Tuesday, October 14, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Kiwis, five Indian players arrive in city
Ganguly, Sachin, Dravid to reach today
Tribune News Service

A girl requests a cop to allow her to present flowers to the visiting cricketers at the airport in Chandigarh on Monday.
GUNS AND ROSES: A girl requests a cop to allow her to present flowers to the visiting cricketers at the airport in Chandigarh on Monday. — Tribune photo Pankaj Sharma

Chandigarh, October 13
The entire New Zealand team and five members of the Indian squad today reached the city, even as many people who were waiting to catch a glimpse of star players Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid had to return disappointed.

The three players and ace spinner Anil Kumble did not accompany the team members who reached the city in the afternoon by an Indian Airlines flight.

The four Indian players are likely to join the team tomorrow after their meeting with the Board for Control of Cricket in India in Mumbai.

Security arrangements at the airport were so tight that the authorities did not allow ordinary passengers of the flight to leave till members of the two teams had boarded the two buses parked outside to take them to Hotel Mountview.

The New Zealand team was the first to come out of the airport, where there were more police personnel than spectators.

A battery of photographers and cameramen had lined up in front of the buses and but they did not get any good opportunity to take pictures as none of the players, except the New Zealand skipper, waved at the crowd or mediapersons.

A photographer accompanying the team from Ahmedabad was shooed away by the local police when he sought to click photographs of the players while they were coming out of the airport.

The photographer, Shrikant Sharma of The Deccan Herald, was the lone journalist accompanying the two teams on the flight.

The police had to shoo him away as he was coming in the way of local mediapersons and the players.

V. V. S. Laxman, L. Balaji, Yuvraj Singh, Parthiv Patel and Sairaj Bahutale were the Indian players who arrive today.

Yuvraj Singh was the first from the Indian team to come out of the airport. The journalists thought more Indian players would come out but they had to give up their wait when the buses started moving towards their destination.

The security arrangements of the teams were supervised by Mr P. K. Dhawan, DSP who was being assisted by Inspectors Vijay Kumar and Ashwani Kumar. Each Inspector had been asked to accompany a team.

Two pilot vans followed the buses as they proceeded to Transport Chowk and then to Hotel Mountview.

A large number of police personnel were seen in plain clothes, eager to get a glimpse of the players.

Initially, the police had allowed only two buses to be parked in front of the airport but then a car meant for international match referee Ranjan Madugale was also allowed. The BCCI and police officials were heard saying that it was necessary to take care of Mr Madugale.

The players were not able to talk to mediapersons as the security arrangements made it impossible for the latter to break the cordon.

A large number of persons claiming to be from the Punjab Cricket Association had gathered at the airport, apparently to have the first glimpse of the players.

Two Sub-Inspectors of the Chandigarh police were with the teams. They claimed that they had accompanied the teams of India, Zimbabwe and West Indies in the Titan Cup. The police said security around Hotel Mountview was even tighter. Players seemed in a hurry to reach the hotel as they were to start net practice at the PCA stadium in SAS Nagar at 3 pm.

A small girl was seen pleading with the police personnel to allow her to present a bouquet to players of the two teams.

The entire New Zealand team went for not practice to the PCA stadium in the evening but the Indian players could not go, even though they were accompanied by coach John Wright and the trainer of the team.


Organisers, police gear up
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, October 13
Traffic from Chandigarh to SAS Nagar will be diverted for the five days of the Test match between India and New Zealand, which will begin at the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) stadium here on October 16. With the match just two days away, steps are being taken by organisers and the police to ensure that the event passes off peacefully.

While the Ropar police has made elaborate security arrangements, having deployed about 700 police personnel at the venue and on various routes, the stadium authorities are carrying out last-minute repairs to give the stadium a fresh look.

The place is abuzz with activity and the cash registers seem to be ringing. According to an officer at the stadium, the association has already sold tickets worth over Rs 3.5 lakh in various categories, with the maximum sale being of students’ tickets, priced at only Rs 25.

Though there were many organisers and police personnel in the stadium today, not many residents of the town came to know when the Kiwis reached the venue here this afternoon. Only a few lucky curious children from the neighbourhood got to see some New Zealand players doing net practice with seven chosen local bowlers.

The Senior Superintendent of Police, Ropar, Mr Gurpreet Singh Bhullar, said security arrangements in the town were almost complete. “During the days of the match, traffic will be diverted and we will release the map to be followed by commuters,” he said. “The security in the township, too, has been beefed up in view of the match,” he pointed out.

Giving details of the security arrangements, the SAS Nagar SP, Mr Harcharan Singh Bhullar, stated that while three SPs would be on duty, six DSPs, 10 inspectors and over 675 police personnel would be deployed at the venue, the parking lot and on the various routes.


Admn bans sale of certain crackers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 13
Following the directions of the Supreme Court, the Chandigarh Administration today issued instructions to ban the sale and use of certain type of crackers. The ban is from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Various teams headed by Sub-Divisional Magistrates of the respective areas have also been constituted to conduct checks before and on Divali in this regard.

A meeting was held under the chairmanship of the Adviser to the Administrator, Chandigarh Administration, Mr R.S.Gujral, today. The DPI (Schools) has also issued instructions to the government schools, government-aided privately managed schools to take steps to control noise pollution due to bursting of crackers on Divali. Schoolchildren have been urged to say no to crackers.

The Administration also said bursting of crackers will not be allowed in silence zones such as hospitals, educational institutions, courts, religious places or any other area which is declared as such by the competent authority.

The meeting was also attended by Inspector-General of Police Rajesh Kumar, District Magistrate Arun Kumar, Senior Superindent of Police Gaurav Yadav, DPI (C) Dilip Kumar and DPR S.P. Arora.

The Administration said the Central Pollution Control Board, New Delhi, has got the following crackers tested from M/s National Physical Laboratory and found the noise level produced by these exceeding the permissible limit of 125 db or 145 db.


Mithais drain milk from city markets
Manoj Kumar
Tribune News Service

Divali effect on milk products

* Price of sweets up by 10-15 per cent.
* Milkfed stops supply of curd, paneer, kheer and other products.
* Price of milk increased by Rs 1 per litre.
* Milk crisis to continue till Divali due to increase in demand. Purv Marg east of Sector 47 would be strengthened

Chandigarh, October 13
Despite efforts of the Milkfed and other private milk plants, residents of the Chandigarh, Panchkula and SAS Nagar are facing severe shortage of milk products like butter, cheese, curd, flavoured milk and desi ghee. Despite an increase in milk prices by Re 1 per litre, the milk plants are finding it difficult to procure the required milk since demand for milk has already gone up across the state for making sweets during the festival season.

Inquires in the market reveal that Milkfed and some of the private players have already stopped the supply of packaged curd, kheer, butter and other milk products. Says Ms Raji P. Srivastava, Managing Director, Milkfed," We are focusing on the supply of liquid milk to Chandigarh and other towns and have stopped the supply of some other milk products for the time being. At present, we are supplying 1.80 lakh litres of milk per day in the city, about 10 per cent increase as against supply during the corresponding period last year."

The officials claimed that Milkfed was procuring 6.60 lakh litres of milk per day. Since a large number of milk producers in Punjab and other states were selling milk to private vendors and halwais for sweet making at higher rate, the milk plants were finding it difficult to procure milk. In the rural Punjab, they said: "large number of farmers were storing milk for khoa making and other milk products."

Customers and dealers in the city complained that they were finding it difficult to get the adequate supply of milk products. The price of desi ghee, said Mr Raman Singh, a resident of sector 35, had increased from Rs 125 per kg to over Rs 145 per kg.

Halwais in the city revealed that prices of most of the sweets had already gone up by 10-15 per cent as against the last year's price. Mr Robin Singh of Uttam Sweets in Sector 46 said. "Due to the shortage of milk we have to pay more money for the milk, the prices of sweets have been increased by Rs 10 to 20 per kg as compared to the last year's rates."

For instance, he said, they were selling milk cake for Rs 120 per kg (Rs 100 last year), Kaju burfi for Rs 240 per kg (Rs 220) pedas for Rs 110 per kg (Rs100), chocolate burfi for Rs 110 per kg (Rs 100) and khoa burfi for Rs 100 per kg (Rs 90). He admitted that retail price of milk had been already increased from Rs 15 per litre to Rs 16 per litre.

The milk dealers said while there was a shortage of milk in the region like in other states, the state government was still opposing the Centre's move to import milk powder. The crisis of milk supply was likely to continue till Divali, said a senior official of the Milkfed.


Grant pre-arrest bail with caution, rules HC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 13
The court cannot grant an accused a licence to indulge in actions that would subvert fair investigation in a case by arming him with an order of pre-arrest bail — the Punjab and Haryana High Court ruled in a significant judgement today.

Pronouncing the orders in an open court, Mr Justice M.M. Kumar of the High Court held: “The Criminal Procedure Code has made elabourate provisions for fair and impartial investigations of all cognizable offences.... But the court cannot, by arming an accused with an order of pre-arrest bail, grant him a licence to indulge in actions that would subvert fair investigation”.

Dismissing a bunch of petitions filed by Ambala residents seeking the grant of anticipatory bail in criminal cases, the Judge further held: “The law cannot take such a risk that would result in a harm to the investigating agency and facilitate the illegal designs of the petitioner accused. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.

Referring to the current case, the Judge held that the petitioners had eluded the police and there were allegations of forgery..... The concession of bail could be used by the accused for committing cognizable offences. Moreover, an order of pre-arrest bail in the case was likely to impede the investigation in the matter. As such, the bail petitions were being dismissed.

In a similar judgement, Mr Justice Kumar has already ruled that the “right to move a superior court, including the High Court and the Supreme Court, is no ground for fleeing the process of law”.

Taking up a petition for the grant of bail filed by a suspended Judicial Magistrate, Mr Justice Kumar had ruled: “An argument has been advanced on behalf of the petitioner that he was entitled to exhaust the remedy of anticipatory bail. He surrendered on May 10 after his bail was declined by the Supreme Court. The argument has failed to impress me because it is no ground to flee the lawful custody of an agency like the Central Bureau of Investigation after he was trapped. The right to move the superior court is no ground for fleeing from the process of law....”.


Expansion of Chandigarh Airport under way
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 13
To meet the requirements of the growing civilian air traffic to and from the city, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) has started work on expanding Chandigarh Airport, which will accommodate more aircraft as well as passengers.

While the airport’s apron where aircraft are parked in-between flights is being expanded and strengthened, the AAI is also drawing up plans to modernise the airport’s terminal building. The expansion project is estimated to cost Rs 3 crore.

“The work on the apron is under way and it is expected to be completed by December,” an AAI official told Tribune News Service here today. A Delhi-based firm has been contracted to execute the project. AAI engineers and technical experts are also here to oversee the works.

At present the apron can accommodate two aircraft of the size of a Boeing 737 or an Airbus 320 along with a few small aircraft used by private operators on chartered or unscheduled flights.

Following the completion of the expansion work, the apron would be able to accommodate three Boeing or Airbus at a time along with other assorted airplanes or helicopters. The smaller aircraft are generally assigned parking spaces at the outer edges of the apron.

Though the domestic airport, which is adjacent to the huge Air Force base, occupies about 16 acres, the scope of expansion is limited as it is surrounded by Air Force and Army installations. The runway and the associated air traffic control facilities are the domain of the Air Force.

AAI officials said when Chandigarh Airport was built in 1974, there were only a few flights in a week by the country’s then sole operator, Indian Airlines. “There have been significant changes in the civil aviation environment,” an AAI officer said. “In addition to daily operations by two scheduled operators, Indian Airlines and Jet Airways, there are other scheduled flights to and from Chandigarh also,” he added.

Also significant is the growth of private, unscheduled air traffic, which was once virtually unheard of in this region. “On an average, we have about 20 such flights coming in here every month,” AAI sources said. Some were chartered aircraft while some, generally those bound for destinations in Himachal Pradesh, stopped for technical reasons, the sources said.

With air traffic to and from the city over the past few years registering an increase, the airport was being expanded to accommodate more aircraft as well as to handle additional passenger traffic. Besides, with the changing scenario in civil aviation, AAI officials expected more private scheduled airlines to fly to and from Chandigarh in future. The sources said one private airline had already sought details from the AAI concerning operations from Chandigarh.

Meanwhile, the Airport building too is in for a major facelift. As per plans being drawn up by the AAI, the building is to be airconditioned and the capacity of the departure lounge is to be increased. Presently, the building can handle 100 departures at a time. New, more comfortable chairs are to be installed in the waiting lounges and some of the open spaces are to be landscaped.


OT-on-wheels for soldiers in forward areas
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 12
An indigenous state-of-the-art operation theatre-on-wheels has been inducted into the Army Medical Corps, which would provide critical medical care to the wounded in forward areas. This would save vital time in evacuating a casualty to hospitals in rear echelons.

Stating this while speaking to ‘The Tribune’ here yesterday, Director-General of the Armed Forces Hospital Services, Lieut-Gen J.R. Bhardwaj, said the trials of the multi-vehicular hospital had been successfully concluded and the operation theatre-on-wheels assigned to one of the strike corps.

“Just about any type of surgery can be performed in this operation theatre (OT),” General Bhardwaj, who is also the Colonel Commandant of the Army Medical Corps, said. “Specialist medical crew, including surgeons, anaesthetists and para-medical staff have been assigned to it,” he added.

The OT has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). A similar OT was conceptualised and developed by the DRDO in 1987, but the project was closed in 1989 after the Army Headquarters changed its requirements and instead proposed that two such units be imported.

Following Operation Vijay, a new requirement was framed in December, 1999 and the development project for a new prototype taken up in 2000.

The OT comprises several trucks, the OT complex, a pre-operation room, a post-operation recovery room, a sterilisation and stores vehicle and a generator vehicle. The OT-on-wheels complex is formed by four specially adapted trucks backing up to form a cross and the empty square formed between them being covered. Each truck carries one component of the OT complex.

General Bhardwaj, however, declined to mention the Army’s projected requirements of OTs-on-wheels, saying that a lot depends upon the availability of funds.

He said all command hospitals, including five being run by the Army and one each by the Air Force and the Navy, would be modernised and upgraded with equipment as well as staff over the next five years. “We are working towards upgrading all command hospitals to be teaching institutes at the post-graduate level as well,” he said.

He said that to meet requirements in the northern sector, the Zonal Hospital at Srinagar had recently been upgraded with the introduction of specialist equipment and availability of experienced surgeons. “It is now fully geared up to take any type of casualty,” he said. “It has done away with the need to evacuate casualties to other hospitals,” he added.


Stabbed youth did not die of excessive bleeding
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 13
The post-mortem examination report of Somnath, who was allegedly stabbed to death by Veeru on October 11 near Madrasi Colony, today revealed that he had died as food entered his windpipe and not due to excessive bleeding.

However, Mithun, the lone eye witness to the murder who was accompanying Somnath and received stab injuries on his arm and leg said he allegedly kept bleeding in a cart in front of the Bapu Dham police post for hours but the police did not register the case.

He also alleged that there were four persons who attacked Somnath.

Mithun and Subramaniam, maternal uncle of the deceased alleged that when an injured Mithun was taken to the police post, a police personnel by the name of Gurmeet Singh demanded a bribe of Rs 2,000 for registering the case.

Mithun then went to his friend Lala’s mother to arrange Rs 2,000 but it could not be arranged. After that he was taken to the Bapu Dham Colony by the police personnel.

Sector 26 Station House Officer Tirath Singh said the incident had taken at around midnight and they got the information at 2.15 a.m. The police post at the General Hospital, recorded the entry of Somnath at 11.25 p.m. and Gurmeet Singh was informed at 12.15 a.m.

Mithun said the incident might have taken place between 10 and 11 p.m. Medical Superintendent of the General Hospital N.K. Srivastava said the post-mortem examination report had revealed that Somnath did not die of excessive bleeding, adding that his stomach was filled with partially digested food and fluid was found in his lungs. The police has sent his viscera for examination.

Dr Srivastava added that Somnath had died of aspiration pneumonia (food going into windpipe).

Subramaniam said Somnath’s wound had not been stitched even six and-a-half hours after he was admitted to the hospital. But Dr Srivastava said he had seen the reports and the wounds had been stitched during night. The family of the deceased alleged that the police and hospital authorities had prepared the records after Somnath died.

Dr Srivastava said the patient was on the verge of collapse when he was brought to the hospital. He said Somnath had taken food in morning before he was taken for an X-ray and after the test he started belching and died at 9.45 a.m.

Meanwhile, Veeru has been remanded in police custody till October 15 by a local court. 


12 students hurt as bus overturns
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, October 13
As many as 12 students of Acharya Atma Ram Jain High School were injured, two of them seriously, when a bus in which they were going back from the school overturned at Dhanoni village on the Dera Bassi- Ambala road, about 5 km from here, this afternoon.

Two students who sustained serious injuries include Pushpinder Kaur (8), a resident of Baroli village, and Malkiat Singh (8) of Pragpur village. Pushpinder Kaur, sustained head injuries while Malkiat Singh’s collar bone was fractured.

They have been admitted to Swami Nursing Home, Dera Bassi, while the rest were discharged after first-aid assistance.

Eyewitness revealed that 12 students were injured in the accident, however, the school management claimed that the number of injured was eight.

The vehicle was carrying 25 students belonging to different villages when it met with the accident.

Residents, who were present at the spot, said the speeding vehicle overturned while the driver was taking a turn at Dhanoni village at about 1.45 pm.

Parents of the students rushed to the spot as the news spread in the surrounding villages.

The agitated parents alleged that instead of ensuring safety of the students, the school management had become profit oriented.

When contacted Mr Vimal Jain, President of the school management committee, claimed that only eight students were injured. He said all of them had sustained minor injuries and were discharged after first aid.


Probe report in Jaiveer suicide case submitted
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 13
The inquiry report regarding the circumstances leading to the death of Head Constable Jaiveer Singh, has been submitted to the Deputy Commissioner by SDM Kalka, Mr Devinder Kaushik.

Though the district officials preferred to remain tight lipped about the contents of the inquiry report, they said a final decision would be taken only after the inquiry by the DSP, Yamunanagar, Mr Ashok Kumar and the Forensic Science report to ascertain that the suicide note had been signed by victim Jaiveer, were also submitted.

These two inquiries are now acting as a shield for the top cops of Haryana, who have been named in the suicide note of the victim. The local police now takes the plea that till these reports, on the three aspects — embezzlement of Rs 95,000 from the maalkhana; circumstances leading to death of Jaiveer; and the theft of Rs 45, 360 by Head Constable Raj Kumar — are submitted to the Deputy Commissioner, they cannot register a case.

Senior police officers in the district, on the condition of anonymity, said the Station House Officer (SHO) should have registered a case about the missing cash from the maalkhana, when the matter was reported to him by Head Constable Krishan Kumar on October 10 afternoon. It may be noted that the police investigation in the matter of this cash being missing, was the immediate provocation for Jaiveer to commit suicide. He had mentioned in his suicide note that five policemen including DGP Haryana, were harassing him. He had said that the DGP and AIG, Welfare, Haryana were trying to falsely implicate him in the embezzlement of Rs 95,000 and being sick of this harassment and humiliation, he was committing suicide.

“Jaiveer had handed over the charge of the cash (which was the case property in five cases) to Krishan Kumar on October 9 and the cash was intact. Since the charge of other items, including the cash meant for DA and salary amount of cops, was yet to be handed over to Krishan Kumar, both the Head Constables had keys to the mallkhana, but the only key of the almirah where the cash was kept was only with Krishan Kumar. Now, Krishan is alleging that the victim could have made a separate key and taken away the money,” said a senior police official.

Police officers say that in spite of the fact that the suicide note was recovered from the victim, they cannot register a case against the top cops “for fear of downgrading the morale of the entire force”. “The senior officials have to take departmental action against juniors, if found guilty. In this case, there was incriminating evidence against the victim and thus cases were registered against him. He took the extreme step as an act of desperation,” reasoned a senior police officer.


Kanthala resident denies existence of temple
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 13
Mr Hardial Singh, a resident of Kanthala village which was removed in 1969 by the UT Administration, today said there was only a 7-foot-high “stupa” but no temple in the village.

In a statement issued here, he said the “stupa” was called “khera” and opposite to it was a dharamshala built with Nanakshahi bricks, which elders said were brought from Chhat Bir Banur after Banda Bahadur ravaged these towns. These have now become a part of the temple, built in the name of Baba Balak Nath. It was, therefore, not correct to claim that the temple was ancient and archaeologically significant.

“Old people like me from the village are still available to corroborate the fact that Kanthala had no temple but only a mound of bricks which was whitewashed occasionally and called “khera”.

“It was in an open place and there was no boundary wall as such”, Mr Hardial Singh said. “Nobody from the village knew about “Khetarpal”, the so-called deity of the village. I am surprised how Mr Devendra Handa, historian from Panjab University, has come to this conclusion,” he added.


Arguments, walkout mark MC meeting
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, October 13
Surprise decisions ruled the day at the stormy meeting of the Municipal Council here today. Unexpectedly, both important items on the agenda—the proposed cancellation of sanitation contract in the township and discontinuation of octroi collection privatisation—were rejected by a majority of the members leading to a haughty walkout by one of the members of the majority group and a supporter of the MC president. Three employees facing various charges of indiscipline too had to bear the brunt of raised tempers of the MC members with notices of dismissal issued against them.

In the item put up in the agenda, the Executive Officer of the council had strongly recommended that the sanitation contractor had not been performing his duties properly and his contract be cancelled forthwith. But when put on the table for voting, a majority of the councillors voted in favour of giving a three-month extension to the contractor. Out of the total 22 members present in the meeting, 16 voted in favour of the sanitation contractor. It was finally decided that the contractor be given another three months to continue in the township adding that the Municipal Councillors themselves should ensure that he works properly in their individual wards. It was also decided that the supervisory staff of the council be asked to be more attentive in their work.

High-pitched arguments ensued with regard to the issue of privatisation of octroi collection in the township. While the Municipal Council president, Mr Kulwant Singh, faced stiff opposition from his own supporters on the issue, surprisingly a majority of the opposition members, who had raised a major hue and cry opposing the move last year, deciding to keep a neutral pose on the issue. Mr Shyam Bansal, one of the staunch supporters of the MC chief, demanded the rejection of the item and that the octroi collection be taken back by the council employees.

Almost every councillor related tales of undue harassment at the hands of the octroi collection contractor. But despite a mutual consensus that residents of the township had suffered immeasurably at the hands of the octroi contractor’s men, it was decided that since privatisation had brought over Rs 2.6 crore of extra income to the council, the contract be given again.

Octroi collection in the township had been given on contract in January 2003 despite a massive opposition from a set of councillors, residents and industries here. Through the year the MC office has been flooded with complaints from residents against the octroi collector alleging harassment and these too are likely to figure in the meeting. ‘‘I agree that there are many complaints against the octroi collector, but not a single person has given us a written complaint against him so that we can take action against him,’’said Mr Kulwant Singh. Mr Bansal dramatically walked out of the meeting declaring that none of the councillors were with the public that had voted for them.

As many as three employees of the council who had been charged with various actions of indiscipline or remaining absent from duty will be given notices of dismissal. While the MC chief was opposed to taking any harsh action against the erring employees, most members felt that exemplary punishment should be given to some employees so that cases of corruption and defiance went down. The rest of the items on the agenda were passed by the members.


MC to look after upkeep of public toilets
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 13
Public toilets in various market places and the Community Centres will be formally handed over to the Municipal Council by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) on November 1.

The president of the MC, Ms Seema Chaudhary, said once the Community Centres were handed over to them, they proposed to reduce the charges of renting of these centres from the present rate of Rs 5000. “We will allow the use of Community Centres for running hobby classes during the day,” she added.

She said the maintenance of these centres would be given to private parties, and even the maintenance and renovation of the public toilets would be given on a contract basis. She said she would survey the township with the District Town Planner later this week to see the sites to be fixed for placing garbage bins.

Ms Chaudhary said two more garbage collectors had been procured by the MC and the sanitation condition in the town would improve now.

Surprise check

As many as 20 officers in HUDA Complex, Sector 6, were found absent from duty during a surprise raid conducted by the Chief Minister’s Flying Squad this morning. The raid was conducted under the supervision of DSP Phool Kumar and started at about 9. 15 am. The entire complex was checked for almost two hours and four other employees were found late on duty.

Sale of crackers

The Deputy Commissioner, Ms Satwanti Ahlawat, has forbidden the sale as well as use of dangerous crackers in congested areas, silence zones and sale of crackers generating noise levels exceeding 125 decibels.

Invoking the provisions of section 144 of Cr P C, the Deputy Commissioner in her order has said that fire crackers and explosive material cannot be sold without obtaining a valid licence, and these can be sold at licenced premises only.

Award for teachers

Ms Beenu Bhalla, chemistry teacher and Ms Saroj Aggarwal, Hindi teacher of Chaman Lal DAV Senior Public School, were conferred the “Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award” for the year 2003 by Lions Club, Panchkula. The teachers were presented a shawl, citation and a certificate each during a special function last night.

Say no to crackers

The Environment Society of India today launched a 12-day campaign on “Say No To Crackers”. As many as 200 students of Government Senior Secondary School, Sector 6, took out a rally in this regard today. The rally was flagged off by Ms Anita Anand, Principal of the school. The school students pledged not to burst crackers during the festival season.


Cong strengthens position in MC
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 13
The Panchkula Municipal Council continues to remain a battlefield of the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and Congress councillors. Even as the Congress had announced its decision to dissolve the Municipal Council if elected to power in the next Assembly elections, it continues to wean away councillors from the INLD.

Ever since Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala’s son, Abhey Chautala, openly challenged Mr Chander Mohan , local MLA and son of state Congress chief, Mr Bhajan Lal, by making his intentions of contesting the next Assembly elections from Kalka seat, the Congress has been on the defensive by trying to woo its men in the MC back to the party folds.

The political equations in the Municipal Council have changed with the Congress firmly gaining ground after two councillors owing allegiance to the ruling INLD switched sides and joined the Congress. With both Mr S.S. Goel, a councillor from Ward No. 10, and Ms Sharda Gupta, a councillor from Ward No. 22, switching loyalties, the number of Congress councillors in the MC has gone up to 10. This is a steady rise in the strength of the Congress in the MC, which inspite of winning 16 seats in the elections, had lost 14 of its elected councillors to the INLD.

With the Congress being opposed to the formation of the MC, it had decided to boycott the MC elections held in January this year. But the success of 16 Congress men (out of a total of 31 seats) in the election had prodded the party to throw its hat in the ring for staking claim to the post of MC President. Subsequently, the INLD managed to woo 29 of the 31 councillors and their Presidential candidate, Ms Seema Chaudhary, was “unanimously” elected as president. It was then that the councillors, originally hailing from the Congress, slowly began moving away from the INLD and from seven councillors who had originally switched sides in July, the local Congress leaders have managed to increase their strength steadily. Both the councillors — S.S. Goel and Sharda Gupta — who have formally joined the Congress camp, now maintain that they were always members of the Congress and had supported INLD only from outside.

This move has created a panic in the INLD camp. With rumours agog about three more councillors likely to switch sides, the party has begun a damage-control exercise. These three councillors are now being wooed with promises of being elected to the MC sub committees.


Councillor alleges attack by Cong man
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, October 13
A municipal councillor from Ludhiana has alleged that a candidate defeated by him in the municipal elections attacked him at his residence, along with his supporters, on October 7.

Mr Rajinder Singh Bhatia, while talking to mediapersons here today, said he had come to meet the Chief Minister and the President of the PPCC in connection with the incident, but could not do so.

Mr Bhatia alleged that his opponent in the elections from Ward No. 36, belonging to the Congress came to his house along with his supporters, abused him and tore his clothes.

He said since he belonged to the Akali Dal, the police was trying to implicate him in a false case. He alleged that a mobile phone belonging to his employee was taken away by a police personnel.


Army help for landmine victims

IN every war or in a large-scale deployment of the Army, people living in the border areas suffer maximum loses. In Operation Prakaram, there were a number of civilian casualties due to landmines. The government had agreed to pay Rs 2 lakh to each landmine casualty. Of this amount Rs 25,000 was paid by the Headquarters, Western Command, through a cheque so that the victim could tide over the situation till the full amount of compensation was received from the government.

The Headquarters, Western Command, had also undertaken to get artificial limbs fitted free of cost to all civilian casualties of the Western theatre at the Artificial Limb Centre (ALC) at the Command Hospital, Chandimandir.

The ALC, which was established at the Command Hospital about six months ago, had registered 70 cases of landmine casualties both of the Army personnel and civilians. The artificial limbs are fabricated at the ALC. The individuals concerned are given a date to report at the Command Hospital to get these fitted. Each such person (Civilian) is kept at the hospital for about 10 days for fitting of limbs and all expenses of stay here are met by the Command Hospital.

Of the six civilian patients (four from Ganganagar and two from Ferozepore districts) who were at the ALC on October 7, new lower limbs were fitted to four. After the fitting of limbs, these persons report back to the Command Hospital whenever they have a problem about these limbs.

Ageing Army

“The average age of officers in the Indian Army is higher than their counterparts in other armies” said Lieut-Gen J.J. Singh, GOC-in-C of the Army Training Command (ARTRAC), Shimla. The government, he further said, was considering the Bagga Commission report to maintain a young profile of officers.

Efforts have been made over the years to have officers, who lead the troops, in a younger age-group so that they can match their (troops’) physical fitness. To save two years, we even started commissioning officers in Lieutenant’s rank as opposed to the earlier system of commissioning them in 2nd Lieutenant’s rank and brought in more senior ranks to overcome the difficulty of stagnation. But the efforts were nullified because of the extension in retiring age by two years.

In the Kargil war, our commanding officers (being in their mid-forties) could not match the physical fitness of their troops.

The answer lies in lateral movement of officers to the paramilitary forces, government agencies, autonomous and semi-autonomous bodies and public sector undertakings. Most other countries are doing this. But in India, this idea does not appeal to our political hierarchy.

Air Force Day

The Indian Air Force (IAF), which came into being in 1932, as a result of the Skeen Committee recommendations, celebrated its 71st anniversary on October 8. The first batch of six Indian cadets was sent to Cranwell in England for flight training in 1930 and they were commissioned on October 8, 1932. After a few Indians joined the Royal Air Force (RAF), a small flight unit, consisting of six officers, 19 airmen (then called Hawai Sepoys) and four Wapiti aircraft, was set up under the command of Flight-Lieut C.A. Bouchier (a RAF officer) at Drigh Road, Karachi (now in Pakistan).

When World War II broke out, the IAF had only one squadron. But by February 1944, it had grown to nine squadrons. Because of its commendable performance in World War II, the British Monarch honoured the IAF with the title of Royal and thus it became the RIAF on March 16, 1945.

It was on October 27, 1947, that the RIAF flew the first unit of the Indian Army i.e. 1 Sikh, commanded by Lieut-Col D.R. Rai, from New Delhi to Srinagar to push back the Pakistani infiltrators from the valley.

Air Commodore Mehar Singh was the first Indian to set a world record in 1948 by landing a Dakota at Leh at a height of 11,540 feet. Not only that, he also used Dakotas for bombing Pakistani concentrations.

The RIAF dropped the title of Royal in January 1950, when India become a republic. Today the IAF is strong Air Force and can accept any challenge.


Readers Write
Effort not good enough

This is in reference to a profile by Harihar Swarup in these columns on September 21, 2003 under the headline “Parents, husband and will help Anju excel”. Anju Booby George, who won a bronze medal in the recently concluded World Athletics Championship at Paris (France) with a leap of 6.60 metres, failed to better her 6.74 metres that she did on the home soil, not only once but twice. These days Indian athletes do not live up to the mark on foreign soils. The case of Anju is appropriate. She had leapt a longer distance (6.74 metres) back home, but while on the foreign soil, both at the World Athletics Championship and at the World Athletics Final, Monoco, she only managed to jump a distance of 6.60 metres and 6.50 metres, respectively.

The Government of India spent Rs 30 lakh on her training from world renowned long jump expert Mike Powell of the USA. Similarly, she was given huge cash awards running into lakhs of rupees both by the Central as well as various state governments and the Athletics Federation of India. But, ironically, she failed to even equal 6.74 metres abroad. On the other hand former athletes of the country like “Flying Sikh” Milkha Singh, who won four gold medals in the Asian Games and the only Indian athlete to have won a gold medal in athletics in the Commonwealth Games, did a splendid job for the country without getting any advance training from expert coaches. He ran 400 metres at New Delhi in 1960 in 46.1 seconds, and just after few months he did 45.6 seconds in the same event at Rome Olympics of 1960. Similarly, on the home soil, he did 200 metres in 20.8 seconds, but on the foreign soil he completed the race in 20.7 seconds. Three cheers for such legends who have given better performances on foreign soils as compared to the home soil.

Narinder Singh

Khelo Punjab khelo

Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister of Punjab, and Mr Parkash Singh Badal seem to be playing the game of “chor- police”. Capt Amarinder Singh is having the first turn and is playing “a sipahi next door”. Being an old warhorse, it seems Mr Badal is eagerly waiting his turn.

For now I can only say “Khelo Punjab khelo”.

Dr Sachin Kaushal

Serials or distractors

From 8 p.m. to 11.30 p.m. cable TV shows serials portraying family dramas. An interesting thing I would like to say about these serials is that they all show woman in a very bold and strong way, but how far they real? Women in these serials are shown tolerant whereas the aim of these serials should be that how women can bring a change in this male-dominated society whether they are a house wife or a professional. Women should be projected in a more professional manner than the “saas-bahu” dramas.

The concept where the whole family used to sit and discuss the day’s work is gradually getting lost with the family sitting glued to their TVs. Serials should be based upon the life of prominent women like Kiran Bedi, Maheswata Devi, Najma Heptulla and various women freedom fighters.

Serials should portray women as courageous and bold, having the capability to balance her profession and domestic life.

Radha Saini


Five honoured by Rotary Club
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 13
The Rotary Club of Chandigarh today honoured five residents of the city for their exemplary work and contribution to society with Vocational Service Awards.

The awards were given to Mr Gulshan Kumar Kalra, a fireman with UT Fire Department, Mrs Parvesh Johar, Sister Grade I, working with neurology intensive care unit, PGI, Mr Sanjay Sharma, caretaker at the PGI gurdwara serai; Mrs Sangeeta Sharma, Lecturer, Government Girls Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 18, Mr Daljit Singh, DSP, Punjab Police and Mr Udham Singh, a junior engineer working with an industrial unit.

The were selected by a panel of Rotarians on the basis of the nominations received from various organisations, Mrs Vijay Wadhawan, President of the club said in a press note issued here today. The club honours citizens every October, which is observed the world over as Vocational Service Month. 


Cooperation key to check stray cattle menace
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 13
Acting on the directives of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to end cattle menace in the city and the adjoining areas of Punjab and Haryana, a joint meeting of Deputy Commissioners of Chandigarh, Panchkula, Ropar and Patiala, was held today at the office of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh.

The Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh, Mr M.P. Singh, convened the meeting. During the two-hour-long meeting, the participants said a uniform policy of catching and releasing the stray cattle should be made.

A suggestion was made by officers from Panchkula to increase the amount of fine on catching the cattle by amending the Municipal bylaws.

To have comprehensive view of the problem, senior officials from the Punjab Urban Planning and Development (PUDA), Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) and representatives from the civic bodies of Panchkula and SAS Nagar also participated in the meeting. Sources in the corporation said the biggest problems being faced by the civic bodies of Chandigarh, Panchkula and SAS Nagar were the shortage of space to keep the stray cattle. The cattle ponds were already congested.

An officer of the SAS Nagar Municipal Council informed that it had taken up the issue of allotting land for a gaushala. The problem of the employees of the civic bodies of Chandigarh, Panchkula and SAS Nagar shunting stray cattle into each other’s territory was also discussed.

Officers from SAS Nagar and Panchkula were asked to create space for keeping the stray cattle. It was stated that often the civic bodies released the stray cattle in the forest area.

Minutes of today’s meeting would be circulated among the officials who participated in it. The next meeting of the joint committee was expected to be called by next month.

It may be mentioned that during the hearing of a case by a Division Bench of the High Court, the Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh and Deputy Commissioner had stated that the problem could not be solved unless the states of Punjab and Haryana, controlling the adjoining towns of SAS Nagar and Panchkula, were involved in framing a comprehensive plan.

Today’s meeting was called to jointly check the menace. 


SDM to probe church incident
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 13
The Chandigarh Administration today asked a Subdivisional Magistrate (SDM) to enquire into the matter in which the Christian community had protested about the alleged high-handedness of a police sub-inspector.

The SDM has been asked to go there personally and play the loudspeaker of the church to check the noise level, the Deputy Commisioner, Mr Arun Kumar said.

Meanwhile, a member of the BJP's National Executive Committee Minority Morcha, Mr I. William, said police interference in religious Sunday Prayer Service being held in the Sector 18 church was highly condemnable. 


Lily Garden renamed Jawahar Park
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 13
Lily Garden in Sector 9 has been renamed as Jawahar Park. Disclosing this here today, the Mayor of Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh, Mr Subhash Chawla, said the corporation had recommended to the Chief Architect of Chandigarh to rename the park.

The garden has been selected as the venue of the first official function to mark the golden jubilee celebrations.


Water pressure to be low
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 13
Due to shifting of the PSC pipeline, phase III of Kajauli waterworks coming in the alignment of proposed Chandigarh-Ludhiana railway track near Morinda, the pressure of water supply in the city and SAS Nagar will be low. The shifting of the pipe will be done from October 15 to 17.


Lakkha to perform at Tribune jagran
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 13
The Tribune Youth Club will organise its 25th Bhagwati jagran on October 18 in Tribune Colony, Sector 29-C, here. The programme will begin at 8.30 p.m. A T-series artiste, Lakhbir Singh Lakkha, will present devotional songs during the programme.

A shabad kirtan darbar will also be held in the colony on October 17 at 9 p.m. 


One more booked in Avtar murder case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 13
The Chandigarh Police today booked murdered Khuda Alisher sarpanch Pal Singh’s son Onkar Singh, who was arrested under the Arms Act earlier, in the murder of Khuda Alisher resident Avtar Singh.

Onkar is the fifth person booked in the murder case along with Makhan, Naseem, Makhan’s father Kaka Singh and his friend Kaka Singh.

With the police net widening in the grisly murder case, the Chandigarh Police today sought the help of the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) to reconstruct the entire episode considering that the murder had been traced after a gap of 15 days.

The police has also made up its mind to have the CFSL check the car that allegedly took the severed body of Avtar Singh to a place near Prem Pura in Pinjore.

A team of the CFSL today visited the site where the body had been thrown.

Onkar has been booked in the case on the ground that witnessed seen him engaged in a scuffle with the deceased on September 25 in front of the shop of Makhan, the main murder accused.

Onkar, having a criminal record, had denied that he was involved in the murder saying Avtar was his friend. Makhan had also said he had killed his childhood friend Avtar because he visited his house along with Onkar in the absence of Makhan.

Another ground for booking Onkar in the murder was the statement of the mother of Avtar that he had come to Avtar’s residence on September 26 to hand over Avtar’s motor cycle. Onkar Singh and Makhan were today remanded to police custody by a local court till October 15. 


Attack victim succumbs to injuries
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 13
Thirtyfive-year old Madan Mandal of Mani Majra, who was allegedly hit on head by a blunt object by two brothers of the same area on Saturday, succumbed to his injuries at the PGI here today.

The fight between the victim and his alleged attackers took place over objections to the former taking bath at a place near the house of the attackers.

The attackers Akbar Mohammad and Hadib Mohammad, have been arrested and remanded in judicial custody by a local court.

According to information, Madan Mandal and his brother Krishan Mandal were taking bath in front of the house of the Mohammad brothers. The Mohammad brothers asked the Mandal brothers not to take bath at that place as the women members of their family had objected to it.

An altercation took place, which turned violent. It is being alleged that Akbar hit Madan on his head with a baton. 


2 youths killed in mishap
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 13
Two scooter-borne youths, Manjit and Mahesh, were killed when a vehicle coming from opposite direction rammed into them on the Panchkula-Kalka highway this morning.

The accident took place near Chandimandir police station at 11.30 am. The victims, both residents of Chandigarh, were coming back to city from Pinjore.


Man carrying pistol held

Chandigarh, October 13
A resident of Sarangpur village, Hardeep Singh was arrested this evening from a picket between Khuda Lahora village and the PGI. A loaded country made pistol and two live cartridges were seized from his possession. He has been booked under the Arms Act. The police was trying to figure out why he was moving around with a loaded gun and from where he had procured it. OC


Men’s wear becoming trendy
A.S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 13
In recent years, the Indian male has become extremely conscious of the way he dresses. And far more experimental with the fabrics, styles and colours that he wears. The result? Bright shirts at the workplace. Vibrant neckties. Patterned socks. Trendy evening wear.

The reason for these shifts is not hard to seek, says Ms Rini Dutta, who as brand manager of Arrow and Bayisland, is a keen observer of the changing fashion scene of the country. “The time taken by international trends to reach India has reduced considerably. Initially, it used to take two to three years for international trends to flow into India but now both markets are progressing alongside,” she says.

Ms Dutta was in the city today in connection with the unveiling of a new range of sports jackets. She joined Arvind Brands in May last year. Her responsibilities include handling sales, brand, advertising, public relations, events and research. Prior to Arvind Brands, she was with HLL for five years. Rini was the category market research manager for beverages (India, SAARC and Middle East). Rini graduated from Sri Ram College of Commerce in Delhi. She did her MBA from IIM, Kolkata, specialising in marketing and economics.

In 1993, she says, the men’s wear scene in India could be broadly divided into three categories — office wear, leisure wear and party wear. Her company created a strong presence in the office wear segment and catered to an after-hours segment with a range of T-shirts and check shirts.

“Our early success was a combination of smart positioning and fortuitous timing. 1993 was the time when corporate India was rapidly expanding, thanks to liberalisation, and we filled void that existed when it came to ready-made dress shirts. We introduced the concept of special apparel stores. The stores were designed in keeping with the premium image of the shirt and all this paid rich dividends. Since then, men’s wear classifications have evolved significantly. Men now have formal shirts for work, formal shirts for social occasions as well as casual wear for weekends at work, parties and leisure. Considering this changed scenario, Arrow still remains the leading player in the formal wear segment. And has successfully explored other categories through its formal social wear collections and its sports range”.

The brand has since been restructured into three basic collections:

Premium: This range has garments that are made of 100 per cent 2 ply cotton and undergo ETI treatment for wrinkle-free effect. Two-ply yarn is more durable, stronger and, of course, lasts longer. This means the shirt lasts longer and looks better. This label includes international designs, muted colour palette, two-tone fabrics and stylish collars.

Classic: Ms Dutta says that cotton is the best fabric for one;s skin. The fabric is soft, “breathable” and 100 per cent natural. As a result, Arrow has taken a policy decisions that even our classic range will offer the consumer only 100 per cent cotton.

Sport: This range is made of 100 per cent cotton in sporty finishes, indigo knits, soft washes, fine fabrics and a sophisticated palette. The USA’s sport range offers a series of khakis, indigos and peached fabrics. The range is supported by peached tussore trousers with cool styling. Range includes shirts, trousers, knits and jackets.

Ms Dutta asserts, “We believe in staying ahead through continuous innovation not only in designs but also in the technology of apparel production. Over the past 10 years, we have moved with the trends.”

Some distinct changes made are the following:

* Cotton-rich polyester has been completely replaced by 100 per cent cotton.

* The range has moved from 100 per cent formal wear to a formal and casual look.

* The original packaging was only with poly-bags while the present packaging includes box and poly-bag packing.

The colour palette has changed from a light and sober shades to bolder and vibrant.

”Our strategy has been to create the best merchandise in the market — both fashion forward designs and classic garments, build the brand through communication that covers advertising, PR and events and to enhance consumer loyalty.” she says.


No separate Divali stalls in Sec 17
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 13
This year, Divali mela stalls will not be allowed in the Sector 17 market. Only shopkeepers of the market will be allowed to set up stalls in the front of their shops.

Sources in the Municipal Corporation said stalls in the Sector 17 market would be allowed for three days beginning from October 23. While for the prime locations, a fee of Rs 5,000 would be charged, for other locations, a fee of Rs 3,000 has been fixed.

For booking of stalls in other markets, excluding Sector 22, a fee of Rs 100 for every 50 sq foot area has been fixed. For the Sector 22 market, the charges would be Rs 200 for every 50 sq foot area. The Mayor of the Municipal Corporation, Mr Subhash Chawla, said this year more income was expected from the stalls on the eve of Divali, Karva Chauth and other religious festivals. The charges for the stalls have not been increased this year.

On the pattern of markets in Sectors 17, 19 and 22 holding mega events and setting up stages to display award items, the corporation has also allowed other market associations to display prizes. From the Sectors 17 and 22 market associations, the corporation had charged Rs 51, 000 and Rs 21,000 as the fee. 


27 pc increase in small savings kitty
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 13
The head of the National Savings Organisation, Mr Anil Bhatacharya, today said there was 27 per cent increase in the small savings collection. Mr Bhatacharya, was in the town to attend meeting with the Director, Small Savings, Punjab and Haryana.

He said it was for the first time in the 50-year history of the National Savings Organisation that Mr D. Swaroop, Additional Secretary (Budget), had been elected President of World Savings Bank Institute, Asia Pacific chapter, Mr M.K. Malhotra, Regional Director of National Savings, Chandigarh, briefed Mr Bhatacharya on the progress made in the small savings sector.

Later, the head of National Savings Organisation met the Post Master General, Punjab, Ms Manjula Prashar, and discussed the availability of savings instrument.

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