Thursday, August 30, 2001, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S



Three injured in clash on PU campus
SOPU-PUSU rivalry rears its ugly head
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
The dirty face of political rivalry between two student factions of Panjab University, PUSU and SOPU, came to the fore on the university campus tonight when as many as eight armed boys owing allegiance to PUSU allegedly attacked and injured three inmates of boy’s hostel No 5, who reportedly are members of SOPU.

Amid strong allegations and counter-allegations by members of the Panjab University Students Union (PUSU) and the Students Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU), the three injured boys, Amanpreet Singh Sandhu (former president, DAV College) Samandeep Singh (Law Department) and Manpreet Singh (Geography Department) were taken to the hospital. While one of them has fractured his arm and shoulder, the others have injuries on the head.

According to reports, the students were attacked when after their dinner in the mess they were going towards the library for a stroll. They were reportedly chased by eight PUSU members and supporters of PUSU President Malvinder Singh Kang. Santokvinder Singh Nabha, president, SOPU, told The Tribune: “Malvinder Singh Kang should be arrested or we will declare a strike in PU”. Kang, who was present on the spot, however, denied any involvement in the incident. Other students present on the spot added that Malvinder was one of the eight boys chasing Samandeep and Manpreet.

While the point whether the said incident has any political bearing remains to be proved, major chaos and confusion prevailed on the campus, which featured a heavy police presence in hostel No 5. Friends of the injured students informed that some personal issue led to the fight. However, they did not rule out the factor of political rivalry.

The quarrel reportedly began when Amanpreet was having dinner in the mess. Some students informed that there was a heated argument between Aman and some PUSU members in the mess. After that everything seemed to have fallen silent. However, when Aman, along with Samandeep and Manpreet, was going towards the library, eight boys (some of them from Patiala and reportedly guests of Malvinder Kang) attacked and injured two of them. Kang, however, said that they were not his guests.

Police officials, meanwhile, informed that they came to know about the incident at about 10.45 pm and rushed to the spot. The police, however, could not arrest any of the assaulters. They also sealed the gate to hostel No 5 for some time in between. Reports said that after the incident about 100 SOPU members tried to enter hostel No 5 but due to the presence of the police the situation was brought under control. The police will remain deployed on the campus all night.

However, major chaos and confusion prevailed on the campus following the incident and members of many student organisations were seen present on the spot.

Chand Singh, chairman, Haryana Students Association, said that such cases often came to light, especially when elections to the students council were round the corner. He said: “These are political stunts between PUSU and SOPU.”

Also present in the hostel at night were the chief security officer of the PU, the hostel warden, the Dean (Colleges) and many SOPU members.



Fun and freedom? But at what cost?
Kuljit Bains
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
Students are protesting in Chandigarh in a big way. And why? Because their fun is at stake. They have been asked by the UGC to attend 75 per cent of the classes held in the colleges and universities, instead of the 66 per cent norm earlier. They have united to protest against the “loss of freedom” they will be “subjected to.”

And what, may one ask, do they propose to do with this freedom they may succeed to ensure? Also, what have they ever done to earn this freedom, other than wear good clothes and get out of their homes on full bellies?

It may not be appropriate, but a sinful feeling wells up inside to give a tight one right across their faces to teach them a thing or two about the hard way the rest of us unfree slaves work so that we can pay taxes that enable them to sit under fans in the huge college canteens and plan “fun” to make the most of their freedom. This is the nation’s money they are squandering, if they please.

They’ll go to any length to protect their freedom, they say. It’s heartening to see the grit and determination. And when was the last time we saw any student protest against a national cause (apart from those led by 30-year-old political student leaders)? Maybe we are a blissful nation that has run out of causes or maybe our innocent students are not aware of them. Mandal did stir them a long time ago, but then that was their immediate and personal future at stake. It’ll be worth seeing if any newspaper clip can be found on even a meek statement from students on Kargil, or the slowing economy, the violation of human rights, curbing of democracy, subversion of secularism, or even, nearer to their hearts, against the inhuman beating of students in schools. Not one. Have they ever given a thought to what all their counterparts have done in Indonesia, North Korea, or China?

In contrast, one is amazed to see the exhilaration on their faces in newspaper photos and the oneness with which they have come out to protect their fun and freedom. The UGC requires classes to be held on at least 160 days in a year (which rarely happens), of which the students have now been asked to attend a mere 75 per cent, which means they have to attend college on 120 days a year, leaving 245 days of freedom! But that’s not enough for our free birds. They will break windowpanes and damage national property if not allowed another 15 days (9 per cent of 160) of paid freedom to loiter. They have no right to call themselves students, vidyarthis or talibs, they are anti-social and anti-national elements that have to be treated as such.

It is disheartening to see the Vice-Chancellor and the Administration trying to appease these elements. I am sure all tax-paying citizens will give them the full right to get these stone-throwers to their classes as they are obliged to us to study because we are paying for their highly subsidised education. The little fees that they do pay are also paid by their parents and not them, unlike the West where students first earn their education. In fact, why can’t these healthy and young beings attend 100 per cent classes when there is provision of leave for all legitimate reasons? Will any of these students get a certificate from their parents permitting them to go out of homes and not reach classes?

After the kind of education they are trying to give themselves, when they get no jobs what will they do? Hold more protests, maybe.


Parents back 75 pc attendance proposal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
There is a mixed reaction of students defending the University Grants Commission proposal of having a minimum of 75 per cent attendance in classrooms as eligibility for appearing in the annual examination of Panjab University and affiliated colleges and those speaking against it.

Parents, however, seemed to be unanimous in their approval of increasing the minimum attendance in classrooms to 75 per cent. A-cross section of them talking to The Tribune appreciated the UGC proposal of 75 per cent attendance and a minimum of 40 per cent in the condition tests.

Paramjot Lamba, a student of information technology, said that ‘there should be no rigid rule of 75 per cent attendance in classes’. A student is as bothered about the course contents as the teachers. Teachers have, however, to attempt innovations to make class more attractive.

Mrs Pushpa, mother of a BBA student, said that if students could attend above 90 per cent lectures in school, it should be no problem attending classes in colleges.

In the contemporary context, there was competition in all walks of life. More classes and greater marks in condition tests was a positive step.

Mandeep Singh, a commerce student, said that 66 per cent lectures were sufficient for the students to have a comfortable grip over the syllabus.

Both Mandeep Singh and Paramjot Lamba felt that agitation was no means of communicating the discomfort of the students. Interestingly, the UGC suggestions are yet to come up even for discussion in the university senate scheduled for September. It was bit of an over-reaction. Students feel that a memorandum should have been submitted to the university authorities. It could at best have been got signed by maximum number of students to show their discomfort.

Mrs Bhagwati Joshi, mother of a student of BFA I, said that children today faced a more competitive world. More classes were only beneficial to them. More classes and greater per cent needed in condition tests prepared them for the “final battle” during the final examination.

Harsh Vineet,a student of the GGDSD College, said that 75 per cent lectures was a very positive idea. This was an encouraging step in direction of having attendance in classrooms. Poor attendance was a matter of concern.

Harsh Vineet said that students needed to concentrate more on classroom work but this needed to be better complimented by the standard of teaching in classroom.

Mr K. L. Sharma, father of a student of B Com, said that more classroom attendance was in a way a check on students compelling them to attend classes. He said 40 per cent marks in the condition test was a small figure, taking into account the increased competitiveness in all fields.

Suhel Hukku, an M. Sc student, said that having 75 per cent lectures was a good idea. It was purely in the academic interests of the students and there was no need to react in such a strong manner. 


Mayor removes pictures of national heroes from office
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
The new city Mayor, Ms Harjinder Kaur, has got the photographs of all leaders put up in her office removed, except that of the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee. The removed photographs are those of Indira Gandhi, Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel and Dr B.R Ambedkar. These photographs had been put up by her predecessor, Mr Raj Kumar Goyal.

She intends to put up a framed couplet saying “Truth is higher, still higher is truthful living” and may even put up the picture of the Chief Minister of Punjab, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, it is learnt.

When contacted, she said that as a policy she does not favour the idea of too many photographs in the office. “Good intentions and deeds are all that matters.”

A former Mayor, Mr Gian Chand Gupta, criticised her this move and wondered as to what message she was trying to convey to the public by removing the pictures of the two national heroes, Dr B.R Ambedkar, who has written the Constitution and has been a champion of the cause of the downtrodden, and Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel, who had consolidated the fragmented India into a unified country.

These two pictures had been there in the Mayor's office since day one and she had tried to harm the image of these leaders in the eyes of the public by removing their pictures, he said.

Meanwhile, Ms Harjinder Kaur today criticised the call given by the BJP-SAD alliance for an early election to the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh.

She said that since the dissolution agenda passed by the BJP-SAD majority had failed, they were pressing for early elections.

While talking to the UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), at a function this morning, she said that early notification of the elections would also be detrimental to the public interest as all development works would once again come to a standstill.

She stressed that the present MCC should be allowed to complete its tenure and the elections could be held in the first week of December.

She said that she would also write to the State Election Commissioner, Mr S. Malaichamy, in this regard tomorrow.

The Congress leaders, who are prepared for elections any time, have also criticised the BJP-SAD's move for early elections. They are of the view that the elections should be held any time after Divali.



MCC fails to auction parking lot
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
The Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) today failed to auction the parking lot opposite the District Courts in Sector 17 since it failed to fetch a good bid.

According to official sources, the reserve price of the site was Rs 2.20 lakh but all the nine bidders who had applied for the same had got together to ensure that the auction bid did not go higher than Rs 2.22 lakh. The earnest money of Rs 25,000 deposited by each of them was also returned. The auction was held on the premises of the MC building.

The MCC had got the highest bid of Rs 4 lakh for this site against the reserve price of Rs 2.20 lakh during the earlier auction in April. The lease period of the site had expired on March 28 and it was auctioned for a period of one year.

However, the MCC had only a month back cancelled the licence granted to a private contractor for running the parking area in front of the Sector 17 District Courts on account of default of payment of instalments.

The parking lot is being managed by the MCC through its staff since then. 



Satwant Gill ran currency racket
Our Correspondent

Ropar, August 29
The murder case of Satwant Singh Gill of Gill Estate, Kansal, near Chandigarh, has opened the Pandora’s box with a currency racket coming to light.

The SSP, Ropar, Mr G.P.S. Bhullar, while talking to mediapersons today said during investigation in the Gill murder case it was found that he was the kingpin of a gang involved in duping people through currency racket.

The SSP said the modus operandi of the gang was that it used to entice the people who wanted to make easy money by offering to quadruple their money through fake currency. The gang members used to tell people that if they gave them original currency, they would be given four times the fake currency notes, which were allegedly as good as originals. He said the victims were given some original currency notes by telling them to be fake, for testing in the market to win their confidence. The gang duped various persons of the area into paying it Rs 70 lakh.

He said when people used to pay them lakhs of rupees in original currency Satwant Gill and his gang members took them to the Nepal border in Bihar where they were shown the fake currency. After crossing the border, the gang in connivance with some officials used to fake an arrest of one of their men along with the currency. The victims were threatened that if they revealed anything about the incident to someone they would be booked under fake currency case.

Pawan Kumar of Jagraon, Paramjit Singh, alias Kaku of Chandigarh, Balbir Singh of Chandigarh, Rajinder of Mohali, Arvind, Mustfa, Prakash, Ranji Lal and Udhay were the accomplices of Satwant Gill in this racket, the SSP said.

On being asked about the allegation of Ravinder Singh Gill, the son of Satwant Gill, who has been accused of the murder of his father, that the police pressurised him into confession, the SSP said the accused had changed his statement after advice from lawyers. There was enough circumstantial evidences in the case to prove the involvement of Ravinder Gill in the case. It was on his guidance that the police recovered the weapons used in murder from Chandigarh. Moreover, all eyewitnesses in the case also indicated his involvement in the case, the SSP added.



Punjab’s tribute to the Maharaja
Sher-e-Punjab Maharaja Ranjit SinghTribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
It was a show of Sikh strength and power put together in the medium of light and sound. The 1980 production of Punjab Public Relations Department’s Sher-e-Punjab: Maharaja Ranjit Singh, staged here today at Parade Grounds, was as a befitting tribute to the king who not only earned the reputation of a perfect warrior but also made his mark as a philanthropist.

The production was rechristened and presented today after a long break. But the show was timely, as it has been especially prepared to celebrate 200 years of coronation of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The production, which captures the very essence of Punjab and Punjabiyat, is part of the series of programmes being organised by the Punjab PR Department which will hold the concluding function in Amritsar on November 13. The day also marks the birth anniversary of Maharaja Ranjit Singh who embodied the true spirit of the land.

The evening began with speeches by visiting dignitaries. Paying tributes to the maharaja, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal informed the gathering that the government was installing three sculptures of Maharaja Ranjit Singh : one in front of the Parliament House, one in Ropar and another at the site of Ranjit Sagar Dam. He also talked about the replica of the Maharaja’s throne, which is yet to be brought to Amritsar. He added: “The replica will be part of the Maharaja Ranjit Singh Museum in Amritsar. The programmes in this series will culminate in Amritsar on November 13 where the Prime Minister will also be present.”

The Punjab Governor Lt-Gen JFR Jacob, in his speech, said that Maharaja Ranjit Singh set a shining example of communal harmony and brotherhood in contrast to the approach adopted by Mughal rulers. He said that maharajas rule was a true secular republic, wherein most of the cabinet members were Hindus selected purely on merit. He also lauded the maharaja for his role as a warrior. “He was the first Indian war strategist who used to plan and execute his campaigns with proper operational and logistic planning. He laid emphasis on training of his soldiers and was also the first maharaja who recruited European generals to train his army. The Governor added: “He was the only Indian ruler who thought of having a fully paid professional regular Army and because of this professional training his army defeated the pathans and Afghans and extended the Sikh rule right up to the Khyber pass.” Haryana Chief Minister Mr Om Prakash Chautala was also present at the function. He said, “The communities which cannot value their heroes are bound to perish. Such programmes should be held more often.”

The theme was brought to life with the help of 11 sets arranged adjacent to one another in the Sector 17 Parade Grounds. Although the show started a little late, it did a fair amount of justice to the issue being handled. Characters portrayed the sequences which changed the course of Sikh history, as also the history of India: dominance of the Shukarchari misl in Punjab, the birth of Ranjit Singh, son of Sardar Maha Singh of Shukarchari misl, the establishment of peace in the region, the marriage of Sada Kaur’s daughter with Ranjit Singh and the final accession of Lahore after Shah Zaman’s defeat.

About 100 artists and technicians worked together to put the project together. While the original story is by principal S.S. Anmol, the final script was done by Sardar Bhag Singh. The direction was by Ripudanam SIngh, who was further assisted by Gurdial Singh in the light and sound programme.


Neerja Bhanot Award for TN Dalit
A. S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
Yasoda, a poor, illiterate but exceptionally heroic Dalit of Beemanthope village in Tiruvallore district of Tamil Nadu, will be the recipient of the prestigious Neerja Bhanot Award 2001. The award goes to an Indian woman who is subjected to social injustice, on counts such as dowry, desertion etc, faces the situation with guts and grit and makes a success of life by assisting other women in distress on account of social injustice.

Yasoda will get Rs 1,50,000, a trophy and a citation. The awardee was decided by a specially constituted jury comprising Mr Derick B. D’Sa, Editor of The Indian Express, Chandigarh; Mr R.D. Singh, a well-known educationist; and Mr Ranjan Lakhanpal, a reputed advocate.

The award is given annually in memory of the young and brave airhostess, Neerja Bhanot, who gave up her life while saving the lives of hundreds of passengers on board a Pan Am aircraft, hijacked at Karachi Airport in 1986. Neerja is the only woman recipient of India’s highest civilian award for bravery — the Ashoka Chakra.

Fortythree-year-old Yasoda is a leader of the Rural Women’s Front, which has been working for the integrated development of women for the past 16 years in 60 villages in Tiruvallore district. The life of Yasoda has been a consistent and continuos struggle for the eradication of illicit liquor, rampant in the area. In spite of being illiterate and a widow, she had almost succeeded in wiping out the menace of illicit liquor, to the happiness of the rural women. In fact, in 1997, the Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Chengelpet division, presented an award to her organisation for preventing illicit liquor brewing in the area.

However, December 6, 2000, dawned as a black day for Yasoda and her family. Hearing that illicit liquor was again flowing freely in the vicinity of Beemanthope, Yasoda and her group of women marched to the den and started destroying the concealed illicit liquor cans and pots. At this juncture, the goons of the liquor barons swooped down on them. Yasoda’s only child, Indra (20-year-old daughter), was hacked to death on the spot and the head of Yasoda’s 55-year-old elder sister was smashed by a boulder. She met with instant death. From an atmosphere of festivity, as Indra’s marriage was just days ahead, Yasoda was enveloped in a pall of gloom and despair, with the brutal murders of her daughter and her elder sister.

However, even today, Yasoda is a picture of courage and fortitude. She is determined all the more to continue her struggle in the service of the poor rural women. She, along with like-minded individuals and institutions, is mobilising funds to institute an award, the Indra Ratan Award, to be given to women for their meritorious service in the field of development.

The Neerja Bhanot Award will be presented to Mrs Yasoda by Mrs Neeru Nanda, Adviser to the Administrator, Chandigarh, at a special ceremony on September 6 in Chandigarh.



Declining sex ratio discussed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
While a few religious leaders have a commendable role in fighting the menace of female foeticide, some others in the fraternity have played an equally deplorable part in perpetuating this evil by exploiting sentiments of people and advocating religious customs and traditions for having a male child. These were the views expressed by the well-known social activist, Swami Agnivesh, while delivering his keynote address during the two-day workshop on Declining sex ratio which began in Panjab University today.

The workshop, “Declining sex ratio — the task ahead” organised by the National Commission for Women (NCW) and Centre for Women’s Studies and Development, was inaugurated by the Adviser to the UT Administrator, Ms Neeru Nanda. Ms Nanda also expressed her concern over the declining male: female sex ratio and increasing number of cases of female foeticide and infanticide in the country.

The major thrust of the discussions was the dismal sex ratio, especially in the states of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh. Panel discussions included socio-cultural, legal and medical implications of female foeticide. Some other critical issues like role of civil society and other interventional strategies to put a check on the ugly practice of killing the unborn girl child were also discussed.

Speaking on the occasion, the Deputy Director, Census Operation, Punjab, Dr Madhu Shyam, said discrepancies in sex ratio in various parts of the state were noted. “Bigger the size of the town, lower is the sex ratio,” he added.

Dr Shyam also expressed his concern over prejudice against a female child even in literate cities like Chandigarh and stressed over the need for creating social awareness against this evil.

The Principal Secretary, State Human Rights Commission (SHRC), Mr Bhatnagar, said that the SHRC has adopted one district in Malwa, Majha and Doaba regions of Punjab for a more intensive study on this issue. “After the survey is completed the commission will constitute and implement an action plan to deal with the issue of female foeticide which will also involve government and non government agencies,” he said.

Other participants also stressed upon educating the society to ensure equality between men and women. The Chairperson, NCW, Ms Vibha Parthasarthy, was the chief guest of the workshop which was attended by over 100 delegates.



Mayor’s public meeting programme
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
City Mayor Harjinder Kaur started her first public meeting programme by paying a visit to the Sector 37-C market today. She listened to listen to the people’s problems and assured them an early redress of the same.

When contacted Ms Kaur said that the programme would be a routine feature and will help her to assess the work which the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) was doing at the ground level in various parts of the city. She has appealed to the welfare associations of various sectors to come forward and apprise her of the problems so that these could be taken up at the earliest.

Members of the Market Welfare Association of Sector 37-C talked at length about the problems of the market. The president of the association, Mr Rohit Sood Bambi, told her about the parking problems and urged her to arrange for widening the area by reducing the pavement space. Ms Kaur said that the MCC, which had been laying more stress on the carpeting of the V-6 roads, would now focus more on the parking areas since most of them were in bad shape. In fact, officials would also be asked to look into the newly developing parking areas under their charge in the public interest.

The members also sought repair of the hand pump which had not been working for the past six months as water of the pump was used for drinking purposes. The operation and maintenance of streetlights was also sought as most of the streetlights continued to be non-functional.

They also requested her to get the road in the back lanes of SCO 151 to 184 repaired properly.


Water shortage hits residents
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
While officials of the Public Health wing of the Municipal Corporation claimed that the water supply to various parts of the city was normal today, residents in certain southern sectors had to bear with inadequate water supply and low water pressure, particularly those living on top floors.

The supply was partially affected following a leakage in one of the main supply lines from Kajauli water works since yesterday. Those residing in Sectors 23,24, 38, 40, 41, 42, 43, 46 and 47 did face some problems, though in the other parts the supply was normal since stored up water was used to meet the shortfall. While the southern sectors did not get adequate evening supply and in some cases pressure decreased after 7 pm, most of the northern sectors had adequate water pressure during morning and evening supply.

The Superintendent Engineer (Public Health), Mr Swaran Singh, who was supervising the repair of the leakage at Kajauli, said that a hairline crack had caused the leakage in the MS pipeline and it was likely to be repaired by tonight. He said that the water supply was normal today and would further improve once the normal supply would be restored by tomorrow. The workers were already on the job since yesterday but water pressure in the pipeline was making things difficult. However, it would be set right by tonight.

The Kajauli water works supply 60 MGD of water to the city and SAS Nagar and each pipeline supplies about 20 MGD of water.

Since more than enough water was in the reserve, the supply was normal. However, standby arrangements of tankers had been made, he added. 



Signboards to dot city roads
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
The Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh ( MCC) has decided to set up road signs on all busy roads, in various parts of the city. A decision to implement the resolution, passed by the MC House, was taken by the Mayor, Ms Harjinder Kaur, today.

When contacted, the Mayor said that she had asked the Chief Engineer, Mr Manmohanjit Singh, to work out the modalities of installing the road signs in the accident-prone areas, keeping in view the increasing in population and the number of vehicles on city roads.

The road signs to be put up will be selected from a list showing mandatory signs( U-turn prohibited, give way, horn prohibited) ; informatory signs (pedestrian crossing, petrol pump, first aid box); cautionary signs (roundabout, dividers or gap in median, guarded railway crossing); road markings and reflectors.

She has also asked him to start the process in parts as it was not possible to cover all major roads in one go. To begin with, these signs will be put up on all major outer V-3 and V-4 roads. The roads where these will be put up will be identified shortly. Later, the same will be put up on the other roads also. She said that she would also talk to the officials in the Administration to get the same implemented shortly.

Mr Singh said that they had already put up some road signs and the others would also be put up in due course of time.

It has been observed that traffic jams , considered a remote possibility about five years ago, are now a common occurrence at a number of junctions in the city. The problem areas are Housing Board light point, Railway light point, Transport light point, Press chowk, Sector 17- 18 light point, Aroma light point, Cricket Stadium chowk, Sector 22- 35 chowk etc. The installation of road signs will help regulate traffic and thus check accidents.

It is learnt that around six lakh vehicles are registered in the city with the State Transport Authority. Sources maintain that on an average around 2000 vehicles are registered each month. As many as 50,000 to 55, 000 vehicles from the satellite townships of Panchkula and Mohali, and the neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana, also ply on the city roads each day.



Morni to get facelift for tourists
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, August 29
The Haryana Government has decided to develop Morni Hills and its surrounding areas into a magnificent tourist spot. For this purpose, water games at Tikar Tal and Chamla will be introduced soon.

Mr Om Prakash Chautala, Haryana Chief Minister, announced this at a meeting with senior government officials after his visit to the area today. He said a dam would be constructed at Chamla to develop a water feature there. He asked various officials to speed up the development work in this area.

The CM said a bridge over the Ghaggar near Thapli village would also be constructed at a cost of Rs 2.5 crore. He said this bridge would connect Morni Hills with the Pinjore-Shimla national highway.

Mr Chautala said that the hills and the ‘tals’ would be connected to make the area attractive, generate electricity and have water for irrigation. He directed the Forest Department to plant saplings of ‘kher’ around Tikar Tal to check soil erosion.

The CM said a helipad and a restaurant should also be developed in the area, besides wind-mills for energy generation. Mr Chautala directed the Commissioner of Ambala Division, Mr Maha Singh, to call a meeting of officials concerned to act on the action plan. He announced a grant of Rs 35 lakh for the construction of a road between Tikar Tal and Barara. He directed the Haryana Public Works (Buildings and Roads) to repair the road between Morni and Tikar Tal and straighten it out.



Dharna by farm technocrats
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
On a call given by the Agricultural Technocrats Action Committee of Punjab, agricultural technocrats, horticulture soil conservation and animal husbandry departments today held a massive dharna at Matka Chowk in support of their demands.

The demands included cancellation of anti-technocrat notification, restoration of pay parity and withdrawal of false cases framed by the Vigilance Department against agricultural technocrats on the pretext of fertiliser verification, as was promised by the Chief Minister and the Agriculture Minister.

Addressing the rally, Dr Satnam Singh, general secretary of the committee, Dr Chaman Lal Vashisht, general secretary of the Plant Doctors Services Association, Dr Hazara Singh Cheema , general secretary of the Punjab Animal Husbandry Officers Association, and Dr Nagendev Singh Bedi of the Soil Conservation Officers Association said the previous governments granted them professional pay parity with other technocrats keeping in view their professional and specialised technical qualification.

A press note issued by the ATAC said the government had accepted their just demands after a decisive struggle of 791 days. Their leaders criticised the pro-farmer government which, in spite of restoring the professional pay parity further lowered the pay scales and status. The press note said the agricultural technocrats said their struggle would continue till their demands were accepted. 



Deposit fee for new vehicle numbers
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 29
City residents, desirous of obtaining special registration numbers on payment in series CH - 03 - F for their vehicles, should deposit the prescribed fee, in the office of In Charge, Registering and Licensing Authority, Sector 17.

The new series is going to start in September, a spokesperson of the Chandigarh Administration said here today.


Road in bad condition
Our Correspondent

Kharar, August 29
A portion of the Kharar-Bassi Pathana road, measuring about 1000 feet, just opposite Govt High School in Sacrulapur village, is in very bad condition and about two feet of water always gets accumulated on this portion, resulting in a lot of inconvenience for the students, teachers and residents of dozens of villages.

Villagers told this correspondent that the position had been the same for the past about 10 years, but no steps had been taken so far to repair the road. They said that residents of about 20 to 30 villages daily cross this portion.

The residents have urged the PWD, Punjab, to immediately look into the matter and order the repair of the road.


Charges framed against 2
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 29
A local court framed charges of attempt to murder against the two accused, Billu Ram and Mukesh Mittal, on the complaint filed against them by a former city Mayor and senior leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Mr Gian Chand Gupta.

The Additional Sessions Judge, Mr Lakhbir Singh, said in his order that there are grounds to presume the existence of the offences under Section 120-B of the IPC against both the accused, Section 307 of the IPC against Billu Ram, Section 307 read with section 120-B of the IPC against Mukesh Mittal and Sections 341 and 353 of the IPC against Billu Ram.

As per the order, facts of the case are that Mr Gupta was an accused in a complaint registered against him under Sections 147, 149, 353, 323, 332 and 379 of the IPC at Mani Majra police station. He was arrested and was produced in the court of the UT Judicial Magistrate on July 9, 1997. He was brought outside the courtroom of the Magistrate with the remand request of sub-inspector of Mani Majra police station. The Deputy Superintendent of Police, Mr Subhas Sagar, the SHO, Mr Vijay Kumar, and other police officials and several other senior members of the Bharatiya Janata Party were also present there.

The accused Billu Ram came there and put a garland of chappals around Mr Gupta’s neck. It was alleged that the accused had pulled the string of the garland to kill Mr Gupta. Mr Gupta became alert and put off the garland. In this manner an attempt to murder was foiled by Mr Gupta.

It was alleged that Billu Ram did this act in conspiracy with the other accused, Mukesh Mittal, an advocate.


4 booked for kidnapping man
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
Four persons have been booked on charges of kidnapping a resident of Maloya after the latter failed to pay back the money he had received from the accused.

According to an FIR registered under Sections 365, 382 and 34 of the IPC, it is alleged Nagar Singh, Jasbir Singh, Bhinde Ram and Hans Raj, all residents of Jhujar Nagar, had abducted Mr Mohinder Dass. The latter was going in his car ( CH-01H- 0072) at the time of the incident.

The accused took Mr Dass to their village, Jhujar Nagar, and confined him to a room. Later, the police rescued the man and all four persons were arrested. The police has also recovered the car. It was later found that the victim had been given money by the accused for sending one of them abroad. The victim had failed to send the person abroad and had refused to pay their money back.

Three cases of theft: Three cases of vehicle theft have been reported from different parts of the city during the past 24 hours. Mr Sunil Bansal’s Maruti car (CH-01L-2543) was stolen from the KC parking in Sector 17. Another car (HP-20-0011) was stolen from outside the Sector 21 residence of Ms Kushla during the night intervening August 27 and 28.

In another case of theft, a scooter (CH-01J- 3790) was stolen during the intervening night of August 27 and 28 from outside the Sector 45-C residence of Mr Charanjit Singh.

Dowry case
Ms Shalu, a resident of Sector 21, has accused her husband, Rajiv Sachchar and in-laws of harassing her for bringing insufficient dowry at the time of marriage. A case under Section 406 and 498- A of the IPC has been registered.

Two arrested
Two persons Amrit Pal of Hoshiarpur and Manish Kumar of Indira Colony in Old Panchkula, have been arrested by the Panchkula police in a scooter theft case. According to the police, the accused had stolen at Kinetic Honda scooter from Sector 7 a few months ago.

Woman sit on dharna
SAS Nagar
A high drama was enacted in a locality of Phase II here when a woman sat in a dharna in front of her in-laws house here this evening. The woman, Gurinder Kaur, married to Varinder Pal Singh about 16 years ago, had allegedly left the house of her husband after he developed extra-marital relationship with another women. The woman has three children from the marriage. The woman who was living in a gurdwara at Amritsar was brought to the in-laws house by her brothers. The in-laws said the woman along with her husband had left their house eight months ago. The woman insisted that she be accepted back in the house. The boy was, however, absconding.


Trader alleges new Esteem faulty
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
Mr Sushil Goyal, a partner in Goyal Brothers, 11 MW Industrial Area-I, Chandigarh, today said that he had purchased a Maruti Esteem (Euro-II) on May 14 from Pasco Automobiles. He alleged the engine of this vehicle had some manufacturing defects. The car was emitting heavy black smoke (occasionally), had gear-level problem (reverse gear not working some times) and power windows and center locking system were also giving problems to him right from day one.

In a letter to Chandigarh Tribune, he wrote that the vehicle was shown Pasco Automobiles many times during the past two months. Every time the company claimed that the faults had been removed. Only three days back he said the whole engine was dismantled to rectify the problem. Unfortunately the vehicle continued to give trouble.

Chandigarh Tribune, when contacted Mr Sanjay Passi, Managing Director of Pasco Automobiles today and showed him the complaint, he replied was that he had come from Delhi only this morning and his general manager might be knowing about the problem. The general manager, however, was not available for comments.


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