C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


 

Teacher dismissed for beating student
Rajmeet Singh
Tribne News Service

Hitting in schools rampant

Despite efforts by the government and a few schools, the movement against corporal punishment has a long way to go. According to a nationwide survey conducted by the Educational Research Centre, an alarming 700-1,000 cases of corporal punishment were reported every year between 1990-2003.

Chandigarh, July 24
A teacher at a convent school in Kalka has been dismissed from service for subjecting his pupil to corporal punishment.
The school authorities, at the intervention of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has dismissed Mr Jose Ignatious, for hitting Abhishek while he was watching a basketball match in the school premises on April 23. The boy suffered swelling on the cheeks and ears, revealed a medical examination at the Kalka Civil Hospital.

After suspending the teacher for 15 days, the school authorities have dismissed him.

The regional office of the CBSE advised the authorities of Sophia Convent School to take strict action against the teacher as preliminary enquiry and medical examination suggested that the student had been manhandled.

The school authorities too were inquiring into the matter when the board took cognisance of the complaint.

The board asked the school to take exemplary punishment against the teacher for violating the board’s guidelines on corporal punishment. Mr P.I.Sabu, regional officer of the board, said the school promptly acted against the teacher and terminated his services.

He advised other schools to follow the same line of action in case of a genuine complaint of corporal punishment.

Father Basil D’ Mello, Manager of the school, told the Tribune that welfare of the students was a priority for the school authorities. “ It was my moral duty to ensure justice to the student as I am a priest first and then a manager of the school”, he said.

As per the provisions of the ban on corporal punishment, the parents of a victim should first meet the principal of the school and in case of no action, the complaint should be forwarded to the board.

The principal of the school concerned has also to bring the issue to the notice of the board.

The guidelines issued by the ICSE and CBSE state that a teacher has to take the student to the principal if he or she has to be punished. But even this rule bans corporal punishment

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Clash over power leaves 8 injured
Our Correspondent

Lalru, July 24
Eight persons were injured, two of them seriously, when residents of Aganpur and Bhagwas villages clashed over the power supply issue last night.
According to the police, residents of Bhagwas village raised objection to the suspension of power supply by residents of Aganpur village from a transformer transmitting power to both villages.

Some residents of Aganpur village reportedly disconnected power lines, dedicated to irrigation purposes, to Bhagwas village, following which residents of Bhagwas village raised an objection. This resulted in a clash in which eight persons — Netra Pal Singh, Jatinder Kumar, Rajpal and Jwala Prasad (of Bhagwas village) and Charan Singh, Sant Singh, Kulwinder Singh and Devi Dutt (of Aganpur village) — were injured.

The seriously injured Netra Pal Singh and Jatinder Kumar were admitted to the PGI in Chandigarh, where condition of Mr Netra Pal was said to be serious.

The other injured have been admitted to the Civil Hospital, Dera Bassi.

Sharp-edged weapons, batons and stones were reportedly used by both groups in the clash.

Mr K.C. Katoch, investigation officer, said nine persons — Charan Singh, Sant Singh, Kulwinder Singh, Sadha Singh, Deep Singh, Mohinder Singh, Ram Lal and two sons of Charan Singh — had been booked on the complaint of injured Jatinder Kumar.

A case under Sections 506, 334, 323, 148 and 149 of the IPC has been registered against them at the Lalru police station.

Meanwhile, the police has booked eight persons of two villages for their involvement in two different cases.

They have been booked following inquiries in the cases against them.

Ajaib Singh, Sahab Singh, Rajvir Singh, Dharambir Singh, Mitta Singh, Nirmal Singh and Sukhbir Singh of Antala village were booked for reportedly setting on fire rice trash owned by Mr Resham Singh of the same village.

Mr Resham Singh had complained to the police that the seven had set his rice straw on fire, causing him losses in May.

The police has registered a case under Section 435 of the IPC against them at the Lalru police station. No arrest has been made as yet.

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Notice to Punjab in Burail jailbreak case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
The Additional District and Sessions Judge, Mr Balbir Singh, today issued notice to the state for the production of certain documents in the Burail jail-break case on August 14.

According to information, the defence counsel had prayed for supplying the documents under Section 91 of the CrPC to the former Burail jail officials. These documents could be with the police, the defence counsel alleged.

All accused, including D.S. Rana, D.S. Sandhu, P.S. Rana and V.M. Gill, all former Burail Jail officials, and Sher Singh, Subeg Singh, Nand Singh, Gurnam Singh, Lakhwinder Singh, Baljit Kaur and Abid Mahmud, an alleged Pakistani spy, were present in the court.

The accused are being tried for their alleged involvement in the jail-break conspiracy in January this year, which led to the sensational escape of the alleged assassins—Jagtar Singh Hawara, Jagtar Singh Tara and Paramjit Singh of a former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh.

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Burail jailbreak: So many questions but no answers 
Maneesh Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
The complicity, knowingly or otherwise, of top brass of the UT Administration and the police in the January 22 Burail jailbreak, in which three main accused involved in the assassination of the late Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh managed to escape from the prison, may finally be revealed soon.

Jagtar Singh Hawara, Paramjit Singh Bheora, Jagtar Singh Tara, all main accused in the assassination, and Dev Singh (cook assigned to them), reportedly dug a long tunnel and managed to escape. Five senior jail officers are currently cooling their heels in jail pending trial for their alleged role in the escape.

However, many top UT Administration and police officers, who were directly involved in the day-to-day functioning of the jail, have managed to escape the dragnet.

One of arrested Burial jail officers - former Deputy Superintendent Dalbir Singh Sandhu - has moved an application before Additional Sessions Judge, Chandigarh, Balbir Singh, seeking placing on record all the relevant record and documents so as to establish his innocence.

After hearing his counsel Deepak Sibal, the Judge today issued notice for August 14.

The application raises a number of pertinent questions. These include the lapses that were allegedly committed by the UT Police that facilitated the escape.

Another big question that has come up is: why were special instructions issued by the then UT Inspector General (Prisons) to the Burail staff to be courteous and polite to the high security prisoners, including those who finally escaped?

Coming just after Hawara and his accomplices attacked and injured some jail officials on November 3, 2002, the November 14, 2002, order of the then IG (Prisons)-cum-Chandigarh DC does raise a lot of questions.

Not only this, some days after the incident - the escapees had been segregated on the same day and lodged in 20 Cell Ward (where 19 other prisoners stay) by the Model Jail officers - the IG (Prisons) verbally ordered the jail officers to send the escapees to another barrack. They were then again brought together and shifted to Barrack Number 7.

On November 18, 2002, the jail Superintendent sent a compliance report to IG (Prisons) regarding shifting of the prisoners to Barrack 7, from where they ultimately escaped.

On December 5, 2002, the same officer directed the jail authorities to return to the escapees non-prohibited material seized after the incident.

Among the things that were returned were a TV set, tape-recorders, tables, chairs, eatables, weightlifting equipment, clothes and blankets etc.

It also remains to be revealed why a recommendation of the Jail Superintendent to shift the high security prisoners from Burail to Nabha Jail, Nabha, were ignored.

One of the main charges in the challan of the jail officers, who were arrested after the incident, is that the then Superintendent DS Rana and his staff tried to sweep under the carpet the discovery of a tunnel near the gurdwara barrack in June, 2002, where the escapees were lodged at that time.

As per the application, an inquiry, conducted by a three-member team of Assistant IG (Prisons) Gyanash Bharti, DIG Ajay Kashyap and Superintendent of Police Baldev Singh, concluded that no tunnel had been dug.

Yet another issue that has not been taken up so far is the failure on the part of the UT Police to secure the area outside the jail and prevent suspicious items from being smuggled from outside to the escapees.

In his order dated April 27, 1998, the UT Home Secretary had directed that the outer part of the jail area would be under the security and control of the UT Police. The security towers were to be manned by CRPF jawans while only the internal part of the jail was to be controlled by the jail staff.

Subsequently, a letter, dated June 24, 1998, by the Superintendent of Police, Chandigarh, said that the entire area outside the Model Jail would be patrolled by mounted policemen in three shifts around- the-clock.

Even if the prisoners managed to get out of the jail through a tunnel, why were they not spotted by the mounted policemen? Also, were mounted policemen present in the area at the time of the escape?

Likewise, a letter of August 12, 1998, by the UT Home Secretary also ordered that the Chandigarh Police would thoroughly inspect the nook and corner of the jail after every 10 days. The inspection team was to be aided by sniffer dogs and metal detectors. How come the tunnel was not discovered?

To top it all, just six days before the jailbreak, on January 16, 2004, Superintendent Rana wrote to the Senior Superintendent of Police, Chandigarh - copies were sent to the IG (Prisons) and other officers - seeking necessary action in view of the suspicious behaviour of the escapees and their lawyers. What were the steps initiated, if any, to follow up the letter of the Superintendent?

This and a lot more might be revealed in a few days.

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J J Singh, Virbhadra stress upon need to guard against subversion
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
The Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Mr Virbhadra Singh and the Western Army Commander, Lieut-Gen J J Singh, today stressed upon the need to guard against subversion, elements of proxy war and the threat posed by hostile intelligence agencies.

In his inaugural address at the Civil Military Liaison Conference at Headquarters Western Command, Chandimandir, the chief minister said whenever the pressure of security forces increased on militants in Jammu and Kashmir, there was a spillover into the neighbouring district of Chamba. This, combined with improved communication link with remote areas of Pangi called for greater vigilance, he added.

He said that stern steps needed to be taken to deal with not only external threats, but also the dangers posed from within like fundamentalism, illegal migration and trans border terrorism.

Maintaining that the state government remains committed to the welfare of serving and retired soldiers, he also elaborated upon various welfare measures initiated by the government, including a scheme to provide residential accommodation to war widows and disabled soldiers.

The day-long conference was organised to discuss matters of mutual interest as well as resolve various issues pertaining to operational and administrative requirements of the armed forces and welfare of troops. Top officials from the Himachal Government, including Chief Secretary Mr Shamsher Singh and the Director General of Police as well as the top brass from Western Command along with representatives from the Army Training Command and the Northern Command attended the conference. The conference with the Himachal Government is being held after a gap of two years.

In his welcome address, the Army Commander, Lieut-Gen J.J. SIngh said that despite the recent thaw in Indo-Pak relations, the army and security organisations could not afford to become complacent. Terrorism, fundamentalism and the threat of war from our adversary continued to remain a major concern, which required close coordination and synergy between various organisations concerned. Stating that the ISI has made gradual inroads not only in border areas, but also in the hinterland, he cautioned against the ISI spreading its tentacles through migrant labour.

Welcoming the state government's recent decisions to give priority for hearing court cases concerning military personnel and to enhance the liquor quota for ex-servicemen, he said that provision of water supply to military establishments in the state and re-employment of ex-servicemen were issues requiring greater attention.

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Aiming to introduce a transparent system
Neelam Sharma
Tribune News Service

Nipun Vinayak being congratulated by his father after receiving the best overall performance award for 2001-03 at Panchkula
Nipun Vinayak being congratulated by his father after receiving the best overall performance award for 2001-03 at Panchkula on Saturday.
— Tribune photo by Parvesh Chauhan 

Panchkula, July 24
Emerging as a winner from the country's "budding intelligensia'' at each step of training would make anyone react with extraordinary exuberance. But try asking this medico-turned bureaucrat Nipun Vinayak about his latest achievement of being awarded the ``best overall performance'' in the foundation course and all the phases of training at the IAS Academy in Mussoorie, the reply is well-balanced.

`I am just doing my job sincerely,'' is all the young officer has to say. City-based Nipun Vinayak who completed his MBBS from GMCH Sector 32, Chandigarh, and cleared civil services exam in 2001 with an All-India rank of 25, has come back to his hometown for a brief halt after receiving the prestigious Ashok Bambawala award for overall excellence for the IAS officer batch 2001-03 yesterday.

The achievement is no mean task as Nipun has emerged the winner from among more than 200 of his batchmates. The officer has also received the running trophy constituted by the first batch of IAS officers in India --1953 batch to mark their golden jubilee year.

After more than two years of rigorous training at Mussoorie, Nipun is now exposed to both the idealism that the academy equips one with, along with the hard ground realities that the field training teaches.

Though slightly put off by the occasional red tapism and ``bureaucratic babudom'' that has become the hall mark of the bureaucracy in the country, this young officer aims at a ``transparent system, preferably a computer- based system of working which would cut the dull government services and improve the delivery of services considerably.''

After having observed the working styles at different levels closely, Nipun has come to believe that minor improvisations in the set working styles will not make a lasting difference until a strong transparent system is devised with minimum loopholes.

During his current posting as the SDM in Umred in Nagpur district, Nipun gave the district glimpses of implementation of his futuristic plans. ``One of the initiatives that I implemented in Umred was the introduction of single-window system for giving out the caste certificates under the government's SETU project. It actually made things easy and faster for the people there,'' he says.

As an IAS officer, Nipun believes in working in a way that makes things easy for the multitudes. Remaining loyal to the Constitution will remain his next commitment, he asserts.

But this bright bureaucrat ``never dreamt that he would be an IAS officer but rather wanted to be a good surgeon,'' the transition from medicine to babudom has not been difficult. ``Perhaps, the sensitivity towards people's needs is the common cord between the two professions,'' he says.

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NCC to raise 3 R&V squadrons in region
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
With equestrian activities in the region being on the rise, the National Cadet Corps (NCC) is in the process of raising three Remount and Veterinary (R&V) squadrons. While an R&V unit is in the last stages of being raised in Hisar, one unit each is being raised in Chandigarh and Patiala.

"We have already written to the Punjab Government and the Chandigarh Administration for sanction and the statement of cases containing details of infrastructure, financial and manpower requirements have been forwarded to the departments concerned," Deputy Director- General Brig D.S. Dhillon, said.

Presently, the Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh NCC Directorate has just one R&V squadron, based at Ludhiana. "Given the demand for equestrian activities and the performance of our sole unit, it was felt to have additional R&V squadrons," he added. The squadron not only bagged several gold and silver medals at the Punjab Equestrian Show in April, but also won accolades at the recently held national-level Shivalik Horse Show in Chandigarh and the NCC Republic Day Camp in New Delhi.

It is learnt that headquarters Western Command too has written to the Punjab Chief Minister, urging him to expedite the sanction for raising the unit in Patiala. While the provision of horses, vehicles, training equipment and military manpower will be the defence ministry's responsibility, the state governments will be required to provide accommodation, training budget and subordinate staff for the units.

The NCC continues to face problems with budgetary support from state governments. For the 2004-05 financial year, Punjab has released money sufficient to undertake just 25-30 per cent of the required training activities. Haryana too is no better.

Against a requirement of Rs 6.5 crore, Punjab has released only Rs 1.86 crore, whereas Haryana has paid Rs 1.4 crore against a requirement of Rs 4 crore. Himachal Pradesh, by contrast, is better having released about 90 per cent of the budgetary demand and also raising the allowances for cadets.

"The matter of budgetary support has been taken up with the state governments several times. We have written to both states, highlighting the sad state of affairs," Brigadier Dhillon said.

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Rain pays surprise visit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
Notwithstanding the apprehensions of the local Meteorological Department, residents in some parts of the city enjoyed rain showers, this afternoon.
While the nearby Panchkula recorded negligible rainfall, Mohali received no rain at all in some phases. Chandigarh recorded a meagre but sharp rainfall of 7.8 mm. It lasted for about an hour. Panchkula had only a drizzle.

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UHBVN decides to act against illegal connections
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 24
Unauthorised power connections in slum and labour colonies and villages of Panchkula is a serious cause for concern for the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam, especially as power crisis hits the entire state.

Kundi connections and installing of fake electricity meters by residents, especially in the out pockets (villages and slum colonies) of the township, are causing losses to the UHBVN. Though no estimates are available with the authorities on the number of such fake connections, they admit that a number of consumers in Bangla Basti, Rajiv Colony, Indira Colony, Azad Colony and in most of the 13 villages falling in Panchkula, have installed fake meters (which have not been provided by the UHBVN for getting power supply.

These consumers are not paying charges on the pretext that the UHBVN is not sending them power bills. Officials say these violators were earlier using kundi connections, but had now resorted to the “safer method” of stealing power. Since these houses have meters, such consumers are not apprehended, says an official.

Officials say line losses of 19 per cent are being recorded in Panchkula division of the UHBVN, which also includes losses caused by power theft. Thus, the authorities have decided to bring such consumers into record by regularising their connections.

Such consumers have been asked to declare the unauthorised connections and get these regularised by August 31. “The plea of such consumers that the Nigam has not been sending them bills will have no justification for not paying their bills. It is the customers' duty to approach the department in case they are not getting the bills,” says a senior official.

He adds that after the August 31 deadline special checking teams will be constituted. Those apprehended will be charged on the basis of connected load for a period of three or six months.

The official says that they have already formed teams of junior engineers for carrying out the survey of unauthorised load in the township, including cases where consumer has declared a domestic load but is using it for commercial purposes. The checking has already been carried out in Sector 9 and Budanpur village and a penalty of Rs 40,000 imposed on defaulters, he adds.

Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) now proposes to assign responsibility to the staff for any unauthorised connections detected in their areas. Other than recovering the entire defaulting amount from the consumers, an additional 25 per cent of this amount will be recovered from the staff of the area for ignoring power theft and causing loss to the department. Ten per cent of the amount will be recovered from meter readers, 10 per cent from the staff of the concerned complaint centre (assistant foreman, lineman, assistant lineman), three per cent from junior engineers, one per cent from SDOs and 0.5 per cent from Executive Engineers.

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Rooms come up on roofs of CHB flats
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
Illegal rooms have been constructed by city residents on open terraces of the existing block of flats in the entire belt of the southern sectors. The Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB), which is the owner of the originally built flats, is unaware of the occurrence.

The people who have constructed these illegal rooms are collecting rents and in some cases have accommodated their families on what is actually CHB’s ownership.

Due to mismanagement on the part of the field staff of the CHB, several hundred residents of Sector 45-A have added illegal rooms to their block without taking permission from the CHB authority and taking into account whether the building could withstand additional load or not.

These rooms have been constructed where over head water tanks are placed. An investigation by Chandigarh Tribune revealed that hundreds of MIG flats in Sector 45-A, Sector 47-C and D and also in Sector 44-A and D have illegal floors. These are two bedroom accommodation with illegal water tanks, power and sewerage connections.

The original flats constructed by the CHB is three storied. Now another one has been added to it. The builders in most cases are those residing on the top floor of the flat.

The area has actually been earmarked as common area by the Chandigarh Housing Board but people have taken control of it without the CHBs knowing or doing anything about it. This has added to the water shortage and put pressure on the electricity supply. These services were laid down to cater to a fixed number of flats. With the additional floor being built the number of families has gone up and so has the demand on power and electricity supply.

Sources in the Chandigarh Administration said this was like making a mockery of the committee which was looking into allowing certain “need based” changes made in CHB flats by allottees. Illegal floors could not be allowed under any pretext forwarded by the owner. An official admitted that this was more of “ greed” based changes and not “need” based.

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Salesmen not to be allowed in residential areas: SP
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 24
Salesmen will not be allowed to operate in residential areas of the town without permission of the police or residents welfare associations. This was stated by Mr Rakesh Agarwal, SP, at a meeting with residents of Phases I to VI and representatives of some industrial phases after listening to their problems and suggestions here this evening. He said salesmen could sell their products in the market areas instead of going from house to house. The SP had been told by residents that some salesmen were also involved in cases of theft.

Mr Agrawal said even junk dealers would not be allowed to operate in residential areas and residents could themselves go and sell their old newspapers and junk in the market. He said if salesmen and junk dealers violated the orders, they would be challaned under Section 109 of the IPC.

The SP said the police would be involving municipal councillors and welfare associations in a servant verification drive which would start in about a week's time. As the Police Department was short of staff, it could not successfully carry out the drive at its own level. However, the verification of the people living in slums would be done by the police.

He said residents welfare associations would also be involved in the police beat system. Once the beat system became fully functional, relevant details would be provided to municipal councillors and welfare associations.

Mr A.S. Shyan of Phase V said welfare associations should be given the details about the police personnel put on patrol duty in residential areas. Mr Amrik Singh Mohali, municipal councillor, Phase II, said patrol timings should not be announced in advance and staff should not be under the influence of liquor while on duty. He said some policemen should also be posted near schools to control the problem of eveteasing.

Mr Puran Singh Kirti of Phase IV said school buses plied on internal roads leading to accidents. Mr Raghbir Singh of Phase VI pointed out that the Chandigarh Administration had constructed a large number of small houses for economically weaker sections on the Punjab border, adjoining Phase VI, and as such they were facing a number of problems. Some persons from these houses kept loitering in the area and sitting in parks.

Mrs Manmohan Kaur, municipal councillor, lamented that the police had not called her for the meeting even when it was being held in her area. She asked the police to control theft of lights installed in some parks.

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Treat Punjab on par with rest of India, pleads 
Sikh Studies
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
At its general body meeting held here today, the Institute of Sikh Studies passed a resolution urging the Central Government to do away with the unconstitutional provisions incorporated in the Punjab Reorganisation Act, 1966, and treat the people of Punjab on a par with other citizens of the country and let them enjoy rights which they were entitled to under the Constitution.

In a statement released to the media, members of the institute have requested the Supreme Court to appraise the constitutional validity of some of the provisions of Sections 78,79 and 80 of the Punjab Reorganisation Act, 1996 by invoking these, the people of Punjab had been deprived of their constitutional rights over river waters.

The institute has urged the Punjab Assembly, Punjab Government and Chief Minister not to be intimidated as they had taken a fair and correct stand to safeguard the welfare of Punjab. It has urged various political parties to remain united as was the done in the state Assembly a few days ago.

The institute said the termination of agreements was only a small step taken to get relief for Punjab which was not being allowed to enjoy its rights under the Constitution.

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Forward Bloc for Punwire revival 
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 24
Punwire, a property worth Rs 500 crore, is being sold for merely Rs 40 crore and we would not allow this to happen. By reviving Punwire we could support the Defence of the country and also protect the livelihood of 1500 families.

This was stated by Mr D.V. Biswal, MP and General Secretary of the All-India Forward Bloc, while addressing a press conference here today.

He said he had met the Congress President, Mrs Sonia Gandhi, two days ago and gave her a memorandum on Punwire. He said he had a long discussion on the issue with her and told her as to how the company could be revived.

He lamented that the Defence budget had been raised to buy certain products from other nations while the factories in the country that were producing the required products were being closed down.

Mr Biswas said papers had also been presented to Mr Pranab Mukerjee, Defence Minister who also looked after organisational and political problems of Punjab.

He said Punwire had not been closed down because there was no market for the company’s products or it did not have modern technology but because the government was not interested in running the unit. He said wireless sets produced by Punwire were used by the country’s Defence and the company had monopoly in this field.

He said the Congress had promised the employees that it would revive Punwire after coming to power. Now, it was the moral responsibility of the government to fulfil the commitment, he added.

Mr Biswas said a small steering committee, comprising members of the UPA and the Left wing, had been formed of which he was a member. He said the committee would be meeting next week.

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Tribune Impact
Challans to clear chaos in Zirakpur market
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, July 24
Following the publication of a report in the Chandigarh Tribune highlighting the chaos on the highway here, the local authorities started challaning violators in Zirakpur market from Friday.

Mr Deepak Raj Garg, Sub Divisional Magistrate and Mr Manmohan Kumar Sharma, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Dera Bassi, visited the site on Friday and reviewed the parking problem on the highway.

The SDM will also hold a meeting of the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat authorities and directed the officials to clear the debris scattered on the road after a demolition drive carried on by the shopkeepers.

He also directed the Executive Officer (EO) of the Nagar Panchayat to clear the road of rehris and other obstacles hindering the movement of traffic. Besides this the EO was also asked to finish the construction of pucca pavement in front of the markets.

While talking to the Chandigarh Tribune, Mr Garg claimed that temporary bus stops were being constructed for the convenience of public. He also added that more space would be allocated for the parking purposes.

Mr Manmohan Kumar Sharma, DSP, made it clear that additional traffic police personnel had been deployed along the highway to curb the problem. He also said the violators would not be spared at any cost. The police has already challaned over 24 vehicle owners for violating the rules and the vehicles have been impounded in last two days. 

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H.K. Dua rues death of idealism
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
The callousness on the part of today’s politicians, who are not doing the jobs assigned to them properly, is largely responsible for the disillusionment that has set in among the Indian multitudes. This was stated by the Editor-in-Chief of The Tribune, Mr H.K. Dua, who delivered a special lecture on the “State of Nation’’ at PGI here today.

Drawing parallels between the nation at the time of Independence and today, Mr Dua highlighted how the ripped apart nation in 1947, just free from the cudgels of decades of slavery, faced the mammoth task of Partition, internal conflicts and plethora of various other problems. Yet, he said, the people had the dream to build a strong nation. Mr Dua pointed out how that spirit of idealism had vanished over the years and hope had turned into despair and anxiety now. “Despite all problems there was hope in 1947. But today, despite the claims of achievements, there is a feeling of despair. India is shining only for the upper middle class in this country,” said Mr Dua in his thought provoking speech questioning how the high standards and ideals set at the time of Independence had come to mean nothing to the politicians of today who were using people as mere vote banks.

“For politicians, people are vote banks who can be fiddled around with. Except for occasional flashes of concern for the masses, the politicians do not rake up people’s problems in the Parliament. The discussions are desultory and most MPs, barring a few, do not even come prepared with their facts and figures. What matters to the leaders is just the pursuit of power,” he said. He also cited instances of the burgeoning criminalisation of politics and how each and every party was openly involved in amassing votes by using regionalism and caste issues.

The speech was followed by a lively interactive session. The Director of PGI Prof K.K. Talwar, welcomed Mr Dua and the Dean PGI, Prof Sudha Suri, proposed the vote of thanks. 

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Villagers complain against officials to DC
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 24
BiPaSa (bijli, pani and sadak) was the topic of discussion at an open darbar organised by the district administration at Morni block today. Villagers of this block asked the administration to ensure that power and water supply was adequate and pucca roads and streets were constructed.

The open darbar was chaired by the Deputy Commissioner, Ms Neelam P Kasni. She was flooded with requests for construction of retaining walls in various villages, common chaupals, watertanks, streets and laying of water pipelines. Residents also demanded the posting of teachers in government schools and construction of low dams.

Complaints against Kandi Project officials, forest officials and Public Health officials were also made to the DC. The villagers alleged they were not getting wages from these departments. Mrs Kasni ordered the officials to release the wages immediately.

Ms Kasni asked the gram panchayats to extend cooperation to the government in development works and also asked them to generate their own resources. She told them to consider the proposal of the Forest Department on plantation of medicinal plants on shamlat land.

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Luther Inner Wheel Club chief
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 24
Mrs Urmil Luther was installed President of the Inner Wheel Club at an impressive ceremony at Red Bishop on Saturday.
The Haryana Governor was the chief guest. The other office-bearers who were sworn in were Mrs Geeta Sawhney as secretary, Mrs Rekha Tayal as joint secretary and Mrs Renu Aggarwal as treasurer. A booklet, “Prayas” highlighting the work undertaken by the club, was released on the occasion. 

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Miscreants ‘assault’ family on highway
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
A city-based family was allegedly assaulted by a group of car-borne youths on the Kalka-Ambala highway near Zirakpur late this night.
The incident took place at around 10 p.m. when Revenue Officer, Mr R.K. Gupta, a resident of sector 38 here, along with his wife and son was on his way back to Chandigarh from Delhi in his Maruti Zen (CH 01-0672). A heated argument followed between the two parties after Gupta’s car hit an (Accent) car with Punjab registration number.

Following this youths gathered at the spot and were involved a scuffle. In the meantime, the car-borne youths took out sticks from their car and allegedly assualted Mr Gupta and his son. Mr Gupta’s shirt was torn and he received minor injuries.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Mr Gupta said that a bus driver helped the family in reaching The Tribune Office, leaving his car at the spot.

DSP Manmohan Kumar Sharma, when contacted, said the SHO had been asked to look into the matter. No case was registered till the filing of this report. 

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Suspected killers of youth rounded up
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 24
The Panchkula police has rounded up eight persons for their involvement in the Hardeep Singh murder case. The suspects were arrested by the CIA staff of the Panchkula police on Thursday night.

Though the police has not shown their arrest in official records, however, sources in the police claimed that the suspects have been rounded up for their involvement in some other criminal cases. The eight were arrested for interrogation in a chain snatching case.

It is learnt that during interrogation the suspects have admitted to their involvement in the Hardeep murder case.

Hardeep Singh (22), a resident of Pilkhani Mollana in Ambala district, was shot and dumped at the GMCH, Sector 32, on July 7 night by the suspected assailants.

The Sector 34 police station has registered a case of murder on the statement of a Constable who was informed by a doctor that the person dumped in the hospital had been shot at.

The UT police had claimed that the person was shot at and his clothes were changed before shifting him to the emergency ward of the hospital.

Mr S.S. Rana, SHO, Sector 34 police station, said a police party had been sent to Panchkula to bring the suspects in connection with the murder case.

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Man hurt as truck hits car 
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 24
A man sustained injuries when a truck hit his car at Sectors 46/46/48/49 roundabout here today.
Mr Gurmit Singh, a resident of Phase-II, Mohali, in his complaint to the police stated that a truck hit his car injuring him. He was admitted to the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32.

The police has registered a case of hit and run under Sections 279 and 337 of the Indian Penal Code.

Held for stealing wheel: The police claims to have arrested Ram Raj of Darwa village while he was stealing a wheel of a recovery van in the same village on Friday.

A case under Sections 379 and 411 of the IPC has been registered.

2 scooters stolen: Two scooters were stolen in the cuty during the past 24 hours. A Kinetic Honda (CH-03-0367), owned by Divya Bhatia of Sector 4—C, was stolen from a parking lot outside the State Bank of Patiala branch Sector 22.

A Bajaj Chetak (PB-05F-8795) was stolen from the Sukhna Lake parking on Friday. The scooter belongs to Mr Nanak Chand of Hazi Betu, Ferozepore district.

a case has been registered under Section 379 of the IPC.

Theft at Sec 17 office: Thieves struck at the office of the administrative officer of Under Secretary to the Haryana Government, at Sector 17 and took away a personal computer, including monitor, CPU, key board, mouse and some leads on Thursday night.

The police has registered a case on a complaint of Mr Malkiat Singh, administrative officer.

Gold jewellery stolen: Burglars broke into a house of Parmajit Singh in Sector 28 and decamped with two gold toys and Rs 4500 in broad daylight on Friday. The members of the family were out of the house when the theft took place. A case has been registered.

MOHALI
Gold chain snatched:
Two unidentified scooter-borne youths snatched the gold chain of a resident of Phase IX here today. Mrs Mahinder Kaur was returning from apni mandi after purchasing vegetables in Phase IX when the youths snatched her chain. The police has registered a complaint. 

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Youth attacked
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 24
Close on the heals of a clash between two groups in Sector 9 on the night of July 22, 24-year-old Sachin was attacked with a knife by four youths in Sector 19 this afternoon.

It is learnt that the victim was standing outside his house when a car came to a screeching halt near him. He alleged that four youths came out of the car and attacked him with a knife and a stick. The victim has identified two of the accused. The attack was a result of an old enmity with the duo. Sachin received injuries on his head and the arms and was rushed to hospital.

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DC inaugurates banking mela
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 24
The Deputy Commissioner, Ropar, Mrs Seema Jain, inaugurated a two-day Banking Products Mela being organised by ICICI Bank at Giani Zail Singh Nagar, Ropar, today.
Speaking on the occasion, Mrs Jain lauded the effort of the bank in organising the mela. She urged the bank authorities to help uplift the weaker sections of society and provide community services.

ICICI Bank Regional head Shyam Patnaik informed that the Bank had become the second largest bank of India within a limited period holding an asset base of Rs.1.2 lakh crore and having more than 470 branches with 1,800 ATMs in the country. He added that the bank had a customer base of over 10 million in India.

Bank’s Ropar Branch Manager J.P. Singh said that the bank was committed for providing best facilities to its customers. Besides, the Ropar branch was also opening accounts with Rs 2,000 saving balance, he added.

He said the bank had set up special stalls for providing information to the people about its various banking products, including credit cards, car loans, personal loans, D-Mat account, saving accounts, salary accounts, NRI accounts, home loans etc.

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Make market reforms consumer-friendly, says 
Bejon Misra
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
With a view to spreading consumer education at the grassroots level, Mr Bejon Misra, Chairman of the Consumers Coordination Council, New Delhi, today stressed the need to effectively communicate with all sections of society.

Addressing a seminar on “Consumer Education at Grassroots Level” organised by the Consumers Forum to mark its silver jubilee, he regretted that though the government and private agencies spent crores of rupees on the consumer awareness programmes yet they were in a language which a majority of the people did not understand. All communications should be simple and in the language which the consumers understand, he added.

The market reforms should be consumer-friendly and pro-poor, he said while adding that the health of the consumer was of paramount importance.

Launching a national campaign on War Against Poverty from here, Mr Misra dwelled on the eight millennium development goals and urged the government to make all documents for their implementation public.

Earlier, the president of the forum, Col Sarwan Singh, outlined the activities of the organisation. Mr H.S. Ahluwalia, secretary-general, informed that since its inception in 1979, the forum had been able to redress over 9,000 complaints.

Mr R.K. Kaplash, senior vice-chairman, said the media should report on the consumer organisations honestly. Brig K.I. Kumar (retd), stressed on the need to involve the youth in the consumer protection movement.

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Yellow pages
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 24
Identity media Inc, Panchkula, announced it would launch its own yellow pages directory “City Focus 2005-06” at Sector 17 on Saturday.
The directory is scheduled to hit the market in January next. It will have 400 pages. It is priced at Rs 100. It will have information on Panchkula, Chandigarh, Mohali, Himachal Pradesh and surrounding regions.

It will be available at hotels, railway stations, bus stands, libraries, schools, colleges, hospitals, shops and public and private offices.

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