materialised. However, health facilities which the poor can easily afford were still lacking in the town. Among the better equipped centres for the needy is the one at the gurdwara in Phase 2. Charitable organisations, which carried out various beneficial activities during the year, need to focus more on this aspect.


Year of surprises, controversies
By Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 30 — The surprise defeat of the BJP candidates for the posts of Mayor and Senior Deputy Mayor, massive increase in water tariff, levy of sewerage cess and conflicts and controversies marked the year 2000 for the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh.

The surprise win of the Congress candidates for the top posts of Mayor and Senior Deputy Mayor at the fag end of the year, following reported cross-voting by certain BJP councillors , were the biggest upsets of the year.

It was a dream come true for new Mayor, Mr Raj Kumar Goel, who defeated Ms Ranjana Shahi(BJP), a junior councillor belonging to the Gian Chand Gupta group, who was nominated by the BJP high command for the post of the Mayor. It was the beginning of the end for the BJP, which had 13 of the 29 councillors. A virtually split party goes to the civic body poll later next year.

The five-member Congress never had it so good and ultimately it was the nominated councillors, who tilted the scales in favour of the Congress.

The engineering wing, which remained in the eye of the storm for a considerable time, came unscathed in the end. Nothing came out of alleged tile and sector guide-map scams. The House decided that the tenders for the guide maps would be invited again, meaning that the residents would have to wait for several more months before the illuminated guide-maps were installed.

On the revenue-generating front, it made half-hearted attempts. While it affected a massive hike in the water tariff, ranging from 100 per cent to 600 per cent and also levied sewerage cess, the imposition of the property tax and parking fee continued to skip the agenda of the civic body. This would mean that the resource crunch would continue to dog the civic body as the new Mayor had announced that no new taxes would be imposed. However, the corporation continued to plead with the Chandigarh Administration to transfer more sources of revenue to it.

The record of the civic body in providing civic amenities was slightly better. A large number of roads, including V-6 roads, were recarpeted during the year. The residents did not face any shortage of water during the year. However, there was bad news for the residents for the long term as the Central Government scrapped the revised fourth phase of the Kajauli water supply augmentation scheme.

Parks continued to cry for attention. The anti-encroachment drive continued at regular intervals. It was during the year that illegal phariwalas in Sector 22 were removed.


Reaching out to countrymen
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 30 — For the Western Command, the beginning of the millennium was an year of reaching out to fellow countrymen by way of giving them a glimpse of its ethos as well as lending a helping hand in times of distress.

An impressive Army show, showcasing the might and skills of the Army and an expansive workshop with the industry on the issue of meeting its equipment requirements indigenously, besides unprecedented training exercises, were the highlights of the year.

Starting off with the annual Civil Military Liaison Conference at Headquarters Western Command, Chandimandir, in January, the Army brass interacted with top officials from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Rajasthan and Chandigarh to discuss matters of mutual interest and to sort out any differences.

In April, on the Punjab Government’s request to the then GOC-in-C, Lieut-Gen Vijay Oberoi, Western Command, initiated a project to clear the Harike wetlands of hyacinth, wild growth and silt. Harike, one of the largest wetland systems spread over Amritsar, Ferozepore and Kapurthala districts, was infected with hyacinth growth and silt, thereby degrading it severely and effecting the area’s ecological balance.

Sappers from 7 Division were tasked with clearing the Harike lake of hyacinth and weeds in an area of several hundred square kilometers, a task which required several innovations and modifications to equipment.

As a result of flash floods in Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh, August saw Army units, assisted by the IAF, being deployed in aid to civil authorities in Karcham, Poari and Pooh. Two engineer regiments from the Western Command were deployed at various places along a 300-km stretch on the National Highway 22 which had been badly damaged. Heavy equipment and earth moving plants were airlifted by Mi-26 choppers.

Besides, sappers were also called in to man the water works in Chandigarh when employees went of strike earlier this year.

The Army brought out before the public, its might, skills and ethos, by organising a two-day Army Show in Panchkula during September. Showcasing an impressive array of its weapons and equipment, it won over the public by displaying its skills in horse riding, motorcycling, sky-diving and martial music.

Also during the same month, a two-day workshop on “Army-Industry Partnership — 2000” was organised by the Western Command in collaboration with the Confederation of Indian Industry to explore the possibility of meeting the Army requirements through local sources and at optimum costs.

The seminar highlighted that vehicles spares and overhauling, information technology and communication, and, allied stores and clothing are avenues where the Army can offer business opportunity. The Western Command alone is estimated to provide 40 per cent of the total market which exists in these sectors. This amounts to about Rs 800 crores annually.

An ex-servicemen’s rally was also organised at N-Area, which was attended by a large number of retired soldiers from Chandigarh and neighbouring states.

Despite these commitments, training did not take a back-stage. A largescale exercise Vijay Chakra was organised in February in the deserts of northern western Rajasthan, which tested concepts of joint Army-Air Force operations and quick mechanised strikes.

The sultry month of May saw the Defence Minister, Mr George Fernandes, and the three service chiefs along with their top brass congregating at Chandimandir for Exercise Bramhastra — the first ever exercise of its kind aimed to evolve concepts of joint operations.

The exercise was conducted in the backdrop of both countries achieving nuclear weapons status, a fast changing geo-political situation with growing fundamentalism and terrorism, and the services shedding their traditional approach and laying increasing emphasis on joint operations.

Further, the emerging trend of using information as a tool of waging war, economic strength and industrial capability, demographic trends and international diplomacy are aspects which cannot be ignored by planners.

Air maintenance of Army posts in the northern sector continued to be prime role of the local Air Force station, though with increased commitment following the Kargil conflict, its resources were stretched.

The Western Command also saw a change of guard, when Lieut-Gen Surjit Singh assumed command as GOC-in-C in September and Lieut-Gen H R S Mann took over charge as Chief of Staff in December.

The IAF achieved a major first when it successfully carried out night landings at Thoise, one of the highest airfields in the world. Besides, operational commitments also resulted in the IAF starting regular night sorties to Leh from Chandigarh.

On the other hand, the 3 Base Repair Depot modified Mi-25 attack choppers to carry out night operations, besides undertaking studies to extend the life-span of the ageing Mi-8 transport choppers. The highlight of IAF events here was a spectacular display by the IAF’s aerobatic team, the Surya Kirans in October.

There was also a tragic note to military activities. The city lost two Army officers, Brig B S Shergill and Capt Atul Sharma, both killed in counter insurgency operations in J&K and two young fighter pilots who were killed in aircrashes.


Internet enabled TVs to hit the market soon
By Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 30 — Imagine, while watching a movie on TV Madhuri Dixit appears on the screen wearing an exotic dress or Shah Rukh Khan in a stylish coat. Always wanted to own such clothes? No problem, just ‘tap’ an available system in your television set and seek for the dress. A form will appear on screen depicting every detail and cost of the dress. Feed in your required size to place an order. The delivery boy will be at the door step in two weeks with an identical dress.

Amazing. This is not science fiction but is going to be reality soon. A major Indian television manufacturer has sounded its dealers that new television sets which are Internet enabled will be on the shelves in 15 days from now. Till now the promise of using a TV screen as computer monitor has not been much of success some kind of equipment which needs to be attached with the TV needs to be acquired.

But, warned a dealer, just by buying the TV will not enable the viewer to buy anything he sees on the screen at present. TV channels and movies companies are in the process of tying up with producers of movies and serials to enable such transactions. Facilities like online purchases while watching a movie may fall in place in the coming few months. However, the user will be able to use the TV set as computer immediately. People who need to use the computer sparingly will opt for the latest offering on the fast changing TV market where a new model arrives almost every two months, said a dealer.

Such tie-ups already exist in a limited fashion in the developed world. And transactions will not be limited to clothes but to anything ranging from furniture, kitchen equipment, cars, jewellery, watches to tourist information about exotic locales where a movie or television serial may have been shot. All this will be possible only due to web enabled television sets, said an electronics dealer who has been sounded by the company.

The eye is naturally on the urban market which is already into web purchases. A dealer says people will opt for such purchase is the estimate of the manufacturer.

Actually, the TV set which is proposed to hit the markets within a fortnight will be just a combination of a television set and a computer. To opt for a transaction the movie watcher will need to connect to the web and make a purchase. The set will be accompanied with a remote key board which will enable the use of the web, said sources.

Even while being connected to the net a viewer can surf channels, thus not waiting for pages to download from the net. When the downloading is complete an on-screen signal will tell about it the done. While watching TV even chatting online will be a reality.


Prabhat pheri today
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Dec 30 — The four-day function of the Nagar Kirtan Seva Society of Sector 28 will conclude with a prabhat pheri, in which more than 75 gurdwaras from the city and its periphery are expected to take part, here tomorrow. For the first time, pheris from seven temples will also participate. The pheris will assemble at the society’s headquarters.

A total of 80 units of blood were donated on the third day of the function, today. A play based on the life of Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th Sikh Guru, was also organised in the evening. The play was written by Charan Singh Shindra.

Earlier, on Thursday, seven couples were wedlocked at a simple function organised by the society. The society also provided the couples with household items including LPG connections and crockery. The brides were also given jewellery.

The prabhat pheries will start assembling at the venue by 3 a m. The pheris are expected from Patiala, Zirakpur, SAS Nagar, Panchkula, Dera Bassi, Yamunanagar, Pinjore, Kalka and other places.


Nagar kirtan taken out
From Our Correspondent

SAS NAGAR, Dec 30 — A colourful nagar kirtan procession was organised here today in connection with birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh, which falls on January 2.

Hundreds of people took part in the procession, which was led by Panj Piaras. Starting from Gurdwara Singh Sabha in Phase I, the procession passed through various markets and residential areas as devotees in large numbers lined the roadside along the route. 

Welcome gates had been set up on the way at various points and the Palki carrying Guru Granth Sahib was beautifully decorated. The procession culminated in the evening at Gurdwara Amb Sahib in Phase VIII.Back


Jacob distributes blankets
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Dec 30 — It was a surprise New Year gift for over 600 rofless person. All of them got a blanket, to save themselves from the chilling winter, here tonight. UT Administrator J.F.R. Jacob, after reading reports in newspapers about the death of two rickshaw-pullers due to cold, went on this special drive. He was also accompanied by Mr M. Ramsekhar, Deputy Comissioner, Chandigarh.

The VIP cavalcade first stopped at the Sector 19-C market. For a moment the rickshaw-pullers, sleeping under a bus stop shed, were confused but then they realised that the “peechali saalwale sahib” has come again. Last year also, the Administrator had distributed the blankets at the same place.

Talking to mediapersons, the Administrator stressed upon the need of removing tuberculosis. He said that he would be paying attention for the removal of the disease among the poor.

The Administrator also distributed blankets in Sectors 18, 22, 34 and 35.Back


Complainant retracts statement
From Our Correspondent

SAS NAGAR, Dec 30 — Can a poor man take on the might of the police, even if a member of the force allegedly makes an attempt to molest his wife?

Perhaps, no, if one goes by yesterday’s incident at the Phase VII excise barrier here, when a Punjab police constable allegedly tried to molest a woman who runs a tea-stall in that area. She was also allegedly beaten up by the constable, injuring her. The constable was beaten up by an angry mob.

Strangely enough, the woman who had levelled serious charges against the constable and raised a hue and cry in the presence of a large crowd, today went to the police station and reached a compromise, partly denying what she had said yesterday.

An inquiry has been marked on the directions of the Ropar SSP into the incident. The local SP, Mr Gurmeet Singh Chauhan, said the constable had come on deputation to the Excise Department here from the Patiala police. The probe, he said, would be conducted by the local DSP and the report sent to the Patiala SSP for appropriate departmental action.

One wonders why an inquiry has been ordered when no formal complaint has been made by the alleged victim. In fact, the SP said no case had been registered.

Newspersons made efforts to contact the woman and her husband today, but they were not traceable.


Seminar on January 3
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 30 — On the eve of the 193rd birth anniversary of Louis Braille, the National Handicapped Welfare Council, Haryana, in collaboration with the Lions Club Panchkula will organise a two-day “All India seminar of disabled persons”. The seminar which begins on January 3, will be inaugurated by the Haryana Finance Minister,Mr Sampat Singh. According to the convener of the seminar,Mr Keshav Chander Wadhanwan, Mr Satpal Jain,Mr Harisha Sahni and Mr Ajit Sailiani will address the seminar. As per the secretary general of the council, Mr S.S.Shukla, as many as 200 disabled persons from all over the country are expected to participate in the seminar.


Dhiman is chief of BSP unit
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 30 — Mr M.R. Dhiman was unanimously re-elected as president of the local unit of the Bahujan Samaj Party here on Wednesday. This was announced by Mr Ajit Singh Saini, office secretary of the party, in a press note.


Sector 17 market open today
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 30 — Shops in the main shopping centre in Sector 17 will remain open tomorrow on account of New Year’s Eve , a press note of the Traders Association said today. Meanwhile traders of Sector 17-D have planned major protest by tying black ribbons on pillars outside their shops by wearing black badges in protest against the “inaction” of the Chandigarh Administration. The traders have been demanding changes in building bylaws.


Three held for liquor smuggling
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 30 — Three persons, accused of carrying liquor beyond the sanctioned limit, were arrested by the Chandigarh Police. As many as 82 pouches were reportedly taken in possession after their personal search was conducted.

The three were subsequently booked under Sections 61, 1, 14 of the Excise Act. They have been identified as Ram Darsh of Uttar Pradesh, Joginder and Braham Dev of Sector 31.

Sources added that 52 pouches were seized from Ram Darsh, while 15 each were taken into possession from the other two accused. Further investigations into the matter were on.

Eve-teaser nabbed
A Bapu Dham colony resident was arrested by the Chandigarh Police on the allegations of indulging in eve-teasing. According to sources in the police department, the accused has been arrested under Section 294 of the Indian Penal Code.


Truck thief held
The police has arrested Rajwider Singh on the charges of stealing a truck from Bhadurgarh in Haryana. In a press statement, Mr H.S. Bhullar, DSP, informed that the accused was arrested along with the stolen truck (HR-38A-6693). A case has been registered against him in the Dera Bassi police station.Back


Crimes up in Dera Bassi
By Bipin Bhardwaj

DERA BASSI, Dec 30 — Apart from the increase in the number of fatal accidents on the Chandigarh-Ambala national highway, the crime rate has gone up manifold in this subdivision during the past year.

The number of accidents on the Zirakpur-Ambala stretch of the highway were almost double as compared to the previous year. Four persons of a family, going to Chhat Bir Zoo, were killed in an accident on January 1, when a truck rammed into the car on their Zirakpur-Patiala highway near Nabha Sahib village.

A gang of about a dozen miscreants broke into a house in Anand Vihar colony of Bartana village near Zirakpur and brutally beat up four residents and robbed them on January 3, midnight.

In the month of February, four unidentified men robbed a factory director of Rs 20,000 at gunpoint and took away his Maruti van and mobile phone. The robbers chased him from the State Bank of Patiala, Dera Bassi branch and kidnapped him near Jawaharpur village.

Close on the heals of this incident, a senior Laboratory Assistant in Government Senior Secondary School, Dyalpura near Zirakpur, was shot dead by two unidentified youth after being robbed of Rs 4, 39, 581 in broad day light in the Dera Bassi market.

In two separate bizarre accidents, two persons were charred to death in Zirakpur. In one case a woman was burnt alive when the car in which she was travelling rammed into a stationary truck, while another youth hailing from Delhi was charred to death as his car collided head-on with a Himachal bound private bus on the Zirakpur-Panchkula road.

Six persons were arrested by the Lohgarh police under Sections 3, 4 and 5 of the Child Marriage Restrain Act. The grooms were arrested by the police white they were adjusting their achkans.

Before, this incident four youth, trying to steal exotic birds from the Chhat Bir Zoo were caught red handed by the Dera Bassi police.

The Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat remained in the news throughout the year. The notification of the Punjab Government declaring Zirakpur and other seven villages a Nagar Panchayat was quashed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court. But the residents of the area heaved a sigh of relief after the reformation of the civic body about six months later.

The news of 50 peacocks in human captivity caught the head lines in the majority of news papers

Excavation carried on by the Department of Archaeology, Punjab, in Chhat village about 3 km from Zirakpur was a surprise enriched with old heritage for the residents.

Jubilation gripped the region as a while tiger cub was born in the Chhat Bir Zoo, but jubilation was short lived as it died two weeks later.

Construction of a railway over bridge at Bhankharpur level crossing on the Kalka-Ambala highway brought a ray of hope to restrain them from regular traffic jams of the busy road.

The raging Ghaggar, flowed at a record 2 lakh cusecs and 4 feet above its danger level this year. A record discharge of 2 lakh cusecs broke the previous record of 1.91 lakh cusecs recorded in 1993.

The river left a trail of destruction, damaging crops, washing away the protective spurs near the lion safari at the Chhat Bir Zoo besides endangering the surrounding villages.


31 rounded up in special drive
Tribune News Service 

CHANDIGARH, Dec 30 — In a special three-hour drive against anti-social elements launched by the Chandigarh police in the eastern parts of the city, 31 persons were rounded up. They were later let off after stranger rolls were handed over to them. The drive, which started at 4 a.m., was conducted in Bapu Dham Colony and other neighbouring areas under the supervision of Assistant Superintendent of Police, Dr Sagar Preet Hooda. A total of 13 patrolling parties were deployed. Two special nakas were also set up. The ASP, when contacted, confirmed that the drive had been launched in the east sub-division. He added that a similar drive would again be launched on Saturday night.


Business round-up
Upswing in trade and business
By Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 30 — From banking to telephones to the Internet, the year 2000 witnessed the emergence of new players in the market and increased competition, largely benefiting the consumers. The city was also host to some major trade fairs and national and international business conferences.

In the IT sector, the coming up of more than five Internet service providers (ISPs) was a major event. Stiff competition forced the service providers to drastically cut their Internet rates.

Not only the private companies, but also the Government realised the importance of the Internet and most of the departments put their information on the Net. IT education was a commonly heard expression. A surfeit of IT education centres was witnessed.

In telephoney, the entry of HFCL Infotel, ended the monopoly of BSNL.

Banking services also witnessed major changes. Most of the banks were computerised and offered various services to the customers. Most of the banks started 24-hour ATM facilities, and a number of ATMs were opened at booths aways from the branches of the banks. Some of them launched globally accepted debit cards and the credit card facility was started by several banks.

The year also saw some major national and international conferences in the city. These included conferences by the ILO, the Engineers Association etc.

Agro Tech 2000, one of the biggest fairs, was organised by the CII in which participants came from France, Italy, Spain, the USA, Netherlands and several other countries. Some joint ventures and business agreements were the outcome.

Aggressive advertising and marketing were adopted by big companies with many of them inviting celebrities to lauch their products. Lakme invited model Lisa Ray and Vardhman called TV star Renuka Shahane. Markfed took to retail sale of fruits and vegetables with home delivery facility.

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