Monday, August 11, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Three cops held for extortion
Tribune News Service

The Superintendent of Police, Mr Ranbir Singh Sharma, said during the past 10 months, 11 cops posted in the district had been dismissed from service for misdemeanours or dereliction of duty. 

Panchkula, August 10
Three policemen posted at a Police Control Room (PCR) jeep in Kalka have been arrested on charges of “extorting entry fee” from truckers entering Haryana from Himachal Pradesh.

The accused — Head Constable Ram Karan, Constable Mewa Singh from the Haryana Armed Police (First Battalion), and Constable Driver Rajinder Singh — were allegedly demanding and accepting an “entry fee” of Rs 50 from each trucker entering Kalka. The PCR jeep they were manning was stationed near the Kali Mata temple near the interstate border.

It was alleged that the policemen stopped all trucks and canters that entered the district last night and allowed them to move on only after receiving the “fee.” The extortion was reportedly going on for over three days. The Superintendent of Police, Mr Ranbir Singh Sharma, said he had received complaints from truckers about the extortion by policemen and decided to catch them red-handed.

The Kalka DSP, Mr Rajesh Duggal, was asked to investigate into the matter last night.

Mr Duggal, instead of using his official car, went in his private car to catch the accused red-handed. On reaching the scene, he saw four trucks parked on the interstate border with the PCR jeep blocking their way. Once the DSP saw a trucker paying money, he immediately reached there and nabbed the policemen.

Two of the truckers — Anil Kumar from Narnaund (canter number HR-39-6484) and Madan Lal from Hamirpur (canter number HR-14- 6497), who had been forced to shell out the “entry fee”— were later convinced by senior police officers in Kalka to lodge a complaint against the guilty policemen. A case of extortion has been registered against the three policemen and they have been arrested.

Meanwhile, the SP has warned all policemen in the district of strict action in case any complaint of bribery or extortion was received against them. He informed that the accused policemen have been placed under suspension.

It may be noted that this is not an isolated case of its kind. In November last year, an Assistant Sub-Inspector of Police, Bashir Ahmed, who was posted at the Mansa Devi police post, was arrested after he demanded a bribe of Rs 1,500 from a Non-Resident Indian.

The district police again came under fire following the assault on a married couple near the Tawa chowk on the night of April 17. A police party, led by an Assistant Sub-Inspector, had assaulted a youth, Mahavir Sharma, and his wife, Monica, after mistaking them as “lovers showing affection in public.”

Mahavir’s elder brother, Sudhir, who had intervened while Mahavir was being beaten up by the policemen, was also detained.

In another case, two cops posted at Sector 19 police station had attempted to molest a woman and frame her husband in a criminal case. The couple were the caretakers of Rotary Bhavan, Panchkula.

Mr Ravinder Rawal, the media incharge of the District Congress Committee, while commenting on the need for policing of the police force, said the police should maintain cordial relations with the residents and have a more humane face. 



Convicted for graft, JE reinstated by MC
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Clarifying his position, Kuldeep Singh brought on record a court judgement passed in 2000 which says that a mere conviction in the absence of any bad conduct being proved against the officer cannot be made the basis of dismissal.

Quoting from the Punishment and Appeal Rules, 1980, he added that the MC had no power to grant the sanction of prosecution against him. He maintained that as per the rules the government would have to withdraw the case against him. Finally he quoted the rules saying that "a person can only be dismissed if he has served over 48 hours in prison.”

Chandigarh, August 10
In a strange turn of events, a junior engineer, convicted for corruption, has been reinstated by the Municipal Corporation (MC) of Chandigarh. This happens months after the MC, in the wake of Kuldeep Singh’s conviction, chose to dismiss him from service on August 2 last.

The reinstatement comes in the wake of delayed disciplinary proceedings against Kuldeep Singh, who was sentenced to one-year rigorous imprisonment and fined Rs 500 under two Sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act on June 1, 2002.

On deputation from the UT Administration, Kuldeep Singh was caught red-handed accepting illegal gratification in the office of the sub-divisional engineer, Public Health, Division No 15, on December 19, 2000. The UT Vigilance had registered an FIR against him charging him under Sections 7, 13 (2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

Significantly, even though the appeal against the conviction order passed against Kuldeep Singh by the Special Judge, Chandigarh is pending in the High Court, the Municipal Corporation has inducted him back on the plea that he had won the review case filed with the appellate authority. The argument is that since Kuldeep Singh was a UT employee on deputation to the MC, the latter had no authority to dismiss him.

Going in appeal against the MC’s dismissal order, Kuldeep Singh, quoting a Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) judgment had maintained that since he belonged to the UT, the MC had no right to dismiss him. And whereas the appellate authority, Secretary, Local government-cum-Home Secretary, UT, who heard Kuldeep Singh’s case, maintained in his March 7, 2003 order that while the dismissal orders were set aside, the Finance Secretary (FS)-cum-Secretary, Engineering, UT may initiate disciplinary proceedings afresh against him

When contacted, Chief Engineer, Mr V.K. Bhardwaj said, “Kuldeep Singh is being reinstated in view of the orders passed by the UT Home Secretary.

“We have sought legal opinion on the matter.” When told that the departmental proceedings against Kuldeep Singh were still pending he said, “As of now there is no action against him.”

The inquiry against Kuldeep Singh has been pending since March 7, 2003, when the Home Secretary, UT, had directed the authorities concerned to initiate fresh disciplinary proceedings against him.

Strangely, the UT did not induct Kuldeep Singh, despite the fact that many posts of JE and Sub Division Engineer are vacant in its Engineering Department.



Verdict withheld is justice denied
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 10
Even though the Supreme Court has ruled that the “pronouncement of judgement is a part of the justice dispensation system” and “should be done without delay”, verdict is still being pronounced months after the conclusion of arguments in so many cases.

Though data is not available, sources in the Punjab and Haryana High Court maintain that there are several cases in which the orders have been reserved, but judgements not delivered for months.

The Supreme Court had ruled, “On noticing that after the conclusion of the arguments, the judgement is not pronounced within a period of two months, the Chief Justice (CJ) concerned shall draw the attention of the Bench concerned to the pending matter....

“Where a judgement is not pronounced within three months from the date of reserving it, any of the parties in the case is permitted to file an application in the High Court with prayer for early judgement....

“If the judgement for any reason is not pronounced within a period of six months, any of the parties shall be entitled to move an application before the CJ of the High Court with a prayer to withdraw the case and make it over to any other Bench for fresh arguments. It is open for the CJ to grant the prayer or to pass any other order as he deems fit in the circumstances.”

But in a case pertaining to the Sikh Gurdwara Judicial Commission, the ruling came in September, 2002, about one and a half years after the initial conclusion of the arguments.

In another case filed by relatives of Shaheed Bhagat Singh challenging the screening of films on the martyrs’ life, the orders were reserved in February, the final pronouncement was made in July.

The examples are many, reasons to quote them few. Though delay in the pronouncement of judgements after reserving the orders is not unknown, the courts can hardly be blamed for it.

In the Punjab and Haryana High Court itself, there are just 27 judges against the sanctioned strength of 40. The problem is straining the legal system and judges that staff it. Though figures are not available, over two lakh cases were pending until recently.

In an attempt to reduce the backlog, the judges are now working overtime. That is, perhaps, the reason why the judges reserve the orders after hearing the arguments at length, but find little time left for dictating the orders.

It was in 1991 that guidelines on expeditious pronouncement of judgements were laid by the Supreme Court. Pronouncing the orders in August 2001 on a bunch of appeals filed in a murder case by Anil Rai and others against the state of Bihar, the Supreme Court had ruled, “It is true that for the High Courts, no period of pronouncement of judgement is contemplated either under the Civil Procedure Code or the Criminal Procedure Code, but as the pronouncement of the judgement is a part of the justice dispensation system, it has to be without delay.”

Mr Justice R.P. Sethi had further ruled, “Justice should not only be done, but should also appear to have been done. Similarly, whereas justice delayed is justice denied, justice withheld is even worse than that.... Delay in the disposal of an appeal on account of inadequate number of judges, insufficiency of infrastructure, strikes of the lawyers and circumstances attributable to the state is understandable. But once the entire process of participation in the justice delivery system is over and the only thing to be done is the pronouncement of judgement, no excuse can be found to further delay for the adjudication of the rights of the parties, particularly when it affects any of their rights conferred by the Constitution under Part III.” 



SPIC MACAY ropes in great masters for Virasat-2003
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 10
After investing 26 years of his life in promoting an awareness of the rich cultural tapestry of India among the youth, Dr Kiran Seth feels he has just scratched the surface as yet. In the city today for SPIC MACAY’s north zone convention which concluded with finalisation of this year’s classical performance schedule and enrollment of 100 new members, Dr Seth did not sound very satisfied with the impact of the conservation campaign.

In fact, he admitted that he often felt as if he was fighting a lost battle. “Recently when I met Kishori Amonkar in Mumbai, she shared a similar concern with me. She said too many people were singing and dancing but how many of them were actually singing and dancing. We have virtually lost commitment for our traditional arts. The earlier generation, represented by Kishori Amonkar, Pt Bhimsen Joshi, Pt Hariprasad Chaurasia and others, had a different attitude towards learning and practicing classical Indian traditions. Nowadays, the performers sing for their supper, not for their upliftment. That is why even the classical traditions are facing commercialisation of sorts.”

After deciding upon the yearly circuit for Virasat-2003 in which stalwarts of the order of Pt Rajan, Sajan Mishra, Guru Singhajeet Singh, Ustad Fahimuddin Dagar, Pt Debu Chowdhary and Bharati Shivaji will perform, Dr Seth found time to talk about the reasons behind the declining popularity of the classical arts. “After so many years I must admit that we have just been able to create awareness among the youth regarding a rich Indian heritage which is worthy of a look at least. But I must admit that our success has been marginal. I need another 26 years to help you and myself see the change,” said Dr Seth.

Adding that during his campaign of conserving the rich traditions, he has faced the greatest difficulty in popularising the introspective arts like Dhrupad, Kuduyattam and instrumental been, Dr Seth said, “Our classical Indian concerts have been the most popular. For all the rest we continue to struggle for widening the base and penetrating more young hearts. Through our scholarship scheme, which invites entries from people between 12 and 25 years of age, we are sending youngsters in the company of the greatest of gurus. Those who are selected after a rigorous selection process get to spend a summer month with masters like the Dalai Lama, Kelucharan Mahapatra, Habib Tanveer, Teejan Bai, Anjolie Ela Menon and many more. This year’s scholarships will be announced later.”

Having himself learnt the tanpura from each of the seven Dagar brothers, Dr Seth is now all set to spread the wings of SPIC MACAY by introducing new modules. Addressing the people who gathered at the Panjab University for the North Zone convention today, Dr Seth assigned duties for modules like talks, classic films, Walk with eminent historians, yoga and meditation, crafts, environment and theatre. Main coordinators for SPIC MACAY programmes in the North will be Dr Jerath and Prof Harish Bhatia, among others.

Dr Seth added, “Ours is not an organisation that believes in building archives of Indian traditions. Many of the world’s greatest civilisations have been confined to museums. That is the last thing we want to happen to our civilisation. Ours are living arts and we need to bear the torch so that the future generations don’t lose touch with roots. It is important that Sanskrit is revived and sustained at academic level, because most of our heritage has been recorded in this language.”

The convention was attended by people from all over Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, and Haryana.



Bus hits truck, triggers chaos
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, August 10
At least six persons were injured, three of them seriously, in a freak accident in the Industrial Area here this afternoon.
The accident occurred when a bus jumped the lights at a crossing and hit a truck. The truck driver lost control of the vehicle and rammed into a rehriwallah and a rickshaw before falling into a low-lying khud alongside the road.

The bus driver, despite injured passengers in the bus, fled but was caught near the Balongi chowk by the police. The bus was on its way to Amritsar.

The story did not end there. Another truck coming in the direction of the bus slowed down suddenly on seeing a crowd at the accident site, hitting a young cyclist tailing the truck.

While the injured have been admitted to the PGI, the bus driver has been arrested and the two vehicles impounded by the police.

Interestingly, the drivers of the two trucks and their cleaners also ran away abandoning the vehicles.

Among those in serious condition at the PGI are the rehriwallah, Veerpal, Ashok Kumar and Lajjyo, both of whom were travelling in the rickshaw, and Baldev Singh, the rickshaw-puller.

Paramjit Kaur, a bus passenger, and Raj Kumar, the cyclist, were discharged after first-aid. The injured were first taken to the Civil Hospital here and later shifted to the PGI.

Almost an hour after the accident when the truck was being removed from the khud with the help of a crane, a woman living in a slum colony nearby came looking of her ‘lost’ child, alleging that her child had been crushed under the truck when it fell into the khud.

A search was started fro the child with labourers called to dig the earth under the truck. But nothing was found under the truck.

The family of the child was told to look for the child elsewhere.

The police has registered a case against the bus driver and detained him.



Jats seek quota on Rajasthan pattern
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 10
The All-India Jat Mahasabha today demanded reservation to the Jats across the country on the pattern of Rajasthan.
A resolution to this was unanimously passed at its meeting held today at Bharatpur in Rajasthan, convener of the mahasabha Ramvir Singh Verma told The Tribune on telephone.

The mahasabha also resolved to launch an agitation on the pattern of Rajasthan against state and Central governments if they put hurdles in the reservation for Jats at the national level and in the states.

A resolution for the reservation to Jats was moved by Mr Padam Singh, scion of the former princely state of Magraura in Madhya Pradesh.

The resolution also supported reservation to the poor amongst forward castes and demanded an amendment in the Constitution.

The mahasabha appointed Maharaja of former princely state of Bharatpur and BJP MP Vishvendra Singh and former Director-General of Rajasthan police Gian Prakash Pilania as patrons of the mahasabha.

The meeting of the council of the mahasabha comprising national executive members, state unit presidents, life members, state representatives, active members and former Jat kings, was presided over by its national vice-president Bharat Lal Dagar.

Mr Ramvir Singh informed that the present bodies had been dissolved after the completion of their two-year terms and Mr Dagar appointed the mahasabha acting president to hold fresh elections within two months.



Kargil scam: YC for ouster of NDA Govt
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 10
The President of the Indian Youth Congress, Mr Randeep Singh Surjewala, today demanded that the NDA Government should make public admission of its guilt, tender an apology to the nation and quit before it was swept away in a cloudburst of anger over the “Kargil shame”.

Patent corruption, malfeasance of public funds and a politico-bureaucratic-contractor nexus in the purchase of coffins, gloves, woollen socks, boots, jackets, arms and ammunition during “Operation Vijay” stood unabashedly exposed, the YC chief said.

Mr George Fernandes, Defence Minister, could not hoodwink the people by his meek and fake claims of innocence in view of overwhelming evidence available in a report of the Comptroller and Auditor-General (November 10, 2001) and a report of the Central Vigilance Commission (March 31, 2001).

The refusal of the Defence Ministry to furnish the CVC report to the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament had only compounded the guilt of Mr Fernandes and the Vajpayee government, reinforcing the belief that the government was involved in a cover-up of its corrupt deeds by subverting the institutions of parliamentary democracy.




The controversy over the presence of pesticides and insecticides in major soft drink brands is resulting in some interesting incidents. Earlier, a Public Relation Officer of a leading bank in the city used to offer cold drinks to the media persons, though the bottles were kept under lock. He would often say:‘‘ My peons and lower rank employees would consume all the drinks within a day if the bottles are not locked.’’

However, now since most of the media persons hesitate to take drinks, the PRO has asked his staff to take as much drinks as they desired. But he was surprised, when he found that no one had touched the soft drink bottles though there was no lock.

Two cities

The tourists coming to the city are often attracted by the beautiful gardens, Sukhna lake, Rock garden and other places in the Northern sectors. But the residents of the Southern sectors complain that the municipal authorities do not pay due attention to the roads and streetlights in these sectors. It results in accidents on roads, incidents of snatching in the dark and other crimes.

Some delegates, who had recently come here to participate in a workshop on banking sector, were amazed to see the beauty of the gardens and the lake. But one of them who had to stay in Sector 47, said, ‘‘ It seems that there are two cities in Chandigarh — one is North Chandigarh, the other is South one. The road from Sector 32 to 47 has so many potholes and bumps that one forgets whether one is visiting the same city.’’


Watching birds and clouds are pleasant exercises and take the participants close to nature.

After organising bird-watching activities for more than two decades, the Environment Society of India last week launched another pursuit, “Cloudwatching”, for the members of school eco-clubs under the National Green Corps (NGC) in the states of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and the Union Territory of Chandigarh.

There are some simple terms to identify the clouds which appear in three shapes. Cumulus clouds are heaped and puffy, while “stratus” clouds are layered. Cirro or cirrus clouds are wispy and seen above 6,000 metres. Middle clouds are “Alto” (2000-6000 metres) and low clouds are below 2000 metres. They are dark, produce rain and are designated as “Nimbus”. Nimbostratus produce steady rain “Cumulonimbus” produce heavy precipitation.

The movement of clouds has inspired the writers and poets. These include evergreen songs of yesteryear like “Sawan ke Badlo” by Zohra Bai Ambalewali and Karan Dewan in film “Rattan” (1994) “Barso Re” by Khusheed in the film Tansen” (1943), “Badariya baras gayee us par” by Khusheed, Mukesh and Hamida in film “Moorti” (1945), “Oh, Varsha ke Pehle Badal” by Jagmohan in the film “Meghdoot (1943).

Prof Kanwar Mohan

Prof Kanwar Mohan, a former in charge of the Squint Clinic at the local PGIMER, has come recently from Indonesia after participating in the tenth national congress and the annual meeting of the Indonesian Opthalmologists Association at Yogyakarta.

Professor Mohan, currently working at a leading local eye institute, delivered three lectures. These included : surgical treatment of abducens; surgical treatment of Duiane’s retraction syndrome; and pearls and pitfall in Strabismus surgery.

Professor Mohan is the general secretary of the Strabismological Society of India. Last year(2002), he had presented papers on squint at the conference of the International Strabismological Association at Sydney (Australia).

Pension payments

Keeping in view the hardship faced by the pensioners while availing pension from disbursing bank branches, the Directorate of Public Grievances, Cabinet Secretariat, Government of India, has intimated that banks should initiate urgent steps to improve the environment, service and facilities at bank branches so that senior citizens do not face any hardship.

For the last some few months the government has been receiving complaints and one of the common hardship faced by the pensioners is the indifferent and often unhelpful attitude of some of the bank officials.

At certain places, the pension disbursement desk is located in the basement or on a floor other than the ground floor which causes avoidable inconvenience to these elderly clients. The pensioners is large numbers visit the branches in the first week of every month. But adequate sitting arrangements and other facilities like cold drinking water etc, are not available at branches.

Banks have been advised to ensure proper additional sitting arrangements during rush days by putting up shamianas etc, if it is considered necessary. In case of need water should also be provided at the branches besides opening additional counters to ease rush, according to Mr S.C. Dhall, a banker.

— Sentinel



Fill quota seats, demand physically challenged
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 10
Struggling hard to survive in a city which is not friendly to the disabled at least 200 physically challenged persons have united under the umbrella of the Handicapped Welfare Association to demand the implementation of the Person With Disability Act , 1995, in its true spirit.

The members who feel that even after a decade since the Act came into existence, the Administration has yet to implement the Act in its real sense, have chalked out a 14-point demand charter that include filling of the 3 per cent employment quota seats for physically challenged in all government establishment.

“We have raised 14 demands in our agenda which were approved in our general body meeting held here today,” said Mr Pritpal Singh Bilha, President of the Handicapped Welfare Association. The association members have already approached the UT Administrator, Justice O.P. Verma (retd), with their demands.

“According to the employment quota allotted by the PWD Act, 1995, which amounts to 3 per cent, Chandigarh alone has about 600 posts for the physically challenged but so far only 50 of them have been adjusted in various government offices so far,” said Mr Bilha.

The association is also asking for preference in allotting booths in all the markets and STD and photostat counters in colleges, the PGI and the University . Citing an example of a disabled person whose tender for continuing his PCO at the PGI was discontinued this year after running his business in the same venue for past 12 years, Mr Bilha said the disabled should get special preference. “With the steady increase in the population of the physically challenged, the Administration should take special care to provide us the right kind of employment opportunity,” said Mr Darshan Singh, a 50-year-old physically challenged person who runs a tailoring shop from his residence in Sector 15.

Another major problem the association is planning to fight against is the unfriendly attitude of the Social Welfare Department employees. “Majority of the employees use foul language when we approach them and most of the time we are denied an opportunity to see the higher official when we approach with some problem,” said Mr Bilha.



Verma lauds Church’s role in education
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 10
Appreciating the efforts of the Christian community in spreading education and message of peace, religious heads and other dignitaries present at a public meeting today felicitated the members of St Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Church in Sector 46 for their role in organising charity activities.

The “senior-most” members of the church were also honoured during the meeting organised as a part of the church’s silver jubilee celebrations, besides the episcopal golden jubilee of its supreme head Moran Mar Baselios Marthoma Mathews-II. Delhi Diocese Metropolitan Job Mar Philoxenos presided over the meeting.

Addressing the gathering Justice O.P. Verma, UT Administrator and Punjab Governor, called upon the Churches to ensure teaching of “qualitative English”. Describing English as “the only language linking the world”, he asserted that fruitful results of globalisation could only be achieved if “we were able to communicate with people living in other parts of the world”.

Quoting an example, he said Mizoram had 100 per cent literacy, but the children had difficulty conversing in English. Regarding the community’s role in spreading education, the Governor appreciated that the members were not only imparting education, they were also making it accessible to everyone around.

He said even in the remotest corner of the country there was a Church and an educational institute established by it — convent or otherwise.

Delhi Diocese Metropolitan Job Mar Philoxenos added that they were not involved in “physical conversions”. Conversion, he explained, meant “transformation from evil to good”.

The church, according to the members, has granted Rs 1 lakh from its funds for charity. The church was also providing financial assistance for education and medical care. Blood donation and free medical camps were being organised. It was also involved in donating artificial limbs to the physically challenged. Sewing machines and wheelchairs had also been distributed. The parish, established in 1977, has completed 25 years.

The celebrations also marked the golden jubilee of the supreme head of the church, who turned 90. Moran Mar Baselios Marthoma Mathews II thanked the people of Punjab, especially Chandigarh, for their blessings and encouragement to continue the sacred mission of the church in this part of the country.

Among those who felicitated the bishop were the Secretary of the Institute of Sikh Studies, Chandigarh branch, Dr Kharak Singh, Imam of the Chandigarh Jama Masjid, Maulana Mohammed Ajmal Khan, Mar Gregorios Church in Ludhiana, T.A. Mathews, Vicar-General of Catholic Church of Sector 19, Father Thomas Anchanickal, the IG (Vigilance), Haryana Vidyut Prasaran Nigam, Dr John V. George. Mr Thomas Zachariah proposed a vote of thanks.



Speech recognition will help catch terrorists
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 10
After succeeding in identifying voices of those involved in the December 13 attack on Parliament that led to their conviction, the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) here is developing a software to catch criminals using dialects as disguise.

The multi-language multi-dialect software will inter-match various voice samples. Criminals, especially terrorists, often disguise their voices during interrogation to make these sound different from the voice samples collected from the crime spot.

Codenamed ‘Language Independent Speaker Identification’, the software will be based on an established technique of computerised voice analysis. “To confuse investigators, Kashmiri terrorists are trained to speak in various languages and dialects “said an official of a Central intelligence agency.

The new “smart” software will match voice samples with any of the major languages in the country. Dr S.K. Jain, Assistant Director at the CFSL, said: “We are taking voice samples from three main language groups — Indo-Arayan, Dravidian and Tibeto-Burma. Initially, the software will detect nine main languages and 10 dialects.”

Dr Jain said, in forensic situations, text of the conservation on questioned and controlled speech samples were matched through a computerised technique of speaker identification. A questioned sample is the one taken at the time of a crime and the controlled sample is taken in police custody.

Other scientists at the CFSL said, in this era of modern technology, various high-tech facilities were used by kidnapper, extortionists, drug peddlers, match fixers and terrorists. In such cases, suspects in police custody disguise their voices. The task is to determine the speaker of a given utterance.

The laboratory equipped with facilities for speech enhancement, feature extraction, feature compensation, modelling and identification can separately read the audio and video tracks of a compact dist (CD) like it was done in case of the Mayawati CDs. The CFSL proved that the recordings were doctored. The samples of a video recording of S.S. Bhardwaj, a Judge facing corruption charges were also matched with the controlled samples of his voice by scientists at the CFSL.



Laugh your blues away
Parbina Rashind

Chandigarh, August 10
The person who coined the phrase ‘laughter is the best medicine’ knew what he was talking about. India’s first-ever “guru of giggling” Dr. Madan Kataria who started the first Laughter Club in India and has popularised the concept the world over is in town.

Dr Kataria, along with his life partner as well as partner in the Laughter Club venture, Madhuri today addressed a seminar on the benefits of laughter organised by the Chandigarh chapter of the club at Parshuram Bhavan in Sector 37.

The event was marked by a shooting session by Swiss filmmaker Thomas Luchinger, who is making a documentary on Dr Kataria.

Dr Kataria has redefined the concept of the laughing. “Earlier, I was too preoccupied with the medicinal properties of laughter. But a phone call from women in Mumbai made me realise that laughter for laughing sake is all right as far as health is concerned, but there has to be a spirit attached to the exercise for making a person a complete human being,” said Dr Kataria in an interview.

Recalling his early days when he started the practice of laughing at public places, he said: ”I hit upon the idea of using laughter as a medicine after research on the subject to write a paper for a health journal. The idea came to me at about 3 am and, could not wait for the dawn so that I could go out for my morning stroll and practice laughter.”

A general medicine practitioner, Dr Kataria was ridiculed for his adventure but he managed to find four followers when he described his idea to 400 people in his locality.

“We started laughing by cracking jokes but soon we ran out of staff who could make us laugh. So I went into research again and found that induced laughter, which has got nothing to do with joy, secretes the same enzymes which have negative effects on stress as well as strengthen the immune system,” he said.

Once the concept caught the attention of the BBC, the CNN, the National Geography channel and the Wall Street Journal it spread like wild fire. Now there are 200 laughing clubs, 140 of which are in India and the rest across the globe the USA, Australia, the UK, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany, France, Belgium, Italy and Singapore.

The author of “Laugh for No Reason” , Dr Kataria is ready with his next book titled “Spirit of Laughter.” In today’s world there is not much reason to be happy. But one has to learn to drop tension and worries and laugh a while. True happiness is an intricate and long-drawn process, but one can always find time to laugh so that when one returns to normal routine, he is more than equipped face his worries,” he experienced.

What has Laughter Club brought him in terms of financial gain. “I am laughing my way to the bank,” said Dr Kataria. With invitations pouring in from corporate sectors in India and abroad to address seminars, and motivation programmes all over the world, there can be little doubt on his statement.



Another girl scooterist dies in mishap

Chandigarh, August 10
Another girl driving a two-wheeler without a helmet lost her life in a road accident in Sector 45 last evening. Seventeen-year-old, Mandeep Kaur was killed when an autorickshaw reportedly rammed into her scooter (CHO1N 9903) at 8 pm yesterday.

With severe head injuries, she was rushed to Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, where she died. The autorickshaw driver fled abandoning the autorickshaw. The victim was a resident of Sector 71, SAS Nagar.

According to the police, the girl was going towards SAS Nagar from Chandigarh after attending a tuition class when the accident took place. A case has been registered against the autorickshaw driver and the vehicle impounded.

A scooterist, Jagdev Singh, was injured when he was hit by a car (HP13-0033), near Shastri Market, Sector 22, here yesterday. The car driver fled the spot.

Mr Ravi Kumar of Mandi Complex, Sector 70, was injured when a car (PB10-R-0939) rammed into his Maruti Zen car near the traffic lights at Sectors 17 and 18 on Friday. In this case also the driver fled the spot.

Meanwhile, a Sector 32 family had a narrow escape when their car met with an accident with a CTU bus near the Zirakpur traffic lights today. Mr S.C. Dhall, who was driving the car (CHO3A 7461), alleged that they were going towards Chandigarh when the bus rammed into the rear side of the car. However, Mr Dhall, his wife and two children escaped unhurt. OC



Kranti Jyoti padyatra reaches Panchkula
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 10
Members of the District Congress Committee, led by Mr Chander Mohan, MLA, began Kranti Jyoti padyatra in the Panchkula block here today.
The yatra is a part of a statewide yatra being organised to pay homage to freedom fighters. It was started from Khokhra village yesterday. After passing through Pinjore, it reached Panchkula. Later it reached Ramgarh, where padyatris from Morni, led by Ms Kanak Rekha, and those from Kalka led by Mr S.S. Nanda, joined it. The yatra will pass through Barwala and Raipur Rani blocks tomorrow.

News letter released: The executive committee of the Sector 16 Senior Citizens Council on Sunday released the Independence Day edition of their monthly news letter, the Awaaz. The news letter was released by the Municipal Council President, Ms Seema Chaudhary.

The function began with the audience paying tributes to martyrs of the region, Maj Sandeep Sagar, Maj Sandeep Shankhla and Dy Cdt Joy Lal. This was followed by the senior citizens singing the National Song. Some senior citizens also presented ghazals and nazms.

Among others present on the occasion were Mr R.K. Tulli, Mr C.K. Saini and Mr S.S. Goel.

Inaugurated: Kaiser Hospital, Panchkula, opened the Endocrinology Department here on Sunday. Dr S.K. Mathur has joined as consultant diabetologist and endocrinologist. Speaking to mediapersons, he said the prevalence of diabetes in India is about 12 to 14 per cent. He said people above 45 years of age were more prone to diabetes.

Flat owners’ society: The security, water supply, sanitation and maintenance of Housing Board Complex, Sector 14, has been transferred from the Housing Board Haryana to the Housing Board Flat Owners Maintenance and Welfare Cooperative Society.

A decision to this effect was reached following a meeting of the members of the society and officials of Housing Board, Haryana, led by Superintending Engineer, Mr R.S. Gupta.

Exhibition ends: The two-day exhibition at Manav Mangal School concluded here on Sunday. About 1,500 people visited the annual show. The hard work put in by the students and their teachers reflected in all exhibits which were on display. The glory of Indian festivals depicted by kindergarten children stole the show.

In the primary section, it was the art and craft section which attracted the visitors the most. The social issues raised by children through models and posters on drug abuse, female foeticide, AIDS, dowry and environmental degradation were also appreciated.



Slaughter house proposal opposed
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, August 10
Residents of Luxmi Enclave Colony in Dhakauli village are up in arms against setting up of a slaughter house by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) in Industrial Area Phase-I, Panchkula.

In a letter to the Chief Secretary, Punjab, Deputy Commissioner of Patiala, the Deputy Commissioner, Panchkula and Chief Administrator, HUDA, the Luxmi Enclave Resident Welfare Association, has complained that HUDA has constructed a slaughter house on a piece of land adjacent to the colony.

The association has also complained that HUDA had a plan to open a meat market adjacent to the colony. This would hurt the sentiments of the colony residents because most of them were vegetarians.

Moreover, the proposed site for meat market and the building of slaughter house are just opposite the Sankat Mochan temple.

Mr Gianender Ahlawat, vice-president of the association, said that their requests were turned down by the Panchkula authorities and they were directed to approach the authorities in Patiala.



Amar Bedi taken to hospital, discharged
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, August 10
Mr Amar Bedi, Director, Amarjot Drug De-addiction Centre, was admitted to the Civil Hospital here following severe stomach pain and fever. He is on two days’ police remand following his arrest on Friday.

Mr Bedi was arrested by the SAS Nagar police following allegations by centre inmates that he tortured them mentally and physically as “part of treatment”.

While the police took Mr Bedi back to the police station after three hours of stay in the hospital, sources in the hospital stated that Mr Bedi was given pain-killers. Police sources, however, said Mr Bedi could be undergoing withdrawal symptoms if on drugs.



Canter overturns, driver dead
Our Correspondent

Lalru, August 10
One person was killed on the spot when the vehicle he was driving overturned on the Naraingarh-Ambala highway near Handesra village, 16 km from here, last night.

According the police, Mr Gujraj Singh, the canter (HR-21-5150) driver, was transporting vegetables from Sirmaur in Himachal Pradesh to Hisar in Haryana when he met with the accident. The vehicle reportedly hit a tree on the road and then overturned. The police has started inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the Cr PC.



3 cases of robbery solved
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, August 10
The police claims to have solved cases of three robberies, in which two persons were killed, with the arrest of six members of Bawaria gang active in the area. The gangsters were brought on production warrants from the Nabha police yesterday.

The gang members — Dhan Singh, Bhim Singh, Lekh Raj, Godhan Singh, Sher Singh and Som Pal — were arrested by the Patiala police while they were attempting another robbery at Nabha on August 4. During interrogation, the robbers admitted to having committed robberies in Zirakpur and Lalru areas.

The police said the robbers struck at the house of Mr V.S. Mishra at Hills View Colony of Dhakauli village near Zirakpur on the night of January 4. Armed with iron rods and batons, the robbers killed Deepak Mishra and left five members of the family, including a three-year-old girl, seriously injured. They decamped with gold and silver ornaments worth thousands of rupees, besides a sum of Rs 8,000.

The gang later struck at a newly constructed house at Dehar village, nearly 1 km from Lalru, on March 3 midnight. They killed Shadi Ram and injured his wife and son. The family was asleep when the robbers entered the house after scaling the boundary wall.

The gang was also involved in a robbery at the house of Ms Neelam Bakhshi at Lalru Mandi.


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