C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Ecstasy yesterday, agony today
Our Sports Reporter

Chandigarh, March 16
In a cliff- hanger tie, Rawalpindi Express and his fellow bowlers were finally able to derail India in an exciting match played in the Rawalpindi stadium today. Agony was writ large on the faces of Indian supporters as the match ended with a 13-run defeat.

Said RK Dhar, a senior advertising professional and an avid cricket lover, “It was a contest of the highest level. Of course, we lost but the way the tailenders batted was way beyond expectation. I am very happy with the performance though sad that we lost.”

Echoing his views, Ashok Arora, an High Court Employee, who adores Indian cricketers said " It was once again the most tense ODI after Karachi where one could not assess till the last as to who would win. Sachin Tendulkar’s superb knock went in vain .I am very unhappy.”

Harleen Kaur, a teacher with St Stephen's School, said, "The magnificent knock of Sachin was a kind of gift to Indian score. India will come back in the next match and even today India played a near-equal game.”

Simrandeep Brar, a cricket player, said, "Earlier, when Pakistan players batted, and put up a huge score, it never looked possible that Indian batsmen could chase this total. But it was Sachin who set the ball rolling. Yuvraj bowled superbly and he was eager to blast runs. But while trying to hit a six, he was caught. But cricket is by chance. The presence of Pakistan President Parvez Mushrraf was all the more inspiring for Pakistan players.”

Soumanyu Talwar, cricket player of Panchkula, said "The defeat was preceded by a win in Karachi three days ago. Sachin batted superbly and Yuvraj played his heart out. It is very unfortunate that we lost the match.”

But the sense of loss after a very good day of cricket was palable at all the venues in the city. Hotel lobbies and bars were crowded with cricket enthusiasts who cheered the team through their innings.

Ms Kavita Arora, lawyer, who watched the match with keen interest was bitterly disappointed with the result. “I feel so sad that we lost the match. We should have restricted Pakistan to under 300. But even then we produced some fine batting performances and luck was probably not on our side. I’m crestfallen. We should have won. It was so near yet so far.”


One killed, 3 hurt as scooters collide
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 16
One person was killed and three others, including two students of the Sector 26 Guru Gobind Singh College for Women, were injured today when their two- wheelers collided head on near Saint Kabir School in Sector 26 here. Hardial Singh of Bapu Dham was declared brought dead at the PGI while the three others admitted to the hospital with head injuries.

Hardial and his friend Chander Mohan from the same locality rickshaw- pullers, borrowed a Bajaj scooter from the brother of Hardial. The girls, Shelja Jaggi from Sector 27 and Geetu from Panchkula were riding a Kinetic scooter without helments when they met with the accident.

The condition of the girls serious but out of danger. Chander Mohan received minor injuries. The girls were students of BA Part I Home Science.

Family members of Geetu alleged that the road was one-way and the scooter- riders were at fault. They alleged that the scooter driver was driving very fast.

Shelja was going to a bus stop on Madhya Marg to drop Geetu to take a bus to Panchkula. Shelja had been dropping Geetu at this point every day.

The police booked Shelja and Hardial. While Geetu fractured her shoulder, Shelja received injuries on her eyes and thighs.


Complainant turns into accused!
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, March 16
The Nabha village land-grabbing case, in which the police allegedly assisted an encroacher in February, today took a new turn as the complainant and his three sons were booked for rioting and threatening another resident of the same village.

Ignoring a complaint of Kuldeep Singh to the Senior Superintendent of Police at Patiala on February 26, against Sukhdev Singh of the same village, the police booked him in another case on the complaint of the accused.

In a case of police highhandedness, a complainant was turned into an accused and booked in a criminal case. A police party headed by the Lohgarh police post in charge conducted raids at his house to nab the complainant and his three sons.

Besides impounding certain machinery and goods belonging to Mr Kuldeep Singh, the complainant, the police registered a case against him and his sons, Surinder Singh, Gurinder Singh and Parminder Singh, on the complaint of Sukhdev Singh.

The complainant-turned-accused, in his a complaint, had alleged that the in charge of the Lohgarh police post was shielding Sukhdev Singh, who had encroached upon his land.

He had also alleged that the in charge of the police post had helped Sukhdev Singh and his associates in encroaching upon his land and had deployed a police company at the site while the encroachers constructed a boundary wall and laid a passage through the disputed land.

He had also complained that the police personnel had abused his family members when they tried to resist the encroachment.

Taking a serious view of the complaint, the DSP of Dera Bassi had marked an inquiry to the Station House Officer of Dera Bassi, who visited the village on February 28 and recorded statements of the complainants, the accused and other residents.

Both parties today had a scuffle. Following the complaint of Sukhdev Singh, the police booked Kuldeep Singh, and his three sons under Sections 341, 447, 506 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code. The police also conducted raids in their house and in the villages to nab the four.

In his complaint to the police, Sukhdev Singh alleged that Kuldeep Singh and his sons tried to thrash him and members of his family and threatened them of dire consequences. He also alleged that the accused were trying to grab a passage leading to their house in the village. Instead of taking a serious note of Kuldeep Singh’s complaints to the SSP and the DSP, the Lohgarh police registered a case against the complainant and members of his family.


Akalis, Dhawan camp silent on alliance
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 16
The Akali Dal and the Chandigarh Vikas Manch (Harmohan Dhawan camp) continue to be silent on their party alliances or on any decision to contest alone in the forthcoming parliamentary elections. The two might not have the capability to contest alone, however, there is nothing denying the fact that each group has the backing of a large number of voters. Their decision as regards alliance is sure to influence the final results.

Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal (Congress) and Mr Satya Pal Jain (BJP) have clearly emerged as the biggest names in race for the lone Lok Sabha seat from the city. At the same time, Mr Dhawan, a former Member of Parliament, who commands a sizeable vote bank, particularly in various colonies, is a powerful name.

Sources said Mr Harmohan Dhawan, head of the local Chandigarh Vikas Manch, was trying his best to get the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) ticket from here. He is said to have had a meeting with Mr Om Prakash Chautala, Chief Minister of Haryana. Mr Dhawan is also said to have received certain “feelers” from the SAD.

Sources in the BJP said there was little likelihood of the Akali Dal openly supporting the INLD because of its understanding with the BJP at the national level. Mr Gurpratap Singh Riar, president of the local unit of the SAD, said he was waiting for a command “in writing” from the Parliamentary Affairs Committee of the SAD or from Mr Badal, “even verbally”, to decide his line of action.

Mr Riar is known to have differences with the local unit of the BJP. Initially, he wanted to have a Sikh candidate from here. Later, he addressed a joint press conference with the BJP assuring support to the party. But he continued to miss rallies and personal election campaigns. When contacted, he said he would be able to comment on the issue only after a green signal from the party high command.

A senior office-bearer of the BJP said certain talks had been held with Mr Dhawan and he was likely to join the BJP “very shortly”. This was vehemently denied by Mr Dhawan. He said he was still pondering over the issue. However, there was no question of any tie-up with the BJP, he said.

He said there had been a couple of rounds of talks with Mr Dhawan and he had given a positive signal. “It will be wise not to comment on his current statement because political scene is very prone to changes”, he added.

Mr Dhawan continues to be a big name, however, there is no contradiction to the fact that without a tie-up with the SAD (which looks very difficult), Mr Dhawan is unlikely to find himself comfortable in the poll arena.


2 govt employees forge documents to get 52 mobiles
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 16
Two employees of the Central Poultry Development Organisation (CPDO) are suspected to have taken 52 mobile connections from Reliance Telecom fraudulently and got these billed in the name of their office.

They allegedly used these phones for months without paying a penny.

The fraud came to the notice of the Director of the CPDO, Dr J.N. Bora, when he got a bill of around Rs 4 lakh in the name of the office for the use of 52 mobile connections.

He reported the matter to the police saying a senior assistant, Roshan Lal, had allegedly got the mobile connections through two application forms in the names of certain persons, who were represented as employees of the organisation.

Dr Bora found out that except for Roshan Lal, rest of the telephone subscribers were not employees of the organisation. The company, however, has been insisting on payment of the bill by the Central Government office.

Dr Bora told the police that his signatures had been forged, allegedly by Roshan Lal, to get these connections.

For taking mobile connections, the head of the department has to certify that the applicants are employees of the organisation.

Dr Bora has also initiated an inquiry against the employee after his signatures were found on one of the two forms submitted for getting these connections. Roshan Lal’s signatures were confirmed by the Government Examiner of the Questioned Documents (GEQD), Shimla.

According to the police, Roshan Lal claimed that his signatures had been forged on the documents. The suspected role of another senior assistant, K.C. Bansal, has also came to the notice of the police.

According to officials of Malhotra Agency, mobile phone distributor, the phone sets were collected by Bansal. They even produced a receipt signed by him. However, Bansal denied that he had signed the receipt and taken possession of the mobile sets.

The representatives of the agency said they had promised Rs 5,100 as commission to Bansal. The agency would have got commission from Reliance Telecom after the payment of the bills was made, they said.

The Economic Offences Wing is investigating the case. No arrest has been made so far. Dr Bora has, however, alleged police inaction in the case.


Doing his bit for the nation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 16
The Gujarat earthquake, the Kargil conflict or the Orissa drought may have prompted you to make some contribution to the government relief fund. Meet Chaudhary Sheo Narayan Bishnoi of Hanumangarh in Rajasthan, who contributes Rs 5,001 to the Prime Minister's Relief Fund every month. The practice, which started after the nuclear tests in Pokhran in May, 1998, has been continuing for the past 70 months now.

Mr Bishnoi, a septuagenarian, is a multi-faceted personality. Apart from being a farmer, he also writes poems and songs. He has been honoured by the Rajasthan Government with the title of "Bhamashah". His efforts have been appreciated by the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

A respected figure in his region, Mr Bishnoi owns nearly 700 acres of land, of which about 250 acres are fertile land. He owns a big family comprising five sons and 12 grandchildren. He was in the city recently to present a draft of his contribution to Justice O.P. Verma, Governor of Punjab, to be sent to the Prime Minister's Relief Fund. He talked to TNS during his visit.

In 1962, the year of Indo-China war, the then Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, sought donations from the people. Moved by the appeal, Mr Bishnoi donated 11 "tolas" of gold.

Since then, Mr Bishnoi has made generous contributions when natural calamities struck various parts of the country.


Man fears threat to life
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 16
A resident of Phase IV, who is employed as a manager, has alleged there is a threat to his life from persons against whom he had lodged an FIR on February 2. He has demanded a police action in the case.

Mr Purshottam Datt Sharma, employed as manager (sales) in an industrial unit of Phase VII, said at a press conference here today that an FIR had been registered against two persons, who had allegedly attacked him. But the police had taken no action against them. Even the FIR registered against them had been got cancelled, he alleged.

He said his unit had been manufacturing cricket and tennis balls for a private trading company for the past more than one year. Some bills for ST 22 were pending for want of signatures, he said. Over Rs 4.19 lakh were outstanding against the trading company. The dues were not cleared despite repeated requests.

On February 2, he was called by Mr Surya Kant, one of the owners of the trading company, to his unit for collecting the balance payment and to get some documents signed, he alleged. When he went there, he saw both owners, including Mr Manvinder Singh, sitting there. When he asked for a cheque for the balance payment, he was allegedly attacked by them. He was injured in the incident. From there, he went to the Phase I police station and got an FIR registered against the duo, he said. Since then, he had allegedly been receiving threats and was being pressurised to withdraw the case, he alleged.

No action has been taken by the police against the two so far, he said. Later, he met the Punjab DGP, who assured him that he would get justice. The case was referred to the SP, Mohali. Later, he was told by the SP’s office that the FIR in the case had been cancelled by the police allegedly on the directions of the SSP, Ropar.

Mr Surinder Pal Singh, SSP, Ropar, told Chandigarh Tribune that Mr Sharma has lodged a false FIR. He said prima facie the statement made in the FIR was not correct and he had concocted a story to get a case registered. The FIR had not been cancelled and investigation in the case was still on, he added.


Violence against women can be curbed: expert
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 16
Violence against women is snowballing into a serious issue the world over. Contrary to the belief that educated and independent women are less vulnerable to violence at home, Canada-born Ms Geetanjali Gill, doing with research on Development Sciences at the London School of Economics, UK, believes there are no indications to this effect.

Though domestic violence, the most prevalent form of abuse, cannot be wished away, she feels it can be contained and gradually eradicated. This, however, has nothing much to do with women. The problem begins and ends with men.

“The answer lies in sensitising the male gender, organizing lectures at work places, involving them in seminars and making them reflect on the subject. All this coupled with government participation is essential for the health of the mission,” she adds.

Speaking to The Tribune after a lecture on “The problem of rising violence against women” organised at Panjab University here today, she maintained, “The story of most women, working or housewives, is the same. We need to look at the power equations between men and women to address it. In India, the problem is more acute since violence seems framed within the value system. Women are not supposed to open their mouths against cruel men. It is just not right. The alternative before us, changing the value system, is a herculean task which nobody wants to undertake,” she explains.

Catch-them-young seems the buzzword as Ms Gill suggests, “While we can work upon men, it would be ideal to tap youngsters in school and, in turn, create a generation of men alive to women’s sufferings. They should be taught to respect women and made to understand that equality between the two sexes is for real. This has already taken off in most countries abroad where groups of women are frequenting boys’ schools to educate them.”

In the UK and the US, violence against women does exist but a flexible culture, moving and changing, allows for changing of thinking. “Besides, the government has special ministries for women and their issues, giving a lot of public funds to deal with issues concerned with gender-mainstreaming. This implies integration of gender concerns into all ministries who work keeping these issues in mind. This is needed in India,” she explains.

Having a number of non-government organisations working on women’s issues, she says, is a positive sign. “However, the task is much more daunting and challenging in India, the country being large with a past which lays down staunch values. Also, they are largely relying on international funding for help. If the government could be involved in this exercise and funding could come from within as well, the organisations would have a greater impact,” she claims.


Change in baby show timing annoys parents
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 16
The four-day Consumer Awareness Fair organised by Consumer Forum Chandigarh ended on a sour note today as parents of some children clashed with organisers, complaining that the timing of the healthy baby show had been advanced, much to their inconvenience. The fair was organised in collaboration with the UT Administration and the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh.

While, the contest was supposed to be organised at 11.30 am, as per the announcements, it was organised at 11 am, when very few children had turned up. Many parents later complained that the organisers of the show did not wait for full participation and instead, announced those children who came in by 11 am the winners.

The organisers, said they had 12 children for the show when the show started. Spot visits confirmed that many children dressed in their best, sat in neglect, even as the competition concluded much before they could arrive.

Even as the parents returned disheartened, the fair concluded with competitions and a cultural show at Parade Ground in Sector 17. Ms Kamlesh, the Mayor, presided over the closing and prize-distribution function and gave away the prizes to the winners of various events held during the past four days. Lt-Col Sarwan Singh, chairman of the forum, welcomed the chief guest and apprised the audience of the activities being undertaken by the forum in the past 25 years.

The annual report was read out by Mr H.S. Ahluwalia, secretary general of the forum. Mr R.K. Kaplash, director celebrations, presented mementos to the presidents of various committees formed for the events.

Following are the winners of various competitions held during the Consumer Day celebrations: slogan-writing competition: Akhil Goyal, Kohima and Aiyana; on-the-spot painting competition: Shilpa, Shikha Khanna and Kohima; poster-making competition: Sukraat, Aiyana and Kartik; best-out-of-waste contest: Sukraat, Harmanpreet Kaur and Kohima; fun and frolic competition: Abhisha, Arshpreet Kaur and Neeraj; quiz for women: Amrit Kaur, and Ekjot, Sonia; musical chairs for women: Devinder Kaur, Ekjot and Sonia; healthy baby contest (upto one year category): Varshika Rana, Kashish Bajab and Kushkan Kaur; healthy baby contest ( 1 to 2 years category): Aryana, Anaya Rana, and Kunal Dhami; health baby contest (2 to 3 years category): Faiza and Oshin.

The chairman trophy was awarded to Mr Kaplash, senior vice-chairman of the forum who was adjudged best convener of the year. The mela concluded with a cultural show organised by the Song and Drama Division, Government of India.


3 teams set up to nab Kohli for Foster’s murder
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 16
Even as a police team from the UK continued with its efforts to nab Maninder Pal Singh Kohli, the accused in the case of kidnapping, rape and murder of a British girl, Hannah Foster, the Punjab police has set up three teams to help in the investigation.

The British team, led by Detective Police Superintendent Allen Bates, had met the Punjab DGP and sought assistance in arresting the suspect.

Sources said the three teams would be headed by the SP, Mohali, the SP (Detective), Ropar, and the SP (Detective), Patiala. Sources said the British team had met members of the family of Kohli who are living in Phase X here.

Hannah Foster had gone to school in the UK on February 22 last year but did not return home. Around mid-March, the Hampshire police got evidence that the girl had been murdered allegedly by Kohli.

It is reported that Kohli came to India around March 22 and may have left the country on March 29.

The UK police has launched a major manhunt for the suspect who was reportedly last seen near Chandigarh. It has announced a reward of Rs 50 lakh to anyone providing clues leading to the arrest of Kohli.


Calf falls into uncovered manhole, injured
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 16
An uncovered manhole virtually became a death trap for a calf which fell into it near the sports complex in Phase IX here today.

The fire brigade officials, who got a message that a child had fallen into an uncovered manhole, rushed to the spot but found that the victim was a calf. It is learnt that the calf, which was pulled out by the fire brigade staff with the help of a rope, had suffered a leg injury.

It is reported that an employee working at the Silvi Park in Phase X had seen the calf in the gutter but went away to do his work. It was only when the employee told an SDO of the Municipal Council, who had gone to the Silvi Park, that the fire brigade officials were informed about the incident.


GOC-in-C visits paraplegic centre
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 16
The General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Western Command, Lt Gen J.J. Singh, today visited the Paraplegic Rehabilitation Centre at Mohali for the first time after taking over the reins of Western Command.

He was accompanied by the President of Army Wives Welfare Association, Ms Anupama Singh. She inaugurated a treadmill in the physiotherapy room and distributed gifts among inmates.

According to a pressnote issued by the Press Information Bureau’s Defence Wing, Gen J.J. Singh went around the physiotherapy room, wards, vocational training workshop, library and the dining hall.

He was briefed by the centre’s Director Col Jaswant Singh (retd).


Proposed acquisition of land flayed
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 16
The Confederation of Housing Societies today criticised the proposed acquisition of land belonging to the cooperative housing societies by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) in Bhainsa Tibba and Saketri villages in the Mansa Devi Complex (MDC) area.

According to a press note of the confederation here, HUDA has been acquiring the societies’ land in the garb of public interest with a view to earn profit by floating plots. The societies had already gone in for modern planning to provide cheaper accommodation to the common people, it was stated. Terming the acquisition as contrary to the National Housing and Habitat Policy, 1998, the confederation urged the Haryana Government to denotify the acquisition process started by HUDA.


Duty magistrates appointed for Navratra fair
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 16
The district administration has appointed duty magistrates for maintaining law and order during the 10-day “Navratra fair” at the Mata Mansa Devi Temple Complex here, which gets underway on March 21.

Mr V.K. Dahiya, SDM, has been appointed the overall in charge of the duty magistrates. The magistrates would work in three shifts. While the first shift would work from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., the second would work from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. The last shift would be from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.


Sarpanch booked for encroachment
Our Correspondent

Lalru, March 16
In an inter-state boundary dispute, the Dera Bassi police has registered a case against a sarpanch of Sahebpur village in Ambala district, a Sub-Divisional Officer (SDO), and three other members of Sahebpur panchayat for encroaching upon certain land of Khelan village in Dera Bassi subdivision of Patiala district.

In a complaint to the police, Khelan village sarpanch Beeru Ram alleged that Raghubir Singh of Sahebpur village in Ambala district, along with Jasmer Singh, Jarnail Singh and Balwinder Singh, SDO, laid a 200-foot-long road in the village land allegedly to benefit Anoop Singh, one of their relatives.

He also complained that when he tried to intervene, the encroachers indulged in arguments with him and threatened him with dire consequences.

The police has registered a case under Sections 447 and 148 of the Indian Penal Code against the accused.

3 of family booked

In a land dispute among family members of Tofanpur village, near here, the police has booked three members of the family for rioting. A case has also been registered against Shravan Singh and his cousins Rati Ram and Darshan Singh.

In his complaint to the police, Mr Mohinder Singh, a cousin of Shravan Singh, has alleged that the trio with an intention to grab his 9 bigha land tried to harvest standing wheat crops. They also abused him, besides threatening with dire consequences.

The Lalru police has registered a case under Sections 447, 511 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code against Shravan Singh, Rati Ram and Darshan Singh.


Proclaimed offender arrested
Our Correspondent

Kharar, March 16
A proclaimed offender in a case of murder was arrested by the local police today.

According to the police, Simranjit Singh, alias Soni, of Gharuan village, near here, was arrested on a charge of murdering another resident of the village in May last year.

It is alleged that four persons had attacked and injured Gurlabh Singh on May 13. He succumbed to his injuries on June 6. There was a personal dispute between the deceased and the assailants.

While three suspects — Ramandeep Singh, Gurmel Singh and Amarjit Singh — were arrested earlier, Simranjit Singh was at large.

It is learnt that Simranjit Singh was staying with a friend in Chandigarh for the past some time and was nabbed from there. However, the police claimed that he was arrested from Kharar.


German girl’s bag stolen from hotel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 16
Two cameras, a passport, an identity card, a Canadian visa, an ATM card and Rs 2,000 belonging to a German girl were stolen from a hotel in Sector 22 yesterday.

Ms Antina Hemmerlein, a resident of Berlin, has lodged a complaint at the Sector 17 police station.

All items were in a bag that was stolen within five minutes of her checking into the hotel.


SSIs told to identify areas to reduce production cost
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 16
There is a need for the upgradation of technology to survive the onslaught of WTO and globalisation in years to come.

These views were expressed by Mr R.P. Sehgal, Executive Director, Punjab Tractors Ltd, at a one-day workshop organised on the “Impact of WTO for small-scale industries (SSIs) and enhancing their competitiveness by the World Association for Small and Medium Enterprises (WASME). Mr Sehgal said to meet the global challenges, SSIs would have to identify areas for reducing their production cost.

The workshop focussed on the impact of globalisation on various segments of the small-scale industry and identification of their requirements for becoming competitive and export-oriented.

Dr Arun Aggarwal, secretary-general, WASME, said their organisation would arrange the participation of Indian SSIs in the forthcoming industrial exhibitions in Nigeria, Dubai and Hong Kong. He also offered to provide free stalls to Mohali Industries Association (MIA) in these expositions for exhibiting products of their member industries which would help them to enter the global market.

Mr Gurmeet Singh, president, MIA, said the workshop was the first of its kind in Mohali and would help in guiding the local entrepreneurs to prepare themselves for global competitiveness and enter the international market.

The workshop had been organised in collaboration with the MIA and Centre for International Trade and Industry. The programme was sponsored by the State Bank of India.

The faculty comprised experts like Mr K. Lakshminaryanan, in charge, Technology Management Group, Asian and Pacific Centre for the Transfer of Technology, New Delhi, and Dr P.D. Kaushik, Fellow, Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, New Delhi.

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