C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


US trooper from city killed in Iraq
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 3
When two persons from the US Consulate came to meet Lt Col P.M. Singh in Sector 18 yesterday, his world was shattered. They told him that his 21-year-old son Uday Singh, a US Army trooper, had been killed in Iraq.

For the inconsolable former officer, who had given his blood and sweat to defend the nation, it was perhaps an odd twist of destiny for his son getting killed in a foreign land in someone' else's war.

Uday had passed out from St Stephen's School, Sector 45, about three years ago. Being a Green Card holder, he joined the US Army immediately thereafter. According to family members, he had planned to work for two years in the army and then pursue higher studies. He, however, opted to continue in the army and was sent to Iraq.

His patrol, a part of Task Force All American, was ambushed on December 1 near Habbaniyah and he was hit by small arms fire. He was evacuated to the Forward Operating Base, St Mere, where he succumbed to his injuries. Three Iraqis were also captured in the encounter. He was the sole casualty in the encounter.

While his parents were unable to talk about the tragedy, other family members said Uday had been decorated for gallantry twice, earlier during an operation in Kuwait and again in the ongoing war.

They said Uday was very close to his father, who owns a service station in Sector 17. He often used to tell his father not to worry about him. Uday has an 11-year-old sister, Bani, who is studying at Sanawar. Friends and family associates remember him as a cheerful person, who was soft-spoken and respectful.

Uday had visited his parents for a few days in March, and just a few weeks ago, had written to them from Iraq, where he mentioned about an ear injury which had affected his hearing. A family friend recalled that he had also written to his grandmother recently.

Two representatives from the US Embassy also visited the family today. CNN also called up, seeking details about Uday and his family background.


Chandigarh man gets national award

New Delhi, December 3 
The President, Mr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, today presented national award for the welfare of disabled persons to Mr Gurdip Singh Director, Social Welfare, Chandigarh.

He was awarded for best local-level committee organiser of Chandigarh Administration. Since the formation of the committee last year Mr Gurdip Singh said it had rehabilitated 21 mentally challenged persons.

The committee in coordination with the Social Welfare Department and the Government Institute of Mentally Retarded Children has undertaken a number of programmes for awareness, early detection, integration and rehabilitation of persons with disabililties. — TNS


City inconsiderate to disabled
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Woes of the disabled

  • Barring one parking lot in Sector 17, no place reserved for parking.

  • No overhead signs to tell even if a special entry for the disabled exists.

  • The MC building and several police station lack mandatory special access.

  • Approach to PU Students Centre risky for disabled.

  • Several leading banks, restaurants and ATM counters have no special entry.

Chandigarh, December 3
Even as World Disabled Day passed off today with the routine pledges and functions, many small things which can actually help the disabled are being overlooked in the city.

Barring some buildings of the Chandigarh Administration — like the UT Secretariat in Sector 9 and the Estate office-cum-Deputy Commissioner’s office in Sector 17 — most of the government buildings do not even have ramps to allow easier access for the physically challenged persons. This means those on wheelchairs have to be helped upstairs or have to be left out. The list of such unfriendly buildings includes several city police stations. One of the buildings which do not have a ramp but boast of a flight of stairs is the Municipal Corporation building in Sector 17.

Moreover, major shopping centres in Sectors 17, 22 , 34 and 35 do not have reserved parking places for the physically challenged persons. The only exception is a the reserved parking lot in fornt of the 30-Bay-Building in Sector 17.

In Sector 17, there is a rather uncomfortable roadside kerb at the parking lots, which does not allow easy access. All shops are located another 18 inches higher that pavement and again, no ramp exists. And if some enterprising shopkeeper has carried out some modification, it is not marked or shown with an overhead sign. The story repeats itelf with monotonous regularity in all city markets.

City hotels, like Hotel Mountview in Sector 10 and Hotel Shivalikview in Sector 17, both run by the semi-government Chandigarh Industrial Tourism Corporation (CITCO), do have ramps but they are not marked by any overhead signboards.

A small ramp exists for approach to the Sukhna but again, it is not marked. Many leading private hotels, banks and restaurants do not have the basic ramps. A disabled person, who did not wish to be quoted, says the approach to the toilets at public places is even more unfriendly.

Some ATMs are located up a flight of five to six stairs, causes inconvenience to the disabled.

The students Centre on one campus of Panjab University, does not have a ramp. Incidentally, none of the PU departments located on the upper floors has easy access. Though each block has two sets of stairs , nobody has thought to convert one into a ramp.

Mukesh Aggarwal, who has a polio-stricken brother, says all decisions are taken without any consideration of the disabled. “Actually, there is no system in the city to deal with the problems being faced by the disabled, he adds.


Centre for special children to be set up
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 3
In order to cater to the needs of the differently abled children, the first regional centre of North India will be set up at the Government Institute for Mentally Retarded Children (GIMRC) in Sector 32.

The Rs 1 crore project has already been approved by the MInistry of Social Justice and Empowerment. “The UT administration has granted us 2.7 acre of land and the construction work is likely to begin soon,” informed Mr C.B. Pahuja, Officer In charge at the GIMRC.

He said there was an acute shortage of trained personnel in the region who could cater to the needs of these special children. The centre would have facilities for children suffering from autism, mental retardation, cerebral palsy and multiple disabilities. “At present we have hostel facility for only 30 children and as such we have a long waiting list of candidates from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal and Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.

The regional centre, would have provision for the stay of 500 children. Officials said though they had sought 10 acres of land from the administration, they were given only 2.7 acres, so they would now have to go in for a multistoreyed building, much against their wishes.

The GIMRC is the only institute in the region which is holding diploma in vocational training and empowerment, training for care givers and a foundation course for the in-service teachers and other staff taking care of these children. The GIMRC is giving vocational training to children who are into carpentry, weaving, candle-making, tailoring and supplying products like bread, spices and paper bags to a number of institutes.

The GIMRC is one of the few institutes in the country which has been able to generate awareness about the legal guardianship issue of these differently abled children. “The level of awareness about the legal guardianship is very low and some of the families are not even aware of such a concept,” said doctors. The GIMRC to get 128 families in the city to go in for legal guardianship, where after the child attains the age of 18, legal formalities have to be completed by the parents.

Under the Umeed Project, the GIMRC has been able to provide employment to 24 mentally challenged children, as they have been given the responsibility of running kiosks at various places in the city, along with their family members.

On the occasion of World Disabled day, an exhibition of their products was put up by the children from the GIMRC at Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32. They had put up stalls of various items like candles, bread, spices and handicraft items being made by them at the institute.Back


Disabled lament govt apathy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 3
Lamenting government apathy in the implementation of the Disability Act, 1995, physically challenged persons of the city said today that despite their repeated representations to the government, their demands had still not been meet.

An awareness conference was organised by the Physically Handicapped Association, Punjab, for the physically challenged persons at Giani Gurumukh Singh Musafir Auditorium in Sector 24 here today. “Despite the Disability Act, there are hardly any facilities that are being extended and we continue to face inconvenience and harassment in our daily life,” rued Mr Avtar Singh, the Secretary of the association.

He said the provision of 3 per cent reservation in jobs was not being implemented and barring Himachal Pradesh, they had not been given the facility of free travel. “In the absence of a multipurpose disability certificate, which can be put to use at all places, we have to keep running to government offices every now and then, putting us to a lot of inconvenience,” said Ms Sunita Dogra, the Vice-President of the association.

Alleging that some people had managed to get jobs under the quota for the disabled in Punjab by furnishing fake disability certificates, they demanded that a probe should be ordered into the matter. “We are not getting jobs and influential people posing to be deaf and dumb have been able to get jobs,” they maintained.

Some prominent persons, who have been able to overcome their disability and make a mark in their respective fields spoke about the rights of the physically challenged people at the conference.


Fund crunch hits progress of Prayaas
Pratibha Chauhan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 3
Paucity of funds has virtually crippled the growth of Prayaas, one of the first rehabilitation centres of north India for children suffering from various disabilities.

Set up in 1985, the institute, being run by the local branch of the Indian Council of Child Welfare, has not been able to undertake ambitious expansion plans due to fund crunch.

“The progress of the institute has been rather slow and we are still stuck at the first stage even after 18 years of our existence,” lamented a social worker, working with the special children from the beginning.

Various projects — like setting up of a school for special education, hostel facility, library, training centre for therapists and a vocational training centre to enable these children to learn various skills — have not been able to take shape. “We are merely doing assessment and management of various disabilities and improving them with physiotherapy, speech therapy and counselling services only,” said another social worker.

Though the UT Administration gives Rs 8 lakh and the MInistry of Social Justice and Empowerment Rs 3 lakh, this amount is barely enough to meet the expenditure and salary of the staff. The Centre has yet to respond to the request made by Prayaas for additional funds to provide additional facilities to these special children.

Notwithstanding the problems faced by the institute, several women have been visiting the place daily for over a decade. “Had it not been for the guidance and dedication of the staff here, my daughter would not have been standing on her feet,” says the mother of a 14-year-old girl.

“In case the institute provides hostel facility, it will be very convenient for people like us who try and come here twice a week for the sake of our child,” remarked another woman, who comes here from Ambala.

Encouraged by the remarkable progress made by children suffering from various disabilities, there are families who have reported shifted from places like Panipat, Ludhiana and Kangra in Himachal Pradesh to the city, to avail the facilities at Prayaas. At present, Prayaas has speech therapy, occupational therapy and play therapy facilities.

The institute is providing multi-disability intervention and rehabilitation services to the people of the region. As part of the expansion plans, Prayaas is keen to start a community service programme for the detection and home management of disabilities so that patients can be treated at home.


Kiranbir Kang’s house raided
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 3
The police here today raided the Sector 69 residence of Akali leader Kiranbir Singh Kang. According to police sources, Kang is wanted by the police in various cases, including one of an attempt to murder registered by the Ropar police against him on Monday.

Giving details, the police sources said three separate case were registered by the Ropar police against Kang, who is currently the senior vice-president of the youth wing of the SAD, for protesting along with other Akali workers at Ropar during the personal appearance of former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal at the Ropar courts. However, he allegedly went underground when he came to know about the cases, including one registered under Section 307.

He along with some other Akali leaders went to Patiala yesterday to meet Mr Parkash Singh Badal but was arrested by the Patiala police on information given by the Ropar police. However, Kang managed to flee from Patiala Civil Lines police station on the pretext of making a telephone call. The SSP, Patiala, Mr Amandeep Singh Rai, confirmed that the SHO of the police station, Mr Rajvinder Singh, was suspended following the incident.

A team from Ropar along with some Mohali policemen raided Kang’s palatial house in Sector 69 on the Mohali-Sohana road but could not find him there. Those in the house too refused to talk to the press on the issue.

Meanwhile, talking to The Tribune, Mr Siddharatha Chattopadhayaya, DIG, Ludhiana range, confirmed that the police was on the lookout for Kang and some other Akali leaders. ‘‘While there were akalis who were very respectful, Kang some other leaders were up to mischief. We have camera recording of constables being hit by some of these protesters. Cases have been registered following such incidents. Although I am not aware of the minute-to-minute follow-up of the case, I am sure that raids would have been conducted at his residence, ’’ he added.


Saini’s illegal exchange unearthed in Bangalore
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 3
Mohinder Pal Saini, arrested for running an illegal telephone exchange to switch international calls here, was also robbing the Government of India through a similar exchange at Bangalore. The losses to the government could run into several crores.

A team of the Bangalore police and the Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited (VSNL) officials last night reached the exchange and found an almost similar set-up there as was found by the Chandigarh police in Sector 22. The team confiscated sophisticated equipment worth Rs 20 lakh from the exchange. The tip-off about the exchange was provided by the Chandigarh police.

Saini had Canadian citizenship and was also dealing in security gadgets in Chandigarh. He also used to demonstrate security gadgets during the launch of the Chandigarh police’s Neighbourhood Watch Schemes in the city.

The police today made startling revelations about the modus operandi of Saini. Both exchanges were being controlled from Hong Kong in association with two residents of the country, Shafiq and Ajaib Singh. The machinery for the exchange was bought from Chennai-based Mahesh Giridhar and a Nepal-based engineer, Anand Mishra, used to set the sophisticated digital equipment to switch international calls to local subscribers here.

At Bangalore, the exchange and SIM cards of Spice Communications were being used, said the police. The Bangalore police had also rounded up Kashyap a sales executive of Spice, and a watchman at the exchange. It was being alleged that Saini used to procure the SIM cards with the help of Kashyap.

The police was also on the lookout for Shafiq and Ajaib Singh. The international airports had been alerted to thwart any bid by Shafiq and Ajaib Singh to flee the country, though the police was not sure if the two were in country. Shafiq and Ajaib Singh had been running a telecommunication company, Asian Telecom Agency, in Hong Kong. The Canadian Embassy in New Delhi had been informed about the arrest of Saini.

The police said transactions of more than Rs 2.16 crore were made between a bank account (NRI account) of Saini (jointly owned by him and his wife) at the Sector 17 branch of the State Bank of India and the bank’s branch in Hong Kong during the last two years. Saini has at least another four bank accounts and the police was yet to obtain the details.

Saini reportedly told the police that the exchange in Sector 22 was operational since November 2000 and the one at Bangalore was functioning for last two months. During his interrogation, Saini told the police that he came in contact with Shafiq and Ajaib Singh during his tour to Hong Kong.

During the interrogation, Saini told about the exchange at Bangalore and the police promptly passed the information on to the vigilance wing of the VSNL. Based on the information of the Chandigarh police, the raids at the exchange were carried out.

On November 25, the police busted the clandestine exchange in Sector 22. Saini was allegedly found using a satellite antenna to receive calls from foreign countries and redirecting to domestic subscribers using SIM cards of Spice Communications. The police was awaiting details regarding the 24 SIM card used at the Sector 22 exchange from Spice Communications. 


Licence of KC theatre suspended for 7 days
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 3
The Chandigarh Administration today suspended the licence of KC cinema, Sector 17, for 7 days, starting from tomorrow.

An order in this regard was dispatched from the office of the Deputy Commissioner today.

The toilets and seats in the cinema house needed renovation and cleaning.

The cinema management had been given a show-cause notice a few days ago as to why the licence should not be suspended.

A basic set of directions were agreed upon about eight weeks ago when the rates of cinema tickets were hiked. 


Jobless once, now helps 10,000 get job
Manoj Kumar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 3
"I was feeling frustrated and helpless, when I could not find a job after getting my B.Sc. degree. Like other youth, my ambition was to get a good job and settle in life. For some time, I worked as a local correspondent with some Hindi newspapers, but a visit to the Delhi Trade Fair changed my whole life. I decided to join my family work of making mats and bedsheets," says Mr Jayesh Kumar Gupta, Secretary, Gramin Hastkala Vikas Samiti, Agra.

Mr Gupta (31), who could not get a job in early ’90s, is today helping over 10,000 artisans of Agra and surrounding towns to earn livelihood, besides a marketing platform to over 2,500 craftsmen from other parts of the country. About 100 artisans from Punjab and Haryana, who manufacture Punjabi jutti, phulkari, wooden carvings and terrikota pottery, are also associated with him. He has successfully mobilised artisans of UP, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Orissa and West Bengal to sell their products through exhibitions.

The samiti is holding National Handicraft Handloom exhibition-cum-festival here these days. Talking about his long journey, Mr Gupta said: "Initially I was not very enthusiastic about this field, but once I started, I realised its vast potential in the domestic and international market. What was lacking was good marketing and quality of products, so I began to concentrate on these aspects." I am fully convinced that the huge urban market of India itself can offer jobs to millions of artisans in the rural India, he added.

Mr Gupta claimed that he used to organise small exhibitions of products made by their artisans and friends. Later, he set up Gramin Hastkala Vikas Samiti and mobilised artisans through Self Help Groups in the area. "Today over 10,000 artisans are manufacturing models of the Taj, marble carvings, handloom and jute products, sarees and other traditional goods. On an average one artisan family is able to do business of over Rs 2 lakh annually. We just charge Rs 550 annually as registration fee from artisans to sell their products at the exhibitions, and offer all sort of facilities." The samiti is running a cluster of handlooms under the Ministry of Textiles.

At present, Mr Gupta is also member of the Agra Municipal Corporation and is involved in social activities as well. He says proudly, "last year we sold material worth Rs 40 crore through exhibitions organised in metros and other cities across the country. The sales target for this year is of Rs 75 crore. Next year, we plan to organise exhibitions in the UK, the USA and Dubai."

For the past eight years, the samiti is involved in the areas of craft documentation, design development, training of craftsmen in new designs, marketing, accounting, besides suppling jute raw material at lower rates, and organising medical camps for them. About 1000 artisans have been covered under the accidental insurance policy.

How handicrafts sector could be promoted. He said the state government should set up permanent places at least in the state capital on the pattern of Delhi Haat, where the craftsmen could sell their products directly to the customers. It would help both the customers and small manufacturers, without any involvement of traders, besides promoting Indian traditional arts and goods among the young generation. If properly explored, the handloom and handicraft sector have a market potential worth thousands of crores, and capacity to solve unemployment problem in rural India, he stated.Back


Fresh move on Bassi Theatre complex
Owner appeals to PUDA to regularise construction
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 3
Following the opening of a multiplex in Chandigarh, the focus is now on one of the first twin cinema houses in the region — Bassi theatre here. Lying in virtual disuse since its construction in 1980, a fresh move has been made to regularise the construction of the theatre complex which will house a shopping complex along with two cinema houses.

The owner, Mr H.S. Bassi, a UK-based NRI, has recently put in a appeal to the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) to regularise his building, the plans of which have been objected to by the authority on various grounds.

While Mr Bassi has justified the construction of the building, claiming that it is in accordance with the original plans which PUDA has for the twin cinema houses complex, PUDA has rejected his contention of including 20 shops within the complex on the grounds that there is no provision for shops in the plan.

‘‘I bought this land at the auction held in 1976 and according to the building plan given to us, there was a provision for two theatres and 20 shops on the ground floor. But this plan was objected to by the Fire Safety Department and the Air Force station authorities as being too high to be allowed. Then we asked for a revised plan from PUDA, but since no plan was forthcoming for over four years, we started construction and sent the revised plan to PUDA. This revised plan had all the features of the original plan except that the theatres were back to back instead of one above the other. The shops were constructed according to the original plan,’’he said.

However a high-powered committee chaired by the then PUDA Chief Administrator, Mr K.B.S. Sidhu, had rejected this revised plan on the grounds that it did not conform to the established regulations and building bylaws.

Sources in PUDA said once the twin theatre plan was passed, it was Mr Bassi who had asked for the plans to be changed and went on to construct the building according to the design that suited him best. The sources stated that the original plans had the provision of shops, but were disallowed in the revised plan as in the revised plan, the two cinema houses were to be on the ground floor and there would be no free passage left for the crowds.

The matter had been hanging fire since then. While the shops remained closed since, only one cinema house was screening movies. Mr Bassi, now camping in Chandigarh, had recently moved another application to PUDA, stating that his building be regularised, for which he was ready to pay the penalty.

The sources confirmed that his case was being considered and there was a strong possibility of the building’s regularisation despite violations after payment of some penalty.

‘‘Once the building is regularised, I promise that I will give the residents of Mohali a place better than they have seen in this part of the country. I will flush it with more funds and create an international-quality facility for cinegoers,’’ he said.


Readers Write
Sukhna nadi bridge ignored

THE general condition of roads and bridges in Punjab state is good and maintenance work is going on well. But, the bridge over Sukhna nadi at Zirakpur has been ignored. Thousands of commuters cross over this small bridge from morning till mid-night. A variety of means of transport are used by people on this stretch.

As it is narrow and dilapidated, there are always long queues on either side of the bridge. It generally takes 10 to 30 minutes to cross the bridge. The traffic authorities rarely help the commuters.

Since this bridge is located on a national highway to Himachal Pradesh and Haryana, it assumes importance. The movement of long-distance commuters to Shimla and Panchkula should be convenient. Due to the rush of working class in the morning and evening hours from either side, the load is multiplied.

The commuters will all be indebted to the authorities if these problems are sorted out.

Col M.S. Sandhu, Chandigarh

Save petrol

There are specific instructions from the government of India to the heads of all states and union territories for saving petrol. The Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, Justice O.P. Verma (retd), should adopt economy measures and not move with a caravan of vehicles. He should take steps to save petrol.

Narinder Singh, ‘‘International’’, Chandigarh

Dangerous crossing

The concept of road dividers is good. So also the grills and the green hedges on them. But the purpose for which these are created is at times is not served well. The hedges, especially at corners and crossings, obstruct the view of the traffic on the other side and so is the case with frames, leading to accidents.

One such example is the unmanned and uncontrolled crossing that has no roundabout, speed-breaker or lights. It is the crossing on the Kalka-Chandigarh highway near the multiplex building in Mani Majra.

The traffic coming from the bus stand/city side is not visible to commuters going from Kalka, Panchkula to Chandigarh. It is a dangerous situation. The authorities should look into this matter and check other vulnerable points too.

Harish Khanna, Panchkula

Roads need repair

As the monsoons are over, why is the Administration not reconstructing the roads that had suffered a blow in the rains?

The roads that are in a terribly bad shape are:

a) the stretch from the roundabout dividing Section 46 and 47 to the Grain Market (Sector 26) chowk;

b) the stretch from the bus stand chowk to the roundabout dividing Sectors 27, 28, 29, and 30. This roundabout has been in bad shape for the past over 10 years;

c) the staggered junction near the Kali Mata Mandir in Sector 31;

d) the Sector 47-D gurdwara T-junction;

e) the inner roads of Sector 40;

f) the stretch from the Sector 43 bus stand roundabout to the other roundabout on the Chandigarh-Mohali border.

Are the Administration, the Municipal Corporation and ward members asleep? If the local government can’t repair the roads why is the public asked to pay road tax?

Raj Kumar, Chandigarh

Readers are invited to contribute to the Readers Write column. The letters should be typed in double space or written legibly with the name and address of the writer and should not exceed 200 words. —Editor


Mother’s role dwelt upon
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 3
Do not sent your child to the school before the age of five — this is what sister Indumati Kathdhrey had to say during a seminar on the role of mother in the development of a child. Sister Kathdhrey is the Shishu Vatika head of Vidya Bharti Akhil Bhartiya Shiksha Sansthan. The seminar was held at Shri Kulwant Rai Sarvhitkari Vidya Mandir School in Sector 43 today.

Addressing a gathering, she said the parents were now-a-days simply not narrating bedtime stories to their children. Instead, they were permitting them to watch television. As a result, the children were having “bad dreams”.


Woman alleges murder bid by parents
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, December 3
Charging her parents with trying to set her on fire, 23-year-old Sangeeta of Gate No 4 in Sector 4 here reached the office of the Superintendent of Police in the Secretariate Building Complex in Sector 2 here this afternoon.

With her clothes wet with kerosene, Sangeeta reached in front of the office of the SP and alleged that her parents sprinkled kerosene on her and tried to set her on fire. She sought seeking police protection and action against her parents.

An ASI was called to handle the case after questioning her and her parents. The ASI said after visiting her house, he came to know that Sangeeta had married a youth of the same locality against her parents’ wishes about two years ago. Since her marriage, relations of her parents and her in-laws had turned sour.

Since Sangeeta was trying to avoid her parents, she hatched this drama, he claimed. No case was registered in this regard as per the wishes of the two families.


Five booked in dowry case
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, December 3
In a dowry case, the police booked five members of a Kaithal-based family for harassing Mrs Usha Rani, a resident of the Mansa Devi Complex in Sector 5, here today.

According to the police, Rajesh Kumar, Sadhu Ram, Sitawanti, Rinku and Vandna, members of the Kaithal-based family were booked under Sections 498-A, 323, 506 and 315 of the Indian Penal Code on the complaint of Mrs Usha Rani.

In her complaint to the police, Mrs Usha Rani had alleged that her in-laws were harassing her for dowry.

The police has registered a case with the Sector 5 police station but no arrest has been made so far.

Assault cases

In two separate incidents of assault in Pinjore and the surrounding areas, eight persons have been booked by the police in the past 24 hours.

Nihal Singh of Saini Mohalla in Pinjore has been booked under Sections 323 and 324 of the IPC for assaulting Mr Manpreet singh of the same locality.

In another case of assault, Amrik Singh of Saketri, Sajjan Singh, Shinda, Rimpi and Aman of Rattpur Colony and Balkar and Babbal of the Nalagarh Road in Pinjore have been booked under Sections of 148, 149, 323 and 506 of the IPC on the complaint of Mr Subhash, a resident of Pinjore.

In his complaint to the police, Mr Subhash had complained that the said persons assaulted him with sticks, swords and iron rods beside threatening him with dire consequences.

A case has been registered them with Pinjore police stations in this pretext.


3 students hurt in group clash
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, December 3
Three students of Government Degree College were hurt in a clash between two groups of youth belonging to Barwala at Majri Chowk this afternoon. The cause of the clash was old rivalry among the members of a group of college students and outsiders.

Three students — Pradeep, Dinesh and Naveen — of a group sustained injuries on their heads and bodies after certain members of the other group attacked at them at the chowk.

Pradeep Kumar, a student of BA(I) who was injured, said some outsiders pounced upon them with sticks when they were waiting for a bus to go to the Barwala side.

The injured had complained to the police in this regard.


Big fish have formed telecom cartel: Modi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 3
Big players in the telecom sector have formed a cartel and are trying to stifle smaller players in order to gain a monopolisitic hold on the consumers.

This was alleged here today by Dr B.K.Modi, Chairman, McorpGlobal and Spice Communication, in an interview with TNS. He denied speculation which he alleged was inspired by the cartel, that the Modi group was planning to unload Spice Telecom in order to concentrate on its other business interests. “This is absolutely wrong and baseless. On the contrary, we are planning to invest more in the telecom sector and expand our activities in the Punjab circle. There are plans to covering the neighbouring states like Haryana and Himachal Pradesh also,” Dr Modi said.

He said it was a fact that Spice Telecom owed about Rs 280 crore to Motorola and other equipment suppliers. But it had also claimed more than Rs 350 crore from the government on account of the excess fee it had paid at the time of getting the telecom licence for the Punjab circle. As a matter of fact, smaller and earliest cellphone operators in the country were entitled to a refund of nearly Rs 3000 crore from the government which it had collected before opting for a unified licence policy.

The Cellphone Operators Association of India had supported the claim and the government too had assured that it would favourably consider the viewpoint of the smaller cellphone operators in the country. But the cartel was trying to scuttle this move by floating one canard or the other about the small players.

Attempts were being made to undermine the operational efficiency of the smaller players by poaching on their trained and loyal staff by offering them higher salaries. But such tactics would not undermine viability of the smaller players. For instance, Spice Telecom had more than 7.5 lakh customers in Punjab which was one of the highest in the country.

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