C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Of love, lust and betrayal
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 10
Moved by stories of Punjabi men’s loyalty, love and valour, Gadar, a 20-year-old girl from Chennai fell in love with an Amritsar-based youth, Dildar Singh, while chatting with him on the Internet.

The hero in the life of K. Maitri (not her real name) sexually abused her and deserted her in a Sector 22 hotel here yesterday. The Chandigarh police registered a case against Dildar Singh for abducting the girl to compel her for marriage and raping her.

The youth had brought her to the city on pretext of marrying her. Narrating her woes to the police, she alleged that in January last, she was forced to abort her pregnancy by the boy and members of his family, who had assured to marry her, despite the opposition by the his family.

Pained at the turn of events, the girl regretted the day when she came all the way from Chennai to “marry” her lover. Thousands of miles away from her home, she said her family back home would not be able to take the bad news.

Yesterday, a local VHP leader, Mr Vijay Singh Bhardwaj, came to her rescue. He approached the general secretary of the Lawyers for Human Rights International (LHRI), Mr Arvind Thakhur, who tried to contact the boy and his family on their mobile, but in vain.

Finally, the LHRI approached the in charge of the Sector 22 police post, SI Dilsher Singh Chandel, who said the matter would be thoroughly probed. Mr Thakhur of the LHRI said he was pained to see the helpless girl. “The boy has spoiled the image of Punjabis for being helpful and caring”, he added.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, the victim narrated her tale of suffering. It all started in October, 2004, when the victim was in Class XII and started chatting on the Internet by using the ID of her friend. She came in contact with Dildar Singh, who kept on chatting her for some months before landing in Chennai to meet her.

The boy was introduced to members of the girl’s family and enjoyed their hospitality. They went to Bangalore and other places near Chennai. The boy, too, brought along the girl to Amritsar to meet members of his family. All went well till the girl became pregnant and was allegedly forced to abort at a nursing home in Amritsar.

Meanwhile, the boy’s father, through a public notice, disowned him. Claiming that the behaviour of the boy’s family changed after the medical termination of pregnancy, the girl said she left for Chennai and kept on talking to him over the phone till August.

A month back, she was asked to come to Chandigarh so that both could marry. But five days back, he suddenly vanished and his mobile phone remained unanswered.

The police was probing the role of a friend of Dildar, who while posing as a doctor, sedated her. After being sedated, the victim was taken to a nursing home in Amritsar for abortion. When the police tried to talk to the brother of Dildar, he said the family had disowned him and had no knowledge about his whereabouts.



‘A moment of pride for Indian cricket buffs’
Akash Ghai and G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 10
It was a long wait for cricket buffs before they could catch the master blaster on a new professional high. A simple one run - which created a world record today- led Sachin Tendulkar to complete his 35th century on the last ball of today’s game against Sri Lanka at the Ferozeshah Kotla, New Delhi.

With this, Sachin surpassed the record of 34 centuries by another genius Sunil Gavaskar. Not only India but the whole world is excited at his great success. Chandigarh Tribune caught hold of some cricket stalwarts to get their views on this remarkable feat.

Kapil Dev, Wisden Cricketer of the Millennium:

Like every Indian, I am very happy with Sachin’s achievement. Though I could not have a talk with him, yet I am sure he will accept our wishes through the media. Sachin has a lot of ability to make a lot of records, but at the moment, we should not put any pressure on him. Let him enjoy the game.

R.S. Mahendra, ex- President, BCCI:

With this milestone, Sachin proved his critics wrong, who used to say that his time was over. To make 35 centuries in Test cricket is not child’s play. I congratulate him on his great achievement and wish him to create more records to make all of us more proud. May Almighty give him a long life.

M.P. Pandove, Joint Secretary, BCCI:

It is a great occasion in the history of cricket and an equally magnificent achievement for Sachin as well. He has displayed right from the beginning of his career that he has tremendous talent in him. I congratulate him on this mark.

Intikhab Alam, former skipper, Pakistan team:

It is a proud moment for India as an Indian cricketer has broken the record set by another great Indian cricketer. I witnessed the match played at Peshawar, where debutant Sachin displayed his outstanding talent by hitting world-class spinner Abdul Qadir for 27 runs in an over in 1989. A long span of 16 years has passed, but still maestro has a lot of cricket in him.

Yog Raj, former cricketer:

The way he dedicated the most valuable ton to his father by raising his head towards the sky showed his greatness and devotion. He is a player of calibre who can hit even a hundred centuries. I am very happy for his accomplishment. I pray to God to give this batting genius strength and long life so that he can serve his nation for long.

D.P. Azad, Member, Technical Committee, BCCI:

Sachin has made us proud by this world record. This is not the end of the journey. Though, records are made to be broken, the target Sachin has placed is not an easy task to achieve.

Surinder Singh Baijee, General Secretary, CCA:

Of course, it is not only a great achievement, but an example of great cricket also. Not only India, but the whole world is proud of this big achievement. This record is testimony to Sachin’s excellence and fitness, which nobody can doubt. It also shows that he has fully recuperated from his tennis elbow injury.



Brandy used Neki’s ATM card
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 10
In connection with the murder of Sukhvinder Singh, 35-year-old Quark engineer who was shot dead on Sunday night, the police today procured the video footage of accused Himmat Singh, alias Brandy, while withdrawing Rs 20,000 twice from a UTI ATM in Amritsar on December 5 and 6.

Police sources said the ATM card was of Neki Nalwa. Yesterday, the police had recovered the .32 bore pistol that was used by the accused for killing Sukhvinder Singh. The sources also revealed that the arm used in the crime was in the name of Jagdeep Singh, a cousin of a friend, Vicky, of the accused.

Himmat had also used the pistol to fire shots in the air at the marriage party that he went to attend following the murder. The police has registered a case against Himmat at Zirakpur police station for firing shots in the air.



PU to destroy record of unclaimed degrees
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 10
Panjab University has decided to destroy records of all unclaimed university degrees pertaining to students who appeared in the university examination before April\May 1990.

A decision in this regard was taken at the Syndicate meeting of the university here this afternoon.

The decision has come in wake of the increasing load of unclaimed results and degrees on the records. In order to clean up the pending data papers and ask concerned students to seek their papers, the university has decided to give a one time chance.

The Syndicate decided that the students who cleared their degrees till 2002 will not be required to pay any extra fee. The students who appeared in their examination till April 2000, will be required to pay Rs 500 and the students who appeared in the university examination between 1990 and 1999 will be required to pay Rs 1,000 each.

All data prior to the period of 1990 will be destroyed by the university. The university will publish the circular asking the students to claim their degrees in all major newspapers. Circular will also be pasted at all important places on the campus and all colleges will be duly informed.

Dr D.S. Toor has been given the additional charge of the Director of Sports of the university till he attains the age of 60 or the university makes an alternate arrangement.

The university has also allocated Rs 74.75 lakh for a building for the Music department. The department of Ancient History is all set to have a museum for placing its collection. It is a known fact that priceless excavations could be earlier seen in unsafe corners because of the lack of proper space. The university has allocated Rs 58.60 lakh for the construction of the museum.

The Syndicate also sanctioned Rs 20.98 lakh for the extension hall of Kasturba Hall hostel for girls.

The Chief Justice of India, Mr Justice Y.K. Sabharwal, will deliver the convocation address during the university convocation to be held on February 4. He will also inaugurate the newly-constructed block of the five-year degree course in Law.

The Syndicate was informed that PU has won the overall runners-up trophy in the Maulana Kalam Azad Trophy for its performance in national and international tournaments. The Ministry of Youth Welfare and Sports has sanctioned Rs 1 lakh for the university for promoting sports activities.

Dr Daizy R. Batish of the Department of Botany has won the fellowship of the National Environment Science Academy.

The Syndicate deferred the issue of conferring a degree of D.Litt on Mr R.K. Saboo. 



Kalam’s visit leads to traffic jams
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 10
The one-day visit of the President, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, to the city today caused inconvenience to hundreds of motorists, with traffic jams being the order of the day.

Traffic on the Dakshin Marg and around The Tribune Chowk came to the halt around 10.20 a.m. as the President’s cavalcade made its way to the Raj Bhavan via the Transport Chowk and later at 12.45 p.m. when he departed.

The scene as the Transport Chowk was no different with hundreds of motorists coming from and bound for Panchkula having a harrowing time.

In fact, a communication gap between the security agencies’ personnel about 15 minutes before the President’s departure from the same route inconvenienced the motorists, who desperately looked for the alternative routes to reach their destinations.



CJI shows concern over delay in disposal of cases
Maneesh Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 10
The Chief Justice of India (CJI), Mr Justice Y.K. Sabharwal, today urged various "stake-holders" in the judicial set-up to "do everything possible to provide speedy and inexpensive justice to the common man".

He was addressing the gathering at the function to celebrate the golden jubilee of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

The CJI said the delay in disposal of cases and the huge backlog of cases was a worrying factor and urgent steps were needed to be taken immediately to check the downslide.

"If we don't reverse the trend now, there will be no magic wand in the years to come. See the figure of the past five years," he added.

The CJI said Nehru's dream could be realised by filling all vacancies and adopting a zero-vacancy culture, applying modern management techniques in dealing with cases and adopting the alternate dispute resolution (ADR) mechanism.

Again reiterating the proposal to appoint ad-hoc Judges, the CJI said cases of petty offences, which attract minor punishment, could be dealt with by retired judicial and government officers to be appointed on the recommendations of the Chief Justices of the respective High Courts.

Underlining the need for those involved with the judicial set-up, be it judges, lawyers or court staff, to question themselves if they were working to enhance the glory of the institution, CJI Sabharwal told them not to take people's faith in the institution for granted.

Pointing to the fact that there has been continuous rise in the number of cases, the CJI lamented the fact that the number of judges had not been raised similarly.

"In the past two years, the States of Punjab and Haryana have not appointed even a single officer of the subordinate judiciary," the CJI remarked.

He, however, added that despite shortage of Judges due to large number of vacancies, the litigants must not be made to suffer. "All we need to do is distinguish between cases that can wait and those which cannot," he added.

In his address, Union Law Minister Hans Raj Bhardwaj said the Indian judiciary had been acknowledged as one of the most powerful judicial set-ups anywhere in the world.

"People of other nations are fascinated with the power of our judiciary. This is an acknowledgement of the progress that we have made. All that we need to do is to make Pandit Nehru's dream of cheap and speedy justice a reality," he added.

Asking the people connected with the Punjab and Haryana High Court to be "proud of the legacy of the High Court", Mr Bhardwaj urged them to uphold the great traditions set by legal luminaries.

The minister, who began his law practice at the Punjab and Haryana High Court, also recalled his close association with the High Court.

Earlier, Punjab and Haryana High Court Chief Justice Mr Justice D.K. Jain welcomed the guests. He also presented a brief history of the High Court.

Others who addressed the gathering included Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), Governor, Punjab, Dr A.R. Kidwai, Governor, Haryana, Mr Justice Ashok Bhan, Judge, Supreme Court of India and Mr Atul Lakhanpal, President, Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association.



Union Govt “clears’’ proposal to appoint ad hoc judges
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 10
The Chief Justice of India (CJI), Mr Justice Y.K. Sabharwal, today disclosed that the Union Government, including the Prime Minister, had given favourable response to the proposal for appointment of ad hoc Judges in the country to clear backlog of cases.

"The Prime Minister and the Law Minister need to be complimented for clearing within two weeks the suggestion to appoint ad hoc high Court Judges under Article 224 A of the Constitution," the CJI said here.

He was interacting with media persons on the sidelines of the function organised to celebrate the golden jubilee of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Elaborating, he said, the ad-hoc Judges would be appointed on the recommendations of Chief Justices of the respective High Courts for a fixed period. These Judges would deal with majority of the pending court cases, except fresh admission matters.

"The first preference of these Judges would be pending criminal cases. They will also be able to take up civil cases. But, the main purpose behind their appointment would be to deal with the huge backlog of pending cases," the CJI said.

Asked who all could be appointed ad-hoc Judges, CJI Sabharwal said legal luminaries, eminent persons, retired Judges could be appointed ad-hoc Judges.

Incidentally, just a few days back, a host of legal eagles led by former Attorney General of India Soli J. Sorabjee, had offered to work as Judges in small causes to help end the backlog.

However, when asked, the CJI said he had come across the offer only in the newspapers and no such offer had been made to him.

He also disclosed that the appointment of new Judges to fill the large number of vacancies in High Courts would also be speeded up.

"The Punjab and Haryana High Court has already recommended names of seven lawyers for elevation to the Bench. We have been informed that names of six senior judicial officers for elevation as High Court Judge are also being sent shortly," he said.

To a question about the fact that since its establishment, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has not seen even a single lady lawyer being elevated to the Bench, CJI Sabharwal said he was in favour of the anomaly being removed.

"But, only if there are meritorious lady advocates. In fact, in their case, even if some of the benchmarks, which are considered while recommending elevation of lawyers to the Bench, have to be ignored, there shouldn't be any problem," he added.



Army units allowed to join environmental bodies
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 10
In the backdrop of the men in olive green playing a highly active role in environmental protection and ecological rejuvenation, Army units, formations and establishments have now been permitted to become members of various environmental organisations.

Sources in Headquarters Western Command said any unit or establishment could subscribe to the membership of certain organisations involved in environmental protection after obtaining approval from the next higher formation, not below the level of a Division Headquarters or an Area Headquarters.

A policy letter issued by the Environment and Ecological Cell in the Quarter Master General's Branch at Army Headquarters a few weeks ago, however stipulates that membership of such organisations should not violate the Army's standing orders on contact with foreign nationals.

The letter has also listed three organisations, the Wildlife Trust of India, the World Wildlife Fund (India) and the Bombay National History Society (BNHS), whose membership can be obtained by Army establishments, sources added.

In fact, the BNHS introduced a Green Governance Award for Conservation of Flora this year, which was awarded to the Army's famed 8 Mountain Division for launching 'Operation Green Kargil' -- a long-term plantation drive to increase the green cover' in Dras, Kargil, Khumbathang and Batalik sectors.

The Army is closely associated with the protection of environmental and ecological upgradation. Besides, the regular Army engaged in greening projects across the country by planting saplings, special Ecological Task Forces have been raised under the Territorial Army. These task forces have turned large tracts of barren land into lush green forests.

The Army is also deeply involved in protecting the fragile ecology of the Ladakh area where it has introduced unconventional means of energy, like harnessing solar and wind energy, for the local residents to reduce the dependence of fossil fuel and wood.

Wasteland development, garbage management and waste disposal, watershed management and rainwater harvesting are some of the thrust areas identified by the Army. Environment and ecology cells exist at various levels to implement the Army's policy on nature conservation and carry out awareness programmes.



Major succumbs to injuries
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 10
Major R.S. Nakai of the Deccan Horse Regiment, Ahmednagar, Maharashtra, succumbed to his injuries at the PGI today. He was admitted to PGI on the night of December 5, after he was injured when his revolver went off accidentally.

The police has initiated inquest proceedings. A post-mortem was conducted at the Sector 16 General Hospital, Chandigarh. The cremation will take place at Chandigarh tomorrow.

Major Nakai was injured on the night of December 5, when he was reportedly cleaning his service pistol. He was over for a holiday with his parents when the incident took place. He had been recalled on duty a day before the incident, much before his leave term was to end. His father had said that while he was cleaning the weapon, it triggered off accidentally and he was injured.

Major Nakai is survived by his wife and one-and-a-half-year-old son. 



Ailing and penniless, he needs help
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 10
Fortytwo-year-old Hira Singh seems to have fallen on bad days after a prospering business in catering in Uttaranchal came to a grinding halt. Hira Singh, father of three children and the only earning member of the family, was diagnosed with tuberculosis of the bone. That was in October, 2003.

Now, two years later, with his finances exhausted due to his treatment, he is awaiting financial help at the male surgical ward of the PGI. The doctors have recommended a hip replacement operation, which will cost him Rs 90,000, and he does not have a penny.

“The problem began with low grade fever, which would refuse to go away. I was getting treatment from a local doctor in Almora and despite all medicines, the fever persisted. Then, one day, I realised that I just could not stand up. It was then that the real culprit, tuberculosis of the bone, came to light,” he said.

His catering business ended that very day since there was nobody to attend to it.

“Now, my right leg has shrunk by four inches. I can not stand for long since my entire weight has to be borne by the left leg. My wife is working as a domestic help to feed my children. I also tried to get employment as a cook, but could not stand for long. There is no money in the house and an operation is the only solution to my troubles,” Hira Singh says.

With all doors of kith and kin closed on him as far as financial help is concerned, in his ward, he awaits the magnanimity of city residents to pool in for his operation. 



Bakery shop gutted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 10
The interiors of Amar Bakers and Confectionery in Sector 7 suffered a considerable loss in a major fire that broke out last night around 2 a.m.

Sources in the Fire Department said that at least four fire engines and a water-dousing machine were pushed into service. It took nearly two hours for the officials to douse the fire. The closed shop had burnt refrigerators, certain parked bicycles, rags and other material.



Cong leader booked
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 10
The police has booked senior Congress leader Om Prakash Devinagaria on the charges of assault and criminal intimidation.

Police sources said a case under Sections 323 and 506 of the IPC had been registered against the Congress leader on a complaint by Mr Pushpraj Sharma. The latter had alleged that he was assaulted by the accused when he demanded Rs 1 lakh he had given to Devinagaria.

Mr Sharma alleged that the Congress leader had borrowed the money from him some time back. However, every time he demanded his money back, the accused threatened him and assaulted him.



Money deposited with bank goes untraceable
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 10
A doctor was in for a surprise today, when he approached a bank and found that Rs 70,000 deposited by him in his wife's PPF account could not be traced by the bank.

Dr Vijay Garg complained that though he had deposited the money with the Sector 7 branch of the State Bank of Patiala on September 5, bank officials could not trace the entry in his account.

“Twice when I went to the bank to get the entry in my passbook, they would tell me to come again on one pretext or the other. Today, I went with the receipt issued to me when I had deposited the money, they said that they could not trace the entry,” he alleged.

Dr Garg said though the officers told him that they would deposit the money in his wife's account immediately. “But they had no answer on the interest amount due from September to December,” he said.

Mr Joginder Pal, Chief Manager of the bank, however, said Dr Garg's money was safe. “Our branch is also a government treasury and there is a lot of work load during the first 10 days of the month. We have installed a new on online system at the bank, and there are a few teething troubles, but Dr Garg will get his money,” he assured.



CII fair
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 10
Ms Jean Rodrigues, wife of the Punjab Governor, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), today visited CII’s Exposition, ‘Celebrating the Master Craftsmen’, showcasing the creative confluence of Indian handicrafts.

Accompanied by her daughter, Ms Rodrigues went round the fair and appreciated the wide array of niche products with distinct cultural influence displayed in various stalls.

She was visibly impressed by handicrafts made of papier mache in bright hues, Kashmiri carpets and stoles with floral motifs, traditional Rajasthani paintings.


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