C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Mayor, DC on warpath
Chatrath writes to Rodrigues for action
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 2
The Deputy Commissioner and the city Mayor are engaged in a war of words to settle their differences over the relief work for victims of fire in the Sector 18 rehri market of Sector 18 on Monday evening. A letter signed by Ms Anu Chatrath, Mayor, and 14 councillors has been forwarded to the UT Administrator, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), alleging that the DC was “discourteous” to her while she was talking to him about relief for the fire victims.

The Mayor has written: “I would like to bring to your notice misbehaviour by Mr Arun Kumar, Deputy Commissioner. I had rung up the DC requesting him to speed up the work of compensation for the victims of the rehri market fire. The DC, instead of listening to the grievance, said he knew his duty well before “banging down” the phone.

Ms Chatrath said: “I tried to reason out with him that being an elected representative and a Mayor, he was being discourteous by not responding decently. He asked me not to interfere. This kind of irresponsible, rude and arrogant behaviour is not expected from a responsible officer holding the post of DC, and that, too, towards the Mayor of the city, who is also the first citizen of the city. I request you to look into the matter and take necessary action”.

The letter has been signed by Ms Pushpa Sharma, Senior Deputy Mayor, Mr Sohan Lal Vaid, Deputy Mayor, Mr H.S. Lucky, Ms Harpreet Kaur Babla, Ms Geeta Chaudhary, Mr Vijay Singh Rana, Mr Jatinder Bhatia, Mr Surinder Singh, Mr Subhash Chawla, Mr Pardeep Chhabra, Ms Lalit Joshi, Ms Kamlesh and Ms Shyama Negi, all councillors.

The Deputy Commissioner could not be contacted despite best efforts. Sources in the DC’s office said the DC had responded immediately to the fire incident and rushed to the spot on Monday night. The next day he was at the spot once again at 8 a.m. He is said to have initiated the relief process immediately.

The Mayor is said to have visited the spot at about 2 pm. She wanted the relief activities to be sped up. “The fire was already extinguished on the previous night. Any relief work next day needed a little time to be worked out for its details so it was not the fault of the DC”.

Sources in the Congress said: “The actual story for the dissent between the DC and the Mayor is not the fire. It is a fight for principles and we have repeatedly pointed out that he is biased against the Congress. The latest example in the series was the removal of Mr Bhupinder Singh badheri as the chairman of the Market Committee through a no-confidence vote”.

It was pointed out that “the concerned SDM who cast the deciding vote had never attended any of the committee meetings earlier. The removal of Mr Badheri, in a wider perspective, is aimed to embarrass Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, local Member of Parliament. Mr Badheri is a known staunch supporter of Mr Bansal”.

The official argued: “when six members of the committee had moved a motion of no confidence against the chairman, there was no democratic logic in the SDM going against the popular vote and supporting the remaining three members to save Mr Badheri”.



Abandoned by mother, separated by fate
Siblings gather bits of tattered lives 
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service


Chandigarh, March 2
Life has dealt them a double whammy. Abandoned by their mother in the dark of the night and then separated from each other by another dreadful blow of fate, Pooja, Bhavna and Himanshu have yet to digest the harsh reality of their lives.

As if the trauma of separation from their mother was less, the kids are also braving the ordeal of “separation from one another.” In times of trial, they could perhaps have managed some emotional shield had their destiny not willed otherwise.

Now while the eldest of them all — the nine-year-old Pooja — is still in a state of shock at Nari Niketan in Sector 26, her three-year-old brother Himanshu and sister Bhavna, all of six, are absolutely confounded at another front — the Missionaries of Charity in Sector 23, their new but temporary home. They are here on police request, and only for 10 days. After that they must wake up to another home and another trial.

The trauma is apparent, as the irony is. Another insight into the lives of children and one is left with many lumps in the throat. Our trail of a sordid tale of abandonment begins from Nari Niketan in Sector 26 where a visibly shattered Pooja is meeting the new challenge of her life without her family of nine years.

“Mother had taken us to a gurdwara that night and had asked us to wait there. She said she was going to get some food. But she never returned. I am worried about my brother and sister. They are too young to live by themselves. I wonder what happened to my mother. She was very loving.” Pooja’s step father, however, used to beat up the children often. “He loved his own child but hated us.”

That’s the best Pooja can tell sans tears in her eyes. And as her patience gives way, the motive behind children’s abandonment becomes clear. Even as Santosh, Pooja’s mother, lives her ill-earned freedom, she would do well to find out what became of the kids she bore. At Nari Niketan, Pooja is trying to bounce back to life, with pain as her sole companion.

She has, however, decided to give fate the slip by making friends who hear her story and share her woes. Helpers at the Home are kind to her, so is the Superintendent who tells that she has been counseled. “She was inconsolable on February 23 night when she came in. But now she is somewhat at peace. We wish her mother takes her back.”

In Sector 23, the nuns are making a similar wish for Himanshu and Bhavna who are too young to even fathom the quantum of their loss. Strangely, they are missing Pooja more than their mother. “Didi ke paas jaana hai,” they repeat ceaselessly. Until they unite, Bhavna is Himanshu’s mother and elder sister too. She follows him around and gestures to make him laugh. The Home caretaker admits, “Bhavna does all for her brother — caresses him, fetches him food. Only after he has eaten does she take her share.”

Call it an urge for survival or anything else, the kids have already taken charge of their tattered lives. They will gather every shred, with or without their mother who is weaving empty dreams elsewhere.



3-day police remand in Kharar murder case
Kulwinder Sangha and Swarleen Kaur

Chandigarh/Mohali, March 2
“The mother-daughter relationship is considered to be the most intimate but our faith in it has been shattered after the murder of Bhupinder Kaur in Kharar”, said a colleague of the deceased at the Punjab School Education Board here today.

Bhupinder Kaur, who worked as a junior assistant in the examination III branch, was allegedly murdered by her young daughter, Inderjit Kaur, with the help of her lover, Deepak, on Monday night.

Residents of Kharar today wrote to the Bar Association requesting the lawyers not to represent the case of the accused in the court. Such was the anger in the minds of these residents that they also appealed to the lawyers that the accused should not be allowed to get out on bail.

The mother was murdered because she had objected to the alleged affair that her daughter was having with the boy who belonged to another community.

Rated as an average student, Inderjit Kaur reportedly was not a good talker and had a few friends. According to her classmates, she was quite irregular in her studies and was an absentee from the classes for the past many days. But she was never seen with her boyfriend or any other boy.

Vice-Principal and head of the political Science department, J.P.S. Nindra, who taught her political science, said: “I could never imagined that she could take such a dastardly step. I am dismayed. Surely there were other ways to handle the problem. It was a cowardly act. I simply cannot figure out what made her take this extreme step”. A senior teacher remarked that he did not notice any abnormality in her behaviour’.

However, recounting an incident, he said: “A few months ago she had asked me to give permission to leave the college premises on the ground that she had a stomach ache. As per the rules, students are not allowed to go outside the college before 12 o’clock in the noon. If a student has any problem, she has to seek permission. I immediately gave her the permission chit. But a few minutes later, I saw her laughing and making merry with her friends. Enraged, I scolded her for lying.”

The Vice-Principal said he talked to other students today who were equally dismayed. “I told them that if this kind of volatile situation arose in their life, they should talk to their closed ones before taking any extreme step.”

The new college Principal, Adarsh Puri, has taken over charge today and she was not aware of the incident. But this news has definitely shaken her.

Ms Paramjit Kaur, superintendent of the branch where Bhupinder Kaur worked, said one had heard of a son killing his mother and father or a son-in-law murdering his in-laws, but a daughter committing such a crime had been unheard of.

Ms Paramjit Kaur further said that Bhupinder Kaur had lost her husband more than 10 years ago and her children were quite small at the time. Since then she had been acting as a single parent, making efforts to give the best to her children. She said that the deceased was planning to marry off her daughter, who was studying in BA III in Chandigarh. Bhupinder Kaur was looking for a suitable match and had told them that she would gift a car to her daughter at the time of her marriage.

The Government College for Girls in Sector 42, too, today remained plunged in discussing student Inderjit Kaur who had murdered her widowed mother. Students felt ashamed as she had brought disrepute to the college and her former co-students. Expressions of students ranged between disgust, disbelief and disdain. What drove her to do the ghastly act remained the hot topic of discussion in the college throughout the day.

As Ms Mani Bedi, staff secretary and English teacher put it: “We have forgotten all important work today. From the morning each one of us is thinking on the issue. Though she was not in my class I simply cannot shut myself off from this shameful incident”.

Ms Daya Rani, a colleague, said Bhupinder Kaur, who had been serving the board for the past about 25 years, was a very sincere worker and used to remain happy all the time. She was very bold and a straight forward person. Had she not been drugged before the crime, she would have fought the two suspects in a daring way.

TNS ADDS: The Kharar couple, who were arrested yesterday for the brutal murder of the girl’s widow mother, were remanded in three-day police custody by a Kharar court here today.

Inderjeet alias Laddi alias Rano and her lover, Deepak, both in their early twenties, would be once again produced before the same court here on March 5 as per the directions of Judicial Magistrate (Class I) Ranjan Khullar.

The prosecution sought five-day police remand for the couple on the grounds of ascertaining the modus operandi, reason and whether anybody else was also involved in the crime. From where the couple got idea to slash both the wrists for doing Bhupinder Kaur to death, the police were also yet to find.

Meanwhile, no local lawyer today appeared in defence of the lovelorn couple, when they were produced before a local court for remand, on the request of the local residents. 



Sacked warder threatens suicide, arrested
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 2
A jail warder, who was dismissed for having alleged liaison with one of the alleged Beant Singh assassins and was discharged by a court of the charges, was today arrested for threatening to kill himself and members of his family if he was not reinstated.

Omvir, who had been pleading with the officers to reinstate him following the court verdict, wrote a letter to the Additional Inspector General (Prison), Mr P. S. Shergill, threatening that if he was not reinstated would commit suicide along eith his family members.

He wrote he and members of his family were living a miserable life after his dismissal in an allegedly arbitrary manner.

Omvir was arrested and a case under Section 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC was registered against him on a complaint filed by the UT, Inspector General of Prison, in the Sector 34 police station. He was today produced in a local court, which released him on bail.

In his letter, Omvir had written that the bodies of his children and his wife be sent to his native village in Saharanpur district of Uttar Pradesh.

Omvir was dismissed after a departmental inquiry in September 2004. He was accused of having links with Balwant Singh, one of the accused in the Beant Singh assassination case.

While Omvir had been acquitted in the case, the department dismissed him for allegedly sending a fax of Balwant Singh, an undertrial, to the UK. He was also accused of disappearing from duty without informing the authorities. 



Pass-seekers get active
Arvind Katyal

Chandigarh, March 2
Pass pass pass! The pass mantra has begun doing rounds in the city and nearby areas though the first Indo-Pak Test is yet to begin at the PCA, Mohali, from March 8. No doubt, the Punjab Cricket Association, organisers of the event, claims to have sold a large number of tickets, but the usual craze of complimentary passes continues to give nightmares to officials concerned.

The officials are, however, saying no to pass-seekers citing court orders.

Chandigarh is the capital of Punjab and Haryana and kin of hundreds of civil servants, police officers, ministers, use their links to get the passes. Apart from them, there are friends and aquaintances of organisers, journalists who all will be interested to fetch at least one complimentary pass that too for the area no less than the VIP block.

A bank official, Mr Anil Jain, said he had asked one of the police officer to arrange two passes for him as his 12-year-old son was a cricket fan. When asked, why he has not shown interest in buying tickets, he said when it was easy to arrange complimentary passes why waste money.

Rajeev Sharma, who owns a printing press says, too has requested an influential friend to either take him along to the stadium or give just one-day pass. He said we would watch match on TV and would only go to the stadium to watch Indian players batting.

Mr Sharma said why sit in the general block when I had been assured of a safe entry into the VIP block.

Gaurav, who is also a keen cricket lover, said whenever a cricket match was held at the PCA stadium, it was normally the police officials who dominated the stadium. Just find any known police person and you are in, he added.

Kanwalpreet Singh of Patiala said he had also alerted one of the cricketers known to him to arrange two passes.

But, he said when he rang his friend up today for a VIP pass his friend said: ‘Yaar’, kar dan ga (friend, I will arrange) but you are the ninth friend asking for an entry into the stadium.

Another cricket lover Arpinder said hosting a cricket match in Mohali was the toughest job and that too when teams were India and Pakistan, the traditional rivals.

He said the job of an organiser became all the more difficult when they were compelled to oblige too many persons.



Hotels offer sops to Pakistani visitors
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 2
Joy rides in vintage cars, Mercedes cars free of cost for offering namaaz, large screens installed in dining halls and special cuisines are on offer by Chandigarh hotels, restaurants and clubs for visitors from Pakistan who are expected to arrive here from March 6 to witness the first Test between India and Pakistan at the Punjab Cricket Association stadium at Mohali from March 8.

A local hotelier, Mr Manmohan Singh Kohli, said two vintage cars of Austin make, owned by him, were being readied for the joy rides for the Pakistani guests to popular places of the city.

The red one, 1935 model, belongs to the Princely state of Solan and the other black one, 1949 model, was once the property of Nawab of Bhopal. Both cars are in excellent condition and equivalent to the latest luxury cars in comforts, he said.

The cars are at present parked in front of Aroma hotel. Besides, the hotel would make available luxurious Mercedes cars to the visitors to offer namaaz in mosques.

Since the match would be a five-day affair, a few hotels of the city, which have installed built-in projection systems. The system, which could be installed on a daily rental basis, remains in great demand for one-day matches. But, in view of the five-day Test only a few hotels and restaurants have ordered for the system.

However, the Mountview hotel has planned to mount two large screens in the hotel’s dining hall and its coffee shop. The hotel management is introducing ‘Happy Hours’ scheme in their bar and bakery and the customers would get liquor and food items on heavy discounted rates during match hours.

They have also prepared a special menu in which dishes are named after popular cricket players and terms like ‘chicken googley’, Kukku da meat, dal Pakistani, master blaster kabab, Bhajji’s favourite saag and sixer peg etc. Mr R. P. Singla, General Manager of the hotel, asserted that rooms were ready for players and guests.

The Mehfil hotel has decided to show the match on large screens for whole five days. They are also changing the interiors of dining hall according to the theme of ‘friendship’ between India and Pakistan. They have planned to put up flags and pictures of prominent cricket players and places of both countries in their hall.

They have tied up with some big companies to sponsor the gifts and discount on liquor and food items.

They are also planning to put up a board in the hotel on which their clients could mark their best wishes to both the teams. These would be delivered to the players later on.

Hot Millions-2 has not decided yet to show the match on its built-in large screen. However, its Manager said they would provide the children with gifts and chocolates during the match. 



Passing Thru

Q: Do women take part actively in sports in Pakistan?

A: Not exactly, I would blame the staunch Islamic fundamentalists for destroying women sports because they are totally against the idea of women in playing field. But now, it is a bit changed scenario. More and more girls are now daring to come out in the playing field little bothering about these obsolete fundas. Only those belonging to the urban areas like Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Multan are coming up to take part in sports. Very few are from rural or what you call semi-urban areas.

Q: How do you see Indian women hockey team with that of Pakistan’s?

A: Indian women’s hockey team is considered to be among the top teams of Asia and is definitely good in comparison to Pakistan hockey team.

Q: How do you compare Chandigarh with Islamabad?

A: From the architectural point of view, both cities are well planned. Unlike Chandigarh, it is more expanded and hilly too. But I would definitely like to call Chandigarh a ‘younger brother’ of Islamabad.

— G.S. Paul



Canada opens two visa centres in region
Naveen S.Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 2
The Canadian Government has adopted the 'highly successful' method of visa dispensation that will eliminate long queues and waiting outside High Commission and Consulates across the country. In fact, the introduction of the 'visa application centres' would eliminate the need to travel to the High Commission or Consulates, except for those who require an interview. The ones to benefit the most from this new service will be the people from the north, Punjabis, who constitute nearly 30 per cent of those applying for the 'temporary resident category'.

Mr. Dominique Collinge, Immigration Program Manager, has been personally overseeing the implementation of this new visa service that will start at nine places in India from March 9. VFS (India) Private Limited will run these centres, two of these being in Punjab. one at Chandigarh and another at Jalandhar. These two centres will cater to the visa requirements of the people from Punjab, four districts of Ambala, Kurukshetra, Panchklula and Yamunanagar in Haryana, besides Himachal Pradesh.

"Officials at the visa centres will review applications and supporting documents to ensure they are complete and then forward them to the Canadian immigration authorities for the visa. In case the applications do not meet requirements for the grant of a visa, the applicant will be advised accordingly", Mr. Sidney Frank, Deputy Program Manager (Immigration), Canadian High Commission, New Delhi, said.

People requiring interviews will be able to schedule their appointments on a given date and time. These visa centres would operate on the pattern of the American and British visa centres. All visa seekers are required to submit their applications to the visa centre. If after receiving the application the immigration officials at the Canadian High Commission or Consulate feel the applicant needs to appear for an interview to clarify their doubts, the applicant will be asked to appear for an interview at the High Commission or Consulate as the case may be.

The Canadian Consulate, Chandigarh, has been issuing visitor visas for the past one year. For this, applicants had to stand in long queues for hours earlier. Visa centres will eliminate that and give the applicants a chance "to have their application forms reviewed. Some applications were unnecessarily rejected. Now the visa centres will be able to tell the applicants if their applicants lack something and give them an opportunity to make amends".

People from Punjab can choose to go to either of the two visa centres at Jalandhar or Chandigarh, depending upon their convenience. The visa centres will deal primarily with temporary visas (visitors, students and workers) and will not issue immigrant visas. 'The initiative is aimed at giving applicants for temporary visas the option of submitting their applications at a centre geographically convenient to them instead of the High Commission in Delhi or Consulate General in Chandigarh", Mr Frank said.

The other Visa Application Centres starting from Wednesday next will be at New Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Kolkata. All centres are open from Monday to Friday from 8 am to 4 pm with a one-hour break from 12 noon to 1 pm. Applications forms can be downloaded from the website www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/New-Delhi/Visas-en.asp



‘Living legend of law’ bids goodbye to courtrooms
Maneesh Chhibber
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 2
In sports, they call it hanging the boots. Over 67 years after he started coming to courts everyday as a lawyer, Senior Advocate Hira Lal Sibal has finally hung his black gown that lawyers.

An institution in himself, Mr Sibal has seen it all. Having started practice as a young lawyer, just out of Dayal Singh College, Lahore, in July, 1937, he was witness to the evolution of an independent India as also the country's legal system.

"When I started practice, we were being governed by the British. There was no Constitution. But, still good Indian lawyers achieved a lot," he recalls.

Mr Sibal was there when the country was partitioned and he shifted to Shimla where the High Court was situated. He was also witness to the trial of Mahatma Gandhi's killer Nathuram Godse at Shimla.

He also participated in the function on March 19, 1955, when the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru inaugurated the Punjab and Haryana High Court complex in Chandigarh.

And, even now, he has only decided not to appear in court. "I feel I may not be able to do justice to my client in the courtroom. But, I will continue chamber practice, including advising litigants about cases," he clarifies.

Mr Sibal celebrated his 90th birthday in September last year. In 1994, he was christened "living legend of law" by the International Bar Association.

Ask him about the pre-partition days and his eyes light up. "I was young, so full of energy. I did not care about the reputation of big lawyers and was ready to take them on in court. But, then, we had so much mutual respect," he states.

It could have been his never-be-intimidated that made leading writers Sadat Hassan Manto and Ismat Chugtai engage him rather than big names to defend them when they were charged with indecent writing. While Manto was discharged, Ismat was fined Rs 90.

Another case that Mr Sibal handled early in his career involved charge of kidnapping against one Malik Gulam Nabi, who later became a minister in the Zulfikar Bhutto government in Pakistan. He got his client discharged.

After shifting to India after Partition, Mr Sibal has handled the briefs a whole range of VVIPs, including present and past Chief Ministers and Union Ministers.

His is also one of the few instances of a lawyer turning down the offer of Judgeship of High Court. He has also remained Advocate-General of Punjab and Haryana twice each.

Ask him about the difference in the present judicial set-up to that in good-old-times and Mr Sibal says that when he was young, there were never allegations of corruption against members of the judiciary. "Now one hears of so many things about judicial officers and judges," he adds.

One of his sons, Mr Kapil Sibal, is presently a minister in the Manmohan Singh government while another Mr Kanwal Sibal, a former Foreign Secretary,is presently Indian Ambassador to Russia.

"I have no more desires. Whatever I wanted to achieve, I did. I tried to do my best every time I entered the court," he says.



Police seeks Rs 4.07 cr for modernisation
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 2
The Chandigarh police has sought Rs 4.07 crore from the Union Home Ministry to modernise the force in the next five years beginning with an instalment of Rs 81.44 lakh in the fiscal 2005 and 2006.

The funds for modernisation have been sought following a change in the policy to also include the Union Territories in the modernisation plan for which earlier only states were entitled.

The sources said the Chandigarh police has identified four major areas - wireless, control room, specialised and better equipped security wing and police stations — where modernisation is required in the next five years.

The Chandigarh police has prepared a perspective plan for the purpose. The perspective plan has been sent to the Central Government through the Home Department of the Chandigarh Administration.

The plan demands Rs 40 lakh in the next five years for providing tables, chairs and desks to investigating officers in the police stations as a large number of them do not have these minimum facilities in the police stations. The Chandigarh police plans to provide individual desks, chairs, tables and cupboards to the investigating officers.

The plan says the security wing of the Chandigarh police does not have adequate escort and pilot vehicles to protect of the VIPs whose visits to the city have significantly increased. According to the police, presently they make do with vehicles of the control room but this re-deployment of vehicles adversely affects the routine policing. The Chandigarh police wants Rs 39.60 lakh for acquiring 10 Gypsies for the security branch in the next five years.

To strengthen the control room apparatus in the city, the police has demanded Rs 1.94 crore in the next five years to replace 40 motor cycles with wireless, searchlights and microphone - fitted Gypsies.

Rs 38.88 lakh have been demanded for the purpose this fiscal. The police argues that the replacement of motor cycles with Gypsies could improve the response time, help save lives, mobilise a larger force and enhance its presence in all weather conditions.

According to the perspective plan, the communication system with the city police has been running on outdated wireless sets. The police has identified around 331 sets which have crossed their life of 10 years. An amount of Rs 1.33 crore is required to improve the communication system of the city.



Rehri market fire victims stage dharna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 2
Occupants of booths in Rehri market of Sector 18 are not satisfied with the relief announced by the Deputy Commissioner for the loss they suffered in the Monday evening fire.

Dissatisfied booth owners staged a ‘dharna’ in protest against the ‘marginal relief for a major loss’. Mr Gurbachan Singh Anand, president of the Gandhi Rehri Market, in a press note, said “the Deputy Commissioner had announced Rs 5000 for those who lost their shops completely and Rs 3000 for those who suffered partial loss. The owners have lost goods worth lakhs and the amount announced as relief was peanuts”.

The market has requested Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, the local Member of Parliament, to announce relief for the fire victims out of MPLAD funds. A request for relief has also been made to the Mayor.

The booth owners affected by the fire have requested the administration to let them have possession of the already constructed ‘pucca’ booths near the site of tragedy. A representation seeking possession of the constructed booths was earlier sent to the administration in January this year.

Meanwhile, an official press note from the office of the Deputy Commissioner said “a survey has been conducted by officials of the Estate Office of all shopkeepers affected by the fire tragedy. Shopkeepers who lost all their belongings have been given a compensation of Rs 5000 each today.”



405 clear physical test of Assam Rifles
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 2
Recruitment standards notwithstanding, the Assam Rifles is looking for candidates with a height of 6 ft or above, Liaison Officer of Assam Rifles, Col V.K. Singh, disclosed this to Chandigarh Tribune here today, on the first day of the recruitment rally of the force at the Sector 26 Police Lines. He said 100 such meritorious candidates could be accommodated in the force.

As many as 405 candidates cleared the physical test on the first day of the recruitment rally of around 10,000 youths who turned up for the test to fill 100 post of riflemen general duty/drivers, said the Liaison Officer.

Col V.K. Singh, who is presiding the recruitment rally, said they had to send back the youths coming from Haryana and Himachal Pradesh as the test was only for the candidates hailing from Punjab and Chandigarh. The candidates not meeting the required height standard of 170 cm were rejected at the initial test.

The rally will continue till March 7. The minimum qualification for the test is Class X and te candidates clearing the physical test have to undergo the medical test after which they have to appear for a written test. Out of the 100 posts, 50 are reserved for general candidates, 15 for Schedule Castes, eight for Schedule Tribes and seven for the other backward classes.

The Assam Rifles is charted to guard the Indo-Myanmar border and the official has come from Nagaland to conduct the rally in the city.



People divided over vendors in residential areas
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 2
A mixed response was witnessed from representatives of welfare bodies and municipal councillors in connection with vendors plying on internal roads of the town at a meeting with the SP here yesterday. Vendors and junk buyers had been prohibited by the police from operating in the residential area since February 13 as the number of theft cases had gone up.

While some of the representatives said there was a major reduction in the number of theft cases and as such migrants should not be allowed to ply rehris in the residential areas, there were others who felt that these vendors should be allowed.

Some of the persons said school buses should not be allowed to move on the C roads in the town as this could lead to accidents. It had also been pointed out at the meeting that certain auto-rickshaw drivers were plying their vehicles without proper documents.

The SP, Mr Rakesh Agrawal, said many residents wanted that dhobis and milk vendors should be allowed to operate. This would be permitted only after verification and a written request from at least 10 persons of the locality.



Man held for forging signatures
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 2
A man allegedly got a cheque book of somebody else issued forging his signatures and attempted to withdraw Rs 5 lakh but was caught red-handed in Sector 17 today.

According to the police, Mr Siddaiah, Assistant Manager of Canara Bank, Sector 17-C, filed a complaint that Suresh Pal, a resident of Phase I, Ram Darbar, got issued a cheque book of an account holder of the bank, Mr Gurinder Singh, by forging his signatures.

He was working in a private insurance company of which Gurinder was a customer. Some time ago Gurinder came to the company in connection with a payment for which he gave a cheque to the company.

He asked the agent of the company to return his cheque as he wanted to make payment in cash. It was the time when, Suresh Pal came to know about the account and the signatures of Gurinder Singh.

The SHO of the Sector 17 police station said, today the suspect came to the bank posing himself as Gurinder and asked the officials to issue a new cheque book. He later, came back with a cheque for Rs 5 lakh. Bank officials got suspicious of him and contacted Gurinder Singh, who came to the bank and the accused was arrested.

A case under Sections 419, 420, 467, 468, 471 and 511 of the IPC has been registered.



Goods worth Rs 30,000 stolen
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 2
Goods more than Rs 30,000 were stolen from a house in Phase IX here on Monday. The theft was committed by a servant when the house owner, along with members of his family, had gone out. It is learnt that Mr Jaswinder Singh had left in the evening and when he came back at night he saw the doors of the house wide open. He called for his servant who was not present in the house.

According to the police, the thief decamped with a VCD, mobile phone, cash and some other items. A case has been registered under Section 381 and 34 of the IPC.



Human skull found
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 2
The Mohali police today recovered a half-burnt human skull from the nullah near the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) in Sector 67 here.

According to the police the skull was accidentally discovered by Jaswinder Singh, a resident of Jatwasi village in Sector 66. He was grazing cattle there when he saw the skull lying on the ground.

The police was informed. The skull according to the police had intact set of teeth but was in semi-burnt condition. A set of clothes full of blood and some papers were also found nearby. The police believed that the skull was not very old and seemed to have been thrown in the open.

The police suspected that the skull could have been used for black magic by someone. However, the other parts of the body of the skull could not be found from the spot despite a day long search in the area.

The police also said that no one had reported a missing person in the area. The police has informed all nearby police stations about the recovery of the skull.

The skull has been sent to the Civil Hospital here from where it would be sent for a forensic examination tomorrow. The police said the blood on the clothes found nearby and the skull would be matched for identification.

Inquest proceeding under Section 174 of the IPC have been started in the case.



3 arrested in theft cases
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 2
The police has arrested three suspects in separate cases of theft while a car has been stolen from the city, said the police here today. Varinder Verma of Swahan village in Bilaspur district of Himachal Pradesh was caught red-handed while stealing two brass utensils and a cordless phone from Gurdwara in Sector 30, yesterday. Mr Hari Singh of Sector 29 filed a complaint to the police in this regard.

The police recovered the stolen property from the accused. A case under Sections 379 and 411 of the IPC has been registered.

In another incident, Sub-Divisional Engineer of the Chandigarh Housing Board reported to the police that Jeet Singh of Sector 56 had stolen iron angles and 25 kg of fencing wire from the Division Number 1 yesterday. The accused was arrested from Palsora village and the stolen property recovered.

A case under Sections 379 and 411 of the IPC has been registered.

Parmod Singh of Kajheri village was arrested on a complaint of Sagar Chand of Mazdoor Colony that the accused had stolen a TV set from his residence on February 28. A case under Section 380 of the IPC has been registered.

Purse snatched

Mr Lal Bhadur of Mazdoor Colony in Kajheri village reported to the police that Bittu had snatched his purse containing Rs 2,500 and some documents from near Balmiki temple, Sector 52, on February 27. A case under Sections 356 and 379 of the IPC has been registered.


Mr Raj Kumar of Nehru Colony reported to the police that Betu had stolen a CD player, a folding bed and a bicycle from his residence on February 25. A case under Section 380 of the IPC has been registered.

In another incident, Surjit Singh of Maloya village reported to the police that a pump set was stolen from his fields during the night of February 22. A case under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered.

Car stolen

Mr Ranbir Singh of Sector 38-West complained to the police that that his Maruti car (CH-01-D-8016) was stolen from Market Complex in Sector 34, yesterday. A case of theft under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered in the Sector 34 police station.

Dowry case

Ms Sakuntala Devi of Mori Gate in Mani Majra filed a complaint to the police alleging that her husband Sarwan Kumar, his father Bhagwan Dass, his brother, Sidhir Kumar and his mother, Dhanwanti, all residents of Dhillon Farm, Dhakoli village, Patiala district, were harassing and maltreating her for dowry. A case under Sections 406 and 498-A of the IPC has been registered and Sarwan Kumar and his mother arrested.

Hit-and-run case

Ms Neelam Rani of Sector 23 reported to the police that a Hyundai Accent car (CH-03-C-0774) sped away after hitting the motor cycle of her husband, Mr Ashok Kumar injuring her husband. He had been admitted to the General Hospital, Sector 16. A case of negligent driving under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC has been registered.

In a separate accident, Mr Amar Singh Rana of Palsora village filed a complaint against the driver of a tractor-trailer (PB-65-C-6413), who sped away after hitting the auto-rickshaw of Subash Chand of Sector 41, near the Vishkarma Mandir, in Palsora village, on February 28.

The victim suffered serious injuries and was admitted to the PGI. A case under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC has been registered.



Granthi, cashier arrested
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 2
A granthi and a cashier of a gurdwara were arrested by the police on a charge of cheating. It is learnt that the granthi, Baldev Singh, and the cashier, Jarnail Singh, of Bibi Bhani Gurdwara in Phase VII, had allegedly collected money from people on the basis of receipt books that they had got printed at their own level.

According to the police the managing committee of the gurdwara had been dissolved and Mr Harmohinder Singh Dhillon had been made the convener. The entire record of the gurdwara had been handed over to Mr Dhillon. The granthi and the cashier did not want to ask for receipt books from the convener and got some new ones printed.

The police said that the SP and the DSP had inquired into the allegations and a case under Section 420 had been registered after taking the opinion of the DA (legal). 



Sector 21 house burgled

Panchkula, March 2
Burglars struck at a house in Sector 21 here yesterday and took away goods, including cash and jewellery, worth lakhs of rupees. The burglars broke into the house in the absence of the owners.

The house owner, Mr Nakshatra Singh, along with his family had been to Patiala for some work when the theft was committed.

The burglary came to light when Mr Kuldeep Singh, son of Mr Nakshtra Singh, returned this afternoon and found the entire house ransacked. He said the burglars entered the house by breaking open the grill of a window, towards the backyard of the house.

The house-owner complained to the police that the burglars took away a sum of Rs 35,000 after breaking open a briefcase. Besides, they took away some jewellery.




PROPERTIES SEIZED: LIC Housing Finance Ltd on Wednesday took possession of two properties in Pinjore for default of payments. According to an official release, Mr A.K. Dutt, Manager (Operations), led the team and took possession of the property of Mr Kanwar Pal Singh Chauhan situated at 249, Chouhna Chowk, Pinjore. Mr Chauhan has defaulted to the tune of Rs 1,40,330. The second property belonged to Mr Sant Ram, an HMT employee, situated at Ganeshpur village in Pinjore. — TNS

ANNIVERSARY BONUS: Celebrating the first anniversary of its RIM Prepaid launch, Reliance Infocomm has announced a ‘double talk time’ bonus offer to its subscribers. Talking about the offer, Mr S.P. Shukla, president — Wireless Products and Services, Reliance Infocomm said. “With this bonus, subscribers recharging their accounts from 0000 hrs of March 4, to March 31 will get 100 per cent extra talk time to make calls to Reliance IndiaMobiles (RIM).” The double talk time offer is available on recharge of all denominations, except the top-up voucher and valid for any number of recharges the subscriber does during the offer period. The additional talk time — available for 31 days from the date of recharge — can be used for making calls to RIM phones in the circle. Subscribers of Rs 220 and Rs 440 vouchers, who already enjoy the facility of unlimited calling to RIM phones within their circles, can utilise the anniversary bonus talk time for making calls to any RIM across the country. — TNS

LAUNCHED: Ayur Herbals has launched Aloe Vera Magique, a brand new range for hair, hand, feet and skin care, with the richness of Aloe Vera. Ayur’s Aloe Vera Magique Range includes products for body care, hand care, foot care and hair care. The range has a collection of gels, astringents, shampoos, conditioners, scrubs, creams, lotions and body wash. — OC

FURNITURE RANGE LAUNCHED: THS, a home accessories product store, has unveiled an innovative range of collapsible furniture. The range showcases slider bed grill and slider bed star made of solid rubber wood with balancer using pre-laminated boards. — OC


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