C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Admn to levy cess on water used in PGI, PU lawns
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 12
Institutions like Panjab University and the PGI, which are using drinking water in lawns will face punitive action. They may be asked to pay more for this.
According to sources, the Chandigarh Administration is calculating the requirements of these institutes to levy a kind of cess on water used for lawns. Both the varsity and the PGI have a 250-acre campus each with huge open spaces where abundant water is used for lawns and potted plants.

The Administration has told big institutions that they should use treated or re-cycled water for the watering of plants. A supply lines of treated water exists in the northern sectors. The PGI and the varsity have failed to lay down their internal system and connect it to the main supply lines already laid down by the Administration.

Meanwhile the UT Administrator Justice O.P. Verma (retd) at a meeting with senior officials has said there was a need to conserve potable water and ensure that Central Government institutions do not use potable water for irrigation purpose. He said punitive measures should be initiated against the institutions, which are using precious potable water for irrigation purpose.

The city has no natural water supply system. Drinking water is pumped against gravity from the Bhakra Main Line canal, about 30 km away from here and it costs Rs 10 crore per annum just to pump the water.

Meanwhile it was informed at the meeting that educational institutions including Government School, Sector 23 and Government Girls School, Sector 23, Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh, Government Polytechnic for Women, Sector 10, College of Arts, Sector 10, Children Traffic Park and College of Architecture and Government Museum have been linked to tertiary water network and other educational institutions of the Administration would be connected to the network within 15 days. 



UT to protect retirement benefits of PEC staff
Tribune News Service


  • UT to deal directly with the MHRD to change status of employees of PEC.
  • Administration will give PEC building on rent to the society.
  • MHRD to decide soon. 

Chandigarh, February 12
The process of deciding the status of faculty and employees of the Punjab Engineering College is in the final stages. The Chandigarh Administration has sent a draft notification to the Union Ministry of Human Resources (MHRD) to decide upon the status of employees, the transfer of funds and also how the property of Administration will be given on lease to the Society which will run the PEC.

The Administration has finalised these issues after a nod from the Union Ministry of Home Affairs which has said the UT should deal directly with the MHRD on the issue. Sources confirmed that the Administration had sent a letter to the MHRD while adding that the issue of the Principal has also been decided for the time being. Dr Baljit Kapoor will continue till the search committee appointed to search for a Director gives its verdict.

The Administration in its draft has said that after the transfer of the college, to the society, the Administration shall annually sanction grant in aid equivalent to the non-plan and plan expenditure during the year 2003-2004. The society shall prepare an annual budget and shall present it to the Administration for allocation of funds as grant-in-aid. The Administration may increase or decrease the amount of grant-in-aid to be given in a particular year.

The rules guiding the determination of future grant-in-aid shall be finalised by the Administration separately in consultation with the Punjab Engineering College society and with the approval of the Centre.

The second point is that all retirement benefits like pension, gratuity, medical and other benefits of the present government employees will continue to be paid by the Administration after the retirement as on the date of notification for all times to come. The Administration also proposes to set up a separate fund for pension and gratuity benefits of the employees of the Punjab Engineering College Society. This can also be handled through the Accountant-General.

The Administration had told the MHRD that the building of the PEC valued at several crores will be given on lease to the society. The lease will be nominal and not as per prevailing market rents. Several senior officials of the Chandigarh Administration are members of the society.



Sale of mutton, fish doubles
Manoj Kumar
Tribune News Service

  • Demand for mutton and fish shoots up by 100 per cent in city after bird flu reports.
  • Fish demand in city crossed 5 tonnes per day from 2-2.5 tonnes.
  • Price of mutton increased from Rs 30 to 40 per kg to about Rs 100 per kg.
  • Price of river sanghara fish crossed Rs 150 per kg. It was around Rs 100 per kg about a fortnight ago.
  • Chicken prices hover around Rs 35 per kg as against about Rs 70 before bird flu reports.

Chandigarh, February 12
The bird flu scare may have caused over Rs 100 crore loss to the poultry industry in the region. But it has also put a smile on the face of those selling mutton and fish. Traders say the sale of fish and mutton in the city has increased by over 100 per cent during the past one week despite substantial hike in their prices.

Mr Ajay Jain, proprietor, Sher-e-Punjab, food joint in Sector 35, said,” People are still scared about bird flu and most of the non-vegetarian families are taking fish and mutton for the time being. We expect that the situation will soon improve in the next few days.”

According to insiders from the industry that the total demand for poultry birds in city had come down from 15,000 to 20,000 birds a day to less than 10,000 birds. On the other hand, Mr Ashish Kumar Sonkar, a leading trader in fish business, in Sector 21, said:” The average sale of fish in the city, that was around 2 to 2.5 tonnes per day, has crossed over 5 tonnes.” Mr Jaipal of Chandigarh Meat Shop, said: they used to slaughter about 200 to 250 goats a day, but after reports of bird flu, it has crossed over 400.

The price of river Sanghara fish has increased from Rs 100 a kg to Rs 150-175 a kg, while the price of desi sole variety has increased from Rs 150 to over Rs 200 a kg. In fact, we are facing shortage as people are not bothered about its price. Even otherwise during winter season the demand for fish remains firm.”

He said the price of sea Sanghara variety had increased from Rs 70 to Rs 150 a kg and of sea sole variety from Rs 120-Rs 130 to over Rs 200 a kg. Enquiries at Chandigarh Press Club, Press Club and other eating joints revealed that a section of people were not bothered about the bird flu at all but the demand for mutton and fish had definitely increased. According to a waiter at the Chandigarh Club some people are not taking mutton at all. The National Egg Coordination Committee, which is holding a programme, in which Sanjay Dutt and Sunil Shetty are scheduled to participate tomorrow, have already ordered for chickens for over 1000 persons.”

Mr Jatinder Singh of King Boilers, said,” The maximum impact of bird flu was visible last week, when no one was ready to touch chicken. But the situation has marginally improved over the past two days. The National Egg Coordination Committee is also running a campaign to create awareness among customers.”

The shopkeepers admitted that though no bird flu case had been reported in the region, but reports in the media of some deaths in other countries due to this disease have caused fear among the public. The price of mutton is still hovering around Rs 100 per kg that was just Rs 30 to Rs 40 per kg about a fortnight ago. 



45-year-old found murdered
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 12
A resident of Tibba Nangal village, Ropar, Mahinder Pal, 45, has been allegedly done to death by some unidentified persons near the woods in Dhanas village in the vicinity of Panjab University here. A part of the left hand of the victim is also missing, seemingly eaten by wild animals.

The police suspects that he was murdered at some other place during the past 48 hours. The body was later dumped in the woods. The body was noticed by a watchman of Dhanas village this evening. The deceased was wearing only a torn trousers.

Preliminary investigations suggest that a blunt weapon was used in the crime.

There are marks of injury on the head and the face of the body. The identification was established from a pocket dairy lying near the body.

Manoj Bhumla, one of deceased relative was called on the spot by the police to identity the body. He reportedly told the police that Mahinder, father of two children, was disturbed for quite sometime now. He was a daily wage labourer and a habitual drunkard. Manoj Bhumla who is networking engineer based in, Britian had came to India about 15 days ago and was staying in Sector 44 here. He told the police that he had not met Mahinder for the last five years. Mahinder was earlier working with a cotton mill in Bhatinda. He is survived by his wife and two teenage sons. 



De-mining along Indo-Pak border to be over by April
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 12
The Army expects to finally wind up its de-mining operation along the Indo-Pak border by April. The operation, which had been initiated about two years ago, involves the removal of about one million mines.

“Over 98 per cent of the job is now complete,” a senior officer at Headquarters of Western Command told The Tribune. “Only a few pockets in Punjab are left to be cleared,” he added.

Sources said that two corps in this theatre, which are responsible for the defence of the international border in Punjab and northern Rajasthan, had been carrying out de-mining operations in this region. “While the area under the Chetak Corps has been totally cleared, Sappers under the Vajra Corps based in Jalandhar are still at the task” an officer said. Kasowal is one such area.

Following the attack on Parliament on December 13, 2001, the Indian Armed Forces, under Operation Parakram, had adopted an offensive posture along the border with Pakistan. The Army, in its biggest mine laying operation since the 1971 Indo-Pak war, had planted over a million anti-tank and anti-personnel mines along the border. In Punjab, about 17,000 acres of land was mined.

With bilateral relations between the two countries subsequently improving, troops were de-inducted and the Army had initiated de-mining operations in December 2002.

The task, according to Sappers, was made difficult by several factors. Owing to the long period of deployment, mines had drifted from their original location by several feet because of shift in soil, rains or sand storms. Many mines had also sunk deeper. A major problem was rats and rodents, who “stole” the mines and secreted them in borrows elsewhere.

“Rats are attracted towards explosives. Also the body of the smaller anti-personnel mines is made of plastic, which the rats gnawed away,” an officer remarked. There were also several instances of villagers attempting to remove mines on their own, leading to casualties.

The Army also faced a problem with the safety of vintage mines and the initial lack of adequate safety gear. A number of Army personnel were killed while handling mines.

“Some lessons were learnt the hard way,” an officer here commented. “While the old stockpile of unreliable mines has been destroyed, the Sappers have got better equipment and safer operating procedures have been devised,” he added.

Sources also said that following Operation Parakram, the Army is also studying the use of “smart mines”, which have inbuilt digital control devices. These can be activated or de-activated by remote control, making them safer.



Future of policing uncertain, says Prof Bayley
Poonam Batth
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 12
The future of policing was uncertain since the conventional police force was under tremendous pressure as the monopoly of the state on policing was being gravely undermined. It was moving in three different directions simultaneously - upward, downward and sideways, says Prof David H. Bayley.

The world is creating effective instruments of international policing and the police needs to gear up to meet the challenges posed by the new face of the police. The 7,500-strong UN Police force, which was earlier discharging the function of peace-keeping, has now taken up arms for the maintenance of law and order in 40 odd countries.

Prof David H. Bayley, Professor and Dean, School of Criminal Justice, State University of New York, was delivering the keynote address at a seminar on “Policing in New Era: the Unseen Watershed,” organised by the IPS Association of Punjab here today. Elaborating on the upward movement of the force, he said just as the UN Police Force was reorienting itself to meet the present day challenges being posed by the countries of the world, the European Union had also formulated the Joint Police Force.

Professor Bayley said the mindset of the police had changed over the past 20 years, with the police reaching out to the common man to help him with their resources for better policing. This also indicated their inability to do it themselves and needing help. He also lauded the efforts of the Punjab Police to institutionalise community policing in the state but the real challenge lay in its expansion throughout the state and had the potential to become a role model for the country.

Talking of sideways expansion, Mr Bayley said in many countries affluent businessmen and other classes were engaging the services of private security, parallel to the public police force and this again posed a serious challenge to the regular state police forces. Interestingly, in US the recruitment of private securities was four times more than the public police force.

Dr A.A Siddiqui, DGP, Punjab Police emphasised on the need to redesign the policing philosophy and strategy since revolutions in the field of communication and information technology, along with the process of economic liberalisation had changed the crime pattern. The recommendations made by various commissions to change the antiquated laws and rules, not in tune with the modern day problems, also needed to be implemented for modernisation of the force.

A former Director- General of the Haryana Police, Mr M.S Malik stressed on the amendment of the 1861 Police Act , which would go a long way in meeting the challenges of the future.

Justice R.L Anand ( retd), exhorted the police to come up to the expectations of the people. He also sought an amendment to the Police Act so as to give it a legal support.

Dr Parmod Kumar, Director, Institute of Development and Communication, said that the role of the police would increase and that of the government would decrease in the modern day policing. While the politicians, who gave orders for undertaking various operations later got out after tendering apologies, the police officers and the Army personnel, who carried out these orders, were held accountable. The buck should not stop at the officers, he said. 



Leading kathak out of narrow confines
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Shovana Narayan performs kathak dance at the Panjab University law auditorium on Thursday
Shovana Narayan performs kathak dance at the Panjab University law auditorium on Thursday.— A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, February 12
There is little that Shovana Narayan has not done for kathak, though she may herself like to phrase the sentence the other way round. Whatever the case may be, the returns have been enriching for the world of Indian classical dance, which stands taller with the vast repertoire which Padmashri Shovana Narayan has created for it.

With themes as absorbing as ever and styles as impressive, Shovana has again created fresh pieces, with the future festivals in mind. In Chandigarh on an invitation from SPIC MACAY, she spoke to The Tribune about her insatiable urge to give kathak an ever new dimension by imparting philosophical, spiritual and romantic texture to creations. With brilliant dance presentations like Yashodhara, based on Maithili Sharan Gupt’s work, to her credit, she continues on the creative path, spanning one milestone after another.

Known for leading kathak out of its narrow confines, Shovana has explored various social themes using traditional techniques in a contemporary perspective. She says, “Classical dance is an infinite ocean, not only in terms of repertoire, but also in terms of possibilities. It leaves us free to improvise, evolve and enrich. Even after one has translated numerous themes for presentation on the sacred space of performance, one is still left with much to offer. I have prepared a piece on “Heer Ranjha” for the forthcoming Patiala Heritage Festival. It is a purely traditional piece, which draws on two elements of Waris Shah’s Heer. The Sindhu Kaafi has been extensively focused. I have not diluted the spirit of Heer at all.”

Scheduled to perform at four places over the coming month, Shovana, also an Indian Audit and Accounts Services officer, somehow manages time to feel inspired and creative. She says, “All the themes that I interpret in the language of dance are the ones that have deeply touched me. Any poetry or any piece of music that lends itself to emotion is worthy of kathak. An artist is bound to react when he is touched and dance is the only medium I know.”

Admitting that her long-distance marriage with an Austrian diplomat has allowed her the much-needed space that kathak demands, Shovana added, “My husband has been very understanding. But don’t t forget my son. Had be been a clinging child, my creative journey would not have been as smooth as it has been all these years. Whenever I suffer from guilt pangs, he is there to comfort me. He is studying in Vienna and I am here, bust creating.”

Shovana has also prepared a piece on the eternal love of Mumtaz Mahal and Shahjahan. This will be staged at Agra against the majestic backdrop of the Taj Mahal. Also having choreographed a piece on Buddha for the forthcoming International Buddhist Conclave at Gaya, Shovana has at hand another project that draws on the poetry of Lal Ded from Kashmir, Rabya from Basra and Meera.

As of now, the danseuse is working on her seventh book. “This one is about the Indian Classical Dances. I am also translating a work on the economic condition of ancient India through inscriptions,” says Shovana, who has a piece of advice for all those who wish to blaze the trail: “If Rukmini Devi Arundale could define the very traditions of bharatnatyam even after starting her lessons at the age of 31, anyone can learn classical dance. The only requirement is devotion.”



Burail Jail to have video-recording facility
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

The IG (Prison), Tihar Jail, Delhi, Mr Ajay Aggarwal, today visited the Burail jail to find out what kind of supervisory and systemic failure had led to the escape of Hawara and others. Mr Aggarwal will also check if any of the failed procedures were there in Tihar Jail. Mr Aggarwal also discussed with the authorities the arrangements in Tihar Jail to improve management and security of Burail Jail.
  • CCTVs likely to be linked to the IG’s office with recording facility.
  • Motorised patrolling around the jail boundary.
  • Trenches along the boundary wall to be covered with barbed wires.
  • Following the Punjab Jail Manual in letter and spirit.
  • Repairing the broken window panes of watch towers.
  • Ex-serviceman to be employed as warders.
  • The jail staff to get physical and karate training.
  • Computer generated slips of visitors to be issued.

Chandigarh, February 12
With 11 close circuit cameras in Burail Jail failing to provide any clues to the police about various activities going on the premises, the authorities are planning to explore the possibility of providing video-recording facility in the cameras.
At present, the cameras only have the facility of real-time viewing of the activities going on in the jail, but no recording is done.

Had there been some arrangement for the recording of activities, it could have given senior supervisory officers an opportunity to notice violations from video recordings.

This facility will now put the staff under day-to-day surveillance of the Inspector General and also create electronically documented evidence against those erring.

The authorities have been suggested to either link the office of IG (Prison) with these cameras with recording facility or provide him with periodical recording of images captured through CTVs.

The sources said the suggestion would be assessed for its feasibility and practicality. The authorities are, however, waiting for the R. S. Gupta committee to provide concrete suggestions in the report, likely to be presented in a couple of months.

However, Mr Gupta has already forwarded certain suggestions which are being implemented for the management of the jail after Jagtar Singh Hawara and others fled from there.

The first of these measures is to follow the Punjab Jail Manual in letter and spirit, unlike the jailed officials who allegedly did not stop Hawara and others from frequently meeting visitors and even jail inmates.

A computer solution to this problem is being sought as visitors’ slips will be issued through computers and duties recorded. This will reduce the chance of somebody exceeding the limit of number of meetings to the level of norms already set.

The computer generated slips will mention the name of victors inmates photographs of both, time of entry and leaving jail, the name of the issuer of the slip and the stamp of the person who supervised the meeting.

The slip will also mention antecedents of the person who is meeting the inmate. This will make it easier for the supervisory staff to match pictures and details to stop repeat meetings. The failure of this exercise had led to one of the conspirators in the escape case Narain Singh Chaura meeting Hawara several times.

Apart from this, the department is working on providing a specific motorised patrolling route along the boundary wall of the jail. There will be round-the-clock patrolling on this route.

Trenches covered with barbed wires are also being dug along the boundary wall. The authorities are also ending contracts of warders and giving the job to ex-serviceman.

The jail staff is also being trained in karate to make them physically strong and be able to deal with violent and physically strong inmates.

Hawara had brow-beaten the jail staff. Regular physical training of the staff is also going to begin.

Broken window panes of watch towers are also going to be replaced as it was noticed that the security staff had withdrawn from their positions due to heavy rain on January 21, when Hawara escaped from the jail.



PUDA flayed for denying space for 
rail reservation counter
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 12
The Mohali Industries Association (MIA) has expressed shock at the “callous approach” of the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) top brass in thwarting a proposal to open a railway reservations centre in Mohali for the convenience of its residents.

The association had taken the matter up with the railway authorities in 1997 and was pursuing it even at the ministerial level in the Central Government. As a result, the setting up of a computerised reservation centre at Mohali was included in the Annual Plan 2000-01 at the directions of the then Minister for Railways, Ms Mamta Banerjee.

“It is strange that while the Railway Ministry is willing to provide this facility to the Mohali residents, PUDA is denying it to them for a paltry sum , which it wants as rent from the Railways for providing a room or two for the purpose.

This is highly deplorable as PUDA is making crores of rupees by auctioning land to prospective house owners or commercial enterprises at exorbitant rates, which it has acquired at a nominal price from land owners,” said Mr Gurmeet Singh, president, MIA.

“MIA appeals to the Punjab Government to prevail upon PUDA to give the required accommodation to rail authorities free of cost so that they can open a reservation counter in Mohali at the earliest. This facility will be a great relief to the Mohali residents. Moreover, this a need of the day, as Mohali is now becoming an investment destination for MNCs and NRIs,” he added.



Mani Majra water line to be linked with Kajauli works
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 12
The UT Administrator, Justice O.P. Verma (retd), today ordered that the water supply system of Mani Majra should be linked to the main water supply lines coming from Kajauli, which fed almost the entire city.

As a short-term immediate step, more tubewells will be sunk in the area to meet the requirement of the oncoming summer months. At present, there are about 25 tubewells in the Mani Majra area. Orders in this regard were issued to the Commissioner, Municipal Corporation to take effective and urgent steps to augment water supply to Mani Majra and adjoining areas which are facing shortage these days.

At a meeting of senior officers, the Commissioner, municipal corporation, informed the Governor that shortage of potable water in Mani Majra was being felt as some tubewells supplying potable water to these areas were discharging less quantity of water due to lowering of water table in that area. The Commissioner informed the Governor that water supply in Mani Majra area was totally tubewell-fed whereas rest of the City was also fed by Kajuali water works.

Justice Verma asked the Commissioner that as a long-term measure, the upcoming fourth phase of Kajauli water supply scheme, the Sector 26 water works should be linked to the Mani Majra water works so that water from Kajauli could also be diverted to Mani Majra.

Old tubewells will not be abandoned but will be re-charged through rain water harvesting after consulting the Central Ground Water Board. And once the tubewell is fully recharged, it should be made operational again.

The Deputy Commissioner informed the Administrator that the approach road to alternate site of diaries on panchayat land of Maloya will be completed by April 13. It was decided at the meeting that BOT toilets to be constructed at the bus stand, district courts, high court, railway station, General Hospital and at the PGI should also have shower booths and lockers to keep the clothes, so that people coming to these areas could use these facilities to freshen up.

The Chief Engineer informed the meeting that renovation of Panchayat Bhavan being done at the cost of Rs.70 lakh. It would be completed by March 31, 2004. 



Teenaged girl goes missing
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 12
A teenaged girl, who had come to spend holidays with her sister in Shahi Majra village, here, has gone missing. According to family members, the girl, Soni, is 17 years old and had gone out of her house on February 10 but did not come back.

Relating the incident, Soni’s brother-in-law Suresh Yadav told The Tribune that the girl had come from her village in Farukkhabad, Uttar Pradesh, five months ago to live here with her sister Uma for some time. “She had no problems here and seemed happy. On February 10, she was cooking food along with my wife Uma. She complained of stomach ache and told Uma that she was going to the bathroom, outside the house. But she did not come back. When I returned, I was told that Soni had gone to the bathroom but had not returned. We started looking for her but could not find her anywhere. We contacted the police, who has registered a complaint,’’he said.

When asked if he suspected someone in the village to have kidnapped her, Mr Suresh Yadav, who works at a rubber parts factory in Phase VI, said he had no animosity with anyone. ‘‘We even thought that she might have gone to her village. But when we contacted her parents in Uttar Pradesh, they said that she had not reached,’’he said adding that Soni was educated and mature and chances of her going away with someone were low.

This is the third incidence of someone going missing from the village in the past fortnight. Two weeks ago, a five-year-old boy, Dalip, had gone missing from the village, who has still not been traced. Another boy, Amit, who had been missing for over a week was found dead by the police. Two persons have been arrested for Amit’s murder.



Missing bags found
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 12
Two bags belonging to a senior Punjab police official, which were allegedly stolen from his car last night, were found at Desu Majra village here today.
A .32-bore service revolver of Mr Parampal Singh Sidhu, DIG, Punjab Police Academy, Phillaur, which was lying in the bag, was missing. A cash totalling about Rs 19,000, a cheque for Rs 50,000 and air ticket of Indian Airlines were also missing from the bag.

According to the police, Mr Sidhu, who was reportedly on leave these days, was going from Chandigarh to Amritsar in a Honda City car. On the way, he stopped near Kurali to have food at Aman Resorts. The bags were, however, found missing on reaching Amritsar. Sources say that Mr Sidhu is going for some training to Hyderabad on February 15.

It is learnt that a large number of police personnel were sent to the spot from where the bags were recovered. These were lying a little off the main road near a small bridge. One of the bags was lying open. Some documents, including a passport of Mr Sidhu, were found from the bag by the police.

The gunman of Mr Sidhu reached Kharar and took the bags from the police. It is learnt that some persons had been rounded up for questioning, including the owner of Aman Resorts.

A case in this regard was registered at Kurali police station under Sections 379, 34 of the IPC and Section 25 of the Arms Act.



Plea for more car parking area in Golf Club
Tribune News Service

Some of the managing committee members of the Chandigarh Golf Club with the Chandigarh Administrator, Justice O.P. Verma, at Punjab Raj Bhavan
Some of the managing committee members of the Chandigarh Golf Club with the Chandigarh Administrator, Justice O.P. Verma, at Punjab Raj Bhavan on Thursday.

Chandigarh, February 12
A delegation comprising the Management Committee of the Chandigarh Golf Club led by its President, Lt-Col A.P. Singh (Retd), today called on the Punjab Governor and Administrator of Chandigarh, Mr O.P. Verma, to highlight the problems being faced by the club.

The delegation told the Administrator that the club needed additional car parking area as also space for parking golf carts. It also stressed on the need for two more water reservoirs. It appealed to the Administrator to do away with the commercial rates being charged for water utilised by the club. It also sought financial help from the Tourism Department to recognise the course as part of the Golf Tourism Development Scheme of the Government of India.

The Administrator promised all help to the delegation which comprised besides the club president the Captain of the Course, Mr Gurjit Singh Lehal, Mr S.M.S. Sandhu, Dr G.S. Kochhar, Col J.S. Deo and Mr H.C. Sethi.



City lad gets Bal Shree award

Mohit Rodeja Chandigarh, February 12
Mohit Rodeja, 16-year-old student of Bhavan Vidyalaya, Sector 27, Chandigarh, has been awarded the national Bal Shree award by the President, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, at a function organised at Rashtrapati Bhavan on February 10.

The Bal Shree award is the highest award conferred on Indian children for excellence in the fields of scientific innovation, creative writing, creative and performing art. Mohit was given this award in the field of scientific innovation.

There were a total of 42 children who were honoured with the Bal Shree award. A booklet containing the details of the qualities and interests of each of the 42 children was also released by the President. The children also had a chance to interact with the President during a lunch hosted by Dr Kalam. The Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Prof Murli Mohan Joshi, who was also present on this occasion, announced that the Bal Shree awardees would be monitored for further progress in their lives. OC



Girl falls into water tank, dies
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 12
A four-year-old girl, Rekha, died after she fell into a water tank in her house at Kishangarh village last evening.
As per police sources, Rekha was playing with other children when she “accidentally” fell into the tank. The children raised the alarm. She was taken out of the tank and rushed to the General Hospital, Sector 16, where she was declared brought dead.



Two held in triple-murder case
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 12
With the arrest of two members of a criminal tribe, the Panchkula police yesterday claimed to have worked out the triple-murder case which rocked the city on December 9 last year.

According to the police, Mukesh and Rakesh, both members of the Kanjar gang, have confessed to killing the three members of the Arora family. The burglary in the house is stated to the cause behind the crime.

The police said the duo had confessed to the killing. Besides this, they also have confessed to two other killings. In 2001, they had allegedly killed Col Kohl, a resident of Sector 2 here, and Hero, a tea-stall owner at the Majri Chowk.

It may be recalled that Dr K.L. Arora, his daughter-in-law Praveen and her 10-year-old son Anmol were done to death on December 9 last.

At that time, the police had ruled out the burglary motive as cash and other valuables were found intact in one of the almirahs in the house.

Acting on the complaint of the brothers of Parveen, the police had arrested Dr Vinod Arora and Mr Amit Arora, son and grandson of Dr K.L. Arora.

A property dispute was stated to be the cause of the crime. The husband of Parveen, Vijay Arora, had also died under mysterious circumstances a few months back.



Dacoity thwarted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 12
Five suspected persons were last night arrested while allegedly planning a dacoity in Mani Majra.
Kamal, alias Monu, Sukhwinder, alias Soni, Deepak Kumar, alias Bagga, Rajinder Kumar, alias Pappi, and Surinder from Bapu Dham and Pipliwala town were arrested from a farmhouse near the level crossing in Mani Majra. The police seized a toy pistol, iron rods, chains and a ''khukhri'' from them.

The arrested persons during the interrogation disclosed that they were planning a dacoity in the Mani Majra area. The Mani Majra police station SHO, Mr Jaswant Singh Khera, said a couple of these persons had been involved in several cases of theft and snatching and were caught before they could strike in the night.


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | National Capital |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |