Tuesday, February 20, 2001,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


New official to probe Jerath case
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 19 — On former UT Chief Engineer K.K. Jerath’s petition seeking probe by the CBI into two cases registered against him, Mr Justice V.M. Jain of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today directed the transfer of investigations in an FIR from Inspector Gurdial Singh of the Vigilance Bureau to OSD Vigilance Inspector P.L. Chauhan.

Pronouncing the orders in open court, Mr Justice Jain observed: “Taking into consideration that Inspector Gurdial Singh had conducted preliminary inquiry, it would not be legally appropriate for him to investigate this case”.

Mr Justice Jain also observed: “Accordingly, it is directed that the investigation of FIR (Number 2 of 2000) shall stand transferred from Inspector Gurdial Singh to Inspector P.L. Chauhan with immediate effect”.

In his 11-page order, Mr. Justice Jain directed: “The investigation conducted by Inspector P.L. Chauhan in respect of FIR (Number 1 dated March 15, 2000) and FIR number 2 shall be verified by DIG Vigilance of the UT Police before a final report under Section 173 of the Cr.PC is submitted to the court depending upon the result of the investigation”.

Regarding the plea for transferring the cases, Mr Justice Jain observed: “No case is made out for transferring the investigation of the two FIRs from the Vigilance Bureau of the Chandigarh Police to the CBI”.

The two FIRs, it may be recalled, were registered by the Vigilance Bureau. It was alleged that the petitioner, misusing his official position, had utililised the services of 15 workers of the Engineering Department at his official residence.

In the other FIR, it was alleged that Mr Jerath had misused a staff car by showing bogus journeys of his subordinates thereby causing wrongful gain to himself and wrongful loss worth thousands of rupees to the government exchequer.

Seeking the transfer of cases, the petitioner had stated that the FIRs were an attempt on part of the prosecution to harass him. He had added that the allegations had been cooked up by forcing the workers to depose against him. He said the workers had initially refused to depose against him but were coaxed into doing so by Inspector Gurdial Singh.


Move to ban plying of trucks in city
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 19 — In a significant move the Chandigarh Administration is all set to ban plying of trucks on several city roads. This is aimed at easing congestion on the roads and also reducing pollution levels. A notification in this regard is expected by tomorrow.

According to sources the Administration intends to prohibit plying of trucks between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. on the Madhya Marg, the Uttar Marg and the Vigyan Path.

Plying of trucks will also be banned on the roads dividing sectors 21 and 22 and also sectors 22 and 23 during office opening and closing hours. The ban will also apply during the school opening and closing hours that is between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. and also between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. sources said.

The entire Madhya Marg running across the city from the PGI to the newly installed traffic-light point turning to Panchkula will be closed. Trucks going to the railway station will be asked to use the alternative route through the Industrial Area Phase 1. Trucks will be allowed to cross the Madhya Marg at the transport area traffic-light point for parking at the truck union offices.

The roads north of the Madhya Marg have been closed as there is no construction activity. Large number of trucks have been using the route adjacent to the golf course and through the Kishengarh village to reach Mansa Devi and Panchkula, thus adding to congestion on the narrow road besides disturbing wildlife.

Violators will be booked under relevant sections of the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988.

The Administration has not touched the major roads like the outer Dakshin Marg and the Dakshin Marg. The decision has been taken after recommendations by the Chandigarh traffic police. 


HUDA told to pay compensation
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Feb 19— The UT Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has directed the Haryana Urban Development Authority to pay Rs 50,000 as compensation to a resident of Delhi.

The complainant, Mr Raj Kumar, had filed a complaint before the commission under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, against the state of Haryana, through the Secretary to the Government of Haryana, Urban Estate Department, Haryana, Civil Secretariat, Chandigarh, and Haryana Development Authority, through Chief Administrator, HUDA-cum-Director, Estate Officer, HUDA.

It was stated that the complainant, had applied for a 14-marla plot along with the prescribed earnest money amounting to Rs 3,43,500 through one of the bankers of the respondents. The complainant had been allotted plot 314 in Sector 45, Faridabad, at a tentative price of Rs 3,45,500 at the rate of Rs 1145 in the draw of lots held by HUDA.

It was alleged in the complaint that there was deficiency in the services on the part of respondents. The complainant had written dozens of letters for getting the physical possession of the plots so that he could raise construction, but all was in vain.

It was further alleged that there was deficiency in the services of the HUDA, while continued from 1992 till December 30, 1999.

The Bench, comprising members of the Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Mr PK Vasudeva and Ms Devinder Dhatt, observed that the complainant had been humiliated by HUDA when he approached it for implementation of its assurance for allotment. Therefore the Bench held HUDA guilty not only of deficiency in service, but also of atrocities and callous behavior towards the complainant. The Bench therefore has allowed 18 per cent interest on the deposited amount of Rs 3,47,185 from October 8, 1992, to December 30, 1999, and Rs 50,000 as escalation costs to mismanagement of HUDA and Rs 10,000 as costs towards litigation.


Police hunt for Pruthi murderers
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 19 — After a sleepless night, the police is on the trail of the killers of Pruthi Singh, a resident of Sector 10, here who was stabbed to death by three labourers working in her house last night.

According to the information available, the police has succeeded in identifying one of the assailants, Beeru and traps have been laid at all entry and exit points in the city, the inter state bus terminus as well as the railway stations here and in Ambala to stall any escape by the accused. A police party was stationed at the Ambala police station all night to keep a check on all the trains to Bihar, but to no avail. However, the police has rounded up a few people in this connection.

All three accused were labourers specialising in laying of marble floors and had been working in the house of the couple. They had reportedly told the family around 8:30 pm that they wanted to go and buy some amount of white cement and left the house. After a few minutes, the servant, Vijay, went to answer the doorbell and upon opening the door, was attacked by the three accused.

While two of the assailants held Vijay forcibly, one of them went inside the bedroom and slashed the throat of Pruthi Singh. The woman fell instantly and in the meantime, Vijay managed to free himself and rushed out of the house, screaming for help. It was then that the assailants fled. Col K.C. Singh, the husband of the victim, had been locked inside the bathroom. However, he too, managed to get out of the backdoor and raised an alarm.

Vijay, who is admitted to the PGI for treatment, told TNS that the assailants had also switched on the machines used for smoothening and cleaning the floor in order to subdue the cries for help of the unsuspecting victims.

Sources in the police department said they got the lead from the three bicycles of the accused that they had left at the house of the deceased. One of the bicycles parked there had a name, Chotte Lal, Burail, inscribed on it. This set the police working and the man was traced out in Burail late last night. Upon questioning, he confirmed that the bicycle originally belonged to him, but he had sold the same to another resident of Burail, Sunil, almost two years back.

From there, the police went on the trail of Sunil, but found his house in Burail locked. It was then Chotte Lal said that another resident, Master Manmohan Singh, also a contractor, could be helpful in locating Sunil. It was through the former that the police found Sunil working in a house in Phase IX, SAS Nagar.

Upon questioning, Sunil informed the police that he had sold the bicycle to another person who had been employed with him for a few days almost an year and a half ago. Though Sunil did not remember the name of the person, the description he gave of the person matched the description of one of assailants, whom Vijay had identified as Beeru.

Sunil told the police that he could have the address of the accused in his old records of bills made to his juniors, but the police could not find the address of Beeru in the records.

The police had been led to the contractor working for the couple at their residence, R.P.Singh. He reportedly told the police that the assailants had joined him only a fortnight back and they were previously working for two other contractors, Hashim and Mia. The latter had been previously given the contract for the house of the Singhs, but after a disagreement over the settling of the wages had left the job. It was then that R.P.Singh had been given the contract and the three accused had joined Singh.

Sources informed that the police was trying to find Hashim and Mia, but to no avail. While Hashim was reported to be in his native village in Bhagalpur district in Bihar, raids at the house of Mia failed to yield any results till the filing of this report. The police has been thinking on the lines of dispatching a police party to Bhagalpur in order to find the two persons.

The crime in the city related to the migrant labour has been on the rise. The police claims that more than 50 per cent of the heinous crime in the city could be attributed to migrant labour.

Last year, three of the 18 murders in the city saw the hand of migrant labour. The police also claims that the migrant labour that have converged on the city as their “land of opportunity” are also involved in several incidents of theft and robbery. 



Phones in Sec 44, 45 out of order
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 19 — Hundreds of phones in Sectors 45 and 44 are lying out of order and the local office of the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has laid the blame on the Municipal Corporation.

The nigam has claimed that two underground telephone cables — 100 pair and 50 pair size — feeding Sector 45-A and B and Sector 44-A telecom departmental colony have been damaged by workers of the Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, while widening the road berms path in these sectors. More than 70 per cent of the telephones working in these localities have gone faulty. Efforts are being made to restore the service in these areas.

Similar problem had occurred a few days ago when the underground optical fibre cable (OFC) linking Chandigarh with Shimla was damaged near Pinjore by the road authorities. On February 16, phones in Sector 28 and Industrial Area Phase I were cut off and the BSNL had claimed that private telephone providers had damaged the cables.

Meanwhile, a new remote line unit exchange of 100-line capacity was commissioned at Ratwara Sahib by Sant Waryam Singh. The exchange has facilities like the Internet, intelligent network, caller’s line identification.


Many versions of minaret incident
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 19 — Mr R.T. Jindal, Director, North Zone Cultural Centre, Patiala, today denied that a minaret had fallen, injuring three children yesterday.

In a signed statement, he said, “No such incident had taken place and no children were injured. A rumour was spread by somebody that a minaret had fallen. The undersigned had called press correspondents at the site in the evening and took them around. Everybody was satisfied that it was a rumour only”.

Our Correspondent at Patiala adds, “I stand by my story. The North Zone Cultural Centre is apparently denying an incident which was watched by many. A part of the minaret fell when children overcrowded its first floor. The incident was not reported to the police.”

Ms Jaswinder Kaur Dardi, Director Principal of Guru Harkrishan Public School, whose children were hurt in the incident, said eight to ten children of my school took shelter in the shade of the minaret as they were feeling the heat in the open. Cemented jaalis forming a border along the minarent and some bricks fell on them as the old minaret could not stand the weight of the children. One child required stitches whereas four to five others were slightly hurt.


Villagers resent removal of dung heaps
From Our Correspondent

ZIRAKPUR, Feb 19 — Resentment prevailed among residents of Chhat village, about 3 km from here, on the removal of cow-dung heaps along the village link road by the panchayat. The panchayat had removed the heaps on Sunday noon.

Sources said Panchayat authorities had cleared the heaps adjacent to the village cremation ground along the Chhat Bir Zoo road where some of the villagers used to dump the cowdung for the past over 40 years. 

Residents of Chhat village protest against the removal of dung heaps by the panchayat authorities on Monday.

The villagers had reportedly encroached upon two and a half acres of joint village land.

Surjito Devi, (65) complained that she had been earning her livelihood by selling cowdung cakes for the past 35 years from that particular place. ‘‘By clearing the site, the panchayat has ruined me and I am left with no other option but to beg’’, lamented Surjito Devi.

Another resident, Mr Nirmal Singh, complained that the panchayat authorities started clearing the huge dung and dung-cake heaps with the help of an earth moving machine and truck on Sunday morning without giving them prior notices. This act of the panchayat had causes loses worth lakhs of rupees to the affected residents.

Mr Lakhvir Singh Badala, another resident said the agitation would be intensified if the affected parties were not given alternative sites for the purpose.

Mr Gurcharan Singh, sarpanch, however, claimed that the land had been evacuated to sink a tubewell at the place. He, however, said the residents had been informed about the removal through announcements made at the village gurdwara. He further said some political leaders had politicised the issue for their own interests.


Dogra Regiment reunion
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 19 — The Dogra Regiment is organising its 12th post-war reunion at the Dogra Regimental Centre, Faizabad, on February 23 and 24. The reunion is coinciding with the regiment’s 23rd Battalion Commanders Biennial Conference.

According to a statement issued here, the chief host at the celebrations will be the Colonel of the Dogra Regiment, Lt Gen Surjit Singh, who is currently GOC-in-C, Western Command. In addition to commanding officers, the biennial conference is being attended by senior officers of the regiment. A large number of war widows, gallantry awardees and ex-servicemen, including two British officers, are expected to attend the reunion.

The British referred to all those who enlisted from Rajput hill states as Dogras, and the first regiment of Dogras was added to the Bengal Army on April 20, 1887, at Sialkot. After partition, Dogra companies were absorbed from Baluch and Punjab Regiment and the Frontier Force to raise Dogra battalions to its present day strength.

The Dogras earned laurels for valour during World War I and II as well as in all major operations after Independence. In the pre-Independence era, the Dogras had to their credit three Victoria Cross and 44 Military Cross awards besides 312 other awards. Post-Independence, the regiment has won an Ashok Chakra, Padma Bhushan, Padma Shree and nine Maha Vir Chakra besides numerous other decorations, including five unit citations.


Suppressed desires promises to be exciting
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 19 — English theatre has never really picked up in the city, probably because there are not many people involved with it. Whatever little activity one witnesses in this direction is courtesy, Chandigarh Amateur Dramatic Society. After Black Comedy, the last production by the CADS team, three CADS members are at it again. But this time they have chosen to get beyond CADS and have an independent production titled “Suppressed Desires”.

The play, to be staged at Tagore Theatre on February 21 (6 pm), has three characters and an extremely hilarious plot. It focuses on the fallouts of Freudian psychoanalysis and seeks to strike a satire on this fad which had amazingly taken over the Europeans during the early 19th century. Amrit Mundy, the girl who had also directed the very-successful, See How They Run, for the Vivek High School last November, has delved deep into the very- challenging script and has been able to bring out the humorous element quite comfortably.

The three characters in the play are — Henriatta Brewster, Stephen Brewster and Mabel — played by Meera Singh, Commander JV Singh and Amrit Mundy herself.

Produced this time under the banner of English Theatre Company, this delightful comedy in one act by Susan Glaspell, is sure to keep the audience arrested throughout the 50-minute presentation.

The play is laced with funny situations which spring from the psychoanalysis fever, and the amusing play on words keeps the action moving briskly, while promising to throw the audience in splits. The entire proceeds from the play will go to the victims of Gujarat earthquake.


Nominations close for Chandigarh Club poll
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 19 — The closing of nominations for the posts of president vice-president and eight executive members saw Mr Ravinder Chopra, a lawyer of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, today file his papers for the post of president of the Chandigarh Club, which goes to the poll on March 3. With this, a total of three candidates have filed nominations for the post of president, including Mr Amarjit Singh Sethi and Mr R.S Sachdeva, who filed their papers yesterday.

For the post of vice-president, Mr Sunil Khanna, a businessman from SAS Nagar, and Mr Vinod Gupta, an Industrialist and the former president of the club, also filed their nominations. Hence, three persons have filed their papers for the post of vice-president. Mr Sunil Gupta a chartered accountant, had filed his papers yesterday.

Interestingly, for eight posts of executive members, a total of 21 members have filed their nominations, including three sitting members of the executive. Those who filed their nominations today are Mr Ashok Goyal, Mr Manjit Singh Kwatra and Mr Varinder Malik. The three sitting members, who do not have to file nominations and are automatically eligible for re-election, following their retirement from the said posts, are Mr Inderjeet Bajaj, Mr Gopal Gupta and Mr C.M Munjal. However, they can be re-elected to the said posts only twice.

Meanwhile, Secretary of the club, Mr B.B Gupta has appealed to the eligible voters to carry their new membership cards on the day of elections. Those who do not have the cards should collect the same from the club at the earliest after submitting their photographs for the same. He further said that members should also obtain ‘No dues certificates’ for only those who had these certificates would be allowed to vote on that day.

The withdrawals, would be allowed till 5 p.m. tomorrow. The nature of the contests, especially for the posts of president and vice-president, would emerge clearer only after the withdrawals. The club has a total of 4800 members, but going by the past experience, only 50 per cent are likely to cast their votes.

The outgoing president, Mr Chaman Lal Sharma, has assured that it will be a fair election. However, he has appealed to the contestants to avoid levelling of personal allegations and mud slinging during the campaign period.

Meanwhile, two petitions with regard to disallowing members, who do not have five-year standing as a member, from contesting elections were dismissed by the court. Mr Jaswinder Singh and Dr Sanjeev Goyal are the only two members contesting for the post of executive members, who do not have five-year standing as a member of the club.


Shivratri procession taken out
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 19 — A colourful Shivratri procession was taken out here today.

The procession, which started from the Sri Sanatan Dharam Temple in Sector 28, passed through Sectors 27,29,18,8 and 10 before culminating at the Sri Sanatan Dharam, Sector 11. Colourful jhankies, showing legends associated with the lives of Lord Shiva and his consort, Parvati, were the highlights of the procession.

Meanwhile, various temples in the city had been tastefully decorated for the festival, which will be celebrated on February 21. In fact, celebrations had been going in various temples for the past few days. Ridra mahayagya and Shiv Mahapuran katha, which have been going on in the Sector 30 Mahakali Temple will conclude on February 21.

The Sri Radha Krishan Temple in Sector 40, the Luxmi Narayan Temple in Sector 20, the Sri Sanatan Dharam Temple in Sector 23 and the Sri Mahakali Temple in Sector 30 are among the temple where festival will be celebrated on an elaborate scale.


Reduce hike in water, sewerage charges: councillors
From Our Correspondent

SAS NAGAR, Feb 19 — Municipal councillors owing allegiance to the ruling group met the president here today to demand reduction in the hike in water and sewerage charges in the town.

Seventeen councillors told the president that he had earlier given an assurance that the charges, which were increased during the tenure of the then ‘Administrator, would be brought down after studying the issue.

The president, Mr Kulwant Singh, said that welfare of the residents would be kept in mind and at the next general meeting of the council the issue would be put on the agenda.

The president said the resolution to increase the charges was cleared on June 30 last year and it was surprising that its implementation was kept pending. It was enforced just at the time when the newly elected council was formed.

He said for reducing the charges a proper procedure had to be followed and it was unfortunate that the genuine delay was being exploited by the opposition councillors to draw political mileage.


Home Guard jawan booked
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Feb 19 — The local police booked a Home Guard jawan on the charges of obstructing a government employee in carrying out his official duty, here yesterday. According to police sources, Mr Gurpal Singh, a bus conductor of Chandigarh Transport Undertaking, complaint that Kuldip Singh, quarreled with him in the bus (Route No. 31) and thus obstructed him from performing the duty.

A case under Sections 332 and 353 of the IPC has been registered. However, Kuldeep Singh was later released on a bail.

Case registered
Mastang, a cyclist, who was admitted to the PGI here in an unconscious state after being hit by a road-roller on February 14 is still unconscious. Bhinder Singh, who was driving the road-roller, is still at large.

According to the sources, a case under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC has been registered.

Theft case
Ms Kamlesh of Sector 20 reported that a pair of earrings, one ring and Rs 7,500 were stolen from her residence, here on Saturday. A case under Section 380 of IPC has been registered.

Three arrested
The local police arrested three persons from different parts of the city under the Excise Act, on Sunday. The police claimed that as many as 210 pouches of liquor were seized from their possession.


Intruder identified
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Feb 19 — Sources in the Police Department claim that the identity of the youth who had intruded in one of the Panjab University girls’ hostel on the night of February 14 has been “established”.

The sources claimed that the youth was a resident of the campus and his father was an employee of the university. He himself was working at a Sector 22 based shoe shop as a salesman.

On the night of Wednesday last, an intruder had entered the Laxmibai Hostel and had reportedly attacked an inmate. But the girl did not “loose her equanimity” and had retaliated by kicking him in his stomach, which made him run out of the hostel through a ventilator of a bathroom.

According to the sources, “The youth is presently in hiding at Sultanpur in Uttar Pardesh and a police party has been sent to arrest him”.

A sketch of the youth was drawn after getting inputs from the girl whom he had reportedly attacked and from other inmates of the hostel who claimed to have seen him.

Earlier, it was suspected that the intruder could be one of the boys working in the hostel’s mess or someone from the servant quarter’s adjoining the hostel boundary wall. A senior police official said, “Our earlier supposition was based on the fact that the youth seemed to be versed with the layout of the hostel and this was the reason he made an easy escape”.


8 more Pvt bodies to tend roundabouts
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 19 — The Municipal Corporation Chandigarh ( MCC) has offered the development and maintenance of as many as eight roundabouts in the city to those corporate houses, who had evinced interest in sprucing these up. However, the same will be formally handed over to them on the first-come-first -served basis.

According to sources, letters in this regard have been sent on behalf of the Chief Engineer, Mr Puranjit Singh to seven companies namely SAB Infotech; SPICE Telecom; local Coca Cola franchise; Hot Millions; CII ( Northern Region); HFCL; Ranbaxy. Of the eight roundabouts four are in the Northern sectors and the other four are in the southern sectors.

These are Jn-8 ( near Punjab and Haryana High Court) Jn-8( Sectors 2,3,10,11); Jn-24 ( Sectors 14, 15, 24, 25); Jn-29 ( Sectors 19, 20, 27, 30); Jn-46 (Sectors 37, 38, 40,41); Jn-47 ( Sectors 36,37,41,42); Jn-48 ( Sectors 35,36,42,43) and Jn-52 ( Sectors 31,32, 46 and 47).

The sponsors have also been informed that the entire expenditure on the development and subsequent maintenance is to be borne by them. However, no extra charges are to be paid to the MC. The initial agreement for the sponsorship is for a period of three years. However, the same can be renewed on the basis of performance. Besides, the sponsors can also display the name of their company and logo on a board on all four sides of the roundabouts.

Meanwhile, the request of the Tourism Promotion Society of Chandigarh for developing and maintaining the roundabout of Sectors10,11 and 3 has been forwarded for necessary approval.

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