C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Robbery bid at bank branch in Ramgarh
Tribune News Service

Ramgarh (Panchkula), November 24
Some unidentified miscreant (s) broke into a branch of the State Bank of Patiala here last night. They ransacked the bank, including the locker room where the safes had been placed. But they were unable to break any of the safes.

Ironically, the bank is at a distance of just 250 yards from the Ramgarh police post, and a police naka headed by the in charge of the Ramgarh police post, ASI Balwant Singh, was held through the night, some 500 yards away from the bank. Incidentally, a cooperative bank is also located very near this bank.

The robbery attempt, however, went unnoticed, even as the miscreant (s) went about breaking locks on the entrance of the bank. The bank does not have a night watchman, though this was the second attempt to rob the bank in the last three years.

The break in was noticed only at 9.30 am in the morning, when the watchman, Gurdev Singh, reached the bank to open it. He opened the lock on the gate, but could not open the gate, as it was bolted from inside. He grew suspicious and informed the bank manager, Mr L.D. Gawri. In the meantime, another bank officer, Mr Tarsem Gupta reached there entered the premises after scaling the boundary wall. He found that the shutter at the entrance was half open and the main gate had been locked from inside.

When Mr Gawri reached the bank, he informed the police, and they went inside. "We found that two locks on the outer shutter of the entrance, and one lock on the iron grill had been broken. Inside the bank, the locks of my office, the record room, and the room where the three safes holding the cash deposits have been placed had also been broken," he informed.

The lock of the almirah in the Manager's office was also broken and it was thoroughly searched. The keys of the file cabinet and the safe were reportedly picked up, but while the robbers were trying to open the file cabinet, the keys got stuck inside the lock.

The police say that apparently the robbers tried to break the locks of the safes, but failed to do so. They also searched all drawers on the bank counters, and then scaled the walls and fled. The daily dealing of cash in this branch is about Rs 5 lakh.

Mr Gawri had also informed the zonal office of the bank in Panchkula about the robbery bid and the security officer was sent here.

They checked the manual alarm, and found that it was operational. The bank employees also proposed that sensor alarms should be installed at the bank.

The forensic experts could not reach the bank till evening and the bank staff, got the repair work on the locks done before leaving for the day. The forensic experts are likely to visit the bank branch tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the Superintendent of Police, Ms Mamta Singh, said following the robbery attempt, she has asked the Chandi Mandir police to intensify night patrolling in the area, especially around petrol pumps, jewellers shops and banks. “We have put our teams on alert and the miscreants will be nabbed soon,” she assured.



City heading towards a ‘waterless’ future
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

A major source of water wastage in slums and markets
A major source of water wastage in slums and markets. — Tribune photo by Pradeep Tewari

Chandigarh, November 24
Chandigarh is heading for a major water crisis in the coming years. The city has grown many times over than what was proposed in the master plan. The city was planned to house around five lakh persons after the completion of its third and final phase of development. But five decades later, the city already has a population of around nine lakh and is growing. This has caused acute water scarcity in the city round the year, except on a few peak winter days.

Water supply from the Kajauli Water Works and deep tubewells — the two sources of city’s water — put together is unable to cater to the growing water requirement of the residents. Chandigarh’s water requirement is about 100 million gallons per day (MGD). Kajauli and the deep tubewells put together have a peak supply capacity of around 64 MGD. This leaves a shortage of 36 MGD during summer months. And the situation is only getting worse with the expansion of the city.

Once the fourth and final phase of the Chandigarh Water Supply Augmentation Bhakra Main-Line Kajauli Scheme is completed around May 2005, another 20 MGD water would be treated and made available for use. But out of this Chandigarh will only receive 14.5 MGD while out of the remaining 3 MGD will go to Chandi Mandir Cantt and 2.5 MGD to Punjab as per the agreement between the Union Territory of Chandigarh and state of Punjab. The UT has no other source of water, except the ground water.

Of the 64 MGD water that is available to Chandigarh, between 50 to 52 MGD comes from the Kajauli plant while the remaining 12 to 14 MGD is pumped and supplied by 165 to 170 tubewells or deep pumps spread across the city. It is estimated that on an average between six to eight tubewells are abandoned every year. But at the same time not enough new tubewells are dug thus making the water supply situation worse.

The nexus between contractors and some administrative officials has confined the task of setting up new tube wells to a few hands. A recent decision of the Finance and Contracts Committee, Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, to reject most over quoted quotations for laying over a dozen new pipelines, has caused a reduction in water supply.

According to, Mr Swarn Singh, Superintending Engineer, Public Health, of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation there is an urgent need to gear up for the water requirement in the coming years. He says that a detailed plan of the projected water requirement till the year 2025 has been prepared and submitted to the Administration for action.

City councillor, P.C. Sanghi has, in his recommendation to the Administration, suggested that 16 big institutions of city, including the PGI and Panjab University, should be asked to set up water treatment plants that can treat water for irrigation and other use. It is estimated that 75 to 80 per cent of the treated water can be re-used and this could go a long way in conserving drinking water.

Though, 24-hour water supply in this modern and developed city is a distant dream, all those who can visualise the gravity of the situation advocate water conservation. Large amount of drinking water is wasted from leaks in old supply pipes that have become rusted and break easily.

Besides leakage, suction in broken pipes draws contaminated material causing outbreak of diseases and several other problems.

Another major source of water wastage is the leaking taps in markets and slums after the taps are stolen or removed and sold. There is an opinion that the market committees should be made responsible for looking after the standposts and if they refuse to take charge, the connections of all such standposts should be cut to prevent water shortage.

After development work in the Cooperative Housing Societies coming up in Sectors 48 to 51 is complete, the water shortage in the city is bound to increase further. Scarcity of water is alarming. After utilising all resources by May next year the city will still be short of water by about 25 MGD.

The gravity of the situation assumes alarming proportions when one visualises the situation in 2021 when the city’s population is projected to touch around 21 lakh and the water availability would still be at the current level.



Road repair leaves thousands stranded on Ambala highway
Bipin Bhardwaj

Zirakpur, November 24
The recarpeting of the Zirakpur-Lalru stretch of the busy Kalka-Ambala highway caused a major traffic jam on the Ghaggar river bridge for the second consecutive day today. Thousands of motorists had a tough time there. Following the recarpeting work by the Building and Roads wing of the Punjab Public Works Department (PPWD), vehicles have been moving at snail’s pace on the stretch for the past fortnight.

In the absence of traffic diversions on the highway at Zirakpur and at Ambala, motorists heading from Chandigarh towards Ambala and from Ambala to Chandigarh are being virtually ‘trapped’ in traffic chaos on the highway for two to three hours daily.

Most affected are the passengers who have to catch trains from Ambala and fights from Delhi as they remain stranded in the traffic jam for hours together.

Though the PPWD and the local police authorities had made elaborate arrangements to regulate the flow of traffic, yet vehicles with red lights atop and other persons in a hurry were seen breaking the queues thus compounding the problem.

To avoid traffic jam, long route buses and goods carriers heading towards Chandigarh and Shimla took the Mubarikpur-Ramgarh-Panchkula road to rejoin the Chandigarh-Shimla highway at Majri Chowk in Panchkula. Vehicles heading towards Ambala and Delhi too opted for the Zirakpur-Rajpura-Ambala road from Zirakpur traffic light point.

Being aware of the village link roads, the localites and daily commuters have been taking alternative routes passing through different villages to reach their destinations.

A manager with a Delhi-based airlines, Mr A.N. Suman, who was on way to Delhi with his family, complained that the authorities had not made any provision to divert the traffic to alternative routes. “I am waiting for the road clearance for the past 50 minutes and but the hurried motorists and the government vehicles carrying VVIPs and VIPs with red lights atop have been adding to the traffic congestion and to the woes of ordinary passengers,” said Mr Suman.

While talking to the Chandigarh Tribune, Mr P.K. Kalia, Sub divisional Officer, the PPWD (B and R), said the recarpeting project was being taken up by the Ministry of Surface and Transport (MOST) at the cost of Rs 3.32 crore.

Under the project, 26.70 km long stretch, from Dhakauli barrier at Panchkula border and Jharmari barrier at Ambala border, would be recarpeted. The project has been taken up in two parts -Jharmari barrier to Gholumajra village and Jawaharpur village to Dhakauli barrier - at the cost of Rs 1.68 crore and Rs 1.64 crores, respectively, disclosed Mr Kalia.

To provide smooth driving experience on the highway a 25mm thick layer of semi-dense bitumen course (SDBC) is being carpeted on the highway, he claimed.

The SDO revealed that the highway was carrying 74,000 passengers car units (PCU) in a day and to control such a heavy volume of traffic on the highway was a tough job. “The motorists have to face traffic congestion for a day or two more at the Ghaggar river bridge as such a huge volume of traffic could not be carried by the narrow road at this point. To manage the heavy traffic, the local administration has also associated four police personnel,” added Mr Kalia.

He also said the Dera Bassi Sub Divisional Magistrate has directed the police authorities to attach more police personnel with the PPWD employees to control the traffic.



Widow ‘cheated’ by cop
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu

Chandigarh, November 24
A Punjab Police cop allegedly cheated a widow by marrying her and feigning to help her in a court case about the salary claims of her husband in Patiala. He allegedly lied to her about the death of his first wife and “staged” the marriage apparently to usurp her money.

Sheela Rani, the aggrieved woman, alleged that Head Constable Sukhwinder Singh duped her of Rs 3.87 lakh on one pretext or the other. Sheela is waiting for the arrest of three culprits, all policemen involved in cheating her.

Sukhwinder’s petition for the grant of anticipatory bail was dismissed by the high court on November 2. Earlier also his petition was dismissed by a Patiala court in October.

Sheela Rani, had filed a complaint at the Police Station Kotwali, in Patiala district on September 18, alleging that the policemen had married her in September 2002, at Gurdwara Dukhniwaran Sahib in the presence of his two brothers Kuldeep Singh and Daljit Singh, who are also policemen. Sukhwinder Singh has two daughters and a son also.

Sheela Rani told The Tribune that she came in contact with Sukhwinder Singh after the death of her husband Raj Kumar. She has two sons from her earlier marriage. Raj Kumar had died of a heart attack in October 2001. She said after the death of her husband she had gone to court complex in Patiala on August 16, 2002 to follow a case regarding the salary of her deceased husband that was not paid by his employer. She stated that Sukhwinder Singh met her there and told her that he would engage a good advocate for her and also introduced her to an advocate Mr Gurdeep Singh Sodhi.

She alleged in her complaint that Sukhwinder told her to sign some blank documents, including a power of attorney, and assured her that he would get her the amount within a few months. On September 18, 2002 Sukhwinder Singh came to her residence and told her that his wife had expired. After that he started visiting her home regularly and managed to convince her to marry him.

Sukhwinder Singh used to tell her that soon his children would also start living with them. He took her to the Golden Temple and gave her a gold chain saying that his mother had got it made for her daughter-in-law. She claimed that everybody in her neighbourhood and all her relatives knew about their marriage.

She further said in her complaint that Sukhwinder Singh, in connivance with his brothers and a brother-in-law, started plundering her financially, physically and mentally. Later, she came to know that Sukhwinder Singh’s first wife was alive. When she confronted asked him about it he said that the marriage with her was an eyewash.

When she asked him to return her money he abused her and even threatened to kill her. After this she filed a complaint against Sukhwinder Singh and his brothers. A case under Sections 406, 493, 499, 420, 500 and 120-B of the Indian Penal Code was registered on September 18.

She alleged that despite the dismissal of bail petitions by the courts, the police was not arresting the accused.

Sukhwinder Singh is posted at Dablan police post in Sangrur district. She further alleged that Sukhwinder Singh was fearlessly moving about in Patiala. She said she had even informed the police once that she had seen him at his brother-in-law’s shop but the police did not take any action.

When asked about the failure of the police in arresting Sukhwinder Singh, the investigating police officer of Kotwali Police Station, Mr Baljit Singh, said Sukhwinder Singh was absconding and the police was looking for him.

When confronted with the allegations made by Sheela Rani that he was posted at Dablana police post and she had even seen him in the city, he replied that the police had gone to Dablana a month ago, but it was found that Sukhwinder Singh was on leave.

He also said as Patiala is Chief Minister’s city and we have a lot of work to do. But we have deputed men to trace. Sukhwinder Singh and he will be in police custody in two-three days.



Land to be allotted for judicial academy
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 24
The Chandigarh Administration will formally allot five acres to the Punjab Government for establishing a judicial academy for judges belonging to the superior judicial services. The academy is being jointly set up by the states of Punjab and Haryana, besides the Union Territory of Chandigarh.

The sources in the Punjab Home Department assert that the land — located near Sector 43 Inter-State Bus Terminus — has already been earmarked for the purpose and the transfer deed is being prepared by the authorities concerned.

The sources add that the tract is being transferred at an approximate rate of Rs 30 lakh per acre. They further claim that the total cost of construction is estimated to be around Rs 2 crore, over and above the cost of land.

The entire project is likely to be completed by the end of next year with an approximate cost of Rs 4 crore.

Giving details, the sources disclose that the site was chosen from three probable locations. The entire process was carried out in consultation with the Punjab and Haryana High Court here.

The sites, initially short-listed for the academy, included a tract near gurdwara in Sector 38 and on road dividing Sector 42 and 43.

The sources reveal that the academy, soon after coming into existence, is expected to hold refresher courses for judicial officers belonging to the subordinate judiciary, besides familiarising them with the day to day functioning of the courts.

The development to establish the academy is significant as the Supreme Court of India had recently recommended the setting up of such academies all over the country so that refresher courses could be organised for in-service judicial officers. The apex court directions, the sources add, are important as they have been issued in larger interest of justice.

The sources assert that the role of the states is limited to setting up the academies for training purposes. It will be run by the High Court authorities under their direct supervision, the sources claim.

They add that Joint Registrar of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Dr Neelima Shangla — in charge of Enquiry and Computers — is the nodal officer of the project. Dr Shangla was not available for comments.

The sources further claim that the state of Jammu and Kashmir is also interested in training its judicial officers in the academy. As such, the state is keen on having its share in the academy. A meeting for working out the modalities is likely to be held within a week or so, they conclude.



First woman pilot refuses to return home
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 24
The “tortured” octogenarian first woman pilot of the country has refused to go back to her “fortified” house in Sector 3 despite her alleged tormentor and nephew being jailed.

Beant Kaur now says she will go back only after the fortification of the house is removed and his nephew Col Manmohan Bains (retd) is dispossessed from the house.

A US-based nephew of Beant Kaur, Professor Nirmal Singh Dhesi, alleged that boundary wall of the house had been raised up to 10 feet in height towards the service lane side where Beant Kaur and her sister Satwant Kaur lived, to prevent neighbours from watching the alleged torture of the two old ladies.

Mr Dhesi told The Tribune on phone today that even the front boundary wall of the house had hedges of around the same height, apparently to hide what was happening inside the palatial bungalow.

Mr Dhesi claimed that the height of the boundary and hedges was raised in 1998 allegedly to torture the women.

Professor Dhesi and a former Vice President of California University, who flew to India to save his aunt from the clutches of another nephew Col Bains, said the house had three gates allegedly without the permission of authorities. He said the height of the gates was beyond permissible limits.

Deputy Commissioner and Estate Officer, Mr Arun Kumar, said he was not aware about these alleged violations of the building rules but assured he would get the matter checked. A junior officer in the Enforcement Department said generally this height of the wall was not allowed unless there was a special permission.

He, however, did not know about the permission about this house. The Executive Engineer of the Horticulture Department of the Municipal Corporation Raghubir Singh said there was no bar on the height of the hedge on the wall but if it was some distance away, the height could not exceed the 2 feet limit.

Raghubir Singh said there were around 1 lakh violations of hedges in the city and he was not aware about the position of this house.

Professor Dhesi said how could there be three gates on two sides of the house when it was not even there in the Raj Bhawan. DSP of the area Mr S. C. Sagar also confirmed the height of the wall and an illegal opening in the service lane.

Professor Nirmal Singh alleged that an absconding Madhu Bains, wife of Col Bains, was in Sector 36 and the Chandigarh Police was not arresting her.

She is said to be in touch with her neighbours through a mobile phone. DSP Sagar said the police parties had searched the house of Madhu Bains’ father in Sector 36.

DSP Sagar said the police did not have any authority under the law to dispossess Col Bains and his family from the house but the safety of the women was assured if they returned to their home.

The women are living in the Law Bhawan. Professor Dhesi, who was Vice-President of California University, said that Col Bains was spreading lies about Beant Kaur and relatives as the women wanted to give the house either for an orphanage or to the Indian Air Force.

He said Beant Kaur had already donated an aircraft to the Punjab Engineering College (PEC).



Law for HIV patients on the anvil
Neelam Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 24
Trying to make the basic right for non-discriminatory treatment a reality for more than 50 lakh HIV positive people in India, the Lawyers Collective, HIV\AIDS unit, Mumbai, has prepared a draft for the much needed HIV\ AIDS law for India.

It was in August, 2002, that the present Union Minister, Mr Kapil Sibal, had asked lawyer Vivek Diwan and his team at Lawyers Collective and other experts to draft the timely law on HIV \AIDS, ensuring that the HIV positive persons are not discriminated against.

The draft is expected to be submitted to the Union Health Ministry next month after a final review, the proposed law attempts to address the basic lacunae in the existing legal framework.

Under the present Indian law, an HIV positive person cannot move to the court of law in case a private practitioner refuses to treat him. Even as merely 10 per cent of the total HIV patients are undergoing treatment in the country, it is the government sector which is providing for the treatment, free of cost in six high HIV prevalence states in the country.

Since the law does not make it mandatory for the private practitioners to make the services available, the experts and the NGOs involved in working for the HIV|AIDS patients say that discrimination and denial is routine for these patients primarily because of misconceptions and lack of awareness among the doctors themselves.

``Under the existing law, the concept of equality and non-discrimination are incorporated in the Articles 14,15 and16 of the Constitution.

The fundamental rights are only available against the state and not against the private parties,'' said Diwan, while presenting the proposed law at the UNAIDS workshop at Goa.

In the proposed draft, Diwan has included both the state and the private parties for legal action for denial or discrimination in providing treatment. ``The discrimination would include both denial\dismissal and unfair treatment and it is proposed to apply to the state or any person, public and public sectors and organised and unorganised sector,'' he explained.

The proposed law has further addressed the grievance redressal issue and attempts to ensure speedy trials. It has also proposed of involving the health ombudsman or complaint officer for grievance-redressal mechanism for affected HIV patients.

For availing the health services the proposed law talks of ensuring the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health and adds that it is the duty of the state to provide access to treatment.



Youth feared drowned in Sukhna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 24
A youth is suspected to have drowned in the Sukhna Lake this evening.

Despite a two-hour-long exercise till late in the evening, his body has not yet found.

The police has recovered a pink-coloured turban and a black-coloured patka which were found floating on the water, the police said.

Quoting eye witnesses, the police said the youth first jumped into the water some 60 metres away from the lake police post and swam some distance before he disappeared in the water.

The police has informed all police stations of the city about the incident and sought details of the missing persons.

The operation to recover the body had to be called off because of darkness. The police said the place the person might have drowned had largely been identified and professional divers would be called tomorrow to fish out the body.



Woman jumps to death from PGI’s 5th floor
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 24
A 20-year-old resident of Bapu Dham Colony today allegedly ended her life by jumping from the fifth floor of the new Out Patient Department (OPD) of the PGI. She was reportedly depressed due to some illness.

According to the police, Urmila committed suicide at around 2:30 pm. She was rushed to the emergency where doctors declared her dead.

The SHO, Sector 11 police station, said Urmila was suffering from leucoderma. She had been coming to the PGI for treatment. Her father told the police that she was under depression because of her disease. She was teaching in a school in her locality.

The postmortem would be conducted tomorrow, said the police.



7 Inspectors transferred
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 24
The Inspector-General of Police, Chandigarh, Mr Rajesh Kumar today transferred seven Inspectors.

Mr Satbir Singh, SHO, Sector 17 police station, has been transferred to the Operation Cell; Mr Dhan Raj has been transferred from the Operation Cell to the Mani Majra police station; Mr Jaswant Singh Khera, SHO, Mani Majra police station, has been transferred to Police Lines; Mr Kulwant Singh has been transferred from Police Lines to Traffic; Mr Jagbir Singh has been transferred from Traffic to the Sector 36 police station; Mr Karam Singh, SHO, Sector 36 police station, has been transferred to the Industrial Area Police Station; and Mr Nanha Ram, SHO, Industrial Area police station, has been transferred to the Sector 17 police station.



Cheated Balongi residents approach SP
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 24
Residents of Balongi village, who were defrauded by an agency which was giving lucrative offers, gathered in front of the office of the SP here today and demanded that their money should be refunded.

They met the SP, Mr Rakesh Agrawal, and said action should be taken against persons who cheated residents of the village. They, however, admitted that they too were at fault as they had fallen for the bait offered by the agency owners.

The residents, who were carrying photocopies of the receipts given by the agency for the investments that they had made, told the SP that police personnel posted at the Balongi chowki were aware of the fact that some persons were running the Jai Lakshmi Super Agency. Even the village panchayat knew about this.

Mr Agrawal asked the fraud victims to hand over the photo copies of the receipts to the police to enable it to know the exact suffered by the residents. He assured the affected residents that efforts were being made to nab the suspects and that their money would be got refunded through court.

The police today released photographs of Major Singh and Balwinder Singh, alias Bahadur Singh, the two suspects whose names figured in the FIR, to the Press. While Major Singh is the owner of the house where the agency started running its business, Balwinder Singh, alias Bahadur Singh, was said to be the owner of the agency. The police had registered a case against four persons under Sections 420 of the IPC and 4/5 of the Chit Fund Act, 1982.

The agency was offering various goods, right from a small household items to cars, at half the market price. The consumers were free to choose any product from the venue or from the open market. The delivery of the goods was to be given in 15 days from the time the required amount was deposited with the agency. Extraordinarily high rate of interest was also being offered on cash deposited with the agency.

The SP told mediapersons that raids had been conducted at the residences of the suspects but they were on the run. He said the police would get in touch with the TV channel that telecasts “India’s Most Wanted”, programme to highlight the case.

He said the village panchayat had not played a responsible role in the matter. When the panchayat was aware of what was going on in the village, it should have informed the police in time, he added.



Mandi obstructing Mohali’s growth
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 24
The decades old dana mandi of Sohana is now coming in the way of Mohali’s urban growth. The mandi spread over 4.5 acres, is an obstacle to one of the vital link roads planned for the township. This four-lane road is to connect newly developed sectors of the township and further connect Mohali to Kharar and Patiala.

While the construction of most of the stretch road on both sides of the mandi is complete, the area occupied by the mandi is the missing link that has led to this important artery of the towns being not operational.

With the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) involved in a long-standing legal battle with the mandi’s original owners, the development of the surrounding areas has reached a standstill.

The mandi, owned by over 85 original inhabitants of Sohana, was acquired by PUDA a decade ago to undertake the construction of a 200-foot-wide road that would connect Sectors 66, 67, 68, 69 with Sectors 70 and 71 on one side and Sectors 77, 78, 79 and 80 with the Radha Swami Satsang complex Sector 76, and Industrial Area, Phase VIII-A, on the other side. The road is planned to further join the Mohali-Kharar road on the western side and link Mohali to the Banur-Zirakpur road on its eastern side.

Sources pointed out that PUDA had also not been able to lay the trunk sewer of Sectors 70 and 71 that would link it with the main outfall sewer terminating into the sewerage treatment plant. With the result, the sullage and sewer of these sectors is being pumped out into the vacant areas nearby creating unhygenic conditions.

Despite the land having been acquired, 63 owners of the mandi objected to the acquisition and approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court. A stay on the dispossession of the land by PUDA was granted to these petitioners.

Interestingly, the sources said, 41 of these owners who had approached the court against the acquisition of their land by PUDA had even taken their share of compensation awarded to them for their land. In some cases the petitioners had even accepted the enhanced compensation granted to them by the additional district judge.

However, 22 of the total 63 petitioners did not take the compensation amount paid to them by the government for their land. Their compensation money is still lying in the government treasury. The sources added that these 22 petitioners owned only five kanals of the total mandi land.

Currently, the mandi is limited to a seasonal purchase of paddy and wheat. A rice sheller and an atta chakki are being run from there.



False affidavits: BJP seeks probe
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 24
The president of the local unit of the BJP, Mr Yash Pal Mahajan, today demanded a CBI probe into the issue of submission of false affidavits by the Congress candidate of Ward No 11, Mr Harmohinder Singh Lucky. He was addressing mediapersons at the BJP office in Sector 33.

He said the statement of, Mr Lucky, in an affidavit saying he had an annual income of less than Rs 15,000 and that he was unemployed showed that the Congress candidate had committed a fraud which the party seniors were trying to keep under wrap.

Later, Mr R.P. Singh, a member of the national executive of the Bharatiya Janta Youth Morcha (BJYM), said the BJP had decided to hold a demonstration on December 1 at the Ramleela Ground, New Delhi, against the UPA government for rising prices of essential commodities during the past six months.

He said the BJP had named this demonstration as “Sadak Se Sansad” and it would see youth activists from all over the country assembling at the venue. “They will march to Parliament along with national leaders, including, Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Mr Lal Krishan Advani, Dr Murli Manohar Joshi. All demonstrators will court arrest if they were stopped by the police,” he added.

After the press conference, activists burnt an effigy of the Congress party and the local MP, Mr Pawan Bansal, in Sector 20.



Cong plays development card
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 24
The Minister for Animal Husbandry, Punjab, Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, released the manifesto of the Congress party for Ward 11 of the Municipal Corporation, here today.

Promising beautification of the public parks, cleanliness, sprucing up of the community centre, revival of sector-level committees among others, the local Member of Parliament, Mr Pawan Bansal, said the Congress had a detailed plan for the development of the sector.

Addressing a press conference in Sector 22, here today, Mr Bansal said while other candidates had no development agenda, the Congress candidate, Mr Harmohinder Singh Lucky, was committed to addressing and resolving problems being faced by residents of Sectors 20 and 33 which make up Ward 11 of the MC.

Mr Bansal said since the local unit of the BJP had no real issues to counter the popularity of the Congress candidate, they were resorting to mudslinging. “We don’t want to be a part of this match,” he said.

Referring to the imposition of three per cent property tax as a conspiracy aimed to benefit a particular candidate, the local MP said the Administration had deliberately announced the tax during election time.

“The MC had sent its recommendations to the Administration long back. However, the officials chose to sit over the matter and announced it at a time when election to ward 11 was taking place. Also, the BJP should realise that the Administration had recommended five per cent tax and we brought it down to three per cent. Moreover, the tax was imposed on us by the Administration which had threatened to stop financial grant to the corporation if we did not generate our own income,” Mr Bansal justified.

Stating that the reported charges of submitting false affidavits against Lucky was an attempt to malign his clean image among the voters. He said the BJP had raked up the same issue earlier and no truth was found in the allegations.



Justice eludes emigration fraud victim
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 24
As if her ordeal through Ethiopia and Sudan was not enough, Ranjit Kaur, a 31-year-old widow from Nawanshahr who was allegedly duped of lakhs of rupees by a Mohali resident has been running from pillar to post for the past three weeks to get justice.

While the Mohali police showed remarkable efficiency in arresting the wife and father of the main accused within a day of the registration of the case, the main accused Manmohan Singh continues to elude the police. Sources added that the police had not conducted any raids outside Mohali to nab the accused and his various accomplices involved in cheating Ranjit Kaur.

Ranjit Kaur wanted to go to the UK to visit her relatives and introduced to emmigration agent Manmohan Singh in Sector 69, Mohali, by another agent Rashpal Singh of Phagwara. Manmohan Singh, allegedly procured a fake passport for Ranjit Kaur from another agent Paul Singh based in New Delhi. Paul Singh, according to Ranjit Kaur not only forged passports but also dealt in sticker visas. Despite having all this information at their disposal, the Mohali police has not made any effort to nab either Manmohan Singh or Rashpal Singh and Paul Singh, all accused in the case.

Manmohan Singh allegedly took over Rs 11 lakh from Ranjit Kaur and her brother for sending her to the UK. However, she was sent to Ethiopia where she spent two months and virtually starved there and was even arrested by the immigration authorities for having a fake passport. From Ethiopia, she was taken to Sudan where she spent another week in a hotel living only on onions and bread. Finally on October 11, Ranjit managed to return to India.

Mr Rakesh Agarwal, the SP, Mohali, said he would ask for a status report from the investigating officer tomorrow and speed up the inquiry in the case.



Shooting incident: police yet to identify suspect
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 24
The police is yet to identify the person who shot at 47-year-old Mewa Singh, a Punjab Roadways employee, at the Phase VIII bus stand on November 20. The victim, a resident of Dharamgarh village, was shot at twice and is admitted to the PGI. He informed the police that the person who shot at him was a regular visitor to the bus stand.

The police claimed to have taken four parking slips from the scooter stand that could have belonged to the accused who had parked his motor cycle at the stand and escaped on it. The police said teams had been sent to Haryana.

The SP, Mohali, Mr Rakesh Agarwal, said efforts were on to arrest the accused.

The police said the bullets used in the crime had been identified.

Mewa Singh and the accused had a heated argument about the parking of the latter’s motor cycle at the scooter stand. Mewa Singh, a watchman at the scooter stand, asked for the parking slip amount from the accused who reportedly refused to pay insisting that his motor cycle was parked outside the stand. The accused then took out a revolver and shot at him.



Service tax: date for registration extended
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 24
With a view to expanding the tax base, the Central Excise Commissionerate has extended the “extraordinary taxpayer friendly scheme” for the registration of the taxable service providers without any penalty till November 30.

According to official sources, the scheme has been extended as the response to the scheme had not been encouraging so far. To popularise the scheme, the department was undertaking a month-long “street-to-street” survey from November 15 for tracking taxable service providers.

The Excise and the Income Departments are working in tandom to identify the tax evaders. The information about the unregistered service providers is also being collected through the Internet and the surveys conducted by the department.

The unregistered service providers, the sources said, would be booked by the department and the law would take its own course. The department intends to bring about 1.5 lakh service providers under the 
service tax net.



Unemployment allowance: date for filling forms extended
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 24
The state government has given extension for filling of forms for availing the unemployment allowance from November 23 to 28.

The Deputy Commissioner, Ms Neelam P Kasni, said the decision to give extension had been taken for the benefit of the unemployed. She said till November 1, the employment exchange here had received about 11,000 applications.

She said those unemployed youth who had registered themselves at the Employment Exchange and had received the identity card, should file an affidavit in their respective patwar circle offices, and then get themselves registered for availing this allowance.

Ms Kasni said all those who got themselves registered by November 28, would start getting the allowance from December onwards. The allowance will be disbursed at the respective patwar offices in the rural areas, and the Municipal Council office in Panchkula.

She said all unemployed persons between the age of 21 and 40, who are matriculates or intermediates will get an allowance of Rs 100, while graduates, post-graduates and diploma holders will get Rs 200 a month.



Donation sought for terminally-ill cancer patients
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 24
The Deputy Commissioner-cum-Chairman of the UT Red Cross Society, Mr Arun Kumar, has made an appeal to the general public to give donations for the expansion of the hospice for terminally ill cancer patients at Sector 43 here.

The hospice, which is run by the UT Red Cross Society in association with the Department of Radiotherapy, PGI, at present, has the facility to accommodate 10 terminally ill patients who are provided with medical and nursing facilities.

The UT Red Cross has proposed to extend the facility to 20 patients for which a ramp is to be built to link the ground floor to the first floor through the donations raised from the public which are exempted from the income tax.

This expansion is likely to the operationalised next year.

In a statement issued to the media here today, it is further stated that the UT Red Cross would start a hospice for the AIDS patients, on the similar lines of the hospice for cancer patients.

The work on the AIDS hospice is likely to begin in the next couple of months.



Man with renal failure seeks help
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 24
Hailing from a remote village in Jharkhand, Surjit Kumar Singh is battling for survival at the PGI for the past several months.

Diagnosed with chronic renal failure, which has rendered both his kidneys non-functioning, Surjit (28) is relying on the kidney transplant as recommended by the doctors at the PGI.

“I was working as a helper in an electronic shop before the disease came unannounced.

I lost my job and became a burden for my father,” says Surjit.

His father, who worked in a stationery shop, is now accompanying his son for the treatment. “Money is a major constraint in my son’s treatment. By working overtime at the most I cannot make more than Rs 12,000 a year. What ever I had, I have already spent on the treatment and find it difficult to meet the cost any further,” says Surjit’s father.

According to the doctors treating Surjit at the Department of Nephrology, PGI, he needs around Rs 3 lakh for meeting the pre and post-operative cost along with purchasing the medicines for his entire treatment.

For those who want to contribute towards Surjit’s treatment can give the cheque in favour of the Director, PGI, and can contact the Public Relations Officer (PRO), Ms Manju Wadwalkar, at 0172-2747585 (extension-6003). The patient can be contacted at the room No 4, (bed number 31-32) at Rotary Sarai, PGI.



Fellowship for 10 journalists
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 24
The National Foundation for India has announced names of 10 journalists, who have been awarded the 10th national media fellowship—2004-05.

Among the selected journalists is Mr Shiv Kumar, Special Correspondent, The Tribune at Mumbai. He will study ‘‘Communal polarisation and the threat to syncretic traditions binding Hindus and Muslims.’’

The other fellowship awardees and their topics of study are — Luv Puri, staff reporter, The Hindu, at Srinagar. He will work on ‘‘Gujjars and Bakerwal tribes of Jammu and Kashmir.’’

Shashi Kumar Velath, special correspondent, Tehleka, New Delhi, who will study ‘‘Poisoned lives: a journey through toxic India’’.

The selection was done by a committee of the following eminent media personalities: Nirmla Lakshan (convener), D N Bezbaruah, P. Sainath, Rudrangshu Mukherjee, Mammen Mathew, Harivanhs, Ajit Bhattacharjea, K. Kunhikrishnan, Rajiv Mehrotra, Usha Rai, B P Sanjay and H K Dua.



Chhamb trekking expedition flagged off
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 24
The Chhamb trekking expedition was flagged off from Chandimandir cantonment by Commander of an air defence brigade-cum-Station Commander of Chandimandir Military Station Brig Kuldip Singh.

Col Ashutosh Jha, Commanding Officer, 151 AD Regiment, which organised the expedition, was also present on the occasion.

The expedition team, comprising two officers, two JCOs and 10 jawans, would cover 120 km in six days in the salubrious and challenging Shivalik Hills in Sirmaur district in Himachal Pradesh.

According to a press release, “the adventure activity was being organised by the Regiment as part of their 34th anniversary celebrations of battle honour title “Chhamb” conferred on it in 1971 in the Indo-Pak war.



Hair stylist’s name in Limca book
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 24
Chandigarh-based hair stylist Nadeem Ahmed, who is an expert in cutting hair with fire, blindfolded, with glass or with papercutter, entered his name in the Limca Book of Records recently.

“Making a record was not easy for me. I worked hard to achieve this and I had to wait for a response from the Limca book team for at least 8 months. But finally the team came to Chandigarh for verification. My brother (Naved Ahmed) also tried his hand for the fastest hair cut. He even did that in merely 52 seconds and the record was of 1 min 25 sec. The team was impressed and appreciated his skills. We were in suspense about whose record they would take. Finally, it was me who got the certificate and an entry into the book”, Nadeem said.



Wife being harrased, alleges councillor
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 24
The former president of the Panchkula District Bar Association and Municipal Councillor, Mr R.S. Badhran, today approached the Deputy Commissioner and asked her to intervene in a case of injustice being meted out to his wife, a Manager in the HSIDC.

He submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner, and asked her to forward it to the Haryana Governor for necessary action. He alleged that his wife, Ms Sunita Badhran, was harassed by the HSIDC management, and was deprived from the benefits of annual increment, confirmation of job and allotment of house, and other service benefits.

He has also served a legal notice on the Managing Director of the HSIDC and the Deputy General Manager (Accounts), HSIDC.



Liquor vends closed in Sectors 20, 33 tomorrow
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 24
The Chandigarh Administration has ordered the closure of the liquor vends in Sectors 20 and 33 on Friday and Sunday till 5 pm and for the entire day on November 30.

In a press note issued by the DC-cum-Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Mr Arun Kumar, the decision has been taken due to byelection in ward No. 11 of the Municipal Corporation.

Serving of liquor has also been banned in hotels, restaurants, clubs, and other establishments in Sectors 20 and 33 for these three days.



Awareness camp at Mauli Jagran
Tribune News Service

An awareness generation camp organised by the Aangan Foundation at Mauli Jagran village
An awareness generation camp organised by the Aangan Foundation at Mauli Jagran village on Wednesday.

Chandigarh, November 24
The Aangan Foundation organised an awareness generation camp at Mauli Jagran village here today. The camp focused on educating the villagers on the issues of female foeticide, health and fitness, women’s rights, consumer rights, information about the small saving schemes, life insurance, food and nutrition, besides various pension schemes floated by the government.

The participants were also made aware of the income generating activities such as soft toy making, mehndi application, pot and flower making.



Miraculous escape for two as car turns turtle thrice
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 24
It was a miraculous escape for Anil and four-year-old Saksham, when they escaped with minor injuries after their car turned turtle thrice.

The duo were driving down in Sector 5 in an Alto car (CH-03Q-3084), when a speeding Indica car (PB-11Q-1871) coming from the opposite side rammed into them. The impact of the accident was so much that the Alto over turned thrice, before landing upside down.

A number of people, who were passing by stopped and helped turn the car around. They then pulled the child and the man out of the car. While the child sustained minor scratches, Anil received some injuries on his forehead and arms. The driver of the Indica, Mr Mohan Singh, too received minor injuries.

Three assaulted

Three persons, Umesh, Birbal and Avdesh, were assaulted by a group of persons near the Truck Union office in Industrial Area, Phase I. The police said a verbal argument between the two groups turned ugly, and the three above-mentioned persons were showered with blows and kicks. The police reached the spot and the accused fled.

Meanwhile, the president of the truck union, Mr Resham Singh, and two others wer arrested late in the night. The police said they had assaulted the victims because they were ferrying into Panchkula, without being members of the union.


Driver booked

The police has booked a case against the driver of car (CH03F 2456) for hitting scooterist Abhishek Arora near the Ambedkar Institute, Phase 3B2, here on Sunday.

The car driver had, after hitting Abhishek, dragged him a long distance before speeding away. The police is yet to find the car driver and arrest him.

Fraud case

The local police has arrested Ram Singh, a resident of Karoran village, on charges of cheating a resident of Chandigarh, who allegedly sold him a piece of land that had already been sold to two different persons.

The police also booked Roshan Lal, a resident of Kansal village, and Mehar Singh of Karoran village and Bhupinder Singh for misusing the power of attorney given by owners.

According to the police, the four managed to procure the power of attorney to sell the land from the owners promising them high returns from the sale.

Brig B.S Grewal (retd), was duped by Roshan Lal, who sold land for Rs 10 lakh to him concealing the fact it has been already sold. Brigadier Grewal alleged that Roshan Lal, Ram Singh, Mehar Singh, Bhupinder Singh told him to purchase the land as the prices are going to be high after a few years.



One held on molestation charge, sent to judicial custody
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 24
The police today arrested Irshad Mohammad of Ram Darbar who was allegedly involved in a bid to molest a girl of the same locality. He was arrested by the police working on secret information.

He was the unidentified accused involved in the incident that occurred on Sunday evening. The police said he was identified by the girl today and later sent to judicial custody. The other accused Mohamad latif was still at large.

The police sources say Kamal of Ram Darbar, brother-in-law of the girl, has met senior police officers and alleged that the police had arrested a wrong person. It is also learnt that he has demanded Rs 10,000 from the parents of one accused, named Kaka, who is in jail to get his name out of the case. On the other hand, the girl and her mother say the person arrested by the police is the accused.

It is to be remembered that a minor girl reported to the police two boys from her locality allegedly tried to molest her on knifepoint. She raised the alarm and the boys ran away. A case was registered in the Sector 31 police station. In another incident, the local police today arrested a proclaimed offender who was evading arrest for the past three years.

Sunil Kumar, a resident of Sector 12, Panchkula, was arrested from outside the District Courts by a raiding police party working on secret information. Sunil was wanted in two cases of threat, assault and theft that were registered against him in Sector 26 and 3 police stations in 2001. He was declared a proclaimed offender by two local courts.

The police today also arrested another person Harish of Ram Darbar from Saidan village at a picket point. The police recovered three stolen cycles from his possession. A case under Sections 379 and 411 of the IPC was registered against him in the Sector 31 police station.


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 |