C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Dalits burn Haryana Government’s effigy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 4
Members of the Aadi Dharam Samaj Adhas today burnt an effigy of the Haryana Government here in protest against the torching of Dalits’ houses in Gohana. Shouting slogans against the Haryana Government, the protesters assembled at Karsan village. From there, they marched in a procession to Hallo Majra Chowk on the Chandigarh-Ambala road and tried to disrupt the traffic on the highway.

However, a strong police posse had cordoned off both sides of the chowk and their attempts to disrupt the traffic were foiled. They later dispersed after burning the effigy.

Calling for the resignation of the Chief Minister, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, they demanded that a compensation ranging from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 20 lakh should given to persons whose house were burnt by the mob in Gohana.



‘Hike relief to Gohana incident victims’
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, September 4
The Bharatiya Valmiki Dharam Samaj convened a general meeting of its members in Rajiv Colony. It was presided over by Mr Dalbir Singh, municipal councillor. The samaj in a press note released this evening has demanded increase in financial relief to the victims of the Gohana episode as announced by the Haryana Government.

The samaj denied any link with those responsible for arson and rioting in Panchkula on Friday. It however reiterated, its solidarity with the Gohana victims and registered its protest by holding a peaceful agitation which was later abandoned following a discussion Mr Dalbir Singh had with the DC and the SDM who were present there.



Admin not to hold Teachers’ Day function
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 4
Teachers in Chandigarh will have to go without celebrations on Teachers’ Day this year as the Administration is not planning to hold any official function to felicitate them tomorrow.

The UT Administration is also yet to come out with a list of names of the teachers to be honoured on the occasion.

Incidentally, the disappointment for the city teachers comes at a time when the administration has mooted an idea of turning Chandigarh into an education hub.

Disappointed at what is being termed as a 'deliberate attempt to discourage the teachers', the Government Teachers Union (GTU) has announced that its decision to boycott any function, if held. The rift between the teachers union and the administration over unresolved issues has come to such a pass that both sides are trying to 'outwit' the other by adopting a strategy to embarrass the other.

‘‘The Administration has not prepared any list of teachers to be honoured. This has been done deliberately to 'punish' us for asking for our rights’’, Dr. Vinod Sharma, General Secretary of the union, said. He added that the union held meetings on August 8 and again on August 12 in which it was decided that it the Administration failed to release the list of awardees by August 31, the union would call for a boycott of the official function.

Again on August 31 the Administration was served with a notice to release a list within three days and accept all other demands of the union but nothing has happened, Mr Sharma said.

According to Mr Kaushali Ram, Convener of the union, the teachers would now meet the local Member Parliament to register their protest.

The Administration has no plan to celebrate Teachers Day as no programme has been announced so far. Punjab and other states had released the list of teachers to be honoured several days in advance, they said.

The DPI (Schools), Mr. D.S Mangat said the Chandigarh Administration had prepared a list of teachers to be honoured and it would be released tomorrow. Other sources in the Administration, however, confirmed that no function would be held tomorrow.



Govt schools not to collect funds
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 4
While greeting teachers on the eve of Teachers’ Day the Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen S.F Rodrigues (retd), said the collection of funds in government schools would be abolished and the Administration would meet this requirement from its own budget from December 2005 onwards.

In another far reaching decision, the Administrator said from the next year, all boys studying in non- Model Government Schools up to Class VIII would be provided books and school uniforms free of cost as was already being done for girl students.

The Governor called upon the teachers to equip themselves with new professional skills through re-orientation and research-based programmes and to make teaching more meaningful and purposeful.

Extending his greetings on the occasion of Teachers’ Day, General Rodrigues stressed that education is a vital instrument for bringing about social change and the quality of education reflected the quality of life in a country.

‘‘Teachers, who have the prime responsibility of shaping the minds of individuals, have a significant role to play in developing the potential and capabilities of the students. The teachers, therefore, must be, professionally competent and fully dedicated to their work to share their knowledge with the youth for improving society’’, he added.

Paying tributes to Dr S. Radhakrishan, former President of India to whom Teachers’ Day is dedicated, the Governor said he had a great love for the teaching profession. ‘‘The true homage to this great luminary would be to follow his path-breaking ideas for radical transformation of education system’’.

General Rodrigues said the Chandigarh Administration had taken positive steps for building excellent human resource by announcing the abolition of school fees up to Class VIII in Government Schools of the Union Territory.

He said ‘‘this day also reminds us of our responsibilities towards teachers. There was a need to pay greater attention to their welfare’’.

He said, ‘‘we as a society must pay due respect to our teachers and recognise their role in the process of nation building’’.

He said every citizen should contribute generously to the Teachers' Welfare Fund.



Cop’s wife hangs herself to death
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 4
Stung by the alleged illicit relations of her husband, the 35-year-old wife of a Haryana police constable allegedly hanged herself to death at her Mori Gate house in Mani Majra this morning. The police arrested the constable on the charge of abetment to suicide following a complaint by the brother of the deceased.

In a separate incident, a woman was booked by the police for attempting suicide after she tried to set herself on fire this afternoon.

Giving details of the suicide by the cop’s wife, sources in Haryana police said Bimla was found hanging from a ceiling fan hook with a nylon rope this morning by her daughter. Her husband, Bikar Singh, had reportedly gone to attend a satsang and their children were playing outside when she took the extreme step. Though no suicide note was found, the police a registered a case of abetment to suicide against Bikar Singh on the basis of a complaint made by Ramjit, brother of Bimla. Ramjit is also serving with the Haryana police.

Ramjit in his complaint to the police alleged that Bikar Singh was harassing his sister. He also alleged that Bikar Singh was involved with another woman and her sister was depressed over his indifferent attitude.

The couple has two daughters and a son. They were married about 14 years ago, said the sources.

In the attempt to commit suicide case, the police said that Sangeeta (35), a resident of Timber Market near the transport area, tried to end her life by setting herself a fire in an inebriated condition this afternoon.

The in charge of the Bapu Dham police post said that Sangeeta poured kerosene on herself and tried to light a matchstick. Luckily, it failed to catch fire. A neighbour, who saw her attempting to end her life, raised the alarm and Sangeeta’s husband came for her help. They called the police and took her to hospital. Her husband is a rickshaw-puller.

The police said the woman was still under the influence of liquor and a case of attempt to commit suicide has been registered against her under Section 309 of the IPC.



Panchayat vice-chief held in Nayagaon rape case
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 4
The Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Punjab police probing the rape of a minor girl at Nayagaon three years ago today arrested vice-chairman of the Kharar Panchayat Samiti Gurbachan Singh. This is the third arrest by the SIT in the past five days.

According to sources in the SIT, Gurbachan Singh, a resident of Nayagaon, admitted during the preliminary interrogation, that he had ‘‘influenced’’ a former SHO of Nayagaon to help the accused in the case.

The SHO allegedly got a 10 marla plot in Nadaha village as a ‘‘gift’’ from Gurbachan Singh and his brothers to ensure that he did not take any action against the accused.

Interestingly, the first arrest in the Nayagaon rape case was made by the SIT more than two years. The case was registered in March 2003. During this period of two years none of the five main accused in the case were arrested.

SIT sources pointed out that the accused, along with some others, had recently ‘‘assisted the police’’ in grabbing a plot in Nayagaon. The plot was later bought by an IAS officer of Punjab. Admitting that although this piece of information was not related to the rape case directly, SIT sources pointed out that this incident of land grabbing had led the accused to believe that they would be shielded by the police in the rape case.

Gurbachan Singh was allegedly also responsible for helping the accused in abducting the victim and her family after the registration of the case and coercing them into signing blank papers and taking back their statements. According to the petition of the victim’s father that was submitted before the Punjab and Haryana High Court, while the family was being kept in illegal detention at Mani Majra, Gurbachan Singh used to show his .12 bore small barrel rifle and threaten them with dire consequences in case they raised an alarm.

The SIT has, however, not recovered any weapons from the accused following his arrest this evening.

On August 31, SIT had arrested Ramkesh, alias Kesha, alias Panch, one of the five prime accused, in the case. Ramkesh, a resident of Nadah village, was one of the five persons named by the victim for having committed the crime.

She had given this statement to the police when she was admitted to the PGI for the delivery of her child in March, 2003.

Among the others, Kesar Singh, Kanwar Inder Singh, alias Rinku, and Avtar Singh, alias Tari, were arrested by the SIT in July, 2005. Gurdhian Singh, also named by the victim, is, however, absconding.

Meanwhile, Mohinder Singh, alias Tunda, brother of Ramkesh Singh, who had been arrested by the SIT on September 1, was remanded to judicial custody by a Kharar court today. He was presented before the Sub Divisional Magistrate, Ms Harpreet Kaur, following the end of his two-day police remand.

With today's arrest, a total of 15 persons have been arrested in the case.

Four others had also been arrested for harbouring the accused. Those who are still wanted in the case include Gurdhian Singh and Labh Singh, both brothers of Kesar Singh.



Passing Thru

Anil K. Khanna, president, Asian Tennis Federation
Anil K. Khanna, president, Asian Tennis Federation

Do you see potential for tennis in the city?

Chandigarh has a great potential to become a vibrant nursery for tennis in the country. I am impressed by the high-quality infrastructure and keen interest among boys and girls in the game in the city.

What steps are being taken to realise this potential?

Chandigarh, which has got affiliation with the Asian Tennis Federation, has been chosen as one of the regional centres from the north where special educational, level II training programmes for trainers would be organised. It will cater to the states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.

How is AITA doing to promote the game in the nation?

AITA is conducting talent-hunt programmes from time to time at various places and we have a good set of upcoming players. To hone the skills of players, we are opening regional centres in the south in Hyderabad and Kolkata will cater to the eastern region. We have yet to take a decision for one centre each in Pune and Mumbai. This programme will enable us to popularise and develop the game.

— G.S. Paul



Cop’s death accident, says police; family
suspects foul play
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu

Chandigarh, September 4
As the demand for a CBI probe by friends and relatives of Manmohan Singh, a constable who died yesterday, intensifies, the police is trying to put an end to the matter by terming it as an “accident”.

Manmohan Singh, alias Mohni (38), a constable with the Chandigarh Police, reportedly died under mysterious circumstances at the Sector 9 police headquarters yesterday. He is suspected to have fallen from the fourth floor accidentally, police officials insist.

On the other hand, Mr Avtar Singh, brother-in-law of Mohni, told the Chandigarh Tribune that the family had filed a written complaint with the police expressing its apprehensions about a foul play in the death of Mohni. However, the SHO of the Sector 3 police station said that they had not received any complaint in this regard.

The police is unwilling to come out with straight answers. When this reporter asked the Investigation Officer (IO) about the post-mortem report at around 1 pm, he said, “The post mortem could not be performed as doctors were not available”. However, Mr Ranjit Singh, father of the deceased, said the post mortem had been performed and they were awaiting the report.

The mysterious death of Mohni has stirred a debate in the police circles here. Friends and relatives of the deceased who were gathered at the local General Hospital, where the post mortem was conducted today, said that Mohni was being “targeted” because of internal differences in the Crime Branch over a recent seizure of liquor.

Although senior police officers were tight-lipped about the matter, the 76-year-old father of the deceased, Mr Ranjit Singh, expressed doubts about the police version of it being an accidental death. The inconsolable father asserted that his son could not commit suicide and demanded a thorough inquiry into the matter.

Mr Avtar Singh, brother-in-law of Mohni, told the Chandigarh Tribune that Mohni came to his house in Attawa village on September 1. He said, “Mohni was depressed that day and wanted to talk to me in private. He told me that certain colleagues of his were in favour of the accused in the liquor seizure case and were harassing him. Mohni left that day saying he would reveal their names later. He also told me to take care of his wife and children as anything could happen to him in this case. It was on the basis of information given by Mohni that the liquor case was busted”.

Mr Jasbir Singh, a friend of Mohni, said, “The injury marks on the body also arouse suspicion. There were cuts on the face and abrasions on the arms indicating that Mohni struggled to save his life. The right hand side pocket of Mohni’s trousers was torn and some obituary cards pertaining to the ‘bhog’ of his mother, that were in his pocket, were torn from the middle. Besides, a strap of his sandals was snapped.”

Mohni was a “jolly good fellow” besides being a tough and a daring cop. He was not the kind of guy who would think of ending his life, added Mr Jasbir Singh.

The relatives gathered at the hospital, while expressing their apprehensions, said that Mohni had been receiving blank phone calls of late. They demanded that the details of phone calls should be checked.

The SHO of the Sector 3 police station, Mr Balihar Singh, confirmed that the postmortem had been conducted and the report cited brain haemorrhage as the cause of the death besides other injuries on the face. He added that they had sent the viscera for chemical examination.

The Rural Cultural Society, Mohali, of which Mohni was secretary, demanded a CBI inquiry into the matter and said if the authorities concerned failed to take action in this regard, they would wage a struggle to get justice. 



Development of villages
Eco-friendly commerce suggested
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 4
The sub-group of the Administrator’s Advisory Council, constituted for the development of the UT villages, has recommended the remodeling of the hubs of the villages to do away with the unhygienic conditions and haphazard growth.

The sub-group, under the chairmanship of Lt-Gen Harbhajan Singh (retd), made extensive site visits to the villages and carried out on-the-spot studies. In its report, the group has suggested environment-friendly commercial activities in the villages falling within the sectoral grid of the city.

The terms of reference for the sub group were steps for improving the day-to-day life of the villagers and future growth of the villages.

It has been suggested that on an experimental basis, a portion of the village abadi area be identified for redevelopment purposes. After carrying out the development, the inhabitants could be rehabilitated at the same place by allotting them residential or commercial premises. Under the rehabilitation plan, the involvement of the private sector for beautification has been recommended. A similar proposal has already been made for Badheri village by the Chandigarh Administration.

Focusing on the remodeling of village hubs by widening narrow lanes, stress has been laid on the acquisition of the land required for the purpose. “In case it is not possible, the narrow streets should be made of concrete and the drainage system made converted to underground. The electric wiring should be upgraded and made secure”, says the report.

To avoid congestion, proper hygiene and sanitation and framing of suitable by laws to regulate the new constructions has been stressed upon. It has been pointed out that there is need to regulate renting of premises to control overcrowding and carrying on commercial activities.

The members has suggested to encourage commercial activities relating to computers, arts and crafts, tailoring, embroidery and knitting, which do not require use of water and chemicals. Activities leading to pollution should not be permitted. The preparing of eatables for commercial sale should be banned. Permission can be given for preparing eatables for local consumption only.

It has been stressed that notified guidelines in four villages — Burail, Attawa, Badheri and Buterla — should be implemented with certain amendments and legal powers for their enforcement. The remaining two villages in the sectoral grid, Kajheri and Palsora, falling in Sector 52 and 55, should be declared as ‘Site of Capital’.

The other members of the sub-group are Mr Darshan Singh, former Chairman of the Zila Parishad, Ms Saroj Bala, former member of the Zila Parishad, Mr S. S. Sandhu, former Chief Architect, Chandigarh, Mr R. K. Wadhawan, former Chief Town Planner, Punjab, Mr K.D.S. Mankotia, Assistant Professor in the Chandigarh College of Architecture, and Prof Rajnish Watts, Principal of the Chandigarh College of Architecture.

Village adoption: For the villages falling outside the sectoral grid, the sub-group has recommended that socially conscious corporate houses like Infosys, Wipro and DLF, which are setting up IT projects, should be approached to adopt the villages for their upkeep, development and to run IT training centres in the villages.

Focusing on the fact that city and Mohali are coming up as IT centres, the committee has sought that benefits of the IT-related employment opportunities should reach the villagers.

Expressing concern over the haphazard growth outside the village phirni, the group has come up with a suggestion that a proper scheme should be evolved for the development of area outside the village phirnis, the existing pucca structures should be regulated and separate building bylaws to govern construction activity should be framed.

Other recommendations include the setting up of cottage industries, development of community projects, proper disposal of solid waste, upgrading of dispensaries and educational facilities.



Club organises competitions
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 4
Delegates from six states attended the “Rally Anand Utsav”, the first function of Inner Wheel District 308 held at Hotel Parkview, Sector 24, here today. The function was held under the chairmanship of Ms Neeru Khattar and Ms Sudha Sharma.

It was an event full of fun and frolic, fellowship and friendship. Various competitions were also organised on the occasion. The main purpose of the rally was to bring members of different club to meet formally, to develop friendship and to display their talent.

The following have been declared winners: in the Sur Sangam Antakshari, the winner was Zone VI comprising Inner Wheels Clubs of Paonta Sahib, Nahan and Jagadhari-Yamunanagar. The runners-up were from Zone I comprising clubs of Shimla, Shimla Midtown, Shimla Vikasnagar, Kasuali and Parwanoo.

In the Kathputali dance, the first prize went to Ms Mala and Seema of Inner Wheel Club of Panipat. Ms Radha Rawal of the Chandigarh Central club bagged the second prize. The third prize went to Ms Sudarshan and Mrs Bhullar of the Parwanoo club.

The club of Ambala cantonment won the first prize in the Rangoli contest and the SAS Nagar club received the first prize in the painting and picture competition. The theme of this contest was “Support gives strength”.



Unsafe post in Sector 34
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

An electricity pole and wires hinder the smooth flow of traffic on a cycle track in Sector 34
An electricity pole and wires hinder the smooth flow of traffic on a cycle track in Sector 34, Chandigarh. — Tribune photo by Parvesh Chauhan

Chandigarh, September 4
This pole stands as a symbol of the Chandigarh Administration’s disregard for the safety of residents.

The pole is located on the track that is being prepared along the road separating Sectors 34 and 44.

This is not the only hazard. A vent shaft and wires (which support the poles) also block the track. These poles virtually invite unwary cyclists or rickshaw-pullers to bang into them and cause grievous hurt.

The work on the road is on the verge of completion but no effort has been made to remove the pole by the Electricity Department concerned.

Even the work on levelling the track is being hampered because of these obstructions.

“The Engineering Department had sent drawings with markings of the obstructions to the Electricity Department around six months back but the department did not take any initiative to remove these,” said an official of the Engineering Department on the condition of anonymity. Some cyclists and rickshaw pullers have even started using the track.

“The vent shaft will be painted white to increase its visibility in the night as it is not possible to shift it but it is the responsibility of the Electricity Department to cut the wires and remove the pole from the track,” said the official.

Commenting on the working of the departments, Vikram Seth, a student, who uses the track daily to reach college, said: “The departments concerned should work in unison. Removing the obstructions only after the work was finished would not only damage the track but also put an extra burden on the exchequer.”

It is learnt that the Engineering Department had planned to complete the project, to prepare the track on this stretch, before April, 2005 but the lackadaisical approach of other departments got it delayed by almost four months.

This is not the only track that has such obstacles. Tracks along Sectors 37, 40 and 43 still have wires dangling overhead even though these are only being used by slow-moving traffic.



Food for patients
Swarleen Kaur

Chandigarh, September 4
Everyday at 7 to 9 pm city resident Jagdish Lal Ahuja can be spotted at the PGI, emergency ward, carrying the food packets for patients and their relatives with whom he is least acquainted. Serving the unknown provides solace to him. Earlier, he used to provide lunch to them but now he brings their dinner too. He brings a truck full of food and serves it to the needy. The food for over 1,000 persons includes chapattis, rice, vegetable and halwa. He also takes care of providing them with cold water. Besides, he serves fruit to the poor patients twice a week and whenever he gets a chance he also helps them by giving them articles of their daily use.

A self-made man, he once used to sell coffee at the railway station in Patiala. He had only Rs 15 in his pocket when he came to Chandigarh few years ago. Hoping to earn some money he began to sell bananas. Slowly-slowly the small fruit business made him rich. Today also he sells only bananas at Grain Market in Sector 26.

He has plans to open an old age home in the city. “I have requested the Deputy Commissioner for land to build an old-age home. Even former Finance Secretary of Chandigarh Karan Avtar had promised me five-canals near Sector 22. But nothing has been done as yet,” Mr Ahuja said.



50 orphans visit Bal Niketan
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, September 4
An interactive session between the inmates of the local Bal Niketan, and as many as 50 orphans and destitute children from the Ram Trust Foundation Ashram, Bhurewala, Naraingarh was held today.

A cultural programme was also organised on the occasion. Later, the children from Naraingarh also visited Chandigarh. The visit sponsored by the local Bal Niketan.

The children, especially 35 of them who were from the tribal areas of Jharkhand, were a jubilant lot while performing on stage and participating in other activities. The children also shared the circumstances that had made them take shelter in the orphanage.

Eight year-old Gian Murti Rajput from Dulva village (Ranchi), told how her father had been thrown into a well by Naxalites, while Manju Kumari Sahu, of Beelvadag recalled her father had been murdered in the market in broad daylight and her mother had died due to shock.

Dr Madhu Sharma, Honorary Secretary of Bal Niketan, appreciated Dr V. Anand Swami, for giving a new life to 50 inmates of the ashram. Social activist, Ms Kazmi from Japan, Ms Komal Sharma and Sharda Shukla also participated in the interactive session.



Rotarians collect $ 6,000 for hurricane-hit in USA
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 4
The Rotary Chandigarh Central today collected a sum equivalent to $ 6,000 for the people affected by the hurricane Katrina in the USA.

The donation was collected at ‘Adharshila- Intercity on Rotary Foundation’, a gathering of over 77 Rotary Club members from Punjab, Haryana, Western Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal and Chandigarh, organised here today.

The participating clubs assured to collect another sum of US $ 10,000 for the tornado victims. The function was hosted by the Rotary Chandigarh Central.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr S.K. Checker, president of the Rotary Chandigarh Central, said the Rotary Foundation in the region had given assistance to over 100 children who were suffering from heart problems. The treatment of multi-drug resistant patients and a computer and vocational training programme are some of the other initiatives undertaken by the Rotary.

The gathering was addressed by Mr R.K. Saboo, Dr R.S. Bedi, Mr Surinder Seth, Dr Gulshan Thakral, Mr Arun Sharma, Mr Ranjit Bhatia, Mr Parmod Vij spoke on the occasion.



Plea to declare MCC meeting illegal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 4
Terming the special meeting of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC), held on August 25 to discuss his “misbehaviour” with councillors and officials as “illegal”, Mr P.C. Sanghi, a nominated councillor, today threatened to take legal action against those who moved the resolution against him.

Addressing mediapersons here today, Mr Sanghi said he had sent a representation to the Mayor, Ms Anu Chatrath, urging her to declare the meeting as “illegal and void” and take suitable action against councillors, who moved the resolution against him.

“If still the corporation goes ahead to take action on the basis of the illegal proceedings, I shall be forced to seek legal remedy,” Mr Sanghi added.

After heated discussion which saw the charges and counter-charges flying high, the August 25 meeting had decided to send the proceedings to the Administrator for “appropriate action.” As many as 13 councillors had sought the removal of Mr Sanghi for his “continuous misconduct and misbehaviour” with the councillors and officials over a period of time.

Meanwhile, the Citizens’ Association, Sector 21, of which Mr Sanghi is the president, today rallied behind him claiming that Mr Sanghi had been on the forefront of developmental works in the sector.

Listing the works undertaken during the past several years, Dr A.P. Sanwaria, senior vice-president, Mr Darshan Singh, general secretary, and Mr Ashok Kumar Chopra, secretary public relations, said

Mr Sanghi had made all-out efforts to revamp the association.

However, certain disgruntled persons, backed by political persons, were carrying out vilification campaign against Mr Sanghi by circulating anonymous leaflets containing derogatory and unparliamentary language, they alleged.



1984 riots committees urged to come together
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 4
Members of the Punjab Sikh Danga Pireet Society here have stated that the 1984 anti-Sikh riot societies and organisations in Punjab should come together.

In a press note issued today, Mr Tejinder Singh Bhatia, president of the society said various societies and organizations had a tendency to demand resettlement only for their members and areas. Mr Bhatia alleged that the Mr Surjit Singh, President of the Danga Pireet Welfare Society, Ludhiana, had been, for example, asking for relief only for their members.

He added that the Shankaran Committee had visited only Patiala, Ludhiana and Amritsar to assess the situation while the voice of hundreds of the anti-Sikh riot victims and their families in Mohali and Jalandhar had not been heard.

The members unanimously appreciated the gesture of the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, in apologizing for the riots and starting the process of resettlement and relief for the victims. The members demanded the immediate implementation of the relief and rehabilitation scheme announced in 1985.



Bibi’s decision on Panj Pyaras hailed
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 4
Members of the Gursikh Naujawan Sabha held a meeting here to discuss the rights of Sikh women to perform Kirtan in the Darbar Sahib. Stating that Sikh women should be included among the Panj Payaras, members appreciated the decision taken by Bibi Jagir Kaur, President SGPC, in this regard.

According to a press note issued today by the Sabha’s president, Mr Sandeep Singh (Canadian) and secretary, Mr Sarvjot Singh, if Sikh women can sacrifice there lives for religious freedom, then they have every right to perform the religious rituals performed by men.

Referring to assertion of this right Sikh women after many centuries, Mr Sandeep Singh, said that “hundreds of years ago women were restricted to enter the Darbar Sahib complex. They fought for their right to enter into gurdwaras.”



Death Hole
Mind your step
Tribune News Service

A manhole near the Phase V market in Mohali.
A manhole near the Phase V market in Mohali. — Tribune photo by Pradeep Tewari

Mohali, September 4
Those visiting the Mohali Phase-V market, mind your step! A gaping hole could well be your next destination.

Laying bare the Mohali Municipal Council’s claims of providing the residents high quality civic living, this open pit, only points towards the Council’s apathy towards some of the basic problems of residents.

The manhole is not just uncovered, but goes almost unseen with rubble and stones lying on its sides. Close to a hand pump opposite the booth market in Phase V, the manhole has caused many an accident.

The shopkeepers state that the pit is the opening to a sewer line. Initially many persons, specially boys working in these shops would fall into it.



30 saplings planted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 4
Members of the local Association of British Scholars (ABS), in association with the Government Museum and Art Gallery, Sector 10, here planted 30 saplings of various medicinal plants.

According to a press note issued by Mr K.K. Kaul, honorary secretary of the ABS today, the activity of the chapter was part of a drive launched by the Chandigarh administration for greening the city and celebrating the vanmahotsava. Mr Kaul said the association was a forum to facilitate networking.



Kainth asked to work for poor SCs, not creamy layer
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 4
Mr Shyam Lal Sharma, chief organiser, General Categories Welfare Federation, today condemned the statement by the president of the Bahujan Samaj Morcha, Mr Satnam Singh Kainth, regarding the 85th Amendment to the Constitution.

Mr Sharma said the amendment had nothing to do with poor Scheduled Castes as it benefited the creamy layer of the Scheduled Castes alone. These persons were income tax payees and held high positions in government service. The amendment allowed faster promotion to SC employees.

He asked Mr Kainth to work for the downtrodden instead and ask the government to implement centrally sponsored schemes for welfare of the poor.

He demanded that reservation in promotions for Class I and Class II staff be scrapped. The reservation should only be at the entry level and not for promotions, he added.



Man falls into Bhakra canal

Chandigarh, September 4
A motorcyclist, Hardeep Singh, died when he fell into the Bhakra canal near Morinda yesterday. The victim, who was returning after meeting his grandparents in Mukran village, fell into the canal when he lost control over his bike which got punctured. The victim, a resident of Panchkula, was travelling along the canal when the mishap took place. The body has not been fished out so far, said a police official. TNS



Tribune employee bereaved
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 4
Mr Parkash Chander Sharma, father of Mr Vipan Sharma, Assistant Engineer (Rotary), The Tribune, died here today after a brief illness. He was 87.

The cremation will take place at the Cremation Grounds, Sector 25, on September 5. It will start from his house No. 3285, Sector 19-D, Chandigarh, at 11 a.m.



Chit fund company owner arrested
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 4
After evading the Ropar police for nine months, Balwinder Singh, alias Bahadur Singh, owner of the chit fund company, that allegedly duped residents of Balongi village, surrendered before the Ropar police last evening.

The accused along with some partners had launched Jai Maa Lakshmi Agency in the village in November 2004 and offered to double the amount invested with them. The agency also offered to sell household items at half the market rate to the investors. The agency reportedly collected lakhs of rupees within days of opening shop in Balongi.

However, following a police raid led by the then SP, Mohali, Mr Rakesh Aggrawal, the agency closed down and Balwinder Singh absconded. A Kharar court yesterday remanded him to police custody till September 5.



2 vehicles stolen from Sector 17

Chandigarh, September 4
A car and a scooter were reportedly stolen from the city while in a separate incident thieves decamped with Rs 24,000 from a house in the city on Thursday.

Mr Ram Singh, Deputy General Manager, Bank of Baroda, lodged a complaint with the police stating that his Maruti car (PB-02-M-1229) was stolen from the Bank Square in Sector 17 yesterday. In another incident, Mr Darshan Kumar of Sector 45-A reported to the police that his Kinetic Honda scooter (CH-01-C-0681) was stolen from Sector 17-E on Friday.

Two separate cases of theft have been registered.

Mr Tosik Deen of Sector 29 filed a complaint with the police stating that Rs 24,000 and a mobile phone were stolen from his house during the night of August 31. A case has been registered. OC



IAF officer booked
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 4
The local police has booked an Air Force Officer on the charge of abetment to suicide on the basis of a suicide note left by her subordinate.

The sources said a case of abetment to suicide under Section 306 of the Indian Penal code has been registered against the officer Priya for forcing her subordinate to end his life. The police said a case has been registered after Srinivasan (32), a sergeant in the Air Force in a suicide note alleged that he was harassed by his senior.



Drawing, painting contest organised
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 4
A large number of children of LIC employees of less than 10 years of age participated in drawing and painting competition organised by the LIC of India, Chandigarh division as part of the golden jubilee year and insurance week celebrations.

Viren, Arushi, Shreyas won the first, second and third prize respectively in the less than five years age group, while Sukhpreet won the consolation prize. Avani, Gursimar Singh and Nimish Sharma won the first, second and third prizes respectively in the six-eight years age group. Samriti Kapil won the consolation prize. Lavish Kaushik, Nivit Hakoo and Sanya Sharma bagged these prizes in the age group of 9-10 years, while Gurman won the consolation prize.

Mr N.P Chawla, Senior Divisional Manager, gave away the prizes to the winners. Mr Mohan Dhiman, art and craft teacher from Shishu Niketan School, Sector 22-D and Mr Ravinder Singh, art and craft teacher from Doon International School, Mohali, were the judges.

Later, a cultural programme was also organised.


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