C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Anti-crime society chief booked for fraud
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
A person who was claiming to rid the society of crime through a body set up by him for the purpose, was booked here today for a criminal activity.

The Sector 34 resident, Avtar Singh Matharoo was today booked for fraud under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471, 472 and 473 of the IPC in the Sector 34 police station.

Matharoo was allegedly enrolling members to the All-India Crime Prevention Society for a fee ranging between Rs 500 and Rs 2,100 and issuing them identity cards for, what he claimed, a privileged treatment from the police and Administration in the matters that are either raised by them or faced by them.

The police claimed Matharoo had once claimed that he had around 10 lakh members across the country but he later disputed the number saying that the number was a printing error. The society has members and sub-offices across the country.

The police said it had found out that he had enrolled more than 700 members. During investigation, it found out that he had been posing as a go-between between the police and the disputing parties, allegedly blackmailing people and charging money for the issuance of identity cards.

Matharoo, however, claimed that there were around 1,500 members and the money charged was being spent on the issuance of identity cards, papers and files. This is the second time that he had been booked for cheating people in the name of the society.

During the investigation, started by the police on the complaint of the DIG (Administration), Punjab police, Mr R.C. Singh, who sent a letter to the Inspector-General of the Chandigarh police, Mr Rajesh Kumar, in March.

He said he had seen advertisements of membership of the society on television and that it was cheating the people.

The FIR was lodged after the DSP CID, Mr Devinder Thakur, and DSP S.S. Randhawa discovered that the society was claiming to help the people in getting them medical claims, insurance claims and getting members justice. Matharoo was allegedly also claiming that the society was empowered to investigate complaints.

Matharoo had been arranging meetings of the society’s members with senior officers of the police and the Chandigarh Administration. His office-cum-house had the National Flag atop it.

Matharoo, claimed that he got the society re-registered in 1998 after it was closed in 1955. He said the society had been registered by his father Gurmukh Singh in Lahore in 1943.

The office of Matharoo gives an impression that he was connected to VIPs. He had been photographed with two former Presidents of India, two former Governors, former Deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishan Advani and a host of senior Punjab police officers.

The society had also sought exemption from income tax, claiming that it was engaged in social work.

Matharoo was unaware, when contacted, if a case had been registered against him. As soon as he was told so he contacted his lawyers for anticipatory bail.


At the Counter
Rail reservation seekers have a harrowing time
Tribune News Service


Mr Amit Dullat, Senior Divisional Commercial Manager (Ambala), said there was ample staff and passengers should have no reason to complain. He also said that efforts were on to increase the number of counters.

Chandigarh, June 2
The first thing one notices after entering the rail reservation centre inside the Sector 17 bus stand is shortage of space. Sometimes the queue of ticket buyers extends into the corridor outside the hall.

Another thing one comes across is angry, sometimes loudly cursing customers, with most of the staff taking their own sweet time to do the job.

Also, so far there is no special arrangement for the heavy summer rush. “Why don’t they make adequate arrangements for handling the peak summer holiday rush?” asked Mr Surinder Goyal, who was waiting to book seats for Goa.

On an average, every day around 1,900-2,100 tickets are booked at the centre. With just five counters functioning on better days, the number of tickets-per-counter comes to between 400 and 420 per day. Ticket-seekers say it generally means a long wait to get a reservation.

Among the major problems faced by the public are lack of proper seating places, missing staff at the enquiry counter and also discourteous staff.

“I wanted to check the waiting period of a train for June 15. Despite making repeated phone calls, nobody picked up the phone and finally I was forced to come here,” said Mr Sanjay Kumar, a city resident.

Staff shortage is the hackneyed answer on every staff member’s lips if you broach the topic. The passengers, too, vouch for it.

“Look at the rush. Of the seven counters, only four are functional. If this is due to staff shortage, they certainly need to post more people here. It takes at least two to three hours to get a seat booked. In these times this is not acceptable,” said Mr Amritpal Singh, a student, who was standing in one of the queues today to get his reservation done.

The staff also agrees, off the record, that staff shortage is hampering the functioning of the reservation centre.

“We need more people. Unless this is done, the work will continue to get affected,” said a staff member. Incidentally, the Railways has made provision for starting some more booking counters in the adjacent hall, divided by a wooden partition. The infrastructure is ready, but staff shortage ensures that the counters are never operational.

Passengers say it is high time the Railways thought of increasing the number of windows.

“How long can they continue like this? I have been standing here for the last over three hours and my turn has yet to come. Not only this, there is nobody to assist us at the enquiry counter,” lamented Mr Mohinder Sharma, a businessman.

Ironically, even as this reporter was talking to Mr Sharma, the work at the centre came to a standstill due to a systems failure.

This is a routine here, remarked another person.


Chandigarh Club files appeal against lease cancellation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
The Chandigarh Club has appealed against the order of the Estate Officer to cancel the lease of the club. The appeal has been filed before the Chief Administrator. The MC Commissioner, Mr M.P. Singh, will hear the case on behalf of the Chief Administrator. The club will continue to function normally till the case is decided.

The lease of the club had been cancelled by the Assistant Estate Officer after a hearing on May 26. The club is running on land owned by the Chandigarh Administration that had been given on lease to the club in 1957. Since January 1993 no rent has been paid and there has been a debate on the fixing of the lease money.

Now under the Public Premises Act, Mr Inderjit Singh Sandhu will start eviction proceedings. If Mr M.P. Singh grants a stay, the eviction proceedings will be stayed. Meanwhile, simultaneously, Mr M.P. Singh will also hear the appeal of the club management against the order of the Estate Office.

If the club management loses its plea before Mr M.P. Singh, it will have the option to appeal the decision before the Adviser to the UT Administrator followed by the high court and the Supreme Court. However, the eviction proceedings will continue.

The lease of the club was cancelled for the non-payment of dues and building bylaws’ violations.

In the order, the Estate Office had stated that the club owed Rs 1.45 crore as rent up to April 30 this year to the Administration. “The club authorities are also using the premises in violation of the building rules,” the order stated. The order also stated that during the cancellation of the lease and eviction, whatsoever income that accrued on the property in question shall be deposited with the Estate Officer, depending upon the area, locality, nature of property and utility thereof on account of its use and occupation, as per the provisions of Sections 7(2) and (2A) of the Public Premises Act.

The lease of the club was not renewed after January 26, 1982. However, the club continued to pay a monthly rent of Rs 8,320 till January 1, 1993, when the rent was revised to about Rs 2.08 lakh per month and a demand notice for the payment of Rs 2.18 crore on account of the arrears, after the revision of rent, was issued to the club in 2002.

After a discussion the rent was re-fixed at Rs 1.08 lakh per month with effect from January 1, 1993. The club had been issued directions on March 11 this year that all encroachments on public land beyond the premises originally leased out be vacated and possession of the same be handed over to the Estate Office within six weeks. The club had also been asked to deposit Rs 1.43 crore on account of the monthly rent, damages and composition fee. The club neither deposited the revised rent nor removed the encroachments.


Helmets: no special nakas set up
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
The Chandigarh police today seemed to have buckled under political pressure on the issue of helmetless driving with it today refraining from putting up special nakas in this regard.

As per official sources, the Traffic Police today did not put up nakas and left it to traffic police personnel to book violators at the places of their deployment.

The sources said during the last week when the challaning of helmetless women was started, it succeeded in ensuring 80 per cent compliance. As many as 1071 women were challaned.

S. P. Traffic A. S. Dhillon said there was no need of continuing the drive after achieving a high compliance report and it would be checked through regular duties.


Jatha members burn helmets
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 2
Members of the Kalgidhar Sevak Jatha today spearheaded a protest against the Chandigarh Administration’s move to make helmet wearing compulsory for women two-wheeler riders. Terming the move as anti-Sikh, piles of helmets were burnt by the members to mark their protest outside the Amb Sahib Gurdwara here today. The protesters also warned the Administration that in case the move was not retracted, they would intensify stir which would include on the spot protest by Sikh women being challaned and payment of the challan amount by the jatha members.

Both men and women participated in the protest which ended with anti-Administration sloganeering and cries of bole so nihal and loh top nahin pavange, Sikhi dharam nibhange. ‘‘This is not a part of our rahat maryada and we will not do it,’’said members of the Istri Satsang, adding that they were ready to die for the cause.

Although a large scale demonstration against the Chandigarh Administration along with a scooter rally was planned by the members of the jatha today, lack of support from a section of the local Akali Dal caused confusion and the protest fizzled out after a few hours. Despite their presence, members of the local Youth Akali Dal and the SGPC chose to remain aloof from the protest. Sources said this was because the SGPC elections had been announced and the Kalgidhar Sevak Jatha and the Youth Akali Dal were supporting different candidates for these elections.

Despite today’s limited response, the protest sparked off a drive in the township following which many local Akali leaders and members of the Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee decided to launch another agitation against the Chandigarh Administration tomorrow.

Sources said the protest against helmet-wearing was likely to gain momentum in the next few days in the wake of the SGPC elections. This is an important issue, said Mr J.P. Singh, president of the Kalgidhar Sevak Jatha.

Meanwhile, executive members of the Shiromani Akali Dal, Chandigarh, met today at a meeting organised on the issue. Presiding over the meeting, Mr N.S. Minhas condemned the adamant attitude of the Administration. “Compelling a Sikh woman to put on a loh tope is against the tenets of the Sikh religion and it must be stopped forthwith,’’said Mrs Harjinder Kaur, former Mayor of the city. Mr Minhas said in case challaning of Sikh women by the traffic police did not stop within the next 72 hours, Sikhs would come out on the roads to protest against the ‘black law’. A core committee of 11 persons was also formed that would meet the UT Administrator and the Punjab Chief Minister on the issue.

Members of the Shiromani Khalsa Panchayat said the Chandigarh Administration has hurt the religious sentiments of the Sikhs by imposing the helmet wearing rule for Sikh women. ‘‘Since numerous appeals by various organisations and individuals have had no effect on the Administration, it has become necessary that an agitation be initiated to protect the rights of our religion.’’said Mr Rajinder Singh, convener of the panchayat.


Army units to be deprived of CSD profits
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
Army units will no longer be able to utilise profits from CSD canteens being run by them. The profits, instead, will be remitted to Army Headquarters (AHQ) to be used by the Army Welfare Education Society (AWES), which is reportedly short of funds.

Sources said that directives received by Western Command from the Quarter Master General's (QMG) Branch at AHQ in this regard recently had been circulated to various formations and units.

This step by the QMG's Branch implies that units and formation would be deprived of the additional income and monetary resources generated by the canteens. "Canteen profits were a major source for regimental funds, carrying out welfare activities for troops, equipping unit messes or running regimental schools," an officer here said. "Now this could be affected," he added.

Sources said that profits generated by CSD depots were distributed to canteens in kind. Cash generated from the sale of these items was used for making up their losses if any and surplus money was utilised in the aforementioned activities.

Officers said that the canteen the size of Western Command Canteen in Chandimandir, which is among the largest in the Army could be generating a profit of Rs 40-50 lakh annually. A smaller canteen in a major unit located at a place like Chandimandir could be generating Rs 9-10 lakh annually.

Almost every unit or formation runs its own CSD canteen, though the quantum of business done by them varies. With hundreds of canteens in the Army, the annual profit generated by them would be running into crores of rupees.

The units' loss would, however, be the AWES' gain. The society manages several institutions running professional degree courses. Though the institutes levy fees and are also given various grants by defence establishments, the expenditure incurred by them is heavy. Most of the seats in these institutions are reserved for wards of defence personnel, ex-servicemen or war widows. The society was set up as a welfare measure for the armed forces.


Sonu to play another historical role in
Shyam Benegal film
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
Actor Sonu Sood seems to be on the history trail. Unlike newcomers who cherish romantic roles for their debut, this Moga boy dared to play Shaheed Bhagat Singh in his very first film. And that too at a time when stalwarts like Ajay Devgan and Bobby Deol were playing the same role in other films being made under such celebrated banners as Raj Kumar Santoshi's.

Least flustered by the competition, Sonu not only justified his selection by director Sukumar Nayyar, he also bagged a Screen nomination for best male debut. With a measured performance in "Shaheed-e-Azam Sardar Bhagat Singh" to speak for his substance, it is small wonder that he entered the wish list of the legendary film maker Shyam Benegal, who handpicked him for his new film "Netaji".

Sonu plays Shahnawaz Hussain, the chief of Subhash Chandra Bose's INA in "Netaji". The film traces the life of Bose and it is based on authentic historical information. In Chandigarh to adjudge Zee television's big break contest, Sonu, who just struck gold with Mani Ratnam's "Yuva", bared his passion for historic roles.

"The selection of roles has never been conscious. But I have been fairly satisfied with the way things have moved for me. I am most excited about Shyam Benegal's "Netaji". It is an incredibly researched film that throws light on the person of Subhash Chandra Bose. I play his most trusted lieutenant, Shahnawaz Hussain. The role is challenging not only because it has never been attempted earlier, but also because it is deeply rooted in history," said the Punjabi, who has featured in dozens of Tamil and Telegu films.

To prepare for the role, Sonu often visited Red Fort which houses the memoirs of Hussain. Hussain's last speech is even inscribed on the walls of the historic monument. Sonu said, "After Shyam ji selected me to act opposite legends like Amrish Puri and Kulbhushan Kharbanda, I was nervous and enthused too. I read all I could on this character. The film will hit the floor shortly."

Having cast a spell in commercial as well as serious film, Sonu has emerged as one of the safest bets for film makers in Bollywood. He is also playing the lead in some films like "Chess" with Mahima Chaudhari. But he is especially vocal about his association with Mani Ratnam in "Yuva".

"I have worked in many Tamil and Telegu films. That is how Mani Ratnam could discover my mettle. I had, however, not expected a role in his film. I feel my role in "Yuva" will help me climb the ladder of Bollywood, where everything is measured in commercial terms. I have already been flooded with offers after I played the villain in "Yuva". Also I have realised it is not such a bad idea to portray grey shades. After all, there is a negative side to every human being."


Hire-and-fire policy for sweepers on cards
MC Sanitation Committee meeting today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
Adopting a hire-and-fire policy for dealing with sweepers playing truant during duty hours is on the cards when the Sanitation Committee of the Municipal Corporation meets tomorrow to discuss streamlining the sanitation “business” in the city.

In inspections carried out by the Chairman of the Sanitation Committee, Mr Chandermukhi Sharma, in various pockets of the city, he found that sweepers failed to show up for duty for days together. Even when they did show up during the day, they went “missing” in the evening shift. The supervisory staff, too, was found to be deficient in discharging its duty.

In a report prepared before the elections based on the inspections in Sectors 7, 8, 11, 30 and Mani Majra, Mr Sharma has pointed out that while sanitation work in privatised areas is not up to the mark, the number of sweepers deployed by the contractors was also much less than the required number. This, however, was before the elections.

Post-elections, he is all set to revive the surprise checks. However, this time, these would be carried out along with the councillor of the area and the members of the sanitation inspection committee as well as the team from the Medical Officer Health (MOH).

“At tomorrow’s meeting, we have called in the contractors of the three zones as well as the president of the sweepers union. We will convey to them that absence from duty would not be tolerated. Stern action would be taken against anybody found to be skipping work. Once the message goes out, the sweepers will have no reason to object in case we initiate action. And, these inspections would be made a regular feature to be carried out at least six times in a month,” Mr Sharma said.

The idea of the exercise is to involve residents’ welfare associations (RWA) and market welfare associations (MWA) of all sectors and create awareness about the duties given to the sweepers. These associations will be given the task of ensuring that the sweepers are performing their assigned duties. “In case they are found lacking in discharge of duties, the RWAs and MWAs can get back to us. As of now, the feedback from the associations is practically non-existent,” Mr Sharma added.

Among other items on the agenda are the implementation of municipal solid waste rules and improving sanitation status of the city. The possibility of having house-to-house garbage collection by the MC instead of the present system of collection of private contractors in every sector would also be explored.

This comes following frequent complaints by the residents that the garbage collecters failed to show up and took frequent breaks in between. “This means that there is no accountability and no responsibility. We can’t let the residents suffer because of the whims of these contractors. If we can have our own people going from house-to-house collecting garbage, this problem can be solved. Further, the disposal part can easily be privatised,” Mr Sharma maintained.


Stagnant water a common site
Anti-malaria month in city
Monica Sharma

Chandigarh, June 2
Even though almost 48 hours have lapsed since the launch of anti-malaria month in the city, stagnant water continues to provide breeding ground for larvae — at least in slums and colonies all over the city. The problem is expected to get worse once rains lash the city.

A survey of the city reveals that the situation is “unhealthy” in these areas. Pits in front of the shops in Sector 25 are filled up with water for the larvae to thrive. The situation is almost the same in colony No. 4 and 5.

Accepting the presence of stagnant water in these areas, Chandigarh’s Director Health Services, Dr C.P. Bansal, adds that a massive drive has been launched.

“Emphasis is being laid on the chlorination of water, besides ensuring the drainage of stagnant water in these areas,” Dr Bansal says. No case of malaria has so far been reported from the city, he claims.

The disease can be identified if the patient suffers from high fever and shivers. In such a situation, the patient should be immediately taken to a doctor instead of indulging in self medication. Malaria in pregnant woman can cause abortion, miscarriage or stillbirth, depending on the stage of pregnancy. The new-born can also suffer from cerebral malaria and low weight.

Meanwhile, the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh has asked the residents to ensure that there is no stagnant water on their residential premises. They add that in a large number of cases, the residents do little to drain water collected in ditches in front lawns and kitchen gardens of their houses.

“Most of the residents discontinue using desert coolers once it rains, but they forget to drain the water stored in the cooler tanks,” a senior corporation officer says. “The water lying stagnant in the tanks provides breeding ground,”

He adds, “The residents should ensure against the presence of stagnant water in their residences. They can do so by filling up the pits and ditches. Useless utensils should also be thrown out of the house, or at least inverted so that water does not accumulate in these.”

The residents should also put some kerosene into the stagnant water. “Being lighter than water, it forms a layer on the surface making it impossible for the mosquitoes to breed”, the officer explains.

Health experts in the city say that malaria continues to be the number one killer in the world claiming over 2.5 million lives annually, necessitating the adoption of precautionary measures. The need for such measures is also essential as drug resistance in parasites has brought a resurgence of malaria in the country. In India, the situation is actually serious as, according to a rough estimate, 90 per cent of the malaria-endemic area has developed drug resistance.


Meeting to tackle water shortage comes a cropper
Public Health Dept officials fail to turn up
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 2
Even as Mohali residents are reeling under unprecedented shortage of drinking water, officials of the Public Health Department failed to turn up at an emergency meeting convened by the municipal council today to solve the problem.

Hundreds of residents in Phase I to Phase VII did not have any water supply for over 30 hours since Monday following which the council had called a joint meeting with the officials in the Public health Department today. Although yesterday’s water problem was due to the bursting of a large pipeline, many municipal councillors alleged that lack of proper maintenance of pipes and tubewells by the department was also one of the causes of shortage of water supply in the township this summer.

While the Executive Engineer, Public Health, Mr S.S. Ghumman, said that he had no information regarding the meeting, the council President, Mr Kulwant Singh, said a letter about the meeting had been delivered at Mr Ghumman’s office and the council would be writing about today’s meeting to the higher authorities.

Mr Kulwant Singh pointed out that as many as 44 tubewells dug by the council had been handed over to the Public Health Department to regulate the supply of water in addition to the water being supplied from the Kajauli waterworks. ‘‘But how they distribute this water is unknown to us. They bill the consumers for water but have no accountability towards them. Since councillors are accessible to the public, we are facing the brunt,’’he said.

While the supply of drinking water to a majority of the areas in the township is with the Public Health Department, most of the industrial area is being supplied drinking water by the council itself. And despite the claims of the council that there is no problem of drinking water in the industrial area, small industry owners in Phase VII and Phase IX, industrial area, have complained that they, too, are facing shortage of drinking water for the past fortnight.

The role of the Public Health Department had also come under criticism from the municipal councillors during the previous meeting of the council. It was felt by the councillors that if the department could not maintain adequate water supply in the township, the tubewells should be handed back to the council. ‘‘For the past three years, we have been demanding from the government that water supply should be handed over to the council, but no step has been taken in this direction till now,’’ said Mr Kulwant Singh.


Chain fast enters 17th day over PUDA move
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 2
The local Congress leader, Mr Balbir Singh Sidhu, today joined the ongoing chain fast by villagers protesting against acquisition of their land by the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA). The four-month-long struggle of thousands of villagers had intensified after landlords sat on a chain fast that entered 17th day today.

Members of the Kisan Hit Bachao Committee, the body leading the protest, said their cause had been supported by almost all political leaders of the township and it was high time that the government took a serious note of the matter.

The protesters are demanding the cancellation of the notification issued by the government with respect to acquisition of approximately 690 acres of land in five villages. According to the PUDA notification, over 170 acres of land will be acquired in Sohana village, 209 acres in Lakhnaur village, 21 acres in Landran, 124 acres in Bermpur and 162 acres in Manak Majra village.

On May 26, the protesters had performed the ceremonial ‘‘last rites’’ of Housing and Urban Development Minister Raghunath Sahai Puri as an expression of their anguish over the lackadaisical attitude of the government towards them.

A delegation of the villagers had met Mr Raghunath Sahai Puri at his residence on Monday. He had assured them that their interests will be taken care. However, the villagers had decided to continue their agitation till some concrete steps were taken.


Finding true self through meditation
Swarleen Kaur

Thatched huts at the centre
Thatched huts at the centre.

Panchkula, June 2
Stressful lifestyle has thrown our lives off-balance. Tied to the routine ,most of us have forgotten how to relax and be at total peace with oneself. No wonder healing therapies, reiki and meditation are now in. Swami Narayan Satyarthii who runs the Osho Dhara Meditation Centre at Industrial Area, Phase-I here conducts various meditation sessions.

According to him, meditation works at a deeper level and changes our attitude towards life. It even cures problems which even a psychiatrist may fail to treat.

Swamiji says that Osho laid stress on catharsis which helped in releasing negative emotions buried in the subconscious. In dynamic meditation, catharsis is followed by dance and music sessions.

For the elderly there are sitting meditations like nadbrahma, vipassana, tathata and 20 other passive meditations.

Dr K.B. Singh, a 70- year- old dental surgeon who was feeling depressed after the death of his only son, found an outlet to release his pain by way of meditation.

At Osho Dhara, meditation is not a serious affair. Laughter and celebration and creativity are essential part of healing therapies here. All Osho meditations are scientifically evolved. It is like a meditation that works in every human.

Swamiji cited an example of Satnam Singh (25), a resident of Patiala, who was so dejected with his life that he was on the verge of committing suicide. Regular meditation helped him regain balance and develop a positive attitude towards life. Now he is a cycling champion.

Spread over an acre, most of the ashram area is covered with greenery. Special thatched huts have been constructed for those who want to undergo deeper healing therapies. Also one can tone up the body in a gymnasium, go for jacuzzi, sauna and steam bath and it is all free of cost.

The centre offers something for children too. They are taught mediation in a playful manner through dance and music and are encouraged to connect with nature. For seven-year-old Gautam chasing butterflies in flower-beds was the most enjoyable experience. His mother was astonished to see him sitting silently with eyes closed after a 20-minute intensive dance.

Divya Bansal who is conducting a children’s workshop here says that centre gives children a space for self-expression in a non-competitive atmosphere.

A Briton, 40-year-old Sidika, who is putting up at the centre says that she was an accountant at Hilton Hotel and used to work 70 hours a week under stressful conditions. She began to feel something was missing.In 1995 she came to Pune Osho Resorts where she became more aware of her complex mind. Earlier she was too much in thought process. She learned reiki, massage and eranio saeral therapy (subtle form of healing using body energy to heal oneself and helping a person to connect with universal energy). She has given up the hotel job and now gives therapy sessions to earn her livehood.

Akash Sood, a marketing executive, says that he had tried reiki, yoga, pranayam and concentration exercises to cure his depression. These did not help. “On a friend’s suggestion I took to meditation which transformed my attitude towards life. It is no longer a business to be managed. I have now learnt how to be relaxed even in the most trying situations.


SGPC poll: 50 booths in Mohali constituency
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 2
No nominations were filed even on the second day here today from the Mohali constituency for the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) elections scheduled to be held on July 11.

Nomination papers were to be filed from June 1 to June 8.

As many as 50 booths had been chalked out for the elections till today and there was a possibility that the number would rise as a large number of votes were still under scruting. Out of the 50 booths, 25 were located in Mohali.

According to information gathered from the SDM’s office, there were 37,895 votes for the SGPC elections from the Mohali constituency. Apart from this, about 3,500 votes from the town which were received till May 31, were under scrutiny. About 250 votes from Bakarpur, Manauli, Mauli Baidwan and Sekhanmajra villages had also been received.


Of man-woman relationships
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
After “Ek chup ji kudi”, Nirmal Jaswal is back with another collection of short stories titled “Macchiyaan kach diyaan.” Released by her daughter Aftaab Preet in Chandigarh on Wednesday, the collection traces man-woman relationships in a contemporary context.

The 11 stories in this anthology deal with subjects ranging from extra- marital affairs and other relationships of convenience to woman’s discovery of self and her new- found consciousness. Often the writer uses her skill to bare infirmities inherent in male-dominated society, in which men get attracted to women for purely physical and superfluous reasons.

Finally, all stories, including “Jashan”, are about the man-woman bond, marriage and its eternal strength. Jaswal has taken care to end every story on a positive note. — TNS


Seven hurt in road mishap
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
At least seven persons were injured, one of them seriously, when the Qualis (UP-16B-9996) in which they were travelling overturned after being hit by a speeding truck from the rear side, near the Housing Board light point in Mani Majra late tonight.

While six of the injured were rushed the General Hospital in Sector 16 here, one person was referred to the PGI. According to the police, all seven are employees of Glaxo, SCO 11, Sector 26, Madhya Marg, Chandigarh.

The group was travelling to Himachal Pradesh on an assignment. The injured include Jaspal Singh of Parwanoo, Munish Verma of Ambala City, Anil Gupta of New Delhi, Vishal Gupta of Seera Bazar in Himachal Pradesh, Ashish Mishra from Amritsar and Vinay from Bathinda. The person admitted to the PGI is still unidentified, but according to the police he could be the driver of the Qualis.

An unconfirmed report said that a couple along with a child travelling in a Santro were also gravely injured in the mishap. They were rushed to a private clinic nearby.


Accident victim dies at PGI
Our Correspondent

Lalru, June 2
A class IX student, Lakhbir Singh, of Jaswinder Senior Secondary School, Lalru, who was knocked down by a private carrier on the Lalru-Handesra road, near here, on Tuesday succumbed to his injuries at the PGI, Chandigarh, in the wee hours today.

According to the police, Lakhbir Singh was riding his bicycle to home after school when a Tata 407 (PB-11U-4863) ran over him, leaving him seriously injured. He was rushed to a private hospital in Ambala. The doctors there referred him to the PGI.

After postmortem examination at the Civil Hospital in Rajpura, the body was cremated at his native village.

The police registered a case under Sections 279 and 304-A of the Indian Penal Code against the driver of the Tata 407.

Property dispute

In a clash over property at Rajjapur village, near here, Manjit Kumar alias Sunil Kumar, assaulted his grandfather Madan Lal on Tuesday night. Sunil attacked his grandfather, causing serious injuries on his head. He was admitted to the Civil Hospital, Dera Bassi.

Other members of the family gave Sunil sound beating following which he was taken to the same hospital. No case was registered.

Group clash

The police booked 14 persons, including a woman, belonging to two groups of residents of Shekhpura village near here, for their involvement in a clash over shamlat land on Tuesday night.

According to the police, Randhir Singh, Harbans Singh, Mohinder Singh, Amrik Singh, Jasmer Kaur, Charan Singh, Gurdeep Singh, Beant Singh, Rana, Darshan Lal, Raj Kumar, Ashok Kumar, Kulbir Singh and Baljit Singh were booked under Sections 323, 324, 148 and 149 of the Indian Penal Code and cross-cases were registered.

Man electrocuted

Gurcharan Singh of Kuranwala village on the Dera Bassi-Barwala road, were electrocuted while he was trying to operate a machine at a cardboard manufacturing unit in Kuranwala village on Wednesday afternoon.

According to Mr Devi Dyal, brother of the victim, Gurcharan was new to the job and was electrocuted when he tried to operate the machine. He sustained burn injuries on his hands and was admitted to the Civil Hospital, Dera Bassi.

Members of Gurcharan’s family complained that the management of the unit did not turn up to express sympathy with the victim.


Swami Ram Dev’s yoga camp begins
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, June 2
Swami Ram Devji of yoga fame of Kankhal, Hardwar, demonstrated various asanas and the pranayam kriya at an eight-day-long yoga camp which began at the Sector 5 ground here today.

Interested people from all sections of society started collecting inside a vast pandal put up on the HUDA ground from 3.30 am onwards. The camp that began at 5 am continued till 7.15 am. It was well-attended.

Earlier, Mr B.K. Roy, Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, formally inaugurated the camp by lighting a lamp. He also presented a bouquet to the Swami. He also participated in the yoga session.

On the first day of the camp today, the Swami asked people to lay emphasis on practising pranayam (breathing exercises which can cure any kind of ailment). He stressed on ‘kapal bhati’ and another kriya ‘anulom and vilom’, a breathing exercise done through the nostrils.

A number of bureaucrats from Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh besides politicians and judges and top-level police officers also participated in the camp. In April, a similar camp was held at Ludhiana. It is being held for the first time in Panchkula.
Though there was a lot of enthusiasm among the people in the morning, things went awry because of a virtual traffic jam near the venue. Few traffic policepersons could be seen before the starting of the camp and they, too, appeared only when the camp began.

Compared to the VIPs, for ordinary people, it was a hard task to get entry to the camp. They had to pay Rs 250 to Rs 500 per ticket for different sections.


Auto thief held, three scooters recovered
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
The Chandigarh Police has arrested an auto thief hailing from Jind, in the city and recovered three stolen scooters from him.

Anil Kumar of Mohalla Krishna Colony was stopped at a picket near Polytechnic College, Sector 26, here last night by Sub-Inspector Satwinder Singh while the former was going on an unnumbered scooter.

During investigation, it was found out that the cream-coloured Bajaj Chetak scooter bore the registration number PB 10 A T-9733 and was stolen from Hostel Number 2 of Polytechnic College on May 25.

During interrogation, Anil Kumar revealed to the police that he had stolen two more scooters from the city. He helped the police recover these also later. Anil Kumar told the police he used to unlock scooters with master keys before taking them away.

He will be produced before a local court for procuring a police remand.

The police expects that his arrest can lead to the recovery of more stolen vehicles.

Sub-Inspector Pargat Singh of the Sector 26 police station on a patrol duty today arrested a Bapu Dham Colony resident, Sanjay, carrying a loaded countrymade pistol of .315 bore from behind a tubewell near the Police Lines. He will be produced in a local court tomorrow.


Woman hangs herself, father cries foul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
A 21-year-old woman today died under mysterious circumstances in Sector 38 after allegedly being harassed for dowry.

While the father of the woman alleged that she was murdered, a suicide note, purported to have been written by her, indicates she hanged herself to death.

She leaves behind a three-month-old baby.

The police has booked her husband under Sections 306 and 34 IPC.

Jatinder’s mother Kamla, however, gave the police the slip. The police is confirming if the suicide note was written by the victim, Neeta. Neeta’s father, Mr Raj Kumar, told the police that the writing was not hers.

He alleged that Jatinder had been demanding Rs 2 lakh after some months of marriage, saying that he wanted to expand his business.

He said his daughter and Jatinder had come to his house in Bapu Dham Colony last night for some time. The matter of Rs 2 lakh came up again. In the morning they were informed that Neeta was serious. They reached the Sector 16 General Hospital where she died. Mr Raj Kumar alleged that his daughter had been strangulated as her neck bore marks.

The police handed over the body to Neeta’s parents after a post-mortem examination. The findings of the post-mortem are likely to be revealed later.

The suicide note written in a notebook said, she was ending her life on her own and nobody was responsible for her death.


Two youths assault former DSP
Our Correspondent

Lalru, June 2
A former Deputy Superintendent of Police, Dera Bassi, Mr Balwinder Singh Brar was assaulted by two youths on the busy Kalka-Ambala highway, near the local bus stop, late this night.

The problem started when the DSP and his gunman, Constable Harpal Singh, asked the two youth ,’ Sohan Singh and Gulab Singh, who were riding a motorcycle (HR-01C-0419), to give them passage on the road at about 5.30 pm. The DSP was on his way to Delhi along with the constable in a car.

Since Mr Brar was in civil dress, the duo could not recognise him and entered into an argument with him and his gunman. The arguments took the shape of a scuffle in which the DSP, the constable and the youths came to blows.

A constable deployed at the bus stop reached the scene and found his former boss and a colleague involved in a scuffle.

As the youths came to know that one of the occupants of the car was a former DSP, Gulab Singh fled while Sohan Singh was arrested. They were later identified as residents of Chaurmatpur village near Ambala.

The police has registered a case under Sections 353 and 186 of the IPC at Lalru police station.


House burgled
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 2
Goods and cash worth Rs 50,000 were stolen from house 2387 in Phase X here today. The owner of the house, Mr Harbans Lal Khurana, left for work at Ferozepore on May 24, after which his wife and children left for Delhi. His neighbour called him up yesterday and told him that the back window grill was broken.

Mr Khurana came here today and found his house ransacked. The police was called and it was found that thieves had entered the house from the rear window. The thieves had scaled the back boundary wall to gain entrance into the house.


DC inaugurates Piaggio dealership
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
Mr Arun Kumar, Deputy Commissioner, today inaugurated a Piaggio dealership here. Speaking on the occasion, Mr Ashutosh Khosla, General Manager, Piaggio, said Piaggio was poised to play a vital role in the times to come as it had been able to work on challenges before the cargo industry. Piaggio transportation vehicles covered diverse products including two-wheelers, three-wheelers and four-wheelers for cargo and passenger mobility. They have good mileage, high power and require least maintenance.

The office of Matharoo gives an impression that he was connected to VIPs. He had been photographed with two former Presidents of India, two former Governors, former Deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishan Advani and a host of senior Punjab police officers.

The society had also sought exemption from income tax, claiming that it was engaged in social work.

Matharoo was unaware, when contacted, if a case had been registered against him. As soon as he was told so he contacted his lawyers for anticipatory bail.

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | National Capital |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |