Tuesday, February 4, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


PEC hostel to be renamed after Kalpana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
Himgiri Hostel in Punjab Engineering College (PEC), where Kalpana Chawla stayed while pursuing her course in aeronautical engineering, will now be named after her.

Announcing this during a condolence meeting at the college, the Punjab Governor Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob, said the Kalpana Chawla Memorial Award for the best student of aeronautical engineering at the PEC, comprising Rs 25,000, a medal and certificate, has already been instituted.

The Governor said the real tribute to Kalpana would be to strive for excellence in life. Exhorting students to seek motivation from the life and career of Kalpana, General Jacob said he was struck by her grit, determination, dedication and focussed approach to seek her goals when he met her last year.

Earlier, Air Commodore S.B. Prashar, Air Officer Commanding, 3 Base Repair Depot here, who was Kalpana’s external examiner in 1982, paid tributes to Kalpana. He said Kalpana was a brilliant student and in her examination she proved to be exceptionally good.

Two lecturers who had taught Kalpana, Mr V.S. Malhotra and Mr Y.S. Chauhan, spoke on the occasion. A two-minute silence was observed in her memory and teaching work was suspended in the college. A wreath was laid on Kalpana’s portrait by the Governor. Instituting memorial awards and holding condolence meetings are a good gesture, but if you really wish to pay tribute to Kalpana Chawla, upgrade the department from which the first Indian-born woman to fly into space launched her high-flying career. This was a feeling amongst students and teachers after a meeting organised to condole the death of PEC alumna Kalpana Chawla, killed in the Columbia space shuttle explosion.

Several teachers and students said while a number of students from the department had made a mark in the field of aeronautics, the department itself had seen little change for the better.

The students said equipment and instruments in the department’s laboratories were in dire need of maintenance and upgradation. The department had five laboratories concerned with propulsion, instrumentation, structures, aero-dynamics and computation fluid dynamics (CFD).

“For example, one of the laboratories is equipped with a sub-sonic wind tunnel which is a very costly piece of equipment but its functioning is faulty and gives incorrect readings,” a third year student said. The CFD laboratory, which is supposed to be a state-of-the-art facility is reportedly unable to meet the students’ requirements. “The laboratory has computers but not the required software,” a fourth year student revealed. “Even the processing capability of the computers is not enough to run our codes. Their RAM capacity is only 128 megabytes while the ideal requirement is about 1 gigabyte RAM,” another student said.

Faculty members pointed out that the department’s laboratories had been functioning without key persons for the past several years. “The post of laboratory foreman, a specialist who looks after the aero-workshops, has been vacant for the past 10 years while the post of aero-mechanic, responsible for the maintenance and repair of laboratory equipment, has been vacant for the past three years,” a senior lecturer said. The department could also do with two or three more laboratories attendants, he added.

Another sore point with the students was that the college library did not have adequate books and reference material on aeronautics. “Most of the editions in the library date back to the 60s,” a lecturer remarked. “New additions have been few and far in between as the funds are scarce while the books on this subject are expensive,” he said.

As far as the faculty was concerned, the department was short of an assistant professor while a lecturer had been continuing on an ad hoc basis for the past 14 years. About, year ago, another lecturer working here on an ad hoc basis for 16 years was shifted to another college after he got his stream changed from aeronautics to mechanical.

The faculty members said barring a couple of departments set up recently, the Aeronautical Engineering Department was the only department in the college not to offer a postgraduate programme.

While the head of the department, Dr S.C. Sharma, was said to be out of town, the college Principal, Mr Baljeet Kapoor, said the college administration was supporting the aeronautical department for carrying out its academic activities. A proposal had also been sent to the government in connection with the repair of buildings housing the laboratories, he added.


Tributes continue to pour in
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
Condolences over Kalpana Chawla’s death continued to pour in today. Expressing shock and grief, the Mayor, Mr Subhash Chawla, said Kalpana’s death was a tragedy not only for India but for the entire world. He said she would remain a source of inspiration for the younger generations.

Employees of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, in a statement issued here, said she had left behind a glorious legacy and deserved the Bharat Ratna. The Citizens Welfare Society too expressed shock over her tragic death.

Nationalist Congress Party spokesman said India had suffered an irreparable loss.

Members of the Haryana Government Pensioners Association observed a two-minute silence in her memory.

Members of the Punjab Engineering College Teachers Service Association said Kalpana’s death was not only a loss to the college, but also to the aviation fraternity and the nation. They said the world had lost a brilliant aerospace scientist. Terming the incident as a big loss, the Punjab Engineering College Old Students Association said the best thing NASA could do was to set up a research and development centre at the college in her memory.

Tributes were paid to Kalpana Chawla at Dev Samaj College for Women, Sector 45.


Bedding helps cops lay murder case to rest
Son of retd Sqn Ldr charged with killing tenant
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
The police says that 45-year-old Davinder Singh, whose body was found near Laxmi Narain Mandir on January 1, was stabbed to death by Sarabjit, 30-year-old son of his landlord, Mr C.S. Mandher, a retired Air Force officer. Davinder lived in a rented accommodation in the Phase VII (SAS Nagar) house of the retired Squadron Leader with his brother, Bhupinder.

Officials of the Chandigarh police also said here today that the murder had been the result of a heated argument before the incident late on January 31. A friend of Davinder, Hardeep Inder Singh, who lives in Phase IX of SAS Nagar, was with him that night. He had also intervened in the altercation and the friends had had a drinking session together before Hardeep had left the place.

According to the police, when Hardeep left, Sarabjit, in a fit of rage, stabbed Davinder, who was in an inebriated state. Investigations by the police show that, ever since the accommodation was taken on rent by the brothers, the landlord and his son had been objecting to their activities.

The tenants, who had a weakness for women and wine, used to come home late at night, which had often led to heated arguments with the landlord. The family of the landlord runs the business of medical transcription from the house and also owns a computer centre. Sarabjit and his brother, an Army officer, were directors of the computer centre.

That night, after Davinder was stabbed, Sarabjit, reportedly, woke up his father and told him about it. The father and the son, then, bundled the body in the mattress and the bedsheet on which Davinder had been sleeping. A black Tata Indica car was used to carry the body to Sector 44 in Chandigarh. After the body was dumped, the bedding, too, was thrown out at a distance.

The police said, however, Sarabjit had not entered Davinder’s room forcibly. The father and the son came under suspicion when a police team visiting the house found that an effort had been made to remove the blood stains from the floor. Blood stains were also found in the Tata Indica.

Davinder’s body had been identified by Hardeep Inder Singh from the photograph of it that had appeared in newspapers. He, then, contacted Davinder’s brother, Rajinder Singh, a retired Commandant of the Border Security Force.

When the suspicion against the landlord and his son grew stronger, both were questioned at the police station late yesterday. “The father confessed that his son had killed Davinder and the body had been dumped near the temple,” said the police.

Sources in the police said the day the body had been identified and the police had reached the Phase VII house, Sarabjit had been behaving strangely. The case opened up only during the sustained interrogation. However, the police said evidence was still being collected. Sarabjit said he had been framed. Meanwhile, the suspects have been sent to the police custody till February 5.

A missing bedding and sleeping bag from the house led the police to the suspects. The police found the sleeping bag and the bedding at a short distance from where the body had been dumped. It appeared that the sleeping bag belonged to a defence officer and the missing bedding filled in the gaps in the theory. Nervous behaviour of Sarabjit’s father also created a suspicion in the minds of the policemen.


Govt losing by imposing property tax?
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
The government seems to be the biggest loser with the imposition of property tax on commercial and government properties even as doubts persist on certain provisions of the bylaws passed by Municipal Corporation in its January 29 meeting.

With the tax payers eligible to seek 100 per cent tax deduction on municipal taxes and government properties also having to pay the service charges to the corporation, the maximum impact of the tax is likely to be on government establishments, including the Central Government whose taxable income will be reduced by the tax amount.

The measure, which has been opposed by the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal, is likely to fetch the Municipal Corporation around Rs 7 crore next year.

The trading community said the tax would reduce their profit margins which have already been “brought to the brink” due to the Rent Control Act withdrawal through the November 7 notification.

A tax expert explained, while 67 per cent of the tax would go from the pocket of an individual property tax payer, he would be able to get around 33 per cent relief from income tax due to deduction from the taxable income for the purpose of income tax.

The Municipal Corporation does not even have an exact number of how many government establishments, eligible under the scheme, are there which will come under the tax net. The corporation is planning to engage the engineering wing staff for enumeration of taxable government buildings.

With the engineering staff permanently deployed in each sector, it is junior engineers will be given the authority to issue notices for the recovery of the tax. The Municipal Corporation says there is no possibility of evasion or discretion as per the bylaws.

The bylaws are likely to see certain amendments as the vacant plot land has also been brought under the tax net, which could be untenable and irrecoverable. With the government being the owner of the land allotted for the construction, the question arises if the government would be asked to pay the property tax for the vacant land in case of a dispute on ownership.

There is a feeling in the municipal corporation that slapping tax on unconstructed area would amount to dealing a double blow to such people as they are already paying extension fee to the Chandigarh Administration.

Gyms are likely to get some relief in the tax rate as suggested by local MP Pawan Bansal. The bylaws, however, do not differentiate the rate on the basis of user as the tax rate has been kept very low at 2 per cent of rateable value (per square foot rate decided by the government taking into consideration present market rate and variations).

The corporation is preparing a booklet at a very reasonable price for the tax payers to make the assessment on their own. The corporation was earlier thinking of providing it free but now a price will be fixed to prevent it being used as waste paper book. Around 25,000 of such copies will be published. The corporation is also planning to send acknowledgement of the tax receipt to tax payers through a courier service.


ET Dept summons records of show
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
The Department of Excise and Taxation (also holding charge of entertainment duty) has initiated an in-depth inquiry into the matter of alleged non-payment of entertainment duty by organisers of Lilette Dubey’s play “Breathe in, Breathe out” staged at the Tagore Theatre here on January 31.

Reacting strongly to the issue, officials in charge of enforcement in the entertainment duty section today summoned the organisers (Oorja Entertainment Production) to the department and asked them to produce accounts of the show, along with details of tickets sold and proceeds generated thereby.

Sources informed that the organisers today filed an application for adjournment of the case for about 10 days. A senior official, however, confirmed to The Tribune that the case would now be put up for hearing on February 6. He said assessment of revenue generated during the show and entertainment tax payable on the net proceeds would also be made on February 6, once the details are summoned.

It is significant to mention here that on the day of the show, ET officials had conducted a survey of the venue, which was found to be full. Highly placed sources in the department today said that statements of the organisers were recorded on January 31, just before the show was to start.

The capacity of the Tagore Theatre (578 seats), which was full that day, was also noted down, the along with the fact that about 50 additional seats were put up inside the hall to accommodate the gathering.

Sources said they had also confronted the organisers on the issue of late filing of the application for exemption of entertainment duty. Meanwhile, the organisers, it is learnt, claim that most of the passes issued for the show were complementary and no proceeds were obtained against these.

Officials of the ET Department, however, said the matter of quantum of entertainment duty payable on the revenue generated was for them to decide.


Spice slashes incoming rates
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
Spice Telecom, leading cellular phone provider in Punjab with a market share of over 65 per cent and a subscriber base of close to 4.5 lakh today announced new tariff plans in both the post-paid and pre-paid categories. It announced a major reduction in the incoming rates across the new plans — with the rates ranging from zero incoming to a maximum of 50 paise per minute. Recently, Spice-Punjab took the lead in being the first operator in the country to offer free mobile-to-mobile services to its subscribers.

In the newly unveiled “50 series” of tariff plans, SpiceBargain50 is one of its kind zero rental plan in the market. In it, there is a minimum monthly commitment of Rs 550 with NightSpeak, CLI and Talk2Me (free incoming from any two numbers) bundled within the plan. Under this plan, an incoming rate would be charged at 50 paise/minute and outgoing call would be charged at Rs 2.40/min.

Nightspeak allows users to get free airtime of 1000 minutes between 10 pm and 7 am. In addition, this plan also comes with two “Talk2Me” numbers on which there would no incoming rate applicable throughout the day. Currently, Spice is the only operator in the region to offer this unique plan to its subscribers.

All new post-paid plans are available to new customers, starting today. All existing post-paid subscribers of Spice will be able to migrate to the new plans by request.

Spice has announced two more plans in the post-paid category – Spice Prize50 and Spice Bumper50 . It will offer more plans for high-end users in the coming days.

In the pre-paid category, the tariffs have been slashed by 60 per cent. With these drops in tariffs, all incoming calls in the Spice Quicky Light plan now would be charged at Rs 0.50/minute from the existing Rs. 1.20/min and the outgoing rates will be charged at Rs 2.40/min from the existing Rs 2.98/min. In the pre-paid category, the new tariffs for new activations would become applicable immediately. For existing subscribers, the new rates would become applicable from their next recharge.


Staff shortage led to scam?
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
Staff shortage seems to be the season behind non-verification of TDS certificates that eventually resulted into a multi-million rupee scam of fraudulant claim of income tax refunds in Chandigarh, last week.

N.K. Garg, a practising chartered accountant (CA), was booked Sections 420, 468, 471, 474 and 120-B of the IPC on charges of claiming IT refunds fraudulantly on the basis of fake TDS certificates from the accounts of employees of as many as 30 companies based at Delhi, Mumbai and Chandigarh. The accused later surrendered in a local court on Saturday and is presently in the police remand for investigations.

Officials of the IT Department say the scam could have been avoided if the verifications had been carried out in time.

However, when contacted Mr Vijay Khanna, Chief Commissioner, Income Tax Department, said the department had been facing shortage of staff in all cadres for the past couple of years. The burden of work on every individual in the department was increasing day by day, making it difficult to meet stiff targets of processing of returns and other verifications, he said.

“We have a heavy work burden of processing 1,80,000 income tax returns in the Chandigarh circle alone. The work has to be completed by the end of February, as per the instructions of the Union Ministry of Finance”, said Mr Khanna. However, he was hopeful that the work would be completed in time despite shortage of staff.

According to information made available by the Personnel Section of the Income Tax Department, 14 posts of Additional Commissioner and Joint Commissioner are lying vacant in this region. The total sanctioned posts in this cadre are 72.

Similarly, nine posts of Deputy Commissioner and Assistant Commissioners, 46 posts of Inspectors, 23 posts in the Administrative wing, 19 posts of Office Superintendent, 43 posts of Technical Assistant, 27 posts of Personal Secretary, 127 posts of Stenographer, and 72 posts of peon and other class VI employees are lying vacant.

The regional office of the department had written to the head office for approval of recruitments in the group B and C category on many occasions in the past couple of years, but the approval has not come so far.

Another senior official of the department said the Union Government should look into the problem seriously and give its formal approval for appointing the sanctioned strength of staff at the earliest. “This will help in not only reducing the burden of work, on the staff, but also help in carrying out the verification process carefully so as to avoid such scams”, he said.

Apart from shortage of staff, another ‘flaw’ that has come to light is the pace at which the modernisation process is going on in the department. Computer lease lines have not been provided to the TDS section adding to the woes of the staff.

Meanwhile, the department has initiated random verification of the returns filed during the past couple of years.


Cops seek help of IT Dept
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
In the multi-million scam on claiming income tax returns on the basis of fake TDS certificates by Chartered Accountant NK Garg, the Chandigarh Police has sought help of the Income Tax Department in probing the documents tagged in over 250 files seized from the office and residence of the CA.

The IT Department was trying to ascertain whether the CA had claimed income tax returns on the basis of the seized documents. The CA is in police remand till January 11.

Sources in the police said help of the computer experts was being sought to ascertain the data stored on the hard discs of the 11 seized CPU’s. In the 28 cases detected by the IT Department, a scam of RS 50 lakh had been detected so far. The final sum involved in the scam could run in to several crores, said an official

Though the outcome of the questioning of the CA by the police could not be ascertained, an official said the suspect had claimed refund on the basis of documents used for IT refunds of firms and companies.

The police was trying to ascertain how the TDS certificates were forged, the modus operandi and the procedure used to withdraw the refund money from the bank accounts of the companies.

Sources in the IT Department said the departmental inquiry had detected a similar case of IT return on the basis of forged documents from Patiala and Ropar. Over 40 cases had reportedly been detected in Ropar. The officials are trying to ascertain the dimension of the scam. It is learnt that the matter is being probed by the investigations wing of the IT Department.

Since the scam involved wider inter-state ramifications, a thorough inquiry was being done.


Complaint against EO by Samiti head
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
In what may be an example of sheer apathy of officialdom towards elected representatives, the Chairman of the Panchayat Samiti has lodged a complaint with the Secretary, Rural Development and Panchayats, Mr M.P. Singh, against the working of the Executive officer of the Panchayat Samiti.

The Chairman, Mr Bhupinder Singh Badheri alleges that the Executive Officer, Mr Avtar Singh has not been implementing his orders, despite repeated requests. Mr Badheri says several of the Panchayat Secretaries are not visiting the villages , subsequently the secretaries have been asked to report to the office of the samiti at 9 am and then proceed for work.

The Executive Officer was asked to issue orders, instead the officer returned the file saying work was going on smoothly and there was no compliant in this regard. In his list of allegations, Mr Badheri says the officer was protecting the Panchayat Secretaries. Similarly, citing another example, Mr Badheri says the Executive officer was asked to issue suspension orders to a person maintaining incomplete records. This order was not complied with. Under the rules, chairman is fully empowered to suspend an employee.

The Chairman, who is elected by several lakh villagers, in his compliant has said that the Executive Officer has not submitted original files of the cases of working of Panchayat Secretaries and verification of bills by the Executive Officer with regard to renovation of office building. Also, the files relating to the study tour of panchayati raj institutions and release of grants to the panchayats and educational institutions sanctioned by the Chairman are kept with Mr Avtar Singh.


6,000 cancer patients being treated at Army Hospital

UNTILL a few years ago, there was no treatment for cancer in military hospitals. Soldiers suffering from cancer had to go to the cancer hospitals, which were very few in the country. Unfortunately, only those were well-off could afford this treatment.

Today, the Oncology Centre at Army Hospital (Research and Referral), Delhi Cantonment, provides a comprehensive cancer treatment to the serving armed forces personnel and their families. The centre was established in 1993, with facilities for surgery and chemotherapy. Later on in 1998, radiotherapy was also added to the centre.

The Oncology Centre provides the latest facilities for surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy and immunotherapy. It is also well-equipped for laser therapy, bone marrow transplantation and laparoscopic surgery. The oncology team of doctors in this centre is not only well-trained but also highly experienced.

At present, about 6,000 cancer patients are undergoing treatment at this hospital. And about 2,000 patients are treated every year. Because of the growing number of patients and the bed strength being limited, a large number of patients needing follow up investigations and treatment are handled at the Out Patients Department (OPD).

Unfortunately, ex-servicemen and their families cannot be treated for cancer at Army Hospital, Delhi Cantonment, because this is one of the diseases for which they are not entitled to treatment at military hospital. They are pinning their hopes on the “Contributory Medical Health Scheme”, which when implemented, would take care of all diseases.

Library on wheels

To inculcate the habit of reading among women and children, a library on wheels christened as Gurj Mobile Library was inaugurated at Pathankot Cantonment a few years ago by the then GOC, Gurj Division, Maj Gen P.K. Chhiber. Little did one realise at that time, including this writer who was present at the inauguration ceremony, that this library would pick-up so well.

Today, it has a large number of members among the wives and children of JCOs and other ranks in the station to meet whose requirement, this library was started. And membership to them is provided free of cost.

Mounted on a big vehicle, the library has five steel cupboards of books on a number of subjects, including cookery, decoration, yoga, childcare, healthcare, knitting, stitching, parenting and career for children. This self-contained library caters to the needs of the readers at the place of their choice.

Attached to the vehicle is a shelter, which can be fixed on the ground to make a reading room with comfortable seating arrangement. Apart from the books, the readers have a wide choice of periodicals, which can be issued to them. A toy section has also been added recently to the library to keep the small children occupied while their mothers are busy reading. The library has become so popular that the frequency of its visits to the JCOs and other ranks family quarters has been increased from three to six times a week.

Antarctic expedition

The 22nd Indian Antarctic Expedition, led by Capt Kumar Parakram along with two officers, one JCO and 10 other ranks, was seen off at New Delhi by the then Vice-Chief of the Army Staff, Lt Gen N.C. Vij, now General and the Army Chief, on December 24, 2002. The team left Mumbai for Cape Town (South Africa) on January 6 and sailed off from Cape Town for its destination the next day.

The first Indian expedition had gone to the Antarctica in 1982. Since then, we have been sending an expedition to the Antarctica every year. The Army contingent of these expeditions generally consists of personnel from the Corps of Engineers, Corps of Electronics and Mechanical Engineers (EME), and the Army Medical Corps (AMC).

The Army contingents run all life-support systems besides maintaining them. The transportation of men and material in the Antarctica is also their responsibility. Apart from this, they construct, repair and maintain permanent stations. As a goodwill gesture, our contingents also extend help to other contingents on the continent.

Pritam Bhullar



Party time at Central Club
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 3
It was party time at the Central Club in Sector 9 as enthusiastic members reached the premises to congratulate the newly elected team.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, second time President Major J.S. Sekhri said he would continue working for the welfare of the members with dedication and sincerity.

Certain new programmes would soon be introduced. The president said that the work on air-conditioning of the Club would be completed on priority, besides giving a facelift to the entrance.

Defeating his nearest rival by a margin of 96 votes, Major Sekhri was re-elected president yesterday. As many as 324 members voted him to the post, while 228 members polled in favour of his opponent S.K. Kakkar. The third contestant lagged behind with 25 votes.

Mr T.R. Malhotra defeated Mr Virinder Sharma for the vice-president’s post. Over 400 votes were polled for him, while 170 members voted for Mr Virinder Sharma.

The new honorary secretary, Mr Vinod Khanna, defeated Dr Rajiv Bhalla. Over 336 votes were polled for him, while about 230 members voted for Dr Bhalla. Mr Ashok Kapoor was elected joint secretary. As many as 340 votes were polled in his favour, while 215 votes were polled in favour of his opponent, Dr Vinod Sachdev.

The treasurer’s post went to Mr Ramesh Manocha with 378 votes polled. His opponent Mr S.K. Gupta, got 184 votes .

The four executive members elected were Rajesh Chaudhary with 321 votes, Manjit Singh with 249 votes, C.S. Channi with 245 votes and S.D. Bansal with 188 votes. Ms Shiela was the only women executive member who won just by one vote.


FCI official ready to cooperate
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
The controversial official of the FCI Mr P.P. Singh, has agreed to join the preliminary investigation in the Rs 1 crore black money scam. However, the mystery of the black money, allegedly belonging to him, is yet to be solved by the Hoshiarpur police which is investigating the matter.

Ms Gurpreet Deo, Hoshiarpur SSP, said Mr P.P. Singh had conveyed to the investigating officer that he was coming over to Hoshiarpur tomorrow to record his statement before the police. He had already taken an interim bail from a local court to avoid arrest.

The Hoshiarpur police had claimed to have hit upon the case following the disclosure of a servant from whom Rs 5 lakh, papers of two plots, a truck and gold ornaments were seized. All this amounts to Rs 18 lakh and the rest of the amount is yet to be recovered. The police believes the amount is in the possession of Lieut-Col G.S. Cheema of Sector 16, Chandigarh. He is presently at Secunderabad on training.

A senior official of the Punjab police said today that the FCI official had agreed to join the investigations. However, he had denied that any black money, kept in a box for months at the residence of the Colonel did not belong to him.

The investigations have taken a twist with more startling facts coming to light. Mr P.P. Singh and his wife Madhu have alleged that Lieut-Col Gurinder Singh Cheema, brother of Lieut-Col Gurjeet Singh Cheema, was involved in a multi-crore scam in the Army pertaining to the illegal sale and purchase of oil, when posted at Leh. Later he was dismissed from service. Earlier, the police was working on the theory that the remaining amount was with Lieut-Col Gurjeet Singh.

Meanwhile, the Punjab police has sought the permission of the defence authorities to interrogate the serving Army officer.


New vision project launched
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, February 3
“Human beings are hankering after money and physical possessions which provide only material and temporary comforts. Only spiritually can transform a person into a perfect human being”.

These views were expressed by Justice G.S. Singhvi, Judge, Punjab and Haryana High Court, at a ceremony organised by Brahmkumaris in connection with the launching of a year-long service project “New Vision For a New World” here.

He said most of the people dealt with each other on the basis of caste and religion while Brahmkumaris believed in selfless service to humanity which was the biggest religion.

While presiding over the function, B.K. Achal, northern zonal chief of Brahmkumaris, said degradation of moral and spiritual values in life were witnessed nowadays because of the negative and weak thoughts of human beings.


CAWEDS donates carts for garbage
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
Mayor Subhash Chawla today handed over 12 cycle rickshaw carts for collection of garbage to the resident welfare associations of Sectors 27 and 28.

The carts were donated by the Chandigarh Animal Welfare and Environment Development Society (CAWEDS) to support the Municipal Corporation’s garbage bin-free campaign. Area councillor Harpreet Kaur Babla and her husband Devinder Singh Babla came in for appreciation from the public for their efforts towards development of the sectors.


‘Easy’ way of sterilising city dogs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
The growing dog population of the city can be brought under control through an alternative method of sterilisation costing Rs 2 per case against Rs 700 for sterilising a bitch and Rs 300 for sterilising a dog, at present. “Injecting 1/2 ml of chlorexidine into the testicles has successfully sterilised dogs in Kolkotta and Hisar Cantonment,” a scientist of Hisar Agriculture University (HAU) said in a presentation in the office of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh today.

The corporation has been unable to control the dog population as the sterilisation capacity of the hospitals of the Society for Prevention of Cruelty Against Animal (SPCA) and the People For Animals (PFA) is only 10 dogs per day. However, as claimed, using this wonder drug, thousands of dogs can be sterilised in a day. The MC has decided to write to the Centre, seeking permission to allow the use of this drug in the city.


PFC employees donate blood
Our Correspondent

Members of the Punjab Financial Corporation Employees Welfare Association donate blood at a camp to mark the golden jubilee of the corporation in Sector 17, Chandigarh
Members of the Punjab Financial Corporation Employees Welfare Association donate blood at a camp to mark the golden jubilee of the corporation in Sector 17, Chandigarh, on Monday. — A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, February 3
Sixty units of blood were donated at a blood donation camp organised by the Punjab Financial Corporation Employees Welfare Association (PFCEWA) during the golden jubilee celebrations of the corporation here today.

The camp was inaugurated by Mr Avtar Henry, Punjab Minister for Industries and Commerce, Mr S.S Puri, MD, PFC, and Mr B.S. Narang, Executive Director, PFC, were present on the occasion.

Earlier during the day, the bhog of akhand path of Guru Granth Sahib was held.


Former Tribune employee dead
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 3
Mr Madan Lal Brar, former Sectional Head of The Tribune, died here today. He was 80. He is survived by two sons and two daughters. One of his sons, Mr Ramesh Brar, is employed with The Tribune as Reviser.

His cremation was largely attended by Tribune employees, his relatives and friends.


Accused evade arrest for hours
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 3
A team of the Sirsa police which had arrived here to arrest three accused in a dowry harassment case was made to wait for more than three hours, as the accused locked themselves in their house in Sector 12- A this morning.

The accused — Ms Parmod Arora and her two sons, Manish Arora and Kunal Arora — were caught unaware when the Sirsa police came to their house around 7 am today. In order to evade arrest the three locked themselves in the house while the policemen kept knocking at their front door.

The three persons are accused of mental and physical harassment for dowry, criminal conspiracy and forcible abortion by the wife of Munish. An FIR under various sections of the IPC were registered against them in October 2002 in Sirsa.

Mr Rajan Verma, an uncle of Munish Arora, informed TNS that the complainant had left her in- laws house for Sirsa on September 30 on the pretext of attending a friend’s wedding. Her brother had come to take her away, and there was no problem between the family and the daughter-in-law then. “However, later she got an FIR registered at Sirsa and the case is under progress, even as the two sides are now discussing about a possible compromise, “ he said.

The three accused refused to open the door to the waiting policemen until their lawyer arrived there. The policemen, after waiting for more than two hours, finally approached the Sector 19 police station here and the local police came to their help.

It was only after the police threatened to use force to enter the house that they opened the door. They were then taken to Sector 19 police station, where after making a DDR entry, the Sirsa police took them away.


3 killed in road mishaps
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 3
Three persons were killed in two road accidents in different parts of the city during the past 24 hours. A scooterist, Avtar Singh, was run over by a jeep (PB-12F-0669) near Ghatiwala village yesterday.

He was rushed to the General Hospital, Sector 6, where he later succumbed to injuries.

In another accident, a truck (HP-12-8766) first ran over a pedestrian, Ashwani Kumar, near Sector 25 here, and then lost control and crushed to death another person, Ved Prakash. Both victims died on the spot while the truck driver, Gurmel Singh, sped away.


Officer injured in bizarre incident
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
In a bizarre incident, a District Attorney in Haryana Vigilance, Mr SS Chadha, suffered head injuries when he accidentally fired his 9mm pistol at his house late last night while sleeping. The gun was kept below the pillow and the shot was fired accidentally, said the victim. Mr Chadha was referred to the PGI from the General Hospital Sector 16, this evening.

A part of the cartridge grazed his skull without causing any serious injury. According to information, the District Attorney had slept last night after taking a strong dose of sleeping pills. “The loaded gun fired a shot when my hand hit the horse of the gun”, Mr Chadha, who is brother of an inspector in the Chandigarh Police.

The house of the victim is located adjacent to the house of a senior official of the Haryana Government. A Deputy Superintendent of Chandigarh Police also lives nearby. Talking to the TNS, Mr Chadha said he was sleeping on the ground floor of the house after taking the sleeping pills. The wife and children of the victim were away and the servant was sleeping on the first floor.

The injury was noticed in the morning by the victim himself when he saw a blood-soaked pillow. Strangely, the victim did not hear the gunshot. He called an ambulance from the Sector 16 General Hospital. A police official said the statement of the victim had been recorded and the pistol taken in to custody.


Mutilated body of youth found
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, February 3
The mutilated body of a youth was found at Jujhar Colony near Badh Majra village here this morning. The body was lying in a pit in the colony’s outskirts when it was found by some children.

The face of the victim who seemed to be in his mid-twenties was crushed beyond recognition. According to the police, the rest of the body did not have any visible injuries. The victim is suspected to be a migrant labourer. No one from the colony was able to identify the body.

Although the Kharar police has registered a case of death due to accident, the probability of the man having been murdered is also being looked into. The police said not much circumstantial evidence was available at the site where the body was found as a result of which it was difficult to say whether he had been murdered.

The police is working on two theories — either the man had been hit by a vehicle and died on the spot but was picked up by the driver and dumped here or he had been murdered.

According to the police, there are no vehicle tracks on the kutcha road that leads to the pit nor is there any evidence of a weapon or large stone used to crush the face.

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