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


Liquor may cost more from April 1
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 8
Liquor prices in the city are likely to rise marginally from April 1.

The jump in sales tax rates imposed in neighbouring Punjab yesterday would have its impact in the Union Territory also, sources in the Chandigarh Administration said while explaining the reason for the price hike. The sales tax on liquor is all set to be hiked from the present 13.2 per cent to 20 per cent to match with that in adjoining Punjab. If the sales tax is not fixed at 20 per cent it will be slightly lower than that but a hike up from the existing 13.2 per cent is on the cards.

The Excise and Taxation wing of the Chandigarh Administration has already expressed fears if the hike is affected the auction money which is collected from bidders will drop. During the ongoing financial year the Administration had collected Rs 58.68 crore by auctioning vends in the city.

The Administration, which is at the moment in the process of finalising its policy for next year, will have to do a tightrope walk between balancing an impending increase in sales tax and keeping an eye if the hike will lead to a drop in auction money, besides hitting the consumer. The policy will be finalised within coming week and the auction is slated between March 20 and March 25.

Sales tax on liquor was hiked from the existing 13.2 per cent to 20 per cent by Punjab yesterday. The policy under which the Chandigarh Administration auctions liquor vends in the city is fixed on an annual basis.

For the ongoing financial year the imposition of uniform sales tax led to fixation of 13.2 per cent as sales tax on liquor in Chandigarh. Before that there used to be no sales tax on liquor in Chandigarh. The idea of uniform sales tax is to keep rates of liquor on per bottle basis to be the same in all states thus making the flow of liquor from one state to the another quite unprofitable.

The formation of liquor policies of Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh is usually a hide and seek affair with each government or Administration carrying out its auctions in the last week of March. A slight shift in policy means flow of liquor from one state to another. Usually the excise policy of Chandigarh runs parallel to that prevailing in Punjab. 


Snag in 20,000 phones
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 8
Close to 20,000 phones connected to the exchange in Industrial Area Phase II went dead around 7 pm tonight following a technical snag snapping communication links.

These phones are working on level 65, 64 and 63.

According to sources, the exchange is connected to the main exchange in Sector 34.

The link between the two exchanges developed a snag due to which subscribers of the Industrial Area Phase II exchange could only receive calls but could not make calls.

The snag could not be rectified till late at night.

In the past two months, communication links have snapped in the city and neighbouring townships of Panchkula and S.A.S. Nagar several times. 


Pay sales tax online from May 1
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 8
March 8 — About 18,000 sales tax assesses in the city will be able to pay sales tax online through computer connected terminals from May 1, said the UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen. J.F.R. Jacob (retd), while inaugurating the computerisation process of the Excise and Taxation Department here this morning.

The excise and taxation wing will move to a new building in Sector 28. A one-acre plot has been earmarked and it will be named ‘‘Kar Bhawan’’ once the building is ready. The Deputy Commissioner cum Commissioner Excise and Taxation, Mr M. Ramshekhar, while explaining the system to the Administrator, said that number of assesses in Chandigarh had increased to 18,000 and assessment staff was woefully short.

Against the requirement of 36 assessment officers, Chandigarh had only five assessing officers and due to this the Administration was losing a lot of revenue. Late assessment on sales tax cases and pendency was also creating problems for assesses. The department had earned a revenue of Rs. 21. 50 crore this year and with streamlining of the process revenue was likely to go up.

The National Informatic Centre (NIC) had devised the new computerisation package. The Administrator wanted that the package must have inbuilt security to check its unauthorised use by any person or check the system from hacking by some outsider. Moreover this system must provide for a sort of ready reckoner to know as to what changes were conducted by an authorized person on a specified date to keep a check on any fraudulent changes in the system. One back up must be outside the system to save the data in case of accidental fire or collapse of system.

The Administrator said since Value Added Tax (VAT) was being introduced throughout the country from April 2002, the computer software must be compatible with the VAT system. He also suggested the system must be compatible with the Deemed Assessment System (self assessment system) which would cover over 95 per cent sales tax assesses.

The Deputy Commissioner informed that data regarding dealers would be fed into system and system would be fully operation by May 1. He informed that different sales tax performas used by various categories of assesses could be downloaded from the website which also had information regarding different rates of tax applicable to different goods.


‘Enough reasons’ to frame charges
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 8
The prosecution, in its reply to Major Maneesh Bhatnagar’s submission, today contended that Col G.S. Ranawat, who had conducted the hearing of charges (HOC) and recorded the summary of evidence (SOE), had enough reasons to frame charges against the accused officer and proceed further to record summary of evidence.

Major Bhatnagar had contended yesterday that the charges against him had been dropped by Colonel Ranawat as there was not enough evidence to pursue the case further.

The prosecution listed the findings of the court of inquiry (COI) on which the charges could be based. This was contested by the defence, which maintained that as per the Army Rules, the officer conducting the HOC and recording the SOE should be unbiased and form an independent opinion and hence he was not entitled to peruse the findings or directions of the COI. He could only refer to the statements made by the witnesses in the COI.

On the issue of the accused officer being issued posting orders by the MS Branch, the prosecution maintained that it was a routine matter. The defence argued that it could not be a routine matter as the MS Branch was aware that disciplinary proceedings had been initiated against the accused. The defence produced a copy of a letter written by Colonel Ranawat to the MS Branch in this regard.

The prosecution also stated that Colonel Ranawat had testified before the court that he had not dismissed the charges against Major Bhatnagar. He added that the disciplinary proceedings had been stalled by Colonel Ranawat on a signal from HQ 14 Corps and as per the law, the proceedings became null and void. This resulted in fresh disciplinary proceedings being initiated.

Arguing that the defence was linking unconnected incidents with the charges against him, the prosecution contended that it was laying a lot of emphasis on the statements of three witnesses examined during the court of inquiry, but was ignoring the statement of Brig Devinder Singh, Commander, 70 Infantry Brigade.

The defence contended that the statements made by the prosecution implied that Colonel Ranawat probably had no choice but to order the recording of the SOE, probably on directions from the higher authorities.

The defence also made a submission that the judge advocate should not participate in the deliberations of the court and should leave the courtroom when the court was closed.


Jacob seeks sanction for 346 teacher’s posts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 8
The Government of India has been requested to urgently sanction 346 posts of school teacher as a shortfall of teachers was hampering studies , said the UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), while talking to media persons while on an impromptu visit to various wings of the Estate Office here today.

At the moment there are about 104 government schools in the city and there have been constant demands to upgrade these from middle to matric level and from matric level to XII standard. Demands to add more subjects have also been coming in. Teachers are being employed on a part-time basis leading to lack of continuity in education.

The MHA has cleared the posts, but the Ministry of Human Resources and Development has yet to clear it.

Another example is of the excise and taxation wing which has asked the MHA to increase its staff strength from 6 to 80 members as business activity in Chandigarh has grown by leaps and bounds, but still the same staff is expected to deal with cases of 20,000 sales and excise tax assesses. Now about 36 posts are being sanctioned, but that is not adequate.

During his visit to various wings of the Estate Office, the General went around the building branch and interacted with visitors. He asked the DC whether some of the lawyers and typists at the rear of the Estate Office have been relocated to other public dealing offices. He visited other surrounding offices also. 


Audit panel visits PU departments
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 8
A committee of Punjab University constituted for administrative and academic audit-2001 has commenced regular visits to departments verifying details, an official press note said here today. The team visited the Department of Geography, Biotechnology, Geology, Zoology, Computer Science and Anthropology, the note added.


Enjoy Holi, but cautiously
Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 8
Do enjoy the festival of colours, Holi, but a little more cautiously and carefully this time. Medical specialists and experts caution that whereas harmful chemical components in dry colours can cause serious damage to skin and eyes, an uncontrolled festival bonhomie can result in a bigger injury — at time even permanent.

The problem multiplies when actions of individuals are intentional, says Prof Amod Gupta, Head of Department of Ophthalmology. It is the resistance to these intentional actions that more often than not leads to serious injuries, he adds.

The Eye Department of the PGI witnesses a large number of injury cases during the festival of Holi. Professor Gupta divides these cases in three broad categories — one, which are caused from irritation when the gulal directly gets into the eye, second, the injuries resulting from water balloons, and third, the accidents due to drunken driving. The resulting accidents are actually the most dangerous as these can cause serious trauma injuries while the broken window panes and shattered glasses can almost kill the eye, he says.

Dry powder or gulal can cause problems which at times magnify because the exact composition of these colours is not quite known and neither is the quality control monitored. While in itself, the chemicals in the dry colours are quite toxic, these can cause direct injury to the delicate organ that the eye is. Gulal can also cause photophobia and the person cannot tolerate bright light. It can also cause keratits, a superficial inflammation of the eye, adds Professor Gupta.

Prof S.B.S. Mann, ENT expert and Director Principal, GMCH, Sector 32, says too much dry colours can block the ears and nose. If the wet colours are used with dirty water, it can lead to serious infections of the ear and nose, he asserts. It is the skin which after the eye, suffers the most. Many colours used for preparing gulal are oxidised heavy metals, besides sand, glass powder, acid, mica and pieces of plastic.

A skin specialist, Dr Maleeka Sachdev, says gulal can cause acute skin problems When the colour is rubbed too deeply in the skin,crystals of silica cause minor cuts and aberrations. Skin can start peeling, which may take a long time in healing. Some people can also experience allergies with redness of the skin, followed by oozing and secondary infections if not treated properly, says Dr Sachdev, adding that usually the wet colours are not too harmful as the maximum they do is stain the skin for a prolonged time.

Heavy metals in the colours at times can cause serious respiratory disorders. Prof S.K. Jindal, Head of the Pulmonary Department, PGI, asserts that asthmatic patients in particular can have lot of problems. People should avoid inhalation of dry colours as these can cause serious respiratory problems, which in very small children can be particularly harmful. 

Do’s and don’ts

Before venturing out to play Holi, observe these simple precautionary measures:
1. Use good quality colours.
2. Apply a nice layer of oil to your hair.
3. Also apply a thick layer of a good quality cream to your skin.
4. If irritation occurs immediately wash off the colour from your face and splash cold water in your eyes.
5. In case of a minor rash apply soothing calamine lotion.
6. Avoid sunlight in case the skin is seriously affected as it will increase the irritation.
7. For a serious injury see a doctor.

Beware of these

* Most of the colours are made up of heavy metals like chromium, cadmium, nickel, mercury, zinc and iron, which at times can cause irreversible damage to various organs and at times even metabolic imbalance. See what the Merck Index, an encyclopaedia of chemicals, drugs and biologicals, has to say about each one of these chemicals.

* Lead is said to be the most harmful of the lot. It can seriously affect the physical and the mental growth, besides affecting the nervous system. Lead also can cause toxicity of the kidney. Chromium causes high blood pressure, kidney damage and destroys testicular tissues and the red blood cells. Mercury can cause acute and chronic toxicity

* Cobalt can lead to severe pulmonary symptoms and dermatitis. Ingestion of the metal can cause nausea, vomiting and local irritation. Cadmium causes increased salivation, choking, vomiting, abdominal pain, anaemia, renal dysfunction and diarrhoea, besides dryness of throat, cough headache and restlessness. Nickel too causes dermatitis in sensitive individuals, besides nausea vomiting and diarrhoea. Back


Cops set to keep an eye on Holi revellers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 8
The police is all set to counter Holi revellers on the high-for the next two days, even as the confusion over the exact day of the festival still persists. As many as 1,036 police personnel will be deployed at various strategic points in the city to counter any incident of hooliganism.

The Senior Superintendent of Police today held a meeting of all Sub Divisional Officers (SDPO’S), Deputy Superintendents of Police and Inspectors to chalk out a plan to provide adequate security in order to avoid any untoward incident tomorrow. It has been decided to lay nakas and checkposts not only at the various entry and exit points in the city but also to set up police parties and checkposts to cover the entire city.

It is learnt that a total of seven Deputy Inspectors of Police, 30 Inspectors, 109 non gazetted officers (SI’s and ASI’s), 650 Head Constables and Constables, 200 Home Guards and 40 lady police personnel would be on their feet for the maintenance of law and order. Seventyfour police parties will also be stationed for the maintenance of law and order.

All the SDPO’s have also been provided with a reserve (comprising of 20-24 personnel) as has the SP (Headquarters) with three reserves and the SSP himself will have two reserves at his disposal to be moved in case of any emergency.

Sixteen Police Control Room vans will be stationed at different parts of the city and 21 joint nakas will be laid by the traffic as well as the local police, especially along the geri route. Around 20 nakas will also be laid at the various entry and exit points, while seven nakas are being laid keeping in view the terrorist angle.

Giving details, the SP (Headquarters), Mr Baldev Singh, said adequate arrangements had been made to provide security in front of the various girls’ hostels. Police parties would also be stationed at three of the university gates, even as the university authorities have decided to close Gate I (towards PGI) and Gate II (towards Sector 15) for all others than the staff and students from 8 am to 8 pm, on Friday and Saturday.


A busy day for champions of women’s rights
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 8
The need to shift the focus of attention for the upliftment of women from the urban to rural areas was the message given at various functions held in the city to mark International Women’s Day here today. While the various educational institutes of the city held panel discussions on the status of women in society, some colleges also held essay writing and declamation contests. The city’s police celebrated the day in a big way organising many functions in the different parts of the city. A blood donation camp and a medical camp was also organised on the occasion.

The city’s political parties organised awareness lectures on the city’s outskirts and took the opportunity to assert their various demands, including reservation for women in politics. The intellectuals of the city got together at the Press Club to reiterate the demand of women for an equal status of women in society.

GGDSD College, Sector 32: At GGDSD College, Sector 32, members of the staff and students participated in panel discussions organised by the NSS unit of the college. Eminent speakers from the faculty addressed the staff and students and highlighted the achievements of women and the general problems of women. Principal A.C. Vaid, addressed the gathering and observed that mental clarity and progressive approach is the need of hour, irrespective of sex discrimination.

Government College of Education, Sector 20: A seminar was organised here. Members of the faculty deliberated upon various issues related to women. Initiating the talk, Prof A.S. Dhaliwal lauded the efforts being made in this direction and expressed concern at the plight of rural women. Dr Beantjit Kaur traced the historical development of women down the age. Ms Jasvir Chahal gave the latest statistics as well as trends in women related issues.Dr Kulbir Kaur stressed “women are the founders of civilisation, lack of education and economic insecurity are the key factors of deprivation of women”. Ms Manjit Dhaliwal informed the audience about the status of women. Ms Saroj Saini laid emphasis on the psychological strengths which women were capable of. Principal Ms Surinder Tangri raised some critical issues like biases in the balance in awarding equality of rights and status of women. The week’s morning assembly was also dedicated to women and related material was also put up on the bulletin board of the college.

Air Force Wives Welfare Association: The Air Force Wives Welfare Association (AFWWA) organised different functions to mark the occasion. Ms Rita Kumar, President AFWWA,L,3 BRD, AF, graced the occasion by planting saplings at 3BRD, AF. Ms Sangeeta Gupta, Secretary, AFWWA,L, 3BRD, AF, gave a talk on the precautions to be taken before and after an earthquake. Ms Rita Kumar also spoke on the occasion and talked about the importance of women being financially independent by starting small ventures for which AFWWA (Central) would provide financial support. She also urged all to become members of AFWWA Credit and Thrift Society to be started by the AFWWA, (Central) shortly.

Chandigarh Nationalist Congress Party, UT: A function was organised by the CNP to mark Women’s Day at Sector 45. Principal Gurbachan Singh, President NCP, Navjinder Singh, Mohalla President, CNYC, Mr Kuljeet Singh Mintoo, Mr Sham Lal Kanojia, Mr G.S. Sidhu, Ms Paramjeet Kaur Dhillon, Ms Surjit Kaur, Ms Asha Gupta and Ms Daljeet Kaur, addressed the function and enlightened women about human rights. Mr Gurbachan Singh promised that 50 per cent tickets will be given to women during the forthcoming elections of the Municipal Corporation. The Women’s cell of the party organised a function at Manimajra. Ms Poonam Sharma, President, Nationalist Mahila Congress Party, Chandigarh, presided over the function.

Traders Association, Sector 17: As many as 278 persons donated blood at a camp organised by the Traders Association, Sector 17, in collaboration with the Lions Club, Chandigarh Moonstar, to mark Women’s Day. The camp was inaugurated by Mr Harmohan Dhawan and Lion N.K. Grover, Governor of District 321-F, was the guset of honour. The Deputy Mayor, Mr Gurcharan Singh Kala and Canadian MP Gurbax Singh Malli also visited the camp.

Haryana Civil Accounts Association held a seminar on the problems faced by the women employees. Shiela didi of Punjab Istri Sabha and Chadreshekhar, General Secretary CITU, Punjab State Committee, exhorted the women employees to get together and wage a relentless struggle against the atrocities committed against women.

Samarpan, a voluntary organisation organised, a function at its sewing and embroidery centre at Mauli Jagran. Ms Jaishree Sharma, president of the organisation, talked to the audience about importance of the Women’s Day.

Surya foundation organised a seminar on “Women Empowerment” and a free medical camp at Panchayat Ghar, Hallo Majra. Dr R.K. Sharma, of CMC, Sector 17, was the chief guest on the occasion. Talking to those present, he explained the importance of creating awareness among women about health, education and economic independence. Mr Ramneek Sharma, Founder Director of the foundation, also highlighted the importance of the day. Discussions on various issues were also taken up. More than 90 patients were examined and treated at the camp.

Family Planning Association, Panchkula branch, in collaboration with Government College, Panchkula, NSS and Women’s cell held a function at the college here on Thursday. Ms Pushpa Khanna, president, FPAI, in her address expressed hope that the message of independence for women will become a reality. Dr W.D. Kain, recited a poem while Ms Usha Singla stressed on the cooperation between men and women. Ms Rishi from the college, highlighted the issue of education and awareness for women. Amit, a student recited a poem and a skit was also presented by the students of the college.

The NSS unit of Government College of Fine Arts, Sector 10 organised a function in the college campus. The Principal, Mr Prem Singh, while speaking on the occasion stated that women is the creator of environment in family and society. Dr C.L. Narang, Director, NSS, Panjab University, stressed that despite many efforts the condition of women had not changed much. Prof M.S. Sidhu stated that women can contribute a lot to social change. Prof Ravinder Sharma highlighted that women were the better half and their achievement in every field was larger than that of men.

Government College for Girls Sector 42: While other colleges in the city organised functions to mark International Women’s Day, GCG-42, in collaboration with the Lions Club Chandigarh Nightingale hosted the “Sensation Number 1” inter-college competition in dance, antakshri and acting at the college here on Thursday marking International Friendship Day, later converted to Women’s Day. Capt Kanwlajit Singh, Finance Minister, Punjab, was the chief guest and he talked about harmony between men and women in all spheres. Teams from the host college, Government College, of art, MCM DAV College, Sector 36, participated in the various competitions. Pooja, Rama and Nidhi of the host college won the antakshri competition. The show was anchored by Saibal Sinha.

The City police organised a series of functions on Thursday to mark the International Women Day. An essay competition was organised for the students of the city colleges on the topic, “Gender Equality: Issues and Solutions.” Twenty students from as many as nine colleges participated in this contest. Ms Guneet Tej, a BA IInd year student from GCG, Sector 11, was declared the winner of the contest , to be followed by Ms Maninder Kaur Brar of SGGS College for Men and Poonam Rani from Dev Samaj College for Women, won the second and the third prizes respectively.

A workshop on Empowerment of Women was also organised by the police under the leadership of Mr H.G.S. Dhaliwal in association with the Jan Shikshan Sansthan at the Government School, Sector 25. Discussions were held on the legal literacy for women and the protection of girl child. Ms Poonam Ratti Singh, Editor, Preet Ladi magazine, was the chief guest on the occasion and the SSP, Mr Parag Jain, also addressed the gathering. Mr P.P.S. Gill, Special Correspondent, The Tribune, was also present on the occasion.

Two street plays were also organised by the police in association with the Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Academy at the Plaza, Sector 17. These plays concluded with a resounding success under the supervision of ASP (East), Mr Sagar Preet Hooda.

Government College for Girls, Sector 11: A declamation contest was organised by Chandigarh Police at Government College for Girls, Sector 11 to mark Women’s Day here today. 29 participants from various college of the city spoke on the topic of “Women in a consumerist world”. Ashwinder of SGGS College, Sector 26 stood first while Sajjan Singh of Government College, Sector 11 came second while Ms Nishtha Singh of Government College for Girls, Sector 11, got third prize. Mr Parag Jain, SSP was also present on the occasion.

Indian Council of Social Welfare: To emancipate women in the true sense , the mindset of the society has to be changed, said Ms Jaswinder Grewal, secretary of the Punjab branch of Indian Council of Social Welfare, while delivering a lecture at the Chandigarh Press Club, Sector 27, here on Thursday. The discussion was organised by the Press Club in collaboration with Markfed. Giving a brief history of women’s movement, Dr Satya Pal Gautam, activist and Reader in the Philosophy Department, Panjab University, said while women’s movement in the developed countries had entered the third phase, in India women were still struggling for equality with men regarding basic issues like education, health and victimisation of women in the name of social traditions. Emphasizing the need of education and economic independence, Ms Sheela Didi, president of Chandigarh Istri Sabha, said the stereotype of roles for man woman in the society should be redefined.

British Library: In a function titled ‘The Spirit of Woman’ was organised by the British Library in collaboration with the National Institute of Professional Techniques at the library hall in Sector 8 here today, a number of women from various walks of life shared their views on the essence of women.

The Divya Anand Cultural Organisation A home for destitute girls in Sector 15, also celebrated Women’s Day by distributing sweets among the 38 inmates. The girls were made aware of the rights of women on this occasion.

Ratna Memorial Charitable Trust celebrated the International Women’s Day in Kissan Colony, Phase-I, Chandigarh, here on Thursday. Women of this backward area were told about the importance of education and the need to educate the girl child to achieve equality and justice in the society.

The tiny tots of Evergreen Academy, Sector 34, celebrated the day in a unique way by thanking the most important women in their lives, their teachers. They said it with a puppet show, dancing and singing.

The Kashmiri Sahayak Sabha, Chandigarh, celebrated the Women’s Day at the Kashmir Bhavan, Sector 24, on Thursday. A seminar was also organised by the sabha to mark the day.

Speaking on the occasion. Ms Nancy Ganju, president of the sabha, spoke about the atrocities committed on women and appealed to the women to fight for their rights.

The local unit of Territorial Mahila Congress also celebrated the Women’s Day at the Shaheed Bhagat Singh Colony, Sector 49, in which a large number of women participated.

Speaking on the occasion, Ms Lalit Joshi, president of the unit, stressed upon empowerment of women and said women liberation helds an important place in the history of mankind. Women need to come forth and claim their rightful place in the society, added Ms Joshi.

Also present on the occasion were Mr B.B. Behl, president of the local unit of the Congress and Mr Rajkumar Goel, Mayor, Chandigarh

AMBALA: International Women’s Day was celebrated in Ambala City on Thursday. Deputy Commissioner, Ambala, Mr D.D. Gautam, while addressing a gathering on this occasion said the all round development of the society depended on the education of women.

Women should aware of their rights and the projects run by the government for their welfare. Additional Deputy Commissioner, Mr Mahender Kumar and Ms Usha Arora also addressed the gathering.

PATIALA: Various meetings were organised by different communities to mark Women’s Day here toady. During a meeting organised by women leaders and workers of Janta Dal (United), various ideas were put forth, including demands such as free education for girls up to Class XII and up to university for the handicapped women.

Ms Ravinder Sharma, secretary of Punjab unit of Janta Dal, added that the number of facilities and job opportunities must also be increased, especially for widows and handicapped women.

Ms Tej Kaur, general secretary, added that the amount of pension for the aged, widow and retarded women must be raised from Rs 200 to at least Rs 500.

The members decided to take an initiative for raising more opportunities for needy women. The meeting stressed upon wearing of traditional dresses.

In another meeting organised by the Working Women Co-ordination Committee, Ms Ravinderjit Kaur, general secretary, said the prime need was to ensure higher and free education for women and giving more benefits to the husbands of working women. The committee demanded equal right for women in the husband’s property after his death or in case of divorce.


Hindu-Muslim ratio unchanged: study
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 8
A Panjab University study indicates that percentage of Hindus (approximately 82) and Muslims (12.5) in India has remained unchanged in the 20th century.

The argument was evident from a data in a paper on ‘Demographic Growth and Spatial Spread since Independence’ in reference to minorities in India by Prof Gopal Krishan, Department of Geography at PU.

The paper indicates that events took place in a manner that the population change over almost a century culminated in things remaining virtually the same. Various other small religious communities did display some differing tendencies. The paper indicates that members of Hindus has reduced but they would not lose majority even if the current trend carried on for centuries. Muslim population was increasing “ due to a higher rate of natural increase”.

The population of people of Christian faith has, however, gone down marginally in its share under the twin effect of lower rate of natural increase and a setback to conversion. However, conversion to Sikhism has gained marginally. Jains have also been reduced in their already meagre share.

The study conducted by Prof Gopal Krishan is based on statewise data on religious composition of population for the period 1951-1991.The estimated share of Hindu population in total population was 81.9 per cent in 1901. It was 81. 56 in 1991.

In 1991, Hindus were in majority in 19 states and all Union Territories except Lakshadweep. They were in minority in six states including Mizoram, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and Arunachal Pradesh. Christians were in absolute majority in Mizoram, Nagaland and Meghalaya; Muslims in Jammu and Kashmir and Lakshadweep and Sikhs in Punjab.

At the district level Hindus were in majority in 409 districts among the total 466 in India in 1991. Buddhists marked a majority in two districts in Arunachal Pradesh and one in Sikkim.

Notwithstanding , numerical increase of Christians from 8.5 million in 1951 to 19.7 million in 1991, they have been losers in their representation in the total population in 1991. Sikhs’ percentage has increase from 1.74 to 1.94 during this period.

In the land of origin, Buddhism has recorded majority in none of the states or union territories of the country.

During the past few decades, agricultural employment in India has recorded changes in favour of non-agricultural activities, said Dr Dhian Kaur from Panjab University during the ongoing international seminar on “A Century of Population Change” being organised by the Department of Geography here today.

The paper of Dr Dhian Kaur says the proportion of cultivators had declined from 43.4 per cent to 38.4 per cent during 1971-91 while that of labourers had increased.

The paper of Dr R.C. Chandna, from the host department, says the national population policy of 2000 was a country’s attainment on the demographic front. Some of the laudable attainments of the country on this front include growth rate of country’s population that had reached its peak in 1961-71 has been contained to two per cent; and success on other fronts of the real picture of national population. Dr Raj Bala from the HCM Rajasthan Institute of Public Administration, Jaipur, said “India is entering into the 21st century with a compelled urban agenda where glitter and darkness is blazing. In India urbanisation has entered a phase of contrast and controversies.”

Dr Swarnjit Mehta, PU, in introduction of her paper says that “after nearly half a century of state intervention in bringing about overall transformation of Indian economy and society, it was time to evaluate the regionally varying outcomes of these efforts.” The paper dwelt on tribal literacy which is characterised by the lowest literacy rate.


Flower & garden contest at Chandimandir concludes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 8
The four-day annual flower and garden competition concludes at Chandimandir Cantonment near here today. About 240 participants had vied for honours in 19 categories.

Speaking on the occasion, the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Command, Lt-Gen Surjit Singh stressed upon all ranks to pay greater attention to the maintenance of cleaner and healthier surroundings. He also gave away the prizes.

The winners in each category are as follows —

Institutions and Officers’ Mess: Command Officers Mess, Western Command Signals Regiment Quarter Guard, Rose Garden, HQ Western Command.

Major Units: Western Command Signals regiment, 50 Light AD Regiment.

Minor Units: 767 Tpt Coy, Station Headquarters, HQ N-Area.

Independent Houses: Ms Promil Sharma, Maj Gen I.S. Kahai, Maj Gen Madhav Arren.

Sector A (GF): Col K.K. Singh, Ms Roma Bindra, Ms R. Sarai.

Sector A (FF): Col V.R. Gadekar, Col Kulwant Singh.

Sector B: Yogandra Kumar, Maj K.S. Chahil

Kitchen Garden JCOs: Nb Sub S.P. Singh, Sub Maj Raghbir Singh, Sub Maj Malkit Singh

Kitchen Garden NCOs: L.N.K. Karnail Singh, Nk B Subba Reddy, N.K. Rajeev N.

Kitchen Garden (FF): L/Hav Jagru Ram, Hav TG Rajendran.

Dahlias: Maj Gen I.S. Kahai, Ms R. Sarai, Brig G.K. Dua.

Annuals: Col K.K. Singh, Maj Gen Madhav Arren, 767 TPT Coy.

Cacti: Maj P.K. Sharma, Ms Savita Seth, Maj Gen P. Dayal.

Bonsai: Mrs Savita Seth, Mrs Bindiya Uppal, Maj P.K. Sharma.

Perennials: Mrs Roma Bindra, Col K K Singh, 213 Rocket Regt.

Cut Flower: Ms R. Sarai, Maj Gen I.S. Kahai, Command Nursery.

Fresh flower arrangement: Ms Bindiya Uppal, Ms Taruna Richards, Ms Savita Chopra.

Dry flower arrangement: Ms Savita Seth.


Implement pay panel recommendations’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 8
The Punjab Government Pensioners Association today regretted that the state government has not allowed them the concessions incorporated in the Fourth Punjab Pay Commission.

Mr Yashpal Ghai, additional general secretary of the association, asserted that the commission had submitted its report on February 20, 1998 to the state government. This report recommended the benefit of old age allowance for the pensioners at the age of 65 and 75 years, at the first and the second stage, respectively. He claimed that this benefit was allowed to them at the age of 70 and 80 years. Mr Ghai said although more than three years had gone by since the report was submitted, the Badal government was adopting dilly-dallying tactics in implementing this recommendation. There was no point in setting up a pay commission if its recommendations were not to be implemented.

He said the pensioners now hoped that the budget to be presented in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha in March would give them a fair deal and their demands would be accepted.


Brahmakumaris’ function
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 8
The additional chief of the Brahmakumaris and Controller of the overseas branches, Rajyogini Dadi Janki, will arrive in Amritsar on March 10. According to a press note, she will lay the foundation stone of the “Vishva Shanti Bhavan” near the Verka Chowk.

Camp held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 8
State Bank of Patiala organised an eco -development camp at Khuda Ali Sher village in collaboration with the Environment Society of India yesterday. Villagers and the bank employees planted saplings.


Criminals help crack crimes
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 8
It is certainly not a comedy of errors. Nor is it a script of the run-of -the-mill Bollywood film, wherein a thug leads the protagonist police wallah to a gang of gun-toting criminals that he is in search of. This is the real life situation where the police uses the services of the petty criminals in order to nail the bigger ones.

According to information gathered from official sources, 90 per cent of crime detection in local and special law cases (relating to drug trafficking, prostitution, gambling, illicit liquor smuggling etc) is done mainly as a result of information given by police informers. These informers, however, have comparatively less contribution towards the detection of heinous crimes committed under the Indian Penal Code.

It is also learnt that the Police Department has set up a secret service fund, specifically for paying money to these informers. A maximum of Rs 5,000 can be paid for an information or it can be used in parts, but the discretion of using this fund lies only with the Inspector-General of Police. There is, however, no set frequency for availing this fund and payment from the department is generally not refused.

The practice of paying informers reportedly gained momentum during the militancy days in Punjab and the Union Territory. It is learnt that then there was no fixed sum allocated to the fund but lakhs of rupees were spent on informers.

Interestingly, several police officials contacted by TNS felt that a police officers’ efficiency and crime detection prowess often increased if he was able to have a regular, reliable and strong chain of informers. “Though success in the police is often judged by the ability to detect cases registered under the IPC, but it is equally important to curb the social vices like gambling, prostitution, drug menace etc. and this is done largely through the informers, who themselves are involved in these crimes,” says a police officer.

Even recently, the police was led to the main accused in the Soni murder case in Sector 32 with the help of informers, who had spilled the beans about the victim’s illicit relations with the brother of the accused.

A top police officer in the city, when contacted, revealed that it was generally the conflict of personal interests between rival criminals that is capitalised by an intelligent police officer.”Supposing the business of a liquor smuggler, drug peddler or a gambling den is being adversely affected as a result of a new competitor, the affected party would automatically approach the police and give information about this new den on the condition that his own business interests would not suffer and this wish is often complied with and the person is allowed to work uninterrupted by the police,” he elaborates.

It is also learnt that whenever a new officer takes charge in a police post or a new police station, he is under pressure to prove his worth. “It is then that the officer has to adopt a practice of patronising the smaller fish in order to catch a bigger prey and thus make his position stronger in the area of his duty, “ said an officer of the rank of a Sub Inspector.

Meanwhile, police sources also pointed out that often large catches of poppy-husk and opium were seized with the help of drug addicts on the condition that the police let him have a part of the drugs seized for fees. “These drug addicts are often also engaged in other social evils like gambling and prostitution, and in case they fall out with those involved in the other businesses, they also inform the police about them,” informs a police officer of the rank of an Inspector. And while most of the police informers become so in order to get indirect benefits, there are others who work for the police for monetary gains. A high- ranking police official informs that several such police informers have to be paid on a regular basis even if they have not brought forth any information, just in order not to loose them.”Everytime I meet any of my informers, I have to dole out at least Rs. 200 in order to sustain him. In case he has helped me gain valuable information, then the price is fixed according to the information supplied which could vary from Rs 500 to Rs 5000,” he says. The informers generally indulge more with the lower ranking police officers like Assistant Sub-Inspectors, head constables and constables.


Man crushed to death
Our Correspondent

Lalru, March 8
A 40-year-old man, Balbir Singh, was crushed to death by an unknown vehicle on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway on Wednesday.

The deceased, a resident of Karnala village, was going to his fields when a speeding vehicle mowed him down. A case has been registered with the Lalru police station.


Members of taxi union beaten up
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 8
Two members of a taxi union were allegedly beaten up by an office-bearer of the union following a verbal duel over the misappropriation of funds by the latter.

According to the information available from the police sources, it is learnt that Ashok Kumar, general secretary of the taxi union of the PGI taxi stand and another taxi driver, Murari Lal, were beaten up by a senior office-bearer of the union late last night, when they dared to question him about the alleged misappropriation of funds collected by the accused in the name of relief for Kargil war victims and the Gujarat earthquake victims recently. The two were allegedly beaten up by three to four supporters of the accused and were then admitted to the PGI for treatment. The police later made an entry of the incident in the Daily Diary Report.

Burglary incidents
Gold and diamond jewellery worth thousands of rupees was stolen from the Sector 33 residence of Col A.K.S. Bawa. He was away to Delhi since March 2. The burglary came to light when he returned home this afternoon and saw the entire house ransacked.

In another incident of burglary reported in Sector 33 yesterday, gold jewellery and Rs 1000 in cash were stolen from the house of Ms Sahini Mitra, between March 3 and 7, while she was away.

Woman alleges harassment
A woman has accused her husband, Deepak Malhotra, and in-laws of breach of trust and mental and physical harassment. The police has registered a case under Sections 406 and 498-A of the IPC on the statement of Ms Renu alias Sarika, a resident of Kalka.

Four beaten up
Four persons, Surinder Singh, Vikas Sharma, Sumit Bakhshi and Ritesh were allegedly beaten up by Dharam Singh, Bittu and Vicky near Math Mandir , Sector 20. All the victims were later admitted to the GMCH for treatment. One of the accused, Dharam Singh, has been arrested.


Vision 2001 on March 14, 15
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, March 8
Mohali Industries Association, in collaboration with the Small Industries Service Institute, Ludhiana, is organising a vendor development programme-cum-exhibition — “Vision 2001” here on March 14 and 15.

President of the association, Mr S. S. Sandhu, said here today the programme was being organised for development of new vendors for the Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala, the Ministry of Defence (DGQA)/ordnance depots/Canteen Stores Department and the Punjab State Electricity Board, Patiala. The programme would be held in the open space in front of the Association Bhawan in Phase VII of the Industrial Area here.

He said these organisations would display their items of requirements for the guidance of prospective vender units interested to undertake manufacturer thereof. The meet would provide an opportunity for interaction with representatives to know the procedures for registration with these organisations. The Rail Coach Factory would display items which were required to be developed for the first time for the newly designed rail coaches received from Germany.

An exhibition comprising 70 stalls would be organised, where industrial units would display their products to show their capabilities and also to attract market avenues. The programme would be inaugurated by Mr S.K. Tuteja, Additional Secretary and Development Commissioner (SSI), Government of India, Ministry of SSI, Agro and Rural Industry, New Delhi.

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