C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Militant on bail held for bus terminus blast
Tribune News Service

The police searches a passenger's luggage at the Sector 17 bus terminus in Chandigarh on Friday.
The police searches a passenger's luggage at the Sector 17 bus terminus in Chandigarh on Friday. — A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, September 9
Suspicion confirmed. The blast at the Sector 17 Inter-State Bus Terminus was caused by an improvised explosive device (IED). It was reportedly planted by an alleged Punjab militant out on bail from the Jammu jail after spending six years behind bars. Chandigarh was chosen for “publicity reasons”.

Claiming to have arrested the alleged militant just a day after the blast, the local police today asserted that accused Charanjit Singh had caused the explosion with “full deliberation” for spreading panic among the residents, and with the motive of killing people.

“Fear and apprehensions” prevented the Pak-trained militant from exploding the crude bomb at a more crowded place even though it would have caused much more damage, senior police officers claimed.

Addressing a press conference this evening, Chandigarh’s Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Satish Chandra said 26-year-old Charanjit Singh, belonging to the ISYF (Rodhe) group, was taken into custody from the Sector 43 bus stand on the grounds of causing the blast on Thursday night. At least seven persons, including a woman, were injured in it.

In all probability, Charanjit Singh was trying to escape from the city for causing blasts at other places. The IGP added that half kg explosive and two more pipe bombs prepared from chemicals easily available in the market, were found from his bag.

A mobile phone was also seized. The record of the calls made and received by Charanjit Singh showed that he was in touch with certain persons in the USA and other places.

The IGP said Charanjit Singh had no links with recently arrested Jagtar Singh Hawara, the alleged assassin of Punjab’s former Chief Minister Beant Singh. But the possibility of his being in touch with Hawara’s still-at-large co-accused Paramjit Singh Bheora was being probed.

His links with other militants were also being looked into. So far, they had not found anything that would link the blast with the Prime Minister’s proposed visit, the IGP said.

Going into the sequence of events, the IGP said Charanjit Singh of Bhani village in Kapurthala district got in touch with terrorist masterminds in the USA and other places soon after his release from the Jammu jail some two months back. For the purpose, he started sitting in an STD booth taken on rent.

He procured explosive material and “GI” pipes from Jalandhar. Charanjit Singh arrived in the city on Thursday itself and exploded the IED with the help of “basic ignition cord used in crackers”. He was trained in handling explosives and arms by the ISI during his stay in Pakistan, the IGP said.

A spokesman for the Chandigarh Police added preliminary investigations carried out by them had revealed that Charanjit Singh was inducted when he was just 18 and was motivated by the ISYF (Rhode) activists to go to Pakistan for training way back in 1999.

He along with another youngster went by air to Bangkok and then flew to Lahore. During their two-month stay in Pakistan, they met alleged terrorist leaders including Wadhawa Singh of the Babbar Khalsa International.

The spokesman added that Charanjit Singh was launched from across the border in Samba, along with trained border-crosser Sarfraj. But the two were arrested and a huge consignment of arms and explosives were recovered from them.



No need to panic, says IGP Satish Chandra

Chandigarh’s Inspector-General of Police Satish Chandra today admitted that attempts aimed at the revival of militancy were on. But there was nothing to worry as the police was taking all necessary precautionary measures, including the beefing up of security.

Denying that the bomb blast had brought to foreground complete failure of the intelligence agencies, he added that such isolated incidents were bound to happen. Another officer said in Punjab, as many as 35 blasts had taken place in four years. Such incidents were not uncommon in the national capital also.

The IGP added that the police on Thursday had only stated that the explosion could have been caused by the bursting of a gas cylinder. The cops had never denied the hand of a militant outfit in the incident.

As far as the failure of the Chandigarh Police to detect explosives at the site of the blast was concerned, he said the devices used by them “catch the vapours emitted by the explosives”. But as a crude bomb was used to carry out the blast, the devices failed to detect.

Back at the bus stand, a heavy posse of cops could be seen patrolling the length and breadth of the area. Persons roaming around in suspicious circumstances were stopped for questioning. Their bags and baggage were also checked.

Even as the Chandigarh Police beefed up the security in and around the sensitive public places, some of the residents continued to express apprehensions. As rumours about another bomb blast in a cinema hall began to make rounds, they started calling up the newspaper offices to confirm the information.



Beant Singh case trial to miss HC deadline
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 9
Efforts to speed up the Beant Singh assassination trial notwithstanding, the conclusion of the trial is set to miss the October 31 deadline set by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Despite the reported move of the CBI to drop over 250 witnesses in the case, the early conclusion of the case remains a far cry. In fact, the dropping of such a large number witnesses, intended to speed up the case, is likely to pose legal problems.

Sources said the irregular holding of the court in Burail Jail here has only delayed trial, which hit the headlines in January 1996. Today also the trial was put off to September 12 as no witness came to depose before it.

It may be recalled that holding of the trial by the Special CBI Judge, who is also the Additional Sessions Judge, is at the most a part-time job. Apart from his routine duties, the Judge has to hold the special court in Burail Jail. The present Judge, Mr M.M. Sharma, is the fifth judicial officer to hear the case in the past nine years, which breaks the continuity.

However, the sources revealed that the setting up of a separate Special CBI Court, which has reportedly been sanctioned by the high court, could speed up the trial. Even after a Special Judge was appointed exclusively to try the CBI cases, the October 31 deadline would not be kept. The high court had directed that the trial should be held on a daily-basis and it should preferably be completed by October 31.Meanwhile, Mr A.S. Chahal and Mr Arvind Thakur, defence counsels, said they wanted an early completion of the trial as the undertrials had been languishing in jail for almost 10 years.



Govt stock sutures sold at chemist shop
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 9
Surgical equipment meant for government supply reportedly found its way to a medical store located in General Hospital. The incident came to light when the sutures (surgical seams) were “sold” to two patients undergoing surgery at the hospital.

Taking a serious note of the incident, the Senior Medical Officer of the hospital, Dr Kamla Singh, has reported the matter to the Civil Surgeon for appropriate action. The proprietor of the Aarohi Medical Hall, Mr Rajnish Jain, has, however, denied charges that equipment or medicines meant for government supply were sold from his store. He said the patients could not produce any bill issued by his store for the sutures.

Two patients- Ananya and Tarawati - were being operated upon in the hospital this morning. While Ananya was being operated upon for hernia, Tarawati was undergoing surgery for the removal of uterus. The doctors reportedly asked the attendants to bring in sutures (surgical seams used for internal stitching), which the attendants allegedly bought from the chemist shop in the hospital, Aarohi Medical Hall.

When the surgeons saw the sutures, they found these stamped “for government supply”. After the surgeries were over, the doctors questioned the attendants of the patients, who told them that the surgical seams had been bought from the chemist shop in the hospital. Fearing that these could have found their way from the hospital medical store to the shop, the doctors reported the matter to the SMO, Dr Kamla Singh.

The storekeeper of the medical hall was questioned, who said the packing of the sutures in the hospital store was different. The hospital authorities later found that the sutures were from the government supply meant for Government Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarh. Dr Kamla Singh later referred the case to the Civil Surgeon, Dr G P Saluja.

Mr Rajnish Jain, proprietor of the chemist shop, said no medicine or equipment meant for government supply was present in his store. “The drug department has been regularly checking our stocks, and no such irregularity had ever come to light. Often patients return the equipment bought from us, if it is not used in the operation. If at all the sutures were provided by my stores, someone could have just returned these here,” he said.



Tribune employees donate blood
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 9
More than 375 employees of The Tribune group of Publications donated blood at three camps organised by The Tribune Employees Union in memory of Sardar Dyal Singh Majithia, founder of The Tribune Trust.

A team of doctors led by Dr Usha Rao from the Department of Transfusion Medicine, PGI, Chandigarh, conducted the camp in the city, which was the 20th camp organised by the union since 1989.

Inaugurating the camp, Dr R.P. Bambah, a trustee of The Tribune Trust, said this was the more befitting tribute to its founder. He lauded the efforts of the union in organising the camps. He said by donating blood, the employees had reiterated their commitment to the institution and the blood donation movement.

Dr Bambah said the union was a vital part of this institution and had always worked for the welfare of the employees and the organisation.

A message congratulating the donors came in from the president of the Trust, Justice R.S. Pathak. Another trustee, Justice S.S. Sodhi, visited the camp along with Mr H.K. Dua, Editor-in-Chief, Tribune Group of Publications, Mr A.J. Philip, Senior Associate Editor, Mr Sanjay Hazari, General Manager, Mr O.P. Arora, Additional General Manager, Mr Shingara Singh Bhullar, Editor, Punjabi Tribune, and Mr Naresh Kaushal, Officiating Editor, Dainik Tribune.

Mr Dua congratulated the union for its tradition of organising blood donation camps.

Mr Jagtar Singh Sidhu, president of the union, said the employees had always been at the forefront in contributing towards national causes, be it the Kargil war, tsunami or any other natural calamity.

Mr Balbir Singh Jandu, a former union president, and Mr Ghansyam Pandey, joint secretary of the union, visited the camp at Jalandhar. The employees there donated blood at The Tribune Printing Centre, Bulandpur village.

Inaugurating the camp, Mr Jandu said Sardar Dyal Singh Majithia had set up the newspaper to create awareness among people and the paper had been fulfilling this objective as the ‘Voice of the People’.

The camp at Delhi sent tremendous enthusiasm. Mr Uttam Chand, vice-president, and Mr Parmod Bansal, secretary of the employees union, visited the Gurgaon centre, which organised the camp for the first time.

Blood donation would now be an annual feature in Delhi too.

The Union members extolled Sardar Majithia’s philosophy behind the founding of the Trust, which was altruistic with the goal to serve mankind through information communication.



Passing Thru

S.P. Gupta, president, Haryana Chamber of Commerce and Industry
S.P. Gupta, president, Haryana Chamber of Commerce and Industry

What are the challenges before the industry in Haryana?

The biggest challenge before the industry in Haryana is the erratic power supply. The industry, which is the biggest revenue grosser, is suffering huge losses because of long and unscheduled power cuts. Industrial production has come down by 30 per cent, and 25 per cent of our export orders have been cancelled.

Post-Gurgaon labourer-police clashes, do you think there is need for a new labour policy?

For long, the industry has been asking for a change in labour laws. We cannot sack trouble-making employees because the labour laws do not permit us to do so. Though the state government has brought in a new industrial policy, it has to bring in labour reforms as well.

What are the other issues being raised by the Haryana Chamber of Commerce and Industry?

Any enterprise using power is brought under the Factories Act, even if it uses a small quantity of power. This condition should be waived and small enterprises should be kept under the Shop and Business Establishments Act. Also, the tax holiday enjoyed by industry in certain areas of Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal, adjoining Haryana, should be extended here to allow competitive growth in industry.

— Ruchika M. Khanna



Grief and shock in K Area
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 9
It came as a shock to neighbours of Mr Ravinder Singh of Phase-II Mohali to learn that his son, Lieut-Col Amarjeet Singh is no more. He had been swept away in the raging Sutlej after the Bailey bridge at Kharo in Kinnaur, whose reconstruction he was supervising, collapsed yesterday. He was the only son of his parents

Over 30 soldiers, including two officers, were swept away and are feared killed. While immediate neighbours were not present as they had accompanied the grief-stricken parents to K Area near Zirakpur, where Colonel Amarjeet was residing along with his wife and kids in the premises of his unit, others in the locality recalled him to be an amiable and social person. The family, according to them was social and friendly.

Mr Ravinder Singh, who retired as a manager from Punjab Tractors Limited and his wife, Mrs Jasbir Kaur have been staying at their son’s house since they heard of the incident yesterday.

According to Army officers, Colonel Amarjeet had joined the Army about 15 years ago after studying in Guru Nanak Public School, Sector 36, and then doing his B.Sc at a local college.

He had been married to Manreet, about eight years ago and had two children, seven-year old Gulnaaz and three year old Fateh. Manreet’s family stays in Sector 39 here. He also has a sister Mona. The Army did not allow entry to mediapersons in K Area.

Serving and retired officers here have mourned the loss of so many soldiers.

Terming it to be a tragic incident, Brig K.S. Kahlon (Retd), president of the ex-servicemen’s wing of the SAD, said that the death of over 30 soldiers in peace time is a big loss. He said that the Army personnel had been working to restore the land route to remote areas of Himachal Pradesh in support of the local population and their sacrifice should not go unnoticed. He added that it is also the moral duty of the state government to look towards the welfare of the families of the deceased soldiers.

Conveying his condolences to the aggrieved families, President of the All India Defence Brotherhood, Brig Harwant Singh (Retd) said that it was an unfortunate incident and the Army and the government should ensure that the families of those killed are well taken care of.



Gender violence not limited to poor nations
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 9
Domestic and gender violence is not limited to developing countries alone. It is a global concern as it affects communities and societies. Statistical studies in various parts of the world show that women are the prime victims of domestic violence.

Dr Robin Haarr
Dr Robin Haarr

Even a developed country like the United States is concerned at the fact that 22 per cent of all women are subjected to some violence at their homes during their lifetime, says Dr Robin Haarr, Associate Professor, Department of Criminal Justice, Arizona State University West, USA.

Dr Haarr is here to participate in a two-day workshop on “Domestic Violence, Criminal Justice System and Police Women’s Cells” organised by the Institute for Development and Communication at its extension centre at Mohali.

Talking to The Tribune, she said it had been observed that even in the US Afro-Asians, American Indians and South Asians communities had a higher incidence of domestic violence, the reasons being social, economic and educational.

Talking at the seminar, she listed a number of factors that affect gender violence, broadly classifying these into individual factors, family and relationship factors, community factors and societal factors.

Dr Rainuka Dagar from the IDC, Chandigarh, said in the Indian context, physical violence inflicted by husbands ranged between 22 per cent to 70 per cent and psychological violence, which had come within the purview of the Domestic Violence Act, 2005, ranged between 75 per cent to 94 per cent.

Dr Pramod Kumar, Director, IDC, described it as a positive development, but with possibilities of misuse. He stressed the need for institutional safeguards and a sensitive community to promote access to gender justice.

The Commandant, 36 Battalion, Bahadurgarh, Patiala, Mr R.N. Dhoke, made a presentation in which he gave an outline of the role police women cells played in tackling domestic violence.

Mr Anil Kaushik, IPS, ADGP, Crime, Punjab, discussed the various provisions of the Domestic Violence Bill and its implication on the police service delivery to victims. While, Mr Joginder Singh Toor and Mr Parminder Singh Gill, both advocates, listed a number of shortcomings in the Domestic Violence Bill, which needed amendments. In Mr Gill’s opinion, the Bill had a gender bias against men and the potential of being misused.



Stabbing victim rues police ‘inaction’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 9
Surender Kumar has started limping back to life exactly a month after he was stabbed brutally in Ambala. However, fear is writ large on his and his old mother’s face, who stands by his bedside in Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, here.

“He lay like a vegetable for nearly a month in front of my eyes. I had given him up as dead. He has, thank God, got up but I am still not too sure. Nobody visited us”, the fragile old mother of Surender Kumar said.

We gave up hope at a local hospital on the night of the incident and came here. The Ambala police came only the following day and there has been absolutely no follow up”, said the mother.

“I have sold all the jewellery at home to save the life of my son. He has three children, including a daughter. I don’t expect any support from the government. However, the police should be efficient enough to at least follow up the case and assure us of security in future”, she said.

Surender Kumar, a resident of Samledi village near Ambala, was given up as dead beside the railway track in Ambala where he was thrown after a brutal stabbing on August 9. At least three of his fingers were chopped off and there were sword injuries all over his body. The daily labourer had gone to the court during the day for has hearing.

Surender Kumar said, “I am a daily labourer. I have no grudge against anyone, nor can I afford it. An old case pertaining to family land was in the court. I was waiting at a bus stop when three persons came in a car and picked me up. I recognised two of them. I remember being beaten up. It was an absolute blank after that. I came to my senses here earlier this week”.

The victim said, “I am told that I was taken to hospital by a rickshaw-pullar. I am concerned about the security of my family and expect the police to at least hear my story.



Beggars ‘rule’traffic light points
G. S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 9
An organised begging mafia in the city is forcing many young persons to act like handicaps to boost earnings through begging.

Part of an organised mafia, the not-so-innocent beggars evoke pity by walking with the help of crutches near traffic lights in Chandigarh, but give vent to spite after seeing cops. Or else, act as salesmen, but are satisfied with alms. Off-duty, they ride rickshaws. No, not to earn. But just for fun. — Tribune photos by Vinay Malik

Investigations by The Tribune has revealed that these crafty children act as lame, dumb or even blind to attract public attention and to evoke sympathy that results in petty material gains.

The Tribune team on Wednesday visited various traffic light points in the city and found total chaos at the Sector 30 light point.

A group of women beggars, one posing to be handicapped, were on the light point creating a lot of commotion. The Tribune team called up the Traffic Control room to apprise the police about the nuisance. Within a few minutes, a control room motor cycle reached the spot. On seeing the police, the beggars ran away.

After a few minutes a police team led by an Investigating Officer, reached the spot in a Gypsy. The team could not catch them but ensured the team that the police would soon carry out a ‘special drive’ to check the nuisance.

On a ‘red light’ they appear from nowhere and run away to an ‘adjoining red light’ as soon as the ‘green light’ flashes. In order to earn a penny or two, little children carrying tissue paper packs, windshield visors and other car decorative articles rush to the halted cars at different traffic light points to sell them. This is how these under-privileged children in the age group of 6 to 12 earn money.

Some of the motorists do take interest in these “moving shopping bazaars”. When the green light appears, the honking of horns start and these little “business children on the traffic lights” can be seen running in different directions risking their lives.

“These people get violent and abusive when we shoo them away. If we try to take some stern action against them, they plead by saying that this is their only livelihood”, a traffic policeman said.

A number of them sell different types of car decorative articles like soft toys, windshield mats and tissue papers. “I buy them from Delhi and sell them at a good profit here. I earn a good profit of around Rs 300 to 400 by selling these tissue papers. People buy from us because they get them cheaper here than from market,” said Raju, one of these children.

“If you are not interested in their goods, these children would not leave your car until you glare at them. Sometimes, you get irritated, but ultimately, you get escape only when the signal turns green, complained a motorist.

“You can’t argue with them as you have little time for it. As the light turns green you have to move your vehicle but these beggars are bent upon not leaving your vehicle and at the end you either buy something or bully them to get them away from your vehicle said Gurpreet Kaur, an executive.

“Last Tuesday, a child got his leg injured after hitting with my car, and obviously I had to bear the medical expenses for it. Even these policemen find faults with the motorists only not caring to find who is at actually fault”, rued another motorist Sanjay Singh.



Recommendations for villages’ development
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 9
The issue of illegal constructions outside the lal dora of the UT villages has caught the attention of the sub-group of the Administrator’s Advisory Council, constituted for the development of the UT villages.

The group has recommended that a proper scheme be prepared for the development of the areas outside the village phirnis. It has been strongly recommended that an effort should be made to accommodate existing pucca structures on the payment of prescribed charges.

Instead of regularising buildings in an isolated manner, the structures, which cannot be accommodated under the scheme, should be acquired and re-planned, the committee has recommended.

Sources in the administration said a meeting of senior officials in the Chandigarh Administration was held recently to view various pros and cons of handling the issue. Confirming the meeting, a senior officer said no decision was taken on regularising the structures. It would be too premature to come to a conclusion on the issue, said the officer.

Though the sub-group has recommended separate building bylaws to govern the construction activity in the newly built area outside the village abadis, the administration has yet to take any decision on the issue. It has been specifically pointed out by the sub-group that constructions in the area between abadi deh and village pherni was not due to natural growth of the villages.

Members of the Joint Action Committee (JAC), representing the residents living outside the lal dora, have been demanding a fresh survey of houses outside the lal dora in UT villages.

They claim that the actual number of houses was much more than the figure of 2,659 houses being given by the administration. Members of the committee said the number of built-up houses was over 4,000.

After the consolidation of the village, done between 1952 and 1960, a number of houses had come up outside the lal dora, including those in the extended abadi deh. As per the figures quoted by the committee, around 35,000 families are living outside the lal dora in UT villages.



Registrar asked to probe functioning of housing society
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 9
Certain members of Sargadha Cooperative House Building Society, Sector 50, have urged the Registrar of Cooperative Societies (RCS) to hold an inquiry into the functioning of the society.

Alleging irregularities in the functioning of society, the members alleged that the cost of different categories of flats had been hiked without conducting an evaluation. Even the RCS had been a mute spectator to the hike in the prices despite representations made to it.

The society was allotted land for the construction of 74 flats by the Chandigarh Administration in 2002. The construction was started in November 2003 and the flats were slated to be completed by April 2005.

A member said the cost of construction for flats of categories A and B was fixed at Rs 9.55 lakh and Rs 7.56 lakh. This included the cost of the elevator. However, in April this year, the management committee hiked the cost ranging from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 2 lakh. Besides, the members were also asked to contribute an amount ranging from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 1.25 lakh for the elevator.

The members alleged that the annual elections had not been held since April this year when the term of the management committee expired. The sample houses, which were to be completed within two months from the start of construction, have not been completed yet, the members alleged.



Strengthen cooperative movement: Rodrigues
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 9
Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), UT Administrator, while addressing the national-level meeting on cooperatives, chaired by the Prime Minister, in New Delhi today advocated the need for developing effective strategies for strengthening the cooperative movement and pushing it forward by overcoming existing weaknesses in order to create a socially and economically equitable society.

Highlighting the initiatives taken by the Chandigarh Administration, General Rodrigues said the Administration, being fully committed to cooperative development, had institutionalised an effective mechanism aiming to ameliorate the lot of weaker sections and organising the have-nots into self-help groups through cooperative endeavour.

He said the city had an entirely different scenario due to migration of population which had resulted in phenomenal rise in number of people involved in the service sector.

General Rodrigues said Administration proposed to utilise the institution of cooperative banking for assimilating these unorganised groups in such a way that they became economically stronger and self-sustainable.



Vehicles parked in children’s playground
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 9
A playground for children in Sector 47 here has been encroached upon by the vehicle owners of the nearby residential areas and certain offices.

“Our play area has vanished for long. The park has been dug up at places. The car owners give us dirty stares in case our ball goes in the direction of their parked vehicles”, Chetan, a student of Class VI, said.

Mr Naresh Kumar, a local resident, said, “My daughter works at a call centre. My wife works in a school and both travel by separate cars. My son goes to his college on a two-wheeler. We don’t have enough parking place near our house, so we are left with no alternative except to park in the park which is a public place. I don’t bother children playing near the vehicle. Instead of criticising only the car owners, the administration should work out a plan for giving them an alternative site for parking”.

Mr Jitender Singh, another resident, said, “I don’t own a house here as yet I feel that the Residents Welfare Association should call an immediate meeting and sort out the matter of parking in the children’s parks. It is not fair to snatch the playground of children”.



Seminar on aircraft maintenance
Tribune New s Service

Chandigarh, September 9
A two-day seminar on “Swing-Wing Aircraft Maintenance (SWAM-2005)” began at the MiG-23/27 TETTRA School at the Air Force High Grounds near here today.

The aim of the seminar is to share the knowledge and expertise on common systems of MIG 23-BN, MIG 23-MF, and MIG-27 aircraft.

Aeronautical engineers from units operating swing-wing aircraft units are attending the seminar. Other issues to be discussed are training concepts and typical snags in aero engine.

Inaugurating the seminar, the Senior Maintenance Staff Officer, Maintenance Command, Air Vice Marshal Ambrish Kumar, urged the engineers to upgrade their knowledge base and integrate training institutions and field units through constant interaction.

Earlier, he was received by the High Grounds Station Commander, Group Captain P P Khandekar, and was briefed about the role, activities and ongoing projects at the TETTRA School.



Man saved from drowning
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 9
Taking a short cut almost cost Nanhe Ram his life. The young man from Railley village in Sector 12- A decided to take a shorter route via the Ghaggar rived bed, when water came gushing down the river and he was stranded.

The incident took place today when Nanhe Ram was on his way to visit a doctor in Ramgarh. Nanhe Ram was on his bicycle and decided to cross the Ghaggar river rather than go extra miles via the bridge. However, he was midway in the river bed when water came gushing down.

Nanhe Ram quickly moved to a small island of sand in the river bed but soon the sand started giving way.

He shouted for help, and a passerby, hearing his cries, informed the police as well as the ITBP Battalion near Sector 26.

The police, fire brigade staff and some jawans of the ITBP rushed to the spot, and finally managed to save him.



UPA pursuing ‘anti-people’ policies
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 9
A convention of the National Platform of Mass Organisations (NPMO) was held here today in connection with the all-India strike on September 29.

Addressing the convention, Mr Raghunath Singh, general secretary of CITU, Punjab, alleged that the Congress-led UPA government was going against the spirit of common minimum programme and pursuing the “anti-people” and “anti-worker” policies.

The secretary of the local unit of CITU, Mr VD Aery, claimed that all workers’ unions would strike work on September 29 to protest against the government policies.

Prominent among those who spoke were Mr Devi Dayal Sharma, Mr Rajbir Singh Sandhu and Mr H.S. Gambhir, all AITUC leaders.



Applications for house allotment invited
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 9
The House Allotment Committee of the Chandigarh Administration has invited applications from heads of departments of the Haryana and Punjab Governments and the Punjab and Haryana High Court for allotment of Type IV (New) and Type-III (New) houses.

The applications in form ‘A’ along with form ‘D’ may be collected by the head of departments and forwarded by September 30.



Dalits seek Hooda govt’s removal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 9
A meeting of the Dalits Rights Protection Forum, Punjab, held here yesterday, demanded the dismissal of the Bhupinder Singh Hooda government for its failure to control violence in Gohana.

Urging the Dalits to maintain communal harmony, a press note said the compensation announced by the Haryana Government should be paid to the victims immediately. failing which the forum would launch an agitation.



Nayagaon rape case: one more held
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 9
The Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Punjab police probing into the rape of a minor girl at Nayagaon three years ago today arrested Shakti, another accused in the case.

According to SIT sources, Shakti, a resident of Chandigarh, had been named in the petition filed by the victim’s father before the Punjab and Haryana High Court in 2003. According to the petition, Shakti had “helped” the main accused in the abduction of the victim and her family following the registration of an FIR in March 2003.

The sources said Shakti had also taken the victim and her parents to a lawyer’s house in Chandigarh to record a false statement.

With today’s arrest, 16 persons have been arrested in the case. Four others had also been arrested for harbouring the accused. Among those who are still wanted in the case include Gurdhian Singh and Labh Singh, both brothers of Kesar Singh.



Two killed in mishaps
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 9
Two persons were killed in road accidents on the Panchkula-Kalka national highway during the past 24 hours.

A 25-year-old youth Sachin was killed after he was hit by an unknown vehicle near Bitna Seori village last night. The victim, a resident of Kalka, was coming back after attending a wedding when the accident took place.

In another incident, Prithvi Singh, a resident of Kangra, was killed when a truck full of apple crates turned turtle and landed on top of the car he was driving. The police says two other persons in the car escaped with minor injuries.



Theft in property dealer’s house
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 9
Thieves decamped with goods worth Rs 1 lakh from a Phase II residence of a property dealer here today.

According to the owner, Mr Manjinder Singh, he and his brother had gone to their village last night to attend a family function. On their return this morning they found the house broken into.

The thieves had broken the main door lock and gained entry to the house. Every box and almirah was open. They took away, two TVs, a DVD player, Rs 45000 cash, some property documents and two handy cams,” Manjinder said.



e-ticketing for all Shatabdi Express trains
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 9
After the success of the e-ticketing scheme for the Chandigarh-Delhi Shatabdi Express passengers, the Northern Railway has extended the scheme for all Shatabadi trains.

The facility will be available for all Shatabdi Express trains running between New Delhi and Amritsar and between New Delhi and Dehra Dun, from September 10.

For the Shatabdi Express trains running between New Delhi and Bhopal, New Delhi and Lucknow, New Delhi and Ajmer, the scheme will start from September 15.

In case of the online booking through credit cards, the service providers take at least 24 hours to deliver the ticket. But in this case, the ticket is with the passenger within seconds, said an officer of the Northern Railway.

Those availing the facility are not required to carry the regular paper ticket. All a passenger has to do is to get a computer print out of the electronic reservation slip (ERS) and a photo identity card.

The scheme had been launched on a pilot basis on the Shatabdi Express, following an agreement between the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) and Intrex India Ltd, to enable e-ticketing through Internet using the pre-paid Itz Cash cards as a payment mechanism.



Plan to beautify shopping centre
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 9
The Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) has decided to develop infrastructure at the Sector 17 shopping centre with a view to attract shoppers and visitors.

A corporation spokesman said here today that this was decided at a meeting held under the chairmanship of the Home Secretary, Mr Krishan Mohan. The Finance Secretary, Mr S.K. Sandhu, the Commissioner, Mr P.S. Aujla, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr R.K. Rao, and the corporation Chief Engineer, Mr K.B. Sharma, were among those present at the meeting.

Among the projects to be undertaken by the corporation include providing inter-locking pavers in front of the Bata Store and Dr Sahib Singh lane, renovation of toilets on build-operate-transfer basis near Neelam

Theatre and Azad Hind Store, replacement of flooring in front of Sindhi Sweets and the Batra Building and provisions of dustbins before Divali.



Retail outlet opened
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 9
Hewlett Packard India opened its retail outlet, The Experience Zone; here today.

Inaugurating the outlet, the Country Manager of the company said: “The Experience Zone is an attempt to provide consumers with an interactive and informative shopping experience”.

Talking about Chandigarh as a market, he said consumers in the city were always eager to experience new technologies and constantly on the look out for the latest products that are faster and better.


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