C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Bitter facts about yummy sweets
Hygiene, quality ‘murdered’ in dingy workshops
*Colours of deceit in mithai
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Sweets being prepared in the most unhygienic conditions in Panchkula
Sweets being prepared in the most unhygienic conditions in Panchkula. A view of a kitchen of a sweets shop in Sector 15. — Tribune photo by Pankaj Sharma.

 Brightly coloured mithai being sold in a shop on the Mohali-Landran road on Thursday looks tempting, but is unhealthy because of the quality of colours used in it
The colour trap: Brightly coloured mithai being sold in a shop on the Mohali-Landran road on Thursday looks tempting, but is unhealthy because of the quality of colours used in it. — Tribune photo by Parvesh Chauhan.

Panchkula, November 11
With the festive season on, various sweets shops in town are out to tickle your taste buds with their brightly coloured and generously garnished array of sweets. But how hygienic are these sweets, especially the ones prepared with “khoya”, is a fact generally ignored by consumers.

The township has almost 30 odd sweets shops, offering various delicacies. From the cashew and pista-flavoured sweets to the simple burfi and gulab jamun, in colours ranging from crimson to deep green, this is the best season for the sale for these sweets in shops in the interior markets of most sectors, as well as those in the markets of Sectors 7 and 11. What is beautifully displayed in the brightly lit shops, may actually not be as good for your health, as the Chandigarh Tribune discovered during a visit to these shops today.

Barring a few sweets shops, the kitchens or rather workshops of most of the sweet shops, are dingy rooms filled with cobwebs and soot. The hygiene of workers employed in these shops too is questionable. None of the workshops have provision for cross-ventilation and the workers sweat it out in the ding workshops often on the sweets that they prepare. The concept of head gear or gloves, is unheard of at these places.

The workers work bare foot in the workshops and as the Chandigarh Tribune team discovered, they even walk out on the roads without any footwear and then walk in the workshops bringing in the dirt and germs. In Sector 11 market, the workshops of two sweets shops are located with car painting and denting workshops on either side. Right outside the window of one of these workshops, a car mechanic was busy spraying paint on a car, unmindful of the fact that the spray was also falling on the raw material kept of in a tray on the window sill in the kitchen.

A sweets shop owner in Sector 15, informs that the most of the bigger sweets shops get their supply of “khoya” which is the main ingredient in almost 90 per cent of sweets from Panipat. “The khoya is brought in the most unhygienic conditions and is often left uncovered,” informs a worker at a sweets shop in Sector 7. He informs that though the big sweets shops buy the good quality “khoya”, most of the small sweets shops buy the “khoya” prepared from synthetic milk. In Sector 7, a sweets shop near the Community Centre, prepares “khoya” in the open, unmindful of the swarms of flies and piles of garbage lying barely a few yards away.

“The powder is brought to the workshops in Dadua and Industrial Area, Chandigarh, from Hanumangarh in Rajasthan, and mixed in the low quality milk to prepare “khoya”. As compared to the good quality “khoya” available for Rs 70 to Rs 80 a kilogram, this “khoya” is available for Rs 35 a kilogram”. He also told that these days the “khoya” was in short supply, because of the festive and marriage season and only the scarp of the good quality “khoya” is available to prepare sweets.

The District Health Officer, Dr Lalit Virmani, said they would be collecting samples of prepared sweets as well as ingredients to check the quality of sweets. “Strict action will be taken in case any aberration from the standard norms is found in food quality,” he assured.

Tribune Reporters add:

Mohali: Norms laid down by the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act not withstanding, Mohali sweets shop owners have had a free run in using non-permitted colours for ‘brightening’ up their products. Although the Ropar health authorities have, over the past one week, collected samples of various coloured products from sweets shops in the district, no action has been initiated against anyone in this regard.

Shopkeepers are openly using bright green, orange, pink and even brown to colour the mithai. ‘‘Most of the colours used are unnatural and not allowed to be used. Even those who are using permitted colours are using them in very high quantities,’’ said Dr S. Kaur, a doctor who was shopping in the phase 3B2 market.

But many other shoppers, however, seemed unperturbed about the fact. Brightly coloured sweets beautifully displayed attract one and all in the markets. ‘‘We are buying sweets from a big shop. The sweets are also very costly here. So we hope that these are hygienic too,’’ said Mr Dilraj Singh, a Phase VII resident.

While this might be true of the standard shops in the bigger markets within the township, sweets shops in the nearby rural areas are also doing brisk business despite selling product of questionable quality. “Rural folk cannot pay too much. But they want the same kind of stuff that is sold in urban areas. If we use good raw material then the cost of the mithai becomes unaffordable,’’ admitted Sohan Singh, a sweets shop owner on the Sohana-Landran road. His shop, one of the most well decorated ones in the village, was loaded with bright multi-coloured sweets, lying uncovered in neat rows. The fact that the sweets were strewn with flies and even bees did not seem to bother the buyers.

However, most of the sweets shops in Landran and Mohali villages had ensured that their products were covered. “We have managed to create a lot of awareness among sweets shop owners last festive season. Even this year our teams have visited the area and collected samples. We would take action against those whose samples fail,” pointed out Dr Rana Harinder, Civil Surgeon, Ropar.

CHANDIGARH: Sweets made in unhygienic conditions have started arriving at certain markets in the city also.

With the demand of sweets outstripping the supply in the festival season, particularly in the colonies and villages, these sweets are all set to play havoc with the lives of the unsuspecting consumers. The inability of the health authorities seem to be only compounding the problem.

A random survey of the Industrial Area, Burail and Mani Majra revealed that cleanliness was last on the minds of certain sweets shop owners. Soiled clothes of the workers and insanitary conditions around the shops gave lie to the claims of the Health Department that such shop owners were regularly challaned.

These shop owners supplied bulk quanitities of sweets to certain “prominent” shops located in different parts of the city. In fact, these are given a new look by wrapping them in bright sweets boxes mentioning the names of the sweets shops, a sweets shop owner said.

The ingredients used in the preparation of the sweets are not always of the best quality. A sweets shop owner conceded that they had no check on the quality of “khoya”, the basic ingredient in the preparation of a majority of sweets. And some of the colours used in the sweets did not conform the guidelines framed by authorities.

In fact, the festival time provided an ideal opportunity to earn quick buck to the small-time shop owners as during the rest of the year the business is not so good. Thus quality is sacrificed on the altar of profit, contended Mr Ram Pal, a shop owner in Mani Majra.

However, a Sector 20 shopkeeper claimed that strict quality control was being maintained by them since the reputation of the shop was at stake. It was virtually impossible to get back the customer once lost and so quality was very important, he said and added that regular check by the Health Department kept them on the toes particularly during festival season.

A majority of shop owners got their supplies of “khoya” from Saharanpur and Panipat. It is also alleged that “khoya” made from synthetic milk was in circulation and being used in the preparation of the sweets.

Ruling out any special drive against shop owners not adhering to the rules governing the preparation of the sweets, official sources claimed that routine raids were being conducted in various markets. Challaning of the erring shopkeepers was a routine affair, an official said, adding that the department took cognisance if any specific complaint was received against a specific shopkeeper.



Lighting lamps for peace and prosperity
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 11
On the eve of Divali, the Chandigarh unit of the All-India Anti-Terrorist Front (AIATF) organised a ceremony at Plaza, Sector 17, Chandigarh. Hundreds of earthen lamps were lit during the ceremony for the peace and prosperity of the nation by members and residents of the city. A large number of children, youngsters and old-age persons took part in the ceremony.

This is the third consecutive year that the AIATF had organised the ceremony on the eve of Divali at Sector 17, Chandigarh, with the aim to propagate the message of brotherhood while celebrating the occasion together.

The ceremony was coordinated by Mr Hemant Khanna, vice-president of the Chandigarh unit of the AIATF, and the layout was designed by Mr Praveen Behal, spokesman of the front.

A large number of students of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 19, Chandigarh, under the guidance of Mr Kulyash, and Mr Anand Rawat, took an active part in the ceremony.

Amongst the prominent persons who attended the ceremony were, Mr Rajesh Sharma, Mr Hari Harpal Singh Baath, Mr Praveen Behal, Mr Chaitan Bedi, Mr Ashok Sharma, Mr Mansa Ram and Mr Raj Kumar. 



Gourmet’s delight or a bird’s plight?
Bipin Bhardwaj

Chandigarh, November 11
Over 1,000 guineafowls (chakors), that have been brought to the city and surrounding areas in violation of rules, are likely to be slaughtered for the Divali celebrations. The mute birds will end up as delicacies on festive menus on the festival of lights.

The birds were transported from Allahabad to the city in a truck by five persons late last night. At present they have been stuffed into 12 cane-trays in violation of the Prevention of Cruelty towards Animal Act along the Chandigarh-Ambala highway near Transport Chowk at Hallomajra village.

The arrival of the birds has, however, not been noticed by the UT Animal and Husbandry Department and some of the injured birds have even been sold off at throwaway prices by their caretakers. The birds are being sold without obtaining any licence from the department.

According to Mr Sriram, a caretaker of the birds, Mr Sham Babu, an Allahabad-based bird contractor, has sent the guineafowls for sale in Chandigarh, Ludhiana and other nearby cities. The guineafowls are being sold for Rs 150 per pair.

Mr Sriram admitted that over six pheasants had died while being transported to Chandigarh. “We are planning to move to Ludhiana as the birds are hardly in demand in Chandigarh,” added Mr Sriram.

The caretakers of the birds claimed that Mr Sham Babu had employed them for selling the birds in different cities of the region and they were getting Rs 40 per day for this work.

As the birds arrived in the city a number of onlookers and customers thronged at spot and were seen negotiating with the contractors. However, the sale of the fowls picked up in the evening. 



Traffic woes continue on Divali eve
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 11
On the second consecutive day today the commuters had a tough time wading through traffic jams in the city.
People were stranded for hours on the busy roads waiting for the traffic to clear, belying the tall claims of proper arrangements the traffic police made yesterday.

The parking of vehicles became a major headache with a large number of parking lots in the city being used for putting up festival stalls. This led to the vehicles being parked along the roads leaving even lesser space for the commuters.

A large part of the city witnessed traffic moving at a snail’s pace.

The lack of planning of diversions on busy roads like in Sectors 17, 22, 35, and 34 was felt badly today. No diversion routes were planned for the free flow of traffic.

The road between Burail and Sector 34 remained clogged because of the visitors seeking to avoid the busy Himalyan Marg. The traffic was virtually jammed for 20 minutes with a few commuters turning to traffic regulators to clear the jam. No police personnel was seen at the spot.

Police officers, however, claimed that the situation today was better than yesterday. A survey surrounding the major markets showed that the rush was continuing.

The traffic was largely due to those who visited their friends to greet them on the occasion of the festival.

The rickshaw-pullers today charged excessive money from visitors to the markets. Those who could not get parking space near the markets had to park them at some distance. The rickshaw pullers had kept their rickshaws near these open spaces to exploit the opportunity.

The police stuck to its plan drawn yesterday. The plan is likely to be followed in the coming few days.

A few commuters said that the police should have planned route diversions around the main markets during the festival season.

Traffic jam: Traffic flow on the Panchkula-Shimla National Highway was blocked from almost one hour this evening near Pinjore. A truck had reportedly developed a technical problem and was stranded on the road. Other than this, encroachments by shopkeepers in the main market of Pinjore ensured that the traffic could not flow smoothly. A crane was then called to lift the truck and the traffic flow was restored only after one hour.



Enjoy safe Divali
Tribune News Service

Things to be kept in mind

  • Use good quality crackers. Light anars and rockets only with a candle stick from a distance.
  • Never cover the crackers in a paper to burst them, it can cause accidental fire.
  • Do not wear loose and synthetic clothes, prefer cotton.
  • Wear protective glasses while bursting crackers to avoid the glare.
  • Keep bucket full of water to take control of any emergency.
  • Pour water on burn inquires before rushing to the doctor.
  • Do not splash water in eyes in case of chemical burns. Cover the injured eye with cotton patch.

In case of emergency: call PGI at 2747585 — extension— 6221. Mobile: 9814014464 GH, Sector 16: 102 (ambulance), 2782457. GMCH, Sector 32: 9814821212

Chandigarh, November 11“We have not bought crackers since 1995. Nor has any of our relative ever played with them,” says advocate G.S. Bal. It was the fateful Divali nine years ago that led to complete vision loss of his nephew, Gagandeep.

“I am fighting a legal battle with the manufacturers of the crackers which made my nephew go through so much, who was only nine years old then,” adds Mr Bal. The battle is not yet over as the cracker samples have now been sent to forensic laboratories in Punjab and Haryana for an investigation.

Divali does not remain a festival of lights for those who have seen their lives altered drastically due to the injuries caused by the “poor quality crackers”.

If Mr Bal and his nephew choose the legal path, the family of Armaan, 8, who completely lost his eye sight on the last Divali, plans to remain more cautious.

“I would not suggest anyone child lighting crackers without the strict supervision of the parents and elders. We will light the good quality crackers this year, but I will not let my children remain unattended,” said Mr Kirpal Singh, Armaan’s father and Sub-Inspector with the Chandigarh police.

“Ideally the children below the age of 12 should not light crackers and those above 12 should burst the crackers only under the strict vigil of the parents and elders,” said Dr G. Dewan of the Sector 16 General Hospital. He said only good quality crackers should be purchased.

The three hospitals in the city — the PGI, the General Hospital, Sector 16, and GMCH, Sector 32, have already deployed additional staff to deal with burns and eye injury victims.



36 nominated to PU Senate
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 11
Names of academicians, former bureaucrats and the president and general secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) figure in the list of members nominated to the Panjab University Senate of 2004. The list was received by the university authorities here today.

While very few new faces have made it to the list of the 36 nominated Senators whose names were finalised by the Chancellor of the university and the Vice President of India, Mr Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, last term’s elected Senators have come back as nominated Senators to this Senate.

Those nominated to the Senate include Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, local member of parliament (MP); Mr Sat Pal Jain, former MP; Dr Ronki Ram, President (ex-officio), Panjab University Teachers’ Association (PUTA); Dr Ms Cecilia Antony, Department of French, PU; Dr Manoj Kumar, University Institute of Pharmaceutical Science, PU; Prof Akhtar Mahmood, Department of Biochemistry, PU.

Justice S.K. Jain, Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal, MP; Mr Sat Pal Dang, Amritsar; Mr Lajpat Rai, former MP; Prof Ganesh Dutt Bhardwaj, Department of Sanskrit, PU; Mr Radhey Shyam Sharma, former Editor, Dainik Tribune; Mr G.P. Chopra, President, DAV College Managing Committee.

Prof J.K. Chauhan, Director, PU; Prof A.K. Saijhpal, Department of Correspondence Studies, PU; Mr P.C. Dogra, former Director General of Police; Mr Kehar Singh, former Chief Conservator of Forests, Punjab; Dr K.K.Talwar, Director, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research.

Prof J.C. Bansal, former PU professor; Mr G.C.Garg, advocate, Punjab & Haryana High Court; Prof (Ms) Manjit Kaur, Department of Physics, PU; Mr Upkar Krishan Sharma, President , SD Institutions of Punjab and UT; Prof C.L. Duggal, Department of Zoology, PU; Prof Deepak Manmohan Singh, former Professor, Sheikh Baba Farid Chair, PU.

Mr Rajinder Bhandari, Arya College, Ludhiana; Dr Amarjeet Singh Dua, Dean, College Development Council, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar; Mr Tarsem Bahia, former Principal, AS College, Khanna; Mr Avinash Rai Khanna, MP, Hoshiarpur; Mr S.P. Oswal, Chairman and Managing Director, Ludhiana.

Mr Bharpur Singh, Secretary, Sikh Educational Society for Colleges in Punjab and Chandigarh; Mr Vishnu Bhagwan, vice-Chancellor, Guru Jambheshwar University, Hisar; Prof Pritam Singh, Director, Management Development Institute, Gurgaon.

Ms Kuldip Kaur Pannu, D.M. College, Moga; Prof R.C. Sobti, Chairperson of Biotechnology, PU; Mr H.K. Dua, Editor-in-Chief, Tribune group of newspapers; Mr Pritpal Singh Kapur, former Pro Vice-Chancellor, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar.



PGI to have diabetic foot laboratory
Neelam Sharma
Tribune News Service

How to take care of the feet if you are diabetic

  • Never walk bare foot
  • Cut the nails regularly
  • If redness is spotted, consult doctor immediately
  • Always purchase shoes in the evening when the foot size is maximum
  • Buy shoes with laces which are broad from the front. 

Chandigarh, November 11
With as many as 9 per cent of the total diabetic deaths occurring due to foot infections at the PGI, the Department of endocrinology at the Institute is setting up a diabetic foot laboratory to provide extra feet care.

Talking to The Tribune, the head of the department, Dr Anil Bhansali, today said thats in the laboratory, which is likely to be functional by January next in the department ‘s OPD, the high risk patients would be identified and given special equipment to prevent foot infection and formation of ulcers. Special shoes for the diabetic patients would also be provided.

“We have a tie-up with a Pune based company and are procuring equipment to set up the laboratory,’’ he added.

The data collected at the department from 1991 to 1997 revealed that as many as 9 per cent of the total 496 deaths of the diabetic patients in the PGI were due to foot infection. It is largely due to neglect and unhygienic conditions.

“People generally take diabetes very lightly and most of them think that it is a life long disease that requires some diet modifications. But the fact is that diabetes affect each and every organ in the body. Amputation and infections in the feet in the diabetics are easily preventable if care is taken before the infections spread leading to formation of the ulcer,’’ said Dr Bhansali, and added that most of the diabetics in the western countries loose their lives due to heart attacks.

Commenting on the scenario of diabetes in India, the doctor said that the country houses as many as 35 millions diabetics, making nearly 15 per cent of the population affected with the disease.

Though no exact cause is attributed to the high prevalence rate (in the USA and the UK , 7 to 8 per cent of the population is diabetic), doctors say that genetic causes, sedate lifestyle, intake of more junk food and refined sugar, mental stress and abdomen obesity are seen as the major causes of the disease.

“The disease is also increasing among the young persons below the age of 25 years. We have 180 young patients registered as diabetic in the department and a number of children coming into the OPDs here are also obese,’’ observed the doctor. 



Chhat Bir zoo to start breeding of Indian red junglefowl
Bipin Bhardwaj

Chhat Bir (Patiala), November 11
To breed Indian red junglefowl in captivity, the Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological Park authorities have procured two pairs of the pheasant from Himachal Pradesh.
Since the purity of the species had come under a cloud, recently, the zoo authorities have procured the birds from various red junglefowl breeding centres of the Himachal Wildlife Department for the purpose.

Covered under the Schedule IV of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, the red junglefowl’s North-Eastern natural habitat in the North part of India. With the arrival of the new pairs the number of pheasants has gone up to 12 in the zoo.

The birds of this species have glossy bright orange-red coloured feathers and are the size of a small domestic chicken. The red junglefowl is the descendent of domestic chicken. The mail bird has bright yellow feathers on the neck while grey-brown is the colour of the feathers of a hen. The birds breed in the months of March, April and May.

The birds make nest on ground in moist forest areas and lay 5-10 eggs in a year. Country has about 500 birds in captivity, revealed Mr Neeraj Gupta, Wildlife Warden of the zoo.

In addition to the fowl pairs, the zoo authorities have also procured a pair of ghurral, from the Himachal Wildlife Department from Kufri. Being an animal of lower reached of the Himalayas, ghurral, belongs to the deer family.

Arrival of the ghurral has completed number of all species of the deer family being reared in captivity here.

While talking to the Chandigarh Tribune, Mr Kuldeep Kumar, director of the zoo, claimed that the birds had been procured for the conservation of the species. The birds would be mixed and later separated in compatible pairs for breeding. The suitable pairs would be kept in off-display enclosures to yield results. He also claimed that the ghurral would be released in the enclosure of chinkaras, soon.



Delay in development work in MDC flayed
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 11
The Municipal Councillor from Mansa Devi Complex (MDC), Ms Renuka Rai Walia, has decried the delay in the execution of development works in her ward.
In a memorandum given to the Administrator, Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), the Councillor has said though most of the development works in her sector had been approved in the Sarkaar Aapke Dwaar programme by the Chief Minister, little had been done to implement these works.

She said the work of installing iron grills on central verges of roads and dividers from Mansa Devi T-point to the level crossing had not been initiated. The work to concretize and streamline Bhainsa Tibba nullah too had not been started.

The nullah passes through the back of a large number of group housing societies and is a serious health hazard. The nullah was also flooded during the recent floods and water had entered the nearby showrooms and houses.

She said the water boosting station (water works) in Mansa Devi Complex, Sector 5 was also not operational. “The population is increasing at a fast pace in Mansa Devi Complex and the boosting station needs to be made operational as soon as possible,” she said.



Cops distribute sweets among labourers’ children
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 11
The labourers working at the IT Park in Kishangarh village were a surprised lot today to have the police as their visitor five days after Radhey Shyam Dubey committed suicide in the locality after failing to arrange a quilt for himself.

The police officers who had arranged the cremation of Radhey Shyam went along with ladoos to distribute among children of the labourers.

DSP (East) Vijaypal Singh said when he went to the house of Radhey Shyam, he saw a large number of clothless children in the area. He said the death of Radhey Shyam in a peculiar condition had moved his colleagues who decided to visit the locality and assure the people that the police and people were with them.

At another function, the Senior Citizens Welfare Associaton Mauli Complex today held a function to pledge their support to the Chandigarh Police.

The function was chaired by Mr Vijaypal Singh, Mr M. L. Gulati, Mr Zile Singh, and Mr H. S. Ranga were among the important senior citizens who attended the function. The SHO of the area, Mr J. S. Khera, was also present at the function.



Capt Kaushal remembered
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 11
The ninth martyrdom day of Capt Rohit Kaushal was observed at his native village, Jalauli, today by the gram panchayat and Shaheed Capt Rohit Kaushal Government High School.

A contingent of 23 Punjab Regiment, led by Maj S.S. Sandhu, and contingents of 18 Punjab, 12 Rashtriya Rifles and 102 TA Punjab paid tributes.

The 27-year-old officer from 12 Rashtriya Rifles had attained martyrdom on November 11 while fighting militants in the Gandoh area of Doda district in Jammu and Kashmir. The Government of India has honoured him posthumously with Sena Medal.

In order to commemorate his martyrdom, his parents have constituted the Shaheed Capt Rohit Charitable Trust, which extends financial assistance to the poor and students.



Seminar on martyrdom at gurdwara
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 11
The Institute of Sikh Studies has decided to hold its annual seminar on “Martyrdom in Sikhism with particular reference to Sahibzadas” at Gurdwara Kanthala, near The Tribune complex, on November 13 and 14.

The theme, according to institute’s vice-president Bhai Ashok Singh Bagrian, has been chosen in view of the tercentenary of the martyrdom of the sons of Guru Gobind Singh.

Several eminent Sikh scholars and historians would present papers on the subject, followed by floor discussions.

The first session on Saturday will be chaired by Jathedar Takht Keshgarh Sahib, Giani Tarlochan Singh and presided over by Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta.

The last session on Sunday will be chaired by Dr N. Muthu Mohan from Kamraj University, Tamil Nadu.

A book, “Connecting the Dots in Sikh History” by Dr Harbans Singh Noor and published by the institute, will also be released on the occasion.



Scooter catches fire
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 11
Two women had a miraculous escape today when the scooter that they were riding caught fire near Government Press on road dividing Sector 8 and 18.

Hapinder Kaur of Mani Majra and her daughter, Mandeep Kaur were on way to Sector 17 when their Kinetic Honda scooter caught fire suddenly. They were told about this by some passersby.

A fire engine was called and it reached the spot within minutes and doused the flames. The fire officials say that the fire caused 75 per cent damage to the scooter.



SSC test for post of Sub-Inspector
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 11
The Staff Selection Commission(SSC) will hold the physical efficiency test for all qualified candidates for the post of Sub-Inspector in the central police organisations examination, 2004, here on November 29 and 30.
According to a press note, the call letters have been despatched.



Licencing office to be closed on Saturday
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 11
The office of the Registration and Licencing Authority will remain closed on Saturday.
The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Arun Kumar, said there would be no work relating to passing of vehicle and driving licences. The RLA opens on Saturday for defence personnel and senior citizens.



Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 11
The Chairman of the Panchayat Samiti, Chandigarh, Mr Bhupinder Singh Badheri, has been nominated to the Telephone Advisory Committee for Chandigarh. The tenure of the committee will be till September 30, 2006, or till further orders.



Couple gets 50 pc burns in suicide bid
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 11
A couple attempted suicide by immolating themselves at their residence in HMT Colony, Pinjore, late last night. They took the drastic step following a quarrel between themselves.

The police says that Than Singh, a Class IV employee in HMT, Pinjore, and his wife Bhagwanti, suffered 50 per cent burns. They were rescued by some neighbours, who rushed them to the HMT hospital. The doctor on duty administered first aid, and later referred them to the PGI, Chandigarh.

The police says it was given information about the case only today morning, and a team was sent to the PGI, to record their statement. At the time of filing of this report, the police had not been able to record their statements.

One dead: A scooterist, Harish Gupta, was crushed to death after a head-on collision with a truck in the Industrial Area here on Thursday evening. The man was reportedly going to a petrol pump, when a truck (CHW- 7308), coming from the opposite direction ran into his scooter. He died on the spot.

Theft: Thieves broke into the house of Ms Kuldeep Kaur in Sector 4 while the occupants were away to attend a wedding.

The theft came to light yesterday after the family returned and found locks broken. Jewellery, watches and electronic goods were stolen. A case has been registered.

Stolen: Mr Kesho Ram, a resident of Adarsh Nagar, Naya Gaon, has complained to the police here that his Mahindra pick up vehicle has been stolen from Naya Gaon. The police has registered a case. 



Mohali police claim on arrest of 6 thieves
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 11
The police yesterday claimed to have caught six thieves from a bus at Kharar on November 7 while they were planning a major robbery in Punjab.
According to sources, the thieves, found to be responsible for at least eight major robberies and burglaries in Mohali, were caught by Head Constable Jaspal Singh in a bus while he was travelling from Ropar to Mohali.

The accused Zila Singh, alias Chottu, Ram Kumar, Joginder Singh, Rajiv Kumar, alias Raju, Sunil and Balwan Singh, are all residents of the Rohtak road, Gohana, Panipat district.

The case, which is now being investigated by the CIA staff, Ropar, led to a squabble of sorts within the Ropar police for credit. Both the Mohali police and the Ropar CIA claimed credit for the catch.

The Head Constable Jaspal Singh is posted in Mohali and the thieves were handed over by him to the Kharar police at Kharar during the journey. However the CIA staff took over the matter and started further investigations.

A case in this connection was also registered in Kharar on Tuesday under Sections 399 and 402 of the IPC. 



Sec 22 market body install podium
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 11
The Market Welfare Association, Sector 22, today installed a podium to display prizes of the lucky draw to be held as a part of the shopping festival in the market. Claiming the installation of the podium was a victory of the association over the "biased attitude" of a few councillors, the association president, Mr Arvind Jain, said a big event was being planned for November 20.

"We will organise a cultural programme on November 20. A few councillors of the MC, for their own vested interests, tried to prevent us from holding this festival. However, the court came to our rescue," Mr Jain added.

He said the association had made a payment of Rs 31,000 to the MC for the installation of the podium while the remaining Rs 19,000 would be paid through cheque when the office re-opens after the Divali break. 


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