Sunday, January 5, 2003, Chandigarh, India

C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Admn announces biotech policy
Tribune News Service

Administration Claims

  • It will provide facilities to biotechnology companies by developing biotechnology laboratories.
  • Enhance the growth in the sector by utilising the services of professionals and inviting technology leaders.
  • Create employment for trained professionals and other qualified personnel in Chandigarh and the region. 

Chandigarh, January 4
The Chandigarh Administration today announced a policy for promoting research in biotechnology and ensuring growth of related industry in Chandigarh. The aim will be achieved with the help of various national-level institutions present here.

According to the Administration, the move will impart an impetus to the economy and human resource development in the city. It will help in ensuring the development of various processes, designs, compounds, equipment and solutions having applications in the fields of agriculture, industry, food and nutrition, medicine, pharmaceutical, health services and environmental sciences.

Facilitating the networking of various biotechnology organisations, including universities and colleges offering biotechnology, biophysics, biochemistry, nanotechnology and bio-informatics, is also on the agenda. The thrust will be to facilitate investment in biotechnology, health services, pharmaceutical research, medical education and related sectors by providing required infrastructure and policy framework, thus making Chandigarh a preferred biotechnology destination.

According to the Administration, the city has many plus points that will help in the growth of biotechnology industry. The city has a good urban environment. Geographically, it is very close to the National Capital and is well connected with rest of the country by road, rail and air. Persons with practical experience in the field of biotechnology are readily available in various teaching and research institutions here. The educational environment of the city is highly conducive for the development of biotechnology.

The Administration will launch a major programme in the field of biotechnology research for harnessing various tools for economic development, scientific and technological empowerment of human resources. Biotechnology incubator facility will also be arranged here.

Bio-informatics facilities will be established to have common testing facilities which are not available in the region for applied biotechnology research. A consultancy cell will be set up. Work on cloning, agro-industrial development and plant breeding will be encouraged.

A committee of officials has been set up to expedite all clearances required by researchers, entrepreneurs and firms, besides providing information to the public regarding various policies of the Administration.

This will be headed by the Secretary, Medical Education. Other members will be Secretary, Health, Secretary, Science and Technology, Secretary, Industries, Director, Medical Education, and Director, Environment.

The Director, Science and Technology, will be the convener. He can be contacted at his e-mail address: ‘‘[email protected]’’.



Who will be next PU DUI?
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 4
Who will be the next Dean University Instructions of Panjab University? The issue gains importance in the wake of Prof R.J.Hans-Gill, DUI, proceeding on a long leave from January 6.

Her case for extension as the DUI will also come before the university. The university is vexed with the problem as to whether to appoint the senior-most person less than 60 years as per the the HRD specifications or someone above 60 and less than 62 years who continues as a teacher.

A number of senior professors (above 60 years) are continuing because of a court case where the university had been asked to maintain the status quo. This means that those above 60 years, teaching in departments, were allowed to continue as chairpersons. The question now is if someone can continue as a chairperson why should he or she not be allowed to be appointed as the DUI.

Eligible candidates, in the list of those above 60 years, include Prof S.K.Sharma( Department of Chemical Engineering and Technology) and Prof Venod Gupta (Department of Economics). Prof J.K.Gupta, Department of Biochemistry) will be 60, later this year, sources said.

There is another group which feels the university should implement the UGC norms and appoint only those who are less than 60 years as the DUI.

Prof K.N.Pathak, VC, when contacted, said he was aware of the problem. The matter would be referred to the forthcoming Syndicate meeting, later this month, for a final decision, he said.

A senior fellow said persons over 60 years, and still serving had every right to continue because there was no clear decision on the issue. When they were continuing in service, there was no reason of them being denied the chance to occupy the chair meant to be occupied by the senior-most professor. At least 84 teachers have gone to the court seeking enhancement of the retiring age to 62. It is also pertinent to mention that Prof Mohan Maharishi, the DUI before Prof Hans-Gill, occupied the office when he was above 60 years.

The decision for allowing seniors to be appointed as DU the is unlikely to be savoured by a group of teachers who gave a representation saying that those above 60 should not be allowed to continue as chairpersons. There should be no scope for argument when the HRD, which sent the governing rules to the campus, was clear in stating that those above 60 years should not be allowed to continue, they said. 


All set for Pulse Polio drive today
Our Correspondent

  • The first phase of Pulse Polio vaccination campaign starts from January 5 and continues till January 7.
  • All children below five must be administered the drops.
  • Children already administered the dose should be vaccinated again.

Chandigarh, January 4
You pick up the phone and hear a voice asking you to get polio drops administered to your child before the constant hum of the dial tone. Go out and you will hear the message blaring from loudspeakers fixed atop rickshaws. Move ahead and little children, carrying placards, remind you of the two dates, January 7 and February 9. The Pulse Polio Immunisation Campaign, launched in the city with a budget of Rs 9 lakh, has never been so effective.

The campaign started a month back with a view to involve not only the poor people, but also the elite “who do not think it proper to walk up to a booth for getting the drops administered to their children”.

At the national level, superstar Amitabh Bachchan is instructing viewers to go to Pulse Polio booths and get the drops administered to kids under five years. At the local level, schools are told to play an active part in the drive by organising rallies for spreading the message. Everyday one or two such rallies are held.

You can see students marching up and down roads and streets, even in the Panjab University campus, holding banners asking residents to visit the booths set up in the city. This is not all. Some students, instead of having fun during their winter vacations, went from house to house informing the residents about the time, the date and the venue.

Social organisations have also joined in. The Citizens Awareness Group, in collaboration with the the Family Welfare Bureau, organised four polio awareness rallies.

Resource persons from the UT Health Department were asked to deliver lectures on importance of getting little ones immunised. Camps were also organised for generating awareness among the masses.

As per the available information, in Colony No 5, as many as 14 booths have been set up. In Bapu Dham and Ram Darbar, there are eight booths, each.

This is not all. For the first time perhaps, religious leaders are also involved in the process of spreading the message, particularly amidst those not reading newspapers and owing television sets. In the last week of December 2002, a joint meeting of Health Department officials and local Muslim leaders was convened at the UT Guest House here in Sector 6.

Attended by former Mayor Lalit Joshi and Municipal Commissioner M.P. Singh, the meeting was organised with a view to mobilise public support through the religious heads. According to the authorities, co-operation of the religious leaders for ensuring maximum coverage and success of the campaign was sought during the meeting.

The Imams, after being briefed about the benefits of the campaign, were also requested to issue appeals to devotees during the prayer hours. Other such meetings were also held.

Throughout the campaign, strict vigil was maintained by the authorities. “I personally went to all booths to supervise, ” said Director Health Services C.P. Bansal.

Meanwhile, Students of Government High School, Sector 38-B, and Kendriya Vidyalaya Sector 47, today participated in a rally to create awareness about the Pulse Polio campaign.

In order to ensure success of the campaign, schoolchildren have been involved by the Health authorities. In fact, about 10 schoolchildren will be present at every booth so that more and more people can be mobilised to bring their children for immunisation.

The schoolchildren were accompanied by teachers and doctors.


Protect Sikh shrines in Bangladesh’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 4
Prof Harnam Singh, former Chairman of Guru Nanak Chair and Head of Punjabi as well as Sikh Studies, Panjab University, Chandigarh, is back from Bangladesh. He was there to participate in the 17th Conference of the International Association of Historians of Asia. He presented a paper on art, literature and cultural heritage of South Asia. The conference was held under the auspices of the University of Dhaka.

Professor Shan paid obeisance at Sikh shrines,. He also studied the available Sikh relics, associated with the sojourn in Dhaka of Guru Nanak Dev in 1504 A.D. and of Guru Tegh Bahadur in 1666 A.D.

This area of study has remained neglected ever since Partition. Access to these shrines was denied to the Sikhs during the Pakistani regime, says Professor Shan.

According to Dr Shan, the Rayer Bazar Gurdwara, mentioned in Burt and Hassan’s works, has been razed. The gurdwara stood where Guru Nanak had had a well dug and a prayer-house built. In the 1960s the then East Pakistan authorities demolished the gurdwara and carved out plots and auctioned those for house-building. On this has come up a plush locality called Dhan Mandi.

The Gurdwara Nanakshahi, however, still stands quite adjacent to Dhaka University, but its vast land has been usurped. It has been recently renovated with a liberal grant of the Indian High Commission and donations from Sikh devotees of Kolkata, Tokyo and Singapore.

The second shrine, Gurdwara Sangat Tola, is located in Bangla Bazar. Guru Tegh Bahadur stayed there on his way to Assam. It is in a dilapidated condition. Its housing complex, worth crores of rupees, is under unauthorised occupation.

The Udasi mahants and Sikh residents who had been managing these left soon after the establishment of Pakistan. Only Bhai Sawaran Singh, the last granthi, stayed put. He too, along with his friend Mohammed-ul-Malik Haq, was shot by the Pakistani Razakars during the 1971 crackdown.

As regards the relics, only one out of the five old, handwirtten Guru Granth Sahib, described by Sardar G.B. Singh in 1945 and Capt Bhag Singh in 1971, can be found in Gurdwara Nanakshahi. The page that bore its date has been washed out.

The only other relic is a pair of ‘kharavan’ (wooden sandals) placed on a chauki ( a low wooden stool), used by Guru Tegh Bahadur and bestewed upon Balaki Ram on the eve of his departure for Assam.

The painting of the Guru by a painter of Shaista Khan’s court, is also missing. Its copy and other relics are on display at Gurdwara Nanakshahi.

The two hukamnamas (edicts) of Guru Gobind Singh, addressed to the Dhaka sangat, noticed in Gurdwara Sangat Tota at the time of the surrender of the Pakistani army to Gen Jagjit Singh Arora, can no longer be seen there.

At present only a non-official committee, called the Bangladesh Gurdwara Management Board, Kolkata, has been making arrangements for their upkeep. A congregation is held by it in the Gurdwara Nanakshahi every Friday, which is attended mostly by Indian High Commission staff and certain devotees from neighbouring countries.

Professor Shan has called upon the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbhandhak Committee, Amritsar, to take immediate steps with other Sikh organisations to preserve and protect all that is of significance in Bangladesh for the Sikhs.


DPI’s visit leads to unpleasantness among teachers
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 4
A surprise visit by a team led by Mr Dilip Kumar, DPI (Colleges), to Government College for Girls, Sector 42, here today, made 35 teachers submit their leave applications, as despite being physically present on the campus they had not signed the attendance register. The register was picked up by the team at about 9.45 in the morning.

The visit was more like a raid than an inspection, said a group of teachers who were present in the college today. “When the DPI visited the college in the morning, he was accompanied by the Registrar at the DPI’s office, Mr A.L. Nanda, who misbehaved with teachers in front of students,” they alleged.

“The visiting team was irked by the fact that there was a low attendance of students in classrooms, mostly in the Honours classes. But how are we to be blamed for this. Mr Nanda told a teacher in a dance class that how could a person, with a salary of Rs 25,000 per month, teach just a handful of students. What business does a clerk have in saying such things? Is he the DPI?”, said a teacher on the condition of anonymity.

Confirming that the surprise visit did cause some unpleasant feelings among the teachers, the Vice-Principal, Ms Geeta Mohan, said the situation arose because the visiting team was not familiar with the functioning of the college. “This is the reason the Administration should put someone from the teaching profession at such administrative posts so that those operating at that level have a clear idea about the whole system,” she added.

Mr Dilip Kumar and Mr A.L. Nanda were not available for their comments.


South Asia’s biggest problem — ‘strained
Indo-Pak relations’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 4
Stating Jammu and Kashmir to be among the three major focal areas where Islamic terrorism was concerned, Prof Paul Wallace, a political analyst from the University of Missouri in the United States, said South Asia’s biggest problem was strained Indo-Pak relations and it was up to the two countries to resolve it.

Commenting that the ongoing differences between the two countries was the root problem for terrorism in this region, he suggested two possible course of actions in this direction. He said problem resolution could be a “quite process” where the two sides could discuss the various possibilities to bring the conflict to an end. Another method, he said, was to bring in all the groups involved in the problem along with a mediator approved by both sides, as was done in the case of Northern Ireland.

Professor Wallace, accompanied by his wife Robin, who also teaches political science, was here to deliver a talk on “International terrorism context as the US prepares for Iraq invasion, today.

He said personally, he was not in favour of the US launching an attack on Iraq in its pursuit to check terrorism and differed from the US government’s views on the present status of Al-Qaida, the principal terrorist group against whom the US was waging war. Iraq has emerged as a centre of interest for the US in this war.

“From the US Government’s perspective, Al-Qaida no longer exists as a centralised organisation, which has become weak and incapable to carry out big actions,” he commented. Giving details of a large number of recent terrorist strikes in Europe, South Asia, the Middle East as well as South East Asia, he opined that rather than weakness, the strikes revealed the underlying strength of Al-Qaida.

Stating that the Al-Qaida cadre was now spread across the globe with cells in over 50 countries, Professor Wallace said, “This new strategy makes it extremely difficult to counter. Decentralisation and autonomy are the hallmarks of contemporary terrorism. Movements and cells strike when presented with a target of opportunity.”

A US aggression on Iraq would be a “big mistake”, he said. “It would inflame the streets in Muslim-dominated countries and generate more recruits for radical Islamic movements,” he remarked.

While the US government was bent on launching a second Gulf War, Professor Wallace said a peace movement was gathering momentum in the US. Placards advocating peace and decrying the government’s stance have been posted by a large number of citizens outside their houses. While the leading dailies like New York Times have shown little concern towards this movement, the local newspapers were highlighting the movement, he added. He also wondered if the US government was exerting some kind of pressure on the press.

On a question whether the US attack could be termed as a terrorist action, Professor Wallace said defining terrorism had become very difficult. “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. In this context, the US action would be viewed as terrorism by certain groups,” he remarked.


Honour for forensic expert
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 4
For his outstanding contribution in the field of forensic physical sciences, Dr S.K. Jain, Assistant Director of the local Central Forensic Science Laboratory, will be presented with the prestigious Home Minister’s award on January 6, during the All-India Forensic Science Conference at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Trombay, Mumbai. 

Born at Kosikalan in Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh, Dr Jain has played a significant role in developing the software for speaker identification in crime cases and setting up a laboratory here for this purpose. He has got advanced training speaker identification and tape authentication at University of Trier, Germany and German Federal Police Laboratory, Wiesbaden.


Tailor-made lubricants needed for LCA: expert
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 4
Lubricants can play a crucial role in the life of a fighter aircraft. However, the coolant being used for the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) is of a technology that is old, observed Mr J.R. Nanda, chief executive of a top oil company, while speaking at a national seminar on ‘Technological Developments in Aeronautics and its impact on maintenance’ at the CSIO here today.

It was now possible to get tailor-made lubricants, so why not go in for the latest, he asked. These lubricants could adapt to any change in temperature, height or other factors and take care of all moving parts in an engine, he said.

For any machine to function, the presence of the right lubricant at the right time and in the right quantity was absolutely essential. It must be understood that these products were designed, tested and certified in exactly the same way as any other mechanical component. The aeroengine oil was first formulated in the laboratory with the correct selection of the base oil to provide the desired flow characteristics for low temperature start, added Mr Nanda.

Base oils could either be mineral (petroleum derived) or synthetic and in some cases, a combination of both. These were blended with appropriate usages of selected chemical compounds termed as additives, which enhanced the properties of the base oil. Once the desired formulation was achieved, it was tested to the requirements of the specification parameters stipulated by the equipment designer. These tests included the physical and chemical parameters like viscosity, the high temperature point, among other performance tests on bearing and gear test rigs.

An aircraft, whether civil or military required on an average at least 20 to 30 types of lubricants which have to function efficiently over a wide temperature range and hostile environment, Mr Nanda added.

Speaking on a novel design improvement of air-to-air radiator of MiG 27 to improve its serviceability, Mr S.V Mate and the R.D. Mone of the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) said the serviceability of an IAF aircraft was of on prime importance from the point of view of readiness to meet the exigencies and have a higher degree of flexibility in flying, while maintaining the highest flying efficiency of a squadron. They brought out the improvements made in the most failure prone items of air-to-air radiator of MiG- 27 aircrafts. The meshes that are provided as the inlets of cooling are the soldered assemblies of wire-mesh and stainless steel sheet and riveted to the radiator.

This had proved to be a problem in servicing, they said. This has now been rectified they added. The two-day seminar ended with technical presentations.


Pay-channel signals blocked in Mohali
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, January 4
Distributors of the ESPN, Star Sports and Sony TV channels have allegedly blocked pay-channel signals to Punjab Cable Service here. Mr Sukhwinder Singh, partner, in the cable TV network, alleged here today that this had been done to pressurise the network to withdraw cases filed against the distributors in the District Courts in Chandigarh.

The partner, in a press note issued here today, said the distributors wanted to “grab” all cable operations in the region by forcing small operators to close down their businesses or sell these at throw-away prices to the associates of the agents concerned. The aim, he said, was to gain a monopoly and “fleece” subscribers.

Mr Sukhwinder Singh said a technician had been caught cutting cables of Punjab Cable Services on December 31. An FIR had been lodged in this connection.

He said the Central Government had recently passed a Bill, under which, cable TV subscribers would pay for only those channels that they watched. Since the system would take some time to become operational, the channel agents concerned were trying to hike the monthly subscription fee to more than Rs 300. Punjab Cable Services had already moved court in this regard and the first hearing had been fixed for January 8, he said.


All is not well in INLD
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 4
The first ever elections to the Panchkula Municipal Council have caused chinks in the armoury of the ruling Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) here, with office bearers and senior party workers opposing official candidates at the hustings.

With local party leadership awaiting orders from the party high command on initiating disciplinary action against dissidents, the latter are rigorously campaigning against the official candidates. Accusing the party’s election committee of playing in the hands of an office-bearer, a number of party workers have decided to fight it out on their own.

Though Haryana Public Service Commission member Pradeep Chaudhary and district INLD (Urban) President Randhir Malik have denied any differences, sources within the party say the ever increasing tussle for clout between them is responsible for the present state of affairs. At least four senior party workers have now raised a banner of revolt by either jumping in the fray themselves or fielding their next of kin.

Mr Dilbagh Singh Nain, general secretary of the district INLD, is contesting against Mr Randhir Malik in Ward 13. Similarly, Mr Sunil Talwar is contesting against the party’s official candidate, Mr Shyam Sunder Sharma, in Ward 14. Ms Amoljit Kaur, wife of the vice-president of the Zila Parishad, Mr Sohan Lal, is opposing the official INLD candidate, Ms Raj Bala Sharma, in Ward 17 and Ms Saroj Rani, wife of Mr Jeevan, a close confidant of Mr Pardeep Chaudhary, is opposing Ms Uma Verma in Ward 18.

Mr Ram Gopal Mehta, district INLD president, today said he had received a complaint against these dissidents and would issue them show-cause notices. However, the dissidents are taking a plea that since the party is supporting candidates from outside and the official candidates are not fighting on the party symbol, they are not working against the interests of the party.

Sources say the official candidates within the party face a challenge from these dissidents rather than from their other political rivals.

With the party vote bank getting divided in the above mentioned wards, and the dissidents in other wards too working against the official candidates, other political parties, the BJP and Congressmen contesting as Independents, now have an edge over the party candidates.

Dissidence within the local unit of the party will have an impact not only on party’s fate at the hustings, but also on the selection of the presidential candidate. Both Ms Seema Chaudhary, sister-in-law of Mr Pardeep Chaudhary, and Mr Malik, are the contenders for the top post.


Candidates release manifestoes
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 4
The cold and foggy weather notwithstanding, hectic campaigning marked the day. With several candidates releasing their election manifestoes and election offices of other candidates being inaugurated today, the township witnessed hectic election activity.

Mr Randhir Malik, district president of the INLD and a contestant from Ward No. 13, today released his election manifesto at a function. A number of residents from Sector 15 had come to support him. He promised reduction in fire tax, house tax and professional tax , reduction in water tariff, better roads and street lights. Another candidate from the same ward, Mr Gian Chand Goel, also released his election manifesto wherein he opposed house tax, professional tax and fire tax. He promised to strive for creation of infrastructure for technical education, direct transport service from Delhi and other district headquarters.

Ms Urmil Dheer, an independent candidate from Ward No. 4 , also released her election manifesto. She promised an ambulance service for the township, better security system for the ward and development of greenbelt along the highway facing Sectors 6 and 7.

Mr Inderjeet Verma, an independent candidate from Ward No. 3, promised better parks, street lights and removal of encroachments from the corridors of Sector 7 market. The election office of Ms Rekha Sharma, BJP candidate from Ward No. 10, was inaugurated today. She said she would press for a free ambulance service, improvement of roads and parks. The election office of Mr. S.S. Goel, a candidate from Ward No. 9 , and Mr Manoj Pal, a candidate from Ward No. 4 , were also inaugurated today.Back


The ugly side of housing societies

This refers to a report ‘HUDA’s Panchkula extension dream in doldrums’ (Chandigarh Tribune, November 27). The checklist given in the report is, in itself, an eye-opener. Now, HUDA has decided to give some facilities to the Group Housing Societies for new registration. The registration norm would be made easier for the societies. It has also introduced major relaxations in apartment sizes, floor-area ratio and plot sizes. Previously, 40 members were essential for registration. Under the new rule, only 20 members are required for registration as a group housing society. The covered area has also been increased.

HUDA has established Group Housing Societies in various sectors of Panchkula. All three of its schemes flopped and members were told to take the money back. HUDA had allotted land to the societies in Sector 20 of Panchkula a few years ago, on which, members had constructed flats. They had faced too many difficulties in constructing the flats. Even water and electricity meters were not given individually. The construction work done by the executive committee was highly defective.

After many years of construction, members have, now, been asked to deposit Rs 65,000 each as the enhanced compensation of land. The members moved court against the decision. The incentives announced by HUDA are just an eyewash. One should never be a member of the housing societies, if one wants to avoid harassment.


Fear of God

This has reference to ‘Hamara School’ section (Chandigarh Tribune, November 25, 2002). The Principal of Mt Carmel School echoes the popular view of God: “Fear of God is the beginning of wisdom”. No offence meant, but I have always been intrigued by such views. To me, it is more desirable to be God-loving and do the right thing because you have the love of the Supreme and His creation in your heart, not because you fear the Creator.

Shouldn’t we make sincere efforts to inculcate in young minds love for God and His beings? The world will be much better off with love instead of fear.


The henna row

My daughter studying in Sophia Convent School of Kalka was asked to apply ‘mehndi’ on her hands and feet and nailpolish on the hands for Parents’ Day function. Before her dance was to start, she was made to put ‘kajal’ in the eyes, rooze on the cheeks and lipstick on the lips, like all other children participating in the function. While watching the dance, I was thinking of the controversy over punishment given to some schoolgirls of Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School in Chandigarh, for applying ‘mehndi’ on their hands on Karva Chauth.

Beauty aids like ‘mehndi’, nailpolish, lipstick etc. are not meant for use by students, generally. If we allow students to use these, their mind would be diverted from studies. However, on special occasions like stage shows, these things have to be used, just as students wear fancy clothes on stage instead of the school uniform.

When henna competitions are held in schools, children are taught and encouraged to put henna as a part of teaching, like we teach them cooking and other household works. The Karva Chauth celebrations are for married women and not schoolchildren. If a school allows its teachers to use beauty aids on a festival, it is natural and just. However, this gives no right to students to imitate their teachers and mothers.

If a school punishes students for putting mehndi on their hands, parents should think rationally and support the school management. If the punishment is harsh, we have every right to criticise it, but linking the cause of punishment to religion is bad. Political groups may say whatever they like, but parents should remain impartial and think rationally.



First revolving restaurant in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 4
For the many disabled kids from various institutions in the city, this morning brought some happy moments. More than the joy of a free lunch at the freshly inaugurated revolving family restaurant in Sector 35 C, the physically and mentally challenged children chose to steal happiness from the musical bonanza unleashed at the venue by two famous singers of Punjab.

Such was the enthusiasm at the end of the affair that the whole programme came across less as a formal inauguration of some eating joint that revolves and more as an occasion of festivity that dripped from the honeyed voices of folk singer Gurkirpal Surapuri and the upcoming star Harbhajan Mann. The show was, however, through and through managed by Surapuri who involved the disabled kids completely in his performance. So while he sang famous numbers from his recently-released cassette, many children got up in their seats and danced to Punjabi tunes. Some of them even walked upto the dais to join Surapuri in the celebrations which were furthered by the orchestra. The singer not just sang, but also performed in the true folk spirit. No wonder he was a great hit with special kids. As for Harbhajan, he could not get away from his star mantle. As always he remained surrounded by young fans and kept busy giving autographs.

Only yesterday the news of this revolving joint being inaugurated by Punjab Governor and UT Administrator Lieut Gen JFR Jacob had spread in the city. Quite naturally, the venue was bursting with many who figure in the who’s who list of Punjab. Many of them would have been disappointed when the Governor had to decline the visit due to some emergency work. Among those present were Ms Jaswant Kaur, wife of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh. She also formally inaugurated the restaurant which has been named Memorable Moments. The guest of honour was Mr A.S. Kahlon.

As per information, the disabled kids were special invitees of Mr Alamjit Singh, chairman of the restaurant. However, they were served lunch outside the joint. The interesting part was that not even once did they express a desire to go inside, caught up as they were with the excitement generated by the performances by Gurkirpal Surapuri and Harbhajan Mann.

Gifts for physically challenged
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 4
About 11 physically challenged children from different parts of Punjab and Haryana were distributed New Year gifts at Roshni Home in Rajpura. 

According to a press release, Ms Glory and Joel of St Thomas School, along with the students, brought special New Year gifts. The president of Roshni society, Father Thomas K.J. has, meanwhile, requested “well-wishers” to come forward for sponsoring the medical expenses of at least a few children as New Year gift. As per the release, donations through cheques or drafts can be sent in favour of Roshni, 25 Gulab Nagar, Rajpura. The telephone Number is 01762-227004. Back


Equal status for ex-servicemen sought
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 4
Taking up the issue of grant of equal status for all ex-servicemen and demanding the doing away with separate counters for officers and other ranks, the social brotherhood group of the All India Ex-servicemen Welfare Association today held a meeting.

The meeting was presided over by Mr Bhim Sen Sehgal, Chairman, All India Ex-servicemen Welfare Association. The association claimed that the ex-servicemen of Chandigarh raised several demands and requested the Chairman to take up these with Governor Punjab and UT Administrator Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd).

The association demanded four acres from Chandigarh Administration for the construction of an ex-servicemen club for other ranks as they had no place for entertainment in Chandigarh despite the fact they were in majority but their interest had always been neglected by the Administration.

The present Defence Services Officers Institute in Sector 36 is for officers and their families only and the ex-servicemen of other ranks are not permitted to become its members. The association alleged that the DSOI had been constructed out of the welfare funds maintained for jawans and widows. It further demanded fair representations to the ex-servicemen in various committees as well as in the Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, on the basis of their strength. The retired officers constituted only 1 per cent of the total ex-servicemen of the city.

The association further demanded that the practice of separate counters for officers in the Military Hospital, the Military Canteen, and other places be dispensed with and all retired defence personnel be treated as ex-servicemen irrespective of their ranks which they held in the Defence forces.


CHB body reconstituted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 4
The Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) has re-constituted its board of members. The nine-member body headed by the Chairman of the CHB, Mr G.K. Marwah, shall have a three-year term.

The ex-officio members will be the Chief Architect, Chandigarh Administration, the Chief Executive Officer of the CHB, the Estate Officer, the Joint Secretary, Finance, and the Chief Engineer, Central Public Works Department, North Zone, stationed in Chandigarh.

The non-official members shall be Major-Gen Inderjit Singh Dhillon, house number 1080, Sector 8-C, Mr Krishna Gopal Goswami, House number 70, Sector 27-A, Chandigarh, and Mr Parveen Kapoor, Chartered Accountant, House number 516, Sector 32-A, Chandigarh.Back


Rehris’ removed
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, January 4
In a day-long operation, an MC team removed unauthorised ‘rehris’ from Phase I residential complex next to the Mohali village here.

The council took the step following complaints from the residents of HM and HL houses here. The residents had alleged that these ‘rehris’ blocked the roads and footpaths next to their houses. This compliant of the residents had also been a part of a question session of the last Vidhan Sabha meeting.

The ‘rehris’, according to the Executive Officer of the Municipal Council, Mr Jai Kishan Sharma, are being removed since morning as different people occupy the place at different times during the day.

According to Additional Executive Officer, Mr Sarbjit Singh, ‘rehris’ have been removed but there are also a large number of shops functioning illegally on PUDA land that falls next to these houses. ‘‘It is PUDA’s responsibility to remove these,’’ he said.


MC officials’ term expires
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, January 4
With the term of the senior Vice-President and the Vice-President of the Municipal Council coming to an end today, the councillors are now grouping among themselves to field and support their candidates for the two posts.

According to MC President, Mr Kulwant Singh, elections to these posts will be held shortly. The two whose term expired today are Mr N.K. Marwaha, and Mr Manjit Singh, senior Vice-President and Vice-President of the council, respectively.


‘Car thieves’, who tracked targets from garage
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 4
A group of youths belonging to well-off families were arrested here today on the charge of being involved in several cases of vehicle theft. These youths used to sell stolen vehicles after forging registration documents.

According to the police, the modus operandi of this gang was to secure imprints of the keys and the registration numbers of the cars to be lifted. All cars recovered, so far, from them are of Tata Indica make. The CIA wing of the Chandigarh police arrested these youths — Inderjit Singh, a man who lives in Sector 71 of SAS Nagar; Amar Pal, who lives on the Punjab University campus; Rajesh, a person who lives in Sector 46; and Davinder Singh, a man who lives in Sector 40 — from different places in the city.

A police official said, one of the suspects, Inderjit, was an electrical works contractor. Two others — Devinder ‘Pankaj’ and Rajesh — were in the business of car finance; and Amar Pal had obtained a diploma in engineering from a college in Punjab.

So far, the CIA has recovered only six of the nine cars they had allegedly stolen in the past eight months. According to the police, Inderjit Singh, the leader of the “gang”, connived with a man called Satosh Kumar, an employee in the servicing unit of Hind Motors in the Industrial Area here, to steal vehicles. Santosh used to get him imprints of the keys and registration numbers of cars that came in for servicing. Inderjit used to use this to track down each car and find out the address of the owner of the vehicle. Then, duplicate keys were used to steal identified vehicles.

The “kingpin” of the gang was arrested from near the roundabout of Sectors 35 and 36, where he was found to be in the possession of a stolen Tata Indica car bearing a fake registration number (CH-03-J-8224).

The car had been stolen from Sector 7. The fake registration documents were prepared with the help of a man called Nony, who runs a documentation centre in Sector 17 here. The other suspects, Nony, Sunny ‘Santosh’, and Happy are yet to be arrested.Back


Woman held; charas seized
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 4
A surprise search operation was carried in Khuda Alisher village by the Chandigarh Police in the wee hours of this morning. According to the information available, the operation led by DSP, Central, Mr S.S. Randhawa, was carried to weed out anti-social elements in wake of the Republic Day function.

A total of 14 persons, who were rounded up, were let off after proper verification.

Woman held
The CIA wing of the Chandigarh Police today arrested Gurmeet Kaur of Hallomajra village for possessing half kg of charas. Earlier the son of the women was caught by the Himachal Police for possessing 1.4 kg of charas.



Car taken away at gunpoint
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 4
A driver of a Tata Indica car was robbed of his vehicle at gunpoint by three persons near the Sectors 27 and 28 traffic junction here late this evening. One of the snatchers, who has been identified as Balinder Singh of Nabha, Patiala, came to the spot along with three other persons and forcibly took the car from Balwinder Singh, a resident of Sector 28 here.

The driver of the car Balwinder Singh had borrowed the vehicle from its owner, Arvinder Singh, to go to Sector 28. When the incident took place, Balwinder Singh was about to sit in the car after meeting a car financier, Mohammed Riaz. The incident was reported to the police at around 6.45 pm and nakas were set up in the city to intercept the car.

According to the information available, the owner of the car, Arvinder Singh had bought the vehicle from its original owner, Balinder Singh, after it was involved in a road accident about two months back at a cost of Rs 1,30,000. Some amount was spent on repairing the damaged vehicle. Meanwhile, Balinder had moved his case for claim to Oriental Insurance but it was rejected. The insurance company had found that Balinder Singh did not possess the driving licence for a four wheeler.

After the claim application was rejected, Balinder started asking Arvinder to return the vehicle (PB 11 30 0990). But the latter demanded the money, including the sum spent on repairing the damaged vehicle. Balinder had got the value of the vehicle assessed at Rs 2,80,000 under a scheme of direct selling of the insurance company. A case under Section 392 and Arms Act had been registered at the Sector 26 Police Station.


Man crushed to death
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, January 4
Hari Kant, an accountant with Chandigarh Stone Crusher located at Mubarikpur-Ramgarh village, was crushed to death when a multi-axle vehicle rammed into a half-body truck parked adjacent to the stone crusher, near here today.

According to sources, Hari Kant was crushed between the multi-axle vehicle (HR-37A-3952) and the truck (HR-29A-9633). The driver of the multi-axle vehicle is said to have fled from the scene after the incident.

A case under Sections 279 and 304-A of the IPC has been registered against him with the Dera Bassi police station.


Escape bid by 9 murder accused
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 4
Chaos prevailed in the district courts here today when nine accused in a murder case tried to escape after picking up a fight with other accused lodged in a makeshift prison here.

The incident took place when the accused - Roshal Lal , his sons- Karnail, Raj Kumar and Suresh, Barkha, Sohan, Rann Singh, Mahendra and Amar Singh were brought to the court of Mr H.S. Bhangoo from Ambala jail today. All nine of them are accused of a murder in Raipur Rani that took place in 1998.

While Roshan Lal, Karnail, Raj Kumar and Suresh were held guilty by the court on the previous date of hearing, the remaining five were held guilty today. According to the police, the accused first tried to escape while they were being taken to the Bakhshi Khana by the escort guard.

Once lodged in the makeshift prison , they picked up a fight with other accused in the prison- Davinder, Rajinder, Jatinder, Raj Kumar and Kapil. It was free for all in the prison for over 10 minutes, till the police was called in .

Later, the police booked all nine accused under Sections 224, 551, 148, 149 and 506 of the IPC.

Murder accused surrenders
Jarnail Singh, who had allegedly shot Brij Mohan, a priest at Punjab Financial Commissioner, R.N. Gupta’s farm house at Jogi Nand village recently, today surrendered before the police.

According to information available, the accused had been hiding at his native village in Amritsar district for the past two days. He was, however, cajoled into surrendering by Mr Gupta and members of his family.

Two injured
A mother-daughter duo was seriously injured after their scooter (HR-03D-7039) was hit by a car (HR-03D-0055) near the fire station here. The victims, Deekha (19) and her mother , Kamini (40), were rushed to the General Hospital, Sector 6, by staff of the Fire Department. However, they were later referred to the PGI, Chandigarh.

Suicide attempt
Satbir Singh, a resident of Sector 10 here, attempted to commit suicide by consuming a poisonous substance this evening. He was rushed to the PGI, Chandigarh, and is stated to be out of danger.


Four remanded in custody
The four suspects arrested by the UT Police for allegedly stabbing to death a resident of Ropar district, Sandeep, on December 31 night, were today remanded in judicial custody by a local court. The suspects — Anil, a resident of Sector 24, Sunil Kumar, Pankaj and Ravinder Kumar, all residents of Sector 40-C were arrested by the UT Police on January 1. The deceased, Sandeep, was declared brought dead by the doctor’s at the General Hospital, Sector 16.

A local court today acquitted an accused alleged to be involved in a case of rape and kidnapping. As per the prosecution the accused Rajiv had kidnapped and raped the victim. The accused was acquitted as the prosecution failed to prove the allegation levelled against him.

Man missing
The police has registered a case of kidnapping and wrongful confinement of a businessman of Chamkaur Sahib who went missing in the city.

According to the police, the man, Rajinder Singh, a resident of Mundian, went missing from the city in November last. He had visited the city in connection with repair of his car. When Rajinder Singh did not return home, the family complained to the Chamkaur Sahib police. After investigating the matter, the Ropar police informed the Chandigarh Police. A case has been registered under Section 365 of the IPC. The police investigations revealed that Rajinder had met Rakesh Verma on November 11 before he went missing.

Dera Basi

Thieves struck at an auto repair shop along the Chandigarh-Ambala highway and decamped with 10 batteries and an inverter, here last night.

Sources in the police said the thieves entered the shop owned by Mr Anwar Hussian after breaking open the main shutter. A case has been registered.

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