Monday, July 21, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Decomposed body of missing boy found
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 20
The local police has recovered the decomposed body of a young boy from bushes near the cremation ground in Sector-25 here, today. The boy was reported to be missing for the past few days.

The deceased has been identified as Deepak, son of Satyavan, a resident of Kumhar Colony, Sector-25. The body was sent to the General Hospital, Sector-16, for post-mortem examination. However, the post-mortem examination could not be conducted, as it had become late. A medical official of the hospital said the post-mortem would now be conducted on Monday.

The police post of Sector-24 had received complaint regarding a missing boy this morning following which an FIR was registered. Just a few hours after the report was lodged some one called up the police and informed that a decomposed body was lying on the roadside in the bushes near the cremation ground.

The police rushed to the spot and recovered the body. Later, parents of the boy identified the body from the clothes that he was wearing.

The deceased boy’s father, Satyavan, said Deepak had gone out to play with his friends on the morning of July 16 but did not return. In reply to a question he said the delay in lodging a complaint was because they were looking for their son at the houses of their relatives and friends.

When asked whether the boy had been murdered, a senior official of the UT police said it would be confirmed only after getting the report of the post-mortem examination. 



Missing boy’s parents suffer agony of wait
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, July 20
As the hours tick away helplessness and anguish settles in on house number 33, Phase II here. Over 30 have passed since the kidnapping of 11-year-old Gagandeep Singh and there is no trace of him. His mother, already a nervous wreck, has not slept since yesterday.

Her house is a picture of gloom with Gagandeep’s grandparents cursing their fate and recalling the death of their two sons and praying for the safety for their grandson.

The police, however, is more hopeful. Stating that they have definitely zeroed in on the suspects and there were chances of a major breakthrough before tomorrow morning, the Senior Superintendent of Police, Ropar, Mr Gurpreet Bhullar, told TNS that all efforts were on to recover the child safe and sound.

‘‘Since the family had not received any ransom call, we are now focussing on the estranged relatives who seem to be involved in the kidnapping. We should have some positive results by tomorrow, 'he added.

Meanwhile, the police has also released the computerised sketch of one of the kidnappers. “This is not so good a sketch as the only adult eye witness was the rickshaw-puller and he could not explain their features correctly,’’ said Mr Harcharan Singh Bhullar, SP, SAS Nagar.

Gagandeep Singh was kidnapped yesterday afternoon while he was on his way back from school by two unidentified men.

Gagandeep’s family alleged that in-laws of their deceased son were involved in the kidnapping. ‘‘My younger son, Harvinder, was killed by her wife, Simmi, in connivance with her parents and all this drama has been staged so that we are not able to attend the court date tomorrow.’’ alleged Gagandeep’s paternal grandmother.

‘‘Simmi’s family is being helped by another family, the in-laws of my daughter,’’ she added. ‘‘My daughter, Darshan Kaur, had been married seven years ago and the boy went to the USA and never came back leaving my daughter here.

Her in-laws living in Dalla village are now helping Simmi’s family. They both have joined hand against us.’’ she alleged.



Murder of a family’s happiness
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 20
When, full of joy, Simran had taken her parents to Nada Sahib on July 16 to celebrate her success in M.Sc. (IT) examination, no one knew that it would be her last outing with the family. The next day she was found murdered at her residence in Sector 22.

With tears in her eyes, Simran’s mother Prabhjot Kaur, sitting with her husband Balbir Singh recalled that day’s events saying, “She took out the car and asked us to accompany her to Nada Sahib to offer prayers. She was very happy”.

“She secured 80.4 per cent marks in M.Sc. (IT) IInd year examination. After her success in this examination she was more concerned about her career and prayed for getting a good job”, she added.

Sitting beside her, Simran’s father said after coming back from Nada Sahib they all went to Sector 44 to present a box of sweets to her teacher who had helped her lot to achieve this success.

Everybody was very happy that evening said Simran’s father. He also said that they had given the matrimonial advertisement of both their children in the newspaper and were planning to marry them.

“On the day of her murder, we all got up early. Simran offered prayers as usual. She was religious minded and used to offer prayers as a routine for the past several years”, said her mother.

Anguished over the reports appearing in a section of the media, she said certain facts had been distorted. For example, she said no one found three cups of tea lying on the table indicating that she had prepared tea for the persons who had come to their house.

She further said, “The pan in which we prepare tea was lying unclean in the shank, since the morning, when I made the tea. It clearly shows that Simran did not prepare tea at all”.

Mr Balbir Singh said before Simran dropped him at his office she had talked about preparing her bio-data on the computer to look out for a job. She was planning to prepare the bio-data and keep the print-outs ready, hand them over to him, he added.

Simran’s brother Jagdeep Singh too was in a state of shock and said it was difficult to believe that his sister was no more.



Mysterious youths and a missing maid servant

The Chandigarh Police is still clueless about the murder of Simran. Mr Gaurav Yadav, SSP, today held a meeting of the officials concerned in the Sector 17 police station. He closely monitored the facts and asked the investigating team to solve the case as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, it is learnt from reliable sources that a few youths in a white-coloured Tata Sumo were looking for Simran’s residence on July 16. First of all, they asked schoolchildren, who were getting out of their school bus. But they could not give them the location. Then they asked a passer-by (a middle-aged person) who gave them an idea about the location of Simran’s house by pointing towards it.

In another twist to the investigations into the case, the parents of Simran said their maid servant who had come to work on the morning of July 17, the day of the murder, had not turned up for work since then. She used to come from Sector 25, Kumhar Colony. Her whereabouts are not yet known.

The police is now on the look out for the youths in the Tata Sumo vehicle and the maid servant.



Murders leave a trail of terror
Tribune Reporters

Chandigarh, July 20
Murders in the city and its surrounding areas are getting too frequent and many cases in the past few months have been gruesome, daring and well-planned by the murderers which left a trail of scare for city residents.

The killings have been carried out by acquaintances. Victims have known the assailants. They can be the wife as in the case of Delhi-based Mandiv Sapra, or a known person as in the case of Sector 22-girl Simran.

The domestic help of a Panchkula woman Sudesh Bala, hit her with wooden stick to death. Gurcharan Singh, a trustee of an engineering institute, who was done to death due to professional rivalry. The lone case in which an acquaintance was not involved was when a youth who was done to death by a group of men trying to protect the “honour” of a woman in the family.

In the case of the murder of Anurag (12), the kidnappers killed the child brutally after having failed to get a ransom of Rs 5 lakh. This was also the lone case of extortion, the city witnessed this year.

A senior official of the UT police claimed, “The city police is very efficient as compared to the police in other regions of the country. We have solved almost all the cases of murders that were committed during the current year”.

He said the only case of the murder of Sector 22-resident Simran, this week, was yet to be solved. However, just within two days the police had managed to get vital clues regarding the murder, added the police official.

The city residents on the other hand are worried about their safety. “One has to remain very careful these days as we cannot entirely remain dependent on the police,” said Ashok Kapoor, an employee of the Industry Department of Punjab.

In a broad-daylight murder, some persons stabbed 24-year-old city girl Simran, a brilliant student, to death in her Sector-22 residence on July 17. She was murdered at her residence when she was alone at home. However, the police has not been able to arrest the murderers but senior officials claim that they have got some vital clues about the culprits. “Disheartened over the possibility of Simran’s marriage with somebody else, an unknown aspirant is suspected to have planned the cold-blooded murder” is the theory that the police is trying to establish to get clues of murderers.

The Executive Director of a Delhi-based private security agency, Mandiv Sapra, was murdered in CITCO-run hotel Mountview in Sector 10 on July 11. The deceased had checked into the hotel along with his wife, Swapna, a doctor in Escorts Hospital, Delhi. The wife of the deceased, who was found lying in a semi-conscious state in a bathtub, confessed that she had murdered her husband in a ‘fit of anger’. She was arrested and is presently under judicial custody.

A 12-year-old boy Anurag was brutally murdered after being kidnapped on April 29. The police managed to solve the case within a few days of the incident by arresting the kidnappers, Narinder Sharma and Sonu Nagar, both residents of Dadu Majra Colony. The police arrested them on May 4. The boy after being kidnapped was murdered at about 8 pm near a bridge in Thankusu village (Rajpura) on the same day, confessed the murderers. The kidnappers confessed that that they had murdered the child as they had no place to keep him. Even after the death of the boy, the kidnappers kept his father in dark to extort a sum of Rs 5 lakh from him.

Randeep Singh, a 17-year-old student from Ferozepore district was brutally murdered while he was coming from the Sector 38 market along with his brother Harish Kamboj and friend Harjinder on April 8. In a week’s time, the police arrested four of the six assailants — all belonging to the Sansi community. The arrested assailants were Ajay Kumar, Rajesh Kumar, alias Kala, Parveen Kumar, alias Pinni and Monu from near the Shahpur chowk. The events that led to the murder indicated that he was murdered to ‘save the family pride’. According to the police, Parveen, alias Pinni, one of the suspect, was sitting at an STD booth in the Sector 38 market, when Harish along with Randeep came there to make a call. At the shop, Babita, wife of Sanjay, was also waiting to make a call. While coming out of the shop, Harish’s leg touched the body of Babita. One of the assailants, Pinni, who noticed it, objected to it. Infuriated, Pinni called other boys of the Sansi colony. Armed with rods and daggers, the assailants chased Harish, Randeep and Harjinder. While Harish and Harjinder escaped with minor injuries, Randeep was stabbed to death with a dagger.

PANCHKULA: The daylight murder of Ms. Suresh Bala, wife of an HCS officer in Sector 15 by their domestic help on April 30 this year, sent shock waves in the city.

Achint Bahadur, alias Sanat, the Nepalese domestic help for the past over two years, had preplanned the murder of Ms. Suresh Bala. The police presumed that he was upset over being rebuked time and again for not doing his job properly. Seventeen-year-old Achint Bahadur had bludgeoned and stabbed his employer’s wife Ms. Suresh Bala Bishnoi and then shot himself dead.

Though the family had earlier suspected the involvement of a third person in the crime, the forensic experts have ruled this out - thus putting to end all speculations.

Though policing in Panchkula has improved considerably, with electronic beat patrolling and adding of more Police Control Room vehicles, burglaries still remain a problem in the city. Almost three to four burglaries are reported, on an average every week, especially in the thinly populated sectors in the Panchkula extension and along the sectors located near the National Highway No 21 — Sectors 2, 4, 12, 12-A, 20 and 21.

SAS NAGAR: On June 21, 2003, Gurcharan Singh, Chairman of the trust running the Institute of Engineering and Technology, Bhaddal, Ropar, was stabbed to death by two persons 500 yards away from his house in Phase XI here while he was out on a walk in a park adjoining his house. The assailants were later identified as a nephew of a trustee of the institute, Bakhshish Singh Randhwa, and a nephew’s friend. The three are now under arrest.

On June 6, 2003, a 42-year-old Bengali woman, Kalpana Das, resident of Phase IX here, was allegedly bludgeoned to death by her husband’s younger brother, his wife and a woman neighbour following a minor altercation. Her neighbour Shankariya, Kalpana’s brother-in-law Bhajori Das and his wife Kanchan Das are now under arrest.

Robbers on the outskirt of Mullanpur-Garibdass village killed Sunil, a labourer on July 19. Several incidents of attack by robbers have been reported from the area in the past couple of months. The police later claimed to have arrested the killers of Sunil.

Recent murders in Chandigarh, Panchkula and SAS Nagar

April 8: 16-year-old student Randeep Singh of Ferozepore district was murdered in Sector-38.

April 29: 12-year-old Anurag was kidnapped from Sector-38 and brutally killed.

April 30: Ms. Suresh Bala, a resident of Sector-15 Panchkula was murdered by her domestic help.

June 6: 42-year-old Bengali woman Kalpana Das was murdered in phase-IX, SAS Nagar.

June 21: A middle-aged man Gurcharan Singh was murdered in phase-XI, SAS Nagar.

July 11: 43-year-old Mandiv Sapra, Delhi resident was killed by his wife in Hotel Mountview

July 17:  23-year-old Simran was stabbed to death at her residence in Sector-22. 



Kiosks ‘doubled’ to reap rich benefit
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, July 20
Punjab Governor’s zero tolerance for encroachments notwithstanding, an assurance of “rehabilitation before ouster” by a minister of state to owners of an unauthorised market here has ended up in the market having doubled in size.

Over 300 kiosk owners in Phase I here have in the past one week virtually doubled the number of their kiosks in the hope that every kiosk will fetch them a rehabilitation booth from the Punjab Urban Development and Planning Authority (PUDA) here.

Claiming that a PUDA rehabilitation survey will begin in the market tomorrow in compliance with an assurance given to them by the Minister of State for Housing and Urban Development, Mr Malkit Singh Birmi, kiosk owners said every kiosk counted by the team will make the owner eligible to get a constructed booth at subsidised rates. They, however, denied any move to bloat survey figures by increasing the number of kiosks in the market. “The construction that you see is not that of a new kiosk but cleaning of old ones,” said Mr Rajinder Sharma, general secretary of the market’s association.

A number of kiosk owners have raised partitions in their shops making these appear as two separate kiosks. When the TNS team visited the spot it found out that new corrugated sheets were being painted in a fashion to make these appear old. “Actually many of the shops had closed down as business was bad but when they came to know about the survey they came back to avail themselves of the benefit of the rehabilitation. They are now just revamping their shops,” explained Mr Sharma.

Mr Sharma told the TNS that their market, which is 20 years old, was shortlisted for demolition last month so “we decided to meet the minister. We were accompanied by Mr Balbir Singh Sidhu, a local Congress leader, and met Mr Birmi at his Sector 3 residence. He called the Estate Officer there and directed him not to touch our market till we are rehabilitated on lines of the kiosk market in Phase 3 B1 and Phase 11”.

Following the meeting, sources inform, the Chief Administrator, PUDA, directed the Estate Officer here to make arrangements for rehabilitation before it is demolished. “I have ordered a survey, which begins tomorrow, but I have no knowledge of kiosk owners increasing their number of shops to get benefit of rehabilitation,” said Estate Officer T.K. Goel.

Kiosk owners state that they are 357 in number and their complete record is available with the Municipal Council of the township. “We have been paying them ground rent for the past 20 years and they know the number of shops there,” pointed out Mr Sharma.



B.Com (evening) admission put off
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 20
Panjab University has deferred fresh admission to Bachelor of Commerce classes (B.Com) in the evening studies for the current academic session.
The admissions are subject to the decision of the Syndicate which is scheduled to meet on July 24. This has been done as the existing work schedule in commerce classes did not meet the academic requirements of the minimum work hours in a week and other related work of class assignments.

The department, however, is making its best efforts to continue the course because the commerce classes were a big draw. The department has forwarded its proposal on the viability of the course in the department. The proposal reads a five days’ week from 5.15 pm to 10 pm for the undergraduate and postgraduate classes in the arts stream.

The university had also considered six days’ week in the department for the commerce classes which had faced stiff opposition. There were also suggestions earlier that the university should discontinue the subject.

Interestingly, the teaching schedule for the commerce classes has been proposed from 4 pm to 10 pm for five days in a week. The chairperson has informed that the department had received 135 applications against 70 sanctioned seats till July 15.

Among after issues the Syndicate will also consider whether payment of provident fund to Prof M.M. Puri, a former Vice Chancellor, be made. The university had registered an FIR against Prof Puri on April 9, on the grounds that he had not returned an amount of Rs 4,00753 which he owed to the university on several accounts.

The university is considering a proposal that the cost of examination forms should also include the examination fee. The scheme is proposed to be introduced from the current session onwards for private candidates only on experimental basis.

The university will give hostel facility of three months to research scholars who are not getting any type of fellowship or project funding. The scholars will have to submit an affidavit, countersigned by the supervisors and chairperson, that the scholar was not in doing any job or side business. The departments are also required to maintain attendance registers.

The university will contribute 10 per cent of the collections from the fee of students admitted in the category of NRI students to the development fund of the university.



Ranbaxy fire: video footage may prove crucial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 20
The video footage of the Ranbaxy fire which was telecast live by various TV channels on the night of June 11 may come in handy for the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRS) which is inquiring into the tragedy that claimed five lives and caused widespread damage in the surrounding areas in Mohali.

Mr S.K. Verma, Additional Director General of Punjab Police attached to the PSHRC, who is conducting the inquiry is said to be establishing contact with various TV channels in this regard and has sought their cooperation. At least one TV channel has offered to provide the video footage of the scene at the blast site which may prove to be vital to the investigation.

Sources said the video footage which contained graphic shots of the accident site, the nature of the fire that raged there, rescue efforts by individuals and fire engines, reaction of the residents and the panic that prevailed in the area on the fateful night with people fleeing to the neighbouring cities and a detailed commentary by TV correspondents, might prove to be of great help to commission in view of the attempts by certain quarters to play down the gravity of the situation.

Lawyers of Human Rights International and Mohali Gram Panchayat had filed a complaint against the Ranbaxy management following the blast and fire at the factory, seeking suitable compensation to the victims. They have also demanded that the factory be shifted from its present site because of the dangerous nature of its operations and the hazard it poses to the life and property in the surrounding areas.

Following directions from the commission, Mr Verma last week visited areas around the factory which were affected by the Ranbaxy blast to inspect the damage. He also recorded the statements of a large number of villagers and videographed the damage to the houses and other structures as claimed by the residents.

Mr Verma told TNS here today that he would also like to look into the demand by the villagers that the factory should be located somewhere, especially in view of the fact that it was the second major accident in the factory. There had also been complaints that factory emitted foul smell from time to time which caused choking etc among those who inhaled it.

However, Mr Pushpinder Bindra, senior vice-president, global manufacturing, Ranbaxy Laboratories, said special steps had been taken to upgrade the effluent treatment plant at a cost of about Rs 50 lakh some time ago with the result that there was absolutely no smell emitting from the factory.

He, however, ruled out the possibility of the relocation of the plant elsewhere. He pointed out that when the plant was built, it was out of the city but slowly the city had developed around it. "In any case, we are operating from an industrial area. If you see the master plan of Mohali, we are surrounded by the industrial area on three sides. It is only on side that a residential area has come up", he pointed out.

He said Ranbaxy's Mohali plant was providing direct employment to about 900 persons besides providing indirect employment to hundreds of others and creating a large number of ancillary units. It produced 600 tonnes of bulk drugs annually, paying Rs 40 crore as excise duty to the Central Government, Rs 4 crore as sales tax to the Punjab Government and Rs 2.25 crore as octroi to the Mohali Municipal Council every year.



PUDA tells Railways to pay for space
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, July 20
The Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) is not willing to give space free for a railway ticket reservation counter here.
PUDA has objected to the granting of free space to the Railways for establishing a reservation counter. Such a facility has to be provided free of cost by the user in accordance with the latest set of instructions passed by the Railway Board.

Following a long-standing demand of residents, PUDA’s Mohali office had sent a proposal to the headquarters suggesting that it would provide space at a nominal rent for a railway ticket reservation counter. The headquarters turned down the proposal. They stated that the Railway Board was paying Rs 10,000 per month as rent to the UT Administration for use of the Administration’s space as a reservation counter at the Sector 17 inter state bus terminus adding that the Board will have to pay a similar amount to PUDA for use of its space at SAS Nagar.

Board officials on the other hand clarified that according to the latest set of instructions issued on February 2002, ‘Building and setting up of a passenger reservation counter will be provided free of cost by the user as per designs provided by the Railways.’ “This clause has been followed by the Himachal Pradesh Government,” said a Board official posted at Ambala.

‘‘PUDA cannot use the Chandigarh example to ask for money for the Mohali counter as this clause came into existence in 2002 and the Chandigarh counter had been established earlier so it follows the old rules of paying rent,’’ said Col H.S. Sangha, president, Residents Welfare Association, Phase 3B1 here.

Interestingly, the Ropar administration too has shown no interest in the matter. ‘‘Instead of coordinating between the Railway Board and PUDA, it has been our association which had been the go between the two,’’ he added.

The Additional Chief Administrator, PUDA, Mohali, Mr Yashvir Mahajan, said PUDA had offered the Railway Board space for a counter here, but on the terms and conditions being followed at the inter state bus terminus, Sector 17 Chandigarh. ‘‘Space had been identified for a counter here also, but since we are a commercial organisation we cannot give any space to anyone free of cost. Moreover, according to the Railway Board clause it is ‘the user’ who has to provide for free space and building. PUDA is not the user in this case but the residents of the township, which in turn means that the Ropar administration should take up the matter with the Railway Board and sent a demand to us,’’ he said.




Virtual battlelines are drawn over the issue of having rotational headship at the PGI between the seniors and the junior faculty. With constant bickering and politicking becoming the order of the day, a section of doctors has floated the idea of having rotational heads of department as a solution to the problem.

As the junior doctors go around seeking majority support on the issue, the heads of department have shot a letter to the Union Health Minister, Mrs Sushma Swaraj, against any such move.

Whether the PGI, switches over to rotational headship or not is a different matter, but atleast for the time being the issue is generating a lot of heat, adding to the already charged-up atmosphere. Both sections are indulging in dinner diplomacy and signature campaigns to build up support.

Foreign assignments

The PGI authorities may no longer be so liberal while granting permission to its doctors, proceeding on foreign assignments.

With the issue of some of the doctors seeking extension for their stay abroad, being raised at the Governing Body (GB) meeting, recently, the Health and Family Welfare Ministry could formulate guidelines in this regard. “What is objectionable is that the doctors, while earning handsome salaries abroad, seek promotion and protection of their seniority here at the PGI,” says a senior official.

This has led to a lot of resentment amongst the doctors, who feel that they should not be made to pay a price for the fault and vested interest of a handful of their colleagues.

The Health Minister, Mrs Sushma Swaraj, too is learnt to be strongly opposed to the idea of doctors staying away from the PGI and at the same time seeking benefits for this period, especially in promotion.

Quick learners

The Mohali police was training school children to control traffic as part of their assignment for summer vacations. However, the police went a step further and also gave them hands-on lessons on challaning those who violated traffic rules.

It was quite a sight to see school children challaning people on the roads for various traffic violations. And if the police was enjoying teaching, the children were definitely having a gala time learning.

Monsoon bloom

With the rain gods showering pleasure over the city, love and happiness too seems to be blooming. Couples holding hands and taking long walks on the Sukhna Lake, young women flying high on the Rock Garden swings, children chirping away in lush green parks and the cloud-laden sky a myriad of colours, monsoon this year is proving to be the most beautiful season of the year.


Residents of Sector 71 here visited The Tribune office last week to complain about the muddy water. After having related their woes, an elderly resident quipped: “Having had a bath in the morning, we come out dirtier than what we were.’’ Maybe the women of the household will save some money on the oh-so-refreshing mud baths.

Free mobiles

It cannot be get better than this for the consumer. Now mobile telephones are available for free. A city-based restaurant collaborated with a mobile company that if a customer ate food worth a certain amount in the restaurant, a mobile telephone connection would be given free to him. For once the more you eat the better equipped you are.

Tax exemption

Donation makers to the corpus of Panjab University will be glad to learn that the Income Tax Department has decided to give a 100 per cent tax exemption on donations.

The office of the Director-General, Income Tax (Exemption), Calcutta, in a written communication has approved “persons making donations to Panjab University will be entitled to claim 100 per cent deduction of donations made to the university in computing their total taxable income”.

This is surely another good message for the university in the name of donations in the light that it had earlier been given a similar concession by the Canadian government.

Desh Ki Dhadkan

The Indian corporate sector is not only making efforts to improve its balance sheets and earn profit, but a section is also engaged in activities to promote its “patriotic” image as part of the marketing strategy. Hero Honda Motors which claims to be “Desh Ki Dhadkan” and the world’s No. 1 two-wheeler company, will embark on a unique road expedition to mark the fourth anniversary of the Kargil Vijay Divas with 14 heroes of the Indian Army.

The team will start from Ambala cantonment to Tiger Hill (Drass) and back, covering a total distance of 2,800 km from July to August. The team will reach Tiger Hill on July 26.

Changing image

Till now the employees had considered the office of the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) as a bureaucratic office that would take months together to repay their funds. However, the families of four victims of the Ranbaxy fire accident were pleasantly surprised when the officers of the organisation contacted them to repay their funds just after two days of the incident. After reading the reports of deaths of four workers, Mr N.N. Sharma, Regional Provident Fund Commissioner (I), reportedly asked his officials to contact the management of the company and the families of the victims. All funds were paid within a week to three families.

The case of the late Surinder Kumar’s family has been sent to the Karnal office as the family has desired that their pension payment should be transferred to that office.


Dr Arun Kumar Sharma, Lecturer at the local Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 16, has been invited to present a paper on the focal theme, “Scientific Temper Through Innovative Practices” at the First National Teacher’s Science Conference - 2003 to be held at Bhopal this year. The conference is being organised jointly by the National Council for Science and Technology, Department of Science and Technology, and the Science Centre, Madhya Pradesh.

— Sentinel



Protest against temple land acquisition
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 20
Several Hindu organisations, Sanatan Dharam sabhas, Hindu Parv Mahasabha, Vishva Hindu Parishad and the Bajrang Dal, today took out a procession along with idols of deities removed from Sanatan Dharm Temple, Sector 54, here during a demolition drive.

Activists of Sanatan Dharam sabhas, the Hindu Parv Mahasabha, the Vishva Hindu Parishad and the Bajrang Dal took the idols on a truck to the Radha Krishan temple in Sector 40 A where these would be kept.

They said the idols had to be kept in a garage after the building of the temple was demolished.

Sanatan Dharm Sabha, Sector 41 D, president S.N. Sharma and general secretary Rajinder Singh alleged that they had pleaded earlier with the Chandigarh Administration not to acquire the land where the temple had been built but to no avail.

The agitating leaders claimed that when they pleaded with the administration to exempt the temple land from acquisition, they were told that it was possible only after deposition of certain payment as development charges to be fixed by the Engineering Department, with the government.

They said the land had been gifted for the temple construction by Sarpanch Bhupinder Singh Badheri.

The protesters demanded a compensation of Rs 30 lakh from the administration.



Campaign to get info on Netaji’s fate
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 20
The All India Forward Block, founded by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, here today announced a nationwide contact campaign from October 21 to build up pressure on the NDA government to provide “classified” information confirming “death or disappearance” of Netaji.

Netaji’s nephew and legislator in West Bengal Assembly Subrata Bose and party’s MP and general secretary Debabrat Biswas made the announcement while talking to mediapersons after participating in a seminar, “Reconstruct India in Netaji’s way and what happened to Netaji”.

The seminar was organised by the Netaji Probe and Research Foundation, Ropar, here today.

Mr Biswas said the seminar had been organised to drum up support for the campaign as well as evolve alternative foreign, economic, agriculture, education and industrial policies. He said eight papers on different themes would be placed before people during the campaign.

Mr Bose and Mr Biswas alleged that the NDA government was going back on the word of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishan Advani to extend full cooperation to the Justice Mukherjee Commission going into the death of Netaji.

They said the attitude of the NDA government was similar to that of the Congress which could not unravel the mystery on Netaji’s disappearance during its four-decade rule in the country.

Rejecting government’s ground of “disclosure affecting” the relations with “friendly countries” on holding back the “classified” information,” Mr Biswas said the information should be provided to the countrymen.

He said the city was amongst Delhi, Kolkata, Cuttack, Hyderabad, Chennai and Bangalore, besides other places, where such seminars had been organised.

Earlier, speakers at the seminar, including the two Forward Block leaders, spoke at length about Netaji’s philosophy. They said the Netaji’s mantra of “unity, sacrifice and faith” still held solution to large number of problems facing the country.

Brig Harwant Singh (retd), who inaugurated the seminar, said the role of Netaji in getting India free was bigger than that of the Congress, Gandhi and Nehru.

Netaji’s associate Niranjan Singh Talib’s daughter Ranbir Kaur, Foundation Chairman V.P. Saini, Punjab Deputy Advocate General N.S. Sitta, Principal National College for Girls S.M. Verma and Punjab unit President of Forward Block, M.V. Sharma spoke on the occasion.

The gathering included participants from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. A child student, Bebashish Ghosh, was honoured by Mr Bose for bringing out a painting book of national heroes.



A journey to discover himself
Tribune News Service

Navtej SarnaChandigarh, July 20
The high-profile spokesman of the Ministry of External Affairs would surely have rediscovered himself with “We Weren’t Lovers Like That”. Every writer who attempts listing facts in the language of fiction faces a challenge and runs the risk of being run down by the highly critical world.

However, Navtej Sarna did not have to make an extra effort to reach out to the readers.

In the city on Saturday on an invitation from the Chandigarh Sahitya Akademi, Sarna read out portions from his book, which opened to rave reviews.

Written in various instalments, the novel is the diplomat’s second work of fiction. He earlier wrote short stories, compiled under the title of Polish folktales.

An extension of his earlier work, “We Weren’t Lovers Like That”, revolves around Aftab Chandra, a middle-aged executive, and in the words of Sarna, “around complex, intricate nature of human relations, the choices we make, the regrets we have and the manner we deal with mistakes and handle them”.

In totality his work is about “facing weaknesses and daring to hope even when everything seems to be lost”. The writer says, “I hope it is not all depression.

There are shades of brightness in the work. As I wrote the novel, the story changed, acquired fresh dimensions but the essential character did not change. His attitude remained the same”. Armed with a crisp title, the novel is a result of three years of labour. 



SPCA comes to horse’s rescue
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 20
Amidst talks of cruelty against animals and their rights, a horse hit by a vehicle lay unattended bleeding profusely and writhing in pain for hours on the road separating Sectors 8 and 17.

It lay unattended as the local veterinary doctors and MC officials were away, reportedly accompanying Chief Minister’s son, Abhey Singh Chautala, on the latter’s tour of Morni block. The local police, too, said that they could do nothing as it was the MC’s job to take care of stray animals. The Wildlife Department said horses were not covered under the Wildlife Act, and instead recommended the name of the People’s for Animals and the Society For Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to lift the injured animal.

However when the PFA was called for help, the attendant on the phone said their driver was away so they could not provide immediate help. He, however, said they would lift the injured animal the next morning.

After four hours of agony, the horse was finally removed by a team of SPCA, Chandigarh.

The President of the SPCA, Mr Jasbir Ralhan, said though the accident did not occur in their jurisdiction, they had taken away the animal for treatment.



Dupatta becomes her noose

Panchkula, July 20
A 54 -year-old woman died in a freak accident on the road dividing Sector 11 and 4 this evening. The victim was riding pillion on a motor cycle, when her dupatta got entangled in the rear wheel of the motor cycle.

The victim, Rama Shourie, fell from the mobike and received severe head injuries. She was rushed to the Sector 6 hospital , from where she was referred to the PGI, Chandigarh. She died on way to the hospital.

Rama Shourie, a resident of Sector 21, was going to SAS Nagar along with her son, Sandeep Shourie, when the accident took place. TNS



Gold jewellery worth Rs 80,000 stolen

Chandigarh, July 20
Deepak Sharma, a resident of Sector 43, has reported that gold ornaments worth Rs 80,000, one VCR, CD player, one camera and Rs 6,000 in cash were stolen from his residence on Saturday. A case under Sections 454 and 380 of the IPC has been registered in Sector-36 police station in this regard.

Held for gambling: The local police has arrested Saroj Singh of Maloya Colony from  the mini-market of the colony on the charge of gambling and recovered Rs 580 from his possession. A case under Sections 13A, 3 and 67 of the Gambling Act has been registered against him.

590 pouches of whisky seized: The local police has arrested Om Prakash of Vakeel Pura, Karnal, from Sector-24 and recovered 590 pouches of Soorma Whisky from his possession. A case under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act has been registered against him in Sector-11 police station.

Cars stolen: Two cars have been stolen from the city during the past 24 hours. Anil Kumar of Sector 44C has reported that his car (CH-18 (T)-6817) was stolen from his residence on Saturday night.

Naveen Sondhi, another resident of Sector 43 here, reported that his car (CH02-T-8179) was stolen from his residence on Saturday night.

The police has registered both cases under Sections 379 of the IPC. — TNS


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