C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Rain no restraint; 53 pc polling to parishad wards
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 3
In spite of a heavy downpour in the morning, around 53 per cent polling was recorded during the elections to the nine wards of zila parishad held here today. The election in the ward comprising. Khuda Jassu, Khuda Lahora and Sarangpur villages was not held as Manmohan Singh had already been elected un opposed from there on June 25

Though sporadic complaints of bogus voting were received from Hallmark, Kajheri and Daria villages, no untoward incident or violation of model code of conduct was reported during the polling which began at 8 am and ended at 5 pm. Supporters of different candidates in Kajehri village complained that the persons who were caught in connection with bogus votes were just let off after warning by Chandigarh Police personnel.

During a tour of different villages, this Tribune reporter came across several irregularities in the electoral rolls. There were also complaints of the election officials allowing the voters to cast their votes without checking the valid documents. Election officials said no complaints of any kind had been forwarded by the respective Returning Officers (RO).

Of the total 43, 243 votes in the 18 UT villages, the number of votes polled were 23,175, said the officer. He disclosed that in the election office the highest polling was recorded at Behlana and (66 per cent) and lowest was at Hallomajra (41.40 per cent).



Zila Parishad Poll
Use of fake identity cards rampant
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 3
Youth power did make its presence felt in the UT Zila Parishad elections but for unethical reasons. During the polling at a polling station in Kajehri village, a youths tried to impersonate as Gurbaz Singh, a resident of House Number 66, Kajehri village. To support his claim in front of the Presiding Officer concerned, the youth was possessing an identify card supposedly issued by Mr Pawan Sharma, who has signed it as the President of the Chandigarh District Youth Congress (Rural).

The youth escaped from the spot before being caught. The incident took place in front of the Tribune reporter. The President of the Chandigarh Territorial Youth Congress, Mr H.S. Lucky, denied that the card had been issued by any party office-bearer. He did not rule out the possibility of fake identity cards being used by unscrupulous elements. Mr Didar Singh, who is the President of the District Youth Congress (Rural), said he had so far not issued any card to any of the members of the rural wing of the party.

Mr Pawan Sharma, a member of the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee, said he had not issued the card as he was not holding the position mentioned on it.

At the polling station, some of the candidates alleged that such fake identity cards were successfully used by some of the impersonator but no action was taken. They alleged that the polling staff was not checking the valid documents, a fact denied by them.

Votes deleted in poll rolls: A former Chairman of the Panchayat Samiti, who was still its member, complained that his vote and the votes of his nine other family members had been deleted from the electoral rolls of Badehri village. He alleged that it had been intentionally done.

Besides, there were other cases in which a number of bogus voters had been registered in the electoral rolls. For example, there were 24 voters in House Number 66. Similarly the name of Payara Singh and his five other family members had been entered thrice in the votes’ list of Hallo Majra village.

No revision: The efficiency of the election office came to light today when several cases of voters’ names were found repeated twice or thrice in the list. In case of Hallomajra village, Mrs Harinder Kaur, one of the candidate, said that she along with other candidates had complained to the State Election Commission that of the total 9104 votes, 471 votes had been repeated. The candidates did not rule out mischief behind the repetition of names in the voter.

The election staff while repeating the name changed the house address. Such cases had come to light from other villages. Ms Kaur complained that the presiding officer did not take note of the complaint made by her polling agent.

Women power only on paper: Very few of the women voters knew that it was zila parishad elections. Most of them when quizzed admitted that they had been told by his male family members to cast vote for a particular candidate. The awareness of the women candidates was also not very encouraging.



102 low-floored buses to hit city roads
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 3
The Chandigarh Transport Undertaking is all set to have a new look with the State Transport Authority (STA) approving an upgraded model of semi-low floor bus which are already on a trial-run in the city from the past fortnight. As many as 102 buses will be added to the existing fleet, reliable sources said.

A senior official said: “The CTU had got 14 buses in the first batch which are already running on different routes. These buses had faced criticism because of certain functional drawbacks. The first batch of buses in the new order are likely to arrive within 30 to 40 days. The new version is an updated model of the earlier delivery”.

He said: “The model has been re-introduced with certain improvements in body design and the engine. The new model has been provided with a tacometre. The earlier model had complaints of the engine getting over-heated which has been looked into in the new model. Certain improvements have also been made in the body”.

The officer said the bus on the trial run had shown satisfactory results which led to the STA according a formal approval for the bus model. The second lot of 20 more buses would come a month later.

Another senior officer said: “The semi-low floor buses were best suited for the elders and children during boarding and getting-off. There are more hold bars for the comfort of the travellers. The bus has aesthetically designed exterior, ergonomically designed interiors and a well designed cabin”.

Employees of the CTU had made strong objections when the first batch of buses was introduced highlighting “technical problems and functional handicaps”. The administration had also partially accepted the flaw in the design of the original bus.

It was pointed out that the buses had a door in the middle of the bus also which created problems for the conductor.

However, experts also feel that the city instead of adding more buses to its existing strength should work effectively on an alternative means of public transport. The city is studying a proposal on monorail in the city which was originally presented by the Craphts to the UT Administration in 1997.

The original plan for the monorail had a total length of 47.8 km on five different routes. A senior officer said the “city population had crossed 11 lakh in the city alone and the number of vehicles was more than six lakh in 2004. On an average 200 vehicles are added daily. The city will have to work effectively on introducing an effective public transport system”. 



Local lawyer moves court, terms buses as defective
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 3
The introduction of the low-floor buses by the Chandigarh Administration in the city may run into rough weather. An advocate of the district courts Mr Arvind Thakur, has moved the court.

Taking up the petition, Mr R.K. Sharma, Civil Judge (Junior Division), has fixed July 16 as the next date for consideration and arguments.

In his petition, Mr Arvind Thakur said that the UT Administration was buying the buses, which had been “rejected” by other states in the wake of serious defects in these.

Mr Thakur alleged that the 14 such buses, which were purchased by the UT Administration over one-and-a-half years ago, had been giving poor performance. These had proved to be costlier than other buses as they gave a low average per litre of diesel.

Regarding other defects, he alleged that the rear-side engine made the vehicle more polluting. Meanwhile, certain defects pointed out to the company during the first stage inspection are yet to rectified even during the second stage inspection conducted on May 19 this year.

The UT Administration had decided to purchase the low-floor buses and introduce the grid system with a view to improve the functioning of the public transport system. Currently, the public transport system in the city is crying for attention, putting thousands of commuters to a lot inconvenience.

Even the city transport unions are divided on the purchase of the low-floor buses, which are supposed to be conforming to latest standards and fuel-efficient. While certain unions have thrown their lot with the administration on the issue, others are opposing the purchase vehemently terming them as “costly and polluting.”



Two killed in road mishaps
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 3
Two persons lost their lives in two different road accidents in various parts of the city. Both victims aged 30 and 17 years were crushed under buses and later died at the GMCH, Sector 32.

Police sources said, Karan, alias Abhishek (17), a resident of Muktsar was crushed under a CTU bus near the Sector 27-28 light point, when he was crossing the road. He was going towards the Grain Market, Sector 26.

He sustained serious injuries and was rushed to the GMCH, where he later died. The police has booked the bus driver, Baba Singh, for rash and negligent driving.

In another incident, Solan (30) was crushed to death by a Punjab Roadways bus near the Poultry Farm Chowk, here this morning.

The sources said Solan, a resident of Hallo Majra village, was coming from Patiala by bus. The accident occurred when he was disembarking from the bus and lost his balance.



Passing Thru

Main Zubair Anwar
Main Zubair Anwar District Sports (Officer), Faisalabad, Pakistan

What brings you to Chandigarh?

I am here for the third Indo-Pak Cycle Polo meet taking place in the city. Though the game is still new in our country, it is catching up fast and becoming popular.

What do you think are the future prospects for the sport for Pakistan?

India is an inspiration for us to do well in cycle polo. We hope to improve tremendously in the coming days. In fact we are going to work extremely hard for the forthcoming world cycle polo competition that are going to take place in October this year at Jaipur. Similarly, we are hopeful to put up a great performance at the Asian championships later this year.

Do you think that sports meet can play a major role in strengthening the ties between the two countries?

Definitely, such sports meets are a positive attempt to strengthen the relationships between the two countries. The Indo-Pak Cycle Polo meet was started three years ago and has achieved popularity over these years.

— Neelam Sharma



Second monsoon shower disturbs life in city
Trees uprooted, houses inundated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 3
Though not as heavy as the first monsoon shower of the season, today’s rains did not budge until they had caused their share of inconvenience to the city.
Where on the one hand the showers brought much needed respite from yesterday’s hot and humid conditions, on the other they threw normal life out of gear.

As always, colonies across length and breadth of the city were the most adversely affected by today’s rains which were, by no standards, heavy. Met Department recorded 11 mm rains after 8.30 am today. The figure is insignificant when compared to 103.6 mm rain which the city recorded on June 26.

The cooling effect was nevertheless there, as the day temperatures fell by 1.6°C in comparison to yesterday. However the minimum temperature remained unchanged. It was the same as yesterday - 26.2 °C.

Back to rains - they created much trouble for the residents of Maloya Colony where Chandigarh Housing Board houses were inundated to the level of 1.5 feet. Even the roads were largely flooded enhancing the threat of accidents. No mishaps were however reported.

Elsewhere in the city too, traffic disruptions were common while it rained heavily from morning till the noon hour, and even after that. Offices being closed, the day was however saved because roads witnessed less than normal rush.

On another front, plant were badly damaged due to today’s rains, with about four trees being uprooted at different locations. The maximum damage occurred to a full grown tree on the Sector 27-28 dividing road. Under the impact of rains and strong winds, the tree was ripped up from its location.

Incidentally, not all Met centres in the northwestern zone recorded much rain today. Ludhiana and Amritsar had none; Patiala had 23 mm, Ambala had 57 mm, Hisar recorded traces while Karnal had 43 mm.



Rainwater enters Mohali houses
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 3
At least two children were injured and several residents of Phase V were saw over three feet of water in their houses following rainfall this morning. The maximum damage was caused in Jagatpura village where the rehabilitated Guru Nanak colony residents did not have any arrangements for shelter.

Rainfall and the wind broke down the tin roofs of their four walled brick structures this morning. Residents stated that two small children inside a brick hut were injured when tin roof fell following winds. They alleged that they had been shifted at the wrong time and were virtually shelterless and the government had done nothing to sort out the problems that they were facing here.

Meanwhile, several residents of Phase V here spent the entire morning trying to remove water from their houses. A set of 40 houses in the low lying area of Phase V has been facing this problem every monsoon for the past many years. After a long legal battle, the residents managed to get a drainage project sanctioned for the area. But the project that was to be completed by June 30 is still underway. “The laying of special storm water drainage pipes was to be finished before the monsoons arrived. But it seems we would have to spend more such days flushing out buckets of water from our houses.” pointed out Mr Kaushik, a resident in the area.

The residents here have constructed cement barricades inside their main gates but no amount of barricading prevents rain water from entering the houses. “We have been on our feet since the morning trying to struggle with the spate of water entering they house. The carpets are all drenched and articles are floating in the water,” said Mr Kaushik.

When contacted, the Executive Engineer in charge of the project, Mr R.K. Vij, said the storm water drains would be functional within this week. “We have completed the laying of the pipes and would have made them functional by June 30 had it not rained. Rains have delayed the completion by a few weeks. But these drains would be made functional within the next few days,” he said.

Normal life was disrupted in the township in roads were inundated with over four feet of water.



Alleluia, its raining man!
Swarleen Kaur

Chandigarh, July 3
Rainy season triggers romantic passion among lovers. It becomes hard for them to stay away from each other in such a weather. That time is a passé now when forlorn lovers used to feel the pain of separation in the pouring rain.

It was very difficult then for the lovers to meet each other. Suppressing social barriers was not easy. Courting was no fun. It needed so much courage that only the brave-hearts chose to tread it.

But this generation does not need to go through all this. They have tasted the fruit of freedom and would rather prefer to go on a long drive than suffer the pangs. But perhaps they are not aware that at the same time they have lost the privilege to sing the songs of separation.

Sitting in the four walls of homes and dreaming about the beloved, girls would long for the “milan”. But now no more.

The lovebirds, attracted by the zing of life, will love to go to a coffee shop to sip cappuccino. Enjoying together is in. Developing deep ties is out.

After talking to some love-struck couples of the city, it was obvious that they surely didn’t want to miss the good weather.

Hitesh, a mechanical engineering student, said: “When the weather gets romantic, dating is must. My girlfriend and I just love the rain and don’t let the moment slip. We prefer to go on a ‘geri’ and then sit at quiet place.”

“I still remember when the last time we went to Kasuali on a bike and it started to rain on the way. It was a lovely feeling to the feel the showers and sees her lovely locks get wet. I wish those moments come again in my life,” he sighs.

On Sunday the weather was pretty good for lovers, so most of them turned to Sukhna Lake.

One such couple, Nisha and Mohit, spotted at the lake said: “Taking a long walk here and talking to each other is enough for us. Since both of us are working, we hardly get time for each other but it was a lucky day for us to be just together.”

For Geeta, a student of Government College, Sector 11, just being together in the rain is enough. “Sitting with each and looking into each other’s eyes and saying all those things where all words fail. It feels so good.”

So those lovers who have missed the chance to feel the high tides of love should utilise these rains and shouldn’t forget to enjoy the drops like Geri Halliwell did in “It’s raining man, alleluia its raining man...”



Father approaches Administrator in Anju Kohli death case
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu

Anju Kohli
Anju Kohli

Chandigarh, July 3
Fed up with police inaction, father of Anju Kohli (30), who was found hanging at her Sector 38 (West) residence on June 1 approached the UT Administrator today and demanded a CBI inquiry into the case. The father alleged that the Chandigarh police was not investigating the case properly and there were many unanswered questions relating to her mysterious death.

In his letter to the UT Administrator, the father, Mr Jagan Nath Arora, maintains that it was not a case of abetment to suicide, but of murder as the circumstantial evidence indicated.

He said he had met the UT Inspector-General of Police, Mr Satish Chandra, on June 13 and provided him certain material pertaining to the case, but the police did not examine the material properly.

The police had registered a case of abetment to suicide under Section 306 of the IPC against Ajay Kohli and his mother Sawaran Kohli on June 1. They were sent to judicial custody later by a local court.

Mr Arora, while alleging the police inaction, said he met the SHO of Sector 39 police station many times and informed him about the alleged involvement of Bawa, alias Urvershi, a cousin of Ajay Kohli, in torturing Anju. Mr Arora said his daughter had written letters to him about the alleged role of Bawa. He also named another person, Vinod Verma, a neighbour of Ajay Kohli, for his alleged involvement in his daughter’s death.

Mr Arora alleged that the police did not arrest them and also added that Vinod had allegedly manipulated with the material evidence. Besides this, the police did not pick up the fingerprints from the telephone receiver and other items till date.

The father, in his complaint, said he had a “little faith” in the police and the police had not sealed the house where the crime took place till date, but had only locked it. The police had also handed over the keys of the house to Vinod Kumar.

A senior police officer said the police was investigating the case properly. He added that it was a case of suicide.



Rowdy scenes at federation meeting
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 3
The executive committee meeting of the Federation of Sector Welfare Associations Chandigarh (FOSWAC) at the Community Centre, Sector 20, today turned out to be a rowdy affair as office-bearers “clashed” over allowing new members to join in the meeting.

The chairman, FOSWAC, Mr P.C. Sanghi, alleged that the general secretary of the FOSWAC, Col D.R. Nijhawan, disrupted the meeting with the help of “outsiders”, who were not members of the executive committee.

“He also used abusive language against me and some other members. A few disgruntled members also joined hands with him. The bone of contention was that some new association, which were enrolled on or before May 2005, deposited the necessary subscription and also attended the meetings of the executive committee in the past, were not allowed to attend the today’s meeting by Col D.R. Nijhawan,” he maintained.

After members condemned his action, Colonel Nijhawan left the meeting and refused to discharge his duties, followed by Air Marshall Randhir Singh (retd) and his team. After their departure, the meeting of the executive committee attended by 21 of the 31 associations, and four of the office-bearers out of six, was convened.

The executive committee unanimously adopted the resolution moved by Mr M.R. Lakhanpal, vice-chairman, to take action against Colonel Nijhawan and suspend him under regulation 114 of the rules and regulations of the FOSWAC for his “unbecoming conduct, which is detrimental to the interest of the FOSWAC”.

Mr Sadhu Singh, joint secretary, FOSWAC, was given the responsibility of the general secretary and to conduct the meeting in the absence of the general secretary as per constitution.

It was also unanimously decided to write to the bank not to honour the signatures of Col Nijhawan for the operation of bank accounts of the FOSWAC with immediate effect, which shall now be operated jointly by the secretary finance and the chairman.

Colonel Nijhawan alleged that Mr P.C. Sanghi, had been in the controversy with his members. He also picked up quarrel at the elections, which were held in Sector 21.

“He is trying to enroll new members for the FOSWAC. He invites applications at home and gives the receipt. The members have been objecting to this practice as they find it illegal. Now at the meeting three association members were enrolled by the same practice. It was again objected to by the members. They suggested to have the voting system. It was accepted. I told unauthorised members to leave the hall and only bonafide members to remain there. Mr Sanghi found himself in minority. He told newly-elected members to stay there, which led to a controversy.”

Later on, Colonel Nijahwan came to know through CITI Cable that he had been suspended.

“Constitutionally, no body can suspend me. We have the majority. This is an illegal pratice,” Colonel Nijhawan added.



Crowded parking lots mock HUDA
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 3
As the Town Planning wing of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) has failed to plan for parking places in most markets and public offices of the township, the visitors and traders in these markets and members of general public are facing traffic snarls. While HUDA and traffic police choose to look the other way.

Though market places in various sectors of the township have turned into important commercial hubs, the parking blues at these places is causing a lot of inconvenience. With Sector 11 market turning into the most important commercial centre, and the Sector 7 market being the most popular hang-out, roads surrounding the two market places, and the miniscule parking space here remains jam packed through the day.

Even in Sector 8, especially after the Post Office has shifted here last year, there has been a parking problem in the market place. The district courts and the Mini-Secretariat, where thousands of people visit each day, too, have inadequate parking place for the public, though parking for official vehicles has been planned.

Now the municipal council president, Mr Tarun Bhandari, says that he would ask HUDA to allot alternate sites as parking places near these markets. “As the time passes by, the traffic problem will only increase, and we will have to allot more space for parking. So I will take up the matter with HUDA on a priority basis,” he said.

Asked if there was any plan to introduce paid parking in the new parking places, or the existing ones, the MC president categorically declined that there was any such move. “I have promised a people-friendly governance. No additional tax burden, in any form, will be put on the residents of the township,” he said.

Mr Bhandari also said that the council would now install lights in all public parks and water channels along the roads and road gullies are being cleaned to ensure proper drainage in the monsoons.



Protest against apartments’ developer
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 3
Residents of New Generation Apartments, residential colony located along the Zirakpur-Panchkula road, today protested against the alleged high-handedness of the developer of the apartments at sector 34 police station.

Alleging that they have been deprived of all basic civic amenities by the developer, since they were given possession, over 20 residents today reached the house of the developer and later the police station.

In a complaint to the police, the protesters alleged that the developer, Mr R.M. Singla, had been cheating them by making false promises. The facilities, ensured before the selling of the apartments, were not provided to them.

The members alleged that the main gate of the society was shifted to other place. To provide adequate water supply, the coloniser had not made any alternative arrangement for is deep tubewell. The society also lacks a Community Centre.

Despite charging huge money for maintenance purpose in advance, the developer ignored the maintenance works and was misusing the funds, alleged Mr R.K. Saini, president of the society.

Efforts to contact Mr R.M. Singla proved futile till late in the evening. 



Indian soldiers, US Marines hold joint training exercise
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 3
Indian Army soldiers and US Marines held a joint training exercise on counter-terrorist operations in California last month. Two platoons drawn from a Maratha Light Infantry battalion and the Fifth Gorkha Rifles spent about two weeks at a Marine base for the purpose.

According to a senior officer, the exercise involved familiarisation with weapons used by the Marines and field tactics employed by them. While the Indian Army as well as the US Marines have extensive counter-terrorist experience, tactics employed by them are radically different.

The training included indoor theoretical lessons as well as field exercise and mock battle drills. Urban assault, street patrolling and sanitising built-up structures were the key-points of the training.



Kids make merry at mango mela
Tribune News Service

Pinjore, July 3
If the rains played the spoilsport on the concluding day of the mango Mela here in the morning, the relatively cool evening breeze brought visitors in droves to the Yadavindra Gardens here.

The serpentine queues on the National Highway all led to the mango Mela and hundreds of people from Panchkula, Chandigarh, Mohali, Patiala, and the adjoining areas of Himachal came to the mela. Other than various competitions, including a mango eating competition, a colourful cultural show was also presented.

The Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, was the chief guest on the occasion. He said the government would set up new food processing units in the state to promote agriculture and preserve fruits and vegetables. Fresh cold storages would also be set up, he added.

The Chief Minister said the government was giving special thrust to the promotion of vegetables and fruits, so that farmers could get remunerative prices for their produce. He said mango was being exported to foreign countries and efforts were on to grow more Alphanzo mangoes in Yamunanagar district as the climate there was perfect for this variety.

To a question about the expansion of the Cabinet, the Chief Minister said there was no idea for the expansion of the Cabinet so far. About the construction of the Kalka bypass, Mr Hooda said he had taken up the issue with the Central Government. He said he had also demanded that the project should be sanctioned at the earliest during the recently held National Development Council meeting .

On the occasion, the Chief Minister, accompanied by his wife, Mrs Asha Rani Hooda, give away prizes to the mango growers. The Haryana Aam Kesari Award was bagged by the Saluja Horti Farm, Yamunanagar, and the Aam Kesari Award was given to Mohammad Usman of Raipur in Saharanpur. Yamunanagar and Panchkula districts shared the first prize for the best varieties of mangoes.

The Chief Secretary, Mr G. Madhavan, presented a memento to the Chief Minister.

It was a free for all as the 14th mango mela came to a close. Unable to resist the tempatation of such exotic varieties of mangoes, many visitors went into a mango looting spree. Women and children too joined in the loot and snatched the mangoes along with the plates in which they were kept on the display tables. The police, which was moving along with the Chief Minister, got into action as the hooligans and participants went on a rampage. The police had to resort to a mild lathi charge and the situation was brought under control. But by that time most of the mangoes had disappeared from the stalls.



Bus serving a holy cause
Arvind Katyal

Chandigarh, July 3
Holy vehicle off wheels! At one corner of the Sector 17 Inter-State Bus Terminus stands a bus. It is stationed there for the past 50 years. The family of Mangal Swarup is serving the people of the region by selling religious literature mainly of the Gita Press, Gorakhpur. The bus once used to be move in Chandigarh and other nearby areas is now permanently stationed just opposite Bus stand near the Circus and Football grounds.

Mangal Swarup who is now supported by his son, daughter in-laws and grandson said it was perhaps the only place in Chandigarh region where one could find latest Hindu spiritual books and “granths”.

The books which remain in hot demand includes Ramayana, Mahabharata, Bhagwadpuran, Bhagvadgita, Hanuman Chalisa. He said Gita Press was the largest and cheapest supplier of religious books. Of late, the English version of the various Hindu spiritual books were also now available. Mangal Swarup said the first one to spot. This vehicle-cum-shop were the commuters getting down at ISBT and the office-goers and tourists who heads for the Sector 17 market.

Mangal Swarup said his son, Mehar Chand, and daughter-in-law, Pushpa Devi, fully support him. Though he is now too old to visit various markets and stalls, it is their generation next which now caters to the demand by supplying books to different shops. He said on various occasions, he had made a request to the Chandigarh Administration to allot booth on subsidised rates since they cannot afford to pay for booths. He said they were paying the Estate Office, Chandigarh an amount of Rs 500 per month for selling the books in a “stranded” vehicle. He said but few days ago, personnel from the local authorities tried to remove their bus with crane. It was after much persuasion that the vehicle was lifted and placed about 100 metres from its earlier location.



Ample scope in media jobs: expert
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 3
Mr Sunil Gupta, advertising and communication expert and former JWT honcho, conducted an interactive session with aspiring professionals looking for promising careers here today.

“The scope in media-related job is tremendous as media options have multiplied, including the number of channels on television and newspapers, magazines and websites, said Mr Gupta. However, there is need to strike a balance between academics and practice. Good training institutes give a firm grounding in the fundamentals of media and communication disciplines while giving them exposure in the actual practice in these sectors. 



Rotary gets new team
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 3
Dr J K Kakkar was installed as the President of Rotary Club, Panchkula, for 2005-06, by Mr N.P. Sabharwal at an impressive ceremony held here last night. Dr Kakkar also introduced his board members Dr G K Munjal as Senior Vice President, Mr Sandeep Aggarwal as Secretary, Mr Naval Maglani as Treasurer, besides five Directors and Joint Directors.

Dr Kakkar announced that his team would take up projects like water management, literacy, working with NGO’s, women and child care, setting up of diagnostic lab. and charitable hospital, and, funding computer education for poor children.

He said ongoing projects like free homoeopathic dispensary, education to colony children, beautician courses and stitching and embroidery courses will continue at Rotary House in Sector 12- A. 



Checker installed as Rotary chief
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 3
Mr S.K. Checker was installed as president of the Rotary Club, Central, here today Inderjit Singh is the club secretary for the year. The chief guest on the occasion, Dr K. Talwar, Director, PGI, installed the new board of directors, which include Mr H.S. Nanda, Mr R.S.Cheema, Mr Vinod Sharma, Mr G.S. Bal and Mr M.M. Batra.

The president highlighted various projects, which are being handled presently, and proposed community projects to be undertaken for the benefit of society.



Gurupurnima mahotasava celebrations
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 3
Elaborate arrangements are being made at the Sant Sri Asa Ramji Ashram in
Seonk village, near here , for the annual Gurupurnima mahotasava to be held from July 6 to July 8.

Over five lakh followers of Sant Sri Asa Ramji would collect at the ashram for the celebrations, said a spokesman for the organising committee today. He added that thousands of enrolled sewaks of Vedant Sewa samitis from various places would render their services at the venue round the clock.

He said langar, transportation, accommodation, law and order and security arrangements for those coming from far off places had been made on a grand scale.



Gulati is CMA president
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 3
The Chandigarh Management Association (CMA) has elected Mr B.M Gulati as its new president for 2005-06 at its annual general body meeting held on Saturday. He is the Managing Director of J.D Enterprises, Chandigarh.

The other members of the new executive committee are: Prof Satish Kapoor— vice-president ( Chairman, University Business School); Dr Neeraj —Pasricha, general secretary (Regional Director, Institute of Cooperative Management); Mr J.V Vohra; Col MGS Khurana; P.R Singhania and Vikram Hans

CMA has more than 400 professional members, 60 corporate members besides 150 student members.



Renaming of shrines invites protests
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 3
The proposed renaming of two historical shrines in Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir has sparked off protests from the Kashmiri Sahayak Sabha.
At a meeting here today, the sabha condemned the renaming of the Shankaracharya Hill as Suleman Teng and Hari Parbat as the Kohi-Maraan by the PDP-Congress Government.

The Kashmiri Pandit community is shocked as the renaming would complete the ethnic cleansing of the community, which started in 1989 with their exodus from the Valley, a press note said.

The sabha urged the Central Government to intervene in the matter and reverse the “communal decision” of the Mufti government.



No power for 9 hours
Tribunes News Service

Chandigarh, July 3
Residents of Sector 44-B remained without electricity for over nine hours today.
A senior citizen said there was no electricity supply from 10 am and to 7 pm. Sources in the department said the supply was cut because of a fault in the underground supply lines in the Sector 44-B area.



Tribune employee bereaved
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 3
Chawali Devi (92), mother of Mr Jai Kishan Sharma, Assistant Foreman (Electrical), The Tribune, Chandigarh, died at Kambali village near Phase 11, Mohali, today. She is survived by three sons and two daughters. The cremation will take place at the village tomorrow at 10 am.



7 held for Sec 39 gurdwara attack
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 3
The police today arrested seven persons on the charges of rioting, trespassing, causing violence in Sector 39 gurdwara late last night.
The police registered a case after a group of armed persons attacked a congregation in the gurdwara last night.

The assailants were armed with swords and sickles. Three men and a woman were reportedly injured in the attack. The SHO of Sector 39 police station, Mr Nanha Ram Kadian, escaped with minor injuries, police sources said.

A case of rioting, trespass and causing injuries under various sections of the IPC was registered on the basis of a complaint filed by the president of the gurdwara, Mr Bhag Singh of Bar Majra village, in Ropar district.

The police arrested Tota Singh of Bathinda district, Sukhdev Singh of Baba Bakala in Amritsar district, Major Singh of Poohla village in Amritsar, Ajit Singh of Khuddi Cheema village in Gurdaspur district, Karaz Singh of Poohla village, Mohan Singh, alias Gulab Singh, of Manochahal village in Amritsar district, and Surinder Singh of Dogra Basti in Faridkot district. The arrested persons belonged to the Ajit Singh Poohla’s group, said the sources.

It may be recalled that Sector 39 gurdwara had hit the headlines recently, when on June 23, Col G.S. Sandhu (retd) and his armed men were booked on the charges of trespassing, kidnapping and rioting. Col Sandhu had forcibly vacated the gurdwara from the possession of the followers of Ajit Singh Poohla.

It was also alleged that Ajit Singh Poohla had taken the possession of the gurdwara in connivance with the UT SSP long back.

The gurdwara also came into news after a section of media highlighted that opium was growing on the premises of the gurdwara and subsequently a case was registered in this regard. 



1 held, cheetah skin seized
Tribune News Service

The police with the cheetah skin seized from a Himachal resident, Sanjiv Kumar at the Phase I police station in Mohali on Sunday
The police with the cheetah skin seized from a Himachal resident, Sanjiv Kumar (second from left) at the Phase I police station in Mohali on Sunday. — A Tribune photograph

Mohali, July 3
The Mohali police today arrested an alleged wildlife smuggler trying to sell a cheetah skin in the township. The cheetah skin was recovered from the accused, Sanjiv Kumar, a resident of Sirmaur district in Himachal Pradesh.

According to the police, Sanjiv is the son of Balbir Singh, a retired Forest Ranger in Sirmaur, and has “links” with wildlife smugglers in Himachal Pradesh.

He was arrested by a police team posing as customers this afternoon. “We received information that this person was trying to contact some of the rich persons in the township to sell the skin. We sent a policeman posing as a decoy customer to him and he was caught red-handed,” explained the Superintendent of Police, Mohali, Mr Rakesh Agarwal, during a press conference here today.

Mr Agarwal said Sanjiv had come from his village Dhingri Dhimi by bus last morning and had been trying to sell the animal skin here. He told the police that he had bought the skin from his village for Rs 20,000 and intended to sell it for Rs 50,000 here. “It seems he is not the one who hunted the cheetah and deals only in the skins. He told us that one of his friends in Sirmaur also had three such skins. We would be sending a raiding party to Sirmaur to catch those who supplied Sanjiv with the skin,” said Mr Agarwal.

Mr Agarwal added that they officials had been called from Ropar to ascertain the type and value of the skin recovered. “This is the first time we have come across such a crime being committed in Mohali. We have booked Sanjiv under Sections 39, 49 and 51 of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972,”said Mr Agarwal.



Immigration racket busted, 2 held
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 3
An immigration ‘racket’ running into lakh of rupees was busted today with the arrest of two persons. However, the third accused is still at large. Police sources said the ‘racket’ was being operated from Mumbai, where the kingpin lives.

The police today arrested Surinder Singh of Shimla Puri in Ludhiana and Darshan Singh of Majri Jhandedara in Ropar district. A case of cheating was registered. They were sent to judicial custody till July 10 by a local court. The third accused, Harjinder Singh, alias Jaswinder Singh, alias Happy, of Fatehpur village in Hoshiarpur district, is still at large, said the sources.

The racket came to light when 31 complainants lodged a complaint with the police alleging that they had been duped by the Bharat Associates, a firm based in NAC, Mani Majra, of more than Rs 18 lakh. The complainants hail from various parts of Punjab and were lured by the accused on the pretext of getting them jobs like of truck drivers, electricians etc, in Dubai, said police sources.

The sources said, Mr Harbinder Singh, a resident of Golchakar Mohalla in Ropar district, lodged a complaint alleging that Surinder Singh, Darshan Singh and Harjinder Singh, alias Happy, had taken Rs 60,000 promising to send him to Dubai in May this year. Surinder Singh is the manager of the Bharat Association. Mr Harbinder Singh told the police that he along with many others like him was lured by an advertisement in a vernacular paper in May. He said the advertisement stated that skilled labourers were needed in Dubai.

Harbinder said the accused assured him that he would fly to Dubai on June 29. When he was not informed about his case on the appointed day, he reportedly came to the company office, like many others, they came to know that the accused had closed their office and fled.

Mr Jaswinder Singh, another complainant, said they were asked to pay Rs 60,000 each for the visa of Duabi. He said as they belonged to poor families they had arranged the sum by raising loans and some of them had even sold their small pieces of land.

The sources said the accused had their offices in Ambala and Mumbai. The main accused, Gagan Kumar Sharma, alias Salim Bhai, is operating the racket from Mumbai.



1 held with 26 kg of poppy husk
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 3
The police today arrested a person and seized 26 kg of poppy husk from him. A house was burgled and in a separate incident a motor cycle was stolen. A man was held for possessing 12 bottles of liquor illegally.

Ram Singh, resident of Kishangarh village was arrested at a picket point near IT Park road and 26 kg of poppy husk seized from him.

He was booked under the NDPS Act and will be produced in court tomorrow. Mr Pawan Kumar of Maloya Colony reported to the police his house was burgled and cash had been stolen from by breaking open an almirah when he was out of station for some days. A case has been registered.

Mr Naveen Khullar of Sector 22-B reported to the police that his Hero Honda Splendour motor cycle (HR-02-H-8494) was stolen from his residence during the night of July 1.

The police arrested Govind Kumar of Hallo Majra village from Phase I, Industrial Area, for possessing 12 bottles of liquor illegally. A case has been registered.



Kidnapped man returns, wife still missing
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 3
Ashwani Kumar, alias Rinku (24), who had been allegedly kidnapped along with his wife Jahan Ara on June 30 by her father and others, today returned to the city. Ashwani was allegedly thrashed up by the kidnappers during the past three days. The parents of the girl were unhappy over the inter-religious marriage of their daughter.

Ashwani told the police that he was dropped at Kiratpur in Uttar Pradesh last evening. He said the kidnappers, including Mohammad Arif, father of the girl, her two brothers, her maternal uncle and three other persons, had forcibly picked him and his wife Jahan from their Colony Number 5 residence at 3 am on June 30 on a gunpoint.

Ashwani said the kidnappers took them to various places in Uttar Pradesh and thrashed him up.



SBI’s golden jubilee day
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 3
The State Bank of India, Sector 17, Chandigarh branch, organised a series of activities at the Paraplegic Rehabilitation Centre here yesterday to mark their golden jubilee day.

Mr Krishan Kumar, General Manager (Area-1) SBI, Chandigarh circle, donated a knitting machine for the inmates and their dependents living at the centre. A sports meet was organised on the occasion. Sepoy M.K. Saha won the 100 meter wheelchair race.


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