C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Cops create own infrastructure!
Use impounded vehicles, inmates’ belongings for work
Bipin Bhardwaj

Dera Bassi, December 21
The Punjab Police post catering to the law and order needs of people in Zirakpur and the surrounding areas is in a disorder. Without the requisite infrastucture, the 47 personnel posted here rely on personal belongings of those in the lock-up and impounded vehicles to perform duties as they only have a jeep and a motor cycle to man the area.

Though the Police Department thinks that the men are doing an excellent job without the required infrastructure, local residents think otherwise as it is they who are directly affected by the high-handedness of the police. This police post at Lohgarh village is a typical example of the indifference of the police authorities towards the growing needs of the rapidly increasing population of the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat area.

There have been instances where lower-rank policemen used belongings of those in lock-ups and the owners had to approach senior police personnel for getting these back. It is learnt that the police post too was constructed after local people were forced to shell out donations.

Inquiries by Chandigarh Tribune revealed that shortage of vehicles and police staff at police stations at Dera Bassi and Lalru, and police posts under their jurisdiction had forced cops to use impounded vehicles, including case properties, for performing duties.

Policemen are often seen using these vehicles and taking patronage of their department and the khaki dress. The practice has been going on unchecked for the past many years. Recently, a senior officer of the Himachal Police was in the dock for using an impounded vehicle.

A Head Constable said on condition of anonymity that the government had not provided sufficient vehicles to the police for patrolling, which had affected its efficiency.

Interestingly, at the Lohgarh police post last month, a constable took away the shoes of an accused, who was in the lock-up, for performing his duties. The incident came to light when an ASI asked the accused to accompany him to Rajpura, where he was to be produced before a court. As the accused came out, he found his shoes missing. Cops at the police post claimed that a constable had been using his shoes since the previous night. The accused had to approach the in charge of the police post for getting his shoes back.

Mr Manmohan Kumar Sharma, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Dera Bassi, denied the use of impounded vehicles by police personnel.

Mr Sharma claimed that paucity of funds had forced the police to patrol such a huge area with an inadequate number of vehicles and shortage of staff in the subdivision.



Admin removes illegal water connections
Leaves slums untouched
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 21
Several residents living outside the lal dora of UT villages are living without water since yesterday. They had illegal water connections and these have been disconnected. However, appallingly, the illegal water connections in slum colonies (read the vote bank of politicians) have been left untouched.

Water theft is rampant in slums as there is no metered supply and the entire population of 1.5 lakh survives on stolen water or water supplied free of cost. In its attempt to remove illegal connections from water supply lines, the Chandigarh Administration has inadvertently created two sets of rules, sources in the officialdom said.

The slum colonies are under the Municipal Corporation that is yet to take action against those having illegal connections while the Administration started the drive yesterday in villages and targeted homes of several hundred middle-class people.

Adding to the dichotomy is the fact that last summer the Municipal Corporation provided water connections in colonies without the meter system. Already thousands of illegal connections exist in slums and this is in the knowhow of engineers. About 20 taps have been installed in each of the slums, where water is provided free of cost. This was done to stop slum-dwellers from drinking hand pump water, which was supposedly contaminated and could result in a cholera outbreak.

There is no scheme regarding regularising these water connections in the slums. Officials admitted that removing these illegal connections from slums and also the free water connections was next to impossible.

In the past two days, since the drive started, Subdivisional Officers and middle-level officials have been flooded with complaints by residents who have built their homes outside the lal dora and now have no water. Most of them applied for water connections almost three years ago but were not sanctioned these as the Administration says it will not sanction water supply to houses outside the lal dora. A few residents of Khudda Jassu village said their water connections had been cut and were pleading that water supply be restored and even offered to pay a fine, if any. “Sorry, there is no policy for people outside the lal dora”, was the one liner from officials.

All this ruckus over water started when the Administration realised that a large quantity of water was being used by way of theft. Since there is no natural supply of water, it needs to be either pumped against gravity from Kajauli from the Bhakra main line canal or pumped out from under the ground using tubewells.



Revenue stamps ‘out of stock’
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Meanwhile, on Tuesday evening, the Finance Department of the Chandigarh Administration gave its concurrence for allowing 3 per cent commission to postal department. This will be sent to the MHA which is expected to give its nod and clear the way for the sale of revenue stamps in Chandigarh.

Chandigarh, December 21
Thousands of people in the city are being put to inconvenience everyday as revenue stamps, which are mandatory to claim any re-imbursement or payment from government and private institutions are “out of stock”

Hidden under this one-liner “out of stock” is the fact that the Chandigarh Administration and the Postal Department are slugging it out to sort out the amount of commission to be paid to the Postal Department. The standard reply at all post offices in the city is revenue tickets are “out of stock.” Each of the red tickets is valued at Re 1 and thousands are used everyday in the city. Payments made against vouchers in private companies also require the revenue stamp.

In this crisis, people have to get stamps from as far as Kharar to take payments. Accountants in offices, who generally have a ready stock of revenue stamps, are also facing a shortage.

Sources said the Postal Department wanted a commission of 3 per cent for selling the stamps. Chandigarh is at present paying 1 per cent. The Postal Department says Punjab pays 3 per cent commission on the sale of revenue stamps so the UT should also pay the same. The Administration has shot off a letter to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs seeking its permission. Since all revenue of Chandigarh goes to the consolidated fund of India, any money paid to any department has to be credited and permission of the MHA is required.

At present, hundreds of people go to various posts offices in the city but come back empty-handed as there are no revenue stamps. A postal employee, asked as to when stamps would be available, said he did not know.



Tehelka court martial: evidence concludes
Defence drops second witness
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 21
With the defence opting to drop its second witness, evidence has been concluded in the general court martial trying Col Anil Sahgal at Chandimandir on charges of professional impropriety in the Tehelka case.

The defence wanted to produce Mr Miland Kapoor whom it claimed to be an expert on technical aspects of the production of the video film, but decided to drop him as he was unable to travel to Chandimandir on medical grounds.

The defence today raised an objection that at a particular point there was a cut in the copy of a video tape containing the footage of Colonel Sahgal. When the prosecutor, Maj Sanjay Sitanshu, stated that the original tape could be produced in court if so required, the defence maintained that their might not be any such fault in the original tapes, but the said cut could be a copying error.

The next stage now is the presentation of the closing address by the prosecution and the defence wherein they will sum up the evidence brought before the court in support of their respective contentions and draw their conclusions. Thereafter, it will be for the court to give its verdict.

During the course of the much-publicised trial, the prosecution had produced 10 witnesses, which included Tarun Tejpal, Aniruddha Bahal and Mathews Samuel of tehelka.com which had carried out a sting operation to expose corruption in defence deals. Also produced were Major-Gen M.S. Ahluwalia , Lieut-Col B.B. Sharma and P. Sashi, who too had figured on the tehelka tapes. Besides, secretary of the erstwhile Phukan Commission of Inquiry, Mr S.K. Dasgupta and two senior officers from the Ordnance Branch at the Army Headquarters had also deposed before the court.

The defence had initially submitted a list of 27 witnesses it wanted to examine, but the GCM’s convening authority had ruled that only five witnesses were relevant. The first and only defence witness to depose before the court was the accused himself.

The prosecution counsel, Mr Arvind Moudgil, sought time till January 6, 2005, to enable him to prepare his closing address. The court, however, granted him time till January 3. The defence will present its closing address later.



90 pc increase in service tax collection
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 21
There has been over 90 per cent increase in the service tax collection in 2003-04 as compared to the previous year, said Mr Balbir Singh, Tax Consultant while speaking at a workshop organised by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry here today.

Service tax is going to be one of the major revenue earners in the coming era and integration of the service tax credit rules with the Cenvat credit rules by the Finance Ministry is a step in the right direction.

Inaugurating the workshop, Ms F.M Jamwal, Commissioner, Excise and Taxation, Chandigarh, said collection of service tax has significantly increased in view of its revenue earning potential and there has been a collection of Rs 407 crore in the region.

The share of service sector in the real GDP in India has surpassed that of agriculture and industry at a relatively faster pace as compared to other industrial nations, said Mr Ashok Khanna, past president and Chairman, Northern Regional Development Council, PHDCCI .

PHDCCI believes that services constitute a heterogeneous spectrum of economic activities and services sector is now occupying the centrestage of the economy, so much so that in the contemporary world, development of the service sector has become synonymous with the advancement of the economy. Services such as telephone, insurance, banking, service station, beauty parlours, cable operators, commission agents etc. affect the pocket of every common man. It will now be a part of the overall tax regime.

Mr P.K Verma, Resident Director, PHDCCI, said despite gigantic efforts by the Excise Department, there still appears to be confusion about the applicability and administration of service tax.

During the interactive session, delegates who attended the workshop cleared their apprehensions about the tax. They suggested that training and awareness programmes should be conducted to collect feedback and suggestions.



22-year-old woman ends life
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 21
A 22-year-old unmarried woman hanged herself to death at her Mori Gate house in Mani Majra today. Her marriage was fixed for March next.

Satinder Kaur hanged herself from a ceiling hook with a dupatta this afternoon. She was alone in her first floor room at that time. Her mother was in the shop on the ground floor of the house. Members of her family told the police that Satinder was in depression as she had failed in her MA examination. No suicide note was found near the body.

Her father, Karam Chand, is a businessman. The family insisted on not conducting a post-mortem examination on the body.



Encroachments in Sector 25 removed
Our Correspondent

MC employees clear encroachments made by potters
MC employees clear encroachments made by potters. — Tribune photo by Pradeep Tewari

Chandigarh, December 21
In a joint peaceful operation, the Chandigarh Administration and the Municipal Corporation, removed encroachments made by potters along the Sectors 24-25 dividing road in Kumhar Colony, Sector 25, here today.

The Enforcement Staff of the MC with the help of the local police removed the encroachments. The administration is planning to lay a cycle track at this place. The MC officials have over taken the control of the land and also cleared some part of it with bulldozers.

Two years ago the administration had rehabilitated 25 to 30 potters at this place temporarily. They were displaced because of anti-encroachment drive. The Administration had assured them to provide space for rehabilitation elsewhere. During the past years the numbers of potters have grown up to more than 60 also.

The administration had served a notice on to them 15 days ago which expired today.

Meanwhile, 270 illegal kundi connections were also removed from Pandit Colony and Kuldeep Colony by the Electricity Department.

The sub-divisional officer of the department with the help of eight police personnel and 20 personnel of the department conducted the two-hour-long operation.



SC quota not applicable to restructuring scheme: CAT
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 21
The policy of reservation in favour of members of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes is not applicable to the restructuring scheme of the Indian Railways, the Chandigarh Bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has ruled.

Giving this decision on a bunch of applications filed by certain Railway employees, the Bench directed the Railways to consider the applicants and other eligible persons for placing them in appropriate pay scales under the restructuring scheme with all consequential benefits.

“The reservation for the SCs and STs will not be applicable when making promotions to the posts upgraded on account of restructuring of cadres”, the Bench said, quoting a judgement of the Supreme Court.

“Where the total number of posts remained unaltered, though in different scales of pay as a result of regrouping, it would be a case of upgradation of posts. It would not be a case of additional vacancy or post being created to which the reservation principle would apply. If the case is restricted to all existing employees,who were redistributed into different scales of pay as a result of upgradation, there cannot be any reservation,” the order said.

Saying that the matter had been examined keeping in view the observation of the Supreme Court, the Bench asked the Railways to implement it within three months from the date of the receipt of the order.

Going into the background of the introduction of reservation, the order said the framers of the Indian Constitution had provided in Article 16 to make an exemption from equal opportunity of jobs under the State in favour of any class or classes of posts for the SCs and STs where they were not adequately represented.

However, it was never meant to give all positions in a particular cadre to the reserved categories so as to put the unreserved categories to a big disadvantage, the order added.



SMS contests or nuisance? Decide
Poonam Batth
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 21
Messages ( SMS) being sent by leading mobile companies like Airtel and Spice to lure subscribers to participate in various contests by promising attractive prizes have become a nuisance for subscribers.

It all started with Divali, but the number of SMS being sent to the subscribers have only gained momentum with the New Year just round the corner. While Airtel has extended its “Win the Mercedez Benz contest for its participants, Spice has started “Sawaal Ek Lakh ka” to get more and more subscribers hooked on to the contest.

“You may be in the midst of a meeting or driving when you will suddenly find your phone beeping, and all that you get to know is that who is the winner of the day and how many more days to go for the contest,” says Ramesh Kumar, an Airtel subscriber who is fed up as he is getting as many as 10-15 messages from the company these days. Many others like him, have no option but to go to the customer-care centre, asking them to stop sending these unwanted” SMS all through the day.

Another subscriber, Ranju, suggested that such SMS doling out information about the winner and the prizes due should only be sent to those interested. The company should identify such subscribers by getting a survey done and not go about beeping such messages every 15-20 minutes. Some of the irritated subscribers just wish to get their connection disconnected rather than suffer this.

Interstingly, the call rates for taking part in these contests is Rs 20 per minute for Airtel and Rs 5 per minute for Spice. “It normally takes 4-5 minutes to answer the contest question and an Airtel subscriber dishes out anything between Rs 80-100 in one go, while a Spice subscriber shells out Rs 25-30. And all this without being assured of any prize! But this sure means revenue for these companies, says a subscriber.

Taking up the cause of consumers, Mr Randhir Verma, president of the Chandigarh Mobile Phone Consumer Association, said they would be taking up the matter with the Telephone Regulatory Authority of India (Trai).

The Vice-President (Marketing) of Airtel, Mr Mandeep Bhatia, said such contests were only being added as part of the value-added services for entertainment of the subscriber, but those who do not wish to be part of the same and have sent in their request were not being sent these SMS anymore, he added. But the subscribers feel otherwise.

The DGM (Marketing), Mr Mukul Khanna, said, “The frequency of SMS being sent by us are well within the internal benchmark norms. Our priority is the customer and will not do anything to irritate him or intrude into his privacy.”



Sorry, no office work, it’s Jor Mela
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 21
Its holiday time in Mohali government offices. With a large part of the administration busy in official duties at the jor mela at Chamkaur Sahib, there is nothing much happening in local offices for the past three days.

With both SDM Mohali, and the executive Officer, Municipal Council, on duty at Chamkaur Sahib along with some of their clerical staff, the routine functioning of these offices has come to a virtual standstill. Decisions regarding the Republic Day celebrations, and the Council’s monthly meeting have been kept pending till tomorrow when these officers return.

The worst hit has been the tehsil office here with the Tehsildar, Mr Mandeep Dhillon, also at Chamkaur Sahib. Making things still worse at the tehsil has been the pen-down strike by the tehsildars association and the association of notaries, following a police case against a local notary public and the Naib-Tehsildar. For days, registration of properties has not taken place in Mohali. People from various places in the state who come to sell or buy property are worst-affected. “We are expecting things to return to normal tomorrow when the mela ends,”said a class III employee in the SDM office.

But the SDM Mr M.L. Sharma, said despite being on duty at Chamkaur Sahib for the past three days there had been no accumulation of work at his Mohali office. “I try and attend office every day even if it is for 15 minutes, so that things like issuing driving licences, registration of vehicles and any other important matter are taken care of,” he said.

However, sources in his office pointed out that some of the quasi- judicial works had to be postponed due to his absence.

Mr Harbhagwan Garg, Municipal Council Executive Officer (EO), is too at Chamkaur Sahib along with two sanitation inspectors and over 20 safai karamcharis. Sources in the council said since final decisions on various issues had to be taken by the EO, not much work is being done at the council. “Routine work is also suffering since there is no additional Executive Officer here. “said the source.

He added that 20 safai karamcharis who have been deployed at Chamkaur Sahib were working in industrial area and would be back on duty tomorrow. “We received a call today that men are required at the Fatehgarh Sahib jor mela also.

So things might not improve even after tomorrow,”said the council source, adding that other than men, vehicles too had been sent from the office.

Chamkaur Sahib township has been divided into nine sectors for proper administration.

Each sector is headed by a PCS officer along with an Executive Officer. PCS officers from outside Ropar district have also been reportedly called for duties along with other staff.



Green Santas out to create awareness
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 21
Greenpeace has kept its promise of talking purpose on every festive occasion. Come Christmas and the team of spirited youngsters are all over the city, trying to spread joy and environmental awareness on behalf of their organisation.

On job for Greenpeace India are Green Santas, especially brought in to raise awareness about genetically engineered (GE) crops and the doom they can spell for the environmental health of our country. A unique concept being implemented in nine cities, including Chandigarh, it is working well, much to the surprise of volunteers, who had least expected a good response. In every prime location where Green Santas are awaiting visitors, the results have been good, at least so it seems. So if you find one of these Santas intercept you in your tracks, do not be surprised, for he is about to enlighten you on an aspect which demands urgent attention.

Busy with the campaign right from December-start, Green Santas have been frequenting shopping complexes like Sectors 17, 34, 35 and 8, as well as homes. Sachin Arora, one of the many Green Santas, has almost perfected the art of talking about GE crops to unfamiliar passersby. The focus is largely on the grave dangers posed by GE crops, particularly GE rice.

Says Manish Kumar, who’s heading Greenpeace in Chandigarh, “The time is ripe to talk about rice, which is so important to every Indian. If GE rice is allowed to enter our environment, our own rice will face a grave threat. We are trying to convince children and parents to support the Greenpeace campaign against GE rice.”

Greenpeace has long been advocating that there is a need to apply precautionary principles before allowing the release of GE rice into the environment. Being a food crop and a high-value export crop, rice is at particular risk from GE contamination. Manish Kumar says, “The campaign to stop GE rice from being released into our environment is very crucial to us. GE rice threatens traditional varieties of rice, poses a danger of GE contamination and especially jeopardises environment with the pharmaceutical GE rice.”

Supporters of genetic engineering argue that “co-existence” of genetically engineered (GE, sometimes called genetic modified, GM or transgenic) and non-GE rice is possible. They argue that countries, and even neighbouring farmers, will be able to produce and store GE rice, non-GE (conventional) and organic rice separately, for export or domestic consumption. But Greenpeace investigations have shown that coexistence for rice is not possible and that GE contamination will occur at every cost. There is a full-fledged document to explain what is wrong with GR crops, especially rice.

Called the “Rice at Risk” document, it clearly states that GE rice cannot be contained and traditional varieties of rice will be threatened by GE contamination, Human error, ineffective segregation, faulty transportation, shared farm machinery, mills and multiple crops of rice per year are other routes that may cause serious GE contamination. It also talks of pharmaceutical GE rice as a special threat. In totality, the document says that “coexistence” is not possible and that is what Green Santas also say.



Employees stage protest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 21
Members of the Coordination Committee of the Government and MC Employees and Workers staged a protest against the “indifferent” attitude of the Chandigarh Administration to wards their demands at Matka Chowk here today. On a fast for the past nine days, the employees also burnt an effigy of the Administration for its “callous” approach.

The employees are demanding regularisation of daily wagers, treating employees transferred to the corporation as those on deputation and release of bonus for UT employees. Meanwhile, their relay fast entered its ninth day today. Mr Jog Raj, Mr Chima Mate, Mr Murli Road and Mr Tara Chand sat on the fast.

A rally was also organised by in which employees wore masks to “show the true face of the UT Administration”. The employees were addressed by leaders of various unions supporting them on the issue.



Insurance staff observe strike
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 21
Employees and officers of the Public Sector General Insurance Companies observed a complete strike here today, to protest against “anti-employees and oppressive policies of the top management”.

They demanded fair wage settlement and end to discriminatory foreign direct investment in the insurance sector. The president of the United India Insurance Officers Association said the management had appointed the Furguson Committee to sideline the demands of the employees.

The president and general secretary of the All-India Insurance Employees Association, Mr Sudershan Sharma and Mr J.P. Sharma, respectively, discussed the pending wage which was due for over three years. They said while the companies were making profits, they chose to ignore the demands of the employees. It was resolved that if the demands of the employees were not fulfilled by the managements, the agitation would be further intensified.



Old woman dies on way to Kalka
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 21
Mystery shrouds the death of an 80-year-old woman at Dhaluwal village near Pinjore today. The woman died when she was being taken to the Kalka tehsil by her neighbour to get her old age pension.

The police say Har Piyari Devi had left home in a perfectly healthy state, but died while on her way to Kalka. Her neighbour, Sat Prakash, had reportedly insisted that she accompany him.

The police say that family members of the victim had not given any complaint, and they have initiated inquest proceedings.

Two injured: Two labourers engaged by the PWD Department for the construction of a culvert near Khet Parali today sustained injuries when the shuttering kept near the site, accidentally fell on them. Harnek and Balbir were engaged in digging work. They were rushed to the GMCH, Chandigarh.

Hurt in mishap: A middle aged man, Krishan Lal, was injured when he was run over by a speeding car near the Sectors 7/8 roundabout today.



BJP flays move on 3 villages

Chandigarh, December 21
The Bharatiya Janata Party today said the decision taken by the Chandigarh Administration for inclusion of three villages — Kajheri, Palsora and Hallo Majra — in the municipal limits was against the spirit of Panchayati Raj and also against the interests of these villages.

Mr Ramvir Bhatti, state secretary of the BJP, said the move should be withdrawn. Criticising the Congress for the move, he said four villages — Burail, Buterla, Attawa and Badheri — which had been included in the MC limits eight years ago, should be given all facilities. TNS



Howrah Express cancelled
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 21
The Howrah Express (Down 2312), scheduled to leave the Kalka station for Howrah at 11.45 pm tomorrow has been cancelled. The Station Superintendent, Kalka, Mr R.K. Dutta, said the train had been cancelled because of intensive fog in the plains and the cancellation of the Up 2311 train.

He said the passengers who had booked a seat in the train could get their refund from any computerised railway booking counter.

He also informed that in view of the festival rush in the train for Shimla, the authorities had decided to start an additional train on the hilly rail section from December 23 to December 31.



Sale of non-ISI helmets banned
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 21
The District Magistrate, Mr Arun Kumar, today issued orders prohibiting the sale of non-ISI marked helmets in the city. He made it a punishable offence.

Issuing orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), the District Magistrate said due to sale of these non-specified, non-ISI marked helmets, unsuspecting buyers were wearing such helmets. This weak headgear could cause danger to human life. All helmets being sold in the city should subscribe to the norms laid down by the Bureau of Indian Standards.



Residents hold protest
Tribune News Service

Residents of Sector 20, Chandigarh, protest against the construction of a school building
Residents of Sector 20, Chandigarh, protest against the construction of a school building on Tuesday. — Tribune photo by Pankaj Sharma

Chandigarh, December 21
Residents of Sector 20 today staged a protest against the allotment of land of school in front of house number 1091-1105 by the Chandigarh Administration. Led by a local councillor, Mr H.S. Lucky, they lamented that they were using the area as a park.

The area was favourite with morning walkers and was also utilised for holding social functions. They lamented that the park was located in a busy area and located adjacent to the Jama Masjid.

The residents have given a memorandum to the Chief Administrator.



Nominations invited for award
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 21
The S. Mehar Singh Rawel Memorial Charitable Society today invited self-nominations for the fifth S. Mehar Singh Rawel Memorial Punjabi Patarkar Award for 2005. The award compsises Rs 15,000 in cash and a citation.

According to Mr A.S. Rawel, honorary secretary of the society, self-nominations for the award can be made by Punjabi language journalists, scribes, correspondents, writers and editors.

The awardees will be selected on the basis of work done by them during 2004. The forms for self-nominations can be obtained free of cost from the office of the society (157, Sector 21-A, Chandigarh). The last date is March 1, 2005.



Streetlights not functioning
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 21
The Residents Coordination Committee, MIG houses, Sector 40 here, has complained that the street lights in their area have been non-functional for the past over three months.

The committee has criticised the dilly-dallying attitude of the authorities for not installing the lights before Divali, as was promised to them.



Probe into villager’s complaint
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 21
The Superintendent of Police, Ms Mamta Singh, today ordered a probe into the registration of a case against members of a family at Batwal village.

Mr Sohan Lal today met the SP and complained that his mother and sister were assaulted by two other villagers, who were in an inebriated condition on November 12. The two Bhima and Subhash — were reprimanded by his sister for creating nuisance outside their house. “The duo barged into my house, and started assaulting my mother and sister. They even tried to outrage their modesty, and when some neighbours rushed in for their help, they were also assaulted,” he said.

The matter was reported to the police, who reportedly booked his family members too.



Cash stolen from office almirahs
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 21
Mr Sudhir Kumar, assistant manager of Chambal Agro Tech in Sector 8, has filed a complaint with the police that Rs 67,173 was stolen from two almirahs in his office during the night of December 19.

The SHO of the Sector 3 police station said no locks were found broken in the office. It could be the handiwork of a known person who might have used duplicate keys to open the almirahs.

A case under Section 380 of the IPC has been registered at the Sector 3 police station.

Vehicles stolen

Mr Robin Bawra of Sector 41-D has reported to the police that his Bajaj Caliber motor cycle (CH-03-C-7341) was stolen from near the library on the Panjab University campus on Monday. A case of theft under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered at the Sector 11 police station.

Mr Inderpal Singh of Sector 49-B has filed a complaint that his Kinetic Honda scooter (CH-01-E-1744) was stolen from a parking lot in Sector 17, on Sunday 19. A case has been registered at the Sector 17 police station.

Mobile phone snatched

Sandeep Jhamb of Sector 15-D has reported to the police that an unidentified person snatched his Nokia mobile phone in the Sector 15 market on Monday. A case under Sections 379 and 356 of the IPC has been registered at the Sector 11 police station.


Mr Vinay of the Jawahar road area in Ludhiana district has reported to the police that Buta Singh, a resident of Sector 46, along with some unidentified six persons, allegedly assaulted him in the Sector 46 market on Monday night.

The police said Buta Singh was on bad terms with Sanjeev Kumar, a friend of Vinay. On Monday night another friend of Vinay, Amit, was giving a party in the market as it was his birthday. Buta Singh came there and assaulted Sanjeev Kumar. Vinay was badly injured in the attack and had to be admitted to a hospital.

A case under Sections 147, 148, 149, 323 and 506 of the IPC has been registered at the Sector 34 police station. No arrest has been made so far.

Liquor seized

The police arrested Jai Parkash of Sector 52 with 48 bottles of Old Fox rum from near Sector 36-42 roundabout on Monday evening. A case under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act has been registered.



Bank to set up farmers’ training centre
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 21
The Punjab National Bank has given advances worth Rs 2108 crore in the region as on half closing of September 2004. This was stated by Mr S.S. Arora, the Senior Regional Manager of the bank, during a press conference held here today. Mr Arora added that the region had achieved a deposit of Rs 1094 crore.

Mr Arora said the region had nine branches under the core banking solution which were also on the national network with the other 800 branches of the bank. He said the hi-tech facilities of the bank included prudent sweep, smart roamers, auto sweep, internet banking, debit card, credit card, cash management.

Many schemes had been introduced by the bank which included krishi cards, farm mechanisation, minor irrigantion,horticulture, floriculture agro clinic etc. He pointed out that the bank had recently introduced PNB dairy vikas card scheme for dairy farmers.

He said the bank was setting up a farmers’ training centre at Sirhind that would be made functional soon.



Biz Clips

PARTY COLLECTION: Pepe Jeans has introduced its party collection. It offers a wide range of colours to choose from. For women, there is a wide variety of tops, fitted long-sleeve tees and slim-fit tops with glitter. Men can choose from a range of slim-fitt shirts and cargoes.

FOOD JOINT: Jalpeons, a bar and multi cuisine fast food joint, made its entry in the city at Sector 8 on Tuesday. There are two sections in the restaurant. In one segment, one can lounge and enjoy food and drinks. In the other segment, one can have snacks besides having drinks. One part of the restaurant will be functional from Wednesday.

HOME PRODUCTS: The Home Store, which offers home products and accessories, has unveiled a complete range of products to enliven the spirit of Christmas and New Year. A wide variety of candles has been introduced. Floating candles in attractive colours, shapes and sizes are also available.


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