C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Cornered by cops, accused tries to kill himself
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 7
An accused in a kidnapping case, Ashok Kumar, wanted by the Gohana Police, allegedly shot himself in the stomach to evade arrest.

The incident took place around 8 p.m. when a police party from Gohana, reached his hideout in Mahadev temple at Manav Kendra Colony, Saketri. The Gohana police said he had been hiding here for the past couple of weeks, and acting on information about his hideout, it raided the colony.

As a police party led by Station House Officer of Gohana, Mr Rashul Dev, reached the colony, and was making inquiries about Ashok, he saw the police party and hid himself there.

Senior police officials said that just when the police party reached near his room and asked him to surrender, it heard a gunshot. “When they forced their way inside, they found him lying in a pool of blood. A country-made revolver was lying nearby, which he reportedly used for shooting himself in the stomach,” informed a senior police official.

The Gohana police immediately informed the local police and rushed him to General Hospital, Sector 6. He was bleeding profusely, and the doctors at General Hospital, after administering preliminary first-aid, refered him to the PGI. In the meantime, the DSP City, Brijinder Singh, too, reached the hospital, and ordered for his immediate transfer to the PGI, Chandigarh.

He was admitted in the PGI emergency, where his condition was stated to be serious till the time of filing of this report. Police officials from Gohana and Panchkula refused to comment, saying his statement would be recorded after his condition stabilised.



Youths rob rickshawpullers, nabbed
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 7
Three motor cycle-borne youths and a DJ allegedly robbed two rickshawpullers of Rs 110 in the wee hours today in Sector 42 but were caught by the police when a person in one of the rickshaws put up resistance.

During the scuffle, a policeman on night patrol reached the spot. This emboldened the victims, who held the robbers and handed them over to the policeman.

The SHO of the Sector 36 police station, Mr Jagbir Singh, said Hawa Singh (32), a resident of Hisar, came to the ISBT, Sector 17, at around 4 am. He boarded a rickshaw for Sector 43. When they reached Sector 42-43 roundabout, three youths, who were riding a motor cycle without a number plate, intercepted the rickshaw and asked the rickshaw-puller Bal Krishan and Hawa Singh to hand over the money. Hawa Singh resisted, but after a little resistance, Bal Krishan gave Rs 20 to them. The youths entered into a scuffle with Hawa Singh. Meanwhile, another rickshawpuller, who was passing by intervened in the matter.

The youths also attacked him and robbed Rs 90 from him. During this time, Hawa Singh kept on fighting with them.

Karam Singh, a constable of the Chandigarh police, who was on night patrol, came there and intervened. The youths, on seeing the cop, tried to flee from the spot. Encouraged by the presence of a cop, Hawa Singh and the rickshaw-pullers nabbed the youths and the police was called.

The police arrested the trio — Anoop Singh, Vikas and Manoj Kumar — all residents of Sector 37-C and registered a case under Section 382 of the IPC against them at the Sector 36 police station. A sum of Rs 110 was recovered from their possession.

Hawa Singh suffered injuries in the incident.

The SHO of the Sector 36 police station said Anoop Singh is unemployed and Vikas works as a disco jockey, while Manoj Kumar is a Class XII student.



Boy fakes kidnapping, restored to parents
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 7
Afraid of his parents’ wrath after an “unimpressive” performance in the examination, Class VIII student of Shishu Niketan allegedly faked his kidnapping story.

Jatin Gupta, son of Bhuvnesh Gupta, left for his school on a bicycle yesterday morning but failed to return home even after school hours.

Family members were frantically recycling for him till they got a message from Delhi that Jatin had allegedly been kidnapped by two-car borne youths from near Gurbax Dhaba.

However, an immediate respite came as Jatin rang up his sister at around 2.30 pm saying that he was kidnapped but managed to escape.

The matter was reported to the police. It rang at Delhi number from which Jatin had made a call on the mobile phone of his sister. A PCO owner lifted the phone.

He said a child had made the call from his PCO. The Chandigarh police team requested the PCO operator to take care of the child till his parents reach Delhi. The Chandigarh police team told the person that the child was suspected to have been kidnapped but he escaped.

The child again came to the PCO and was caught by its owner. The police had also informed the matter to its counterpart and the Government Railway Police. He was today brought to the city by the Chandigarh police and his father.

When asked as to what had happened, the child still stuck to his kidnapping story but on being asked where his cycle was, the child could not answer.

Later, he disclosed that the cycle was parked in the parking lot of the District Courts near Sector 17 bus stand. The police went to the spot and recovered the cycle. Jatin told the police that yesterday he for school with Rs 127 in his pocket. He then went to the District Court and parked his cycle at a stand.

He boarded a CTU bus to the railway station, bought a ticket for Rs 117, and boarded the Jan Shatabdi Express at 9.15 am. As soon as Jatin reached Delhi, he was gripped by unknown fears. He thought of returning home.

Thus he concocted the story of having been kidnapped. He and one of his friend Darpan had planned to leave their homes after scoring 64 per cent marks. But, Darpan did not turn up at the designated place.



$ 1,000 note brings misery to boy’s family
Ramanjit Sidhu

Chandigarh, January 7
A 10-year-old boy of a slum found a $ 1,000 note from a garbage heap, but misery soon followed his family as the police arrested them on charges of theft.

Bhudev of Amb Sahib Colony, Phase 10, Mohali, found the note from garbage on Wednesday evening. He picked up a quarrel with another boy of the colony over its possession.

During the scuffle, the note was torn. Bhudev handed over the torn note to his mother, Gitika, who fixed it. Meanwhile, the news about the note spread in the colony.

Next day, a police team from the Phase VIII police station of Mohali apprehended Bhudev and his maternal uncle Lekhraj on the charge of stealing money. Gitika has also alleged that the police took away their Rs 15,000 from the home along with them saying that they have stolen that money.

The police manhandled her family members before illegally apprehending her brother and son, she added. Bhudev was released in the evening but his uncle Lekhraj is still in police custody.

Gitika said she went to meet S P, Mohali, Rakesh Aggarwal this morning but she was told he would not meet her as he was busy in some assignment. Sources said the police was trying to book Lakhraj in a theft case.

Munshi of the Phase 8 police station admitted that Lekhraj was in police custody and no case had been registered against him. The police said it was investigation the case. SP Rakesh Agrawal said he was not aware of the incident and would check up with the SHO concerned.



Man found dead near Punjab Secretariat
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 7
Om Parkash, alias Lali, a 40-year-old resident of the Janta Colony in Naya Gaon, was found dead in Rajindra Park near the Punjab Civil Secretariat this morning.

An empty bottle of liquor was also found near the body. The body was lying inside the park near a barbed wire fence, near a pathway separating Naya Gaon and the park.

The SHO of Sector 3 police station, Mr Biswa Lal, said the police received a call around 9 am.

He said someone from among people gathered at the spot identified the deceased. Om Parkash, was working as a cycle mechanic.

Om Prakash is survived by wife, a son and a daughter. The family members of the deceased told the police that he was a habitual drinker and occasionally came home late in the night. The police suspected that he might have died due to excessive consumption of liquor.

The police said the body was handed over to the family members without a post-mortem. The police initiated inquest proceedings under Section 174 of CrPC.



3 of Panchkula family die in Amritsar mishap

Panchkula, January 7
Three members of a family from Sector 7 here were killed in a road accident near Amritsar today. Mr Ashok Bhandari, his wife, Renu and daughter Jyotsana were killed when their car had a head-on collision with a Punjab Roadways bus near Malliyan.

The victims were on their way to drop Jyotsana’s husband, Rajiv, to the Raja Sansi International Airport. Rajiv, too, suffered serious injuries and is admitted in a hospital in Amritsar. — TNS



City’s gross domestic product up
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 7
Chandigarh's rising financial muscle was evident today. Latest data says the city has showed economic activity of Rs 6,130 crore for the year ending March 31, 2004. This is about Rs 867 crore more than last year's 5263 crore.

The figures are at current prices and part of the gross state domestic product.

Chief contributors to this growing economic stature are trading activities, hotels and restaurants. They account for Rs 1,387 crore and form 22.64 per cent of the city's economic muscle.

However, what takes the cake is financial investment, real estate and business services. These accounted for Rs 1,922 crore and are positioned on the top slot with 31.36 per cent share in city's wealth. Banking and insurance added up to Rs 1,179 crore and have a 19.24 per cent share.

The local Directorate of Economics and Statistics released the data for the state domestic product and per capita income today.

The Joint Secretary, Finance, Mr Dalip Kumar, released the data. He said Chandigarh's primary contributors were tertiary services which accounted for Rs 4,671 of the domestic product and had a whopping 76 per cent share. Besides real estate, financial investment and banking, hotels, trading, restaurants, communication and transportation are pat of tertiary services.

Agriculture has been declining as more and more land has been acquired for urbanisation. Actually agriculture and livestock accounted for Rs 67.76 crore which is just 1.11 per cent of the entire pool. In the past 10 years the share of agriculture has dropped from 2.66 per cent in 1993-94 to the present 1.11 per cent.

Another major economic activity in the city is manufacturing which accounted for Rs 726 crore which is 11.28 per cent of the share.

The domestic product takes into account the total value of goods and services produced in Chandigarh during a year. The estimates are obtained by evaluating the product at current prices.

Meanwhile, on the per capita monthly income Chandigarh was at top slot last year but has now slipped to second behind Goa. This is because that Goa has overtaken us and not that Chandigarh has not grown, Mr Dalip Kumar said.

Goa has the gift of tourism which propels its growth, he said, adding that coming close third is Delhi (Rs 43,751). The per capita income in Punjab is Rs 25,652 and Haryana is Rs 24,820.



Newsmen pledge to build bridges of peace
Panj Darya Conference concludes
Naveen S Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 7
Deliberations between the Indian and Pakistani journalists have laid the foundations for a permanent alliance between mediapersons from across the border after they met here for the Panj Darya Media Conference organised by the Chandigarh Press Club in collaboration with the Lahore Press club.

Thought-provoking discussions and brainstorming sessions over the past two days, aimed at improving the people-to-people friendship on both sides of the border, culminated in a pledge that both sides would continue to strive for clearing the atmosphere of distrust and suspicions among the ordinary citizens in the two countries.

Stressing the need for exchange of information and ideas through TV programmes, news and other art forms, the journalists from the two sides opined that an effort should be made to bring together the people of Indian and Pakistani Punjab, who share a common language and culture. Once this was achieved, improved ties between India and Pakistan would be natural consequences. With this objective, a Media Foundation has been set up and a reciprocal fellowship by the Chandigarh and Lahore Press Clubs has been announced.

While the journalistic fraternity is enthusiastic at the response, there are others who have advocated caution and advised to go slow. Punjab Governor, Gen.(retd) S F Rodrigues for termed the event as a ``magical occasion’’ that could not have been imagined a few years ago. Not many have been able to comprehend the pace at which the peace process was enveloping the region. A former Chief of the Indian Army, Governor Rodrigues said ``either country could not afford the luxury of confrontation’’.

“Step out of the euphoria and go ahead a little’’, the Governor remarked, as he mentioned how the world balance was shifting to Asia. Speaking about his concerns about commercialisation in the media, he advised journalists to take up their career as a mission, and referred to the association of his family with the media, with his father and brother both having worked as journalists.

Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala, who was also present for the concluding session of the media conference, described the media as a torchbearer of democratic values. “It was the power of the media that forced the British to leave India, and the media should continue its struggle for democratic norms”, he said, while referring to the degradation in values in the other pillars of democracy. He narrated how a certain editor spent 30 years in prison for writing three editorials.

Editor-in-Chief of Hind Samachar group Vijay Kumar Chopra embarked on a nostalgic trip to Pakistan, where he was born and brought up. ``I dismounted from the car and walked down the path to my school’’, he narrated. He cited how he went to the river Ravi and had a handful of water as a token of love, and how he walked down the Mohan Lal Road where their press was located earlier. Mr. Chopra further spoke of the understanding that his organisation had with a Pakistani newspaper and how 500 copies of the newspapers were exchanged daily.

Beginning the session on the role of electronic media in promoting people-to-people cooperation, Mr. Sidhu Damdami envisaged a boom time for Punjabi television and film industry. Three-fourths of the entire Punjabi population of the world lives in these two Punjabs, and they are waiting for the explosion in electronic media to occur. In his paper he said that with its reach and impact, the electronic media, especially the private satellite television, has a bigger role to play than the print media in making the peace lasting between India and Pakistan.

However, calling upon the journalistic fraternity not to expect any missionary contribution for the cause from private TV industry in both the countries, he said that this industry is thoroughly business driven.

Mr Tahir Malik of Geo Television made a well-received presentation on the threats that journalists and journalism face. ``It is easier to fight governments, but it is more difficult to fight poverty’’, he remarked. If a journalist is poor, then the chances of his succumbing to governments and commercial interests are greater. This would result in journalists becoming mere actors in a stage that is managed by commercial interests.



Pak journalists visit Tribune office
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 7
A group of Pakistani journalists, who are currently in Chandigarh to attend the Panj Darya Media Conference, today visited The Tribune to have a first-hand experience of the working of an Indian newspaper. The Pakistani journalists, who spent some time in various departments of the newspaper, were highly impressed by the working of the organisation.

Giving a brief history of The Tribune when it was established in Lahore in 1881, the Additional General Manager, Mr O.P. Arora, told the visiting journalists how the newspaper had maintained its tradition of journalistic ethics and maintained its “non-aligned” policy in terms of reporting. He presented the President of the Lahore Press Club, Mr Arshad Ansari, a book on the history of The Tribune and said “150 out of the 200 pages in the book are from the Lahore days”.

Senior Associate Editor of The Tribune, Mr A.J. Philip, also shared with the visiting journalists his experience at The Tribune and told them about the circumstances under which The Tribune was established. “Mr Dyal Singh Majithia, founder of The Tribune, was the richest man at that time and had more wealth than some top industrialists of today,” he said.

Mr Ansari in his talk with The Tribune employees said Dyal Singh College and Library still existed in Lahore. The old Lahore Press Club too was housed in the Dyal Singh mansion, he said. He said the present office of the Lahore Press Association, too, is located in the Dyal Singh Estate, and added that after visiting The Tribune, he felt he was still in Lahore due to the strong association of that city with Dyal Singh Majithia.

After extending a formal reception to the Pakistani journalists, The Tribune employees also presented them with executive diaries as a token of respect and appreciation. The guests were then taken to the office of The Tribune Employees Union where they interacted with members of the union and understood the significance of such a democratic set-up in a newspaper office.



For Pak journalists, Taj is still a dream
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 7
For almost all Pakistani delegates here to attend the Panj Darya media meet, the visit to India would have been complete, but for a journey to the historic Ajmer Sharif and the Taj Mahal.

Had it not been for visa regulations, the 57 Pakistani journalists would have also never returned without paying obeisance at the dargah of Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia and without measuring the streets of Janpath and Sarojini Nagar in Delhi -- the places they regard as shoppers' paradises. For most of them, Chandigarh's commercial centre Sector 17 was too expensive to be ventured into. Though they took rounds of the market, they confined themselves to comparing its costs with those at Liberty Market in Lahore. Purchases were frugal.

Meanwhile, despite their inability to make it to Delhi, Ajmer and Agra, the guests were not so disappointed after all. They were enthused about the prospects of being state guests in Shimla apart from being special invitees of the Hero Group owners in Ludhiana. Overwhelmed by the special permission granted to them by the Chief Ministers of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh, the guests were busy today, thinking of what they could take back from Shimla which they are keen on visiting. Bedecked Himachali caps seemed to be everybody's best option.

The fascination surely has something to do with Shimla Hill on which the Lahore Press Club is located. As Javed Babar, club member, admitted: "We are keen to see what Shimla looks like. All our lives we have been hearing the name of the city, courtesy Shimla Hills, but we have never got to experience its fabled beauty. We are excited about the visit. Jallianwala Bagh and Harmandir Sahib are also significant for us."

The Lahore Press Club members' visit to Shimla was long due, considering the invitation they had been extended by the Shimla Press Club during the Indo-Pak cricket series held in Pakistan. Pak journalists, however, had no idea that their desire to travel to Shimla would be realized that soon.

Ludhiana is another city on the visitors' itinerary, but not all delegates are going there tomorrow. Some of them will stay back to play a friendly cricket match between Chandigarh and Lahore Press Clubs, scheduled to be held at PCA Stadium, Mohali. The rest are looking forward to visiting Punjab Agricultural University and Hero Cycles unit at Ludhiana.

Pakistani business correspondents are naturally excited about the trip to the Manchester of Punjab which may bring them some good copy.

Chandigarh was no less as far as providing food for thought and copy was concerned. Shams-ul-Haq of The Express and Mohsin Akram of Daily Sarafat agreed the city was ultra modern and "liberated". "We have never seen girls and women ride scooters and motorcycles in Pakistan, nor are they as street smart as they are here in India. Equality of genders, as we hear and advocate, exists here in both letter and spirit," said Akram, who was equally amused with the low levels of air and noise pollution in Chandigarh.

An environment reporter himself, he told of how noise polluted certain areas of Pakistan were. "Sometimes we can't hear the other person talk even from across a hand's distance. We must learn from India's CNG experience and from Chandigarh's pollution control strategies," he gestured.



Indo-Pak photo journalists form forum
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 7
The Chandigarh Photo Journalists Association and the Lahore Photo Journalists Association today formed, the Panj Darya Photo Journalists Forum for the exchange of photographs and organising photo exhibitions at their respective places.

The forum was formed during the two-day Panj Darya Media Conference, which concluded at the Chandigarh Press Club here today. The conference was organised as part of the silver jubilee celebrations of the Chandigarh Press Club in association with the Lahore Press Club.

Photo Journalist of Daily Musavaat and vice-president of the Lahore Journalists Association Pravej Atlaf said he had been authorised by the association president Mohammad Iqbal for the formation of such a forum. He said the main aim of the forum was, besides exchanging photographs, highlighting the cultural and traditional religious activities through photo journalism so as to bring the people of two Punjabs more closer. He said the two Punjabs had many similarities like language and cultural heritage.

Among Pakistani and Indian journalists, who were instrumental in the formation of the forum that included Mohammed Kaleen (Daily Khabrein), Nadeem Ahmed ( Daily Pakistan), Khushnood Ilahi (Daily Musavaat), Muzaffar Chaudhry (Roznama), Haji Abdul Ghaffar (Apna T.V. Channel), Manjit Singh (PTI), T.S. Bedi, Ajit Group, Swadesh Talwar, Indian Express, Pankaj Sharma, Tribune Group, and Ajay Jalandhary of Des Sewak.



Lahore’s Punjab University has diploma course in Hindi
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 7
Punjab University, Lahore, which is considered the mother university of all higher education institutions in Pakistan, seems to have developed a fascination for Hindi. It has already started one-year diploma course in Hindi and is scouting for more faculty members to start a master’s degree in it. The course is located in the university’s College of Oriental Languages.

In fact the university struggled hard to find faculty members to run the Hindi diploma. It has employed one, Mr Ashok Kumar, from Sind area, who is said to be qualified to teach Hindi at the university level.

“Hindi course was planned two years ago. But non-availability of faculty impeded the process,” says Awais Saleem, a visiting faculty member of the Mass Communication Department of the Lahore University. Mr Saleem is employed as a staff reporter with The News, an english daily in Pakistan and covers education for his newspaper.

Mr Saleem, who has indepth knowledge about educational set-up of his country is here to participate in Panj Darya Media Conference. He says that the Centre for South Asian Studies set up at the new campus of Lahore University has started a three-month Hindi course for M.Phil and Ph.D students. It attracts a good number of students.

His own Mass Communications Department has been exploring the possibility to include Hindi as one of the languages for a three-month course for students, whose number is nearly 500 upto the postgraduate degree level. Now German, French and some other languages are taught as a part of the course.

There are more surprises for the government. Some of the universities in Pakistan have moved much ahead of the Indian universities. The Mass Communications Department of Lahore University runs its own FM radio in collaboration with UNESCO. It is non-commercial venture and all its programmes are produced, managed and executed by students.

Lahore University is about to start its own TV channel dedicated to education. “We have 22,000 students and 6,300 faculty members,” says Mr Saleem. He said that besides educational aspect, the TV would also telecast youth-related cultural programmes. Peshawar, Multan and Bahawalpur Universities have also planned to start FM radio. Mr Mugheesuddin, Head of the Mass Communications Department, has proposed regular interaction and exchange progammes with the Mass Communications Department of Panjab University, Chandigarh. The proposal was mooted by Mr Saleem here today when he met the faculty members of the department here. He invited them to visit Lahore University where originally the Mass Communications Department was started in 1941.



Indo-Pak media fellowship announced
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 7
A first of its kind media fellowship was announced on the concluding day of the two-day Panj Darya Media Conference. This fellowship is reciprocal in nature. Its main aims is to make journalists of both India and Pakistan aware of life and culture on both sides of the border, besides promoting people-to-people friendship.

“Funded by the Chandigrh Press Club, and the Lahore Press Club, this will be a unique fellowship of journalists, for the journalists and by the journalists. The media exchange programme will not only broaden and but also deepen the understanding of journalists about the host country. It will, help institutionlise the framework of future cooperation between Press Clubs of both countries”, the Chandigarh Press club Secretary-General, Mr Ramesh Vinayak said.

According to a MOU signed between the Chandigarh Press Club and the Lahore Press Club, here today the two clubs have agreed to form a ‘Panj Darya Media Foundation’ which will be an interface between the two clubs in future to institutionalise their sister club status and to enhance cooperation in professional exchanges.

The foundation with an aim to strengthen media-to-media cooperation has instituted a ‘ Panj Darya Media Fellowship’ which will be the first regular media exchange programme between journalists of India and Pakistan, on reciprocal basis. The objective of this fellowship is to broaden and deepen the understanding of journalist-members of the two sister institutions (the press clubs) on the role and responsibility of the media in promoting people-to-people interaction in the broader context of the India-Pakistan peace process.

It was agreed that the governing councils of both clubs would nominate coordinator(s) to work out modalities of the fellowship and, will make sincere efforts to complete the spadework at the earliest and start the first edition of the fellowship in 2005. The foundation will have members (at least three each) nominated by the respective governing councils and will be a recommendatory body and work under the purview and powers of the respective governing councils. The president of the club hosting the Panj Darya Conference will be an ex-officio chairman of the foundation, while the president of the guest country will be its co-chairman.

While the two clubs have decided to hold the Panj Darya Media Conference on regular basis, it was also agreed that the two clubs have undertaken to facilitate the exchange of editors/senior journalists for lectures/workshops on professional matters.

The two clubs decided to establish a link between their websites www.lahorepressclub.com and www.chandigarhpressclub.com.

The MoU was signed by office-bearers of the two clubs that included Mr Arshad Ansari, President, Lahore Press Club and Mr Ramesh Chaudhary President Chandigarh Press Club, Mr Abdul Gafoor, Mr Ramesh Vinayak, both general secretaries and Mr Zaheer Ahmed Babar, executive member, Lahore Press Club.



Pak channel moots serials on Balaji lines
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 7
Courtesy hosts, the visiting Pakistani journalists had the best of food and films today. Their day that began on a delicious note with rich South Indian fare being served at Chandigarh Press Club ended on a highly emotional one after a special screening of “Veer-Zaara” at the Fun Republic.

Many Pak journalists were watching the film for the first time, and were naturally overwhelmed to be invitees at the special show dedicated to them.

Earlier during the day, the Pak delegates took some time off hard political talk to update themselves with the art and film scene in India. Much in love with India’s parallel cinema made legendary by the likes of Shyam Benegal and Govind Nihalani, the guests said they missed purposeful films like “Paar”, “Arthsatya” and most lately “Zubeida”. Dumbstruck to learn that Shyam Benegal was out to make his first ever romantic film with Kareena Kapoor in the lead, some journalists said they wished for a trend reversal in Indian cinema. They, however, admitted that Indian films were a craze in Pakistan, notwithstanding thematic content. Farah Waraich, News Editor, The Daily Jung, said Indian stars had a mass appeal even in Pakistan.

Yet another area of discussion was the growing popularity of Indian televisions serials in Pakistan. Balaji’s Ekta Kapoor was naturally at the heart of this discussion as Pervaiz Bashir, Editor (Reporting) of The Jung admitted her serials were a rage in Pakistan. “Our women are glued to Balaji serials, especially “Kumkum”. But we wish to know if Indian women are actually as scheming as shown to be. Nowadays we often tease our women by comparing them to the characters in Balaji productions. That’s not to imply that the serials are disliked. They are a great hit, as I said.”

Such is the popularity of Indian teleserials that Pakistan’s Geo TV is now trying to replicate their style.



Model code restricts Chautala

Bound by the model code of conduct applicable in Haryana, Chief Minister, Mr Om Parkash Chautala, could not make any financial contribution to the Chandigarh Press Club which is the organiser of the Panj Darya Media Conference. The club had received a cheque of Rs 15 lakh from Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh yesterday.

Guests in awe of Indian women

Almost all Pakistani journalists were awestruck to find women riding scooters and bikes in Chandigarh. One of them even commented: “This city inspires us with a sense of freedom. We are surprised to see that when we talk to women here, no one is bothered. We are equally amused to find women dressed in latest styles. In Pakistan if a woman wears jeans, she also wears a kurta for compensation.”

Similar cities

Pakistan journalists were surprised to see cycle rickshaws still in operation in Chandigarh. Many said they differentiated between Islamabad and Chandigarh from this very aspect. All other elements, including architecture and design, they said, “appeared just the same”.

Language barrier

Vernacular newspapers went out of the way to hog the attention of Pakistani media. In their attempt to prove their supremacy over the other, they filled the tables at the entrance of the Chandigarh Press Club with piles and piles of their newspapers, little realising the effort would not pay. Most of the guests knew neither Hindi nor Gurmukhi.



Good governance my priority: Rodrigues
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 7
The UT Administrator, Gen S.F. Rodrigues, while interacting with the Mayor, Ms Anu Chatrath, and delegation of Congress councillors today made it clear that “he was here to provide governance and not follow the Congress political agenda.”

This was reportedly in response to a councillor’s query that the manifesto of the Congress did not talk of imposing property tax. Sources within the Congress said the Administrator in his 30-minute meeting with the councillors made his views clear.

One more councillor raised the issue of non-representation of youths in the advisory council announced yeaterday. The Administrator reportedly told the delegation that “I choose my own advisers.” Congress councillors when contacted were tight lipped. Sources within the party said the councillors would be briefing the local MP, Mr Pawan Bansal, tomorrow.

Meanwhile, spokesperson of the Administrator’s office said the Governor sought cooperation for making Chandigarh a modern city. He impressed upon the councillors the need to rise above the party lines and work for more effective system. He added that “we should look ahead and plan for the growing needs of the city. The Administration will respond positively to initiatives of elected representatives”.

Ms Anu Chatrah and other councillors endorsed the views of the Administrator and assured all help.



Admin to videotape encroachments
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 7
The Estate Office has decided to videotape all encroachments on the government land here. Estate Officer Arun Kumar said for a special camera had been purchased and Mr S.K.Setia, Land Acquisition Officer-cum-Encroachment Officer, had been told to form teams that would visit all illegal slums and colonies.

The task is to be completed within a month, he added.

The Deputy Commis-sioner said as per the records there were 17 unauthorised colonies in the city and around 80,000 or 1,00,000 persons resided there. However, the number kept increasing with the occurrence of new slums.

To check occurrence of new slums and colonies the Estate Office has set up a videography and visual wing, he added.



275 drivers attend road safety camps
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 7
To educate truck and bus drivers regarding safe driving and traffic rules and regulations, the Chandigarh Police held two workshops in the transport Area, Sector 26, and at the CTU workshop in the Industrial Area here today. These were held as part of the ongoing National Road Safety Week.

Police sources said 275 truck drivers attended the workshop in the transport area. The traffic police officers advised them to observe and obey traffic rules, Inspector Parmod Kumar explained them various precautions to be taken while driving.

The officers also advised the drivers to keep their vehicles properly maintained and abstain from drunken driving.

Seventy drivers were examined in an eye check-up camp organised under the supervision of Dr Manjit Kaur from the General Hospital, Sector 16.

Similarly, 60 bus drivers attended a lecture at the CTU workshop, which has been continuing since January 3. Inspector Prem Lal Chauhan delivered a lecture on road safety and distributed copies of literature. An eye check-up camp was also organised by Guru Harkishan Sahib Eye Hospital and Trust, Sohana, in which eyes of 30 bus drivers were examined.

A drivers training workshop on road safety would be held at the Children Traffic Park, Sector 23, at 11 am tomorrow. A conference on road safety and traffic management in school areas for school principals would also be held at 4 pm at the Traffic Police Auditorium, Sector 29.



Police to hold camp for driving licences
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 7
The local police will organise a special camp tomorrow at the community centre in Phase III B 1 for making learners’ driving licences for the Mohali subdivision.

Mr Rakesh Agarwal, SP, said today that the camp was part of the traffic week being observed in the town from January 3 to 9.

Candidates should bring proof of their residence and date of birth, apart from four passport size photographs. The required fees would be deposited on the spot and licences issued there and then, he said.



Mandeep Kang cremated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 7
The mortal remains of Mandeep Kang, wife of former UT Finance Secretary, Mr N.S. Kang, were consigned to flames at the Sector 25 cremation ground today. She had died in Delhi yesterday following illness.

Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh expressed profound grief and sorrow over the demise of Mandeep Kang, who was also the daughter-in-law of Justice S.S. Kang, former Governor of Kerala. She is survived by her husband, son and a daughter.



SDM submits report in fire incident
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 7
The Sub Divisional Magistrate (East), Ms Padmini Singla, today submitted a report with regard to the fire incident in the Bhushan steel factory in Industrial Area (Phase I) early this week. One person had died in the incident. The report has been submitted to Deputy Commissioner, Mr Arun Kumar.

Ms Singla has discussed the conditions of fire extinguishers and also the security procedures. The DC is expected to take a view tomorrow.



Stolen car racket unearthed
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 7
The Subdivisional Magistrate (SDM), Panchkula, Mr Varinder Dahiya, today claimed to have unearthed a racket involving the buying of stolen cars and getting their re-registeration done by supplying fake documents.

The fraud came to light when the accused, Anup Pal, a resident of Sector 17 here, approached the SDM’s office for getting re-registeration of a Bolero (BR-01 AD-8600) and a Tata Sumo (BR-01AC-9100). The man submitted NOCs from the District Transport Office, Patna, claiming that the vehicles were originally registered there.

On the verification of the documents, the SDM detected certain irregularities. “I contacted the DTO’s office at Patna, and was told that these vehicles were never registered there. We also found that the insurance papers attached with the application for the Bolero, were, in fact, the same as were attached with the registration application of a vehicle with registeration number HR-03D- 9697. We also found that this number (HR-03D- 9697), had not been alloted to any vehicle,” he said.

The SDM then informed the police, and the man was called for questioning. “He confessed that he had got the re-registeration done for several vehicles between July 1997, and October, 2003. I then ordered my staff to check all registerations of vehicles done between July 20, 1997 and October 18, 2003, and found that as many as eight vehicles — three Indica cars, one Sumo, two Spacio jeeps, one jeep and another vehicle — were re-registered by Anup Pal. We are now verifying if these vehicles were stolen vehicles,” he said.

Mr Dahiya says that he had also received information that the accused has been involved in getting re-registeration of stolen vehicles done in Delhi and Rajasthan, and later selling them. “He is now in the custody of the Sangria police in Rajasthan, and we will again get him here on production warrant,” he said.



Two held for eve-teasing
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 7
Two motor cycles were stolen here, the police said today. Mr Rahul Barhjatia of Kundan Nagar, Model Town, Ludhiana, reported to the police that his Bajaj motor cycle (PB-10-Y-7685) was stolen from Sector 35 market on January 5. A case under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered at the Sector-36 police station.

Mr Anehul Gupta of Sector 21 complained to the police that his Bajaj Pulsar motor cycle (HR-25-A-7205) was stolen from his residence during night of January 4. A case has been registered at the Sector-19 police station.

House burgled

Mr Darshan Singh of the PGI campus reported to the police that a computer, gold chain, gold ring, a pair of gold tops and Rs 350 were stolen from his residence between December 31 and January 3. He was out of station during that period. A case under Section 380 of the IPC has been registered.

2 held

Hitesh and Varun, both from Sector 22, were arrested for eve-teasing on Thursday. A case under Section 294 of the IPC has been registered.

Two held for gambling

Suresh Kumar and Chaman Lal, both residents of Bapu Dham Colony, Sector 26, were arrested for gambling at public place in the locality on Thursday. The police seized Rs 500 and Rs 400 from them, respectively, and registered two cases under Sections 13-A, 3 and 67 of the Gambling Act.



Jewellery stolen at wedding
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 7
Gold jewellery was stolen from a wedding held at Dara Studio in Phase VI here today.

The police has rounded up three waiters in this connection.

A resident of Sector 19, Chandigarh, Mrs Shaminder Kaur, lodged a complaint with the police that gold jewellery was stolen at the wedding. The theft came to the notice when the function was about to finish. The complainant alleged that a few waiters were roaming around in the area when some ceremonies were being performed. As such they were aware of what was going on.

The police has registered a case in this regard.


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |