Monday, June 3, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


‘We studied hard and our efforts bore fruit’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
While there is no dearth of toppers in board exams, who are backed by an excellent academic record, the IIT toppers in the city seem to be a chosen few. Following up their brilliant performances, the IIT-JEE result, declared here today, has come as an icing on the cake.

This year the physics examination proved to be the stumbling block, maths proved to be a cakewalk. While most students cleared the examination in the aggregate, most of them failed to achieve the cutoff marks in the physics paper.

Meanwhile, computer science and electrical engineering seem to be favourites of students who are looking forward to their counselling session which will be held zone wise at the IITs shortly.

Ironically, despite having secured admission to the coveted seven engineering institutes of the country, IIT, Roorkee, being the latest addition to the prestigious list, students seems discontented. Most of them claim that the engineering degree is only a stepping stone to pursuing a management career or attempting the civil services examinations later.

Ankur Bhatiya has topped in the city among students selected for IIT with 51st rank. Ranked 55, Anish Garg’s focus during the whole session was clarity of concepts. Studious and serious, Anish was so confident that he would clear the IIT, he did not appear for any other competitive examination.

Sachit Grover, ranked 94, says, “It is not how much you study but what you study that makes the difference. Though the hours I put in were not many yet I went about preparing for IIT examination with a focused approach after attending a rigourous tuition schedule.”

He wants a career in management and plans on sitting for the CAT examination.

Friends, Komal Arora (136) and Natasha (237), claim hard work hold the key to getting past any entrance examination. “We studied hard and our efforts bore fruit. There was greater anxiety about this result rather than the CBSE results since our career and future depended on making a good beginning,” they said. They are keen on a career in management.

Ranked 138, Aditya Garg, says, “My first choice is computer engineering and with my rank and position, I am hopeful of getting my choice. All it took was seven to eight hours of study and the inspiration for hard work came from my father who is a doctor.’’

A die-hard cricket fan who headed his team in the inter-school contests in the city, Sidharth Chibber is ranked 307. “I began the session with a study schedule of a couple of hours and gradually extended it to 10 hours a day by the time I took the examination. My choice will be a career in electrical or electronics engineering,” he claimed.


Canada’s foreign policy under fire
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
The official Opposition foreign Affairs critic for Asia Pacific in the Canadian House of Commons, Mr Gurmant Grewal, has exposed the Liberal Government’s flawed and inconsistent foreign policies that are leaving Canada on the sidelines in defusing the tensions between India and Pakistan. Mr Gurmant Grewal, who raised the issue in the House of Commons last week, also questioned the Foreign Affairs Minister during question period.

Mr Grewal, a member of the House of Commons for the second term, who originally belongs to Punjab, stated that “to ease tension between India and Pakistan world leaders are playing a role in preventive diplomacy but the Canadian government is sidelined. That’s not surprising given the inconsistent and haphazard foreign policies of this government.”

“In 1996 the Prime Minister led Team Canada mission to India. In 1998 the Liberals unwisely imposed sanctions against both India and Pakistan in a knee jerk reaction to their nuclear tests. In 2001 the government decided to lift the same sanctions. Given its erratic policy, does the Liberal Government have any influence left in the region?” asked Mr Grewal.

“India is the second largest source of immigrants to Canada and offers great potential for trade expansion and opportunities for Canadian businesses. As a result of the sanctions, Canada’s trade declined by 33% with India despite a Team Canada mission headed by the Prime Minister in 1996. India is the fourth largest market in the world. While sanctions were imposed, Canada even voted against India and Pakistan at international levels irrespective of the issue. Suddenly the government realised that it was rapidly falling behind other nations. In playing catch up, Canada dispatched more than six Ministers, including the Deputy Prime Minister to India,” he added.

“Outside the House, Canada placed CANDU reactors in the hands of India and Pakistan. Terrorist activities are routinely reported in both countries. If war breaks out between these two nuclear powers it will be a serious blow to the war against terrorism and will destabilise the entire region. Where is this government’s commitment to preventive diplomacy now,” asked Mr Grewal.


Panic buyers create fuel rush
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 2
Soon after the Petroleum Ministry proposed to hike the prices of petrol and diesel from Monday, a mad fuel rush began at petrol-filling stations in Chandigarh, Panchkula, SAS Nagar, Dera Bassi and the nearby towns.

Motorists thronged filling stations for that extra pint of fuel. “Full tank,” was the order of the day here and some persons were even seen purchasing fuel in bulk to keep it in reserve. The queues of vehicles at filling stations were rather big.

Master Sazid, an auto-rickshaw owner in line for fuel at a Sector 21 patrol pump, said he wanted a full tank as the government was to hike the price of petrol from tomorrow. “Usually, I purchase 1 or 2 litres of fuel, but, since the breaking of the news of the hike, I am desperate to get the tank of my car filled to brim,” said Mr Balwinder Singh, a customer at a Sector 29 filling station.

“I come here from the International Border, so, I order a full tank nearly every time. This time rather, I had to rush, as the government has planned to hike the prices of fuel from tomorrow,” said Sqn Ldr P. Aggarwal, who lives in Sector 47 here.


Prof D.P. Jindal is dead
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
Prof D.P. Jindal, Chairman, University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Panjab University, died at Nagar Coil, Kanyakumari, following a massive heart attack yesterday. Prof Jindal was on an All-India Council for Technical Education assignment at Madurai and had taken time off to visit Kanyakumari.

Prof Jindal was born on March 5, 1942. He joined as lecturer in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences in 1972 and became a reader in 1984. He got elevated to the position of a professor in pharmaceutical chemistry in 1989.

Recipient of Commonwealth Academic Staff Fellowship, Prof Jindal visited many countries in Europe and America.



The Tribune’s unrelenting campaign to weed out corruption, particularly its attempt to get to the bottom of the PPSC appointments scandal, has galvanised readers. Letters pour in by the bagful every day complimenting the newspaper for speaking out boldly for the suffering public.

One such ardent reader, Mr D. K. Mukerjee of Panchkula, who calls himself a Tribune addict for the past 50 years, has sent us a collage of headlines gleaned from the issue of May 24, 2002. He calls it a “one-day news harvest”.

The message of the headlines is self-explanatory. All that we can say is that public life has indeed become exceptionally polluted and we need all the help and support of our readers in exposing this malaise.


An interesting incident took place opposite the Punjab State Agriculture Marketing Board on the afternoon of May 30. For almost a year, some dhaba owners there had encroached upon the verandah and were using it to put up their tables and chairs to serve food. The area resembled a fish market despite the fact that the Marketing Board’s office is visited by VIPs, including Cabinet Ministers of Punjab.

The employees had made a representation to the their Secretary to urge the Deputy Commissioner of Chandigarh to remove the encroachments. The employees also urged Chandigarh Tribune to highlight the problem. On that day, a Tribune correspondent made enquiries with the local police about the encroachment on the telephone. When a Tribune photographer reached the spot to take picture of the encroachment, he found that police personnel were removing the encroachments and in the next few minutes the corridor was free of table and the chairs.

Interestingly, no sooner the cops left the place, the encroachments reappeared.

Puppet power

For the first time perhaps one saw so much of rush for participation in a puppet workshop. Being conducted by the internationally-renowned puppeteer Dadi Pudumjee, the workshop was filled to capacity. Known for his art of creating hand and rod puppets with the help of mundane products, Dadi Pudumjee has to his credit various productions for children. Many of his productions have been released on Doordarshan and children have wonderfully related to the stories narrated through this interesting form of art.

Such was the enthusiasm among the city youth and children to take training in creation of puppets that the expert had to conduct extra classes in puppet making at Kalagram. Also where he had earlier thought of holding only an informal show, to be attended and presented by participants of the workshop, now on popular demand he will be presenting three formal shows on June 6, 7 and 8.

Road parking

The paid parking may have put extra burden on the pockets of the city residents but the vehicles parked in those parking lots are not creating trouble to the motorists. On the other hand, a large number of visitors at the high security Mini Secretariat in Sector 9, who have access to free parking, prefer to park their vehicles on the slip road (see photograph above). This has created a nuisance for the commuters using the road.

It is being suggested that a regular parking attendant should be posted at the parking slot to avoid trouble to road users and of course, any possible mishap.

Power supply

During the past one week, power supply at Tagore Theatre failed on three occasions. Beginning from the day which saw Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) celebrate its 26th Raising Day to the subsequent days, the supply failed many a time. So much so that one function, scheduled to be held on a particular day, had to be postponed on account of failure in restoration of the supply. Ironically, electricity went off right during the first item of the show — the Saraswati vandana. The singers, however, kept up the dignity of the vandana by going on singing without the mike support.

Although there are two sources of power supply to Tagore Theatre, both failed to deliver at the required time. It is high time the authorities in charge of the theatre maintenance deemed it fit to install a generator on its premises, lest the problem should continue to persist.

Value for money

Gone are the times when a celebrated star cast could see the movie through. In the current times, each viewer wants the worth of his money. One such observation was made on the day “Hum Tumhare Hain Sanam” was released. With its big cast, including Madhuri Dixit, Salman Khan, Shahrukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai, there was no reason why the film should not have taken off.

It did not, however. And such was the dejection of the viewers that most people walked out of the hall even before the interval. Many among the rest who went through the ordeal, cried hoarse over the film. A group of youth were overheard saying: “Hun taan Disprin khaani paugi.” (One will have to take a Disprin now).



Architects fight it out among themselves
A. S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
A group of influential architects of Chandigarh have stirred the hornet’s nest by questioning the procedure adopted for the conduct of biennial elections of the Chandigarh-Punjab chapter of the Indian Institute of Architects.

The election process, including the casting of ballots, has been completed and the counting of votes and the declaration of results will take place tomorrow, but this group has alleged that the whole electoral process was wrong and vitiated. In a communication addressed to the President of the Indian Institute of Architects (IIA), Mumbai, they said the manner in which elections were being held and conducted was “shameful to all architects”.

They pointed out that they had been repeatedly motivated at all IIA forums and through its published literature to rise to come forward to help the institute achieve its aims and objectives. “In response to the invitation we are doing our bit to inform you about the corrupt practices being adopted for the Chandigarh-Punjab chapter elections for the years 2002-2004. We are presenting this matter for your record and that of others with the hope and belief that it will help you weed out corrupt practices prevalent in the voting system of elections as being held and demonstrated in Chandigarh.”

“We want these to be closely monitored by reputed representatives of the institute. The elections being held are rigged, mala fide, undemocratic and, therefore, unjust and against the bylaws of the institute. When one knows beforehand the results of elections what is the sanctity left?” they asked.

The elections, they said, were being conducted in the office of the present joint honorary secretary who was also a candidate for the post of member executive of the chapter. “This means that all the ballot papers are being posted out and are being received in his office where there is no control or check on this all-important activity. Why the elections are being conducted from the designate chapter office at 394, Sector 30-A, Chandigarh?”

“It is well known that one of the candidates for the highest post of the office has formed a group of five candidates for the post of member executive, thereby discouraging other candidates from coming forward. Aspiring candidates were either threatened with dire consequences which would affect their career or frightened by the sheer arithmetic of prospective empty ballot hoarding and holding capacity of the group”, they said.

The communication said, “Ballot paper and its envelope enables one to see through the contents under intense beam of light which is a detrimental factor for the fairness of elections. Candidates had been chasing members to collect empty and unsealed ballots. Seniors in offices have been demanding empty, unsealed ballots from junior members to favour their candidates. Juniors had to offer their ballots to the superiors. The number of empty ballots collected thus is around 100, which is about 70 per cent of the total votes expected to be cast. In view of this the elections should be declared as postal elections and ballots received by hand should be held invalid’’.

The signatories to the letter include Mr Sohan Lal Saharan, Mr Parmeet S. Bhatt, Ms Kiran Joshi, Pradeep K. Bhagat, Mr Vikram Malik, Mr J.J. Khurana, Mr Gurmit Singh Bawa, Mr U.K. Batra, and many others.

Mr Jit Gupta, who is contesting for the post of the chairman of the chapter, said he saw nothing wrong with the electoral process. In any case, a contesting candidate had no control over the election process as it was to be decided by the returning officer. Therefore, complaints, if any, should be directed to the returing officer.

It was wrong to say that H. No. 394, Sector 30-A, was the designate office of the chapter. It was, in fact, the residence of the outgoing chairman, Mr S.N. Kohli. Therefore, the election was being held elsewhere. There was also nothing wrong with the formation of a group which was a legitimate exercise in any democratic election.


Demonstrations against Pakistan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
Chandigarh Territorial Youth Congress Committee (CTYC) and District Congress Committee-Urban (DCC-U) activists burnt the flag of Pakistan for aiding and abetting cross-border terrorism, here today.

The CTYC chief, Mr Harmohinder Singh Lucky, and the DCC-U president, Mr Pawan Sharma, asked Pakistan and the ISI to desist from harming India.

They along with Mr A. S. Gujral, Mr Prem Dhir, Mr Narinder Singh, Mr Sarabjit Singh Nikka, Mr Kawaljit Nikka, Mr Rajiv Chaudhary, Mr Nirmal Titu, Mr Gurpreet Singh Gappi, Mr Raj Kumar, Mr Didar Singh and Mr Sumit Chawla asked the Pakistan President, Gen Parvez Musharraf, not to waste money and efforts on disturbing India and to concentrate on alleviation of poverty in his country.

Ambala: Demonstrations were held by different organisations against Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf here today.

Activists of the Sangharsh Vahini burnt the effigy of General Musharraf at the main Sadar Bazar chowk. They raised slogans against Pakistan for training terrorists and helping them infiltrate into the Kashmir valley.

Mr Hira Lal Yadav strongly condemned Pakistan’s attempt to encourage terrorism and said that Pakistan must stop cross-border terrorism.

Earlier, a demonstrations was held by Shiv Sena activists. The Shiv Sena activists also burnt the effigy of General Musharraf. They demanded that Pakistan must stop the terrorist training camps operating there.

A demonstration was also held at Saha where activists of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha raised slogans against the military regime in Pakistan. The youth activists said that Pakistan was responsible for terrorism in the valley. They said that Pakistan must stop encouraging terrorism.


MCC stuck with ‘piggy bank’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
The Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh is still saddled with feeding around 100 pigs although the deadline for their release without any payment of feed charges has ended.

The corporation is now left with the option of either auctioning the animals caught during different campaigns or extending the date by couple of days. The corporation had announced that pigs would be released without charging any feed charges from the owners and after the deadline pigs would be disposed of. Around 100 pigs were released after their owners had submitted affidavits to the effect that they would not bring these animals to the city.


Summer workshop at Press Club
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 2
Chandigarh Press Club is organising a two-week long summer workshop for children of its members to teach them the basics of theatre, dance, art and craft.

The workshop, which is open for children above six years of age, is being divided into two groups — group 1 dealing with activities like clay modelling, flower making, Deco patch out waste material and group 2, teaching oil and fabric paintings.


Sohi remembered
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, June 2
A function to mark the first death anniversary of former Zila Parishad Chairman Ravinder Singh Sohi, who died due to a severe heart attack on July 3 last year, was held at Bartana village near here today.

A number of political leaders and residents of the area attended the function and payed homage to the departed soul.

Ms Preneet Kaur, MP from Patiala and wife of the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, also visited the venue expressed her sympathy with the family.

Those who attended the function included Mr Lal Singh, Finance and Planning Minister of Punjab, Mr Jagmohan Kang, Animal Husbandry Minister, Mr Jasjit Singh Randhawa, Health Minister of Punjab, Mr H.S. Hero, a former president of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC), Mr Sukhdev Singh Kang, a former Governor of Kerala, Mr Bir Davinder Singh, MLA from Kharar, and Mr Harnek Singh Gharuan.


Cop commits suicide
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 2
A constable of the Punjab police, Bharat Kumar, allegedly committed suicide by consuming some poisonous substance in Sector 39 here last night.

The 24-year-old constable was posted at the residence of a senior Punjab police officer. Bharat Kumar, a native of Nepal, was said to be under depression.


Fake ration cards racket unearthed; one arrested
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 2
The police has unearthed a fake ration cards racket in which at least three persons are involved.

The Operation Cell of the police arrested Biswas Kumar, a resident of Sector 52 and recovered 10 fake ration cards including six blank cards, and seal stamp of the Food and Supplies Department. The police claimed that the ration cards were original and involvement of employees of the Food and Supplies Department could not be ruled out. The police claimed that several fake ration cards had been issued to colony dwellers in the city by the gang.

The gang leader, Bhim Sen and another member, Jugal Kishore, are still at large. The police said Bhim Sen was involved in a number of cheating case. Meanwhile, a case under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471, 472 and 120-B, IPC, has been registered. 


Bus hits DGP’s escort vehicle
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 2
An Ambassador car of the DGP (Haryana) escort was allegedly hit by a bus of Haryana Roadways (HR - 68 - 0647) on the Chandigarh-Panchkula road near Kala Gram here yesterday. On the complaint of constable Ashok Kumar, who was in the escort vehicle, the police arrested driver of the bus, Naresh Kumar, a resident of Panchkula, under Section 279 of the IPC.

Three cars stolen
At least three Maruti cars were reported to be stolen from different parts of the city on Friday night. All thefts took place in residential areas. Mr Satnam Singh, a resident of Sector 20, reported that his Maruti Van (CH-03-P-2678) was stolen from his residence. Mr Jeet Lal, a resident of Sector 32, also complained that his Maruti car (CH-01-L-1049) was stolen from his residence. Maruti car (CH-01-T-1468) of Mr Simaranjit Singh, a resident of Sector 34, was also reportedly stolen from his residence. The police has registered three cases of theft.

Mr Budh Ram, a resident of Sector 8, reported to the police that his house was burgled on the night of May 25 here. The thieves reportedly decamped with a CD player, 11 CDs, a music system, Rs 300 and some other items. A case under Sections 380 and 457 of the IPC has been registered.

Biru, a resident of Raibrely district, UP, was arrested form Parade Ground, Sector 17, under Section 294 of the IPC, here yesterday.

Cart hits scooter
A scooterist, Mr Madan Lal, resident of Khuda Jassu village, was injured after a cart hit the vehicle on the Sector 33-34 dividing road on Saturday. The cart driver managed to escape from the spot. A case under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC has been registered.


Thieves held
The police has arrested two thieves, Bijendra Singh and Pradeep Kumar, who are alleged to be behind a spate of vehicle thefts in the township. They were arrested by the police yesterday and at least three cases of car theft have been solved with their arrest.

Liquor seized
Gyan Chand was arrested by the police from Sukho Majri village and 12 bottles of illicit liquor were seized from him.

One booked
The police has booked Santokh Singh, a resident of Hoshiarpur, on charges of assaulting and criminally intimidating a woman in Sector 12-A. A case under Sections 451, 323, 506, IPC, has been registered.


Mr SJS Ahluwalia a resident of Phase X, has in a complaint alleged that the Ropar police is dilly-dallying registration of a first information report (FIR) against his son-in-law for harassing his daughter for dowry.

Mr Ahluwalia said his daughter was married to Gurpreet Singh in November, 1996. Since the day of marriage her in-laws were harassing her, he said, adding that the case was pending with the Crime Against Women (CAW) Cell, Ropar.

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