C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Hawara ‘regrets’ not killing Tytler
Bhaniarawala, Ashutosh were also on hit list
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Though jail officials blamed for assisting Hawara in the great escape are happy over his reported statement regarding their innocence in the jailbreak cases, the Chandigarh police takes the alleged militant’s assertion with a “pinch of salt”. In fact, the sources in the police headquarters say the Chandigarh police is looking into the possibility of Hawara deliberately shielding the officers. 

Chandigarh, July 9
Babbar Khalsa International’s alleged chief Jagtar Singh Hawara has reportedly told the Chandigarh police that he had only one regret — that of being arrested before he could accomplish his mission of assassinating senior Congress man Jagdish Tytler and religious leaders Baba Piara Singh Bhaniarawala and Ashutosh.

Hawara — also the alleged assassin of Punjab’s former Chief Minister Beant Singh — has further told the police that “he will kill them after rebirth, if not in this life”.

He claimed that he was being implicated in the twin blasts that shook the national capital in May. “I am not responsible for the explosions in Delhi cinema halls. I can kill Beant Singh and Tytler. But I cannot target innocents,” he has reportedly claimed.

Sources in the police headquarters said Hawara, in custody of the Chandigarh police, was interrogated throughout the day by senior officers at the operation cell in Sector 26. He was questioned regarding his escape from Model Jail in Burail village and his subsequent “attempts to revive militancy in the state”.

Chandigarh’s Senior Superintendent of Police Gaurav Yadav and officers of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) were reportedly present during Hawara’s questioning. The Punjab police is expected to join the questioning sessions.

For the purpose of his interrogation, the operation cell was converted into nothing less than a fortress with cops carrying automatic and semi-automatic arms, patrolling the place. Even Hawara’s counsel reportedly faced problems in getting through the awesome gates.

In fact, counsel Arvind Thakur claimed that he was forced to part with his belongings, including spiritual items, purse and documents, before meeting Hawara. “The cops wanted me to take off the rings I was wearing, but I protested,” he asserted.

Giving details of the interrogation, Mr Thakur said Hawara was fully co-operating with the police. The cops, too, were not harassing him. Hawara was, however, bitter about the way his wife was being treated by the police. Quoting Hawara, he said the alleged militant’s wife had nothing to do with militancy.

Meanwhile, the sources said Hawara kept beating about the bush throughout the day. “He kept on giving the same answers again and again,” they said. He, however, gave a clean chit to jail officials.

Hawara reportedly told the interrogating officers that the digging work was carried out twice daily — two hours in the morning and two in the evening — without the connivance of the jail staff.

They were apprehensive to approach him. In any case, the staff were allowed to keep the change each time they did shopping for him. “They were happy with this alone,” he told the cops, adding that the digging work was primarily done by accomplice Devi Singh with the help of a “khurpa”.



Jail floor was broken with dumbbells
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 9
Jagtar Singh Hawara and his alleged accomplices managed to break the jail floor with the help of dumbbells before digging the tunnel. After digging 10 to 12 feet vertically with the help of a “khurpa”, they proceeded horizontally.

As disposal of loose earth was a problem, they compressed the same on the floor of the tunnel. This is what the Chandigarh police claims on the basis of Hawara’s interrogation.

Digging was done between 4 am and 6 am and again between 7 pm and 9 pm everyday. It started three months before the escape. The accused would take advantage of the din created by the factory located within the jail premises.

They would cover the windows with the help of curtains and climb down the tunnel with the help of a broken chair.

Hawara was in regular touch with his mentors in the West through mobile phones. As digging required stamina, they exercised vigorously in their barrack.



Consensus eludes Cong on ZP chief issue
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 9
Even as the Bansal faction of the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee (CTCC) is yet to have an upper hand in the organisational set-up, it has another problem on its hands.

Now, the forthcoming election to the Chairman of the UT Zila Parishad is proving to be an arduous task. Differences have cropped up among supporters of the Bansal group over the name of woman candidates who would be taking over as Chairman.

The toppling of Mr Bhupinder Singh Badheri from the Market Committee and the Panchayat Samiti by the rival Congress faction and BJP supporter Darshan Singh taking over as Chairman of the last Zila Parishad due to factionalism is fresh in the mind of the leadership.

When Mr Bhupinder Badheri was ousted, the rival faction had taken the support of the BJP. A similar arrangement could work again.

Sources in the party disclosed that while Mr Pawan Sharma, a member of the CTCC, was in favour of Ms Rajvant Kaur (Behlana and Raipur Khurd), daughter-in-law of Mr Raghbir Singh, said to be an old supporter of Mr Pawan Bansal, another member of the CTCC, Mr H.S. Lucky, was in favour of Ms Kuldeep Kaur (Hallomajra), wife of the Panchayat Samti Chairman Didar Singh.

Mr Pawan Bansal, MP, who also has voting right, could play a vital role in electing the Chairman, if required. There are 12 members who would be voting for Chairman.

Another candidate, Mr Dharminder Singh (Daria and Raipur Kalan), is related to Mr Raghbir Singh, father-in-law of Ms Rajvant Kaur, one of the potential candidates for the chairmanship. Two other candidates, Mr Dyal Singh and Mr Manmohan Singh, will go by the advise of the MP.

A CTCC member was making efforts for a rapprochement between Mr Didar Singh and Mr Bhupinder Singh Badehri for a consensus.

It may be mentioned that the elected members of the Zila Parishad have yet to take oath of office. After the oath-taking ceremony, the election of the President of the parishad will be held.



Passing Thru

Kamal Singh Rana
Kamal Singh Rana, Director, Investment Land (Guildford) Limited, London.

What brings you to Chandigarh?

I am in the city to identify persons who can invest in property in the UK. This will not only help them in earning profit, but also fetch foreign exchange for India. I also plan to set up a housing project on about 200 acres of land adjoining Chandigarh.

What is real estate trend in UK?

The UK Government is very particular about planned and controlled development. Since the country is facing a major housing shortage, it needs about 4.5 million new homes for its citizens by 2015. So there is a good scope for investment in the real estate. The government allows development of a portion of a land only after its adjoining areas are developed completely.

How will investment in London help Indian Investors?

The investment in the UK will give better value for money. Being a foreign citizen you would be exempted from the Capital Gains Tax. This would indirectly boost Indian economy as Indian investors would get many times more money they have invested in purchasing property in the UK.

What are the bottlenecks in the real estate development in India?

In India, development is neither planned not controlled. Here in India, money gets blocked in real estate investments as the government has no policy to develop area stepwise.

— Bipin Bhardwaj 



No takers for HUDA restaurant in Vatika
Tribune News Service

The cafeteria in Vatika Garden at Panchkula is lying closed for the past seven months
NO TAKERS: The cafeteria in Vatika Garden at Panchkula is lying closed for the past seven months. — A Tribune photograph

Panchkula, July 9
One of the main attractions of Vatika garden, Sector 5 here, the gazebo style cafeterias, has no takers. For the past seven months, the eatery has been lying closed, thus putting off evening visitors to this exquisitely landscaped green expanse.

Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) had invited applications for leasing out the eatery three months ago, but there were hardly any applicants. Those who did apply, were found wanting in the specifications laid down by HUDA, so the lease could not be signed. Now, HUDA has again invited tenders for this cafeteria on July 14.

Located near a pond in the garden, this cafeteria was leased out to Hot Millions for two consecutive terms (of three years each) since year 1997. The term was later extended by a year, which expired in June last year. However, the restaurant owner continued to operate from here till November by paying a monthly rent till November.

The cafeteria had been initially leased out at a monthly rent of Rs 30,000, with a 25 percent increase in each term. When Hot Millions decided to pull out, and instead open its own fast food joint here, they were paying HUDA a monthly rent of Rs 55,000 per month. Officials say that the rent will have to be increased by 25 - 30 per cent as per the HUDA policy, when the new contract is awarded.

Officials say that some multi-national food chains were also contacted to take the eatery, but there was no response. “Last time when the tender was floated, we got some applications, but none of them had the requisite experience to run the cafeteria, so the tender could not be awarded. We are hopeful that the tender will be allotted this time round,” said a senior official. 



Verma’s unique machine puts Panchkula on world map
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Hari Om Verma exhibits his automatic shoe segregation machine for AC compressors at his unit in Panchkula
Hari Om Verma exhibits his automatic shoe segregation machine for AC compressors at his unit in Panchkula. — A Tribune photograph

Panchkula, July 9
Fourteen years ago he had started out with a small capital but determination to succeed in the field of designing machines. With clientele like General Motors, Suzuki, Subros, Gates and Phillips, and a Bharat Udyog Ratna award under his belt, Mr Hari Om Verma has brought Panchkula on the international industrial map.

Operating from a non-descript building in the Industrial Area here, this mechanical Engineer had won accolades worldwide for designing a simplified version of Crimpling Machine (used for manufacturing power brakes), which has been adopted by General Motors in its manufacturing units all over the world. To add another feather to his cap now, Verma has designed a simplified version of an automatic shoe clearance checking machine for Subros, world leaders in car air- conditioning manufacturers.

This new innovation by Verma’s company — Ramani Automation Systems — automatically checks the mechanical accuracies of an assembled car airconditioning compressors. The accuracies are manufactured within one thousandth of a millimeter (micron), with absolute results on a computer controlled touch screen. This is for the first time that such a machine has been designed, claims Mr Verma. Until now, the shoes used in the compressors were segregated manually, requiring more time and workforce, and less accuracy.

“This machine is based on inspection standards of Japanese car air conditioner manufacturer — Subros. This tests the main parameters of any air-conditioner compressor — torque required to rotate the shaft for engine load, checking clearance between shaft and the end-bearings and checking the clearance between the rotary plate and bearing shoe slot of the five pistons in the compressor one-by-one. These tests are done within 60 seconds of time per assembly. After all these tests, the complete data with readings in microns is displayed on the coloured touchscreen,” explains Mr Verma. Various instrumentation gadgets such as laser sensors, safety light curtains, large size PLC controller etc have also been used.

Mr Verma was earlier an employee of Punjab Tractors Limited. A mechanical engineer by qualification, he quit his job to set up an independent unit more of a laboratory for designing machinery outsourced by multinational companies. “My big break came in 1997, when General Motors gave me a design for a crimpling machines. They had designed for four machines to make the power brake, which I simplified and included all functions in one machine. The officials of General Motors were skeptical when I sent my own design. Only a Britisher, Mr Barry Smith, liked my designs and gave me a go ahead. This machine reduced the time taken for making power brakes from 140 seconds to 28 seconds, thus also increasing production,” he says. 



ESPL union opposes purchase of components
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 9
The ESPL Employees Union today opposed the move of the management to purchase components for the unit even when the factory was lying closed.
According to information available, electronic components worth over Rs 4 lakh had been purchased which were delivered at the factory today.

The employees, who are participating in the on-going protest against the alleged illegal lock out of the factory and retrenchment of employees, wanted to know why were the components being purchased when the factory was lying closed. The unit was closed by the management on June 1.

Mr Kultar Singh, president of union, said spare parts for the data acquisition and control systems were purchased by the factory from the USA. The cost of these electronic components was Rs 4,71,420 and were transported from Delhi on June 15. But all these days no one knew the whereabouts of the components purchased. The goods were delivered today only after a report about mysterious disappearance of the components appeared in he media. He said no one was aware of the move of the management behind the purchase of spare parts.

He said the employees wanted that the factory should be made functional and if the components were purchased to restart the unit the employees would welcome such a move.

He said 23 employees were still on the rolls of the factory and 12 out of them had applied for VRS but were not being given the benefit while on the other hand some employees were forced to take benefits under the VRS.

He alleged that the management had re-employed some of the employees in the PSIDC even when they had taken the VRS facility. He further alleged that the managing director of the ESPL was operating the accounts of the unit and clearing some pending payments even after the factory was closed.



ECHS clinic, CSD canteen to come up in Sec 47
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 9
To cater to the needs of ex-servicemen in the city and its vicinity, a multi-facility complex, which will include an ECHS clinic and a CSD canteen, will be constructed in Sector 47 here.

Stating this while interacting with retired officers in Chandi Mandir, the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Command, Lieut-Gen S. Pattabhiraman said the complex was expected to be functional in about two years time. It would be constructed near the Air Force’s upcoming accommodation project for married persons.

The Ex-servicemen’s Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) polyclinic, presently running from a hired premises in Sector 11, would be shifted to the new complex.

General Pattabhiraman said a Sainik Aramgrah was also coming up in Sector 2, Panchkula, where retired service personnel and their families could stay while travelling. The plans for the project, he added, were complete and work would commence soon.

Coming down hard on sainik welfare bodies functioning under state governments for their non-performance, General Pattabhiraman said while political leaders agreed to suggestions and recommendations put forward for the welfare of ex-servicemen, the bureaucracy was not paying heed. He urged ex-servicemen to look up to the Command Headquarters to help resolve their grievances.

Stating that the Ex-servicemen’s Helpline established by the Western Command has turned out to be successful, the Army Commander said a mobile helpline was being set up as a trial measure to address the grievances of ex-servicemen in far flung areas.

Speaking on the occasion, Brig Sant Singh (retd), president of the Chandigarh chapter of the Ex-Services League, said a report tabled in Parliament by the Standing Committee on Defence had listed 15 issues requiring immediate attention, the foremost of them being the removal of the condition of 33 years to earn full pension, one rank — one pension, lateral induction in civilian organisations and a separate pay commission for the armed forces.

He said the government had set up a committee of ministers to examine the recommendations of the report. However, the committee had not held a single meeting so far and the report had been lying in cold storage.

Brig Harwant Singh (retd) pointed out several anomalies in pay and pension of armed forces personnel vis-a-vis their civilian counterparts. Lieut-Colonel S.S. Sohi (retd) raised issues pertaining to post rehabilitation retirement and non-performance of sainik welfare bodies functioning under state governments.

It was also decided to form a committee headed by a senior officer from the Western command and comprising representatives of various ex-servicemen associations to work out ways and means to redress grievances.



Books on disability, child rights released
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 9
The Chandigarh chapter of Human Rights Law Network (HRLN) today released three books written with the objective of spreading legal literacy among people, the academia, NGOs and lawyers.

Titled “Disability and the Law”, “Supreme Court on Children” and “Child Marriages and the Law”, the books generated a refreshing debate among resource persons who gathered at Panjab University’s INSSR complex to critically evaluate the works.

To begin with, “Disability and the Law” evoked active visitors’ interest and was hotly debated. The book offers a detailed account of the disability sector in India and on the loopholes defeating the evolution of special people.

It also cites landmark judgments delivered by the apex court on various issues related to the disabled and their rights in India. Chief guest Mr R. L. Kalsia, Commissioner on Disability, Punjab, while addressing the 90 visitors, also requested for a heightened level of sensitisation towards the disabled.

For once, he placed most of the onus on the state. He also talked of how the State of Punjab was unable to count its disabled just because the numerators were not trained enough.

Some interesting remarks about the book were made by Dr Vijay Nagpal from the Department of Laws, PU. He made a case for inclusion of circulars issued from time to time in the interest of the disabled. He also said the subsequent edition of the book should include a critique on the judgments, besides reserving more space for the mentally challenged.

Advocate Rajiv Raina, himself a disabled, released the book, highlighting its significance for lawyers.

Besides the book on disability, the occasion was chosen to release two more recent publications of HRLN — ‘Child Marriages and the Law’ and ‘Supreme Court on Children.’ Talking about the latter, Dr Upneet Lalli, Deputy Director, Institute of Correctional Administration, Sector 26, said more emphasis should be placed on rights of the unborn child and also on the critique of judgments on various aspects.

She talked of the challenge of training prison and police officers to deal sensitively with issues related to crime. In between, it was Panchkula Bal Niketan’s Dr Madhu Sharma’s turn to tell how unaware the Haryana Police was about the nuances of the Juvenile Justice Act.

Reacting to the issue, Veena Sharma from HRLN, Chandigarh, said the NGO was eager to work with the disabled and child rights activists to help and enforce their rights.

After the discussion, the books “Supreme Court on Children” and Child Marriages and the Law in India were released by Mr A.P. Bhatnagar, Adviser, Prison Department, Punjab, Chandigarh. He talked of the rights of children and of their poor access to health, education and rehabilitation facilities.

Time was reserved for an offbeat discussion on “Patents and Patients”: by Dr Rajesh Kumar, Head of Department, Community Medicines, PGI, who warned the state against the rising cost of health and also made a case for right to life and health as fundamental rights.

The event concluded with the screening of a documentary titled “Manipur under Armed Forces Special Power Act” which brought alive the horrors of atrocities being committed on people by the armed forces.

The documentary is a powerful compilation of testimonies from victims of atrocities committed by the armed forces in Manipur. These testimonies were heard as part of the People Tribunal Hearings.



Plea to NHRC in Imrana case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 9
The BJP Mahila Morcha today demanded capital punishment for Imrana’s father-in-law for “raping” her.
The general secretary of the BJP Mahila Morcha, Ms Meera Kanwaria, said the nation was ashamed of the verdict of the Muslim Ulema.

She urged the National Human Rights Commission and the National Women’s Commission to intervene in the matter so that justice could be done to the hapless victim. Meanwhile, Ms Kanwaria presided over a meeting of the local unit of the BJP Mahila Morcha. A resolution condemning the verdict of the Muslim Ulemas was passed at the meeting.

Later, the meeting passed another resolution regarding observing of “environment week” under which 2,000 saplings would be planted.

The meeting was attended by, among others, Ms Kamla Sharma, Prabhari Mahila Morcha, Ms Indu Mahajan, Dr Ramneek Sharma, Ms Shashi Bala Jain, all vice-presidents, Ms Sunita Bhat, Ms Mahender Kaur and Ms Suksham Bajaj.



Workshop on village development today

Chandigarh, July 9
The National Institute of Technical Teachers’ Training and Research(NITTTR), Sector 26, will organise a one-day workshop on “integrated village development” here tomorrow.

According to a press note, the workshop will be inaugurated by the Haryana Finance Minister, Mr Birender Singh. Mr Kaul Singh Thakur, Himachal Minister for Public Health, Irrigation and Parliamentary Affairs, will be the guest of honour.

Prominent among those,who will be present on the occasion include Ms Rajesh Kumari, Chairperson of the Board of Governors of the NITTTR, and Dr O.P. Bajpai, institute Director.

Sarpanches and panches from selected villages of Haryana and Himachal will participate in the workshop, the press note added. TNS



Jawan succumbs to injuries
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 9
A 36-year-old jawan, Dinesh Rana, has died after being hit by a speeding car near Bir Ghaggar village. Posted in the B Company, Civil GT, Dinesh is survived by his wife and two daughters.

The accident occurred two days ago, when Dinesh was going home on his bicycle from Chandi Mandir. He was admitted to Command Hospital, where he died today. 



Tribune scribe bereaved

Chandigarh, July 9
Mrs Satya Devi (58), mother of Mr Sarbjeet Singh Bhatti, Punjabi Tribune Correspondent, Lalru, breathed her last at Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, here, this evening. The cremation will take place at village Magra near Lalru at 9.30 am tomorrCow. TNS



Minor girl abducted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 9
Theft of three vehicles, including two motorcycles, and a car stereo, was reported to the Chandigarh Police in the past 24 hours. Besides this, the two gas cylinders were also stolen. In another incident of lawlessness, a minor girl was abducted from Colony No. 4. In all cases, the police has registered cases under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The police has also arrested Manju Parsad of Kambali village in Ropar district under the provisions of the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act for possessing 430 gram of “ganja”.

In his complaint before the police, Vishal of Burail village stated that his Hero Honda motorcycle (HR-02-E-7198) was stolen from outside the Shastri Market in Sector 22, while Mr Asif Khan of Sector 29-B complained that his Bajaj CT-100 motorcycle (CH-03-T-6663) was picked up from outside the Sector 19 rehri market.

Mr Sham Singh of Sector 56 said his Bajaj Chetak scooter (CH-03-D-3880) was stolen from outside his residence. In a separate complaint, Mr Shashi Bhushan of Sector 46 said a spare wheel and a car stereo were stolen from his Honda City car parked at the Modella light point.

Regarding the theft of gas cylinders, Mr V.K. Kaushik of Sector 40-A alleged that the same were taken away by the culprits from his residence during day time.

Meanwhile, Amna Bano of Colony No. 4 accused Ropar district resident Vinay Singh of kidnapping her minor daughter. Taking up her complaint, the Chandigarh Police arrested the accused after registering a case under Sections 363 and 366 of the IPC.


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |