C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Two Mani Majra hotels raided; 3 sex workers held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
The police today raided two “hotel-turned brothels” in the Mani Majra motor market and arrested three commercial sex workers and as many pimps.

The girls, hailing from Lucknow, Ludhiana and Jammu, were arrested from the Deep Palace and Neelkamal hotels situated in the motor market. In-charges of the two hotels, Kala from Roorkie, Anil Rana and Rajesh Rana from Kangra, all allegedly acting as pimps, were also arrested.

The police sent a decoy customer on the basis of an information that the hotels were openly running flesh trade and the girls provided were from outside the city, ASP Sanjay Jain told reporters.

Kala and Ranas had been running the hotels for the past one year. The girls from Lucknow and Jammu are 22-year-old. The girl from Lucknow had been engaged on a salary basis. The pimps had taken the hotels on contract. The police said their modus operandi was quite open unlike others who used mobile phones to engage their customers.

This is the third case of flesh trade in the past three months in which girls and pimps, both from outside the city, had been arrested.

The police said the girl from Lucknow had been staying in Deep Palace for the past one month and engaging her clients in the hotel. The police said the hotels merely had three rooms each. The girl from Jammu had recently come back to the city for continuing her illegal activities.


Maloya girl dead
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
The 13-year-old Maloya girl, who was allegedly set on fire by a 17-year-old neighbour after she spurned his “offer of friendship”, succumbed to her burn injuries in the PGI last night. Bajinder, who was arrested yesterday for allegedly attempting to murder her, has now been booked for killing the girl, the police said. Her body was handed over to the grieving parents after post-mortem examination. She was cremated today.

The girl had named Bajinder in her statement last night. She had said in her statement that he made an offer of “friendship”, which she refused. The refusal enraged the boy, who poured a container of kerosene on her before setting her on fire.

The girl was alone at home when the incident happened. Neighbours gathered when the girl writhed in pain and took her to the General Hospital, from where she was referred to the PGI.

The Fire Brigade vehicle was also called but by the time the vehicle reached the spot, the girl had been taken to the hospital. The Fire Brigade was informed that there was a stove burst in the house. The families of the girl and boy were known to each other.

The police arranged the recording of the statement immediately, as the girl had even told the doctors attending on her that she was set ablaze by Bajinder.


1 held for molestation bid at Barista
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
Four youths allegedly tried to molest a woman and assaulted her husband in the Barista coffee shop in Sector 11.

The police arrested Pardeep Kumar of Sector 11. It is on the look for three others in connection with the alleged assault on Mr Subhash Nagpal of Sector 8-C in the coffee shop late Friday night.

Sidharth Kumar of Sector 27 reported that Pardeep Kumar, Arvind Gupta of Muktsar, Ramandeep Singh and Munish Dhingra of Abohar allegedly hit Mr Nagpal in the head with a stone following an altercation after they tried to molest his wife.

Mr Nagpal was taken to the Sector 16 General Hospital. A case of attempt to murder, rioting, molestation and hurt has been registered against the four youths under Sections 147, 148, 149, 323, 354 and 307 of the IPC.


Newly-wed commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
A 20-year-old engineering student from Muktsar and her husband whom she married yesterday at Nada Sahib Gurdwara against the will of their families today allegedly consumed some poisonous substance.

Ishwinder Kaur, an engineering student in Muktsar, died while her husband, Jagsir Singh, a student of the Punjab Engineering College also from Muktsar, is fighting for life in the Sector 32 hospital.

They were found in an unconscious state at Sukhna Lake. Both of them were taken to the hospital but the woman did not survive.

Ishwinder Kaur had come from Muktsar and was staying in Mohali for some time.


PGI to tie up with Panchkula hospital
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 20
A collaboration between the PGI, Chandigarh, and the General Hospital, Sector 6, wherein expertise would flow from the former to the latter, is in the offing. Its benefit to the PGI would come by way of easing the over-burdened staff and facilities by diverting patients to the underutilised infrastructure of the 150-bedded General Hospital.

A meeting between the Chief Secretary of Haryana, along with other top officials of the Health Department and the Director and MS, PGI, has been held in the matter. A final date for starting the venture is likely to be set shortly.

The idea of the venture is to tap the facilities available at the General Hospital and divert patients who knock at the doors of the PGI for the slightest ailment.

Specialists from the PGI would be asked to train the faculty and staff of the General Hospital while resident doctors and junior consultants would be exposed to working in hospitals with limited facilities. Initially, services of doctors from the PGI would be made available in the Emergency and Labour Room of the General Hospital. With this, the PGI is hoping to unburden itself of at least 90 per cent trauma and obstetrics cases coming to the PGI casualty. Only cases requiring specialised referral would be taken up at the PGI.

A rough first reference paper and proposal has been submitted for consideration and consultation to the various officers involved in giving final shape to the venture. The paper highlights the facilities available at the General Hospital, the doctors on rolls and the inflow of patients.

Besides, the plan points out shortcomings at the General Hospital which include unavailability of specialists round-the-clock, no anaesthesia assistant, paucity of sanctioned posts for staff nurses and lab technicians, incomplete building not conforming to the specifications.

From the collaboration, the General Hospital is expecting visits by specialists of various departments once a week to train surgeons and treat cases requiring specialised treatment.

The hospital is also contemplating beginning lectures for doctors. The establishment of a fully equipped physiotherapy department is also on the agenda.


Neuro surgery much safer now: professor
Tribune News Service

Prof Anil Kumar Singh
Prof Anil Kumar Singh

Chandigarh, June 20
Advances in the field of neuro sciences over the past couple of decades have made neuro surgery much safer than it ever was, says Prof Anil Kumar Singh, one of the top neuro surgeons of India.

"Therefore, those who need to undergo a neuro-surgical procedure for their ailment need no longer be afraid of it. Many a time, patients hesitate to undergo surgery because of the complications involved. And by the time, they take a decision to go ahead, it is too late. Therefore, the best option would be to go for it if and when required," advised Pro Singh in an interview with TNS here today.

Till two decades ago, neurological surgery was like groping in the dark, he says. "Now with the availability of CT scan, a surgeon can plan the path he may take to tackle the problem area. He can be very accurate. Over the years, there have been improvements in all related fields. Even robotic navigation is now available for extremely delicate and complicated operations. Post- operative damage has also come down dramatically".

Prof. Singh, who has been in this profession for over 23 years, working in the field of neuroscience, says that unlike a heart specialist who has to deal with only one organ, the field for a neuro surgeon is vast. He has to operate on not only the head but also the neck and the spine. and all of them are delicate operations. Prof Singh who now has joined as Director of Neuro Sciences at Fortis Hospital at NOIDA which is scheduled to go on stream next month, is one of the five eminent doctors across the country to perform cervical disc replacement surgery.

"Minor surgeries in the spine through cervical disc replacement will now lend better quality of life to the ailing patient. Cervical disc replacement which was unknown to the Indian medical system 20 years ago will now be accessible to patients easily." Elaborating on this specific kind of surgery, he says, the affected part of the cervical disc is removed and replaced with an artificial disc made of titanium and special polymers. The success rate is over 90 per cent.

According to Prof Singh, degeneration of bone or sitting in one position for a long time, affects the spinal structure leading to Cervical Disc Prolapse in an individual. This is most common in patients above the age of 50, though the age seems to be reducing due to long hours in front of computers. Pain, weakness and loss of feeling are few signs of cervical damage.

Some preventive steps have been suggested by him to minimize the chances of suffering from CDP. Controlling obesity, which puts extra pressure on the neck, regular exercises for the neck and taking a five-minute break from the computer every 60 - 90 minutes were some of the suggestions.

Elaborating on neurosurgery, he says that "there is a lack of awareness about neurological disorders in India which, if undetected and untreated, can lead to serious complications. People need to be educated about the various disorders, which can afflict the human brain and cause serious damage. Over the years, neurosurgery has undergone rapid growth in terms of its application and advancement. Minimally Invasive Neurosurgery, as the name suggests, aims at carrying out neurosurgical operations in such a way that the damage to the normal brain and other surrounding structures is minimized. India is now at par with treatment provided in any part of the globe in terms of human endeavor and skill".


US report raps India on human trafficking
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
While a United States Department of State report has taken the Indian Government to task for its failure to comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of human trafficking, Haryana has, for the first time, found a mention in the department's list of states involved with trafficking.

The report released by the US Secretary of State, Mr Collin Powell, this week states that 23 trafficking-related arrests took place in Haryana during the past eight months. This figure, however, is lower than those pertaining to other places mentioned in the report like Mumbai, Kolkata, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Delhi.

"Trafficking in Haryana came into limelight after the issue was taken up by NGOs over the past year and several persons were subsequently rescued," a spokesperson of Shakti Vahni, an NGO taking up women's issues, said. "Haryana, he added, had never been listed in the reports before," he added.

The spokesperson also said that India's position in the report had been downgraded vis-a-vis last year's report due to "its failure to demonstrate increased central government law enforcement response to its huge trafficking problem and inadequate local prosecutions."

While terming the government's efforts to combat trafficking as "uneven", the report has lauded Indian NGOs as world leaders in their activities to fight this menace. A joint Indo-US government venture will provide $40 million for programme to move child labourers, many of whom are trafficked, into classrooms.

The report places India in the Tier 2 Watch List, just a notch above the bottom category. While it shares this slot with Pakistan, it is significant to note that other neighbours, including Afghanistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and China are placed in the slot above it.

The report has been prepared by the State Department's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, and is required by law to be submitted to the US Congress every year.

Pointing out that India is a source, transit and destination country for women, children and men trafficked for the purpose of sexual and labour exploitation, the report states that trafficking across India's international borders remains significant. The report also makes a mention that Bangladeshi women and children are trafficked to India or transit through India en route to Pakistan and the Middle East. So are women and girls from Nepal.

The vast majority of trafficking in India occurs across state lines, making these crimes inherently difficult for state police agencies to investigate and prosecute without central coordination. Police efforts continue to be hindered by weak inter-organisational networking and lack of access to information technology for collecting information and surveillance, the report states.

The report has urged the government to recognise trafficking as a federal offence and prosecute it accordingly.


Where tree, temple and gurdwara are a traffic hazard
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
Development of several roads in the city has been hampered due to natural obstructions as also man made ones. Work on an important road link in the city has been held up due to these obstructions.

The Union Ministry of Surface Transport has sanctioned about Rs 6 crore for a six-lane road from the Tribune Chowk towards Sector 47. This is to reduce traffic on the national highway and divert it towards the outskirts of the city.

However, the engineering wing of the Chandigarh Administration, which is carrying out the work on behalf of the Union Ministry, is faced with a problem. A temple and a gurdwara stand in the middle of the proposed alignment of the road. A huge pipal tree, located behind Sector 47-C, has become hazard. The engineering wing has put up a sign to warn commuters about this. The situation is such that road users have to take a small kutcha road to reach the newly laid-out road. A tree and a portion of the temple, located near Industrial Area Phase II, are blocking the road.

On the same road, a gurdwara located at the junction of Sectors 47-B and C. is in the middle of the road. The road comes to a dead end and one has to go around the gurdwara and rejoin the road. The Gurdwara is located right between the road which is to be expanded and also the upcoming Chandigarh-Ludhiana rail link.

There does not seem to be an early end to the matter, as it is locked in a legal battle.


Travel agency denies wrongdoing
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
Ms Kanwal Bedi, CEO of M/s Prompt Travels, today accused Mr Zora Singh, a former Chief Engineer of the PSEB. of “trying to blackmail the travel agency in order to extract more money from it”.

In a statement issued here, Ms Bedi said that her outfit, strictly followed the code of conduct in serving its clients and the industry it served.

The allegations made by Mr Zora Singh in the FIR lodged against the travel agency regarding the loss of his passports were “totally baseless and cause aspersions on the professional practice of travel trade, especially on its owners.

She said that Prompt Travels had been serving the above clients and two years ago, that had received the 10-year US visa through us only.

Had there been any intention to misuse his passports, this could have been done much earlier. Now, when in April, the passports were lost, we immediately lodged a police complaint against the courier company, when it expressed its inability to locate the lost packet containing passports.

“Mr Zora Singh had also filed a complaint in the Sector 3, police station, against us and the courier company, he later withdrew the same against financial compensation. He was paid a sum of Rs 24,600 for which we have necessary receipts agreeing to the final settlement of all disputes in this respect. However, lately, when his visa was refused by the US Embassy, he came up with fresh demands for more money, which we refused to pay.

Even then, out of courtesy, our agency reimbursed the Shatabadi fare for two for Chandigarh-Delhi-Chandigarh travel on June 16. However, he continued to threaten us and finally lodged this FIR afresh, when we refused to bend against his unreasonable and unjustified demands”.

Ms Bedi said she had “sent an appropriate reply to the SSP, and the SHO, Sector 3, police station, in this respect and shall file a defamation case against Mr Zora Singh for his uncalled action”.


BJP seeks ouster of tainted ministers

Chandigarh, June 20
The local unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party submitted a memorandum to the Governor of Punjab, Justice O.P. Verma, here today, seeking the removal of tainted ministers in the Congress-led Central Government.

Through the memorandum, they have appealed to the President of India, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, to intervene in the matter. Stating that Mr Laloo Prasad Yadav, Mohd. Taslimuddin, Mr Jai Prakash Yadav, Mr S.A. Fatmi and Mr Prem Chand Gupta have criminal cases pending against them, the BJP leaders have urged the President to take up the issue with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and press for their removal.

In another memorandum, the BJP has demanded the regularisation of modifications in construction plans in private as well as Chandigarh Housing Board houses, and all houses constructed outside the “lal dora”. — TNS


Spend grants judiciously, DC tells panchayats
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 20
Appealing to village development committees and panchayats to judiciously spend grants given by governments, the Deputy Commissioner, Ms Neelam Pradeep Kasni, said developments works carried out should be made known to the public as well.

She was speaking at an open darbar held at Pinjore, near here, to redress the grievances of the people. Ms Kasni said all proposals passed by the gram panchyats should have the prior approval of the members of the gram sabhas to avoid the divergence of ideas.

She urged the villagers to maintain cleanliness in villages to ensure a healthy, disease-free environment.

Ms Kasni took up 330 complaints during the darbar, disposing most of these on-the-spot while directing officials to take up the rest on priority. Most of the complaints pertained to overhead electricity wires being too low, construction of houses under the Indira Awas Yojna scheme, pension, water problem among others. Other officials of the local administration were also present.


ESPL staff dharna continues
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 20
The day and night dharna by the Electronic Systems Punjab Employees Union, Mohali, protesting against the illegal lockout of the company entered the 8th day today. The union condemned the Punjab Government for acting against the Congress-led UPA government’s policies of disinvestment by closing down viable state PSUs. Mr Rajinder Shuka, legal adviser of the union in a press statement pointed out that the PSIDC had agreed to revive the company at the instance of Mr Prakash Singh Badal, the then Chief Minister of the state. But after coming to power, Captain Amarinder Singh backed out of its commitment. The union members alleged that the company’s MD was misutilising the company’s funds. They added that PSIDC was responsible for the financial irregularities as it had not taken any action against those found guilty of embezzlement by the Price Water House Company, deployed by PSIDC for the conduct of special audit of ESPL accounts.

The union also submitted a memorandum to Mr Bir Devinder Singh, MLA, against the illegal lockout of ESPL and requested him to personally intervene in the matter so that the company can be revived.


Orientation programme for cops
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 20
An orientation programme on “Building friendly police-tourist relationship” was organised at the Institute of Tourism and Future Management Trends on the (ITFT) campus yesterday.

Mr H.G.S. Dhaliwal, SP, Operations inaugurated the programme.

Over 100 police personnel took part in it. Director of the ITFT Gulshan Sharma spoke on how to have a positive approach towards tourists.


3 held for possessing smack
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
The police has arrested a Delhi-based man from Sector 25 here and seized 115 gm smack from him. In two other seizures in the same locality, 35 gm smack was seized by the police.

Vinod Kumar of Majnu Ka Tila in Delhi was arrested with 115 gm smack, Pinder of Sector 24 was nabbed with 30 gm and Ravi Kumar of the Janata Colony was arrested with 5 gm smack in simultaneous raids in the colony.

Following these seizures, the Sector 11 police carried out searches in the area in the wee hours. Around 150 police personnel conducted raids to find out how many people were involved in the drug trade.

The police has taken Vinod Kumar on two-day remand to establish if the supply of the contraband was coming from Delhi or somewhere else.

The police crackdown followed studies showing that the use of drugs was leading to an increase in the crime, particularly in labour colonies.

The police also arrested seven persons from the same locality and seized 100 bottles of illicit liquor, 50 gm smack and 12 kg cannabis today.

Three persons were arrested for possessing illicit liquor. The seizures were made during a combing operation carried out between 4 am and 7 am. Eight other persons were also rounded up, but let off after verification of their credentials.


Minor raped by neighbour
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 20
A minor was allegedly raped by her 13-year- old neighbour in Indira Colony yesterday. The incident took place when the four-year-old girl’s family was away from home.

An FIR in the case was lodged here today, after the girl’s family failed to reach a compromise with the alleged rapist and his family members.

Ravinder, accused in the case, allegedly raped the girl when she was playing outside her house yesterday.

The girl’s mother was, meanwhile, away to the hospital with her elder daughter.

She returned at 4 pm to discover that her minor daughter had been allegedly raped. A case has been registered.


Ethnic wear rules the ramp

Chandigarh, June 20
It was a mellange of dreams, aspirations, fantasy and reality at “Fashoin Voyage 2004” held at Forest Hill Resorts, here today.

It unveiled a range of traditional designer garments, drawing inspiration from the roots. The show began with the collection of Payal Jain. Aparna Wangdis outfits bore the imprints of vibrant colours, but the right blend of glamour and creativity came from Neeta Bhargava’s ensemble that focussed on antique craftsmanship.

Harpreet Narula used embroideries like zardosi to add opulence to his royal customes. But the most exquisite work was that of Ashish Pandey, who used silk embroidery with crystals and sequins. OC


Michelle in sync with her designers
Swarleen Kaur

Models display designer wear at "Fashion Voyage 2004" held at Forest Hill Resorts
Models display designer wear at “Fashion Voyage 2004” held at Forest Hill Resorts on Sunday.

DELHI-based model Michelle Innes is very selective when it comes to choosing her designers. It is important for her that she is in sync with them. Rajesh Partap and Maneesh Arora are her favourites.

She was among the few models who were here for “Fashion Voyage 2004”, held at Forests Resorts today.

It is her sixth year in this profession but she still says “no” to the films. “ I cannot run and dance around trees, says Michelle.

But she has been performing for video albums of Sonu Nigam and Jagjeet Singh. She has also done a lot of commercials for print advertisement.

To keep herself fit, she does workout thrice a week.

Since modelling, according to her, is a short-lived profession, she wants to pursue higher studies abroad for a secure future.

She, however, admits that no other career offers so much opportunities in such a short span as modelling. She is of the opinion that if one has the potential, there is no looking back in this profession.

Delhi-based model, Parul Chaudhary, was the second runners- up in the Gladrag contest held in Bombay. She has anchored a show, “Pridictor”, on World Cup on Sony Max.

A graduate in hotel management,she has been busy in ramp modelling but now wants to do some video albums too.

She participated in Ms Tourism International Contest held in Malaysia, where she won the title of “ Ms Friendship”.

Yoga is the secret of her fitness and beauty. She does it under the guidance of Bharat Thakur.

“Live and Let Live” is the motto of Sapna Kumar, who is also based in Delhi. She is into modelling for the past six years.

Born in Chandigarh, she keeps coming to city for various fashion shows. Her favourite designer, is Maneesh Arora.

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