C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


15 illegal structures removed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
A team of the Chandigarh Administration carried out a demolition drive in Hallo Majra village located on the Chandigarh - Ambala highway and removed about 15 illegal structures from where commercial activity was being carried out. These structures were on acquired lands of the Chandigarh Administration. A school which is also running on this land, was left out today and will be removed in the next drive.

The team, led by the Land Acquisition Officer, Mr S.K. Setia, reached the spot this morning and started the drive to clear the area of unauthorised occupation. The drive to clear the land was peaceful and was called off by 2 p.m. A similar drive carried out three weeks ago had resulted in a huge backlash from residents who had thrown stones at the police and also the official machinery. The cops had retaliated with a lathi charge and in the process three cops and a few residents were injured.

In today’s drive, no residential area was demolished. So far, in Hallo Majra, the Administration has not taken a decision as to what is to be done about the houses built by people on the acquired land. The decision to remove these houses is fraught with hurdles as people have the support of politicians. Regularising these houses will be big problem as there is no such precedent and will open a Pandora’s box.


Murder accused Kang escapes from police custody
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
A group of youths tonight forcibly took a Youth Akali Dal leader, murder accused Kiranbir Singh Kang, away from the Punjab Police custody from the PGI despite shots being fired by the police team.

Kang escaped from the police custody even as Sub-Inspector Gurdeep burst tyres of his Toyota Qualis (CH03 H 9891) vehicle that was to be used for his escape.

Despite the tyres of the vehicle going flat with shots fired by Mr Gurdeep Singh, Kang boarded an unidentified Maruti Zen of silver colour. The Zen followed a Honda Accord (CH03 P0002). The Honda Accord was, however, later intercepted at the Sector 41 and 42 dividing road.

Taranvir Singh of Ludhiana, Charanjiv Singh of DAV College Gurdevinder Singh of Khuda Alisher and Raghav Sharma of Sector 38 (West) aboard the Honda Accord were arrested after being booked under Sections 307, 332, 353, 47, 48, 49 and 120 B of the IPC.

According to DSP S.C. Sagar, Kang received a bullet injury in his leg in Kharar and was referred to the PGI. He was brought to the hospital by a team of CIA (Kharar) led by Sub-Inspector Gurdeep Singh. He was accompanied by seven other police personnel. But when the Punjab Police team reached the PGI, they found out that the prescription slip was left behind with one of the friends of Kang. Meanwhile, a large number of supporters of Kang gathered at the PGI.

Mr Sagar said the driver of the Qualis told the police that he was told on the mobile phone to park the vehicle in the parking lot of the PGI. Soon, another call came asking him to park the vehicle at the gate of the Emergency Ward. When Kang reached there, it was decided that the prescription slip should be brought back. At this time, the supporters of Kang told the policemen that he should be allowed to sit in his Qualis as it was air-conditioned. Mr Gurdeep Singh refused to do so. Following the refusal, supporters of Kang attacked the policemen whom the youth had outnumbered.

When supporters of Kang forcibly pushed Kang into the Qualis the youth took to rioting. Mr Gurdeep Singh fired two shots to burst the tyres of the vehicle.

In the melee a Zen came and Kang boarded it before fleeing from the hospital.

Kang had been arrested in connection with the killing of Harbir Singh and Paramjit Singh at an SGPC election rally at Kharar, earlier today. The police has sent parties for the arrest of Kang after booking him along with four others.


A bizarre conspiracy
Sister’s kidnapping, rape faked to settle court case
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh , July 2
The “herb doctors” came up with a bizarre scheme to implicate a relative in a rape and kidnap case in the city today. And, interestingly, like the bank manager’s kidnapping case a few days back, this one, too, was staged in order to pressurise estranged relatives to withdraw court cases.

The main conspirators belong to Tapariwas tribe which sell so-called herbal medicines on roadside. They are a nomadic tribe and had come to the city about five days back. According to the police, ‘herb doctor’ Ajay Kumar along with his 18-year-old sister Rekha and other relatives persuaded Rekha’s fiancee to have consensual sex with her after they had staged a kidnapping last night. Later, they lodged an FIR with the police implicating the family of their elder brother’s estranged wife, Kooli.

The police said that Ajay Kumar, his brother Sukhbir alias Shibbu, Ms Rekha, Ajay’s brother-in-law Hazari Lal, Hazari’s brother and Rekha’s fiancé Rinku conspired to make it appear that Rekha had been kidnapped and raped by the family of Shibbu’s wife Kooli.

The conspiracy was allegedly hatched to implicate Kooli’s father Sucha Singh, her five brothers and four of their close friends who had lodged a dowry suit against Shibbu, Ajay and his mother Narango. Ajay’s family had been arrested earlier and they had to appear at a court hearing on July 3.

The police claimed that Ajay Kumar sent Rekha through his brother-in-law Hazari Lal to Rinku in Mani Majra where they slept in a park last night. Ajay Kumar wanted Rekha to test positive for having had sex in the subsequent medical examination and thereby make the rape allegation appear real. Since Rekha was going out with her fiancee, the moral dilemma was also resolved.

Earlier, Ajay Kumar had complained to the Sector 31 police station that his sister had been kidnapped by 8 or 10 jeep borne persons. He named family members of Ms Kooli in the complaint.

However, during sustained questioning, the police found several discrepancies in the versions of the complainant. A spot check revealed that there was no evidence of either kidnap or rape at the places mentioned in the FIR. The case came apart shortly thereafter and the police located Rekha in Baddi on the disclosure of the family. She had been told to stay away from public eye till the dowry case was withdrawn under pressure by Kooli.

Ajay, Rekha, Shibbu, Hazari Lal and Rinku have been arrested under charges of giving false information and criminal conspiracy.


UT Administration may sign new pact on water
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
Realising that scarce drinking water resources will not be adequate for the city in the next five years or so, the Chandigarh Administration is aiming to sign a fresh agreement for supply of water to the city. The present agreement is to draw up to 80 million gallons a day from the Bhakra main line water canal at Kajauli in Ropar. It does not talk about the next step.

Already a note being circulated among senior officers of the Chandigarh Administration and the Municipal Corporation talks about “What to do next” and “how to get more water”.

Now as the next step the Administration will have to sign a water supply agreement for the city. Various options are being studied.

Meanwhile the full utilisation of quota under the existing agreement will be complete when the fourth phase of the Kajauli water scheme is completed and within the next few months. Nearly 20 MGD of water is supplied through each of the three phases of the Kajauli scheme and another 20 MGD will be added when the fourth phase gets underway. Out of this 80 MGD Chandigarh gets 58 MGD while the rest is the quota of Mohali, Panchkula and Chandimandir.

If more water is to be drawn from the Bhakra canal then it will require intervention at the level of the Union Power Ministry which is the controlling body of the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB). In turn the BBMB has representatives of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan.

Tapping the canal for future water supply is the only option, said a source while adding that Chandigarh has very scarce underground water which is fit for drinking. The mode of bringing water from the canal to Chandigarh is still being decided. A study conducted by former MC Chief Engineer, Mr Manmohanjit Singh entails bringing water through gravity from Ganguwal located near Anandpur Sahib.

This proposal is being studied by the Punjab Engineering College while the Survey of India is studying the contours of topography which will be critical in planning the canal to bring water using gravity. The cost of the project is about Rs 240 crore but there is almost no running cost.

The other option is to have more schemes for water supply from Kajauli. Since Kajauli is located at a lower height than Chandigarh water is pumped against gravity and the power bill touches Rs 25 crore annually.

Till then some of the suggestions include changing of cisterns in toilets to save some water. The Administration may even hire a consultant to improve the water distribution to minimise theft and line losses.


Decision on repatriation of FS today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
A final decision on timing of repatriation of UT Finance Secretary Karan Avtar Singh to his parent cadre of Punjab will be taken tomorrow.

Even as this is being done, the Punjab Government has decided to post him as Finance Secretary, Punjab, upon his return from the Chandigarh Administration.

The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, reportedly gave his consent to appoint Mr Singh as FS in Punjab. However, final orders are awaited till Chandigarh the Administration relieves him.

In Punjab, Ms Ravneet Kaur, the Secretary, Disinvestment, holds dual charge of Secretary, Finance.

The Chandigarh Administration had written to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs saying Mr Singh be allowed to continue till an incumbent joins.

The MHA had not replied till late this evening. In case the MHA accedes to the request of the Chandigarh Administration and wants Mr Singh to stay back in Chandigarh then his repatriation will take some more time.

Mr G. Vajralingam is slated to be the new FS of Chandigarh.


Book to unravel family laws for NRIs
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
Comprehending Indian statutes and laws about problems encountered by British-Asians, including divorce, adoption, child custody and property issues, was never easy. A book penned by two city-based lawyer brothers, both masters in law from London and having loads of experience, answers most such questions pertaining to Indian laws and their applicability to the Indian community.

The book, “Acting for Indian Clients: A Family Law Guide,” is being published by Bristol-based Jordan Publishing. The proofs will be ready by mid-August and the book is likely to hit the stalls in early October. Lord Slynn of Hadley, senior-most Judge of the House of Lords, Westminster, London, is expected to write the foreword.

The reason behind their writing the book, spending hours daily in front of the computer, is simple. Authors Anil and Ranjit Malhotra say that the idea of settling down in greener pastures across the seas attracts a sizeable Indian population. But the problems created by such migration largely remain unresolved.

The brothers add that the population of non-resident Indians has also increased multifold in alien lands, but family-law disputes and other problems continue to remain unresolved for want of professional information and advice on Indian laws. Surprisingly, very little help is available even in areas of matrimonial offences and problems regarding child abduction.

No wonder, solicitors and litigants in the United Kingdom frantically look for professional opinions and advice when problems arise, including validity of marriages solemnised in India and modes and means of divorce under the Indian law, besides legal formalities to be complied with for adopting children from India.

The solicitors also seek advice about remedies available under the Indian law for enforcing parental rights in child abduction cases and other family-law issues. Then there are problems concerning succession and transfer of property, banking affairs, taxation issues, execution and implementation of wills and other commercial propositions for non-resident Indians.

“The book is aimed at creating awareness and momentum for bringing about fresh legislation in India to resolve such family-law issues. It also provides at a glance credible, reliable and authoritative information,” says Mr Anil Malhora, practising at the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

The book gives ready reference of Indian case laws and latest updates on abduction cases where children are removed to foreign jurisdictions in violation of directions issued by courts in Britain or other countries restraining such removal. It also deals with divorce-related issues, including ones by mutual consent, besides validity of Indian marriages and recognition of foreign divorce decrees under the Hindu Marriage Act as far as Indian jurisdiction is concerned.

“Never before have all issues been jointly addressed, professionally,” Mr Ranjit Malhotra concludes. “In fact, no professional publication, in India or the UK, meets these challenges.”


Power supply remains erratic
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 2
Residents of the district were forced to bear the brunt of heat as power supply remained erratic for another day. System overload in the township again forced the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) officials to shut the supply to industrial feeders for three hours during the day. Officials say with the heat wave intensifying, there is overloading on the power transmission system, which is leading to tripping of power. In the peripheral towns of Pinjore and Kalka, the system failure is because of low frequency, and they are forced to shut the power supply whenever the frequency goes down.

In Panchkula, power supply to Sectors 15, 12- A, 20 and Rajiv Colony had to be switched off twice, for half- an-hour duration, in order to ease the load on the Industrial Area sub-station. The industrial units in Industrial Area, too, went without power for almost three hours in the afternoon, after the power supply to four industrial feeders was closed. Today was the second day that the industry in the township witnessed a power cut for three hours. Residents of the peripheral towns and villages of Pinjore, Kalka and Barwala also complained that they faced problems because of erratic power supply.

The Executive Engineer, UHBVN, Panchkula, Mr M. R Murari, said that there had been an unprecedented increase in load this year. “Though we keep a 10 percent margin while deciding on power availability, the domestic consumer load has gone up by almost 25 to 30 per cent this year. Since most domestic consumers have not declared the additional load, it is causing an overloading on the system,” he says.


Erratic power supply in Sector 35 commercial centre
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
An entire row of shops and hotels in Sector 35-B is having a tough time on account of erratic power supply in the area. For the third day in this week a breakdown occurred today and power supply was restored after five hours. A shopkeeper dealing in electronics said: “We are paying commercial rates and still do not get power while officials claim they have enough power. We need power to give a demonstration of a product to customer.” Another agitated sanitary ware dealer said our work depends of showcasing a product and this is a daily problem.

According to a source, a bigger transformer was required to handle the load.

Three days ago, a breakdown occurred and power supply could not be restored throughout the day. Yesterday, power supply was erratic and effected businesses. The entire power distribution network is overloaded and needs a revamp.

It may be re-collected that in the last week of May the UT Administrator Justice O.P. Verma (retd) had ordered an improvement in the power distribution system. The engineers had scurried to make arrangements, but the effects have not manifested so far.

The entire trade is hinged on power supply. While hoteliers have been allowed generators there is no such provision for others. Small generators set up by shopkeepers do not have the capacity to handle a huge load.

Meanwhile, people living in residential areas nearby protest against the noise of generators.

The row of shops has some big traders dealing in electronics. It has communications centres, hotels, bars, restaurants, banks and offices of leading companies of the country, besides many swank hotels and restaurants.


New woman SP to be accessible
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 2
Ms Mamta Singh, Superintendent of Police, Panchkula, says she will work to make Panchkula a crime free district and will be accessible to the public all the time.

Ms Singh was talking to newsmen after she took charge as the Superintendent of Police here today. The police officer becomes another woman to head a department in the district, which has a woman Deputy Commissioner, Administrator, Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), and City Magistrate.

Ms Singh, who has been transferred from Sirsa says that her priorities include restructuring the police nakas in the district so that the police’s presence is felt, and better traffic management in the city.

“We will strengthen the traffic police in the district, because the visibility of the traffic cops is what the public notices the most.

We will deploy cops at all major traffic intersections and all traffic violations will be checked,” she says.

The SP says that she will also work for ensuring that the instances of burglaries in the township are reduced. “Cases of burglary are the most difficult to crack, but we will ensure better patrolling to check that these crimes do not take place,” she adds. In fact, while serving as SP, Panipat, in the year 2001, Ms Mamta Singh, had busted two major gangs of burglars and one of the gang leaders was also killed in a police encounter. During her tenure as SP, Sirsa, she made her mark by curbing drug trafficking there.

Being a woman cop, she says people’s expectations for solving cases pertaining to crime against women are high. “Women feel confident if the top cop is also a woman, and I will try to come up to people’s expectations,” she says.

Ms Singh has done her masters in botany from Agra University, and during her training had also done her masters in police administration from Osmania University, Hyderabad. Her first posting was as Assistant Superintendent of Police, Faridabad, and she has also served as Additional Superintendent of Police in Ambala.


Aaina for Kennedy Space Centre
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
Come July 12, a former student of Sacred Heart, Aaina Jain, will fly to Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, as part of a 18-member team to participate in a contest to design a human settlement on the moon. Selected by the American Institute of Aeronautical and Astronautics Designing after tough screening trials, her team would be competing with seven other teams from the USA to design the human settlement.

A second year student of electronics and communications at Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology, Aaina is excited about the whole affair. The 18-member team includes 11 students who are below eight years of age, two teacher advisers and five associates.

Taking out time from her hectic schedule, she told Chandigarh Tribune that they were designing a project in which the scientists sitting on the moon’s surface would check global warming. “They would built a shield around the earth’s surface”, she added.

The entire project was aimed at attracting imaginative ideas on designing a human settlement on the moon.


Drive against polythene bags: 4 traders challaned
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
In a drive against the use of polythene bags which are below the prescribed thickness, a team of the enforcement wing today raided seven places in the city, challaned four shopkeepers and confiscated about 170 kg of bags, which were below the prescribed limits.

In Chandigarh, no polythene bag manufactured from fresh plastic can be below 30-micron thickness. In case of recycled polythene bags also, the same thickness is mandatory. However, bags made out of recycled plastic cannot be used to pack food stuff.

In today’s drive, the confiscated goods will not be returned. The shopkeepers who have been challaned will pay a fine of Rs 500, officials said.


Date for photo ID-cards extended

Chandigarh, July 2
Residents of Chandigarh, who desire to get voter photo ID cards made can avail the opportunity till July 15, the Election Department of Chandigarh said. This is an ongoing process and the date of preparation and issuance of photo cards to the remaining voters of Chandigarh has been extended upto July 15.

The Joint Chief Electoral Officer, Mr I.S. Sandhu said all registered electors were provided these photo identity cards free of cost and a permanent centre had been set up in the basement of Central State Library, Sector 17.


Hundreds take part in prabhat pheri
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 2
Hundreds of devotees of Sant Asaram Bapu participated in a prabhat pheri on the occasion of Guru Poornima Divas organised by the local Shri Yog Vedant Seva Samiti today.

The prabhat pheri began from the samiti office and culminated there after passing through various sectors.


74 mobile phones stolen from shop
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
As many as 74 mobile phone sets worth around Rs 6 lakh were today reported stolen from a shop in Sector 22 here.

Jatinder Sehgal, owner of Jatinder Electronics, said the thieves removed an exhaust fan from the toilet of the shop to gain entry into the shop from the rear side. Sixteen of the mobile phones were kept in one box.

The police has recovered an iron rod, which was used to remove the exhaust fan of the toilet. The thieves then broke a gate inside the shop to enter the area where mobile phones were kept.

Jatinder Sehgal said that when he opened his shop at 10.15 a.m. today, he found that it had been ransacked. Mr Sehgal called the police, which brought a sniffer dog and also collect finger prints from the shop.

The modus operandi in the theft was found similar to the one used some time back in Sector 35, where mobile phones were stolen from one electronic shop twice.


Fraudulent purchase of bars: one held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
The crime branch of the Chandigarh Police has arrested Parveen Aggarwal of Phase XI, Mohali, in connection with purchase of Rs 9.5 lakh worth of cold twisted deformed (CTD) bars through a fake draft from Dera Bassi.

During interrogation, Aggarwal revealed that he had concealed the fraudulently procured material in a Sharma Market shop, General Harbax Enclave, opposite Punjabi University, Patiala. On Aggarwal’s identification, 263 bundles of bars weighing around 27 tonnes were recovered from the shop in Patiala.

The matter was reported to the police on June 13 by Mr Ashish Singla, Director, P R S Rolling Mill, Dera Bassi. On June 26, 64 bundles were recovered from Harinder Prasad.

The fake demand draft has been taken into possession by the police.

Aggarwal has been sent in the police custody till July 4 by a local court.


Target for farm loans enhanced
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 2
The target for providing loans for the agriculture sector by various banks of the district under the annual district credit plan for the year 2004-05 has been enhanced to Rs 379.53 crore from Rs 316.70 crores fixed earlier.

This was announced by Mrs Seema Jain, Deputy Commissioner, Ropar after presiding over a special meeting of District Consultative Coordinating Committee of Bankers here today.

The meeting was attended by senior officers of the various banks including Mr.V.K.Puri, Chief Officer, UCO Bank, Mr J.K.Bagri, a Reserve Bank of India representative, Mr Dinesh Kapila, DDM, NABARD, Mr.J.S.Kaushal, Lead District Manager, Ropar.

The Deputy Commissioner said the government had decided to improve the economic condition of small and marginal farmers by providing maximum agriculture loans to them. In view of this decision, the Reserve Bank of India had issued instructions to provide 30 per cent more loans to farmers than the loans provided last year. She expressed the hope that all bankers would make their contribution in improving the lot of farmers by achieving the credit target of their respective banks for the agriculture sector.

Mr V.K.Puri, Chief Officer, UCO Bank, said earlier under the annual credit plan of the year 2004-05 a target of Rs 494 crore had been fixed for providing loans to various sectors. However, now the target had been increased by Rs 63 crore following the decision to enhance the loan target for agriculture sector.


Shaving products launched
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
Brylcreem, a brand of Sara Lee Household and Body Care India Limited, has introduced a range of shaving products. The shaving range comprises cream, gel, foam and after-shave lotions.

The shaving cream has Vitamin E contents and chamomile, which will give the skin a smoother feel.

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