C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


SHO writes to CM, DGP against SP, ASI
Says ASI demanded 50,000 for SP
Bipin Bhardwaj

Panchkula, April 9
Alleging victimisation by police officer, Mr Satish Mohan Sharma, SHO of Raipur Rani, who was sent to the police lines by the SSP yesterday, today sought voluntary retirement.

Mr Sharma has written to the Chief Minister, the DGP, Haryana, IG (Ambala Zone), besides Union Home Minister, and sought retirement in protest against the false allegations levelled against him by Dr R.C. Mishra, SP, Panchkula, in connivance with Mr Ashwani Kumar, an ASI with the Panchkula police.

In the complaint, Mr Sharma alleged that Ashwani Kumar demanded Rs 50,000 per month from the “collection” from his jurisdiction. On refusal, the ASI threatened him with dire consequences saying that Dr Mishra, was to share the money, the complaint alleged.

The SHO alleged that the ASI, along with two constables — Jaswinder Singh and Pratap Singh — visited Mauli police post (under Raipur Rani police station) in his absence on April 2, and asked ASI Mohinder Lal, the officiating SHO, to put a naka to collect money from truck drivers. While refusing from collecting money, Mohinder Lal called him, Mr Sharma added.

“As I reached the post, the cops left the Mauli police post after threatening me. I narrated the incident to the DSP who subsequently asked me to register a Roznamcha in this pretext. I also sent the copy to the DSP who then forwarded the case to the SP,” the complaint added.

While talking to the Tribune, Mr Sharma alleged that the SP also ordered me to release five women and two men whom he had arrested for their involvement in the flesh trade from the Raipur Rani area. Moreover, the SP also released a main accused, who was arrested in a case of ‘betting on cricket match’, alleged Mr Sharma.

On April 8, when I failed to meet the SP who was in Raipur Rani because of being on election duty in Sarakpur village, about 17 km from Raipur Rani, Dr Mishra sent me to the Police Lines.

Meanwhile, Dr Mishra denied the allegations saying that the SHO had been levelling false allegations against him.



Sunday Special
Your own stem cells may reverse diabetes
Neelam Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 9
A complete cure for diabetes may lie in injecting the adult stem cells in the human beings. If the first of its kind of laboratory experiments on diabetic mice at the National Centre for Cell Sciences, (NCCS) Pune, are anything to go by the scientists have every reason to believe that the cure for the disease, may lie in adult stem cells. The disease could be controlled but not treated till now. The adult stem cells are rare in the human body and have the ability to duplicate themselves for long periods of times. They can also replace the cells that die because of injury or disease.

Elaborating on the first of its kind successful experiment at the NCCS, Dr R. R. Bhonde, on a visit to the GMCH Sector 32, today said that the lab results had shown that the diabetes was completely reversed in the diabetic mice after they were injected the adult stem cells from their own bone marrow into the pancreatic artery. The reduction of the beta cells in the pancreas was responsible for development of diabetes in human beings.

“This research is certainly the first in the country and the results are encouraging since we have found the use of the adult stem cells as a possible cure for diabetes. Since the tests are encouraging in the mice, same can also be true for the human patients and there should not be any problem in starting the human trials for testing the same as there are no ethical issues involved,’” said Dr Bhonde.

While procuring the stem cells from the bone marrow of the patient can be managed in most cases, (though it can be a painful process for the patient) but the challenge could lie in injecting the cells in the pancreatic artery of the patient for reversal of diabetes, said Dr Bhonde.

While the use of stems cells and its implications was engrossing the medical fraternity in the recent times, Dr Bhonde said that it may take one more decade to actually bring about the desired results.



Navratra fair begins
Lakhs pay obeisance at Mansa Devi temple
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 9
Haryana Chief Minister, Bhupinder Singh Hooda today said that the government led by Mr Om Prakash Chautala had made the system of Panchayati Raj Institutions and Local Bodies ineffective by centralisation of power.

Mr Hooda was on his maiden visit to Panchkula after taking over as the Chief Minister of Haryana. He had come here to pay obeisance at the Mansa Devi temple, on the first day of Navratras today. He said that his Government was committed to the overall development of the State and no area would be discriminated against.

Asked about projects regarding the development of the Mansa Devi shrine, Mr. Hooda said that a meeting of the Sri Mata Mansa Devi Shrine Board would be convened shortly to discus various issues concerning the development of the shrine. Regarding the restoration of murals on the walls and ceiling of the sanctum sanctorum of the temple, he said that the Government was in touch with the department of Archaeology.

He added that a magnificent gate would be constructed on the Chandigarh-Panchkula road to make the entrance to the Shrine complex more attractive. The facilities for the pilgrims would be further strengthened at the Shrine complex as a large number of devotees visit this Shrine from different parts of the country.

Mr Hooda, who was among the first few to pay obeisance at the Shrine on the occasion of first Navratra today, was accompanied by Health Minister, Mrs Kartar Devi. They also performed ‘Yajna’ at the complex.

Meanwhile, thousands devotees queued up since early morning to pay obeisance at the Shrine as the Navratra fair began today. Many could be seen walking their way by doing dandwat pranam.



Mansa Devi museum may not materialise
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 9
A plan to add to the glory of Mansa Devi temple by setting up a cultural centre in the form of a theme museum may not see the light of day.

The INLD government had embarked upon this plan to set up a theme museum on the Mother Goddess\ Shakti cult in 2002.

The museum was to throw light on intellectual, religious and philosophical traditions and ideas relating to Mother Goddess.

However, at the last meeting of Sri Mata Mansa Devi Shrine Board, chaired by former Chief Minister and Chairman of the Board, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, it was decided to reconsider the decision of setting up theme museum, on the lines of Tirupati temple and Vaishno Devi shrine.

Official sources said apprehensions were raised on how artefacts of the Mother Goddess in her various manifestations would be procured for the museum.

The project cost was estimated at over Rs. 3.5 crore and board members were sceptical about setting up the museum at this high cost.

This issue was later put up for reconsideration and a high-powered committee was set up to discuss the issue.

Deputy Commissioner-cum- Chief Administrator of Sri Mata Mansa Devi Shrine Board, Mr Brijendra Singh, confirmed that the project for theme museum was being reconsidered.

He also said the project for setting up a Sanskrit bhavan and Vidyapeeth was also being reconsidered.

"It is proposed to have one building here, which will either house the museum or the Vidyapeeth," he said.

The foundation stone of the theme museum and Sanskrit Bhavan was laid by former Union Minister Murli Manohar Joshi in January, 2003.

It was proposed to have a library section in the museum, displaying religious and philosophical literature with special reference to the Mother Goddess.

Mansa Devi is one of the oldest Shakti peeth , where lakhs of people come to worship Mansa Devi each year. Although this is a sacred religious destination, yet it has a secular dimension.

It was thus decided that a cultural centre should be developed here in the form of a theme museum to enable the visitors and pilgrims to unravel the various aspects of the Mother Goddess.



No lid on manhole cover theft
Sanjeev Bariana and Ramanjit Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 9
Treated as a petty crime by the police, lifting of manhole covers in the city has assumed an alarming proportion if the overall figure of the city was taken into account.

A random survey in the city reveals hundreds of instances where manhole covers have been lifted. The latest in the series is more than a dozen cases in Sector 34 and half a dozen cases in Sector 16 since yesterday.

The enormity of thefts indicates that these are not common in just the outer Sectors, which are close to labour colonies. Sectors 16 and 34 are right in the heart of the city. There have also been similar reports from Sectors 15, 21, 22, 34, 35 and 37.

DSP (Crime) Om Parkash said people were not very forthcoming in getting a case registered in case of a manhole theft. “They feel that the amount involved in a single cover was too paltry as compared to tedious paperwork of the police and possible rounds of courts,” another police official said.

Police sources confirm that stolen goods are sold to junk dealers in the peripheral areas. There are more than 90 junk dealers in the city. More than 120 electricity meters were seized from two agents in Attawa recently. “Iron is hammered out of shape and sold at throwaway prices. A normal manhole cover costs around Rs 400 and in the junk market it fetches only around Rs 100. Drug addicts have been associated with criminal activity in the past,” the sources said.

Chief Engineer V.K. Bhardwaj said the Engineering Department got the cases registered with the police if a theft was detected. The ball then laid in the court of the police for action, he said.

MC Councillor P.C. Sanghi said: “It was wrong to treat the crime as petty because it had assumed an alarming proportion if one was to take into account the entire crime scene. Nearly all manhole covers on road berms in Sector 21 have been stolen and similar situation prevails in other Sectors. In one incident, 43 covers were lifted in a single night in Sector 33. The administration needs to react immediately.”

Former Head of the Department of Punjabi Studies at Panjab University Prof Harnam Singh Shan said: “Thieves took away three manholes from inside the compound of my house. A similar incident occurred in at least three neighbouring houses yesterday.”

Lt-Col Goverdhan Vinayak, a resident of Sector 34, read out a long list of houses in the area where the thieves had stolen manhole covers. He said thieves had even not spared a cart of a poor fruit-seller.

Four arrested

Four persons were arrested for stealing manhole covers in two separate cases in the past 24 hours in the city. The police recovered two stolen manhole covers from their possession.

In the first incident, the police arrested Kulwinder Singh of Sector 55 and Bhupinder Singh of Maloya Colony from near Administrative Block of Panjab University in the morning, yesterday. The police said the accused were caught while they were loading a stolen manhole covers in a three-wheeler (PB-12-E-9534).

Amarpal Singh and Varun Sharma, both residents of Panjab University campus, were arrested last night while they were carrying a stolen manhole cover on a Kinetic Honda Scooter (CH-03-4865). The police said both were drug-addicts.

They were produced before a court, which remanded them in judicial custody.



Power cut in Mani Majra tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 9
Entire Mani Majra, including Modern Housing Complex (MHC) and Shivalik Enclave, will remain without power for eight hours on Monday as the high tension 33 KV power feeder for Mani Majra will be shifted for widening of a road.

The power controller said power supply would be suspended from 8 am to 4 pm in the Mani Majra town, MHC, Shivalik Enclave, Raipur Kalan, Mauli Jagran and Mouli Jagran complex.



Special function held for senior citizens
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 9
The Chandigarh Senior Citizens Association organised a special cultural programme at Government Museum and Art Gallery, Sector 10 to mark ninth anniversary of the association today.

It was sponsored by the UT Department of Cultural Affairs, Narinder Ahuj, a Punjabi singer Parminder Phool and her daughter Geetinder regaled the audience. Jokes by Sohan Sethi; ghazal by Palinder Sahni were also appreciated . A skit on the utility of pallu by Birinder Parwaaz and party, a song by Inder Pal and Qawwali by Inderjit and party were also entertaining.

Surprise item was a violin solo by 99-years-old Mukand Bhasin, whom the more senior members remember with affection as a master artiste from Lahore who could sing, dance and play several instruments.

Mr S.P. Arora, Director Public Relations and Cultural Affairs, was the Chief Guest and complimented the artistes.

Mr P.H. Vaishnav, President of the Association, stated that the Association regularly organised programmes for senior citizens.

On the achievements of the association he said the emphasis had been to regain for the older persons that special status, that special regard, which had traditionally been theirs.

“We have succeeded to an extent but much more still remains to be done, especially for persons residing in villages and colonies.”



Dimpy denies kidnapping charges
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 9
Chandigarh Congress leader, Vijay Pal Singh Dimpy and businessman, Ram Pal today said that they were being framed by hotelier and businessman Balbir Chaudhary, in a case of kidnapping of Mr Chaudhary’s son.

Mr Chaudhary has accused Mr Ram Lal and Mr Vijay Pal Singh Dimpy, and a son of another hotelier, Minhal, of kidnapping his 15-year-old son. A DDR was also registered by the police in this reagrd last night.

Mr Dimpy and Mr Ram Lal said they were being framed by Mr Chaudhary because of an old rivalry. They alleged that since Mr Dimpy had got Mr Chaudhary booked in a case of fraud and cheating on the pretext of sending persons abroad, the latter was trying to get back at him and his friend, Ram Lal in a case of kidnapping.

In a complaint to the police, Mr Chaudhary and his wife, Asha Bandyan had accused the above mentioned and one Amandeep of kidnapping their son, Arzoo, alias Manu.

They had said that their son was missing since March 5. They had claimed that though initially they thought that he had just gone away and tried to ascertain about his whereabouts from his friends but later found that he had been kidnapped.



2 ex-IAF personnel honoured
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 9
The Air Force Association (AFA) today honoured two IAF octogenarians, Air Vice-Marshal G S Punia and Sqn Ldr Jasbir Gill at a ceremony organised at the Air Force Station here today.

They were presented a shawl and a memento by the president of AFA's Northern Zone, Air Marshal R S Bedi (retd).

A large number of retired IAF officers attended the function. The AFA honours all ex-IAF personnel who have crossed the age of 80. The AFA looks after the welfare of IAF personnel and their dependents. The northern zone holds a get-together every six months.

Air Marshal Punia was commissioned into the Royal Indian Air Force in 1942 and retired as Senior Administrative Officer, Western Air Command in 1982 where he played an active role in the organisation of the 1982 Asian Games. Squadron Leader Gill was commissioned as a fighter pilot in 1946, but took premature retirement and joined Air- India.



Cable theft: BSNL phone still non-functional
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 9
Over 200 BSNL telephones continued to remain non-functional in Sector 29 and Sector 30 as the replacement work of the two stolen telephone cables in the Industrial Area I continued for the second day today.

BSNL officials, however, said that more than 1500 telephones had started functioning today and the entire restoration work would be completed on Sunday afternoon.

More than 2000 telephones were rendered non-functional in Sector 29 and 30 and in Industrial Area I after some portions of two main cables were stolen on Thursday evening by digging the manhole cover.



Housing project based on vaastu kicked off
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, April 9
The Motia Constructions Limited today formally launched its Royale Estate, a mega housing project coming up as per Vaastu Shastra on the Chandigarh-Ambala road, by holding a draw for lots.

The project, of the first-of-its-kind in the state. The enthusiastic applicants along with the families reached the venue well in time and waited for the lucky draw to held during a function.

For 168 flats, the company had received about 900 applications for which the draw was organised. Children of the applicants drew tokens bearing numbers of flats and applications from two separate urns. Noted Punjabi anchor Navjot Noor and Gunjan announced the names of the winners.

Earlier, Mr Deepinder Singh Dhillon, Vice-Chairman of the PSIDC, along with Mr Prem Chand Bansal, and other company proprietors lit the lamps. Mr Pawan Bansal, managing director of the company, assured the applicants that the company would provide good quality houses at affordable prices.

Capt Kanwaljit Singh, former Finance Minister of Punjab and MLA Banur, also visited the site in the evening and appreciated the proprietors for their efforts in the development of Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat.



Hotel property gutted in fire
Our Correspondent

Mohali April 9
A fire broke out in a hotel in Phase X here today resulting in the loss of property.

The fire, which probably started from a bidi, damaged beds, mattresses, a dressing table, a telephone and other items in one of the rooms.

The fire brigade was called to control the situation. Mr K.C. Sood, Sub-fire Officer, said damage was estimated to be around Rs 50,000.



Appointment of G.S. Saini hailed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 9
The Saini Samaj today welcomed the appointment of Mr G.S. Saini as general secretary of the Punjab unit of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).

At a function organised to felicitate Mr Saini at Ropar today, Mr Harjit Singh Longia, a Saini leader, hoped that the appointment of Mr Saini would resurrect the party in Punjab.

Mr Saini urged the party workers to throw the corrupt politicians out of power.



Jatha to leave for Pak tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 9
A 59-member jatha of the Shiromani Khalsa Panchayat will leave for Pakistan from here on April 11.

According to a press note issued here today, the jatha will depart from Gurdwara Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib, Sector 34-D.

It will celebrate Baisakhi at Gurdwara Panja Sahib in Pakistan besides visiting other Sikh shrines.



Fire destroys wheat crop
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, April 9
Wheat crop in 16 acres was destroyed in a major fire in Sitarpur village near Lalru, this noon. The fire broke out in fields owned by three farmers of the village. Fire engines from Dappar and Ambala were called.

Two fire tenders took half-an-hour in controlling over the flames. The villagers of the surrounding villages also helped the firemen in bringing the flames under control.



Scooterist hurt in accident
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 9
Sandeep Kumar, a scooterist fractured his legs when he was hit by Maruti Esteem (CH-03-H-5306) near Fire Brigade, Sector 38, last night. The car driver fled the place leaving the car behind. Sandeep was admitted in the trauma ward of the General Hospital, Sector 16.

Sandeep works in a cloth shop in Sector 38. The police found out that the car belonged to Ajay Arora of Sector 20. A case of negligent driving has been registered in the Sector 39 police station.

Vehicle stolen

Mr Varinder Singh of Vikas Nagar, Yamunanagar complained to the police that his Mahindra Scorpio Jeep (HR-58-P-0004) was stolen from Sector 7 at the night of April 7. In another incident, Mr R.D. Garg of Sector 44-A reported to the police that his Maruti Car (CH-03-D-5869) was stolen from Kisan Mandi in Sector 45 on April 7. Cases of thefts have been registered.

Motorcycles stolen

Mr Vivek Kumar of Sector 4 complained to the police that his Hero Honda Splendor Motorcycle (CH-03-K-3731) was stolen from District Courts Parking lot, yesterday. Also Mr Mukesh Chand of Sector 41-A reported to the police that his Hero Honda Motorcycle (CH-03-L-6598) was stolen from his residence. Two cases of theft have been registered.


The local police has arrested Joginder Singh of Colony Number 5 for stealing iron angles from an electric pole near Poultry Farm Chowk yesterday. A case has been registered.



Conned by their greed
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu

Chandigarh, April 9
In a classic case of greed leading to misery, two women fell into a trickster’s trap who asked them to disguise themselves as poor destitutes so as to fool a rich man doling out charity.

Instead, they ended up losing their own money and jewellery and as for the rich man, he simply didn’t exist.

According to the police, Gurpreet from Rajpura and Baldev Kaur from Gharuan village had come to GMCH-32 for treatment of their son and daughter-in-law, respectively.

They became friends and started visiting together a gurdwara in Sector 20.

On Thursday, when they were coming from the gurdwara they were intercepted by a scooterist.

The scooterist inquired the women about a charitable house in the area saying that his master was blessed with a son after 11 years of his marriage and he wanted to make donations.

The gullible women told the man that they were not from the city at which the man asked them to come along with him and get the donations.

He told the women that his master wanted to donate Rs 1100, a gold chain and two bags of rice to the needy.

He dropped Gupreet near a park in Sector 34 and asked her to wait for them.

He then asked the other woman to hand over her jewellery to Gurpreet saying that doing so would enable her to get a destitute’s look.

Interestingly, he cautioned Gurpreet to beware of cheats as there were number of incidents reported in the city in the past. Thereafter, he took Baldev Kaur in front of a big house and asked her to wait outside.

When he did not appear for a long time, Baldev Kaur asked a sweeper of the house about the fellow and the birth of a child after 11 years.

To her utter surprise, the sweeper said nothing of the sorts had happened.

Realising that she had been fooled, she rushed towards the park where she had left Gurpreet but found that she was not there.

Later, both women met each other in the hospital. Gurpreet told her that after she had left her, four to five persons snatched away Rs 3000, gold earrings and a gold ring from her.

However, the women did not lodge a complaint with the police.

When contacted, the SHO of Sector 34 police station, Mr Ajaib Singh Somal, confirmed the incident.

He said the matter was not reported and added that the women failed to provide the description of the accused.



2 motor cycles, scooter stolen
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 9
Two motor cycles and a scooter have been stolen from the city, the local police said here yesterday.

Mr Santosh K. R. Singh of Sector 31-A reported that his Bajaj Kawasaki motor cycle (BR-16-J-0279) was stolen from his residence on the night of April 6.

Mr Mandeep Verma of Sector 20-A filed a complaint with the police that his Hero Honda Passion motor cycle (PB-11-T-1854) was stolen from his residence on the night of April 6. Mr Dinesh Kumar of Sector 29-B reported that his LML Vespa scooter (CH-01-T-5265) was stolen from the Sector 29 market yesterday.

Three cases of thefts have been registered.

CD players stolen

Mr S.R. Bhatia of Sector 14 complained to the police that a CD player was stolen from his car (CH-03-R-8455) parked at the Administration Block parking in Panjab University, yesterday.

In another incident, Mr Lalit Sharma of Sector 38 reported to the police that four tyres with rims and a CD player were stolen from his car (CH-01-V-2823), which was parked at his residence, on the night of April 6.

Cases of thefts have been registered.



Indore-based firm booked for fraud
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 9
An Indore-based vehicle gear company has been booked for duping a Baddi based supplier of more than Rs 3 crore.

The Baddi based company Him Techno Forge complained to the police that the Indore-based company Gada Gear allegedly purchased material from it worth Rs 3 crore a year ago.

The complainant said that the company from Indore issued cheques to the Baddi based company but entire lot of cheques of worth Rs 3 crore were dishonoured. The complainant moved a court for the dishonoured cheques. Facing the heat, the purchaser company negotiated with the supplier company promising that new cheques would be issued to the latter if the case was withdrawn. The Baddi based company struck a deal on this issue and withdrew a case following a reported agreement. The Indore based company again issued cheques but again these were dishonoured.

The Baddi based company complained to the police saying it had been cheated “intentionally”. The police found a prima facie case of cheating and booked the Indore-based company.

The case has been registered in the Sector 26 police station after it was found out that the Baddi based company had an office in Sector 8. No arrest has been made. Sources in the police said that it would first focus on documentation about the fraud to block possibilities of a bail to the accused persons.



Wife of B.D. Bhardwaj arrested
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 9
The police yesterday arrested Pratibha Bhardwaj, wife of B.D. Bhardwaj wanted for duping several persons of more than Rs 30 lakh. The police arrested her from her house. Her husband, the main accused is still at large. She was in a local court today which remanded her in police custody.

B.D. Bhardwaj, the Managing Director, Global Immigration Consultancy and his wife Pratibha Bhardwaj were booked by the UT police after the Economic Offence Wing of the local police conducted an inquiry into the complaint lodged by a Sector 17 worker J.S. Cheema. The couple was booked for cheating and under the provisions of the Emigration Act on April 6.



Service industry to generate maximum jobs: counsellor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 9
The new employment and indeed the biggest employment opportunities would be in the service industry, which has already become a dominant contributor to the country’s GDP with its share of 54 per cent. This was stated by Usha Albuquerque, a career counsellor, while addressing over 500 students at the Careerfest, organised by the Institute of Tourism and Future Management Trends, here today. A large number of students from the adjoining states of Punjab, Haryana, and Himachal Pradesh also took part in this interactive session.

The main objective of the Careerfest was to inform the plus two level students about various career options available to them after completing their studies. Every Saturday, an interactive session on a different segment of the service industry would be held till June 25.

Ms Albuquerque said that tourism, hospitality, retailing, airlines, media and entertainment, ITES/BPO, telecommunication, banking, insurance, fitness and healthcare would be the top job creators in the next years.

The students were provided with a multiple intelligence questionnaire, which involved identifying one’s core strengths, option for right career by matching their aptitude and interest.

Asha Nayar provided detailed information on various work areas and future career prospects in airlines, hospitality, designing, engineering, event management, entertainment, sales and marketing, media and animation. She discussed special skills to become a radio jockey, newsreader, journalist, video jockey, disc jockey.


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