C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Surinder Cong nominee for Mayor’s post
Tribune News Service

CTCC president B.B. Bahl has a word with Congress observer Sunder Lal Tewari at the Sector 35 Congress Bhavan in Chandigarh
CTCC president B.B. Bahl has a word with Congress observer Sunder Lal Tewari at the Sector 35 Congress Bhavan in Chandigarh on Sunday. — Tribune photo by Parvesh Chauhan

Chandigarh, December 25
Putting all speculation to rest, the Congress today announced the name of Mr Surinder Singh as the next mayoral nominee for the last term of the Congress-led Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC).

A Congress councillor from Mani Majra, he will not only be the first Sikh Mayor of the city but also the first representative of the rural area for this prestigious post. His name was announced by the party observer, Mr Sunder Lal Tewari, after a series of meetings with local MP Pawan Bansal, CTCC president B.B Bahl, CTCC members and the councillors at the Sector 35 Congress Bhavan in the evening.

H.S. Lucky
H.S. Lucky

Even as the name of senior councillor Chandermukhi Sharma was announced for the post of Senior Deputy Mayor and that of Ms Shyama Negi for the post of Deputy Mayor, the rift in the Congress came to the fore when Mr Chandermukhi, a strong contender for the Mayor’s post, refused to file his nominations for the post offered to him. Later in the evening, the names of Shyama Negi and H.S. Lucky were finalised for the post of the Senior Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayor, respectively. The elections to these posts are scheduled for January 1.

Mr Surinder Singh, one of the senior party leaders, emerged as the dark horse in the ongoing tussle between two different groups of the Congress. He has also been the senior deputy mayor. There was a clear divide between the names given by Mr Bahl and Mr Bansal. However, the final selection was a setback to the Bahl group, which had all eyes on the Mayor’s post. In fact, Mr Chandermukhi from the Bahl group and Mr Pradeep Chhabra from the Bansal group were all along being projected as the hot contenders for the post.

Despite hectic parleys, it was not easy for the Congress to choose its nominees for the top slots in the MC due to the lack of consensus between the two groups. The observer, Mr Tewari, who came to the city this afternoon to choose nominees, took the views of all party councillors and as many as 22 CTCC members before announcing the names for all three posts, nominations for which are to be filed tomorrow.

On being asked about the criterion for selection for the mayor’s post, he clarified “it is not about the views of the majority but certain other factors such as what is in the larger interest of the party and the city, the ability to undertake developmental works and giving a chance to everyone in the party etc.”

The names were decided upon after consulting both Mr Bansal and Mr Bahl and we are all one as a party, he added and that there was no dispute. A former Member of Parliament from Rewa during the tenure of the 13th Lok Sabha, Mr Tewari was talking to senior representatives of the high command in Delhi briefing them about the developments in the local unit soon after the announcement.

However, if someone does not want to file nominations due to personal reasons, the names of other candidates can be considered and that explains the last-minute changes, explained Mr Tewari. The party observer tried his best to convince Mr Chandermukhi to file his papers, but he declined. Ms Shyama Negi and HS Lucky, on their part, said they would abide by the decision of the party high command and file their nominations tomorrow.

Sources in the party maintain that Mr Bahl tried to get two of the three posts for his supporters, but Mr Chandermukhi foiled his attempt by declining to accept the one offered to him. Mr Bahl said, “The decision of the party is final, it is hukum-e-ilahi and acceptable to me as a party president.” The party as a whole will support the nominees, he said.

Mr Chandermukhi said he would not oppose any of the nominees and cited personal reasons for not contesting for the post of the Senior Deputy Mayor. His supporters confirmed the same and said it was below his dignity to contest for the same keeping in view his seniority. Ms Shyama Negi had reportedly rejected the Deputy Mayor’s post offered to her for 2005 as she considered herself to be a strong contender for the Mayor’s post.

The Congress, which had promised at least one of the three important posts to each of its 15 councillors during its five-year tenure, apparently flouted it today and this was the cause of resentment among a section of councillors, sources add. Earlier, all councillors, owing allegiance to both Bahl and Bansal, had knocked the doors of the high command in Delhi due to lack of consensus in the party over the mayoral nominee.

Mr Bansal also said that the decision of the party high command was abiding and there was no question of any conflict.

As many as 16 CTCC members and 11 councillors supported Mr Bansal and authorised him to take a decision on their behalf. Mr Bahl group had a consensus on Mr Chandermukhi as the mayoral nominee, having a support of only three-four councillors and a few CTCC members.

While the BJP might announce its candidates for filing nominations to any of the three posts tomorrow, Mr Vijay Rana, an independent, will also be filing nominations for the post of Deputy Mayor tomorrow, it is reliably learnt.



One killed in road accident
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 25
One person was killed while another was seriously injured in an accident involving a scooter and truck late last night. Elsewhere, two unidentified scooterists snatched a mobile phone. Besides, the local police held one person for allegedly indulging in gambling.

Giving details of the fatal accident, sources in the police department said a truck (HR-37-B-3561) hit a scooter near the railway bridge road at around 11 pm on Saturday. Vijay Kumar of Daria village died on the spot while Sanjiv Kumar of the same village sustained serious injuries in the accident. Both the victims were rushed to the Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital. Vijay Kumar was declared dead on arrival.

The police has registered a case of causing death due to rash and negligent driving against the truck driver, Mulk Raj, of Kangra in Himachal Pradesh.

Mobile phone snatched

Mr Ravi Gokhar of Phase III, Mohali, lodged a complaint with the police that two unidentified youngsters, riding on LML Vespa scooter, snatched his mobile phone near Sector 7 and 26 dividing road on Saturday. The complainant gave two numbers (CH-01-H-6166 and CH-01-6166) to the police. A case has been registered in this regard.

When contacted the investigation officer said the investigations revealed that both the numbers given by the complainant were wrong as they belonged to different vehicles and did not match with the make of scooter mentioned by him.


The local police arrested Ashok Kumar, alias Kaka of Sector 22 from the same sector for allegedly indulging in gambling at a public place on Saturday. The police recovered Rs 2100 from his possession. A case under the gambling Act has been registered at the Sector 17 police station.



Dream home a pipedream in Zirakpur
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, December 25
Owning a dream home in Zirakpur, the fastest growing township in Punjab on the Ambala-Chandigarh highway, is proving to be a pipedream for the common man.

With the land prices skyrocketing, owning residential property is proving to be an Herculean task for the middle and the lower middle class. Not to talk of freehold plots, owning an apartment is going out of reach of the middle class if the prices quoted by certain private builders are any indication.

A random survey of the real estate market showed that the cost of a three bedroom flat ranged from Rs 25 to 32 lakh. On the other hand, the cost of a two bedroom apartment is anything between Rs 16 to 22 lakh depending upon the location, quality of construction and provision of the basic amenities.

The high cost of the flats has put the salaried class and small-time traders in a piquant situation. Mr Sham Lal Sharma, a private sector employee, said he nursed a dream of owning a house in Chandigarh about a decade ago. However, he was never successful in any of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) schemes.

And now with a budget of about Rs 12 lakh, Mr Sharma is finding it difficult to own even a flat in Zirakpur. He is contemplating buying a house either in Dera Bassi or Kharar.

However, the builders blamed the high cost of flats on the spiralling land prices. With the land available anywhere between Rs 3 crore to Rs 4.5 crore per acre in the Nagar Panchayat limits, building apartments is a costly proposition these days.

“The location of the residential complex determines the prices of the apartments in Zirakpur and buyers do not mind paying if they get state-of-the-art amenities,”Mr Pradeep Aggarwal, a promoter, said. The prohibitve cost of construction and competition among the builders to provide the best facilities had also pushed up prices, he said justifying the high prices.

In certain developed and PUDA-approved colonies like Silver City, which claims to provide basic amenities and pollution-free environment, the people are lapping up the apartments like never before irrespective of the prices. The latest scheme of the Silver City — Silver City Greens — which offered three bedroom apartment at a cost of about Rs 29 lakh was reportedly booked in a record time.

With speculation the order of the day, the prices will continue to be high. This coupled with the rising prices in the tricity, ensured high prices in Zirakpur, sources said.

In fact, the high prices in Zirakpur suited prominent Chandigarh-based property dealers as certain property dealers had stakes in the newly-developed colonies here. Already there are allegations that a cartel is pushing up prices in the tricity so that there was a spiralling effect on the rates in the periphery, the sources added.



Structured temples to be pre-dated
Reinterpretation of coins
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Dr Devender Handa
Dr Devender Handa

Chandigarh, December 25
A reinterpretation of coins belonging to an ancient Indian tribe, the Yaudheyas, has led historians to pre-date the existence of structured temples in India. According to Dr Devender Handa, a renowned numismatist and scholar, the earliest temples devoted to various Hindu deities are dated to the Gupta period (320 AD onwards).

“However, coins issued by the Yaudheyas, an indigenous tribe which was politically active from the 2nd century BC to the fourth century AD and settled in the Garhwal hills, have on their reverse side structures of temples that enshrined Shiva, Vishnu, Indra, Balrama etc,” said Dr Handa here today.

The Yaudheyas were among the oldest known tribes in India and were settled in the Rohtak region till they were forced to shift to the Garhwal hills following the advent of the Kushanas. “They were worshippers of Kartikeyan, the six- headed war god, and have a depiction of him on the obverse of their copper coins. The reverse of the coins have his six-headed wife Sashthi. But there are other coins issued by the same tribe which have the figure of a deer and a temple structure on the reverse. Since these coins were not generally available for examination, the true import of the temple structures could not be studied. Till recently, when a hoard of 43 copper coins obtained from Tehri- Garhwal came to light,” he said.

A study of this hoard and another set of similar coins available at the British Museum led to a startling discovery. “The temple structures were of more than 40 types and many, we realised, were devoted to known Hindu deities. This was an important revelation since before this it was generally believed that separate temple structures for various deities had begun during the Gupta period which is dated to the 4th century AD,” he said.

Delivering the key-note address during the inaugural session of a seminar on, “Coinage of the North-West India”, organised by the Department of Ancient Indian History and Archaeology at Panjab University here today, Dr Handa pointed out that other than the reinterpretation of coins already available, the hordes of coins discovered recently at Sugh in Haryana had revealed the existence of a new indigenous dynasty of kings led by King Kada who ruled in Yamunanagar, Haryana, in the 3rd century BC.

“In fact, this hoard includes coins ranging from the time of the Mahajanapadas to the Kadas. I have dated some of these coins to the Kuru Mahajanapadas. The same site, Sugh, yielded a bowl of miniscule silver uniface coins, a discovery first of its kind in this region of India. Also remarkable is the discovery of India’s first octagonal coin from this hoard,” he said.

Dr Handa said a very big hoard of about 3,000 silver coins that was discovered from the Sugh-Dehra Dun belt fell into the hands of dealers and was ultimately dispersed. “Also, a great limitation for the Indian scholars studying coins of the North-West is that most of the area forms part of present-day Pakistan and Afghanistan and all our information regarding coins discovered in these areas comes via the West,” he said.



Antique coins find many buyers
Tribune News Service

A single gold coin of King Nigalamakamalla Dandinagova of Burma-Bhopala of Toragale (AD 1187-88) sold for Rs 36,000 at the Todywalla auction. The reserve price of the coin was Rs 26,000. This was the highest bid of the day (see image). A set of three gold coins attributed to Pragmalji (AD 1860-1875) fetched Rs 37,000 reserved at the same price.

Chandigarh, December 25
Academics took a back seat at the 89th annual conference organised by the Numismatic Society of India, hosted by Panjab University here today. While the seminar where academic papers were being read attracted just a handful of those who had registered for the conference, a majority of people were busy striking deals on the university campus, buying and selling coins, stamps bank notes, medals and post cards.

An auction of coins and medals by renowned numismatist Farokh Todywalla took place in the English auditorium in the evening.

Around 50 dealers and collectors had registered for the auction.

The exhibition of collection of coins going on at the PU’s museum and art gallery turned into a sale of coins, old watches, bank notes and stamps. Prices varied from Rs 20 a coin to Rs 20,000 a coin. “It’s worth it to buy a coin for Rs 20. For collectors, these prices are affordable,” said a collector from Delhi.

When asked if a receipt was being issued for the sales that were taking place, one of the persons running the stalls said these were not normal sales but were being done to “promote” coin collection as a hobby.

The highest deals were reportedly struck out on the grounds of the Gandhi Bhavan, where dealers from across the country reportedly sold and bought coins and worth lakhs. “I am here with a wad of Rs 10 notes issued in 1970. I have been offered Rs 2500 for them but I know they are worth Rs 10000. So I have decided not to sell,” said Mr Rakesh Walia a city-based philately writer.

Meanwhile on the second day of the conference, Prof Veer Singh, Dean University Instruction, inaugurated a seminar on coins of North-West India. In his inaugural address, he highlighted the importance of history as a discipline.

Prof Ashwani Agrawal, Dean Faculty of Arts, and director of the seminar, introduced the theme of the seminar. The coins from the North-West region are the earliest coins available to us. He referred to “nishaka” as the medium of exchange referred to in the Rigveda. Earliest bent marked coins belong to the north-west region. The Yaudeyas, Kunindas, Adumbaras all issued coins of various varieties. Indo-Greeks, Indo-Parthians, Sythians Kushanas also issued most copious currency in gold, silver and copper. He also referred to rare pieces of Guptas from the North-West. In the early medieval period, Hindushahi rulers issued various coins which remained in circulation for long and continued under Muslim rulers with some modifications.

Prof N.K.Ojha, Chairman, Department of Ancient Indian History, Culture and Archaeology, proposed a vote of thanks.



Ray of hope for depositors
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 25
A ray of hope has emerged for hundreds of people of the city, who have deposited lakhs of rupees with Prudential Capital Markets Ltd, a Kolkata-based company by way of fixed deposits and bonds.

Running into crores, the finance company had failed to give the matured value of the money to the depositors, despite the lapse of the maturity period. The depositors had moved the Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission.

The state commission has upheld an earlier order of the District Consumer Forum by which the chairman of the finance company, Mr Vinod Baid, had been sentenced to undergo imprisonment for one year and to pay a fine of Rs 5,000. In case of default of payment, the chairman had to undergo further imprisonment of six months.

Coming down heavily on the finance company, Prudential Capital Markets Ltd, Kolkata, the State Commission has expressed concern over the manner in which financial companies swindle crores of rupees of the depositors and their original directors resign and disappear and peons and clerks of the company were made directors. It was done to escape any liability when the depositors claim their money, said Mr KC Gupta, president, Maj-Gen S.P. Kapoor and Ms Devinderjit Dhatt, both members, in a recent order passed by the Commission.

Initially, when the consumer forum issued notices to the chairman, he did no respond and the orders for imprisonment were passed in 2002. Then the chairman approached the State Commission after over three years, stating that since the summons were issued at the address of the company, he did not respond as he ceased to be director of the company with effect from November 1998.

The counsel for the Chairman said through an order of August 2004, the depositors were directed to file their claims with the official liquidator in view of a judgment of the Calcutta High Court. After hearing the plea of the chairman, the commission dismissed it.



Recall 2005
Murders, suicides kept cops on their toes
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu

Chandigarh, December 22
The incidents of murder, suicide, snatching and theft kept the Chandigarh Police on its toes throughout 2005 even as the police struggled to keep crime under check through various ‘‘people-friendly’’ schemes.

If on the one hand the police succeeded in solving some old murder cases, on the other certain policemen were caught red-handed while taking bribe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The city was shocked by incidents of murders this year as 18 persons were killed this year. On an average two persons were killed in every three months. Sex angle and robbery were cited as motives in a substantial number of cases in which victims were brutally done to death. In some cases the assailants killed people for a few hundred rupees.

On May 1, a Sector 18 resident Brij Rani, an old woman, was killed by an electrician. In another incident involving a crime of passion a rickshaw puller’s wife and her paramour allegedly chopped off his head in May this year. Illicit relations were also stated to be behind two other killings in which the bodies of victims were found in jungle of Maloya village in February and December this year. A Punjab Food and Supply officer was bludgeoned to death in August this by three rag-pickers who wanted to rob him.

The incidents of suicides dominated the pages of newspapers every other day throughout the year. Stress and tensions of modern-day life claimed several lives in the city as on average at least eight incidents suicides in a month were reported to the police. Incidents like the one in which a mother committed suicide after hanging her seven-year-old son in Sector 45, sent shock waves in the city. Even people belong to the upper class like Dr Babita Kaura succumbed to depression and committed suicide.

Sukhna Lake, a major tourist attraction of the city was in the news throughout the year as 11 persons committed suicide there and two children were drowned in the lake by their mother. A rise in the number of suicide cases forced the city police to step up vigil and to increase patrolling in the area to prevent people from taking the extreme step.

As many as 1,287 cases of thefts and 209 cases of burglaries were reported from January till November 30 this year. On an average at least four cases of theft and burglaries were reported every day. Despite the fact that the police set up anti-snatching nakas in the city on regular intervals, on an average at least four incidents of snatching took place ever week. The police also arrested a number of persons involved in snatching incidents this year, but the snatchings continued.

During interrogation, the thieves and chain snatchers told the police that they took to daring crimes because of drug addiction. The increasing use of drugs has resulted in a higher number of burglaries, chain snatchings and thefts. Though the Chandigarh Police has registered a large number of the cases in the city under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance Act, but those arrested were generally the drug users or small time drug peddlers or carriers. The big fish managed to escape the police net. However, this year in February the Narcotic Control Bureau created ripples in the city after arresting an alleged Israel national along with two other persons with 155 Kg of charas from the Industrial Area Phase - I. The arrest brought the fact to the light that international drug smugglers were active in the city on a large scale.

The call girl racket in the city and surrounding areas is estimated to have spread its tentacles beyond the control and also reflected the breaking down of the social norms. The police managed to arrest people indulging in flesh trade but did little to curb the menace.

As the Delhi Police arrested Jagtar Singh Hawara, the alleged assassin of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh this year, the Chandigarh Police managed to bring him to the city for questioning in the jailbreak case. But even after prolonged interrogation of Hawara, the local police could not establish new facts relating to the case. 



City flights cancelled yet again

Chandigarh, December 25
All three flights to and from Delhi to the city were cancelled again today. Officials at the Chandigarh Airport attributed the cancellation of the flights due to bad weather in Delhi. It was the fourth day today when the flights of Jet Airways and Air Deccan were cancelled. Indian Airlines flights, though operational yesterday, were also cancelled today. Sources said if the weather did not improve in Delhi, the flights were expected to be cancelled for the fifth day tomorrow also. Though not confirmed by officials, the sources said the Air Deccan flights for tomorrow had already been cancelled.

Trains too were delayed for the fourth day today. However, it being a Sunday, the morning Shatabdi was not operational. The evening Shatabdi was, however, on time. The Howarh-Kalka Mail was two hours behind schedule. The Railway authorities attributed the delay to poor visibility and fog in Delhi. If the weather did not improve in Delhi, the trains were expected to be delayed tomorrow morning too. — TNS



CTU staff told not to take part in strike
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 25
The CTU Employee and Workers Union Chandigarh today made an appeal to CTU employees and workers not to participate in the December 26 strike.

A spokesman of the union, in a press note issued today, stated that the unions comprising the CTU Workers Joint Action Committee had decided in a gate rally held on December 23 to protest on December 26 at 12 noon in order to pressurise the management to suspend a CTU conductor, Davinder Kumar and two other CTU employees.

It was also mentioned in the press note that the issue involving a quarrel between CTU’s Senior Assistant Amar Singh and the three employees was an internal one and both the parties should resolve it amicably. The union asked the CTU employees not to take part in the strike as the issue related to workers themselves and had nothing to do with the management.



Balmikis’ protest spoils town’s image
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 25
Panchkula was caught in the national limelight this year- courtesy the arson and rioting by Balmikis in protest against the torching of houses of a certain community in Gohana. Aided by certain local politicians, the rioting spoilt the cosmopolitan image of the town for good.

For most residents, Dalits protesting against the Gohana incident, came as a shock. Staying in the most urbane of townships in north India, most residents could never fathom that arsonists would run amuck on the roads, smash their vehicles, prevent their free movement or destroy their beautiful green roundabouts. A CBI inquiry was later ordered by the state government, but the outcome could not be known till the end of the year.

But this was not the only highlight of the year. One of the biggest changes was the change in political leadership in the state. The scales turned in favour of the Congress, and the local MLA, Mr Chander Mohan, was taken in the Cabinet as Deputy Chief Minister. The political change in the state also had a cascading effect on the local Municipal Council politics.

Ms Seema Chaudhary, Indian National Lok Dal leader, was removed as president through a no-confidence motion. Inspite of opposition from the Councillors owing allegiance to Mr Chander Mohan, Mr Tarun Bhandari, a supporter of local MP, Ms Selja Kumari, was elected president. Though efforts were made to remove him by passing a no confidence motion, these efforts remained unsuccessful.

Because of the political turmoil in the Council and a large number of inquiries being initiated against Municipal Council, the civic amenities in the town went from bad to worse. Stray cattle, pot-holed roads, defective street lights and poorly maintained parks in the town remained an eyesore for residents.

With land becoming a prized possession, a number of private colonizers started buying land and demarcating colonies in areas near Barwala and Raipur Rani. The Department of Town and Country Planning, Haryana, agreed to initiate a process of declaring these areas as controlled areas.

The biggest achievement for the township was the initiation for the setting up of an Information Technology park here. In November, Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) allotted 97 acres to Haryana State Industrial Development Corporation (HSIDC), for setting up the park. The IT corridor is expected to come up on 250 acres. While 97 acres has been allotted in Sector 22, the remaining 153 acres will be allotted for the purpose in Sector 32.

This year, Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) was able to restore some faith in those investing their money in housing schemes after it successfully won a long legal battle and took out the draw of lots for residential plots in Sector 2 and 6 of Mansa Devi complex here. Though no major projects were initiated by HUDA in Panchkula this year, it was able to conduct three successful auctions of commercial property. The first auction held in April this year, yielded Rs 18.64 crore, followed by another auction in June yielding Rs 16.61 crore. However, the auction of commercial property, including hotel sites, held in October, was the most successful as it netted Rs 104 crore.



X-mas greetings via SMS
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 25
SMS greetings, it seems, are picking up in a big way for all festivals now. Today being Christmas, there was an overwhelming response over SMS transactions on all major cellphone operators.

Officials in Spice Telecom claimed that an astounding 75 lakh sms messages were exchanged by their subscribers to greet each other today. “The traffic was more than double the normal SMS transactions,” an official spokesperson said. Though Airtel did not disclose any figures for the exchange of messages, officials of the telecom company said the transactions were over two times the normal traffic.

The traffic in the SMS for Christmas greetings was at its peak between 8 am to 10 am.

Officials of Spice Telecom said that certain value added services, which were especially launched for the festivities, too, did well with the customers. Special wall papers, picture messages, ring tones, quotes etc. also generated a large number of hits, as did downloading of Christmas jingles.



Viykings organises X-mas bash
Tribune News Service

Couples enjoy Christmas party at Hide Out in Panchkula
Couples enjoy Christmas party at Hide Out in Panchkula on Sunday.

Chandigarh, December 25
Viykings, an event organising club, today held Christmas bash at Hide Out in Panchkula. As many as 150 boys and girls enjoyed the party. The revellers danced non-stop throughout the party, where snacks and drinks were sponsored by Bacardi. Amar, head of the club, said, the club has been organising parties on a large scale.

The party animals loved the mix of music played by one of the famous DJs Varun.

According to Amit and Aprajita, co-heads of the club, the club will hold its next party on February 14.



Christmas celebrated

Chandigarh, December 25
Rotaract Club of Chandigarh celebrated Christmas with children of Bal Niketan, Sector 15. The President of the club, Misha Pratap, dressed up as Santa Claus and distributed gifts among the children. Earlier this week, the Rotaract Club in association with Bal Niketan had organised a children’s week from December 20 to 24, where many events and competitions were organised. TNS



Patient in need of help


Chandigarh, December 25
Ramesh, a resident of Adarsh Nagar Bank Colony, Mani Majra, is running from pillar to get aid for the medical treatment of his ailment.

Once a proud owner of a courier company, he has now fallen on bad days and can hardly earn any money to continue with his treatment. In March 2005, he was diagnosed with an ailment of the stomach and had to be operated upon at the GMCH, Sector 32.

After surgery, he cannot eat regularly and has to be operated upon again. TNS



Krishna mandal council elected
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 25
The elections to the working council of Sri Krishna Bhakti Ashram Mandal were held today in which the following were elected. Swami Satyanand Ji Maharaj was elected as the chief patron and R.K Prabhakar, B.L Bansal, Pankaj Sharma, S.L Bansal, S.K Sharma, R Sharma, S.K Monga, R.S Shastri, S Sharma, M.L Sharma, R.C Lo, N. Bali, S. Moudgil, B. Mittal, S. Gupta and S. Sehdev were elected patrons.

In addition to the above O.P Walia, J.P Dubey, K.R Singla and R.G Verma were appointed as the vice-presidents, R.L Bansal as the general secretary, D.S Sharma as the assistant general secretary, J. Johar as the treasurer, K.C Sharma as the propoganda officer and Y. Attri, S. Chopra, D. Narad, S. Kaushal and B. Arora as the organising secretaries.



1 held on abduction, rape charge
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 25
The local police arrested a resident of Colony number 4 on the allegations of abducting and raping a 15-year-old girl. The police also arrested a woman, who was allegedly instrumental in the abduction of the victim.

Sources in the Industrial Area police station said Raju Khan and Sunita, both residents of Colony number 4, were arrested from the locality following secret information on Saturday. A complaint was filed by the victim’s father in this regard, earlier.

The victim’s father reported to the police that his daughter had gone missing on December 11, the day she went to attend a marriage ceremony of Sunita’s daughter. When his daughter failed to return that day, he along with his family searched for the girl on their own. Later the matter was reported to the police and report was registered in the Industrial Area police station.

Police sources said later it was found out that Raju Khan and Sunita had abducted the victim. Following this, the police launched an operation to nab the accused and on Saturday night the police arrested the accused and recovered the victim from their possession. The medical examination of the victim confirmed the rape.

Both the accused were today presented before a local court, which remanded them to judicial custody till January 7, 2006. Meanwhile the victim was handed over to her family.



Cash, jewellery stolen from hotel
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 25
An amount of Rs 45,000 and gold ornaments were reportedly stolen today during a marriage ceremony that was going on in a Sector 17 hotel.

Sources in the Sector 17 police station said Mr R.K. Walia, the father of the bride, who was in city for the ceremony alleged in his complaint that Rs 45,000 and gold ornaments were stolen in Shivalikview Hotel this afternoon. He told the police that a purse containing valuables belonging to the mother of the groom was also stolen during the function.

The police said a case of theft had been registered in this regard. The SHO of the Sector 17 police station said the complainant had not furnished the details of valuables contained in the stolen purse belonging to the groom’s mother. He said the matter was under investigation and the police would watch the video recoding of the ceremony after the wedding.



Bungling charge against contractor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 25
The management of the Nirvana Cooperative House Building (first) Society, Sector 49, in a representation to the UT Administrator has alleged that a bungling of Rs 4 crore had been done by the contractor of the society, M/s Gora Lal, Builders and Engineers. The money had been drawn in excess of the actual work done in connivance with the previous management of the society.

Addressing a press conference, the president of the management, said the police and Registrar, Cooperative Societies, failed to take any action. He stated that officials in the Cooperative Department were not helping in recovery of the record.

A spokesman of the contractor dismissed the allegation of the management and stated that around Rs 1.22 crore was due on the society. He claimed that original members had got status quo from the high court on proceedings of the society.

Mr S.K. Miglani, an Inspector with the Registrar, Cooperative Societies, said all relevant records had been given to the management.

A police official said the DSP, South, had called different parties in connection with the complaint filed with the SSP.

Meanwhile, members of the society alleged that SHO, Sector 3 police station, did not act against the labour of the contractor who had come to the spot despite being barred from coming there. They alleged that the police was shielding the contractor.



Woman killed in road mishap
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 25
A 32-year-old woman was killed and four others were seriously injured when the Maxx Pik Up van they were travelling in was hit by a Tata 407 truck near Pinjore today.

The victim, Vimla Devi, died on way to the hospital. The accident took place on the Pinjore- Nalagarh road. All five women sitting in the rear of the Maxx Pik Up van were injured.

The injured women- —Kaushal, Nella, Manjit and Neha— have been admitted to a hospital in Kalka.



NRIs’ convention on January 14, 15
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 25
The Punjab Government with the Chandigarh Administration and the International Punjabi Chamber for Service Industry (IPCSI) will be organising an international convention of the non-resident Indians on “Business Opportunities in Service Industry and Infrastructure Development” on January 14 and 15.

The focus of the convention will be on employment and entrepreneurship, according to Punjab Minister for NRIs Amarjit Singh Samra.

On the occasion Punjabi Parvasi Divas would also be organised, which would mirror the rich cultural heritage of Punjab. A number of eminent Indian corporates were also expected to be on the common platform for exploring the possibility of joint collaboration and partnerships with their NRI counterparts.

Mr Samra said the two-day convention would cover an array of service industry segments including infrastructure development, retail, real estate, banking, insurance, other financial services, telecom, information technology, media and entertainment, healthcare and biotechnology, airlines, hospitality, tourism, human resource development, knowledge capital and knowledge outsourcing. In view of its importance to the state’s economy, rural and community development had also been included in the agenda, he added.

He said a large number of NRI professionals, investors, entrepreneurs, developers, businessmen, medical practitioners and IT experts were expected to participate in the convention. Experts from related fields had been invited to speak and share their views with the participants, he said.

“With constant improvements in global communications and technology, it has been our endeavour to engage the NRIs to play an increasingly significant role in accelerating the economic growth of the state and thus help us in creating employment opportunities for our youth and in eradication of the poverty.” Mr Samra said.

He said with their appeal to the non-resident Indians to consider Punjab as a good investment destination, which has now well-developed infrastructure, availability of skilled human resource and conducive environment with transparency in administration, the ensuing convention would go a long way in motivating the NRIs to take up service industry-related projects besides philanthropic and other social activities in the state, especially in its rural areas.

The minister said the convention would also provide an opportunity to the NRIs who would be participating in the convention to visit places of pilgrimage and worship in Punjab. They may also be visiting industrial centres like Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Amritsar to see for themselves manufacturing units, trade and commercial centres for possible collaboration.

Earlier, the Commissioner (NRIs) said the Punjab Chief Minister would be the chief guest at Punjabi Parvasi Divas. He said a formal structured approach had been adopted to clear the projects to be developed by the NRIs, adding that there would not be any delegate fee for the participants. He said 50 per cent matching grant would be provided to those NRIs who were keen to develop their villages.

The IPCSI secretary-general, Dr Gulshan Sharma, said Manjoj Kumar, B.R Chopra and Mohinder Kapoor besides some other eminent film personalities, would be honoured with lifetime achievement awards for their contribution to promoting film and entertainment industry in Punjab. Some eminent Punjabi NRIs would also be honoured for their outstanding contribution to the development of the state’s economy.


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