Wednesday, November 14, 2001, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S



Bid to rob poultry farm; 1 killed, 3 hurt
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 13
A robber was killed and three others, including an accomplice of the robber, were injured in an exchange of fire between a gang of robbers and a poultry farm owner at Gazipur village along the Chandigarh-Ambala highway, 3 km from here, late last night.

The exchange of fire continued for about 45 minutes at the residential complex of Randhawa Poultry Farm.

In the incident, Mr Prithi Pal Singh Randhawa, owner of the farm, sustained injuries on the forehead, face and chest, while his wife, Narinder Kaur, sustained injuries on the shoulder.

She was rushed to the Government Medical Collage and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh. Later, she was referred to the PGI where her condition was serious.

Mr Randhawa said he heard some noises outside the house and tried to open the door, thinking his workers were outside. ‘‘As I opened the door, I saw some masked men standing in the courtyard. They were armed with double-barrelled guns, pistols and iron rods. They were speaking in Hindi,’’ he said.

He said, “As they fired two shots from the window, I bolted the door from inside. I took out my licensed. .12 bore double-barrelled gun and fired a shot, following which two more shots were fired by the robbers. One of the shots hit my wife’s shoulder.” ‘‘I took out more cartridges, went upstairs and started firing. In the meantime, all bulbs and tubes were broken by the robbers,” said Mr Randhawa.

The firing continued for about 45 minutes. Mr Randhawa who returned the fire himself did not permit his sons — Ramandeep Singh and Kanarbir Singh — to join him in repulsing the attack.

Earlier, the robbers struck at labourers’ quarters at about 11.15 pm. They dragged Laxman Yadav, a labourer, to the nearby fields and beat him up. Two miscreants inquired from him about the cash, valuable and other goods owned by Mr Randhawa. Other gang members entered labourers’ quarters and directed them to handover the cash to them, said Ram Dev, a labourer. They were robbed of Rs 3,500.

The robbers then locked the labourer into the room of another’s.

Mr J.S. Khaira, DSP, Dera Bassi, reached the spot and messages were flashed to the Patiala, Chandigarh, Panchkula, Ambala and Rajpura police. Mr Paramjit Singh Grewal, SSP, and Mr P. S. Johal, SDM, Dera Bassi, later reached the spot.

A dog squad and a team of forensic experts were pressed into service. A case has been registered by the Dera Bassi police.

The police recovered a .45 bore double-barrelled gun, a country-made pistol, two cartridges, a hammer, two iron rods, a torch, a wire cutter, two pairs of shoes and two turbans from the scene.

The SSP said he had recommended to the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Jasbir Singh Bir, to suitably reward Mr Randhawa on Republic Day for his exemplary bravery.


Objections discussed
Draft rules of Apartment Act
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 13
The Property Consultants Association, the Chandigarh Nagrik Sabha and the Hotel Owners Association, Chandigarh, today held a meeting with the Adviser to the UT Administrator, Ms Neeru Nanda, to discuss their objections to the draft rules of the proposed Apartment Act to be formally notified as “Chandigarh Sub-Division of Buildings Rules 2001.”

Mr R.P. Malhotra, Mr Tarlochan Singh Bittu and Mr J.D. Gupta, Chairman, president and executive member of the Property Consultants Association, Mr Amarjit Singh Sethi, general secretary of the Chandigarh Nagrik Sabha, and Mr Ashok Bansal of Hotel Owners Association attended the meeting.

The Act aims at providing affordable accommodation on ownership basis to the low budget buyers, by legally subdividing the bigger residential and commercial properties and subsequently permitting the resale of these units as independent entity.

Various points discussed and put forward to the Adviser are:

Allow subdivisions in commercial as well as residential premises irrespective of the size of the plot or building, but subject to the condition of distinct entity of each subdivided unit with independent entry and proper provisions of ventilation and light.

Respective zoning plans applicable to different sizes of plots must be adhered to.

No fee may be charged for allowing subdivisions of freehold properties.

Subdivisions of basements also may be allowed.

Provision to allow the owners of the existing buildings to come up with fresh plans with subdivided apartments to be constructed after demolishing the old structure.

To allow increase in the prescribed height of the buildings.

Demand of allowing upper floors on single-storey bay shops and booths be considered.

Take quiet offices, transport sites, timber sites (all these having no mention in the draft rules) and industrial premises in to the purview of the Act.

Building byelaws violations, which under the changed scenario automatically get covered under the provisions of the new Act, should be taken as regularised.


Filing of papers for panchayat poll from
November 23
Tribune News Service


Filing of nominations for Panchayat Samiti poll from November 23.

Counting of votes for Panchayat and Municipal elections on December 11.

Five counting centres identified.

SC certificates issued by various states to be accepted.

Chandigarh, November 13
Filing of nominations for Panchayat Samiti poll will start on November 23 and counting of votes will be taken up along with that of the Municipal Corporation on December 11.

This was said here today by the Joint Election Commissioner, UT, Delhi and Chandigarh, Mr D.M. Khaneta, while talking to mediapersons. The schedule for the Panchayat poll would be finalised in a couple of days, he said.

Briefing about the all-party meeting with the Election Commissioner during the day, Mr Khaneta said political parties sought clarifications on the Scheduled Caste status of candidates. He expressed surprise when representatives of various political parties informed the Election Commission that the Chandigarh Administration had not been issuing certificates for the Scheduled Caste members for almost a decade. He said denial of such certificates was a violation of Constitutional rights of people and the EC would accept certificates issued by those states from where an SC person had migrated to the UT, provided his caste was also notified as a Scheduled Caste by the UT. This move of the EC was likely to benefit migrants.

Political parties also sought relaxation of putting up banners. It was contended that putting up of banner in individual capacity would exhaust a large amount of permissible poll expenditure.

The EC, however, did not accept the demand saying that the West Bengal Defacement Act provisions were in force throughout the country for electoral purposes.

Various political parties also objected to the EC’s permission to change candidates at the eleventh hour. But the objection was rejected by the EC.

The meeting was attended by about 20 representatives of various political parties.

Mr Khaneta said five counting centres had been identified in the city. The centres are: Government College, Sectors 9 and 12; Government Senior Secondary School, Sector-23; MCM DAV College, Sector-36; Government College of Education, Sector-20, and Central Polytechnic, Sector-26.

He said the scrutiny of returns filed by candidates who had contested last election revealed that there was none who attracted disqualification under the Representatives of the Peoples Act.


MC poll: transfers banned
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 13
The Election Commission of UT, Delhi and Chandigarh, here today banned the transfers of officials till the election process for the Municipal Corporation and the Panchayat elections was over.

‘’In the interest of free and fair elections and observance of absolute rectitude on the part of the civil administration during the election, the commission has been laying great emphasis on embargo of transfers — statutory and otherwise — connected with the conduct of elections,’’ the commission wrote to the Chandigarh Administration in a letter.

The ban is applicable on the transfers of the Deputy Commissioner and any such other officers, Returning and Assistant Returning Officers, Superintendents of Police, DSPs, Assistant Police Officers, SHOs or any other officers who are entrusted the task of law and order.

The ban is applicable on senior level revenue officials, like, revenue officers, deputy collectors, deputy tehsildars, block development officers and officers of local bodies.

Even the leave of the officials has to be referred to the commission.

No senior officer associated with the election duties would be given additional charge till the poll process is completed.

The administration has also been asked not to encourage adhoc promotions or temporary appointments at lower levels in government and public undertakings immediately after the announcement of elections.

The commission has directed the Administration to announce December 8 as a public holiday to facilitate the electors cast their vote.

The commission has also informed that the officials associated with the elections will from today be considered on deputation with it and will be under the superintendence, control and discipline of the commission and might be guided by the punishment provisions of the commission.


Model code comes into force
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 13
The Mayor, Ms Harjinder Kaur, has come under the purview of the model code of conduct and will have to follow what is applicable on central and state governments ministers.

This was clarified by the Joint Election Commissioner, UT, Delhi and Chandigarh, Mr D.M. Khaneta, while talking to reporters on the implications of the code here today.

When asked this Mayor also had to adhere to the guidlines applicable to ministers, Mr Khaneta said: “The Mayor has to follow those guidelines as she has official facilities that should not be used for electoral use”.

Ms Kaur also sought clarifications from the Election Commission regarding the implications of the use of official car which now could not be put to any political use.

The Mayor informed the reporters that she had sought clarifications and understood the difference between official and political uses.

Ms Kaur said she also asked the commission about development works. The commission clarified those works which had been approved and sanctioned earlier could go on and approval for new projects could not be granted.

The Chief Engineer of the Municipal Corporation, Mr Manmohanjit Singh, also said the corporation would not undertake any new projects.

With the model code of conduct coming into force today, the aspirations of the people were dashed as the corporation had recently been approved quarterly grant which could have been used for development works.

Meanwhile, the Rashtriya Dal here today announced the candidature of Ms Neelu Bhatia from ward no 13 and Mr Jagdish Singh Bath from ward no 9.

The RRD has decided to contest the corporation elections as it feels the corporation has failed to fulfil its responsibility during the past five years.

It said if honest and sincere candidates were sent to the corporation, it could perform better.


Factionalism in SAD, showdown imminent
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 13
The factional fight in the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) involving factions led by the local unit President, Mr Gurpartap Singh Riar, and the Mayor, Ms Harjinder Kaur, seems to be heading for a showdown with Mr Riar and the party’s National Secretary General, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa.

With Mr Riar’s refusal to follow Mr Dhindsa on bringing about a preelection rapprochement between various factions in the party, the SAD President and Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, may have to intervene to clarify the authority of the two leaders.

Followed by Mr Riar’s outbursts against Mr Dhindsa for supporting a ‘’rebel’’ Ms Harjinder Kaur who went against the local unit’s decisions a number of times, Mr. Riar has arrogated to himself the powers to select candidates.

Mr Dhindsa has reportedly said the candidates would be recommended by a three-member panel of the local unit to the high command which will finalise the list and none of the panels formed by the two factions were empowered to do so.

Mr Riar’s move is being seen as an apparent bid to deny to the Mayor the party nomination and scuttle her efforts to have an exclusive liaison between her faction and the local unit of the BJP. Mr Riar’s fear of being sidelined has increased with Ms Kaur having an edge in the faction-ridden BJP, which will do everything to deny Mr Riar an authority to pick up the candidates.

The BJP faction’s anti-Riar approach stems from him being seen as close to another BJP faction which previously controlled the party organisation.

Mr Riar had recently set up a five-member panel to choose candidates and got himself authorised to finalise the list of candidates and the alliance deal with the BJP. This is in contrast to what Mr Dhindsa asserted recently before the Press after holding a meeting of the two factions of the party.

Mr Dhindsa, while claiming that he had been asked by the SAD President and Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, to look into the Chandigarh affairs, said the constitution of a similar panel by the Mayor faction had no sanctity and the number of candidates, seats and names of candidates would be finalised by the SAD high command.

The BJP national Secretary and Chandigarh in charge, Mr O.P. Kohli, had also told the Tribune that the party would talk to the SAD high command on electoral matters.

Mr Riar countered Mr Dhindsa and said he had talked to Mr Badal and has been authorised him to decide on all local matters, including negotiations with the BJP for electoral alliance.

The Kaur faction, realising that Mr Riar is authorised to issue party symbols by a virtue of being the state unit president can deny the Mayor and her supporters party nomination, has written a letter to the ad hoc committee convener of the BJP, Mr Yashpal Mahajan, reminding him them of what Mr Dhindsa had said.

The letter has urged Mr Mahajan to talk to the SAD high command for the names of the candidates. The Riar faction held a second meeting yesterday which was again chaired by Mr Riar to decide, among other things, that those who had gone against party decisions (the Mayor by implication), will not be allotted tickets.


Few sound bites for festival of lights
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, November 13
There has been a considerable decline in the number of stalls put up by those selling crackers and fireworks in the town this Divali.

The decrease has been due to the restrictions imposed by the district administration on selling crackers in market areas. The District Magistrate had earmarked three sites in an open area where stalls for crackers and fireworks could be put up.

Moreover, those interested in putting up stalls at the earmarked sites had to get a no-objection certificate from the fire brigade. Those selling crackers had also been asked to make their own firefighting arrangements, including water and sand.

It has been learnt that about 46 persons had applied for no-objection certificates from the fire brigade after they had been granted permission to put up stalls by the SDM.

On visiting some areas of the town one could hardly see shopkeepers selling crackers. Stalls had been put up to sell candles and other items needed to celebrate the festival of lights.

Stalls to sell crackers had been put up only at three earmarked sites. But it was noticed that the safety guidelines on the sale of crackers had been flouted at these places.

As per the guidelines of the Explosive Substance Act a stall should be set up on a hard surface and there should be a distance of at least 15 metres between two stalls.

But in Phase III B2 it was seen that cracker-sellers had not bothered to maintain the required distance between one stall and another. Moreover, many of them had stocked crackers on folding beds instead of using a hard surface.


Campaign against crackers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 13
Students of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 22, and Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 10, participated in separate rallies to create awareness about the ill-effects of use of crackers, here today.

Students of the two schools went through streets and the marketplace holding placards and banners, raising slogans of “Say No to crackers’’ as part of the drive. The rallyists displayed banners highlighting noise pollution around silence zones, which included areas around hospitals, educational institutions and religious places.

The rally made the general public aware of the interim directions issued by the Supreme Court to contain noise pollution and the campaign against use of crackers between 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Stating that use of crackers would lead to environmental pollution, the students encouraged the public to celebrate Divali by lighting lamps and worshipping the goddess.

Later, staff members and students of the two schools pledged not to use crackers and observe the festival as ‘Anti-cracker Day’.


Governor’s Divali greetings
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 13
The Punjab Governor, Lt. Gen. J.F.R. Jacob, PVSM (Retd.), today expressed hope that the sparkling lights of Divali would drive away the dark clouds of hatred and ill-will from society, while ushering in a new era of hope and aspiration, of peace and plenty and of love and brotherhood.

Extending his greetings on the eve of Divali, the Governor said that Divali was one of the most colourful and captivating festivals, which provided us an occasion for rejoicing and merriment. The Governor said that millions of people irrespective of caste, colour or creed come together to celebrate this festival with traditional enthusiasm, reflecting the salient features of our centuries’ old, rich and glorious heritage.


Jacob celebrates Divali with ‘special guests’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 13
About 40 orphans from Bal Niketan and 24 trainees of the Chandigarh Football Academy celebrated Divali at the Punjab Raj Bhavan today, on an invitation from the Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen. J.F.R. Jacob (retd).

The kids enjoyed the occasion under the watchful and tender eyes of the Punjab Governor. The Punjab Raj Bhavan was decked up with coloured lights to receive the ‘‘special guests’’ of the Governor.

The whole driveway, lush lawns and the main building of the Raj Bhavan was illuminated for the special occasion.

The General had decided to celebrate Divali with these children to give them a sense of belonging. Attired in their new dresses children were eager to be near to the Governor.

The kids enjoyed lighting ‘Phulljharis’ and ‘Atishbazis’. Tables decked up with sweets were laid on the lawns of Punjab Raj Bhavan to serve the guests

The General was very happy to participate in the fireworks and sharing sweets with the kids.

Every child returned home with a boxful of sweets, fruits, crackers, a pen and a copy to celebrate Divali tomorrow. A major part of the gift hampers was personally bought by the Governor.


Fire dept guidelines on safe Divali
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 13
Going by the maxim of prevention being better than cure, the local Fire Department has issued guidelines to residents to ensure safe Divali.

In an appeal to the residents, the Chief Fire Officer, Mr G.S. Bajwa, has asked the residents to remove combustible material from the rooftops. “This”, he says, “will prevent incidents of accidental fire caused due to rocket type crackers crashing on the rooftops”.

He added that last year also, in a special drive launched by the department, packing and other highly inflammable material was removed from the rooftops of the shops in certain markets with public co-operation. As a result, the number of fire accidents was far less compared to the previous years, he said.

The residents have also been asked to keep the windows shut during the celebrations to prevent cracker splinters from landing inside the rooms and setting curtains and other furnishings on fire.

The firemen have also appealed to the residents against wearing loose,-fighting clothes while playing with crackers. “Tight fighting clothes of non-inflammable material are best suited for the occasion,” said Mr Bajwa.

The Fire Department has further asked the parents against leaving their kids alone while the former are busting crackers. “Personal supervision is the best safety measure,” it said.

Children, too, have been asked not to burst crackers while holding them in hands and also not to cover these with metal cans.


Date Sanjay Dutt this weekend
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 13
After the drop-dead gorgeous Dimple Kapadia, it is now the turn of hunk Sanjay Dutt to visit the city beautiful on an invitation from People For Animals (PFA). The star, who has matured tremendously since his ‘Rocky’ days, will be in Chandigarh on November 17, and all for you to share a seat next to him!

The occasion is a fund-raising programme being organised by the local chapter of PFA, which had earlier called Dimple Kapadia for the purpose. Those of you who remember the goodwill Dimple created during the two days of her candle exhibition in Hotel Mountview, will surely be looking forward to an evening with Sanjay Dutt on the bedecked lawns of Chandigarh Golf Association (CGA). The event is aptly titled ‘Rendezvous with a Star’.


Creche for wards of cops inaugurated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 13
A creche for wards of cops has been started by the Chandigarh Police in the Sector 46 Police Colony. The creche was inaugurated by the UT SSP, Mr Parag Jain today. A large number of police personnel, their family members and other guests were present on the occasion.

The creche will serve wards of police personnel and Home Guard volunteers residing in the Sector 46 colony. Presently, 19 children have already been admitted to the creche and the number is expected to go up gradually. The creche is being managed by the Chandigarh Police Welfare Society, while the Indian Council of Social Welfare, Sector 11, has also agreed to extend its assistance.

This is the second creche to be started by the Chandigarh Police. A similar creche is already running in the Sector 26 Police Lines, where about 35 wards of police personnel are admitted. Wards of the Sector 26 creche also presented a colourful cultural programme on the occasion.


Two held under explosives Act
Tribune Reporters

Chandigarh, November 13
The police has arrested two persons on charge of selling fire crackers without licence. The accused, Gagandeep Singh, a resident of Sector 47, and Ashok Kumar, a resident of Ram Darbar were apprehended from Sector 47. Two cases under various provisions of the Indian Explosives Act have been registered against them.

Woman injured: A Matador driver, Daya Nand, has been arrested for reportedly hitting and injuring a pedestrian, Una Devi, near the Mani Majra petrol pump. The injured woman has been hospitalised.

Held for gambling: Seven persons have been arrested from Bapu Dham colony on charge of gambling in a public place. The accused have been identified as Rinku, Ashok Kumar, Chetan Sharma, Basant Kumar, Joginder Singh, Mohinder Kumar and Jyoti Ram, all residents of the same colony. The police has recovered Rs 1,000 from their possession. Cases under the Gambling Act have been registered against them.

One arrested: A resident of Kajheri village, Gurjit Singh, has been arrested for allegedly gambling at a skills game stall at an ongoing fair in the Sector 22 Nehru Park. The police has registered a case.

Accident case: Two residents of Kinnaur in Himachal Pradesh were arrested on charge of threatening a Sector 16 resident, Balbir Singh. The accused, Durginder Singh and Inder Singh, had allegedly hit Balbir Singh’s car (PB-10-AL-5000) while driving their Gypsy in the Sector 16 market. Later they also threatened him.

Two booked: The police has booked two persons, one of whom is a resident of Ram Darbar, after a resident of the same colony reported that they forcibly locked her in a room and tried to outrage her modesty.

Theft cases: Sector 21 resident Devinder Singh has reported that his house was broken into while he was away and gold ornaments weighing about 50 tola and a camera have been stolen. In second case, Panchkula resident Tarun Vashisht has reported that Rs 13,000 in cash and 10 packets of cigarettes were stolen from his booth in Sector 15, Chandigarh. The burglars reportedly entered his booth after breaking the roof-top ventilator. In third case, Mohali resident Bachittar Singh has reported that his Maruti car (CH-01-D-2299) has been stolen from the Sector 17 parking lot. The police has registered cases.

One arrested: The police has arrested a resident of Maloya Colony, Ramesh Kumar for allegedly breaking into the house of Daya Kush, a resident of the same colony, while he was away. The accused was caught red-handed.


One arrested: The local police today arrested Arjun Singh of the Rattpur Colony for assaulting Mahendra Singh of Ghatiwala village near Pinjore on November 12.

In a press note Mr Manoj Yadav, SP, said the accused has been arrested on a complaint lodged by Mahendra Singh. In his complaint Mahendra Singh had alleged that Arjun Singh, along with his wife and a son Gurdev Singh, had thrashed him. A case had been registered at the Pinjore police station.

Liquor smuggling: In a case of smuggling of liquor, the local police has arrested Ajay Kumar of Green Vihar Colony in Zirakpur for carrying 12 bottles of imported Rum. He was arrested by the police near St Soldier Public School, Sector 16. A case under the Excise Act has been registered.

Vehicle impounded: The police has impounded a Tata Sumo (PB-01-3408) which has been allegedly involved in a hit and run case involving a cyclist Nasib Singh, near Kiratpur Sahib yesterday. Earlier, Gurnaib Singh, the injured cyclist, had lodged a complaint with the police that the driver of the vehicle had fled the scene after the accident.

Theft: A case of theft has been registered by the police on a complaint by Mr N.P. Sharma, a resident of Sector 11. The complainant alleged that some unidentified persons broke into his house and took away cash and jewellery. 


Girl crushed to death
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 13
A 10-year-old girl, Keshumati, was crushed by a truck in the Sector 26 Grain Market today. According to the police, the girl, a resident of Bapu Dham Colony was taking food for her mother, who sells vegetables in the grain market, when the incident occurred. She died on the spot. The driver fled from the spot. The police has impounded the truck (HR-37-6798) and a case has been registered.

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