Thursday, May 22, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


PTU gives jitters to CET candidates
Several students fail to get admit cards
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
With just a day left for the Common Entrance Test (CET) being conducted by the Punjab Technical University (PTU), Jalandhar, a large number of candidates belonging to the city are in a fix as they have not received their admit cards. The test is scheduled to be held on May 23.

Frantic students along with worried parents have been converging at Takniki Sikhia Bhavan (TSB) in Sector 36, inquiring about the matter. However, the hapless staff there had no answer to their queries, except for providing them telephone numbers of PTUs senior officials.

Seeking a solution to their predicament through the telephone proved to be futile as the numbers provided by TSB officials kept getting a “This number does not exist” response. The telephone numbers provided by TSB officials were 0181-2453199 and 0181-2690347. The same numbers have also been mentioned in the CET prospectus.

“Since the prospectus and forms were sold through the TSB, it is their duty to coordinate with the PTU and solve our problems,” Mr Harjinder Singh, a Mohali resident asserted.

Students are also thronging post offices to inquire if the admit cards have been received there or not. A statement issued by PTU on Monday had mentioned that the roll numbers had been dispatched by speed post.

According to a PTU official, the roll numbers are also available on the university’s website, He said the university had already issued an advertisement, advising all candidates to look for their roll numbers on the Internet and appear at the centres allotted to them. Instructions have been issued to centres to allow the candidates to sit for the test even if they have not received the admit card, provided that they carry with them their attested photograph for identification.

The fact that the university had to issue such an advertisement indicates that there had been some delay on its part to dispatch the admit cards.

Some of the students in the city who are appearing for the CET have, however, received their admit cards. Unlike some other universities, the cards, however, do not contain the examination schedules or any instructions, for which the candidates will have to refer to the information booklet.

Parents are also sore with the PTU on another account. While the CET being conducted by PTU is the last such exam to be held by institutions in this region, it would be the first institute to begin counselling for candidates who have qualified in the written exam. The fee for counselling is Rs 2,500, which is non-refundable.


DRDO displeased with colleges' response
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, May 21
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), which had initiated a process of creating nurseries for defence related research in colleges and universities, has expressed its dismay over getting lacklustre response from the institutions to the long- term defence research.

‘‘These educational institutions are the basic grounds for the future defence scientists and academicians should motivate them from the very beginning. The DRDO has a plenty of money for extraordinary and budding scientists who come up with projects based on brilliant ideas,’’ said Mr V.P. Sandlas, Chief Controller (R and D), DRDO, New Delhi.

Mr Sandlas was here to deliver a lecture ‘‘Defence Electronics’’ organised by Punjab Technical University, Jalandhar, at Sri Sukhmani Institute of Engineering and Technology, Dera Bassi, today. Mr Sandlas during his lecture covered vast areas of defence related projects and highlighted achievements of different DRDO laboratories.

He had worked on projects like Tejas, LCA, satellite and radio communication, electronic support system , including the ECM and the ECCM, missile systems, microwave devices and components, robotic technologies and most modern low level radars.

The lecture was chaired by Dr Y.S. Rajan, Vice-Chancellor, Punjab Technical University. Dr S.K. Salwan, senior Adviser, Punjab Technical University, Maj Gen S.K. Sharma, Director , SASE, Dr A.S. Bains, Director (DEAL) ,Prof Avtar Singh , chairman, Sri Sukhmani Institute of Engineering and Technology, Dr Y.C. Rajan, Vice- Chancellor, Punjab Technical University, Jalandhar, and some eminent scientists, principals and faculty members of various engineering colleges also attended the lecture.

Research and development teams from Sri Sukhmani Institute of Engineering and Technology, Dera Bassi, BBS College of Engineering and Technology, Fatehgarh Sahib and DAV College of Engineering and Technology, Jalandhar , gave presentations to Dr A.S. Bains, Director, Defence Electronics Application Laboratory, Dehra Dun.


Bank, insurance work comes to a halt
Tribune Reporters

Chandigarh, May 21
The banking and insurance services came to a grinding halt in the city and surrounding towns, as employees of public sector banks, insurance companies and of various state government departments went on strike today. The call for nationwide general strike was given by the central trade unions, mainly affiliated to the Left parties to protest against the economic policies of the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre.

  • Heavy rush at ATMs and private banks.
  • Business transactions worth over Rs 200 crore not cleared.
  • Services of private banks also affected due to closure of clearing house.
  • Employees of UT electricity and water supply department refused to attend complaints though they were not on strike.
  • Transport, electricity supply remained normal.

Despite government announcement to cut one-day wages, employees participated in the strike on a large scale. The union leaders admitted that though they were now unable to check the march of privatisation, which was spelling doom for millions of workers in the country, yet they did not want to be held “responsible by the coming generations that they had not protested even symbolically against the anti-worker policies of the government.”

Addressing a massive rally at the Bank Square in Sector 17, Mr Amar Pal, National President of the State Bank of India Staff Association, claimed that all branches of banks, including those of the RBI remained closed in the region as the employees participated in an ‘‘unprecedented protest against government’s anti-labour policies, privatisation, disinvestment in profit making public sector units and its failure to address the issue of unemployment in the country.’’

He claimed that the strike had been called to halt the government’s move of privatisation of profit making and potentially viable public sector. Though the Congress and BJP-led trade unions did not participate in the strike, the strike was almost complete in all public sector banks and in the offices of insurance companies.

Massive protests were held by the employees of Punjab State Industries Development Corporation, Punjab Finance Corporation, BSNL, Geological Survey of India, and there was no work in the offices. The employees of Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, transport, and of various industrial units in industrial areas of the city, SAS Nagar and Panchkula also organised gate rallies.

Addressing a dharna of BSNL employees in Sector 34, Mr Amarjit Singh, Circle Secretary, Sanchar Nigam Executive Association, lamented that the government was bent upon selling the profit making units at through-away prices. The TRAI was openly favouring the private operators at the cost of BSNL. Terming the TRAI as a mouthpiece of ‘‘Tata-Ambani-Reliance Industries,’’ the union leaders said the MTNL and BSNL had failed to protect the interests of public sector operators.

Mr Harimal Thakur, President, General Insurance Employees Association, Northern Zone, said the insurance employees were also protesting against the unilateral and arbitrary move of the government and General Insurers’ Administrator for medi-claims, transfer and mobility policy and discontinuation of appointments on compassionate grounds.

Among others, the UT Subordinate Services Federation, Coordination Committee of Govt and MC Employees and Workers, Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), Associate Banks Officers’ Association, Associate Bank Officers’ Association, MES Worker’s Union, Ambala, H.P. State Bank of Patiala Employees Union and employees of various departments of Punjab and Haryana government and UT also organised rallies.

AMBALA: On the call of AICBEF and other bank organisations the employees and officers from different banks of the city assembled to demonstrate in front of Canara Bank in Ambala City. Bank employees observed a full-day strike to protest against the pro-employer and anti-employee policies of the Union Government. Employees of LIC and GIC also joined the strike.

PATIALA: Central Government employees working in the Telecom, Banking and Insurance sector today observed a complete strike in response to a call given by their respective associations.

The Circle Secretary of the National Federation of Telecom Employees BSNL, Mr M.L. Sharma, while addressing a rally said the issues involved in this strike were affecting BSNL adversely and added that after the sell-off of Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd. to the TATAs and appointment of Mr Arun Shourie as Minister of Communication, disinvestment in BSNL had become a serious threat to the very existence of the organisation.

A complete strike was also observed in various banks in the city. The Secretary of the All-India Bank Officers’ Confederation, Mr Amar Singh, said the strike had been observed on the call given by the United Forum of Bank Unions comprising all major unions.

A demonstration was also organised by PRTC employees while members of the council of the Junior Engineers of PSEB and the PSEB Employees Struggle Committee wore black badges to express solidarity with the employees on strike.

However, the strike had virtually no impact in the PSEB Secretariat and all other offices of the board situated here. This was informed by the Chairman of the PSEB .He also informed that the board had also made adequate arrangements to maintain regular power supply to its consumers.


Order on Bhardwaj’s bail plea reserved
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 21
A local court today reserved its order on anticipatory bail application moved by the suspended UT Judicial Magistrate S.S. Bhardwaj in a corruption case registered against him by the CBI for tomorrow. The bail plea moved by Bhardwaj came for hearing before the UT CBI Special Judge, Mr Balbir Singh, who after hearing arguments in the case for about an hour in the morning reserved its order for May 22.

The CBI had made special arrangements to prove its stand in the court today and had called senior CBI counsel B.K. Sharma from Delhi to argue the case. One the other hand a battery of lawyers headed by Mr Rajan Malhotra, represented Bhardwaj’s case.

Opposing the pre-arrest bail plea moved by Bhardwaj, the senior CBI counsel, Mr B.K Sharma, argued that Bhardwaj did not deserve the concession of bail, as being a judicial official he had been involved in a corruption case and was caught red-handed while demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs 7 lakh from the complainant, Mr Gurvinder Singh Samra.

Arguing on the application moved by Bhardwaj for the production of documents related to his custody, the CBI counsel stated that at the time of the disposal of the bail application the accused has no right to seek this relief as it is a matter between the presiding officer and investigation agency to see any of the documents or case diary was required during the course of argument on the bail application. Moreover, the case is at a crucial stage, he added.

Giving evidence that Bhardwaj was in the CBI custody during raid, the CBI counsel added that Bhardwaj was caught red-handed in the presence of independent witnesses— Dev Raj and Madan Lal — as well as Mr L.R. Roojam, Sessions Judge, Vigilance, Punjab.

On the other hand claiming that Bhardwaj was innocent and had been falsely implicated in the case, the defence counsel, Mr Rajan Malhotra said that Bhardwaj was innocent and had been involved in the present case by the complainant Gurvinder Singh Samra with malafide intentions in connivance with the CBI. Denying that Bhardwaj was in the CBI custody at the time of the raids, his counsel claimed that Bhardwaj was out of station on May 9 and 10 and before going out of station he had taken station leave.

Raising doubts about the presence of Bhardwaj in CBI custody on May 10, the defence counsel argued that as per the CBI FIR if Bhardwaj was in CBI custody since 6.30 pm and had absconded after about six hours at about 12.20 am why did the CBI not arrest him in between.


CBI raids in Barog, city to locate Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh/Barog, May 21
In less than 24 hours after Chandigarh’s suspended Judicial Magistrate S.S. Bhardwaj appeared on the television, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today raided a number of places, including palatial residential cottages available on rent, besides a hotel, in Barog. As per the reports, the farmhouse of a senior Judicial Officer was also “inspected” in an attempt to locate the Magistrate.

Several advocates were also questioned after carrying out raids on farm houses in the periphery of Chandigarh. According to sources in the CBI, the possibility of the Magistrate spending a night at a farm house could not be ruled out. Sources in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, meanwhile, claimed that a letter had also been written to the Chief Justice of India informing him about the alleged role of the judicial officer in the matter.

Giving details, sources revealed that the CBI team, accompanied by Chandigarh Police personnel, raided a cottage, “Milan Centre”, and asked an attendant to hand over the record register. A number of local residents were also questioned by the team on way to Barog and also on Kumarhatti-Nahan road.

Two nakas were also set up during the night at Kumarhatti and at Kalka-Shimla national highway with the help of Dharmpur police. All vehicles coming from Chandigarh side were checked. When contacted, the Superintendent of Police, Solan, Mr S.K. Sharma confirmed the information about CBI raids.

Meanwhile, several questions regarding Bhardwaj’s escape remain unanswered. Where is Bhardwaj and why has the CBI failed to nab him even though his interview appeared on a news channel? If a reporter could trace him, why couldn’t the country’s premier investigating agency? Why did he wait for four days before filing an application for the grant of anticipatory bail even though the accused normally do not waste precious time in moving the court? Has he been promised protection? These are not the only queries.

Why hasn’t the investigating agency taken any action against the officers responsible for his escape from their net? Though the CBI has been maintaining from the very beginning that the Magistrate was “caught red-handed while demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs 7 lakh from the complainant for helping him in a bail matter”, so far the investigating agency has not even initiated departmental action against the officials.

This, legal eagles insist, is something “unheard of”. “It was nothing but sheer negligence on part of almost 20 officials present during the raid at the Magistrate’s Sector 22 residence on May 10,” an advocate claimed on the condition of anonymity. “He simply walked out of the residence after seeking permission for talking to his wife privately, while the “naive” officials stood there waiting for his return. Why aren’t the authorities taking any action against the erring officials? It is something beyond my comprehension.”

The Magistrate was booked under Section 224 of the IPC on a complaint lodged by CBI’s Superintendent of Police R. S. Bhatti for escaping from “lawful custody”. At that time, the Magistrate’s house was “virtually sealed”.

Interestingly, UT Chief Judicial Magistrate C.L Mohal, while refusing to extend police remand of Jalandhar’s District and Sessions Judge R.M. Gupta in the case, had come down heavily on the CBI for its “negligent act”, still nothing was done.

The story does not end here. One of the advocates, hired by the runaway Magistrate, is assisting the CBI in Punjab’s former Chief Minister Beant Singh’s assassination case.

Why did Bhardwaj hire the services of an advocate associated with the premier investigating agency for defending a case registered by it?

So far the CBI has not questioned the advocate regarding the power of attorney issued by Bhardwaj for arguing the case on his behalf.

This is not all, journalist and other witnesses present at Bhardwaj’s residence during the raid had seen the sleuths preparing a video-film of the entire event. But now when Bhardwaj is claiming absence at the time of the raids, the CBI is not talking about the film. Why? Will someone answer, please?


Brother defends Ravi Kant
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 21
Mr Satish Kumar Sharma, elder brother of Mr Ravi Kant Sharma, former Inspector-General of the Haryana Police and accused in the Shivani Bhatnagar murder case, came out openly in support of his brother today and maintained that his mother’s outburst yesterday was a result of her being emotionally disturbed.

Mr Satish Kumar, settled in the USA was talking to TNS over telephone. Giving a clean chit to Mr Ravi Kant and his wife Madhu Sharma, Mr Satish Kumar said his mother might need psychological treatment for the trauma caused by Mr Ravi Kant’s arrest.

“She was shocked when my brother was arrested. That emotional trauma has gradually overtaken her sense of comprehension and she has lost touch with reality. Instead of proper counselling, some people are now trying to manipulate her for their selfish interests,” he said. He, however, refused to name any person.

“My younger brother Ravi Kant and his family have always looked after my mother and specially since my father’s death in 1999. Unfortunately, my brother has been falsely accused of murder and is currently facing trial. After Ravi Kant’s arrest, my mother decided to move out of the house as Madhu had to travel often to Delhi for Ravi Kant’s legal defence,” he said.

Mr Satish Kumar Sharma deplored the efforts to use his mother as a spokesperson and a tool during the difficult times that his family was facing.

“This is not what my mother would desire if she were in full control of her thinking capabilities. This is a case of an emotionally disturbed mother being used by some persons to gain at the expense of everyone else, including my brother, who is in jail, and his family, who are putting their best efforts to live through these painful times,” he added.

He hoped that other members of his family would support the efforts of Ms Madhu and her daughters in these trying times.

He maintained that the will of his father J.D. Sharma had not been changed. “I had asked Ravi Kant about this when I came to visit him in January this year. I am sure that neither he nor his family would do any such thing,” he said.


CBSE hands over 27 answersheets to police
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 21
The CBSE authorities have handed over 27 marked answersheets of different subjects of 22 students who had appeared in Class XII CBSE examinations held this year to the UT police. The answersheets will be sent to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) for forensic examinations tomorrow. The results of these students have been withheld.

These students had allegedly paid large amounts (about Rs 12,000 each) to procure their mathematics, chemistry and accountancy answhersheets for re-writing. The CBSE will be handing over more answersheets to the police, shortly. If the students are found guilty of re-writing their answersheets, they may be arrested, police sources said.

The marks awarded on these answersheets are between 60 and 95. The police has found over-writing, different hand writings and even use of different pens on the answersheets. Interestingly, fold marks were found on the answersheets as the sheets were allegedly smuggled out from the centre where they were kept for putting fictitious roll numbers, in shoes.

The matter came to light on May 9 when the police arrested seven persons on charges of smuggling out answersheets.


Rajiv Gandhi remembered
Tribune Reporters

Hamirpur, May 21
Tributes were paid to former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on his 12th death anniversary here today. The day is observed as Anti-Terrorism Day throughout the country.

Two separate functions were held to observe the day. The kisan cell of the Youth Congress organised a blood donation camp, in which 15 persons donated blood. Ms Anita Verma, all-India secretary of the Congress, was the chief guest on the occasion.

The function was also attended by Mr Balak Ram Sharma, Mr Rakesh Handa and Mr Tej Nath, president, senior vice-president and general secretary, respectively, of the district unit of the Congress.

In another function, Youth Congress activists paid tributes to the late Prime Minister and pledged to take messages of leaders to the masses and strengthen the base of the Congress.

Mr Naresh Thakur, general secretary of the state Youth Congress, was the chief guest on this occasion.

CHAMBA: Anti Terrorism Day was observed here by the District Congress Committee. At an informal function, members of the Congress pledged to fulfil his dreams of a peaceful, prosperous and secular India.

KAPURTHALA: Workers of the district unit of the Youth Congress organised a blood donation camp in connection with the death anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi. Mr Rakesh Kumar Verma, Deputy Commissioner, inaugurated the camp.

Mr Satish Bahal, president of the District Youth Congress, was among those who donated blood.

The district police also organised a function in in connection with Anti-Terrorism Day in which 215 constables and officers participated. Dr R.N. Dhoke, SSP, presided over the function and administered an oath to police officials to defend and strengthen the nation. Tributes were paid to the late Prime Minister and those policemen who had sacrificed their lives fighting terrorism.

Another function was organised in the local Yojna Bhavan, which was presided over by the Deputy Commissioner. Employees and officers took an oath to maintain the unity and integrity of the nation and fight terrorism.

A function was also organised in the office of the District Congress Committee near Clock Tower in connection with Anti-Terrorism Day.

AMRITSAR: On the death anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi, the District Congress Committee organised a function at Congress Bhavan. Several Congress leaders, including Mr Yoginder Pal Dhingra, president, DCC, Mr Subhash Mahajan, member of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, Mr Rajinder Sharma and others paid tributes and lauded the efforts of the former Prime Minister.

ROPAR: The district administration observed Anti-Terrorism Day by organising a meeting in the local Secretariat under the chairmanship of the Deputy Commissioner, Ms Seema Jain. Tributes were paid to Rajiv Gandhi on the occasion. A similar function was also organised in Shivalik School, Ropar.

GURDASPUR: The district administration observed Anti-Terrorism day and organised a function in the local Panchayat Bhavan.

The Deputy Commissioner urged all to maintain unity, integrity and harmony in the country.

DHARAMSALA: Anti-Terrorism Day was observed in the district and official functions were organised at the sub-divisional and the district level. The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Prabodh Saxena, administered an oath to employees in the district office. He appealed to them to fight communal forces which were weakening the nation.

TARN TARAN: Anti-Terrorism Day was observed here and representatives of different political, religious and social organisations took a pledge to fight against terrorism and work for maintaining communal harmony in the country.

The function was attended by a large number of people. Speaking on the occasion, Mr Narinder Bhargav, SSP, Ms Laxmi Kanta Chawla, BJP leader, Mr Jatinder Kumar Sood, president of the local municipal council, Mr Janak Raj, Congess leader, Dr Sukhdev Singh Lauka and Mr Ram Singh, councillor, Dr Kashmir Singh Sohal, president of the Vikas Manch, Punjab, Mr Anil Joshi, BJP leader, and others stressed on the need to unitedly fight against terrorism. Mr Bhargav also listened to the grievances of families of terrorist victims and redressed them on the spot.

JALANDHAR: The District Congress Committee (rural) observed Anti-Terrorism Day to observe the death anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi at Congress Bhavan.

A two-minute silence was observed to pay homage to the late Prime Minister.

Later, addressing the gathering, the DCC (Rural) chief, Choudhary Manjinder Singh, said Rajiv Gandhi would be remembered for his distinct vision regarding the implementation of Panchayati Raj system and the protection of rights of women in the society.

SHIMLA: Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh offered floral tributes at the late Prime Minister’s statue at Rajiv Gandhi Chowk, Chota Shimla to pay his respect to the departed leader.

Mr Virbhadra Singh was joined by other Congressmen in taking a pledge for the promotion of national integration and unity of the country in the Pradesh Congress Committee office. A two-minute silence was also observed.

Pradesh Congress Committee president and Power Minister Vidya Stokes said the late Rajiv Gandhi had fought for the cause of the country and even sacrificed his life. She said the endeavour of every citizen should be to work for national integration and communal harmony.

Urban Congress Committee president Harbhajan Singh Bhajji, Shimla Municipal Corporation Mayor Solan Lal, Pradesh Congress Committee general secretary and spokesman Kuldeep Singh Rathore were also present on the occasion. A blood donation camp was also organised.

Irrigation and Public Health Minister Kaul Singh Thakur, Forest Minister Chander Kumar, Revenue Minister Brij Behari Butail, Agriculture Minister Raj Kishan Gaur, Tourism Minister Vijay Singh Mankotia, Cooperation Minister Kuldeep Kumar, MLAs Sohan Lal Thakur and Lajja Ram and others were also present.


MC staff pledge to fight terrorism
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
The Mayor, Mr Subhash Chawla and the Adviser, Mr Virendra Singh, today administered an oath to employees of the Municipal Corporation and the Chandigarh Administration, respectively, on the occasion of the death anniversary of the late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi whose death anniversary is observed as the Anti-Terrorism Day. All senior officers of the Municipal Corporation and the Chandigarh Administration were present in the two separate functions.

The Chandigarh Territorial Youth Congress (CTYC) organised a blood donation camp in which 125 persons donated the blood as a part of the Indian Youth Congress' (IYC) attempt to enter the Guinness Book of World Record for having organised the largest blood donation camp in the world. The IYC had set a target of 30,000 units of blood.

Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, MP, Mr B. B. Bahl, President, Chandigarh Territorial Congress , Mr Subhash Chawla, Mayor, and Mr H. S. Lucky , CTYC President, were present on the occasion. Floral tributes were paid to Rajiv Gandhi at the Rajiv Gandhi Bhavan, Sector 35, on the occasion.

Councillors Lalit Joshi, Pardeep Chhabra, Balraj Singh and Anu Chathrath, Shreshtha Mehta, Rampal Sharma and Pawan Sharma, among others, participated in the function. In a separate function, the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) President , Mr H. S. Hanspal, administered the oath to participants for fighting terrorism and violence in all its forms.

Ministers Chaudhary Jagjit Singh, Mr Lal Singh, Mr Sardul Singh, Mr Harnam Singh Johar, Santokh Singh, Kushal Bahal, Malklan Singh Birmi and Harnam Singh, among others, attended the PPCC function.


Hunt on for ‘missing draft’ in EO
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, May 21
Transparency in public offices be damned. At least this is what seems to be the unsaid rule at the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) Estate Office (EO) here. Maybe that is why it is not a big thing that a draft submitted to the Estate Officer at his residence as payment of rental amount for permission to hold a fair in the township has gone missing.

More than a month after a structure put up for a Baisakhi fair exhibition at the Dasehra grounds here was demolished by PUDA on grounds that the organisers lacked the due permission, the event is back in news. Hunt is on at the Estate Office here for the draft of the rental amount which the fair organisers claimed to have handed over to the Estate Officer at his residence two days before the fair was scheduled to begin for use of the Dasehra ground which is owned by PUDA.

While the Estate Officer, Mr T.K. Goel stated that the draft was received by him on April 12, at his residence, it was later passed on to the SDO (Buildings). The then SDO, Buildings, in turn stated that he had not received either the draft or the letter of permission. Adding to the confusion is a note sent by the Estate Officer to the Sub-divisional Magistrate’s (SDM) here which according to sources states that the draft was received but returned to the organisers as the fair structure was removed.

This fact further raises doubts about what exactly happened. The fair started on April 14 and was to continue till April 21 but the structure put up for fair was demolished on April 18. ‘‘The fair was on for four full days, and even if the draft had to be returned, the fee for four days should have been taken from the organisers,’’pointed a source confirming that no fee whatsoever for the installation of the fair had been deposited in PUDA account till date.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that the Deputy Commissioner, Ropar, Mrs Seema Jain, had marked an inquiry into the matter. Sources in the SDM office here stated that PUDA was the only rent collecting authority for the land it own in the township but the permission to hold fairs and other public functions in the township have to be granted by the Deputy Commissioner and in this case no permission was taken at all. The SDM, SAS Nagar, Mr L.M. Sharma, had also called the then SDO, Buildings in this regard, informed sources in his office.

On April 18, the then SDO (Buildings), Mr Ranjit Kumar, with his team of junior engineers ordered the demolition as according to him the organisers had no permission in writing from PUDA to organise such a fair on PUDA land. When contacted, the then SDO Buildings, Mr Ranjit Kumar, who has since been shifted as the SDO, Periphery, stated that he had ordered the demolition in line with the powers given to him by PUDA orders dated February 24, according to which he can order removal of any encroachment on the area under PUDA control. ‘‘I had no written order then to let the fair continue and till today I have no file or draft,” he said refusing to comment further on the matter.


88 recruits complete training
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 21
As many as 88 recruits, including 19 females, of the second batch of trainees (constables) took part in an impressive passing out parade at RTC Parade Ground, Police Lines, Sector 26, here today. Mr Varindera Singh, Adviser to the UT Administrator, took the salute.

Speaking on the occasion, the UT IGP, Mr Rakesh Kumar, talked about the various aspects of the training given to these recruits. They have been imparted training in law, IPC, CrPC Evidence Act, PPW, human rights and physical training. Experts and educationists delivered lectures to them on various subjects during the nine-month training programme. The recruits will now be deputed for two-month commando training shortly. While addressing the gathering, Mr Varindera Singh, who was also the chief guest, lauded the role of Chandigarh Police in maintaining law and order during the days of terrorism.

Mr R.S. Gujral, UT Home Secretary, Mr Gaurav Yadav, SSP, Mr Virender Singh, SSP (Hqs), and other police officers were among those present on the occasion.

Prizes were also given to the following winners: Administrator’s Cup (Overall best recruit) — Ms Eram Rizvi; Adviser to the Administrator’s Running Trophy (Over all Best Boy recruit) — Deepak Attri; IGP’s Running Trophy (Best Recruit in Indoor) — Sunil Mehta; Chairman, STF’s Running Trophy (Best Recruit in Outdoor) — Joginder Pal Singh; Best Instructor — Des Raj (ASI); and Best Platoon — Platoon No 1.


SSP for better public-police ties
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
The role of the police and the latest techniques in crime detection was the theme of the talk by Mr Gaurav Yadav, Senior Superintendent of Police, Chandigarh, at a meeting organised by the Rotary Chandigarh Shivalik here last night.

He explained that in addition to traditional policing involving crime detection and law and order the force had gone into pro-active policing.

The police was getting involved with the local community by rendering assistance, organising traffic wardens, neighbourhood watch, help-line and beat patrol. Mr Yadav said this had helped in improving the community and police relations.

Mr Yadav highlighted the environment in which the police force had to work. This included lack of cooperation from the public in solving crime and the element of intimidation from policemen as well as public having influential connection.

He said necessary steps were being taken to improve the public-police relationship by frequent interaction with resident welfare associations, effective beat patrolling, educating the police to adopt a more people-friendly approach and encouraging witnesses to come forward in solving crimes

He further stressed that he was encouraging children to visit police stations to know and understand the working.

He was organising lectures by police officers in colleges and conducting traffic week and other programmes to have better public and police relations.

Rtn. (Dr) G.S. Kochhar, President, Rotary Chandigarh Shivalik, appreciated the views of Mr Yadav and assured him of the Rotarians full cooperation whenever required.


Self-help group to check suicides
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
Although about 15 workshops have been conducted in the past month with the objective of determining the causes of suicides and proposing strategies to stem the rot, hardly has any help made its way out of closed halls to the grassroots level.

Even as most of the plans so proposed rest on papers, awaiting official nod or funds, a group of city youngsters has taken the lead in reacting to the social mess and reaching out to those in need of counsel. In focus are 12 youngsters from the Labour Colony of Sector 30, who have assumed the responsibility of building a support system for the youth of their colony. Having vowed to prevent suicides in their region of operation, these youngsters, most of whom are working, will now serve as master trainers for others who wish to join the fold.

Created under the aegis of Theatre Age, the first social organisation that conducted a door-to-door survey following 55 suicides in the city in about three months, these self-help groups, christened “youth panchayats”, will grow from strength to strength. The first group of voluntary workers from Labour Colony have received their initial training from experts in the Department of Adult Education, Panjab University. The training has been imparted with the help of a questionnaire that can help the youngsters in identifying the levels of depression among children and contemporaries.

Say Zulfiqar Khan and Dr Avinish Jolly, who conceptualised the idea of helping friends in need, “After conducting four workshops in the city we realised that the problem primarily affected those who don’t have anything concrete at hand. Dropouts, unemployed youth, are the most vulnerable. After interactions we found that there was an immediate need to identify those who are suffering. We thought we could best help youngsters by sending their own friends as facilitators.”

With the youth of Sector 30 showing the way, “youth panchayats” may soon be formed in other sectors, assuming the form of a human chain, that can go a long way in bringing hope back to the lives of dejected youth.

The first set of voluntary workers was formed in Sector 30 where Theatre Age organised a workshop on suicides on May 4. The objective of the group is to establish informal relations with youngsters of their locality and help the vulnerable ones to fight depression with determination. Trained for the purpose, the self-help group members have started interacting with youngsters residing in 600 houses in their area. The workers include Kulwinder Kaur, Sonia Kanwar, Sushma, Sushant, Arvind, Sunny, Raj Kumar, Sachin, among others.

Says Sonia, “We first identify the family background of the youngster in question, then determine the nature of his problem and his perception of life. We also study the state of his mental health to know how much he can bear. If there is cause for alarm, we counsel the youngster on our own. If the problem is graver, we refer him to the experts on the panel of Theatre Age. It works well”.


Sex change ‘operation’ by passport office
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
Sex change may not be the monopoly of medical professionals only, the Regional Passport office also does so — at least on paper.

Parents of 13-year-old Patiala boy Taran Veer Singh Karwal, were shocked when they received the passport of their son mentioning his sex as “F” (female).

The father of the boy, Mr Karam Jit Singh Karwal, came to the Regional Passport Office today seeking a change in the sex column of his son’s passport, but had to go back without getting the error rectified.

It is not that the application form had mentioned the details wrongly.

The application form mentions Taran Veer Singh as son of Karam Jit Singh Karwal, clearly indicating that the person whose passport was to be made was a boy. This is also confirmed by the photograph pasted on the passport.

Even the address on the passport envelope mentioned Taran Veer as daughter of Karam Jit Singh Karwal.

Mr Karam Jit Singh immediately sent a letter to the Regional Passport Office through a friend demanding correction in the document, but his attempt met with a failure because, as per the passport office norms, the candidate was required to be present in person for the purpose.

Chandigarh Tribune has come across another case where both husband and wife, going for honeymoon to Mauritius, were mentioned of the same sex (female) in the passports.

Gagandeep Singh Pasricha married Dilpreet Kaur in Ludhiana last month and planned to go to Mauritius for honeymoon. But their visit to their dreamland had to be abandoned, as soon as they reached the High Commission of Mauritius for a travel visa.

The High Commission rejected their application saying unless correction was made in the sex columns of their passports, they would not be allowed to visit Mauritius.


Construction of room in backyard allowed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
The construction of a room having an area of 100 sq feet or an area equal to 40 per cent area of the backyard, whichever is less, has been legalised by the Chandigarh Administration as a part of relaxation in the building by-laws.

This was announced here today by the Chandigarh Administration through a press note. However, the Chandigarh Administration has clarified that the demolitions carried out recently were in conformity with the changed rules.

The room in the backyard could be used as a green house or a store. A standard plan for such a construction has been approved by the administration which would be issued to the public on a nominal charge, the press note stated.

Those who have already constructed rooms would have to bring these in conformity with the standard plans which would be available with the Chandigarh Administration or the Housing Board.

The press note also clarified that the Chandigarh Administration, the Municipal Corporation or the Housing Board had not undertaken any demolition drive in violation of the changed norms. It said the demolitions were carried out to remove encroachments on the government land.


Palatable pastas, suitable sauces
Harvinder Khetal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
If you are a pasta fan, head for Cinnamon Roof in Sector 17. The buffet table is relaid every evening for a special feast during its ongoing Italian Food Festival. The restaurant offers a choice of four types of pasta with an assortment of sauces on a rotation basis. Set the mood for a lovely dinner of a slice of the cuisine from the city of the Leaning Tower with the Italian minestrone soup. To whet your appetite further, have a helping of the fibre-rich and healthy salad made of a mixture of veggies held together with a dressing and seasoning. Team it with a cracker (biscuit) dipped in imported cheese and down with wine to complete the special dinner starter.

The chef tosses an assortment of pasta and sauces at Cinnamon Roof
The chef tosses an assortment of pasta and sauces at Cinnamon Roof, Sector 17, Chandigarh. — Tribune photo Pawan Sharma

The rectangular pockets of pasta with a filling of spinach and topped with a generous scoop of creamy cheese is pleasingly garnished with leaves of green broccoli and red tomato slices. If it's non-veg that you root for, the long, thin strips of spaghetti enmeshed in a trap of spicy meat should attract you. But there's a warning: the spicy meant is really what it claims to be — spicy. Either keep space for a desert to counter the attack of the masalas on your palate or ask the waiter to tone down the hot spices. If you've opted to brave the dish, the sweet on offer is a souffle or a pastry from Hot Breads.

Complement the pasta with slices of breads of buns for a wholesome picture.

With live cooking also an option, there is wide scope for experimentation. Especially since virtually anything and everything goes with pasta — meat, poultry, vegetables, fish, seafood, cheese, eggs, cream, herbs. It is a versatile and adaptable food even as far as combining sauces is concerned.

But generally, long, thin, smooth pastas like spaghetti, tagliarini and fettuccine are better suited to lighter and simpler sauces. The short curly shapes of fusille (spiral), rigatoni (hollow ridged tubes), farfalle (bows) and penne (quills) more easily hold tricker, meaty and substantial sauces. Pasta sheets and tubes like lasagne and canneltoni go well with rich thick sauces with which they are baked in the oven. However, you can substitute your own favourites.

And if the buffet is not what you want, you can order a la carte, too. The menu in this case includes chicken steak, newborn potato with brocolli and baby corn, saute veg with saffron sauce and assorted cheese, informs General Manager S.K. Sharma.

Regulars at Cinnamon Roof will notice a change in the decor of the place. It seems more spacious with emphasis on the glowing red and orange lights diffusing colour on the green pots. The cash counter has been shifted. Even the waiters don a new uniform. This is because of change in management with Mr O.P. Madan and Mr Yashpal Amar Singh taking over the unit in March.


Parking: MC given ultimatum
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
The Sector 17 Traders’ Association has served a seven-day ultimatum on the municipal corporation to ensure that the public does not feel inconvenience in the paid parking lots, failing which a joint agitation of traders, public and government employees will be launched.

The association president and general secretary Subhash Kataria and Jagdish Pal Singh Kalra respectively, while issuing the ultimatum, said the parking contractor was flouting the terms of the contract causing inconvenience to the people.


Good worth lakhs destroyed in fire
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, May 21
Machinery and goods worth lakhs were destroyed in two separate fire incidents in this subdivision today.

An overloaded truck caught fire when it touched high-tension overhead power cables near Lalru, while six jhuggis were reduced to ashes at Badhawa Nagar Colony in Bartana village, near Zirakpur, this afternoon.

According to residents of the area, the truck carrying cotton bales, was heading towards an industrial unit when it came in contact with power cables. The driver and his helpers jumped out of the windows after they sustained electric shocks.


Tent house gutted
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, May 21
Goods, including furniture and tents, were destroyed in a fire that broke out at Bhasin Tent House in the Industrial Area, Phase II, here today.

According to sources, the fire broke out at about 12 noon reportedly due to a short-circuit.

Four fire-engines, three from Panchkula and one from Mani Majra, took about an hour to bring the flames under control.


Patiala resident held for defrauding banks
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 21
The Economic Offences Wing of the local police today arrested a resident of Patiala, Krishan Avtar Singh, who had allegedly defrauded various banks in the city to the tune of several lakhs. He was wanted by the police in three cases of cheating and fraud.

As per police sources, Dharamvir Khemani, resident of Sector 40-C, in connivance with Krishan Avtar had allegedly cheated Sector 17 branch of the State Bank of India by securing a loan of Rs 3.60 lakh for the purchase of a car by giving fake documents and addresses and subsequently receiving payment back from Joshi Automobiles.

A case was registered on the complaint of manager of the bank in February last year. In this case, the loan was sanctioned in the name of Khemani, whereas Krishan Avtar had stood as guarantor.

The second case, was registered against him by manager of the Sector 34 branch of Allahabad Bank. Krishna Avtar got a loan of Rs 3.70 lakh for purchase of a Maruti Esteem car in February, 2000. After the loan was sanctioned,Krishna Avtar Singh submitted a photocopy of the registration certificate of a Esteem car (CH03 3612) as proof that he had purchased the car. Later, bank officials got suspicious and after verifications, they found the documents submitted by him to be ‘‘forged’’. The address of the guarantor, too, was fake. Police sources added that after further verifications, the bank came to know that the demand draft of Rs 4.36 lakh given to Krishan Avtar for the purchase of vehicle in name of Maruti Udyog Ltd. was deposited by him with Modern Automobiles Ltd. Actually he had not purchased any vehicle against the demand draft but got the money refunded.

Another case of cheating, criminal breach of trust and forgery was registered against him in Sector 17 police station. In this case, he had applied to Punjab National Bank, Sector 22, for getting a loan of Rs 2.96 lakh for purchase of a second Maruti Esteem car (CH 03 3612) (he had submitted the registration certificate of the same car with Allahabad bank). He was issued a demand draft of Rs 2.96 lakh, which he deposited in Bank of Maharashtra, Sector 17 and got it enchased.

Police said Krishna Avtar and Dharamvir Khemani, had been cheating different banks by making use of two cars already got financed by them from banks. Krishna Avtar was evading arrest since February 2002. While, Dharamvir Khemani is still at large.


One held for raping minor
Tribune Reporters

Chandigarh, May 21
A minor girl of Indira Colony, Mani Majra, was allegedly raped by a resident of the same area, Mohammad Saleem, last evening. The accused has been arrested.

According to police sources, Saleem took the 16-year-old girl to an adjoining garden on some pretext and committed the crime. A medical examination of the girl has reportedly confirmed rape.


The police has booked a Sector 42-based travel agent, Harjit Singh, for allegedly duping a resident of Yamunanagar district of Rs 1.5 lakh.

As per information, the agent had promised Surinder Kumar to send his brother and son-in-law abroad and for the purpose he had taken said the amount from him. However, the agent neither kept his promise nor returned the money.


Four persons were injured in two road accidents during the past 24 hours.

Three persons, who were going on a rickshaw, were injured when an electricity pole fell on them after a bus (UP14 E 7635) rammed into it near house number 2006 in Sector 45-C on Tuesday. Bus driver Pardip Kumar has been arrested under Sections 279, 337 and 427 of the IPC. The injured are, Braham Deen, Mukesh Mandal and rickshaw-puller Ajay Kumar.

In another road accident, Bhag Singh of Sector 40-C was injured after the cycle he was riding was hit by a Maruti car on the road dividing Sectors 23-A and 23-B here on Tuesday. The car driver fled the spot.


The police has arrested Baljit Singh and Kuldip Singh, both residents of Behlana, allegedly for eve-teasing from near Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 21-A, here on Tuesday.


1 killed in accident

Satish Kumar, a resident of Haripur village, near Raipur Rani, was killed while his companion Ram Karan sustained injuries in an accident near Badona village here on Wednesday.

In his complaint to the police, Ram Karan complained that some unidentified driver of a car (UP-07F-8831) while driving negligently injured them. Satish Kumar later succumbed to the injuries.

The police has registered a case against the car driver.

In another case the police has arrested Pramod Kumar, an auto-rickshaw driver, for negligent driving. A resident of Kalka, he was arrested by the police near from Gandhi Chowk in Kalka.

Gambler held

In a case of gambling at public place, the police has arrested Durjan Singh of Majri village and confiscated a sum of Rs 270 from his possession. He was caught while gambling at Majri village on Tuesday night.

A case under the Gambling Act has been registered against him at Sector 5 police station.


Woman elopes with ‘paramour’

Panchkula, May 21
A middle-aged wife of a senior account official in a private company allegedly eloped with her paramour along with a sum of over Rs 1 lakh and other valuables today. The alleged paramour, P.K. Dubey, is working with a private firm in Chandigarh.

In a complaint to the police, Mr M.L. Goel, father of the woman, had complained that his daughter had eloped with Dubey and had also taken some of her valuables and cash. Both of them had eloped earlier also in a similar way but had returned after a couple of days. The woman is a resident of Sector 12-A, Panchkula, and her husband works in a Chandigarh-based company.

On the complaint of the woman’s father, who hails from Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh, a case has been registered. OC


Entire range of furniture material is available 
in Sector 34
Sanjay Sharma

THE presence of a furniture market in Sector 34 makes it one of the biggest shopping centres of the city with around 250 shops of almost each conceivable material, according to the General Trade Market Welfare Association president Pardeep Bansal. He said the Sector 34 market was unique in the sense it gave competition to the services canteen in terms of prices and had the widest variety of business activity in the city.

Despite the shops here having been allotted for furniture sale after the shopkeepers were rehabilitated, the planning of the market seems to have ignored the fact that the furniture sale activity required certain open spaces for polishing under the sunlight.

The design of shops does not seem to take care of this fact and an increase in the volume of business. Hence, the spillover of furniture on public land.

This, the shopkeepers claim, has been recognised by the authorities verbally but the lower level staff of the Enforcement Department does not think so.

Shopkeepers here are so fed up with the wavering stand of the authorities that they say it will be better if they are re-allotted sites somewhere else where the design of the shops could suit the furniture trade. Despite big shops of furniture scattered around the city where quality furniture could be bought, the components of the furniture could only be procured from this market.

An entire range of furniture material is available in the 90-odd shops in the market here making it the biggest furniture market of the city. The shopkeepers here still feel threatened from the khokha market of Sector 40 where, they say, shopkeepers are operating from temporary tin sheds and there is a lot of space behind the shops to carry out the finishing job in the open. The shopkeepers say despite the khokha market being illegal, the Chandigarh Administration does not remove shops from there and has in fact a month back started giving them electricity connections.

They say electricity connections have been given ignoring the fact it could be a major fire hazard in the market which has already seen big fires at least thrice earlier. From adhesives to little nut bolts, tapestry, foam material, steel and plastic furniture, the market has everything to offer. The composition of the labour force in the market also indicates that carpentry seems to be a dying art amongst the Punjabis in the city with the entire lot of around 500 workers in the market coming from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

As the size of the shops is small despite the furniture making activity coming under the small-scale category of land allotment, most of the shopkeepers have rented land in the Burail village for the workshops where furniture is made. The shifting of the market from the Nehru and Shastri markets of Sector 22 along the Aroma Hotel was painful as the Chandigarh Administration could not provide them land for seven years before they were finally given shops in 1979. For seven years, most of the shopkeepers had to work under tin sheds along the gurdwara in a condition the khokha market is operating in Sector 40.

With the advantage of space being available with the khokha market, it has been giving a competition to the Sector 34 market which can not deal in the popular cane furniture due to a shortage of space.

The khokha market seems to have developed monopoly in cane furniture in the city. Adjoining the furniture market is a general trade market having a large number of electricity shops, Polka Bakery, Uttam Sweets, Fashion Zone and few flowerists near the Sector 34 Gurdwara. The market has a separate association. A couple of cobblers in the market have earned a name for themselves in the city. Krishna Chat and Rama Chat from Ambala are popular shops. This market apart from catering to the needs of the nearby sectors also has the demand of southern sectors in mind.

Baba Dairy and other eateries in this market have been drawing crowds from far-off areas. Maan Durga Sweets has been attracting connoisseurs of Bengali sweets from across the city.

Office-bearers of furniture market:

Chairman: Seva Singh Rait; president — Hazara Singh; general secretary — Ashwani Kumar Chadda: vice-president — Tilak Raj; joint secretary — Harjeet Singh Gulati; treasurer — Subhash Gulati and Adviser — Bodh Raj.

Office-bearers of the General Trade Association: Chairman — Kailash Chand Jain; president — Pardeep Bansal; vice-president — Rakesh Gupta; general secretary — Kamal Arora.



  • Constant tussle with enforcement staff.
  • Khokha market in Sector 40 is competing on unequal terms.
  • Lack of space for furniture business in the shops.
  • The Chandigarh Administration has been refusing permission to use the roof top for the polishing of furniture despite senior officers having accepted the suggestion.
  • The lone toilet for more than 600 people is poorly maintained and even sewerage seems to have become ineffective.
  • There is no effective street lighting arrangement.
  • During the peak hours, parking becomes a problem.


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