Saturday, May 26, 2001, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S



Girls stand out in CBSE Class XII examination
Monica Sharma

Chandigarh, May 25
Three girls of the city have topped the Class XII examination conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) in medical, non-medical and commerce streams, according to information available from the UT Education Department.

Abha Goyal, Nidhi Aggarwal and Reema Mahajan have topped in medical, commerce and non-medical streams, respectively. Abha, a student of Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan, Sector 27, has secured 94.2 per cent marks. Nidhi of Carmel Convent has topped in the Commerce stream with 92.8 per cent marks. Her school mate, Reema Mahajan has topped in Non medical stream with 93.2 per cent marks. Jasmine, a student of GMSSS, Sector 35, has secured 88.2 per cent marks in the arts stream.

Abha Goyal has got the highest per centage of marks amongst all streams scoring, 94.2 per cent marks. She believes that regular studies with concentration is the key to success. ‘’I used to study the around 10-12 hours a day. I did all by my self and did not take any kind of coaching.’’

Nidhi Aggarwal of the Commerce stream says, ‘’Hard work and concentration in the class led her to be a topper. I also took tuitions for maths and accounts.’’

Carmel Convent School, Sector 9, has achieved 100 per cent result. Arushi Sharma of the Science stream has scored 90.4 per cent marks .

In the commerce stream, Kriti Mahajan, Shruti Chadha, Suangna Singh and Harleen Kaur have scored 92, 91.6, 91.6 and 90.2 per cent marks, respectively.

Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan has got 99 per cent result. Thirty seven students appeared in the science stream. Deepika Kharbanda, Shweta Jhamb, R.Sree Ram and Nidhi Jain of the same school scored 92.4, 90.4, 90.2 and 90.2 per cent marks in non-medical stream

In the commerce stream and arts stream all students cleared the examination.

Pooja Bansal and Meenakshi (medical stream) of DAV Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 15, scored 93.4 and 90.6 per cent marks, respectively.

Nishu Priya, who scored 91.4 per cent marks is a non medical student of GMSSS, Sector 16. According to him the school teachers have put in a lot of effort in bringing out the best results. My parents and family have contributed a lot towards my success.’’

Sacred Heart Convent, Sector 26, has also got 100 per cent result .Richa Kharbanda of the commerce stream has scored 92.4 per cent marks and topped in her school.

Students of S.D. Public School have also come out with flying colours . Mridula, Manisha and Vasudha have got 90.6, 90.4 and 90.2 per cent marks.

Two students of DAV C1ollege Sector 10 — Preet Pal and Himjit — have scored 91.8 and 90 per cent marks. Varinder Verma, (science) and Jyoti Sikka (commerce) of Moti Ram Arya Senior Secondary have scored 91.4 and 90.8 per cent marks.

In comparison to private schools, the pass per centage of government schools has risen this year. The pass per centage of Government Model schools is 82.57,cent whereas the pass percentage of private schools is 80.03 for the current year, according to official sources.

Pallavi Rastogi, a student of non-medical of GMSSS, Sector 10 has scored 91 per cent marks. Nishu Priya a non-medical student of GMSSS, Sector 16, has scored 91.4 per cent marks. Shikha Sharma and Mona of the medical stream have secured 91.2 and 91 per cent marks.

Saurabh Sharma of the commerce stream has scored 90.2 per cent marks from GMSSS, Sector 16. Rupinder Kaur a medical stream student of GMSSS, Sector 35 has scored 91 per cent marks. A student of GSSS, Mani Majra Rakesh Chawla of non-medical has scored 90.2 per cent marks.

Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 16, and Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 35, have got 98.36 and 91.18 per cent result in the Model school category. In this category, 4022 students appeared out of which 3321 students cleared the examination. The overall pass per centage of government model schools this year is 82.57.

In the non-model category, GSSS, Sector 38 W, has achieved 100 per cent result. Students of this school are basically from low income group. In all 1555 students appeared and 1036 students passed the examination.. The pass per centage of non-model schools is 66.62 per cent this year.

Vivek High School has achieved 97 per cent result. Suhani Gulati a commerce student of the same school, has achieved a score of 90.8 per cent marks. Guru Nanak Public School, Sector 36, has got 97.87 result, DAV English Medium Senior Secondary School, Sector 8, Panchkula has got 100 per cent result, Saint Soldier School, Sector 28, has got 91.30 result, ISDS Girls Senior Secondary School , Sector 21, has got 92.48 per cent result, Shishu Niketan School has scored 96.18 per cent result and Sri Guru Harkrishan School has achieved 94.74 per cent result .

All students of Shivalik Public School, Sector 41, cleared the examination. Gian Jyoti Public School, Mohali, has achieved 90 per cent result in the examination. Amit Singh a student of non-medical stream of the school, has scored 90.4 per cent marks.

Guru Nanak Public School, Sector 36, has achieved 100 per cent result, with all 46 students clearing the examination. Simer Preet Ahluwalia a non medical student of the school, has scored 91.2 per cent marks.

Meanwhile, principals and teachers were seen busy consolidating the results of their respective schools with the declaration of the result.


Creditable show by Chaman Vatika kids
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
Students of Chaman Vatika Residential Public School at Kakru on the Ambala-Chandigarh highway have turned in a creditable performance in the ICS (Class XII) and ICSE examinations.

According to a press release by the school here today, six students of Chaman Vatika have scored above 78.4 per cent marks, claimed to be the highest by Gagandeep of the YPS, SAS Nagar, on the ICSE website. According to Internet and council results, Chizy Valecha and Inderjit Singh Maingi scored 88.75 per cent, Arun Batra 83.75 per cent, Sahil Mangla 81.75 per cent, Nishant Patni 81 per cent and Gagan Mittal scored 79.25 per cent marks.

The overall results of the school in the ISC commerce stream are excellent, out of 24 students 15 have scored more than 75 per cent with 100 per cent result in both the ICSE and ISC examinations.

Even in the non-medical stream (ISC), Mohd Saef Sajjad surpasses the claimed highest percentage scoring 84.75 per cent, this is more than 83.2 per cent scored by Sharan Bains of the YPS, SAS Nagar, followed by Lancelot R.Fernandes 81.5 per cent and Rahul Gulati 81 per cent. On the top of it all, the students have scored more than 80 per cent except one child who has scored 76.75 per cent.

As regards the ICSE results, Samir Chopra of Chaman Vatika scored 86.8 per cent in the commerce stream followed by Vipin Jain with 85.6 per cent. Overall, six students have scored above 80 per cent and 13 students range from 75 to 80 per cent. In the ICSE science stream, the first position in the school has been bagged by Anshul Mittal securing 89.4 per cent followed by Harshit Purwar with 88.02 per cent and Chetan Garg with 87.6 per cent.


Smack worth 3 cr seized from Nigerian
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, May 25
The Panchkula police has arrested a Nigerian national and seized 3 kg of smack and Rs 18.30 lakh in cash from him in the early hours today. The cost of the seized smack has been estimated at over Rs 3 crore in the international market.

This is reportedly Panchkula police’s first ever big seizure of narcotic drugs along with huge amounts of cash.

According to the police, arrested person Tazudin Adesola, who had come by bus from Delhi to Panchkula, was nabbed at a naka on the Zirakpur-Panchkula highway along with the drug and cash at about 4:00 am.

Police sources said that the accused took a bus from Delhi and got down at Zirakpur bus stop from where he hired an autorickshaw to Sector 12 of Panchkula. A police party deployed at the naka intercepted the vehicle for a routine check.

Loud objections raised by the Nigerian in the auto made the police suspicious and the cops subjected the bag being carried by him to a thorough check. While the search was on the accused attempted to flee but was overpowered by the police personnel.

Mr Manoj Yadav, SP, said that apart from $1650 (US), the police also seized 124 bundles of 100 rupee currency notes, 92 of Rs 50 and 260 of Rs 500 note currency notes from the bag carried by the accused. He was carrying the drug in 30 packets of 100 gm each and some clothes with him.

The accused was illegally staying in India as his visa had expired on February 28. He was staying at a hotel in Delhi earlier, added Mr Yadav.

While talking to mediapersons, Mr Vikas Arora, ASP, said the accused was a diploma holder from Nigeria and was visiting Panchkula for the first time.

A case under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act has been registered against the accused with Sector 19 police station and further investigations are on. The autorickshaw used by him has also been impounded by the police while its driver has been made a witness in the incident.

Earlier, the CIA staff of the Panchkula police had arrested Basir Muhammad, a Bihari resident, for allegedly possessing 750 gm of charas worth Rs 40,000. The accused was arrested under the NDPS Act.

According to the information available from police sources, all narcotics in the region were brought to the city from the states of Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Poppy husk and opium were smuggled in city as well as in the inner rural reaches of Haryana and Punjab.

Poppy husk was first brought from Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan to the town of Shahabad Markanda near Ambala. From there, carriers were engaged to bring the haul to the city through the Panchkula- Ramgarh-Naraingarh road and other short links to the city and vicinity.


‘Present witnesses sought by defence’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
The general court martial trying Maj Maneesh Bhatnagar today directed the prosecution to secure the attendance of witnesses sought by the defence according to the precedence in which the defence wished to cross-examine them. The court directed that the next witness sought by the defence should be made available on May 29.

The defence had submitted that the prosecution had been informed well in advance to present witnesses for cross-examination. The submission stated that Capt S.S. Bisht was the prime eyewitness to events relating to June 15, 1999. He had been stationed here for a month, but was later sent back. The defence would like to place facts before the court in a logical and simplified manner and would be able to present its case effectively by cross-examining Maj-Gen V.S. Budhwar and Capt B.M. Carriapa only after cross-examining Captain Bisht, the submission added. The defence maintained that after cross-examining Captain Bisht, the cross-examination of any other witness might not be required.

The prosecution, however, contended that the defence could not set the order of precedence for examining witnesses and it was the prerogative of the prosecution to present witnesses in any sequence it liked.

General Budhwar, who was commanding the Leh-based 3 Infantry Division during the Kargil operations, was expected to arrive for deposing before the court today, but the prosecution informed the court that he would not be available before Monday. The court will now reassemble on May 29.Back


No action at this stage: Sehgal
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
“Anyone who is allegedly involved in the embezzlement of Panjab University funds will neither be asked to proceed on leave nor be suspended at this stage. These actions are pointless unless there is a hard evidence,” said Justice D.V. Sehgal, in an interview with the TNS here today.

Justice Sehgal, who is a nominated member of the PU Senate and heading a committee appointed by the PU Vice-Chancellor to study the findings of the R.S. Verma panel, will submit his report within two months to the VC.

Justice Sehgal also said, “We may need these men for the investigation and if they proceed on leave, they will become inaccessible. However, if someone is found to be guilty of misusing a position of authority, he or she will not be spared.”

On a question regarding action to recover the embezzled funds, Justice Sehgal said, according to the IPC, if a person was found guilty of misappropriating public funds, his or her private property could be attached. “There are many other ways of recovering the money. The Supreme Court has recently issued orders in this regard.”

Justice Sehgal held his first meeting with the other members of the committee in PU today. He said, “We have exchanged notes and shared suggestions. We will meet again by June 5.”

The R.S. Verma committee had reportedly found that there had been a gross misuse of funds, especially the higher-education fund, by a former PU VC and Mr M.G. Sharma, PU Finance and Development Officer. The report also accuses the landscape officer of the university, Mr Saini, of having taken a large number of actions that were not approved by the university.


Heated arguments among councillors on tehbazari
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, May 25
Issue of charging due tehbazari (enforcement fee), unofficially reported to be in crores, from rehri markets in the town witnessed heated arguments between municipal councillors at a meeting of the civic body here today.

When the agenda item to charge tehbazari of the last two years from the kiosk owners in rehri markets of Phase 1 and 3B 1 A without imposing a ten per cent penalty on the defaulters was placed before the house, councillors of the opposition sought details about the kiosks and the period for which the fee had not been deposited. Mr Manjit Sethi, a councillor, claimed that over Rs 9 crore was due from the rehri markets. Another councillor, Mr S.S. Patwari, alleged that records of the tehbazari was being forged to cover up the misdeeds of certain officials.

Officials of the civic body said the owners of kiosks in the rehri markets had not deposited the tehbazarai after they were not issued the NOCs to get electricity connections. They said as there was no provision under the rules of the civic body to waive off 10 per cent penalty on the defaulters, permission of the house was required. The item was passed on a majority vote.

Another item to charge a fee from plot owners dumping construction material along the roadside also saw oppsition from Mr Amrik Singh Mohali, another councillor. The civic body also decided to charge a flat fee of Rs 600 from regularising water and sewer connection. Some councillors demanded that the cutoff date for regularising the connection be disclosed.

In a significant decision the house cleared a proposal to purchase a new machine to clean and sweep roads in the town from a Samrala-based company. The machine, a tractor-trailed road vacuum sweeper, has recently been purchased by the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation and the Patiala civic body.

The machine, costing around Rs 6.31 lakh, was reportedly capable of sweeping major roads with speed as well as efficiency. The civic body approved a budget of Rs 7 lakh for purchasing the machine but for an expenditure above Rs 5 lakh, a sanction of the Director, Local Government was required.

A difference of opinion among the councillors was witnessed on an agenda item empowering the Executive Officer of the civic body to spend up to Rs 50,000 instead of the existing powers to spend Rs 4000. The item along with another item to create a new post of Superintending Engineer (SE), Civil, was rejected. A total of 22 agenda items was passed in the meeting.


  • The plot owners dumping construction material on roads would have to pay Rs 10 per sq yard of the area used.
  • A tractor-trailed vaccum sweeper to be purchased by the civic body.
  • Development works worth Rs 1.36 crore approved.
  • Pay a flat fee of Rs 600 and get water and sewer connection regularised.



Lottery scam: police to probe source of letters
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
The city police will investigate the source of the letters being received by the residents of the city and Panchkula from an Australian based company, luring them for participating in International lottery. They will also probe the possibility of the addresses of the recipients being procured by hacking the service data base of web portals.

This follows the publication of a news report in the columns of this news paper regarding a number of people here receiving letters, exhorting them to participate in the lottery that has Australian $ 23 lakhs at stake. A lot of people have had to lose their credit cards after they tried to pay the stake of US $ 19 through their credit cards.

Confirming this, the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Mr Ajay Kashyap, said that he had received complaints from the “aspiring winners” and that they suspected that their addresses could have been procured from the web portals where they had opened their e- mail accounts.

Meanwhile, a large number of people who had received these letters said that they had opened their e-mail accounts and since they had typed in their addresses while opening the account , they suspected that someone had procured their address from there. Says Ms Veena Gupta, a home-maker from Panchkula, who had received such letter: “This is violative of the cyber laws and is an intrusion in the privacy of the account holders with the portal.”

The police, while conceding that if the addresses procured from the web portals was violative of the Information Technology Act, 2000, necessary action can be taken only if the host (portal) lodges a complaint. “Since, it is presumed that the host has been defrauded, they have to lodge a complaint with the government of the country they are based in,” said Mr Kashyap.

He also said that the police will approach the Post and Telegraph Department and try to find the origin of these letters. Since there is no acknowledgement of the Australian Postage Department on the envelopes (these just say “Postage Paid Australia”), the police will inquire if the letters have actually been dispatched from Australia.


ISO certificate for 3 BRD
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
After spending about an year in training its personnel in the requisite process of quality assurance and documentation, No.3 Base Repair Depot (3 BRD) here has been issued the ISO - 9000 certification by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).

Sources said that the certificate was received here a few days ago. The 3 BRD is the country's largest helicopter maintenance establishment, responsible for repairing and overhauling choppers of Soviet origin in the IAF's inventory.

The certification had now granted international recognition to the depot as far as quality of maintenance and overhaul of choppers were concerned. “There are a large number of countries operating similar type of choppers being repaired here. Should the government policy change, the depot will be able to take up projects for friendly foreign countries,” an officer said. “If required, we will also be able to export expertise just like we are exporting certain defence equipment,” he added.

Sources said that officers from the 3 BRD would also be involved in conducting national and international level training projects and workshops concerning quality assurance organised by the BIS at various places.

The ISO 9000 certification had also authorised external quality audit by the BIS. So far, the IAF’s quality checks depended on its quality assurance cell operating directly under Air Headquarters. Certification by the BIS could be withdrawn if the quality of output failed to match the laid down standards.

A special training course in quality assurance, quality management and quality audit was also conducted by the BIS for IAF personnel at the depot. About 25 officers and airmen had been trained.

The certification process involved massive documentation of all operating procedures required for undertaking a particular task. Technical documentation, policy statements, quality specifications, work packages and procedures had to be compiled and their dissemination to the lowest level had to be ensured.

Though officers claimed that the specifications and work procedures set by Air Headquarters were already above that required for ISO 9000, the certification had officially granted individual status to the depot as far as quality of maintenance and overhaul of choppers was concerned.

Four other IAF establishments had so far received the ISO 9000 certification. These were the Air Force Technical College at Bangalore, N0.9 BRD at Pune, No.11 BRD at Tuglakabad and the ADGES Maintenance Service Establishment at New Delhi.

The Air Force Technical College had also received the ISO 9001 certificates, which certifies that its expertise and capability for designing aviation related components meets international standards.


Death certificate procurement an ordeal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
The ordeal begins after the “end”. You go to the office of the Registrar of Births and Deaths to get the death/birth certificate of a close relative, thinking you wouldn’t be troubled much after all that you have undergone. But soon you realise how wrong you were. It’s not easy at all.

For getting the certificate or a few copies, you may have to wait for six weeks or more. This is not all. If you want some more copies, you may have to wait for another six weeks.

This stands confirmed when you visit the office in Sector 17 and apply for certificate and few additional copies. The date mentioned on the receipts of all those who applied today was July 20. Even though the process of computerising the records has started, people are still being issued hand-written certificates.

Many city residents have highlighted the problems faced by them on account of delay in obtaining these certificates. The document is vital for operating bank accounts, settling insurance claims and other business and property transactions. But due to long delays — all that work comes to a virtual standstill. Photocopies of the original do not serve the purpose.

“I had applied for a death certificate a month ago, but as I am still to get it, we are facing a lot of hassles settling our property matters,” said a Kajehri resident.

Another resident, who recently lost his father, pointed out that even though he was scheduled to fly back to the USA in the next few days, he would not be able to complete all formalities if he does not get the certificates till then.

Inder Pal Singh, who had come all the way in scorching heat to apply for the certificate, was disappointed on not getting the form. However, later when he pleaded he was handed over a torn and crumpled form, where part of the details sought were simply missing. Unlike in the past, when forms were available at all times, the forms are now made available only from 9.30 am to 12.30 pm. This has been done to check the practice of people picking up four or five forms in one go. Few others highlighted the problems they face in not knowing what to do once they are in the office, particularly in filling the forms.

A visit to the office revealed that visitors to the office have to wait for their turn, both at the time of depositing their fee as well as for collecting the certificates, in rather “uncomfortable conditions”. People standing in long queues in the verandah outside pointed out the absence of fans, seating and drinking water arrangements.

Mrs Daljit Kaur, a resident of Kharar, complained of nausea waiting for her turn in hot weather. Due to non-availability of drinking water, they have to quench their thirst with cold drinks. “What an expensive proposition,” she said.

A small toilet inside is not even fit to cater to the requirement of the staff, what to talk of applicants.

Few others complained about the difficulty they had in locating the office, which only a few days ago shifted on the rear of the office of the Medical Officer of Health ( MOH), Municipal Corporation. The office had been for the past 25 years functioning from a room adjacent to the MOH office but now there are no prominent signs to show the shifting.

Officials on their part attribute these delays to shortage of staff. Even as the population of the city has touched the mark of 10 lakh, the staff handling the issuance of birth and death certificates has not increased since 1983.

One of the officials pointed out that there are only two employees, one each deployed to handle the issuance of birth and death certificates along with the copies. They not only make the entries after getting the required information from the cremation ground, city hospitals and nursing homes or that furnished by the residents, but also make certificates and the copies.

According to figures available, the city records 22 deaths per day. And to cope up with the increasing workload, we often fill the additional copies at home after taking down the particulars from the original copy. While in Haryana, only one copy is issued along with the original, we mostly issue the number sought by the applicant.

The local Registrar, Births and Deaths, Mr Harshvardhan, said that the problem of delays is shortly going to be sorted out as computerisation of records has already begun. To begin with, work has started on feeding the birth and death-related data from 1998 onwards. In the next few days, daily entries would be made, following which computerised certificates would be issued within a week.

Soon these would be issued on the same day. The office has only this month been equipped with six computers. Provision has also been made for separate counters for inquiry, fee collection and distribution of birth and death certificates. 


123 challans issued to encroachers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
The Enforcement staff of the Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, in a drive today issued 123 challans to rehri and phari vendors and other shopkeepers encroaching upon public corridors and MC land in Mani Majra and a few northern and southern sectors.

As part of the MC drive, nearly 48 challans were issued in the northern sectors of 11, 15, 17 and 18, particularly of the rehri walas encroaching MC land and the shopkeepers who had extended their wares right up to the public corridors and parking areas in the market. While 40 challans were issued in Mani Majra, nearly 35 were issued in the southern sectors of 34, 35, 38, 40 and 41.

The drive was carried out by the Inspectors and Sub-Inspector, (Enforcement) in their respective areas. The number of routine challans have gone up ever since the enforcement teams have been revamped following the arrest of some members of the earlier teams by the CBI. .

Meanwhile, teams of the Estate Office staff were busy carrying out some survey in Sector 26 grain market today in pursuance of the Punjab and Haryana High Court directions. 


BKU protest against ‘anti-farmer policies’
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 25
Hundreds of farmers of Bharatiya Kisan Union (Punjab) staged a dharna in protest against the alleged anti-farmer policies of the Punjab Government at Matka Chowk here today.

The farmers demanded hike in subsidy, reduction in the price of fertilisers, diesel, 12-hour uninterrupted supply of electricity for tubewell and compensation for farmers whose wheat and other crops had been damaged by rain.

The leaders of the union threatened that the BKU would organise a protest in front of the office of the Deputy Commissioner of every district of Punjab if their demands were not met soon.

While addressing the farmers, the General Secretary of the BKU Prof Manjit Singh Kadian, said that the WTO allowed 10 per cent subsidy to the farmers of developed nation, but the Indian government was giving just 7 per cent subsidy. It had further reduced the subsidy by raising the prices of fertilisers, diesel and other agricultural inputs. Mr Kadian demanded that all outstanding loans of farmers be written off and in future all loans given to farmers should have a 4 per cent rate of interest.



Avoid open shelves

IMAGING a lawyer’s office or a businessman’s study. The first thing that comes to mind is a view of walls lined with shelves with books in them. Generally such bookshelves are open. Open bookshelves resemble spears that send out the “killing breath” into a room. Whether the shelves are in children’s room or in your office, it is advisable to keep them covered.

The disastrous effect of these shelves may not be noticed immediately. With the passage of time, you will realise that the person occupying the room or the one spending most of his time there will almost always succumb to illness. If he does not fall ill, he will feel stressed and tired with the complaints of headache and backache. In cases where the shelves cannot really be covered or altered, the best thing to do is to line the books horizontally instead of vertically.

The edges of the books should be in sync with the edges of the shelves. This will make the shelves disappear, reducing the negative effects to a great extent. You could even round off the edges of the shelf with sand paper. 

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



Extensive damage in Lalru fire; 1 hurt
Our Correspondent

Lalru, May 25
Goods worth lakhs of rupees were destroyed, 10 shops and two godowns were damaged and one person was injured in a major fire that broke out in the local vegetable market early today.

A person named Mr Diwan Chand jumped from the first floor of a shop to save himself from the fire, sustained spinal injuries and had to be rushed to a private hospital at Ambala.

Sources said the fire that broke out at about 12.15 am was noticed by a watchman. The police and fire engines from Dera Bassi, Patiala, Ambala, Rajpura and Dappar were called. They fought the fire for over four hours to control it.

Eyewitnesses said two LPG cylinders that had been kept in a ‘dhaba’ had also burst to fuel the fire. The flames went so high that two godowns on the first floor of a nearby shop also caught fire. Bicycle spare-parts worth lakhs of rupees stored there were also damaged.

The blasts blew up the tin roofs of the adjacent kiosks and shattered the windowpanes of the adjacent shops. Minor cracks appeared on the walls of two nearby shops.

The kiosks where fruits, cassettes, confectionery items and eatables had been stored, burnt down completely, while a barber’s shop suffered comparatively less damage. A power generator was also destroyed. Shopkeepers said a short circuit due to a loose wire inside a telephone booth had caused the fire.

Mr Sher Singh Sidhu, SDM of Dera Bassi, also rushed to the spot. A number of nearby residents, shopkeepers and police personnel also helped the firemen control the fire.

As the area had a water shortage, the fire-fighters had to get the water from some local industrial units.

Meanwhile, a case has been registered at the Lalru police station after the incident.


Summer is back in full fury
Tribune News Service

After a brief interregnum, the city weather is back to normal. The sun had taken a short break but has resurfaced with all its summer fire.

Thanks to the short spell of fair weather, cultural zing returned to the city after a long gap, with a number of activities dotting the art scene. Not only that, two beautiful features were added to the tourist map of the city and its vicinity: Mermaid, CITCO’s multi-cuisine restaurant at Sukhna Lake, was thrown open to the public and the musical fountain in Neighbourhood Park of Mohali’s Sector 70, was also formally inaugurated.

The influx of small screen stars kept the spirits of the youth high and the theatre scene was also revived. There was some interesting theatre by Nimma Dandona who tied up with Global Cancer Concern, India, to stage a comedy-thriller written by Joe Orton. The play, ‘Loot’, was a big success. The UT Administrator, Lt Gen JFR Jacob (retd), remained glued to his seat for well over an hour.

Street plays were back and so were the workshops. The street play by Surya Art Group, focusing on preservation of the green cover, garnered a lot of public attention at Sector 17 Plaza. Children are having a ball, with three workshops to choose from: Abhinav Chaturvedi (of Hum Log fame) is holding one at Strawberry Fields, Sector 24; Nasrin and Basundhara are holding a music workshop at BVM, Sector 27; Harleen Kohli and GS Chani are holding one called “Theatre of joy”.

Upcoming singer Pallavi Laxman also did some good to music buffs by presenting some very lyrical stuff at a music store in Sector 17. Harbhajan Mann was also in the city with his promise to sing for sportspersons. A large part of the city’s attention was, however, wrested by chirpy Channel V veejays, Peeya and Gaurav Chaudhry, who went around the city’s hot spots distributing free passes for STAR TV’s rock concert to be held at Parade Ground on Sunday. The show will feature Mika, Euphoria, Abbey, Mehnaz and Strings. No wonder the youngsters hounded them everywhere — from Home Science College to Tornadoes discotheque and NIFD campus to PU campus, Aerrizzona and Music World. Most of the fans were disappointed by the absence of more-in-demand veejays, Ranveer and Kim. They might, however, turn up any time before Sunday. So watch out!

Also watch out for vegetable prices which are on a steady fall. You can now have your favourite dishes at half the price, as compared to last week.

On the political front, Mr Harmohan Dhawan of the Chandigarh Vikas Manch now wants the Mayor to resign “if he cannot handle the MC’s meetings effectively.” Do you know how many times the MC’s Finance and Contract Committee meeting has been postponed? You could do some brain racking here.

Reminder from the last week: The condition of Parvinder Singh, the 10-year-old student of Sarva Bharti Model Middle School, Manimajra, who was thrashed by his principal, is now better. He has since returned home. The principal has been booked.


RSS not pursuing saffron agenda: Atkinson
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
Defending the pro-Indian policies of the BJP, Mr Denzil Atkinson, an Anglo-Indian BJP MP, today refuted allegations that the RSS was pursuing a saffron agenda.

Addressing a press conference here, Mr Atkinson refuted allegations that the BJP-led government at the Centre was following anti-minority policies.

It was the propaganda by certain organisastions, which wanted to generate hatred towards the Hindus at the international level, he added.

Alleging a major racket in the “forcible” conversions to Christianity, he said the conversions were not being carried out in the true Christian spirit and according to the teachings of Jesus Christ. A majority of the missionaries had been “misusing grants” from international organisations to convert the poverty-stricken people. They often shifted their bases after making a quick buck, he alleged.

He claimed that the Bills relating to the Christian community, which were put in the cold storage by the previous Central Governments, had been taken up by the present government. Similarly, the Ministry of Tourism has agreed to convert five churches, besides certain sea beaches, into tourist spots for pilgrims.

Commenting on attacks on Christians, he claimed that during the past 15 months there had been a sharp fall in the clashes and attacks against monorities.

And recently a large number of Muslims had joined the BJP in Hyderabad in the presence of Mr Venkaiah Naidu, Minister of Rural Development.

Earlier, a former local MP, Mr Satya Pal Jain, while introducing Mr Atkinson, said Mr Atkinson had been nominated to the Lok Sabha by the President, Mr K.R. Narayanan, according to the provisions of the Constitution. Mr Jain said Mr Atkinson later joined the BJP. 


Christian front seeks RS seat from Punjab
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
The All-India Christian Front yesterday staked its claim to one Rajya Sabha seat from Punjab and five seats in the ensuing Punjab Assembly elections.

Raising this demand at a press conference here, Mr Munawar Masih, President of the front, urged the SAD leadership to consider these demands sympathetically as the Christian community, which numbered over 20 lakh, did not have any MLA or MP at present.

He said the front would continue to support the SAD-BJP alliance in the next assembly poll. With a view to making the community aware of its rights, the front would organise rallies in major towns of Punjab shortly.

Condemning remarks about Jesus Christ in a book written by an Amritsar-based advocate, Satnam Singh, he announced that a massive rally would be organised at the Wagah border on May 28 in protest against the award of death sentence to a teacher in Pakistan.

Besides, he demanded basic amenities on the Scheduled Caste pattern to the Christians living in the border area. A notification providing free study material to their wards should also be issued. Mr Lawrence Malik, president of Christian Front, Punjab and Chandigarh, announced that the front would contest the coming elections to the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh also.Back


Car catches fire
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
A Maruti-800 car caught fire in the Sector 27-C market this evening. According to sources in the Fire Department, the engine of the car (CH-1-Y-9787) caught fire following sparking in the wires when it was being repaired by a mechanic. The car belongs to Mr Munish Kumar.

Two fire engines were rushed to the spot to check the fire from spreading to the other cars parked nearby. The fire, which broke out at 6.45 pm, was controlled within half an hour.

In another incident, an electric box caught fire in the electricity sub-office, near Arya Samaj Mandir, Sector 18-C.

Household belongings, mainly clothes, were burnt in a minor fire which broke out on the second floor of house No 3670 in Maloya village at 11.35 am. A fire engine from Sector 38 Fire Station was able to control the same within 20 minutes. The occupant of the house, Chottu Pandit, was not present in the house, while the owner, Mr Vijay Kumar, was present. Back


Withdraw case or face stir, say Cong legistors
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
Eight Congress MLAs today threatened that they will launch an agitation if the case registered against the former Chief Minister, Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, is not immediately withdrawn.

The MLAs are Mr Avtar Singh Brar, Mr Harmahinder Singh, Mr Amrik Singh Dhillon, Mr Gurcharan Singh Dirba, Mr Kanwaljit Singh Lali, Mr Harbans Lal, Mr Tej Parkash Singh and Mr Rakesh Pandey.

Mr Brar, who is also General Secretary of the Legislative wing of the Congress in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, said Mrs Bhattal was the most respected leader of the party. He said the Badal government had challenged Congress party workers in the state by registering the case against her. “ We are fully prepared to face this challenge”, he said.

Mr Brar said the Badal government was trying to use all sorts of foul means to browbeat its opponents, he said. The case should be immediately withdrawn, otherwise Congress workers would be forced to launch an agitation in the state against the Badal government, he said.


A clarification
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
A report published in ‘Chandigarh Tribune’ today regarding the indictment of Dr B.B. Goel, a lecturer of Panjab University Business School, in an examination fraud where he had increased the marks of a candidate from zero to 42, has created confusion regarding the identity of the teacher.

In a press note issued here today, Dr B.B. Goel, Professor of Public Administration in the PU Department of Correspondence Studies, said, “I often face embarrassment for being the namesake of the indicted teacher. I am a National Assessor on Quality Education for the NAAC; Advisor to the Government of Mauritius; a UGC Young Scientist Career Awardee; a member of the Haryana Board of School Education; an IFCI-IDBI nominee on the board of several companies; and an author of nine books.


Raising day of 3 Field Regiment
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
The 3 Field Regiment, which was raised by the Punjab Governor, Lieut-Gen, J.F.R. Jacob (retd), on May 14, 1956, in Delhi cantonment, celebrated its 45th raising day somewhere in the western sector yesterday.

According to a statement issued here today, the Governor, along with a galaxy of retired officers , JCOs and jawans of the unit, joined the two-day celebrations. The GOC-in-C, Western Command, Lieut-Gen Surjit Singh, also attended the function.

During the barakhana yesterday, the Governor interacted with the pensioners and jawans and took stock of their problems as well as achievements.

The theme of the occasion was to have a reunion of the old veterans of the regiment and those carrying the baton now. The event was an in house regimental affair and included religious functions.


Cable operator fired at
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, May 25
A proprietor of a local cable network and his helper had a miraculous escape when two youths staying in a rented accommodation of an upcoming Punjabi pop singer Babu Mann, fired from .12 bore gun in Phase 3B1 after the cable operator objected to an unauthorised connection taken from a transmission cable passing over the house here today

The youths, reported to be close friends of the singer, escaped in a silver-coloured Honda City car, bearing a registration number of Chandigarh. The singer is said to be away to Mumbai.

Sources in the police said the two youths had been identified as Lucky, reported to be a son of an officer in the state Vigilance Department, and Jassi. Two shots were fired from the double-barrel gun when the cable operator of Sky Scanners, Bittu, along with his helper, Vijay, reached the area on a complaint by Mr Partap Singh, an occupant of House No 53 in Phase 3B 1.

Tracking down the fault they reached House No 55 where the suspects were staying and urged them to remove the “kundi connection”. In the ensuing moment heated argument took place and one of the suspects, Lucky, broughtout the gun and fired a shot towards Bittu and his helper. Another shot was fired in the air. After the shots were fired, panic gripped the area.

The sources said the singer had taken the one-kanal house on rent to move his family there. The suspect were staying in the house till the singer moved in. Mr Partap Singh, said the owner of the house, Mr Jaswant Singh Chadha, had given the premises on rent a month back. A servant, Ramu, living in the adjacent house, was questioned by the police.

A police official said the house was locked by the youths before fleeing. The gun used in the incident and whereabouts of the suspects were yet to be ascertained by the police. A case under Sections 336 and 506 of the IPC has been registered.


Arrested for molesting woman
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
A man accused of having sexually molested a woman in Colony No. 5 was arrested by the police and booked under sections 452 and 376 of the IPC.

It is alleged that the accused, Sanjay, entered the house of the victim on the night of May 23 and after raping her fled. The accused is also a resident of the same colony.

Two cars stolen: Two Maruti cars were stolen from different parts of the city during the past 24 hours. While one car (CH-01-H-0757) was stolen from near Kapil Hotel last night, the second car (CH-01-T-6386) was stolen from the Sector 19 residence of Mr Amit Mutneja on the night of May 23.

Hoarding: The crime branch of the Chandigarh police has arrested Kulwinder Singh, alias Kala, of Kishangarh village on the charge of storing 105 bags of government cement without permit in a cement store at Kishangarh. He has been booked under section 420 of the IPC and under different sections of the Essential Commodities Act.

One booked: Abdul Habib was arrested by the crime branch for gambling in Mani Majra last night and Rs 1935 was recovered from his possession. He has been booked under sections 13-A, 3 and 67 of the Gambling Act.

Liquor seized: Rattan Singh, Parveen, Surinder Singh and Satish Kumar were arrested by the police from different parts of the city and 230 pouches of whisky and 24 bottles of rum were seized from them. They have been booked under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act.Back


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