Saturday, February 9, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Book Ravi Inder, orders court
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 8
Acting on a complaint alleging forgery and criminal conspiracy by former Punjab Speaker and MLA from Morinda Assembly constituency Ravi Inder Singh and two others, a local court has directed the Pinjore police to register a case and investigate the matter.

In her complaint before the Judicial Magistrate (First Class) Mr P.K. Yadav, Ms Baljit Kaur has demanded that a case under Sections 406, 418, 420, 467, 471 and 120-B of the IPC should be registered against Ravi Inder Singh, Ms Rajmohinder Kaur and Mr Gurdev Singh.

She has further sought directions to the police to investigate the matter of alleged mortgaging of six ‘bighas’ of prime property, owned by a charitable trust in Abdullapur village with the Punjab State Industrial Development Corporation for getting a loan for his own factory.

Claiming to be a trustee of the Sardar Baldev Singh Charity Trust, along with the other accused including managing trustee Ravi Inder Singh, Ms Baljit Kaur has alleged that the three accused had misappropriated trust property and embezzled vast sums of the trust fund for the MLA’s personal gain.

She claimed that Mr Ravi Inder Singh had floated a company, Brahma Styer Tractors Limited at SAS Nagar, and in order to raise loans for this company, trustees mortgaged the property with the PSIDC for Rs 75 lakhs in 1998, without taking Ms Baljit Kaur, also a trustee, into confidence. At this time, this property was valued at Rs 1.75 crore, she added.

Later, Mr Ravi Inder Singh allegedly got a resolution passed in the trust meeting that the said property be sold off. Again, Ms Baljit Kaur was not taken into confidence and the property was sold off to Mr Mangat Rai Baboota and Ms Rekha Sharma, Panchkula residents, for Rs 15 lakh, it was alleged.

The money was invested by Mr Ravi Inder in the BSTL by purchasing its shares, she stated. The complainant then submitted a report to the Pinjore police on October 27, 2001, which was later marked to the Economic Offences Wing. However, the local police failed to take any action in this regard following which a complaint was filed in the court.


City shivers under white mantle of hail
Tribune News Service

Touch that melts: Hails spread a white carpet in Chandigarh on Friday.
Touch that melts: Hails spread a white carpet in Chandigarh on Friday.
— Photo Pradeep Tewari

Chandigarh, February 8
A number of people in the city and nearby areas today went scurrying for cover when a hailstorm hit the city resulting in a flight coming from Delhi being sent back due to bad weather.

The hail storm evoked different feelings amongst city residents as those on the road were afraid of getting injured or their vehicles being damaged and those under shelter could be seen enjoying it.

Met office said there was 1 mm rainfall registered in the city and the maximum temperature dropped by four Celsius.

The maximum temperature before the hailstorm was recorded at 17.6 Celsius. The police said there were no reports of loss of life and property till tonight.

A government spokesman said authorities also did not receive any reports of damage to crops in the UT.

Residents of Mohali said there were two spates of hailstorm — the first one lasting couple of minutes and the size of hail being around couple of mm and the second one with bigger-sized hail lasting about 20 minutes.

People of southern sectors experienced a feeling of being transported to snowfall-hit areas of Himachal as there was virtually a white layer everywhere on roads during the hail storm.

The Jet Airways 1.30 p.m. flight had to be sent-back to return after half-an-hour but later when the weather did not clear up it was finally cancelled.

This caused disappointment to Kolkata-bound passengers who had to come back from the airport while those going to Mumbai were transported by a coach.

The Met Department said the storm was caused due to a western disturbance over Jammu and Kashmir and an upper air cyclonic circulation over Central Pakistan adjoining Punjab.

There were reports of rain fall in Patiala also. The Met Department said the night temperature on Sunday would be around 6 degrees Celsius.

The rain and thunder storm would result in fall in a night temperature.

The weather will remain partly cloudy tomorrow and there will be thundery developments.


Badungar ‘crosses swords’ with securitymen
Kiran Deep

Chandigarh, February 8
President of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) Kirpal Singh Badungar created a commotion when he insisted on carrying a sword into the court premises.

The SGPC President was here this morning to record his statement as a witness in connection with a defamation compliant filed by Punjab Chief Minister’s son Sukhbir Singh Badal against Congress chief Capt Amarinder Singh.

He was carrying his three-foot long sword, while security instructions stipulate that no weapon or firearm, barring a “kirpan” whose blade length does not exceed six inches, is to be permitted inside the court premises.

According to eyewitnesses, security personnel deployed at the entrance gate asked Mr Badungar to deposit the sword with the staff at the entrance gate, but he asserted that as the President of SGPC, he had to carry his sword with him everywhere. He insisted that he be allowed to carry the sword inside the court premises.

Following arguments and exchange of hot words, security guards asked him to get permission of the judicial officer concerned. The officials accompanied Mr Badungar to the CJM but the latter denied him permission to carry the sword in the court premises.

Talking to The Tribune the general secretary of the local unit of SAD, Mr N.S Minhas, who accompanied Mr Badungar to the court, said the sword was a religious symbol of the Sikhs and Mr Badungar had to carry it along with him everywhere being the President of the SGPC. Security personnel said that rules did not permit the entry of anyone into the court premises with a weapon. Even security personnel who visited the court with VIPs were not allowed to carry weapons with them, they explained.


No price war says Spice, but...
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 8
Residents of the city and surrounding areas will now have a second option while selecting their cellular operator. It remains to be seen as to what the customer gains in terms of tariffs, rentals or services.

While the Bharti Chairman and Group MD, Mr Sunil Bharti Mittal, says: "We are not entering price war", Mr Vinod Sawhney, MD, Spice Telecom commenting on the tariff structure of Bharti says: "The tariff structure of the new player is a reflection of an approach to follow the competitive price offerings by Spice".

Following a market survey conducted in the region, Bharti is eyeing the largely untapped market which the officials say stands at 1.7 million potential users. "On the first day of our launch, we are having 20,000 bookings. By the end of March, the total cellular users, which currently in the state stand at 2.5 lakh, will increase to at least 5 lakh", claims Mr Mittal.

Apart from offering activation waiver and a refundable security deposit of Rs 1,000, Airtel will provide free voice mail, free SMS facility and free airtime of 30 minutes (to be used anywhere on the Bharti network) for users who opt for their services. That apart, national and international roaming facility will also be available to the users.

Bharti is also offering the customers who shift from Spice network the same last five digits of their previous mobile numbers.

The company, which has invested Rs 200 crore on infrastructure in the first phase makes tall claims of providing facilities, which its competitor has provided till date, within a few months.


EVMs reach SAS Nagar, CISF put on guard
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, February 8
Under the security of the personnel of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), the electronic voting machines to be used in the Kharar Assembly segment today reached the strong room at the counting centre in Shivalik Public School in Phase 6 here.

As many as 46 trunks, containing 10 EVMs, were unloaded from trucks in presence of an election observer for the Ropar district, Mr S.K. Singh, and the returning officer for the constituency, Mr Jaipal Singh. An official of the election office said there were 203 polling booths in the constituency. Some reserve EVMs were also being provided to the returning officer (ROs).

A six-member team of the Punjab Police, led by an ASI, has been deployed at the counting centre to guard the room. A company of the CISF has been exclusively deployed for the Kharar constituency. Two companies of the CRPF have been deployed in the sensitive Morinda constituency.

The District Electoral Officer has identified at least 80 supersensitive polling stations in the five Assembly segments — Morinda, Kharar, Chamkaur Sahib, Anandpur Sahib and Nangal in the Ropar segment. The number of sensitive booths in Ropar district are 117. The number of non-sensitive polling stations in the Ropar district are 340. According to the information available, the maximum number of supersensitive polling stations, 21 were in Morinda Assembly segment. The supersensitive polling stations in Kharar, Chamkaur Sahib, Anandpur Sahib and Nangal were 12, 19, 18 and 10, respectively.

Meanwhile, the Punjab Police is writing to the Chandigarh Police to check the smuggling of liquor to the adjoining areas of Punjab on February 11 and 12. The Ropar police has set up nakas at Nayagoan and the SAS Nagar barrier to check the smuggling of liquor. The UT authorities would also be requested to close down the liquor vends in the UT area, located along the border with Punjab.


IT Department issues directive
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 8
The Income Tax Department has made clearance from the appropriate authority necessary for those getting property worth more than Rs 20 lakh registered in their names before the Sub-Registrar.

The department said in case of co-ownership the total value would be taken as the value and not the share of one of the co-owners.

To expedite such clearance, people could apply under Section 37 (I).


Panic withdrawals by BoP customers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 8
It was a different day for the Bank of Punjab. Its depositors wanted to withdraw cash from their accounts and encash fixed deposits (FDs) in the wake of rumours on its bankruptcy, even as officials of the bank tried to pacify the customers.

This did not work. Rough estimates said several crores were withdrawn from bank branches and its ATM counters. The Bank of Punjab said that cash was no problem. The withdrawals were so quick that bank officials had to requisition cash from the headquarters in Sector 9 at regular intervals. This at times, led to delay in customer service. In SAS Nagar and Panchkula, the bank had to call the police to maintain law and order.

Withdrawal by customers continued till late into the night today. The withdrawal started last night by those with ATM cards. There were long queues outside the ATM counters. No cheque was refused payment and no ATM card, unless the user punched in the wrong code, was returned without cash.

Several depositors braved the hailstorm that struck the city today and rushed to the branches of the bank located in Sectors 9, 35, 32 , Sector 11, Panchkula, and in Phases VII and XI, SAS Nagar.


Parking contractor up in arms
Launches campaign against Municipal Corporation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 8
Parking contractor Rakesh Singla and Jagtar Singh and Company today launched a public campaign to expose the Municipal Corporation for reneging on certain conditions of contract approved by it.

A letter dated January 10, 2002, purported to have been sent by the Executive Engineer Roads, Division-I, to the contractor, has asked the company to delete a condition which absolves him of the responsibility of damage to vehicles parked in the parking zone.

The letter along with the parking slip approved by the Corporation have been faxed to newspapers only a day after serving a legal notice on Municipal Corporation to stop unilateral decisions to change terms and conditions.

The contractor in the legal notice had gone to the extent of threatening to stop payment of further installments of the contract amount.

The Corporation had also approved the format of the parking slips and instructions for issuing passes which mention that any loss to those who park their vehicles would not be borne by the contractor, the contractor claimed and supported through another official letter.

The Corporation is also believed to have directed the contractor to withdraw lamination charges of Rs 30.

The contractor has shown belligerence ahead of the Finance and Contract Committee (F&CC) meeting, to be held soon.

The F&CC will go into the entire gamut of parking arrangement and the various terms and conditions.

There was all round criticism in the House of the parking system and the terms and conditions of the contract. 


Mums force special diet for exams
Monica Sharma

Chandigarh, February 8
A chart hangs on the painted wall next to a study table. Ginger tea — 6 am, Chavanprash — 7 am, two boiled eggs with almond milk followed by a tablet of multi-vitamin — 8 am and spinach for lunch.

No, the diet has not been recommended by a nutritionist for patients suffering from chronic diseases, but by anxious mothers who want their children to “do exceptionally well in the impending examinations”.

No, they are not sure whether the diet will help the young strugglers to cram the chapters in a better manner or to remember the fading words printed across the yellowing pages when the great moment comes. They are just following an age-old tradition.

“When we were young, our mother would fry almonds in desi ghee before dropping these in a steaming cup of milk,” recalls Ms Natasha Srivastava, a mother of two residing in Sector 7 here. “She would even prepare ‘panjiree’ for us because she was of the firm belief that the nutritious stuff would help us in not only mugging up the notes better, but also retaining these in memory.”

Her neighbour Deepika Kaushik agrees with her. “Our mom, too, would wake us at 6 am sharp and force us to push ‘amla-ka-murabba’ down the food pipe the first thing in the morning. The ‘murabba’ was so sweet that it was nauseating. Nevertheless, we had to consume it for we were told that olives boiled in sugar were good for memory. That is the way it was. That is the way it is”.

The kids these days are, however, different “We do not mind gulping carrot juice, even orange juice, every afternoon,” says Reetu Kakkar, a Class VIII student, but eating chavanprash is one thing we hate more than anything else. But then, you cannot argue with mothers”.

The doctors are, on the other hand, of the opinion that a healthy diet should be taken throughout the year, and not during the examination days alone.

A doctor practising with the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) says that supplements, including vitamins, were “not actually required” if a student is taking a balanced diet.

“Excessive dosage does not help because extra vitamins, in most of the cases, are not absorbed. In some cases, the extra dosage can, in fact, do more harm than good,” he says. So mothers, do not be anxious and let the little ones work the way they want to. 


Govt, MC employees to hold rally
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 8
Government and Municipal Corporation employees will hold a mass rally on February 26 at the Matka Chowk here to press for their demands.

The call for the rally has been given by the Co-ordination Committee of government and MC employees and workers demanding deputation status for MC workers, bonus, water charge concession to Public Health Department workers on the pattern of Electricity Department, regularisation of daily wage and charge workers and abolition of contract system.

Other demands include recruitment on compassionate ground, grant of technical scales to field staff, including non-ITI workers and local travel allowance to class-III and other field workers.

The working committee of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation Public Health Workers Union met here on Tuesday under the presidentship of Mr Amrik Singh to decide participation in the rally.


Centre encouraging US mediation’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 8
The Bharatiya Khidmatgar Party (BKP) today accused the BJP of tacitly encouraging US mediation and building up war euphoria for poll gains.

“The Army build-up on the Indo-Pakistan border is a BJP poll gimmick to garner votes in the coming Assembly elections by creating a war psychosis”, BKP founder-president Dr Desh Raj Bhangi said here today.

He claimed US Foreign Secretary Collin Powell had assured Pakistan President Gen Parvez Musharraf on December 19 and the country’s Foreign Minister would not attack them.

He alleged the Agra Summit was also held under US pressure.

Mr Bhangi alleged US ambassador to India Robert Blackwill was allowed to visit the Line of Control (LoC), clearly indicating India had accepted US mediation at the behest of Pakistan, despite claims to the contrary.


Verification of servants must
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 8
To keep a tab on activities of anti-social elements disguising themselves as domestic servants and for other domestic help the District Magistrate, Mr M.Ramsekhar, has issued orders under Section 144 of the CrPC directing all residents, owner or tenants of commercial and residential property not to employ anyone without furnishing the particulars to the police station concerned.

Any breach of the order will invite action under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code. Those seeking employment as domestic help will have to provide their particulars along with their passport-sized photographs to the local police to enable identification or verifications of criminal elements.

The order that came into force last night and will remain effective till April 6.

The past interrogation of criminals by the local police reveals that domestic help are at times perpetrators of crime.


Low water pressure in Darua
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 8
Residents of Darua village have been facing the problem of low water pressure for almost a week.

Overhead water tanks are not getting filled for a week, a villager, Mr Harbans Singh, told Chandigarh Tribune. He said when he complained of low water pressure, the water supply staff informed him that boosters were not being used as there was no electricity supply.

He further said though employees of the Electricity Department had come to repair the transformer, but could not do so during the week.


One held for forging school certificates
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 8
A resident of Kajheri village, Balkar Singh has been arrested for allegedly forging school certificates. According to the police, the accused to run a school in the village under the name of Akal Shakti Public School, which was upto Class X.

The accused used to get students who had failed in Class VIII admitted to his school by issuing them fake Class VIII certificates, so that they could complete their matriculation from his school. The fake certificates were of Jagdish Bhartiya Purv Middle School in Aligarh.

After receiving a tip off the Crime Branch laid a trap for him and arrested him from his school. Five fake certificates have been recovered from his possession. A case under Sections 420, 467, 468, 472 for cheating and forging documents has been registered against him.

Liquor seized

The police has arrested two persons from the ISBT, Sector 17 and recovered 36 bottles of Everyday Whisky from their possession. The accused have been identified as Vikram Singh and Bhagwan Singh, both residents of Majheri Garwal in Uttaranchal. A case under the Excise Act has been registered against them.

1 held

A resident of Panchkula, Rakesh Dutta was caught red-handed while trying to steal two water tank covers from the residence of Tara Chand in Sector 7. The accused was handed over to the police, who have arrested him and registered a case against him.

Water meter stolen

Dhani Ram an employee of the Aroma Hotel in Sector 22, has reported that a water meter installed at the Sectors 2-3-10-11 roundabout which is being maintained by the hotel, has been stolen. The police has registered a case in this regard.


Om Parkash Garg, a resident of Sector 45 has reported that the spare wheel and side shield of his scooter have been stolen. The police has registered a case. In another case a Sector 7 resident, Amandeep Singh, has reported that his bicycle has been stolen from his residence.


Exhibition opens today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 8
Followers of Radhasoami sect, Dayalbagh, will organise a two-day exhibition at Sanatan Dharam Mandir, Sector 37, here from tomorrow. It will be inaugurated by the Financial Commissioner, Haryana, Mr Prem Prashant. Ayurvedic medicines, textiles, hosiery and various other goods will on display, according to Mr Prem Dayal Bhatnagar, chairman, Dayalbagh Manufactures Exhibition Committee.

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