C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Murdered woman was a call girl
Driver held; suspect’s sketch to be released today
Tribune Reporters

Chandigarh, December 11
The woman murdered last evening in the top government-run Hotel Shivalikview has been identified as Ravinder Kaur (30), alias Muskan, a known name in the call girl circle of the city.

Police investigation today got a boost when it arrested an auto rickshaw driver who dropped Muskan at the hotel along with a person who is now the prime suspect. The police has apprehended some persons (not yet identified) in connection with the murder. It has got the mobile number of Muskan and is tracking recent calls. It has, however, not got the handset which, according to the driver Kulwinder, she was carrying when he dropped her at the hotel.

There seems to be somebody else also in the murder conspiracy.

The driver, Kulwinder Singh, was the last person to get a call from room number 402 of Hotel Shivalikview. The driver had told the police that he did not have any contact with Muskan and the man after he dropped them at the hotel.

It is not yet known if the call to the driver was made by Muskan or the suspected killer. Muskan had a mobile phone but she did not make the call from her number. The mobile is missing.

Her identity was today confirmed when her parents came to the city from Chamba. The police had last night suspected that she was the call girl who was facing trial in two cases registered against her in the Sector 39 police station in 2002. Cases under the Immoral Trafficking Act were registered against her in July and August 2002.

The police had also questioned Muskan during a recent campaign against call girls. She told the police that she had left the sleazy business and was going steady with a man. The police has recovered photographs, diaries, addresses and phone numbers from the house of Muskan to cull information and develop leads.

Kulwinder Singh of Daddu Majra Colony, who generally picked up and dropped Muskan from her house in Sector 38 (West), reportedly told the police that a man and Muskan took the autorickshaw between 5 and 5.30 pm from her house. They first went to Sector 37 where the stout, bearded man got down, leaving behind Muskan. He returned within a few minutes. They then went to Hotel Southend in Sector 35 where Muskan and the man probably had tea. The driver didn’t know about any developments after they were dropped.

The police has prepared a portrait of the suspect and would release it tomorrow.

It has made inquiries from several call girls of the city to establish the motive behind the murder. Police teams have been sent to Pinjore and Kalka to contact girls who had earlier been associated with Muskan. It is also making inquiries about the person whom Muskan claimed she was going steady with..

Muskan had earlier stayed in Sector 37 and a girl staying with her had committed suicide.



PU to offer M. Phil degree only in subjects with over 10 students
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 11
The Panjab University Syndicate today decided to offer an M Phil degree only in subjects which had more than 10 students opting for it, at a meeting held on the campus. However, there was no unanimity on phasing out the M Phil degree.

Also, passouts of the session from 1999-2001 would be given a special chance to improve their division in the forthcoming examination. The item pertaining to the charging of Rs 1,000 per year from private students who did not show up to collect their degrees after the courses, was deferred.

The item on granting affiliation to the Master of Fine Arts course at Government Art College was deferred in view of objections raised by the All-India Council of Technical Education (AICTE).

Departing from the tradition of treating maternity as “temporary disability” and not allowing women candidates selected for different posts to join duty in case they were expecting, the Syndicate decided to do away with the clause and allow the selected candidates to join before they proceeded on leave.

While appointments in a number of departments were given the nod by the Syndicate which held its last meeting today, it was decided that the post of Director (Sports) would be re-advertised.

Pointing out that forms were not available online, the Syndics asked the university authorities to speed up the process. The “ill-health” of the health centre on the campus also came in for discussion and members suggested that the number of doctors, permanent or part-time, should be increased and that it should be equipped with better facilities.

The library restorer not being promoted despite recommendations of the Board of Finance, was also debated.

The university will give three honorary D Litt degrees to Prof SS Johl, former Vice-Chancellor of Punjabi University, Mr P.N. Chaturvedi, Governor of Karnataka, and Mr Ashwini Kumar, MP.

The wife of former Vice-Chancellor, Prof R.C. Paul, has contributed Rs 3 lakh for of an annual symposium in chemistry and giving students an incentive to perform.

Dr J.S. Rathore’s case has been referred to the Senate. He was charged with not taking classes and playing truant. Also, the appointment of Dr Rakesh Dutta of the Department of Defence Studies was confirmed.

The university has also been asked to find a way to regularise the services of staff which has put in over 15 years and try for an out-of-court settlement in this regard.

While the high court had given relief to these employees by directing the university to regularise their services, the authorities had moved the Supreme Court against the decision. The matter is pending in the SC. 



Bay site auctioned for Rs 4.01 cr
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 11
A day after the prices of residential plots created history in the real estate market of the city, the prices of commercial property did not see a similar hike as the prices were steady and almost on a par with those of last year. The prime reason for this seems to be that commercial property is sold on a leasehold basis while residential is on a freehold basis.

However, one of the highest bids was in the category of SCOs. A II bay site in Sector 43-B was auctioned for a whopping Rs 4.01 crore. Sites of this size are between Rs 2.50 crore and Rs 2.83 crore. Sources said in this particular case, the owner could even use it as a hotel due to its proximity to hotels in Sector 35.

The Chandigarh Administration netted Rs 40. 98 crore by auctioning 28 sites. The reserve price for these plots was Rs 21.58 crore. The Estate Office had to hold back 33 sites for want of non-availability of architectural control. The Assistant Estate Officer, Mr N.S. Brar, said they would try to auction these sites afresh within a couple of months after getting clearance from the Architecture Department.

Last year, the Administration had netted Rs 41.09 crore by auctioning 46 commercial sites, including booths and shop-cum-offices.

The average price of a square yard in today’s auction worked out to be Rs 1.17 lakh. It was Rs 85,991 per square yard last year. Land auctioned under various plot sizes, from booths to SCOs and godowns, have been taken into account while calculating the average rate, officials of the Estate Office said.

Mr R.P. Malhotra, president of the Property Owners Welfare Association, said property should be on a freehold basis and this could fetch even more revenue for the Administration.



Yellow card must for free treatment at PGI
Attested income certificates won’t do
Neelam Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 11
Teething problems engulf the newly introduced system of making yellow card (indicating the below poverty line status) mandatory at the PGI as eligibility criteria for getting free treatment, with many patients harbouring the idea that the attested income certificate would be an accepted proof.

The PGI's ambiguous statements that no one would be denied treatment under ``any circumstances,' ever since the system has been introduced last month is not making the matter clear for the patients.

While the Head of the department could recommend a poor patient for free treatment earlier, the new system requires a copy of the yellow card at the time of approaching doctors for treatment in OPDs. The doctor would treat the patient and the hospital charges would be waived.

The PGI administration will decide whether to give free treatment in case the patient is unable to produce the yellow card at the time of treatment.

A number of patients are coming to the hospital with attested income certificates in the absence of the BPL yellow cards. The most affected are outstation patients hailing from distant places like Bihar and Jharkhand, many of whom are not aware of the recent change in the criteria.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Ram Dayal, hailing from a village in Jharkhand, came along as an attendant after hearing about the "much advertised'' free treatment at the PGI at his native place. He said, "I only knew that the PGI offers free treatment, which even Delhi (AIIMS) does not provide. We did not know about the requirements of any documents.''

A doctor remarked, "Many are still coming in the hope that in spite of not having the mandatory yellow card, free treatment would be made available by convincing the doctors. It is now a totally administrative matter.''

Upholding its "poor-friendly image, the PGI authorities, replying through the PR committee, reiterate that "poor would not be denied treatment'' but fail to give any concrete answer about the alternative offered in case the needy fail to furnish one due to unavoidable circumstances. "Each case will be dealt separately and subjectively,'' an official said, added that, "It was actually the objections raised by the audit this year which has made the PGI to ask for the yellow card.'' 



Zirakpur bypass may ease traffic
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Dera Bassi, December 11
The revival of the old Kalka-Ambala highway as the Zirakpur “bypass” may avoid the nightmare of thousands of commuters following the closure of the Ghaggar bridge on the Kalka-Ambala highway recently. Shown as 220 feet in the Punjab revenue records, the old highway joins the Chandigarh-Ambala road at Mubarakpur, near the railway flyover here, but lies virtually abandoned.

However, if widened the road could serve as an alternative route in case of emergency when the Chandigarh-Ambala road is closed for traffic, sources said.

The revival of the highway makes sense in the wake of the closure of the Ghaggar bridge for about two weeks, putting the commuters to a lot of inconvenience.

The commuters from Chandigarh to Ambala had to go through Rajpura (Punjab) and Barwala (Haryana) during the closure of the bridge.

The sources said traffic could be diverted to the bypass when the flyover at Zirakpur was constructed for the four-laning of the Ambala-Chandigarh under the golden quadrilateral scheme of the Central Government.

The former Union Minister, Mr B.C. Khanduri, had declared during the “bhoomi pujan” ceremony of the Zirakpur flyover earlier this year that the project was at the “tendering stage”.

Moreover, the old Yadavindra bridge on the Zirakpur-Kalka road is a major traffic bottle-neck and the construction of the bypass would provide an alternative route to the traffic to Ambala from Haryana and Himachal, said Mr R.P. Malhotra, president of Samadhaan, an NGO.

“This seems to be the only solution to the traffic congestion on the Ambala-Kalka highway and the authorities should prepare a comprehensive plan to address the problem of traffic congestion,” he said.

Moreover, with Zirakpur and the adjoining areas emerging as a major residential hub for the middle and lower middle classes, the need for alternative routes is apparent.

The revival of the highway would also give a push to the economy of the area, where development seems to have taken a back seat, he added.



Sahgal challenges original tapes’ authenticity
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 11
Colonel Anil Sahgal, who is facing trial by court martial in the Tehelka case today challenged the authenticity of the "original" video tapes produced before the court by the secretary of the erstwhile Phukan Commission of Inquiry, terming them to be recordings and edited versions instead.

While deposing as a defence witness, Colonel Sahgal contended that the tapes handed over by the secretary, Mr S K Dasgupta, were not the original master tapes supposed to have been handed over to the Venkatswamy Commission of Inquiry by tehelka.com's chief editor, Mr Tarun Tejpal.

Colonel Sahgal maintained that the tapes produced were recorded versions of the originals as there were instances of mismatch between the movements of lips and voices during conversations. He also pointed out that there have been cuts in the tapes as a wall clock which is supposed to have chimed every 30 minutes, chimed twice in a span of about six minutes in the tapes screened before the court today. The relevant portions of the tapes were repeatedly played before the court to enable the court members to judge the contents.

The defence had submitted that for proving its contentions, it wanted certain original tapes containing footage of some army officers and Defence Ministry functionaries interacting with arms dealers on matters pertaining to procurement of defence stores. Following this, the secretary was directed to produce 16 VHS video tapes in the court.

Earlier, the court overruled the prosecution's contention that some of the tapes could not be admitted as evidence because the accused did not feature in the said tapes and nor was there any reference to him. The defence counsel, Maj K Ramesh had contended that the tapes were relevant as their contents could establish the conspiracy behind the exercise carried out by Tehelka operatives and also because they were directly linked to the summary of evidence recorded by the army in case of the accused.

After the defence tendered the accused for cross-examination, the prosecution counsel, Mr Arvind Moudgil sought time for two days to view the concerned tapes before beginning the cross-examination. The court, however, fixed November 12 as the next date of hearing.



Common man getting disillusioned with judiciary, says SC Judge
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 11
A Supreme Court Judge, Mr Justice Ashok Bhan, today remarked that the common man, for whom the judicial system was put in place, is getting disillusioned by it.

"For him, judiciary stands for delays, which are inexplicable to him, and expenses are such he cannot bear. No institution can take for granted the respect of the community," he quoted.

He was addressing the inaugural session of a national workshop being organised in the city by the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana.

Advocating the need to regulate entry of freshers to the judicial profession, Mr Justice Bhan talked of the need to start some kind of entrance exam for the same.

"Some steps need to be taken to ensure that only the best brains enter this profession. We should maintain high standards for this profession," Mr Justice Bhan said.

He also observed that the universities must produce good, professionally competent lawyers and said that for that the entire curriculum needsed to be revised.

Mr Justice Bhan also expressed concern over the mushrooming law colleges in the country and urged Bar Councils of various states to take urgent steps to check this trend. "Our endeavour should be to produce the best lawyers. I have heard that law institutes have also been permitted to function for extraneous reasons. This is not a healthy trend," he remarked.

Arguing that delay in finalisation of pending cases is not due to the Bench alone, Mr Justice Bhan said that all parties must share responsibility for the same.

"Over 2.45 crore cases are pending in lower judiciary, while the figure of High Courts is over 31 lakh. But, at the same time, over 150 posts of High Court Judges are vacant. Many other factors are equally responsible for the huge pendency," he said.

"There is no place for mistrust and suspicion between the Bench and the Bar. While a husband and wife can divorce, the Bar and Bench can't," he said.

In his address, Mr Justice G.S. Singhvi of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, expressed concern over negative coverage by the Media. "Our problem is that we cannot speak to clarify our viewpoint. That is misunderstood by many as sign of weakness. It is imperative that the Bar corrects this image," he observed.

Expressing anguish over the fact that despite the passage of over 50 years since Independence, over 70 per cent of the country's population is still without some basic amenities, Mr Justice Singhvi noted that it was the duty of the judicial system, which includes the lawyers, to ensure that the subjects promised in the Preamble to the Indian Constitution were made available to each and every citizen.

He also supported the suggestion of Mr Justice Bhan that entrance of new lawyers to the profession should be regulated so that only the best brains were allowed to practice.

Mr C.M. Munjal, Chairman, Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana, said that efforts would be made to suggest changes in the functioning of the judicial system.

Among others who spoke on the occasion were Mr Anmol Rattan Sidhu, president of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association and Mr B.M. Vinayak, Vice-Chairman, Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana.



Rodrigues favours institute for seafarers
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 11
The Punjab Governor and Administrator of Chandigarh, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), today called for the setting up of an institute in the region for training seafarers.

The Governor, who inaugurated a seminar on “Chandigarh — The emerging source of seafarers” at the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research here, said shipping companies were earning crores every month, a part of which could be earmarked for setting up an institute for training seafarers. He said we had not been able to evolve a system that would help children flourish. The seminar was organised by the Merchant Navy Officers Association, Chandigarh.

General Rodrigues said one need not be born near the sea to become a seafarer. He said when he joined the military academy in 1949, there were 25 cadets for the Navy, eight of whom were from Punjab.

He urged the gathering to diversify activities for social causes and to help the needy. He said those in the Merchant Navy must contribute substantially for mitigating the suffering of the poor by providing educational and medical facilities. He said: “We don’t have the magnanimity of spirit” to reach out to the needy. It is not a question of they or we, it is us”.

He said: “If you genuinely care and are prepared to give me your time and commitment to make this part of the world a better place to live in, I am prepared to meet you halfway”.

General Rodrigues presented a fixed deposit document to Gurpreet Kaur, minor daughter of Kargil martyr, Jaswinder Singh. The amount had been arranged by the Merchant Navy Officers Association.

Mr G.S. Sahni, Director-General of Shipping, said 60 per cent of the manpower in the shipping companies was from North India and it was, therefore, essential to set up a maritime institute in this region.

Later, Mr Sahni told mediapersons that he attended the seminar to encourage the association to participate in a bigger way in maintaining the continuity of supply of manpower from the northern region. He said according to a BIMCO report, there was a shortage of nearly 25,000 personnel in the shipping world which would rise to 46,000 by 2010.

He said the scene changed in shipping after the introduction of tonnage tax by virtue of which shipping companies were required to pay only about 1 per cent tax. The idea was to provide a level playing field. A large number of overseas companies had also started coming to India. He said in India, there were 12 major ports and 100 minor ports facilitating international trade activity. He said in the next 10 years, an investment of Rs 2000 crore was expected in the shipping business.

Later in the day sessions were held on various topics. Partner shipping companies also made presentations.



Gita Jayanti celebrations end today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 11
As a part of the Gita Jayanti celebrations, the local chapter of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) organised a three-day, “Preaching and sankirtan programme” at Shiv Mandir, Sector 45.

The programme will conclude tomorrow, according to the president of the local chapter of ISKCON. Gita Jayanti falls on December 22.

ISKCON devotees distribute lakhs of books containing sacred messages of Srimadbhagvadgita across the globe throughout the month. The founder of ISKCON, A.C. Bhakti Vedant Swami Sril Prabhupada, whose 108th birth anniversary also falls this year, wrote a running commentary on Srimadbhagvadgita and Srimad Bhagvatam which had been translated into more than 80 languages of the world.

December is called “Gita Jayanti maas” as Lord Krishna delivered the sacred message of Srimadbhagvadgita in the battlefield of Kurukshetra to Arjuna during this month and hence the celebrations go on till the end of the month.



Weekend rush at Chrysanthemum Show
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 11
The three-day Chrysanthemum Show at the Terraced Garden, Sector 33, attracted a large number of visitors today. The weekend rush at the garden saw families and youngsters reach the garden early in the day and the public continued to pour in till the evening.

The idea was to spend a leisurely Saturday in the sun surrounded amid blooming chrysanthemums. The show, organised annually by the horticulture wing of the municipal corporation, proved to be a learning experience for the youngsters who were taken in by the varieties on display.

The show will conclude tomorrow with a prize distribution function where the Mayor, Ms Kamlesh, will give away prizes for contests held ahead of the show. Decorated with over 8,500 pots, the garden has chrysanthemums arranged in different patterns all over the green lawns.



Air Marshal cautions against complacency
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 11
World air powers, including the United States, France, South Africa and Singapore, with whom the IAF has held joint exercises recently, have been immensely impressed by its performance in operational and maintenance fields.

Stating this while addressing officers and men at 12 Wing here today, the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Air Command, Air Marshal S P Tayagi said that it was a tribute to the professionalism of air force personnel.

Air Marshal Tayagi, who is Chief of the Air Staff designate, however, cautioned personnel against any complacency in their operational preparedness. He was here on a two-day official visit.

While lauding efforts put in by the IAF personnel in achieving the onerous task of air maintenance of troops in far-flung areas, he also mentioned the significant role played by IL-76 aircraft of this base during the aforementioned joint exercises.

The AOC-in-C, along with his wife, Mrs Vandana Tayagi, had arrived here yesterday and were received by the Air Officer Commanding, 12 Wing, Air Cmde S S Tilloo and his wife, Mrs Latika.

Air Marshal Tayagi also paid a brief visit to the Air Force Station, Kasauli, while Mrs Tayagi, who is the regional president of the Air Force Wives Welfare Association (AFWWA), had a close interaction with the local president and members of AFWWA.



Chandigarh Club general body meeting in Jan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 11
The new executive committee of the Chandigarh Club, led by Mr Mukesh Bassi, said today that the club will hold general body meeting in January.

The list of 5,000 members eligible for voting in the meeting has already been displayed.

The new team claimed to have taken strict measures to plug all loopholes to check loss of revenue. All sales from the bar, billing and stocks have been computerised to prevent any pilferage.

A special committee has been formed to rationalise the staff and a ban has been imposed on all new recruitments to the club staff, said Mr Bassi. A special audit of the club from April 1, 1998, is already in progress in this regard.

The executive committee has reviewed all existing honorary memberships.



Controversy over body left at hospital
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 11
A controversy has arisen over whether a person left on a stretcher by the police at the local Civil Hospital last evening was alive or dead and the circumstances that led to his death. The police personnel left the hospital allegedly without informing any doctor on duty.

A police vehicle reportedly arrived at the hospital and left after leaving the man on the stretcher. The man had injuries on his head and forehead. A doctor who examined the man some time later found him dead. He appeared to be a migrant labourer.

The doctor on duty informed the local police about the body but no personnel reached the hospital throughout the night. The police had to be informed again this morning.

The DSP, Mr Harpreet Singh, said the victim had been hit by vehicle near Dara Studio, Phase VI, here. He claimed that the Additional SHO, Mr Rajesh Kumar, and an ASI, Mr Ram Nath, took the victim to the hospital. He denied that they left the victim at the hospital without informing the medical staff concerned. The DSP said that the victim has not been identified so far.

He said a case had been registered under Sections 279 and 304-A of the IPC.

The SMO and in charge the hospital, Dr S.P. Singla, said the doctor on duty last evening, Dr Tamanna, had rung him up and told him about the body. She told him that nobody had informed the hospital about the body. He said he had told her to inform the police.

Dr Singla said the post-mortem examination has not been conducted yet as the police has not presented the relevant documents.

Questions have arisen in connection with the death of the victim. Was the man a victim of hit-and-run accident or was he murdered? Is the police trying to conceal a murder and making it look like an accident case? Did the police really inform the hospital staff? Was the man alive when he was left at the hospital?



Man assaulted with axe, lathis
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 11
A resident of Hangoli village was allegedly assaulted by four persons in the village fields today. He had gone to the fields for some work, when he was waylaid by the accused, who charged at him with an axe and lathis. His family later found him in the fields and rushed him to the General Hospital.

Annual Day: A rhymes-and-song day of Bhavan Vidyalaya School was held on Saturday, where students of nursery and kindergarten participated. The function began with Saraswati vandana, and tiny tots presented songs and poems. The school Chairman, Mr Kulwant Singh, and the school Principal, Ms Shashi Banerjee, were also present on the occasion.



Police, community interface today

Mohali, December 11
A two-day national consultation on police and community interface is being organised by the Institute for Development and Communication (IDC) in Chandigarh from tomorrow. The workshop is being organised in association with the IPS Association, Punjab, and is supported by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), New Delhi.

It will be opened by Mr Suresh Pachouri, Union Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions and Parliamentary Affairs. OC



Association observes Human Rights Day

Mohali, December 11
The Human Rights Day was observed by the Leprosy Welfare Mission, Chandigarh, at Mohali on Wednesday. Leprosy patients and disabled persons from different parts of the region took part in the function.

Mr Prem Singh Bhutte, founder of the association, drew the attention of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and the National Human Rights Commission to the need to frame laws to penalise those discriminating against the leprosy patients and the disabled. TNS



Want your licence?
Come to Lok Adalat
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 11
The District Courts authorities seem to have devised a novel way to increase the number of cases to be decided at the Lok Adalat to be held here on December 18.

Though there is nothing official about it, the lower staff of various courts have been verbally asked to go slow regarding the disposal of traffic challans. And this has put scores of traffic rule violators to a lot of inconvenience.

A resident of the Sector 18 here, who went to get his driving licence released from one of the courts, alleged that the staff first dilly-dallied in releasing it. However, when he persisted he was told the licence would be released on December 18 at the adalat.

And in the absence of the driving licence, he could not apply for a Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) flat in Sector 51 as the driving licence was his only proof of residence. The last date for submitting applications for the flats ended yesterday.

Official sources said it was a normal practice to dispose of the accumulated traffic challans at the adalat since it did not involve any major point of law.



Dalit writers to be honoured today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 11
Dalit writers will be honoured by Dr Ambedkar International Mission at Dr Ambedkar Bhavan here tomorrow.

Dr Ambedkar’s thoughts have now been consolidated in the form of Phule-Ambedkar philosophy. Fresh writings in various Indian languages by the Dalits have made an impact on modern Indian literature.

Dr Ambedkar International mission, a Canada-based organisation, is felicitating Dalit writers for their work in English as well as regional languages for the past five years. The organisation has maintained the tradition of holding an award distribution function in different Indian cities each year.

The award for writing in English will be given to Mohandas Nemishray for his book “Caste and Race”. The award for woman writer will be given to Dr Saroj Agalave for her book “Jotiba Phule”. Dr Dhammakirti has been selected for an award for a book on Buddhism.

Award for writing in Punjabi will be given to D. D. Kalyani for his book “Khamosh Dastan”. Tamil book, “Tamilar Unnai Varalaru” by S. Kaliaperumal has been selected for an award.

Award for writing in Marathi will be given to Dr Govind Gare for his book “Naxalites and Adiwasis”.

An award for a periodical will be given to Prof Vilas Wagh for editing the Marathi magazine “Sugawa” published from Pune. Dr Vizia Bharati will be given an award in Telgu for her book “Kings in Purana”.

Dr D.R. Jatawa will be honoured with a lifetime achievement award for his writings on Dr Ambedkar.

An entertainment programme by Punjabi singer Jangi Germanwala will also be held.



Motor cycle, car stolen
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 11
A car and a motor cycle were reportedly stolen from the city, the police said here today.

Mr Rajdeep Singh of Shiv Nagar, Patiala, filed a complaint to the police that his Indica car (CH-01-T-4930) was stolen from Passport Office in Sector 34 on December 9. A case of theft under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered in the Sector 34 police station.

Mr Sheesh Pal of Mouli Jagran reported to the police that his Hero Honda motor cycle (CH-01-J-9869) was stolen from the market in Sector 20. A case of theft was registered in the Sector 19 police station.


Scooterist Bhag Singh of Sector 27 and his daughter were injured when a car hit their scooter on the dividing road of Sector 19-27 last night. Both injured were admitted to Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32.

The police has arrested car driver Arjan Singh of Sector 7 and registered a case under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC in the Sector 19 police station. The police later released Arjan Singh on bail.


The police has arrested Balram, a resident of Bapu Dham Colony, from Government high School in the locality for gambling, yesterday. The police seized Rs 1,480 from his possession. A case under Sections 13-A, 3 and 67 of the Gambling Act was registered in the Sector 26 police station.



Superintendent caught accepting bribe
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 11
The UT Vigilance Department today caught a superintendent in the office of the Sub-Divisional Magistrate (South) red-handed while accepting a bribe of Rs 5,000.

K.C. Gupta was arrested by a team of Vigilance officials when the complainant, Rajwant Singh, offered him the money.

Rajwant had struck a deal of Rs 50,000 with Gupta in January to get an eviction notice stopped with regard to dispossession of his shop in Sector 44. Gupta issued the notice to Rajwant, an auto spare part dealer. Rajwant approached Gupta again, complaining why he had served the notice despite already having taken Rs 35,000 from him. Gupta told Rajwant to give him the remaining Rs 15,000. Rajwant showed his inability to pay in lumpsum and urged him to take the money in three instalments of Rs 5,000 each. The amount paid today was to be the first instalment in this connection.

The sources said the SDM (South), Capt P.S. Shergill, had received the complaint in this regard. Captain Shergill reported the matter to the Vigilance Department, which laid a trap to catch him red-handed.



Cheating case filed against property dealer
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 11
The police has registered a case against a property dealer on charges of cheating and criminal conspiracy.

According to the police, Surinder Singh, a resident of Phase I here, entered into an agreement relating to the purchase of two houses in Sector 56, Chandigarh. Surinder Singh had allegedly taken Rs 50,000 from Sukhwinder Singh and Rs 35,000 from Devinder Singh in this connection.

The complainants alleged that Surinder Singh had neither returned the money nor taken any step for the registration of the property.



Five teenagers nabbed after wild chase
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 11
It was after a wild chase for over 30 minutes that the police managed to nab five teenagers out on a joyride. The revellers had broken two police barricades and had the cops from Ramgarh and Police Control Room vehicles after them, before they were finally nabbed.

The boys — later identified as Sunny Sachdeva, Sandeep, Bharat Bhushan, Gauravjit and Sudhir Chaudhary — were reportedly coming to Chandigarh in their car (HR-07E-07278). They stopped by at a petrol pump at Mattanwala village to buy fuel. After they got the tank full with petrol worth Rs 1,100, they sped away from the petrol pump.

The petrol pump staff then informed the Ramgarh police post, and the police led by ASI Kehar Singh laid a naka near Ramgarh. The car ran into the barricade and sped towards Panchkula.

Another naka was laid near Azad Colony, Sector 21, and the accused were finally nabbed by the police here. In the meantime, the police party from Ramgarh also reached here, and the boys were nabbed. They have now been arrested by the Chandimandir police.



Couple detect fraud in ATM accounts
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 11
A local businessman has been duped of Rs 30,000, which was withdrawn from his and his wife's ATM account, even though he claims that they had the ATM cards in their possession. The incident took place on December 4, when Rs 10,000 was reportedly withdrawn from the ATM account of Mr Pawan K. Katia in HDFC Bank, Sector 7, Panchkula. It was on December 6, when Mr Katia went to the bank for some other work, that he got to know of the cash withdrawal. "I had the ATM card with me and nobody knows the pin number,” he says.

He approached the bank staff and brought this to their notice. The branch manager assured to look into the matter. The next day, my wife, who also has an ATM account in the same bank, went to operate her account but found that Rs 20,000 had been withdrawn from her account on the morning of December 6, a few hours before Mr Katia had noticed the withdrawal from his account. “We again lodged a complaint with the bank authorities, and the next day when we went to the bank to get a statement of our accounts, we noticed that Rs 20,000 had been deposited in my wife's account on December 7 itself," he said.

Mr Katia said he had five accounts in the bank with each having a balance of over Rs 1 lakh. "Nobody knows our pin numbers and the ATM cards were with us. Inquiries about who deposited the money back in my wife's account revealed that it was a girl, and the deposit slip has been signed by some Nikita," he said, adding that "I have sent my complaint to the Chairman and Managing Director of the Bank."

The Sector 7 branch manager of HDFC, Mr Dashmeet Singh, said it was not possible to operate an ATM account without the card and the pin. "Somebody known to the Katias could have withdrawn the money. The culprit may have got scared and deposited the money back.



Wheat Gluten launched
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 11
Rai Agro Industries Limited today launched textured vital wheat gluten which is a substitute for meat products. Addressing a conference here today, representatives of the company gluten was a pure vegetarian substitute for meat and was made of nutrients that tasted like non-vegetarian products. Also it was cholesterol free.

Various products made from gluten wheat include dry gluten nuggets, canned gluten, gluten in brine and gluten in pouches. 


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