C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Brother-in-law kidnaps couple outside HC
Arrested along with two accomplices
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 29
A brother-in-law of a groom kidnapped the couple before their marriage from outside the High Court this afternoon but was arrested along with his two accomplices after a policeman on duty noticed the incident and flashed message on wireless.

Gurinder Singh (28) came to the High Court with Bhupinder Kaur (22) for a court marriage. At 3 pm a Maruti car (DL-3CG-2651) came near them. Three persons alighted from it and pushed them into the car forcefully before fleeing from the parking area. A cop on duty noted down the car number and flashed a massage on the wireless. With in a few minutes, the police stopped the car at Sector 18-19 light point.

The police arrested the three accused with the couple and took them to the police station. On the statements of the boy and the girl the police registered a case under Sections 365, 323 and 34 of the IPC at the Sector 3 police station against Shamsher Bhadur Singh, a constable of the Punjab police, Sarabjit Singh and Pritpal Singh, both residents of Faridkot. They will be produced in the court tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the police has informed the families of the couple about the incident and their marriage also. Their parents told the police that the couple had left their homes around 25 days ago. They belonged to Ghasiana in Moga district.

Shamsher Singh, brother-in-law of the groom, told the police that the father of Gurinder Singh had disinherit him. 



Watchman’s body found hanging from tree
Relatives allege murder
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 29
The body of a Nepali, identified as Ram Kumar (45), was found hanging from a tree near the Amb Sahib Gurdwara, Phase VIII, here this morning. He had been a night watchman of the Phase VII market for the past 22 years.

The police believes that Ram Kumar committed suicide but according to the victim’s relatives he could have been murdered and later hanged from the tree.

According to the police, Ram Kumar’s body was found hanging by some persons who had come to visit the gurdwara. “Ram Kumar’s body did not have any marks that could lead one to think that he was first murdered and later hanged. Moreover there are tell-tale marks on the tree that he climbed on it on his own. Hanging of the dead body would have caused different marks in the area,” said Mr Tirlochan Singh, SHO of the Phase VII police station.

The SHO added that Ram Kumar had used his scarf to kill himself.

Sources said Ram Kumar had been living in Mohali for the past 22 years. According to Raj Kumar, another watchman of the market, Ram Kumar’s wife and children were in Nepal and he lived in Kumbra village.

According to Mr Suresh Verma, President of the Phase 7 Market Association, Ram Kumar had been absent from duty for the past many days. “Some days ago we found some of his woollen clothes lying on the market road. Since then he never came back on duty. We thought of visiting his house today. But the police informed us that he had committed suicide,” said Mr Verma.

Mr Verma said Ram Kumar was tense and was probably missing his family. “A few months ago he went missing from duty for a couple of days. That time he told us that he was upset over the fact that his cousin had been murdered in Nepal and he was missing his family and children,” said Mr Verma.

The police questioned certain associates of Ram Kumar. “We are trying to find if he had enmity with anyone. If he committed suicide, we still don’t know why he did it,” said Mr Tirlochan Singh.



HIV treatment costly, 80 pc patients decline treatment
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 29
Unable to afford treatment for HIV/AIDS, more than 80 per cent of the patients suffering from the disease who come to the Post Graduate Institute (PGI) here opt out and do not avail treatment.

“Of all the patients that require the anti-retroviral treatment for HIV\AIDS, merely 20 per cent are able to afford the treatment. The expensive drugs, which range from a minimum of Rs 1,200 a month to more than Rs 10,000, are beyond the reach of the common man who prefer not to go in for the medicines,’’ said Dr Ajay Wanchu of the Department of Internal Medicine, PGI here today.

The approval for the free anti-retroviral drugs is awaited at the department for the needy HIV positive patients, as the Union Health Ministry had announced that the medicines be made available at the PGI, which caters to the patients of the entire region.

“The drugs are expected to reach the department directly through the World Health Organisation next month,’’ informed another faculty member of the department Dr Archana Sood.

While in India, around 51 lakh persons are HIV positive, 4300 patients have so far been tested positive so far at the PGI since 1987. Out of the 1.6 lakh persons who have been tested in the Institute, 1,220 are cases of AIDS. “The positively rate for the disease among the patients who are tested has risen from 3-4 patients per 1,000 in 1987-91 to 65 patients per 1,000 in 2004. This means that 6.5 per cent of the patients who are being tested in the laboratory here are diagnosed with HIV. This figure is quite high,’’ said Dr Wanchu.

In the absence of any cure till date, the biggest fear among the patients is the fear of death. “Though over the years, we have seen that the patients are increasing, and are coming forward to get themselves tested at the Voluntary Counseling and Confidential Testing Centres (VCCTCs), the stigma is still attached to the disease,’’ said Dr Sunil Arora and added that 60 per cent of the patients getting the treatment at PGI are males, while 40 per cent are females.

Doctors reveal that HIV positive patients look for subsidy in transportation, removal of ignorance among doctors and availability of free drugs are the important issues bothering the patients coming to them.

Disclosing the collaborative research efforts currently underway for diagnosing HIV early, Dr Wanchu said the PGI in collaboration with the New York University School of Medicine, USA, is trying to evolve a diagnostic test for detecting HIV at the early stage. ” Around 60 per cent of the HIV patients develop tuberculosis and both these diseases have common symptoms. We are looking to come up with some blood tests through which we can detect very early, whether the patients is HIV positive or not,’’ said Dr Wanchu.

The PGI is also working on the project funded by the Indian Council of Medical Research, to find as to why some persons who are repeatedly exposed to the HIV virus do not get infected by it. 



Govt set to implement report on Army’s officer cadre
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 29
After years of dithering, the government appears all set to implement the recommendations of the A V Singh Committee on restructuring the Army's officer cadre, with the Finance Ministry finally according its approval. The implementation is now expected to be announced any time.

It is learnt that 12 objections raised earlier by the Finance Ministry on various technical grounds had been holding up the implementation process, but these have now been resolved. Authoritative sources revealed that the committee had met in New Delhi a few days ago, where the objections raised by the Finance Ministry were dealt with.

Sanction of the Finance Ministry was the last and major hurdle in the implementation of the committee's recommendations.

"The observations and remarks of the committee to their objections have not been returned to the Defence Ministry for further pursuance," an officer associated with the implementation process said.

Several promotion boards have also been held up for the past few months on account of the implementation process.

It is, however, not yet known whether the recommendations of the committee would be implemented in toto or with some modifications. The implementation has significant financial implications on the country's exchequer and defence budget as it involves creating a large number of additional vacancies and more number of officers moving into a higher slot.

The government had set up the committee under Mr Ajai Vikram Singh, the then Special Secretary to the Government of India and presently Secretary of Defence, for restructuring the officer cadre to keep the age profile of the Army young and tackle career stagnation at junior and middle rung.

One of the most important aspects of the committee's recommendation is that promotion to the rank of colonel would be on a time scale. Earlier, promotion to the rank of colonel was only on selection and lieutenant colonel was the limit for officers who could not make the grade.

Under the new scheme, lieutenant colonels would get more chances of promotion to colonel. It has been recommended that lieutenant colonels be given a chance to appear before selection boards after every two years, till they complete 26 years of service. On completion of 26 years, they would automatically be promoted. Under current promotion policy, lieutenant colonels get three chances to make the grade for promotion to colonel and thereafter, there is no further chance of promotion. Lieutenant colonels become eligible for appearing for selection boards on completion of 18 years of service.

According to some reports, the committee had also recommended the creation of 1,400 posts of colonel, 160 brigadier, 80 major general and 20 lieutenant general to ensure upward mobility. While the Defence Ministry's stand of creation of additional posts at the level of brigadiers and above is still not clear, the government had approved 750 additional vacancies at the level of colonel.

Also on the cards is the reduction in the service period required for the next promotion. Lieutenants would become eligible for promotion to captain after two years instead of the present four years, captain to major after six years instead of 10 and major to lieutenant colonel after 13 years instead of the present 16 years.



Six more states to have AIIMS
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 29
Six states in the country will soon have the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on the pattern of the existing AIIMS in India. This was disclosed by the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Anbumani Ramadoss, after inaugurating the Rotary and Blood Bank Society Resource Centre here today.

The six AIIMS would come up in Orissa, Bihar, Chhatisgarh, Uttranchal, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.

`` The proposal of making six additional AIIMS has been cleared by the Expenditure Finance Committee only last week,'' said Dr Ramadoss while interacting with the media persons here.

In addition to the new AIIMS, one existing medical college each in six other states, including Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Jharkhand, will be upgraded to the level of AIIMS.

``In all, Rs.120 crore have been sanctioned for each of these colleges to upgrade their facilities and infrastructure to the level of AIIMS,'' the minister said.

Divulging details of providing the free anti-retroviral treatment (ART) for the HIV\AIDS patients, the minister said that the free medicines would be provided to the patients in 25 hospitals, including Post Graduate Institute (PGI) here by the end of this year. `` The training of the medical personnel is currently underway and we are in the process of purchasing the drugs for meeting our target of providing free ART to one lakh patients in the next five years,'' he said.

In addition to the medicines, the selected 25 hospitals would also have a minimum of 50 beds reserved in the wards for the HIV positive patients.

Sharing his concern for the availability of safe blood in the country, the minister said that despite contributions by the voluntary donors, India still faced a shortage of 2 million units of blood each year. ``India requires 5.5 million units of blood annually, while just 3.5 millions are donated annually. The country is facing a huge shortfall of blood, which is a grave problem. Moreover, merely 10 per cent of the collected blood is used as separate components, when ideally 80 per cent of the donated blood should be segregated into different components. This could put blood on optimal use,'' said the minister and hailed the contribution of Rotary in making safe blood available through out the country.

Describing the stem cell research as the next big thing that would transform the entire medical field by finding cure for diseases like cancer, the minister said that the government was pumping in a lot of funds for carrying out extensive research in various institutes. ``Funds have already been allocated to the PGI here to carry out the research on the stem cells,'' he said.

Advocating population stabilisation in the country, Dr Ramadoss said that massive awareness for small family norm would be generated in the country.



AIG’s family refutes charges
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 29
The family of AIG HS Grewal has refuted the allegations that were reportedly made against them by the widow of the AIG accusing them of throwing her out of the house.

The two sisters of Grewal have said that Mrs Malwinder Kaur had left the house on her own and is currently living with her parents as she needs constant looking after due to her "a major mental illness, which is chronic in nature and is affecting her judgement".

"It is unfortunate that some relatives are forcing here sign papers and make allegations that she does not even understand", the sisters said.

They said that the matter was already sub-judice, as Mrs. Malwinder Kaur had gone to the local court challenging the Will of her mother-in-law in a Probate filed by them. Due to her mental condition, Mrs. Malwinder Kaur's husband too excluded her from the beneficiaries of his Will.

The sisters of Grewal further admitted that they had been summoned by the police following a complaint by their sister-in-law, but the police did not find anything substantial in the complaint and further since the matter was already before the local court, the police advised both parties to seek their recourse in the court judgements.

They denied that the lady was living in any gurdwara or at any other place. They said that the lady had cut off ties with the family after the death of her husband and as per their information; she was living with her parents in Village Rangoowal in Ludhiana district.

They also claimed that the two children of Grewal were being well looked after by them and were currently in boarding schools for which the expenses are being borne by the family.



Absconding cop in CBI net
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 29
The CBI recently lured an absconding cop and accused in a corruption case, ASI Gurmel Singh of Maloya police post, into its net and arrested him. The sources said that Gurmel Singh who had run away when the CBI laid a trap for him early this month. The CBI arrested one of Gurmel’s colleagues of the police post for allegedly accepting Rs 1,000 from a complainant.

Gurmel allegedly sought to influence the CBI through his friends. The CBI befooled him saying it would not do anything against him if he cleared his position before the CBI in person. Gurmel reached the CBI office in Sector 30 where he was arrested by the investigating agency. Gurmel was, however, presented before a court, which granted him bail in the corruption case.

The sources in the CBI said Gurmel contended that he had not accepted the money so no case could be made out against him. The CBI officers played a taped conversation between the complainant and ASI Jaswant, who allegedly accepted the money on behalf of Gurmel. The CBI officers told the police officer that if he denied the conversation between him and the complainant, the tapes would be sent for scientific examination for voice recognition. Gurmel stuck to his argument that he had not accepted the money.

To strengthen its case and mount pressure on Gurmel, who was arrested recently, was also confronted with the taped conversation between Jaswant Singh and him.

According to the CBI, Gurmel Singh had not reached the police post on that day and had asked ASI Jaswant Singh to collect money from the complainant for letting him off the hook in a illegal possession of liquor case.

The complainant was told in the conversation that his work would be done after Gurmel’s demand was met. The CBI on that day had picked up Jaswant Singh for accepting bribe but the arrested person revealed to the investigating agency that he was asked to collect the money from the complainant by ASI Gurmel Singh. Sources said that the CBI was confused about the identity of Gurmel Singh that day. Another person was also picked up thinking him to be Gurmel Singh. Jaswant Singh was arrested early this month in this case. The CBI arrested Gurmel Singh on the ground that he had made a demand of money in lieu of a favour. The demand of bribe has also been accepted as a crime as per a new interpretation of the Prevention of Corruption Act.



Chandigarh Calling

What is the colour of brinjals? Purple, you might say. Well, Mrs Sharda Mittal, a resident of Panchkula, begs to differ. The lady has brinjals with white coloured skin in her kitchen garden. Says the lady,’My maid got seeds of the white brinjal from her village in Uttar Pradesh in the summers and we sowed them here. Now, we have these beautiful brinjals in plenty.”

And what about the taste? Mrs Mittal says that the vegetable tastes a bit more sweet than the normal brinjal; has a different aroma; and, takes less time to cook than the purple brinjal. She also says that the vegetable is not prone to any insect attack.

Sloppy CM

The Punjab Chief Minister, Cap Amarinder Singh, is fast getting a reputation of being sloppy on promises. Organisers of public functions constantly crib that the Chief Minister seldom attends scheduled functions. But a retired Major General who had invited the Chief Minister for the inauguration of the school that he had set up in a Punjab village went a step ahead of just private cribbing. Visibly disappointed at the Chief Minister’s absence from the function, the Major-General (retd) said. “It seems the Army did not train the Captain well...otherwise he would have been here today”.

Compromising cleanliness

Unless the residents of the city do not take upon themselves the responsibility of maintaining cleanliness around their houses and use the designated places to dump garbage and debris, the spots on the face of the planned city would remain as such.

Irritated at the attitude of residents who undertake the construction of their houses and dump debris in a haphazard manner, Mr Ajit Singh, a resident of Sector 45, called up the sentinel to convey his displeasure at the attitude of the residents of the area. Despite the Municipal Corporation marking the debris dumping sites in front of Burail village, truck loads of debris are unloaded right near the road berm.

Many accidents have taken place due to haphazard dumping of the debris in the area.

‘Ultimate’ dog

The debate erupted at a marriage party when a dog lover was quizzed about his fad for the canine.

A dog lover was heard extolling virtues of his dogs to a probing lot of friends. The dog lover rued that he possessed only two dogs - that too without paying much price in the market. The man said he had seen a dog in a dog show, which fetched Rs 27 lakh. The price made him comment that the dog was “ultimate.” He kept on talking about dogs. Apparently bored, a friend of the dog lover asked him whether he had seen only ultimate dogs and no “ultimate” man.

He refused curtly “Chhod yaar, “ultimate” aadmi bikte nahin.”

Beautiful police stations

The fear of human rights violations is so telling on the police that it keeps this aspect in mind even when decking up police stations.

The city police stations have been undergoing beautification. The police stations are being fitted with glazed tiles that are slippery. The tiles give their police stations spic and span look. But the tiling has been done all around except in the lock up. When the officers were asked as to why the lock ups do not have the same glazed tiles. An officer said that, “Because they are very slippery and if a person in police custody falls, they could be accused of using “third degree” in the custody.

A person in custody could have a head or backbone injury, which could put the police personnel in the dock.

Honest security guard

A pre-Divali shopper in Sector 22 D could not have done anything but praise a private security guard deployed in the busy market on the Divali eve.

The man who had left his vehicle, unlocked realised, the honesty of the guard, Dhanraj of Palsora Colony, when the found the guardstanding near his car.

The car owner had been shopping for two hours in the market without realising that he had left the vehicle unlocked. The car had gifts worth around Rs 10,000 meant for his family and friends.

Dhanraj from the Star Security told the car owner that he had left his vehicle unlocked. The car owner was asked to check whether his things were there in the car. The car owner satisfied himself and offered the man a prize of Rs 20. The guard told the man that he had got it announced on the public address system but nobody responded. He then stood beside the car watching for him.

Fad for celebrities

Even as celebrities continue to descend on Chandigarh, the local residents are just not satisfied.

The fact became apparent when singing sensation Abhijeet reached Chandigarh for a live concert. As he stood on the stage, holding a microphone, the residents made a beeline to meet him. Armed with diaries, they waited for their turn to get an autograph. Some even danced to the thumping beats of his music breaking the cordon.

Earlier, the same enthusiasm was seen when other celebrities like Amisha Patel, Aparna Kumar, Bhumika Puri, Wasim Akram and Twinkle Khanna came to the city.

Dangerous drive

On the last nippy Sunday evening our cameraman Parvesh Chauhan, while on his routine photo assignment, shot a scooterist on a busy city road in Sector 47 who was trying to help out a stranded scooterist whose vehicle had gone dry. This person devised different ways to help the stranded scooterist, unmindful of the fact that he was indulging in a serious traffic offence, besides jeopardising lives and property of many other road users.

Unaware of the risk involved, often cyclists could be seen holding the scooterist while driving on a busy road — indeed an open invitation to avoidable accidents. At times, they could also be seen holding anything handy on the rear of a tractor-trailer, a three wheeler or even four wheeler. (see picture)

Meat shops

India is primarily a vegetarian country. Vegetarian is the best food, says a study. Various meat shops have mushroomed in the city. There are two meat shops in Sector 47-C. Recently there was an advertisement in newspapers for the auction of a meat shop in Sector 47-D.

Meat shops are indeed a bad sigh for morning walkers at the nearby Sector 47 park. Hearing cries of chicken in the morning when the supply by van arrives is an inhuman experience. Chickens are weighted with all cruelty. Such scenes are common in other sectors too.

— Sentinel



Residents sore over illegal truck parking
Bipin Bhardwaj

Zirakpur, November 29
Illegal parking of private goods-carriers on government land alongside Chandigarh-Ambala and Panchkula-Patiala highways here has virtually converted the site into a truck union.

The haphazard parking of the goods-carriers there has led to the mushrooming of tea stalls and dhabas nearby making the point an eyesore. Scores of vehicles parked there create nuisance for motorists and local residents. The flow of traffic on the highways is hampered.

The residents complained trucks ferrying goods from far-flung areas to various godowns of multinational companies, located in the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat area, remained parked along the highway and on a slip road leading to Panchkula for days together. A large number of jhuggis have also come up on the nearby land that has been earmarked for a park. It has virtually been encroached upon by slum-dwellers and rehriwalas, they said.

Sand-laden tractor-trailers that are parked along the slip road and the Chandigarh-Ambala highway have become a cause of concern of residents of Sunny Enclave located opposite Bhabhat village.

Mr S.C. Dhall, a resident of Sunny Enclave, complained colony residents were facing inconvenience due to the jhuggis and a haphazard parking of vehicles at the entry and exit points of the colony.

“Drunk truck drivers and migrant labourers residing in the jhuggis use abusive language at night. They litter filth around the colony. Certain anti-social elements pass obscene remarks on women of the colony,” alleged Mr S.K. Sharma, another colony resident.

The residents said repeated representations to the local administrations and the civic body authorities in this regard had proved futile.

The Sub Divisional Magistrate of Dera Bassi, Mr Narinder Sangha, along with Mr Narinder Sharma and Mr Girish Verma, President and Executive Officer of the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat, respectively, visited the area on November 22 and asked the officials to clear the area of encroachments.

He had also asked the DSP of Dera Bassi, Mr Manmohan Kumar Sharma, to provide police force to the civic body authorities for an anti-encroachment drive. 



UK-based NRI walks for a cause
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
UK-based Balwant S. Grewal loves to walk, and charity is close to his heart. Combining his two interests, Mr Grewal has set out on a unique noble mission-to raise one million pounds for the cancer patients and AIDS research —by walking across the country.

Mr Grewal, in his Great charity walk is all set to cover 4,250 km, from Amritsar to Kanyakumari, by walking 150 km each week.

Currently in the city after completing the first leg of his walk from Amritsar, from where he had set out on November 16, Mr Grewal said he was inspired by a book to walk across the country to raise funds for the needy. “During a flight from the UK to the USA, I read a true account by a girl who walked from South Africa to Morocco. Since I loved to walk, it gave me the inspiration to take up this challenge,’’ he said.

The motivation to raise money for the cancer patients through walking reached its apex when he saw his next- door neighbour dying of the disease a few years ago.

Walking for a cause is nothing new for Grewal, who is also the chairman of the Indian Association, a charitable organisation working in the UK for the past 17 years. He has already taken part in the London marathon in 2001, to raise funds for charitable causes.

The Great Charity Walk, however, is Mr Grewal’s maiden adventure in his native country. “I am walking in India for the first time. I walk for 5 days a week and take two day of rest to re-charge my batteries. I try to cover 150 km each week,’’ Mr Grewal added further he had migrated to the UK way back in 1958 from the Narangwala village in Ludhiana. For a living, Mr Grewal runs a property business on the outskirts of London.

His organisation, the Indian Association, has already funded projects like Navjivan School for children with special needs in Patiala, earthquake victims in Gujarat and providing hepatitis A vaccine in southern India. 



Fauji Beat
More facilities to benefit ECHS members

What will cheer the Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) members is that 12 hospitals, five diagnostic centres and one dental centre in this region have been empanelled for their treatment under this scheme.

The ECHS-approved hospitals are: Fortis Heart and Multi Specialty Hospital, Mohali, Kaiser Hospital, Panchkula, Kiran Nursing Home, Ropar, Patiala Eye Hospital and Maternity Home, Muktsar and Escorts Heart and Super Specialty Institute, Amritsar. The four hospitals at Jalandhar are — Oxford Hospital, Tagore Hospital, Kidney Hospital and Orthonova Hospital. The Railway approved hospitals, which will provide treatment to the ECHS members, are Christian Medical College (CMC) and Dayanand Medical College (DMC), Ludhiana. And at Ferozepore the Francis Newton Mission Hospital.

The diagnostic centres are Chandigarh Clinical Laboratory, Spiral CT and MRI Centre, Chandigarh, Dr Sandhu's Pathology and Imaging Centre, Chandigarh, and Mirchias Diagnostics, Mani Majra, Chandigarh. At Ropar: Chandigarh Ultra Sound Scan Centre, Ropar. The one dental centre approved is Delhi Dental Clinic, Bathinda.

In addition to these are all government hospitals, Post Graduate Institute (PGI), Chandigarh and the Army hospitals.

It has now been revealed that the financial limit for each treatment will be the same as for the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) members.

Polyclinic Chandigarh

A polyclinic type ‘C’, was opened at 681, Sector 11, Chandigarh, on August 13, this year. Its telephone numbers are 2747701 and 2747702. The Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of the clinic is Lieut-Col A.P. Singh (retd). Of the four officers authorised, only two are posted at present i.e. the OIC and a medical officer, Wing Commander J.P.S. Kang (retd). The other two, a medical specialist and a dentist are likely to join shortly.

The lower staff is also in the process of being appointed. Some equipment has already been received and the remaining will be acquired soon. At present only 10 to 20 patients per day come to this polyclinic for check up and medicines. Those who are recommended for further treatment are referred to the empanelled hospitals. A patient who reports to an empanelled hospital direct, must inform the polyclinic on telephone within 48 hours of his admission.

Selection system woes

The Siachen and Silcher fake killings, to earn gallantry awards, have clearly brought out the utter lack of integrity and reliability of our Commanding Officers (COs). Sure enough, there are many more like them and if not caught, some of them rise to the higher ranks.

Two basic reasons for this are: One, the system of selection at the Services' Selection Boards (SSBs) being too old, has almost been neutralised. The second reason is that the system of writing Annual Confidential Reports (ACRs), in spite of revisions from time of time has become too subjective. The menace of sycophancy and “good connections” play an undesirable part in the promotion of officers.

What respect would the jawans have for the COs who indulge in such shameful and un-officer-like acts? These unspeakable incidents cannot occurs in a unit unless the CO is the main player of this shoddy game. Col H.S. Kohli, CO of an artillery regiment, in the North-East, also called ketchup Col, got ketchup splashed on the civilians to make them look like dead militants. He has been dismissed from service. We are waiting to see what happens to Col K.D. Singh, CO of the Siachen battalion, who made his jawans pose as the dead enemy troops.

An antique trophyThe silver trophy on display in the Officers' Mess of the Bombay Engineer Group, Pune.

An antique silver trophy was presented to 10th Battalion of the Second Bombay Pioneers by the Fourth Battalion of the 48 Bengal Pioneers on their disbandment in 1926. The second Bombay Pioneers were also disbanded in 1933. Before their disbandment, they presented this trophy to Bombay Sappers and Miners because of their close association with the latter.

The trophy is now in the Officers' Mess of the Bombay Engineer Group (BEG) in Pune and is the costliest and the best silver piece in this mess.

— Pritam Bhullar

The silver trophy on display in the Officers' Mess of the Bombay Engineer Group, Pune.



Police makes hay while residents break rules
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu

Chandigarh, November 29
Issuing challans rather than educating the public about traffic rules seems to be the priority of the Chandigarh traffic police that has filled government coffers by fining traffic violators.

The traffic police had issued 69,197 challans in 2003, collecting nearly Rs 90 lakh by way of fines. This year, till November 15, 93,957 challans have been issued and Rs 1.64 crore collected from traffic violators. They are patting themselves on the back for netting Rs, 74 lakh more than last year.

The figures have been attained despite the fact that the challaning spree of the police does not cover every offence mentioned in Sub-Section 3 of Section 206 of the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988. Challans in the city have been limited to driving without a helmet, overspeeding, using a mobile phone while driving, misuse of black film, red beacon atop private vehicles, wrong parking and underage driving, apart from a few others. The list of rules has 94 offences for which challaning can be undertaken. There are certain offences, which policemen are not even aware of and avoid penalising the public for these.

Some people allege that the traffic police is using challans only to "earn money". The police does not make efforts to educate the public about the traffic rules and regulations. Cops can be sighted hiding behind trees to nab traffic violators and issuing challans to them, they explain.

Mr Amitabh Dillon, SP, Traffic, does not agree with this. He maintains that the traffic police does hold awareness weeks from time to time to educate people. He adds they also hold camps on regular intervals and organise police-public meetings for better coordination.

Clarifying on the increase in the number of challans this year, he says, it is entirely due to an increase in the violations and has nothing to do with making money through issuing challans.

People even allege that the police has been "efficient" in challaning as the person who books a violator gets a share of the amount. Senior officers, however, rubbish the allegation, saying no commission is given to the challaning officer. The money instead goes to the government treasury, not even to the traffic police.

There is also a view that the police has been purchasing high-tech cameras and audio recorders from the challan amount to tighten the noose around those who drop names when challenged by policemen. Senior officers say even this view is misplaced as the police has sufficient funds to purchase these gadgets. 



Hyderabad MC team in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 29
An eight-member delegation of councillors and officials from the Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad met the Mayor, Ms Kamlesh, at the office of the Municipal Corporation, here today, to understand the working of the corporation.

After visiting Jaipur, Agra and Shimla, the delegation arrived in the city today to study its planning and architecture. They evinced interest in the city’s source and quantity of water supply, drainage, sanitation and horticulture.

The Mayor asked the delegation about steps taken by the Hyderabad MC to control the cattle menace and sought information about the working of the corporation. The delegation said that the Hyderabad MC was divided into 100 wards and had a Budget of nearly Rs 600 crore at its disposal. 



Female child found abandoned in CTU bus

Chandigarh, November 29
A female child aged around one year was found in a bag lying in a CTU bus early this morning. The child was noticed by the driver of the bus when he was checking the bus in the CTU workshop.

The police said, they received the information at around 6:30 am that a child was found abandoned in a CTU bus. The bus had come from Ambala and it took off from Ambala at around 5 am.

The child was later admitted in the General Hospital. The doctors medically examined the child. The child is suffering from polio, said the police. TNS



Residents object to disfigurement of green belt
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 29
Residents of Sectors 4, 12 and 12- A here have objected to the alleged disfigurement of a green belt in these sectors by the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN), for laying a high tension line through the green belt.

The Councillor from Sector 4 and Sector 12 , Ms Manveer Gill, today said yesterday that the contractor had dug pits for erecting the HT line, so that additional power could be supplied to the residents of Sector 21. She said if this was allowed, the trees in the green belt could face the axe.

She says that three high-tension lines already pass through the green belt , and the trees in the green belt are regularly cut by the electricity staff in the name of pruning. This is defeating the purpose of the green belt , and house owners living near the green belt feel cheated as they had paid extra for buying land near the belt, she said.



Highway connecting Panchkula, Naraingarh to be four-laned
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 29
A survey for four-laning of the National Highway-73, which connects Panchkula to Naraingarh and Jagadhari, is being done and work on the project is likely to begin next year.

Senior officials in the National Highways Division of the Haryana PWD (Bridges and Roads) Department said it was proposed to first widen and four-lane the 13-km stretch of the highway from Majri Chowk in Old Panchkula to Mattanwala village. A detailed survey of the cost involved and the quantity of material required for the project was underway, they added.

The project is long overdue. The stretch has become a major traffic bottleneck as rows of trucks are lined up alongside the road in the morning. Traffic moves at a snail’s pace. According to the last traffic census on this stretch, done two years ago, 14,000 heavy traffic vehicles and around 2,000 light traffic vehicles pass through the stretch everyday. Officials concerned say the traffic has increased manifold in the past two years.

It is believed that around 22,000 or 25,000 vehicles ply on the highway on an average each day. With the light vehicular traffic in the sectors across the Ghaggar, along the highway, heavy vehicular traffic ferrying sand from the river bed and bricks and vehicles of the ITBP, Bhanu, the four-laning of the highway is a must.

Officials say portions on the stretch widened earlier will also be included in the project. There are five bridges, including the old Ghaggar bridge on this stretch. Ways to widen these bridges or erect parallel two-lane bridges along those will also be studied in the survey.

The report, which is being prepared by a local consultant, will require the approval of the state government before being sent to the Union Ministry of Road Transport. Senior officials say the budgetary provisions for the project are likely to be made next yea, so that the work can be started at the earliest.

The estimated cost of the project is over Rs 35 crore. 



INLD has failed on employment front, says HPCC
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 29
The Indian National Lok Dal government in the state has failed to generate adequate employment opportunities in the state. The state employment exchanges has 7.5 lakh registered unemployed youth in the age group of 18-40 years. These numbers do not include youth who are unemployed/ under-employed but not registered in any of the exchanges.

Mr Deepak Rai Walia, Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee leader, today said that though the government set for itself a target of generating 25 lakh jobs in the coming 10 years, IT failed to prepare a time-bound action plan for creating employment opportunities. Possibly recognising this failure, the government has announced enhanced unemployment allowances and relaxed stringent conditions, towards the last leg of its five-year term. It is estimated that the sops doled out will cost the state exchequer more than Rs 100 crore every year, he said.

He said the Congress, if voted to power in the forthcoming elections, will create employment opportunities so that one person in each family got a job. Besides, there will be an unemployment allowance of Rs 500 per month. 



Jain muni to visit Mohali today
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 29
Acharya Dr Shiv Muni, the chief of the Sthanakwasi Shwetambar Jain sect, will visit Mohali tomorrow and stay overnight before proceeding further for his next destination.

Along with around a dozen Jain saints, the Jain Acharya has recently completed the chaaturmaas (four months of rainy season) at Jain Sthanak in Sector 18, Chandigarh, from where he had left on foot on Sunday.

The Jain sect chief will reach the residence of Hira Lal Jain at House No. 45 in Sector 69, Mohali, on Tuesday at 10 am, informed Kharar S.S. Jain Sabha president Rakesh Kumar Jain here today, while stating that the Jain Acharya will deliver religious discourse at that place from 2 to 5 pm, which will be followed by kirtan and refreshment.

According to information, Dr Shiv Muni Ji, along with his group of other Jain saints, after staying overnight, will proceed further for his next destination, which was not yet ascertained, on Wednesday morning. It is also learnt that an eminent Jain saint Ajay Muni Ji Maharaj will also join the Jain Acharya in Mohali for night stay.



Readers Write
Display Kairon’s portrait in House gallery

The late Punjab Chief Minister Partap Singh Kairon was a great freedom fighter, able administrator, great visionary and builder of City Beautiful, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, and the PGI, Chandigarh. His portrait should be displayed in the gallery of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Chandigarh.

He remained for eight years in British jails during the freedom movement and played a significant role in the all-round development of Punjab. He was an architect of modern Punjab.

The Vidhan Sabha Secretariat, at the time of unveiling of the portrait, should bring out a booklet on the contribution of Kairon to the freedom struggle and development of Punjab. A photo exhibition on the leader should also be organised.

Narinder Singh “International”

Dustbins, potholes

Residents of house numbers 2008 to 2434 EWS/LIG, Sector 40-C, are facing problems due to the stink from dustbins kept at the entry point of this block of houses and opposite Delhi Public School. In spite of several requests made to the Municipal Committee as well as the area councillors, the dustbins have not been shifted.

Besides, potholes have formed on V-6 roads, in lanes and footpaths causing inconvenience.

The authorities should take steps to redress the grievances.

M.S. Rawat

NCERT books

The CBSE has specified the use of only NCERT books in government/recognised schools. There are different publishers of books on various subjects on the pattern of the CBSE syllabi. Such publishers go direct to teachers in various schools and supply free sample copies to them. It is apprehended that many publishers or book sellers also fix a commission for teachers, who then ask students to purchase such books. The teachers describe the books as “practice” or “reference” books which are supposed to help get good marks.

The “practice” books are beyond the reach of students coming from poor or middle class families. These cost four or five times more than NCERT books.

“Practice” or “reference” books sell because students are misguided and told that these contain more details and their annual/supplementary examination questions will be set from these.

Strict instructions must be given to the managements of government, recognised schools to use only NCERT books. All “practice” books should be banned.

Ramesh Kumar


Except on major roads, signposts are not prominently displayed at roundabouts and road crossings with traffic lights. Vehicle drivers are often seen asking for the way to various sectors at such crossings which sometimes holds up traffic or leads to accidents. The authorities should look into the problem.

H.G. Gagneja



4 benches stolen from park
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 29
Four iron benches were reportedly stolen from a park in Sector 38-A during the intervening night of November 27-28.

Mr Jaspal Singh, Section Officer, Engineering Department, UT, filed a complaint in this regard today and a case under Section 379 of the IPC was registered in Sector 39 police station. The police said the watchman who was on duty that night was being questioned in this regard. Residents of the locality told the Chandigarh Tribune that two benches were stolen from the park earlier also.


Ajit Kumar suffered serious head injuries when the scooter he was riding pillion was hit by a jeep near the transport chowk here yesterday.

The police said Ajit Kumar received serious head injuries and was rushed to the PGI. Ramesh Kumar, a resident of Kunjpura village in Karnal district, who was driving the scooter, filed a complaint to the police in this regard. A case under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC was registered in the Sector 26 police station.


Ms Harveen P. Kaushal of Sector 47 filed a theft complaint to the police that a gold chain, a music system and some other articles were stolen from her Maruti van (CH-01-W-0579), which was parked at Apni Mandi in Sector 43, yesterday. A case of theft under Section 379 of the IPC was registered in Sector 36 police station.

Mr Jasbir Singh of Sector 35 reported to the police that a gas cylinder and a regulator were stolen from his residence during the intervening night of November 27-28. A case of theft was registered in Sector 36 police station.

Motor cycle stolen

Mr Sham Singh of Sector 38-C reported to the police that his motor cycle (CH-03-E-0797) was stolen from market in Sector 8-C on November 24. A case of theft was registered in Sector 3 police station.

Gambling case

The local police arrested Ram Sagar of Indira Colony from the same locality for gambling today. The police seized Rs 1,065 from his possession. A case under the Gambling Act was registered in Mani Majra police station.



Accident victim succumbs to injuries
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 29
Arun Gupta (22), who was injured after his motor cycle collided head on with a scooter on the road dividing Sectors 14 and 25, succumbed to injuries late last night in the PGI.

The police today handed over the body to his relatives after post-mortem.

The police said Arun Gupta and Jatinder both from Kulu, Himachal Pradesh, were on motor cycle (HP-58-0687) that collided with a scooter (CH-01-F-2580) driven by Kanshi Ram of Maloya Colony. Bimla Devi, his neighbour, was riding pillion on the scooter. All were seriously injured in the accident and were admitted to the PGI.

A case against both parties for negligent driving has been registered. 



Move to declare Balongi case suspects POs
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 29
The police has initiated proceedings to declare suspects of the Balongi fraud case as proclaimed offenders.

The police will be filing an application in a Kharar court and demanding that the suspects, who ran business under the name of Jai Lakshmi Super Agency in Balongi village and duped residents of lakhs of rupees, be declared as proclaimed offenders.

The probe into the matter had now been handed over to the CIA staff, Ropar, which was earlier being done by the Kharar police at a slow pace.

According to the police, raids had been conducted at the residences of the suspects and some of their relatives. Pressure was also being built up on relatives so that the suspects were forced to surrender. Relatives had been asked to cooperate with the police in this regard.

The agency was offering various goods, right from a small household item to a car, at half the market price. The customers were free to choose goods from the venue or from the open market but the delivery of goods was to be given after 15 days from the day the required amount was deposited with the agency. An extraordinarily high rate of interest was also offered on cash deposit to lure people to invest with the agency.

The police conducted a raid on November 20 and seized four truckloads of goods, apart from cash from the venue. The suspects, however, managed to escape before the police raid. A case under Section 420 of the IPC and 4/5 of the Chit Fund Act, 1982, had been registered against four persons. 



Three caught stealing scooter
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 29
The police here caught three teenagers ‘red handed’ while they were trying to steal a scooter from outside a house in Phase V here today.

The three according to the police have been involved in large number of small thefts in the area and another member of their gang had been caught by the police some days back.

While one of the three caught today is a resident of Phase VII, industrial area, the other two are from Matour village.

The scooter stolen by the three has been returned to the owner Mr Surinder Singh. A case under Section 379 of the IPC was registered.

Meanwhile, two persons Subedar and Ram Kumar, residents of Sector 48C here were arrested by the Mohali police today from Phase 10 here on charges of gambling. The two were booked under Sections 13-67 of the Gambling Act. A pack of cards and gambling money was recovered from the two.

Driver booked

The police today booked a car driver for causing accident. Gagandeep Singh and his friend Aman were hit by a car that injured the two. Gagandeep Singh, a resident of Phase X complained to the police and a case was registered against the car driver.

Purse snatched

Two unidentified persons ran away after snatching a purse from a Mohali resident, Vibha Singh last night. According to the police, she was carrying a purse, which had Rs 1,200 along with few other documents. In a complaint to police, she stated that two youths who seemed to be in there late 20’s, first asked for the location of a house and later snatched her purse and ran away.



Devendar wins Chevorlet Optra
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 29
Shopping Fest Sector 17 which was organised by the Business Promotion Council, Sector 17, concluded last evening.

There were rocking music and dance performances by a Russian troupe. A dance performance by Russian dancers Lena and Xala on English, Hindi and Punjabi numbers drew appreciation from the audience. Tutak Tutak Tootian-fame Malkiat Singh swayed the crowd with his songs. Satinder Satti and Deepak Raja conducted the stage.

Ms Kamlesh, Mayor of the MCC, Mr Pradeep Chhabra, Deputy Mayor, and Mr Vijay Rana, Member F and C Committee were among the guest of honour.

Winners of the mega draw are: Ist prize (Chevorlet Optra) — Devendar Kumar; IInd prize (Chevorlet Tavera) — Rajeev Sharma; and IIIrd prize (Opel Corsa) — Noor Ahmad.



Online banking
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 29
The Mohali branch of the Union Bank of India on Monday launched online banking, leading to interconnectivity of 450 branches throughout the country. Inaugurating the e-banking services, the General Manager of the bank, Punjab region said the new service would enable the customers to access their accounts on the internet. 


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 |