Sunday, June 29, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


200 BA III answersheets misplaced
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 28
In a peculiar situation, Panjab University has misplaced answer-sheets of more than 200 students who appeared in the BA III examination conducted in April. The results are scheduled to be declared tomorrow.

The university has suspended Mr Govind Prasad, a Class IV employee, who was in charge of the answersheets while transporting these to the house of the teacher concerned at Panchkula. The paper pertained to Functional English.

Dr Sodhi Ram, Controller of Examination, said he had come to know about the incident only recently and the university was looking into the issue. He said the results of students whose answersheets had been “misplaced” would not be declared. However, the university would declare the results of rest of the class.

Prof K. N. Pathak, Vice-Chancellor, said the person in charge of the answersheets had been suspended and the university would ensure that the students’ interests were not harmed. This could mean a re-examination for students or average marking.

A Fellow of the university Senate said papers of BA III were supposed to be checked on the campus, so the university should also look into the reasons as to why the scripts were being transported to Panchkula.



Cholera case alerts Health Dept
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 28
With the first cholera case of this year being confirmed by the Health Department, the authorities have stepped up surveillance. Special directions have been given to the staff to immediately report any clustering to prevent an epidemic-like situation.

The Nodal Officer, Dr J.K. Kalra, informed today that 7-year-old Arjun, had tested positive for cholera as the stool culture report had confirmed this. He added that apart from Arjun, who had been discharged on June 26, no other suspected case of cholera had been reported in any of the city hospitals.

The Health authorities said Arjun, along with his parents and sister, had arrived in the city only a fortnight back from their native village in district Gaunda. “After putting up in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Colony for a few days, they were shifted to Vikasnagar colony in Mauli Jagran, as the place was demolished,” said a doctor.

He added that the langar Arjun had at Mata Mansa Devi Temple on June 22 could have possibly led to the infection as it was the same evening that he complained of diarrhoea and vomiting.

This is the first case of cholera reported in the city this year so far. Last year, a number of slum colonies like Dadu Majra, Sector 52 and Palsora had witnessed an outbreak of cholera, resulting in two deaths and hundreds being hospitalised. So far, there have been a number of diarrhoea and gastroenteritis cases in the city, but no clustering or epidemic-like situation has been reported from any part of the city.

The health team collected five water samples for bacteriological examination from different sources in Mauli Jagran. Teams have been pressed into action to conduct a house-to-house survey for any gastroenteritis case.

The Director Health Services, Dr C.P. Bansal, accompanied by members of the Rapid Response Team, today visited Mauli Jagran, from where the case of cholera has been reported.

Apart from advising the residents not to consume water from hand pumps or any other water reservoirs, pamphlets giving information on the precautions that need to be taken were distributed. Provision for anti-diarrhoeal and oral rehydration solution have been made at the Civil Dispensary in Mauli Jagran.

The Medical Officer Health, Municipal Corporation, has been informed about the cholera case so that proper chlorination of water is ensured. Anti-fly measures have also been stepped up in the area to prevent the growth of flies.

Special directions have been issued to the Health staff to keep a watch on the clustering of cholera and anti-diarrhoeal cases. Arrangements for epidemic preparedness have been taken to meet any eventuality at the General Hospital and Civil Hospital, Mani Majra.

The Health Department has alerted the residents that in case of acute diarrhoea and gastroenteritis, ORS must be given to the child as due to dehydration, the condition can deteriorate. In case of cholera, the child will pass out rice water-like stools and vomit, leading to dehydration.



CBI asks for voice recording of Bhardwaj, Gupta
Kiran Deep

Chandigarh, June 28
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today sought a permission to record the voices of two suspended judicial officers — Jalandhar’s District and Sessions Judge R.M. Gupta and Judicial Magistrate (First Class) S.S. Bhardwaj — in order to establish the link between them and their association with the complainant, Gurvinder Singh Samra, in a corruption case.

This information was passed on to the court today by a senior CBI official while submitting the case documents in the court. The documents showed that the CBI had two cassettes related to the case — one containing a recorded conversation between Bhardwaj and Samra and the second containing a conversation between Gupta and Samra. The CBI pleaded that, in the interest of the fair investigation, Bhardwaj and Gupta be asked to appear before the court to give samples of their voices. The DSP (CBI), Mr R. Upasak, submitted the documents in the court of the UT CBI Special Judge, Mr Balbir Singh, in the afternoon.

The CBI said for comparing their voices with the recorded voices of Bhardwaj and Gupta, the CBI needed voice samples of the two. The CBI wants Bhardwaj and Gupta to appear in the court on June 30 to record their voices.

Following the CBI plea, production warrants have been sent to the Superintendent of the Burail jail to produce Gupta on July 3. The Jail Superintendent, Mr D.S. Rana, when contacted, said the court of the UT CBI Special Judge had indeed issued such production warrants against Gupta and he had received these. He said Bhardwaj had already been remanded in judicial custody till July 3, therefore, both Bhardwaj and Gupta would appear for the hearing in a local court on July 3. The case against Gupta and Bhardwaj had been registered in Chandigarh on May 9 under Section 120-B of the IPC and other Sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act on the basis of a written complaint by Gurvinder Singh Samra. Bhardwaj had allegedly accepted Rs 7 lakh in bribe on behalf of Gupta to show favour in an anticipatory bail matter of Samra.



Clue leads cops to suspect’s kin
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, June 28
A week after the murder of Gurcharan Singh, Institute of Engineering and Technology, Bhaddal, the police according to informed sources, is working on a lead that points the needle of suspicion on a nephew of B.S. Randhawa, one of the main suspects in the case.

The said nephew, Lally is the son of Variam Singh, brother of B.S. Randhawa, lives at a village in Gurdaspur. According to sources, Lally along with another of his maternal cousins had undertaken the construction work of a block of the college at Bhaddal on contract. However, sources alleged the two ended up creating a financial mess and were even thought to have disappropriated money on that account from the college. They were apparently thrown out of the college and since then they had been harbouring a grudge against Gurcharan Singh whom they considered responsible for loss of business.

Sources in the police also stated that the two were found missing along with the members of their families in Madevet village, police station Dera Baba Nanak, Gurdaspur district when the police had conducted raids but found the whole family missing.

There was also a certain amount of jealousy brewing between the two families of the two brothers since one had rise from the village and made a high society life for himself while the other lived in the village and was not economically well off.

Police sources also pointed out that their physical appearance matched with what the police had been told by eyewitnesses. The two also did not enjoy a good relationship with B.S. Randhawa, said sources.

Meanwhile, the bhog of Gurcharan Singh was held at a gurdwara here today. More than 500 persons attended the bhog ceremony which included a large number of college students and Mr Bir Devinder Singh, MLA, Kharar and Deputy Speaker, Vidhan Sabha.



Nakas to check snatching set up
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 28
Alerted by the increasing incidents of snatching in the city, the Senior Superintendent of Police, today directed the area DSPs and SHOs to set up special anti-snatching nakas from 10 pm to 4 am. As many as 83 nakas were set up in the city, said a police official.

The SSP conducted raids to check duty at the nakas. It may be pertinent to mention that two scooter-borne youths had yesterday snatched a purse containing Rs 10,000 from Mrs Darshan Arun, a resident of Sector 19, near the Sector 8 branch of the HDFC Bank.

According to information, the woman had withdrawn Rs 10,000 from a bank in Sector 19 and was going to the Sector 8 HDFC Bank when the incident took place. The woman had parked her scooter near the bank when the two youths on the pretext of asking an address from her snatched her purse.

Unconfirmed reports said the purse of a woman was snatched in Sector 40 D at about 4.30 pm here though officials at the Sector 39 police station denied that any incident had taken place. The snatchers escaped on a black scooter.



3rd key opens door of harassment
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 28
A resident of Sector 19, Ms Kulwant Kaur, had a shock of her life when Panchkula police personnel came knocking at her door last night, saying that a Maruti car (CH 03 K 6456) owned by the family had been used in a burglary in Sector 7 house in Panchkula, recently.

The Panchkula police came to the Sector 19 residence and told Mr Ramandeep Singh, husband of the owner of the vehicle, that a key in their possession had a numerical code which matched with the numerical code of their car keys. The key with the police had been found from a house in Panchkula where the burglary has taken place on June 26.

Mr Ramandeep told Chandigarh Tribune: “We were asked to report at the Sector 7 Police Post, Panchkula along with the original set of keys and the vehicle. We were harassed for the entire night despite our efforts to prove our genuineness”. A new car is supplied with a set of two keys and they had both in its possession. These were promptly showed to the police, Mr Ramandeep said.

The ordeal for the local residents can be traced to a burglary on June 26 in a house in Sector 7, Panchkula, belonging to Mr H.S. Chhabra, a Superintending Engineer with the Punjab State Electricity Board.

After finding a car key during search operations in the burgled house in Panchkula, the police approached Joshi Auto Zone in Industrial Area Phase II, Chandigarh. The key found in the Panchkula house had a keychain of the Joshi Auto Zone, Police told Chandigarh Tribune today.

Mr Jai Pal, in charge of the Sector 7 Police Post, Panchkula, said they had gone to the Sector 19 house in Chandigarh only after getting the address of the vehicle owner from the Joshi Auto Zone. Officials at the Joshi Auto Zone had matched the numerical code on the key with its own records and found that the owner was Ms Kulwant Kaur of Sector 19.

The Panchkula police has asked the management of the Joshi Auto Zone to give its reply regarding its stand on the mystery of the third key. And also whether a car key can be replicated during the time a vehicle is being serviced at their service centre. An official of the Joshi Auto Zone said they would be providing information to the police by next Monday.

Meanwhile, the Chandigarh-based family is furious. It was only after a phone call was made to a senior Panchkula police official that they were allowed to leave along with the vehicle. Mr Inderjeet and Mr Harbans Singh, who accompanied Mr Ramandeep to Panchkula, said the investigating officer should have satisfied himself before approaching the owner of the vehicle. When the owner of the car insisted that mystery about the third key be verified from Joshi Auto Zone in Industrial Area, Phase II here, the police personnel conducted the exercise.

“Now one of the original key of the vehicle has been taken by a police personnel from us and we have an apprehension that the key will be misused”, said Ramandeep.



Grand old woman dies at 99
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 28
Even as the family members of a 99-year old woman were planning to celebrate her hundredth birthday, the grand old woman of the family passed away just four months short of what would have been a century.

Mrs Lajwantee, alias Rajwantee, an educationist from the pre-Independent era, passed away at the house of her youngest son in Sector 49-A on June 16. She was born at Bharowal village near Garhshanker of Hoshiarpur district in Punjab.

She worked as a teacher in various government schools in Punjab and retired at the age of 65. According to information from her family members, she served for around 45 years as teacher.

Her younger son, Mr Sukhdev Singh Ahluwalia said she is survived by two sons, one daughter, two grandsons and two granddaughters. Her elder son has retired from the Army as Lt-Colonel Corps of EME while Sukhdev Singh has also served in the Air Force as pilot and navigator trainee (flight cadet) in the years 1963-64.

He later joined the Army as Captain in an artillery division of the Army and served on this post from June 1965 to July 1973 in the short service commission before finally joining the CRPF as a Commandant. Mr Sukhdev Singh also served in the Canadian Commissionaire at Vancouver for a few years in the late nineties. Mrs Lajwantee’s daughter is a retired headmistress and is at present settled at Jalandhar.

One of her grandsons is a physician and the other one a Professor of chemistry in London. One of the granddaughters is a bank officer in London and another one a chemical engineer in Toronto, Canada.



Astrologers let off in absence of proof
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, June 28
The Nadi astrologers picked up by the police on June 26 on allegations of fraud by a local resident were back in business here today. Having found no proof against the team of four astrologers, the police today decided to wait for the forensic report which will ascertain the age of the palm leaves which the astrologers claim are thousands of years old.

Stating that they were sent back just after midnight on the day of their ‘arrest’, Mr B. Raju, head of the team of astrologers pointed out that they were kept at the police station for two days and finally sent back after midnight last night. The police, however, has not returned the bundles of palm leaves which it had seized from the astrologers.

Talking to TNS, Mr B. Raju, here stated that they never asked for any money from the complainant, Mr Kawal Walia. ‘‘We never even discussed any upayas with him. We did tell him that his future shows some troubled times and he did not take to that very kindly,’’ said Mr Raju.

‘‘It’s the policemen who jumped the gun for reasons best known to them,’’said a friend of the astrologers. ‘‘But we have decided to forgive and forget the incident and move on. We are here to popularise the Nadi astrology tradition in north India and what we do is a matter of faith. If you believe in it, it’s fine, if you don’t then too it is alright,’’ he said.

Explaining that the Nadi astrological tradition is generations old, being carried forward by him in Delhi for over seven years and now in SAS Nagar, Mr Raju said Nadi was a highly specialised form of astrology which required special training. ‘‘Moreover, it is not a definitive business unlike palmistry where every person is a potential client. In this case, since no predictions can be made till we have found the palm which gives details of a particular person, we cannot claim anything. We have been here barely for 10 days and received many clients but only 15 palm leaves have been found,’’ he said. ‘‘Had we been into fraud we would have gypped all those who came to us,’’ he pointed out. ‘‘It is a relatively new form of astrology here in the north and will take time before people develop faith in it and all these events are just a part of the effort to popularise it,’’said Mr Raju.

The police had on June 26 picked up four astrologers along with a helper and a friend, operating from a residence in Phase VII here on charges of fraud. That evening, the police had confirmed that they had arrested the four under Section 420 of the IPC but apparently had to let them go when enough proof could not be mustered against them.



Slum hand pump a health hazard
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Officials pass buck

People in charge of affairs in the office of Medical Officer, Health, MC, when contacted in this regard, washed their hands off the responsibility, saying that this work was not in their purview. “This is the work of the Public Health Division,” said an official. Public Health division people when contacted passed the buck back to the MOH and the Director, Health Services (DHS), UT, saying that the power to test water samples anywhere in the city and take consequent action were vested in the MOH or the DHS. While residents run the risk of life, official responsibility in the matter remains to be fixed.

Chandigarh, June 28
All is not well with the state of civic affairs in Labour Colony Number 5. Call it callousness on the part of authorities concerned or ignorance on the part of masses, hundreds of Labour Colony residents are consuming contaminated water from a hand pump that has been declared as an unfit source of drinking water.

Considering lack of proper monitoring of drinking water sources, especially in backward localities, this one surely is not an isolated case.

Located near Colony Number 5’s Labour Chowk, which is frequented by hundreds of labourers everyday, the hand pump in question has been painted red in order to sound people with regard to its “unfit status”.

The red paint, however, is hardly visible as it has been washed out, much to the disadvantage of residents and labourers alike, who are unconsciously running the risk of health by drinking contaminated water. A visit to the spot revealed that most of the people were not even aware of the unfit status of the drinking water source.

Callousness on the part of the authorities is thus forcing people into continued use of the water from the pump, which should ideally have been made dysfunctional.

The norm in such cases is simple: once the samples collected from a particular hand pump are tested unfit and declared unsafe for drinking, the handle of the pump in question should be pulled out so that people can no longer use water from the contaminated source.

In the present case, however, the pump is fully functional and people use its water for all purposes — from washing utensils and clothes to drinking. Labourers are particularly at risk of contracting water-borne diseases because they stand at the Labour Chowk the whole day and have to drink water to counter the heat. Said one of the labourers, “We don’t know if this water is safe for drinking. Everyone drinks from this pump. I don’t know if it is because of the use of water from this pump, but the fact is that many labourers have been falling sick recently.”

Residents, meanwhile, confirm that they visit the pump to store water. “The water supply is irregular. So we store water from this pump,” said a resident of Colony Number 5.

Even while the situation gets precarious with every passing day, officials are busy passing the buck.

One of the officials in the Public Health division of the MC, when asked why the handle of the pump had not been pulled out, said, “I don’t think this pump has been installed by the MC. This one must be a private pump.”

If the pump is private, the question that arises is how a private pump has been allowed to come up on public land. This is a violation which should have been checked in the interest of public health.



PSHRC seeks report on boy’s torture by police
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 28
Taking a serious note of the alleged torture of a 15-year-old boy by the SAS Nagar police, the Punjab State Human Rights Commission has directed the Additional Director-General of Police (ADGP) to inquire into the matter and file his report by July 8 to the commission. The PSHRC has also directed the Director Health Services, Punjab to provide all medical facilities to the boy.

The complainant, Mr Jai Mangal, brother of the boy, had filed a complaint with the PSHRC that his brother, Rupesh who was working as a servant at a house in Phase VII, SAS Nagar, had been subjected to a third degree torture by the police and illegally detained at the police station for four days.

Giving details, Mr Mangal added that Rupesh was picked up by the police following an allegation levelled against him by his employers that he had stolen a cheque. The boy was illegally detained at the Phase-VIII police station of SAS Nagar for four days and was subjected to third-degree torture.

Thereafter, on July 23, Rupesh was left with his employers by the police. But, despite repeated efforts, the employers refused to hand over the boy to his brother. It was then that Mr Mangal filed a complaint with the PSHRC.



Manch for India’s role in Tibet cause

Chandigarh June, 28
While considering Tibet to be the core issue in Indo-China talks, the Bharat Tibet Sahyog Manch, today said the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee, should have raised the issue of human rights violation and destruction of Tibetan art and culture, during his visit to China.

In a statement issued here today, the National Organiser of the manch, Dr Kuldeep Chand Agnihotri, said India should make efforts for genuine autonomy for Tibet, by getting this included in the joint declaration. "We are optimistic that the present dialogue between India and China would continue, resulting in an amicable solution on the issue of Tibet," he hoped. TNS



NFCH invites applications for Communal
Harmony Awards
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 28
The National Foundation for Communal Harmony (NFCH) has invited applications for Communal Harmony Awards from individuals as well as organisations engaged in promoting national integrity and communal harmony.

The award carries a cash award of Rs 2 lakh and a citation in the industrial category and an organisation is given cash award of Rs 5 lakh besides a citation.

Nominations may be sent either to the Deputy Commissioners office in Sector 17 or to the Secretary, National Foundation for Communal Harmony, IX floor, ‘C’ Wing, Lok Nayak Bhavan, Khan Market, New Delhi. The last date is June 30. The awards will be announced on January 26, a spokesperson of the Chandigarh Administration said.

An individual would be eligible for consideration of the award if he or she has been working in the areas of national integration and communal harmony for a minimum period of 10 years; does not hold any elective office in Parliament, state legislature or a local body; is not a member of a political party recognised by the Election Commission of India; is above 35 years of age and is alive on the date of nomination.

In case of an organisation, it should be registered under an appropriate Act of Parliament or state legislature; it should have been working at the all-India level or at least state-level and should have been functioning for a minimum of five years in the field of promotion of national integration and communal harmony. No educational institution or a body created under an Act of Parliament or state Legislature would be eligible for the award.

Nominations shall be accompanied by a script indicating the outstanding contribution made yearwise by the individual or orgnisation. Nominations for organisations will also be accompanied with the copy of the registration certificate, rules and by-laws of the organisation, names of office-bearers and their addresses along with relationship between different office-bearers, an audited statement of accounts during the last three years and a resume of the outstanding work done by the organisation.



Kawal Bedi installed as Rotary Governor
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 28
The first-ever woman Governor of the Rotary organisation (District 3080), Ms Kawal Bedi, today announced that the blood resource centre in the city would soon become functional. Minutes before she was installed, Ms Bedi said the work was already in progress.

Describing it as a “major Rotary project”, Ms Bedi, the first woman to become a Governor in zone five of entire Asia, said: “The building is coming up in Sector 38.” She added that the latest technology would be used to process blood for the benefit of the needy.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune soon after her installation, Ms Bedi said: “Stress will be laid on health and literacy projects. Emphasis will also be laid on strengthening the Rotary’s image in the community.”

She asserted: “The main focus would be on women’s empowerment and child labour besides uplift of the poor and the downtrodden. I will concentrate on these projects by following the guidelines prescribed by the World President of the Rotary organisation.”

There are 79 clubs in District 3080, including six in Chandigarh, and one each in SAS Nagar and Panchkula. Ms Bedi joined the club in 1989. Before her elevation as the Governor, she was the first woman President of the Rotary Club in 40 years. After that she was working at the district level along with other Rotarians. She has worked actively for the betterment of the downtrodden and for providing education to poor kids.

Ms Bedi further said: “I was also involved in the project ‘gift of life’ under which free corrective heart surgery was initiated in 1998. Children from Uganda were also operated upon under this project, started with $ 100,000. The aim was to conduct 50 surgeries. Till date 97 surgeries have been performed. Our aim is to cross the 100-surgery mark by the end of this year.”

The surgeries, she added, were conducted with the help of the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research. “The maximum funding was done by the Rotary foundation.”

Giving credit to her husband and family for her achievement, Ms Bedi said: ‘’It was with the constant support of my husband, Tikka Amarjit Bedi, and our family that I was able to make it big in life.” Former World President of Rotary International, Raja Saboo, has always been my inspiration, she said.

Ms Bedi has succeeded Mr Hemant Arora, Governor for 2002-2003. The installation ceremony was done by a former President of Rotary International, Mr Rajendra Saboo, and the Rotary International Director, Mr Sushil Gupta.



14 IAF engineers get MiG training
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 28
As many as 14 aeronautical engineers and a few technicians passed out yesterday from MiG-23/27 Technical Type Training School (TET-TRA), Air Force Station, Highgrounds, near here.

The duration of the training from two to six months for various participants.

All have been trained by a select band of professionals on MiG-27 aircraft, During the past 16 years, the school has imparted training to more than 1,000 officers and 7,000 airmen of the Indian Air Force on the MiG variants.

The Senior Maintenance Staff Officer (SMSO) at HQ Western Air Command, Air Vice Marshal W. Raymond, was the chief guest at the valedictory function.

In his address, he urged the trained personnel to strive hard and excel in optimisation of both human resources and machines. He also released four books: “Aircraft Maintenance Manual”, “Areas of Concern.” “Pipeline Clearances” and “MiG Variants,” a spokesman said.

A presentation on the achievements and other activities of the station was given by Gp Capt P.P. Khandekar, Station Commander.

He briefed the gathering about the advanced training aids and the methodology of teaching at the school. Apart from certificates of competence, AOM’s medals were awarded to individuals who performed exceptionally well during the training.

During their visit to the Air Force Station, Air Vice Marhal Raymond inaugurated a children’s park at the Highgrounds while Mrs Geraldine Ann Raymond opened an AFWWA STD booth.



Sector 44 park to be developed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 28
A triangular park situated in Sector 44-B near the Government Senior Secondary School is to be developed using funds released by the Local MP from his local area development fund (MPLAD). This intimation has been sent by Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal to the Chandigarh Journalists Cooperative House Building Society, Sector 44-B.

For this project Mr Bansal has sanctioned Rs 2 lakh. This includes putting up of a railing around the park, providing three benches and beautification of the park. Secretary of the society Jai Dev Sharma, while thanking Mr Bansal said he and the president, Mr Swadesh Talwar, had made a formal request to Mr Bansal to get the park developed.



Sector 27 gets green belt
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 28
The local MP, Mr Pawan Bansal, inaugurated a newly created green belt at Sector 27 here last evening. The Mayor of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, Mr Subhash Chawla, the local area councillor, Ms Harpreet Kaur Babla, and many other councillors were present.

Mr Bansal urged the residents of the city to work together to preserve the ecology of the city which had been facing a threat for the past few years.

The Mayor said the municipal corporation was committed to develop new green belts. During the current financial year, Rs 1.5 crore has been reserved for landscaping and development of green belts, he added.



Platform Save water

INDIA, our motherland, has 46 percent of its land under cultivation. But behind these pretty green crops are ghastly implications, that not only the common people but also professional scientists tend to ignore. A large part of the crops is under artificial irrigation which uses an ample amount of water and this leads to wastage of water if crops are grown in any region regardless of its climactic conditions.

For instance, Punjab is not naturally suitable for the cultivation of rice. Nevertheless, it is sown in large areas. Thus as rice requires standing water, it alters the water table and the soil becomes clayey which decelerates replenishment of groundwater.

Another important factor which is often overlooked is the non-scrutinised usage of new varieties of seeds which do promise better yields but also may require more water. Such crops not only contribute to the wastage of water but may also lead to financial losses.

For instance, recently the new variety of BT cotton was introduced which claimed of being more disease-resistant and high yielding.

The agricultural universities developing new varieties of seeds should pay more attention to the water factor.

Funds and prizes should be introduced for the invention of new varieties that requires less water. The pollution caused by industrial effluents should be curbed to protect the groundwater around the factories.

Mehak Dhande, Class X, Sacred Heart School



BJP leader, son assaulted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 28
Mani Majra-based leader of the BJP Jagtar Singh and his son, Inderjeet, were injured after being allegedly attacked by a group of persons led by Mr Dhayia here on Friday evening. The assailants included some police personnel from the Mani Majra Police Station. The injured persons were admitted to the Mani Majra Civil Hospital.

Inquiries reveal that the victim was involved in a brawl with his neighbours. Some policemen from the Mani Majra Police Station sided with the assailants, alleged Jagtar Singh. He alleged that instead of arresting assailants, the reserve officer from the Mani Majra Police Station allowed the other policemen to escape from the spot. 

A group of persons barged into the house of Krishan Lal Arora and thrashed Mr Arora and his wife, Sobha Rani, in Ram Darbar here on Friday. The assailants damaged the household goods lying in the house of the victims.

According to information, the victim had taken a loan of Rs 2000 from his neighbour, Sunita. When the money was paid back the victim asked for gold ornament which had been kept with Sunita as a guarantee. However, the woman refused to give back the ornament. Irritated over being asked for the ornaments, the woman along with some persons barged into the house of Mr Arora. Mr Harish, son of Mr Krishan Lal Arora, alleged that two police personnel from the Sector 31 Police Station did visit their house but did not return after that.

Held for fraud
A servant, Vikram, was today arrested by the Chandigarh Police for fraudulently trying to encash cheques amounting to Rs 4 lakh from a branch of HDFC bank here on Friday. According to information, the suspect had stolen cheque of his employer, Mohit Chitkara from an SCO in Sector 9.

On April 18 and then of April 21, the suspect has withdrawn an amount of Rs 1 lakh by forging the signatures of his employer. The employer had informed the bank authorities about his servant and when the servant came to encash the cheques, the police was informed.

Two scoter-borne youths snatched a purse containing Rs 10,000 from Mrs Darshan Arun, a resident of Sector 19, near the Sector 8 branch of the HDFC bank here on Friday. According to information, the woman had withdrawn Rs 10,000 from a bank in Sector 19 and was going to the Sector 8 HDFC bank when the incident took place. The woman had parked her scooter at the back of the bank when the two youths on the pretext of asking an address snatched her purse.
Booked for raping minor

Arjun, a resident of Ram Darbar, has been booked for alleged kidnapping and raping a minor girl on June 18. According to information, Arjun along with Sanju and Sonu have been booked under Sections 363, 366, 376 and 506 of the IPC.
Cable poles stolen

At least 14 poles joining cable transmission wires, 450 metres of cable and some transmitters were stolen in the Daddu Majra area last night. The equipment and the wire belonged to Siti Cable. A police official said the thieves weakened the poles with cutters and removed these under the cover of darkness.


BDO arrested
The Nariangarh police has arrested a BDO in Ambala city on Saturday. According to information, the CM Flying Squad had raided the office of the BDO last month, who was posted in Naraingarh at that time, on a complaint of residents of the area that the BDO had not been dispersing the grains in proper quantity to the labourers working under “Kaam ke badle anaj” scheme there. During the investigation, the flying squad found the complaint genuine and recommended the district police to take action against the BDO.


Indica cars seized
The municipal corporation today seized five Indica cars and the carrier in which they had been transported to the city by local Tata dealer D.P. Goel near Sadar Thana. Mayor Vishnu Sharma said the agency had evaded an octroi duty of Rs 5,000 by bringing in the vehicles from the Sangrur road. He said all five vehicles and the carrier had been seized and were presently in the corporation complex.


A sum of Rs 10,000 was stolen from a house in Sector 2 (H.No. 323) this morning. While the owner, Pandit Hariram, was away for work at Burj Kotian, his wife and two daughters had gone to pay obeisance at Mansa Devi shrine.

It was only when Hariram’s wife and children came back at about 1.30 pm, they noticed that the house was ransacked and found footprints on the wall, indicating that someone had entered by scaling the walls of the house, and escaped in a similar fashion. The police has registered a case.


Two held
The police here has arrested two persons on charges of smuggling liquor from Chandigarh to Punjab. According to information provided by SP Harcharan Singh Bhullar, the two accused , Jaspal Singh and Joginder Singh, were caught by the police during a special naka near Dara Studios here.

Thirty six bottles of foreign liquor were recovered from their possession. The two were travelling in a car when they were stopped by a team of police and excise inspectors.

Booked: The police here has registered a case of outraging modesty of a woman against a resident of Dadu Majra. The accused, Pravin Kumar, has been booked under Section 354 of the IPC based on the complaint of a SAS Nagar resident.



Gang of thieves busted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 28
The crime branch of the Chandigarh Police today arrested three youths and recovered at least five stolen cars, six LPG cylinders, a television, a CD player and some tyres from them.

Two more stolen cars were yet to be recovered, said a police personnel.

The burglars, aged from 19-21 years, are school dropouts at the primary level.

They were in the habit of abandoning stolen vehicles after driving around the city and peripheral areas. The auto-lifters used to dump the registration documents of the vehicles. The stolen cars which have been recovered had been abandoned in SAS Nagar.

The in charge of the Crime Branch, Inspector Satbir Singh, said the burglars, Manoj, a resident of Colony No. 5, Ramesh alias Shyam, a resident of Sector 38, and Sunil, a resident of Colony No 4, had lifted the cars in the last six months. Two of the stolen cars had to be recovered from Delhi and Una, respectively.

The stolen cars which have been recovered are; DAJ 352, DIC 4062, CHO1 J 4557, CH 01 D 6828 and CH 01 L 1026.



CBI official’s house burgled
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 28
Burglars broke into the locked house of an official of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in Sector 19 here and decamped with 10 tolas of gold jewellery and around Rs 40,000.

Mr Surinder Behl, posted in the Administrative wing of the CBI office in Sector 30 here, had gone along with his family to their village Mullana, in Haryana.

The total loss has been assessed at around Rs 1.25 lakh. Inquiries reveal that the burglars sneaked into the single-storeyed house after breaking the lock of the main grill at the entrance.

A neighbour informed the police about the theft.

The police team, which reached the spot, found that the entire house had been ransacked and the locks of four almirahs broken.

Investigations by the police reveal that the burglars spent the entire night searching the house.

The artificial jewellery has been left behind.

A team of forensic experts was called by the police to take the fingerprints of the burglars.

Apart from gold, a CD player, two wrist watches, and some other household items were also stolen.



Bid to sell disputed house, two held
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 28
Saru Chokker, alias Saru Singh and Ravinder Pal Singh, who were arrested yesterday from Hotel Shivalikview here, were sent to police custody by a Kharar court today.

The two were arrested by the SAS Nagar police on the charge of defrauding a resident of Sector 23 here, Mr Rahul Khanna. Saru Singh, a resident of SAS Nagar, runs ‘Angela Beauty Parlour’ at Shivalikview.

It is alleged that Saru Singh in connivance with her business partner Ravinder Pal Singh, had tried to sell a disputed house in Phase II, SAS Nagar, to Mr Khanna by forging documents and had already taken Rs 6 lakh from him as earnest money.

When Mr Khanna came to known that the house was disputed, he asked her to pay back the money.

Saru Singh reportedly kept dilly dallying the matter for sometime.

Later, a cheque worth Rs 6 lakh was given to him by Ravinder Pal.

The cheque, however, was not honoured by the bank concerned.

Mr Khanna got a case registered against the two in the Phase II police station.



Kingpin in fraudulent sale of plot held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 28
A Delhi-based property dealer, Naresh Dogra, was today arrested by the Chandigarh Police for being the mastermind behind the fraudulent sale of a four-kanal house in Sector 10 here. The property dealer, who was picked up from his house in Delhi, had been arrested earlier by the Ropar police in a case of fraudulent land deal.

Investigations by the Economic Offences Wing of the city police, revealed that Naresh Dogra forged all documents and selected Harbhajan Singh, a retired bank cashier, to don the role of Major Som Nath (retd), a Noida-based original owner of the Sector 10 house. The documents, a forged letter of the Union Minister of State for Home to the Inspector-General of Police, Chandigarh, an ex-serviceman identity-card, and an attestation report, had been sent for verification to the concerned government departments, said a police official.




LG Electronics India Pvt Ltd has launched a new range of ‘‘Art Cool’’ range of airconditioners in the market. It is claimed to be a unique combination of technological innovation and design excellence. The company has claimed that the new air conditioner was equipped with 3-D airflow technology to provide three-way cooling made possible by installing a special blower. Mr Salil Kapoor, Head, Air Conditioner Division, LG Electronics India, claimed that the LG Art Cool airconditioner range was priced between Rs 55,000 and Rs 65,000. It features included de-odorising filter to keep away unpleasant odours, a blower to give uniform cooling throughout the room and energy conservation. He said this AC was available in three colour variants of wood, grey and blue. He added that the company had been recently awarded the “Design Excellence Award 2003” jointly instituted by Business World and the National Institute of Design. TNS


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