C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


DCC gen secy’s wife dies of suspected poisoning
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 13
General secretary of the District Congress Committee Hemant Kinger has been accused of killing his wife by poisoning her. His wife, Kailash (45), alias Namrata, died of suspected poisoning this morning.

The victim’s father, Mr Ghanshyam Das Verma, alleged that Kinger was harassing his daughter. He said his grandson, Navneet, informed him of the incident. The police has registered a case under Sections 302 and 498-A of IPC against Kinger.

Kinger, however, alleged that he was being framed by his in-laws. He said his wife was upset because of her daughter, who is settled in the USA.

“She was married only four months ago. Last week, she informed her mother on the phone that she was having some matrimonial problem. My wife was upset since then and took the extreme step in depression,” he said.

The police said they first received information from the hospital authorities about the mysterious death of Namrata. She was rushed to General Hospital, Sector 6, by Kinger and Navneet. They reportedly told the hospital authorities that she had consumed some poisonous substance. She died at the hospital.

Kinger said he was away for some work and Navneet had left home for work after taking breakfast.

“When I reached home, I found her lying on the floor. Before she lost consciousness, she asked me to take care of the children,” he said.

Navneet said he received a call from his father that his mother had fallen unconscious. He, too, verified the statement given by his father that his mother was under depression because of his sister.

Meanwhile, a panel of doctors was constituted for a post-mortem examination and they said prima facie the death was caused by consuming organic phosphorous. A sample of viscera was sent for chemical examination.

A team of forensic experts, led by Dr G.R. Jain, also visited the house of Kinger in Sector 4 and took samples of some liquid found in the kitchen.



Xen submits report to Urban Estate Dept
Finds irregularities in development work
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 13
A preliminary inquiry by the Urban Estate Department, Haryana, has found irregularities by Municipal Council authorities in carrying out development works in various parts of Panchkula.

The inquiry was conducted by an Executive Engineer of the department. The report was submitted to the department today. It says that the swings and benches fixed in parks and other development works under taken in over 200 parks here were of inferior quality; defunct street lights were not repaired on time; and large-scale absenteeism among sanitation workers employed by a sanitary contractor, ultimately lead to poor sanitation.

Sources in the department say that the preliminary investigation also shows that money was being paid to the sanitation contractor for over 400 sanitary workers, though the number of workers employed by the contractor was less. A top official of the department, requesting anonymity, said the inquiry officer had also been asked to take samples of road repair work, and the material used for developing the parks within the next three days.

A separate inquiry report on the financial management of the council is being prepared by the inquiry officer, and it will be submitted next week. The inquiry is being conducted following Peoples Voice Gods Voice Group’s request to the Chief Minister to look into the matter. The complaint was forwarded to the Commissioner, Urban Development, who ordered an inquiry.

This is the fourth inquiry being conducted to assess the works being carried out by the local Municipal Council. The Haryana Vigilance Department is conducting two inquiries, while the local district administration is conducting a separate inquiry against the alleged “mismanagement of works done by the council”.

Meanwhile, the Municipal Council has now sought permission under the emergency clause for releasing funds to ensure proper sanitation in the town. The sources inform that the council had exhausted its approved budget of Rs 5 crore, and had spent additional Rs 23 lakh for carrying out development works. They have also sought permission for a revised budget from the district administration, which in turn had asked the council to get it approved from the General House of the council.

Since the Congress councillors walked out of the House meeting in November and the quorum was incomplete, the revised budget could not be passed. Thus the MC has been cash starved, and almost all maintenance works are being done on credit. The sanitation contractor has reportedly not been paid his dues for November and December, while the council has funds to pay dues to the street light contractor for January only.

The council President, Ms Seema Chaudhary, while reacting to the inquiry report submitted to the Urban Estate Department, said the council had been imposing fine on sanitation and street light contractors whenever any irregularities were found in their work. They have deposited 10 per cent security. If the department finds their work unsatisfactory, we can forfeit the amount, she added. 



Tribune readers send Rs 56.79 lakh to PMO
Relief for tsunami victims
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 13
The Tribune Trust today dispatched the first installment of Rs 56.79 lakh, collected for the tsunami victims by “The Tribune Tsunami Relief Fund”, to the Prime Minister Office (PMO). The Tribune rose to the occasion after tsunami struck the Indian coasts and set up the relief fund. Hundreds of donations, through cheques, are pouring in everyday. The Tribune has been publishing the names of all those who have donated Rs 500 or more to The Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund.

The collection amounting to Rs 56.79 lakh was sent to the PMO today. An official of the organisation will personally deliver the cheques at the PMO. The donations include Rs 5 lakh donated by The Tribune Trust and Rs 1 lakh from the Tribune Trustees. Employees of The Tribune have also decided to contribute their one day’s salary.

The Tribune offices in Chandigarh, Delhi and across Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh have so far received 2,000 cheques of more than Rs 500, besides numerous cheques and drafts of smaller denominations. The Tribune will continue to send the donations received by it to the PMO office on a regular basis so that the money meant for the rehabilitation of lakhs of people reaches them quickly.



Industrial units, brick kiln denote Rs 30.60 lakh
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, January 13
The two local industrial units and the Brick Kiln Association have denoted Rs 30.60 lakh in the form of demand drafts and cheques to the SDM, Mr Narinder Shanga, here today.

Mr Avtar Singh, director, Punjab Chemical Private Limited, a pharmaceutical manufacturing unit, donated a cheque for Rs 2.15 lakh to the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund, and Rs 35,000 to the Punjab Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.

Apart from this, the local Brick Kiln Association contributed Rs 51,000 and Mohan Meakins Limited, a bottling plant, Dera Bassi, gave Rs 5,000.



Vigilance recommends action against UT teacher
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 13
The Punjab Vigilance Bureau has indicted a UT school teacher for his involvement in a case of irregularity in checking of answer books of the examination conducted by the Punjab Nursing Council.

Teacher, Shavinder Singh, a physics lecturer, took the job without taking permission for the UT Education Department and also received remuneration for the same from the Council.

On the basis of the report of the vigilance bureau, the UT Education Department today chargesheeted lecturer, Shavinder Singh. The DPI (Schools) has issued the chargesheet.

The action has been taken after the Vigilance Bureau recommended action against the lecturer. Sources in the department disclosed that as per the provisions of law, prior permission has to be taken to check answer books of examination conducted by other state’s boards or other medical institutions. The lecturer had not sought the permission.

After probing the matter, the Vigilance Department forwarded the findings, recommending departmental action against the lecturer, presently posted at the Sector 10 government school.

The Vigilance Bureau earlier was probing a scam of leakage of question papers in the Nursing Council. Headquarter of the council is in Mohali.



MC challans 426 for encroachment
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 13
When the anti-encroachment staff of the municipal corporation left the MC office for the much-publicised anti-encroachment drive, initiated after a warning of three days, they were pleasantly surprised.

Corridors of city markets, usually clogged with encroachments by shopkeepers, wore an unusually clean look. The usual stuff blocking the passageways lay stashed away within the shops. For once, the shopkeepers realised that their space ended where the entry to their shops began and the rest of the space was for the shoppers. This left the anti-encroachment staff with little to do as they went from market to market.

An official of the municipal corporation said the anti-encroachment drive would continue for two more days to ensure that nobody encroaching on public land went scott-free. After two days, the MC staff would carry out checks to ensure that shopkeepers remained “well within their limits” and got them into the habit of keeping off the government land.

At the end of the day, the MC, however, did manage to issue as many as 426 challans after combing the various markets for any kind of encroachment. The usually spilling-over-the-pavements vendors in Sector 22 as also the dress material on display on folding beds in corridors and pavements was nowhere to be seen.

In fact, the Sector 22 market has never been as clean as it was today, three days after the MC Commissioner, Mr P.S. Aujla, issued a stern warning to shopkeepers encroaching on corridors. A few vendors in the Shastri market, however, were caught unawares by the staff checking encroachments and were issued challans.

In Sector 17, it was the same story. Passageways only had a few mannequins on display. These, too, were pulled into the shops once the MC team descended on the Plaza. Popcorn vending machines, jutting out of a few shops, were the only thing the MC staff could lay their hands on.

The MC staff, comprising seven teams with a staff of 300 to accompany them and policemen in tow, went from one market to another right across the city, from Sectors 17 and 22 to Sectors 48, 34 and 37. Everywhere, the staff found the markets more or less free of encroachments. Small time vendors were issued challans and their belongings were taken into custody by the MC staff.

In Sector 48, the situation turned tense when the MC staff tried to remove a compressor lying in the corridor outside a shop. The shopkeepers of the area got together and resisted the move of the MC staff. However, Mr S.K. Setia, arrived on the scene and the matter was resolved with the MC taking away the compressor.

The drive which began with the opening of the shops, lasted well past office hours and will continue tomorrow as well. The teams of MC officials will continue to scan the markets for any encroachments before calling it off temporarily.



Passing Thru
Do you see Punjabi cinema evolving?

THE regional film industry is emerging in a big way. With professionals like Manmohan Singh and Harbhajan Maan making films like “Jee Aayan Nu…” Punjabi film makers can nurture better dreams. Good Punjabi cinema is a privilege to those of us who take pride in the language and its glorious history.

How do you rate your home production “Des Hoyaa Pardes”?

The film operates at a human level. It deals with the trauma of all those who left their homes in search of greener pastures and suffered in the bargain. The idea is to offer some insight to the youth who are vulnerable to the prospects of going to far-away lands. We have been promoting the film in India as well as abroad. Its production quality, location choice and musical line up are comparable to any good Hindi film.

You have always been a singer. How have you responded to cinema?

Both arts are related to me, and I enjoy both thoroughly. I have spent prime years of my life on stage, but I see little difference between the stage and the screen. Except for the fact that films depend on cameras for production and on fans for success, everything else is the same.

Are you considering any other film offers?

I have just signed another Punjabi film titled “Yaariyaan”. It is not being produced by my wife Manjit.

— Aditi Tandon



Indian work impressive, says Pak fashion designer
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 13
Hijab Akhtar Khoso perfectly exemplifies the resurgence of Pakistani woman. As Vice-President of the Women's Chamber for Commerce and Industry, Pakistan, she has not only created a comfortable space for herself in the extremely chauvinistic industrial set up of her country, but has also led many rural artisans on the road to financial empowerment.

The entrepreneur, who is also a member of Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, is particularly upbeat about the future of garment manufacturing sector in Pakistan. Predominantly controlled by women, the sector, she says, has an annual growth rate of 75 per cent. Exports are also phenomenal with the Pakistan Government supporting women industrialists through the Export Promotion Bureau.

Together with the President of the Women's Chamber of Commerce and Industry Ms Begum Salma who is the first Pakistani woman to have entered the ship breaking sector, Khoso has been communicating with the government to offer sops to women industrialists who are emerging like never before. In Chandigarh to build networks in the field of garment production and designing, Khoso spoke to The Tribune about the challenges of being an entrepreneur in Pakistan.

A renowned fashion designer and fabric producer back home, Khoso has been representing Pakistan in all SAARC trade fairs, as well as international trade fairs all over Jordon, Malaysia, Indonesia and India. In fact, she stopped over in Chandigarh today while on her way back from SAARC Trade Fair organized in Delhi between January 6 and 10. Khoso has been part of this event ever since it was conceived in 1996.

"I took to formal fashion designing in 1995. I had accepted a wedding assignment which was much appreciated. Then there was no looking back. My area of expertise is hand woven fabric designing which I source from Aurangi town, located some distance from Karachi. The artisans of this town are famous for their intricate hand weaving. I support them and vice versa," said the entrepreneur who is the only fashion designer of Karachi, working in ethnic wear. In fact, she has been credited with the revival of fabrics like "Kim Khwaab" and "Atlas" in the garment designing sector. She tells, "Kim Khwaab is, particularly, significant in terms of aesthetics and durability. The fabric has a rich "zari" base and it decorated with golden thread. It is one of the major export products I handle."

Another area of Khoso's indulgence is the use of precious stones in her works. Much regarded for her lines that are laced with stones like turquoise and topaz, Khoso recently even made her mark in Indian cinema by designing a Pakistani attire for Priety Zinta in "Veer-Zaara".

Tells Khoso, "I was told to design a dress that has both rural and urban look." The dress, which Zinta wore for a song sequence in the film, is currently on display in Sector 34 where the artist is showing her "antique garment collection". She is also sourcing fabrics from India, as she says, "Indian designs look impressive because of the richness of their colour schemes. I am most interested in studying the genesis of colour schemes in Indian designs. I do much of my shopping from India." 



A workshop that was never held
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 13
The seriousness of the government about female foeticide can be gauged from the fact that the Press Information Bureau of the Government of India today reported holding of a workshop on the issue at Panjab University which was never held.

If that's not all, the PIB, in its press note issued in the evening, quoted four speakers and their views on female foeticide, none of whom hold the posts mentioned against their names and were neither in the city as has been claimed by the release.

The press release by the PIB gives the views of the Chairperson of the National Commission for Women, Ms Vibha Parthasarthy, which maintains that "the home, community and family would have top play a crucial role in changing the orthodox thinking of society",. Interestingly, Ms Parthasarthy is no more the Chairperson of the Women's Commission and was replaced by Ms Poornima Advani long back.

The story quotes the Adviser to Administrator, Ms Neeru Nanda, as saying that changing the mindset of the people was essential and that mere administrative policies or legislations could not bring about a desired change while inaugurating the workshop.

It is pertinent to mention here that Ms Neeru Nanda, the Adviser to Administrator in 2002, has been followed by three other Advisers. Mr Virender Singh took over charge from her in January, 2003, Mr RS Gujral did a brief stint as Adviser from September to November, 2003, and the present incumbent, Mr Lalit Sharma, joined as Adviser in November, 2003, and has been continuing since then.

Prof Pam Rajput, mentioned as Director of the Centre for Women's Studies and Development, Panjab University, who welcomed the guests and speakers at the workshop which wasn't even held, was replaced by Dr Aruna Goyal after she retired from university service.

The press note also quotes Swami Agnivesh, a social activist, on the issue of female foeticide. However, he was not in the city today and was obviously not at the workshop since it was never held.



Graffiti writers in Rock Garden to be fined
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 13
Stung by the graffiti on walls of the Rock Garden, the society which runs the garden has decided to impose a fine of Rs 100 on anyone found defacing the walls and statues inside one of the city’s leading tourist attractions.

Rock garden is also a favourite haunt of lovers and a lot of graffiti is scribbled on the walls which gives an ugly look.

To maintain proper upkeep and cleanliness of the garden premises, more persons will be deployed, who will keep a watch on littering by visitors, especially of polythene bags.

A decision in this regard was taken at a meeting of the Rock Garden Society held today under the chairmanship of the Home Secretary, Mr Krishna Mohan, to deliberate on various issues regarding the development and renovation of the Rock Garden. After thorough discussions the meeting also approved the following: creation of a police sentry post at the main entry and giving information on the Rock Garden through entry tickets and hand books or bills. This will entail printing of special information about the Rock Garden which will be available against payment.

Another sale counter will be set up where articles made in the Rock Garden will be put for sale.

Also the engineering wing has been asked to take over the renovation and upgradation work of the garden on a priority basis, in consultation with Mr Nek Chand, Creator-Director of the Rock Garden.

Open water tanks provided in the garden will be cleaned up. The open channel near the waterfall in Phase-Ill will also be cleaned of fungus, dirt and filth.



Tribune Impact
Nabard to review credit society’s working
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 13
The depositors and the members of the Nabard Employees Credit and Thrift Society today got a reprieve with the bank management agreeing to review the working of the society in coordination with the Registrar of Cooperative Societies (RCS).

The bank management’s change of position follows the Chandigarh Tribune highlighting that lakhs of rupees of investors, members and depositors could be in jeopardy because of the alleged mismanagement in the society.

The Chandigarh Tribune had earlier quoted the bank management as saying that it could not intervene in the matters of the society as it was an elected body and is governed by the RCS.

Nabard management today said, “Nabard is seized with the matter and the working of the society is being reviewed in coordination with the administrator appointed by the Registrar of Cooperative Societies”.

The Chandigarh Tribune had reported that accounts of the society had not been audited for years. A large number of members who had resigned had not been returned their money. The outside depositors were also facing a similar situation. Due to several defaults, the functioning of the society had been placed under the control of an administrator appointed by the RCS. The administrator is preparing a financial status report.



Villagers donate foodgrains
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 13
The SDM, Mr M.L. Sharma, had early this week, urged city residents to collectively donate foodgrains and clothes in order to help those who lost their family members and homes during the havoc caused by tsunami on December 26, 2004.

The appeal seemed to have had the desired effect. Before this, there had been no organised effort on part of either councillors or resident welfare bodies to chip in collectively for the victims.

The SDM today pointed out that other than municipal councillors; sarpanchs from villages in Mohali were coming to his office to donate liberally what they had collected from the village. Councillors Amiteshwar Kaur, Phool Raj, Manjit Sethi, Yog Raj, Manmohan Kaur, Rajinder P. Sharma, Harbans Kaur, S.S. Barnala had also contributed liberally for the cause. The largest collection till now had been done by Mrs Amiteshwar Kaur. Sarpanch Kaka Singh from Gige Majra village and sarpanch Jaipal from Nogyari village had also contributed liberally. Patwari of Rurka village Daljit Singh had also collected foodgrains for the victims.



‘Saturn’s opposition,’ visual treat for star gazers
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 13
The astronomy wing of the Department of Physics, Punjabi University, Patiala, will be observing and photographing a prominent celestial event, “Saturn’s opposition”, starting from midnight tonight when Saturn will be closest to the Earth and at its brightest.

A visual treat for star gazers, the ringed planet will be clearly visible to the naked eye in the eastern night sky for the next one week. However, for those who have a telescope, Saturn will be visible with all its rings and the inter-ring spaces at their best.

According to Mr Tejbir Singh, observer, Department of Physics, Punjabi University, Patiala, for astronomers it will be a big opportunity to observe Saturn at its brightest when the Earth passes between the Sun and Saturn. “This time of the year is the best to watch Saturn as it is in opposition to the Sun and just about 1,207 million km away. This is also the closest that it will approach the Earth this year,” he said.

Dr R.C. Verma, head of the department, said all arrangements were in place to study and photograph the event. “We will be observing it through the night skies till January 20 at least,” he said.

“With a telescope, Saturn can be seen along with its rings easily. Most of the light you see from Saturn with the naked eye is sunlight reflected off the planet’s huge ring system, which stretches more than 130,000 miles in diametre but is not more than 10 miles thick. The rings are made up of billions of iced rocks and boulders, all in individual orbits around the mother planet. While exploring Saturn close up, you may even see a dark band in the middle of the ring system. That’s called Cassini’s division, a gap in the rings more than 1,000 miles wide. But now, Saturn’s rings are almost as wide open as they can get and will reflect a lot of sunlight, making the planet bright to the naked eye,” explained Mr Tejbir Singh.

Explaining that the planet at its brightest will be visible to the naked eye, Mr Tejbir Singh said the easiest way to find it is to look to the left of the belt of Orion constellation. The planet will appear as the brightest and round without any blinking effect,”he said.

“Following this year’s opposition, Saturn will become dim with each year and in 2009 it will appear at its dimmest in the planet’s 29.5-year cycle,” said Mr Tejbir Singh, adding that the planet would not be this near the Earth till 2031.

Dr Verma informed the Chandigarh Tribune that his team of astronomers, including Dr P.S. Goraya, Mr Tejbir Singh and Mr Ravinder Singh, would be observing the event from tonight.



Search Within
Breathing your way out of stress

“Fear less, hope more; eat less, chew more; whine less, breathe more; talk less, say more; love more, and all good things will be yours”, so runs a Swedish proverb on ways to health and happiness.

The importance of correct breathing for relaxation and health has been stressed by yogis of old. It is important for two reasons: to supply oxygen to the body and its various organs and for removal of waste products and toxins from it.

“We can do without food for weeks and without water for days, but will cease to exist if deprived of oxygen for even a few minutes,” stated Lieut-Gen M.M. Walia, the other day addressing members of the Southend Rotary Club in New Delhi. He emphasised that the state of mind of an individual even can be dependent on the supply of oxygen to the brains, nerves, glands and other internal organs. The brain requires more oxygen than any other organ. If it does not get enough the result is mental sluggishness or depression.

Appealing for a holistic approach to health, he said tensions and stress, which had become an inevitable part of modern life could be checked if people recognised the importance of complete breathing. The importance of an adequate supply of oxygen to the body cannot be overemphasised.

Slow, deep, rhythmic breathing causes a reflex stimulation of the parasympathetic nervous system, which results in a reduction in the heart rate and relaxation of the muscles.

Scientists have discovered that the chemical basis of energy production in the body is a chemical called Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP). They have also found that oxygen is critical for the production of ATP. They believe that there is a strong connection between respiration and mental states. While improper breathing diminished mental ability, mental tensions affected the breathing pattern.

Now, going by the holistic health expert, another important stress-breaker is the act of smiling. The man who laughs is a doctor without a diploma. His face does more good in a sick room than a bushel of powders or a barrel of bitter draughts. Laughing is the best medicine and there is no tonic more invigorating than a smile, he contents. He wants us to make it a habit to go to bed with a smile irrespective of how good or bad the day happened to be. It is also wonderful to make it a habit in the morning wearing a smile on your face. A great way to build self-confidence is to learn to smile at oneself — once own mistakes and failures. They are opportunities to learn and begin afresh rather than sources of discouragement and frustration.

The body posture that we adopt while standing, sitting, walking or lying down is of vital significance. Without being stiff the spinal column must always remain straight. Shoulders should not droop forward. Most important point to be noted is that one’s body should be comfortably straight while sleeping in bed.

Then of course there is the positive thinking. Positive thoughts have a powerful influence on one’s attitudes. A man with a positive attitude will look for good in every situation; this will help him maintain a serene attitude irrespective of the circumstances.

What are some of the positive attitudes? General Walia reminds us that there is nothing permanent in life. Good times and bad times happen to everyone. Both are passing phases in one’s life and the right attitude then is: this too shall pass.

Looking for opportunities in every challenge or problem, searching for the good in others rather than adopting a critical spirit, counting one’s blessings rather than misfortunes and losses are other ways in which we can keep ourselves sane in a world full of troubles.

These days the rat race is claiming a lot of victims as the competition to climb the ladder of success had become intense and fiercer. For the ambitious young man/young woman, he has words of caution: be reasonable with your ambitions; do not try to be a ‘ winner’ all the time; avoid being too much of a perfectionist; learn occasionally to forgive yourself (and of course others too); acquire the ability to say “no” without hurting anyone; do not insist on doing everything yourself, delegate; set apart some time for yourself to recoup your energy and for quiet communion with God.

— M.P.K. Kutty



Parties celebrate Lohri to woo voters
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 13
Lohri celebrations was another day for political parties to further their election campaign for the Assembly elections. Candidates of various parties today held election meetings, while they celebrated Lohri at various places in the Kalka constituency today.

Indian National Lok Dal candidate, Pradeep Chaudhary, today held election meetings, while celebrating Lohri at Abheypur village, and with the Abheypur Market Association. A Lohri celebration- cum -meeting was also held by the party workers at Sector 21.

A youth workers convention of the BJP was held at Sector 10 today, wherein state Youth BJP President, Dharamvir Mirzapur, said that the party candidate from the constituency, Mr Sham Lal Bansal, would win because of the performance of the BJP at the Centre, and the disillusionment of the voters with the present Congress-led UPA government.

Congress MLA, Chander Mohan today toured various villages in Morni and promised further development of the Morni block, which is the only hill region in Haryana. He said that the party would solve the problems of the area on priority basis, if elected to power. Meanwhile, the BEL Workers Union, today pledged their support to the Congress party.



Lohri celebrated with focus on girl child
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 13
Students of Jan Shikshan Sansthan here celebrated Lohri on the campus today. The focus of the celebration was to promote the need and relevance of the education of girl child. Around 200 students participated in it.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Asha Sethi said that originally Lohri was celebrated to mark the birth of a child in the family. With the passage of time, it was limited to the celebration of the birth or marriage of a male member. But now in certain households, Lohri is also celebrated as a happy occasion to mark the birth of a girl child.

Mr Sethi said it was high time that education of the girl child was promoted so that she could contribute to the progress of the nation.

Mr Anand Mohan Sharma, programme officer of the sansthan, emphasised the relevance of education in general and that of girls in particular. He said education could help in checking female foeticide and facilitate in building a more humane society.



Mohali police to lead R-Day parade
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 13
Over 1,000 students of various schools here would participate in the Republic Day function to be held at Government Senior Secondary School, Phase 3B1.

Mohali police personnel would lead the Republic Day parade. For the first time, NCC cadets from Government College, Mohali, would participate in the parade along with students of other schools. Students of various schools and ITI polytechnic would present a cultural show. At least 10 residents of the town would be given mementoes for their achievements. 



BJP industrial cell holds protest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 13
The industrial cell of the BJP held a protest against imposition of property tax. The protesters, led by the president of the industrial cell, Mr Radhey Shyam Garg, burnt an effigy of the Congress-ruled Municipal Corporation.

Addressing the activists, Mr Garg said the property tax, being levied by the corporation, went against the interest of the common man. He claimed that the Congress MP had assured the people during the Lok Sabha elections and the Ward 11 byelection that property tax would not be imposed in the city.

Mr Garg maintained that the condition of industrial units was pitiable and the industry was passing through a crisis. He said since no facilities or relief was being provided to the industries by the Administration, the corporation was in no position to impose a tax on the people.



Rash driving claims youth’s life
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 13
Neeraj Sharma (22), a resident of Burail village, was killed in a road accident last night when he lost control over his motor cycle and hit the road berms on the Sector 21-22 dividing road. The police said he was driving rashly and was also drunk.

According to the police, the accident occurred at around 1.45 am, when Neeraj was going to his home with his friends, who were on another vehicle. He was taken to the hospital, where doctors declared him brought dead. Neeraj was doing B.Sc from Manipal University in Karnataka. He was living in rented accommodation.

The police informed about his death members of his family in Ghagar village in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh. It said the body was handed over to the family after conducting a post-mortem.

House burgled

Mr Ramesh Kumar Yadav of Sector 29-D has filed a complaint with the police that one gold necklace, two pairs of gold earrings and Rs 4,000 were stolen from his home yesterday. A case under Sections 454 and 380 of the IPC has been registered at the Industrial Area police station.

Liquor seized

The local police yesterday arrested Ashok Kumar of Phase II in Ram Darbar with 38 nips of Surma country wine and Bhupinder Singh of Sector 56 with four bottles of Rocket whisky. Two separate cases have been registered against them under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act at the Sectors 31 and 39 police stations.

Motor cycle stolen

Mr William Mattu of Sector 38-A has reported to the police that his Hero Honda Passion motor cycle (PB-58-B-0199) was stolen from Fragrance Garden in Sector 36, yesterday. A case of theft under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered at the Sector 36 police station.

Held for theft

The local police yesterday arrested two persons, Arvind Singh of Phase I, Mohali, and Himanshu of Sector 32, who were caught red-handed while stealing shuttering and iron plates from Delhi Public School, Sector 41. A complaint was filed by Balbir Singh of Rajpura, who caught the accused. A case under Sections 379 and 411 of the IPC has been registered at the Sector 39 police station.



Six hurt in mishap
Our Correspondent

Lalru, January 13
Six persons, including three women, were injured, two of them seriously, in separate accidents on the Kalka-Ambala highway during the past 24 hours.

According to the police, Simla Devi, Prakasho Devi and Mr Balkar Singh, employees of the Cheema Spintex Limited, were injured when they were crossing the road and a truck (HR36J-5608) hit them. In the accident, Simla Devi and Prakasho Devi received serious injuries and were admitted to the Civil Hospital, Dera Bassi.

Seriously injured Simla Devi, a resident of Alipur village, was later referred to the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh, while Prakasho Devi of Lalru is undergoing treatment in the Dera Bassi Hospital. Mr Balkar Singh, however, received minor injuries.

The police has impounded the vehicles but no case was registered till filing of the report.

Meanwhile, others Kuldeep Kumar of Shiv Colony, Dera Bassi, Ravi Singh and Sunita Devi of Bijjanpur village were also admitted to the Civil Hospital, Dera Bassi. The three had received injuries in separate accidents.



Cyclist crushed to death
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 13
A 18-year-old cyclist was crushed to death by a jeep near Alipore village, on the Panchkula-Naraingarh highway this morning. The victim, Rakesh Kumar, was employed as a labourer at Dhiman factory in Alipore. The accident took place when he was sent to buy milk by his seniors from the factory. The driver of the jeep (HR-68-3566), however, fled from scene.

Liquor seized:- The police seized 24 cases of liquor late last night from near Trilokpur village, near Raipur Rani. The accused, Om Prakash, was reportedly ferrying the liquor in a Maruti car by using a fake number plate. The police say that a special naka was laid by the police near Trilokpur crossing, when they spotted the car. On checking, they found 22 cases of country made liquor, and two cases of Indian Made Foreign Liquor.

The number plate displayed on the car read the (HP-20- 4388) but when the police checked the RC of the car, they found that its correct number was HR-01L- 0780. A case under the Excise Act and cheating has been registered, and the accused arrested and sent to judicial custody.



Cash, goods stolen
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 13
Cash and goods worth Rs 1 lakh were stolen in a burglary at Pinjore last night. As many as six shops were broken into on the Mallah road at Pinjore.The police says that Rs 10,000 in cash and goods worth Rs 85,000 were stolen in the burglary. Though this is the first burglary at Pinjore, such instances are common in Panchkula.

Yesterday, three adjacent shops in Sector 12-A were broken into and cash and goods worth thousands of rupees were stolen.



Teenager dupes 2 children
Decamps with jewellery
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 13
A teenaged cheat duped two children and decamped with jewellery from their houses in Sector 38 (West). The children were alone when the incident took place.

The 15-year-old cheat projected himself as a loan inspector for gaining entry into children’s houses. He threatened to put their fathers behind bars if they stopped him from doing the official work. The incident took place in the morning. The parents of both boys were away to their jobs.

Saurav (12), who lives in house No. 5020, Sector 38-West, said a teenager in navy blue trousers and a grey sweater came to his house at 10.50 am. He is a student of Class VII and studies at St Xavier School in Sector 44. He mistook him for a line man from the Telecom Department. His parents had filed a complaint to get the wire of their telephone changed.

He said the boy was wearing a badge with his name “Ankit” inscribed on it. Saurav was watching the TV with his friend, Harry, when he heard a knock at the door. The cheat asked him to open the door saying that his father had taken a loan and he was there to inspect things at his house. Saurabh told the cheat that his parents were not at home, to which the boy replied that Saurav’s father had sent him.

Saurav opened the door and allowed him to enter the house. The cheat started noting down the TV’s brand name and other articles in the house. He said the cheat disconnected the phone line and had also taken out the chip of a mobile phone lying in the house.

During the “inspection”, the teenager asked Saurav to handover keys of a briefcase lying in an almirah to him. The cheat opened the briefcase and took away jewellery from it. Saurav came to know about it later on, said Mr Tarlochan Singh, father of Saurav, who is in charge, Circuit House, Sector 39. From Saurav’s house the cheat went to Harry’s house (5019). His parents were also not at home. The cheat played the same drama and decamped with goods, jewellery lying in the house, Mr Tarlochan Singh said.

Mr Tarlochan Singh said his son made a phone call to him at 12 noon and narrated the entire incident. He filed a joint complaint in this regard at Sector 39 police station. A case under Section 420 of the IPC had been registered against the accused. The SHO of Sector 39 police station, Mr Hardev Singh, said the cheat had not been identified so far. He said Lohri was being celebrated in the vicinity but nobody suspected the little cheat.

The cheat had also collected funds for tsunami victims from the locality by circulating a pamphlet of a school in Sector 10.


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