C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Hawara had the keys!
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 1
The alleged assassin of Beant Singh, Jagtar Singh Hawara, may have had access to keys of the door of their barrack, enabling them to move about in the jail freely.
This was the opinion of experts following numerous inspections of the barrack, sources said. It has now been suggested that whenever a key is found missing, the lock of that barrack should be changed, instead of asking for a duplicate key.

The sources said Hawara might have taken an impression of the key on soap and got a duplicate key made to come out of the barrack. Another interesting discovery is that it was possible to open the lock from within the barrack of Hawara.

The police has discovered that two trolleys of soil were taken away by vehicles of the Municipal Corporation in October. The loose earth was found in the storm water lines of the jail. The police says this indicated the connivance of the jail staff.

That Hawara had a mobile phone has also been established with experts finding an electricity point in the barrack ceiling used to charge the phone.

Hawara had access to uninterrupted power supply which could have facilitated the use of a power tool to dig the tunnel.

Meanwhile, the police has sought the help of Army engineers to find a clue as to how the power tool could have been used to dig a tunnel from inside the cavity.

It is being ascertained how much time digging might have taken. The experts say if it was through a power tool, it could have been dug within a week and if by hand tools, it was possible in two months.

The official report, has not yet been handed over to the investigating agency. Few more visits would be required to complete the task.

A visit to the barrack has confirmed that Hawara had access to an additional power line which ensured supply to the barrack 24 hours.

The experts have gathered material to re-construct the escape through image processing from digital photographs and videography which can register minute details.

During the next visit, the experts will use powerful metal detectors to look for the tool that might have been buried by the escapees in the tunnel.

Interestingly, it has come to light that Hawara could easily notice the deployment of security from his room. Also, he would often climb the roof of his barrack to retrieve the ball while playing volley ball.

The experts have found a table fan, possibly used as an exhaust fan while the digging was on to expel harmful gases.

The power supply for bulbs used in the tunnel while digging was ensured from the switch of the television set, the sources said.



Woman who provided car arrested
Tribune News Service

The Maruti car which was allegedly used by Jagtar Singh Hawara and his accomplices to flee after they scaled the Burail jail boundary wall
The Maruti car (now with the Chandigarh Police) which was allegedly used by Jagtar Singh Hawara and his accomplices to flee after they scaled the Burail jail boundary wall on the night of January 21. — A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, February 1
The Chandigarh Police today claimed to have pieced together the conspiracy behind the escape of Jagtar Singh Hawara and his three accomplices with the arrest of a woman who helped them reach a “destination in Punjab within 50 km radius of Chandigarh”.

The person who drove the car has also been identified and the car that carried the escapees recovered on information provided by Baljit Kaur, who was arrested late last night.

The police has procured the production warrant of Baljit Kaur’s TADA detainee husband, Lakhwinder Singh, lodged in the Burail jail, and obtained his custody till February 6.

Addressing a press conference along with the entire team investigating the jail-break case, DSP S.C. Sagar and S.C. Abrol informed Baljit Kaur and the mystery youth had accompanied Hawara and others in a Maruti car (PIQ 927). They, however, refused to say how many persons were in the car when the jail inmates escaped.

The police today recovered brick-tied iron chains used by Narain Singh Chaura to disrupt electricity between 8.58 and 9.35 pm on January 21, when the inmates are believed to have escaped from the jail.

The police is verifying if Baljit Kaur had informed the car owner to what use she was putting the car to.

Baljit Kaur, a resident of Meer Maran village under Sirhind police station of Fatehgarh Sahib, was arrested from an area near Chandigarh, which the police did not specify.

The woman allegedly worked as a go-between Narain Singh Chaura and Hawara through a mobile phone which she was carrying at the wedding of the niece of a slain militant Manochahal on January 18.

Baljit Kaur (33) and her husband Lakhwinder Singh were lodged in the Burail jail after being arrested under TADA for carrying an AK 47 rifle. Baljit Kaur was released and when Lakhwinder came on parole he married her.

They have two children studying in Fatehgarh Sahib under the non-residential project of Guru Asra Trust, Mohali.

Sources said Baljit Kaur had lived at the trust with her children from March, 2003, to May, 2003, before she shifted to Fatehgarh Sahib to work in a gurdwara run by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC). Baljit Kaur has been put under sustained interrogation and the police is verifying her statement to look for a possible clue on Hawara and the persons who might have helped him escape after they were dropped around 50 km from the city.

With the arrest of the woman and her husband, 15 persons have been nabbed in the jail-break conspiracy.

The police said an unidentified couple who had met Hawara had also been identified. Meanwhile, arrested Jail Superintendent D.S. Rana, Deputy Superintendents D.S. Sandhu, Assistant Superintendent P.S. Rana and others were further remanded to police custody till February 3.



Jail staff dug tunnel?
Loose earth was disposed of systematically
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 1
Months before the escape, Jagtar Singh Hawara had ensured that the loose earth dug out from the tunnel was disposed of systematically to evade any suspicion.
A major portion of the loose earth was taken out from the entrance to the barrack where the three terrorists and their fourth accomplice were lodged. During the interrogation of jail staff and some undetrails, the investigators have found that a substantial portion of the loose earth had been deposited along the 18-foot-high second boundary wall of the jail premises.

Sources said investigations were now focused on the role of certain jail employees in the carrying out of digging work. What has further raised the suspicion of the investigators is that the cardboard box of the television set in the barrack of the terrorists had been used to cover the exit of the tunnel. It was not possible to take the carboard through the tunnel to cover the exit.

In deviation from earlier reports that the inner walls of the entire tunnel had been plastered with some substance to make the structure stable, sources said close to 20 feet of the tunnel towards the exit end was not plastered. This means the last few days meant furious digging and there was no time for the tedious plastering.

This also indicates the work of digging the tunnel had been speeded up in the last few days. The fact is corroborated by the statement of jail staff that they had heard scratching noise few days before the jailbreak.

Sources said teams that had collected samples believed that the three crushed a portion of the earth to remove the solid particles and mixed it with water. The paste was then applied to the walls.

The theory of the use of an electrically operated machine to dig the tunnel has been corroborated with the presence of an extension box from the barrack of the terrorists. Some wire has also been recovered.



Naidu harps on NDA achievements
Tribune News Service


  • The Rehra Morcha, a section of BJP supporters from nearby villages, came to the rally on horses, camels and carts.
  • Crackers were busted and a dance was performed by BJP supporters.
  • A sword was presented to Mr Naidu by members of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha.
  • Mr Naidu in his speech also mentioned that nowadays he not only talks about 300 seats for the BJP but also dreams about it.
  • “The present Congress is (I) and not Congress (we) ,” Mr Naidu said in a lighter vein.
  • “In the Congress we have “Sonia Vandana” and not “Saraswati Vandana,” he added.

Chandigarh, February 1
A BJP rally held at Sector 34 here today drew mixed crowd response. Mr Venkaiah Naidu, party president, presided over the rally.
People had come in cars, trucks and rickshaws. Slogans were raised in favour of the BJP but failed to get a unified response.

Speaking on the occasion Mr Naidu said the BJP had made remarkable progress in the past five years.

“The Opposition is questioning our slogan of “feel good” because they have nothing to feel good at the moment. Mrs Sonia Gandhi, President of the Congress, meets political leaders from opposite camps but several of her senior party leaders from her own party return without getting an audience with her”, he said. Now everything was available on demand. The country has surplus foodgrains. What else would feel good mean?”, he added.

Mr Naidu said the results of the elections in five states held recently indicated of what one could expect in the forthcoming elections. In Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan the BJP had achieved clear majority. He said the BJP had won the semifinals and the results of the finals were likely to be same.

Mr Naidu said the NDA government had shown an inclination of involving people for bringing peace. This was evident in the cases of Kashmir and Nagaland. There had been positive developments. The lines of discussion had opened and more positive results were expected, he said.

Mr Naidu highlighted the growing foreign exchange reserves, lower interest rates of loans to farmers and strict anti-defection laws. He said, “We will contest the elections on the work that we have done for the masses.”

He said there was no truth in rumours that the BJP was opposed to minorities.

Earlier, sarpanches of the newly elected local gram panchayats garlanded Mr Naidu. These included Mr Sadhu Singh, Mr Mam Chand Rana and sarpanches from Raipur Khurd, Kaimbwala and Dadu Majra villages.

Mr Yash Pal Mahajan, local president, and Mr Satya Pal Jain, former MP, also spoke on the occasion.



Cong confused on leadership: Naidu
Tribune News Service

Alliance with INLD

BJP President Venkaiah Naidu today said an electoral alliance with the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) for the Lok Sabha elections was still being worked upon. He was talking to mediapersons after a meeting of the Regional Core Group in Chandigarh. Mr Naidu confirmed the BJP alliance with the Shiromani Akali Dal in Punjab.

Mr Naidu's comment comes against the backdrop that senior leaders of the BJP from Haryana, including Mr Krishan Pal Gujjar and Mr Ram Bilas Sharma, are not in favour of any alliance with the INLD.

He also had separate closed-door meetings with the party leadership from Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh.

Chandigarh, February 1
The Congress is not clear about its leadership for the forthcoming parliamentary elections to counter Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee, unanimous candidate from the Bharatiya Janata Party. Mr M. Venkaiah Naidu, President of the BJP, said this while addressing the Regional Core Group meeting of Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh here today.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi was not acceptable to a significant section of dissidents in her own party, he said. Her party first decided to go in for the elections on its own, but later decided that a alliances were possible. "We cannot think of any person of foreign origin in control of the country," he added.

Congress leaders were busy meeting their political rivals for alliances. "Things have come to such a pass that the Congress, which ruled the country for 50 years, is now itself approaching various quarters with a bowed head. This clearly indicates that the party has lost the position it commanded in the arena of power," he said.

Most of the political parties, including the Congress, the Communist Party and the Janata Dal, had split into a number of factions. "The As, Bs, Cs and Ds attached to their party names are unending. We are a party with absolute clarity on our agenda," he said.

Mr Naidu said for the first time in the history of politics in this country, a party (BJP) was contesting the elections on the basis of its performance. This was in contrast to the usual tirade of charges non-performance and the citing of anti-incumbency factor as a reason for loss in the elections, he added.

The roads had improved, the number of trains increased, the rupee gained its value against foreign currencies and the country had surplus foodgrains, Mr Naidu emphasised. "This is a perfect setting for the 'Feel good' slogan and a prelude to a 'feel great' expectation that the BJP plans," he said.

The foreign exchange reserves had increased and India was giving loan to 13 countries. "The day is not far when India will lend to 130 countries, if the present regime continued," he said.

Mr Naidu informed the BJP office-bearers about the decisions regarding the election campaign taken at a meeting of the national executive recently in Hyderabad. The slogan was: "Reach every village, walk every street, knock every door and talk to everyone". Atal Sandesh Yatra was planned from January 23 till February 21. On February 6, all block, district and mandal presidents would assemble in Delhi on February 6, he said.

The BJP had constituted a committee under Mr Arun Jaitley, the Bharat Bhavishya Darshan, which would interact with students, teachers, traders, ex-servicemen, bureaucrats and several other segments of society to understand what people actually wanted, he said.

Talking to mediapersons later, he said the Ayodhya issue was not even remotely related to the election manifesto.



BJP committee to mobilise resources
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 1
BJP President Venkaiah Naidu today announced the formation of a Resource Mobilisation Committee and also entrusted responsibilities to other party functionaries.
The members of the committee are Mr Ved Prakash Goyal, Mr Ramdas Agarwal (Jaipur), Mr Sukumar Nambiar (Chennai), Mr Surendra Patel (Ahmedabad), Mr Lakhiram Agarwal (Raipur) and Mr Jugal Jatalia (Kolkata).

On the publicity committee are Mr Pramod Mahajan, Mr Arun Jaitley, Mr M.A. Naqvi, Mr Ravishankar Prasad, Mr Balbir Punj, Mr Dinanath Mishra, Mr Prakash Jawadekar, Mr Seshadrichary and Mr Prabhat Jha.

The team in charge of media relations has Mr Pramod Mahajan, Mr Arun jaitley, Ms Sushma Swaraj, Mr M.A. Naqvi and Mr Prakash Jawadekar.

Mr Naqvi, Mr Piyush Goyal, Mr Sanjay Bhalla and Mr Arun Singh will look after the tours and travels.

The election control room will be handled by Mr Bal Apte, Mr Ram Kripal Sinha, Mr Ashwini Kumar and Mr Vinay Sahasrabudhe.



Verma for military training to all
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 1
Underlining the need for making military training mandatory for every citizen, the Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, Justice O.P. Verma (retd), today said that inculcating discipline and the spirit of adventure, as was being done by the NCC, was imperative for the progress of the country.

Speaking at a function at Panjab University here after honouring NCC cadets of Punjab and Chandigarh who had participated in the Republic Day parade in Delhi, Justice Verma said the NCC was the only organisation that not only imparted military training but also equipped students to undertake activities in the service of humanity.

Congratulating the cadets of Punjab for coming out with flying colours by winning the maximum number of medals, Justice Verma said Punjab and Chandigarh were proud of their achievements.

Emphasising the need for channelising the energy of the youth in a constructive manner, Justice Verma said they were a vital part of every society. "Their energies, if utilised positively, could help the nation scale virgin heights of progress," he said.

The Governor said it was commendable that during peacetime they were contributing substantially to social services like blood and eye donation, cleanliness, tree plantation, adult education, AIDS awareness camps and by campaigning against the dowry system.

Justice Verma said the NCC was an important wing of education and the government should ensure that the organisation did not suffer on account of financial constraints.

Earlier, Justice Verma honoured the NCC cadets by presenting them a memento.

The cadets honoured included Manpreet Singh (Amritsar), Parminder Singh (Pathankot), Tejinder Singh (Pathankot), Tejpal Singh (Amritsar), Harpreet Singh (Gurdaspur), Azad Singh, Gurdeep Singh (Pathankot), Gourav (Gurdaspur), Gurpreet Singh (Amritsar), Ramakant Sharma (Pathankot), Kanwal Dass (Amritsar), Harpreet Singh (Amritsar), Rahul Bhalla (Amritsar), Dhanraj Thanker (Amritsar), Arundeep Randev (Amritsar), Sahil Sharma (Amritsar), Gurmeet Singh (Amritsar), Sumit Sharma (Jalandhar), Arpan Kumar (Ferozepore), Sudeepa Singh (Amritsar), Nargis Bamra (Phagwara), Divya Sharma (Amritsar), Neeru Salaria (Gurdaspur), Amandeep Sharma (Pathankot), Bhupinder Singh (Amritsar), Ravinder Kumar (Gurdaspur), Hiten Rana (Jalandhar), Aashish Thakur (Jalandhar), Harjinder Singh (Jalandhar), Sanjeev Kumar (Hoshiarpur), Jagpreet Singh (Jalandhar), Amandeep Kataria, Divya Sharma (Jalandhar), Paramjit Kaur (Hoshiarpur).

Surinder Kumar (Kapurthala), Princepal Singh (Jalandhar), Harpreet Singh (Patiala), Malwinder Singh (Patiala), Gurwinder Singh (Patiala), Dheraj Pal Singh (Sangrur), Rituraj Singh (Nabha), Ravinder Kaur (Patiala), Charanjit Kaur (Patiala), Chamkaur Singh (Sangrur), Navroop Virk (Patiala), Paramjeet Walia (Ludhiana), Sunny Bhardwaj (Doraha), Sanjeev Rai (Ludhiana), Akash Kumar (Ludhiana), Lovepreet Singh (Ludhiana), Maneetpal Kaur (Ferozepore), Jyto Dagar (Ferozepore), Davinder Toor (Ludhiana), Pawandeep Kaur (Muktsar), Aastha Garg (Ludhiana), Jasmine Kaur (Ludhiana), Vibhuti Jain (Ludhiana),Gagandeep Maan (Ludhiana), Jatinderjeet Singh (Ludhiana), Dalpreet Singh (Ludhiana), Nitin Chand (Ludhiana), Amanpreet Kaur Gill (Ludhiana), Vikas Mehta (Ludhiana), Amrit Pal singh (Batala), Balbir singh (Gurdaspur), Ashandeep Singh (Batala), Rohit Mangla (Chandigarh), Jagdeep Singh (Ferozepore) Lakhwinder Singh, Visavjot Singh (Ajnala), Vikram Singh Dhaliwal, Jagdeep Singh (Kapurthala), Attinder pal Singh (Tarn Taran), Manpreet Singh (Shahkot), Amrit Pal Singh (Amritsar), Sunil Verma (Tanda), Sunny Bedi (Gurdaspur), Manmohan Singh (Gurdaspur).

Gurajpal Singh (Amritsar), Randeep Singh (Gurdaspur), Gagandeep Sigh (Ajnala), Minki Singh (Ludhiana), Vikramjit Singh (Gurdaspur), Gagdeep Singh (Gurdaspur), Amandeep Singh (Tarn Taran), Manpreet Singh (Moga), Jaswant Singh (Batala), Gagandeep Singh (Fatehgarh), Gurjinder Singh (Gurdaspur), Bikramjit Singh, Harmaneet Singh (Amritsar), Jagbeet Singh (Gurdaspur), Atinder Pal Singh (Gurdaspur), Sartaj Singh Gill (Patti), Gurminder Singh (Gurdaspur), Amit Kumar (Kapurthala), Hira Singh Moga, R. Raja Kumaran (Gurdaspur).

The cadets from Chandigarh honoured on the occasion included Sukhmeet Singh, Karam Chaudhary, Dharamvir Singh, Oscar Iqbal Singh, Mukesh Sharma, Longiam Cha Ravi, Rajbir, Devinder Singh Rana, Inderpal Singh Gill, Amandeep Singh and Tarun Kumar. 



2 fake notes found in wad
Tribune News Service

M.R. Singla shows the currency wad carrying two fake notes
M.R. Singla shows the currency wad carrying two fake notes.

Chandigarh, February 1
Two fake currency notes of Rs 500 denomination were reportedly discovered in a sealed wad issued by the Sector 19 branch of the Canara Bank on January 28.
The last note of the wad (3AA 163632) and the 86th note (3 BK 193388) were found to be fake, Mr M. R. Singla, who was given a payment of Rs 50,000 by the bank, told the Chandigarh Tribune.

The wad carries a seal of the bank stamped on January 23.

Mr Singla said he was told that the wad had a fake note when he went to deposit the amount in a branch of the Punjab National Bank. He said he approached the Canara Bank which agreed to change the note but refused to take a written complaint.

Mr Singla said he went to the grievances cell of the bank where another fake note was found.



Chandigarh Calling

The 57th Republic Day celebrations will get a new dimension with Tiranga, a poetic and musical interpretation of the National Flag, an event conceptualised by Durga Jasraj, daughter of Pandit Jasraj, along with Art & Artistes’ and performed by music maestros invoking national pride. Legendary artistes will come together to showcase the historic event through poetry and music at the Royal Festival Hall, London, to celebrate Republic Day on January 26. According to Ms Durga Jasraj, Director, Art & Artistes, “Tiranga has been conceived with a sincere effort to generate a true sense of patriotism and to explain the true meaning and essence of India’s National Flag to the future generations of the country. The conceptualization, planning and designing of Tiranga was an exhilarating experience as I was confident that once this concept is accepted, it would bring about a patriotical change in the perception of our National Flag.” Tiranga is a first of its kind experiment in the world involving great maestros from the field of Indian music such as Pandit Jasraj, Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia, Ustaad Zakir Hussain, Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma, Vidwan U. Shrinivas, Dr L. Subramanium and Javed Akhtar, all of whom have come together using this common platform to interpret each element of the National Flag. Tiranga is a complete showcase of sound and colour.

Keeping numbers small

Cramming 85 pre-primary level children in a classroom is hardly conducive to real learning. Yet, some city schools have upped their numbers from already high 40-45 students per class scenario to a horrific 80-plus strength! A parent of an established long-running school, on condition of anonymity, lamented how her daughter had developed an acute identity crisis being a mere roll number on the school register. The class teacher could never recall her name and this was not at the beginning of the academic year but at a time when the session was coming to a close. Parents came together and rallied outside the Principal’s office, insisting he make two sections. A couple of weeks later, they were relieved to find that he had acted on their recommendation, only to find that he had also taken on some more mid-term admissions to offset the “losses”.

According to child psychologists, crammed classrooms not only impact the quality of education imparted and lead up to a host of psychological problems like severe mood swings, reduced attention span, failing concentration and growing aggression but also affect the health of the students. Restricted physical space, according to them, leads to stomach cramps and muscular pains, stiffness of the joints, vision impairment and dull reflexes.

Children need space not just to play and run around but also to think and allow the mind to grow. Well landscaped gardens, sprawling open spaces, cheerful furniture, pre-designated areas for activities and spacious classrooms definitely contribute in making learning meaningful, helping students absorb and retain academic concepts better. And this is where the new age schools score over their older counterparts.

Ananda International spread over 11 acres has a swimming pool, tennis, squash and badminton court and a cricket academy in addition to spacious classrooms with a maximum of 20 students per class. Strawberry Fields World School with a smaller campus is effectively utilising space but will have 20-25 students per class. Among the older schools, Vivek High School has tried not exceeding the 30 student per class barrier convinced that class results and general atmosphere are directly linked with the kind of personal attention a child receives in class.

If present trends are anything to go by, parents understand this. They want their child to have access to the best and new schools with fresh ideas and child friendly teaching methodologies are more sensitised to the individual child’s learning pace. Keeping classroom strength small goes a long way in establishing a rapport besides being clued up on the behavioural and learning levels of every student. Specific detailing and inputs on strengthening grey areas involving parents as also expert help is the next step which leads to creating higher confidence in the parents. Normally the same child may get lost in a regular school and chances are his specific problem would go unnoticed or worse still would deteriorate further. Whether it is academic, creative or sporty activities, having smaller classrooms means more attention towards the child. And given the kind of pressures the modern child is experiencing this personalised form of schooling can go a long way in ensuring that he turn out not just as a high percentage achiever but also a better adjusted happier individual.

Mangoes in winter!

Mangoes in winter! Sounds unbelievable, but is true. The king of fruits is fruiting in the back garden of the Kapoors in Sector 8. The fruit is as big as you would find in summer. Says Mr D.M. Kapoor, the proud owner of the mango tree, “The tree was planted in our house some eight years ago. It started fruiting three years ago, and in its first fruiting season, we had three mangoes in the winter.” He says for the consecutive two years, the tree bore no fruit. “This year again, we have a full-grown mango and five raw mangoes. But within the next three weeks, we expect these fruits to ripen”.

Industry not providing data

Economists and politicians may be feeling happy over the ‘ feel good factor’ in the economy, giving credit to the liberalisation policies of the government. But the statisticians are unhappy that unlike developed countries, the Indian industry and traders are not cooperating in data collection, the base of all economic indicators. Mr Ramesh Kolli, Director-General, National Accounts Division, Central Statistical Organisation (CSO), who was in the town recently to participate in a training workshop, said, “ During inspector raj, the industrialists and traders used to provide all information fearing the inspectors. Now thanks to liberalisation and end of inspector raj, most of them will not even allow inspectors to enter their premises. Since they do not cooperate in collecting information, most of the data presented in the media about economy do not represent correct picture.”

A starry affair

Fun Republic in Mani Majra was all stars on January 28. As soon as the news of Pooja Bhatt arriving along with her entire “Paap” team spread, the rush of visitors to the multiplex suddenly increased. Security became a big issue, with those in charge of affairs desperately looking for the safest entry point for the stars. It was only after about an hour and a half that the go-ahead signal was given to the visiting actors, who made an appearance much later than the scheduled time.

In the bargain it was the media that lost out on precious time. The problem was that the visiting crew, led by Pooja Bhatt, was to be available for interaction only after the screening of Paap at Fun Republic. And till about 4.30 p.m., the screening had not begun.

The witty John

More than anyone else, it was John Abraham who attracted fans, irrespective of the age group and gender. Almost everyone present in the hall, where exclusive screening of Paap was held, seemed absolutely enamoured of the star who made the right moves at the right times. He was extra generous to girls, asking them to relax and take it easy; extra modest to boys, telling them that they could all be like him or even better; extra respectful to elders, requesting them not to stand in his applause.

Conscious and composed, John managed to tide over most of the difficult questions. It was only once that he was caught unawares. A girl intercepted him to ask, “What is the status of your relationship with Bipasha — married or split?” In control of his emotions, as ever, John replied, “Don’t you think there is a whole lot of possibility in between?”

Doctor’s ACRs stir row

The adverse remarks made in the annual confidential reports (ACRs) of some of the faculty members at the PGI has become the latest bone of contention between the doctors and the authorities, with the former seeking intervention of the Union Health and Family Welfare Minister, Mrs Sushma Swaraj.

It was after these adverse remarks were conveyed to the faculty members concerned, a few days ago that doctors, including some of the heads of department, decided to take up the matter at the highest level if these were not reviewed. There are close to 70 doctors in whose ACRs, adverse remarks have been made.

“Had these remarks been unbiased and genuine, nobody would have objected as it is the prerogative of the reporting, reviewing and accepting authority to assess the performance of a doctor. But these are unfortunately a result of the politicking and lobbying, which is at its all time high at the PGI,” said a Head of Department.

General Hospital security

The UT Health Department has finally decided to strengthen the security at the Sector 16 General Hospital, especially after a few cases of children going missing from the maternity wards, occurred in the recent past.

In comparison to the security arrangements at the PGI and the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, the number of security personnel at the General Hospital, was only a handful. With some of the newborns and small children, who came for treatment to the hospital going missing, concern was expressed at the inadequate security arrangements at the hospital.




Despite court orders, cops yet to book principal
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 1
Despite orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and a written request by the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) here, the police is yet to book the principal of a private academy at Fatehgarh Sahib.

The Principal had allegedly managed to get five of his academy students ‘fictitious’ roll numbers to appear as private candidates in a PSEB examination.

These students appeared in the examination but did not receive their results as it was discovered by the board that five other students had also appeared in the said examination under the same roll number from a Centre in Faridkot, whose results were declared.

Following the discovery, the board had written to the SSP, Ropar, recommending the registration of a case against the Principal.

‘‘But no action was taken. The request was sent to the SHO concerned who came to the Board to examine the details, but a case was still not registered,’’said Mr Mahinder Bir Singh, Secretary, PSEB.

Acting on a petition filed by the five students, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today directed the PSEB to get an FIR registered against the Principal.

‘‘We have asked for the copy of the orders from the court and the moment it is received, we will instruct the police to book the principal, Balraj Singh.

He runs an academy called Shaheed Bhagat Singh Kanya College in Kheri Naud Singh Village in Fatehgarh Sahib,’’ said Mr Mahinder Bir Singh, pointing out that the police should have booked the principal on their earlier request. The police said the case had been sent to the District Attorney for legal opinion.



Warm adieu to General Mehta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 1
Lt Gen S.S. Mehta, GOC-in-C, Western Command, was yesterday given a ceremonial guard of honour at the Command Headquarters Complex by a smartly turned out a contingent of his parent regiment, 63rd Cavalry, on his retirement from service yesterday. Capt P.S Sidhu commanded the honour guard.

General Mehta, who demitted office after 41 years of distinguished service, was bid a warm adieu send-off by a large number of officers and jawans as they pulled his vehicle with ropes from the Command House in Chandi Mandir Cantonment. It sure was an emotional moment for the General.

Among those who saw off the General and his wife, Ms Madhu Mehta, were Lt-Gen P.K Grover, Chief of Staff, Western Command; Maj-Gen O.P Nandrajog, Maj-Gen K.S Rao and senior officers and ladies of the military station.

The jawans were lined up on both sides of the road leading to the Tank TCP to bid adieu to their General.

The General took an official flight to Delhi by an Indian Air Force plane later in the day.



Mohali Diary
Tributes paid to Kalpana Chawla
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 1
Gian Jyoti Public School here organised a one-day science workshop, “Mission Mars”, to pay tributes to Kalpana Chawla. Kalpana Chawla’s life history and other facts related to rockets and space exploration were explained by Mr Ravjot Singh, Dr Raman Soni and Ms Poonam Sharma to the students. The students were explained about the possibility of life on Mars and the achievements of NASA in the field of space exploration. The Principal of the school, Ms Ranjit Bedi, chaired the workshop and asked the students to actively participate in such workshops.

Workshop: A workshop on disaster management was organised at Gian Jyoti Public School, Phase II, here. The aim was to impart education to students regarding calamities like flood, earthquakes etc. Clippings of films were shown to the students in this regard. Among those who spoke were Mr Ravjot Singh, Ms Harcharan Kaur, Ms Kamajit Sehdev, Ms Harinder Sidhu and Ms Sukhjit Bedi.

Prize distribution: The Rotary Club here organised the prize distribution function of the Nitish Lehri On-the-Spot Painting Competition this week. Fiftytwo students were given prizes during the function by Ms Satwant Kaur, Principal, Shivalik Public School, Phase VI. A large number of rotarians, including Mr M.S. Ratra, Mr Gurmeet Singh, Mr Surinder Bains, Mr M.S. Birmi and Mr B.S. Khandpur, were present .

Health camp: A special health check-up camp was organised by the local unit of the Ranbaxy Community Healthcare Society at Badali and Mehmadpur villages. Children below the age of five years were examined by a team of doctors for various ailments like anaemia and worm infestations. At least 286 patients were examined during the camp.

R-Day celebrations: Republic Day was celebrated by leprosy patients in association with the Disabled Persons Welfare Organisation Punjab on January 26 at the Guru Nanak Ashram, Ropar. Mr Gopal, an ex-serviceman who had to leave the Army due to the disease and an inmate of the ashram unfurled the national flag. The organisation also distributed sweets among patients. Mr Paramdeep Singh Bhabat, president, Mr Deepak Rohela, vice-president, Mr Balwinder Singh Moga, finance secretary, Mr Janak Singh Balwara and Mr Dharampal Rana were present on the occasion.

Members of the local branch of the Bharat Vikas Parishad conducted a flag hoisting ceremony at the Sanatan Dharam Mandir Phase IV here on the Republic Day. Mr S.R. Choudhry, patron member of the parishad, hoisted the flag and addressed the gathering. He exhorted the youth to participate in the parishad’s activities. Mr Rajeshwar Sharma, president of the parishad, distributed free winter uniforms and shoes to poor students.

Students and staff of Little Blossoms School, Kharar, celebrated the Republic Day at the school. The function started with tiny tots singing patriotic songs followed by dances, skits, gidha and bhangra. A speech was delivered by Mr Harkanwal Singh on the history of the day. Speaking on the occasion, the Principal, Ms Narinder Bedi, appreciated the efforts of the students and teachers for presenting the programme.

Annual day function: Holy Oaks Public School here organised an annual day-cum-prize distribution function at Tagore Theatre on Sunday. Dr Puneet Bedi, Principal, MCM DAV College, was the chief guest and gave away prizes to students. A colourful cultural programme was presented by students. The director of the school, Ms Jyoti Arora, presented the annual report of the school listing out the school’s achievements and future plan.



Community centre sought
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 1
Members of the Panchkula Welfare Association on Sunday urged the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) to construct a community centre in Sector 8. At a general body meeting here, the members were of the opinion that residents faced a lot of difficulty while holding social functions in the absence of a community centre. The meeting also demanded the recarpeting of internal roads.

Meanwhile the following were unanimously re-elected office-bearers of the association: president — Mr Shiv Kumar Sharma; general secretary — Mr T.R. Tuli; senior vice-president — Mr Gian Chand Kansal; vice-president — Mr Naresh Aggarwal; secretary — Mr V.P. Sood; and treasurer — Mr RA Bansal. 



Missing names on voters list dismay residents

Zirakpur, February 1
Taking serious view of the discrepancies in voters list issued by the Election Commission, Punjab, members of Resident’s Welfare Society, Saini Vihar, Bartana, held a meeting here today.

The members were disappointed over the notice issued by the Election Commission, asking the residents to get their photo identity cards made immediately. They were also shocked to find names of almost 30 per cent residents missing in the voters list. Interestingly, the list did not even carry the name of municipal councillors from wards nos 13 and 15, said Mr Praveen Sharma, press secretary of the society. The members of the society have demanded that the voters list be prepared again. OC



Panthers sent to Kanpur zoo
Our Correspondent

Chhat Bir (Patiala), February 1
The Authorities at Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological Park today sent the first lot of animals and birds to the Kanpur zoo for a pair of swamp deer, a rare species.
Under the exchange programme, the authorities today sent a pair of panthers and a male crane to Kanpur.

According to Mr Kuldeep Kumar, Zoo Director, the male and female panther sent to Kanpur are aged four and three while the crane is two.

The zoo would also get a “chausinga” and “chinkara” besides five pairs of “khalij” pheasants next week. These animals would be acquired from the Junagarh zoo in Gujarat in exchange for two pairs of Royal Bengal Tigers. Five pairs of “khalij” pheasants would be brought from Himachal Pradesh.



Man held for molestation bid, murder
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 1
A father of three children was today arrested for allegedly strangulating to death a 10-year-old girl of Faidan village when she repulsed his sexual advances at a secluded place on January 29.
Naresh Das, a rickshaw-puller, of Jagatpura village was arrested when a seven-year-old boy, Raja Ram, happened to join the cremation of the girl in the village.

The boy identified the body and recollected that the girl had collected wood with him, where Das was also present, on the evening of January 29. He had returned home, while the girl had stayed back.

Raja Ram told the police that another friend of his, 12-year-old Pintu, was with him when they left for home and Das had helped them pick their pile of wood up.

Pintu then accompanied the police to the house of Das who confessed to having committed the crime.

Das told reporters that on seeing the girl alone he attempted to molest her and when she started abusing him he got enraged and gagged her to avoid being noticed by passersby.

The rickshaw-puller, hailing from Katihar in Bihar, said he then pushed the girl down a slope when he heard some persons coming towards him.

He then went and check out on the girl. He found her gasping for air. Fearing being caught, he pushed the girl into a nearby stream, where she fell headfirst and died. The police has booked the accused for murder and attempt to rape.



Bank issues notices to 88
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 1
Syndicate Bank said today that dues would be recovered from borrowers through negotiations and seizure of securities.
An official spokesman said one such seizure had already been made at Yamunanagar. The bank had engaged agents in this regard.

The spokesman said the bank had issued notices under the Securitization and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest (second) Act, 2002, to 88 borrowers in Chandigarh region for one-time settlement of old and chronic non-performing assets (NPAs) cases.


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