C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


BJP promises to untie ‘lal dora’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
Much to the delight of a rural audience at Behlana village here, Mr Rajnath Singh, Union Agriculture Minister, today said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), if voted to power, would end ‘lal dora’ in the city. He was addressing a gathering of villagers particularly with reference to rural problems.

“Farmers have pointed out difficulties being faced in building houses and carrying out other activities in their areas because of the ‘lal dora’. We will convert it into a ‘green dora’ and end all restrictions. It is their land and they should be independent in its usage plans”, he said.

Mr Satya Pal Jain, BJP candidate, in his inaugural speech said, “ I got the rate of compensation increased for local farmers from Rs 3 lakh to Rs 10 lakh per acre. I will get it increased to Rs 30 lakh. I promise that each village will get a community centre out of my MPLAD fund if elected. I will get two villages transformed into model villages each year during my tenure”.

Mr Om Prakash, sarpanch of Mauli Jagran village, Ms Mahinder Kaur, sarpanch of Behlana, Mr Mam Chand Rana head of Maloya, Mr Tarsem Lal sarpanch of Dadu Majra, Mr Harmesh Kumar sarpanch of Kaimbwala and Mr Sukhdeep head of Hallo Majra village, were present.

Mr Rajnath Singh said, “We should never forget that farmers are the backbone of the economy. Any progress is incomplete without theirs. Despite abundant production of foodgrain by farmers, India had to import foodgrain till the BJP took over. Within five years, the country is now exporting foodgrain to 25 countries.”

The Agriculture Minister said earlier farmers were given loans at an interest of between 14 and 18 per cent while those taking loans for cars paid 7.5 per cent interest. “We have reduced it to 8.5 per cent for farmers. I assure you that interest on farmers’ loans will be brought down to 5 per cent. We have created a special loan for insurance of food crops. It has been launched in 20 districts in the testing phase. Based on the crop of the last seven years, each field can be insured. In case of loss in production, farmers will get compensation. The government will pay 75 per cent of the instalment for the scheme and farmers will pay the remaining amount”, he said.

The former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh said people should compare the performance of the BJP to that of the Congress. Japan was destroyed in 1945 and within 15 years, the people of that small country took it into the elite group of developed countries, he said.

“The government has setup a kisan call centre. Any farmer can make a free call and enquire about his problems on telephone number 1551. The scheme was launched on January 21”, he said.


Shourie defends disinvestment
Tribune Reporters

Panchkula, April 25
Defending disinvestment in public sector undertakings (PSUs), Mr Arun Shourie, Union Minister for Disinvestment, Information Technology and Communications, today claimed that no small-scale unit had closed down on account of liberalisation and economic policies pursued by the Central Government.

Addressing a press conference here, he accused the Congress of “obstructing” the economic policies of the government. The liberalisation and economic policies initiated by the Congress in the early 90s lost steam in the subsequent years. It was the NDA government that brought about reforms and now suddenly the Congress had started claiming credit for the success of those reforms, he said.

Claiming there was a consensus on economic reforms “in practice”, he said even the Congress vision document listed certain economic policies initiated by the NDA government.

Taking the Punjab and Haryana to task for not adopting new technologies, he said these states had to look beyond traditional agricultural and industrial avenues to compete with southern states on the technological front.

Claiming that there had been an increase ranging from 25 to 250 per cent in the production of about 45 industries that had gone in for disinvestment, the minister allayed the fears that the MNCs had taken over the small-scale industries. On the other hand, the Indian industrial giants like Reliance, Tata and the ONGC were emerging as the “new MNCs” and had taken over several industries in other parts of the world by “out-competing” the MNCs.

Earlier, addressing a meeting of the Intellectual Cell of the BJP, he claimed that India was on its way to become a world “economic superpower”. The annual IT exports had crossed Rs 45,000 crore and Indian IT professionals were calling shots in the advanced countries, he added.

Prof Ganeshi Lal, president of the Haryana unit of the BJP, was also present on the occasion.

Ambala: The Union Disinvestment Minister, Mr Arun Shourie, said here today that there was a need to reflect upon the methodology of exit polls.

Talking to mediapersons at the Ambala Cantonment railway station before leaving for Panchkula, he said exit polls should be deliberated upon after the elections were over.

He said although different exit polls were showing similar numbers in totality, the numbers differed considerably in different states.

He said he would be holding three meetings with intellectuals today. While the first meeting would be at Panchkula, the second would be at Yamunanagar and the third would be at Panipat. "Intellectuals are opinion makers. I will discuss with them issues concerning them. The doubts of intellectuals will be cleared during these meetings," he said.

He said disinvestment was unnecessarily being turned into an issue.

To a query, he said every seat was important in these elections and every would vote count. "The arrival of Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Vadra will only enthuse the demoralised Congress workers, otherwise, their presence will not have any impact. I wish them the best," he said.


Furore over Admn’s B.Ed entrance test likely today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
The UT Administration’s decision to conduct the B.Ed entrance test for the two colleges of the city offering the course is likely to create a furore at Panjab University’s Academic Council meeting slated for tomorrow.

Being seen as an attempt to impinge on the jurisdiction of the university, faculty members maintain that the UT Administration has no business conducting examinations. Not having conducted any entrance test prior to this, they are of the opinion that academic matters should be left to the university alone.

Prof P.P. Arya, faculty member of the University Business School, says, “The move amounts to a direct attack being made on the authority of the university by the Administration. If all entrance tests are to be conducted by governments and administrations, why have the university at all? Now, the only choice before the Administration is that it should, on its own, hand over the responsibility of the test to the university.”

Another faculty member has stressed that the university must take a conscious decision to keep the Administration out of the academic affairs of the university. “Sometime back, the Punjab Government was interested in conducting the test to the Law College at Muktsar. Now, we have this problem. The university cannot go on defending and protecting its authority. It has other jobs to do as well,” he added.

Last year, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, had conducted the examination for all three universities. However, at the time of admission, it had changed the interpretation of reservation of 80 per cent seats for students of the city colleges, Government College of Education, Sector 20, and Dev Samaj College of Education, Sector 36, leading to confusion among students.

While the co-ordinator admitted students staying in the city under this reserved quota, the prospectus had laid down that all students who had studied for the second and third year of graduation in city colleges would be entitled to avail themselves of the reservation.

Interestingly, the first and second counselling for admission to city B.Ed colleges was done on the basis of the residential address. The policy was altered to accommodate students who had studied in city colleges following protests.

Though the decision of the UT Administration is an attempt at solving the problem faced last year, the faculty is averse to such a solution. A chairperson maintains, “There for no need for the Administration to step in.”


Tatas, Hutch all set to enter region
Poonam Batth
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
Before the end of the third quarter of this year, people of the region wishing to acquire a new mobile connection will have more choice.

Telecom giants Tatas and Hutch are working overtime to launch their services in the region. While Tata will enter the region through wireless CDMA mobile and wireless landline services, Hutch is expected to offer GSM services.

According to information, both Tatas and Hutch are giving finishing touches to their pre-launch operations. This includes setting up of towers, putting in place a dealers’ network and opening offices. “We are going to launch simultaneously in Punjab , Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. While exact details are still being worked out, we will offer highly competitive rates to the customers. Due to our immense brand recognition, getting people to opt for a Tata mobile should not be a problem,’’ said a senior executive of Tata Telecom.

Sources in Hutch said that the company would roll out its services in at least 65 towns and cities of Punjab by June. Having bought the fourth operator licence from Escotel last year, Hutch is planning to go the whole hog to lure customers into its fold.

Tata is expected to begin with a soft launch on August 15. Though known for being a slow player, it may well be here only by December-end.

But, while not denying that Tata and Hutch will heat up the market, officials of the companies that are already providing services in the region claim that Hutch will find it a little difficult to do well as it will function on the 1800 frequency. The other operators in the region are providing services on the 900 frequency.

“In order to provide satisfactory services, the operator that comes on 1800 frequency will need to put up at least twice the number of towers than what are installed by 900 frequency operators. This increases the cost considerably. It will be interesting to see what Hutch does to overcome this handicap,’’ notes a competitor. As of now, customers in Punjab have the option of choosing from among Airtel, Spice, BSNL, Reliance and Connect. Now they will have two more options in Hutch and Tata.

However, market watchers predict that despite more players coming into the picture, the average customer may not get any cost benefits. But, only those operators will grow who can offer highest network quality and good customer services,’’ notes Mr Mandeep Bhatia, Vice-President, Sales and Marketing, Airtel. The customer will now be in a position to not only start comparing the services of a national service provider in the region but will also have the added advantage of better and more attractive schemes, he added. In fact, the real gainers in the increased competitive intensity will be the retailers who will get more schemes to sell.

Interestingly, Chandigarh already has more mobile connections than landlines. And Punjab too also has reached the same level of mobile penetration as landline. The tariffs of mobiles in Punjab also by far are the lowest in the country anywhere.


No hope for car refund in sight
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 25
In 1995, Mr Sucha Singh Gill booked a Peugeot 309 car manufactured by PAL Peugeot Limited. He also deposited Rs 25,000 with the company’s Chandigarh dealer, M/s Amardeep Motors Private Limited.

After waiting for three years for the vehicle, Mr Gill sought a refund of the registration amount in 1998. He was promised that the amount would be returned “soon”.

After a series of reminders to the company yielded no result, Mr Gill filed a complaint with the Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Chandigarh. On May 3, 1999, the forum ordered the company to return the money along with costs amounting to Rs 2200.

Till date the family has not received the money back. Mr Gill died on July 10, 2003.

His son, Dr J.S. Gill, has been running for pillar to post to get the money back. But, to no avail. His letters to the company were returned by the post office with the remarks that the company was closed.

He is not alone in this misery. There are scores of other such decree holders in various parts of the region, particularly Jalandhar and Ludhiana.

The staff of the consumer forums tell them to go and find the present address of the company. The dealers who booked the cars have washed their hands off the deal, saying they don’t represent the company anymore.

“Nobody can guide us. It is not a question of the money. Is there no law to catch hold of such defaulters? Doesn’t the decree of the consumer forum, obtained after spending a lot of money and time, have any value?” Dr Gill questions. In a bid to get his money back, Dr Gill and some other decree holders conducted enquiries about the whereabouts of the company. “We found out that the company has been taken over by another company. But, we are not sure if the new company will give us our money back,” Dr Gill says.


Don’t shed crocodile tears, BJP told
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, Congress nominee for the ensuing Lok Sabha elections, today accused the BJP of shedding crocodile tears. He said this was an act of desperation to appease the minorities.

The statement was in response to the visit of Mr Denzil Atkinson, vice-president of the BJP Minorities Morcha, here yesterday.

Mr Bansal said Mr Atkinson’s acceptance of nomination to the Lok Sabha was a betrayal of the proud and dignified Christian community. Where Mr Denzil Atkinson was, Mr Bansal asked, when BJP mobs burnt down a number of churches in Karnataka. Mr Bansal said, “The Congress high command took the initiative and deputed me along with certain other partymen to visit the affected areas.

He said there should be no place for hatred-spewing people like Mr Thackeray and Mr Togadia in a vibrant democracy like ours and the BJP should stop misleading and suppressing the minorities.

Earlier, Mr Bansal undertook a padyatra at Khudda Lahora village along with his supporters.

Later, while addressing a Yuva Mahila Congress meeting in Sector 28 he impressed upon the younger and educated people to take active part in politics in order to throw out unwarranted elements. He also addressed a gathering in Sector 30.

Mr Bansal visited Jain Mandir, Sector 27, to pay his obeisance as today was the last day of Mahamahotsava celebrations.

Mr Pardeep Chhabra and Mr Kamaljit Singh Panchhi, media in charge of the party, took strong exception to Mr Satya Pal Jain’s, BJP’s candidate, false charges against Mr Bansal that he had grabbed land in the name of Heritage Education Society. They said that the site in question was one of the 22 sites for the schools allotted by the UT Administration.

The duo levelled allegations of misusing offices for personal gains against Mr Jain and Mr Yash Pal Mahajan, president of the local unit of the BJP.


Dhawan: Bansal, Jain acting irresponsibly
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
People can see the level to which the local Congress and the BJP candidates have stooped to at rallies during their election campaign.

This was stated by Mr Harmohan Dhawan, INLD candidate, while addressing a rally in Sector 20 here today.

Mr Dhawan said the city had a literate population and would not tolerate irresponsible behaviour being displayed by Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal and Mr Satya Pal Jain. He said Mr Bansal and Mr Jain were frustrated.

Mr Dhawan went to the Sainik Rest House in Sector 21 and appealed to the ex-servicemen to support him. “Mr Jain and Mr Bansal are reproducing the same manifestoes year after year. They have failed to live up to their promises. I assure you that I will lead the cause of the ex-servicemen till the issues are settled,” he said.

Mr Dhawan was garlanded with special “malas” woven out of notes worth more than Rs 21,000 at the Sector 21 market. He took out a padyatra in the motor market of Mani Majra. Shopkeepers pointed out that their issues had been ignored by both BJP and Congress.

He addressed a meeting of the Young Dwellers Society, Sector 49, where he was welcomed by Mr Jasbir Singh Narula, president of the society. He went on a padyatra to Sector 52 and Nehru Colony. Mr Dhawan was weighed against coins in colony No.IV.


INLD to seek votes on government’s performance
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 25
Terming development as the main election issue, the INLD candidate from the Ambala parliamentary constituency, Mr Balwant Singh, today said that the party would seek votes on the performance of the Chautala government during the past four years.

Talking to reporters here, Mr Balwant Singh came down heavily on the “non-performance” of the outgoing BJP MP, Mr Rattan Lal Kataria, saying the people’s aspirations remained to be fulfilled.Even as the Congress candidate, Ms Selja, claimed to be “Ambala ki beti”, her covering candidate also belonged to Sirsa, giving credence to the reports that she was an “outsider”, he said.

He informed that Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala would campaign for him during a roadshow from Nadda on April 30.

Later, Mr Balwant Singh, Municipal Council chief, Ms Seema Chaudhary, INLD general secretary, Mr Amardeep Chaudhary, and Mr Deepak Rai Walia, district media in charge, addressed a public meeting in the Mansa Devi Complex. Mr Balwant Singh also inaugurated a party office in Sector 8 in the evening.


Congress directionless, says Dhumal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal, a former Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, today said it was for the fourth time Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee would be voted to power. He said he had toured different constituencies and noticed a wave in favour of the BJP.

He was addressing a public rally in the Sector 20 market. He said the outgoing Member of Parliament, Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, had done nothing for the city. He said the Congress was directionless. The BJP government in the past has improved the image of the country abroad.


SAD worker joins Cong
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 25
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) received a jolt today when Youth Akali Dal worker Gurdhyan Singh of Naya Gaon deserted the SAD and joined the Congress in the presence of Cabinet Minister Jagmohan Singh Kang and a host of Congress leaders and workers of the area.

Mr Gurdhayan Singh was a supporter of Ujagar Singh Badali, who had unsuccessfully contested the last Assembly elections from Morinda constituency.

Regarding the formation of an NAC at Naya Gaon, Mr Kang said efforts were being made to get the stay on its formation vacated by the high court.

Those present on the occasion included chairman, Block Samiti, Maajri, Chaudhary Prem Singh Tira, Samiti member Rana Mehar Singh, Dilbag Ram, panch Kansal village, and Kashmir Kaur, sarpanch, Perch village.


Women’s council to keep tabs on MP’s performance
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
The Women Watch organisation today announced the constitution of a women council to keep monthly tabs on the performance of the local Member of Parliament, at a “face to face” with prominent candidates for the coming parliamentary elections.

Dr Pam Rajput, convenor of Women Watch, said the council would consist of at least one prominent woman from each ward. The MP would be requested to give some allotted time each month, where they would ask the progress on their earlier demands and set new agendas.

Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal of the Congress, Mr Satya Pal Jain of the BJP and Mr Harmohan Dhawan of the Indian National Lok Dal were the prominent candidates present on the occasion. All three showed their commitment towards women’s issues. Mr Dharam Paul Sharma and Mr Arvind Jain, both independent candidates, were also present.

The candidates agreed to the demand of a mahila bhavan in the city through their MPLAD funds. The forum had sought answers to: “What have you done to deserve our votes? What women’s issues did you take up during your tenure in Parliament? How much expenditure out of the MPLAD have you made on women? And what is your stand with regard to reservation for women?”


First vote
I prefer Cong

“I am really excited to vote for the development of the city. It will be a great experience to participate in the process of elections. I have made up my mind to go for the candidate who talks about the development of the city and is honest”.

“Due to the background of my family, I prefer the “Congress and will like to see Ms Sonia Gandhi and Mr Rahul Gandhi in power. I favour young faces in politics as they have more perspectives, new viewpoints and are energetic”.

“I have been encouraging my friends to exercise their right to franchise, as it will make a difference. Though many of my friends will not be able to vote due to university examinations, I am determined to vote.”

I will oppose the party, which announces largesse for slum-dwellers. It is politicians who are responsible for defacing the city. Local issues matter to me more than national issues”.


Will MC privatise park maintenance?
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 25
The local Municipal Council is all set to privatise the maintenance of public parks and green belts in the township, allowing private parties to advertise within the parks. The council will also hand over the maintenance of intra-sectoral parks to residential welfare associations. Proposals to this effect will be discussed during the monthly meeting of the council on April 28.

The private party which takes up the maintenance of a park will provide the labour and bear water and electricity costs. In lieu of this, the private operator will be allowed to advertise within the park. The size and location of the advertisement will be fixed by the council in accordance with the instructions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

A large number of parks and some green belts of the township are being maintained by the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA). Three major parks and three green belts have been developed by PUDA and handed over to the council for maintenance. Now the council wants to further hand over the maintenance of these parks to private operators.

The parks which are being planned for privatisation include Rose Garden, Phase 3B1, Silvi Park, Phase 10, and Bouganvillea Garden, Phase IV. These are the largest and the most frequented parks in the township and are being maintained by the council. The green belts up for private maintenance are the ones in Phases 7, 8 and 9.

The council also proposes to hand over intra-sectoral or internal parks to residential welfare associations for maintenance. The council will bear half the cost of maintenance in such cases while the other half will be spent by the associations. Almost every phase and sector in the township has between four and eight internal parks, some of which are being maintained by the council while a majority of these are with PUDA.

In case the proposal is voted for by council members, Mohali will set a precedent. Neither Chandigarh nor Panchkula have any park being maintained by private parties, allowing them to advertise in the park in the bargain. The council will also discuss the waiving of certain preconditions laid down for the regularisation of pump operators employed by the council. The council will also take up the case of a fire engine driver who was arrested by the Chandigarh police and sent to judicial custody. He was suspended following the incident. The driver had requested the council to allow him to continue work.


Power consumers a harassed lot
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 25
Power consumers of the town are facing various problems as the authorities concerned have failed to remove them even though these were brought to their notice many times.

In a letter to the Chairman of the Punjab State Electricity Board, Mr Y.S. Ratra, the local Consumers Protection Forum said a large number of illegal colonies had come up around the town and their number was increasing each day. Residents of these colonies were drawing power illegally through kundi connections.

Mr P.S. Virdi, president of the forum, said the problem of power theft had been brought to the notice of authorities concerned many times but it was unfortunate that no proper action had been taken against slum dwellers. He said even a number of shops carrying out welding work were allegedly drawing power by using kundi connections. As such the power board was facing losses running into lakhs of rupees. In order to compensate for this loss the power board indulged in tarrif hike which resulted in unnecessary burden on power consumers. He alleged that even some industrial units in the town indulged in power theft but no action was taken by authorities concerned against them.

Mr Virdi further pointed out that the power board officials were replacing old meters with electronic meters. He failure. He said in Haryana a similar policy had been adopted which resulted in a failure. He said electronic meters moved at a faster pace which resulted in a financial burden on consumers. He said a lesson should be learnt from the failure of the scheme in Haryana. He said four electronic meters had been got tested by the Additional Superintending Engineer of the board here and three out of them were found faulty.

He said whenever a consumer wanted to get his power load enhanced he was put to harassment as the work was not done even after he completed all the formalities in this regard. He appealed to the higher authorities to look into the matter and get the problems solved.


Passionate appeal against female foeticide
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
Fifteen years ago when paediatrician Gurminder Sidhu wrote a long, narrative piece on female foeticide in Punjab she had not expected the response it would generate.

Her passionate note on the subject was followed by a countrywide reaction, with certain parents virtually sending confessions to her. Overnight, Dr Sidhu assumed the role of a conscience keeper.

Years later, the crusader is still on the job, although her following seems to have diminished. But bound as Dr Sidhu is to the cause by virtue of being both a doctor and a writer, she has decided to document her feelings in the shape of a novel. Titled after her first piece on female foeticide “Na Mammi Na”, the work is more a piece of literature invoking the pain than a doctored view on the problem.

Released in the city today, the novel recalls the confessions of parents who had promised never to harbour dislike for the female child. In fact, the very cover of the novel features the portrait of a proud girl child who owes her survival to Dr Sidhu. The inside pages are full of letters written in response to the litterateur's first published article against female foeticide. It also gives details of episodes in which couples decided against foeticide after succumbing to Dr Sidhu’s appeals.

Technically speaking, the work is not a novel in the real sense of the word. Full of all forms of literature from plays to poems, it has rich folk contents of “boliyaan” and “kikliyaan”. No wonder many experts have recommended its inclusion in the school curriculum in Punjab.

Dr Sidhu’s emotional outbursts on the issue have already inspired a tele- film titled “Kammo”. She has also written a play from the perspective of the jeopardised female foetus. Called “Chidi di ambar wal udaan”, the play has been staged over 30 times in Punjab, with veteran director Gursharan Singh picking it up for presentation.

Published by Tarlochan Publications, the 246-page novel is yet another addition to the literary works of Dr Sidhu, who already has four anthologies of poems to her credit. These include “Hanju pijeya mausam”, “Taareyaan di chhaven”, “Masya te gulabi lau” and“Bukkal wichle suraj.”


New auditorium for Panchkula
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 25
The City Centre in Sector 5 here will soon have a convention centre. The centre, having a state-of-the-art auditorium with a seating capacity of over 1,000 persons, is slated for completion next year.

To be built by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) at a cost of over Rs 14 crore and covering an area of 5,407 square metres, the centre will have an air-conditioned basement, a ground floor and a balcony. A conference hall, with a seating capacity of 65 persons, will be another special feature of the project, spread over an area of 5.5 acres, according to sources.

The sources said the project was envisaged with a view to provide planned development on modern town planning principles. Ultra-modern light and sound and public address systems will be another feature of the project.

Giving details, the sources said while the seating area would be at the ground floor and the balcony, the small convention hall would be located on the first floor. The parking lot and the service area would be accommodated in the basement.

An official said the need for setting up the convention centre was felt as needs of Panchkula were growing due to its proximity to Chandigarh. Currently, the township did not have any large auditorium and had to depend on Chandigarh for holding indoor functions.

Once completed, the auditorium will be one of the biggest in the region. Tagore Theatre in Chandigarh has a seating capacity of about 700.The auditorium is expected to give a fillip to the cultural activity in the town.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that the civil works at the project were almost complete and the tenders for other services such as fire-fighting, air-conditioning, and installation of elevators have been invited.


Death did them apart
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
A 25-year-old woman died while her 22-year-old suspected paramour was injured when they jumped in front of a train near Makhan Majra village here.

The woman Sunita died on the spot while Karamvir Singh has been admitted to the GMCH after he lost his right leg and hand.

The police is trying to confirm if the two had eloped from their native village Basana in Sonepat district. Karamvir has not yet given his statement.

The police said it seemed they had entered a suicide pact. It said they had been living at Deria village for almost a month before the incident today.


Unclaimed body of Nigerian buried

Mohali, April 25
The Mohali police today buried the Nigerian citizen Antriaghe, who had died in the township on April 10. His body was lying unclaimed in Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh, for the past 15 days despite the Nigerian High Commissioner having been informed about the death.

However, following permission from the Embassy, Antriaghe was buried in Sector 25 according to Christian rites. Some members of a Nigerian association and a few relatives of the deceased attended the burial.

Antriaghe, who probably lived in Chandigarh, had come to visit his friend in Phase XI here but fell ill and was rushed to the GMCH-32, Chandigarh, where he was declared brought dead. The police was informed which requested the hospital to keep the body in the mortuary till someone from his family came to claim it. TNS


Motorists stranded on highway

Panchkula, April 25
Thousands of motorists were stranded on the Ambala-Kalka highway near Pinjore following a traffic blockade this afternoon.

Scores of workers of the stone crusher units of Burj Kotian village near the highway blocked the traffic around 12.30 pm. Hundreds of vehicles were caught in the traffic jam, which continued for about one hour.They were demanding the recarpeting of a link road to Burj Kotian.

Even as thousands of persons were left high and dry in the intense heat, the DSP(Headquaters), Panchkula, and the Kalka DSP, reached the spot and assured the protestors that their demand would be forwarded to the authorities concerned. TNS


Four chain snatchers land in police net
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
The police today arrested to drug addicts on the charge of being involved in seven chain snatching incidents in the southern sectors of the city during the past eight months.

Amandeep Singh, alias Nanni, who was pursuing a computer course, and Varinder Singh, a caterer, have reportedly admitted to their crime and helped the police recover six gold chains. Amandeep Singh is son of a teacher settled in Batala, Gurdaspur, while Varinder Singh is from Butrela village.

The snatcher duo told the police that they used to take smack before playing the “game”. They said “game” was their code word for criminal activities.

The police has also impounded a Hero Honda motor cycle (No. CH03 L 5013) allegedly used in criminal activities by them.

They used to hang their helmet on the number plate of the vehicle to hide the number and put off the headlights before committing the crime.

The police had arrested Amandeep on Friday, while Varinder Singh was arrested today.

In another crackdown against chain snatchers, the Sector 34 police has arrested two more persons.

Ranbir Singh and Jasbir Singh, both residents Burail village, were arrested for their alleged involvement in two snatching incidents. Two chains of 15 gm each were recovered from them.

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