C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Dance girls deny illegal confinement
Tribune News Service

SSP Gaurav Yadav said the girls were recovered on the disclosure statement of the accused, Muralidhar, and others and it was incidental that girls other than Simran and Rajni were also told to be in illegal confinement. The police was duty-bound to get them released and hand them over to their families.

Chandigarh, November 7
In a major embarrassment to the Chandigarh police, a few of the 12 floor dancing girls recovered from pubs of Bangalore and brought today to the city accused the police of bringing them back forcibly and depriving them of their livelihood denying that they had been lured into the profession and illegally confined.

The girls brought to the Mani Majra police station under a veil of secrecy vent their ire against a newspaper and an Inspector who went to Bangalore saying, “We had no complaint against Murali sir (the main accused K.M. Muralidhar). In fact he is very helpful”, a girl told the Chandigarh Tribune refusing to identify herself.

The girl kept her face covered while talking to reporters individually. An attempt by a photo journalist resulted in one of the dancing girls pelting him with a stone injuring him in the head.

The 12 girls recovered today reached the city sans Rajni against whose illegal confinement there was a complaint from Ms Anoop Kaur, mother of Simran, who is alleged to have given Murali a slip.

Parents of two girls were present in the police station accusing a newspaper and an Inspector of defaming the girls who had gone to Bangalore as floor dancers on their own.

DSP S.C. Sagar, in whose presence the girls narrated their tale to the police, said they were allegedly lured by a local boy, Manoj, in the profession and he took them to Rakesh Batalvi. The girls also mentioned one Shankar allegedly involved in the racket. A few of the girls told the police that they were taken to Bangalore on a promise of stage shows and a higher remuneration but they were sent to pubs of Muralidhar as floor dancers. The girls alleged that they had beaten up Rakesh Batalvi several times as he did not pay them or paid less than what was promised. The girls reported to the police that they were initially staying in the city but shifted to a secluded place after their scuffles with security guards. Mr Sagar said the girls alleged that they were merely being given dal and rice and were allegedly forced to dance till 3 am. The girls told the Chandigarh police that a few of the girls had not come as they were not given their payment. The girls, according to the police, got the payment recently when the Chandigarh police registered a case against them.

This is what three girls told the police after recording their statements before a judge.

Sources in the police said nine more girls were being brought to the city in a couple of days.

Most of the girls denied while talking to mediapersons that they had been kidnapped, kept in illegal confinement and forced into sex trade.

A girl said they were staying in a rented accommodation and were not confined by the main accused in the case, K.M. Muralidhar.

She said they were not agreeable to return to the city as their agreement was still in force but the police team allegedly forced them to return.

The girls said they returned as their family members would be worried after reading about them in media reports.

They, however, said Rakesh Batalwi running a music company had not made them the promised payment but Muralidhar made up for the loss.

The girls refused to talk to mediapersons and were hostile against photographers saying they would not tolerate being painted in a bad light.

Three of the girls were later taken to the Chief Judicial Magistrate’s court for recording their statements in-camera.

A couple of girls were speaking fluently in English but others were from a poor background. The mother of the one of the girls seemed to be from a poor background.

The police station was fortified with mediapersons not being allowed to enter it but reporters had to sit on a virtual dharna to get permission to talk to the girls. DSP Sagar who persuaded the girls to talk to the mediapersons said they were not agreeing to media exposure.

The girls brought today did not include Simran and Rajni about whose disappearance the police had registered a case against five persons. including K.M. Muralidhar, Rakesh Batalvi and others.

While Rajni has been recovered, the police was making an effort to locate Simran.



Lure of easy money tempted girls
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 7
The changing lifestyle and lure of easy money seemed to be the best options for some of the girls who were away to Bangalore in a dance troupe. While the girls claimed to have chosen the profession as they had an interest in the dance and music, poor economic conditions of some of the girls also seem to have compelled them to join the dance troupe, police claimed.

Three of the girls aged between 22 to 25, were produced in the UT District Court at about 5 p.m by a team of CIA staff, including woman constables. Thereafter, the CIA staff sought permission from the UT Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mr C.L Mohal, to record the statements of the girls. The CJM asked the three different courts of the UT Judicial Magistrate to record the girls’ statements.

The girls refused to divulge details when asked about their whereabouts, but kept saying that they were not involved in any kind of flesh trade. They did not name anyone, but claimed that they had joined the troupe as they were interested in it. The girls were also reluctant to talk as they were directed to stay away from the reporters by the police personnel who accompanied them to the court.

The statement of a girl wearing a white suit was recorded in the court of the UT Judicial Magistrate (First Class), Mr Prithvi Raj, while two other girls, wearing jeans with T-shirts recorded their statements in the court of the UT Judicial Magistrate (First Class), Mr S.K Sharma, and UT Judicial Magistrate(First Class), Mr Sandeep Singla.

The statements of the girls were recorded in a closed court room. Parents of one of the girls was also present outside the court room when her statement was recorded in the court of Mr Singla.

As soon as the recording of statements of the two girls who were produced in an adjacent court, were completed, they came outside and met each other. The statements of the two girls were recorded within half an hour. It took more than 45 minutes, to record the statement of the third girl. As the statements of the girls were completed, they were immediately taken out. Later they were left in their homes by the UT police personnel in official vehicles. Back


Verma greets people
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 7
The Punjab Governor-cum-UT Administrator, Justice O.P. Verma (retd.), today called upon the people to follow the path of truth, equality, fraternity and kindness as shown by Guru Nanak Dev.

Greeting the residents on the eve of Guru Nanak Dev’s birth anniversary, Justice Verma said Guru Nanak was an apostle of peace who epitomised universal brotherhood and love towards humanity.

Justice Verma said the day gave us an opportunity to reaffirm our faith in his teachings and rise above caste, religion and regional considerations and fight for the unity and strength of the nation.


Stage set for strike in colleges
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 7
The stage is all set for an indefinite strike in the local colleges from Monday onwards in the absence of any response to demand of fee hike withdrawal by the Union Territory Administration.

Malwinder Singh Kang, the president of the Panjab University Campus Students Council, and the Coordination Committee of UT Colleges has given a call for an indefinite agitation with a clear signal of not allowing any classes or reaching any compromise till the issue was settled in favour of student demand.

Kang said students are also urging Panjab University to act immediately on the account of disparities in the fee pattern of different colleges, particular the non government aided ones. Despite the university’s fixation of about Rs 3500, colleges were charging as high as Rs 7500, in certain cases, he said. He said the university had given an assurance to streamline the fee structure in all colleges from the next session.

Kang said more students had joined the agitation which was visible from the growing strength of students at ‘dharnas’ in colleges. Pankaj Pathak and K.S.Brar took over their turn at the chain hunger strike at DAV College today. Ravinder Bajwa sat at Government College for Men, Sector 11. Nearly 50 students staged a ‘dharna’ at SGGS Khalsa College, Sector 26.

Mr Dilip Kumar, Director Public Instructions (Colleges), was said to be out of station office sources.

Kang said students were seeking the support of the employee unions as well. He said Monday onwards, a forum of the agitating students will also be set up at the university. Since, students were sitting on a dharna in their individual colleges it gave a very loose impression about the agitation. One group will continue the dharnas at their respective colleges and the other one will assemble at the campus.

Karanbir Singh Kaler, president of the Student Council of Government College for Men, Sector 11, said the UT Administration aped Punjab Government in hiking the fee. When the Punjab Government had withdrawn the same, the UT should have responded correspondingly.


Engg student robbed of car, belongings
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 7
An engineering student, Gautam Sushant, was robbed of his car and belongings after he was forced by some miscreants to stop the car at gun-point on Kharar-Chandigarh Highway this evening. After robbing the youngster, the miscreants threw him in the fields after tying his hands behind his back. The ordeal that began at around 7.30 pm did not end till late in the evening.

Sources in the Police Department confirmed that this was not the first incident of its kind. Earlier also cases of robbery on the highways had been reported to the police. Besides robbing valuables, miscreants were also involved in robberies at petrol stations.

Sushant, studying in Jalandhar, was returning to his Sector 15 house to spend a weekend with his family. He was driving alone in his uncle’s Wagon-R car (CH-03-J-1844) when two cars slowed down right in front of his car, forcing him to pull over.

Baffled, 20-year-old Sushant stopped the car and before he could sense danger, an unidentified person forced open the door before placing himself on the seat next to the driver. Another youth came from the driver’s side. Pulling out a pistol, he pointed it at the youngster’s forehead and asked him to remove the valuables. The second-year student handed over his wallet, a gold chain and mobile phone to the miscreants. Then the two, along with a third accomplice, asked Sushant to remove his shoes before stepping out of the car.

The robbers tied his hands behind his back before throwing him in the fields. As he struggled to rise on his feet, Sushant heard the robbers drive away in his uncle’s car.

Sushant, after some struggle, managed to come to the highway for help. A car, which was driven by the parents of a boy studying in a school of which his mother was the principal, came to his aid. They took him to the police station. When contacted, a senior police officer said they were looking into the incident. 


Kalka workshop to make luxury coaches
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 7
With the revival of the steam-heritage run on the Kalka-Shimla rail circuit, the narrow-gauge rail coach workshop at Kalka has been entrusted to produce coaches on the lines of the Palace on Wheels run by the Railways and the Rajasthan government.

Under fabrication, the steel-frame coaches would offer the best facilities available on board the luxury trains run on select routes by the Railways. Coaches would have the Raj interior blended with symbols of Himachal heritage.

Each special coach would have teakwood panels, wall-to-wall carpeting, a lounge, attached bathroom and a kitchen, said a senior officer of the Railways.

Built-in-wardrobes, mirrors, overhead lamps, piped music and inlay furniture would be some of the added attractions. Large windows would enable the tourists to have a good view of the mountains and bridges.

Almost as old as the Kalka-Shimla rail track, the rail coach workshop has been asked by the Northern Railways to fabricate two coaches, each having a capacity to accommodate 12 passengers. The coaches would be interconnected — a facility so far not available on any of the luxury coaches run on the Kalka-Shimla track. It may take some time before the special coaches roll out of the workshop, said the Assistant Works Manager, Kalka, Mr Som Parkash. Depending on the success of the coaches. The workshop would got order for more such coaches. Each coach would cost around Rs 15 lakh.

When TNS visited the workshop, mechanical engineers were busy in fabricating the coaches. Initially the coaches would run between Shimla and Kathligath — a 16-km stretch.

The rail coach workshop, the only to roll out narrow-gauge coaches, has orders from the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway and the Kangra Valley Railway. More orders are expected after the narrow gauge-coach workshops at Mysore and Jodhpur close down.

Recently, the workshop dispatched two coaches to Pathankot and six to Darjeeling, said the Assistant Works Manager.


Superintending Engineer stabbed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 7
Some unidentified assailants last night stabbed the Superintending Engineer (Public Health) of the municipal corporation, Mr Swarn Singh Kanwal, who is alleged to have sustained 18 injuries. The condition of Mr Kanwal is stated to be out of danger. He was brought home after a first-aid and a medical examination.

The SE’s son Jaspreet, told Chandigarh Tribune, around 11.30 pm last night, some persons rang the doorbell of their house in Sector 37 and said they wanted to meet the official.

The persons told Mr Kanwal that they wanted to talk to him urgently. Mr Kanwal, however, refused to talk to them and said that they could meet him in the morning.

The persons could not be identified as it was dark outside, said Jaspreet.

He said when Mr Kanwal turned his back, he was attacked on his head, back and neck. He sustained cuts and bruises at 18 places on the body, Jaspreet said.

According to Mr Kanwal’s son one of the assailants might have entered the garden of his house before Mr Kanwal was called outside. The SE was taken to a hospital for medical examination. The police is investigating the case. Mr Kanwal’s son has, however, ruled out any suspect in the case. 


UGC working on incentives plan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 7
The University Grants Commission is contemplating a scheme of incentives for those educational institutions which will submit themselves to scrutiny by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC).

This was indicated here today by the former Vice-Chancellor of Guru Jambeshwar University, Hissar, Dr K.L. Johar, who is in the town as the Chairman of a four-member committee of NAAC to assess the standard of education in Goswami Ganesh Dutta Sanatan Dharma College, Sector 32. The other members of the committee are: Prof S.C. Srivastava, former Secretary of the UGC; Dr (Mrs) K.K. Tandon, former Deputy Director in the Haryana Education Department; and Dr K. Rama, Deputy Adviser, NAAC.

Dr Johar said so far 600 colleges out of 13,000 colleges and 100 universities out of 300 universities in the country had been accredited with NAAC. Applications of about 500 colleges were pending with NAAC for scrutiny. He said to as an incentive to those educational institutions which had accredited themselves with NAAC, an autonomous institution of the UGC. He said the All-India Council of Technical Education had already adopted this scheme. Dr Johar, an eminent educationist of Haryana, said almost 50 per cent of the colleges in the State had been accredited with NAAC. He said in this regard Haryana was ahead of Punjab.

NAAC had adopted a seven-point criteria to assess the quality of education. It scrutinises a self-study report submitted by the institution on the basis of curricular aspects, teaching-learning and evaluation; research, consultancy and extension; infrastructure and learning resources; student support and progression; organisation and management and health care practices.

He said since NAAC accreditation was valid for five years, an accredited institution would naturally strive to achieve excellence in order to maintain its accreditation as well as to score more on the nine-point scale. Any institution failing to attain the minimum 55 per cent points was not given accreditation. 


Vijay Pratap Singh takes over as Mohali SP
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, November 7
Following a change of guard in the Police Department here, Mr Vijay Pratap Singh took over from Mr Harcharan Singh Bhullar as the new Superintendent of Police, Mohali, today.

Mr Vijay Pratap Singh, a 1998 batch IPS officer has many distinctions to his credit starting from the high-profile kidney scam which was busted by him to the tracing of the first cyber crime by the Punjab police. Talking to reporters at his office today, Mr Vijay Pratap Singh said he was looking forward to his new work place. ‘‘This is the first time that I have been posted at a place near Chandigarh,’’ he said. Mr Vijay Pratap Singh has been posted at various places in Punjab as ASP before being posted as SP, Amritsar city, in 2001.

“I will be focusing on carrying out of our routine policing work well. All that I have to say to the residents is that they should respect law and cooperate with the police,’’ he added. ‘‘All policing is community policing. One has to simply perform the job one is given well,’’ he said refusing to comment any further about his future plans for Mohali.

Following orders of the Punjab Governor, Mr H.S. Bhullar had been transferred as SP (Investigations), Lok Pal Chandigarh while Mr Vijay Pratap Singh has joined as SP here from SP City Amritsar-1. Mr Bhullar had an illustrious one-and-a-half-year stint as SP here. He was responsible for starting beat policing in the township and a unique programme of conducting written tests for the policemen to test their knowledge of rules and laws.

Talking to The Tribune, Mr Bhullar said he was thankful for all the cooperation that had been extended to him by the residents and his staff. “We would never have solved almost all the crimes that took place in my tenure without the help of residents and the efficiency of my men,’’ he said.

After the change of the SSP, Ropar, to the SP, Mohali, almost all other senior officers in the police here have also changed. Within days of a new SHO taking over the police station, Phase VIII, the SHO Phase I here, too, will be joining in Jalandhar following his transfer there. According to sources, an SI and an ASI from the same police station have also been transferred.

Mr Pritam Singh Bedi gives up charge as SHO and will be joining in Jalandhar. His replacement is yet to be finalised. Sources said a new SHO will be posted soon on orders of the new SP who joined today.


Remembering Bala
By Tejveer Singh

That Bala, as I knew Vikram, is no more is hard to believe. His soft “Hi, Bala here” across the telephone line seems too real and recent to be history all so suddenly. Our association goes back to 1988 when I joined college as a freshman and Bala was the history “bond” of the final year class. Having topped the university all through never made him a wee bit conceited unlike some of his peers. That he was poised to “crack” the UPSC was the most likely wager the pundits of the trade were willing to bet on. And, like always, he did not flatter to deceive. Never mind those turbulent days of the anti-Mandal agitation and his measured speeches to us college guys, he came through in flying colours and landed in Punjab in the IAS in 1991.

That he and his old “friend” Kavita would soon tie the knot was a foregone conclusion. She was by his side ever since and sharing her bit, in a more animated manner than him, of their impressions of the state and life in the government. They made lasting associations with people that transcended usual service and hierarchical barriers. His two innings in Patiala won him great admirers and friends in the city and an honorary membership to the Patiala cadre. However, he was equally at home doing a district in Gurdaspur and at Delhi, his last halt where he, by his own admission, was truly enjoying his job.

I do not remember Bala ever cribbing about life. He would recline and laugh away as many of us would let out our litany of woes. As the reel of old memories unwinds in my mind, I particularly remember him as a caring and indulgent father who partook equally in little Karuna’s upbringing. She is quite like him, a chip off the old block.

As a human being, Bala was par excellence. He was simple without being spartan, bright without being flashy, effusive without being overpowering. His sudden departure is as if his karmic debts had been repaid in the short 36 years of life and overnight God granted him mukti. I only wish he owed the Almighty more. As the popular saying goes “Only the good die young”. And Bala was about the best.

P.S. B. Vikram was an IAS officer of Punjab who died in Delhi on November 4, 2003.

The writer, an IAS officer, is Deputy Commissioner of Patiala.


Heavy rush at mosques
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 7
Members of the Muslim community thronged mosques all over the city for offering Juma Namaj during the holy month of Ramzan. The maximum rush was witnessed at the Sector 20 Jama Masjid, along with mosques in Sector 29, Burail and Mani Majra.

The rush was so heavy that some Muslims could also be seen offering namaz in the grounds adjoining mosques. For the believers, it was nothing less than a fair. They, bought eatables for morning ‘’sehri’’, and pulled out money for buying ‘sewian’, ‘khajra’ and other articles. Caps and “itar” were also purchased. The rush, a member explained, was always heavy on Fridays during the holy month.

For offering the prayers, the preparations started early. Most of the Muslims got up at about 3.30 am as the speakers in the mosques announced the prayer programme. After savouring “sehri”, they left for the mosques. Some others offered prayers at their residences. 


Tenants protest against Rent Act notification
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 7
As the controversial Rent Act notification completed a year today, tenants held protests while the landlords held a meeting to welcome the move of the administration.

The Property Owners Welfare Association held a meeting where they appreciated the administration for repealing the Rent Act. Summing up the benefits of the notification, the members demanded total repealing of the Rent Act.

Members were, however, critical of the commercialisation of the policies of the Chandigarh Administration. Imposition of property tax on commercial buildings only and increase in the conversion charges were among the few policies of the administration discussed at the meeting.

Meanwhile, the Commercial Tenants Association sat on fast from 9 a.m to 7 p.m at Matka Chowk. The association said the notification did not include the principles of natural justice. The Beopar Mandal also held a protest.


Parks in city slums?
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 7
Slums in the city may have parks if a recommendation of the Slum Development Committee of the corporation is accepted. In a meeting of the committee held today, it was recommended that open spaces in slum colonies be developed on the pattern of green belts being developed in various sectors.

The open spaces would be developed out of the funds released by the centre for development of slums.

A team of members of the committee would visit the 13 slum colonies to ascertain the feasibility of the recommendations. According to information, a shallow tubewell would be bored to meet the watering requirement of the respective green belt. Each such green belt would cost around Rs 19 lakh. The issue was discussed in detail by the members of the committee.

The corporation proposes to develop walking tracks in the open spaces in the slum colonies, said Mr Balraj Singh, one of the member of the committee. Another member of the committee, Mrs Kamlesh, said it was demanded that the officers of the corporation should listen to the grievances of the slum residents. The members expressed concern on water shortage in the colonies. Other councillors who attended the meeting were Mr SL Vaid, Mr Didar Khan and Mrs Shyama Negi.

The committee welcomed the orders of the Commissioner to remove the cattle from slum colonies. They demanded that removal of the cattle would improve the sanitary conditions.

An official of the corporation said an amount of Rs 1.50 crore was sanctioned for slum development funds. Mr Balraj Singh, said details of the funds spent on development works during the current financial year. The government has sanctioned Rs 1.50 crore for the slum development. During the term of the BJP dominant Corporation money out of the Slum Development Fund had been used in other areas, said Mr Singh.

The committee decided to take up the issue of installing public taps in the slum colonies and boring tubewells where needed.


Boy crushed to death
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 7
A five-year-old boy, Umesh, was crushed to death by a speeding truck at Pinjore today. The boy was on his way to the school when the truck (HR-58-0447), coming from the opposite direction, ran over him. The boy died on the spot and the truck driver, Manmohan, was arrested.

Twelve-year-old Gaurav Sharma of Budanpur had a miraculous escape when he fell off from the terrace of a three-storeyed building while playing hide and seek with his cousins today. Gaurav, a class VII student sustained fracture on his arm and a few bruises as he fell almost 20 feet down. Gaurav had come to his cousin’s place in Sector 15 for the weekend. As he was playing with his cousin, Sunny, he accidentally scaled the facade of the terrace, thinking that the adjacent house was also a three storeyed building.

However, the adjacent house was a single-storey structure and Gaurav went crashing down. He was rushed to the hospital and is now stated to be out of danger. 


23-yr-old dies in mishap
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 7
Kewal Ram, a 23-year-old Sector 30 resident whose marriage was fixed for February, was today killed when his motor cycle collided with the bus of the senior government model school in Sector 35 on the round-about separating Sectors 35 and 36.

He was rushed to the Sector 16 hospital, from where he was referred to the PGI. Kewal was declared brought dead at the PGI. The driver of the school bus was arrested and the bus seized.

In another accident, another person was killed near the Satsang Bhavan in Sector 26 when he was hit by an unidentified vehicle. The person was not identified.


Four hurt in group clash
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, November 7
Four persons, including a woman, were injured, two of them seriously, in a clash involving two groups of former sarpanches and a group of present sarpanch of Khajoor Mandi village, near here, late last night.

The injured have been identified as Charan Kaur, wife of Narinder Singh, a former sarpanch, and her three relatives — Charanjit Singh, Balwinder Singh and Haquam Singh. The seriously injured — Charanjit Singh and Balwinder Singh — have been admitted to the Civil Hospital, Dera Bassi.

Sources in the village said over 10 men belonging to Joginder Singh, a former sarpanch, and Ram Swaroop, present sarpanch of the village, faction stormed into the house of Narinder Singh, a former sarpanch, and damaged his belongings.

The incident occurred when Narinder Singh had gone to the Lalru police station to get a case registered against some assailants who had attacked his son Jagtar Singh, according to villagers.

The police has not registered a case in this regard so far.


Nine arrested on charge of gambling
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, November 7
In a major crackdown here, the Mohali police has arrested nine persons allegedly involved in gambling under the give of selling lotteries here today. More than Rs 30,000 has been seized from them.

According to the information provided by Mr Harcharan Singh Bhullar, SP, Mohali, he had conducted a meeting with his officers last night following information about these men operating from Phase VIII and Phase I. “Raids were conducted following this meeting today afternoon and nine persons arrested,” said Mr Daljeet Singh, DSP Mohali.


Khadi goes international
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 7
Even as the demand for khadi products varies from season to season, the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) has, for its part, decided to tap the tremendous market potential of the earthy fabric by chalking out a long-term and comprehensive strategy aimed at value addition of khadi. The basic objective of the strategy is to lift the fabric to its much-deserved level by marketing and promoting it not only at the regional and national level, but also at the international level.

Going international with khadi, the KVIC recently entered into an agreement with the government of South Africa on this particular issue. According to the MoU signed between officials concerned of the two countries, there will be an exchange of artisans as well as ideas over a period of time. Speaking to The Tribune here, Mr H.C. Upreti, Director of KVIC, informed that the KVIC specifically chose South Africa for cultural exchange through khadi because of Mahatma Gandhi’s crucial association with that country.

“We had been exporting organic products to other countries, but the moot point was khadi and its enhancement at the international level. While the KVIC is organizing regional exhibitions in Punjab also, besides national level exhibitions of the variety available in khadi, it is also taking India’s quintessential fabric to the world,” said Mr Upreti, adding that the MoU with South Africa was signed under the aegis of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development under which the KVIC falls.

As per the agreement, trained Indian artisans will visit South Africa and seek further training in their traditional arts, learn to use their traditional tools. The idea is also to exchange fabrics at a large scale, beside welcoming South African artisans to the the significant centres of India’s handicraft and handloom production. The focus during the cultural exchange will be on khadi, as the fabric of India.

Interestingly, the KVIC has not limited itself to South Africa alone. Over the past some time, it has also been conducting khadi exhibitions in Russia and America, where, officials sources inform, that the fabric has ben in great demand because of its elegance.

Meanwhile, at home, while one khadi exhibition is already underway at Chandigarh, there are five more in the pipeline — in Jalandhar, Patiala and Ludhiana. It may be mentioned here that instead of the usual October 2 commencement of khadi exhibition all over the country, the KVIC this time started the exhibition well in advance — from August 15. Mr Upreti explained that the idea was to market khadi better and also link it to Independence Day, which is as much an opportune occasion to display khadi products as is October 2.

The KVIC is also slated to hold major khadi shows in Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.


Lucky draw result
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 7
The Business Promotion Council of Sector 17 today announced four-eight lucky draws under the ongoing festival offer. Following prizes were announced: colour TV — Mr Arun Gupta (coupon no 267066) of Panchkula and Mr Shefali Syal, Naya Nangal (283058); refrigerator — Mr Ajit Pal Singh of Mohali (249265) and Mr Krishan Jain (249942); washing machine — Mr Aryaman Singh of Panchkula (117676) and Capt Gurinder Pal Singh of Mohali (245083); and microwave — Mr Adit Mittal of Chandigarh (161831) and Ms Meena of Panchkula (283477).

The winners can either collect the prizes or participate in the mega contest by surrendering their prizes. The result of the mega contest will be announced on November 9.

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