C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


 

GH-16 shifts nursing staff, interns
Tribune News Service

At the post-natal ward of the hospital, Kuljeet Kaur is convinced that she was shown a male-child after delivery. She says even if DNA tests (a report is likely after two months) prove that the girl is not her’s, she will bring her up as her own child.

“If the tests show that she is not my daughter, we will try to find her real parents. But after taking care of her for so long, I cannot abandon her,” says Kuljeet, claiming neither she nor her husband, Kuldeep Singh, had a preference for a male-child. 

Chandigarh, August 16
After the alleged child-swapping incident at the Sector 16 General Hospital here last week, the hospital authorities have shifted the nursing staff and interns posted at the labour room when the incident accused last Tuesday. A couple from Sector 24 had alleged that they were handed over a girlchild even after being told that a boy was born to them.

“We have transferred the senior nurse posted at that time in the labour room when the delivery took place. All nursing students interns, too, have been shifted on the basis of a primary inquiry,” said the Medical Superintendent, Dr Usha Bishnoi Kapoor she said the inquiry report, which would be submitted by inquiry officer, Dr Rupinder Kaur this week, would pinpoint what had gone wrong on the day of the delivery.

While the couple, Kuldeep Singh and Kuljeet Kaur, have alleged that their male child has gone missing, the hospital authorities say that the incident is a result of a clerical error committed by the nursing staff posted there.

“It was a communication gap which resulted in the problem. While the mother was shown the baby (female) born to her, the intern made the wrong entry in the register, while shifting the new-born to the ward mentaning that a male child had been born.

“The babygirls’ footprints taken at the time of the birth match with those of the baby with the couple, says the medical superintendent.

However “due to high stress levels and workload, an error can occur once in a while. Coupled by the parents preference for a male-child, the problem of mothers’ refusal to accept the girlchild too crop up. On an average, we get such a case once in a year or six months where the mothers think that a boy is born to them, when it is actually a girl,’’ she adds.

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Empty chairs at DC’s open darbar
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 16
A week after the Deputy Commissioner, Ms Neelam P. Kasni, organised an open darbar in Sector 10, the residents seemed to have lost interest. The number of officials from various government departments present on the occasion were far more than the residents who had come here with their grievances.

As many as 21 complaints were received at the darbar- mostly relating to civic amenities. Officials were instructed to solve these problems at the earliest. The Deputy Commissioner asked members of various resident welfare associations to plant more trees so as to increase the green cover in the district.

She said the Indian Agriculture Research Centre, Bangalore, had devised a weedicide -beetal geological zygograma for the Congress grass, and this would be used to fight the menace in various parts of the town.

On this occasion, the Municipal Council Vice-President, Ms Kuljit Waraich, raised the problem of lack of infrastructure at the Government Primary School and demanded construction of a community centre in Bhainsa Tibba village.

Col (retd) I.J. Ahluwalia from Mansa Devi Complex complained that the drainage system in the area should be improved. He also complained that a number of jhuggis had come up on vacant land and the floating migrant population was a security threat.

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Amartex MD booked for plotting attack
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 16
The Managing Director of Amartex Industries, Mr Arun Grover, has been booked by the police on charges of criminal conspiracy for the attack on the security staff of Gawritex Industries yesterday.

Other than Mr Grover, a case of rioting, assault, trespass and criminal intimidation has been registered against 30 other staff members of Amartex Industries, including Anil Bhardwaj, J.K. Bhardwaj, N.P. Singh, alias Bunty, Sushil Gulati, Sharda and Chief Security Officer of the company.

The police has booked them on the complaint of Capt S.S. Kambhoj, Chief Security Officer, Gawritex Industries, who was assaulted by the rival group yesterday.

Four of the accused — J.K. Bhardwaj, Sharda, Devnath and Rajesh Kumar — have been arrested.

They were remanded to judicial custody. Acting on their bail application, the court issued a notice to the police for tomorrow.

Mr Arun Grover, when contacted, said he and his staff members were being wrongly implicated in the case. “We have nothing to do with the clash yesterday. A Delhi-based company, KVS Apparel, had taken the front portion of the industrial plot on rent and it was their men who had clashed with the staff of Gawritex, “ he said.

It is alleged that the staff of Amartex Industries had tried to take illegal possession of a portion of an industrial plot adjacent to its showroom. Gawritex had shifted its showroom in the industrial shed of this plot and Amartex officials had allegedly tried to take possession of the front portion of this plot, saying that another company, KVS Apparels, had taken this portion on rent from one partner of the plot.

When the security personnel of Gawritex, including the Director, Mr Amit Gawri, resisted the attempt to take possession, they were beaten with lathis.

While most employees of Gawritex managed to lock themselves in, the Chief Security Officer, Capt Kambhoj, was beaten up. He has received multiple fractures. He is recuperating at General Hospital here.

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Complaint against teacher
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 16
Father of a girl student at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 37, here has alleged that a maths teacher at the school had “misbehaved” with his daughter on August 9.

In a representation to the Joint Secretary, Education, the girl’s father, Baljit Singh Radhu, has said no action had been taken against the teacher despite the matter being brought to the notice of the school principal. The father has also lodged a complaint at the single-window system of the Chandigarh Police.

He has claimed that the principal had assured him that the matter would be inquired into and strict action taken against the teacher. At least 20 girl students have signed on the complaint submitted to the principal.

On being contacted, the school principal, Ms Suman Sharma, said she had sent the findings of her inquiry to the higher ups and it was for them to decide. The department was also inquiring into the matter. When further probed, she refused to comment.

In the complaint, the girls have alleged that the teacher spoke of "irrelevant" things and "harassed" them.

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All outdoor movement around Burail Jail stopped
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

The tunnel dug out by the three terrorists in their sensational escape from Burail Jail here is yet to be closed. The authorities await a final report from the Central Forensic Sciences Laboratory (CFSL) before closing it down by filling the tunnel with earth. Till then, the barracks of the three accused have been locked and sealed. The exit of the tunnel which is located near the perimeter fence of the jail has been sealed with a brick cover and tin sheets. The tunnel itself has a permanent guard, Sources said. 

Chandigarh, August 16
Almost seven months after three hardcore terrorists allegedly involved in the assassination of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh, escaped from the Burail Jail here on January 21, things have changed like never before inside the jail.

Gone are the days when undertrials and convicts reportedly used to have free run right under nose of the officials. Now the policy is of “ Zero Tolerance”, say officials.

To start will all outdoor movement has been stopped. Inmates go out of their cells only for “mulakats”, to attend court dates or for health check-ups if required. For meeting with visitors, a special place has been designated and timings fixed. Men of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) frisk all visitors. All unrecorded 'mulakats; allowed prior to January 21 have been done away with. A computer has been set up which records the entry of each and every visitor.

In case of the remaining accused of the Beant Singh assassination case their meeting hours are separate from other inmates of the jail visitors. They are let out of the barracks only after strict supervision.

It may be recollected that one of the theories of the investigating team is that the three terrorists - Jagtar Singh Tara, Jagtar Singh Hawara and Paramjit Singh Bheora - spread out the mud they dug for the tunnel within the jail premises or flushed it out through the toilet.

Also now all prisoners have been given uniform facilities. Nobody is allowed to bring his bedding and the system of separate TVs is over. The undertrials of the Beant Singh case enjoyed all these facilituies, The jail has a cable TV connection but only a few of the available channels are shown. The food is from the lone kitchen on the jail premises. Earlier, the three terrorists who escaped even had a personal cook for themselves and even cooked their meals inside their own barracks.

Earlier prisoners were allowed to keep some money to buy stuff from the jail canteen, that is over now, their visitors can come and deposit cash and in lieu of that coupons are issued. The Additional Inspector General of Prisons Capt Preetdev Singh Shergill (retd), says “We have made no concessions and none will be made in the future.”

When the jail break had made national headlines, the staff at the jail was dismissed from service. Now the Union Ministry of Home Affairs has allowed recruitment of 16 warders, one head warder and one Assistant Jail Superintendent. One of the recommendations of the R.S. Gupta Committee , which enquired into the jail break, is to merge the cadre of jail with Delhi so that more staff is available. Also to fill other posts a proposal is ready to take staff on deputation and jail staff from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi.

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Tapestry: Concerned citizens seek President's intervention 
Maneesh Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 16
Concerned over the attempts to tinker with the heritage of the City Beautiful, a group of eminent personalities of the city has shot off a letter to the President of India, seeking his intervention in the matter.

Saying that they are concerned at the removal of the beautiful wall tapestry from the courtroom of the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, these people have asked the President to "issue necessary directions to locate the whereabouts of the tapestry and re-place it on the wall - where it belongs - so that the majesty of the court of the Chief Justice of the High Court can be restored".

Among the signatories to the letter are Chandigarh's first Chief Architect M.N. Sharma, former Principal of Chandigarh College of Architecture Aditya Prakash, former Principal of Chandigarh College of Architecture Lt.-Col. I.J.S. Bakshi (retd), Justice S.S.Sodhi, former Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court, former Chief Secretary of Haryana Saroop Krishen, former Chief Secretary of Punjab P.H. Vaishnav, former Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court Justice R.N. Aggarwal (retd), senior advocate Manmohan Lal Sarin, who is also President of Alliance Francaise, advocate Harpreet Singh Giani and advocate Munish Jolly, who is Secretary of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association.

Annexing news reports published by The Tribune on the issue recently, these eminent persons have said that they were "shocked" to learn about the removal of the tapestry, which is priceless, designed by Le Corbusier and made by selected artisans at the time of the construction of the High Court in 1954-55.

The Tribune had first revealed how a huge tapestry designed by Le Corbusier had been removed from the courtroom of Punjab and Haryana High Court Chief Justice Mr Justice B.K. Roy.

The official line on the matter was that Mr Justice Roy had directed that the tapestry be removed as it had lot of dust. Similar tapestries in other courtrooms, incidentally, continue to hang as earlier.

The issue of removal of the tapestry had also been raised by citizens concerned at a presentation-cum-meeting chaired by UT Adviser Lalit Sharma sometime back. In the meeting, some residents had also asked if recent architectural changes in the High Court had the blessings of the Administration. This is not a first-of-its kind incident where tapestries designed by Le Corbusier were removed, never to be put back again.

In 1994, government officials of Chandigarh and Punjab, unmindful of the heritage value of the tapestries, removed a huge tapestry from a wall in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha and sold that tapestry as junk. The tapestry has not been found till date.

Interestingly, while UT officials remained evasive on the fate or location of the tapestry removed from the courtroom of the Chief Justice, The Tribune found that the tapestry was lying in a hall of the Vidhan Sabha, where it was being given some "treatment".

In the letter, the group of eminent citizens has also informed the President that despite efforts made by them, the whereabouts of the tapestry could not be ascertained.

While, the location of the tapestry is now known, there is still no word on whether the tapestry will be hung back from where it was taken down.

Saying that the High Court is due to celebrate its 50 years of existence in January/March 2005, the group has said that it "is indeed sad that only a few months before it reaches the said milestone, it has been "stripped of one of the most valuable, irreplaceable and historic tapestries from Courtroom Number 1". 

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Chandigarh Calling

Burning Brain Society is conducting a poster-making competition on the theme “Ill Effects and Consequences of Tobacco” and has invited entries for from all over the country. According to Ms Jyoti Joshi, media coordinator of the society, one competition segment will be open to people up to 25 years of age and the other is the non-competition segment open to all age groups.

All participants shall be getting participation certificates and the winners shall also be getting cash prizes, besides the trophies. The best posters shall be printed in the form of cards and posters. The last date for submission of entries is September 28. Those desirous of participation can send an e-mail to Ms Joshi at poster@burningbrain.org or visit the website of the society at www.burningbrain.org.

Interactive sessions

The Chandigarh Management Association organised a series of presentations on career opportunities in the television industry at three colleges last week.

Mr Arup Ghosh, head, Sahara Samay Rashtriya, conducted the interactive sessions for the students of DAV College, Sector 10, Government College for Girls, Sector 11, and Government College for Men, Sector 11. Mr Ghosh asked aspiring television anchors to send in their biodatas with photographs to Sahara Samay.

Mr Charanjit Singh, president of the association, stated that 300 students attended these sessions.

Honour for lecturer

The India International Friendship Society, a Delhi-based NGO, honoured Madan Lal Rana (36), a lecturer with the Chandigarh College of Engineering and Technology, with the Rashtriya Gaurav Award for his contribution in the field of education and technology. The award was conferred on him by Mr Sampat Singh, former Haryana minister, at a function organised by the society here recently. The guest of honour was Dr Bheesham Narain Singh, former Governor of Tamil Nadu.

Rana has been born and brought up at Gheori , a sleepy hamlet under Dehra sub-division in Kangra district. The passing away of his parents could not cut short a promising career in the making. Undeterred by the adversities coming his way, Rana obtained a three-year diploma and an AMIE degree in electrical engineering. He pursued a master’s degree in power system in electrical engineering.

A recipient of the best teacher award in 1996, Rana bagged the National Merit Certificate and other awards.

A multifaceted personality

Educationist and Urdu poet B.D. Shaida died in Ambala last week. Winner of the Haryana Urdu Akademi award for two poetry books “Dharkanen” and “Uljhanen", Shaida had authored eight text books on education for BEd students and had six poetry books to his credit.

His poetry books include “Waqt ki awaz”, “Kavishen” and “Dil ki Pukar”. He was honoured by the then Governor of Haryana, Mr Dhanik Lal Mandal, for his services in the field of education and Urdu poetry.

He was instrumental in establishing several educational institutions. He was the founder president of the managing committee of Arya High School, Mullana. He was founder member of Arya Shiksha Samiti, Kurukshetra, and had retired as Assistant Director, Higher Education, Haryana.

Peace march

The Chandigarh branch of Frankfinn Institute of Air Hostess Training organised a peace march on the eve of Independence Day with over 120 of its students and trainers taking part in it. The team spent time with the inmates of the Old Age Home, Sector 15 and children at the Mother Teresa's Home, Sector 23.

Ms Kamal Saini, institute head, said,“Our philosophy is to be able to make a difference to as many lives as possible. I am glad that so many of our students and trainers share this feeling and have come forward to connect with the inmates of these old age homes and Mother Teresa's Home.”

Today's march was an endeavour to expose our students to an opportunity of feeling the pleasure of bringing smiles to those lesser fortunate in life, she added.

The students had brought gifts for the inmates.

Punctuality? What’s that

Politicians, it seems, can never change, no matter what the occasion. Former Human Resource Development Minister Murli Manohar Joshi could not stick to the appointed time for the Independence Day function.

Functions all over the city were held on time with or without the expected guests as in the case of the celebrations at the Congress office. Even though the Mayor and councillors arrived late, the party went ahead with its celebration.

However, at the BJP office in Sector 33 the flag waited for the unfurling ceremony to be performed by the former minister who was late by over 15 minutes.

Students’ woes

The Department of Laws, Panjab University, is virtually in a soup. Paucity of teaching staff is effecting the studies in the department. Students of the department claimed that while declaration of results was a constant cause of worry for them, the problem had been aggravated after the department chose to reduce the options being offered to them.

Among those who were vociferous in their complaints were students of the third and fifth semesters. They claimed that against six options each in at least two papers, they were being offered only two or three options despite the syllabus listing out all. On approaching the department authorities, the students were told that there were no teachers available to teach all options.

The Chairman of the department, however, said there was no such staff problem and that there were not enough interested students opting for the papers. The students contradicted even this, stating that the form given to them at the time of admission did not mention all options.

— Sentinel

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UT to develop Sukhna wildlife sanctuary
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Highlight

  • Dehra Dun based Forest Research Institute will suggest a plan for the Sukhna wildlife sanctuary.
  • They will lay down the wildlife management plan and what needs to be done for the future.
  • Union Ministry of Environment has said this plan is mandatory for release of grants.

Chandigarh, August 15
Aiming at future planning, protection and development of the ecologically fragile Sukhna wildlife sanctuary, located just north east of the Sukhna Lake, the Chandigarh Administration has invited the Dehra Dun-based Forest Research Institute to come up with a wildlife management plan and a forest working plan for the sanctuary.

The sanctuary is home to several wild animals and at least 116 species of birds. It is spread over 26 square kilometres and has another 8 square kilometres of contiguous forest in adjoining Haryana abutting it. It is home to Sambhar, cheetal, wild boar, civet, the pangolin and porcupine besides a handful of leopards, who come here in the winter months. The bird varieties include, peacock, golden oriole and woodpeckers, among others.

The Administration has already paid a fee of Rs 8.50 lakh to the FRI which will send its team for a survey shortly. The FRI has been asked to complete the survey by December 31 and submit a report by March 31 next year, said officials. The plan will be drawn up for the next 10 years and is a mandatory requirement for release of grants from the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests.

The FRI will be suggesting if any shortcoming has been noticed in the management of the sanctuary so far and what is the way out. The survey will also observe the remedial measures like civil works and soil conservation efforts in the sanctuary through afforestation. A vast variety of local trees have been planted. It will be like an evaluation of work done in the past three to four decades.

The Administration will also be showing the survey team its concept of eco tourism. In the winter months, groups of people are allowed to go on treks and explore nature. Since this is a sanctuary no commercial exploitation of trees is allowed. Deputy Conservator of Forests Ishwar Singh says: “We allow only eco tourism and that too is strictly regulated. Keeping in mind the fragility of the area a fixed number of people are allowed for treks.”

The history of the sanctuary is unique in itself. Land just north east of the lake was acquired in 1962 for soil conservation measures as huge amounts of silt had eaten into 50 per cent of the lake’s original area by then. The lower Shivaliks are very fragile and prone to erosion. Most of the area was then under some sort of cultivation while trees were being felled for fuel.

The Forest Department started its work for conserve soil. This included building of check dams and planting of trees. Slowly on seeing an assured water source and a safe place, animals from surrounding areas moved in. None of the animals have been brought in from anywhere says, Mr Ishwar Singh. They have migrated in from other areas.

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Public indifferent to verification drive: SSP
Tribune News Service

Cops on VIP duty recalled

The SSP, Ropar today stated that over 25 police personnel on duty with VIPs in Ropar had been recalled and added to the regular force. Over 250 such policemen serving VIPs would be brought back to regular policing duties, he said.

Mohali, August 16
The police will register all temporary workers serving in the township as part of its stranger roll verification campaign. This was stated by the SSP Ropar, Mr Surinder Pal Singh, at a press conference today.

Pointing out that the verification of industrial workers, domestic helpers and migratory labour was essential to prevent crime in the township, the SSP said the police would issue identity cards to those workers who had been verified and registered. The registration process will cost Rs 40 per head. A similar process is on at Bathinda,” he added.

The SSP said despite repeated requests made during public meetings and through the press, local residents had not come forward to give details of their workers. “They have failed to cooperate with us and that is one reason why the police has been unable to nab petty thieves. The key to preventing petty crime is to ensure that the police has all information about whom the residents have employed,” he said adding that migratory labourers were mainly responsible for petty thefts.

The SSP said the registration of workers would be undertaken at the community policing extension counter that was being opened at the SP’s office in Phase IV. “We will start a community policing service centre at Ropar and its extension counter will be opened in Mohali. Residents who have to works like passport verification, weapons licenses can now get it done at Mohali instead of coming all the way to Ropar,” he said adding that the two counters would be connected through computers.

The SSP was talking to mediapersons after flagging off four new patrolling motorcycles donated by Quark Media House to the police. These would be used by for patrolling duty in the industrial areas. With this the total number of motor cycles with the Mohali police is now 22. 

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Meeting on land exchange schemes tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 16
A high-powered meeting chaired by the Chief Secretary, Punjab, will be held on August 18 to discuss land pooling and land exchange schemes. Implementation of these schemes is being demanded by farmers agitating against the acquisition of land by the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA).

The meeting would be attended by the Finance Commissioner Punjab, the Principal Secretary, Agriculture, the Principal Secretary, Local Government, the Secretary Town Planning, the Secretary, PWD (B&R), and the Director, Land Records, Punjab among others.

According to the OSD to the Chief Minister, the meeting has been scheduled on the insistence of the Chief Minister who wants an early end to the farmers’ agitation. She said the land pooling and land exchange schemes would be discussed by those attending the meeting.

Landholders of 10 villages in Chandigarh’s periphery are agitating for the past six months against the acquisition of their land in exchange of cash remuneration. The farmers demand a share in the land development process of PUDA.

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Power generation top priority, says UHBVN chief
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 16
The Government of India has given top priority to power generation. Clear provisions have been made in the Electricity Act, 2003, for delicencing power generation and for competition among generators to produce cheap power. This was stated by the Managing Director of Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN), Ms Jyoti Arora, while inaugurating a training camp for new assistant engineers today. She said the terms and conditions for power producers had been liberalised and any person/industry can now set up a power generating plant, except a hydel power plant, with least formalities.

She said the annual turnover of the UHBVN was about Rs 2,200 crore. It was catering to 20 lakh consumers of 11 districts through 15,300 employees.

Mr S.K. Dewan, Director (Operations), Mr Rajesh Khandelwal, Company Secretary, Mr V.K. Goel, Superintending Engineer, and Mr A.K. Prashar, Executive Engineer, gave a detailed information of organisational set up and power system operation to the trainees.

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Forms rejected for no fault, say job-seekers
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 16
Hundreds of youth from all parts of the state today converged at Tau Devi Lal Sports Complex to appear for the recruitment process of 84 wireless operators of the Haryana State Industrial Security Force.

Many youth who had come here to participate in the recruitment process alleged that their forms were being rejected for no fault of theirs. They said the newspaper advertisement for the posts had merely mentioned that knowledge of computers was must for the applicants.

However, when they came here, they were told that the pre-requisite for applying was to have a six months’ diploma in computer application.

The Superintendent of Police, Panchkula, Ms Mamta Singh, when contacted said the advertisement published in a Hindi daily had not mentioned the criteria for six months’ knowledge of computer education. However, this was mentioned on the forms and in advertisements published in English dailies. She also informed that the physical examination tests would begin tomorrow. As many as 1057 applications have been received for 84 posts. While 68 of these posts have been reserved for males, 16 have been reserved for females.

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Fauji Beat
Suicide attacks shouldn’t make us jittery

The CRPF deployment in the counter-insurgency operations in Jammu & Kashmir, which were to start on October 30, have been put on hold. Why? Because of a spate of suicide attacks on the CRPF camps. In an emergency meeting on August 6, Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil asked all the security agencies and the Intelligence Bureau to suggest ways to counter suicide attacks. Based on their reports, Mr Patil said a comprehensive policy would be chalked out for countering these attacks.

The Fifth Pay Commission had made a recommendation that the Rashtriya Rifles (RR) battalions, because of having Army manpower, should be disbanded and the internal security, which is the responsibility of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), should be given to the CRPF. The Pay Commission had also said that the Army should be used for the internal security duties “very rarely”.

Who does not know that the answer to the suicide attacks is to be more vigilant, besides adopting all the preventive measures? What magic solution is Mr Patil expecting from the security forces? Rather than becoming jittery after a few Fidayeen attacks on the CRPF camps, the higher commanders of this force should be firmly told to take all the preventive measures. The Army, including the RR, has also faced any number of such attacks and has suffered many casualties. Imagine the fate of this country if the Army deployment is also put on hold.

A masterly ambush: In a recent operation in Kargil sector, 16 Jat trapped a group of five terrorists, who were attempting to infiltrate across the LoC. Based on the intelligence inputs from the formation headquarters, the battalion sited a few ambushes along the likely ingress routes. On noticing the movement of terrorists, one of the ambush parties waited till they reached the killing ground where two of them were shot down. The other ultras crawled behind the rocks and started opening fire on our troops.

On the break of dawn, they started bringing effective fire on our ambush party. This was the time when the Commanding Officer (CO), Col Pradeep Narayanan, with his quick reaction team and some reinforcements under his second-in command reached this area. It was then that the daring action of Naik Ishwar Singh of the Ghatak platoon wiped out all the ultras. In total disregard to his own safety, he crawled behind the terrorists and killed them all. Thus was killed the entire group of infiltrating terrorists in this masterly ambush. On search of the area, the 16 Jat party recovered a sizeable haul of arms and ammunition and other stores.

Army develops a remote area: The Army post at Navapachi in Kishtwar tehsil of Doda district is maintained by air because of the non-existence of any roads in this area. The area lacks even the basic facilities such as water supply, electricity, hospital and school.

Headquarters Northern Command has planned to develop this area as part of “Operation Sadbhavana”. Under “Project Ujala”, facilities will be provided to Navapachi and four surrounding villages in this area. The facilities include provision of water supply and electricity at a limited scale by installing generators. Besides, a shopping centre, an eight-bed hospital, a vocational training centre, basketball and volleyball grounds are under construction. A community hall for recreation has also been built at village Herchanjar. In addition, repair of two school buildings has been taken in hand.

What has come as a boon to the villagers is construction of a footbridge across Maran river. About 850 solar lamps have also been distributed among the villagers. For this project, Rs 2 crore has been provided from the National Development Fund.

Pritam Bhullar

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Councillors were invited to I-Day function: DC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 16
The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Arun Kumar, today said he had duly sent invitation cards for the Independence Day function to Municipal Councillors and the same had been received at the Mayor’s office. The DC office claimed that it had the receipt for the same. The cards were sent at least five days in advance.

A few councillors of the Municipal Corporation boycotted the “At Home” function of the UT Administrator, Justice O.P. Verma, at Punjab Raj Bhavan last evening, as they were not invited for the Independence Day function at the Parade Grounds.

The DC said as per practice the cards were sent with a letter to the Mayor for further distribution among councillors. In addition to this, four councillors who figured in the list of prominent citizens were separately sent invites.

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Shortage of ration card booklets
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 16
The local office of the Department of Food and Supplies has been facing a shortage of new booklets for making ration cards. These have been out of stock for the past more than seven months.

The shortage had been brought to the notice of the higher authorities a number of time but no action had been  taken so far.

Local officials are now using photo copies of the first page of a ration card and fixing it on the copies of old ration cards for issuing new ones.

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Xen, SDO found absent by CM’s squad
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 16
Executive Engineer of the Public Works Department, Nihal Singh, SDO Joge Ram and SDE Harwinder Kaur were among the 18 employees found absent from duty during a surprise raid conducted by the Chief Minister’s flying squad at the PWD office, near Old Ghaggar bridge this morning.

The squad later swooped down on the Seed Development Corporation building in Sector 2, and found 13 employees absent from duty.

A raid was also conducted on the office of Warehousing Corporation, and the Legal Adviser, Ms Swati Kumar was reportedly found absent from duty. 

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Three city residents booked for fraud
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 16
The local police has arrested two persons from Chandigarh on charges of cheating a Bathinda resident of Rs 3 lakh. The accused, Amarjeet Singh, Ajay Oberoi and Rajan Kansal, involved in supplying packed eatables to shops in Chandigarh, allegedly duped Mr Amandeep Garg of Rs 3 lakh that he paid as advance to purchase the eatables.

According to the police, the accused supplied packed jams, pickles and sauces to Mr Garg and took Rs 3 lakh as cost. However, Mr Garg could not sell the material and insisted on returning it.

However, the suppliers refused to take the material back. The stock expired and Mr Garg contacted the police to book the suppliers. According to the police, the case has been registered in Mohali as the deal took place here.

However, sources said the police had acted in a hurry to book the three since the deal that had been struck by the suppliers with Mr Garg was valid.

The three have been booked under Sections 420, 406, 464, 465, 467, 468, 471 and 120 B of the IPC. While Amarjeet and Rajan are under arrest, Ajay Oberoi is yet to be arrested.

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3 gamblers held
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 16
The police arrested three persons for gambling at public places yesterday.
Shri Ram of Darwa village was arrested from near his shop in the same locality. Sushil Kumar was arrested from Singla turn, Ram Darbar. Kuldeep Singh was arrested from Booth Market, Maloya. The police has confiscated Rs 170, Rs 844 and Rs 150, respectively from their possession.

Cases has been registered against them under the Gambling Act.

Smack seized: The Crime Branch of the police has arrested Sunil Kumar of Janata Colony, Sector 25, and seized 2 grams of smack from his possession, yesterday. A case has been registered.

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Two vehicles stolen
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 16
The local police has registered two vehicle theft cases, according to a press note today. Sumit Khanna, a resident of Sector 44, reported that his car (CHK 3030) was stolen on August 10 from his residence. In another incident, Mohan Lal of Sector 27 reported that his Bajaj Chetak scooter (CH-03-H-0413) was stolen from his residence on August 11.

Two injured: Mohamad Rafeeq and Rehan of Burail village, who were riding a bicycle, were hit by a truck (PB-10-BB-2322) driven by Charanjit Singh near Sector 36 on Sunday. The injured were admitted to the Sector 16 General Hospital. 

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Bank directed to refund FDR of guarantor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 16
The Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum-I has directed Punjab and Sind Bank to refund a Rs 1 lakh fixed deposit receipt (FDR) of Mr Tejinder Singh, a resident of Sector 47, who had stood as a guarantor for a loanee.

In their order, Mr N.S. Ahlawat, Chairman, and Dr Girish Jaswal and Ms Jasbir Kaur, members, ordered that the FDR should be returned with interest applicable till the date of payment by treating it renewed from time to time. The bank cannot withhold the FDR of a guarantor, they ruled.

Mr Amrik Singh, a resident of Ramgarh Sainia village in Fatehgarh district, was granted a car loan of Rs 2.48 lakh at the interest rate of 17.5 per cent by the Chanaloan (Kurali) branch of the bank on December 23, 1997. Mr Tejinder Singh and loanee’s wife, Ms Baljit Kaur, stood as sureties for the loan, which was to be paid through monthly installments of Rs 4,800.

However, as Mr Amrik Singh defaulted on repayment, the loan was declared as non-productive assets (NPA) account. Mr Tejinder Singh offered to make a payment of Rs 2.5 lakh as final settlement of the loan amount if the case of the loanee was settled under the NPA scheme.

As a pre-condition for treating the case under the NPA scheme, the bank asked Mr Tejinder Singh to deposit the FDR in 2001. Mr Tejinder Singh alleged that the bank was neither returning the FDR nor settling the loan under the NPA scheme. The bank wanted to adjust the FDR amount of Rs 1 lakh against some other loan, the complainant alleged.

It was alleged that the bank was unnecessarily harassing the complainant, Mr Amrik Singh and Ms Baljit Kaur, by threatening to proceed against them under various provisions of law. Thus, the bank had not rendered proper services resulting in mental and physical harassment to the complainant.

After hearing the counsels for both parties, the forum ruled that the bank could not withhold the FDR, as the loan was taken in 1997 and the FDR deposited in 2001.

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Computer maker to set up centre in Mohali
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 16
A computer manufacturer, Dell, is opening its centre here shortly. The company would establish its international customer support centre on five acres of land in Quark’s Information Technology park here.

While the Quark Media House executive director, Mr Parminder Sehgal, today confirmed that they had managed to rope in two multinational giants to set up their units in its IT park here, he refused to give their names stating that they had signed a non-disclosure clause with them. However, sources told The Tribune that Dell would start its four-storey call centre here in the next five months. The centre is expected to cater to millions of customers from across the world.

The centre is being constructed on over 6,500 sq mts of land in the 44-acre park in Industrial Area, Phase VIII B. The 25-crore project has been undertaken by a Mumbai-based developer.

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Investors sore with Small Savings working
Bipin Bhardwaj

Chandigarh, August 16
The functioning of Small Savings, Punjab, has come under a cloud following denial of chance to scores of investors to participate in a lucky draw held at Bathinda on August 12.While coupons of a majority of persons with eight digits were included in the draw of lots, those with seven digits were allegedly taken for a ride by the department.

According to information, persons who invested in the 26th lucky coupon scheme (October 1, 2003 to March 31, 2004) were issued a coupon for a saving of Rs 5,000 each. The department held a draw for the particular scheme on August 12 at Bathinda and published the results in leading newspapers on August 14. Interestingly, the numbers of every coupon considered by the department for the lucky draw were in eight digits.

This not only confused the investors, but also raised suspicion on the working of the Small Savings Department.

Mr Megh Raj, Director, Small Savings, Punjab, said the department had already issued a public notice in newspapers to clear the confusion.

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