C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Jail officials allowed Hawara to keep ‘khurpas’ in barrack
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 6
The arrested Burail jail officials had allegedly allowed Jagtar Singh Hawara and others to keep three “khurpas” with them in their barrack.

This disclosure has been made in the charge sheet filed in a local court against the accused in the jailbreak case.

The charge sheet has listed out as many as 17 instances to facilitate the jailbreak by the escapees. It says that facilities and amenities provided to the alleged Beant Singh assassins were in violation of rules of the Punjab Jail Manual.

The police has quoted statements of Ashok Kumar, Jagtar Singh, Vinod Kumar, Rakesh Kumar, Ram Mehar, Harvinder Singh, Tejinder Singh, Abni Kumar, Mangat Ram Rana, Mangtu Ram Sharma, Gurbax Singh and Chanda Singh, all prosecution witnesses, saying that it was a conspiracy hatched by jail officials and the escapees together.

Colour TVs, excessive eatables, beddings, blankets, turbans, electrical equipment, stereo speakers, utensils and dry fruits were provided to the escapees in barrack number 7.

The jail authorities allowed covering windows of the barrack. Weight-lifting equipment were allowed to be permanently kept inside it despite rules permitting these to be issued only on a day-to-day basis. No action was taken even after receiving information regarding suspicious activities in barrack No. 7.

No action was taken regarding keeping lights off in the barrack during night, playing TV on a high volume and keeping water taps open for long hours. No personal physical checking of the inmates of barrack number 7 had been carried for several months. Kirtan and religious get-togethers were permitted in the gurdwara barrack, thereby giving opportunity to the accused for holding meetings with other inmates of the jail.

Information about digging of tunnel on previous occasion was kept a secret and concealed from the higher authorities. Moreover, the tunnel was filled without taking any action. Hawara was allowed to meet Pakistani spy Abid Mehmood without any written order. Articles supplied to Hawara and others were not checked.

A murder undertrial Dev Singh was permanently attached with Hawara and others.

Hawara was allowed to keep cash in an unauthorised manner. No preventive measures were taken despite the recovery of a mobile phone and cash from the barrack. Despite the blockage of a sewer of the barrack twice in a month and detection of loose earth, neither any action was taken nor the matter probed.

The escapees were shifted to the barrack number 7, which was closer to the boundary wall of the jail and from where it was more convenient to dig the tunnel than from the 20-Chakki barrack, located at a safer distance from the boundary wall, without any written order or logical explanation. The escapees were allowed to be kept in a group of four instead of lodging them in 20-Chakki barrack in a group of 20, which allowed them to plan and execute their escape by digging a tunnel.

By allowing possession of a large number of turbans, the Jail Superintendent facilitated their escape through the tunnel by using these as ropes to enter into the tunnel and then come out at the other end. By allowing possession of a large number of electrical equipment like wires, portable multiple extension board and bulbs, the Jail Superintendent facilitated escapees to dig the tunnel, Deputy Superintendent V. M. Gill has been accused of providing technical know-how through the book titled “True Stories of Great Escapes.”


Animal trophies seized from Forest Hill, 1 held
Nishikant Dwivedi

I am being framed, says Sandhu

"I did not know about the presence of these trophies in the Club premises. I only came to know about them after they were seized by the Forest Department.

I don't know how they came to be there. May be, they were killed by wild animals and their carcasses were handed over to my staff by villagers without my knowledge.

I am an animal lover myself and I have been able to stop poaching in the area. Clearly it is an attempt to frame me at a time when my Club's matter is in court."

Naya Gaon (Kharar), April 6
The Punjab Forest Department today arrested a supervisor of the Forest Hill Resort and Country Club (FHRCC) for allegedly possessing three trophies of sambhar from the Club premises near Chandigarh. Sambhar is protected under Schedule 3 of the Wild Life Protection Act, 1972. Hunting of the animal is prohibited.

Forest Department officials claimed that the trophies have been recovered from the Club which is run by Colonel B. S. Sandhu (Retd). The arrested supervisor has been identified as Tarsem Lal. The "damage report" prepared by the Forest Department has the names of Col. Sandhu and Tarsem Lal, officials sources told The Tribune today.

A case under Sections 39, 42, 49 and 51 of the Wild Life Protection Act, 1972, has been registered. Out of the three trophies, one is an almost complete head of a Sambhar (fitted with glass eyes) preserved with some chemicals.

Col. Sandhu has denied his involvement in the matter and has alleged that the Forest Department is framing him.

The Club had been recently involved in a controversy following a report by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests that the construction at the Club site was carried out in grave and blatant violation of the Forest Conservation Act, 1980. The matter is pending before the Punjab and Haryana High Court which had taken suo-motu notice of these reports.

Officials of the department said there was no specific information about the presence of the trophies. "It was a chance discovery," they said. A joint team of the department, police and administration had gone to the Club to assess the alleged violation under the Forest Conservation Act. The Punjab government had earlier constituted a committee to assess the alleged violations. The team, which made the recoveries, consisted of the Deputy District Forest Officer (Ropar), Forest Ranger (Ropar), Naib Tehsildar (Majari block) and Station House Officer of Naya Gaon Police Station. They said that the animals were killed sometime ago and were preserved using special chemicals.

The trophies were reportedly displayed in a corridor of the Old Administration Block of the FHRCC. It was not yet known from where the animals came and when they were killed and by whom.


Jain complains to police against Cong
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 6
Mr Satya Pal Jain, the BJP candidate for the Chandigarh parliamentary seat, today complained to the local police about an alleged attempt by the Congress party to bribe its supporters in order to win their backing in the election.

Talking to mediapersons, he alleged that a son of the sitting Congress MP, who was seeking re-election, had visited the Mani Majra residence of a sarpanch belonging to the BJP and tried to buy his support. “We have found the visiting card of the person concerned from the spot and reported the matter to the police”.

He claimed that adoption of such tactics on the part of the BJP’s opponents betrayed their panic and insecurity.

He also referred to the recent crossover of Mr Devinder Singh Babla and his wife, Mrs Harpreet Babla, from Chandigarh Vikas Manch to the Congress and said Mrs Harpreet Babla, who was also a councillor, should have quit her seat in the Municipal Corporation before ‘defecting’ to the Congress party. He said since the Congress candidate had always been talking about morality in public life, he would like Mr Pawan Bansal to respond on this issue.


Indian farmers need govt support: expert
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 6
Economists might continue to be divided on the issue of extending protectionist policies to agriculture and the debate might rage on endlessly but Prof Ajit Singh, a Senior Fellow at Cambridge University, UK, feels farmers in India still require governmental support.

Just like any other Punjabi, farming is a subject close to his heart. Indian agriculture, he feels, is ailing and he has his reasons for believing so.

“Prices of agriculture and primary commodities have been on the decline for the past many years in the international market. Agriculture prices being volatile, this downward trend is usually long term. Relatively, farmers are worse off than before, many of them even destitute. This implies that the governments have to provide insurance cover to the farmers. We can’t expect our farmers to go to the Chicago insurance market looking for help to cover his debts. The government has to come to the rescue of a farmer,” he said during an interview with The Tribune.

Speaking on the sidelines of a seminar on “The Doha Development Agenda”, Prof Ajit Singh, an alumni of Panjab University and a student of Dr Manmohan Singh, a former Finance Minister, adds, “The crucial question, however, is how to increase the return to farmers. It requires action on the part of the producers and consumers who need to join hands to raise prices of agricultural products.”

Looking at global competitiveness, he suggests that farmers might gain by striking an OPEC-type of a cartel. “Unlike the US Government favouring free play in markets which keeps prices low, this cartel of other like-minded developing countries would help raise the prices of agricultural products.”

Prof Ajit Singh opined that among the long-term arrangements that can be put in place to benefit the farming community, the pressure on land needs to be reduced considerably and industrialisation ushered in to cater to the “extras” in agriculture.

“In the US, only 2 per cent of the population is working on land and feeding the rest of the world. High productivity is a consequence of the complete mechanisation of the farms. However, in India, agriculture is still awaiting the arrival of technology in the fields. Also, the small holdings are taking a toll on productivity, the average holding being as small as five acres in Ludhiana. This is still on the higher side given the Indian context and the holdings get even smaller in other districts of Punjab,” he explained.

An expert on the East Asian crisis, Prof Ajit Singh said that the Union Government must guard against complete liberalisation on capital accounting. “This implies that the government must not open up the economy to the extent that anybody can invest, borrow and remit from anywhere in the world at the drop of a hat. When the crisis came to East Asia, India and China were the only two countries which were untouched. This also helped in muting voices seeking greater liberalisation of the Indian economy. Only a strong government would be able to resist pressures of the stock market pressing for greater liberalisation. Though the threat of a similar crisis to India cannot be ruled out, liberalisation within bounds would keep such a crisis under check,” he maintains.

Replying to a question on liberalisation in the context of sovereignty, Prof Ajit Singh added that developing countries should be given autonomy to conduct their own policies and develop their own institutions to suit their history and their prospects.

“It may be true that capitalism has triumphed over socialism as is evident from the failure of the erstwhile Soviet Union. However, this does not imply that a single set of rules has to govern the whole world. Just as many kinds of capitalism exist in the world, developing countries should be allowed to experiment with rules which should not be imposed on them,” he emphasized.


Hospital to be set up in south of city: Verma
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 6
Punjab Governor-cum-UT Administrator Justice O.P. Verma today announced that an ultra-modern general hospital would be set up in the southern part of the city and infrastructure at the existing hospitals would be enhanced keeping in view the rising population.

The Administrator was addressing the gathering at a function organised at Karsan Colony, near Ram Darbar, to honour and felicitate philanthropists who had contributed in ameliorating the lot of poor people and also supported children of this area to lead a normal life.

He said the people certainly needed better medical attention. The need of the hour was to open more medical hospitals and provide high quality health care facilities to the common man. At present, the endeavour of the Chandigarh Administration was to focus its attention on providing better health services to people at their door step.

He said although the government had implemented several health schemes, without the assistance of voluntary organisations the programmes would not have been successful. The government schemes had to be supplemented by the efforts of the NGOs and social activists so that the benefit could percolate down to grass-roots level.

Lauding the efforts of the voluntary organisations, he said without any ulterior motive these organisations were engaged in making a positive contribution to the social cause.

Expressing deep concern over the rising cases of tuberculosis, he urged the voluntary organisations to create awareness amongst the people about the disease. The disease, he said, was fully curable provided that the patient took proper and regular medicine. Strenuous efforts were also being made to completely eliminate the curse of polio from Chandigarh.

The aim was to make Chandigarh free from all these dreaded diseases and also to make sure that no one was deprived of health care facilities. He appreciated the works of the Lions Club Chandigarh Greater and Health Care India.

Earlier, while welcoming the Governor, Brig M.L. Kataria of the Health Care India said the Lions Club Chandigarh Greater was serving people of the area since 1977 and was also planning to build a hospital in the same locality with the help of donors.

The Governor honoured Lieut-Gen Bhullar, Mr Ranvir Uppal, Mr G.S. Sandhu, Ms Nirmal Kaur, Mr Amarjeet Singh, Ms Santosh, Dr Vohra and Dr Bhatia. The Administrator also interacted with children and distributed gifts among them.


Jagjit case: complainant demands security
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 6
A resident of Kansal village, Mr Roshan Lal, on whose complaint the police had arrested Jagjit Singh on charge of trespassing, today demanded security from the police, alleging that he was being threatened by relatives of Jagjit. He alleged that he was being pressurised to withdraw the case against Jagjit.

Jagjit Singh, a resident of Taqipur village, had been arrested by the “anti-goonda” squad of the local police. He sustained head injuries while in police custody and was taken to the local Civil Hospital, from here he was referred to the PGI, Chandigarh, yesterday.

Mr Roshan Lal had also lodged a complaint with the local SP yesterday, in which he said that his life and that of his family members was in danger and he should be given protection.

Mr Roshan Lal, who addressed a press conference here, alleged that the some relatives of Jagjit Singh, along with the Nayagaon SHO, Mr Amarpreet Singh, came to his house yesterday and pressurised his family to withdraw the case against Jagjit Singh, failing which they would have to face dire consequences. The SHO, however, denied that he went to the house of Mr Roshan Lal.

Mr Roshan Lal said he met Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, Minister for Animal Husbandry and Dairy Development, Punjab, in connection with the case today. He alleged that even the minister asked him to withdraw the case.

The statements of Mr Roshan Lal contradict the claims of the police. He said Jagjit Singh was arrested by the police from his house on April 1 and a loaded pistol was seized from his possession. The police had stated in the FIR that Jagjit Singh was arrested when he was coming from Nayagaon village to Kansal village. The police had booked Jagjit Singh under the Arms Act on April 2.

Mr Roshan Lal alleged that on March 31, Jagjit Singh, along with some persons, came to his house and started damaging various household items. They allegedly demanded money form him. He said he lodged a complaint with the Mohali police because the Nayagaon police would allegedly not have taken any action against Jagjit Singh.


Service tax returns: e-filing facility extended to all services
Monica Sharma

Chandigarh, April 6
The Central Board of Excise and Customs has extended the facility of e-filing of service tax returns to all 58 taxable services, including advertising, coaching, courier, even repair and maintenance. The development is significant as people would now be able to file service tax returns without going to Central Excise and Customs offices.

According to a senior officer in the department, the simple condition for availing the facility of e-filling was that the service provider should have 15-digit “STP” code — either PAN-based or temporary number — appearing on the “SAPS” site used by the department for giving registration to service tax assessees. The assessees were also required to indicate their 15 digit “STP” Code in the challans issued by him.

The procedure was extremely simple. The assessees, opting for e-filing, were required to file an application to the excise formation concerned at least one month in advance. He added that user identity and password for the assessee would be communicated to them within 10 days after filling the application, along with technical details required for accessing the website.

The officer added that the service provider could also download the form for entering details of “ST-3 returns” and “TR-6 challans” from the Central server using the Internet and by entering the necessary details for filling the “ST-3 return”.

He asserted that the computer generated a key number depended on the STP code, date of filling, value of services declared and tax paid. It also generated an acknowledgement giving details which could be printed by the assessees and kept in his records as evidence of having filed the return.

The department has also relaxed the provision of penalty for non-filling of “ST-3” return for assessees opting for e-filing of return. The department has also issued a list of e-mail addresses and telephone number of divisional deputy and assistant commissioners for receiving queries.

The Deputy Commissioner at Chandigarh can be contacted at Cexd1902@excis.nic.in. The telephone number is 2702661. The Deputy Commissioner at Patiala can be contacted at Cexd1903@excis.nic.in. The telephone number is 2214212. The Assistant Commissioner at Shimla can be contacted at Cexd1910@excis.nic.in. The number is 2622299. You can contact the Deputy Commissioner at Mandi Gobindgarh at Cexd1912@excis.nic.in The telephone number is 2256402. The Assistant Commissioner at Dera Bassi can be contacted at Cexd1913@excis.nic.in. The number is 2283874.


Don’t trivialise debate, BJP tells Congress
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 6
Mr Bal Apte, MP and Vice-President of the BJP, today asked the Opposition not to trivialise the debate on important issues like the foreign origin of Mrs Sonia Gandhi, state of the economy and “India Shining” campaign, in the run up to the parliamentary elections.

Mr Apte said the foreign origin of Mrs Sonia Gandhi was an important issue which concerned every Indian. There were different views, with many people feeling that a person of foreign origin should be barred from being the Prime Minister. Such a bar existed in many countries of the world.

But to say that Mr Lal Krishan Advani, Deputy Prime Minister, was also of foreign origin because he was born in Karachi, now in Pakistan, was to trivialise the whole issue. The Congress leader who had made these remarks should know that when Mr Advani was born, Karachi was part of India.

Turning to the CPM’s allegation about Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s alleged dubious role in the struggle against the British rule, Mr Apte said Marxists were least qualified to speak on this subject because their own role in aiding and abetting the British rule during the World War II was well-known.

Referring to the film stars’ entry into the electoral arena, Mr Apte said he saw nothing wrong in their campaigning for various political parties.


Kashmiri Pandits back Dhawan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 6
The Kashmiri Migrants Welfare Association today announced its support to the INLD candidate for the Chandigarh parliamentary seat, Mr Harmohan Dhawan.

Speaking to mediapersons at a meeting held at the residence of Mr Dhawan, leaders of the association said they were deeply disappointed with the national parties like the BJP and the Congress failed to keep their promise for the early rehabilitation of nearly three lakh Kashmiri Pandits who had been forced to flee the Srinagar valley due to the terrorist violence, he added.

They had now reposed their faith in Mr Dhawan who had pledged to do everything possible for their early return to Kashmir. There were a total of about 4,500 Kashmiri Pandits in the city of which about 3,000 had voting right, he said.

Mr Dhawan also announced the entry of several community leaders, including sarpanches into the INLD.


Cong holds rally

Chandigarh, April 6
The Congress today evening organised a rally in support of its candidate for the Chandigarh parliamentary seat, Mr Pawan Bansal. The rally was attended by Punjab ministers, Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, Mr Ramesh Dutt Sharma, former Mayor of Chandigarh, Mr Subhash Chawla, Mr Pradeep Chhabra, Ms Anu Chatrath, Mr Pawan Sharma, Mr P. C. Sanghi, Mr Devinder Babla and Mrs Harpreet Kaur Babla.

Speakers at the rally praised Mr Bansal and promised to ensure the victory of their party’s candidate.

Mr Pawan Bansal, said that he was seeking votes on the basis of his performance as an MP. He recounted his achievements during his tenure as an MP and promised to make Chandigarh a world class city. TNS


Rotary’s Madagascar trip a success
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 6
“Challenging yet satisfying,” is how the Rotary Intercontinental Medicare team describes its 11-day stint in Madagascar. A team comprising 16 Rotarian doctors and three non- medical volunteers has just come back after providing much needed medical services in Tamatava and Antananarvio cities.

The team under the leadership of District Governor Ms. Kawal Bedi had conducted 75 ortho surgeries, 70 general surgeries and examined 700 eye patients and about 250 gynae patients out of which 30 patients were operated upon. The dental surgeon examined about 500 patients, while the pathologists in the team conducted 243 blood tests and 23 biopsies that helped in the detection of four cancer patients.

Sharing their experiences at a press meet in Sector 8 here today, the team said that working in Madagascar proved challenging as the infrastructure in medicare sector available there was almost obsolete. “I was forced to use a laproscopic surgery by using air instead of carbon dioxide and it was for the first time the doctors there saw a laproscopic equipment”, said Dr R.S. Parmar, general surgeon, who accompanied the team.

“Language posed another problem to us as most of the patients who came from the poorest of the poor sections could converse only in the local dialect, so we were left completely at the mercy of an interpreter for finding out their medical history,” said Dr. (Ms) Sukhbir Grewal, an anaesthesiologist.

The members of the team from the region included the ENT surgeon Dr S.C. Pandhi from Chandigarh, general surgeon Dr R.S. Parmar from Ropar, anaesthetist Dr. (Ms) Sukhbir Grewal of Chandigarh, eye surgeon Dr S.P.S. Grewal from Chandigarh, dental surgeon Dr T.P. Singh, Gyna ecologist Dr Ritu Mago from Yamunanagar and orthopaedic surgeon Dr Mahinder Sardana from Panipat. The non- medical members included past Rotary President, Mr R.K. Saboo, Ms Kawal Bedi and Ms. Brij Parmar.

Informing that in this mission about 20 hearing aids, medicines and several surgical equipment worth Rs 5 lakh were gifted to the local hospitals, Mr Saboo added that his team had imparted training to the local doctors and the Rotary International has tied up with the local Rotarians in Madagascar to follow up the mission.


Inspired by common zeal, Irwinites vow to help poor
Parbina Rashid

Chandigarh, April 6
They come from diverse backgrounds, different age groups. But a common thread ties these 25 women of the city in a strong bond which make them meet once every two months. They all are alumni of Lady Irwin College, Delhi, that include passouts from 1951 to 1980.

Inspired by a common zeal to give something back to society, members make these get-togethers a forum to discuss their future plan of action as well as to recall old days at the college. "The college instilled in us the kind of confidence and social responsibility which needs to be carried on and hence we meet as often as we can to discuss things as well as implement them," says Ms Neena Singh, a former model of international fame.

The get-together, hosted by Devi Gobinder Singh, the senior-most alumni of the college at her residence in Sector 27 today mooted the plan to educate the lesser-privileged children in their neighbourhood. "We can’t take up social reforms on a large scale but we can help educating the children of our maids and workers,” says Devi Singh.

That is not all. Another Irwinite, Ms Biba N Singh, who had started projects like "Neighbourhood society" in her own sector has a plan to clean the city. "I am making an appeal to all people in the city to keep their area clean and work systematically towards garbage disposal and disposal of folliages without polluting the environment," she says.

Known as "Irwinites" the association was formed by Kushal Sandhawalia and three others with the purpose to help the poor and needy and generate awareness about environmental issues.

However, the meetings are not totally devoid of fun. "Ritu Kumar was our batchmate and I was one of her models in the college show," says Guljeet Singh, a passout from 1963 batch. "Even I have worked with Ritu, both during our college days as well as in the capacity of a professional model," says Ms Neena Singh who walked the ramps at many shows both in India and abroad.

Devi Gobinder Singh, the best student of the year 1951, has a lot to boast of. " I was given a medal for best student by President Dr Rajendra Prasad. I even led the marchpast team during the Asian Games and represented Punjab thrice in women's hockey tournaments," she says.

Making an appeal to all Irwintes of the city to join the association, Ms Kushal Sandhawalia, secretary of Irwinites, says, "We are looking forward to strengthen ourselves by adding more members so that we can take up bigger ventures in the near future."


Slum children remember Vineet Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 6
Despite being physically challenged, Vineet Khanna was never known for his weaknesses. The founder of the Youth Technical Training Society (YTTS), a voluntary agency still engaged in the service of the destitute and slum children and women in and around Chandigarh, Vineet embodied the strength of mind and body, always guiding people abler than himself.

On the eve of his birth anniversary then it was natural for those inspired by him to swear by service notwithstanding the strains of money or space. So even though the YTTS still faces shortage of funds and space for running its centres where children are taught and women are imparted vocational training, its management took the occasion to announce complete support to the Childline project of the Central Government today. This happened in the presence of Vineet Khanna’s mother, Ms Prem Lata, who was naturally too overwhelmed to say anything, even as slum children and women celebrated the day at YTTS’s centre in Mauli Jagran.

Devised by the students of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, Childline, a free hotline service (1098) is aimed at helping children in need of care. These include children who have abandoned their homes, who are in conflict with the law or who suffer because of their parents’ difficult situation. Recently selected as nodal agency for the project in Chandigarh, the YTTS is in the process of setting up a City Advisory Board to involve representatives from the departments of police, medicine, social welfare and media in the Childline project, being run by the PGI for the past three years.

Stressing the will to make Chandigarh Childline the best among the others running in 55 cities, the chief functionary of the YTTS, Lieut-Col Ravi Bedi said,”We have chosen the eve of Vineet’s birthday to make a humble beginning. Letters have been sent in to invite people to join us. Our attempt will be to make the Childline service worthwhile”.

Besides this, the Mauli Jagran centre of YTTS woke up to a pleasant surprise when six computers were installed for the children studying there. Also present on the occasion was Mr P.H. Vaishnav, President of YTTS, who announced the formation of self help groups in the areas where the YTTS is active.

“We have with us Amit Khanna, a student from the SP Jain Institute of Research and Management, Mumbai. He is working out corporate tie-ups to empower women in rural areas under the project titled Vama,” he said. Interestingly, the YTTS has arrived at an understanding with CITCO which will offer its outlets for publicity of products created by women in self-help groups.

On another front, thousands of slum children and women gathered at 12 YTTS centres across Chandigarh to celebrate their founder’s birthday by way of contests in painting and calligraphy, the two arts which Vineet had mastered during his lifetime. They were too keen to match their mentor’s abilities which are far too many to be listed. Vineet was famous for planning from his stretcher to which he was permanently confined. He also used to paint and write poetry. His paintings still adorn the walls of YTTS centres.


Propagating the eternal purity of soul
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 6
The matters of spirit invariably baffle the mind. Lost in the plethora of yogic options available all over and confused by the conflicting philosophies aired from various platforms, one often wonders which “yog” to practise for the upliftment of soul and the attainment of so-called eternal bliss.

Much of this ambiguity ended the moment one soaked in the divine verses of Yogi Siddhanath, the foremost disciple of Shiv Goraksha Nath Babaji. Not loading you with lofty spiritual quotes, Gurunath, who initiates into Hamsa Yoga and Kriya Yoga, the ancient science of the Nath Yogis, focuses your attention on the purity of the soul, irrespective of the space in which it rests. His rhythmic treatise on sin and virtue sounds most convincing as it takes into consideration the circumstances in which a sin is committed as also the setting in which a virtue is earned.

In Chandigarh to hold special classes on Hamsa and Kriya yoga, Gurunath called for faith in the purity of “atman”. “Consign all consciousness of sin and virtue to ashes. All spirituality stresses upon the purity of mind and body. Every morning you are born anew. Every morning you awaken to purity. I hold a woman in a brothel purer in mind and spirit than a wily priest who remembers God with sin in mind. I have removed all confusion about sin and virtue by writing a poem which invited the wrath of priests in Pune. But I told them that soul was untouched by sin and virtue.”

From a respectable family of Gwalior, Yogiraj Siddhanath studied at Sherwood College, Nainital. He spent his early years in the Himalayas with the great Nath Yogis. Now he helps disciples to sit in meditation by practising easy means.

In Chandigarh, Yogiraj is represented by Hamsacharya Jyoti Subramaniam, who claims she met her mentor through a divine vision. She now runs the Hamsa Yoga Sangh here, initiating students into the age-old practice of Hamsa and Kriya Yoga.

In the presence of Yogiraj today, several queries pertaining to mind, spirit, karma and consciousness were addressed. Talking of Karma Yoga, Yogiraj said, “It is important to train yourself to do such actions whose results you would not mourn. You are the maker of your destiny. Soul must be at peace to allow the mind to meditate. But that does not mean your attentions would not be deflected by thoughts. Whenever you close our eyes to concentrate, you will encounter a melange of images. Absorb them, never dismiss them. Once you accept their reality, they will vanish into oblivion, leaving you free to meditate.”

Yogiraj himself experienced the divine light as a 23-year-old. He then set out to propagate peace through dynamic practices of ‘New Life Awakening’, a form of consciousness he nurtures with his yogic practices. Having experienced the divine, Yogiraj says the feeling of bliss is indescribable. he, however, resorted to verses to share his bliss with us:

“Hold your silence, stillness still...For here your feet upon your head,

Your head is humbled to the floor, the awesome mystery you yourself,

Ask no more....”

“God is within,” said Yogiraj, before proceeding for a Hamsa Yoga session at Panchvati Farms today.


Fire at Punjab Tractors Ltd
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 6
A fire broke out in a section of the heat treatment plant at Punjab Tractors Limited (PTL), here last night.

While the authorities claimed that it was a minor fire, fire brigade officials said it took more than an hour to bring the situation under control.

Mr A.M. Swhney, Senior-Vice-President, Marketing, and Ms Amar Deepika, General Manager (HR), told Chandigarh Tribune that fire broke out in the unit probably due to a spark and could be brought under control by the security staff of the factory. They said the fire brigade had been called only as a precautionary measure and financial loss was very little.

However, Mr Bhupinder Singh Sandhu, Station Fire Officer, said fire tenders had reached the factory around 10.20 pm and the situation could be brought under control in about an hour. He said the free tenders left the factory at 11.30 pm.

Mr Sandhu said two drums of chemical foam were used to bring the flames under control. He said the fire must have started due to the overheating of the boiler.


Panchkula GPO has no proper building
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, April 6
Even after being awarded the status of a district over 25 years ago, Panchkula does not have a General Post Office (GPO) building. At present, the GPO is functioning from the congested premises of the Sector 8 post office, and that too with inadequate infrastructure.

In a press note issued by Mr S.K. Nayar, president of the Citizen’s Welfare Association, Panchkula, pointed out that government proposals for a spacious and well equipped buildings for a GPO had remained questions since long.

He revealed that Panchkula has post offices in Sector 4, 8 and 15 besides one in Old Panchkula and that too in dilapidated condition.


Mohali SHO sent to police lines
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 6
SHO of he Phase I police station Bupinder Singh has been sent to the police lines in Ropar on a charge of not being able to properly control the area under his jurisdiction.

Order to this effect were issued by Ropar SSP Surinder Pal Singh, following the arrest of 10 persons in a fake lottery ticket racket.

The SSP had stated yesterday that the racket in Mohali was going on in connivance of the local police. The raids in Mohali were conducted by police officials from Ropar and Kharar.

Mr Jagjit Singh, who was in charge of the traffic wing in the town, has been made the SHO in place of Mr Bhupinder Singh.


Property dealers resent hike in registration fee
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, April 6
More than 100 property dealers of this township today held a meeting and expressed their concern over the hike in revenue registration fee and other charges, today. They also constituted a committee to take up the matter with the government.

The dealers criticised, the government for a sudden hike in the fee. They also alleged that the government had put extra burden on them.

The committee demanded that the hike should be withdrawn.


Bid to outrage modesty of incense seller
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 6
An alleged attempt was made today to outrage the modesty of girl selling incense sticks on the first floor of an SCO in Sector 35.

The girl was admitted to a hospital in the city with an injury in her head. The girl was selling incense sticks in the market when an unidentified person lured her to the first floor of an SCO. The girl was told that there was an office on the first floor and she could sell more sticks.

When the girl went upstairs, she found out there was no office there and the floor was empty as renovation work of an office was going on.

The girl then tried to run away from the person and fell down while making an escape.The resistence by the girl and her raising an alarm forced the unidentified person to run away after scaling down the first floor from a window which did not have any glass panes.

This happened near the place where lawyers from Pakistan were to be received. The police, however, did not initiate any action as the girl refused to record her statement. Her mother and brother were also in the area when the incident happened.


Two hurt in road mishap

Zirakpur, April 6
Two motorcyclists were injured, one of them seriously, after their vehicles had a head-on collision on the Kalka-Ambala highway, near here, this afternoon. According to the police, the right leg of Ravinder Kaushal, a resident of Bhagat Singh Colony in Dera Bassi, was fractured while Sanjiv Thakur of Khuda Ali Sher village sustained minor injuries.

Employed with a milk plant in Mohali, Ravinder was riding his motor cycle (PB-70-5634) way back to home his office while Sanjiv was approaching from the opposite direction on his motor cycle (CH-03K-4255).

Ravinder was rushed to the General Hospital, Sector 16, Chandigarh. The police has registered a case against Sanjiv. OC

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