C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


UT cops launch drive to prevent thefts
15 cases reported in Chandigarh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 27
The Chandigarh police today launched an awareness campaign in the city markets to prevent thefts and burglaries. This came after 15 cases of burglary, theft and vehicle lifting were reported in the city today.

Three beggars, including a child, allegedly took away Rs 28,000 in cash and some clothes from house number 1320 in Sector 42 B today while the occupants of the house, Mr Vikram Gupta and his family, were away.

Some children playing in a nearby ground told the police that they saw two bearded persons loading some goods in a car parked near the house. At least Rs 22,000 were stolen from a cash box which was cut by a saw. The incident is suspected to have taken place around 11.30 a.m.

In another incident in Sector 35, at least 62 Nokia mobile phone hand set worth around Rs 3 lakh were stolen from Akash Enterprises. However, no lock of the shop was broken. The sets were insured.

A burglary was also reported today at SCO 149 in Sector 28 C where burglars took away Rs 65,000 in cash after breaking locks of the shop. The incident took place on the night of May 25.

With these and some vehicle-lifting incidents being reported, all DSPs and SHO today fanned out in their respective areas to make the shopkeepers aware about safety measures. They visited each market of the city and told the traders to have central locks in the shutters, employ night watchmen and get the rickshaw-pullers who stay in the market verandahs identified.

Two two-wheelers were allegedly stolen under the Sector 11 police station area. A car stereo and Rs 200 were also stolen from a car parked in Sector 11.

A Maruti car was also stolen from outside the Deputy Commissioner’s office, along with a wrist watch and a mobile phone kept in it. Another car parked in front of H. No. 1002 in Sector 22 was also stolen. A bag kept in the car had four earrings, four bangles and a golden pendulum. A Hero Honda motorcycle parked in front of H. No. 1316 in Sector 22 has also been stolen. Another car was stolen from a Sector 22 parking lot.

A Kinetic Honda scooter was stolen from the Sector 20 market on May 22 but the theft was reported today. Another LML scooter has been from the Sector 20 C market, a Bullet motorcycle was lifted from Sector 29. 


...in Mohali, councillor’s house burgled
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 27
Thieves broke into the residence of Ms Indu Sehgal, a local Municipal Councillor, while she was out of station. According to the police, Ms Sehgal had gone to Sirhind last evening to participate in a function. She returned home at 2 p.m. today and found the house locked from inside. Her son, a property dealer, too had gone out and her daughter-in-law was away to Amritsar when the thieves broke into their house in Phase II here.

The police said the thieves broke into the house in daylight, soon after Ms Sehgal’s son left for work. They climbed over the grilled outer wall of the house from the back. Once inside, the thieves broke a glass window and entered the house. They broke all door locks and decamped with Rs 10,000 in cash.


Girls lead again
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 27
Once again, the girls have done it. After leaving behind the boys in the results of the Class XII examination of the CBSE, the girls have again taken lead in the results of the Class X examination, which were declared this evening. The over all pass percentage of girls stands at 81.46 while that of boys is 78.79.

A total number of 76,413 students have cleared the examination. The overall pass percentage of the Chandigarh region, comprising Chandigarh, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, is 79.92. Last year it was 74.96.

There is reason to cheer for the local government schools. After last year’s dismal performance by government schools, the UT Education Department had pulled up the teachers. The pass percentage of government schools stands at 55.21. Last year it was 44.62. The Jawahar Navodya Vidyalayas have once again managed to top in the category of institutions by scoring an over all pass percentage of 86.60.

Class X results today

The results of the Class X examination, conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), will be declared on May 28 at 8 am. The Regional Office Controller of the Board, Mr P.I. Sabu, said the results of states covered by the board’s regional offices — Chandigarh, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir — would be declared.

Schools of Chandigarh, Panchkula, Mohali and Ropar can collect result sheets after 10 am tomorrow. The detailed marks sheets can be collected on May 31. The result sheets of outstations schools would be sent by speed post, he said.

On the lines of the results of Class XII examination the CBSE has allowed the students to view their results on their respective e-mail addresses after they get themselves registered on the websites of the board. The results will be available on the web sites — www.results.nic.in, cbseresults.nic.in, www.cbse.nic.in. The schools can also get their respective results by feeding their school code and email-ID on these web sites, he said.

Results on mobiles

Airtel customers, who wish to access the Class X CBSE results which will be declared tomorrow, can do so. The board, which had earlier withdrawn the permission to Airtel reportedly due to breach of trust regarding the declaration of CBSE Class XII results on the SMS, have once again allowed the company to release these.

Mr Mandeep Bhatia, Vice-President, Marketing and Sales, admitted that the permission had been denied by the board following the declaration of Class XII results on their SMS service before 8 am, the official time of declaration of results across the country. He, however, clarified that “the CD was handed over to us at 2 am and some people got through the SMS service before 8 am while the same was being loaded for testing. Since the competitors cried foul, the board shot off a letter withdrawing the permission. But after the board authorities were apprised of the matter, they authorised us to declare the results and collect the CDs of the results at 5 am.”

An official communication from the CBSE clearly states that the result be released after 8 am onwards only.

While other mobile companies have been asked to collect the CDs at 2 am, Airtel has been asked to collect these at 5 am.

All an Airtel customer has to do is to make a call at 64651 and register the 7-digit roll number on the CBSE. More than one number can also be registered on the mobile set. 


154 women booked for driving without helmet
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 27
The Chandigarh Traffic Police today started challaning of helmetless two-wheeler women and pillion riders and booked 154 of them in front of the Sector 11 Government College for Girls.

The challaning drive, however, sparked off a row with a section of the helmetless women protesting against the drive by the police saying it had not been announced before it was started.

Two teams of the traffic police today started the drive with one group led by Inspector Ishwar Singh Maan stationed at the gate of the college while the other, led by Inspector Shivraj Sidhu, standing in the opposite direction towards Sector 15. The drive was carried out between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. According to the police, a high number of casualties have been those of helmetless riders, mostly girls, and to save precious lives was of paramount importance.

The police also cracked down on the sale of helmets without the BIS mark, seizing 150 of them and booking 15 helmet sellers in Sector 21.

The drive has been launched in the wake of the traffic police carrying out an extensive education campaign reaching out to thousands of girls asking them to use helmets while riding scooters. The campaign had been going on in the city for almost two months, a senior officer told the police.

The traffic police today tried to avoid generating a controversy by asking the girls to show their identities. A large number of girls with Kaur suffixed to their names were spared today.

However, a senior officer said according to the court orders, only turbaned Amritdhari girls would be exempt.

Sources said the police had not planned to start the campaign on a fixed date. Still it is learnt that the campaign was fixed for June 18.

The affected girls said that no date had been given to them and they had an impression that it would be started on
June 18.

This is the third time, the traffic police is starting such a drive against helmetless driving by women. The earlier two drivers had to be abandoned in the wake of protests from Sikhs who said wearing a helmet was against the tenets of Sikhism.


Theatre great medium of social change in Pak
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 27
"Theatre has emerged as a foremost medium of entertainment, political satire and social change in Pakistan", says Mr Tariq Javed and Mr Ashraf Rahi, both leading theatre artistes based in Lahore.

Both are here for "Pind De Kuri", a Punjabi film being produced by Iqbal Dhillon. After Partition it will be the first Punjabi film which will be shot as well as released simultaneously in both Pakistan and India. Apart from Veena Malik, a Pakistani actress who is in the lead role, some other artistes are also from across the border.

Tariq Javed, who has also been producer and director of several plays in Pakistan, says that " Believe it or not, but theatre artistes have been minting money in Pakistan. They are doing much better then film artistes. In fact, theatre has become a craze in that country. But it is not so in India ". Tariq made interesting revelations about plays in Pakistan. For instance, "Sohnio Id Mubarik", staged recently, was such a hit in Lahore that it grossed Rs 61 lakh in 20 days. Its tickets fetched a price of Rs 2000 in the black market.

Talking about another play, " Janam Janam Ki Maili Chadar", Tariq says that producer of this play paid Rs 2.75 crore officially as tax to the government. " You can imagine yourself that at this rate the producer must have earned about Rs 15 crore from this play, which continued to be staged for some years.

Tax on theatre tickets is in the range of 20 per cent".

Ashraf Rahi, one of the most sought-after theatre artistes in Pakistan, says that his one play " Ghungroo" continued for seven months on various stages in Lahore, that has 10 auditoriums specifically for staging plays. Plays such as " Bashira in Trouble" and "Tawaif, wife and life" etc have remained very successful on ticket window.

What seems to be the most important reason for the success of theatre in Pakistan is that this medium provides maximum space for a political satire and comment on the ruling classes in that country. " We do take liberty to make a satire on the political system and its main players, social evils such as dowry and drugs etc", says Mr Tariq. " But we never go overboard in this regard", he adds.

Though most of plays have " light stuff such as dialogues with double meanings etc" also but no play is without theme. " We try to convey a powerful message on various social, political and other issues but in a very subtle manner", says Tariq.

Tariq's next venture will be " Sardar Aaya Lahore" with a powerful theme rooted in the soil of both Punjabs. He has offered actor-comedian Jaspal Bhatti, the lead role in that play. " I want to give the message of emerging friendship between the two countries through that play", he adds. He has also planned to make theatre popular in Indian Punjab.

Interestingly, voice has also been raised against terrorism through theatre in Pakistan." Our theatre suffered a big loss because of the passing away of two top artistes- Abid Khan and Shaukee Khan", says Ashraf Rahi. When asked to talk about leading theatre personalities, he said among the top names are Amanullah, Sohail Ahmad, Albela, Omar Sharief, Sardar Kamal and Irfan. Among women, Nargis is a popular artiste. But mostly women play the role of " fillers" such as dancers etc.


White flour harmful, say environmentalists
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 27
Environmentalists in the city have warned those who are using white flour. Spearheaded by the Environment Society of India (ESI), the movement aims at countering the harmful effects of white wheat flour, which is mistaken as palatable due to the soft texture it lends to rotis.

White flour has increasingly replaced the traditional brown flour in food preparation in hotels, roadside dhabas as well as college messes. A few days ago, students of same city colleges protested against the use of this flour.

As the use of white flour continues unabated, health of those consuming it stands jeopardised. Medical and health experts admit that this flour may be tastier in comparison to the older one, but it can pose severe health problems in the long run. Intestinal infections are a direct outcome of white flour which is hard to chew, slow to digest and extremely low on fibre. It is mixed with low-quality rice flour and hardly has nutrients a growing adult requires. Also, it does not offer the real taste of wheat.

However, due to the easy and cheap availability of white flour all over the markets, its use is high in hotel and food industry.

With the health concerns mounting, environment experts are naturally worried about the long-term outcome. No wonder the city has seen several protests against the use of white flour in the recent past. Only two days ago, 50 volunteers of the National Service Scheme (NSS) of Punjab Engineering College and DAV College, accompanied by environment activists, marched across the city, carrying placards listing the hazards of white flour. They also distributed hand bills to owners of dhabas and provisional stores, appealing to them to use brown wheat flour instead of white flour.


Educate consumers on cyber crime to
prevent it: expert
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 27
With more businesses across the world being linked together through the internet, the use of credit cards becoming common and South-East Asia getting wired rapidly, the issue of “cyber security” is assuming great significance.

A senior network architect with America Online, one of the world’s largest internet service providers, Mr Vijay Gill, says, “The internet has only facilitated the criminal by reducing the cost of attack. While any crime would require physical presence earlier, the internet has enabled the criminal to target maximum number of people at minimal cost and at the click of a button. The criminal only writes the script and needs only a handful of people to operate. We have faced these problems in America. India and SE Asia need to learn from the American experience before they burn their fingers in the use of technology.”

In the city to give a talk on cyber crime and security to police personnel, Mr Gill says the only weapon in the hands of the police lies in educating the internet users. “There is no good way to prevent cyber scams and crimes. The consumer needs to be educated on how they can be attacked. In developed nations, too, where computers are very common, people get cheated. So, before computers invade the lives of the common man, he must know the what, how and when of the problems it can bring,” he maintains.

Elaborating on the prevalent cheating methods, Mr Gill points out that these can range from consumer fraud, wherein the attacker can elicit money through use of a fake website, identity theft that involves the attacker masquerading as the person he is cheating and carrying out transactions, industrial espionage, money-laundering among others.

Since the internet is a boundary-less system, Mr Gill is of the opinion that the police needs to interface with law makers, work out modalities and formulate laws to address issues of cyber crime.

“Security is like an onion with many layers. We have to have laws and security systems in place at all levels. The police has to realise that there can be problems involving three or four countries wherein the attacker is in one place, cheats somebody in another country and has servers in a third country. Law-making can be tedious in these cases,” he says.

Suggesting a three-pronged approach to handle cyber crime, he suggests infrastructure hardening by ensuring their machines are not easily compromised by people seeking data, having intrusion detection systems in place by identifying the signatures of a typical attacker.

“Finally, the role of the police and the law makers comes into force. Any country, high on use of computers, ought to have strict laws which are a deterrent to the attackers. Even after a crime has been committed, they must have laws which will ensure the criminal does not go scot-free for want of laws,” he concludes. 


Tributes paid to Pandit Nehru
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 27
The Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee (CTCC) observed the 40th death anniversary of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, at Rajiv Gandhi Bhavan, Sector 35, here today.

Paying rich tributes to the leader, Mr B.B. Bahl, president of the CTCC, recalled the sacrifices made by Pandit Nehru and his father, Motilal Nehru. Mr Bahl said no amount of lectures and homages could justify the sacrifices and achievements of the great leader. He said Pandit Nehru was the apostle of peace and Mahatma Gandhi relied on him on account of his secular outlook. “Jawaharlal Nehru brought India on the international map by following the policy of non-alignment particularly when the world was quickly drifting into the imperialistic block led by the USA or the Communist Block led by the erstwhile U.S.S.R. Pandit Nehru’s legacy is still relevant and the Congress is following the same,” he said.

Mr Ram Pal Sharma, vice-president of the CTCC, also paid tributes to the Pandit Nehru. He said he laid a sound foundation for a democratic India. Other prominent leaders present on the occasion included Mr Dharam Vir Manchanda, Mr Subhash Chawla, Ms Kamlesh, Mayor, Youth Congress President H.S. Lucky, and councillors, Mr Balraj Singh, Mr Shyama Negi and Mr Kuldip Singh. 


Drizzle brings relief to residents
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 27
The city residents could not have asked for more from the weather god. Worn down by unabated power failures and erratic water supply, the drizzle this morning brought much needed respite from the intense heat-wave conditions prevailing in the region for the past few weeks.

The demand for power went down as city residents preferred to switch off their air-conditioners and coolers as an overcast sky prevented the day temperature from rising. The local Met office recorded the maximum daytime temperature at 33 °C, six degrees below the normal for this time of the year.

The minimum temperature was 25.8 °C compared to yesterday’s 24.4 °C.

The weathermen said the drizzle was the result of new a weather condition which was expected to be over in the next few days. The possibility of rainfall in the coming days has been ruled out .


Killing of BSF jawans flayed
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 27
The All-India Anti-Terrorist Front, Chandigarh, has condemned the landmine attack of terrorists on the bus carrying BSF jawans and their families killing at least 35 of them, including women and children. The president of Chandigarh unit, Mr Rajesh Sharma, expressed pain over the incident and said this was a sign of sheer frustration of the terrorists as their chief commanders were being eliminated by the security forces. He said this attack was engineered to derail the peace efforts between the newly formed Indian Government and Pakistan. The terrorists may increase their activity with the melting of the snow. Reports indicated that about 100 training camps were still functional in Pakistan and more than 3,000 trained terrorists were ready to enter the Indian territory, he added.

Taekwondo champs

The Seventh Punjab State Taekwondo Championship was held in Shivalik Public School, Mohali. Lobzang, Rishav and Manish of Class VII won the gold medal in the 30-32kg, 34kg and 45 - 48 kg categories, respectively. Sechanpreet Singh, Maninder Singh, Jagdeep Singh, Jashandeep of Class VIl, Sukhwinder Singh and Karanpreet of Class V and Class VI, respectively, won the silver medal in the 30-32 kg, 40, 45-48, 34-36, 32-34 and 30-32 kg weight categories, respectively. In the 30-32 kg category, Mandeep (Class VII), Amoldeep Singh (Class VI), Momanpreet Singh (Class V) bagged the bronze medal. Karan Kumar, a student of Class 11, won a bronze in the Pee-Bee category. In addition, the school lifted the overall trophy for best performance.

Students take oath

Young office-bearers of the Student Council of Shivalik Public School, here, were administered the oath by Mr D.S. Bedi, Director-Principal, in an elaborate Investiture Ceremony held in the school. The students were divided into four houses: Partap, Azad, Ranjit and Subhash. Those elected to the School Council include Rishi Rana, Satjeet Kaur, Amandeep Kaur, Arshpreet Singh, Balraj Singh, Ravleen Kaur, Sauravdeep, Rishav, Gurleen Kaur, Raveen Kaur, Rishav, Harmanjot Singh, Harsimranjeet Kaur, Karanpreet Singh, Gaurav Mahajan, Navjeetinder Singh, Pahul, Vinay, Renuka, Stanzin, Harsimranjit Kaur, Manvir Singh, Jaspreet Kaur, Manvir Singh, Amandeep Kaur, Sukhpreet Singh, Jaspreet Kaur, Meenu Gulati, Pankaj Karwal, Monami Bhattacharya, Gitika, Aridaman, Navjot Kaur, Eeshwarjeet Singh, Kavijit Kaur, Navjot Kaur, Prabhjot Kaur, Kanwar Singh, Jasmin, Manpreet Singh, Aditi, Abhijit Singh and Sumit Kaur. In his address the Director-Principal, Mr Bedi urged students to carry out their responsibilities with honesty, humility and sincerity.

School show

A spectacular cultural show was put up by students of Swami Ram Tirtha Public High School, Phase-IV, here. The function started with a song ‘Khud Jiyen Sab Ko Jeena Sikhyein’. After this, the main item of the show, a Punjabi play “Maa” written by Prof Harcharan Singh, was performed. The play, with a thought-provoking theme, captured the emotion and experience of women in a male-dominated society. It also displayed the bond and concern of a mother with the girl child. Mr Hans Raj Sharma, former finance minister presided over the function and appreciated the attempt of students and teachers towards enlightening society towards the plight of women. He also honoured the artistes on the occasion. A kathak dance performance was presented. The Principal, Ms Anjula Sharma, appreciated the efforts of staff and students to make the show a success.

Nurses’ day

The Mata Sahib Kaur Institute of Nursing here in association with the TNAI branch of UT, Chandigarh celebrated International Nurses Day to commemorate the birth anniversary of ‘Florence Nightingale’ on the campus of the institute. The theme was ‘Nurses working with the poor, against poverty’. Dr R.S. Saggu, Director, Punjab Health System Corporation and Mr Charanjit Singh Walia, Managing Director of the institute, lighted the lamp. The chief guest, Dr Saggu, explained the importance of the nursing profession. He added that nurses not only administered the prescription to the patient but also showered love.

Mrs Aruna Chhabra, Principal, welcomed the chief guest and other distinguished guests Mrs V.Pillai, Joint Director of the institute, elaborated the significance of the theme. She explained the activities to be carried out in slum as well as rural areas in and around Mohali.


DJs allege harassment by octroi authorities

Chandigarh, May 27
The Chandigarh DJ Sound and Entertainers Association has alleged harassment at the hands of the octroi authorities.

The association has sought extension in the limit for using sound system at parties from 10 p.m. to 11.30 p.m. as prevalent in Ludhiana. It has said exorbitant fees being charged by copyright companies are unaffordable as profits in this profession are very low. The association has also affiliated itself to the Punjab Light and Sound D.J. Association.

Meanwhile, at a recently held meeting of the association, the following were nominated its office-bearers: president — Mr Devinder K. Virmani; vice-president — Mr Goga; secretary — Mr Sunil Kumar; treasurer — Mr Vikrant Sobti; assistant treasurer — Mr R. Sharma; secretary publicity — Mr Prabhjot; and advisers — Mr Guldev Brahmi, Mr S.K. Singla and Mr Sudhir Sharma. TNS


Narinder SharmaMan missing since November

Chandigarh, May 27
A city resident, Narinder Sharma, (42), is missing since November 25, 2003. He had left his residence in Hallo Majra village here the previous day for his in-laws house in Phillaur village, Fatehgarh Sahib district. He has two sons and was running a grocery shops in the village. OC


Airtel handsets to boost morale of hearing impaired
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 27
After the launch of the SMS-based confidence plan for the hearing impaired in the western hub, Airtel on Thursday launched it in the northern hub. The facility, which is one of its kind in the country, offers a complete waiver on security deposit, and 2000 free Airtel-to-Airtel SMS’s along with the facility to send SMS to other local, national and international networks at just 30 paisa. The cost of SMS sent over and above 2000 will also be 30 paisa.

Addressing mediapersons in the city, Mr Vinod Sawhney, CEO and Director, Mobility, Bharti Mobile Limited, said that to encourage the adoption of confidence plan amongst the hearing impaired, monthly rental has been kept as low as Rs 99, with a one time activation charge of just Rs 250. The user of this plan would also have the advantage of accessing all SMS-based VAS services of Airtel. Pre-activated SMS roaming backed by the advantage of sending SMS to international networks at Rs 5 per message has also been made available to them. The call rate will be Rs 3.50 per minute.

In a symbolic gesture, Mr Sawhney presented 10 handsets with pre-activated confidence plan to the hearing impaired. The mobile service also announced the launch of India’s first non-voice customer care service for the hearing impaired wherein customers can send SMS to 121 and register their requests.

Mr Navneet Bhandari, a jeweller from Amritsar, who was one of the beneficiaries, was thrilled and said `` I can now communicate with my friends and clients without the help of my parents.’’ Nine others from HelpAge India, Deaf and Dumb School, Ambala,` and Deaf Friendship Club also felt that it would make a difference to their lives, when it comes to expressing themselves. This will come in handy in times of emergency to get in touch with our guardians.

According to Mr Vinod Sawhney, the facility will help facilitate their communication with the larger society that does not understand sign language,’’ said Mr Sawhney. The company has appealed to all customers in the region to donate their mobile sets with vibrator facility so that the same can be handed over to those who do cannot afford the same. As per the 1991 census, there are 8.5 million hearing and speech impaired people in the country and this facility is mainly targeted at them.

Later, Mr Mandeep Bhatia, Vice-President (Sales and Marketing), talked of the headway they have made with Ashiana, a project started for the welfare of underprivileged kids.

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