C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Bansal receives letter threatening to kill him
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 29
Local MP Pawan Bansal, who is engaged in a pitched battle with the Chandigarh Administration and his detractors in the party, has received a “threat to his life.”

Mr Bansal confirmed to Chandigarh Tribune that he got a postcard three days back in which a threat to kill him has been held out by an anonymous writer. The letter was posted at his residence when he was busy attending the Parliament session in Delhi. The MP reached the city today.

The letter and a complaint in this regard has been sent to the SSP, Mr Gaurav Yadav, sources said.

The letter is written in the Punjabi script. The sources said it seems that the writer does not have much knowledge of Punjabi and the words used are that of Hindi.

No additional security has been provided to the MP following the threatening letter. The SP Security, Mr Amitabh S. Dhillon, said Mr Bansal is already a UT protectee. Mr Dhillon, however, said he did not know about any recent threat to him nor had the MP asked for additional security.

Mr Bansal also said he had not asked for any additional security after receiving the letter. Mr Bansal refused to reveal the full content of the letter, only saying that there is a threat to his life in the letter.

When asked as to whom he suspected behind the threatening message, he said nothing could be said.

The police has registered a case under Section 506 of the IPC for threatening the MP in the Sector 26 Police Station. The police has asked the MP to take precautions and reviewed his security.

The letter says: “Ardas ho gai hai, jo khana pina hai kar lo, Sodh Deyange.” The sources said the language used in the letter seems really threatening as these words were used by militants at the height of turmoil in Punjab.

The police says that it seems the person who has written the letter is semi-literate and might have played a hoax as the MP is already engaged in a pitched twin political battle with his detractors in the party as well as the Chandigarh Administration.



Burail jailbreak: Chaura alleges torture
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 29
On the day of his release from jail, Narayan Singh Chaura, the alleged main conspirator in the infamous Burail jailbreak case, today fired another salvo at the investigating agencies alleging that he was tortured at the instance of the senior Chandigarh and Punjab police officials.

Chaura, who was released from the high-security Burail jail today, following the acceptance of his bail bond by a local court in an arms case, alleged torture at the instance of a former Chandigarh IG, Mr R.P. Singh, a Punjab police IG, Mr Sumedh Singh Saini, the UT SSP, Mr Gaurav Yadav, the Fatehgarh Sahib SSP, Mr Shiv Kumar, and a UT police Inspector, Mr K.I.P. Singh.

It may be recalled that on April 11, a local court while dropping sedition charges against Chaura and other accused, had ordered that they should be tried under bailable offences.

Claiming that he had been acquitted in over a dozen cases filed by the successive Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Congress governments since 1989, Chaura alleged vicitimisation for his “anti-establishment” stance.

He alleged that he was given electric shocks to extract confession for his alleged role in the jailbreak case, in which three alleged assassins of late Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh tunnelled their way out of the high-security Burial jail here on the night of January 21 last year.

Though the experience of claiming compensation for “illegal detention” by the investigating agencies had not been very encouraging, yet they would file a petition for compensation after the acquittal, counsel for Chaura, Mr Rajvinder Singh Bains, informed.

Meanwhile, Chaura was given a rousing reception outside the Burail jail by activists of the Shiromani Khalsa Dal and the Akal Federation. Prominent among those present were Mr Surinder Singh Kishanpuri, Mr Sewak Singh, Mr Mandhir Singh, Mr Jaspal Singh Manjpur, Mr Paramjit Singh Gaji and Mr Kanwar Singh Dhami of the Guru Asra Trust.



Construction outside lal dora illegal: DC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 29
The Deputy Commissioner-cum-Estate Officer, Mr Arun Kumar, said today that lal dora was a term used in consolidation process during the 1950s and was the outer boundary of the existing population (abadi) living in a village.

Beyond the lal dora, there is a concept of ‘phirni’, which is the outer ring-road, and the space between the lal dora and phirni was used as ‘bara’ i.e. for parking cattle, cow-dung, manure pit and compost.

The Estate Officer further revealed that at the time of creation of Chandigarh the need for regulating the growth of human settlement was felt and thus the Punjab Periphery Control Act was enacted. Any construction used for residential, commercial or any other purpose beyond the lal dora was an unauthorised structure and was violative of the Periphery Control Act.

In all villages in the periphery of Chandigarh, falling within the limits of the city, according to a detailed survey by the Estate office, the number of such structures was around 2,300 and the area occupied by such structures was around 177 acres. He said that it was also important to note that the Punjab and Haryana High Court had ordered suo-moto that the registration of land less than 1,000 sq.mt. beyond the lal dora was not allowed.

The Estate Officer said that getting an electric connection did not endow the right for change the land use as it was violation of the Periphery Control Act. He added that in such cases those land dealers who indulged in such practise were being booked. Recently six such dealers had been arrested.



Girls excel in Class VIII exam
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 29
Girls outshone boys in the Class VIII results of the Haryana School Education Board, declared here today. Komal, Sapna Yadav and Priyanka Gupta, the three toppers in Panchkula are girls and students of New India Senior Secondary School, Sector 15.

Komal has topped the examinations by securing 93.3 per cent marks, followed by Sapna Yadav (92.3 %) and Priyanka Gupta (91.8 %). The overall pass percentage in the district has also improved (57.22 per cent) as compared to a pass per centage of 48 per cent last year.

According to information available, 6,387 students studying in 132 government schools, private schools and schools recognised by the board, had appeared in the examinations conducted in March this year. Two schools in the district, Government Senior Secondary School, Karanpur, and Government Middle School, Kiratpur, have achieved 100 per cent result.

Though the pass percentage of private schools in the district had shown an increase over the past few years (71. 95 per cent students in private schools have cleared the examinations), the performance of government schools in the district has remained average. None of the students at Government Middle School, Thattar, in Morni block passed the examination, as there was no teacher throughout the year.

The pass percentage in government schools here is about 53 per cent. In fact, in one of the schools, of the 48 students who had appeared in the examinations, 43 have failed and only three have passed.

Poor performance by government and recognised schools last year had shaken the district administration. It was the decided to ensure that teachers were appointed for each school and it was decided to keep a check on their attendance in schools to improve the results. But this apparently did not improve the results. Even now, there are several schools in the district, especially in Morni and Barwala blocks, that have only one teacher.

Three toppers in the district, Komal, Sapna and Priyanaka, say that regular learning and self study was the key to their success. Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, they said they had been studying for three to four hours daily, after completing the routine homework. None of them took any tuitions, and were being taught at home by their parents. So what does the future hold for them, we ask? “We want to become teachers,” they say in unison.



No grace marks given to Class VIII students
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 29
There is a marked improvement in the general results of the Class VII examination conducted by the Punjab School Education Board in February. The result has improved by nearly 15 per cent and as such the board felt that there is no need to give grace marks to students.

This was stated by the chairman of the board, Prof Harbans Singh Sidhu, here today. He said that last year the pass percentage was 54 but this year the pass percentage was expected to be more than 65. He said that 1 per cent grace marks were given to students under board regulations. There was no need to give extra grace marks as it became difficult to evaluate the performance of students as well as teachers.



Pet dogs will be his ‘baraatis’ today
Swarleen Kaur

Chandigarh, April 29
How many of you would think of inviting dogs to your wedding? Not many equate pet dogs with guests when the function is as solemn as a wedding.

But city-based dog trainer Vinod Kumar, has decided to do away with social norms and give the dogs “their due” when he weds tomorrow. Dogs will be special guests at his wedding. A Labrador, Mastiff, Sniffer, Pug dogs and Golden Retriever will give an extra “pomp and show” to his wedding.

The dogs will be among his honourable ‘baraatis’’ as they will accompany him in his ‘baraat’ too.

He has invited his clients along with their dogs. A special menu has been planned out for the dogs. They can gorge on their favourite dishes, that include feed, eggs, chicken and special pudding.

His Patiala-based would-be bride, Manu, is equally happy to host the canines.

“Whatever I have achieved in my life is because of the dogs. They are the source of my livelihood. Ignoring them at my wedding would have been very hard for me,” Vinod said.

He has been training dogs since 1994 and is running a dog centre in the city. The centre is named after his most adorable dog, Sheena, a Labrador.

By making them his ‘baraatis’, he wants to convey the message that if you love your pets then don’t ignore them during important moments of your life.

His pride is a pair of pug dogs — Shaggy and Taquila. Excitement is writ large on his face when he fondly recalls how he nurtured them and made them a part of his family.

“I hate the idea of locking dogs at home when you have to attend a party. I think they should be counted”, he said.

At last, dogs are getting their due.



Passing Thru

Kanika Kumar
Kanika Kumar,
fashion designer

How do you define fashion?

Fashion is the language of body, mind and soul. It is an art which is created to be sold. The colours, fabrics, styles, trends which give the fashion statements have an effect on everybody’s life. But most importantly, one should never forget the comfort factor in fashion.

What brings you to Chandigarh?

I am here to put up an exhibition for three days at a hotel in Sector 22. My summer collection ‘De Hues’ includes kurtis, suits, ponchos and skirts. I think the city people will like my collection which is a blend of the East and the West.

What is exclusive in your collection?

I always get inspired by different motifs and not by typical flowers. This time, the motifs are inspired by Mexican, Japanese tattoos, Harappan culture, tribal art and geometric forms. Motifs are an essential part of a garment. I pay special attention to them as they help enhance the beauty of a garment. I have used vibrant colours that will be perfect for this summer season.

— Swarleen Kaur



Furore over demolitions in MC meeting
Blame game begins
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 29
The monthly meeting of the Municipal Corporation here today was nothing more than a political drama. The recent demolitions of religious structures in Dadu Majra was the issue under discussion.

The ruling group of the Congress exchanged animated discussions with the councillors of the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Shiromani Akali Dal over who was to blame for the silence during the ant-encroachment drive in Dadu Majra in which 14 religious structures were demolished on Tuesday. Kamla Sharma, a BJP councillor and a former Mayor, led the 'shouting brigade' which blamed the Congress for total inaction in stopping the demolition of the religious structures. She was supported by Mrs Harjinder Kaur, a councillor of SAD, and Mr Rajesh Gupta of the BJP.

Mrs Sharma said that "the Congress councillors, instead of taking the responsibility of leading a protest against the action of the UT Administration and the Municipal Corporation, had run away to Delhi." It is worth pointing out that while the demolition was in progress in Dadu Majra, a number of influential Congress councillors were in Delhi doing rounds of senior leaders seeking a change in the presidentship of the local Congress.

Mr Subhash Chawla, a former Mayor, took control of the House proceedings and replied back 'strongly', saying that " we were in Delhi. You(BJP and SAD) were in the city. Why didn't you protest? These utterances are nothing more than creating a political sensation to influence the common man". He was supported by Mr H.S.Lucky.

Mr Chawla also lashed out at the Opposition, saying: "You provoke us as much as you can but the House will not employ marshals to take you out because you are looking for political mileage out of the meeting".

Mrs Shyama Negi, Congress councillor from Dadu Majra area, said: "It is sad that none of the voices who are making a noise now actually came on the spot when the demolitions were being carried out. I was there without support from any party".

Leaving aside drama of the political parties, the House witnessed exchange of hot words between two senior nominated members. Mr P.C.Sanghi made an unpleasant remark when the draft of the model law for municipalities was being discussed by Mr K.S.Raju. This infuriated Mr Raju and the House witnessed heated exchanges. The issue was postponed.

One important issue pertained to questions over propriety of the trip of Mrs Kamlesh, a former Mayor, to Hyderabad last year along with her husband. Mr Sanghi sought details of expenditure. The corporation made certain replies.

The issue, however, could not be discussed because Mr Sanghi was himself not present in the House. Talking to The Tribune later, he said he will frame fresh questions and take up the issue once again.



BJP holds dharna outside MC office
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 29
The local unit of the BJP today organised a dharna outside the office of the Municipal Corporation in Sector 17 here against the “anti-people” policies of the Congress-led UPA government and the local corporation.

Addressing the dharna, a former MP, Mr Satya Pal Jain, alleged that the citizens were at the receiving end of the “lopsided” policies of the Central Government and the Congress-led corporation.

While houses of various sections of society, including the religious places, were being demolished by the Chandigarh Administration, the Congress was remaining a silent spectator. The Congress, Mr Jain alleged, had failed to oppose various “anti-people” decisions of the Chandigarh Administration.

The civic amenities were going from bad to worse in the city and the Congress had gone back on its various pre-poll promises. Mr Jain warned the administration not to hike the electricity charges otherwise the party would launch an agitation.

Prominent among those who addressed the dharna included Mr Yash Pal Mahajan, local unit president, Mr Davesh Moudgil, president of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, Ms Kamla Sharma, and Mr Kewal Krishan Addiwal, both former Mayors.



New road to Kalagram soon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 29
With an aim to develop Kalagram located on the busy Chandigarh — Panchkula as a major hub, the Chandigarh Administration is shortly undertaking the construction of a new approach road to Kalagram which will remove the present difficulty being faced to gain entry to the Kalagram complex from the Chandigarh-Panchkula road.

At present anyone going from Chandigarh to Kalagram has to go right up to the traffic lights at Panchkula and then take a u-turn. This increases the distance by 4 km. Now the administration plans to build a road which will connect Kalagram complex with the traffic lights at the railway station crossing, hardly a distance of 500 m.

Also, a display board is being planned, which shall prominently display the activities being held in the complex.

The other plan is to invite reputed food-chains to set up their outlets. CITCO has been asked to develop food courts which will offer a variety of ethnic fare in a rural ambience.

For making Kalagram a hub of artistic excellence by 100 per cent utilisation of its land, the Chandigarh Administration has decided to organise cultural and artistic programmes, workshops on dance, music, theatre and rangoli, carnivals, weekend acting classes and tourism promotion shows, painting competitions and yoga classes, etc, at various locations of the city from May 1.

A sound and light show to showcase the heritage of Chandigarh is being planned.

Initially, such activities will be held in the Fragrance Garden, Terrace Garden, Rose Garden, Shanti Kunj, Nehru Park, Sukhna Lake and Plaza, Sector 17, where the MD, CITCO-cum-Director Tourism and Director Public Instruction (Schools) shall coordinate the activities.

A rangoli workshop by renowned artist Vandana Joshi will be held from May 6-12, at Kalagram. The North Zone Culture Centre (NZCC) alongwith the Chandigarh Institute of Performing Arts (CIPA) will organise Kalagram Carnival on every Saturday and Sunday at Kalagram from 7.30 pm to 9.30 pm, besides daily cultural evening by the NZCC from 8.00 pm to 10.00 pm.

Renowned artist Shyam Juneja will hold weekend acting classes at Kalagram on every Saturday and Sunday at Kalagram from 5.00 pm to 7.30 pm, besides painting competitions to be organised daily from May. Yoga classes will be held from May 4-8, at Kalagram from 6 am to 9 am.



Development on cards as MC flushed with funds
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 29
There is good news for the residents of Panchkula. After five months of neglect of civic amenities, they can now look forward to better development of the town. The Municipal Council (MC) is flush with funds, and plans to undertake massive development in all sectors and villages falling within the municipal limits.

Other than the Rs 12.19 crore that the council has as opening balance from the previous years, it hopes to add to its kitty an additional Rs 11.09 crore this year. The budget meeting of the Municipal Council is scheduled for May 2, and the budget once passed by the General House, and approved by the government, will be available for better sanitation, proper streetlighting, construction of roads, drains and shops, besides a building for the MC, which has been functioning from the Community Centre in Sector 4 for the past four years since the local body's inception. This money that the MC hopes to generate also includes the 75 per cent share of extension fee from HUDA (Rs 3 crore). Till date, HUDA has not given this share to MC.

Official sources inform that the proposed budget for the year 2005-06, will finally be tabled as the political instability in the MC house is almost over (though the Congress has stormed to a majority, the President is yet to be elected). The former president of the MC, Ms Seema Chaudhary, had also called a meeting of council for passing the annual budget, but a notice for initiating a no-confidence motion was issued and the meeting was called off.

Sources inform that the MC will have about Rs 23.28 crore this year, and it proposes to spend Rs 16. 46 crore, which will leave Rs 6. 82 crore in the closing balance. While Rs 1.20 crore is the proposed establishment expenditure, Rs 4. 01 crore is proposed as contingency fund (for parks, street light bills, sanitation, stray cattle, library, fire brigade etc.)

Other than this, the MC proposes to spend Rs 10.18 crore for various development works like the construction of shops, development of parks, construction of roads, drains, MC office land and fire brigade building. Rs 1.07 crore has been earmarked as miscellaneous expenditure (election charges, audit fees, law charges).

A budget of Rs 11. 11 crore was sanctioned by the government last year (2004-05), of which Rs 6.88 crore was spent till November 2004. Till March this year, a sum of Rs 12. 11 crore was spent in the revised budget. 



Dissent in territorial Cong committee to fore
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 29
The war of words between two dissenting groups of the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee today took a new turn when the president of the local unit was asked to clarify his stand over the market committee yesterday.

The faction led by Mr Ram Pal Sharma, vice-president, said according to certain reports Mr Arun Kumar, the Deputy Commissioner, yesterday said that the election had been won by Mr Sita Ram, a Congress candidate.

It has been pointed out that an FIR was lodged recently against Mr Sita Ram by the Deputy Commissioner office for violation of the Periphery Control Act. Mr Subhash Chander, a candidate backed by Mr Bhupinder Singh Badheri, a former chairman, bagged only three votes.

Mr Bhupinder Badheri, president of the District Congress Committee (Rural), was removed from the committee following a vote of no confidence earlier this year.

The President has also been asked “whether Mr Sita Ram, who along with BJP members, moved the vote of no-confidence against Mr Badheri had his approval.

The point needs an urgent clarification because otherwise the Deputy Commissioner will be able to paint a ‘false’ picture that it was some Congressmen involved in making illegal sales of land” the letter added.

The letter has been signed by Mr D.D. Jindal, President of the DCC-I, Mr Pawan Sharma, president of the DCC-II, Mr Badheri and Mr H.S. Lucky, President of the Chandigarh Youth Congress.



600 more jhuggis demolished
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 29
As many as 600 jhuggis were razed and over 12 acres of land was freed from encroachers today.

The third day of the anti-encroachment drive, launched by HUDA, saw some resentment by jhuggi dwellers in Sector 3, but the drive was more or less peaceful. The drive was carried out under the supervision of five Junior Engineers of HUDA, alongwith 15 men of the anti-encroachment wing of the Estate Office.

Since the drive was launched on a massive scale, an earth mower and three trucks were used. However, no police force was employed and after the encroachers had moved out, the jhuggis were razed to the ground. The encroachments were removed from HUDA land near Majri Chowk upto Devinagar area in Sector 3.

About five kiosks that had come up on the green belt in the area and some meat shops on the road were also razed by the demolition squad.

The drive lasted for several hours and HUDA officials say that they were able to recover most of the land for development of a market place and parking in Sector 3. 



Motor cycle, 2 cars stolen
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 29
Two cars and a motorcycle were stolen from the city during the past 24 hours, the police said, today.

Mr Jaswinder Singh of Harsalina village in Amritsar district reported to the police that his Indica car (PB-2-AM-3574) was stolen yesterday from near Hotel Gravity, sector 35. Mr O.P. Verma of Sector 43 filed a complaint to the police that his Indica car (CH-03-K-0412) was stolen from near a park in Sector 44. In a similar incident, Mr Kulwinder Singh of Sector 46 lodged a complaint with the police that his Bajaj Caliber motorcycle was stolen from Sector 36. Three cases of theft under Section 379 of the IPC have been registered.


Mr Sagar, a resident of Sector 28, lodged a complaint alleging that Vijay Kumar and Vikas, both residents of Sector 21, assaulted him near Madhya Marg in Sector 7 on April 24. A case has been registered in this regard and both the accused have been arrested by the police.


Mr Amrit Lal, a shopkeeper in Sector 22, reported to the police that five mobile phones, four sim cards, and Rs 2,000 in cash were stolen from his shop during the night of April 27. The thieves gained entry into the shop after breaking the locks. A case of burglary has been registered.



Three unnatural deaths
Tribune Reporters

Ambala, April 29
Unable to bear separation from his wife and unhappy with his mother-in-law’s alleged interference, a youth of Ambala city committed suicide yesterday.

Manish Verma, a resident of Darjiyan Chowk in Ambala city, had married Indu, a resident of Saha in February 2004. They were blessed with a daughter three months back.

According to family members of Manish, when Manish went to Saha to bring back his wife, his mother-in-law refused to send her with him. Instead, she allegedly pressurised Manish to settle down with them. Manish was said to be under considerable stress due to this.

Yesterday, he left home saying that he was going to get a cold drink. But, he was later found in an unconscious state on Railway Road. He died before he could be taken to hospital.

Alcoholic hangs himself from fan

CHANDIGARH: Bhawani Dutt Pandey (45), a resident of Khudda Ali Sher village, allegedly hanged himself to death at his residence yesterday. The police said he was alcoholic and had left no suicide note behind. He was working in the canteen of the Haryana Hospitality Department.

According to the police, he had lunch at his house and then retired to his room. In the evening his daughter knocked at the door of his room, but there was no reply. After a while she peeped through a window and saw her father hanging from a ceiling fan hook. She raised the alarm by the time the victim was lowered he was dead. He was taken to the General Hospital, where the doctors declared him brought dead. The body was handed over to the family members.

The deceased is survived by his wife, two daughters and a five-year-old son. His elder daughter is 19 years old.

Freak accident in factory

Nalagarh: Neelam, working at Sidharta Super Spinning Mill, Khere, near here, was killed when her dupatta got entangled in the motor machine where she was working. This led to her head dashing with the motor machine causing grievous injuries. The incident happened at 7.30 am yesterday.

Neelam, resident of Nalagarh was rushed to the local hospital but had to be referred to the PGI Chandigarh. She however died on the way. The police has registered a case under Sections 287 and 304 of the IPC for causing danger while dealing with inferior machinery and culpable homicide not amounting to murder. The police investigation detected factory negligence with not enough safety tools provided to the workers.



Minor girl gangraped
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 29
A 15-year-old minor girl was allegedly gang- raped by four persons near Majra Mehtab village in Pinjore today, when she was going to meet her parents working in the nearby fields.

The police says that the incident took place when the girl was walking to the fields. As she went to a shop nearby to buy eggs, the shopkeeper, Sonu, allegedly took her in on the pretext of asking her to select the eggs. He then raped the girl, while three of his companions — Vinod, Sunil and Lok Raj — kept a watch outside.

Later, Vinod, Sunil and Lok Raj forced the girl into an auto-rickshaw and took her to a secluded place. All three of them also allegedly raped her. The police says that they left the girl there after threatening her. Her cries were heard by some villagers, who informed her parents and called the police.

The police has registered a case under Sections 376, 506 and 34 of IPC against the four accused. No arrests have been made so far.


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