Tuesday, February 6, 2001,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Power connections to be costlier from Feb 22
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 5 — Getting a new power connection and paying for new meters will be costlier in the city as the Chandigarh Administration has revised the rates of advance consumption deposits to be made by various categories of consumers of power. A notification in this regard has been issued and new tariffs come into force on February 22.

Fresh applicants for power connections will deposit security at the following rates:
Category Rates per kw of load

Domestic supply


Non-residential supply


SmallPower Supply


Medium Supply


Large Supply


Bulk Supply


Public Lighting


Agricultural Supply 60

This is first major increase in the past 16 years. In some cases the rates have been doubled. Now, before commencing supply to a prospective consumer or resuming supply or grant of additional load to an existing consumer, an advance energy charges will be collected in cash on which no interest shall be payable.

The department may require the consumer to lodge as security or additional security for the value of meters and other apparatus belonging to the Chandigarh Electricity Department, installed on the consumer's premises. The security for meter and metering equipment deposits, interest at the rate of 6 per cent per annum shall be payable on security deposit of Rs 100 and above. However, in these cases also, no interest will be payable, if a connection is disconnected within a year of giving supply. The department can hike the security deposit for consumers who habitually default in making the payment of their monthly dues .

The enhanced security for meters shall be applicable only to the prospective consumers connected to the systems of the department. In case of existing consumers, where the meters have already been installed, no additional security is to be deposited. However, in case where the existing meters are required to be replaced or reinstalled due to extension of load or damage to the meters, the consumers shall be required to deposit the balance amount of security which becomes due as a consequence of the enhanced meter security deposits as the schedule.

The amount of security for temporary connection shall be sufficient to cover the energy charges in case of marriage, security equal to minimum monthly charges plus cost of meter may be got deposited. However, for construction purpose, four times security procedure shall continue.

In addition to paying the security deposit, a consumer shall have to pay the following monthly meter rentals in accordance with schedule of general charges: single phase LT meter — Rs 11 per month; three phase LT meter — Rs 25 per month; three phase LT meter with CTs (i) 50/5 amp — Rs 57 per month (ii) 100/5 to 400/5 amps — Rs 42 per month; low tension and high tension poly phase meter and metering equipment of higher rating — 1.6 paise per rupee of the cost of metering equipment; solid state HT metering equipment — Rs 320 per month.


Rates per meter and metering equipment

Single phase energy meter (LT Supply) 


Three phase energy meter without CTs (LT Supply)


(i) For general supply 


(ii) For industrial/agricultural supply load upto 20 kw 


Three phase meters with CT's (LT supply)


(i) For general supply with electronic meter 

(ii) For industrial supply load exceeding 20 kw and  upto 100 kw 


(iii) For industrial load exceeding 20 kw  and upto 100 kw, with electronic meter. 12,000

Metering equipment for high tension supply. 




Bookies still doing well
By Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 5 — The arrest of six bookies from the city on February 1 has failed to deter bookies here, allegedly because of the “callous attitude” of the city police.

A top bookie of the region, Babbu of Bathinda, has made the city his home for the past few months. The bookie operates on an international level and has made personal assets worth crores of rupees in a span of just six to seven months.

This bookie, who also claims access to the top police officers in Punjab, has his clientele in Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and Jammu. Though the number of stakes in the ongoing triangular oneday series in Australia between West Indies, Australia and Zimbabwe are less, considering the fact that the home country is not playing, it is learnt that the “regular players” have been betting lakhs of rupees.

Till about August last year, the entire betting operation in the region was being controlled by another bookie, ‘Jammu’. However, after the match-fixing scandal came to light in March-April last year, the entire hierarchy in the region turned topsy turvy. All the major bookies in the region were forced to shift their operations to Jalandhar and Jammu.

After Chandigarh, the other haven for the bookies had been Ludhiana. But after a top police officer there was named in the match-fixing scandal in May 2000, the bookies there were asked to suspend their operations or face the music. It was in such a scenario that the above-mentioned bookie entered the business and soon gained ground.

While the rate of the bets is fixed by him, it is further communicated to the sub-agent in various cities like Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Bathinda, Amritsar, Hisar, Sirsa, Gurgaon, Rohtak and Jammu. The clients place the bets on the favourite team, on the runs scored during specific overs, even on runs scored by certain players. The clients are also permitted to place more than one bet as the match progresses. The favourite team could change with the punters as the match progresses, it is learnt.

Explaining the method, sources said if Rs 10,000 was fixed as the rate of a bet, the person staking Rs 10,000 would get Rs 20,000 in case he was lucky. Otherwise, he would lose even the initial amount. A commission of one per cent from the winner and two per cent from every bet is received by the bookie.

Investigations made by TNS revealed that the bookies, and the punters were now eagerly awaiting the Australian cricket teams tour of India. Crores of rupees are expected to be generated from this cash-rich region during the India-Australia matches.

The local police, when contacted, claimed ignorance of these bookies. A senior police officer, said there was very little that the police could do in order to trace the bookies as they operated only through mobile telephones.

“The bookies have two or three connections of mobile telephones each. After the match-fixing scandal came to light and many a head went rolling, the bookies have become very cautious and change the numbers after every match. Since, cash cards are often used by the bookies and the punters, there is no way of trying to trace the accused,” he said.



Tents to house schools at Bhachau
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 5 — The Gujarat Government has decided to run classes of primary schools in different villages of Bhachau taluka in 60 pre-fabricated structures that were airlifted to Bhuj today.

It may be mentioned that most of the schools in Bhuj, Bhachau and Rapar regions were flattened due to earthquake and studies of children were suffering due to lack of school buildings.

On the suggestion of the Punjab Governor and the UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen JFR Jacob (retd), the Gujarat Government has decided to run schools in these structures. The UT Administration is also sending 60 black boards, mattresses, and chalks for the classes.

General Jacob felt that continuity of studies should be maintained in the schools and this massive earthquake should not result in massive dropout of children from the schools.

Meanwhile, 200 tents, 60 pre-fabricated structures, black boards, dry food, mineral water was today airlifted by the IAF. The SDM (East), Mr Gyanesh Bharti, has already reached Bhuj to liaise with the local administration and to ensure erection of these tents and pre-fabricated structures in various villages. The DIG, Mr Ajay Kashyap, is already camping in Bhachau overseeing the entire work.

Today 150 solar lamps were also airlifted which will be used in various emergency hospitals being run in tents in different villages. Meanwhile, six truckloads of relief materials donated by residents of UT were sent for Gujarat today.

The Adviser, Ms Neeru Nanda, held a telephonic discussion with the Commissioner of Bhuj division, Mr P.K. Parmar, regarding the requirements of relief material apart from the relief material which had already been sent.

People kept on responding generously to the appeal of the Administration. Today the Market Welfare Association, Sector 15, handed over a cheque for Rs 40,000, the Chandigarh Dairy and Milk Products Association gave a draft for Rs 31,000, whereas the Market Welfare Association, Sector 46, and the Traders Association, Sector 21, presented drafts for Rs 21,000 each.

The local MP, Mr Pawan Bansal, accompanied by senior Congress leaders, went door to door in parts of Sectors 22,17 and 37 and helped collect an amount of over Rs 70,000 for the Gujarat Chief Minister’s Relief Fund. The Block Congress Committee has contributed an amount of Rs 53,000 to the fund.

The Gujjar Samaj Kalyan Parishad contributed Rs 31,000 for the fund.The Music Department of Panjab University has donated Rs 11,000 for the fund. Moreover, students and staff of the Shaheed Udham Singh College of Engineering and Technology, Tangori (SAS Nagar), contributed 
Rs 37,600 to the fund.

The city college students, teaching and non-teaching staff have responded overwhelmingly to the earthquake relief fund with the cash collections going up to 10 lakh plus. This response comes in the wake of a call given by the Chandigarh Administration to the colleges to donate liberally for the cause.

The Government College for Girls, Sector 11, tops the list of the city government colleges with a collection of Rs 1.95 lakh while GGDSD College tops the list of private colleges with Rs 2 lakh as donation.


The second instalment of relief material worth Rs 50 lakh was sent for Gujarat earthquake victims by the Ambala authorities through plane which took off from Chandigarh airport on Sunday night.

Mr Surinder Kumar Monga, Deputy Commissioner of Panchkula, said relief material was collected from Yamuna Nagar, Kaithal, Kurukshetra, Ambala and Panchkula districts. The relief material includes 1000 tents, 1260 mattresses, 14,000 blankets, 250 tarpaulins, 100 lanterns, 200 torches and 48 dozens of toothbrush and toothpaste.

Apart from this a sum of Rs 1 lakh, contributed by the district Red Cross Society, has also been sent.

He said that 13 truckloads of relief material worth Rs 15 lakh, one ambulance, a Swaraj Mazada, a team of doctors and 20 other persons have already been sent to Randnpur in Gujarat. A medical team including laboratory technicians and other helpers along with medicines has also been sent.


The president of the Kharga Army Wives Welfare Association Ms Gita Vij, this morning flagged off a convoy of trucks carrying relief material for earthquake victims.

Nine trucks carrying clothes, food packets medicines, and utensils left for Bhuj from Kharga Stadium, Ambala Cantonment. The relief material will be distributed among the affected people by the Army authorities in Bhachau.

Besides senior officers, the coordination for the convoy has been done by Maj Kanwaljit Singh of 230 Medium Regt and Maj J.S. Gujral.

The relief material has been donated by the ranks and families of Ambala Cantonment, Chandi Mandir, Patiala, Bathinda, Delhi, Dehradun and Meerut and various schools of Ambala.


The Lions Club of Kalka organised a mela in the local railway ground here yesterday to collect funds for earthquake victims. The president of the club said the amount collected through this mela would be donated by the club towards the earthquake relief fund for Gujarat. Two-minute silence was also observed to condole deaths in Gujarat.

No more clothes, please

As per the feedback received from the quake-hit areas of Gujarat, clothes are no more required there. There is a dire need of tents and in view of this, clothes will not be accepted at the Red Cross Collection Centre, Karuna Sadan, Sector 11-B, from tomorrow. However, contributions in the form of cheques and draft are welcome.

Government College for Girls, Sector 11 —     Rs 1,95,000

Government College for Boys, Sector 11 —    Rs 1,33,550

Government College, Sector 46 —                      Rs 75,000

Government College for Girls, Sector 42 —        Rs 50,000

Home Science College, Sector 10 —                  Rs 65,551

Government College of Education, Sector 20 — Rs 60,225

DAV College, Sector 10 —                                Rs 1,00,000

GGDSDCollege, Sector 32 —                              Rs 2,00000

MCMDAV College, Sector 36 —                        Rs 1,00,000

SGGSCollege, Sector 26 —                               Rs 1,00,000

Dev Samaj College of Education, Sector 36 —   Rs 31,000

Dev Samaj College for Women, Sector 45 —     Rs 35,500

Regional Institute of English —                              Rs 7,500

State Institute of Education —                           Rs 25,400

Centre State Library —                                        Rs 10,410

State Library, Sector 34 —                                  Rs 10,000



Quake survivor battles trauma
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 5 — Narrowly escaping the catastrophe that hit Gujarat on Republic Day, Ms Anju Sharma, wife of R. K. Sharma, is back home with her two-year-old toddler Neeraj, but she is yet to recover from her traumatic experiences.

Sitting amidst members of her in-laws’ family in Geeta Nagri near Dhulkot railway station of Ambala, Anju still looks shaken and horrified. She had been living at a farmhouse in Gandhi Nagri of Bhuj, about three kilometres from the Bhuj air base.

“I was busy preparing breakfast while my husband was in our room with our son, when we felt the building shaking,” she recounted. “In seconds we realised that it was an earthquake. We ran out of the room seeing that the floor and the wall distancing from each other. There was no time to think or react. We came out in the courtyard and there was a loud noise, as one side of the adjoining room fell flat. Out in the city we could see dust rising out of multi-storyed buildings which fell like play cards.”

Sobbing, Anju recounted, “While standing in the courtyard, we were repeatedly feeling big movements of the earth, which only added to our fear that the surface would crack open and it would swallow us. Never in my life did I see such horrifying and nerve-breaking scenes. The 27-year-old housewife said she kept her son in her lap for five days and did not let him put his feet on earth.

“Terrified by the tremors, how could we dare enter the room,” she remarked. “We spent the day without meals and spent the night in the open. I still do not know how we survived the unbearable cold without meals and bedding,” she added. The next day they moved to a nearby gurdwara, which has survived the quake, and had langar.

Along with other families, they lived in a tent and meals were served to them by sewadars, who also went door to door to distribute food to the needy. This continued till January 31, when about 300 of them were airlifted to Palam airport in Delhi.

“All around there was gloom, tension, cries and helplessness, with volunteers busy excavating those trapped in the debris,” she recalled. “It was heart rending to see my husband’s colleague, who in a bid to bring out his son and aged mother, could not save them or himself. Can nature be so cruel to mankind,” she questioned.

Though now staying 900 kilometres from the ill-fated town, the shadow of death and destruction is still writ large on her face.


Rush for insurance cover
By Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 5 — Following the massive earthquake in Gujarat, residents in the region have been rushing to get their houses and vehicles insured against damage due to earthquakes. Since January 26, when buildings in Gujarat swayed and collapsed the flow of people into various offices of insurance companies has gone up manifold.

Each day, in Chandigarh alone, close to 100 insurance policies against earthquake risks are being issued collectively by the four major public sector insurance companies. The figure could be in thousands if the entire region is taken into account, say senior officials in the insurance sector. The exact figures would be known by the end of February when the lists of insurance policies carried out in various cities starts pouring in to various regional headquarters located here.

Earlier persuading people to get earthquake insurance cover for their homes used to be a tough task. But in the past one week it has been the opposite, people have been just walking in and asking for the policy, says an insurance official. Same was true for vehicle policies.

Hard boiled insurance men term this as a ‘‘panic reaction’’ which will end within 2 to 3 years. The policy ‘‘Insurance against fire’’ which also covers earthquakes, was an almost redundant policy on the list of services of general insurance companies with very few people opting for it. Actually damage against earthquake is insurable, but usually people do not go for the entire group of hazards bracketed under the ‘‘fire policy’’ (earthquake as risk is known by this name in insurance language).

The visibility of the impact of the quake through pictures in newspapers and television screens has made people react and seek an insurance cover for the same. Reports in the media about Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Chandigarh falling in a high damage seismic zone have added to the panic.

A manager of an insurance company revealed that a leading cement company has requested them to inspect their plant and cover it for earthquake risks. Similar request are pouring in from several industrialists, residential property owners and flat owners. A letter of the Government of India now allows people to add on ‘’earthquake cover” under existing household policies. But this add on is valid after 15 days of getting it incorporated. However, under fresh policies the insurance cover begins the moment the cheque is handed over.

A development officer with New India Insurance says, “Till a few days ago hardly any vehicle used to be insured against earthquakes. Actually owners used to seek discounts under this head. Now it is not so. Businessmen, who used to get insurance for floods and other risks as a matter of routine, are now calling up to get the ‘‘earthquake add on’’ policies.

And at Rs 60 for each lakh spent on construction this is not much, say insurance officials. The companies refund money for construction and not for land. The rates are assessed at present market value. This means at what cost can a person construct a similar house in the same location. The maximum being the sum insured. Claims are also admitted for partial damages to the insured structure or goods. 


Wires hang like sword of Damocles
By Nishikant Dwivedi

NAYA GAON (Kharar), Feb 5 — Over head power cables hang loosely and in an unorganised manner in and around Naya Gaon. At places the cables are just one to two feet over the roof of houses. Some of the electricity transformers have too become ‘‘dangerous’’ as people have built houses close by.

Sources in the Punjab State Electricity Board claim it is the fault of residents and not of the PSEB. They said since the houses were constructed in an unplanned way, the cable distribution could not be very smooth.

An official of the PSEB, when contacted, said: ‘‘People purchased plots near the electricity poles and transformers because the plots were cheaper. Now they have raised constructions and it is not our fault if the cables fall right on their roofs.”

When contacted, Senior Executive Engineer of the PSEB, Mr P.S.Bains said, ‘‘Our department is strictly following the Electricity Act. The department issues notice to people who raise structure in violation of the Act’’.

There is an electricity transformer at the height of about six feet and is almost touching the wall of G S Kariana Store, Dashmesh Nagar, near Janta Model School. It has become a cause of concern for the residents of the area. Mr Kuldeep, owner of the shop, said earlier the transformer was right inside the plot but later on it was shifted. He claimed that the residents of the area had written many times to the PSEB to shift the transformer or raise its height but of no avail.

There are at least two more transformers at a very low height on the Shiv Mandir road. When asked about the particular transformers he said, ‘‘Only after visiting the spot I can comment’’. However, he maintained that the department issued notices to the residents who raised their structures near the power cables or transformers.

The residents of the area complained that the complaint office of the Department remained closed most of the time. When the Chandigarh Tribune team reached the office at 12.45 pm today, the door was locked. The sources said there were only two employees in the office and most of the time they were away to attend complaints.


Authorities close eyes to open manholes
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 5 — With the authorities concerned looking the other way, the number of open manholes in the city has increased putting the lives of residents in danger.

In fact, open manholes have become virtual “death traps” for the residents. The roads become drivers’ nightmare, especially during the night when the drivers fail to notice them resulting in several accidents.

A random survey revealed that a majority of the open manholes were in the southern sectors of the city. Since the southern sectors have more population density and more vehicular traffic the people here were more at risk than those in the other parts of the city.

Two open manholes at the backside of House No 414 in Sector 30 have become virtual “death-traps”. Since both the manholes are just at the turn of the roads, it becomes very difficult for the motorists to negotiate the turns. Similar is the case in Sector 29 near the Customs and Central Excise flats where the open manhole just at the turn of road puts the lives of the motorists at risk.

Even as the open manholes remain uncovered, the residents are at the receiving end. With a majority of the streetlights non-functional, it becomes very difficult to drive on the internal roads, complained Mr Manjit Singh, a resident of Sector 47, who was injured a few days back when his scooter skidded into an open manhole in an Industrial Area.

Similarly, Mr Avtar Chand, a helper working in SAS Nagar, alleged that he had escaped several times from being hurt when his bicycle just escaped the open manhole.

It may be recalled that The Tribune had highlighted the problem in late 1999. Following this, the authorities had swung into action but now things seem to be back to the square one.


Seven villages without power
From Our Correspondent

KHARAR, Feb 5 — Nearly seven villages in the Kharar block have been without power since Saturday when about 500 metres of electric wire was stolen near Malikpur village. Mr Kuldeep Singh Bassian, sarpanch of Bassian village, said Malikpur, Bassian, Dhawali, Dhadak Khurd, Dhadak Kalan and Ghoga villages had been without power since then. He said he had informed officers of the PSEB and the police. He demanded that the PSEB should immediately restore the supply.


MC officer’s plea
From Our Correspondent

KHARAR, Feb 5 — The Kharar Municipal Committee has decided to exempt the payment of interest on the arrears of house tax if the payment is made by February 28. Mr Gian Chand Gupta, Executive Officer of the committee, has appealed to the defaulters to make the payment soon and get the benefit. 


44 cops transferred
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 5 — The Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Parag Jain, has ordered the transfer of 10 Sub-Inspectors, 10 Assistant Sub-Inspectors, two Head Constables and 24 Constables to the Police Lines .

This order comes in the wake of the police officers’ meeting held here last Friday. The DSP, Police Control Room, had reportedly asked for more personnel at the Control Room. With the addition of this staff , the Control Room staff would be able to operate in three shifts.


Accidents on Madhya Marg

CHANDIGARH’s Madhya Marg which was once an open arterial driveway has become overcrowded with traffic and a number of accidents have taken place on it. The stretchfrom the Transport Area crossing to the railway station has become extremely hazardous. A majority of the accidents have taken place near the traffic lights at the Transport Area and the slip roads about 100 metres ahead. Most of the time, the accidents occur because motorists have to come to a sudden halt to save a crossing pedestrian. Recently eleven cars were involved in a chain accident at this stretch because of this reason. All the cars had their headlights, bonnets and taillights or boots severely damaged.

It shall be in the fitness of things if the pedestrian pathway is closed at this stretch and the inlet to the Transport Area is maintained from the road crossing only. Further, traffic lights should also be installed for pedestrians at such midway crossings.

A.R. Chaudhri

Misplaced speed breakers

The residents of Mani Majra housing complex have been using the Kishangarh road to go to Chandigarh on account of the heavy rush on the Chandigarh-Panchkula highway. Recently some VIPs have raised clusters of ‘speed breakers’ at five places on this road. This has become a major hurdle and turned the road into an obstacle course.

There are practically no schools, hospitals or other buildings which would have warranted these speed breakers. Only because of a few farm houses owned by some VIPs, the administration has ignored the common man’s convenience and submitted to the dictates of vested interests.

Even these farm houses, incidentally are not situated on the road and are at a considerable distance. Still the people are being inconvenienced on their account.

I hope the authorities will take cognizance of the woes of the residents and remove these misplaced speed breakers.

Gurbachan S. BRAR
Mani Majra

Postal services

The postal facilities at Wadhawa Nagar Dhakauli near Zirakhpur, are far from what these should be. Even two years after the establishment of the municipal committee, the residents of Dhakauli are denied the normal postal service. Letters, cards and parcels etc are delivered sometimes after 10 or 15 days, tied in packets. Wedding cards, interview call letters are often delivered after the marriages and interviews have already taken place. The government should take effective steps to tackle this problem of the residents of Wadhawa Nagar Dhakauli.

Wadhawa Nagar



Duplicate jeans seized
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Feb 5 — Acting on complaint of Mr Pankaj Walia of Para Mount Fashions, Sector 44-D, the local police arrested Rahul Jindal, a resident of Sirsa, yesterday. The police also claimed to have recovered 605 pairs of jeans with duplicate label marks of a famous brand from his possession. A case under Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 63 of the Copy Right Act has been registered.

Held for drinking
The local police arrested Daljit Singh, a resident of Sector 45, for drinking liquor at a public place from near the Petrol Pump of Sector 20, here yesterday. He was booked under the Excise Act.

Car stolen
Mr Narinder Kumar of Sector 20 reported that his Maruti car (CH-03 -C-8681) was stolen from the parking of a Sector 17, here yesterday. A case under the Section 379 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered.



Writer of obscene letters to girls held
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Feb 5 — The mystery behind the obscene letters and literature being received by residents at their homes in the past few days was solved today with the local police arresting a 25-year-old youth from Phase 7 here. The youth, Simran alias Sim had delivered several obscene letters and pictures at the addresses where girls lived, especially in Phase 7.

His target was those girls who had been living in Sector 44, Chandigarh. He along with his parents, had moved to his Phase 7 residence here only last year after he returned from a four-year stint in Japan. The police was able to lay its hands on the youth this morning when he was about to deliver the literature at the house of one of his “targets”. A search of the room of the youth by a police team led by Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) Lakhwinder Singh revealed his wild plans. Several photostat obscene pictures lifted from pornographic magazines, printed names of girls with their addresses and cutouts from pornographic literature were recovered from a cupboard in his room. Several papers on which the names of girls were printed along with obscene pictures were also received.

Mr Gurmeet Singh Chauhan, Superintendent of Police, SAS Nagar, said :” He had planned to send more obscene pictures at the addresses of the girls in his record. We suspect that he is hooked on to some drugs and is a phychic case”. A case under Sections 292, 294 and 500 of the IPC has been registered against the youth.

Giving a strange reason behind his action, the youth said : “ A voice from within me directed me to take the girls to task. My body was in the control of the voice and did what it directed me to do. So I collected the obscene material and delivered it myself at their residences and their neighbours. I had information about the girls during my stay in Sector 44. I want that the parents of girls should know”. He had tried to run a coaching centre to teach the basics about Japanese but failed.

The SP said the youth had basic knowledge about computers. He ruled out that there were other persons behind the obscene letters delivered at some houses in Phase 4 and 11. He said the Information Technology Act was being studied to ensure that cyber cafes in the town were not being used by such unscrupulous elements for their nefarious designs. The police was able to arrest the youth acting on information supplied by some of the girls who had received the anonymous letters. A vigil on the suspect yielded results.


Man consumes poison, dies
From Our Correspondent

KHARAR, Feb 5 — The story of a newly-wed couple of Badali village, which was allegedly forced to consume some poisonous substance last month, ended today when the husband also died in Command Hospital. The postmortem was performed in the Civil Hospital here today.

The Kharar police has registered a case in this connection on January 21 this year as per the complaint made by the father of the girl, Mr Sadhu Singh.

According to the FIR, Harpreet Kaur was married to Kamaljit Singh of Badali village, on October 12, 2000. The father-in-law and mother-in-law of the girl started harassing her to bring more dowry. Fed up, the couple decided to end their life and consumed some poisonous substance. They were taken to Command Hospital, Chandi Mandir, where Harpreet Kaur died.

The police had registered a case under Section 306 of the IPC against Balbir Singh (father of the boy) and his wife.

According to Mr Jasdev Singh, SHO, Kharar, the deceased, Kamaljit Singh was a sepoy with the Indian Army and was posted in Rajasthan. The police, after registering the case, started a search for Balbir Singh and raided his residence. He was absconding and the police locked the house.

The body of Kamaljit Singh was brought to Civil Hospital, Kharar, for postmortem today. It was taken back by the Army to Chandi Mandir as no one from the family had come for cremation.

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