Saturday, February 22, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Petrol dealers to join nationwide stir
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 21
Members of the Chandigarh Petroleum Dealers Association will join the countrywide protest of dealers by not lifting stocks of petrol or diesel on Monday. Petrol stations in Chandigarh, Panchkula and SAS Nagar will get their last supplies by tomorrow noon and the next supply will come only by Tuesday.

As a result there could be some shortage of petrol and diesel starting from Monday. Under a normal circumstances, oil depots of government-owned companies close for the weekend and fresh stocks are lifted on Monday morning. Now the dealers will not lift the stocks on Monday and normal supply will be restored only on Tuesday. Mr Amanpreet Singh, general secretary of the association, said the stocks in the city might deplete by Monday.

The association, meanwhile, said though this would affect the public, the continued non-compliance of the accord between the dealers and oil companies was the reason behind the agitation. The oil companies had promised in 2001 that the accord would be implemented within three months. The Federation of All-India Petroleum Traders at its annual general body meeting on January 24, 2003, had resolved not to lift the stocks from government oil companies.

The dealers said the accord, when it was signed, had basic demands in which they had asked for an increase in commission from the present 1 per cent to 5 per cent as was the case during the 1970s. The cost of managing a petrol station had risen while the commission had been reduced. They said since the customers had the right to check the petrol for quality, the same rights should also be given to the dealers. The dealers cannot check the fuel for quality before taking delivery.

It had also agreed that the dealers would get compensation for temperature variation. Shrinkage of fuel was close to 100 litres per tanker of 12,000 litres.



Police remand for 2 in Chopra murder case
Tribune Reporters

Some unanswered questions

  • To whom did the .38 bore service revolver belong to and how the assailants procured it?

  • The connection between Brij Mohan, alias Bhupa, and Devinder, alias Kukka.

  • Why was SAS Nagar chosen for shooting the Xen? All suspects have criminal records in Chandigarh and they had ample chance to target the Xen in Chandigarh.

Kharar, February 21
The SAS Nagar police produced two accused in the case of the murder of executive engineer V.K. Chopra — Ravinder Sharma and Dharam Pal Singh Matharoo — in the court of the Kharar Judicial Magistrate, Ms Preeti Sahni, today and were given police remand till February 24.

The public prosecutor sought a seven-day remand of the accused and said it was yet to be ascertained who has been the other accomplice and what weapon had been used in the murder of Chopra.

CHANDIGARH/SAS NAGAR: The weapon used in shooting the UT Executive Engineer, V.K. Chopra, a “stolen” .38 bore was a service revolver.

Confirming the fact, sources in the Punjab police said the weapon, a prohibited bore, had either been stolen or was a licenced weapon of a police official — apparently of Punjab.

The sources said it was important to ascertain who gave the prohibited weapon to the assailants — Anil, alias Tota, Brij Mohan, alias Bhupa, and another suspect, Nitin, a resident of Sector 23 here.

Though no official confirmed the fact, the sources said during the course of investigations the name of another criminal, Devinder Singh, alias Kukka, had figured predominantly. Kukka, who was said to be close to a late SP whose name figured in the terrorism days, was involved in vacating disputed properties and had stakes in a cable TV network being run in SAS Nagar. The prohibited bore had apparently been taken from the police official.

On the condition of anonymity, a police official said Bhupa used to look after the business interests of Kukka. The investigations had indicated the possibility of Kukka providing the .38 bore to Tota and Bhupa. Though Bhupa had old enmity with Sunil Chopra, a close friend of the Xen, Tota had no enmity with the victim.

Another startling revelation which might throw light on the involvement of some more persons in the episode was the reason for which SAS Nagar was chosen to shoot him. Though for the entire day the victim moved in Chandigarh, his visit to the Phase V banquet hall on that fateful night was only for few seconds. Someone close to him was keeping a watch on him and apparently informed Tota and Bhupa who were standing near the banquet hall.

Meanwhile, the blue Maruti car which was recovered from near a house in Sector 22 belongs to a woman resident of Sector 24. Bhupa, was seen driving the car a few days before the killing of the Xen. Meanwhile, the SAS Nagar police has asked for the custody of the car recovered by the Chandigarh police. The SP, Mr Harcharan Singh Bhullar, said the police was conducting raids in and outside Punjab to nab the accused.



PU Board of Studies poll announced
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 21
Poll activity has caught on for elections to the Board of Studies at Panjab University which will witness contest in over 50 bodies for the undergraduate and postgraduate courses on the campus and more than 100 affiliated colleges.

The boards are very important because these are concerned with examination-related activity. These bodies are also the forum for discussion on the existing syllabi and the changes needed according to changing times in all subjects. The boards are also responsible for the introduction of new courses. The boards get the list of evaluators from the secrecy branch and clear the final names. Non-teaching staff on duty is also cleared by them.

There will be two separate Boards of Studies, one for the undergraduate and the other for the postgraduate classes.The boards are elected every alternate year in March. This year the elections are scheduled for March 28 and March 29 through a single transferable vote.

The undergraduate board will consist of six teachers from affiliated colleges with a teaching experience of 10 years. Teaching experience of five years is required for PhD-holders. Each board for the postgraduate studies will consist of heads of the department and one teacher, by rotation, from the affiliated colleges with a teaching experience of 10 years. There will be a separate board of studies for medicine and education.

The university circular says “a person will not be eligible to become a member or seek an election if he or anybody that he represents is engaged in printing, publishing or selling of books for the university or its affiliated colleges for any of its courses. The person should also not hold any contract for the supply of goods to the university or execution of any work of the university.

The person should also not be involved with the publication of “cheap notes”, guides or help-books. The author of any book prescribed by the university for any of the courses is also not eligible. There will be no election to postgraduate boards of studies in botany, chemistry, geography, mathematics, public administration and Sanskrit. This is because the number of colleges affiliated in these courses is not more than two. There will be elections for commerce, English, economics, Hindi, history, Punjabi and political science.

A senior fellow said by way of information, the boards cleared academic matter at the first stage which was then referred to the faculties. After this, it came up before the Academic Council. The issue was then put before the Syndicate and finally before the Senate for final clearance.



Tough road ahead for HUDA
Recovery of Rs 20 cr from allottees
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 21
The Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) may not be able to make recoveries to the tune of Rs 20 crore from allottees of commercial, industrial and residential plots here.

With over 85 per cent of these defaulters getting a stay from various courts against HUDA over the rate of interest being charged for the recovery of defaulting amount, the recovery drive initiated by the authorities is likely to come a cropper. It is learnt that of the total 350 defaulters who have been issued notice for the resumption of property, around 300 have already obtained a court stay.

While HUDA has asked the defaulters to pay the amount at the simple interest of 14 percent, the defaulters say that the authorities cannot charge more than 10 per cent interest. Since the apex court had ruled in 2001 (in the Ruchira case) that HUDA cannot charge more than 10 per cent as simple interest on the defaulting amount, the allottees, especially those who had been allotted plots between 1987 to 2000, are now knocking the door of various courts against HUDA’s move to initiate recoveries.

The HUDA authorities say that it was after the apex court order that they had reduced their interest rate from 18 per cent (compound interest) to 14 per cent on November 15 last year during a high-level meeting chaired by the Town and Country Planning Minister, Mr Dhirpal. They say that lowering the interest rate further was not viable.

HUDA was asked to recover the amount from allottees of commercial, industrial and residential plots during a high-level meeting chaired by the Chief Minister in January. Sources say that the decision to evict occupants from resumed properties and the disposal of resumed properties was taken during the review meeting by Mr Chautala after he was apprised of the large-scale recoveries pending from the allottees.

Following this, HUDA had asked estate offices in the state to furnish the details. It has later decided that a special campaign should be launched for the disposal of these properties.

The local estate office had worked out the details of defaulting the amount by commercial, industrial and residential allottees last week. While the defaulting amount due from commercial allottees is around Rs 20 crore, a few lakhs are due from industrial and residential allottees.



Sikh women raise equality issue
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 21
Many Sikh organisations had joined hands against the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) for not allowing baptised Sikh women to participate in ‘seva’ and ‘kirtan’ in the Golden Temple at Amritsar.

The issue became a topic of discussion among Sikh organisations and intellectuals after February 13, when two UK-based baptised Sikh women — Bibi Majinderjit Kaur and Bibi Lakhbir Kaur — were allegedly assaulted and insulted by the ‘sevadars’ of the SGPC during the ceremony of carrying Guru Granth Sahib in a palanquin.

At a joint press conference here, today, Jathedar Ishar Singh of Gurdwara Kheri Chalan (Sangrur), Bibi Majinderjit Kaur, and Bibi Harjinder Kaur, president of the Sikh Nari Manch and a former Mayor of Chandigarh, besides many oher leaders of various Sikh organisations, urged the SGPC to fully implement the principle of gender equality as ordained by Guru Nanak Dev in Gurbani.

Bibi Majinderjit Kaur said that she had already filed a petition before the Akal Takht, seeking an immediate restoration of the baptised Sikh women’s right to participate in all types of ‘seva’ in the Golden Temple. In spite of clear-cut instructions by the Akal Takht, the SGPC is unnecessarily delaying the implementation of the orders,” she said.

Baba Ishar Singh presented a video clipping of an interview with Giani Joginder Singh recorded by Punjab Radio recently, in which, the Jathedar had been clearly shown to be saying that baptised Sikh women could perform all kinds of ‘seva’ in the Golden Temple.

“The SGPC was not above the Akal Takht, but just an implementing authority, performing administrative duties. The SGPC could not change the Sikh code of conduct. Only the Panj Piyaras had the right to do so,” said Baba Ishar Singh.

In reply to a question, he said: “The failure of SGPC in fully implementing the Gurmat principles mentioned in the Sikh ‘Rehat Maryada’ had led to the perpetuation of non-Sikh practices started by Mahants at Darbar Sahib, theo-political centre of the Sikhs.

The observance of non-Sikh practices at Shri Darbar Sahib has led to the erosion of the principles of Sikhi and threatens the religious injunctions of Sikhism as ordained in Guru Granth Sahib.

Bibi Harjinder Kaur said the Sikh Nari Manch would launch an awareness campaign to protect the religious rights of the Sikh women. “Women have played a great role in preserving the traditions of Sikhism. The religion flourished the most when Mata Bhag Kaur was the Jathedar of the Akal Takht,” she said.

The representatives of various Sikh organisations present at the press conference said they would be organising a seminar on March 2 at Amritsar on the issue to put pressure on the SGPC.

Gurtej Singh, Professor of Sikhism, Dr Gurdarshan Singh Dhillon of the Department of History (Panjab University), Dr Mann Singh Nirankari, Mr Rajinder Singh Khalsa, convener of the Khalsa Panchayat, Mr Joginder Singh, Chief Editor of ‘Spokesman’, Prof H.S. Virk, a scientist, Justice Ajit Singh Bains, a human-rights activist, Mr Hardip Singh member of the SGPC, Ms Baljit Kaur of the movement against state repression, Mr Navkiran Singh, general-secretary of the Lawyers for Human Rights, Maj-Gen Narinder Singh, a former general-secretary of the World Sikh Council, Mr Gurdip Singh of the Sikh Missionary College (Ludhiana) and Zorawar Singh of the Fateh organisation were also present at the conference.



UT, Haryana to check illegal sale of liquor
Yoginder Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 21
Haryana and the Chandigarh Administration have decided to act in concert to check illegal sale of countrymade liquor in their respective territories, according to informed sources.

The initiative for the coordination has come from the Haryana Excise and Taxation Department. As the first step towards checking the illegal sale of liquor, the two administrations have disqualified all distilleries situated beyond 250 km and 200 km away from Haryana and Chandigarh, respectively, from supplying countrymade liquor to the respective administrations.

Haryana, the sources say, had been doing so for the past couple of years. To check illegal sale of liquor, the Haryana Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Mr Raj Kumar, has written to the Chandigarh Administration to adopt the same practice. The suggestion was accepted by Chandigarh this year and it reduced the distance from 250 km to 200 km.

The sources say this condition has effectively disqualified the distilleries situated in many states, particularly, Madhya Pradesh, which enjoy a notorious reputation of selling liquor without the payment of excise duty and licence fee.

Sources in the liquor trade say that certain distilleries situated in Madhya Pradesh quote lower rates to obtain order for supply of liquor to the states like Haryana and Chandigarh. These distilleries, the sources say, use the permits issued by Haryana and Chandigarh to carry liquor outside Madhya Pradesh. On their way to Haryana and Chandigarh, unscrupulous distillers sell their produce in states like Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh without the payment of excise duty and licence fee.

This cheap liquor ultimately finds its way to Haryana and Chandigarh and is sold under the table, which causes huge losses to the public exchequer.

Since a permit is valid for 15 days, the unscrupulous distillers use these permits several times to smuggle liquor. Of course, without the connivance of the lower staff of the Excise Department, this practice is not possible. The sources say in certain cases, after using the permit illegally, the permit holders apply for its renewal after 15 days.

Because of the distance and lack of jurisdiction, the authorities of the two states find it virtually impossible to monitor the records of the distilleries in the other states.

Meanwhile, the Haryana Excise Department has received tenders for the supply of countrymade liquor by the distilleries for the next financial year. The average rates, the sources say, are Rs 155 for a case of 12 bottles (quart), Rs 175 for a case of pints (adha) and Rs 215 for a case of nips (paua), all packed in pet bottles.

For the glass packing, the average rates are Rs 165, Rs 185 and Rs 225, respectively. The department is yet to negotiate the rates with the distilleries. These rates are important because the next year's excise policy would be framed accordingly, the sources say.



Husain’s Gajagamini fetches Rs 15 lakh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 21
Legends never speak for themselves; only their works do. When M.F. Husain lifted the brush here today to unleash the process of creativity, the gathering did not know what marvel of a creation it was about to witness.

In less than 40 minutes, the white of the canvas stood transformed into a striking piece of art, wrapped in colours that make life vibrant and beautiful. Like coruscating shafts of sunlight yearning to probe the ocean, Husain's strokes struck the canvas deep, searching its curves for energy and, then, charging these with life force. All hues of fire (red, orange, yellow) had teamed up with the earthy marines to produce magic out of artist's creative outburst.

What resulted was a virtual extension of Husain's widely proclaimed fascination for Madhuri Dixit — an image of the Gajagamini — undersigned by the painter in Hindi and English. The work fetched Rs 15 lakh for the Aruna Asif Ali Trust, beneficiary of Husain's painting. The work has been bought by Mr Parag Dalmiya of Delhi. Husain said, on March 23, he would screen ‘Gajagamini’ in the KC in Sector 17, besides painting a horading of the film. Proceeds from the sale of the hoarding, too, will go to the Aruna Asif Ali Trust.

M.F. Husain was not flustered even for a second during his pursuit of art this morning. Even as hundreds present at Punjab Kala Bhavan in Sector 16 were still trying to determine the artistic plan with which Husain had hit the canvas, the final piece was ready to be savoured by art lovers. Artists present in the hall were full of praise for Husain, who, as always, was busy colouring his thoughts. An impressive quote came from Shiv Singh: “He attacks the canvas without anything in the mind.”

Perhaps, there lies the secret of Husain's originality. No one in the room, except the artist himself, knew what would finally become of the image he was playing with on the canvas. Husain, gradually, gave form to his fascination, enriched it with colours, wiped off some colour with black and white and concluded by undersigning the work.

When Husain detached himself from his creation (he is said to have the ability to detach himself from the work once it has been created), he invited a hearty applause from admirers. The legend had, once again, proved himself.



Cable fee: SDM meets operators
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, February 21
Following complaints from residents regarding ‘overcharging’ by certain cable TV operators in the town, the SDM, Mr D.S. Sandhu, called a meeting of the representatives of various operators here today.

Representatives of only two cable services, Future Communications and Punjab Cable Services, attended the meeting.

While Future Communications is providing services at a rate of Rs 220 per month, Punjab Cable Services is offering free-to-air channels for only Rs 40 per month.

The SDM raised an objection to the sudden hike in cable charges from February (Rs 220 per month from Rs 150) and wanted these to be scaled down. He asked cable operators to charge old rates for this month and wait till the holding of the next meeting in this connection where new charges could be fixed.

A partner in Future Communication declined to accept the suggestion. He said the charges were hiked because pay channels had increased their rates from January 1. He said in Delhi and other places, the charges were more than Rs 350 per month. He said he was able to provide services at a lower rate because his network had got 30 to 40 per cent rebate in connectivity.

The SDM also objected to the collection of advance payments from subscribers. The operators defended this practice on the grounds that they had to pay the channel providers in advance. Besides, subscribers sometimes claimed that they had not used the services on one pretext or the other, they added.

The SDM told the operators to charge Rs 210 per month for February. A meeting would be held on February 28 to which representatives of all operators and the departments concerned, including the taxation department, would be invited.

A few days ago, Punjab Cable Services had distributed pamphlets offering 40 free-to-air channels for only Rs 40 per month. The operator said the aim was to stop the so-called agents of pay channels, who are also cable TV operators in the region, from ‘fleecing you’. He claimed such operators were passing on less than 25 per cent of the subscription money collected from subscribers to the broadcasters. These agents, said the operator, were charging less than Rs 75 per month in various localities simply to drive out the operators who were opposing their moves to ‘monopolise’ cable services.

Subscribers in various cities may get some relief from exploitation by cable TV operators with the Central Government fixing July 14 as the date for the implementation of the conditional access system in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai. Subscribers will then be able to select pay channels or decide not to buy ‘set-top boxes’ and go in for the basic services of free channels available to everyone. Subscribers, who go in for free channels will be paying the operators such charges as fixed by the Central Government. Those who opt for pay channels will be required to pay additional charges fixed by the broadcasters.



ACA seeks file
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, February 21
Taking notice of the story carried by Chandigarh Tribune today about the alleged double sale of a letter of intent by an agreement holder in connivance with a property dealer, the ACA, SAS Nagar, PUDA, Mr Yashvir Mahajan, has ordered for the file to be sent to him for inquiring into the whole matter.

Meanwhile, the issue became murkier with the seller of the letter of intent, Mr Sohail Bhasin, today stating that he sold the letter of intent to the second party only when ‘‘Mr M.P. Singh backed out from the agreement. Mr M.P. Singh had sent a clear message through Sandhu Property Dealers, the dealers he had used to buy the letter of intent from me, that he does not want the property anymore. As a result of which we did not call the original allottee of the letter of intent on the last date of the agreement.’’

On the other hand Mr M.P. Singh stated that he was ready to finalise the deed but Mr Sandhu informed him that the deal could not be finalised on the last date as the original allottee would not be able to come for agreement finalisation as her daughter was ill in Ludhiana. Sandhu Property Dealers could not be contacted.



Black-money case: whose baby?
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 21
After over a month’s investigation into the case of Rs 1 crore black money, allegedly belonging to an official of the Food Corporation of India (FCI), the Punjab Police has told the Chandigarh police to register an FIR that the offence had taken place in Chandigarh.

The Chandigarh police has shot back a letter, saying that the area of the continuing offence is Dasuya (Hoshiarpur). “After investigating the case for a month and examining all suspects, they are now, trying to thrust the case on us,” said a police official. It has been learnt that legal opinion was sought before writing back to the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) at Hoshiarpur.

In January, the Hoshiarpur police had claimed to have found that the FCI official, P.P. Singh, had been accumulating wealth disproportionate to his known sources of income. It had made the claim on the disclosure of Balbir, a former servant of Lt Col G.S. Cheema of Sector 16 here, from whom, Rs 5 lakh, papers of two plots, a truck and some gold ornaments had been recovered. The assets were worth Rs 18 lakh. The rest of the amount, Rs 82 lakh, was never recovered.

The Punjab police is learnt to have given a clean chit to the FCI official and his wife and investigations are being focussed on the other suspects in the case, Balbir Singh and Lt Col Cheema. Sources in the police said the Punjab police had written to the Chandigarh police, seeking that a case be registered against these two. On the statement of the servant, who had been arrested by the Punjab police, a team led by the SP (detective) of Hoshiarpur, Mr Upinderjit Singh Ghumman, had raided the house of Lt Col Cheema on January 29. The team had even searched his lockers in the Sector 16 branch of Punjab National Bank, but found no cash there.

Lt Col Cheema had rented out an annexe of his house to a woman named Sudha on the recommendation of the wife of P.P. Singh, who lived in the neighbourhood. Sudha, who used to run a boutique, had close relations with the family of the FCI official.

Before leaving Chandigarh on transfer to Shimla last year, P.P. Singh had left a box with Sudha in her boutique. As disclosed by the servant, the box contained Rs 1 crore. The servant had said that he had come to know of the money and got a share of Rs 20 lakh from it, for not disclosing it to anyone. He had left the house of Cheemas about two months ago and returned to his native place, Dasuya. Since then, he had not returned to Chandigarh.

The police had also arrested Sudha, but the police party taking her to Hoshiarpur for investigations had met with an accident. She has been admitted to the PGI. She got injuries on the face, due to which, she is unable to speak.

After securing bail from a court in Hoshiarpur, the FCI official and his wife had appeared before the Hoshiarpur police on February 10. Earlier, P.P. Singh and his wife had refuted the charges of their involvement in this case, but admitted that Sudha Gill, from whom the empty trunk had been recovered, was known to them. “We used to get clothes for our children stitched from her when she was an ad hoc employee in the Sewing and Tailoring School of Chandigarh in 1993-94,” the couple had said.

They had also said that Sudha had become close to them and, so, she had been visiting them in Sector 16. In 1998, she opened her boutique in the house of Lt Col G.S. Cheema in Sector 16. Before shifting to another house in Sector 35, they gave the old empty iron trunk to Sudha on her request, for domestic use. They said they had shifted four houses since leaving Sector 16.



Sonia Gandhi stops over in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 21
Ms Sonia Gandhi, president of the All-India Congress Committee and Leader of the Opposition, made a brief halt at the Chandigarh airport on her way to Himachal Pradesh for electioneering.

She was received here by Mr Pawan Bansal, Member Parliament; Mr Subash Chawla, Mayor of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation; and Mr B.B. Bahl, president of the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee. Ms Sonia Gandhi was accompanied by Mohsina Kidwai, general secretary of the AICC.

Later, Ms Sonia Gandhi and Ms Kidwai returned to New Delhi via Chandigarh after completing first round of her tour of Himachal Pradesh to campaign for her party candidates in the Assembly elections.

Later in the day, local leaders of the Congress were present at the airport to give her a warm send-off.

Mr B.B. Bahl, president of the CTCC, said Ms Sonia Gandhi would revisit Himachal Pradesh on Saturday. She was supposed to visit HP on February 18, but bad weather made her postpone the visit.



Cooperative banks staff hold rally
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 21
At the call of the All India Bank Employees Association, employees of Punjab and Haryana Cooperative Banks held a joint rally today to observe the Cooperative Banks Day. The rally was held in front of Agricultural Development Bank, Sector 17.

Addressing the rally, Mr Shamsher Singh, President, HARCO Bank Employees Union, urged the Central government to provide financial assistance to weak banks, instead of closing them. Mr Satinder Kumar, President, Punjab State Cooperative Bank Employees Union, called upon the government to implement two tier system in Cooperative Banks. Among others, Mr S.K. Bhanot, Mr Baljit Singh and Mr Bua Singh also addressed the rally.



BJP men submit memorandum
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 21
A delegation of local BJP leaders under the leadership of Mr Yash Pal Mahajan handed over a memorandum to Lieut Gen JFR Jacob (retd), regarding the problems being faced by the residents of Sector 37-C and D and Sector 38-C. The delegation told the Administrator that a school was allotted 2.04 acres of land in Sector 37-D that was surrounded by houses. The said site had been allotted on V-6 road on three sides and one 10’ lane on the fourth side. The 10’ lane made the area blind that could result in traffic hazards.

Therefore, the delegation urged the Administrator to allot only 1-acre of land to the primary school and the rest be left for the development of a park for the residents of the area. The BJP leaders also urged the Administrator to withdraw the notices issued to certain residents of Sector-38C for demolishing of one room/store constructed in the backyard of their houses and to regularise them.



Four cases of cheating registered
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 21
The police today registered at least four cases of cheating involving an amount of around Rs 7.40 lakh. According to information, the manger of an immigration consultancy company took an amount of around Rs 4 lakh for sending four persons abroad, but he did not fulfill his promise.

A police official said a case under Sections 406, 420, and 120-B of the IPC had been registered against the manger, Mr Sukhwinder Singh Malik. The complainants, Rajesh Walia, Ravneet Walia, Paramjit Singh and Ashu Verma, had given Rs 1.62 lakh, Rs 1.5 lakh, Rs 66,590 and Rs 71,500, respectively, to the accused.

In another case, Baldev Singh, Senior Assistant in the Subordinate Selection Board, Sector 8, here lodged a complaint with the police stating that Narinder Singh and Lal Singh prepared forged appointment letters to get appointed against two vacancies in the Food and Civil Supplies Department.

A finance company, Muthoot Leasing and Finance Company, lodged a complaint that Devinder Singh, Kehar Singh and Joginder Singh had taken a loan from the firm for purchasing a truck by using the fake registration number of an old truck.

In yet another case, Mr R.S. Thapar, manager of the Sector 32 branch of Punjab National Bank, had lodged a complaint against Krishan Avtar Singh, Harminder Pal Singh and Dharamvir Khimani. Krishan Avtar Singh had allegedly taken a loan of Rs 2.96 lakh from the bank against a truck that had been purchased by taking on a loan already.

All case are being investigated by the Economic Offences Wing of the city police.

Pirated VCDs seized: As many as 518 pirated video CDs were seized from a shop in Mani Majra here on Friday. According to information available, the video CDs, including 18 pornographic VCDs, were seized from Deepak Video-21 in Shastri Nagar, Mani Majra by the CIA wing of the Chandigarh Police. Two persons, Manoj and Deepak, were arrested and case under the Copy Right Act registered.

Booked: A driver of a Punjab Police Gypsy (PB-08-AE-0600) was today booked for hitting a car and a scooter near the traffic lights of Sector 18 and 21 on Friday evening. The vehicle was being driven by Jaswinder Singh. The scooter was being driven by Pardeep, a resident of Panchkula. A case has been registered.

Car stolen: A white Maruti car (CH-01-D-6101) was stolen from outside a house in Sector 44 on Thursday night. The owner of the car, Mr Vinod Chauhan, said he had parked the car outside his house. A case has been registered.

Theft: Kiranjeet Kaur, a resident of Panjab University, has complained to the police that Rs 9,100, some gold jewellery and other valuables had been stolen from her house. A case has been registered.


Remand: Shyam Lal, a man arrested on Tuesday by the Pinjore police on the charge of killing a 70-year-old woman, Bhago Devi, was sent to judicial custody till March 6 by a local court today.

7 arrested: The police has arrested seven persons under the Excise Act in separate incidents during the past 24 hours. While Azir Ahmad was arrested with 30 pouches of liquor, Harkesh Singh was arrested with 50 pouches of liquor.

Five others were arrested for drinking at a public place.

Assault: Madhukesh Sisodiya has accused some persons of assaulting him and intimidating him in Pinjore yesterday. In another case, Rakesh Chand has accused some people of assaulting him and threatening him with dire consequences. The police has registered FIRs in both cases.


Injured in accident: Two persons sustained injuries in an accident on the Ambala-Delhi national highway on Thursday. The accident took place when a car collided with a motor cycle near Mohra. Randeep Singh and Ram Singh, persons on the motor cycle, were the ones injured. They were rushed to Civil Hospital of Ambala Cantonment.



JE held for theft
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 21
The local police has arrested a Junior Engineer with the Department of Town and Country Planning Inder Singh and another person, Raj Kumar , on charges of theft.

The two accused had stolen a scooter and a CTV from Sector 11 on February 19. According to the police the JE was a drug addict and had got into the habit of stealing for buying drugs.

They were today produced before the court of JMIC.



‘Customers benefit from call centres’
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, February 21
Call centres play a vital role in helping a business improve customer services, apart from reducing expenses, Mr M.N. Prasanna Kumar, senior consultant, BSG OA, HCL Infosystems Ltd, said.

Mr Kumar, who was speaking at a seminar organised by the Mohali Industries Association (MIA) on “Opportunities in call centre business” in collaboration with HCL Infosystems Ltd, said call centres offered efficient services like intelligent call routing, screen-based telephony, intelligent dialling, automated display of caller information and the coordinated transfer of data information along with a telephone transfer. These centres provided MIS reports which gave all types of data related to the agent’s efficiency. He said in today’s market, customer retention was important which could be achieved through a good customer support system.

The Additional Director, Software Technology Park of India (STPI), SAS Nagar, Dr Sanjay Tyagi, spoke on the role of the STPI in ushering in the IT Era in the country.



Facility to exchange soiled notes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 21
Under the RBI’s policy to provide crisp currency notes to the public, Allahabad Bank will offer facility of exchange of soiled notes with new ones on one Sunday every month. The facility would begin at the Sector 17-B branch of the bank on February 23. Timings will be from 10 am and 2 pm.

The regional office of Allahabad Bank, in a statement issued here today, claimed that it had taken a special initiative for the exchange of soiled currency notes and distribution of coins. The facility would also be available on March 16. Future dates would be announced later.


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