Sunday, May 13, 2001,  Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S



Infernal disaster averted in Sector 22
Firemen save 10 persons, property
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 12
A first-floor large store in Sector 22, stocked with mattresses, plastic and rubber furniture and items like folding beds, was gutted in a major fire which broke out here this afternoon. Though no one was injured, property worth about Rs 2 lakh was destroyed, according to initial estimates by the local Fire Department.

The firemen, in a daring rescue operation at the site, also saved as many as 10 persons, including students and instructors of a computer institute located on the second floor of the showroom, by bringing them down with the help of a ladder. The firemen joined hands with the labour of the showroom-owner to save goods worth about Rs 4 lakh, by throwing them down from the first floor. The fire was brought under control within one hour. However, firemen continued to wait and watch till the dense smoke cleared off.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr M. Ramsekhar, who was at the site said, “the re-use of the building will be permitted only after the owners get a green signal from a structural engineer.” The local SSP, Mr Parag Jain, who was present, said a team of the Central Forensic Scientific Laboratory (CFSL) may be called in to check out on the cause.

Though the cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained the fire department would conduct a fresh on-site visit tomorrow morning. One of the theories is that probably it was a short circuit in the overhead power cables on the rear side of the showroom which sparked off the fire. Fire officials, on their part, say there was no power connection on the first floor, so the possibility of a short circuit was remote.

According to the available information, the fire broke out at about 4.10 p.m. in a two-bay showroom number 3017, Sector 22-D, which was locked and belonged to Mangal Dass Des Raj Karyana Merchants. Students, who were attending a class in the computer institute on the top floor, felt the heat even as they were in an air-conditioned room. On noticing the smoke outside, they immediately informed the fire station.

Sources in the fire department disclosed that they received the information at 4.16 p.m. and a fire douser and fire tender from Sector 17 reached there at 4.25 p.m. The ones from other fire stations followed soon after.

There was panic at the site when someone said that a child had been trapped on the top floor, but the firemen, despite a complete search, did not find any child on the premises. Following this, fire-fighting operations began from both the front and rearside as the extent of the fire was large due to highly combustible material present inside.

A fire tender each from the headquarters in Sector 17, fire station and those in Sectors 38, 32, 11, and Ram Durbar, along with 30-odd firemen were pressed into action. A fire tender had also reached from SAS Nagar, but was not used in the operation. The firemen disclosed that they had a major problem entering the premises, as it was haphazardly stocked with coir mattresses, cotton bales, foot-mats, plastic furniture and other goods, both in the showroom inside and the gallery on the rear side.

Gulshan Kalra, one of the firemen who reached the top first, disclosed that an iron door at the rear had to be broken for entering, while grills on the front side were also broken to throw out the goods from the first floor on both sides of the showroom. Chief Fire Officer, Mr G.S Bajwa, along with Station Fire Officer, Mr S.K. Gosain supervised the operation.

Among others who reached the spot were SDM (Central), Mr Pirthi Chand, SDM (South), Mr H.K. Nagpal; Medical Superintendent, General Hospital, Dr K.K. Garg and Deputy Medical Superintendent, Dr G. Dewan.

The damage could have been much more had the fire spread to other floors and shops nearby, which also had material lying in the corridors, sources add.


Delay likely in streetlight privatisation plan
Officials asked to do more homework
Kulwinder Sangha

SAS Nagar, May 12
The cautious approach adopted by the higher authorities of the Punjab Local Government Department is likely to delay the introduction of the privatisation of the maintenance of streetlights in the town.

It is learnt that such a step is being taken because the Municipal Council here will be the first “A”-class committee/council in the state where the scheme will be implemented, and an adequate study needs to be carried out to determine whether the venture will be profitable. Privatisation had earlier been introduced in the Municipal Corporation areas of Patiala and Ludhiana.

The local council had in fact completed various formalities under the rules, as asked for by the Punjab State Electricity Board. The board had even written to the civic body recently that it planned to discontinue the streetlight maintenance charges in view of the decision on privatisation. Matters were at an advanced stage and even the contractor had been selected out of seven or eight parties which had responded to the tender notice, though the work order had not yet been issued. The contractor, who had quoted the lowest rate of Rs 62 per streetlight point, was persuaded by the engineering wing of the council to scale it down to Rs 47 per point. The contractor was required to maintain only “independent” streetlight points and not what are technically called “composite” points, ie those streetlight points which are also linked to nearby houses.

In Patiala the maintenance charges of the private contractor are Rs 50 per streetlight point. In Ludhiana the charges vary according to the wattage of the streetlight — Rs 47.50 for a 40 watt tubelight and Rs 85 for a 250 watt sodium vapour lamp. The average charges in Ludhiana come to between Rs 60 and Rs 65. In SAS Nagar at most points there are sodium vapour lamps ranging between 70 watts and 250 watts. There are a total of 4,200 streetlight points in the town.

However, before the privatisation plan could proceed further here, the Regional Deputy Director, Local Government, Ludhiana, Dr K.S. Sra, asked the council a few days ago to do some more homework to determine whether it would be financially beneficial to the civic body to go ahead with the scheme.

It is learnt that so far the council has found that the maintenance of “independent” streetlight points on its own involves an expenditure of around Rs 24.25 lakh annually. However, it has calculated that getting the work done through a contractor would cost Rs 23.24 lakh every year, excluding unforeseen expenses such as that on accidental damage to electric poles by trucks, etc. If the unforeseen expenses are worked out to be around Rs 1 lakh annually, the total expenses of the council and the amount to be paid to the contractor will be on a par. However, a point in favour of privatisation will be that the contractor will be required to ensure that every streetlight point is functional. The council had been able to keep 70 to 80 per cent of the streetlights in working order on a regular basis.

The council is now trying to work out the average of the unforeseen expenses over the past two or three years, which will have a significant bearing on the fate of the privatisation scheme.

Under the privatisation plan, council employees will be checking regularly whether streetlights in the town are in working order. The non-functional ones will be brought to the notice of the contractor, who will be required to rectify the fault within 48 hours or face penalty.

The report of the council on the figures worked out will be submitted to Dr Sra shortly, who will then forward it to the Director for study. If the report is later sent to the Secretary, Local Government, further delay is expected in the final decision on the privatisation scheme.


Migrant labour to be screened for malaria, dengue
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 12
To keep a check on the spread of malaria in the city, all migrant labourers will now be screened for malaria at the nearest malaria clinics or through mobile squads and surveillance teams deployed under the National Anti Malaria Programme. No labourer shall be engaged by contractors at construction sites unless he or she has been screened for malaria.

Screening of migrant labourers at the construction sites will be mandatory for contractors of any construction site (government or private agency).

These rules have been framed by the Chandigarh Administration to curb the spread of malaria, dengue and Japanese encephalitis in the UT.

The Administrator, Chandigarh, has held the opinion that ordinary provisions of law for the time being in force in Chandigarh are insufficient to prevent the outbreak and spread of these diseases. Formulating the policy named the Chandigarh Prevention and Control of Malaria, Dengue and Japanese Encephilitis, 2001, the Administration has said an “infected Area” means any place or area which is notified by the District Magistrate to be infected with malaria, dengue and Japanese encephalitis.

“Controlling Officer” means an officer appointed under these regulations by the Administrator, Union Territory, Chandigarh. “Threatened Area” means any place or area which is notified by the District Magistrate to be threatened with infection of the diseases.

The District Magistrate will publish a list of infected areas of the city, town and villages with intimation of outbreak of diseases. The notification of persons suffering from the diseases shall have the names and addresses of persons suffering from these.

Under the new laws, no person shall keep or maintain any collection of standing or flowing water in which mosquitoes breed or are likely to breed. No one shall occupy a new building — private, government or semi-government — unless an occupation certificate is obtained from the Controlling Officer regarding the requirements of anti-mosquito system in these premises.

All burrow-pits required to be dug in the course of construction and repair or roads, railways, telecommunication, embankments, among other, shall be so filled so as to ensure that water does not remain stagnant therein.

A mobile court will be constituted to impose fine or penalty to the owners or occupiers of premises creating conditions conducive for transmission, spread of the disease inside the houses, offices, markets, shopping complex, institutions or any other place located within Chandigarh.

To involve private practitioners, clinicians and nursing homes, the Administration has asked them to furnish all information pertaining to blood slide collection and positive cases, information regarding the suspected or confirmed cases of dengue and Japanese encephalitis to the controlling officer.

Whosoever contravenes any of the provisions of these regulations, disobeys any order or requisition issued thereunder or obstructs any measures which are required to be taken by the government will be booked under Section 188 of the IPC, rendering him liable to punishment, if proved. 


PU schedule for refresher courses
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh May 12
While the Panjab University Academic Staff College has laid down the schedule of refresher courses for university and college teachers starting from June 2001, a large number of teachers from colleges have given a representation to the University Grants Commission to extend the time period for doing their orientation or refresher course up to December 31, 2002.

The last date for having completed the said number of orientation/refresher course was December 31, 2000 but according to the representation a large number of college teachers failed to attend the courses many of which were not available in the due period. Many other teachers had not been relieved by college principals due to shortage of staff and since most the courses have a limited number of seats available and all teachers could not get an opportunity to get themselves enrolled.

Each refresher course will last for 20 days. The schedule of these courses is as follows: library and information science from June 5, 2001; performing and visual arts from June 16, 2001; home science from June 19, 2001; physics from June 23, 2001; education from July 20, 2001; sociology from August 17, 2001; Sanskrit from August 21, 2001; psychology from August 24, 2001; commerce from August 28, 2001; geography from August 29, 2001; bio-medical sciences from October 3, 2001; maths/statistics from October 4, 2001; physical education from October 9, 2001; bioscience from October 11, 2001; anthropology from December 12, 2001; English from December 18, 2001; Hindi from December 21, 2001; chemistry from February 22, 2001; Punjabi from February 28, 2002.


Soft’ punishment to staffer irks many
Molestation of unconscious girl in PGI ICU by employee
Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh , May 12
The attempt by the PGI authorities to protect an alleged molester, a class-IV employee of the hospital, is causing turbulence amongst faculty members. Senior members of the faculty have expressed discontent over the “lenient” view taken by the PGI administration over the alleged molestation of an 18-year-old girl in the PGI intensive care unit (ICU) by the employee about two months ago.

Several doctors, who attended the stormy meeting of the PGI staff council on May 9, were surprised when the institute’s Director, Prof S. K. Sharma, discussed the issue and informed them about his decision to shift the accused to some other department, instead of taking the help of the Chandigarh Police and awarding punishment for the heinous crime. The staff council is the highest body of the institute comprising senior professors and heads of the departments.

If a woman complains that she has been sexually molested or raped, it is good enough for setting the legal procedure in motion, according to a practising advocate. It is a cognizable offence and the police has to register a case and initiate proceedings, he said, adding that the onus of proving his innocence lies on the offender.

Under Section 354 of the IPC, molestation amounts to assault or use of criminal force against a woman, intending to outrage her modesty, and shall be punished with imprisonment of two years or fine or both. 

Some faculty members have alleged that it was not just a molestation case, but the girl was “raped” by the operation theatre assistant on March 15. Members of the nursing staff also admitted that the same person had been accused of similar incidents in the past too.

The PGI administration officials, however, said that unless the inquiry report is complete, the administration could not take a stand over the issue. The PGI authorities are conducting an inquiry under the rules and regulations of the procedures in such cases, they added.

A senior faculty member, who strongly objected the way in which the case had been “mishandled”, said the inability of the PGI administration to take a clear-cut stand on such a delicate issue showed just how weak was the administrative control. Whether the case has been hushed up to avoid bad publicity or under pressure from the employees union, the law says that the girl’s statement should have been taken as the last word in such cases.

The matter relates to the molestation of an unconscious girl in the PGI ICU on the second floor, Block A. Sources said the PGI authorities had even recorded the statement of the girl and her father. However, instead of immediately suspending the accused and handing him over to the police, the PGI administration has just shifted the employee to another department after spending months on its departmental inquiry.

The sources alleged that the PGI administration did not report the matter to the police deliberately and it was trying to hush up the case. The “heinous crime”, said a faculty member, also puts a question mark on the working of the ICU which comes under the direct supervision of the Anaesthesia Department. Incidentally, attempts to contact Prof Promila Chari, Head, Department of Anaesthesia, PGI, proved futile.

Questioning the role of nursing and other staff who are supposed to provide 24-hour vigilance doing when the crime was being committed, he added angrily, “It is astonishing that this could happen to a helpless girl lying unconscious in a ward where round-the-clock supervision is supposed to be provided.”

The PGI Director, Prof S.K. Sharma, could not be contacted for his comments on the matter as he was away to Delhi to attend the AIIMS governing body meeting.


37-year-old man commits suicide
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 12
A 37-year-old man reportedly committed suicide by hanging himself from a tree in Sector 33. According to police sources, his body was found lying on the ground this afternoon. A passer-by saw the body and reported the matter to the police.

Police sources said that Basher Chand hanged himself from a tree adjoining the boundary wall of Government Senior Secondary School, Sector 33 using a rope. Sources said the deceased was a resident of Shimla and was a former class IV employee of the Indian Institute of Hotel Management, Sector 42.

The deceased had been dismissed from his job and his financial condition was not good. However, it could not be known when and why he was dismissed. Meanwhile, the body was sent to the General Hospital, Sector 16, for post-mortem. 


Signs of struggle in Mohali murder
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, May 12
The postmortem examination of the body of the 60-year-old woman, who was murdered in Phase IV here yesterday, has indicated signs of struggle by the victim and death, probably by a head injury.

Sources said today that the examination revealed the presence of hair in the fist of the deceased. The hair has been handed over to the police to be sent for forensic examination. The exact time of death could not be determined, but sources said it could have occurred 24 hours or a little more than that before the postmortem examination. The examination at the Phase VI Civil Hospital began around 12.30 p.m. today.

Meanwhile, the SSP Ropar, Mr G.P.S. Bhullar, said that around 20 persons had been questioned, but no arrests had been made so far. The investigating officials were working on four different theories, he said without elaborating. He, however, did not rule out the possibility of a dispute or a revenge motive behind the murder of Mrs Daljit Kaur Mangat.

The SSP said valuables were not missing from the house in which the crime was committed. It was possible that a person known to the victim was involved in the murder.

The body of the victim has been shifted from the Civil Hospital here to the PGI mortuary. The husband of the victim is likely to reach here tomorrow evening from the USA.


14 sites resumed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 12
The Assistant Commissioner-I of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh, Mr Ashok Vashistha, exercising the power of the Estate Officer, has cancelled and resumed 14 transit sites in the Mauli Jagran rehabilitation colony, near here, as the allottees had not made any construction on the allotted sites.


Rapped in yards
Sanjeev Singh Bariana

The Whole Nine Yards (Kiran) is a situational comedy. Dentist ( Mathew Perry) while saving lives of mercenaries discovers that he was to be eliminated by his wife.

The antics of the doctor, his wife and his secretary are pure rib-ticklers.

Bruce Willis, an accused of 17 murders, shifts in the neighbourhood of the doctor.

The doctor’s wife and mother-in-law have good time and keep their respective husbands on their toes. The dentist wants a divorce, but doesn’t pursue it, as he owes a big sum to his father-in-law.

One day the dentist comes home to see Bruce Willis shifting in the adjoining house. The two become friends. The doctor’s wife sends him to Chicago to get details about a murderer before handing him over.

The doctor is kidnapped by Willis’ rival.

He also meets Willis wife who also wants him eliminated to usurp the millions in their joint account. The doctor falls for Willis’ wife. His wife finds a cop to arrest Willis. The criminal is here to kill Willis.

The doctor wants to save him and his wife. The doctor’s wife ends up in jail as she confesses that she wanted her man dead. Jonathan Lynn is the director.

* * *

The 13th Warrior ( Kiran): A Touchstone presentation, “The 13th Warrior” is an adventure thriller.

Ibn Fahdian (Antonio Banderas) is banished from his homeland. The outcast comes across a band of “Norse”, warriors who coerce him to join them fight against mysterious creatures.

Eventually surrounded by the frightening and ferocious foe, Ibn learns to conquer his personal fears and helps fight the illusive foes. These creatures emerge out of the shroud of fog in the night.

The film also features Diane Venora and Omar Sharif. John McTiernan has directed the film.


‘Personal attack’ on doctor flayed
Tribune News Service

Case background

The inquiry was initiated on a complaint of Mr G. R. Saini, a resident of the city. He said a staff nurse of the hospital had asked him to shift his pregnant daughter to Dr Kamla’s private clinic in Sector 12 here.

The father and daughter were allegedly harassed for not giving in to the demand and referred to the PGI.

Panchkula, May 12
“Is the doctor married? Where does she stay? Whom does she meet? Who calls her up during the day?” Questions like these asked by the Subdivisional Magistrate, Mr U.S. Sohal, who is probing the allegations of private practice by a doctor of the Sector 6 General Hospital here, have angered doctors here.

The local unit of the Haryana Civil Medical Services (HCMS) has criticised the way the inquiry is being conducted. It has demanded a “fair probe that does not include any personal attack”. This demand was raised at a meeting of the association held here today.

The head of the association, Dr A.S. Sodhi, said the further course of action would be finalised at a state-level meeting of the HCMS tomorrow.

Transfer unjustified: doctors

Members of the HCMS said there was no reason for transferring the SMO to Chandigarh. They said there were other ways of punishing her if she was guilty.

They said no concrete evidence had been found against her in the inquiry so far, so, it was not justified to transfer her out.

Meanwhile, when contacted, Mr Sohal, said he had asked all these questions to get a background information on the doctor and were not in bad intention. “As I did not know anything about the doctor, I sought this information from the staff nurses who misinterpreted what I said. I had also called for Dr Kamla Singh to be present during the inquiry, but she did not turn up,” he said.

The staff nurses said these questions on the personal life of Dr Kamla Singh, SMO of the hospital, were irrelevant to establish the authenticity of the complaint that she was running a private clinic.

The SDM grilled them for about two hours.

“He called us inside the room together and questioned us about the doctor’s home, contacts and the other personal matters. We insisted that he should stick to the subject of the inquiry, but he seemed disinterested,” a staff nurse said.

Dr Kamla Singh said, “To look into the complaint, 22 inquiries have been initiated against me. Five raids have also been conducted on my house that have revealed nothing. I am ready to go through it again, but character assassination is not justified. The only purpose of it is humiliation.”

She also said, “The complainant, Mr G.R. Saini, was present in the room when the nurses were being questioned, but Mr Sohal did not call me over.”

Meanwhile, the SDM denied having called more nurses for interrogation today. While the staff nurses chose to stay away, the inquiry was also postponed to avoid complications, according to sources.


8-year-old girl shows the way
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 12
Reckless driving on a well-organised road network has become the order of the day. Personal safety has become a big casualty. To see a young schoolgoing girl or boy lying lifeless in a pool of blood in the morning newspaper sends a current of pain through the body.

Girls with muffled faces drive at breakneck speed. They may be attempting to save their skin with the veil. But muffled faces have become a fashion. As muffled faces have become a common sight, sobriety, a predominantly female virtue, is disappearing fast. Can a helmet be a better option against the merciless sun? Only girls can answer this question better. But one can say with surety that helmet is a better option to keep death away, at least on roads in the City Beautiful. Hardly 1 per cent women opt to drive with helmets in the city.

However, eight-year-old Sunaina Kaul, a student of IInd standard in Carmel Convent, is a different face in the city’s crowd. She never misses her helmet, which has been specially sent to her by her Munich-based aunt. Her father, Mr Pankaj Kaul, a doctor in the PGI, says that her daughter loves to have a helmet. At the initial stage she felt a bit uncomfortable, but later on she developed a liking for it. She knows that it is the best safety device for her in case of any accident. Her classmates and even senior students laughed at her on seeing her carrying a helmet on the head. But now everything is normal for her.

For the city traffic police, she can be a best pick to be presented as a role model for not only school and college-going girls, but also for thousands of women employees who move about in the city on motorised two-wheelers without helmets. 


Juice samples cleared
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 12
The Berri Juice samples, which were collected by the UT Health Department and sent to the laboratory for test have been cleared.

The laboratory tests have found the juice safe and without adulteration. Reportedly, a month back, the Health Department had sent the samples of the juice for tests suspecting them to be adulterated. However, according to the latest lab test, the juices conform to the quality standards of the PFA and are not adulterated. 


Clearing out the clutter

Every house has a lot of clutter. We fill our houses with books, ornaments clothes and crockery for everyday use. People spend a lot of time trying to keep their belongings in some order. Some homes are chaotic and over-stuffed. Newspapers and magazines keep piling up for months on end. One never thinks of throwing them away. According to Feng Shui, “clutter” means good luck is not coming into your home. Having too many belongings can make us ill and depressed. The more possessions one has, the more insecure one becomes. I recommend keeping a happy balance of everything in the house. Remember that shopping can be great fun but keep it in perspective. One should always throw something old from the house when one decides to buy something new. This means that we are giving way for new energies to come in our homes, while the old or stale energies are going out. Every month I take out a few minutes to go through each of my rooms and I try to discard things which I have not used for a month or two, because if one has not used if for a month or two, that particular thing — dress, kitchen utensil, handbag etc — will never be used. I personally move my television set, furniture etc. once in a year. By doing so I move the entire energy of my house which in turn helps to fight stagnation and encourages me to de-clutter my house. There is a small tip I can offer everyone, and which I use myself. I listen to lively music which makes me more active and gets me into the swing of things. Throw away anything that is cracked or broken. Adopt the Chinese habit of spring cleaning for the first 15 days leading up to the new year.


Address your Feng Shui queries to:
Postal address: C/o F. S. TIPS
The Tribune, Sector-29, Chandigarh-160020.



Swindler goes scot-free
Victims unwilling to register FIRs
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 12
A conman is alleged to have duped several city residents and local financial institutions of lakhs of rupees. However, with none of his victims coming forward, the police is unable to bring him to book.

Deepak Bhalla, in the past two years, is alleged to have defrauded a large number of city residents of lakhs of rupees. He has been selling them cars that he got financed from various banks and private financiers in the city. These cars have been financed to him or his kin on a hire-purchase basis and thus the cars remain hypothecated with these financial institutions.

The accused has duped at least five persons and three financial institutions during the past two years. He has now absconded, even as a large number of his victims continue to flock to his rented accommodation in Swastik Vihar, Panchkula.

According to one of the victims contacted by TNS, the modus operandi of the accused was almost the same in each case. After getting a car (always small luxury cars) financed from any of the private banks or the private financiers, he would regularly pay his monthly installments to the financier for two to three months-before putting it up on sale. These cars would be financed in his name, his wife’s name, son’s name or his brother’s name.

It is alleged that he would then approach a car mechanic and ask him to find a suitable customer for selling off the car. Once a customer was spotted and a deal was fixed, he would demand half of the payment and the car would be handed over to the buyer with the promise that the remaining money could be taken when the accused got a clearance certificate from the financier.

But the accused would always vanish at the time when he had to provide the clearance certificate. Thus the accused would dupe each of his gullible victims of anything between Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 2 lakh.

Interestingly, none of his victims is willing to get a FIR registered with the police. They fear that after losing the money, they would also lose the cars that are presently in their possession. ‘‘The financiers would automatically claim the vehicles back as they are the rightful owners and we will be left in the lurch. Although we cannot even drive the vehicles and keep them in hiding, still we have the car in our possession,’’ says a disgruntled victim.

In fact, the case came to light when one of the victims filed a DDR against the accused in December, 1999, alleging that he had not submitted the clearance certificate from the Sector 9 branch of a private bank for a Maruti Zen that was bought from the accused. This car had been financed by the bank in the name of the wife of the accused.

Subsequently the police summoned the accused in January. By this time three other complaints had also approached the police. In fact, one of them had been paid back his money in form of a cheque, which later bounced.

The accused then promised to issue a cheque to the complainant who had been sold a hypothecated Zen, but the latter refused. Interestingly, the complainant again fell in the trap laid by the accused, who mortgaged a Santro car to him. This car too, was hypothecated with another bank in Sector 9.

After, promising to return the money, the accused again did his vanishing act. In fact, he had also sold off the same car to another person, who is now laying claim to the car.

One of the victims filed a complaint with the Crime Branch. When contacted officials in the Crime Branch confirmed that they had received the complaint and said that they would register a FIR after the investigations were completed. ‘‘None of the victims is willing to get an FIR registered on his own, for fear of losing the car too. Our investigation is taking time, but we will soon be registering a case of fraud and cheating against the accused,’’ said an official.


Criminal wanted in 22 cases held
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, May 12
In a major achievement, the local police arrested a hardened criminal last night, who was wanted in 22 cases registered against him.

The SSP Ropar, Mr G.P.S. Bhullar, told a press conference here today that Sadhu Singh of Raipur Kalan was stopped at a police naka set up by Inspector Gurvinder Pal Singh and others near Manauli village around midnight. The suspect was ordered to stop by Mr Bahadur Singh, SI, but on seeing the police he tried to ran away. When the police personnel gave chase, he fired at them but was soon captured.

The SSP said a .315-bore pistol and three live cartridges were seized from Sadhu Singh.

He said the last case registered against the proclaimed offender was when he had allegedly fired at a dhaba in Bhago Majra more than a year ago, injuring one person. He had then fled to UP only to return now with arms and ammunition.

He said Sadhu Singh was at one time lodged in Nabha jail for four years. During the period of militancy in Punjab, he was member of a gang in 1990, whose other members were Gian Singh and Pala Singh. At present he was operating alone.

The SSP said the arrested man was wanted in connection with 12 cases registered at Panchkula, two at Sohana, two at Kharar, two at Chandi Mandir and one each at Kurali, Sirhind, Panjokhra and Basi Pathana.


Woman set afire by paramour, dies
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 12
Asha, the 26-year-old woman, who was allegedly set on fire by her paramour on Monday succumbed to burn injuries in the PGI here today. For the past six days, she had been fighting for life with 100 per cent burns. The police today registered a case under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code against Rakesh alias Gori, the lover.

Rakesh, a resident of Kumhar Colony in Sector 25, was earlier arrested for attempted murder and booked under Section 307 of the IPC. According to police sources, he had immolated Asha, when the latter asked him for money to celebrate her four-year-old daughter’s birthday tommorow.

Asha’s husband, Balram Singh, is a BSF personnel. They had been married for six years. She was staying in Daddu Majra village with her daughter.

According to the police, Asha had an illicit relation with the accused, Rakesh, for the past two years. However, Rakesh got married on April 26 and their relationship was getting strained after his marriage.


Three arrested for eve-teasing
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 12
Ms Yumnam Robita, a resident of Kasturba Hall of Panjab University, complained to the local police that three youths had made a vulgar pass at her. She said the car-borne youths had also snatched her cap and umbrella.

The incident took place near the Sector 15 temple in the afternoon. The offenders — Mandeep Singh (Gurdaspur district), Manpreet Singh (Patiala) and Vikas Sharma of Sector 47 here — have been arrested.

A case under Sections 509, 356, 379 and 411 of the IPC has been registered against them.

Couple alleges assault
Mr Manoj Kumar, a resident of Sector 52, complained that four residents of the same sector had assaulted and threatened his wife and him here yesterday. The couple reportedly sustained some injuries.

Those named in the FIR are Kulwant Singh, Gurnam Singh, Sardev Singh and Ashwani Kumar. A case under Sections 147, 148, 323, 354 and 506 of IPC has been registered against them.

Two gamblers arrested
The local police arrested two persons for ‘satta’ gambling here yesterday. Ahmed Gani of Sector 25 was arrested from near a tubewell there. The police said Rs 24,000 had been seized from him. Ashok Kumar of Sector 24 was arrested from near a school there and Rs 2,445 was reportedly seized from him.

Case under the Gambling Act were registered against these two.

Two held with liquor
The local police arrested Jagdish and Bablu, residents of the Sector 25 Kumhar Colony and seized 12 bottles and 100 pouches of liquor, respectively, from them, here yesterday.

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