Monday, August 26, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Three more have cholera; Health Dept denies
Officials silent on actual figures
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
Two wings of the UT Administration, the Health Department and the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), have different assessment of the number of cholera cases that have come up here in the last three days.

Even with more cholera cases continuing to be reported, the health authorities said here today that there had been no fresh case in the past three days. On the other hand, the GMCH authorities had said yesterday that, out of the five persons with suspected gastroenteritis that had been taken in, three had tested positive for cholera, while two had suspected cholera. The persons who had tested positive were Ranjit Singh and Santosh, both of the Sector 49 Shaheed Bhagat Singh Colony, and 2-year-old Shahina of Sector 66 in SAS Nagar.

The Director Health Services, Dr Rameshwar Chander, said here today that the 11 persons admitted to the GMCH with gastroenteritis had been discharged and none of them had tested positive for cholera. “Only one patient in General Hospital is suspected to have cholera, that too, because the stool-test report is still awaited. Now, 2-year-old Sukh Ram of Palsora, admitted to the PGI, remains the only one here down with cholera,” he said.

With such contradictory claims, no one knows how many persons ere are, now, down with cholera. Senior officials of the GMCH, it seems, have decided to be silent on the issue. While most of them could not be contacted even after repeated efforts, the rest said they had no idea of the correct number.

The UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob, has taken a serious note of the cholera outbreak that claimed two lives here last month; still, the authorities concerned are not willing to disclose the exact figures. Dr Chander said, according to the World Health Organisation and the Centre for Disease Control, clean water and food, a proper disposal of excreta, personal hygiene and a proper community sanitation were more effective than vaccination in preventing cholera.

“In view of the increasin gastroenteritis, the Health Department has increased its information and education activities all over the city. We have advised everyone here to use potable water from storage tanks provided by the Administration and avoid drinking water from hand-pumps and underground wells. Citizens should also avoid taking filthy and rotten eatables from roadside shops and vendors,” he said.


Orissa police arrests prime suspect from city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
A team of the Orissa police today arrested a 36-year-old man from Khuda Lahora who was one of the members of a gang involved in the nationwide operation of printing fake currency notes. The prime suspect, Nru Singha Charna Malik, was wanted by the Cuttack police in a nine-month-old case of providing technology for printing currency notes and printing fake currency.

He was living in a house in the village and claimed to be running business of selling tea and garments. A team of the Chandigarh police assisted the cops from Cuttack in arresting the suspect who had been evading arrest so far. The other 10 persons wanted in this case had already been arrested.

The Inspector, Crime Branch, Cuttack, Mr Prabhat Kumar Pradhan, who led the team told Chandigarh police that they tracked down the address of the suspect on the basis of secret correspondence between him and his family in Kendrapada, Cuttack. He said during a raid in Cuttack in November, 2001, the police had caught two persons of the gang while printing fake currency notes. Two prime suspects, Timu from Assam and Nru Singha Charna Malik, who provided the printing technology to locals there, were absconding. A case under Sections 489 (A, B, C, D and E), 420 and 120-B of the IPC had been registered against them.

While Malik was arrested today, the other suspect, Timu, is on the run. The police officials said two while moving in different cities used to establish contact with criminals and provide them with the technology. The front and the back face of a currency note, printed on a coloured printer, were pasted with the help of a goldsmith roller.

The suspect, Nru Singha Charna Malik, worked as a safai worker in the Indian Army from 1984 to 1993 and during the period married a nursing attendent from Punjab, Nita Wadhawan in 1990 and has two children from the marriage. The wife of the suspect told the police that he never gave any penny at home and remained on outstation tours.


New PU panel on Kang meets today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
The impasse over the readmission of Malwinder Singh Kang, president of the Panjab University Student Union, continued, even as a second committee formed to discuss this issue met in the PU here today. This committee meets after the faculty of the department concerned has already discussed the case.

The panelists include Prof Nirmal Singh (Dean Student Welfare), Prof Satya P. Gautam, Prof Bal Krishan, Mr Satya Pal Jain (Chairman of the Department of Laws), Mr Gopal Krishan Chatrath, Dr Tankeshwar, Mr A.C. Vaid and Dr Deepak Manmohan. The committee meets tomorrow as well.

The admission of Malwinder Kang was cancelled for not attending 33 per cent lectures in the first 10 days of the session. Reportedly, Kang had submitted a fake medical certificate — an allegation that he denies. A PU committee led by Justice D.V. Sehgal had recommended that his readmission be made subject to a subsequent probe.

Sources said there had been a heated discussion in the House today over the readmission of Kang. Most persons wanted to know why the PU was not implementing the decision of the Sehgal committee. The decision had not found the support of the Student Organisation of Panjab University; it wanted that either Kang be removed or six other students who had been expelled for the same offence be also readmitted.

The university had, then, made Dr Deepak Manmohan, Chairman of Baba Sheikh Baba Farid Chair, a mediator. When nothing worked, an enlarged committee led by Prof K.N. Pathak, Vice-Chancellor of the PU, was formed.


UT enhances grant to akademies
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
After years of deliberating upon the issue of increase in the annual grant of three Chandigarh akademies, the UT Administration has finally decided to enhance it from Rs 1.2 lakh to Rs 2 lakh. The proposal, which was long pending for consideration of the Secretary, Cultural Affairs Department, was cleared some days ago.

With this positive decision in the favour of the three akademies of Chandigarh, the Lalit Kala Akademi, the Sahitya Akademi and the Sangeet Natak Akademi, many proposals which were blocked would now see the light of the day.

And whereas respective office-bearers of the three akademies have welcomed the decision of the department they opined that further enhancement in the annual grant should be considered in order to allow the akademies to organise better functions.

Sources informed that while the akademies, in their yearly proposals, had demanded about Rs 5 to 6 lakh, the Administration, as of now, had decided to give Rs 2 lakh.

It may be mentioned that for the past about 10 years, Rs 1.2 lakh was being forwarded as annual financial grant. The given sum of money, the respective chairpersons felt was insufficient to ensure effective functioning or even strengthen the list of their activities.

Speaking with “ Chandigarh Tribune”, Maj-Gen Himmat Singh Gill (retd), chairman, Chandigarh Sahitya Akademi, said, “It is a welcome step and we hope that next year there will be further enhancement. We had been suggesting an increase in the grant for about three years now. Now with the proposal finally cleared, we can look forward to organising better events and functions. We can also go ahead with many programmes which were stalled in the absence of adequate funds."

With more money at hand, the Chandigarh Sahitya Akademi plans to introduce more activities, including more meet-the-author programmes and a special national-level seminar of people who have written about the Partition of India.

Major-General Gill added, “We can also think of awarding better cash prizes during the Chandigarh carnival, apart from going ahead with publishing activities.”

Mr G.S. Chani, chairman, Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Akademi, when contacted in Delhi, said the enhancement was a positive step, especially in view of the financial crunch that had set in.

“This indicates that the Administration's interests are common to those of the akademies. We will keep our hopes further alive,” he said.

Another member of the akademi, however, said organising theatre and dance workshops was expensive and chairpersons could not go around arranging funds.

Meanwhile, the vice-chairman of the Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi, Mr Viren Tanwar, expressed satisfaction but added that they had worked out a proposal of about Rs five lakh, keeping in view the activities to be undertaken during the financial year.


102 prison officers attend workshops
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
“Human rights come naturally. Neither law can define them nor any agency can enforce them. The philosophy behind human rights is to give every individual certain fundamental liberties besides ensuring his dignity,” was the message given to 102 prison officers drawn from 15 states and union territories who attended a series of workshops here.

The workshops were organised at the Sector 26 Institute of Correctional Administration in collaboration with the Bureau of Police Research and Development, a central police organisation.

The Deputy Inspector-General, the Assistant Inspector-General, jail superintendents, deputy jail superintendents, jail wardens, welfare officers, distric probation officer, chief controller, research officer and assistant superintendents of Jail also took part.

“The prison staff faces a difficult task,” said Justice S.S. Kang, a former Chief Justice of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court who recently retired as Governor of Kerala. Recalling his association with the Natural Human Rights Commission, Justice Kang said he had been a witness to poor condition of prisons aggravated by overcrowding caused by undertrials.

Speaking at the valedictory function today, he said “Prison management has been low on the priority of the governments. Life in Indian prisons has been nothing less than a hell,” he said.

Justice Kang also gave away certificates to participants besides presenting mementos to Dr B.V. Trivedi, Assistant Director, BPR&D, Dr Rafiq-ur-Rehman, Senior Research Officer, National Institute of Social Defence, and Dr Upneet Lalli, Deputy Director, Institute of Correctional Administration.

Justice Kuldip Singh, a retired Judge of the Supreme Court, Mr Justice V.K. Bali of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Justice Iqbal Singh, a retired Judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court , Mr R.S. Gujral, Home Secretary of the Chandigarh Administration, and Mr L.C. Amarnathan. Director-General of Bureau of Police Research and Development were among those who were specially invited to address the participants.



The accident involving a school bus raised the worst fears of city parents. That kids are unsafe in school buses, was the common refrain. Demands for strictness and having a leash on bus operators were raised by all sections of society. In Chandigarh a majority of the school buses are run by private operators and the schools say the onus of transporting kids to school and back home is on the parents.

The local media raised a hue and cry; the Chandigarh Administration cracked the whip and challaned hundreds of buses and even impounded more than 35. Now this created a problem of traffic jams outside leading schools when parents flocked to pick up their little ones. Cars blocked roads and traffic policemen struggled to clear the blockade.

Though the parents are being harassed they want checking of buses, drivers and conductors and even three wheelers to be a daily affair and not just a two or three day knee-jerk reaction. Till now the operators have told parents that they will not be plying buses which do not meet the strict norms. Parents are hoping that this time the administration is serious and brings about a change and not just pass the buck.

Club commotion

The normally boisterous whisky-soda-tandoori chicken–tambola routine at the Chandigarh Club, a place frequented by the city’s business community, was broken this weekend. Madhu Sharma, wife of Haryana’s suspended IPS official Ravi Kant Sharma who is a suspect in the murder of a Delhi-based woman journalist, was at the club with a few family friends.

Madhu Sharma with her daily appearances on TV and also with photos of her in various newspapers is a recognisable face. Regulars at the club speculated if Ravi Kant Sharma would also be around. And when Madhu Sharma went outside the club premises to meet someone, members who were parking their cars strained their necks to verify if the tall fair gentleman was Ravi Sharma himself.

A few mediapersons got wind of Madhu’s visit and went to the club to verify things for themselves. Indeed Madhu was there with her brother, who is an NRI, and two others. The mystery of the person outside the club premises could not be solved but over the next two days there was great commotion.

Parking or pond?

In the absence of proper drainage system a heavy downpour turns the parking lot outside the Sector 30 market into a virtual pond — full of slush and potholes.

Despite repeated complaints by the shopkeepers, the authorities concerned have failed to take remedial action. The parking lot has also become a cause for frequent accidents as the visitors are forced to park their vehicles at the entrance of parking. 

Better listen!

Bureaucracy in Punjab is yet to get accustomed to the ways of Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd). At a function in SAS Nagar (Mohali) to inaugurate Bal Bhavan there the Deputy Commissioner, Ropar, Mrs Seema Jain was talking to someone sitting next to her on the sofa. In the meantime the General was making his brief address during which he asked the DC to carry out a survey on needs of kids or something to that effect. The DC probably did not hear it. The General turned around to see the DC, who was sitting on a sofa behind the podium from where the General was speaking, only to find her un-attentive. The General thundered: “DC, please listen what I am saying”. The DC complied.

After the function the General, in front of several persons said no one should speak when he was saying something. Later, in his own sweet way he said actually it is my fault. I should not have come to a function where nobody wants to listen to me. The DC got the message.

Probably the DC, Mrs Jain, could have done with some homegrown lessons. Her other half, Parag Jain, is Chandigarh’s SSP and knows about the General’s habits and mannerisms as the SSP meets him often as the Governor is also Chandigarh’s Administrator.

Special VIP passes

Janmashtami celebrations will be quite different this time. Not only with regard to the content and quality of the show being put up, but also in term of road arrangements being made to ensure smooth flow of people. Never mind the fact that extra care is being taken to ensure proper darshan for very important persons.

A temple in Sector 20 has chalked out a rather fresh strategy to take care that the city VIPs don’t have to stand in the queue for witnessing the Krishna leela. Special passes numbering 250 have been issued to very important persons, who will be able to park their vehicles in a separate area provided for the purpose.

From the parking they will be escorted right to the temple premises where all tableux related with the birth and leela of Lord Krishna will be displayed. Those who don’t qualify as VIPs can please make their own arrangements, and start lining up in the queue latest by 4 pm.

Hot and humid

Padmini Kolhapure’s sister Tejaswini had a rather tight schedule the other day when she had been invited by a local designing institute to award prizes to the winning students. The function, which lasted over an hour, was organised at the auditorium of Government Museum and Art Gallery in Sector 10.

There was just one outstanding problem. The day was hot and humid and the auditorium probably had no airconditioner working. Even if there was any, it was just not effective enough. The poor actress, not used to withstanding so much heat and for so long, was apparently very flustered. With one hand she was giving away the awards and with the other she was trying to knot up the hair she had left open.

After bearing the heat for long, she finally thought of getting out of the hall. But there was more to come — a formal word with a host of media persons from the city. Tejaswini, who could obviously not refuse, turned over to the organisers and asked: “How long would it take now!” That was, however, anybody’s guess!

Keep it up IT

The much-maligned income tax department has won accolades from assessees, thanks to computerisation and individual efforts of an officer in the city.

The praise of the department has come from Mr Om Datt Sharma who was happy on receiving refund in only a month after filing his return in July, 2002. There are many others who share Mr Sharma’s feelings.

The income tax department also successfully received returns at the Institute of Engineers to save trouble to the taxpayer.

The Commissioner-I has attracted praise for having been doing good arrangements since 1999.

Refunds in a month were unthinkable a little while ago but the department still has to go a long way in issuing PAN numbers on-line.

Trees for advertising

With every passing day, people seem to strike upon brighter ideas for selling their products. In order to do away with the cost of advertising, many smart brains have chanced upon a novel idea, which involves the utilisation of trees all across the city.

Where some people hang display boards bearing details of their respective trades on the tree branches every morning and remove them as the evening sets in, there are others who seem to have permanently inscribed similar details on the tree trunks. The favourite spots are all sectors which have gardens. The most favoured sector seems to be Sector 33 where Terraced Garden starts being frequented from early morning. Also Sector 36 with Hibiscus Garden and Garden of Fragrance are hot spots for the new trend.

Teej gone, swings on

While nothing can be said about the elders, the festival of Teej seems to have left many a child excited. Although the festival has gone away, kids in most of the southern sectors are busy celebrating it in style. Since rain kept evading them for a long time earlier, some children in Sector 33, on the advice of their mothers, installed beautiful swings in their locality park. Although installed before Teej, the swings are still being used by kids as a cause to celebrate. A major party goes on in the parks every evening.

Taking a cue from Sector 33 children, many children in other southern sectors have also followed suit. Now the kids have even formed groups, which jointly visit different locality parks on different days. The idea is to seek the pleasure of playing on the swings installed in all parks of the Southern sectors.



‘Compliance of IT Act gaining acceptance’
Tribune news Service

Chandigarh, August 25
The simplification of the Income Tax Act and an increased level of awareness among the middle class have enhanced the collection of income tax in the region. The people friendly approach of the IT Department had also encouraged the assesses to pay their taxes.

These views were expressed by speakers at a seminar on “Income tax in changing business scenario” held here today. The seminar was organised by the Chandigarh-Panchkula chapter of the Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India.

Ms Baljit Bains, Chief Commissioner, Income Tax, Haryana, deliberated on various provisions of the Act. She opined that though the awareness about the Income Tax Act had increased in the urban and rural areas, the tax collections had not increased proportionately. She said writing of the permanent account number (PAN) on the return helped in providing better service to the assesses.

Mr Rakesh Bhalla, chairman of the local chapter, discussed the role of cost accountants. He claimed that cost accountants were playing a vital role in increasing income tax collection as they were involved in controlling cost of production and thus increasing profits and in turn more income taxes. Further, most of the cost accountants, he said, were working at key positions in the industry, they could spread cost consciousness in the industry.

Mr Aswani Luthra, Commissioner, Income Tax, Chandigarh, discussed changes introduced in the IT Act. He pointed that new activities had been added where tax deducted at source had been made mandatory. Similarly, the assesses would have to pay heavy penalty in case of non-quoting of PAN on income tax returns.

Among others, Mr Kanwar Inder Singh Dhillon, CEO, Kool Drinks and Beverages Ltd, Ms Deepa Gupta, central council member, ICWAI, Mr Krishan Vrind Jain and Mr Balwinder Singh, secretary, ICWAI, also participate in the seminar.


BJP burns effigies of Sonia, Ambika, Bansal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
The local unit of the BJP, led by BJP national secretary Om Prakash Dhankar, today burnt effigies of Ms Sonia Gandhi, Ms Ambika Soni and Mr Pawan Bansal and staged a two-hour dharna at the school site in Sector 40, allotted to the Heritage Society.

Ms Soni and Mr Bansal are members of the society.

The BJP workers dared the All-India Congress Committee president, Ms Sonia Gandhi, to clarify her stand on what they called “land grabbing” by the two Congress leaders.

Mr Dhankar, a former MP and national executive member of the BJP, Mr Satyapal Jain, convener of the ad hoc committee, Mr Yashpal Mahajan, leader of the BJP-SAD combine in the MC, Ms Kamla Sharma and others accused the Congress leaders of “surreptitiously” performing “bhoomi pujan” ceremony.

The BJP leaders also “purified” the land by sprinkling water from Sukhna Lake to “nullify ” the effect of alleged desecration of the land through the bhoomi pujan ceremony.

The BJP demanded cancellation of allotment for Delhi Public School in Sector 40 saying that the land was meant for public use and was being used as a park by residents.

They also announced a rally on August 29 against the Congress in front of the MC office to protest against the hike in water and community centre charges, imposition of paid parking and property tax.

A party press note claimed that the residents of the area would oppose the allotment of the land as they would “lose the facility of the public park”.


Art of keeping your wife happy
Tribune News Service

Tips for husbands

  • On returning from work, begin with a greeting and a beautiful smile.
  • Share good news with her and help her with household chores.
  • Study her opinion with care; change your opinion, if required.
  • When she is away, stay in touch with her.
  • Be neat and tidy.

Chandigarh, August 25
For those who are not finding happiness at home because of an unhealthy relationship with the spouse, here are some tips from two persons who spoke today on the delicate art of keeping one’s wife happy.

Holding the fort at the Personality Development Institute in Sector 17 this morning were two veteran speakers, Mr Ravi Mann, a socialite and photographer, and Mr Vidya Sagar, an academician. As the talk took off from the definition of wife, it went on to span many interesting aspects of the sensitive husband-wife relationship. Said Mr Mann, “A wife is a person who likes simple things in life. She is also the person who is expected to sit up with her man when he is sick and put up with him when he is not. Simple things in life can, therefore, make her happy.”

“If you are facing problems, take your wife out for dinner to a new hotel every weekend. Order room service and spend more time with her. That is what she needs,” said Mr Mann. “Look out for what irks her. Don’t repeat mistakes. Listen to her. Sit down with her and share views over the stills from the wedding album. Make her feel important. Send her a Valentine card. Don’t think too much about the passing years. If you are young at heart, you are always young. Lastly, forgive her mistakes,” he advised.

Mr Vidya Sagar illustrated the talk with interesting comments. He gave a list of things that can rejuvenate a marriage.


Augmentation work disrupts power supply in town
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 25
The Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) began augmentation of a 12.5-KV transformer at the Industrial Area substation this morning. This resulted in power disruption in most parts of the township.

The work on replacing 12-MVA transformer here with a 16-MVA transformer began at 7 in the morning. As a result power supply to Sectors 10, 11, 12- A, 15, 16, 17 and Industrial Area (Phases I and II) remained disrupted from 7 am to 11 am. Power supply to Rajiv Colony was also disrupted because of this augmentation, though the HUDA authorities had diverted the load from this transformer to the other 16-MVA transformer at this substation and also to Sector 1 substation.

It is learnt that the augmentation work on this transformer will be completed by 6 pm tommorow. This augmentation work will also increase capacity of the Industrial Area substation from 28. 5 MVA to 32 MVA.

No power for the past 3 days
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 25
Persons of Group Housing Society Number 13 in Sector 20 here have been going without electricity for the past three days. Mr Sanjay Saxena, a man who lives in this society, said an underground power-supply cable coming from the high-tension lines across the road had been accidentally cut off during the digging of a trench to lay a cable for sodium streetlights.

He said the problem had begun on August 7, when a contractor had cut off the power-supply cable to lay the cable for streetlights. The power supply had remained disrupted for a day and had been restored after the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitaran Nigam had repaired the cable linked to the society transformer.

However, after the plinth had been refilled, a technical snag in the newly laid cable caused another disruption of power supply two days ago.

The fault has not been repaired, so far; and the power supply remains unrestored. Mr Saxena said the contractor laying the cable for streetlights had been avoiding the persons of the society, even though it was because of his fault that the power supply had been disrupted.Back


Baby show in Food Craft Institute
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
Dressed in laces and frills, little childrens put their best foot forward at a baby show organised at Food Craft Institute, Sector 42, here today. As many as 200 children participated in the contest.

On the basis of age, they were divided into five categories. The criteria for selecting prince and princess was the health of the child, actions and reactions and responses in particular situations.

Titles were also given to participating children. While Ekam Chabbra was given the “Best Eyes” title, Jayant Puri and Fiza got “Best Smile”, Gagandeep got “Naughty Eyes”, Arshna Dogra got “Good Hair” and Mukesh Mahindra was “ Most Intelligent”.

The chief guest, Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, MP, appreciated the spirit behind holding the function. Mr Rahul Inder Singh Sidhu was the guest of honour.

Later, a fancy dress contest saw 75 entries and children came dressed as Nehrus, Lord Krishnas, Radhas and Khalsas. They were cheered on-stage by parents who seemed clearly pleased by the performance of their children.

For entertainment between items, a bhangra, skit and dances and songs added colour to the programme. The results of the contest are as follows: category 1: Prince-Aryansh Verma, Princess-Sehaj Mehta and Chulbul; category 2: Prince-Viren Behl, Princess-Anusha; category 3: Prince-Aksht, Princess: Garima; category 4: Prince-Abhinav, Princess-Bhawna; and Category 5: Prince-Vyom Sharma, Princess-Jasmine Kaur.Back


District Congress Committee (R) office-bearers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
The constitution of the District Congress Committee (Rural) has been completed with the appointment of six each of vice-president, general secretary, secretary and block president.

The rural unit picked up 13 members of the executive Congress. Mr Sarabjit Singh of Badheri was appointed treasurer.

Mr Naurata Singh Gharuan, Ms Surjit Kaur (sarpanch), Dr Baldev Singh, Mr Kulwant Singh (ex-sarpanch), Mr Rajinder Singh and Thakur Kartar Singh (sarpanch) have been appointed vice-presidents.

Ms Jaswinder Kaur, Mr Sita Ram, Mr Jagat Sharma, Mr Ram Karan, Mr Supinder Singh (panch) and Mr Harbans Singh (ex-panch) have been appointed general secretaries.

Mr Om Parkash, Dr Sudesh Sharma, Ms Mukhtiar Kaur, Mr Jasbir Singh, Mr Subhash Chander and Mr Naurata Singh have been appointed secretaries.

Mr Raj Singh Thakur was appointed president of Block No. 15, Mr Balbir Singh of Block No. 16, Mr Ram Singh Saini of Block No. 18, Mr Bansi Lal of Block No. 20, Mr Dayal Singh of Block No. 23 and Ms Lata Sharma of Block No. 25.


Condition of HP accident victims stable
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, august 25
The condition of the three residents of the city, who were admitted to the PGI after being injured in a bus accident near Dharampur in Solan district today, is stable.

The injured includes Ajay Kumar and Pradhuman Singh, both residents of SAS Nagar, and Muninder Pal Singh of Sector 23.

The three youths, all in their mid- twenties, have sustained head injuries and fractures. 

Fire in shop
Our Correspondent

Lalru, August 25
Goods worth thousands of rupees were gutted in a fire that broke out in the store of a grocery shop in Grain Market here this afternoon. Some children, who were flying kites, noticed smoke billowing from the third storey of the shop owned by Mr Om Prakash and raised the alarm. Fire engines from fire stations in Dappar and Dera Bassi were called.

Electric short circuit is said to be the cause of the fire.Back


Preity Zinta, Mahima to visit city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
The whole team of ‘Dil Hai Tumhara’, the latest project of Tips Films, will be here in the city on August 28. 

Among the stars who are arriving to Chandigarh in order to promote the film, due for release on September 6, will be Preity Zinta, Arjun Rampal, Mahima Chaudhary and Jimmy Shergill. Accompanying them will be director of the film Kundan Shah.


Missing links in rape case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh August 25
Investigations by the Chandigarh police seems to have made a little headway in the 12-day-old case of alleged drugging and raping of a girl in her twenties by the owner of a computer centre.

Though several missing links in the statements given by the victim and the eye witness have surfaced in the incident, the main suspect in the case, M.K. Jain, is yet to be arrested by the police.

Sources said the police was also investigating the angle of a property and cash dispute amounting to over Rs 4 crore between Jain and a senior bureaucrat of Haryana.

Few weeks before the incident, relatives of Jain had made a futile attempt to mediate in solving the dispute. Most of the properties of the two were said to be in the name of their wives and different companies.

Documents regarding the property of M.K. Jain had been reportedly collected by investigating officials. However, the details could not be ascertained.

The sources did not rule out the possibility of certain police officials being in contact with the suspect through common “contacts”. As per the strategy adopted, the suspect would not be arrested till the plot did not expose on its own, said the sources.

An effort was on, in a close circle of some officials of the Chandigarh police, to mediate a compromise between the two through contacts. Meanwhile, the CFSL report on the DNA matching and the test of the clothes of the victim is expected shortly.

The sources said semen samples had been found the girls' clothes, but it would have to be matched with that of the suspect to establish the rape theory.

Human rights body expresses doubts

Members of the Lawyers for Human Rights International Association , in a report issued today, expressed doubts on the possibility of the victim being raped.

Releasing the report, members of the human rights body, Ms Veena Sharma, Mr Arunjeev Singh Walia, Mr Tejinder Singh Sudan, Mr O.P.Dabla and Mr Manpreet Singh Chahal, said the case should be handed over to the CBI.

In its report, the members said the Chandigarh police had proved its inefficiency in probing the case.“ The case had been handled in an inefficient, negligent and misleading manner and the investigations were shady,” they said.

The association expressed doubt that doctors in the female medical ward of Sector 16 General Hospital had played into the hands of the Chandigarh police.

In its investigations, the members said the version of the girl being picked up from Sector 20 and being dumped on the road in Sector 33 was doubtful. The suspect dumping the victim at such a short distance from his office was doubtful, they said.

Contrary to the claims that the eyewitness, Surinder, had filled petrol in his car, the records of the Sector 33 petrol pump showed that his vehicle had never come to the pump for filing petrol.

The record of all vehicles coming to the petrol pump after 9 pm is maintained.

The association said enquiry at the STD booth-cum-chemist shop from where Surinder had made the call to the police showed that he had visited the shop with two girls. They had asked the chemist for some drug, which when mixed with food, becomes an intoxicant.

The report said that the girl was apparently drugged by the eyewitness and M.K. Jain framed.



Impostor arrested
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, August 25
A man posing as an Intelligence Bureau (IB) official from Delhi has been arrested by the local police. In a police press note released here today, it was stated that Sumir Chauhan of Ludhiana district had rung up a senior manager of Spice Telecom, Mr Rohit Jain, and sought a list of numbers of mobile phones which he said was required to nab a criminal. 

Mr Jain asked him to show the official letter in this regard which he could not produce. Mr Jain then called Chauhan to his office after consulting seniors. Chauhan was then asked to show his identity card which again he could not produce. The police was called and Chauhan was arrested under Sections 170 and 506, IPC. 


Theft in Panchkula house
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 25
A house in Sector 7 here was burgled by miscreants on the night of August 23. Cash worth Rs 7,800 was stolen from the almirah of the house.

A case under Sections 457 and 380 of the IPC has been registered.

police has arrested Ajay Kumar and Surendra Kumar in two separate incidents on the charge of speculation and seized Rs 3,305 from them.

While Ajay Kumar was arrested from Old Panchkula, the latter was arrested from Pinjore. Both accused have been booked under Sections 13-A, 3 and 65 of the Gambling Act.

Two arrested
The police has arrested Ashwani Kumar and seized 12 bottles of IMFL and 12 bottles of beer from him. In another incident, the police has arrested Satish Prasad and seized 100 pouches of liquor from him. They have been booked under various sections of the Excise Act.

Dowry case
Ms Balwant Kaur has accused her husband, Gurdev Singh, brother-in-law Gurnam Singh, father-in-law Sohan Singh and mother-in-law Karnail Kaur for demanding dowry and threatening her. A case under Sections 406, 498-A, 506 and 34 of the IPC has been registered.


Theft cases
Four cases of theft were reported from different parts of the city during the past 24 hours.

Mr J.S. Meena, Administrative Officer, CSIO, Sector 30, reported that 6.5 kg of copper has been stolen from the CSIO compound.

Mr J.L. Thukral, deputy manager, SBI, Sector 17, reported that his car (PB-43-0015) was stolen from the bank's parking lot yesterday.

Mr Naranjan Singh, a resident of Sector 41, reported that his scooter (HR-07-E-4204) was stolen from his residence on August 21.

A Bullet motor cycle (PB-10-AJ-8822) of Mr Sarbjot Singh, a Panjab University hostler, was stolen from the parking lot of Hostel No. 4.

Rajnish Kumar, a resident of Bhawani Nagar (Amritsar district), was allegedly caught while stealing an LPG cylinder from a house in Maloya Colony last evening. A case under Sections 379 and 411 of the IPC has been registered against him on the complaint of Mr Devi Prashad, a resident of the area.

Surinder, alias Kalu, a resident of Kajheri, was arrested allegedly for trying to outrage the modesty of a minor girl of the village yesterday. He was booked under Sections 342, 354 and 509 of the IPC.

The police has arrested Vinod Kumar, a resident of Palsora Colony allegedly for selling liquor unauthorisedly. He was booked under various sections of the Excise Act.

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