Thursday, August 9, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


MC seeks dissolution of House
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 8
The Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh today passed a unanimous resolution to seek the dissolution of the House amidst boycott from a Congress member and absence of nine nominated members, in contravention to the Municipal Act that only permits dissolution in case of ‘’failure of duty and violation of the Act or any law,’’ amongst others things.

The resolution moved by the BJP leader, Mr Des Raj Tandon, and SAD Deputy Mayor, Mr Mohinder Singh, was supported by 12 BJP councillors present in the House, an Akali councillor and the lone Chandigarh Vikas manch member, Ms Satinder Dhawan. Mr Harish Bhanot, who was present in the House at the time of show of hands, however, did not vote against the resolution. BJP councillor Bachan Singh did not attend today’s proceedings.

Though the same was opposed by nominated members and Congress member Ms Kamlesh in line with her party’s position, yet the four Congress members, three of whom were present in the House, did not vote against the move, exposing fissures in the party. Former Congress Mayor, Raj Kumar Goyal, however, did not turn up.

Two nominated councillors, Maj-Gen ( retd) Rajinder Nath and Ms Saudamini Bambah opposed the resolution but were absent during the voting.

Chinks in the BJP armour again came to the fore, when senior party councillor, Prem Sagar Jain, said though he supported the resolution as a disciplined partyman, he did not approve of the resolution as it was an admission of the party was not able to run the House despite getting three fourth majority.

He indirectly indicated at the division in the party saying ‘’people say that one Akali candidate is being supported by one group and the other by another group.’’ Mr Jain seconded the resolution proposed by Mr Tandon.

Mr Jain withdrew his resolution for the dissolution of the House and then Chandigarh Vikas Manch member Satinder Dhawan pressed for her resolution to the same effect to be taken up saying that she had sought the dissolution of the House as both the BJP and the Congress had failed to fulfil their duties. Her resolution was, however, was dropped as there was nobody to send her resolution.

Although the dissolution resolution has also been moved by the SAD councillor, Mr Mohinder Singh, party councillor running for Mayoral election Harjinder Kaur, also spoke against the but abstained from voting.

She went all out to praise the nominated councillors and officials in running the House. “It will be rather unfortunate if the first MC gets dissolved and in what capacity we will go back to the public to seek a fresh mandate,” she said.

The Congress councillor, Ms Kamlesh, also voiced similar feelings and questioned if such a resolution can be brought before the House or not.

“People of the city have brought us for five years and we must complete this tenure as members of the first MC,’’ she said.

Congress member Ms Suneeta also left the House before the resolution was put to vote..

Earlier, the resolution was simultaneously moved by Mr Des Raj Tandon and Ms Satinder Dhawan and the BJP wanted that the agenda moved by them be clubbed with theirs since the issue was the same.

Nominated member Ms Bambah said she was opposed to the dissolution of the House ahead of the tenure as the rivalry between the Congress and BJP had resulted in the need to bring such a resolution.

Major-General (retd) Rajinder Nath said it was unfortunate that the BJP, which had so many capable leaders could not field even one persons to serve the people and was talking of the dissolution of the house, instead.

BJP councillor Ranjana Shahi said, “what was the need of elections for the post of Mayor when the House is seeking a fresh mandate and dissolution is a natural corrolary.”

While moving an amendment to the resolution to call of the Mayoral elections, which was rejected by the House, she said the party is only seeking to advance elections as they are already due in three months and election of Mayor by nominated members, as all parties have indicated not to participate in the Mayoral poll, will be undemocratic.

The amendment moved by Ms Shahi got her party colleagues from opposite camp to oppose such a move terming it ‘’illegal.’’

Earlier, the councillors even after deliberating on the issue of imposition of parking fee in Sectors 8 and 17 at length did not arrive at any consensus and decided to send back the same to the Administration for reconsideration.

During the discussion, the members unanimously opposed the imposition of parking fee and pointed out that these being the last few days of the present corporation, the outgoing MC was in no position to take any such vital decision.

The High Court during its last hearing on July 16 had directed the Mc Commisioner and DC that appropriate action be taken for proper utilisation of underground parking and if necessary, the MC may impose fee for parking of vehicles.

The House also unanimously passed the disposal of commercial properties on freehold basis instead of leasehold in Mani Majra. A former Mayor, Mr Gian Chand Gupta, recommended that henceforth disposal of all commercial properties in the entire city should be on free hold basis.

Another important issue pertaining to privatisation of streetlights was passed by only quorum presence of ten members, who approved the privatisation of streetlighting in some of the northern sectors in the first stage and after reviewing the experience it could be extended to other areas.

The House also approved a sum of Rs 1,48,240 as grant of arrears as risk allowance to sewermen for the period from June 1, 1996 to March 31, 1999, at the rate of Rs 40 per month.

Items like approval budget estimates for 2001-2002, use of open spaces adjoining hotels, collection of removal charges on the eve of festivals, restricting the persmission to use the open space to the residents on the recommendation of the area councillor, filing of an SLP on basic amenities and provision of a park in Mani Majra and widening of road could not be taken up because of presence of a few members.

The possibility of the dissolution of the House was reflected during the question hour earlier, with most of the members complaining about incomplete roads and poor sanitation in the city.


MC decision recommendatory
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 8
The decision taken by the General House of the Municipal Corporation today to dissolve the House is recommendatory in nature and not mandatory. This means that there is no provision under the Punjab Municipal Act, 1976, which makes it compulsory for the Administration to agree to the suggestion made by the House during its meeting today.

Till late in the evening, the Administration had not received a written note on the resolution passed today to dissolve the House. Sources in the Administration said the MC House might not be dissolved at all as the elections of Mayor were scheduled for August 10.


Chandigarh to witness IAF’s strength
Girja Shankar Kaura
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 8
Amid the controversy surrounding the frequent crashes of MiG fighter aircraft, the IAF will showcase its squadron strength in front of the President, Mr K.R. Narayanan, in Chandigarh in the third week of October.

As part of the millenium celebrations the Presidential review of the IAF squadron strength would take place for the first time after 25 years. The last time such a review took place in 1976 again in Chandigarh.

Sources here said more than 150 IAF aircraft, from the oldest to the latest Sukhoi-30, would be on display at the Air Force Station, Chandigarh, as part of the review. The IAF has not only planned a parade of the aircraft, but also an elaborate air display.

Besides President Narayanan, who being the supreme commander of the armed forces would be taking the salute at the review, Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, Defence Minister Jaswant Singh and Home Minister L.K. Advani are also expected to be present for the show.

The IAF has sent out invitations to almost 40 countries to send their air force representatives to witness the squadron strength review. Although there would be no participation in the review of the aircraft from air forces of other countries, but the IAF is expecting representatives from more than 25 countries.

Incidentally, this will be the first time that almost the entire squadron strength of the IAF will be on display for the representatives of the air forces of other countries.

Although the defence attaches of various countries have been invitees to the fire power display of the IAF but the event does not show case almost the entire air strength of the country.

The IAF has also planned two other events as part of its the celebrations. During the same time it will also be organising the fire power display at Pokhran and an international seminar on air power in Delhi.

The IAF had earlier planned to organise these two events in February, last year. However, they had to be put off after the disastrous earthquake that hit Gujarat on the Republic Day.

It has now been decided to club them with the Presidential squadron review.

Reports said representatives of the air forces of the other countries, who would witness the review, would also participate in the “international air power seminar”, which would be held at the Vigyan Bhawan here.

This is the first time that the IAF would be organising such an international seminar which is expected to be inaugurated either by the President or the Prime Minister.


Admn unlikely to accept traders’ demand
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 8
The protest by Grain Market and Subzi Mandi traders and pressure mounted by various political parties notwithstanding, the Chandigarh Administration is unlikely to accept the demand of the traders to remove barricades in the markets.

According to sources, there is hardly any justification to reverse the decision on the erection of the barricades, put up with a view to check the evasion of market fee and the sales tax by certain unscrupulous traders. Besides, the decision to erect the barricades was in accordance with the provisions of the Punjab Mandi Board Act and was based on the pattern followed in the mandis of Punjab.

It may be recalled that the issue of putting up barricades dates back to 1997 when the then Administrator of the Market Committee, Mr Amar Nath, had proposed the erection of the barricades to check evasion of the market fee and the sales tax and raise resources for the committee.

The issue hanged fire for a couple of years allegedly due to political pressure by various parties. It was only last year that the issue came to the fore again after the elections to the committee.

The UT Administrator and the Punjab Governor, Lt-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), subsequently sought views from the committee which despite its political composition, went with the Administration to levy 2 per cent market fee on all trucks carrying specified commodities into the markets.

With the barricading of the markets, the evasion of the market fee, which is estimated up to Rs 1.5 crore per annum, could be checked. Apart from that, the evasion of 4 per cent sales tax could also be checked as the record of the other commodities on which sales tax is levied will also be available in the committee, the sources said, adding that the protest was “non-justified” as provision of four barricades had also been made in the second grain market in Sector 39 here.

However, on the other hand, agitating traders have alleged that the barricades created nuisance and hindrance in free flow of trade. In their campaign, they had been assured of total support by all political parties indicating that the protest is going to be politicised and a long-drawn out one.

Meanwhile, a delegation of the Grain Market-Subzi Mandi Joint Action Committee called on the Adviser to the Administrator, Ms Neeru Nanda.

No agreement could be reached between the agitating traders and the Administration and now the traders would call on General Jacob tomorrow. Earlier, hundreds of traders and their employees marched to Matka Chowk from the Grain Market.


Jacob stumps polytechnic students
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 8
True to his style the UT Administrator, Lt-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), stumped students of the Central Polytechnic, Sector 26 by posing simple questions which, surprisingly, the students could not answer.

Jacob immediately asked the Principal to maintain some standard of knowledge in the polytechnic. The Administrator, who was on a visit to see the improvements, if any, after his last surprise visit to the polytechnic. He straightaway went to classrooms where the students of V-semester (mechanical), were getting lessons in electrical.

He posed a simple question to the students on difference between an alternator and dynamo. No student could reply to functioning of semiconductors. The third-Semester students could not explain how amplifiers work and the difference between digital and analogue technologies. In reality these were simple questions which should have been normally answered by students of the polytechnic.

The Governor was visibly upset to see cobwebs in the freshly white washed classrooms. He said it is the responsibility of the Principal to monitor the cleanliness and upkeep of the college.

Administrator reached the polytechnic at 9.30 a.m. and went to various classes. The Principal of the polytechnic informed the Governor that Engineering Department had carried out certain maintenance work after his last visit. The roof of only one block has been done up and rest would be done after the monsoons.

The Governor went to various laboratories. He asked the Principal to submit a proposal to replace obsolete lathe machines in the labs and equip the labs properly. He went to electrical and electronics laboratories and found them ill equipped. Meanwhile, the Chief Engineer, Mr Puranjeet Singh, alongwith his team of engineers reached the polytechnic. He informed the Governor that the maintenance of the rest of blocks would be done after rainy season.

General Jacob observed that blocks, where maintenance work had been completed also showed signs of seepage and leakage of roofs.

Later the Administrator went to the hostels and found that the kitchen had been re-done. Some students complained about leakage in rooms despite repairs done by the Engineering Department. The students of Architecture Department of the polytechnic pleaded to the Governor that they should be given a chance to go to degree college as had been allowed in other disciplines.

The hostel students demanded that the process of admission to the Engineering College should be relaxed. Students of the polytechnic are given a special quota to study in the PEC and some seats are reserved. The Governor said he would ask the Director, Technical Education, to look into the demands. He informed the students that he was making effort to get the polytechnic upgraded.


Tributes paid to Major Shankla
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 8
Armymen paid tributes to Major Sandeep Shankla at Major Sandeep Shankla War Memorial in Sector 2 here today, as the bugles sounded the Last Post.

A contingent of his battalion, the 18 Dogra Regiment, presented a guard of honour to the valiant soldier. The honour guard reversed arms and a two-minute silence was observed as a mark of respect.

Wreaths were laid at the flower bedecked memorial by Lieut Gen Surjeet Singh, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Command, and Colonel Commandant of the Dogra Regiment, followed by Lieut-Col J.S. Kanwar (retd), father of Major Shankla. Maj-Gen Veerpal Singh, MG AD Artillery, laid a wreath on behalf of all ranks of 18 Dogra and 5 Dogra. The Chief Administrator, HUDA, Mr N.C. Wadhwa, the Deputy Commissioner, Ms Jyoti Arora, Maj D.P.S. Budhwar, secretary of the Zila Sainik Board also laid wreaths. School children offered flowers at the memorial.

The martyr’s parents, Col J.S. Kanwar (retd) and Ms Manju Kanwar, paid floral tributes at the memorial. Colonel Kanwar said though the memorial was an excellent piece of work which had immortalised his son and recognised his sacrifice, a lot was left wanting on the maintenance front. Mr Wadhwa assured them that everything would be done in accordance with their wishes.

Maj Sandeep Shankla laid down his life in 1991 while fighting militants in Zafarkhani village in the Kashmir valley. The operation resulted in the death of three top militants and left four of them injured. In recognition of the valour of the officer in the face of grave personal risk, he was posthumously awarded the Ashoka Chakra, the highest peace-time gallantry award.

The general secretary of the Akhil Bharatiya Kshatriya Society, Mr Fakir Chand, said none of the politicians had come to pay their tributes at the memorial. “They are the first ones to exploit the name of the martyrs. At such a time, none of them can be seen,” he said.

In an informal talk with Lieut Gen Surjit Singh, parents of Maj Sandeep Sagar, a martyr of the Rajouri sector, said they were disillusioned at not being invited to any of the functions.

“They intimate the widow of our son. She has now remarried and can no longer be called his widow. They must at least invite us to the functions which are held from time to time,” Prof Harbans Lal said.


Sikh bodies support Bedi’s decision
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 8
Two Sikh organisations have come out in favour of the Shivalik School Principal, Mr D.S. Bedi, for bringing to task a Sikh student of the school for allegedly cutting his hair. Meanwhile, the school boy, Charanjit Singh, has reportedly left the school and will be joining a government school.

The Khalsa Panchayat, while holding a press conference, said it had taken a serious note of the news published in some newspapers, regarding criticism by some anti-Sikh elements, of the disciplinary action taken by the Principal of Shivalik Public School against a Sikh student who cut his hair in utter disregard of the tenets of his religion and the school rules.

The panchayat convener, Mr Rajinder Singh, termed it as a direct attack an the internal matters of Sikh religion and an attempt to communalise the entire social set up in the name of fundamental rights, human rights and constitutional rights. Whereas the fact is that the constitution provides the right to every religion to protect its tenets in order to maintain its identity, claimed the panchayat members.

Meanwhile, the boy’s father, Mr Gurdeep Singh , in a complaint to the Director Public Instructions (DPI), Schools, had said ‘‘ the hair of my son were cut on medical grounds and were carried out on the basis of a doctors’ advice and with my consent ’’.

The panchayat says there were only two considerations in this disciplinary action. One, to maintain discipline of the school and the other to prevent our youth from going astray. Pointing out to the rules of the school it was pointed out that under the heading ‘general rules and school discipline’ Point No. 17 reads “Non-Sikh boys should get their hair trimmed at regular intervals”.

Point No. 18 reads “trimming of beard by Sikh boys is prohibited. Defaulters will be viewed seriously”.

No attempt has been made at conversion of the religion as it has been projected by some newspapers. Principal Bedi has proceeded against the erring student on the basis of Rule No. 18. Today the entire humanity is worried at the rapid decline in the moral values and character. The only difference is that this is more noticeable amongst the Sikh youth due to their distinct identity. It is the responsibility of both the parents and teachers to prevent the youth from this decline and the Principal has discharged his duty in an appreciable manner, the panchayat said.

“Had he not processed in this manner, it would have had a very damaging influence on the other students as well”.

In case the Principal takes disciplinary action against a student who does not wear school uniform or carries cigarettes and drugs in the school premises, would it amount to violation of fundamental rights or human rights and can we term it as unconstitutional? If not, why? Because these are related to discipline and human values, it said

The panchayat said, “the way some newspapers have highlighted this incident, it seems that an attempt has been made to instigate the Sikh youth to revolt against their religion, which is a highly irresponsible and an anti-social act.

Khalsa Panchayat expressed its displeasure and was critical of the manner in which this case was handled by some newspapers and appealed to them to discharge their duties towards the society in an impartial manner. The panchayat also appealed to the Chandigarh Administration not to initiate any action against Shivalik Public School on the basis of such misleading news and complaints.

Meanwhile, in a separate statement the Institute of Sikh Studies, at its general body meeting commended the disciplinary action taken by the Principal of Shivalik Public School. “The incident concerns a simple matter of school discipline and should be left entirely to the Principal of the school”, the institute said in press statement.


Suspension of PUDA official ordered
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, August 8
In a significant development related to issuing of occupation certificate to an “incomplete” house in Phase 6 here by officials in the local Estate Office of the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA), the Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Punjab, Dr Upinderjit Kaur, is reported to have ordered suspension of a Senior Assistant.

Explanation of a former Estate Officer, during whose period the certificate was issued, and serving show-cause notices to a Sub-Divisional Officer (SDO) and a Junior Engineer (JE) — already under suspension — for recovery of minor penalty has also been ordered by the minister, said sources in the government. After seeking the explanation of the Estate Officer, the case could be sent to the Chief Secretary for further action. It may be pertinent to mention that the case of the local Estate Office issuing occupation certificate to an “incomplete” house despite the plot holder owing over Rs 2 lakh as dues to the department had been highlighted in these columns. The Additional Chief Administrator (HQ) was directed to inquire into the matter. The “occupation certificate” to the one kanal house in Phase 6 was issued on December 21, the day the Estate Office had received an application from the plot holder. The dues have been pending on account of non-construction fee since 1988 against the plot no. 765 are ignored while issuing the certificate. Sources in PUDA said over 200 occupation certificates had been issued during the week’s stint of the officer in the Estate Office. A total of 380 occupation certificates had been issued in December. The plot holder to avoid a heavy extension fee had connived with certain PUDA officials to get certificates for incomplete houses.


BJP may stall Mayoral election
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 8
The BJP has decided to get the election of the city Mayor stalled or to get the two Akali nominees to withdraw their nominations ahead of the August 10 election, after the passing of the BJP-SAD piloted resolution to dissolve the MC House, the term of which cannot be shortened as per the relevant Act.

The dissolution decision, which has witnessed severe differences of opinion in the local unit, with the two factions taking diametrically opposite positions, has now become a prestige point for a section of the BJP, which has advocated the move on the ground that the term of the House can be advanced.

The BJP local unit is considering to rope in the Punjab Local Bodies and Employment Minister, Mr Balramji Das Tandon, to ask the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President and Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, to persuade both SAD nominees for the post of Mayor Ms Harjinder Kaur and Mr Mohinder Singh, to withdraw from the contest.

A section of the party which favours the idea of seeking dissolution of the House has been calculating that the rebel Akali councillor, Ms Kaur, may be persuaded to withdraw from the race with a carrot of accommodating her in the party and Punjab Assembly elections.

This section feels that as soon as Ms Kaur withdraws from the race, her rival SAD candidate and Deputy Mayor, Mr Mohinder Singh, will also leave the field as his nomination is merely tactical to force Ms Kaur to abstain from election.

One section of the BJP has also attempted to get the election of Mayor stalled by moving an amendment with the dissolution resolution that after the House recommending dissolution with all parties indicating to abstain the election will become futile and undemocratic. Their argument is that election of the Mayor through nominated members who have been appointed by the Administration and are not elected will be against democratic norms.

Ms Kaur has left ample room for rapprochement by neither supporting the dissolution resolution, which is backed by the SAD, nor opposing it and absenting herself at the time of voting. She has praised nominated members for having guided the House to perform, unlike a section of the BJP which is known to be opposed to nominated members.

Sources say the BJP has also been pressing home the point to Akali candidates that if they go against the party line, they will also not be able run the House against the wishes of the majority party.

A BJP delegation is planning to go the Union Territory Administrator, Lt-Gen J.F R. Jacob (retd), tomorrow to stall the election after the dissolution of the House has been recommended.

The majority party, knowing that the House cannot be dissolved merely by passing a resolution, has also left a technical lacuna, sending back the paid parking issue to the Administration despite it having been directed in clear terms that the House has to take a decision in this regard by August 16.

This belligerence of the House, unknowingly also supported by the Congress members, may become a ground for proceeding to dissolve the House under section 407 of the Punjab Municipal Act, as extended to the Union Territory.

The local party leadership has also sought to ensure that no BJP councillors try to absent themselves from the House to scuttle the party move. In order to ensure this, the party National General Secretary in charge, Mr O.P. Kohli, stayed put in the city in the night and had the leader of the opposition and the BJP leader in the House, Mr Deshraj Tandon, issue a direction to all individual party members to be present in the House and implement the party directive.

The local party unit leaders may now attempt to use the influence of the Central Government to convince the Administration to dissolve the House, according to sources.

The party and a section of the Congress have also been able to manage the absence of almost all nominated members, who are otherwise opposed to the resolution move, with an apparent influence of the Central Government, which recommends names of the nominated members.

Even the Congress, which has declared its opposition to the dissolution move, has not opposed the move. Only one member, Ms Kamlesh, has boycotted the move, terming it betrayal with the people who have elected councillors for five years.


Congress still undecided
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 8
The Congress today remained undecided on the issue of whether to support a candidate for the post Mayar or not, keeping aspirants guessing.

The party today postponed its meeting till 9 am on August 10, the scheduled date of Mayoral elections, to take a final decision, the party president, Mr B.B Bahl told Chandigarh Tribune.

The party has been is in a dilemma how to use the opportunity to embarrass the BJP as well as not being seen as supporting the SAD, their main rivals in Punjab.

Sources said the party also has to keep in mind that the continuance of the Congress acting Mayor may ultimately prove detrimental to the prospects of the party in the MC elections.

The party may only help the Mayoral election process to be completed by going to the House to complete the quorum for the election and not vote for anybody. Then they may have to take the blame for allowing a SAD concillor to win the election.

Aspirants for the post of Mayor, Mr Mohinder Singh and Ms Harjinder Kaur, today started their campaign by approaching nominated members and a few other members.

The BJP spokesperson, Ms Ranjana Shahi, said which House would a new Mayor head, now that the resolution seeking dissolution had been passed.

Ms Satinder Dhawan of the Chandigarh Vikas Manch also remained undecided on whether to support a Mayoral candidate or not.


Councillors highlight poor road conditions
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 8
A majority of councillors highlighted the poor condition of roads and sanitation in their respective wards during question hour at the start of the general house meeting of the Municipal Corporation today.

At the very outset, the Congress councillor, taking up the status of completion of V-6 roads, pointed out the pathetic condition of roads in Industrial Area-II. Former Mayor, Kamala Sharma talked about the condition of roads in villages of Butrela, Badheri, Attawa and Burail.

The Commissioner, Mr M.P Singh said that work on village roads, which had been held up during the monsoons, would be completed by October end. Mrs Satinder Dhawan pointed out that the work on internal roads of Sectors 7-A and B had been pending due to encroachments on road berms. Mr MP Singh said the encroachments would be removed and recarpetting of roads undertaken at the earliest. Mr O.P Goyal, Mr R.L Arora, Mr Mohinder Singh, Mr Rajender Kumar, Mr Des Raj Tandon and Mr Gian Chand Gupta also talked about the poor condition of roads.

Councillors raised the issue of poor sanitary conditions in their respective wards. Former Mayor, Mr K.K Adiwal highlighted the need to provide chairs to safai karamcharis and chowkidars on duty outside public toilets.

Two questions, one each by Mr K.K Adiwal and Mrs Kamlesh, could not be taken up due to paucity of time.


No happy ending to this love story
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 8
Their love story did not have the usual happy ending. A 17 -year- old girl was today separated from her beau-turned-husband on the order of the Judicial Magistrate (First Class), Ms. Ritu Behl.

This inspite of the fact that the girl had requested that she be sent to Nari Niketan instead of being handed over to her parents. The JMIC ordered just the opposite and the lovelorn girl was forcibly taken away from the court complex by her parents.

It is learnt that the girl, a resident of Hallo Majra, was produced before the JMIC , after she was arrested by the Sector 31 police yesterday , alongwith her beau, Mohinder Singh. It is learnt that the duo had eloped about two months back and had been hiding in Uttar Pradesh.

While in Muzzaffarnagar, the duo reportedly went in for a court marriage. After the marriage was solemnised, the duo reportedly sent photographs of their marriage here and a letter by the girl that they had married of their own will and that Mohinder’s family should not be troubled by the police. They maintained that the girl was a major and could marry of her own will.

In the meantime, the girl’s father, Mr Raj Kumar, submitted a school certificate of the girl with her age specified as 17 years. Thus the police registered a case of abduction against Mohinder Singh.

The couple returned home yesterday, thinking that their families had reached a compromise and had reconciled. They were handed over to the police.

The girl was taken to the court today in order to get her statement recorded under section 164 of the Cr. P. C. It was here that she reiterated that she wished to be united with her beau or sent to Nari Niketan. Later, she was also taken to the General Hospital, Sector 16, for a medical examination.


Press report triggers off inquiry orders
Our Correspondent

Kharar, August 8
Dr S.S. Dhanoa, Senior Medical Officer, Civil Hospital, Kharar, has ordered an inquiry into a news item published in two Hindi dailies today in which an allegation has been levelled that a new-born female child had died in June this year, when an injection which was meant for the child’s mother was negligently administered to the baby, when she was admitted in the hospital.

According to information, Dr Vijay Kumar has been handed the inquiry and has been asked to report his findings by evening today.

It is pertinent to mention that according to the news, a female child was born to Ms Amarjit Kaur on June 19 and it has been alleged in the news that the baby died a few days later due to the injection administered.

According to information, the statement of the doctor and staff nurse concerned was recorded.

The doctor, according to information, has stated that both, the mother and the child, were in good health at the time of discharge from hospital, likewise, the nurse has also denied the allegations.

Meanwhile, the child’s mother, Ms Amarjit Kaur also gave her statement and did not hold any one responsible for the death of her baby.


No ‘entry tax’ for defence personnel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 8
Serving or retired defence personnel buying vehicles from outside Chandigarh will not have to pay entry tax for getting their vehicles registered at Chandigarh.

Instructions to this effect were issued to the Licensing and Registering Authority (LRA) today. Persons who, in the past, had deposited the entry tax would be refunded the same, sources said. In a letter the LRA has been asked to register vehicles purchased by defence personnel without a no objection certificate (NOC).

Due to a disparity in tax structures in Chandigarh and the neighbouring states, the Administration had imposed entry tax on registration of vehicles to cut down on evasion of tax. If a vehicle is purchased in neighbouring state and the purchaser desires to get it registered at Chandigarh then he has to pay an entry tax. The idea behind the provision is to bridge the difference in tax which is lower in Chandigarh.


Cops should not return medals: CM
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 8
The Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, said today that the police was a disciplined force and its officials would not resort to action like returning President’s Police Medal. He was replying to a question asked in this connection at a press conference.

It was reported in a section of press that certain police officials planned to return their medals in protest against the criminal charges and cases faced by them.

The cases against them have been filed by family members of slain terrorists or human rights groups.


Tribune employee beaten up
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 8
An employee of The Tribune Trust, Mr Avdesh Kumar , was reportedly bashed up by a conductor of a CTU bus this afternoon.

According to the information available, Mr Kumar had boarded a CTU bus ( CH-01G- 5725) this afternoon from the PGI bus stop. When he approached the conductor of the bus to buy tickets, the latter asked him to give him change instead of a Rs 50 note.

When Mr Kumar pleaded that he had no change, the conductor began to abuse him and asked him to leave the bus.

Following this an altercation took place between the two and the conductor gave a punch on Mr Kumar’s face. He then hit him with a punching machine.

Mr Kumar was immediately taken to the PGI where he was given first aid.

The police has registered an FIR under section 325 of the IPC against the conductor.


PUDA auctions 16 SCF sites
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, August 8
In an open auction of commercial sites in the town, the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) today earned over Rs 6 crore. Of the total 17 showroom-cum-flat (SCF) sites put under hammer, 16 sites were sold. A corner site with an area of 123.75 sq yard and a reserve price of Rs 34.62 lakh was withdrawn as there were few bidders.

All sites ( from No. 50 to 65) were in Phase XI and had an area of 121 sq yard.

An official of the local Estate Office of PUDA, said a SCF site (No. 57) was sold for Rs 38 lakh against a reserved price of Rs 33.85 lakh. Another SCF site (No. 50) was sold for Rs 35.75 lakh against a reserve price of Rs 33.85 lakh. Two SCF’s were sold for Rs 37.95 lakh each.


‘Give interest free loans to rehriwalas’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 8
Mr Ram Chander Paswan, MP and general secretary of the Lok Jan Shakti Party, today demanded that the right to work should be made a fundamental right.

Addressing a press conference on the eve of “jail bharo” campaign of the party here today, Mr Paswan also demanded quota for the Scheduled Castes in the judiciary. Demanding a comprehensive policy for the uplift of the downtrodden, he wanted the state governments to give interest-free loans to the “rehriwalas” and “phariwalas”.

The authorities should provide free study material to all children up to 14 years of age, he said.

Prominent among those, who were present on the occasion were Capt Shamsher Singh Malik, president of the Haryana unit, Mr Gajju Bhaiya, general secretary of the Yuva Lok Jan Shakti, Ms Latika Sharma, national president of the Mahila Lok Jan Shakti, and Mr Jaleel Ahmed Kureshi, president the local unit.


2 held for cheating banks
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, August 8
A three-year-old case of two persons cheating two local banks of over Rs 5 lakh has been solved with the local police arresting the two from a house in sector 45, Chandigarh. The two had got a loan of Rs 3.75 lakh passed in 1998 on the basis of stolen Indira Vikas Patras and National Saving Certificates.

The two persons — Narinder Pal Singh ( 32) and Anop Singh Mann ( 47), were arrested after the police questioned Gurmeet Singh, a resident of Phase XI, on whose name and address one of the suspects, Anoop Singh had opened a savings account in Phase 5 branch of Punjab and Sind Bank. The other suspect, Narinder Singh — who already had an account in the bank in name of his shop, Trendy Super Store in the Phase XI — had signed as an witness. Subsequently Anoop Singh deposited Indira Vikas Patras and National Saving Certificates worth Rs 1.50 lakh and Rs 2.50 lakh, respectively.

Within few days he got a loan of Rs 3 lakh passed against the NSCs and IVPs. later the bank authorities found the particulars on the saving certificates to be fake.

Using the same modus operandi, Anoop Singh had also opened an account in Phase X branch of Ropar Central Cooperative Bank and the witness was again Narinder Singh. After depositing NSCs worth Rs 2 lakh, a loan of Rs 1.40 lakh had been taken. Again the particulars on the certificates were found to be fake.

Similarly, the other suspect, Narinder Pal deposited IVPs of Rs 1.80 lakh value and took loan of Rs 1.35 lakh against the amount. Mr Gurmeet Singh Chauhan, Superintendent of Police, SAS Nagar, said the two suspects had been remanded to police custody till August 9.

Questioning of the suspects revealed that they had procured the certificates from Joginder Kumar Sharma, a resident of Sector 45, Chandigarh. The third suspect was active in Meerut and Delhi. Police teams have been sent to arrest him.

Anoop Singh, one of the suspects claimed that he had been lured in the “business” by Joginder, whom he had been supplying diary products. He claimed that he had given the loan amount to Joginder to adjust the loan taken from him. But he has not been able to produce any proof to corroborate his claim, said the police chief.


* Police suspect that the thugs were part of a gang involved in providing stolen Indira Vikas Patras and National Savings Certificates.

* Those who apply for loan against the fake saving certificates are made to pay back certain amount of loan amount as commission to the people who provide the certificates.

* Third suspect, Joginder Kumar Sharma is reported to source the empty certificates from GPO’s in New Delhi, a fact being confirmed by the police.

* The suspect arrested on the basis of their photographs with the banks.



Gold jewellery stolen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 8
Gold jewellery worth thousands was stolen from the Sector 23 residence of Mr Hukmi Chand yesterday.

According to the information available, the incident took place between 11.30 a.m. and 1.30 p.m. The miscreant(s) reportedly broke open the lock of the door and decamped with the jewellery and other valuables. A case under Sections 454 and 380 of the IPC has been registered.

In another case, Bobby Goswami was arrested for attempting burglary in a jhuggi in colony No 5. A case under Section 454 of the IPC has been registered.

Three more cases of theft, including two cases of vehicle theft have been reported from different parts of the city during the past 24 hours. A car ( PB-09- 6999) was stolen from the parking in Sector 9- D market yesterday, while a scooter ( CH-01Y- 8194) was stolen from NAC, Mani Majra.

In another case of theft, two car stereos were stolen from Mr Rohit Jain’s cars, parked at his Sector 8 residence. The incident took place during the intervening night of August 5 and 6.

In all three cases, FIRs under Section 379 of the IPC have been registered.

Liquor seized
The police seized 115 pouches of Hero whisky from two persons in separate incidents last night. While 100 pouches of liquor were seized from Yasodhya Devi in Kajheri village, 15 pouches were seized from Sanju in Palsora Colony.


Woman tortured for dowry
Our Correspondent

Kharar, August 8
The police has booked a man, his mother-in-law, and sister-in-law under Sections 406, 498-A, 323, 324 and 34 of the IPC on the complaint lodged by Ms Rupinder Kaur, today.

According to information received from the police, Ms Rupinder Kaur has alleged that she had got married to Gurdeep Singh of Badanpur village, near here, about three years back and was being harassed by the accused for dowry and that she had been beaten up by them.

The police has registered a case against Gurdeep Singh, Baljit Kaur (mother-in-law), and Baljit Kaur (sister-in-law) and has started the investigations into the matter.


Contract killing accused remanded
Tribune Reporters

Chandigarh, August 8
Sant Kumar, a co-accused in a contract killing case, was sent to judicial remand for 14 days and the other two accused, Ashok and Bittu, were sent to two-day police remand by a local court here today.

The accused were produced in the court of Judicial Magistrate (First Class), in the afternoon.

It was alleged that Balwant Rai Vashisht and his brother, Sant Kumar, had hired Bittu through one of their employees to kill a timber merchant, Harjinder Singh. A deal was struck for Rs 10 lakh and Rs 3 lakh were paid in advance to Bittu, who had now turned an approver in the case. The main accused in the case had not been arrested so far. The accused, Sant Kumar, had also moved an application for Class B facilities in the Burail Jail.

Meanwhile, the Mani Majra police today arrested Baljit Singh alias Billa, the third person hired for the assassination of Mr Harjinder Singh.

He along with Ashok, had been introduced to Balwant Rai Chumma and Sant Kumar by Bittu to execute the killing of Mr Harjinder Singh.


One arrested on theft charge
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 8
A resident of Cuttack was arrested from the ISBT, Sector 17, on the charge of stealing the luggage of a fellow passenger in a bus after serving him biscuits laced with a sedative.

According to the information available, Attam Prabe was arrested this morning under sections 328, 379 and 34 of the IPC. He was later produced in the court which granted a police remand of five days.

It is learnt that the accused was travelling with Harnam Singh, a resident of Hamirpur, from Delhi to Chandigarh during the intervening night of August 5 and 6.

When the bus reached Pipli town, the accused served some biscuits to Harnam Singh and after the man got unconscious, ran away with his bag containing Rs 2,500 cash, some cloths and other valuables.

Harnam Singh was admitted to the General Hospital, Sector 16, on August 6.

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