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7 MC officials indicted in cows’ death case
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

The flip side...

Since the death of cows about four months ago, the UT Administration has had to deal with loss of human lives caused due to stray cattle on the city roads. The Municipal Corporation has not been catching any stray cattle since July 25 when the deaths occurred in Paonta Sahib. As a result, the number of road accidents has gone up, and so has the outcry from residents to handle the menace. So much so that the Administration is now about to open more “gaushalas”. On an average, the MC catches about 3,000 head of stray cattle in a year. The suspension of the cattle-catching drive has been suspended it has triggered off an intense debate. 

Chandigarh, November 25
Seven employees of the local Municipal Corporation have been found guilty of being cruel to cows which allegedly led to their death near Paonta Sahib in Himachal Pradesh on July 25.

The Chairman of the Chandigarh Housing Board, Mr G.K. Marwah, who was appointed inquiry officer following the incident, has indicted the employees. The UT Administration has accepted the report sent by Mr Marwah and further instructions have been issued to the Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Mr M.P. Singh, to take action against the indicted employees.

Sources said the acceptance of findings of Mr Marwah was sent by the Administration to the corporation office late last week. The corporation was directed to take action.

Mr Marwah and his team had visited the Tajewala barrier and Lal Dangh in Paonta Sahib where the incident took place before coming out with the report.

The indicted employees are suspected of having caused the death of 22 cows in the Kalesar forest of Paonta Sahib district on July 25. It appeared that the cows had died as they were left on the edge of a gorge instead of leaving them inside the forests. A total of 47 stray animals, including cows, had been shunted out of the city limits, of which 22 cows died.

The Himachal Pradesh police had registered a case under Section 429 of the IPC and Section 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty Against Animals Act at Paonta Sahib on July 26. Later, charges under Sections 153 (causing communal disharmony) and 120 B (conspiracy) of the IPC were added to make the offence non-bailable.

The seven employees named in the FIR are Sub-Inspector (Enforcement Wing) Om Prakash, Slaughter House Superintendent M.S. Kamboj, Darshan Singh, Bhupinder Singh, Roshan Lal, Rajbir Hooda and Sarjeevan. All seven were arrested and bailed out by a court in Paonta Sahib. 


MC to approach ‘gaushalas’ in other states
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 25
Short of space to accommodate over 4000 stray cattle roaming on the city roads, the local Municipal Corporation today decided to approach “gaushalas” in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat. As an incentive, the organisation or civic body running the ”gaushala” would be offered a one-time grant on per cattle head basis.

The stray cattle would be caught by the staff of the Municipal Corporation and transported to the “gaushala” concerned. A similar arrangement would be adopted by the civic bodies in Panchkula, Ropar and Patiala districts. The issue was discussed at a joint meeting of the Deputy Commissioners of Chandigarh, Panchkula, Ropar and Patiala districts held at the office of Municipal Corporation here today.

The participants felt that the construction of “gaushalas” in their areas was a short-term measure to check the stray cattle menace. The availability of land within the city limits of Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula was limited, said the Mayor, Mr Subhash Chawla.

It was decided that the respective civic bodies would put advertisements in this regard in newspapers circulated in the states identified for the offer. The civic body concerned would also advertise the incentives and the number of heads of cattle it wanted to be accommodated. The decision taken at the joint meeting was approved by the Finance and Contract Committee at a meeting held today.

A team of the Municipal Corporation would also visit the “gaushalas” in the four states in this connection. The gaushalas identified are in Jaipur, Bikaner and Jodhpur in Rajasthan, Indore and Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh, Rishikesh and Hardwar in Uttar Pradesh and Surat and Ahemdabad in Gujarat. Some NGOs have offered to take the stray cattle to “gaushalas” in other states.


Students call off stir
Tribune News Service

The committee will examine:

  • The hike in tuition and admission fee notified by the UT Administration
  • Various funds being charged by government and private colleges and assess their reasonability keeping in view the requirements of individual colleges
  • The need, if any, for the rationalisation and adoption of uniform level of funds

Chandigarh, November 25
The 25-day agitation by college students finally yielded results today, with the UT Administration agreeing to the closure of fee counters in colleges till the committee constituted to look into the matter of fee hike gives its report. The Administration has also extended the last date for depositing fee by a fortnight.

Calling off the indefinite fast and boycott of classes outside the Government College for Girls, Sector 11, students had been a jubilant lot. Earlier in the afternoon, the Home and Education Secretary, Mr R.S. Gujral, first gave feelers of choosing between closure of fee counters or charging fee on the old pattern till the committee’s decision.

In the evening, the DPI (Colleges), Mr Dilip Kumar, told the agitating students that fee collection would be suspended in all colleges for a fortnight. The committee would decide the issue of fee hike within this specified time frame, he added.

He offered juice to Annpurna Singh, council president of the Government College for Girls, Sector 11, the vice-president of Guru Gobind Singh College, Sector 26, Manmeet Kaur, and Harpreet of the Dev Samaj College for Women, Sector 45, to break their indefinite fast.

Later, Mr Dilip Kumar also informed the students that the UT Administrator had constituted a committee under the chairmanship of the Home Secretary, Mr RS Gujral, to look into issues involving fee and funds in city colleges.

The other members of the committee include Finance Secretary of the UT Administration, the DPI (Colleges), two representatives of Panjab University nominated by the Vice-Chancellor, the Principals of DAV College, Sector 10, MCM DAV College, Sector 36, and Sri Guru Gobind Singh College, Sector 26, (private colleges) and the Principal of Government College, Sector 11, would represent the government colleges.

The students would be represented by the president of the council of GCG-11 and GCG-42, Annpurna Singh and Gayatri Bawa, respectively.



Taste of success has rejuvenated me’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 25
“This is the best evening I have had since I began my indefinite fast last Thursday. The sinking feeling I experienced every evening is no longer there. The taste of success, a sense of having achieved something for the students, has revived my spirit and rejuvenated me,” said an elated Annpurna Singh, president of the students council of the Government College for Girls, Sector 11, right after the students called off the strike in colleges following the fulfilment of their demands.

However, for her, the day had begun on an altogether different note. An angry DPI (Colleges), Mr Dilip Kumar, who arrived at the college this morning, told the Principal to rusticate her and even asked the police to remove students of other colleges on indefinite fast as the college staff looked on. Finally, nothing came of the instructions and the protest continued.

While police personnel were present in large numbers outside and inside the campus, the mood of the students oscillated between hope and despair with no word from the UT Administration much after 10 am. The hope came from students of the college, who despite being forced to stay inside the college gates, did not attend any classes to express solidarity with the students on fast.

Much before noon, when the college gate was opened to allow students to leave, they converged at the gate and were addressed by council members of the college under the watchful eye of the police. Staff members from other colleges also came to meet the students on fast and sympathised with them all through the day though they expressed helplessness in coming out openly in their support.

Meanwhile, a delegation led by the president of the Panjab University Campus Students’ Council (PUCSC), went to meet the Education Secretary, Mr Gujral, for a decision in the matter. They were, however, sent back with the message that the decision of the Administration would be conveyed to them at the college campus at 2:30 pm.

Gradually, students from other city colleges began descending at GCG-11 and the members of the advisory committee of the college, the Principal, Ms Usha Kheterpal, and Principal of GC-11, Mr Balwinder Singh, also awaited the Administration’s word in the matter.

Inching closer to an agreement with the Administration with every passing hour, the students were asked if they were ready to end the fast following the closure of fee counters till the committee’s decision. After getting a nod from the students, the DPI (College), Mr Dilip Kumar, was conveyed the same over the phone and invited to offer juice to the students.

On his arrival, talks again broke down for a while with students adamant that he read out and give in writing the decision of the Administration and the disclose the names of the members of the committee, even asking him to include the name of the president of the PUCSC which he turned down.

Agitated with the behaviour of the students, he even threatened to leave if the students were unwilling to consume juice without pre-conditions, especially when the Administration had softened its stand and agreed to accept their demands.

Finally, a compromise was reached and the students on fast took juice. Following this, Mr Dilip Kumar circulated the names of committee members and the day ended on a happy note, and more so because girl students from various colleges spearheaded the agitation this time round.


Illegal exchange causes 1-cr loss to govt
Our Correspondent

Police sources said such exchanges could pose threat to the national security as it would be difficult for the monitoring agencies like RAW and the police to tap calls originating from foreign countries and routed to local subscribers via such exchanges. In such cases, the foreign calls were being switched to subscribers showing only Indian telephone numbers on the received call list. If any of the agencies try to monitor such calls, it would get only the telephone number of the subscriber and the number at the exchange and not the phone number of the caller calling from abroad.

Chandigarh, November 25
By misusing technology, a loss of more than Rs 1 crore has been caused to the government by an illegal telephone exchange in Sector 22, which was being used to receive calls originating from foreign countries and re-direct them to local subscribers. In the process the main trunk exchanges were by-passed causing loss to the government as well as to the trunk exchanges. It is believed that the exchange had been functional for more than a year.

The police has arrested Mohinder Pal Saini, a city resident under various Sections of the IPC and Indian Wireless Telegraphy Act, 1933. More arrests are likely, the police said. The exchange was installed in a cabin of a shop in Sector 22. It often remained locked as the system was totally automatic. A satellite receiver was fixed on the roof of the shop.

A team of telecom engineers, accompanied by police officials, raided the exchange today and found it directly linked with communication satellites encircling the globe. For re-directing (switching) the calls, he was using fixed GSM sets (technology used in mobile phones).

The modus operandi was that the calls originating from foreign countries for India, instead of directly reaching the subscribers via one of the four licenced ILD operators (VSNL, Reliance, Data Access and Bharti) and service providers (fixed line and mobile telephones), used to land up at the fixed GSM (technology used in mobile phones) sets at the exchange via a satellite receiver. The GSM sets than used to switch over the call to the subscriber. Interestingly, the caller line identification device on the subscriber’s phone used to show the number of the GSM number of the exchange and not of that of the original caller.

As many as 23 SIM cards of Spice, a mobile service provides were being used to switch over the calls from foreign countries to the subscribers here, said police. The details of number of foreign calls switched over are yet to be ascertained but police sources said the incoming traffic at the exchange was so high that the instruments remained busy around the clock. A case of misuse of the SIM cards may also be made against the accused, the police said.

On the other hand, in normal situation, calls originating from foreign countries first land up at one of the ILDOs, which further directs it to the fixed line or mobile phone service providers like the BSNL and Airtel. In the process, the ILDOs and service providers earn revenue (for handling international calls) in a certain ratio. The ILDOs also pay a certain amount to the Government of India under a social obligation (for setting up rural telephony). The government also earns money from the service providers in the form of incometax and service tax.

In this case, there was certain arrangement (the police is yet to find out) between the foreign service providers and the exchange. The exchange owner was making hefty income from the arrangements. Interestingly, the local subscribers were unaware of the arrangements, the police, added.

The police has seized sophisticated instruments from the exchange. A case has been registered on a complaint of Mr G.S. Sharma, Manager, Vigilance Cell, VSNL, New Delhi.

Earlier, a similar illegal telophone exchange causing an estimated loss of Rs 91 lakh to the VSNL was unearthed by the police in Sector 9 in June this year. However, the accused R.K. Sharma was later let off the hook with the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) “withdrawing its complaint” against him.


MC staff stage dharna
Tribune News Service

Members of the Coordination Committee of Government and MC employees and workers, UT, hold a rally at the Matka Chowk in Chandigarh
Members of the Coordination Committee of Government and MC employees and workers, UT, hold a rally at the Matka Chowk in Chandigarh.
— A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, November 25
The coordination committee of government and MC employees and workers today staged a dharna at the Matka Chowk in protest against the non acceptance of their demand by the Central Government. The workers demanded the acceptance of their demand to treat all transferred workers to the Municipal Corporation as on deputation.

Addressing the rally, Mr Ramesh Kumar, co-convener of the coordination committee, said after the creation of the Municipal Corporation, the UT Administration transferred 6,000 employees and workers to the corporation. The Centre assured the employees that all employees and workers would be considered as on deemed deputation with the Municipal Corporation.

The coordination committee decided to announce its future course of action on December 2.


No headway in stabbing case
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, November 25
The police is unable to locate the whereabouts of Manjit Singh, who had allegedly stabbed Ms Neelam Devi, wife of Mr Jaipal Singh, when she was alone in her residence at Marketing Board Colony in Sector 14 on Monday afternoon.

Since Neelam’s house is located in the high security area of the township and is a few yards away from residence of the Deputy Commissioner and the Superintendent of Police, therefore the occurance of such an incident has put a question mark on the competence of the Panchkula police.

“The fact that even the location of Neelam’s house in a VIP area, did not deter the assailant from committing the crime in broad daylight, puts all of us at high risk,” said a resident of the area, who did not wish to be identified.

Interaction with other residents of the locality revealed that the incident, which is not a stray one, has once again created panic and insecurity, putting a question mark on the worsening law and order situation in the township.

In all such cases in the recent past, the assailants have struck in houses where only one family member, many times only the lady of the house, has become the victim.

Sources in the police revealed that Manjit Singh was residing in a rented accommodation in Himshikha Colony, Pinjore, for the past some time. Besides the residence of the assailant in Pinjore, the police parties have also conducted raids at the houses of his relatives and friends.

While talking to Chandigarh Tribune in the PGI, Chandigarh, Ms Neelam confirmed that Manjit Singh visited her house when she was alone and asked when her husband would arrive ?

“He claimed to be an associate of my husband Jaipal Singh. In support of his association with my husband he also gave reference of Mr M.L. Sharma, one of our family friends. He visited the house hours before we had gone to attend the marriage party of Mr Sharma’s son,” she added.

The police had already registered a case against him in this regard.

In the absence of Mr Ranbir Sharma, SP, repeated efforts to contact Mr Desh Bandhu, DSP (Headquarters) on his mobile phone proved futile till late this evening.


Bhaskar Award for acupressure specialist
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November, 25
A city-based acupressure specialist, Dr Attar Singh, has been honoured with the prestigious Bhaskar Award given by the Delhi-based organisation, Bharat Nirman.

Dr Attar Singh, an acupressure specialist, is among the nine distinguished personalities, who have been honoured with the award for their contribution in various fields.

The award was presented by the Uttaranchal Chief Minister, Mr N.D. Tiwari, at a function in New Delhi, yesterday. Dr Attar Singh was honoured with the award in recognition of his services in the field of acupressure and nature cure.

He was the first to author a book on acupressure and nature cure system in Hindi and Punjabi.

Nine other distinguished personalities, who have been honoured are — M. Gulab Kothari (journalism), Mr Muni Lok Prakash Lokesh (non-violence), Dr S.K. Sama (medicine), Dr Prem Nath Jain (publishing), Dr Mohinder Singh (interfaith), Mr Shiamak Davar (music and choreography), M Jamsheed Ardeshir Sidhwa (tourism) and Dr Khushdeep Bansal (vaastu).


Verma felicitates people on Id-ul-Fitr

Chandigarh, November 25
Muslims residing in the city thronged the markets to buy new clothes to celebrate the end of Rojas. Punjab Governor-cum-UT Administrator, Justice O.P. Verma (retd) also extended heartiest felicitation to all residents of the city on the eve of Id-ul-Fitr.

According to an Imam, the Governors of Haryana and Punjab were expected to offer prayers at Sector 20 Jama Masjid. The Imam said the namaz would be offered at Jama Masjid at 9.30 am. and at Noorani Masjid in Sector 26 at 9.45 am. At Manimajra Idgah, the namaz would be offered at 10 am. In Burail, the namaz would be offered at 9.45 am. and at Sabri Masjid in Sector 45, at 9.30 am. In Mohali Phase 11 mosque, the prayers would be offered at 10 am. In Panchkula’s Sector 21 mosque, the namaz would be offered at 9.30 am. OC


Mayor meets Adviser

Chandigarh, November 25
The Mayor of Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, Mr Subhash Chawla, today called on the Adviser to UT Administration Mr Lalit Sharma, and discussed various issues concerning the Corporation. 

Mr Chawla told Chandigarh Tribune that the Adviser assured all possible help to the corporation. TNS


Readers Write
Mohali needs sprucing up

* I would like to offer some suggestions regarding the development of Mohali. The road between the PCA Stadium and Phase 7 lights should be broadened as the traffic will increase manifold in the future. The road can be broadened up to Phase 4. One of the entries to the New PUDA Complex is on the main road which leads to traffic blockades. Similarly, the entry to Amb Sahib Gurdwara has witnessed frequent accidents. The same is the case with the PUDA entry point. Therefore, the entry should be from the inside road, opposite Fortis Hospital.

* Though PUDA has spent Rs 35 crore on the complex, the signboard of PUDA leaves much to be desired and could be modernised as it is the pivotal development agency.

* Their could be a small roundabout instead of traffic lights on several spots like the Education Board, the road dividing residential Phases 9, 10 and 11 and the Industrial Area (Phases 9 and 10).

* Strict rules regarding the burning of leaves, grass and waste in front of houses should be enforced as it leads to environment degradation.

* The most severe problem is the “ganda nala” passing between Phases 8, 9 and 10 and the Industrial Area, Sector 69. This has led to the breeding of mosquitoes and the stench makes it impossible to sit outside.

* Noise pollution near the gurdwara in the wee hours and late evening causes inconvenience to the elderly and students.

* Cleaning and upkeep of roads in front of residential houses.

* Better response from PUDA, MC and the police when contacted over the phone or otherwise.

* Cleaning of vacant plots. Despite being hailed as the next silicon valley with the entry of MNCs, the green cover should be increased.

* Stray cattle menace must be checked.

* Sewerage tanks in front of residential houses are 3 ft high and an eyesore as well as a problem for vehicles. They should be lowered to the road level.

Dharamvir Singh Gill, Mohali

Victims are culprits too

A lot of hue and cry regarding ‘‘kabootar bazi’’ was seen in the newspapers recently. For immigration to any foreign country, government agencies are available in the country. Why don’t people follow the proper procedure through these agencies ? Why do they resort to illegal means to go abroad ? They are also culprits as they encourage fraud and corruption . They are also breaking the law of the land and are equally responsible for the offence.

Instead of prosecuting the other party, they should also be taken to task. The authorities should examine why the people resort to unfair means to go abroad. Are the procedures cumbersome and lengthy ? If so, these should be simplified.

Col G. B. Singh (retd), Patiala

Railway exam a cruel joke

The Railway Recruitment Board, Chandigarh, advertised for some posts of Traffic Apprentice in the Employment News in October, 2002. The last date for the receipt of applications was December 2, 2002. The preliminary examination for them was held on July 6, 2003.

The examination at the Chandigarh centre was held in the most haphazard manner. The answersheets supplied were shabbily printed with the carbon copy not evenly attached to the upper leaf. As a result, the answer marked by the candidates on the answersheets in specified circular spaces got printed in wrong spaces on the carbon copy. Since it was the carbon copy, which was to be evaluated by the computer, we have inside information that the answer sheets of thousands of candidates were considered invalid without any fault of the examinees.

The result of the examination published in the Employment News of October 4, 2003, confirmed the worst fears of the candidates about the quality of the answersheets supplied and the manner in which the invigilators and supervisors conducted the examination. The list of successful candidates eligible to appear in the final examination on October 19, 2003, is fairly revealing in that it involves arbitrary disqualification of thousands of candidates due to the board’s own apathy and callousness in supplying proper answersheets to the candidates after they had paid for all that.

Apparently, there was large-scale bungling and the examination was a cruel joke on unemployed youth. The higher authorities are requested to look into the matter with promptness to restore public confidence in the Railway Recruitment Board.

Amit Kumar, Sumit Sharma, Ambala

Punish owners for cattle menace

It should not be a problem to resolve the stray cattle menace issue if the authorities concerned have the will to do so. Instead of catching cattle straying on roads, the authorities should catch the owners of the animals and impose a heavy fine on them.

Similarly, instead of punishing the youngsters driving without licence, their parents should be held responsible even if they are VIPs or other influential persons. But the problems persist because the authorities concerned do not bother to consider them seriously. What is required is to enforce laws vigorously.

DR U.S. Bansal, Chandigarh

Solution to cattle menace

Time has come to fight cattle menace on a war-footing to avoid accidents on roads in Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula. Stray cattle should be caught and put to public auction. This shall automatically reduce their number. The money collected can be utilised for the welfare of the remaining cattle and their rehabilitation. This shall not only reduce the number of accidents, but also solve the problem to a great extent. The administration should experiment it for a week at least.

Shanta Talwar, Panchkula

Poorly maintained parks

A right step has been taken by the Deputy Speaker-cum-MLA of the Kharar constituency by inviting residents of Mohali to accompany him during an inspection of all parks in the township. He would be able to see the poor maintenance of some of the parks.

There are three parks in the residential area to the north of Sector 71, and all lack maintenance despite requests to the Executive Engineer, Horticulture, PUDA, in this regard.

Dr H.S. Gheek, Mohali


Body of Head Constable handed over to kin
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, November 25
The body of Head Constable Parshottam Lal, who was killed after a Bolero rammed into a police post on the Panchkula-Zirakpur highway last evening, was handed over to members of his family after post-mortem examination at the General Hospital, Sector 6, here today.

Hailing from Mehalpur town of Hoshiarpur district, Parshottam Lal along with Constable Dilbagh Singh, of the Yamunanagar area in Haryana, were deployed at the check post when the vehicle hit it leaving them seriously injured.

They were taken to the General Hospital where Parshottam Lal was declared dead.

In less than 12 hours, the police has arrested the driver of the vehicle. He has been identified as Amit Kumar of Sector 6.

After impounding the vehicle, a case under Sections 304 and 308 of the IPC has been registered against him at Sector 19 police station. 


Jewellery stolen from house
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 25
A thief decamped with jewellery from a house in Phase I here today.

Mrs Geeta Devi said she was robbed of gold ornaments weighing about 4 tolas. She said that when her son came back from school around noon he saw a lock of the house broken and the room was bolted from the inside. She said the thief escaped from a window in the kitchen as soon as he heard the sound.


Two more held in extortion case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 25
The Operation Cell of the police today arrested two more persons believed to be members of the inter-state gang which was busted yesterday. The gang is alleged to be involved in extortions and dacoities.

Based on the information of Sanjeev and Satpal, who were arrested yesterday, the police today arrested Ram Niwas of Indira Colony, Mani Majra and Anil Kumar of Sector 30 here. They will be produced in a local court tomorrow.

The police is likely to move an application in a court, seeking production warrants of O.P Saini, the kingpin of the gang. Saini is currently lodged in Burail Jail in connection with several cases, including the ‘supari’ killing of Kiran Cinema manager. 

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