Monday, February 3, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Kalpana leaves a legacy of love, courage
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Kalpana Chawla (centre) shares a lighter moment with her niece and sister-in-law Neerja Nagpal at her house in Houston, USA.

Panchkula, February 2
“Always reach out for the stars...” the message scribbled by Kalpana Chawla, the first Indian-American on board the ill-fated spaceship Columbia, on her own poster presented to her two nieces — Manasi and Garima — hangs in the rooms of the two girls, as they try to come to terms with her sudden death.

"I still can't believe that she is no more," is all that 16-year-old Manasi manages to say, as she trails off to her own thoughts of her famous aunt. In fact, Manasi, along with her father, Mr Anil Nagpal, returned from Florida in the USA on January 27, after witnessing the launch of the space shuttle on January 16. Mr Anil Nagpal is the brother of Kalpana's sister-in-law and was with the latter's husband, Mr Sanjay Chawla, when the news of the crash broke. Now, Mr O.P. Nagpal, Anil's father, has accompanied Mr Sanjay Chawla to the USA.

It is learned that Mr Nagpal was in Delhi on a business trip and had decided to spend the evening with Mr Chawla. As both of them sat glued to the television watching the safe landing of the shuttle, they were stunned to hear the news of the shuttle first going missing and its subsequent crash.

The entire Nagpal household in Sector 7 here was taken aback as the news of the space shuttle crash reached them around 8 pm last night. "In fact, we were looking forward to the landing of Columbia and hearing Kalpana narrate her experiences in the space. We had also thought of giving her a call after her safe return. But this was not what the destiny had planned for her," says Mrs Neerja Nagpal.

Talking of Kalpana Chawla, the Nagpals remember her as a cherubic, loving and a very confident person. Mrs Nagpal says the astronaut was very fond of reading books and a room in her house in Houston, USA, had been turned into a mini-library. In her free time she used to admire the different hues and shades of nature.

In fact, Kalpana had invited the Nagpals for the earlier scheduled launch of Columbia in June, 2002 and they had gone there to see the big event. “However, because of technical snag in the fuel tank of the space shuttle, the launch had to be postponed. But we stayed on at her home in Houston for two days. We had not realised then that we would never get to see her or be with her again,” says Mrs Nagpal in a somber voice.

Mrs Nagpal says though 42-year-old Kalpana had no children of her own, she was very fond of them. “In fact, each year she would sponsor two children of Tagore Bal Niketan Senior Secondary School, Karnal, where she had done her schooling from for a four to the USA,” she informs.

“She was a born rebel. Much against the wishes of her father, who would rather have had her marry a businessman and get settled, she fought all odds and decided to opt for aeronautical engineering. She also went for higher studies to the USA against the wishes of her father. However, her stupendous success had softened him and he was very proud of her,” says Mrs Nagpal.


A good Samaritan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 2
Kalpana Chawla paid fees of two girl students pursuing engineering at Punjab Engineering College, who were from economically weaker families. Both girls later went on to obtain their doctorates. One of them has moved to the USA and the other is a lecturer in an engineering college.

Local resident Anup Chauhan, who was Kalpana’s batchmate at PEC, although in a different stream, claimed that Kalpana used to pay the fees through another girl-student. One of the girls was senior to her, while the other was her junior.


Teacher recalls time with Kalpana
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 2
Just a day before Columbia was scheduled to blast off into space, Indian-born astronaut Dr Kalpana Chawla, the mission specialist on board, made it a point to take some time off from her gruelling schedule to catch up with her former teacher who was visiting Houston.

“I was visiting the United States and called up Kalpana at her NASA office. As she was not available, I left a message with her secretary and she called back later, inviting me and my family for dinner,” said Dr K.L. Arora, former professor in the Department of Aeronautical Engineering at the Punjab Engineering College here.

“It was on a Wednesday in September, just a day before the scheduled launch. We met at an Indian Mughlai restaurant and spent about two hours there,” Dr Arora said. The launch, however, was postponed at the last minute and was rescheduled for January.

“My daughter, her husband and children were with me, while Kalpana’s husband, Jean Pierre Harrison, joined us later,” he recalled. “The atmosphere was quite homely and everyone was feeling comfortable,” he added.

Kalpana appeared to be very satisfied with her job and showed no signs of any stress or tension despite the fact that the launch was just a few hours away, he said.

“We talked about her job at NASA and her present assignment and research programmes, while the kids asked her questions about space, which she answered patiently, he recalled.

Dr Arora, who was also a research scholar at NASA during the 60s had not only taught Kalpana at PEC, but was also a visiting professor at the University of Colorado while Kalpana was pursuing her doctorate of philosophy in aerospace there.

“She had a long way to go, but her life was cut short,” he remarked. “They say that begins at 35, but at 35, Kalpana had already reached the pinnacle,” he added.

......and a roommate recalls ‘Montu’

“Kalpana was a determined and strong-headed person, fond of good food and precious stones,” recalled Dr Varinder Kaur, who was her roommate at the Mata Gujri Hall in Panjab University for a year during college days. They stayed in room No. 32.

Teaching at the Institute of Engineering and Technology at Bhaddal, near Ropar, Dr Varinder Kaur was studying chemistry at the Panjab University’s Honours School, while Kalpana, whose nickname was Montu, was training to become an aeronautical engineer.

“Despite being a topper, Montu had never been a bookworm. She used to converse with friends and study alongside,” she recalled. After she qualified in the GRE test for pursuing higher studies abroad, her mother was reluctant to grant her permission or finances. So she took up a job as a teaching assistant in PEC and said if she did not go home for a couple of years, perhaps her mother would agree to her wishes,” she said.

Montu was also fond of eating out and used to visit a restaurant on the campus more often, than eating at the hostel canteen. Back


Kalpana Chawla Award instituted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 2
The UT administration has instituted Kalpana Chawla Memorial Award which will be awarded to the best student of aeronautical sciences at Punjab Engineering College. The award will constitute Rs 25,000 as cash, a medal and a certificate.

A condolence meeting is being organised at Punjab Engineering College tomorrow which will be attended by the Punjab Governor, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd). Two teachers under whom Kalpana studied at college will speak on the occasion. A student from the Aeronautical Engineering Department will also give a talk.

Meanwhile, the Punjab Governor, in his condolence message, said Kalpana was a motivating force for the students and she had reached the pinnacle of her career due to determination, grit and dedication.

The Postgraduate Students Association of Punjab Engineering College has also expressed grief over the death of Kalpana Chawla. A statement issued here says the association mourns the demise of a brilliant lady and student of this college.

Two students of the Aeronautical Engineering Department, Puneet Anand and Tejinder Singh, had prepared a collage wishing Kalpana Chawla a safe landing on the completion of her space odyssey.


Murder victim identified
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 2
The stabbed body of a man aged 45 which was found lying near Laxmi Narain Mandir in Sector 44 here yesterday was today identified as that of Davinder Singh, a resident Phase 7, SAS Nagar.

The victim was murdered in his single-room rented accommodation and bundled into a sleeping bag before being dumped near the Sector 44 temple. The body was found with three stab wounds.

A police official said the deceased was identified by one of his five brothers, Mr Rajinder Singh, a Commandant in the BSF, who saw the photographs of the victim in newspapers. The victim was living with his brother Bhupinder, alias Bhupi.

The cause of the murder is yet to be ascertained. The police is questioning certain persons last seen with the victim the day he was stabbed to death. Investigations by the police reveal that the assailants were known to the deceased. There was no forced entry into the room. The house is owned by a former Air Force officer who lives with his wife and a son.

A police team led by DSP, SC Sagar and officials of the Sector 34 police station and the CIA searched the victims room . Some bloodstains and some evidence, indicating the murder took place on a bed in the room, was reportedly found by the police.

A team of the CFSL will examine the evidence which can lead to vital clues about the identity of the assailants Some empty bottles of liquor were found in the room.

It appeared that the victim was overpowered on the bed and stabbed thrice. The body was dumped near the Sector 44 temple and a sleeping bag, a quilt and a mattress thrown away near 2334, Sector 44.

Inquiries revealed that the victim hailed from a well-to-do-family with big land holdings in Uttar Pradesh. Bhupinder, the brother of the victim, is away to Uttar Pradesh, since January 30. The three other brothers of the victim, hold resposible positions in the government.

Though the family owns a house in Sector 11, the two brothers were putting up in the Phase 7 house. The police is working on three theories, including the likely role of a married woman who was friendly with the victim.


Allottees misuse industrial plots
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, February 2
Does the failure of the Punjab Government to adequately support small-scale industry in the township justify the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) and the Punjab State Industrial Export Corporation (PSIEC) to turn a blind eye to large-scale misuse of industrial plots by the allottees?

Violating every possible building and land use clause laid down by the authorities, industrial plots are being used as hostels, hotels, dhabas, automobile repair shops, STD booths, grocery stores, garment and textiles retail outlets, schools, training institutes, marriage palaces, even taxi and truck stands — anything but an industry.

Though the industrial areas in the township have been developed by PUDA and the PSIEC as industrial focal points of the state, these have failed to come up to expectations. Of the over 1,200 industrial plots spread over nine phases, only around 800 are operational. These plots had been granted for particular industrial projects at subsidised rates.

Many of the non-functional plots have been rented out to other manufacturers, wholesalers or retailers. Subletting too is common with a tenant renting out some portion of the land for running a small grocery shop or an STD booth. Industrial land being used for schools and marriage palaces is common. These schools have also been granted affiliation by the education boards.

A garment manufacturing unit in Phase IX, Industrial Area, along with some others have constructed two floors of one room sets for subletting. The monthly rent varies from Rs 650 to Rs 850 that includes electricity and water charges. For many years a popular school ran from an industrial unit sandwiched between two fully-functional industries in Phase I. The school authorities now claim to have shifted to the site allotted to them in Phase X but sources point out that the school was still running from the industrial plot premises.

The PUDA and PSIEC rules clearly specify that an industrial plot cannot be used for any other activity other than manufacturing industrial goods. This tantamounts to misusing the site for the purpose other than what it is allotted for and the sites of violators can be resumed.

Sources in PUDA say they are finding it difficult to take cognizance of the rules being flouted by plot allottees and have asked PUDA authorities to undertake a proper survey of the extent of these violations before starting any action against them. In case of the PSIEC, notices have been issued to some defaulting allottees, further action (resumption proceedings, as the rules specify) is still pending.

However, even resumption notices have failed to deter the plot allottees. A foundry unit functioning in Phase IX is also misusing a part of the building as a marriage hall. According to the PSIEC, resumption notice has been issued to the party but marriages are still being hosted at the palace.

Industrial Welfare Associations, however, state that even if there is violation of building by laws in the Industrial Area, at least some commercial activity is going on, thus helping in the development of the area. 


Agent drugged, duped of 1.5 lakh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 2
A 45-year-old commission agent was duped of Rs 1.50 lakh, a mobile phone set, a gold chain and some documents after being drugged while he was travelling from Delhi to Chandigarh on a Haryana Roadways bus. The victim was found unconscious at the Sector 17 Inter-state Bus Terminus here today.

The victim, Ganpat Rai Bhutani, is admitted to the Sector 16 General Hospital.

In a statement to the police, the driver and conductor of the bus, Onkar Singh and Purshottam Singh, said they saw the victim taking refreshment at Pipli. After that the bus stopped at the Chandigarh bus stand. On noticing the unconscious passenger, the cops at the bus stand police post were called. The identity of the commission agent was revealed when a nurse at the Sector 16 General Hospital, Mrs Veena, who is known to the former, recognised him. The victim is a resident of 2274, Sector 44 here.

The police said a case would be registered only when the victim gave a statement.


Varsities can have own FM radio stations
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 2
Now universities and certain other recognised educational institutions will be able to have their own FM radio stations.

This follows the formulation of a scheme under which the Central Government will give licences to set up FM radio stations to well-established educational institutions and organisations, including universities, institutes of technology, management and residential schools, which have been recognised by the Central as well as the state governments.

The Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has forwarded a set of guidelines in this regard to the Chief Secretaries of the states.

According to the guidelines, the educational institutions will be able to produce and broadcast their own programmes on subjects relating to education, health, environment, agriculture, rural and community development. The institutions will have to confine their contents to social, cultural and local issues.

The licences will be granted for community broadcasting by the Central Government for FM transmitters of 50 watts or less.

The licences will be issued in the shared frequency band from 87.5 to 100 Mhz. If no frequency is available in this range, the exclusive broadcast band of 104 to 108 Mhz will be considered as in the case of private FM broadcasters. However, the frequency band from 100 to 104 Mhz earmarked exclusively for the use of AIR and Prasar Bharati will not be allowed.

On receipt of applications from any eligible institution on prescribed proforma, the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting will refer the case to the Ministries of Home Affairs, Defence, Human Resources Development and External Affairs. The letter of intent or licence will be issued only after getting clearances from these ministries.

The license will be for three years and it will not be transferable.



All in stars

Chandigarh’s famous astrologer Madan Gupta Spatu tells us that Number 7 has proved fatal in the Columbia space mission and in Kalpana’s life.

1. Total number of Astronautas = 7 =7

2. Date of launching (Jan) =16=(1+6) =7

3. Total number of days of Mission =16=(1+6) =7

4. Minutes before explosion occurred =16=(1+6) =7

5. NASA’s running year (42 completed) =16=(1+6) =7

6. Kalpana has total numbers of letters =7 in name

7. Shuttle was due for landing =7.45(7+4+5=16) =7

8. Last contact at =7.27(7+2+7=16) =7

9. Shuttle was apart before explosion =160 kms (1+6+0) =7

10. Kalpana’s running year =43 (4+3) =7

11. Delhi’s House No. at Khelgaon =295 (2+9+5)=16 =7

12. Columbia exploded at =9.43 a.m. (9+4+3=16) =7 (American time) =7

13. Kalpana born on January =7

14. Kalpana’s Date of Birth =7.1.1961 =(7+1+1+9+6+1=25) =7 

They had read about her scheduled arrival in the newspapers on Saturday morning, but were not expecting the unexpected. She had been up, and down, earlier also. In 2003, everything would be smooth, they had no reasons to doubt. Little wonder, they were enjoying Saturday evening in bars and pubs spread all over the city. The news about the space shuttle exploding left them shocked.

Almost all of them had no direct contact with the first girl student in Punjab Engineering College’s Department of Aeronautics, but the news left them upset. No wonder, within minutes the drinking joints wore a deserted look as the residents rushed home to watch live telecast on the sets.

Death of an idol

Kalpana’s death left the students uneasy, specially the girls putting up in the college hostels. For some of them, Kalpana was not just an “inspiration” she was an idol they adored.

Little wonder, her photographs had been neatly cut and glued on the walls and in the closets. They wanted to be like her. No doubt about it. Well, tears did not roll down their tender cheeks, but they were upset, anyone could make out. That’s why disturbing silence greeted the visitors to the hostels even on Sunday morning.

Chachaas and taayaas

Raj Babbar always manages a very hearty welcome from the media of Chandigarh. It absolutely goes to his credit that about a week back he was able to organise a full-fledged press conference at a notice of just a few hours. While one expected the media gathering at a local hotel to be relatively thin on account of the short notice, one was surprised to find the hall in full attendance.

In presence was Raj Babbar with daughter Juhi Babbar, who was also following her father’s path in impressing the media. Raj Babbar, who was in the city to promote the new film of his daughter and Sonu Nigam, opened the conversation in his usual inimitable style: “Punjab is my home and you are all my brothers and sisters. Some, among you, are Juhi’s chachaas, some are his taayaas. I call upon you all to please bless Juhi and Sonu”.

When it was Juhi’s turn to do the talking, she also started off from where her father had left: “As papa has already said: main apne sare chacha hor taayaan nu ji aayan aakhdi haan.” Only Sonu Nigam talked in the tone different than mentioned and interestingly, he sounded more real and honest about the whole thing!

Great demand

Lilette Dubey’s play Breathe in Breathe Out was in great demand, so much so that all tickets were reported to be sold a week before the show was scheduled to be held at Tagore Theatre. Never mind the fact that there were no tickets, many theatre enthusiasts arrived at the Tagore Theatre in the hope of managing an eleventh hour entry. They were, however, stopped at the entrance by the organisers, who kept explaining that no seats were available inside the hall. Many young boys still chose to wait outside, even as the play ended!

With love from China

All you guys and damsels hoping to hand over, and receive, bouquets of love on St Valentine’s Day, alluring red roses, imported all the way from China, are waiting to be picked up.

Displayed under high wattage bulbs on glass shelves, you can buy them from card and gifts shops spread throughout the length and breadth of the city. You will not even be forced to spend precious money on getting the roses wrapped. The synthetic flowers of affection come blooming in cellophane covers nicely tied with red ribbon. Go ahead, buy them. You will not have to worry about wilted token of tenderness and devotion.

Valentine excuses

Incredible, but true. City students, specially the girls, are already scratching their heads, thinking of excuses for getting out of their residences on St Valentine’s Day.

The reason is not very hard to see. The school authorities, for the past one or two years, have been declaring holiday on February 14. Getting away, no wonder, becomes difficult. That’s why round table conferences are being held in the college canteens. Some wise students have already informed parents about weddings that were never finalised.

Defence studies

Dr Swaranjit Singh Sidhu, head of department of Government College, Sector 46, has been awarded a Ph.D degree in Defence Studies by the Chaudhry Charan Singh University, Meerut. His thesis was on “Pakistan’s Security Syndrome: Implications for India (A study of Temporary and Permanently Operating Variables)”. He also gave a talk on his research findings to participants at the ongoing UGC sponsored refresher course in Defence Studies at the university.

R-Day greetings

Carrying on his years-long practice, Prof R.D. Anand, a fellow of Panjab University, has despatched his share of New Year wishes to his relatives and friends on the occasion of Republic Day.

This practice is out of his conviction which he says was because “We the people of India begin our New Year on January 26 when we replaced They (British)”.

Prof Anand also quotes a chapter from the 1928 session of the Indian National Congress when January 26 was decided to be observed as Independence Day. January 26,1930, was observed as the first Independence Day of India and the practice continued till the British left the country.

Happy birthday

On the occasion of The Tribune’s 123rd birthday reader K.J.S. Ahluwalia of Amritsar has tried to give a meaning to The Tribune, based on his many, many years of experience, as a reader. It is as follows.

T Trilingual

R Reliable

I Investigative

B Balanced

U Un-biased

N Non-aligned

E Engrossing

— Sentinel



Probe into bungling comes as boon to MC
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 2
The inquiry by the Chairman of Housing Board Mr G.K. Marvah, into the allegations of bungling in the auction of SCO 178-179 has come as a boon to the municipal corporation which is likely to see procedural changes in the wake of the report.

The suggestions made by Mr Marvah for improvement in presenting details for agenda items before the Finance and Contract Committee and general house will help councillors take better decision. The report has attached a bid sheet as an evidence to prove that the Rs 1.85 crore bid had come with column finding “withdrawn” mentioned against the the SCO 178-179. However, other sites which were put for auction, but did not attract any bid, do not find this mention in the columns of the bidsheet.

The suggestions, if put into practice, will also help to monitor the functioning of the Corporation.

The report has virtually accepted the allegations of “misleading” the committee into reducing the reserve price despite the property having got a bid of Rs 1.85 crore in the January 2002 auction. The allegations have been made by the then Congress leader of the general house, Mr Subhash Chawla, now Mayor.

The inquiry was sought by BJP councillor Rajesh Gupta who had complained to the Administrator, Mayor and Commissioner as an observer in the controversial auction.However, the report has also pulled up Mr Gupta for the delay in his complaint. The report has also the indicated councillors could not discharge their duty responsibly in getting the bid of Rs 1.85 crore recorded in the bid sheet. The other observer in the auction was Mr Subhash Chawla but he could not attend the proceedings.

Sources in the corporation said the corporation had already begun an exercise in this direction with new terms and conditions for the contract having already been prepared in conformity with the recommendations of Mr Marvah.

The recommendations have also found fault with the record-keeping of bid sheets and the entire procedure of keeping them.

This provides the corporation an opportunity to improve its record keeping of bids and even preparing agenda items for the committee and the general house. It has made certain suggestions in this regard. The corporation can do well to constitute a committee by engaging an expert to go into the entire gamut of the issues raised by the report and finding implementable solutions to the questions raised.

While exonerating the presiding officer of the auction of any mala fide intentions in not accepting a bid of Rs 1.85 crore considering the adjoining SCOs had been auctioned for more than Rs 2 crore, the report has also questioned the behaviour of the officer leading to a controversy.

This will establish that the officers will have to keep their conduct restrained in the general house despite provocation of allegations.


Pong Dam wetlands get global status
Vishal Gulati
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 2
The Pong Dam wetlands, one of the largest man-made wetlands in northern India, and the Tso Morari wetlands in Jammu and Kashmir, have finally got the global arm of protection. They have been included in the Ramsar list of the Ramsar Convention Bureau, Switzerland, along with nine others in the country. With the inclusion of these in the list, India now has 19 wetlands of international importance.

The wetlands will enable to highlight the myriad problems of siltation, shrinkage of area, increasing pollution levels, deforestation in catchment areas, excessive grazing and soil erosion at the international level.

The Ramsar Convention, an international treaty which came into effect on February 2, 1971, in Iran, has developed criteria for the designation of wetlands of international importance (Ramsar sites) which have been kept under constant review. India is one of the early signatories to the treaty that currently covers 135-member countries.

The Pong Dam wetlands, spread over 15,662 hectares, play a substantial role in attracting migratory birds from trans-Himalayan zone during winter. The wetlands, which were formed with the construction of a dam on the Beas in 1960, are nestled in the sylvan surroundings of the Dhauladhar ranges in Kangra district. The potential of the area was first noted by a British national in 1920 when he counted as many as 27 bird species.

Talking to TNS today, Mr R.C. Bergal, Conservator, Wildlife, Dharamsala, expressed surprise when he was told that the Pong wetlands had got international recognition. Of course, he said, these wetlands are significant in terms of ecology, botany, zoology, limnology and hydrology.

He said like previous years, this year also a census of migratory birds was going on and till now nearly 90,000 migratory birds of 50 species had been counted. The figure might cross last year’s figure of 1.14 lakh. He said this year three white-necked storks were sighted. Last year one rare black stork was sighted after 15 years. Usually black storks are sighted in pairs.

The wetlands also support wildlife, including barking deer, sambar, bear, foxes, wild boar, fishing cat, blue bull and leopard, and a variety of reptiles.

Prof M.S. Johal of the Zoology Department, Panjab University, Chandigarh, said: “The Pong Dam reservoir is very important from the fish bio-diversity point of view. It supports 20 freshwater fish species, including carnivorous fish like catfish and mahseer”.

The Tso Morari lake is one of the largest lakes in the Ladakh region. Situated at a height of 4,900 metres, this lake has a length of 22 km, width varying from 5 km to 7 km and a depth of more than 30 metres at the deepest point. The lake looks like probably a leftover from the ice age, formed by the melted waters of the ice masses left behind by retreating glaciers.

Earlier, the Ramsar Bureau has included the Ropar and Kanjli wetlands in the Ramsar list. Dr Satnam Singh Ladhar, Principal Scientific Officer (Environment), Punjab State Council for Science and Technology, said this year both wetlands had received Rs 72 lakh from the Ministry of Environment and Forests for their development.


Dog & owner share attention at show
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 2
Cute li'l doggies were not the only pets that guys in leather jackets admired. Man's best friend — pretty damsels in bod-hugging tops teamed with boot-cut trousers — also attracted glances at the annual dog show at the Sector 10 Leisure Valley.

The reason was not hard to see. As the morning sun peeped from behind a thick curtain of clouds, damsels of the world in low back dresses with stolls gingerly tied around their reed-thin waist, sashayed up and down the thumping hearts of city guys with poodles and pikingese proudly walking along like young escorts.

Pushing back their silky tresses with ivory chiseled fingers, they adjusted the silvery reflectors meticulously placed on their aquiline noses before muttering instructions on the mobile phones, indifferent towards the deep sighs escaping the lips of forlorn boys hoping for a miracle.

In the parking lots around the venue, sirens reposed on the front and the rear seats of the semi-limousines, caressing their fluff with cheerful plastic combs, while the lahaas and miniature fox terriers barked aloud at the staring world, angrily.

No wonder, the tall, dark and handsome hunks in bomber jackets over torn-at-knee jeans had come prepared for some real canine action. Till early morning they were not sure if the dames would be able to make it because of the unfriendly weather. Once the overhead sky cleared, they reached the venue on cars and bikes, ready for “some fun”.

Dogs had nothing to do with their passion for the show, it was evident. They did not stop to admire the obedience of the young innocent curs. Not even once. Were not disturbed after seeing huffing and puffing puppies confined in the narrow cages. Not even at the sight of grown-up dogs sitting on the hard barren ground with placard announcing “for sale” dangling around their necks. They were clear about their objective. It was a clear cut case of “aim and achieve”.

“Every year we make it a point to reach Leisure Valley for the show,” asserted college student Jaideep. “Not just to admire the adorable the dogs, but also their comely owners. Let the world admire their canine friends, we will love the dogs and their masters — our policy is clear.”

Agreeing with him, his friend Ramandeep added: “Otherwise too it is safe out here. Even if you utter` wow, what a beauty' people do not mind. They think you are referring to the impressive dog trotting along. No chances of getting hauled up by the cops for eve-teasing. I wish the dog show, just like the Festival of Gardens, is held for more than a day”. Organisers, please listen to him.

For the first time, perhaps, Miniature Pinscher, Pekingese, Poodle Miniature, Welsh Corgi, St Bernard, Neapolitan Mastiff and Bull Mastiff walked up and down the concrete path, displaying their talent during the 34th and 35th All Breeds Championship Dog Show organised by the Chandigarh Kennel Club. International Judge from England Ellis Hulme could not make it to the show due to missed flight.


Tibetans pay homage to leader
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 2
The Regional Tibetan Congress Chandigarh (RTCC) today paid homage to Lobsang Dhundup, a 28-year-old Tibetan who was allegedly executed after a secret trial by Chinese authorities on January 26.

While paying homage to Dhundup, the RTCC announced a 12-hour token fast on February 8 in Sector 17 to condemn the alleged violation of human rights by China.

The RTCC appealed to the international community and the Indian Government to put pressure on China to overturn the death sentence of Tuklu Tenzin Delek, a spiritual leader of Karze, who is to be executed under an order of the Sichuan Provincial Higher People’s Court.

The two Tibetans had been charged with carrying out a bomb blast on April 3 at Chengdu in Sichuan province. They had also been charged with “possession of illegal arms” and “engaging in splitist activities.”


Pizza Hut goes desi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 2
Pizza lovers who missed the Indian touch at the Continental fare have much to cheer. Pizza Hut has gone desi with its new ‘tandoori’ range of six pizzas (3 veg and 3 non-veg).

Served with a sliver of lemon, the variety of traditional toppings like barbecued shrimps, chicken, potato wedges and panir have acquired a familiar flavour. The range is available at both Sectors 26 and 35 outlets for prices between Rs 65 for a personal pan veg pizza to Rs 415 for a family non-veg pizza.


Major Sekhri wins club poll

Chandigarh, February 2
Excitement broke loose in the Sector 9 Central Club late this evening after Major J.S. Sekhri was declared President for the second time, defeating his rivals in a close contest. Mr T.R. Malhotra was declared the vice-president. The elections were held after a gap of over 10 years.

Mr Vinod Khanna is the new honorary secretary, while Mr Ashok Kapoor is joint secretary. Mr Ramesh Manocha is the treasurer, Mr Rajesh Chaudhary, Mr Manjit Singh and Mr C.S. Channi are new executive members. TNS

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