C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Fee cut in PU a far cry, says VC
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
Come student body elections at Panjab University and candidates lay out a long list of priorities of their action plan in case voted into power. It is a well-established fact that a large number of these are “impossible” to meet, at least at the moment.

Prof K.N. Pathak, Vice-Chancellor, while talking to Chandigarh Tribune said, under no circumstance could the university lower the fee of the newly introduced professional courses (including five-year law and UIET) and those introduced independently. Students should understand that increased fee in professional courses was a national phenomenon.

Professor Pathak said: “The heavy rush showed that professional courses have become the need of the hour and without government support, the university will find it impossible to run these and has to charge a higher fee.”

The university’s explanation is unacceptable to a majority of student organisations, including the Panjab University Student Union, and the Student Organisation of Panjab University.

State president of the Student Federation of India Harmandeep Singh Gill said: “University’s helplessness at lowering the fee clearly means that students belonging to the middle class and poor sections of the society cannot go in for professional degrees in future simply because they don’t have the required money. One year for a normal law graduate costs around Rs 7,000 while the same for a student in the five-year course costs nearly Rs 75,000.”

“The university has not admitted a single student from the merit list in MSc (Microbiology). All have been admitted to the quota of paid seats and the university has no explanation for denying seats to the meritorious students,” he added.

Student organisations have spoken against the validity of the Placement Cell. Professor Pathak said: “We have a placement cell, however, it is not well established as yet. It will take some time. Certain departments offering professional colleges are doing fine. Don’t expect any magical results in placements for MA and MSc courses.”

Replying to the student issue of representation in the university Senate, Professor Pathak said: “The issue has already been cleared by the Senate. The matter needs a formal clearance from the Central Government.”

The university currently can do nothing to fill all vacant posts in teaching departments and also there are very little chances of holding remedial classes for Punjabi and Hindi medium students.

The student unions are also highlighting the need for Internet facilities in hostels. Professor Pathak said: “We are in the process of signing a tender because the earlier negotiations with a company have failed. Very soon all hostels will have Internet facilities.”



Elections fail to enthuse voters
Swarleen Kaur

Chandigarh, August 29
Campaigning by various student unions picked some momentum today on the Panjab University campus, which opened after a long weekend.
Supporters of various student bodies moved from one department to the other canvassing for the D-day. However, their efforts proved futile as most departments registered low attendance.

Sloganeering failed to enthuse many students. Lacking ideological approach, most of the student bodies kept pulling each other down as an election tactic but all this did not seem to elicit much response from the students who remained largely detached from the frantic activity around them.

Though a few girls appeared on the canvassing scene, they too failed to pull many students to their campaigns. Most of them did not even bother to listen to the speeches of union leaders.

Vikas Rathee, presidential contender for the Indian National Students Organisation (INSO), said: “Most of the students have a very negative attitude towards elections and are reluctant to contribute. I think they should come forward because the Campus Students’ Council is formed for their welfare only.”

Presidential candidate for the Students Federation of India (SFI) Bhuvan Azad said: “The problem lies with the mindset of students and elections are more enjoyment oriented here. Moreover, union leaders have no substance in their agenda to impress the students and most of them take it as a platform to secure their place in the world of politics. No doubt liquor is served, parties are organised and students are even taken for a movie or lunch. A lot of money goes waste. We want to create awareness among students and would like to bring about a change in their perception.”

According to Amandeep, presidential contender for the Panjab University Students Union (PUSU), there was a need to develop a one-to-one contact with students to bring about a change on the campus.

“Yes, there is lack of enthusiasm in students for elections but we are trying our best to draw their participation,” said Dalveer Singh Khangura, presidential candidate for the Students Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU).



HPSU, INSO join hands
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 29
A press conference to announce the alliance between the Indian National Students Organisation (INSO) and the Himachal Pradesh Students Union (HPSU) was held on the PU campus today. The HPSU was earlier supporting the Students Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU).

An activist of the HPSU, Suneel Kumar, said: “We left SOPU because they declared alliance with us without even informing us and moreover they were not ready take our candidate for the Campus Students’ Council election. Kanika Chauhan, our vice-president, who is supporting SOPU left us because of her personal relations with SOPU. But now this alliance has been forged and we would definitely prove stronger in the fray.”

Vikas Rathee, presidential candidate for the INSO, said: “It is a good sign that the HPSU has joined us and we will take their one candidate. We will announce our panel tomorrow.”

“We have also commissioned a survey on the campus to know the problems of the students. It was conducted through an NGO and a public relations company. The basic problem that came to light was that there was no guide map in the university. The girls also faced the problem of transportation,” Rathee said.



Beautiful girl candidates stand a better chance
Swarleen Kaur

Chandigarh, August 29
Leaders of students’ unions contesting various campus students’ council posts at Panjab University have enthusiastically tried to build a certain kind of image to elicit a favourable response. For this they seemed to be working hard. In order to project a goody-good image, they are leaving no stone unturned.

Dalveer Singh Khangura, president of the Students Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU) , says, “Image sells here too. If you have a girlfriend, it goes against you. If you want to win the support of girl candidates, then certainly you have create an ideological image”.

But when it comes to choosing a candidate for the post of vice-president, the bodies prefer to field a beautiful girl. The reason is that they play a big role in motivating the girl students on the campus.

Prachee, an activist of one of the union bodies, said, “Beautiful girls stand a better chance to win and good looks do the trick. After all, a beautiful face catches attention and, therefore, can draw votes too. This is how students’ leaders at PU think. A few of them are also of the opinion that the girls cannot handle the university affairs”.

Unlike Delhi and other metropolitan cities, girls of Chandigarh are more conservative and not active in politics.

Sonia Sheokand, law final year student and supporter of the Haryana Students Association, said, “One reason can be that girls are not much interested in politics. I am participating in the canvassing but I can never think of contesting for vice-president’s post and I am more into my studies. Electioneering affects studies. One thing to which everyone would agree is that boys enjoy more freedom than girls.”

Anita Thakur, former vice-president, Panjab University Students Union (PUSU), feels that girls should come forward to contest poll. “It is only the girls who can change all these images, which have been levelled upon them. I am sure if they come forward for the top posts, they can make a difference. Moreover, here on the university campus, girls constitute 65 per cent votes and they play a big role in deciding the fate of a candidate.”



Standoff between GCG Principal, girls over poll
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 29
A controversy over holding of election to the College Students’ Council has arisen between the college authorities and student leaders of Government College Girls, Sector 11.

A group of girl students approached Chandigarh Tribune and on the condition of anonymity said they were being denied a chance to contest the poll.

Expressing their keenness to be in the fray, they alleged that the Principal was pressuring them not to contest the poll and instead choose their nominees unanimously.

One of the girls said a major fight was witnessed among student leaders contesting the election in 2003. “Last year, no elections were held in the college and candidates were chosen unanimously for the council. But we want to hold elections this time. Most of the girls are not ready to express their views as they fear the wrath of the Principal.”

However, Principal of the college Manjit Kalra refuted the allegations. She said she had given a fair chance to students of her college. She said she had only suggested the students to choose the candidates unanimously as she felt it was her duty to advise them.

“Some girls had come to me with a request to hold the elections. Later, they changed their mind and urged me not to hold the poll and help them select nominees on the basis of a unanimous decision. Even these girls are confused. But I don’t have any problem if they want election on the campus. I suggested them to file their nominations on August 31. I familiarised them with the poll rules, which they were unaware of,” said the Principal.

Meanwhile, canvassing was in full swing at various colleges today.

Dharminder Singh Benipal, presidential candidate for the Students Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU) from Government College, Sector 11, said: “We held door-to-door campaigning in hostels and classrooms today. Slogans were raised in the college.”

The campaigning scene was hot at Government College, Sector 42. DAV College, Sector 10, also remained abuzz with election activity. At SD College, Sector 32, the Panjab University Students Union fielded their candidates today. They are: Jasbir Singh Gill for president, Kirti Sharma for vice-president, Sharanjit Singh for general secretary and Nitin for joint secretary.



Police bypassed law in arresting scribe
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
The arrest of a journalist by the Punjab Police from his Panchkula residence on Sunday has once again put a question mark on the conduct of the uniformed force. Overzealous policemen across the country continue to flout the norms and guidelines laid down by the National Police Commission through its recommendations given in 1997 and the landmark Supreme Court judgment in the D.K Basu v/s State of West Bengal case, that asks the police across the country to follow a laid down procedure, based on Articles 21 and 22 (1) of the Constitution.

Obviously, the Punjab Police, which tried to bend the directives, has now landed Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh and the Congress in a tight spot.

Earning the ire of the journalistic fraternity is the least the Congress or any other party would want with General Election just a year away. What happened to journalist Gautam Dheer of the Indian Express can happen to any citizen of the country. So it is important that everyone knows what the police is expected to do before arresting a person as per the apex court direction:

1. Policemen carrying out the arrest and handling the interrogation of the arrestee should bear accurate, visible and clear identification and name tags with their designations.

2. The police officer carrying out the arrest shall prepare a memo of arrest at the time of the arrest and such a memo shall be attested by at least one witness, who may be either a member of the family of the arrestee or a respectable person of the locality from where the arrest is made. It shall also be countersigned by the arrestee and shall contain the time and date of arrest.

3. A person who has been arrested or detained and is being held in custody in a police station or interrogation centre or other lock-up, shall be entitled to having one friend or relative informed, as soon as practicable, that he has been arrested and is being detained at the particular place.

4. If the arrestee is outside his place of residence, the police has to inform his next friend or relative with the help of a legal aid organisation in the district and the police station of the area concerned telegraphically within a period of eight to 12 hours after the arrest.

5. The person arrested must be made aware of this right to have someone informed of his arrest or detention as soon as he is put under arrest or is detained.

6. An entry must be made in the diary at the place of detention regarding the arrest of the person, which shall also disclose the name of the friend of the person who has been informed of the arrest and the names and particulars of the police officers in whose custody the arrestee is.

7. The arrestee should, where he so requests, be also examined at the time of his arrest and major and minor injuries, if any, present on his/her body, must be recorded at that time.

8. The “Inspection Memo” must be signed both by the arrestee and the police officer effecting the arrest and its copy provided to the arrestee.

9. The arrestee should be subjected to medical examination by a trained doctor every 48 hours during his detention. Director, Health Services should head a panel of doctors for all tehsils and districts.

10. Copies of all documents, including the memo of arrest, referred to above, should be sent to the magistrate concerned for his record.

11. The arrestee may be permitted to meet his lawyer during interrogation, though not throughout the interrogation.

12. A police control room should be provided at all district and state headquarters, where information regarding the arrest and the place of custody of the arrestee shall be communicated by the officer causing the arrest, within 12 hours of effecting the arrest and at the police control room it should be displayed on a conspicuous police board.”

The Supreme Court in its judgment has set a punishment for non-compliance making police officers liable to contempt proceedings and departmental action. The SC has further directed all state Director Generals of Police and Home Secretaries to circulate the same at every police station.

Since none of the guidelines fixed by the SC were followed by the policemen who arrested Gautam Dheer, it remains to be seen what kind of action is initiated against the erring policemen by the police chief and courts concerned.



Lawyers’ body moves NHRC over scribe’s arrest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
Terming the arrest of Indian Express reporter Gautam Dhir by the Punjab Police as an “attack” on the Fourth Estate, the Lawyers for Human Rights International (LHRI) today moved the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

In his application before the NHRC under Section 12 of the Protection of Human Rights Act,1993, LHRI general secretary Arvind Thakur demanded a probe by the CBI or any independent investigating agency into the “illegal arrest”.

The application also demanded the safeguarding of life, liberty and dignity of the journalist and his family.

“The arrest violated various provisions of the Supreme Court judgement regarding arrests as pronounced in the D.K. Basu v/s State of West Bengal besides being a grave human rights violation,” it said.

The application urged the commission to ask the Punjab DGP to submit a status report on the working of the IGP at whose behest the journalist was allegedly picked up from his Panchkula residence last night.



Panchkula police criticises Punjab police’s role
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 29
After failing to act last night, the Panchkula police today criticised the manner in which Gautam Dheer, Principal Correspondent with The Indian Express, was picked up by the Punjab police.

Speaking to mediapersons, Superintendent of Police Balbir Singh said he had already informed the Director General of Police, Haryana, about the incident. “I am shocked at the entire incident. The Punjab police had not taken us into confidence while picking up Gautam Dheer. We have registered a DDR in this regard,” he said.

The Superintendent of Police said they were informed about the incident in an improper manner, through a telephone call. “I will give a written report to the DGP, Haryana, in this regard,” he said.

The mediapersons also apprised him of the unwillingness on part of the Panchkula police to register a case against the Punjab police when a delegation of journalists and Col S.L. Dheer, father of the victim, went to get a complaint registered last night.

“I will look into the matter. The SHO of Sector 5 police station was on patrolling duty. If some junior officer has misbehaved with the family of Mr Dheer, we will investigate the matter and take action against those police officials who misbehaved,” he said.



Passing Thru

Ashok Kumar Vahi
Ashok Kumar Vahi, accredited photographer with Press Information Bureau.

For how long have you been associated with hockey?

I have been capturing the hockey for the past 30 to 35 years. I started my career with hockey photos and became a freelancer for newspapers and magazines.

How often do you exhibit your collections?

No, this is the first ever exhibition I have conducted in the city as a part of the hockey seminar organised here for the revival of hockey.

Any memorable moments?

During the 1975 World Cup between India XI and All-Asia Star XI held at National Stadium, New Delhi, the stadium was overcrowded with the hockey lovers and it appeared that hockey had overshadowed cricket. The gates were closed two hours before the start of the match and I got an excellent opportunity to capture the moments.

Do you find any difference between old players and present ones?

I have a good rapport with many players of the past like Balbir Singh. They were more disciplined compared to the present players. Old timers like Balbir Singh, Aslam Sher Khan and Govinda had in them the feeling of nationalism. — G.S. Paul



Chandigarh Calling

Banne Singh

Banne Singh and party were in town singing songs to the most celebrated snake-king of Indian mythology. The group arrived a couple of weeks before Gugga naumi that is being celebrated in the few shrines to Gugga Pir in the city. Tribune photographer Parvesh Chauhan clicks at them as they move through the city carrying a festooned ‘chhari’. Banne beats the deru, a small string drum and sings praise of the king who conquered the snakes. Gugga is also known as Zahar Pir and was born on Bhadon naumi near Bikaner in Rajasthan. He is worshipped in Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. This is a season of the snakes coming out of their holes and rural folk seek strength from Gugga to be protected from them. The ‘chhari’ is a strong bamboo stick and is decorated with flowers, festoons and coconuts. It is placed by the mari or the symbolic grave of the king that is to be found in the small Gugga shrines. 

Season of Gugga Pir Elusive Bhattal: Eager to promote literary and cultural activities in the city, the Chandigarh Sahitya Akademi held a ‘Kavi Darbar’, in the city last week. The august gathering consisting of stalwart poets of the city, sat patiently and genially for the evening to start. The organisers, in the meantime, waited outside, near the gate, in the warm sultry evening, holding a profusion of flowers to greet the Chief Guest for the function. Alas! The Chief Guest, Deputy Chief Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, despite confirming her attendance did not deem it necessary to either come nor did she think it important enough to inform this earnest group of her impending absence. The evening however was a success with some powerful recitations and an attentive, interested audience keeping the erudite spirit of the evening alive.

Flying high:  Here to visit her grandmother during her summer holidays, 14 year-old Surina decided to make good on her free time and volunteered to teach underprivileged children at “Pustak” school in Sector 25. On one fine morning, she took a large map of the world and some pictures of aeroplanes to school with her. Pointing to the map she explained where she came from in America and explained how she had flown all the way to India. The children listened wonderstruck and a gaggle of questions arose. “How long did it take, what does an aeroplane look like from inside and how does it feel to fly?!” In a happy coincidence, a plane could be heard droning in the sky. The children rushed out to stare at it, newly armed with information. A small child came up to Surina confused. “Didi, you said the plane was very big, but it looks so small, how do you fit yourself into it?”

Word play: Adakar Manch Mohali, in their rather earnest and beseeching invite to their theatre production, ‘Kehti Hain Ladkian’ put their best foot, or rather their most creative scriptwriter forward, hoping to lure theatre-goers to see their play. The invite read rather tantalisingly, “A Hindi Play, of the girls, by the girls, for…. For you.” In case that did not catch your fancy, the histrionics in the show were alluded to, “Please do come in time because if you miss the start you will miss a lot. We mean it. Waiting for you on (& in) Time” Sahib Singh who also plays a small part in it has directed the play that looks at society and its attitude towards women.

Virgo God: If you thought that just fasting and pulling the dori of the jhoola was the way to celebrate Janamashtami in which the infant Krishna nestles, you can think again. In this age of drama and hype, even the relationship with god is being redefined. At a local temple on Janmashtmi, someone who looked like a pop star was singing bhajans in a raucous and catchy style from a stage in the temple premises. The people were swaying to the filmi tunes.  flinging their hands and gesticulating wildly. What took the cake (not the prasada) was when at the stroke of midnight, the singer(s) broke out into the crowning song—Happy birthday to you. This was followed by ‘tum jiyo hazaron saal.’ What would the immortal Lord feel at this felicitation? A child witnessing the birthday bas was overheard asking his mother, “Mom is Krishnaji a Virgo?”  Well all this can be happily attributed to Krishna Lila!

CMC vs CMC: Many people who try to ring up the CMC or the Chandigarh Medical Centre and take the number from the directory are bound to be in for a surprise, because the telephone number might be of CMC, but it stands for Computer Maintenance Corporation. Tired of the wrong numbers, an attendant decided to tell a caller, “We treat sick computers, not people, and you can bring yours.”

— Sentinel



City’s unique manhole covers become things of past
G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
“Pierre Jeanneret designed the manhole cover with the master plan; see how many you can locate”. This quote is emblazoned just below the manhole cover originally designed by Pierre Jeanneret. This model manhole cover can be located, standing tall, enshrined on the premises of the Government Art and Museum Gallery, Sector 10 Chandigarh.

From a distance, it appears like any ordinary manhole cover but what makes it unique and archetypal is the concept on which it was designed. These manhole covers, intended for the city sewerage system, depict the master plan of Chandigarh on top of it. Originally fashioned, these lids are made of cast iron and can be found on some of the storm water drains of the city, albeit a rare sight.

The miniatures of these covers are available as souvenirs and can be purchased for Rs 170 for the bigger one and cost Rs 120 for smaller one. Unfortunately, it is the foreign tourists who value these more than the city residents do.

These miniature souvenirs designed by Mr D S Kapoor, Senior Lecturer, Government College of Art, Sector 10, said, “These replicas were produced to celebrate 50 years of Chandigarh’s existence. The idea was to make the common people aware of the creation of city.”

The storm water and drainage system had been designed for a rainfall intensity of ½ an inch per hour. The idea was that the rain water would be collected through road gullies/vertical traps and discharged through drains of varying sizes into Patiali-ki-Rao, N-Choe and Sukhna Choe. To cover the manholes, the innovative idea of making special covers made of cast iron, came up.

However, these manhole lids are soon going to vanish as many of them have been stolen and replaced with the concrete ones. With this is passing away the original concept of lids with the master-graph etched on it.

Pierre Jeanerette, whose original idea gave the city its distinct manhole covers, died in Geneva in 1967 and it was according to his wishes that his ashes were immersed in the Sukhna Lake.

Mr Aditya Prakash, ex- Principal, Government College of Architecture, Sector 10, who had worked in the times of Le Corbusier seemed upset by the way a vital ‘artifact’ of Chandigarh’s history was fast disappearing. “This is a question of how involved the earlier designers, read architects, were. It is a matter of cultural deterioration and shame that we could not preserve the sentiments of those persons whose contribution in the making of the city cannot be forgotten.

If the manhole covers were stolen and replaced with the concrete ones, the original design with the prototype of the master plan of the city could have been engraved on it.”

Mr. S K Midha, ex-Chief Architect and Secretary, Chandigarh Administration, from 1995 to 1999 believes, “It was a unique idea based on a philosophy on which the city was developed. This manhole cover was officially installed at the government museum in 1999. If I remember correctly, a model of a manhole cover along with some of the original drawings of Le Corbusier projects were transported to Holland by their world renowned architect Ab Van Dien, to be displayed in ‘International Travel Exhibition’ in the early 90s. “

According to the Director of the Government Museum and Art Gallery, Mr. V N Singh, “Pierre Jeanneret designed the cover in keeping with the architectural design of the city. It is unusual to have a city layout on an object of utility. He may have designed it because of his aesthetic and emotional feelings. It is our duty to preserve the spirit that went into the conception of this city.”



Tribune staffer hurt in mishap
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
Accidents, some of them fatal, continue unabated on the city roads because of uncovered and poorly maintained covers of manholes and sewer pipes all over the city.

Prabhjot Singh, Chief of Bureau of The Tribune, fell from his scooter on Sunday night on the road behind the Punjab and Haryana Civil Secretariat near the Chandigarh Club when his scooter wheels skid on a poorly maintained sewerage cover.

Mr Avtar Singh, a local resident, said that his car was damaged a few days back when it bumped into the pit of the sewerage cover. “I did not anticipate the pit as I was following a car. Such a traffic hazard should be immediately corrected”. 



Illegally altered jeeps impounded
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 29
The Chandigarh Traffic Police today impounded 57 vehicles, including nine jeeps which were altered without taking permission from the authorities concerned. The traffic police issued 215 challans to various traffic rule offenders.

The Deputy Superintendent said they impounded 57 vehicles for various offences. The nine jeeps were impounded for altering the vehicles without taking permission, which is a violation of Section 52 of the Motor Vehicles Act and it carries a fine of Rs 2000.

The police issued challans for various offences like overspeeding, not wearing a safety helmet and jumping of red light. 



Good at challaning but not so in solving murder cases
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
The Chandigarh Police may be good at challaning traffic violators after hiding behind the camouflaging bushes but the cops just cannot be given 100 per cent credit of solving murder cases.

Over three weeks have lapsed since the lifeless body of Maskeen Singh — an Inspector with the Punjab’s Food and Civil Supplies Department — was found in a Sector 35 parking lot. Yet the cops have not been able to trace the culprits.

Hailing from Khanna, 45-year-old Maskeen Singh had come to Chandigarh for attending a court date on August 4. His body was found dumped in the lot by a passer-by in the wee hours of August 5.

After holding preliminary investigations in the case, senior police officers had claimed that they had been able to identify the persons with whom Maskeen Singh had drinks the previous night.

At that time the cops had further claimed that nabbing the accused was just a matter of time. Yet, sources in the police headquarters say that the cops have not even been able to identify the murderers.

The sources assert that Maskeen Singh’s case is not the only one in which the Chandigarh Police had to bite the dust. In the past two years the cops have failed to solve at least seven murder cases.

Quoting figures the sources assert that in 2004 alone as many as 20 murder cases were registered by the Chandigarh Police. Out of the total, three cases remained unsolved. In the previous year, 21 murder cases were registered by the police. Out of the total, again 17 were solved. Four remained unsolved.

As many as 10 murder cases were registered by the police from January till April this year. Out of the total at least some of the cases are yet to be solved by the police.

Giving details of some of the unsolved cases, the sources assert that the cops could not lay their hands on the murderer of 23-year-old Simranjit Kaur even though the Chandigarh Police claims specialisation in investigating cases. Her body was found in her Sector 22 residence on July 17, 2003.

Similarly, the cops could not arrest the murderers of Sector 21 resident Sundri Agnihotri. She was killed on December 25 last year. In Mainpal’s case also, the police was still groping in dark. He was murdered on August 14, 2003.

As far as the reasons behind their failure to solve all the cases are concerned, the sources assert that in so many matters scientific approach is just not adopted by the police.

Moreover, the cops do not have a strong data bank. As a result, nothing much is achieved even if the police is able to pick up the fingerprints from the scene of offence. To make the matters worse, a majority of the cops are not computer savvy.



Councillors’ study tour cuts short MCC meeting
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
The departure of nine councillors, including the Mayor, to Mumbai and Goa, for a study tour today cut short the meeting of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh(MCC).

And with the meeting ending abruptly, the important agenda on the modification of terms and conditions for paid parking was skipped and almost two hours wasted on fruitless discussion. This means that the MCC will take time for the introduction of the multiple parking pass.Since at least five parking contracts are to expire by September 15, the parking contracts will have to be extended.

The MCC had brought the supplementary agenda on paid parking knowing fully well that the nine councillors were to leave for a study tour today. The meeting, which began at 10 a.m., was adjourned at about 12 noon by the Mayor, Ms Anu Chatrath, without any discussion on the paid parking agenda.

However, the meeting approved the development of a town park in Mani Majra at a cost of Rs 1.68 crore. It has been a long-pending demand of Mani Majra having a population of about 2 lakh.

Earlier, Mr P.C. Sanghi, a nominated councillor, demanded the constitution of a three-member committee to go into the allegations of causing a loss of Rs 32 lakh to the MCC by an official by announcing an award to a private company. However, nothing came out of the discussion on this topic.

However, the meeting gave its nod to the introduction of motorised rehris for the sale of fresh fruits, vegetables and confectionary items.

Apart from the Mayor, the councillors, who left for the study tour, included Ms Harjinder Kaur, Ms Harpreet Kaur,Ms Amar Kulwant Kaur, Ms Geeta Rani, Mr Subhash Chawla, Mr Vijay Rana and Mr Chander Mukhi.



Fauji Beat
Blunders of 1965 war

On September 1, 1965, Pakistan launched Operation Grand Slam in the Chhamb sector to cut off Jammu and Kashmir from the rest of the country. To release pressure on Chhamb, our forces opened a front in Lahore and Sialkot sectors on September 6. The units to the Lahore sector were hurriedly moved from various locations. It was dark when they arrived. The unit commanders were told to attack before seeing the enemy line during the day. The result was that most of the attacks failed. A number of commanding officers and some of the formation commanders were either sacked or demoted.

Only one infantry battalion, 3 Jat, crossed the Ichogill canal and captured Dograi village across the obstacle. But its success was not exploited because the basic principle of establishing a firm base across the obstacle had been violated by the formation concerned. Thus our advance had bogged down at the Ichogill canal and the result was a stalemate.

In his article in the Indian Defence Review in 1990, Mr K. Subrahmanyam said when the then Prime Minister asked the Army Chief whether it was worthwhile to continue the war for a few more days, the Chief replied that the Army was running short of ammunition, hence it was better to accept ceasefire. The review of ammunition, Mr Subrahmanyam said, revealed that only 10 per cent of the ammunition had been exhausted.

Sector 21 CSD canteen

The CSD canteen at the Aroma Chock in Sector 21, Chandigarh, has a small parking lot. Due to heavy traffic, to get in and out of the parking area is hazardous.

In the forenoons, a sizeable number of customers have to leave their cars and scooters on the roadside because of the jampacked parking area. For grocery one has to go down the ramp to reach the basement which, being small, gets crowded with customers during the peak hours. A large number of elderly ex-servicemen find it hard to climb up the ramp with bags full of goods.

The Western Command Headquarters has been making efforts to shift this canteen to a more suitable location for the last several years. It is learnt that when the Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) complex comes up in Sector 47 in two or three years, this canteen will then be shifted there. That location being in a southern corner will not be suitable for the ex-servicemen. It would, therefore, be better to find a more appropriate place for the canteen.

ECHS needs changes

Being a new scheme, the ECHS will need many changes. The ECHS package specifies the number of days that a patient, depending on his disease, can stay in an empanelled hospital for treatment. The rules do not say that a patient cannot continue to stay in the hospital for a longer period if his condition, in the opinion of the super-specialist at the hospital, so warrants. But according to a local restriction, any stay beyond 10 days will need sanction from the Senior Executive Medical Officer (SEMO) in writing. This restriction puts the patients and their dependents to great inconvenience and unnecessary harassment. Besides, it can create serious legal complications. The restriction must, therefore, be removed.

— Pritam Bhullar



Makhan’s kin pray for his safety
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 29
While the Punjab police and officials in Durban have failed to provide any information about Makhan Singh, a resident of Kumbra village, who was allegedly kidnapped in South Africa on August 15, members of his family have been praying for his safety.

Efforts were made by relatives and friends today to contact kidnappers on their mobile phones, but no response was received from them.

Mr Bhupinder Sharma, who has close links with the family, said the alleged kidnappers had switched off their mobile phones for the past some days. The phones were on today, but nobody responded to their calls. He said he had talked to Gurjit, a roommate of Makhan in Durban, who claimed that Makhan Singh was safe and would be released soon hopefully.

Sanjiv, a friend of Makhan Singh living in Kumbra village, said efforts were made to contact Makhan Singh on his mobile phone today. He said Makhan’s phone was on, but nobody responded. 



CM greets scholar on birthday
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 29
Mr Bhupinder Singh, Chief Minister of Haryana, and Mr Venod Sharma, Excise and Taxation Minister, visited the residence of veteran scholar and numerologist Dr Sansar Chandra to congratulate him on his 89th birthday and praise his services as a teacher, researcher and a writer of eminence.

The Chief Minister presented him a beautiful carved silver plaque as a gesture of his warm regards. Dr Sansar Chandra has been associated with The Tribune as a columnist for the past more than two decades.

B.D. Kalia ‘Hamdam’, noted Urdu poet, praised Dr Chandra with the recital of a poetical composition, wishing him luck.



Inform details of servant to SHO
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
The Chandigarh Administration has ordered that residents of the city should not employ a domestic servant, helper or a part time maid without furnishing their antecedents to the Station House Officer (SHO) concerned.

Mr R.K. Rao, District Magistrate, has said that “any breach of this order would invite action under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code”.

The order said that “ domestic servants and other domestic help often have a large part to play in crime and they are often perpetrators or active conspirators in the committing of a number of offences.”

For the safety of the residents, the office of the District Magistrate has decided to make the exercise compulsory.



Amitoj’s death mourned
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 29
A condolence meeting to mourn the death of eminent Punjabi poet Amitoj was held at the Correspondence Department of Panjab University here today. He died at the Civil Hospital, Jalandhar, following a prolonged illness last night.

Professor Oberoi, who retired from the Department of English, Prof B.S. Brar of the Department of Political Science, and noted artiste Diwan Manna and Devinder Singh were among those present on the occasion.



1 dead, 4 hurt in 3 accidents
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu

Chandigarh, August 29
Residents of the city are constantly exposed to perils of road accidents as the police has failed to make roads safer.
In three separate accidents in the past couple of days, one person succumbed to his injuries and four others, including a child, are nursing fractured limbs in various hospitals of the city.

Sources in the police said a resident of Sector 32, Anand Singh, aged about 55 years, succumbed to his injuries in the PGI today. He hurt himself while alighting from a Haryana Roadways bus last evening. He sustained serious head injuries.

The bus driver was booked for causing death due to rash and negligent driving.

A child suffered a fracture on his leg and other injuries after a car hit him near the Sector 29 and 30 light points on Friday. The child was admitted to the GMCH, Sector 32. The car driver has been booked for rash and negligent driving.

In two other accidents, two pedestrians were injured and suffered fractures on their legs after being hit by cars. In one accident that took place near the CRPF camp in Hallo Majra village last evening an unidentified Maruti car hit Sheeru, a resident of Janta Colony, Nayagaon, leaving the victim injured. The car driver sped away after the accident and the victim was rushed to the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32.

In another incident, a pedestrian, Mr Kasmira Singh, sustained injuries after a Maruti car hit him near the Airport chowk.

The police has registered case of rash and negligent driving against the car driver. He was later released on bail.



Rickshaw puller commits suicide
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 29
Troubled by a prolonged illness, a 26-year-old rickshaw puller allegedly hanged himself to death, in full public view even as passersby walked pass with indifference.
He was found hanging from a mango tree along the roadside this morning behind the Pir’s mazar near Mauli Complex. No suicide note was found on the body, said the police.

S.K. Raju, a resident of Mauli Complex, committed suicide around 11 am. Some passers-by informed the police about the incident, but did little to save him. Though, policemen rushed to the spot, by the time they reached it was too late and Raju was no more. The police sent the body to the General Hospital in Sector 16 for a post-mortem.

Mr Ram Hazoor, father of the deceased, informed the police that Raju was suffering from an ulcer in his stomach and was a habitual drinker. He was drunk today also. Raju left home early this morning as he used to ferry schoolchildren in his rickshaw. He was supposed to come back home after buying vegetables from the Grain Market in Sector 26. As much as Rs 320 was found from his pockets.

The police, quoting Mr Ram Hazoor further, said Raju had married twice, but had no children. He had tied the knot for second time about one and a half-years ago.



4 women held for roaming aimlessly
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 29
The local police arrested four women on the charge of roaming about aimlessly from Sector 56 this evening.
The police sources said acting on an anonymous call about the women roaming in the vicinity of Government Primary School in Sector 56, a police party conducted a raid. They arrested the four women who were in their mid-20s, when they failed to gave satisfactory replies to the preliminary questioning. The police impounded a mobile phone from them. During the interrogation the women tried to mislead the police by giving false details. However, the police extracted the information through cross-questioning.

The in-charge of the Palsora police post said they did not find anything incriminating against the women though they had received a complaint about their involvement in the flesh trade.

After verifying their antecedents, they were booked by the police under Section 109 of the CrPC and they will be produced before a local court tomorrow.



House burgled
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 29
Cash and goods worth thousands of rupees were stolen from the Sector 11 house of a Superintending Engineer in the Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board.

The family was away to Shimla since Friday. The police says that Mr R.K. Sehgal is posted in Himachal Pradesh and his wife had gone to meet him. It was only after they returned today that they found the doors of their house open and the house ransacked.

Chain snatched: Two motorcycle-borne youths allegedly snatched a gold chain from Ms Narinder Sodhi, while she was walking on the Sectors 20 and 21 dividing road. The accused came from behind and whisked away after snatching her chain. 


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