Friday, January 26, 2001,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Police raids hostels, guest houses, pubs, hotels;
16 arrested
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 25 — Leaving nothing to chance before the Republic Day celebrations, the Chandigarh police today arrested 16 persons after raiding hostels, guest houses, pubs, eating joints and hotels.

Stranger rolls were also issued to 15 persons during the raid conducted under the supervision of Assistant Superintendent of Chandigarh Police, Dr Sagar Preet Hooda.

In a raid, five students of a local college were also rounded up for reportedly staying in the hostels without permission. The three-hour raid was conducted with the permission of the principal and the warden.

The police also released a pamphlet warning the residents against touching suspicious objects at public places, besides asking them to keep their eyes open for ‘terrorist planning to plant a bomb’. The pamphlet, designed by ASP H.G.S. Dhaliwal and Inspector Jasmohan Singh, will be distributed through newspaper hawkers.

Apprehending the possibility of explosives being planted in the city by terrorist outfits on January 26, the police also intensified anti-sabotage checking with the help of a sniffer dog.

According to sources in the Police Department, the sniffer dog was taken to most of the 29 venues where the flag is going to be unfurled tomorrow. The vigil in the parking lots around the venues and in the shopping complexes was also stepped up to ensure against the abandoning of vehicles with explosives in them.

The three sub divisional police officers were also asked to conduct search operations in the morning and evening. The District Commandant of the Home Guards, besides the Inspectors in charge of the CBO and the CAW cells, along with the CIA staff, were reportedly asked to provide security backup.

Sources added that massive search operation would be launched at 5 a.m. tomorrow in the central, south and east sub divisions. Persons roaming around in suspicious circumstances would be rounded up, they claimed.

The security at the entrances of the different venues was also beefed up, said sources. The guards were asked to carefully scrutinise the passes and to thoroughly frisk the visitors. Instructions against permitting anyone to enter without a pass were also issued to rule out the possibility of strike by suicide bombers.

In view of the recent attack by the militants on the Corps Headquarters at Srinagar, the police also directed the posting of a Gypsy and a motorcycle in front of the entrance to No 3 Base Repair Depot.

Security on the road leading to the airport was also tightened. The vehicles driving down the road towards the airport were reportedly being checked by the police. Besides this, the outer nakas were also activated.

It may be recalled that red alert has already been sounded in the city. It will continue till the Republic Day celebrations end. The police has also asked hospital authorities to remain attentive for meeting any eventuality. The doctors-on-duty at the Sector 26 Police Hospital were also alerted.

A decision to station ambulances at the venues, besides deploying 700 personnel including nine DSPs and 20 Inspectors, at ‘sensitive points’ on January 26 was also taken.

On the basis of information provided to the CIA staff of the Chandigarh police by the Intelligence Bureau, Delhi, a person was reportedly rounded up in the morning today.

Though senior officers in the Police Department were tight-lipped about the rounding-up of the suspect, sources said, he was being questioned to find out ‘if he had connection with any militant outfit’. Till date as many as 550 persons have been rounded up from different parts of the city.



Manmeet Pal to be honoured
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 25 — There is a time to take counsel to your fears; and there is a time to not listen to any ...

Manmeet Pal Singh lives by the latter part of the statement, and that, despite the physical infirmity of deafness which he suffers from. There was a time when apprehensions kept shrouding his artistic career, but thanks to his indomitable spirit, all impediments kept vanishing into nothingness, one after the other. All that remained on the canvas of this artist’s life was happiness and hope.

Today he is a proud man and a blessed artist. Not just that, he is also one among the ten people to be awarded Republic Day honours by the Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob today, and the only one from the field of arts to be awarded so. Chandigarh Tribune shared some moments of ‘silent speech’ with the 24-year-old deaf artist from the city who is all set for his journey to the zenith.

All the conversation with Manmeet happened through writing today. His father Capt K.P.S. Mohli, told about the boy who was born in 1976 at Ludhiana. ‘‘Both our kids cannot hear. There was some medical mishap at the time of their birth. Manmeet was quite artistically inclined right from his childhood. He would play with colours and brushes’’.

The companionship with colours now seems to have become lifelong for Manmeet who already has eight solo painting shows to his credit. Through whatever he wrote for Chandigarh Tribune today, one could judge the levels of his intensity as an artist. The amazing part was that he understood the written word and replied very clearly. ‘‘The credit for this goes to my mother Nirmal Kaur, who especially went to the College of Speech Therapists in Bombay for my and my elder brother’s training.’’

Manmeet's works have been widely appreciated, not for the fact that they come from him, but for the arresting appeal they have. The young boy, who is currently holding the junior fellowship award of the Government of India for his achievements, draws inspiration from nature. Yet another reflection in his works is that of life in the 21st century, as he imagines. The works are mostly oil on canvas, sometimes water colour, pencil and ink drawings.

His works, which can be viewed at his studio in house number 229, NAC, Mani Majra, are mature in form and meaning. He deals extensively with bold themes, and bares the complexities of human relationships with his brush. The first exhibition he held was in 1995 in the Government Museum and Art Gallery. ‘‘It was inaugurated by Brig K.P. Singh Deo, the then Union Minister. He was responsible for getting me the junior fellowship,’’ wrote Manmeet. He has also held shows in All India Fine Arts and Crafts Society, New Delhi, and Gaiety Theatre, Shimla.

Nowadays Manmeet works on his ideas at the Government College of Art, Sector 10, where he has a separate room allotted to him for the purpose. At times, he also teaches students of the college. About how themes and ideas for painting occurred to him, Manmeet mentioned Salvador Dali, the great Argentinian painter, who has inspired his works immensely. ‘‘I saw his works when I was seven years of age. I fell in love with his surrealistic style, and since then I have been trying to imbibe that in my works,’’ he wrote. Surrealism is the concept which arouses his curiosity the most, and he admits that in most works he tries to reflect this concept.

As of now, he is satisfied with life. ‘‘I have many buyers for my works, and many admirers at the same time. That is all I need. I will also keep working for betterment. As is said, an artist’s task is never quite over. It’s all about going on in life,’’ he wrote.

He added that he liked being excited about something or the other all the time. The latest reason of excitement for him is that his case is being considered by the Government of India for senior fellowship in the field of arts. ‘‘That would be a dream come true,’’ wrote the artist.


20 persons to be honoured today
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Jan 25 — The district will honour 20 persons for their outstanding contribution in different fields at the Republic Day function scheduled to be held in Sector 5.

Those to be honoured are Mr Amar Singh of Government High School, Sector 19, Mr Sandeep Dhamija of Noble High School, Pinjore, for winning a gold medal at the science congress in Calcutta, Ms Rita Rani, Ms Leela Kaushal, Ms Savita and Ms Samridhi for educating 12 illiterate women under the adult literacy campaign and Mr Kuldip Singh for starting 160 classes under the programme.

Bronze medalists in badminton at the games organised in Guajrat namely Saurabh Kapoor, Pratik Mittal, Kanupriya Aggarwal and Shruti Mayor will be honoured along with the gold medal winners in the yoga contest held at Tamil Nadu namely Rudra Mukherjee and Sonika Sharma.

Among others on the list are Ankan Gupta of DC Model for winning a trophy at the CBSE badminton contest, Mr Ganesh Dutt, District Information Officer, for his role in computerisation of jamabandi, ASI Krishan Kumar for acting promptly in shifting the injured to the general hospital following an accident, Mr Ashok Goyal, Ms Tara Devi, Ms Shashi Gupta, Mr Anish Arora for their services under the small savings scheme.

An official spokesman of the administration said the Deputy Commissioner, Mr SK Monga, would unfurl the flag and take the salute. School children and a contingent of the Haryana Police will take part in the parade and a cultural programme will be presented. Meanwhile, the SP, Dr CS Rao, said security had been tightened at the two places in Panchkula and Kalka.Back


City resident to get PVSM
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 25 — Air Marshal K.S. Bindra, a city resident will be decorated with the Param Vishisht Seva Medal (PVSM) for rendering distinguished services of the most exceptional order. He is among two other IAF officers from Punjab who will also be decorated with the PVSM on Republic Day.

According to a statement issued here today, the other two officers are Air Vice Marshal S.S. Chauhan and Air Vice Marshal G.K. Kwatra.

Air Marshal Bindra joined the National Defence Academy in January 1959 and actively participated in the 1965 and 1971 Indo-Pak wars. He has served as President of Air Force Selection Board, Director Intelligence at Air Headquarters and Senior Air Staff Officer at the Central Air Command as well as the Training Command. He was decorated with Vayu Sena Medal in 1975 and the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM) in 1997.

A total of 403 personnel of the armed forces are being decorated by the President on the occasion of the Republic Day. They include 25 PVSM, four Kirti Chakra, 38 AVSM, 22 Shaurya Chakra, 7 Yudh Seva Medal, 147 Sena Medal, 3 Bar to Sena Medal, 11 Nao Sena Medal, 1 Bar to Nao Sena Medal, 19 Vayu Sena Medal, 123 VSM and 1 Bar to VSM.


Cultural programmes mark R-Day festivities
From Tribune Reporters

CHANDIGARH, Jan 25 — It was a children's day all the way. As the curtains fell on the Republic Day celebrations by the UT Administration here at Tagore Theatre, faith in freedom of thought and expression was affirmed once again.

The stage was held through and through by the students of various government schools of the city, who were at their charming best to please a host of distinguished guests, including the Adviser to UT Administrator, Ms Neeru Nanda, who looked quite smitten with the young talent.

The cultural programme presented here today had a variety of flavours. So where one set of students presented a dance sequence, another concentrated on patriotic songs. Apart from that, the function had skits and plays by the government school students.

To begin with, the boys danced away to the lyrical tunes of the famous A.R. Rahman number — Maa Tujhe salaam. Dressed in pure white , the performers managed a fairly-good show. The only problem was the lack of coordination between them (there were about 15 dancers).

Following this, was a song presentation by the girls of Government Secondary School, Sector 23, who sung the number titled : Bharat ka nav nirmaan karen." The singers were quite impressive in that they sang in full coordination. Then came garbha performance by girls dressed in red sarees. Their performance was quite appreciated by the audience.

After the garbha, came students of Government School, Sector 23, who, put forth a wonderful show in the form of their qawwali. The lyrics of the qawwali were all dedicated to the most auspicious day in the glorious history of the country. The best part of the qawwali presentation was that in spite of there being about 30 performers, the track of notes was never quite lost.

Then there was a skit titled Badhai presented by about 20 students. The theme of the skit was that the hard-earned freedom and sovereignty should be guarded with care. the emphasis was also, on celebrating the day as joyously as possible. The play had a boy in the role of Deshbandhuji sermonising children on the value of the Republic Day and also explaining to them the difference between the Republic Day and the Independence Day. Rest of the programmes were also well presented and equally well received. There were about 12 performances in all.

Cultural functions marked the Republic Day celebrations in several other schools. Students of Government High School, Mauli Jagran, presented patriotic songs on the occasion. Mr Nirmal Singh, a teacher from the school, addressed the students, while Mr Tarjit Singh, headmaster of the school, distributed prizes.

The tiny tots of Evergreen Academy preparatory school, Sector 34, hoisted the National Flag on their school premises. The kids, dressed as freedom fighters, soldiers and leaders spread the message of peace and prosperity. They also welcomed the Basant by flying tricolour kites.

Manav Mangal High School, Sector 21, also celebrated the day and various competitions were held on the occasion. Students of classes III and IV took part in a fancy dress competition while the students of classes VII and IX participated in monoacting and poetry recitation competitions. In the intra school quiz competition six teams took part. The function concluded with a song by Ms Sarmistha.

Results of various competitions held on the occasion are as follows: Quiz — Ist - Prerna and Mayank (VC), Gaurav and Rohit (VIC), Gulnaz and Bhawna (VIIB) and Chetan and Aseem (IXC); Monoacting — Ist - Rahat Dhir (VIIC), 2nd - Jaspreet Singh (IXC), 3rd - Umesh (VIIA) and Gagan Khana (IXA); Fancy dress — Ist - Arjun Swami (IVB), 2nd - Kriti(IIIC) and Abhinav Bhadra (IVC), 3rd - Sahil Bali (IIIC); Dance — Ist - Megha (VIB), 2nd - Sahil (VIC), 3rd - Khushwinder (VIA) and Mandeep (VIB); Poetry recitation - Ist - Manasvi (VIIA), 2nd - Mandeep Kaur (VIIB) and 3rd - Suneet (IXA).

Meanwhile,the Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan Vidyalaya also celebrated the 51st Republic Day by holding a function on the school premises today.

The function began with the patriotic song sare jahan se achha Hindustan hamara.Later, the Principal of the school, Ms Meenakshi Mohindra, inducted the new school cabinet at a ceremony in which the old cabinet formally handed over the charge to the new team.

The function was attended by Mr Lius Vicente Giay, and his wife, Ms Celia Giay, apart from Mr R.K. Saboo, Chairman of the Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan, Chandigarh Kendra.

junior students performed kathak dance. The Principal of the school also read out the annual report. Mr Saboo unfurled the national flag. Prizes and awards were given away to students who had excelled in various curricular and co-curricular activities. Mrs Giay, addressed the audience and appreciated the cultural heritage of India.Back



Jewellery worth Rs 6 lakh stolen
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 25 — Burglars decamped with jewellery worth Rs 6 lakh and cash after entering a house in Sector 15 late last night. Two cars were also stolen.

Elsewhere in the city, a woman was arrested for allegedly stealing ‘iron material’ while a milk vendor was apprehended for reportedly carrying liquor bottles. Four persons, including a woman, were hospitalised following accidents. A housewife, residing in the police lines, was also admitted to the hospital after she consumed poison at home.

The police also rounded up about 100 youngsters residing in Indira Colony in connection with three cases of burglary at Manav Colony of Saketri village. A joint operation, launched by the Panchkula and the Chandigarh police at 3.30 a.m. continued till 9 a.m. No one was arrested.

In her complaint to the police, Ms Harbax Kaur alleged that cash and jewellery was stolen after burglars ransacked the house. The family was away to their native village in Nabha when the incident took place.

Her niece, Ms Inderjeet Gill, claimed that the burglars scaled the back wall and entered the house after cutting the window pane. The burglary, she added, was discovered by the maid and her husband who were sleeping in the annexe over the garage.

Refusing to rule out the possibility of information regarding their absence being provided by ‘some insider’, she asserted, ‘‘It was too much of a coincidence’’.

Milk vendor Major Singh of Mullanpur was reportedly arrested for allegedly carrying 24 bottles of liquor in the can after selling the milk. He has been booked under the Excise Act.

Gita of Janata Colony was ‘caught red-handed’ while allegedly stealing some iron material. A case of theft has been registered against her on the complaint of Sector 46 resident Sumeet Singh Singla.

In a complaint to the police, Sunil Dutt Rabra of Sector 12, Panchkula, alleged his car, parked in front of a Sector 17 showroom, was stolen. Kamal Dev of Sector 34 alleged that his car was picked up while it was parked outside his residence. The police has registered cases of theft and was investigating.

A case under the NDPS Act was registered with the Industrial Area police station after two bags containing 15 kg of poppy husk were found in a bus coming from Jaipur.

An unidentified person was admitted to the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research. According to sources, the 20-year-old cyclist sustained injuries after being hit by a motorcycle near the Sector 10 patrol pump. The motorcyclist, Harish Bhalla of NAC, Mani Majra, was admitted to the Sector 16 General Hospital.

In another case, 45-year-old scooterist Varinder Kumar was admitted to the PGI after being hit by a Gypsy on the road dividing Sectors 41 and 42. His condition was reported to be stable.

Amandeep Kaur of Phase VII in SAS Nagar was also admitted to the PGI with injuries after the scooter she was riding banged against a rickshaw. Her condition was reported to be stable.

Pushpa, a resident of Police Colony, Sector 26, was admitted to the Sector 16 General Hospital after consuming poison. Associates said the poison had been consumed accidentally.


UT seeks hike in next year’s Budget
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 25 — After generating an additional Rs 24 crore by way of revenue in the present financial year, the Chandigarh Administration has requested the Union Finance Ministry to hike the same amount in the next Budget for better management of the city and its expenses.

A letter in this regard has been written by the UT Administrator, Lieut Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), to the Union Finance Minister, Mr Yashwant Sinha, seeking use of the money for ongoing projects in Chandigarh. General Jacob said the idea behind this was to see that the good work done in the field of collection of revenue gets plouged back for the benefit of the city. The General’s letter comes after the Ministry of Finance did not agree to allow use of additional funds for Chandigarh as all money has to be deposited in the treasury and utilised as per allocation.

Actually the ministry in its budgetary allocation for Chandigarh had approved for a deficit of Rs 38 crore during the year 2000 and 2001. By pulling up the sales tax and excise collection teams and by plugging the evasion in taxes the Chandigarh Administration has been able to net in an additional Rs 24 crore, thus bringing down the deficit from Rs 38 crore to Rs 14 crore.

For the next financial year — 2001-2002 — the Union Finance Ministry has accepted and approved estimates of Rs 534 crore as net Budget. The Administration is seeking Rs 554 crore as several of the long-term projects require constant funding. The deficit target for the next year has been fixed at Rs 10 crore. Till about 3 years ago the revenue collection in Chandigarh used to far exceed the expenses. However, the implementation of the Fifth Pay Commission has increased the load of the government as the wage Bill has almost doubled, says the UT Finance Secretary, Mr Rakesh Singh.

The same has been put forward to the ministry also. The Administration has also said that it carries out the task of housing and distribution of power. Both tasks are carried out by independent boards which have a system of borrowings from banks, The Administration cannot borrow from banks or any other institution.

Besides this the case has been beefed up with the plea that large-scale land acquisition payments have to be made for development of third phase sectors. A detailed note has been made about this informing that this is the last phase of land acquisition in Chandigarh and money was required. Chandigarh’s budget is a part of the Union Home Ministry’s Budget and it is approved by the Parliament. Actually, the MHA had agreed to the proposal but the Ministry of Finance needs to be convinced about the requirement, say officials. 

  • Administration seeking reward for good work in revenue collection.
  • Says it has to perform the role of electricity board and provide for housing also.
  • Both tasks are carried out by independent boards in states which can borrow from banks; Administration cannot borrow.
  • UT Budget is also used for social sector projects.
  • Long-term projects will be hit, say officials. 



Notice issued to CTU
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Jan 25 — To make necessary modifications in the steps of the fleet of buses so as to ensure safety and convenience of the commuters, the UT Judicial Magistrate, Mr Phalit Sharma, today issued a notice to the Director and General Manager of the UT Chandigarh Transport Undertaking and Chandigarh Administration, through its Secretary, for May 12, on the public interest litigation filed by the Lawyers for Human Rights International through its president.

The organisation has moved a PIL on behalf of a city resident, Mr Pritpal Singh, who had suffered due to the indifferent attitude of the Administration and CTU authorities, for seeking directions to increase one more stair at a height of one feet from the ground level in all buses of the Chandigarh Transport undertaking.

The organisation observed that there were more than 400 buses being put to use by the CTU in Chandigarh and other parts of the region. Almost all buses have very high steps making it inconvenient for the commuters to board the bus and many times commuters suffer injuries and even fractures due to this. It was alleged in the PIL that the complainant, Mr Pritpal Singh, had suffered injury while trying to board a CTU bus.

The organisation had formed a team to find out the factual position. In the detailed investigation conducted by two members of the organisation. It was found that in almost all CTU buses, the lowest rug of the front door of the bus was also very high. This height of the lowest rung was very dangerous for the commuters, a majority of whom include small schoolchildren, old people. The authorities are liable to modify the buses so as to lower the height of the first step to one feet from the ground level for the convenience and comfort of the commuters.

It was felt that there was a need to direct the authorities concerned to make required modification in its present fleet of buses and to make permanent modifications in the future design of its fleet of buses.

GCM accepts Major Bhatnagar’s plea
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 25 — The plea seeking a bar on his trial filed by Major Maneesh Bhatnagar was accepted today by the General Court Martial trying him for willful disobedience of lawful command.

The court also directed the prosecution to make available several official documents requested by the accused officer as well as summon three witnesses whom the defence wished to examine before the court.

Yesterday, after his plea challenging the jurisdiction of the court had been overruled, the accused officer had raised a “plea in bar” and demanded that several documents, which he had been requesting in his defence since May 2000, also be made available to him. He had also demanded that he be allowed to lead witness in support of his plea.

He had gone on record saying he feared that his “plea in bar” would also be overruled if it was not supported with evidence and documents, which he was not in a position to produce as they were in the possession of certain senior officers.

The witnesses to be summoned includes Col G.S. Ranawat, Commanding Officer of 503 ASC Battalion near Leh, who, the accused officer claims recorded the summary of evidence (SOE) on charges levelled against him before duplicate proceedings were initiated at N-area here. The proceedings and recommendations of the SOE recorded by Col Ranawat, if any, are not known.

The other two witnesses sought by the defence are Maj S. Sebestian, who was also associated with the SOE proceedings, and Captain Shekhawat, who the accused officer maintains, was an independent witness examined during the earlier SOE.

The documents being sought by Maj Bhatnagar include the tentative charge sheet and summary of evidence recorded by Col G S Ranawat along with the directives of the appropriate authorities on these proceedings. The GCM has been adjourned till January 29.Back


Decorated Major lands in Tihar
Nabbed on Rajdhani with fake travel card
By Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 25 — A gallantry award winner but dismissed from the Army after a General Court Martial (GCM) was apprehended at the New Delhi railway station on January 23 minutes after he boarded the Mumbai-bound Rajdhani Express in AC 2-tier with an “allegedly fraudulently obtained free travel card “.

The anti-fraud squad of the Northern Railway had laid a trap for him after the Shimla Divisional Manager informed the Northern Railway authorities that Major Vikram Kumar Anand of Shimla had “fraudulently obtained a free travel card” from Allahabad Divisional Railway by “misrepresenting facts” after his earlier card had been confiscated by supervisory staff of the Shatabdi Express on July 7 last year.

A case under Sections 419, 420, 469 and 471 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered against Major Anand. Mr D.S. Sidhu, Metropolitan Magistrate, New Delhi, remanded him in judicial custody for 14 days and sent him toTihar Jail.

It may be a mere coincidence that he had been arrested in a “cheating case” and sent to notorious Tihar Jail on the eve of the Republic Day.

It was not a first case of its kind. Two other cases of alleged cheating by ex-servicemen had been reported in the Ambala Division of the Northern Railway this year.

In one of the cases reported from the Chandigarh railway station, a Lieutenant-Colonel, serving a public sector undertaking here, had allegedly tried to use a bogus soldiers’ ticket for two persons for travel from Chandimandir to Mumbai in AC 2-tier before an alert booking clerk detected the bogus document.

The Colonel was let off after he apologised in writing to the Station Supervisor of Chandigarh. This incident took place on September 1 last year.

The Northern Railway had been on look out for Major Anand of Shimla, a recipient of Vir Chakra, for allegedly using a “tampered” free travel card which was seized from him on July 7 last year while he was travelling by the evening Shatabdi Express between New Delhi and Chandigarh.

The sources in the Railways reveal that after obtaining a free travel card, to which every gallantry award winner soldier is entitled for travel with a companion by all trains but for Shatabdi Express and Rajdhani Express throughout the country, Major Anand allegedly tampered his card and added on his own in the card that “ he was entitled to travel by Executive Class of Shatabdi Express and Rajdhani Express” before getting his card laminated in violation of the rules.

Since the Railways had reiterated time and again that gallantry award winners were entitled to free travel with a companion anywhere in the country in all trains except Shatabdi Express and Rajdhani Express, the Major continued to travel by Shatabdi Express in Executive Class and also by Rajdhani Express. One day he made four journeys by these prestigious trains.

On July 7 when he was travelling by the evening Shatabdi Express, the supervisory staff confiscated his free travel card on the plea that it was “tampered”.

Investigations reveal that the Major lodged a complaint with the Shimla police that his free travel card had been stolen in Shimla on June 16 and went to Ambala for getting a new card issued.

In the meanwhile, the Northern Railway had ordered an inquiry into the misuse of free travel card and enhancement of travel class in the card. Interestingly, the Army authorities responded saying Major Anand, recipient of Vir Chakra, was subsequently court martialled and dismissed from the Army. Unfortunately, the procedure to strip him of the gallantry award was not gone through because of an oversight. The dismissal was ordered in December, 1979.

After he was refused a fresh card from Ambala, the Major reportedly approached Allahabad Division and “fraudulently obtained” a fresh free travel card by “concealing the fact about confiscation of his earlier card”. When Shimla Division came to know of the fresh card to him, a message was flashed to Allahabad Division giving it the background details about the confiscation of the card of the Major.

On January 23, the Major, accompanied by his wife, walked into the trap but refused to admit that he was using any free travel card. He even offered to pay the penalty of travelling without ticket but with a reservation. Later, he broke down and produced the card which had been again “tampered” to include “prohibited trains and class of travel”. The card was also laminated. He was immediately handed over to the Government Railway Police at the New Delhi Railway station.Back



Rotary Club donates van to seva society
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 25 — The two-day Rotary district 3080 conference 'Chetna' which will be held on January 27 and 28 will be inaugurated by the UT Administrator and Punjab governor, Lt Gen ( retd) JFR Jacob, at the Panjab University, Law auditorium Mr Ranjit Bhatia, District governor of Rotary district 3080 said at a press conference held at the Golf club today.

Past rotary International president Luis Vicente Giay and his wife Celia from Argentina are the representatives of the Rotary International President at this conference,

Addressing mediapersons today, Luis Vicente Giay, vice-chairman and trustee of the Rotary Foundation of the Rotary International, said the conference would focus on Rotary's theme of `` Create awareness-- Take action'', to inform the Rotarians about Rotary's programmes and thrust areas, as also help them crystalise plans for service projects in their respective communities.

lauding the work done by Rotarians, he disclosed that at least 33 per cent of total investments in various humanitarian programmes in India are funded by Rotary International.

Meanwhile, Rotary Changarh central part of Rotary International donated Hearse van to Guru Granth sahib Seva Society, Chandigarh, for running free funeral services in and around the city. The same was donated by Mr Luis Vincente Giay in the presence of the club president, Mr R.D.S Riar, and past Rotary International president, Mr Raja saboo, and District governor, Mr ranjit Bhatia, besides other members of the club.

Home Guard dies as mercury dips

CHANDIGARH, Jan 25 (UNI) — The cold wave sweeping the northwest region continued unabated in the plains of Punjab and adjoining areas in Haryana and claimed one more life while it further tightened its noose in Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh during the past 24 hours.

Home Guard jawan Gurnek Singh (30) fainted due to severe cold early this morning at the Mangowal barrier along the Hoshiarpur-Dharamsala road. He was rushed to the Hoshiarpur Civil Hospital where he died.

With this, the death toll in Punjab has risen to seven since the onset of severe cold wave conditions early this month. A same number of people had fallen victim to the cold wave in Chandigarh while two each had died in Himachal Pradesh and Haryana.

With the minimum temperatures running one to four degrees below normal, Adampur (Jalandhar) stayed as the coldest place in the plains with the mercury again today hovering around near sub-zero temperature of 0.3°C. The border district of Amritsar was reeling with the low of 1.4° C, four degrees below normal, followed by Patiala with the low of 4.3°C, three degrees below normal, as the other colder places in Punjab. The day temperatures too fell in Patiala by a degree celsius to 19.5° C.

Following widespread snow in the entire Kashmir valley earlier this week, people in and around Srinagar braved the —5°C temperature which was three degrees below normal.

Jammu too saw the minimum today falling by three degrees to 4.3°C.

The minimum and maximum in and around Chandigarh was recorded at 7.2°C and 20.4°C, respectively, the former being just normal and the latter one degree below normal. Icy winds blew throughout the day while bright sunshine brought solace to people.

In Shimla, the minimum this morning was recorded at 1.1°C, one degree below normal, while Bhuntar and Sundernagar had the lows of 0.6°C and 0.9°C, respectively. Elsewhere, in Himachal Pradesh, despite the bright sunshine, temperatures remained low. Back


Heads of MC sub-committees elected
BJP councillors stay away from elections
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 25 — The councillors who had filed their nominations for the post of chairman and deputy chairman of the three MC sub-committees, namely the Apni mandi, Electricity Committee and Arts, Culture and Sports Committee were elected unopposed in the elections held today at the MC office. Even as the BJP councillors did not attend the meetings, the quorum was completed by the Congress and nominated councillors in all three sub-committees were elected.

Senior deputy mayor Gurcharan Dass Kala and nominated councillor Mr R.S Kailey were declared elected as the chairman and deputy chairman of the Apni Mandi committee by the presiding officer, Ms Suneeta. While three of them were present, Ms Parsan Kaur who has left for the UK had already left in writing her support to the two nominees.

In the Electricity committee meeting, nominated councillor R.K Aggarwal and Mr Gurcharan Dass Kala were declared elected chairman and vice-chairman by the presiding officer, Dr I.C Pathak.

While nominated councillor, Ms Surya pandit was elected the chairman of Arts, Culture and Sports committee, Congress councillor Ms Satinder Dhawan was elected deputy chairperson by the presiding officer, Mrs Kamlesh .

The nominated councillors have, by virtue of their support to the minority Congress at the time of the elections for the coveted posts of the Mayor and Deputy mayor today, bagged the chairmanship of two and deputy chairmanship of one, of the total nine nominated committees.

In the elections held on January 19, Ms Surya Pandit was declared elected as the deputy chairperson of the legal Affairs committee. she is likely to take over as the chairperson of the said committee, if no decision is taken regarding BJP councillor O.P Goel's resignation from the chairmanship of the committee as well as the membership of the committee. The matter is being processed only to be placed before the House for a final decision.

The nominated councillors have never had it so good before as they now have a vital role to play in the functioning of these sub- committees. Even in the F and CC, three of them Mr R.K Aggarwal, Mr R.S Kailey and Ms Surya Pandit will have an important role to play.

Maj Gen ( retd) Gurdial Singh, who had filed his nomination papers for the post of chairman of Water Supply and Sewerage Disposal Committee in the office of the Secretary, MC yesterday, is also likely to be elected unopposed on January 29.

Meanwhile, BJP councillors who stayed away from the elections are waiting for the special meeting of the House convened by the Mayor on January 29. While opposing the constitution of these committees, they by virtue of a resolution, had demanded that the committees be dissolved and the right of the mayor to constitute them be withdrawn . 


BJP-SAD councillors to quit
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 25 — Councillors of the BJP-SAD combine have decided to resign en masse from the membership of the nine sub-committees of the Municipal Corporation constituted earlier this month by the Mayor. A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting held under the chairmanship of the party president, Mr Dharampal Gupta. They also sought, in a letter to the Divisional Commissioner, Mr M. Ramsekhar, the appointment of an observer for the special meeting of the House on January 29.

Sources revealed that they had resigned mainly on two grounds — that the Mayor had not given due representation to the BJP councillors in these committees and the chairman and deputy chairman of these committees were declared elected without quorum.


Stamp, road in Musafir’s memory
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 25 — The Ministry of Communications, Government of India, will release a special stamp in memory of Giani Gurmukh Singh Musafir, a former Chief Minister of Punjab, a writer of eminence and an MP, in the Central Hall of Parliament on January 27. 

The stamp is in the series “Personality: Socio-political development”. A road is being named after the late Gianiji in the Rohini area of Delhi. A four-volume series of books in Punjabi written by Musafir, published by the Giani Gurmukh Singh Musafir Trust headed by former Prime Minister I.K. Gujral, will also be released. 


Sewage treatment plant demonstrated
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 25 — A demonstration to illustrate the working of captive sewage treatment plants, based on fab reactor technology was given by a Pune-based firm at the office of the Municipal Corporation here yesterday.

Mr Parkash Bhambani, MD of the local representative of the company, said the firm had come out with a technology based on fluidised aerobic bio-reactors, which had been introduced for the first time in India.


270 poor persons get blankets
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 25 — As many as 270 old, poor, sick and helpless persons were the lucky beneficiaries of a social service drive undertaken by the Weekly Kirtan Satsang Chandigarh on Tuesday night.

Led by patron Jaidev Singh and convener M.S. Bedi, satsang members brought warmth to the lives of the poor needy people by distributing woollen blankets among them. Rickshawallas and labourers shivering in the cold corridors of markets of various sectors of the city and the PGI happily welcomed the surprise gifts, said Dr Attar Singh who went with the team distributing the blankets bought from the sangat’s money.


Sahitya Akademi to launch Web site
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Jan 25 — Involvement of the Information Technology Department by launching of a Web site would be undertaken by the Haryana Sahitya Akademi. This was stated by the Director, Mr Chander Trikha, who took charge, here today.

He said that the academy would endeavour to progress by recording poetry of old-timers and present-day poets on cassettes, making these available to members.

He informed that in the first phase the poetry of Surdas, Tulsidas and Meera would be recorded, while recording of poets of times of Surya Prasad, Jai Shambhu and Diwan-e-Galib would be taken up in the next phase. In the third phase, the present-day poets would be covered.


Man commits suicide
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 25 — A 26-year-old Sector 43 resident, Amarjit Singh, hanged himself to death late last night. The reason behind his taking the extreme step was yet to ascertained.

Sources in the Police Department said Amarjit Singh’s body, hanging from the hook of the ceiling fan, was discovered by his brother upon his return from Mumbai. Sources said the door was bolted from inside.Back

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