C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


No helmet for Sikh women in city
SC modifies HC order
S S Negi
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, September 30
The Supreme Court has exempted Sikh women from wearing helmets in the Union Territory of Chandigarh while driving two-wheelers and has modified the Punjab and Haryana High Court’s order regarding traffic regulation in the city to a great extent making it more practicable.

A Bench comprising Mr Justice Arijit Pasayat and Mr Justice P.P Naolekar said, “We direct that if any exemption is granted to any person, including Sikh women, from any of the Motor Vehicles Rules relating to different states or areas or under any statutory rules, the same shall operate notwithstanding the directions of the High Court that all persons, including women, shall wear helmets” in the Union Territory of Chandigarh.

The Chandigarh Administration, while seeking modification of the High Court guidelines on traffic regulations in the city, had said under the Punjab Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 and the Chandigarh Motor Vehicles Rules, 1990 Sikh women were exempted from wearing helmets and the same should be allowed to them in Chandigarh.

As per the other modifications made in the High Court order, the apex court allowed the Administration to fix the quantum of parking charges by taking into account the relevant factors.

Regarding the introduction of one-way traffic in Sector 17 and 24 as ordered by the High Court, the Bench said if the Administration wanted to give relaxation in this system in any sector, the same “shall be done by indicating the special features which warrant such departure.”

“Reasons shall be recorded and placed before the High Court for justifying such departure,” the court said in the order passed on September 27, which was made available to media today.

About regulating the inter-state buses, which the Administration said, had been creating a lot of problem, the Bench said, for this an appropriate application should be filed before the High Court, indicating the factual details so that any decision in this regard was taken by it.

“No vehicle should be permitted to be parked in any area, particularly on the main road or internal roads of any sector to prevent traffic jams,” it said.

On the question of use of black films or glasses by vehicle owners in their cars, the court said the mandate of sub-rule (2) of Rule 100 of the Central Motor Vehicle Rules in this regard “shall be kept in view.”

“This shall be in addition to any security requirement as may be laid down by the law enforcing agencies,” the order said.

Regarding the removal of all advertisements facing the highways, main roads and side roads, the court said it would be open to the government or licensee to bring to the notice of the High Court any safety hazards caused by it, warranting any action in this regard. The High Court would decide the matter “in the proper perspective”, the apex court said.



Change of rule welcomed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 30
Supreme Court’s order to exempt Sikh women from wearing a helmet has been welcomed by Ms Harjinder Kaur, Municipal Councillor and President of the Sikh Nari Manch and also the local MP, Mr Pawan Bansal.

Ms Harjinder Kaur, who had been leading agitations against challaning of Sikh women for not wearing helmets, while reacting to the judgement said, “We have got back our fundamental right.”

The local MP, Mr Pawan Bansal, said Sikh women should not have been forced to wear a helmet. The police should educate the women two-wheeler drivers about the benefits of using a helmet. Leave the decision of wearing the helmet to women. Since it hurts the religious sentiments of Sikhs there is no need to make the helmets compulsory for women.

Mr Gurpratap Singh Riar, President of the local unit of the Shiromani Akali Dal and a member of the SGPC welcomed the orders of the Supreme Court. He said the challaning of Sikh women for not wearing helmets while riding two wheelers should be stopped immediately.



Life’s no song for this 80-year-old artiste
Today is Senior Citizens Day
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 30
Even as the country celebrates the Senior Citizens Day with much fanfare tomorrow, one of the few surviving “special class” artistes of the All-India Radio (AIR), Ustad Lachhman Dass Sandhu, is facing starvation and, inching towards death. However, his plight has failed to move either the authorities or society.

In fact, the 80-year-old exponent of the famous Patiala Gharana, who has been bed-ridden for the past over three years after the death of his wife, Sheela, is living at the mercy of his neighbours. The tall claims of the authorities concerned regarding the welfare of the senior citizens seem to fall flat if the plight of the veteran singer is any indication.

Born in musicians’ family, Sandhu, who was trained under Ustad Barkat Ali Khan, the guru of renowned Pakistani ghazal singer, Ghulam Ali, started his musical career at the Lahore station of AIR in 1937 at the tender age of 13. After Partition, his long association with AIR began and he was promoted to “special class” artiste for the traditional ghazal, Multani and Sindi kafi and thumri.

Even as he stuck to the traditional “gayaki”, he continued to be hard-pressed for money with the decline of the radio as the principal source of entertainment. The changing tastes of the audience ensured very few takers for his style of singing.

The circumstances and administrative apathy seem to have broken the self-respecting singer, who stood for purity in music during his over 65-year-long career. “I am waiting for death,” he quipped at his one-room ramshackle house in Sector 22 (No 2511) when this reporter visited him this afternoon.

“I had not anticipated such hard times even in my dreams. After the death of my wife in 2001, who did odd jobs to make both ends meet, my health had deteriorated and since then I have been bed-ridden with joint pain. I could never recover from that shock. Two square meals a day is a dream and I eat whatever is offered to me by the neighbours,” he said in a choked voice.

So much so that I have no money to buy medicines, spectacles and to get my beard shaved. “Para jo waqt to yaaron ne saath chhod diya, kadam kadam par saharon ne saath chhod diya” (the friends have left me in the present difficult times, even my associates have left me in lurch at regular intervals), he sums up his plight as his eyes well up.

Neighbours informed that a Punjab Police officer, Mr Kapil Dev Sharma, who was earlier posted in Mohali used to take him to Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32for treatment. However, after his transfer to Bathinda, there is no one to take him to hospital.

The long illness has taken its toll on the performance of the musician. Now he finds the playing of harmonium, which has been his companion for nearly seven decades, difficult.

It may be recalled that a purist to the core Sandhu was complimented by the legendary Bade Ghulam Ali Khan for his “gayaki” during his performance at the Harballbh Sangeet Sammelan in Jalandhar.



A post that has no takers
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 30
This is a post in the UT Education Department which is vacant, but no one wants it. Prospective candidates prefer to remain at a junior position. The two seniormost principals, Dr Gulzar Singh and Mr R.S. Goraya have expressed their unwillingness to join as Deputy Director, Adult Education.

The two candidates have expressed their willingness to join against the post of District Education Officer (DEO). The seniormost Principal, Dr Gulzar Singh, has a chance to become the DEO after the incumbent, Ms Rajesh Chaudhary, retires or moves to next senior post of Deputy Director, Adult Education. There are two posts of Deputy Director and two posts of Assistant Director in the Adult Education Department.

One of the posts of Deputy Director is lying vacant after Ms Joginder Moti retired. Ms Sudesh Kalra, who was appointed against the second post, retired today.

Sources in the department say as none of the Principals or the DEO want to move on to the least preferred posts of Deputy Director, the vacancies will not be filled. The backlog of promotions in the department is not being cleared, says a senior officer.

Ms Chaudhary, who is a national awardee, is on a two-year extension and retires in 2005. Till then, Dr Gulzar Singh has to wait.

The sources say the practice of allowing national awardee Principals to continue as DEOs during their extension period after retirement was started by Mr Brahamjit Kalia.

In 1995, when a deputationist from Punjab, Mr R.D. Singla, a national awardee, got extension as DEO, the UT Teachers Union had protested and Mr Singla opted for the post of Assistant Director in the Adult Education Department.

The general secretary of the Government Teachers Union, Dr Vinod Sharma, said the union had been demanding promotion to UT cadre officials on the basis of seniority and should be followed by the department. The seniormost Principal should become Deputy District Education Officer and the Deputy DEO should become the DEO. The DEO should go to the higher post, provided it was on promotion.

The department should take in writing from the Principals who were not willing to join against the post offered by the department, said the union leaders. The department should bring the posts of Deputy Director under the fold of the Education Department.



Stevia likely to replace sweetness, table sugar
Good news for diabetics and kids with caries
P.P.S. Gill
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 30
Here is good news for diabetic patients and worried parents whose children love chocolates and sweets but hate going to the dentist with caries.

In the not too far a future, sweet herb, Stevia, a calorie-free bio-sweetener, is waiting to replace chemical sweeteners and table sugar. It could prove to be an asset to manufacturers of soft drinks, beverages, confectioners and bakers.

A Chandigarh-based Yaksh Biotech firm is in the process of testing and experimenting with Stevia. Though, still at a nascent stage, the firm’s Managing Director, Dr Ashwin Johar is confident of introducing Stevia in Punjab. Though Stevia is a product of Paraguay, it is a staple in Brazil, China and the West. What lends credence to Dr Johar’s confidence is that already the firm has successfully introduced cultivation of medicinal plants like Aloe Vera in the state.

Dr Johar says, ‘’We are working on such herbs and medicinal plants for the last three years. We plan to make a cautious beginning in encouraging farmers to grow Aloe Vera and Stevia. We assure them remunerative price and regular income. This will also help introduce diversification in agriculture. We have a processing unit for Aloe Vera at Malerkotla. We now plan to form a chain between farmers and consumers’’.

For the new introduction, Stevia, Yaksh Biotech propose to set up an extraction plant somewhere in the North. Since Stevia was not easily available in India, the herb required to be specially multiplied and distributed to growers. Stevia plants are already being made available to farmers of Himachal Pradesh by Palampur Agricultural University. ‘’We are arranging plants and seeds. Once our tests prove positive, we will distribute Stevia to farmers’’.

Yaksh Biotech has studied the agro-climatic regions, soil requirements and conducive water and temperature, agronomic practices etc for the cultivation of Stevia besides working out the returns to farmers and economics of Stevia, per unit.

The powder extracted from the leaves of Stevia is believed to be 300 times sweeter than sugar and low in calories, saccharin and calcium cyclamate. Dr Johar plans to make use of this extract or even dried or fresh leaves to replace sweet sugar or add flavour to eatables and beverages, which are today a cause of worry, given the fact that 21 million Indians are diabetic. This figure is likely to shoot up to 60 million by 2010.

The sweetness of Stevia comes from Stevioside, which is non-fermenting. Thus, when used in confectionary and bakery products or say as chewing gum, parents could be less worried about children spoiling their teeth!

In fact Jharkhand plans to take up Stevia as a major alternative crop to sugarcane while Tamil Nadu took to research on its cultivation some years ago. In Punjab when the farm air is thick and moving towards organic farming, Stevia may fast replace sugar and other chemical sweeteners bringing cheer to the diabetic and health-conscious.

Even as the likes of Dr Johar work on new farm avenues, the government would do well to step in a big way and use its farms to experiment on Stevia and simultaneously work on its marketing and pricing strategies. This will ensure public-private sector enterpreneurship and accelerate the pace of introducing new crop. Today 1 kg of powdered Stevia leaves fetch between Rs 300 and Rs 400, while the crop lasts for three to four years with new flush of leaves sprouting after every harvest at an interval of three months to six months.

An ideal plantation should have around 30,000 Stevia plants per acre, sown on raised beds with plant spacing of about 23cm X 40 cms and good dressing of farm yard manure, 25 tonnes. One acre could yield about 3,000 kg dried leaves, annually. Stevia is also known to be free from any insect or disease incidence.



Pak psychiatric unit named after Indian doctor
A. S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

Dr Ajit Avasthi and Dr P N. Kulhara of the PGIMER, Chandigarh and Dr Afzal Javed of Pakistan pose by the side of the inauguration plaque of "Prof N.N. Wig Occupation Therapy Unit" at the Fountain House Psychiatric Centre, Lahore.
(L to R ): Dr Ajit Avasthi and Dr P N. Kulhara of the PGIMER, Chandigarh and Dr Afzal Javed of Pakistan pose by the side of the inauguration plaque of "Prof N.N. Wig Occupation Therapy Unit" at the Fountain House Psychiatric Centre, Lahore.

Chandigarh, September 30
In a rare gesture of goodwill, the famous Fountain House Psychiatric Centre at Lahore in Pakistan has named a newly constructed building as "Professor N.N.Wig Occupational Therapy Unit" in recognition of the internationally renowned Indian psychiatrist's outstanding contribution to the cause of mental health.

Professor Wig who is a Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at PGIMER, Chandigarh, was earlier WHO Adviser in Mental Health for the countries of Middle East and North Africa.

He has also been Professor of Psychiatry at AIIMS, New Delhi, and PGIMER, Chandigarh.

The inauguration of the building was done by Professor A. Okasha, President, World Psychiatric Association, on September 14 at Lahore. Rich tributes were paid to Prof Wig in the International Psychiatric Conference which was held in Lahore from September 16 to 21.

Dr Wig, however, could not personally go to Lahore to attend the conference due to his other commitments.

In a talk with TNS here today, Dr Wig, who hails from Gujranwala now in Pakistan, said that he had very fond memories of his days in Pakistan. He was only 16 when Partition took place and his family came over to India.

But even after the division of the country, his association with the land his birth continued because of the medical profession.

As a WHO Advisor in Mental Health for a great stretch of land from Pakistan to Morocco, Dr Wig initiated a model for mental health programme for Pakistan.

"I started the mental health programme in India before applying it to other countries, including Pakistan", he recalled.

Dr Wig remained in Alexandria for eight years from 1984 to 1992 during which he made several trips to Pakistan.

Dr Wig also had a word of praise for the community mental health programme in Pakistan, which he said, was doing very well.



Tributes paid to Mulk Raj
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 30
Litterateurs and art lovers today gathered under the aegis of the Chandigarh Arts Council to pay tributes to Mulk Raj Anand. Those present at the office of the council in Sector 34 State Library observed a two-minute silence in the honour of the departed soul.

Among prominent people who joined the condolence meeting were Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi Chairman Shiv Singh, Chandigarh Sahitya Akademi Chairman Maj-Gen Himmat Singh Gill (retd) and Mr Aditya Prakash, former principal of Chandigarh College of Architecture. Also present was eminent Punjabi poet Gulzar Singh Sandhu.



IG’s assurance to the elderly
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 30
The Senior Citizens Council celebrated the International Day of Elder Persons at Shri Guru Har Krishan Model High School, Sector 38-D, here today. Mr Rajesh Kumar, Inspector-General of Police, was the chief guest at the function.

Interacting with senior citizens, he said the police would not only take care of the security and safety of senior citizens, but also provide the services of police control room vehicles to the elderly in case of emergency.

Mr Sukhdev Singh, the president of the council, brought various problems concerning senior citizens to the notice of the IG, who assured them that he would look into the problems for their speedy redressal. The IG gave Rs 1,000 to the children who performed at the function. Elder couples sang songs on the occasion. 



Osho meditation camp begins
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 30
A three-day meditation camp began at the Osho Dhara Commune , 58, Industrial Area here today.

More than 200 persons from different parts of the country are taking part in the camp. It is being conducted by Swami Satya Niranjan, former secretary of the Osho Commune, Pune.

Participants will be made aware of numerous musical and Tibetan meditations techniques. These are very simple and can be easily incorporated in daily routine, said Swami Satya Narayan, organiser of the camp.

He said special techniques would also be demonstrated to those wishing to go deep into the meditation.

A unique dance to meditation programme will be the highlight of Saturday’s function.

A book exhibition and “connecting with nature” session will also be held.



Another life lost to cattle menace
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 30
The cattle menace has been claiming lives in the most planned Indian city, with a woman from Delhi being trampled upon by a herd of cows in Sector 47 on Tuesday, 15 days after former MC employee Nakli Ram’s life was claimed by rampaging cattle in Daddu Majra. Two others had also been injured by cattle in Daddu Majra during the last couple of months.

The woman was killed within a day of the Municipal Corporation capturing 90 heads of cattle in a special operation. Pushpa (55), a resident of Delhi, visiting her sister in the sector, was walking down the street with her sister, Savita and her niece, when suddenly a herd of cows running towards them ran over her. She had gone out to take a walk around 10:30 pm after dinner.

According to an eyewitness, Ramu, a florist working outside the Ram temple, said the woman panicked when she saw cows running towards her and she fell down in an effort to keep out of their way. The cows ran over the fallen woman, causing severe head injuries. “The cows trampled upon her abdomen, which caused a fatal injury, leading to her death,” he said.

She was taken to the GMCH immediately after the accident, where she later died of internal injuries. Savita and her husband Subhash Kapoor refused the autopsy to be conducted and took the body to Uttam Nagar in Delhi the same night. Mr Subhash Kapoor works with the Audit Department in Sector 17.

According to a neighbour, Savita had gone to Delhi to pay a visit to her sister Pushpa some days back and Pushpa had decided to come along with her sister to the city to spend some time with her. Pushpa was a widow and had four children. All of them are married.



School founder Gyani dead
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 30
Wing Commander S.S. Gyani (retd), founder-director of St. Soldier Divine Public School, Sector 16, Panchkula, died here today. He was 85.

He is survived by two sons and three daughters.

An icon in the field of education, Wing Commander Gyani was a civil pilot before he retired as Director of Education and Training of the Indian Air Force at Air Force Headquarters, New Delhi.

He served as Principal of Air Force Central School, Delhi, and Dagshai Public School. He also served as director of Pinegrove School, Dharampur and Subathu.



Tribune manager retires
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 30
Mr Narinder Pal Sharma, manager of The Tribune sub-office, Jalandhar, retired today after putting in 41 years of service.

Mr Sharma join The Tribune family in 1963 at Ambala. He served as manager of various Tribune sub-offices, including Amritsar, Ludhiana, Bathinda, Rohtak and Chandigarh.

The Tribune Officers Association and the staff of The Tribune sub-offices arranged a farewell party for Mr Sharma here in the evening. The General Manager and the Additional General Manager of The Tribune group of publications, Mr R.N. Gupta and Mr O.P. Arora, respectively, were among those who wished Mr Sharma well. 



Travel agent, two accomplices booked
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 30
The Chandigarh police today booked travel agent Kamaljit Singh Bains and his two accomplices in a cheating case. They have been charged with taking Rs 5.37 lakh from a person on the pretext of sending his son abroad.

Mr R.P. Sharma of Phase II, Mohali, filed a written complaint to the Senior Superintendent of Police, Headquarters, on June 30, in which he alleged that Kamaljit Singh Bains, director, Renu Zudoo, deputy director, and Sudhir Kapoor, general manager, Bains International Enterprises, Sector 22-C, had taken the money from him to send his son to Canada. The SSP office directed the Sector 17 police to investigate the matter on July 5. The police registered a case under Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code against the accused at the Sector 17 police station today.

According to Mr Sharma, his son contacted Bains International Enterprises after an advertisement of the company in leading newspapers of the region between August 24 and September 16, 2003, citing an urgent demand of skilled labour in Canada. The had given a guarantee that after paying Rs 50,000, the candidate would be in Canada in two months as there was great shortage of labour in Canada.

Mr Sharma further said the company demanded another Rs 6,000 as registration fee for a 10-month course in Canada, for which the candidate would be sent to Canada. He also said the company assured him that his son would be paid a stipend as per rules in Canada and after the course, the Canadian Government would provide a one-year visa to the candidate, during which he could work in Canada. The company assured them that after spending one year, the candidate would be entitled to permanent immigration to Canada. They were told that in case of refusal of visa, the amount charged would be refunded.

Mr Sharma alleged that after paying the money, they did not receive any reply from Bains International Enterprises. He said he and his son paid numerous visits to their office in Sector 22, but in vain.

Mr Sharma said the company had closed its business from its earlier location about three-and-a-half months ago as there were many others who had been cheated of their money by the abovesaid company. He alleged that the company had changed its name to Star Education Centre, in Sector 8-C, and Renu Zudoo was working at that place.

Mr Sharma said he had traced 11 candidates who had been cheated by the company, out of which only three or four had have been paid back their money by the company as they were from influential backgrounds. The others had lodged complaints with the police.



Cancer patient held for forgery
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 30
A cancer patient from Maharashtra was today arrested for allegedly forging documents of his poor financial status to attempt drawing a medical bill of Rs 18,000 from the UT Red Cross.

Vijay Deshpande had been getting treatment in the PGI for the past one year and had been putting up in the Rotary Serai during his treatment.

He allegedly forged signatures of the PGI Medical Superintendent, Mr A. K. Gupta, and a Senior Resident on the bill which was produced before Mr Gupta today. Mr Gupta found out that the signatures on the bill had not been put by him and seemed to have been forged.

Further inquiries revealed that even the stamp of the Medical Superintendent and the Senior Resident had also been forged.

The documents seized from Deshpande also revealed that he had himself prepared documents of senior resident, travel concession and of financial status. He has been booked under Sections 420, 467, 468 and 471.



Man held with smack
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 30
The city police today arrested Raj Kumar, a resident of Sector 32, with 6 gm of smack from the market in the same sector. A case has been registered against him in Sector 34 police station.

Chain snatched

Sawaitra Sapra of Sector 37-C reported to the police that two unknown youths snatched her gold chain from near the Community Centre, Sector 37-C, around 8 pm, yesterday. A case under Sections 379 and 356 of the IPC has been registered at Sector 39 police station.

Held for gambling

Joginder Singh of Palsora village was arrested by the police from near Palsora bus stop for gambling at public place yesterday. The police recovered Rs 280 from his possession and registered a case under Sections 13-A, 3 and 67 of the Gambling Act at Sector 39 police station.



Mystery shrouds death of woman
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 30
Mystery shrouds the death of a 55-year-old woman in Karkawala village in Raipur Rani. The victim’s body was found in a well in the village this morning.

Though the family claims that she committed suicide, some villagers have alleged otherwise.

They say that after her father changed his will, and bequeathed all his property to her younger sister, she had frequent fights with her husband, Puran Chand.

The police say that Sulochana and her sister were married to two brothers of Rana village. Since Sulochana’s sister was moron, she was deserted by her husband. The sister remarried, but her second husband also deserted her. Since then, she was staying with her parents. The victim’s parents had a large land holding, which was being looked after by Sulochana’s husband for the past several years. Sulochana’s father had earlier distributed the property between his two daughters, but changed his will recently.

It was after the change of will became known to Sulochana’s husband that the trouble began brewing. Sulochana went to her parents’ house to sort out the matter.

Her parents have told the police that they saw her go off to sleep last night, and in the morning she was not in the house. They later found her body in a well. The police have initiated inquest proceedings and started investigation.



Murdered man yet to be identified
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 30
The man whose body was found yesterday has not been identified as yet. This has hampered the investigation into the murder. The police has not got any clue whatsoever despite police parties visiting several adjoining police stations.

The Mani Majra Police Station teams went to colonies and labour chowks of Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula along with the photograph of the murdered man.

Police teams showed photographs in Zirakpur, Panchkula, Haripur, Kalka, villages of towards Ghaggar, Colony Number 4 and 5, Rajiv Colony, Mansa Devi Colony, Haripur, Budhnagar and Baltana but without any success. The photos of the deceased have been displayed at the Railway Station and the Inter-State Bus Terminus.

The police has also issued hue and cry notices in Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and Himachal and sent his photographs there.

The police suspect that the deceased might have been whitewashing or painting as his trouser which was recovered at some distance had paint marks, his rubber chappals also had paint marks on them. The police also noticed paint marks on his foot. According to the police his chappals and trouser were of grey colour and shirt has not been recovered. His body was found naked.

The well built and was around 5 feet seven and a half inch tall. There is no recognisable identification mark on the body. He is dark complexioned.



Three killed in Mani Majra
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 30
Three persons were killed in three separate incidents in Mani Majra here in the past 24 hours. Rajinder (25), a resident of Dera Colony in Mani Majra, allegedly committed suicide by consuming some poisonous tablets late last night. He was taken to hospital, but doctors declared him brought dead.

The police said he was living with his widowed mother. Rajinder was working with a private firm. He was under depression of late. According to the police, he might have committed suicide around 2.30 am in the night.

The postmortem examination of the body would be conducted tomorrow morning. The police initiated inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the CrPC.

A migrant labourer, Neetu of Indira Colony in Mani Majra, died last night around 10 pm at his house. He was living with his relatives. The police said he might have had a fatal heart attack, which led to his death, ruling out any foul play behind the death. He was taken to General Hospital, where he was declared brought dead. The postmortem examination of the body was conducted today. The police initiated inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the CrPC.

Jamna of Shastri Nagar, Gowala Colony, died today at General Hospital, Sector 16. She was allegedly burnt by her enraged husband Bhajan Lal by pouring oil on her after an altercation when she objected over his illicit relations with another woman. Her husband was arrested by the Mani Majra police.

She was seriously injured in the attack and received 90 per cent burns. She was admitted to the GMCH in Sector 32, from where she was referred to General Hospital, Sector 16. The police registered a case under Sections 307 and 302 of the IPC.



2 call girls, pimps arrested
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 30
Two call girls from West Bengal and an equal number of pimps have been arrested for allegedly running a flesh trade racket in the city.

Kashmir Singh from Sunam and Kudleep Singh from Jammu were arrested last night by a team of the crime branch. when they handed over the two girls from West Bengal to a decoy customer in lieu of the marked currency notes paid in advance. An official note said the decoy customer was allegedly solicited by the pimps and the girls in Sector 44.

The operation was headed by the DSP (Crime), Mr Om Prakash. The deal was struck near a place of worship. Both the girls are married and they revealed to the police that they had been hired by the pimps on a monthly salary along with a percentage of commission. The women were in the business in the city for the past couple of months. The women were put up at a rented accommodation in Mohali. 



BSNL to widen mobile base
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 30
The Punjab Circle of the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) will add five lakh more mobile connections to its existing subscriber base by the year-end, the Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology, Dr Shakeel Ahmad, said here today.

Addressing a press conference at UT State Guest House, Dr Ahmad said the mobile connections were being provided on demand in Punjab. However, in UP and Bihar there was a waiting list of 4 lakh and 1.5 lakh, respectively.

The minister, who earlier held a review meeting with the Punjab Circle officers of the BSNL, the Postal Department and the National Informatics Centre (NIC), informed that remaining six of the 17 districts of Punjab would be linked with the video conferencing facility by next month.

The minister informed that currently there were 8.5 crore telephones, both landline and mobile, in the country and the government had fixed a target of 20 crore telephones by 2007.

The private operators were not discharging their responsibilities of providing service in the rural areas, which was a part of the agreement at the time of awarding licences to them.

The government was pressing them to fulfil the commitment and the erring operators would be dealt with strictly, he warned.

He said an amount of Rs 58 crore had been collected under the special scheme for senior citizens so far in the Punjab Circle. The Haryana Circle had netted Rs 21 crore under the scheme, which was launched on August 2, he added.

In reply to a question on the poor grievance redressal system of the government department, the minister said the telecom and the postal departments were not merely business organisations and people’s welfare was paramount.

Mr L.K. Puri, Punjab Circle’s Chief Post Master General (CPMG), Ms Meera Datta, Haryana Circle’s CPMG, and Mr G.S. Bhatia, BSNL Punjab Circle’s Chief General Manager, were among those present.



Jan Shatabdi gets ISO certification
Tribune News Service

Railway officials show the ISO 9001 certificate for the Jan Shatabdi in Chandigarh on Thursday
Railway officials show the ISO 9001 certificate for the Jan Shatabdi in Chandigarh on Thursday. — A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, September 30
The Jan Shatabadi running between Chandigarh and Delhi has been awarded the ISO 9001 certification. The Divisional Railway Manager, Ambala division, Mr Keshav Chandra, said the implementation of a quality system according to ISO 9001 was a guarantee that services were up to the standard.

The system was introduced on July 1 and the train was audited for certification on September 20 and 21 by Moody’s International, Mumbai.

It is first train of the Ambala division to get ISO certification. The upgrade of services on Jan Shatabdi involves provision of vinyl matting in doorways, digital dispenser for deodorant in the coach, high level of cleanliness, provision of blowers in non-Air-conditioned coaches, provision of exhaust in toilets, etc.

Mr Chandra said the Jan Shatabdi could be extended to Kalka to meet the requirements of Himachal-bound travellers. Also, the possibility of running the train on Sunday could be considered.



Biz Clips
‘P1+’ rating

Chandigarh, September 30
The short-term fixed deposit programme of IndusInd Bank has been assigned the highest rating of ‘P1+’ by CRISIL, India’s premier credit rating agency. CRISIL had assigned the ‘P1+’ rating to the short-term deposit of the bank earlier. According to CRISIL, the rating reflects the comfort derived from the bank’s diversified business profile (with its presence in the commercial vehicle and car financing, trade finance and corporate finance segments) and its absolute capital level (net worth of Rs 800.42 crore as on March 31, 2004).

Youth card

Bobcards has launched its exclusive youth card to commemorate its 10th anniversary. The card will be complimentary for two years to the youth in the age group of 18 to 35 years, who apply before December 31, and there will be no joining or annual fee.


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |