C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Kolkata man accused of 6 murders, 3 dacoities held
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 2
A mafia don, hiding in Abheypur village here for the past two years and operating his 100-member gang in District South 24 Parganas, West Bengal, was arrested by a team of the West Bengal police today.

Hafijul Molla, the 28-year-old don, whose area of operation is South 24 Parganas and in parts of Kolkata, had been hiding in the guise of a businessman, making brooms and selling these to retailers. In West Bengal, he is accused in at least six cases of murder and three cases of dacoity (including a dacoity by his gang simultaneously at 17 houses), besides several cases of assault and rioting.

A four-member team of West Bengal police led by Sub Inspector Sudip Singh arrived here yesterday, after they had received information about Hafijul hiding here. The team had earlier gone to Ludhiana in search of the accused, from where they were informed about Hafijul’s whereabouts.

Along with a team of local police, the Bengal police raided the house of Hafijul in Abheypur today morning and nabbed him. He was staying here with his family and two children. The police here say that there were no complaints against the accused here. He was produced before the Judicial Magistrate First Class here, and given a transit remand of six days.

It is learnt that South 24 Parganas district is dominated by two rival gangs- one of the accused and other of Salim Laskar. The police says that Hafijul has been active since 1996, and was earlier a member of the Salim Laskar gang. He broke away from the gang in the year 2000 and formed his own gang, along with his brother, Ajijul Molla. The police say that over the years, his gang had gained notoriety for their crimes. Only after the police mounted its pressure on his gang, that he shifted base here.

The police says that while Laskar was arrested some time back, a number of members of Hafijul gang have also been arrested, and their operations neutralised. Hafijul was also declared Proclaimed Offender by a court in Bengal.



Married woman commits suicide
Brother alleges harassment for dowry
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 2
A 24-year-old married woman today ended her life by hanging from ceiling fan in her house in Sector 46. The police arrested her husband and father-in-law in a dowry death case on the statements given by Paramjit Singh, the brother of the deceased and her parents.

Jasbir Kaur hanged herself in the afternoon when there was no body in the house. Jasbir locked the house from inside and hanged herself from the ceiling fan with a rope made of a dupatta. Her husband, Harpreet Singh was away to his job and came back home after taking their three and half year old daughter from her school. When Harpreet came back he found the house locked from inside. When his repeated calls went unanswered he broke open the door and found her hanging, said the police. He then called his neighbours and brought down the body with their help, the police informed.

The police received a phone call about the incident at around 2:30 pm. The parents of the deceased who lived in Jagadhri in Yamunanagar district, were also informed about the incident. They asked that the body should only be moved from the house in their presence. Thus the body was kept at home till 6 pm till the parents of the deceased arrived. Before that a doctor was called who declared her dead, said the police. The body was then taken to the General Hospital in Sector 16. The post-mortem of the body will be conducted tomorrow.

Jasbir Kaur married Harpreet Singh on May 23, 1999. Paramjit Singh, the brother of the deceased vent his ire in front of the house of Harpreet Singh. He alleged that his sister was harassed by her husband to bring money from her parents. He further alleged that they had given Rs 50,000 to Harpeet Singh one and a half year ago, informed the police.

Harpreet Singh works as a Tubewell operator with a private contractor. A case under Section 304-B of the IPC has been registered in the Sector 34, police station.

Meanwhile, the girl, whose body was found floating in the Sukhna Lake, has been identified as Ritika Mahajan, daughter of Opinder Mahajan, of Pipliwala Town in Mani Majra.

The police said it was told by family members of Ritika that she had been insisting on meeting her unconscious father who had been hospitalised after he was given sedative-laced eatables by somebody while returning from Delhi.

However, it was surprising that the family of the girl had not filed any missing person report with the police after she left home but did not reach INSCOL hospital to meet her father. She had left for hospital on Sunday. Her body was found in the lake on Monday morning.

Ritika’s family discovered about the suicide when they saw her pictures published in newspapers. She was 19 years old and was unmarried.

Father of the deceased went to the General Hospital in Sector 16 and identified the body of his daughter.

The body was today handed over to the family of the girl after a post-mortem.



Firm director, brother held for cheating
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
A video music director, engineer-turned director of a multi-level marketing firm based in Sector 32 was today arrested along with his brother for allegedly cheating six members enrolled with his 1000-member strong company.

Rajnish Sharma and his brother Ramesh Sharma were arrested this evening by the Economic Offence Wing of the Chandigarh Police during a raid at their office in Sector 32.

The police has also seized a large number of documents. They have been booked under Sections 420, 406 and 120 B of the Indian Penal Code. They have also been booked under Sections 3 and 4 of Prize Chit and Money Circulation Scheme (Banning) Act, 1978.

The police action followed after Sandesh Kumari, Sudesh Kumar, Kapil Puri, Jamila, Savitri, Ravinder Kaur and Nimai Chand complained that Skynet Prospac Network Director Rajnish Sharma and his relatives had allegedly cheated them.

The complainants alleged that Rajnish Sharma held seminars in different hotels alluring them to become a member of his company by paying Rs 6500 each. They were assured of benefits purchasing and commission down the line.

They were promised that the company would give them discount coupons upto Rs 10,000 and would also list provide them the names of the shops from where they could avail themselves discount on various house hold items.

The director of the company also assured them that on every purchase of goods worth Rs 1000, they would get discounts ranging from 5 per cent to 20 per cent.

They were said promised that if their chain of new members growes, new members would be able to earn an amount of Rs 6 lakh per week. The complainants alleged that Rajnish Sharma had collected crores of rupees by enrolling 1000 members.

They further alleged that certain relatives of Sharma had occupied key positions in the company to pocket a large part of collection from the members.

Rajnish and Baljinder Singh had opened a firm Skynet Mart Private Limited in Phase V, Mohali. The company was later named as Skynet Gold.

Rajnish Sharma told The Tribune that he had enrolled 1000 paid members and 2000 non-paying ones.



5 govt employees booked for duping HUDCO
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
Five government employees from Chopal Tehsil of Shimla district have allegedly duped the Sector 34-based Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO) of around Rs 15 lakh by submitting forged salary slips for procuring housing loans.

The site plans for the houses were procured from Mr V.K. Verma, an Assistant Engineer with Himachal Pradesh Public Works Department.

Ramchu Ram, his wife Seema Devi, Rajinder Singh, Rajesh Kumar, Nita Ram and Rajinder Singh — all from Primary Education Department in Chopal - have been booked under Sections 420 (cheating), 467, 468, 471 (forgery) and 120-B (conspiracy) of the IPC.

The accused had allegedly forged salary slips showing them a few ranks above the positions they occupied apparently to show higher salaries to be eligible for a higher loan amount.

The scam came to the notice when after taking loans these persons stopped payment. During the investigation the bank found out that the salary certificates produced by them were faked to increase their loan limit.

The salary slips of the guarantors were also allegedly forged. The police has not yet arrested anybody in this regard. They had procured individual loans between Rs 2 lakh and Rs 3.75 lakh.



2 die in mishaps
Our Correspondent

Lalru, November 2
A mutilated body of an unidentified youth was found on the Kalka-Ambala railway line near Dappar village, this morning.
According to, Mr Ram Singh, incharge of the Railway police post, Lalru, some passerby noticed the body and informed the police. The youth was run over by some train late last night. He was wearing khaki pant and T-shirt.

The Railway police removed the body and sent it to the Civil Hospital, Rajpura, for post mortem examinations. The police has started inquest proceeding.

An unidentified person was crushed to death by vehicles on the Kalka-Ambala highway in Lehali village near here, late last night.

According to the police, passerby informed the police on night patrolling about the accident. The police said that neither the victim nor the vehicle that mowed him down has been identified.

The body has been sent to the Civil Hospital, Rajpura, for post-mortem examination.



Dua stresses need of public debates on vital issues
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
Decisions of national importance cannot be taken by policy makers without taking people into confidence. If there are no public discussions or debates on vital issues, decision making would be confined to a handful of select people and may not suit the larger interests of the nation.

Stating this while addressing student officers from the Secunderabad-based College of Defence Management here today, Editor-in-Chief of The Tribune, Mr H K Dua, said more the discussions, better the decision-making process in a democracy.

Ten officers of the rank of colonel and equivalent, who are members of the 35th Long Defence Management Course visited the offices of The Tribune as part of their management education tour.

The group included Gp Capt Navtej Singh, directing staff at the college and the team leader, Col A S Chaudhury. Five of the officers were from the Army and three from the Air Force, with one each from the Navy and the Coast Guard.

As part of their course curriculum, the group is conducting a study tour of Chandigarh and Leh, where visits to civilian as well as military establishments are on the agenda.

Completion of the course would entitle them to a master's degree from the University of Osmania. The course strength is 90 officers, divided into small groups, with each group visiting different places.

While stating that the media has been very respectful of the Armed Forces, Mr Dua added that the services and the Defence Ministry needed to change its existing information dissemination policy, which was at present too restrictive.

Mr Dua said that given the Army's deployment in counter insurgency duties, there would always be an odd incident where a soldier went astray. People had become conscious of their rights and any such incident would spark protests, which in turn would have to be reported in the media.

To avoid incidents being blown up or one-sided reports, the Army would have to adopt a pro-active approach and give our more information, he said.

On the issue of civil-military relations, where the armed forces have been overshadowed in policy making by the civilian establishment, Mr Dua said that the grip of the bureaucracy over policy making in virtually all fields was like a stranglehold, though things had improved in the arena of economic planning with experts taking over.

Talking about The Tribune, Mr Dua said that the organisation continued to maintain the core value of disseminating unbiased and non-partisan information to the public without getting into the nuances of commercialisation.

He added that special emphasis was laid by the newspaper on defence issues as a matter of duty.



Raising Day of Military Intelligence celebrated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
A special sainik sammelan and a social get-together marked the 62nd Raising Day celebrations of the Corps of Military Intelligence at Chandimandir Military Station, near here, today.

A high tea for all officers of HQ Western Command was hosted by Brig V.K. Bhutani, Brigadier General Staff (Intelligence), who is also the Colonel Commandant of the Intelligence Corps.

The occasion was graced by the GOC-in-C, Lieut-Gen J.J. Singh, Chief of Staff, Lieut-Gen P.K. Grover, as well as senior army officers and civilian dignitaries, a statement issued here said.

Addressing the Intelligence Corps personnel at a special sainik sammelan, Brigadier Bhutani extended his greetings to all officers and other ranks of the corps and their families, and urged them to continue to work with dedication, zeal, enthusiasm, and alacrity in the true spirit of the Corps’ motto, “Sada Satark”.

He particularly emphasised the need to keep pace with the rapid advancement in technology and its application in various fields of intelligence.

Chief of the Army Staff, Gen N.C. Vij, GOC-in-C, Western Command, Lt-Gen J.J. Singh and Director-General, Military Intelligence, Lieut-Gen Richard Khare, have in their respective messages, lauded the services of the Corps and extended their good wishes to all ranks and families on the occasion.



Invasion of Aryans a presumption: expert
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
The latest to join the Out-of-Africa group of anthropologists is Dr P. Raghavan, a paleontologist working at Australian National University. Simply put, the findings of his recent studies of the human crania have shown that we, the Indians, are the ancestors of at least two of the four major group of races-the Caucasoid and Australoid.

A PhD from the Department of Anthropology, Panjab University, Dr Raghavan's discovery has once again put on its head the age old theory of the African origin of the four races.

“The old gang propounded that the four major races originated in the African continent in different geographical zones. However, my work supports the Out of Africa theory. Based on osteogenetic evidence available with us, we have come to the conclusion that the Caucasoid and Australoid races originated from a human gene slit in India 1.2 lakh years ago”, he said.

Dr Raghavan’s work is part of an on-going Australian Research Council’s project on ‘Contributions of South Asia to the peopling of Australasia’. “The data I have gathered from human crania provides evidence that supports my hypothesis that people from the North West India (Punjabis and Haryanavis) stand between Caucasoids (Europeans and Middle East settlers) and Australoids (Australian aborigines). My results also question the tenability of the invasion of the Aryans explaining the advent of the Caucasians in India. The invasion of the Aryans is merely a historical presumption that has no scientific basis,” he pointed out.

“Primarily, we all belong to the sub-set of African archaic Homo sapiens but originated from a well defined Indian ancestor as a result of a secondary two-way split episode followed by the waves of migration in opposite directions.

The Caucasoids migrated west 50,000 years ago and Australoids migrated to the South East 70,000 Years B.P. The third split also resulted in the origins of the Mongoloid race much later, some where far off northern Himalayas.”

Stating that he would be now focusing on South India, Dr Raghavan pointed out, “I am expecting to discover many exciting results from this research, the results of which are coming close to Professor Stephen Oppenheimer’s data on mitochondrial DNA-Y chromosome studies. Further investigations in South India will complete the work I have been doing on the story of human origins.”

The only Asian to be awarded Australian citizenship for his work, Dr Raghavan is, however, bitter about his parent department.

“I requested PU to allow me to study skulls and other skeletal materail they have here but they refused stating they had no such material at all”, he said.

Dr P. Raghavan



PUDA demolition staff gheraoed
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 2
Staff of the enforcement wing of the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA), who were removing fresh illegal structures in various area, were gheraoed by shopkeepers of the illegal marble market near Landran village today.

The members of the enforcement wing had been able to demolish only two structures before they got gheraoed by an agitated mob. The machines involved in the activity were also brought to a halt and a tyre of a PUDA truck was deflated by the protesters. The PUDA officials were let off only about three hours on the intervention of the police.

The enforcement team of PUDA was carrying out the demolition drive without taking any police protection. Only 10 personnel of the PUDA’s internal security had accompanied the team.

Mr Pavitar Singh, president of the Marble Market Association, alleged that tempers ran high when PUDA staff was seen indulging in discrimination. He alleged that PUDA had targeted the boundary wall raised by Mr R.P. Singh, just because he happened to be a brother of Mr D.P. Singh, who is an office-bearer of a committee which had been protesting against the forcible acquisition of land by PUDA. He said no commercial activity was being carried out by Mr R.P. Singh. Instead the place was being used as an agricultural land. PUDA had demolished the boundary wall on the pretext that the owner had carried out construction to use the area as a marriage palace.

Mr Vikas Gupta, who was constructing a new structure in the area, alleged that PUDA had adopted a pick-and-choose policy. Moreover, no notices had been issued by the authority concerned regarding demolitions. He said that instead of starting the drive from one end, certain structures were allegedly targetted.

People had gathered even in Balongi village when demolitions were carried out in the area. But they did not protest against PUDA activity. When PUDA team reached Beholpur village to remove encroachments, villagers made announcements from the village gurdwara to gather in order to disrupt the activities of the enforcement wing but the drive remained peaceful.

Mr Yashvir Mahajan, Additional Chief Administrator, PUDA said that the allegation of discrimination levelled against enforcement team was baseless. He said that notices had been issued by PUDA in connection with the demolitions. He said that first people indulged in illegal activity but later wanted to take advantage of the law which was totally unjustified.

He said a boundary wall, in one case, was demolished at Landran because the owner was planning to use the area as a marriage palace in violation of the law.

Mr Mahajan said that PUDA had removed 20 illegal structures from Balongi village, seven from Badmajra village, five each from Raipur village and Jhujhar Colony and two from Landran.



Jhuggis come up again on vacated land
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
Prime land worth crores of rupees in Sector 38-west has been grabbed by jhuggi dwellers in the past four months thus exposing the lethargy and inability of the Chandigarh Administration in saving its own land.

Interestingly these pieces of land, located right next to a gurdwara in Sector 38 west had been got vacated about eight months ago after a decade-long legal battle between the Administration and people who had unauthorisedly built shops on these lands. Now within months of the action jhuggis had come up again on these parts. Sources said the enforcement staff had overlooked these encroachments and had not even demolished even a single jhuggi, thanks to political pressure.

Sources said jhuggi dwellers enjoyed political patronage. Enforcement staff was being told that these people had been living in Chandigarh for a long-time. But several of them did not have any proof of having been on the voters’ list on December 8, 1996, the cut-off date for eligibility for getting allotment for a flat in lieu of a jhuggi.

Residents of Sector 38-west, a posh residential colony built by the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB), are up in arms against the inaction of the Administration. A resident lamented that he had not paid lakhs of rupees to live along side jhuggi dwellers. The jhuggis came up even after the Administration, having got the lands vacated from unauthorised shopkeepers, had fenced it. 



Ranbaxy fire-fighting system ‘satisfactory’
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 2
Ranbaxy Laboratories, where a fire had broken out on October 30, was inspected by officials of the Fire Brigade here today. The fire fighting system of factory was found to be satisfactory.

Mr B.S. Sandhu, Station Fire Officer, who inspected the factory said that a number of improvements had been brought about by the management in the past some months. He said that the shortcomings noticed by a team, constituted by the municipal council after the fire which took place in June last year, had been removed. Terming the recent fire, in which one person was killed and two injured, as a minor incident, Mr Sandhu, said the fire-fighting system at the unit at present was satisfactory.

He said the management had given a report in which it had stated that the entire plant was covered with pressurised hydrant system. In addition to this a new hydrant system was provided at a cost of Rs 1.5 crore with which the water storage capacity had increased by 30 per cent. The total number of hydrant points had been increased from 163 to 214. Water curtain was provided in the process areas, apart from additional fire extinguishers. The company had water gel blankets for fire emergency.

Mr Sandhu, said that the company had spent nearly Rs 4 crore since last year on bringing about improvements in the fire-fighting system.



Premises of Vikas Mineral Foods raided
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
A team of the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) raided premises of Vikas Mineral Foods Private Limited, Kakrali, near Dera Bassi, yesterday.
According to a press note, the firm was found engaged in the manufacture and packaging of mineral water with ISI mark under the brand name of Total in 200 ml glasses without valid certification.

Packaged water was seized for the violation of the BIS Act, 1986.



Man, woman held for selling married woman
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 2
The police here arrested a man and a woman from Uttar Pradesh for allegedly for buying a Manimajra-based married woman.
The accused Madan and Jori were arrested from the city last night. The woman was allegedly sold by her mother-in-law and brother-in-law, when her husband was not in the city.

Madan, a resident of Teesang village in Saharanpur district purchased the woman and raped her for two months, alleged the victim. He was the last person who raped and confined her in illegal custody. The police has yet to arrest Qayoom who sold the victim to Madan. The woman arrested with Madan is mother of Qayoom.

The police said that both accused were produced in the court today.



2 held for duping one of Rs 9 lakh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 2
The police here today arrested two persons on charges of cheating a resident of Nawanshahr of Rs 9 lakh. Main accused Manmohan Singh, a travel agent, resident of Sector 69 is still at large. Those arrested are Amrik Singh, father of Manmohan Singh and Jasbir Kaur, wife of Manmohan Singh.

Manmohan Singh had allegedly taken over Rs 9 lakh from a 31 year old widow of Nawanshahr promising to send her to the UK. But instead she was made to spend two months in Ethiopia in starvation. She was also arrested by the immigration authorities there for trying to get out of Ethiopia on a duplicate passport with a fake UK visa. The victim fled from the Ethiopian police and reached Sudan from where she returned to India in May this year.

Complainant in the case, Hardev Singh, brother of the victim told the police that Manmohan Singh had also duped some other boys from Punjab of lakhs by making false promises of helping them to go to some European countries.

Talking to The Tribune, the victim, Manjit Kaur said she was forced to use a fake passport in Ethiopia by another travel agent, Raj who worked in connivance with Manmohan Singh. “In fact they refused to give me back my original passport and left me at the airport with the fake one,” she said.

Manjit informed the Mohali police that Manmohan Singh had through his network of travel agents in Punjab send five boys to Ethiopia who were also stranded there for four months. They finally returned to India when they had exhausted their life savings and were deserted by the travel agents.



3 booked on charge of cheating
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 2
Three persons have been booked by the police on charges of cheating a physically challenged person here today. According to the police, Ram Parkash Bhalla, his wife, Mahima, alias, Meena, and his daughter, Shabnam, cheated Sanjiv Kumar, a resident of Hajipur village falling under Panchkula. The suspects told Sanjiv Kumar that their uncle was working in Rashtrapati Bhavan in Delhi and he could help physically challenged persons get a house allotted.

The police said that the three suspects took Rs 44,000 from Sanjiv Kumar on the promise of getting a house allotted to him. They did not keep their promise nor returned the money.

A case has been registered under Section 420 of the IPC.



300 shirts stolen from Industrial Area
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 2
A shop was reportedly burgled in the Industrial Area, according to information released by the police here today.
Sukhwant Kaur filed a complaint to the police that her shop in Phase 1 of the Industrial Area was burgled on the night of October 30. The police said thieves broke into the shop and decamped with 300 readymade shirts. The shutter of the shop was not fitted with the central lock system, the police said.

A case under Sections 457 and 380 of the IPC has been registered in the Sector 31 police station.

In another incident, Rajinder Jindal of Panjab University Campus in Sector 25 reported that Rs 28,000 and gold-plated silver sets were stolen from his house during daytime, yesterday. The police said the thieves entered the house by breaking the locks. A case under Sections 454 and 380 of the IPC has been registered in the Sector 11 police station.

Vehicle stolen: Karamjit Kaur of Sector 31 has filed a complaint that her Maruti car (CH-01-V-8091) was stolen from the Sector 35 Market. A case of theft under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered in the Sector 36 police station.

Santokh Singh of Sector 37 reported to the police that his scooter (CH-03-D-7986) was stolen from Bartala village, Sector 41 yesterday. A case of theft has been registered in the Sector 39 police station.

Assaulted: Bakshi Ram of Mariwala Town in Manimajra filed a complaint to the police that Mohinder Singh of the locality attacked him at his residence at night on October 21. He got his rib broken in the attack and was admitted to the GMCH, Sector 32. A case under Section 325 of the IPC has been registered in the Manimajra police station.

Liquor seized: The police has arrested three accused for possessing liquor illegally from different parts of the city. Anil Mahto of Kuldeep Colony, Kajheri, was arrested with five cartons of Hero whisky from the Kajheri turn. A case under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act has been registered against the accused in the Sector 36 police station.

Sunil Kumar of Dadumajra Colony was arrested with seven bottles of Rocket whisky from the locality. A case has been registered in the Sector 39 police station in this regards.

Sant Lal of Colony No. 4 was arrested with five of Gulab country wine from near the CTU workshop. A case has been registered in the Industrial Area police station. 



Man alleges torture in police custody
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
A man who was arrested by the Sector 17 police station allegedly for assaulting a person with a sickle on October 27, today accused the police of torturing him in custody.

Jagmohan Singh Sarobo flanked by activists of the Lawyers for Human Rights International (LHRI) alleged that SHO of the police station Satbir Singh and two munshis tortured him and hurt his religious feelings in the custody.

He avoided accusing ASI Amanjot and SI Charanjeet of torturing him. The LHRI today resolved to support Jagmohan Singh Sarobo for showing disrespect to his turban.

SHO Satbir Singh said the turban was removed in the lock up to prevent the person from suicide. He was arrested when he tried to attack one Girish Nayyar under Sections 107/151 of CrPC. A sickle was recovered from him. He said the allegations were false. The inspector said Jagmohan Singh misbehaved with the police. He said the person is facing cases of dowry and defamation in Kharar. 



Ex-BSNL official jailed for graft
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
Special CBI Judge, RS Baswan, today sentenced a former official of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
According to an information, Vinod Kumar, a former Superintending Engineer (SE) with the BSNL, was sentenced to two years’ rigorous imprisonment and fined Rs 4,000 under various provisions of the Act.

Vinod Kumar was caught by the CBI here while accepting Rs 15,000 bribe from contractor, Randhir Khosla, on September 2,1997, for passing a tender. While Mr Khosla died during the pendency of case, the Judge found Vinod Kumar guilty of the offence.



18 booked for trespass
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 2
The police has registered a case against 18 persons on charges of trespassing and being armed with deadly weapons here today.

According to the police, these 18 persons attacked, Mr Karanvir Singh Sandhu, a resident of Chandigarh, at Karoran village last night and forcibly occupied the land owned by the latter. It is alleged that, Mr Sandhu, was badly beaten up and forced to leave the area. A case was register against them.



Sector 22-D market turns 52
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
The oldest market of the city, Sector 22-D, turned 52 today. Well-established now, the market where a shop is reportedly worth a whopping Rs 5.5 crore, was a forsaken place in 1952. It comprised just 20 booths facing a cluster of jhuggis and had hardly any takers.

It was then that three businessmen from different cities took the risk and started their business from unoccupied government-constructed booths. Though they had their own reasons for moving to the city, the gamble proved to be a winning proposition for them. Many more moved here later.

The grandchildren of these “three wise men” today are, reaping the harvest of a decision taken in 1952. Cloth Palace, Bawa Sheesh Mahal and Talwar Jewellers opened their shops first and in this order.

Recalls Mr Arvind Jain whose grandfather, Mr Gian Chand Jain and father Mr Anant Ram Jain, with a prospering cloth business in Ambala, were the first to rent a booth in the market, "My grandfather was a freedom fighter who was persuaded by the Punjab Government to open a business in Sector 22. For the first six months, they were not charged any rent for the booth from they were operating. Since they commuted from Ambala everyday, they were given a government house for night stay on rainy days. They earned only Rs 37.50 from business in the first six months.”

There was hardly any construction in Sector 22 and across the expanse of wild growth was the Sector 17 bus stand. As business grew gradually, we rented a shop-cum-flat and shifted to the first floor of the shop. Since then, we haven’t thought of leaving,” he explains.

The brother duo of Bawa Manohar Singh and Bawa Sher Singh, came to the city to try their luck though their business was doing well in Delhi. Says Bawa Manohar Singh’s son, Mr Gurdip Singh, "They came with a view to expand their business but decided to settle down here. They bought the shop in the first auction for Rs 16,000. To begin with, they stayed in the government houses which were under construction in Sector 23 free of cost. Then, they constructed the first floor and moved in. We have taken over their business.”

A medical student in the 50s, Hoshiarpur-resident Mr Kailash Chand of Talwar Jewellers was told by his family to leave his studies and proceed to Chandigarh along with his brother, Mr Tarsem Lal, to explore business prospects in the new city.

“There was an SDO from our village posted in Chandigarh. He put forth the idea of ‘checking out’ business in a new city that was coming up near Chandimandir. That’s all we knew when we started from our village. On arriving here, we saw hardly any occupants in the newly constructed shops. For the first three days we had absolutely no client. The business was bad in the first one-and-a half years though it improved later,” recalls Mr Kailash Chand.

He feels that leaving the studies midway was a wise decision. “The switch-over came just at the right time,” he adds.



SBI awareness week

Chandigarh, November 2
The State Bank of India celebrated Vigilance Awareness week today to commemorate the birthday of Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel. Mr A.D. Choudhuri, Chief General Manager, was also present.

Meanwhile in Kalka the State Bank of Patiala (SBOP) announced that the main branch in Kalka will hold customer education programmes during the vigilance week. TNS


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