Sunday, October 21, 2001, Chandigarh, India

 

C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

 

 

Hospital put on alert
Vijay Mohan

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 20
Following reports of bio-terrorism affecting the global mail system, the Western Command Hospital at Chandimandir has been put on the alert to deal with any exigency, particularly cases of anthrax.

Sources say the hospital has procured additional stocks of Ciprofloxacin, the drug required to treat anthrax, from civilian suppliers in the past few days. These stocks are in addition to those being made available to military hospitals centrally from the Armed Forces Medical Supply Depot as per stipulated norms.

Stating that the hospital is authorised local purchase of drugs and equipment to meet any emergency, an officer adds that besides anthrax, the drug can also be used to deal with certain other forms of biological warfare. Presently, the Command Hospital here is equipped to handle “a large number of biological warfare casualties” and has a wide spectrum of drugs readily available for the purpose.

The hospital’s infection control team and disaster management team as well as the Station Health Officer are said to be on the standby. Sources add that in case of any exigency breaking out which would require investigations at the concerned site, the Medical Quick Reaction Teams, recently established to deal with the fallout of nuclear, chemical and biological warfare, could also be mobilised. The teams would include pathologists and medical specialists.

Treatment of biological or chemical warfare casualties would require the availability of an isolation ward capable of handling infectious diseases in additional to nomination of a segregated medical staff.

While disaster management plans for various situations exist in the hospital, sources say that these are being reviewed. A core team of medical experts is in place to constantly workout modalities. Policy memorandums in this regard from the Director-General Armed Forces Medical Services are circulated to medical establishments regularly.

While there is a general alert over the anthrax scare, hospital sources say that so far there is no move to hold joint consultations or training programme with any civilian organisations or medical institutions.

Meanwhile, medical experts reveal that a large number of Indians may be immune to low level biological warfare than their counterparts in the West. The reason for this sources say, is that given the low regard to hygiene and cleanliness, average Indians routinely get exposed to low doses of infection, which over a period of time results in a high degree of immunity.

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Four get judicial remand in rape case
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 20
A local politician, Sweetie Bajaj, and three others accused in a rape case, were sent to judicial remand by a local court today. The four accused — Sweetie Bajaj, Sangeeta Gupta, Kuldeep Dhaia and Avtar Singh Tari — were produced in the court of the UT Judicial Magistrate (First Class), Mr S.S. Bhartwaj, this afternoon. The Magistrate remanded the accused in judicial custody till October 29.

The Magistrate also issued a notice for October 22 on a plea moved by the accused to provide B-class facility in the Model Burail Jail. One of the accused, Sweetie Bajaj, had appeared before the UT Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mr C.L. Mohal, in another case of criminal intimidation registered against him by a Hindi daily reporter.

Sources informed that an application filed by Avtar Singh Tari for medical examination had been accepted by the jail authorities. The accused would be sent for medical examination to General Hospital, Sector 16, on Monday.

The four accused had been arrested by the city police after the victim had given a statement under Section 164 of the CrPC before the court. The police registered a case under Sections 366-A, 368, 506 and 120-B of the IPC against Sangeeta Gupta on October 3 on the complainant of the victim’s mother. Subsequent to the statement of the girl before the Magistrate today, the accused were booked under Section 376 of the IPC. The victim was sent for medical examination on October 5.

The complainant had alleged that her minor girl was abducted by her friend Shweta and the latter’s mother Sangeeta Gupta, to be handed over to a local politician and his two hotelier friends on the pretext of taking her to a birthday party.

The victim was physically exploited for over five days before she made a dramatic escape from her abductors.

At that time, the victim was alone at her house in Sector 35. Her mother was off to Ludhiana for work, while her father was residing in Ludhiana. It was alleged that the victim was raped by the accused on the night of September 29.

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61-yr-old dies at District Courts
Kiran Deep

Chandigarh, October 20
A 61-year-old litigant lost his life today, allegedly due to lack of medical facility and non-provision of lift facility in the new building of the District Courts. A resident of Panchkula, Som Nath, appeared in the court of the Judicial Magistrate (First Class), this afternoon to attend his case.

Later he developed pain in his chest and was taken to the hospital, where the deceased was declared dead. Two persons had earlier died on the District Courts premises. On July 21, Joginder Singh, a litigant, reportedly had a massive heart attack on the fourth floor of the District Courts. He was rushed to hospital for medical care.

The death of the litigant caused resentment among advocates and litigants. They complained that many litigants and advocates had been facing inconvenience due to lack of dispensary and lift in the court.

They complained that despite a number of requests, the Administration had failed to take note of the serious problem being faced by the advocates. The lawyers pointed out that there was no arrangement for the aged, who had to struggle to climb up stairs to reach the third and fourth floors of the court to attend their hearing.

There two building blocks, old and new, consisting of 19 courts — the court. These include the court of the UT District and Sessions Judge, three courts of Additional Sessions Judges, one of Chief Judicial Magistrate, one of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, one court of the CBI Special Judge and 12 courts of Judicial Magistrates (First Class). Out of the 19 courts, there are three courts of UT Judicial Magistrates on the fourth floor of the new block, where every person has to climb up 84 stairs to attend their cases.

The president of the District Bar Association, Mr H.S. Hundal, when contacted, said the Administration should consider the problem seriously. He informed that on the request of the Bar, Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, MP, had granted Rs 10 lakh and letter had been forward to the UT Deputy Commissioner.

The general secretary of the Lawyers for Human Rights International, Mr Arunjeev Singh Walia, complained that hundreds of daily visitors had been facing a lot of inconvenience as they had to climb up 84 stairs to attend their cases at the new court building. Mr Walia complained that despite a letter having been sent to the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court for the provision of dispensary and lift for the new building block, Administration had failed to taken any action in this regard.

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Disappointment at Lok Adalat
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 20
It was a day of disappointment for the people who had converged on the district courts here for the Lok Adalat. A number of cases could not be taken up due to the inability of the District Legal Services Authority to call the parties involved for the Lok Adalat.

According to information available, a number of people whose accident claim cases against the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) were listed for this Lok Adalat could not be taken up because officials of the CTU were not present.

A former Principal of Government College, Dhaliara , whose accident claim case had been listed in the Lok Adalat after three years, was left high and dry as there was no representation from the CTU till 1 pm.

A number of people alleged that even at the pre-Lok Adalat, lawyers whose cases were listed had not been called. As a result, a compromise could not be reached at between the litigants.

Said a school teacher from Surajpur, whose divorce case was listed for today, “My lawyer had not been called on the pre-Lok Adalat held from October 7 to 10. As a result, we were taken aback when the lawyer representing the opposite party presented their terms for a compromise. We were not prepared and so no settlement could be reached,” she said.

Many people present felt that since no Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court was present in the Lok Adalat today, the work was lacklustre. No doctor was present in the Lok Adalat, which was required in case of accident claim settlements.

The administration maintained that the Lok Adalat was a success. It said around 400 cases were settled in today’s Lok Adalat. These cases dealt with accident claims, summary cases and cases under the Marriage Act, the Shop Act and the Factory Act.

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Awaiting sanction, luxury buses ply illegally
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 20
Despite being the need of the hour, a scheme to allow private luxury buses to operate from the city has been caught in the bureaucratic red tape. Presently, the project which was okayed 10 months ago at the highest level, awaits a formal notification, while the file shuttles between various officials.

Interestingly, such buses continue to ply illegally under the alleged patronage of the transport department. It was agreed by the Chandigarh Administration to allow private operators to start luxury air conditioned buses from the Inter-State Bus Terminus (ISBT) for selected destinations in Punjab on a reciprocal basis. Later, a draft notification was issued and objections invited against it.

A committee comprising the Joint Secretary Home and the Secretary, State Transport Authority (STA), has already invited objections to the scheme and these have been studied and incorporated in the main scheme. Inviting of objections is an important part in any decision by the government.

After inviting objections the Administration should have notified the scheme but it did not. Talking in confidence, senior officials admit that the demand for luxury buses is rising as people are getting used to the comforts of Shatabdi trains and luxury cars. And in any case, it makes no sense for the government to invest heavily on such routes, thus private operators should be allowed in a controlled manner, they said.

At present, reportedly about 50 luxury buses illegally commute to and from the city. Recently, some transport officials were nabbed by the CBI allegedly for taking bribes to allow these buses to run.

A source pointed out that the file of the case was being studied to see if these buses would cause any traffic problems. Transport authorities in Punjab have been pressing for the scheme for the past two years, which will allow private air conditioned buses having route permits from Punjab to enter Chandigarh legally. Presently, the buses either terminate in the neighbouring S.A.S. Nagar from where passengers are ferried in jeeps to destinations in Chandigarh or Panchkula.

This not only results in evasion of passenger tax but also adds to inconvenience for travellers. The Chandigarh Administration had decided to allow the private buses to operate either from the ISBT or another fixed destination with all the legal trappings. This would have included an insurance cover for passengers, proper seat numbers, fixed arrival and departure timings for destinations.

It may be mentioned that the issue of private luxury buses in Chandigarh had resulted in major row between the Administration and the bus operators. The Administration ordered the impounding of private buses operating from the city. This triggered off a reaction from Punjab authorities who impounded Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) buses. Punjab has issued route permits for operations till Chandigarh which was contested by the Administration saying that Punjab had no right to issue permits for operation in Chandigarh.

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Steps to project India as tourist destination
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 20
The Union Director-General of Tourism, Mr V.K. Duggal, said here today that a special strategy had been formulated to meet the prevailing adverse conditions in the tourism industry as a fall-out of the September 11 terrorist attacks in the USA.

Addressing students of the Institute of Tourism and Future Management Trends (ITFT), Mr Duggal said steps were being taken to project India as a safe destination. He said the current situation was a temporary phase and despite the present security network around the globe, tourism had the inherent resilience to bounce back.

Mr Duggal said year 2.6 million tourists visited India past year, constituting 0.38 per cent of international tourist arrival. According to him, the Union Ministry of Tourism was working on a plan aiming to raise India’s share in tourist arrival to 0.5 per cent in the next three years and to 0.75 per cent in another six years. This meant four million tourists would be visiting India in 2005.

The Director-General of Tourism said the strength of Indian tourism was domestic tourism. He added that it had made phenomenal growth during the past decade and 200 million domestic tourists travelled here in 2000.

Mr Duggal said the ITFT’s event management students would be associated with the PATA - 2002, to be held in Delhi. More than 1,500 delegates were expected to take part in the event. He also promised all possible assistance to the ITFT in its efforts to develop human resource for tourism, airlines and event management.

Mr Duggal also launched “India’s first tourism song”, conceptualised, edited and produced by the ITFT. The song provided glimpses of 372 places of tourist interest in the country.

Earlier, Dr Gulshan Sharma, director of the ITFT, said “Tourism on Wheels” with Fiat Siena would be launched next year, carrying tourism message to the doorstep of the people. An all India eco-friendly quiz was also being planned with the help of the Union Ministry of Tourism on tourism related themes like heritage, eco-tourism, pilgrimage and tourism infrastructure.

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TODAY IS POLICE DAY
They rose to the challenge
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 20
It was admittedly the biggest encounter from-across-the- border that the police had on October 21, 1959. Soon after the air was thick with euphoria of Hindi Chinni, bhai bhai and we were going overboard to warm up to China and the ink of Panchsheel document had hardly dried, the Chinese ambushed a police party led by DSP Karam Singh, about 40 miles inside our own territory, while it was on a routine patrol in the Chang Chenmo Valley, south of Kongka Pass.

The reconnaissance party was surprised by heavy fire but boldly returned the same and held its ground. The terrain was hostile for Indian RAW men. The Chinese had almost ambushed them by the sunset. Chinese were regular army soldiers entrenched on high peaks at Hot Springs. Karam Singh and his men fought with patriotic zeal. But strategic handicap, lack of heavy weapons and strength were glaring to the enemy.

Bursts of heavy weapons’ fire killed nine policemen and 10 others along with Karam Singh were overwhelmed and captured.

Mr Krishnamenon, then Defence Minister of India, and Pandit Nehru expressed their displeasure to Chinese Government. Karam Singh, along with his men, was freed by the Chinese Government on November 14, 1959, but both his feet were frost-bitten.

Karam Singh was given a National Hero’s welcome. Pandit Nehru himself decorated him with President’s Police Medal.

This day is celebrated as Police Day — a big day for the family. Police hero’s sons — Dr Satwant Sachdeva and Lieut-Gen Harcharan Singh — always feel proud that their father made a name in nation’s history and thank the grateful nation for declaring October 21st as Police Day for paying homage to those who, at the cost of their lives, brought glory to the nation.

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Better deal sought for paramilitary personnel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 20
On the eve of Police Commemoration Day, members of the Paramilitary Forces Retired Officers Association have flayed the government’s attitude towards the welfare of paramilitary forces.

A statement issued here said in spite of their supreme sacrifices, personnel of paramilitary forces were not treated like those of the armed forces or given facilities and honours as their counterparts in the Army. The statement added that as many as 8,000 paramilitary personnel had sacrificed their lives and around 10,000 had been disabled during the past five years, which is three times more than Army casualties.

In a memorandum forwarded to the President of India, members of the association have also requested him to re-designate the directorates of defence services welfare in all states as directorates of security forces welfare or else establish separate welfare directorates for the paramilitary forces at the centre and state level.

Seeking a uniform national policy for martyrs and disabled soldiers, including paramilitary personnel, they added issue of firm instructions to all states, public sector undertakings and other institutions concerned to offer uniform treatment to all martyrs, disabled soldiers and gallantry award winners of all security forces.

Members of the association have also decided to observe a fast on the Police Commemoration Day after paying homage to martyrs.

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132 persons donate blood
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, October 20
As many as 132 persons, including students and staff members of the Gian Jyoti Institute of Management and Technology, donated blood at a camp organised here today.

The camp was inaugurated by Mr B.S. Baidwan, president of the Mohali Industries Association, on the premises of the institute who himself donated blood.

Mr H.S. Mattewal, Advocate-General, Punjab, was the guest of honour. Mr J.S. Bedi, chairman of the institute, presented appreciation certificates and mementoes to all blood donors.

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Few spectators at Ramlila
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 20
Ramlila programme has witnessed a drastic fall of spectators over the past several years.

“Earlier about 5,000 to 10,000 spectators used to see Ramlila daily but now around 1,000 spectators gather on the Ramlila grounds. The donation which is collected from the market members is barely Rs 10,000,” said general secretary of the Azad Dramatic Club, Mr Nalinikanth Vishisht. The Sector 20 Ramlila mainly draws residents from Sector 20, 21, 19, 30 and 33.

Meanwhile, Sita Swayambar and banishment of Lord Rama to exile were the main scenes of Ramlila at Sector 20. Prior to the start of the Ramlila, artistes in make-up rooms could be seen dressing up and giving final touches to their make-up. The Director of Ramlila in Sector 20 is Munish Suri. Role of Lord Rama is being performed by Deepak Negi. Sita’s role is being enacted by Jagmohan and of Dashratha by Paramjit Singh.

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Custodian of a dying art
Monica Sharma

Chandigarh, October 20
He came to Chandigarh alongwith his father in 1967, to erect Ravana and other effigies. Since then his dextrous hands have been cutting bamboo shafts every year just before Dasehra. But he has no idea how long he will be able to carry on with the process.

“The art of erecting effigies of Ravana, Kumbkaran and Meghnath may die soon, sooner than you expect,” says Abdul Bari of Rajpura. “The reason for this is not very difficult to analyse. There is hardly any encouragement for us from the authorities.”

Giving details, he asserts, “In Sector 20 for instance, there is hardly any place for us to celebrate the occasion. The Dasehra ground has been converted into a park with benches and swings around the place. We are not against the maintenance of the park, but we wanted the authorities to leave some space for us too. Today, we are being forced to celebrate the festival in one corner of the sector.”

This, he asserts, is not the only reason. “Erecting effigies is an expensive process. It takes Rs 15,000 for the organisers to get the work done, but there are hardly any funds flowing in the name of religion these days. Till now, even after employing 15 workers I am earning my daily bread, but I am not sure how long will the organisers succeed in making the payments in the absence of funds.”

Claiming that the Ramlila Committees and the school authorities were the only ones purchasing the effigies now-a-days, he asserts: “The slump in the market has resulted in a decrease in the sale. Some of the small-time organisers have even stopped celebrating the occasion.”

As for now, the business is booming for 40-year-old Bari, popularly known as Baru. “I am busy making effigies for as many as 10 organisers. Some of them belong to comparatively far off places, including Kharar and Kurali. In city, effigies erected by me and my companions will be set on fire at as many as five places.” Apart from making effigies Abdul Bari is also associated with the North Zone Cultural Centre.

Regarding the process of making the effigies, he says, “Nothing much has changed. It still takes three days for me and my group to complete each set of three figures. Effigies from minimum two feet to maximum 40 feet are cut out.”

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National plan for city soon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 20
The process for adding Chandigarh component to the National Bio-diversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP), an international mandate, which is backed by the United Nations Development Plan (UNDP), began here yesterday.

An NGO, Yuvasatta, and the Department of Environment, Chandigarh Administration organised a public meeting on the ICSSR Complex at Punjab University, here yesterday to explain the plan and receive inputs from people.

The plan was launched after the biodiversity convention to protect various species of plants and animals, in which India has an immense potential for economic gains.

The Coordinator of the Core Group formulating the NBSAP, Mr Ashish Kothari, and its member, Dr Virendra Sharma, said it was probably the only government policy being framed by an NGO as it required a realistic approach.

The Director Environment and Deputy Conservator of Forests, Chandigarh Administration, Mr Ishwar Singh, said the city plan would include making a directory of flora and fauna, their restoration and involving people in the project.

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REMINISCENCE
Fumes in place of fragrance
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh
As the sun disappears in the west, advocate Surinder Kumar Garg starts his car, parked in front of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, and leaves for his house in Sector 28. On his way, near the traffic lights next to the government press, he comes across a truck emitting dense black fumes. He tries to keep the soot sway by rolling up the windows, but coarse particles still enter his eyes.

“Every day, when I reach home, I hang my coat on the peg and rush to the basin to wash my hands and rinse my eyes,” he says. “Even though I wear dark glasses while driving, soot manages to irritate my eyes.”

Chandigarh, he insists, was not so polluted until a few years ago. “Till the mid-80s, even in the early 90s, there were fewer vehicles on the city’s roads,” he recalls. “Trucks were hardly seen. Cars were limited to a privileged few — businessmen and not-so-young executives. For students belonging to not-so-affluent families, bus was the favourite mode of transportation. The number of auto-rickshaws was also small. An impressive chunk of the population used to ride cycles. For their convenience, there were cycle stands in all markets.”

Little wonder, the air was fresh. “I remember the good old days when outside the Rose Garden, the mild fragrance of blooming roses would fill me with pleasure, forcing me to stop and admire nature,” he says. “But that was a long time back. Now, Chandigarh is fast becoming another Delhi.”

Today, diesel fumes, mixed with petrol vapours, plug the nostrils even in the morning. “And as you travel on city roads, your eyes water even if you are wearing driving glasses,” he asserts. “This is not all. The white shirt you are wearing changes colour by the time you reach home in the evening. All efforts of the authorities to check pollution have failed, it appears.”

The reason for this alarming increase in pollution is not hard to see, Mr Garg believes. “Rapid industrialisation in and around the city is partly to blame for this menace. Chandigarh was not designed to be an industrial city. Parwanoo was, but due to lack of infrastructure there, more and more companies launch their operations from Chandigarh and SAS Nagar. As a result, the population of employees as well as vehicles has increased.”

Another reason for the increase in the number of vehicles is the availability of easy finance. “Now-a-days, you do not have to be rich to buy a car. Just withdraw Rs 40,000 from the bank, make the down payment and take home a glistening new car. The rest of the money you can pay in instalments. Thanks to such schemes, most of scooter owners today have cars, and most of cycle owners have scooters.”

He concludes: “I am not against development, not even against the advance of individuals. Every one has the right to lead a comfortable life. All I am trying to say is that the authorities should take steps to check pollution and to decongest the city before it is too late.”

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WLL connections for Mani Majra next week
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 20
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) will start issuing WLL fixed terminal connections to the residents in Mani Majra and Industrial Area Phase II next week. Initially, connections will be provided to only the residents who have already submitted applications till June 30 this year.

“We are not inviting fresh applications for the new connections for the time being”, said Mr R.C. Vaish, principal General Manager, Telecom, Chandigarh. The connections would cover almost 2,000 residents in these areas which are technically non feasible. The fixed wire terminals will be provided only in these areas initially and no decision regarding allotment in other areas has been taken, so far, said he. On the recovery of expenditure on these terminals for which BSNL will be charging monthly insurance of Rs 20 and rental only whereas the sets cost around Rs 10,000, he said insurance would ensure that there are no losses on account of default.

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Minister hospitalised, discharged
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 20
The Punjab Health Minister, Mr Baldev Raj Chawla, was brought to the Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital at around 7 pm, after his car reportedly met with an accident near Khamanu in Punjab.

According to sources, the minister was discharged later. He had complained of chest pain. The minister’s driver, however, is said to have sustained some injuries.

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Shopkeepers allege harassment
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 20
Shopkeepers of the Shri Mata Mansa Devi New Market Union are not being given passes for taking their vehicles to shops during Navratra mela. This was stated by the president of the union, Mr Sachidanand Sharma, in a press note here today. The shopkeepers are given passes during the mela every year. 

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FILM REVIEW

New faces add colour to love triangle
Sanjeev Singh Bariana

‘Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein” (Neelam) comes as a whiff of fresh air with new faces adding colour to a befitting background for a love story.

There are expected and unexpected turns on the way to a predictable end to a love triangle but the style of presentation by the director Gautam Menon is ‘different’ with added colour of friends and the family.

R. Madhvan appears to be a face that has every potential of being a long distance runner in the mad race of Bollywood. Diya Mirza is a charming face but will have to concentrate more on needs of the role than ‘near perfect’ gait of a ramp model.

Madhvan is a spoilt brat in a Mumbai college where Saif Ali Khan is more popular (particularly among girls) for his academic and extra-curricular excellence. Both cannot stand each other and eventually part ways after a brawl.

Madhvan gets a job as a computer instructor. He has never been comfortable with the girls till he chances upon Diya Mirza while on a trip to Delhi. He tells the truth to his father Anupam Kher who is very excited. So are his friends.

Madhvan pursues Diya Mirza when he comes to know that she has shifted to Mumbai. He is heart-broken when he discovers that she is already engaged and is about to get married to an NRI. He feigns to be the NRI and gets closer to her.

Diya falls in love with him till one day the NRI lands in India and the truth comes in the open. The NRI is none other than Saif Ali Khan. Diya tells Madhvan that she did not love him as he was telling a lie. The marriage is fixed. However, Madhavan wants Diya to announce herself that she “actually does not love him”.

The film has been produced by Vashu Bhagnani of the hit

“Coolie No 1” fame.

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WESTERN FILM REVIEW
In topsy-turvy world
Rajiv Kaplish

Chandigarh
Hollywood is married to sequels. “Jurrassic Park”, “The Mummy”, “Rocky”, “American Pie” — you name it, they remake it.

“Planet of the Apes” (Kiran) is the latest high-profile reimagination of the 1968 Charlton Heston classic. The main premise of the story remains the same — an astronaut crashlands on an upside-down — world where intelligent simians are in charge and humans beings are slaves.

Mark Wahlberg is the astronaut who cobbles together a small army of defiant humans and sympathetic apes to escape the tyranny of chimpanzee general Tim Roth who favours the extermination of the human race. Helping him in his crusade is Helena Bonham Carter, a human rights activist chimp.

If you thought director Tim Burton has broken new ground in story-telling, think again. Not only is the theme pedestrian but it also seems to be heavily loaded in favour of the main characters. By not allowing certain other characters to be fully developed, Burton misses the thread midway.

Mind-boggling special effects, tantalising action and a thin icing of humour may, however, redeem the reputation of Burton who had earlier reinvented the world of “Batman” and “Sleepy Hollow”.

***

Ever heard of alien bacteria on earth? No ? See “Evolution” (Piccadily), a science fiction about a meteor that crashes to the earth carrying rapidly evolving spores.

David Duchovny (of “X-files” fame), a biologist, and Orlando Jones, a geologist in a small-town university, discover the extraterrestrial organisms and two-time Oscar nominee Julianne Moore is the epidemiologist who investigates the startling developments.

Combining the supernatural and the super funny, the film, by the end, promotes the anti-dandruff shampoo, “Head and Shoulders”, as it is used for its selenium content to kill the giant octopus-shaped aliens.

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SI ‘punished’, sent to Police Lines
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 20
Strange are the ways of the Chandigarh police. Even non- compoundable offences taking place in the city can be compromised at with the help of the local police. A Sub-Inspector with the city police has been sent to the Police Lines as punishment for sending an untraced report in the much-publicised gang-rape case of a 15-year-old maidservant, though all accused have been identified in the First Information Report and subsequently arrested.

Sources in the police department informed that the investigating officer of the case, SI Labh Singh, had been transferred from Sector 34 police station to Police Lines vide an order was passed by the UT Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Parag Jain, after a request was sent that the case be sent as untraced.

Sources said the three accused in the case — Davinder Bisht, Amit and Prithi — had been arrested after the FIR was registered. While Davinder Bisht and Amit were arrested the day the FIR was registered, Prithi was arrested after a few days. When the trial of the case began in the District Courts, an application was moved in the trial court that an identification parade be conducted. The victim had then failed to identify the accused.

The 15-year-old resident of Sector 44-B was allegedly gang-raped throughout the night of July 8 by the above-mentioned three students in their early twenties, staying as paying guests in the neighbourhood. One of the accused, Davinder Bisht, was her acquaintance.

The minor girl was admitted to the Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital in a serious condition and it was then that the case was reported to the police. SI Labh Singh and ASI Amanjyot from the Sector 34 police station were sent to the hospital, along with Constables Rakesh Kumar, Makhan Singh and Sunita.

The victim, an illiterate daughter of a migrant labourer, and her family had been reluctant to get a case registered. Sources said a compromise was reached at between the two parties. This was in spite of the fact that a case under Sections 363, 366, 376, 342 and 34 of the IPC had been registered and these offences wre non- compoundable.

According to the information available, the 15- year-old victim was friendly with one of the accused — Davinder Bisht. The latter, along with — Amit, was staying as a paying guest in a house in the vicinity of the maid’s employer’s house. The third accused Prithi had come from Hoshiarpur to stay for a day and he went back on the morning of July 9.

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Rs 9,000, cosmetics stolen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 20
Burglars reportedly broke into four booths near the Terraced Gardens in Sector 33 and decamped with cash amounting to about Rs 9,000, besides some cosmetics. According to the police, they entered the booth No 1,2,6 and 7 after breaking the roof-top ventilators. The amount stolen was Rs 6,000, Rs 1200, Rs 800 and Rs 600 respectively. The booths included a medical store and confectionary shops. The police have registered a case and investigation were on.

Two held: The local police has arrested two persons and recovered 230 pouches of whisky from their possession. Gajinder Singh, a resident of Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh was arrested from the Poultry Farm Chowk while carrying 200 pouches, while Indero Devi, a resident of Dadu Majra was apprehended from near her residence with 30 pouches. The police has registered separate cases against them under the Excise Act and investigations were on.

Held for gambling: Three persons — Harbans Lal, Chander Pal and Vijay, all residents of Bapu Dham colony have been arrested for gambling. The police has recovered Rs 280 in cash and a pack of playing cards from their possession. A case under the Gambling Act was registered against them and further investigations were on.

Body found: A highly decomposed unidentified body was found by the police from a plot in Industrial Area Phase-I. The police estimated the deceased to be about 30 to 35 years of age.

The police booked Usha Kiran, a resident of Maloya Colony, for trying to commit suicide by pouring kerosene on herself and setting herself on fire. She was admitted to the PGI with burn injuries.

Motor cycle stolen: A resident of SAS Nagar, Mr Narinder Singh, reported that his motor cycle (CH-01-Q-8913) was stolen from Sector 17. The police registered a case and investigations were on.

Theft reported: A Sector 15 resident, Mr Laxman Das, reported that two manhole covers were stolen from his house. A case was registered and investigation were on.

AMBALA

Body found: The body of a woman was found in Bullana near the Ambala-Hisar road on Saturday. The police suspects that the woman’s body could have been dumped at the spot after she was done to death at some other place. The body reportedly bears strangulation marks.

KHARAR

Boy murdered

A 13-year-old boy, Baljeet Singh was murdered by some unknown persons and his body was recovered by the police today morning.

Mr Sucha Singh, father of the deceased, told mediapersons that his youngest son had left his house at about 9 p.m. yesterday to see Ramlila and when he did not return home they thought that he might have slept with his grandfather or uncle.

Mr Sucha Singh said he came to know about the body of his son in this morning when his other son Jaswinder Singh came to know that a body was lying in open space in Janta Nagar. According to the police the neck and upper part of the body was badly burnt and it was very difficult to recognise the deceased.

Mr Jaspal Singh Dhanoa, SP (D), Ropar, told this correspondent that the police has registered a case under Section 303 IPC, and had started the investigations. He said the body had been sent for post-mortem and the police had started investigations from many other boys who were seen with him late last night.

Zirakpur

House burgled

Jewellery, garments, household items and other goods worth Rs 1.5 lakh were stolen from the house of a retired Flying Officer, Tribhuvan Singh, in a colony of Sarav Mangal Society here on Thursday night.

According to sources, inmates were away to Hyderabad when the thieves struck at the house after removing the grill on the kitchen window. The theft was noticed by the neighbours on Friday morning and subsequently the owners were informed.

The police said the thieves took away a colour television, a video cassette player, a dish antenna, two cameras, a fax machine, three watches, two gold and one silver coin, some Korean blankets, woollen garments and some other items. They also removed taps and took away the water boosting machine from the house, leaving the entire house ransacked.

The police said Tribhuvan Singh was staying with his elder son in Australia while his younger daughter-in-law was residing in the house for the past over a year. She had gone to Hyderabad about a week back. A case has been registered.

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Parents, in-laws clash after woman’s death
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 20
After battling for life for 20 days, Priya, a 33-year-old resident of Sector 23, who had set herself afire, breathed her last at the PGI here today. The woman’s death resulted in a fracas between her parents and in-laws.

It may be recalled that Priya had been admitted to the PGI on October 1 with 85 per cent burns. On learning about her death, her parents along with a number of relatives reached her in-laws’ residence from Malauna Village.

According to neighbours, the deceased’s parents and other villagers clashed with her in-laws. They hurled stones and flower pots around, which resulted in some damage to property. At least one person was seen with blood oozing from his head. They also raised slogans against the deceased’s in-laws. Each side is blaming the other for initiating violence. The police had to be called in to control the melee. A strong police posse, including lady constables, maintained presence at the house.

The post-mortem examination will be conducted tomorrow as a board of doctors for the purpose could not be constituted. The SDM (Central), Mr Prithi Chand, is overseeing the investigations into the case. According to the deceased had given two statements before the SDM, maintaining that the incident occurred after her clothes caught fire from the kitchen stove.

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