Wednesday, April 25, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S



City-Ludhiana rail track a bonanza for villagers
Illegal quarrying at various sites
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Dharamgarh (SAS Nagar), April 24
The construction of the Chandigarh — Ludhiana railway track has certainly proved to be a goldmine for the villagers holding agricultural land along with it.

No matter what the rules say, tonnes of earth is being illegally removed daily from fields in Dharamgarh, Kambali , Kormajra and Kandali villages by contractors engaged in laying the raised earthen foundation of the proposed rail track with the connivance of the land owners.

A beehive of activity is visible, at least four large quarrying sites in the fields which come up along a seasonal rivulet traversing its way through the area. The indiscriminate quarrying has left several 15 to 20 feet deep craters in the fields as the earth from the site was being used by the contractors to lay a 35 feet to 40 feet high foundation on the Chandigarh and SAS Nagar section of the railway track. A contractor engaged in laying roads in SAS Nagar was also lifting earth from fields of Dharamgarh village, revealed investigations by The Tribune.

Trucks carrying earth quietly pass out from the quarrying sites along without paying any royalty to the government. Inquiries reveal that a villager in Dharamgarh village had leased around two kilas of land for Rs 3 lakh to a contractor to remove earth. In Kandali village, quarrying was going on at a site along the Jagatpura — Kandali road. Around 6 kilas owned by a religious trust in Koromajra village had been leased to a contractor. When asked, a person at the site said uneven land was being levelled but did not deny that earth was being sold at a rate of Rs 50 per truck to contractors laying the foundation of the track.

The local mining officer, Mr Harcharan Singh, said no permission had been given for the quarrying. He said the activity was illegal and officials of the department were ascertaining the amount of earth removed so as to penalise the defaulters. He said show-cause notices would be issued to the land owners as it was a cognisable offence. Most of the villagers owning the land feigned ignorance about the rules of the Mining Department which prohibit removal of land from a agricultural land.

The sarpanch of Dharamgarh village, Mrs Bachan Kaur, and her husband, Bant Singh, said they had objected when a contractor had removed around 500 trucks from panchayat land of the village — being used as a thoroughfare. A crater had been created due to quarrying in the land falling in Kambali village. At one of the sites sand, which surfaced after about 15-feet deep quarrying of earth, was being lifted by a contractor who claimed to have taken the land on lease. Labourers engaged at the site said as sand was not suitable for compacting the foundation of the track, quarrying was stopped at a level when the sand surfaced.

As per the Mines and Mineral Development and Regulation Act, 1957, no persons could be allowed to remove mineral from agricultural land without the consent of the government. Section 4.1 of the Punjab Mines and Minerals Concession Rules, 1964, prohibits removal of sand, earth and other minor minerals from fields. It may be pertinent to mention that the Mining Department has fixed a certain amount of fee on the brick kilns for removing earth.



Armed robbers kill villager
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, April 24
Armed robbers — about 8 to 10 in number — struck near Lohgarh village located within the Zirakpur Notified Area Committee (NAC) here, killing one farmer and injuring another in the wee hours today. A group of brave villages repulsed the attack and the robbers fled.

Amarjit Singh, a 27-year-old farmer, had tried to chase the robbers along with his companions. The robbers fired at Amarjit, who later died in the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, in Chandigarh. The gun fire also resulted in an injury for Mr Hari Singh, who is presently admitted in GMCH. His condition was said to be stable.

Actually, it was the bravery of residents of Lohgarh village near Zirakpur that saved the day. According to information, the robbers who were carrying 12-bore pistols and swords and had reportedly come with an intention of carrying out a burglary in the village. They were crawling towards the village, when seven to eight villagers who were working in a nearby field noticed them. One of the villagers shouted at them and flashed a torch light.

Police sources said that at this the robbers took to their heels and started running in the opposite direction. At least two of the robbers who were carrying revolvers opened fire on the villagers resulting in the death of Amarjit Singh. He leaves behind his widow, a son and a daughter. Amarjit had actually managed to nab one of the robbers but an accomplice of the robbers shot at Amarjit from point blank range.

Villagers suspect that the robbers belonged to either the notorious Bazigar or Sansi tribes. While talking to The Tribune Deputy Superintendent of Police Harcharn Singh Bhullar claimed that the police party reached the scene of the crime within 15 minutes. The police reportedly recovered three cartridges of the bullets fired by the robbers and their shoes. The DSP ruled out the possibility of the kala kacha group behind the attack.

Mr Narinder Singh, sarpanch of the village, said that such incident had happened for the first time in the village. According to him, a big robbery was aborted but loss of Amarjit was very tragic.



Separate entrance test for city’s education colleges
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24
This time Panjab University will conduct a separate entrance examination for education colleges in the city. From the past two years there has been a practice of one common entrance examination for all colleges affiliated to the universities in Punjab and Panjab University. While, a date for entrance examination to colleges in Punjab is yet to be announced, the PU has announced June 24 as the date of examination.

The colleges of education in the city, which will be affected by the recent decision, include Government College of Education, Sector 20, Dev Samaj College of Education, Sector 36 and Brahmrishi College of Education (Yoga). Confirming the change in admission style, Mr Ashok Bhandari, Joint Controller of Examination, said nearly 8,000 applications were expected in this category alone.

Entrance examination for seats in other education colleges of Punjab is scheduled to be conducted by Punjabi University, Patiala.

Mr Bhandari said nearly 14,600 student applicants will be appearing in the entrance examination for technical courses covered by the Common Entrance Test (CET). These include medical, engineering, honours schools, Bachelor of Pharmacy, the BAMS and the BHMS.

The last date of receipt of application forms in this category was April 10. The entrance examination is scheduled for May 19. Chandigarh has 8,200 applicants; Ludhiana has 1,750 and Delhi has 4,750 applicants.

The CET examinations are scheduled at the Chandigarh, Ludhiana and Delhi centres. Chandigarh has 34 centres, Ludhiana has seven and Delhi 19.

Entrance examination to LLB, LLM, Master in Computer Applications and Post Graduate Diploma in Computer Applications are scheduled for June 9. Various examinations for the MSs (honours school) are scheduled for June 10 and June 11.

Entrance examination for courses in Master in Mass Communication, Master in Commerce, Bachelor in Library and Information Science and Master in Library and Information Science will be conducted on June 13. Mr Bhandari said entrance examination for BA (Education), BPEd and MA (Physical Education) classes will be conducted on June 14.

The last date for the receipt of entrance examination forms, other than those for CET, is April 30 while the last date for BEd forms in colleges of the city is May 21.



Power connections outside ‘lal dora’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24
The Chandigarh Administration amended its power policy today and allowed individual power connections to those who are living outside the ‘lal dora’ of 22 villages of the Union Territory. This has been done to help these persons and check pilferage of power.

A story published in this newspaper on March 31 had shown how thousands of persons living outside the ‘lal dora’ of these villages were not getting individual power connections, while slum dwellers enjoyed this right.

Individual domestic or non-residential electricity supply connections will be provisionally released to these residents. Though the supply tariff will be normal, the security charges will be four times the normal rate.

Each applicant will have to submit an agreement form along with the application. Proofs of ownership and residence like copies of ration card, voter’s identity card or a witness will be required for obtaining these connections.

A letter of identification signed by the sarpanch of the village will be required to apply for the electricity connections. An affidavit on a non-judicial stamp paper will also be an essential paper.

The Administration says that the release of connection as an interim measure shall neither confer any legal right upon residents to claim the release of regular connection allow them to raise structures outside the ‘lal dora’.

If the consumption is found to be in excess of the sanctioned load, the department may disconnected the supply and impose a penalty on defaulters.

The department reserves the right to withdraw the connection in case of any objection by the Administration or any other authority.

Meanwhile, it has also been decided that those residents who already have bulk-supply connections outside the ‘lal dora’ will be charged the domestic rates for power supply.



Bills of powermen to be checked
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24
The past two years’ power-supply bills of all junior engineers (JEs), subdivisional officers (SDOs) and assistant executive engineers (AEEs) of the Chandigarh Administration will now be scrutinised. Besides this, power-supply bills of all employees of the Electricity Wing will also be checked.

The Engineering Department ordered the scrutiny today after shockingly low power-consumption bills of some engineers were detected.

The Secretary Engineering, Mr Rakesh Singh, said a committee headed by the Joint Secretary Finance, Mr K.A.P. Sinha, comprising Under Secretary Finance, Mr Satish Joshi, and an executive engineer had been formed for the probe. The Chief Engineer has been asked suggest the name of an executive engineer for this purpose.

All bills will be tallied with the power consumption and a rebate that each official gets will be taken into account.

Electrical gadgets installed in each home will be taken into account if a theft of power is proved, the employee concerned can be dismissed from service.



When financiers take the law into their hands
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24
The alleged use of strong arm tactics by a large number of the private financiers in the city in dealing with their defaulters, is creating a fear psychosis amongst the consumers. The police, however, expresses its helplessness in dealing with the “forceful possession of goods by these financiers.”

During the past couple of months, a large number of cases of forceful possession of the financed goods by the various financiers have been reported. In a large number of these cases, the financiers have literally taken the law into their hands by refusing to abide by the rules of submitting the intimation of repossession to the police.

It is learnt that most of the finance companies have given contracts to henchmen for getting the goods back from their customers who fail to pay their monthly installments. These parties, comprising of four to five musclemen, are learnt to be charging upto Rs 10,000 for getting a car back from an errant customer. The rates vary for the various goods, depending on their value and size.

While in many cases, the unsuspecting client is waylaid by these henchmen, hired by the financier, on the roads itself, it is not an uncommon practice by these henchmen to converge at the house of the customer and then forcibly take away the financed goods.

Recently, the henchmen hired by the Direct Sales Associate (DSA) of a well reputed Mumbai based company had stormed in the house of a resident of Sector 28 and forcibly took away the CD Player financed by the said firm. This in spite of the fact that the victim had been making regular payments to the company via cheques. The police had also registered a case against the accused on charges of criminal intimidation and snatching.

Interestingly, the financiers have also devised a ploy of giving false intimation to the police regarding the place where the company would take back the possession of the good financed to the customer on a hire and purchase basis.

Like the case of a city resident, whose car was forcibly taken away by the henchmen of a finance company in Sector 31, but fearing police action, they later submitted a letter of intimation in the Sector 34 police station and were saved of police action on the pretext that while they were to take the possession in Sector 32 (which falls in the jurisdiction of the Sector 34 police station), the customer fled away and they were able to nab him only in Sector 31.

In a large number of cases, the henchmen are also alleged to be carrying firearms. A few months back, four to five musclemen hired by a finance company with its offices in Sector 34, waylaid a city resident who had got a Cielo financed near the CII chowk and took away his car at gun point. Interestingly, it is also learnt that the vehicles, after being taken away from the customer, are immediately sent to Delhi, so as to avoid any claims by the customer, if left in the city.

Well placed police sources say that at least two to three cases of forceful possession by financiers take place in the city every day, but not more than five to six such intimations in a month are given to the police. The police also complains that the Mumbai based finance companies just send the letters of possession without naming the authority designated for claiming the vehicles, the place or time of possession. This letter is then misused by the DSA or the henchmen, when submitted to the police.


Review ties with Bangladesh: ABVP
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24
The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) national general secretary, Mr Atul Kothari, today asked the NDA government to review India’s relations with Bangladesh following the ‘’murder’’ of 16 BSF personnel by the Bangladesh Rifles on April 18.

Talking to newspersons, Mr Kothari said rather than pursuing a policy of appeasement and having a dialogue, India must retaliate with ‘’military action’’ as the role of Bangladesh had become ‘’suspect’’ in the eyes of the nation that helped it gain independence. ‘’We have definite reports of training camps on Bangladesh soil for terrorists operating in the North-East. Even four activists of the RSS kidnapped by a terrorist outfit 18 months ago in Tripura are in Bangladesh camps”, he added.

India, Mr Kothari said, must seek an unqualified apology from the Bangladesh Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina. India could not afford to ignore the fact that Bangladesh was no longer a friendly neighbour.

The infiltration of nearly one crore Bangladesh nationals into India had not only adversely affected the country’s socio-economic life but also posed a security threat.

Mr Kothari was in Chandigarh in connection with the ABVP’s countrywide ‘’educational survey’’ under way at present. It is aimed at (i) assessing the existing fee structure in universities and colleges to see if the money is being spent on improving the academic and physical infrastructure by the managements (ii) studying the functioning of self-financing universities and colleges to see if the guidelines issued by the Supreme Court in respect of professional courses are being followed (iii) understanding the working of autonomous educational institutions because globalisation and liberalisation resulting in the privatisation of education is depriving poor students of an opportunity to seek admission and (iv) studying the manner of utilisation of grants from the UGC as also from the Centre and the state governments.

Thereafter, the ABVP will prepare a suggestive ‘’new’’ education policy and submit it to the Centre. The survey data will be discussed by the ABVP national Executive Committee scheduled to meet in Amritsar from May 25 to 28. This is the first time the Executive will be meeting in Punjab. The survey began on April 1 and will conclude on May 10.

The ABVP is concerned at the “arbitrary” fee structure followed in universities and colleges in different states.

Another observation made by Mr Kothari was on the role of the SIMI (Student Islamic Movement in India) that reportedly triggered riots in Kanpur recently. Its activities were akin to those of Pakistan’s ISI and the government should ban the organisation, he demanded.



Rejection rate of ammunition ‘high’
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24
While the discovery of discarded shrapnel and misfired rounds of ammunition in field firing ranges is a routine occurrence, the increasing instance of misfired rounds found scattered around a field firing range near Chandigarh has focussed attention on the quality of ammunition being issued to the forces.

Shrapnel of ammunition from firing ranges is disposed of as scrap. For acquired ranges, that is land belonging to the Army, an annual contract is given out to a civilian agent or agency, which is responsible for collecting all shrapnel and disposing it of in the market as and how it requires. A specified lump-sum, running into crores of rupees for large ranges, is recovered annually from the agent concerned regardless of the amount of shrapnel recovered.

For smaller or notified ranges where land does not belong to the Army but is only cleared of civilian population when firing is to be carried out, the responsibility is that of the formation using it.

After the day’s firing is over, the unit concerned is responsible for picking up the shrapnel as well as disposing of misfired rounds and before leaving, give a clearance certificate to the civilian authorities.

The sources say that a large number of locals intrude into the area during as well as after the firing to recover the shrapnel. Since shrapnel contains brass, titanium and other expensive alloys, it provides a source of income to locals. At times the locals even dig trenches near the impact area to seek cover while the firing is going on and emerge during a lull to recover any shrapnel. Since the area is large, running into several kilometres, it is not practical for the Army to recover the shrapnel before the civilians get to it.

An official Central Government document prepared last year has highlighted a sudden spurt in the rejection rate of high calibre ammunition manufactured by the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB).

As per the report, made available here by sources, the rejection of ammunition produced by the state-owned Heavy Alloy Penetrator Factory showed a sharp upward trend from 1994-95 onwards. In 1998, the rate of rejection touched an all-time high of 68 per cent of the quantity produced that year.

“This brings into question the ability of the factory to manufacture and supply ammunition”, the report stated. Pointing out the failure of the OFB to take remedial measures for controlling the rising rejection, the report added that this has also caused waste of rejected shots and ammunition, the report added.

A committee was constituted by the OFB to carry out a failure analysis. “The committee failed to pinpoint the reason for spurt in the rejection”, the report noted, following which the board suspended further manufacture of empty shots for the ammunition.

While the Army, in fact did not forward any requirement for supply of the ammunition to the factory in 1999, the factory had by then an outstanding demand for supply of about 22,600 shots. The reason for not meeting the outstanding demand was not cited in the report.

“Even out of accepted shots, many were rejected in proof at the Ordnance Factory (OF), Khamaria, and had to be backloaded for rectification”, the report stated. Out of a batch of 15, 308 shots issued to OF, Khamaria, 2368 shots valued at Rs 3 crore were rejected. The rejected shots were re-worked at an additional cost of Rs 51 lakh, but again 720 shots were rejected in proof, rendering the entire expenditure of Rs 1.2 crore in manufacture and subsequent re-working “infructuous”, the report stated.

The report also noted that the factory later abandoned efforts to rework or salvage the rejected lots.

The total value of rejected shots, ammunition, repair cost and accumulated inventory, as per the report, amounted to over Rs 28.13 crore. Continuance of production despite an “abnormal” rejection rate led to a waste of over Rs 12 crore, in addition to the factory holding idle inventory valued at almost Rs 20 crore.



MCC misusing funds’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24
The Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, is misusing the funds granted by the Central Government for rehabilitation colonies and basic minimum services ( BMS) for slums. This has been stated by councillors Ms Kamlesh Bhandari Dass and Ms Sunita in letters written to the SC/ST Commission of India, local MP, Administrator and the Advisor to the Administrator.

The councillors, while alleging that not even a single penny has been spent on the development of any labour colony/slum area in the city by the MC, have demanded that a thorough probe be initiated and the officials found guilty be booked and punished according to law.

They have alleged that officials of the corporation are using this fund for the development of urban areas and the rehabilitation colonies are being ignored. It has also been pointed out that the rehabilitated colonies in Bapu Dham, Karsan, Sectors 30, 32, 37 and 38 and tenements of Dadu Majra colony and various parts of the city are facing scores of problems pertaining to roads, water and electricity. Infact, more than 75 per cent of the total population of these areas belongs to SC/ST and other backward classes.

While on one hand an amount of Rs 2 crore stands allocated against colony fund with the MC but the work of development in these colonies has not been undertaken and on the other hand the corporation has still not received funds for urban areas for current financial year but still recarpeting of roads in certain sectors is being undertaken.

They have also highlighted that the funds received from the Central Government under the BMS scheme for the development /provision of basic amenities in the slums are being misused.



Forum favours capital status for Panchkula
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 24
The demand for granting capital status to the town, proposed by a forum of residents welfare associations of various sectors, has found the support of political parties as well with most of them saying that this will bring in the much-needed funds to carry out development works.

Based on grounds that the Haryana government was gradually shifting all its head offices to the town, the demand has essentially been made to ensure central government aid to the town which is, presently, bearing all costs of maintenance of these offices.

“With the formation of the municipal council, a number of taxes have been imposed on the residents. If maintenance costs are also to be managed in the meagre funds at the disposal of the MC, it will definitely be done at our cost. However, if we are granted capital status, the fund in-flow will meet the extra demand,” convenor of the forum, R.P. Malhotra, said.

Local MLA, Chander Mohan said that the would wholeheartedly support the demand and extend all co-operation to the body demanding capital status.

“At our level also we will take up the demand for capital status, a reasonable demand by any standards. Besides, when our government comes to power, we will definitely make Panchkula the capital of the state,” he said.

Clarifying its stand on the issue, general secretary of the local unit of the BJP, S.L. Sachdeva, stated, “The town is, anyway, the camp capital of the government. With a number of offices of the state operating from here, the government must contribute towards the development of the town as well.”



Club slashes gliding charges
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 24
The Civil Aviation Club at Pinjore has slashed the rates of gliding to encourage the sport and popularise it among schoolchildren. Plans to enter into a package with the Haryana Tourism Department are afoot as well.

While the rates have been cut down from Rs 187 per head to Rs 100, a special concession being given to schoolchildren, the general public will be charged Rs 150 per head against the previous fee of Rs 187.

The Director, Civil Aviation, Mr Rajiv Arora, said the concession being doled out by the department was more than the actual cost of the launch but the department had been considering cutting down of rates to make the sport attractive for the adventurers.

Primarily availed by NCC cadets during their camps, gliding facilities has had few takers from amongst schoolchildren in the past. Working on the logic that reducing costs was bound to encourage children to dabble in gliding during outing arranged by their respective schools, the department took a final decision on this recently.

Sources add that under a package being worked out with the Tourism Department, the club would provide a discount on gliding on trips organised on the premises.

“We are hopeful that the discount on gliding will revive the sagging interest in the sport and the club will show some earnings. We are approaching schools to bring their students for outings at the club as well,’’ an official stated.

Meanwhile, the department has hiked the rates of power flying in view of the rising fuel cost. With fewer trainees coming in to take flying lessons for licences, the department has been unable to break-even and handle its expenses.

This necessitated the hike in power flying rates, the increase varying between Rs 100 and Rs 200 in cases of different machines.

However, the department is hoping the club will be able to maintain the trainee in-flow of the past, the approved hike in flying costs not being seen as “substantial” in comparison to the facilities being offered.


Sport  Previous charges  Revised charges 
School children Rs 187 Rs 100
Others  Rs 187  Rs 150


Pushpak Rs 2,000  Rs 2,200
Swati  Rs 2,200  Rs 2,300
Cessina  Rs 2,300  Rs 2,500
Piper  Rs 2,500  Rs 2,700
Cherokee Stimulator  Rs 150  Rs 250



Man, daughter beaten up
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24
A resident of Indira Awaas Colony, alongwith his daughter, is alleged to have been beaten up by a group of 15 to 20 people late last night. The reason for the assault is learnt to be a minor altercation between the victim’s wife and a neighbour yesterday afternoon.

It is learnt that the wife of the victim had a minor altercation with her neighbour, Rajesh Kumar, in the afternoon, when she heard someone pelting stones at her house. She had later accused Rajesh Kumar of throwing stones and an altercation followed between them.

However, the victim, Nand Kumar Jha, who works as a technical supervisor in a Panchkula based steel plant, says that while he was sitting outside his house at around 11.50 pm last night, a group of 15 to 20 men and women converged at his house and asked him why they had pelted stones at Rajesh Kumar.

He alleged that the angry crowd also beat up his wife, Renu , son Kundan and younger daughter Pinki. While Nand Kumar received injuries on his head and forehead, his daughter received injuries on her right hand. 


Grants for ex-servicemen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24
Several benefits were given to ex-servicemen and their relatives at a meeting of the Committee for Union Territory Funds, here today. The meeting was headed by the UT Home Secretary, Mr R. S. Gujral.

The committee has decided to grant Rs 1,000 as funeral expenses to the next of kin of ex-servicemen, besides financial assistance for widows of servicemen killed in action.

The cost of lamination of identity cards issued to ex-servicemen will now be borne by the UT Zila Sainik Welfare Office (ZWO). Besides opening a cyber cafe in its Sector 21 office, the ZWO is also planning to organise an ex-servicemen’s rally in October or November.


Homage paid to Diljang S. Jauhar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24
Men of literary eminence gathered at the residence of Mr Tejbans Singh Jauhar to pay their tributes to Mr Diljang Singh Jauhar, who dominated the cultural life of the city for over four decades.

They included Mr Hari Jaisingh, Mr Amrik Singh Pooni, Mr K.L. Zakir, Dr Harnam Singh Shaan and Mr Bhagwant Singh.


Rs 60,000 stolen from car
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24
Cash worth Rs 60,000, a suitcase and a car stereo were stolen from a Cielo car parked in front of an SCO in Sector 22 at around 11.30 pm after breaking the left side window pane of the car.

According to the information available, the theft took place last night when the car (HP-33-5031) was parked in front of SCO 2451 in Sector 22. The police has registered a case under Section 379 of the IPC on the complaint of Mr Sukhwinder Singh.

Cash worth Rs. 7700, two bags containing a cheque book, a pass book of the SBI, and several other documents belonging to Ms Maninder Kaur Bhatia were stolen from the Department of Gandhian Studies, Panjab University. A case under Sections 454 and 380 of the IPC has been registered.

Two scooters stolen:
A Kinetic Honda scooter ( HR-06D- 1503) was stolen from the Sahib Singh parking in Sector 17 last evening.

Another scooter (CHJ- 4681) was stolen from the Sabzi Mandi on the night of April 22. In both the cases, the police has registered a case under Section 379 of the IPC.

Three hurt in accidents:
Three persons have been injured in three separate cases of accidents during the past 24 hours.

Rajnish Saini, a pedestrian, was hit by a Maruti car driven by Harpreet Pal near the Sector 20 and 30 lights last night. A Panchkula resident, Rajan Nanda, was also injured when his car was hit by a bus (PB-10AH-6000) near the Bitta Petrol Pump, Mani Majra.

Another unknown person was injured when his Kinetic Honda skid near Naya Gaon this morning.

Chain snatched:
An unknown miscreant today snatched a gold chain from a Sector 37 housewife, while she was standing in front of her house. It is learnt that the miscreant was on a scooter and after snatching the chain he ran away.



Cops looking for ‘Shakeel’s aide’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24
The police is searching for a man who claims to be an aide of gangster Chhota Shakeel and has been making calls to a Sector 32 businessman to demand protection money.

He has demanded Rs 2 lakh from the trader. However, the family had been ignoring these calls until yesterday when they received about 10 calls within two hours. The caller asked them to put Rs 2 lakh in a dustbin of a garden in Sector 33. The trader was told that he would be killed if he approached the police. The trader told the caller that he did not have that much money with him and a deal was struck for Rs 10,000. However, the trader approached the police and policemen in plain clothes went to the garden in his place with a bag full of paper. After putting the bag in the dustbin, they waited for the man. They noticed that a man was making enquiries from a rehriwallah, but he ran away on seeing them. The police is now looking for him.


Suicide note writer arrested
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24
Mr Gurdev Singh, a former employee of the treasury branch of the State Bank of India, Sector 17, has been arrested by the Chandigarh police for threatening to commit suicide because of the alleged failure of the bank to pay his Retiral Terminal Benefits (RTB) amounting to lakhs of rupees.

According to a spokesman of the bank, the payment of the RTB has been held in abeyance following a dispute between Mr Gurdev Singh and a thrift and credit cooperative society over the repayment of the loan taken by him from it.

The suicide note which was allegedly sent by Mr Gurdev Singh to Chandigarh Tribune and a few other newspapers said: “I am going to commit suicide due to persistent tension tomorrow i.e. on 24.4.2001 at 10.30 A.M. in SBI LHO-17 building because the bank has failed to release my Provident Fund/Gratuity etc till date despite the fact that my SBI VRS was accepted after completion of 21 years of service with excellent record throughout entire service”.

A spokesman of the bank told Chandigarh Tribune that the bank had lodged an FIR with the police as soon as the suicide note was received on the basis of which he was arrested.



Police remand for MC men
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 24
Two sub inspectors of the Municipal Corporation, who were arrested for corruption, were sent to a day of police remand today by the UT Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mr Sant Parkash.

Avtar Singh and Sunil Datt were arrested by the CBI. The other persons — Inspector Kashmira Singh, and Sub Inspector Sunil Kumar — who were also arrested for corruption, had already been sent to judicial remand. Kashmira Singh and Sunil were arrested on April 19 by the CBI for taking bribes after a raid on the Sector 17 MC Office.


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