C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Storm, rain wreak havoc in city, around
Tribune News Service

  • Even as the night’s storm has subsided, large parts of the city were without power till morning. A snag in the 66 KV sub station in Sector 32 today morning resulted in a breakdown affecting power supply in Sectors 20, 30, 32, 46, 47 and 48. Villages of the Union Territory were also affected.
  • Sources said power supply was restored to only 80 per cent of the city by 11.30 pm last night. In other areas, supply was restored only in the morning. One of the areas badly affected was Punjab Engineering College.
  • Last year the electricity wing had purchased electrical saws to prune trees. One saw was provided in each of the four divisions. Sources said two of these were out of order.
  • Meanwhile, a meeting of engineers to chalk out a programme for improving the power distribution system was postponed today.

Chandigarh, May 24
This morning the city woke up to a widespread havoc caused by gale accompanied by rains, last evening.

Two persons died in separate mishaps in Chandigarh and Mohali when they were caught in the windstorm. Charanjit, a resident of Sector 46, who was injured in an accident, succumbed to head injuries in the Sector 32 GMCH. Several motorists with minor injuries were also admitted to various hospitals in the city.

Along several busy roads, trees were uprooted leading to disruption of traffic. The windstorm affected the power and water supply in many parts of the city. The telephone services in different pockets of the city were hit when falling branches of trees snapped telephone cables.

Water supply to many parts of the southern sectors, which are fed from the Sector 32 water works, was disrupted due to a fault at the water works. The water supply could be restored this morning, said an officer of the Public Health of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation.

The rain, which followed the gale, however, brought today’s maximum daytime temperature to 34°C and above 5°C below normal. The minimum temperature was recorded at 18.8°C. The rainfall was recorded at 4 cm.

FURY OF THE WIND: Trees came crashing down as high velocity winds swept the region before rain on the Zirakpur-Patiala highway on Sunday.
FURY OF THE WIND: Trees came crashing down as high velocity winds swept the region before rain on the Zirakpur-Patiala highway on Sunday. — Tribune photo by Manoj Mahajan

A survey of the city revealed that branches of many trees had been broken. An eight-member team of the Horticulture wing of the Municipal Corporation had to be deployed to clear the roads last night. The XEN (Horticulture), Mr Raghbir Singh, said at least eight full-grown trees had been uprooted in Sectors 4,9, 27, 34. A tree fell on the road dividing Sectors 27 and 28.

The Chief Engineer, Municipal Corporation, Mr K.B. Sharma, told Chandigarh Tribune that no road caved in due to the rain. He said no major damage had been caused to the essential services.

The control room of the fire station received more than 10 calls of sparking in transformers after the rain. Help of the Fire Department was also sought in clearing the roads of uprooted trees.

The Met Office said sudden change in weather pattern last evening was due to a low pressure created over the city.

Mohali: Gurupkar Singh, who belonged to Kaithal district and lived in Sector 71, was killed when his motorcycle was hit by a truck near the Chawla chowk. While Gurupkar Singh was killed on the spot, the truck driver managed to flee.

Two buffaloes were electrocuted in Jujhar Nagar village today. The buffaloes were grazing in a field where wires were hanging loose since last night’s storm. Other than the traffic, power supply to the township was seriously affected due to the high-speed winds. Even as the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) employees here have been working round-the-clock to restore power supply to Mohali, some villages in the periphery have now been without electricity supply for over 24 hours.

Power supply to majority of the urban Mohali and nearby villages was disrupted following extensive damage to low tension wires, poles and conductors last night. “As many as 30 poles have been damaged including some conductors. The power supply went off at about 8 p.m. last night but by 4 a.m. power supply was restored to 90 per cent of area in Mohali. However, in some areas where the damage to the poles was extensive and branches of trees were entangled in the wires, repair work began only in the morning. By 10 a.m., however, most of the urban areas had electricity. We are still working on some lines that supply electricity to the rural areas,’’ said Mr R.P. Singla, XEN (Technical), PSEB, Mohali.

Giving details to the horticulture-related damage, the XEN (Horticulture) Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority, Mr H.S. Dhaliwal, said although few trees had been uprooted in the squall last night, most of the damage had been caused by broken branches of large trees. “The number of trees that have been uprooted is not more than six or seven. And these are those, the roots of which have weakened over the years. But majority of the road blockages have been caused by the broken branches of the Kajela Pinata,” he added.

Mr K.R. Choudhry, Divisional Engineer (External), BSNL, Mohali, said that although no large-scale damage to telephone cables was reported today, individual telephone lines must have snapped at many places in the township. ‘‘We are getting complaints about non-operative telephones but the extent of the problem can be known only tomorrow morning,’’ he said.


PSEB ‘ignoring’ safety of linemen
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 24
Severe injuries sustained by Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) linemen, while undertaking repair work, has brought the question of employee safety to the fore. While the board authorities insist on the linemen using protective gear and following the laid down safety precautions, the linemen allege that the board authorities have never provided them with any protective gear and have a negligent attitude towards the problems they face after sustaining injuries while on work.

Since 1998, six board employees have died in line repair-related accidents, many have sustained injuries leading to handicaps. In the latest accident, on may 16, Manjit Singh sustained over 30 per cent burns while he was repairing a fault in Industrial Area, Phase IX. Manjit Singh was rushed to a private nursing home here with serious burn injuries. Working without gloves or any other protective gear, Manjit Singh began to use a screwdriver but suffered a major shock. His arms, face and chest received serious burns.

Mr R.P. Singla, XEN (Technical), Mohali Circle, said detailed guidelines had been laid down by the board for linemen for undertaking repair work. “If the employees were to follow these guidelines to the hilt, chances of an accident happening are minimum. There is complete set of procedures that have to be followed before any repair work is undertaken. Accidents take place when one or more step is not followed by linemen,” he said. Majority of accidents occur due to cables not having been earthed properly, he added.

Mr Singla said linemen have been duly provided with protection kits, which include gloves, a safety belt, insulated pliers and an earth tester. But Mr Vijay Kumar, general secretary of the employees union of the Mohali Circle, said the board had never given them any such kit. “Most of the times, we are using our own tools in order to undertake repairs. In 15 years of my service, I have never seen this protection kit,” he said.

Mr Singla, however, said the kits were available with the board and the linemen could refuse to work without these. “We have no shortage of protective kits, and in any case it is our responsibility to provide them with protective gear, so why should any worker go without it?” he said.

Other than the contentious issue of protective gears, employees alleged that the board does not take care of them after such incidents happen.


UT employees suffer due to deputationists
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 24
The issue of employees working on deputation in Chandigarh has its origin in the very concept of the formation of the Union Territory in 1966. The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has not revised the status of employees since then, which is now working as a double-edged sword.

Thousands of employees of the Chandigarh Administration are stagnating in their cadre as even middle-level posts within their department are out of reach. Meanwhile, long-serving employees on deputation from Punjab and Haryana are being asked to leave. More employees from the two states will replace them.

For employees of the Administration it is heart burning to see that their counterparts in Punjab and Haryana are getting promotions as per laid down policies. Also a channel for inter-departmental promotion exists, making it a smooth rise up till a certain level.

In Chandigarh, no such avenue exist and employees of the Administration face an invisible ceiling.

The problem stems from an order of the MHA. A committee was set up under Mr V. Shankar in 1966 for the integration of services. Under Section 84 of the Act, the committee suggested “it may be presumed that personnel for the Union Territory of Chandigarh will be provided on deputation by the two states of Punjab and Haryana .”

The Supreme Court, in the often quoted judgement of Swarn Lata versus Union of India, had observed that “Once the integration of services in the newly formed states is, finalised, there is no reason for transitory, consequential or incidental provision like the Section 84 of the Act to operate.” It also said once the process of integration of services was complete, Section 84 would cease to have an effect. However, till the MHA takes a decision, the 1966 instructions are binding on Punjab, Haryana and the Chandigarh Administration under the Re-organisation of States Act, 1966.

In these 37 years, the Chandigarh Administration recruited thousands of employees, thus compounding the problem. Aspirations of employees, however, were taken into account. Deputation can probably not stop till Chandigarh continues to be the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana, accept senior officials.

At present, the situation is that barring the Chief Engineer, who is a Chandigarh Administration employee, no employee of the Administration is the head of a department. The heads of departments are on deputation from Punjab and Haryana. In Chandigarh, the ceiling is now getting even more suffocating as some employees have put in more than 30 years of service. There is no policy for promotion to middle-level posts be it the Education Department, the police, the Excise and Taxation Department, the Sports Department or the Health Department.

In Punjab and Haryana, a school teacher can rise to the rank of the Director Public Instructions (DPI). In Chandigarh a teacher can never be the DPI, who is an officer on deputation from Punjab.

Mrs Nirmal Milkha Singh was the last Director Sports to rise from Administration employees. After her retirement, the Director Sports has either been the Deputy Commissioner or the Additional Deputy Commissioner, thus blocking the chances of coaches. In the states, this is not the case, a sportsman is the Director Sports.

The post of the Director Technical Education used to be held by the Principal of Punjab Engineering College. Now a HCS officer holds it.

In the case of the Excise and Taxation department, an Administration employee can rise till the post of the Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner. In the states, the posts of Joint Commissioner or Additional Commissioner are non-IAS or PCS and are filled through departmental promotions.

In the Chandigarh police a person appointed as an ASI can go up to the rank of a DSP, which is a non-IPS post. In the states, the promotion can be till DIG and even IG, both IPS posts, thus raising the status and esteem of employees.


Special Story
Court martial of General begins
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 24
The General Court Martial (GCM) of Major-Gen P.S.K. Choudhary, accused of impropriety while dealing with fictitious arms dealers in the infamous Tehelka scam, commenced at Ferozepore Cantonment today.

Sources said that the swearing-in of the court members and court officers took place today, with no other significant developments being reported for the day. The Director-General, Air Defence Artillery, Lieut-Gen C.S. Chima, is the court’s presiding officer.

Sources said that the GCM of Brig Iqbal Singh, also accused of impropriety in the same case, is scheduled to convene on May 27 at Patiala. The General Officer Commanding, 1 Armoured Division, Major-Gen Pardeep Khanna, is reported to be the court’s presiding officer. Sources said that summons had already been sent to Brigadier Iqbal, who has now retired.

Meanwhile, the GCM of a third officer accused in the scam, Col Anil Sehgal, which had convened at Chandi Mandir in April, re-assembled today after remaining adjourned for about two weeks.

A sting operation carried out about three years ago by a website, tehelka.com, had reportedly caught six Army officers, including three major-generals, along with some political big-wigs and Defence Ministry officials demanding and accepting bribes. Three of the officers are being tried by courts martial for their alleged involvement in the affair.

General Choudhary is facing three charges under Sections 52(f) and 63 of the Army Act, which deal with intent to defraud and acts prejudicial to good order and military discipline, respectively.

The convening of the trial had been delayed on account of some technical procedures and legal issues related to the offence being time-barred.

Meanwhile, the defence in Colonel’s Sehgal’s trial today raised objections on the composition of the five-member court, contending that the members are biased against the accused. The defence argued that in his recommendations on the COI, the then GOC-in-C, Western Command had remarked that the findings of the COI established the culpability of the accused.

Earlier, the prosecution read out its opening address, which summarised the case against the accused. Colonel Sehgal has already pleaded not guilty to five charges against him. The court has been adjourned till June 2.


Twelve journalists short-listed for South Asian awards
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 24
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has short-listed 12 journalists from the sub-continent for the IFJ Journalism for Tolerance Prize in South Asia. The awards are in three categories, Print (English), Print (Language) and Broadcast, and three persons have been shortlisted in each category from a total of 100 entries.

The winners in each category will be announced at a prize-giving ceremony, scheduled to be held on August 20 in Colombo, IFJ’s South-Asia Co-ordinator, Ms Laxmi Murthy said. The ceremony will be combined with a regional forum focusing on promoting tolerance and combating communalism, racism and discrimination.

The shortlisted persons are — Print (English): Massoud Ansari (Newsline, Pakistan), Basharat Peer (rediff.com, India) and Sweta Ramanujan (Indian Express, India).

Print (Language) : Subrata Basu (Ananda Bazar Patrika, India), Uvindu Kurukulasooriya (Ravayya, Sri Lanka) and Tank Pant (Nepal Samacharpatra, Nepal). In this category, the jury has also commended Naresh Fernandes (Outlook Traveller, India), Nilofar Suhrawardy (Indian Express) and Nirmala Sharma (The Rising Nepal).

Broadcast : Sharni Jayawardena, Sharmini Boyle (both from Young Asia Television, Sri Lanka) and Srilal Sah (Ankhijayal, Nepal).

The jury, comprising senior journalists, included Mr H.K. Dua, Editor-in-Chief, The Tribune (India), Minhaj Barna, former Press Minister, Pakistan’s Permanent Mission at the United Nations, Suman Chattopadhyaya, Executive Editor, Ananda Bazaar Patrika, Mrinal Pande, Editor, Hindustan (India), Jagdish Pokhrel, Associate Editor, The Rising Nepal, and Sunil Wijesirwardena, Media critic and lecturer at Sri Palee Campus, Colombo University (Sri Lanka).


Widow wails at the loss of her son
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

NagmaniChandigarh, May 24
Crisp currency notes fail to cheer up the 23-year-old widow as she stares at the bundle, indifferently. Picking up the cash with her frail trembling hands, she only mutters, "They cannot bring back my child".

Her only son Naresh was drowned in a pond while the young labourer was sweating it out at a construction site at Mohali. Nearly two months after the incident, widow Nagmani was today handed over the final instalment of Rs 35,000 by the construction company authorities.

"Naresh was all I had," she utters. "My family — everything I ever had — ended with his final exit". The young widow cannot tie the knot again because "remarriage is not permitted in her society". Unfortunately, her mother too is a widow.

Struggling hard to hold back the tears, Nagmani says in a voice choked with emotion, "Oh, how I wish my four-and-a-half years' old son was still alive. Life is one big burden without him".

In all, the Andhra Pradesh resident has received Rs 70,000 "following out-of-court settlement". The first instalment was given to her on May 6. It was all made possible due to "timely intervention" of a human rights organisation —the Human Rights Law Network.

Sitting in the organisation's Sector 37 office soon after receiving the money, she utters, "I was not even aware of my rights till the organisation members — after reading a report in The Tribune — traced me. They offered to fight for my rights without charging even a single penny".

Sipping water, she says, "Well. I agreed. The reason was not hard to see. I had nothing more to lose. My family ended with his death and life was one big burden for me. What else could go wrong".

Going into the background of the incident, she recalls, "It was on March 18. I was busy working while he was playing nearby. Everything was absolutely fine till about 4 pm. After that I realised Naresh was nowhere to be seen. Frantic search failed to produce any results, till about 6 pm we saw his body in a pond".

Breaking down, she adds, "The sight made the world spin in front of my eyes. I just could not believe that Naresh would no longer be shouting for me.... I nearly fainted. Well, now that I have been granted compensation, I will go back to my native village and buy land.... I have offered fee to the organisation members, but they simply refuse to accept the money".

Money, the organisation's Chandigarh branch Director Veena Kumari, says, is not the motive. "We wanted her to get justice and we are glad that she has received a slice of it".


Chandigarh Calling

Photo by Parvesh ChauhanThe name of the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, was once recommended for the post of Vice-Chancellor of Panjab University. Dr R.P. Bambah, the then Vice-Chancellor, had forwarded the names of Dr Manmohan Singh and Prof Yashpal, among others, around the time his second term was about to end. However, the then Chancellor of the university, Dr S.D. Sharma, told him that they had other assignments for Dr Manmohan Singh.

Interestingly, Dr Bambah had, during his tenure as Vice-Chancellor, tried to bring back Dr Manmohan Singh to the university as a professor after the latter had returned from his assignment in Geneva.

“The selection committee explored the possibility of attracting Dr Manmohan Singh to the university and forwarded its recommendation to the Syndicate. We were offering to appoint Dr Singh on a contract for seven years at the age of 65 years. Though there was a provision of appointing teachers on contract for a limited period, some Syndics objected to this, saying seven years was not a limited period,” Dr Bambah said.

Finally, it was decided to form a sub-committee to discuss the matter. However, by the time the committee met, there were enough indications that Dr Singh was being offered a position in the government at policy-making level. “The committee had, by then, decided that seven years could not be treated as limited period. I didn’t press for it since we all knew that he was not available for it anyway. And, we decided to let the matter go,” Dr Bambah recalled. He said an honourary D Litt degree was also conferred on Dr Manmohan Singh. “The university has never been unfair to him.”

The Sun or Moon?

Chandigarh is in the grip of a sweltering heatwave. On Thursday and Friday the temperature was 43.8°C. This week also witnessed thick clouds of dust. On Thursday, the sun became invisible due to layers of dust in the sky. Owing to the unpredictable weather, those suffering from respiratory disorders had a tough time. The rail, road and air traffic was disrupted. Our lensman Parvesh Chauhan took this picture at 5 am, wherein the Sun looks like the moon. The cool Friday morning brought a little respite to the city residents.

By accident

“I am not in the race for the post of Prime Minister,” said Dr Manmohan Singh firmly during his last visit to Chandigarh towards the close of the election campaign in support of the Congress candidate, Mr Pawan Bansal, who eventually won from the UT. And among the first questions to be put to Dr Manmohan Singh was about persistent reports that Congress President Sonia Gandhi might like him to be the next Prime Minister if the Congress got majority in the Lok Sabha. Reaction from Dr Manmohan Singh was instant: “No. I am not in the race for the top post. I know my limitations. As a matter of fact, I am in politics by accident,” he added with a slight smile, leaving little scope for further questions on the subject.

But as luck would have it, Dr Manmohan Singh is now the Prime Minister of India. Is it another accident, Mr Prime Minister?

UT dismayed

The failure of the newly elected Congress MP from Chandigarh, Mr Pawan Bansal, to make it to the Union Council of Ministers which was sworn in New Delhi yesterday, has come as a great disappointment for the residents of the Union Territory. Having 67 ministers the new Congress-led ministry at the Centre is by no means small. Therefore, argue many, it should not have been difficult for Congress President, Sonia Gandhi to accommodate someone deserving like Mr Bansal in the Cabinet. An erudite lawyer and brilliant parliamentarian, Mr Bansal has been a member of the Rajya Sabha for one term in addition to his current third term in the Lok Sabha. Therefore, he is second to none as far his credentials are concerned.

Congress sources here say that while giving representation to various states and UTs in the Union Council of Ministers, all UTs were clubbed together. All of them have one seat each in the Lok Sabha. Only one MP is taken from all UTs. This time also, only one representative, that too a defeated Congress candidate, Mr P. M. Sayeed, was taken. All those left-outs have now no option but to sit it out and hope for the best.

— Sentinel



Injured youth abandoned at PGI
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 24
A 20-year-old critically injured youth has been found lying in a corridor of the emergency ward of the PGI here.

Inquiries from the PGI staff revealed that the youth was accompanied to the hospital by four or five persons, but they disappeared after leaving him behind. A worker with the Lifeline in the PGI said the youth seemed to have been abandoned by somebody as he had some fruit.

The police was informed of the matter on May 20, but it has not been able to identify him so far.

However, when this correspondent talked to the youth, he identified himself as Shalam from Delhi. He replied in the affirmative when asked whether he had a family. However, he broke down on being probed further.

Some PGI employees said the youth had told them his family members had left him in the hospital. But he does not stick to one version. He told this correspondent that he met with an accident with a vehicle and injured his legs.

However, he is not able to tell where the accident took place and who brought him to the hospital.

Sometimes, the youth says that he lost his legs as the police beat him up in Delhi. He says he came to Chandigarh in a bus.

The police suspects that either the boy has some serious problem in his family or he had been told not to reveal his identity for getting treatment free of cost.


MC fails to supply drinking water to slum areas
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 24
The local Municipal Council has failed to supply drinking water by tankers to the jhuggi colonies here whose hand-pump water had been declared unfit to drinking by the health authorities.

A case of suspected cholera was detected in Balmiki Colonty on May 21. A five-month-old child had been found to be suffering from cholera-like symptoms.

Council officials maintain that providing water to illegal colonies is not their responsibility and this can be done only if the Ropar Deputy Commissioner gives special instructions in this regard.

Ms Seema Jain, Deputy Commissioner, Ropar, could not be contacted despite several attempts.

Dr Rana Harinder, Civil Surgeon, said the PUDA and council authorities had to make some arrangements to provide water as a number of water samples of some colonies had failed and she had recommended the sealing of hand-pumps in this regard. But this could only be done after the slum-dwellers got alternative supply of drinking water. In fact, a team of health officials who had gone to seal hand-pump were not allowed to carry out the plan as they demanded alternative supply of water.

The Civil Surgeon said the colonies might be illegal for the civic body but health officials had to reach wherever people were staying and also had to look after their health. She said that the matter had been brought to the notice of the Deputy Commissioner.

Meanwhile, officials of the civic body said the Balmiki Colony, where a case of suspected cholera had been detected, was located outside the municipal limits of the town.


Room gutted in PGI complex
Tribune News Service

The room which was gutted by fire at a house in the PGI complex in Chandigarh on Monday.
The room which was gutted by fire at a house in the PGI complex in Chandigarh on Monday. — A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, May 24
Lightning is suspected to have caused a major fire at a house in the PGI complex here today. A room of the house was gutted by the fire.

A neighbour told the Chandigarh Tribune that he heard a big blast before the house caught fire. However, the possibility of a short-circuit causing the fire has not been ruled out.

The mishap occurred when the Sharma family was away to Sector 47 between 7.30 pm and 9.45 pm. There was a heavy rain accompanied by strong winds in the city around this time.

When the Sharmas occupants of House No. 2, Type III, returned, they saw their neighbours assembled near their house. Smoke was billowing out of the house. The fire brigade and the police had been called.

There were three LPG cylinders in the house, which could have led to a major damage.

Ms Neelam Sharma and her husband Vinod Sharma found a TV set, a CD player, a VCR, some blankets and woollen clothes stacked in an almirah reduced to ashes.

It took almost half an hour to control the fire.

Mr Sharma said the fire might have been caused by a short-circuit in the ceiling fan of the room. He complained that help from the PGI fire, engineering and security staff did not reach them last night.


Dogra’s book to be released next month
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 24
Mr P. C. Dogra, a former Director-General of Police, Punjab, has written a book on "Future Perspectives of National Security" dealing with various aspects of the country's defence.

The book, to be released in the middle of next month, discusses the threat perception to the country in totality both external and internal.

It also deals with the defence doctrine of the country in the context of the emerging trends in the warfare strategies. It also highlights the vulnerability of the country from disruptive forces working within the country and how the unstable internal situation affects the performance of the armed forces.

The book has articles from a former Defence Minister, Mr George Fernandes, a former Defence and Home Secretary, Mr N.N. Vohra, a former Chief of the Army Staff, General V. N. Sharma and a host of other experts.


Remove obstructions on kerb channels, warns CMC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 24
The Chandigarh Municipal Corporation (CMC) today asked the city residents to remove all obstructions on kerb channels along roads within seven days failing which a challan of up to Rs 500 would be imposed on defaulters.

In a press release issued here, Mr M.P. Singh, Commissioner, CMC, said the CMC had observed that individuals had built ramp or steps, beyond the channels causing obstruction the flow of water along the road. “To save roads from such damage, the general public is hereby requested to remove such extensions within seven days voluntarily failing which the defaulters will be challaned up to Rs 500. The extended portion will be removed by the CMC staff at the cost of the defaulters. The challan and removal charges will be paid by the defaulters, which will also be recovered through the water bill.”


Summer camp for kids
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 24
A large number of children aged between 3 years and 15 years are taking part in a summer camp being organised by Goofy Kids Club at Tagore Theatre.

Conducted between 10 a.m. and 12.30 p.m. every day, the camp will continue till June 5.

According to Ms Divya Gupta, organiser of the camp, the main activity at the camp is theatre, dance and art/craft.

To make the programme more interesting, activities like horse riding, trekking, magic show, pottery-making and splash party will also be conducted. On the final day, the participants will present a cultural show.


INSPIRE holds foundation day carnival
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 24
The Institution for Secretarial Practices & Development (INSPIRE) celebrated its eleventh foundation day by holding a carnival last night.

Mr O.P. Popli, Director, Transport, Chandigarh Administration, was the Chief Guest. He released institution’s souvenir “Soughat 2004”.

The function witnessed a number of cultural activities for the family members of INSPIRE. These included - fancy dress competition for children, antaakshri, boating, horse riding, Mickey Mouse jumping etc.

INSPIRE is a non-profit voluntary professional body of working secretarial practitioners set up for the over-all development of secretarial profession.

Earlier Mr D.M.S. Bedi, Chairman, INSPIRE welcomed the Chief Guest and the participants.


Fake Gillette products seized
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 24
The Department of Weights and Measures today raided three outlets, selling Gillette products in the city and seized Gillette branded ‘grey’ products worth thousands of rupees.

According to a release here today, the raid was conducted to nab unscrupulous traders, who were selling various Gillette products of dubious origin without making requisite statutory declarations. These included the Gillette range of products like Gillette series gel, body spray as well as razors and cartridges like Sensor Excel, Mach 3 and several other products.

The raid was led by Mr Randhawa, Inspector, Weights and Measures under the guidance of Mr Naresh Kumar Narwal, Controller, Legal metrology. The seized products did not carry the ‘special strip label’ containing the original hologram and statutory declarations, with respect to name and address of the importer, name and address of the manufacturer, month/year of manufacture, net quantity in terms of standard unit of weights and measures, maximum retail price ( inclusive of all taxes).

Mr Anshuman Sharma, vice-president, legal and corporate affairs of the company said, “The biggest victim of this highly structured crime is the consumer who can potentially be sold fake and counterfeit products of dubious and inferior quality.’’ The government currently earns nearly Rs 30 crore from Gillette alone on account of duties and taxes. This amount could substantially increase by checking the sale of these grey products, he added. 


Mobile snatcher nabbed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 24
A person who identified himself as a science graduate and an LIC agent was today caught by a mob after he allegedly snatched a mobile phone from a student of NIFT, Mohali, near Mehfil restaurant in Sector 17.

Rajesh Kumar Sharma of Pipliwala town allegedly snatched a Nokia-6600 mobile of Sapna when she was standing with her classmate, Anshul Tyagi, near the restaurant.

As soon as he snatched the mobile, a large number of passersby who saw the snatching chased him and caught him. He was handed over to the police. Two mobile phones were recovered from him.

Electrician held

An electrician, Anil Chawla of Butrela village was caught in cabin number 14 in the basement of SCO 1030-1031 in Sector 22 while trying to break into the cabin by removing a glass.

Parkash Chand, a contractor, informed the basement occupant Harminder Singh that somebody was trying to remove the glass of the cabin to gain entry into it. Anil Chawla had earlier taken up a job in the same basement.

Thief arrested

The Operation Cell of the Chandigarh Police today arrested a thief from Jaipur for allegedly stealing a Sony camera and a music system from Indira Holiday Home in Sector 24.

The police has taken him on a day’s remand from a local court.


Two arrested in chain-snatching case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 24
The Sector 17 police has solved the mystery behind the twin chain snatching case in Sectors 35 and 40 on Saturday and recovered the car used in the crime. The car was stolen from Mohali.

The police today arrested Raghubir Singh, alias Raghu of Kharar and Dewinder Singh, alias Bawa of Badheri near the Neelam parking along with small quantities of smack. The two, facing around 30 cases, were released from jail on April 30.

While Raghu was carrying 2 grams of smack, Bawa was carrying 200 grams of charas when they were arrested. During their search, the police recovered a parking slip of the Sector 17 bus stand. The stolen care bearing a fake registration number HP 14 3840 was found from the parking lot.

The police is on the look out of Navtej who along with Raghu stole the car and then snatched chains in Sectors 35 and 40. Raghu informed the police that Navtej, who now lives in Sector 15, had snatched the chains.


2 held in fake licence case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 24
Two applicants, trying to procure practising licence from the Bar Council of the Punjab and Haryana High Court by allegedly producing fake degrees from Bundelkhand University, have been arrested.

Sushil from Jagadhari and Gurmit Singh from Bathinda were arrested after the police investigations revealed that as many as 22 applicants were holding fake degrees.

This is the first arrest in the high-profile case of fake degrees.

The arrests took place after a police team confirmed from Bundelkhand University that of the total 27 applicants 22 were having fake degrees.

The police had registered the case after the Bar office-bearers complained to the police in June 2002 that 27 applicants were suspected to be seeking entry into the Bar on the basis of fake degrees procured from Bundelkhand University.

The arrests of other persons are likely to follow.


Shopkeepers arrested on assault charge
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 24
Two shopkeepers of Sector 19 allegedly assaulted another shopkeeper of the same sector with a hammer injuring him seriously.

An injured Subhash Sahni has been admitted to the Sector 32 GMCH. Bhupinder and Vijay Bhalla have been arrested and booked under Sections 308 (attempt to culpable homicide), 506 (threatening) and 34 (forming a group in crime) of the IPC.

The assault followed an altercation between Sahini and the arrested persons over some minor issue.


3 held for kidnap bid
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 24
Sukhdev Singh, Ranjit Singh and Charanjit Singh from Muktsar were today booked for allegedly attempting to kidnap and assault Kishan Singh of Muktsar with whom they had a land dispute. The attempt was allegedly made near the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Friday.



BSNL launches new service
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 24
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited ( BSNL) has launched a new service of using India telephone cards (ITC) from Cellone post-paid connection for making any type of calls in the Punjab Circle.

This will benefit the Cellone post-paid customers having NSD/ISD facility. Call charges are Rs 1.10 per pulse. For intra-circle, pulse is 30 seconds and for inter-circle, it is 27 seconds up to 500 km and 18 seconds for more than 500 km. This card will be like the card being used on the landline.

Giving this information, Chief General Manager of BSNL's Punjab telecom Circle, Mr G.S Bhatia, said yesterday that BSNL had upgraded IN server of cellular mobile system which had resulted in expansion of pre- paid cellular service. Prepaid SIM cards and recharge coupons were freely available at all customer service centres, distributors, IOC outlets and franchisees.

For Tarang limited mobility service, the revised security deposit is Rs 1,000 instead of Rs 2,400 (charged at present), for Sulabh plan with only outgoing and ITC, the revised security is Rs 500, for Internet telephone, new customers having a fixed rental of Rs 399 and Rs 499 depending on the capacity of the exchange, the security is Rs 1,000 and for customers who want to take the first Cellone connection, security would be Rs 1,000 for local and Rs 2,000 for STD and Rs 3,000 for ISD.

If any customer has one landline connection for which he has given applicable security deposit and if he desires to have a second landline connection, then he need not pay any security for the second connection. It has also tied up with various education boards and universities to provide examination results through SMS for north zone states by sending SMS to 333.

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