C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Brothers held for bank heist
CC camera images nailed accused
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 2
In less than 24 hours of the incident in which a youngster decamped with Rs 1 lakh from a bank in Mohali, the Crime Branch of the Chandigarh Police today claimed to have solved the case with the arrests of two minor brothers. The police further claimed to have recovered Rs 95, 250 from their possession.

Giving details of the arrests the Crime Branch in-charge Inspector Satbir Singh, said the police teams had identified one of the accused, whose photograph had been published in newspapers.

A police team was sent to Dhanas village and both accused were picked up from the village. The Mohali police had released the image of the one of the accused in the newspapers. The pictures were taken by a close circuit camera fitted in the bank.

Inspector Satbir Singh added that the accused was identified as a case had been registered against him in the Sector 39 police station earlier this year. In that case the accused had adopted the same modus operandi and had decamped with gold ornaments from a jeweller’s shop under the jurisdiction of Sector 39 police station.

The police sources said the Mohali police had registered a case on the basis of a complaint filed by Mr Amresh of Sector 12-A, Panchkula, alleging that the accused had stolen Rs 1 lakh from the ICICI bank branch.

Inspector Satbir Singh further added that the police had recovered Rs 95, 250 from their possession and registered a case under Section 411 of the Indian Penal Code. The case has been registered in the Sector 11 police station in Chandigarh in this regard.

The sources added that as both the accused were minors, they were produced in a juvenile court today, which sent them to juvenile home. 



Special day for special children
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
The World Disabled Day was celebrated at rehabilitation centre for handicapped children — Prayaas — today.

Special children from various institutions of the city participated in the fancy dress competition and painting competition held on the occasion.

Students also presented various dance items. Anu Chatrath, Mayor of Chandigarh, distributed wheel chairs, crutches, hearing aids and cerebral palsy chairs to the needy. Prizes were given to the winners of different competitions.

Annual report of the institution showed that it had helped more than 12,000 disabled children in the two decades of its existence using modern techniques.

A section for autistic children has been started and a facility for computer-assisted education has also been opened to help children with learning disorders and communication problems.



Governor’s help sought
Sector 15 green belt issue
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
In a representation signed by more than 35 residents of Sector 15-A, residents have sought the intervention of the UT Administrator in saving a green belt being developed into a parking lot by the Municipal Corporation.

The representation stated that the case of conversion of a green belt was one of blatant violation of stringent forest laws and a serious, nearly successful, attempt at illegal construction of a parking lot outside a park in Sector 15-A.

The signatories, include Prof Sanjay Wadwalkar, Principal (Dr) Raj Kaushal, Dr L.S.Thakur, Mr Satpal Sewak, Mr Sumeet Suri, Mr B.S.Ratra, Dr H.B.D.Pasrija, Dr R.P.Gupta, Dr L.K.Mangat and Mr K.C.Sharma. The representation also reads that ‘‘the residents have worked tirelessly for over a year to have the illegal garbage dumping point removed from near the site in question. Residents had worked very hard to motivate the Horticulture Department to plant about 50 plants of permanent flowering variety to beautify the area’’. It has been pointed out that the park already has a parking lot on the main road.

At the same time, the office of the Chief Engineer of Municipal Corporation, said in a press note that the news item ‘‘Greenbelt spoiled for making a parking lot’’ had a distortion of facts. ‘‘The fact is that there is no parking space at entry towards V-6 road and visitors used to park their vehicles on the road, leading to congestion and making it an accident prone road. This also caused inconvenience to residents of nearby houses. In order to solve these problems, the Department of Urban Planning has earmarked a parking area’’.

The press note said ‘‘no tree has been cut for the construction of the said parking. Only bushes and shrubs have been removed. The work has been taken in hand after obtaining approval from competent authority.”



Five-yr-old dies in road mishap
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 2
A five-year-old girl and a middle aged man lost their lives in two separate road accidents that took place in different parts of the city in the past 24 hours.

According to sources in the Sector 26 police station Meera, a resident of Sanjay Labour Colony in Phase I, Industrial Area, was seriously injured after being hit by a car (PB-10-AR-6698) near Sukhna Lake Petrol Pump late last night. She was rushed to the Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital by the car driver, where the doctors on duty declared her brought dead. A case has been registered in this regard.

In another incident, 45-year-old Ram Karan of Rajiv Colony in Panchkula, was killed after his moped was hit by a truck near Dhillon traffic light point this afternoon.

According to the eyewitnesses the truck hit the moped from rear and Ram Karan lost control over his two-wheeler and fell on the road. He reportedly suffered serious head injuries, and died on the spot. The police said Hem Raj of Solan in Himachal Pradesh was arrested from the spot on the charges of causing death due to rash and negligent driving. 



Clerk nabbed on bribery charge
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 2
The UT Vigilance Department today nabbed a clerk in the Sector 25, CTU depot while he was allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 2,000.

Following the arrest a delegation of the CTU Union met the UT Home Secretary and alleged that the clerk had been implicated in a false case. The Home Secretary assured an inquiry into the matter.

Giving details sources in the Vigilance Department said, Avtar Singh, a clerk posted in the office of CTU General Manager in the Depot Number 3 in Sector 25, had been caught red-handed while accepting a bribe of Rs 2,000 this afternoon. A trap was laid following a complaint made by Mr Gulzar Singh, an electrician in the CTU, on Wednesday.

Mr Gulzar Singh had alleged in his complaint that the accused, a dealing clerk, had demanded Rs 5,000 from him to clear his arrears. Mr Singh had been suspended by the department in 1999. After a period of nine months, he was reinstated and it was also mentioned in the orders that he would be considered on duty and was would get arrears for the same period.

Mr Singh alleged that Avtar Singh had demanded money from him to clear his case. On the basis of his complaint the Vigilance Department set a trap and nabbed the accused while allegedly accepting marked currency notes in his office.

On the other hand representatives of the CTU Workers Union, Mr Jagdish Singh, Mohar Singh, Pishora Singh and Narian Singh, alleged that Avtar Singh had been falsely implicated in this case. They maintained that Avtar Singh had gone to the office to check records and had not demanded the money. They alleged that he had not accepted the cash, but the same was thrown upon him.

They threatened that in case no action was taken in this regard then they would launch an agitation and have also called a meeting at the GM’s office to discuss the issue. 



IT raids on electronics showrooms
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
Sleuths from the Income Tax Department today conducted raids on various showrooms dealing in high- end televisions and home theatre systems in the city and Panchkula.

These operations were conducted as part of a nationwide exercise survey. Searches were conducted at Circuit Mall and Sony World showrooms in Sector 8, Modern Electronics (Sector 22) and Electroage, Paras Enterprise and Sony Exclusive (Sector 35) in the city and at Amar Electronics and Ambika Electronics (Sector 11) and Bansal Electronics (Sector 14) in Panchkula.

The checking which started at about 10 a.m. carried on till late in the evening. According to sources, records and database of showrooms were checked. 



UT for eviction of Ratra from govt house
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
The Chandigarh Administration has written to the Chief Secretary of Punjab seeking eviction of Mr Y.S.Ratra, a former Chief Secretary of Punjab, from his official residence in Sector 7, reliable sources said here today. He was served the eviction notice earlier, too which proved to be of no avail.

He is currently Chairman of the Punjab State Electricity Board. “He has his office in Patiala and so he has no justification in retaining his official residence in the city,” the officer added.



A witness to High Court history
Maneesh Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
He has seen it all. Partition and the bloody carnage that preceded and followed it, the murder reference and appeal of Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram V. Godse at Shimla, the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, inaugurating the new building of the Punjab High Court and urging the legal fraternity to provide “speedy and cheap justice”.

But for 73-year-old Raj Mohan, a former employee of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the sight of Nehru, renowned scientist Homi Jehangir Bhabha and the high and mighty of the land having food in gold and silver utensils will be hard to forget.

“The High Court was new. Even Chandigarh was a comparatively new city when Nehru came to inaugurate the High Court building. There were no tent houses then. On the request of then Chief Justice A.N. Bhandari, the Maharaja of Patiala - father of present Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh - loaned us the royal palace’s gold and silver utensils and cutlery. The guests were served food in those”, recalls Mr Raj Mohan.

Dr Bhabha had accompanied the Prime Minister on the visit. Having begun his career as a young 16-year-old “boy” on March 18, 1946, at the High Court of Judicature at Lahore, which had jurisdiction over the then undivided, pre-partition Punjab, Mr Raj Mohan is one person who can actually claim to have grown with history.

When Nathuram Godse’s murder reference and appeal were pending in the Punjab High Court at Shimla, Mr Raj Mohan was chosen to do duty in the court where the three-Judge Bench of Chief Justice Bhandari, Justice Achhru Ram and Justice G.D. Khosla heard the case. The case was finally decided against Godse on June 21, 1949. “Godse was a very fluent speaker in English. However, many times, he would switch to his native Marathi. The High Court then decided to take the services of a translator from Bombay High Court. There used to be heavy rush of people wanting to catch a glimpse of the assassin. That is why there was heavy police deployment”, Mr Raj Mohan remembers.

Having been stabbed by rioters at Lahore on June 18, 1947, he remained in hospital in a serious condition for quite some days. But, he lived to tell the story.

“I joined as a daftari. When Partition occurred, I was among the first batch of employees sent to Amritsar, where the High Court of Punjab functioned post-Partition for about six months. In October 1947, we shifted to Shimla. It was a major climatic shift for people like me and it took us a lot of time to adjust. But, the Chief Justice and other judges went out of their way to make the staff comfortable”, he remembers.

Incidentally, though he retired in 1987 after almost 42 years in service, Chachaji, as he is fondly called by long-serving employees of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, is still called upon for information about old record and cases.

“I somehow spent a large part of my career in the record section. In 1949, about 10 of us were sent back to Pakistan for almost two years to bring back the remaining record and files”, he adds.

And when it was decided to shift the seat of the High Court to Chandigarh, Mr Raj Mohan was again among the first batch of employees sent to set up base here.

“After Shimla, Chandigarh was a welcome change, largely due to the weather. One of the first major cases that came up before the Court was one filed by a large number of oustees from the site of Bhakra Dam. They had moved the High Court for higher compensation. I think they won the case”, he says.



UT villages in for a tourism makeover
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 2
villages of Chandigarh will now play host to tourists giving them a taste of the rich cultural heritage of the region.

The Chandigarh Administration has identified four villages — Khuda Lahora, Khuda Alisher, Sarangpur and Kaimbwala — to be developed and provided with the infrastructure needed for attracting rural tourism.

This was disclosed by the Home-cum-Tourism Secretary, Mr Krishna Mohan, while delivering the theme address during a seminar on Rural Tourism — Prospects and Challenges at CII, Sector 31.

Mr Mohan said these villages were being taken up for converting their rural heritage into a modern tourism product so as to put them on par with the best locations of the country.

The heritage of these villages would be highlighted and comfortable facilities would be created to attract tourism, he added.

The Tourism Secretary further elaborated that restaurants, museums, excursions and visits to traditional sites in these villages would be a part of rural tourism package being promoted by the Chandigarh Administration.

He said for authentic Indian experience Chandigarh, Haryana, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh could have joint rural tourism packages.

The tourism promotion in the northern region would be web-enabled including online booking of rooms in the hotels and tie-ups with rural tourism sites, he added.

Presenting the future planning of the Chandigarh Administration for tourism promotion, he said that a leisure valley along Patiali Ki Rao choe, in the form of forest and green area which would include walk ways /cycle tracks, would be developed.

The remaining course of the Patiali Ki Rao, downstream of Dhanas village, would be developed for city level sports facilities i.e. golf course, equestrain sports, motor sports, riding clubs, race course etc. near Dadumajra and Maloya villages.

Possibility of another lake near Dadumajra village was being examined along with other recreational facilities, he informed.

A plan was under consideration to develop an area of about 153 acre near Raipur Kalan village as Industrial Area, Phase-III.

A scheme had been worked out to complete 11-storeyed building in the city centre, Sector 17, by involving private developers and an architect of national repute.

There was a special plan for providing a sports complex, planetarium and hotel-cum-resorts in Chandigarh, he said. 



Experts for stress on rural tourism
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
There is need to have a common strategy for increasing the tourism potential in all northern states. Experts feel that the rural tourism should be a thrust area.

These views were expressed during a seminar on “Rural Tourism — Prospects and Challenges”, organised by CII Northern Region in association with the Chandigarh Administration here today. While Haryana had taken the lead in promoting rural tourism, by starting farm tourism in National Capital Region three years ago, Punjab followed suit last year by introducing farm tourism in eight farms. Now, Chandigarh, is all set to launch rural tourism by developing four of its villages.

The seminar was inaugurated by the Haryana Governor, Dr A.R. Kidwai. He said that in case of development, be it social or economic, we needed to think beyond boundaries and think of the region as a whole.

The delegates in the seminar, from Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh deliberated on the need for an action plan for developing rural tourism. “A collaborative working between different states; more hotel management institutes for training executives; encouraging private- public partnership; and developing specific tourist circuits, would alone help in developing rural tourism,” said Mr Ajay S. Shriram, Chairman CII, Northern Region.

Mr Sanjay Kothari, Financial Commissioner and Principal Secretary, Tourism, Haryana, said that Haryana Government will soon develop a tourism zone on the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP) Expressway. A waterfall at Badkhal in Faridabad district would be developed. He said that while 18 farms had been identified for farm tourism (which did business worth Rs 3.55 lakh) and another 10 farms were being identified.

Mr Kothari said that the state government would soon announce a new tourism policy for the promotion of religious, cultural and archaeological tourism in Haryana. The thrust of this policy would be to generate employment avenues and to achieve socio-economic growth through tourism.

Mr Jagjit Puri, Managing Director, Punjab Tourism Development Corporation, said that eight houses were identified last year for farm tourism. “We lauched farm tourism last year, and are in the process of identifying 80 other farms for the purpose. We are also identifying 50 heritage villages,” he said.

Others who were present on this occasion included Mr Vivek Atray, Director, Tourism, Chandigarh Administration, Mr Manbeer Chaudhary, president, Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Association of India and Mr Ajit Butail.



Funds sanctioned by planning board
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 2
The District Planning and Development Board has sanctioned funds to the tune of Rs 45.82 lakh to the local Municipal Council to carry out development works in the town.

The council was asked to submit estimates for seven works before the sanctioned funds could be released. The council has sent estimates for sinking three tubewells in the town. The civic body proposes to sink two tubewells in the Industrial Area Phases VII and VIII and one tubewell in residential area in Phase VII.

The Municipal Engineer, Mr Tarsem Singh Rai, said today the work on sinking of tubewells would start after calling tenders but only after funds for the work were released by the planning board.



Army asked to explain leniency towards officers
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
The Delhi High Court has taken Army authorities in the western sector to task for revising a court martial verdict and pronouncing a jawan guilty for misappropriation while taking a lenient view on certain senior officers indicted in the said court martial.

Taking up a petition filed by Swr S. Jaya Kumar challenging his conviction by court martial for alleged misappropriation of government property to the tune of Rs 54 lakh, the court has sought an explanation from the General Officer Commanding of the Sriganganagar-based 16 Infantry Division, as to how a brigadier facing a court of inquiry for alleged misappropriation was allowed to proceed on pension at his own request.

The court also asked the Army to explain how the sentence of a lieutenant colonel, indicted by the court martial and dismissed by a subsequent military court, was commuted by the Army to compulsory retirement (with full benefits). The court also asked the Army to give reasons why no action was taken against a major indicted by the court martial.

Counsel for the petitioner, Maj K. Ramesh (retd) said that the high court also observed during the last hearing a few days ago that if the Army’s reply was not satisfactory, the court may order a CBI inquiry as to how Rs 54 lakh were lost to the government exchequer.

Jaya Kumar, while posted with a veterinary establishment located in Haryana, was tried on two charges — misappropriating medical stores and deserting service. He was acquitted on the first charge. On the second charge, he was found not guilty, but guilty of absenting without leave.

The court martial observed that there were deliberate actions by the commandant and deputy commandant in having the accused prematurely posted out. The court also observed that the connivance of the commandant and two officers to dishonestly misappropriate medical stores was very much evident.

In his directions on the court martial’s findings, the GOC 16 Division ordered that the court should re-examine and re-evaluate the entire evidence on record and if the court found the accused guilty of both charges, it should revoke its earlier findings and record revised findings.

After being re-assembled, with a different judge advocate in place, the court found the accused guilty of misappropriation and sentenced him to three years’ rigorous imprisonment and dismissal from service. The court again observed that the possibility of the involvement of the said brigadier, lieutenant colonel and major directly or indirectly in the misappropriation of stores cannot be ruled out.

The Delhi High Court observed that the court martial comprising the same members had passed its revised findings without examining any fresh witness or any new document being produced.



Change mindset, IG tells policemen
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 2
Policemen should bring changes in their mindset to serve the society in a better way. The was suggested by UT Inspector General of Police Satish Chandra while addressing 600 officers and jawans of the Chandigarh Police during a “Samparak Sabha” held at Tagore Theatre here today.

According to police sources, the IGP asked the policemen to avoid behaving as rulers while discharging their duties and serve public with a benevolent approach.

The IGP termed public service and help of the needy as basic nature of their duty.

The sabha was attended by UT Senior Superintendent of Police (Headquarters) Vivek Gogia, UT SSP Gaurav Yadav, SP (Traffic and Security) Amitabh Dhillon, Office Superintendent R.G. Dogra and Deputy Superintendents of Police.

A spokesperson for the UT Police said the jawans and officers of the UT Police apprised the IGP of the problems they were facing like residential accommodation, increase in conveyance allowance, weekly offs, relaxation for police wards in recruitment and creation of new police housing societies.

The IGP also touched upon the enhancement in the grant of the police welfare fund from Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000 meant for self marriage or the marriage of their children.

Besides, he also announced the building of 1,100 houses for families of police personnel and that the work on creation of a new police housing society was under way.

He also pledged his availability to the police personnel to hear their grievances.



“Late distribution of power bills”
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 2
The Consumer Protection Forum has complained that power bills were being distributed late by employees of the Punjab State Electricity Board giving very little time to consumers to make payments.

The forum president said power bills were distributed in parts of Phase II on November 28 even when the dates to make payments by cheque had expired. 



Gambler arrested; Rs 6,400 seized
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 2
The UT police’s special crime investigation cell today claimed to have arrested a gambler from Sector 26 and in another incident, one person was arrested on the allegations of carrying 5 gm of smack. A Mohali resident also reported the theft of her purse in Sector 22. Sources in the police said the gambler, Ganesh Pandey, was nabbed from Sector 26 while indulging in satta last evening.

The raiding team recovered Rs 6,400 from his possession and registered a case under the Gambling Act in the Sector 26 police station.

Smack seized: The police today arrested a resident of Bapu Dham Colony for allegedly carrying 5 gm of smack. Police sources said 25-year-old Vijay Kumar was arrested by a patrolling team from near Shastri Nagar in Mani Majra. The accused was coming on his scooter and on seeing the police party, he tried to change his direction.

Purse stolen: Mr Gurdial Singh of Phase V, Mohali, reported to the police that his wife’s purse containing Rs 10,000, an immigration card, a driving licence and an ATM card was stolen from the Sector 22 market yesterday.



35-yr-old killed in mishap
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 2
A 35-year-old man was killed when his jeep met with an accident near Barwala last night. The accident took place when the jeep was trying to avoid running into a stray cattle, and swerved and hit a tree. The jeep driver, Rajesh Kumar, was killed on the spot.

Two Arrested: Had it not been for two alert neighbours, a house in Sector 9 would have again been ransacked and cash and goods stolen. Mr Rakesh Goyal and two others saw a man trying to scale the walls of a neighbour’s house (No 249), and another accomplice waiting outside. They quietly reached the house, and nabbed the two thieves. The police was called and the accused were handed over to them for interrogation.



3 held for theft bid

Mohali, December 2
Three persons were arrested by the police from Sector 70 here last night on a charge of attempting to commit a theft.

It is reported that they had entered a sanitary and hardware store and filled three bags with the items but were nabbed by the police before they could flee.

Mr Anil Mittal, owner of the shop, said today that he was told by someone that thieves had entered his shop by breaking a shutter. He said when he reached the shop they were still inside. He bolted the door from outside and informed the police which later took them in its custody. Mr Mittal alleged that the police had taken no action against the arrested persons. OC



Medicines worth Rs 15 lakh stolen
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, December 2
Burglars struck at a godown on the Chandigarh-Zirakpur road on the intervening night of November 30 and December 1 and decamped with medicines worth several lakhs of rupees.

According to information, the burglars entered the godown after breaking the rear wall and took away costly medicines. The burglary came to light yesterday morning.

Mr Rakesh Aggarwal, who is a C and F agent of two major pharmaceutical companies for the region, claimed that medicines, including infertility drugs, worth about Rs 15 lakh were taken away by the burglars.



CII brings Punjabi essence to city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
Showcasing artistic excellence, CII’s exposition on modern Indian crafts — “Celebrating the Master Craftsmen” — opened to a warm response today.

Designed to celebrate excellence in Indian handicrafts, the exposition brings a unique confluence of traditional creations that have been transformed with contemporary design and displays the best of modern Indian crafts to the discerning North Indian consumer.

On show are handicrafts and handlooms with traditional embroidery and mirror work, marble gold leaf crafts, brass work, paintings, jewellery, furniture, wood inlay, terra cotta, sikki grass products, block printing, coir products, etc.

Acknowledging the contribution of master craftsmen and artisans towards preserving the art forms, despite all odds, this exposition has on display treasures of skill and expertise.

The products of exclusive participants like KVIC, Government of Rajasthan, Central Cottage Industries Corporation, Central Silk Board and various artisans from far-flung areas like Kashmir, Bihar, Kutch, Karnataka, and Rajasthan present a spectacular visual and shopping treat.

The exposition featured a lively and powerful bhangra performance by a troupe from Patiala.

There will be a gidha performance and live demos of tie and dye tomorrow.


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |