Wednesday, May 1, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Low collection of revenue at octroi posts
Confusion and chaos on the first day
Bipin Bhardwaj

Dera Bassi, April 30
Low collection of revenue marked the first day of octroi reimposition in this part of the state as skeleton staff, without flying squad to back them up, failed to stop motorists crossing the barriers on highways and link roads.

Confusion, pandemonium and chaos are, perhaps, the best adjectives to describe the scene at the barriers. A large number of truck drivers, ignorant about the restoration of octroi in the state, did not stop at all. Those who did, were not willing to pay without arguing till they were actually convinced. Some others, aware of the fact that the Acts abolishing octroi in the state had been quashed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court, managed to take advantage of the skeleton staff. As the officials tried to convince the commuters, they escaped.

According to sources, instead of collecting Rs 30, 000 to Rs 40, 000 per day before abolition of octroi, the officials could gather just about Rs 6,000 to Rs 8,000 till 5 pm today.

Sources claimed that there was “no laxity as such on the part of the octroi collection staff”. Soon after the High Court quashed the petition, the authorities of the municipal councils and the nagar panchayats came into action and deputed the employees at the octroi collection barriers all over the state on Monday midnight, sources added. A visit to Rajpura, Banur, Dera Bassi and Zirakpur areas authenticated their claim.

Octroi was abolished by the state government on December 1 last year causing huge revenue losses to the state exchequer. Execution of all development works of the civic bodies had also been affected adversely and even the working staff remained idle for over five months.

Though the authorities and the employees of the civic bodies were happy with the decision, the traders were a little bit unhappy over the restoration of octroi. Residents of the area also expressed their happiness over the decision.

Employees of Dera Bassi Municipal Council even distributed ladoos after they received the news of octroi restoration in Punjab. Similar news were also received from other surrounding areas.

It may be recalled that the High Court while quashing the Acts abolishing octroi in the state of Punjab had held these to be unconstitutional. Delivering the verdict, Mr Justice Jawahar Lal Gupta and Mr Justice Ashutosh Mohunta of the High Court had ruled that the state which once abounded in sugar was now sad saccharin due to the adoption of populist politics and other revenue sacrificing measures, including free power and water, besides abolition of octroi, house tax and land revenue.

The Judges had also ruled that the “impugned Acts were an example of politics of staying in power at all costs and the basic tenets of good governance had been clearly ignored in the present case”.


Sacrificing graduates constituency no solution, say principals
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 30
Against abrogation of the graduates constituency in the Panjab University Senate, principals of most of the city colleges are of the unanimous opinion that the answer lies in educating and awakening the voters to send in “clean’’ candidates as their representatives.

Quoting from an editorial of Madhavan Nair, former Editor-in-Chief of The Tribune, on the re-election of a criminal to the Uttar Pradesh Assembly, Principal S.C. Marriya said,” He wrote, “Hats off to Indians. When they see a snake they kill it and there comes Nagpanchami and they feed it with milk. That sums up exactly what we are facing today be it constituency of the university Senate.’’

They claimed that doing away with the graduates constituency would not only stifle the voice of the graduates who constitute a majority of those affected by university decisions but would also amount to throwing the baby out with the bath water.

Blaming the lack of interest of voters, Principal A.C. Vaid says, “Most of those who make it to the university Senate are not true representatives of the graduates and have no interest in the working of the university whatsoever. Besides, the spirit to make a judicious choice is lacking in the voter. There is need to revive this interest rather than sacrificing the graduate constituency itself.”

He adds that the graduates constituency, like the others academic bodies, is a hand-down from the British system where the voter is alive to that his requirements from an institution and votes likewise, ensuring that his opinion finds voice where it makes a difference.

Clarifying that not only non-academicians but academicians as well get elected from the graduates constituency, Principal S.C. Marriya asserts, “There is need to fight the growing indifference of the voter which is the root cause of the problem. Sadly, our youngsters have accepted that the whole system is rotten and wrong and one more ‘wrong’ person would hardly make a difference. This is where the problem lies.’’

Principal Satinder Dhillon, associated with the University Senate for a long time, adds, “There is no doubt that some members have monopolised their seats in the Senate and their concern ends with being voted to the Senate. However, there are others who are genuinely interested with taking up the cause of the student community at large.”

She believes that instead of pointing a finger at the representatives who are an outcome of the election system, the graduates who elect them should be the target population. “Each of us can contribute in our own way to making the voters aware of their responsibility while choosing a particular candidate. While the university and colleges can do so by giving out handouts, the media, too, can be used to serve this end. This is the resource we need to tap,’’ she suggests.

However, treading a slightly different line, Principal Usha Gupta, said the graduate constituencies needed a rethink, not to be done away with completely but to be made manageable for scrutiny. “Voters in this constituency are spread all over Punjab. It is impossible for candidates to interact with them, or for that matter for candidates to watch their interest. Graduates constituencies were made when the number of graduates were few. Now, even the post-graduates are in plenty. We certainly need to give serious thought to the issue and prepare certain guidelines for this ‘unmanegeable’ constituency which is growing bigger by the day,’’ she said.

Similar views were expressed by Principal PS Sangha who said “though giving representation to all groups and sections of society on the academic bodies was essential, it was important to monitor the candidates making it to these bodies using the democratic process as a tool.”

The election method to the graduates constituency and representatives thereby elected to the university Senate is being hotly debated in academic circles following the alleged involvement of its Senator, Paramjit Singh Pammi, elected to the Senate from the graduate constituency, in the Punjab Public Service Commission appointment scandal pulled off by its chairman, Ravi Sidhu.

On action by the senate against Pammi, they were of the opinion that the PU Senate could act only once Pammi’s role in the scam was supported with evidence and his guilt proved beyond doubt since accusations tend to fly thick and fast in any controversy and they usually come to a naught as time goes by.


Teachers cautioned against going to Press
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 30
Panjab University has issued a letter asking teachers not to go to the press without permission, evoking a strong reaction from different quarters of the teaching community, terming the measure ‘draconian’.

A letter of the Dean, University Instructions, says: “Your attention is invited to Rule-4(ii) of the rules governing the conduct of university employees given in the university calendar", which says “ no employee shall without the previous sanction of the prescribed authority or in bona fide discharge of his duties, participate in radio broadcast or contribute any article or write any letter to any newspaper or periodical or write a book or issue a pamphlet either in his own name or anonymous, pseudonymously’.

The letter further says’ “the Vice-Chancellor has desired that the above rule may be followed in letter and spirit.”

The letter has sent waves of strong reaction against the circular. A cross-section of teachers talking to The Tribune conveyed their dissatisfaction with the circular terming the move as ‘autocratic’ and against the principles of democracy. Prof K.N. Pathak, Vice-Chancellor, accepted that a circular had been issued. He, however, clarified that the message had not been clearly conveyed due to weaknesses in the drafting of the language of the circular. The message was not to hamper the democratic values of the institution or to ban intellectual activity.

It was only a message against certain activities which warranted necessary action. Publishing of books in general and of pamphlets against the interests of the university (without permission) were not in the spirit of the institution. Professor Pathak said the circular will be re-drafted and presented before the forthcoming Syndicate to do away with all the misgivings.

Prof P.P. Arya, a former president of the Panjab University Teachers Association, said such move had been initiated by the university even earlier. “ We condemned such a move earlier and today was no different. There is a provision in the calendar but such harsh measures have to be initiated only in case of an emergency. Each institution had a definite role in society and an academic institution like a university was an arena for generation of ideas and prohibiting free expression was not in its interest’. In fact there should be a move to eliminate such a provision from the calendar.

Dr Anirudh Joshi, a former Dean, Student Welfare, said the university move to gag free expression was not the first time. There can hardly be a difference of opinion on the move being against the fundamental right of expression. If a subject expert was approached for an interview in his concerned field it, would be ridiculous if he had to talk to the higher authorities concerned for permission. A university job was different from a routine office job and freedom of expression was a very important characteristic of its functioning, Dr Joshi added.

Dr R.P.S. Josh, a fellow, said if the calendar needed to be amended then a move should be initiated to change the provisions which were against the very basics of energy of an academic institution. A recent move by the university to have the complaints filed only on affidavits was also not received very well and the proposal had to be turned down.

Prof Jagdish Kalra, Department of Correspondence Studies, said the university was an important place for opinion formation and discussions on formulated plans. 


Stone of GMCH staff residential complex laid
Tribune News Service

Top UT officials had no reply when the Administrator asked about the deplorable condition of roads in Sector 48. A visibly angry General Jacob asked the UT Chief Engineer to expedite the re-carpeting of roads in these sectors.

Chandigarh, April 30
A foundation stone to start construction of 272 houses under a Rs 20 crore project for doctors and staff of the Government Medical College and Hospital was laid by the UT, Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), today in Sector 48-D.

The residential complex will have 272 houses for Group A, B, C, and D employees of the GMCH and will be spread over an area of 21.5 acres. Speaking on the occasion, General Jacob said the GMCH was the biggest project of the Chandigarh Administration with a total outlay of Rs 223.46 crore.

The Administrator said Four-and-a-half blocks of this hospital have already been completed and two blocks are nearing completion. The construction work of the three blocks would be started during the current financial year. General Jacob said the hospital was equipped with the latest equipment to meet the needs of high quality medical services and would emerge as one of the best medical colleges and hospitals of the country. The Administrator said the residential complex of medical college was a necessity as staff of GMCH had to perform emergency duty and it was essential that they lived in areas of the hospital.

He hoped that the availability of this residential facility would upgrade the standard of medical care in the hospital. Stressing upon the need for speeding up development of Phase III sectors, General Jacob said development of the area needs expediting and cooperation of resident welfare associations in greening the areas needs to be sought.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Puranjit Singh, Chief Engineer, assured the Administrator that re-carpeting of the roads would begin after receiving a report of the fact-finding committee, which is going into the poor quality of work done earlier in construction of these roads.

He said greening of the area had already begun and they had started developing green belt in Sectors 48 and 49, which would be developed before rains. The green belt would be provided with footpaths, lights and independent irrigation facilities. Later, coming back from the function, General Jacob also inspected the green belt and greening of vacant areas in Sector 48. The Administrator ordered to the Forest Department to plant poplar trees on vacant land to save them from further encroachments.

General Jacob also went around to the various parts of Sector 48 to see the progress of development work.



CBI fails to substantiate claim in bribery case
Kiran Deep

Chandigarh, April 30
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has so far not substantiated its own claim to possess vital evidence — a recorded conversation between a former CIA inspector J.S Cheema and the complainant regarding bribe — while seeking the remand of Cheema before the court.

Earlier, the CBI claimed that it had a cassette revealing that Cheema had demanded a bribe from the complainant, Ajay Kumar, to close a case against him.

Sources revealed that Ajay Kumar had handed over a cassette to the CBI in which his conversation with Cheema had been purportedly recorded. As per the conversation recorded in the cassette, the accused had asked the complainant to give Rs 10, 000 to him in addition to Rs 50,000 already paid up.

The sources said the name of a senior police officer was also mentioned by Cheema during the conversation. Besides the CBI, the master copy of the cassette and its duplicate copy are also in the possession of other persons.

Cheema, who surrendered before the CBI on April 26, was produced in the court on April 27. CBI’s counsel sought remand in order to recover Rs 50,000 allegedly accepted by Cheema. The CBI also wanted to recover incriminating documents from his possession. After hearing the arguments, Cheema was remanded in police custody for three days by the court.

CBI sources said the cassette would be placed before the court during the trial. The CBI would also record the voice of Cheema in the presence of Ajay Kumar to match the voice that in the cassette. Later the recorded voice would be analysed by the forensic lab.

Sources close to Cheema revealed that as supervisor of the CIA, Chandigarh, he was handing a case of fake degrees in which he had got vital information about number of persons in senior position and about 10 advocates having fake degrees. They said the trap to nab Cheema was laid only to harm the investigation and shield the accused whose names had cropped up in the fake degrees racket.

The police has not put up a challan in the fake degree case. The Bar Council of the Punjab and Haryana High Court on February 25 refused to issue a licence to as many as 30 students, who had obtained degrees from Bundelkhand Jhansi University, Mahatma Gandhi Kashi University and Magadh University.Back


Cheema remanded
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 30
J.S. Cheema, a former CIA Inspector, was produced in the court of the UT Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mr C.L. Mohal, today. The CBI sought judicial custody of the accused in 14-day’s judicial custody. The accused also moved a bail plea.



Posters miss out on MLA’s photo
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, April 30
The picture of the local Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA), Mr Bir Devinder Singh, is conspicuous by its absence on the posters welcoming the appointment of Mrs Lahwinder Kaur Garcha as Officer on Special Duty to the Punjab Chief Minister. The posters sponsored by various political outfits and social bodies have been displayed at public places in the town.

Interestingly, the picture of the Member of Parliament of the area, Mr SS Dhullo, next to that of AICC President Sonia Gandhi and PPCC President Capt Amarinder Singh in the posters raises several questions. Not allowing to be pinned down on the issue, Mrs Garcha said to be close to the Chief Minister states that the people who sponsored the posters can reply better.

"People from different parts of the state daily come to congratulate me. They repose faith in me", said Mrs Garcha. The MLA, however, preferred not to comment on the issue

But there is much more to be read between the lines. Sources in both camps virtually spit venom against each other. It has been over two months when the Congress came to power in the elections in Punjab. But voters who command influence among different sections of the society in Kharar constituency are still a confused lot.

Groupism within the leaders of the ruling party is resulting in the emergence of two power centres — one represented by the MLA, Mr Bir Devinder Singh, and the other camp of Mrs Lakhwinder Kaur Garcha.

Mr Bir Devinder Singh is "virtually" pitched against the Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to the Punjab Chief Minister. Though Mrs Garcha says that people from entire Punjab came to hail her appointment, sources in her camp say that she was a contender for the Kharar seat. The people who were honouring her mostly hail from the Kharar constituency, — which is denied by Mrs Garcha. Sources close to both the leaders say that people do not want to get out of the race for being close to the bigwigs.

Voters and people commanding financial and social respect are making a beeline to the office of the OSD, who sits in the office of the Chief Minister. Mrs Garcha said she has worked for the party for the past many years and people are honouring me for my work.

She does not feel that a politician has to be an MLA to represent the people. I am doing the same thing in the capacity as an OSD. Mr Bir Devinder Singh says the OSD was "just" an appointee by the government.


‘Release DA to pensioners’

Even though the Government of India had released DA instalment for January, 2002, to its employees and pensioners, the Haryana Government has not yet followed suit. The latter had allocated Rs 20 crore in the State Budget (since passed by the State Assembly) for two instalments due in January 2002, and in July, 2002. We appeal to the Chief Minister and the Finance Minister to consider the plight of the pensioners, most of whom are between 65 and 70 years, and release the DA instalments expedetiously.

A.N. BHANDULA, Panipat

Tasty tea and pakora

This has reference to Mr Narinder Singh’s letter “We can’t afford costlier hotels anymore” (Chandigarh Tribune, April 3). On April 6, we had tea and bread pakora at the tea stall mentioned by Mr Narinder Singh in his letter at SCO 57-59, Sector 17-C. We have been drinking tea all over India during our travel through your country. We can tell from our experience that the tea and pakora we had in the hotel as mentioned were very tasty and delicious. The hotel was also clean and the items reasonably priced. To find this place is to find a little goldmine. Mr Narinder Singh understands the difficulties of budget travellers in this city. He seems to be helping tourists to find cheap accommodation and food.

GONDA HAANSTRA, (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) and BENOIT GUERARD ,Longuevil (Canada)

ISKCON temple

I had a scintillating experience during a visit to the ISKCON temple in Chandigarh recently. The ISKCON celebrates all regular festivals with traditional gaiety and enthusiasm. It has its youth wing called the Iskcon Youth Forum (IYF). It conducts various programmes on Sundays. At 9.30 a.m, I listened to a brilliant lecture on the theme “Are you a leader or a follower?” A 15-minute question and answer session on the theme of the lecture followed. After this, questions were raised on many other subjects. Then started the chanting of Hare Krishna Hare Rama. Sumptuous prasad was distributed afterwards.

We were told that those in the service of Lord Krishna will have to obey four cardinal principles to purify the senses — no meat eating; no illicit sex; no gambling; and no intoxication. What I particularly liked is the fact that one need not be a Hindu to serve Lord Krishna. Sikhs, Muslims, Christians, anyone can serve Lord Krishna. And once you become conscious of the god, you will be free from all kinds of problems, difficulties and miseries.


Loudspeaker menace

Recently, on my request over phone (No. 100), the Chandigarh Police Control Room registered my complaint against the use of the loudspeaker at a nearby religious place. The police jeep arrived in 15 minutes and got loudspeaker stopped. But there is no end to this menace. It was on my request that the police come now and then and check the menace. How long will this problem continue? Can’t the police find a way out to solve the problem permanently?

The police has adequate powers to deal with the problem. How many times should we dial 100 for help? Students prepare for examinations. Old people and patients also need peace. The law enforcement agencies should check the misuse of loudspeakers.

ABHAI SINGH, Manimajra

No HUDA refund

In my application (No. 1528), I had applied for a six-marla plot in Sector 27, Panchkula. I had deposited Rs 52,632 on September 27, 2001 for the purpose. Owing to domestic compulsions, I was in dire need of money and requested the HUDA authorities to make refund on December 14, 2001, (much before the date of the draw). Till now, I have not got my money back.

LABH SINGH, Chandigarh

Back on the roads

The Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) officials are again back on the roads of Mohali, bulldozing “encroachments” which had resurfaced at many places. Actually, people waited for a couple of months to see what PUDA was going to do with the reclaimed land. But it didn’t do anything. And as stray cows and dogs had started using these places as toilets, people again tried to make these places look respectable by trying to keep away the bovines and canines.

As the honourable court, in its profound wisdom, has decided that the people of Mohali don’t deserve flowers and green foliage in their front yards, there is hardly any option for PUDA to do anything else than what it is doing.

I wish the court used its profound wisdom again and directed that stray cows, dogs and heaps of filth on roadsides should disappear from Mohali within a week’s time. Then, they can send a committee to see whether their orders have been implemented or not.



Involve moderates in resolving Ayodhya issue’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 30
The Puri Shankaracharya Swami Nishchalanand Saraswati here today suggested engaging Sonia Gandhi and moderate and nationalist Muslims, “whose number overwhelms confrontationists”, in building the Ram temple at Ayodhya, a major cause of the Hindu-Muslim conflict.

“I offer this solution with my understanding of ground realities through interaction with moderate Muslims and am ready to give the whole strategy to the Prime Minister, who has shown reluctance to solve the Ayodhya imbroglio,” Swami Nishchalanand told a press conference here today.

The offer of Puri Shankaracharya, after a failed attempt by the Kanchi Shankaracharya, assumes importance as he had criticised the BJP, VHP, Bajrang Dal and the government alike but indicated confidence in the BJP if Sonia Gandhi came forward for the solution and advocated solutions to burning problems of the country through all faiths.

He said the idea of involvement of moderate and nationalist Muslims occurred to him after he was called in Biabar in Rajasthan by Muslims to install an idol of their goddess, which is unthinkable for Muslims who oppose idolatary.

Those politicians and religious leaders who are becoming stumbling blocks in the solution to the issue should be weeded out, the Shankaracharya said.

Ms Sonia Gandhi could help solve the problem by bringing a resolution before Parliament of transferring the disputed land to Hindus. The BJP will support the move, he said.

The Shankaracharya said he had taken a similar proposal before Narasimha Rao, the then Prime Minister, and the then leader of the Opposition Lal Krishan Advani had agreed to such a solution.

Swami Nishchalanand suggested formation of committees of eminent politicians, involving former prime ministers and former presidents, and reputed religious figures drawn from all faiths to find solutions to the problems of poverty alleviation, de-polluting rivers of the country, cow-slaughter, national security and empowering of weaker sections of society and containing the influence of multi-national companies.

He said the World Bank and the United Nations had already made a beginning in this direction and that he himself had been engaged by the two bodies in this effort.

The Shankaracharya held the RSS, VHP, Bajrang Dal and the government responsible for violence in Gujarat, saying those fanning violence were “foreign agents.”

Attacking the tendency of Christians for attempting to convert Hindus, Swami Nishchalanand said he had prevailed upon the Dalai Lama for abandoning conversion of 10,000 Hindus recently and not to continue the practice in future.

The Shankaracharya claimed that the Dalai Lama had also agreed to consider Budhism as Vaidik Budhism.

Swami Nishchalanand said considering Sikhs, Jains and Budhists as separate minority identity was not in the national interest as well as those of those communities themselves.

He said under Section 25 of the Constitution, these communities had been clubbed with Hindus for the common interest of all communities.

The Shankaracharya expressed confidence of bringing together all communities, as ancestors of 95 per cent people of non-Hindu religions were Hindus and they still shared the same culture.

He said Sikhism was not a religion but only a sect whose nine Gurus were Hindus and the 10th Guru created Khalsa to protect Hindus.

The Shankaracharya quoted Iraqi President Saddam Hussain post-Babri mosque demolition as saying that Muslims of India by retaliation were trying to “wake up a sleeping lion.”

Avoiding a direct reply on whether Ms Sonia Gandhi should be allowed to become Prime Minister, he said Ms Gandhi herself had to answer many questions as to how her own country would allow an Indian to hold the same position in that country.

He, however, said Ms Gandhi is ruling a large part of the country by virtue of being President of a party that ruled 14 states of the country.

The Shankaracharya had come to the city to inaugurate the extended parts of the Sector 46 Sanatan Dharam temple.

In the evening he held a session with intellectuals of the city to clear their doubts about Vaidik learning.

The Shankaracharya supported the Varna system, saying the Geeta had identified duties for the people from all castes to attain the highest goal of life, salvation, saying the Hindu system was indiscriminatory.

He termed the Manusmriti, Nyay shastra and Indian philosophical streams as the origin of the world’s best constitution, which was copied by the West to develop modern civil societies.

The Shankaracharya said the conversion attempted by Christians was not for spiritual gains but for monetary ones and non-Hindu societies had more discrimination in the name of ethnicity and were even oppressive.

He will preach tomorrow at 11 am in Shiv Mandir of Sector 9 in Panchkula, Sector 23 Sanatan Dharm Mandir at 4 pm and at Sanatan Dharam Mandir, Sector 46-B, between 8 pm to 10 pm.


BJP favours legal rehabilitation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 30
The BJP, which opposed the April 17 demolition of houses and shops in Colony No. 5, today opposed their ‘’unauthorised rehabilitation by the Congress Mayor’’.

The Leader of the party in the Municipal Corporation, Ms Kamla Sharma, urged the Mayor, Ms Lalit Joshi, to call a meeting of the House immediately to pass a resolution for a speedy and legal rehabilitation of the displaced people.

Interestingly, none of political parties taken the same position of passing a resolution in the House meeting on April 18, a day after the demolition was carried out.

Criticising the alleged attempt by the Mayor and the local MP, Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, to rehabilitate those displaced near the Burail Jail, Ms Sharma termed it as an attempt to make a mockery of the Chandigarh Administration’s rehabilitation policy.

The BJP councillor said she got reports of corruption in alleged allocation of plots near the jail and sought an inquiry into the matter.

Ms Sharma termed as serious the attempt by Congress leaders to offer plots without the permission of the Administration and the corporation and said it was unprecedented.

Questioning the sincerity of the Congress for the displaced people, she said had they wanted these people to be permanently settled, they should have got the approval of the corporation and the Administration.

The Congress has also not taken any position on the issue officially and the Mayor is told to have asked the displaced people to take shelter on the vacant land near the jail.

The Mayor also reportedly sent water tanks to the people at them.


Fire devours sugarcane crop
Our Correspondent

Lalru, April 30
Standing sugarcane crop over 14 acres of land was destroyed in a major fire that broke out in the fields near Lalru village this evening.

According to eyewitnesses a sparking from the overhead high tension electricity cables caused the fire.

As the fire spread the farmers and the villagers of the surrounding areas gathered and started extinguishing the flames. Water from tubewells near the spot was used to put off the blaze. The farmers whose crop was destroyed, include Mr Suresh Kumar, Mr Mangat Ram, Mr Vas Ram, Mr Ram Singh, Mr Surjit Singh, Mr Sultan Singh, Mr Garza Ram, Mr Sukhbir Singh and Mr Rajbir Singh.


Road workers sit in dharna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 30
The Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh Road Workers Union today sat in dharna at Manimajra near MC stores to prepare for the May 8 rally in front of the Commissioner’s and Chief Engineer’s office.

The protesters were addressed by P. Kamraj, president of the union, Balkishan, a member of the coordination committee and Amrik Singh, Chairman of the Mechanical Workers Union.


Minor fire near PU hostel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 30
A fire broke out in bushes near Hostel Number 3 of the Panjab University here today. Two fire tenders from Sector 11 and 17 contained the fire in a half-an-hour operation and prevented the fire from reaching the hostel.

No major loss has been reported in the fire that was reported at 5.15 pm. Security staff of the University made a cut in the fire to check its intensity before the fire tenders reached the spot.


Held for manipulating vehicle registrations
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 30
The Operations Cell of the Chandigarh Police today arrested a Sector-21 resident for allegedly using a surrendered registration number and duplicate registration certificates two Sumo vehicles owned by him.

According to the police, the accused, Jagdish Singh, was apprehended this morning after the police had received a tip-off about his activities some time ago. The police had reportedly been keeping a watch on the movements of his vehicles and were waiting for an opportunity to round both the vehicles in the city.

The police said the accused had purchased a Sumo (HR-03-B-4108) from a Panchkula- based car financier. Later, after getting a “no-objection certificate”, he obtained a Chandigarh registration number (CH-03-9305) and surrendered the earlier number to the Haryana authorities. However, he kept a colour photo copy of the registration certificate.

Jagdish bought another Sumo from a Dharamshala resident but was reportedly using the surrendered number (HR-03-B-4108) on the vehicle along with the photo-copy of the registration certificate.

The police further added that the engine number of both the vehicles did not match those recorded in the registration certificates. Further, the registration certificate for the Chandigarh number was also said to be duplicate.



Rs 4.5 lakh stolen from Ram Darbar house
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 30
A resident of Ram Darbar, Harish Chander, has reported that a sum of Rs 4.5 lakh has been stolen from his house by a Maloya resident whom he had engaged to white-wash his house. According to the police, the complainant had kept the money in a divan in his room, but the money was later found missing. The accused also did not show up for work the following day. The police has registered a case and launched a manhunt.

Student assaulted
A student staying at the Government College for Boys’ hostel, Sector 11, Naveen Bhutania, has reported that he was assaulted and intimidated by several persons who had forced their way into his room. The complainant, while identifying some of the assailants, added that his gold chain was also taken away by the accused. He received injuries and was admitted to the Sector 16 General Hospital. The police has registered a case.

Scooterist injured
A resident of Sector 44, N. D. Sharma, was injured after his scooter was hit by another scooter on the Sector 33-34 dividing road. He has been admitted to the PGI. The police has registered a case.

Liquor seized
A resident of Kumhar Colony was arrested by the police from the Sector 14-25 dividing road for bootlegging. At least 48 pouches of illicit liquor have been seized from him. A case under the Excise Act has been registered against him.

Abduction alleged
A resident of Colony No.5, Ram Kumar, has reported that his 17-year-old daughter has been abducted by a resident of the same colony. A case has been registered.

Sector 8 resident Vinod Prashar has reported that his house was broken into and a wrist watch, bank passbook, driving licence and registration certificate along with Rs 3,700 in cash and some household articles have been stolen. The police has registered a case.

Vehicles stolen
Sector 41 resident Paramjit Singh has reported that his Maruti car (CH-03-D-5069) has been stolen from his residence. A case has been registered.

A resident of Kurali, Harmesh Singh, has reported that his scooter (PJN-3368) has been stolen from Palsora. A case has been registered.


Gang busted
Under the code name “Operation Speed-Breaker,” the Panchkula police has busted an inter-state gang of robbers and recovered goods worth Rs 1.5 lakh.

According to the police, the accused — Inderjit Singh alias Tinka, and Jatinder, alias Tony, residents of Bartana — were nabbed near Bell factory while they were riding a motorcycle.

During questioning the duo confessed the committing thefts and robberies in Panchkula, Chandigarh and surrounding areas. They also confessed to chain snatching in Sector 12-A and Sector 16 in Panchkula in December last year and April this year.

The police has recovered two gold chains, a mangalsutra, two scooters, a motorcycle, a cell phone and a CD player from them.

Theft cases
The police has registered three theft cases against some unidentified persons. On the complaint of Ms Kiran Bala, teacher at Government Primary School, Gorakhpur village, a case has been registered under Sections 457 and 380 of the IPC. The teacher has complained that a school room was broken into and a ceiling fan and a stereo taken away two days ago.

In another case, a purse and some jewellery were taken away from a car that was parked in front of Vatika Park in Sector 5 on April 28.

In a similar case, a scooter (PB-13F-4334) was stolen from the front of a house in Sector 10 on April 28. The police has registered a case under Section 379 of the IPC.

Dowry harassment case
In a case of harassment for dowry, the police has booked three members of a Chandimandir family — Prem Singh, Raja and his wife — under Sections 498-A, 365, 120-B and 506 of the IPC. They have been booked for harassing Ms Promila Devi, demanding more dowry from her and threatening her with dire consequences.

Earlier, the father of the victim, Mr Ram Singh, a resident of Kheri Bhoj, had alleged that her in-laws had been harassing her.


Punjabi language software developed
Tribune News Service

The Centre for Electronics Design and Technology of India (CEDTI) has developed a computer software ‘Punjabi Editor’ which is compatible with the MS Windows and other similar software.

Talking to TNS, the Director General of the CEDTI, New Delhi, Mr R.S. Khandpur, said the software enables the Punjabi language users to access all features otherwise available in English in Punjabi too. It enables familiar windows graphical user interface, dual language support (Punjabi and English), Punjabi dictionary , different printing styles and importing documents from other windows application.

Mr Khandpur, who retires today, said the software costing around Rs 5,000 would be of immense help to the Punjab Government for use in its offices. Since Punjabi was the official language of the state, the software would improve the efficiency, said Mr Khandpur adding that already the CEDTI was in touch with the government.

Talking about another project, he said the centre had developed a speech system for the handicapped. The device, developed under a sponsored programme of the Ministry of Information Technology, consists of a keyboard, LCD screen, a rechargeable battery and a speaker. The users can enter the words they want to speak and the same would be displayed on the LCD screen and spelt by the device.

Mr Khandpur, who retires after holding the position since the inception of the centre in May 1989, said the centre had been certified as ISO 9002 by the Department of Information Technology. A printed circuit board laboratory at the centre had produced the first multi-layer board for interconnection of electronic components. Recently the centre has installed digital conferencing and CCTV system at the Vidhan Sabha of Himachal Pradesh. 


Bhargava inaugurates PNB signature branch
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 30
Mr U.S. Bhargava, General Manager, PNB, North Zone, inaugurated the first signature branch of the bank in Sector 26, here today.

The branch is equipped with facilities like ATM, note counting machine and coin dispensing machine for customers. The branch will offer seven-day banking service and Express Draft Counter for quick issuance of drafts.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Bhargava said as a part of its IT strategy, the bank had 2,055 computerised branches and providing ATM facility at 173 locations with a card base of over 1.12 lakh. While five branches of the bank in New Delhi and Mumbai had already been inter-connected, various branches here would also be inter-connected. The bank would shortly install two ATMs each at Panchkula and Chandigarh, he said.

Mr V.J. Mattoo, Senior Regional Manager, among other senior officials of the bank, and a large number of bank’s customers were present.



HDFC branch: Ms Neena Singh, Vice-President and Regional Business Manger, HDFC Bank, inaugurated another branch of the bank at Chandi Mandir on Tuesday. The new branch, which is the first in Chandi Mandir and 20th in the region, will provide ATMs, net banking, mobile banking and the HDFC International Debit card facilities. A special defence salary account has also been introduced for the benefit of the customers in armed forces whose salaries can now be credited directly into their accounts, stated a press note. TNS

Training institute: UGCE-IIET, an IRDA approved insurance training institute, has opened 10 new insurance training centres in the region. While the towns selected in the first phase are Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Patiala, Amritsar, Jammu, Srinagar, Shimla, Panipat, Karnal and Ambala. As many as 17 more centres will shortly be opened in various towns in the northern region, said Mr B. K. Sharma, Chairman, in a press note on Tuesday. TNS

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 |