C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


He paid the price for falling out with cop’s son
Class XII student kicked, slapped, threatened
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 31
A 17-year-old school boy, Gautam Kaushal, got a first-hand account of the Haryana police after he fell out and quarrelled with the son of a cop. He was allegedly picked up, tortured for almost an hour in a police Gypsy and threatened with being implicated in a case of drug trafficking and arms smuggling by the irate father of his friend.

This is the second incident of police high-handedness being reported in the township in two days. Yesterday, two youths were tortured by two PCR cops when they refused to pay them money for liquor.

The boy, who has received 10 brutal injuries on his person, is in a state of shock. Though the incident took place on July 29, he did not talk of his ordeal to anyone for fear of inviting the wrath of the cops on his family.

They had threatened him with dire consequences. “It was last night that I noticed injury marks on his back and arms. When I questioned him, he revealed his ordeal,” says Mr Subhash Kaushal, father of the victim.

Cop’s son also lodges complaint
In a late night development, Vikas too approached the Sector 2 police and alleged that he had been assaulted by Gautam and his friend, Panday. He alleged that Gautam, a drug addict, asked him for money. “When I refused, he assaulted me and later made a false case against me and my father”. He also went to the General Hospital, Sector 6, for a medical examination.

The incident took place on Friday night after Gautam, a Class XII student of DAV-15, Chandigarh, had a fight with his ‘friend’ Vikas. The duo, along with five other boys were standing in the Sector 2 market on July 29 evening when an argument between them turned ugly and they hit each other.

The other friends intervened and asked them to bury the hatchet, following which they left for their homes.

Not the one to forgive and forget, Vikas reportedly went to his father, Ramesh, a police official posted at the CIA Staff, Mansa Devi Complex, who decided to teach Gautam a lesson. Mrs Rachna Kaushal, mother of the victim says Vikas, along with another guy came to their Sector 16 house and asked for Gautam. “I told him that he was away to his grandparents’ house in Sector 9 and they left.”

Vikas then went to Gautam’s grandparents’ house, but he was not there. Vikas’s father then called up Gautam on his mobile and asked him to reach Sector 16 on the pretext that he wanted both to be friends again. When Gautam reached the market along with Pawan, a neighbour of his grandfather, they were taken to the rear of Chaplain Restaurant in Sector 16. Pawan was roughed up and asked to leave, while Vikas, his father and two other cops in civil dress, began hitting Gautam with lathis. They kicked and slapped him. “His father and the other cops, who were drunk, held me and asked Vikas to take revenge. As I cried out in pain, the workers at the restaurant gathered there. Sensing trouble, they bundled me on the floor of a police Gypsy and drove off towards Mansa Devi Complex. They continued to beat me, and even said that they would inject a drug and make a case of drug and arms smuggling against me,” says Gautam.

In the meantime, Pawan ran to Gautam’s grandfather’s house and informed him of the incident. His grandfather then contacted Gautam on his mobile and the cops told him that they were only trying to sort out differences between the boys. After about an hour, Gautam was again taken to the Sector 16 market and let off, after he was threatened at gunpoint.

“I went to my grandfather’s house, but did not tell anybody of the torture. I just told my grandfather that Vikas’ father had rebuked us,” says Gautam.

Mr Subhash Kaushal says he went to the Sector 16 police post this morning to lodge a complaint. “The police has been showing reluctance and I am getting feelers for a compromise. But I will fight till I get justice for my son.”

Meanwhile, the Superintendent of Police, Mr Balbir Singh, said he had ordered an inquiry and action would be taken against the guilty cops.



Inter-state gang of car thieves busted
Hind Motors supervisor held
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 31
An inter-state gang of car thieves allegedly involved in stealing cars from the city with duplicate keys, prepared in alleged connivance with a supervisor working in Hind Motors, was today busted by a team of the crime branch of the Chandigarh police.

The police said the supervisor provided the impression of keys of the cars and also the addresses of their owners which came for repairs to the workshop.

With the arrests, the police claimed to have recovered four cars and one motorcycle and other electronic goods stolen from a showroom in Sector 40. The police claimed that stolen property worth Rs 15,36,000 had been recovered from them and more recoveries were likely during further interrogation.

The sources in the crime branch said that working on specific information about the activities of the gang, a team was constituted to nab the members of the gang. A trap was laid at Sectors 43, 44 and the Airport Chowk. The police intercepted Inderjit Singh, alias Nittu, of Sector 44-C and the supervisor of Hind Motors, Ajay Kumar, a resident of Raipur Khurd village, while they were coming in a stolen Indica car with a fake numberplate.

The other members of the gang, Manjit Singh of Dogra Mohalla Sirhandi Gate, Patiala, and Satinder Singh of Dhanas village were reportedly nabbed with a stolen Indica car and a Bullet motor cycle, respectively, from Airport Chowk.

The sources, giving details of the accused said the kingpin of the gang, Inderjit, was a notorious car-lifter and the crime branch had earlier arrested him in similar cases.

He reportedly confessed to have committed a burglary in a showroom along with Satinder Singh. Inderjit is already facing trial for eight car thefts in the city.

During interrogation, Manjit Singh reportedly disclosed that he was an “Afghanistani” by birth and had been working in the Army of Afghanistan. He came to India in 1984 through Pakistan via the Attari border illegally.

He was detained at Attari and was allowed to reside as a “refugee” in India. He resided in Ludhiana and Patiala and applied for an Indian passport without getting Indian citizenship at a Ludhiana address. Manjit was arrested by the Delhi Police on allegations of possessing a fake passport during 1990.

He remained in Tihar Jail, Delhi, for about two months and he was released on bail. He was declared a proclaimed offender by a court in Chandigarh in connection with a case. He was again arrested in 2002 and sent to judicial custody and released in 2004. During imprisonment, he came in contact with Inderjit Singh Nittu.

Another accused, Satinder Singh, is a tailor by profession in Sector 40. He would arrange for the key impression of the locks of the showroom in Sector 40.

The accused told the police that after stealing the vehicles, they would prepare fake documents and sell the same to gullible persons.

Inderjit Singh, Satinder Singh, Manjit Singh and Ajay Kumar were produced before the Duty Magistrate, Chandigarh, from where, Inderjit Singh and Satinder Singh were remanded to police custody till August 2. Manjit Singh and Ajay Kumar were reportedly remanded to police custody till August 3.



Drainage system in place, yet water enters homes
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 31
The Rs 1.06-Crore project of the Public Health Department to provide an alternative storm-water drainage system in Phase V here was put to test during the incessant rain that lashed the town last night. The project seems to have fallen flat on its face as rain water entered many houses in the area.

The project had been completed almost three years after a group of residents of phase V filed a public interest litigation in the Punjab and Haryana High Court against the Punjab government to provide proper drainage system in the area.

An alternative rain-water drainage system, constructed at a cost of Rs 1.06 crore, became functional 10 days ago. However, the new system did not give the much-needed relief to the residents who had to once again deal with rain water entering their houses.

Public Health officials were called in the morning. They got the entire drainage pipe cleaned. “The rain seemed to be result of a cloud burst. And in such cases the rainfall is very heavy. The drainage system was functional and would be able to channelise up to 1 inch of rainfall. We have also cleaned the system today,” said the SDO, Public Health, Vinay Kapoor.

“Since 2002 we had been requesting PUDA and the MC to help us. You have seen the condition of our houses. Every time it rained we would be in ankle-deep water while at home and in knee-deep water on the roads. But despite our problem we did not get any relief. So we decided to go to the court.

“The High court ordered the Chief Secretary, Punjab, to decide as to who would construct a drainage system to solve our problem. The court gave the government a deadline of June 30 this year. It asked the PUDA to pay for the project while the Public Health Department was asked to carry it through,” explained Mr B.S. Sudan, the lawyer who is a resident of the area and had filed the PIL.



New technique developed on birth control
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 31
India is fast replacing China to emerge as a major destination for doctors from the USA, Canada, the Philippines, Ghana and other countries, to get trained to conduct no-scalpel vasectomy surgeries (NSVS).

And most of the doctors from abroad are coming to the Urban Family Welfare Centre at Amritsar. Dr Baljit Kaur, in charge of the centre, told The Tribune recently that eight doctors from Ghana and three from the Philippines had got training in the NSV surgeries at Amritsar. Doctors from Florida and other parts of the USA, Ireland and Canada had been trained at other places in India.

Dr Baljit Kaur, who herself got training in China to become a member of the faculty of International trainers of the NSVS, says there is a national network of doctors that functions under the banner of the NSV surgeons of India.

“We have been holding conferences at various places in the country to promote the NSV surgeries and the next one will be held in Sikkim, the only state in the country where men outnumber women in adopting birth control devices”, she adds.

In fact, bigger objective to promote the NSV surgeries is to shift the burden of birth control from women to men, whose opinion matters in every house to decide the size of the family. Earlier, almost all family welfare programmes or birth control devices were women-oriented. The entire burden for the birth control was on women as almost all contraceptives were designed for them. But the NSV technique has shifted the burden of birth control from women to men.

“Indian surgeons have standardised this technique even better than their Chinese counterparts, who invented it and implemented it on a bigger scale. Now it is a world-wide approved technique in which there is no blood loss as no incision by scalpel is involved”, she asserts. One can resume work or duty immediately after going through this surgical technique.

There is Kulla village, near Patti, where 53 of the eligible 231 males have got themselves sterilised through this technique,” she adds.

“I have been going to male dominated professions such as the Air Force, the Railways, Punjab Roadways and other public transport systems to convince male employees and workers to adopt this technique”, she claimed.



SCL to go to Dept of Space
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 31
The Government of India has decided to transfer the administrative control of Mohali based Semi Conductors Limited (SCL) from the Department of Information Technology to the Department of Space.

The Department of Space is now in the process of establishing a society to be called the Semi-Conductor Laboratory that would run the company under its administrative control.

A sense of insecurity and uncertainty has, however, gripped the employees of the company following the decision that became public knowledge only recently when the Department of Space advertised for the post of Director SCL, and Head Personnel.

The advertisements stated that the restructuring of SCL was underway, and the company would become an autonomous body/society under the society’s registration act.

The reorganisation of SCL, a public sector undertaking set up 1983, had been under discussion for the past three years. Established to design, develop and manufacture very large scale integration (VLSI)-based systems, sub systems and to create an R and D base, the company had, however, not been performing as was envisaged.

The Standing Committee on Information Technology in its reports filed to the 14th Lok Sabha (2004-2005) observed that during 2002-03 and 2003-04, the targets of Rs 83 crore and Rs 84.10 crore were laid down for sales turnover for the company but the SCL’s achievements remained Rs 40.22 Crore and Rs.56.20 crore, respectively.

The committee pointed out that various committees, including the disinvestment commission, had considered alternatives for the revival of the company.

The disinvestment commission had recommended the merger of SCL with defence organisations and also for implementing VRS in the company. However, defence organisations were not keen to take over the company. The company had implemented VRS during 2004. A total of 46 employees (21 executives and 25 non-executives) were allowed voluntary retirement and had since been relieved.

Giving a first-hand account of SCL, the Secretary, Department of Information Technology (DIT), during evidence before the Standing Committee members said, “SCL was conceived with certain objectives and we are far from accomplishing those objectives.

There have been some problems. You are aware of the fire incident which took place and thereafter the investments that should have happened to keep pace with technological developments, have not materialised.

The domestic market has been rather slender. SCL was primarily addressing the domestic market. So, the viability of those investments was also being questioned. Progressively, the core of SCL has been depleting: the core, in terms of the manpower, the resources and also in terms of the working capital.”

Elaborating on the attrition rate, the Secretary, DIT clarified that, “A lot of people have been picked up from SCL.

In fact, all top organisations that are working in the field of chip design have drawn heavily upon SCL.

All these developments have forced us to have re-think on the orientation of SCL and that exercise is on.

The Board of Directors has been pondering over various proposals. Manpower rationalisation is one initiative. There has been a limited success in that regard. Then, SCL would be repositioning itself.”

In a reaction to the proposed transfer, the members of the SCL Employees Union, on July 27, shot letters to the Secretary, Department of Space opposing the conversion of the company into an autonomous body/society under the society’s registration Act and demanded that the present status of the company be continued.

The union led by its President, Mr Amrao Singh, added that a sense of insecurity that had spread among the employees could lead to an unfortunate incident for which the Department of Space would be responsible.



Passing Thru

Gaurav Malhotra, Team Leader, Hopman’s Tennis Academy, USA
Gaurav Malhotra, Team Leader, Hopman’s Tennis Academy, USA

How can tennis be promoted in India?

There is no dearth of talent in India. The problem is of infrastructure, which involves a lot of money. If you are rich or influential enough to arrange a sponsorship, then and only then, you should think of tennis as a professional career for your kids. There are big houses in India and it won’t be difficult for them to pick the talent and bear their expenses. The government should also think on these lines. The AITA is doing a great job by organising talent hunt programmes and promoting the upcoming talent in India. The game is catching up slowly in India.

What is the future of tennis in India?

We don’t have a culture of sports in India. Unless people change their attitude, the situation will remain grim for upcoming players. Even Indian parents in the USA have got the same mindset. They lay stress on academics only and hardly encourage their children to take to sports professionally.

What are your achievements as a tennis coach?

I was head coach at the Delhi Lawn Tennis Association and the AITA nominated me to do World Tennis Coaching crash course in 1997. I did level I coaching course of the International Tennis Federation in 1998 and level II course from Sydney. Besides, I have undergone the USTA high performance Tennis Graduation Programme, where renowned names like Ginna Garrission, Lori Mechneill, Pablo Arayam, Lorenzo were my batchmates. — G.S. Paul



Sikh organisations resent woman’s arrest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 31
A protest march was organised by Sikh organisations today against the “illegal” arrest of Sector 34 resident Manjot Kaur by the Fatehgarh Sahib police.

Carrying placards and banners against the alleged state repression, scores of protesters marched in procession from the Sector 34 gurdwara to the Sector 34 police station. In the wake of Jagtar Singh Hawara’s arrest about two months ago, the Punjab and Chandigarh Police had let loose a reign of terror and several innocent persons had been arrested, they alleged.

Terming the alleged kidnapping of Manjot Kaur by the Punjab Police as a blatant act of abuse of human rights, they alleged she had been implicated in a false case.

“The Punjab Police had implicated Manjot Kaur in a false case by claiming that it had arrested her from the Bassi Pathana bus stand on July 26 around 4.30 pm with 500 gm RDX and two detonators,” they alleged.

The Chandigarh Police also acted in conspiracy with the Punjab Police. They alleged the local police was informed about the incident well in time, when the Punjab Police cops “kidnapped” the woman from her residence around 4.30 pm, but they did not take any action. Later, the Punjab Police showed her arrest from Bassi Pathana.

It may be mentioned here that the Punjab Police has been looking for her husband Harmohinder Pal Singh in connection with his being associated with Babbar Khalsa International’s alleged chief Jagtar Singh Hawara.

A Sector 27-based dealer of paper mart, Harmohinder Pal was lodged in the Burail Jail for two days in connection with a CBI case in 2003. He allegedly met Hawara there and gave his phone number to him. The police had recovered the telephone diary of Hawara and was now trying to link him with Hawara, they alleged.



CPM to ask PM many more questions, says Yechury
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 31
The CPM, which has been critical about what it describes as India’s “tilt” towards the US, has many more questions to ask from the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, about his recent official visit to that country ( US).

The CPM is, by and large, satisfied with the statement given by the PM in Parliament regarding country’s nuclear deal with the US, about which the CPM was first to raise serious questions .” But we have many more questions to ask from the PM during the debate in Parliament”, says Mr Sitaram Yechury, the Politburo member and Rajya Sabha MP of the CPM.

Talking to The Tribune here today, Mr Yechury, said there were questions to be asked about India’s cooperation in defence matters with the US and also about the missile programme and the cooperation between the two countries for promoting global democracies and to wage a joint fight against the terrorism.

Mr Yechury said all political parties of India had been opposed to sending its Army to any country on the behest of the US. However, as now defence deal had been signed by India with the US for a cooperation in defence matters, especially on military deployment issues, it was against the declared policy of our country.

He said earlier troops were sent under the command of the United Nations. Will India now send its troops under the command of the US forces against its foreign policy based on political consensus?

The CPM would ask the Prime Minister to clarify this issue.

Secondly, the Prime Minister and the US President, George W. Bush, had talked about waging a common war against terrorism. However, the CPM had different perception about the terrorism. There was individual terrorism and state terrorism.

And the biggest perpetrator of the state terrorism was the US, which had been attacking various countries for its vested strategic and economic interests. In fact, the US actions and policies had given birth to individual terrorism. It was clear from recent bomb attacks in the UK, Spain and certain other countries. Will India also come forward to counter the state terrorism of the US? asked Mr Yechury.

There was also a programme for cooperation on the missile programme with the US, which ignoring the NPT and other nuclear armament regulatory regimes, was talking about the star wars.

What kind of cooperation India would have with the US on missile programme, that was required to be told to the people of the country by the PM, he said.

The US and India wanted to join hands to promote global democracies. What was the concept democracy of the US, that also required to be understood.

The US Government’s concept at the moment seems to be to first occupy various countries by mounting a military assault and then set up pro-US Government in that country in the garb of democracy. Will India support such democracies, asked Mr Yechury.



Babla, Gupta on territorial Congress committee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 31
Stiff opposition from within the Congress notwithstanding, a former Chandigarh Vikas Manch activist turned-Congress leader, Mr Devinder Babla, has found a place in the Territorial Congress Committee (TCC), the highest policy-making body at the local level.

He, along with Mr Ram Charan Gupta, son of former president of the Territorial Congress Committee, has made it to the list of 25 TCC members of which 16 now belong to the faction headed by the local Member of Parliament, Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal. His induction into the party was being opposed tooth and nail by the faction led by acting CTCC president, Mr B.B. Bahl.

Another seat has, however, fallen vacant in the TCC with the death of Congressman Dharam Vir Manchanda.

Sources in the Congress said the high command seemed to have worked out a compromise between Mr Bansal and Mr Bahl. While Mr Bansal was emphasising on Mr Babla’s appointment to the TCC and his recognition as a Congress leader, Mr Bahl has been “fighting” to retain presidentship of the CTCC and opposing Babla’s entry into the Congress all along.

Both leaders seem to have won to the extent that Mr Bansal has managed a place for his confidant in the party despite opposition while Mr Bahl is all set to retain presidentship of the local unit of the party in spite of stiff resistance from the Bansal faction.

The local unit of the Congress split into the Bansal and Bahl factions over the re-induction of Devinder Babla into the party. Mr Babla was backed by Mr Bansal.

In 1999, when Mr Harmohan Dhawan and Mr Babla merged the Chandigarh Vikas Manch with the Congress, the CTCC also got a new president in Mr Bahl who was staunchly supported by Mr Bansal. It was then that differences arose between Mr Bansal and Mr Dhawan came to the fore and the latter lodged a protest in front of local in charge of the Congress, Motilal Vohra.

In the presence of Mr Bahl he showed complete disregard for the Congress flag by throwing it around and even criticised Congress President Sonia Gandhi. After the incident, six members including Mr Dhawan and Mr Babla were expelled for anti-party activities.

After expulsion, Mr Dhawan revived the Chandigarh Vikas Manch in the Municipal Corporation elections in 2001 and Mr Babla’s wife, Harpreet Kaur, even fought on the party’s ticket.

Later, the Congress revoked the expulsion of Mr Babla at the instance of Mr Bansal and re-inducted him into the party. His induction had a fallout on the Bansal-Bahl friendship and the two parted ways.

When contacted, Mr Bahl expressed complete ignorance over the elevation of Mr Babla as a TCC member. “I have no clue this has happened. I can only make a comment after assessing the situation,” he said.



Admn employees seek transfer of cases to other CAT Bench
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 31
Employees of the Chandigarh Administration have moved the Principal Bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), Delhi, seeking transfer of their cases to another bench.

The employees are contesting cases in the local CAT against the Administration over the issue of the latter seeking options to get transferred to the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation.

At least 24 different applications have been moved by 83 employees in Cat.

It may be mentioned that recently the Punjab and Haryana High Court while granting status quo in the case of Harpal Singh and others vs Union of India had directed the Tribunal to decide on the matter within 30 days. The issues being contested are the seniority list of 1996 and whether the employees who have already exercised their option can again exercise the option.

While moving their application before the Principal Bench, the applicants stated that when the application of 2003 and 2004 came up for final hearing before the bench comprising Mr L.M. Goyal and Mr J.S. Dhaliwal, Vice-Chairman and Member (Judicial), respectively, an objection was raised in view of the conflicting decisions in the judgment dated November 9, 2001, and January 31, 2005. It was prayed that the matter may be referred to another bench, as the existing bench had refused to grant interim relief.

Leaders of the employees union lament that the main dispute was only for 88 employees of the administration, who had gone to the corporation at the time of formation of the civic body in 1996.

They said the administration had prepared a seniority list up to 2005, after a gap of nine years and issued a notification to send the employees in the corporation after giving a one-month notice.

The employees demand that a seniority list of only the employees in the administration and those transferred out should be made on the basis of cut-off date of May 23, 1996. They pointed out that the administration had not included the name of the employees who joined the corporation after 1996 in the seniority list.

The administration decided that the employees who were working with the administration till March 23, 1996, would be considered for being transferred to the corporation. However, the employees lamented that the administration followed pick-and-choose policy while transferring the employees.



Verdict in Gill-Bajaj case hailed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 31
Terming the recent Supreme Court judgement in the Gill-Bajaj case as a “landmark” one, the then counsel for a senior IAS officer, Ms Rupan Deol Bajaj, today hoped that it would act as deterrent in the sexual harassment cases at work places.

Talking to reporters here, Mr A.S. Chahal, who represented Ms Bajaj during the Gill-Bajaj trial here, alleged that top functionaries of the Punjab Government and the Chandigarh Administration were hostile to the woman officer and even dissuaded her from getting the case registered.

However, Ms Bajaj stood her ground and with the support of her family took the case to its logical conclusion. It was only after the case was highlighted in the media that more such cases came to the courts of law and women got relief in sexual harassment cases.

Though about half of the persons at the party, where the incident occurred on July 18, 1988, were women, none among them came forward to depose before Gill, Mr Chahal regretted.

Mr Arvind Thakur, who assisted Mr Chahal during the trial, claimed it was only after certain cases were highlighted by the Lawyers for Human Rights International (LHRI), the courts and the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) had given relief to alleged victims of sexual harassment.



Vijayanta tanks being given to infantry units
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 31
The Army is handing over its Vijayanta tanks, which have been withdrawn from active service with armoured and mechanised formations, to infantry units for beefing up their firepower. Inducted in 1967, the 1,000-odd Vijayantas are in the process of being phased out from service and decommissioning is expected to be completed by 2007.

The Army brass came up with the idea of handing some of the tanks to infantry units rather than disposing them of as junk.

Sources said the tanks would be held only by those infantry units which were meant to man defensive positions along the international border. Already some infantry units have been given the tanks and their personnel are being trained to handle them. The number of tanks is expected to vary from battalion to battalion.

Tanks would considerably enhance the fire power of infantry units in a “holding” role and give local field commanders a potent and mobile fire support base at their beck and call. Vijayantas carry a 105 mm main gun which can fire high explosive as well as anti-tank ammunition, and three machines guns.

Infantry units are now getting advanced surveillance equipment which can be used to detect movement of men and vehicles in adverse conditions. According to a senior officer, these can be used effectively in conjugation with the tank’s firepower.

On the other hand, they would be a strain on manpower and resources, besides adding on to the training, logistics and maintenance schedules of the infantry battalions concerned.

This is specially so when the tanks are old and in relatively limited numbers. Besides making personnel available for their “tank company” from within their existing strength, the battalions would require additional technical and support personnel and ordnance inventories.

Though there have been instances where the infantry in armies of other countries have been equipped with field guns, armoured cars and tracked vehicles, sources said this was perhaps for the first time that tanks were being given to infantry units.

The Japanese infantry, for example, was equipped with 75 mm field guns, while certain US Army light infantry units use the 8-wheeled LAV-25 which carries a heavy gun.

In the early 90s, about 450 Vijayantas were upgraded with a fire control system, incorporating a laser rangefinder and ballistic computer, and the Kanchan composite armour developed for the Arjun.

The overhauling of the Vijayanta fleet was discontinued from 1999 as de-induction of the fleet was approved.

The bulk production run of Vijayanta spares had already ceased by 1989.



Fly menace grips four villages
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 31
Residents of Jaspur, Kakrali, Toda and Natwal villages today held a mahapanchayat to work out a strategy to deal with the fly menace, which has led to the spread of cholera in the region.

After three-year-old Mohit of Jaspur village reportedly died of cholera, the irate residents today summoned a mahapanchayat and also invited the owners of poultry farms to discuss the issue. The villagers complained that there was a cholera outbreak in the villages because of the fly menace.

Mr Satish Kumar, a resident of Jaspur village, said almost all households in the village had cholera cases. “My three children are suffering from cholera. There are swarms of flies in the area. We have taken up the matter with the district administration and the owners of the poultry farms, but to no avail,” he said.

Because Barwala is the second largest poultry belt in the country, swarms of flies are found everywhere. Often when the poultry farmers do not spray medicines and do not dispose of the dead birds, which further aggravates the fly menace.

The villagers said it was difficult to even eat food.

At the panchayat, it was decided that the poultry farmers would spray medicines for the next 13 days under the watch of the village panchayats. It was also decided that DDT would be sprayed in all ponds, to prevent the breeding of mosquitoes and flies.

Meanwhile, the SDM, Panchkula, Mr Virender Dahiya, said the administration had been regularly conducting checks to ensure that poultry farmers spray medicines and flies were kept under control.

“We have even sent the samples of the medicines for testing,” he added.



SAD to hold meetings on Aug 13, 14 at Chandigarh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 31
The Shiromani Akali Dal has convened organisational meetings of all sections of the party at Kalgidhar Nivas here on August 13 and 14. The Political Affairs Committee (PAC) of the dal will meet on August 14, Dr Daljit Singh Cheema, secretary of the party, announced today.

On August 13, there will be a meeting of the working committee and office-bearers of the party which will be followed by a meeting of the district units presidents in the afternoon.

The general council meeting of the dal will be held on August 14 at 11 a.m. followed by meeting of the PAC. All these meetings will be presided over by Mr Parkash Singh Badal.

These meetings have been convened to discuss the current political situation in the state. The party will also finalise its programme of district-level protest dharnas in the remaining districts and also assign duties to the party leaders for various conferences being organised by SAD in the coming months, Dr Cheema added.



Deciding authenticity of suicide notes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 31
There has been an increase in the number of cases in which investigating agencies are seeking opinion of scientists at the Directorate of Government Examiner of Questioned Documents here to testify the authenticity of handwriting on suicide notes on walls.

Mostly from the police departments of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh, the investigating officers are seeking forensic opinion about any tampering with the suicide notes, said the Deputy Government Examiner, Mr I.K. Arora.

“There is hardly any difficulty in matching the handwriting on a suicide note, written on a piece of paper or written on a wall. The only requirement is the investigating agency has to be provided a sample of the hand writing of its victim or the suspect(s),” said Mr Arora.

Without specifying details of the cases, as they were pending with different courts, the scientists said there had been some difficulty in matching the formation of characters and the pattern of writing when there is a difference in the language used on a suicide note and the sample provided by the police.



Housewife electrocuted
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 31
A 30-year-old woman died this morning of electrocution at her Chaman Colony residence in Dhanas village here.

Meenakshi, a housewife was reportedly washing clothes at her residence at around 9.30 am when Vinay Pal Singh, her brother-in-law, heard her cry for help. He rushed to her rescue. He tried to pull her. In the process, Vinay also received a minor shock.

He then rushed to cut the electricity supply. By that time Meenakshi had unconscious and was shifted to the PGI, where the doctors declared her “brought dead.”

The sources in the police, elaborating the incident, said Meenakshi suffered a shock because the water tap came in contact with a live wire.

Her family refused to conduct the post-mortem and ruled out foul play behind the death. The police has initiated inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the CrPC.



Encroachers back after a month
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 31
A month after the enforcement wing of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) had cleared encroachments in Sector 21, the encroachments are back with a bang.

The encroachers are not just constructing temporary hutments, but permanent structures are coming up on the land too, even as HUDA officials continue to look the other way.

It was with a lot of difficulty and use of police force that the land had been cleared of encroachments last month.

The encroachments started resurfacing on this land a week ago, but so far HUDA officials have not made any efforts to clear these encroachments, — even after HUDA had earlier decided that the engineering wing would immediately take over all land cleared of encroachments by the enforcement staff.

About 150 jhuggis on four acres were removed here in June 14. This land is to be developed by HUDA as Phase III of Sector 20.



Udham Singh remembered
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 31
The local unit of the All-India Anti-Terrorist Front (AIATF) today remembered Shaheed Udham Singh on his martyrdom day.

Paying tributes to the martyr, Mr Rajesh Sharma, president of the local unit of the front, termed him as one of the great patriots of India, who had a burning desire to see his motherland free from the clutches of the British.

The activists of the front pledged to protect the independence achieved by these heroes, to fight terrorism of all kinds and to follow the ideology of martyrs.

Prominent among those, who spoke on the occasion included Mr Rajesh Sharma, Mr Vikram Chopra, Mr Ashwani Pandu, Mr Satish Katyal, Mr Parmod Khaneja, Mr Chaitan Bedi, Mr Umang Dutta , Mr Amanjit Singh and Mr Bhupinder Singh.



Houses in Balmiki colony cave in

Mohali, July 31
At least five to 10 houses in Balmiki Colony near Sohana caved in following incessant rain last night. Another 10 houses were damaged. The residents had to spend the night in the open.

There is virtually no drainage system in the colony. A leader in the colony, Madho Ram, alleged that the District Development and Panchayat Officer had constructed a wall some time back that obstructed the flow of water.

This led to waterlogging in the colony, compelling residents to look for shelter in nearby areas.



Jewellery, electronic goods stolen
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 31
Thieves reportedly decamped with gold ornaments and electronic appliances from two houses in the city. The police arrested three persons for assaulting and threatening and another one for allegedly trespassing into a house.

Mr Rajiv Kumar of Sector 28 lodged a complaint with the police, alleging that two gold bangles, a gold ring and Rs 5,000 were stolen from his residence on the night of July 29. In another incident, Mr Ravinder Kumar of Indira Colony, Mani Majra, filed a complaint with the police, alleging that a TV and a CD player were stolen from his residence on Saturday. Two separate cases have been registered in this regard.

Assault: The police arrested three persons on the complaint filed by Mr Devinder Singh, a resident of Burail village. Mr Devinder Singh alleged that Surjit Singh, Ravinder Singh, Satish, Jagvir and Abhimanue, all residents of Burail village, assaulted and threatened him at his residence on Saturday. A case has been registered in this regard. The police reportedly arrested Surjit Singh, Ravinder Singh and Jasvir Singh.

Trespass: Mr P.K. Dhawan of Sector 23-B reported to the police that Anil Kumar of Sector 23-B trespassed into the verandah of his house on the night of July 30. A case has been registered in this regard.

Mobile stolen: Mr G.K. Chopra, a resident of Sector 37-C, filed a complaint with the police alleging that his mobile phone was stolen from his residence on Saturday. A case has been registered.

Gambling: The police arrested Bhure of Burail village from Sanzi Mandi in Burail village for allegedly indulging in gambling at a public place on Saturday. The police recovered Rs 1360 from his possession and registered a case under the Gambling Act.


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