Sunday, March 24, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Support POTO, Jaitley counsels Cong
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
The Union Law and Company Affairs Minister, Mr Arun Jaitley, urged the Congress to avail itself of the opportunity of supporting POTO in the joint special session of Parliament on March 26 as a penance for preventing the country from being given a terrorism fighting instrument.

The Minister chose the land of Bhagat Singh, Raj Guru and Sukhdev here on their martyrdom day today to blunt the anti-POTO campaign.

He quoted the Congress spokesman as saying that the purpose of the defeat of POTO in the Rajya Sabha was to show to the world that the country was divided on the issue of fight against terrorism.

The Minister also expressed concern over shortage of judges in the courts while addressing a seminar in the morning at Panjab University auditorium. Speaking at a convocation later in the afternoon, he stressed upon the need to provide quality education.

Addressing party workers at its local office ‘’Kamalam’’ in Sector 33, he said the September 28 UN resolution had made it mandatory for each of the member countries to enact a specialised anti-terrorism law and express its resolve against the menace that crosses boundaries.

The Minister said after studying all specialised anti-terrorism laws of the world and certain special laws enacted by different state governments ruled by different parties against organised crimes, five focus areas were identified.

The Minister said the Congress was opposing all those special features — funding of terrorist activities to be considered a terrorist act, power to confiscate money or wealth created through terrorist activities, ban on terrorist outfits and individuals, interception of terrorist messages to be considered as evidence and booking police official concerned for misutilising the powers of POTO.

Reeling out data on losses to the country, he said the country had lost 61,000 civilians lives, 8,500 security personnel and Rs 45,000 crore in its 50-year-long fight against terrorism. Mr Jaitley said all four wars India fought resulted in loss of 5,400 lives from the Indian side.

The Minister said the country could not be ‘’considered’’ a soft state by terrorist and tough laws were required to incapacitate terrorist elements, but the Congress seemed to think otherwise.

Mr Jaitley said Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Karnataka ruled by non-BJP parties had enacted tougher laws against organised crimes and West Bengal was also in the process of bringing a similar law but they were opposing these features taken from these laws in POTO. He said terrorist activities carried out by the PWG and Maoists in several parts of the country were being dealt with by these laws by the states.

The Minister said these provisions in POTO were able to operate successfully on those terrorists who carried out the attack on Parliament on December 13, 2001.

He said it was because of this law the whole chain of terrorists was revealed within couple of days in the case.

Mr Jaitley said the Congress and those opposed to POTO were saying that terrorists should be tried under normal provisions of the Indian Penal Code, which had been able to convict only 6.5 per cent criminals.

The Minister said the specialised laws in Maharashtra had resulted in 77 per cent conviction of organised criminals.

Subtly commenting on media's penchant for reporting gory details resulting in stoking fire, he asked whether any of us watched any body on TV after the World Trade Center attack, number and place of trial of those who had been arrested in connection with the WTC attack.

Mr Jaitley said that Opposition's attitude is in contrast with democratic values witnessed in the USA after the WTC attack with no voice being raised against President Bushs' campaign against terrorist.

The Minister said the country was under tremendous pressure from the people to follow the USA in the war against terrorism after the December 13 attack on Parliament and the Opposition was even obstructing legal means to fight terrorism.

Workers were also addressed by Mr Satpal Jain, Mr Gian Chand Gupta, Ms Kamla Sharma, Mr Salim Mohammed, Shiromani Akali Dal leader, Mr N.S. Minhas and the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha president, Mr Satinder Singh, among others.

Earlier during the day, the Minister, speaking at a seminar organised at Panjab University auditorium by the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana, expressed concern over a large number of vacancies in the subordinate courts, besides the high courts.

He revealed that there were 156 vacancies in the high courts but only 36 names had been proposed for appointment. His remarks are significant as there are 26 Judges in the Punjab and Haryana High Court against the sanctioned strength of 40. The problems created due to shortage of judges, including an increase in the pendency of cases, is likely to get worse as two Judges are retiring this year upon attaining the age of superannuity.

Meanwhile, the Minister added that it was important to fill up the vacant posts first and then consider the creation of additional posts. Improvement, he asserted, should start at grass-root level to ensure efficiency in the judicial system.

The Minister also stressed upon the need for developing an in-house mechanism for establishing accountability among judges. He claimed that there was a provision for impeaching the judges, indulging in unethical practices, in a democratic set up like the one existing in the country but the procedure was so complex that action against the high court and Supreme Court judges was nearly impossible.

Addressing a gathering at 30th annual convocation of Sector 36 MCM DAV College in the afternoon, the Minister stated that imparting primary education coupled with a need to provide quality education was the biggest challenge before the country.

"The world has become cruel in competition. There is very little space for those who do not succeed and the barometers of success have also changed. Mediocrity is synonymous with failure,'' he said, stressing the need for institutions of excellence for developing rich manpower resource. He applauded the DAV institutions and its teachers for maintaining standards.

Claiming there were only 'isolated islands of excellence'', Mr Jaitley added that quality education could be brought about not by increasing the number of institutions but by producing intelligent and disciplined students.

Touching on the issue of women empowerment, he claimed that talk on the subject was only a slogan till economic empowerment became a reality. "This will happen only once values in society change and women can stand on their feet,'' he said.

He added that girls had an easy way out of the stiff competition — the choice of getting married. "However, that will create problems in times to come and does not provide dignity,'' he said.

Appealing to teachers, Mr Jaitley said they had the biggest role to play, in moulding personalities of children in their classes and that they must encourage students to make efforts.



An evening of divine rhythms
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, Mar 23
Their music mirrored the romantic magnificence of storms and the sea at one point and the ethereal charm of earth on the other. With absolute devotion to their respective percussion instruments, sreekhol and tabla, Gopal and Madhusudan Barman today brought to life the magic of jugalbandhi. The level of musical partnership which they reached on this third day of the Bhaskar Rao musical concert at Tagore Theatre was not just delightful; it was divine to the core.

Though scheduled second in the line of presentations this evening, the Kolkata based Barman brothers exhibited tremendous coordination. And riding on the crest of rhythm they brought to life the refinement of music, which they created right under the nose of the audience. Playing the mediator was Ustad Mehmood Dholpuri on the harmonium, who matched the vigorous musicians in imagination and versatility. The three entered into such a perfect dialogue through music that it became difficult to discern one's melody from another's.

While the audience had the first taste of sreekhol, an instrument made out of clay, the Barman brothers kept the spirit alive. Such was the harmony that where one left the melody, another picked up. Hence emerged countless crests, countless troughs and finally....raving tides. The ocean of melody roared with rhythm divine..and the audience almost danced with joy.

The beauty of percussion was followed by the beauty of motion, as Mumbai-based exponent of Jaipur kathak gharana Prachee Shah appeared on the stage, embodying grace and vigour. After paying homage to Ganpati and then to her guru Ganesh Hiralalji, Prachee began unfolding the mysteries of Jaipur gharana. As she danced like light to breathe life into thaat, aamad, uthaan, paran, ckahradhar paran, and various other elements of Jaipur kathak, the dance form stood elevated before the gathering. The audience lived upto the dancer's expectations in showering applause, just as the dancer lived upto audience's expectation to keep the musical affair going. Prachee was supported by her guru Hiralalji on harmonium. he also offered vocal support along with Sarobani Chaudhry. Prafull Sharma on flute and Shripad Jail on tabla were equally impressive. Earlier today's programme was opened by vocalist Sugandha Mishra, the young disciple of Dr Shankar Lal Mishra of Jalandhar. Accompanied by Tilak Raj on tabla and Sudarshan Kumar on harmonium, the young vocalist presented a delightful recital, concluding the same with darda: bansi wale se naina milaye na sakhi ri

On the formal front, MP Pawan Kumar Bansal presided over the function, while Income Tax Commissioner Mr Ashwini Luthra was the guest of honour.



Dancing her way into hearts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
Grace spills from her movements, just as confidence spills from her talk. Of late, the world has been full of roses for 23-year-old Prachee Shah, who is reigning the small screen. Ever since Ravi Chopra offered her the role of Parvati in a mythological serial in 1996, there has been no stopping this charming exponent of Jaipur kathak.

Kathak Dancer, Prachee Shah performs at 32nd All-India Bhaskar Rao Nritya and Sangeet Sammelan at Tagore Theatre, Chandigarh on Saturday. — Tribune photos Pradeep Tewari

An actress by chance, Prachee has so swept the tele media that she manages to clinch the best of roles. Even before she passed out from Raheja College of Architecture in western Mumbai’s Bandra suburb, she already had a well sketched-out role in Koshish airing on Zee.

Currently a favourite with Balaji Productions, Prachee is playing lead roles in prime- time serials like Kyunki saas bhi kabhi bahu thi, Kundli and the already wrapped up Kahin diya jale kahin jiya. Her latest serial in the line being Bhabhi...With a host of powerful performances to back her, Prachee could well have forgone her first love in kathak and instead pursued acting as a full-time career. But her devotion to the dance form still remains absolute. So much so that the actress has been asking her directors to give her enough time for riyaaz.

A strong believer in the saying — Music creates order out of chaos: for rhythm imposes unanimity upon the divergent, melody imposes continuity upon the disjointed, and harmony imposes compatibility upon the incongruous — Prachee is still taking her lessons in kathak from Guru Madan Kumar ji.

About the elements of kathak, she mentions, "I am inspired by the agility and versatility of this dance form. I have worked tremendously to master movements." No wonder she is the youngest dancer in India to have been bestowed with the prestigious title Shringarmani for her contribution to kathak. Besides being honoured by the Swar Sadhna Samiti, Prachee also won Miss Bombay Teens contest in ‘95-’96. With this victory, Prachee's life changed for the better.

She explained, "As a part of the gift hamper I got a portfolio done. On the insistence of friends I gave it to various event coordinators. One day I got a call from Ravi Chopra." From that day onwards, Prachee has been flooded with positive roles. "My face is said to be too positive to portray a negative character, though I would like to play one," she smiles.

Where dance continues to be her first priority, Prachee also plans to get her act together in the field of glamour. With many film offers already at hand, she is facing difficult choices. As she said, "Acting was never planned. But it was never so much of a challenge to me. The abhinaya ang of kathak came to my rescue. I can never thank my dance form enough which helped me become a more balanced and more positive person."

Also, it is to guard her image as a dancer that Prachee is extremely choosy about her roles. "I have to keep the dignity of my art alive. I cannot manage to accept frivolous roles which demean my existence as a dancer,:" she says.



PU staff, students protest today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
Panjab University is going to witness a day of dharnas during the meeting of Senate tomorrow.

The protesters will include teachers, non-teaching staff and even students. Teachers will submit a memorandum seeking an enhancement in the retirement age from 60 to 62 years. They are also demanding feeders grade.

Students from various organisations will submit a memorandum urging the university to stick to the retirement age of 60 years. “ On one hand the university talks of academic excellence and promotion of freshers and on the other hand, the old guard was not willing to quit their posts, they say.

Students are at a crucial stage of their careers and a section of them have their eyes on posts in teaching departments.

The Panjab University Staff (Non Teaching) Association will stage a dharna against the non-implementation of the Senate decision according to which Assistant Section Officers were given increments. “ Due to objections from auditors, the matter has not been resolved”, Mr Dharam Paul Sharma, president said.



Tread right path, Kiran Bedi instructs students
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
They were bowled over and completely in awe of the policewoman with a human face. The Joint Commissioner, Delhi Police, Dr Kiran Bedi, mesmerised the students, the teachers and the parents alike at DAV College, Sector 10, here today, with her counselling and guidance.

Though the audience spent an agonising one hour waiting for her at the prize distribution function of DAV Model School, Sector 15, held on the college premises, time ceased to be and everybody hung on to her every word once she took to the mike and left each one wanting more of her.

Whether it was an effort to catch her eye or shake hands with her, touch her feet or just be jostled around to ‘get’ to her, the audience, age no bar, were game for it. On her part, she reached out to everybody through her inspiring words while the crowd reciprocated with fervent appeals of “We want you back” repeatedly.

Happy to be back in the city and elated with the warm reception that awaited her at the college, Dr Bedi, was on the job straightaway. She urged students to shoot questions at her and did justice to each one.

Replying to one such question, she said, “Priorities become one’s life and you must tread the right path to succeed. My guiding force in life is to think right and do whatever is right. When you grow with right deeds, you will glow.”

She appealed to each student to perform today to be successful tomorrow. “Your today is a consequence of yesterday and tomorrow will be the result of today. Each one has the same opportunities and has been created equal. The sun rises for everybody and sets for everybody. It is what we do between sunrise and sunset that makes all the difference. Then, a new opportunity presents itself when the day begins again. Some avail it while others don’t,” Dr Bedi said.

Referring to tough times she faces in dispensing duties, she added each one was a challenge like a school exam. “The more you take, the more degrees you get. They are the only way of testing if I am still worth it,” she added.

A child wanting to know how he could become like her, was instructed to do his homework all by himself, read and study for a couple of hours and obey instruction. He was then asked to repeat the same before everybody.

Taking up the dilemma of parents at daggers drawn with growing up children for being old-fashioned, Dr Bedi advised a greater parent-teacher interaction in school. “You must reiterate what the teacher has said in class and the same goes for the teachers. When the teacher and parents present contradicting views, the child is confused and the dissension begins to seep in,” she stated.

In a short and crisp note for the teachers, she said the children were rubber dolls and the teacher needed to play the role of a counsellor as well, making a sound foundation for a strong character.

Unwilling to let her go, the whole crowd descended on her waiting car in a bid to delay her departure She went leaving memories for everybody to cherish and assurance to be back with more time on hand next time.

A colourful cultural programme was presented by students of the school.

Nearly 110 students received awards from Dr Bedi, for standing first, second and third in their respective classes in the final examinations.

While Arti Syal was adjudged best in academics, Harminder Singh bagged the prize of best sportsman, while the overall running trophy for the best house went to Nehru House.

The highlight of the cultural programme was the ‘Braj ki Holi’ which saw Radha and Lord Krishna playing holi, the stage becoming a riot of colours as ‘gopis’ joined in the fun and festivity. A quwali item staged by students also elicited tremendous response and the programme concluded on the beats of the ‘dhol’ as Punjabis performed ‘bhangra’.

The Principal of the school, Ms Rakesh Sachdeva, read out the school report and highlighted that the school endeavored to give back to society the best possible by way of right-thinking and happy children. She spoke of the performance of the students in academics, sports and cultural activities.



NRI’s death due to strangulation: report
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, March 23
The autopsy of the 28-year-old NRI, whose body was found hanging from a ceiling fan under mysterious circumstances in the house of his in-laws yesterday, is learnt to have stated strangulation as the cause of death.

Not ruling out the possibility of poisoning, the viscera has been sent for chemical examination.

A three-member panel of doctors conducted a post-mortem examination at the Civil Hospital in Phase 6 here late this evening. Though the autopsy report was yet to be given to the police, no injury marks had been found on the deceased body. A shirt worn by the victim, Harvinder Singh when he reportedly had a tiff with his wife prior to his death has been taken into possession.

The shirt was torn at some places corroborating the theory of victim's struggle with another person. The body has been kept at the mortuary of Phase 6 Civil Hospital as the two brothers of the deceased were yet to arrive from the USA.

On the basis of the statement given by the father of the victim, Mr Seetal Singh, the police has registered a case of murder against his wife, Satinder Kaur and mother-in-law Sukhvinder Kaur.

But they have not been arrested as the interrogation of the suspects was still on. The relatives of the victim had yesterday alleged that he was being harassed by his in-laws and that he had been done to death due to some property dispute.

The victim had married Satinder Kaur after living in the USA for over eight years and was a green card holder.

The relatives of the deceased had alleged that they had not been informed of the death despite of the fact that they were residing close by. Yesterday, the police had to intervene to stop the victim's relatives who broke flower pots and other household goods at the house where the body was found hanging.

The Station House Officer, Mr R.S. Sohal, said the exact cause of death would be revealed after the post-mortem examination report was given to the police.



Musical fountains inaugurated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
Musical fountains in the Rose Garden were inaugurated this evening.

Costing Rs 28 lakh, these were inaugurated by the Union Urban Development Secretary, Mr K. Kaushal Ram.

Mr Ram was also given presentations on solid waste management and electric trolley buses by the Chandigarh Administration. He also visited the Beant Singh memorial, among other places.

Those present during the inauguration ceremony were the Adviser to the Administrator, Ms Neeru Nanda, the Home Secretary, Mr R.S. Gujral, the Chandigarh Housing Board Chairman, Mr G.K. Marwah, the UT Chief Engineer, Mr Puranjeet Singh, among others.



Homage paid to martyrs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
Dr Ram Manohar Lohia, Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev were remembered here today by the Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Mission.

The Mission held a meeting under the chairmanship of Mr Ranjeet Singh Dhaliwal and was attended by all executive members on the 92th birth anniversary of the socialist leader.

The Mission decided to educate the people about great freedom fighters.

The local unit of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), at a separate function, paid homage to Comrade J. U. Sharma and Comrade Pal Singh Dhillon for their vigorous fight for the working class.

The CPM local unit secretary, Comrade Inderjeet Singh, Mr Natha Singh, Mr Tarsem Singh Jodha, Mr Chaman Lal, Mr B.M. Rana, were among those who paid the homage to Communist leaders.



CTU asked to increase buses on school routes
Monica Sharma

Chandigarh, March 23
In an attempt to discourage the students from coming to educational institutions on their own vehicles, the UT Education Department is in touch with the authorities of Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU). Even though officials are tight lipped about it, terming the entire exercise as premature, sources in the Education Department maintain that the CTU authorities are being asked to increase bus service to the schools.

The reason for their concern is not very difficult to analyse. According to the sources, the irregular bus service to schools at peak hours forcing them to use their own vehicles.

“The students not only have to walk all the way to the bus stops, they are also forced to wait for the buses in long queues. This is not all. Travelling in overcrowded buses is not even considered safe by many parents,” says an official in the Education Department. “Otherwise also, the bus drivers tend to miss rounds as a result of which the students are forced to wait for almost an hour.”

The decision is also important because the students, as per senior police officials, are directly or indirectly involved in a large number of reported and unreported accidents. The officer adds that the students were not only violating the motor vehicle rules by over speeding and jumping lights, their reflexes too are not so quick.

Another reason behind undertaking the entire exercise is the fact that the government schools unlike the private schools do not have their own buses for the convenience of the students. So, they either have to drive down to the schools or else ask their parents to drop them, resulting in traffic congestion in both the cases .

The sources add that the Education Department is reportedly asking the CTU authorities not only to run additional buses at peak hours but also to ensure that the bus drivers do not miss the rounds. This will not only reduce the flow of traffic on roads leading to the schools it will also result in a decrease in the number of accidents, besides saving petrol.

“We will also be asking the authorities to repaint the departure time of the buses at the stops,” says a senior officer in the department. “At most of the stops, the paint has peeled off as a result of which the students do not know the exact timings. Repainting of the time schedule will remove apprehensions from the minds of the school students”.

A senior officer of the CTU, when contacted, confirmed that they were in touch with the school authorities. “The bus service in the city is fairly good and quite inexpensive for pass holders. We plan to make it better”.



Seminar on Indian novel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
Need to ‘interrogate the hegemony of Indian English novel by situating it in the broad framework of Indian civilisation’ was highlighted on the first day of a seminar on ‘ Contemporary Indian Novel’ being organised by the department of Evening Studies at Panjab University here today.

Prof Makarand Paranjape in his key-note address said it was not true to trace the origin of Indian novel from the moment of colonial encounter, though it had an impact. The rise of novel in the country is linked to age-old ‘katha’ tradition.

He called the contemporary Indian novels as conned and contradictory texts — contrary to the realities of India. The Indian novel today is an index of power relations.

The second session was chaired by Prof M.L.Raina. Those who spoke included Prof Manjit Inder Singh, Dr Anu Celly, Prof Vagish Shukla, Dr Prem Singh, Dr Sudhir Kumar and Prof Ramakant Agniras.



Seminar on IT for disabled
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
The two-day national seminar on “Instrumentation and Information Technology for the Disabled” concluded with a panel discussion among experts at the Central Scientific Instruments Organisation here today.

During the discussion, it was recommended that there should be a free flow of information among doctors, engineers, policy makers, scientists, social workers, parents and the disabled and this could be possible only through a national network.

Earlier, several technical papers were presented and talks were delivered by experts. Special sessions on “Human resource development” and another on “Technology for the mentally retarded” were organised to discuss emerging trends, issues and technologies pertaining to disability.

A total of 43 papers were presented by eminent experts from all over the country during the seminar.



Punia case sent to women’s cell
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
The PGI’s special cell against sexual harassment of women in work places will look into the written complaint of the students of Department of Experimental medicine, PGI, alleging sexual harassment by Mr S.K. Punia, a senior technician of the department, who has since been transferred to the Department of Peadiatric Surgery. Mr Punia however states that both his transfer and the transfer of this case to the sexual harassment cell has been done by the PGI Director on his request.

Some months back, female students of the department had given a written complaint against Mr Punia to the Department head. According to sources, the complaint has now been forwarded to Ms Sarla Gopalan, Head, Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, who is in charge of the cell. The HoD, Prof Majumdar and Dr Sarla Gopalna refused to talk on the matter.



Road mishap victim dies
Our Correspondent

Kharar, March 23
Mr Ram Rattan, one of the 11 persons who were injured in a road mishap near Mamupur village on the Kharar-Morinda road yesterday, died in the hospital, while seven others were discharged from the hospital today.

The injured were admitted to the local Civil Hospital. Dr S.S. Dhanoa, SMO, said three were still in the hospital but were out of danger.

Meanwhile, Mrs Seema Jain, Deputy Commissioner, today visited the hospital to see the injured.



Electoral rolls for public display
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
Electoral rolls of Chandigarh parliamentary constituency revised till enrolments up to January this year will be available to people on March 25. These would be available at rural libraries, panchayat offices, Municipal Corporation Office, Residents Welfare Associations offices and Election Department of UT for public scrutiny.



I was fined, but was it my fault?

AFTER about 20 years, I availed myself of the opportunity of commuting by a Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) bus (No. CH 01 G 5821) from the traffic lights of the Chandigarh Railway Crossing to Manimajra. It was a great experience as, after boarding the bus, I took a seat. After travelling about 200 meters, the bus stopped near the petrol pump. Three persons got into the bus and started checking the tickets of the commuters.

I told the bus conductor that no one had issued me the ticket. A member of the ticket checking squad demanded Rs 30 from me towards the fine for travelling without a ticket. I promptly paid the money and was issued a receipt (No. 023358 dated March 15, 2002). At the bottom of the receipt, it was mentioned that under Rule 4.45 (XVIII) of the Motor Vehicle Rules, 1940, a passenger found travelling without ticket or alighting from the bus without ticket shall render himself to pay 10 times the fare. Apparently, since the fare from Railway Crossing to Manimajra was Rs 3, I was told to pay Rs 30.

The issue in question is that I was fined even though I was the only person to board the bus at the traffic signal. After boarding the bus, no one asked me for the ticket and even as I was trying to locate the conductor to buy the ticket, the squad got into the bus and fined me for travelling without a ticket. I would like to bring to the attention of the authorities concerned that several people like me are not aware of this rule and worse, nowhere has this rule been displayed or notified in the bus for the general information of the commuters.

As an Army officer, I thought it was my duty to abide by the rules. Consequently, I paid the fine. But let the authorities please note that this can happen to any poor person, ignorant of the rules. In the interest of the commuters, I appeal to the authorities to take proper measures to ensure that the conductor issues tickets to commuters soon after they board the bus. Also, the rule regarding the fine should be prominently displayed in all buses in public interest.

Capt (Dr) GULSHAN SATIJA, Panchkula

Waiting for justice

This has reference to the report ‘Operation clean up in Punjab Advocate General’s office’ (March 4). About 12 years ago, the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) acquired my one-acre piece of land. The Land Acquisition Officer paid me Rs 1,60,000 which was well below the market rate. Since then, my case has been pending. In the normal course, I would have got Rs 8,000 to Rs 10,000 per acre had I rented out this land for cultivation; still I would have owned this land.

The Punjab Land Acquisition Act 1894, is a curse on us. It has taken away our land by force without alternative means to live. I would like to mention in this context that the agriculturist class neither believes in bank balance nor in gold ornaments. The quantity and quality of land is most dear to us.

Now after 12 years, the High Court will decide whether the value of the land is correct or not. At that time, one could purchase one acre land for Rs 5 lakh. Now the value has risen to Rs 7 lakh per acre. Through this letter, I request the authorities concerned to either scrap the Punjab Land Acquisition Act, 1894, or suitably amend it for safeguarding the interests of small agriculturists like me.

Suffice it to mention that this Act made countless cultivators landless especially in the old districts of Ropar, Nawanshehr etc. They have been running from pillar to post in quest of small jobs in local factories or with rich people.

I am 89 and for sheer material help, have been staying at 47, Abchal Nagar, Factory Area, Patiala. (Ph: 175-360179).


Hold the draw

The Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) has been apparently misusing funds. There seems to be no check on the fund misuse. I would like to bring to the attention of the readers one specific instance of fund misuse.

PUDA had collected money from the people for the allotment of 318 plots in the developed sectors of Mohali. In an advertisement on March 4, 2002, it had informed the public that the draw would be held on May 15, 2002 for the 318 plots located in the sectors of Mohali without any scrutiny of applications.

It is pertinent to mention in this context four important points for all concerned. First, the plots are ready for possession as these are left out plots of developed sectors. Secondly, about Rs 200 crore had been collected by PUDA towards earnest money from about 15,000 applicants. Thirdly, the scheme closed on February 23, 2002, while the initial date of closure was February 15. And finally, PUDA will sit idle for three months and avail itself of the benefit of interest, running into lakhs of rupees, accrued on the public money.

In all fairness and to meet the ends of justice, PUDA should immediately go ahead with the draw and allot the plots to the applicants. This should not pose any problem for the PUDA authorities as they have no plans for scrutiny of applications.

RAKESH KUMAR, Chandigarh



New look at old Bollywood drama
Sanjeev Singh Bariana

‘KYA Yehi Pyaar Hai’ (KC., Chandigarh, and KC, Panchkula) is a fresh look at the same old environs of a typical Bollywood love drama.

Dreams of love, fitting in of a dream face, Bollywood family rivalries and final realisation of love are nothing new. Neither is there any freshness in the music, script or the settings. The youthful settings and accompanying antics are however heartening.

The boy (Aftab Shivdasani) is too much in love with a girl (Amisha Patel) who loves her studies and nothing more. The boy’s family settings are cool with a very understanding brother (Jackie Shroff) on his back. The girl’s family settings on the other hand are totally hot with an alcoholic father (Ashish Vidyarthi) up in arms against the mother.

Aftab spends four years pursuing Amisha but evokes no response from her heart. The matter worsens when her father comes to know about the boy. Aftab is arrested and beaten, but the sparks of love still ignite his dreams. He pursues her on a wrong trial to Hyderabad but finds his elder brother dead in a road accident when he lands back home. The girl is broken by now and is determined to confess her love for Aftab.

Here something rarely attempted in Bollywood has been done. Anupama Verma has played a commendable supporting role.

The presentation is directed by K.Murli Mohan Rao and Mukesh Udeshi is the executive producer. Jalees Rashid and Ajay Jhingam have written the lyrics for the music composed by Sajid-Wajid. The movie is a Tips Films and Allu Arvind presentation.

‘December 16’: (Piccadily, Chandigarh, and Suraj, Panchkula) is a fast-paced presentation draped in Hollywood-influenced settings of a crime thriller.

The story seems a little hard to digest with the police working out a crime-file purely on computer data with state-of-the-art machinery and much smarter than common police functioning. The pace of the story revolves around saving and upholding the national honour leaving an impressive stamp on minds and hearts.

Milind Soman is a cop who is fired for killing a corrupt senior. Danny Denzongpa wants him back in service for his talent while he is on mission of cracking an underworld racket in black-marketing.

Milind is assisted by Dipinita Sharma and Sushant Singh. All plans of the team seem to be already known to the opponents. The knot of mystery is untied for the Soman team to realise that instead of a common black marketeer, there was a Pakistani hand behind the whole game plan of setting up a nuclear bomb in New Delhi to ‘avenge’ the Pakistan’s surrendering in the Bangladesh war in 1971. The leader of the group was Gulshan Grover, a disgruntled Army official of the 1971 war. The film has been produced by Arunima Roy and the story, screenplay, editing, direction and special effects have been done by Mani Shankar.



Two injured in clash
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
Two persons were injured after a fracas at a meat shop in Mani Majra. Amanpreet Singh, who has been admitted to the PGI, has alleged that he was assaulted by several persons, including Jagdish Kumar, Ram Asra and Gogi, all residents of Mauli Jagran. He added that they also took away his gold chain and Rs 15,000 in cash.

A resident of the same colony, Jagdish Kumar, who was admitted to the Sector 32 Government Hospital, has alleged that Amanpreet, Dharma and several residents of the same colony assaulted him and also snatched his wife’s gold chain and attempted to outrage her modesty. The police has registered a cross case.

One hurt
A resident of Sector 7, Budh Raj, was injured after he was knocked down by a scooter on Madhya Marg, Sector 26. He was admitted to the Sector 16 General Hospital. The police has registered a case.

One held
The police has arrested a resident of Ropar, Sagar Kumar, for plying his rickshaw on the wrong side of the road near Hotel Shivalik View, Sector 17. He has been booked for causing danger and obstructing public way.


Ms Nisha, a resident of Sector 8, was injured when she was hit by a scooter ( HR-03B- 6068) on way to her house. The scooterist ran away from the spot. He has been booked under Section 279 of the IPC. TNS



Five-year-old raped by cousin
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 23
A five-year-old girl was allegedly raped by her 14-year-old cousin at Kakrali village, near here, yesterday. A case under Section 376 of the IPC has been registered against Gurjit Singh, who has been arrested.

Police sources said at the time of the incident children were alone in the house. The accused called the girl inside a room on the pretext of playing with marbles. He then locked the door from inside and raped her.

A case was registered today. It is learnt that the girl will be examined by a team of doctors at the Civil Hospital, here tomorrow.



Murder case: police clueless
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
The police has still not found any clue to the murder of Sector 36 resident Jagjot Singh, whose decomposed body was recovered from his residence yesterday. The mother of the deceased, Kamal Kohli, along with his sister arrived here from Mumbai this morning.

Police sources say that the family members of the deceased have so far not suspected anyone of the crime. The post-mortem examination will be conducted tomorrow.



Two commit suicide
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, March 23
A man and a girl committed suicide by consuming some poisonous substance at Nada village, near here. According to the information available, the bodies of the two, Raghbir (30) and an 18-year-old girl, were found lying in the fields.



BSNL invites applications
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
The Chandigarh Telecom District of the BSNL has invited applications for IN PCOs at petrol pumps, departmental stores, super bazaars, banks, bookstalls, medical stores, commercial establishments, hospitals and college hostels.

The BSNL will provide a free telephone with special level for dialling codes for accessing telephone facility through Virtual Calling Cards or India Telephone Cards. The benefit of the IN PCO is that calls are charged at Rs 1.10 per unit instead of Rs 1.20 per unit and the subscriber will not be required to dial the access code of 160233 or 160234.

According to a press note, the applicants will not be required to make any deposits while applying. The applicant shall ensure safety of the telephone set provided by the Nigam and will be required to display the signboard indicating the availability of IN PCO and properly guide the users about the use apart from ensuring unrestricted use of IN PCO . The Nigam reserves the rights to disconnection in case the services to the public are not satisfactory, stated the note.


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 |
122 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |