Wednesday, October 15, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Thin crowd welcomes cricket heavyweights
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 14
A thin crowd was waiting for Sachin Tendulkar, Saurav Ganguly, Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh, Ajit Agarkar and Zaheer Khan when they reached the Chandigarh airport today.

The eight players came by an Indian Airlines flight a day after five of their colleagues Akash Chopra, V.V.S. Laxman, Sairaj Bahutule, Laxmipathy Balaji and Parthiv Patel reached the city.

Incidentally, the flight got delayed by 30 minutes as it happened yesterday.

The New Zealand team is already in the city.

The crowd at the airport was far less than yesterday.

Except for officials of the security staff, taxi drivers and a few persons of the airport staff and nearby villagers nobody was at the airport.

The entire Indian squad was colourfully dressed with most of them wearing jeans and T-shirts.

Dravid, who was the first to emerge from the airport, started walking towards the bus from the side of the vehicle to the dismay of photographers.

The police asked him to go on the pre-decided route in the parking lot.

Dravid then changed the route which was followed by other players.

Saurav Ganguly, wearing a yellow T-shirt and a pair of trousers, was the last to come out.

The police provided one escort vehicle to the team with DSP P.K. Dhawan and Inspector Vijay Kumar in it.

Vijay Kumar has been assigned the job of making the security arrangements of the Indian team.

Two sub-inspectors were in the AC bus before the players arrived.

They immediately went to Hotel Mountview to take lunch and some rest before the practice session.

Harbhajan and Zaheer Khan were wearing a black T-shirt and a shirt, respectively. Zaheer was wearing loose trousers.

A white-coloured air-conditioned bus bearing a Delhi number had been kept with its AC on before the players reached Chandigarh.

Two Sub-Inspectors were directed to be inside the AC bus to keep it free from any danger to the players.

While Dravid, Sehwag and Kumble came together, Sachin and Harbhajan chose to come out of the airport alone.



Will Yuvraj get his Test cap at Mohali?
Abhijit Chatterjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 14
Will local lad Yuvraj Singh finally get his Test cap when India take on New Zealand in the second Test of the two-match series at the PCA Stadium at Mohali on Thursday? This was the question uppermost in the minds of the large number of well-wishers the flamboyant Indian allrounder has in the city where he has grown up and honed his cricketing skills. At the PCA Stadium also, the Chandigarh-based player, who turns for Punjab, was also the subject matter of discussion. And what better place to make a debut than on your home turf in front of your own crowd, his well-wishers say.

Although there are still two days left before the Test finally gets under way, the only change visualised from the squad which did duty in the first Test at Ahmedabad is Ajit Agarkar (called to join the team after Avishkar Salvi hurt himself in the Ahmedabad Test while fielding as a substitute) making way into the playing eleven at the cost of debutant L. Balaji, who could take only one wicket at the Ahmedabad outing. But would such a step be fair to the Tamil Nadu youngster, specially when his efforts earned him the praise of his captain Saurav Ganguly in the post-match press conference?

For Yuvraj Singh to come into the squad for the Mohali Test a batsman has to be dropped since the Chandigarh player can play in the team only as a regular batsman and not as a bowler. In any case, the Indian team has no regular allrounder who could be dropped to make place for Yuvi, as Yuvraj is known to his friends. Therefore, the moot question is: who can be dropped from the squad which turned out at Ahmedabad to give Yuvraj his first Test cap? Actually, nobody.

At Ahmedabad all the batsmen, including opener Akash Chopra playing in his very first Test, performed well and, therefore, it would be foolhardy on the part of the team management to drop any one of them to make place for the local hero. In any case the national squad is selected on the basis of reality and not sentiments. Of course, the final eleven which will do duty in the match will be selected once the national selectors have had a look at the strip to be used for the match. But even if they opt to make any changes in the squad, it is doubtful whether the Chandigarh lad could find a place in the team.



Kiwi One-Day experts arrive today
Tribune News Service

  • Three New Zealand cricketers enjoyed the hospitality of local lad Yuvraj Singh last night as they were invited by Yuvi, as known to his friends, to his home in Modern Housing Complex, Mani Majra. Captain Stephen Fleming, spin bowler Daniel Vettori and opening batsman Lou Vincent had dinner at Yuvi’s place. A gypsy of the Chandigarh Police accompanied them.
  • Lou Vincent and Assistant Manager Lindsay Croackker also went to the famous Rock Garden. The duo were carrying cameras and spent about 45 minutes there.
  • When cricketers come, can young women fans be far behind? However, they were kept at bay by a few policewomen.

Chandigarh, October 14
New Zealand’s One-Day specialist players, including Chris Harris and Chris Cairns, will arrive in the city tomorrow. They will be accompanied by three others. The new arrivals will not be taking part in the Test match starting at Mohali on October 16 but will carry out extensive practice sessions even as the match will go on, to get used to the conditions in India.

The Punjab Cricket Association has been requested to make provisions for their practice, which includes local bowlers at the nets. Apart from Harris and Cairns, those arriving are P. Hitchcock, Mac Cullum and Kyle Milles. The replacement for Nathan Astle will join in later. The One-Day players will have their own practice schedule and of course they will be available for any brain-storming sessions, if required.

Meanwhile, the Kiwi management has issued strict instructions to their caterer, Essex farms, to provide only bland food, like steamed rice, boiled eggs, baked chicken and fruits for the players. The Kiwis are very careful after Nathan Astle upset his stomach when he could not resist lip-smacking curries in Ahmedabad. Their players are even avoiding sandwiches and salads.

At the hotel also the food being ordered is very light on spices even as chefs at Hotel Mountview are on standby for any demand. A practice session has been planned by the Kiwis tomorrow.

The Kiwis, who are staying at Hotel Mountview, have been going very easy with fans, obliging them with autographs. Some of them even ventured out in the market in Sector 10 opposite the hotel, accompanied by their personal security guards.



‘First come Sachin, Saurav, then Vajpayee, Kalam’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 14
Two Behlana village boys today added Sachin and Saurav along with six other top Indian cricketers to the list of celebrities they got close to.
Rahul Sharma and Devinder Singh, both around 10 years of age, had earlier gone close to film stars Hrithik Roshan and Ajay Devgan at the airport.

But their attempt to record the proximity with the Indian players through an autograph was scuttled by the Chandigarh Police today.

Rahul and Devinder were among other few cricket fans from the village who reached the airport to see the Indian players from a close distance.

Rahul and Devinder wrote an application to the government school in the village saying they had an “urgent piece of work.” Urgency of work was apparently to meet the players.

The young fans had been given leave by the school.

Talking to The Tribune, the two boys said they had earlier seen Hrithik Roshan and Ajay Devgan at the airport.

The proximity of the village to the airport has been giving its children opportunities to see famous persons.

However, political leaders President Abdul Kalam and Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee have not attracted these children.

Rahul and Pardeep of the same village were not lucky to reach the airport when the Indian players came on an Indian Airlines flight. They returned without having a glimpse of the players.

A group of seven or eight boys from the village had come to the airport walking to see their heroes, and Rahul and Devinder had autograph books ready only to be denied the autograph.

When asked if they had been bunking from school whenever a celebrity came to the city, they said when Ajay Devgan and Hrithik Roshan came to the city, it was a holiday in the school.

Security officers at the airport had a harrowing time turning away children of the village seeking to enter the airport, but a few still sneaked into the airport. A security personnel said those who could go inside were from the families of those working with the Airport Authority of India. A few children were accompanied by their mothers at the airport.



Picked for day’s work their dreams were fulfilled
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Policemen were the most sought-after people at the stadium today. As the news spread that the Indian team is going to be at the stadium for most of the day, everyone was seen trying to find someone or the other who knew a policeman. Over 600 policemen from SAS Nagar and Ropar have been posted in and around the stadium. ‘‘Anyone who knows any policeman could go inside and have a look at the players,’’ gushed a youngster, Preet, who had managed to get inside the stadium with the help of a ‘‘thanedar uncle’’.

According to a press note issued by the police traffic, within SAS Nagar the traffic will be diverted from the following points everyday starting from October 16 to October 20 from 8.30 a.m. to 10.30 a.m; 12 noon to 1pm and from 4 p.m. to 5.30 p.m.

From Phase VIII/IX traffic light points near the PSEB office.

  • From Guru Nanak Colony, Chandigarh/SAS Nagar border.
  • From Silvie Park, Phase X .
  • From City petrol station, Phase IX.

SAS Nagar, October 14
When Ram Swaroop and his group of 60 men were picked up today from the city’s labour chowk for a day’s work at the Punjab Cricket Association stadium here, neither he nor others could have imagined that their dreams would be fulfilled when in less than an hour they found themselves face to face with the Indian cricket team.

Sachin, Dravid and the rest of the team for whom they had cheered during the World Cup finals at their slum’s common television were before them, busy with their warm-up exercises at the lush-green ground of the stadium.

While most of them had been brought to put chairs in the stadium, many of them initially did not even realise that the white and royal blue track suit-clad men were the Indian players.

The Indian team had arrived on the ground just after lunch and started with their warm-up exercises.

‘‘It’s just our bad luck that we are working here as labourers. If I could afford it would have come with my friends to watch the match,’’ said Ram Swaroop.

But it seems Ram Swaroop and many other like him will be able to afford the five-day cricket bonanza. At Rs 50 a ticket for the general public there will be many who can fulfil their dream.

‘‘This is the lowest you will ever get a ticket for anywhere in the world for an international match. For the students it’s as low as Rs 25. We are expecting a major crowd here,” said Mr Rajiv Mittal, in charge of the tickets’ sale. ‘‘Many of my friends have bought tickets when they realised that for just Rs 50 they will be able to watch the match,” said Suresh, a resident of Guru Nanak Colony.

Many of the labourers even went back to get their families to see the players. ‘‘I have brought my wife here so that she also gets a chance to see the players. At least now she knows who Sachin is.’’



R.K. Anand’s appointment issue
Administrator rejects CM’s plea 
Kiran Deep

Chandigarh, October 14
The Governor of Punjab-cum-UT Administrator reportedly again rejected the plea moved by the Chief Minister of Punjab, Capt Amarinder Singh, to appoint Mr R.K Anand “Pleader Gratis” to appear on behalf of the Punjab State in a corruption case registered against Punjab Rural Development and Panchayat Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal.

Sources today informed that the Chief Minister had written a “demi official” letter to the Punjab Governor to reconsider its earlier decision.

Earlier, the UT Administrator had rejected a request to appoint a member of Rajya Sabha and Supreme Court Advocate, Mr R.K Anand, as “Pleader Gratis” and had also withdrawn its notification appointing him as “Special Public Prosecutor” in the case.

Controversy regarding the appointment of Mr Anand as Special Public Prosecutor had arisen when he appeared for a second time to argue the case. The UT Special Judge had asked him to produce UT Administration notification appointing him as “Special Public Prosecutor” instead of the Punjab Government appointment letter

Thereafter, accepting Punjab Government’s request, the UT Administration had issued notification appointing him as “Special Public Prosecutor”. But Mr Anand did not appear as Special Public Prosecutor”.

It is learnt that Mr Anand did not appear again in order to avoid any legal hassle as being a member of the Rajya Sabha, Mr Anand could not appear as “Special Public Prosecutor. Then the Punjab Government had moved a letter to the UT Administrator requesting to appoint Mr Anand as “Pleader Gratis” instead of the “Special Public Prosecutor”.



UGC warns against fake varsities
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 14
Students have been warned against seeking admission to nearly 20 fake universities in the country as their courses are not recognised by the University Grants Commission (UGC).

A list of such institutions was forwarded to Panjab University by the UGC recently.

The joint secretary, in a letter, said that these institutions were suffixing the word university, vishvavidyalaya and vishvavidyapith, vidyapith to their names and claimed to be empowered to award degrees. This was misleading information, the letter said.

The fake universities are located in Bihar, Delhi, Kerala, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh. Uttar Pradesh tops the list with such universities located at Mahila Gram Vidyapith, Allahabad, Varanaseya Sanskrit Vishvavidayala, Varanasi, the Indian Education Council of UP, Lucknow, Gandhi Hindi Vidyapith, Allahabad, National University of Electro Complex Homoeopathy, Kanpur, Netaji Subhash Chander Bose University, Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh Vishvidayala, Kosi Kelan, Maharana Pratap Siksha Niketan Vishvavidayalaya, Pratapgarh, and the Bhartiya Siksha Parishad Lucknow.

The list of fraudulent institutions also features the names of Maithili University, Darbhanga, Commercial University, Vishva Vidyapeeth, United Nations University, Vocational University, all in Delhi, St John’s University, Kishanattam, Kesarwani Vidyapeeth, Jabalpur, Raja Arabic University, Nagpur, and DDB Sanskrit University, Trichi.

The UGC has withdrawn the name of Delhi Vishva Vidyapeeth from the list as it has obtained an interim stay order from the Delhi High Court.

It has been clarified that universities can be established under an Act of the state or a central legislature and no institution can use the word university without a formal approval. A large number of students continued to be duped by such institutions.

The UGC has asked the universities to go through the list of institutions in their areas and inform it regarding any such fake institutions for appropriate action.

Panjab University has clarified in one of its earlier circulars that a degree of Mahila Gram Vidyapith was recognised equivalent to a university matriculation according to an earlier information booklet.

The university has derecognised it now following the UGC communication.

It has been sought that the universities should forward the relevant information about fake institutions to all students as well.

A senior professor of the university said the most unsuspecting lot was from the rural background and from poor families.

They were offered degrees at a “cheaper” cost. The other group of candidates was the one which failed in any university in two or more attempts. They were drawn to such institutions through advertisements which appeared even in certain newspapers and thought they could “obtain” a degree.



Cousin bitter over raw deal to martyr Sukhdev
Bipin Bhardwaj

Chandigarh, October 14
She has cherished memories of her cousin and freedom fighter, Sukhdev Thapar, a martyr of a Ghaddar fame, but has only bitter experiences to share regarding the country’s efforts to commemorate his sacrifice for the freedom of the nation.

Mrs Prem Rani Sehgal is bitter over the stepmotherly treatment given to her cousin by the nation in general and the film world in particular. She recalls the golden days she had spent with her “brave brother”.

“They eulogise Shaheed Bhagat Singh but have not cared to depict details about the immense contribution of Sukhdev and Rajguru to the country’s freedom struggle. The two only get a passing mention in movies made on Shaheed Bhagat Singh,” rued the 88-year-old woman while talking to this reporter.

She is the mother of Col V.K. Sehgal, in charge of the ammunition depot, Dappar.

Prem Rani Sehgal who was married to Diwan Daulat Ram Sehgal of Lyalpur (now in Pakistan) in March 1932, is an eyewitness to the events that occurred before her cousin was hanged.

She expressed her resentment against the surname — Thapar — not being used with Sukhdev’s name anywhere in history.

“In recently released Hindi movies, Sukhdev and Rajguru were given a stepmotherly treatment. The script writers, producers and directors gave prominence to Bhagat Singh and the actors playing the roles of Rajguru and Sukhdev were not given that importance,” she complained.

Mrs Sehgal said the successive governments had ignored the sacrifices of Sukhdev and Rajguru to such an extent that no memorials of the martyrs existed in the state.

“See the condition of Sukhdev’s ancestral house in Nau Ghara Mohalla in Ludhiana where Sukhdev was born in May 15, 1907. Reams of papers have been wasted on making plans to convert it into a memorial but nothing has been done so far. It remains as neglected as ever in old Ludhiana,” she pointed out.

Mrs Sehgal added that Sukhdev’s father Raliya Ram Thapar and mother, Rali Devi, were residing in Nau Ghara, a castle constructed by Lodhi emperors, which was later won by Sukhdev’s ancestors during the battle of Panipat in 1521.

She further revealed that efforts made by Sukhdev’s relatives proved fruitful after the Central Government renamed Mukhram Garden, owned by the Delhi Municipal Corporation inTilak Nagar, as Shaheed Sukhdev Thapar Garden in 2001.

“We have also chalked out a plan to rehabilitate the Nau Ghara’s tenants and install Sukhdev Thapar’s statue there,” claimed Ms Sehgal.

The told lady disclosed that she had mentioned each and every moment she had spent with Sukhdev from his childhood till his death in her autobiography.

Although several proposals had been mooted for the preservation of the house where Sukhdev was born and brought up, the memorial could not see the light of the day because of certain reasons.

The biggest problem was the rehabilitation of tenants who had been staying there for the past several years.

Although the Sukhdev Memorial Trust, set up by certain close relatives of the martyr had tried its best to rehabilitate the tenants, it could not succeed because of one reason or another.

The monetary help promised by certain filmstars including Raj Babbar, who visited the house over three years ago, is still awaited. Moreover, a scheme, under which the Ludhiana administration has roped in some industrialists to rehabilitate the tenants and to preserve the Nau Ghara house has also turned out to be a non-starter.



Verma okays tertiary-water network plan
To be operational in educational institutions in six months
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 14
A plan to lay a tertiary-water network (to use treated water for watering lawns) in all government institutions, including educational institutions in Chandigarh, will be operational within a period of six months.

This will bring down the consumption of drinking water which is supplied to the city by pushing water against gravity. The power bill just to run these motors for supplying water is in the range of Rs 14 crore annually.

The Punjab Governor and UT Administrator , Justice O.P. Verma (retd), gave his approval to the plan when the Chief Engineer presented it in a meeting of senior officers, today. At present, all these major institutions are using drinking water for irrigation purpose and tertiary-water network of UT Administration was not being fully utilised.

The Chief Engineer informed the Administrator that the estimate for laying the tertiary-water network in all institutions except in those owned by the Central Government like PGI, Panjab University and CSIO, has been prepared by the UT Administration and has been submitted to various departments. He said the work on the tertiary-water network in these institutions would start soon and these would be linked to tertiary-water network within the next three months. The Administrator said the supply of potable water for irrigation purpose in these institutions should be banned as potable water was already in short supply in Chandigarh.

Justice Verma asked the Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, to coordinate with PGI, Panjab University and CSIO authorities so that they could also complete their tertiary-water network within the stipulated period.

The Adviser informed the Administrator that work regarding the renovation of Panchayat Bhavan has been allotted to a contractor and rooms as well as halls were being redone at the cost of Rs 38 lakh. Justice Verma asked the Engineering Department to expedite the renovation work of the Panchayat Bhavan.

Reacting to a news item that appeared in The Tribune regarding the lack of civic amenities in Police Colony, Sector 42, Chandigarh, Justice Verma asked the Engineering Department and the Municipal Corporation to work collectively to improve the civic amenities as well as streetlights in that area.

The Adviser informed that streetlights in the colony would be operational by tomorrow. The Engineering Department and the Municipal Corporation will work collectively to raise the level of low-lying park in the colony and beautify it within three months and roads would be repaired soon. Justice Verma asked the Inspector General of Police to periodically monitor the civic amenities in police colony to check any deterioration.

The Deputy Commissioner will submit a conceptual plan within 15 days for upgrading Sarangpur as second model village of Chandigarh.



DC told to conduct magisterial probe into 
Jaiveer’s death
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 14
The police has asked the Deputy Commissioner to get a fresh inquiry conducted by a Magistrate into the circumstances leading to the death of Head Constable Jaiveer Singh.
This move comes after the report of an inquiry into the inquest proceedings was submitted to the Superintendent of Police by the Deputy Commissioner today. The SP, Mr Ranbir S. Sharma, after going through the inquest inquiry conducted by the SDM, Kalka, Mr Devinder Kaushik, asked the Deputy Commissioner, Ms Satwanti Ahlawat to conduct a magisterial inquiry into the circumstances leading to Jaiveer’s death and embezzlement of Rs 95,000 from the “maalkhana” before his death.

The inquiry report, which was submitted to the Deputy Commissioner yesterday and forwarded to the SP today, merely mentions how Jaiveer had shot himself and includes the statements of all those present in the police station at the time of incident. Senior police officials, requesting anonymity, said the future course of action would depend on the reports of the magisterial inquiry and the police probe by DSP, Yamunanagar, Mr Ashok Kumar, along with the reports of fingerprint experts and forensic science experts.

Meanwhile, a brother-in-law of the victim, Mr Paramjit, today alleged that there was some foul play and demanded a CBI probe into the death of Jaiveer. He said since the top cops of the state police were involved, a fair investigation could be conducted by the CBI or any other external investigating agency.

It may be noted that Head Constable Jaiveer had reportedly shot himself dead in the Sector 5 police station. A sum of Rs 95,000 had gone missing from the “maalkhana” of the police station, a day after Jaiveer, “Moharrar” in charge of “maalkhana”, had handed over the charge of the “maalkhana” to Head Constable Krishan Kumar.

The police investigation in the matter of the missing cash was the immediate provocation for Jaiveer to commit suicide. He had mentioned in his suicide note that five cops, including DGP Haryana, were harassing him. He had said 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.



11-kv feeder line commissioned
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, October 14
The Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) has reduced its financial losses to a large extent and will be able to break even by March 31, 2004.
This was stated by Mr Y.S. Ratra, Chairman, PSEB, while talking to mediapersons after the commissioning of the 11-kv direct feeder line at the Chandigarh Engineering College, near Landran, here today. The college will now be getting its supply from Kumbra urban feeder.

Mr Ratra said the PSEB had anticipated a loss of Rs 1,400 crore in December last year and the figure had now come down to Rs 430 crore. As the board had been able to improve its financial position, even the banks were now ready to give a loan to PSEB if required.

He said the board had to suffer 26 per cent losses while running the distribution system. Out of these 18 per cent losses were unavoidable because the rural area network was very large. The commercial loss was 8 per cent out of which 4 per cent was due to theft and remaining 4 per cent due to slow and faulty power meters. He said the board suffered a loss of Rs 100 crore against 1 per cent of theft cases. He said he had given directions to the authorities concerned that the commercial loss had to be reduced by 2 per cent by the end of the year which would enable the board to overcome a loss of Rs 200 crore.

He said the salary bill of the PSEB staff came to Rs 1,300 crore per annum, which was the highest in the country. He, however, added as such no vacant posts would be filled.

Mr Ratra said the board had decided to provide 24-hour power supply, on the urban lines to 5500 villages at a cost of Rs 250 crore. The completion of the project would take two to three years. The domestic and tubewell supply lines would be segregated.

He said representatives from the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry had met him recently and presented their problems which would be looked into soon.



Golden Forests Resort fined for stealing power
Bipin Bhardwaj

Lalru, October 14
The Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) today slapped a penalty of Rs 11, 91,846 on Golden Forest Resorts located at Jharmari village along the Kalka-Ambala highway, near here, for pilfering power by tampering with seals of electric meters.

Sources in the PSEB revealed that a team of the enforcement wing of the board headed by Mr V. K. Mahajan, Executive Engineer, raided the resort and found seals of two meters fake. The team comprising the technical staff of the board was also assisted by two police personnel when the checking was conducted.

The lower parts of the electricity meters were tampered and an average of about 2000 units of power was being pilfered per day by the owner of the resort, highly placed sources in the board disclosed.

The sources also disclosed that the pilferage was more in summers and less in winters.

The Chief Engineer of the enforcement wing, Mr D. S. Gill, confirmed that the slapping of the penalty on the resort owners and claimed that the meters were found with fake seals during a routine checking conducted by the enforcement wing.

He said the enforcement wing was suspecting power pilferage since June and were keeping a close watch on the units consumed after comparing the old data. During checking, the enforcement team found that the impressions on the seal were fake and did not matched the original impressions of the board, added Mr Gill.

It is learnt that the pilferage case was handed over to the Dispute Settlement Committee this evening. The amount of penalty would be fixed by a quorum of top functionaries of the department in the next meeting of the committee. 



4 pc DA hike is UT staff’s Divali gift
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 14
UT employees will get a Divali gift in the form of 4 per cent hike in dearness allowance (DA) as the Chandigarh Administration has decided to follow Punjab which today decided to release another installment of DA to its employees with effect from July 1, 2003.

The Adviser to the UT Administrator, Mr Raminder Singh Gujral, today confirmed that Chandigarh will follow Punjab in this regards. Meanwhile, sources said a formal notification about the DA installment would be made in day or two as the major festival is around the corner.

In Punjab the DA would be payable at the rate of 59 per cent now instead of 55 per cent. It would be credited to the GPF accounts of the employees up to September 30, 2003 and would be paid in cash with effect from October 1st , 2003. The Central Government has already hiked DA for its employees.

It is not mandatory for the UT to follow the same payment procedure as Punjab and it may prefer to pay cash for the entire period from July 1. This, if done, will be a substantive Divali gift for the employees.



JPC panel to examine Wakf Board functioning
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 14
A sub-committee of the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) will arrive in Chandigarh on a two-day visit on October 19. It will examine the functioning of the Wakf Board. During its stay in the city the sub-committee members would interact with a cross section of people having insight in Wakf matters on October 19 and on October 20 the sub-committee will have discussions with the UT Administrator and other officers.

The team will also discuss Wakf matters with Chief Secretaries and other officers of governments of Punjab and Haryana.

Members of the sub-committee are : Mr Ali Mohammad Naik (Convenor), Mr K. Rahman Khan, Mr Khan Ghafrar Zahidi, Mr Sudip Bandyopadhyay, Mr Lal Bihari Tiwari, Mr Manjay Lal, Mr A.F. Golam Osmani, Mr Sheesh Ram Singh Ravi, Begum Noor Bano and Prof. Ram Deo Bhandari.



Fast of faith 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 14
Praying for the long lives of their husbands, city wives today pushed all thoughts of food and water out of their minds, at least till late in the evening on the occasion of Karva Chauth.

Expressing solidarity with their famished halves, some husbands also abstained from munching and gulping. Rather, a few hubbies stayed away from their offices to “render support”, and assist in the household chores.

The excitement had started to build up early. In fact two days in advance. Eager to get the patterns traced on the canvas of their hands and feet with henna, they rushed to the sector markets and waited for hours together for their turn.

Several women sat patiently on the stools till late at night as the artists applied lemon juice on the henna-coated hands.

In the morning the dutiful wives got out of beds even before the lazy sun awoke from its slumber to shine on all alike feasted on paneer-paranths”, “Alu-gobhi”, “pheniyan” and other pursuits by some while the modern’ wives went for shopping or watched movies while waiting for the moon to appear in the evening. And in the evening as the chuckling moon’s bright rays pierced the blanket of darkness, they all rushed out to look at it through a wire mesh before ending their day-long fast.



Experts look for clues in Avtar murder case
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 14
A team of the Central Scientific Forensic Laboratory (CFSL) today visited the jungles adjoining Prem Pura village, where parts of the body of Khuda Alisher village resident Avtar Singh Tara had been dumped to collect more evidence.

The police is looking for several persons, including the wife of the main accused, Makhan Singh. It conducted raids on several places in Punjab and Haryana today in this connection.

Sources informed that the CFSL team picked up some samples, reportedly of blood, from the spot. The police is yet to question the wife of the main accused in the murder, Makhan Singh. She had reportedly gone ‘underground’ the day Makhan Singh was arrested. The police was also looking for Maan Singh of Badodiyan village and a printer based in Naya Gaon village.

Till now the police has arrested five persons, including Makhan Singh, in connection with the murder and several more arrests were likely.

Avtar Singh was shot dead and his body was chopped into pieces. These pieces were scattered in a choe near Prem Pura village, Pinjore.



Mohali water supply timings
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, October 14
Due to the ongoing repair work at the Augmented Water Supply Scheme, Kajauli, from October 15 to 17 drinking water supply to the following residential areas of the town will be restricted to the given timings: Phases IX, X and XI: 6 am to 8 am and 6 pm to 8 pm and Sector 70: 6.30 am to 8 am and 6.30 pm to 8 pm.



Verka Dy Manager held 
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, October 14
A Deputy Manager of the Verka milk plant, Mr Manohar Singh Sood, was allegedly caught red-handed by officials of the Vigilance Department while accepting a bribe of Rs 2,000 from a secretary of the Milk Producers Society here today.

Mr Sood had allegedly accepted the bribe from Mr Jasbir Singh for releasing an automatic milk testing machine which had been taken into custody by the milk plant authorities after the society of Nadiali village was dissolved in July.

Mr Zora Singh Brar, DSP, Vigilance, said the raid had been conducted on the directions of Mr Kanwaljit Singh, DIG, Vigilance (flying squad 1). Mr Brar was accompanied by Mr Niranjan Singh, DSP, for the raid. Two doctors of the Health Department Raju Dhir and Widhi Chand were the witnesses.

However, Mr D.D.Maini, General Manager of the milk plant, said the raid was a “frame up” in which Mr Sood had been falsely implicated. He said he had known Mr Sood for the past many years and was an honest officer.

Mr Maini added that Jasbir Singh had kept the money under the telephone in the office of Mr Sood when the latter was not present. Mr Jasbir Singh had allegedly applied some chemical on his hands which got transferred to the hands of Mr Sood after the two shook hands. He said the officials of the Vigilance Department caught Mr Sood on the basis of the colour on his hands.



Two caught selling crude oil
Tribune Reporters

Panchkula, October 14
The CID crime branch today busted a six-member gang involved in illegal sale of crude oil meant for the defence forces in Ladakh.
Two members of the gang Paramjit and Raj Kumar were caught red-handed at the Panchkula-Zirakpur border today. The duo, who were ferrying a tanker (HR-37A-2326) of crude oil from the Ambala depot for Ladakh, were arrested while they were trying to sell crude oil to a private person in Zirakpur.

According to the police, the two have confessed to selling 2,000 lit of crude oil to a person at Sarseni village near Lalru. They were drivers of the tanker and were working with Bittu Kalia, Jaspal Singh, Kuldeep Singh and Ominder Singh.

Police told to book tantrik: The police has been directed to book a tantrik on charges of cheating a medical practitioner by promising to send him abroad by use of black magic.

Acting on a complaint filed by Dr Akash Goyal, the Judicial Magistrate, First Class, has directed the police to register a case under Section 420 of the IPC against the tantrik. In his complaint, Dr Goyal, an ayurvedic doctor, had alleged that the tantrik took Rs 15,000 from him for performing a yajna in 2002. The tantrik and his disciple assured the complainant that after the yajna, he would get a call from the visa issuing authorities within two months.

When Dr Goyal did not receive any such call he approached the tantrik again, who asked him to shell out more money for performing another yajna in the cremation ground of old Panchkula. When this also did not yield results, Dr Goyal alleged that he was again asked to shell out money for a third yajna to be performed on a full moon night for five months.

Theft cases:
Four cases of theft, including that of cash and jewellery, were reported from different parts of the city in the past 24 hours. Thieves broke into a Sector 15 A house and took away gold bangles and ear-rings a camera, Rs 2,500 and other items yesterday afternoon. On complaint of Mr Parveen Mahajan, has been registered.

Ms Neetu Sandhu of Sector 10 reported that her car (CH03 K 2810) was stolen from her residence yesterday. A Maruti car (CHN 6839) of Mr Didar Singh was also reported to be stolen from UT Secretariat, Sector 9, yesterday.

Dera Bassi
Three booked:
Three residents of Baroli village have been booked by the police for removing the names of a Block Samiti member of the same village from a foundation stone, here today.

Sources in the police said Dharam Pal, Randhir Singh and Ram Asra, all residents of Baroli village, had been booked for trespassing and a case under Sections 489 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered against the trio.

In his complaint to the police Mr Shamsher Singh, Sarpanch and a member of the Block Samiti, alleged that the three persons broke the foundation stone laid by Ms Preneet Kaur, MP Patiala, during her visit to the village on October 6.

Two women, Seema and her daughter Sunita, were allegedly assaulted by Santa, his sister Santosh and their mother with iron bars and sticks at their house this afternoon. The two suffered serious injuries and were admitted to General Hospital. The police has registered a case.


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