C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Two more murders rock city
Woman killed, cops suspect rape
Drug dealer done to death
Tribune News Service

Sanjeev, Balwinder, Pala Ram, Ashok and Mukesh
Sanjeev, Balwinder, Pala Ram, Ashok and Mukesh, who were arrested by the Chandigarh police for murdering Komal, an alleged drug dealer. — A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh , June 15
Two more murders, a day after a man was done to death by his wife and son, rocked the city today. In one incident, a woman was possibly raped and then murdered while in the other, a suspected drug dealer was hacked to death near Panjab University by another drug peddler.

According to the police, an unidentified woman (between 35 and 40 years of age) was found murdered after a suspected rape in the bushes near the newly built bridge between Chandigarh and Panchkula in the Gobindpura locality.

A police officer, who saw the body of the woman, said efforts to identify her had failed, but she was last seen last night between 9.30 pm and 10 pm, begging in the Gwala colony area. He said the woman was reportedly mentally unsound.

Considering her semi-naked condition, the police has asked medical experts to ascertain if the woman had been raped before she was strangulated and assaulted with a blunt weapon. The police is, however, not clear if the woman had been raped but suspects it might have been the motive. Her clothes had been removed before she was found murdered in a desolate area with a thick undergrowth. Condoms were recovered from the murder site. The woman was wearing three rings in the fingers of her left hand.

In the second incident, Komal, an alleged drug peddler, succumbed to his injuries early this morning after he was assaulted by Mukesh, Pala Singh, Balwinder, Ashok Kumar and Sanjeev Mallick with swords and rods late last night. The accused were arrested for murder after Komal died in the hospital.

The police has taken them on three days’ remand to recover the murder weapons and ascertain the motive behind the crime. The police, however, suspects that Mukesh, son of a Daddu Majra-based woman, Kamla, who is also alleged to be involved in selling drugs, did not want Komal to ply the trade with his mother. When Mukesh failed to persuade him to desist from doing trafficking, he allegedly killed him along with his other accomplices.

Interestingly, Kamla is registered as a “bad character” in the police records and has over a 100 cases of drug peddling, assault and other heinous offences against her. Mukesh is also alleged to be involved in the drug trade along with his mother.

On the other hand, Lali, mother of Komal, who is a potter, had complained to the police that Mukesh and others had visited her house on June 12 inquiring about Komal. Lali told the police that when they did not find Komal, Mukesh slapped his younger brother, Randhir, and threatened him of dire consequences. She claimed that her son had left the business of drug peddling and had gone underground in Haryana. However, Mukesh and his mother were not happy with his decision and wanted him to rejoin the gang. Lali told the police that Komal did not return home on the evening of June 14. She was worried and went searching for him along with a neighbour. She said at around 10.30 pm, she heard a fracas from a deserted area near gate number three of Panjab University and when she rushed to the site, she was horrified to see that her son was being assaulted with swords and rods. As soon as she reached the site, the alleged assaulters fled leaving her son seriously injured.


Cops hunt for contractor in Chopra murder case
Tribune News Service

Rahul Kohli told the Chandigarh Tribune that he was shocked to know that Ms Chopra, whom he regarded as sister, could suspect him of murdering V.K. Chopra, who was the closest of his friends. He said Mr Chopra had always helped him in personal matters. He chose not to work with Mr Chopra so that his friend could not be accused of favouritism, he added.

Mr Kohli said both Ravinder Sharma and Mr Chopra were his friends and talking to them on phone was a daily routine. He said he did not have any scooter registered in his name. He also denied that he had ever taken any money or gold from V.K. Chopra. Mr Kohli said still he had great faith in the police, judiciary and the Almighty.

Chandigarh, June 15
The Punjab police has asked the Chandigarh and Panchkula police to trace a Panchkula-based contractor, Rahul Kohli, as he is required for questioning in XEN V. K. Chopra murder case.

Rahul Kohli, a close friend of V. K. Chopra who was murdered in Mohali on February 17 last year, had been named as one of the alleged conspirators by Anil Kumar, alias Tota, who allegedly shot dead Chopra.

The IG Jalandhar Range, Mr S.K. Sharma, said the Chandigarh and Panchkula police had been asked to hand over Kohli to the Mohali police.

Mr Sharma also said the CIA in-charge of Mohali had been asked to raid possible hideouts of Kohli. The police action has followed the wife of slain Chopra, Ms Neerja Chopra, writing a letter to the Chief Minister of Punjab saying that following disclosure of Tota that Rahul Kohli was allegedly behind the contract killing, a case should be registered against him and he should be arrested.

Ms Chopra had alleged that Kohli, who was a very close friend of V.K Chopra, had allegedly informed Tota about the movement of V. K. Chopra on the day of murder. Tota had also said the scooter used in the crime was provided by Kohli.

Ms Chopra in the letter said the phone calls made to one of the murder accused, Ravinder Sharma, during the time of murder raised suspicion on his involvement in the murder. Ms Chopra alleged that Rahul Kohli had financially supported Tota and Bhupa, another accused in the case, for committing the crime.

She said Kohli had been getting information about the movement of her husband through other persons sent to her house.

She did not know if the information gathered was for murdering her husband, she added.

Ms Chopra has alleged in the letter that V.K. Chopra had given Kohli Rs 5 lakh and 950 grams of gold to help latter get contracts. On the day of murder, Kohli had tea with the family.

Chopra then told him that he was going to Mehak Banquet Hall.

Kohli then left home at around 7 pm and her husband was murdered at 9 am, she added. Ms Chopra has also provided mobile phone call details between Ravinder Sharma and Rahul Kohli on the day of the murder.

Ms Chopra also said Tota had also revealed that they had planned to kill Chopra at a religious place situated at the entrance of Panckhula on the basis of information provided by Kohli but the attempt failed. Tota had said he had lamhosted Kohli for providing a wrong information.


Consumers resent hike in petrol, LPG prices
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 15
While the Oil companies, which suffered losses worth Rs 14,000 crore during the past six months, heaved a sigh of relief with the prices of petrol, diesel and LPG increasing today, the consumers are sore over this hike. They were already reeling under the burden of increased cost of living, but with the prices of daily use items like petrol and diesel going up, their monthly budgets will go in for a spin.

With the price of petrol increasing by Rs 2.05 per litre, petrol in Chandigarh will now cost approx Rs 36.16 per litre as against Rs 34.11 per litre. Similarly, with the price of diesel going up by Rs 1.02 per litre, it will now be available for approx Rs 22.47 per litre. The cost of petrol in the neighbouring town of Mohali will be Rs 39 as against Rs 37 per litre and that of diesel will be Rs 22.35 per litre against Rs 21.35 per litre. In Panchkula, the cost of petrol will be Rs 35.75 per litre as against Rs 33.75 per litre. The price of diesel will be Rs 22.57 per litre instead of Rs 21.57 per litre. The new rates will, however, be applicable from midnight tonight and there may be a slight variation of prices as the company officials were busy working out the exact costs after adding the local sales tax till late night. And these figures were not available till the filing of this report.

Mr Pawan Sharma, a marketing executive says, `` the hike in petrol is not justified as his company will give him the same amount irrespective of the increase of Rs 2 per litre.’’ Employees, particularly in the service sector and marketing executives are rather sore over this hike.

The increase in the price of diesel will affect the transporters and the agriculture community. Gurdev Singh, a farmer of Sohana village, says even a Re 1 hike in the price of diesel is significant during the paddy season as the cost of consumption of diesel goes up during this time. The hike will indeed be heavy on our pocket, he adds. Resentment also prevails among the transporter, who are among the major users of these products. Mr Prem Verma, a transporter feels that while the freight charges have not been increased, that of petrol and diesel have gone up.

The hike of approximately Rs 20 in the price of LPG will affect the budget of a housewife. Suman, a housewife, while expressing her resentment says “I will have to cut down the household expenditure on some other front to ensure that the budget amount does not get affected.


NIIFT, PESCO owe Rs 58 lakh in rent
Eviction process starts
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, June 15
The Northern India Institute of Fashion Technology (NIIFT) and the Punjab Ex-Servicemen Corporation (PESCO) face eviction from the building occupied by them in the industrial area here due to the non-payment of rent totalling nearly Rs 58 lakh. A show-cause notice was issued today to the two organisations by the Collector, Mohali, telling them to explain why they should not be evicted from the premises.

The notice, which was issued under sub-section (I) of the Punjab Premises and Land (Eviction and Rent Recovery) Act, has been received by both tenants.

According to sources, NIIFT, which occupied the building (C-115) in the Phase VII industrial area on September 16, 1995, owes Rs 52.43 lakh. It occupied a covered area of 18, 780 sq ft instead of 11,214 sq ft, but failed to pay rent for the additional area up to November 30, 2000. It also carried out additional construction without the approval of the erstwhile PUNWAC and no rent has been paid from December 1, 2000, till date.

In the case of PESCO, which was housed in a part of same building, the rent due is Rs 5.53 lakh for an area of 11,244 sq ft. The premises was given on rent to it on July 13, 1994.

The SDM, Mr M.L. Sharma, in his capacity as Collector, called upon the defaulting tenants to show cause on July 1 why the rent had not been paid and why an order of eviction should not be issued against them.

The sources said in a letter to the local SDM yesterday, the Director, Social Security, stated that NIIFT and PESCO did not prove to be “good tenants and failed to discharge their rent liability properly”. The Director requested the SDM to get the government premises vacated as early as possible.

The Director said the government did not want to further rent out the building to the two tenants and sought their eviction. He said the state government, too, had given approval for the eviction of the building. Besides, at a meeting held on July 16 last year under the Chairmanship of Chief Secretary, it was decided to initiate legal action to recover the rent.

PUNWAC, which was closed down by the state government under a notification dated January 24, 2001, had constructed its own building on the aforesaid plot and rented it out to PESCO and the NIIFT. Following the closure of PUNWAC, the Director, Social Security, was authorised to dispose of its pending work, and the building was transferred to the Directorate of Social Security and Women and Child Development, Punjab.

Mrs Vijay Sharma, Director, NIIFT, told The Tribune that some dispute over rent was going on with the authorities concerned which had to be sorted out. The state government had not provided a building to the institute and as such it was functioning from rented accommodation. Owing to shortage of space some construction had been carried out by NIIFT after getting approval from the Chief Minister. It had been decided at that time that the money spent on additional construction would be deducted from the rent being paid by NIIFT.


Court raps Army over GCM proceedings
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 15
While dismissing General Court Martial (GCM) proceedings initiated against a brigadier on charges of intent to defraud, the Delhi High Court has castigated the Army over the manner and method of handling the case.

Terming the court martial proceedings to be motivated and mala fide, the Bench, comprising Justice Vijender Jain and Justice H R Malhotra observed that the whole exercise of the respondents seemed to be denying promotion to the petitioner, Brig J.K. Bansal.

Brigadier Bansal, an Army Medical Corps officer, was serving with the Indian Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Science (INMAS) when allegations were made against him that he had submitted fake disability certificates to get his daughter admitted to Delhi University's Netaji Subhash Institute of Technology.

In its order issued a few days ago, a copy of which was made available here, the Bench observed, "In normal circumstances this court would refrain from commenting on matters pending adjudication in proceedings before a GCM as the decision- making process may be affected. But keeping in view the manner and method used in the present case, we are of the considered opinion hat the exercise undertaken by the respondents was not bona fide."

The respondents include the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Command, Chandimandir, Chief of the Army Staff and the Defence Secretary. "Our judicial conscience does not permit us to perpetuate an act of irrationality, arbitrariness and illegality," the order stated.

Following the complaint, the brigadier had been attached to Headquarters of an EME Technical Group under the authority of Western Command. The brigadier's counsel, K. Ramesh, had contended that the attachment had been done without the Army holding a court of inquiry into the allegations or ascertaining facts. An in-house inquiry conducted by INMAS had exonerated him. Further, the report was not considered by the Army while initiating action.

The court observed that the medical certificates used by the Brigadier for his daughter's admission were based on documentary evidence and were hence "genuine, valid and absolutely in order". He sustained back injury during Operation Bluestar and a few years later had sustained head injuries while proceeding to a military hospital on duty. Both the injuries were attributed to military service. The court also did not see any violation of the university's admission rules.

While imposing a cost of Rs 50,000 on the respondents, the Bench observed, "We would have liked in such cases of blatant injustice, cost to be borne by the officers concerned who have been responsible for taking such an arbitrary and illegal decision." The Bench also directed that the results of the petitioner's promotion board, which have been held up over flimsy grounds, be declassified.


Punjab, Haryana farmers for UK show
Maneesh Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 15
As many as 12 progressive farmers and agri-businessmen of Punjab and Haryana have been invited by the British Government to participate in this year's edition of the Royal Show.

The show covers a broad spectrum of predominantly agriculture and agri-business-related activities.

Over 1.6 lakh farmers and government servants connected with the field of agriculture and related sectors from over 90 countries participate in the prestigious event.

According to sources, the British High Commission in India has already cleared the names of these people to participate.

"Britain sees Punjab as a major player in this segment. We hope the farmers will benefit from the mega show," said Tanisha Thiara, Trade and Investment Adviser, UK Trade & Investment, Chandigarh.

The persons who will represent Punjab in the show are Mr Sukhpal Singh Bhullar, Proprietor of Bhullar Orchards & Seed Farm, Bathinda; Mr Surinder Singh, President of the Dhesian Kahana Cooperative Multipurpose Society, Jalandhar; Mr Mohinder Singh Grewal, proprietor of Roopa Vegetable Seed Farm, Ludhiana; Mr K.S. Pannu, Additional Registrar, Cooperative Societies, Punjab; Mr S.S.Shergill, President, Guru International, Chandigarh; Mr K.B.S. Sidhu, Managing Director, Patiala Horticulture Private Limited, Patiala; Mr Raghbir Singh, President, Potatoes Growers Association; Mr Jaswinder Singh Sangha, General Secretary, Potatoes Growers Association; Dr A.S. Dhatt, Director, Punjab Horticultural Post Harvest Technology Centre, Punjab Agriculture University, Ludhiana and Mr Arvinder Singh Brar of Brar Farms, Sangrur.

Mr R.P. Banerjee, Executive Director of SSP India, Faridabad, and another person will represent Haryana.

Interestingly, of the total 38 persons going from India to participate in the Royal Show 12 are from Punjab and Haryana.

"Basically, Punjab is a good example of an agrarian economy in India. Also, farmers here are very enthusiastic when it comes to adopting latest farm practices. This explains why we have such big representation for the show," said a government officer.


Focus on community journalism, suggests US journalist
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 15
Indian media also need to focus on community journalism as in the US. It helps in improving the life of the common man, said Prof Roger Gafke, an eminent journalist from Missouri School of Journalism, Columbia.

He was in the town to conduct a workshop on ' Improving news reporting, writing and researching skills', conducted jointly by the American Embassy and the Chandigarh Press Club.

Talking to the Tribune Prof Roger said in the US, there were 14,000 community newspapers. He opined that the issue, which concerns the common man on the streets, found wide coverage in the US newspapers.

But he added that the US media was forthcoming in reporting on the Iraq imbroglio.

The scribe has been in the country for the past three months to design the curriculum and teaching methodology for various postgraduate courses for International School of Media and Entertainment Studies (ISOMES), Delhi.

Earlier, Prof Roger gave a detailed presentation on ways of writing a clean and simple news story. The main focus in objective reporting was writing a through and a clear news story.

He managed to put across his point of writing short and clear sentences, without cliches. Picking up news stories from English dailies of the past few weeks, he involved the participants in a detailed case study of the news stories. The participants were given certain parameters to qualify a news story for being a readable item. He laid stress on stories supported by graphics and catchy headlines. Writing news stories was nothing but reproducing observable facts.

But he cautioned the sub editors against giving misleading headlines to news stories. Certain stories were picked up on a sample basis to explain his point of view. Prof Roger said to catch the interest of a reader, a scribe should not compromise with the concept of subjectivity.


Verma orders probe into assault on tourists
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 15
Taking a serious note of an alleged incident of slapping and hitting Delhi-based tourists by a traffic police Inspector on Saturday night, the UT Administrator, Justice O.P. Verma (retd), today ordered an inquiry against Mr Ishwar Singh Mann.

Justice Verma instructed the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Rajesh Kumar, today to conduct an inquiry against the errant traffic Inspector and submit a report within five days.

The Administrator has stated that the incident amounted to violation of human rights. Notwithstanding the grave provocation, the Inspector should not have hit the tourists. Justice Verma said the Chandigarh Traffic Police must behave professionally while dealing with the general public, especially with people coming from outside the city.

He instructed the Inspector-General of Police to ensure that tourists and other people visiting the city were shown due courtesy and respect. He asked the IG to put up warning boards at the entry points into the city indicating that the Chandigarh city area had begun and that they should maintain the specified speed limit.


A nightmare for night commuters
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 15
The two national highways passing through the district, Panchkula-Kalka-Shimla highway, and Panchkula-Naraingarh highway, are turning into a nightmare night commuters.

Thanks to the Ministry of Surface Transport and National Highways, no funds have been released for either four laning/ widening of the highways, or for ensuring that proper illuminated road markings and retro-reflective sign boards are installed. With an increasing number of accidents taking place on the two highways at night, these highways are no longer being considered safe for night travel.

A large number of accidents, including a sizeable number of fatal accidents, have taken place on these two highways at night time. With the ever increasing traffic flow on the two highways, especially of trucks carrying bricks or the poultry products on the NH-73 and nearly non-existent traffic police/highway police to check overspeeding or other violation of traffic rules, commuting during night is no longer considered safe.

It is learnt that the average traffic flow on National Highway-22 (Panchkula- Kalka) is between 23,000 to 24,000 vehicles (heavy and light vehicles) per count unit, with a five per cent increase each year. The heavy traffic movement on this highway is maximum at night time. Similarly, it is estimated that an average of 200 trucks and buses ply on National Highway 73 (Panchkula- Naraingarh) after the night sets in.

Though the proposal for four-laning of the NH-22, and construction of a bypass to the towns of Pinjore, Kalka and Parwanoo, was approved by the Ministry of Surface Transport and National Highways, several years ago, till date no funds have been granted for the same. The widening of NH- 73, from Mattanwala to Mauli was done almost a year and a half ago, but there is no proposal for four laning of the portion from Old Panchkula to Ramgarh, where the density of the traffic is maximum, and hence the most accident-prone area on this highway.

Officials in the National Highways division of the Public Works Department (Bridges and Roads), Haryana, said so far no grants have been released for the maintenance (which includes making road markings, besides repair and recarpeting) of these highways. An official of the National Highways division, said no grant has been received for the maintenance of NH-22 for the past two years so the central line (dividing the road into two lanes) and hedge lines (yellow lines to make a demarcation of the road edge) could not be repainted. Also, speed breakers to be built at all points where the roads meet on the highway have to be built.

He also informs that road markings on some portions of NH-73, too, need to be done again. Also, repair is needed at various places, where the trench of this highway has sunk in. But no funds for maintenance have been received, he rues.

He says that though there is no provision for installing streetlights along the two highways, or installing blinkers and traffic lights, but the local bodies of towns where the highways pass through can do so at their own expense.


Verma seeks report on Pink Rose Society
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 15
The case of the Pink Rose Cooperative House Building Society is back in the news. The UT Administrator, Justice O.P. Verma (retd), has asked the Municipal Commissioner-cum-Secretary Cooperation, Mr M.P. Singh to file a complete report on the status of the society.

The Administrator has acted on a complaint lodged by members, who have been allotted lands for building flats in Sector 49. The complainants have levelled serious allegations against the SDM (south), Ms Madhavi Kataria. She is also the Joint Registrar Cooperative Societies (RCS). The complainants have alleged that Ms Kataria has favoured certain Punjab cadre IAS officers in getting their names on the roll of the society by replacing original allottee members.

They have demanded that Ms Madhvi Kataria be transferred from the post of Joint Registrar, Cooperative Societies, U.T., Chandigarh, to save the allottee members of the Pink Rose Cooperative Society and other societies of the Chandigarh from further harassment and ensure corruption free functioning of the Cooperative Department. Also a detailed inquiry should be conducted against Ms Kataria for her controversial role as the Joint RCS. The delay caused by Ms Kataria in registering the society was without any justification and reasons best known to her.

The letter with the Administrator’s remarks seeking a report from Mr M.P. Singh says that the registration of the Pink Rose Cooperative Society may be done as per original allottee members’ list supplied by the Chandigarh Housing Board and further corrected by the society on May 25, 2004.

Pending issues and findings of the enquiry report submitted by Mr Vivek Atray dated July 9, 2003, into the matter of irregularities committed by the former management of the Pink Rose Society may be implemented in totality.

The complainants say an FIR should be lodged against those who have misused the funds of the society.

They have pleaded that the Administrator of the society appointed by the Administration should take over the records of the society immediately from the removed management committee.

It may be recollected that the Tribune had last year highlighted how original allottee members were thrown out of the society and replaced by IAS officers, Mr Hussan Lal, Mr Dalip Kumar, Mr K.A.P. Sinha, Mr Alok Shekar and Mr D.K. Tiwari.

Mr Vivek Atray submitted his report saying the then management was found guilty of committing illegal activities and on the basis of the findings of the report the then management committee was removed by the RCS.


Roadsurvivors on ‘save mountains’ campaign
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 15
Roadsurvivors, comprising a group of people owning 3.5 HP Bullet motorcycles in the city, is organising a roadshow carrying a message “Save Mountains” They will begin a two-week-long motorcycle ride “Ladakh Beckons” on June 18.

Roadsurvivors was founded in March last year as a non-profit club. Since then, a lot of effort, time and energy have been spent and today Road survivors is the most happening group in India with more than 100 members.

Explaining the purpose of the roadshow, Mr Mayank Gupta, a mamber of the club, said the presence of humans has extended to the remotest areas on the earth. One of the characteristic impacts of the exploration of remote areas is pile of left-behind trash, which not only are the last remaining pristine places, but also where much of the world’s drinking water comes from. Mountaineeers, climbers and trekkers turn out to be the worst offenders of mountain garbage, since these groups spend the most time in the remote mountains.

“One of the biggest offenders is often the one-time visitors of the families which take to picnic at any open space on the mountains and leave all the litter behind.

As a community, we have taken a stand on this issue and want to create awareness about this in the general public.

If we can take out five more minutes from our enjoyment to clean the mess and bring it back, at least we can leave the beautiful mountains pristine and beautiful for repeated visits and generations to come.


Panchkula Diary
Daily wage staff stage dharna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 15
Over 50 daily wage employees of the Forest Department, Haryana, today staged a dharna outside the Deputy Commissioner’s office here, in protest against the retrenchment drive of the department.

The daily wagers had been issued notices that their services were being terminated, said the president of the Forest Department Workers Union, Mr Om Prakash Sharma. He alleged that they had not received any salary for the past eight months and their families were suffering because of financial constraints.

The local president of the Sarv Karamchari Sangh, Mr Lal Chand, who has joined hands with the protesting Forest Department employees, said so far 20,000 government employees had been shown the door by the Om Praksh Chautala Government.

Convention of HCMS Association

The Panchkula branch of the Haryana Civil Medical Services (HCMS) Association will host the 28 th Annual Convention of the HCMS Association on July 25. A meeting to make final preparations for the convention was held at General Hospital, Sector 6, under the chairmanship of the Civil Surgeon, Dr Satvir Chaudhary, here on Tuesday.

The organising secretary of the convention, Dr R.M. Singh, SMO, MLA Hostel Dispensary, Chandigarh, said issues concerning the medicare policy for the common man would be discussed it the convention. He said the convention would deliberate on how to deliver quality services to the people of Haryana and implementation of Swasthya Aapke Dwaar Programme.

The convention will also deliberate on the long-standing demand of non-practising allowance (NPA) equivalent to the neighbouring states of Punjab, Himachal and Delhi, by raising it to 25 per cent of basic pay.

Khula durbar

A khula darbar is being organised by the district administration at the Block Development and Panchayat Office, Pinjore, on June 19. The Deputy Commissioner, Ms Neelam P. Kasni, will listen to the grievances of the people and redress their complaints.

The DC today directed the Transport office to ensure that all local buses plying on the local route of Pinjore and Kalka be directed to stop at the BDPO office to faciliate those who want to attend the khula darbar.


Facilitation services to help taxpayers
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 15
The Commissioner of Income Tax, Chandigarh, Ms P. Sahi, the Income Tax Department has arranged facilitation services to enable the taxpayers find out their PAN/TAN number in view of the quoting of the PAN/TAN number on challans for tax payments having been made mandatory from June 1.

The taxpayers can use the website:www.incometaxindia.gov.in or www.tin.nsdl.com and e mail: [email protected] The telephone is 0172-2716884 and fax is 0172-2722185 to find out their PAN/TAN number.

In case the taxpayers want any corrections in their PAN cards on account of address/typographical/ omission, they may contact M/s UTIISL or any of the Tax Information Network (TIN) facilitation centres whose addresses are available at these websites, said Ms P. Sahi in a press release.


Review panel meeting held
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 15
The district-level Review Committee meeting was held under the chairmanship of the Deputy Commissioner, Ms Neelam P. Kasni, here today.

She urged representatives of banks, who were attending the meeting to ensure that the poor and the needy were granted loans on easy terms and conditions so that they could become self-independent. She urged them to continue with various welfare schemes for providing loans and urged them to introduce better welfare schemes.

Ms Kasni urged the bank officers to undertake the crop insurance scheme on a war-footing so that farmers in the district could benefit from these shemes.

On this occasion, Mr S.S. Bhandari, Senior Regional Manager of Punjab National Bank, Ms Sudesh Vats, Deputy General Manager of Reserve Bank of India, were also present.


Labourer falls off roof, dies
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 15
A 50-year-old labourer who had fallen off the roof of the third floor of an under construction building yesterday died at the PGI today.

The victim, Ram Saroop, a resident of Azad Colony, had fallen off the third floor of an SCO in Sector 8 yesterday.

He was rushed to General Hospital, Sector 6, from where he was referred to the PGI, Chandigarh. A post-mortem was performed today and the police has initiated inquest proceedings.


Newspaper launched

Chandigarh, June 15
The Page Three People (P3P), a newspaper for the news-makers of the region, was launched by Deep Inside Entertainment today.

Addressing the media, the CEO of the publishing house, Mr Puneet Guleria, said the four-page P3P would be published every 10 days. OC


3 held for running fake currency racket
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 15
An inter-state fake currency racket was busted here with the arrest of three persons here last night along with 40 fake currency notes of Rs 500 denomination. The gang is alleged to have duped about 25 persons of more than Rs 20 lakh, SHO Sanjay Jain told at a press conference here today.

Raman Kumar of Bhikhiwind, Amritsar, Balwinder Singh of Zirakpur and Shamsher Singh of Sector 12, Panchkula, were arrested last night from near the Football Stadium in Sector 17 when a decoy customer struck a deal with them.

The police has launched a manhunt for the kingpin of the gang Bhupinder, alias Bhinder, and Tony who used to supply them fake currency notes.

The gang lured customers offering them to double the amount in fake currency in exchange for the currency notes. The gang members used to give currency notes to the vulnerable customers passing them off as fake currency. The counterfeit currency suppliers asked the customers to first test the initial amount in the market to make them believe that the fake currency supplied by them was acceptable. The test used to be successful as the money supplied was in currency notes.

Mr Jain said the police got a tip off and a trap was laid after they got information that the gang members were trying to strike a deal here.

A special raiding party headed by assistant sub-inspector Sem Singh, was formed, which included an independent witness from the public. The public witness went to the fake currency dealers as a decoy customer and struck a deal while the under-cover party was watching it from a distance. At this point, the police party pounced upon the persons on the spot. During the search of the persons, the members of the police party recovered 40 notes of Rs 500 denomination of fake currency from them.

During the interrogation, the fake currency dealers told the police that they were in the illegal business for more than a year and might have supplied fake currency between Rs 15 and 20 lakh.

A case under Sections 489-B and 489-C of the IPC has been registered in the Sector 17 police station. A local court has remanded in police remand for two days.

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