C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


12 labourers fall sick after consuming ‘poisoned food’
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 29
As many as 12 persons were removed to various hospitals after they had dinner at Kedarpur village in Pinjore around midnight. The police says that their food had been poisoned mysteriously .

It is learnt that the victims, Ganesh, Hira Lal, Jaddi Lal, Arjun Kumar, Anandi, Amandeep, Dhani Lal, Parveen, Parmod, Mangeet, Seetali and Mange reported sick after they had their dinner. The dinner, comprising of dal and rice, had been prepared by one of the victims, Mange.

The police says that after they had their dinner, they started vomiting and feeling dizzy. The victims are Bihari labourers, who were working at a quarry in the Ghaggar. They stay at a labour colony near the village on the river bank. As other villagers realised that they were unwell, they took the victims to nearby hospitals.

While some of them were discharged after treatment at a private hospital in Pinjore, four of them - Hira Lal, Jaddi Lal, Arjun and Anandi, were serious and were rushed to the PGI, Chandigarh. Another two victims, Mange and Ganesh, were admitted to the General Hospital, Panchkula. The duo were released from the hospital this afternoon.

Talking to TNS, Mange said that he was cooking the dal at night time, and left it on fire while he went away for some work. He says that something could have fallen in the dal.

The Pinjore police says that it is investigating into the case. It said that all victims were now out of danger. 



Ministry official held for bribery
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 29
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested an officer of the Ministry of Labour, posted at Kendriya Sadan, Sector 9, while he was accepting a bribe of Rs 60,000 in a hotel in Sector 22 last night. He was appointed Protector of Emigrants just four months ago.

Sources said J.K. Sahu was caught red-handed while accepting bribe. A complaint against him had been made by a Delhi-based emigration agent, Mr Wasim Ahmed. Mr Ahmed had alleged that he had demanded the money for showing official favour in granting emigration clearance to four emigrants. Sahu had demanded Rs 25,000 per person, but later after negotiations he settled for Rs 15,000 per person.

The accused came to the hotel with stamps and was caught by the CBI sleuths.

The court remanded him in one-day custody. The sources said the CBI would conduct searches at his residence and official premises in Chandigarh and Delhi. 



City industrial units sans amenities, safety measures
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
Very few industrial units in Chandigarh have all basic amenities, says a report following an inspection drive launched by the Labour Department to inspect the hazardous industrial units in the city in order to ascertain the availability of basic amenities as well as to ensure the basic safety requirements.

Main deficiencies were found in Bhushan Industries, located in Industrial Area Phase-I (plot No.3 and plot No.71), where the driving V-belts and pulleys of electric motors and two drawing mills were not found securely fenced. Drinking water has not been provided near the hot rolling machine and no safety committee has been constituted as required under Section 2(cb) of the Factories Act, 1948.

Besides, a deep pit in front of the 15 tonne arc furnace for removing sludge in the melting shop has been created, which is dangerous due to its depth as it has not been fenced substantially. The argon cylinders used in the ladle refining furnace are not provided with valve cops as mandatory under the
Factories Act.

The hot rolled rounds steel are kept in the shed without being barricaded, Deputy Commissioner Arun Kumar said, adding that the defaulting units had been advised to rectify the deficiencies. He warned that if no progress is noticed on subsequent inspection, serious action would be taken against the defaulting units.

In the first phase, around 30 units have been checked by officials of the Labour Department. Out of these 30 units, five units were found having all amenities and also safety precautions to face any eventuality.

Some of the defaulting units were not having first-aid box under the charge of a trained person or the first-aid box did not carry the requisite medicines. Similarly, white-washing register was not being maintained. The condition of bathroom was in a bad shape.



Rift in city Cong over Badheri’s issue
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
Fissures in the local Congress came to the forefront today with Mr B.B. Bahl, president of the local unit, constituting a special committee to inquire into the UT Administration’s allegations of misuse of official vehicle against Mr Bhupinder Singh Badheri, president of the District Congress Committee (rural). Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, local Member of Parliament, has termed the charges “as ridiculous.”

The inquiry is being seen as a fallout of the ongoing tussle between the Bahl and the Bansal camps in the local unit of the Congress. Mr Bahl has appointed the committee comprising Mr Sunil Parti, Mr Surinder Bhatia and Mr Chandermukhi. Mr Parti is the chairman of the committee. Interestingly, all three members are known to be Behl loyalists. Mr Badheri, a heavyweight in the local Congress, is close to Mr Bansal. He was earlier in the camp of Mr Venod Sharma, another senior Congress leader.

The Deputy Commissioner, in a letter on January 27, called for an explanation from Mr Badheri for alleged misuse of the official vehicle allotted to him. In a separate letter, he levelled allegations of financial irregularities in collection of fee from arhitiyas (commission agents) in Sector 26 and sought a reply.

Mr Badheri, who is away campaigning for Mr Chander Mohan in neighbouring Panchkula, pleads innocence.

Mr Bansal said,” The inquiry ordered by Mr Bahl was not supported by any material to substantiate the case. The Congress committee will have to access the officials records, which was not possible. So the entire exercise looks futile and in fact ridiculous.”

Mr Bahl, on the other hand, said they had sufficient evidence to pursue the inquiry. “Don’t you think the newspaper clippings are good enough material to pursue the case?” he added.



Court acquits 9 PGI employees of forgery charge
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
Mr R.S. Baswana, Additional Sessions Judge here today acquitted nine employees of the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) in a case of forgery.

Arun Kumar and eight others were acquitted by the Judge as enough evidence was not found against them.

They were accused of preparing forged OPD cards to issue X-ray films and allegedly causing a loss of over Rs 27,000 to the PGIMER.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had booked the nine employees of the PGIMER under various Sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).



General to lay stress on operational training
Poonam Batth
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
The Army Chief-designate and General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Command, Lt-Gen J.J Singh, today said he wanted a better public image of the Army and impressed on the need for imparting proper training to the manpower. The new Army Chief who takes charge on February 1 said “I am happy that I would be heading a humane force which is physically fit, professionally competent and highly motivated.'' He today left Western Command for Delhi to take over his new assignment.

No moment is easy when you are given the responsibility of heading the second largest Army in the world, he said, while adding that he hoped that he was able to come up to the expectations of one and all. ``

"Being one of the most experienced armies, our response to an outside attack would be adequate, measured and calibrated and in line with the stature of the Army and the size of the nation. “The point he was making was -- “We cannot be messed around with.”

The first four-star general from the Maratha Light Infantry said emphasis would be laid on the operational training and readiness of the man behind the machine so that he was motivated and equipped to take on any of the challenging tasks ahead of him. “Special programmes would be designed to work on his general conduct and overall bearing,'' he added. This will help in physically and mentally recharging all those who come back to peace stations after doing tough stint in Jammu and Kashmir and the North-East.

Greater synergy between the officers and the jawans is also high on the agenda of the General as it will again be a morale booster for the soldiers and will reflect in their performance levels, particularly in counter-insurgency operations as they are manpower intensive.. The other focus area would be sports, which again plays an important role in the development of character, spirit d' core and the morale of the troops, he said.

The ex-servicemen are also on his mind as always, for he has a host of plans in the offing for these men, whom he calls “veterans” . He also has the rehabilitation of war widows and their children uppermost on his mind.

Modernisation is the buzzword for an Army which is highly professional and ever evolving. “The way our troops have been performing in the high-altitude areas of Kargil by using the latest warfare technology only goes to show that victory is at our feet.” The newly launched Brahmo missiles are even better than Tomahawk missiles of the US in terms of speed.

The General made a good start to his last day here by paying homage to the warriors at the Command War memorial, Veer Smriti. “That was perhaps the most satisfying moment when I saluted all those who gave their yesterdays for our today,” he said. He was also presented an impressive Guard of Honour by his own Regiment men of 2 Maratha Light Infantry Regiment. He also addressed a special Sainik gathering of 4,500 persons at the Rana Stadium and felicitated them for upholding high tradition of devotion to duty, sacrifice, valour and professional competence.

Later in the evening, during the At Home organised at the Shivalik Officers Institute, he was besieged by serving and retired officers, who were not missing an opportunity to congratulate him on his elevation as the Chief and make a mention of the times they had been together. He was accompanied by his wife, Ms Anupama Singh, who complemented the tough General and they together accepted the greetings of everyone present there. The grand finale of the day was, however, the warm ceremonial send-off, which they were given by officers and jawans of all ranks. While senior officers pulled the flower bedecked open jeep from the Command House, soldiers lined up along the way renting the air with slogans “Commander Sahib Zindabad,'' and “Army Chief, Zindabad”.



Passing Thru

Rashid Malik
Rashid Malik-Davis Cup captain-Pakistan

You have been a renowned tennis player of Pakistan. How popular is tennis in Pakistan?

After cricket, hockey and billiards, I think tennis is the fourth most popular sport. We have beaten countries like New Zealand in Davis Cup matches and players like Akil Khan among others, are creating wonders at the international level. We normally play on grass courts.

How about women tennis players in Pakistan?

Though we do not have many women tennis players who could rank top at the world level, but definitely we have lot of promising tennis girls who are shaping up well. Earlier Pakistan had a renowned tennis player Nida Wasim, who won ITF tournaments and is now settled in Boston (USA) on scholarship.

What is the role of Punjab Tennis Academy based at Lahore?

I own this academy which has sponsors like Slazenger for whom I am also the official tennis coach. This academy started only eight months back and at present we have 30 players including eight women in the academy.

How do you foresee the idea of holding the friendship tennis matches?

I think it should have been held quite early. Chandigarh is a nice place with a much better tennis playing environment and, of course, players also.

— Arvind Katyal



Admn to capitalise on IT potential of city

Chandigarh, January 29
Chandigarh Administration has now plans to use the potential of Chandigarh as an emerging Information Technology destination for accelerated economic growth by creating a competitive knowledge base for sustaining the growth of Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES) and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry.

A spokesperson of the Administration said today the objective is to make Chandigarh a technology hub and a major centre for IT enabled services, by attracting a substantially large share of the ITES and BPO industry in India and to enrich the skill sets of the youth to provide them with high level employment and to enable high quality delivery of IT enabled services.

The Department of IT, Chandigarh Administration, has initially started Chandigarh Training on Soft Skills (C-TOSS) programme in colleges and some of the schools of the city on optional basis. The C-TOSS Programme is meant to upgrade the skill set in Chandigarh with the skills required for ITES professionals. The training modules cover communication skills, interpersonal skills and other ITES industry specific skills. There are training programmes with different durations and selection for a particular training course depending on the current skill level of the students. The training is carried out by training agencies at the respective college premises. The courses have been designed keeping in view the inputs received from companies like Converges, Wipro Spectramind, and Dell, and training agencies.



Book former Mayor Kamlesh, says BJP

Chandigarh, January 29
Seeking the registration of a criminal case against former Mayor Ms Kamlesh, and her family members for their role in the functioning of the Mohalla Sudhar Committee, Ram Darbar, the BJP today demanded a CBI probe into the issue.

Addressing a press conference here, BJP president, Yash Pal Mahajan, and former MP, Satya Pal Jain, urged the Chandigarh Administration to make the report about the alleged irregularities in the committee public.

The BJP leaders also demanded that a criminal case should be registered against the Chairman of the Market Committee, Mr Bhupinder Singh Badheri, for collecting market fee without receipts and misuse of official vehicle for election campaign in Haryana.

Asking local MP, Pawan Bansal, to clear his stand on allegations against two senior leaders, Mr Jain alleged that the Congress had been trying to hush up acts of omission and commission of its leaders.

Mr Mahajan alleged that the demolition and anti-encroachment drives were being carried out in by the administration in connivance with certain Congress leaders.



Run for tsunami held
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 29
To raise funds for tsunami victims ‘Come run for tsunami TSUmone’ was organised by Rotract Club Chandigarh, the Youth Wing of Rotary International. Nearly 1200 people including students of schools and colleges participated in this event.

The run started from Punjab Engineering College ( PEC) and passed through sector 10 and 11 and concluded at PEC. This event was flagged off by Pawan Kumar Bansal, member of Parliament, Chandigarh. Rupees 1, 40,000 lakh were collected from this event. 



Access file status in Estate Office at information kiosk
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
The Estate Office has set up an information kiosk which will facilitate access to information on the status of files in the Estate Office through an Integrated File Tracking System (IFTS), doing away with the need to run after babus.

The kiosk is an extended part of the single-window service being run by the Estate Office and is intended to make it more accountable, transparent and efficient. The kiosk has been set up at the Help Desk on the ground floor and is accessible during public hours by the general public. The Estate Officer, Mr Arun Kumar, said separate entry had been created for the Help Desk, adjoining the extension counter of the Bank of Punjab meant for collecting payments on behalf of the Estate Office.



Lions Club’s regional conference today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
The annual region conference, Rainbow, of Lions Clubs of Region XI District 321-F will be held at Hotel Sunbeam, Sector 22, on January 30. As many as 250 Lion members and 18 past district governors from all over Punjab will attend the conference.

About 15 clubs from the district will be given awards for service projects during the year.

According to a press note Mr Jaswant Rai Garg, District Governor, will be the chief guest and Mr K.S Sohal, Vice-District Governor, will be the guest of honour on the occasion. 



Sood Sabha function
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
The Sood Sabha Chandigarh will hold its 43rd All-India Annual Sood Mela at Sood Bhawan in Sector 44-A here on February 13.
According to Raj Kumar Maria, public relations secretary of the Sabha, the main features of the mela will be competition for Sood Prince, Princess, tambola, fancy dress and best couple of the year award, on the spot painting competition, besides a cultural programme. A special matrimonial counter will be put up for the convenience of Sood families.

Mr Tikshan Sood, MLA, and former minister of excise and taxation, will be chief guest. Dr Piare Lal Sood of Shimla will be the Guest of Honour. Mr Kulbhushan Bowri of Bangalore will be honoured with Sood Rattan award for the year 2004.



Decomposed body of Mubarikpur dera head found
Bipin Bhardwaj

Dera Bassi, January 29
A decomposed body of sadhu Sher Nath (80), who was missing since November 15 from his dera located in the Stone Crushers Zone in Mubarikpur, was found dumped in a ditch in fields in the village, 3 km from here, this evening.

Crime came to light after his disciples Samat Nath, Uttamvir and Krishi Pal found dogs digging soil from a field.

The trio got suspicious when they noticed some clothes, resembling with Sher Nath’s clothes.

The upper half portion of the skeleton was eaten up when we noticed a group of dogs digging and eating the body remains of the sadhu,” claimed Samat Nath, a disciple.

Mahant Budh Nath, from Sector 19, Chandigarh, said that earlier they thought that the sadhu had been to some other dera or on a pilgrimage. The disciples got suspicious when three eunuchs, who were staying with the sadhu in the same dera, went missing after his disappearance.

Mahant Budh Nath lodged a complaint with Mubarikpur police post alleging that the eunuchs — Raju (19), Bhashi (35) and Jeewan (45) — might have played foul in the case.

After the disappearance of Sher Nath, his disciple Samat Nath was given the responsibility to look after the dera including 5 acres of land. The land also belongs to the dera.

Mahant Budh Nath said they opened the room of the deceased and found a sum of Rs 40,000 in cash, some gold jewellery and some precious stones missing.

Samat Nath alleged that Sher Nath was murdered by three eunuchs as they had some financial disputes.

The eunuchs had taken the agriculture land on contract farming from the sadhu on Rs 40,000. They paid Rs 5,000 to him in advance but before making full payment they disappeared from the area, claimed Samat Nath.

Some followers of the sadhu, also visited houses of some other eunuchs in the village but found their houses locked.

Mr Chaand Rana, sarpanch of the village, suspects that the eunuchs might have killed the sadhu for the dera land.

Mr Manmohan Kumar Sharma, DSP, Dera Bassi, said that the sadhu was buried after murder. Skeleton of the religious person would be exhumed tomorrow.

Sadhus of nearby deras have been assembled at the dera and the site where the body remains were found have been covered with shrubs.



2 wanted in Arms Act surrender
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 29
Two persons, who were wanted by the police in an Arms Act case, surrendered before the police here today. The case was registered against them on January 20 after the police arrested family members of the boy with arms and a vehicle with weapons belonging to the girl’s family members. Both families were against their marriage.

The SHO of the Sector 3 police station, Mr Biswa Lal, said Takhat Singh, uncle of the girl, Shabnamjit Kaur of Hadla village in Mansa district and his servant, Kuldeep Singh, of Jhanda Kalan village, surrendered before the police today. They were produced in a local court today which remanded them to judicial custody till February 8.

On January 24, the police had arrested a neighbour of girl’s family, Gurbachan Singh, of Hodla village.

It may be recalled that the Punjab and Haryana High Court had summoned the parents of the girl on January 20. The family members of the girl and the boy, who wanted to foil the marriage came to High Court that day with some weapons.

A police official on duty at the High Court noticed some people moving under suspicious circumstances. The police, during a search of the vehicle, recovered three swords, three axes and two iron rods and arrested 11 persons of the boy’s family.

The police also impounded another vehicle (PB-01-4320), belonging to the girl’s family members, but they all evaded arrest. 



Newborn baby found abandoned
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 29
A newborn male baby was found from near Government Tubewell in Rajiv Vihar, Mani Majra, last night. The baby was wrapped in a polythene bag.
The police said a passerby noticed the polythene bag lying in an open ground. He immediately informed the police about it. The baby was rushed to the General Hospital, Sector 16, where the doctors examined it and said the condition of the baby was stable.

The SHO of the Mani Majra police station, Mr Dhan Raj Sharma, said the hospital staff told the police that the baby was born in the hospital and was one-day old. When the police verified the entry of address mentioned in the register, it was found to be a fake one.

A case under Section 317 (concealment of birth) of the IPC has been registered in the Mani Majra police station. A woman police official was deputed to take care of the baby.

Scooter, car stolen: The police arrested a man on charges of scooter theft today from Sector 49 and recovered an Indica car from another person. According to the police, Basant, alias Kaku, a resident of Jaiton Mandi in Faridkot district, had stolen a scooter (CH-01-W-3533) from Sector 27 last night. He was caught from a picket point near a temple in Sector 49. Verification of documents by the police revealed that the scooter belonged to Narinder Kumar of Sector 28-B.

He was booked under Sections 379 and 411 of the IPC in the Sector 34 police station and later produced in court, which remanded him to 14 days’ judicial custody.

In another incident, the police took Anoop Pal of Kolkata in police custody after getting production warrant from court. He was arrested by the Punjab Police in Rajpura last week.

The police recovered an Indica car (HR-29-J-7902) from his possession. His modus operandi was to hire a car from a distant place, and after winning the trust of the victim driver, he asked him to let him drive the car. Later, he used to flee with the car. The Punjab Police has recovered 12 cars from him.

Vehicles stolen:  Mr Harjit Singh of Sector 4 Panchkula, reported to the police that his bullet motor cycle (HR-03-E-5277) was stolen from Sector 26 yesterday. A case of theft has been registered in the Sector 26 police station.

In another incident, Mr Ramesh Kumar of Sector 14 filed that his scooter (CH-01-Y-1139) was stolen from near Administrative Block, Panjab University, yesterday. A case has been registered in the Sector 11 police station.

Booked: The police has booked Dhanwant of Phase II, Ram Darbar, for putting up a banner of a computer centre, in the locality. A case under Section 3 of the Public Property Defacement Act, 1976, West Bengal, has been registered against him in the Sector 31 police station.

Liquor seized: The police has arrested Ramesh Kumar of Sector 56 from near Pingalwara in Palsora village with eight bottles of Rocket whisky. A case under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act has been registered against him in the Sector 39 police station.

Gambling: The police has arrested three persons for gambling at a public place in Mani Majra. Balwinder Singh and Davinder Singh - both residents of Mani Majra - were arrested from near Dispensary Ground in the same locality yesterday. The police recovered Rs 215 from their possession.

In a separate incident, Sanjay of Thakur Dwara in Mani Majra was arrested from near Primary School in the same locality for gambling. The police recovered Rs 145 from his possession.

Two separate cases were registered against them under Sections 13-A, 3 and 67 of the Gambling Act in the Mani Majra police station.

One held: The local police arrested Rajesh Roy (24), a resident of Badal Colony in Zirakpur and recovered goods worth Rs 60,000 from him.

He was said to be involved in three burglaries committed in the city in October and two in December. Gold ornaments, VCD players and other household appliances valuing Rs 60,000 were recovered from him. 



One killed in mishap
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
Sukhbir Singh, a resident of Mundi Kharar died at the PGI on Saturday morning following an accident last night on the Kharar-Mohali road. Sukhbir and his friend Amandeep were riding a motor cycle that was hit by a car coming from the opposite direction.

In another incident, three women were injured when the car they travelling in met with an accident at Kharar today. Car driver, Gurdeep Kaur, her sister Sukhwinder Kaur and mother Ranjit Kaur were injured seriously. Gurdeep Kaur was rushed to the PGI, the other two victims are at Civil Hospital, Kharar.

Occupant of the other car was also injured but the police has no information about their whereabouts. Both cars were impounded.



Bank branch inaugurated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
HDFC Bank inaugurated its 12th branch in Chandigarh region in Sector 37 here today. With this HDFC Bank now has total of 155 branches in north India and 436 branches across India.


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