C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Strong tremors send chill down city’s spine
Professor jumps from first floor; high alert sounded
Tribune News Service

Mild cracks on the walls of the Sector 42 Indoor Badminton Hall after the earthquake in Chandigarh on Saturday.
Mild cracks on the walls of the Sector 42 Indoor Badminton Hall after the earthquake in Chandigarh on Saturday. — Tribune photo by Parvesh Chauhan

Chandigarh, October 8
Strong tremors shook the city out of sleep this morning. Hit by a massive earthquake measuring 7.4 on the Richter scale, residents panicked in reaction to a death-like situation.

A professor of GCG-42 jumped off the first floor of his college where he was on duty. He fractured both his ankles, and severely injured his spine. He was rushed to the PGI where he is under observation. The UT District Magistrate, Mr R.K. Rao, visited Prof Dalip Kumar in the evening and told The Tribune that money for his treatment would be provided from the UT District Relief Fund.

Barely had the city recovered from the impact of the morning quake that another tremor returned at 4.16 pm. The Indian Meteorological Department, Delhi, confirmed having recorded seven aftershocks, each of a magnitude of more than 5. The first aftershock measured 5.3 and seismologists said the tremors could last for weeks.

As the quake rocked the city, telephone and mobile services were thrown out of gear. Residents raised the alarms and ran out of houses. Some even drove their cars away from houses. The UT Home Secretary immediately put every wing of the government on a state of high alert and directed the District Magistrate and the SSP to conduct survey to determine losses. Officials maintained that the disaster management plan was in order.

Although no loss of life or property was reported, Prof Dalip Kumar is critical. College Principal Upinder Mehra said the professor slipped from the college balcony due to tremors, but the staff maintained that he jumped and fell on a heap of sand which prevented a head injury. After the mishap, students refused to go back and the classes were called off.

At the Infosys construction site, a worker narrowly escaped being killed when he fell from the building during the earthquake. He has sustained injuries. An official of the IT company when contacted was evasive and tried to brush off the incident. The man panicked and tried to jump but as he had a safety harness tied to him, he sustained injuries,” he said.

In St Anne’s Sector 32, the authorities go the premises evacuated and children were sent home. They were not allowed to fetch their bags and water bottles.

Some government schools in Derabassi villages like Dafarpur School suffered damages in walls. The LIC office, Sector 17, developed cracks in windowpanes, as did other buildings like Panjab University’s examination branch where walls cracked and racks fell off.

University employees ran of the department, only to list weaknesses in the old structure. There were reports of damage in some houses in the periphery.

Panic remains in the minds of residents. Many living in high-rise buildings are planning to spend the night with friends and relatives living on ground floor.

“Though the earthquake is over, but the aftershocks at around 4.20 pm have caused scare. We feel the earthquake might come back at night when we may not be able to move out of our flat. So we are spending the night at my parents’ house on the ground floor, a Sector 49 resident, Ms Anita Gupta, said.

Mr Manoj Kumar of Sector 19 said: “Just after a late breakfast, I was planning to take a nap as it was a holiday when I saw fans and curtains moving. I asked my family to run downstairs. My children are afraid of going back into the house.”

At the venue of the Congress conclave, the SPG moved quickly to bring the dignitaries out of the building into the open and made emergency arrangements to fly them out of the area.

Due to the presence of several top politicians, Mountview was under heavy guard today. Hundreds of police personnel were stationed there. They also panicked in the evening when strong tremors returned.



Experts apprehensive about seismic activity in region
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 8
When the tremors rocked the city in the morning today, the first question on the mind of seismic experts was whether the epicentre of the quake was in the Kangra region.

Though the Indian Metrological Department (IMD) confirmed that the devastating earthquake had its epicentre in Muzaffarabad, Pakistan occupied Kashmir (OK), the fears of the experts was not unfounded. A quake originating from the region would have meant devastation in the northern region.

The experts who have been analysing the seismic activity in the region say that several fault lines also pass through the region.

A recent study conducted on the seismic activity in the Chandigarh region, falling under zone IV, has indicated that it has already entered its “return phase” and an earthquake can strike anytime. The city and its neighbouring towns of Mohali and Panchkula were within few kilometres of the fault lines passing in the lower Shivaliks. Some of the fault lines pass beneath an inhabited area in Pinjore.

The study was presented during a recent seminar in the city. Prof C.V.R. Murty, a civil engineering expert from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur, has told The Tribune that the past record of seismic activity of the region indicated that an earthquake strikes after a gap of 500 years and 600 years have already passed since the last seismic activity.

The experts say the Western Himalayan was in a stress state similar to the Andaman plate boundary prior to 2004, and thus the possibility of another quake could not be ruled out.

Need to identify quake-prone buildings: Under the disaster risk management programme, the state governments had been asked to identify the buildings, including heritage monuments, which could be damaged due to earthquake. Under the seismic zoning, the shapes of buildings and structural designs had been well defined, but ignorance among the professionals delayed the implementation of the specifications. The level of ignorance on “behaviour” of buildings during an earthquake was high among the professionals.

Chandigarh falls in zone IV: The entire land mass in the country has been classified into five zones with Zone V being the most vulnerable to quakes and has the potential of generating massive earthquake. Kangra along with Sikkim, parts of Himachal Pradesh and Uttranchal, the North-East region and Andaman Island fall in Zone V. Cities like Delhi and Chandigarh fall in Zone IV.



Panic grips students
Amardeep Bhattal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 8
It was business as usual at the local St Anne’s Convent School, Sector 32, today before a wave of panic triggered by the massive earthquake terrorised the students and staff.

“Our rangoli competition had just commenced in the corridor on the third floor when the building started swaying,” said Armaandeep, a student of Class VII.

“Initially I felt the floor moving away and I did not know what was happening. I asked my partner, Vasu, whether he felt the same. Since he was not sure, I turned around to enquire from the girl sitting behind who confirmed that something strange was happening.

“Suddenly someone shouted that it was an earthquake even as the second tremor, this time more powerful, almost swept us off our feet. We rushed to our classrooms where our teacher, having realised the danger, had already ordered immediate evacuation.

“All of us stood with our backs to the wall before rushing downstairs leaving behind our bags and books in response to an announcement on the public address system. Among the first to rush out were children who were getting themselves photographed for the Mysore trip along with the photographer.

“Vasu wanted to fetch his colours but agreed not to go back as it was risky. Within seconds, the buildings were evacuated and we were ordered to move on to the playground. Many children were crying even as anxious parents started arriving to take their kids home. With the arrival of Father Ambrose, the school was ordered closed and drivers of school buses were directed to take the children home.”

Telltale signs of the early-morning panic in the school were evident. School bags, water bottles, colours, stationery, shoes, etc were strewn around in the corridors and classrooms.

As dusk melted into the night, a motley crowd knelt in at the school chapel in prayer to thank the Almighty for having spared them from what could have been total devastation.



Quake jest on SMS
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 8
It did not take much time for residents of the tri-cities to get over the shock of the morning earthquake. With wits gathered, messages passed from mobile to mobile, and all these were not worried inquiries about each other’s well-being.

One of the first messages that started as a chain went like this: Ghabrane ki koi baat nahin hai mujhe thoda sa gussa aa gaya tha…

Another read: Darna mat ye bhookamp nahin tha. Bhagwan ka mobile vibration par tha

Another said: Reuters: that wasn’t an earthquake that was the latest Samsung mobile set on vibrator mode with earth shaking technology….

Earthquake also became an excuse to express love: How r u? See u never remember me or give me an sms, so I decided to give u a shake!!! Felt it naa, now at least send me a nice sms!!!

Hear this: Aapke liye hai jo dil mein pyaar, ab tak kisi ko nazar na aaya, aaj nikla dil se bahar, to log bole, “bhuchaal aaya bhuchaal aaya”

And this: Jab bhi tera khayaal aata tha, dil mein bhuchaal aata tha. aaj to kamal ho gaya. khayal bhi nahin aaya, aur sare sansaar mein bhuchaal aaya…..

Some messages went overboard: Earthquake in North India. Those people who are still alive plz sms me fast as I have to delete contact of those who are dead.

One said: hope all is well after d earth moved…

The best message went like this: Sometime the earth shakes n it shakes our consciousness, it makes us realise the essence of life because death has touched our feet….wishing you a long life.



Schoolgirls faint in Mohali
Our Correspondent

Mohali, October 8
Panic-stricken residents rushed out of their homes and other buildings as tremors rocked the town this morning. No report of any major damage or injury was received.

Reports of a few houses, including one in Phase III B-1 and another in Phase VII, having developed minor cracks were received. Telecommunication services were not available for a short while after the tremors.

As Saturday is a closed day in state government and some other offices, most residents were at home. Many others were getting dressed to leave for their workplaces and other destinations. At the local Civil Hospital, outdoor patients and doctors left the building. However, indoor patients could not be shifted out.

Mr Balraj Singh Shergill, who runs Paragon Senior Secondary School here, said the institution was closed after the tremors. Many children appeared to be nervous and a few girl students of Class X fainted.

Mr Satinder Singh Bedi, a resident of Phase VII, said he was tying his turban when his wife drew his attention to the tremors. He continued tying the turban, thinking that the tremors were not strong and would soon die away. However, the intensity of the tremors increased and he had a feeling of mild dizziness.

Mr Amrik Singh Bhatti a resident of Phase III B-2 and former municipal councillor, said he was at home at the time of the tremors. In the beginning, he did not know what exactly was happening, though he could feel that his feet were shaking. He then heard members of his family alerting him and telling him to leave the building.



A run for life at hospitals
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 8
A cacophony of sounds, jostling crowd, harried faces and laboured breaths, the quake which lasted for about two minutes saw it all at city hospitals.

At the PGI, panic-stricken patients, attendants and workers fled to save their lives. Everyone wanted to be out in the open, quite forgetting about the patients. The place meant to save one’s life suddenly seemed unsafe to those present inside.

So intense were the tremors, that many patients rushed out of the emergency, clutching their drips. Some patients said various apparatus started shaking and some bottles fell on the ground.

Minutes after the quake, those who were admitted had to find their way back inside as the passes issued to them and their attendants were lost in Panic. After sometime, the guards allowed everyone to enter the emergency.

At the GMCH, Sector 32, the signs of the quake were visible in the form of cracks that developed in the building. Eight to nine persons were admitted to the emergency after the quake, Dr Nitin, Deputy Medical Superintendent, GMCH, said. No damage to machines or apparatus was reported.

At the Government Hospital, Sector 16, patients found themselves in a similar situation.

Many people were reported to have suffered headache and dizziness after the quake. “Many people complained of extended headache, moving chairs, trees falling apart and a wavy road, much after the quake was over,” Dr R. Chugh, Vice-President, IMA, Chandigarh, said. Women with complicated pregnancies complained of backache.



A shower of bricks in badminton hall
Our Sports Reporter

Chandigarh, October 8
A shower of bricks and plaster at the Sector 42 badminton hall at about 11.50 am, an hour and a half after the earthquake, created panic among shuttlers taking part in the ongoing All-India Mahatma Hansraj Aryan Sports Tournament. All of them escaped unhurt.

The players were sitting on the staircase when a rumble was heard as the bricks and plaster came off from one of the walls. Earlier, at 9.20 am, when the tremors were felt, the players were getting warmed up for a tie. There was panic among the participants who had come from various parts of the region. After about 15 minutes, when the players went inside, cracks on both sides of the indoor hall were also noticed.



With conclave, city comes of age
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 8
The two-day conclave of Chief Ministers of Congress-ruled states ended here today afternoon with the joint Press conference of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi. The conclusion came as a relief for the Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh Administration who had been working round the clock for a flawless event. With the successful completion of the conclave, Chandigarh has emerged as a preferred destination for large conclaves.

Given the success of the conclave that also tested the infrastructure ability to host a large number of VIPs, the Punjab and Haryana Governments and several other public and private bodies, including industrial houses, are now contemplating to promote it as weekend getaway for conclaves and seminars.

The Chandigarh police was virtually at the beck and call of Central Government agencies trying to meet the requirements of the “blue book” that regulates the security of the Prime Minister. There were at least six Congress leaders who are placed in the Z-plus category and require more than ordinary security but the manner in which the security was handled, without bothering the residents, is commendable.

The Punjab and Haryana Governments who had hosted the conclave are expecting to resume normal work in their offices after nearly a week, from Monday. Work in most government office had come to a standstill.

Even for journalists covering the conclave it was a different experience. Never before have journalists had to stand in long queues to enter a venue as they had to do today to attend the joint press conference of Dr Manmohan Singh and Ms Gandhi. Those working for news agencies felt the heat of filing stories with speed as television channels were broadcasting most developments live.

When journalists felt the earthquake just after the Prime Minister finished his speech, many simply ran down stairs. The panic was shortlived as the moment they learnt that the Prime Minister, Ms Gandhi and other leaders had been evacuated from the conference centre to the lawns of Punjab Bhavan, they forgot the dizziness and nausea that some of them experienced during the earthquake to get the story.

One of the most interesting comments was made by Mr Jairam Ramesh, MP. He said: “Digvijay Singh (former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister) was making earth-shaking comments in his presentation before the Prime Minister when the actual earthquake struck”.




  • A large number of mediapersons of the Congress conclave had a very interesting comment to make after they learnt about the casualties resulting from the earthquake. Some of them said that for the past few years their weekends had been spoilt by important developments happening on Saturday or Sunday. These included the death of Mr Sitram Kesri, the crash killing Mr Madhrao Scindia and some journalists, the accident that killed Mr Rajesh Pilot, etc.
  • A journalist from a Maharashtra newspaper started asking Mrs Sonia Gandhi a question “after the earthquake let us now talk about earthquake in the party, even though the epicentres are far apart”. Mrs Gandhi quipped “are you talking about the BJP” making the entire journalistsic fraternity burst into laughter defusing the question.
  • At the conclave the Haryana Government provided newspersons with the latest state-of-the-art computers, fax machines, etc with individual broadband Internet connections. But the electronic media beat print journalists every time by broadcasting the events as they happened alive. Finally some newspersons were seen taking notes from the replays of news events from television channels, despite being present for the entire duration of the conclave.
  • Sector 10 shopkeepers are not too happy with the Congress conclave as security officials of different agencies blocked the roads around Hotel Mountview where the top politicians of the country were putting up. This blocked access to their shops. They are now demanding compensation from the Congress for causing loss to their business.
  • The Bihar incident that was expected to take the lead at the press conference by the Prime Minister took a back seat with both the Prime Minister and Mrs Gandhi saying that they could not comment on the issue without going through the judgment. This lead to some jokes that included one that said “Congress leadership is dominated by technocrats and scientists; they must have manipulated the earthquakes to save the embarrassment”.

  • All 15 Chief Ministers attending the conclave were seen moving around in a bus trying to give an impression that the party believed in austerity measures and that the Chief Ministers were no different than the ordinary citizens.

  • There were at least 100 newspersons covering the conclave. Never has the city seen so many journalists covering an event here. Veteran journalists say two decades ago, there were no more than 10-odd journalists covering visits of important dignitaries like the Prime Minister.



Human skeleton found in house
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 8
The discovery of a human skeleton from the Sector 21 house of an Army officer, placed under lock and key by the Estate Office some 16 years back, today sent shock waves in the city.

Though the identity of the deceased is yet to be established, the sources in the Chandigarh Police believe he was a vagabond. In all probability, he was in the habit of sleeping in the house after entering through a window with a broken pane.

The discovery has once again brought to the foreground “the indifferent attitude of people living in the neighbourhood”. The sources say surprisingly no one even noticed foul smell that must have been rising from the house due to the presence of a dead body.

They add that earlier also a skeleton was discovered from a house in Sector 18. Owner Usha Grover’s body was discovered after several years. In that case also, no one noticed her absence.

Giving details, the sources said the house, once belonging to Capt Babu Singh Bains, was resumed by the Estate Office as the owner was allegedly running a guest house. His family, subsequently, shifted to Mohali. Their present whereabouts were not known to the police.

In a state of shock an hour after the discovery, the neighbours said a team of labourers from the Estate Office descended upon the house on yesterday for carrying out the cleaning of the outer portion.

They came back again this afternoon to clean the interior, but discovered the skeleton on the floor upon opening the door. The soiled clothes and a pack of tobacco were lying next to the frame. The police was immediately informed about the find.

After receiving the information, a team of experts from the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) reached the spot.

A senior officer of the Chandigarh Police said inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the Code of Criminal Procedure had been initiated in the matter. Efforts were on to establish the identity of the deceased.



No takers for conversion in Industrial Area
Sanjeev Singh Bariana

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 8
There are no takers for the policy of conversion of industrial plots into commercial plots in the Industrial Area of the city if the number of respondents is any indication.

Nearly three months after the policy was announced in July this year only one name has figured on the list of the applicants. The Chandigarh Industrial Association calls even the one single instance as a mockery of the scheme.

Mr M.P.S. Chawla, president of the association, said the cheque for the conversion charges was issued in the name of the Estate Office whereas the authorised agency for the conversion policy at that juncture was the Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation (CITCO). The charge now lay in the court of the Chandigarh Housing Board.

This was followed by the administration announcing the permission for floor area ratio of two in the Industrial Area against the earlier permission of 1.5. This was being translated as fall in the actual rate of conversion from Rs 18,000 per sq yd to Rs 12,000. Industrialists said this was not the fact. “The administration has allowed a greater floor area ratio (FAR) on our own land. The portrayal of the effective rate of Rs 12,000 per sq yd was reached at merely playing with the figures and not actually helping the industrialists”.

The latest in the series was the offer from the administration to give representation to the industrialists in a committee to the industrialists who were first to subscribe to the conversion policy. The CIA said that, “Reports regarding the reward of inclusion of first five industrialists on the honourable posts in the committee is a testimony to the fact that the conversion policy was created just to adjust a handful of influential persons. This move of the administration clearly shows that there are no takers for the policy and industrialists were being influenced by making lucrative offers”.

The association has sought constitution of a committee consisting of local industrialists. “The industrialists have been totally ignored while working out the policy and the genuine rates of conversion policy which has resulted in its being a total failure”, an industrialist said.

Sources said the administration has decided to constitute a committee to look into the augmentation of infrastructure for the Industrial Area. The first five industrialists who accept the conversion policy will be included in the committee. The committee will work out details for investment of the money collected from conversion charges.

The CIA had also submitted a memorandum of their demands to the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, during his visit to the city in September.



Number of courts martial down
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 8
Stating that the standard of discipline in the Army has improved, the Director General Discipline, Ceremonials and Welfare at Army Headquarters, Lieut-Gen M.G. Girish, said that the number of trials by courts martial has come down over the past years.

Lieut-Gen M.G. Girish
Lieut-Gen M.G. Girish

“Over the past four years, the number of courts martial has come down from 2,000 to 900,” General Girish said, while speaking to The Tribune. Stating that this was not an alarming figure, he added that statistics available with Army Headquarters revealed that there has been no deterioration in the rank and file, but rather improvements in standards.

“Constant directives and instructions are issued by formations to ensure that troops adhere to the laid down disciplinary standards,” he said. “Besides there is more awareness among troops and they are better educated which also contributes to improving standards,” he added.

General Girish was here to attend the three-day annual conference of directors and heads of professional colleges being run by the Army Welfare Education Society (AWES). The AWES manages 11 professional colleges besides a 117 Army public schools across the country. These institutes are run on a no profit - no loss basis to provide quality education wards of serving and retired defence personnel.

On the issue of allegations of human rights violation by troops, particularly in counter insurgency operations, he said that of the 1,200 complaints filed against troops in the last five years, investigations revealed that only 20 had merit. “Exemplary action was taken in all such cases. Punishments were awarded even if the alleged crime was not committed, but the troops concerned were found to be culpable,” he said.

On the ceremonial and welfare front, General Girish said that representatives from Army Headquarters recently held a meeting with New Delhi’s Central Vista Committee for constructing a war memorial in the Capital. “Our plans are ready and we are moving forward, “ he said. “We would like to have the memorial in the best possible location and it would take a few more months to get all the requisite sanctions,” he added.

The General revealed that the AWES is setting up a nursing as well a B.Ed. college in the North-East, where the society has no professional institute running as of now. The nursing college, which would be co-located with the Army Base Hospital in Guwahati, was being built at a cost of about Rs 10 crore. It was expected to function from the 2006 academic session.



War memorial being set up at Regimental centre
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 8
For the first time, Punjab Regiment officers may be sent out to command battalions belonging to other regiments as it has a surplus of officers having the requisite command potential.

Revealing this here today, the Adjutant General, Lieut-Gen Mohinder Singh, who is also the Colonel of the Punjab Regiment, said command potential had been a weak area for the regiment in the past. "However, with meticulous planning and proper training, we have a command potential surplus in the regiment," he said.

Colonel of the Punjab Regiment, Lieut-Gen Mohinder Singh, interacts with members of the Punjab Regiment Officers Association in Chandigarh on Friday.
Colonel of the Punjab Regiment, Lieut-Gen Mohinder Singh, interacts with members of the Punjab Regiment Officers Association in Chandigarh on Friday. —Tribune photo by Vinay Malik

During promotion boards, if officers do not measure up to the standards, they are not earmarked for command assignments. If for this reason, there is a shortage of regimental officers fit to command a unit, officers from other regiments are deputed. These officers don the colours of the unit they command.

General Mohinder Singh, who hangs up his uniform at the end of this month, was here to attend a farewell lunch organised for him by the Chandigarh chapter of the Punjab Regiment Officers Association (PROA).

He said he also took a deliberate decision to base most of the battalions of the Punjab Regiment in hard field areas like high-altitude stations or counter-insurgency operations, rather than at peace stations. This, he said, was done because JCOs and NCOs were not qualifying for award of honorary ranks due to lack of requisite experience. "Now 80 JCOs are being awarded honorary commissions every year," he said.

Stating that the regiment is doing well professionally, General Mohinder Singh said a large number of officers and men from the regiment were being selected as instructors for various training institutions of the Army, which again was a departure from the earlier trend.

He said a new war memorial was being set up at the Regimental Centre. Christened as the Shaheedi Sarovar, it is coming up on surplus land adjoining the gurdwara at the centre. A langar hall and a road around the complex would come up later. It is being designed free of cost by a noted architect.

The Regiment, he said, is also laying emphasis on sports. Stating that the performance of the regiment as well as the Army has not been up to the mark in this arena, he added that the regiment would focus on shooting and rafting.

He also announced that Brigadier K.J.S. Oberoi would take over as the next Colonel of the Punjab Regiment. Brigadier Oberoi, who has been approved for promotion to major general, is presently the Commandant of the Punjab Regimental Centre at Ramgarh in Jharkhand and belongs to 26 Punjab.

He also presented a cheque for Rs 1 lakh to the Chandigarh chapter of the PROA. Among those who attended the farewell lunch included the president of the Chandigarh chapter of the PROA, Lieut-Gen R S Dayal (retd), former Colonel of the Regiment, Major-Gen S.K. Awasthi, Major-Gen Shivdev Singh, Brig K.S. Chandpuri as well as serving and retired regimental officers.



Associations seek Kerala regiment
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 8
The demand for a Kerala regiment in the Army was made at a meeting held here recently to felicitate Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.

Presenting a memorandum to Mr Chandy, ADGP (Law and Order), Haryana, Dr John V. George, sought the help of the Kerala Government to impress upon the Centre the need to setup the regiment.

He said while Punjab had several regiments, the South had only one Madras regiment to take care of the region’s needs.

Dr George also pointed out that certain recruitment tests in the armed forces were conducted only in Hindi and English. This put the matriculates from Kerala, who studied in Malayalam medium, at a great disadvantage. He said they should be allowed to answer the questions in Malayalam.

The memorandum demanded an increase in the frequency of the Sampark Kranti Express linking Chandigarh with Thiruvananthapuram.

Dr George requested the Chief Minister to take up with the Chandigarh Administrator the need to allot a piece of land for a Kerala cultural centre in the City Beautiful.

The local MP, Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, and Mr Shaju Peter also spoke on the occasion. Mr D Reghu, secretary, Kerala Samajam, welcomed the guests.

The meeting was jointly organised by the Kerala Samajam, the Chandigarh Malayalee Association, the Panchkula Malayalee Association and Sri Ayyappa Seva Samiti, Mohali.



BJP activists seek PM’s resignation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 8
Demanding the resignation of the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, in the wake of the Supreme Court judgement on Bihar, BJP activists today demonstrated at the Matka Chowk here today.

Addressing the protesters, Mr Ram Nath Kovind, MP and all-India president of the Scheduled Castes Morcha, alleged that the dissolution of the Bihar Assembly by the UPA Government was the “worst example of political vindictiveness”. He also criticised the attack on a former union minister, Mr Ravi Shankar Parshad, in Sasaram in Bihar terming it part of the “anarchy” in the state.

A former local MP, Mr Satya Pal Jain, held Dr Manmohan Singh, responsible for the Assembly dissolution as he was the chief administrator of the country. The Supreme Court judgement had exposed the real faces of the Congress, and its Left allies. Mr Buta Singh was specially sent by the Congress-led UPA Government to stall the formation of any non-Congress and non-RJD government in Bihar, he alleged.

The president of the local unit, Mr Yash Pal Mahajan, alleged that Dr Manmohan Singh was running the government according to the diktats of the UPA Chairperson, Ms Sonia Gandhi. After the Supreme Court judgement the Prime Minister had no right to stay in office, he added.



Association constitution amended
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 8
The constitution of the Chandigarh Senior Citizens Association was amended this morning by deleting a clause restricting the candidature of office bearers for re-election.

At an extraordinary general body meeting of the Association requisitioned by 180 members and held at the Government Museum and Art Gallery, Sector 10, members voted unanimously to remove the clause. Hereafter, there will be no restriction for an office bearer to offer himself for re-election for the same or any other post.

The general view was that, due to various age-related reasons, members were not coming forward to contest elections and only those candidates who filed nominations papers had filled most of the posts in the past elections. This was detrimental to the interest of the association, as willing and competent workers were not permitted to seek re-election.

Association president PH Vaishnav, speaking after the unanimous vote stated that this was only an enabling provision and a hedge against a situation when there was no candidate for a particular post. “In any case standing for election is no guarantee of success. Only those who have done well by the association would be given a mandate by the electorate,” he said.

By another resolution, the financial powers of various office bearers, fixed way back in 1996, were enhanced.



Deep Complex residents continue stir
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 8
The protest dharna by residents of Deep Complex, Hallo Majra, against the acquisition of their land by the Chandigarh Administration, entered 13th day today.

The administration proposes to acquire around 33 acres of land on which the D complex has come up on the outskirts of the village. The residents are also sitting on a hunger strike.

Mr Karam Singh, Mr Vijay Singh, Mr P.P. Singh, Mr Chaman Lal Saini and Mr Puran Vasi Shah replaced the persons who sat on dharna.

Earlier, Mr Didar Singh, president of the Panchayat Samiti and Mr J.S. Benipal, president of the Deep Complex Welfare Association, said peaceful agitation by the residents had elicited no response from the officers.

The residents lamented that it was wrong on part of the administration to destabilise the needy people.



MCs look forward to delimitation panel meeting
Our Correspondent

Mohali, October 8
Municipal Councillors are keeping their fingers crossed over the holding of the first meeting of the ward delimitation board fixed for October 10.

The board, the constitution of which was notified by the Punjab Government on February 3, is yet to hold its maiden meeting due to a tussle among Congress factions over its membership. Residents have expressed apprehension that this may lead to a delay in fresh elections to the Municipal Council, the term of which expires on November 27.

Over the past seven months, four meetings of the board were fixed, however, these had to be put off with dissatisfied Congress factions pressing the authorities concerned to ensure that no meeting of the board was held unless their respective supporters were first accommodated on the panel.

The 12-member board was set up for the purpose of delimitation of the municipal wards in connection with the coming civic body poll in the town.



Post office opened in Sector 12-A
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, October 8
The Chief Post Master-General, Mr L.K. Puri, inaugurated a post office in the Sector 12-A market here.

The department was ready with staff and infrastructure for the opening of another post office in Sector 26 which would be commissioned as soon as a suitable building was available.

Earlier, Mr R.C. Sharma, Senior Superintendent of Post Offices, Ambala, said all facilities like computerisation would be provided in the post office.



Woman accuses revenue officer of eve-teasing
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 8
A married woman today submitted a complaint with the Sector 19 police station accusing a UT Revenue Department officer of indulging in eve-teasing.

Though senior police officers refused to comment on the issue, sources in the police headquarters said the woman had accused him of catching hold of her arm.

In her complaint, the woman has reportedly stated that she was coming from Sector 19 market when the officer stepped in her way and caught hold of her.

The officer, on the other hand, reportedly told the police that the woman was an old acquaintance and denied the allegations. Claiming implication in the matter, the officer reportedly pleaded innocence. He could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.

A senior police officer said a team comprising police officials was dispatched to the market for verifying the facts. But so far no one had supported the woman’s statement.

Meanwhile, two snatching incidents were reported to the police. Charanjit Kaur of Sector 44 claimed that two scooter-borne persons snatched her purse containing jewellery and Rs 5,000 from near her house. In another complaint, Kamalpreet Singh said two scooter-borne persons escaped with his mobile phone. Separate cases have been registered in this regard.



JE hangs himself to death
Our Correspondent

Mohali, October 8
A middle-aged resident of Phase VII allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself from a ceiling fan here this evening.

According to information, there was no one at home when D.N. Sharma took the extreme step. His wife, Ms Sharda, had gone to Mansa Devi Temple while his son had gone to a relative’s home in the same locality.

Mr Gurcharan Singh, SHO, said the milkman had come to deliver milk in the evening but nobody responded to the doorbell. In the meantime, the family’s tenant came downstairs and tried to contact Sharma on the mobile phone which, too, remained unanswered. His son was called and when he entered the house, he saw the body.

The SHO said the man worked as a JE in the Public Works Department.

The police has initiated proceedings under Section 174, CrPC.



Cyclist killed in accident
Our Correspondent

Mohali, October 8
One person was killed when he was hit by a bus near a police station in Phase I here today.

The victim, Shankar, a resident of Lal Bahadur Shastri Colony, was going on a bicycle when the accident took place. He was a migrant labourer and died on the spot.

His body has been sent to the Civil Hospital for a post-mortem examination. The police has registered a case under Sections 279 and 304, IPC.


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