Tuesday, October 22, 2002, Chandigarh, India

C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Dakshin Marg cleared of encroachments
Nishikant Dwivedi

Chaos creators

* Traffic policemen, who usually lay ambush at roundabouts to trap violators. Offending drivers are made to park vehicles on all sides of the roundabouts, which obstructs traffic.

* Bus operators, who pick up and drop passengers at various points on Dakshin Marg.

* Stray cattle on roads.

* Cyclists, pedestrians and drivers of two-wheelers, who continue to jump road dividers, causing accidents.

* Streetlights, that remain out of order far too often.

Chandigarh, October 21
With a view to reducing traffic chaos on Dakshin Marg (from The Tribune Chowk to the roundabout of Sectors 37, 38, 24 and 25), the Chandigarh police has cleared the road of “all encroachments”. Earlier, ‘rehris’, auto-rickshaws and rickshaws used to dot this road, obstructing traffic.

The Enforcement Wing of the Chandigarh Administration has removed unauthorised hoardings and glow-signs from shops along the road. Casual labourers have been removed from Labour Chowk (the roundabout of Sectors 20, 21, 33 and 34) and shifted to a new place (the roundabout of Sectors 44 and 45 near Colony No 5). Signs reading “no stoppage for motorists” have come up along the road.

Dakshin Marg is main road that travellers take for going towards Delhi, Punjab and Haryana. The rise in population in southern sectors, coming up of the City Sub-Centre in Sector 34 and the SAS Nagar traffic have made this a heavily used road.

The police has also told various state transport authorities to tell their drivers not to stop buses on Dakshin Marg. It has been observed that buses, including that of the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking, stop on the road to pick up or drop passengers, creating traffic chaos.

Iron barricades and hedges on the road dividers have failed to stop cyclists, pedestrians and drivers of two-wheelers from crossing over the dividers. Such acts cause a large number of accidents on the road.

Stray cattle is a major traffic hurdle on the road. Rickshawpullers met Mr S.C Sagar, Deputy Superintendent of Police (South), here today to lodge their protest against the drive. However, they were told to park rickshaws only at designated stands.



8 hurt in clash over boundary wall
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 21
Eight persons were injured, three of them seriously, in a clash between residents of Bir Ghaggar village and the authorities. A dispute over erecting a boundary wall in forest land near the village, which has been transferred to a dera, led to the clash.

Three of the injured — Balkar Singh, Rajinder Kumar and Raghbir Singh Dhanjal — have been admitted to General Hospital here with severe injuries on their heads and faces. The SHO, Chandi Mandir police station, Mr Pawan Kumar and the Tehsildar, Panchkula, Mr Ashwani Kumar Sharma , and three other cops were also injured , when a mob of over 300 villagers began pelting them with stones.

A JCB machine was also damaged in the process.

Eyewitnesses said there was no instigation by either dera members or the forest authorities, when villagers led by Sarpanch Vinod Kumar tried to stall their work. When heated arguments between the two sides failed, the villagers allegedly began throwing stones.

There has been a long-standing dispute between villagers and members of the dera over the forest land. This land, about 40 hectares, had been transferred by the Forest Department to the dera for cultivation. However, this became a major bone of contention between the villagers and dera dwellers.

Over the past few months, there have been several attempts by the forest authorities, with the assistance of the district administration and the police, to construct a boundary wall around this land, so as to avoid any encroachment by the villagers. A few months ago a barbed-wire fence was erected by the forest authorities on one side of the land.

A riot-control vehicle, about 50 cops, Forest Department staff and dera followers reached the spot and were about to start work around 11 a.m., when the trouble began. Mr Gurmeet Singh, a resident of Kharar, who had come here, said the villagers began attacking them and two persons — Raghbir Singh Dhanjal, the labour contractor engaged by the authorities for carrying out the job, and Rajinder Kumar — were dragged by the villagers and severely beaten up.

The incident lasted about 20 minutes and later the police managed to control the situation. However, the work on construction of wall was stalled.



This time, dial M for mehndi men
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 21
Dial “M” for murder.... No, Mehndi. If you find it hard to believe, go to Sector 22 market and ask the henna artist to apply the colours of affection on the canvas of your skin. No, he will not offer you a seat. Instead he will ask, “Do you have an appointment?”

What? Henna artists asking about appointments? Weren’t barbers in the city the only ones asking such questions? Since when have the henna artists started acting “pricey”? Well, there is no answer to such questions as these artists are the most sought after these days.

“Karva Chauth is the time for them to do some real brisk business,” says Ganesh, a shopkeeper. “As the number of customers is more than what a good artist can handle comfortably, they have started giving appointments”.

Giving details, another shopkeeper Gopal Naresh asserts: “All you have to do is to punch the number, call them up, fix time according to their convenience and reach the place dot on time”.

He adds: “Be careful about the time of appointment. If you are late say by just five minutes, the next customer in line waiting for the lucky star to twinkle, will be accommodated. In such a case, you will have to seek fresh appointment and wait for your turn.

But how do you contact the artist? Are they advertising the telephone numbers? “Well, so far we are not advertising,” reveal one of them. “But you can call us up on the mobile phones that we carry all the time”.

The procedure, he explains, is simple. “If a customer comes to us and there is no rush, we accommodate her, but if there are a lot of girls waiting in the queue, we give them the phone number and ask them to call us up. Then we tell them about the time we will be free”.

Denying the allegations of acting pricey, he says, “It is for everyone’s convenience. We can very well ask them to come later and again repeat the request if we are not free. We do not believe in doing that. So we simply give them the telephone number and ask them to call us up before coming over. It is absolutely for their convenience”.

However, the keen housewives also do not mind. Little wonder, they can be seen, decked up in glittering short sleeveless tops over boot-cut trousers, pressing the back-lit buttons of the mobile sets for confirming the appointments. “We do not mind. Why should we? They are only trying to help us out,” asserts Ruhi Kapoor, a resident of Sector 22.



Police cleanchit to husband, mother-in-law
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 21
Baldev Kaur of Kajheri village was allegedly murdered by her father-in-law, Nirmal Singh, his brother, Dalbara Singh and Avtar Singh, son of Dalbara Singh, claimed police sources. Avtar Singh has been arrested, while Dalbara Singh is still at large. Nirmal Singh was arrested on Saturday.

Earlier, the police had rounded up Nirmal Singh, his wife and husband of the victim, Gurmeet Singh as suspects in the case. Later, Gurmeet Singh and his mother were let off after investigations. It is being said that Gurmeet Singh was not present in the house at the time of crime.

As per police sources, on Friday evening, the three dragged Baldev Kaur into a room and pushed her on the ground. Dalbara Singh allegedly pinned her to the ground using his foot, while Nirmal Singh assaulted her with a sharp-edged weapon. When they were sure, that Baldev Kaur has died, they rapped the body in a cloth and stuffed the body in a jute sack.

They left the body in the house and proceeded to the village’s cremation ground to dig a ‘‘grave’’.

Once the digging job was complete, said police sources, Nirmal Singh and Dalbara Singh, returned home to fetch the body. Avtar Singh remained at the ground.

The body was then carried to the cremation ground on a bicycle and was buried. It must be mentioned here that the body was later exhumed by the police the following night. The weapon used in the crime has been recovered.



Admn seeks 22 cr from Centre
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 21
The Chandigarh Administration has sought Rs 22 crore from the Union Government in view of the likely acceptance of a report of the Delhi Finance Commission. If the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) accepts the report of the DFC then there will be revenue sharing between the Administration and the corporation, as suggested in the report.

If this comes through a sum of about Rs 22 crore will be transferred from the kitty of the Administration to that of the corporation. This will mean a shortage of funds to execute various ongoing projects. Sources said the additional money was likely to be cleared. Chandigarh, on a per capita basis, contributes the most to the consolidated fund of India by way of indirect and direct taxes.

The revenue collections are way above the spending.

Besides this demand the Union Finance Ministry has sanctioned a sum of Rs 5. 42 crore as additional grants for development works in the UT.

During the last financial year also a Rs 77 crore package was sanctioned by the Union Finance Ministry for various pending works and projects in Chandigarh. Importantly this had included a Rs 5 crore grant in aid for the cash-strapped Municipal Corporation. This had helped bail out the MC from its financial mess.

In the past five years the budget of the MC has witnessed a gradual cut from the Centre with each passing year. The idea was to make MC self sufficient.



Work on cable affects power supply
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 21
Power supply to a large part of the city, including all southern sectors, was switched off for more than five hours today as part of the process to increase the height of a high tension power line near SAS Nagar. This was the second such shutdown in three days. Lack of power affected work in important offices in southern sectors, like the Income Tax Wing and the Survey of India. Business was also affected in restaurants and shops.

The ground clearance of a high-tension cable near the bridge on the road to Ludhiana needed to be increased as a new bridge had come up there, reducing the distance between the ground and the cable. Since the cable brings in power to Chandigarh, the supply had to be switched off. Sources in the power sector said today was the final day of this work and there would be no more shutdown on account of this process.

Another big power shutdown would come on either October 21 or October 22, said sources.



Police remembers its martyrs
Tribune Reporters

SALUTING SACRIFICE: SSP Parag Jain pays homage to martyrs on the occasion of Police Commemoration Day, in Chandigarh on Monday. — A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, October 21
To pay homage to the 10 jawans of the Indian Police, who died 43 years ago while fighting Chinese in retaliation to an attack in the Adsai Chin, a solemn commemoration parade was held in the Police Station Sector 17 here today. Contingents of the Chandigarh Police, the Haryana Police and the Punjab Police participated in the parade and paid homage.

Mr B.S Bassi, UT Inspector General of Police, read over the names of 977 officers and jawans, who sacrificed their lives in cause of duty, during the period September 1, 2001 and August 31, 2002. He lauded the sacrifices of these martyrs, who lost their lives protecting the security and integrity of the country. He laid wreaths on the memorial. Other officers, including retired officers of police and paramilitary forces also payed their homage.

PANCHKULA: The police martyrdom day was observed near Mini Secretariat on Monday in memory of policemen who had laid down their lives for the nation.

Speaking on the occasion, the Superintendent of Police, Ms Charu Bali, said the day was celebrated in memory of 10 Indian Police jawans who had laid down their lives while fighting the Chinese in Ladakh in 1959. She said the day was observed to pay homage to police martyrs all over the country.

Other than local police officials, officials from state police headquarters also participated in the march past.



Let Army focus on its job

The Chief Minister of Haryana, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, inaugurated a one-day civil-military liaison conference at the Western Command Headquarters on October 16.

Some of the points discussed at the conference need to be examined further. One, Mr Chautala’s suggestion that a special Army brigade be raised to deal with natural calamities does not fit into the role of the Army. If the Army starts raising formations and units to help the civil administration in performing their duties, then at the present rate of demands from various states, another Army will have to be raised. As it is, according to the rules, the Army can be called out in aid to civil power which covers natural calamities, including floods and earthquakes. But then, this should only be done when the situation goes beyond the control of the civil administration. For the past several years, the Army is being increasingly involved in the tasks that should be carried out by the state governments themselves. If the current trend of diverting the Army from its primary role is not curbed with a firm hand, the country will face a dangerous situation one day.

Two, what will a defence park at the tri-junction of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan achieve? As it is, such parks in individual states remain neglected. The fate of the proposed park, which will become the responsibility of three states, will be much worse. Three, since Haryana’s manpower contribution to the Army is sizeable, a cantonment for southern Haryana, as suggested by Mr Chautala, is more than justified. Four, the pilot project to harness rainwater for Chandi Mandir, as envisaged by Lt. Gen S.S. Mehta, GOC-in-C, Western Command, will overcome the water shortage problem. For Chandi Mandir cantonment provides a natural basin to harness rainwater that flows down from the foot-hills.

Troop pullout

The news that the government has decided to withdraw troops from the border has brought cheer to the families of soldiers, several of whom have faced many traumatic situations in their absence. This was not only the longest but also the largest ever deployment of the Indian Army at the border since Independence.

Many wives are hoping to celebrate Divali with their husbands. Since the withdrawal will take some time and the percentage of leave vacancies is limited, only a few lucky spouses will see their husbands joining them for Divali.

The Army deployment began after the terrorist attack on Parliament on December 13 for a decisive war in the first week of January. This deployment was, therefore, fully justified. When the war did not come off, the troops should have been withdrawn within a reasonable period. This did not happen because the government went firm on Pakistan meeting two requirements before the troops could be pulled back. These were stopping cross-border terrorism and handing over a few deadly terrorists to India. Have these conditions been met? Certainly not, if anything, the cross-border terrorism has escalated. So, what is the logic behind this pullback at this stage? This reminds one of the saying “you can befool some people for sometime but not all the people all the time”.

Income tax exemption

There still seems to exist a doubt about the exemption of pension of disabled officers of the armed forces from income tax. It is, therefore, clarified that the entire pension i.e. service element plus disability element of the disabled officers is exempted from income tax vide Government of India, Ministry of Finance, Department of Revenue, New Delhi, letter No F No. 200/51/99-ITAI of July 2, 2001, addressed to all Chief Commissioners and Directors-General of Income Tax.

Medical camp

A three-day medical camp was recently held at Arnia village in Jammu, which is only 3 km from the Indo-Pakistan border. About 8,000 patients from the region were examined by a team of doctors from the Army, civil hospitals and the Special Service Bureau (SSB). Over 100 schoolchildren (both boys and girls) also helped in organising the camp.

Specialist treatment in gynaecology, paediatrics, surgery, eye and ENT was also provided to the needy patients at the camp. Such camps go a long way in re-assuring the people of the border villages that the Army was always there to help them in solving their problems.

Pritam Bhullar



4 BSNL employees honoured
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, October 21
Four employees of the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) were given special awards for outstanding services at a function organised by the BSNL Telecom Quality Assurance Circle held at CEDTI here today.

While, Kiran, a section supervisor at the BSNL, Chandigarh, was declared as the Sanchar Sarthy for the year 2001-2002, Mukesh Kumar working as JTO, Faridabad, Ashok K. Dhar working as DET, Chandigarh, and Jatinder Garg working as DET, New Delhi, were awarded the Sanchar Sewa Padaks.

These four had been chosen from among the employees manning the Telecom Quality Assurance Circle of BSNL in the north zone. The quality assurance circle of the BSNL is responsible for checking the quality of all telecom equipment being introduced with networking the country.

The function was presided over by Mr Virender Kumar, Chief General Manager, Telecom Quality Assurance Circle, Bangalore, while the chief guest on the occasion was Mr S.C. Choudhary, Chief General Manager, Punjab Telecom Circle, Chandigarh.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Choudhary stated that these awards were aimed at encouraging the employees.



Valmiki Jayanti celebrated
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 21
Heavy rush on the road leading to Sector 24 gave little indication of the impressive celebrations being held at the Valmiki Mandir. Most of the commuters thought it was just another traffic jam so common these days. Only after reaching the temple they realised that “Maharishi Valmik Pargat Diwas” celebrations were being held with great religious fervour.

The devotees, dressed up in their cheerful best, were pleasantly surprised to see merry-go-rounds in the adjoining ground. Their little ones shrieked and shouted as it went up and down.

This is not all. The devotees and other visitors were also lured by attractive stalls of glittering bangles, plastic toys, lucrative games and religious literature. After purchasing the stuff, they stood in front of the makeshift shops to buy sumptuous eatables and munch these as they walked down the narrow passage between the stalls. An audio cassette “Mere Valmik Bhagwan” sung by Happy Narang was also released on the occasion.



Booked for defacing public property
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 21
The police has registered 11 cases of defacement of public property against students’ organisations active on the Panjab University campus.

As per an official release of the police department, a case under Section 3 of the Prevention of Defacement of Property Act against SOPU (Students Organisation of Panjab University) and APUS (Association of Panjab University Students) has been registered in the Sector 11 Police Station. Among others against whom the case has been registered include Krishna Honda Activa Spare Sale Service and tuitions’ institutes.

Minor abducted: A resident of Mauli Jagran Complex on Monday alleged that his minor daughter has been abducted by Sanju, a resident of the same complex. In a complaint to the police he said her daughter, a class VIII student, has not returned home from school since October 19.

A missing person report was lodged at the Police Post Mauli Jagran. However, this evening, father of the girl told the police that he had come to know that Sanju has kidnapped her daughter. A case has been registered.

Cases of beating: Ms Manbari, a resident of Dadu Majra Colony, was allegedly beaten up by fellow residents, Pardeep and Vimla, here yesterday. The duo allegedly also threatened the victim. A case under Sections 323, 452 and 34 of the IPC has been registered.

A case under Sections 323, 506 and 34 of the IPC has also been registered against Kamal, a resident of Janta Colony, allegedly for beating Mr Deepak Kumar of Sector 38. The alleged incident took place on the night intervening October 18 and 19.

Mishap victim dies: Sunchari Devi of Dadu Majra Colony who was seriously injured in a road accident on Saturday night, succumbed to her injuries in the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, yesterday. She was allegedly hit by a motor cycle near the Hallomajra village. The motor cycle rider had fled away from the spot. A case under Sections 279, 337 and 304A of the IPC has been registered.

Vehicles stolen: A Tata Indica car (CH03H 7537) of Mr Sunil Mahajan, a resident of H.No 1585, Sector 7, has reportedly been stolen on the night intervening October 20 and 21 here. The emerald green-coloured car was stolen from the residence of Mr Mahajan.

Mr Naresh Anand, a resident of Sector 44, reported with the police that his Kinetic Honda scooter (CH-01J-1819) was stolen from his residence on the night intervening October 19 and 20. Two cases of thefts have been registered.

Theft cases: Two theft incidents have been reported in Ambala city and Ambala Cantonment in the last 24 hours. Col M.K. Sahni, a resident of Manoli House, Ambala city, in his complaint lodged with Baldev Nagar police station said some unidentified persons took away his valuables worth Rs 10,000 when he was not present in the home.

In another incident, the robbers decamped with the cash and jewellery worth Rs 27,000 from a house in the Tubewell colony in Ambala Cantonment. On the complaint of Bhim Sain the police has registered a case.

Stolen: A car was stolen from Punjabi Mohalla, Ambala Cantonment, last late evening. On the complaint of Kamal Jain, a resident of Kachha Bazaar, the police has registered a case.

Woman booked for forgery: On the direction of a local court, the city police has registered a case against a woman and two others for producing forged documents in a bank for taking the loan to purchase a car. According to information, the woman had taken the loan for a Zen car from Corporation Bank around two years back. She did not deposit the instalments of the loan with the bank.

She had taken the loan by pretending herself as the employee of the state government office.

When the bank inquired from the concerned office, then only it was disclosed that the concerned office had not issued any salary certificate to her deposited with the bank. The bank proceeded to a local court, which directed the police to register a forgery case against the lady and others.

One Arrested: The police arrested Suresh Kumar on Sunday on charges of illegally mining the river bed of Narayanpur river near here. A case under section 379 of IPC has been registered.

Liquor seized: Mahendra Singh was arrested by the police and five and a half bottles of liquor were seized from him.



Registration of robbery cases flayed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 21
The Chandigarh Beopar Mandal, in an emergency meeting held here today, condemned the registration of FIR against traders under Section 392 ( bid of robbery) by the police. The mandal condemned the harsh action of the Enforcement Staff of the Municipal Corporation.

The police had arrested seven traders while they were agitating against the drive of the anti- encroachment cell of the MC, in Sector 28 market on Friday. They have been already remanded in judicial custody by a local court on Saturday.

Mr Joginder Singh Sawhney, chairman of the mandal, disclosed that the beopar mandal delegation tried to meet Mr Bhim Sen Bassi, IGP, Chandigarh,but he was not available.

Mr Subhash Chawla and Mr Pradeep Chawla said they would raise the issue in the MC house.



Playmates nearly kill 10-yr-old
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 21
A 10-year-old boy, Rajesh was beaten to the point of death by eight other children of his age group in Mahadevpura village this morning. The reason for the fight was a minor altercation over grazing of goats. Police sources inform that the incident took place around 10 am today. The victim had a minor altercation with his playmates, who began showering blows on him. One of the children, who is about 14- years-old, reportedly sat on top of him and continued to shower blows on him.

He is presently recuperating in Neuro ICU of Paediatric Emergency and is now stated to be out of danger. Meanwhile, the police had not registered a case till the filing of this report. 



One killed, 1 hurt as car hits scooter
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 21
One person was killed and the man riding pillion with him was seriously injured when their scooter (HR-03C-8475) was hit by a Santro car (HR- 03C- 2020) near Saket hospital on Monday. Amrit Lal, a resident of Surajpur, was killed, while his brother-in-law Bhupinder was seriously injured.



Shopping at Sec 22 gets more attractive
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 21
By making purchases during the festival season from the Sector 22-D market, you can now win Maruti cars, Bajaj Chetak scooters, LG air-conditioners, LG washing machines, LG refrigerators, LG microwaves, LG TVs and sharp music systems.

The opportunity is for those who buy non-jewellery items worth Rs 500 or jewellery items worth Rs 2,000 or more. This was announced here today after the UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), threw open the second and last phase of the golden jubilee shopping festival of the market.

Festivities got a boost when TV actress Smriti made an appearance on the stage congratulating shopkeepers for golden jubilee celebrations of the market. She had come here to promote Milton products.

The actress, whose presence caused a virtual stampede in the market, wished happiness and wealth to the people of the city saying this wealth would also flow to the markets during the festival season.

The market association is offering 24 items as prizes for the festival buyers this time.

A person who becomes eligible for a coupon by making purchases as per the scheme will have to wait for the lucky draw which will be held on November 6.

The celebrations were formally inaugurated by General Jacob by cutting a ribbon and lighting lamps. General Jacob went around the market after the inauguration. He was greeted by senior members of the market association.

The market association president, Mr Arvind Jain, welcomed the Administrator and informed him that 27 shops comprising the market were the first ones to have come up in the city.

The Area Councillor and Road Committee Chairman, Mr Pardeep Chhabra, announced a grant of Rs 4 lakh for improving condition of roads in the market and another Rs 1 lakh from Councillor’s Ward Development Fund for a better lighting arrangement in the market.

He said the decision to grant this amount was in line with the policy of the corporation which has been concentrating on the carpeting of roads and parking lots in various markets.



Perfect platform to display products
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 21
Promising the residents of the city world class items, at the most competitive prices, Planet Fitness today announced the opening of its new division, “Arcade”, which will provide a platform to artists and producers to display their products and talent by organising exhibitions, previews, exclusive showcasing, talks and music appreciation workshops.

“Those interested in launching and showcasing their products in the city, will now have a platform in the form of “Arcade”, where they can display their products right from clothes, jewellery, home products, furniture and various artifacts,” remarked Ms Kiran Chadha, the spirit behind the setting up of gallery “The Arcade” at Planet Fitness in Sector 8-C.

The first exhibition at The Arcade, “Through the Looking Glass” will be inaugurated tomorrow. A wide range of collections, including exquisite night wear, lingerie, leather bags, shoes and designer candles have been put on display.

A Delhi-based designer store, “Mauve and Pink” has displayed its items, alongwith household accessories from Manna Studio Line and upholstery from Everest Handloom.

Tie up: Western Union, a global leader in money transfer services, and Andhra Bank, a leading nationalised bank, have announced their agreement to provide inbound money transfer services at Andhra Bank locations across the country. Initially, the Western Union Money Transfer® service will be available at 70 Andhra Bank locations and the parties expect that the network will be extended to nearly 500 locations of Andhra Bank by end of 2002.


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