Saturday, May 10, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


7 held for smuggling CBSE answer-sheets
Tribune News Service

Seven of the suspects arrested by the Chandigarh Police on Friday for being involved in a racket of tampering with answer-sheets of CBSE examination.
Seven of the suspects arrested by the Chandigarh Police on
Friday for being involved in a racket of tampering with answer-sheets of CBSE examination. — A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, May 9
Close on the heels of a CBSE PMT scam to secure admission in medical colleges through “scamsters”, another racket, which could jeopardise the career of thousands of students, who appeared in the matric and Senior Secondary level examination of the CBSE recently, has been unearthed by the Chandigarh Police.

Keeping the sensitivity of the issue in mind, through investigations were being conducted to ascertain the dimensions of the racket. So far the police has reportedly identified as many as 40 beneficiaries but the figure was likely to go up.

Already seven persons — Sham Singh, a peon in the Haryana Country and Town Planning; Amit Sheikh, alias Rajan, Avdesh Gupta, Jitender, alias Vicky, Dinesh Kumar, Sri Chand, a peon in the Sector 37 Government Senior Secondary School, and his son, Rajinder Kumar — have been arrested by the police. Barring, Sham Singh and Sri Chand, others had been employed by the contractor, who was engaged by the CBSE to encode the answer-sheets for the sake of secrecy.


* The CBSE has sought the names of the beneficiaries so that action could be taken against them; the police has so far not planned any action against the students.
By the time people unearthed the racket, the contractor was through with his job; So the police could not procure any of the tampered answer-sheets.
* As many as 75,000 students had appeared in the matric examination which concluded on March 22; the results are expected by the third week of May.
* As many as 55,000 students appeared in the plus II examinations which concluded on April 4; the result is expected by May 23.

The arrested persons have been booked for forgery with an intention to cheat, using a forged document and criminal conspiracy. Though the role of the contractor, D.V. Arora, in the racket was being probed, the police is tight-lipped about the involvement of certain CBSE officials in the racket.

Officials of the regional office of the CBSE in Sector 32 had been called by the police to ascertain the procedure adopted for storing and encoding the answer-sheets of students at a centre in Dev Samaj School in Sector 21. The regional centre of the CBSE caters to students in Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, Jammu and Kashmir. The modus operandi of the organised gang was to lure the students to improve their performance in the papers they did not fare well.

Seeing the sensitivity of the matter, the Regional Officer of the CBSE, Mr Yograj Sachdeva, was asked about the procedure of entrusting the answer-sheets and give it to the students concerned. The students would then fill the right information during the night and by next day the answer-sheet was put back in the record. Most of the men employed by the contractor were daily wagers.

Sources in the police said the racket was going for the past few years. However, police officials said the racket involved answer-sheets of this year’s annual examinations of the CBSE. Encouraged by illegal operation, the members of the gang this year had promised 80 per cent and above marks to students who paid between Rs 15,000 and 35,000. However, the gimmick of the cheaters did not work as the police got a whiff of the racket. A case under Sections 380, 468,471 and 120 B of the IPC has been registered.

The suspects were today remanded to police custody till May 12.


Delhi models to set ramp afire
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 9
The city today played host to some of the Delhi-based models. In the city to participate in a fashion show structured to present the summer collection of a city-based designer, Dimpy Gujral, are models Katrina Kaif, Apoorva Jha, Tina Chhatwal, Srishti Srivastava and Parul Choudhary. The show will be held at Rock Garden tomorrow evening.

While four out of the five models in attendance do not have too many claims to fame, Katrina Kaif has been riding the crest lately, not only because of having many assignments in modelling but also because of one plum role on the big screen.

Having bagged a role in a Jackie Shroff-Ayesha Shroff production titled “Boom”, Katrina Kaif surely appears to be more conscious of her growing star status. She is all set to play real life role in reel, along with two other top female models — Padma Lakshmi, better known for her proximity to Salman Rashdie, and Madhu Sapre. Obviously excited about the role, Katrina is waiting for more lady luck to smile on her.

As for Tina Chhatwal, life has been on the move ever since she bagged the Asia-Pacific-2002 title in the Femina Miss India contest. She is also looking forward to some film roles in the near future. Apoorva Jha has managed one film opposite Abhay Deol. A love triangle, the story has a lot of scope for the charming Apoorva, who is keeping her fingers crossed for the time being. Srishti Srivastava, who featured among the top five in the Elite Model contest in 1997, is primarily concentrating on the ramp. Although she had taken a break in between, she has now returned to modelling for good. Parul Choudhary, who had a small brush with fame when she hosted some of the Predikta series flashed on SET MAX during the Cricket World Cup, is now featuring in some music videos. 


Tragic death cuts short promising career
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, May 9
For Gill family of Phase VII here, where military service has been a three-generation-long tradition, the tragic death of their 21-year-old son Inderjit would have been a moment of pride had it been in the battlefield serving the nation. But his death due to an accidental fall from a horse during his training at the Indian Military Academy, Dehra Dun, yesterday, barely months before the young “brilliant” cadet was to embark on his dream career in the Indian Army, can only be termed as unfair.

But the family is braving it all. Holding back the tears, his father Col Kuldip Singh, a Deputy Commandant, Punjab Regimental Centre, Ramgarh Cantonment, Bihar, recalls his last conversation with Inderjit on April 27. “I had given him the news that I have been transferred to Ludhiana and he was thrilled to hear it. I did not know that this is the last time that I will talk to him,” he said.

Inderjit Singh Gill, a former student of Government Model School, Sector 35, died yesterday morning in Dehra Dun following a head injury caused by falling off a horse on May 6. Inderjit did not realise the gravity of his injury till after a few hours when he started complaining of headache. He was taken to the hospital where he went into coma and died in the wee hours of yesterday. His father was with him when he breathed his last. Inderjit’s body was brought from Dehra Dun this morning and was cremated with full military honours.

Trying to gather all his memories, the Gill family in a state of shock relate his achievements and his brilliant ways. “He was crazy to join the Army. With his father, both the grandfathers, and uncles in the Army, he wanted to do nothing but what he had ultimately achieved with his hard work,” relates his grandfather.

Inderjit joined the NDA after Class 12 and had joined the IMA five months back. “He was to be commissioned into the Army in December. He was keen on joining his father’s regiment — 14 Punjab Regiment. And today it was the same regiment that gave him the guard of honour at his final journey,” says Col Balbir Singh (retd), a family friend.

Inderjit’s mother, who is a housewife, had recently shifted to Ludhiana waiting for her husband to join there. Their younger son Ravneet is studying in Class 12 there and following the family tradition to join the Army.


Admn notification on use of poly bags
Objections from public invited
Tribune News Service

* Thickness of polythene bags used in city doubled to 40 microns.
* Minimum size fixed at 8”x12” inches.
* Special teams under the MC Commissioner to check undersized bags.
* Objections have been invited within 60 days before a final notification is issued.

Chandigarh, May 9
The Department of Environment, Chandigarh Administration, has issued a draft notification to ban the use of polythene and plastic carry bags less than 40 microns in thickness and less than 8”x12” in size in the city.

Objections have also been invited from the public against the proposed notification within a period of 60 days. These are required to be sent in writing to the Secretary Environment, Chandigarh Administration.

The department has also proposed to issue directions to restrict shopkeepers, vendors, retailers or cart-vendors from supplying goods in polythene or plastic carry bags that fall below the specifications. It has also been proposed to ban the manufacture, store, import, sale and transportation of such polythene bags.

A list of officers of the Municipal Corporation has been finalised to file complaints for violation of the directions under Section 19 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. These are: Additional Commissioner and Joint Commissioner; Medical Officer of Health, MC, Chandigarh; Superintendent, Slaughter House; Meat Supervisor; Health Supervisors, Chief Sanitary Inspectors and Sanitary Inspectors in Medical Officer of Health office.

In addition, the Principal Medical Officer, PCMS/HCMS Class I and II officers and doctors; all medical officers; Assistant Director Malaria, Anti-Malaria Officer; Entologist-cum-Parasitologist; Superintendent, Vaccination; and Food Inspectors of Chandigarh Administration, have also been authorised to file complaints for the violation and take action against the violators in their respective jurisdiction.

The notification has been issued as the polythene bags are being used widely by shopkeepers, vendors and others in the city and these plastic bags are non-biodegradable and choke drains and sewerage, besides polluting soil, water and air. It has been observed that polythene bags are also being used to deliver food articles which may have a toxic effect. Further, it aims at minimising the use of plastic bags and protecting the health of people, animals and improving the environment in general.


CSIO bags crucial project
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 9
The Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIO) has bagged a crucial project for the development of technologies for the use of bamboo which has a global market of Rs 91,000 crore and 33 per cent raw material of which is produced by India.

This was stated here today by the Planning Commission member, Prof D. N. Tiwari, while addressing a gathering of scientists and industrialists as part of a get-together between the CSIO and the industry.

Professor Tiwari also transferred technologies of clinical chemical analyser and explosive detector developed by the CSIO to the SAS Nagar-based Ms Rohini Micro Systems and the city-based Security Defence Systems, respectively. The chemical analyser is used in every nursing home or hospital for analysing the blood. The explosive detector is a portable sniffer to replace dogs used for the purpose.

The Director of the Terminal Blast Research Laboratory (TBRL), Dr. V. S. Sethi, urged the industry to come forward in defence equipment production. He said the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) had opened up for a partnership with the industry. He said TBRL had also opened itself up. The CSIO Director Dr R. P. Bajpai told the gathering that alumni of the Indo-Swiss Training Centre (ISTC) had contributed in a big way in all major industries of the country.

The Additional Director of the CSIO Mr S. R. Taneja, said the CSIO had been able to transfer about 20 technologies and had filed patents for 35 products and technologies apart from preparing 60 research papers during the past four to five years.

Dr Chander Mohan, the man behind the success of Punjab Tractors Limited, said former students of the organisation had turned entrepreneurs and a large number of them had achieved a turn over of Rs 4 to 6 crore each.

The local industry also organised an exhibition on the occasion of the Silver Jubilee of the Die and Mould branch of the ISTC.


Govt nod to City Centre development
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, May 9
PUDA has shortlisted nine top construction companies of the country, including L&T, for infrastructure development of the City Centre in Sector 62 here. The allotment of work is expected to be done by the end of June and marketing of sites in the City Centre will be taken up by December.

The total development cost of the project will be around be 113 crores. The infrastructure development components include road network, electrification, water supply, sewerage, public health services, development of nine plazas with basements, parking lots, landscaping etc.

A formal approval to begin infrastructural development was given by the government here today following a presentation on the concept plan of the City Centre, at the PUDA headquarters by Ahmedabad-based Vastu Shilpa, architects and planners for the centre.

As per the concept plan, the entire organisation is structured about four precincts with each precinct having its own distinct character. The centre is envisioned to be developed in three phases in an area of 143.76 acre out of which the saleable plots will cover 75.68 acre and roads and open spaces will cover the remaining 68.07 acre.

The Phase I will have a central plaza, a convention centre, retail shops, a super delude luxury hotel and a corporate office complex etc.

The city centre is planned as an exemplary archetype of sustainable commercial development providing non-conventional, state-of-the-art, energy efficient infrastructure, hitherto not developed at any civic centre in India.

Envisaged as the true portal to Punjab that embodies the Mughal splendour of Lahore, western monumentality and liberality of Chandigarh, the centre is designed to represent the inherent spirit of its people.

With the urban landscape creating the vision of a garden city, the entire ensemble is centred around a civic plaza that anchors various public institutions like a city hall, a convention centre, a museum, a library, a leisure and entertainment complex and the existing gurdwara.

The centre will also have a tourist node, a consular complex, a states trade complex, a luxury hotel, a museum with art galleries, a performing arts centre etc.

Keeping in view a demand sent by 45 state government departments and undertakings, PUDA is also working on a model to provide office accommodation to these departments presently housed in rental premises either in Chandigarh or SAS Nagar.

Mr Rajeev Kathpalia, representing Vastu Shilpa Consultants which has Mr B.V. Doshi as its head, made the presentation, which was attended by Mr Raghunath Sahai Puri, Housing and Urban Development Minister, Mr Malkiat Singh Birmi, State Minister, Housing and Urban Development, Mr Bir Davinder Singh, Deputy Speaker, Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Mr D.P. Reddy, Chief Administrator, PUDA, and Mr Yashvir Mahajan, Additional Chief Administrator, PUDA (Mohali).


SI indicted in assault case
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 9
A Deputy Superintendent of Chandigarh Police, Mr Om Parkash, who is an inquiry officer, has indicted his subordinate, a Sub Inspector, Dilsher Singh Chandel, on charges of assaulting a human rights lawyer, Mr Arunjeev Singh Walia. Incidentally, a close associate of Mr Walia, who also represents the human rights body, is the counsel of the DSP’s son, who is allegedly involved in a case of assaulting a Sector 38 resident.

Though the contents of the inquiry could not be ascertained, sources in the police said the DSP had found the SI guilty of assaulting the lawyer during a regular department inquiry. Acting on the report of the DSP sent a few days back, the Senior Superintendent of Police, today issued a censure to the SI. The censure was confirmed after a seven day show cause notice served upon the SI.

On January 15, the SI, Dilsher Singh Chandel, was sent to police lines for assaulting the advocate. The lawyer, who is also a witness in the Burail jail-break case, was thrashed up by the SI near the roundabout of Sectors 23 and 36 here on January 15.

The action had then been taken after the Deputy Superintendent of Police, Central, Mr S.S. Randhawa, submitted his report about the incident to the Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Gaurav Yadav.

While the lawyer had accused the Investigating Officer in the Burail jail-break case, SI Dilsher Singh Chandel, of thrashing him, the latter had charged the lawyer of obstructing him in performing his official duty. The staff on the PCR vehicle and the Sector 24 Police Post had reportedly confirmed in the inquiry that the advocate had been thrashed.

The incident had occurred when Mr Walia stopped his scooter on the road after he saw a crowd and cops around a Ford Ikon car. The car driver, a girl, was said to be weeping and the SI was issuing a challan. An altercation took place between Mr Walia and the SI followed by the alleged assault.


Ashes lie unclaimed as living forget the dead
Shortage of lockers in Sector 25 cremation ground
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 9
The ashes of a large number of those cremated in the Sector 25 cremation ground have been waiting for years for their relatives and dear ones to immerse these in order to “let them attain salvation.”

Surprisingly, the unclaimed ashes are not those of the unidentified dead as the quality of locks put up on lockers, where these are kept, indicated that most of these could not have been left by the poor, the cremation ground in charge, Acharya Baldev Krishan, told Chandigarh Tribune here yesterday.

“Ninety per cent of those who deposit ashes in the boxes kept in the cremation ground do not take these away for immersion now as against the trend five years back when 90 per cent of the people used to take the ashes away for immersion in the Ganges,” Mr Krishan said.

The lock of box number 130 had to be broken recently after two years and that of the box number 121 after one and a half years, said Mr Krishan, in charge of the cremation ground.

Nobody has turned up for more than a year to collect the ashes from the locker number 127. Locker numbers 133, 131, 122, 123, 125, 129, 126 and 133, too, have been lying locked for a long time.

However, there are reasons for delay in certain communities in collecting the ashes. He said only a few days back a Gujarati family had collected ashes after 19 years. He said a section of the Gujarati community took time to collect the ashes. Mr Krishan said as Gujaratis asked for time of more than one year, he did not allow them to occupy lockers. As a result, they buried the ashes kept in earthen pots somewhere in the open ground. But, Mr Krishan said he would stop this practice also.

The “desertion” of ashes comes in a stark contrast to the fact that as per the Sanatani rituals, ashes have to be immersed in flowing water before the kirya ceremony takes place within 10 to 12 days of the death of a person. As per Sanatan Dharma this ritual of immersing ashes in water is necessary for the salvation of a soul, Pandit Mahesh Kumar of the Sanatan Dharam Mandir, Sector 32, said.

Pandit Kumar and Mr Krishan said the most possible reason for not claiming the ashes was breaking relations, property disputes, falling religious faith and in some cases poverty.

They said it could also be symptomatic of the crass materialistic culture.

With the trend of leaving the ashes unclaimed there is a shortage of lockers to keep these. Considering the shortage, Mr Krishan has decided to put up a notice that either the ashes should be collected within a month or they will be immersed in the Ganges by the Pandit himself.

Mr Krishan also said Mayor Subhash Chawla had also promised to provide 100 additional lockers for the purpose.


Bansal for LIG housing policy

Chandigarh, May 9
The local MP, Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, has called for the framing of a new housing policy in Chandigarh based on contribution of employees and the employer towards the corpus of a housing fund.

Making a statement to this effect under Rule 377 and also during the zero hour in the Lok Sabha today. Mr Bansal stated that one section of society that had often missed out on housing schemes of the UT Administration or the Chandigarh Housing Board was the Lower Income Group (LIG).

“There were people who had lived in Chandigarh for decades, employed either with the government or private establishments and had to shell out major part of their meager salaries on rent of residential accommodation,” he said.

“They legitimately yearned to own a modest shelter of their own in the city to which they had given their lives but the costs were prohibitive”, Mr Bansal added.

The local MP said it was, therefore, necessary for the UT Administration to float an affordable self-financing LIG housing scheme that could be available to all residents whose income was between the fixed parameters and who had lived and worked in Chandigarh for at least five years. TNS


Sidhu(ism) off the mike
Arvind Katyal

Chandigarh, May 9
Navjot Sidhu, former Indian Test cricketer and television commentator, has commended the role played by TV commentators in promoting the sport. Navjot, a native of Patiala, was here in the city as a brand ambassador of the State Bank of Patiala, as part of the “Deposit Mobilisation Week” being observed by the bank, at a function held in Kisan Bhavan, Sector 35.

Navjot said “Sidhuism” had given a new life to cricket commentary after the World Cup-2003 and was well accepted among women and families. But on the other side, he said, projecting game from every angle, to have a positive critical analysis of the game, was his real motive. Sidhu said currently very few sportspersons or those having immense knowledge of the sports were into promoting sports through media channels. On being asked who his ideal was in TV commentary, he quickly replied: “Geoffrey Boycott.”

Sidhu, however, praised the revival of game’s image in the country after the match-fixing scandal that had rocked the cricket fraternity a few years ago. He said the recent World Cup had also given a boost to the sport.

Sidhu, who has a contract with ESPN channel, was critical of the working of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). He said in the past the BCCI had become richer and players had not got their share. He said today the BCCI was perhaps one of the richest sports bodies in the world. But players were still struggling to find means to earn their own money.

He opined that though the Indian cricket team was balanced they were still far behind in comparison with Australia. He said in the past 17 years India had not won a Test series abroad. He said playing in the home ground was altogether different but proving one’s might under hostile conditions was more important.

Sidhu described Kapil Dev as the best all-rounder India had ever produced and added that players needed to play with more dedication.

He was however happy that the Punjab team was now one of the top teams in the Ranji Trophy circuit. On being asked whether he was interested in joining politics, Sidhu said his elder brother had asked him to join politics a few years back, but he had decided not to go into the field. At least for another few years, he said, he wanted to carry on with “Sidhuism”.


SARS had ‘no effect’ on air travel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 9
SARS, which is affecting many East Asian countries, has had no effect on air travel to India, according to Ms Sapna Gupta, Managing Director of the Air Hostess Academy (AHA).

Talking to mediapersons here today, Ms Gupta said while there was no doubt that the disease had scared away a lot of people, the setback was temporary. “There may be a downslide in travelling and tourism sectors, but it cannot close them down altogether”. In this connection, she pointed out that even the fallout from the 9/11 tragedy in New York had proven to be temporary.

Ms Gupta also said the AHA had tied up with CITCO for training its students in some of its hotels in the city. At present, 50 students were undergoing training in two batches.


Help her in her fight against cancer
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 9
As if being unemployed for the past eight years was not enough of a problem for Mr Om Prakash Shukla, now his 22-year-old daughter has been diagnosed as suffering from cancer.

Mr Shukla, his wife, son and ailing daughter Anamika, hailing from Bihar, have been putting up at the Rotary serai for the past four months. Anamika is undergoing treatment at the PGI. After remaining admitted to the PGI for a while, doctors have advised her to undergo chemotherapy.

“She has to be given six injections after a gap of 28 days each. As each injection costs Rs 13,000, there is no way we can afford chemotherapy, the only option left to save her life,” says Mr Shukla. With the industrial unit of British India Corporation, where Mr Shukla was employed, being declared a sick unit, the family has been going through difficult times.

Anamika, who was a BA (final year) student at a college in Bihar, suddenly started complaining of severe body ache, cough and hoarseness of voice. Doctors at Patna said she was suffering from endocrine cancer. After few days’ treatment, her case was referred from Patna to the PGI and the family landed in the city on January 14, says Mr Shukla.

“We somehow managed money for the first injection that was given to her on May 13, but there is no way we can raise around Rs 80,000 needed for her treatment,” he says. Her condition has definitely improved after the initial treatment at the PGI, he adds.

“Least did I know that instead of arranging money for her marriage at this age, we would be running from pillar to post to raise funds to save her life,” says her mother. Having immense faith in the Almighty, she says she is confident that she will emerge victorious in her battle against cancer.

The family is all praise for the help and cooperation being extended by PGI doctors and other staff, but without liberal donations from the public, Anamika’s treatment will get delayed. A pleading Mr Shukla says his daughter has little time, so the help must come soon.

All those wanting to help save a life can either contact the family at bed No. 41, 42 or the PGI Public Relation Officer at 747585-6003. 


Man blames employer for loss of vision
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, May 9
Mr Roshan Lal, a painter working with MOI Engineering works Limited here, has alleged that he has lost vision in one of the eyes due to the negligence of his employers.

Mr Roshan Lal, who has been working with the company for over two decades, met with an accident on January 21 while working with a boiling chemical. Though his both eyes were affected, one of the eyes started losing vision and now, according to him, he cannot see at all with that eye.

After the accident, he was taken for first aid to a doctor in SAS Nagar and later to the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, Chandigarh.

He alleges that he was not given any money for treatment at the GMCH, except for the first aid. “Since my condition was deteriorating at the GMCH, I shifted on my own to a private eye clinic in Chandigarh, where I have been told that I might need to be operated upon. But I have no money and no help from my employers whatsoever.”

Following a legal notice to the employers, he received a cheque of Rs 5,688 as compensation. But he refused to accept the amount. “Is Rs 5,688 the cost of my one eye?” he questions. The company managers on the other hand have explained in the letter accompanying the cheque that Roshan Lal was being treated at the GMCH and the doctors were satisfied with the treatment. There was no need for Roshan Lal to shift to some other hospital without informing the management.

Mr Roshan Lal, however, claims that he went to a private doctor in a state of emergency when he felt that his situation was aggravating.

The company clearly points out in the letter that it is not responsible for reimbursing his medical expenses as he has chosen to get treatment at some other place without the sanction of the company. The company claims to have given him over Rs 2,000 as compensation.

Mr Roshan Lal is now alleging that the employers have not paid him for the three months for which he has not been to work. “I can barely see with one eye and cannot cross roads without help. How can they expect me to come to work?” he says.


Mazdoor sanstha blocks traffic

SAS Nagar, May 9
Members of the Mazdoor and Colony Bhalai Sanstha blocked the traffic, in protest against the highhandedness of the police and indifferent attitude of the civil administration, near the cremation ground chowk here today.

The traffic remained stranded for about an hour causing inconvenience to a large number of people. The blocked was lifted only when the DSP and the Tehsildar reached the site and listened to the grievances of the protesters.

The protesters alleged that the Punjab police commandos were harassing workers who returned home after doing night shifts by snatching whatever money they had with them. The commandos even ate whatever they felt like from rehriwallas without making any payment.

Ms Harjinder Kaur Jawanda, convener of the sanstha, said even though two children had died of suspected cholera in one of the slum colonies, the administration had neither tried to provide clean drinking water to the residents nor sprayed any insecticides in the area.

She said the slum dwellers, who had encroached on a piece of land in Sector 57 had no objection in vacating the area provided the PUDA authorities made some alternative arrangements for them. OC


Murder case: BJP alleges Cong pressure
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 9
The local unit of the BJP here today accused the local Congress MP, Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal and a few ministers of the state of pressurising the Punjab police not to file a charge sheet in the V.K. Chopra murder case allegedly involving the then Congress Vice-President, Mr Parampal Singh Mathoroo.

Addressing a press conference here today, the party national executive committee members Satyapal Jain flanked by local unit President Yashpal Mahajan, said these Congress leaders were making efforts to get the filing of charge sheet delayed beyond May 15, when the arrest of the accused completed three months. Mr Matharoo had been expelled from the party following his arrest in this connection. When contacted for his comment on telephone from Delhi, Mr Bansal alleged that “Mr Jain had been issuing irresponsible statements and avoiding debates on serious political and developmental issues of the city.” “There was not even an iota of truth in the allegation”, he said.

He said the party did not raise the issue when the arrests were made but had to come to the rescue of the murdered Chopra’s wife who had written letters to the Union Home Minister, Punjab Governor and Chief Minister of the state complaining against repeated threats she was allegedly receiving.

Mr Jain threatened to launch an agitation against the Punjab Chief Minister if the charge sheet was not filed in the case before the expiry of three months. He said a party delegation would approach the Punjab Chief Minister to get justice. The Executive Engineer of the Union Territory Mr V.K. Chopra, was murdered in February in SAS Nagar and the Chandigarh unit Vice President of the Congress Parampal Matharoo had been arrested in this connection.

He said the party would chalk out a strategy to get the property tax notification withdrawn by exposing the Congress.

Mr Jain lashed out at the local MP for failing to prevail upon the Administration not to impose tax.

The BJP leader also reiterated that the party had been able to get the then Administrator Lieut Gen (retd) J.F.R. Jacob not to demolish the constructed parts in Darshani Bagh and other rural areas.

Mr Jain, Mr Mahajan and party General Secretary Bal Krishan Kapoor and Leader of the Opposition in the municipal corporation Kamla Sharma claimed that General Jacob, while going back to Delhi, had yesterday confirmed that orders in this regard had been passed.

He clarified the party had nothing to do with the vacant land in these areas.


Burglary motive ruled out
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 9
Even as the family of the victim, Suresh Bala, who was brutally murdered in Sector 15 here on April 30, insists that there was possibility of a third person in the house when she was attacked, the police has ruled out the possibility of burglary as motive behind the gruesome murder by her servant, Achint Bahadur.

Family members of victim, Mrs Suresh Bala Bishnoi, have told the police that no valuables were stolen from the house. They have reportedly said about Rs 15,000 cash and at least five to six tolas of gold was lying in the same locker, from where the servant had stolen the revolver. But this cash and gold has not been touched.

The family has also told the police that the servant was upset with them for the past fortnight as Mrs Bishnoi would switch off the power switch of a room where a TV was installed, while they left for work. Since the servant was unable to watch TV, while the family was away, he was annoyed at this withdrawal of privilege, they have told the police.

The family had earlier said that there was possibility of other persons in the house at the time of crime. The victim had been bludgeoned to death by a masked man , when she returned home from work. The police has been working on the theory that she was done to death by the Bishnoi’s 17-year-old servant, who unable to find a way out of the house and later shot himself dead. 


Rs 1 cr needed for spinal injury centre: minister
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, May 9
The spinal injury centre coming up in Sector 70 here will become functional during the current financial year. This was stated by Mr Joginder Singh Mann, Minister for Social Security and Women and Child Development, Punjab, after a visit to the centre on Tuesday.

Mr Mann said a sum of Rs 2.22 crore had already been spent on the centre and another Rs 1 crore were needed to complete the project. Efforts were being made to make it functional during this year, he added.

He said there was a need to encourage girls in the field of education, as the dropout rate among them was very high. As such the government had started the Kanya Jyoti Jagriti Scheme under which the girls going in for education would be insured for Rs 5,000 and the insured amount would be given to them after they cleared the plus two level. The scheme was for the SC and BC and other weaker sections. He said the birth ratio of the girl child was coming down in Punjab and there was a need to control it.

The minister, who also visited the Bal Bhavan in Phase IV here, said the shortcomings in the bhavan would be removed after holding a meeting with the officials concerned.


ESI Hospital makes do on stored water
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, May 9
The ESI Hospital here has had no running water for the past fortnight. According to sources, the hospital has been functioning with water stored by private tankers and the municipal tankers of township.

The hospital, according to the sources, in the Municipal Council is one of the first victims of old tubewells drying up.

The 12-year-old tubewell which was supplying water to the hospital has dried up and till a new tubewell in a nearby area is dug, the hospital will have to function on stored water.

The hospital which is working under the ESI Corporation, New Delhi, has asked the MC here to give a temporary water link till a new tubewell is dug.

The corporation is also in the process of sanctioning the requisite amount to start the process of digging the new tubewell.

When contacted, Dr Swaranjit Singh Walia, in charge of the hospital confirmed that the hospital was facing an acute shortage of running water, but there was enough water for the patients from stored sources.

‘‘But the worst affected are the hospital staff members who are living on the campus. There are about 20 families residing here and for them this is a difficult time.’’ he said.


British Library holds story-reading contest
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 9
As a part of the Founder's day celebrations British Library organised a story reading contest for the children of its members at its hall in Sector 8 here today. About 60 kids between six to eight y ears took part in the contest. The youngest group, which was for the six years old, recited nursery rhymes while other two groups between seven and eight years of age read out short stories written by Dr Shakuntala Lavasa, a member of the library.

A panel of jury comprising Mr. Harish Dhillon, Principal, YPS, Mohali, Ms Rekha Chandra, Education Adviser, St Kabir Public School, Sector 26, and Ms Amita Uppal, Co-ordinator, St Stephens School, Sector 45, adjudged the event. The name of the winners will be announced on May 15. 


Hairpin found in cold drink bottle
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 9
Look before you drink — that’s the lesson a resident of Sector 23, Mr Vikramjeet Chaudhary, learnt after he purchased a bottle of a cold drink from a local confectionary. Just as he was about to open the bottle, he realised there was something hard in the soft drink.

“After holding it against the light, I realised that the bottle had a hairpin in it,” Mr Chaudhary said. “At first, I was amused. After all, you do not find hairpins in cold drink bottles. In fact, I even toyed with an idea of taking the pin for my wife. She would be impressed, I thought. Then I realised that the drink could have caused considerable harm to my health had I consumed it,” he added.

Mr Chaudhary added, “I showed the bottle to the shopkeeper who simply offered to replace it. But instead of getting the bottle replaced, I brought it to the newspaper office so that something could be done to avoid such repetition.”


Illegal kiosks appear in Shastri Nagar
Monica Sharma

Chandigarh, May 9
In complete violation of the Periphery Area Act, scores of kiosks are coming up on either sides of the recently-inaugurated road connecting Chandigarh with Panchkula. Worse, the authorities are not doing anything about it.

Even though they admit that the shops — outside the “Lal Dora” — are “unauthorised” and “cannot be constructed so close to the road”, nothing has so far been done to check the massive construction activity going on in the Shastri Nagar area, less than 3 km away from Sector 26.

Driving down the road from St Kabir School in Sector 26 through the causeway just before the roundabout labourers can be seen carrying out construction in front of the houses along the roadside.

The fear of the authorities is the last thing on their minds as they stand there witnessing the construction work. “A few years ago, carrying out construction in the area was almost impossible”, a resident said on the condition of anonymity. “Within three days, the structures used to be pulled down by the authorities”.

According to residents some of the kiosks have already been rented out for Rs 1,100. Others are still available for anyone willing to pay the rent. But what about the risk factor? What if the authorities launch an anti-encroachment drive? “You do not have to worry about that at all”, a dweller reveals. “I have been staying here in a house constructed without permission for three years. So far I have not faced any problem”.

He adds: “This is not all. A senior officer has assured us that nothing will happen in the near future also. He has verbally given us a green signal. Otherwise also, removing unauthorised structures is not going to be easy for the authorities. There are 500-odd houses in the area, which are without permission. It is too late for the authorities to act, we are sure of it”.

Describing the construction as “illegal” and “unauthorised”, Chandigarh Administration authorities say, the shops are coming up in the area because of the recently-inaugurated road. For a large number of residents, it is a business opportunity, and they are making easy money by setting up shops for renting them out. But this will not be tolerated.

A senior officer adds: “We are working out the modalities for setting up a committee. Members will carry out a survey and recommend action”.


Involve men in women empowerment scheme’
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 9
All government departments should pool in their resources and their services to strengthen self-help groups under the Swayamsidha Scheme.

This was stressed by Mr S.P. Sharma, Financial Commissioner and Principal Secretary, Women and Child Development, Haryana, in a one-day orientation workshop organised by the Women and Child Development Department, in association with the National Institute of Public Cooperation and Child Development (NIPCCD) here today. The workshop was organised for convergence of services under Swayamsidha — an integrated scheme of women empowerment.

The state action plan of this project is worth Rs 220.6 lakh for five years. Blocks Specific Projects have been approved for all sanctioned blocks. As many as 964 self-help groups have been formed all over the state in all these block and training in group dynamic and confidence building, legal literacy, gender sensitisation, self-defence and account keeping will be imparted through voluntary organisations for systematic and efficient functioning.

Mr Sharma stressed upon the need of involving men in women empowerment programme . Social awakening was needed to ensure that women should not be targeted only as consumers but also as producers so as to make them economically independent. Speaking on the occasion, Ms Sulochana Vasudevan, Project Director, NIPCCD, highlighted various aspects of the Swayamsidha Scheme.

She said at present the scheme was sanctioned for 13 blocks in the state including Barara and Ambala (rural) in Ambala district, Pinjore and Barwala in Panchkula district, Khol, Bawal, Rewari (rural), Rewari (urban) and Jatusana in Rewari district, Hansi and Adampur in Hisar district, Ateli in Mahendergarh district and Sadhaura in Yamunanagar district. 


‘Oil control was motive’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 9
Control over oilfields was the reason behind the US invasion of Iraq. This was one among the unanimous notes of speakers at a panel discussion on the Iraq war held at Panjab University here yesterday.

Lt-Gen Vijay Oberoi (retd), a former Vice-Chief of the Army Staff, said oil was an economic device for dominance and the USA demonstrated it with the invasion. Lately, currency was another area where the USA “manoeuvred” happenings to show its power. The euro had begun to receive worldwide attention. North Korea had shifted to it and Iran was contemplating it.

He said the US interest in Israel was also one of the major reasons for it to raid the deserts. This had resulted in a unipolar world with US supremacy.

He said the UN and NATO were the sufferers in the conflict as the war had put a question mark on their identity.

Gen V.P. Malik (retd), a former Chief of the Army Staff, said one of the immediate fallouts of the war had been the break-up of the old alliances. He said a slight delay could have possibly averted the war. There was an undercurrent that the war was being waged against ‘Muslims’ which might have had a strong bearing on it.

Mr Kanwar Sandhu, Editor of the Hindustan Times, said it was a one-sided battle on account of technological supremacy of the USA. Over dependence on Republican Guards and poor nationalism cost Iraq dear.


Spread message of peace through kids

SAS Nagar, May 9
The message of peace and friendship between India and Pakistan should be sent through children.

This was stated by Mr Ajit Salani, Chairman of the National Society for Child Artists, while talking to mediapersons here recently. He said a group of 1,000 children each from both countries should be allowed to visit Pakistan and India and these groups should not be treated as guests of the state, but allowed to stay in the homes of children in both nations.

He said though efforts for bringing about peace in the region were being made at the highest levels, he hoped that peace messages sent through children would be more effective. He said letters in this regard had been written to both governments. OC


UT hikes allowances of NCC cadets

Chandigarh, May 9
The administration has enhanced various allowances required for training the NCC cadets from the current financial year.

As per a press note issued by the NCC Group Headquarters, Chandigarh, refreshments and washing allowances of the cadets have been doubled to Rs 6 and Rs 10 per day, respectively, POL allowance for annual training camps have been enhanced to Rs 55 from Rs 20 per cadet. OC


Wake up to eco concerns

Lieut-Col S.R. VermaLet us all say ‘‘Sookh Na’’ (do not dry ) for the Sukhna Lake and then meet the urgent need to educate every citizen of his or her responsibility towards environment.

The lake is diminishing in size basically due to increased rate of silting and faster rate of evaporation of water. Both these factors are manifestations of changes in the environment , which are contributed by overall indiscriminate public activity. Individual participation by every responsible member of the society can make a lot of difference in maintaining the ecological balance. If charity begins at home so should the conservation of natural resources.

Avoid pollution of any kind. Conserve resources like forests and wetlands. Let us help nature by not interfering with its processes.

Lieut-Col S.R. Verma,


Naresh Mittal wanted in forgery case
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 9
This time it was the Kurukshetra police on trail of Dr Naresh Mittal. After being involved in land dispute case with Ms Babli Brar, daughter of former Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Harcharan Singh Brar , in Dera Bassi , Mittal is now wanted in a case of forging an agreement to sell 325 acres of prime land in Kurukshetra district.

A seven-member police team led by the SHO Sadar, Kurukshetra, ASO Baljit Singh yesterday raided the Sector 6 house of Dr Mittal, the houses of a Sector 18 resident, Mr Vinod Jain, and a resident of Sector 20, Chandigarh, Mr Yash Aggarwal. However, none of the accused could be arrested.

The three are alleged to have forged an agreement to sell 325 acres of land in villages of Wazidpur, Bauli and Issargarh in Kurukshetra, by quoting the consideration money given as Rs 3. 5 crore. The complainant, Mr Yashpal Sharma, has alleged that the actual consideration money paid to him was Rs 1. 55 crore as mentioned in the original agreement . An FIR under Sections 420, 467, 468 and 471 of the IPC was registered against the above mentioned on April 26.

Dr Mittal, who is the president of the Aggarwal Sabha, Panchkula, has been named accused in two other land scams. Two years ago, Ms Babli Brar had named him as accused for defrauding her of Rs 2 crore in a land deal case in Dera Bassi. He was arrested last year by the Kurukshetra police in another land scam case. 


3 kids held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 9
The Chandigarh police on Friday arrested three children, Jasbir, Dinesh and Ram Niwas, for allegedly stealing manhole covers from different parts of the city. At least 10 manhole covers have been recovered from their possession.

Cheating: S.K. Gupta, a resident of Hari Nagar Ashram, Delhi, and Shri Niwas Puri, a resident of Delhi, were arrested for trying to flee after stealing two mobile phones from a salesman at a shop in Sector 22 here on Friday. The police has registered a case under Sections 419, 420 and 406 of the IPC against them.


One held: The police has arrested Kuldeep Singh, a resident of Dhakauli village, on charges of outraging a woman’s modesty. He was arrested from Sector 18 this afternoon, after a woman resident of Mani Majra lodged a complaint against him. She was waiting for a bus when the incident occurred. A PCR posted nearby rushed to the woman’s rescue and arrested the accused. A case under Section 354 of the IPC has been registered against Kuldeep.

Injured: Two persons were seriously injured when their scooters collided head on near the Sector 17/ 8 dividing road on Friday. The injured Mr Deepak Lakhanpal, a Development Officer with an insurance company, and Mr Lachmann Dass, a resident of Sector 19, were rushed to a hospital.

Two arrested: The police has arrested two persons on charges of speculation in separate incidents. Suraj and Vinod Kumar were booked under the Gambling Act and a sum of Rs 435 was recovered from them.


Dead: A resident of Patiala, Mr Dharam Pal Sharma, died in a road accident at Tangori near here, on Thursday. He was travelling in a car which was hit by a truck coming from the opposite direction. The truck driver, Gurpal Singh, ran away leaving the vehicle on the spot but surrendered later on. A case under Sections 289, 304A and 427 of the IPC has been registered against him. 


77-yr-old woman commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 9
A 77-year-old woman residing in Rajiv Vihar, Panjoli Jha, allegedly committed suicide by hanging herself at her house here this evening. The cause of the suicide could not be ascertained till the filing of the report. The body was sent to the Sector 16 mortuary. The autopsy would be conducted tomorrow.


SBOP to start single-window system
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 9
The State Bank of Patiala has decided to start a single-window system at all its computerised branches. This was stated by Mr Salil Misra, Deputy General Manager of the Chandigarh Zone, while speaking at a function in Kisan Bhavan, Sector 35, today.

Navjot Sidhu was the chief guest at the function and distributed fixed deposit receipts worth Rs 10 crore among 158 customers of the city-based branches of the bank.

Later, Mr Misra said the single-window facility would initially be available at select branches. He said the bank had 100 per cent computerisation, which was completed in January this year. Its NPA level was at 2.94 per cent as on March 31, 2002. The bank had shown a growth of 27.71 and had launched “Ambience-2003” project for renovating all its branches.

Mr P.K. Goyal, Assistant General Manager, said the bank was committed towards striving for continued mobilisation of its business with utmost customer satisfaction.


Summer pizzas for kids
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 9
Pizza Hut has introduced a new range of pizzas for children this season. ‘Pooch Pizzas’ – three vegetarian and two non-vegetarian — will come in “Personal Pan Pizza” size. Further, from Monday to Thursday, for every medium pizza kids (12 years and below) will get a “Personal Pan Pizza” free.

The range includes vegetarian pizzas like Pooch’s Favourite — loaded with melted mozzarella cheese; Hut Mutt Special — a fun cheesy combination of fresh capsicum and crisp onion among others.

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
123 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |