C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Nipping beggary in bud
Businessman M.R. Ahuja runs 10 schools for
child beggars in Panchkula
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 24
Going to the temple to thank the Almighty for blessings was a daily routine with local businessman, Mansa Ram Ahuja. “I used to go there looking for peace, but was always troubled to see hordes of street urchins jostling with each other, seeking alms from devotees. I would often think that these children would grow up seeking alms, and begging would become a habit. It was then that I decided to set up schools for these children,” he says.

And sure enough, Jeevan Mukt Nishulk Vidyalaya was born four years ago. Beginning from teaching the children of his domestic help, and servants working in his locality, he has now started 10 schools for 750 child beggars and labourers.

“I always believed that education was the key to enlightened souls. “Tamasoma Jyotirgamaya”... this sholaka has always inspired me and so I decided that the best option to deal with child beggars will be to educate and teach them self respect,” he says.

Their efforts are already beginning to show results. Ram Das (10), who has been in the school for three years, was a help at a dhaba in Industrial Area. He was taken in by the Jeevan Mukt Nishulk Vidyalaya and he now tops in his class.

But it has not been an easy task. He began his first school at a family-owned vacant plot at Haripur village, Sector 4. Most of these children who were used to begging near the temples in various sectors refused to come to his school. He then approached the managements of various temples, requesting them that some place be allotted to him to run schools for these children. Not only would the problem of child begging be solved, but it would be a perfect social service, he pleaded.

“Initially, these managements were unwilling to let the urchins use their premises, but slowly they let down their defences. As of now, we have schools running for children at Shiv Mandir, Sector 9, Geeta Mandir, Sector 11, Gita Mandir, Sector 16, and Parshuram Bhavan, Sector 12-A, besides schools in the open outside the Sectors 6 and 10 temples and in Sector 14 outside the Shiv Shakti Apartments. Our children are being weaned away from begging and some of them work with their parents after school,” he says.

Recently, Andale Public School, Sector 9, opened its doors to the NGO. “We have allotted rooms to the NGO where these children are given initial training. Once they learn to read and write, we assess their calibre and allot them classes along with our regular students,” informs Principal, Mrs Kiran Bhasin.

A commission agent by profession, Mr Ahuja says that his philanthropic activities now leave no time for business. “Since I have a joint family, my brothers realised my penchant for social service and have not bothered me much. Over the period of time, fellow businessmen and some professionals, too have come out to help us run these schools. We have employed 16 teachers, and two of these teachers are working on honorary basis,” he says.

He says that they are now looking for help in terms of building, to shift open schools. “Since we intend keeping these children at school for longer hours and teach them other activities, we are now trying to arrange for lunch for our students by some NGO,” he adds.



NABARD society scam: members given notices
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
The role of the NABARD management and the Office of the Registrar of Cooperative Societies (RCS) has allegedly come under a cloud in the NABARD Employees' Cooperative Thrift and Credit Society scam.

Even as the office-bearers allegedly involved in the scam have got scot-free, about 40 members of the society have received notices for the recovery of outstanding loans from the society administrator. With the probe into the scam taking its own time, over 500 investors, who have deposited lakhs of rupees in the society, continue to wait for the refund of their hard-earned money.

Meanwhile, in a letter to about 40 members, the society administrator has asked them to deposit loan outstanding against them as there had been a "mismatch of assets and liabilities" after the audit of the society accounts.

One of the members received a notice for the recovery of about Rs 1.57 lakh for a loan of Rs 30,000 which was taken in 1994. Another member received a notice for Rs 29,000 for a Rs 6,000 loan taken in 1994.Both the members have reportedly repaid the loans years back.

However, members alleged that the NABARD management was dilly-dallying on taking any action against the office-bearers despite the fact that matter had been brought to the notice of the central office in Mumbai. Similarly, contrary to reports in a section of the Press, no concrete steps have been taken by the RCS to refund money to the depositors, they alleged.

Recently, the RCS had raided the premises of certain office-bearers and seized certain documents. The UT Administration also proposed to file criminal cases against the office-bearers.

The alleged scam hit the headlines last year when large-scale irregularities were detected in the running of the society by the office-bearers. The RCS allegedly allowed the society to function without conducting audit for over a decade.

It was alleged that though no audit was conducted, the elections to the society were held every year in collusion with the officials of the RCS. Senior officials of NABARD remained a mute spectator to the whole issue, with scores of the members and non-members not getting their payment for the fixed deposits for several months together.

The modus operandi of the office-bearers of the society was to give receipts for the fixed deposits. However, the money was never credited to the accounts of the depositors.

Moreover, during an audit conducted by the RCS in May this year unaccounted money amounting to about Rs 1.83 crore was reportedly detected.



Kargil Commander recalls capture of Tiger Hill
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
The capture of Tiger Hill during the 1999 Kargil conflict has been etched in the history of high altitude mountain warfare as an epic battle, emblazoned with daring assaults, selfless courage and resolute military planning. The battle was the turning point of the conflict.

As the nation observes the sixth anniversary of Operation Vijay, launched to evict Pakistani invaders from the inhospitable, frozen heights of the Kargil Sector, this week, Brig M.P.S. Bajwa (retd), then Commander 192 Mountain Brigade who had been tasked to capture the dominating objective, recalls the decisive battle which was a physical and psychological blow for Pakistan.

“It was a very challenging job, for which an unconventional plan was devised and a multi-directional attack was launched,” Brigadier Bajwa said while speaking to The Tribune.

“The peak was not only held in strength because of its strategic location and importance, but was also dominated by adjoining features,” he added. The hill stands out majestically among the mountain tops, north of Dras, and it gave the enemy a clear view of the vital National Highway 1-A.

The only way to capture the 16,700 feet high peak was to achieve surprise by following the most unexpected approaches, involving rock-climbing and negotiating sheer cliffs.

Deception was achieved by utilising elements of 8 Sikh and 17 Jat to simulate attacks at a given time. Fake radio transmissions were also made, giving out bogus plans of attack and even a fake attempt to construct a temporary bridge on the Sando Nala nearby was made.

The assault began on the night of July 3, with troops of 18 Grenadiers moving up the chosen slopes. This was preceded by simulated attacks by the Sikhs and the Jats on other slopes as well as heavy artillery fire. It started to drizzle on the lower slopes, with snowfall on the higher reaches, which further helped the advancing troops to maintain surprise.

After climbing 3,000 metres, the battalion’s Delta Company reached the top at about 4.30 am, and surprised the enemy. In the ensuing hand-to-hand combat, 12 troops of the enemy were killed. The top was with the Grenadiers within the hour.

While approaching along different axis, the Alfa and Bravo companies, however, ran into stiff resistance while capturing Tongue along the western slope. The 8 Sikh was then tasked to interpose troops to prevent enemy reinforcements from coming through the western slope.

The first counter attack came on July 6, which was repulsed by the Sikhs. A little later, another determined attack, led by a Special Service Group officer was put in and 8 Sikh came under effective fire from three directions. Hand-to-hand battle ensued along the western slope and eventually the enemy was beaten back. By 9.30 am on July 6, the enemy had completely lost Tiger Hill.

“The credit for the capture of Tiger Hill goes to the superb execution of the tactical plan by troops of 18 Grenadiers and 8 Sikh,” Brigadier Bajwa said.

“The battle would also go down in history where such a mission was accomplished by utilising just an infantry battalion with an additional company from another unit,” he added.



Landlord assaults tenant, 3 arrested
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 24
A landlord and his two relatives were today arrested for rioting criminal trespass and other charges for allegedly assaulting his tenant and throwing his belongings out of his accommodation.

SHO of the Sector 34 police station Ajaib Singh Somal said Kulbir Singh, Ajaib Singh and Harjit Singh were booked for allegedly trespassing the residential premises of his tenant and threatening his relatives before throwing their belongings out of the house. The case was registered on the basis of a complaint filed by Tirath Singh, a relative of Dalbir Singh Kundoo, tenant of Kulbir Singh.

The SHO said Dalbir Singh Kundoo, a former bank manager, had been living in the house No. 1126, Sector 33-C, here, for the past many years. The house was taken on a lease by the bank in which Kundoo was manager. Kundoo reportedly was dismissed by the bank following misappropriation and other charges. The bank then asked him to vacate the premises as he no longer remained an employee of the institution. However, Kundoo did not abide by the orders and kept on living there.

The SHO added that about two months ago, Mr I.S. Bindra, a retired Air Force officer sold the house to Kulbir Singh, an affluent farmer from Gurdaspur in Punjab. Kulbir Singh made efforts to vacate the house from Kundoo and also approached a court in this regard. The court gave a verdict in favour of Kulbir Singh. Later, Kundoo allegedly did not allow Kulbir Singh to use the way to go to the first floor.

Kundoo’s relative Tirath Singh was living in the house, along with another person. Today Kulbir Singh, along with Harjit Singh and Ajaib Singh, came to the house and assaulted Tirath Singh and other person before throwing their belongings.



7 held for roaming aimlessly
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 24
Two men and five women were arrested while they were roaming under suspicious circumstances near the BSNL telephone exchange in Mani Majra late last night.

The SHO of the Mani Majra police station said they had been booked under Section 109 of the CrPC.

He said a night patrolling party arrested two youths of Delhi, along with five women, two from Mani Majra, two Delhi residents, and one from Jalandhar at around 1:30 am. On seeing the police they tried to flee, but were arrested after a brief chase. Meanwhile, they have been remanded in judicial custody till July 28.



City comedian to stage plays in US, Canada
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 24
Amrit Pal Singh, a city-based comedian, is leaving for the USA tomorrow to stage a comedy play ‘Jinee Challe Eko Malle’. He also written the script of the play that will be directed by Jagtar Jaggi.

Pal is playing a tough cop in the play and will deliver many light moments to enthrall the audience. The play is also scheduled to be staged in Canada in August. In all, 20 shows will be held in both countries.

The play is being promoted under the banner of Vishal Entertainment by US-based NRI G.P. Singh.



Passing Thru

Mr Simon Smith, First Secretary (Immigration), New Zealand.
Mr Simon Smith, First Secretary (Immigration), New Zealand.

What is the scope for Indian students in New Zealand?

We already have 2,500 Indian students studying in New Zealand and the number is steadily increasing. This year we had a 6 per cent increase in the number of Indian students going to New Zealand than last year. In September we are expecting an announcement from the New Zealand government regarding a package to promote education.

What brings you to the city?

Chandigarh is one of the 10 major cities we are visiting across India to market New Zealand education courses. The CIIS, Mohali, offers a New Zealand degree in nursing and we imagine that many other institutes across the state will be offering New Zealand degrees in India. As many as 27 institutes in India have representatives or education agents who are looking for students for New Zealand.

What about employment opportunities for Indians in New Zealand?

New Zealand is a small country and we have been importing a lot of skills from India. Students taking up education in New Zealand have a very strong chance of getting a job there. New Zealand faces shortage of variously skilled persons and the list of such jobs is available at our website www.immigration.gobt.nz.

Are you facing a shortage of trained nurses in New Zealand?

As many as 2,000 nurses register in New Zealand each year but we need double the number.

— Chitleen K. Sethi



Bahl likely to continue as CTCC chief
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
The Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee (CTCC) president, Mr B.B. Bahl, is likely to retain the post of president amid hectic lobbying by supporters of the anti-Bahl camp to oust him, which continued in Delhi today.

Sources said Mr Bahl’s name had been approved by the Congress president, Ms Sonia Gandhi, and a formal announcement to this effect was likely to be made shortly.

Mr Bahl has been given an extension after reportedly taking local Member of Parliament, Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, into confidence. However, Mr Bansal maintained ignorance about any such decision taken with regard to the appointment of the CTCC president.

The Chandigarh in charge of the Congress, Mr Janardhan Dwiwedi, also held that the name of the next president would be announced as soon. He, too, refused to give a timeframe for the same.

While Mr Bahl has been making last-ditch efforts to hold on to the coveted post, the local MP, Mr Pawan Bansal, also went all out to get one of his confidants, Mr Ram Pal Sharma and Mr Subhash Chawla, installed as the president of the CTCC.

Though canvassing for candidates has been on for sometime now, lobbying for the post picked up last week after the appointment of the Punjab Pardesh Congress Committee (PPCC) chief. Both factions of the Congress, led by Mr Bahl and Mr Pawan Bansal, respectively, staked their claim to the post of president in front of senior leaders of the party.

In an apparent patch-up effort between Mr Bahl and Mr Bansal, the high command had appointed four AICC members from the city. An aspirant for the post of the CTCC chief, Mr Subhash Chawla, and former Mayor Lalit Joshi, both Bansal loyalists, and Mr Bansal have been included. Mr Bahl is the fourth member.

Only recently the Bansal faction had managed to get a majority in the local Territorial Congress Committee (TCC) appointed by the high command.

It was widely believed that after the formation of the TCC and the appointments of the 25 block presidents the ouster of Mr Bahl would be a cakewalk for the Bansal camp.

However, Mr Bahl is strongly backed by the Union Defence Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, who is learnt to be espousing Bahl’s cause on the ground of his long innings and dedication to the party.

Mr Bansal is considered to be close to senior leaders like Ms Ambika Soni and AICC general secretary and Mr Janardhan Dwivedi.

Mr Bahl’s detractors have argued that with the party organisation packed with Bansal supporters it would become difficult for Mr Bahl to manage party affairs in the run-up to the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) elections next year.

On the other hand, Mr Bahl has withstood stiff opposition from local leaders and has the support of the Manish Tewari and Venod Sharma factions of the CTCC.



Elephant calf dies under mysterious circumstances
Bipin Bhardwaj

Chhat Bir (Patiala), July 24
Conservation of wildlife in captivity suffered a setback as about three-month old Seema, a female elephant calf, died under mysterious circumstances at the Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological Park located in Chhat village on the Chandigarh-Patiala highway, about 20 km from Chandigarh, this afternoon.

Death of the calf has raised doubts over the functioning of the zoo authorities.

Sources in the zoo revealed that Seema had been showing symptoms of constipation for the past two days and stopped consuming fodder since last night. The ‘calf’ tusker was reportedly resisting efforts to tame her, sources claimed.

Highly-placed sources in the zoo disclosed that Seema had also sustained a hairline fracture on her front right leg when her feet were tied with hooks while being given training.

The mahouts, looking after her, informed the zoo authorities about the condition of the animal following which Mr Neeraj Gupta, wildlife warden, and Dr Nirmaljit Singh, veterinary doctor, reached the spot. The animal collapsed and breathed its last in the presence of zoo officials about 2.30 pm.

After receiving the news Mr Vidya Bhushan, officiating director of the zoo, also reached the spot. The officials were tightlipped about the death.

The successful breeding of elephants in captivity at the Chhat Bir zoo had created a record in the history of Indian zoos when Hema, a female elephant, after mating with Raj Mangal, male elephant, gave birth to Seema, on September 17, 2002. Seema had been growing stronger and stronger as the authorities have not exhibited her for visitors.

An official disclosed that a postmortem examination of the animal would be conducted tomorrow morning. A team of veterinary doctors has already been called for this purpose

Efforts to contact Mr AS Dogra, Chief Wildlife Warden, Punjab, proved futile till late this evening.



Ex-sarpanch told to pay electricity dues of residents
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
Residents of Deep Complex, Hallo Majra, have alleged that the electricity department was pressing upon a former sarpanch to pay the dues of the subscribers who had opted for the bulk supply connection scheme. The scheme to release individual electricity connections to the residents outside the lal dora was announced by former UT Administrator Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd) in 2000.

The scheme was later converted to the bulk supply scheme. Being the sarpanch of the village, Mr Umesh Prasad Gupta, signed every document required by the department.

The scheme ran smoothly for an year before the department levied a heavy amount of Rs 12 lakh on account of electricity bill on the residents. The chairman of the Panchayat Samiti, Mr Didar Singh, has also written a letter to the Assistant Executive Engineer to get the reading of the metres verified. The residents alleged that the dues were because of faulty reading recorded by the department.



Smart cards for emigrant labour soon
Tribune News Service

Mr R.K. Singh, Protector-General of Emigrants, Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs.
Mr R.K. Singh, Protector-General of Emigrants, Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs.

Chandigarh, July 24
For the benefit and security of Indian workers undertaking employment abroad, the Union Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs will soon introduce smart cards. This was stated by Mr R.K. Singh, Protector-General of Emigrants, Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, while interacting with members of the Recruiting Agents Association of Northern India on a recent visit to the city.

The smart card will have all details of passport, emigration clearance granted, insurance, agent responsible for the recruitment and the details of the foreign employer concerned. The new system was being started as the foreign employers in gulf countries were holding the passport of workers with them. In case of any complications, the workers were not able to provide details to the authority concerned.

Mr R.K. Singh, was in the city to inspect the office of Protector-General of Emigrants, which had been temporarily closed after a local officer, Mr J.K. Sahu, was arrested by the CBI on charges of accepting bribe of Rs 60,000. The local office would become functional in the next 15 days.

Meanwhile, members of the Recruiting Agents Association of Northern India have sought the shifting of the local office to Jalandhar as the latter was centrally located and was near to Amritsar.

Mr Rajeev Puri, president of the association, stressed the need for simplification of documents and said emigration clearance should not granted only on the basis of the documentary evidence of a visa.

He expressed doubt on the success of the scheme for emigration clearance to be implemented from September 1, which requires attestation of category-wise specimen contract by the Indian mission.

He informed Mr R.K. Singh that the major problem for opposing emigration clearance on the basis of attested documents was the difference in actual wages paid by foreign employer against the minimum wages as prescribed by the Indian mission abroad in the country of employment. The actual wages were lower by 25 to 40 per cent than what was being prescribed by the respective Indian mission.

On a query put up by the agents, the Protector-General of Emigrants clarified that a survey of the actual wages was being undertaken by the Indian Government through some professional agencies with the help of Indian missions.

Ban on recruitment of workers

The Independent Association of Recruiting Agents for Northern India, has said that the office of the Protector-General of Emigrants has banned the emigration clearance to workers being recruited by M/s Kuwait and Gulf Links till further notice. This ban will be applicable only to the company because of the fear that 1,800 drivers being recruited by them will be diverted to Iraq as has been done in the past.

The association made a suggestion to the Protector-General of Emigrants that the recruiting agents should take affidavit from every worker going to the UAE, Kuwait, Jordan and any other country bordering Iraq that the worker who has been recruited for a particular country as mentioned in the demand letter would not agree to move to any country, especially to Iraq. And if he moves to any other country, including Iraq, on his consent, then he would not hold the recruiting agent or the Protector General of Emigrants, Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, responsible for the consequences.



Bhattal backs Dullo
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 24
The Deputy Chief Minister, Punjab, Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, today stated that the Congress was united and there were no differences between the Punjab Chief Minister and the newly appointed Punjab Pardesh Congress Committee chief, Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo. Mrs Bhattal was talking to mediapersons following an award ceremony at the Canadian Institute of International Studies (CIIS) here.

“It is the prerogative of the newly appointed PPCC president to layout his plans for the party and that is all that Mr Dullo has done. We are all with him and there is no enmity whatsoever,” she clarified.

When asked about a Congress leader leaving the Congress following Mr Dullo’s appointment, Mrs Bhattal said in democracy everyone was free to join any party. “We had Akali leaders joining the Congress also,” she said.

When asked about her direction to the various deputy commissioners in the state to check the facilities being provided by the various nursing institutes in the state, she stated that the reports have been received in her office and would be reviewed on Monday. “Institutes found lacking in facilities will have to face action, which could mean reduction in seats and even closure,” she said.

Regarding the status of privatisation of some industrial technical institutes (ITIs) in the state, Mrs Bhattal pointed out that a large number of private parties had shown interest in running these. “These were established during the Beant Singh regime but later during the Akali government these remained virtually non-functional. Since we had the infrastructure ready, we have asked private partners to run these,” she explained.



Mohali Rotary team installed
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 24
The installation ceremony of Rotary, SAS Nagar, was held at Punjab Bhawan, Sector-3, Chandigarh. Dr. B.S. Chandhok was installed as the Rotary President of the New Century along with his new team.

Former Governor of Punjab Lt. Gen. B.K.N. Chhibber was the chief guest and former Chief Secretary, Punjab Rajan Kashyap was the special guest of honour.

Large number of Rotarians from Chandigarh and the adjoining States of Rotary District 3080 participated in the ceremony. Outgoing president Khushjiv Singh gave a presentation on the achievements of the club during the past year.

The chief guest performed the pinning ceremony of the new president. Dr B.S. Chandhok after the past president Khushjiv Singh exchanged the Rotary Collar with him.

Dr Chandhok gave a multimedia presentation of the proposed projects for the Rotary year 2005-06. He informed that the Rotary International theme for the new year “service above self” itself was so motivational that it gave fellow Rotarians a new spirit and zeal to work with total determination.

Dr Chandhok informed that new projects would include literacy, slum school adoption, adult education, rotary book bank, nursing attendants training, female foeticide and water resources management.

The president informed that during the current year Rotary SAS Nagar had been assigned the task of performing 1000 phaco-cataract eye surgeries, which would be performed at the Rotary Eye Care Centre at Mohali. These surgeries would be partially aided by a US grant.

The Rotary Vocational Training Centre (RVTC) at Mohali which is running stitching and embroidery courses for the economically weaker sections would also start candle making training course at the centre.

Mr Rajan Kashyap appreciated the smooth change of the guard in Rotary.

Mr Chhibber appreciated the Rotary work for the downtrodden.



Monsoon queen contest on Aug 20
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 24
Monsoon Queen Contest 2005 will be organised at the Shivalik Officers Institute (SOI) in Chandimandir on August 20. The event will comprise several rounds of fashion show and fillers by professional artistes.

The contest is open to all girls of serving as well as retired defence officers based in Chandimandir, Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula, who are between the ages of 16 and 25 years, the show’s choreographer and anchor, Ms Isha Bhandari, said.

The last date for submitting entries is July 30 and with the late fee of Rs 200 up to August 5. Forms are available at the SOI reception, Golf Club, Chandigarh Club, N-Area Officers Mess, Air Force Mess and the CSD canteen in Mohali.



Plantation drive launched
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 24
A sapling plantation drive was launched by the Rotary Club, Panchkula, today in order to keep up with its promise to make the city green.

The drive was launched along the embankment of the Singh Nullah choe in Sector 12- A. As many as 100 saplings were planted by members of the club and their family members. Saplings of ornamental trees like silver oak and ashoka, besides utility trees like neem, peepal and jamun were planted.

Mr Parveen Kumar Goel, senior vice-president of the club said the idea of planting trees along the nullah was to hide it from public view, besides increasing the green cover. “Over the years, we have been planting trees here and this is now known as the Rotary Centennial Park, after all wild growth has been replaced by plants” he said.



Man found dead
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 24
A 40-year-old man was found dead this evening under mysterious circumstances outside a tavern near Housing Board Chowk in Mani Majra.

The police said Sahib Singh might have died because of excessive drinking. But to ascertain the cause of the death, the body has been sent to General Hospital in Sector 16. Sahib Singh was working in various liquor vends in the city. Sahib Singh was identified by his uncle, Mr Ashu Singh, a mechanic in Haryana Roadways. He told the police that the deceased was a married man and living alone in the city. His three children are living in his native Tirhi village in Garhwal district.



Sohan Singh Hans dead
Our Correspondent

Sohan Singh Hans Zirakpur, July 24
Eminent novelist, writer and reporter with Punjabi Tribune Sohan Singh Hans, died due to the prolonged illness at his residence in Preet Nagar Colony in Zirakpur this evening.

Born in Lahore, 80-year-old novelist had been suffering from some lever problem and bed ridden for the past over six months. His cremation will be held at the cremation ground, Zirakpur, at 9 am on Monday.

Mr Hans had written eight novels, including “Kaare Hathi” and “Banto” in Punjabi. The hit feature film “Waris” was picturised on the Hindi version of his novel “Kaare Hathi”. He also received many awards for his novels and writings during his life.

His death was mourned by Capt Kanwaljit Singh, SAD General Secretary and former Finance Minister, Punjab, Mr Deepindeer Singh Dhillon, Vice-Chairman of the PSIDC and Mr Bhupinder Singh Saini, state awardee in social services.



Tributes paid to Chandra Shekhar Azad
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
Tributes were paid to legendary revolutionary Chandra Shekar Azad at a function organised by the Purvanchal Vikas Mahasangh here today.

Mr Premji Goel, All-India Seva Pramukh of the RSS, exhorted the youth to follow in the footsteps of revolutionaries such as Azad to preserve the unity and integrity of the country. Former DGP of Punjab PC Dogra dwelt on the role played by freedom fighters in the country’s freedom.

The general secretary of the mahasangh, Mr Shyam Bihari Shukla, highlighted the activities of the organisation. The mahasangh president, Mr Shashi Shanker Tiwari, also spoke.



Police holds verification camps

Chandigarh, July 24
The Chandigarh police today organised special camps for the verification of domestic help in East Sub-division.

As many as 397 persons reported at the camps held in the area under the jurisdiction of the industrial area police station, the Mani Majra police station, Sector 19 and Sector 26 police stations. OC



Readers write
Follow rules, avoid accidents

I have been commuting from Panchkula to Chandigarh for the past 15 years. Rarely a day passes without sighting or hearing about an accident. Accidents could be averted if we follow rules and etiquettes while driving. People should get licence by honestly passing the driving test. Many so called VIPs and their family members get licence while sitting at home. Earlier, people used to overtake a vehicle from right now nobody bothers. Over speeding is another important factor. It should be 40 to 50 km per hour for local driving and 50 to 60 for long-distance travel on four-wheelers and 10 km less for two wheelers. Use of mobile while driving the car or two-wheeler should be strictly prohibited.

Dr. Harish Khanna, Panchkula

Forum on traffic safety

Construction of additional roads and maintenance of the existing ones cannot keep pace with the ever-increasing number of vehicles on roads.

The drivers tend to create unnecessary tension on the road thus leading to accidents. Merely penalising the drivers will not serve the purpose. In most of the cases drivers are either ignorant of traffic rules or intentionally commit some mistake but others have to pay heavy price for such an act.

The Chandigarh Tribune with the assistance of the traffic police department, the PGI and other government, civil and military hospitals can formulate a forum. A daily column could be started on traffic safety and people asked to write on it for educating masses.

Babu Ram Dhiman, Pinjore

Take care of Patiala roads

There is a big role of Ms Parneet Kaur, MP, Patiala, for its development. Construction of flyover and widening of roads have been done in the past 2-3 years. Now M.S. Ahluwalia, Commissioner, Patiala, is also taking keen interest for cleanliness of Patiala. At the same time I will request the authorities to inspect and take care of other important roads of Patiala for repair and cleanliness.

The road leading from Thandi Koeen to Sanauri Adda is in a bad shape. For the past about 4-5 years, nobody has taken any interest in it.

There are big pit holes. It appears that no carpeting had been done in the past many years. In a bus, car and scooter one cannot pass on this road without jostling.

Similarly, the road leading from Rajpura octroi post (old chungi) to Safabadi Gate has never been cleaned. It is not understood why the step-motherly treatment is meted out to it. This road is a gateway to the city and it needs to be decorated.

A lot of fund is being spent on the development of Patiala. Even the Baradari decorated during the Akali regime is being renovated again. Now fountains and electricity poles are being replaced but please give some care to the other areas also. At the time of developing SST Nagar Colony in 1989, there was no sewerage pump nor sewerage flow in the Chotti Nadi which was serving only as seasonal drain.

But the sewerage pump fitted in 1993-94 has made the conditions pitiable for SST Nagar.

The bad odour by this pump can spread epidemic diseases. The uncovered rain is a scar on the face of this colony which otherwise considered as a posh colony.

Hefty development charges have been paid by allottees. There is an urgent need to cover this drain and to shift the sewerage pump to some other place.

G.S. Bhatia, Patiala



Woman’s chain snatched
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 24
Despite recent anti-snatching drives of the police, three incidents of snatching have been reported in the city in the past 24 hours.

Police sources said the pickets set up to check incidents of snatching had failed to produce results as the police personnel deputed there remained busy in issuing challans to offenders of traffic rules.

Ms Daya Kataria of Modern Hosing Complex in Mani Majra lodged a complaint with the police that two motor cycle-borne miscreants snatched her gold chain from near her residence early this morning while she was on a morning walk.

The police has registered a case in this regard.

Ms Neha, a resident of Sector 44-A, reported to the police that two clean shaven scooterists snatched her purse containing Rs 500 and a mobile phone on the road dividing Sector 34 and 35 yesterday. She was going in a rickshaw when the incident took place.

In another such incident, Mr Ramesh Rawat of Gobind Pura in Naya Gaon complained to the police that that two unidentified persons snatched his wallet containing Rs 25 from near electricity board office in Sector 10.

Car stolen

Mr Ram Bilas Aggarwal of the NAC in Mani Majra reported to the police that his Indica car (CH-03-S-7162) was stolen from his residence on Saturday evening. A case of theft has been registered at the Mani Majra police station.


Robin of Sector 41-D and Tarjan were arrested on a complaint of a girl for passing filthy remarks on her. They were arrested from the roundabout touching Sector 37, 38, 40 and 41. A case has been registered against the boys who were later released on bail.

Mobile stolen

Mr Vipin Obroi of Sector 46 reported to the police that his Nokia mobile phone was stolen from Kisan Mandi in Sector 33 on Saturday.

A case has been registered.



Garments shop burgled
Our Correspondent

Mr Gagan Bassi breaks down after receiving the news of burglary in his showroom in Sector 8, Panchkula, on Sunday morning.
Mr Gagan Bassi breaks down after receiving the news of burglary in his showroom in Sector 8, Panchkula, on Sunday morning. — Tribune photo by Pankaj Sharma

Panchkula, July 24
Thieves struck at a readymade garments showroom in Sector 8 market here and decamped with goods and cash worth lakhs of rupees, late last night. The thieves entered the showroom by breaking open a shutter in its backyard.

Mr Gagan Bassi, owner of the showroom, came to know about the theft from his employee who called him in the morning. The employee after opening the showroom found it ransacked and the shutter on the backyard open.

Mr Bassi said the thieves had taken away readymade garments, bridal dresses and artificial jewellery besides Rs 30,000.

The police pressed a dog squad on duty and registered a case.

In another such incident, burglars broke into a house owned by a former Inspector General (IG) of the Jammu and Kashmir Police in Sector 2. The house was reportedly locked for the past few days.

The burglary came to light after the wife of the IG returned home last night and found the house ransacked. She was not willing to disclose the items stolen from the house.


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