Tuesday, May 21, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Another SAD worker in vigilance net
Mohali’s locker sealed, passport seized
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, May 20
The general secretary of the Jalandhar unit of the Shiromani Akali Dal, Mr Gurcharan Singh Channi, was today “ formally” arrested by the Punjab Vigilance Department. He was reportedly picked up by sleuths from his Jalandhar office on Saturday.

The sleuths had raided two of his residential premises at Jalandhar. Sources said the Akali leader had taken Rs 1 lakh from an SDO, Rajinder Singh, and another Rs 1.5 lakh from a contractor, Kulwinder Singh, to award him a contract. It is learnt that he had accepted money in around 12 such cases.

Meanwhile, the Punjab Vigilance Department today sealed a locker of the senior Akali leader and a councillor of the SAS Nagar municipal council, Mr Amrik Singh Mohali, in a local branch of a bank in Phase V here. He was arrested on Saturday in connection with a case registered against a former PWD minister, Sucha Singh Langah, for having assets disproportionate to his known sources of income.

Amrik Singh, a close aide of Langah is to be produced before the Duty Magistrate, Kharar, tomorrow. It is learnt that the vigilance sleuths would open his locker tomorrow.

In a search carried out for the second time by vigilance officials at the Phase II residence of Amrik Singh Mohali, documents related to a finance company which was being run in the name of his wife, had been seized. Some property documents of the councillor and his passport had also been taken into possession.

Sources in the department said the total value of the assets of the Akali leaders were valued at around Rs 1 crore.

The Vigilance Department were investigating the cases in which Amrik Singh had allegedly taken money to get departmental promotions and transfers in the PWD Department.

Open locker of Mohali’s wife’
Our Correspondent

Kharar, May 20
Mr Roshan Lal Chouhan, Judicial Magistrate, today ordered that a locker in the name of the wife of Mr Amrik Singh Mohali in a bank in Phase V, SAS Nagar, should be got opened.

It is worth mentioning that Mr Mohali, a close confidant of Mr Sucha Singh Langah, former PWD Minister, Punjab, was arrested by the Vigilance Department and he has been remanded in police custody till May 21. Mr Chouhan passed these orders when an application was moved by the Vigilance Department pleading that important information was expected to be known by opening this locker. The court ordered that the locker should be opened in the presence of the bank manager.



District Courts lawyer banned for life; told to pay Rs 1.13 lakh
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 20
The UT Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has directed A.K. Maleri, a District Courts lawyer, to pay Rs 1.13 lakh to a complainant for deficiency in service.

The complainant, Mr Manjit Singh Sawhney, was a tenant in a Sector 19 house here and paid a Rs 1,600 rent per month. His landlord, Mr Hazara Singh, had filed a petition, seeking his eviction from there. Mr Manjit Singh had hired Maleri as the counsel for defence.

According to Mr Manjit, he had paid the lawyer Rs 62,000, which included the counsel fee and cost to the lawyer. The lawyer had even issued him a receipt for the amount.

The allegation of Mr Manjit was that his lawyer had colluded with the landlord and never appeared in the court, due to which, an ex-parte order of ejection had been passed against him. The Rent Controller gave the ex-parte judgment against the complainant due to deficiency in service on part of his lawyer, who had even failed to deposit the rent arrears in the court. The complainant was, eventually, evicted from the house.

There was a heavy rain on the day he was evicted, which damaged a number of his valuable items like the TV set, music system, mixer-grinder, air-conditioner, refrigerator and furniture. He had, then, claimed a Rs 9,82,000 compensation for deficiency in service on part of the lawyer. He had also sought a compensation for harassment caused to him.

The consumer court told Maleri to pay him Rs 50,000 as compensation for deficiency in service and refund him Rs 62,000. He was also told to pay Mr Manjit Rs 1,100 as cost of litigation. Rest of the claims were dismissed.

Also, the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana cancelled the licence of Maleri for life, acting on a complaint by Mr Manjit. The council has also decided to remove for ever his name from its roll of lawyers.


CJ asked to complete probe against judges named in scam
Bar Association threat to boycott Courts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
Throwing the ball back in the court of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Chief Justice, the Bar Association of the two states today resolved to ask the CJ to complete the inquiry against the Judges allegedly named in the Punjab Public Service Commission recruitment scam within the next two or three days failing which they would stay away from their courts.

“Thank you, Tribune”

Appreciating The Tribune for supporting their fight against attempts to curb the “freedom of speech and expression”, besides the “right of general public to information”, Bar Association members today described Editor Hari Jaisingh’s front page editorial as “the right step in the right direction at the right time”.

“We appreciate the stand taken by The Tribune,” the members said. “The newspaper, through the editorial, has once again reiterated its commitment to truth”.

The Chief Justice, in a letter addressed to the President of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association, had earlier thrown the ball in the court of the members by reportedly asking them to provide evidence against the Judges allegedly named in the scam. Claiming to be “practising advocates and not detectives”, the Bar members, however, asserted that “material evidence” had already been provided by the state of Punjab, besides newspaper clippings by the Bar Association’s executive committee.

“In case the Chief Justice does not take action, on the basis of the evidence and the clippings, like the withdrawal of work from such Judges, then the general house would initiate further course of action which would include the decision of not appearing before the Judges named in the PPSC recruitment scam,” the members resolved.

In an extraordinary general house meeting held in jam-packed Bar Association hall at about 12.45 pm, the members also resolved to launch a mass signature campaign and to submit a “memorandum of demand” to the Punjab Governor.

They also decided to “seek the transfer of all the Judges with kith and kin practising in the High Court at Chandigarh”. The Punjab and Haryana Bar Council, they decided, “should be approached by the Bar Association to decide further course of action in terms of its earlier resolution”.

Asking the members to work towards “uncovering” “operation coverup”, the members added that at least 13 names, appearing in a statement before the police under Section 161 of the Criminal Procedure Code had been dropped by an approver in his statement before a magistrate under Section 164 of CrPC. This, they claimed, was being done under police pressure.

The Punjab Chief Minister, they insisted, should be cautioned that his efforts to fight corruption were being sabotaged. “The Vigilance Bureau, it seems, is backtracking and the entire issue is mired in confusion. We, therefore, call upon the Chief Minister to personally get the issues cleared up. If the earlier disclosures were planted, the guilty should be punished for scandalising the higher judiciary, otherwise operation coverup should be uncovered,” the members insisted. Talking to the media, Bar Secretary Sanjeev Manrai revealed that the next general house meeting would be held on May 23.

Earlier during the meeting, Punjab’s former Deputy Advocate-General Rupinder Khosla, while addressing the gathering, said the evidence against the Judges was all there in the newspapers. Agreeing with him, advocate Manjit Singh Khaira asserted that, besides newspapers, required evidence was before the Court. Lawyer Rajiv Godara added that the Chief Justice should be given time to withdraw the work from the Judges.

Describing the presence of relatives of local judges as “the root cause of the problem”, Bar member Dinesh Kumar added that the situation like the present one would not have cropped up had steps been taken up by them to avoid it. The other speakers included Mr H.S. Nagra, Mr G.S. Grewal, Mr H.S. Gill, Mr I.S. Balhara, Mr Iqbal Singh, Mr Navkiran Singh and Ms Daya Chaudhary. Association President Hawa Singh Hooda and Vice-President Sukhjinder Singh Behl were also present.


Ailing kids suffer due to family feud
Mother alleges murder attempt
Nishikant Dwivedi

Chandigarh\Kansal, May 20
The plight of two innocent brothers, both suffering from kidney ailments, at a tender age, took even a worse turn yesterday, thanks to an endless family feud which took another ugly turn.

Jaswinder (10) and Gurnam (7) are the sons of Ms Sumita Devi, a 32-year-old resident of Kansal village. Their father had died in 1994. Both are living with their maternal grandfather now. Their mother alleged that her two brothers-in-law tried to kill her by forcing some poisonous substance in her mouth near the Punjab and Haryana Secretariat yesterday afternoon.

But Sumita’s brothers-in-laws have refuted her allegation. Harmesh, a brother-in-law of Sumita, alleged that she was acting under pressure from a political person, who wanted them to sell their land to him. The allegation, according to them, was to force them to sell their land to the politician. However, Sumita denied that she was acting under any pressure.

The alleged case of poisoning was first referred to Naya Gaon police station and from there it was sent to police station, North, Chandigarh.

Sources in the Chandigarh police said that after investigations a DDR had been registered and the investigation report would be referred to the SSP, Ropar.

According to the sources, the two parties had a history of feuds and the Ropar police should look into the case as Kansal village falls in Ropar district.

Sumita’s husband, Tarsem, was an employee in the Punjab Civil Secretariat and he died in 1994. Sumita then got a job of a peon in the Secretariat on compassionate grounds.

In her statement to the police, Sumita alleged that her two brothers-in-law forced some poisonous substance in her mouth near a cause-way near the Punjab and Haryana Secretariat. Following the alleged poisoning, she started losing her consciousness. She then took a rickshaw by herself to reach the General Hospital, Sector 16 yesterday. Her condition was said to stable.

Her son Jaswinder Singh is suffering from some kidney ailment for the past seven years. For the last one year, her younger son Gurnam has also been suffering from the same disease. Gurnam was discharged from the PGI last Monday after undergoing a week’s treatment. Today also, his abdomen was swollen.

Mr Bhag Singh, father of Sumita Devi said, ‘‘I took care of Jaswinder, while he was undergoing treatment. But this time when Gurnam was admitted in the PGI, her mother stayed with him,’’.

But kids’ uncles (Sumita’s brothers-in -law) were claiming that they were taking care of the kids since the death of their brother and father of the kids, Tarsem. But, Sumita claimed that Jaswinder had been staying with her father and Gurnam was staying with her. The children were too young to comment on their plight. They said that they were staying with their uncles and at times with grandfather and at fewer occasions with their mother.


Admn reduces waste-disposal fee for private hospitals
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
The Chandigarh Administration has notified a reduction in the rates it charges from private hospitals and clinics to dispose off their waste through incineration. Various categories have also been created for small clinics, hospitals and laboratories.

These rates will be for the incinerator installed at the General Hospital, Sector 16. Interestingly private hospitals and clinics in the city have been preferring the facility of incinerator at the PGI where the rates are Rs 30 per kg. The incinerator run by the Administration at the GH, Sector 16, has charges fixed on the basis of per annum. It has been in operation since January 2001.

Dr Neeraj Kumar, secretary of the Chandigarh Nursing Homes and Private Hospitals Association, said the reduced rates were a welcome step taken by the Administration. The addition of new classifications would also help.

As per the old rates the Administration was charging Rs 6,000 per annum from clinics, laboratories and hospitals, while Rs 10,000 per annum was required to be paid by hospitals which had less than 10 beds. Hospitals having between six to 10 beds paid Rs 15,000, while the fee for hospitals having between 11 and 20 beds was Rs 20,000 and hospitals with more than 20 beds paid Rs 40,000.

The new rates are: clinics with only OPD work — Rs 2,500 per annum; clinics with minor operation theatres — Rs 3,500; clinical laboratory without histopathology microbiology testing — Rs 3,500; clinical labs with histopathology and microbiology testing — Rs 5,000; nursing homes, maternity homes (having up to five beds) — Rs 5,000 and after that each additional bed will be charged at Rs 1000.


Admn in dilemma as city faces power crisis
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
To introduce a regulated and fixed system of rotational power cuts or to avoid these till the power supply system gets in danger? The Chandigarh Administration is faced with this dilemma as the city battles with a shortage of power for about 12 hours every day, resulting in overdrawing from the power grid.

A weak transmission link on the Northern Power Grid in Uttar Pradesh is preventing the supply of full quota of power to Chandigarh. The link does not take full load of power to be supplied from the Eastern Power Grid to the Northern Grid for further transmission to Chandigarh.

Till this link is upgraded the entire quota of about 44 MW, as promised by the Union Power Minister, Mr Suresh Prabhu, in an agreement with the UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob, will not be available. At present UT is getting only half of the promised 44 MW of power

At present Chandigarh is paying fine to keep up with power supply as the city has been chosen as a model city for power supply and distribution in the country.

According to sources, power engineers have been directed to impose power cuts only when the power supply system is in the danger of collapsing, but not otherwise. Various parameters have been fixed to know when the system is in danger. These include the fixation of load-drawing capacity of a substation. In case it rises beyond the limit, a power cut will be imposed in a certain area.

The Administration has made it clear to engineers that no power cuts should be imposed just to avoid overdrawing of power. The highest overdrawing takes place between 5 pm and 8 pm. The Administration is ready to buy power and to pay fine to tide over the situation.

This means, unlike the past two years, there will be no rotational power cuts or these have at least been put off for now. Under this system power is switched off in a demarcated area for a fixed period. The same process is be repeated in another area for 30 minutes or an hour followed by the next area.

In the past one month attempts of the Administration to purchase power from either Himachal Pradesh or Haryana have failed as both states have cited their limitations. Now the Power Trading Corporation is ready to provide about 24 MW from the Western Grid. This agreement will be signed either tomorrow or on Wednesday.

It is not that the engineers have been caught off guard in predicting the power requirement of the city. Under a long-term planning system, engineers had projected a demand of 200 MW for this summer. Today Chandigarh is allocated 156 MW of power and anything above that is overdrawing and invites fine. The allocation changes everyday.

The shortage will be more next year as engineers have predicted a demand of 220 MW for that year. Ten years down the line, the demand will be around 356 MW.


Power cut
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
Sector 44 plunged into darkness in the evening today forcing the residents to leave their rooms and sit in open balconies. The traffic was also forced to move at snail’s pace within the sector.

A senior official in the electricity department said a technical snag has resulted in the suspension of power supply to the sector.


Kundi connections removed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
The UT Power Department today removed 700 illegal connections (kundis) in Palsora village. The department confiscated material like poles and wires. This was in continuation of other such operations in southern sectors in the past one month when 6,000 illegal connections were removed.


Over 100 jhuggis demolished
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 20
The Haryana Urban Development Authority today resumed its anti- encroachment drive against jhuggi dwellers, which was launched in the Industrial Area here almost a fortnight ago, near the Nada Sahib gurdwara today. More than 100 jhuggis that had come up on both sides of the road leading to the gurudwara from the Panchkula-Naraingarh highway, were removed.

It is learnt that these jhuggis came up here a year ago. Around 300 persons, including women and children had been staying here. Two JCBs were used to demolish the jhuggis, while two reserves of the police were deployed on special duty to ensure law and order.

It may be noted that this time utmost secrecy was maintained in the HUDA office about the venue for carrying out today’s drive. Sources inform that this was done following the violent turn of events in the Industrial Area where a demolition drive was carried out a few days ago. An employee of HUDA had reportedly led a violent protest against the demolition drive there by allegedly burning off the thatched roofs of demolished structures.

The HUDA staff were led by the Estate Officer, Ms Geeta Bharti, and accompanied by a large police force led by the DSP Headquarters, Mr Rajesh Nagar. Officials from the district administration, led by the Tehsildar, Mr Ashwani Sharma, was also present on the occasion along with members of the enforcement wing of the Estate Office for the smooth functioning of the drive.

The jhuggi dwellers were completely taken by surprise. “We were served no notices by the authorities. They just converged here with the machinery and policemen in riot gear and asked us to vacate our jhuggis within an hour. Most of the menfolk had left for the day’s work and only women and children were left, “complained Kamla Devi, a slum dweller.

As soon as word of the demolition drive spread, the menfolk residing here rushed to the spot and soon chaos marked the place. Residents began running around, collecting their belongings as the drive was launched.

Later, the demolition squad lifted more than 25 bidi and cigarette stalls from different parts of Panchkula. The fruit and vegetable vendors, who had positioned themselves on the Sector 17-18 roundabout, were also removed. The drive continued till late in the evening.


Hassle-free & speedy legal assistance
Kiran Deep

Chandigarh, May 20
The UT State Legal Service Authority(SLSA), which offers legal aid and assistance to persons who have had delayed settlement in cases of matrimonial discord, property dispute, company fraud, or harassment on account of financial hazard, has been of a great help. The SLSA can get these cases settled amicably even before people approach the courts.

For free legal aid contact:

Member Secretary, State Legal Services Authority, Mr Sant Parkash, 4th floor, Addl. Delux Building, Sector-9, Chandigarh.

Tele no 742999, Tele-Fax 742888;


The procedure is to send an application by post to the UT SLSA authority for getting dispute of any nature settled through the UT Permanent Lok Adalat. The SLSA has been providing advocates on state expenses in all district courts and financial assistance as expenses of court fee on behalf of eligible persons, expenses for documentation, expenses for summoning of witnesses and other incidental expenses connected with litigation.

Talking to The Tribune the Member Secretary of SLSA-cum-Judge Permanent Lok Adalat, Mr Sant Parkash, said that in order to provide speedy justice two Lok Adalats on the premises of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and one in the District Courts, had been functioning under the aegis of the Executive Chairman of the SLSA, Justice N.K Sodhi.

Mr Sant Parkash said that these adalats had, so far, settled a number of cases of motor accident claims and awarded compensation of Rs 31.09 crore to various claimants.

Providing information about the persons who were entitled to free legal aid for filing or defending a case in any court of law, he said that a person in custody, including in a protective home, juvenile home, psychiatric hospital or nursing home, a member of the Schedule castes or the Schedule Tribes or the Backward Classes, a woman or a child, a victim of human trafficking or a beggar, a mentally challenged or disabled person, a victim of a mass disaster, ethnic violence, caste atrocity, floods, drought, earth quake or industrial disaster, an industrial workman or a person whose annual income from all sources does not exceed Rs 50, 000 were eligible for free legal aid.

Giving details about the Lok Adalats, he informed that the cases which had not reached any resolution through the State Legal Services, were sent to Permanent Lok Adalat, in the District Courts, where most of cases were settled,within a month or two. In many cases such as the summary cases involving traffic offences solved at the pre-litigative stages.

A counselling centre for settlement of family and matrimonial disputes also functioned on the premises of the Punjab and Haryana High Court on first and third Saturday of every month. Besides nine Legal Aid Counsels for giving legal assistance to the persons when produced in custody by the police, a Legal Aid Cell in Model Jail, Burail, provided legal assistance to all inmates on all working days.


Iron men continue without iron hands
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
The voluntary manual desilting of the Sukhna, this year, is not supplemented by machine power.

Earlier, the state of Punjab and Haryana, the Army and the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB), used to provide JCBs, tippers and bulldozers to lift dry soil from the bed of the lake. But this year, none of them has sent any machine, leaving the UT Engineering Department to battle it out on its own with its few machines. Shramdanis and employees have been directed to report on time.

Various bodies seem to have lost interest in desilting the lake as 14 years of Shramdan and mechanical activity has not helped the cause. Now wet dredging seems to be the only alternative. The wet-dredging project itself is tied up in knots and has not gone beyond the stage of inviting tenders.

However, sources said, none of the main suppliers of machinery had said no so far. A team of the Army had come for initial survey. However, the Western Command based at Chandi Mandir might not find it easy to spare its men and machines in view of prevailing tension with Pakistan. Thus the Administration is keen on tapping the resources of Punjab, Haryana and the BBMB.

Punjab, sources said, was yet to issue a letter to its staff in the irrigation and drainage wings to spare machines and staff for the Sukhna desilting. In fact, there had been no communication from both Punjab and Haryana despite verbal and written requests made by the Adviser to the UT Administrator, Ms Neeru Nanda, and other officials. Machines of the BBMB were yet to arrive, although a promise had been made in this regard, sources said.

Annual Shramdan began at the lake last week and since then it claims to have removed 1.21 lakh cubic feet of silt from the bed of the Sukhna at the regulator end. Today 300 persons participated in the Shramdan. Out of these volunteers, 100 were from the Haryana Civil Secretariat, Chandigarh. The Principal of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 16, Mr Ram Kumar Sharma, along with lecturers and 100 NSS volunteers participated in Shramdan.

Mr Puranjit Singh, Chief Engineer, and Mr Krishanjit Singh, Superintending Engineer, UT, Chandigarh, along with their staff were seen participating in the Shramdan. The Director (Technical Education), UT, Chandigarh, along with the Principal, CCI, Ms K. Rangarajyam, and 100 officials of the Technical Education Department also participated in the work. “Till date over 3,000 persons have participated in Shramdan this year”, a spokesperson said.


‘Female foeticide: don’t victimise victims’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
The issue of female foeticide was brought forth in a one-day discussion on female foeticide in the ICSSR Complex of Panjab University here today. Most speakers there said the declining sex ratio in Punjab had got the attention of the government on the issue, but a lot still remained to be done to enforce the laws against the evil.

The cases of women arrested under the PNDT Act for aborting female foetuses after prenatal testing had shown that they had been forced to do so by the other members of their families. It turned out that doctors were equally responsible for conducting such abortions for making money.

“Arresting these women is like victimising the victims,” says Dr Mira Shiva, one of the speakers. “It is high time that the government started catching big crooks rather than target women who get foetuses aborted under family pressure,” she said. Dr Mira also said social pressure on women to bear male children is a result of evils like dowry and prostitution. “Women need to be respected rather than used as mere bodies,” she said.

Ms Sarojini, another speaker, talked about the life of women in relief camps of Gujarat after the recent riots. She says that sexual violence against women is another factor that should be studied if female foeticide is to be reduced.

The pressures on minorities and the poor in the form of disincentives in the National Policy on Population is another factor responsible for female foeticide that needs to be reviewed.

The discussion was organised by the Voluntary Health Association of Punjab. The others who spoke on the issue were Mr Manmohan Sharma, Mr Subhash Medankar and Mr Sabu George.


Glamour girl takes city by storm
Parbina Rashid

Chandigarh, May 20
The glamour world of modelling has been dominated by Punjabi ‘kudis’ and Simran Sachdeva is the latest addition. This Gladrags Mega Model runner-up of this year, who is a fashion designer herself, exerted her Punjabi charm on the budding designers of the National Institute of Fashion Designing today. An instant rapport was developed between her and the students.

“Designing and modelling are two different parts of the same coin. Without one half, the other one would remain incomplete,” says Simran. She was here at the institute to award the “Certificate of Appreciation” to over 100 students who have successfully completed their short-term courses from the institute.

Attired in a stunning red outfit, Simran gave a new meaning to the word glamour. “My one-year stint with fashion designing from Lisa Institute of Fashion Designing, New Delhi, helped me understand fashion which gives me an advantage in my profession,” says Simran. Simran even wore her self-designed outfits for the most of the sub-contests in the Gladrags Mega Model pageant. It was her height (standing upto 5 feet 8 inches) and flair for walking on the ramps that caught famous choreographer Kaushik Ghosh’s attention. “I used to model for my own collections during my fashion designing course and after seeing one of those shows, Mr. Ghosh invited me to take part for a show organised by the IEC School of Chef,” says Simran. This was only the beginning.

The first show gave her an opportunity to work with top models like Aparna Kumar, Lara Dutta, Mehar Bhasin and Gul Panag and her first experience set a high standard in her work style. “I groomed myself for about a year to take part in the Gladrags Mega model contest and came out the second runner-up.” Simran will be representing India at the Gladrags International Mega Model contest sometimes towards the end of the year.

Simran, who strongly believes that modelling can be a long term career, if not in the ramps then in commercials, says models like Mehar Bhasin and Madhu Sapre have proved it that modeling is not a transitory career like the popular belief. “There are so many options open to models so one should not feel insecure,” she says. And it goes without saying that like so many of her peers, Simran would also like to take the plunge into the acting career. “But so far I am busy polishing myself for modelling only,” she hastily adds.

So till she achieves her target it is all hard work for Simran. Does she also believe in luck? “Luck plays a very big role in this profession,” she says. Your entry itself depends on luck, she says. “The screening test for the Gladrags Mega Model contest was on the basis of photographs, and catching the judges’ attention just with your picture among thousands of entries was nothing else but sheer luck,” she explains.

Despite being just one-year-old in terms of experience Simran has already bagged the prestigious modelling assignments like Maruti Wagan(R), Oswals, Texala, Nokia, Usha, Ponds, Nestle to name a few. She has also featured in various music videos with leading artists.


238 recruits join ITBP
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh May 20
As many as 238 recruits were absorbed into the Indo-Tibet Border Police at an impressive attestation ceremony and passing-out parade at the basic training centre (BTC) of the force at Bhanu, near here today.

The cadets belonged to the 132nd batch and the 58th condensed course. The ITBP Inspector-General (Headquarters), Mr U.K. Bansal, inspected the parade and took the salute.

Mr Bansal exhorted the recruits to perform their duties with dedication and to uphold the traditions of the service. He also gave away prizes to recruits for their outstanding performance during the training period.

The Deputy Inspector-General, BTC, Mr N.K. Mishra, highlighted salient aspects of the training curriculum and activities of the cadets during the training period.

The 52-week-long 132nd batch had 161 recruits, while the 24-week-long 58th condensed course had 77 trainees. During the training period, an instructor-level training in drill and weaponry, besides specialised training in judo was also imparted to cadres from various police organisations.

Those who were awarded prizes for outstanding performance in the 132 batch and the condensed course, respectively, are: Overall best: Sanjay Kumar Lanka; Puran Sing; drill: Vishavengan Khan, Sanjeev Nirankari; PT: Amuj Kumar, Madan Mohan Bora; weapon training: Patel T. Karan, Tashi Tandup; firing: Virender Singh, Vinod Rawat.


Bush will not allow Indo-Pak war

WITH the terrorists’ strike on the Kaluchak Army camp near Jammu on May 14, the clock has been put back to December 13 when terrorists rocked the Parliament House. Mr Vajpayee had then said: “We will launch a decisive and final battle against Pakistan”. Thus started the large-scale deployment of our Army on the border for “Operation Parakram”, which did not come off in January, as planned. After the recent attack on the Army camp, Mr Vajpayee told U.S. President, George W. Bush that India would take “appropriate action”.

The Army, which is already on the border for the last five months, has again been put on high alert. Will India attack Pakistan? Yes, if India had a choice. But in all probability, this will not happen, thanks to George Bush, who will not allow India or Pakistan going to war against each other. The maximum that one can expect is a limited action which too will be stopped by the super power.

Does this mean that we have not option but to continue to suffer the humiliation of such terrorists’ attacks? Unfortunately, it seems so, unless we can prevail upon Bush to come down heavily on Pakistan.

Can India afford to go against the wishes of George Bush in the current dispensation? The chances are very remote. Be that as it may; the Army’s patience is wearing thin.

Grounded MiG 21s

After the crash at Jalandhar on May 3, 72 of these fighters powered by R-25 engine were grounded by the IAF. Since this was the second incident of engine flame-out within a month and the fact that of the 84 accidents of MiG-21s in the last five years, about 80 are said to have occurred due to engine defect, the grounding of this aircraft was a correct decision.

In the aftermath of this crash, a number of views have been expressed while the top Russian aircraft designer has blamed these accidents on the absence of an advanced jet trainer (AJT), the Russian military experts have blamed Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for supplying “substandard and uncertified” spares to the IAF resulting in these accidents. Meanwhile, the Russian experts have flown in to join the HAL technicians and the IAF to examine the R-25 engines.

The Air Chief, Air Chief Marshal S. Krishnaswamy, has now said that the court of inquiry ordered to probe the crashes due to engine flame-out has cleared the upgraded version of MiG-21s for flying. The go-ahead for flying the upgraded version, the Air Chief said, would be given later this week.

No doubt, it is difficult to go against the professional and technical opinion. But then in a case like this where one finds more divergence than consensus even on the cause of MiG-21 accidents, it would be prudent to leave these fighters grounded till such time as there is consensus among experts on the cause of the high rate of accidents.

Wrong use of TA

We have been using the Territorial Army (TA) in low intensity conflict (LIC) alongside the regular army in J and K for the past several years. Even in Sri Lanka, we used TA infantry battalions to quell militancy. This use has evoked criticism from many quarters. The question being asked is: should TA be used in this role?

The role of the TA which is a part-time force is to provide a “second line of defence” to the country during a national emergency by relieving regular Army units from static duties such as airfields, ammunition depots, vital installations, communication centres and important bridges. The TA can also be used for convoy protection. Besides, the TA can be summoned to provide aid to civil authorities during national calamities and can also be asked to run essential services. The TA can also be called upon to assist the regular army “to a limited extent” in the operational tasks.

The critics say that the clause “to a limited extent” has been stretched too far by committing TA units on operational roles for prolonged periods, for which they are not designed, equipped or trained. Moreover, according to the concept of the TA, every territorial (TA soldier) must have a civil vocation from which he can be called during a national emergency and also for two months training in a year.

Keeping TA personnel embodied for long periods makes them suffer in their civil vocation, which is their mainstay in life. This wrong use of TA must stop.

Pritam Bhullar



365 challaned for traffic violations
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
A special drive was carried out by the police to check traffic violations in the city this morning. A total of 365 traffic violators were challaned for various offences.

The drive was carried out from 7 am to 9 am and 52 nakas were put up at strategic points throughout the city. Special emphasis was laid on checking traffic violators near schools.

The drive was aimed at checking driving by minors, unauthorised use of black films on windscreens and red lights on rooftops, driving without wearing seat belts or helmets, and to create awareness about road safety measures.

According to available figures, 240 persons were challaned for driving two-wheelers without wearing a helmet, 26 for not wearing seat belts, three for unauthorised use of black films and 83 persons were challaned for other various traffic violations. Thirteen minors were also challaned for driving without a valid driving licence and 14 vehicles were impounded.


City elite serve for a cause
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
All those who went to eat at Hot Millions-2 here today received a pleasant surprise when the city’s elite, wearing aprons and smiles, served them food — all for a cause.

Carrying on with the last year’s experiment of getting celebrities to serve food for a cause, the Rotary Club of Chandigarh organised this mega ‘Eat-n-Serve’ event that proved to be a huge success, in spite of the absence of top administrative officials.

The club had collaborated with the restaurant this time and the funds were raised for a blood resource centre coming up in Sector 37 here.

The blood resource centre is a Rs 4 crore project. The centre will be a hi-tech blood collecting and storage facility for the city’s donors and it will provide the local hospitals with blood components.

“The land for the centre has already been given by the UT Administration and the construction is on,” said Mr Anil Khanna, president of club.

He also said the club would chip in with more than Rs 2 crore for the project.

Prof Pramila Chari of the PGI, a member of the club, said the centre would have infrastructure to synthesise blood into its various components for more effective use among patients. “This will reduce the wastage of blood products and ensure an optimum use,” she said.

A takeaway facility was also inaugurated at the restaurant. Mr Charanjit Singh, vice-president of the club, said a large number of company heads had treated their staff at the venue here today to chip in for the cause.


1,21,825 cubic feet of silt removed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh , May 20
A total of 1,21,825 cubic feet of silt has been removed from the bed of the Sukhna Lake at the regulator end till date.

Nearly 300 persons participated in the shramdan today, of which 100 were from the Haryana Civil Secretariat. They were led by Mr Rajbir Singh, an IAS officer. The Principal of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Mr Ram Kumar Sharma, along with lecturers and 100 NSS students did shramdan.

The regular shramdanis included Shamsher Singh, Sham Lal Singla, Harbans Lal, Joginder Singh Bhogal, Rakesh Kumar Sharma, Chandani Sharma, Pushpa Singla, Rinku Bansal, Chirag Sharma, Jagjit Singh, Ajit Pal Singh, Raman Gupta, Jagmohan Goyal, Balbir Singh, Dayal Singh Sarpanch, Nirbhay Singh, Sharestha Mehta, Ms Khushee and Kashmira Singh.

Mr Puranjit Singh, Chief Engineer, and Mr Krishanjit Singh, Superintending Engineer, Chandigarh, along with their staff were doing shramdan.

The Director, Technical Education, Chandigarh, along with the Principal, CCI, Mrs K. Rangarajyam, and 100 officials of the Technical Education Department also participated.


MLA condoles death of artiste
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 20
“With the sudden demise of noted theatre and film personality Harpal Tiwana, Punjab has suffered irreparable loss,” said Bir Devinder Singh, MLA and general secretary of the Punjab Pardesh Congress Committee, here today while condoling the death of Harpal Tiwana, who died in an accident last night.

Harpal Tiwana was credited with making theatre a mass movement not only in Punjab, but abroad also, said a letter written by Mr Bir Devinder Singh. He helped Punjabi theatre gain popularity even in the remotest parts of India. He produced plays like ‘Hind Di Chadar’, ‘Chamkaur Di Garhi’, ‘Sirhind Di Deewar’ under the banner of “Punjab Kala Manch. His Punjabi film ‘Long Da Lashkara’ aptly portrayed the rural lifestyle of Punjabis.


Man falls into ditch, dies
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, May 20
Baljit Singh, a 27-year-old resident of Kheri Jattan village, died after falling into a ditch near the Mubarikpur level-crossing, about 2 km from here, on Sunday evening.

According to information, Baljit was employed with a chemical industry. He was riding a cycle along the railway line when he met with the accident. Due to the low pressure created by the 2925 Deluxe Express (up) train, he lost balance and fell into a ditch along the tract and died on the spot.

The Railway police has sent the body to the Civil Hospital, Rajpura, for a post-mortem examination and a case has been registered with the Railway Police Station, Lalru.


Camera discovered in try room
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, May 20
All you women customers changing clothes in try rooms of garments stores and tailors, look out. A spy camera may be hidden behind the curtains.

It was something Internet surfers had seen on the net, but in a specific incident, the relative of a senior police official, who had gone to a cloth shop in Phase 3-B 1 market here, to her utter horror, discovered that the shopkeeper had hidden a video camera in the try room.

The girl told her mother who confronted the owner of Kamal Textiles, Mr Kamal. It is learnt that after the intervention of the president of the market, the girl and her mother left with the video camera.

A police official said though they had not received any complaint, a case would be registered after proper investigation.


2 held for selling fake gold jewellery
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
The police has arrested two persons from Sector 23 for allegedly duping local residents by selling them fake gold ornaments. The accused have been identified as Mohinder Singh and Sultan Singh, both residents of Sonepat.

According to the police, the accused used to approach people and tell them that they had fallen on hard times and wanted to dispose of their gold ornaments. They used to take potential customers to a jeweller to get a piece of jewellery authenticated, but later used to replace it with a gold-plated piece.

The police has also recovered about 750 gm of fake gold ornaments from their possession. A case has been registered.

Assault alleged

Mr Raghvendra Tiwari, complainant in the case registered by the UT Vigilance Department against the Deputy Director of the Song and Drama Division, Madhu Dulela, for demanding a bribe, alleged that he was assaulted by four persons on the Sectors 32-46 dividing road last night.

Mr Tiwari said that the assailants threatened him with dire consequences in case he gave any statement to the police. A copy of the cassette in which he had reportedly recorded his conversation with Dulela while she was demanding a bribe was also snatched from his possession. The police has registered a case.

Scooter stolen

Saravdeep Singh, a resident of Mohali, has reported that his scooter (CH-01-M-8258) has been stolen from Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 32. The police has registered a case.


Tata Sumo stolen

A Tata Sumo (HR-06E-0094) was reportedly stolen from outside the Sector 15 residence of Mr Prakash Chand during the night intervening May 18 and 19. A case under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered. The car belongs to the Excise Department.


Woman alleges fraud

Ms Jasbir Kaur of Sante Majra village near here in a complaint to the DSP, Kharar alleged that registration of her power of attorney and will was done at the tehsil office on March 25, 2002 regarding her land. Her father- in-law and husband got the will registered in connivance with officers and employees of the office at about 8 p.m. Much after the office timing she alleged that her photographs had been taken by the computer operator at that time. She also alleged that a bribe of Rs 30,000 was given for this purpose.


Ethnic summer wear for men
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
A fashion design institute of Delhi, Senorita College of Fashion Design and Management, plans to enter the retail business by opening its first outlet at Chandigarh.

According to Mrs Anju Sabharwal of the institute, it will also launch its own brand, Senorita, for its products to be sold in the city and elsewhere in Punjab.

Meanwhile, the college has introduced its latest creations for the summer season titled ‘Adamas - the man’, including kurta pajamas in cottons, mulmal and soft organdy.

According to Mrs Sabharwal, the men’s kurta pajamas have been inspired by old ethnic traditions of Maharashtra, Orissa, Rajasthan and Gujarat. Tissue and khadi are the main fabrics used .The colours used are violet and orange with sharp contrasts of shell white and shades of yellow. To complement the outfits, accessories like pagris, hansli(an ornament for neck) and karas (bracelet) have been used.

Established in 1992, the college offers various basic as well as advanced short-term courses in fashion, textiles and allied subjects. In addition, the college offers design, consulting and research services to the fashion industry.

Currently the college is offering almost eight and nine short-term and long-term courses.

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