C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Two women, labourer murdered
Robbers strike in two villages
Bipin Bhardwaj

Parkasho Devi
Parkasho Devi

Darshani Devi
Darshani Devi

Lalru, May 8
Three persons, including two women of a family, were hacked to death and seven others seriously injured by a gang of armed robbers who struck at Dappar and Chaundheri villages, near here, late last night. The robbers also took away some valuables and cash from the crime scenes.

The robbers allegedly struck a house owned by Mr Rajeshwar Kumar, alias Lali, in Dappar village and hacked his mother Darshani Devi (76) and wife Prakasho Devi (35) to death. They also attacked his sons Sonu (12) and Sanju (8) on their heads, leaving them seriously injured.

The assailants reportedly ransacked the house and took away valuables and cash. The robbers broke open a stolen steel trunk and two briefcases in a field about 500 yards from the house.

The incident came to light when Mr Amarjit Singh, a resident of the village, found the belongings scattered in the field and identified them from a group photograph of the family. He informed Mr Sushil Kumar, Panch, and Mr Ram Karan.

Taking Sarpanch Gurmeet Singh along, the villagers reached the house and found the bodies of Ms Darshani Devi and Ms Prakasho Devi lying with blood-stained clothes in separate rooms. The body of Ms Prakasho Devi was lying on blood stained bed while the robbers had covered the body of Ms Darshni Devi with clothes after ransacking the bedbox in her room.

Critically injured Sonu, a Class VIII student, was also found lying on the bed along with his mother while Sanju had taken protection under the bed after the robbers attacked him on his head.

Sanju, who is the eyewitness of the incident, revealed that the robbers were about 10 in number and were speaking in Punjabi and Hindi. Both the brothers were rushed to the Civil Hospital, Dera Bassi, from where the doctors referred them to the PGI in Chandigarh.

Mr Rajeshwar was away to Baddi in Solan district in Himachal Pradesh when the incident occurred. He reached the village late this evening after getting information.

In a similar incident, a gang of robbers struck at a tubewell owned by Mr Jasmer Singh in Chaundheri village and killed Indey Sharma, a migrant labourer, and left five others - Ganior, Raaju, Ram Chandran, Dev Swaroop, and Jaddu - critically injured. The labourers were asleep at the tubewell when the robbers attacked them with iron rods, sticks and batons. The robbers attacked them before locking the other migrant labourers who were asleep inside the hutment of the tubewell.

Mr Parma Nand, a migrant labourer who is the eyewitness, claimed that about 15 members of the gang searched the clothes of the victims after leaving them injured and took away money and watches from them.

After regaining consciousness, the injured unlocked the door of the tubewell and informed their fellow labourers about the incident. The police was subsequently informed.

The police has sent the three bodies to the Civil Hospital, Rajpura, for postmortem examinations. Cases under Sections 460 and 459 of the Indian Penal Code have been registered on the complaints of Mr Kailash Chand, a brother of Mr Rajeshwar Kumar, and a migrant labourer.

Kale Kachhewale suspected

Mr A.S. Rai, Senior Superintendent of Police, Patiala, inspected the sites of crime in Dappar and Chaundheri villages. A dog squad and a team of forensic experts were also pressed into service.

Talking to the Chandigarh Tribune, Mr Rai claimed that members of the notorious Kalandar gang, might have committed the heinous crime. He said that the gangsters generally known as Kalandar gang or Kale Kachhewale have been active in the state for the past 20 years.

“Some of them are still in various Punjab jails while the others are out on bail. Those who are out on bail might have been involved in the crimes. Those who are in jails would be questioned and accompanied to various hideouts of their members,” he pointed out.

The SSP also revealed that the gang moves from one place to the other by train after committing the crime. They shift their destinations frequently. He also claimed that Patiala police has sounded an alert to the police of the neighbouring states, besides the Railway police.

The Railway police has been asked to tighten security at Ambala railway station and nab suspects. The police has rounded up some persons from the local railways station and other places, the SSP added.



Meningitis claims first victim in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh/Panchkula, May 8
Meningococcal meningitis claimed its first victim in the city today when 50-year-old Nanhu Ram died at Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) Sector 32. Nanhu Ram belonged to Chuna Bhatti village near Chandi Mandir and was referred to GMCH yesterday from Government Hospital, Panchkula.

Panchkula health officials had earlier informed that Nanhu Ram, a labourer, had recently visited Delhi, and it was suspected that he got the infection from there.

“Nanhu Ram died at around 3.30 pm in the hospital. However, his two sons who were admitted in the hospital yesterday are being given preventive treatment. The children themselves do not have any symptoms of the disease,” said Prof Atul Sachdeva, Head of Department of Medicine at GMCH, while talking to The Tribune today.

However, no fresh cases of the disease were reported in the city and the test reports of the suspect cases admitted at the PGI are yet to confirm meningococcal meningitis. “So far the final test reports of the 35-years-old man from Delhi have been confirmed. Though the 11-year-old girl Meena from Mohali is admitted in the isolation ward, the final test reports are expect to come in a day or two,” said Dr Rajesh Kumar, Head of Department of Community Medicine, PGI.

Meanwhile, following the death of Nanhu Ram, Panchkula health authorities today conducted a fresh surveillance of Chandi Mandir area.

The District Health Officer, Dr Lalit Virmani, today constituted ten teams. These teams checked people residing in close clusters in labour colonies at Chuna Bhatti, Chandi Mandir, Jallah Hut, Ambwala Hut, Kotian Hut, Burj Hut, Kiratpur Hut, Basolan and Ramnagar. Besides, a survey was started in Rajiv Colony, Indira Colony, Azad Colony, and Bhainsa Tibba village in Panchkula.

Though no suspected cases of meningitis were found, as many as 22 cases of fever were identified. The health teams have taken sputum and blood samples of all these cases for laboratory examination. The health teams also educated the residents here on sanitation, to avoid any case of meningitis.

Dr Virmani said antibiotics had been provided to 41 persons in Chuna Bhatti today. Since these people were residing near Nanhu Ram’s hutment and had come in contact with him recently, antibiotics had been provided. 



Chandigarh Cong leaders camp in Delhi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
The local Congress leaders who went to Delhi on Friday, apprehending “official wrangling due to differences with the Deputy Commissioner” continued to camp in the Capital today with a hope of meeting leaders in the party high command.

Mr H.S. Lucky, president of the Chandigarh Youth Congress, Mr Bhupinder Singh Badheri, president of the District Congress (Rural), and Mr Devinder Babla, a party worker who is close to Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, local Member of Parliament, are in Delhi. The team also has two more workers of the Youth Congress, it is reliably learnt.

An attempt is being made by the Congress leaders to contact senior party leaders to complain that the party was “being run down by the administration, particularly the DC”. “It was a holiday today so we are relaxing and working out our strategy for tomorrow,” a leader said.

The local unit of the party is abuzz with discussions and clouds of suspense hang heavy over the party camp on whether the DC will get an extension or not as his term nears its conclusion towards the end of this month.



Expert stresses the need to use solar energy in India
Maneesh Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
A leading expert on solar energy conservation feels that the answer to India’s energy crisis lies in effective and adequate usage of the “abundant sunlight” that is bestowed on this country by nature.

Mr Ram Setya, an architect and a town planner by profession, who is settled in California, USA, today stressed on the need for the Government of India as well as various State governments to bring about a legislation to increase tapping of sunlight for energy purposes in homes and at offices.

“It is a paradox that India, particularly states like Punjab and Haryana, which get so much sun and, therefore, sunlight should face shortage of electricity. I am surprised that very few homes here have solar panels installed to tap sunlight,” Mr Setya says.

Talking to The Tribune during a short visit to Chandigarh, Mr Setya, who has planned many residential complexes in the USA where the need to buy electricity from companies is a bare minimum, said it was possible to have a house where no electric energy would be required to be bought from outside agencies.

“Apart from the fact that solar energy costs virtually nothing, it is also very environment-friendly. So, I fail to understand why Indians are not using it?” he asks.

Explaining the concept, which has already been successfully adopted by most of European countries and the USA, Mr Setya said all one needed to do while constructing a house was to ensure proper insulation so that heat transfer could be minimized.

“Use of solar panels is a big plus. This can cut down electricity cost as energy is conserved,” he adds.

Pointing out that many countries such as the USA have passed laws to ensure that citizens who save electricity by harnessing solar energy are given credit for electricity saved, Mr Setya says that there are houses in the USA where the electricity bills are almost zero.

Germany has decided that the entire country will use solar energy to end dependence on costly alternatives. China, in order to supplement its growing energy needs, is already one of the biggest procurers of solar panels. “California has decided that by 2010, over one million houses will have solar energy sources,” he states.

Asked about the general life span of solar energy harnessing systems in houses, the expert says that it could be anywhere between 25-30 years.

“But, there is always room for future renovation. Also, old houses can also be retrofitted for solar energy,” he adds.

Such is Mr Setya’s conviction that he is actually planning to return to India “in a year or two” and construct his own house “that will show what we can do with solar energy”.



HUDA turns blind eye to encroachments by hotels
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 8
Even as the Estate Office of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) has launched a drive against encroachments on HUDA land by dhaba owners and tea kiosks, it seems to be turning a blind eye to encroachments by hotels and restaurants in the township.

Most of the hotels and restaurants seem to defy all rules as they not only raise temporary structures for organising parties, but also erect permanent structures like a garbage treatment plant on HUDA land, adjoining the hotel. A popular eatery in Sector 5 here has recently installed a garbage treatment plant on HUDA land, but no action has been taken against the hotel.

Sources say that the eatery was issued a notice for not disposing of the waste properly. He thus decided to install a garbage treatment plant. Since no place was available in his own premises, he opted to install the plant on HUDA land adjoining his hotel.

Another popular food court in Sector 5 has installed joy rides outside their premises — in a park maintained by HUDA. These rides are an added attraction for toddlers accompanying customers. Stationery games have also been set up for which the player can buy a token and then pick up a small stuffed toy by maneuvering the mechanical hand of this game.

A lessee has also put up its company’s glow signboards on the cafeteria, which, say HUDA officials, is again a violation. Sources in HUDA said a few years ago, notice had been issued to a lessee of another eatery in Vatika Garden for similar violations, but no notice has been issued to the hotel in Sector 5.

Elsewhere, even as HUDA continues to remove encroachments from the market corridors, the encroachments by two eateries in form of waiting tables and chairs continue to line the corridors of Sector 9 market on most evenings. The problem is aggravated on weekends, when these chairs are occupied by people and walking on the corridor is difficult. 



Pawan Bansal meets Adviser
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
Local MP Pawan Bansal today had a one-to-one informal meeting with Adviser Lalit Sharma first time after months of tussle between the Chandigarh Administration and Mr Bansal.

“Mr Bansal had a cup of green leaf tea with me,” Mr Lalit Sharma told Chandigarh Tribune tonight.

The meeting assumes importance in the wake of the intense tussle going on between Mr Bansal and the Chandigarh Administration, including Deputy Commissioner Arun Kumar.

The issue of extension of Mr Kumar is still hanging fire amidst reports that Mr Bansal’s faction in the Congress had taken up the issue of the arrest of a Bansal camp follower Pawan Sharma with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The meeting also has come about amidst a section of Bansal supporters fearing that Mr Arun Kumar might recommend registration of cases against more of his supporters.

Mr Bansal’s supporters had already been accusing the Deputy Commissioner of being vindictive and making an attempt to destroy the image of the MP by showing his key supporters in a poor light.

Mr Sharma refused to divulge as to what had transpired between the two. When asked if he was brokering a rapprochement between the MP and the Chandigarh Administration, Mr Sharma said he had no mandate to deal on political issues. When asked if the meeting was regarding some developmental issue, Mr Sharma just said that it was an informal meeting.

Sources said that Mr Bansal had been in touch with the Adviser and other senior officers on phone during the controversy but it was the first time that the two had met since the controversy erupted.

When asked about the fate of the Deputy Commissioner’s extension, Mr Sharma said there was no official communication on the issue.

Mr Bansal was not available for any comment either at his residence telephone number or on his mobile phone.



Report on arrest of Pawan Sharma sent to Cong high command
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
The local unit of the Congress has sent a report of the incident involving recent arrest of Mr Pawan Sharma, president of the District Congress (Rural), to the party high command in Delhi, reliable sources said here yesterday.

Mr B.B. Bahl, president of the local unit, is learnt to have forwarded the report to Mr Janardhan Diwedi, the party observer for Chandigarh.

Mr Sharma was arrested for allegedly filing a false affidavit while applying for a flat in a housing society of the city. Mr Sharma is alligned to the group of Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, the local Member of Parliament. At the moment the MP and Mr Bahl are not sharing a good relation.

The details of the report are unknown. The report assumed importance in the wake of the MP led faction being totally opposed to the Deputy Commissioner and the Governor. Mr Bahl has personally gone to the officers and supported them.



Serious concern shown over shortage of squadron strength
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
Taking the Air Force to task for shortage of its squadron strength, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence has warned that the IAF could be reduced to just one-third of its projected strength by the end of the Twelfth Plan. In this context, the committee held the opinion that there was an "urgent need" to plan for acquisition of fifth generation fighter aircraft to take care of future defence needs.

"The committee note with serious concern that of the 39.5 projected squadrons, the Air Force has only 37 squadrons. The committee further notes that by the end of the Tenth Plan this shortage would increase," the committee's latest report, tabled in Parliament a few days ago, said.

According to the report, the present force level of the IAF was 37 squadrons where as the projected strength was 39.5 squadrons, though the actual requirement was 40 squadrons. By the end of the Tenth Plan, the projection was made out to be 29 squadrons, which was further reduced to 26 squadrons.

Strongly recommending that the Defence Ministry make all efforts to keep the required number of squadrons by simplifying acquisition procedure and minimising delay in acquisition of new aircraft, the committee also desired that indigenous production capabilities should be suitably enhanced.

With the IAF operating 26 different types of aircraft, requiring different types of infrastructure, the committee felt that there was a need to check the large inventory and acquire as far as possible similar type of aircraft.

The committee's view assumes significance in the light of the IAF planning to acquire 126 new combat aircraft. Among the contenders are the US F-16 and the Swedish Grippen, the types of which have never seen service in the IAF.

During evidence, the committee was also appraised that of the 26 types of aircraft in the IAF inventory, only six are new. Even these six, the committee was told, were "bought under great pressure".

The committee also noted with concern that the required number of different types of radars, specially those for low-level surveillance, to meet the operational requirements of the Air Force are not available.

Deposing before the committee in this regard, the Defence Secretary has stated, "It would be wrong on my part to say that I am totally satisfied with the level of surveillance, either of the airspace of the country or protective surveillance for individual platforms like a ship, or for that matter major cities or industrial establishments." He added that there had to be a network of radar of various types which are covering the entire spectrum of various heights at the borders as also within the country.

The committee was appraised that the IAF has already inducted two Aerostat airborne static surveillance platforms and 11 more are in the offing to fill in gaps in the air defence coverage. Though the IAF radar surveillance capability was stated to be sufficient to cover the borders, it was inadequate for in-depth defence and vital area in the hinterland.



Guiding people to solve complex questions of life
Geetu Vaid
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
A picture of serenity and contentment, Rhea Pillai has a distinct aura that attracts people to her much more than her pretty face. Whether it is her demeanour or mellow sing-song voice, she comes across as a breath of fresh air.

As a teacher conducting Art of Living courses and talks in the city over the past few days, Pillai is without the frills of glamour that one would think she would have acquired after over 17-year-long association with the world of modelling. She becomes, in turn, a friend, philosopher and guide and with an ease with which she must have walked on the ramp.

Seeing her in the role of a teacher guiding people to find answers to complex questions of life, one wonders how this shift from modelling to a AOL teacher came about.

“Everyone has a spiritual side’’, she tells, adding that ‘’while some are more aware and interested in this, in others it is a latent potential. I was always sensitive to this side of my being and was always looking for an answer to questions about the nature and purpose of life. So it was but natural that I graduated from conversation to books to art of living’’, she explains while speaking about her nine- year association with AOL and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

And where does religion fit into all this? “I have faith and respect for all religions. My grandmom was a Muslim and I learnt some prayers from her. I studied in a Christian school. I made a foray into Buddhism and used to chant. I have Jewish friends. So, I try to imbibe the good points of all faiths.

A storehouse of energy, she teaches at least two courses in a month and does modelling assignments. “I like to do diverse things as life has different facets and I try to explore the yet unexplored parts of me. For me every teaching experience is also a learning opportunity”.

The Art of Living course is about making a connection between inner energy and outer body. The basic course comprises meditation, breathing techniques, yoga and spiritual knowledge. Benefits of this are immense as it makes one stronger physically as well as mentally making one more equipped to deal with stresses and challenges of life

How has AOL changed her? ‘’I am certainly more confident now as earlier I was very shy and very apprehensive of addressing people. AOL has taught me self belief and made me more confident. There is so much talent in India but there is a severe draught of self belief. If we get that, then we will progress by leaps and bounds as a nation”, Pillai adds.

“It is surprising that even though India has a vast treasure of spirituality, very few people are really acquainted with it as we tend to become complacent about what is our own whereas in the West the thirst for this knowledge is much more”, says the instructor who has conducted courses in several countries.

The United Nations (UN) has accredited the Art of Living foundation as the biggest NGO with it and it has been given a special consultative status attached to the Economics and Social Council. It has adopted 20,000 villages across the globe and is dedicated to the all-round development of these to provide clean drinking water, proper housing facilities and making the society self-reliant.



Complaint against MC president
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, May 8
Complaining against the president of the Dera Bassi Municipal Council, Mr Rajesh Kumar, a resident of Ward no 3, has written to the Director General of Police, Punjab, for registration of a case under the Untouchability Act.

In the complaint to the DGP, the complaint has alleged that Mr Amrit Pal Singh, president of the local civic body and his brother Mr Satpal Singh, threatened him with dire consequences and called him by his caste (Nai) in the presence of the Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) and the Station House Officer (SHO) Dera Bassi.

Following directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the officers had been to Gulabgarh village for verifying certain facts relating to an old dispute between the complainant and his tenant, Mr Shiv Chand, an employee with a local industrial unit.

When contacted, Mr Amrit Pal Singh and his brother denied the allegations. They claimed that Mr Rajesh Kumar had been mounting pressures by levelling false allegations against them.

“Actually Mr Rajesh Kumar is involved in some litigations. So he is making such excuses to pressurize us,” claimed Mr Amrit Pal Singh.

Mr Manmohan Kumar Sharma, DSP, also denied the allegations.



UT skyline for sale
City needs need-based changes
Kuldeep Singh

I have been going through various articles regarding the upcoming apartments and Corbusierian norms. Mr Le Corbusier designed the city of avenues, boulevards, gardens and the public buildings of ultra modern design more than 50 years ago. At that time it was the need to attract people to the city by providing a planned city with facilities. With time the population of the city kept increasing and the Administration kept modifying the rules keeping in mind the need at present time. I am sure even if Corbusier was around today, he would have modified the rules as they are done now, rather he would have no choice but to do so. The modification of rules has simply kept the city going, maintaining the ‘City Beautiful’ name and attracting people.

There are two types of people in the city today: People living in northern or VIP sectors talking about Le Corbusier’s ideas and the people who own apartments or looking for an apartment to live. The only people who keep repeating Le Corbusier are the people who own large houses in Chandigarh. They have purchased the houses when they were cheap. Somehow they also have in mind that they own Chandigarh. But what about the majority of the population? Can they afford a house like Mr Ranjit Malhotra (Vox populi dated April 30, 2005) which costs more than Rs 2 crore today. I am sure only a small fraction have that kind of money.

City is uprising. More than 25,000 external employees are being employed by the IT park. How many of them can afford houses costing crores. Do you expect them to stay away from Chandigarh and work in Chandigarh at the same time? Is it that the people who own large houses in the city, want to keep the city to themselves and keep new comers away? It is not possible to stop people coming into the city.

In present age, a middle class person can only afford an apartment and not a complete house. The Apartment Act has positively made life easier for the majority of the people. The banks are helping to buy. No avenues, gardens, boulevards and gardens have been altered to make apartments and they even look beautiful. This does not increase load on the infrastructure.

The Administration rules allow three floors. They are either occupied by owners or tenants. So even if three different families start living in them how does that increase the water or electricity consumption or reduce the parking space?

The Chandigarh Administration is making flats today on the outskirts of the city. The people living there are also the members of the Chandigarh community. Whereas in the northern sectors, people who are early settlers own big houses with just two three members or most of the houses with no occupants. Where is the equality? I am sure Le Corbusier would not have allowed this inequality.

I am sure that the Apartment Act will make the city more beautiful and lively than it ever was. You will notice that the people who live in smaller houses in Chandigarh are more friendly and helpful to each other compared to the areas of larger houses. Apartments in large house and around the city will help people to interact and live longer. People with Le Corbusier’s ideas who do not want any changes should worry more about keeping the city clean and pollution free, but not by distracting new comers. Instead since they have a lot of valuable property, they should contribute to the welfare of the City Beautiful. Let’s not go backwards. Chandigarh is short of space so nothing can work better. They should even allow floor wise ownership instead of percentage in a house. Let us look towards the development of the country as a whole and not on the individual basis.



Protest turns out to be Akali affair
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
A “rosh march” organised by various organisations in protest against the demolition of certain religious structures in Dadu Majra village turned out to be an Akali affair, with other political parties ignoring it.

Except a Congress councillor of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC), Ms Shyama Negi, other leaders failed to make it to the march. It started from Gurdwara Sant Sar in Sector 38(West) and culminated at Gurdwara Gursagar, behind Sukhna Lake.

Shouting slogans against the Chandigarh Administration, the protesters alleged that a “pick and choose” policy was being followed by the administration while demolishing the religious structures. Traffic was thrown out of gear in certain sectors as the march virtually merged with a Sikh procession.

Mr Gurpartap Singh Riar and Ms Harjinder Kaur(Akalis) were the prominent politicians present at the march.

Sant Sarup Singh of Gurdwara Sant Sar warned the administration to stop issuing notices to the religious places, failing which they would be forced to launch an agitation.

Mr Gurnam Singh Sidhu of the Akali Dal regretted that while hundreds of acres of prime government land had been encroached upon by migrants, the administration was targeting the places of worship.

At a meeting called by the All-India Gurdwara Sahyog Action Committee here on May 5, various leaders had condemned the razing of the structures by the Chandigarh Administration on April 26.



British national disputes Customs official’s claim
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
British national Nasafor Ali Sheikh, whose sports car was reportedly impounded by the Customs Department after he was tried and later acquitted for visa violations, today disputed Assistant Commissioner P.S. Bisht’s statement that he did not have a valid import licence to bring his car to India.

In a signed statement, Mr Sheikh stated that he had not come to India to sell his car, but was in transit. After having passed through 62 countries, he had entered India from Pakistan and was on his way to Bangladesh.

He said he was willing to give an undertaking that he would not sell the car in India and to have the same endorsed on his passport. But each time he agreed to a condition, the Customs officials imposed another and fresh hurdles were put in his way.



Aged to be productively engaged
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
The Senior Citizens Home, Sector 43-A, Chandigarh, today had a glorious day with a cultural group from Dev Samaj College presenting a variety of cultural programmes in their honour as Senior Citizens which included dance, ghazals and songs.

Present on this occasion was Ms Madahvi Kataria, Director Social Welfare and Managing Director of Chandigarh Child and Women Development Corporation which runs the Home. She spent an hour interacting with the residents and plan for their voluntary services in socially useful projects in the fields of their interests.

It is believed that such social services can be effective in occupational therapy for the senior citizens. A number of senior citizens offered to voluntary service for Juvenile Home, Nari Niketan, Savera Short Stay Home and other underprivileged sections of society.

The interaction proved to be a talent hunting exercise and a plan was chalked out whereby in coming days, senior citizens would be seen imparting skills in painting and drawing, cartoon drawing, first aid, basic nursing training, patient care at PGI, coaching in basketball etc.

The talent and experience of senior citizens is sought to be invested in the community besides making them feel useful as an integral part of the society. Such interaction with other members of the society by way of cultural programmes and their participation in socially relevant activities will also prove to be a tool for bringing the aged in the mainstream.

Senior Citizens Home offers accommodation and quality care to the aged at reasonable rates. At present the Home has 32 inmates.



Contests mark 5th anniversary of British Library
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 8
The 12-day-long celebrations on the occasion of the 5th anniversary of the British Library, Sector 9 started with a fun-filled day of activities ranging from fancy dress to website designing contests today. Members of the Library along with their families participated in one activity or the other.

The celebrations began with ‘Do What You Like’, a fancy dress competition in which children in the age group of 8-9 years participated. After the colourful event the clay modelling contest for 10-12 years age group was held. Children in the age group of 13-15 years were involved in a unique activity called ‘Word Building’.

Members of 18 years of age and above debated on the topic ‘Internet is the alternative of libraries’. In the website designing contest where participants of 18 to 25 years of age came out with original and innovative designs for the British Library website.

According to Mr Sushant Banerjee, Manager, British Library, “As part of the 5th successful year celebrations we have introduced 200 new DVDs, English language teaching material and Wildlife books. The competitions we are holding this year is a means of further cementing our relationship with our members”.



Readers write
Drop-in boxes at PU needed

Hundred of students stand in queues for receiving and submitting forms for C.E.T. and other entrance tests in front of the Punjab University Administration Block. Many of them come from far away places. Although the university has provided adequate manpower, the procedure for submitting the forms is not smooth. If drop-in boxes for dropping the forms is adopted, the task would become easy and the students would not have to suffer inconvenience.

My suggestion to the university authorities is that if possible, they should provide one or two big boxes for receiving the forms for entrance tests for which acknowledgement card may be sent by post.

Bhupinder Happy, Karambir Singh, Manpreet Singh, Mohali

Need to prevent crime

I am writing this to comment on the news report in your paper on my having been duped by a conman who stole my purse from my car last Thursday evening from outside Aroma Hotel.

Unfortunately what was highlighted in the different newspapers was the fact that I am a former principal of GCG-11 (though my name was misspelt) or that I am a resident of Sector 43 or that the number of my car is XYZ. I think all this was not important. What actually should have been addressed was the manner in which I lost my bag so that the public in general is forewarned that they should not fall prey to swindlers.

I think it becomes the responsibility of the newspapers that are read so widely to make concerted efforts to help prevent the occurrence of such unfortunate incidents.

Sarjit Kalha, Chandigarh

Save Sukhna

In 2004, the water leel of Sukhna Lake was raised by two feet and the resultant depths were found to be more or less adequate. But a lurking fear that the additional depths would be silted up in around six years was always there.

In 2005, the government plans to start a project for desilting the lake under the standing-water conditions in five years, at a cost of Rs 80 crore. As this lake can be easily emptied, the proposed project can be executed in dry-bed conditions in about three months at a cost of less than Rs 3 crore. But even this is not necessary.

We must bear in mind that the additional capacity aimed to be created would be used as a safety measure against future silting. But such a precaution becomes unnecessary if the lake can be made immune against the entry of any silt in it.

This innovative idea can be achieved before the next rainy season by a very practical scheme costing just Rs 0.50 crore and its feasibility has been recommended by the Institution of Engineers, Chandigarh, to the government.

SP Malhotra, Former Engineer-in-Chief, Irrigation Deptt, Haryana Panchkula



PGI Professor bereaved
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
Dr Madhur Gupta, Professor and Head, Department of Anatomy, PGI, has lost her father, Prof Hari Krishan. He was 84.
A former Engineer-in-Chief, Irrigation Department, Uttar Pradesh, Prof Hari Krishan had proceeded on Vaan Prastha a few years ago. He was staying in Haridwar and was involved in social work. 



Residents get tips on LPG use
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, May 8
To sensitise people about the safe use of LPG, a safety clinic was organised at Tribune Model Gram, Baltana, today.
Col S. S. Sidhu (retd), owner of Indane Highflame Gas Service, Mohali, interacted with residents of the colony and gave them tips on the safe use of LPG. The gas agency conducts such clinics regularly.



Gangster held with gun
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
The Operation Cell of the Chandigarh Police today claimed to have prevented an intra-gang crime by arresting a member of the gang of O.P. Saini. Saini had been operating from the Burail jail till recently before he was released.

Brij Mohan, alias Guddu, 26, was today arrested and a country-made pistol and two cartridges were seized from him near the Hallomajra roundabout.

Guddu reportedly intended to harm a former Saini hitman Satpal, who had, according to Guddu, framed him in a case earlier. The police did not rule out the possibility that the gang might be trying to get active again after Saini was released in the Kiran Cinema contract killing case. Saini also allegedly had connections with international gangs, including that of Mukhtar Ansari who was recently convicted in the American Centre bomb blast case in Kolkota. Satpal had once revealed this to media after parting ways with his former boss.

Satpal was earlier quoted as saying that he feared for his life after he parted ways with O. P. Saini. Satpal is now in jail in connection with an attempt to murder case. He had allegedly inflicted serious injuries on a person at Ram Darbar this week.

Asked about the weapon seized from him, Guddu told reporters that he had a score to settle with Satpal. However, he did not make it clear whether he was carrying the weapon for the same purpose.

Guddu, who hails from Shahjanpur in Uttar Pradesh, had taken the pistol from one Suresh of Hallomajra. However, the police did not comment on the question about the intentions of Guddu.

Guddu was arrested in 1993 for his alleged involvement in the murder of a peon of the Haryana Excise and Taxation office, Dharampal Singh. He was, however, acquitted in the case in 1996.

He was again arrested by the Crime Branch in 1998 along with a country-made gun and a cartridge while allegedly planning a robbery with Saini. He was sentenced to one year in jail in 2000.

Guddu came in contact with local don Saini in the Burail jail between 1993 and 1996.



Two electricians robbed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
Two electricians returning from the Kishangarh Information Technology Park were allegedly robbed their belongings and Rs 1800 at knife point by a gang of four members near Indira Colony last night.

The robbers Arjun, Bittu, Deepak and Sanjay were, however, immediately arrested when the victims Dinesh and Ajji raised an alarm. According to the police, when the alarm was raised a police party immediately approached the spot and chased the robbers. Sanjay was arrested later after the three revealed he was also part of their gang.

The knife and money has been recovered by the police. The robbers have been sent to judicial custody till May 21. It was reportedly the first crime of the robbers.

Meanwhile, Vijay Kumar Sharma, a worker at Gupta Electronics in Manimajra, was today arrested for allegedly stealing a mobile phone and Rs 5000 in cash.

The cash and mobile have been recovered by the police.



Gold chains snatched in Panchkula
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, May 8
Two unidentified motor cycle-borne youths snatched two gold chains from two women in separate incidents in the city here today.
The motorcyclists struck in Sector 11 and snatched a gold chain from Ms Dhan Kaur when she was standing in her courtyard this morning.

In another incident, motorcyclists snatched a chain from Ms Saroj Sharma, a resident of Sector 15. The police has registered cases and investigation is in progress.



Man held for rape bid
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
A 35-year-old man was arrested today for allegedly attempting to rape a 10-year-old daughter of a neighbour in Janata Kumhar Colony.
According to the police, Rocket, alias Raja, was held when he tried to flee after making an attempt on the class IV girl.

The police has booked Rocket under Sections 376, 511 and 354 of the IPC. The girl and the man have been sent to the Sector 16 General Hospital for a medical examination.

The eyewitnesses said Rocket had drinks with the father of the girl during the day when the girl’s mother had gone to work as domestic help.


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