Wednesday, February 12, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Police, IT Dept lock horns over scam
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 11
The UT police had locked horns with the Income Tax (IT) Department in the multi-million IT refunds scam over the issue of parallel verification of records, thereby, giving a clean chit to the IT officials by their department before the completion of police investigations.

The scam was unearthed by the IT Department a couple of weeks back. Subsequently, after preliminary investigations an FIR was lodged against N.K. Garg, a local Chartered Accountant, who later surrendered and was under police remand at present.

During the course of investigations, in the past one week, the investigating officials of the CIA staff claimed that they had got a initial breakthrough by tracing as many as 74 fake bank accounts of the CA, hundreds of important files/documents related to the scam and vital clues of yet another scam of converting black money into white.

Sources in the UT police had alleged that IT Department was misleading the investigations by providing certain files that were not at all related to this scam. “The Ward No. 4 of IT Department had provided us 27 files for investigations, most of which were not at all related to N.K. Garg,” said a senior police official.

On the other hand, officials of the IT Department revealed that the police did not demand specific record related to the scam. But instead, they insisted on providing ‘irrelevant record’ saying that they were also investigating into the matter of converting black money into white.

Adding that the police had no valid reason to further complicate the process of investigations in the IT refund scam, a senior official of the IT Department said the IT refund fraud was already a perplexing issue that demanded full concentration to collect evidences against N.K. Garg.

Officials of the UT police admitted that investigation into the IT refund fraud was a challenging task before them as they had no “expert” to scan the documents related to “accounts”, compiled by a clever professional.

There were ‘sacks’ of documents lying with the investigating team of the Chandigarh Police to scan in just two days of extended police remand. During eight days of police remand that expired today, most of the time of investigating officials was spent in collecting the documents and gathering information of Garg’s fake accounts. The court of CJM today, extended the remand for just two days, although, the police had demanded further extension of remand for atleast 10 days.

During the course of parallel investigations, both by the IT Department and the police, the IT Department had earlier, given a clean chit to their officials in the multi-million IT refund scam. The UT police got annoyed with the one-sided attitude of the IT Department. “Instead of cooperating with the police in collecting evidences against Garg, the IT Department had created a line of division between the Department and the police. This act was not justified before the completion of the police investigations,” said a police official. 


More staff likely for UT police
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 11
After gathering dust for over eight years, a proposal to increase the strength of city’s police force is on the cards. In this regard the Union Ministry of Home Affairs is learnt to have sent positive signals to the top brass of the Chandigarh Police.

The police top brass has cited the fact of the city being the state headquarters of Punjab and Haryana and other important events taking place in the city.


  • City to have 13 police stations
  • More teeth for the traffic wing of the Chandigarh Police
  • Efforts to seek permission of the Union Government to raise the Chandigarh Armed Battalion (CAP).
  • To seek sanction for the RTC, located in the Sector 26 Police Lines.

A team of the Bureau of Police Research and Development is expected to be in the city to assess the requirement of the police force and the related infrastructure. The Inspector General of the Chandigarh Police, Mr Rajesh Kumar, who is in Delhi, is reported to have taken up the matter with the officials concerned in the Union Government.

Sources in the police said as per the present requirement sent to the Union Government through the Chandigarh Administration, a need for around 1400 additional posts — 400 posts in traffic police and another around 1000 for police stations — had been projected. After the officials of the Bureau of Police Research and Development gave their report to the Union Government, the sanction for additional posts will be given.

In 1995, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs had rejected a proposal of the Chandigarh Police to sanction an increase in the strength of its force. A team of the BPRD which had visited the city then had given an unfavourable report. The ministry had then said the number of policemen per lakh population was highest in the country.

The ministry had given sanction for 101 posts in traffic police in year 1966 and it was increased to 168 in year 1974. At present there were around 4,000 cops with the city police.

The sources said the government had sanctioned the force for only eight police stations. However, the force has been divided into 11 police stations — resulting in poor deployment of force in the southern sectors. The top brass had urged the Centre to sanction five more police stations — which means there would be a total of 13 police stations in the city.

The IG, Mr Rajesh Kumar, before he left for Delhi, told the TNS that efforts were being made to provide the required force strength.

The city has a population of around nine lakh. Inquiries reveal that having a sizeable population of around seven lakh, the southern police division — having the highest density, has just seven per cent of the total strength of the Chandigarh Police.


Dr Kewal’s appointment rejected by PU panel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 11
Panjab University has rejected the appointment of Dr Kewal Singh as the Director of the Sports Wing of the campus, according to sources here today.

A decision to this effect was taken by a high-level committee constituted by the Vice-Chancellor following difference of opinion on the issue in the September-2002 meeting of the Senate. The committee members that met under the chairmanship of Mr Ram S.Varma included Prof Paramjit Singh, the Registrar, Principal S.C.Marriya and Prof Charanjit Chawla.

The decision will also be submitted at the forthcoming Syndicate meeting later this week. The rejection of the appointment comes following a clarification regarding qualifications for the post sought by the university from the University Grants Commission. The post required an experience of at least 15 years as a regular appointee.

Dr Kewal Singh’s service in Nigeria in the education wing has not been accepted as a part of his work experience for this post as also his appointment as a part-time faculty.

The university has decided to advertise the post once again. It has asked that the department concerned to be more careful in screening the names to be taken up for the final selection in future.


’84 riots: 2 widows threaten suicide
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 11
Nearly 19 years after the Delhi riots, two widows of the alleged victims have threatened to commit suicide on February 16. The identity is being kept a secret, at least for the time being.

Addressing a press conference at Sector 34 Gurdwara Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib, President of the November 1984 Victim Widow Jatha Darshan Kaur asserted that the two had failed to get any positive response despite several appeals to the central and state governments. She also issued an appeal to the Sikh organisations, besides human rights organisations and gurdwara committees, to come forward and support the “cause”.

Giving details, she claimed that the pension of most of the widows had been withdrawn and others had been served with notices to vacate the houses allotted to them. The government had failed to provide many widows with pension, jobs or any residential accommodation. She added that they were not going against the provisions of law or even the Sikh values.

Another member Bibi Manjit Kaur said: ‘’The state government had failed to solve the rehabilitation problem. Other matters were also pending with the Central Government”.

Claiming the death of seven of her family during the riots, Bibi Bhagi Kaur said solid steps should be taken by the government for the fulfillment of their demands. It was added that the widow Jatha, which started from New Delhi on Monday would reach Amritsar on Wednesday.


A family therapist in Australia
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 11
Looking after victims of domestic violence is both her avocation and passion. It is the total commitment to the cause of “bringing peace to families tormented by violence for one reason or the other” that has taken her to the top bureaucratic post of CEO in Victoria, Australia, her second home after Chandigarh.

Ms Muktesh ChibberShe is Ms Muktesh Chibber, a product of the Sector 9 Carmel Convent School, Sector 11 GCG and Panjab University. Though she initially worked as a teacher at New Delhi’s Carmel Convent before emigrating to Australia in 1991, she had the distinction of being the only non-white in a class of 20 for specialised training of a family therapist. And now she heads a government organisation that looks after women of nearly 60 per cent — the migrant component — of the total population of three million.

“The growing incidence of domestic violence, especially among migrant families, is very disturbing,” she says revealing that her office receives as many as 1200 complaints a year from the victims. Her office has 27 refuge centres under her control. Each refuge centre has five to seven dwelling units of various sizes — from one bedroom to three-bed room apartments — attached.

The victims or complainants are put there for three months. “All telephone calls made to our office are documented. Emphasis is on documentation. After getting a call, we respond to the police and try to get the woman victim out of her house as quickly as possible.

“Interestingly , in most of the cases, the victims want to go back to their families,” she says holding that reconciliation, mediation and counselling follows in an endeavour to reunite her with her family. “Violence is not acceptable to any religion or community. It is crime,” she says.

About the Indian community in Australia, she says that the problem is huge to the community which back home is trying to ape the West without getting to know the actual culture or lifestyle of the Western people.”In fact, Australians appreciate Indians who take pride in their culture.

“Recently I wrote a letter to the Indian High Commission in Canberra about the problem. Though not many cases of domestic violence among members of Indian community come out in the open, it is there in every other house. Fifty per cent of our community is facing this problem.

“In our endeavour to explain to new entrants to Australia and to tell them what to expect in their new country of residence, we send them video and audio cassettes, printed brochures and other information about the problem of domestic violence. So that when they come there, it does not give them a cultural shock for many coming from countries like India have a very different and cosy image of the western society.

“Separation is painful which leaves a deep scar on victims’ psyche. Healing for such scars is a life-long process,” she adds.

About the reasons for domestic violence, she says that besides personal problems, it is control, power, unemployment, high expectations, cultural conflicts, isolation and personality clash that lead to domestic violence which need not be necessarily physical but can be emotional or financial.

In the present day, counselling is something which everyone is doing. That is why a highly professional class of trained people called family therapists who work on the victims of domestic violence has emerged. They not only maintain total confidentiality but are also able to work very well in a professional manner.

“The role of a family therapist starts at the intervention stage,” she says, admitting that nearly in 50 per cent cases, victims get separated from the perpetrators of violence.


Id holiday today

Chandigarh, February 11
Schools, colleges and government offices will remain closed in Chandigarh, Panchkula and SAS Nagar tomorrow on the occasion of Id-ul-Zuha. However, the holiday has not been announced under the Negotiable Instruments Act.

The Punjab Governor and Administrator, Union Territory, Chandigarh, Lieut Gen (retd) J. F. R. Jacob extended felicitation to the people on the eve of Id-ul-Zuha. TNS


Pre-Valentine's Day celebration
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 11
The ground opposite the Students’ Centre at Panjab University was abuzz with dances and loud music as a fete was organised as a pre-Valentine's Day celebration by the Panjab University Students Union here on Tuesday. The day began on a low note as till about noon, there was hardly any activity. The stalls organised by a few marketing agencies wore a deserted look. The show, however, gained a little momentum at the dance floor in the afternoon.


Geri route out of bounds on V-Day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 11
The geri route will be out of bounds for revellers on Saint Valentine’s Day. Around 700 cops will be on the duty along the geri route and other “sensitive” places in the city.

A vigil will be kept outside city colleges and educational institutes. A senior official of the UT police said hooliganism would be tackled strongly and if required vehicles exceeding the speed limits would be challaned.

Apart from the traffic police 500 extra police, personnel would be deployed on the major roads near the educational institutes. A police official said the routine vehicular traffic on the geri route would not be disrupted.


“Three cheers for UT”

I am of the opinion that day by day the youth of this city is going vulgar. Opening the geri route can prove to be very critical to; law and order situation because boys use this route to tease girls in the name of Valentine Day The victims of their offensive behaviour are the poor poor girl students who don’t want to indulge in such acts. It was a very heart step on the part of UT Administration to close down the geri route last year. the Administration deserves three cheers for the same.

#2845 SEC-37/C

"Live and let live"

I feel sealing of the Geri Route is not at all proper. This is the most happening place with swarms of youngsters celebrating the special Valentines Day. Though the sealing of the Geri provides a sense of satisfaction to both parents and the police, those waiting for this day since so long can celebrate it at other places in Chandigarh.

However, Geri still has its own charm. Also why should the residents and traders of Sectors 10 & 11 not have a normal routine? The Geri should be kept open. Although the police should keep a watchful eye on the activities of the youth and intervene only when things get out of control. After all why not live and let live.


‘Geri route zindabad"

I appreciate that ‘The Tribune’ has given a platform to its readers to bring out their feelings with regard to the above-mentioned. Coming to the topic: "what exactly is a ‘geri’ ? In my opinion ‘Geri’ means to go on a ‘girl hunting spree. This, to young boys, means’ some moments of immense pleasure. They dress up in the best of their attire and go about their days stealing and spreading happiness on the bike gifted by their fathers.

The route, no doubt, holds a lot of importance for the lovers as also for the shopkeepers, and more so on the Valentine's Day when most shopping is done. It used to be a gold mine for shopkeepers having shops on this route. It also served as a meeting place for ‘love birds’. But since the UT police has decided to close down this route, the shopkeepers on this route are already fearing low business. What to talk of the parted souls who can no longer tread their favoutire path on the D day.

The police may have its own reasons to close down this route but then they should also understand the viewpoint of youngsters, who are driven by an instinct to make merry. Where on the one hand we ask the authorities to take care of our interests, we must also behave responsibly ourselves. I request my friends going on a geri to just look around and enjoy without getting involved in any kind of objectionable behaviour.


"Ban on geri route right"

There is no contesting the fact that the Chandigarh police is right in banning movement across the Geri route on February 14. This because the youth often exploit their freedom, chasing girls in a manner as if they have never seen a girl before.

They sure need to be taught a lesson and to be told the hard way that they should respect girls. The whole concept of Valentine's day is just an excuse for the youth to waste their time and gratify their messed up desires. There is no love involved. It is all crap.


"Closing route unjustifiable"

Of late the Geri route has been given much importance. In reality it is only a place where all the fun loving youngsters of Chandigarh like to be on Valentines- not only for eve watching but also for Adam watching. It's a place of sheer pleasure and is revered by city youngsters. Closing the route would actually not be justifiable.

Love is the language every messenger of god propagated .When we have a right to celebrate festivals then why not celebrate the festival of love and romance in the way we like. This festival symbolizes hope and makes us feel like being in love. This festival knows no boundaries and is common to all religions.

However, Valentines being the day of confessing love sways some of the youth into taking too much of liberty which creates some trouble. The police should just be posted on the road so that the Day passes by in peace.

# 1002, SECTOR 46C



9,000 apply for houses in Mohali
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, February 11
* People want plots in Kharar, Zirakpur and Dera Bassi but very few want to live there in a house.

* Very few people see Ropar as the place to own either a house or a plot.

* Residents of SAS Nagar want small houses to live in.

These are the first set of results of the demand survey conducted by the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) compiled here for Ropar district today. The final lists of the data compiled for Ropar district by the PUDA office in SAS Nagar was sent to the headquarters today where similar data from the rest of the state will be received and compiled.

Demand Survey Results for Ropar Zone:


Plots Built houses
SAS Nagar 9000
Kharar 2000 250
Ropar 200 80
Zirakpur/Dera Bassi 3600 700

The total number of applications received in Ropar zone which included Zirakpur and Dera Bassi, is as high as 16,000. Approximately 9000 applications demanding houses in SAS Nagar have been received. This number is far higher than the next closest of 750 applications of people demanding a house in Zirakpur or Dera Bassi. Only 250 demand applications were received for houses in Kharar and 80 demand letters were received for houses in Ropar.

In SAS Nagar, out of total applications received for build houses, the demand for LIG and MIG houses is the highest with 3000 each and 2000 applicants have demanded HIG houses. The rest have demanded EWS category houses.

Compared to the figures for demand of build houses, the response for plots varies considerably. The highest demand has been for plots in Dera Bassi and Zirakpur with the office receiving over 3600 applications. At least 2000 applications have been received for plots in Kharar and 200 applications have been received for plots in Ropar.

Sources have also stated that the response to the demand survey has been the most encouraging in the Ropar zone. In other places like Nabha and Amritsar, the total number of applications received are 7,500 each. “Moreover people seem to have preferred a completely built house rather than a semi built one. This fact is very encouraging for PUDA,” said a source.

PUDA had launched the survey in January this year and given the last date of receiving application as January 20. This date was later extended by another 10 days and the survey was closed on January 31. Maximum response to the scheme according to sources was received after the extension of the date. The scheme with the survey offered that the applicants in the survey will be given priority in case of allotment of houses 50 per cent of which will be reserved for the applicants. The applicants have also paid a token amount to PUDA with these applications.


Proving betting charges an uphill task for police
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 11
In the much-hyped case of the Chandigarh Police arresting bookies for betting on cricket matches being played during the World Cup in South Africa, the charges of cheating against the bookies are likely to be dismissed in the court.

Though officials of the Chandigarh Police are confident of nailing down the bookies, investigations reveal that proving the charges of cheating against the bookies could be a Herculean task. The best the police can hope is to prove their charges under the Gambling Act and the Arms Act, said a police official.

The bookies — Rohit Sofat, Rishi Goyal, Ravi Kumar and Rajiv — were yesterday booked for gambling and cheating under the Arms Act. Sources in the police said in a similar case of betting on international cricket matches, registered on January 31, 2001 against six bookies operating from Jalandhar hotel in Sector 22, charges of cheating were dropped by the police after it failed to prove their guilt.

According to an FIR that was registered under Sections 420 and 120 B of the IPC, the five alleged bookies — Gian Singh, Bhushan Kumar, Vinod Kumar, Satish Kumar, Sunil Kumar and Bahadhur Singh — were found accepting bets from punters. It was said the bookies had refused to pay the money to the punters who gained during a one-day cricket match between New Zealand and Sri Lanka. The police had then claimed that the bookies were involved in a criminal conspiracy while cheating the punters.

Finally, when the challan was produced in the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mr C.L. Mohal, the bookies were convicted and fined Rs 500 each on August 9, 2002. However, they were granted bail by the court on February 5, 2001.

In the yesterday’s case, the police had also said that they had secret information that the bookies had refused to honour punters.

There was substantial evidence under Sections 3 and 4 of the Gambling Act. A computer, a laptop, mobile phones, ledger books and print-outs had been seized by the police. However, the punishment under the Gambling Act was minimal. The official said to prove that cheating of punters had taken place, the police would have to prove the credentials of the gainers and the losers. Mere names and mobile numbers of the punters were not enough to prove the charges of cheating. The statement of a punter, who had been cheated, had to be taken.

Meanwhile, in yesterday’s case the police was trying to ascertain the links of the bookies and their channels of seeking information. Sources in the police said an official of the Punjab Police had tipped the Chandigarh Police officials about the bookies operating from here. More raids in the city were expected in the coming days.

Bookies go mobile !

Following the yesterday’s arrest of four bookies by the Chandigarh Police for accepting bets on matches during the ongoing World Cup, big players in the betting business have shifted their operation outside the city.

According to inquiries made by the TNS, major operators in the betting business have set up their “offices” in hotels, located along the national highways in Haryana, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. The occupancy in the hotels is said to have suddenly increased. Some persons entrusted with the job of making arrangements of stay, communication and avoiding trouble from the police, are being paid on the basis of 2 per cent commission per bet.

After the recent raids by the police, those operating from the city had packed up their gadgetry and were instead operating from mobile offices. A large number of portable television sets have been purchased by the bookies and punters to run their operation from their cars. It is learned that the police has asked the providers of cellular service to keep a watch on certain mobile numbers.

Most of the punters were from Ludhiana, Mandi Gobindgarh and other neighbouring towns. The punters from Chandigarh had their connections in Delhi and towns of Punjab. It was a set practice of punters to be in contact with bookies operating from other towns.

In today’s match between Australia and Pakistan, a betting of around Rs 2 crore was expected in the region alone, said one of the bookies.



Police gets tough on cyber crime
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 11
The Chandigarh police yesterday held a meeting with owners of cyber cafes operating in the city to discuss the preventive measures to stop cyber crime. The police would carry out surprise checks on cyber cafes as a preventive measure to check cyber crime.

“Cyber crime that was non-existent till the recent past, had suddenly started spreading its wings in the city. Therefore, there was a need to seriously discuss the problem with owners of cyber cafes”, said Mr H.G.S. Dhaliwal, SP (operations).

Addressing the meeting, he sought the cooperation of cyber cafe owners to help the police in checking cyber crime. He asked them to study the IT Act, 2000 and get themselves aware of the provisions/guidelines laid down in it.

They were asked to maintain registers wherein name, address, phone number (excluding that of women) time of entry/departure should be entered and the person availing himself of the facility at cyber cafe should be asked to sign in such register.

He further said the possibility of cyber crime such as hacking of website, extortion/threat through Internet, printing/circulating pornographic material collected from a website, theft of a software etc could not be ruled out.


Poor sanitation irks residents
Kulwinder Sangha

Sas Nagar, February 11
Sanitation has deteriorated in the town. Garbage can be seen littered here and there and residents complain that various localities are not being cleaned properly and on a regular basis.

The shedding of leaves, in this season, by a large number of trees, especially on the main roads has added to the problem. Huge heaps of leaves have been lying on the roadsides for the past many days. At certain points these fallen leaves have also been burnt in violation of the High Court orders. One can see heaps of ash lying at several places.

Ms Amteshwar Kaur, senior vice-president of the council and a resident of Phase XI, said today that the sanitation work in her ward was not satisfactory. Sweeping was not done on a regular basis. The safai karamcharis came once or twice a week and she received a number of complaints from residents. Moreover, insecticides were not sprayed in the area from where garbage was removed.

Mr Manjit Singh Sethi, a municipal councillor living in Phase III A, said sanitation was in a state of neglect. The sanitation contractors were employing a fewer number of workers and not in accordance with the number that had been mentioned in the estimates. Moreover, when the garbage was lifted the area was not cleaned properly it still remained lying scattered around the dusbins.

It is learnt that Deputy Director, Local Government, Ludhiana, who had visited the council office on December 17 had said he would himself conduct surprise checks to see the position of sanitation in the town. But he has so far not bothered to fulfil his commitment.

Despite the complaints from residents and the Municipal Council itself finding the work of sanitation by private contractors unsatisfactory full payments are being made by the civic body to the sanitation contractors. A sum of about Rs 3 lakh were paid to the three contractors some days ago as payment for the month of December.

Sources say that Joint Director, Local Government, Punjab, in a letter (dated October 17) had ordered the council to keep the payment of Messers Reliable Services and Messers Gill Contractor, the two firms looking after sanitation work in many parts of the town, pending as the work of the two firms was not satisfactory. The contractors had then approached the Director, Local Government, Punjab and Deputy Director, Local Government, Ludhiana, requesting them to get the full payment released.

On the orders of the two senior officials of the Local Government the council made payments for October and November amounting to over Rs 4.5 lakh to the two firms even when the civic body was not satisfied with their work and had written many letters to the Director, Local Government, in this regard.

The Municipal Council had earlier cancelled the contract of the two firms after a proposal in this regard had been cleared at a General House meeting held on July 30. It had been pointed out at the meeting that the contractors were not working according to the conditions of the contract and sanitation was in a state of neglect.

The affected persons then approached the Director, Local Government, who gave them one month’s time to show satisfactory performance. The work went on well for some time but once again sanitation is in a state of neglect.

When asked about the poor sanitation in the town the council president, Mr Kulwant Singh, said the work had been privatised to bring about positive results. But when poor performance was seen the contracts of two firms were cancelled. They then approached the Director who gave them time to improve their performance. He said he was helpless as the two contractors approached senior officials each time the council planned to take some action against them for not providing satisfactory service.


Kalpana forgotten in din of bash
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 11
Twenty years later, Kalpana Chawla remembered her Alma Mater by sending a message from space. Yet the recipients of the message, sent from the space two days before Columbia shuttle exploded while returning home, seem to have taken little time to forget her.

Here is a classic case of public insensitivity towards national heroes, when they are forgotten even before the mourning period is over. Barely 10 days after Indian-born NASA astronaut Kalpana Chawla died in the space shuttle accident, the very hostel dedicated to her memory at Punjab Engineering College here witnessed a bash organised by the hostelers.

Inmates of Himgiri Hostel in PEC, where Kalpana had stayed while pursuing her engineering in aeronautics, organised their annual function this evening with much fanfare, organising a cultural function and hosting a dinner, upsetting the sentiments of a section of students and some faculty members.

In addition, hostelers confirmed that the hostel was yet to be renamed after Kalpana Chawla. It may be recalled that the Punjab Governor, Lt-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), had announced at a condolence meeting held at the college that Himgiri Hostel would be renamed as “Kalpana Chawla Hostel” as a tribute to her.

Several students told the TNS that as a mark of respect, the function could have been deferred for at least 13 days after the accident. As per Indian rituals, a 13-day mourning period is observed after death. “It is ironic that on the one hand the college paid rich tributes to the student who brought laurels to the institute, on the other there seems to be an apparent indifference towards the tragedy,” a student remarked.

Besides the principal, senior college functionaries, faculty members, deans, hostel wardens and students, several guests were also invited. The UT Chief Engineer, Mr Puranjit Singh, was the chief guest. Several guests of honour and some Air Force officers were also invited.

Several faculty members who had been invited preferred not to attend the function for some reason or the other. “It is indeed regrettable,” a professor remarked. “Just two days before she died, she had sent a message for us from the space, even 20 years after she had passed out from here, where as we seem to have forgotten her 20 hours after the formal tribute-paying ceremony was over,” he added.

The college principal, Mr Baljeet Kapoor, and the Chief Hostel Warden, Mr Amit Haldhar, were not available for comments despite repeated efforts.

When the Himgiri Hostel was contacted, a student conveyed the principal and warden’s inability to leave the function and speak to this correspondent.


Mayor inspects petrol stations
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 11
Mayor Subhash Chawla carried out early-morning inspection of commercial water users, including major industries and petrol stations.

After finding faults in water meters and low average bills, Mr Chawla today set up separate vigilance cells for domestic and commercial users.

The Mayor asked Chief Engineer V. K. Bharadwaj, Superintendent Engineer (Building and Roads) I. S. Sokhi, 4 Executive Engineers and several SDOs to accompany him to check the water meters of the heavy users of water.

A convoy of seven vehicles swooped down on petrol stations of Sectors 37, 20, 21 and 28, a soft-drink manufacturing unit and a major car dealer and service station. The team carried out the inspections after getting information that bills of service stations, petrol stations and industrial houses were low.

Mr Chawla found out that petrol stations were paying the average amount, which was low going by its consumption. One of the petrol stations had a handpump without permission from the corporation. The Mayor said the corporation had a deficit of Rs 12 crore on water supply.

Mr Chawla appealed to the people to immediately get their meters checked save themselves from embarrassment of inspection teams visiting their units and houses. He said inspections would be intensified to plug revenue leakage.


17 panchayats get Rs 30 lakh

Chandigarh, February 11
The zila parishad here today allocated around Rs 30 lakh for sanitation and street lighting in 17 panchayats of the city.

Hallo Majra and Kajheri have been given additional Rs 1 lakh each as their condition was assessed to be worse than other places.

Around Rs 15.65 lakh was given for street lighting and Rs 15 lakh for sanitation in the area.

The meeting held under the chairmanship of Darshan Singh had attendance of all 10 members. TNS


Development of park sought
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 11
The drive of the municipal corporation to create more green cover in the city by developing parks in various sectors notwithstanding, residents of a particular area in Sector 46-C are still awaiting the development of a ground into a park.

While all other grounds in Sector 46 have been developed into parks with benches and new fences dotting them, the ground in this area (opposite house nos 3622, 3503 and 3517) has remained neglected.

Though saplings have been planted there, no benches or new fences have been installed. Herds of stray cattle and dogs roam there and garbage is littered all over it after social functions. As a few fenceson one side of the ground are missing, vehicles can be seen parked on the ground. A local resident said despite repeated pleas to the local Administration nothing had been done in this regard.


Jhuggis demolished
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 11
The Enforcement Wing of the Haryana Urban Development Authority today demolished over 20 jhuggis on the road separating Sector 12-A and 14 and confiscated two cotton winowing machines.

The staff , led by Naib Tehsildar, Mr Bachchan Singh , however, could not carry out its demolition drive in the Mansa Devi complex because of unavailability of a JCB machine.


PO’s luck finally ends
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, February 11
The police here has today nabbed a proclaimed offender (PO), Kulbir Singh, wanted for causing an accident leading to the death of Gagandeep Singh, a Phase 3BI resident, five years ago. Interestingly, the police caught the accused from a village in Jagroan where he had come to get married all the way from Canada. The accused had fled the country in 1999 and was residing in Canada since then.

Kulbir Singh is one of the three main accused charged with the death of 24-year-old Gagandeep Singh. According to the police the incident had happened on June 23, 1998 at around 9 pm. The victim along with his elder brother was on a scooter in Phase 3B1 when three persons — Kulbir Singh, Harinder Singh and Paramjit Singh — in a car allegedly hit them. A scuffle followed after which one of the three persons allegedly stuck Gagandeep's neck between the car's window and the door and dragged him from Phase 3B1 to Phase 3B2 driving the car. By the time the car stopped, Gagandeep had died.

A case of death due to negligent driving was registered with the police here, which was later changed to death due to negligent driving with intention to kill as part of the ongoing investigations. The three accused were caught by the police. While on bail, Kulbir Singh managed to go to Canada in 1999. He was declared a proclaimed offender by the police.

On a tip-off, the police here came to know that he had come to Jagraon to get married.

Meanwhile, Gagandeep's father Mr S.S. Bawa, during a conversation with mediapersons, stated that he was relieved and glad that Kulbir Singh had been arrested by the police. ‘‘The police here has shown both alertness and efficiency in nabbing him,’’ he said. He also informed that they had written to the Human Rights Commission that was also pursuing the case.


Pirated CDs seized
Tribune Reporters

Chandigarh, February 11
The police today seized around 3,000 pirated audio and video CDs worth lakhs from two shops in the city late this evening.

The raids were conducted by the CIA wing of the police on a tip-off given by agencies guarding the copyrights of companies selling the CDs. A police official said 1160 CDs were seized from Sonu Music Centre in Sector 20. The owner of the shop, Raj Kumar, has been arrested. In the second case, 1768 CDs were seized from Raju Video Club in Sector 27-D. Two cases under the Copyright Act have been registered.

Stolen items recovered: Shiv Kumar Daddu Majra colony has been arrested by the police for stealing a drill machine and a cutter machine from a house in Sector 37. The police has registered a case under Sections 380, 411 and 454 of the IPC.

Duped: A resident of Sector 10 has been defrauded of over Rs 4.56 lakh in the name of sending him abroad. The police has registered a case of cheating against Shanti Sharma and Anu Sharma of Sector 38 West.


Crushed to death: Praveen Kumar was run over by a vehicle near Chandi Kotla village. He was rushed to the PGI, Chandigarh, where he was declared brought dead.

In another case, an Opel Astra car of Dyanamic Motors, Chandigarh, hit a tree near Yavanika Park and overturned, while trying to avoid a stray dog this morning. The driver of the car , Davinder Singh, escaped with minor injuries .

Stolen: Cash and goods worth Rs 20,000 was stolen from the house of Mr Anil Sharma in Sector 25 today. The family members were away when the miscreants broke into the house from the backyard and decamped with Rs 5,000 cash and gold and silver jewellery worth Rs 15,000.


Theft: Three persons, including a woman, allegedly decamped with household goods and gold worth Rs 2 lakh from the residence of an Army officer here yesterday.

According to the police, the incident happened yesterday afternoon at the residence of Col. H.I.S. Virk in an HIG Army flat in Phase II here Colonel Virk was out of the house along with the children. His wife Charanjit Kaur had gone to meet a friend in Phase X. On return she found one of the door locks broken and a large number of household items missing.

Colonel Virk’s family has claimed that the burglars took away a microwave oven, a rice cooker, a camera, a pair of binoculars, a computer and music system and 80 gm of gold.


Goods worth Rs 1.7 lakh stolen
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, February 11
In a daylight robbery, thieves decamped with jewellery and household goods worth around Rs 1.70 lakh from a house in Phase II here yesterday.

In a complaint to the police, Col H.I.S. Virk said the theft took place between 11 am and 1.30 pm when nobody was at home. The thieves broke open the locks and took away many costly items, including a music system, a computer, a microwave oven and 80 gms of jewellery.

Colonel Virk stated that when his wife came back around 2.30 pm she saw things lying scattered all over the house. His neighbours had seen two youths and a woman loading some items in a car but did not inquire thinking that these were being transported in connection with some function.


4 Health Dept employees booked
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 11
The police has registered a case against four employees of the State Health Department and the daughter of an employee on charges of fraud, impersonation and criminal conspiracy. The case, under Sections 420, 468, 469, 471 and 120-B of the IPC, has been registered on the directions of a local court.

According to a complaint filed in the court of Mr P.K. Yadav, Judicial Magistrate (First Class), Panchkula, the complainant, Mr Subhash Chand of Bhand village in Fatehabad district, has accused five persons of demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs 50,000 for getting him a job as a pharmacist.

He had accused Mr Kheni Chand Bhardwaj, an Assistant at the Director-General Health Office, Mr Subhash Chugh, Office Superintendent, Director-General Health Office, Mr Bhupinder Singh Nain, a clerk in the same office, Mr Phool Singh Aola, an employee in General Hospital, Bhiwani, and the latter’s daughter, Kamla Aola, of cheating him by giving the letter of appointment to Kamla Aola.


Booking of Net connections made easy
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 11
For the convenience of general public, the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited has decentralised the booking of Internet and ISDN connections in the city, Panchkula and SAS Nagar.

The connections could be obtained at: Commercial Officer (VAS), SCO 68-69, Sector 8 C; Commercial Officer (North), SCO 56-57, Sector 17 D, Commercial Officer (South), Main Exchange Building, Sector 34; Commercial Officer (Panchkula), SCO 178, Sector 5, Panchkula and Commercial Officer (Mohali), Main Exchange Building, Phase IV, SAS Nagar.

The PGMT has said that in case of difficulty, subscribers may contact DE (C\S), BSNL, Sector 18, phone number 544066.


Beopar Mandal to give memo to Naidu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 11
Amidst reports of police keeping an eye on protesting traders, who have announced to show black flags to BJP President Venkaiah Naidu, the Beopar Mandal here today decided to hand over a memorandum to Mr Naidu for withdrawal of the Chandigarh Administration’s notification on the Rent Act.

Unconfirmed reports said the leadership of the Beopar Mandal went underground fearing a pre-emptive police action.

Traders and the police today held a meeting where they reportedly agreed to hand over the memorandum.

The police warned traders that they would have to face action in case peace was disturbed.

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