Monday, May 7, 2001, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S



Rehabilitation survey begins
Forms distributed among jhuggi-dwellers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 6
The Estate Office staff led by the Tehsildar (Colonies), Mr Gurnam Singh Raipur , today started a survey of eligible persons and distributed the application forms A, under its rehabilitation scheme for families whose jhuggies were removed in the anti encroachment drive undertaken, yesterday.

Yesterday, as part of the joint operation by the Estate Office and the Municipal Corporation staff, nearly 250 jhuggies were removed from the Kabari Market Colony, near the fire station in Industrial Area, phase I, here.

According to Estate Office officials, the filled application forms will be duly scrutinised and the jhuggi dwellers allowed a certain time period to produce ration or voter identity cards, in support of their claim that they have been the bonafide residents of the Union Territory before December 8, 1996.

Besides, the list of affected families in the operations conducted yesterday, will also be tallied with the one prepared after the fire incident in the same colony on March 19 this year when more then 200 jhuggies were razed to the ground, to help prove the authenticity of the claims made by the residents.

Meanwhile, unlike yesterday, when a major clash took place following demolition and seven persons were injured in a clash between jhuggi dwellers and the police to protest against the operations, today was comparatively calm. Residents, who had spent last night with their belongings in the Industrial Area, phase one community center, lined up in front of the officials to give in their particulars without any untoward incident being reported.

Meanwhile, the Labour Cell of the BJP has condemned the demolition of jhuggies in the Kabari Market in the Industrial Area here yesterday.

In a joint statement, Mr Hari Shankar Mishra and Mr Daleep Sharma, president and general secretary, respectively, alleged that the authorities had demolished the jhuggies without any warning.

Demanding proper rehabilitation for the displaced persons, they also demanded compensation for them.



Paper-setter’s mistake proves costly for students
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh May 6
The students, who recently appeared in final-year B.Com examination of Panjabi University, Patiala, for papers of management accounting and business finance, were in for a puzzling situation when they found that a mistake on part of the question paper setter had stripped them off their due choice in a particular section of the question paper.

While the university authorities stated that the whole matter would be looked into and due compensation to the students decided upon, the mistake in the question paper raised serious doubts about the credibility of the question paper setter.

The said question paper had five sections. The first four sections were of two questions each. The students were asked to solve one question each from these sections while the fifth section was compulsory. Section-D, instead of carrying two separate questions, had a single question divided into two parts numbering question 7 and question 8.

This was a question which could be solved only as one question. As a result there was no question number 8 available for the students to solve. This marred the 100 per cent choice which the students had in each section and the students had to solve just this question.

Interestingly, the said question in the paper had been lifted straight without a single change from one of the chapters’ of the regular text books on the subject ‘working capital management and finance’’ on page 662.

Dr S.K. Arora, Head of the Commerce Department of Punjabi University, stated that he had already forwarded the issue raised by the students through the Controller of Examination and soon a committee would be formed which would look into how the problem was to be sorted out and decide on the compensation to the students of the subject who have this option.



Agro firm ‘dupes’ investors, MD missing
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, May 6
A number of investors have allegedly been duped by a Panchkula-based agro-forestry firm, Neelgiri Forests Ltd. The police has not arrested the firm’s officials, though a case has been registered against them.

Investors say that, though a case of forgery and cheating was registered at the Sector 5 police post against Rohtash Saini, Managing Director of the firm, on August 19 past year, the police has not taken any action against him. The case against him had been registered under Sections 406 and 420 of the IPC.

According to an FIR lodged by an investor, Ms Hem Sharma, a resident of Sector 2 here, she had invested Rs 50,000 in the firm for one year. After the maturity date, when she contacted the company to get back her money, the MD told her to wait because he was ill. After this, he refused to meet her and blocked even the principal amount that she had invested. When she visited the MD’s house, his wife said he was out of station, but she did not know where.

Ms Sharma said, whenever Rohtash visited the city, he avoided contact with her. Now, the accused has shifted his residence to an unidentified place.

In a representation submitted at the Sector 2 police station in February, another investor, Mr D.P. Sharma, said the accused was working in a forest company in Delhi. However, relatives of the accused and officials of his firm, refused to disclose his whereabouts.

To recover their money, investors have formed the Neelgiri Forests Investors’ Association. Col Ajit Kumar Mital, head of the association, said the MD and another accused should be arrested and their passports should be cancelled to stop them from leaving the country.



PU environment studies examination in July
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 6
Panjab University will conduct a special examination in environment studies for the final year undergraduate students in July this year. A decision in this regard was taken yesterday, according to sources.

Hundreds of students this year did not get a chance to appear in the examination due to lack of coordination between colleges and the examination branch in preparing the list of eligible candidates.

The university authorities had a few days ago called a press conference denying any lapse on part of the university office in examination mismanagement.

Reliable sources said the committee has proposed the “special examination” only for the benefit of final year students. The second year students who missed the examination can appear in the annual examination of April, 2002.

Students who have attended the required seven lectures to qualify for the certificate can submit the document by May 31. A large number of them failed to submit the certificates by he earlier proposed date of March 31, 2000, which led to an uncomfortable situation.

Errors in the question paper this year were also highlighted in the meeting. Most of the errors had occurred on account of translation in three scripts — Hindi, English and Punjabi. Candidates are likely to be awarded grace marks in the paper.

The committee members included Prof Ashok Sahni, Dean University Instructions, Prof R.K. Kakkar, Prof Charanjit Chawla, Prof R.K. Kohli, Principal A.C. Vaid, Principal Gurdial Singh and Prof M.S. Johal, among others.

The detailed marks card “can miss the space for mention of environment studies”. However, the degree for the undergraduate class will have specific mention of having qualified in the subject, a member said.

One problem faced by candidates is that they have used even pens to mark the answers in the paper. They were required to use only pencils. Taking a lenient view of their “ignorance”, the matter will be taken care of, sources said.

The university has referred to the problem as a “teething problem” for the establishment of the subject. PU is the only university in India to have offered the subject following a Supreme Court intervention in the matter. The first batch recorded less than 10 per cent success among candidates. The syllabus was considered tough and the examination was scrapped.

Following year, candidates started attending the minimum seven lectures fixed by the university.

The Board of Studies has also cleared the prescribed syllabus for the course. The course is divided into 11 units. These include environment, land, forests, wildlife, water, people, habitats and health, energy, environment and global issues and practical.

As a part of the practical, students will be required to either plant a tree each in the beginning of the session or form an eco-club in their “mohalla” and get acquainted with biodegradable and non-degradable household garbage.


Tennis players reject, paddlers try, shuttlers
love new rules
Arvind Katyal

Chandigarh, May 6
Over the years, lawn tennis, badminton and table tennis have become immensely popular all over the world, but, the rules of these games have not changed in decades. Changes in the scoring systems of these games have been proposed this year.

It has been proposed that, in women’s tennis, set should be called at a score of four games and not six. However, this experiment has failed, according to top players, so, it might be discontinued.

In badminton, the scoring system has been changed from 15-point-game and 11-point-game for men and women, respectively, to a uniform seven-point-game in a best-of-five system. This has been done mainly to suit sponsors.

The International Table Tennis Federation, at the 46th World Cup in Osaka (Japan), proposed an 11-point-game pattern in a best-of-five system, in place of the 21-point-game. The change of serve will be after every two points. New rules will allow players to wear glamorous outfits. The changes are proposed to be implemented from September 1, 2001.

Jitendra Kishore ‘Mickey’, a Patiala-based former table tennis champion of Punjab, said changes were good for the future of the sport. He said the 11-point-game system and service change after every second point would make the sport more attractive for spectators. He said it would now be best-of-seven games and not best-of-five.

He said the ball size had been increased to encourage long rallies. He said the decision to allow women players to wear glamorous outfits like women tennis players was a welcome change.

T.P.S. Puri, a former national chief badminton coach, said badminton was a fast game and fans like it that way only. He said badminton matches looked boring on television because of delayed results. Puri is also on the panel of the International Badminton Federation (IBF) and scheduled to attend the IBF world coaches’ conference in Seville (Spain) that begins on May 31. He said, at French Open in March, the new 5x7 scoring system had been tried and players were satisfied with it. In India and elsewhere in Asia, too, this system had been tried with an encouraging response. Puri, who is Secretary of the Chandigarh Badminton Association, said if this system was approved at the annual general meeting of the IBF on June 3, the sport would become spectator friendly.

D.V. Bhatia, Vice-President of the All-India Tennis Association, said, new rules had been introduced for women players only. Sets would now be called at four games and players would play for only one point at deuce. Bhatia, who head of the Haryana Tennis Association, said top players had rejected the new rules, as these favoured whoever was serving. In four games, the player who had the serve, would always have a good chance of winning.

Bhatia said tennis already enjoyed huge sponsorship, unlike badminton and table tennis, so, the sport could do well even without the new rules.



Sewerage connection helps in getting 
possession of plot
Kiran Deep

Chandigarh, May 6
A sewerage connection sanctioned 35 years ago came to the rescue of a city resident, establishing her claim over the plot owned by her. Ms Gurbachan had landed herself in a soup, after the Estate Office lost her file of ownership of the plot, and asked her to prove it. Despite the fact that the complainant had given a number of representations to the Administration, the Estate Office had shown its inability to trace the file to establish her ownership of the plot.

After this, she filed a complaint against the Administration in a local court demanding her to be declared the owner of the plot. It was stated in the complaint that she was the owner of plot in Sector 23 and had constructed a building over it. She had been living there for the past 40 years.

She faced problem about the possession of the plot when she also lost all documents of the plot issued by the Estate Office. She lodged DDR on November 11, 1998, with the police station in Sector 17.

Then she approached the Estate Office for issuing the certified copies of the allotment document. But officials of the Estate Office told her that the property file maintained by the office had also been lost. The complainant requested the officials to reconstruct her property file on the basis of a letter issued by the office on November 9, 1998.

The officials told the complainant that they were searching the property file. They also assured the complainant that if they were able to trace the letter, they would reconstruct the property file and intimate her.

The complainant alleged that officials of the Estate Office had shown their inability to do the needful as the property record file was not traceable after a number of representations.

Officials of the Estate Office filed a reply in the court that they were keeping a record of approximately 50,000 files pertaining to the property of residential and commercial areas and needed time to find out the missing file.

They also clarified their stand over the reconstruction of another file and stated in the reply that certain documents in the SDO building could reveal that the plot was sanctioned in the name of Gurbachan Kaur. However the main file of the property could only establish whether Gurbachan Kaur was the owner of the property.

Meanwhile, the issue was resolved whom a clerk of the Estate Office filed a reply that the property stood in the name of the complainant, Ms Gurbachan Kaur, as the sewerage connection of the site was allotted in her name on May 5, 1966. A local court observed that the clerk of the Estate Office had admitted that the sewerage connection was allotted to Gurbachan Kaur. Therefore, the complainant was entitled to be declared lawful owner of the plot.


Child labour in full force in brick-kilns
Nishikant Dwivedi

Togan (Kharar), May 6
Child labour, abject poverty, inhuman living conditions, diseases -- these are the words which could be used to describe the laboures working in the brick-kilns situated in northwest of Chandigarh in the Kharar subdivision.

In the kilns hundreds of children are engaged in making bricks. These children cannot go to schools like other children as many are the bread-earners for their families. Like their parents they too will step into adulthood as illiterates.

Khurshida, a 10- year old girl, starts her day at six in the morning. Her fragile hands knead the mud for the bricks.

She started bricks since two years ago. Her father Islamudin, who is working nearby, has seven children and owes Rs 22,000 to the owner of the kiln where he works. He has been a labourer for the past 16 to 17 years and is from Muzafarnagar, Uttar Pradesh.

Ten-year-old Tinku helps his father in making bricks. When asked why he does not go to school, he asks in return, ‘‘Then who will make the bricks?’’. Though it is a different story that his parents cannot afford to send him to school.

Gopal, who has been working in brick-kilns for the past 15 years and is suffering from chronic cough, is not as ‘lucky’ as his counterparts. His two children are too small to work in the kiln. When asked whether he will put his kids to work in the kiln, he says, ‘‘What other option I have?’’.

A brick-kiln owner, when asked why he employed small children, claims, ‘‘These children are not labourers here’’. According to another kiln official, the children are not engaged into making bricks, he says, ‘‘They only play in the mud where their parents are working’’.

On an average, a family makes about 2000 bricks a day and they are paid every fortnight — Rs 156 per 1,000 bricks. They spend most of the earnings on food and medicines. The rest is kept by the owner.

It is learnt that most of the labourers take advance ranging from Rs 5,000 to Rs 2,500. The agents, who bring these labourers to the kilns, give a counter-guarantee for the loan. The labourers repay the debt in parts from their earnings.

When contacted Mr Hardyal Singh, Additional Labour Commissioner, said that if children were working in the kilns, action would be taken against the culprits. He said, ‘‘I would ask the district officer concerned to conduct raids on the kilns’’.

However, he is of the view that in kilns a very different type of system is at work as the entire family works in the kiln and the children also somehow get engaged in the business.

The work at kilns goes on round-the-clock. A child, as soon it is seven, starts working in the kiln, irrespective of the sex of the child. Offsprings of the brick-kiln labourers also become labourers.

At an average the families earn between Rs 200 and 400 a day and still most of the families are in debt. They cannot leave the kiln until they clear the debts and the debt seems to be never over. These labourers come to the kilns in January and return in June. As much as 60 per cent of the days here they have work. There children can study if they wish as they spend six months in the kilns and the rest at their native places.

There are around 1,000 migrant families working in the 30 brick-kilns in the seven villages of Togan, Dhanora, Mastgarh, Milkh, Parol, Ferozepore and Mullanpur. They are brought here in trucks in January every year by zamindars, agents from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.


Jacob urged to make surprise visit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 6
The Traders Association of Sector 17(A and B) has urged the UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen JFR Jacob (retd), to make a surprise visit to the area and see for himself the dilapidated condition of the sector.

According to a press note of the association, the Chandigarh Administration has been unable to provide any proper parking area in the sector though there was ample space available. The Architecture Department had surveyed the area but nothing had been done so far.

The Horticulture Department had not cut grass, with the result that there was likelihood of accumulation of water in the area in the monsoon. Similarly, only a few of the streetlights were working.

Toilets, which have been sanctioned in the original plan of Chandigarh, had not been provided, putting shopkeepers and visitors to inconvenience, the press note added.



Mayor’s house gheraoed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 6
Members of the Chandigarh Vikas Manch today gheraoed the houses of the Mayor, Mr Raj Kumar Goyal, and the Senior Deputy Mayor, Mr Gurcharan Dass Kala, for their alleged failure to run the House of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC).

The members, led by the manch president, Mr Harmohan Dhawan, assembled at the Housing Board Chowk near Sector 7 of Panchkula and marched to the residence of Mr Goyal in the Shivalik Enclave and sat on dharna in front of the Mayor's residence.

Various speakers accused the Mayor of handling the proceedings of the House in an improper way with the result that the development activity in the city had come to a standstill. They alleged that the Mayor, who was reportedly elected through cross voting by certain BJP councillors, had failed to run the House efficiently.

From there, they marched to the house of Mr Kala in Mani Majra and staged a dharna there. They also alleged that Mr Kala had failed to get any development undertaken in the ward.



Eswaramma Day celebrations
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 6
More than 500 persons had langar today on the occasion of Global Narayan Seva, organised here today at Sri Sathya Sai Old Age Home-cum-Seva-Centre in Sector 30. On this day, different units of the Sathya Sai organisations in the entire world hold “narayan seva” as part of Eswaramma day. Eswaramma was the mother of Sathya Sai Baba.

According to an office-bearer of the organisation, a cultural programme will be held tomorrow to celebrate Eswaramma Day, where 300 Bal Vikas Children (aged between 6 and 15) will present various items based on human values at Tagore Theatre in the evening.


BJYM activists burn Ajit Jogi's effigy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 6
Activists of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) today burnt the effigy of Chhatisgarh Chief Minister Ajit Jogi in protest against the lathi charge on morcha activists at Raipur recently.

The morcha activists assembled near the Dhillon cinema in Mani Majra in the evening and burnt Mr Jogi's effigy amidst shouting of slogans. Various speakers condemned the lathi charge in which several leaders, including BJYM chief Shivraj Singh Chauhan, were reportedly injured.

The speakers also condemned the gherao of councillors of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) by members of the Chandigarh Vikas Manch.



Job for widow
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, May 6
The Punjab Government has announced a job to the widow of Amarjit Singh, a 27-year-old farmer, who died when the robbers fired upon him while chasing them in Lohgarh village last month.

This was announced on behalf of Capt Kanwaljit Singh, Finance and Planning Minister, Punjab, by Mr Narinder Singh, a former sarpanch of the village, at a condolence meeting here today.

He also announced that a community centre and a road would be named after Amarjit Singh.

However, Mr M.S. Gill, a former Agriculture Minister of Punjab, demanded a financial aid of Rs 10 lakh for next of kin of the deceased.


Aggarwal pariwarik milan samaroh
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, May 6
An Aggarwal “pariwarik milan samaroh” was held at Sanatan Dharam Mandir in Phase IV here today.

Mr Chiranji Lal Garg, Minister for Science and Technology, Legal and Legislature Affairs and Justice, Punjab, was the chief guest.

Mr Kulwant Singh, President of the local Municipal Council, was the guest of honour. A medical check-up camp and a cultural programme were held on the occasion.

The programme was organised by the local Aggarwal Sabha.

Mr Garg said that the demand for a plot made by the sabha had been put up before the authorities concerned and he had been assured that a plot would be allotted at a reserve price. He announced a grant of Rs 20,000 for the sabha.



SWIMMERS residing in the city all these years have been deprived of the benefit of representing under the banner of Chandigarh directly in the National swimming meets. In the absence of any recognised association in swimming in the city having direct affiliation with the Swimming Federation of India, players continue to suffer. These swimmers represent neighbouring states like Punjab and Haryana and whenever any medal is secured, the credit obviously is given to that very state association. Only the swimmers have the option to represent UT schools and colleges in respective national schools and Inter college meets. In the past, many swimmers did well at national level but they too participated under the banner of different states.

The Chandigarh Olympic Association with whom many bodies are affiliated must take the initiative to rejuvenate the local swimming association. Though for the past many years, two parallel swimming associations in Chandigarh existed, neither could get direct affiliation with its national body, due to the acute rivalry between them.

The swimming pools in the city have become venues for recreational purposes, with even parents not insisting their wards to resort to swimming seriously. Children just want to have fun than to compete in any tournaments as one of the coaches said: “The moment vacations start in schools, rush will pour in. Later after opening of schools, it will subside. “Unless tournaments are conducted regularly, there is very little hope for city to produce any outstanding swimmer.

Vision problem

The first programme organised by the Chandigarh Administration on April 29 under the Jhankar series proved to be fairly successful, except minor hangups here and there. The performing artistes were the famous Bharatanatyam danseuse from Delhi Saroja Vaidyanathan and her troupe of six foreign students, who are in India on the Indian Council of Cultural Relations scholarship. While the ambience was just perfect for the occasion, one common problem faced by the gathering was that of the stage being too far away from the seating area.

On account of the distance, people could not enjoy the recital as much as they could otherwise have. In fact, some of the people had to go home to fetch their spectacles so that their evening was not spoilt. The UT Administrator and Adviser Ms Neeru Nanda were, luckily, carrying their glasses.

Parks for parking!

Very few people would know that Chandigarh tops the list when it comes to per capita availability of vehicles. There, however, is one way of confirming this statement. When you go around the Southern sectors, you can easily spot a vehicle in each household. With the increasing number of vehicles, the problem of parking is on the increase, and both the UT Administration and the Municipal Corporation are taxing their brains on how to tackle the situation. The problem has become so grave that in most of the places in Sectors 33, 34 and 44, cars and jeeps can now be found parked inside the area parks.

Parking along the periphery of the parks was a done thing, but now the residents are converting parks into parking lots, much to the displeasure of the MC. Parks in most of the Southern sectors are thus being spoilt on account of the lack of parking space. Last week some residents were also warned against using parks for parking by the police personnel of Sector 34.


Mr Satyender Yadav has been selected for the “Young Population Geographer” of the year award ( 2000 AD) by the Association of Population Geographers of India, Panjab University.

Prof R.C.Chandna, secretary of the association, says that the award has been given in recognition of Mr Yadav’s original research work titled “disability and handicap among the elderly Singaporeans.

Mr Yadav is the first awardee ever since the award was instituted in 1996. The award, which carries a cash prize of Rs 5000, will be presented to Mr Yadav at the annual general body meeting of the association in April, 2002.

Stop, pass!

The prestigious St John’s School in Sector 26 has provided each class teacher five laminated permission batches, which the students are required to carry with them whether they go to the toilet or are sent by the teachers for some other work. While those wanting to go to the toilet take the permission pass, the others carry the On Duty pass.

Most of the teachers feel that these badges would help them to ensure that students are not roaming in the corridors aimlessly. But students are quite amused about the scheme, for often in case of junior classes, they have to wait to go to the toilet till their fellow students return. The school authorities may need to issue more such passes to these classes in the near future.

Even visitors and parents who wish to see their ward or a teacher during school hours have to seek the Principal’s permission and then carry the permission pass to do so. No kidding, It’s all official here.

The school had a few years back started the system of car pool. This was done to ease the rush of vehicles during the opening and closing hours of schools. That worked well. Let’s see how the pass scheme works.

Strike hit

The PGI has had the dubious distinction of being the only government institution where strikes by various karamcharis have been broken through the intervention of the court. The karamcharis think that the court sided with them while the administration holds the contrary view. In either of the case it is the patient and the reputation of the institute which suffers. In the long run even the karamcharis suffer since in the hothouse atmosphere of the strike and its aftermath their demands, even when legitimate, do not get any support. Once again at least one section of the karamcharis has made an informal announcement about going on a strike. At a time when strikes in public service institutions are being looked down upon by the general public and there is a generally anti-strike opinion floating around in society, it does not seem that there would be any public sympathy for the strikers for, whatever the legitimacy of the demand it is the public which suffers. All that we can do at the moment is pray to god that good sense will prevail all around and that a strike will be avoided.

For one man’s fault

On April 24 the Registrar of Panjab University issued 42 notices to teachers asking them not to misuse garages in the teachers’ flats by parking cars in them. As it turned out none of them had ever parked their cars in the said garages and many did not possess cars either. But the notice threatened to evict them should they misuse university property. Apparently it was one particular teacher who was the target of the Registrar’s general missive, but that person could not be asked directly to desist. In the event the poor Registrar, in charge of the well-being of the university’s estate, was forced to be rude to all the other residents of the teachers’ flats.

Such behaviour is but to be expected of an estate officer who has to suffer the illegal enclosure of common land by a number of faculty members, including the Vice-Chancellor. Perhaps he would garner enough courage and request them to relinquish their illegal occupancy of common land?

Internet woes

The woes of internet subscribers in Chandigarh and the surrounding territories are unending. First there was VSNL. Then came DoT. Then BSNL. In the interim there were others who promised better services than the government. Glide, Satyam etc. were the initial big names. Connect, Mantra Online soon followed offering even better services.

But subscribers soon learnt that none of the services was reliable enough. Many phone calls were wasted in connecting and re-connecting to the ISP. Download speeds remain uniformly poor. The plethora of ISPs and the certainty of their unreliability urged many subscribers to obtain web based e-mail IDs for themselves.

The only thing distinguishing the government owned ISP and its private counterparts has been that the latter were more polite, did not charge anything extra for retrieving your lost password and in general held the subscriber’s hand when the poor subscriber was in trouble. Otherwise their connectivity was and continues to be often far worse than their government counterpart. Still they earn far more goodwill from their subscribers. Did someone say that good bedside manners is all that matters? Maybe BSNL too could think of teaching its staffers some shishtachar.

Refresher courses

Refresher Courses are routine in any well-run organisation. Class I government officers are compelled to undergo them every few years. At the IAS, IPS and IFS levels these courses are taken very seriously and any dereliction invites serious penalties. But university and college teachers continue to resist the idea of refresher courses.

The latest in the saga of such courses is the one being organised by the department of philosophy at Panjab University. Being a premier department in the discipline they were able to obtain some of the best philosophers of the country to give detailed lectures at the refresher course. But did the participants appreciate the efforts? Seems not, for many of them continue to be late for their lectures; some even nap openly giving a goby to the poor philosopher at the lecture and almost none asks questions at the end of the presentation.

These participants belie the notion that philosophers are a contentious lot. Or perhaps these are not philosophers, merely philosophy teachers who make no efforts to relate their discipline to their normal lives.

Beware of them!

Lawyers, scribes, police personnel and unmarried girls (phew) are certainly not the most desirable of clients for banks when it comes to sanctioning of loans , it seems. The other day a bank official told this correspondent that they are overcautious while granting loans to unmarried girls. Bankers or finance companies either take a special undertaking, even if the person concerned is a permanent employee or outrightly refuse loans to these “categories”. For journalists, police personnel and lawyers, the official said that these people tend to speak up if anything goes wrong. “We have to be doubly sure, you see. Even though things have changed, but unmarried girls are not trusted when it comes to such risky things . They are likely to get married and go away”. Just street smart logic, perhaps. Nothing official, we suppose.

Fourth Front

Members of the Fourth Estate were given an unusual advice by a Congress leader the other day. They were asked to form the Fourth Front in the city ahead of the elections to the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) later this year.

With so many factions in almost all parties working at crosspurposes, the Fourth Front stood a better chance in the poll than several of the small parties in the city. And the journalists will also get support from all sections of society, the leader reasoned.

Will the ever-growing tribe of scribes, who are quick to criticise almost everything, take up the challenge?

Dogs’ paradise

Sector 20-B seems to be stray dogs’ paradise. With the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) looking the other way, the number of stray dogs is on the rise exposing the residents to serious health hazards.

Residents allege that the visitors avoid the sector late in the night when the number of stray dogs suddenly rises. Not only visitors, the children have to face a lot of difficulty as they cannot venture out to play in the evenings.

Udyog Rattan

Mr Rajeev Saini, a local architect, has brought honour to Chandigarh by winning the Udyog Rattan Award on the economic development of group housing societies.

The award was presented by Dr Bhishma Narain Singh, a former Governor of Tamil Nadu and Assam, at a seminar on “Economic Development” organised by the Institute of Economic Studies at New Delhi recently.

Earlier, Mr Saini was awarded the Vikas Rattan Award by a former Governor of Bihar in 1996.

— Sentinel



Immolation attempt by rickshaw-puller
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 6
A 35-year-old rickshaw-puller, Tulsi Ram, attempted suicide by immolating in the jungle near Khuda Jassu here today. He has sustained 50 per cent burns and has been admitted to the Sector 16 General Hospital.

It is learnt that the victim was a resident of Kalyan Labour Colony and was unmarried. The police has booked him under Section 309 of the IPC.

In another case, Om Wati, a resident of Dadu Majra, tried to immolate herself by pouring kerosene over her body. The police has registered a case under Section 309 of the IPC.

The woman is learnt to have suffered 100 per cent burns and is admitted to the PGI. Police sources say that she was in a state of depression following the divorce of her daughter.

Motorcyclist killed:
Surjit Singh, a motorcyclist, was killed when he was hit by a truck (HR-38E-5627) in the Industrial Area (Phase I) last evening. The driver, Rohtas, has been arrested under Sections 279 and 304-A of the IPC and the truck impounded.

Three cases of theft have been reported in the city during the past 24 hours.

A Hero Honda motor cycle (PB-01L-2316) was stolen from the residence of Mr N. Rajan in Sector 32 on the night of May 4. A Bajaj Calibre motor cycle belonging to Mr Mohan Singh was stolen from Hostel No 5, Panjab University, on May 5.

Unidentified miscreants stole the battery of a Kinetic Honda (CH-01X-7238) from the residence of Mr Sudesh Chawla in Sector 41-B on the night of May 2.

Cases under Section 379 of the IPC have been registered.

Liquor smuggling:
A woman from Janata Colony, Sheena Devi, was arrested from near the Sector 25 cremation ground and 40 pouches of whisky were seized from her. A case under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act has been registered.

Mobile phone stolen:
A mobile phone was stolen from the car of Mr Sanjeev Gupta here today. The car was parked in the market of Sector 40 when the theft took place. A case under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered.



Police remand in rape, murder case
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 6
The two accused of the rape and murder of 10-year-old Aasia at a poultry farm in Barwala were sent to one-day police remand after they were produced in the court here today.

Sources said that though three persons were rounded up by the police in connection with the case last night, one of them was let off for non-involvement in the crime following interrogation.

Meanwhile, Rakesh and Abdul Khalil, sent to police remand today, were later taken to the scene of crime to retrieve the knife which was used to slit Aasia's throat. The body of the victim was sent for post-mortem.

Rakesh, a gardner at the poultry farm, had been staying there for nearly six months where one other family, besides that of Alamgir Ansari, father of the victim, had been staying in the four rooms for the past one-and-a-half years.

On the night of May 4, while everybody else had gone to sleep, Aasia had stayed up to cook meal for Rakesh and his two friends, one of them being Khalil. Family sources said that Khalil, too, was not a stranger since he had worked as a labourer some time back in an adjacent field.

The two accused got drunk that night and raped and later murdered Aasia. She was left in a sewerage pipe after slitting her throat. Next morning, her body was found by villagers and the two accused along with a third person were picked up by the police for questioning.


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