C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


As poll nears, adversaries turn allies
Neelam Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 16
Old adversaries have turned allies and the mutual differences seem to have vanished. In a twist to Panjab University student politics, the joint panel announced by a newly formed alliance today only followed the old trend of last-minute party tie-ups to grab the Student Council posts.

The Students Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU) joined hands for the first time with the Haryana Students Association (HSA). The Himachal Pradesh Students Union (HPSU) and the National Students Union of India (NSUI) also joined the alliance for the council elections on September 24.

Rajwinder Singh Raju is their presidential candidate, Kanika Chauhan is for the post of vice-president, Vikas Rathee for general secretary and Gurmukh Singh will contest for the post of joint secretary. The alliance’s main agenda is to defeat the ruling party, Panjab University students Union (PUSU), which has been in power for the past two years.

Chand Singh Madaan, a senior leader of the HAS, however, made it clear that the condition of the alliance was agreement on the next year’s presidential candidate. “The alliance will continue next year if the HSA fields its own presidential candidate next year,” he said, adding the rider that the decision would be based on the performance of the candidates.

On the other front, the ABVP has already joined hands with the PUSU (Shellay) group by fielding Gurparvez Singh Sandhu as their presidential candidate. The two parties had fought as rivals in last year’s elections and had finished behind PUSU and SOPU candidates.

“While last year was an unprecedented five-cornered contest, where the parties fought the elections on their own, this year candidates are more cautious and want to fight jointly,” observed a senior student leader.



Power cut time halved
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 16
The two-hour power cut has been reduced to one hour following the Chandigarh Administration purchasing power through power trading companies and getting an increased allocation of power from the Union Power Ministry.

Staggered weekly off days and peak load restrictions on industrial consumers in Industrial Area Phase I and Phase II would continue. The new power cut schedule is:

9 am to 10 am: Bapu Dham, Grain Market, part of Sector 7-B and C, part of 27, 28, part of 19, Sector 22-C & D, part of 20, Sector 15-A, B & C.

10 am to 11 am: Sector 1, part of Sector 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7-A & B, 8-A, B & C, 9-A, B & C, 10-A & B, Sector 47, 31, part of 30, 29-C & D, Sector 27, 33, 46, 48, 45, 34, part of Ram Darbar, village Hallo Majra, village Kaimbwala.

11 am to 12 noon: Sector 39, 24, 40, village Maloya, Maloya Colony, Sector 56, 38 West, part of 37, part of 38, Sector 23-A & B, Dadu Majra, Dadu Majra Colony, IMT (39).

12 noon to 1 pm: Part of Ram Darbar, village Darua, village Behlana, part of 30, 37, 36 D, part of 40, 41.

1 pm to 2 pm: Sector 11, 10-B, C & D, 9-C, part of Sector 2, 16, part of 25, 14 (PU), village Dhanas, Khuda Lahora, Khuda Jassu, Sarangpur, PGI Colony, PEC (12), Aman Colony, Sector 15-D.

2 pm to 3 pm: Part of 17, 22-C, part of 16, Sector 29-A & B, Colony No. 4, Raipur Khurd, Makhan Majra, Sector 26.

3 pm to 4 pm: Sector 8-C, 9-C, 18, part of 19, part of 17, 20, 34, 32, 43, part of 21, village Mouli, Colony Mouli Jagran, village Raipur Kalan, Bhagwanpura, IT park.

4 pm to 5 pm: Mani Majra City, Kishangarh, Shivalik Enclave, Sector 34-C & D, part of 34 City Centre, Sector 35-A, B & C, 20-A & C, 33-A & C, 45-A, MHC, 23-A, C & D.

5 pm to 6 pm: Sector 42, 52, 61, 41, 22-A, 44-C & D, 43, part of 45, 36-C, part of 46, 44-A, 35-D, part of 32.



Paid parking: markets to be studied
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 16
The introduction of paid parking in the markets of Sectors 34, 35 and 22 was deferred by the House at the monthly meeting of the municipal corporation today.

The House was of the opinion that structural problems in the markets should be examined and the area councillor involved in the entire exercise before a decision was taken in this regard. Congress councillors Pardeep Chhabra and Subhash Chawla said the system of limited auction should be introduced to manage the parking areas. In limited auctions, a few contractors are short-listed and bids invited.

While passing an item regarding the construction of a sewage treatment plant of 15 million gallons per day capacity, the House felt that the use of the tertiary water system for watering lawns and green belts in the city should be strengthened.

Overruling the judgment of the High Court and Supreme Court with regard to exempting Pracheen Shiv Mandir and the samadhi of Baba Sidh Nath in Mani Majra from the acquisition of land, the House gave the go-ahead to sending a fresh request to the UT Administration for the purpose.

In discussions that lasted for over an hour, BJP councillor Kamla Sharma said a committee should be formed to enable the House to understand the ground reality of the area and how much land was needed to be exempted.

The administration would also be requested to exempt built-up houses from acquisition in Pocket No. 2, 9 and 11 of Mani Majra. This was decided even though the administration has already rejected a resolution of the MC on this issue. It has issued a show-cause notice to the MC, asking why it should not be annulled.

It was decided to stall the demolition of illegal cantilevers in Mauli Jagran, Vikas Nagar, and Sectors 52 and 53 after councillors pointed out that the Chandigarh Housing Board had allowed cantilevers up to 3 feet.

The House fixed the reserve price of Circus Ground, Sector 17, at Rs 3 lakh while the price of the Exhibition Ground, Sector 34, was fixed at Rs 4 lakh for the Divali mela. The House decided not to hold the mela in Nehru Park, Sector 22, on the proposal of Mr Pradeep Chhabra.

The Medical Officer, Health, was directed to prepare a comprehensive report on restructuring the entire sanitation scheme of the city.

The reserve price of a hostel site in Sector 35, fixed at Rs 48 crore, was also passed.



Newly wed woman commits suicide, husband held
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 16
A 22-year-old woman committed suicide by hanging after she was allegedly “tortured by her husband, his mother and two siblings for dowry”. She had been married for six months.

Suman Devi allegedly hanged herself from the ceiling fan in her first-floor room in Sector 19 last night. Her husband, Anil Kumar, an assistant in the Haryana Vidyut Prasaran Nigam, went to the room to call her for preparing dinner, and found her hanging.

Anil Kumar and his mother Savitri Devi were the only ones present in the house. Anil’s younger brother, Sunil, was away to a gymnasium that he runs in Sector 20 and sister Sarla had gone for her coaching class. When Anil saw the body hanging, he called his mother and they saw that she was dead. They called some neighbours and the area municipal councillor, Mr Om Prakash. The latter informed the police late in the night.

The victim’s brother, Somveer, informed Chandigarh Tribune that his sister was often ridiculed by her husband and in-laws for bringing “insufficient dowry”. “Suman was married to Anil Kumar on March 10 this year. She stayed with her in-laws for a month before returning to her parents in Delhi to take her BA II examinations. It was after she returned here that they started ridiculing her for coming from a poor family and made frequent demands for a motor cycle and cash,” he alleged.

Suman’s maternal uncle, Raghbir Singh, said her father had died several years ago and the family had limited means. “Somveer tried to pacify them, saying he would pay for the motorcycle once he got a job. Even when he came here to give sweets and gifts on Teej, he was not allowed to enter the house,” he alleged.

On the other hand, Savitri Devi, Anil Kumar’s mother, denied the charges. “Suman wanted to go to her mother’s house and was insisting that Anil accompany her. He refused, saying that he could not get leave from office, and offered that Sunil would take her to Delhi. She got angry and shut herself in her room. Later, we found her hanging.”

Meanwhile, a team of forensic experts led by Dr G. R. Jain, visited the scene of crime and collected evidence from the spot.

The team reportedly told the police that prima facie they did not suspect any foul play and it was a case of suicide.

The police have registered a case of dowry death against Anil Kumar, Sunil, Savitri Devi and Sarla and booked them under Section 304-B of the IPC. Anil Kumar was later arrested by the police.



Punwire sale to be advertised again
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 16
The Punjab Wireless Limited (Punwire) has failed to bring in any serious bidders to buy it. The assets of company, wholly owned by the Punjab State Industrial Development Corporation, was put up for sale on June 25, but would be advertised for sale once again to attract better offers.

Sources said the official liquidator of the company, Mr B.K.N Srivastva, deployed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court, would invite fresh bids for its assets that are expected to fetch at least Rs 40 crore. The sources added that in response to the July 25 advertisement, while some persons had come forward to buy the building and its machinery, no one filed any bid for other assets of Punwire. The official liquidator had fixed July 26 as the last date for their receipt. He would also be filing a report of the various bids received before the court.

The advertisement had listed various moveable and immovable assets of the company in Mohali and Mumbai along with their reserved price. Over 20 responses were received for the smaller items up for sale, but only two parties had shown interest in buying the unit. Lying closed for the past five years, the once blue chip company worth Rs 500 crore, owes over Rs 600 crore to its various creditors.



Cable operators plan to meet DTH challenge
A. S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 16
The imminent launch of direct-to-home (DTH) broadcast service by Doordarshan , “DD Direct +”, has created a stir among cable operators of the region and forced them to initiate urgent measures to meet the coming challenge.

As Mr Naresh Mittal, “Citi Cable Opera” operator of Patiala says: “We have to improve and upgrade our service if want to survive in the face of the onslaught of DTH . Otherwise, we will perish...”

Most of them have started working on elaborate plans to completely switch over from analogue to digital system for TV signal distribution network besides installing new equipment to digitize the signal. Large parts of the major cities in the region, including Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Patiala and Shimla, have already been covered by optical fibre cables.

In Chandigarh too, work on laying optical fibre cables in several parts of the city has begun and is expected to be completed by the end of next month at a cost of Rs 30 lakh.

Most of the cable operators are, however, banking on the hope that DD “Direct+” will not be able to match the quality and content of programmes being offered by pay channels.

“The channels to be offered by DD Direct+ would be free to air.”, says Mr Sandeep Bansal, Managing Director of Citi Cable. “Our experience is that there is not much demand for them. People want quality programmes only which are being offered by channels like Star TV, Sony, Zee and the like.

As far as the superior quality of pictures and sound being offered by “DD Direct +” was concerned, matching quality could be delivered through cable networks too by switching over from analogue to optical fibre cables and digitising the TV signals by installing transmodulators..

Mr Sandeep Bansal, Managing Director, Siti Cable, Chandigarh, does not think that DD will pose much of a challenge to existing cable operators because it will be beaming only the free-to-air channels which are, in any case, already available to the people through terrestrial transmitters and cable networks.

The problem will arise only if ‘DD Direct+ ‘ is able to tie up with other TV channels and starts offering them as a part of its bouquet.

In DTH, not only all is eliminated, but DVD quality pictures and crystal clear stereophonic sound is also ensured.

Therefore, we are preparing to meet the DTH challenge by improving and upgrading our system and increasing the number of channels”, says Mr Bansal.

Mr Sarbjit Singh, a leading cable operator of Jalandhar, says that “in order to meet the challenge, we are increasing the number of channels from 67 to 75 channels. DD Direct+ will never be able to match the variety we are offering”.



Bhutani new Colonel Commandant
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 16
Brigadier Virender Kumar Bhutani assumed the appointment of Colonel Commandant of the Corps of Military Intelligence today. Presently posted at Headquarters Western Command, he takes over the responsibility from Brig Dalip Kapur who has retired.

Commissioned into the Fifth battalion of Jammu and Kashmir Rifles in September, 1970, Brigadier Bhutani took part in the 1971 Indo-Pak war in the Samba Sector.

A graduate of the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, he has held several important intelligence related assignments at Army Headquarters. He has also served with distinction in insurgency affected areas of Jammu and Kashmir and the north-east.

A recipient of the Chief of Army Staff’s Commendation in 1997 and the GOC-in-C Northern Command’s Commendation in 1999, Brigadier Bhutani was awarded the Vishisht Seva Medal in January, 2004.



Book on military dentistry released
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 16
A unique book on military dentistry, which not only describes the genesis growth and treatment strategies of military dentistry in India but also provides a glimpse of dental services of major armies across the globe, has been brought out by an army officer hailing from Chandigarh.

The book "Military Dentistry : Terrain, Trends and Training", authored by Major-Gen Paramjit Singh, presently serving as the Additional Director-General, Dental Services, at army Headquarters and Brig Vimal Arora, Command Dental Advisor, Northern Command, was released in New Delhi last week.

The 260-page, 48-chapter book is profusely illustrated with photographs of dental units, clinical pictures and charts. Divided into two sections, the first part of the book is devoted to military dental organisations in India and 13 other countries, including the United States, Britain, Australia, Canada, Japan, Germany and a few third world countries.

Interestingly, this section also contains papers written by senior foreign officers about their respective organisations.

The second section is India-specific and contains information pertaining to organisation and personnel, dental services, specialised care, research and development, infection control and waste management.

Two separate chapters are devoted to the care of veterans and includes topics such as resettlement of war veterans and the recently launched Ex-servicemen's Contributory Health Scheme.

Apart from covering administrative issues, training and personnel matters, the book also provides a comprehensive insight into the modalities and management of maxillofacial injuries sustained in combat and counter insurgency operations.

According to Army Dental Corps officers here, this is the first book on facets of military dentistry to be brought out by serving officers.

The only other book on this topic to be written by an Indian officer was authored by a retired major general four years ago.



Hiring? Inform police
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 16
Those seeking jobs in petty or non-formal trades and services or providing contract services will have to provide their particulars and passport-size photographs to the police.

The employers and other residents of the city who engage contract labour or workers on daily wages for petty services are also bound to provide information regarding them to the SHO of the area.

This was announced here today by the District Magistrate, Mr Arun Kumar, while notifying Section 144 of the CrPC till November 10, 2004.



Muslim women’s attackers get villagers’ support
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Dera Bassi, September 16
The alleged assault on two women of the minority community at Haripur Hinduan village, near here, took a new turn today, with villagers refuting the allegations and demanding the withdrawal ‘false and fabricated’ cases against five persons of the village. Terming the allegations of the ‘victimisation’ of the members of the minority community as the ‘handiwork of vested interests to disturb communal harmony in the village’, the villagers urged the Punjab DGP to order a high-level inquiry into the issue.

The residents blamed the local police for the incident, saying had the police acted on time, the situation could not have come to such a pass.

On September 9, the villagers, in a representation to the Dera Bassi SHO, apprehended breach of peace. They said nothing was done, with the result that the September 12 incident took place.

“Both communities had been living in harmony for the past over 150 years. The Muslim family’s allegations about the assault is far from the truth,” said Mr Madan Lal, a former sarpanch. Tracing the circumstances under which entrances of several houses had been closed for constructing the boundary wall of a ‘guga mari’, Mr Mangat Ram said this had been done to develop a compound for community functions. Only the Muslim family had objected to blocking of their entrance, he claimed.

Ms Geetanjali Gujjar, member of the Dera Bassi block samiti, claimed that a compromise was reached between the two parties in the presence of the Patiala SP(D) yesterday. Ms Roshni, one of the women allegedly assaulted, denied that any compromise had been reached.

Col Ajit Singh (retd), one of the persons booked, claimed that he was not present on the spot when the incident occurred. The village, though predominantly having a Hindu population, had a tradition of communal harmony and no harm had been caused to Muslims during Partition, he asserted. A Muslim woman, Ms Bashira, corroborated his contention, saying Hindus and Muslims had been living in harmony.



“It was a moment of madness”
Bipin Bhardwaj

Dera Bassi, September 16
Sarita Devi, who killed two of her four daughters and dumped the bodies in a pond in Mubarikpur village yesterday, today said that she had turned “mad for a moment” due to the daily quarrels with her husband and that led to the gruesome act.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune at Dera Bassi police station, Sarita Devi, however, denied any harassment by her husband, Sipahi Lal, over the fact that she did not have a son. There was never a fight over this issue, she added.

Her husband had got her admitted to Government Medical College and Hospital in Sector 16, Chandigarh, for the delivery of their youngest daughter, Pooja, in January. The eight-month-old Pooja was one of the two daughters killed by Sarita.

“The family has had a string of misfortunes over the past few months and quarrels had worsened the situation. We had to shift to Mubarikpur village after the Chandigarh Administration demolished our hutment in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Colony in Sector 49. Poor earnings of Sipahi Lal also added to the misery,” said Sarita Devi. She also claimed that a problem in her ears had made her hard of hearing.

“I have realised my sin, but now it is too late, and I do not want to live any more. It would have been better if I could have died along with them. Now I have come to know that I would be hanged to death,” she said, bringing forth the turmoil in her mind.

Meanwhile, the bodies of the girls killed, Anisha and Pooja, were today referred to the District Hospital, Patiala, as post-mortem could not be conducted at the Civil Hospital, Rajpura.

When contacted, Mr Manmohan Kumar Sharma, DSP, Dera Bassi, said the police was working on various theories to know the circumstances that forced Sarita Devi to commit the double murder. He said a woman constable had been assigned the task of questioning her.



Marriage palaces and guest houses get notices
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 16
The Municipal Council has issued notices to various marriage palaces and guest houses in the town to find out whether these were running legally or in violation of the rules.

The notices were issued to at least nine persons some of whom were running marriage palaces in industrial units that had been closed down. While six notices were issued on September 8, three were issued on September 14.

The notice says that marriage palaces and guest houses were being run in different areas of the town. As such the persons concerned were directed to present themselves at the council office by September 20 along with documents showing that permission had been granted to run the establishments. A report in this regard was to be sent to the government.

Notices were issued to Dara Studio, Phase VI, C-111, Industrial Area, Phase VII, WWICS (A-12), Jotji (B-49), Celebrations, Ground Pangam, (A-18) all four in Industrial Area, Phase VI, on September 8. Notices were issued to Chandigarh View Banquets (SCF 80-82), Phase II, Banquet Hall (SCF-7) Phase, V, and Bawa White House, Phase IX Industrial Area, on September 14. None of them have approached the council office with the required documents so far.

The council had decided at its meeting held on July 29 to issue such notices as it was felt that unauthorised marriage palaces were running in industrial units that had been closed down.

It was said that the government had so far made no policy to change the land use in this regard which could be done after getting no-objection certificate from the civic body.

The House had said that the marriage palaces had become a source of nuisance for the council. The staff had to lift the waste left in the open after every function even when no payment, of any kind, was made by the establishments to the civic body.



Muddy water in Sec 21-D
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 16
Residents of Sector 21-D have been receiving muddy water for the past several days.

In a representation to the Superintending Engineer of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh, Mr Rajiv Gupta, a resident, alleged that the mud was clearly visible at the bottom of a bucket filled with water.

He said he had been talking to the officials concerned from time to time, but to no avail. 



Abandoned child found
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 16
A two-year-old sick male child was found near the roundabout between Sectors 44 and 51 here this morning.

The police received a phone call at 6.30 a.m. that a child was lying at the roundabout unattended. The police went to the spot and found the child lying on a sheet with a bottle of milk. The child was taken to General Hospital, Sector 16.

Doctors said the child was suffering from a skin disorder as there were rashes on his skin. They advised the police to keep the child in isolation as it could be a communicable disease. They further diagnosed the child with a growth disorder as the child appeared to be younger than his age.

The police deployed a woman constable at the hospital for security. Several families approached the SDM to adopt the child.



Magazine released
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 16
The Punjab Governor and Administrator, Union Territory, Chandigarh, Justice O.P. Verma (retd.) on Wednesday released a special issue of Punjab Today, a monthly magazine published from Patiala.

Kanwar Manjit Singh, Editor of the magazine, informed the Governor that this special issue was a humble tribute to the spiritual message of Guru Granth Sahib.



Three burglaries in Mansa Devi Complex
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 16
Cash and goods worth over Rs 1 lakh were stolen from house in group housing societies in the Mansa Devi Complex here today. The burglaries were struck between 10.30 am and 1 pm, when all occupants were away and the doors locked. An amount of Rs 1,500 was stolen from the house of Mr Pawan Kumar in Group Housing Society III, Swastik Vihar. An amount of Rs 50,000 was stolen from the house of Mr Sandeep Chauhan in AWHO Society. Another burglary was reported in the AWHO Society, from the house of Mr Ashok Kalia. An amount of Rs 15,000, jewellery and one mobile phone were stolen.

Morning walker hurt: A morning walker was seriously injured after she was hit by a speeding car on the Sector 9 and 10 dividing road this morning.

Ms Santosh Mittal, a resident of Sector 16, was seriously injured after she was hit by a white Maruti car. She was rushed to the General Hospital, and is stated to be out of danger.

Arrested: The police has arrested Prem Sagar, a truck driver, who had hit a person near village Bataur a few days back, and injured him. He was produced before a local court and remanded in judicial custody.

Remand extended: A local court today extended the remand of Mukesh Sharma by three days. His two days police remand ended today. He has been accused by his wife, Neeraj, of harassing her for dowry, and forcing her to abort her baby. The police sought an extension of his remand on the plea that they had not been able to get evidence.


Three held: Three persons were arrested here today on charges of indulging in speculation. They were arrested during a special drive. The accused, Ishwar Chand, Pankaj Gupta and Mantosh, were arrested from Phase I lottery stands. They were selling lottery numbers without selling the tickets.

Three injured: Three persons were injured in an accident that took place at Industrial Area, Phase VII, on Thursday. A car occupied by four persons was hit by a truck coming from the opposite side near the ESI Hospital. The injured have been identified as Karamjit Kaur (39), Paramjit Kaur (47), Kaka (22) and Jagtar Singh. The car was going to Maloya from Chandigarh. The injured were admitted to the Phase VI Civil Hospital.

Vehicles challaned: More than 50 vehicles were challaned in the town on Thursday in a special drive that continued till the night.



Shopkeeper stabbed by customers
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 16
Mr Chirag Aggarwal, a resident of Sector 49, complained to the police that Mr Vivek Bhatia and Mr Jarnail Singh, residents of the same sector, assaulted him at his shop last night.

According to the police, Mr Aggarwal runs a department store in Sector 49. He alleged that the two had come to his shop about 9.30 pm in a drunken state. They had not paid him for purchases made some time back, he added. When he asked them to pay up, they started beating him, he said, and alleged that he was also stabbed. He was admitted in GMCH-32.

Mr Aggarwal alleged that a policeman, who was on duty, also roughed him up.

The SHO of Sector 34 police station, Mr Ajaib Singh Somal, said the policeman had only intervened to defuse the situation and was not party to the attack.

The two attackers were arrested and released on bail. They have been booked under Sections 323, 324 and 34 of the IPC at Sector 34 police station.

Shop burgled: Mr Major Singh, a resident of Sector 20, filed a complaint of burglary at his shop in Mauli Jagran on Wednesday.

He reported that the thieves took away a TV and Rs 1,200 on September 14 night. A case of theft has been registered under Sections 457 and 380 of the IPC at Mani Majra police station.

Gambling: The city police arrested Jang Lal and Kamal Saha for gambling at a public place in Darwa, Chandigarh, on Wednesday. An amount of Rs 165 was seized from them and they were booked under Sections 13, 3 and 67 of the Gambling Act at Industrial Area police station.

Vehicle theft: Mr Saurav Bansal, a resident of Sector 43, reported to the police that his motorcycle (CH-03-C-6132) was stolen from the Administration Block, Panjab University, on Wednesday. A case has been registered at Sector 11 police station.

In another incident of two-wheeler theft, Mr Gagan Preet Singh, a resident of Sector 15, filed a complaint that his scooter (CH-03-D-5998) was stolen from the Sector 24 market on September 14 night. A case has been registered at Sector 11 police station.



Man deserts wife, takes away valuables
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 16
When 32-year-old Nisha (name changed) was a young child, she would often get up in the middle of the night out of fear — a fear of being left alone in the dark in a stranger’s house, where she grapples endlessly to search for lights.

Many years later, on September 13, Nisha’s nightmare came true. Within a month of being married, Nisha was left by her husband in the middle of the night. Nisha was locked in for hours in the dark strange house where she and her husband had begun their new life a few days ago. This was not all. Nisha’s husband left her penniless, taking with him all her jewellery, cash and valuables.

A marketing agent in Ludhiana, Nisha got married to Raj Kumar Sethi on August 17. ‘‘The match was fixed through the Sharma Sanstha in Jalandhar. My parents met Raj, who told them that he had no parents and that one of his uncles lived in Mohali, who would finalise the proposal. The marriage was finalised at the house of his uncle Kamaljit in Sector 70, where he lived. The marriage took place in Chandigarh, with a host of my relatives and some of his relatives present. Now, when we asked the uncle, he said he was not Raj’s uncle at all,’’ she said.

‘‘We were told that Raj was working as an executive with Tata AIG in Chandigarh and had a part-time job with Citi Finance. After we got married, we shifted to a house on rent in Sector 70 here and started out life together. He would go out every day, saying he was going to office. But later, when I enquired from his office, I was told that he was never a permanent employee of Tata AIG. He was only their agent and he had not come to office for the past two months,’’said Nisha.

‘‘He told me that he was trying to go to New Zealand and had applied for a visa too. But I could never imagine that he would desert me and run away with all my gold and money,’’ she said, adding that he called his uncle yesterday, telling him that he was going to New Zealand.

Relating the incident Nisha said: “That night, Raj suggested that we sleep on the roof. I agreed, but after a while, he went back into the house and I slept. I got up before dawn and tried to get into the house, but it was latched from inside. Then I shouted, but there was no response. I pushed the door hard and it opened. I came inside and realised that there was no electricity. I took a matchstick and lit it. I went from room to room lighting the matchstick, but Raj was not there. When electricity supply was restored, I saw that Raj had left, taking with him every valuable in the house, all my marriage gold and Rs 13,000 that I had brought to buy a fridge.’’

Nisha called her neighbours and her parents from Ludhiana and contacted the police yesterday. ‘‘Further enquiries revealed that Raj had married another woman in Nariangarh within days of marrying me and that he was not a law-abiding man. Having overcome the initial shock and pain, I decided to fight back,’’ she said.

An FIR was lodged on Nisha’s complaint today and a hunt was on to find Raj. The inquiry was marked to the Phase VIII police station and various airports in India had been contacted to ensure that the accused did not leave the country.



Ex-lover sent behind bars
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 16
A man who abducted a divorced woman’s three-year-old daughter in July to pressurise her to have illicit relations with him again has paid for his guile when he sought to re-establish contact with her. Babban Pal, hailing from Sultanpur district in Uttar Pradesh, was arrested yesterday when he made a telephone call to the mother of the girl, who was allegedly abducted from Sector 30 and recovered from Seolgi village in Sultanpur district.

The woman received a telephone call from him on Tuesday after a gap of two-and-a-half months. She approached a Congress leader of the area, Mr L.K. Khurana, telling him that Babban Pal was in the city and contacted her on telephone.

Mr Khurana informed the police and asked her to fix a meeting with him for yesterday. The Mansa Devi Complex railway crossing was fixed as the place for the meeting. As soon as Babban Pal reached the spot to meet her, the police arrested him.

The Chandigarh police had been after Babban Pal since July 2, when he allegedly abducted the woman’s daughter. The police raided his hideout at Seolgi village and recovered the girl on July 13. He was caught then, but wriggled out of the clutches of an Uttar Pradesh police constable while the Chandigarh police was trying to rescue the mother of the woman from villagers.

He had set the villagers after them, saying dacoits had entered the village. The villagers held the mother of the woman hostage on July 13 after they were told that the Chandigarh police team and the women were dacoits.

Sources said Babban Pal, who was earlier a tenant of the woman, had allegedly developed a relationship with her as property was willed in her name after her divorce. Her parents had thrown him out of the house when they came to know that he had impregnated their daughter. Babban Pal allegedly had relations with two more women at the village.

The woman told the police that Babban Pal had threatened to harm her parents if she did not come to meet him. The threatening telephone calls had been made recently.



Man dies in road mishap
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 16
A 35-year-old man was killed in an accident involving truck and the three-wheeler he was travelling in on the road separating Sector 38 and Sector 38 West here this morning.

According to the police the man had hitched a ride in the three-wheeler, which was going towards the PGI. The accident occurred when a truck coming from the opposite direction hit the three-wheeler at Shahpur Chowk. The driver of the three-wheeler, Ramesh Kumar, and his son Rajat escaped unhurt.

The man got injured badly. He was rushed to the PGI, where he later succumbed to his injuries.

The truck driver fled from the spot. A case was registered under Section 279, 337 and 304-A of the IPC.



Bank branch opened

Chandigarh, September 16
With a view to ensuring speedy collection of cheques and affecting timely payments, Corporation Bank opened its CAPS (Collection and Payment Services) branch in Sector 8 on Thursday. It was inaugurated by Mr A. Venu Prasad, Secretary, Punjab Mandi Board. The Deputy General Manager of CAPS, Mangalore, Mr H.M.A. Khan, said all big and medium-sized corporates in and around the city could avail the benefits of this unique product at very reasonable rates. Among others who were present at the function were Mr MNVVS Prabhakar, Zonal Head of Chandigarh Zone, and Mr K. Venugopalan Nair, Assistant General Manager of the Chandigarh branch. — TNS



Biz Clips

LUCKY DRAW: Amartex, a textile mill with a chain of retail stores in more than 21 cities across India, organised a lucky draw, the results of which were declared on Thursday. Under the scheme, anyone who made a purchase worth Rs 500 or more was entitled to participate in the draw. The bumper prize was a washing machine, the second prize a quilt and the third was a blanket. There were also 10 consolation prizes. The draw was held in all stores of Amartex and the winners were: Panchkula — Vikas 1, Raju 2 and Monica 3; Mohali — Bikam Chand 1, Seema Sharma 2 and Subhadra Chauhan 3; and Chandigarh — Shashpal 1, Ajay Sharma 2 and Inderpal 3. TNS

EXHIBITION: Style 2004, a three-day exhibition-cum-sale, will open at a hotel in Sector 22 here on Friday. Exhibitors from New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and other parts of the country will showcase their designs. On display will be a variety of designer wear, fabrics, linen, jewellery, artifacts, artificial flowers, bags, candles, gift items, accessories, footwear, watches and furnishings. TNS

Loans worth Rs 12 crore were disbursed by Punjab National Bank under various retail lending schemes at a function organised here on Thursday. Of the total retail lending loans, Rs 6.5 crore was disbursed as housing loan; Rs 2.25 crore to the trading segment; and Rs 2 crore as education loan. The function was presided over by the Senior Regional Manager of the bank, Mr S.S. Bhandari. TNS


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