C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Dadu Majra hears MC bulldozer rumble
Religious places likely to fall
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 25
A number of structures, including places of worship, face the threat of demolition in Dadu Majra colony. The time given by the Municipal Corporation to remove the “unauthorised encroachment” ends tomorrow.

The road that turns towards Dadu Majra colony at the end of Dakshin Marg is lined with temples, a church, a mosque and a gurdwara.

All these structures, constructed over the years, are situated on the periphery of the city’s garbage dumping ground.

The marked buildings include Ravidas Bhavan, Nirankari Bhavan, Dr Ambedkar Dharamshala, Shiv Mandir, Baba Balak Nath Temple, Kabir Temple, a church and a mosque.

The notice of the municipal corporation issued earlier had said: “The MC had recently taken demarcation from the Revenue Department for the land in Dadu Majra, near the dumping ground.”

The organisations concerned have been warned that they have “illegally encroached upon municipal land ... and unauthorised construction is an offence”.

The warning added: “In case you fail to vacate the unauthorised encroachment ... within 15 days, the corporation will demolish the construction”.

The organisations had been asked to submit documentary evidence in support of their claim for land, failing which action was to be initiated against them.

Office-bearers of different institutions revealed that they did not possess any such evidence.

An all-religion forum has decided to launch an agitation against the administration notice.

Mr Ramesh Kumar Chandolia, a local leader, said: “The structures are the best safeguard against the expansion of the dumping ground towards the colony.

Waste from the dump is scattered in the residential area by animals and birds.

The religious places check the growth of this area of filth.” Mr Gulab Singh from Gorakh Mandir said stagnant water in the dumping ground was touching the religious places.

Mr Mukesh Kalra, Shiv Sena (Hindustan), said the administration had in its latest demarcation increased the area of the dumping ground, extending beyond the row of religious structures.

Mr Chandolia said: “It is strange that instead of shifting the dumping ground away from the residential area, the administration is encroaching on built-up land. If the area had to become a dumping ground, no colony should have been allowed to come up there.”

Under the proposed action against the demolition drive, a religious ceremony would be held, following which an agitation would be launched, Mr Chandolia added.

Mr Subhash Chawla, Mayor, said: “The order is based on a decision of the administration to demarcate a clear boundary for the dumping ground.”

“The matter will be deliberated upon in the forthcoming corporation meeting,” he added.


Fog snaps air link
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 25
The air link to the city has been snapped with Indian Airlines today deciding to cancel its flights scheduled for December 26 and 27 due to "nil" visibility at the airport.

The decision of the public-sector air carrier followed that of Jet Airways, which has kept its flights suspended for the past three days.

The Station Manager of Jet Airways, Mr Inderjeet Pathania, said the company would wait for a few more days to decide on restarting its flights.

Fog also affected the movement of trains, with Sadbhawna today reaching late by around five hours, Shatabdi by one hour, Pashchim Express by one hour and 20 minutes and Himalyan Queen by an hour.

The passenger train from Ambala was also delayed by 20 minutes, Railways sources said.

Most of the buses of the state services of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal were also delayed. During the past two days, fog resulted in an accident of a Ludhiana Depot bus near the Neelon bridge. There was a traffic jam near Dera Bassi due to poor visibility last evening.

Local buses of Chandigarh Transport Undertaking managed to ply with "some difficulty," CTU sources said.

The Meteorological Department said the visibility at the airport was "nil". The minimum temperature on Friday was likely to be 8°C.

The department has forecast fog and mist tomorrow, morning, saying the day would be partly cloudy.

The minimum temperature today was 6.4°C. The lowest this season has been recorded at 5°C.

The maximum temperature today was 16.4°C.

The city remained enveloped by fog till afternoon, when the sun broke through.


50 pc of Mohali units have closed down
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 25
Even as the Punjab Government continues to project Mohali as the future industrial destination of the state, more than half of the small-scale industries in Mohali have closed shop. The findings of a survey conducted by the Department of Industries, Punjab, tell an alarming story of Mohali's industrial health.

Out of the total registered industries in Mohali, 51 per cent have closed shop over the years, including many industries which were set up way back in the seventies. Out of the small scale industries that have closed down, the maximum number is of the ones dealing in the production of engineering goods followed by those manufacturing electronic and electrical equipment. (see box)

Similarly out of the total of 39 large and medium industrial units established here only 31 are functioning and out of those closed down six were dealing in electronics and electrical goods.

Other related figures point to a similar disheartening trend. While the Punjab Government had to pay up subsidies worth over Rs 550 crore to the small-scale industries that were established after 1996, sources pointed that many of the large-scale industries running in Mohali also owed huge amounts to the government.

Sources stated that the figures given by the department did not include the number of industries which had failed but were running ‘other business.’ ‘‘There are industrial units which closed down many years ago and the owner started using the plot for some other alternative work. Although most of the work that is being carried on is illegal in terms of what is allowed on an industrial plot but then at least there is some work going on,’’ said a member of the Mohali Industries Association.

True enough, many of the industrial plots in the township are being used as schools, marriage palaces, warehouses, and even showrooms. All illegal but in the knowledge of the authorities. ‘‘We have sent notices to everyone and are taking action against them. As far as the rules binding usage of an industrial plot are concerned, we have offered many relaxations in order to encourage the industry,’’ stated Mr Arun Goel, MD, Punjab Small Scale Industrial and Export Corporation (PSIEC). PSIEC is responsible for the development and maintenance of the industrial units beyond Phase VI.

A similar statement is given by Mr Yashvir Mahajan, Additional Chief Administrator, Punjab urban planning and development Authority, (PUDA). ‘‘We had our own survey conducted recently of those flouting the industrial use rules are dealt with harshly. But at the same time in order to encourage industry we had in a recent decision undertaken a one time lumpsum settlement of extension fee with the owners of non-operational industrial units.’’ he said.

Other than the failure of the government to pay up subsidies to the industries, Mohali industrialists also blame the government's sales tax and octroi policy for the closure of these industries. However the Director Industries, Punjab, Mr S.K. Sandhu said, ‘‘It is a fact that we owe a large amount of money to the industry as subsidies for which the government is floating a scheme of disbursement very shortly. But one should realise that closure of an industry is a continuous phenomenon which is happening everywhere. Closure is not entirely due to non disbursement of subsidy there are various other factors like viability of an industrial unit, the present competitive environment etc.’’ 


It was celebrations all the way
Our Correspondent

“If a big fat man creeps into your room and stuffs you in a bag, do not worry because I told Santa that a friend like you was required for Christmas” — this was one of the many humorous messages flashed on the mobile sets to wish Merry Christmas. Instead of sending cards, the residents, armed with mobile sets, mostly used short message service for wishing each other the fun way.

Chandigarh, December 25
All roads led to celebrations. City residents, dressed up in their festive best, today reached the churches decorated with twinkling stars, glittering bells and cheerful balloons, on the occasion of Christmas.

It started early. Residents left for the churches to “offer prayers and to seek mercy, peace, love and blessings”.

There were bottlenecks on roads leading to churches as enthusiastic residents parked their vehicles along the roadside to pick up gifts from stalls set up alongside the footpath. As they got down from their vehicles, vendors offered aromatic candles nicely wrapped in red ribbon, cut-outs of Santa, along with stars, lights and other decorations, besides miniature Christmas trees.

The preparations had started well in advance with the sending of Christmas cards and the installation of a decorated tree at a prominent place in home.

Now a firmly established tradition, the tree was first popularised by Queen Victoria’s husband Prince Albert. He had introduced the custom in 1840.

At Catholic Church in Sector 19, UT Administrator-cum-Punjab Governor Justice O.P. Verma participated in a gettogether. Addressing a gathering, he called upon the residents to follow the path of peace, communal harmony, universal brotherhood, humanity and tolerance shown by Jesus Christ. He said need of the hour was to live harmoniously without any discrimination on the basis of caste, creed, religion and colour. The Bishop of Simla Chandigarh Diocese, Rt Rev. Dr Gerald John Mathias also addressed the gathering.

According to Presbytery in charge Rev. Darbara Singh, Christmas and holy communion service in Tamil was held at 7.30 am at the Sector 18 church followed by service in English at 9.30 am and in Hindi at 11.30 am. “Langar” was also served at 1. 30 pm.

Prizes were given to participants in carol-singing competition by newly elected sarpanch of the Khuda Lahora gram panchayat Kamlesh Sharma during celebrations at Anglican Church of India. The Parish Priest Rev. Fazal Masih conducted the service. Lunch was also offered.

First Lady Shobha Verma also celebrated Christmas with children of Mother Teresa Charity Home in Sector 23. She distributed blankets and woollens among the underprivileged children at a function organised by the Lions Club, Chandigarh Vishal. Conveying her greetings, she said the doors of her home were always open for the underprivileged.

A mega dance competition was organised by the Art Cultural Association and western star group at Tagore Theatre in Sector 18. A baby show was also organised for the kids between age group of three and eight. Meanwhile, excitement broke loose in city as the youngsters rushed to discotheques for twirling all around the dance floor for celebrating the occasion. They swayed to the thumping beats of music during the parties specially organised to celebrate Christmas.

A party was organised by students of the JD Institute of Fashion Technology in Sector 35. Fancy dress competition, along with fashion show, besides singing and dancing competition, was also held for the children of Lake Club members. Prizes were given to the winners.Back

Students celebrate Christmas
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 25
Christmas was celebrated by children of Dews — The School, Sector 21, with fanfare today. The children went to Bal Sadan in Sector 12-A and celebrated Christmas with inmates.

They distributed sweets and gifts. A huge Christmas cake was cut.

Yesterday, children were brought to the school by Santa Claus in a school bus.

He distributed sweets among them on the way. In the school, the children decorated a Christmas tree and presented a cultural programme.

At Jainendra Public School, Christmas was celebrated in the school with gaiety yesterday. A special morning assembly was conducted where Christmas carols were sung and tiny tots jived to the tunes of songs.

The unique feature of the celebration was a trip to Hidden Valley, where the children enjoyed horse riding, camel riding and trekking. Santa Claus entertained the children and distributed gifts and sweets among them.Back


Christmas celebrated
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 25
Good Shepherd Church Mohali celebrated Christmas at the Sanjay Public School here today. A beautiful Christmas drama was presented by the youth group of the church. Carol songs, creation play, short skits were presented by the children and others. Earlier, the Christmas message was spread through carol songs from December 19, 2003 to December 23, 2003 covering Mohali, Panchkula, Chandigarh etc.

Christmas message was given by pastor Vijay Kumar. Delivering the Christmas message he narrated the story of the birth of Jesus Christ. Good Shepherd Church, Mohali was established on October 3, 1998.


Driving reverse to promote Indo-Pak ties
Manoj Kumar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 25
Mr Harpreet Papoo, an undergraduate from Bathinda, on a peace mission, is aiming to drive his car ‘in reverse gear’ from Sansad Bhawan, New Delhi, to Pakistan’s Parliament in Islamabad. His objective — to promote Indo-Pak relations and convince Pakistan’s President Pervez Musharraf and people on both the sides to have good relations between themselves.

An Asian champion in driving car in reverse gear at a speed of over 80 km per hour, he has already covered 13,000 km from Bathinda to various towns of North India to spread the message of peace between two countries. He is likely to make an entry into the Guinness Book of World Records as he has received a letter from its office, that only Mr John Smith had a world record of driving a car in reverse gear at the speed of 58.42 km for 805 km.

He was in the city today, and would try to meet the Governor of Punjab and UT Administrator Justice O.P. Verma (retd) tomorrow to get a recommendation letter so that he can get permission from the Pakistan Embassy to enter Pakistan. Capt Amarinder Singh, Punjab Chief Minister, has already assured him all assistance in his mission.

Called “Messenger of Peace” among his friends, he has decorated his car with the slogans of ‘Love and Friendship’ and painted flags of India and Pakistan, and his e- mail address reversecouple2000@yahoo.com and reversecouple@rediff.com He has got a number of messages from the public to continue his mission. A driver by profession, Mr Papoo (25) is accompanied by his wife Krishna Devi, his three year old son Abu and guide Mr Sandeep Luthra, a businessman of Mohali.

He said with confidence, “I am convinced that India and Pakistan should begin peace talks for the mutual benefit of people on both the sides. We have already lost thousands of lives, energy and money in wars and terrorism. Since we are living in the border state, we are well aware about the heavy price of the conflict.”

He claimed that the peace talks that seem to begin soon, would help in promoting brotherhood and later in raising the standard of living of the people through trade. However, the Indian and Pakistani Government must respond to the wishes of the common public that does not want war but peace and trade.

Regarding his car, Mr Papoo said that one of his friends, Mr Paramjit Singh Billu, had made certain modifications in his Premier NE 118 so that he could drive the car in all four gears in reverse even at the speed of 85 kmph. He said he was planning to reach Wagah border on December 31, and if allowed would enter Pakistan to spread his message. His wife Krishna added, “We want to make a small contribution in our own way to develop Indo-Pak relations. People may call us crazy, but we are determined to make an effort to foster a feeling of love and friendship among the people of both the countries despite political differences.”


11-yr-old chosen for President’s award
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 25
Christmas, this year, added another feather to the cap of 11-year-old Mehak Paul, a student of Kailash Bahl DAV Centenary Public School, Sector 7, here. She has been chosen for the President of India National Child Award for Exceptional Achievement -2002 in Roller Skating.

The award, carrying a cash prize of Rs 10,000, a medal and a citation will be given to her at a Republic Day function in New Delhi. Mehak won her first gold medal at the age of six. She has 44 gold, 15 silver and two bronze medals to her credit.

Giving credit to her Principal, Ms Madhu Bahl, for her success, Mehak said Ms Bahl encouraged her to pursue skating and provided various concessions and facilities needed to nurture her talent. In recognition of Mehak’s skating talent, Ms Bahl announced that she would be given a scholarship under which fee would be waived all through her study period in school.


Operation Sadbhavna launched
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 25
The Panchkula police today launched Operation Sadbhavna at Sector 10, which aims at promoting police-public interaction.

The Deputy Superintendent of Police, City, Mr Om Vir and the Station House Officer of the Sector 5 police station, Mr Ashok Bakshi, exhorted the people to “help the police help them”. They sought people’s cooperation in order to curb incidents of burglaries and thefts.

The police officers said people were not eager to help their neighbours, or even the police, in case a crime was committed. Councillors R.K. Kakkar, Gomti Prasad and Mohinder Singh, besides officers of the district administration, were present on the occasion.

Residents demanded that the police should simplify the rules for the payment of traffic challans on the pattern of the Chandigarh police.

They said the defaulters should be allowed to pay the challan at the time of the traffic violation, rather than it being settled in the DTO’s office or the CJM court.


Three in fray for DSOI top post
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 25
Three candidates are in the fray for the post of vice- chairman of the management committee of the Defence Services Officers Institute (DSOI), Sector 36, the elections for which are scheduled to be held on January 11. The institute's annual general body meeting is also scheduled to be held on the same day. The Major-General; Artillery, at Headquarters Western Command, Chandi Mandir, is the committee's exofficio chairman.

The final list of candidates contesting for various posts of office-bearers was posted today. Those in the contest for the post of vice- chairman are Capt S.P. Singh (retd) Lieut-Col J.S. Sandhu (retd) and the current vice-chairman, Brig Satjit Singh (retd).

For the posts of members of the managing committee, three contenders are left. These are Wg Cdr D.S. Bajwa (retd), Capt B.S. Garcha (retd) and Lieut-Col I.S. Khara. There were initially six contenders, but two later withdrew their names while one was declared ineligible.

There are five sub-committees for which one member each will be elected. There is a sole contender for the sports sub-committee. There were three contenders for the appointments and screening committee but after withdrawal and scrutiny just one is left.

Similarly, there were two contenders each for the housing and financial sub- committees, but one each remains. For the catering and bar sub committee, there are now two contenders out of the earlier three contenders.

Apart from the management committee, the institute has a governing body, which is headed by the Chief of Staff, Western Command, and consists of several nominated members.


No one wants to shelter the homeless
Manoj Kumar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 25
In a city that prouds itself of a large number of community centres, temples, churches, gurdwaras and bhavans, no one is ready to provide shelter to over 500 homeless rickshaw-pullers and rag-pickers, who have to brave the chill in the open.

Caretakers of public buildings have an excuse: How can we allow rickshaw-pullers and other homeless people to stay in these buildings? Only local residents and devotees coming from other cities are allowed to stay for a few days. Some of them claimed they would be harassed by the police in case they provided shelter to rickshaw-pullers.

Mr Harmeet Singh, owner of Casio Gallery in Sector 17 came forward to help homeless rickshaw-pullers today after reading about their plight. He distributed 21 blankets among them. He appealed to religious and social organisations to contribute in their own way.

Mr Jitender Bhatia, president, Sanatan Dharam Sabha, said,“ There are a number of temples and ashrams in the city. In Sector 46, we have beds, quilts and utensils for common use. However, these are meant for devotees and members only. We do not allow homeless persons, who keep wandering, to enter the premises. At the most, they can sleep under the shed and have bath near temple taps.”

Mr Om Prakash, caretaker of the Chaitanya Gaudiya Math in Sector 20-B, said, over 20 sadhus were residing in the ashram permanently. He said devotees from other states were also offered beds, and food. However, there was no practice of allowing poor and homeless people to stay at the ashram. “The Administration or social organisations should take care of them. Ours is only a religious institution,” he said.

Basant Lal, a homeless rickshaw-puller hailing from Bahraich district in UP, said, “Apart from community halls set up in almost every Sector, the city has Aggarwal Bhavan, Cheema Bhavan, Bharat Bhavan, Seva Bharti Sadan, Garhwal Bhavan, Nirankari Bhavan, Sood Bhavan, Gulati Bhavan, Rajasthan Bhavan and Himachal Bhavan. Interestingly, most of these buildings have been constructed by various trusts on highly subsidised land under the condition that these would be used for community purposes. However, we are not even allowed to enter these buildings, what to talk of staying there for a night.”

Homeless labourers alleged that most of these buildings were used for marriage parties.

Bittu, a rickshaw-puller from Pratapgarh district in UP, said, “People in the city seem to be more worried about dogs and cows, and not about poor human beings. We would be grateful if we are allowed to stay under a roof for some days. I have not taken a bath for the past one week.”

Mr Om Prakash said, “If the Administration and the police assures us that we would not be harassed, we may allow homeless people to stay in the ashram during winter.” He suggested that the Administration should issue identity cards to homeless people so that they could be provided some shelter and succour during winter.


Nagar kirtan on Jan 3
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 25
The Gurdwara Coordination Committee will organise a nagar kirtan procession here on January 3 in connection with the birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh.

Mr Joginder Singh, president of the committee, said the procession would start from Gurdwara Singh Sabha in Phase I.


Violence over “LOC”
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 25
Chaos prevailed at the Batra cinema house for over 30 minutes during the night show of Hindi film, “LOC”. Angered over the delay in starting the movie, viewers broke windowpanes and hurled cold drink bottles on the screen tonight. Sources said a group of youngsters started shouting and whistling when the lights in the auditorium went off and the movie did not start. Some of them broke the counter in the hall and took away eatables stored in it.

The cinema management explained that the delay was due to power failure.


Stray dogs can also be trained, says expert
Manoj Kumar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 25
Open spaces and lush green parks in the city offer perfect environment for dog lovers, but there is a general attitude of indifference towards stray dogs. With proper care and training, they can also be trained into being as obedient as any other good breed, says Mr Shiv Kaushal, a city-based professional dog trainer, who was declared the Best Dog Trainer by the Bharat Kennel Club, New Delhi, at a competition held on December 21.

His name had already found an entry into the Limca Book of Records in 2000, after being adjudged the best dog trainer in six dog shows within two years.

He claimed that he had got the Best Dog Trainer of North India award for the eighth time consecutively. As many as 64 dogs participated in the contest. He said his dogs won five out of six competitions.

Mr Kaushal, a resident of Mani Majra, has been training dogs for over past 21 years. He claimed that he had so far trained over 1,000 dogs of various breeds, including labrador, German shepherd, rottwieler, dalmatian, spitz and cockerspanial.

He has participated in various competitions, including the International Obedience Competition, Chennai, the Federation of Cynologique International (FCI), the Asian Kennel Union and the Kennel Club of India.

About his entry into the profession, he said,“Since childhood, I used to love dogs passionately and started training them in 1981. Initially, I trained my dog Fally under the guidance of Mr Tara Singh Chauhan, in charge, Dog Squad, Ferozepore. My quest for professional training took me to Delhi and later to Australia. Now based in Chandigarh, I train dogs primarily for obedience and guarding.”

At present, he is working as a full time dog trainer, and is running Shiv Kaushal's Dog Training and Research Centre. He said though he usually charged Rs 2,500 to Rs 7,000 per month for training a dog, but was always willing to offer heavy discounts for mongrels.

A lover of dogs, he lamented that people and society were not concerned about stray dogs, who could prove equally responsible and lovable after training.

He said, “It is not only the breed of the dog, but personal attention, training and good diet that makes a dog behave according to your wishes. Because of lack of awareness about dog behaviour and their psychology, most of the owners do not get desired results.”

About his future plans, he said, “ I have a project in my hand under which I am training four dogs and four caretakers who will take charge of an industrial unit to provide zero defect security. The owner is likely to save lakhs of rupees annually.”


Programme for pharmacists
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 25
The Department of Pharmacy Practice at the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) in collaboration with the Delhi Society for Promotion of Rational Use of Drugs (DSPRUD) and the India-WHO Programme of Essential Drugs will organise a programme on “promoting rational use of drugs by involving the pharmacist” on December 26 and 27 here.

Prof Ranjit Roy Chaudhury, president, DSPRUD, will deliver the keynote address. The programme is specifically meant for pharmacists and would benefit pharmacy students and teachers as well.

Participants will learn practical approaches on studying and implementing the rational use of drugs. The key features will be drug policy, essential drug list and intervention to change the inappropriate pattern of drug use.


Widows of BJP leaders honoured
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 25
Wives of three Bhartiya Janata Party leaders, who were killed during days of terrorism in Punjab, were honoured at the Vijay Vikas Sankalp Divas organised at the party office here today. The occasion was the 79th birthday of Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee.

The BJP honoured Mrs Shanta Hitabilashi, wife of late Babu Hitabilashi who was a former president of the BJP(Punjab), Mrs Kamla Manchanda, wife of late Krishan Manchanda who was a former Vice- President of the BJP and Mrs Sashi Gupta, wife of late Mr Vijay Gupta, a former general secretary of the local unit. The leaders were killed during militancy in Punjab.

Mrs Pushpa Goel, wife of Babu Srichand Goel, first Member of Parliament from the city and Mrs Manorma Sharma, wife of late Ram Sarup Sharma, a former president of the local unit, were also honoured at the function.

Addressing a gathering, Mr Yash Pal Mahajan, president, highlighted the achievements of the Vajpayee government.


PUDA allowed to collect development charges
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 25
Dismissing a writ petition filed by promoters of various colonies, the Punjab and Haryana High court has allowed the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) to collect external development charges from these promoters.

According to a press note issued by PUDA here yesterday, the court dismissed as withdrawn the writ petitions filed by M/s Chabra Land and Housing Private Limited in respect of external development charges levied by PUDA on developers of Sarabha Nagar Extension village Mullaewal, Ludhiana, Sarabha Nagar Extension, village Daad, Ludhiana, Sarabha Nagar Extension, Phase II, village Phullanwale, Ludhiana Royal Homes, Ludhiana and Randhir Singh Nagar, Ludhiana.

Earlier, an interim order of the court had directed the petitioner to deposit a sum of Rs 500,000 within seven days to proceed further in this regard. The petitioner had failed to comply with this order of the court. The promoter had been served notices by PUDA to deposit the external development charges. Against these notices the promoter had filed an appeal to the appellant authority, that is, the Secretary, Housing and Urban Development department. The appeal being time barred was dismissed by the appellant authority. Against this order of the appellant authority the promoter had approached the high court.


Territorial Army ADG served legal notice
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 25
In perhaps the first case of its kind, the Additional Director General, Territorial Army at Army Headquarters has been served a legal notice for allegedly ordering recruitment of candidates into the Territorial Army (TA) in violation of statutory rules, it is learnt.

Well placed sources at Army Headquarters told The Tribune that the notice was issued after it came to light that candidates from other states were being recruited into TA infantry battalions meant for Punjab. The notice was issued about a week ago.

The issue first cropped up when some candidates seeking enrollment into the 152 Infantry Battalion (Sikh) at Ludhiana were not allowed to compete for the vaccancies on the grounds that vaccancies for residents of Punjab had already been filled and that only vaccancies for residents of Rajasthan were left.

The notice, copies of which have also been sent to the Army Chief, Defence Secretary and the Vice Army Chief, states that instructions issued by Maj-Gen Dalvir Singh to recruit candidates from Rajasthan into TA battalions located in Punjab is in contravention of recruitment rules framed by the central government under the TA Act. Regulation 55 of the TA Rules states that Punjab falls under Zone-I of the recruitment area where as Rajasthan falls under Zone-IV. So, recruitment has to be carried out within the respective zones.

Pointing out that Section 14 of the Act prescribes that rules can only be notified by the central government, the notice adds that since the central government has neither notified any rule concerning recruitment nor modified existing rules, the instructions so issued are illegal.

Seeking withdrawal of the instructions issued by the Additional Director-General the notice also demands that the recruitment of candidates from Rajasthan into Punjab Battalions be declared null and void as the recruitment so done has violated rules approved by Parliament.

It was earlier reported in these columns that the Vice Chief of Army Staff too had sought an explanation from the TA Directorate about alleged violations of recruitment norms after Army Headquarters had received several complaints in this regard.



Chandigarh: The following have been elected office-bearers of the Resident Welfare Association, Sector 45-C, Chandigarh: chief patron— Mr Mohan Behl; president—Mr Subhash Chander Patial; senior vice- president—Mr Perm Pal Walia; vice-president—Mr Santosh Kumar; general secretary—Mr Om Pal Sharma; joint secretary—Mr Tarlochan Singh; treasurer— Mr Balwinder Singh; and auditor— Mr C. R. Angrish . — TNC


Hunt for Navneet's attackers on
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 25
The local police today constituted a team of three inspectors to find out who assaulted Ms Navneet Kaur, a granddaughter of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh on Tuesday in Sector 15.

SSP Gaurav Yadav named Inspector, CIA, K.I.P. Singh, Sector 17 SHO Satbir Singh and Sector 11 SHO Prem Singh Chauhan to investigate the incident in which Navneet Kaur was robbed of her purse after she was attacked.

The team of inspectors visited the spot in Sector 15, parking lots in Sector 17 and Punjab MLA Hostel to gather information on the attackers.

A police team has been sent to Delhi to find out the addresses of the owners of Sonata, Chevrolet and Octavio cars which might have visited the city recently.

The police has information of 68 white cars of these makes.

The police said after gathering information from the spot it had come to know that the car did not have any red light on it.

The cars of these three makes that are not more than six months old are under suspicion. Cars which have been coming to Punjab or might have been sold recently to someone in the area are also under scrutiny.

The city police has also approached the Punjab police to check the entire list of security guards and match their photographs with the description given by the witnesses and Ms Navneet Kaur.

Computer portraits of a security person and a car occupant are being generated.

The police is also looking for an English-speaking turbaned youth to match the description given by Beant Singh's granddaughter.

The police said the registration number of the car started with DL 3C. The police visited parking lots to see the counter-foils of parking slips to find out if any car with a number starting with these figures visited these spots.

The police suspects that the car belonged to somebody from Punjab.

The police has appealed to the people to provide any information that may be available on the incident.


Two injured in road accident
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 25
Two persons were injured, one of them seriously, in a road accident this morning. Anil Kumar, a resident of Dadu Majra village was driving a van which collided head on with a car.

The accident took place at the Kumbra traffic lights point. Anil Kumar was rushed to hospital in serious condition.

The driver of the car Tilak Raj, also received injuries and was admitted to Phase VI Civil Hospital.


Online lottery launched
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 25
V1 Online Lottery, a venture of Dhoot Entertainment Network, was launched today in the region with the appointment of its distributors, Mr Dev Suman Sandhu from Indus Gaming Solution for Haryana and Mr Jaideep Bhandari from CJD Online for Punjab. According to Mr Anirudh Dhoot, CEO of Dhoot Entertainment Network, there will be three and four digit and Keno-style games on a daily basis.

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