Tuesday, June 17, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


PNB cashier in police net
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 16
A Head Cashier of the Sector 22 branch of Punjab National Bank, Raj Pal Singh Chandoke, who had “robbed” his own bank of Rs 20 lakh on April 24, was today arrested by the city police from Ropar bus stand. The cashier, who was on the run, was waiting for a bus when a police team arrested him.

The loss of Rs 20 lakh had come to light on April 24 when Raj Pal Singh did not report back at his bank after collecting cash from a branch office of the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC).

During the around two-month-long hiding, the suspect lived in guest houses and religious places in Delhi, Mumbai, Agra, Jalandhar, Amritsar and Tarn Taran. The DSP, Central, Mr S.C. Sagar, said of the total Rs 20 lakh taken away by the cashier, at least 16.5 lakh had been invested by him in fixed deposits, monthly investment schemes, Kisan Vikas Patra and other investment schemes in his original name and under an assumed name of Surinder Singh. Information on the rest of the money was being sought from him, said the DSP. All the investments had been made by him in Delhi and Mumbai.

Earlier, the police had raided different places to arrest the suspect. A search notice was also issued to arrest him. The police had also initiated proceedings to declare him a proclaimed offender (PO). A police team was already in Delhi to hunt him down on the basis of the calls made at his Phase 7 residence in SAS Nagar from his mobile phone.

Investigations by the police revealed that the suspect had invested over Rs 8 lakh in finance companies and shares but had suffered losses and was under debt of over Rs 3 lakh. The police had sought details from the companies in which the suspect had invested his money. A police official said the amount of Rs 20 lakh had apparently not been withdrawn in one day.

The suspect had invested around Rs 5.15 lakh in a Sector 17-based finance company in the name of his wife and Rs 2.20 lakh in another SAS Nagar-based firm. He also owed Rs 1 lakh to a former Manager of the PNB.

The police had also questioned the wife of the cashier, Ms Tarvinder Kaur. The 40-year-old cashier, who had been employed with the bank for the past 19 years, would be produced before the Duty Magistrate tomorrow.

The police has already registered a case under Sections 409 and 420 of the IPC on a complaint by the Senior Manager of the bank, Mr Ashok Kumar Kakkar.



Vapour cloud blast caused Ranbaxy fire?
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, June 16
Even as the Ranbaxy authorities claim ignorance about what caused the June 11 blasts in their unit that killed four persons, informed sources have hinted that a toluene vapour cloud explosion could have triggered the first blast that in turn led to more blasts and fire.

Toluene, a highly inflammable hydrocarbon, is used by Ranbaxy (and many other pharmaceutical industries) as a solvent. An aromatic solvent, toluene is recycled for use in this unit of the factory. The module 1B site, where the blast occurred, is involved in distilling toluene by heating it using steam.

According to sources working in the unit, toluene is the basic chemical used in module 1B where it is converted from its impure or mixed form into a pure form. During distillation, it is heated and then vaporised after being brought in contact with a cold surface.

“These vapours can leak and being heavier than air, settle down on the surface in the form of a cloud. But in such a state, these vapours act like a virtual bomb. Even a small spark or a car ignition can make it explode,” said a source who did not want to be named.

Experts working in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Technology, Panjab University, have also affirmed the possibility of a vapour cloud explosion. Though they also feel that there is a likelihood that the explosion might have occurred due to increased vapour pressure. “Toluene is a liquid which boils at a rather low temperature. Its vapour pressure is very high. With the atmospheric temperature going up during summers, vapour pressure goes up and it becomes riskier to handle it,” said Prof R.C. Bansal, formerly with the PU Chemical Engineering Department.

“The ‘safe’ pressure has to be thus assiduously maintained, specially during summers. In case of an imbalance in vapour pressure, the flash point is reached. Once the flash point is reached, the whole thing can explode with any possible spark,” he said.

Stating that Ranbaxy’s own technical committee was working to ascertain the cause of the blast by going through each and every aspect, Mr Bindra, vice-president of the unit here, repeated that he had no idea of what could have caused the blast. “Vapour cloud is a wrong term. It’s not even a technical term, so how can you use it? The moment the report of the technical committee is out, we will share it with everyone concerned with the unit,” he said.



One more succumbs to burns
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, June 16
One more person succumbed to severe burn injuries at the Fortis hospital here today, taking the death toll to four in the June 11 blasts at the Ranbaxy unit.
The deceased, Sri Bhagwan, was among the four critically injured.

Sri Bhagwan, a 30-year-old resident of a village in Bihar, was employed as a cleaner. He had accompanied the driver of a tanker carrying chemical to the module 1B site when the fire engulfed the tanker. The driver of the truck was saved as he had gone for dinner, leaving Sri Bhagwan near the truck. Sri Bhagwan had received over 80 per cent burns. His parents have been informed.

Dr R.V.Karanjekar, Medical Director of the hospital, said Sri Bhagwan had a cardiac arrest last night after which he remained on the ventilator. “His condition improved in the morning and he was off the ventilator, but in the evening he collapsed, "he said.

Meanwhile the condition of another critically injured, Satish, who had over 50 per cent burns, has improved. However, the condition of Rajinder remains critical, though Dr R.V. Karanjekar, Medical Director of the hospital, said his condition had not deteriorated. Meanwhile, one more person was discharged from the hospital today. 



NGO gets bonded labourer freed 

Chandigarh, June 16
The Volunteers for Social Justice (VSJ), a city-based NGO, has come to the aid of a poor farmer whose 15-year-old son was illegally detained as bonded labour by a landlord. The VSJ not only provided free legal aid and moved a habeas corpus petition in court but also made efforts to get the farmer’s son, Ahmat Singh, released from the clutches of a landlord in Faridkot.

Kaka Singh, the farmer, said, “ For merely an annual payment of Rs 19,000, I was working as ‘Siri’with a landlord who had not paid the wages to me for a long time and an amount Rs 50,000 was due. When I asked for my dues, the landlord simply refused to pay. I decided to quit the work. But the landlord threatened that if I would not work, I have to face dire consequences.”

Mr Kaka Singh alleged that the landlord, in connivance with police personnel, abducted his son from his house. He said he had also approached the police station concerned but the police refused to take any action, stating that no case was made out against the landlord. “Ahmat was first kept in police custody for four days by implicating him in false cases. Later, after being released on bail, he was forcibly made to work in the fields,” Kaka Singh said.

Terming the action of the landlord as illegal, unconstitutional and against the bonded labour system abolition Act, 1976, the general secretary of the VSJ, Mr Jai Pal, said following court directions, a warrant officer accompanied by him and another worker of the NGO, Mr Mohinder Singh Kohli, helped Kaka Singh to get his son released.

During the rescue operation carried out on June 13, the party succeeded in freeing Ahmat Singh from the captivity of the landlord.

Talking about the problems being faced by the NGO, its communicating officer, Ms Prabhjot Kaur, said, “Despite the fact that the VSJ has been highlighting the problems of bonded labour and trying to provide them help, the state government is not admitting that the bonded labour system still prevailing in the state.” She said there was an urgent need to remove this system from Punjab. 



They danced with elan
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 16
The show bore the signature of dancer-choreographer Shiamak Davar — invigorating movements which changed from one form to another even before one could bat an eyelid, synthetic smoke, flashing lights with a captivating backdrop and costumes with a Bollywood touch. Little wonder that the huge gathering at Bhargava Auditorium which witnessed youngsters become part of such a jazzy set-up was kept spellbound throughout the hour-long performance.

The occasion was the concluding of a two-week summer dance workshop conducted by a team from the Shiamak Davar Institute for Performing Arts, Mumbai, in collaboration with the Durga Das Foundation, Chandigarh. The presence of Shiamak Davar and the fact that he kept motivating the young participants added to the thrill.

The show started with the younger group performing a peppy cricket song, all performers dressed up in the Indian cricket team’s attire and each carrying a bat.

What followed next just proved Shiamak’s motto right — if you have feet, you will dance. Dancers in glittering outfits presented items one after another — “Khaeke Paan Banaras Walla”, “Jai Jai Shiv Shankar”, “Ishq Kamina”, “Mohabbat Kar le”, “Nache Nache” — all in remix form.

Looking at the way members of different groups — be it beginners or advanced learners — put in their best in every item they performed, it was difficult to say that they had learnt it all just within two weeks. For not only had they picked up the technique and pulse of the dance number they were doing, but their performance was also imbued with the famous Shiamak spirit. Dance for the performers tonight was not just matching rhythm with body movement but it was a release of positive energy. The show concluded with a dance item based on Sukhbir’s Punjabi song “Ishq”.



Shiamak Davar in teacher’s role
Parbina Rashid

Singer and choreographer Shiamak Davar at Hotel Mountview, Sector 10
Singer and choreographer Shiamak Davar at Hotel Mountview, Sector 10, Chandigarh, on Monday. — A Tribune photograph 

Chandigarh, June 16
It might be a little difficult to imagine Shiamak Davar in the role of a teacher, but that is the role in which you are likely to see him for a while. The top priority in his life at present is not to enthral audiences with his song-and-dance performances, but to teach the young generation the rhythm and soul of dance.

In the city today to give tips to participants of the summer workshop conducted by a team from the Shiamak Davar Institute for Performing Arts, Shiamak talks about his plan to make his institute world renowned. “The fact that choreography has been introduced in many schools’ curriculum in Mumbai proves that choreography has a bright future,” says Shiamak.

Dance, according to Shiamak, is all about rhythm and flow which unites body, mind and soul. “Dance is like any other art form and inspiration may come from anywhere — from nature or from basic movements of live forms,” he says. Open to all sorts of experiment when it come to composing new items or introducing new movements, Shiamak has taken cues from all types of dance forms — jazz, Sufi dance or bhangra.

That was all about of dance, but what about choreography? “Choreography means the total package in which a particular dance form is being presented,” he says. “Everything comes under choreography — proper lighting, costumes, make-up and music, along with right movement, rhythm and beat,” he says.

How would he rate the choreographers in Bollywood today? “Some are real good like Saroj Khan and some are just mediocre, but then who am I to judge?” says Shiamak with his characteristic non-committal shrug.

What about films, for who could forget his choreography in “Dil To Pagal Hai” and “Taal”? “If any good film comes my way, I will do the choreography, but no good offer has come so far,” he says. He is not desperately waiting for film offers but he does regret that a good film like “Devdas” slipped out of his hands.

He also regrets that he could not work with Helen, whom he regards as one of the greatest dancers of the world. “Working with Madhuri Dixit was fantastic and so was Aishwarya Rai, with all her grace and charm. But Helen was such a great dancer that I would have loved to work with her,” he adds.

Shiamak is currently working on a modern dance piece which, he promises, is something different altogether. He is also busy with his forthcoming album of Hindi pop. “We are already working on it and expect to bring it out in another four or five months,” he adds.



Transfer officials on key posts every 3 years: Verma 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 16
Taking up the issue of flouting of guidelines of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) regarding the transfer of officials holding important public-dealing posts, the UT Administrator, Justice O.P. Verma, said the shuffling should be done every three years.

The Administrator was informed at a meeting that in the building and roads section of the Engineering Department, out of 15 SDOs, seven who had completed three years on a seat had been transferred and the rest would be transferred within a month. Similarly, in Public Health Division II, some engineers had been transferred and two others would be transferred within a month. Justice Verma asked the officers to complete the transfer of such officials within three months.

The Administrator sought a ban on the use of tractor trailers for delivering LPG cylinders. He said this practice amounted to misutilisation of vehicles meant for agricultural use and was a traffic hazard for the public.

The Administrator also asked for a fresh scheme to provide free medical treatment to all below poverty line (BPL) families living in Chandigarh.

Justice Verma said the scheme should focus on providing complete indoor and outdoor treatment to all targeted families. He said the Administration should also explore the possibility of tying up with an insurance company on the health insurance pattern for these families.

Justice Verma asked his Adviser, Mr Virendra, to complete the tertiary water network of pipelines on the main roads, especially for the berms, which are to be developed. The Administrator also asked the Adviser to look into the proposal of setting up mini sewage treatment plants in institutions so that the latter, after treating sewage, could utilise tertiary water for irrigation purposes.

It was also decided to shift the office of the Director, Social Welfare, from the top floor to the ground floor as senior citizens who visited the place were facing difficulties. 



City may play host to Pak MPs
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 16
Plans are afoot to bring a Pakistani delegation to the city to interact with a cross-section of society.
This was stated by local MP Pawan Bansal yesterday, who is leaving for Pakistan on June 17, as part of a delegation of 10 MPs led by an eminent journalist and member of Rajya Sabha Kuldeep Nayyar.

Mr Bansal said a delegation of Pakistan MPs was scheduled to visit the city on June 7 on his invitation but the programme got postponed.

He said a list of at least 70 persons comprising politicians, legal professionals, academicians, journalists and ex-servicemen had been prepared in this regard.

The local MP said he would again invite Pakistani MPs to the city and it was likely that the delegation might come to the city in July.

The 10-MP Indian delegation comprising Mr Nayyar, Mr Bansal, Kartar Singh Duggal and Shabana Azmi, among others, will visit Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore.

With the rail and bus links not yet established, the MPs will reach Amritsar by a train from Delhi and will leave by road from Wagah for Pakistan.

Mr Bansal’s name was included at the request of former MP Nirmala Deshpande.

The visit of the Indian MPs had been planned in response to the one that came from Pakistan immediately after Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee’s talks’ offer.

The visit of the Indian MPs has been facilitated due to relaxations in visa restrictions under a South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) agreement.

Sharing his experiences of an interaction with Pakistani delegations at the international fora, Mr Bansal said in the past he had a very friendly and sympathetic exchange of views with the then Speaker of the National Assembly, who agreed with him on strengthening peace efforts and people-to-people contact, but when the then Speaker rose to speak he spit venom against India.

Mr Bansal said when he asked the Pakistan leader after his speech in Cyprus as to why his views differed from the official line, the Speaker told him that he had to read the official speech.



Martyrdom day observed in city

Chandigarh, June 16
Even though offices remained open in Punjab, a large number of devotees thronged gurdwaras all over the city for observing Guru Arjan Dev’s martyrdom day. “Chhabeels” were also organised in different parts of the city.

The Punjab Government had declared June 4 as holiday for observing the martyrdom day. The gurdwaras, on the other hand, had decided to observe the day on June 16 in accordance with the Nanakshahi calendar issued by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee at Amritsar.

Traffic moved at a slow pace today on the road leading to the Nada Sahib gurdwara, near Panchkula, as residents headed for it even before the clock struck nine in the morning. A heavy rush was also witnessed in gurdwaras in Sectors 34, 22, 8 and 19.

Later during the day, traffic came to a standstill at several places in and around the city as enthusiastic devotees stepped right in the middle of the road. With folded hands, they requested commuters to stop for savouring sweetened water.

At several places, the residents parked their vehicles on the roadside to savour “parsada” being offered to them. A survey of the city revealed that a heavy rush was witnessed on the Panjab University campus, besides in Sectors 7, 15, 16, 17, 20, 21, 22, 23, 32 and Mani Majra.

Bottlenecks were created at several points on the national highway to Ambala and Patiala as drivers parked trucks on the roadside to savour sweetened water.

According to a press note, “langar” was served by Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji Sewa Society (HBC Dhanas). Another “chhabeel” was served under the Community Services Banking by the State Bank of India in Sector 31. The Bank of Punjab also organised a “chhabeel” in Sector 9 on the Madhya Marg. Kulche-chhole were also served from morning till evening. OC



The ‘Union Territory’ anniversary of Chandigarh
Chitleen K Sethi

BIRTHDAYS are important occasions. It has been the desired wish of most children that there be more than one birthday every year. Chandigarh that way has been lucky. It has had, in so far as the city can have, more than one birthday. Some historians of Chandigarh have counted five birthdays for this town. There is always someone demanding that one or the other be celebrated, effectively ensuring that birthday celebrations can run throughout the year. Whatever the truth behind such multiplicity of birthdays, it does indicate that Chandigarh always looks forward to celebratory occasions. But even historians and publicists have missed out on one birthday for Chandigarh. Such days come once in a lifetime and are not celebrated each year. This is the anniversary of Chandigarh being converted into a Union Territory.

The linguistic division of Punjab was done on the 1st of November, 1966. Some say that it was merely a political division and not exactly a linguistic division because there still existed many Punjabi-speaking pockets in Haryana and Hindi speaking pockets in Punjab. The one unique creation of the politicking that went on was the bringing in of Chandigarh under the direct control of the Union Government. It was given the administrative status of a Union Territory simultaneous to the truncation of Punjab into Haryana and present-day Punjab. The administration of Chandigarh was on that day onwards taken out of the hands of the politicians of Punjab. An independent administration was set up. Initially, a pre-determined mix of officers from both Punjab and Haryana manned it but gradually an independent cadre of government servants grew up to serve the requirements of the city.

The first Chandigarh Festival was spread over three days starting from the October 27, 1967. Following a long tradition of having bureaucrats inaugurate important functions, on the very first day the Chief Commissioner, Dr M.S. Randhawa, inaugurated an art exhibition and a books’ exhibition at the Government Museum in Sector 10. Half an hour later he inaugurated an embroidery exhibition. The next day, i.e. the 28th, the Chief Minister of Haryana opened a bout of wrestling competitions at the Cricket Stadium in Sector 16. The famous wrestler Dara Singh, Sucha Singh, Ajit Singh and Mehar Singh along with a number of locally known wrestlers came to entertain the public with their physical prowess. It was obviously a popular competition for while the exhibitions that had begun the previous day were open to the public without any fee, a charge of Rs 5 was taken to watch the wrestlers do their thing. Similar tickets were charged for sitting in on the variety programme presented on the 28th at the Tagore Theatre which was inaugurated by the Governor of Punjab.

Here artists from the All India Radio too performed. The more popular performers on this day included Rajinder Rajan, Jagjit Singh Zirvi, Narinder Biba, Sita Mehra, Jagmohan and Thunia Ram. On the last day of the Chandigarh Festival a fair was organised at the Sukhna Lake. The Chief Minister of Punjab inaugurated a sports festival involving canoes and yachts. Later in the day a lucky draw was held at the lake in which the first prize was a Vespa scooter, the second prize was a sewing machine, make unknown, and the third was a cycle, make, once again, unknown. Mrs M.S. Randhawa drew the lots. Later in the evening yet another variety programme was held at the Tagore Theatre, this time inaugurated by Dr M.S. Randhawa, the Chief Commissioner.

Interestingly, the government handouts pertaining to the first Chandigarh Festival did not give the names of any of the politicians who inaugurated the various functions while the names of Dr Randhawa and other bureaucrats were mentioned repeatedly. Perhaps this was an indication of the things to come for the next three decades when bureaucrats ruled the roost, as it were, in Chandigarh while the politicians were kept away from the running of the city.


Widows’ welfare essential to improve 
Army recruitment

IF the shortage of officers and men in the armed forces is increasing despite all measures adopted by the Army and the government to make the defence forces more attractive, it is primarily because of the neglect of widows and ex-servicemen by the government. Unless the government brings focus on the welfare of widows and gives the ex-servicemen their due, the Army will continue to remain short of manpower. These two sections of our society, whose number is increasing by the year, have a far-reaching psychological effect on the selection of Army as career by our youth.

For the last few years, the Army has been going all out to look after the widows and ex-servicemen. The Army Wives Welfare Association (AWWAs) at the Army Headquarters, in all Army commands and lower formations are paying special attention to the welfare of widows. The Ex-servicemen Helpline, started by the Headquarters Western Command, last year is rendering a laudable service to the retired soldiers and widows. Most of the other formation have also picked up this noble idea.

Mrs Rita Vij, President of the AWWA, while addressing a special conference held in New Delhi, recently, said that widows’ rehabilitation had been the prime concern of the AWWA. She informed the president of AWWA from all commands and other participants that of the 414 houses built by the Delhi Development Authority in Dwaraka, 316 houses of the Vijayee Veer Awas Yojana have been allotted to the next of kin of the soldiers who sacrificed their lives in various operations. She also said that 43 gas connections and petrol stations were released by the Ministry of Petroleum in the last three years.

Deployed for counter-insurgency operations in Darrang district of Assam since October 1999, 16 Punjab (Patiala) has gathered glory by eliminating 69 hard-core militants and apprehending 295 of them. In addition, 39 militants surrendered to the unit.

The unit has achieved a remarkable success in winning over the local population by fraternising with them. Its tally of awards in Operation Rhino is one Bar to Sena Medal, nine Sena Medals, one Vashisht Seva Medal, four Mentioned in Despatches, 19 Chief of the Army Staff’s Commendation Cards and seven GOC-in-C’s Commendation Cards.

Not only that, the Chief of the Army Staff General N.C. Vij has also awarded the COAS’ Unit Citation to 16 Punjab (Patiala) for its commendable performance in the counterinsurgency operations.

Health scheme: It was stated in this column on May 13 that the rates mentioned for the Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) in the Government of India, Ministry of Defence letter of December 30, 2002, were enhanced manifold before the introduction of the scheme on April 1. Since these rates, it was further stated, were beyond the wherewithal of the ex-servicemen, the Indian Ex-Services League (IESL) had taken up a case with the Army Headquarters that one-time contribution for the scheme may be permitted to be paid in three equal instalments.

The ex-servicemen would be happy to know that the government has agreed to the payment of this contribution in three equal annual instalments and on payment of the first instalment, the ex-servicemen and their dependents will become entitled to full medical benefits of the ECHS.

Border fencing: The Indo-Pak border fenced so far is 54 km along Gujarat, 1048.27 km along Rajasthan, 457.15 km along Punjab and 40 km along Jammu and Kashmir. It is learnt that fencing work has been completed in Rajasthan and Punjab. But it is still in progress along J&K and Gujarat borders.

In 2002, the number of terrorists killed while infiltrating into J&K was 311 besides 96 infiltration attempts were foiled in the last year. This year, 16 terrorists have been killed so far while crossing into our territory. In addition, eight infiltration attempts have been foiled until now.

No doubt fencing of the border acts as a deterrent to the terrorists. But covering of the fence by our fire is still necessary to prevent the infiltrators from intruding into our territory. To make it more hazardous to the infiltrators, a strip of anti-personal mines should also be laid along the fencing.



Judicious use must

Life on earth is possible only because of water. Whether plants, animals or human beings, life comes to an end without water. The rate at which this essential of life is being exhausted is alarming. So it becomes our duty to save it for coming generations. For this, let’s take a pledge that we will make all possible efforts to save water in our daily routines.

Following a few simple steps in everyday life can go a long way in conserving water. We can reutilise water left after washing and rinsing vegetables and pulses for watering plants.

Instead of using a hose to wash corridors, terraces and drive ways, a mop should be used for cleaning.

Moreover, we must keep a vigil to check leaking taps and pipes and these should be got plugged immediately. Educating people around us about water conservation will help save precious drops of water. Last but not least, let’s all plant a tree each to encourage afforestation.

Amreen Narang, Class V, Yadvindra Public School



IT staff to hold dharna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 16
The Income Tax Employees Federation, North Western Region, shall hold a day-long dharna in front of all offices of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Chandigarh on June 18 to get solution to the pending demands of the officers and staff of the department.

A press release said employees were anguished that cadre restructing in the department took place in 2001 but till date recruitment rules, examination rules etc had not been framed as a result large number of vacancies were pending in the lower cadres upto the level of ITOs whereas in the case of IRS officers, departmental promotion committee’s (DPCs) had already been held for the benefit of Commissioners which were likely to be promoted.



Tribune Officiating Editor bereaved
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 16
Mr A.P. Jacob, father of Mr A.J. Philip, Officiating Editor, The Tribune, died at Kayamkulam in Kerala this morning. He was 87. The end came after he suffered a heart attack. He leaves behind his wife, two sons and two daughters. The burial will take place at Kayamkulam on Thursday.

The President of The Tribune Trust, Justice R.S. Pathak, the new Editor-in-Chief of The Tribune group of newspapers, Mr H.K. Dua, the General Manager of The Tribune group, Mr R.N. Gupta, and the President of The Tribune Employees Union, Mr B.S. Jandu, besides members of the editorial staff, were among those who called on Mr Philip to condole the death of his father.



DC visits Raipur Khurd
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 16
The Deputy Commissioner of Chandigarh, Mr Arun Kumar, yesterday visited Raipur Khurd village in connection with the problems being faced by residents.
Members of the gram panchayat and residents of the village apprised him of the problems regarding shortage of water and power. They urged him to get another tubewell sunk and a transformer of 500 KV installed. The panchayat urged the DC to get the lal dora of the village extended as the population of the village had increased manifold.

The other demands included two-way entry, a cremation ground and a public park at the village. The need for traffic lights at the roundabout was also highlighted.



Accident disrupts traffic
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, June 16
Vehicular traffic on the Phase VII and Phase 3 road here remained obstructed for most of the day with an overturned truck lying at the Phase VII-III separating lights here today.

The truck HP -12 3805, according to its driver Rakesh Kumar, skid and overturned at about 3.30 am. ‘‘I could not see the dividing lights and hit a tree after which the truck lost its balance and overturned,’’ he said.

The truck which was carrying over 20 metallic pipes was lying in the middle of the road almost through the day today before two cranes were called to pick up the pipes sprawled on the road and straighten the truck.

The driver escaped unscathed.



400 take part in shramdaan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 16
More than 400 persons of various organisations, institutions, NGOs and departments today participated in shramdaan at the regulator end of the Sukhna lake here, a spokesperson of the Chandigarh Administration stated.

Employees of Indo-Dutch System Ltd (IDS), HDFC Bank, PNB, housing board, besides regular shramdaanis took part. 



Official calendar ‘rejected’

Chandigarh, June 16
The SAD said today that the Sikh Sangat had rejected Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s plea on the martyrdom day of Guru Arjan Dev by observing it on June 16 as per the Nanakshahi calendar.

Mr Gurpartap Singh Riar, local SAD unit president, said the enthusiasm of the people went to show that the government calendar had been rejected. TNS



Child killed in road mishap
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 16
A child was killed today when a truck hit a rickshaw in Industrial Area, Phase-I, near Bhushan Industries. According to the police the rickshaw was being pulled by Sanjay, and Mr Sher Bhadhur and his son Ramu were sitting in it. The child was declared brought dead in Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital. The rickshaw-puller and Mr Sher Bhadhur have been admitted to the PGI.



Three held on rape charge
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 16
In the gangrape case of a minor of Bapu Dham, the local police has arrested three youths and was conducting raids to arrest three other suspects. These were made after the girl in her statement before the area magistrate named the boys who had allegedly raped her.

A case under Sections 363, 366 and 376 of the IPC has been registered at the Sector 26 police station. Inquiries reveal that on June 7 the girl was at her home along with her younger brother Dharmendra. Their neighbour Anuj entered the house and allegedly molested her. When the brother of the girl objected, he threatened him with dire consequences.

Then the victim was taken to an STD booth of Vishal by Anuj. There Anuj, Vicky and Arun allegedly raped her. She was then taken to a Sector 28 park where Vishal, Ravi and Parveen again raped her.

Her father, who works at the Haryana Government printing press in Panchkula, kept on searching for her. Finally, the father of the girl lodged an FIR in this regard at the Sector 16 police station. On June 13 the girl was found near the transport area traffic lights. Section 376 was added on the basis of the medical examination of the victim at the Sector 16 General Hospital.



1 killed, 3 hurt in accident
Tribune Reporters

Lalru, June 16
One person was killed and three others sustained injuries in an accident involving a car and a truck on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway at Gholumajra village, about 5 km from here, today.

According to the police the deceased had been identified as Gulshan Kumar, a car occupant. Critically injured Gulshan Kumar was first admitted to the Civil Hospital at Dera Bassi and was later referred to the PGI, Chandigarh, where died in the evening. The other three have been admitted in the local hospital.

The police has impounded the two vehicles involved in the accident and registered a case. The truck driver has absconded

Woman arrested: The police arrested a woman for snatching a gold chain from Manjit Kaur, a resident of Mullanpur Taprian, in Singhpura Bhudda village, 3 km from Zirakpur, on Sunday.

According to the police, Lachhi Devi, alias Gurmito Devi from Dera Ram Langeer village near Rajpura, snatched the chain after targeting the victim at a function organised in the village.

She was overpowered by the villagers after a long chased and was handed over to the police.

The police recovered the chain from the accused. She was today produced before a Rajpura court and was remanded to judicial custody.

DEAD: Rampal (35), died after consuming excessive liquor at his Sector 4 residence late last night. He is survived by his wife, Suman and three children. The police said he was an alcoholic and died after consuming excess liquor.

TWO BOOKED: The police has booked Inderjit Singh of Ambala and Harminder Kaur of Sector 20, on charges of criminal intimidation and trespass. The two have been accused of forcing their way in the Sector 14 house of Mrs Sumitra on the night intervening June 14 and 15 and assaulting her.

In another incident, Dharampal has accused Krishan Kumar and Ashwani Kumar of stalking him near Surajpur and threatening and assaulting him.



Cash looted from temple

Chandigarh, June 16
Thieves broke into the Sri Satya Narain Mandir in Sector 22 and decamped with some cash after breaking three collection boxes here late last night. The loss was noticed in the morning.

Thieves had sneaked into the temple through the kitchen door and then broke at least seven locks to gain entry to different points on its premises. The almirah of the cashier was also found broken.

Mr Om Parkash, cashier of the temple, said the exact loss could not be ascertained as the collection boxes are opened after a month. The last time they were opened was on May 30. By rough estimates, the money in the collection boxes could be between Rs 12,000 and Rs 15,000. TNS



500 gm smack seized, 1 held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 16
The city police seized 500 gm smack, valued at Rs 50 lakh in the international market, from a Kurukshetra resident here late last evening.
According to information, Rattan Kumar, a resident of Bhaben village (Kurukshetra), was caught red-handed while bringing the narcotics to the city.

Inspector Satbir Singh, in charge of the crime branch, said the suspect had been supplying the drug in the region for the past around two months. He was arrested near the local bus stand. Before entering into the ‘business’ of drug trafficking, he used to work at a roadside ‘dhaba’ at Shahbad. There he came in contact with Bachu, a resident of Bareilly, who used to supply drugs to a number of roadside ‘dhaba’ owners. He started with small consignments.

On being questioned by the police, he said the consignments were coming from Bareilly. 



Sons detained for killing father
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, June 16
In a case of patricide two residents of Sukhna Colony at Lohgarh village, near here, were detained today. A murder case under Sections 302 and 34 of the IPC has been registered against Joginder Singh and Balbir Singh for allegedly chopping off the head of their father Hari Ram on June 13 night. According to the police, Hari Ram (65) was hacked to death by his sons along with some other members of the family for bringing home a woman.



New range of furniture
Tribune News Service

Godrej and Boyce Mfg Co. Ltd. has launched a range of storage and utility products for homes. The range includes sofa sets, recliners, sofa- cum-beds, I-splace/bunk beds, children furniture, steel and wooden beds, centre/side tables, dining tables and chairs, show cases, wooden wardrobes.

Apart from the exciting designs and attractive colours, the products are both ergonomically as well as aesthetically appealing. The prices of these products have been consciously kept at an affordable level and provide maximum value for money.

Cool Range: Pepe Jeans, London, has introduced its cool range for summers. Pepe knows how to pamper its customers and its new range of summerwear is meant for both men and women.

According to Mr Chetan Shaw, country head, Pepe Jeans, India, “The styling and fabrics have been selected taking into consideration the needs of Pepe's young customers and as far as fashion is concerned, it will be a show stopper.”


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