Tuesday, October 29, 2002, Chandigarh, India

C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Woman beaten up, set afire at in-laws’ place
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, October 28
In a heart-rending incident, Kiran Bala, mother of a one-and-a-half-year old child, was allegedly set on fire after being given a sound beating by her in-laws in Shakti Nagar Colony along the Dera Bassi-Mukandpur road, near here, late last night.

According to family members and neighbours, Kiran and her husband Sanjeev Kumar had a scuffle at midnight that was also joined by other family members. Kiran reportedly rushed to the house of her paternal aunt nearby for safety but was chased by Sanjeev and brought back home.

She was later given sound beating, doused with kerosene and set afire, alleged Mr Shatish Kumar, a brother of the victim.

Daughter of Mr Sher Singh, a resident of Chandsarai Mohalla in Karnal, Kiran Bala was married to Sanjeev Kumar, son of Mr Ajmer Lal Pundeer, in April, 2000, and had a son from him.

The parents of the woman came to know about the incident after Kiran’s paternal uncle, Mr Puran Chand, informed them about it at about 2.30 am.

Over 75 persons, including womenfolk from Karnal reached the house of the deceased at 4 am and raised loud cries in front of the house. They also demanded the arrest of the woman’s in-laws.

In his complaint to the police, Kiran’s father alleged that his daughter’s in-laws had killed her for dowry. He alleged that they had been harassing her for dowry for long, and Kiran had even written two letters to him complaining against them.

He added that Sanjeev and his family had also demanded Rs1.5 lakh or a car two months ago. Last Monday, Sanjeev Kumar and his maternal uncle, Dyala Ram, also demanded Rs 50, 000 from Ravinder Kumar, elder brother of the woman, who had been to Kiran’s house to take her along on the occasion of Karva Chauth, alleged Mr Sher Singh.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Mr Shatish Kumar, brother of the woman, revealed that they had found Kiran’s earrings in different rooms of the house, pieces of her broken bangles scattered in the courtyard and on the street. There were blood stains on the floor and on the street in front of the house, besides blood-soaked clothes in her bedroom. This indicated that Kiran was first beaten up and later set on fire, he alleged.

Meanwhile, some local residents said Kiran had set herself afire in a store after bolting the door from inside. They added that her father-in-law had to broke open the door after he noticed her cries and smoke coming out from her bed room.

The police has registered a case under Sections 304-B and 34 of the IPC against the in-laws of the woman. The body has been sent to the Civil Hospital in Rajpura for post-mortem.

Though the police has detained Sanjeev and his family members but no arrest has been made so far.


Major groups release poll manifestoes
Tribune News Service

Major demands of PUSU-HSA-HPSU panel

  • Time-bound declaration of university examination
  • Establishment of University Placement Cell
  • Representation of council members in the university Senate.
  • Internet facility in every department for students
  • Improvement in examination for B Sc (Honours)

Chandigarh, October 28
Two major student alliances — the PUSU-HSA-HPSA and the SOPU-APUS — today released election manifestoes for the forthcoming elections to the campus students council.

One common assurance on both the agendas is to ask the university to revert to the earlier rule of a minimum 66 per cent attendance as a mandatory requirement for appearing for the university examination. Following a University Grants Commission directive, the university this year has implemented a minimum attendance requirement of 75 per cent.

Major demands of SOPU-APUS panel

  • Students council should be consulted before any hike in fee.
  • Dialogues will be initiated with booksellers to give 20 per cent concession to students.
  • More concessions for economically weaker students.
  • Entry at the Administration Block should be made on basis of Identity cards for students and not passes.

The first press conference of the day was organised by the PUSU panel. Chand Singh Madaan, a former chairman of the HSA, highlighted the major student activities undertaken during the previous academic session when the front was out of power. Malwinder Singh Kang, the presidential candidate, also pointed out various programmes identified for future action.

The agenda said “we promise to roll back the present condition of 75 per cent lectures to the earlier 66 per cent”. The SOPU seems to have forgotten to highlight their oft-repeated demand during their election rallies in the manifestoes released today.

Certain vital points on the PUSU agenda include: improvement in examination for B Sc (Honours school); timely declaration of re-evaluation results; time-bound declaration of university examination results; separate convocations for science (honours school) and chemical engineering, establishment of a placement cell; representation of students in all university bodies including the Senate; and Internet facilities for students in all departments.

The major SOPU demands include: students’ council should be consulted before any fee hike; representation of students in the academic system; voting right for research scholars; more concessions to economically weaker students; students be allowed to improve on previous results while pursuing a higher course; and entry to the administrative block should be on basis of the I-cards and not passes. Harveer Singh, the presidential candidate, said the party was still working hard at identifying the issues concerning each department individually.

Both the factions have highlighted the demands for hostels separately which include: provision of Internet facilities; extension of girls hostels; beautification of girls hostel; and abolition of guest charges.

Nakul Bhardwaj, president of the Delhi University Student Union, was on a visit to the campus on behalf of the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). He went around the departments of bio-medical sciences, physics and chemical engineering, besides others. Addressing a press conference later, Nakul said election of the intellectual community should be different in terms of the content of talks and the action. He said the education standards were generally falling in a majority of the institutions in the country which should be an issue of concern.

An ABVP spokesperson said “the desired student action for image building of the university was prime on the agenda. Rest of the issues will be highlighted at a press conference tomorrow where the manifesto will be released”.

The SOPU appeal reads that: “nowadays the opponent parties; some of them remotely controlled (covertly and overtly) from ‘Rajdhani’ are making undesirable efforts to disturb and sabotage the students’ harmony, solidarity and integrity. The perilous, vituperative and cancerous criminalisation, communalisation, saffronisation and regionalisation of student politics should be opposed, discarded, disparaged and vilified in any form by all”.

The ABVP on the other hand says it is the only organisation on the campus which talks of national interests “above the personal, communal and regional interests”. Star campaigner Vineet Joshi, a former president of the ABVP, said Jatin Grewal, an upcoming cine-star who featured in film ‘Rahul’, will be campaigning in the local colleges and the campus tomorrow. He is a former student of the local DAV College.



Campaigning picks up in colleges
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 28
Campaigning for the forthcoming elections to students bodies picked up in city colleges, here today, though most parties in the fray are yet to release their manifestoes. However, most finalise the panels for the colleges.

The day began with the President of Delhi University Students Union, Nakul Bhardwaj, addressing a rally in support of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) panel at DAV College, Sector 10.

He spoke on the role of students in politics and said student politics in the city was dominated by regionalism and was unsystematic. He said most of the candidates fielded by most parties had criminal cases registered against them and that such leaders were unfit to lead a students’ movement.

In GGDSD College, Sector 32, the SOPU, the All-India Sikh Students Federation and SD College Students Union would put up a joint front and are fielding Dalvir Singh Goldie while the names of Ruhi Singh for joint secretary, Narinder Jhinjha for general secretary, have been finalised. The PUSU has fielded Navjot Saini as its presidential candidate

The panels for various colleges announced today for post of president, vice-president, general secretary and joint secretary: Government College-11: PUSU-Pargat Singh, Vajinder Katoch, Mohit Thaku, Devinder Jaglan; GCSU-Harpal Singh Bedi, Harpreet Sandhu, Maninder Singh Kang, JS (not decided).

In GC-46 the panel includes: PUSU-Vikas Narang, Apoorv Bhalla, Ram Paul, Amit Luthra; ABVP-SOPU and SUGC-Ramandeep Singh, Vinny Arora, Khalid, Puneet Verma; DAV College-ABVP, DAV Students Union and DAV Students Association-Gurpreet Singh, Vishal Chandel, Dhoom Singh, Kamal Kant; GGDSD College: Dalvir Singh Goldie, Sunaina, Narender and Ruhi Singh.


Student bodies booked
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 28
All major students bodies contesting the forthcoming Punjab University Campus Students Council elections have been booked by the police for defacing public property.

The Students Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU), the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the Haryana Students Association (HSA), the Association of Panjab University Students (APUS) and the Panjab University Students Union (PUSU), have been booked under Section 3 of the West Bengal Prevention of Defacement of Property Act, 1976.

Besides the student bodies, a case for defacement of public property has been also registered against management of Gurmat Samagam Ratwara Sahib and Itihasik Kirtan Darbar, Sector 40, for pasting posters in Sector 11 market and near Gate No. 2 of Panjab University.

In the meantime, the police raided General Hostel, Sector 15 and rounded up 21 students who were found staying in the hostel without permission. However, they were later let off after identification.


Institute of Careers, Education opens
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 28
To meet the challenge of shrinking participation of Punjabis in general and Sikhs in particular in the central civil services, defence, management and the technical sector, the World Sikh Foundation started an Institute of Careers and Education at Zirakpur, near here today.

The institute, says Mr Jaswant Singh Mann, President of the World Sikh Foundation, is the first step towards the establishment of a world Sikh university on the pattern of Banaras Hindu University and Aligarh Muslim University.

Some top men from academics, defence, civil services, engineering, healthcare, management, industry and other spheres are being associated with the running of the Institute of Career and Education, says Mr Mann, maintaining that in the defence forces, the representation of Sikhs has come down from 27 per cent to less than 2 per cent.

“The same is true of central civil services. There could be several factors for this declining role of the community in present-day India. Some of the best institutions, including those in banking, insurance and even mass communication started by the Sikh community gradually slipped out of its administrative control. Perhaps the lack of expertise in administration or management had been one big factor for the failure of the community to consolidate the Position it had held at the time of partition or even some years later,” said Mr Mann.

His views were corroborated by Major-Gen Himmat Singh Gill (retd), who said that after the introduction of a new formula of male recruitable population, the intake from Punjab into defence forces has become just negligible. No Chief Minister has ever take up this issue with the Union Government forcefully.

The problems of present-day Punjab, he said, were fragmentation of land holdings, a shrinking job market, lesser or negligible intake in the civil services as well as the defence forces and total apathy of the government towards human resource development. As such, Punjabi youth were finding it hard to get suitable placements. Supporting the move for the establishment of a world Sikh university, General Gill also stressed the need for Sikh media so that the voice of the community could be heard worldwide.

Mr Resham Singh Bhangal, one of the richest Sikhs in Canada , who was the chief guest, said the Sikh diaspora would support any such move. He warned that those taking the initiative must put the self in the background and work dedicatedly for the success of the project. The past experience of infighting and fighting for positions in the organisation must not be allowed to wreak havoc on this project.

Mr G.S. Sethi, an eminent academician , who has been appointed Director of the institute, said that Punjab still did not have an institution of the status of Government College of Lahore or St Stephen’s College of Delhi. He traced the history of the ICS and the IAS and the role the Punjabis played in these services.

Others who spoke at the inaugural ceremony were Dr Balkar Singh (USA) and Dr Gurcharan Singh, Vice-President of the World Sikh Foundation. It was announced that the foundation had been registered as a society on October 25.

Students of the Regional Institute of Management Administration, where initially the institute would be located presented a cultural programme. Mrs Amarjit Kaur, who owns the property, has allowed the institute to use the campus till world Sikh university establishes its own campus at Chamkaur Sahib or Anandpur Sahib.

World Sikh University proposes to have specialised institutes for finance, banking and insurance; engineering, law, dentistry, medical education and healthcare, management, career and education, biotechnology, martial arts, sports and studies, Sikh religious study; rural and industrial development, and food processing technology.


Demolition of LPG godowns put off
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 28
The demolition of LPG godowns in the city has been kept in abeyance till the issue of rental and land for the resettlement of LPG godowns is reviewed by the Chandigarh Administration. An assurance in this regard was given by the Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob, (retd) to the LPG dealers today.

The instructions were issued after a delegation of LPG distributors and oil companies called on General Jacob to apprise him of the problems being faced by the distributors. The distributors pleaded that with the increasing of number of sale outlets, the sale of LPG in the city has declined by 3 per cent and their income was decreasing. They said the rental proposed by the Chandigarh Administration for LPG godown sites was too high and after paying the revised rental suggested by the Administration, every distributor would incur losses. In Chandigarh the rentals works out to Rs 50,000 a month for sites varying between 900 square yards and 1300 square yards.

The delegation pleaded that they should be charged rentals as were being charged by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) where the rentals were no more than Rs 5,000 a month for a standard site of 500 square yards. In reality a LPG godown can be very well-housed in a site of this size.

The Governor asked the Finance Secretary, Mr Karan Avtar Singh, and the Deputy Commissioner, Mr M. Ramsekhar, to have a re-look at the issue of rentals and allotment of LPG godown sites outside the sectoral limits involving one of the representatives of LPG distributors and come out with a viable solution.

The issue of rentals has been pending for the past four to five years and with no solution in sight the LPG dealers had threatened to go on strike. Since most of the godowns are located in areas which have been recently acquired the Administration had been forced to demolish the sites leading to protest from LPG distributors.


Surprise check at Estate Office
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, October 28
The Additional Chief Administrator (ACA), PUDA Mr Yashvir Mahajan, has taken a serious note of the reportedly red tape ridden functioning of the Estate Office here and according to sources pointed out in a report to the Chief Administrator, PUDA, the complacent role being played by the Estate Officer in getting work done from his staff.

According to sources, following a large number of complaints from people, of files pending at the Estate Office, a surprise check was carried out by the ACA yesterday on the Estate Office premises. It was found that month old files were being kept pending by the staff for no substantial reasons. “Heaps of files are pending to be cleared but nothing is done for lack of decision making,” said a clerk working in the office.

The ACA, who according to sources also shouted at the staff, divested a Superintendent and a clerk of some of their charges and gave these duties to other staff members for early clearance.

Some of the people visiting the Estate office also reiterated that the office had of late become red tape ridden and it was impossible to get any file cleared in time. “We have been complaining that our cases are being delayed without any reason on totally flimsy grounds but no one seems to take any action here.” said a property dealer visiting the office.

A clerk working in the office however pointed out that the Estate Office staff was highly overworked and he himself handled more than 1200 files. “The new staff kept to assist us is on daily wages and they have no interest in the work. How much can we do in a day?” he questioned.

Confirming that a check had been conducted at the Estate Office yesterday following complaints from the general public, Mr Mahajan, however refused to comment further on the matter stating that he had sent his observations to the Chief Administrator for action. The Estate Officer could not be contacted for comments.

Following the check yesterday, notices by the ACA ‘s office to the general public to contact him for the redressal of grievances and complaints have come up on the walls outside the office. 


Scooterist crushed to death
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 28
A 50-year-old scooterist, Pannu, was crushed to death by a truck in Old Panchkula this afternoon. The victim, a resident of Chikan village, was going on his scooter (HR-49- 5506) when the truck (HNS-2928) hit him from behind at the Majri chowk. The driver of the truck has been arrested and booked under Sections 279 and 304-A of the IPC.

In another accident, a resident of Raipur Rani, Deepak, was killed after his motor cycle was hit by a truck this afternoon near Dibbi Majra village. He died on the spot. The truck driver fled from the spot.


UT staff stir deferred
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 28
The proposed strike by employees of the Chandigarh Administration and Municipal Corporation on October 29, has been deferred, a press release of the Chandigarh UT, Subordinate Services Federation said today.

The decision was taken following negotiations between senior officials and the federation and also the Federation of UT Employees and Workers. The demands of UT employees and those of the MC were discussed at length. The leaders of the two federations , Mr Ramesh Kumar Chandolia, Mr Sant Singh Saini and Mr Bhag Mal Rana represented the employees.

The Adviser to the UT Administrator, Ms Neeru Nanda, assured the meeting that the Administration would recommend the case of bonus for employees to the Union Government. She said she would take up the matter personally.

The federation, however, decided to continue gate meetings. The federation has also condemned the move of the Administration to reduce the staff strength of the UT Government Press .


Typecast image has worked against me: Asrani
Parbina Rashid

Chandigarh, October 28
The first impression that Asrani gave to the gathering which had patiently waited for him to inaugurate a gift shop in sector 17 here today was that he had denounced the materialistic world and was ready to take “sanyas”. However, as your gaze travelled beyond the long overflowing saffron “kurta” to his cream trousers and the matching pair of shoes, you realised you were duped by the ace comedian of the film industry.

Asrani is far from taking “sanyas”, either from reel life or the real life. And as he delivered the famous “Angrezon ke zamane ke jailer” dialogue from “Sholay” in front of TV cameras, the crowd was once again convinced that his sense of humour was still very much intact.

However life is not just about comic characters and making people laugh for this veteran actor. “The major disadvantage of being a labelled comedian is that everybody expects you to act funny all the time, which is not possible in real life,” said Asrani.

Busy with more than 10 films at present, Asrani is not happy with the of comedy in the present Hindi films. “Earier comedy had a definite role, a significant meaning in the script but now comedy lacks proper direction, and the worst is that everybody, including the hero and heroine, have started comedy on screen.”

“I wanted to do something different all my life, but now a particular image has been imprinted in everybody’s mind that is hard to change”, he said. “Not only the film people who were reluctant to cast me in any other role but even the TV refused to see me as anyone else,” he lamented.

The famous comedian has now taken direction in his hands. He will soon be directing a big-budget film to be produced by Sony and written by Honey Irani.

What about the small screen ? “I had directed and acted a tele-serial “Natkhat Narad”, which was much before Ramayana and Mahabharata and also acted in another serial “Ek Se Barh Ke Ek” some years ago. “If some good venture comes my way, I will go for it, even on the small screen,” he added.


‘Use copper wires to cut power bills’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 28
Switch over to copper electric wires instead of aluminium if you want to reduce your power bill by 15 to 20 per cent. And by way of bonus, you will drastically reduce the chances of accidental fires at your homes and workplace due to short-circuit.

This is the message that the International Copper Promotion Council of India (ICPCI), headquartered in Mumbai, has been trying to spread in the country during the past few years. “Copper for life” is the motto of the ICPCI.

An official study conducted in Mumbai has shown that 85 to 90 per cent of the fires caused in homes and offices are due to short-circuits in electric wires. And wires made of aluminium are particularly susceptible to short-circuits because these deteriorate rapidly when current is passed through them. “Electric wires made of aluminium get heated up when current is passed through them. In due course, the wires become brittle and loose and the insulation over these deteriorates. This, in turn, causes short-circuits leading to major fire accidents”, said Mr K.S. Reen, consultant for the ICPCI for the states of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh and based in Chandigarh.

Mr Reen has been striving for the past couple of years through seminars to educate the general public and government agencies about the benefits of the use of copper instead of aluminium wires. “Conductivity of aluminium is only 60 per cent of that of copper. Hence, copper is much more energy-efficient and must be used if you want to cut down on fat electricity bills”, said Mr Reen. Moreover, the worsening power position in the region demands immediate remedial measures to save waste of energy and adoption of all means to conserve energy. Switching over to 99.97 per cent pure electrolytic ISI-marked copper wiring in place of aluminium wiring and scrap copper wiring will not only provide better safety to the house occupants but will also contribute towards improving the energy situation.

Copper was in wide use in electric gadgets and wires till early 70s when the Government of India issued an order called Copper Control Order under which the import of copper into India was banned. Copper was sought to be substituted with aluminium, which was available in abundance in India. Now the government has lifted the ban imposed on the import of copper. Hence, the concerted move by the ICPCI to promote the use of copper in industry.


Abolish periphery control Act: Bir
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, October 28
The demand for the abolition of the New Capital Punjab Periphery (regulation) Control Act of 1952, that controls construction in 25 km around Chandigarh, has received support from the Kharar MLA, Mr Bir Devinder Singh.

At a press conference here, Mr Bir Devinder also sought a review of the appointment of the Finance Secretary of Punjab, Mr K.R. Lakhanpal. He said bureaucrats like Mr Lakhanpal were responsible for the fiscal crisis in Punjab. He said the bureaucrats who had been heading companies like the PTL and Punwire were, now, part of the disinvestment committee.

“Many of these officials have wasted lakhs of rupees of these companies on their comfort, but no one is holding them accountable. I urge the Chief Minister to hold bureaucrats accountable for the debacle of the Punjab industry,” he said.

Mr Bir Devinder said the New Capital Punjab Periphery (regulation) Control Act had lost its meaning and was being misused by corrupt officials to fleece poor villagers. He said he had brought the matter to the notice of the CM, who had promised to consider his proposal.

The MLA also opposed the proposed plan of the Punjab Infrastructure Development Board (PIDB) to acquire land around the Kharar bypass for developing a commercial area. “This project is going to cost far more than Rs 35 crore as planned. Also, more important is to develop and repair basic health and education infrastructure. Such expensive schemes can be taken up later when Punjab has money. A better thing to do would be to make the Ropar-Chandigarh road four-lane one, using state’s land and the Centre’s money,” he said.

He said no legislator was ever taken into confidence when such plans were made. Though there were, now, a large number of highly educated politicians in the state government, no one was ever called to conferences where issues related to the state were discussed.


Trust to host congregation
Our Correspondent

Ratwara Sahib (Kharar), October 28
The annual ‘Gurmati Samagam’ of the Vishwa Gurmati Ruhani Mission Charitable Trust will begin in Gurdwara Ratwara Sahib from October 30. The four-day event is devoted to Sant Waryam Singh, founder of the trust, who died on October 31, 2001.

Religious discourses, Gurbani ‘kirtan’ and talks by religious leaders are in store for the congregation. On each day, the events will begin at 4 am and end at 11 pm. At a press conference here today, Bhai Lakhbir Singh, chairman of the trust, said over 5 lakh devotees from all over the country and abroad were expected to attend the event.

Elaborate arrangements have been made for the lodging and medicare of the visiting devotees. A community kitchen here would feed 10,000 devotees.

Sant Waryam Singh, a religious leader and reformist, had helped many poor parents get their children married.

He patronised the education of rural children and youth, opening schools and colleges at places like Rajpura, Banoor and in Uttaranchal. Guru Gobind Singh Vidya Mandir in this gurdwara complex imparts education to hundreds of rural children. To help rural youth find jobs in foreign lands, Sant Waryam Singh set up an International Divine Institute of Business Management and Information Technology in the gurdwara complex.

The trust has done relief work in Gujarat after the earthquake, organising community kitchens and donating goods worth Rs 1.5 crore. It carried out relief work during floods in Punjab in 1988 and 1993. The trust publishes ‘Atam Marg’, a trilingual magazine.


From Green Hill to Tiger Hill

A board near a forested hill about 50 km from Srinagar and close to Baramula reminds one of the Infantry Day which fell on October 27. The board reads: “In the ever-green memory of the brave soldiers of the Sikh Regiment who gave their lives so that Kashmiris might live in freedom. They were the first Indian troops to come to their rescue on October 27, 1947. On this fateful hill, was fought their first engagement”. Lieut-Col Ranjit Rai was informed on October 26, 1947, that he had to fly his unit 1 Sikh, which was on internal security duty at Gurgaon to Srinagar. At the break of the dawn on October 27, the first Dakota took off from Palam with the instructions that if the Srinagar airfield was in the enemy hands, it should land at Jammu.

After landing at the Srinagar airfield, Colonel Rai set out with a company of his unit in the vehicles provided by the National Conference, towards Baramula to block the road and prevent the enemy from advancing towards Srinagar.

While Colonel Rai was deploying his men at Green Hill, near Baramula, the enemy was already there which launched a fierce attack on our company. Colonel Rai was hit by a burst of automatic fire and fell. Most of his men fought heroically and fell around him. Colonel Rai, who was awarded Mahavir Chakra (posthumously), was the first Commanding Officer to sacrifice his life for the Independent India.

It was Infantry again that captured Tiger Hill in the Kargil war after many sacrifices. Infantry, undoubtedly, has the final say in battle.

SU 30 MKI induction

Soon after the induction of the Russian-made aircraft SU30 MKI into the Air Force, it has been claimed by many that the aircraft is the best in the world.

Surprisingly, the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal S. Krishnaswamy, does not support this view. He says: “It is professionally not right to say that the SU is better than the American F-22. He further says that F-22 is known to be superior to any fighter aircraft that the world has seen so far. Much more needs to be incorporated into the MKI (before it can be considered in the F-22 league)”.

This controversy raised a pertinent question: why SU30 MKI has been inducted into the IAF against the opinion of the Air Chief?

Meaningless sacrifices

Jammu and Kashmir has become the killing ground for our soldiers. One news that our newspaper carry with an unhalting regularity everyday is the number of officers and jawans killed in an encounter with terrorists. The day the killings of security forces personnel and civilians are large, they are followed by a bold but hollow statement by our Prime Minister or Deputy Prime Minister: “We are determined to crush terrorism”. The public is fed up of hearing such meaningless rhetoric.

The number of war widows, orphans and the parents who lose their husbands, fathers and sons, respectively, is increasing with every passing day. Are these sacrifices doing any good to the country? Certainly not. Then why are we getting our soldiers killed just for nothing? The soldiering community has become very bitter about the politicians’ unconcern for their lives. They say that the Jammu and Kashmir problem will get solved very soon if one rule is made, that is, only a person who sends his/her son/daughter to the armed forces can join politics.

Mirage gains acceptability

Expressing their concern over the 88 MiG crashes in the last four years, in which the country has lost 26 pilots and property over Rs 1,100 crore, the MPs questioned the role of the Directorate-General of Aeronautical Assurances the other day. They pointed out that even an upgraded MiG-21 Bison Variant had crashed last month.

Yet another MiG-21 aircraft crashed at Barmer in Rajasthan on October 21. The pilot of the aircraft was lucky enough to bail out safely. Even the common man in India feels that there is something wrong with the MiG aircraft, thanks to the repeated accidents of this fighter which have brought notoriety to it.

In the IAF, the opinion seems to be veering in favour of the French Mirage-2000, because it was considered to be more reliable in the difficult Kargil operations in 1999, than the Russian MiG-29. It is learnt that we may go in for six more squardons i.e. 140 aircraft of Mirage-2000.

Pritam Bhullar


Implement accepted demands: employees
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 28
Members of the co-ordination committee, comprising government, MC employees and workers, today held a rally in Chandigarh to seek implementation of their already approved demands.

The committee claimed that most of their demands had been approved at a meeting between the Home Secretary, Mr R.S. Gujaral, and their representatives.

Addressing the rally, Mr Ramesh Kant and Mr Rakesh Kumar, convener and coconvener, respectively, of the federation, said the Chandigarh Administration had decided to meet them on October 31.

They claimed that the meeting was fixed following Union Minister of State for Home I. D. Swamy’s assurance to release bonus and treat the transferred MC employees from the Administration on deputation.

Among others who spoke on the occasion were Mr Ram Lal, Mr Ashwani Kumar, Mr Darshan Singh, Mr H.S. Bajwa, Mr Ajit Singh, Mr Shamlal Ghawri, Mr Suresh Gill, Mr Davinder Kumar, Mr Gurmeet Singh, Mr Jagdish Singh, Mr Mohan Singh, Mr Sheetal Singh, Mr Harchand Singh, Mr Bachan Singh, Mr Gurmel Singh, Mr Rampal Sood, Mr Dharampal Sood, Mr Som Nath, Mr Tek Chand, Mr Gainda Ram, Mr Amrik Singh, Mr Tilak Raj, Mr Joginder Singh, Mr Jai Singh, Mr Sarwan Kumar, R.K. Aery and Mr Hans Raj.

Workers from the Public Health of the MC, Public Health of the Administration, horticulture wings of the MC and the Administration, CTU, electrical wings of both the MC and the Administration, clerical staff of the MC, building maintenance of the Administration, mechanical of the MC, the BDO, block workers, the Forest and Education Departments, kitchen gardening, fire brigade and Estate Office participated, according to a press note of the committee.

Their demands included treating transferred MC employees on deputation, release of bonus, monetary benefit for field staff for working on Saturdays, release of arrears of HRA, CCA to daily-wagers, restoration of technical scale to non-ITI employees on par with ITI certificate holders, uniform and travelling allowances to Class III employees, stopping termination of CTU workers and the release of patient-care allowance to general hospital employees.


Notices to Haryana officials
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 28
Eminent freedom fighter and president of the Shivalik Vikas Manch, Chaudhary Sadhu Ram Saini has served a legal notice on Chief Secretary, Financial Commissioner and Secretary, Government of Haryana, District Magistrate, Panchkula and Deputy Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Haryana, for their alleged failure to destroy the cannabes growth in Panchkula, which has resulted in free availability of the drug to students.

He has stated that cannabes (bhang) — a psychotropic plant with wild growth is growing on government land, including road sides, vacant plots etc and is being used by drug traffickers. Due to its free availability, several youth are becoming addicts of bhang and ruining their lives. After rainy season, most vacant lands are covered with this plant.

Though this plant is not covered under purview of NDPS Act, but there are other legislations for empowering the authorities, “Excise Department” to deal with controlling this wild growth, apart from provisions under Section 144 of Cr. P.C. for issuing directions for its directions.

The notice accuses the administration of being a silent spectator to the availability of cannabes, even as crores are being spent on running de-addiction centres at district level. The notice asks the above mentioned to issue orders for destruction of cannabes within 15 days of receipt of notice, or the case would be taken up in a court of law.


Senior citizens honoured
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 28
The Rotary Club of Chandigarh along with the Rotaract Club and the Inner Wheel Club today organised Divali celebrations with senior citizens of the city.

Mr G.S. Anand, Mrs Oshima Rekhi and Mrs Sawtantar Kapoor, all senior citizens, were honoured for their contribution to society, according to Atma Ram Singh, president of the Rotary Club.

Some other citizens who won prizes included Mrs Uma Khosla, as one of the senior-most women amongst the senior citizens present today. Col N.S. Allagh (retd) got the prize for being the senior most citizen, while Dr Vasudeva was recognised as the Best Dressed Lady and Mr J.C. Malhotra as the Best Dressed gentleman.

Nearly 100 senior citizens participated in the function which included tombola and other games. Many of them sang songs and shared tit-bits from their lives, followed by fireworks and refreshment.

The club has been organising Divali celebrations with senior citizens for the past several years, informed Mr Singh.


Sonia makes brief halt in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 28
All-India Congress Committee (AICC) President Sonia Gandhi today had a brief halt at the local airport en route for her rally at Mandi.

Mrs Gandhi came by a private plane at 11.20 a.m. and took a helicopter to Mandi and returned by the same helicopter to board the stationed plane to Delhi at 2.40 p.m.

The AICC President was accompanied by Ms Mohsina Kidwai, General Secretary and incharge of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh.

She was received and seen off at the airport by Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee President H. S. Hanspal, Finance Minister Lal Singh and Local Bodies Minister Chaudhary Jagjit Singh.

Former Haryana Chief Minister and Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee President Bhajan Lal was also present there.

Local MP Pawan Bansal, Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee President B. B. Behl, Mayor Lalit Joshi, former Union Minister Venod Sharma and party vice-president Parampal Singh Matharoo welcomed Mrs Gandhi at the airport.

The Congress President was said to be in a cheerful mood and had a brief interaction with the leaders.


Dalits, ‘don’t’ celebrate Divali
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 28
The Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Backward Classes and Minority Front, Chandigarh, today asked for Dalits to boycott Divali to register their protest against the Jhajhar killings.

A resolution to this effect was unanimously passed at a rally of the front to pay homage to the killed. The front demanded that the killers be tried under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA), conversion law be withdrawn to allow freedom of practice and preach one’s religion, names of communal forces protecting the killers be made public and arrested and a suitable memorial be built in the name of the those killed. 


BJP gen secy’s visit tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 28
BJP national General Secretary and spokesman Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi will address workers of the local Minority Morcha on October 30.

This was announced here today by local Morcha President Salim Khan, General Secretary Cornileus Jordan and in charge of Punjab and Himachal Dr Anwar Ali in a joint statement.

They said Mr Naqvi would highlight achievements of the Atal Behari Vajpayee-led National Democratic Alliance government and the work of the Minority Morcha at the national level.

Mr Naqvi will return to Delhi by the evening Shatabdi on the same day.


Youth commits suicide
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, October 28
A 24-year-old youth committed suicide by jumping in front of a train on the Issapur level-crossing, near Ram Mandir, here on Sunday night. The victim has been identified as Vikash Jain, a resident of Adarsh Nagar Colony.

One killed

One person was killed and another injured when their motor cycle collided with a Haryana Roadways bus approaching from the opposite direction on the Chandgiarh-Ambala highway, near the Ghaggar bridge in Singhpura village, on Monday. Shiv Mohan Jain, a resident of Ambala, died on the spot, while pillion rider Satish Kumar, a resident of Ahmedgarh, was admitted to the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32 Chandigarh.

The bus driver fled from the scene. 


Two cars stolen
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 28
Mr J.S. Ahluwalia, a resident of Sector 15, reported to the police that his Maruti car (CH01D 5308) was stolen from Sector 45 last evening. Mr Tejinder Kumar of Sector 20-C also reported that his Indica car (CH03F 2440) was stolen from his residence on the night intervening October 25 and 26. Two cases under Section 379 of the IPC have been registered.

In another case, Mr Sarwan Singh, CTU conductor on route No. 35, has reported that bus tickets were stolen from his bag. A case under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered.

Held for eve-teasing

Ahet Sham Bablu of Burail and Ranbir Singh of Sector 33 were arrested on charge of eve-teasing from different parts of the city on Sunday. Two cases under Section 294 of the IPC has been registered.

One injured

Deepak of Mani Majra was injured and admitted to the PGI after a Tata Indica hit his scooter near the traffic light points of Housing Board, Mani Majra, on Saturday. The car driver sped away from the spot. A case under Section 279 and 337 of the IPC has been registered.

Gambling case

The police has arrested Nanu, a resident of Dhanas, on charge of gambling at a public place in Sector 11 here on Sunday. He was booked under the Gambling Act.

‘Pilferers’ held

The police has arrested two persons — Rakesh of Palsora village and Palwinder of Maloya village — on the charge of pilfering the LPG from fully filled cylinders and transferring it to empty ones, in Sector 42 here today.

The police says that it has seized 11 empty and four fully filled LPG cylinders from them. A police official said these men had planned to sell these underweight cylinders to customers.


Scooterist crushed to death
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 28
A 50-year-old scooterist, Pannu, was crushed to death by a truck in Old Panchkula this afternoon. The victim, a resident of Chikan village, was going on his scooter (HR-49- 5506) when the truck (HNS-2928) hit him from behind at the Majri chowk. The driver of the truck has been arrested and booked under Sections 279 and 304-A of the IPC.

In another accident, a resident of Raipur Rani, Deepak, was killed after his motor cycle was hit by a truck this afternoon near Dibbi Majra village. He died on the spot. The truck driver fled from the spot.

In another incident, two motorcyclists — Krishan Kumar and Pradeep Kumar — were injured near Badona bus stand late last night when they were hit by a truck.

Five arrested

The police has arrested four ‘gamblers’ and one ‘speculator’ during the past 24 hours. Chatar Pal, Chandra Pal, Sanjeev Kumar, Shyam Lal were arrested from Pinjore and Rs 260 recovered from them. Madan Pal was arrested from Old Panchkula on Sunday and Rs 500 recovered from him. All accused have been booked under the Gambling Act.

Six booked

The Pinjore police has booked six persons — Swaran Singh, Karnail Singh, Avtar Singh, Jasbir, Kulwant Singh and Mehar Singh — all residents of Basaula village on charges of trespassing on Ms Rajinder Kaur’s house and assaulting her. A case under Sections 148, 149, 323, 341, 354, 452, 506 and 120-B of the IPC has been registered on directions of a local court.


Now, Sec 17 traders plan festival
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 28
With the city being gripped by shopping festivals’ fever, a Business Promotion Council (BPC) of Sector 17 traders has proposed a 15-day gala event combining shopping, cultural events, music and lot of prizes on the pattern of the Dubai festival.

The BPC’s effort today got a boost with the Finance and Contract Committee of the Municipal Corporation approving the festival and extending permission for putting up welcome gates and “rent-free” space for cultural events in Sector 17.

BPC representatives Arun Talwar and Darpan were called to the official meeting to know about their proposal about the event.

The committee was informed that the complete project with details would be submitted to the corporation by tomorrow.

The 15-day event likely to be approved after Divali from November 5 onwards would witness at least four cars and 20 scooters being offered as prizes, simultaneous presentation of dandia, bhangra, Rajasthani and Haryanvi folk performances in different blocks of the massive market.

Performances of school children are also planned.

The BPC also told the corporation that there would be display of wares of big companies, music arrangement in the whole market and illumination.

The committee approved the putting up of welcome gates and space for cultural events without any “charge” but the stalls put up in the market would be charged the ground rent.

Gift items are likely to be sponsored by big companies, the corporation was informed.

The committee finished the last chance of any festivity in the Circus Ground rejecting applications for taking the ground for less than the fixed price.

It approved the purchase of 7000 metric tonnes of cement. The committee also approved Rs 13.69 lakh for the recarpeting of old Ropar Road in Manimajra.


RBI: high-interest schemes bogus
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 28
The regional office of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), in a press note issued here today, has said that public should beware of some fraud companies that are floating bogus schemes and trapping investors with the promise of unrealistic rates of interest.

Mr S.P. Negi, Deputy General Manager of the RBI’s regional office, said the bank had recently come across advertisements and brochures of some companies claiming to be engaged in Internet solutions and financial activities. These firms were soliciting enrollment fees as agents, sub agents, consultants and coordinators, promising astronomical returns through lucky draws and fixed-returns options.

He said, under the Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act of 1978, floating of these schemes was banned.

The Supreme Court had also issued guidelines in this regard and revised the definition of money circulation. The RBI would soon initiate penal action through the police against the offenders. It wants the public not to be lured into investing in these companies.

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