Sunday, March 30, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Sukhna level raise can ‘cause’ flood
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh March 29
A leading hydro expert of Punjab, Dr Gurbir Singh Dhillon, has warned that the move by the UT Administration to raise the water level in the Sukhna lake by 3 feet by raising the sill or crest level of the radial gates of the regulator could lead to a disaster.

In an interview with TNS here today, Dr Dhillon said while he was appreciative of the Administration’s eagerness to save the lake which was rapidly drying up due to continuous silting, it seemed that all pros and cons had not been examined before deciding to raise the level of the sill on which radial gates rested at the regulator.

“Masonry walls of the spillway will not be able to withstand the extra load which will be exerted on them by the additional three feet of water,” he said.

This could lead to a collapse of the regulator, resulting in extensive flooding of Punjab villages along the Sukhna choe, he warned. He wondered whether the Punjab Government had been consulted by the UT’s Engineering Department before giving the go-ahead to the move. The work on the project has already started.

An engineering graduate from Sheffield, England, Dr Dhillon is a PhD. He has served for 38 years in the Punjab Irrigation Department, 12 of which he spent at the Irrigation Research Institute, Amritsar. After he retired as Chief Engineer in 1988, he served on the faculty of Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, and Thapar Institute of Engineering, Patiala, for a total of six years. At present, he is Adviser, Water Management Cell of the Confederation of Indian Industry (Northern region).

He said the proposal to increase the water level of the Sukhna lake by raising its sill was not a new one. It was examined back in 1958 at the behest of the then Chief Minister of Punjab, Sardar Partap Singh Kairon, and found to be impracticable. “It so happened that once when Kairon was taking his evening walk at the Sukhna lake with R.N. Ravikant, the then Chief Engineer, Punjab Irrigation, the latter happily pointed out that the Sukhna lake was already full to the brim. Kairon, however, pointed out that the water level in the lake could still be raised by several more feet of water.

“Ravikant returned from the evening walk and gave me a ring, asking me to find out ways and means of raising the water level in the lake. I had at one stage been involved in the approval of the design of the Sukhna lake. The lake design was evolved by the late R.N. Bansal, Executive Engineer, at Nangal. It came to the Central Design Office (CDO) for counter signature. I examined it and recommended the design which was countersigned by the Director, CDO.

"After the call from Ravikant, I carried out a detailed examination of the design and found that the water level could be raised by 3 feet, provided the spillway regulator could withstand the additional load. Since design calculations for the same were not available with me, I sent the design to the Central Design Office, Delhi. The design was checked by I.C.Gupta, Deputy Director at Delhi. who found that the spillway masonry walls would not be able to withstand the extra load of 3 feet of water. The proposal was, therefore, dropped. The raising of the sill level will also increase the energy to be dissipated, which would lead to creation of cavities. Thus, the whole structure will become unsafe. Also, if the water level of the lake is raised by 3 feet, there will be an increase of flood level by 40 per cent. Therefore, areas both upstream and downstream of the Sukhna choe will have to be notified.” Dr Dhillon was of the view that instead of acting in a hasty manner, the Administration should constitute a committee of experts to study various options for raising the water level in the Sukhna lake and make suitable recommendations.



CBI yet to examine 208 witnesses
Kiran Deep

Fact File

  • Beant Singh assassinated on August 31, 1995.
  • Main suspects arrested in September, 1995; trial begins in 1996.
  • Witnesses examined: 218; total witnesses: 426.
  • Balwant Singh, Jagtar Singh Tara confess to involvement in January, 1998.
  • Sessions Judges who conducted trial earlier — Mr Amar Dutt, Mr B.S Bedi and Mr H.S Bhalla.
  • Present hearings being conducted by CBI Special Judge Balbir Singh.

Chandigarh, March 29
Over seven years after the then Punjab Chief Minister, Beant Singh, was killed in a bomb explosion, the ongoing assassination trial has seen examination of at least 218 witnesses of a total of 426 by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The CBI has finally indicated that it is likely to drop informal witnesses with a view to expedite the high-profile trial.

Beant Singh was killed in an explosion while coming out of his office in the Civil Secretariat on August 31, 1995, and the suspected human bomb died in the blast. There are 13 accused allegedly involved in the case by the CBI — nine are presently facing trial and are lodged in Model Burail Jail. The other four have been declared proclaimed offenders by the CBI.

The trial of the case began in 1996 and after the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, a separate makeshift jailroom was created at Burail Jail to conduct court proceedings. Later, acting on the plea moved by one of the accused, demanding a speedy trial, the High Court directed to hold proceedings seven to 10 days in a month.

Many judges have been involved in the trial, right from Mr Amar Dutt and Mr B.S Bedi to the present District Sessions Judge, Mr H.S Bhalla. At present, the trial is being conducted by CBI Special Judge Balbir Singh.

CBI counsel Rajan Malhotra and Mr R.K Handa said to expedite the trial, the CBI was likely to drop some informal witnesses in the assassination case. They added that as per the High Court directions, the trial was being held between seven and 10 days in a month.

In January this year, one of the counsels for the CBI, Mr R.K Handa, had informed the High Court that the prosecution evidence in the assassination case was likely to be completed by the end of this year, acting on a petition filed by prime witness in the case, Mr Surinder Sharma.

Defence counsel Amar Singh Chahal, however, claimed that legal procedure was taking its time and was moving as per the High Court directions. The trial is taking time as there are so many witnesses in the case.

Another defence counsel, Mr N.S Minhas, said considering the pace at which the trial was being conducted, it would take another seven years to complete the proceedings. He said there were more then 400 witnesses but so far only 218 had been examined by the CBI.

When contacted, the Model Burail Jail Superintendent, Mr D.S Rana, said keeping the sensitivity of the case in mind, special security arrangements were being made for the nine accused lodged in the jail. Mr Rana said the accused were lodged in three different barracks and were always under surveillance of the jail authorities. He added that as per the court directions, nine of the accused have been provided B- class facilities.

These accused are Jagtar Singh Hawara, Jagtar Singh Tara, Paramjit Singh, Shamsher Singh, Balwant Singh, Lakhwinder Singh, Gurmeet Singh, Nasib Singh, Navjot Singh, who have been facing trial for their alleged role in the assassination. The accused have been charged with murder, attempt to murder and criminal conspiracy and under Sections 3, 4 and 6 of the Explosives Substances Act.



UT staff seek change in service conditions
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 29
Demanding a change in service conditions for more than 20,000 UT employees, the Federation of UT Employees has said that service conditions in Chandigarh Administration should be on the Central pattern and not on the present Punjab pattern.

Under the Punjab pattern, which was implemented on January 13, 1992, the age of superannuation was brought down from 60 to 58 years. The leave rules of the Punjab Government were introduced, reducing the number of leaves, and the ex gratia payment in lieu of bonus had been denied and other benefits withdrawn. The federation said the Punjab pattern service rules had been thrust upon them.

The federation has requested the local Member of Parliament to take up the issue with the government and protect the rights of employees. Mr Pawan Bansal assured the delegation that he would take up the issue.

The federation has demanded that service conditions prevailing in 1966 should be immediately restored. In February this year, the federation submitted a detailed memorandum to the Union Home Minister, Administrator, UT Chandigarh, and the Adviser to the UT Administrator.

During the reorganisation of states in 1966, Chandigarh was created and the Union Ministry of Home Affairs issued a notification on November 1, 1966, containing the service conditions of the newly created UT. It had said that Chandigarh would be governed by Central rules in the matter of service conditions, whereas the pay scales would be accorded to them on the pattern of corresponding posts in the adjoining state of Punjab.

On January 13, 1992, another notification was issued by the Government of India and service conditions as well as pay scales of UT employees were granted on the Punjab pattern. The federation said this notification was necessitated because in 1988, Central pay scales were allowed to UT employees with effect from January 1, 1986. However, these were again changed to the Punjab pattern, through a notification in 1992. However, while allowing change of pay scales from the Central pattern to the Punjab pattern, the Government of India also changed the service conditions of UT employees and made it on the Punjab pattern. 



Shortage of judges likely to continue
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 29
The shortage of judges in the Punjab and Haryana High Court is likely to continue. Four judges are scheduled to retire in the near future upon attaining the age of superannuation. New appointments are yet to be made. Their number came down to 30 this week against the sanctioned strength of 40, with the retirement of Justice M.L. Singhal.

Sources confirm that the decreasing number was forcing the over-burdened judges to work till late in the afternoon, besides leading to an increase in the pendency of cases. High Court Chief Justice Mr B.K. Roy’s reported statement to the media at Kurukshetra is, perhaps, a testimony to this effect.

Talking to reporters earlier this month, Mr Justice Roy had reportedly stated that the delay in the judges appointment was creating a backlog. The Chief Justice had added that his predecessor had sent the case for selecting five judges in June last year, but he was unaware of the file’s movement.

Even though the judges are now taking up “old cases” on Wednesdays, sources claim that civil cases dating back to late 80s are pending in the high court, while criminal appeals against acquittals are pending since late 90’s.

This is not all. As per a report released by the Press Information Bureau in 2001, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had the second highest number of dowry death cases in the country. As many as 842 such cases were awaiting disposal when the report was released. The Rajasthan High Court, with 926 cases, topped the list.

To solve the problem of the increasing vacancies of high court judges, the Ministry of Law, Justice and Company Affairs had reportedly written a letter to the states of Punjab, Haryana and the Union Territory of Chandigarh to initiate the process of appointing judges at least six months before the retirement of the sitting ones.

The high court had also recommended the constitution of a special cell for chalking out a programme to list old cases on a priority basis. A committee of three judges had also suggested that “two officers of the Punjab and Haryana Superior Judicial Service may be appointed for the purpose”.

The committee had further suggested that the cases pending before the subordinate courts, in which the high court had issued stay orders, “may be listed for hearing on a priority basis before all Benches on Fridays”. Two Benches could be left out of the process for deciding urgent bail matters after hearing the arguments, the committee had further suggested.

It had also requested the judges “not to give fresh dates for Fridays so that old cases could be taken up for hearing”. The authorities had also been directed to prepare “a consolidated list of cases in which proceedings had been stayed by the high court, but cases were still pending before the subordinate courts.”



6 more AIIMS-like institutes on anvil
‘Sanjeevani’ project for disaster health care: Sushma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 29
In the first major step towards strengthening of tertiary care health facilities in the country, the government will shortly upgrade one medical college in every state of the country on the lines of AIIMS and constitute a special Emergency Medical Services Task Force called “ Sanjeevani ” to take care of the exigencies during times of disaster.

Spelling out the priorities of the Health Ministry, Mrs Sushma Swaraj during her first visit to the PGI today gave a detailed account of the areas where a number of such projects had been chalked out. “ With the objective of reducing the burden on bigger institutes like AIIMS and PGI, the gaps in terms of equipment, doctors and other facilities at one medical college each in every state is being studied so that the scheme can be launched at the earliest,” she revealed.

The Health Services Consultant Corporation (HSCC), will select the best medical college in every state. “ On the basis of a study being conducted at AIIMS, to identify the states from which the maximum patients come here, we intend setting up another six big medical institutes in the country,” she revealed. Though the six states to have these institutes were yet to be shortlisted but requests from Orissa, Bihar, Chattisgarh and Uttranchal had already been received.

Realising the dire need for Emergency Medical Services in the country during times of an earthquake, cyclone or rail accident, the Health Ministry will launch the ambitious “ Sanjeevani Project “ The mobile hospitals, in the form of containers will basically have all the facilities like operation theatre and Intensive care unit so that it can be air-lifted or taken by road or rail to the affected area. “ To begin with we shall launch two such containers at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in Delhi and NIMHANS in Bangalore , hopefully on August 15, this year,” she disclosed.

Dwelling on the issue of “brain drain”, the minister said a study would be conducted to see how many of the doctors who go abroad, return. “And if need be a legislation will be made so that the nation is not at a loss despite spending crores on medical education.”

Expressing serious concern over the declining sex ratio due to female foeticide, she said this was a social problem which could be tackled best by creating awareness among the public.” If need be we will ensure that the existing laws in this regard are made more stringent and are implemented strictly,” she emphasised. She added the fact that certain celebrities like the Vice-President of India and she herself, who had one daughter each, would be used to send a message to the people.

Even the National Maternity Benefit Scheme, under which Rs 500 is given to a pregnant mother,will be revised and now Rs 500 for a son and Rs 1,000 for a daughter will be given that too after the delivery, she added.

Evening OPDs

The fate of evening OPD started at five places in the country, including PGI, “will be decided after the Health Ministry takes a final decision after evaluating the viability of the facility.

Mrs Swaraj, said if it was found that the facility was not serving the purpose, the decision could be reviewed. She said reports had indicated that the facility was not drawing much patients and after visiting the evening OPD personally in Delhi, she would take a final decision.


Heated exchanges likely at MC meeting
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 29
The monthly general meeting of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh, scheduled for coming Monday, is likely to witness heated exchanges between the ruling and the opposition members over the issue of Darshani Bagh and the status report on a hotel site in sector-35B.

The Hotel site No. 6 measuring 2.62 acres in Sector-35B, was auctioned on April 28, 1997 at the highest bid of Rs 36.55 crore to M/S GSR Hotels. A sum of Rs 9.13 crore (25% of the total amount) was deposited with the MC. But, the company did not take the possession. Instead, it filed a writ petition before the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking refund of the deposited amount among with 18 per cent interest. The court case was recently decided in the company’s favour, making it obligatory on the MC to pay Rs 15.50 crore to the company.

The Opposition has been demanding a discussion on the status report on this issue, fixing responsibility on officials concerned that led to the financial burden on the civic body. The MC has already put a sum of Rs 15.50 crore in the plan head of the year 2003-04 budget proposal.

A majority of ruling Congress councillors feel that the discussion on the issue should be deferred to the next general meeting to avoid a confrontation with Opposition members.

On the acquisition of the Darshani Bagh area both Congress and BJP leaders have impressed upon residents of the Darshani Bagh area that they would save their lands. The Congress councillor of the area Mr Surinder Singh is coming up with a resolution before the general house demanding that the land in populated areas should be exempted from acquisition.

The other issues coming up for discussion before the House include a proposal for the transfer of maintenance & operation work of public/mobile toilet vans to private agencies, levying of commercial tariff on water in residential houses having STD-PCO-FAX or Photostat, the terms and conditions for allotment of taxi stands, audit reports on the accounts of MC for the period of last financial year and confirmation of resolutions passed by the Finance and Contracts Committee (F&CC).




MEETING: A meeting of the non-government organisations (NGOs) was called by the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation under the chairmanship of Mr Ashok Vasistha, Additional Commissioner, MC here yesterday to discuss the role of NGOs in the implementation of the Swaran Jyanti Shahri Rozgar Yojana. The 17 NGOs who participated in the meeting were apprised of the salient features of Yojana and the role NGOs can play in motivating and encouraging families living below the poverty line in various colonies for availing benefits under this scheme.

PARKING: In order to make parking people friendly the Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, has introduced a new system in the parking zone opposite Empire Store and Sahib Singh and Sons, Sector 17. The parking slots have yellow markings and numbered. At the entry point commuters shall be issued parking slips along with tokens having the number of the parking slot. The parking token has to be returned back at the exit.

SANCTIONED: Mr Subash Chawla, Mayor, has sanctioned Rs 2 lakh from his discretionary fund for the cementing of streets in Pipliwala town, Mani Majra. Residents of the area had been demanding this for a long time.

DAIRY OWNERS: The Mani Majra Cattle Welfare Society submitted a memorandum to the Union Minister of Health, Family Welfare and Parliamentary Affairs, Mrs Sushma Swaraj on Friday to formulate a scheme for the setting up of a milk colony and allot plots as alternative sites for shifting the milk dairies from within the city limits. TNS



Book cops in suicide case: Rights panel
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, March 29
Lawyers for Human Rights International, a human rights organisation functioning in Chandigarh, has recommended the registration of cases against former SHO Rajinder Singh Sohal here and Head Constable Happy Singh of the, Phase I police station for driving a truck driver living in Phase V to suicide.

The said truck driver, Bhupinder Singh, committed suicide himself on March 18, allegedly after he was tortured by the police for having refused to transport police horses for free.

The organisation released its report on the matter at a press conference here today. Stating that the incident reeked of a strong nexus of corruption in the local police, the press secretary of the organisation, Mr Arunjiv Singh Walia, pointed out that since the role of the police was under suspicion, an independent CBI inquiry should be conducted.

It was further recommended in the report that ASI Piara Singh should be held responsible for destroying evidence and fabricating evidence.

The organisation demanded an ex-gratia payment of Rs 10 lakh to the family of the deceased as he was the only earning member of his family. It was also stated that the process of getting work out of truck unions for free by the police should be banned as it amounted to extortion.



A show of old stamps opened
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 29
Some of the oldest postage stamps have been exhibited at the two-day philatelic exhibition, which was inaugurated here today by Ms Manjula Prashar, Postmaster General, Punjab. She also released a special cover on the occasion, which has a postmark depicting ‘Scinde Dawk’, the first postal stamp not only of India, but of entire Asia.

Speaking on the occasion, Ms Manjula Prashar said: ‘‘The exhibition marks the revival of the Chandigarh Philatelic Club after a period of 20 years during which it had passed into oblivion. Hereafter, the exhibition will become an annual feature in the philatelic agenda of the Chandigarh Postal Division.’’

She disclosed that ‘Scinde Dawk’ postal stamp was brought out by Sir Bartle Frere, Commissioner of Sind, in token of pre-payment of postage in 1852. The department is celebrating 150 years of the existence of that stamp. The central design of the stamp, she said, was the East India Company’s broad arrow and it was brought out in different colours, including vermilion, white and blue. All the three colours have been depicted on the special cover released today.

Referring to the problem of spurious stamps, she said it was a matter of concern for the philatelists as well the Postal Department. She informed that the Universal Postal Union was seized of the matter and was contemplating to take punitive measures to stop the practice.

Twentyeight frames have been set up for display covering diverse themes. A large number of school children from St Kabir High School, St Xavier’s senior Secondary School and St Stephen’s High School were also present on the occasion. To initiate the children into the hobby of philately, these children were presented mementos, which comprised the first-day cover of the stamp carrying an illustration of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple at Varanasi.

Among others Mr Vivek Kaul, Director, Postal Services, Mr A.S. Luthra, recently elected president of the Chandigarh Philatelic Club, and Ms Amanpreet Duggal, Superintendent of Posts, were present on this occasion.



SAS Nagar ex-servicemen demand ECHS facility
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, March 29
The Ex-servicemen Grievances Cell here has, in a letter to the Chief of the Army Staff, demanded the provision of Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) to ex-servicemen living in the township.

Stating that the township had more than 10,000 ex-servicemen, Lt-Col S.S. Sohi (retd), president of the cell, pointed out that the township had not been included for New Armed Forces Clinic at non-military stations under the ECHS.

“Ropar is about 40 km away and it would be highly inconvenient to go to Ropar for ECHS services. Instead SAS Nagar should be made an ECHS centre,” the letter further stated.



Auto mechanics may get breather
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 29
At least 440 auto mechanics who were allotted booths in various sectors of the city as part of their rehabilitation process are likely to be given some grace in depositing their first instalment of the booths.

The Auto Mechanics Federation met the Finance Secretary, Mr Karan Avtar Singh, recently and sought deferment of the first instalment. The mechanics have claimed that due to dislocation, their work started late. Also, water and power connections were delayed. The Chandigarh Administration has sought a report from its various wings about exact date of these services. Also the Estate Office has been asked to look into the fact if all allotments were made on time or not. 



Sector 45 residents meet Jacob
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 29
A delegation of Residents Welfare Association (regd), Sector 45, met the UT Administrator Lt Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), here on Friday. The members demanded an immediate cancellation of permission for construction of guest houses in front of their residential flats on a park site. They urged General Jacob that the park be converted into a regular one for the use by residents of Sector 45. They said the construction of such houses in front of residential areas also violated the directions of the Supreme Court order.



Memorandum submitted

Chandigarh, March 29
The Mani Majra Cattle Welfare Society yesterday submitted a memorandum to the Union Minister for Health Family Welfare and Parliamentary Affairs, Ms Sushma Swaraj, to formulate a scheme for setting up a milk colony and allot plots as alternative sites for shifting the milk dairies from with in the limits of Chandigarh. TNS



Press Club poll today

Chandigarh, March 29
Annual elections to elect the governing council of the Chandigarh Press Club will be held tomorrow. The main contest is between the panels led by Mr Naresh Kaushal and Mr Sarabjit Pandher. Voting will start at 10 a.m and close at 5 p.m. The club has a nine-member governing council. TNS



Journalist bereaved
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, March 29
Mr Gopal Sharan Singh, elder brother of Mr Karamjit Singh, Assistant Editor, Punjabi Tribune, died this morning following a heart attack. He was 64 years old and is survived by his wife, two daughters and two sons. He was cremated this afternoon at the SAS Nagar cremation grounds. Mr Gopal Sharan retired from the Ordnance Cable Factory, Chandigarh.



Lawyer bereaved
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 29
Saroj Aggarwal, the mother of Mr Ashok Aggarwal, senior advocate at the Punjab and Haryana High Court, passed away here today. She was 70. Her cremation will take place on Sunday. 



A clarification

In the letters to the Editor column, Chandigarh Tribune dated March 29, 2003, it was erroneously published that the cable operator of Sector 8, Chandigarh, is demanding Rs 200 to Rs 100 towards installation and reconnection charges. The correct figure is Rs 200 to Rs 1,000. The error is regretted.



Mutilated body found in Sector 25
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 29
The mutilated body of a 37-year-old typist of Ropar, Budh Ram, was found lying under mysterious circumstances near the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya in Sector 25 here this morning. Injury marks were evident on the left side of the victim’s body — on the face, the arm, the lower abdomen and the hips.

The victim, who worked as typist in the Ropar district courts, was identified this evening from the tag of Saro Tailors (Ropar) on his shirt. The family of the victim has reportedly been informed about the tragedy.

Clothes of the victim were in tatters and were smeared in blood. There was no trace of blood at the spot. Investigations by the police reveal that he may have died in a road accident and the body dumped in Sector 25 to hide facts in the case. The police is working on the theory that the victim, after being injured in a road accident in nearby areas of Ropar district, was apparently being evacuated to the PGI, but he died on way and was dumped in Chandigarh by the driver of the vehicle which hit him or by some passerby.

A police official said a close examination revealed that small pieces of gravel had pierced the victim’s body after he fell. There were holes on the left cheek of Budh Ram. He was wearing green trousers and his wallet was missing. Two tickets of a Punjab Roadways bus and a pair of keys were found in his pocket. The shoes of the victim was also missing. As it was raining, the police could not collect imprints of tyre marks of the vehicle in which the victim had apparently been dumped.

A case under Sections 201 and 304-A of the IPC has been registered. The victim, working as Punjabi typist, was not financially sound. He is survived by his mother, wife and two sons.

Mr Charanjit Ghai, advocate in the Ropar courts, told TNS that the deceased was working at the courts for the last 12 years and was a kind-hearted person. Family members and friends of the victim was shocked on hearing the news.

To ascertain the sequence of events, the Chandigarh police has approached the Ropar police to ascertain when and with whom the victim was last seen and who dumped the body. The police is trying to figure out whether the accident took place in Ropar district and he died on way to the PGI. A police official said it appeared that the typist had died at least 12 hours before the body was spotted in Sector 25.

Identification parade: In the case of rape of an eight year-old girl of Bapu Dham, the police today carried out an identification parade of some of suspects, but the victim, admitted to the Sector 16 General Hospital, could not identify the rapist .

According to information, the victim, said to be dumb, was sleeping along with her mother before she went missing from the first floor of the house where she lived. Circumstantial evidence pointed towards the possibility of the girl going along with someone known to her.

One dead: A resident of the housing colony in Punjab Engineering College, Dalbir Singh, who was admitted to the Sector 32 GMCH here yesterday after he was hit by an unidentified vehicle near the Sector 20 gurdwara, today succumbed to his injuries. The police registered a case under Sections 279, 337 and 304-A of the IPC.

Man assaulted: Ashok Kumar of Colony number 5 was allegedly assaulted by Varinder, Naginder and Surinder. The victim was admitted to the Sector 32 GMCH. A case under Sections 325 and 34 of the IPC was been registered.

Smack seized: The crime branch of the Chandigarh police arrested Sanjay of Sector 15 here from near the crossing separating Sectors 15 and 24 for possessing four grams of smack. A case under the NDPS Act was registered.

12-yr-old missing: A 12-year-old boy of Mani Majra town is missing from in front of his house since March 27. The boy is a student of Gobindpura School in Mani Majra.

The father of the boy, in a complaint to the police, said he did not suspect anyone. The police lodged a complaint in the daily diary register.

Purse stolen: Sita Rani of Sector 37 reported that her purse, containing a gold ring, a gold locket, a pair of gold tops and Rs 700, was stolen from the Sector 37 market. A case under Section 379 of the IPC was registered.

Body found: The police found a decayed body near the rail track close to the Ambala-Chandigarh road here on Saturday. The body was brought to the local civil hospital for postmortem examination. The police suspected that the deceased seemed to be a resident of Bihar and he might have fallen off a running train.

Suspect held: The Ambala police has arrested one more suspect in a snatching case in which four persons snatched a briefcase containing about 8 kg of gold from a jeweller of Sarafa Bazaar on December 24.

The Superintendent of Police, Mr Hardeep Singh Doon, said here today that three suspects had been arrested earlier while the fourth one, Rajesh, alias Neetu, was arrested today. Rajesh disclosed during interrogation that he along with Kanwaljit, Sandeep and Dinesh, had thrown chilly powder in the eyes of the jeweller before snatching his briefcase containing the jewellery, the SP added.

Mr Doon said the police had recovered 635 grams of the gold from one of the three other suspects whereas 90 grams were recovered from the possession of Rajesh.

Two held: The police has arrested two persons on charges of trying to loot Mini Bank in village Bagwali of Raipur Rani on March 27. The accused — Sultan and Satish were arrested on the complaint of Mini Bank manager, Mr Pahlad Singh.

According to information available, the two had broken the front door of the bank with the handle of the hand pump. However, some persons raised an alarm and the duo were caught.

SAS Nagar
CDs seized: The police here has recovered over 700 CDs from a shop in Phase VII here. These CDs were recovered when a police team led by SHO, Phase VII, Ramandeep Singh, along with Mr Amit Grover, authorised representative to T-series raided the shop on Friday. The shopkeeper has been arrested under the Copyrights Act.

In another incident the police arrested two persons at various place in the township on charges of gambling.



Cops on trail of snatchers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 29
An increase in the incidents of snatching in the city in the past three months has set the Chandigarh Police on the trail of the elusive snatchers. In the 22 incidents of snatching reported in the past three months people have lost around Rs 55,000 cash.

Inquiries reveal that snatchers were also targeting mobile phone sets. The issue of spurt in the case of snatching had been discussed in a recently held monthly crime meeting.

The Sub-Divisional Officer (SDPOs) and the SHOs have been asked to check the incidents of snatching in their respective areas.

Even the VIPs not being spared: Yesterday, a former Mayor of Chandigarh, Mrs Harjinder Kaur, lost her mobile to two snatchers when she was talking on the set. On February 8, two scooter-borne youths snatched the purse of Mrs Rani Sharma, wife of a former Member of Parliament, Mr Vinod Sharma, near her Sector 9 residence. The purse contained Rs 30,000. In another incident, Nalini, daughter of an MLA from Himachal Pradesh, lost her mobile to snatchers from Sector 17 Market.

Police advice to mobile users: Police officials say that mobile users should ensure that their mobile sets were properly secured while they were talking on the sets. It had been observed that the people who have lost their mobile were either talking on their sets or were merely them in their hands. The police is hopeful that an EMI number on the mobile sets could help in tracking down their users.



Pagrexco to set up food park
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 29
The Punjab Agro Export Corporation Limited (Pagrexco) will set up a food park under a Central Government scheme, which would create necessary post harvest, testing and other central facilities to minimise losses to farmers.

The management in a press note issued here today stated that it had appointed M/s Plantsman’s Landscapes as management consultants for providing seed, agronomic practices and post harvest techniques. It also claimed that it was offering up to Rs 34,000 per acre for the production of peas, carrot and Rs 80,000 per acre for lettuce, cabbage and tomato.

The new venture of Pagrexco will empower farmers to produce alternative crops in the state. It is now exporting vegetables to countries like the UK, Dubai and Malaysia.


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