Saturday, November 23, 2002, Chandigarh, India

C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Separate cadre of docs mooted
Pratibha Chauhan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 22
In his endeavour to make a mark as a minister, the Union Health Minister, Mr Shatrughan Sinha, seems to have forgotten that in a country like India, where majority do not even have access to basic health facilities, the concept of evening OPDs might sound good but starting it simply as a populist measure will only lead to deterioration of services resulting in a bad name for a premiere institute like the PGI.

Struggling hard to meet the deadline of December 2 for starting the evening OPDs facility, as per the wishes of the minister, the PGI is finding the task difficult as with the existing staff strength of doctors, technicians and para-medics it would prove to be a mere eyewash, simply to please the minister.

‘‘The minister came here and sprang a surprise for all of us when he announced that after Delhi hospitals, the PGI, too, would start evening OPDs but the worst was when without any consultations he announced December 2, as the deadline, giving us little time to gear up for taking on the responsibility,’’ said a senior PGI official, expressing the helplessness of the authorities, who have little say in the matter.

‘‘I feel that starting the facility without strengthening the infrastructure would only lower PGI’s status from a tertiary hospital to a primary health centre, making the task of the already over-stressed resident doctors worse,’’ says Prof I.C. Pathak,a former PGI Director, while justifying the stand of the Resident Doctors. Moreover, even if they agree to take on the extra load, the indoor patients in the wards were bound to suffer, he added.

While welcoming the idea of evening OPDs, he said that it would be better to have a separate cadre of medical doctors, exclusively for running the evening OPDs.

Up in arms against the decision of the authorities in putting the entire responsibility of running the evening OPDs show on their shoulders, the Resident Doctors were sore that the Director, instead of giving them a patient hearing, was trying to project himself as pro-evening OPDs, simply to please the minister and other higher ups.

‘‘The minister’s idea of having evening OPDs is not a bad one, but the manner in which he wants it to happen overnight is wishful thinking, which will deteriorate services at a premiere institute like the PGI, for which you cannot blame anyone, least of all Resident Doctors,’’ is how Dr R. Kumar, an ophthalmologist and former president of Chandigarh Ophthalmological Society, feels about the issue of evening OPDs.

He said the Health Ministry should consider hiring the services of medical officers, specifically for running the evening OPDs, with help from senior doctors as and when required. He said as far as the stand of the Residents was concerned, it was simply impossible for them to handle any more work than what they were already doing.

‘‘The irony is that despite understanding our position the PGI authorities, including faculty members, seem to be helpless as in their pursuit to please the minister, we are being made the scapegoat, the repercussions of which could be very serious,’’ is how Resident Doctors feel about the evening OPDs issue, which has forced them to enter into a confrontation, much against their wishes.



Can PGI keep minister’s word?
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 22
With the Resident Doctors being firm in their resolve of not joining evening OPD despite persuasion by the Union Health Secretary, Mr S.K. Naik, there is uncertainty whether the PGI will be able to meet the deadline of December 2, for starting the facility.

‘‘We have urged the Residents Doctors to give the whole issue a cool thought, but in case they do not relent we will monitor the situation and take a final decision, a day or two before the deadline of December 2, when the evening OPD is to be started,’’ said Mr Naik, who was at the PGI today to inaugurate a conference of dermatologists.

The Resident Doctors availed the opportunity to put across their viewpoint to the Health Secretary. Despite an hour-long discussion , in which both Mr Naik and the PGI Director, Prof S.K. Sharma, tried to convince the Resident Doctors that a readjustment in their working schedule would sort out the matter, the doctors stuck to their stand of keeping away from the proposed evening OPD at PGI.

‘‘The ball is now in their court as we have done our bit by presenting the true picture before Mr Naik, who has assured us that he will convey our views to Mr Shatrughan Sinha,’’ said one of the Resident Doctor, who was present at the meeting. He added that now they would wait for the final word from the authorities.

‘‘While the Director kept blaming us for making an issue out of a non-issue, it was evident from our meeting with Mr Naik, that the true picture regarding staff strength and other infrastructure had not been brought to his notice,’’ the Residents added. Agitated over the aggressive posture adopted by the Director at the meeting, the Residents said had the authorities placed the facts before the Health Minister, this confrontation could have been averted.

While the Director tried convincing the Residents that evening OPD was merely an experiment, which could succeed or fail, the doctors vehemently opposed the fact that they were being treated like ‘‘guinea pigs’’, on whom all experiments were made. ‘‘Let experiments remain confined to research laboratories than being practiced on us, as we wish to know why we are being singled out when faculty, consultants, laboratory technicians and para-medical staff were not part of this experiment,’’ quipped the perturbed Resident Doctors.

With the Residents being firm in their stand even after assurance by the Health Secretary, it appears that meeting the December 2 deadline would be difficult.



PGI in labour to deliver Shotgun’s baby

A few weeks back, Shatrughan Sinha came to Chandigarh, visited the PGI, delivered the idea of setting up evening OPDs and left with the same smile as that of a mother who has given birth to a healthy baby of 8 pounds.

Although it was Shatrughan Sinha who delivered the idea, it’s the entire PGI that is suffering from the labour pains.

His announcement of evening OPDs till now was cheered by patients, and some of the higher officials clapped, saying, “Sinha sahib kya dialogue hai, kya idea hai!” But when the PGI Director looked back for support he saw his resident doctors slipping away from the scene. The resident doctors protested that they were already overstressed and because of the tension in work, some of them even harboured suicidal tendencies. Above all, the PGI didn’t have the funds to run these evening OPDs.

I suggest to the PGI authorities that instead of panicking, they should erect a film OPD set in the evenings with fake doctors, fake medicines and fake medical equipment. Instead of seeing patients there, this set can be rented out to film and TV serial-makers for shooting. The revenue collected can be used to improve the deteriorating condition of the PGI.

An ordinary Health Minister wouldn’t have been of any help to overburdened doctors but our filmi Minister Shatrughan Sinha can definitely deliver the goods. He should regularly visit the PGI auditorium once in a month to enact his filmi dialogues to rejuvenate the stressed doctors. If he cannot give them any economic aid, he is at least in a position to give them an entertainment dose.

Jaspal Bhatti



Allegations, scuffle mar polling
Kiran Deep

Chandigarh, November 22
Chaos, allegations, counter allegations, bogus voting and scuffle between supporters marked the first phase of polling to the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana following a number of complaints of mismanagement, addressed to the Returning Officer, at the Punjab and Haryana High Court, here today.

The official concerned informed that 60 per cent of polling was recorded in the first phase of the election as 2915 advocates out of a total of 5142 advocates registered with bar councils in Chandigarh cast their vote. There was a complaint alleging that about 56 members of the Bar Council had got themselves registered with the council from two different places. These members today cast their vote in Chandigarh while their names were also mentioned in Ludhiana list. But the Returning Officer, Mr Nirmal Singh Dhillon, said he had received a complaint in this regard after the polling was over and he was yet to verify it.

Giving details he added that a complaint against a person who had stolen a ballot paper form the polling room was registered by the Bar Council in police Station, Sector 3. Mr Dhillon also denied the allegation of bogus voting and said that there was very good response to the elections. There was enthusiasm among the advocates because of the hectic campaigning by the contestants and their supporters, all through the day.

The polling, which began in the morning at 10 a.m continued smoothly till afternoon. But the situation became tense after 3 p.m as many of the contestants started lodging complaints of mismanagement and fake voting to the Returning Officer. By the time polling ended the situation became so bad that some of the candidates publically started levelling allegations against their opponents outside the polling room and that resulted in a scuffle between the members of the two different groups.

There was a huge crowd inside and outside the Punjab and Haryana High Court, since early morning. Many of the contestants had set up tents outside the High Court for their supporters. The advocates had to wait for hours in a row to cast the vote due to the lack of proper management. The advocates from Haryana and Punjab and former Punjab University student leaders were also present there for campaigning. The campaign continued even during the polling, the contestants and their supporters were seen campaigning in the voters row, inside the polling room and outside the High Court. They distributed pamphlets and placed banners at the entrance of the High Court and also were seen canvassing. The polling was held in the hall of the Bar Association of Punjab and Haryana. The arrangement for video filming of the polling had little effect as many local candidates and their supporters have enjoyed the right to campaign even inside the polling room.

The advocates found it difficult to enter the High Court due to the lack of proper space for parking, many of the persons had to park their vehicles even in the middle of the road due to huge rush. Many of the voters complained that there was lack of management in the election as there was only one entrance gate to the polling room, therefore they have to wait for hours to cast the vote. Others complained that despite the fact that they had deposited the fees well in time their name was not mentioned in the voters list. In order to maintain law and order, the UT police personnel and private security men were deployed at different places by the authorities concerned.



Political question mark over gas pipeline
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 22
The ball of a gas pipeline between India and Iran lies in the court of international political arena. Suited to the current needs and aimed in the direction of a solution for a sure power crises in future, the “visionary proposal” promises uninterrupted gas supply for more than 200 years.

The problem is bigger than expectations of any easy solutions because the pipeline on plan is routed through Pakistan, a country with which national tempers are frequently flaring high.

The “visionary statement” on the “proposed Iran to India onshore gas pipeline” was made by Mr David J. Twine from BHP Billiton, the world’s largest resource company with a market capital of roughly $ 35 billion, at the launching of the Indian Ocean Research Group at Panjab University.

The biggest utilisation of the gas pipeline can be seen in supplying a means for power generation plants, a sector to which the country definitely looks forward with a hope for a significant development keeping in mind the multiplied growth of users. Interestingly, the gas pipeline could be an alternate means of providing even cooking gas in common households, Mr Twain said. Fertilisers industries besides general use in industry were other key areas of potential utility of the service.

It is felt that the task, however, is not an easy one because the proposed pipeline comes to the Indian mainland through Pakistan. Keeping in mind the unending political differences between the two nations, the job is not an easy one.

Mr Twain said that the matter had been brought to the notice of the government and all related issues were being deliberated upon in details. If a way could be worked out, the gas pipeline promises benefit in providing service that is cheaper than many available options. “We have a mixed reaction from the Indian government because certain big customers, including industrialists and even certain government sectors, had shown a positive response”, he said

Gas pipeline energy sector has been very little explored in the country, Mr Twain said. The existing activities in India were of marginal use.

Referring to the regional gas market fundamentals, Mr Twain said: “India is in a chronic and growing gas deficit situation and desperately needs gas. Pakistan too is short and would need to import by 2006-07. Iran stands out as a logical solution as it can readily meet the gas needs of India and Pakistan for 200 years at the forecast needs of 2010 level” He referred to the “low cost” factor that was very important for the country.

The proposal reads that the gas will be derived from Iran’s South Pars gasfield in the Persian Gulf, part of the world’s largest gas field, which Iran shares with Qatar. Mr Twain said that “even if India does not accept the project it will almost certainly become an Iran to Pakistan pipeline”.

“We have the Pakistan government already supporting the project following an agreement with Iran”, he added later.



Gujarat officials to be professional: CEC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 22
Amidst apprehensions of the police and the administration likely to help the BJP in Gujarat under Chief Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) J. M. Lyngdoh here today expressed the confidence that the police and the administration had been “persuaded to be professional.”

“We have persuaded officials to be professional, which they have become now,” the CEC told reporters in reply to a question on the sidelines of a national conference on e-governance.

When asked whether with Mr Modi being in the saddle as Chief Minister the EC would face any problem, he said: “We are not dealing with him.”

Mr Lyngdoh said the commission was dealing with the Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police for the conduct of the elections and they were duty-bound to comply with the EC’s directions. The CEC indicated that the commission had undertaken an exercise to persuade the police and the administration to understand its relationship with the Election Commission during the elections.

He said special observers to monitor the poll process had already been sent and ordinary observers would be sent there along with a lot of security forces.

Mr Lyngdoh said the next general elections due in 2004 would be held completely on a million electronic voting machines (EVMs) reducing the changes of manipulating polls results.

He said the electoral rolls of Delhi had already been loaded on the website of the Election Commission and the process for the other metros had already been started. Mr Lyngdoh said the process of providing electoral rolls on compact discs had already been started, making it convenient to keep a track of 640 million voters who are recorded in 14 official languages and 10 scripts. Expressing confidence that the EC had done more towards e-governance than other departments of the government, he said the commission had acquired EVMs in 1989 but the process of their use got delayed due to apprehensions expressed by political parties.



NHRC order no damper on human smuggling
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 22
The directions given last month by the NHRC to various states, including Punjab and Haryana, notwithstanding, “unauthorised travel and manpower agents” continue to carry out their operations unchecked.

Last month, the NHRC had taken suo mottu notice of The Tribune investigation series about “Human smuggling: Rs 1,000 cr business”. It wanted the states to check “illegal emigration”

As a sequel to these directions, the police has initiated action against these “fraudulent travel manpower agents”. If reports from various districts are any indication, action has been initiated against only those agents against whom written complaints from either victims or their relatives have been received.

While the Gurdaspur police booked three “agents”, Kapurthala police registered cases against eight travel agents yesterday under Sections 420 read with 406, IPC for defrauding people .

Perturbed over the seriousness of the problem, Mr Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, MP, President of the Lok Bhalai Party, in a special mention in the Rajya Sabha yesterday demanded stern punishment for those involved in “human smuggling”.

Mr Ramoowalia said fraudulent travel agents, manpower agents, dubious placement consultants and others engaged in the business of sending people abroad were not only cheating people but also tarnishing the image of the nation as a whole by creating doubts and suspicions in the minds of people working in foreign missions in the country. The credibility of Indians in general and Punjabis in particular has taken a severe beating as the problem was growing at a rapid pace.

These “fraudulent agents”, he said, were promising moon to prospective candidates. But in reality, most of them end up either in jails or meet their watery graves as was the case in the Malta boat tragedy.

“The modus operandi of these agents was to work in tandem with their foreign counterparts and smuggle willing Indian youth by land, sea and air routes by arming them with fake travel, placement, job or other documents. On an average, the victim has to pay anything between Rs 6 lakh and Rs 12 lakh to get abroad by illegal means,” Mr Ramoowalia said.

He urged the Union Government to issue directions so that police cases are registered against these “fraudulent agents”, besides confiscating their ill-gotten properties and sealing bank accounts. He also demanded the setting up of special fast-track courts for trying cases of all such “fraudulent travel agents”.

In fact, the need for regulating and controlline — even with suitable legislation — the emigration consultancy business in India in general and in the north in particular was also stressed by Ms Raj Pannu, a Toronto-based barrister and solicitor, during her last visit to India. She had cautioned the prospective candidates against being fleeced by “unqualified and unauthorised consultants everywhere”.

In one year, Canadian Immigration officials issue 50,000 warrants against illegal immigrants, she had said maintaining that “soliciting clients through agents was not only unethical but also illegal”.

“I feel sorry for the people who are being fleeced by these unauthorised and unqualified consultants. The number of forged and fake documents we are getting in Canada from the prospective candidates is amazing. It is bringing a bad name to the Indian community as a whole. After qualified people get in, they end up plying taxis or taking other menial jobs. Imagine a Ph.D. student plying a taxi.



Admn urged not to withdraw rent control notification
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 22
Municipal Councillor P.C. Sanghi has urged the Chandigarh Administration not to succumb to the pressure of “certain vested interests” asking for the withdrawal of the rent control notification issued to correct the bias against landlords, boost investment, realising the dream of a house for everyone, generate employment and boost economy as envisaged in the National Housing Policy.

Communicating this to the Finance Secretary, Urban Development, Mr Karan A. Singh, in a letter, Mr Sanghi gave an example of how the 1949 East Punjab Rent Control Act was coming in the way of realising the National Housing Policy dream of a house for everyone. He said banks were flush with funds to extend loans for housing activity on cheaper interest rates, but it was not picking up as the Act did not leave renting out remunerative for a person to earn through property and get it vacated when required.

He said the Act was made to accommodate displaced persons from Pakistan in those conditions where they could not have got cheap houses, but later it became detrimental to the growth of housing activity which is known to be providing the highest number of jobs to the people in society.

A former Chief Engineer with the Haryana Housing Board, Mr Sanghi said the Act had become self-defeating in controlling rents with at least 20 per cent of landlords in the city not eager to rent out their properties for a fear of it being grabbed.

He said the situation was creating an artificial shortage of rented property against a higher demand pushing rent rates high.

Mr Sanghi said the bar on the increase of rent on a property was also acting against market balancing demand and supply. He said the present Act made it impossible to get one’s property vacated and there were life-long fight in courts for the purpose.

He said landlords were exploited by being forced to pay a “pagri” for the vacation of their own property.

Mr Sanghi suggested the increase in the rent should be linked to the change in the price index and the limit of Rs 1500 be done away with to give relief to all.



Traders sore as Jacob rejects demands
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 22
The UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), has not accepted Chandigarh Beopar Mandal’s demands to repeal the Rent Act notification, taking commercial establishments out of its ambit or postponing the date of its implementation.

At a meeting held here today, General Jacob told a delegation of traders that many states had implemented such notifications without any adverse implication on the trading community. He said Delhi had implemented this notification in 1988 and there had not been any adverse fallout.

The delegation of the mandal had called on the Administrator to press for their demands on the Rent Act. The Administrator explained to them that the administration was not anti-trader and it had taken a number of steps to help the trade and industry in the city. The building bylaws had been relaxed and most of the demands of the traders regarding partitions and other amendments to the bylaws had been accepted by the administration to give a boost to trade in the region, he added.

The administration had extended the shop opening hours during the festival season. The Governor said in spite of the notification, there should not be any summary eviction or summary trial in Rent Act cases and traders’ apprehensions regarding this were ill-founded. The owners of premises would have to follow the formal legal procedure to get possession and the tenants would have all legal remedies available to them to protect their genuine interests. He, however, expressed willingness to consider any legally sound suggestion that the traders might put forth within the ambit of the national policy.

Meanwhile, Chandigarh Beopar Mandal members have decided to show black flags to the UT Administrator in protest against the recent amendment to the Rent Act. Following their meeting with General Jacob failed as the latter refused to give any concession to the traders, they decided to register their protest by showing black flags.

The mandal condemned the statement of the Adviser, Ms Neeru Nanda, in which she is reported to have said that a section of traders in Sector 17 had closed their shops as they needed rest after participating in the carnival. The mandal will also start a relay hunger strike besides garnering support from various political parties on the issue.



Property owners to meet Jacob, Swami
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 22
At its executive meeting today, the Joint Action Forum of Property Owners was given a new name — the Chandigarh Property Owners Welfare Association. It was also decided to constitute sector-wise committees to broaden its base.

A signature campaign has been launched by the Federation of Sector Welfare Associations of Chandigarh (FOSWAC). It been done to strengthen its base by enrolling new members and garner support on the Rent Act issue.

It was decided at the meeting that the body would look after the welfare of the owners of all categories of property, including residential, commercial, industrial and property allotted by the Chandigarh Housing Board and group housing societies. Apart from the ongoing issue, the association shall also take up various issues with the authorities concerned regarding the building bylaws and for the simplification of laws governing the real estate in the city, it was decided.

A delegation of the joint forum will meet the UT Administrator on November 26. The Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Mr I.D. Swami, has also agreed to meet a deputation of the association. A deputation of the association will soon leave for Delhi to meet the minister to apprise him of the various positive aspects and advantages of rent notification.

Condemning the action and allegedly unethical stance taken by the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal, the executive resolved that national interest should reign supreme.



Constructions near AF station
Irate residents gherao civic men
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, November 22
An irate mob of the residents of Shivalik Vihar Colony, located on the Zirakpur-Patiala highway, yesterday protested against the prohibition drive launched by the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat to restrict construction within a radius of 900 metres from the defence installation in this area.

Up in arms, over a 100 residents of the colony blocked the internal roads and gheraoed an enforcement team of civic body officials headed by Mr Jagjit Singh Sahi, Executive Officer, for over two hours. The members of the enforcement team were rescued after a police party intervened and dispersed the mob.

A team the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat, enforcement wing, was on a visit to check any type of construction within prohibited area this afternoon, when it objected to some construction work in progress. It asked the owners to stop the work that was being carried out in violation of the notices issued by the Department of Local Government of Punjab recently. But the residents objected. The protesters raised anti-government slogans.

Sources in the civic body said that they had sought police security but were forced to carry on the drive as the local administration gave a cold shoulder to their request.

Reacting strongly the residents have threatened a violent stir if any authority dared to touch their property.

Ms B.S. Garg, a Bartana resident and president of Jeevan Sankalap, a non-political body to promote human welfare and social justice, lamented that lack of foresightedness and absence of co-ordination between the civil and Air Force authorities had brought unexpected miseries to residents who had invested their hard-earned money by constructing houses here.

He said, “Banning construction activities in this area is like slow poisoning middle class families, small time businessmen and labourers. This will affect them physically, financially as well as mentally and the so called ‘welfare state’ — Punjab Government — would be responsible for the same.”

The residents of the area demanded that the government and the defence authorities should workout fresh strategies without compromising the national security and notify the public with wide publicity. The authorities should also decide what should be done with the existing massive construction that had already come up.

The residents had also held the authorities responsible for constituting a civic body in this area despite of the fact that the area came within 900 metres from the defence installations.

This had also raised serious doubts about of the actual existence of the civic body and the fate of the innocent people.

Meanwhile, Mr Jaspal Singh, president of the Ilaqa Zirakpur Bachao Committee, criticised the act and gave a call to stage a dharna in front of the civic body office tomorrow morning.



Scribes mourn Chattarpatti’s death
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 22
The Chandigarh-Punjab Union of Journalists, the Haryana Patarkar Sangh, the Indian Journalists Union, the Chandigarh Journalists Association and the National Union of Journalists at a joint meeting today mourned the death of Mr Ram Chander Chattarpatti, a Sirsa-based Journalist, who in Apollo Hospital, New Delhi, last night.

It may be recalled that Mr Chattarpatti was shot at by followers of Dera Sachha Sauda on October 24 as he was exposing anti-social activities of the dera. he was seriously injured and rushed to the PGI Rohtak, and later shifted to Apollo Hospital, New Delhi. Condemning the murderous attack on Mr Chattarpatti, which tantamounts to throttling the Press, the journalists demanded a CBI inquiry into the activities of the dera.

They also urged Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala to extend full financial help to the family of Mr Chattarpatti and also bear all expenses incurred on his treatment.

Mr Radhey Shyam Sharma, a former Editor of Dainik Tribune, HUJ President Vinod Jindal, PUJ President H.S. Lall; HPUJ President Ravindra Randev, NUJ Vice-President Yoginder Gupta and Mr Ashok Singhi, Secretary of the NUJ, said since the organisation apparently behind the murder had close links with powerful politicians of Haryana and Punjab, a CBI inquiry alone could find out the truth. They alleged the religious organisation was issuing threats to other Sirsa-based newsmen also.



Communists ‘reviving’ movement
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 22
The Communist party of Russian Federation has put the revival of the Communist movement the world over on top of its agenda to block the globalisation of the economic order dictated by the USA. This was disclosed here today by Mr Leonid Ivachenko, Vice-President of the Russian Communist Party, and his associate, Mr Sergey Afanasiev, a member of its Central Committee of the party.

Leaders of the Communist party, which has for the first time sent its delegation outside Russia after the collapse of Communism in the USSR and other Eastern Block countries, said both former Presidents — Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin — had been declared as “ traitors” and agents of Americans by the Communists in Russia.

The Russian economy was in bad shape. It was facing crises on various social and economic fronts. All powers were vested in the President, who was toeing US line and privatising the public sector. Even the labour class was in favour of owning private property. The Communist party, which is the single largest party in Duma (Russian Parliament), is working on two fronts at the moment. First, throwaway the existing system of government headed by V. Putin in Russia and revival of the old Soviet system in a reformed mode. Second; to revive the Communist movement the world over to break US hegemony that has been trying to control the world economy in the garb of globalisation. “The Communists were still a force to reckon within Russia. If elections are held in a free and fair manner, the Communist party is strong enough to form its Government”, said the Russian Communist leaders. “Elections are rigged and when we approach the courts for justice, we never get justice as all judicial appointments are made by the President”, they asserted.



Police initiates inquiry on Bhurjee’s complaint
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 22
In just over 24 hours after ‘cops in plain-clothes’ tried to whisk away a Sector 18 resident from the District Courts premises, the Chandigarh Police has initiated an inquiry into a complaint submitted by his father — Mr Harjeet Singh Bhurjee — seeking the registration of an abduction and criminal conspiracy case against those involved in the offence.

In a complaint addressed to the Inspector General of Chandigarh Police, the Senior Superintendent of Police, besides the Station House Officer of Sector 17 Police Station, Mr Bhurjee claimed that his son was walking down the ramp, after the acceptance of a petition for annulling his marriage with Sector 34 resident Anureet Sodhi, when three persons, posing as police officers, caught hold of him from his neck and arms. They were shouting that they had come to arrest him as he had been declared a proclaimed offender”.

A senior police officer, when contacted, admitted that the complaint had been received. He added that the same had been referred to the officer concerned for holding an inquiry into the matter.

Mr Bhurjee, meanwhile, asserted that attracted by the commotion, certain lawyers asked the ‘persons to show the warrants of arrest’. He alleged that his former wife, along with her parents, also reached the spot and shouted that the ‘boy should be nabbed and shifted to another place so that they could deal with him’. The father added that the three persons, upon being challenged to show the warrants, however, ran away from the spot.

Mr Bhurjee further asserted that inquiries into the matter had revealed that warrants of arrest had not been issued. The complainant insisted that he was fully convinced that the persons, posing as police officers, had been ‘hired’ by the girl’s father Meharjit Singh Sodhi.

He added: “The three, in close conspiracy with each other, had committed the offences of attempt to kidnap, abduct, as well as assault my son. I still fear danger to my life as well as the lives of family members.... Hence, case under the appropriate provisions of law should be registered against the accused”.



Traffic woes arrive before Sonia
Tribune News Service


  • From roundabout at Sectors 31,32,46 and 47 ( near SD college) to roundabout at Sectors 32,33, 45 and 46 ( near St Stephens)
  • Road dividing Sectors 45 and 46
  • The roads to be avoided between 11 a.m and 3 p.m. 

Chandigarh, November 22
Exceptionally tight security under the overall guidelines of the Special Protection Group (SPG) will mark the visit of the Congress President, Mrs Sonia Gandhi, to the city on Saturday.

The Congress President will be coming on a scheduled Indian Air Lines flight which lands around 9: 30 a.m and will depart on the same flight around 2 p.m. The SPG team led by an Additional Inspector General of Police held closed door meeting with Chandigarh Administration officials, police and the Intelligence Bureau. Right since last night the entire route from the Airport to the CII and to the Sector 46 stadium has been sensitised. The entire route saw a huge police presence with random checking of spots.

The PGI has been put on an alert to meet any exigency. An ambulance will be stationed near the Sector 46 stadium and also near the CII building. Enroute the Leader of the Opposition will travel in bullet-proof convoy of cars which will be accompanied by the men of the SPG, ambulance, a fire brigade. Besides the cops from the area police station, traffic police will manage traffic and when the convoy of Mrs Gandhi will pass, traffic will be stopped at least 30 yards away from the roundabouts. The stoppages will not last more than a few minutes.

The employees of the Punjab Tourism Corporation will submit a memorandum against the disinvestment of the corporation to Ms Sonia Gandhi.



Sambar crushed to death
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, November 22
An adult male sambar was crushed to death by some unidentified vehicles in Sector 2 on the Panchkula-Naraingarh highway, late last night.

The animal was found dead on the road separating Sectors 2 and 4 near Mini Secretariat, Panchkula, by some passerby early in the morning and then an employee of the Haryana Wildlife Department, who was on his way to office, informed the authorities after he too noticed the dead sambar.

Mr Rajesh, a vendor, said he noticed the dead animal lying in a pool of blood when he was about to open his makeshift “stall”. The carcass was lying right in front of his vend and was lifted by the wildlife authorities later. “I noticed that the horns were broken and blood was oozing from the animal’s mouth,” he added.

According to wildlife authorities the animal was aged between two-and-a-half years to three years. The carcass was later cremated after postmortem examination in Pinjore.



Truck overturns, 30 injured
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 22
About 30 persons, including children and women, were injured after an over-loaded Tata-407 truck overturned and fell into a pit near Paroal village in Kharar subdivision on the Kurali-Chandigarh road this afternoon. The passengers on the ill-fated truck were heading towards Chandigarh in connection with a marriage.

Anoop Singh of Bhagowal village in Nawanshahr district, Punjab, who had received serious injuries, had been admitted to the PGI, Chandigarh. The truck was still lying in the pit when the reports last came in. The police has not registered any case so far.



N.K. Jain accuses police officers
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 22
Former UT Home Secretary N. K. Jain, under cloud as an alleged conspirator in the infamous Shimla girl’s rape case, today accused certain UT police officers of being “hand-in-glove” with businessman M. K. Jain who was allegedly involved in the case.

In a point-wise signed statement released to the Press, the former Home Secretary alleged that the industrialist had bribed police officials to frame him up, giving a go by to “legal procedures.”

Meanwhile, the former Home Secretary communicated to the police that he would not be able to join investigations for the next few days, citing ‘’illness’’ as the reason.

The police had asked Mr N.K. Jain to join investigations.



On-the-spot water connection camp
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur-Garibdas, November 22
As many as 180 water connections were released at an on-the-spot water connection camp held at the government tubewell, Mullanpur Garibdas village today. The camp was organised by the Punjab Public Health Department in collaboration with the Puri Trust (U.K), Mullanpur, and the Youth Welfare, Sports and Health Club.



45,000 stolen from Mohali house
Tribune Reporters

SAS Nagar, November 22
More than Rs 45,000 were reportedly stolen from a Phase IV house here today while the owners of the house were away to attend a wedding in Nawanshahr.

Mr G.S. Saini, resident of house No. 768, Phase IV, along with his family, had gone to Nawanshahr to attend his brother-in-law’s wedding.

Today morning, his neighbour noticed that the front gate of the house was open. He thought that the Sainis had returned, but when he did not see their car, he informed the police. The police arrived there with a sniffer dog and found the house ransacked. The police also tried to inform Sainis at Nawanshahr, but it was told that they had already left for SAS nagar.

On arrival, Mr Saini informed the police that some household goods and an amount of Rs 45,000 were missing from the house. A case has been registered.


Four theft cases
During the past 24 hours at least four theft cases were reported, including three from Sector 35.

A Maruti car (CH03C 5729) of Mr Jatinder Singh, a resident of Manimajra, was reportedly stolen from Sector 35 yesterday. Another Maruti car (CH03J 8122), belonging to Mr Chander Parkash, a resident of Sector 35, was also allegedly stolen on the night intervening November 20 and 21 from his residence.

Mr Lajwinder Singh Bajwa from Sector 32 also reported that his scooter (CH03 5843) was stolen from his residence sometime between November 18 and 19.

Meanwhile, a car stereo from a car of Mr Gopal Sharma, a resident of Sector 8, Panchkula, was also reportedly stolen on the night intervening November 20 and 21 from Sector 35.

Documents lost
Mr Surinder Pal Singh, a resident of 663 A, Phase XI, SAS Nagar, reported in the Sector 34 police station that British passport and air tickets of Ms Ravneet Kaur Panesor were lost somewhere in the city yesterday.

Man dead
An unidentified person died after he was hit by an unidentified Tata Estate car near Sectors 29 and 30 trafficlight point here yesterday. A case has been registered against the driver of the car.

One booked
Dharam Dutt of Sirmour district was arrested near Bapu Dham Colony here yesterday allegedly for eve-teasing. He has been booked under Section 294 of the IPC.

Four Bangladeshi students, who were injured in an accident near Karnal, have been admitted to the PGI. According to doctors, the condition of two of them is reported to be serious. The four students, Nazneen Khan, Denev Deewan, Khazi Afran and Shamima Yasmeen, all in their early twenties were injured when the Tata Sumo in which they were travelling was hit by a truck.


Two injured
Dalbir Singh of Rajipur village, near here, was rushed to the Sector 6 General Hospital with serious injuries after the scooter he was driving hit a cycle. The cyclist, Rambir Singh of the same village, also sustained injuries.

According to sources in the police department, the accident took place on the Ambala-Kalka highway when Dalbir Singh was coming out of a petrol pump.



Suicide by 23-yr-old
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, November 22
Manish Kumar, alias, Rinku (23), a resident of Sector 16 reportedly committed suicide after setting himself on fire this afternoon.

According to sources, being mentally upset, Rinku poured kerosene over his body and set himself on fire in the kitchen of the house. His mother was alone at the house when the boy took this extreme step.

The body has been sent to the General Hospital, Sector 6, for post-mortem examinations. The police has started inquest proceeding in the case.


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