Sunday, June 1, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Constable kills son, self
Our Correspondent

Neeraj (6) and Ankita (4), unmindful of the tragedy, have lunch at a
Neeraj (6) and Ankita (4), unmindful of the tragedy, have lunch at a neighbour’s place. — Photo Pawan Sharma

Naya Gaon, May 31
A constable of the Chandigarh Police, Heera Lal, 35, shot dead his elder son, Praveen, 12, and later killed himself using his 9 mm service pistol here this morning. His wife, Rajwanti, was also injured and is currently recuperating at the PGI, Chandigarh. Heera Lal was suffering from a neurological problem and had been requesting for medical rest, police sources said.

Fortunately, his six-year-old son Neeraj and four-year-old daughter Ankita escaped the fury of their father. However, the children, who were present in the one-room rented accommodation of the couple, watched the gory death of their brother and father. Rajwanti told Chandigarh Tribune at the PGI: “Heera Lal bolted the door from inside and first shot at me and then at Praveen. I opened the door and lost consciousness.”

Jumbled up telephone lines in the Kharar Subdivision, resulted in the police reaching the crime spot about 45 minutes late. All calls to the number 100 land up at the Chandigarh Police Control Room. Today also the call landed at Chandigarh. The information was passed on through the wireless network to SAS Nagar and then the message was conveyed to Naya Gaon. In the meantime, a person of the village also rushed to the Naya gaon police post and informed the police. The same problem exists for reaching out to other emergency telephone numbers like 101 for fire.

Neighbours said Heera Lal did not kill himself inside the room. He was still carrying the gun as he came out of the house. Neighbours rushed an injured Rajwanti and Praveen to hospital. The child was declared brought dead, while his mother was admitted to the PGI. Heera Lal shot himself outside the house in the presence of his neighbours, a good 20 minutes after he had fired the first shot. The neighbours of Heera Lal, Ms Poonam and her husband, made a futile effort to calm him down between the period he shot his son and when he shot himself.

Neighbours said they were afraid of intervening as Heera Lal was carrying a gun and had fired a shot in the air. They told Chandigarh Tribune that had the police reached the spot in time, Heera Lal could have been saved. The neighbours claim that though the police was informed immediately after the first gun shots were heard, yet it took more than 45 minutes for it to reach the spot.

As per information, Heera Lal, attached with a PCR team in the Sector 3 police station, reached home after his night duty around 8 am, and according to his wife was “perfectly normal” and was to go back for duty and deposit the pistol.

He took his daughter to her school, but returned as the school had closed for summer vacations. Ms Rajwanti said: ‘‘Suddenly he bolted the door from inside and started shouting ‘we all are going to die’”. Till about 1 pm, Rajwanti was unaware that her husband had killed himself and their son.

Heera Lal’s neighbours said he was a doting father and loving husband. He wanted Praveen to become a cricketer and he often used to take him for practice sessions. Unaware of the enormity of the incident, six-year-old Neeraj said: “Papa first slapped me and then fired a bullet at mummy and she started bleeding. Then he fired at Praveen and blood started oozing out of his face. Then mummy opened the door. Papa fired three times in the sky”.

Heera Lal reportedly pumped a bullet just below his heart. The weapon used in the crime has been recovered and a case registered.

Rajwanti said for the past couple of months her husband used to behave abnormally at times. “At times he would say that he was not going to live.



Pak spy had sensitive information
Vijay Mohan and Kiran Deep

Chandigarh, May 31
Highly sensitive information pertaining to military deployment and battle formations in the country was being possessed by the Pakistani national and two others, arrested by the Chandigarh Police earlier this year.

Well-placed sources revealed that the spy, Abid Mehmood, alias Nihal Chouhan, was first picked up by the Intelligence before being handed over to the Chandigarh Police.

Information collected by Chandigarh Tribune shows that Abid Mehmood was in possession of the Orders of Battle of the Western Command, Northern Command, Southern Command and Eastern Command.

Besides, a list of as many as 30 infantry battalions, armoured units, artillery regiments air defence regiments, rocket and missile units, as well as allied and support units located in Chandi Mandir and Ambala, along with the names of their commanding officers, had also been recovered from him.

Documents obtained by Chandigarh Tribune show that Mehmood had drawn several charts, listing out various units and formations under the jurisdiction of different headquarters. Besides, English, a number of notings in Urdu have also been made alongside. He had also made drawings of several formations insignia.

A voter’s identity card (no UP/83/211/222384) issued in Muzaffarnagar in January, 2000, which is stated by the police to be fake, has also been recovered from his possession. Sources said he had used this card to cast ballot on at least one occasion.

Copies of two merit certificates in the name of Nihal Chouhan for participation in badminton at the college level at Muzaffarnagar and Kairana are also included among the documents recovered from him.

A topographical map of Chandigarh and its environs, prepared by the Survey of India, was also in the spy’s possession. Besides, he had drawn several maps, highlighting the location and approaches to the Chandi Mandir military station.

Mehmood used an e-mail identity to send and receive messages. “Aaj sham 7 per on line ho jana”, “moch ko pasy nahee melay han. Bohat zaroorat ha. Ghar main sab thek ha kya. Javab jaldee day do. Plz.” are the text of some of the intercepted messages.

Mehmood, along with Abdul Wahid and Mohammad Arif, both Indian nationals, was arrested under the provisions of the Official Secret Act, the Foreign Act and cheating and forgery charges on February 23.

Mehmood, who hails from Liakatpur in Raheemyar Khan district of Pakistan, has also moved an application before the court, alleging that he was subjected to third-degree torture while in custody of the Intelligence and the police, and has pleaded for medical treatment.



Carry a smart card to PU
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
You cannot enter laboratories handling sophisticated laboratory equipment on the Panjab University campus if you are not carrying a smart card.

Sounds incredible, but it is true that certain laboratories in the University Centre for Instrumentation in Microelectronics Central Instrumentation Laboratory Scientific Analytical Instrumentation Facility earlier known as the Regional Sophisticated Instrumentation Centre, and the University Scientific Instrumentation Centre have incorporated the Smart card system at the entrance. These laboratories handle state-of-the-art scientific apparatus and data of research in state and national-level bodies.

Besides the university departments related to different research activity, the laboratories also handle samples from the industry and research and development institutes. The departments are all set for the accreditation of the National Accreditation Board of Laboratories, which means the laboratory results will be admissible in laboratories of more than 100 countries.

Giving details of the facility, Prof S.K.Sharma, honorary director of the centre, said smart cards were being introduced as a service to keep records of personnel going in and out of a department. The card would help record the time of entry and exit. “This is a small endeavour to regulate the work culture in the laboratories”, Professor Sharma said. Even unauthorised persons making an entry to a department would be registered.

The card here is one that you just need to flash out of your pocket and need not insert in a machine like the routine ones. The next step is introduction of cameras, which will check the identity of those who enter, through the print of the iris (in the eyes) for verification. Just like no two finger prints were the same, the iris prints of two individuals also could never be the same, Professor Sharma said.

The facility currently extends to about 50 workers only. Professor Sharma said details were being worked out to extend the facility to the students as well. The facility would help keep records of their actual presence in the classroom.

The department would like to extend its facilities to related departments on the campus, Professor Sharma said. He agreed to a suggestion that smart cards should be installed at the entrance of the Administrative Block of the university to keep tabs on employees handling crucial matters regarding admissions, examinations and results. The facility had great potential in hospitals also.



Teachers call for boycott of summer classes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
Government school teachers are on the warpath and are unwilling to relent. Calling for a boycott of all summer classes, the Government Teachers’ Union decided to hold a rally at Masjid Ground in Sector 20 on June 2 instead of reporting for duty at their respective schools.

This decision was taken at a meeting held in Sector 20, here today after a meeting with the DPI (S), Mr D.S. Mangat, “failed”. The teachers said they had not been given any choice.

Alleging “high-handedness” by the heads of schools, the union threatened to intensify their agitation and even seek legal action in case the UT Education Department failed to cancel their duties during the summer vacation.

“Most lady teachers had already planned their vacations and they are being forced to cancel their reservations. The department has absolutely no right to behave in this manner. They can certainly not be allowed to encroach upon anything that is rightfully ours,” said Mr H.S. Anand, a spokesperson for the union.

Meanwhile, the union has appealed to the Education Department to reconsider its decision before they take any drastic step. They also claimed that teachers were not responsible for poor results which were a consequence of the wrong policies of the department.

To appease teachers resentful of working during the summer vacation, the department has decided to give compensatory leave in lieu of the workdays put in during this period, but no menetary compensation will be given. The rule book says that the teachers would get one day off for every three days of work.

Besides, the department is willing to accommodate and exempt teachers from the duty with genuine problems. A committee headed by the District Education Officer will be formed to decide all such cases.

Of the total 4000 teachers employed with the UT Education Department, only 150 regular teachers would be working at a time for a couple of hours to conduct summer workshops and extra classes. In addition, nearly 300 contract teachers and 400 new recruits would supplement them.

Officials in the Education Department said when most of the teachers had agreed to be on duty for an examination on a Sunday for a meager Rs 100, they should have no problem in taking these classes in the interest of the student community.



WHO survey on tobacco addiction
PGI plans to cover 100 schools in region
Pratibha Chauhan
Tribune News Service

Tobacco consumption in India

  • Total tobacco consumers - 250 million
  • Number of youngsters addicted to tobacco- 20 million
  • Number of people dying due to tobacco every year- 1 million
  • Number of people dying due to tobacco daily- 3,000
  • One cigarette takes away 5.8 minutes of one’s life

Chandigarh, May 31
As part of a WHO-funded global youth tobacco survey, to study use of tobacco among teenagers, the Pulmonary Medicine Department at PGI will cover more than 100 schools in the states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh.

“Seeing the high prevalence of smoking, especially in teenagers, WHO and the US Centre for Disease Control (CDC) is jointly undertaking the study in more than 150 countries,” disclosed Dr S.K. Jindal, head of Pulmonary Medicine at PGI.

On the occasion of World No Tobacco Day today, Dr Jindal regretted that unmindful of the harmful affects of tobacco use, the youth especially in the developing nations, were taking to smoking while still in their teens.

Dr Jindal said the process of sending complete details of the schools and classes in which the students were studying would be sent to CDC in America and it would be only after computerised randomisation process that the ones to be included in the study would be shortlisted. “As per the global design, a total of 12,000 students in the age group of 13 to 15 years would be covered in the states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and the UT,” he said giving details.

Citing the prevalence rates, Dr Jindal said that as far as the northern sates were concerned, the figures for Haryana were most disturbing. “In Haryana more than 50 per cent of male adults smoke while in the city those smoking was about 30 per cent,” he informed. Fortunately due to religious considerations in Punjab, this figure was relatively low at a mere 10 to 15 per cent, he added.

In India, the number of women who smoke is a mere 2 per cent, mostly amongst the upper class women. Doctors say that it is only after smoking for more than 10 years that the person starts feeling the symptoms of illness like persistent cough, breathlessness and at times weight loss due to loss of appetite

According to a survey conducted by PGI in some of the areas of Haryana like Rohtak, more than 90 per cent of the male adults were found to be smoking. Smoking cigarettes, cigars, pipe and hookah has been found to be the single largest cause for lung and cancer of the mouth.

Other forms of tobacco consumption, include pan masala, zarda and khaini which can cause cancer not just of the respiratory tract such as mouth, pharynx, larynx, trachea and lungs but also the oesophagus, stomach and other vital organs of the body.” However, as compared to Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, the number of people taking pan masala, zarda and khaini in this region is small,” said Dr Jindal.

Doctors point out that the two major factors behind youth taking to smoking is peer pressure and their role models like actors shown smoking in movies. “A prolonged exposure of a non smoker to smoking by others can also cause problems such as cough and precipitation of an acute attack in an asthmatic individual,” warn doctors.

Realising the harmful effects of tobacco, while people in the USA and Britain are giving up smoking, in India 3,000 persons die every day because of this habit.

According to Dr Prem Sobti, president of Indian Society on Tobacco and Health, out of the total 17 lakh cancer cases in the country, 8 lakh are due to use of tobacco. “Tobacco contains over 4000 poisonous substances, of which nicotine, carbon monoxide and tar are most harmful,” says Dr Sobti.

Being the third largest producer of tobacco, after China and USA, India produces 550 million kg of tobacco from 45,000 hectares of rain fed area.”The theme for this year is “Tobacco free films, tobacco-free fashion, action” as seeing movies and their favourite actors puffing away on screen, more and more youngsters get hooked to this habit,” explains Dr Sobti.

Out of the total tobacco produced in India, 30 per cent is used to make bidis, 20 per cent used for chewing and eating 15 per cent to make cigarettes and 7 per cent exported out.



Awareness campaigns held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
On the occasion of World No Tobacco Day today, more than 500 students participated in different rallies organised by Drug Awareness and Counselling Centre of the Servants of the People Society in collaboration with the Tobacco Cessation Clinic, PGI.

As part of the awareness campaign, talks were organised in government schools and colonies including Dhanas, Maloya, Kumhar Colony, Khuda Ali Sher, Sector 11, 24 and 23 during the last one week.

The local unit of the Samajwadi Party also organised a workshop in Colony Number 5, which was attended by 250 labourers. They were told about the diseases like cancer, asthma, tuberculosis and lung diseases which could happen due to tobacco consumption.

The Voluntary Health Association of India also organised an exhibition in Sector 17 on the hazards of smoking and tobacco consumption.



Petrol down by 10 paise in UT
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 31
The oil companies today announced a marginal cut of 10 paise in the prices of petrol and diesel. The revised price of petrol (per litre) in Chandigarh and SAS Nagar will be Rs 30.66 and Rs 31.69, respectively.



City residents throng hill stations as mercury rises
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
With the rise in mercury and commencement of summer vacations in schools, city residents are thronging hill stations in Himachal Pradesh to save themselves from the scorching heat. A number of businessmen, school and college teachers have already reached there with their families to enjoy the cool breeze.

According to a senior official of the Himachal Transport Corporation, the passenger traffic from the city has increased significantly during the past few days. The reservation and information centre of the Himachal Tourism Development Corporation Ltd (HPTDC) is facing a heavy rush for bookings at different tourist destinations in the state.

Like Kerala and other southern states, the HPTDC is also promoting Ayurvedic ‘Panchkarma’ therapy packages, special rejuvenation and anti-stress packages to attract tourists from plains, Mr Sunil Bansal of Himachal Tourism says, “We have already made over 700 reservations in the current season. The hotels are totally packed and we are receiving about 100 queries every day. The main attractions of the season are Manali, Dalhousie, Khajjiar, Kasauli, Shimla and Chail.” The HPTDC is also promoting Sangla valley as a new tourist spot.

He said the Panchkarma packages, which offer treatment of rheumatic disorders, paralysis, parkinsonism, gynecological disorders, allergies, insomnia and depression, are available at Hotel Peterholff in Shimla, Hotel Sarvari in Kullu, Hotel Uhl in Jogindernagar and at Hotel T Bud in Palampur. The patients could have treatment for obesity, spinal injuries, digestive and other diseases at a reasonable cost besides enjoying the beauty of the ‘Devbhumi.’

Besides Shimla and Manali, the tourists are also preferring Palampur valley set against the backdrop of the majestic Dhauladhar mountains. Surrounded by tea gardens and trees of cedar and pine, this is located towards the upper end of the town. Officials of the HPTDC say tourists from anywhere in the country or abroad can make a booking through Internet at 56 hotels of the corporation in the state. There are various budget, premium and deluxe hotels with all the required facilities.

Mr Paramjit Singh, a businessman, who had come for the booking, said, “The HPTDC is offering various packages for middle class. One can stay in the dormitory for Rs 100 a day to Rs 5,000 per day in maharaja suits.” Officials of the HPTDC said reservations could be made by paying 100 per cent of the rent for the first day and 50 per cent for the subsequent days. Reservations can be made at various information centres of the corporation at Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, Bangalore and other towns.



How effective is shramdaan?
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
Even as shramdaan — manual voluntary desilting of Sukhna Lake — began yesterday experts have been questioning the purpose it solves. For the Chandigarh Administration, discontinuing the shramdaan means admitting that this serves no purpose.

What started off in 1988 as a mass movement has now been watered down to the reality where government employees and school children are sent ‘‘on duty’’ to carry out the shramdaan. The utility, or the futility, of the shramdaan is for everyone to see. In private, officials admit that this is more like a photosession. However, this may not be the entire picture. A handful of people, who are referred as “hardcore shramdanis’’ love going to the lake in the morning and doing their bit to save it. For these people, shramdaan is like religion. They just love it. Officials say there should not be such a fanfare at the opening or closing and public participation should continue beyond the scheduled dates.

The facts say it all. Last year, three weeks of shramdaan resulted in the removal of about 10,000 cubic feet of silt from the lake, whereas mechanical means were used to carry away 10 lakh cubic feet of silt. This year the shramdaan began yesterday, whereas mechanical desilting started on March 18, and till now about 18 lakh cubic feet of silt has already been removed.

Well-placed sources said no targets were fixed for the removal of silt by manual methods. ‘‘ It is more like an emotional bond. People are attached and schoolchildren get to know about the lake and its surroundings, ’’ said an official. The shramdaan is expected to carry on till pre-monsoon showers hit the city

Last year, the Administration had offered an air-ticket to Singapore through the draw of lots for people who came daily for the shramdaan. This year, no such prize has been announced so far and nothing is in the pipeline.



Heat wave unabated

Chandigarh, May 31
Heat conditions remained unabated in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh today with the mercury hovering between two to four degrees above normal, as Hisar and Amritsar touched a high of 44.2°C each.

Frequent tripping of power supply and low water pressure added to the woes of people in the north-west region.

While Amritsar with a high of 44.2°C was four degrees above normal, Hisar also touched 44.2°C, which was two degrees above normal, a MET office spokesman said here.

Ludhiana reeled under a high of 42.9°C, the mercury touched 42.6°C in Patiala and 41.7°C in Ambala.

Chandigarh had a maximum temperature of 41.4°C, two degrees above normal.

The MET office has predicted no respite from the heat conditions as the weather would mainly remain dry in the region in the next 48 hours.

However, no death has been reported in Punjab and Haryana due to heat conditions. PTI



Weekly grant to MCs in lieu of octroi
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, May 31
Civic bodies will be given grant on a weekly basis in lieu of octroi that will be abolished in the state from July 1. The income of the various civic bodies in the state had been got assessed in this regard.

This was stated by Chaudhary Jagjit Singh, Local Government Minister, who was in the town in connection with a prize distribution function organised by the Generation Saviour Association here today. He said the government would be issuing grants to the civic bodies in proportion to the income they used to earn from octroi.

Mr Chaudhry said government would be earning Rs 750 crore by imposing Local Area Development Tax at the rate of 2 per cent after octroi was abolished in the state. Income from octroi amounted to about Rs 600 crore.

As many as 100 students, who had secured positions in the on-the-spot essay writing and painting competition, were given prizes. The competitions were held earlier this month and the theme was ill-effects of tobacco. About 1600 students had taken part in the contests.

Mrs Amteshwar Kaur, president of the association, said during 2002-2003 their body had reached almost 18,000 students in different schools, villages, alums and cities and tried to create awareness about the ill-effects of tobacco. Literature sent in this regard by the World Health Organisation was also distributed among the students. The association had planned to reach out to 1 lakh children during the current financial year to create awareness.

She alleged that film industry was encouraging young people to smoke. In India more than 800 films were produced every year. A study of 395 Indian films, made between 1991-2002 had revealed that use of tobacco had been highlighted in 302 films.



Chargesheet SE, CBI asks CHB
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has recommended that a Superintending Engineer of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB), Mr G.S. Rosha, be chargesheeted for allegedly committing irregularities while appointing a junior engineer during his tenure as the Superintending Hospital Engineer, PGI.

Mr Rosha was on deputation to the PGI from January, 2000 to January, 2003. This also included one-year extension period.

He had allegedly appointed a Junior Engineer, Sushil Kumar, in the engineering wing of the hospital on ad hoc basis for six months in July, 2001.

The appointment was scrutinised by the CBI, which sent a recommendation to the CHB to chargesheet Rosha. A formal chargesheet is expected to be served on Rosha within a day or two, sources in the Chandigarh Administration said tonight.

Once the chargesheet is served, Rosha will be asked to reply and an enquiry officer asked to report on the charges against the SE. The report will then be tabled before the competent authority. In this case, the Chairman of the CHB is empowered to take action and decide the nature of penalty.

After the appointment of the JE, the PGI employees’ union had complained to the Chief Vigilance Commissioner, the Union Health Ministry and the Chief Vigilance Officer of the PGI about the illegal appointment of the JE, who is said to be related to a senior PGI official.

To adjust the JE on regular basis in the PGI, the hospital authorities had fixed interviews for October 15, 2001. However, the interview was called off by the Deputy Director (Administration), PGI, after the issue snowballed into a major controversy. The JE is learnt to have left the job after one-and-a-half year of joining. Subsequently, the CBI took up the case on a suo motu basis. The complaint was forwarded to the CBI by the Union Health Ministry.

Sources in the PGI said in the appointment of the JE, the main condition of age limit had been allegedly flouted. According to the recruitment rules, the age of a candidate for the Group C category should be between 18 to 30 years.

However, the beneficiary was about 35 years old. To adjust the JE on a regular basis, the PGI authorities had considered him as an internal candidate to facilitate his alleged backdoor entry, said sources.



Raids to check power theft
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
Teams of the Chandigarh Police raided the premises of six units in Industrial Area here this evening after receiving information from the Electricity Department about power theft. The case is being investigated by the crime branch of the police.

The raids were conducted after the Electricity Department wrote to the police that the reports of the meter testing laboratory (MTL) had proved that the units were stealing power by getting their meters tampered.

A police official said in the past few days teams of the crime branch and the electricity department had raided at least 27 units.

One of the suspects confessed that meters of at least 27 units, including three shops, had been tampered with. The teams seized the meters from 10 commercial establishments. The meters installed at another 12 units have been recently changed.

After the case was transferred to the crime branch on April 9 leading to the arrest of the suspects, Satbir Chand and Jaswant, the entire racket and persons behind the power theft came to light. Raids are being conducted to arrest a Delhi-based engineer, Arjan Malhotra, who has manufactured a remote control device.

Recently, the police obtained arrest warrants against Arjun, Ashok, and Ranbir till July 15.



Regularise need-based changes in houses’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
The former MP and senior leader of the BJP, Mr Satya Pal Jain, has demanded that need-based changes, including rooms constructed in the courtyards of houses by thousands of city residents, should be regularised.

Addressing a gathering of the resident welfare society, Dhanas, last evening, Mr Jain supported the demand of recognition of transfer of property on the general power-of-attorney basis. He said it would help generate resources for the administration.

He said increasing size of families has led to the non-availability of suitable accommodation and forced the residents to make certain need-based changes in their houses. He said, “Such changes can not be called encroachments as these are on their own land”.

He gave assurance to the residents of Dhanas that the BJP supported their genuine demands and would take up their issues with the authorities concerned.



Local enthusiasts photograph eclipse
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
The local Northern Cross Astronomical Observatory today observed the solar eclipse and photographed the whole event.

Mr Pradeep Mahajan director of the observatory, said that the moon touched the solar disc at 7.35am (local time) at a position angle 23 degree 23 minutes north - 52 degree 55 minutes east. Soon it made a dent in the solar disc. The altitude of the sun was about 27 degree from the horizon.

He further said the moon covered only about 7 per cent of the solar disc. “Hence the eclipse visible from our part of the world was partial and of non-central character”, said Mr Mahajan.

Mr Mahajan said that these observations were made through a 125 mm Newtonian reflector telescope, fitted with a sun projector. The projected solar image was of 80 mm in diameter.



Shiv Mandir elections
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
Taking up a petition filed by the president of Shiv Mandir and Dharamshala in Phase IX of SAS Nagar, Rakesh Kumar, seeking adequate security during the committee elections, Mr Justice K.C. Gupta of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed the State of Punjab, Ropar’s Senior Superintendent of Police, besides two other respondents, to see that no untoward incident tool place during the time of the polls.

Issuing the directions, the Judge observed: “It is stated that the elections of the Committee of Shiv Mandir and Dharamshala, Shiv Sanatan Dharam Sabha, are going to be held on June 15 and the petitioner has apprehension that certain respondents may disturb the elections.” The Judge concluded: “In these circumstances, the state of Punjab and other respondents are directed to look into the matter and see that no untoward incident takes place at the time of elections”.



Sweepers’ protest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
Protesting against the MC move to privatise sanitation work in the city, sweepers of local Municipal Corporation today littered garbage in front of the residence of a local councillor PC Sanghi in Sector-21.

Mr Sanghi who had supported the move of the MC to streamline the privatisation of sanitation work in the city, has been targeted after regular threats by the sweepers to litter garbage in front of the residences of those councillors who favoured privatisation of sanitation.

Mr Sanghi reported the matter to the local police, however, no case has so far been registered.



Student consumes insecticide
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 31
Gaurav, a student of B. Com (IInd year), was rushed to the General Hospital today, after he reportedly consumed an insecticide.

Gaurav, who had failed in his annual examinations, told doctors that it was by mistake that he consumed the poisonous substance. He is reported to be out of danger.



Self-immolation bid
Tribune Reporters

Panchkula, May 31
A 34-year-old man, Suresh Kumar, attempted self immolation at his house in Railly village this morning, while he was in an inebriated condition. He was rescued by his father, Des Raj, who then turned him over to the police.

In his complaint to the police, Mr Des Raj said that his son had been consuming liquor continuously since the past three days. He was annoyed because his sister, Kiran had come here for a few days. “ He first assaulted us and then poured kerosene over himself in a bid to immolate himself. We managed to overpower him and the police was called in by the neighbours, ‘ he said. A case under section 309 of IPC has been registered against Suresh .

Abduction and rape: A 13-year-old girl was allegedly abducted from her school in Haripur village, Sector 4 on May 29. Her mother, Beena Devi has accused Nirmal Kumar of abducting her daughter and raping her. She was recovered by the police last night and her medical examination was done at General Hospital here. Accused Nirmal has been arrested under Sections 363, 366 and 376 of IPC.

Minor fire: The hedges in Town Park, Sector 5 here, caught fire this afternoon. The cause of the fire is not known. At least two fire tenders were called in and it took them almost half an hour to extinguish the fire.

Accident: A truck driver banged into the car of Inspector General of Police, Mr. R.N. Chalia, near Majri chowk on Friday. The driver , Sukhbir Singh, has been booked by the police for rash and negligent driving.


Thefts: A Maruti Esteem (HR20 G 1401) of Mr Asheesh Mohan Singh, a resident of Mani Majra, was reported to be stolen from a Lake parking lot here on Friday.

A resident of Pushpak Society, Sector 49, Ms Jayotsna Suri, reported to the police that her blue Maruti (CH01 E 1318) was stolen from Sector 35 here on Friday.

Mr Ashok Kumar Chadha of Sector 29 also reported to the police that his Maruti (DL 4CC 4578) was stolen from Sector 22 on the night intervening May 29 and 30. Three cases under Section 379 of IPC have been registered in different police stations.

Injured: A Sector 29-based couple were injured after the scooter they were riding was hit by a motor cycle near Kendriya Vidyalaya in the sector on Friday. The injured, Mr Paramjit Singh and Ms Paramjit Kaur, were taken to Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32. The motorcycle rider, Sandeep Sharma, also a resident of Sector 29, was arrested under Sections 279 and 337 of IPC and later released on bail.



3 held on theft charge, remanded
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, May 31
The police here has arrested three persons allegedly responsible for a large number of minor thefts in SAS Nagar and Chandigarh. Two cycles, one car and a large number of copper water taps and some other copper sanitary fittings have been recovered from their possession.

According to information provided by the police here, the three, Praveen, Sumer and Arjun were arrested at near Kumbra chowk today while they were on their way into the township from Chandigarh. The car they were travelling in a Maruti car was stopped and when questioned the three could not produce the papers of the car. It was later found that the car was a stolen one.

The three, all residents of Burail, Chandigarh, are addicted to smack and had taken to crime to get money for the drug.

The three have been remanded in police custody for two days by a Kharar Court. Preliminary interrogation has revealed that they have two more accomplices. The police is now on the lookout of the other two. ‘‘We are collaborating with Chandigarh police to catch the other two since these five operated at both places,” he added.



CII mission explores opportunities in Iraq
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
The CII mission concluded its three-day mission to Kuwait on Thursday. While the mission primarily focused on exploring the role of Indian companies in partnering in the reconstruction programme in Iraq, members had several meetings with the industry, experts and trade bodies in Kuwait, as well as company-specific one-to-one meetings with Kuwaiti companies.

After attending the Bechtel conference, the CII mission felt that Indian companies could seriously explore the project regarding the reconstruction of 500 schools over the next two or three months. This project could involve Indian companies. Some members of the mission were in touch with US companies which would bid for the Bechtel project. Other possible projects in the region included water treatment.

An understanding of the situation on the ground in Iraq was a prerequisite for any Indian company, according to members of the mission. They felt that Iraq had to be approached by Indian companies with cautious optimism. The mission also felt that the major chunk of business would come up after the first 18 months. The initial phase was of immediate reconstruction.

One of the issues highlighted by the mission was on the tax treaty with Kuwait. While Kuwait had tax treaties with several countries, including France, the UK, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Korea and China, the tax treaty with India was pending. Expediting this by governments would benefit the two countries, Mr P.K. Sarathy, the mission leader said. The mission offered assistance for the development of SMEs in Kuwait with the active involvement of the private sector.

Kuwait could consider making use of Indian expertise and experience in the implementation of its agenda for the future and the proposed privatisation plan. The help to Kuwait could be the reduction of dependence on oil and imports through encouragement to indigenous manufacturing and development of the private sector.



Ray of hope for prospective immigrants

Chandigarh, May 31
More than one lakh prospective Canadian immigrants, who were disadvantaged by the rough deal of the Citizenship and Immigration Department of Canada (CIC), were likely to be benefited from the landmark judgement given by Justice Kelen in Dragon vs. Canada recently, which has helped 102 applicants’ cases to be assessed under the old rules, said Col. B.S. Sandhu, Managing Director, World Wide Immigration Consultancy Services (WWICS), an immigration consultancy agency, here today.

He claimed that although the ruling for Dragon vs. Canada case was specific for 102 clients but it would definitely affect the cases of thousands of other prospective immigrants as in a recent development, the Federal Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal of the Citizenship and Immigration Department of Canada in Dragon vs. Canada case. With the demise of Dragon, he said, the consolidated litigation suit which the WWICS would be filing soon, need not fear. TNS



Dayalbagh exhibition inaugurated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
A two-day exhibition of products of Dayalbagh manufacturing units was inaugurated by Mr R.S. Gujral, Home Secretary, Chandigarh Administration, at Radha Soami Satsang Bhavan, Sector 35-C, here today.

Ayurvedic medicines, textiles, hosiery, footwear and items of domestic use, including bags, briefcases, cotton sarees, shawls and hair tonics, manufactured by satsangis of Radha Soami faith, Dayalbagh, Agra, are on display. The exhibition timings are from 10 am to 1 pm.


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