Wednesday, August 20, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Pregnant woman strangled
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 19
A 20-year-old married woman was strangled by her jilted lover at her jhuggi in Sector 15 today.

The victim, Ashrana, who was four months’ pregnant, was strangled with a salwar. The accused, Vakil, a first cousin of the victim, was annoyed at her refusal to marry him against her brother’s wishes.

The incident took place around 6 pm, when the victim was in the jhuggi along with her nine-year-old sister Ivrana and seven-year-old brother Aamir. Her elder brother Razi Ahmed and sister-in-law Shehnaz, were away to work.

Ivrana, an eye witness, said Vakil came to their jhuggi and asked her to leave after threatening her with dire consequences. “He was so furious that I got scared and ran away I hid in the bushes for almost one hour till I saw him leave, “ she said.

Ivrana says that when she came back she saw that her sister was lying on the bed and her body was covered by a sheet of cloth. “I sensed that something was wrong and rushed to find bhabhi and bhaiya. They immediately came home and saw that Ashrana was dead,” she said.

Talking to TNS, the victim’s elder sister, Shahana, said, “They were migrant labourers from Badayun in Uttar Pradesh.” Ashrana was married to Jhunan last year. However, the couple had some problems and three months ago she came back to Ahmed. It was for the past two months that Vakil, who is our maternal uncle’s son , and married to our paternal aunt’s daughter, took a liking for Ashrana and had been pestering Ahmed to get them married. Since he was already married to our cousin we did not agree, though he promised to divorce his wife.”

Ahmed said Vakil had kidnapped his sister last week and kept her in illegal confinement for four days before he traced them at Maheshpur village near here. “Even today Vakil went to a house in Sector 10, where my wife and Ashrana work, and forcibly tried to take Ashrana away. She refused saying that she would not marry him against our wishes,” he added.

A case has been registered under Section 302 of the IPC.


Carrier of diseases
Our Correspondent

Mubarikpur, August 19
Water-borne diseases can break out in Morthikari and its surrounding villages. The residents of the area complain that contamination in the water supply is very high in the morning. Supply of drinking water, containing larvae, has been continuing for the past over one month, they add.

The taps run water containing a large number of larvae, worms and insects in the morning. The number of the insects decreases as the day advances, claims Mr Avtar Singh, a resident of Morthikari village.

Residents of the area complain that a Public Health Department water tubewell at Kakrali village has no treatment facility. This water is supplied to Morthikari, Daffarpur and Kakrali villages.

Ms Kamlesh Kumari, sarpanch of Morthikari village, complains chlorine tablets have not been distributed among the residents. It has been long since the water tank was cleaned, she adds.

The officials of Public health department at Dera Bassi, were not available for comments. 


Is Fortis inn a hotel? PUDA is out to know
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, August 19
The Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) has marked an inquiry into the alleged violation of terms of allotment of land by Fortis Heart Institute here.

According to sources in PUDA, the Estate Officer has been asked to inquire if the Rehabilitation Inn of the Institute is being used as a “hotel” for persons other than whose patients are undergoing treatment in the hospital.

PUDA had allotted over 7 acres of land to the hospital at subsidised rates in 1997. The land was allotted for the purpose of the construction of a hospital and services subservient to patient care. The hospital built a rehabilitation inn to cater to the attendants of patients.

However, according to sources the rehabilitation inn is being used by persons who do not have patients being treated in the hospital. In such cases, the rehabilitation inn is being used as a “hotel”. Sources also pointed out that more than 15 rooms have been booked for a long duration for use by executives of Infosys here.

It is learnt that the Estate Officer today sent a team of his field staff to the hospital to physically check the bookings register of the rehabilitation inn and compare these with the list of patients in the hospital. Sources in PUDA further stated that if it is proven on record that the site has been misutilised, the institute can be slapped with a heavy penalty.

Meanwhile, according to Ashish Bhatia, Director (Administration) of the institute, the hospital is committed to patients centric values and the focus has been to benefit them. ‘‘Our priority at the Fortis Inn has always been the patients and their attendants. On few occasions, we have given spare rooms to other people, however, that has been in cases when there have been no requirement from our patients,’’ he said.


Dr Jaggi’s cure for conjunctivitis
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 19
Dr Jagdish Jaggi, a local homoeopath, has claimed to have prepared a solution, which can cure eye flu (conjunctivitis), within one to three days time.

Based in Sector 37-D, he claimed that the eye drops prepared by him through a special formula, had been found to be successful in over 3,000 cases .”I have been able to evolve this formula after 25 years of research and it has been found to be very effective in treatment of conjunctivitis,” claimed Dr Jaggi.

He added that last year also he had distributed bottles of these eye drops in schools and poor colonies, which had been badly affected by conjunctivitis.


Notice to UT in Jattana case
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 19
A local court today issued a notice to the UT administration to file a reply on the bail application moved by the President of the Student Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU), Khushwaz Singh Jattana, in an attempt to murder case registered against him on August 25.

Three students of Panjab University including Khushwaz Singh Jattana, Sarabjit and Ashwani, had surrendered before the police on August 8 morning in a case of attempt to murder registered against them. The students were presently lodged in the Burail jail.

Challan given to Bhardwaj

A local court today supplied the copy of challan to the suspended Judicial Magistrate S.S Bhardwaj in cases of corruption and escaping from lawful custody.

The CBI had registered a case against Bhardwaj on May 9 this year on the basis of written complaint lodged against him by Gurvinder Singh Samra. 


Devotees bow to dispeller of darkness
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 19
For the residents, there was no confusion about the "exact date" of Janmashthmi celebrations. As the evening sun disappeared behind the buildings, they thronged the temples all over the city for sankirtan and bhajan sandhya. The celebrations continued till after midnight.

Initially the residents were not sure. The calendars hanging on the walls said Janmashthmi was on Wednesday. The offices too were to close on the same day. But some of the temples were celebrating the occasion on Tuesday, that is what they had been told.

The confusion, however, came to an end as melodious bhajans from the temples filled the air. At about 6 pm, the devotees, clutching fruits and flowers in their hands, proceeded towards the temples with flagpoles installed on either sides of the roads. As darkness descended, millions of twinkling bulbs illuminated the temples decked up with bunting, streamers and marigold flowers.

Sankirtan was organised at different temples. At Sri Lakshmi Narayan Mandir in Sector 20 pravachan sankirtan and raas sankirtan were held. Pravachan and sankirtan will also be held at the temple on August 20 from 3 pm to 6 pm and from 8 pm till 12 at midnight. Different tableaux depicting scenes from Lord Krishna's life were set up.

At Sri Shiv Manas Mandir in Industrial Area Phase II, a free eye camp was organised on the occasion. The camp will continue till August 20. According to a press note, Sri Krishna Mahotsav was held at Pracheen Sri Hanuman Mandir in Sector 32. Bhajans and sankirtan were also organised. The temple pandit narrated the story Lord Krishna's birth. Sri Krishna Janmashthmi was celebrated with religious fervour at Sri Krishna Mandir in Sector 33-C also from 8 pm till midnight. Pravachan and kirtan too was organised at the temple.

According to a release, sankirtan and Krishna janam katha was held at Sanatan Dharam Mandir in Sector 46. On August 20, Nand Gram katha will be narrated at the temple from 8 pm to 10 pm. Hundreds of devotees participated in celebrations at Sri Sanatan Dharam Sabha in Sector 23. Early morning Srimad Bhagvadgita havan was held and later during the day sankirtan was organised at the temple. Tableaux were the main attraction.

School Celebrations: Sri Krishna Janmashthmi was not only celebrated in the city temples, but also in schools. Students of St. Joseph's Senior Secondary School in Sector 44 could be seen dressed up in colourful Radha Krishna dresses. They presented Radha Krishna raas. Bhajans were also crooned by the students. Decorated cradle of Lord Krishna was an added attraction.

Tiny tots of Ashiana Public School in Sector 9 sang bhajans . The story of Lord Krishna's birth was narrated to the kids by the teachers. The school was decked up with flowers and diyas for the occasion.

Students of Tender Heart School in Sector 33, dressed up as Radha and Krishna, performed puja and sang hymns. Fancy dress competition was organised at Sanjay Public School in Sector 44 to mark the occasion. Raas-leela was also performed by the kids. The best dressed student of each class was given a prize.

Story of Lord Krishna's birth was narrated to the students at The Little Kingdom nursery school in Sector 8. Students were attired in colourful dresses of Radha and Krishna.

Students of Blue Bird Model School in Sector 16 presented raas-leela at the ISKCON temple in Sector 36. A quiz on the life of Lord Krishna was also conducted at the school. Janmashthmi celebrations were held with great enthusiasm at Holy Child School also.

Ambala: Sri Krishna Janmashthmi was celebrated in Ambala Cantonment and city. Temples were decorated with illuminated lights. Devotees in large numbers visited the temple till midnight. Tableaux were displayed at the temples. Some of the temples had also made arrangements to show the "Mahabharta" serial. The tableaux displayed at the Ram Bagh Shiv Mandir, Kali Mata Mandir and Kotwali Bazar attracted many devotees.

Besides tableaux at Ambala Cantonment in Hathikhana Mandir, Panchdev Mandir, Radha Krishna Mandir, Banke Bihari Mandir and Sanatan Dharam Mandir were also appreciated. 


Shut out by devotees
Monica Sharma

Chandigarh, August 19
For so many old and the destitute, there was no deliverance from the darkness of daily existence even on Janmashthmi. As the residents, clad in their festive best, thronged the temples with flowers in their hands to pray and to celebrate, the poor and the rundown in the old age homes were forced to spend their time alone, as always.

No one visited them on the occasion. "Even though the residents make it a point to visit the abandoned on their own birthdays to donate fruits and other gifts for earning the blessings of the elders, no one thought about the inmates today," asserted a worker with Senior Citizen Home in Sector 43.

Confirming the information, Home's Resident Manager Colonel Kulbir Singh said, "It was just another day for the inmates. No one came to celebrate the occasion with them". Little wonder, they prayed at the home, themselves. Things were not much different for the homeless. Among them was a grandmother, too old to remember her age. Left alone to fend for herself by begging on the Panjab University campus, she was all the time hoping that someone or the other would come and take her to a nearby temple. No, not for begging, but for praying. Her hopes were, nevertheless, shattered in the evening when no one, not even her relatives, came. "All these years, I had been fasting on the festival without any worry at all," she asserted. "In the evenings I had been going to the temple for paying obeisance. That was before I was thrown out of the house by my grandsons after their father's death about two years ago. Today, I went to the temple, but to ask for alms. After all, devotees are liberal".

Dhanraj too was outside the Sector 15 temple, asking money for buying flour with spread hands. "There was a time when I used to visit the temple on a rickshaw, but now the pullers take pity on me and sometimes offer lunch," he claimed. Every year on Janmashthmi, he used to come to the temple with his son before he got married and left for Delhi to earn his livelihood. "He was my only son and it goes without saying I was dependent upon him for support in my old age," he said.

Dhanraj was once running a provision store in a village in Chandigarh, but had to sell it off to settle his son — at least this is what he claims. "But ever since he left for Delhi, there has been no news. I was hoping that he would come here on Janmashthmi, but then.... Only God knows best," he muttered. The circumstances may have crushed the old man, but have not been able to defeat him. "Maybe next year Ramesh will come with his wife and son to celebrate the festival with me," he asserted in a chocked voice.


Celebrations in schools
Tribune Reporters

SAS Nagar, August 19
Students of Golden Bells Public School celebrated Janmashthmi with enthusiasm and gaiety. The students participated in various contests like fancy dress, garland making and tableaux, depicting the childhood of Lord Krishna. Teachers narrated instances from the life of Lord Krishna.

The Principal of the school, Mrs Gurjeet Bawa, addressed the students and encouraged them to follow the teachings of the Bhagvadgita. Among those who won prizes in the various competitions include Sahilpreet, Ankit, Karishma, Ruchi, Parminder, Arbdeep, Harshdeep, Diksha, Ashima, Heena Prabhjot Kaur, Jaspreet, Kanika, Deepak, Shubham, Udayvir, Achint, Rohit and Ankita.

At Sarvhitkari Vidya Mandir Model High School, Sector 71, Janmashthmi was celebrated as ‘Bal Gokulam’ with students dressed as Lord Krishna, Radha, gwalas and gopis. They presented a show, ‘Krishna Jhoola’ and sang bahajan giving the message of love and peace.

Gaurav Sharma of Class IX recited shlokas from the Bhagvadgita, while Mrs Ranjana Verma told the students about the life of Lord Krishna.

Students of Sanjay Public School, here, celebrated Janmashthmi with enthusiasm. Children were dressed as Radha and Krishna with bright colourful dresses, jewellery and mukuts. The school Director, Mrs U. Sethi, distributed prizes to the best dressed children in the school.

A special programme was organised at the Swami Ram Tirath Public High School on Janmashthmi. Students of Class IX and X presented a folk dance, followed by a bhajan presentation by Class VII.

Students of DAV Public School, here, organised a ballet on the theme ‘mayiya mori main nahin makhan khayo’ to mark Janmashthmi. The Principal, Mrs Jaya Bhardwaj, presided over the function.

Sri Krishna Janmashthmi was celebrated at the Sri Krishna Radha mandir, Phase II, with gaiety. The temple was decorated and a ‘kalash’ for the main ‘gumbad’ of the temple was presented by the Kharar, MLA, Mr Bir Devinder Singh. A free medical camp was also organised as a part of the celebrations. The president of the temple, Mr H.S. Thakur, said the existing dharamshala would be expanded in future. An on-the-spot painting competition on the theme of Lord Krishna’s childhood theme was also organised.

PANCHKULA: Janmashthmi was celebrated by various schools in the district with traditional fervour and gaiety. The morning assembly of Delhi Public School, Pinjore, started with the narration of Krishna and Sudama’s friendship, followed by shloka recitation from the Bhagwadgita. Ms Seema Malik, Principal, said a dance on ‘raas leela’ was also presented by the students.

Students of Blue Pearls School, Sector 26, danced on ‘‘Radha kaise na jale’’ and ‘‘kabhi Raam banke kabhi Sham banke’’ to celebrate the festival.

Students of Tiny Tots Montessori School, Sector 12, participated in various cultural items organised on the occasion of Janmashthmi according to the school, Achit Miglani and Sagar Sharma were given prizes for the best dressed Radha and Krishna, respectively. Students of Playschool and Nursery Class of Euro Kids School, Sector 9, visited the Krishna temple in Sector 6.


Be vigilant from within, Verma tells cops
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 19
Identify black sheep in the police by strengthening the internal vigilance system, said the UT Administrator, Justice O.P. Verma (retd), at a meeting to review the law and order situation in the city, here today.

Justice Verma said it was imperative for senior officers to transform and cleanse the police force by motivating and involving lowest rank officials in the reform process.

The Administrator asked the police to intensify night patrolling, maintain ruffian element register in each police station and keep a close check on white collared crimes. He also instructed the Deputy Commissioner to enforce the verification process of domestic servants.

The Administrator asked the Police Department to work out a coordinated plan to curb petty crimes, including chain and mobile snatching, burglaries and thefts in the city. Justice Verma said though there had been an overall decline in the crime rate, increase in petty crimes had to be checked with a firm hand to maintain the faith of the people in the policing system.

Emphasising on more interaction between the police and the people, Justice Verma said this would yield lot of useful information. Moreover, intelligence network had to be strengthened, keeping in view the peculiar situation of the Chandigarh, he said. Justice Verma said persons who were purchasing stolen property had to be identified and dealt with sternly and booked under Section 411 of the IPC.

He said that beat system had to be made more effective and a beat constable should be aware of all that was happening in his beat.

Among those who attended the meeting included the Adviser, the Home Secretary, the Deputy Commissioner, the Inspector-General of Police, the Senior Superintendent of Police, the SSP (HQs), the SP (Traffic) and the SP (Crime and Women Cell).


Manjeet Singh untraceable, says police
Our Correspondent

Kharar, August 19
A raid conducted by the in charge of the special task force, SP office, Mohali in connection with the illegal detention of Manjeet Singh at Chahar Majra village of Kharar tehsil, proved futile as the team failed to find him.

The Lawyers for Human Rights International had written yesterday about this to the SP of Mohali, alleging abduction and wrongful confinement of Manjeet Singh, a resident of Ratwara Sahib village. The press secretary, Mr A.S. Walia had written in his complaint that the above mentioned person had been allegedly kidnapped by Sardara Khan and his ‘family and the victim was being kept at his house at Chararrmajra village for the past one year. This has been allegedly done to grab the property of the Manjeet Singh, which is worth crores.

The organisation has requested that a case of kidnapping and wrongful confinement be registered and Sardara Khan and others be arrested.

The raid was conducted in the presence of Mr Tarsem Lal, Naib Tehsildar, Majri, Mr T.S. Sudan, advocate and police officers. Meanwhile, Sardara Khan has stated that Manjeet Singh was staying with him but had left his house on July 28.


Architects complain of harassment
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, August 19
Members of the Zirakpur Architects Association have alleged harassment at the hands of officials of the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat for the last couple of months.

The architects complain that they have to wait for days together for getting the building plans sanctioned by the officers concerned. Apart from this, the architects were also facing finance-related problems because there was no permanent employee to deal with the monetary issues.

In a complaint to Mr Narinder Sharma, president of the civic body, Mr Vikram Rawat, general secretary of the association, complained that the architects were being harassed by Nagar Panchayat officers on some other issues too.

When contacted Mr Sharma said the civic body had decided to depute a cashier who would deal with financial matter from 9 am till 12 noon every day. The town planning wing had already been directed to sanction building plans within a week.

He, however, warned the architects against charging exorbitantly from the applicants seeking building plans of their houses. 


Poster exhibition on aviation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 19
To mark 100 years of aviation, a poster exhibition covering all facets of flying is being organised by the Chandigarh chapter of the Aeronautical Society of India in the city next month. This is for the first time that such an exhibition is being organised in the country.

Air Officer Commanding 3 BRD, Air Cmde S.B. Prashar, who is the society’s chairman said that the exhibition will be held at Lajpat Rai Bhawan, Sector 15, from September 18 - 20. The morning session would be exclusively for school students.

The exhibition will also go to Delhi, Agra, Mumbai, Goa, Cochin and Chennai before culminating at Bangalore, the aviation city of India, on December 17.

Conceived and designed by Wg Cdr D.P. Sabharwal (retd), the exhibition will include about 45 posters and cover the historical background of flight, aspects of military and civilian aviation, types of aircraft, technical aspects of flight and the Indian aviation scenario.


Carcass at the back of market
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 19
Due to the indifferent attitude of the Sanitation Wing of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC), the carcass of a cow has been lying at the back of the Sector 36-D market for the past two days. Complaints of shopkeepers and residents of the area to the MCC have not yielded any results.

Inquiries reveal that two days ago, employees of the Electricity Department saw the carcass lying alongside a transformer and pushed it to the other side of the road. Mr Krishan, a shopkeeper, said a peon of the sanitation wing told him that the carcass would be removed tomorrow.


Nothing Bhatti about emergency landing
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 19
There is nothing funny about an aeroplane going in for an emergency landing. But humour maestro Jaspal Bhatti, on board the plane this evening, did not miss even this opportunity to make fellow passengers smile amidst tension.

Former PGI Dean Onkar Nathi Nagi was also reportedly aboard the plane. The Delhi-bound plane of Sri Lankan Airlines had to reportedly make the emergency landing at the New Delhi airport around 10.15 pm.

Bhatti, along with his Savita Bhatti, were on his way to Delhi from Colombo, when the overhead speakers announced that the plane was about to attempt an emergency landing.

Needless to say, terrified passengers started wiping beads of perspiration from their foreheads. But not Bhatti. “I told them you will save time with the customs people as now they will not have to open your baggage”, he said over telephone from New Delhi, minutes after the plane safely landed at the airport.

Though he confessed that he himself felt panicky when he saw scores of ambulances and fire tenders rushing towards the plane soon after it landed.

The episode has, however, made Bhatti a firm believer in destiny. “I had paid a visit to the Buddha temple in Sri Lanka. I am sure I was saved by him”, he said.

Bhatti and his wife had gone to Sri Lanka for a holiday and location hunting for his forthcoming Hindi feature film.


Mohali MC issue notice to Bindrakhiya
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, August 19
The municipal council, here, has issued a notice to singer Surjit Bindrakhiya on charges of defacing public property in the township.

The notice has been issued to the singer for sticking posters of his next album on various public buildings and directional boards in the township.

Bindrakhiya, who is a resident of Phase VII, has been asked to remove these posters within two days failing which he will be fined and also face police action.


Two injured in accidents
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 19
Two persons were injured in separate accidents here yesterday.

Ms Pardeep Kaur of Burail village was in injured when an auto-rickshaw (CH23 T 9006) reportedly rammed into a scooter which she was riding pillion, near traffic light points on the dividing road of Sectors 45 and 46 here yesterday. She was later admitted to Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, where her condition was said to be stable. Her husband, Mr Avtar Singh who was driving the scooter escaped unhurt. Rickshaw driver Mohinder Singh has been arrested in the case under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC. Later, he was released on bail.

Mr Bhawani Singh, resident of Rickshaw Stand, Sector 16, was injured after he was hit by a motor cycle on the dividing road of Sectors 15 and 16. The motorcyclist sped away from the spot. The victim was taken to General Hospital, Sector 16 in a Police Control Room gypsy. A case against the unidentified motorcyclist has been registered.

Meanwhile, Mr Gurmukh Singh of Sector 7 here reported that someone has stolen the stereo from his car, parked at his residence on the night of August 17. A case has been registered. 


In City
Look good, feel good, smell good
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 19
Gone are the days when men in India paid little attention to how they dressed and how they looked. Unshaven, sloppily dressed and seldom minding their manners in public or private, mattered little to most of them. Decking up was regarded as the exclusive preserve of women. Even the shopping for clothing for them was done by their wives.

“Not any longer”, says Mr Vikram Bahl, Regional Business Manger for India and South Asia for the US multinational, Gillette India Ltd. “Indian men want to smell good, feel good and look good. Today, men are placing more emphasis on maintaining a youthful and healthy appearance. They purchase their own grooming products and are spending money and time on grooming”.

Mr Bahl, who in the city today in connection with the launch of a new international range of shaving foams for men, said in an interview with TNS that the men were now increasingly becoming more and more brand conscious, seeing their image in the things they bought.

In Punjab more than half the population did not use shaving products. Of the remaining, nearly 50 per cent were women. But still the state was an unusual market for them. However, it was Chandigarh which was a far more important market for them. “Although Chandigarh is not a metro, it behaves like one in terms of the usage and habits with regard to grooming products.”

Mr Bahl said India represented one of the biggest personal care markets in the world. 

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