Thursday, June 21, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S



Defaulters owe 37 cr to Admn
People bid in auctions and then did not pay 
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
The Chandigarh Administration stands to recover a whopping Rs 37 crore from members of the public who, in the past decade or so, had first bid for commercial or residential property in auctions conducted by the Estate Office and then failed to pay a major part of the money which they promised to while bidding for the site to get an allotment letter.

All the while the buildings, located in prime locations across the city, have been put to use either for residential purposes or businesses are being run by landlords or have been rented out for several thousand rupees each month.

As per a highly confidential list of the Chandigarh Administration, dug out by Chandigarh Tribune through sources, there are 196 defaulters who owe money to the Chandigarh Administration.

The list, updated till May end this year, says that 22 people owe more than Rs 15 lakh. And another 14 landlords owe between Rs 10 lakh and Rs 15 lakh. Another 64 landlords, including 11 residential plot owners, owe between Rs 2 lakh and Rs 10 lakh each. The total recovery stands close to Rs 37 crore.

Interestingly, from people who bid for commercial sites in Sector 8 and then defaulted, the Administration has to recover a whopping Rs 3.13 crore.

On the other hand, in some cases the Estate Office has no record of the pending payments. Specific instances are in the case of a commercial building in Sector 17 and another one in Sector 26.

Officials of the Estate Office were tight-lipped about the issue, which Chandigarh Tribune team had been trailing for the past four months. No official wants to go on record about anything that has to do with the pending recoveries.

Explaining the system of auction a source said at the time of the bid a bidder has to pay a fixed percentage of the bid money that is about 10 per cent. Following which the first of the four installments have to be paid within 30 days and the other installments are paid within three years.

From here starts the recovery of money. The Administrative machinery moves at a slow pace to issue several showcause notices before taking any action like resumption of site or cancellation of site.

The role of the lower level staff which deals with the files and issues notices is also under cloud as several properties have not been resumed even though the owners have not paid up.

“It is almost like a legalised loot by circumventing the legal framework,” said a source while informing that a simple thing like computerised record of the defaulters and the sum outstanding against their respective names is not available with the Estate Office. In case of the 196 pending cases some of them are as old as 15 years and hearing drags on while rents are being collected.

The entire business of not paying money also affects the tenants in these buildings. Invariably tenants spend several lakhs doing up the interiors and when the building is resumed for non-payment, the tenants are declared illegal occupants. The non payment issue is also partly linked to the falling markets during the past four years.

Rentals have dropped and income from buildings is not as expected by the landlords. The rate of interest has also been jacked up. Earlier it was just 7 per cent but is now it works out to be close to 34 per cent on defaulted payments.

Sources, said if a owner does not pay, the resumption proceedings start and take up to two years, with the owner enjoying option of appeal against the order.

The appeals at various stages take up to two years more. By this time the defaulter has not only recovered his paid up money but has also made a fair sum.

Knowing someone in the Estate Office helps as resumption notice or a notice to pay the arrears can be held back by way of red tape or in the dusty files of the Estate office. This is very evident from the list as cases as old as five years of pending recoveries are common.  

The big fish who have not paid

* All figures in lakhs or as mentioned specifically.

* Out of 196 major defaulters people who owe more than Rs 15 lakh have been listed

Site  Payment pending
SCO-69, Sec 46-C 21.96
SCO-225, Sec 36-D 27.20
SCO-212-14, Sec 34 1.59 crore
SCO-201-3, Sec 34 16.42 crore 
SCO-76-77, Sec 8-C 58.52
Booth number 86, Sec 44  31.41
SCO-75, Sec 20  22.17
SCO-93, Sec 44  40.32
SCO-94-95, Sec 34  24.70
Kaban site, IA phase II  22.22
SCO-16-17, Sec 8  68.66
SCO-18-19, Sec 8 81.00
SCO-76-77, Sec 8  53.14
SCO-49-50, Sec 8  33.96
SCO-48-49, Sec 9  40.88 
Godown 2616, Sec 26  17.03
Godown 294, Sec 26  22.01
Hotel site number 10-11, Sec 17  60.00

Residential sites 

H.NO 181, Sec 18  21.36
H.NO 1503, Sec 40  15.07
H.NO 1504, Sec 40  15. 70 
H.NO 447, Sec 46  15.38



BSNL, HFCL to battle it out
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
Will the much-awaited mobile phone for the common man — Wireless in Local Loop(WiLL) — become a new battleground for the two basic telecom service providers in Chandigarh?

Fact sheet

* The BSNL to launch WiLL in 15 days

* The HFCL has already launched WiLL keeping it ‘low-key’

* Local call charges on outgoing calls; incoming calls free by both

* 3,000 connections to be released in first phase by the BSNL

* The BSNL mobile phone to cost Rs 10,000

* The HFCL mobile phone’s cost between Rs 8,000 and Rs 12,000.

The answer seems to be yes if the launch of WiLL by the two telecom giants, the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and Himachal Futuristics Communications Limited (HFCL), is any indication.

While according to official sources, the HFCL has already launched the mobile phone keeping it ‘low-key’, the BSNL’s mobile phone for the common man, would be launched in the next fortnight. In fact, the BSNL has installed the necessary equipment at the Sector 17, Sector 34 and Mani Majra and these base centres will become operational soon.

In the first phase, the BSNL will offer 3,000 phones to the general public and the number could go up depending on the response. Of these, 700 will be mobile phones and 2,300 phones with fixed wireless terminals. The WiLL promises to offer ‘guaranteed’ limited mobility up to an area of 5 to 7 km in Chandigarh and it could also go beyond the specified area, the sources pointed out.

The Principal General Manager Telecom(PGMT) of the BSNL, Mr RC Vaish, when contacted, while confirming the decision to launch the service, informed that the BSNL had fixed the security amounting to Rs 10,000 for the mobile phones. For the fixed wireless terminals, which could be the used by the subscribers while travelling in their cars, amount was yet to be worked out. In fact, the department proposes to make arrangement for the insurance of the mobile sets.

Terming it as a ‘reliable service’ at much lower price, Mr Vaish said that the subscribers would be billed at the local call charges for the outgoing calls while the incoming calls would be free. Besides it would have several subscriber-friendly features. One, the application forms would be given free by the BSNL as against its earlier proposal to charge Rs 10 per application form. Two, the BSNL would set up a single window system for the clearance of the applications to minimise inconvenience to the general public. Besides, the prospective subscribers would be informed about the status of applications either in writing or through telephone.

However, HFCL officials, whose handset costs between Rs 8,000 to Rs 12,000, informed that its mobile phone cover the short distance charging area which in effect meant that it could go to up Kharar besides Chandigarh. The HFCL was not selling the mobile phone sets and it could be have from dealers only.



Advance increments for govt lecturers too
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
It has been a historic week for the college lecturers of the city. Within days of the Director Public Instruction (Colleges), UT Administration, having ordered the release of advance increments to the city’s private college lecturers with research degrees, the DPI (Colleges) today ordered grant of these increments to the lecturers working in the government colleges of the city also.

These orders are likely to benefit all those lecturers who had joined the government colleges between February 24, 1989, and December 31, 1995, with an M. Phil or a Ph.D degree. These lecturers had not been given the benefit of advance increments due to them since the pay scale revision in 1986. Those who had an M. Phil degree at the time of appointment will get one advance increment and those who hold a Ph.D degree will be entitled to three advance increments.

The time-bound orders to the principals of government colleges to send such cases to the Administration were sent today. However, these orders state that cases of only those lecturers will be considered who had been selected in accordance with the new qualifications laid down by the UGC.

These qualifications include a minimum of 55 per cent marks in the postgraduation, good academic record, and passing the UGC/NET examination in the subject concerned. The NET qualification has, however, been exempted for those who did their M. Phil and Ph.D before December 31, 1993.

But this order of the DPI suffers from the same drawback as the one for private college lecturers. Following this order, only those lecturers with research degrees who joined service after February 24, 1989, will be eligible to get advance increments. The UGC notification, which lays down the provision of these increments and the qualifications required therein, is to be implemented with effect from January 1, 1986. But the UT Administration has chosen February 24, 1989, following the Punjab Government’s decision to implement this notification from this date.

However, there are many who state that the UT Administration has adopted the Punjab Government’s regulations from February 6, 1992, and before this the UT government college lecturers were governed by the central government notifications. The notification of January 1, 1986, of the UGC had been adopted by the Chandigarh Administration on February 26, 1990, almost two years before it decided to follow the conditions of service of the Punjab Government’s similarly placed employees. In that case the UT government college teachers are in fact eligible to get advance increments for their research degrees from January 1, 1986, and not from February 24, 1989.

These orders have been issued in compliance with the orders of CAT dated May 30, 2001, to grant advance increments as per rules. However, two of the 10 applicants to CAT will still not be able to benefit from these orders of the administration as their date of joining the service falls between January 1, 1986, and February 24, 1989.



A delightful confluence of cultures
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
The day saw a confluence of two great cultures which derive their element from a common root. As Indian and Pakistani performing artistes together ascended the stage in Panjab University’s Law Auditorium to pay a tribute in melody to Malika-e-Tarannum Noor Jehan, the gathering watched with attention and hope — a hope that these bonds of love do not end with a simple sharing of music and songs, but reach beyond to a level where the two neighbouring nations learn to respect each other.

This desire of friendship was conveyed best by the eminent Pakistani lyricist Khwaja Pervez who read one of his couplets. Aun jan naal farak naio painda; pailaan nafrat di kand nu panno te sai; Aape ishq de raste khul jaange; tusi sade vajood nu manno te sahi

Khwaja Pervez also held the compere’s seat for the day. The show which was supposed to start at 7 pm actually commenced at 8.30 pm. The visitors were quite impatient with the way Aalmi Punjab Parivar was going about things. The day was, however, saved, with promising singers adding delight into it. The show began with a Punjabi Sufi singer, who has carved a niche for himself in the world of Sufiana music. Barkat Sidhu, a descendant of Mardana who used to render Guru Nanak’s verses into music, set the pace for a melodious wave with his invocation to the God. He sang a Bulle Shah verse which read: Maula mere haal da mehram tu...This performance was followed by a formal introduction of the artistes provided by Khwaja Pervez, who struck an instant rapport with the audience on account of his wit. As the evening progressed, another great Sufi singer, who has come to be called as Bahu by the dint of his singing the Sultan Bahu verses, cast a magic spell on the audience with his amazing range and power. Iqbal Bahu lent a spiritual colour to the evening by concentrating on Sufiana qalaam. The best part was that an Indian flutist Wavel Sharma accompanied Iqbal Bahu.

Among others artistes who sang tonight were a famous playback singer from Pakistan Hamaira Chana. Hamaira is known for the spring in her voice and also for the character she lends to it. Surraiya Khanam was equally promising with her folk songs. So was Javad Ahmad with his pop numbers. Some more Pakistani artistes are expected to arrive here tomorrow.



With message of goodwill from across the border
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
There is definitely something more to the Indo-Pakistan relationships than the bitterness which flows from the ever-simmering Kashmir issue. Why else would a delegation of about three dozen eminent Pakistani film personalities and singers care to cross the Wagah border to be part of a goodwill mission, and also to join hands with their Indian counterparts in paying melodious tributes to great singer Malika-e-Tarannum Noor Jehan.

Delegates from Pakistan Ghulam Mohd, Hamaira Chana and Khanrusna Misa Chana Share their concerns about Indo-Pak relations at a hotel in Chandigarh on Wednesday.
Delegates from Pakistan Ghulam Mohd, Hamaira Chana and Khanrusna Misa Chana Share their concerns about Indo-Pak relations at a hotel in Chandigarh on Wednesday.
  — A Tribune photograph

About 13 members of the delegation which has visas for three Indian cities — Delhi, Mumbai and Chandigarh — arrived in the city beautiful last night to participate in the first series of the musical fete meant to recreate the musical grandeur of Noor Jehan whose memory continues to be cherished equally by both Indians and Pakistanis.

Among the visiting personalities are stalwarts of the order of ghazal maestro Pervaiz Mehndi, poet-lyricist Khwaja Pervez, eminent folk singer Surraiya Khanam, singer Hamaira Chana, pop star Jawad Ahmad, journalist Tihar Mir, actress Laila, film producers Ghulam Mohammad and Kharnusna Misa Chana.

The group, drawn from diverse walks of life, truly represents the longings of an average Pakistani. All visiting members shared similar views about the dormant feeling of love across the border. While the visit was not planned with the Indo-Pak summit in mind, it is quite coincidental that it has happened in the wake of the talks, thus lending it a political colour. Despite the fact that many promises have been breached in the past, the visiting artistes have kept their hopes from the talks alive. No delegate, however, feels that the nature of talks would be any different on account that Gen Musharraf is now also the President of Pakistan.

Be it ghazal maestro Pervaiz Mehndi, legendary lyricist Khwaja Pervez or folk singer Surraiya Khanam, the aspirations voiced by each delegate were the same today. All of them are strong votaries of peace and all of them want the peace process restored. Khwaja Pervez, the man behind 5,000 songs of Noor Jehan and many songs rendered by Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, like Mein yaar yaar kaina, Ishq da rutba ishq hi jaane, Akhiyaan udikdiyaan) was very positive about the forthcoming summit. He added, “We and our friends in Pakistan are praying for the success of talks. Meanwhile, we are here to share our memories for Noor Jehan who belonged as much to India as she did to Pakistan.”

Interestingly, most of the first-time visitors to India like singers Jawad Ahmad, Hamaira Chana and Laila found striking similarities between the people and places in India and Pakistan. Hamaira went to the extent of commenting: “While walking through roads in Chandigarh, I nearly felt at home. Often I had a feeling I was walking through the shopping areas of Karachi. I don’t find anything different here. Our roots have given us this resemblance.”

Speaking in the same vein, pop singer Jawad, who also directs music for films and private albums, said, “The Indians look so much like Pakistanis that I had a hard time differentiating between the two. It’s a pleasant feeling to be here. I feel absolutely at home.”

Most delegates in the visiting delegation which is in India on an invitation from president and general secretary of Aalmi Punjabi Parivaar, Mr Harnek Singh Gharuan and Prof Gursharan Singh, have had some kind of affiliation with the legendary Noor Jehan at some point of time. Hamaira Chana, eminent playback, ghazal and Punjabi singer in Pakistan now, has sung many duets with Noor Jehan. Similarly, Surraiya Khanam was also very closely associated with the singer.

Khwaja Pervez wrote about 5,000 songs which were later rendered by Noor Jehan. Said Surraiya: “Noor Jehan’s memory still lingers on in both India and Pakistan. We may have lost her in flesh but we will always cherish her in our thoughts. She will always remind us of Indo-Pak unity.”

Similar views were expressed by Hamaira and her father Ghulam Mohammad, who said, “We have got together for a sacred purpose and a sacred mission. While celebrations of Noor Jehan’s magnificence as a singer will help the two countries come together, the talks to be held on July 14 will also bear good results, hopefully. No one in Pakistan wants an atmosphere of hatred. We all want peace.”

Pervez Bhandara, vice-president of the Pakistan Hockey Federation and leader of the delegation, also spoke to Chandigarh Tribune about his mission. “The most sacred mission is that of reliving the melodies of Noor Jehan and paying tribute to her through our cultural performance. The other mission, of course, is to promote peace through our presence. We are messengers of peace and we voice the feelings of an average Pakistani”.

Tahir Mir, a journalist with Jung (an Urdu daily), voiced similar concerns: “We are all for peace and tranquility. The talks have given birth to fresh hopes. We hope in his new role as the President of Pakistan, Gen Musharraf fares well enough.”

The delegates will also visit Mumbai where they look forward to meeting Raj Babbar, Gurdas Mann, Naushad and others. Khwaja Pervez is also writing songs for the latest films being produced by Raj Babbar and Gurdas Mann. He has already written songs for the two in Shaheed Udham Singh and Shaheed-e-Mohabbat, respectively.

Pak artistes to intract with scribes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
A group of Pakistani artistes will interact with journalists at the Chandigarh Press Club tomorrow at 3.30 pm. The artistes include Iqbal Bhaoo, Miss Laila and Parvez Mohammad.


‘Registration must for clinics, hospitals
having ultrasound’
Last date for registration June 30
Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh , June 20
It will now be mandatory for all clinics, nursing homes, hospitals and laboratories in the city, which have the ultrasound machines, to get themselves registered with the UT Health Department.

According to the UT Director, Health Services (DHS), Dr Rameshwar Chander, this is being done following instructions from the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and is aimed to check misuse of the prenatal diagnostic techniques in the city.

There are about 30 private institutions in the city which have the ultrasound facility on their premises.

Besides this, it will also be compulsory for all hospitals, nursing homes, clinics and laboratories to display a dark blue-coloured board with white script saying — here pre-natal sex determination (boy or girl before birth) is not done. It is a punishable act — at the main entrance of the respective institution.

These institutions will be given seven days, from June 23 to 30 to get themselves registered with the DHS office. To devise a further course of action for the defaulters, a high level meeting is scheduled to be held at the end of this month at the Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi

In a recent judgement, the Supreme Court had directed the implementation of Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques ( regulation and prevention of misuse) Act 1994 by June 30 this year.

Incidentally, 2001 is also being celebrated as the Women Empowerment Year.

However, all over the country, the difference between the number of males and females is increasing by the day which the experts say is ‘alarming’.

The Census 2001 reveals that Chandigarh has probably the lowest male-female ratio of 1000:773. In 1991, the ratio was recorded 1000:790.

Dr Rameshwar Chander also blames city’s migratory population for this huge gap as a large number of males from Utter Pradesh, Bihar and other states have migrated to the city during the past decade leaving their women folk behind.

He, however, agrees that a major cause for this lopsided male-female ratio is the pre-determination of sex followed by large number of abortions and female foeticide taking place in the city every year.

Sources add that number of registered births are more or less the same as the number of abortions in the city. Unofficial figures reveal that nine out of 10 clinics in the city are running as abortion centres. And more than 16,000 abortions are carried out in the city every year.

Meanwhile, the Director Health Services, Family Welfare, Punjab, has already issued orders to the Civil Surgeons of all 17 districts to ensure the implementation of similar orders.

According to orders issued on June 17, seeking , abetting, diagnosing and revealing the sex of the foetus and female foeticide are criminal offences punishable under the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (regulation and prevention of misuse) Act 1994. It has been made mandatory under the above Act for all genetic counselling centres , genetic clinics, laboratories and all bodies processing ultrasound machines to get these registered with their respective appropriate authorities failing which legal proceedings will be launched against them under the above Act.

Incidentally defaulters have been warned with an imprisonment for three years and a fine of Rs 10,000.



Homoeopathic degree for sale?
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
The BHMS degree for Rs 5,000 ! It may sound strange but it is true.

The Council of Homoeopathic System of Medicine, Punjab, inserted an advertisement in leading dailies in March this year inviting applications from those who had done their diploma in homoeopathy before 1983 to apply for the award of the degree.

The move has evoked tremendous criticism not only from the Central Council of Homoeopathy, but also from practising degree-holder homoeopaths of the state and even the Department of Medical Education and Research, Punjab. They all maintain that academic degrees cannot be offered for a price.

The Punjab council, however, justifies its action though the process of award of degrees has been halted because a member of the Central Council of Homoeopathy has taken the battle to the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The response was overwhelming. Nearly 300 candidates have already put in their applications.

The advertisement in the newspapers read (sic):

“State Council has decided to award BHMS degree in Homoeopathy to the successful candidates/registered homoeopathic practitioners, registered with the State Council under Section 16(1) of the Punjab Homoeopathic Practitioners Act, 1965, up to 14.03.2001 in view of the decision taken by the Central Council of Homoeopathy, New Delhi, dated 13.08.90 and 04.06.1992 and approved by Government of India, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare dated 03.03.1991, who have obtained qualification i.e. BMS, DHMS, LCEH, DMS (West Bengal) of four-year duration from Punjab and other State Boards/Council under Section 21(A) of Punjab Homoeopathic Practitioners Act, 1965, prior to enforcement of Central Council of Homoeopathy Diploma Course Regulations, 1983, are eligible.”

Each diploma-holder homoeopathic practitioner was asked to apply on a prescribed form which was supplied by the Council of Homoeopathic System of Medicine, Punjab, on the payment of Rs 100 each. March 31 was the last date for submitting applications.

Mr Sunil Gautam, Registrar, says that the council has asked for Rs 5,000 from each of the eligible candidates as enrolment fee for the degree. He maintains that in 1991-92 the Central Council of Homoeopathy had decided to treat the four-year diploma course equivalent to the degree course.

Mr Gautam, however, maintains that the council will take a decision in a week or 10 days on the award of degrees as Dr Paramjit Singh Rano, a member of the Central Council of Homoeopathy, has already challenged the action of the Punjab council in the high court.

Dr S.P.S. Bakshi, chairman, Central Council of Homoeopathy, clarified that the old regulation diploma was to be treated on a par with BHMS under the new regulation only for the purpose of pay and other service benefits and not for academic qualifications. The CCH issued a public notice in this regard on March 30 cautioning diploma holders under the old regulation against falling a prey to the March 19 advertisement of the Council of Homoeopathic System of Medicine, Punjab, maintaining that the award of degrees (honoris causa) to diploma holders was illegal and in violation of the Homoeopathic Central Council Act of 1973. The Punjab council reportedly took offence to this public notice and served legal notice on the Central council. Subsequently, a member of the central council, as mentioned above, moved the high court.

Earlier, holders of the BHMS degree had resented this move of the council. They maintained that till 1983, homoeopathic diplomas were awarded under the Homoeopathic Regulation Act, commonly know as the old regulation. The duration of the course was four years besides a compulsory six months’ internship. The minimum qualification prescribed for admission to the diploma course was matriculation. In 1983, this act was amended and the duration of the course was reduced to three years and a half besides six months’ internship. The minimum qualification for admission to the BHMS course was raised to plus 2.

The Homoeopathic Watch Dog Association headed by Dr Jasjit Singh maintains that diploma holders can pursue a degree course by joining a two-year graded programme.


No directions to Bhatnagar: Gen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
A former General Officer Commanding of the Leh-based 3 Infantry Division, Major-Gen V. S. Budhwar, today testified before the General Court Martial trying Major Maneesh Bhatnagar, that he had not given any directions to the accused during his visit to Ganasok on June 16, 1999.

Replying to the court’s questions, General Budhwar said that before leaving Ganasok, he had directed the Commander, 70 Infantry Brigade, Brig Devinder Singh, that the Commanding Officer of 5 Para should be called to Ganasok to take stock of his men.

General Budhwar, who is at present posted as Chief of Staff, 12 Corps, Jodhpur, stated before the court that he had been informed by the Brigade Commander that Major Bhatnagar had refused to take part in the attack on Point 5203 on the grounds that his troops were unfit.

When asked if the Brigade Commander had forwarded any request to him for fresh, motivated and physically fit troops, the General replied that on June 8 or 9, he had been asked for additional troops to capture Point 5203. When specifically asked by the court if the request mentioned the requirement of fresh, motivated and fit troops, he maintained that he did not recall if these factors were mentioned in the request.

The witness stated that while he was met only by the Brigade Commander and the Officer Commanding Brigade Signal Company, Capt Niamatullah, at the helipad, he had met the accused and Capt S. S. Bisht besides two JCOs of 5 Para while proceeding from the helipad to the operations room.

When asked about the discussion which took place between him and the accused, the witness stated that he had enquired about Major Bhatnagar and his troops’ well-being. He added that the accused told him that he and his men were unfit for offensive operations as they had just been de-inducted from Siachen and were suffering from joint pains and blisters.

The General also stated that the accused had told him that he and his men were willing to perform defensive operations or any other tasks, but denied the accused had told him that in spite of problems, if ordered, he would go for any task.

The defence submitted that it wished to cross-examine the witness, contending that whenever the court thought it necessary to call a witness for the purpose of eliciting facts, the accused had to be allowed an opportunity to cross-examine.

Citing various legal examples dating back to the pre-Independence period, the defence maintained that since General Budhwar was a prosecution witness during the summary of evidence, the defence was entitled to cross-examine him. He added that witnesses should not be called by the court to supplement any negligence on the part of the prosecution.

In response to the prosecution’s reply to the submission, the defence sought to give a written statement, but the Judge Advocate showed reluctance to accept it, which led to heated arguments. Finally, a written statement was perused by the court, but was returned to the defence with directions that it contained some irrelevant issues and the defence should re-submit it after deleting those portions.

Trying to establish the bias of the witness against the accused, the defence counsel said that the convening order of the court of inquiry (COI), initiated by General Budhwar, stated that the ambit of the COI was to establish the circumstances under which Major Bhatnagar disobeyed orders instead of first establishing whether there was any case of disobedience or not. The defence counsel added that the convening orders also listed the names of the witnesses to be examined by the COI, which was against the norms.

The defence also presented a warning letter issued to the accused by his CO, Col A. K. Srivastava, which stated that Major Bhatnagar, in addition to disobeying the Brigade Commander’s orders, had also disobeyed General Budhwar’s orders to attack Point 5203. The General’s reply to the court earlier contradicted the contents of the letter.

The defence also sought to raise objections against one of the court members on the grounds that he had publicly gone to “pay respects” to the witness during a break in the proceedings. The defence contended that the court member had acknowledged that he had a long association with the witness, which indicated the member’s personal interest. The court, however, refused to record the objections, instead stating that these should be sent to the convening authority.


Admissions to arts stream between July 2 and 14
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
To suit the convenience of the candidates seeking admission in the arts stream of postgraduate courses in Panjab University, the teaching departments have worked out days and time for interviews attempting reduction in overlapping of time.

The normal admissions are scheduled between July 2 and July 14. A large section of students apply in more than one teaching department to play safe in case they do not manage admission in the department of their choice. Difference in dates of interview will enable them to be present at maximum venues.

Having done away with the centralised process of admissions for nine teaching departments of the arts faculty, which was done twice before last year, each teaching department will manage its affairs separately. Philosophy, political science, sociology, psychology, economics, public administration, geography, history and ancient history and culture had joined hands to form a common cell. However, a large number of difficulties were faced by the managing staff.

Interviews in the Political Science Department are scheduled for July 9. Admissions for 60 seats in the first year will be held on the basis of academic merit of the graduation. In addition to marks of political science at the graduation level weightage will be given to former PU students to calculate the total merit.

The last date of submission of forms in majority of the departments is June 25 following which a merit list of the candidates would be displayed before the final interview.

Interviews of the Sociology Department are scheduled for July 10. The admissions for the 60 seats in the department will be based on merit. Interviews for the Ancient History and Culture Department are scheduled on July 10. The department has 30 seats. Interviews for 60 seats in the History Department are scheduled for July 9.

In the Economics Department, the interviews for the reserved categories are scheduled for July 9. Interviews in the open category will be conducted on July 10. For 55 seats in public administration these will be conducted on July 4 and July 5.

The Philosophy Department has a total of 35 seats. Interviews in the open category are scheduled for July 4.

Admissions to the Department of Gandhian Studies and the Master of Mass Communication will be based on a written examination. The merit is calculated on the basis of the result of the entrance examination and the academic merit. The Gandhian Studies Department has 20 seats and a normal date of interview is yet to be decided. Admissions to the bachelor and master courses in the library science are also preceded by a written entrance examination.

The examination for the library science courses has been completed and the merit is expected shortly. A formal date of interview is yet to be finalised. The Philosophy Department is also yet to announce a formal date of interviews.

Interviews for the Department of Mass Communication are likely to be held on July 16, 17 and 18, reliable sources said. The last date of admissions formally is July 14. Letters have to be dispatched to the candidates who travel from far-off places. By giving maximum time for postage, the department wants to avoid inconvenience to the students. A formal request will be made to the Vice-Chancellor for extension of date. The department has 20 seats apart from five in the NRI quota.

The Geography Department will conduct the interviews on July 5. The final list is likely to be displayed by July 9. The admissions will be based on calculations of the academic merit. The department has 40 seats apart from four in the NRI quota.

The interview scheduled has been carefully planned. However, the final result of good intentions depends on the timely declaration of the final year results of the undergraduate classes. June 25 being the last date of depositing the forms, the departments also need time to calculate the final merit. A change in dates is likely to alter the interview dates.


No live telecast of MCC meeting
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
Municipal Commissioner M.P. Singh has not agreed to the proposal of the Mayor to allow the proceedings of the House to be telecast live by the local television channels tomorrow. In his note sent to the Mayor, the Commissioner has pointed out that the issue is not covered under any regulation of the Act and has to be debated in the House which is the supreme body for taking special permission.

He has also mentioned that besides the Press, no recording of the proceedings is allowed to be done by any agency except audio-video recording by the office. Further, allowing people to get a correct picture of the House is covered under Sub-Sections 4 and 5 of Section 62 of the Act under which members of the public can attend the meetings of the House, subject to the procedures laid down in the MC Act. The Mayor had in his note sent to the Commissioner proposed that the proceedings of the House should be telecast live.


Mohali council wastes lakhs on rent
Kulwinder Sangha

SAS Nagar, June 20
Lakhs of rupees have gone down the drain as rent with the local Municipal Council, which is counted among the richest ones in Punjab, failing to acquire land for its office building.

Ever since its formation in 1984, the civic body (earlier the Notified Area Committee) has been functioning in rented premises in the Phase-VII market. As the set-up expanded over the years, the civic body got additional buildings on rent. The council is now paying rent totalling more than Rs 45,000 per month for office premises spread over three different buildings.

During the tenure of the previous council president, Mr Harinder Pal Singh Billa, the engineering wing was shifted to the civic body’s residential complex in Phase-V to save on rent. However, there were coordination problems and the wing is now back in Phase-VII.

The Senior Town Planner, PUDA, Mr Jit Gupta, said at one stage a site for the council office had been earmarked in Sector 62. Later it was found that the site was too big (3.286 acres) and would lead to a lot of wastage of prime land in the city centre. Various offices of the Punjab Local Government Directorate, the Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Department and PUDA were planned to be constructed in Sector 62.

It is reported that the council itself was not much interested in the Sector 62 site and favoured a location in Phase-VII.

Mr Kulwant Singh, council chief, said that the council had never taken up the matter of having its own land for building its offices seriously. He said the project was on his priority list. Land measuring 1.10 acres had been earmarked for this purpose in Sector 68.

However, Mr Kulwant Singh said a problem had arisen as the PUDA authorities were offering the piece of land at the rate of Rs 7,200 per sq yd, which was too high. Land was being allotted to various government departments at almost half of that rate.

He said he had met the Chief Administrator, PUDA, yesterday and pressed him to give the land at the rate fixed for government departments. He said the civic body was maintaining various development works carried out by PUDA in the town. Keeping this in view, PUDA should give the land free of cost. In fact, it would not be a very big obligation if PUDA also constructed the office building without any charge.

The council chief said the present premises of the civic body were inadequate. There was congestion in certain rooms and there was no hall to hold full-fledged meetings of the general House of the council.

The landlord of one of the Phase-VII building occupied by the council has sought its eviction.

The Additional Chief Administrator, PUDA, Mr Dipinder Singh, said the council’s request to allot the land at the rate fixed for the Local Government Directorate had been sent to the PUDA head office. Since it was a policy matter, a decision in this regard would have to be taken by the Accounts and Finance Committee.

Mr H. B. Garg, Executive Officer of the council, said almost all A-class civic bodies had their own office buildings as the entire land in the town was under them. However, the council was facing problems as the land here was owned by PUDA.



Fumes from industries hazardous for villagers
Bipin Bhardwaj

Dera Bassi, June 20
Residents of over 35 villages of this subdivision and surrounding areas have been inhaling harmful smoke being emitted by a number of industries located here for the past many years.

Thanks to apathy of the Punjab Pollution Control Board authorities, lungs of the villagers are being poisoned slowly by the fumes of chemically-charged smoke.

Residents of the area allege that hardly any industrial unit located in the area has installed any pollution-control device. A majority of them do not comply with the norms fixed by the board to control air as well as water pollution.

Affected residents complain that they are hit by air and water pollution, as also foul odour coming from industries and nauseating smell emitted from untreated sullage of various industries, which is being discharged in seasonal rivulets. The sullage is carried to the tributaries of the Ghaggar. They expressed their anger against the Punjab Pollution Control Board which has turned a blind eye to the issue despite several representations by residents and other social organisations over the past many years.

The villages which are worst affected by air and water pollution include Devi nagar, Jawaharpur, Haripur Kuran, Dandrala, Kuranwala, Bhankharpur, Mubarikpur, Haibatpura, Gholumajra, Dappar, Lalru, Chaundheri, Hasanpur, Dehar and Bhagwass.

Taking a serious view of the prevailing situation, the Drainage Department of Punjab has submitted a list of 40 industries to the Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM), complaining that the units were defiling Ghaggar river by discharging their effluents into a seasonal rivulet, Jharmal, the main tributary of the river.

The list also contains names of some prominent industries, including Punjab Chemical and Pharmaceutical Limited, Rana Polycots, MSD, HPL, Urocot Spinning, Bhushan Metallics, Nahar Exports, Bhandari Exports, Sohana Paper Board, PMASR Industries, Mohan Meakin Limited and some other industries located in this area and the focal points.

Following this the SDM had issued show cause notices to the industrialists. They were also asked to adopt proper treatment plants for their waste water and install pollution-control devices.

Residents of these villages complain that they were forced to live in an unhygienic environment. Industries in this area have created air-pollution apart from polluting the upper layer of the underground water.

A 70-year-old man, Mr Barkha Ram, of Devinagar, alleged that some industries emit smoke in odd hours, which puts the residents of the adjacent villages to great inconvenience. Cloudy and rainy days favour them as during these days they frequently discharge polluted air, effluents and sullage into the air and seasonal rivulets.

Mr Bhupinder Singh Saini, a resident of Devinagar village, complained that though the pollution board holds public meetings seeking objections before permitting a new industry to start or extension in the existing one from the area, all such meetings are being attended by factory employees and the general public is restrained from attending these.

It may be recalled that 22 sheep died last year after consuming chemically-treated water before an industry located on the highway in Gholumajra near Lalru. In a similar case, some cows had died in Bhagwass village some years ago.

Mr A.K. Mahajan, Chairman, and Mr D.A. Dua, Member Secretay, Punjab Pollution Control Board, were not available for comments while the junior officials refused to comment on the issue.


SCF panel protests PUDA move
Tribune News Service

Sas Nagar June 20
A meeting of the SCF Owners Association, SAS Nagar, was held here today under the chairmanship of Mr Surjit Singh. The members protested against the high handedness of PUDA in fixing compounding fee at the rate of Rs 4,500 per square yard and at Rs 3,150 per square yard for coverage of backyard and the rear of the basement.

The members stated that on one hand PUDA had proposed to sell plots to schools at the rate of Rs 1,650 per square yard, yet the owners of showrooms were being charged exorbitant rates for regularisation of violation on their plots.

‘‘Various representations to this effect have been made to PUDA but have fallen on deaf ears. If PUDA does not relent and agrees to our just demand, we will be forced to resort to agitation.’’ said a press release of the association.


Irregularities in booths allotment alleged
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, June 20
Members of the Opposition in the local civic body today alleged involvement of certain councillors of the ruling group in irregularities pertaining to the allotment of booths in the Phase XI rehri market by the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA).

The councillors led by Mr SS Patwari claimed that certain councillors had got allotted booths in the name of their kin by filing false affidavits. Talking to mediapersons, Mr Patwari said certain councillors had provided false information during a survey conducted by PUDA officials.

He alleged that the beneficiaries were not running shops in the rehri market and instead were employed elsewhere. Survey list of kiosks from serial No. 194 to 274 was fake and bribe was paid to the survey officials to get the name of the relatives of the councillors entered, he further alleged.

They said the issue had been brought to the notice of the Housing and Urban Development Minister, Dr Upinderjit Kaur, and action against the PUDA officials concerned had been sought. Mr Patwari said on their request, the Additional Chief Administrator (ACA), PUDA, had directed the AEO, PUDA, to stop the allotment of booths. An inquiry into the matter had also been marked by the ACA, said Mr Patwari.

Other present at the meeting were Mr Manjeet Singh, vice-president of the civic body, Mr Manjeet Sethi, Ms Harbans Kaur and Manmohan Singh Langh.

Recently, the municipal councillors of the Opposition have alleged that due to “stakes” of certain local municipal councillors in rehri markets and “shady deals” by the council officials in allowing unauthorised kiosks in the rehri markets, the council had suffered a loss of lakhs of rupees.


Dhawan plans to show black flags to Goyal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
Congress Councillor Satinder Dhawan today came down heavily on the “Mahapaur aap ke dwar” programme launched by the city Mayor, Mr Raj Kumar Goyal, yesterday. She said that she would register her protest by gheraoing him and showing him black flags along with the activists of the Chandigarh Vikas Manch when he visits her ward, as part of this programme tomorrow.

Addressing the media persons in Sector 35 this afternoon, Mrs Dhawan said that there was no rationale behind undertaking such programmes and the Mayor should instead solve the already identified problems of various wards, which await the approval of the Municipal Corporation House. “This is a mere eyewash, for the Mayor is simply trying to cover up the fact that he has failed to transact a single business meeting of the House ever since he assumed charge six months back,” she said. The Mayor has also failed to constitute the nine sub-committees, which as per the Act are required to clear various developmental works before they are finally approved in the House.

She pointed out that as many as 22 developmental works pertaining to recarpeting of roads, development of parks, parking areas, provision of lights etc are lying pending since long and that she has already written 68 letters to the Mayor and other officials during the last three years. She said that she has even talked to the Mayor about these, but no action has been initiated on any of them till date.

“Further, the Mayor has not informed me (I am the area councillor) about his visit tomorrow. How will these visits yield anything when area councillors who know the problems of their wards the best are taken into confidence?” she asks.

He should instead of visiting various sectors keep a constant check on the progress of various developmental works in the wards with the help of officials and ensure that all pending works are completed immediately, irrespective of party affiliations, she said.

Earlier, she highlighted how various political parties have converted the MC into a political battleground ever since it came into being in 1996. First it was the infighting between the BJP and then the Congress and now the conflict of the BJP and Congress has resulted in this stalemate. The parties should indulge in politics outside the House and should concentrate on public works instead as elected representatives of the public. While the BJP-SAD in the Opposition should not misuse their majority, the Mayor should also not make it an ego issue to run the House as per his whims and fancies.

She appealed to both BJP and Congress councillors to rise above party politics and allow the normal functioning of the House so that all vital agenda items which await the approval of the House can be taken up.

Mrs Dhawan also expressed her gratitude to the UT Administrator, Lt-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), for taking a serious note of the happenings in the MC and directing it to hold meeting at the earliest to clear the pending back log. The ten-odd items which are to be taken up have either legal or financial implications.

Later she did not answer any questions pertaining to her contesting the next MC elections on the Congress ticket or her plans to quit the party.


Dharna by UT employees
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 20
Hundreds of employees and workers of the Coordination Committee of the Government and Municipal Corporation employees and workers staged a dharna at Matka Chowk here today.

They were protesting against the Administration and the MCC for non-fulfilment of their long-pending demands. They demand that the employees’ transferred to the Municipal Corporation should be treated on deputation and the judgement of the Supreme Court awarding HRA, CCA, DA to daily-waged workers implemented.

They came to the venue in a procession and raised slogan in favour of their demands and against the MCC and the Administration. The gathering was addressed by leaders of the various departments, Mr Ramesh Kant, Mr Rakesh Kumar, Mr Ajit Singh, Mr Bal Krishan, Mr Mohinder Singh, Mr Amrik Singh, Mr Sita Singh, Mr Jagvir Singh, Mr Darshan Singh, Mr Shivanandan, Mr Jai Pal, Mr Mohan Singh, Mr Amrik Singh and Mr Rajinder Katoch.

The other demands include release of arrears of the revised minimum wage to daily-waged workers in 1998, of technical scale to non-ITI workers, appointment of compassionate ground to the dependents of the deceased employees.


Ground water board staff convention ends
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
The 3-day 17th bi-annual convention of the All-India Central Ground Water Board Employees Association, organised at Satsang Bhavan here, concluded today. The bi-annual report was presented by the association’s general secretary. Several issues relating to the welfare of the employees as well as the functioning of the Ground Water Board were discussed and debated upon during the convention.

According to a statement issued here, the 3-day convention was inaugurated by Mr G L Dhar, general secretary of the All-India Trade Union Congress. He also apprised the delegates about the problems of the employees. The association’s central executive committee was also dissolved and fresh elections to the committee were announced by the association’s president, Mr P C Sharma.

Various demands of the association to be put up before the government were also discussed at the convention.


IRSLA chief visits leprosy home
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
The president of the northern region of Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise) Ladies Association (IRSLA), Mrs Manjula Someshwar, today visited the Chandikusht Ashram, a leprosy home, here and served meals to the inmates residing there.

A statement issued here today said that discussions were also held with the caretakers of the ashram with a view to improving the living conditions of inmates at the leprosy home. Floor tiles for the temple situated in the ashram were recently provided by IRSLA.


Dimpy alleges conspiracy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
An elected delegate of the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee (CTCC), Mr Vijay Pal Singh Dimpy, who has been served with a show-cause notice by the CTCC chief, Mr B.B. Bahl, today alleged a conspiracy by local MP Pawan Bansal and Mr Bahl to remove committed workers from the party.

Addressing a press conference here, he said that he had joined the Chandigarh Vikas Manch floated by Mr Harmohan Dhawan to fight for the cause of the people as both Mr Bansal and Mr Bahl had been mute spectators to the hardships faced by the residents.

Regarding the gherao of the Mayor and the Senior Deputy Mayor, he said they were “gheraoed” not as the Congressmen but as the representatives of the people since they had failed to run the House of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) for the past over six months.

Supporting his act of participating in the scooter rally organised by the manch, he alleged that he was never invited to the party’s signature campaign on the Tehelka issue.


Property consultants flay policy on CHB units
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
The Property Consultants Association of Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula today asked the UT Administration to shed “commercialism” and frame a people-friendly policy for allowing the transfer to GPAs of the allottees of the houses and flats of the Chandigarh Housing Board.

In a statement issued here today, Mr R.P. Malhotra, chairman of the association, said that the policy had several limitations and flaws. It seemed that instead of extending a helping hand to the present occupants of these dwelling units, the Administration had devised a method of minting money.

As per the policy, the existing GPAs/sub-GPAs presently in possession of dwelling units were allowed to get the dwelling units transferred in their name by paying a hefty transfer fee. While going through the process, they (both the allottee and the GPA\SGPA, as the case may be) had been debarred from applying for any future scheme floated by the housing board/Administration.

The transfer fee had been fixed at 10 per cent of the revised consideration money of the dwelling unit which as per the policy would be calculated by adding interest from the date of allotment till the date for applying the transfer at the rate mentioned in the allotment letter. For example, the revised consideration money for a dwelling unit allotted by the CHB for Rs 4 lakh in 1985 with the rate of interest of 15per cent as on today would be calculated roughly to be Rs 14 lakh, and the transfer fee for this unit would be Rs 1.40 lakh. This was in addition to the conversion charges as applicable category-wise.

By not allowing a direct transfer the Administration had evolved a faulty and confusing policy by which the intending purchaser would have to make the full and final payment in order to get the GPA executed in his favour before applying for transfer in his name. In this way, the purchaser shall face a great deal of difficulty to avail himself of the loan facility.

In addition to this, the GPA holder, after getting the dwelling unit transferred in his name, would have to wait for another five years in order to further sell the dwelling unit.

This association “feels concerned about the plight of the poor allottees of the Chandigarh Housing Board and fully disapproves this transfer policy”.


Man found dead
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, June 20
A 35-year-old man was found dead on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway near DAV School here today.

Police sources confirmed that the deceased had been identified as Amit Vij, a resident of Ramnagar in Sonepat. He was identified from his identity card. The deceased was carrying a bag with him. Some passer-by noticed the body and informed the police.

The Dera Bassi police has informed the Sonepat police and the deceased’s kins were still awaited.


A mountain painting in the office

IN Feng Shui there are many objects, designs, colours and styles which can inadvertently create bad luck for your home. One should be very careful when one is buying decorating things for one’s home. The paintings of landscapes such as mountains and rivers are excellent from the Feng Shui perspective, especially when hung correctly.

When the painting of a mountain is displayed on the wall towards the back of your chair, a lot of good luck comes to you.

A print or a painting of Mount Everest can be an excellent support when hung in the study or the common office of the family.

One should never have the mountain in front of the table because this will tend to bring ill luck in the office. Ill luck doesn’t mean bad luck moneywise; it means that you will not have support from your juniors and seniors.

Office people will tend to give you trouble by not listening to you and agreeing to your policies. But this will be reversed if the mountain painting is hung behind your chair. Feng Shui is all about symbolism. Thus, symbolically, the mountain gives support to the person working at his desk. 


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



Woman goes missing after harassment by in-laws
Our Correspondent

Kharar, June 20
The police here has booked the husband, brother-in-law, mother-in-law and sister-in-law of a married woman Rupinder Kaur of Mundi Kharar village near here on the charges of cruelty and harassment for dowry and suspected foul play in her absence from her house since June 14.

Mr Lajpat Rai, a resident of Nilokheri (Haryana), lodged an FIR with the police late last night that his daughter Rupinder Kaur was married to Paramjit Singh of Mundi Kharar village in 1993 and he had given dowry in the marriage. He alleged that from the very beginning, her husband and other members of the family used to harass her for more dowry and taunt her. She was also regularly beaten up. He even gave a sum of Rs 50000 to them for the sake of his daughter as demanded by her in-laws in April 1994.

He has alleged that even after this, his daughter was harassed and threatened that she would be killed.

He has alleged that in February, he gave a refrigerator to her when she was pressurised to bring it as the old one, which was given in dowry at the time of marriage, had been sold by them.

He has alleged that on June 13 he received a phone from her daughter that she was severely beaten up by them and she was in a critical condition, and she was not even able to talk properly. He further alleged that when his mother-in-law, a resident of Kharar, went to her place his daughter was in a critical condition and she was not given proper medical treatment. He received a telephone call from her brother-in-law on June 14 at about 8 am and was asked to come to Kharar immediately. When he reached there, he found that his daughter was not there and missing from the house. He made a search of his daughter at various places but could not get any information. He alleged that in view of the previous conduct of the accused persons, he suspected a foul play in the missing of his daughter and also suspected that she might have been killed.

The police has registered a case under Sections 364/498A, 34, IPC, against Paramjit Singh (husband) Bhupinder Singh (brother-in-law) Prem Kaur (mother-in-law) and Gurdip Kaur (sister-in-law).

Meanwhile, Ms Harinder Sidhu, Judicial Magistrate, Kharar, today remanded the accused to police custody till June 21.


Police suspects Nigerians’ involvement
Tribune News Service

Sas nagar, June 20
Seizure of at least 27 gm of smack from three drug peddlers, including a couple of Phase X, has led the local police on a trail of other suspects, including some Nigerian nationals. Policemen in plain clothes are keeping a tab on the movement of people involved in the illegal activity.

Meanwhile, taking a cue from the involvement of the foreign nationals in cases of drug peddling, the police would soon start a drive to check the antecedents of the foreigners living in the town. An order of the Ministry of Home affairs to verify the antecedents of the foreign nationals was being followed, said the sources. So far the police does not have any records of the foreign nationals living in the town.

The arrest of the of Gagandeep Singh and his wife Rajbir , Harvinder Gill and Surinder Singh revealed that most of these persons were themselves addicts for a long period. They were financing their dose from the profit made by selling the drug at a higher rate. Sources in the police said the couple had told the police that they used to procure 20 gm of smack at a time and divide it into packets of 1 gm each. One gm of the drug was further divided in to three or four packets and sold for Rs 100 each.

The source of the drug was reported to be Nigerian nationals living in the town and neighbouring areas. Two Nigerian nationals with 15 gm of smack from Phase VIII here a week ago.

Another source was said to a person from Sector 37. Shahbad in Haryana is said to be a major centre from where the drug comes.

The police officials claimed that a connection between the two arrested Nigerian nationals and four persons arrested was evident. Eighteen youths rounded up from the Phase X house of Gagandeep — while trying to procure their dose — were taking the drugs for the last six months only. Parents of the most of these youths were ignorant about their wards taking drugs, said the Superintendent of Police, Mr GS Chauhan.

He said with the consultation with the parents, these youths had been referred to a local deaddiction centre run by an NGO and to deaddiction centres at PGI, Chandigarh.

Meanwhile, the drug peddlers who were produced before the duty magistrate, Kharar, were remanded to judicial custody.



Two minor girls abducted
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 20
During the last 24 hours the local police received two complaints of abduction of minor girls. In both incidents, cases under Sections 363 and 366 of the Indian Penal Code were registered.

A resident of Attawa village alleged that Prem Singh of the village abducted her minor daughter on June 17 here. In the second complaint, a resident of Ram Darbar alleged that Manoj, a resident of Bihar, abducted his minor daughter on June 12.

Truck driver held:
The local police arrested Joginder Pal, the driver of a truck, who reportedly hit the cleaner, Ashok Kumar, while backing his vehicle here yesterday. The cleaner was admitted to the PGI.

The driver was booked under Sections 304-A and 279 of the IPC. The driver was later released on bail.

Woman assaulted:
Ms Kamlesh Chawla, resident of Sector 15 reported that brother-in-law Vinod Chawla, assaulted her and caused injuries on her right arm. The accused reportedly attacked her with a knife. Ms Chawla was admitted to the PGI.

A case under Section 324 of the IPC has been registered.

Pick pocket held:
Anjar Ahmed, resident of Bappu Dham, was arrested by the police allegedly for pickpocketing yesterday. According to the police the complainant Mr Parshotam Singh, caught the accused redhanded.

A case under Sections 379 and 411 of the IPC has been registered.

Held with liquor:
The local police arrested three persons under the Excise Act in the jurisdiction of the police station Sector 17 yesterday and claimed to have recovered 18 bottles and 198 pouches of liquor form their possession.



2 Video parlour owners arrested
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 20
The police today arrested two video parlour owners from Badheri village under the Copy Right Act. As many as 16 pirated video cassettes of Hindi films were seized from their possession.

According to police sources, Mr Prem Nath, manager of a Ludhiana-based Copy Right Protection Agency Pvt. Ltd., complained to the police following which the police raided two shops, R.K. Enterprises and Hamari Video Lab, located in the village. The pirated video cassettes of Hindi films included Jodi No. 1, Kurukshetra, Fiza and the newly released Gadar.

Those arrested were Kamal and Jatinder Kumar. They will be produced in a local court tomorrow.



Chain snatchers’ gang busted
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 20
The police today claimed to have busted a gang of chain and purse snatchers active in the city and SAS Nagar by arresting its four members. With their arrest, eight cases of theft have been solved. All the accused were reportedly drug addicts and were committing the crime to purchase smack.

According to a police release, the breakthrough was achieved with the arrest of Lakhbir Singh, alias Lakhi, a motor mechanic in Phase VII, SAS Nagar. As per the note, on June 14 Lakhi along with Amarjinder Singh (also a resident of SAS Nagar) followed two women riding a Kinetic Honda scooter from Sector 34 and snatched the gold chain of one of them.

The registration number of the scooter they were riding led to the arrest of Lakhi. His three accomplices, Harjit Singh, alias Manga, a resident of Sector 61, Gurjinder Singh, alias Manga, a resident of Sector 33, and Amarjinder Singh, alias Zaid, a resident of SAS Nagar, were also arrested. The gang was active mainly in the southern sectors of the city.



News portal launched
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
A new news portal, newsflash, was launched here today by Tooh Soft India, promoters of Talking to newsmen, the chairman-cum-nanaging director of the company, Mr Jiwandeep Singh Ghai, said that would focus on news emanating from and connected with Punjab and the Punjabi diaspora abroad.

He said that to commemorate the first anniversary of their website — — which was inaugurated by Ms Kiran Bedi in Chandigarh on June 17 last year, the company decided to launch its news portal. He said the company would gradually expand its operations to entertainment and sports coverage also and initially it would concentrate on investigative and political stories. Besides, special emphasis would be laid on stories on NRIs.


Seven companies bid for conducting
computer course
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 20
Even with the most liberalised terms and conditions in inviting the tenders again by the Education Department, Zee Interactive Learning Systems Limited didn’t tried for a bid, inspite of revoking of the company from blacklist, for conducting the optional computer courses in the 65 city government schools.

The pre-qualification bids were opened today and the eligibility of the tenderers will be determined in a couple of days. Tata Infotech limited, Aptech Limited and IEC Softwares limited are in race for award of contract for conducting optional school-level computer courses from Classes VI to XII in UT government schools. The other firms in the race are Electronics Corporation of India limited, Compu Com Software Limited, Miaect Private Limited and Global info systems limited.

Earlier, Zee Interactive learning Systems was able to get a ‘Letter of Intent’ from UT Administration by quoting a rate of Rs 85 per student per month but later on they backed out from entering into formal agreement. The UT Administration in return forfeited their earnest money of Rs 1 lakh.

The names of the qualified firms will be displayed on the notice board on June 24 at 5 p.m. The bids of qualified tenderers will be opened at 3.30 p.m. on June 25. In case there is no technical deviation, the commercial bids will also be opened on the same day.


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