Friday, February 9, 2001,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Uninsured govt buildings put taxpayers at risk
By Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 8 — None of the government buildings, vital power and water installations constructed at huge costs from taxpayers’ money are ever insured against earthquakes or similar natural calamities. The same is true for government vehicles.

Shocking but true if a disaster occurs and damages government property the taxpayer will have to foot the bill once again for huge construction costs, plush offices and new cars.

Seems to be odd but all these years nothing has woken up the sleeping giant called the “Government” to make it insure its properties. The Chandigarh Tribune went about enquiring about what will be the fate of several government properties if a Gujarat like earthquake hits the city — the seat of three governments — or if vehicles are damaged in a riot, flood or an accident.

An officer who did not wish to be named said: “There is no rule which makes it mandatory for the government to insure its properties, buildings, power and water installations against earthquakes or other such natural calamities.” And similarly there is no rule which prohibits the government from getting its investments insured.

So where will the money come from if anything happens. The taxpayer of course, said an official.

Probably a surcharge like the one imposed to tide over the Gujarat crisis will be imposed with no questions asked. And all this despite the fact that it costs no more than Rs 60 per lakh of the buildings’ costs to insure it. A Rs 10 crore building can thus be insured for Rs 60,000 a year. This is nothing if one calculates the rising cost of construction and materials.

Just imagine this — the Rs 220 crore Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) is damaged and there is nothing to protect the taxpayers money from going down the drain. Similarly if a high tension power line crumbles in massive storm or an earthquake killing several people due to electrocution. No compensation can be paid by the government as the insurance man has nothing to do with them.

In Chandigarh even power sub stations constructed at the cost of crores of rupees are not insured. Whereas in adjoining Punjab and Haryana the power departments get their equipment insured. A source in the Engineering wing said in the state the power department is an autonomous body and this is not the case in Chandigarh. However, the department has written that vehicles should be insured but action in this regard is awaited.

In case of vehicles the government enjoys a sort of immunity under the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988. This allows the government to forego insurance but create a fund to meet financial requirements. Well no such fund has been created in Chandigarh , Punjab or Haryana. And it still does not answer the fact that if the vehicle is damaged during a riot who pays for it. The taxpayer of course, added another official.

Giving a possible explanation official sources said since the insurance companies were also owned by the Government it makes no sense in getting the property insured as in any case the government will be paying for the costs. It may be prudent to get government property insured when the private firms enter the insurance sector.


Over 100 phones disconnected
By Nishikant Dwivedi

MULLANPUR GARIBDAS (Kharar), Feb 8 — Over 100 telephones in the Mullanpur Garibdas telephone exchange have reportedly been disconnected though subscribers have made payment of bills. Sources in the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) blame various post offices which do not inform the department about receipt of the bills on time.

Sources in the BSNL said the connections were cut as they had not received the payment slips. An officer in the department admitted that over 100 connections had been cut. He did not deny the possibility of the bills having been deposited. He said, “We restored about 20 connections after consumers showed us the receipts of payments.”

Some of the subscribers had deposited the bills in the village post office. They alleged that they were facing harassment because of lack of coordination between the telephone department and the collection counters. A senior official in the BSNL admitted that the coordination was not smooth with some of the collection counters. He said, “Some of the post offices do not provide us timely information about the receipt of the bills. We simply wait for 35 days and after that we disconnect the telephones.”

The telephone of the branch of Punjab National Bank in the village was also disconnected. When contacted, the manager of the bank, Mr Manoj Gulati, said the telephone bill was deposited in the village post office before the due date but the telephone was disconnected on Tuesday. He added that when he contacted the BSNL office, he was told to go to the SAS Nagar telephone office and show the bill.

Mr Ashok Chabbra, a shopkeeper in the village, said despite depositing the bill, his telephone was disconnected. The same was the story of an old woman in the village whose family was in Canada.


Generous effort by street children
From Tribune Reporters

CHANDIGARH, Feb 8 — It does not take much to feel another person’s pain — just a sensitive heart. But such hearts seldom come by. When the street children living in the slums of Sector 25, Janata Colony, today walked up to Adviser to the UT Administrator, Ms Neeru Nanda, and handed over their bit of donation for the earthquake victims, a lot of faith in the goodness of mankind stood reaffirmed.

As the children celebrated a generous effort, one could only watch them with awe and hope the country had more of such people. In fact, more heartening was the fact that the generosity of the children found a match in the gesture of UT Adviser who, after learning about their painting prowess, asked them to paint a mural for any of the CITCO Hotels. “You paint the mural and I will get it sponsored,” declared the Adviser.

The 15 young volunteers, most of whom have no source of income other than polishing shoes, looked absolutely blissful as they saw their donation being released by UT Adviser Neeru Nanda at a small function held today in Government High School, Sector 24, where these kids also study after their working hours. The donation came in the form of a small blackboard set which these kids have very fondly purchased for the children of the earthquake-ravaged Gujarat.

Most interesting of all was to know the way in which the blackboard purchase was arranged. The children had staged a play (entitled Khichdi) directed by their mentor Zulfikar Khan in the Sector 17 Plaza in order to generate funds. As Johnny, one of the street children, said, “We were very committed because we wanted to do our bit for the victims. The entire country is doing something or the other. We also did whatever we could.”

One was overwhelmed to learn that these kids have been religiously going about staging the street play. They also staged it in Government College of Art, Sector 10, where sculptors from all over the country were attending the international sculptors’ workshop. They collected Rs 700 from there. Apart from that they had collected about Rs 300 from their own savings. The blackboard which was released for donation by Adviser Neeru Nanda today has cost the kids Rs 950.

Accepting the donation, Ms Nanda today said “it will be directed to the police control room so that it can safely land in Gujarat and can be handed over to someone without any problem”. “If the blackboard is sent as just another donation, it would create confusion because every other school would want to have it,” she said.

As for the generous spirit of the children — blackboard is not all. The kids have further planned to collect Rs 300 per head as donations for Gujarat earthquake victims. One rupee goes into the saving of each kid on a daily basis. The process will go on till the target of Rs 300 is achieved.

Impressed by the zeal of children, Ms Nanda congratulated them for the effort. She was taken in by their talent all the more after witnessing two scenes from the play which the children have been staging for quite sometime now. The prowess painting of these street children in painting also came to light today, when Principal of the Government College of Art, Mr Prem Singh, talked of how these kids had painted beautiful cards during a painting workshop held recently.

The best reward for these children came from the Adviser who assigned them the work of preparing a rectangular mural for any of the CITCO hotels. The children will shortly be on this job, with Prof Prem Singh helping them with the plan.

Meanwhile, responding to the appeal of the Chandigarh Administration, donations to the Red Cross Earthquake Relief Fund, Gujarat, continue to pour in.

Despite today being a holiday, over Rs 24.98 lakh was donated by various organisations to the fund. The Mayor, Mr Raj Kumar Goel, presented a bunch of drafts for Rs 10.62 lakh collected as one-day salary of staff of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh.

Mr F. Fred Ebrahimi, President and CEO of the Quark Inc, presented a draft for Rs 1 lakh and letter from the US office saying that Rs 10 lakh had been transferred today to the Red Cross account of the city. Students and Principal of Chandigarh Coaching Centre presented a draft for Rs 61,500 and Principal of Vivek High School presented a cheque for Rs 1.25 lakh to the UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen JFR Jacob (retd).

Mr Kamaljit Singh Panchhi, president of the Traders Association, Sector 17(A and B), presented a cheque for Rs 51,000 and 105 blankets. Similarly, the Chandigarh Plywood Association presented a cheque for Rs 1 lakh. Yesterday the Nationalist Congress Party handed a truck full of 4,000 mineral water bottles to the DC.

Mr Surinder Singh and Mr Satish Gupta, members of the T.V. and Electronic Dealers Association, handed over a cheque for Rs 1.35 lakh to the Deputy Commissioner of Chandigarh. The association gave a call to all trade and industries association to join hands in rebuilding Gujarat.

AMBALA: One truck of relief material was flagged off from SA Jain (PG) College, Ambala City, by MP Ratan Lal Kataria and MLA Veena Chhibber for the earthquake victims on Wednesday.

The material relating to items of daily need like wheat, rice, pulses, clothes and medicines were sent to Gujarat. The Arya Samaj Mandir, Swami Dayanand Marg, Ambala Cantonment, handed over Rs 60,000 to the Deputy Commissioner of Ambala. The contributors to the amount include staff and students of Arya Girls College, Ambala Cantonment, Musaddi Lal Arya Girls High School, Ambala Cantonment, Arya Senior Secondary School, BC Bazaar, Amabala Cantonment, Arya Samaj Swami Dayanand Marg, and other Arya samajs.

The Citizen Council, Ambala, has decided to adopt 10 minor orphans. The president of the council, Mr N.C. Jain, has sent a letter to the Red Cross Society, Gujarat, offering this proposal. He said the council would make boarding, lodging and education arrangement in Ambala for them.


GCM dismisses Major’s plea of tampering
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 8 — The General Court-Martial trying Major Maneesh Bhatnagar today dismissed the accused’s submission that vital documents pertaining to his disciplinary case had been tampered with, resulting in forgery.

The court observed that striking out certain portions in the said document (Appendix A to Army Order 24 of 1994) by pencil, as was the case here, did not alter the character of the document. The court further observed that the examination of the document revealed that the Commanding Officer of 503 ASC Battalion, had on the conclusion of the hearing of the charge (HoC), directed that the evidence should be reduced to writing.

Major Bhatnagar had earlier submitted that the witness had submitted two accounts of the same proceeding. In one of the accounts, certain portions had been scored out in pencil, while in the other there were no cuttings.

On the court’s direction to the accused that he might lead evidence based on the documents, the accused demanded to know which of the two documents he should be relied upon. This led to heated arguments between the court and the accused, leading the court to warn the accused that he would be held in contempt of court if he continued with his misbehaviour, using contemptuous language against court members and hindering court proceedings.

The accused maintained that he would not rely on forged documents or be privy to illegal activities.

Observing that the accused had refused to accept the court directive to lead evidence, the court stripped the accused of the right to examine the witness and directed the prosecution to cross-examine the witness. The witness, Col G. S. Ranawat, in reply to the prosecution’s question on whether he received any intimation from the authorities concerned before forwarding the proceedings to another unit, replied that he had received a communique from HQ 14 Corps to stall the proceedings.

Thereafter the court was adjourned till tomorrow to enable the prosecution to obtain a required document.

Meanwhile, in the ongoing trial of Major V. K. Madhan, the defence has submitted that it wished to examine four witnesses — Lt Gen Arjun Ray, (GOC 14 Corps), Brig A. Vasudeva (Admn, 14 Corps), Lt Col Ramesh Ghai and Major T.S. Sidhu.

The defence was informed that Major Sidhu would not be available till February 20 as he has been detailed as the prosecuting officer in a Summary General Court-Martial trying a JCO.

The prosecution contended that the other three witnesses were of no relevance since the role of General Ray, as the GCM’s convening authority was “academic”, while Brigadier Vasudeva was only a staff officer.

The defence replied that General Ray’s role was not academic but statutory under the provisions of Army Rule 37, which deals with convening of general and district courts-martial. The prosecution added that the accused officer had written several letter to HQ 14 Corps, and Brigadier Vasudeva being a principal staff officer is the only competent authority to give evidence regarding their disposal. The prosecution further stated that Lt Col Ghai, who was the presiding officer of the court of inquiry, has not constituted the court properly and as a result the court had no jurisdiction to try the accused officer.

Earlier, the prosecution submitted that one of the defence witnesses, Lt Col R.L. Tiwari, was briefed yesterday evening by the prosecution counsel. Though it was denied by the prosecution counsel, the witness on being examined, admitted that he had met the prosecution counsel to inquire about his status. In view of this, the defence decided not to examine him as a defence witness.

The court has been adjourned till February 12.


Hunks beware on Feb 14!
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 8 — All you hunks in leather jackets over tight fits, do not offer flowers, even love messages, to pretty damsels walking down the lane on St. Valentine’s Day. If the cops spot you, they will take no time to round you up for eve-teasing.

In 2001, the cops are “very serious” about preventing any “untoward incidents” on February 14. To combat hooliganism, they are planning to post men-in-plain-clothes on the geri route, Panjab University campus, in discotheques, fast food joints, Rose Garden, Terraced Garden, in Sector 17 piazza and Sector 34 market.

The decision to deploy cops-in-disguise at strategic locations is significant as incidents of eve-teasing, harassment and molestation are on the rise in the city on St. Valentine’s Day. The problem, according to senior police officials arises as stubble-faced youngsters with bleached hair pour in the city on February 14 from towns in the neighbouring states.

They zip down the roads on bikes with silencers removed and on cars with fluttering cheerful balloons tied to the side mirrors. Alien to Chandigarh’s culture, they mistake the “good nature of city dames, clad in hip-huggers and mini-skirts, to mean something else”. They try their luck and indulge in hooliganism if rejected, reveals an officer.

Sources in the police department add that the cops in disguise will mingle with the partying crowd, gather information, and book the ruffians under Section 294 of the Indian Penal Code as soon as they indulge in “mischief”.

Conforming the presence of cops in plainclothes, a senior police officer says, officials from the intelligence wing of the police, along with officials belonging to the CID, will keep a strict vigil.

Valentine’s Day
‘Right day to express love’
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Feb 8 — For excited youngsters, who know nothing about St. Valentine, February 14 is the “right day” for expressing “love” for the pretty classfellows they have been admiring for the past 364 days.

They are busy purchasing teddy bears, bouquets and perfumes for their lady love. After all, forlorn lovers will have to wait for another 12 months if they do not succeed this year. Girls are no different. For them, its time to collect trophies of love. The more, the better.

Valentine’s DayNidhi, a Class X student, feels Valentine’s day is time for girlfriends to present and receive cards. Nothing more, nothing less. “I will give cards and bracelets to close friends”, she says.

Devesh Soni, a Class XI student, feels that on February 14 you express your feelings by offering gifts to your near and dear ones. “I have no Valentine, but I am searching for one.” he admits.

Sarika, a Class X student, feels that the time is perfect for expressing love. “I came to know about Valentine only last year when I saw shops flooded with cards and gifts,” she says.

Dhrupinder Brar, a Class XI student, is ignorant of what the occasion means, but is all set for the day. He has bought gifts and cards for his girlfriend (s). “We have planned a party and we will be partying the whole day”, he contends.

Preeti, a Class XII student, says, “Valentine fever is on in the city and all the youngsters are busy buying cards for friends. This is a day to show whom much you care for the ones whom you love. I will give cards to my sister and classmates. Teachers have a negative view about the same and they are not ready to understand that cards can be given in a healthy relationship also.”

Ankur, a Class VIII student, feels that it is sheer wastage of time. “I feel all this is futile. These Western concepts are invading Indian culture. We should not encourage these kind of concepts in our country,” he adds.

Anushka, a Class VI student, is not aware of the spirit behind the day. “I know nothing of the history, the tradition or even the story behind Saint Valentine. I do not even know who he was. All know is that the day is a symbolic of love and feelings. So I am just joining the bandwagon.. It feels good to express love.”

She adds that she has been going around shops checking the gift list. “All the shops are overflowing with stuff. I am confused about what to buy. I think I will go in for soft toys. Nothing expresses love better than these toys. Their softness is so much synonymous with love,” she laughs.


Happy day for children of a lesser God
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 8 — For Narinder, Gurpreet, Pooja, Nidhi, Anu and Saurabh, today was a happy day with their first tentative step towards self sufficiency. As these children of the lesser God, with enthusiastic smile on their faces, happily handed glasses of fruit juice to the waiting customers, the future almost appeared bright for them and their parents.

The juice bar at the CITCO managed Chef Lakeview will be looked after by the mentally challenged children from the Government Institute for Mentally Disabled , of course with a little help from parents, well wishers and CITCO

Although the bar has been running on trial basis for the past 15 days, it was formally inaugurated by Lieut-Gen ( retd) J.F.R. Jacob, here today. Accompanied by Ms Neeru Nanda, Adviser to the Administrator and Chairperson, CITCO, he blessed the enthusiastic children all the very best for the future. ‘‘We are very happy,’’they said in unison after the first business venture of their young lives was set rolling by the General.

According to Dr B.S. Chavan, Head, Psychiatry Department, GMCH, Sector 32, and Director of the Institute of Mentally Retarded in Sector 32, where the children were being trained for the past two years, the youngsters despite their handicap, were fully capable of looking after the juice bar. With mild to moderate retardation, all they need is supervisory guidance of their parents, he said.

Accompanying parents were equally enthusiastic about the new venture. Mr S.P. Saini, and other members of the Parents Guardian Society for Welfare of Mentally Handicapped Children, hoped that in future too ventures like these would further help encourage the children of the institute. As per the plan chalked out, these six children aged 15 years and above will work in two shifts with a weekly off.

CITCO also has reduced its share from Rs 6 to Rs 3 out of Rs 15 which is the cost of one glass of fruit juice. After deducting the money invested in buying the fruit, the children will be given 40 per cent of the share. Besides, the parents will also get 40 per cent and the remaining 20 per cent will go towards the poor children fund.

The Governor accompanied by Ms Neeru Nanda and other officials of CITCO, took a round of the Chef Lakeview. He was informed that a Chinese restaurant would soon start functioning at Sukhna Lake within two months. Later, the Governor also inaugurated a CITCO fast food kiosk at Government Museum, Sector 10, Chandigarh.


Guru Ravi Dass Jayanti celebrated
From Tribune Reporters

CHANDIGARH, Feb 8 — Fervour and gaiety marked the birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Ravi Dass here today.

Thousands of devotees thronged Sri Guru Ravi Dass Gurdwara in Sector 30 and Sri Guru Ravi Dass Bhavan in Sector 20, which were tastefully decorated. Recitation of asa di var, bhog of akhand path and kirtan by ragis were the highlights of the celebrations at the Gurdwara.

Various speakers urged the devotees to follow the path shown by the great saint.

The Guru Ravi Dass Youth Welfare Association organised a function at the Kubhra village near here. The Ropar MP, Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, who was the chief guest, laid the foundation of the Guru Ravi Dass Community Centre and announced a grant of Rs 50,000 for it. Community kitchens were also organised.

Meanwhile, a colourful procession was taken out here on Tuesday. The procession, which started from the bhavan, culminated at the Gurdwara after passing through Sectors 20, 21, 22, 17, 18, 19 and 27.

AMBALA: Guru Ravi Dass was not the saint of any specific community, he was the symbol of humanity and equality. It was stated by Mr Rasal Singh, Social Welfare Minister for State here on Thursday. He was speaking in a function of Guru Ravi Dass Jayanti at Bihta organised by the Bhim Rao Ambedkar Samiti. On this occasion Mr Singh announced a grant of Rs 41,000 for the construction of Harijan chopal in the village.

PATIALA: Thousands participated in a kirtan darbar organised as a mark of respect to Guru Ravi Dass Mandir, near Gurdwara Dukhniwaran, in city. Langars were also organised to mark the day. The darbar organised at the mandir was attended by Patiala MP Preneet Kaur besides others. Earlier a nagar kirtan was organised on Wednesday.

SAS NAGAR: The 624th prakash utsav of Guru Ravi Dass was celebrated here on Thursday.

At Sri Guru Ravi Dass Bhavan in Phase VII kirtan was held in the morning follwed by bhog of akhand path which had commenced on Wednesday. Later in the day, a kirtan darbar was held and langar organised for the devotees.


Central team studies trolley-bus project
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 8 — A special team of the Union Urban Affairs Ministry today studied the Chandigarh Administration’s Rs 100-crore trolley-bus project for the city. The team discussed one possibility of decongesting the 4 main roads of the city— the Dakshin marg, Madhya marg, Jan marg and the Himalaya marg.

The Chandigarh Administration had submitted a proposal to the Union Government to study if the idea would be feasible for the city, where traffic management had already become a big problem.

The trolley buses would be run on electricity. The proposal includes setting up of overhead power lines. Report of the team is very crucial as this will ultimately decide what kind of mass transport system is okayed for Chandigarh. Sources in the Administration said the team would be studying all possibilities and would also be suggesting means.


Sambhar strays into Naya Gaon
From Our Correspondent

NAYA GAON (Kharar), Feb 8 — A wild sambhar that had strayed into Naya Gaon village from the nearby Shivalik hills was caught by residents, here this morning. However, the residents kept waiting for officials of the Punjab Forest Department till evening to take charge of their wild catch, but to their dismay.

It is learnt that Dr Vinod Sharma, Chief Warden Zoos, Punjab, after receiving information in the evening, sent the necessary equipment to bring the sambhar to zoo. Dr Sharma said, “When I came to know about the incident, I immediately sent a tractor trolley and a cage to take the sambhar to one of the zoos’’. He said the animal will be later freed in its natural habitat.

The sambhar was first spotted by Mr Jagjit Singh of the village at about five in the morning. According to him the animal was trapped in a pond which has almost turned into a quicksand. He then sought the help of six other villagers to rescue it from the quicksand.

It took them about an hour to rescue the animal. In the process, Jagjit Singh and two other persons received minor scratches on their hands. The terrified animal was then tied to a nearby tree.

Mr Jagjit Singh claimed that he had informed a Forest Department official at about 8 am but no official of the department had reached the spot till 4 pm. The local police was also informed. Agitated over the delay, the villagers said that if no official turned up by night, they would take the animal to the near by Shivalik hills and set it free. When contacted, an official of the department said the delay was because of holiday.

It may be recalled that it was the third case of its type in less then two weeks, in this area. A sambhar was caught from Sector 2 of Chandigarh on February 7 and one more was caught from the village last week.


Good response to bakery workshop
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 8 — With construction on at a brisk pace of the 26-room hotel for training students in housekeeping attached to the Food Crafts Institute, Sector 42, the institute is also becoming a role model for the government institutes in the country in the hotel management and catering business for having devised its own ways of fund generation as a step towards self-sufficiency.

The institute, set up in February 1973, with an aim to provide trained personnel for hotels and other related fields, the recently concluded India Tourism Day celebrations in New Delhi saw the achievements of institute in a different role of being able to utilise their academic achievements as viable commercial activities also.

The presentation highlighted the various commercial-cum-learning activities the institute had undertaken. These included the institute’s restaurant, pastry shop, facilities for an outdoor catering stall at exhibitions and carnivals, prepaid theme dinners etc. The institute has also organised sponsored cookery workshops for all those interested.

The institute’s two-month summer course for professionals in cookery is the most popular feature of the FCI. It has also held five-day culinary demonstrations in more than 20 cities in India. They also have held workshops in the city’s schools, including tailor-made training programmes for PGI, CITCO, Ranbaxy, Chandigarh Police etc.

Meanwhile, the first day of the two-day soyaflour bakery products workshop organised by the FCI in collaboration with the American Soyabean Association attracted a big crowd of participants with the number going more than hundred today.

The workshop was inaugurated by PGI Director, Dr. S. K. Sharma, who said that there was a strong link between the hospitality industry and hospitals as good food will lead to good health. Mr Manmohan Singh, President, Hotel and Restaurant Association of Chandigarh, also spoke on the occasion.

Housewives, lecturers, home science students and teachers, bakers and dieticians were some of those who attended the workshop which focussed on recipes soyabean bread, cookies, cakes etc.


Pammi Chawla is Basant Queen
From Our Correspondent

PANCHKULA, Feb 8 — They were not exactly reed-thin. Nor were they sashaying down the ramp in teeny-weeny skirts like models in fashion shows do. But the elegance of these “50 and above” members of the Panchkula Gymkhana Club outmatched the synthetic grace of “giggling babes” 20-year younger to them.

Organised for raising funds for Gujarat earthquake victims, 13 members of the club, clad in yellow sarees, salwaar-kameej and ghagra-cholis, vied for the title of Basant Queen.

The winners of the show were judged on the basis of catwalk and general knowledge. Mrs Pammi Chawla bagged the title of Basant Queen, while Mrs Mohini Passi and Mrs Santosh Sareen were adjudged the first and the second runners up, respectively.

According to Mrs Surinder Kaur, president of the ladies wing of the club, the performance of the participants was judged by Dr Prem Jain and Mrs Nisha Maini. She informed that a team of the club members would collect relief for the earthquake victims and distribute it to the needy in Gujarat.


Seminar on tax administration
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 8 — The regional branch for Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh of the Indian Institute of Public Administration IIPA) will organise a seminar on “Making tax administration more effective and people friendly, on February 9 at 11 a.m.

According to Mr D.V. Bhatia, honorary secretary of the institute, the seminar will be held in the Department of Public Administration, Panjab University, here.

Mr Ashwini Luthra, Commissioner, Income Tax, Chandigarh, will be the guest speaker.


Two arrested under NDPS Act
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Feb 8 — In two separate raids the police claimed to seized 2.5 kg of opium, here yesterday. Two persons were arrested under Section 18 of the NDPS Act.

According to police sources, Tarun Narula, alias Rinku, a resident of Gur Mandi, Patiala, was caught from near the bus stop on the Panjab University campus, and one and a half kilogram of opium was seized from his possession.

The police also arrested Hawa Singh of Rajasthan and seized one kg of opium from his possession.

Case registered
Mr Rafkat Ali, a resident of Yamunanagar district, complained to the local police against two city residents for cheating him of Rs 3.50 lakh.

According to information, the complainant alleged that Ajay Kumar (Sector 30) and Goga (Sector 22) had assured him to sent abroad.

The police sources said Mr Ali gave them the said amount for his immigration to some foreign country. Neither Mr Ali was send abroad nor his money was returned by the duo.

A case has been registered. The investigations have been handed over to a special cell of the local crime branch.

One arrested
Sandeep Walia of Sector 27 was arrested by the local police after the vehicle he was driving hit Rupinder Kaur of Sector 41, near the PGI roundabout, here on Wednesday. Rupinder was admitted to the PGI.

He was booked under Sections 279 and 337 of IPC.

Scooter stolen
Mr Narinder Singh of Sector 21 reported that his scooter (CH-01-Q-8733) was stolen from the Lake parking on Wednesday. A case under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered.

Liquor seized
Rakesh Kumar of Sector 38 was booked under the Excise Act for carrying liquor pouches, here on Wednesday. The police claimed that 70 pouches were seized from his possession.

Balwinder Singh of Darua village was arrested for drinking liquor at a public place, here on Wednesday. He was also booked under the Excise Act.


One hurt in clash
A Sector 11 resident was injured when he resisted some unidentified youths from attacking his son on Wednesday night.

According to sources, Prem Lal sustained injuries on his hand when he tried to defense his son Dimple.

The miscreants reportedly armed with sharp-edged weapons came and started fighting with Dimple. The police has registered a case but no arrest has been made so far.

Dr C.S. Rao said the police is investigating the case.


Robbers strike at retired IGP’s house
From Our Correspondent

PANCHKULA, Feb 8 — In a daylight burglary, robbers struck at a Sector 2 house of a retired Inspector General of Jammu and Kashmir police, here at about 1p.m. today.

The police sources said that the burglars break into the house of Mr Ram Prakash while his wife along with the servant had gone out for shopping. The owners found front door of the house broken. As they went inside the house, they found all the household goods scattered.

On getting information from the wife of Mr Ram Prakash, police personnel and a dog squad was put on duty.

Dr C.S. Rao, when contacted said that a case has been registered and the exact loss could not be ascertained as yet. Police is raiding at suspected hideouts of the miscreants and hope that culprits would be identified soon, said Dr Rao.

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