Monday, January 6, 2003, Chandigarh, India

C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Robbers hack man to death, injure 5 of family
Even two-year-old not spared

Bipin Bhardwaj

Zirakpur, January 5
In a brutal robbery incident, one person was hacked to death while five members of his family, including a two-and-half-yr-old daughter, were critically wounded when a group of armed robbers struck at Hill View Colony at Dhakauli village, near Zirakpur, in the wee hours today. The robbers also took away cash, jewellery and other valuables worth lakhs of rupees from the houses.

Armed with dagger, iron rods and batons, the robbers struck at a house owned by Mr V.S. Mishra, a retired Master Warrant Officer, in Hill View Colony at around 3.15 am. They hacked Deepak Mishra, son of Mr V.S. Mishra, to death and wounded Deepak’s wife Geeta, their daughter Tania, mother Suman, brother Pawan and father before fleeing from the house.

Deepak died on the way to the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) in Sector 32, Chandigarh, while the other five members of his family are struggling for their lives at various hospitals.

Mr V.S. Mishra has been admitted to the PGI with head injuries, while his wife Suman has been shifted to the Command Hospital in Chandi Mandir.

Wearing “kale kacche” and flip-flops, the Hindi-speaking assailants entered the house after breaking open the door with an iron rod. After entering the house, they reportedly took positions and attacked all six members of the family who were asleep in different rooms. They struck Deepak on the head with a dagger, following which he collapsed.

While talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Mr Inder Kumar Sethi, a neighbour of the family, stated that seriously wounded Geeta, while narrating the sequence of event to him, said, “I woke up after hearing the cries of Deepak. The robbers hit him on his head and he collapsed. I rushed to the bed where Tania was asleep and hid her under a duvet but they did not spare her. They picked her up and flung her on the wall, which resulted in critical head injuries to her head.”

The robbers then attacked Geeta and snatched her gold chain, earrings and other jewellery on her, leaving her ear lobes bleeding.

Mr Sethi said Suman, with blood soaked clothes, knocked at his door at around 4 am. “Blood was all over her face and she couldn’t speak anything. She gesticulated by pointing her finger at her house,” added Mr Sethi.

On reaching the house, they found all family members wounded and unconscious. Subsequently, the police was informed.

The wounded — Mr V.S. Mishra, Geeta, Tania and Pawan — were taken to the GMCH, Sector 32, in Chandigarh. Deepak and Suman were taken to the hospital in a separate vehicle. After declaring Deepak “brought dead”, the doctors referred the other critically wounded to the PGI, said Mr Bhupinder Singh, a neighbour.

The residents of the colony later informed the relatives of the victims living in Balia village in Uttar Pradesh, besides informing Deepak’s in-laws in Ambala and his sister and brother-in-law in Ahmedabad.

On a visit to the scene of crime, this correspondent saw blood splattered all over the floor, besides blood strains on the walls and bathrooms. Bed sheets and pillows were also soaked in blood. The robbers had left the entire house, including almirahs and cupboards, ransacked.

According to neighbours, Mr V.S. Mishra had retired from the Indian Air Force last month. He had constructed a house recently and shifted from his government accommodation in August last year. Deepak was a medical representative by profession, while Pawan is a computer instructor.

The exact value of the jewellery, cash and other valuables taken away by the assailants could not be ascertained.

After receiving information, Mr Paramraj Singh Umraonangal, SSP Patiala, along with SP(D), Mr Bhupinder Singh, and other police officers visited the house this afternoon.

A case under Section 460 of the IPC has been registered by the police. The police authorities claim to have sent messages to the Panchkula and Chandigarh police to tighten security at all entry and exit points from the Punjab to nab the criminals.

Before the attack in Dhakauli village, the robbers also struck at two house in Gazipur village. They tied Mr Balbir Singh and his family members up and took away Rs 5,000 in cash from them. They later beat up Vinod and Vickey, who were staying at a farm house here, and took away Rs 3,100 in cash and their trousers.

With the incident, panic has descended upon the residents of the area. Residents complained that the area lacked proper streetlights and the authorities had not provided night patrolling by the police in the area.


1.18 lakh kids given polio drops
Tribune News Service


  • At some of the booths, put up by voluntary organisations, children who came for immunisation were being given sweets and biscuits by doctors.
  • For those residing in slum colonies, it was an occasion as they all dressed up early in the morning, and made a beeline to the nearest booth. In fact, some of them said that the contractor under whom they were working as labourers, had given them half day off so that they could get their children immunised.
  • Some of the people who arrived by early trains and could not give polio drops to their children, did not have to bother as a health team, led by Dr Rajiv Khaneja, was present at the railway station to ensure that no child was left out.
  • At the Government Polyclinic, Sector 22, health officials, including the Director Family Welfare, Dr M. P. Minocha, and District Immunisation Officer, Dr Sadbhavana Pandit, when asked about the exact number of children who had been immunised, said that like election results they too were waiting for their teams to come back so that the “final verdict” could be given.

Chandigarh, January 5
Over 1.18 lakh children below the age of five were administered polio drops during the first phase of the pulse polio immunisation campaign, which was kicked off by the UT Administrator, Lt-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd) from the Mauli Jagran Rehabilitation Colony here today.

Speaking on the occasion, Gen Jacob said that this time he had decided to launch the campaign from a slum colony rather than the Raj Bhavan so as to sensitise the public to get their children immunised against the disease. He exhorted the doctors, para-medical staff and others involved in the nationwide campaign to ensure 100 per cent coverage by undertaking door-to-door visits so that no child was left out.

The Director Family Welfare, Dr M.P. Minocha, informed that a total of 1,18,134 children had been immunised on the first day of the campaign. Out of this 89,046 were in the urban areas while 29,088 were from the rural areas of UT. The campaign will continue for the next two days as door-to-door surveillance will be done.

Be it a child in a slum, hospital, train, bus etc., health teams accompanied by children administered the polio drops.

With a nationwide campaign on television, radio and newspapers to create awareness about the drive, people started arriving at the booths rather early in the morning.

Booths at Dhanas, General Hospital in Sector 16, Nehru Colony and Palsora witnessed such a heavy rush that additional vials had to be brought before noon.

Vehicles, including buses, were stopped at all barriers at entry points to the city to ensure that no child was left out. The Workers of the Health Department were joined by anganwari workers, medical students, school children, Rotarians , Citizens Awareness Group, State Bank of India, Vishwa Hindu Parishad and a number of other voluntary organisations in the campaign.

More than 2,000 children were administered the vaccine in the Chandi Mandir Cantonment and at the Military camps around the city and Kalka.

The State Bank of India, Ram Darbar Branch, also participated in the campaign and organised a camp at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Karsan Colony. Wafers and sweets were distributed among children by the bank.


57,862 children get protection against
polio in Panchkula
Tribune News Service

A health worker administers polio drops to a child in Sector 36, Chandigarh, on Sunday. — A Tribune photograph

Panchkula, January 5
Polio drops were administered to as many as 57,862 children in various parts of the district on the second sub national round of the Pulse Polio Immunisation Programme today.

Health authorities said today’s immunisation drive drew a much better response than the first round when drops were administered to 49,393 children. Besides the Civil Surgeon Mr B.S. Chaudhary, other officials of the administration, including the Deputy Commissioner, Ms Satwanti Ahlawat, visited various places in the district to oversee the drive.

Giving details, a spokesman for the Health Department said 3,411 children in urban areas of Kalka and 6,911 children in rural areas of Kalka; 2,705 in urban Pinjore and 3319 in rural Pinjore, 14,672 in Panchkula, 9,853 in Old Panchkula; 1,814 in Morni; 3,787 in Raipur Rani; 3,491 in Barwala, 3,101 in Hangola and 4,798 in Kot were given polio drops.

All children in the age group of 0-5 years were given the drops in 305 booths set up all over the district. Ten mobile teams also gave the drops to the children in the age group.

The Pulse Polio drops were given from 8 am to 4 pm and bus stands and railway stations were also recovered. At least 1,180 workers including health workers, ICDS workers, teachers, NSS workers and 52 supervisors, from the Health Department were employed for the effective implementation of the programme. A number of government vehicles had been requisitioned for the purpose and proper distribution of vaccine under the cold chain system.

SAS Nagar

As many as 37780 children between the age of zero and five years were administered polio drops in the township here today. While 25,090 children were vaccinated against polio in the rural areas, 12,695 children were vaccinated in the urban area. With this, the Health authorities have achieved 84 per cent target in the rural area, while in the urban area 76.1 per cent of the target has been achieved.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mrs Seema Jain, officially started the campaign in the township from the Civil Hospital in Phase VI where she administered the polio drops to some children. The Deputy Commissioner’s daughter was also administered the polio vaccine at the hospital here. The DC was accompanied by the Civil Surgeon, Ropar, Dr Rana Harinder.

Although the cold kept a large number of parents at bay early morning, as the day became warmer the booths saw parents bring their children in large number for the vaccine.

According to Dr B.S. Brar, in charge of the programme in the rural area, the maximum response at a single booth was recorded in a booth in Phase XI where over 1000 children were administered polio drops. “Best response was received in Phase XI where the population of children in this age group is the most,” he said.

Talking to mediapersons after having inaugurated the campaign, the Deputy Commissioner said efforts were on to make Ropar a polio free district and “the efforts being put in today will be supplemented with door-to-door campaign for two days from tomorrow. Whatever children are left today will be given the drops tomorrow,” she said.

A team of 250 health personnel will go from house to house tomorrow and administer polio drops to the children who have not been given the vaccine today.

“Rotary International here sponsored the medicine used all over the country for the Pulse Polio Programme.” said Mr Manpreet Singh, president of the club.

The Ranbaxy Community Health Care Society conducted the programme at Mohali village and Chandigarh-Mohali barrier. According to Dr Upma Sharma, a total of 925 dozes were administered in the two booths here.


The Station Health Organisation organised a pulse polio campaign in Ambala Cantonment.

Lieut-Col Rajat Srivastava, Commanding Officer, Station Health Organisation, said 24 intensified pulse polio immunisation booths were established in the Cantonment, including the depot at Dappar, on the guidelines given by Brig Y.V. Sharma, Commandant Military Hospital, Ambala Cantonment. He said a total of 3,968 doses were administered.

The inaugural dose was administered by the officiating Deputy Director of Medical Services, Col B.P. Singh.

Lieut-Col Srivastava said the children who had come for polio immunisation were given gifts like sweets, balloons, toys, pencils, copies, rubber, alphabet and nursery books.

Dera Bassi

Against its target of 32,000, the local Health Department administered polio vaccine to 29,176 children in the Dera Bassi block during the pulse polio eradication drive today.

As many as 2,700 children were administered vaccine in Dappar and 3,375 children were vaccinated in Lalru.

The local Health Department had constituted 153 teams, including six mobile teams for the children in rural and slum areas of the subdivision. Apart from this, 31 supervisors were appointed to monitor the functioning of the teams during the immunisation drive.

Schoolchildren, anganwadi workers, members of the Bharat Vikas Parishad, Rotary Clubs and other social organisations also participated.


Children given polio drops
Tribune Reporters

LAKHS of children in the 0-5 year age group were administered polio drops on Sunday as part of the pulse polio programme in the region. Reports of parents, braving the cold weather, to take their children to the booths set up at a number of places in the towns and cities for getting them immunised were received.

Officials of the Health Department and NGOs and volunteers helped make the polio-eradication scheme a success.

However, a report from the interiors of Barsar in Hamirpur district of Himachal Pradesh said many children went without the vaccination as the medicine was in short supply.

Reports of the campaign were received from a number of towns, including Pathankot, Abohar, Phagwara, Faridkot, Hoshiarpur, Mansa, Fazilka, Gurdaspur, Balachaur, Fatehgarh Sahib, Batala, Bathinda, Phillaur, Yamunanagar, Fatehabad, Jammu, Shimla and Hamirpur.


Banners of candidates removed
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 5
The Administration today acted tough with candidates violating the code of conduct for the Municipal Council elections here.

In a four-hour operation, banners and posters of candidates from various parties and also Independents on electricity poles and trees and semi government, government and public property were removed. The authorities had formed teams of Executive Magistrates to visit various wards and check the violations.

The drive went on peacefully as each of the Executive Magistrates, accompanied by cops and labourers, went about in various wards and removed the banners. The Returning Officer cum-Sub Divisional Officer, Mr Inder Singh, went around the sectors within the MC limits and removed the banners and posters after advising candidates against putting these on government property. He warned that violators could be booked under the Haryana Defacement of Property Act.

The Deputy Commissioner identified sites in each ward where candidates could display their banners and other campaigning material. These included vacant plots and parks.

Meanwhile, campaigning by various candidates picked up in various wards. The manifesto of Ms Surinder Parmar, an INLD-supported candidate from ward no. 4 (Sector 6 and parts of Sector 7), was released by INLD state secretary, Amardeep Chaudhary today. She promised public toilets on main roads, fencing of parks and vacant plots to prevent stray cattle, hygiene and sanitation.

Mr Manoj Pal, an independent from the same ward, released his manifesto and promised a war memorial, repair of streetlights, maintenance of parks, and improvement of sector market.

The election offices of at least three BJP candidates — Ms Jagdamba Gupta from ward no. 5, Mr Roshan Lal Singla from ward no. 25, and Mr Baldev Kumar Nayyar from ward no. 6 — were inaugurated by Mr Rattan Lal Kataria, state BJP President today. All candidates promised reduction in house tax, professional tax and fire tax and better sanitation, roads and streetlights.

A large number of ex-servicemen have extended support to Lt.-Col Surjit Singh, a candidate from ward no 27. Brig Surendra Mohan, Sq Ldr. D.C. Lath and Col Dalip Singh, accompanied Lt.-Col Surjit Singh in his door-to-door campaign in Sector 2 and Kharag Mangoli. Mr H.L. Ratta, another candidate from the same ward, also went on door-to-door campaigning.

Mr Randhir Singh Badhran, INLD candidate from ward no 20, released his election manifesto wherein he promised full development of the ward. Mr V.K. Sood, a BJP candidate from ward no 4, today went about his ward and was apprised of problems regarding poor condition of roads, poor drainage and disposal of garbage.

Mr Parveen Kumar Garg, candidate from ward no 6, and Ms Lily Bawa from ward no 22, too, claimed to have intensified their campaign. 


Second-hand vehicles, first-hand trouble
Accident files gather dust

Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 5
Hundreds of files regarding investigations in cases of road accidents in the city that involved second-hand vehicles are gathering dust in record rooms of the Chandigarh police. Reason: the particulars of the owners of the vehicles are not available with the police.

The police has sought that the vehicle registration system of the Chandigarh Transport Authority be linked with the computer network of the police, so that, its data pertaining to the registration of new and second-hand vehicles gets automatically upgraded.

The traffic wing of the Chandigarh police is not connected to the computer networks of the Police Headquarters and the transport authorities. Policemen face difficulty in tracking down owners of the vehicles who have violated traffic rules. In a recent experiment, when the traffic police started sending traffic slips at the addresses of vehicle owners, it was found that the ownership of several vehicles had changed.

Sources in the police said investigations in several cases of road accidents were also getting delayed, as the policemen who had knocked at the doors of the registered owners had found that the vehicle had been sold. It took time to track down the new owner of a second-hand vehicle.

The registration-number system of the Chandigarh police for new vehicles was not being upgraded regularly. The vehicle coordination system of the National Crime Research Bureau (NCRB), set up at the police headquarters, also did not contain information on second-hand vehicles. The NCRB facility has only national data on stolen vehicles. After Delhi, Chandigarh has become an important market for the sale of second-hand vehicles.

The sources said the Chandigarh police had urged the transport authorities to create awareness among sellers to get the sale deeds of their vehicles registered with the transport authorities.

As per rules, a vehicle-sale deed has to be registered within six months of the deal. However, it has been noticed that vehicles are being run on the basis of affidavits given by sellers. It creates difficulty for the seller when the vehicle is involved in an accident.


IYC to set 6-pt agenda for youth
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 5
The Indian Youth Congress (IYC) will unveil a new agenda for the youth at a rally to be addressed by AICC President Sonia Gandhi in Delhi on January 12, the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, which is celebrated as the National Youth Day.

IYC president Randeep Singh Surjewala said here today that the agenda would be above party politics and aimed only at ameliorating the lot of the future generations.

The six-point agenda, he said, would highlight the uniformity of education, among other things, in the country. Under its “One Nation — One Education” programme, Mr Surjewala said, the party would agitate to demand the setting up of a national syllabus board, which would approve the syllabi of all education boards in the country in core subjects so that all students could compete on equal footing.

Another point on the agenda, he said, would be to demand reservation based on the place of birth and place of education. For this purpose, the IYC would demand an amendment to Articles 15 and 16 of the Constitution to provide for reservation both in higher educational institutions and jobs for those who had studied in a rural school for minimum five years and had passed their matriculation examination from a rural school.

Mr Surjewala said the IYC would also launch a nationwide struggle to put pressure on the NDA Government to take bold decisions for protecting national security, national honour and national character. This, he said, had been necessitated by the weak-kneed lopsided policies of the NDA Government on fighting terrorism and its sponsor-State Pakistan.

The IYC would also launch an agitation to eradicate corruption, which, Mr Surjewala said, had become an issue to be tackled by rising above party politics because corruption affected the future of the youth the most.

The IYC would also vow to “steadfastly, dedicatedly and determinedly fight the BJP’s agenda of damage, death and destruction,” Mr Surjewala added.

He said the IYC would also demand a special session of Parliament to chalk out a special Five-Year Plan with a dedicated budget purely for employment generation.

Meanwhile, the President of the Haryana Youth Congress, Mr Satwinder Singh Sandhu, has announced that his organisation would participate in the rally and dharna to be organised by the Haryana Congress in Delhi on January 15 to demand early completion of the SYL canal.


IYC wants plan to end unemployment
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 5
Indian Youth Congress President Randeep Surjewala today demanded a five-year-plan dedicated to eradication of unemployment in the country.

Addressing office-bearers of the Punjab Pradesh Youth Congress (PPYC), where the Chandigarh Territorial Youth Congress President Harmohinder Singh Lucky and his Haryana counterpart Jaswinder Singh Sandhu were present, Mr Surjewala said the IYC would fight for raising the level of education of rural areas on a part with those of the best educational institutions in the country.

He suggested the constitution of a National Curricular Board for the purpose. The Youth Congress would unveil a comprehensive agenda for youth at its rally on January 12 in New Delhi, which would feature these issues, the IYC chief said here today.

Mr Surjewala said unemployment in the country was increasing because of ‘communal tension’ and ‘corruption’ unleashed by the NDA government at the Centre.

Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee President H. S. Hanspal, IYC General Secretary Kuljit Singh Nagar, PPYC President Devinder Singh Babbu and Himachal Pradesh Youth Congress President Pawan Diwan addressed the meeting. The IYC chief said corruption generated unemployment which bred terrorism.


IYC Youth Day on Jan 12
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 5
The Indian Youth Congress (IYC) is celebrating Youth Day on January 12 in Ambedkar Stadium, Delhi, on the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekanand.

IYC president Randeep Surjewala has asked the Chandigarh Territorial Youth Congress (CTYC) to ensure a robust participation in the rally.

Meanwhile, the CTYC president, Mr Harmohinder Singh Luckhi, has dropped eight of his office-bearers for “non performance”. Mr Surjewala will hold meetings with youth units of the Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee and the Punjab Pardesh Congress Committee in the next couple of days.


Youth electrocuted on temple premises
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 5
A 20-year-old youth from Nagpur was charred to death in a one-room accommodation in the Sector 19 Arya Samaj Mandir here this evening. The body of the victim was found lying on the floor.

The police suspects that the victim, Om Parkash, died due to electrocution. He apparently fell from a bed after getting electrocuted. A police official said that clothes of the victim caught fire from a heater in the room.

By the time cops from the Sector 19 police station , located adjacent to the mandir, reached the spot, the youth had died due to burn injuries. A fire brigade team had to be rushed to the spot to extinguish the fire at around 7.15 pm.

According to information available, the victim had come to the city along with Dr Parkash and Parveen Gunada — all from Nagpur — to hold a camp on the temple premises. All three persons had come to the mandir on December 25 last and had taken two rooms, one for staying and other for holding the camp.

This evening when two of the persons went out for a stroll, the victim was about to prepare the dinner when the incident took place. Strangely, when the victim’s body was on fire, nobody heard his shrieks.

According to the officials of the Fire Brigade, the door of the room where the victim’s body was lying was not locked. The entire furniture and other items of the visitors had been completely burnt. It took some time to identify the victim as his colleagues were out on the stroll. .

The police sealed the room where the body was found. No foul play was being suspected by the police. The body was sent to the Sector 16 General Hospital for autopsy. 



THE tradition of sending greeting cards on New Year eve is in danger if the owners of greeting card showrooms are to be believed. Most of them were surprised over the sharp decline in the sale of New Year greeting cards this year. The postal department and courier services also complained of decline in business. The market watchers, however, pointed out that with the growth of internet connections in the city to over 56,000, the city youth are fast emerging as internet savvy. Even the corporate offices were found sending e-cards through internet.

If anything was missing, the cellular operators provided the final blow— by facilitating the sending of greetings through SMS.

Begging in New Year’s name

The police and car drivers may consider young boys and girls begging at red lights as a sheer nuisance, but these fellows would always come up with new ideas to impress upon the young crowd. On January 1, when everyone was in a happy mood, and greeting near and dear ones, one of the smart beggars, standing at the Sector 22 red lights, was found greeting the car and scooter riders with ‘‘Happy New Year Sir/ Madam, Please give me just Rs 10 today.’’ When a police cop tried to stop him, he said smartly: ‘‘Happy New Year Saab, Please give me Rs 10 otherwise God will not offer you adequate number of clients today.’’ Surprisingly, he got a Rs 5 note from this cop as well.

IAS poet

Here is food for thought for those who air the view that bureaucrats think of nothing but how to bag good postings.

Mr Ramendra Jakhu, an IAS officer of Haryana cadre, has produced yet another book of Hindi poems. Published by a Gurgaon based firm, Samaye Se Samvad is Mr Jakhu’s second book. The poems are on subjects as diverse as Satyajit Ray and the massacre of student activists by the Chinese army at Tienanmen Square. There are over 50 poems in the collection. They are non-verse and through his pithy observations Mr Jakhu manages to poke the conscience of the reader and he does it quite brutally at times.

Mr Jakhu is at present MD of CONFED, which does not entail much work as the unit is now being wound up. However, he is also Secretary of the Haryana Urdu Academy, an assignment he should be finding interesting, since the blurb of his book mentions that he is a passionate reader of both Hindi and Urdu literature.


To beat the winter chill, majority of those employed in the vicinity of the Sector 17 market come and sit in the areas adjoining the fountain and other parks during the daytime (see photo on top)

It is delightful to see them sit in groups. The activities range from lunch, a game of cards, long drawn debates on national politics and small jokes. One cannot miss the sight of a number of ladies knitting sweaters.

Employees who reside in nearby sectors prefer to have lunch with their family members while those who come from far-flung sectors and areas opt to have their lunch in groups here.

The sunbath is accompanied by cups of tea, samosas and fast food stuff.

Met observatory

Panchkula will now have meteorological observatory (M.O.). The teachers in charge of school eco-club will maintain it. The children will be motivated to observe weather and become climate-wise.

The meteorological department will set up the observatory in Government Senior Secondary School, Sector 7, and train the teachers in recording and reporting the data.

In addition, meteorological observatories will be established in Yamunanagar, Faridabad, Jind, Panipat, Kurukshetra, Kaithal, Rewari, Sirsa, Sonepat, Fatehabad, Jhajjar, Karnal and Gurgaon also.

Meteorogical observatories will also be set up in 13 district-level schools in Punjab. These are Bathinda, Hoshiarpur, Kapurthala, Sangrur, Gurdaspur, Ferozepore, Nawanshahr, Roopnagar, Fatehgarh Sahib, Muktsar, Moga, Faridkot and Mansa.

The proposal for setting up meteorological observatories in schools was submitted last year by Environment Society of India, president, S.K. Sharma (who launched the Saturday school environment/health education day in Chandigarh during 1981) and supported by the local Meteorological Office, Department of Environment, Haryana, and the Punjab State Council for Science and Technology.

Book on cancer

The incidence of cancer diseases has increased tremendously during the last few years because of increased longevity, better diagnostic tools and better public awareness. But unfortunately, we still seem to be getting majority of our patients in advanced stages and one of the main reasons for this is the lack of knowledge or awareness about the cancer diseases.

On a rough estimate, approximately 10 lakh new cases of cancer appear each year and at any given time, there are 50 lakh cancer patients in our country. In case we want to fight the disease, it is very important that we should be well informed about it.

Prof S. M. Bose, an eminent surgeon and President of Association of Surgeons of India, has written a book “CANCER” for the health education of the lay readers. The book, extensively revised recently, in a precise and easy language provides a clear understanding of the various aspects of cancer diseases: its causes, early danger signals, the required investigations for their diagnosis. It also gives useful information about the treatment, subsequent follow-up and the preventive steps that may be taken up.

The book published by National Book Trust of India, a Government of India organisation, has been already translated into a number of regional languages. It is heavily subsidised, costing only Rs 50 per copy.

— Sentinel


One dead, 3 hurt in car mishap
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, January 5
Dense fog leading to low visibility claimed its first victim in the township late last night. While one person, an employee of the Municipal Council here, was killed, three others were seriously injured in the accident.

The victim, 45-year-old Harjit Singh Ahluwalia, was sitting in the front seat of the car, which his friend Amardeep Singh was driving, when the accident took place. Amardeep Singh was also injured seriously and was admitted to a private nursing home along with two others — Rajvinder Singh and Sanjay Tripathi — who were sitting on the back of the car.

According to the police, the accident took place at Madanpura Chowk, dividing Phase IV and III here, just before midnight. The four were coming from Chandigarh and due to poor visibility. Amarpreet Singh failed to see the median near the roundabout. Having hit the divider first the, car lost control and banged into the roundabout, killing Harjit Singh on the spot.

The police arrived on the spot and informed the family of Harjit Singh and took the injured to a private nursing home nearby. The police has registered a case against Amardeep Singh.

Harjit Singh Ahluwalia, a resident of Phase VI, was at the post of a junior assistant and was working as an octroi clerk. He is survived by his wife Asha, two daughters and a son.

While Amardeep Singh is from Morinda, Rajvinder Singh is from Bamnara village and Sanjay from Kurali.


Cold wave claims 2 more lives
Amritsar, Ludhiana coldest in region

Chandigarh, January 5
The cold wave conditions in the north-west plains has claimed two more lives, each in Karnal and Sangrur, during the past 24 hours, taking the toll in Punjab, Haryana, and Himachal Pradesh to 20 since early this week to 22.

A farmer, Bakhshish Singh died of cold in Duggan village of Sangrur district after he had fallen into a drain containing chilled water and caught cold, a report from Sangrur said.

In another incident, a man with no shelter was found dead at the vegetable market in Karnal town of Haryana early this morning.

Two persons had been reported to have died of cold yesterday in Amritsar.

With no major change in night temperatures, the cold wave conditions in north-west plains remain unchanged with dry weather in Punjab and Haryana.

Amritsar and Ludhiana were coldest in the plains with the minimum of 4.2°C at both the places. It was two degrees below normal in Ludhiana.

Even though the weather office here said that the minimum average temperature remained by and large normal in the north-west region, people shivered in the cold as the sun played hide and seek in the partially cloudy weather during the day.

The weather remained foggy from last night to early this morning in several parts of the two neighbouring states and in and around Delhi, with flights and trains arriving behind schedule in the region.

The city and its surrounding areas of Punjab and Haryana recorded a minimum of 7.6°C, a degree above normal.

Ambala recorded the minimum of 5.3° C, two degrees below normal, while Hisar reeled under 4.9°C, two degrees below normal.

Himachal Pradesh and Delhi continued to experience cold wave.

There was no fresh snowfall at major hill stations including Shimla, where the minimum was 5°C, three degrees above normal.

According to the weatherman, the cold conditions would continue for the next 48 hours in Himachal, Punjab and Haryana. UNI

PHAGWARA: A thick blanket of fog again started engulfing the area around 4.30 pm this evening. The density of the day-long fog had lessened a little during the noon only to become denser in the evening, reducing visibility to a few feet as in the morning, with life thrown out of gear. OC


Air Force sets precedent
Winter induction of troops by air
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 5
With winter cutting off land routes, the IAF has set a precedent by inducting troops in high altitude areas in the northern sector by air this year. Earlier, induction of troops was mostly an Army affair, undertaken by road when the land routes were open.

“This year the IAF’s transport fleet is heavily engaged in inducting as well as de-inducting troops from high altitude areas,” a source said. “Though the IAF has all through been airlifting supplies and carrying out casualty evacuation or ferrying troops required urgently, this is the first time that large-scale peace-time airlift of troops is being done in winters,” the source added.

During winters, the strategically vital Srinagar-Leh road (National Highway 1-A) is closed due to inclement weather conditions which prevail in that region. Similarly, portions of the Manali-Leh route, which was developed as an alternate route to Leh following the 1999 Kargil conflict, is non-motorable in winter. The IAF, therefore, is the principal line of logistics and communication to forward posts in the northern sector.

Although IAF sources are tight-lipped about the current airlift tasks and the loads being transported, there had been a three-fold increase in the number of troops and human resources transported by air to forward areas by air in the post-Kargil period, while the cargo factor had gone up by two.

As per available information, the IAF airlifted about 18,000 tonnes of supplies to the northern sector by its transport aircraft last year, and another about 5,000 tonnes by helicopters.

With 14 Corps, the sub-continent’s first and only “high-altitude formation” having been raised to defend north-eastern part of Jammu and Kashmir, the IAF’s air maintenance operations are stretched all along the Line of Control north-east of the Zojila Pass as well as the Siachen Glacier.


Jacob releases book
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 5
Justice Surinder Singh’s book on ‘Transcending Sorrow Through Dhyana’ was released by the Lieut Gen (retd) JFR Jacob here yesterday.

Speaking at the book-release function, General Jacob, said, “This book deals with the spiritual philosophy of healing deadly diseases through the power of dhyana/meditation coupled with proper medication.

General Jacob said the author strongly believed that fear and anxieties were the main source of all diseases. If the disturbance was replaced by peace and tranquility, the process of healing would accelerate and the body which would duly respond to medication.

General Jacob said that dhyana was the practice of mental concentration leading ultimately through a succession of stages to the final goal of spiritual freedom, nirvana. Meditation occupied a central place in Buddhism and combined, in its highest stages, the discipline of progressively increased introversion with the insight brought about by wisdom.

The objective of concentration might vary according to individual and situation. Basically meditation was the process of shifting of attention from the outward sensory world, detachment from the external world and a consciousness of joy and ease, concentration with suppression of reasoning and investigation, the passing away of joy, with the sense of ease remaining and the passing away of ease also, bringing about a state of pure self possession and equanimity.

Earlier Bishop of Shimla-Chandigarh Diocese Rev Dr Gerald John Mathias “blessed” Justice Surinder Singh and his work. Dr Vij spoke about the book. Justice Surinder Singh (Retd) thanked the translators of different languages for their contribution.


Auto-rickshaw unions to meet Administrator today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 5
Nearly 2,000 auto-rickshaw operators in the city have been on strike for the past one week, to the discomfort of the public, especially schoolchildren. They are protesting against the State Transport Authority’s (STA) decision to impound 15 years old or more autorickshaws, on the directions of the Supreme Court. The Administration has so far declined to bow before their pressure and is trying to implement the decision.

Auto-rickshaw operators of SAS Nagar, Panchkula and Zirakpur also joined them. A delegation of their unions is meeting the UT Administrator tomorrow to impress upon him to direct the STA to provide additional time till March end, so that they could arrange for additional vehicles.

Condemning the response of the Administration, parents said it should have implemented the SC guidelines much earlier. A parent said: ‘‘These polluting and old-age vehicles had been operating in the city for the past many years, only in connivance with the traffic police and STA officials. Though as per the Motor Vehicle Act, these should had been banned without any SC directions.’’

Mr P. J. S. Dadhwal, Additional Director (Environment), Chandigarh, admitted that due to obsolete technology and poor maintenance, the 15-years or more old auto-rickshaws were responsible for creating substantial pollution in the city as compared to new ones. They should not be allowed to run on roads. Though the city was not yet ready for the CNG-based public transport, but with better quality vehicles and good maintenance the pollution level could be checked to a great extent.

Mr Harcharan Singh Sahani, president, Chandigarh Scooters and Autorickshaws Union, said: ‘‘We are not against the Administration’s decision to implement the SC guidelines, however, we are just demanding sometime till March-end to arrange finance for new vehicles. Like the Delhi Government, the Administration should also provide subsidy on the loans and exemption from ST to purchase new vehicles.’’


National awardee honoured
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 5
The Assistant Audit Officers Association here organised a function to honour a section officer, Mr Prem Singh, who was recently presented with a national award for his excellent work for the welfare of leprosy patients by the President of India.

Mr Y. C. Satyawadi, Principal Accountant General (Audit), Punjab, presided over the function. Speaking at the function, Mr Satyawadi, said it was a matter of great pride for the whole Indian Audit and Accounts Department, the section officer of which had been honoured with the national award.

Mr Nand Lal, Accountant General (A and E), Punjab, who has also worked as a social worker, said missionary spirit of Mr Prem Singh was laudable. Mr Prem Singh thanked the association leaders, including Mr Z. S. Thakur, Mr G. S. Saini and Mr K.K. Goyal, for their moral support to his social activities.

At the end of the function, Mr Satyawadi presented a memento to Mr Prem Singh.


Dacoits behind temple thefts held
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 5
The police has busted a gang of dacoits who had been operating in the district over the past one year as ‘Kaale kachchewale’.

With the arrest of all six members of this gang last night, the police has been able to solve at least three major cases of dacoity in temples here and in Pinjore over the past one year. All accused, led by gang leader Lakhwinder, alias Lucky, were arrested from near a liquor vend in Mansa Devi Complex by a team led by DSP Desh Bandhu, Inspector Om Prakash of the CIA and Inspector Phool Chand.

The accused- Lakhwinder, Sukhwinder alias Kala, Babu Ram, Ajay, alias Bunty, Lokesh and Rajesh, alias Chuha were produced before a local court and remanded to police custody. The police say all accused are addicted to prescription drugs and were using the booty for the same and to get a regular supply of liquor.

“It was as and when their money would be exhausted that they would plan another strike. Since they had heard of the Kaale kachchawala gang, they would dress up in black shorts and black masks, to avoid being recognized by victims,” said DSP Desh Bandhu.

He said the accused were involved in the dacoity at Ram Mandir near Saketri on August 6, wherein six persons were injured. They had also looted the Pashupati temple in Mansa Devi in March and another temple in Pinjore in August last year.

The police says it expects to solve a number of chain-snatching incidents with the arrest of this gang.


They used duplicate keys to steal cars
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 5
The recovery of six stolen cars by the Chandigarh Police from a gang could just be the tip of the iceberg. The police has found that the gang members were also involved in preparing forged driving licenses.

The CIA wing of the Chandigarh Police today arrested three more persons — Nony of Document Centre, Sector 17, Santosh Kumar, an employee of Hind Motors, and Harpreet alias Happy, who runs a lottery business. Already four persons of the gang are in custody of the police.

Investigations have revealed that the auto-lifters were selling stolen vehicles on the basis of forged registration documents. The modus operandi was to secure an imprint of the keys and registration number of the car to be lifted. All cars recovered are of the Tata Indica make.

Investigations have revealed that one of the suspects, Pankaj, connived with Nony of the Document Centre to prepare duplicate driving licenses. The possibility of forged certificates being made at the documentation centre is not being ruled out by the police.

So far the raiding parties of the CIA has recovered six of the total nine cars stolen in eight months. According to the police, Inderjit Singh, leader of the gang, connived with Santosh Kumar, an employee in the servicing unit of Hind Motors in the Industrial Area here to get an imprint of the keys and registration numbers of cars when these came for servicing. The vehicles were stolen with the help of duplicate keys.

A police official said another member of the gang, Sunny, who runs a lottery business in Phagwara, was yet to be arrested.


Car-snatching incident takes new turn
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 5
The last night incident of the alleged robbing of a Tata Indica car at gunpoint by three persons at the Sectors 27 and 28 traffic junction took a new turn today. Bhalinder Singh, who had been named as the main suspect in the case claimed that it was he who had been coerced and cheated by a surveyor of an insurance company.

Police officials say that they were investigating the matter and if the complaint was found to be false, action would be taken against the complainant.

Last night, after the alleged snatching incident, Balwinder Singh, a resident of Sector 38, had complained to the police that Bhalinder Singh of Nabha, Patiala, had forcibly snatched the car from him. The driver of the car had said that he had borrowed the vehicle from its owner, Arvinder Singh, to go to Sector 28.

Arvinder Singh, who had claimed to be the owner of the car, had said that he bought the vehicle from its original owner, Bhalinder Singh, at the of Rs 1,30,000 after it was involved in a road accident about two months ago.

However, the original owner of the car, Bhalinder Singh, had a different story to tell. Showing documents, he said that he had never sold the car to anyone. After the vehicle was involved in an accident with a Punjab Roadways bus in SAS Nagar, the vehicle was moved to a dealer’s showroom at Patiala. A case against the driver of the bus was registered at the Phase 8 police station in September this year.

“During the period, I moved the insurance company for accident claim. I received a call from the surveyor, Rajinder Singh, that as the process to get the claim could take some time, I should get the car repaired from a workshop in Phase 9 of SAS Nagar, and I transported the car to the garage,” he said, adding that after the car was repaired the surveyor started driving the car without my consent.

Bhalinder claimed that he had paid Rs 50,000 for the repair of the car. As the insurance company, Oriental Insurance, had pointed out that the owner of the car did not possess the driving licence of a four-wheeler, the surveyor promised to arrange a driving licence of a four-wheeler. I again paid him Rs 20,000 to get my case cleared from the insurance company.

Bhalinder claimed that since the vehicle had been financed, he had been regularly paying the monthly installment. He said that the entire case had been explained in detail to senior officials of the Chandigarh Police. A police official said versions of both parties would be thoroughly investigated. The police was verifying how the vehicle was taken away from Sector 28 and who was entrusted with it.



Three burglaries in one night
Our Correspondent

Lalru, January 5
In a chain of burglaries, masked miscreants struck at three houses in Ballopur and Malikpur villages, near here, last night and decamped with cash and jewellery worth thousands of rupees.

According to the police, the burglars broke into the house of Mr Sahab Singh in Ballopur village and took away jewellery, including a gold chain, bangles and Rs 9000 in cash.

The owners noticed the burglary in the morning.

In another incident, thieves broke into the house of Mr Jarnail Singh and took away Rs 5,000, besides gold and silver jewellery.

Then it was the turn of Mr Sita Ram’s house in Malikpur village from where the miscreants decamped with a gold ring and a pair of earrings.

The police has registered cases under Sections 457 and 380 of the IPC with the Lalru police station. However, no arrest has been made.



Burglars break into scribe’s house
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 5
Two incidents of burglary were reported from the city today.

Burglars broke into the Sector 22 house of a senior journalist of Punjab Kesri newspaper and took away a laptop and a desktop computer.

According to information available, the journalist, Mr Rakesh Sanghi, was sleeping in a room on the first floor of his house along with his wife. The burglars sneaked into the journalist’s office, situated on the first floor of the house. Some other items were also reportedly stolen. The burglars, however, left a Kinetic scooter parked outside the house.

In another incident burglars broke into a chemist’s shop in Sector 33 here last night. The owner of the shop, Rajesh Rana, said the burglars sneaked into the shop from the rear side.

According to the police, some empty bottles of a cough syrup was found in the shop. A case of trespass has been registered.

In yet another incident a video camera worth Rs 30,000, video mixture pins worth Rs 25,000 and Rs 2000 cash were stolen from a booth in Sector 32-D. A case has been registered on the complaint of the owner of the shop, Mr Ravi Shikha.

Vehicles stolen: Two vehicles were stolen in two separate incidents in the city. Ashish Gupta, a resident of Sector 35, complained that his Hero Honda motor cycle had been stolen from the parking of Panjab University. In another case, Ashwani Kumar, a resident of Kendriya Vihar in Sector 48, reported that his Bajaj Super motor cycle had been stolen from the parking of Kendriya Vihar.


Couple commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 5
A young couple reportedly committed suicide by jumping before a train near Surajpur. Their mutilated bodies were found on the railway tracks this morning.

The police says the victims could have been killed any time between midnight and early morning today. The male victim’s body that had split into two and the severed arms of the women were spotted around 9 am today.

Though the couple could not be identified, the police said they appeared in their twenties and looked like labourers. While the man was wearing grey trousers and a brown sweater, the women was in a yellow embroidered salwar kameez.

The police said the name ‘Kallu’ was tattoed on the arm of the man.


SCL gears up for 25th anniversary
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, January 5
Semiconductor Complex Limited (SCI), a Central Government enterprise engaged in the design, development and manufacture of very large integrated circuits (VLSIs) commonly known as chips, will complete 25 years of its incorporation on January 12.

Stating this here today, Mr S.K. Ambardar, Deputy General Manager (Strategic Planning and Coordination), said as part of the celebrations, the SCL planned to bring out a souvenir highlighting its achievements and future plans.

The DGM said the SCL had been fulfilling the specific needs of the Defence, space and atomic energy sectors besides supplying VLSIs to the telecom sector and other industrial electronic market segments.

Among the recent achievements of the SCL were charged coupled devices (CCD), 4K linear imager for imaging applications in satellites for ISRO and multiplex analog signal processor chip for the Department of Atomic Energy for use in an international project at the CERN, Geneva. The SCL had also been recently selected the foundry for the development of micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) in the country under the National Programme on Smart Materials (NPSM) funded and approved by the Union Government. An MEMS centre is currently being set up at the SCL and is scheduled to be established by July this year.


Finest samples of wool at expo
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 5
Some finest samples of woollen products from all over the country are being showcased at Wool Expo 2003 that opened at Circus Ground complex this evening. Being organised for the first time in the city by Himachal Pradesh Cooperative Wool Processing and Marketing Federation, Shimla, the grand fair is being sponsored by the Central Wool Development Board, Jodhpur.

The idea behind bringing these products to the city is to provide a creative outlet to artisans who are not familiar with market demands . That is the reason the show features products from the worst-hit areas of Gujarat. There are about 10 stalls by artisans from Kutch, which specialises in making shawls with beautiful motifs and mirror work. Areas of Himachal Pradesh specifically feature in the show. From the rich shawls of Kumaon to those from Kullu, Shimla and Kangra the expo features woollen products of all descriptions — rugs, carpets, shawls, stoles and scarves. The show is being entirely financed and the profits will be used for artisans uplift. It will be open till January 14 from 10 am to 9 pm.


BSNL undeterred by tariff cut
Manoj Kumar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 5
The decision of major cellular operators to slash long-distance call rates across the country may have created an initial euphoria, but Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is still undeterred, claiming that its basic landline and cellular subscribers would not shift to the private operators.

BSNL officials claim despite so much hype created by private operators, its mobile services have got overwhelming response from the customers. After the launch of its cellular services recently, the BSNL has got a base of over 60,000 connections in the Punjab circle, including over 12,000 cellular connections in Chandigarh. They say BSNL’s long-distance rates and offer of free incoming calls under specific packages are still better than the ‘apparent ’ cut in tariff rates by the private operators. In case of any impact, the BSNL may decide to slash its rates as well, says a senior official.

Mr R.C. Vaish, Principal General Manager, BSNL, Chandigarh, said: “The entry of Reliance Infocomm in the field and the slashing of rates by private operators might have created a media hype, but due to better packages, transparent billing, we do not see any shift in our customer base in the near future. We are also gearing up to meet the challenge by improving customer-care services.”

Telecom experts say that cellular subscribers will not benefit to any large extent, as claimed by private cellular operators. While the private operators have slashed tariff rates for long-distance calls (STD/ISD) to Rs 2.99 per minute from Rs 9 per minute, but the announced rates are excluding airtime charges, varying between Rs 2 and Rs 3 per minute for different billing packages. On the other hand, the subscribers do not have to pay any airtime charges under BSNL’s Rs 325 monthly rental scheme, where the tariff is as low as Rs 2 per minute, with free incoming calls.

The subscribers, who were expecting that private operators would offer free incoming calls, lament that the private operators have not basically provided any substantial relief to them. Further, the rates for up to 200 km distance have not been lowered. Customer would now have to pay Rs 1.20 per minute for up to 50 km distance (same as old rate), and Rs 2.99 per minute for 50 to 200 km distance calls (instead of earlier Rs 2.40 per minute).

Mr Swarn Bajaj, DGM Marketing, Spice, however, says the response to the announcement has been overwhelming. Regarding the impact of Reliance Infocomm, he said: “We would still like to wait and watch the impact of the new WLL operator on the cellular services.”

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