C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Lines of peril put lives on the line
Bipin Bhardwaj

Zirakpur, November 8
The four persons killed due to electrocution over the past two years in the Zirakpur area have been victims of the tendency to use every inch of their property and little regard for safety, winked at by the PSEB and the nagar panchayat.

The result many a times is tragedy. But till a serious incident occurs, residents remain oblivious to the risks and the authorities rarely act in the interest of public safety.

According to local residents, several cases of severe burns have been recorded in the past couple of years. These mainly involved migrant labourers and, therefore, went unreported. Of the four cases reported, the last one, involving one Paramjir at an illegal construction site, happened last Saturday.

Various authorities blame each other for the mess in the periphery area around Chandigarh. The nagar panchayat authorities here claim that it is the responsibility of the electricity board to regulate activity around high-tension wires by effectively enforcing provisions of the Electricity Act.

The PSEB, on its part, alleges that the panchayat issues no-objection certificates (NOC) indiscriminately. Board officials also allege that property dealers and panchayat officials are hand in glove in allowing the illegal constructions near high-tension cables. “The panchayat is creating these death traps,” they allege.

A survey by Chandigarh Tribune showed that 11 KV lines pass through heavily populated areas in Zirakpur, which include Dashmesh Colony, Akali Kaur Singh Colony, Gobind Vihar Colony, Sainik Vihar Colony, Preet Nagar Colony and a number of other housing colonies in Bartana village. An 11 KV line of the MES runs from N. Area in Chandigarh to K. Area in Zirakpur along the Chandigarh-Ambala highway in Bhabhat village.

Unchecked construction has led to a situation where scores of residents have enclosed electricity poles in the premises of their houses or commercial buildings.

As per the law, a clearance of at least 11 feet from the highest point of a building is mandatory in the case of an 11 KV overhead transmission line passing through a built-up area. Horizontally, a clearance of 4 feet on both sides is required.

However, even a cursory inspection shows that the provisions have been violated blatantly in almost all areas in the city’s periphery. The Executive Engineer, Mr K.K. Goyal, when contacted, said, “The nagar panchayat gives NOCs without verifying the location of the construction.”

The Nagar Panchayat Executive Officer, Mr Girish Verma, countered by contending, “No one has brought such violations to our notice; neither the PSEB, nor members of t`e public. If such a thing had been reported, we would have taken action despite the fact that the panchayat has severe staff constraints.”

A resident of Gobind Vihar Colony in Baltana village, Mr Kamal Kishan, alleged: “NOCs from the panchayat are available at a price. Even if some complaint is made, it is hushed up. Panchayat officials are more concerned about money than the safety of the residents.”

According to Mr Jaspal Singh, a resident of Bartana village, colonisers are chiefly to be blamed for the mess. “They have carved out plots right under power cables and promise the buyers that these would be shifted away from the colonies later. But they have not deposited money with the PSEB for shifting the lines and, ultimately, the residents suffer,” he said. 



Denied warmth, he embraced cold death
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 8
The failure to procure a quilt for his family forced Radhey Shyam Dubey, a labourer, to end his life. His body was found yesterday morning at DLF building in Kishangarh IT Park. Dubey (45) and his family had been finding it difficult to brave the chilly nights in the city. But with his meagre earnings he could not afford to buy a quilt.

Dubey ultimately nursed a hope of arranging a quilt from cremation ground where clothes are left for the dead.

He approached an "Aghori Baba" who reportedly distributed clothes left by the relatives of the dead among the poor and the needy. Dubey set out on this mission on the night of November 6 but the Baba told him that he would be able to give him a quilt as and when someone left some at the Mani Majra cremation ground. Radhey Shyam was depressed over this as he had promised his wife and daughter to get a quilt. He could not muster enough courage to go back home empty-handed. So he went straight to the second floor of the DLF building and jumped to death.

His body was found the next day with no apparent injury marks. The fact that he had committed suicide was revealed today after the post mortem report confirmed that his ribs and one hand had been broken due to the fall leading to his death. The police had got suspicious yesterday itself as one of his chappals was found on the second floor of the building where he had worked four months ago.

The plight of the family came to light today when after the post-mortem the police asked his wife Shanti Dubey where she planned to cremate her husband’s body?

The woman told the police that she did not have enough money to arrange for a shroud and cremation.

She told the police that the family belonged to Faizabad, but she did not have money to take the body there.

The policemen collected money for Dubey’s cremation and even bought some provisions and ration for the woman and his daughter. 



A serpentine guest comes calling
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 8
The shopkeepers in the shuttering market of Sector 25 had an unusual guest last night. An 8-foot-long python managed to perch itself atop the tin roof of a shop last night, and was caught by the shopkeeper and three others this morning.

Sanjay, an employee at the shuttering shop, heard the hissing of the snake late last night. He started looking for the reptile, and it was after almost an hour that he found it on top of the shed. Using a stick, he tried in vain to move the snake, which had coiled itself and was stiff because of the cold.

He then kept a watch on the animal through the night, and in the morning informed Mr Raj Motiyar, Mr Bal Krishan and Mr Jaipal. As the sunlight seeped through the misty morning sky, the python gained some movement. It was then that the four persons, using sticks, managed to bundle the snake into a sack.

Mr Raj Motiyar then informed the police, who sent a message to the Wildlife Department to take away the huge snake. As the word of a python being caught spread, a number of people reached the market for a glimpse of the animal that often sends a chill down the spine because of its sheer size and loud hissing. The snake was shifted into a drum. Children, clutching their parents’ hands tightly, too came for peep.

By this time, a team of Wildlife officials led by Mr Ramesh Kumar reached the spot. They lifted the drum onto a gypsy and drove off to the forest area near Berwala, 10 km from here. The animal, probably aware of the human presence, did not stir in the drum.

On the outskirts of Berwala, a small hamlet on the Panchkula-Morni road, the Wildlife officials released the python in the forest area, just off the road. For the benefit of lensmen, the snake was placed in a small trench, but it was only after the officials and mediapersons maintained silence for some time that the python obliged and, displaying its fangs, wriggled away. 



MC staff observe complete strike
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 8
A complete strike was observed by various employees unions of the Municipal Corporation here today to protest against the “illegal” orders of absorption of an employee of the UT Administration into the Municipal Corporation.

The employees have, further, threatened to disrupt the power and water supply to the city if their demand was not considered favourably till tomorrow.

The president of the MC Employees Union, Mr Madan Lal Sharma, and another employee, Mr Ramesh Gupta, began an indefinite fast outside the MC office to press for the repatriation of the employee, Mr Tarsem Lal, a Senior Assistant on deputation from the UT Administration to the MC since 1996.

Supported by the Chandigarh Subordinate Service Federation, UT (INTUC), Mr Sharma said they were opposed to absorbing Mr Tarsem Lal in the corporation on a permanent basis as Superintendent Grade II.

When contacted, the Municipal Commissioner, Mr M.P. Singh, said a deputation of the employees had met the Mayor in connection with Mr Tarsem Lal’s promotion and absorption by the MC.

“She, in turn, asked us to stay the absorption and send her the facts in this regard. The file was sent to her today. However, the concern of the employees that Mr Tarsem lal is being promoted at their cost is unfounded. We have three posts of Superintendents which are vacant. Only one employee, Mr Kuldeep Singh, fulfills the eligibility condition for the two posts reserved for MC employees. Mr Tarsem Lal has been promoted against the seat reserved for those on deputation or for direct recruitment,” Mr M.P. Singh explained.

Meanwhile, the Mayor, Ms Kamlesh, said she would convene a meeting of the MC officials and the representatives of the union to sort out the matter. “We will see if there has been any violation of provisions in Mr Tarsem Lal’s absorption as is being maintained by the MC employees. The MC Commissioner will also be there to discuss the whole issue at length. Based on this discussion, we will take a final decision,” she said.

The MC Employees Union said if the MC authorities failed to decide in their favour, the struggle to press for Mr Tarsem Lal’s repatriation would be intensified.

Commissioner M.P. Singh said the salaries would be deducted for the time they remained absent.



PGI offers 12 tests under package system
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 8
The PGI has selected 12 laboratory tests conducted by the departments of haematology and biochemistry to be offered to the patients admitted in general wards under the newly introduced package system in which a daily charge of Rs 50 is levied on each patient.

Following the approval of the Standing Finance committee and the General Body, the PGI has started charging Rs 50 a day from the general-ward patients for conducting laboratory tests. Under the earlier system, the patients paid the amount for each test separately.

However, for the more specialised and expensive tests, the patients would still have to shell out money every time they need one; and this would be in addition to the daily payment.

The tests covered under the scheme are five tests conducted by the Department of Biochemistry, lipid profile, liver function tests, kidney function tests, electrolytes and blood glucose tests, and seven tests conducted by the Department of Haematology, haemoglobin, PCV, TLC, platelet count, DLC, ESR and prothrombin time.

The Medical Superintendent, Prof A. K. Gupta, addressing mediapersons today, said the decision would reduce the number of trips needed to pay for the routine tests. “Most of these tests are conducted more than once every day for the patients admitted in the general wards. Moreover, the patients can easily estimate how much they would be spending on the treatment,” he said.

The PGI also plans to start surgical packages in the cardiology and urology departments. These are already being offered by the Ophthalmology Department.

To avoid misuse of the facilities offered to the poor patients, the PGI authorities have issued instructions to the heads of department to recommend patients for free facilities only if they possess the “yellow card” to prove they are below the poverty line, according to Dr Amod Gupta, chairman of the public relations committee. Till now, doctors were recommending patients for free treatment.

However, he said that under an emergency situation, a poor patient would be first treated by the doctor and then would be asked to attach a copy of the yellow card. 



Slimmer bags for tender shoulders from next session
Ramjeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 8
Believe it or not, a primary level student will have to carry a single textbook to school from the next academic session thereby reducing the weight of his school bag by several kilograms.

This single textbook, covering all subjects from Class 1 to V, has been devised by a private publisher and has been approved by NCERT. It is also expected to reduce the mental burden of schoolchildren.

Children at primary level now carry at least six textbooks and other supplementary reading material, weighing between five kilograms and eight kilograms. This does not include around 450-gram weight of a schoolbag.

Taking a cue from the recommendations of the Yash Pal Committee, which spoke about the weight a student carries to school, subject experts hit upon the novel idea of dividing an academic year into three terms. The textbook for each term combines four subjects, English, mathematics, science and social studies.

Thus a student would not have to carry the book of one term in the next term. This would automatically reduce the weight of the school bag. Giving practical shape to the concept, a private publisher has introduced the new-age textbooks in the market.

With the new textbooks, parents would have to invest in separate notebooks for homework and class work.

The Yash Pal Committee, a National Advisory Committee, was set up in 1992 to suggest ways and means to reduce academic burden on school students. The committee has specifically mentioned that, “As far as physical load of the school bag is concerned, the situation had become worse”.

After experimenting with the concept and having sold copies in schools in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, the private publisher is introducing the new-age books was being introduced in the north.

Despite the weight loss, these books cover the syllabus prescribed by NCERT. The idea is to give an integrated approach and have some sort of connectivity in terms of concepts and language.

Medical research has shown that a heavy school bag can damage a child’s spine and cause chronic back problems that linger till adulthood. The risks include muscle strain, distortion of the natural S curve of the spine, and rounding of the shoulders. The ideal weight of a school bag is one-tenth of the body weight of a student. But rarely do students carry light bags.



Living with a "toxic" reality of Bhopal tragedy
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 8
Shahid Noor has inherited a legacy he can hardly boast of. Orphaned on the fateful night of December 2, 1984, when 40 tons of lethal gas leaked from the Union Carbide factory in Bhopal, Noor is still struggling to come to terms with the "toxic" reality of his life.

Traumatized and tearful, he has just one claim to fame. He is among the few orphans to figure in the Bhopal government's official "orphaned-due-to-Bhopal-tragedy" list.

This entitles him to a government job which has not come even after 20 years of the tragedy.

Even today, Noor harbours little hope from the establishment. With a depressing future staring him in the face and a troubled past haunting him, he would rather seek comfort with other woebegone friends.

Noor repeatedly mentions of the 32 year-old-Sunil who lost seven family members in the tragedy.

"He has attempted suicide four times. He hates the presence of humans but we can't leave him alone. Now his younger brother fends for the family by serving as a guide to foreign journalists who come probing Bhopal's reality."

For his part, Noor campaigns for the cause of Bhopal's victims. The most active member of Bhopal Ki Awaz, an NGO formed by those orphaned by the tragedy, Noor is fighting several battles for justice.

"A decade ago, the government promised us jobs. Four CMs have changed but our reality has not altered," says Noor, in city for the inauguration of Greenpeace and Raghu Rai's photo exhibition on the Bhopal disaster opening tomorrow.

He begins by recounting the horror of December 2, 1984 — the day he lost his parents and his infant brother to methyl isocynate.

"We woke up coughing. Our bodies were burning. We ran for fresh air but there was none. Lethal gases had engulfed Bhopal. Everyone died," recalls Noor, now working to secure employment for Bhopal's orphans.

He is also campaigning for clean soil and water and free medical treatment for those devastated that night.

"Over 20, 000 people have died, 1.5 lakh need regular treatment. We are drinking poisonous water. Studies indicate high mercury levels in the milk of mothers. Despite statistics, the government is sleeping," he said.

Noor's immediate concern is the supply of safe drinking water. He says, "On May 5 this year the Supreme Court ordered that safe drinking water be supplied to us but the government is still dithering. They send tankers which reach a few places. We have been demanding a pipeline for safe supply but to no avail."

Twenty years of Noor's life have gone and all he has managed is Rs 25,000 in the name of compensation. A mere pawn in the tragic game, he is firmly hanging on to hope.

"What if politicians have reduced humans to statistics, there is hope as long as there is life," says a determined survivor who will not allow the painful memories of Bhopal fade away so easily..so soon.




WITH the advent of winter, the Sukhna Lake becomes a virtual haven for the winged visitors, especially for those who flock in droves from distant lands. Amongst these multi-hued feathered friends who flock to the lake is the snowwhite Indian goose (see picture), a lovable little leggy bird known for its legendary docility.

As these white beauties prey in the lake waters, along with flocks of migratory birds, curious visitors, including the teeny-weenies try to reach out to these wonderful creatures and feed them grains and other goodies. They become so friendly with these birds that they continue cuddling their cute cronies, unmindful of the scare of the deep Sukhna waters.

As these birds feed on the goodies and assorted grains, the feathered friends cackle in gay abandon as the crimson rays of the setting sun spread its divine aura all around. And the lucky few are those who seize an opportunity to watch such a wonderful moment that he or she loves to cherish throught their life — indeed a reminder of the age-old bond between man, animals and Mother Nature.

Bollywood and AIDS awareness

Those associating Bollywood flicks with the three hours of non-sense entertainment need to do some rethinking. As the NGO, Yuvsatta, in collaboration with the State AIDS Control Society, Chandigarh, screened the Shilpa Shetty, Abhishek Bachhan and Salman Khan starrer “Phir milenge” last week in colony No 5 to create awareness about the HIV\AIDS.

The novel idea was to create HIV\AIDS awareness among the young and old like under the garb of pure entertainment.

“The film beautifully shows how the AIDS spreads, the trauma which an AIDS patient undergoes and the general apathy and rejection faced by the patient in our society. The film received a spontaneous and overwhelming response from the people of the colony where more than 1,000 persons gathered to watch the movie,” remarked a social activist involved with the project. “The movie, in fact, is nationally recommended on AIDS awareness even by the World Health Organisation,” he informed.

Have faith in police

Parveen Kumar Walia of Sector 35-A regained his faith in the police after 15 years. He said his son’s cycle was lifted from his residence in September. This time the attitude of the police was different than 15 years ago, when his cycle was stolen from the Panjab University campus. When he approached a nearby police station then the police officer on duty not only treated him rudely but also told him that it was not possible to trace his stolen cycle. But this time, to his pleasant surprise, the police not only gave him a patient hearing but also offered a glass of water and a cup of tea. Mr Walia said the police traced out his cycle instantly. “Have faith in Chandigarh police”, said Mr Walia.

Children and sports

Children need to be trained in gymnastics, athletics and swimming, which are considered mother sports as per a study conducted worldwide. Shivalik Public Schools in Sector 41 and Mohali have devised a unique method. The school conducted an open sports show where each child was asked to choose a sport of its liking, but gymnastics and athletics were compulsory. And to fulfil the third mandatory requirement, they will have an all-weaher swimming pool in Mohali soon.

— Sentinel



MC byelection: Girdhari Lal is BJP candidate
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 8
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) announced Mr Girdhari Lal Jindal as the party candidate for the byelection to ward No. 11 of the municipal corporation at a press conference at the BJP office, here today. Also, the Congress announced the name of president the local unit of the Youth Congress H.S. Lucky as its official candidate at Rajiv Gandhi Bhavan, Sector 35.

After announcing the name of Mr Jindal, the president of the local unit of the BJP, Mr Yashpal Mahajan, said the seat had been vacated by a BJP councillor and hence would be won by them.

Former Member of Parliament, Satya Pal Jain, said Mr Jindal had been active in the party for over 20 years and was a resident of the sector he was chosen to represent.

Mr Jain also raised objection on the non-inclusion of 500-odd names of new voters registered between September 15 and October 15 this year and added that the party would get in touch with the president of the Akali Dal, Mr Prakash Singh Badal, and urged him to extend support to the BJP candidate.

Meanwhile, in the afternoon, the president of the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee, Mr B.B. Behl, formally announced the name of local Youth Congress president, Mr H.S. Lucky, at another press conference.



BDPO withdraws bar on staff
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 8
A controversial letter which had forced the local MP, Mr Pawan Bansal, to question the working of the officialdom, has been withdrawn by the wing concerned of the Chandigarh Administration. Mr Bansal had questioned the officials publicly on October 7.

While participating in a discussion at a two-day conference on "Panchayati Raj in Union Territories and Panchayati Raj Jurisprudence" Mr Bansal had remarked, "Did we get Independence from the British to swap white sahibs with brown sahibs?" The conference was held in Chandigarh.

The Union Minister for Petroleum and Panchayati Raj, Mr Mani Shankar Aiyer, was in the chair. The Administration led by Mr Lalit Sharma, Adviser to the Administrator, was red faced as the MP lashed out at them.

Mr Bansal quoted a circular of the Block Development and Panchayat Officer (BDPO), Panchayat Samiti issued on September 17. In this the BDPO had asked his staff not to interact with the elected Chairman or Vice-Chairman of the samiti.

The BDPO has now withdrawn the letter. A two-line order in this regard says “As directed and desired by the Deputy Commissioner, the impugned order number 765-766 (dated 17.9.2004). is hereby rescinded."

The original letter of (dated September 17) had led to a major showdown. The Chairman of the samiti, Mr Bhupinder Singh Badheri, kept quiet and chose not to react to the letter. He only raised the matter with the local MP.

The original circular issued by the BDPO also threatened action against the staff if there was non-compliance. "What kind of attitude is this?", Mr Bansal had then asked the Union Minister.

Minutes after Mr Bansal made the remarks, the Adviser and the Commissioner of Municipal Corporation were seen in an animated discussion with Mr Bansal during the conference.

Local Congress leaders had then said they would not rest till the circular was rescinded. The impugning of the order was just not enough. Senior Officials have consistently refused to comment on the contents of the letter or this outcome. 



Fauji Beat
Will India ever get a CDS?

THE Standing Committee of Defence in its recent report has rapped the Ministry of Defence (MoD) for dragging its feet on the appointment of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) for more than three years. In its criticism, the committee, among other failings of the MoD, has brought out the Group of Ministers recommendation about the CDS, which was approved by the government in 2000. Sadly, the government added a negative proviso to its approval i.e. that various political parties may be consulted before taking a final decision. This was enough to put the recommendation in the cold storage.

In India, no decision can cross both political and bureaucratic hurdles. It is not the interest of the country but the preservation of their own empires that matters more. And this is not the first time that it has happened. When in 1989, the then Prime Minister, Mr V.P. Singh, approved “one rank, one pension” for the armed forces, wily bureaucrats scuttled it because they were not getting this benefit. Again, Mr George Fernandes, the then Defence Minister, in April 1999, announced that this pension was through. Not only that, he also made a commitment to restructure the MoD. The bureaucrats threw both these decisions to the wind.

What need to be remembered is that in India no decision that gives more powers or benefits to the defence forces will ever get through.

Cleanliness drive

The saying that “Cleanliness is next to Godliness” has been proved right by the 3 BRD, Air Force, by winning “Sanjivani Trophy” for the year 2002-03. The much-needed cleanliness drive was initiated by Air Officer Commanding, Air Commodore S.P.S. Virk.

The shipshapedness of the Depot is a testimony to the hard work put in by the Depot. To keep the spirit of cleanliness alive, a structure has been erected and dedicated to the workforce that has brought fame to 3 BRD. This structure was unveiled by one of the labourers on November 1. It is believed that health, happiness and quality of production are deeply influenced by environment. So the same words in Devanagari script are inscribed on the structure.

The cleanliness drive by 3 BRD, Air Force, Chandigarh, included clearing the unwanted vegetation, shrubs, slums and grass and removal of rubbish from various areas in the large complex.

Station HQ, Chandigarh

Located in two small rooms in Sector 28, Station Headquarters, Chandigarh, is frequented by a sizeable number of ex-servicemen and defence widows. They come from Chandigarh and surrounding areas to this headquarters for the issue of ration cards, liquor and canteen cards and for their renewal, etc. Besides, the administration of 52 officers’ separated family quarters and 192 JCOs’ and other ranks’ separated family quarters in Sectors 28 and 29, respectively, is also looked after by this headquarters.

The Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) membership forms from Chandigarh and adjoining areas are received here. The scrutiny of each form and accompanying documents takes at least an hour. So far 2700 application forms have been received by this headquarters. The ECHS membership cards when received are also given to the ex-servicemen concerned by this office.

On paper, the headquarters are only a detachment of the Station Headquarters, Chandi Mandir, and is staffed by an officer (Lieut-Col) and two temporary clerks. But its workload is quite substantial, with the result that the ex-servicemen have to wait for their turn for a long time. Moreover, the small office is always crowded. In all fairness to the workload, the headquarters should have one permanent clerk, a computer and a xerox machine. There is also a necessity of a waiting room for the ex-servicemen.

ECHS subscriptions

Earlier, half of the dearness relief, which was merged with pension, was not counted for the Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) subscriptions. But according to a recent order, it will now be counted. This will put additional financial burden on the ex-servicemen, especially on the other ranks, because they will be paying Rs 4800 instead of Rs 1800, as they are paid now. Most of the officers who were paying Rs 12,000 will have to pay Rs 18,000 now.

— Pritam Bhullar



Chandigarh Club ballots found in order
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 8
The ballots and their counterfoils in the Chandigarh Club elections have been found in order. The number of counterfoils were counted and matched with the ballots on Sunday. A formal report is ready and will be submitted to the Delhi-based Company Law Board (CLB) tomorrow.

The report has been prepared by Mr Neeraj Chaudhary, who was earlier appointed as officer of the court to count the number of ballots in the boxes and match the same.

In the counting, it was also revealed that at least 200 of the 461 ineligible members, who were enrolled beyond the ceiling of 5000 members, had not cast their vote. Also, nearly 50 persons did not cast their vote after getting ballot papers issued.

The final arguments in the case have been completed before the CLB. However, all parties involved in the case have been allowed to make written submissions till November 11, after which the board will announce the verdict. The counting of the votes cast on April 3 has been completed, but the result has been kept secret in line with a separate order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

The Company Law Board on October 15 had ordered the counting of votes, which had been stayed since April.

Certain members of the club had petitioned the board, saying 461 members were not among the 5,000 life or permanent members eligible to vote as per the Article of Association of Chandigarh Club. They claimed these persons had been made members on old membership numbers to make them eligible. This, they had alleged, was illegal.

This wrong membership of 461 people has been substantiated by a committee appointed by the board to look into the matter.

On October 15, the board had said that the results of candidates who won with less than 10 per cent margin would be withheld till a final decision was taken.

Meanwhile, a member of the club has petitioned the Punjab and Haryana High Court, seeking transfer of the case from the Company Law Board to the High Court. This is to come up for hearing tomorrow.



NCC cadets bag bronze
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 8
Cadets of the Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh NCC Directorate have bagged the bronze in boat-pulling competition during the national-level Nau-Sainik Camp held in Vishakapatnam.

According to the Group Commander, Chandigarh, Col Ashwini Sharma, the contingent bagged the sixth overall position among the 16 NCC directorates who attended the camp.

The contingent comprised 40 cadets, including 10 girls. They took part in sailing, boat-pulling, ship-modelling firing, drill semaphore and best cadet competitions. They returned here yesterday.



PEC lecturer’s son booked for fake certificates
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 8
A Lecturer of Punjab Engineering College (PEC) has allegedly produced fake sports gradation certificates to seek admission for his son in the prestigious college. Following the registration of a case in this regard, PEC has kept the admission of his son, Gurmohan Singh Gill, pending.

The case was registered on a complaint of Mr Baljit Kapoor, Principal of the college. The police said that Gurmohan, a son of Mr Jagtar Singh Gill, a lecturer in the Spots Wing of the college, produced fake certificates of achievement in sports to procure gradation certificates from the UT Department of Sports.

Mr Gill, who is the organising secretary of the Squash and Racquet Association, had allegedly produced forged documents to procure the gradation certificates. To get a gradation certificate, a candidate must have played matches in a tournament that has at least seven participant teams.

In the case of Gurmohan, the records showed his having fulfilled the criterion, but during the investigation it was found that the number of the matches was less than required.

After getting the certificates, Gurmohan applied for admission in the college against the sports quota. The Sports Department conducted an inquiry to ascertain the veracity of the documents produced by him and found them fake. The department withdrew the gradation certificates in August, which were issued earlier to Gurmohan.

The college, when it came to know of the matter, conducted its own inquiry and also found the documents fake. The matter was reported to the police yesterday. A case under Sections 420 and 120-B of the IPC has been registered at Sector 11 police station.

Mr Jagtar Singh Gill, talking to Chandigarh Tribune, expressed ignorance about the registration of the case against his son. He alleged it was a conspiracy hatched against him by the Principal. He said the matter was sub-judice as the veracity of the certificates was under the consideration of a court.



Alert cop nets 6 thieves 
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 8
A remarkable catch of six thieves from a bus at Kharar yesterday by a Mohali policeman travelling in the same bus today led to a squabble of sorts within the police for credit. Both the Mohali police and Ropar CIA staff are now claiming credit for the catch.

According to sources, the six thieves, believed responsible for at least eight major robberies and burglaries in Mohali, were caught red handed by head constable Jaspal Singh, posted at Mohali, in a bus while he was travelling from Ropar to this town.

The six were stealing cash and other valuables from passengers’ luggage when they were spotted by the alert cop.

Mr Jaspal Singh was travelling in a Punjab Roadways bus coming from Kulu-Manali to Chandigarh. He saw the six young men sitting on separate seats, one behind the other, in the bus, with one sitting on the last seat of the bus.

One in the front would slide a bag from the front to his accomplice sitting behind him, who would then slide it further till the bag reached the last person. This thief sitting on the last seat would then take out cash, jewellery or any other valuables from the bag.

When Mr Jaspal Singh understood their modus operandi, he took the bus conductor into confidence and asked him to stop the bus at Phase I police station in Mohali. However, the thieves came to know of this and started looking for an opportunity to get off the bus.

In a hurry, the conductor stopped the bus at the T junction of Kharar-Ludhiana roads, where a highway patrol was on duty. The thieves were handed over to the Kharar police there and Mr Jaspal Singh sent a message to the Mohali SP regarding the catch.

The case was, however, taken over by the Ropar CIA staff, who are interrogating the six. Investigations revealed that the six have been responsible for eight robberies and burglaries in Mohali. 



Canbazar concludes
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 8
A three-day exhibition ‘Canbazar’ at the Lajpat Rai Bhavan, sector 15, concluded today. Around 45 women entrepreneurs had put up their stalls to exhibit their products. Products like handicrafts, household linen, quilted items, silk sarees, shawls, phulkaris, woolen sweaters, fancy candles and textile designs were displayed. The exhibition was organised by the centre of entrepreneurship development cell, Canara Bank, Chandigarh, to provide an opportunity to the women entrepreneurs.

Prizes were also given to the best performers in the exhibition on the basis of their marketing and sales skills and display and decoration of the stall. The first prize was bagged by Deepali Gupta of Chandigarh for the stall of paintings while the second prize went to Anuradha Sharma from Jaipur for silver jewellery. Poonam Chandna from Nelokhari (Haryana) took the third prize for quilted handicrafts.

Mr Y.L. Madan, General Manager Canara Bank Circle Office, Chandigarh, gave away the prizes.


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 |