Wednesday, November 20, 2002, Chandigarh, India

C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Resident doctors on warpath
Express inability to take on extra responsibility
Tribune News Service


Meanwhile, representatives of the PGI Association of Resident Doctors, will be meeting the Union Health Minister, Mr Shatrughan Sinha, in New Delhi tomorrow morning. “Our office-bearers have already left for Delhi so that we can apprise him of our problems,” said a senior resident doctor. 

Chandigarh, November 19
A confrontation between PGI authorities and resident doctors over starting of evening OPDs at the PGI seems inevitable as the latter have written to Union Home Minister Shatrughan Sinha expressing their inability to take on the extra responsibility thrust on them.

Already finding it difficult to meet the deadline of December 2 for the starting of evening OPDs at the PGI, this has further compounded the problem of the authorities. Alleging exploitation by the PGI authorities, the Association of Resident Doctors has written to the Union Health Minister, to recruit medical officers to run the evening OPDs as they were already over burdened and were not in a position to take additional responsibility.

“We have conveyed our decision to the Director, Prof S.K. Sharma, who has asked us to work till faculty is recruited for the evening OPDs as there is no option but to go ahead with the facility as per the wishes of the minister,” remarked a senior resident. The Director, while confirming having received the representation of the resident doctors, said he would hold further talks to convince the residents .

With the Director firm on his stand of starting evening OPDs from December 2, the resident doctors will be holding a meeting to chalk out the future course of action. “ We tried to convince the Director that if it takes some time to recruit more staff then he shall postpone the starting of evening OPDs, but seeing the minister’s adamant attitude he too is helpless,” said another resident.

What has irked the residents most is that without taking into consideration the fact that they are already putting in 12 to 18 hours duty, the authorities took a unilateral decision to put the burden of evening OPDs on them. “It is not that we are against the concept of evening OPDs or wish to adopt a path of confrontation but the way things are we have been compelled to take this stand,” the resident doctors pointed out. They said after the resident doctors at AIIMS expressed their inability to take on the evening OPDs load, the Director there has decided to recruit medical officers, which can also be done at the PGI.

The residents point out that in case they attend evening OPDs, the patients in the wards would suffer as it would not be possible to give quality care to the people.”

Though it is being said that evening OPDs will be for two hours but we know that it will stretch further leaving little time for research, academic and personal activities,” they said.

The residents said with 90 hours a week working schedule with no off, they have always been given a raw deal by the PGI, even as they were not given post night duty off, HRA, patient care, academic and patient risk allowance. Moreover, with X-ray and laboratory technicians not being part of evening OPDs, the whole exercise would prove to be futile as the patient would have to come the next morning for tests and investigations.



Independent registry of flats mooted
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 19
Residents of various group housing societies in the state, including Panchkula, might now have to get an independent registry for their flats instead of getting away with a simple agreement with the society.

Sources in the Department of Revenue informed that the district revenue authorities from various parts of the state, especially Panchkula and Faridabad and Gurgaon in the National Capital Region, had approached the Financial Commissioner, Revenue, asking that independent registry of flats in the group housing societies and private colonies be allowed. This will help increase the revenue by over crores of rupees each year.

As of now, hundreds of group housing societies and private colonies all over the state get a single registry done and flats are further sold to the allotees on a General Power of Attorney basis. Experts in the real estate market say the state government was losing crores annually in stamp duty as a result of these flat owners and private colony residents not paying the stamp duty.

According to information available from officials, an average of 20 sale deeds were registered here each month . However, a large number of flats were transferred through the general power of attorney (GPA). In this case, the property was transferred through an agreement signed on a stamp paper by spending a small amount of money. Since hundreds of flats have come up in the Mansa Devi Complex and Sector 20 here, the losses were more in this district.

Meanwhile, the Revenue Department is also considering on various options for getting the buyers to register their property at the prevalant market rates. For instance, said a property dealer, a house in Sectors 6, 7 and 8 , costing above Rs 50 lakh, was still being registered at anything between Rs 25 to Rs 35 lakh.

Officials in the district administration admit that an increase in the stamp duty rate from 12. 5 per cent in urban areas to 15.5 per cent for areas under the municipal council limits , from last year, has only led to a decrease in the total stamp duty collections since the parties were still quoting lower rates in the sale deeds to evade taxes. Incidentally, the administration had revised the collector’s rate of property for the registration of property last year.

The property rates were increased upward last year, but they were still lower than the market rate. The insiders alleged that a section of the property dealers had lobbied with the officials to fix the collector’s rate on the lower side.

For instance, the collector’s rate for a plot in Sectors 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 has been fixed at Rs 3,200 per square metre (Rs 16 lakh), but the plot was available at about Rs 45 lakh in the market. The buyers, though paid the market rate, black money in many cases, but they would quote lower rate, to register the property. In this manner they would not only evade the stamp duty, but also convert their black money into white.

The only way, say experts, is to fix the collector’s rate by conducting regular surveys in the market through some independent agency. It would fetch additional revenue not only in the form of duty but also Income Tax.



Admn urged to provide security on bandh day
Traders’ bodies support bandh call
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
The Joint Action Forum Property Owners Associations has urged the Chandigarh Administration to provide adequate police protection to those traders who want to open their establishments on November 21, despite a bandh call by the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal.

The forum apprehends use of force by unruly elements on that day. In the wake of a bandh call given by the Mandal, a meeting of the executive of the forum was held to chalk out a plan to counter the call.

The forum decided to give a call to the traders in general not to succumb to pressure tactics being used by vested interests, especially the tenants’ lobby. All right-thinking traders should keep their establishments open to show their solidarity towards the action taken by the Administration.

However, the members opined that it was not in the interest of the cause to exaggerate the situation by unnecessary confrontation. It was resolved that every effort should be made to maintain peace in the city.

The forum said this was a fight for justice with reasoning and logic. The forum appealed to the traders to keep their establishments open and give a befitting reply to the unjustified demand of the tenants.

It was also resolved to condemn the stand taken by a lobby of a section of traders, politicians and property usurpers who were bent upon shelving the national interest for their own petty self-interests.

“They must be made to realise that the reforming of rent laws will help in boosting the economy of the country for a uniform growth. It has the backing of almost all political parties of the country,” the forum said.

The meeting was presided over by Mr R.K. Bhasin and attended by Mr Anupal Singh Bawa, Mr Rakesh Wadhawan, Mr R.K. Gupta, Dr A.S. Khara, Brig N.S. Sandhu and Mr R.P. Malhotra.

On the other hand, several traders’ organisations have come out in support of the bandh call given by the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal. The Subzi Mandi Aarhtiya Association held a meeting today and decided to support the bandh call.

The Chandigarh Furniture Association, Industrial Area, Phase II, has decided to keep factories closed on Thursday.

The Traders Welfare Association, Sector 32-D, held a meeting today and the members decided to support the bandh call. The Grain Market Association has also decided to support the call.

The Beopar Mandal, Panchkula, has also pledged support. The Delhi Rajya Vyapar Sangathan has come out in support of the mandal’s call and has pointed out that the limit of Rs 1,500 per month was not sufficient. Even in Delhi, had been hiked from Rs 3,500 to Rs 7,500 per month to bring it at par with ground realities, members of the sangathan said.

The Beopar Mandal, Shimla, has also criticised the Chandigarh Administration and come out in support of the mandal.



Winged visitors are here again
Bipin Bhardwaj

Chandigarh, November 19
With winter setting and the mercury falling, the winged visitors from Siberia are here again. This time the guests are on scheduled and they will be watched by bird lovers in various wetlands, parks and sanctuaries located in Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Union Territory of Chandigarh and some other parts of the region.

The first flock of these migratory birds that arrived last month-end was joined by another flock in the first week of this month.

A record number of over 30,000 migratory birds of over 45 species have arrived in the Pong Dam reservoir in Kangra Valley of Himachal Pradesh and over three times more are expected.

After the Bhatarpur Sanctuary, the Pong Dam reservoir is the only place where the red-necked grebe halt every year. The most common species of the migratory birds that descend here include ruddy-shell duck, bar-headed geese, millard, coot, pochard, pintails and gulls.

These birds come from China, Siberia, Central Asia, Pakistan and Ladakh and halt here en route their destinations in the country, Himachal Wildlife and Forest authorities said.

The migratory birds were also spotted in Renuka lake in Sirmaur and Rewalsar lake in Mandi district.

After being cleared of the huge growth of hyacinth on the water sheet by the Army authorities, the Harike Wildlife Sanctuary in Ferozepore, Punjab, has attracted 25,000 to 30,000 birds of various species so far. The wild growth had engulfed a section of the water body leaving little space for the rehabilitation of the birds.

Apart from Sultanpur National Park near Gurgaon, Bhindawas Wildlife Sanctuary near Jhajjar in Haryana, Kanjli, Breta, Hargobindpur, Thein Dam, Ropar, Chhat Bir Zoo water feature and some other known wetlands of the region have also received flocks of these birds.

As per the reports of the Haryana Wildlife department more than 1,500 migratory birds of 25 species, including four avocets, three purple herons, four marshall’s iora, a Jaceana, cormorant many more were noticed in Sultanpur National Park and Bhindawas Wildlife Sanctuary last week.

During a visit to the Chhat Bir Zoo the Tribune Team saw the water feature dotted with more than 3500 migratory birds. There was a flutter of wings as Tribune lensman Karam Singh targeted his camera to shoot them.

Birds that have arrived at Chhat Bir Zoo include tufted pochard, mallard duck, wigeon, shoveller, common teal, pintail duck, gadwall, Indian moorhens, nakta, spot bill, brahminy duck and painted stork, confirmed Mr Vinod Sharma, Chief Warden, (Zoos), Punjab.

Lotus had covered over 40 per cent of the lake area last year. But this year that cover has been removed and the vast water sheet has attracted more birds this year, he claimed.

The arrival of the migratory birds is less in Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh because of the ongoing water sports and the visitors who throng this tourist spot frequently.



Probe into ‘misuse’ of sewerage cess sought
Kulwinder Sangha

SAS Nagar, November 19
As work proceeds on the cleaning of the stormwater pipes in Phase V here, residents who have for years been plagued by problems arising from poor drainage have called for a probe into the alleged misuse of sewerage cess collected by the Department for Public Health.

To the shock of residents, of the three sewer pipes dug up for cleaning so far, one was found to be 100 per cent choked while the other two were about 90 per cent blocked. There are four more stormwater pipes yet to be cleaned.

The municipal councillor of the area, Ms Deep Kaur Shyan, had written to the Chief Engineer Department of Public Health, that sewerage cess was being charged from residents since 1990 for the maintenance of the system. The cess was Rs 4 to begin with. This was raised to Rs 10 in 1993 and to Rs 15 last year. In this way the Department of Public Health collected lakhs of rupees for the maintenance of the sewerage and stormwater system.

She said it was unfortunate that the department had been giving assurances over the years that the system was being cleaned. However, the ongoing digging work had exposed the reality as pipes were seen to be heavily blocked. Residents had been suffering for years during the monsoon due to the indifferent attitude of the department authorities.

Ms Shyan said in her letter to the Chief Engineer, that it was evident that the large funds collected by the department as sewage cess had been allegedly misused. She said a probe was needed to determine why the stormwater pipes were in such a poor state and where the cess collected bimonthly from residents had been used. She wanted responsibility to be fixed and the guilty officials punished for the misery caused to the residents.

Mr Albel Singh Shyan, general secretary of the House Owners Welfare Society, Phase V, said even though the work was in progress on stormwater pipes, residents would not benefit much if the connecting pipes in the Industrial Area were also not cleaned.

He said the level of Phase V was almost 25 ft lower than the level of Phase 1. Thus rainwater from the surrounding areas flowed towards Phase V causing flooding. An additional channel was needed to drain away the excess water.

Mr Kulwant Singh, president of the municipal council, said over the years officials of the Department of Public Health had ignored the maintenance of the sewer and stormwater systems. As a result, the pipes in most parts of the town were choked. He said when he took over as president, he had decided to order the cleaning of the entire system, but officials of the department were not fully cooperating. A sewer cleaning machine had been purchased by the civic body to fight the problem on a war footing but somehow desired results have not been noticed.

The president said officials of the Department of Public Health were working on behalf of the council but the latter did not have any control on the former. The officials concerned did not give any account for the money being collected by way, bills or the expenses incurred on the maintenance. He said the council had written to higher authorities to allow the civic body to make collections. He said the layout of the sewer and stormwater system was faulty at certain places. Giving an example, he said that at the time of laying the pipes in a pocket in Phase V, no “collars” had been used to connect them. As a result, mud kept beside entered the pipes leading to blockage.



Suspected Japanese encephalitis death in PGI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
Keeping in mind suspected Japanese encephalitis cases trickling in the PGI everyday from villages in suburbs of the city and parts of Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, the institute has alerted the UT Health authorities.

According to sources, five-year-old Dolly, a suspected Japanese encephalitis case from Mauli Jagran Complex, died at the Advanced Paediatric Centre(APC) of the PGI, late last night. Though it could not be confirmed from the PGI authorities, but Dolly, a resident of house no 191, was suffering from the fever. Two cases of suspected encephalitis had also been admitted to the General Hospital.

“Apart from alerting the Director, Health Services, we have also sent blood samples of 10 children, admitted with us, to the Virology Department ,” said a doctor at the APC. He said the age of all children brought to the PGI with suspected encephalitis was below 10 years. Doctors treating these children said that practically all of them had been brought to the PGI when their condition had became critical.

Getting treatment mostly from private doctors, they approached the PGI when their condition deteriorated, the doctors said, adding that if untreated for long, the disease could be fatal. However, the doctors said till the confirmatory report from the Virology Department was received, they were treating them as cases of viral fever.



Flesh trade racket busted, 7 held
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 19
Tightening the noose around those involved in flesh trade here, the police today busted a racket operating on an inter-state basis. The operation was carried out late tonight and three call girls and their four touts were arrested.

It is learnt that the police had received secret information regarding this gang operating from house No. 1184 in Sector 4. The three call girls and their two “aunties” were operating through mobile phones. These girls — from Mumbai and Rajasthan — were being supplied to clients in Punjab, Chandigarh, Haryana and even in Himachal Pradesh.

These girls up-to-date were reportedly charging anything from Rs 2,500 to Rs 3,000 for a night. The police sent a decoy customer to these girls with Rs 2,000 in cash. After the decoy had clinched a deal, the raiding party led by DSP (Headquarters), Mr Desh Bandhu, nabbed them.

A resident of Sector 9 here, Amandeep, who is also involved in the racket was also arrested, said DSP Desh Bandhu. After all suspects were brought to the Sector 21 police post here, a brother of Amandeep, Siddharth, went there and allegedly offered a bribe of Rs 50,000 to Inspector Phool Chand, SHO, Sector 5 police station, for letting Amandeep go scot free. The police officer, however, informed DSP Rajesh Duggal, who came and arrested Siddharth.

A black Santro car ( HR-09G-0054) and two mobile phones were also seized from them.

Last week, the police had arrested 11 persons, including three women, allegedly involved in flesh trade. All suspects were arrested by a team of police led by DSP Desh Bandhu and Sub-Inspector Haripal Walia from Abheypur village. Other than the woman operating the gang, two teenaged girls from Rajasthan and West Bengal were arrested. As many as eight of their customers — Montu Sharma from Shimla, Kartar from Patiala, Sardar Singh from Ropar, Ram from Ferozepore, Faqir Chand from Sector 21, Panchkula, Som Prakash from Karnal, Vikram from Delhi and Kishan from Jalandhar were arrested.

All suspects were booked under the Prevention of Immoral Trafficking Act.

On November 11, too, the police had busted a flesh trade racket and arrested three persons, including two girls, from Sector 19 here. A trap was laid and the three accused — a 19-year-old girl from Ambala, another 19-year-old girl from Abheypur village here, and Naveen, a resident of Sector 12-A, were arrested.



Illuminations light up Prakash Utsav
Tribune Reporters

A TASTE OF RELIGION: Devotees throng gurdwaras all over the city on the occasion of Gurpurb to partake in Guru’s langar in Chandigarh on Tuesday. 
Residents of Sector 15 distribute blankets among gardeners to celebrate the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev
Residents of Sector 15 distribute blankets among gardeners to celebrate the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, at Floral Garden in Chandigarh on Tuesday.—  Tribune photos

Chandigarh, November 19
The boisterous din of crackers echoed against the decorated walls of illuminated houses this evening as devotees celebrated Guru Nanak Dev’s birthday with religious fervour throughout the city. Free eye camps were also organised to commemorate 533 Prakash Utsav of Guru Nanak Dev. On the occasion, Sarb Dharam Sammelan was also held.

As the evening sun disappeared behind the buildings, the residents came out of their houses, holding boxes of crackers and fireworks they had saved since Divali. After placing glass bottles in the middle of the road, they launched rockets, much to the happiness of the young devotees. They clapped their hands with excitement as the rockets exploded in hundreds of colourful stars, illuminating the night sky in the process.

The preparations for the big day had started early. Even before the clock struck 3.30 am, the residents pushed aside the blankets and rushed out of their beds to get dressed up for going to the gurdwaras. Some were out of their residences by 4 am.

No wonder, even before the sleepy sun pushed away the darkness, the roads leading to the gurdwaras were saturated with vehicles. The venue of prime celebrations were gurdwaras in Sectors 8, 19, 20, 40, 34, 11, 21, and 39. The traffic on the roads leading to these gurdwaras moved at a snail pace due to heavy rush.

As the clock struck 12, the residents sat on the mat-covered ground in the gurdwaras for tasting religion. They waited patiently in long queues for the sevaks to distribute “parsadas”. In so many gurdwaras, frequent appeals had to be made to the excited devotees to maintain decorum and peace on the joyous occasion.

Meanwhile, the Shiromani Sant Khalsa International Foundation in collaboration with Kanpur-based God Service Trust, organised a free eye camp at Gur Sagar Sahib Gurdwara. It was organised with blessings of Foundation Chairman Sriman Sant Baba Pritpal Singh. A Sarb Dharam Sammelan was also organised in which Sikh and Hindu saints, besides Christian leaders addressed the gathering.

The Nationalist Congress Party also organised a public meeting in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Colony in Sector 49 under the presidentship of Principal Gurbachan Singh. The prominent speakers at the meeting were the general secretary, Vishwa Bandhu, president Youth NCP, Mr Jagjit Singh Oberoi and the general secretary, Ms Anita Gupta.

The residents of Sector 15 also celebrated the occasion by distributing blankets to the gardeners of the sector. The function was organised under the chairmanship of FOSWAK vice-chairman Sat Pal Sewak. Professor S.S. Kumar was the donor of the blankets.

The Governor of Punjab and Administrator of Chandigarh, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), visited the gurdwara in Sector 11 this morning to pay his obeisance on the occasion of Gurpurb.

The managing committee of the gurdwara honoured the Governor with a siropa. The devotees were surprised when the Governor greeted them with the traditional “Bole So Nihal, Sat Sri Akal.’’ The General had gone unannounced so that the security umbrella did not disturb the devotees. He spent about 25 minutes in the gurdwara.

SAS NAGAR: The birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev was celebrated with great enthusiasm here today.

People in large numbers went to various gurdwaras in the town. Ragi and dhadi jathas regaled the devotees with kirtan. Langar was distributed at all the gurdwaras in the town. Gurdwaras were decorated with lights.

A large number of residents also lit up their houses as a mark of respect to the Guru.

PANCHKULA: Lakhs of devotees from all over the region thronged the Nada Sahib Gurdwara on Guru Nanak Dev’s birth anniversary here today.

The devotees started thronging this historical gurdwara since early morning. By the afternoon, the devotees had swelled to several lakhs and there was no let-up in the numbers even till the evening.

The administration and the police had made adequate arrangements for the devotees. The police was deployed at various places near the gurdwara, with cops in plain clothes posted near the premises to keep a check on miscreants. Nakas were laid at two places from the old Ghaggar bridge to the gurdwara on NH- 73 so as to regulate the heavy flow of traffic.

After the parking lot near the gurdwara was occupied, the police started diverting the vehicles of devotees towards Chowki village.



‘Lesser’ Mughals’ reigns rediscovered
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
Giving an exhaustive insight into Mughal history, the book titled “The Forgotten Mughals”, written by G.S. Cheema, a Punjab bureaucrat, was released by the Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, Lieut- Gen JFR Jacob (retd), at a function organised at the Government Museum and Art Gallery, here today.

Speaking on the occasion, General Jacob said the Mughals of the House of Babar were the last imperial dynasty of India. Living in abject poverty were the descendants of Mirza Quwaish and those of Mirza Jawan Bakht - the only son who accompanied the aged emperor to Rangoon.

On the other hand, the successor to the throne of France, who now calls himself the Count of Chambord, is a well-known social figure in Paris, and even though his ancestors lost their throne in 1848, subsistence has never been a problem for him.

The same goes for the present chiefs of the Austrian house of Habsburg, the Hohenzollerns of Germany, and the ex-kings of Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, Italy and Yugoslavia. It is regrettable that the Mughal dynasty is fading away in this ignominious fashion, he stated.

General Jacob said emperors who came after Aurangzeb had been lost down the centuries and people were only familiar with the names of the first six of this house, honoured as the ‘Great Mughals’.

The eleven ‘Lesser’ Mughals who sat on the throne of Delhi after Aurangzeb are rediscovered in Cheema’s 500-page book which provides information on what they did or rather what happened to them. They were admittedly a weak lot, influenced their prime ministers. But they were not all transients; some had fairly long reigns.

With Delhi’s plunder by Persian Nadir Shah, humiliating disasters and the resultant loss of imperial prestige led to a general breakdown of law and order. The reign of chaos resumed and Indian civilisation plummeted.

It is amazing that until the middle of the 18th century, General Jacob said India was far richer and considerably more advanced than Europe - the writings of Bernier, Travernier and Gemelli Careri are ample proof of that - within the next few decades the country roller coasted downhill rapidly.

The Governor said this rapid decay was not peculiar to India. The rot seems to have set in simultaneously all over the Oriental world: from Istanbul to Peking.

Speaking on the importance of history, General Jacob said the history is supposed to teach us something. We are repeatedly exhorted by historians to remember our history. A people who do not remember their history are doomed. Unfortunately we do not learn from history. The same mistakes and blunders are repeated again and again.

General Jacob said undoubtedly there was much to be learnt from history, and specially from the dark pages of our past, particularly the 18th and 19th centuries when our country was in desperate straits. He added that Cheema’s book was well researched and should be studied. “I have learnt a great deal by reading it. It is a must for students of Indian history. It is well written and is a good read. The author is to be congratulated. I am confident that it will do well,” he added.

He said that, however, inconsequential and unworthy the Forgotten Mughals and their ministers may have been as individuals, their reigns and times merit study. Sometime, somewhere, we must break this vicious cycle of history forever repeating itself.

Earlier, Dr. J.S. Grewal, former Vice-Chancellor and historian, gave an overview of the book while G.S. Cheema proposed a vote of thanks.



‘Nation yet to achieve social freedom’
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 19
“Is India really free?” This question left a deep impact on everyone’s mind as the participants at a one-day seminar on the same topic, talked about various issues which have plagued the nation. The seminar was organised by the Servants of the People Society in association with the Azadi Bachao Andolan as a part of Lala Lajpat Rai martyrdom fortnight at Lajpat Rai Bhavan in Sector 15 here yesterday.

As the participants did a through post-mortem of the current socio-political scenario of the country and its overall achievement after Independence, various ruling parties and their policies came under heavy blow.

Addressing the seminar, Mr Onkar Chand, chairman of the society, said, “We Indians are quite careless about our freedom which is evident from the scanty number of participants in this seminar itself.” Though a large number of people were invited at the seminar, only 25 people turned up at the venue today.

Throwing light on World Trade Organisation (WTO) as the supreme market force who was pulling strings single handedly over the world economic scenario, Prof V.S. Nanda, a retired Professor from the Department of Mathematics, Panjabi University, said though the WTO was originally set up for taking care of the economically weaker nations, but in reality it seems to be favouring rich countries. “In that sense no poor country is really free as market forces work hand in hand with a nation’s political force,” said Prof Nanda.

Attacking the political system of India, Mr Baldev Pande, a noted social worker of the city, said the nation was yet to achieve social freedom as a major chunk of the population was still living below the poverty line. “It is the frustration of the oppressed, unemployed youth which has given rise to militancy and Naxalite movements in every corner of the country,” he said.

Mr Pande also criticised the role of multinational companies which have been pouring in India in the name of economic liberalisation thus forcing India’s indigenous industries to die in oblivion.

Highlighting the importance of knowledge in ensuring a nation’s freedom in the long run, Prof M. Rajiv Lochan from the Department of History, Panjab University, said, “It is important that we have some knowledge about how freedom can be brought.”

Presentations of the speakers were followed by a spirited discussion with the audience.



Jain told to join investigation
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 19
In an important development, a senior Haryana bureaucrat and former Home Secretary of Chandigarh was asked by the police to join the investigations in the alleged rape case of a Shimla girl today but he did not turn up. He is expected to join the investigation tomorrow, sources said.

Mr N.K Jain is said to be suffering from some ailment. The police had sent him a notice regarding joining the investigations, which was reportedly accepted by his son. The notice assumed significance as the stipulated period of 90 days for filling challan in court is nearing. 



Netaji’s driver dead
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
One of the last links of the country with legendary freedom fighter Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose snapped last night as his driver Jagan Nath Sharma, who had accompanied Netaji on various missions, died here.

He died following a heart attack. He was about 85 years old.

The late Mr Sharma had joined the Baluch Regiment of the British Army in 1942 only to leave it and join the Netaji Subhash Bose led Indian National Army.

He then served as driver to Bose for a couple of years. He left Singapore for Japan in 1944 and was captured by the British Army along with other INA personnel. After independence he was declared as a freedom fighter and granted all facilities by the government.



SI retired
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 19
The UT Inspector-General of Police, Mr B.S. Bassi, ordered compulsory retirement of Sub-Inspector Satpal here last evening. His retirement was reportedly ordered because of “gross misconduct” during service.



Purse snatched
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 19
Two unidentified motor cycle-borne youths snatched the purse of Ms Monica Sehgal in the Sector 34 market here yesterday. Ms Sehgal told the police that the purse contained Rs 1,500 and certain documents, including her driving licence. A case has been registered.

Eve teasing: The police arrested five youths from different parts of the city allegedly for eve teasing here yesterday. All the accused were booked under Section 294 of the IPC and were later released on bail.

Cheating case: On the complaint of Mr Margoob, a resident of Mouli Jagran, the police has registered a case of cheating and criminal conspiracy against Tokeer, a resident of Mujaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh. It has been alleged that Tokeer took Rs 1,25000 from the complainant for sending him Saudi Arabia. However, he did not send him abroad nor returned the money. The case has been registered under Sections 420 and 120-B of the IPC.

Dowry case: Ms Harinder Kaur, a resident of Sector 47, reported to the police that she was being harassed and maltreated by her husband Vinod Kumar and others, all residents of Vadodra, Gujarat, for bringing more dowry. A case under Sections 406 and 498-A of the IPC has been registered.

Injured: Vinod, a rickshaw-rehri puller was injured after being hit by a scooter in the Industrial Area, Phase I, here yesterday. The victim, a resident of Colony No. 4, reportedly received injuries and was taken to the Government Medical College and Hospital. A case under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC has been registered against the scooterist.

Stolen: Mr Ravi Goel, a resident of Sector 15, reported that his Bullet motor cycle (PB-10AC-4237) was stolen from his residence on the night of November 17. A case has been registered.

Liquor seized: The police has arrested a woman, Vidya Devi, from Old Panchkula and seized 15 pouches of country liquor from her. She has been booked under various sections of IPC.

Dowry: The Sector 19 police today booked five persons, Shashi Kumar, his mother Kamla, father Babu Ram, brother Gulshan and sister Manju on the charge of harassing Gulshan’s wife, Kiran , for dowry. The case was registered under Sections 498-A, 406 and 506, IPC.

Fraud: The police has booked sarpanch Leela Ram, Deputy Singh, Ram Kishan and Ms Rajbala of Kakrali village on the charge of selling 23 sheesham trees of the panchayat. A case under sections 420, 467, 468 and 120- B of IPC has been registered. 


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