C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Kisme kitna hai dum
PU witnesses slug-fest as ‘He-Men’ match muscle
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 15
The scene was straight out of a Bollywood film or a cartoon strip featuring Popeye. It was funny as well as pathetic. Harish Tanwar of Khuda Lahora had placed an advertisement in newspapers challenging the 'mards' of the region to take on him in a ‘fight to the finish’. He wanted to prove that he was the ‘He Man of North India’.

Far away, sitting in Gurdaspur, Lad Singh saw the advertisement and decided to take on Harish. The two 'mards' took on one another today at the Students Centre in Panjab University. The challenge round lasted 15 minutes. Bleeding and bruised, they are now cooling their heels in police lock-up. The issue as to who is the real ‘pehalwan’ lies unresolved. Doctors attending on them said both had got their lips and noses out of shape.

The spectacle started around 5 pm. The WWF-style heroes came to the Students Centre to talk about the arrangements that had to be made to hold the wrestling-boxing bout. Perhaps, moved by the 500-strong crowd of students that had collected to witness the fight, the two decided to slug it out immediately rather than wait for another day. One of them challenged the other and he responded with a flurry of fisticuffs. The fight began, notwithstanding the absence of the parapehnalia — referee, ring, et al.

With excited students egging them on and each of the contestants eager to prove his manliness, the fight turned bloodier by the minute. Both the contestants boxed, kicked, wrestled and tore each others' hair and clothes with a ferocity that could be perhaps matched by gladiators of yore. The bloody encounter between the two ‘He-Men’ lasted about 15 minutes during which time the audience, scared by the ferocity of the fight, informed the police.

The supporters of Lad Singh, however, claimed victory by throwing currency notes to the crowd. Both of them are not students of the university. Tanwar's brother runs a canteen in the university.

A posse of policemen which reached the spot tried to separate the two 'raging bulls' but failed. It was only when they were forcibly restrained physically that the bout ended. Even as they were being led to the van, the two continued to slug it out. The duo was taken to the Sector 16 General Hospital for medical check-up.

Interestingly, the WWF pretenders refused to lodge their complaints with the police. Though their faces were smeared with blood and they had received a number of injuries, they embraced one another and insisted to the police that they were friends. A case of causing public nuisance was registered against them.


Nine of kale kachhewale gang held
Our Correspondent

Kharar, March 15
In a major breakthrough, the police arrested nine members of the kale kachhewale gang who struck at a farmhouse near Swara village and a poultry farm near Landran village on February 20, injuring 10 persons.

They were produces in a court here today and were remanded in police custody till March 18. According to a press note, the persons arrested are Mukesh, Ram Gopal, Bharat, Babla, Puppa, Dinesh, Motte, Nakshed and Dharminder. They were armed at the time of their arrest.

On questioning, they disclosed that they were planning to strike at houses located outside Morinda, Kharar, Kurali and Mullanpur and farmhouse located near these areas. A naka was laid by Mr Gurinder Singh Bal, in charge, CIA, Kharar, and Mr Gurdeep Singh, SI, CIA, Ropar, along with the Kharar police, near Landran village. On getting information, the members of the gang were gheraoed near Janjheri village.

According to the police, the suspects admitted that they had attacked a farmhouse near Swara village, along with three more persons — Pappu Yadav, Kale and Mangu — who had met them at Ambala railway station. They had decamped with clothes and other items after injuring the occupants of the house. The same night, they had struck at a poultry farm near Landran village and had taken away Rs 10,000 and gold ornaments after injuring four persons.


‘Sacrificial’ baby goat to lure leopard
Bipin Bhardwaj

Lalru, March 15
A two-month-old kid (baby goat) is being used as bait to capture a leopard that has killed two calves in Kurli and Batoli villages, about 5 km from here, in the past five days. The baby goat is tethered every night to a cage put up by villagers.

On a directive of the wildlife authorities, Mohan Singh, a retired Air Force employee from Kurli village, and Gurmail Singh, a retired Army man from Batoli village, pooled Rs 500 for purchasing the baby goat from a resident of Jarot village on Friday.

Mr H.S. Dhillon, Deputy Divisional Forest Officer, who visited over six villages and noticed leopard pugmarks, had asked the villagers to get a “sacrificial” goat.

During a visit to the site, The Tribune team noticed the kid resisting being taken towards the cage. The animal started bleating loudly after Mohan Singh tethered it to the cage and left.

Hardev Singh, a resident of Batoli village, said the leopard had killed and eaten up a majority of the stray dogs and head of cattle of the area in the past over 10 days.

Panic has gripped the residents of Kurli, Batoli, Jharmari, Dharamgarh, Jarot, Rurki Meerpur and other surrounding villages after a leopard killed two calves owned by Naib Singh and Gurbaksh Singh (both of Kurli village) in the past four days.

Mr Dhillon had procured a special cage from Hoshiarpur to catch the beast. The Wildlife Department has already deployed two employees in the area for the purpose. 


Notices to villagers on surplus land
Our Correspondent

Kharar, March 15
Notices have been issued by the SDM-cum-Collector (Agrarian) to 17 land owners for not filing a declaration under Section 5 of the Punjab Land Reforms Act, 1972.

The land of 16 persons, to whom notices have been issued, falls in Mirzapur village, while the land of the 17th person falls in Majrian village. All of them own more than 50 acres.

In the notices, issued on March 12 by Mr Sukhwinder Singh Gill, SDM, through the Naib Tehsildar, Majri, all land owners have been asked to file their declarations by March 22, failing which legal action would be initiated against them.

In the notices, Mr Gill said it had been brought to his notice by the field staff that the landowners had not filed any declaration under the Act with his office. He said as such it was necessary to take legal action against the landowners under Section 7 (2) of the Act.

The notices have been issued to Mr Mast Ram (112 acres), Mr Bhagat Singh (59 acres), Mr Harnam Singh (53 acres), Mr Chuhar Ram (107 acres), Mr Lacchman Singh (95 acres), Mr Gurdarshan Singh (70 acres), Mr Parsa Ram (55 acres), Mr Dayal Ram (53 acres), Mr Puran Chand (53 acres), Mr Chhaju Ram (63 acres), Mr Harnam (65 acres), Mr Joginder (56 acres), Mr Puran (53 acres), Mr Bachna (53 acres), Mr Bhura (65 acres), Mrs Jagjit Kaur (65 acres) and Mr Rajinder Singh (85 acres).


Shabana to campaign for secular candidates
Lambasts BJP’s India Shining
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 15
An actor par excellence, fiery feminist, social activist and astute politician who believes in the pluralism of India. That, and much more, is the firebrand Shabana Azmi.

But does she not face an identity crisis in her multi-faceted life? No, she says. “I am a woman, actor, activist and Muslim, besides my various family roles of being a mother, wife and daughter. I have learnt to transcend each of these roles with equal ease; each time there has been a natural progression. Today, I can sit back and say that I have played each role to its best, but would rather not use the past tense for any part of my life. You know, I have just come of age in each of these roles and am ready for a new innings,” she beams.

The iconoclast was in town today to see a play written by Rani Balbir Kaur, in memory of her father Kaifi Azmi. Dressed in her typical urban chic style in a cream salwar kameez and hair held in a bun, Shabana’s no-holds barred answers to everything — politics, her acting career, her father or her role as a social activist, were full of verve and spontaneous.

In spite of her long stint in politics, Shabana says that she would, for once, follow her colleagues in Bollywood, by campaigning for secular candidates, than contest the elections herself. “I am not prepared for it, though several political parties have approached me,” she says. Coming down heavily on the Bharatiya Janata Party and its allies, she says that she is completely opposed to the party’s communal agenda. “There is a concerted effort to campaign for India shining. But other than the faces of a few BJP leaders, or a small section of society, the sheen is lost to the teeming unemployed, farmers, the poor and starving. It is only when the faces of all these poor and downtrodden, and the women, who continue to get second grade status, shine with the fruits of success that we can coin the term of India shining,” she reiterates forcefully.

Regarding Ms Sonia Gandhi’s foreign issue, she says that it is only for the people to decide if they wanted to see her as their leader. “Our tradition teaches us to encompass all. To rake the issue of Ms Sonia Gandhi as a foreigner does not hold true of our culture,” she says.

For a woman, who stirred the nation’s consciousness with her vivid portrayal of women who emerge strong from the shadows, in movies like ‘Arth’, ‘Paar’, ‘Mandi’, ‘Khandhar’, and more recently, ‘Makdee’ and ‘Tehzeeb’, she has come a long way. Ask her if she still hopes for a different role, and she replies that she would love to play herself — an urbane, strong woman — and as a historical character.

Shabana speaks at length about her progression from an actor doing meaningful cinema to an activist. “My father Kaifi Azmi, had always taught us that art has to be used as an instrument for social change, and an artiste has to be connected to life. After portraying the role of a woman spurned by her husband, and her ability to emerge stronger in ‘Arth’, a number of women facing marital problems would come to me for advice. It was then that I realised how an actor’s role was minutely observed, and was a source of inspiration to the audiences,” she explains. It was then that she got involved with an NGO, Niwara Haq, and embarked upon her journey as a social activist. Niwara Haq has now started the largest rehabilitation programme for slum dwellers in Asia with as many as 18000 families being rehabilitated.

Shabana also spoke about her father as her guru, guide and mentor. She narrated some incidents of her life, and how her father helped shape her personality and the course of her life. 


Ticket denial turns ex-DGP’s political dream sour
A. S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 15
Mr P. C. Dogra, former Director-General of Punjab Police, who has fought and won many a battle with those operating on the other side of the law during his long career as a police officer, has lost the battle for securing the BJP ticket for the Chandigarh Parliamentary constituency.

The BJP formally announced last night that Mr Satya Pal Jain would be its nominee for the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat, ending Mr Dogra’s dream to seek election from here.

Mr Dogra is known to have been toying with the idea of entering the political arena since he retired from the IPS in 1999 after serving as the Director-General of Punjab police for two years under the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal. Speculation about Mr Dogra’s political ambition touched its height when Mr Dogra organised a seminar on “integrated management of national security” at Chandigarh on September 27 and 28, last year. It was attended, among others, by the Union Defence Minister, Mr George Fernandes, the RSS chief, Mr K. S. Sudershan, Mr V. S. Kokje, Governor of Himachal Pradesh, and several retired civil, Army and police officers.

The event was seen as the formal launching pad for the political career of Mr Dogra. And for good reason. The local unit of the BJP has been a house divided for years now with one group supporting the former BJP MP, Mr Satya Pal Jain, and the other opposing him. It was because of the division that ticket was denied to Mr Satya Pal Jain in the last parliamentary election and allotted to Mr K.L. Sharma. Mr Sharma, however, lost to Mr Pawan Bansal of the Congress.

After the death of Mr K.L. Sharma, an important section of the group opposed to Mr Jain came to believe that Mr Dogra alone could offer a credible alternative to Mr Jain. Certain meetings between Mr Dogra and RSS leaders were also organised in Delhi. Mr Dogra is already the national president of the Bharat-Tibet Sahyog Manch and president Sansthan. Subsequently, Mr Dogra was asked to head the Chandigarh unit of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, but he declined to accept the responsibility.

“Now at hindsight, I feel that it was a mistake to say no to the offer,” said Mr Dogra in an interview with TNS here today. “It would have given me an opportunity to show my worth and paved the way for other options.”

The ex-DGP, however, said one of the factors deterring him from taking the plunge into political waters was the lack of financial resources. “You need enormous amounts of money to fight an election, especially the Lok Sabha poll. I have no access to that kind of money. Further, you require a great amount of patience and stamina to lobby with powers-that-be for ticket. Throughout my life in the police force, I have been giving orders which have been obeyed. Lobbying for ticket somehow did not go well with my nature....But now I realise that nothing will come to you unless you work for it. I may be sadder, but I am wiser now.”

Mr Dogra said he had also been in touch with the SAD chief, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, who had been pressing him to join the BJP. “I will do so at an appropriate time. For the time being, I plan to concentrate on reading and writing.”


Chandigarh Calling

YOGA is a science of discipline. So it is essential for every human being to practice it. These are the views of 59-year-old renowned Yoga teacher Swami Adhyatamananda, who is in the city these days to conduct a Yoga camp. He called upon the people to enchant ‘Aum’ for at least 10 to 15 minutes early in the morning every day which helps in recharging the body in every manner. He has also underlined the need to practice ‘Pranayama’ and ‘Suryanamaskar’ as a few of the basic ‘asanas’ which help in curing many ailments.

He has advocated that for sportspersons concentration in any sport is a must, be it tennis, badminton, shooting or boxing.

On food habits he has emphasised that sportspersons must consume salads, fruits, juices and above all soyabeans which help in maintaining their body. The will to win can be achieved through Yoga and one can also develop positive thinking. Swami Ji said that one cannot grow in life without proper reasoning and rational approach. He said whenever one feels perturbed, it is the disorder in the body fucntioning, and the mental balance gets disturbed. Here again, Yoga comes into picture.

He said whenever anything is performed against nature, it gives a negative affect on the body. He said till today he had the distinction of conducting training nearly 310 Yoga camps all over India. He has given lecture-cum-demonstrations in Yoga in various universities as well as civil and defence organisations. He has been regularly teaching Yoga to the officers of the IAS and other allied services in the IAS Academy, Mussoorie.

Pleasing the boss... HUDA way

When it comes to getting undue publicity themselves, it seems nobody can beat Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) officials. The occasion was the inauguration of the Spring Fest on March 13. Even as the Chief Secretary, Mr AN Mathur, went around the Town Park to the various stalls and met the folk artistes performing on the occasion, HUDA officials made every effort that the top Haryana bureaucrat got publicity.

The presence of a couple of mediapersons along with the officials helped only to sharpen the media skills of HUDA officials. When Mr Mathur ordered that a rope-trick artiste be given some reward, a middle-rung official handed down a Rs 500-note to him. He remained with the Chief Secretary till the photo journalists had done their jobs.

Later, he was spotted requesting the journalists to publish his name as he had “donated” Rs 500 on behalf of Mr Mathur. What a novel way to please the top boss!

Fungus strains

THE mycology laboratory in the Department of Medical Microbiology at PGI, Chandigarh, which played host to Vth National Conference of the Society for Indian Human & Animal Mycologists (SIHAM) last week, was established in 1964 under the eminent mycologist, Dr P. Talwar.

The laboratory attained the division status in 1979. Dr. Arunaloke Chakrabarti (Additional Professor), joined as faculty in 1988 and took over the reins of the division in 1991 after Dr Talwar’s retirement.

Dedication & zeal of both the faculty members has brought the division to the highest level in the country. Several international scientists have visited the laboratory and have recognised its potential at a par with the advanced international laboratories. The facilities at the mycology laboratory includes conventional diagnostic mycology, molecular diagnostic mycology, mycoserology, histopathology, culture collection & molecular typing of Aspergillus, Candida & other medically important fungi.

More than 1300 medically important fungal strains are maintained at the centre. In the year 2002 to 2003, the division has processed 35,232 samples. Besides providing diagnostic services, the division is helping other institutes and laboratories of this country in the diagnosis and identification of fungi.

CSD makers on the prowl

With summer round the corner, manufactures of carbonated soft drinks (CSD) have begun preparing to spread their net as wide as possible. After “conquering” the towns and cities, they are now focussing the villages.

CSD manufacturers say that villages represent a very important and tempting market where every marketer wants to get a foothold. According to official figures, as much as 3/4th of the country’s population and 41% of growing middle class lives in rural areas. This segment accounts for 58% of India’s total disposable income and consumes 70% all toilet soaps besides accounting for 38% of all new 2-wheeler purchases.

However, rural India is also very cluttered — more than 6 lakh villages — and personal disposable income is half of that of their urban counterparts .

Till last year, penetration of soft drinks was as low as 10% in rural areas as against 37% in urban areas the while per capita consumption was just two bottles a year as against 23 bottles in towns and cities. The main reason for low penetration and limited interaction with category identified by CCI was affordability as well as availability — soft drinks were available in only 25% of villages.

But the introduction of smaller packs of the soft drink sold at just Rs 5, resulted in an increase in CSD penetration from10% to 18%- adding 55 million new consumers in rural India, while per capita consumption moved up from 2 bottles a year to 3.7 bottles. This year they are planning to sell much more, thanks to the early onset of summer.

What a climbdown

The deluge of media in the city has ensured that anybody and everybody thinking of good media coverage for their product launch chooses destination Chandigarh for a launch. Irrespective of the product or its quality, the deluge of the media, hosted for lunch or dinner, generally ensures a good coverage. But this was not to be in case of a launch of a fortified flour at Chandigarh Club recently. Each journo worth his newspaper was invited, and the “press conference” started almost one hour late than the scheduled time. The company’s directors claimed that the flour was a high fibre, extra protien and high bran flour. Claiming that it had been experimented on a control group to validate its nutritional value, the proprietors said that it had been recommended by the Escorts Heart Hospital. However, when the journos saw the banner displayed on the occasion, towards the end of the press conference, it read that the flour had been recommended by the official caterers to the Escorts Heart Hospital.


Havala accused is wanted by UK police
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 15
The suspected havala operator with three identities caught by the Mohali police recently is wanted by the British police for jal break. The police today informed that the accused, Balhar Singh, alias Dalbara Singh, alias Avtar Singh had escaped from a jail in England where he was lodged on charges of having opened fire in public there. Earlier, Balhar Singh had spent four years in another British prison on charges of rape.

The Mohali Superintendent of Police, Mr Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh, who is the investigating officer in the case, said Balhar Singh gave this information during his interrogation ‘‘Although the information given by Balhar Singh is yet to be verified, we have contacted the UK police about him. We have also recovered the passport that he used to enter India,’’ he said.

Balhar Singh allegedly fled England, went to Canada and took an Indian passport belonging to Mr Jarnail Singh on which he stuck his own photo and reached India.

Meanwhile, Balhar Singh was presented before a local court at Kharar today where the prosecution pleaded for five days of police remand for the accused as he had to be taken to New Delhi to recover more documents and get his identity verified. However, the accused was remanded in police custody till March 17.

‘‘We have definite information that there is a Dalbara Singh registered as a British citizen there but we are not sure if this Balhar Singh is Dalbara Singh or is just misusing his documents,’’ said Mr Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh.

The 50-year-old accused lived in Mohali as Balhar Singh, in Jalandhar as Avtar Singh and has a British passport under the name Dalbara Singh. Balhar Singh's arrest on March 10 from his residence in Sector 70, had led to the nabbing of two persons involved in forging arms licence in Ferozepore and Jagroan. Raids are on to catch the other persons working with him.

The police suspects that the accused is involved in havala deals in Punjab and could also be a link in the international arms smuggling racket.


Call to help families of disabled soldiers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 15
The UT Administrator, Justice O.P. Verma (retd), yesterday called upon social and voluntary organisations to take initiatives to improve the life of widows and children of gallantry award winners and those rendered disabled while fighting for the country.

Speaking at the Triennial National Convention-cum-Reunion of War Decorated India, an association of PVC, MVC and Vr C awardees, Justice Verma said “loss of life can never be compensated in terms of money, yet money is needed for survival. Loss of lives and limbs in war are beyond any compensation.” 


Low turnout at training course for cops
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 15
Only 27 police officials from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Chandigarh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan turned up for a week-long training course at the Central Detective Training Institute here today. In all, 51 police officials were called to undergo training into investigation into cases of crime against women and children.

The coming Lok Sabha elections were the apparent reason for a low turnout of trainees, sources said.


Bansal promises extension of ‘lal dora’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 15
The pace of development in the local villages would be accelerated and the ‘lal dora’ extended if the Congress was voted back to power, said Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, a former Member of Parliament. He was addressing a rally of the Youth Congress at Hallo Majra village here yesterday.

Mr Bansal spoke at length on various scandals that broke out during the regime of the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre. He said the government was guilty of wasting over Rs 70 crore on publicising its works which was not ethical once the election process was set in motion.

An function of the Congress (Rural) was organised at Badheri village late in the evening. Mr Bhupinder Singh Badheri was the convener for the programme. 


P.S. Pruthi is CGA president
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 15
Mr P.S. Pruthi, Commissioner, Central Excise, Ludhiana, is the new President of the Chandigarh Golf Association.

Mr Pruthi was nominated president of the CGA by the governing body for a two-year term from April, 2004, He was also authorised to nominate other office-bearers to assist him in the smooth functioning of the CGA and the Chandigarh Golf Range.

The Governing Body also appreciated the contributions of the the outgoing president of the CGA, Mr D.P. Azad, and voted him the patron of the association. 


Readers Write

Names missing from voters’ list

I am a resident of House No 1053, Sector 41-B, Chandigarh, for the last more than 10 years. I am working as private secretary in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Chandigarh. I cast my vote in the last municipal Lok Sabha elections. It is surprising that my name as well as my wife’s do not exist in the latest voters’ list, whereas the names of my three daughters and son do exist in the list. The verifying officer during his last door-to-door visit had collected information about my family members under my signature. This serious omission of the head of the family being deleted is a slur and complete negligence on the part of the Election Department.

This fact was revealed to me when I had gone to Government High School, Sector 41-A, for getting an ID voter card prepared.

Darshan Lal Sharma, Chandigarh

Save city’s pride

This has reference to your report in the March 1 issue of Chandigarh Tribune. The basic problem of Sukhna Lake is that its input of silt is much greater than its output. A grim battle has been fought for over 20 years for increasing the latter by annually desilting the lake with draglines and shramdan but it has not been possible to check the rising of its bed. The lake has lost nearly two-thirds of its water-holding capacity. In 2003 the existing level of its exit regulator was raised by two feet. This obstruction is likely to accelerate its rate of silting.

A careful study of the lake’s infrastructure reveals that it is possible to draw up a practical and comprehensive scheme costing not more than Rs 40 lakh and capable of being executed in 60 days for making a three-pronged attack on its silt problem. First, unlike the present practice, it will stop the passage of the surplus silt laden water through the lake and thus bring down the input of silt substantially. Second, the lake water will be relieved of its heavy silt by making it move with a slow velocity in about 1 km length of channel. Third, its balance light silt will be removed with the help of specially designed filtering galleries. A working model of the scheme can be constructed on the lake for convincing the public and experts that this is the only foolproof scheme which can prevent the lake from extinction and, hence, needs to be executed before the next monsoon.

S.P. Malhotra, Panchkula

Cops should lend a helping hand

Many things have been written about the inefficiency of the Chandigarh Police and the different death-traps on the road for the unsuspecting citizens of Chandigarh. However, I was surprised at the immediate reaction of the arrival of a PCR vehicle only after two calls to 100 following an accident. The policeman in charge really could not make out my language, when I explained to him that an accident had taken place on the 36-D market road at 6.05 pm on the evening of February 23.

The victim was an elderly couple, who were travelling by rickshaw. The lady immediately fell onto the road as soon as a motor cycle driver hit the rickshaw. The motor cycle driver left the spot, thinking that it was beyond his capacity to help the injured lady. A police vehicle, which is normally parked at the market, drove away from the spot, to my great surprise. Is this the way the Chandigarh police behaves?

Roshni Singh, Chandigarh

Filth all around

I am a resident of street ‘e’, which is the filthiest of all the streets of Sector 22-C, Chandigarh. The street falls between our residences and shop-cum-offices. We lack civic sense. Shopkeepers and many residents are responsible for the bad state of this street. Some residents have engaged a sweeper to take away the daily refuse from the houses on a nominal charge of Rs 20 per family per month. But most of the residents are not availing the services of the sweeper and throw the refuse in the backlane or any open space. Same is the case with shopkeepers. They throw refuse the road where heaps of garbage piles up.

D.R. SHARDA, Chandigarh

Shift GPO to Sector 5

Apropos news item regarding apprehensions about feasibility of malls in Sector 5 of Panchkula. I personally feel it is the most appropriate site for the same as the space here is open, central and beautiful. My suggestion is that some important departments should be shifted to this central place. It is high time that the General Post Office located in a residential house is shifted. The city has developed. So the post office should be shifted immediately to a bigger place in Sector 5. Similarly, banks should be shifted to Sector 5, especially those in residential or other similar hired buildings. Other government and semi government departments scattered over various parts of the city should also be shifted to Sector 5.

There has been a long-standing demand of Haryana to have its own High Court. What better choice can there be than Panchkula’s Sector 5. In fact, Haryana should gradually prepare Panchkula as its capital.


Sad end to love story

It was sad to read the story ‘Love’s Labour Lost Forever’. It is such a tragic end of a love story that ended in suicide. Our society has this wrong tradition of ignoring the feelings of their sons and daughters. The more tragic story is of Puja who committed suicide. They both were students in the same college when they fell in love. They knew each other for 4 years before they got married. Her parents were against the marriage but had to bow to their wishes. Her parents gifted her a cell phone and used to call 8 to 10 times every day, thus interfering in their personal life. They used to tell her everyday about the wrong decision she had taken. They never allowed her to settle in the new house. I believe in the law of the land and am sure that truth will prevail. I feel sorry for such a sad end to a love story.

BHARAT BHUSHAN, (on-email) (Mooresville, USA)

Natural life — a health solution

Today man has almost turned away from nature, and his becoming unnatural has resulted in the spreading of a number of diseases in most of the families day by day. People spend money and doctors earn money but disease never disappears, resulting in the suffering of mankind in general.

The reason behind these sufferings is that we have forgotten health-giving herbs and simple medicinal plants. These herbs and plants have no side-effects whatsoever. In Gujarat while I was doing research on herbs and medicinal plants at the Gujarat Ayurved University, Jamnagar, I observed that people even of the rank of Deputy Commissioner followed the rules prescribed by a naturopath strictly and religiously. But here in Chandigarh I am pained to see that a majority of the people have no faith in naturopathy, simply because it is almost cost-free. I have recorded many cases proving the efficiency of simple herbs, which can cure any disease without exception if used in the right way at the right time.

I strongly appeal to the readers to share their experiments and experiences in this regard and start taking natural medicines in the shape of natural foods to remain healthy and disease-free life long.

VIVEK BAJAJ, Chandigarh


Mohali Diary
Children made aware of traffic rules

AS part of the traffic week celebrations, the education cell of the traffic police, Mohali, organised a traffic rules awareness camp at Guru Nanak Public School, Mauli Baidwan, here yesterday. Students were given information about traffic rules. Students of M.S. Public School, Mataur, and Lotus School, Sohana, also attended the camp. Earlier during the week, a practical training programme-cum-workshop was organised for students of Mata Sahib Kaur Institute of Nursing at Amb Wala Chowk here. Traffic in charge Inspector Jagjit Singh and traffic education cell in charge Sanjiv Kumar Bhatt coordinated the workshop.

Bank foundation day

The 98th foundation day of Corporation Bank was celebrated at its Mohali branch on March 12. The speech of the General Manager of the bank was read out on the occasion. The bank has a network of over 706 branches, 86 extension counters and 620 online interconnected ATMs spanning 21 states and two union territories. The net profits of the bank as on March 31, 2003 were Rs 416 crore.

Cultural show

The ninth annual cultural programme of the Punj Darya Sabhyacharak Manch, Punjab, was held on the Dasehra grounds, Phase VIII, on March 13. Sardool Sikandar, along with other stars, performed during the show. The other artistes included Hardeep, Kamaljit Neeru, Inderjit Nikku, Rajinder Mohani, Satwinder Bugga, Nachattar Gill and comedians Gurdev Dhillon and Suman.

The Punjab Darya Sabhyacharak Manch also gave away awards for achievements in various fields to six persons. The Nandlal Nurpuri award for lyrics was given to Inderjit Hasanpuri, the Janab Bakar Hussain award for music to Charanjit Ahuja, the Lal Chand Yamla Jatt award for folk singing to Satwinder Bugga, the Bhai Kanhaiya award for social work to Arvind Khanna, the Olympian Dharam Singh award for sports to Narinder Singh Sodhi and the Olympian Surjit Singh award for sports to Jugraj Singh.

Sabha’s plea

Office-bearers of the Shri Sanatan Dharam Shiv and Vishvakarma Mandir Sabha, Industrial Area, Phase V, met the Minister of State for Housing and Urban Planning Malkit Singh Birmi earlier this week. The office-bearers have demanded that the sabha be given land for the construction of a religious place.

Anti-Corruption Forum

The executive committee of the Anti-Corruption Forum, Mohali, met to discuss various issues related to corruption. The members expressed their concern at the slowing down of the anti-corruption campaign in the state. The meeting was chaired by the president, Col H.S. Sangha. Members took a serious note of the state government trying to help its own men in corruption cases.

Among those who attended the meeting were Mr N.S. Gill, Mr J.S. Dhillon, Mr P.S. Lehl, Mrs Hem P. R. Singh, Mr N.S. Sachdeva, Mr Hargobind Singh, Mr R.S. Sandhu and Col J.S. Sekhon. TNS


Rally against shelving of housing scheme
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 15
The Punjab Small Industries and Export Corporation Staff Association held a gate rally in front of the Udyog Bhavan, Sector 17, Chandigarh, today.

The rally was held in protest against the decision of the Punjab Government to shelve the Industrial Housing Scheme of the corporation at Mohali.

Stating that the corporation had already advertised 280 freehold residential plots in Phase VIII-A of the Industrial Area and received over 3,500 applications, leaders of the association said this move of the government would create legal and financial complications for the corporation.

According to a press note issued by Mr Jatinder Kaushal, joint secretary of the association, the idea behind the scheme was to provide accommodation to industrial workers and entrepreneurs near their places of work.


BKU(E) men gherao office
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 15
Hundreds of Punjab farmers owing affiliation to the Bharti Kisan Union (Ekta) today took out a rally from the Matka Chowk to the Inter-State Bus Terminus, Sector 17. Later, they gheraoed the office of the Registrar, Punjab Cooperative Societies, Sector 17.

Today was the third day of their agitation. The union is demanding scrapping of the Sections 63 (C) and 67 (A) of the Punjab Cooperative Societies Act, 1961, payment of the overdue amount of about Rs 400 crore to sugarcane growers and waiver of outstanding bank loans to small and middle class farmers. A copy of the two Sections was also burnt by the President of the union, Mr Pishora Singh Sidhupur, near the Registrar’s office.

Mr Balkar Singh, press secretary of the union, alleged that the Markfed was eating into the profits of the rural cooperative bodies in Punjab.

Addressing the rally, Mr Pishora Singh Sidhupur, announced that the union would not let the Punjab government to arrest any farmer who had defaulted in payment of loan instalments. He alleged that despite assurances, the Punjab government was arresting farmers who had failed to repay the loan amount.

Speakers while addressing the farmers claimed that in 2003 the Chief Minister had promised to scrap the Sections 63 (C) and 67 (A) of the Punjab Cooperative Act, 1961, but till date it had not been scrapped.

The leaders demanded that outstanding loans of small and middle class farmers should be waived off. According to them, the reduction of 2 per cent in the interest rates has done no good to the Punjab farmers.

Other leaders who addressed the rally included the general secretary, Mr Ruldu Singh Mansa, the state treasurer, Mr Bhog Singh Mansa and the secretary, Mr Balkar Singh.


Youth federation activists form human chain
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 15
Thousands of activists of the All India Youth Federation (AIYF) here today formed a human chain demanding free and compulsory education for all students up to class XII and employment for all. The activists were wearing white T-shirts with a picture of Shaheed Bhagat Singh and were also carrying either a flag or placard.

A large number of women members of the federation also participated in the chain formation. Some of the women were carrying their children along. The human chain was formed near Matka Chowk upto the MC office in Sector 17.

Later, the activists gathered at the Sector 17 Plaza and took an oath that they would continue their struggle till the Punjab government accepted their demands.

The oath was administered by former president of the federation Harpal Singh Mohali. A rally was also held on the occasion.

The federation is demanding allowances to educated unemployed youth of Punjab and job for all those above the age of 18.

Among those who addressed the rally included Mr Sita Ram Sharma (National President of AIYF), Mr Jagrup, a former leader of the AISF, Ms Narinder Kaur Sohal (president of the AISF), Mr Kashmir Singh Gadaiya, Mr Kuldip Bhola and Mr Paramjit Dhaban. 


Fauji Beat
Decorated soldiers honoured

The triennial convention of The War Decorated India (WDI), an organisation founded in 1991, was held in Chandigarh on March 13 and 14. It was attended by over 1000 gallantry award winners or their survivors. Since 1947, only 21 soldiers have won the PVC. Of them, 16 got the award posthumously. A soldier is lucky if he wins the award and receives it in person.

In India, the gallantry award winners get very little recognition. The case of war widows is much worse. Mira Rani, the widow of the Vr C winner, posthumous, in the 1971 war, from West Bengal, told this writer at the convention that she was getting only Rs 300 per month as against the Central Government’s monthly grant of Rs 850.

Brig Sant Singh, MVC and Bar (retd), president of the WDI, said that to meet its expenses, the organisation has to depend on the donations. Like the former chiefs, the Army Chief, General N.C. Vij, has given Rs 50,000. The Governor of Punjab, Justice O.P. Verma (retd), has given Rs 1 lakh. Besides, Rs 1.32 lakh has also been received by donations.

The daughter of Naib Subedar Nand Singh, VC and MVC (Posthumous), Amarjit Kaur, was also honoured at the convention.

Bungling in promotions

Time was when favouritism was unheard of in the Army. When the late Field Marshal K.M. Cariappa, then General, was the Commander-in-Chief (C-in-C) of the Indian Army in the late forties, his Aide De Camp (ADC), mentioned to him one day that he was to appear for an interview for a certain post. “I wish you success in the interview. But if you think that I will help you in your selection, you are sadly mistaken”, was what the C-in-C told his ADC.

Sadly, the standards of integrity and fairplay have dropped by many notches. Besides, sycophancy, especially in the senior ranks, has become so common that it is tarring the image of the Army. What is worse is that even in promotions, at times, either the Army Headquarters or the Ministry of Defence (MoD) uses their influence to promote their favourites. Only three examples are quoted here.

In 1997, a Maj-General was promoted to the rank of Lieut-General by the MoD in total disregard to the recommendation of the selection board. A Brigadier from the Army Medical Corps (AMC), who was approved for promotion, was not promoted when there were three vacancies and he was senior most on the approved list. It was only on the intervention of the MoD that the Army Headquarters issued his posting orders on the day of his retirement i.e December 31, 1997.

Recently, a superseded Maj- General was promoted by holding a special review board by the Army Headquarters. This is not the first case of favouritism among the officers.

Rashtriya Rifles

The Fifth Pay Commission had made a recommendation that the Rashtriya Rifles (RR) should be disbanded. By doing so the Pay Commission exceeded its brief. The necessity to raise a force like the RR was felt in the early nineties when militancy in Punjab was at its peak. Nine divisions of the Army were deployed in the state. This overstretched deployment adversely affected the Army’s operational commitments, training and relief programmes.

To release pressure of counter-insurgency duties from the Army, six RR battalions were raised in 1991. This force having proved its mettle was enlarged to 36 battalions by 1997. The government had decided in 2000, to raise six RR battalions every year for a period of five years. From 2001 to 2003, 18 more RR battalions were raised. An annual assessment is also made to raise the number of units in the year. Now think of the laughable recommendation of the Pay Commission, which if implemented, would have proved disastrous for the country.

Pritam Bhullar


Sukhna incident: case registered
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 15
The Sector 3 police station here has booked Ajay Anand for committing suicide in Sukhna Lake yesterday.

Meanwhile, the father of Ajay Anand today told the police that his son had been telling him to take care of his wife and child as he was going to commit suicide.

The father of Ajay told the police that his son had been out of job for six months, and he had advised Ajay to show his age as 35 instead of 45 in his biodata.

The police said he got a job in a courier company but got only Rs 1500 as salary. 


Jewellery shop burgled
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 15
A jewellery shop in Phase 3BI rehri market was burgled last night.

According to the owner of the shop Sharda, she found the shutter of her shop dismantled this morning. Goods worth Rs 33,000 and Rs 4000 in cash were found missing.

She added she was followed by two unidentified men last Friday who later snatched her purse. She had lost the keys of her shop and Rs 9,000 that day.


Seminar on globalisation of media
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 15
Self-restraint and not an official regulatory authority is the key to manage the free flow of information through various media. This was the general consensus among delegates at the two-day seminar on “Globalisation of Media and Accountability”, which concluded here today.

Mr Vivek Atray, Director, Information Technology, Union Territory, speaking on the ‘Indian Youth in the Wired World’, informed that there were expected to be 2.2 million jobs in the IT field alone in the country. He said the Administration was planning a human skill upgradation programme for the city youth in order to benefit from this explosion.

He also said the ‘sampark’ stations to be set up by the Administration in the city at various points shall help citizens interact with the government in a completely transparent and convenient manner through “e-governance”.

However, Ms Mohanmeet Khosla, lecturer with the Department of Mass Communications, Panjab University, spoke about the drawbacks of the increasing usage of Internet. She warned that children were being allowed access to Internet without any control, leading to addiction which even the American Medical Association had termed as a growing mental disease in the USA amongst children.

Children exposed to Internet had displayed withdrawal symptoms, tendency to lie, aggressiveness in their behaviour, she said. Even housewives in their free time had started indulging in cyber affairs leading to discord in the families.

Dr H.D.S. Walia, Reader in the Department of Mass Communications, Punjabi University, lamented the degradation of Indian values where materialism promoted by media had acquired prominence. Mr Amulya Shukla, PR Manager with Gates India Limited, in his comprehensive treatise on changing Indian value systems suggested that the government should provide code of conduct for the media to follow as also sensitising public through education.

Dr K.C. Dubey, Station Director, All India Radio, said the media could not work in isolation and must be responsive to its listeners but provided programmes that were socially relevant and did not flout the basic tenets of our own value system.

The seminar was organised by the Public Relations Society of India, Chandigarh Management Association, Communications Management Foundation, New Delhi, and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, New Delhi.

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