Wednesday, August 29, 2001, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S



Complete strike by city college students
Protest against hike in minimum number of lectures
Tribune News Service

At a meeting of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of student leaders held at Panjab University in the evening, it was decided that agitation in all colleges would be suspended till the Senate meeting scheduled to be held on September 30. Meanwhile, the JAC has also appealed to the Senate members that the request of the students not to increase the attendance percentage to 75 per cent be considered sympathetically. It was also decided that a show of strength be done on the day of the Senate meeting. “In case an adverse decision is taken, we will neither let the university nor the colleges work.” said a student leader.

Chandigarh, August 28
More than 4,000 students of various colleges of the city marched amidst tight security towards Panjab University today, protesting against the decision of the University Grants Commission (UGC) to increase the minimum lectures to be attended by these students in the colleges from the present 66 per cent to 75 per cent.

In what is being termed as the largest student protest since the September, 1990, Mandal Commission’s protest, these students moved all over the city starting from their colleges to the university. The strike in all the colleges of the city was complete except for the girls’ colleges where the hostelers were not allowed to join the day scholars. A large number of students also reportedly went back home after realising that there is a strike in the college.

Meanwhile, tight security arrangements had been made to meet any situation with the students. The police had a hard time in the morning at the Government College of Girls, Sector 11, gates where the protesting girls were scheduled to be joined by the Government College for Men students. The situation got heated up when a mild lathi charge and threat of even harsher action by the police was used to keep the boys in check.

The Government College, Sector 11, boys were ultimately made to leave for the university followed by DAV College, Sector 10, students who, too, were diverted from coming near the girls college. The Senior Superintendent of Police of the city, Mr Parag Jain, along with SP Operations, Mr Dhaliwal and SP city, Mr Baldev Singh, were present all through, first outside the GCG-11 gates and later at the university.

By the afternoon, however, students from almost all the colleges of the city in various numbers had reached outside the Vice-Chancellor’s office in PU shouting slogans against the UGC, the PU and then the VC himself. The whole crowd then moved to the Students’ Centre where they were addressed by the university student leaders, following which the students dispersed.

A Joint Action Committee was formed comprising leaders of students’ bodies of the university. These include Mr Santokhvinder Singh Nabha, president, Students Organisation of Panjab University, Mr Bhupinder Singh Bhuppi, former president, Panjab University Campus Students Council (PUCSC), Mr D.P.S Randhawa, former president, PUCSC, Mr Amit Rana, chairman, Haryana Students Association, and Mr Malvinder Singh Kang, president, Panjab University Students Union, and Mr H.S. Lucky, former president, National Students Union of India.

The SSP, City, arranged a meeting of the student leaders with the VC in the afternoon where the VC reportedly stated that he had not seen the letter from the UGC carefully and was sent from the office of the Deputy Registrar (colleges) to the various college principals as any other routine letter. He also reportedly assured the student leaders that he will informally ask the college principals not to make any move to implement the UGC circular till a decision of the PU Senate is taken on the matter. The VC also reportedly assured the student leaders that the fact that the students have strongly resented the move will be passed on to the Senate before they take a decision on the matter.

City MP, Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, also has reportedly assured the students of his support. Mr H.S. Lucky, Youth Congress leader, while addressing the students at the GCG-11 gates said that Mr Bansal had conveyed his support and stated that although he was for the maintenance of standard in education, no decision of any variety affecting the students should be taken without their consent.

Meanwhile, in a press note issued by the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad, (ABVP), it has been stated that Mr Surat Negi of the ABVP has also been included as a member of the JAC.


Volte-face by Ravinder
Tribune News Service

Kharar, August 28
The murder case of Satwant Singh Gill of Gill Estate has taken a curious turn with the suspect in the case, Ravinder Singh Gill, son of the deceased, contracting from his earlier version of having killed his father. The suspect claims that he had been mentally pressurised to make the confessional statement — a fact denied by the Ropar police.

The suspect claims that the story had been planted, and that his father had been killed by outsiders. The police maintains that it had enough circumstantial evidence and statement of certain witnesses to prove that the suspect had committed the act. Ravinder claims that he was mentally tortured and he feared that his mother and sister would be tortured .

However, the investigating officials maintain that the “weapons”, a baseball bat, a knife and leather gloves had been recovered from a place along a road leading to Dhanas village on the basis of the information given by the suspect. The police was banking its investigations on the basis of four private witnesses and statements of police officials part of the investigating team.

Meanwhile, the shopkeepers of the Sector 19 rehri market and shopkeepers of Sector 22 from whom the base ball bat and the knife had been purchased by the suspect had also identified him, claimed a police official. Inquires reveal that an extra-judicial confession statement of the suspect had been recorded under the relevant section of the Evidence Act and in the presence of a private witness, a Nayagoan-based property dealer. The confession statement of the accused had not been made to the police under Sections 25 and 26 of the Evidence Act. The suspect had surrendered in the presence of the Nayagoan based property dealer.

The recovery of the weapons and the blood-stained clothes were made after informing the Chandigarh Police. The autopsy report of the deceased was being matched with the weapons used in the crime. “The blood stains on the baseball bat, the knife and the leather gloves would be matched by forensic experts with the bloodsoaked bedsheet on which the body was found. We are also trying to ascertain whether the blood stains left on the clothes of suspect while he was hitting the victim match with the blood stains left while he took the body to the PGI”, said an investigating official. The police had said that the suspect had taken a cue from a medical detective episode shown on Discovery Channel.

A senior official claimed that the entire story had been reconstructed on the basis of evidence. He said the challan in the case would be presented in the court within a month.

The police is also investigating the background of the suspect, who is a student of BA-I in the Government College for Men (GCM).

Meanwhile, the Duty Magistrate today sent the suspect to judicial custody till September 10.


Where should depositors go?
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 28
Agony writ large on their faces, thousands of depositors have been driven from pillar to post for the past few years for getting their hard-earned money back from Ican Mutual Benefits Limited with whom they had made deposits at varying rates of interest, depending upon the duration of the deposits.

The company was promoted by Mr Manjit Singh Aujla on October 3, 1991 and was incorporated with the Registrar of Companies, Uttar Pradesh. It was duly incorporated by the Union Government under Section 620 of the Companies Act on May 27, 1993.

Incan Mutual Benefits set up its branches in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, apart from Chandigarh. Since most of its branches were manned by retired defence personnel, it attracted a large number of depositors, mostly former defence personnel. Their number is claimed to have risen to 52,913.

Some of the depositors unhesitatingly admit that the company continued to honour its commitments to them till September, 1998. They were in panic when the company dramatically stopped making payment to them in October, 1998. They did not know where to go and whom to approach. Since then they have been constantly struggling but to no avail

The depositors assembled and formed a body known as the Ican’ Investors Forum with Lt-Col S.C. Machhral (retd) as its president. With a view to assuaging the feelings of the depositors, the company released a “repayment plan” in newspapers, subject to the approval of the Compay Law Board. The board, however, did not approve of the repayment plan. Instead, it issued a detailed order to the company for repayments. However, the chairman of the company did not care to obey this order. The depositors filed a writ petition before the Lucknow High Court. In December,2000, the high court ordered the liquidation of the company.

Colonel Machhral says that the high court judgement gave hope to the depositors that they would get their payments back. However, they were surprised to find that Justice Ujagar Singh, a former Judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, had taken over as chairman of the company. He published a notice in various newspapers on July 1,2001, asking the depositors to send true copies of their holdings to him at Post Box 455, GPO, New Delhi. Some of the depositors sent their documents at the address given. However, these were received back with the remarks, “Mr Ujagar Singh refused to accept.”

Ön August 5 this year Justice Ujagar Singh issued another notice extending the date for the receipt of the documents till August 31. He also wrote that the applications received earlier were being processed.

In the meantime a group of four depositors. Col D.K. Sharma, Wg Cdr Balak Ram and Chief Engineer N.K. Sachdeva, apart from Colonel Machhral, called on Justice Ujagar Singh at his Chandigarh address (844, Sector 38-A) on August 15 to inquire into the matter. In his handwritten note Justice Ujagar Singh said: “I fail to see as to under whose orders it (notice) was published or who signed the requisition for publication. I have not issued any order.”

These depositors claimed that Justice Ujagar Singh also failed to show them any authority which had appointed him the chairman of the company. He also parried all questions they asked him. These included : Why was he returning the mail received at the GPO, New Delhi? Where was the office of Incan Mutual Benefits Ltd?

When The Tribune contacted Justice Ujagar Singh at his Noida address (phone no. 458504) his reply was that he did not have money to pay the depositors. He parried all other questions. He did not say who appointed him the chairman of the company. And he put the telephone receiver down.

Carrying liquidation orders of the company in their hands, the depositors do not know what they should they do?

Colonel Machhral says that they have already written to various authorities, including the Union Law Ministry, the Inspector-General of the Chandigarh police, the Union Finance Minister, the Prime Minister and the Deputy General Manager of the Reserve Bank of India. However, none of them has helped the poor depositors who have been duped of crores of rupees.


Prime accused withdraws statement
Liquor manufacturing unit case
Kiran Deep

Chandigarh, August 28
The city police had to face an embarrassing situation when the prime accused in the illicit liquor manufacturing unit case, Harinder Pal Singla, retracted from the confession made before police. The accused said before the magistrate that he had not made any statement during interrogation as the police officials had stated before the court.

The accused was produced before the UT Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mr C.L Mohal, this afternoon. The police had earlier pleaded before the Magistrate that the accused had confessed to his involvement in the case and that he had hid the consortium of liquor in various places.

The police also informed the court that the accused had stayed in various guest houses in Himachal Pradesh and Haryana during the time when he was reportedly absconding. The police also alleged that the accused was involved in smuggling of liquor to other states, after mixing it at his local unit.

Therefore, the police had today sought a five-day police remand on the pretext of recovering country made liquor and other documents from different places. The Magistrate turned down the police request for remand and instead sent the accused to 14-day judicial remand till September 11.

There are several things in the case which have not been solved yet and have put a question mark on the investigation carried out by the police. According to the police the accused and the owner of the factory, Harinder Pal Singla, a resident of Sector 34 is a nephew of one of the biggest liquor contractors in the city. He is also a sleeping partner in one of the liquor syndicates in the city.

The 2-kanal factory had been discovered accidentally in July, when a fire broke out there. The police found a large number of flammable substances like cartons, paper labels, plastic drums, besides ethyl alcohol. Premises is in the name of two proprietors of a famous sweet shop in Sector 17 and their wives and had been taken on rent. But the accused had filed an affidavit in the case that he had already sold the factory to a Ludhiana resident.

The police had claimed that the accused had stayed at various places but Singla claimed that he was not absconding but had met with an accident in the month of August and had been admitted to a hospital. He also claimed that his backbone and leg had been fractured in the accident.

The accused had surrendered before the court on August 22, more than a month after the city police registered a case against him. Later he was produced in the local court and had been remanded to police custody till August 28. 



Khalsa Raj glorified in light and sound
Project on life of Maharaja Ranjit Singh begins on Sept 1
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 28
Any attempt at capturing history is no less than a challenge. The same holds true for Sher-e-Punjab, the ambitious light and sound project on the life and achievements of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, which has been especially conceived to mark 500 years of history and evolution of the Sikh religion.

After a year of hectic involvement of 25 people who feature in the show and their director Harbax Latta, the novel light and sound programme is now ready to be screened in the City Beautiful. While the inaugural show of the project will be held at the Leisure Valley on September 1 (6.30 pm onwards), another special screening of the programme is being organised at the Parade Ground tomorrow by the Information and Public Relations Department, Punjab. This show, meant to be a part of the tercentenary celebrations of formation of the Khalsa, will be inaugurated by Punjab Governor, Lt-Gen (retd) J.F.R. Jacob, at 7.30 pm. The inaugural show in Leisure Valley will, however, be held on a vast scale.

The most important detail about the project, which has been jointly put together by story writer, Dr Harcharan Singh, and project director Harbax Latta, is that for the first time in the history of Punjabi programme productions, the character of Ranjit Singh will be played live. The director, in town for the inaugural show, informed The Tribune that the same was being done after due permission from the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC). Arjun Singh is playing the maharaja, who is the nodal point in the project.

It needs to be mentioned here that the entire project has funded by the Bank of Punjab, which is also sponsoring the screenings of the programme across 29 Indian cities. The special project, which reflects the greatness of the maharaja who was equally adored by Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs, will also be screened at the international level.

The programme spans the 40 years of the Khalsa Raj, laced with various sequences which bring out the statesman in the maharaja. Interestingly, Maharaja Ranjit Singh ruled a Muslim majority state. The thrust is on the depiction of the coronation ceremony of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, who conquered the Lahore throne in 1799 and later spread the boundaries of the Khalsa Raj from Satluj to Khyber Pass and from Tibet to Sindh.

Latta has used the various mediums of performing arts beautifully to glorify the Sikh traditions laid down by Sher-e-Punjab Maharaja Ranjit Singh. All relevant incidents in the life of Ranjit Singh have been portrayed by using 20,000 watts sound system, 20 feet by 18 feet video screen, 100 lights and 25 performing artistes. In all, five stages will be used to recreate the sequences featuring the Lahore Fort, the throne of Lahore, the Shahi Masjid and the Batala Fort.

The show will also be taken to Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chennai, Jaipur, Karnal, Amritsar, Patiala, Bhatinda, Ludhiana, and some other major cities of India. Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata will see two shows each. 


Youth killed while tampering with unused shell
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, August 28
A 25-year-old youth was killed here this afternoon on the Ghaggar river bed near Ambedkar Colony in Sector 21 while he was tampering with an unused shell.

According to the police, the deceased has been identified as Satish Kumar. He was trying to open the bomb by hitting it against a stone on the river bed. He was a resident of Rasoolpur village in Azamgarh district of Uttar Pradesh.

The police said Anup Kumar of the same colony who used to collect scrap metal and sell it to earn his livelihood found a bomb on the river bed in the afternoon. He approached a ragpicker Mewa Singh and sold him the explosive for Rs 15.

Meanwhile, residents of the same colony, Mewa Singh and some ragpickers of the colony tried to break the bomb but failed to do so.

A few minutes later, Satish Kumar came and expressed his willingness to break open the shell. He took it to the river bed and hit it repeatedly against stones. In the process the bomb exploded and he was killed.

A case has been registered under the Explosive Act and Section 304-A of the Indian Penal Code.

Mr Vikas Arora, ASP, said the police had contacted the Army authorities at Chandi Mandir about the “appearance” of the live bomb. He said the possibility of the bomb having been washed away by the Ghaggar from the Army firing range near Raipur Rani area could not be ruled out. It may be recalled that a child was killed in Bhoor village in a similar incident over two months ago. Following this, over 85 live bombs were recovered from surrounding villages. Another person had also lost his life in Old Panchkula in a similar fashion last year.


Damsels worried over geri route attendance
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 28
“Geri” route — meandering through the tender hearts of stony teenyboppers — may soon be “out of bounds” for passionate riders. At least during the college hours. As the university authorities have asked the colleges to install “no thoroughfare” board on the “highway-to-love” by directing them to increase the minimum attendance from 66 to 75 per cent.

Worried stiff about “geri” route turnout, pretty damsels are already scratching their peroxide blonde tresses in the coffee shops. Holding fast a plastic glass with fair beaded fingers, Zarish, a victim of “uncompassionate set-up”, mutters under her freshened breath, “What will we do now? What will we ever do? I wish someone could tell….”

Her query fetches no response as chum Chinar gazes at the creaky ceiling fan, throwing back the sultry monsoon air, with ocean-blue tinted eyes. If only she had a solution to the problem threatening to clip their omnipotent wings of freedom.

The blank wall opposite too does not offer any assistance. Somehow, it reminds her of the days that no more and will, perhaps, never comeback. Days when their almond-brown curls struggled to break free as they hunted high and low on the route for hours together on scooters and in jaunty jalopies. Or sipped steaming hot coffee on the Student Centre stairs in Panjab University after bunking History classes. It was “all very simple, and convenient then”.

“We, the students, used to attend the first, or the second, half on alternate days, ensuring 50 per cent attendance in the process. For the rest, we would request the instructors,” she asserts. “Otherwise also, we would make up for the shortage by the end of the session”.

Now the things are different. The circumstances warrant brainstorming sessions. Little wonder, pacing about the canteen alone with her disturbing thoughts, Chinar calculates loudly, “Seventy five per cent would mean attending classes for at least five days a week. Does that signify the end of matinee shows for us? And what about our weekly trip to the Sector 17 pubs saturated with smoke and sweet perfume? Will we be never able to go there, again? You see, we have to be home by 3.30 pm. Mom knows our classes are over by that time”.

While these two may still be contemplating, others are more aggressive. So many of them “hopped” on the double decker on Monday to raise a banner of protest as the bus trudged out of the university campus. Others are going on strike.

The outcome “of all this ruckus over attendance is still very vague”. The college authorities insist they are complying with the university directions. PU staffers say they are merely following a directive issued by the University Grants Commission. The students do not understand, are not expected to. All they know is that their liberty is at stake. And for their autonomy, besides the love for “geri” route, they are willing to sacrifice geography and chemistry lessons. May God be with them in examinations days. Amen. 


BJP-SAD for MC poll in October
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 28
The two proposals put forth by the Deputy Election Commissioner, Mr D.M. Khaneta, before the UT Administration for holding MC elections in October or November have evoked mixed reactions from various political parties in the city.

While the BJP-SAD alliance has supported the proposal of holding elections in October, the Congress and other parties are in favour of having the elections after Divali in November. The president of the local unit of the BJP and SAD, Mr Dharam Pal Gupta and Mr Gurpratap Singh Riar in a meeting held today favoured the holding of elections in October. They are of the view that the election process should be completed by the second week of October, otherwise would it clash with the peak festival season, thereby marring the festive spirit in the city.

They also touched upon the issue of division of seats between the two parties, but later decided to have another meeting shortly to decide the same. In the last elections, SAD was offered only three seats and this time also they are likely to be given only three or four seats.

However, Mr Riar says that they will ask for 10 seats and settle for at least eight seats. Mr Gupta said the discussions mainly revolved around the steps required to strengthen the alliance for the forthcoming elections.

Former Mayor and senior leader of the BJP, Mr Gian Chand Gupta, said the BJP is prepared for the elections at any given time. 


MCC poll notice soon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 28
The UT Administration is likely to issue a call-upon notice in a day or two for elections to the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh ( MCC), panchayat samitis and five vacant posts of panches. The notice will be issued by the UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen Mr J.F.R. Jacob (retd).

Even as the State Election Commission has sent proposals of the election schedule for the months of October and November, the date will be decided only after the issuance of this notice.

Giving this information, the Deputy Election Commissioner, Mr D.M Khaneta, specified that elections of the MC, panchayat samiti and panches will be held on the same day. Five posts of panches are lying vacant including three in Palsora village, one each in Dhanas and Raipur Khurd. While four of these had fallen vacant due to the death of representatives, one of them had resigned.

Mr Khaneta further said the draft list of polling stations will be issued by August 30, so as to enable the voters to see the same and file their claims and objections, if any, till September 6. These pertain to inclusion of a left out name of an eligible voter, deletion of wrong names and any other correction.

The final lists of polling stations will be displayed on September 10.

Meanwhile, eight returning officers, who are PCS/HCS cadres, have been appointed to take stock of the election preparations. They are required to personally visit the polling stations and scrutinise the claims and suggest modifications. The Assistant Returning Officers will be appointed only after the government sends in the list of officials, said Mr Khaneta.

Mr Khaneta said the election expenditure is going to exceed Rs 50 lakh, which was the amount spent last time. An initial grant of Rs 20 lakh has been received from the Administration for making the initial preparations, the balance amount will be sought as and when required. The expenditure observers would also be appointed to maintain a check on the candidates so that they do not exceed the limit specified for each of them.

The term of the present MC expires on December 22 and the new MC body will take charge the very next day.

The draw of lots for reserving the wards for women and SC men and woman were held under the supervision of State Election Commissioner, Mr S Malaichamy, on August 18. While seven of the total 20 wards were reserved for women including an SC woman, two others were reserved for SC men.



Mayor’s plea on power consumption
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 28
The Mayor, Mrs Harjinder Kaur, has in a letter written to the UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), drawn his attention towards the newly implemented regulations for drawing the minimum monthly charging of power, forcing the city residents to pay for the power not even being consumed by them.

She has also pointed out that more than 35 per cent of the sanctioned load is not being used at any given time in a normal house, hence it is not justified to burden the common man.

She is of the view that the Administration should charge the residents for the actual units consumed which would definitely help save power in a big way. Further, she said that on the one hand the Administration was urging the consumers to save power, on the other, with the implementation of this scheme at the rate of 35 per cent per KW regulations, it was forcing them to consume more power.

She also suggested that power pilferage by hundreds of migrants residing in colonies by putting kundis should be checked strictly and responsibility fixed on the heads of colonies to stop the same.

Ms Kaur appealed to the Governor that since Chandigarh was a union territory, such populist schemes should not be introduced on the pattern of Punjab. “Instead, we should introduce certain power saving incentives.” 


Cong flays hike in power charges
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 28
The local unit of the Congress has strongly condemned the anti-people decision of the Chandigarh Administration to hike the monthly minimum charges on basis of sanctioned power load, while demanding that the said instructions be withdrawn immediately.

“Let this not be another anti-people BJP gift to the citizens of Chandigarh, the president of the local unit, Mr B.B. Bahl, said. “The Chandigarh Administration’s decision to impose monthly minimum charges on the sanctioned load of electricity or on the actual consumption whichever is higher is not only demoralising but it is also anti-people who are being forced to make payment for something which they have not utilised”, he added.


New Mayor to make community centres lively
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 28
The new Mayor, Ms Harjinder Kaur, is all set to make the six newly opened community centres a hub of civic activity in the coming few days. The centres located in Sectors 46, 41, Maloya, Palsora, Mauli Jagran and Indira colony had only recently been thrown open to the public on the directions of the UT Administrator Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd) . Besides these, three centres vacated by the Kasmiri migrants in Sectors 20, 29 and 40 would also be opened for public use after renovation.

Ms Kaur when contacted said she along with the officials would visit these centres so as to involve the public in their day to day functioning. Even the Administrator has been keen that a facility which is meant for the public be made available to them. She said that keeping in view the constraint of funds, the MCC would run these centres for the first six months and the committee, which would be formed to execute the plans will be allowed to keep 75 per cent of the resources generated and the remaining would be deposited with the MC. The committee will also be asked to step up the membership drive in these areas.

Ruling out the possibility of her formally inaugurating them, she said the policy of the corporation would be followed. However, Ms Kaur said the area councillor and the MP, who have contributed funds for the construction and furnishing of these centres, would also be present during the visits. Further, since this city happens to be a city of educated people, we will try and organise one big programme every month with the help of members of the residents welfare society of the concerned area and other social workers. For instance, this being the women empowerment year, lot of programmes related to women awareness can be organised. “We will begin these programmes in the newly opened centres and gradually take the same to the other centres in the city,” she added.



Body deplores MC’s inefficiency
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 28
Mr Mehar Singh, president of the Social Welfare Society, today strongly criticised the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation for its alleged failure to provide even the basic essential services to its residents.

Talking to newspersons, he said not a single day passed without an electricity supply breakdown in one part of Sector 32 or the other. The worst affected was Sector 32-D. This caused a lot of inconvenience to the residents of this area. When the harassed residents approached the electricity staff, they not only failed to attend to the complaints but also behaved rudely with them.

Besides, internal roads in the sector were also in a deplorable condition. The roads were full of deep potholes.

He asked the corporation to pay immediate attention to the problems.



Chautala inaugurates grain market
Tribune News Service

Barwala (Panchkula), August 28
A rethink on the existing four-tier slab system of tubewell power consumption introduced by the former Chief Minister, Mr Bansi lal, would be initiated and suitably amended to meet the demand of the public, said Mr Om Prakash Chautala, Chief Minister of Haryana, at a public rally, here today, organised after the foundation laying ceremony of bridges at Rehor and Toka. These would reduce distance between Kot and Raipur Rani and Rehor and Raipur Rani.

Addressing to the problem of the farmers, Mr Chautala said he had been assured of an increase in the minimum support price of paddy by the Prime Minister and work on construction of godowns to stock paddy purchased from farmers was also underway.

Announcing the construction of a new building of the primary health centre and government college, he said the demand for a bus shelter would also be met in due course of time.

On improvement in power supply, Mr Chautala said the Union Government had approved a plan for setting up of 500 mw power projects in Hisar, Faridabad and Yamunanagar.

The Chief Minister spoke at length about the ambitious plan for tapping the tourist potential of Morni, setting up of vridh vishram grehs in villages, construction of bandhs and small dams to conserve rain water for drinking and irrigation and the sapling plantation drive undertaken in the state.

His government was committed to provide education to children in the age group of six to 14 years and under the new education policy, teaching of English and computer education would be made compulsory in schools, he added.

The Chief Minister was also presented with turbans and cash to the tune of Rs 80,000 from various panchayats of the area.

Others who spoke at the rally included the Agriculture Minister, Mr Jaswinder Singh Sandhu, Minister of State for Social Welfare, Mr Risal Singh, Chairman of the Haryana State Agricultural Marketing Board, Mr Balwant Singh Maina, and the INLD General Secretary, Mr Pradeep Chaudhary.

Earlier, Mr Chautala inaugurated the Barwala Grain Market constructed in over 21 acre of area at a cost of Rs 2.25 crore. The mandi would provide facilities of construction of 71 shops, market committee offices and general and individual platforms.



Mess in zoo rest house
Our Correspondent

Chhat Bir, August 28
The Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological Park authorities caught two couples in a compromising position in the zoo rest house here today.

Zoo sources said two turbaned youths and two women in their mid-20s had been indulging in the act after having drinks in the rest house. The couples allegedly entered the rest house by dropping the name of Mr Rajinder Singh, Managing Director of the Punjab Forest Corporation. Zoo employees Ajaib Singh and Mohan Singh allowed them to enter the rest house when Mr R.K. Luna, Director of the zoo, was in New Delhi for some official work.

The couples asked Mr Hari Ram, a cook, to prepare non-vegetarian food for lunch and began consuming liquor that they had brought from outside. When they were caught in a compromising position, the couples were drunk. They were caught after some employees of the zoo raised an alarm. The couples, later, fled from there.

Mr Rajinder Singh, Managing Director of the Punjab Forest Corporation, was not available for comments.

When contacted, Mr Luna said he would initiate an inquiry into the matter tomorrow and a strict action would be taken against the defaulting employees who had let the couples in.


Battle-cries that enthuse soldiers
Tribune News Service

One of the most inspiring elements for soldiers assaulting an enemy position, is perhaps, their battle-cry. From time immemorial men have charged the enemy with blood-curdling yells or fall-throated battle-cries.

“Bole So Nihal, Sat Sri Akal,” by Sikh troops, “Jat Balwan, Jai Bhagwan”, by the Jats, “Ayo Gorkhali”, by the Khukri wielding Gorkhas, “Hanumanji Ki Jai” by the Rajputs and “Bol Chhatrapati Shivaji Ki Jai” by the Marathas, are some of the battle-cries of Indian troops often heard in video footage of military activities or head in stories.

“The battle-cry is a powerful motivating factor and has a tremendous psychological effect on the troops, both friendly as well as the enemy,” says an infantry officer who led assaults in Kargil against Pakistani intruders. Not only does it enable the troops to overcome their own fears, but the blood curdling yells signify a high morale and invincibility and instil fear in the enemy.

Military literature reveals that in olden times, military commanders had their own conches, which they blew as a battle-cry at least three times — once at the commencement of the battle, then during the battle and finally, after victory. This, according to tradition, was to invoke the blessings of the Almighty or to offer gratitude.

While in the Indian context, the use of conches and horns was later restricted to religious services in temples or other rites and ceremonies, European armies continued the use of war trumpets along with battle-cries.

A perusal of related literature shows that a number or martial races in India worshiped deities such as Durga and Hanuman to invoke their blessings for victory in war. They believed that these deities would accompany them at the head of their armies and lead them to ultimate victory. The beliefs continued down the ages and even now, in the digital era, when a bayonet charge is made, the battle-cry rents the air.

“It is amazing how a battle-cry can motivate men to charge through a hail of bullets and assault enemy positions whatever the odds,” an officer said. A single man shouting a battle-cry has time and again motivated tired an demoralised men to rise and act, at times, beyond the call of duty. A battle-cry has, at many times, saved a critical situation and turned the tide of the battle against the enemy.



Award-winning home for kids
Tribune News Service

Bal Niketan, a home for destitute children in Sector 2, has earned the distinction of being the only institution in the region to be selected for the National Award for Child Welfare. And this is not the only reason for the management and the children to be happy about: The Government of India has approved a grant for the shishu greh which entails a number of services for the welfare of children in the 0-6 years age group.

“We can hardly believe our luck. After being chosen for the award, the news of the grant came like icing on the cake. We had been trying hard to secure this grant ever since Bal Niketan was established in 1996,” says Ms Madhu Sharma, its honorary secretary.

Securing the prize of Rs 2 lakh was no a cakewalk for the niketan, built brick by brick over the years. “What clinched the award for us must have been the happy faces of children that greeted the inspection team. Also, the non-institutional rehabilitation of the girl child, the increasing number of adoptions from our home and the fact that we do not send away the adolescents, are facts that weighed in our favour,” she added.

Ms Madhu Sharma said that the general impression was that the award usually went to those who had some political backing and say in the Human Resource Development Ministry. “However, our hard work has been recognised and that has made me dismiss all talk of ‘connections’ as rubbish,” she added.

Speaking about the grant of Rs 2 lakh for the shishu greh, Ms Sharma says it will give them a few extra hands at no additional cost. A social worker, a nurse, a watchman and a doctor’s visit to the niketan thrice a week are part of the package.

“This has initially come for a period of four months and will be extended after another inspection on the completion of the period,” she said.


Tipnis visits AF Station
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 28
Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal A .Y. Tipnis paid a brief visit to the Chandigarh Air Force Station today. He was accompanied by the president of the Air Force Wives Welfare Association, Mrs Molins Tipnis.

During his visit, the Air Chief went around the station and inspected various ongoing preparation works for the IAF forthcoming presidential review.

On his arrival here, the Air Chief was received by the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Air Command, Air Marshal V.K. Bhatia, Air Officers Commanding 12 Wing and 3 BRD, Air Cmde V. S.Govindarajan and Air Cmde Ambrish Kumar, respectively, besides senior officers of the station. He left for New Delhi later in the afternoon.


City taps may go dry today
Tribune News Service

Chandigrah, August 28
Residents of various sectors of the city may have to put up with inadequate water supply, that too, at low pressure tomorrow, following a leakage from a burst pipeline near the Kajauli water works today.

In a press note issued here today, Executive Engineer (Public Health) of Division 1, Mr R.C. Raina, urged residents of the city to use the water judiciously as the supply tomorrow would most likely be inadequate.

He said the repair work to plug the leakage had already begun and it would be over by tomorrow. The city that receives a supply of 64 million gallons per day may receive only 20 MGD tomorrow.



Commercial sites auction today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 28
A total of 39 commercial sites located in Sectors 48 and 38 will be auctioned tomorrow. The auction will be held in the Estate Office in Sector 17 at 11 a.m. and the reserve price of the sites will be announced there itself. Of the 39 sites, 30 sites are for spare parts dealers and nine are dhaba sites.



Financial assistance for disabled
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 28
City residents having 40 per cent or more disability and with an annual family income of Rs 80,000 or less in the rural areas and Rs 1,00,000 per annum in the urban areas can get a financial assistance on a very low rate of interest (5 to 10 per cent) for starting any business activity.

The assistance is being provided by the Chandigarh Child and Women Development Corporation. 


Naib Subedar Raj Pal cremated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 28
The mortal remains of Naib Subedar Raj Pal 20 Rajputa Rifles, who was killed during the counter-insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir, was cremated at his native village at Barwala, near here, this evening.

His body was brought by road from Jammu today.

Among those who paid floral tributes to the fallen soldier were the Chief Minister of Haryana, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, and representatives of Western Command and the district administration.



B. R. Dawra dead
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 28
B.R. Dawra, father of Mr S.S. Dawra, a senior IAS officer of the Punjab cadre, presently posed as Director, Enforcement, Government of India, New Delhi, died here last night after a brief illenss. He was 91. He is survived by four sons and two daughters. The body of B. R. Dawra was consigned to the flames here this afternoon.


CMO’s house burgled
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 28
Jewellery, cash and the other valuables worth thousands of rupees were stolen from the Sector 21-D residence of the Chief Medical Officer of the Haryana Vidyut Prasaran Nigam.

In an FIR registered under Sections 454 and 380 of the IPC, Mr Ravinder Chaddha, has said that burglars have decamped with Rs 5,000 cash and an expensive watch.

Reportedly, the burglars entered the house by breaking open the locks. When the daughter of the CMO returned home from college, she found the doors open, at which, she rushed to her neighbour’s house to call up her father and the police. In the meantime, the burglars, who had kept the back door of the house open, escaped through it. Sources said the burglars had also tried to break open the safe.



2 killed in accident
Our Correspondent

Amloh, August 28
On the statement of Mr Netar Singh, son of Mr Kehar Singh, resident of Machhrai Khurd village, the local police has registered a case against a tractor driver Harbans Singh, alias Kala of Bhari Panchan village, under Sections 279, 304-A and 427 of the IPC.

According to a police report, Sub Harbhajan Singh of Khanian village and Jasbir Singh, resident of Ward No. 5 in Amloh (both ex-servicemen) were going to Amloh when the tractor coming from the opposite side hit their scooter and killed both of them.

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