C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


ABVP presidential candidate attacked
Police accused of ‘biased’ role
Tribune News Service

Smashed wind-screen of the car in which he was travelling at the time of incident.
Smashed wind-screen of the car in which he was travelling at the time of incident. — Tribune photos by Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, September 20
In the first incident of poll-related violence in the run up to the elections of the Panjab University Students’ Council, the presidential candidate of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), Gurparvez Singh Sandhu ‘Shellay’, was attacked with swords outside Government College, Sector 11, here today.

He was admitted to the General Hospital, Sector 16, after he received injuries on his right arm, head and waist. Doctors said that he was fine and had minor injuries though he was not in a position to give a statement to the police.

Holding the Congress party responsible for the “unfortunate” incident, former Member of Parliament and BJP leader, Mr Sat Pal Jain, said that the Union Minister of Home was directly responsible for it.

“This criminalisation is increasing because the local Administration is being managed by the Congress. Both the groups in the tussle for the council seat are being supported by the Congress. Mr GK Chathrath is writing letters for votes while local MP, Mr Pawan Bansal, is also indirectly involved in the students’ elections,” he said.

Mr Jain added that it was unfortunate that violence had taken over students’ politics and such incidents should be deplored and condemned. “I heard that the ABVP put up a good show at its rally at PU today. This attack is a manifestation of the frustration the two Congress groups are experiencing on the campus,” he stated.

ABVP activists said that Shellay was busy campaigning on the campus and parted with other activists at 7.30 pm. “He left us saying that he wanted to change his clothes before carrying on. Accompanied by Dinesh “cheetah”, he went in a Maruti and said he would meet us at the Savitri Bhai Phule hostel at PU where were supposed to campaign next,” Breet Singh, a senior member of ABVP said.

When Shellay did not show up at the appointed time and there was no response on his mobile, the activists, along with ABVP Secretary, Saurabh Joshi, began campaigning. At 8 pm, they received a call that Shellay had been attacked.

“We don’t know who was behind the attack, what happened outside GC-11 where the clash took place. We don’t even know why the two left the campus though one of the activists did say that Shellay was going to collect his clothes from his brother in DAV college. All we found was his car with a smashed windscreen and a bleeding Shellay who was brought to hospital. Dinesh received minor injuries and is still in a state of shock. The truth will come out once they give their statements,” Joshi added.

While the doctors stitched up the wounds as Shellay was in pain, ABVP activists raised slogans against the laxity of the police and the Administration. Slogan-shouting activists seemed unwilling to relent even though police officers present at the hospital made repeated pleas to end the protest since it was disturbing the other patients at the hospital.

Later, Saurabh Joshi, holding an impromptu press conference, claimed that the police was playing a “biased” role and harassing ABVP activists. They claimed that in an incident where the ABVP candidate of GC-46, Mayank Asija, had been attacked by PUSU activists who took away ABVP banners, Joshi claimed that the police had slapped Asija when he went to lodge a complaint.

Narrating another incident where an ABVP activist and his cousin had been injured with a broken bottle by a supporter of another party in Sector 22 outside a pub, the police had held both the parties guilty and registered cases against them.

Subsequently, DSP, SC Sagar, assured the students that a fair hearing would be given to them in both the cases tomorrow after which slogan-shouting was called off. The ABVP activists sat outside the hospital waiting for news about the health of Shellay who had not given his statement to the police till the filing of this report.

Meanwhile, speaking on behalf of the SOPU-HSA-NSUI alliance, Nitin Goyal, said that they would appeal to police to provide security to all the candidates till the elections are over.

The police has registered a case under Section 323, 324, 506 of IPC in Sector 11, Police Station.



PUCSC poll: nominations to be filed today
Student bodies seek a day’s extension for campaigning
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 20
No beating of drums, no raising of slogans, no cavalcade of cars will follow the candidates around as they make their way to the department to file their nomination papers tomorrow.

Instead, the entire exercise will be a low-key affair at Panjab University unlike the drama and hype created by political parties when candidates file their nomination papers.

Devoid of much of the election fever that has swept the campus, the candidates will file their papers, accompanied by small groups of supporters. This, too, after they have got their “no dues” clearance certificate from the hostel and departments.

Candidates for all four posts of the Panjab University Campus students’ Council (PUCSC) and candidates standing for the post of department representatives (DR) will file their papers tomorrow. All nominations will take place in the departments of the respective candidates instead of being held at one particular place.

“Tomorrow all of us will be on our own for the first half of the day. Our day would begin with getting our certificates in order and the securing the no-dues slip without which we would not be allowed to file our papers. We have decided that the candidates would be accompanied by an experienced senior who is well-versed with the technicalities of filing papers and a handful of supporters since we would need somebody to propose the name as well,” says Mohit Sareen of the Panjab University Students’ Union (PUSU).

Presidential candidate of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), Gurparvez Singh Sandhu, adds, “We have held our rally and given the students’ a fair idea about our support base on the campus. Tomorrow, it is going to be an entirely personal affair, especially since the filing of nominations is not confined to one particular candidate. It is about candidates drawn from various departments. So, the morning is going to be a dull affair on the campus.”

The Students’ Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU) and its allies, too, have chalked out their strategy for filing papers. While candidates will file papers accompanied by a couple of supporters, others activists and supporters will target the students for votes in the departments.

Meanwhile, campaigning on the campus is slated to end at 5 pm tomorrow. However, all students’ organisations will meet the Dean Student Welfare, Dr Nirmal Singh, and seek a day’s extension.



GCG-11 students reach consensus on Aulakh panel
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 20
Students of the Government College for Girls, Sector 11, who led the last year’s agitation against the fee hike by the Chandigarh Administration, today chose the peaceful way to elect their representatives.

Rejecting the predictable election din, the students decided upon their leaders and approached the Principal of the college, Dr Manjit Kalra. At a time when students are pitched against each other in other colleges and tempers run high, there was no slogan shouting and no posters and banners smearing the walls on the college premises.

The conviction of the student leaders was enough to ensure that there was no opposition to the panel headed by Gangandeep Aulakh. Girls quietly walked into the Principal’s office with the consensus result. The other members of the panel are Sonia - vice president, Shamshir - general secretary and Karuna - joint secretary.

By the time the result was displayed on the college notice board, most of the college students had left for home. So, a thanksgiving ceremony would be held on the college premises tomorrow morning, said Ganagdeep Aulakh.

Said a college lecturer, “The girls have shown the way for the politicians to follow. Agitation by students should be issued based. The fee hike was an issue but elections should be held unanimously”. A student leader at the college said they wanted to keep away from the money and muscle power associated with the elections.

But, there is no unanimity among the candidates in other colleges. At the Government College for Girls, Sector 42, representatives of the NSUI are pitched against PUSU and SOPU. Said the presidential candidate of the NSUI from the college, “ It would be a triangular contest. We are approaching all students individually”.

The student leaders at DAV College have been doing rounds of the hostel to campaign for their candidature. At the Guru Gobind Singh College for Men, Sector 26, the contest is between the Khalsa College Students Union and the Chandigarh College Union.

After the administration banned displaying of banners and posters at public places, the students at GGDSD College are interacting with students.



Case registered against River Rafting Club
Drowning incident near Rishikesh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 20
The Uttaranchal police has registered a case of negligence against the River Rafting Club at Shivpuri near Rishikesh for allegedly causing the death of Ankush Sharma.

A Munikureti police station official involved in the investigation told Chandigarh Tribune over the telephone that Jagdish and Munish of the club had been booked under Section 304 A of the IPC.

He said the police was also investigating the role of a woman who allegedly served bhang-laced pakoras to the students of Chitkara Engineering College. A separate investigation is on in connection with the pakora issue, the police said.

The police said the post-mortem report confirmed that Ankush Sharma was drowned when the boat overturned in the strong current and ruled out any head injuries. The students were wearing helmets while rafting in the river.

The police official said it was investigating if the life-jacket was filled with water when the boat overturned. The case was registered on the complaint of Mr Ashok Sharma, father of Ankush Sharma. Mr Sharma alleged that the instructor in the boat did not try to save his son. He also alleged that his son was not provided medical aid in time. Ankush was taken to Rajkiya Chikitsalay, Rishikesh, which was 14 km away from the accident spot. Mr Sharma alleged that it took two-three hours for Ankush to be taken to hospital in Rishikesh. Mr Sharma asserted that there was no lifeguard at that time.

Mr Sharma also alleged that nobody from Chitkara Engineering College had visited them during the cremation early morning. He said that nobody visited them afterwards also.

Mr Ashok Sharma alleged that the lifeline with the boat snapped when the accident took place. The co-rafters of Ankush said Ankush was not seen after the boat overturned and rest of them were either saved by the instructor aboard the boat or those on other six boats carrying other students of the college. There were 11 students, including girls and one instructor, aboard the boat.

Ankit Malhotra, Karamveer Bains, Jatinder Singh Sekhon and Manpreet, who were aboard the boat, said their boat overcame one rapid and all of them enjoyed after surviving the rapid. Ankush had reportedly told other co-rafters what if the boat drowned. Immediately afterwards, the accident took place. “We were shell-shocked when we lost Ankush,” they said. Those who survived were so frightened after the accident while going through the second rapid that they refused to board the same boat after they were rescued. The students said they could not look at Ankush after the accident.

Two boys, instructor and one girl were pulled back to the overturned boat and rest of them, excluding Ankush, were thrown around but they somehow managed to safety.

They said the instructor helped a few of them return to the boat.

The students said that before they went for river-rafting, they were given some initial training. The accident-hit boat was third in the row followed by four others. The students denied that anybody of them had ordered bhang-laced pakoras, asserting it seemed to be a design of the catering contractor to allegedly loot them after intoxication.

A student Ashish Verma, who is mentioned as the person who took Ankush to hospital, said that he saw Ankush and Sarabdeep Singh coming under the boat. Sarabdeep swam to safety. A little later Ankush was seen floating with the help of a lifejacket but his head was still under the water. The coach and the other students also jumped into water to save others.

He said Ankush was breathing when he was taken out of water. The coach and the students pumped out water from the lungs of Ankush. He said they sought a lift from a truck to take Ankush to hospital in Rishikesh, where he was declared brought dead. Akash, Sarabjit and coach were there at the banks of the river when water was being pumped out of the lungs of Ankush. Ashish Verma also said that there was no food poisoning but students could not eat anything after the accident.

Meanwhile, the 75-year-old grandmother of Ankush Sharma, Ms Sandhya Devi, who reared Ankush, was inconsolably crying, looking for her “son”. With the parents of Ankush working, she had reared the children.

Ankush was cremated today in the presence of relatives and his friends and their families.



‘Indirect tax disputes can be settled within one year’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 20
The Customs and Central Excise Settlement Commission endeavours to settle indirect tax disputes placed before it within six months to a year, with timeframes fixed for each stage of the disposal, thereby saving time and effort both for the litigant and the department, said Mr N. Rajagopalan, Chairman, Settlement Commission (Customs and Central Excise), in Chandigarh today.

Speaking at an interaction with industry and other stakeholders, organised by CII, Northern Region, he observed that any assessee liable to pay duty could approach the commission for expeditious settlement of tax disputes of high revenue stakes. The entire approach was based on full and true admission of the facts by the applicant, he said, explaining that to maintain transparency, all decisions would be taken by a bench consisting of more than one member. Since its inception and up to July 31, 2004, 1,800 applications have been settled by the commission, involving an amount of Rs 450 crore. Thus, almost 85 per cent of the applications received have been settled. At the moment, 60 cases are pending with the principal bench out of which only 20 are over a year old and the remaining for periods less than a year, he said.

Mr S.K. Mishra, member, settlement commission, clarified that it was not meant for one-time settlement of cases, but was a permanent institutional arrangement. Elaborating on the effectiveness of the commission Mr Mishra said that in the Chandigarh Zone (Punjab, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir and Chandigarh) itself, out of the 65 applications received involving a dispute amount of Rs 14 crore, 60 cases, worth over Rs 11 crore have already been settled.

Mr S.P. Srivastav, member, settlement commission, mentioned that it was an alternate redressal mechanism that works in the spirit of reconciliation. He said that the commission could not send a case back to the jurisdictional commissioner for disposal under the Central Excise/Customs Act if it felt that the applicant had not cooperated. In his appeal, he said the commission seeks candid cooperation from the department as well as the assessee.

Mr Krishan Goyal, Chairman, CII, Chandigarh Council, underlined the significance of the settlement commission in providing quick and easy settlement of tax disputes of high revenue stake. The procedure followed by the settlement commission is much less costly and beneficial to the applicant compared to the normal appeal procedure which is not only time consuming but also expensive, he said.

The clarifications sought by delegates at the seminar related to various procedures for the settlement of disputes relating to both Central excise and customs matters.

The interaction was well attended by over 70 CFOs, CAs, company secretaries, finance/taxation managers, legal advisors, tax consultants and academicians from the region.



IAF plan to install radio rescue beacons
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 20
Following several air crashes where the IAF found it difficult to locate missing aircraft or the aircrew, a project has been initiated to install radio rescue beacons and detector equipment in aircraft.

While the IAF intends procuring a large number of Personal Rescue Beacons (PRB) for individual aircraft, particularly fighters and light helicopters, a relatively smaller number of detector systems would be installed in transport aircraft and helicopters like the AN-32, Mi-8 and Mi-17, which would be used for search and rescue operations.

“The process is underway. A few An-32 aircraft would be equipped with the detector systems,” Air Officer Commanding 12 Wing, Air Cmde S.S. Tilloo, said.

“This equipment would be useful particularly if the ill-fated aircraft has veered of its designated flight path and the terrain is hostile like in the mountains of the north-east, he added.

According to sources, the IAF has projected a requirement for about 1,500 PRB and negotiations are underway with British and French firms for procurement. Rescue becons being sought would also contain an in-built GPS unit which, besides sending out distress signals, would also convey its position. The signals emitted by the rescue beacons would be picked up by the detector systems installed in aircraft engaged in rescue operations which would allow it to home on to the exact spot where the wreckage or the crew is located.

Sources put the requirement of detector systems at 300-350 units.

Sources said that the retrofitting of the beacon kits would be done by at the IAF’s technical establishments, including base repair depots.

The IAF expects to project to be complete in about a year’s time.

The IAF had been considering procurement of such equipment for quite some time, but the project got an impetus after a MiG-27 aircraft went missing in the north-east during a routine sorties in April.

It was only after several days that its wreckage could be located.

The IAF operational and training commitment require it to fly over all types of terrain like remote mountainous areas in the north, dense, inaccessible jungles in the north-east and overwater flying in coastal areas and the Andamans.

In such terrain, the IAF experience of locating wreckages or rescuing pilots has not been very impressive. In April, it took the IAF two days to locate the remains of two Jaguars which collided mid-air near the LoC during training exercises.

A MiG-21 trainer from Tezpur which went missing in April, 2002, with two pilots onboard is still to be traced.

In fact, even during the 1999 Kargil conflict, there was a lot of confusion about the whereabouts of a Mig-27 and a MiG-21which went down during combat.

The aircraft had been shot down by Pakistani forces and it was only after several days that the IAF was able to confirm the fate of the aircraft and its pilots.



Press Club criticises Kanwar Sandhu incident
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 20
The governing council of the Chandigarh Press Club, at a meeting here today, condemned the manner in which its club member and Resident Editor of The Hindustan Times, Mr Kanwar Sandhu, was asked to leave Pakistan on a recent visit. 
The Pakistan immigration authorities had asked Mr Sandhu to leave despite a valid visa when he had gone to Pakistan with a delegation led by Mr Om Prakash Chautala.

The club said the incident was particularly deplorable as the Pakistan Foreign Minister during his recent visit to India had talked of a visa-free regime for journalists.

The president of the club, Mr Ramesh Chaudhary, said such incidents would hamper the spirit of bonhomie between the two countries.

It was, indeed, ironic that Mr Sandhu was asked to leave the country when he was on a goodwill tour, having gone to Pakistan to participate in celebrations related to Bhai Kanhaiya, a symbol of benevolence, he added.

Mr Chaudhary said the leader of the delegation to Pakistan of which Mr Sandhu was a member should have protested against such treatment to a senior journalist.

He said the entire journalistic fraternity felt slighted and stood by Mr Sandhu. He also asked the Indian Government to intervene.



Chandigarh Calling

POLLING in the graduate constituency of the Senate may have been a lacklustre affair, given the low voter turnout during elections. However, to make up for the lack of enthusiasm among voters, the supporters more than made up for it.

They lent a festive air to the booths, putting up posters of their candidates in their tents and distributing pamphlets and cards. They were there from the beginning of the election to its very end, approaching voters and asking for votes, untiringly, despite the hot weather conditions.

However, there were those who had been forced to sit in tents of candidates. The difference in their approach with regard to voters was evident. They neither tried to make last-minute efforts to influence the voters nor were bursting with energy like the others. They waited for the voting to end and rush to their homes.

As far as the teachers of DAV schools from the city were concerned, they had to sweat it out during polling hours as they sat in tents, waiting for voters to show up. These teachers had been put on duty to canvass for candidates sponsored by the DAV Managing Committee.

Gandhi Bhavan pond

For all those who remember the leisurely days spent on the banks of the Gandhi Bhavan pond in Panjab University will be glad to know this. The university authorities have decided to cement the bottom of the pond and then fill it with water. This will lead to the pond water remaining clean for a longer duration and collect less silt.

However, for the time being, the pond is empty and all one gets to see is a parched and a dirty bottom. And since the cementing project will take long, it could be some time before love birds and the solitary readers can sit by its side in solace. (See picture)

Name missing

A former Principal of DAV College and a Senator, Mr R.C. Jeewan, had to return without casting his vote during the Senate elections. Much to his surprise, his name did not figure in the voters’ list released by the university for the elections. In the previous elections, he had voted at DAV College and went to this centre to cast his vote this time as well.

On reaching there, he was told that his name had been deleted from the voters’ list. While he was wondering how and why this happened, an officer on duty quipped, “In an election where the dead can cast their votes since their names never get deleted, there seems no place for voters who are alive and kicking.”

The university revises its voters’ list in every election to enrol new graduates. However, while new names are added, there is no provision of deleting names of voters who are either dead or no longer stay in the city.

Bizarre schedule

The PGI follows a bizarre schedule when it comes to inaugurating its various continued medical education (CME) programmes as the inauguration ceremonies begin hours and even days after the CMEs have already started.

A two-day CME programme on blood transfusion which concluded last week was no different. The sessions had already begun on Saturday but the programme was formally inaugurated on Sunday morning by the PGI’s Dean, Prof Sudha Suri, and Director, Health Services, UT, Dr C.P. Bansal.

“Everyone is in a hurry and looks at his own convenience. The chief guests inaugurate programmes when they find time to do so and the delegates do not want to delay the proceedings as they have their own commitments,” remarked a senior faculty member at the PGI.

Sports facilities

Chandigarh boasts of one of the finest sports facilities in the region. But when it comes to managing these facilities, it leaves much to be desired. The Sector 42 Sports Complex is now equipped with excellent sports facilities. The passage to this complex is through two sides — one through the Sector 42 inner roads( Govt College, Sector 42) and the other through the Attawa village side. The badminton hall having a separate gate and the newly constructed judo, weightlifting halls are closer to gate on the Attawa side. But on the front, it is painted in white, ‘All Saturday, Sunday and all Gazetted Holidays closed’.



Gen J.J. Singh releases Vijay Chakra magazine
Tribune News Service

GOC-in-C of Western Command, Lieut-Gen J.J. Singh releases Command’s Hindi magazine, Vijay Chakra in Chandimandir on Monday.
GOC-in-C of Western Command, Lieut-Gen J.J. Singh releases Command’s Hindi magazine, Vijay Chakra in Chandimandir on Monday.

Chandigarh, September 20
The annual issue of the Western Command’s Hindi magazine, Vijay Chakra, was released by General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Lieut-Gen J.J. Singh at a function held at Command Headquarters in Chandimandir today.

Lauding efforts of the Hindi cell of the command’s Education Branch in bringing out the magazine for the past 18 years in succession, General J.J. Singh emphasised the need to promote Hindi as official language.

The aim of this publication is to encourage the use of Hindi in official work as well as to provide a platform for all ranks to enhance communication skills and share their experiences through creative writing.



Fauji Beat
Displaying religious marks

ALL units in the Army have places of worships in accordance with the religious faith of their troops. These also authorised priests. The troops pay obeisance at these places on Sundays, holidays and on important religious functions and raising days of units.

It is customary for the unit officers to attend important functions at these places. The religion plays two roles in the Army life.

One, at the attestation parade, a recruit takes oath of allegiance by putting his hand on his religious book to become a soldier. Two, war cries of units are religion based to infuse patriotic fervour in the troops.

While all this is essential in a soldier’s life, what is sad is that religion is being twisted to tar the Army’s secular image. Taking note of this denigrating trend, the Vice-Chief of he Army Staff Lieut-Gen Shantu Choudhary, has written to all units and formations that the Army personnel are displaying pictures and figurines of gods in staff cars and vehicles. He also observed that even the senior officers wore religious symbols such as wrist threads, besides getting tikkas marked on their foreheads in uniform.

The Vice-Chief has issued strict instructions to senior officers to ensure compliance with the rules and regulations and stop un-secular practices in units and formations. Despite these instructions, the officers have still been seen wearing wrist threads.

Change in Command Hospital

Maj-Gen S.K. Kaul, new Commandant of the Command Hospital, Chandimandir, is introducing some changes to further improve the hospital working. To ensure proper attention to both in and out patients, General Kaul, has started devoting more time to the indoor patients. The responsibility of out-door patients has been given to the Deputy Commandant Brig L.S. Rathore. A performa has been introduced to gauge the satisfaction of in and out-door patients.

General Kaul’s advice to all patients is not to over-drug themselves. A retired Col, he says, got prescriptions from several departments and was taking 20 drugs daily, some of which could not be combined with others. When he was prescribed a heavy doze of BP medicine for a fortnight with specific advice to report back for review after that, he did not come back for review and continued consuming the heavy doze. The result was that he collapsed after three months. General Kaul says that proper care will be taken of all patients but they should not ignore the doctor’s advice.

One ambulance in the Command Hospital is earmarked for bringing serious patients from Panchkula and Chandigarh to the hospital. The duty medical officer of the hospital should be contacted on the telephone when a patient requires it. It is provided free of cost. Besides, Western Commmand Ex-servicemen Helpline has one ambulance and two vans. The charges for these are Rs 3.50, Rs 3.25 and Rs 3 per km for officers, JCOs and other ranks, respectively.

AWACS a distant dream

We knew as early as in 1988 that the USA had supplied airborne warning and control system (AWACS) to Pakistan. Though we started planning at that stage to base our AWACS on the AVRO aircraft by exploring the world market, we have not made any headway so far.

With the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) giving clearance now, we are thinking of embarking on the development of this project once again. How long it will take to develop AWACS on is anybody’s guess because of our dismal experience of indigenous productions.

While the normal ground based radar has a range of 45 km against a low flying aircraft, AWACS E3A Sentry, acquired by Pakistani, has a rage of 470 km. This range is longer against a high-flying aircraft. The Pakistani AWACS can detect all aircraft taking off from the Indian airfields. They can then guide their fighters and missiles from different airbases to destroy the attacker. India must counter this threat by early development or acquisition of AWACS.

— Pritam Bhullar



PSEB union flays decision on meter reading
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 20
The local circle of the Technical Services Union of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) has condemned the decision of the higher authorities of giving the work of meter reading and bill distribution on contract.

Mr Vijay Kumar, general secretary of the union, said that in protest against the decision of the board officials, a dhol march would be organised here on September 23. From September 27 to October 6, regular employees would be boycotting work in protest against the non-recruitment of labour. On October 6, employees would go on a two-hour pen-down and tool-down strike. On October 8, a protest march would be organised towards the Chief Minister’s residence in Patiala.

The union demanded that the government should withdraw its decision of handing over the power board in private hands and also the Power Bill, 2003. Fifty per cent of the DA of workcharge employees should be merged with the pay and forcible retirement of employees between the age group of 50 and 55 be stopped. Work charge employees should be promoted to assistant linemen.



Voters list revision on
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 20
The voters list for the Lok Sabha and the Vidhan Sabha elections is being revised.

The SDM, Mr M.L. Sharma, said here today that anybody who would be 18 years old on January 1, 2005, was eligible to get himself registered as a voter. Apart from this, corrections (Form 8) and cancellations (Form 7) of the votes in the voters list would also be done. The drive which started on September 15 would go on till October 15.

He said that on October 9 and 10, under a special campaign, employees concerned would be present at various booths along with forms and electoral rolls. Forms could also be had from the Tehsildar and the Executive Officer of the Municipal Council till October 15.



Senior citizens to celebrate Elders Day
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 20
The Senior Citizens Council, Panchkula, has planned a series of functions to mark the Elders Day celebrations during months of October and November.

Dr S.K. Sharma, President of the Council said that several events were being planned for the welfare of senior citizens and for diversifying its functions for the benefit of under privileged and down trodden sections of the society. Addressing media persons today, Dr Sharma said that they had already organised a function on September 2, when they had given stationery and other items to spoor children, and later an interaction with the inmates of a orphan home was also organised.

He said that a free medical check up camp would be organised at Day Care Centre, Sector 15, on September 25, with the association of Fortis Hospital. “A yoga, reiki, homoeopathic and accupressure camp will held from September 27-29, while a tour for senior citizens to Hardwar and Rishikesh is being planned from October 8-10. A delegation of six senior citizens of Panchkula, and Mohali will visit Mauritius on a goodwill exchange programme in October, and a cardiac check up camp will be organised in November,” he added.

A Subras Kavi Darbar was organised by the Council, along with Kidar Adabi Trust today evening. The Minister of State for Social Security and Welfare Women and Children, Punjab, Mrs Gurkanwal Kaur was the chief guest.



House owners want rain harvesting tanks
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 20
The HM Houses Welfare Association, Phase IV, has demanded that rain harvesting tanks should be constructed in the area to avoid flooding during rains.

Mr C.L. Garg, president of the association, said that PUDA was releasing funds to the Public Health wing to construct additional storm water drainage in the area to tackle the problem of flooding. He said the problem arose when the level of sector dividing roads was raised and even footpaths constructed in the area. Rain water then started entering the houses of residents because the natural slope was tampered with.

Mr Garg said that additional road gullies would not solve the problem because these remained choked with polythene bags and leaves and could not take the required flow of water.

He said that rain harvesting tanks would not only help in solving the problem of flooding but rain water would also seep into the earth.



3 city residents hurt in mishap
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, September 20
Three Chandigarh residents were injured when an Esteem Car they were travelling in collided head on with a Jeep approaching from opposite direction on the Kalka-Ambala highway at Ghaggar river bridge in Bhankharpur village, this morning.

Mr Karam Singh, Mr Prem Singh and Mr Satinder Kumar, occupants of car (CH-01M-9423) - were heading towards Ambala when they were overtaking a truck, carrying rice husk, amid the bridge and the Jeep (PB-11-T-5009) coming from opposite direction collided head-on leaving them injured.

The injured were taken to the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, in Chandigarh and Command Hospital in Chandimandir.

Traffic on the highway was also disrupted for more than four hours following the accident. Vehicles lined up on either sides of the bridge on the highway thus putting scores of commuters and passengers to a great hardship. Traffic was restored after removing the vehicles involved in the accident this afternoon.

Meanwhile, the police impounded the vehicles involved in the accidents but no case was registered till filing of the report.



Villagers meet DC, want teacher’s posts filled
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 20
Over 50 residents of various villages in Morni today approached the Deputy Commissioner here and threatened to launch an agitation to press for filling vacancies of teachers at Government Senior Secondary School, Morni.

The residents, led by Presidents of various Village Development Committees — Shanti Swaroop, D.B. Sharma, and Mohan Lal Sharma, met the Deputy Commissioner and said that 18 posts of teacher in the school were vacant. They said that the school had a strength of almost 600 children, and only three teachers were posted in the school.

The villagers said that the children were unable to complete their syllabus. They demanded that the vacancies be filled at the earliest.



Flesh trade racket busted
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 20
The Security Branch of the police and a team of the Sector 20 police raided a hotel in Railly village, near Sector 12- A, late last night, and busted a flesh trade racket. Two Jalandhar based girls and manager of Hotel Vikrant, Anil Kumar, were arrested.

The police had received secret information about the call girls, who later claimed to be professional models, visiting the hotel. A decoy customer was sent to the girls, and after a deal was struck, the police raided the hotel and arrested the three accused. An accomplice of the girls, however, escaped.

The three accused were produced before a court here today, and remanded into judicial custody for 14 days.

Labourer killed

A young labourer was killed, and two others were injured, when the tractor trailer they were travelling in overturned after hitting the road berm on the road dividing Sector 7 and 18 at around 11. 30 pm yesterday.

The police say that the driver of the tractor (HR-03C-3469), Dev Narayan, was drunk and was driving at a speed. Three other labourers- Rameshwar, Kallu and Sukh Lal were also riding in the vehicle, when it hit the road berm. All four were crushed under the vehicle, as it overturned.

While Rameshwar died on the spot, Kallu, Sukh Lal and Dev Narayan were injured. The police has booked Dev Narayan on charges of rash and negligent driving causing death, and arrested him.


A labourer, Sunder, received head injuries when he fell off an electric pole at the Chandigarh Railway Station after receiving an electric shock. He had climbed the pole to repair a snapped cable. He was rushed to General Hospital, and is stated to be out of danger.

Two arrested

The Kalka police has arrested two persons — J.D. Sharma and Devi Sharma, on charges of duping Surjit Kumar of Rs 1 lakh. The duo had taken the money from him on the pretext of sending him abroad.



2 held red-handed while stealing
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 20
Two persons were caught red handed while stealing in separate incidents yesterday, the police said today.

Rajan, a resident of Sector 33-A, was caught red-handed by Mr Santa Singh, a resident of Sector 32-C, while stealing a mobile phone from his Indica car parked at Laxmi Narain Mandir, Sector 20-C, yesterday. A case of theft has been registered under Sections 379 and 411 of the Indian Penal Code.

In another incident, Rajesh Kumar of Mani Majra filed a complaint of theft against Hulsai Ram of Mauli Complex, who was caught red-handed while stealing two VCRs and six cassettes from the complainant’s shop at the complex. The police arrested the accused and recovered the stolen goods from his possession. A case of theft has been registered.

Vehicles stolen: Ankush Sharma of Sector 42 reported to the police that his Maruti car (HNX-107) was stolen from near Mata Kasumbara Devi Mandir, Sector 43, on Sunday. A case of theft under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered.

In another incident, Amanpreet Singh of Sector 21 reported to the police that his motor cycle (CH-03-L-1656) was stolen from the market of Sector 22, on Sunday. A case of theft has been registered.

Liquor seized: A man and a woman have been arrested for carrying liquor illegally from different parts of the city.

Indu of Dadu Majra Colony was arrested from near bus stand of the colony and Prem Singh of Palsora village was held from the same locality for carrying liquor illegally. The police seized five bottles of Rocket whisky each from their possession. Two cases under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act have been registered. Later, both accused got bail.



Delhi Police official held, let off
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 20
Chandigarh Police today apprehended a Delhi Police Sub-Inspector who had come to arrest a man here wanted in a cheating and visa forgery case. But he was let off as soon as he revealed his identity.

The arrest of the Delhi Police Sub-Inspector followed after the family of Suresh Bajaj informed the local police that Bajaj was allegedly kidnapped by one person whose vehicle bore a Delhi registration number.

The Delhi Police Sub-Inspector was intercepted by the Chandigarh Police in Sector 26 and brought to the Police Station. The Sub-Inspector had arrested one Suresh Bajaj of Sector 35. Bajaj was booked by the Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi, Police Station after it was detected that he had allegedly arranged illegal visas for six persons.

Suresh Bajaj reportedly operates from Bassi Pathana. He has been booked under Sections 420, 468, 471 of IPC and Section 12 of the Passport Act.

The sources in the Chandigarh Police said that the confusion was created as the Delhi Police officer had not informed the police station concerned about his arrest.

Had a DDR entry been made about his arrest in connection with a Delhi case, the Chandigarh Police would not have chased him. The complaint of the family of Suresh Bajaj in this case could have been verified before any action, the sources said.

They said as per a normal procedure, police of other state informs the local police if somebody is arrested.



Youths decamp with money, mobile phones
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 20
Four youths barged into a shop in Sector 15 today, and after assaulting the owner, decamped with Rs 10,000 and three mobile phones.

The incident took place around 5 pm when three scooters came and stopped outside the shop, Deep Communications. They barged into the shop and began ransacking the shop. When the shop owner, Mr Didar Singh, tried to stop them, they allegedly beat him up.

The youth then decamped with three Nokia mobile phones and Rs 10,000.



Biz clips

SONATA WATCHES: Sonata watches has announced a new range of gold plated watches. The watches in the new collection start at Rs 395 in leather strap (gold plated case) and Rs 550 with gold plated metal strap (gold plated case). There are 40 models in this collection for men and ladies. Sonata is sold through over 9000 dealers across the country.

RAYMOND RATING: Raymond clothing brand, has emerged as leader in the apparel category in a survey by a research firm. Raymond is way ahead of its contemporaries in the apparel category and comes second (only to Mercedes Benz) in the brands considered to be luxury brands. These are the findings of a ‘Indicus Consumer Tracker’ survey conducted by Indicus Analytics, a research firm, on preferences of consumers from SEC A & B. Survey was carried out on 4000 consumers.


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