Wednesday, December 19, 2001, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S



TV viewers to feel the heat
Pay channels hike charges, cable operators protest

Tribune News Service

  • This month all channels have hiked subscription collected from Siti Cable from Rs 110 to Rs 145 per connection.
  • Cable TV telecast was disrupted during the day as operators went on strike today.
  • The hike for the subscriber will be between Rs 40 and Rs 50 per connection.
  • Cable connections to cost more in city.
  • Hike maybe between Rs 40 to Rs 50.

Chandigarh December 18
Watching a favourite soap on the tally, seeing Tendulkar bat or even keeping a tab on the news will now cost more for city residents. Monthly subscription for a cable TV connection has been unexpectedly hiked by all pay channels.

As a protest all cable operators in Chandigarh and neighbouring SAS Nagar under the banner of Siti Cable TV Operators Association went on strike today. The president of the association, Mr S.S. Bedi said ‘‘We are actually protesting on behalf of the viewers, who will face a problem as rates will go up drastically. ’’ The association will present a memorandum in this regard to the Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, Lieut Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd).

Today the members of the association held a protest rally which started from Sector 19 and culminated in Sector 17.

The association also planned to give a petition the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Explaining the hike he said the Star TV package would now cost in the range of Rs 52 and this included ESPN, the sports channel. ZEE has also hiked its package from Rs 28 to Rs 36. Similarly channels from the Sony package will now cost Rs 27 and not Rs 17 as was the case earlier.

The cost is expected to go up anything between Rs 40 and Rs 50 per connection as all channels have hiked their monthly subscription which they collect from Siti Cable, the main cable service provider in the city. If the pay channels will collect Rs 145 per connection from Siti Cable one can imagine that what the cable operator will have to charge from the subscriber to break even.

Siti Cable which receives the signals from the satellites on payment, beams the signals further to the cable operators located all over the city for distribution into homes. The cable operator pays a fixed monthly subscription on a per connection basis to Siti Cable for receiving the signals.

This fixed subscription which the operators pay to Siti Cable was hiked from Rs 84 to Rs 110 per connection in April this year.

Besides paying a fixed sum on a per connection basis the maintenance cost of each connection which included salaries for staff was between Rs 15 and Rs 20, said an operator.

Sources in the industry say cable operators, while receiving signals from Siti Cable, cannot pick and choose channels which they want to beam to homes. The entire thing comes in package.

For example if Zee beams its package it will include the regional channels like Zee Punjabi, Marathi or Bengali besides the usual Zee Cinema, Zee News or Zee TV. With Chandigarh having become a cosmopolitan city the demand for such regional channels is also growing thus cannot be ignored.

In Chandigarh residents also insist operators to beam Discovery and National Geographic channels, respectively, as they are considered informative for the kids.

SAS Nagar
The cable TV subscribers in the town could not see their favourite programmes today due to one-day strike by the local cable operators under the banner of Siti Cable TV Operators Association. The cable signals were resumed in the evening.

The cable operators said the strike had been observed against the proposed hike in the cable subscription charges by the pay channels. The local cable TV operators association has already informed the subscribers about the impending hike.



Canada reacted to Sept 11 attack ‘as event,
not issue’
Prabhjot Singh

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 18
‘The Canadian Government reacted to the September 11 terrorist attack on the USA as an event and not an issue,” says Mr Gurmant Grewal, Foreign Affairs Critic for Asia Pacific and Co-Chair of the Parliamentary Committee of the House of Commons on Scrutiny of Regulations.

Mr Grewal, who represents the Canadian Alliance, the official Opposition party in the House of Commons, says that the C-11 Bill, which may make controversial changes in Canada’s Immigration Act, has been pending before the Senate as the changes made are in reaction to the September 11 attack. The same is the case with Bill C-39 concerning anti-terrorism measures. Mr Grewal arrived here today on a short visit.

“We have been arguing that the sunset clause should provide for the revoking or repealing of a Bill after six months once it has been found to be against the ethnic minorities. In that event why wait for three or five years,” he said, maintaining that the ruling Liberals, however, wanted that the sunset period should be increased from three to five years.

“When the government started talking of tighter security at airports, it did not realise that gift shops in the duty-free area at various Canadian airports continued to sell knives even after September 11. Once I raised this issue, the government woke up and took preventive measures. The same is the case with wine bottles, which can be used as a lethal weapon but were being sold at all duty-free shops at all airports. Even the case of introducing sky marshals was not accepted initially as America did not allow Canadian air carriers with sky marshals. But now they have relented,” Mr Grewal said.

Talking about the impact of the September 11 attack, he said that bilateral trade between Canada and the USA was worth $ 1.8 billion a day and the free flow of goods and movement of men on the Canada-USA borders should not be hampered to affect trade.

Referring to the attack on the Indian Parliament, Mr Grewal said that “while the September 11 attack was a wake-up call, the attack on the Indian Parliament is a reminder that terrorism is not only a threat to Western democracies but rather is an international phenomenon. Therefore a solution to the problem can only be found by concerted international efforts directed at exterminating terrorism. Terrorism is the biggest threat facing the global village in this century.

“It is time not just to respond to the terrible event that has shaken the world but rather deal with the issue itself. A synergy of resources should be created and applied internationally not only to deal with terrorism but also with organised crime. Let us not forget that terrorism and organised crime go hand in hand,” he added.

While talking about the upgrading of the Chandigarh Trade Office of the Canadian High Commission to a visa office, Mr Grewal reiterated that the Canadian Government had been looking for excuses to go back on its promise. “Now when the Indian Government has given its clearance, there is no reason not to start a visa office here. The clearance was given before September 11 and it explains the reluctance of the Liberal government to honour this genuine commitment,” he added.

He said that South Asia was the number one zone for immigration to Canada.



Pvt colleges decide to forgo winter break
To accommodate Dec examinations
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 18
With the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers’ Union (PCCTU) lifting the ceasework call following the release of teachers arrested on December 4, the teachers have decided to forgo their winter vacation and accommodate the postponed examinations.

While each college has fixed its own schedule for the examinations, they have decided to forgo the one-week winter break in favour of examinations or classwork.

While the SGGS College and GGS College, Sector 26, have decided to begin examinations from January 3, using the winter break for classroom teaching like their counterpart at DAV College, Sector 10, others are going ahead with the examinations. In DAV MCM College, Sector 36, as well, the same schedule would be followed.

This has been primarily done to accommodate outstation candidates who have vacated hostels and returned home in view of the teachers’ strike which began on December 4.

In SD College, Sector 32, the exams have been rescheduled to begin from December 20 and will conclude in the first week of January. However, in Dev Samaj College for Women, Sector 45, the examinations, according to the datesheet begin tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers’ Union announced a relay fast by members of the teachers, management, principals and non-teaching staff federations from December 20 to 31 at a protest rally held outside the office of the DPI (Colleges), Punjab, in Sector 17, here today.

The rally was held to protest against the indifferent attitude of the Punjab Government to the demand of release of funds made by the college teachers. The teachers are seeking the release of Rs 100 crore grant to aided colleges pending with the government. The direction of government asking private colleges to generate their own funds also came in for strong criticism.

The speakers who addressed the rally focussed on bringing the 30 unaided colleges of Punjab under the grant-in-aid scheme of the government. They demanded that the political affairs committee of the SAD should question its members on the non-fulfilment of promises made to college teachers by the government.

Those who addressed the rally include Prof NP Manocha, president of Chandigarh PCCTU, Prof Charanjit Chawla, former general secretary of the union, Mr Karamjit Singh, general secretary of the local chapter of PCCTU, Mr JS Randhawa, PCCTU general secretary, Principal P.S. Sangha, and Prof Balbir Singh, Finance Secretary of the PCCTU.

Meanwhile, the executive of the PCCTU, arrested on December 4, was released by the court of the UT Judicial Magistrate, Mr K.K. Goyal. Those released include Mr KBS Sodhi, president of the PCCTU, Mr SS Sanghera, secretary of the Panjab University area, Mr Amarinder Pal Singh, Secretary of Punjabi University area, Mr VK Bhardwaj (Jalandhar), Mr J.S. Dadwal (Pathankot), Mr Chandrashekhar (Jalandhar), Mr S.S. Dhillon (Nakodar), Mr K.S. Matharu (Jalandhar), Mr HS Walia (Amritsar), Mr Kuldip Singh (Doraha), Mr S.S. Hundal (Moga-former President of PCCTU), Mr Y.R. Handa (Bathinda), Mr Surjit Singh (Bhago Majra), Mr Jagtar Singh (Jalandhar), Mr M.S. Dhillon (Rajpura), Mr JS Bal (Amritsar) and Mr PS Bansal (Gardiwala). 



HUDA begins anti-encroachment drive
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 18
The Haryana Urban Development Authority today began its anti-encroachment drive in Housing Board colonies, with the residents of Sector 15 Housing Board Colony being the first ones to invite HUDA’s ire.

Interestingly, the first day of the drive also makes this the last during this week, with the HUDA officials conceding to the demand of the residents for more time. It was later in the day decided to suspend the drive for five days and give the residents time to remove all encroachments from road berms.

Meanwhile, the drive started around 11.30 am today, with the Estate Officer, HUDA, Ms Geeta Bharti, and the SDM, Mr M.S. Yadav, supervising the operation. As many as 30 officials of the administration, 30 members of the enforcement wing of the Estate Office and about 80 cops under the supervision of DSP J.P. Dahiya were deployed for the smooth functioning of the drive. The staff from the Housing Board was also accompanying the HUDA officials during the anti- encroachment drive today.

A JCB machine was used for removing of encroachments. However, a number of residents had themselves begun removing the encroachments on road berms since early morning before the enforcement staff had come. There were no violent protests and residents of the colonies stood aside as the unauthorised structures in around 25 houses were razed.

Meanwhile, as word of the anti- encroachment drive in Sector 15 spread in other areas, residents of the Housing Board Colony in Sector 10 too gathered in the shape of the mob and began to protest against HUDA. But as soon as they got to know that the enforcement staff would restrict its operation to Sector 15 alone, the mob dispersed.

Speaking to mediapersons, Ms Geeta Bharti said that they were going to clear the encroachments from road berms during the first phase. “The change in original structure of the houses in these sectors will be taken up in the second phase,” she said. A preliminary survey by the authorities shows that around 1000 houses have encroached upon the road berms.

Also, the houses that have set up business ventures have been spared. It is learnt that such residents have been issued notices by HUDA. At places where people have set up businesses in their residential quarters, businesses have flourished right up to the hedge of the road. Thus, no space is available for parking of vehicles or for use by pedestrians.

It may be recalled that the residents of Housing Board colonies had earlier refused to budge in spite of several notices issued by HUDA and the seven-day deadline given by the authorities expiring on December 10, the Estate Office of HUDA decided on carrying on its drive today.

Housing Board colonies are present in Sector 18, 10, 11, 15, 8, 6, 19 and 26 in the township. Encroachments had continued to grow in these colonies, mainly comprising of raising of unauthorised structures, encroachment of road berms and opening of commercial establishments. 



Admn, PU lock horns over retirement age 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 18
Sharp differences have emerged between Panjab University and the UT Administration over the retirement age of the teaching faculty.

The UT Administration has pointed out that ‘‘It has come to the notice of the Chandigarh Administration that the senate of PU vide a resolution dated March, 1999, has proposed to raise the retirement age of teachers from 60 to 62 years. This requires the prior approval of the Government of India’’.

The university replied that the Senate in its meeting in March, 1999, resolved that ‘‘The UGC letter (regarding retirement age) be adopted in toto for the university and college teachers’’.

The controversy affects more than 60 teachers . The issue is likely to feature in the forthcoming Senate meeting.

Ms Neeru Nanda, Adviser to the UT Administrator, said the act of implementing the new retirement age of 62 was ‘‘ Obviously illegal and ultra virus the powers of the university. Since large financial implications are involved in implementing the proposal it will not be possible for the UT Administration to agree to it. Separately the Central Government has been addressed on the issue’’.

The Adviser said that ‘‘I would request you to have an enquiry conducted into the circumstances as to how this resolution of the Senate was implemented in an illegal manner and detriment to the financial interest of the university’’.

Ms Nanda said ‘‘A report may kindly be forwarded within 30 days. The financial implication of the resolution may also be brought out in the report’’.

In an interesting note the Adviser added ‘‘Till such time as the retirement age is 60 years in the regulations, the only course of action open to the university is to retire all persons who have attained the age of 60 years immediately’’.

Prof K.N. Pathak, Vice Chancellor, said in a communication to the Adviser ‘‘ Prof G.C.Bansal, Department of Library Science and Information, filed a writ petition in Punjab and Haryana High Court requesting to direct PU not to retire them, to continue in service till the age of 62 as per UGC directions. The High Court said — In the meantime, the petitioners shall not be retired from service’’.

Professor Pathak said the Senate decided that ‘‘Steps be taken to change the conditions of service of teachers by amending regulations of the university and colleges, so that the age of retirement becomes 62’’.

Professor Pathak said that the amended regulation was forwarded to the Central Government in 1999. ‘‘I have also written letters to the Secretary and Joint Secretary, Ministry of Human Resource and Development, requesting them to expedite the approval’’.

The university said ‘‘Teachers after the age of 60 years have been permitted to continue as per the decision of the senate’’.

It has also been pointed out by the university that ‘‘As already decided by the Senate, the university teachers will be allowed to continue in service beyond the age of 60 years( up to the age of 62) till a final communication in this regard was received from the Central Government. They would be paid salary only for the extended period beyond 60 years. The retirement benefits for the period beyond 60 years would be paid to them only after the Centre accords its approval to the enhancement in the age of superannuation’’.

It has also been pointed out that ‘‘ In case, the Centre does not accept the proposal for enhancement in the age of retirement of university teachers from 60 to 62years, they would cease to be in service from the date of refusal by the Centre. In such a case they would not be entitled to the retirement benefits for the service rendered beyond the age of 60 years’’.



300 teachers register protest
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 18
Over 300 teachers of Panjab University today held a procession to the Vice-Chancellor’s office against the reported move of the Punjab Government and the UT Administration to lower the age of retirement of teachers from 62 to 60 years made available to them by a UGC notification of pay revision of December, 1998, and submitted a memorandum to the latter.

The teachers will go on a mass casual leave on December 20, and hold a dharna in front of the VC’s office from 11 am to 5 pm the next day and submit a memorandum to the Punjab Governor on December 28. The teachers have also planned a mass dharna before the Senate meeting on December 29. This was stated by Dr Navdeep Goyal, secretary of PUTA, in a press release.

The Panjab University Teachers Association (PUTA) is of the view that raising of retirement age to 62 years has no additional financial burden as the university teachers were earlier enjoying three years’ re-employment at half the salary and half the work. Prof P.K. Mittal, President, PUTA, was of the opinion that the university should be made a central university if the Punjab Government was not able to bear the financial burden. He also urged upon the Vice-Chancellor to get the notification on enhancement in retirement age as well as a pension scheme, lying with the Ministry of Human Resource Development for the past two years.

Prof P.P. Arya, Senator and former PUTA president, condemned the action of consultative committee constituted by the MHRD for abolishing nearly 400 non-teaching posts and keeping 300 teaching posts in abeyance.

Dr Goyal, while submitting a memorandum to the VC, resented the “onslaught” on the teaching community by diluting career advancement scheme by the UGC observers by denying benefit of promotion from the date of the eligibility to those who appeared second time for interview. 


Zoo cats may go hungry
Bipin Bhardwaj

Chhat Bir, December 18
Politics behind cow slaughter may force over 130 big cats at Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological park to go without beef. With Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh around the corner, the UP Government has banned cow slaughter.

The Governor, Mr Vishnu Kant Shastri, issued an ordinance to this effect after a Cabinet meeting presided over by the UP Chief Minister today.

Ban on cow slaughter in UP will directly hit the beef supply to the Chhat Bir Zoo as the authorities get about 9.15 quintal of beef from Saharanpur-based slaughter houses.

The zoo authorities said it was the duty of the contractor to provide the beef. He might do so by procuring the same from other states were the ban would not be in force. In case he failed, action would be taken against the contractor.

‘‘The job of beef purchasing has been given to a private contractor and Rs 5 lakh have been kept by the zoo authorities as security. In case the problem arises the security amount would be utilised for purchasing goat meat or beef from the open market’’ claimed Mr R. K. Luna, Director of the zoo.

Following the ban on cow slaughter by the state government in Uttar Pradesh, the zoo authorities were in a fix about the beef supply from Saharanpur. At present the zoo was purchasing over 9 quintal of beef from Saharanpur for Rs 18.49 per kg daily.

If the ban on cow slaughter hit beef supply to the zoo and trader failed to provide required quantity and quality beef for the mute zoo inmates, the authorities would have to spend over Rs 90,000 on the ‘‘food’’ stuff on purchasing it from open market every day. The goat meat costs about Rs 100 per kg in the market. This amount would be about six times from the present daily expenditure on beef.

The zoo has about 79 lions, 29 Royal Bengal Tigers, 10 panthers, one jaguar, three hyenas, five civet cats, one siamese cat and a jungle cat. All carnivores are fed six days and are made to go on fast for a day in a week.

The daily feed of a lion and a tiger is 10 kg, jaguar consumes 5 kg while panther and hyena eat up to 4 and 3 kg per day. Besides other vegetarian food, cats are being fed with 500 gm of beef every day.

It may be recalled that the big cats were also forced to go on fast for two days on May 31 and June 1 because of the ongoing controversy regarding purchase of beef between two groups of the top Punjab Forest officials.

That happened as the top Forest officials had rejected 815 kg beef provided by a beef contractor without getting a quality certificate from the slaughter house from where it was purchased.

Prior to this animals went without beef for two days on April 28 and 29 as a Saharanpur-based supplier’s contract was terminated by the zoo authorities. The contract was later awarded to a local supplier.


6,000 titles on display
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 18
As a preamble to setting up a permanent outlet in city, S Chand and Company, the pioneer publishing house in India, organised a book exhibition in Sector 9 here today.

"The publishing house established in 1937 by late Lala Syam Lal Gupta has branches all over the nation and a branch office in Chandigarh is going to be opened during the next financial year", said Mr P.J. Singh, branch manager of the company. The exhibition aims at acquainting the readers with the titles published by the company, he added.

More than 6,000 titles published by the company so far are on display. Be it the nursery rhymes books for young children or technical books for budding engineers or books on general knowledge for civil servants, the exhibition caters to all.

The company has also bought an excellent collection of simplified version of English novels like “Tom Sawyer”, “Hucklebery Finn” and a lot more, including original versions of Shakespear's plays.


RVC celebrates anniversary
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 18
Remount and Veterinary Corps (RVC), an elite and specialised force meant for breeding, training and treatment of horses, cattle and dogs for military service, celebrated 222 years of its existence today.

To mark the occasion, a get-together was organised for serving as well as retired officers for the corps at Chandi Mandir Cantonment today. The GOC-in-C, Western Command, Lieut-Gen Surjit Singh, and the Chief of Staff, Lieut- Gen H.S. Kanwar, graced the occasion.

Greeting all ranks and civilian employees of the corps and their families, General Surjit Singh called upon rededication by corps personnel to the service of the Army. The Director, RVC, Western Command, Col M. Bhattacharjee also extended his felicitations to all ranks on the occasion.

The history of the RVC dates back to 1779. An intrinsic component of the Army, the RVC has an excellent track record of having met all operational challenges under the most difficult and trying conditions by maintaining a very high standard of health, training and physical fitness of Army animals.

Army dogs and their trainers have proved to be a force multiplier in counter-insurgency operations. Several Army dogs and their handlers have received gallantry awards and commendation cards from the Army Chief and Army Commanders for their distinguished services.

The Corps, in tune with its multi-dimensional activities, is engaged in carrying out inspection of food and animal origins for its quality control, and has also ensured better health and milk productivity of military farm animals by latest scientific breeding methods.

In the recently concluded National Games at Jalandhar, riders from RVC once again proved their supremacy in equestrian sports by winning six gold, two silver and three bronze medals.


Honesty is his watch word

MR Sushant Bannerjee, Manager, British Council Library, Chandigarh, and representative of the British Council in the city and Punjab and Haryana, is perhaps one of the youngest men to have held this post. A down-to-earth person, Mr Bannerjee claims, ‘‘I am not a self-made man. Whatever I am today is because of my ideal, my eldest brother, Gopal, who is still the leading light of my life. He works at a small post in a transport organisation back home,’’ says Sushant.

Sushant has done B.Com honours from North Bengal University and his Masters in Information Management from the Indian Statistical Institute, Bangalore. Sushant worked for some time in Bangalore and New Delhi before landing up in the city in June last year.

‘‘Optimism, dedication, hard work and honesty are the watchwords I work with to achieve target- oriented goals. What counts the most is how you behave with those you interact. Behave well towards everyone alike, and never forget your roots.’’

The British Council Library in the city already has 3000 members and will be open for fresh membership from January 2, 2002. TNS



Senior citizens call on IT Commissioner
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 18
A delegation of senior citizens comprising Major-General H. S. Bhullar (retd), Brig Keshav Chandra (retd) and Mr V. S. Sodhi, Members, Executive Committee of the Chandigarh Senior Citizens Association, today met Mr A. K. Luthra, Commissioner, Income Tax, Chandigarh, regarding the pending income tax refund cases of senior citizens.

While they appreciated the steps taken by the department in this regard, they said that there were still some cases which required special attention at the proper level. The Commissioner informed the delegation that the department was in the process of issuing refund to everybody and had already issued refunds to number of persons who had filed their claims.

He assured the delegation that by the end of the current financial year, all refund cases would be settled. He, however, desired that specific cases of hardship of senior citizens should be brought to his personal notice through the association to enable him to get these settled expeditiously.

He informed that he had already nominated the Assistant Commissioner, Income Tax Headquarter, Central Revenue Building, Sector 17, Chandigarh, as his Liaison Officer who would keep track of such cases.


Poor water supply

THE Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) should note that water supply to Sector 6 of Panchkula has gone from bad to worse. The authorities have no courtesy of informing the people about the cut in water supply well in advance so that we could store water.

There has been virtually no supply at all in the last few days. Those who stay in apartments are the most affected. Sometimes, all we get is a trickle at most. More important, only flat owners residing on the first floor get this trickle. As we dutifully pay taxes, we deserve some courtesy from HUDA in the form of advanced information of likely cuts in water supply.

SAKSHI, Panchkula

Lottery results

This has reference to a news item on November 11. The Haryana Lottery Department ensures a transparent draw of results and towards this end, it has been an elaborate procedure. We encourage free presence of people at the time of draws and our procedure is foolproof. There has never been an occasion in the last two years when the draw was conducted in the absence of independent judges.

Director, Haryana State Lotteries, Chandigarh

Street lights

Most of the street lights in Ambala city are not working. Why can’t the authorities look into the problem with the attention it deserves and replace those not working with new ones? Anti-social elements will have a free run under the cover of darkness if the authorities do not rise to the occasion and do the needful. Darkness in streets could also give a spurt to thefts, robberies and hit and run cases. Expeditious action is the need of the hour.




Nagar kirtan procession
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, December 18
A nagar kirtan procession was organised here yesterday in connection with the Martyrdom Day of Guru Teg Bahadur which falls on December 19.

The procession started from Gurdwara Sri Kalgidhar Singh Sabha, Phase IV, and after passing through various parts of the town culminated in the evening at Gurdwara Sahib in Phase IX.

Devotees in large numbers gathered on the roadside from where the procession passed. Schoolchildren also participated in the nagar kirtan. The palanquin carrying Sri Guru Granth Sahib had been beautifully decorated. 


Tribune scribe bereaved
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 18
Mr Sajan Singh, father of Mr Balbir Singh Jandu, Senior Sub-Editor, Punjabi Tribune, and President, Tribune Employees Union, passed away last night at Makhu. He was 84.

His body was cremated at Makhu this evening.

Mr Jandu is his only son.


Burglary: NRI sore with cops
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, December 18
The NRI couple at whose house in Sector 71 here a burglary was committed has expressed unhappiness over the working of the local police.

Mr Inderpal Singh claimed that the burglars decamped with property worth about Rs 7 lakh from his house when the family was away to Ferozepore. the items, included more than 50 tolas of gold, gifts for relatives and friends, dry fruit and toys besides Rs 70,000 and $ (US) 5,000 in cash. The crime, he said, took place between December 9 and 14.

He said they had built the house about seven months ago and his mother used to stay alone in it. Often she would lock up the building and go out of station to meet relatives but no theft had ever taken place.

Mr Inderpal Singh’s wife, Angie Inderjeet, said when the police was informed about the crime it came after about one-and-a-half hours. The personnel looked around the house and went away without even caring to seal the building. Somebody known to the family then had to be requested to press the police to pursue the case.

She said police personnel again visited the house but did not even have a camera to take photographs of the scene. In fact, they asked the family to lend them a camera for the purpose. A sniffer dog squad spent around two hours in the area but failed to get any clues. Similarly, the fingerprint expert took up his work “rather reluctantly” and ultimately declared that nothing could be found.

The couple said that the criminals appeared to have struck at night as the latter used candles. A part of a mat was also found burnt. the family felt that the burglars knew that the couple had brought various items from Canada. The couple reached here on December 6 and on the 9th left to meet relatives in Ferozepore.


Four arrested for defacing hotel walls
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 18
The police has arrested four persons for allegedly pasting advertisement posters on the wall of Hotel Shivalikview, Sector 17. The accused have been identified as Ashutosh Aggarwal, a resident of Sector 27, Balwinder Singh, a resident of Panchkula, Atul Gupta, a resident of Sector 45, and A.N. Tirkha, a resident of Sector 46. They have been booked under the Prevention of Defacement of Property Act. They were bailed out later.

Whisky seized: A resident of Patiala, Subek Singh, has been arrested from near the Tribune Chowk and 90 pouches of Hero whisky has been seized from his possession. The police has registered a case under the Excise Act.

Held: A resident of Faidan village, Surinder Singh, has been arrested by the police for allegedly assaulting and threatening a resident of Burail, Narinder Singh, near the St Stephen School, Sector 45. The police has registered a case.

Stolen: A Sector 21 resident, Kuldeep Singh, has reported that his office in Industrial Area, Phase I, has been broken into and cash worth Rs 8,000 has been stolen. A Sector 18 resident, Ashwani Kumar, has reported that his LML Vespa scooter (CH-03-C-6780) has been stolen from his residence. In another case, a Sector 47 resident, Jasbir Singh, has reported that the shield and meter of his brand new scooter have been stolen from his residence. The police has registered cases.


Held: The police has arrested Mahendra from near Tangri bridge in Raipur Rani while he was smuggling liquor pouches. According to information available, the accused was arrested and 30 pouches of country-made liquor were seized. He has been booked under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act.

One arrested: Shahzaad Hussain was arrested on charges of playing satta at a public place in Burj Kotian village and Rs 135 were recovered from his possession. A case under Section 13, 3 and 67 of the Gambling Act has been registered at the Pinjore Police Station.



Labourer killed by minor
Our Correspondent

Kharar, December 18
Surinder Singh a migrant labourer from Bihar, died when he was attacked by a minor, Anand Sharma, with a sharpedged axe in Kurali last evening.

According to FIR lodged with the Kurali police by Mrs Hem Lata Sharma, mother of the accused, she was living with the deceased for the past some years as her husband had died in a road accident.

The deceased was attacked yesterday at about 6 pm and he was taken to the Civil Hospital, Kurali, where he died.

The police has registered a case under Section 304, IPC, against Anand Sharma and has started the investigations.



Scooter knocked down, woman killed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 18
A Sector 23 resident, Goldy, was killed on the spot when her kinetic honda was knocked down by a CTU bus at Piccadily Chowk (sector 34-35) here today.

She was returning home after picking up her daughter from school . As a result of the accident there was an hour-long traffic jam at the chowk. The police has registered case.


HMT fails to pay up again
Owes Rs 1.15 cr to NZCC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 18
Cash-strapped public sector undertaking, Hindustan Machine Tools, Pinjore, is in trouble for not paying up the final instalment of Rs 1.15 crore it owes to the North Zone Cultural Centre (NZCC).

The last instalment of Rs 1.15 crore was due on October 1 this year and the HMT had not paid up. The NZCC was to recover a sum in the region of Rs 4.30 crore out of which Rs 3.14 crore had been paid by the HMT.

A sub-committee of the NZCC, formed specifically for this purpose, met today under the chairmanship of the Secretary Culture, Haryana, Mr Bhaskar Chatterjee. It was decided that the HMT issue needed to be followed up at the bureaucratic level. Meanwhile, a legal notice had been sent to HMT, official sources said.

The NZCC was assured by the Government of India in March that payments would be cleared. The HMT had paid Rs 80 lakh earlier and had promised to pay up the remaining Rs 2.50 crore within the next six months, sources in the NZCC confirmed. This was complied with. The problem arose when the last instalment was held up.

The HMT, once a giant of an industrial unit of the pre-liberalisation era, had fallen on bad days and was in no position to return the cash it owed to the NZCC till the Government of India intervened with a bail-out package. The government had to intervene after the NZCC rejected a proposal from the HMT to take land in lieu of the cash.

The NZCC had invested the money way back in 1994 in bond certificates floated by the HMT. The HMT had been paying interest on the money till 1997, sources confirmed. Officials of the NZCC said if the HMT was not able to pay up the remaining amount then other options would be explored.

The NZCC had rejected the idea of land as factors like prevailing market prices, utilisation of land had to be studied. The Board of Directors (BoD) of the HMT had offered land to the NZCC in its Bangalore unit and Pinjore (near Chandigarh) unit as a pay back. Now the recommendations of the sub-committee would be placed before the governing body of the NZCC.



ICICI safety yatra launched
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 18
ICICI Capital Services limited launched “ICICI safety yatra” a mobile investor awareness campaign, in the city and announced the launch of yatra in the states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir, today. The rally was flagged off by the Haryana Commissioner and Special Secretary, Finance, Mr Y.S. Malik, from the Sector 35, ICICI Safety Centre.

Starting from December 18, the 100-day campaign is designed to create awareness amongst the urban and semi-urban investors about various investment options, including bonds, fixed deposits and mutual funds.

During the campaign, ICICI Capital officials and agents will traverse 45 cities and organise investor meets at several places.

The yatra will cover cities and districts, including Panchkula, Mohali, Kharar, Ambala, Ropar, Nangal, Nawanshahr, Phagwara, Jalandhar, Nakodar, Kapurthala, Hoshiarpur, Dosuya, Mukerian, Amritsar, Batala, Gurdaspur, Jammu, Pathankot, Ferozepore, Faridkot, Muktsar, Fazilka, Abohar, Malout, Kotkapura, Moga, Jagraon, Ludhiana, Samrala, Khanna, Sirhind, Sangrur, Barnala, Patiala, Rajpura, Parwanoo, Solan, Shimla, Bilaspur and Mandi.

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
121 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |