C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


A day of inconvenience for public
Employees of public sector banks, CTU, post offices & MC strike work
Tribune Reporters

These were not affected

All private sector banks worked normally, including the HDFC, the ICICI and the Centurion Bank of Punjab. Sources said certain branches of the Bank of Baroda and the Central Bank of India, both public sector banks, were also open.

All flights to the Chandigarh airport were on time. One flight of the IA was, however, delayed because of certain technical difficulties, sources said. The railway service to the city was also normal.

No work, no pay

The principle of “no work no pay” will apply to all employees of the UT Administration and the Municipal Corporation who abstained from work in connection with the one-day strike today.

A senior official said, “We had warned the employees of the Administration in advance in this regard.”

Chandigarh, September 29
Bank services in the city were severely hit as the employees and officers of public sector banks went on a strike on a call given by the Central trade unions and the Joint Platform of Mass Organisations (JPMO) here today.

Daily commuters on various CTU routes faced inconvenience as there was no service on all bus routes in the city till 1 pm.

Work at the General Post Office, Sector 17, came to a virtual standstill during the day. Power and water services for the common man were, however, not affected with the employee unions saying the strike was a token act of showing their resentment against government policies.

Residents had to hire autorickshaws and cycle rickshaws for commuting in the city. “I paid Rs 50 for travelling by an autorickshaw to Sector 17 from my residence in Sector 38 (West),” said Ms Neelam Sharma, an employee at a cloth shop.

Functioning at the General Post Office (GPO), Sector17, and at other post offices in the city was also affected. Those visiting the GPO had to face harassment as majority of the staff there observed strike. As a stopgap, the authorities had deputed staff from other post offices and headquarters of the Punjab postal circle.

The functioning of the Rail Mail Service (RMS) was also affected as the sorting and delivery of mail did not take place. The Joint Council of Postal Employees claimed there was no booking of postal articles, no clearance of letter boxes, no transmission of mail and no delivery of postal articles.

Later, a rally was organised in front of the GPO. Mr Surinder Pal, convener of the council, said the strike call had been given by the National Federation of Postal Employees.

Residents also complained about poor response at telephone numbers installed at complaint centres of different wings.

The common demands on the lists of various employees’ unions included stopping of privatisation, downsizing of government offices, demand for constitution of the Sixth Pay Commission, filling of vacant posts, scrapping of the system of contractual appointments and regularisation of daily-wage workers besides others. Employees are also opposing the proposal of merger and acquisition of banks.

On a call given by the United Forum of Bank Unions, employees and officers of commercial banks went on strike in protest against the alleged anti-employees activities of the government.

They gathered in front of the local head office of the State Bank of India and held a rally.

Mr Amar Pal, convener of the rally, criticised the policies of globalisation, liberalisation and privatisation besides the proposals to amend the Banking Regulation Act.

Mr Devinder Singh, secretary of the Punjab Bank Employees Federation, and Mr R.K. Sondhi, zonal secretary, criticised the government for carrying out reforms without addressing problems of the common man.

The Federation of the UT Employees and Workers claimed the response to the strike was very good. Employees from different wings of the Administration and the Municipal Corporation, including electricity, water, roads, transport, capital project and maintenance, besides others, took part in the strike, it said.

Mr Bhagmal Rana, general secretary, said, “The strike was a token act of resentment against the government policies.” He said general work continued in the Electricity Department, however, public complaints were not attended to.

Mr Rakesh Kumar, convener of the Coordination Committee of Government and MC Employees, also addressed a rally at Matka chowk against the “anti-employees policies of the government”.

Different employees’ organisations abstained from work and organised rallies to register their protest during the day. These included the General Insurance Employees Union, the All-India Central Ground Water Board Employees Association, the Joint Platform of Mass Organisations (JPMO), the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), the Chandigarh UT Subordinate Services Federation, the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation Employees Union, the Haryana Civil Accounts Association, the North Zone Insurance Employees Association, the Coordination Committee of Government and MC Employees and Workers and the Joint Action Committee of Punjab and UT Employees.

PANCHKULA: Banking services in the district were hit, as the bank unions observed near total strike on Thursday.

Mr S.K. Mahant, assistant secretary, Associate Banks Officer Association Unit of the State Bank of Patiala, said all branches of the bank remained closed in Haryana. The union took out a rally and members raised slogans against the government.

The postal services remained unaffected, though some employees of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) and the Haryana Power Utilities, participated in the bandh call.

The Centre of Indian Trade Union, comprising labourers of industrial units here, took out a peaceful procession near Abheypur.

Some other labour unions also held a rally in the Industrial Area in the evening. The district administration and the police had made elaborate arrangements to deal with any eventuality.

Mohali: Employees’ organisations of various government departments observed strike on Thursday in response to a call by central trade unions in protest against privatisation and the alleged anti-employees policies of the Central Government.

As the CTU buses remained off the roads, passengers had to face inconvenience. The worst affected were students, teachers and other employees who travelled by local buses to reach their respective destinations. They all had to depend on autorickshaws.

The employees of the Punjab State Electricity Board also went on strike thus adversely affecting the working. Cash counters remained closed. An official of the board, however, said billing was not affected as the board had an electronic machine for receiving bills which was working. Officials were put on duty to man various substations so that power supply was not disrupted.

Employees hold a demonstration in Ambala on Thursday
Employees hold a demonstration in Ambala on Thursday. — Photo by Neeraj Chopra

AMBALA: Employees affiliated to different trade unions held gate meetings and demonstrations in different parts of Ambala on Thursday. The bandh was peaceful.

All nationalised banks and LIC offices remained closed, causing inconvenience to customers.

The MES Workers’ Union (Area Committee), Ambala, held demonstration outside the CWE office, Ambala Cantonment. On a call given by the All-India Defence Employees Federation, MES workers took out a rally that culminated at the CWE office.

A number of union leaders, including Mr O.P. Vashisht, expressed their opinion about the strike call.

The HSEB Workers’ Union observed strike on a call given by the Haryana Karamchari Mahasangh. The union members staged a dharna in unit No.1 under the leadership of Mr Dula Ram.

They were addressed by the circle secretary, Mr Ravi Kumar, and the unit secretary, Mr Ram Pal.

In Ambala City, the members were led by the unit president, Mr Ashok Kumar, and the secretary, Mr R.N. Pandey.

The Jan Sangathan Manch, Ambala unit, took out a rally through Ambala Cantonment.

Among others, the organisation secretary of the Haryana Bank Employees Federation, Mr R.K. Gulati, the MES union general secretary, Mr Om Prakash, the PNB Officers’ Association president, Mr G.S. Oberoi, an LIC union leader, Mr Subhash Atri, a BSNL union leader, Mr Ajay Sharma, and the Haryana Medical Representatives’ Association president, Mr Sanjay Bhojki, participated in the rally.

The Deputy Commissioner, Ambala, Mr J.P. Kaushik, said the bandh call did not have any impact on the daily routine of people and power, water and bus services were normal.

He said there was regular bus service. The buses from Ambala to Chandigarh, Yamuna Nagar, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab ran on regular routine and passengers did not face any inconvenience.

However, he said, the bus service was affected on the Ambala-Hisar road for some time.

Fatehgarh Sahib: The banks in the district remained closed due to one-day nationwide strike call given by the United Forum of Bank Unions on Thursday.

Employees belonging to different banks in the district gathered in front of the Sirhind branch of Punjab National Bank and burnt effigies of the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister. They also held a rally in support of their demands.

Addressing the rally, Mr B.K. Jethi, zonal secretary of the Punjab Bank Employees Federation, and Mr Varinder Takyar, regional secretary of the AISBOP Employees Federation, said the strike call was in protest against the government’s various moves. These included moves as regards privatisation, merger, disinvestment and dilution of government capital in public sector banks, sell-out of Indian private banks to foreigners and allowing FDI in banking and insurance sectors, besides the restoration of trade union rights and recognition of the right to strike and right for collective bargaining.

They claimed the bandh was complete in the district.

Employees belonging to the local unit of the General Insurance Employees Association (NZ) and the officers also observed strike against the Central Government’s alleged anti-employees policies, such as non-implementation of wage revision and the TMP policy.

Mr Rakesh Sood, press secretary of the association, appealed to the government not to implement “anti-employees” policies. It should rather initiate dialogue with employees and sort out their genuine problems, he added.

Similarly, the National Federation of Telecom Employees observed strike and staged dharna in front of the BSNL office at Sirhind.

Mr Hardev Singh, branch president, and Mr Kirpal Singh, branch secretary, criticised the Central Government policies regarding employees. They warned the government not to confront with employees.

Due to strike, the work in all Central Government offices came to standstill and the people had to face difficulties.

Members of the Northern Zone Insurance Employees Association hold a protest
Members of the Northern Zone Insurance Employees Association hold a protest in Patiala on Thursday. — Photo by Rajesh Sachar

PATIALA: The countrywide strike call evoked a good response from various employees’ unions here on Thursday as bank, postal, insurance and education board employees observed a complete bandh.

Employees from various departments held protest rallies and dharnas. Mini Secretariat employees held a rally. It was addressed by various union leaders. The leaders criticised the government for its privatisation and alleged anti-employee policies.

Banking services were hit in the city as the employees suspended work on the call of the United Forum of Bank Unions, the All- India Bank Officers’ Confederation, the All-India Bank Officers’ Association and the All-India Bank Employees’ Association.

They took out a procession through the main markets of the city and a rally was held in front of the State Bank of Patiala head office.

It was addressed by Mr N.K.Gaur, secretary, All-India Bank Employees’ Association, Mr Yograj Gupta, general secretary, All-India Oriental Bank of Commerce Employees’ Federation, and Mr Vinod Sharma, president, All-India Oriental Bank of Commerce Officers’ Association (Punjab).

Mr Amar Singh, secretary, Associate Bank Officers’ Association, said the protest was against the amendments to the Banking Regulation Act, diluting the control and ownership of the Reserve Bank of India and the government removal of the cap on voting rights; privatisation of public sector banks; merger and acquisition among public sector banks; foreign direct investment in private and public sector banks; proposed amendments to the Trade Unions Act and the Industrial Disputes Act.

Employees of the telecom and postal unions affiliated to the BSNLEU, the NFTE, the NFPE also observed strike. They were protesting against privatisation, disinvestment, contract system, ban on new recruitment and unbundling of local loop in telecom network cut in ADC (access deficit charges).

Striking employees held a demonstration in front the P&T Compound, Leela Bhavan. Red banners of all unions were placed at the main gate. More than 95 per cent employees took part in the strike. They were addressed by Mr Manohar Lal Sharma, besides other leaders.

Joining in the strike were employees of the LIC and general insurance companies. The call was given by the All-India Insurance Employees’ Association.

A rally was held in front of the LIC office, Chotti Baradari. Addressing the rally, Mr Narinder Walia, leader of the Chandigarh division of the Northern Zone Insurance Employees’ Association, said despite a record growth shown by the employees in the insurance business, the management seemed reluctant to recruit new staff to reduce workload on the existing employees.

There was a shortage of 14,000 employees, he said. The rally was also addressed by the general insurance employees’ leader, Mr Harpreet Singh.



Woman burns self, kids to death
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 29
A Bapu Dham Colony resident burnt herself to death, along with her two minor children, this morning. Unstable mental condition is being cited as the reason behind the extreme step.

In a state of shock even after an hour of the incident, her neighbours said 28-year-old Pinky apparently doused herself and the children with kerosene before setting themselves afire at about 11.30 am.

The neighbours said they came to know that “something had gone wrong” only after seeing dense smoke rising from the house. They tried to rush in but found themselves helpless as the door was locked.

The eye-witnesses said after much effort they finally managed to kick-open the door only to find the charred bodies of Pinky and her two children lying on the floor. The furniture and other house-hold goods too were reduced to ashes.

The police was informed about the tragedy and Pinky, along with two-and-a-half-year old Harish and six-month-old Munni were, subsequently, rushed to the Sector 16 General Hospital. But they were declared brought dead on arrival.

A senior Chandigarh Police officer said this was not the first time that Pinky had tried to end her life. Earlier also she had made a similar attempt by jumping into a pond in their native village in Uttar Pradesh. She was, however, saved due to timely action of villagers.

Ruling out the possibility of a foul play, the officer said so far they had not been able to lay their hands on evidence which would suggest abetment to suicide or even murder. Her husband Hari Ram, working as a painter in Phase II Ram Darbar, was away to work when Pinky decided to “end everything”. Besides, the house was locked from inside.

Quoting neighbours the officer said the couple was “leading a normal life” and no one had ever heard them entering into a fierce argument or a fight. Otherwise also, husband Hari Ram was of a docile nature, not the kind of a person who would instigate anyone into ending life.

He added that inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the Code of Criminal Procedure had been initiated in the matter and they were waiting for the post-mortem report before proceeding further in the case.

The officer said a case of murder was not registered against the mother though she was involved in the killing of her two children as she too had died in the process. “The police would have booked her under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code had she been alive,” the officer concluded. 



Show-cause notice to two councillors
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 29
For the first time in the history of the Municipal Corporation, the UT Administration today issued a show-cause notice to two nominated councillors of the Municipal Corporation — Mr P.C. Sanghi and Dr K.S. Raju — seeking as to why their nomination should not be cancelled.

While Mr Sanghi has been issued a notice for misbehaving with fellow councillors and officers of the Corporation, Dr Raju’s notice has been issued on the ground that his name figured in an FIR in the late 1990s, which he did not disclose at the time of his nomination.

It may be recalled that 13 councillors had demanded the convening of a special meeting to discuss “misbehaviour” by Mr Sanghi. The meeting held on August 25 had debated the issue for eight hours after which the House had passed a resolution against Mr Sanghi.

The minutes of the meeting were forwarded to the administration.

Prior to this, a number of complaints had been received against Mr Sanghi by the office of the Commissioner from councillors and union members.

However, things reached a flashpoint after Mr Sanghi allegedly shouted at a Superintending Engineer in his office.

Interestingly, Dr Raju has landed in a soup because of Mr Sanghi. At the acrimonious meeting of the House on August 25 while councillors were gunning for Mr Sanghi’s head, Mr Sanghi expressed resentment at being singled out.

He produced a copy of an FIR which named Dr Raju, the then president of Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara, as one of the accused in the opening of a cash box of the gurdwara at Ram Darbar in the 90s.

On the basis of the issue raised in the House, the administration, managed to get a copy of FIR and issued a show-cause notice.

However, both councillors denied the allegations. “I will give my answer to the administration. Misbehaviour is no ground for termination of nomination. If they still persist and take any action, I will drag them to court. Their show-case notice means nothing. We have always taken up issues pertaining to the public only and I know I have done nothing wrong,” Mr Sanghi said.

Dr Raju also maintains that there is no FIR in his name and he is not guilty. “I will reply to the administration. All allegations being made against me are baseless,” he claims.



Deputy Commandant accused of graft, abuse
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 29
A constable of the Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Raj Kumar, has accused his Deputy Commandant of illegally confinement, physical abuse, and injecting him with drugs, after he threatened to expose him for taking bribe in a recruitment drive.

The Deputy Commandant, Mr D.S. Sangwan, has, however, refuted the allegations, saying that the constable has concocted the story to avoid any disciplinary action against him. “Raj Kumar is a psychiatric case. He had run away from the ITBP campus, without informing his seniors. Since he anticipated disciplinary action, he has made up the story,” he said.

Raj Kumar, who is admitted to the emergency ward of the General Hospital, Sector 6, is posted at the ITBP, Madanpur. As he sways between consciousness and semi- consciousness, Raj Kumar alleged that he was kept in illegal confinement for two days at a rest house in Nahan (where the recruitment drive was in progress), but somehow he managed to escape.

His father, Mamchand, also an ex- serviceman, alleged that his son was asked by his Deputy Commandant to ask for bribe on his behalf. “When Raj Kumar refused to do so, and threatened to expose him, the Deputy Commandant ordered his men to keep him confined in the rest house. He was injected with sedatives and subjected to physical abuse. Yesterday, he managed to escape, and was admitted to the Civil Hospital, Nahan. However, when his Deputy Commandant was informed of his being there, he ran away from the hospital. He somehow managed to reach Kala Amb, but some persons were following him. He took shelter in the Kala Amb police post, from where he contacted us,” he said.

However, Mr Sangwan denies all allegations levelled against him. “There was a meeting of the Board of Members, and I was busy at the meeting. At lunch time, a Sub-Inspector approached me and said that my orderly, Raj Kumar, was not well. I asked the SI to rush him to hospital, who in turn called for an ambulance. He, however, ran away from the hospital ( left against medical advice), and I was contacted by my Battalion Headquarters from Ramgarh, who had been ‘misinformed’ by Raj Kumar’s family. He is concocting the story to avoid facing any action for being absent from duty, without seeking approval,” he said.



4,000 medical reps strike work
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 29
More than 4,000 medical representatives from Punjab and Haryana observed a one-day general strike here on a call given by the CITU today.
Processions, dharnas and demonstrations were held as part of the strike. The representatives demanded the implementation of the Sales Promotion Employees Act and the revival of public sector pharmaceutical companies.

The dharna was addressed by Raghunath Singh, general secretary, CITU, Punjab. Addressing the representatives, he said the ongoing attacks on labour rights were a direct consequence of the vigorous implementation of World Bank-dictated policies of liberalisation by the UPA government.

State general secretary of PCMSRU A. Sawhney said the strike had not been called to press any economic demands of the workers but for defending their rights.

He added that more than 3,500 medical representatives had suffered because of non-implementation of the ESI as many pharmaceutical companies had not issued ESI cards to them.

Bal Kishan, president, Federation of Government Employees and Workers, UT Chandigarh, and Satinder Singh, general secretary, CTU Conductors Union, were among those who addressed the medical representatives.



Passing Thru

Paul Vaughan, Trade Commissioner, New Zealand
Paul Vaughan, Trade Commissioner, New Zealand

What brings you to the city?

We are here because we realise India has a lot of potential. Of a total of 85,000 students, we have only 5,000 Indians studying in our colleges. The idea is to increase their number by at least 25 per cent this year.

Earlier, we were primarily getting our students from China. Now, there are students coming in from the UK, Canada and the US. The low fee and quality education is a big attraction for them.

What are the courses that attract students to New Zealand?

After bio-technology, film-related courses are attracting students to New Zealand in a big way. Other fields greatly in demand are engineering and information technology which are attracting maximum number of students.

What makes New Zealand an ideal academic destination?

You see, New Zealand is a low-cost economy. As such, education is relatively cheap in the country. Also, New Zealand has relaxed the condition of levying international fee from Ph D scholars.

The easing of immigration laws is also expected to facilitate the intake of more students. Otherwise, there are immense job opportunities and as far as immigration is concerned.

— Saurabh Malik



Central panel visits ’84 riot victims
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 29
Dr D.K. Shankaran, Chairman of the committee constituted by Centre to provide relief and compensation to 1984 riot victims, visited the victims’ rehabilitation colony in Phase XI here today.

Dr Shankaran who was accompanied by committee members Mr I.B. Karan and Mr P.K. Pathak along with Ms Rupan Deol Bajaj, Financial Commissioner, Punjab, also visited some of the families to see the conditions in which they were living.

The visit was however marred by internal squabbles between various organisations representing the 1984 anti-Sikh riot victims when they later met Dr Shankaran at the Phase XI community centre.

In the pre-afternoon session, five organisations from Ropar — the Sarab Hind Sikh Peeret Parivar Society, Phase VII, the Danga Pirat Welfare Society, Phase 11, the 1984 Sikh Massacre Affected Welfare Society, Phase 11, the Sikh Danga Pirat Parivar Society, Phase 11, and the Sikh Danga Pirat Parivar Committee Aanandpur Sahib — handed over their representations to the committee.

Presidents of these organisations — D.S. Thukral, S.S. Bhatia, Kashmir Kaur, Paramjit Kaur and Joginder Singh Malhotra — related their demands before the committee.

However, in the post-afternoon session during which a large number of organisations from Bathinda, Ludhiana, Moga, Dhoorkot, Mansa, Goindwal, Patiala and Fatehgarh Sahib were to submit their demands before the committee, verbal clashes broke out between two bodies representing the victims from Ludhiana.

President of the Danga Pirat Welfare Society, Punjab, Surjit Singh started alleging that the Congress government had done nothing for the riot victims and now when the Shiromani Akali Dal had started getting forms filled out from victims to ensure that they got their due, the Congress was trying to derail the process.

He was interrupted by Gurdev Singh Batalvi, president of the Danga Pirat Welfare Council, Ludhiana, who said the allegations made by Surjit Singh were baseless.

Following this a verbal duel followed and workers of both parties sitting at various places in the community centre hall got together in two groups facing each other and made allegations and counter-allegations.

Ms Bajaj, sitting on the dais with the DC and the SDM, stood up and tried to restore order. But when her efforts failed, the police was called in and she decided to call off the meeting.

But when Ms Bajaj and Dr Shankaran along with the team were about to leave the premises, assurance of peace from organisation representatives prompted them to return and resume the meeting.

Talking to victims and their representatives, Ms Bajaj asked them to unite and put across their demands before the committee.

She pointed out that it was not the right place to air grievances about what various political parties in power had done for the victims.

“This is the stage to put across your demands properly so that these are taken care of,” she said.

Ms Bajaj reiterated that the government had not issued any forms to be handed over to the committee.

“But if someone wants to put forth their demands on forms they can. But if someone is charging Rs 500 for these forms, it is unfair,” she said.

Earlier in the day, the committee members heard grievances of riot victims’ families in detail.

While addressing the families, Ms Bajaj said the state government was committed to providing all type of relief and compensation to the families of riot victims.

She said around 23,000 families from 20 states of India had settled in Punjab after the riots.

She urged the members of families to present their case before the committee in detail and also give a memorandum in writing to the committee.

She assured the members of recommending their case to the state government for ensuring provision of relief to them.

While presenting their problems, the families demanded a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to each family, provision of residential and industrial plots to children of the victims’ families, free booths, job to one member of each family, red card, remission of house loan and admission of wards of victims to medical collages.

Local MP Amrik Singh Mohali and local MLA Birdevinder Singh were present on the occasion.



Warm send-off for Gen Pattabhiraman
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 29
Officers and other ranks stationed at Chandi Mandir Military Station today bade a warm farewell to the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Command, Lieut-Gen S. Pattabhiraman, during his departure to New Delhi to assume charge as Vice-Chief of the Army Staff.

Prior to leaving Command House, he interacted with senior officers and their wives over a cup of tea. He was driven to the main entrance of the station in a flower-decked open jeep, pulled part of the way by officers. Troops lined up on either side of the main avenue of the military station, bidding him adieu.

General Pattabhiraman had a tenure of just about eight months as the GOC-in-C, here. He will take over as the Vice-Chief from Lieut-Gen B.S. Thakur, who retires tomorrow. This will be his second tenure at the Army Headquarters within a span of a year. Prior to coming to Chandi Mandir, he was Director the General, Information Systems, at the Army Headquarters.

Lieut-Gen Daljit Singh, an armoured corps officer who was commanding 3 Corps at Dimapur in Nagaland, will take over the reigns of the Western Command on October 1.

During a brief interaction with mediapersons, General Pattabhiraman said his new assignment would be focused on operational preparedness and modernisation of the Army. The Western Command, he said, was the sword-arm of the Army and after having raised a new command and a corps in record time, the changes and developments brought in were being consolidated.

He said the Army was eagerly awaiting the induction of the Israeli Heron high-altitude unmanned aerial vehicle and the Russian SMERCH long-range multi-barrel rocket launch systems. Final approval from the Cabinet Committee on Security, he said, was being awaited and these would give a tremendous boost to surveillance and strike capability of the Army.

The Army was fully involved in the movement of apple crop across the Sutlej in Kinnaur, after bridge collapses in the district cut off the vital road link. The Army, along with state government agencies, had set up several aerial ropeways across the Sutlej for the purpose. About 80 per cent of the apple crop in Kinnaur, he added, was from areas lying beyond the washed-away bridges.

He added the court of inquiry initiated into the bridge collapse at Kharo earlier this month, in which 34 soldiers, including two officers, had lost their lives, was expected to be concluded in two weeks.



NCW moved against ‘molestation’ by Lieut-Col
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 29
The case regarding the alleged molestation of a girl NCC cadet by a Lieutenant-Colonel has gone to the National Commission for Women (NCW).
Seeking action against the guilty under the Protection of Women Act, the Lawyers for Human Rights International (LHRI), through its general secretary Arvind Thakur, has urged the commission to depute an observer in Chandigarh for a fair probe.

The Directorate-General, NCC, New Delhi, has already ordered a Court of Inquiry (CoI) to ascertain the fact.

Meanwhile, the LHRI has demanded that the life, liberty and dignity of the victim should be protected by the commission through an appropriate interim order.

It may be recalled that the girl had alleged molestation by an Army officer during a camp on the premises of the Industrial Training Institute (ITI), Sector 28, recently.

A student of the Government College for Girls, Sector 11, the girl had reportedly complained to the NCC authorities and the UT Administrator against the officer.



Rs 70 lakh for parks, greenbelts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 29
The Environment and City Beautification Committee of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) explored the possibility of handing over the maintenance of certain gardens and greenbelts to the private parties here today.

At a meeting held here, the committee also passed the estimate of Rs 70 lakh for the beautification of city parks and greenbelts. It was also decided to provide 200 dustbins in various parks.

The estimate passed included providing huts with benches in parks in Sectors 27, 28, 20 and 33, providing railings in parks of Sectors 20 and 33.

Installation of precast reinforced benches in the Terraced Garden, Sector 33, the Garden of Annuals, Sector 44, the Cactus Garden, Ram Darbar, the Topiary Park, Sector 35, the Jawahar Park, Sector 9, the Dream Park, Sector 23, and the greenbelts of Sectors 35, 7, 11 and 46 were also okayed.



Taking hair care to a new level
Tribune News Service

Dr Khochhar’s mantra

  • Short hair is “in” as is the “disconnected cut”, which is longer hair at the back and layered shorter hair around the face
  • “Baingan” colour works beautifully for Indian skin as do reds and burgundies, which will never go out of fashion
  • Oiling is an essential part of hair care and should be done at least once a week. For coloured hair, the following “recipe” works well: 1-tablespoon normal oil, 1-teaspoon glycerine, 1-teaspoon castor oil and a little vinegar for acid balance along with a little conditioner and shampoo all mixed together and applied for half an hour
  • Hairdryers are useful so long as it is kept on cool
  • Two applications of coconut milk and a little lime over two weeks is a good determiner of falling hair

Chandigarh, September 29
It is a passion to put India on a world platform, to bring in new ideas, trends and to showcase the latest in fashion. For Dr Blossom Khochhar, renowned hairstylist, beautician and cosmetician, in the city to talk about OMC Asia Cup Open, the largest hairdressing event for the Asia-Pacific region to be held in Mumbai from October 16 to 18, it is an opportunity to promote and elevate the professional hair designing industry in India.

“We want hairstylists and designers to come from this region as well which is why we are travelling all over to garner participation for this prestigious event.”

As president of the National Hairdressers and Beauticians Association (NHBA), India, a body of leading hair designers and aestheticians from all over the country, associated with the Organisation Mondiale Coiffure (OMC) World Hairdressers Association, with headquarters in Paris and spanning 87 countries (Dr Khochhar is a Director for the India Chapter), she dreams of raising the standards of this profession to an “evolved art form”.

The OMC Asia Zone, a chapter of OMC World, was formed six years ago and has 10 member countries from the region — Japan, South Korea, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Taiwan, the Philippines and India.

“These are like the ‘Hair Olympics’ of the world and a wonderful opportunity for hair designers and stylists from India to pitch their creativity on a larger platform with other leading designers from all over Asia, to be part of a glamorous event and be recognised as part of the best,” believes Dr Khochhar.

“It is not just about fashion, it will be about the complete look-down to hair, makeup and clothes; everything has to be factored in the final decision.”

Different categories have been devised like creative hair dressing, which will be judged on the hairpiece; hair by night and colour (which incidentally plays a very important part in the decision making process); salon cut, which will be judged for style and colour; fantasy hairstyle; bridal makeup and nail art.

There is also a men’s classical and creative cuts segment.



JEs protest privatisation move
Tribune News Service,

Chandigarh, September 29
Members of the UT Electricity Junior Engineers Association today protested the alleged move of the government to privatise the power sector and non-acceptance of their demands by the administration.

All junior engineers, who remained on their duties for maintaining the continuity of the power supply, wore black badges. There were reports of manhandling and forcibly restraining some of the JEs from performing duties by the members of the UT Power Union.



UK award for Dr Naresh
Tribune News Service

Dr Naresh

Chandigarh, September 29
Dr Naresh, Chairman, Chandigarh Sahitya Akademi, and former Professor of Modern Literature at PU, has been chosen by the International Biographical Centre (IBC), Cambridge, UK, for its prestigious “International Educator Award for this year.

Ms Nicholas S Law, Director General of the IBC, in his communication, said this award was made available to only a few illustrious individuals whose achievements stood out in international academic and scholastic community.

The award would be presented shortly to Dr Naresh as an appealing commemorative pictorial testimony along with a medal of excellence, he added.



5 hurt as 2 trucks collide
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 29
Five persons were injured, one of them seriously, when a truck they were travelling in had a head-on collision with another truck near Ramgarh this evening.
The incident took place when the truck carrying six persons from Surajpur to Mattanwala collided with another truck.

Truck driver Ramdin was seriously injured as his legs were crushed. Four other passengers in his truck were also injured. All victims were rushed to the General Hospital, Panchkula, from where Ramdin was referred to the PGI, Chandigarh. The other injured Shiv Raj, Ghanshyam, Ram Chander and another person, were discharged after treatment.



HUDA to auction hotel site in Sec 3

Panchkula, September 29
The Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) has decided to auction 3/5-star freehold hotel site in Sector 3, here. While stating this here today, a spokesman of HUDA said the auction would be held at the Estate Office, HUDA Complex, Sector 6, on October 10.
He said the site of the hotel was located near the Golf Course and the Tau Devi Lal Sports Complex, Panchkula, and surrounded by lush green areas. TNS



Suicide: experts question case against boyfriend
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 29
Even though Ruchi Singh had virtually given a clean chit to her friend Harry in her suicide note, the Chandigarh Police has booked him for abetment to suicide. Ruchi had hanged herself to death in a Sector 21 nursing home on Wednesday, a day after going in for medical termination of pregnancy.

Elsewhere in the city, the theft of a car and the snatching of two mobile phones were reported to the police. A cyclist was also injured in a road mishap during the past 24 hours.

Sources in the Chandigarh Police said Harry, alias Hari Ram, of Sector 20 was booked by the police under Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) on the complaint of Ruchi’s father Udey Raj Singh.

In his complaint to the police, Mr Udey Raj Singh of Sirsa district accused Harry of leading on his daughter. He reportedly told the police that his daughter had talked to him about Harry and he had told her to keep away from him.

The registration of the case has triggered a debate of sorts among legal luminaries. They say that the police has no business of registering the case when the girl had not blamed him in her suicide note. In fact, she had refrained herself from even mentioning his name.

She had simply stated that her relationship with “H” was a brief one and they could not live up to each others’ expectations. Nowhere had she stated that Harry was behind her decision to take the extreme step.

Justifying the registration of the case, a senior police officer said they had simply taken cognizance of a complaint forwarded by Ruchi Singh’s father. “It is just the beginning.... We will not proceed against Harry if nothing incriminating is found against him,” the officer said. Efforts to contact Harry proved futile. His family refused to talk to the media.

A spokesman for the Chandigarh Police added that Mr Satbir Singh of Sector 20 reported to the police the theft of his Indigo car bearing registration number CH-01 (T) 6710 from a parking lot. A case of theft had been registered under Section 379 of the IPC.

Ms Manju Sharma of Shimla alleged that two scooter-borne persons snatched her bag containing a mobile phone, along with a pass book and Rs 7,000 cash from near the Sector 23-24 traffic lights. In a similar complaint, Ms Kamaljit Kaur of Sector 30 said two persons on a motor cycle snatched her mobile phone from near Shiv Shakti Mandir in Sector 30. In both cases, the police has registered cases under Sections 356 and 379 of the IPC.

The spokesman added that cyclist Roop Singh was admitted to Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital after a scooter rammed into him in Sector 27. A case of endangering human life by rash and negligent act has been registered under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC.



BSNL introduces postpaid plan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 29
The Chief General Manager Telecom, Punjab circle, Mr G.S.Bhatia, today said BSNL had introduced a new postpaid plan ‘ Plan 100’ for providing cellular connections to the Central and state governments and PSU employees. The scheme was open for registration from October 1 to November 11.

Under this plan, there are no activation charges or security deposit for cellular connections, even with the STD. The local call rates are Re 1 per minute under the BSNL network and Rs 1.80 per minute under other networks. In case of STD calls, the call rates are Rs 1.80 per minute (BSNL network) and Rs 2.40 per minute (other networks). The SMS charges are 50 paise (BSNL network), Rs 1 (other networks) and Rs 5 (international SMS).


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