C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Labourer found murdered in Sec 17
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 11
An unidentified migrant labourer, apparently in his mid-thirties, was found murdered in Circus Ground near the Fire Brigade office in Sector 17 this morning.

The assailants had mauled the head of the victim with concrete slabs apparently with an intension to wipe out the identity of the victim, said the police. Except Rs 80, nothing was found on the body that could help in identifying the victim.

The assailants managed to get away from the spot, which is in front of the main gate of the New Haryana Secretariat Building and is adjacent to the Sector 17 Fire Brigade office.

Digging is going on in the ground for erecting tents for a forthcoming circus. The labourers working at the site said they had been working till midnight, they did not notice any thing there.

The incident also raises questions on the security arrangements made by the Chandigarh Police after a recent bomb blast at the ISBT in Sector 17. The spot is about 400 m from the Sector 17 police station.

The body was found around 8.30 am. The victim was wearing blue jeans, a grey T-shirt and chappals. The badly mutilated body was found lying face down on a mat. It was covered with a sheet.

The police reached the spot around 8.45 am. A police official said the back of the head of the victim had been bludgeoned with some heavy object. There was a deep cut on the forehead and other injuries on the face that had been mauled beyond recognition.

The police recovered two blood smeared concrete slabs, suspected to have been used in the killing, from the spot. The security guards posted at the New Haryana Secretariat said they did not notice anything out there as they used to stay in the building after closing the main gates. The people working at the site could not identify the victim.

Senior officers of the Chandigarh Police, including the SSP, reached the spot. The police also pressed into service teams of experts from the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) and a sniffer dog squad to pick up clues from the spot.

The body has been sent to the General Hospital, Sector 16, for a post-mortem examination.



Cop held for attempting to kill wife
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 11
The local police today arrested a constable in the Punjab Police on charges of attempt to murder and abetment to crime late last night.

The constable allegedly forced his wife, Ripjeet Kaur (32), to consume some poisonous substance after which she was shifted to the PGI in an unconscious state, where the doctors stated her to be in serious condition, according to the police.

Ripjeet was shifted to the PGI around 2 am last night after she was allegedly administered some poisonous substance by her husband. The police was called there later.

Sources in the police said a case against Amritpal Singh, posted in the VIP securities, has been registered under Sections 307, 498-A and 109 (abetment) of the Indian Penal Code on the basis of a complaint filed by K.S. Kahlon, father of Ripjeet Kaur.

Mr Kahlon in his complaint to the police alleged that Amritpal had been harassing Ripjeet and demanding more dowry.

Amritpal used to beat up Ripjeet Kaur after drinking, he alleged. Mr Kahlon further told the police that he had helped the accused monetarily in the past, but the latter kept maltreating his daughter.

Ripjeet, a mother of two daughters, was married to Amritpal eight years ago. She is working as a librarian in a private school in Sector 71, Mohali.



Man crushed by Himalayan Queen
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 11
An unidentified man in his mid-30s was killed this evening after being run over by the Himalayan Queen near the railway bridge on the Chandigarh-Panchkula Highway.

Sources said the mutilated body of the victim was found on the railway track after the Himalayan Queen passed around 5 pm. The police believes that the name of the victim was Manohar Lal as these words were tattooed on his arm.

No other document, which could help in identifying the victim, was found. The victim, around five-foot-seven-inch-tall and having a wheatish complexion, was wearing brown shirt and black trousers.

The railway police said the driver of the train said the victim was killed while trying to cross the track. The body was kept near the track for sometime to allow identification of the victim. Later, it was shifted to the railway police post.

The body would be sent to the General Hospital, Sector 16, for a post-mortem examination tomorrow, said the police.



Makhan calls up home, family awaits return
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 11
The relieved family of Makhan Singh, who was released by his kidnappers in Durban, South Africa, yesterday, was now waiting for his return.

Makhan’s family, residing at Kumbra village here, had reported yesterday that their son, allegedly kidnapped by a group of Punjabis in South Africa, called them yesterday and said he had been “let off” by the kidnappers and was safe.

Makhan’s brother, Sukhdev Singh today said Makhan had called again last night and said he had been detained for over 25 days during which he was kept without food for over 15 days. “He says he was tortured brutally and is nursing many internal wounds,” said Sukhdev Singh.

Makhan also told his brother that he did not recognise the kidnappers but they spoke in Punjabi and Hindi. “We did not pay any ransom, and we do not know under what terms and conditions they let him go. All Makhan told us was that he was blindfolded and thrown out of a car in the wee hours of the morning yesterday near Durban,” said Sukhdev Singh.

Even though the entire village was now waiting for Makhan to come back home, it seems that the wait was going to be a long one. “Makhan is now needed in Durban since the local police there is investigating his kidnapping and would be required there till the investigations are complete,” said Sukhdev.

Interestingly while Sukhdev Singh told TNS that he had heard from Makhan again in the night yesterday, his mother said there had been no contact at home. “Maybe he called Sukhdev. He has not called home,” said his mother Surinder Kaur. 



Mall bubble ready to burst?
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

The number of shoppers is dwindling in Fun Republic, Mani Majra, and lessees are opting out.
The number of shoppers is dwindling in Fun Republic, Mani Majra, and lessees are opting out. — Tribune photo by Manoj Mahajan

Panchkula, September 11
Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali are finally waking up to the “mall culture” with scores of malls being sanctioned in the region.

Other than Fun Republic, the only multiplex/mall in Mani Majra, two new malls are in various stages of completion in Sector 5 here.

The Chandigarh Administration has sanctioned the conversion of a theatre to a mall in Sector 17, while three other film theatres are at various stages of getting approval.

Though the first mall hit the region almost two years ago, the Chandigarh Administration, and Governments of Haryana and Punjab, have now changed their master plans to pave the way for more malls in this region.

Mohali has allowed the construction of at least two malls, while seven malls have been proposed to come up in Zirakpur.

The Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), too, plans to auction seven mall sites in Mansa Devi Complex, Sector 3, and Sector 5, Panchkula, next month.

But how well will this “mall overdrive” go with the shoppers? Considering the Gurgaon experience (where flamboyant malls, while attracting hundreds of visitors each day, fail to attract genuine shoppers), the question being asked is whether these will attract business?

Most of the lessees at Fun Republic, except for those running eateries, feel that malls attract very few shoppers, and hence business is bad.

Sandeep Kansal, manager of CEEEZ, an outlet selling international brands of perfumes and branded jewellery, says that only 10 to 15 per cent of visitors to the mall are genuine shoppers.

His views are seconded by Shiv Kumar of Giny and Jony, a kidswear shop: “Though we get customers who prefer our brand, the percentage of visitors who are genuine shoppers is quite low.”

No wonder why at least three shops in the mall have closed down in less than two years. While one of the shops has been closed after a garments dealer vacated it, one has a third lessee now and the third shop has its second lessee.

Developers and promoters of the malls feel that with the region being touted as the IT destination of North India, the thousands of professionals coming here will expect a better shopping experience in these malls, and herein lies their success.

Officials of Bella Vista Mall, coming up in Sector 5, Panchkula, say that shopping malls are targeting only the upwardly mobile population, which is likely to increase as the IT professionals settle down here.



HUDA worker ‘assaulted’

Panchkula, September 11
A data entry operator in the Legal Cell of HUDA, Mr Lovkesh, has alleged that he was assaulted by a District Attorney yesterday.

In a complaint to the police, Mr Lovkesh has alleged that he had sought leave from the Office Superintendent yesterday, after one of his relatives was taken ill at GMCH, Chandigarh. Instead, he was summoned by the District Attorney for some work. “When I pleaded that I had to rush because of my relative being unwell, he abused me and hit me with a baton,” he alleged. TNS



12 p.c. Asian birds face extinction
Vishal Gulati
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH: Approximately 12 per cent of Asian birds are facing threat of extinction. At least 20 per cent of the threatened birds species inhabit wetlands of Asia, says a book, “Handbook on Indian Wetland Birds and their Conservation”.

The book, written by scientists of the Zoological Survey of India, Dr Arun Kumar, Dr J.P. Sati, Dr P.C. Tak and Dr J.R.B. Alfred is a sort of “bible” for ornithologists. It includes pictures, hand-drawn illustrations and text required to identify wetland birds. The book also tries to highlight the importance of wetlands in the protection and improvement of environment of any area. The main pressure on Asian waterbirds is the shrinking of wetlands.

About 50 per cent of the wetlands have been lost at the world level since 1900, the main reason being agriculture.

The book provides information on 310 wetland birds, comprising 243 waterbirds and 67 wetland dependent and associated birds listed from India. Of these, 51 species are globally threatened. The countries with the largest number of threatened species include Indonesia, the Philippines, Brazil and India.

The birds that depend on wetlands for nesting, feeding and roosting are called waterbirds. Many waterbirds are migratory. During their long annual migration, the birds regularly cross national and international boundaries along the well-defined flyways.

The Central Asian-Indian Flyway covers the large continental area of Eurasia between the Arctic and Indian oceans. According to the book, of the 1,230 species found in the Indian subcontinent, nearly 350 are migrants.

One of the most common techniques used by scientists to study the bird migration is “banding” or “ringing”. Studies conducted by the Bombay Natural History Society show that birds ringed in India have been found in 14 countries, including Australia and South Africa.

Mr Michael J. Crosby, Research and Data Manager, BirdLife International Asia Division, BirdLife International, UK, comments: “India is a wonderful place for waterbirds! Species such as the spot-billed pelican, the greater adjutant, the black-bellied tern and the Indian skimmer were formally widespread in tropical Asia, but have declined drastically in South-East Asia and southern China, leaving India and neighbouring countries as their main stronghold. Many other species occur in greater abundance in India than anywhere else.”



Harassment charges: SC panel asks IG to probe
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
Following a complaint about alleged harassment and discrimination by a daily wage employee against certain officials in the regional office of the CBSE, the National Commission for Scheduled Caste has directed the IG, Chandigarh Police, to investigate the matter.

The complainant, Amar Singh, who was working as a daily wage employees in the regional office of the CBSE here, had in a complaint to the commission, alleged that he was thrown out of his job as a peon by an Assistant Secretary (Administration) in March last.

He had stated that he worked as peon from September 2003 to March 2005, before he was removed from the job as he refused to kow tow to his bosses. Stating that after he was told by the Assistant Secretary that he was being removed as there was no need of people, four more new persons were employed.

In a written complaint, he stated that he was being pressurised to give statement in favour of a suspended assistant who had allegedly attempted suicide on the board premises by consuming phenyl. “On March 23, 2005, the assistant called me outside the office and threatened me to change my statement regarding the incident as I was an eye witness and have given statement to the police”, said the complainant.

Further alleging that the Assistant Secretary also made unsavoury remarks degrading his caste, he said that he be given back the job as there was no complaint against him. The commission has directed the IG to 
report back on the matter within 30 days.



Young cyber security guru from USA
Gayatri Rajwade
Tribune News Service

Ankit Fadia
Ankit Fadia

Chandigarh, September 11
Beware of Snarf Attacks, Backdoor Attacks, Bluebug Attacks and Sniffers! Before you believe these to be the latest PC games about to invade your home, think again. These are ways of cracking into your mobile phone, no less!

And elucidating this rather logically in a book form is Ankit Fadia, 20-year-old cyber security guru, trainer and consultant in his latest offering, “Hacking Mobile Phones”. For this young lad, life is all about ethically and systematically hacking through viruses, worms, Trojans and hoaxes!

So what is a hacker? “A good guy who takes permission to break into a site to look for loopholes,” smiles this rather charming boy. “A cracker is the bad guy.”

Ever since his first book, “The Unofficial Guide to Ethical Hacking”, at the age of 14, there has been no looking back, juggling time with élan with accomplished fingers in many pies.

He is a student at Stanford University in the US, studying business management on a 99 per cent scholarship. “My mobile bill is more than what I pay to my college for my education.” He also has a cyber and mobile phone security and solutions consulting firm based in Malaysia, teaches at Management Universities in Malaysia and Singapore and handles security operations for corporate, business houses and intelligence agencies (which he is not allowed to disclose.)

His closest brush has been with an encrypted message ostensibly sent by one of Osama-bin Laden’s men, which he was the first to decode!

This is not to forget that in the six years since he starting writing, he has authored four best-selling books and is on a series run-regular computer hacking, network hacking, corporate hacking, mobile phone hacking and the next is email hacking followed by people hacking, a book for BPOs and call centres.

“I will demonstrate with a CD that will come with the book how one can change voices and fool people out of their personal, secure information.” His books come with tips too, on how to protect your information.

All this comes with a hidden agenda to write a thriller too on the lines of Dan Brown’s ‘Digital Fortress’, which he hopes to make into a movie. A production company has approached him with a blanket offer!

For this young boy, life is not only about slick action, it is also about movies, masti, music and friends who remain unbelieving of his success - which suits his just fine.

And no, he is not a child prodigy he insists!

However, with 150 to 200 fan mails a day and women making a beeline for him, it sure is a madcap race to the top. “ I never planned anything. I was too young to know what was happening when I wrote the first book. The rest was a natural progression of my work in this field.”

Not one to rest on past laurels, Ankit plans a restaurant in Pune or Ahmedabad, the theme for which is a ‘secure’ secret and is working on a Business Security Executive MBA programme for Indian Business School, Hyderabad.

With security a burning issue in today’s world, it is heartening to see the good guys finishing first, what with having to tour 14 cities in 14 days for the launch of his just released book, “Mobile Phone Hacking.”



Passing Thru

Have you ever been to India earlier?

Russ Philport
Russ Philport: Warrant Officer in Royal
Engineers of the British Army and Captain of the British Army hockey team, which is on a visit to India for playing
exhibition matches

No, this is my maiden visit to this country. Though the weather of the country is hot and humid, yet we all (the team) are very excited and overjoyed to be here.

Was playing hockey the sole purpose of your visit?

Besides playing hockey, I came here with the purpose to see the life, culture, traditions and customs of the people. And I have visited Agra, Delhi, Amritsar and Chandigarh to achieve the purpose.

How do you rate your team for the ongoing ‘friendship series’?

Our team is not a professional one. We had no practice sessions before the visit. Moreover, Indian players are very fast and sound in technique of the game. We will try to learn the technical aspects from them.

What fascinated you the most about India?

It was the people. Indians are very warm and friendly people. We are fascinated with the Indian hospitality, love and care.

— Akash Ghai



Auction of 10 commercial sites today
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 11
Over 10 commercial sites are being auctioned in the upcoming IT city in the Industrial Area, Phase VIII-B, here tomorrow. The Punjab Small Industries and Exports Corporation (PSIEC) sites are expected to attract top business houses of the region due to their location adjacent to Quark City and Dell.

As many as six SCO sites and five Booths will be offered during the auctions. The reserve price of each SCO of size 16’6”X 66’ is Rs 62.5 lakh and each booth sized 8’3” X 24’9” is Rs 15 lakh. Sources in the PSIEC added these commercial sites were part of the entire IT city plan laid out for Industrial Area, Phases VIII A and B. The IT city would include business, residential recreational and educational activities along with the commercial sites.

The commercial area is near the Sector 71 residential area near the Dell International and within walking distance from the up coming multiplex and hotel. The PSIEC had recently allowed residential component up to 50 per cent in various industrial plots allotted in the area.



Dalits resent CBI probe into Sept 2 arson
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 11
Even as a CBI team began investigation into the arson in the township on September 2 by angry Dalits, the latter have said that the handing over of the investigation to the agency was an attempt to pressurise them.

Mr Dalbir Singh, local councillor, led the Dalits in warning the government that “the arson on September 2 was only a trailer. We can show our might again if the administration tries to take action against ‘wrong people’ who had nothing to do with the violence”.

A meeting of various bodies of the Dalits was held at Balmiki Mandir, Rajiv Colony, this afternoon. Dalit leaders from Chandigarh and Panchkula — Chandrapal Anarya, Mahinder Singh Bhagat, Om Prakash Saini, Karamvir Singh and Sham Lal — participated in the meeting.

They said there had been bigger political demonstrations leading to arson and violence, but CBI inquiry had never been ordered. “This is an attempt to pressurise us. As many as 34 Dalit organisations will unite to fight this repression,” they said.

Meanwhile, the CBI team, which arrived here yesterday, visited the spots where arson had taken place. It visited the Sector 17/18 roundabout, and Sector 16, where a CTU bus and a PCR motor cycle were torched.

The team was handed over the police record file with regards to the case. Statements of some persons were also recorded by the team.



Malayalees for more train runs to Kerala
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
Onam celebrations of the Chandigarh Malayalee Association were held here today. A demand was made to increase the periodiocity of the only train linking Kerala and Chandigarh.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, MP, promised that he would take up the matter with the Railway Minister. There was a need to increase the number of three-tier and two-tier air-conditioned coaches, he said.

Inaugurating the celebrations, Dr K.S. Manoj, MP from Alappuzha in Kerala, said he would cooperate with Mr Bansal in addressing the problems of the Malayalees in the region.

Dr Manoj said whatever might have been the origins of Onam, it was now one of the most secular festivals in which every community participated.

Dr John V. George, ADGP, Haryana, demanded more stoppages of the Kerala Sampark Kranti Express. He said there was no need for so many unreserved compartments in the train as the passengers planned their travels in advance. Instead, they needed more reserved compartments, he added.

Mr Bansal released a colourful souvenir on the occasion. Members of the Association presented a rich cultural programme. Traditional Onam feast was also served to all present.



Malayalee Samajam celebrates Onam
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 11
Members of the Malayalee Samajam, Mohali, celebrated the auspicious festival month of Kerala (Chingam), popularly known as Onam festival, here today.

Dr John V. George, Additional Director General of Police (ADGP), Haryana, also participated in the festivities. Interactive games were played followed by the traditional Onam feast served in banana leaves.

The sixth annual general meeting of the samajam was also held. A new managing committee under the presidentship of Mr Benny Thomas, advocate, Punjab and Haryana High Court, was elected comprising of Mr Ravindran Nair as vice-president, Mr T.G. Mathews as secretary, Mr M.K. Thankachan as treasurer and Mr M. Ramanathan as joint secretary.

During his presidential address, Mr Thomas reiterated the need for sustained efforts by all Keralites towards setting up of Kerala Bhavan at Sector 65, Mohali. Mr P.V. Sudhakaran, chairman, Land and Building, also informed the members about the upcoming musical concert of Padmabhushan, K.J. Yesudas on October 15 at St Anne’s School, Sector 32, Chandigarh. The concert is being organised in association with Sree Ayyappa Samajam, Chandigarh, for amassing funds for a charitable hospital at Sree Ayyappa Temple at Sector 47, and construction of the Bhavan. He also stated that the construction work would start soon after the concert.



Radha Ashtami celebrations at ISKCON
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 11
The local chapter of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness celebrated Radha Ashtami in a typical ancient Indian Vedic tradition at a tastefully bedecked temple hall of the Hare Krishna Dham in Sector 36 here today.

Thousands of devotees thronged the temple on the occasion, according to Nand Maharaj Dasa Prabhu, co-president of the ISKCON.

The programme started with “mangala aarti” at 4.30 am. It was followed by “Radha’s charan darshan, Tulsi aarti, nagar sankirtan, shringaar aarti, guru puja, maha abhishek, bhajan kirtan” and discourse on the Srimad Bhagwadgita and the Srimad Bhagwatam.

The main attraction of the progamme was “Nauka Vihar” in the evening. A delicious Krishna cuisine was also served to the devotees after the conclusion of the programme.

A prize distribution function was also held on the temple premises.

Students in the age group of 5 to 10 and 10 to 15 years from various schools of the city took part in a “Krishna portrait colouring” and an on-the-spot painting competition.

While Bhavana and Sanmeet of Sharda Sarvhitkari Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 40-D, bagged the first and the second prize in the portrait colouring contest, Nikhil of Pandit Mohan Lal SD Public School received the third prize.

Consolation prizes were shared by Varsha and Savita Yadav of Paramhansa Yogananda Public School and Tribune Model School, respectively.

In the on-the-spot painting competition, the winners were: Satinder Singh (SSMSSS-40) 1; Shallu (Tribune Model ) 2; Priya (Tribune Model) 3. Onika Dutt and Rattan Deep (SSMSSS-40) got consolation prizes.



400 donate blood at camp
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 11
Over 400 persons, including 115 women, donated blood at the seventh annual blood donation camp organised by the Sant Nirankari Mandal at Nirankari Bhavan here today.

The camp was inaugurated by the Haryana Deputy Chief Minister, Mr Chander Mohan. He called upon the people to donate blood voluntarily so that the lives of the needy patients could be saved.

He said blood donation was a noble cause that helped create universal brotherhood and amity among human beings. Mr Laxman Goel, coordinator of the mission, said they organised such camps regularly.

Mr Chander Mohan also visited an exhibition and a sewing and embroidery centre where 35 girls were getting training. He also interacted with blood donors.

The branch in charge of the mission, Mr Kuldip Singh, said the mission was providing free education through an adult education school. The camp was conducted by a team of doctors from the PGI and the General Hospital, Sector 16, Chandigarh.



This Kiwi bride has no prejudice!
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
It was a scene straight out of Gurinder Chadha’s flick “Amritsar to LA”. But in this real life act, the bride, Sarah Magon, had come all the way to Chandigarh from New Zealand to marry his Indian boyfriend, Gagan Bir Singh Dhillon, as per Sikh traditions.

The Dhillons played perfect host to the bride’s father, Gordon Magon and mother, Beverly Magon, who had accompanied their daughter to her wedding.

The ceremony was solemnised at a local gurdwara amidst friends and relatives. The idea of tying the nuptial knot as per Indian traditions struck Sarah’s mind after she attended some Indian marriages in New Zealand.

Accompanied by Gagan Bir Singh Dhillon, who joined the New Zealand police a few months back, Sarah came to The Tribune office to share her experience of getting married in an alien land.

When asked what thrilled her the most, the bride said: “The ceremony of taking four ‘lavaan’ around the holy Guru Granth Sahib and subsequent moments when a married couple is congratulated by friends and relatives for the solemnisation of their marriage.”

Indian weddings are vibrant where families reunite, strengthening the ties, believes Sarah.

Her Indian husband, who had won several medals in rifle shooting before he left for overseas in 1999, is the second person from Chandigarh to get recruited to the New Zealand Police. Mandeep Kaur was the first person from the city to get recruited to the police there.

Commenting on their decision to get married as per Indian tradition, the couple said they did not want to hurt the feeling of their parents.

For their friends in New Zealand, the couple would again marry as per the Christian faith.

Sarah is pursuing her diploma in teaching in Auckland and plans to taking up teaching as profession.



Cong faction seeks separate meeting with Rahul Gandhi
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
A day before the visit of Congress MP Rahul Gandhi, infighting in the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee (CTCC) has intensified with 16 delegates demanding a special meeting with the MP to discuss the conduct of Chander Mukhi Sharma, a councillor of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC).

And with the loyalists of local MP Pawan Bansal, including Mayor Anu Chatrath, ganging up against Mr Sharma, the race for the coveted post of Mayor, elections to which are slated to be held on January 1, has begun.

Bansal loyalists, including two former Mayors — Lalit Joshi Bhardwaj and Subhash Chawla — and former Senior Deputy Mayor Pradeep Chhabra, in a communication to CTCC chief B.B. Bahl, alleged that Mr Sharma “had been indulging in acts of gross discipline and had always tried to put the party in the dock”.

“Mr Sharma recently crossed the limits of indiscipline and anti-party activities when he demanded a CBI inquiry against the Congress-led MCC questioning its decision to commission a garbage processing unit here.” The demand was in tandem with the BJP councillors, it was alleged.

Party sources said the councillors would take up the issue of the indiscipline in the CTCC with Rahul Gandhi when he visits the city as part of the visit by Advisory Committee of the Home Ministry on September 13 and 14.

The councillors are slated to meet him and other Congress MPs like Naveen Jindal and Sachin Pilot.

On the other hand, the Bahl faction is also expected to put forth its viewpoint before the Congress leaders.

It may be recalled that a clear division in the Congress had come to the rescue of nominated councillor P.C. Sanghi at a special meeting of the MCC House on August 25 to seek his removal for his “misbehavior” with certain councillors and officials.

Ultimately both factions effected a “compromise” and no voting was held for Mr Sanghi’s removal.

Sources said infighting was likely to intensify in weeks to come in the run-up to the elections to the posts of Mayor, Senior Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayor scheduled for January 1.

Both factions have several claimants to the posts.

Last time too, an intense lobbying was witnessed for the coveted post of Mayor and the ultimately the party chose Anu Chatrath, a Bansal loyalist.



Parties seek time from Home Ministry panel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
Certain political parties today resolved to meet members of the Advisory Committee of the Home Ministry during their two-day visit to the city beginning September 13.

At a meeting held here, representatives of the CPM, the Samajwadi Party, the Janata Party, the NCP, the Chandigarh Vikas Manch, the Shiromani Akali Dal and the Bahujan Samaj Party decided to bring the “apathetic attitude” of the Chandigarh Administration towards the political parties to the notice of the panel.

A communication sent to the Union Home Minister, Mr Shivraj Patil, and the committee chairperson, Ms Sushma Swaraj, today sought time from the committee to highlight “people’s problems”.



Highlight govt’s anti-people policy, BJP tells workers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
Ms Kiran Maheshwari, BJP secretary and in charge Chandigarh, today called upon party workers to highlight the ‘anti-people’ policies of the Congress-led UPA government before the public.

Addressing a state-level training camp for BJP workers here, Ms Maheshwari said that such training programmes would be organised at the district and subdivisional-levels to educate the party workers about the programme and policies of the BJP.

Earlier, the party president of the local unit, Mr Yash Pal Mahajan, underlined importance of such camps saying that the real power of the BJP rested with the party cadre.

In his speech, a former MP, Mr Satya Pal Jain, urged the party workers to have faith in their leaders and exercise restrain in criticising the party leadership. The workers should launch a sustained campaign against the “anti-people” policies of the Central Government, he added.

Prominent among those, who addressed the camp, included Mr Purshottam Mahajan, Mr Prashant Arora, Mr Jagdish Bajaj, Mr Davesh Moudgil, Mr Bal Krishan Kapoor, Mr K.K. Addiwal and Ms Asha Sharma.



Foundation stone of boundary wall laid
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
Local MP Pawan Bansal today laid the foundation stone of the rear boundary wall of Type 10 government houses in Sector 27 here. According to a press note issued here today, the issue of construction of the wall had been a long-standing demand of the residents.

President of the Residents Welfare Association (Type 10) Braham Prakash Yadav said Mr Bansal and area councillor Harpreet Kaur had been instrumental in the starting of work on the boundary wall.

Meanwhile, the association has demanded the provision of additional toilets and bathrooms in the government houses and renovation of the houses.



Search Within
Those who take the sword shall perish by the sword

Perhaps, even with the best of preparations, Mumbai could not have been saved from the sorrow caused by floods. Even an advanced nation like the USA found itself helpless against the fury of nature when Hurricane Katrina flattened homes and factories, flooded streets and buildings. We are yet not in a position to avert tragedies caused by nature.

What is more tragic are the avoidable tragedies: man’s inhumanity towards man. Right now Baghdad is plunged in sorrow. Men, women and children must be weeping over their dear ones lost in the stampede over the Tigris river bridge. Baghdad has been bleeding since 2003 when the allied forces attacked Iraq.

The September 11 attack on the World Trade Center in the USA was also an event that blasted the myth of invincibility of physical power. The terrorists were even able to pose a threat to the headquarters of the Pentagon.

Terrorists professing Islam and seething with anger over the invasion of Iraq have been carrying out a form of jehad against the West causing widespread panic, fear and destruction. In USA and elsewhere people live in fear, they don’t feel safe. And the fear is spreading like an epidemic causing mistrust and suspicion among communities.

Terrorism has been claiming the lives of many thousands in Sri Lanka, the latest victim being its former foreign minister who had been labouring hard for peace. While an undeclared war has been waged by the LTTE, freedom is nowhere in sight for the Tamils. It can be safely presumed that terrorism has not succeeded anywhere even as a weapon for achieving even legitimate goals.

Let us face it: majority of Islamic nations and the majority of Muslims are equally tired of the fundamentalists. Pakistan, after several decades of undeclared war, has come to the conclusion that terrorism had damaged its social fabric and economic progress. Moderate Muslims take the stand that Koran in no way justifies killings of the innocents. The nearly thousand deaths of pilgrims in Iraq in stampede on Wednesday is the result of rivalry between the Shias and Sunnis, two important sects within the Islamic faith. Iraq’s present turmoil, to a great extent, can be attributed to the fratricidal rivalry. So far terrorism, as a weapon, had mostly been used by extremists who owed allegiance to Islam. The targets, most often, were non-Muslims. But this incident proves once again that terrorism could be counter-productive as a means of achieving goals or settling scores.

The U.S, which has taken recourse to force to settle scores with Iraq, is facing severe losses too on various counts. The astronomical costs of war has made the Bush regime unpopular. The fuel prices are soaring.

God has, from ancient of times, placed before the human race two choices according to the Old Testament: It reads: “This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death., blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live…(Deuteronomy 30:19) One of the unresolved riddles of our times could be why men do not choose life. Most religious scriptures advocate that man should try to overcome evil with good and hatred by love. But man refuses to learn.

The impetuous Peter drew his sword from his sheath to strike at the soldier who had come to arrest Jesus Christ. It was then he issued that famous warning to His disciple: “Those who take the sword shall perish by the sword!”

MPK Kutty



OSD to Punjab CM distributes wheat
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 11
Mrs Lakhvinder Kaur Garcha, OSD to the Punjab Chief Minister, today distributed 40 quintals of wheat and cheques worth Rs 38,000 to villagers in Chao Majra and Maujpur here today.

According to a press note issued by Mr Kuljit Singh Bedi, president, Block Congress, Mohali, Mrs Garcha addressed the villagers and informed them about the various development works that had been undertaken by the Congress government in the state. At Chao Majra she assured the villagers that the work of the village road repair had already started and that she would also try to solve the problem of drinking water here.



Open areas being encroached in Sec 44
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
Encroachments on the public land are increasing in the city. In Sector 44 certain residents have reportedly encroached upon public land adjoining their houses in the name of “beautification and maintenance of open area”.

A certain resident in Sector 44-A has encroached upon a huge piece of land to develop a “kitchen garden” and “beautify” the area. The authorities concerned had been turning a blind eye to this blatant “misuse” of the public land, alleged Mr RK Sharma, a sector resident.

Either the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) should allow all residents to “beautify” the areas around their houses or remove the existing encroachments, Mr Sharma asserted.

However, corporation sources said the civic body was facing an acute shortage of enforcement staff. However, if any complaint was received from residents regarding encroachments, prompt action was taken, an official added.



3-day Yoga Shivir concludes
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 11
The three-day free annual Yoga Shivir organised at The Gurukul, by the Arya Samaj, Sector 20, here concluded today with a rishi langar. The programme, which started on September 9, included well-attended yoga sessions under the guidance of Acharya Pramod Yogarthi.

Havans were performed every day with young Gurukulites as yajmans besides other dignitaries.

The final programme started today with the yoga session, followed by the hawan and Pratah Rash. A short programme, comprising bhakti bhajans, pravachan by Acharya Vijay Bhushan, including bhajans by Gurukul students, was also put up.

Dr Yagarthi, giving examples from the Mahabharata, stressed upon the importance of maintaining unity and peace through peaceful means.

Mr Sanjay Thareja and Mr Yogendra Kwatra, president and vice-president, respectively, of the Arya Samaj, hoped that such events would help the students of The Gurukul, as well as the common people, retain the rich Indian cultural values and also keep alive the teachings of the ‘Vedas’.



Simplify procedure to issue NOCs, say villagers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
Residents of four villages — Attawa, Badheri, Burail and Buterla — have alleged that they have been facing a lot of hardship in getting No Objection Certificate (NOC) for water and electricity connections from the Municipal Corporation and the Estate Office.

In a representation to the UT Administrator, Adviser to the Administrator, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation and Mayor of the Municipal Corporation, the residents lamented that no procedure was being followed in issuing NOCs.

They lamented that in villages outside the MC limit, the administration was taking verification report from the patwari concerned whether the house was outside the “lal dora” or not. They said the MC was following a lengthy procedure for the four villages being maintained by it. They have demanded simplification of procedure for getting this NOC. 



Dera members seek CBI probe

Chandigarh, September 11
A meeting of the Chandigarh unit of the Dera Sacha Sauda was held under the chairmanship of Mr Pawan Singla, Mr Man Singh, Mr Tarsem Lal, Mr Mahaveer Singla and Mr Harbans Singh.

The followers demanded a CBI probe into the report published in a section of the press against the dera. They urged the administration to hold an independent enquiry as no one of the name of Krishan Lal was ever a manager in the dera. OC



Residents welcome decision on park
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
Residents of Sector 44 have welcomed the decision of the local MP, Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, for recommending the development of ground opposite H.No. 2593/2, Sector 44-C, under the MPLAD Scheme.

The work involves the levelling and horticulture, provision of four benches, replacement of the old grill, provision of one slide and one swing and one garden hut, besides other works.

The residents also thanked the Yuva Sangathan of the locality that was instrumental for getting sanction of a stitching institute in the area.

Meanwhile, the Yuva Sangathan has nominated its office-bearers which are as follows: chairman — Mr Jaswinder Singh Passi, president — Mr Rajesh Jaswal, general secretary — Mr Jarnail Singh; cashier — Mr Deepak Beaura, senior vice-president — Mr Sunil Singh, vice-president — Mr Amit Kaushal, organising secretary — Mr Vipin Arora, coordinator — Mr Karan Prabhakar, joint secretary — Mr Yogesh Kumar, and adviser — Mr Om Parkash.



Man held for stealing bicycle
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 11
A Kumhar Colony resident, Gaurav Kumar, was arrested on charge of stealing a bicycle from Sector 37 yesterday. The arrest was made on the basis of a complaint by Babu Ram of Kumhar Colony.

He had alleged that Gaurav had stolen his bicycle from a house in Sector 37 in the morning.

The police arrested the accused later in the evening from the same Sector and recovered the stolen property.

In another incident, Suresh Kumar of Mauli Jagran lodged a compliant with the police alleging that Sohan Singh of Duluan Khandra village in Ropar district had been caught red-handed while stealing his mobile phone from General Hospital in Sector 16 yesterday.

Two cases of theft have been registered.

Poppy husk seized

The local police arrested Mann Kaur, a resident of Kishangarh Village, from her residence and seized 2 kg of poppy husk from her possession yesterday.

A case under Section 15 of the NDPS Act has been registered in this regard.

Laptop stolen

A Panchkula resident, Apoorav Aggarwal, today lodged a complaint with the police stating that his laptop had been stolen from his car.

The car was parked at the Punjab University library. A case has been registered in this regard.

Car stereo stolen

Mr K.K. Maniktala, a resident of Sector 45-A, today filed a complaint with the police alleging that a car stereo had been stolen from his car parked at his residence on the night of September 9.A case of theft has been registered.


Mr Santosh Kumar, a resident of Deep Complex in Hallo Majra village, reported to the police that his 19-year-old son, Parmod Kumar, had been missing since September 2.

He told the police that Parmod had gone for tuitions that day but never returned. The police has registered a Daily Diary Report in this regard.



2 arrested on theft charge
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 11
The local police on Sunday arrested two persons on charges of stealing gutter and manhole covers in the township. The two accused, Anil Kumar and Chandramohan, were picked up from Phase 10 here and two gutter covers recovered from them. They have been remanded in one day’s police custody. 



Ready-to-eat food introduced
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
Forget about preparing gravies and sweating it out in the kitchen to cut and fry masala. For Viking Food Product Ltd has introduced in the market about 100 ready-to-eat delicacies, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian in the Chandigarh Capital Region (CCR).

Be it vegetable masala, palak paneer or mutton roghan josh, an elaborate delicious meal can be readied in just a few minutes.

According to Rakesh Bhutani, director of the company, precooked food frozen at -20 °C can be served within three minutes after heating in a microwave.

In fact, people of the city and the surrounding areas will now be able to get precooked heat-and-eat food in trays delivered at their doorstep in the next weeks, he added.

To maintain the quality and hygiene as per international standards, “we are using polypropylene ‘tray packing’ that is able to sustain temperatures as low as -40 °C and can be heated in microwave.


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