C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Temple burgled, ornaments worth 3.15 lakh stolen
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 30
Over 30 silver crowns and chhattars, weighing 30 kg and worth Rs 3.15 lakh, were stolen from Pracheen Shiv Mandir in Sector 9 in the wee hours of today.

The burglary came to light around 4.30 am, when the pujari, Ram Prakash Dubey , got up to perform the morning aarti. He saw that the lights of one part of the temple, where all idols had been placed, and is separated from the remaining portion with an aluminum partition, were switched on. He rushed there, only to find that the hinges of the locks had been broken.

He went inside and found that the mukat and chhattar of deities in this part of the temple, including deities of all nine manifestations of the Mother Goddess, were missing. He alerted members of the temple charitable trust, including Mr O.P. Sharma, who rushed to the temple. The police was called in and the entire temple was thoroughly searched.

The temple authorities also found that the silver chhattar and the shesh naag around the shivling in the Shiv temple were also missing. In all, 22 mukats , 10 chhattars and the silver shesh naag was missing. The locks of the donation box, where offerings are kept, were also broken and a sum of Rs 10,000 was missing (the donation box was emptied on Monday morning, and since maximum offerings are made on Monday and Tuesday, the authorities say that the amount would be around Rs 10,000). A huge cloth kept on the gaddi of the priest and the cover of the gaddi were also missing, raising suspicion that these were used to wrap the crowns and chhattars.

When the temple authorities realised that the sevadars of the temple had not woken up, they approached the sevadar room. They saw that the room was locked from outside. The three sevadars sleeping in the room said one of them had woken up around 12.30 am to relieve himself and at that time the room was not locked. Even the pujari, Ram Prakash Dubey, who stays on the temple premises, said he had not heard any commotion during the night.

A sevadar, Chander Pal, was sleeping in a small room at the main entrance of the temple. Two of the priests — Pt Kripa Shankar Shukla and Pt Vinod — who had gone out of the temple to solemnise marriages, had returned around 3.30 in the morning. Chander Pal had opened the main gate of the temple to let them in.

The police suspects that the burglary took place between 1 am and 3 am. Since the main entrance was guarded, the miscreant(s) probably entered from the road at the back side of the temple.

The police did not rule out the hand of an insider, and said investigations were under way. A number of employees were questioned by the police and a team of forensic experts led by Mr G.R. Jain, was called in to investigate the matter.


MC approves 5 pc property tax
Tribune News Service

  • The rate of the property tax in each zone varies from floor to floor
  • On vacant land forming part on which building was yet to be constructed, the rate of the tax would be Rs 1 per sq ft, irrespective of the four zones.
  • Those using residential buildings for commercial activity would have to pay Rs 10 per sq ft of the area being used for commercial activity.
  • Religious institutions are exempted but will have to pay tax at the rate of Rs 10 per sq foot per month on the portion being used for any commercial activity
  • The identified branches of the Oriental Bank of Commerce are in Bank Square Sector 17, Shivalikview Hotel, Sector 17, Sector 19-D market, along Madhya Marg in Sector 26, Sector 34-A market, Tender Heart School in Sector 33-B, St Xavier School in Sector 44, Sector 37-D market, NAC Mani Majra and extension counter in Sector 41 market.

Chandigarh, October 30
The Municipal Corporation today approved levying of property tax on commercial and institutional property in the city at the rate of 5 per cent. An officer of the corporation said the process to accept the installments of property tax at ten different branches of the Oriental Bank of Commerce would be in place by the third week of November. The tax could be paid biannually or after a year.

This was decided at a meeting of the Committee on Property Tax, chaired by nominated councillor, Mr CK Sawhney. The Additional Commissioner, Mr Arun Sekhri, Mr Rajesh Gupta, Dr B.R. Verma, Mr Chander Mukhi — all councillors were also present at the meeting. Exempting government buildings from the payment of property tax, the corporation will be charging nominal service charges from the government department concerned at the rate of 75 per cent of the tax calculated on a building in the respective zone.

Mr Sawhney said the assessees would be given 30 days time to pay the property tax. The public notice to pay the property tax at the respective branch of the bank would be inserted in newspapers in the first week of November. For the current financial year, the tax would be levied for a period of nine months and 28 days i.e. June 3, 2003 — from the date of notification of property tax. The approximate amount will be around Rs 10 crore.

The officer said the tax payers would get exemption from Income Tax and those who pay the tax under the self-assessment scheme would get 10 per cent rebate on the amount. A rebate of 5 per cent would be allowed if the amount of the tax was paid in two half yearly installments. And if a person did not pay the tax within a period of one month from the issue of the tax bill, the tax would be charged with interest at a rate of 18 per cent per annum.

The entire city has been divided into five categories and four zones for charging property tax on commercial and institutional property. The government buildings have been classified in one zone and the floor-wise service charges vary between Rs 3 per sq ft per month and Rs 13 per sq ft per month.

Sources in the corporation said the formal orders to levy the property tax and the fire cess had been sent to the corporation earlier this month. Officers in the corporation said a streamlined system to collect the tax had already been put in place.

The sources said advertisements would be inserted in newspapers asking the property holders to pay the tax under a policy of self assessment. A one-month period would be given to the tax assessees before the corporation began the exercise of carrying out fresh surveys.

An officer said initially a policy of self assessment would be pursued so that there was no pilferage of the tax and there was no harassment to the tax payers. All other formalities regarding the various slabs to levy the tax , penalty and time schedule have already been finalised and it would require a few days to start the process. A committee having two councillors who would hear appeals of those paying property tax.


PUDA nets Rs 11.25 cr in auction
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, October 30
Setting a record, the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) today fetched a whopping Rs 1 crore for a shop-cum-office (SCO) site in Sector 70 here during an auction of freehold commercial sites. Most of the other commercial sites auctioned today also fetched high rates, marking over 20 per cent increase in commercial property rates within the past two months.

In total, PUDA netted Rs 11.25 crore from the sale of 28 commercial sites of various kinds, including booths and bulk material market marble and timber sites.

This was the third auction by PUDA in this financial year.

The Additional Chief Administrator, PUDA, SAS Nagar, Mr Yashvir Mahajan, stated that the town was likely to become the destination of the future. “With development work in the offing for the City Centre in Sector 62, there is a certain positive trend in the economy of the area,” he added.

Sources said the recent announcement of a foreign company to establish a integrated township within SAS Nagar had led to the real estate market recording a sudden boost.

The SCO site in Sector 70 is on the main road that leads to Sohana village. During the last auction, the sites sold at the same location had fetched Rs 80 lakh to Rs 83 lakh, thereby registering a rise of almost 17 lakh within the past two months. Similar sites had sold for less than Rs 60 lakh last year. “This proves that land is the best investment today. No bank can ever give you a clean profit of over Rs 20 to 40 lakh in less than a year,” said a property dealer present at the auction.

While seven shop-cum-flat (SCF) plots in Phase XI sold between Rs 55 lakh and Rs 56 lakh, another three SCF sites in Phase X sold for Rs 60 lakh to 65 lakh. A single-storeyed shop (SSS) in Phase IIIB2 was auctioned for Rs 70.6 lakh.

Six booths in Phase V and Phase I were also auctioned, with the booths in Phase I fetching Rs 15 lakh to Rs 17 lakh per booth and the ones in Phase V fetching Rs 10 lakh to Rs 11 lakh per booth. Ten marble and timber sites at the bulk material market in Phase XI fetched Rs 29 lakh to Rs 37 lakh.

Today’s collection was about 20 per cent over and above the reserve price of these plots that was fixed starting at Rs 78.27 lakh for the SCO site in Sector 70, Rs 49 lakh for the SCF sites in Sector X and Rs 38 lakh for the SCF sites in Phase XI.

The maximum difference in the selling price as compared to the reserve price was in the case of the SSS in Phase IIIB2 where the reserve price was fixed above Rs 32 lakh and the shop sold at a little over Rs 70 lakh.

The marble and timber bulk material sites, too, recorded a good selling price with most of them selling for a rate more than Rs 5 lakh above the reserve price. Only a marginal increase in the selling price of booths was recorded as a result of which some of these booths were held back for auction the next time.


PU properties underutilised
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 30
Scattered in different parts of the region, priceless property of Panjab University fetches “peanuts” as the total revenue on account of rent or remains grossly underutilised in serving any meaningful purpose — academic or extracurricular.

It may be remembered that, besides the grand complex of the university in the city, it also has its property in different parts of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. The property outside the campus is located at places that are no longer under the jurisdiction of the university. Long after Independence, the university continued to cater to the states of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.

Interestingly, the university has to its name more than five shops in Hall Bazaar, Amritsar, that is one of the most expensive localities. The rent that the shops fetch varies from Rs 80 to Rs 200 only. The actual market rent is Rs 3,500 and more. The shops are host to an ice-cream parlour, an electricity shop and an academy, besides others. Despite repeated reminders, the shopkeepers have not responded positively to the university suggestions for enhancing the rent amounts. They did not turn up at a meeting of a special committee held recently.

The committee has recommended that the parties involved in the deal be given another notice for striking a deal on the enhanced rent or be asked to vacate the shops.

The university also has property at Panipat. A reputed bank occupies one portion of the land and other piece lies vacant. Earlier visits by the university teams to the venue to strike a deal for the university have gone waste. Certain members, including Prof Charanjit Chawla, suggested that the university should dispose of its property “in such cases” and use the amount gathered to pay scholarships to students. This would better serve the intention of the people who made donations. Priceless property lying under-utilised did not serve any purpose.

Disposal of the university property by selling it off was strongly opposed by Prof R.D.Anand who said that the property had been donated for a noble purpose of giving community a broad base for the possible university programmes. Instead of disposing it of, the university should work out proposal for a better utilisation, he said.

The committee members also included Dr Sashi Kumar, Prof G.C. Mahajan and Prof Paramjit Singh, Registrar.

The university also has its sites at Shimla and Dalhousie in Himachal Pradesh. It is largely felt that the university should retain its property in the hills and improve the existing living conditions. Parts of Dingle Estate at Shimla were involved in litigation against Himachal Pradesh University which had some area under its occupation. The court has made a ruling in favour of Panjab University.

The university infact wants to improve its compound at Shimla because the existing structure does not offer a very encouraging stay for teachers and students. The university has decided go make certain changes in the structure. A senior teacher said the university should also make some investment to improve the facilities at Dalhousie. Rent could be enhanced coupled with the corresponding improvement in facilities for which the visitors should have no objection in paying a higher amount.


PU reschedules winter break
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 30
Panjab University has decided to review the schedule for the forthcoming winter vacation in the affiliated colleges. A decision to this regard was taken at a meeting chaired by Prof K.N. Pathak, Vice- Chancellor of the PU, here today.

The colleges will remain closed between December 25 and January 11. Earlier, the university had decided that the winter vacation would commence from December 15 onwards.

The meeting today was attended by principals, Mr S.C. Marriya, Mr A.C. Vaid, Mr P.S. Sangha and Mr Satinder Dhillon, besides others.

The departments on the campus will remain closed as per the earlier schedule between December 15 and January 8, 2004. The change in the schedule has come because of the National Science Congress to be held on the campus from January 3 onwards, sources said.

It was felt that the university needed time to spruce up the campus and hostels for those attending the congress, but, the colleges would remain unaffected on this account.


City on road to become tourist-friendly
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 30
Efforts will now be made to make the city a tourist friendly destination. Beautifying the entry points, putting up electronic guide maps at the entry points and installing road sign boards on all highways and other roads in the city are among the few things which will happen in the future.

The UT Administrator, Justice O.P. Verma (retd), has told his officials that a tourist coming to the city for the first time feels lost and was usually fleeced by auto rickshaw drivers or rickshaw pullers. He said city guide maps should be put on entry points as well as at both the Inter State Bus Terminus (ISBT) and also at the railway station. The Administrator said if possible prominent destinations, including tourist spots hotels, restaurants, shopping area and their distances from that point should also be mentioned on sector guide maps or city guide maps.

Justice Verma said each V-4 road in all sectors should also have a sector guide map and each V-6 road should have a plate indicating houses in that row. The Administrator said Chandigarh was a well-planned city and these things were quite helpful for someone who is coming to the city for the first time. The Finance Secretary informed that on two highways there were special road signs as approved by the Indian Road Congress.

Justice Verma asked the Finance Secretary to have such signs put up on all highways. Moreover, entry points to the city ‘should be beautified and have an Electronic city guide map. All entry roads to the city should be developed and greened to leave a lasting impression on visitors’ mind.

Taking a serious note of the accumulation of stagnant water in the trenches dug up by the Forest Department on a vacant plot in Sector 46 and 47 to protect the saplings planted by it, Justice Verma said trenches were not suitable for areas falling within the city as these were becoming breeding grounds for mosquitoes. He said these should be filled up forthwith and plants should be protected by erecting barbed wire enclosures.

The Finance Secretary informed that work on computerisation of Estate Office records was in full swing.

Meanwhile, the Bank of Punjab has assigned the task of providing specialised software programme for keeping the record of all properties of Chandigarh to a US company, which would finalise it within 2-3 months. Justice Verma said all public related works of the Estate Office as well as of other boards and corporation including the Chandigarh Housing Board, should be online.

The Administrator asked his Adviser to ensure that all public dealing departments were able to provide online services to the residents.


What ails security at PGI parking lots?
Pratibha Chauhan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 30
Apart from treating patients, doctors at the PGI have another task at hand. To guard their cars and two-wheelers, which are being stolen from the staff parking and other unmarked areas for vehicles within the hospital campus.

Perturbed over the safety of their vehicles, doctors said what is even more surprising is the fact that a majority of the cars and two-wheelers were stolen during day time, while they were in the hospital on duty. “I parked my car behind the Nehru Hospital at 8 a.m and when I came out to go home for lunch, I found my car missing,” said a doctor from Radiodiagnosis Department, whose car was stolen in August.

During the recent past cars of doctors working in the Hepatology, Surgery, Blood Transfusion and Renal Transplant Centre have been stolen from the PGI campus. “The casual attitude of the PGI authorities about the whole issue is evident from the fact that when asked to take up the matter with the contractor, managing the parking lots, I was directed to do it in my individual capacity,” lamented a doctor, who made a formal complaint to the PGI authorities.

One of the cars was stolen from the doctors’ hostel, while others from the parking lot near the Nehru Hospital. The car of a doctor from the Transfusion Medicine Department, stolen from the hostel, last month was later recovered from Amritsar. “The fact that one of the stolen cars was recovered from somewhere near the Nepal border confirms that a gang of thieves is behind the cars going missing from the PGI so the administration must take the issue seriously rather than washing their hands off it,” said another doctor.

It is not just cars, that are being stolen as the number of two-wheelers stolen from PGI campus is far more, point out doctors and other employees.

Surprisingly, the PGI authorities when asked about the total number of cars that had been stolen from the institute said they had no such record as the matter had been reported to the police. Even though the PGI has a full fledged security department no concrete steps have been taken to beef up security.

“Though ensuring the safety of the vehicles parked in the PGI is ours as well as of the contractor concerned but there is little we can do as a majority of the cars are parked along the roads, for which the contractor cannot be held responsible,” said an official expressing his helplessness.

The Chief Security Officer, Mr P.C. Sharma, when contacted said the biggest problem was the shortage of parking space as against the area demarcated for only 700 cars, more than 3,500 have to be accommodated daily. He added that there was an urgent need to create more parking space by constructing multi-storeyed parking slots.

The PGI authorities said in some of the cases the doctors too are responsible for the thefts as they are very careless. “After the recent spurt in thefts we have started checking the cars parked inside PGI to ensure that they were not left unlocked and invariably we find that doctors are careless,” said an official. He added that a majority of the cars that had been stolen were old models which do have central locking facility.


‘Teased Adams’ quiz SP
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 30
Beware boys! There are “Adam-teasers” on the prowl in the city. This was brought to the notice of the Superintendent of Police (Operations), Mr H.G.S. Dhaliwal, today during a talk at the Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 16, here.

One student asked the police officer what protection a man had against “Adam-teasers.” He narrated an incident in Sector 17 when one of his friends who had come from Panchkula was teased by some girls.

The student said the same girls later approached the police and complained against his friend. He said his friend was so terrified that he stopped coming to the market.

The question of the student had the gathering and the police officer in splits. But then girls started expressing their apprehensions about the attitude of the police personnel. Girls asked Mr Dhaliwal if there was a ban on sitting at a public place with male friends.

The police officer said there was no such ban and the cops had been told not to interfere in the lives of the young people.

He said the police had taken action on the complaint of elderly people who notice young ones sitting in parks while the older people are taking walks.

Mr Dhaliwal asked the students to bring the complaints against the erring police personnel to the notice of higher officers.

A large number of interesting questions were asked by the students during an interaction between the Superintendent of Police and them after a talk by Mr Dhaliwal on the Chandigarh Police.

Students were also shown a presentation on the functioning of the police of the Union Territory.

Girl students asked several questions on eve-teasing saying it was on the rise. Mr Dhaliwal told the students if eve-teasing was proved, a person could be imprisoned for six months.

When girls said the jail term was less, Mr Dhaliwal said it was a problem beyond the control of the law enforcing agencies and added that it was also caused by a “sexually repressed” social structure in our country.

He said society had to deal with the problem and law alone would not be able to control it.

Mr Dhaliwal cited an example saying when he was ASP, Central, he had started a drive against eve-teasers but this invited complaints from both girl and boy students.

The students contended that the strictness of police was working against a healthy relation between the students of different sexes.

The Principal of the school, Mr R.K. Sharma, highlighted the importance of such interactions.


No power, water for over 12 hours
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, October 30
Thousands of residents of Phase X and Industrial Area Phase IX here went without electricity and water supply for over 12 hours today. While Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) officials stated that there had been an unavoidable delay in a repair work undertaken in the morning, residents virtually gheraoed the complaint office of the PSEB when they did not receive any respite even after eight hours of power shutdown.

Mr Anil Sharma, a resident of Phase X, said the power shutdown began at 9 am and even at 9 pm, they were still waiting for power to be restored. “There is no water supply also and no one, including the councillors, have come forward to make some temporary arrangements for water,” he added.

Mr Amardeep Sharma, an industrialist residing in Phase IX Industrial Area, pointed that the PSEB had also not made any announcement regarding the power shutdown. “At least the Municipal Council should ensure that there are generators with the tubewells. Whenever there is a power failure, we have to go without any water supply also. Since morning, my family and employees are fetching water from Phase XI,” he added.

When contacted around 9.30 pm, Mr S.C. Agarwal, Superintending Engineer, in charge of PSEB, SAS Nagar, however, stated that they had given a 9 to 5 power shutdown notice for the area but the repair work could not be finished in time. “We had undertaken to change breaker and we will be restoring power in an hour,” he said.


More jobs in garment industry, says expert
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, October 30
Delhi has become a hub of the garment industry. The owners of prominent brands have opened their offices there. Exporters, who had so far been fabric suppliers, are setting up their own units. As technical skills are needed to run a successful unit producing quality goods, there are tremendous career opportunities in this field.

These views were expressed by Mr Kishore Motwani, Managing Director, Intagartek India Pvt Limited, a company providing technical consultancy for setting up garment manufacturing and allied units. Mr Motwani was addressing students of the Northern India Institute of Fashion Technology at a seminar on " Current scenario of the garment industry and career opportunities" here today.

He said the garment industry was going to face tough competition in the coming years and to stay in business it had to lay stress on quality and provide goods at competitive prices. Technical skills were needed to run a unit and for that an in-house laboratory was a must. Textile engineers were needed to identify quality and various other aspects.

He said there were a lot of variations in fabric and shade variation was a very big problem in the garment industry. Most units did not have proper dying machines.

He said international norms would have to be followed to face tough competition. A highly modern plant was essential to produce quality product. Those interested in placing orders would first be inspecting and evaluating the unit. Earlier, garment industry was run by fabricators. But now the producer had to provide all in-house facilities needed from cut-to-pack.

He said the export of garments had started in 1965. There was a boom in the business from 1975 to 1985 and it remained stabilised from 1985 to 1995. But since then it had declined because of tough competition.


Move on community centres opposed
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, October 30
The Citizens Welfare Federation has decided to knock at the door of the court if the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) did not withdraw its decision to convert community centres into clubs and allot sites earmarked for government schools to private educational institutions.

In a press note issued here today, Mr Albel Singh Shyam, secretary general of the federation, said the federation had opposed the decision of PUDA. He said community centres had been constructed for fulfilling social needs of the residents and PUDA had already charged the residents for providing such facilities. Consent of residents was a must before PUDA turned community centres into clubs. He said if it was not possible for PUDA to maintain the buildings it can be hand these over to the municipal council.

Mr Shyam said the sites earmarked for government schools could not be allotted to private institutions as the government had decided to develop SAS Nagar on the Chandigarh pattern where every sector had a high or a higher secondary government school. SAS Nagar had only one government higher secondary school. He said the Central Government’s target of providing free and compulsory education to children aged between six years and 14 years could only be achieved with the help of government schools as people belonging to poor families could not bear the burden of fees of private schools.

In letter to the Chief Minister, the Housing Minister, the Chief Administrator, PUDA, the federation demanded that such decisions were against the interests of the residents.


NGOs, residents to help maintain parks
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 30
The Environment and City Beautification Committee of the Municipal Corporation today decided to involve NGOs and resident welfare associations in the maintenance of parks in sub-sectors. At the meeting, chaired by Mrs Harpreet Kaur Babla, it was decided that a letter in this regard should be written to various area councillors.

Committee members were of the opinion that main green belts in various sectors should be maintained by the corporation horticulture wing.

According to information, it was also recommended that powers to challan those who encroach upon parks should be vested with the horticulture wing. Posting additional contractual staff during monsoons to take care of wild growth was also recommended by the committee. The issue of constructing toilets in green belts was also taken up in the meeting.

It was also announced that the chrysanthemum show would be organised in the second week of December. The committee approved various development projects worth over Rs 31 lakh in the meeting.


BJP morchas reconstituted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 30
Mr Yash Pal Mahajan, President of the local unit of the BJP, has reconstituted morchas and cells of the local unit.

The presidents of the morchas are: Yuva Morcha — Mr Davesh Moudgil; Mahila Morcha — Ms Asha Verma; Minorities Morcha — Mr Naushad Ali; and Scheduled Caste Morcha — Mr Sachin Lohtia. The presidents of the cells are: media cell — Mr Kehar Singh Koundal; industries cell — Mr Radhey Shyam Garg; traders cell — Mr Amrit Lal Goyal; legal cell — Mr Chetan Mittal; intellectual cell — Dr Madhukar Arya; chartered accountants’ cell — Mr Sanjay Tandon; employees cell — Mr Jagdish Lal Bajaj; election cell — Mr Om Parkash Goyal; labour colony cell — Mr Megh Raj Verma; ex-servicemen cell — Mr Tarlochan Singh Trehan; NGO cell — Dr Ramnik Sharma; and art & culture cell — Dr Pankaj Mala Sharma.


Cong, BJP blame each other
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 30
As the Municipal Corporation today announced the levying of property tax from the middle of November, Congress and BJP councillors started the blame game on the issue. In no mood to irritate the business community due to the general election scheduled next year, the Congress councillors blamed the BJP for proposing the imposition of property tax.

In a statement issued today, Mr Balraj Singh, Mr Sohan Lal Vaid, Mr Pardeep Chhabra, Ms Kamlesh and Mr Surinder Singh, all from the Congress, condemned the statement of Mr Satya Pal Jain, saying that Congress was behind the imposition of 5 per cent property tax.


Osho ‘misunderstood’ by masses
Tribune News Service

Ma  Amrit Sadhana
Ma Amrit Sadhana

Panchkula, October 30
Osho Rajneesh has been misunderstood by the masses. His concept of freedom from sex has been misunderstood as freedom with sex.

This was stated by Ma Amrit Sadhana, Editor of Osho Times, and a long time associate of the Osho, who was here to participate in the inauguration of Osho Dhara Meditation Centre of the Osho Commun, which was formally launched in Panchkula at an aesthetically created campus in Industrial Area, Phase I.

She said Osho had talked of liberating man from all suppressions, including suppression from sex. “He was not against sex but advocated meditation, which leads to transformation of sexual energy into compassion and love. He wanted people to shun old culture, values and tradition for the freedom of mind and body,” she said.

Answering queries about the glitz and glamour attached with Osho Commun, Ma Amrit said it was because the commun focussed on a universal lifestyle and professed meditations along with material pursuits. The centre, which offers residential meditation courses, besides having meditation rooms, also boasts of a spa, jacuzzi, swimming pool and health club.


Sun worshipped
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 30
Sunset and sunrise were worshipped by city residents today as a part of the Chhat puja celebrations. At least 1500 members of the Purvanchal Welfare Association participated in the puja which started with fast on Wednesday.

Devotees fasted the entire day. On Wednesday, the devotees refrained from water and had kheer after offering jal to Surya Dev in the evening. Today also, the devotees remained without food and water and worshipped Surya Dev in the morning and evening.

The devotees will offer water and fruits at sunrise on October 31 and break their fast. Surya Dev is worshipped for peace and prosperity.

A deepak was lighted which will keep on burning throughout the night. The secretary of Purvanchal Welfare Association, Mr Ramakant Rai, said the puja began five days after Divali.

The Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Mr Justice B. K. Roy, and the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Arun Kumar, also participated in the celebrations.


Celebrations by Lord Murugan devotees
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 30
A procession of Lord Karthikeya Swami was taken out to celebrate ‘’Soora Sambaram’’. The procession started from Sri Karthikeya Swami temple in Sector 31 this evening. The celebrations, which started on October 26, will continue till November 1.

According to organisers, these seven days are celebrated every year to mark the Lord Murugan’s victory. A war was fought between Lord Murugan and Soorabadhman. Finally Soorabadhman was defeated and killed by Lord Murugan. The next day Lord Murugan got married to Theivayanai and Valli.

Those wishing to have a child, good education, marriage, peace of mind, good health or better wealth, keep fast on all six days. On the seventh day, they performed pooja of Lord Murugan.

The pujas are performed as per the Tamil tradition Annadhanam (langar) is daily organised during the festival.


Concern expressed over Tibetans’ problems
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 30
Deep concern was expressed over the problems of Tibetans at a meeting of the Dalai Lama with the local National Unity and Security Council here today. Ms Monica B Sood, chairperson of the council, said “As a wellwisher of Tibet, there is no question of begging the Chinese for the restoration of sovereignty. They will not listen to such appeals. There is no honourable way of negotiating with them except with hard facts supported by historical data”.

She said, “In 1959, when the Dalai Lama had fled from Tibet, the Chinese were quite hopeful that the Indian Government would not give him asylum.”


Rickshaw-puller found dead
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, October 30
A 35-year-old rickshaw-puller was found dead here this morning. According to the police, the victim, Dharampal, died due to over consumption of alcohol.

The police also informed that Dharampal had recently come from Bareilly in UP and was working as a rickshaw-puller in the township. He was using a rented rickshaw and did not have a place to stay. He used to sleep under a tree near a petrol filling station in Phase VII here.

Today morning a resident who was going to drop her children to school saw Dharampal lying on the ground and called the police who then took him to hospital where he was declared brought dead. The body has been sent for post mortem.


City Cong leader Sarhadi dead

Amarnath SarhadiChandigarh, October 30
Amarnath Sarhadi, Vice-President of the local unit of the Congress and member of the All-India Congress Committee (AICC), died here this evening. He was 80 years old. He is survived by three sons and two daughters.

The cremation will take place tomorrow at 3 p.m at the Sector 25 cremation ground. TNS


Bhagwant Kaur cremated

Chandigarh, October 30
Bhagwant Kaur, wife of Justice Harbans Singh, Chief Justice (retd), Punjab and Haryana High Court, was cremated here today. She died yesterday after a short illness. She was 90. A large number of prominent citizens and lawyers were present at the cremation.

She came to Chandigarh in 1958 and was a prominent social and religious activist during the tenure of her husband as the Chief Justice and after his retirement. The bhog ceremony and antim ardas will be held on November 2. OC


IT workshop
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 30
The Income Tax Department, North-West Region, will organise a one-day workshop on tax deduction at source at CII, Sector 31, tomorrow. The Chief Commissioner, North-West Region, Mr Vijay Khanna, will also be present at the workshop.


Company Director held for fraud
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 30
The Crime Branch of the Chandigarh Police has arrested one of the three directors of the Online Jobwork.com(P)Limited, Jasdeep Singh Bains, to unravel a Rs-12.53 crore alleged fraud, which had affected around 7,500 investors.

Bains was later remanded to police custody for two days after he was presented before a city court today. He was nabbed yesterday.

Announcing the arrest of Bains, Deputy Superintendent of Police (Crime) Vijay Pal Singh said arrest warrants of the other two directors had been procured.

The directors of the company had been on the run since the police started investigations into a complaint lodged by the Reserve Bank of India in December, last year, accusing five multi-level marketing companies of violating the Prize, Chit and Money Circulation Banning Act.

The DSP claimed the figure was reached after the seizure of several computers of the company from SAS Nagar earlier. Mr Vijay Pal said those who had developed the software for the company revealed the details.

Mr Vijay Pal said surprisingly the money in the bank accounts of the company had been taken away. The police are inquiring into this aspect as well.

The DSP said the company was a part of a network of 50 companies which were involved in the racket. This company first started its operations in Patiala before shifting to Chandigarh in July.

The DSP, however, did not reveal the names of the companies, saying that the police was investigating their dealings also.

The other company under the scanner, Net Khazana, has since closed down.

The police had initially closed the case but later, the new Inspector-General of Police, Mr Rajesh Kumar, re-opened it and handed over the investigations to Mr Vijay Pal. The matter had earlier been investigated by a couple of other senior officers.

The RBI had later made certain clarifications, but the local police stuck to its position and also added charges of conspiracy, forgery and cheating against the company.

Mr Vijay Pal said it was to be found how the company was opening new offices and different levels of marketing had to be traced. He said the police were also investigating if there were fictitious names in the company.


Man commits suicide near Chautala’s house
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 30
Twentyfour-year-old Rishi Lal from Kaithal district, who had allegedly consumed some poisonous substance to end his life near Haryana Chief Minister’s house here yesterday, died at the PGI in the wee hours today.

A suicide note recovered from him states that he was taking the extreme step as he was depressed because of his unemployment. The handwriting was identified by a brother of the deceased.

Rishi had reached the official residence of the Haryana Chief Minister in Sector 2 here yesterday to meet the Chief Minister, but fell unconscious before his turn could come, said Inspector Randhir Singh at the Chief Minister’s residence.

Rishi started vomiting while waiting for his turn to meet the Chief Minister and was immediately rushed to the PGI by the Haryana police. He had an affidavit, which mentioned that he was a worker of the Haryana’s ruling Indian National Lok Dal. He was also carrying an application the contents of which are not known to the CM’s staff as all papers are in the possession of the Chandigarh police, said the Inspector.

Sources in the local police said the suicide note also mentioned that Chaudhary Devi Lal as the ‘messiah’ of the poor. The victim is survived by five brothers. The family owns about two acres of land in Haryana.

A chemical examination of the substance which Rishi allegedly consumed is yet to be done, said the police.


Two brothers booked for assault
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 30
The police has booked two brothers, Pradeep Kumar and Anil Kumar, on charges of assaulting their brother, Raj Kumar and his wife Urmila.

The police said an altercation took place because of an ongoing property dispute between the brothers. They stay in a three storeyed house in Sector 7, here, with each brother having a separate floor. A case under Section 323 of the IPC has been registered against the duo.


Seven-year RI for rape

Chandigarh, October 30
A city resident, Sanjay, was today sentenced to seven-year rigorous imprisonment for raping a minor girl. As per the prosecution, the victim had been abduced by the accused from a Sector 26 market. She was repeatedly raped by the accused in a forest near Sukhna lake for two days. The police had registered a case against the accused on March 31, 1999. The police had recovered the girl from Panchkula on April 3, 1999. OC


State of Apni Mandi
Local vendors flout rules
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, October 30
Flouting one of the more important sections of the Food Adulteration Act, the local vendors are selling loose spices and uncovered eatables at the popular apni mandis in the township. With no check on this practice by the Kharar Market Committee which regulates these mandis, the presence of vendors with bags of spices selling dried and crushed powders is a common feature at almost all weekly mandis held at various locations in Mohali.

‘‘Whenever the matter is highlighted there are raids by the market committee employees or the Municipal Council officials but there is no permanent solution to the problem,’’said Mr Suresh Kumar one of the shoppers at the apni mandi.

When the Chandigarh Tribune team visited the Thursday mandi in Phase 3B2, it found that other than spices, uncovered eatables like jaggery, namkeen etc too were being sold in the open. Inquiries revealed that the market committee employees rarely visited the market and when they did they only checked the rates of vegetables.

Pointing out that the local vendors too found place in the apni mandis which are meant for farmers only, a resident said this defeated the whole idea purpose of the apni mandi concept. It does not matter to us if the local vendors too sell vegetables here as long as they sell these at prices lower than the normal markets,’’ said Mrs Kulvinder Kaur.

Some residents, however, complained that there were other problems in the mandis also. ‘‘Many of the farmers who reach there are busy getting drunk or playing cards. And there have been cases of violence in the mandis. Despite the fact that the Sunday market is more convenient for me to go to from where I live, I still prefer to come to 3B2 as there is less rowdiness here,’’ said Mr Niranjan Singh, a resident of Phase VII here.

Stating that the Phase 3B2 mandi does not have enough parking space around it, another resident said he preferred to go to Sunday market where there was enough parking space. ‘‘One does not have to carry the loads from one end of the mandi to the parking lot,’’ he added.

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