C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


 

Crime in city: Mid-year review
The Panchkula paradox
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 30
The crime graph in the district has gone down as compared to last year. However, the spurt in burglaries, incidents of snatching and group clashes have created a fear psychosis among residents.

As many as 902 cases were registered by the police till the end of June, as compared to 1,369 in the corresponding period last year. The figure for murders in the district till June is almost half that of the corresponding period last year, and there is a decline in the number of kidnapping, cheating, rape and theft cases. Figures available for the number of burglaries and snatching, too, have shown a decline. While all four cases of murder in the period have been solved, the police has failed to bust any gang involved in burglaries or snatching incidents. This has only added to the growing feeling of insecurity.

During the past one week, at least two cases of group clashes have been reported, where a few men attacked their victims with swords in densely populated areas. Three brothers were attacked with swords by a group of 20 men in Sector 9 on July 22, and a youth was again attacked by a group of four in Sector 9 on July 24. In both cases, the police has failed to make any arrests so far.

Among the major breakthroughs for the police were the arrest of the suspects in the daylight robbery at Manoj Nangia’s house about four months ago and the recent arrest of an eight-member gang involved in three murders.

The first half of the year saw an increase in the number of deaths in accidents. As many as 17 deaths have been reported on the stretch between Ramgarh and Pinjore, on National Highway 73 and National Highway 22, and more than 60 persons have been injured. The total number of deaths in road accidents in the district till June is 41, as compared to 34 in the same period last year. Elsewhere in the district, the near non-adherence to traffic rules and regulations is another matter in the police has been found lacking this year.

Frequent change in the top brass of the police this year has only added to the problem. As many as two Superintendents of Police have already been changed, and the third one has recently joined. With each officer having a different style of policing, the rank and file of the already over-stretched police force has felt at a loss for direction in their functioning.

The Superintendent of Police, Ms Mamta Singh, says that they have re-introduced the electronic beat patrol system in the township under proper supervision. The system was introduced in April 2002. The technology-based patrolling system for the cops was discontinued by the previous Superintendent of Police.
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UT refuses to cut PEC seats
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
The Chandigarh Administration will not reduce the number of seats in all streams offered in Punjab Engineering College (PEC), as decided by the All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). After being notified as deemed university, the college does not come under the purview of the council, say officials in the administration.

A senior officer told The Tribune that the counselling at the college would be held for the number of seats existing at present.

Citing a previous case of admissions made in excess in the electronics and electrical streams, the council in a faxed message sent to the Principal of the college had said that 40 seats were to be reduced for three years, beginning this year.

This meant that five seats in eight different streams would have to be cut for three consecutive years. The Regional Officer of the council, Mr Luxminarayan, could not be contacted despite efforts.

According to sources in the college, the fax message had said that the number of computers were less as per the council’s norms. The infrastructure in the Electronics Department was also not as required and the college did not have a full-time Principal. A team from the council had recently visited the college to inspect the infrastructure.

The PEC Principal, Dr Baljeet Kapoor, said a fax message addressed to the Home Secretary had been received. But he refused to divulge the details of the council’s decision. He directed this correspondent to the Home Secretary and the Director, Technical Education. Officials in the administration said they had not received any order from the AICTE.

The AICTE decision has come in the wake of 120 students of the Chandigarh College of Engineering and Technology being admitted to PEC.

Faculty members of the PEC questioned the wisdom of the AICTE in reducing five seats in each stream for three years. The council could not reduce seats in other streams while the excess admissions were in electronics and electrical engineering. the college, the fax message had said that the number of computers were less as per the council’s norms. The infrastructure in the Electronics Department was also not as required and the college did not have a full-time Principal. A team from the council had recently visited the college to inspect the infrastructure.

The PEC Principal, Dr Baljeet Kapoor, said a fax message addressed to the Home Secretary had been received. But he refused to divulge the details of the council’s decision. He directed this correspondent to the Home Secretary and the Director, Technical Education. Officials in the administration said they had not received any order from the AICTE.

The AICTE decision has come in the wake of 120 students of the Chandigarh College of Engineering and Technology being admitted to PEC.

Faculty members of the PEC questioned the wisdom of the AICTE in reducing five seats in each stream for three years. The council could not reduce seats in other streams while the excess admissions were in electronics and electrical engineering.
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Survey of flats with illegal floor ordered
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
Cracking down on people who have illegally added a floor to their flats, the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) has ordered a survey of all such flats.

Sources within the CHB said a fresh survey had been ordered to identify the major violators. The field staff has been told to file a report within the next three or four weeks. Following this, the CHB will issue notices to the residents asking them to demolish the floors constructed illegally.

The survey has come about following a report in Chandigarh Tribune last week highlighting how hundreds of residents had illegally built another floor, officials admitted.

Since these floors have been built over the year, the CHB will be following a procedure to remove these structures. The issue was discussed among senior officers of the Chandigarh Administration also. It was opined that the committee set up by the Administration to suggest regularisation of “need-based changes” made by residents would also not allow the construction of an additional floor, that, too, on a common area owned by the CHB.

Thus there was no need to wait for the verdict of the committee on the issue. Within the CHB, an old survey, which says about 150 people had added a floor illegally to their flats, was found to be outdated. The new survey has been ordered and notices will be issued before any demolitions are carried out.

Illegal flats have been built by city residents on open terraces of the existing block of flats in the southern sectors. People who have built these illegal flats are collecting rent and in some cases have accommodated their growing families on what is actually CHB space.

The open terraces where these flats have come up comprise the rooftops where overhead water tanks are placed. An investigation by Chandigarh Tribune revealed that hundreds of MIG flats in Sectors 45-A, 47-C and D and also in Sectors 44-A and D, Sectors 40 and 46 have floors built illegally. These flats have two-bedroom accommodation with illegal water tanks, power connections and sewerage connections.

The original block of flats built by the CHB has a ground floor plus two storeys. Now another one has been added. The builders in most cases are the owners of the original top-floor flat. wait for the verdict of the committee on the issue. Within the CHB, an old survey, which says about 150 people had added a floor illegally to their flats, was found to be outdated. The new survey has been ordered and notices will be issued before any demolitions are carried out.

Illegal flats have been built by city residents on open terraces of the existing block of flats in the southern sectors. People who have built these illegal flats are collecting rent and in some cases have accommodated their growing families on what is actually CHB space.

The open terraces where these flats have come up comprise the rooftops where overhead water tanks are placed. An investigation by Chandigarh Tribune revealed that hundreds of MIG flats in Sectors 45-A, 47-C and D and also in Sectors 44-A and D, Sectors 40 and 46 have floors built illegally. These flats have two-bedroom accommodation with illegal water tanks, power connections and sewerage connections.

The original block of flats built by the CHB has a ground floor plus two storeys. Now another one has been added. The builders in most cases are the owners of the original top-floor flat.
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Punjab, Haryana escape cut in water share
BBMB postpones meeting
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
The states of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan today escaped what was to be a major cut in their share from river waters thus getting, the proverbial last chance to save crops in these states.

A crucial meeting of officials of these states convened by the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) for today, to re-fix the quota of water as per its availability, has been postponed to August 10.

This means the states will continue to get water as per the quota fixed in June. The quota of water is fixed as per its availability in the rivers — Ravi, Beas and Satluj. It was expected that the share of each state would have been slashed at today’s meeting keeping in mind the dry conditions and the failure of the monsoons. Already the release of water from the reservoirs into the canals is less than the previous years.

The share of water and power of the states is fixed on the basis of three parameters that change according to the inflow of water in the reservoirs. The three parameters are fixed as dry, dependable and mean. The last being the best followed by dependable and dry conditions.

At this time of the year the release of water from the Bhakra dam is normally between 28,000 and 30,000 cusecs. Plus this is augmented by rain in the plains. Today the release was just 19,000 cusecs and there is no rain thus it meant a double blow for the farmers. From the Pong reservoir on the Beas river the release should normally be between 8,000 cusecs and 10,000 cusecs. Today it was 5,500 cusecs. At today’s meeting this release would have been reduced further keeping in mind the short term and long term requirements of the states.

Officially the BBMB which manages the reservoirs feeding the irrigation canal system in these states, has conveyed to the states that this is “a dry year” . This means the worst scenario in dam management. Since the dams of the BBMB came up, such a situation has never arisen “ it is unprecedented” said the sources.

The Chairman of the BBMB, Mr Rakesh Nath, explained: “We had put up the facts before the states and presented each scenario. The technical committee comprising representatives from the states decides on water share and the BBMB only follows their instructions.”

When asked specifically, if the idea to re-schedule the meeting and hold it two weeks later was aimed at saving the crops and giving more water to farmers, Mr Nath admitted “ well , saving the crops is our first target”.

Now the situation will be reviewed on August 10. The level of water in the Bhakra was today at 1536 elevation feet. This was 90 ft less than the level last year. In Pong the situation had improved due to rain in Himachal Pradesh in the past one week. The level today was 1300 elevation feet . It was 1316 elevation feet last year. The brim of the Bhakra and Pong is at 1680 and 1390 elevation feet, respectively.
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Kohli’s confession ‘valid’ in UK
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 30
Legal experts today stated that Maninder Pal Singh Kohli's confession before the media while in the custody of the Punjab Police was a valid piece of evidence under British law, even if it was inadmissible as evidence before the Indian courts of law. Talking to The Tribune, Senior Lawyer Anupam Gupta said that unlike in India confessions in police custody were admissible in England though they could disregard them in a particular case.

Citing from Sections 76, 78 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act, (PACE), 1984, of the UK, Mr Gupta pointed out that Kohli's confession could be examined in the UK courts as regards its ‘‘reliability’’ but is not otherwise inadmissible as evidence. Mr Gupta, however, added that Kohli's confession was particularly reliable since it is fully corroborated by the forensic, scientific and other evidence collected by the UK police against Kohli.

‘‘As a matter of fact, confessions in a police station based upon tape recorded interviews have a high probative value in British courts. And here we have a video recorded confession,’’ he said.

Giving details of the procedure of extradition, Mr Gupta said that since not many extraditions had taken place from India, there were very few real precedents to follow. The borrower country has to first send a written requisition to the Government of India for the ‘surrender of the fugitive criminal’. In this case, the British Government will have to send the requisition to the Indian Government for Maninder Pal Singh's custody either directly or through the British High Commission. This the borrower nation has to do within 60 days of the provisional arrest of the fugitive criminal. In this case, the requisition papers have not been received till date, and if the papers are not received within 60 days of July 15 when he was arrested by the Kalimpong police, then Kohli is a free man.

Once these papers are received the provisional arrest continues and the Central Government then notifies a magistrate to inquire into the allegations of the borrower country. While the Extradition Act, 1962, does not use the term, ‘‘extradition court’’, under the law it is a single magistrate inquiry. Before assigning the inquiry to a magistrate the Central Government would be expected to consult the High Court concerned since the magistrate is a judicial officer subordinate to the High Court.

It is interesting to note that in the case of the Extradition Act, an executive order takes primacy over a judicial order. Even in a case where the magistrate had found that the borrower country's claim on the fugitive are justified, the government has the last word on the matter. ‘‘Since extradition is attribute of sovereignty the Indian government has an absolute and unfettered discretion to refuse extradition, even though the magistrate finds a prima facie case for extradition,’’pointed out Mr Gupta.

When contacted about Kohli's confession, Mr Sumedh Singh Saini, IG, said:‘‘We examined Kohli on the circumstances under which he absconded. Whatever he stated, we have noted down. Further, his detailed examination has been done in the case against him in Mohali. What any accused says in police custody is inadmissible as evidence in Indian courts. We are aware of this basic provision of law. Kohli's statement is an aid to further investigations.’’
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Police questions Kohli’s brother
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 30
Ishtpreet Singh, brother of Maninder Pal Singh Kohli, was questioned at the Phase VIII police station here today. Sources added that the Phase VIII police station officer, Mr Sukhjit Singh Virk, had been assigned the task of examining the extent of involvement of Kohli’s two brothers, Ishtpreet and Amrit Pal in harbouring and aiding Kohli while he was on the run.

Sources added that while the police had gathered substantial evidence against Ishtpreet regarding his direct involvement in harbouring Kohli, Amritpal’s role in the case seemed minimal. Ishtpreet, who was working as a constable in the Punjab Police headquarters in Chandigarh was placed under suspension following his arrest on July 27. Amritpal Singh was an employee of the Rajpura Municipal Corporation.

Sources added that the police had constituted three separate teams to look into the various aspects of the FIR lodged against Kohli at Mohali. While the team of SSP Patiala A.S. Rai and SP (D) Patiala Mr Pritpal Singh Virk were looking for the fake passport that Kohli had allegedly procured from Mohali, the SP Mohali, Mr Rakesh Agarwal is examining Kohli in reference to the places where he stayed and the persons he was associated with during his 16-month run.
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Holiday in UT’s govt schools today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
There will be a holiday in government schools in the city tomorrow. It may be mentioned that the Chandigarh Administration has, however, not announced a holiday in the offices and institutions of the administration.

Tomorrow is the martyrdom day of Shaheed Udham Singh. The DPI (Schools), Mr D.S. Mangat, said the Education Department was allowed to announce two holidays in a year.

However, there was no official confirmation regarding private schools.
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Mayor’s “discretionary quota” in eye of storm
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
The 10 per cent “discretionary quota” of the Mayor in the proposed mega housing complex in Mani Majra is in the eye of the storm with certain Councillors of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh demanding a review of the decision.

Eight councillors, led by Mr PC Sanghi, have demanded that the matter should be discussed again at a meeting of the civic body on August 3 as the minutes of the previous meeting were not recorded properly.

If the item is included in the agenda of the forthcoming meeting, the housing project will hit a roadblock hampering the resource-generation efforts of the civic body.

At the meeting of the House on July 27, a lot of din was raised on the confirmation of the minutes of this particular decision. Ultimately is was decided to see the video of that meeting in which the agenda was passed on July 28. However, the film was viewed seen prompting eight councillors to initiate a fresh move.

With a view to generating revenue, the fund-starved MCC, at one of its meetings recently, had okayed a decision to auction 5.3 acres to a private coloniser in pockets 2 and 3 in Mani Majra for the construction of the multi-storeyed flats.

While the coloniser was obliged to reserve 20 per cent of the total flats for the economically weaker sections, 30 per cent of the flats were to be reserved for the middle income group(MIG). and to protect the interests of the oustees, 10 per cent of the total flats were to be reserved for them.

However, it is the quota of the Mayor, which has kicked up a row with the councillors contending that the minutes of the meeting were not recorded properly. At the meeting, it was reportedly decided that “10 per cent of the total dwelling units in the said pockets shall be allotted to the sub-allottees as per the recommendations of the Mayor.”

It is not for the first time that Mayor’s discretion has been opposed. During the meeting, Mr Gian Chand Gupta, BJP councillor, had opposed the decision. However, the Congress majority in the House ensured the approval of the proposal.way of excess clause and the cost of installment. Apart from Rs 9,387 already paid to the complainant, the firm was order to Rs 28,833 to the hotel.
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MC decides to instal chlorine-testing facility
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
The Finance and Contract Committee of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) today approved various development works for the city. At its meeting here today, it decided to install chlorine testing facility at various tubewells in Sector 37, Colony No 4, Dhanas, Maloya and Modern Housing Complex in Mani Majra. The contract for the security of various waterworks in the city will also be extended for another year. It was also decided to hire a consultant for the modernisation of the slaughter house in the Industrial Area.

And with a view to accommodate various offices, which had been functioning from the basement of the MCC building, it was decided to construct another floor on the building besides installing a lift. Sources said to bring about transparency in the functioning of the civic body’s work, it has been decided to introduce “double entry system of accounting”.
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Rs 17 cr to be spent on women’s schemes
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 30
A sum of Rs 17 crore is being spent on various women empowerment and development schemes under a World Bank-aided project, Swashakti.

The pilot project is being run in the three districts — Jind, Bhiwani and Sonepat — and almost 25,000 women affiliated through 1410 self help groups are beneficiaries under the scheme. This was stated by the chairperson of the Haryana Women Development Corporation, Ms Bimla Sangwan, at a press conference yesterday.

She informed that a meeting of delegates from nine other states where Swashakti project was being run was held at Ramgarh today. Discussions were held on various training programmes being given to the beneficiaries, like dairying, computer education, candle making, washing powder making , durry making etc. The delegates will also visit the villages of Aleeva, Thaanda, Diduana in Jind district tomorrow to see the training being imparted to the self help groups in the state.

Ms Sangwan said that the corporation was also providing training to women all over the state so that they could start some income generating activities and become self reliant. The self help groups are given financial assistance by the corporation to start business, she added.
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Need for preserving heritage of city stressed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
Conservation of modern heritage of Chandigarh was not anti-development but a sustainable approach for future and economic development of the city was needed. This was brought out during a presentation on “Modern Heritage of Chandigarh” made by Prof Kiran Joshi at the UT Secretariat, Sector 9, before the Adviser to the Administrator, UT, Mr Lalit Sharma.

Justice S.S. Sodhi and Mr M.L. Sarin, former Advocate-General, Punjab, expressed their concern about the preservation of heritage of the city with special emphasis on Capitol Complex and the changes taking place there.

In the presentation, Prof Joshi covered the issues about identification, protection and conservation of heritage. The heritage and cultural values of the city were explained during the presentation.

Mr Rajiv Lochan of the Department of History, Panjab University, suggested that public school children should be made aware about heritage values of Chandigarh. The Adviser appreciated the concern expressed and said that the Administration was sensitive to the built heritage of the city. Mr Lalit Sharma also stressed on the need of preserving and conserving the heritage of the city and appreciated the initiatives take by the Architecture Department of the Chandigarh Administration.
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Unruly scenes mark Hans show
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 30
Unruly scenes and mild police lathicharge was as much a highlight of the Hans Raj Hans live show organised by Alpha TV Punjabi as the massive response drawn by scintillating performances by Hans Raj Hans, Nachhatar Gill, Satwinder Bugga and Sarabjit Mangat.

Hundreds of people from the township and neighbouring Chandigarh and Mohali converged at the venue in Sector 5 to catch the Punjabi pop stars in action. The stars had the crowds swaying to their Punjabi beats and the police had a tough time controlling the crowds. The four-hour show was telecast live on Alpha TV Punjabi.

A 20-feet high dome was erected at the Sector 5 grounds for the show and computer-aided sound-and-light effects added to the eclectic performances by the pop stars. Though Hans Raj Hans made a late entry on the stage, his performance made by for his late entry and left the crowds asking for more. He recreated the rustic Punjabi magic on stage with the dancers dressed in traditional attire, as he enthraled the crowds with “Chal Jindua” and “Nachan to pehlan hoka deyange”.

The other performers included Nachhatar Gill who rendered “Ni kudiye lagdi nyari ni” and “Saadi Gal”, Satwinder Bugga, sang his famous number “Yaar na vichde”, and Sarabjit Mangat charmed everyone with his “Boliyan” and “Jhanak jhanak.”

The police had made elaborate security arrangements and other than the VIP enclosure, the police had to make mild use of force to control the frenzied fans. Most officials of the district administration and MC president, Seema Chaudhary were also present.
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Ailing and broke, he needs help
Neelam Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
Life has come to a standstill for 25-year-old Vinod after he was diagnosed with TB of the hip more than a year ago. Unable to afford treatment, this father of four small children, hailing from a remote village in Muzaffarnagar, has been staying under the huge mango tree near the PGI entrance for the past six months.

“It was more than an year-and-a-half ago that the problem surfaced. For over a year, doctors at my home town treated me, but when their treatment failed, they advised me to go to the PGI,” says Vinod.

Having exhausted his savings on treatment, Vinod still needs Rs 50,000 for treatment and Rs 900 for the monthly medication. “I worked as a labourer earlier, but that is over now. My elder brothers sold the house at my village, but that money is exhausted too,” adds Vinod.

His wife Santosh and his four children have accompanied Vinod during his stay in the city. Now the shade of the tree is their home and the free meals given by good Samaritans at the hospital takes care of the family’s needs.

Even as PGI officials say free shelter is provided to poor patients, the family seems oblivious of it. “Initially we stayed at the PGI sarai, but after two weeks, we could not afford the monthly rent of around Rs 1,500. The shelter at the gurdwara too was not available as only the patient was allowed for such a long stay and not the children and other family members,” says Santosh, sitting beside her husband.

Doctors at Department of Orthopaedics at the new OPD, where Vinod is getting treatment, have recommended his case for free medicines. Santosh claims that they never got the medicines as the medicines were out of stock. Those willing to donate money can send it in favour of Director, PGI or contact the public relations office at 2747585-6003.
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Encroachments removed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
Continuing with its anti-encroachment drive, the enforcement staff of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) today removed encroachments from Sectors 7, 8 and 26 here.

According to sources, varandahs were cleared off the encroachments, which had been blocking pedestrians’ way. Similarly, several generator sets were seized during the drive and about 50 challans were issued to the violators.

Meanwhile, the president of the Chandigarh Wholesale Cloth Merchants Association, Mr Charanjiv Singh, has criticised the drive carried out by the civic body in the Sector 34 furniture market.
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Yoga camp to conclude today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
A week-long yoga camp organised by the Chandigarh Yoga Sabha at Yoga Divya Mandir, Sector 30, and the Community Centre, Sector 21, will conclude tomorrow.

Held in memory of Yogiraj Swami Devi Dayal, it was conducted under the guidance of Yogacharya G. S. Verma. More than 500 persons attended the camp.

According to Mr A. P. Srihan, general secretary of the sabha, Prof M. Lal, Pradhanacharya, will give a talk on yoga at the concluding function at 8.30 pm at the Sector 30 venue.
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47 rounded up from slums
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 30
As many as 47 persons residing in various slum colonies in the township were rounded up by the police here today. The Phase I police station SHO, Mr Jagjit Singh, stated that these persons had been brought to the police station for verification. “We had asked them to report to the station voluntarily but when they did not take the orders seriously, we had to pick them up and bring them to the police station here,” he said.

The names of the 47 persons were listed by the police and their addresses noted down. During the verification drive, the police also found two boys from Patiala who had run away from their home.
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Addiwal member of BJP SC cell
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
A former Mayor, Mr Kewal Krishan Addiwal, has been appointed member of the national executive of the Scheduled Caste Morcha of the BJP.

According to a press note, Mr Naveen Kochher has been nominated special invitee to the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha and Dr Anwar Ali member of the national executive of the Minority Morcha.

The chairperson of the Surya Foundation, Dr Ramnik Sharma, will be an executive member of the national executive of the Mahila Morcha.
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Gang of robbers busted
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 30
The Ropar police today claimed to have busted a gang involved in over five murders and nine looting incidents in Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. Two kingpins of this gang were arrested by the police today and a revolver and looted money amounting to lakhs was recovered from them. Besides, the police also arrested three members of another gang of robbers operating in Morinda.

Stating this today during press conference, the Ropar SSP, Mr Surinder Pal Singh Virk, said the police succeeded in busting the four-member gang operating in various districts of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh by arresting its head, Satnam Singh, and member Sukhwinder Singh. The two had looted a petrol station at Kiratpur Sahib a few days back.

He said the police had also recovered a revolver and the looted amount of Rs 2.60 lakh from their possession. Besides, the car (PB 10AX-6125) and scooter used by them for committing the crimes had been impounded, the SSP added.

This gang had allegedly looted an amount of Rs 61 lakh and killed five persons in nine incidents of crime committed in Punjab and Himachal Pradesh during the past two-and-half years. He said the gang had committed their first crime two and half years back by looting Rs 5.50 lakh from a cashier of LIC office near the Ludhiana Bus Stand. Later, the gang looted Rs 1.25 lakh from a petrol station in Nawanshahr and killed the accountant and also looted Rs 4 lakh at pistol point from the LIC office in Morinda in 2002.

After maintaining a low profile for some time, the gang struck at Banga (Nawanshahr) and looted foreign currency amounting to Rs 4.70 lakh from a foreign exchange dealer in Banga three months ago and looted Rs 3.50 from an arhtiya at Nawanshahr after killing him. The gang struck at Morinda in May this year looting Rs 7.70 lakh from a PSEB cashier after killing him. Besides, they also looted Rs 2.50 lakh from a PSEB cashier at Goraya (Jalandhar) and Rs 5.90 lakh from a post office employee at Nalagarh (Solan), Himachal Pradesh after killing him.

The SSP said their latest crime was a robbery at a petrol station in Kiratpur Sahib on July 26 last after which they were arrested by the Ropar police. He said the police had also launched a manhunt to arrest the two other members of the gang, Malkit Singh and Manmeet Singh alias Goldi, (both residents of village Kaleke in Gurdaspur district).

Mr Virk said being the kingpin, Satnam Singh was also involved in terrorist activities earlier for which he had been imprisoned in a case registered at Batala in 1989 and had been released from jail in 1995. He would keep 40 per cent of the looted money with himself and the remaining 60 per cent was distributed among the other members of the gang.

The SSP said the district police had achieved another success with the arrest of three members of another gang of robbers operating in Morinda area of the district for some time. He said the arrested gang members, Sham Singh Chohan, Anil Kumar Yadav and Ghore (all residents of Uttar Pradesh) had confessed to their involvement in various incidents of robberies. He said three other members of the gang — Shanker, Sant Lal and Satvir — were absconding and efforts were on to arrest them.
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Brother-in-law, husband held in dowry death case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
Ashok Kumar, an employee of Gymkhana Club, managed by HUDA, and his elder brother Mahinder Pal have been arrested for the death of the former’s 20-year-old wife Sunaina, who consumed some poisonous substance after allegedly being harassed for dowry. The police hopes to arrest the wife of Mahinder Pal in this connection.

According to the police, the body of the deceased did not bear any external injuries or marks. The postmortem report did not mention any external injuries. The police sent the viscera of the woman for chemical examination to find out if the death was caused by some poisonous substance.

While Ashok Kumar was arrested last night, his elder brother was nabbed today. Parents and relatives of the deceased had alleged that she was administered some poisonous substance as it was not possible that she had gone out of the house to get some pills.

The brother-in-law of Sunaina, Mr Sitaram, said she was being harassed by her in-laws to the extent that she could not have moved out of her house without someone accompanying her even to an STD booth. She died a month after she was married on June 27.

The parents of the deceased yesterday staged a protest in front of the house of Ashok Kumar, seeking support of society against the injustice meted to their daughter. Mr Sitaram said there was no question of suicide as she had died within two hours of their meeting her in Chandigarh.

He said they had met her at 3 pm and she was saying she would not survive. Her family got information at 5 pm that she had died.
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Woman alleges sexual harassment by 2 colleagues
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
A 25-year-old unmarried woman, working as Inspector with the Food and Civil Supplies Department, has accused two colleagues of sexually harassing her in the department office yesterday. She said Inspectors Updhesh Singh and Sushil Kumar Gupta kept used condoms in the drawer of her table in her absence.

She said she saw Updhesh Singh roaming around her table and stopping for a while near the drawer when she got up to receive a phone call. She said she opened the drawer to take out a pen and was shocked to see the condoms. She said there were two women with her when she opened the drawer and they also saw the condoms.

She said she started crying and complained to senior officers, who advised her to change her seat. The complainant said Sushil Kumar Gupta also gave her weird looks during the incident. She suspected the inspectors and said the two officers had earlier indulged in a similar incident.

The woman alleged that the two colleagues had been passing vulgar remarks at her and made physical advances. She also said the two had been behaving in a vulgar manner. The woman urged the police to get the condoms forensically examined to confirm as to who was behind this incident.

The police registered a case against the two officials under Section 509 of the IPC (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) at the Sector 17 police station. No arrest had yet been made. The police was verifying the allegations.

Sources said the SDM and the Deputy Director, Food and Civil Supplies, had recorded the statements of the two parties and sent it to the Deputy Commissioner. The Deputy Commissioner would soon send the statements to the Sexual Harassment Committee for departmental action.
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Man remanded in police custody
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 30
Gurmeet Singh, who was arrested by the police yesterday on charges of kidnapping a girl from Sector 12-A on July 18, was remanded to three days in police custody by a local court today.

A driver by profession, he had allegedly eloped with girl, who is the daughter of his employer. The duo were caught by the police yesterday, and a medical examination was done at the General Hospital. The girl claimed that she was over 18 years and the duo had got married in a gurdwara after they eloped.

The girl’s statement was also recorded by the magistrate under Section 164 of the Cr. P. C today.

Poisoning case

A 24-year-old woman from Devi Nagar, Santosh Devi, was taken ill after she consumed a poisonous substance, thinking it to be a cough syrup. She was rushed to the General Hospital, Sector 6, and is now stated to be out of danger.
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Youth attacked in market
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
A Sector 20-C youth is fighting for life in the PGI after he was allegedly hit in the head by three youths of the same sector.

According to the police, Anil Kumar of Sector 20 and Paramjit of Industrial Area, Phase 1, were standing in the Sector 20-C market when they entered in to an altercation which turned violent. The police said that the three youths questioned Anil Kumar and Paramjit why they were standing at a particular place in the market. Later, the three youths allegedly hit Anil Kumar in the head.

The police has arrested Pitambar Bhat and is looking for Satish Kumar and Ajay. The police has booked the three under Sections 308, 34 and 506 of the IPC.
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Girl attacked
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 30
An 18-year-old girl, resident of Sector 4 here, was allegedly beaten by four youths outside the venue of Hans Raj Hans nite tonight.

They bundled her into a car and after giving her a thrashing, pushed her out of the car and fled. The girl has reportedly recognised the four attackers.

Till the filing of the report, the police had not been informed and the girl was in General Hospital, Sector 6.
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Amplifier stolen from beat box
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
An amplifier of the Chandigarh traffic police was today found stolen from the Press Chowk light point.

Assistant Sub-Inspector Mahinder Singh today reported that he returned home after closing the beat box at 8 pm yesterday and when he returned this morning, he found the amplifier of the microphone missing. However, he said the locks of the beat box were intact. The Sector 19 police station has registered a theft case.

Succumbed

A Sector 40, Chandigarh, resident, Jaswinder Singh, who immolated himself on Thursday, his 24th birthday, succumbed to burn injuries at the PGI on Friday.
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2 injured in assault

Chandigarh, July 30
An Attawa resident received 17 stitches on his hand when four persons allegedly attacked him with knives, rods and hockeys tonight. Ajay was taken to Sector 16 hospital, according to Ajay’s brother Om Prakash.

He said both of them were having dinner at their house when Sukhi, Ranjit and Santosh and a brother of Sukhi allegedly attacked them. Om Prakash was also injured. The police had, however, not registered any case. TNS
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