Monday, July 16, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S



Row over selection process of principal
UPSC advert stirs hornet’s nest
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
A notification dealing with recruitment rules issued by the UT Administration’s Education Department published in the Chandigarh Administration gazette dated April 1, 2000, has a gross mistake. The introductory paragraph of the said notification states, “In exercise of the powers conferred by the proviso to article 309 of the Constitution of India, read with the Government of India, Ministry of Home affairs, notification CSR number 3267 dated, November 1, 1966.... the Administrator, Chandigarh (UT), hereby makes the following rules regulating the method of recruitment to Class I (Group A) posts.” However, the gazette of India Extraordinary, dated November 1, 1966, referred to, clearly states that, under the SO number 3267, the Administrator, UT Chandigarh can exercise his powers to make rules for recruitment to only Class II, III and IV posts. It is SO Number 3270 that confers the powers of making recruitment rules for Class I posts in the UT Administrator.

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) advertisement for the selection of a principal for one of the city’s government colleges, which appeared in the leading dailies yesterday, seems to have stirred a hornet’s nest as far as recruitment rules laid down by the UT Administration for college principals are concerned.

The recruitment rules followed by the Chandigarh Administration to select principals for its government colleges are out of tune with those laid down by the University Grants Commission (UGC).

The rule regarding minimum teaching experience required for principals and the one pertaining to their method of recruitment followed by UT Administration and now advertised differ from what the UGC has recommended with its revised pay scales.

The Chandigarh Administration notified its set of recruitment rules for arts and science government colleges’ principals in March 2000 but for reasons best known to the Administration did not incorporate the norms laid down by the UGC, which has been notifying its set of rules for recruitment as principal since the early 1990s.

The UGC-notified qualifications for principals who are to be recruited directly reads, “The principal should have a total experience of 15 years of teaching/research in university/colleges and other institutions of higher education, in case of professor grade and a total experience of 10 years, in case of reader grade.”

The Chandigarh Administration qualifications, however, state, “Twelve years of teaching experience of degree classes in a college affiliated to the university or an equivalent institution and three years of administrative experience.” “What kind of Administrative experience does the Administration expect from a college teacher who has been simply teaching all these years before he/she becomes principal?” questions Dr RPS Josh, a Panjab University senator.

Regarding the method of recruitment also the Administration will follow an option according to which in case no one is taken in as principal through direct recruitment, the post can be filled through transfer on deputation.

All four principals in the city’s four government arts and science colleges have been appointed through the departmental promotion committee (DPC), but these principals feel that the option of having principals on deputation is not welcome as “there are enough qualified people in Chandigarh itself to be promoted as principals. Why ask anyone to come on deputation?” questions one Principal.

Many college professors, however, state that keeping PhD as one of the essential qualifications to become a principal in accordance with the UGC’s norms is not fair, as many college lecturers who joined service in the late sixties did not do a PhD. Nor did they know at that time that it is essential to be a PhD to be promoted as principal. Will these lecturers now retire as lecturers only? In any case, for a college lecturer there is only one major promotion to look forward to in a lifetime,” says Dr Anil Mankotia, lecturer, Government College for Girls, Sector 42.

“Recently the Punjab Government promoted more than 15 professors as college principals without bothering about the PhD clause. What is the reason that the UT Administration too cannot promote its senior professors as principals?” asks Dr Josh.



People lose faith in ‘defunct’ human rights panel
Kiran Deep

Chandigarh, July 15
It seems that the Punjab State Human Rights Commission has lost its teeth as the state police and the Administration has been ignoring its orders.

The commission that was set up in 1997 receives about 80 complaints everyday. In the past four years, it has taken up about 6,000 cases of violation of human rights.

Top lawyers and judges say that an alarming rise in the number of custodial deaths and cases of human-rights violation proves that the commission has failed to stop the victimisation of innocent persons. They say that institutional independence, individual integrity, management skills and social justice are needed to make the commission accountable to the people.

Justice Ajit Singh Bains said, “More than Rs 950 crore are spent on maintaining the police force annually, but policemen are yet to learn how to deal with general public. The commission has failed to redress the grievances of victims of police torture in Punjab.”

Justice Bains also said the commission had recommended compensation in many cases of custodial death, but the state had declined to follow the orders most of the times. Once the commission even had to move the High Court to get its orders executed. He said the Judges of the commission should have more powers like the High Court Judges.

The General Secretary of the Lawyers for the Human Rights International, Mr Navkiran Singh, said, in the past four years, the state government had failed to control the increase in the cases of custodial deaths in Punjab.

Since 1997, only in a few cases has the commission been able to prove the accused police personnel guilty. Besides, the state refused to take action against these police personnel.

A human rights activist, Mr Arunjeev Singh Walia, said “In the past four years, the commission has not been able to get justice for victims of police torture, because of which, people have lost faith in the commission.”

He also said the commission could not inquire into any complaint after one year of the incident. Therefore, hundreds of cases of custodial death or fake encounter remained unexposed. There had been no compensation for family members of the victims.



Booth-owners told to vacate premises
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 15
Thirteen booth-owners here today were asked to vacate the premises by the Haryana Urban Development Authority at a meeting of the presidents of the market associations chaired by the Administrator, Mr Arun Gupta.

When contacted, Mr Gupta said that these booths, located in Sectors 6, 10 and 15, had been given on a lease of 11 months in 1987. “The lease was to be renewed within a period of five years which was not done. Also, the rent of Rs 1800 charged from the occupants is still pending with all these shopkeepers, with amount as high as Rs 8 lakh in some cases,’’ he said.

Mr Gupta added that the lease of these booths had been terminated in 1997 and the shopkeepers had been asked to vacate the premises. “They have had adequate notice for the same. Besides, they were given the option of buying these booths at the market rate, and none of them came forward to avail himself of the opportunity. In such a situation all we can do is to ask them to leave or we will be forced to take action,’’ he explained.

At a recent meeting of the Public Accounts Committee of the state government, HUDA was asked to explain why no action had been taken against the shopkeepers.

However, this has caused resentment among the shopkeepers who claim that HUDA had slapped interest on the amount pending with them and failed to give a statement for this.

The president of the Sector 10 market association, Mr BB Singhal, said that though they were not interested in shielding the defaulters, they were against forcible eviction of these shopkeepers.

“Most of the shopkeepers have decided to move court and seek a stay order against the decision. We will also take up the matter at the level of HUDA,” he added.



Principals promise to save freshers from ragging
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh July 15
With fresh classes starting in the city’s arts and science colleges tomorrow, the colleges are all geared up for prevention of ragging of freshers.

Despite strict instructions banning any form of ragging included in the prospectus of the colleges, most of the college principals are apprehensive that the senior students of the college will indulge in ragging in case special efforts are not made to check it.

The principals’ apprehensions are valid. Over the years ragging has become a menace in most of the city’s boys and co-educational colleges. Only girls colleges in the city have very few cases of simple ragging taking ugly turns.

A six-member committee has been formed in Government College, Sector 11, which include hostel wardens to prevent ragging in the college. These members will be keeping a strict vigil and also look into any cases reported by the freshers.

Principal D.P. Singh of Government College, Sector 46, stated that a seven-member committee had been formed to ensure that ragging did not take place in the college. He also informed that a notice had been put at various places in the college which stated that ragging was banned in the college and also asked the freshers that they report any case of ragging immediately to the anti-ragging college committee or Principal.

The punishment for college seniors, who indulge in ragging, can include anything from a mere warning to being expelled from the college.

Dr AC Vaid of GGDSD College, Sector 32, said that a three-member committee had been formed in the college, which will look into all matters pertaining to ragging. He himself would be supervising and also taking rounds of the college and hostels to ensure that seniors of the college did not indulge in ragging. He also said that anyone found ragging would be expelled from the college.

Principal Mrs Usha Gupta of MCM DAV College, Sector 36, said that there had never been a problem of ragging in the college because of strict discipline being followed by the students.

Principal Mrs Vimal Bhargav of Dev Samaj College, Sector 45, said that there had never been any problem of ragging in the college in the past.



Safe biomedical waste management begins in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
Chandigarh has become the second city in the country, after Delhi, to start scientific disposal of biomedical waste generated by various nursing homes, X-ray centres, clinics and laboratories.

Beginning tomorrow, about 150 kg of the biomedical waste generated by nursing homes and others will be incinerated at the PGI at the cost of Rs 10 per kg for which a MoU has already been signed between the Indian Medical Association ( IMA) and the institute.

According to Dr GS Kochchar, President, IMA, Indian Waste Energy Development (IWED) will transport this waste to the PGI for Rs 20 per kg.

Addressing the mediapersons today, IWED, Chief Executive Officer, Mr Avininder Singh, said that to deal with 10 different types of biomedical waste, different coloured bags would be provided. The nursing homes would segregate the waste at their end into these bags which would be transported to the PGI in a specially designed fully-enclosed stainless steel lined and airconditioned vans.

About a month and a half back, the Chandigarh Pollution Control Committee (CPCB) had issued notices to the city-based nursing homes, clinics, laboratories, private hospitals and X-ray clinics to begin scientific disposal of their biomedical waste for which they had been asked to get an authorisation certificate.

Following the Central Government notification on biomedical waste (management and handling) rules on July 20, 1998, the waste had been classified under schedule I into 10 categories. These included human anatomical waste, animal waste, microbiological waste, waste sharps, discarded medicine and cytotoxic drugs, solid waste, including contaminated blood and body fluids, solid waste, liquid waste from washing and cleaning, incineration ash and chemical waste.

However, most of the nursing homes and clinics, till now, had been dumping their waste at regular sites inviting insects and animals, besides spreading communicable diseases like AIDS and jaundice.

Dr Kochchar says that though biomedical waste is considered as potentially hazardous, 85 per cent of this is non-infectious. The remaining 10 percent is infectious and 5 per cent non-infectious but potentially toxic waste. This makes its safe collection, storage, transportation and disposal at site absolutely essential, he says, while adding that blood-soaked dressings, swabs, laboratory cultures, needles and other disposable, amputated parts and organs are highly infectious.

Chandigarh has about 40 private hospitals and nursing homes, 150 clinics, 100 dental clinics, 20 X-ray centers, 100 laboratories and two animal houses. While all hospitals and nursing homes, veterinary institutions, research institutions, irrespective of number of beds and patients, are covered under these rules, however, dispensaries, clinics, blood banks, pathological laboratories, catering to less than 1000 patients per month, are exempted from taking authorisation from the CPCC, adds the IMA president

Meanwhile, all members of the Chandigarh Nursing Homes and Private Hospitals Association have already signed contracts with the IWED with the IMA as the coordinating authority. Several other large independent private hospitals are also expected to join the list, adds Dr Kochchar.



Plan for biological management of malaria
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
The malaria wing of the UT Health Department is starting biological management of malarial vector for a more effective control of the disease in the city. This will be put to practice here for the first time. According to the UT Assistant Director, Malaria, Dr G. Diwan, besides being cost-effective, biological control is also a more eco-friendly way of controlling the growth of malarial larvae in stagnant water bodies.

Conventional chemical methods include lime-dusting, oil spreads and DDT sprays. Beginning next week, larvaevorous fish, which predates specifically on mosquito larvae, will be introduced in water bodies around the city. With the addition of biological factor, the malarial vector will be in control without any additional cost year after year.

Several city villages and slums have ponds, water bodies, besides normal collection of rain water in low-lying areas, especially during the monsoon season. Doctors add that with rapid changes in climatic conditions and monsoon pattern, despite best efforts by the Health Department, there is always a danger of outbreak of malaria without warning. Incidentally, the number of malaria positive cases, from 11,196 in 1996 came down to 256 in the year 2000. This year, about a dozen malaria cases have been reported in the city.

larvaevorous fish are extensively used for the control of mosquito breeding and for this Gambusia affinis and Precili reticulata have been found to be particularly efficient. They are small and inedible, can tolerate salinity, withstand transportation, do not require special equipment for storage, can survive in new water bodies and multiply easily and rapidly. They are basically surface feeders and a full-grown fish can eat about 100 to 300 mosquitoes larvae in a day. Another advantage is the fact that due to its small size, it can also negotiate to the margins of ponds and ground water collections.

Moreover, once the fish is released in water , it establishes itself fast , can survive for many years and does not require constant care. While other biological means, including predatory insects, arthropod and pathogens such as bacteria, fungi, protozoa and viruses are also there, they have not yet reached operational stage of use against mosquito breeding. This fish in particular, adds Dr Diwan, is found to be hardy and can also survive in types of water bodies without giving rise to any organic pollution.



Vital questions over shifting of ammo
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
Questions have arisen over the decision of Headquarters, 3 Infantry Division, to move ammunition — of which about 5,000 tonnes was later destroyed by enemy shelling — from rear areas to Kargil in 1999 despite warnings from lower formations.

While the movement of ammunition under such circumstances may indicate the operational requirements perceived by senior commanders, it also indicates an indifferent attitude towards official reports and a casual approach on the part of the authorities concerned.

About 5,000 tonnes of ammunition, valued at over Rs 600 crore, had been destroyed by Pakistani artillery shelling just before the commencement of Operation Vijay. Sources say that the GOC, 3 Division, Major-Gen V.S. Budhwar, was present at Kargil when the Pakistani shells hit the said depot, AP-36. Four shells, each with a time gap of 10-12 minutes, had been fired. The fourth shell had landed in the depot.

Documents made available here recently reveal that headquarters, 3 Infantry Division, at Leh had not only ignored warnings from lower formations but also sent additional ammunition to the fire-prone depot despite advice to the contrary.

It is learnt that a letter dated December 31, 1998, sent by HQ, 121 Brigade, to HQ 3 Division, had stated that the ammunition depot at Kargil, AP-36, was within the range of a Pakistani roving artillery gun, located 7-8 km away. Though AP-36 and the brigade headquarters were not in direct line of sight of Pakistani posts, the letter stated that technically there was nothing to prevent enemy fire directed by observation posts located elsewhere to hit these two positions.

The letter gave details of the firing profile of guns located at over half a dozen enemy posts, including Olthingthang, Saddle and Brachil, which could effectively target the ammunition depot and brigade headquarters. The letter further stated that it was only a matter of chance or luck that the depot had not been made a target by the enemy before.

In fact, a letter written by HQ 3 Division, to an ASC battalion on December 31, 1998, stated that as per the directions of the GOC, General Budhwar, the shifting of ammunition from a rear depot to AP-36 would be carried out with immediate effect.

Following this, at least two letters written by HQ, 121 Brigade, one of them signed by the brigade commander himself, reiterated the vulnerability of the depot to enemy shelling.

On January 6, 1999, a letter (no. 515/Q/Mov/2 (PC)) suggested that considering the vulnerability of AP-36 and the proposal to shift the ammunition to rear areas, further supply of ammunition to the depot from rear areas should be withheld for the time being. Only ammunition required to make up for any critical deficiency should be moved forward as and when demanded.

This was followed by another letter written by the brigade commander on February 11, stating that due to enemy shelling, it had been decided to shift all logistical elements to rear locations. The letter revealed that it was on the recommendations of a board of officers convened by HQ 3 Division, itself that such preventive steps were taken.

The letter indicated that in January at least 18 truckloads of ammunition were brought to AP-36.

Stating that such a step when a threat of destruction loomed large and the area around the depot was under shelling was not advisable, the brigade commander reiterated that no ammunition should be sent forward unless specifically asked for.



Proxy war affecting Indian economy: Swami
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 15
Claiming that all terrorist organisations had their own axe to grind by creating tension in the country, the Minister of State for Home affairs, Mr I.D. Swami, said that a proxy war between India and Pakistan had taking its toll on the economy.

Mr I.D. Swami, Minister of State for Home Affairs, addresses a seminar on internal security in Hotel Red Bishop, Sector 1, Panchkula, on Sunday.
Mr I.D. Swami, Minister of State for Home Affairs, addresses a seminar on internal security in Hotel Red Bishop, Sector 1, Panchkula, on Sunday. — A Tribune photograph

Speaking at a seminar on “Internal security in the present context”, Mr Swami said that democracy and international terrorism were thriving side by side in the present set-up and cross-border terrorism was responsible for growing internal insecurity.

“The only way to counter problems presented by cross-border terrorism and crime by terrorist organisations was the setting up of federal laws implemented by a federal agency. However, this proposal was turned down by the chief ministers of most states at a meeting convened by the Prime Minister even though it meant fewer responsibilities on the law and order front,” he stated.

Summing up his talk on the subject, Mr Swami said that moral courage of the political bosses coupled with good governance of the state was essential to run the country well and meet the challenge caused by increased insecurity.

Later, renowned poet Sardar Anjum presented his views on the subject in a poetic manner, holding the government responsible for trying to divert attention from the main problem of poverty, the root cause of all such ills.

“They have no solution to the problems of the common man. If they are not ready to bend, accord a warm welcome to Pakistan and are on sound psychological footing, internal security would never have been threatened,” he added.

“The problem of internal security is part of the larger war that is on in every state. The Americans have termed it as low intensity combat and it is even more dangerous than actual war,” Lieut-Gen B.K.N. Chhiber (retd), former Governor of Punjab, stated while addressing the gathering.

He said that enemy states were fuelling the few disgruntled elements in the country and resorting to psychological warfare through negative propaganda, damaging the morale of forces, attacking the public and contributing to a fear of war in the minds of the politicians.

The programme, organised by the Zila Patrakar Parishad, was attended by the general secretary, Mr Surinder Dhiman and Mr S.D. Sharma. Among others, who addressed the gathering on the issue of internal security were Mr Alok Tomar, a journalist and Mr R.L. Kataria, state BJP president.



CHB Residents Federation holds rally
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
The eighth campaign rally of the CHB Residents’ Federation was held in Sector 47-D here this evening.

Addressing the rally, various speakers urged the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) to withdraw the July 31st threat of demolition of additions and alterations. They also urged the CHB to review the concessions already given to regularise more sound structures which did not encroach upon the public land.

They also wanted that the transfer of ownership should be done at the rate of 5 pre cent of the original price on the Punjab pattern and the composite fee should also be decided soon. A suitable change in the affidavit to be submitted by the GPA holders was also desired by them.

The additions and alterations may slightly be different from the ones sanctioned by the board but they can certainly be regularised , if necessary, by charging a composite fee. They also demanded a fresh survey to regularise the additions and alterations.

Meanwhile, the rally was also addressed by leaders of various political parties. They included Mr BB Bahl, president of the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee, Mr Yash Pal Mahajan, vice-president of the BJP, Mr Harmohan Dhawan, president of the Chandigarh Vikas Manch, Mr HS Gambhir of the CPI, Mr Inderjit Grewal of the CPM, Mr Dhiman, president of the BSP and Mr Subhash Chawla of the Congress.

Earlier, Mr Harish Kapoor, coordinator, welcomed the participants. Mr DR Anand, publicity in charge, said all efforts were being made to strengthen campaign of the federation and prepare the residents for a rally on July 29. Mr ML Puri, general secretary of the Welfare Association, Sector 47-D, thanked the participants.



Bumpy rides at bus stand
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
The Sector 17 Inter-state Bus Terminus, which was considered to be a model bus stand till some time ago, looks bad now because of the state of its internal and external roads. The road at the entrance of the bus stand has virtually been reduced to a stretch of cobbled stones, which is the reason for many a bumpy ride.

A visit to the Sector 17 bus stand reveals the non-serious attitude of the authorities towards the problem. Going by the rate at which potholes on the internal and external roads of the bust stand are turning into craters, it will not be long before we hear that a bus has overturned at one of these spots.

The condition of the internal roads where buses are parked is so bad that whenever a bus starts, it shakes and tilts dangerously, giving passengers bumps and goosebumps. Where buses of the Punjab Road Transport Corporation are parked, there are one-inch to three-inch wide potholes. In monsoons, water accumulates in these potholes, making everyone wade through slush to reach the buses.

The drivers, too, are unhappy at the poor maintenance of these roads. They say that, though parking fee is regularly charged from them, nothing has been done to repair the roads for the past five years. One of them said driving in this area at night was a nightmare. This may lead to a serious accident some time.

Another driver said driving on roads dotted by potholes damaged shockers of buses. Regular commuters complain of backache due to bumpy rides on bad roads.

While the problem aggravates, the authorities continue to turn a blind eye to the problem. They say that they are taking steps to make roads better, but the state of the ISBT roads shows otherwise.



New rotary president installed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
Mr Jagdish Mohan Bansal and Inner Wheel member, Dr (Ms) Shail Gupta were installed as Rotary president and Inner Wheel president, respectively, of the Chandigarh Central for 2001-2002. The installations were held at a joint function organised by the Rotary Chandigarh Central and Inner Wheel Chandigarh Central at Hotel Park Inn, Sector 35, today evening.

While local MP, Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal was the chief guest, Dr (Ms) G.K Bedi, Inner Wheel district chairman, was the guest of honour.

The outgoing president, Mr R.D.S. Riar, apprised the gathering about the work done by his team during the last year and the new Rotary president, Mr Jagdish Mohan Bansal, informed that the Rotary Chandigarh Central has adopted Kishangarg village for the last 7 years for its overall development where they are running on a permanent basis, a mini-family welfare centre, stitching and embroidery school, typing school and a blood bank. He further said that besides undertaking regular projects, they will be taking a massive project of TB detection and eradication camps costing about Rs 12 lakh, under the World Community Service Project of Rotary Foundation during the year. Seminars on birth control under family welfare schemes will also be organised

The outgoing Inner Wheel president, Ms Madhu Bansal, highlighted the work done during the last year. Dr (Ms) G.K. Bedi, Inner Wheel district chairman, talked about her plans to check the alarming rate of foeticide in the country, measures to fight the deadly disease of AIDS, besides concentrating on the development of slums and villages. She also called upon the members to help make India polio free and announced various new health projects. She disclosed that single dose of rubella will be administered to women in view of the threat German measles pose to pregnant women.

Mr Pawan Bansal in his speech lauded the activities of Rotary and Inner Wheel Chandigarh Central in various fields for the upliftment of the poor and downtrodden. He appealed to them to go ahead with their mission with zeal and determination.



Demolition of gurdwara criticised
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
The Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal (SHSAD) at a meeting under its president, Mr Joginder Singh Sawhney, took a serious note of the demolition of the gurdwara buildings in Sectors 48 and 49 by the enforcement staff.

Terming it a direct interference in the affairs of the Sikhs, a press note said the party workers would take part in a protest march to be organised on July 18. The party will also approach the Minority Commission of India so that such incidents did not occur in future.

Meanwhile, the reported threat to install the Nishan Sahib at the demolition site could not be carried out as the devotees failed to reach the site. A police contingent also visited the site as a precautionary measure.



Punjab, UT staff to hold rally today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
On a call given by the Punjab and UT Employees Action Committee, a rally will be organised in Sector 17 here on July 18.

According to a press note, the rally will be held to protest against the ‘‘anti-employee’’ and privatisation policies of the Central and the state governments. Meanwhile, the UT Powermen Union has decided to observe the work-to-rule agitation from tomorrow to protest against the indifferent attitude of the Chandigarh Administration towards genuine demands of the employees.

Gate rallies will be held on July 16 and July 17 and the union will also take part in the rally on July 18, the press note added.



One killed, two injured in mishap
Our Correspondent

Lalru, July 15
One person was killed and his two companions sustained serious injuries when a scooter which they were riding rammed into a tractortrailer on the Rampur Sainina - Samgoli road near Bhunter village here on Saturday night.

Sources said Shadi Ram died on the spot while Bali Ram and Keshav Singh who were riding pillion, sustained serious injuries. The injured were taken to the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh.

The body has been sent to the Rajpura hospital for post-mortem examination.

A case has been registered at the Lalru police station.



Infant found
Our Correspondent

Kharar, July 15
An abandoned new born male child was found in bushes on old Morinda road here this evening.

According to information, the child was noticed by some children, who heard him crying. The children immediately rushed to nearby Khanpur village and informed their parents about the child. Many villagers reached on the spot and informed the local police. The villagers took the child to the Civil Hospital where the child was medically checked and was found to be in good health. According to information, the villagers have taken the child with them to the village. A villager wants to adopt this child.



Sanjay’s father clarifies
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
The father of Sanjay Rahi, Mr Kishore Rahi, has clarified that his son was at his own residence at the time of the shooting in a pool parlour in Sector 6 and he has no knowledge of the whereabouts of Mahavir, who has absconded. He said his car was registered and he had also paid the road tax.


Girl missing
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
Suchintan Kaur, an eleven-year-old girl, has been missing from her Sector 15 house since yesterday. The police has filed a DDR at the Sector 11 police station.



FOLLOWING the June 20 “raids” conducted by the CBI on the PGI cath lab, even a “non incident” is enough to spark off a major rumour in the institute.

A couple of days back, a “visit” to the PGI by officials of the UT Labour Department sparked off a major controversy. Rumours were rife in the institute that officials of the UT Labour Department “conducted inquiries” about the workers on the contract system in the PGI and also asked to see records and other documents pertaining to contract labourers of the PGI Sanitation Department.

Interestingly, when contacted, top PGI officials expressed their surprise over the “visit”, although they did admit to “having heard such rumours”.

Even the Labour Department officials expressed their ignorance over the entire issue and added that they had no idea whatsoever that such a check had even been ordered.

Coke-cob connection

Now even the rains cannot hamper the business of cob vendors in the city. Till last year, they had to pack off whenever the showers began. This year the story is a little different.

Many vendors have thought of a commercial way to deal with the problem of rains. In Sector 34 some five cob vendors got together and went to the Coke dealer to ask for help in this regard. Now the makeshift stalls of all these vendors are well-guarded by big umbrellas with a Coke advertisement splashed right across. Aishwarya Rai and Hrithik Roshan figures greet you when you visit them to buy corn.

Suddenly these vendors are making a quick buck because people are attracted towards their new-found arrangement marked by a big red Coke umbrella which prevents rain from acting as an impediment. Charges of corn, accordingly, have also increased. Said one vendor: “Ab kisi aur ke paas to ye chhatri hai nahi. Jise baarish mein bhi challi khani hai use thoda zyada paisa to dena hi padega!”

Good business for both Coke and corn cob sellers!

Tears behind smiles

An encounter with city boy Vivek Shauq who is making waves in Bollywood was an experience to behold. For he is not just a good actor, but also a logical person whose analytical answers to every question thrown at him made the interview interesting.

He narrated a sad moment of his life that changed our perspective about judging the performance of an artiste. A “Mera Naam Joker”-type situation was enacted in his real life when he received the news of his mother’s death while he was on stage in London, entertaining the audience with his comedy act. The audience could not notice anything amiss from his performance. But later when the news was announced on stage, he made an appeal to the audience on behalf of the artiste community to bear in mind that an artiste is also a human being who has to live a real life other than the stage. So do not condemn an artiste as a bad performer just because his performance was below average in a particular show.

Police power

One had only heard of some police personnel misusing their power and position to benefit themselves. But on July 5 one got a chance to see the same. At about 8.20 pm, a Head Constable was busy purchasing vegetables from a vendor in the Sector 26 grain market. After he finished picking up the fresh lot for himself, he paid whatever amount he thought was good enough against the purchases made. And what he paid was half of the calculated due. After the officer had left, a newspaper colleague asked the vendor as to why he did not insist on full payment. The vendor replied: “This is not the first time such a thing has happening. How can we afford to argue with them? After all, we have to operate from here and sustain our families.”

Indo-Pak ties

Harmeet Singh, a student of class IX of Shivalik Public School and a loyal reader of The Tribune, likes to air his feelings lyrically. He expresses his admiration for the paper as follows:

“Early morning, we get a boom,

In the form of The Tribune”.

He has also composed a moving poem Indo-Pak relations on the eve of Vajpayee-Musharraf summit at Agra which says:

Hindustan was its proud name

But wonder why God played this sordid game.

August 15 was the day of Independence

But the day of the partition was the same.

Hindustan was its proud name.

But this pride was divided without a glint of shame.

Hindus and Muslims had to switch places.

The bond of national love became hapless & lame.

Hindustan was its proud name.

Sir Radcliffe demarcated the boundary frame.

Jinnah never thought that this would result

In setting a perennial dispute aflame.

Hindustan was its proud name.

But the partition aroused hatred with no one to tame.

It kept on growing malignantly as

The leaders themselves had sown the seeds of the scheme.

Hindustan was its proud name.

But the hatred culminated in a war game.

Blood was strewn all over the border.

The first signs of cross-border terrorism also came.

So, if Hindustan still has to be its proud name.

Resolution through talks should be our aim.

Both the countries have to initiate

A stable and secure subcontinent frame.

Donor par excellence

The Good Samaritan in the Chandigarh Police, Sub-Inspector Balbir Singh, has attained the distinction of having donated blood the maximum number of times in the various blood camps held in the city.

The cop had recently donated blood during the 47th blood donation camp of the Blood Donors Council and thus his count of donating blood during the past decade has reached 58. The cop, along with his wife, Jaswinder Kaur, has been donating blood to anyone in need not just in Chandigarh, but also in other cities in the region.

Small man, big effort

He surely is no Santa Claus, but 90-year-old Shadi Ram has a strong urge to bring joy to underprivileged children. But his bag of gifts does not contain toys or sweets. It has pencils, erasers, pens, books, notebooks, even shoes and school dresses, for those who cannot afford these. Some school principals who know Shadi Ram often approach him for help for poor students, and he does not disappoint them.

Shadi Ram was born in Lyallpur (now in Pakistan) and his 90 years do not sit heavily on his shoulders. The carnage of Partition, in which he lost some of his friends and relatives and himself escaped with injuries, is still vivid in his memory. Starting life afresh, he made a reasonable living from his shop in Nabha but the scars remained in his psyche and he looked forward to any opportunity to do something for somebody, somewhere, particularly children in need.

After his wife’s death in 1996, he moved to Chandigarh and has since been drawing on his meagre savings and the money his sons give him for his upkeep, to help needy children continue their studies. From his tenement in Sector 45, he would go on a daily round of schools in labour colonies and the sectors of the city looking for children who deserve to be helped. Now the burden of age prevents him from going on daily rounds, but some school principals send for him whenever they find a child who could do with his help.

In addition to poor children, poor patients in hospitals and their families are also the centre of his attention. A number of poor families, battling with the ailment of a dear one, get dry rations from him. When a cancer patient, struggling for his life in a one-room EWS tenement in Sector 47, found it impossible to provide space or his three daughters to study, Shadi Ram had an extra room built so that the girls could study undisturbed. The poor man is no more, but Shadi Ram still helps the girls to continue their studies.

He also has some herbal remedies for joint pains which he gives free to any one who cares to try these. Some of those who have, vouch for their effectiveness. From what his three sons give him and from what he has been able to save himself, he spends from Rs 4,000 to Rs 7000 every month on his charitable work. It may not appear something gigantic, but it certainly is a big effort by a small man.

Apni mandis

An effort by the local administration to restrict the days of holding apni mandis in SAS Nagar appears to have found little favour with the persons selling consumer durables. Against the decision of the Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) to allow the mandis in Phases VI and VIII, farmers continue to sell their produce in different phases on different weekdays.

The SDM had restricted the days of holding the apni mandis to check the unauthorised persons fleecing unsuspecting consumers by selling substandard items. But the practice continues.




Girl abducted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
A young girl has been abducted from Government College, Sector 11. According to an FIR registered under Sections 363 and 366 of the IPC, Mr Sher Singh Thakur, father of the abducted girl, has alleged that Anil Kumar has abducted his daughter.

JE beaten up: A Junior Engineer of the Electricity Department was reportedly beaten up by five persons when he had gone on official duty for checking in Mani Majra. He has alleged that Manohar Singh, Baljinder Kaur and three others beat him up. Manohar Singh and Baljinder Kaur were arrested under Sections 147, 149, 332 and 353 of the IPC and later bailed out.

Theft cases: Two cases of theft have been reported from different parts of the city during the past 24 hours. An amplifier from the Sector 29 residence of Mr Sukhwinder Singh was stolen on July 13. A case under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered. Vijay Kumar was caught red-handed last evening while trying to steal two chairs from the Sector 41- A residence of Nazar Singh. A case has been registered under Section 379 and 411 of the IPC.

Dowry case: A woman, Rajina, has accused her husband, Balbir Khan, of harassing her and maltreating her for dowry. She had been married in October, 2000. A case under Sections 406 and 498-A of the IPC has been registered.

One arrested: Masat Ram was arrested from the Sector 18 market on charges of eve teasing. A case under Section 294 of the IPC has been registered.

Chain snatched: A cyclist is alleged to have snatched a gold chain from a woman while she was returning home this afternoon. Reena Rai has alleged that a cycle-borne youth in black clothes snatched her gold chain near her house in Phase II, Ram Darbar.



Liquor seized, one held
Our Correspondent

Kharar, July 15
The police today seized 2,52,000 ml of illegal liquor meant for sale in Chandigarh only, during a naka on the Kharar-Landran road. The liquor was being carried in a Contessa car having red light on its roof.

According to a information by SHO Jasdev Singh, Kharar, the police stopped a Contessa car (DL-2CC-6389) having red light on it near Santa Majra village. When the car was searched country-made liquor measuring 2,52,000 ml in pouches and bottles was found.

The police has arrested Jasbir Singh of Boundli village while his other companion escaped. The police has registered a case under the Excise Act.



Proclaimed offender arrested
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, July 15
The Sohana police has arrested a proclaimed offender wanted by the Uttar Pradesh police in several cases. The suspect, Dinesh, was also involved in a recent case of attempt to murder in Rampur district in Uttar Pradesh.

The local police stumbled upon the suspect, when he was loitering around last night. On being questioned, he confessed that he fired at Rajiv on June 16 last. A case under Section 307 of the IPC had been registered against him there. A team of Uttar Pradesh police today took away the suspect.


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