C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Sexual harassment charges against top CBSE officer
Sabu denies allegations
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
Eight women employees of the regional office of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) today alleged sexual harassment at the hands of its Regional Officer, Mr P.I. Sabu.

However, later in the evening, two of the women employees withdrew their complaints stating that they had signed on the representation without reading it.

They said they were told that the representation was in support of two employees, Sanjiv Sharma and Rajeev Sharma — both assistants at the Chandigarh office — who had recently been transferred.

The two had been found involved in a case of tampering with answer books, it is learnt.

However, the remaining six women employees did not withdraw their complaints.

Mr Sabu, denied the allegation of the women employees. He said he was open to any departmental inquiry and said members of the statutory body on sexual harassment would come from Delhi to probe into the matter.

The women employees in a representation, all in identical format, to the Chief Grievances Officer of the board alleged that the Regional Officer had forced them to stay in the office till late in the evening and harassed them.

The two women employees, who withdrew their complaints, have forwarded their second representation to the Chairman of the board.

Following the complaint, the Regional Officer of the board in a statement said the transfer of the two employees was the outcome of an inquiry conducted by the CBSE headquarters.

The Regional Officer said the staff had to stay till 7 pm due to examinations but were paid remuneration for the same as overtime allowance.

He said no women employee had complained of sexual harassment before the transfer of the two employees on December 15.

He said the complaints had been the outcome of the transfer of the two employees.

The complaints were aimed at derailing the inquiry being conducted by the board into some irregularities, he added.



2 sambars stray into city, 1 caught
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
It was literally a “wild” chase for wildlife experts called in to trap a sambar which strayed into the city limits this morning. The very first to lose its way out of the forest area this season, the four-year-old sambar was spotted near Kapoor Petrol Pump in Sector 21 today, but was trapped much later in Sector 17. It is said to have strayed from the Patiala ki Rao area.

Yet another case of the animal’s straying came to light this evening when UT Wildlife Department sent another team to trap a sambar from the CSIO complex in Sector 30. The team could not finally catch the animal as it found an easy cover in the forest area surrounding the building.

In the morning, however, the rescue team of the Wildlife Department managed to trap the other male sambar after a maddening chase that lasted for well over two hours. As the animal ran amok from Sector 21 to Sector 18 and then to Sector 17, the team members had a difficult time tranquilizing it. Even the passers-by were caught unawares by the reprise visitor, which held the traffic to ransom for quite sometime.

The UT Chief Wildlife Warden, Mr Ishwar Singh, said: “Today’s trap was extremely tough because the animal had to be recovered from a sensitive zone where people were moving around. One dose that we use to tranquilize a sambar is enough to kill a human. The team members had to proceed with utmost caution. They could not use the gun as easily as they could have had the animal been on the city outskirts. Later during the day, another sambar strayed into the CSIO campus, but it could not be recovered as it vanished behind the forest cover. The male sambar earlier spotted in Sector 21 was finally tranquilized and trapped near the Sate Bank of India building in Sector 17.

Today’s incident of straying may well be followed by many more as this season is known to be tough for male sambars who are under the pressure of mating. Said Mr Ishwar Singh, “Winter being the mating season of sambars is particularly tough for weaker animals that are chased out of the forest by the stronger ones. Another factor that adds to straying is fog. Since the city is surrounded by forests, such incidents are fairly common, especially in winters.”



Woman booked for beating up minor
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu

Chandigarh, December 17
In a rare case of child seeking justice against brutality by parents, a woman has been booked for allegedly beating up her 12-year-old daughter brutally and of keeping her locked at the house when she went out for work.

This is the first ever case registered after the intervention of the PGI Childline and Chandigarh Police Child Helpline of seeking justice against a parents’s brutality in the city. The two child helplines were set up as requirement of a Juvenile Justice (care and protection of children) Act.

Santro Devi, a mother of three children, allegedly beat up her eldest daughter Bharati who was found seriously injured in the Ramlila Park of Maloya on October 22.

The girl said she had severely been beaten by her mother. Someone then rang up the PGI Childline at toll free number 1098, which sent its emergency vehicle to bring the girl to the hospital. The medical examination revealed that the girl had injuries. On her statement, the matter was referred to the police for an inquiry.

During the inquiry into the case, the Child and Women Support Unit (CAWSU) of the Chandigarh police, found out that Santro Devi was bringing up her children alone because of her husband Banke Lal’s wagabond nature. She was intemperate and usually locked up her three children, Bharati being her eldest, when she went out to work. Santro Devi was working as a maidservant during the day and washed dishes in hotels in the evening. Her husband had been living separately and not lived with children. The police tried to trace him at the Sector 22 rickshaw stand but could not find out. Bharati’s younger brother and sister are 6 and 4, respectively.

The matter came to light when Kulpreet Dhillon of Centre Coordinator Childline, PGIMER, filed a complaint on behalf of the victim girl to the CAWSU. The girl was under treatment of Kulpreet Kaur in the PGI. The SSP operations conducted an inquiry into this matter and directed the SHO of Sector 39 police station to register a case in this regard. The girl was sent to Nari Niketan for 16 days. The registration of the case was ordered after the CAWSU team, during the inquiry, found out from the neighbours of Santro Devi that she had been locking up her children and beating them up regularly.

Santro Devi is still living with her children as the police had been in a dilemma about her arrest because in that case there was no one to take care of the children.

A case under Sections 342 (wrongful confinement) and 323 (hurt) of the Indian Penal Code was registered in this regard.



City’s character to be reviewed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
“Housing, building bylaws, transport system, educational facilities, slums, garbage disposal, traffic management, etc in the city is under review. However, the status of the city as a Unesco heritage site will be preserved at all costs and the changes, if any, will have to be incorporated keeping in mind the future requirements,” this was stated by the UT Administrator, General S.F. Rodrigues, on completing one month in office today.

A “Core Group”, headed by the Adviser which would make a “Concept Paper” for the city, would review the city in totality as the UT was set up for a population of 3.50 lakh, but today it is 9 lakh plus. “There are areas where we can go to the World Bank and the UNDP after identifying certain sectors for development,” he added.

General Rodrigues said the administration had to take a holistic view of problems being faced by the people of the UT. “We have to hold what we have gained over the years,” he added.

He said 60 to 70 per cent of city house owners were facing cases of building bylaws violation. Either there was something wrong with laws or something wrong was being done by people.

The condition of limiting maximum number of floors in buildings at four had to be looked into first to allow high-rise buildings as the land in the UT was limited, he said.

The Chandigarh Administration proposed to introduce the Right to Information Bill in the UT as part of steps for providing a “responsive, transparent and accountable” administration to the residents. Each department of the administration would also come out with a charter.

Accountability and fixed time frame would be provided for all projects, he said, adding that there would be mid-course review so that corrections could be carried out.

General Rodrigues also announced a rolling “Administrator’s Trophy” for the best police station of the UT, adding that as far as IT was concerned he was still working on it. Rodrigues said: “We know what Infosys, Wipro and others want, but we have to be clear on our requirements. Not one section, but the entire society has to be taken along”.

He said he had asked the Home Secretary to carry out a “complete survey” on the working of various non-government organisations (NGOs) in the UT. “It must be a registered NGO, its sources of funding must be known and audited accounts will be required,” he said, adding that “we need to harmonies the functioning of the NGOs with the working of the administration.”

Rodrigues said the administration would talk to various organisations, including the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the Chambers of Industry, Lions and Rotary Clubs for help in “structured way” in different spheres.

He said in order to check the parking problem, it planned to introduce low-floor buses on different routes which would take people as close as possible to their destinations for different works.



High drama at F&CC meeting; Mayor walks out
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
High drama was witnessed at the meeting of the Finance and Contract Committee (F&CC) of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) here today with the Mayor, Ms Kamlesh, staging a walkout following heated exchanges with a nominated councillor, Mr PC Sanghi.

According to information, the trouble started when Mr Sanghi pointed out that the minutes of last meetings had not been placed at today’s meeting by Ms Kamlesh. At this moment, the Mayor walked out of the meeting following heated arguments with Mr Sanghi.

However, senior officials of the civic body later persuaded the Mayor to chair the meeting again. A personal remark by the Mayor against Mr Sanghi sparked off another volley of hot words between the two. Finally, they were pacified by officials and other members of the committee.

Meanwhile, the committee approved the impounding charges for different types of stray cattle. While the charges for the releasing the impounded cow would be Rs 2,000, the charges for buffalo would be Rs 3,000. The persons seeking the release of horse and camel would have to shell out Rs 1,800. The charges for pig and piglet would be Rs 1,000 and Rs 400.

Through another decision, the committee sanctioned the sinking of four tubewells in the Industrial Area. The committee okayed a hike of 10 per cent in the earnest money for the auction of commercial plots in Mani Majra. A resolution calling for the closure of certain sugarcane juice shops in Mani Majra was also approved.

The committee recommended that a survey of the district courts parking should be undertaken with a view to introducing paid parking.



Chatrath leads the race for Mayor’s post
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
Less than two weeks ahead of the election to the city Mayor, lobbying for the top post has intensified.

With infighting in various factions of the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee (CTCC) ebbing out, Ms Anu Chatrath seems to have emerged as the front-runner.

Although the final decision lies with the Congress high command, Ms Chatrath seems to be the party favourite, ahead of the other two contenders for the post — Ms Shyama Negi and Ms Pushpa Sharma.

The one-year tenure of the Mayor, election to which will be held on January 1, is reserved for a female councillor.

It may be recalled that the ruling Congress has six women councillors in the 31-member Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC).

One of the councillors — Ms Lalit Joshi Bhardwaj — has already been the Mayor, while there is least possibility of the renomination of the present Mayor, Kamlesh, following her “controversial” tenure.

The current Deputy Mayor, Ms Geeta Chaudhary, is a party light-weight and considered to be a weak candidate.

And with the local MP, Mr Pawan Bansal, likely to play a pivotal role in the selection of the candidate following his bete noire and CTCC chief, Mr B.B. Bahl’s, virtual indifference to the Mayoral elections, Ms Chatrath’s chances for the elevation to the post have brightened.

Ms Chatrath’s father, G.K. Chatrath, an old Congress warhorse, enjoys good rapport with all Congress factions.

Besides, notwithstanding her closeness to the Bansal faction, she is seen as an “acceptable” candidate by the other factions.

Congress sources said the party wanted to project its urbane face before the new team of officials in the Chandigarh Administration and the MCC.

Educated and articulate, Ms Chatrath, who is also
a practising advocate of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, perfectly fits the bill.

On the other hand, Ms Sharma and Mr Negi, though senior to the Ms Chatrath in the party setup, score poorly when it comes to education and their rapport with various factions.



I didn’t compromise national security, says Sahgal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
Colonel Anil Sahgal, who is being tried for professional impropriety in the Tehelka case, today declined to comment on the portion of video tapes where he is allegedly shown stating that he could raise indents for ammunition of Bofors guns, even though there was no programme chalked out for it.

Deposing before a general court martial at Chandi Mandir today, he also denied a suggestion put to him by the prosecution counsel, Mr Arvind Moudgil, that he had compromised national security by telling the Tehelka team posing as arms dealers to misquote certain technical specifications of hand held thermal imagers.

The prosecution counsel alleged that he had asked the Tehelka team to change the minimum temperature the imagers could function from minus 10 degrees to minus 40 degrees in their offer so that they could get the contract. By this, counsel contended he wanted to sub-standard the equipment to be procured by the Army for personal gains.

Colonel Sahgal also did not offer any comment on the allegation that he had stated that if the mentioned tactic was not sufficient, he would write a letter to the Central Vigilance Commissioner so that procurement from any other firm could be stalled.

He stated before the court that he did not seek clearance from the military Intelligence with regard to orders pertaining to contact with foreigners while meeting Anil Malviya and Samuel Mathews because he did not think this was required as the duo had been introduced to him as representatives of firms supplying items to military canteens.

On being quizzed by the defence counsel, Major K. Ramesh (Retd), during re-examination, Colonel Sahgal stated his giving the Tehelka team the rate of one piece of thermal imager could not have helped them as the rate pertained to the previous year and his own department was not connected in the procurement process.

He added that he had taken Rs 40,000 from the Tehelka team as advance rent for his house and not in connection with the thermal imager deal or to promote their interests.

He also said the copy of the contract was not a classified document and was in possession with P. Sashi, his assistant.

He said at no point during his interaction with the Tehelka team was he aware of any company called West End and that the data regarding registered commercial firms was in possession with another department.

Asked by Major Ramesh whether he knew about the age or the marital status of the girl he had sex with in Hotel Park, Colonel Sahgal replied that he had no knowledge about either.

On Major Ramesh’s contention that the blank stamp paper bought at Jabalpur, which the accused had produced in the court yesterday, was invalid and not illegal, Colonel Sahgal said to the best of his knowledge the stamp paper was not counterfeit.



He moulds minds for positive results
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
Neuro linguistic programming (NLP) is the latest fad in the corporate sector. Developed in the West as the science of excellence, NLP is being increasingly employed for behavioural therapies and attitude alterations across the world.

Its practitioners are known for studying the structure of human behaviour and using specialised codes to command the mind into positive actions.

And the results of the techniques have been wide ranging - from elimination of phobias to exclusion of negative thoughts that help the NLP commander design winning personalities.

And there is much more incredible stuff that can be accomplished through NLP or so claims its Indian exponent, Mr Ashwani Kumar, who has recorded evidence to show that he can make people walk on broken glass or even on fire by simply putting an end to their fear of the matter.

The claims sound lofty, but the management professional-turned certified NLP practitioner, dares you to enter the world of mind training where everything is possible - right from overcoming insecurities and complexes to evolving success patterns for oneself.

There have been cases where he has rid people of their life-long phobias in as less as six minutes!

In Chandigarh to conduct a three-day mind training workshop beginning at the CII tomorrow, Mr Ashwani Kumar explained the basic elements of the science which is already being hailed as the latest tool of communication in the 21st century.

In an interview, he said: “NLP is a highly advanced version of psychology. The science originated in the US way back in the 1970s but it has come of age now with business houses and successful persons taking to it for evolving better perspectives.

“It’s basic premise is that our mind works like a bio-computer. Also, there is nothing motivational about this science. It’s all about transformation and instant transformation at that.”

Trained by renowned NLP practitioner Dr William Harton of the National Federation of NLP, USA, Mr Ashwani Kumar has been using the science to eliminate various phobias, including those of height, water and death.

Recently, he authored a book titled, “Searching for the Dream you deserve.”

He reasons: “We work with what is called the advanced language mastery pattern which uses commands to tell the mind what to recall and think. NLP is a blend of creative visualisation, hypnosis, meditation and psychology. What we employ for change are not physical experiments but thought experiments which use special commands to eliminate resistance.”

Any NLP expert works on six basic things which count most in personality development. These are beliefs, values, rules, questions, past references and the state of body and mind.

Says Mr Ashwani Kumar, here on invitation from Mr Charanjit Singh, president of the Chandigarh Management Association: “I have tried and tested this science at Bajaj Auto and then at Eureka Forbes where I achieved peak level performances by inculcating positive attitude among workers.”

Whether or not the science works is a matter of personal experience and belief. For those in doubt, Mr Ashwani Kumar will be holding special mind training sessions thrice daily from December 18 to 20. These will be held at the CII.



Chandigarh Club executives pay fine
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
The newly appointed executive body members of the Chandigarh Club today paid the Rs 50,000 fine imposed on the club out their own pockets instead of taking the money from the club’s accounts.

Owning moral responsibility, the 10-member executive paid the fine to the Administration while seeking opening of clubs bar after the suspension period elapsed.

A statement issued by the club president, Mr Mukesh Bassi, said conflicting accounts had been published in various sections of the press regarding the action taken by the Excise and Taxation Department of Chandigarh in respect of the club bar.

Mr Bassi said they respected the action taken by officials of the department as they were carrying out their duties.

The Excise Department had during its checking confiscated some liquor bottles from a private party organised in the club.

At the time of booking a private party on the club premises, the member gives a written undertaking of conforming to all Excise Department laws.

In this case, the member failed to conform to the laws and served liquor violating excise norms.

The club management admitted that it failed to check that aspect, as they respected the privacy of their members and expected them to strictly conform to any undertaking, especially ones given in writing by them.

The club management, however, accepted moral responsibility for the omission by the member, which has attracted the penal provisions of the excise laws.

The management said in future all provisions of the applicable excise laws would be enforced strictly for all private parties held on the club premises.



Eco Notes
Tap shallow water in southern sectors: experts
Vishal Gulati

CITY Beautiful is heading towards water crisis. In northern sectors water table is falling, while in southern sectors it is rising alarmingly.

Scientists at the Chandigarh-based Central Ground Water Board of the Ministry of Water Resources say excessive dependence on groundwater, people’s ignorance, wrong planning and concrete urbanisation has resulted in the decline of underground blue wave.

As Chandigarh is not located near a river, the sole dependence on the surface water is not possible. The city has to draw water from underneath the earth surface, which is an easier and less costly option.

The water demand of the city is met from two sources — the Bhakra canal and tubewells. Since the canal water supply is limited, the dependence is more on tubewells.

Around 172 tubewells are pumping water for domestic purposes and 35 for irrigation purposes.

At present, the water is available in most parts of the city at 50m in deeper aquifers. In the Mani Majra, railway station, Mauli Jagran and Kala Gram areas, water is available at more than 60m below ground level.

However, the shallow water level is increasing in the southern sectors due to slope of hydraulic gradient. In the monsoon, it reaches up to 3m, while in northern sectors it is between 30m and 65m below ground level.

Similarly, in Mohali, Kharar, Ambala cantonment and Dera Bassi the shallow water is rising, thus creating a problem of waterlogging.

Since the shallow water is not fit for human consumption, the dependence on deeper aquifers for domestic and irrigation purposes has put these equipment under severe stress.

“In fact, the rising shallow water might create problems like polluting the groundwater or damaging the soil-bearing capacity of the building foundation,” warn the scientists.

To tackle the problems of waterlogging in the southern sectors, the scientists say the Administration should adopt dual water supply system. For this, it should make it mandatory for the housing societies, schools, hospitals, commercial buildings and institutions to use shallow water for purposes other than drinking by installing tubewells. This water, though not fit for human consumption, can be used for irrigation and domestic purposes. This will not only help the Administration in overcoming the problem of water shortage, but also check the waterlogging problem.

At present, most of the residents are facing the problem of seepage in the basements of buildings.

The board scientists say the Administration will have to amend water bylaws and prepare a comprehensive water conservation plan. They say at one point of time, Ms Neeru Nanda, a former Adviser to the Administrator, had agreed to allow the societies and others to tap shallow water, but the plan did not materialise.



Set up Central Govt dispensaries, say pensioners
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
The Coordination Committee of the Central Government Pensioners' Association today demanded the setting up of more Central Government Health Service(CGHS) dispensaries in Chandigarh and surrounding areas.

The demand was raised at Pensioners Day celebrations at Government Museum and Art Gallery here. It was felt that the Sector 45 CGHS dispensary fell short of the expectations of the pensioners and there was need for augmenting facilities at the dispensary.

Mr Ralpal Sharma, Secretary-General, demanded the setting up of the Sixth Pay Commission and implementation of the pending recommendations of the Fifth Pay 

Mr C L Punj, Mr G S Bhangoo, Mr G S Paik, Mr Piara Singh and and late B S Derk were felicitated for their services to the pensioners.



Air Marshal on inspection visit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
The Senior Maintenance Staff Officer, Maintenance Command, Air Marshal B U. Chengappa, arrived on an inspection visit to No.3 Base Repair Depot here today. On his arrival here, he was received by Air Officer Commanding, 3 BRD, Air Cmde S.P.S. Virk.

Air Marshal Chengappa was given a presentation on various activities of the depot. During his three-day visit, he will inspect various sections, divisions and projects at the depot.

He was also the chief guest at the valedictory function at the MiG-23/27 TETTRA School at Air Force High Grounds near here, organised to mark the passing out of 15 aeronautical engineers and 40 technicians.

Speaking on the occasion, Air Marshal Chengappa urged the technocrats to be professionally sound and put in their best efforts to make the IAF more effective and efficient.

The Station Commander, Gp Capt P.P. Khandekar, briefed the Air Marshal about the progress made by the TETTRA School and showed him the newly fabricated trainer shell and various animation packages.



Employees launch stir
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
The All-India State Government Employees Coordination Committee today launched a nationwide agitation against the "anti-people" and "anti-employee" policies of the Central and state governments.

Addressing a rally in Sector 17 here, Mr M.N.V.G. Adiyodi, convener of the committee, alleged that the UPA government was following the "discredited" policies of the previous NDA government.

The promises made in the common minimum programme had not been honoured and "neo-liberal" policies were being followed under the dictates of the IMF and World Bank. Lakhs of employees had been retrenched by various state governments, he added.

A dharna would be organised by the committee outside Parliament on December 21, a press note said.



Probe under way into use of poor building material
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 17
A vigilance inquiry is under way into the alleged use of poor quality material in the construction of the HEWO Society flats in Mansa Devi Complex here.

The inquiry was ordered after a complaint was made by the president of the Residents Welfare Association of the Society to the Chief Secretary, Haryana.

The latter had forwarded the complaint to the State Vigilance Bureau and an officer of the rank of a DSP had been asked to conduct the probe. The flats were made by HUDA Employees Welfare Organisation (HEWO) and handed over to the allotees in 2001.

Today, the Vigilance Department asked HUDA authorities to furnish the details of the constitution of HEWO Society.



5 booked on assault charge
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 17
The police has booked five persons on the charge of assaulting a resident of Kumbra village here late last night. The victim, Mahinder Singh, was allegedly attacked by five persons, led by Arvinder Singh, a resident of Sector 70 here. Mahinder Singh has been admitted to a private hospital with grave wounds. The police said the incident took place late last night and the attackers used swords and clubs to hit Mahinder Singh. Though a case has been registered against the attackers, no arrests have been made so far.

The police said the attack seemed to be a result of mutual rivalry. The police has lodged an FIR against Arvinder Singh, Prabhakar, Montu, Vishal and Jacob on a complaint of Mahinder Singh’s relatives.

Road mishap: A resident of Phase 10, Mr Sukhjit Singh was injured seriously when his motorcycle was hit by a bus on the Sector 70- Phase VII dividing road here this morning. The victim has been admitted to a private hospital and is said to be in a critical condition. The police said the bus was going from the bus stand towards Kapurthala while Sukhjit was coming from the opposite direction. The bus hit the motor cycle and dragged it for at least 25 metres on the road. The bus driver, Lakhvinder Singh, has been booked.

INJURED: A resident of Sohana village was injured seriously after he met with an accident with a tractor near here yesterday. According to the police, Surjit Singh, a resident of Baba Deep Singh Colony, was going back to his home on a motor cycle when a tractor coming from the opposite direction hit him. Surjit fell on the road and sustained arm and leg injuries. The tractor driver, Simranjit Singh, a resident of Gurdapur district, was bailed out.


Crushed to death: A labourer engaged in a road repair work near the Kiratpur rivulet in Pinjore, was crushed to death by a speeding truck (HR-03-5725). The victim, Bache Lal, died on the spot and the truck driver ran away, leaving the vehicle behind.

Electrocuted: A labourer, Dulak, was electrocuted when he was trying to pull down some stems from a tree in a poultry farm near Barwala, and accidentally the stick he was using, touched a live wire. He died on the spot.

Foetus found: A four-month-old foetus was found under a bridge near Surajpur today. The foetus was first seen by a resident, Shekhar Gupta, who in turn informed the police. The police recovered the foetus and after a post-mortem, handed it over to Kalka Committee, for its cremation.

ARRESTED: The police has arrested Shiv Lal, after he was caught consuming liquor in the gallery of the District Courts Complex here. The police has booked him under the Excise Act.

Theft in shops: Cash and goods reportedly worth Rs 15,000 were stolen in a robbery conducted in four shops in Sector 18. The locks of all four shops — Verma Dairy, Prince Tent; Vicky Atta Chakki and Pinky Departmental Store — were found broken and cash and goods were missing.



NRI, parents booked for calling off marriage
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 17
A Canada-based NRI youth and his parents in Delhi have been booked for breach of trust for calling off marriage with a local retired Lieutenant-Colonel’s daughter and refusing to return the gifts.

Lt-Col Hardev Singh (Retd) of Sector 36 alleged that his daughter was engaged to Surinder Singh Bawa, son of Malkiat Singh, of Vikas Puri in New Delhi this year. The roka ceremony was held on October 2 this year at the complainant’s house. Lt-Col Singh said he came to know about the boy through a matrimonial in a national newspaper. Surinder was in Canada at that time.

Lt-Col Singh further said he had given Rs 51,000, some gold ornaments and clothes worth around 1 lakh at the rocka ceremony to the boy’s family. He alleged that on December 13, the parents of the boy backtracked from their words and called off the marriage. “They had not given back the things we gave them on the rocka ceremony,” said Mr Singh.

The Woman and Child Support Unit is investigating the matter and a case under Section 406 of the IPC has been registered in the Sector 36 police station.



Asthma patient, jobless youth commit suicide

Chandigarh, December 17
A 50-year-old chronically asthmatic employee of the Military Engineer Services (MES), residing at Mauli Jagran, and a 26-year-old unemployed youth of Sector 42 today hanged themselves to death in separate incidents.

Shiv Varan Yadav’s (50) suicide was noticed when he fell with a thud on the floor because the rope tied around his neck snapped. Dharamvir (26) was found hanging from a tree near the Sector 42 stadium this evening.

Family members of Dharamvir told the police that he was a drug addict. He was unmarried and unemployed.

It was early morning when Yadav’s wife heard a thud and ran to the room, where she found a rope hanging from a hook and her husband lying motionless on the floor.

A police team initially thought that the person might have been murdered and the incident made to appear to be a suicide. However, later it noticed the mark of a rope on the neck of the man.

Family members of Yadav did not suspect anybody. OC



Luxury coaches to run on Kalka-Shimla section
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Kalka, December 17
The Indian Railways has manufactured super luxury coaches to run on the Kalka-Shimla heritage rail section. Manufactured at the Railway Workshop here, these have been designed on the lines of the Railways’ flagship tourist train “Palace on Wheels” and will be the first super luxury coaches to run on the narrow gauge section.

The two coaches, interconnected through vestibules, have had a successful trial run between Kalka and Shimla and back on December 12.

Senior officials in the Ambala Division of the Railways say the coach will be ready to run on this section within the next couple of weeks. The mechanical wing of the Kalka workshop will now hand over the coaches to the Divisional Railways headquarters.

The commercial utilisation of the coaches will begin after the rates have been fixed by Chief Commercial Manager.

Decorated in rich white and gold hues, the coaches, which will most likely be named “Maharaja Coaches”, with a seating capacity of 22 (12 in one coach and 10 in the other).

The seating arrangement is such that single seater cushioned sofas face each other. A glass top brass table is kept between the two chairs.

Ornate electric fittings in glass (lamp shades, reading lights and side lamps), electric fans and drapes add grace to the coaches.

The floor is carpeted in tan — a contrast to the otherwise white and gold decor. A separate provision for storing snacks and a bar have also been included in the coaches.

Brass trolleys have been placed to carry eats and drinks for the passengers. The authorities say they plan to introduce five-star catering for the passengers in these coaches.

Mr Keshav Chandra, Divisional Railway Manager, Ambala, informs that this is for the first time that coaches interconnercted through a vestibule have been introduced on the narrow gauge.



Loan mahotsav inaugurated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
A loan mahotsav is being organised by the State Bank of India for three days at the Sector 34 exhibition ground. It was inaugurated by Mr S.C Poddar, Chairman of the Chandigarh Housing Board.

The Chief General Manager of the bank, Mr A.D Chaudhari, said the bank’s credit processing cells for retail assets will process loan proposal in a time-bound manner so as to ensure there was no delay in the delivery of credit.

During the mahotsav, on the spot sanctions would be made for housing, car, education, personal loans and loans for small and medium enterprises at low rates. The bank has also been projected as a financial supermarket, as it offers SBI Mutual Fund, SBI Life Insurance and SBI cards. It will remain open till December 19 from 10 am to 8 pm and the entry is free.

Renowned artists like Indian Brothers, Shah Brothers, Ranjit Malwai and Sukhraj will present cultural programmes in the evenings.


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