C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


DC stripped of IG, Prisons, charge
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
In the first major step affecting senior officialdom after the “jail-break” case, the Chandigarh Administration today stripped the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Arun Kumar, of his charge as Inspector General of prisons.

Mr Amitabh Singh Dhillon, SP, Security and Traffic, will be the new IG (Prisons), in addition to his existing duties. Orders to this affect were passed this evening.

The escape of three hardcore terrorists — Jagtar Singh Hawara, Jagtar Singh Tara and Paramjit Singh Bheora — from the high security Burail jail equipped with cameras and manned by central police force showed a complete failure of the system. Stripping of Mr Arun Kumar of his powers as IG (Prison) is seen as the first reprimand for the officials concerned. The official line on his removal was that “the DC was over worked, thus it was deemed fit to appoint another officer in his place”.

Mr Dhillon, a 1997-batch Haryana cadre IPS officer on deputation to Chandigarh, has been involved in revamping of traffic. His appointment is also being seen in the light that he being an IPS means he will be updated on latest security threats and will have ready information from intelligence wing. Also the lower level cops coming on routine inspections and accompanying other convicts will also be reporting directly to him.

Interestingly, the Punjab Jail Manual states that the government can post an IAS or an IPS officer as IG (prisons). Chandigarh was the only place in the region where the work was being handled by an IAS officer. In Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and Himachal Pradesh the work of prisons is being handled by IPS officers. By tradition the Deputy Commissioner in Chandigarh had been the IG (prisons).

After the jail break shook the region, the jail-staff had been arrested.

Earlier in the day a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court comprising Chief Justice Mr Justice B.K. Roy and Mr Justice Suryakant “called upon” the Sessions Judge, the Deputy Commissioner and other respondents to show cause why “appropriate directions should be not issued to ascertain true facts and who were responsible for the escape”.



Gujral briefs MHA
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
Chandigarh's Home Secretary, Mr Raminder Singh Gujral, went to Delhi yesterday and reportedly briefed the Union Ministry of Home Affairs on the Burail ‘‘jailbreak’’ case.

Official circles are linking stripping the Deputy Commissioner of the charge of IG (Prisons) to instructions from the MHA which has reportedly expressed its displeasure over certain aspects in the ‘‘jailbreak’’ case.

Chandigarh is directly controlled by the MHA and within the next two days the inquiry committee headed by Mr R.S. Gupta, Commissioner of Delhi Police, shall commence its work in Chandigarh.



Judge, DC asked to explain jail inspection
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has held that UT District and Sessions Judge H. S. Bhalla was duty bound regarding “effective local inspection of Burail Jail”. The observations were made on the administrative side after a report prepared by the Superintendent of Burail Jail was placed before the high court soon after alleged assassins of Punjab’s former Chief Minister Beant Singh escaped.

The fact came to light during the hearing of a public interest litigation seeking probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the matter. Taking up the case, a Division Bench of the High Court today “called upon” the Sessions Judge, the Deputy Commissioner and other respondents to show cause why “appropriate directions should be not issued to ascertain true facts and who were responsible for the escape”.

Issuing the directions, the Bench observed: “When report dated January 22 by the Superintendent of Model Jail — forwarded by Chandigarh’s District and Sessions Judge H.S. Bhalla — was placed before one of us (the Chief Justice), the following administrative order was passed on it: Mr Bhalla was duty bound to have an effective local inspection of Burail Jail as prescribed in the rules... which were also circulated vide a letter dated June 30, 1980, to all the District and Sessions Judges in the states of Punjab and Haryana, and the District and Sessions Judge, Chandigarh”.

The Bench, comprising Chief Justice Mr Justice Binod Kumar Roy and Mr Justice Surya Kant Sharma, also quoted “relevant provisions” of Punjab Jail manual. The judges added: “For the present, we do not want to issue a mandamus straight away commanding all concerned to hand over the investigation of the jailbreak case to the CBI”.

Speaking for the Bench, Mr Justice Roy asserted, “Having regard to the peculiar facts and circumstances, as reported by the media practically everyday and from the material on record, we call upon the Union of India through its Secretary in the Department of Home Affairs, the Union Territory of Chandigarh through its Home Secretary, UT District and Sessions Judge, UT Deputy Commissioner, Sub Divisional Magistrate under whose supervision Burail Jail is situated, the Inspector General of Police and the Superintendent of Police to show cause as to why appropriate direction in the nature of mandamus be not issued....”

Mr Justice Roy also impleaded the states of Punjab and Haryana through their Secretaries in Home Department “to have their say for preventing such an incident in the jails located within their respective territorial jurisdiction”. Advocates G.K. Chathrath and Anupam Gupta were also requested to assist the court.

In his petition, National President of Anti-Terrorist Front of India Viresh Shandilya had contended that digging could not have been done “without knowledge, connivance and help of people who were responsible for keeping them in jail”.



Jailbreak accused charged with waging war against nation
Nishikant Dwivedi

Chandigarh, January 29
The Chandigarh police has slapped fresh charges of waging war against the country on the 12 arrested jail officials, security personnel and prisoners who allegedly helped Jagtar Singh Hawara and others escape from Burail jail here on January 22. The intimation of the addition was made in a local court today while the police sought further remand of seven jail officials and security personnel who were arrested on January 22.

Sections 121, 121-A, 123, 217 and 221 of the IPC were slapped on the 12 persons. The police remand of the seven accused, including jail officials, was extended till February 1. On the basis of the information the police extracted from the three jail inmates, Nand Singh, Subheg Singh and Sher Singh, last night, the police apprehended that Hawara and other fugitives might target the political leadership of the country. After the accused were produced in a local court, the counsel for the prosecution said the persons arrested had allegedly been paid money and they had provided tools for digging the tunnel.

Seeking their further police custody, he said in the wake of yesterday’s arrests, this had become essential so that the tools used in the digging could be recovered and the whereabouts of the money paid could be known. He said a face-to-face interrogation of the accused arrested was necessary.

Opposing the plea, the defence counsel said there was no need of further remand as no recoveries had to be made. In the court, arrested Jail Superintendent D.S. Rana alleged that he was being tortured by the police in custody. He alleged that he had been given electric shocks on his private parts during interrogation. He also alleged that he had been made to sign some blank papers.

The defence counsel alleged that the police was snatching the liberty of the arrested. He alleged that the police was not allowing them to meet their clients privately. The Judicial Magistrate (First Class), M. Phalit Sharma, allowed the advocates to meet their clients with the police being at some distance.

The police had sought seven-day police remand of D.S. Rana, Deputy Jail Superintendent D.S. Sandhu, Assistant Jail Superintendent P.S. Rana, Inder Singh, Nissan Singh, Kashmir Singh and Jagir Singh. The judge allowed their police custody till February 1.



Arrested jail staff to be sent to Patiala
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 29
Perhaps finding Burail jail ‘‘unsuitable’’ for the its arrested jail staff, the Chandigarh Administration will keep six of the arrested jail staff in Patiala jail, about 65 km from here.

Sources said since the residences of these six persons were also on the Burail jail premises, it had been decided to lodge them in Patiala jail. This situation would arise after the six were sent in judicial remand.

Meanwhile, the flow of public and media information to the inmates of Burail jail was blocked, with the jail authorities censoring newspapers in the jail. The step was taken following the discovery of a map of the tunnel drawn on a vernacular newspaper of December 2002.

Every visitor to the jail, including those engaged in petty jobs, would have to prove their identity before entering the jail complex. The mother and sisters of Gurmeet Singh and the wife of Naseeb Singh, accused in the Beant Singh assassination case, were not allowed to meet the two inmates today as they were not carrying their identity cards.

Mr S.K. Setia, Additional Inspector-General of Prisons, said, “The newspapers were blocked initially”. He said an idea was mooted that the newspapers be made available in the jail library only. “But the library is accessible to inmates who work in the jail factory only. Those in the barracks would not have been able to read newspapers”, he said.

The father of another accused in the assassination case, Navjot Singh, alleged that he and his wife could not avail themselves of the entire one-hour time allowed to them to meet their son in the jail. Mr Setia said he had not issued any instructions to hold back Navjot’s parents.



400 families get eviction notices
Bipin Bhardwaj

Zirakpur, January 29
More than 400 families of Dhakauli village, near here, have been passing sleepless nights following the eviction notices served by the authorities of the Northern Railways. The fate of these families is in the doldrums ever since the Northern Railways started staking its claim on the land along the Kalka-Ambala track in this village of the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat.

The authorities have directed the owners to vacate their pucca houses, which according to the Northern Railway is an unauthorised possession of their land, within in 15 hours from the receipt of the notices. They also warned the families to vacate their houses otherwise action would be taken against them as per the provisions of the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupant) Act, 1971.

The notices have been served on 400 residents who have constructed house, marriage palaces, schools, farm houses and hotels on the Railway land in the village in the last decade. Moreover, certain property dealers have also sold lands after carving out plots in housing colonies on the disputed land.

Following the notices, families were put in a quandary about the legal status of the land, over which they have constructed houses and other structures by spending their hard-earned money.

While talking to Chandigarh Tribune, members of the affected family revealed that they were served notices by the Railway authorities on January 23 asking them to vacate
the houses.

Unaware of the fact that the land belongs to the Railways, residents claim to have constructed houses and other business establishments which falls within the jurisdiction of Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat. They also lament that certain property dealers sold them lands without bringing its actual status to their notices.

Moreover, they have completed all necessary formalities relating to the revenue records of the land and were even provided electricity connections by the Punjab State Electricity Board, and water meter connections by the Public Health Department, added Mr Jaspreet Singh, who owns a house in this area.

The railway authorities woke up from deep slumber to stake its claim after the Punjab and Haryana High Court took action on a public interest litigation filed by a local resident. The compliant had said the authorities had turned
blind eye towards gross encroachments on the railway land in the village.



Bird flu scares chicken consumers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
The scare created by the reports of the spread of bird flu in Asian countries has led to drastic fall in the consumption of poultry products, especially of the chicken. In the past one week, the wholesale price of a dressed chicken has fallen by Rs 10 per kg, said Mr Anil Nagpal, a wholesaler of the poultry products.

Paying little heed to the advice of the experts that there was remote possibility of the bird flue affecting the poultry population in the country, city residents are desisting from eating chicken. Wholesalers supplying poultry products in the city confirmed that the supply of chicken to the local hotels and restaurants had fallen by 50 per cent in the past few days.

Mr Sandeep Bhatia, Assistant Manager of Venkys India said, “the purchasing price of live chicken had fallen by 30 per cent. A live chicken was being sold for Rs 26 per kg as compared to Rs 35 per kg a few days ago.”

He said the scare created by the bird flu was not the only reason. The marriage season was over and due to the snow in Jammu and Kashmir, the poultry stock from Punjab was being dumped in the city at reduced rates. In fact the wholesale suppliers of the poultry products was reluctant to lift the supply, Mr Nagpal said.

However, Mr Manmohan Kohli of Aroma Hotel, said the scare had not yet affected the consumption of chicken at his hotel. But added that they were carefully watching the situation. He said the consumption could fall in a day or two.

Inquiries reveal that about 10,000 chickens were being daily consumed in the city. The city is fed from poultry belts of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.

A survey of the market revealed that the wholesale price of a dressed chicken had fallen to Rs 50 per kg from Rs 60 per kg a few days ago. The prices of eggs were also fluctuating. Its farm rate has come down to Rs 150 per 100 eggs from Rs 175 per 100.



City to have e-post services from today
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
Facility to send and receive e-mails is now available at post offices in the city. The users would have to write down their message on a paper and handover it at any of the post offices. The message would be manually sent to the General Post Office (GPO), Sector 17, for forwarding the mail to the designated address.

The charges per page (A4 size) have been fixed at Rs 10. The Chief Post Master General, Punjab circle, Mr L.K. Puri, said the facility would be available from tomorrow.

The connectivity of the post offices across the country has been made through the GPOs located at the district level.

Inquiries reveal that the facility was also being introduced at 17 district headquarters in Punjab. “It would be more beneficial for the people from the rural areas who cannot write down their message. The employees at the post office would type message for them,” said an officer of the postal department.

The department is launching the service after testing it under a pilot project in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh. Sources said the hardware to receive the e mail had been developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC).

“Members of a number of families in the rural Punjab had settled abroad. Those left behind were aged persons who did not have access to internet and had to depend on telephone. Corresponding through letters was still a preferred medium for many and we would cater to such people,” said Mr Puri.

The department was making efforts to develop a software which could translate the message of the sender into any of the main languages used in the country. Initially, the software was in English and Hindi. The Chief Post Master General said the purpose of the scheme was to provide facility to receive and send e-mail by those who did not have the connectivity to the internet or did not have access to a computer.

All a sender would have to do was to paste his message at email ID- epost(PIN)@indianpostoffice.net. The sender would have to type the pin code at the centre he wanted to deliver his message. For example, the email ID of the e-post centre at Chandigarh Headquarters was epost160017@indianpostoffice.net

The email would then be downloaded, printed, enveloped and sent for delivery.

The sources said the department was also contemplating to accept on line payment by credit cards and pre-paid scratch cards.

Operating procedure of epost

  • Users of internet would have to get themselves registered at website indiapost.org; a running account for each registered customer would be maintained by the department.
  • Those who don’t have access to the internet could hand over their message at the epost centres for transmission to the addressee.
  • The messages would be downloaded twice a day
  • Undelivered messages would be dealt like any unregistered first-class mail.



Curb female foeticide, says Giani’s daughter
Pratibha Chauhan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
“Since it is not possible to abort a female child without the connivance of doctors and other health staff, I feel it is the moral responsibility of the medical fraternity to help curb female foeticide, especially in Punjab and Haryana,” feels Dr Gurdip Kaur, Head of Gynaecology at the General Hospital here and daughter of late President, Giani Zail Singh.

Retiring after putting in 32 years of service, what pains Dr Gurdip, the most is when a mother owing to family and society pressure is forced to go in for female foeticide, which is the biggest crime one can commit. “With the strict implementation of the Pre-natal Diagnostic Test Act (PNDT) Act, it has become relatively difficult to get an illegal abortion and that is probably the reason one comes across cases of female child being abandoned or killed,” she opines.

Dr Gurdip, along with her younger sister chose the medical profession as her father felt it was essential for women to be financially independent. “He was always in favour of women being on their own and felt the medical profession was the most respectable and noble for them,” she says. Having grown up seeing her father dedicate his life to serving the poor and needy, she feels unfortunately the youth today are more attracted by the lure of money.

Dr Gurdip says it is by emphasising on women’s education that we can fight social evils like female foeticide as this would not just enable them to get a job but stand up against the wishes of her in-laws and husband in getting rid of the female in the womb itself. “It was very painful to see women, mostly from poor families, plead before me to get their child aborted as there was no way they could raise a dowry, without which it was next to impossible to get a girl married,” she says while sharing her experiences in her three decade long career.

Even though she has herself led a life away from the limelight of a political career, she feels politics needed good people and the thinking that politics was a dirty game was not very healthy. “I stayed away from politics because I felt I was not cut out for the job, for which one has to be very astute and articulate, otherwise I feel a politician can contribute a lot and make a difference to the lives of people,” she says.

It was way back in 1971 that she joined the Punjab Civil Medical Service after passing out from the Government Medical College, Patiala. “I have yet to chalk out my retirement plans but if I get an opportunity to work in a charitable hospital or institute I would be very happy as it is not material gains but serving the sick and ailing which gives me immense satisfaction,” she says.



Admn’s permission on changes in houses only on paper
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Promised but not delivered

  • Balconies allowed to be projected by 3 feet.
  • 150 square feet allowed as covered area in rear courtyards.

Chandigarh, January 29
Promises made by the Chandigarh Administration to allow important people friendly changes in designs of thousands of city houses remain only on paper though a committee formed with fanfare eight months ago had recommended two major changes which were published prominently in local newspapers. The real thing, a notification by the Chandigarh Administration approving these changes, has been held back.

Without the notification, the changes carried out by house owners cannot be regularised and more than 20,000 house owners are waiting with bated breath for this notification. After six months of meetings, a committee headed by the Deputy Commissioner-cum-Estate Officer had suggested two crucial changes.

It started in June last when the UT Administrator, Justice O.P. Verma, announced the setting up of a committee to study the changes required in a house for modern-day living. In June, an advertisement was inserted in newspapers, seeking suggestions from members of the public about the changes. It seemed everything was moving fast.

The Administration formed a committee and it met for the first time in September to study the changes. After studying about 28 suggestions, only two were forwarded on December 6. The same day, a spokesperson of the Chandigarh Administration informed the media about the changes which were reported in all newspapers. These were permission to construct balconies projecting by 3 feet in marla houses and construction of an additional 150 square feet in the rear courtyards in marla houses governed by frame/architectural control.

The same was to apply to houses which were more than one kanal in area governed by architectural control. An independent access was allowed and the permission was subject to payment of Rs 10 per feet as composite fee for additional coverage. The committee had been miserly in allowing changes.

Issues like division of service lane and individual car parking and boundary wall were referred to the municipal corporation for action. The committee also considered the issue of additional accommodation in built-up houses (cheap houses, tenements, industrial houses) and stairs from outside the building and decided to discuss it at the next meeting after taking the views of the Technical Sub-Committee.

Besides the Chairman, the official members of the committee are the Assistant Estate Officer, Mr N.S. Brar, the Senior Town Planner, an architect, the Chief Fire Officer and the SDO (B), Mr Sanjay Arora. Besides the official members, other on the committee are President, Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee, Mr B.B. Bahl; President, BJP Chandigarh unit, Mr Yash Pal Mahajan; President, Shiromani Akali Dal Chandigarh unit, Mr Gurpartap Singh Riar; Mr Ashok Bansal, Mr R.P. Malhotra, Major D.S. Sandhu, Mr Harmohan Dhawan and Mr Subhash Duggal.



Ravi Sidhu yet to report to SP
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 29
Despite being out on bail since January 24, Ravi Sidhu, former Chairman, Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC), who was asked by the Supreme Court to deposit his passport and certain property-related documents with the SP, Mohali, has yet to report to the SP.

According to sources in the SP office, the order of the apex court in this regard has been received by the SP but there is no sign of Sidhu, who has also been asked to report to the SP office every alternate Saturday during his bail period.

The SP, Mr Vijay Pratap Singh, could not be contacted for comments, but a senior Vigilance officer informed that maybe a notice period was given to Sidhu during which he had to deposit the passport.

‘‘But in case he does not report to the SP with the requisite documents, he will be issued a notice and can even be hauled up for contempt of court. His bail can also be cancelled, ’’he added.



Whither good Samaritans?
Manoj Kumar
Tribune News Service

Khajan SinghChandigarh, January 29
“I have lost all hope in life. After losing eyesight, I have been turned into a liability for my family and society. Not a single day passes when I do not think about committing suicide. I resist the feeling, thinking that what will happen to my wife and my two children after my death,” says Mr 50-year-old Khajan Singh of Mullana village.

He was in the city to meet an advocate who had assured him to get some insurance claim. He lost his eyesight in a car accident about an year-and-a-half back. Remembering the tragic day, he said, “I was coming on my Luna after selling clothes in villages. I could not keep my balance in the glaring lights of a car coming from other side. The car hit me and I fell down. The driver came to me and I recognised him as I had once sold clothes to members of his family. After that, I lost consciousness and later found myself on a bed at the PGI.”

He continued, “The doctors told me that I would not be able to see again as the internal injuries in the brain had pressed some nerves, leading to loss of eyesight. I stayed at the PGI for about two months and all savings were over by that time.” He was getting help from some doctors at the PGI as he had to spend about Rs 200 per week on medicines. Talking about the role of the police and onlookers, Khajan Singh, a matriculate, lamented that he could not get his Luna and clothes. The owner of the car never came to meet him again. He was getting Rs 200 as monthly pension from the Haryana Government and free travel facility in state transport buses.

Showing his stick, he said, “The Red Cross has given me this stick. What can I do with it except shooing away dogs and children making fun of me? Without any source of income, my illiterate wife has to look after me, a four-year-old bedridden daughter and a nine-year-old son. She is so irritated sometimes that I have to beg for food.”

He claimed that an advocate in the city had assured him to help him get some insurance claim for the accident, but added that he was not sure about it. He lamented that neither the village panchayat, nor any NGO or the state government, had helped him. He said, “I do not know for long my wife will stay with me and whether my son will be able to continue his studies. I am still waiting for a miracle.”



Mohali Diary
PGI radiologist given farewell
Tribune News Service

Dr Balwinder Kumar Thapa of the Department of Radiology, PGI, was given a farewell during a special meeting of the academy of National Literature and Culture India held on January 22.

Dr Thapa had been selected to work as a radiographer in NHS Hospital Birmingham in the UK. Dr Darshan Singh, national president of the academy, along with other office- bearers offered their best wishes to him.

Healthy baby show: A healthy baby show was recently organised by the Mohali unit of the Ranbaxy Community Healthcare Society at Chunni Kalan village. As many as 50 children among the age group of 0-3 years participated.

The aim of the show was to educate mothers about immunization, hygiene and health of children. Dr Upma Sharma, Medical Officer, stressed upon the need to adopt a small family norm to improve the quality of life.

The chief guest, Dr Baldev Singh, advised the mothers to get their children vaccinated. All children were examined and adjudged by a team of doctors from the GMCH-32.

PSEB draws flak: Members of the House Owners Welfare Association, Phase 1, stressed upon the need for streamlining cable rates in the township. This matter, along with other issues, was discussed at a general body meeting of the association held on Monday. It was decided that the cable rates should be fixed at Rs 100 per month. A deputation of the sociation would be meeting the SDM in this regard.

The association also declared the decision of the PSEB to charge the highest slab rate from those who had installed more than one meter as unconstitutional and unilateral.

Ayurvedic camp: A two-day free ayurvedic medical camp was organised by the Nagaarjun Ayurvedic Research Centre here on Sunday. The camp was organised to create awareness about the ayurvedic system of treatment.

A team of experts from Lucknow, Benares, Jaipur and Chandigarh examined those suffering from chronic problems like asthma, arthritis and diabetes.

Eye check-up camp for students: The National Sahaj Yoga Centre Mohali organised an eye check-up camp free of cost at Sherwood Convent School, Phase IV.

Dr Sanjay Chadha checked the eyes of schoolchildren and told them how to keep their eyes healthy. The eye examination report was sent to parents.

R-Day celebrated: Republic Day was celebrated at Sherwood Convent School, Phase IV. The Principal hoisted the National Flag while teachers and students delivered speeches on the importance of the day. The students also participated in the march- past.



Readers Write
Mela report baseless

This is reference to the news item “Health melas from Jan 15 to Feb 15” in The Tribune dated January 13. I and two of my colleagues went to Ambala on January 15 to see the health mela after reading the news report. On reaching Ambala, however, we were shocked to know that no such mela was being organised in the parliamentary constituency of Ambala on January 15.

The Chief Medical Officer, Ambala, was not available in her office on that day but the District Immunisation Officer said the date for the mela had yet to be finalised. He said they were planning to hold this mela in Naraingarh of Ambala parliamentary constituency. When the news report was shown to him, he also expressed surprise.

I wonder on what basis your reputed newspaper published the report. I and my colleagues had travelled from Hoshiarpur to see this mela.

Dr Ajay Bagga, Hoshiarpur

Wrong answers

I always go through 10 problems given by the Chitkara Institute for Physics. It generally happens that answers of a few problems, which are published in Chandigarh Tribune next week, are wrong. It causes a lot of frustration to notice such errors. Many books have to be referred to find correct answers. I have tried to bring this to the notice of the institute as well, but it has not bothered to heed to my request.

Er Daljit Singh Sodhi, Chandigarh

Sector poorly planned

In my visit to Panchkula, I found the city to be well-planned and pollution-free with less traffic. A disturbing feature was, however, noticed in the layout of Sector 20. I saw about five rows of multi-storeyed housing blocks. Each row had eight-10 houses with at least four houses on each floor. No park has been provided in between the rows. This is in sharp contrast to the provision for parks in each rectangular layout in other sectors. This is also against the normal norms of town planning.

Further, high-rise blocks have also come up, reflecting on the vision of planners.

Dr J. Lal, Lucknow

Call centres exploit youth

A large number of call centres have come up in and around Chandigarh. They recruit educated youth through a franchise. Since they are not direct employees of the organisation, there are no service rules for them and unfair labour practices are usually adopted. They work even on national holidays without the benefit of extra wages and can be fired any time without notice. These practices are adopted even by the call centres of leading telecom companies. The Labour Department must look into the matter.

Surinder Kumari, Chandigarh

Neurolysis not new pain relief mode

Apropos the news item “Instant relief for cancer patients is here” by Pratibha Chauhan in Chandigarh Tribune dated January 10, there is no doubt that neurolysis therapy is extremely effective in providing low-cost and generally permanent pain relief to patients suffering from the last stage of cancer but it is not right to say that it is a new modality of pain management.

I have been successfully practising it for the past 20 years or so in various Military Hospitals and for the past four years, several patients of the region have benefited from this service being provided at the Pain Management Centre, Department of Anaesthesia, Command Hospital, Chandimandir.

We are using both alcohol as well as phenol for pain relief depending on the site where neurolysis is to be carried out. Neurolysis is useful not only in cancer but other painful conditions too. At the same time it has to be that the procedure only cuts off pain and improves the quality of life of the patient but does not change the primary condition.

Lt Col Rajinder Singh



HC Bar gets 33 lakh from Punjab
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
A cheque for Rs 33 lakh was presented by Punjab Public Welfare Department Minister Partap Singh Bajwa to the president of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association, Dr Anmol Rattan Sidhu, for the completion of the ongoing projects.

The cheque was presented by the minister on behalf of the state government in less than six months after Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh promised the grant of Rs 66 lakh for the Bar during his visit to the High Court premises. The second instalment is expected in May.



Cong seeks apology from Mahajan

Chandigarh, January 29
The general secretary of the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee, Mr Sunil Parti, has sought an unconditional apology from Mr Pramod Mahajan for his statement about Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi. In a statement issued here today, Mr Parti asserted that it was a well-known fact that Mrs Sonia Gandhi was an Indian citizen and her children were Indians. Mr Mahajan had no right to pass such comments. — TNS



Quack arrested, clinic sealed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
The Haryana Health Department today caught Ms Rajni Sharma, a quack, while performing medical termination of pregnancy (MTP) on a seven-month pregnant women at her clinic in New Colony Morr in Gurgaon.

Dr B.S. Dahiya, Director-General, Health Services, Haryana, said here today that the clinic had been sealed and Rajni Sharma arrested.

She was booked under Sections 315 and 317 IPC and Sections 15 (2) and (3) of the Medical Council of India Act and other Acts. She was remanded in judicial custody for 14 days by the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Gurgaon.

The raiding team seized 202 empty vials of vecredil injections from the clinic. The injections were allegedly used for conducting MTPs.



3 of family held for abduction
Our Correspondent

Lalru, January 29
The police has arrested three members of a Jhuansa-based family for abducting a minor girl. The trio — Lakhbir Singh, his father Mangat Singh and mother Charan Kaur — were arrested from a gurdwara at Karnal. The minor was also recovered from there.

According to the police, they were arrested red-handed from the gurdwara while making arrangements for the marriage of Lakhbir Singh with the girl. On Tuesday, the girl’s grandfather, Mr Shiv Ram, had complained to the police that Lakhbir Singh, in connivance with his parents, had lured and abducted his granddaughter. The abductors were Shiv Ram’s neighbours.

The girl was residing with her grandfather in the village while her parents were residing in Delhi, the police said. A case under Sections 363 and 366 of the Indian Penal Code was registered against the trio.



2 held for taking photos of CBI office
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today allegedly picked up a singer, Karnail, and a photo artist, Jaswinder, on the suspicion of taking photographs of the CBI office in Sector 30. There was no official confirmation of the two being picked up by the investigating agency.

The photographer, working for a video album during a rehearsal in Labana Bhavan, strayed outside and claimed that he was taking pictures of the nearby gurdwara. The CBI got suspicious and picked up Jaswinder and called the singer to its office.

The questioning of the two was allegedly continuing till late in the night. The investigating agency is trying to ascertain the identity of the two, contacting their relatives on telephone.



Body of newborn girl found
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 29
The body of a two-day-old baby girl was found at Balongi village, near here, today.
The body was found by residents of Azad Colony, comprising jhuggis, from bushes near a nullah. A crowd gathered and the police was informed.

The police took the body in its possession. The police said a case was registered on the complaint of Lal Bahadur Yadav, a resident of the colony, under Section 318 (concealment of birth by secret disposal of dead body) of the IPC.



Cable operators not to charge above Rs 200
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 29
Cable operators here have decided to provide good quality service to the residents at a rate which should not go beyond Rs 200 per month per connection. This was decided at a joint meeting of the cable operators and the various residents’ welfare associations of the township held at the SDM’s office here today.

Sources stated that all complaints against the cable operators were put forward by the welfare association members before the SDM Mr M.L. Sharma, who then intervened a mutually acceptable solution.

Other than the complaint that the quality of signal was invariably poor, the residents alleged that the cable operators were overcharging residents. After deliberations it was decided that the cable operators fix a rate according to the number of channels they were showing but under no circumstances should the per monthly rate per connection go beyond Rs 200.


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