Monday, March 12, 2001,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


HC summons SSP, SHO
Illegal detention case
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, March 11
Mr Justice S.S. Nijjar of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has issued notices to the Senior Superintendent of Police, Patiala, and the Station House Officer of Dera Bassi to appear before the court on March 12 for illegally detaining and torturing two residents of Dappar village in police custody.

Mr D.N. Tiwari, a local resident, had filed a petition on February 24 alleging that the Dera Bassi police had detained Puran Bahadur and Subhash Chander, both residents of Dappar village, in police custody and tortured them. The petitioner had requested the court to appoint a warrant officer on the same day.

The court appointed a warrant officer who raided the Dera Bassi police station and got the detainees freed from the illegal custody before submitting a report in the court.

The petitioner had stated that no case was registered against the detained persons although they were kept in police custody for more than two days and tortured.

Moreover, the police had also taken in its possession some items, including identity cards, purses, registered certificates of their scooters, besides Rs 2,329 from Puran Bahadur and Rs 1,350 from Subhash Chander when they were taken in illegal custody, complained Mr Tiwari.

The complainant alleged that the hospital authorities in Dera Bassi and Lalru also refused to conduct any medical examination of the detained persons considering it a police case.

They were picked up by the police from Saidpura village while returning home after closing their dhaba on the February 23 night.

The defence counsel stated that Puran Bahadur and Subhash Chander had been working with a milk plant at Gholu Majra village, near Lalru, and were sacked by the factory management over six month ago. They along with some other workers had raised a labour dispute before the Assistant Labour Commissioner, Rajpura, a few years ago.

In connivance with the factory management the police detained them to pressurise all other workers so that they may withdraw the labour dispute, alleged the complainant. 


Cable operators cause big loss to MC every month
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
The Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, is incurring losses of over Rs 1 lakh every month, due to its inability to fix the ground rent of cable operators in the city. This is despite the Punjab and Haryana High Court direction to the MC to fix these rents by July 28, 2000. Even the Finance and Contract Committee, in its recent meeting, did not take up the item.

It may be recalled that a policy had been formulated by the House in November, 1999, wherein charges for ground rent and laying cables were fixed. But the same could not be implemented since the multi-system cable operators had knocked the doors of the High Court against the higher charges passed by the House. Even small cable operators in the city had stopped paying the monthly rent after two months. They owe the MC ground rent to the tune of Rs 20 lakh for the past 13 months. Besides this, they owe the MC lakhs of rupees for digging poles and laying cables under the road as laid out in the policy.

According to figures available, there are 7 multi-system cable operators (MSOs) and 112 small cable operators in the city. While the MSOs case was still pending in court, about 30 small cable operators had paid the monthly rent of Rs 1,000 per month per sector for two months and nothing after that.

As per the policy passed by the House in November, 1999, the multi-system operators, who give signals to 2-3 small time cable operators in the city, were required to pay a lumpsum amount of Rs 1 lakh as ground rent, while the small cable operators were to pay Rs 1,000 per month per sector. The big cable operators finding the rent too high, kept meeting the former mayors and expressing their inability to pay the same. Subsequently, the Finance and Contract Committee in its 64th meeting, fixed ground rent charges of Rs 2,000 per month per sector for the big cable operators , while no change was affected in the rent fixed earlier on the small cable operators. However, the decision taken in favour of the big cable operators is yet to be approved by the House.

Even the small cable operators have been ignoring the notices sent to them by the Engineering Wing asking them to deposit the ground rent. As a measure to get tough with them, the MC had, in February, 2001, directed these cable operators to deposit the ground rent within seven days, failing which, the overhead cables of the defaulters would be cut. But this too has not had the desired effect. The enforcement staff is likely to begin its drive shortly.

The Mayor, Mr Raj Kumar Goyal, when contacted, said that he would shortly take up with the officials concerned, the recovery of the pending payments, so that the revenue generated could be used for development works. 


Rs 77.28 cr deficit budget of PU passed
30 pc of vacant posts to be filled
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
The Panjab University Finance Board passed Rs 77.28 crore deficit budget of the university for the financial year 2001-2002 in a meeting of the board held here yesterday.

While the Punjab Government representative has offered a grant of Rs 16 crore to tide over the deficit, the UT Administration following the Punjab pattern has agreed to pay Rs 27.46 crore as grant to the university. This decision is, however, much to the dissatisfaction of the university representatives who have asked the Punjab Government and the UT Administration to stick to the 40:60 ratio in sharing the budget deficit as laid down in the Panjab University Act.

The board’s meeting was presided over by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof K.N. Pathak, who had also nominated the four members of the board in absence of the Senate. Under normal circumstances the board is constituted with nominees of the Senate. These members were Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, MP, Mr Satyapal Jain, former MP, Mr G.K. Chatrath, President , Bar Council, Punjab and Haryana High Court, and Dr Deepak Manmohan Singh, Dean, College Development Council, PU. Mr K.M. Lakhanpal, Finance Secretary, Punjab, Mr K.A.P. Sinha, Joint Secretary, UT Administration, and Mr Ashok Arora, Under Secretary, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, along with the Panjab University FDO, Mr M.G. Sharma and the PU Registrar, Mr Paramjit Singh attended the meeting.

It was decided at the meeting that along with the due sum of Rs 1 crore which the Chief Minister, Punjab, had promised the university for the opening of the PU Regional Centre at Muktsar, an additional sum of Rs 1 crore will be paid by the Punjab Government for the Centre’s development this year.

According to the sources, it was also decided that 30 per cent of the posts which were lying vacant in the university will be filled and revenue for the same will be provided. A sum of Rs 10 crore has also been provided in the budget for those seeking voluntary retirement.

It was also decided for the first time that financial assistance to the SC/ST students of the university will be provided for which a sum of Rs 1 lakh has been reserved in the budget.

The university representatives have, however, asked the Vice-Chancellor to take up the matter of the 40:60 ratio of sharing of the university budget deficit at the meeting of the Standing Committee of the universities to be held at Delhi under the auspices of the Ministry of Human Resource Development on March 15.


Character is important for personality’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh March 11
As many as 270 students of Government College, Sector 46, received their graduation degrees at the 16th Annual Convocation of the college held yesterday.

The chief guest of the occasion was Justice Dharam Vir Sehgal, former Judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, who, in his convocation address congratulated the students and stated that India was going through a revolutionary period in history, where new vistas were opening up each day.

“It exhilarates us and fills us with buoyancy but at the same time throws many economic, political, cultural and social challenges at us.”

He also observed that in spite of great strides having been made in the field of education, India was the only nation in the world which had entered the 21st century with half of its population illiterate.

Explaining to the students the importance of character in a personality, Justice Sehgal quoted many authors.

He also stated that the aim of educational institutions was to weld together imagination and knowledge among men, as in the absence of even one of them, both these qualities were useless.

184 arts graduates and 86 commerce graduates were conferred with degrees while some other students were also given way prizes.

These include Hemlata Kaushik, Kamalpreet Singh, Rishi Ranjan, Sunil Sharma, Anuj Gupta, Tejal Jain, Meetu Mangla Suman Gupta, Vikas Singla and Shveta Aggarwal.

Earlier the Principal, Mr D.P. Singh welcomed the chief guest and apprised him of the college’s brief history and achievements.


First fully computerised post office in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
Residents of the city can hope for prompt postal services following the opening of the first fully computerised post office in Sector 30 here today.

Mr A.S.I.S. Paul, Chief Postmaster-General, Punjab Region, who inaugurated the post office, said with the computerisation the efficiency would improve as transactions on computer were fast.

The earlier experience had shown that efficiency doubled in the post offices which had been computerised.

Currently the Punjab Region has 46 computerised post offices, including eight in Chandigarh, which were partly computerised. The post offices in Sectors 18 and 20 would be computerised by March 31, he added.

Prominent among those present were Col Tilak Raj (retd), a former Chief Postmaster-General, Punjab Region, and Ms Manjula Prashar, Postmaster-General, Punjab Region.


Colonel charged with intent to defraud
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
A Colonel serving with the Military Engineer Services (MES) has been charged on several counts with intent to defraud and omissions prejudicial to good order and discipline. The summary of evidence (SOE) was completed at Hisar last week and forwarded to the higher headquarters.

According to sources, Col Sarvjit Singh, who had been posted as Commander Works Engineer (CWE), Hisar, has been charged on four counts with “intent to defraud”, on one count with “dishonest misappropriation of property” under Section 52 (f) of the Army Act and on two counts with “omissions prejudicial to good order and military discipline” under Section 63. The disciplinary action was initiated after some complaints were made against the officer.

The officer, while pleading not guilty to the said charges, has contended that there were several irregularities while conducting the court of inquiry and that he was not allowed to examine several key witnesses. He has also contended that he could not be attached to another unit without a prima facie case against him being proved.

Interestingly, an earlier inquiry by the CWE, Ambala, Col D P Pandhi, and Col Harry Sidhu had not found the accused officer guilty of the charges levelled against him. In his recommendations on the inquiry, the Chief Engineer, Chandigarh Zone (CECZ), had stated that no irregularity had been established against the accused and the case was recommended to be closed. In fact, the CECZ’s office also recommended that disciplinary action should be initiated against one of the complainants, Mr Hari Om, for levelling false allegations.

Later, another court of inquiry, headed by the Commandant, Equine Breeding Stud, Brig B.S. Panwar, was convened.

As per the charge sheet, the accused officer, while serving at Hisar, failed to adhere to the laid-down procedures and accepted a tender from a private firm, M/s K.B. Contractors, which was contrary to the instructions issued by the Chief Engineer. Besides, he accepted another tender from this firm at higher rates, contrary to the recommendations of the Surveyor of Works.

The charge sheet states that he fixed credit stores for Rs 41, 456 arbitrarily without estimating the credit by a board of officers at the time of tendering the work. He also placed orders for paint of a brand other than that mentioned in quotations and, without convening a board of officers, got records amended.

Two other charges mentioned in the charge sheet pertain to the misappropriation of an air-conditioner and installing a telephone meant for his office at his residence and crediting the bill to the government.

A complaint was made by a private contractor alleging that certain parties were being favoured while awarding contracts. Another complaint was made by a Maj P.K. Sauntra, who was serving under the accused officer at Hisar, followed by another one by Mr Hari Om, secretary of the All-India MES Civilian Engineers Association.

A court of inquiry was ordered by the Commander, 81 Sub Area, in May 1999, to go into the alleged irregularities connected with the works and improprieties in the conduct of the accused. The GOC, 10 Corps, in his directions on the findings of the court of inquiry, stated that disciplinary action should be initiated against the accused, following which he was attached to 615 (I) AD Brigade on orders issued by the GOC-in-C, Western Command in November, 1999.

The accused officer, however, obtained a stay on the disciplinary proceedings against him from the Punjab and Haryana High Court, which was later vacated.Back


Two gangs of thieves busted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
The city police today claimed to have achieved a major success with the busting of two gangs of thieves on a specific tip-off and solved eleven cases of theft. Fifteen bicycles, five car stereos, a cassette tape recorder, a video projector and tapes were recovered.

According to an official press release, a special team consisting of Inspector A.S. Jaggi, SHO, Sector 17, Inspector Hardev Singh, SHO, Sector 3, SI Dalbir Singh, in charge of the ISBT police post, was created under the supervision of the SP, Mr Hargobinder Singh Dhaliwal. It is learnt that on a specific tip-off, they arrested Raju Shiv Chandan, a resident of Tapang village near Bhubaneshwar, while he was attempting to steal a bicycle at the Inter-State Bus Terminus, Sector 17.

It is learnt that the police arrested another member of the second gang Ramesh Singh yesterday. He was presented before the duty magistrate and has been given a two-day police remand. It is learnt that he is a BA Ist year student doing his graduation from Panjab University through correspondence.

The arrest of Ramesh Singh led the police to the other two members of his gang and his school time friends, Ajay Kumar Pande and Manoj Kumar. All three had been friends since they were students of DAV School, Sector 8. The police maintains that they were active in different parts of the city for the past few months. They have also been granted police remand for two days.

All these accused were wanted in different cases of theft in Sectors 17, 3, 11 and 26. 


Villagers face prospects of reliving Partition
Nishikant Dwivedi

Bansepur (Kharar), March 11
About 30 families who had migrated to Bansepur, Dhanaura, Milkh, Sanimajra and Sangla in the Kharar subdivision from Pakistan after the Partition are on the verge of the second displacement of their life. The villages are to be acquired for the Anandgarh project.

They say that their land was not fit for cultivation when they came here 53 years ago. There was no water or pucca houses as well and they had to build houses, level out the land and install tubewells.

In August 1947, these families had reached here in bullock carts from Pakistan. It took them over 40 years to make the land fertile. “We had barely begun to enjoy the fruits of our hard work when the government asked us to vacate our lands for Anandgarh,” said Kaka Singh, one of the villagers.

Past week’s news items in newspapers that land of 29 villages would be acquired for the project, reminded villagers of the Partition. Mr Daadar Singh, 88, another villager, said, “In August 1947, Gyani Kartar Singh, the then head of Akali Dal, asked us to leave for India with our children and women and nothing else.”

Whenever any vehicle with red light on top comes to the village, villagers often yell out in panic, “Anandgarh people are here to take away our land.” These migrants from Pakistan daily await the morning newspaper for the report of any fresh development on Anandgarh. A Bansepur resident said, in the past two months, the newspaper subscription in the village had increased from two to almost 30.

After the Partition, they at least had a place to go — the villages vacated by Muslims who went to Pakistan. “We have nowhere to go now,” says Harbansh Kaur, who was 20 when she came to Bansepur. Tears roll down her wrinkled cheeks as she tells reporters how she felt when her grandson read out the news about land acquisition to her.

Gulzar Singh was 15 when he came here and made the land fit for cultivation. He recalls how his neighbours in Pakistan had to abandon the bodies of their relatives who were killed by plague on their way to India. He said, “Chandigarh was only a few kilometres from here and we did not have to worry about the education and job prospects of our children.”

Another Bansepur resident, Ajit Singh, 85, says, “The Union Government allotted us land here in 1948. The village was earlier inhabited by Muslim families who later migrated to Pakistan. We swapped our land in Pakistan with that of Muslims who lived here before the Partition, under a government scheme.”

Regarding the claim of the government that villagers will not be disturbed as the land inside the ‘lal dora’ will not be acquired, villagers say, “What will a farmer do without land? We cannot buy land anywhere else,” said Amrik Singh, who was 5 when he came here. He also said, “Even if I get land elsewhere, our family will get divided.”Back



INDIAN festivals seem to be changing. We have had two Divalis, two Dasehras, two Raksha Bandhans and, now, we have two Holis!

While in some parts of the country, Holi was celebrated on March 9, it was celebrated in certain others parts on March 10. Government offices, banks, schools, colleges and other educational institutions remained closed on March 9 in Punjab and the Union Territory of Chandigarh, while in the neighbouring Haryana these remained closed on March 10, synchronising with the Central Government, which, too, observed a holiday on March 10.

The clash in dates of this popular festival resulted in total chaos and confusion among the Holi revellers. This marred the “mood” of the celebration, which, by and large, remained a lacklustre affair.

Ironically, a microscopic minority that had reservations about the festival, had no option but to remain confined to four walls of their houses for two days!

While the government is in no mood to give a plausible reason for this unique phenomenon, astrologers and numerologists attribute it to certain “nakshatras” and “grahas”.

Closing down

City’s first foreign bank branch Deutsche Bank, which was opened in 1996, is understood to have decided to close its operations from March 11, 2001.

Deutsche Bank started its operations from Sector 9, when there was a private sector banking boom and during this period half a dozen private sector banks were set up in Chandigarh.

Keeping in view its restructuring programme it has decided to close down its retail banking business while it will concentrate on trading business.

The bank has also decided to transfer all its retail banking business to the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation. All its existing accounts will be taken care by the HSBC.

However, Deutsche Bank will continue to provide ATM facility to its customers till May this year.

Last year Times Bank was also merged with HDFC Bank and now there are also four private sector banks which are likely to merge with each other.

Say when!

The notice under Section 6 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, to acquire land for Anandgarh was issued last week. But the officers of the Anandgarh Develpment Authority (ADA) do not know from which date the area to be acquired for the township is be referred to as Anandgarh.

One of our correspondents asked an officer in the ADA from which date the newspapers should start carrying a dateline of Anandgarh for news items related with the area falling in the proposed township. The officer looked elated at the idea of “Anandgarh” as a dateline but he did not know from when the area should be called Anandgarh.

Another officer who was sitting there remarked that probably Anandgarh would come in to existence from the day the land was actually acquired. According to the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, the land for which the notice under Section 6 of the Act has been issued should be acquired within two years form the date of issuance of Section 6.

Holi capers

Can the girls or boys at Panjab University enjoy Holi if they are barred from playing with each other! Certainly not. The Chandigarh Police had literally locked the inmates of Kasturba Hall and Sarojini Hall, the two girls hostels at the PU, on the Holi day. The girls were not allowed to come out of their compounds and no boys were let in by the cops posted at the hostel.

But the girls were in no mood to let the occasion be marred because of the cops. It took them no time to realise that among the khaki clad chaps there were two ‘‘young and handsome officers’’ also. In either of the hostels, shouts of Dhaliwal aaja, Hooda tum be aawo humare sath holi khelo were being heard.

By Dhaliwal they meant Mr H G S Dhaliwal, the Senior Superintendent of Police (Operations) and Hooda was none other than Dr Sagar Preet Hooda, who was recently promoted to the rank of Senior Superintendent of Police.

Matka Chowk

Rallies and dharnas at the Matka Chowk (roundabout of Sector 9, 10, 16 and 17) have now become a regular feature and so are the cops posted at the chowk. There is another thing which has also become a regular feature: Vajra; the blue coloured vehicle used by the Chandigarh Police to fire teargas when the agitators go berserk.

Last but not the least, traffic cops sitting on motorcycles near the traffic light points of the Sector 16 - 17 while a rally or dharna is going on near the chowk are also a permanent fixture. No, they know better places in the town to go and chit-chat. They sit there in order to divert the traffic to Matka Chowk to alternate routes. Of course, they cannot keep standing for long. Their motorcycles work as both barricades and chairs.

Forced langar

One Mr K K Malik, who retired from the PSEB, rang up the Tribune office in the late of hours of Wednesday last. Mr Malik had a incident to report. According to him he was returning to Chandigarh from Amritsar. Preparations for the Hola Mohalla celebrations had already started and Guru ka langar was being organised at many places along the road through Kiratpur Sahib.

Mr Malik said that his car was stopped by the volunteers for langar and he and his family had the Guru’s parshad. “We were stopped at many place and since I had already taken the langar I could not have accepted any more and I politely refused each time’’.

According to him after crossing Kiratpur Sahib his car was stopped once again but he kept moving. He claimed ‘‘When I did not stop, someone threw a stone on the rear window of my car and broke it’’. Luckily, none of the passengers got hurt. ‘‘I would report the matter to the head priest at the Golden Temple’’, said the agitated Mr Malik.

No photography

A signboard at the gate of Sector 17 District Courts reads : “Photography is banned in the courts premises by the order of District Courts authority”. Well an order is an order. No agitation. No appeal. Everyone is expected to follow it. Even the scribes covering District Courts, the advocates and the human rights activists. They were all left helpless after reading the announcement. “What is the idea behind it?” they have been questioning.

Helping hand

Humanity still exists, even in the courts. The fact come to light when a helpless, poor litigant failed to contest a dowry case. A district court lawyer has taken up his case and has decided to contest it free of cost.

Silent sentinels

Sometimes incidents in small towns leave a vacuum of information for the news hungary media persons. No one is ready to cooperate. This is what happened with The Tribune team, when it reached at the Bannur police Station, after getting a call from a member of a victim family.

Only a constable was present there and he refused to cooperate with the team. Reason? Only the SHO is authorised to brief media persons and he had gone to Rajpura. Luckily two constables of the Punjab Police, in an inebriated condition, on the way to Rajpura got a lift from the team, and narrated the whole story to the team. That is how the news of 64 villagers arrested in a group clash due to a land dispute came to light.

Maan mania

The Sector 42 Sports Complex witnessed a massive crowd for the first time the other day. The occasion was not any match but the charity show by popular Punjabi singer Gurdas Maan in the aid of the Gujarat earthquake victims.

The “original’’ Maan, who performed for the first time after a miraculous escape in a major road accident near Chandigarh on January 9, once again drove home the point why he is performer par excellence as he belted out his evergreen numbers — both old and new. The sizeable cheering crowd was the indication of his popularity though it was a ticketed show.

Sentinel wishes such a cheering crowd could also be present during the hockey matches played at the ground!

— Sentinel


Jacob presents cheque for 1.25 cr to PM
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
On behalf of Chandigarh residents, who donated for the victims of the Gujarat earthquake, the UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), today presented a cheque for Rs 1.25 crore to the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, at New Delhi for the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund.

The General informed the Prime Minister that people of Chandigarh had responded in an overwhelinming manner to your appeal to come to the aid of victims of the devastating earthquake in Gujarat. He said till now the UT Administration had collected over Rs 2 crore. Out of this, the Administration has used over Rs 75 lakh for providing relief in the form of shelters, blankets, foods and medicines, among other things.

The Prime Minister while thanking the people of Chandigarh for their noble gesture also appreciated the timely airlifting of blankets and tents to the worst-affected villages of Bachau taluka by January 28, two days after the quake. He said it was a matter of great satisfaction that residents of a small city like Chandigarh had risen unitedly to help the quake-affected people. He said the money donated by people of Chandigarh would be instrumental in the long-term rehabilitation process.

The Administrator informed the Prime Minister that till date, 28,000 blankets, 470 tents, 167 shelters, 22,000 bottles of mineral water, 154 boxes of medicines, 786 boxes of antiseptic liquid, 1540 boxes of biscuits, 150 solar lanterns, 2300 wooden supports and 100 chatais had been supplied to people of Gujarat.

He also informed that contributions towards the earthquake relief fund are still continuing, with people responding magnificently to the PM’s appeal. He said that people of Chandigarh would continue to provide helping hand to their brethren in Gujarat.


Poll for Zila Parishad chief today
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 11
The elections for the post of the Zila Parishad Chairperson are scheduled to be held tomorrow at 3 p.m. if everything goes well. Postponements, court stays, kidnappings, this election has seen it all, as the struggle for power between the Congress and the INLD, continued right through last year when the first meeting was held on May 16.

The decision came following dismissal of a petition of the INLD candidate, Ms Shimla Devi, by the Supreme Court where she had appealed against the decision of the Punjab and Haryana High Court which had ordered re-election on February 7.

It may be recalled that the INLD-supported candidate for the Zila Parishad, Ms Shimla Devi, had suffered a setback with the Punjab and Haryana High Court directing the state government through the officials of the district administration to hold election to the office of president and vice-president of the Zila Parishad within a month or receiving the order’s copy.

In the 19-page detailed order passed by Mr Justice A.S. Gill and Mr Justice V.S. Aggarwal, the court had observed that the Additional Deputy Commissioner proceeded to hold the election despite being well aware of the pendency of the writ petition. He ignored the mandatory provisions of law while conducting the election and that the election of Shimla Devi as president was no election at all.

“Besides, this court has stayed the publication of the result of any such election, and as such Shimla Devi cannot be deemed to have been duly elected president of the Zila Parishad,’’ the order added.

In a petition filed by Ms Upinder Kaur, a candidate for post of Chairperson of the parishad, and other elected members, it was alleged that despite a stay on holding of elections and a telephonic message by the Additional Advocate General, Haryana, the ADC declared Shimla Devi as the Chairperson.

The same afternoon, the matter was brought before the court yet again and the court directed that the result of the election held that morning could not be published. It added that the Advocate General informed him of the stay by the court at 11.10 a.m. and the election of the vice-president was stopped while that of the president had already been held.

Earlier, on May 25 last year, nine of the 10 Zila Parishad members had arrived at the mini-secretariat to cast their vote for choosing the Chairperson. The 10th member belonging to the group supporting Ms Upinder Kaur, Prem Singh, it was alleged, had been abducted from his residence on the night of May 23 and 24 and illegally detained by a police party, to be released after the election had been conducted.

During the meeting, four members with Congress backing stated that their repeated pleas of holding election by secret ballot were turned down. For this reason, they abstained from casting their vote. Later, the four members walked out of the meeting.


Challans galore among colours
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 11
Youngsters on whizzing two-wheelers with screaming horns and four-wheelers with blaring music systems painted the town in the various hues of Holi even as residents got together in their respective sectors to add to the enjoyment and have their share of fun.

The boys on racy mobikes were a sight to behold. Sporting bandanas and covered in vibrant shades of gulal from head to toe, they seemed unmindful of children aiming their pichkari at them. There were also those who sat on the car tops and on bonnets as their cars merrily drove through the bylanes in the sectors. They carried with them buckets full of coloured water and drenched passers-by with mugs full of water.

In an effort to be noticed and stand out among the “coloured brigade”, a few youngsters went through the geri route going through Sector 7 and into Sector 8 on hired tractors to make a statement. In gay abandon, some of them sauntered alongside, singing and dancing through the streets as the police control rooms did rounds in the township, keeping a tab on sensitive points.

Eight cases of brawls during celebrations were reported at the General Hospital in Sector 6. These primarily pertained to minor injuries sustained during scuffles and accidents due to rash driving. The victims were discharged after administration of first-aid.

The children at Bal Niketan in Sector 2 and Aashiana in Sector 16 had surprise visitors from Rotract Club of Panchkula. The members painted faces of the inmates and celebrated the festival of colours. Also, sweets and eatables were distributed among the children on the occasion.

The children danced to popular tunes, sang along as they aimed pichkaris and water balloons at their friends. The celebrations at the destitute homes continued for over two hours, much after the members of the club left the premises.

At the Nijhar Vatika in Sector 5, families and youngsters stopped over at the artificial waterfall to take a dip in the water. In the lawns, they sat together enjoying music on portable music systems they were carrying along with them.

The police had a field day challaning violators of traffic rules, mostly those zipping down lanes on two-wheelers without helmets. Each police post had been issued special instructions to ensure the youngsters did not go overboard in their celebrations. They were challaned for not wearing helmets, triple riding, driving without silencers on two-wheelers, jumping traffic lights and for playing loud music.


Tibetans observe uprising day
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh March 11
The Regional Tibetan Youth Congress (RTYC) and the Tibetan Freedom Movement (TFM) jointly commemorated the 42nd National Uprising Day by organising organising a rally here yesterday. The rally started from Panjab University and after passing through Sectors 15, 16 and 22 and culminated at the Sector 17 piazza.

Addressing the rally, the RTYC president, Ugyen Tsewang, appealed to the public and Indian government to help in resolving the Tibet issue. Mr Subhas Gupta, president of the Indo-Tibetan Brotherhood Forum, said that Indian students will provide full support to the tibetan students for their cause.

The Tibetan community commemorates March10 as the National Uprising Day in memory of those Tibetans who died for the freedom of the Tibetan people.

The ITFS president, Mr Baldev Pandey, urged politicians to resolve their political and ideological differences to come up with a lasting solution for Tibet.

A US-based engineer Jitender Mandal assured the Tibetans his full support and said he would put forward the issue to the US President on behalf of the NRIs in the USA.

Mr JS Grewal , former Advocate-General of Punjab , Mr Surat Negi of the Bharat Tibet Sahyog manch and Rajesh Sharma of the Chandigarh Territorial Youth Congress also spoke on the occasion.The rally also observed a one-minute silence in the memory of those who laid down their lives for the cause of the Tibetan freedom movement. Mr Kalsang Tsering , President of TFM, concluded the function with a vote of thanks.


Rotaractors buy some bliss for the elder lot
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
This day saw a humble tradition enter another year. The merit of Rotaract Club lies not in the fact that its members manage to secure a gathering of about 300 senior citizens for their picnic every year, but in that they make each one in the gathering feel wanted and loved.

The venue of the sixth picnic for senior citizens was Bal Bhavan in Sector 23. The spirit of excitement was writ large in the air all around and jubilant noises greeted a visitor to the venue. While one was still wondering what had called for so much excitement, Secretary of the Rotaract, Ms Malini Sarin, interrupted, “Our endeavour is to make them feel special. That is what we all are here for. So all the events are aimed at furthering this very motive. Here we have arranged meals for the elders, as also some fun-filled games.”

And one knew that there was mettle in whatever claim was being made, for the senior citizens were seen enjoying every bit of the fun, which the youngsters had arranged for them. The function began at 10.30 a.m. with the customary welcome address from the President of Rotaract Club, Mr Vivek Sood. From this address, the activity graduated to a series of fun-filled events — from performances by guest artistes and the delightful dance of senior citizens on songs doled out by Manpreet Singh to tambola and other games like hoopla and neck-tie race, especially managed for the guests.

The best part of the show was the one which witnessed the immense talent of senior citizens. Eager, as they always are to exhibit their talent, they just lapped up the occasion when the mike was handed over to them. So while one recited Shiv Kumar Batalvi’s wounded poetry, another added zing to the environment by singing ghazals and other melodious numbers. Tambola, as always, was a great hit, and towards the end of it about 10 prizes were given.

The day also included special snacks and lunch for the citizens. Closing of the event was marked by the traditional cake cutting by the senior most member from among the gathering. Mr Jamna Das (96 years) did the honours today. Where earlier he went about distributing flowers to the gathering, towards the end, the President of Rotaract gave a small gift to him, as a token of respect.

Today’s picnic was also special that it included inmates of the Sector 15 Old Age Home. The Rotaract members had arranged to pick up the inmates and also have them dropped.


Diksha samaroh held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
Hundreds of persons attended the Jain Bhagwati “Diksha” Samaroh organised by the SS Jain Sabha here today.

Organised on the occasion of the formal commissioning of Gulshan Kumar Nagpal as a Jain monk, the function was attended by several top religious leaders of Jains. The “diksha” ceremony was performed by Sri Jatender Muniji and Sri Satish Muniji. Prominent among those present were Sri Raman Muniji, Sumitraji Maharaj, Kusum Prabhaji, Mr Satya Pal Jain, a former local MP, and Mr R.K. Jain, UT Chief Engineer.

Mr Radhe Shyam Jain, president of the SS Jain Sabha, Haryana, informed that Gulshan, a resident of Hansi in Haryana, had completed over two years of rigorous training according to the principles of Jainism. Henceforth he would be known as Sarvagya Prabhaji Maharaj and lead a life of a “sanyasi”.


Father, son booked for abducting girl
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
A young girl was alleged to have been abducted by her neighbour and his father from her Dadu Majra residence on February 26. The father of the 20-year-old girl, Mr Mohan Singh, has got a complaint registered under Section 366 of the IPC against the accused.

It is alleged that the accused, Nirmaljit Singh, alias Nimma, and his father Ujjagar Singh, also went missing the day the girl disappeared. The girl was also alleged to have developed "friendly relations" with Nirmaljit Singh over the past few weeks.

Airman killed
Ram Sagar Sharma, an Airman in the Air Force, was killed in a road accident here today. It is learnt that the deceased, a resident of Sector 31-A, was going on a bicycle when he was hit by a Swaraj Mazda (CH-01T-8482) near the Sector 31-C market. He was immediately rushed to the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, where he was declared brought dead.

The Sector 31 police has arrested the driver of the Swaraj Mazda, Ajay, a resident of Phase II, Ram Darbar. A case under Sections 279 nd 304-A of the IPC has been registered.

Poisonous substance
A one-and-a-half-year old child consumed a poisonous substance lying at an accessible place at his Sector 38-A residence yesterday. It is learnt that the child, Abhinav, was rushed to the PGI where he was administered first aid. He was discharged from the hospital this morning.

Five booked
Five persons have been booked by the police on charges of eve-teasing from different parts of the city. Arun Kumar, Manoj Kumar, Rattan Kumar, Soni and Sanjeev Kumar were booked under Section 294 of the IPC. The case has been registered at the Sector 19 police station.

Three injured
Three persons were reportedly injured in accidents during the past two days. Anil Sharma was hurt when he fell down the stairs at his Mani Majra residence, while Rajesh Kumar was injured when he fell off the roof of his house in Mauli Jagran.

Another city resident, Chander Singh was hurt when his motor cycle was hit by a Maruti car near the Sector 18 temple. All the three victims have been admitted to the PGI.

Self-immolation bid
Vinod Kumar attempted self-immolation by pouring kerosene over himself. He received 100 per cent burns and is undergoing treatment at the Government Medical College and Hospital.

Tyres stolen
Two tyres along with rims of the car of Mr Mohinder Bansal were stolen from from outside his residence in Sector 8. The incidence took place on the March 9 night. A case under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered.

Burglary case
In a case of burglary, one computer, its keyboard and Rs 400 were stolen from the house of Mr Maneshwar Singh in Sector 16 while the complainant was away. A case under Sections 380 and 454 of the IPC has been registered at the Sector 17 police station.

Beaten up
Rajesh Kaushal was allegedly beaten up and threatened with dire consequences by Ravi and seven to eight persons in Sector 15. The victim sustained injuries in his face. A case under Sections 147, 148, 149, 323 and 506 of the IPC has been registered. Back


Two theft cases solved
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 11
In a breakthrough, the district police solved two cases, one each of theft in HMT, Pinjore, and of robbery in Surajpur, with the arrest of Rajesh, a resident of Bir Ghaggar, last evening.

The arrest came about after the police nabbed Raju and Francis John of Bir Ghaggar and Ajay Verma, a resident of Jalandhar, on March 5 while they were taking cranks, stolen from HMT, for sale in Baddi following a tip-off. The trio were sent to police remand till March 11.

During interrogation, they confessed their involvement in the two incidents and divulged information about their gang leader, Rajesh, which led to the arrest of the main accused. He was arrested along with Raju, Francis and Milan, in a case under Sections 457, 380, IPC, last year on November 13 and 57 tractor spare parts worth Rs 9000 were recovered from their possession. He, however, managed to escape and the police was on the lookout for his arrest.

With the arrest of the gang leader, the police recovered 12 altinators, five cranks and a gas cylinder worth Rs 1.50 lakh while 14 others worth Rs 15,000 were found later.

The Superintendent of Police, Mr CS Rao, informed that the gang used to steal spare parts from HMT and sell these in Baddi and adjoining areas. While they were attempting another such theft on the night of January 24 and 25, they were figured out by the guard on duty, but managed to escape. Later, they planned a theft at the house of eunuchs in Surajpur village and succeeded.

After the crime, Rajesh and Raju went to Nepal and spent their booty, while Francis and Ajay were sent with a small amount. 

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