C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


 

Phone ‘tapping’ letter forged, says police
Registers case of criminal conspiracy
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 10
The phone tapping controversy in which telephones of six persons, including two judicial officers, were allegedly tapped by the Chandigarh Police, took a new turn today with the police terming the letter as “forged”.

Taking serious note of the issue, the police has registered a case of forgery and criminal conspiracy in this connection.

Addressing the mediapersons, the UT Senior Superintendent of Police (Headquarters), Mr Vivek Gogia, termed the controversy as an exercise to defame the police. He added, “It was an attempt to relate the national issue of phone tappings to demoralise the local police force. The matter is of serious nature. The advocate concerned should have cross checked the letter from the telecom department before highlighting it. Moreover, one has to go through various channels following the Supreme Court guidelines to tap telephone details.”

Mr Gogia, while rubbishing the authenticity of the letter, said the Principal General Manager of Telecommunication (PGMT) told the local police that no such letter had been issued by the department or its branch to the Chandigarh Police on January 2. He also added that the reference mentioned in the letter (1781/DSP/ Sector 9, dated November 19, 2005) was also found to be untrue as no letter had been issued to the Department of telecommunications here by the DSP.

The police has registered a case under Sections 419, 467, 469, 471, 474 and 120-B of the Indian Penal Code in this regard. The investigation of the case has been entrusted to the Crime Branch.

Meanwhile, Mr Arvind Thakur, a human rights activist, who received the letter allegedly issued by the Department of Telecommunication, Chandigarh, seeking a payment of Rs 13,000 from the UT Police for providing ‘phone records’ of two judicial officers and four city-based lawyers, including Mr Thakur, has joined the investigation. He also recorded his statement with the police in this regard.

Mr Thakur in his statement to the police maintained that he had received the letter at his Sector 44 residence on Sunday. He told the police that there was no postal stamp on it.

The list of six telephone numbers mentioned in the letter included the names of Mr M.M.S. Bedi, Sessions Judge, Mr Tejwinder Singh, Additional Sessions Judge, including the president of the Lawyers for Human Rights International, Mr Amar Singh Chahal, Mr Arvind Thakur, general secretary and Mr Navkiran Singh and Mr Tejinder Singh Sudan.

The Lawyers for Human Rights International has sent a representation seeking intervention of the Punjab Governor and the UT Administrator. Besides this, the letter was forwarded to the Chief Minister’s (Punjab) office, IG and SSP of Chandigarh Police and DGP of Punjab Police.

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Punjabpolice.com up for sale!
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 10
Is the Punjab Police out of the control of the Amarinder government in Punjab? It seems so from the official government website, www.punjabgovt.nic.in, that lists all departments other than the Punjab Police. Even more interesting is that what could presumably be the official Punjab Police web site — www.punjabpolice.com — is on sale for $ 400. Anyone can make a bid by logging onto the website itself.

“What you need, when you need it” is the catch phrase of www.punjabpolice.com which is offering of services like dating, matchmaking, weddings in Las Vegas, alcohol treatment, viagra pills, diet pills and weight loss programmes. To be fair to the Punjab Police, the website has been registered with Internic, the website registration agency, by someone who is now selling this website hoping to get a premium.

What baffles someone browsing www.punjabgovt.nic.in is that the Punjab Police is perhaps the only department that is absent. The website lists the state government’s schemes, basic statistics on industry, its strengths, education, etc. Departments like Jails, Punjab Home Guards, Sainik Welfare and Prosecution and Litigation find a mention along with major boards and corporation and cooperatives but the Punjab Police is nowhere, giving the impression that either the department does not exist or it is not within the purview of the government.

The webmaster of the site proudly proclaims “welcome to official website of Punjab, India”, with the “official” misspelt.

The responsibility has been passed to respective departments by inserting a small line at the end of the website stating, “The correctness of the content on this website is the responsibility of the respective departments/ organisations of the Government of Punjab”.

The domain name www.punjabpolice.com has been legally registered in the name of Go Daddy Software by Davinderpal Bhatia of New York and will hold this domain name till June 8, 2007. However, a special cell of the Punjab Police at Chandigarh has designed and hosted its website registered as www.punjabpolice.org. This site was last updated in September last year as it shows officers that have retired since. The crime bulletin, too, was last updated on September 6, 2005. As per this site, no crime has taken place since.

All is not well even with the link to the Chandigarh Police provided by the Chandigarh Administration’s official website, www.chandigarh.nic.in. A virus VBS. Redlof.B has loaded itself onto the website and attacked HTML files. According to Symantec, the makers of Norton Antivirus, VBS.Redlof.B is a visual basic script virus that appends itself to HTML files. As you log onto this link, the antivirus detects the virus in the window’s temp directory attaching itself to various files on the chandigarh.nic.in server. The server also has a dead link to the Public Information Officers on the homepage.

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Reliance schemes for fixed wireless phones
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 10
Looking to expand the trend of falling mobile tariffs to fixed wireless phones, Reliance Infocomm today announced two pathbreaking schemes for its fixed phone service.

In the first move, Reliance Infocomm has extended the One-India tariff scheme announced recently for Reliance mobile phones to Reliance fixed wireless phones. The company has also announced a new zero rental, lifetime incoming free scheme for its fixed wireless customers. “While mobile tariffs have fallen drastically due to competition in the past three years, fixed wireless phone tariffs have remained more or less static and have not witnessed much innovation. We would like to revolutionise fixed wireless phone tariff with these schemes. The One-India scheme is designed to change the way people perceive and use long distance calls. The lifetime free incoming scheme will make the landline telephony more affordable for the masses,” Mr S.P. Shukla, president (Wireless), Reliance Infocomm, said.

Under the One-India tariff plan, fixed wireless customers will be able to make calls anywhere in India for Re 1/minute.

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PILs seek CBI probe into land grabbing by the rich
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 10
Two separate petitions, both claiming to be public interest litigations, seeking investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into alleged nexus between top police officers and bureaucrats with the land mafia operating in the villages in the periphery of Chandigarh, came up for hearing today.

However, both petitions named different persons as being involved in acts of land grabbing, benami land transactions and illegal construction.

One petition filed by Joint Action Committee, Nayagaon, through its chairman, Mr Sat Prakash Mittal, and president Manjit Singh Kamboj, talks of an unholy nexus between land mafia and police officers, bureaucrats and ministers. It alleges that vast tracts of land have been acquired benami by senior police officers, bureaucrats and ministers. It names Gurdhian Singh, Gurbachan Singh and Ramkesh - all accused in the case relating to rape of a minor girl of Nayagaon - and two human rights lawyers Amar Singh Chahal and Arvind Thakur as the main persons involved in the benami sale of land in the periphery.

However, the second petition, this one filed by the Lawyers for Human Rights International (LHRI), Chandigarh chapter, through its president Tejinder Singh Sudan, alleges that politicians, senior police and civil officers in nexus with certain property sharks have "grabbed" land in Kansal and other villages in the periphery.

Some of these people, the PIL alleges, have even constructed palatial houses and other buildings on the land. The petitioner-organisation also stated that following revelations by one Sampuran Singh, who allegedly told them that over 577 kanals of land in Kansal has been grabbed.

Among the prominent persons named in the petition as having land in the area are Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee general secretary Parminder Singh Pinki (32 kanals and 15 marlas), Punjab Police DIG C.S.R. Reddy (28 kanals and 3 marlas), Punjab Police IGP Sumedh Singh Saini (36 kanals and 10 marlas).

The petition names Parminder Singh Pinki as the spearhead of the land mafia and alleges that he has encroached upon land in the area with the aid of the 16 gunmen provided by the Punjab Government. IPS officer Reddy is alleged to have land in the name of his father and one R.K. Reddy. Former IAS officer and Punjab Cricket Association chief I.S. Bindra also reportedly owns property at Kansal

The LHRI petition also alleges that locals who oppose the illegal activities of this powerful land mafia are implicated in false cases.

Incidentally, advocates Amar Singh Chahal and Arvind Thakur named as part of the land mafia in the PIL filed by the Joint Action Committee, Nayagaon, are closely associated with the LHRI.

Apart from seeking time-bound probe by the CBI, the writs also seek investigation into the role of officials of PUDA and other enforcement agencies who turned a blind eye, and, in some cases, connived to help land grabbing and illegal constructions. The LHRI has also sought protection for its office-bearers.

Today, during hearing of PILs, the Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Mr Justice D.K. Jain and Mr Justice Surya Kant asked counsel for the LHRI as to why it had not named as respondents the influential persons who owned land in Kansal.

Even as counsel was answering this poser, advocate Anupam Gupta stood up on behalf of IGP Saini and offered to accept notice on his behalf.

He asserted that the LHRI was trying to turn truth on its head. "It is a fact that Mr S.S. Saini, as head of the SIT constituted on High Court orders to investigate the Nayagaon rape case, was the first to seek a time-bound CBI investigation into all benami land holdings in the region. As for his own land, including that in Kansal, every property purchase was through cheques and is reflected in the income tax returns of Mr Saini," Mr Gupta asserted.

After hearing counsel, the Bench adjourned the matter to January 30, directing counsel for the Punjab Government to seek instructions from the government.

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Rural women age faster than the urban, says PU study
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 10
A Panjab University study has found that rural women in Punjab are ageing sooner than urban women. The study conducted by a former PhD student of the Department of Anthropology is based on various anthropometric measurements and physiological parameters of about 900 women in urban and rural Ropar.

One of the remarkable set of findings of the study revealed that urban women experience the menopause at a later age than their rural counterparts. Among the rural samples the average age at menopause is 48 years while among the urban samples this was above 50.

The PhD student Ms Maninder Kaur said these findings showed that this was due to nutritional differences, less infections, better medical care and awareness due to education available to urban women than their urban counterparts besides reproductive, socio-demographic and certain behavioral 
influences

“These findings are based on interviews and technical physical measurements of over 450 Brahmin women in Ropar villages and another 420 urban Brahmin women in the same area. All these women were in the age group 40 to 70 years.

In fact, the endeavour was to choose women with similar economic background so that the differences can be brought in sharper focus,” said Maninder Kaur.

The analysis of the rest of the data collected over a period of four years revealed that urban women had better developed bodies than rural women. Urban women were taller and heavier than rural women.

However, urban women reported higher blood pressures and fat content bordering on obesity than rural women mainly due to their sedentary lifestyle and eating habits.

The study also suggested that changes in lifestyle, especially increased physical activity among the elderly and a well regulated diet containing essential nutrients can produce beneficial effects on muscle strength, endurance and general well-being and also lead to a delay in the menopause among women.

An abstract of Maninder’s Ph.D thesis ‘A study of morpho-physiological variations among Punjabi rural-Urban Brahmin females of Roopnagar district with special reference to senescence’ has now been published in the latest Panjab University Research Journal (Science).

According to Prof Indu Talwar, Chairperson, Department of Anthropology who also supervised Maninder’s study, her work has contributed to the better understanding of the ageing process.

“Ageing takes place at the biological, psychological and sociological levels while senescence include the various post-reproductive changes that lead to a decrease in survival capacity of the organism,” she explained.

The World Health Organisation has suggested the process of “active ageing” for both individuals and populations. “This means to optimise opportunities for health participation and security in order to enhance quality of life as people age.

It allows people to realise their potential for physical social and mental well-being throughout life and to participate in society according to their needs, desires and capacities while providing them with adequate protection, security and care when they require assistance,” added Prof Talwar.

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Reforms mandatory to get grants under urban project
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 10
Cities selected for the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) would be required to introduce mandatory reforms to get grants under the project, explained Mr Anirudh Kumar, Director , Urban Development, Ministry of Urban Development.

He was speaking at a regional seminar on JNNURM at the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development (CRRID) here today.

Cities are facing a problem of migratory labour and growing needs of investments in infrastructure that is beyond the reach of the local bodies. The cities selected in the region for the project are Amritsar, Ludhiana, Chandigarh, Faridabad, Jammu, Srinagar and Shimla.

Mr J.P. Gupta from the CRRID gave an overview of the JNNURM. The scheme envisages to spend Rs 1,00,000 crore over seven years in cities across India. The expenditure would be shared by the Government of India on a specified pattern of which 50 per cent will be in the shape of grant from the Government of India.

He said the Central Government had a long list of reforms. This includes Rent Control laws, rationalisation of stamp duty, property tax reforms, computerisation of registration of land and property. The handing over of powers to municipalities to impose taxes and also decide upon spending is also part of the reform.

The Principal Secretary, Local Government, Punjab, called JNNURM the single largest initiative of the Government of India.

He said cities needed to prepare vision documents for the next 20 years and assess the needs of investment for financing the growing need of infrastructure.

He expressed doubts if the Municipal Corporations would be in a position to share the costs for the projects under the JNNURM. Earlier, Punjab Finance Minister, Mr Surinder Singla, inaugurated the seminar. 

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Power cuts likely
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 10
The Chandigarh Administration has appealed to the public to make judicious use of power to help overcome the serious power crisis in the city. This would ensure that no power cuts were imposed.

An official press note here today said at present, only 75 mw to 156 mw of power was available against the peak demand of 200 mw.

The shortfall in availability was being managed by overdrawing power at exorbitant rates from the Northern Grid. The reduction in allocation was due to stoppage of eastern inflow of power to the UT and also reduced allocation out of the unallocated quota by the Centre.

The high penalty for over-drawl had resulted in payment of approximately Rs 3.20 crore to maintain grid discipline. The NRLDC had threatened to switch off circuits to all stations feeding Chandigarh.

Efforts were being made by the Chandigarh Administration to get the allocation restored to the UT. Accordingly, the matter had been taken up by the Administrator at the appropriate level.

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Cold wave claims one life in Karnal

Chandigarh, January 10
One person died due to cold in the plains while higher reaches in Himachal Pradesh had another spell of moderate snowfall during the past 24 hours. A 70-year-old unidentified woman died of severe cold near the public health office at Nelokheri in Karnal district.

The cold wave conditions abated in parts of Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi today, according to the weather office here.

Certain areas in the plains experienced foggy weather in the morning leading to poor visibility at Pathankot, Adampur, Ambala, Sarsawa, Hindon, Bhatinda, Chandigarh and Palam in Delhi.

High peaks in the tribal districts of Kinnaur and Lahaul-Spiti and Kullu and Chamba districts of Himachal Pradesh had a moderate snowfall, plummeting the temperature.

The Rohtang Pass also experienced snowfall, aggravating cold wave in the Kullu valley.

The intense cold wave sweeping most parts of the state continued unabated today with the tribal valleys of Lahaul, Spiti and Pangi in Chamba district reeling under temperatures ranging from -10°C to -20°C.

The sky remained overcast in the rest of the state, including Shimla. The capital town recorded 8°C, which was six degrees above normal. Bhuntar in Kullu district recorded the minimum at 1°C.

Chilly winds blew across Patiala, despite slight increase in the temperature in Punjab, recording 3.6°C, three degrees below normal, while Ludhiana registered 4.9°C, one degree below normal. Amritsar showed a low of 3.6°C.

Haryana also recorded a rise in the minimum temperature which hovered two degrees below normal at Ambala, settling at 4.8°C.

Karnal reported 7.2°C and Hisar 5.8°C, one degree above normal.

Chandigarh also registered an increase in the mercury by three degrees but the temperature kept low as cold surface winds lashed the city during the day. The city recorded 5°C, which was still two degrees below normal.

The Delhiites also got some respite from cold conditions with the national Capital recording 4.3°C against yesterday’s 1.4°C.

There was no respite from the cold wave in the Kashmir valley.

The mercury again dropped in Srinagar recording -3.6°C.

However, Jammu was warmer, showing 8.7°C, one degree above normal. — UNI

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Passing Thru

Rajiv Juneja
Rajiv Juneja, director, marketing, Mankind Pharma, New Delhi.

What brings you to Chandigarh?

I, along with Mr RC Juneja, Managing Director, am here to announce the expansion plans of the company for the region. The company, which is ranked 7th in the all-India ORG-IMS Prescription Audit, plans to supports its expansion plans in the next two years.

What are the expansion plans of the company for the region?

A new state-of-the-art manufacturing plant, to be set up at Paonta Sahib in Himachal, will be operational by June 2006. Besides, the R and D facility in the National Capital Region will have capabilities in the areas of formulations development, contract research and the new drug discovery.

Your vision for Mankind in the next five years?

My vision is to make Mankind a Rs 1,000 crore company in the next five years by entering into export and lifestyle segments and emerging areas like contract research. Augmenting the company strength from 1,900 to 3,000 persons and the launch of the fourth division are also in the pipeline to make the company an Indian MNC.

— A.B.

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Tension over illegal occupation of dharamshala
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, January 10
Tension is brewing up among a section of residents of Majri village, adjoining Sector 2, over the illegal occupancy of the Harijan dharamshala, built in the old Panchkula village by the state government way back in 80s.

The dharamshala building, earlier controlled by the village panchayat, has now no official caretaker after the village fell within the limits of the municipal council constituted about three years back.

A section of residents pointed that about eight months back, a washerman, Raju, had wrested control of the Harijan dharamshala at the behest of a former sarpanch who had no legitimate powers and rights to allot or even rent out the Harijan public property.

Mewa Singh and others alleged that the former Sarpanch, Mohinder Singh, had been realising rent from the illegal occupant.

This was, however, denied by Mohinder Singh who maintained that it was on compassionate grounds that the building was given to help a poor washerman, Raju, rendered homeless as his ‘kacha’ house had fallen. He assured that Raju would vacate the building shortly after rebuilding his house.

But the former village sarpanch, Saroj Gulati, when contacted, did not agree to the contention and lamented that besides the dharamshala , the land donated by a village resident for school in the village too had been under the illegal control of some unauthorised village residents. As such the government should intervene and takeover the buildings. Sensing the gravity of the situation due to allegations and counter allegations by rival sections of residents, the municipal council president, Tarun Bhandari, also visited the disputed places in the village today and held discussions with the residents to diffuse tension and settle the issue as the rival groups were approaching district and police authorities.

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Kashipur pain finds echo in city
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 10
Residents of the city, hailing from areas in Uttaranchal where ‘sarkari’ bulldozers have reduced decades-old houses to rubble, are a shocked lot. Speaking to the Tribune, a cross-section of such residents were unanimous in denouncing the timing of the demolitions at Udham Singh Nagar in Uttaranchal.

Mr Praneet Singh Grewal, practising advocate at the Punjab and Haryana High Court, said: “We don’t have to say anything against the decision of the Supreme Court which came in 2004. We only condemn the way it has been carried out.”

Mr Grewal, belonging to Bajpur area in Uttaranchal, said: “ The time gap between the SC verdict and the final action shows clearly that the matter could have been planned better.

“ The chaos is reflective of the government’s apathy towards the basic needs of the people. We have known the people in the vicinity of the area since our childhood so the action hurt emotionally.

“The least the government can do now is to assure proper participation of the government’s agencies in providing relief so that everyone gets his due share and is rehabilitated.”

Mr Grewal rued: “ Punjabis had been unnecessarily targeted. Go back into history and you will only see jungles, mosquitoes and wild animals on the land where these people toiled to change the economy. The government can at least give them due respect.”

Mr Satwant Singh, a resident of area near Bajpur, said: “ The demolitions in Udham Singh Nagar during this part of the year were unfortunate.

“The whole exercise looks inhuman. It was disturbing to watch children, old people and ladies thrown out in the open exposed to the vagaries of the weather. The matter needed a professional handling.”

Mr Rajinder Singh, a stone crusher by profession and originally a resident of Sultanpur Patti situated near the site of demolitions, said: “ Mr N.D.Tewari, the Congress Chief Minister, was to be blamed for the unfortunate incident. Mr Tewari was held in high esteem by the Punjabis because he has stood with them in the past.

“ It is impossible to have carried out a demolition of this big a magnitude without his knowledge. I don’t think people are ever going to forget this.”

Mr Gurpal Singh, director of Sacred Souls School in Khaduan village near Kharar and who belongs to the same area, said: “ I am amazed at the way the entire demolition was handled by the government agencies — both executive and legislative.

“ Usually, people are sent notices before such a drive is carried out. I think the time chosen was inappropriate and the settlement deal of giving them alternate land and compensation could have been worked out earlier.”

Mr Jagjit Singh Sandhu, agriculturist hailing from Bajpur, tries hard to hold back his emotions.

He laments: “My family went there in 1928. They toiled with the mosquitoes and wild animals to give land the shape it is in now. I think the demolition was a pre-planned action of the government.

“I was at the spot when the demolition was carried out and there are many other illegal dwellings which should also have been demolished but they belong to the locals.

“We never wanted to be a part of Uttaranchal when the state was carved out of Uttar Pradesh but were given assurances.” 

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Air Defence Artillery Day celebrated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 10
The Air Defence Artillery (ADA) Day was celebrated at the Chandimandir Military Station, near here, today. Wreaths were laid at the Western Command War Memorial, Veer Smriti, to pay homage to the soldiers of the Air Defence Artillery who made the supreme sacrifice.

Major-General, Air Defence, Western Command, Maj-Gen Sunil Kumar Sinha, laid a wreath on behalf of all ranks. Serving and retired ADA officers hosted a social get-together for a distinguished gathering on the occasion. A ‘‘Barakhana’’ was also organised for all ranks in the unit.

Air Defence Artillery is now equipped with sophisticated weapon systems and supporting infrastructure in consonance with its motto ‘‘Akashe Shatrun Jahi’’, meaning destruction of the air enemy.

The units of Air Defence Artillery have participated with distinction in the 1965 and 1971 wars and in Operation Vijay in 1999.

The Air Defence gunners were awarded four Vir Chakras besides other gallantry medals and citations. During the Indo-Pak war of 1971 the gunners were awarded a total of 13 Vir Chakras, one Shourya Chakra and other gallantry awards. The Air Defence units have actively participated in Operation Meghdoot, Operation Trident and Falcon, Operation Pawan and Operation Vijay.

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Schemes for SC welfare reviewed
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 10
Ms Santosh Chowdhary, Chairperson of the National Commission for Safai Karamcharis, today reiterated the commitment of Central Government to the socio-economic uplift of sweepers and their dependents.

Reviewing various welfare schemes for Scheduled Castes here, Ms Chowdhary said the Prime Minister had formed monitoring committees to look into utilisation of various funds meant for the welfare of safai karamcharis.

She said an amendment had been made in the Minimum Wages Act on November 3 last year to ensure minimum wages to part-time workers, including safai karamcharis.

At a meeting with the Chief Post Master- General (CPMG), Punjab and UT, and representatives of the safai karamcharis, she reviewed the implementation of various centrally sponsored schemes such as the Integrated Low Cost Sanitation Scheme and the Valmiki Ambedkar Awas Yojana.

She urged the CPMG to fill vacant posts of sweepers and fix minimum wages for part-time sweepers. She also stressed on the need for ensuring proper education for children of the community.

The recommendations of the meetings would be submitted to the Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry, she added.

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Workshop on gender equity
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 10
The centre for Women’s Studies and Development, Panjab University, is organising a four-days workshop on “Gender equity through entrepreneurship development” beginning tomorrow

The workshop is being sponsored by the National Institute for Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development, Noida.

The main topics to be discussed include understanding gender, need for women’s empowerment, gender and development, need and importance of entrepreneurship, status of women entrepreneurs in India, internal and external barriers facing women entrepreneurs, setting up an SSI, rehabilitating SSIs, women’s socio-economic contributions in SSIs, women and micro-credit and finance, sharing of experiences, group work on strategies for entrepreneurship development among women, group reports and 
discussions. 

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Governor greets Muslims on Id-ul-Zuha
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 10
Gen (retd) S.F. Rodrigues, Governor of Punjab and UT Administrator, today greeted Muslims on Id-ul-Zuha, a festival observed in commemoration of Prophet Hazrat Ibrahim for his unflinching devotion to God.

In a message on the eve of the auspicious occasion, the Governor said Id-ul-Zuha (Bakrid) symbolises the spirit of sacrifice, unshakable faith in the benevolence and mercy of the Almighty and the need to work for the larger interest of mankind.

General Rodrigues appealed to the people to observe this festival in a spirit of devotion, compassion, brotherhood and to re-dedicate oneself to selfless service of the poor and needy.

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253 parking passes issued in 10 days
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 10
Municipal corporation officials have said that 214 passes for four-wheelers and 39 passes for two-wheelers have been issued in the past 10 days since the scheme was launched.

A pass for a four-wheeler costs Rs 310 and for two-wheelers Rs 160.The officials expect the scheme to pick up as more people come to know about it. Passes for February would be issued from January 25 to February 10.

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SP Dinesh Bhatt
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 10
The UT Senior Superintendent of Police (Operations), Mr Dinesh Bhatt, has been appointed to the Selection Grade of the Indian Police Services (IPS) with effects from January 1, 2006.
Mr Bhatt had joined the UT Police on May 3, 2005.

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Mohali resident held for duplicating artefacts
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 10
The Crime Branch of the UT Police today recovered three duplicate pieces of artefacts each from two leading stores in Sector 9 and Sector 26 and arrested a Mohali resident on allegations of manufacturing duplicate artefacts under the Copy Rights Act in this connection.

Sources in the crime branch said Mr Jagpreet Singh, proprietor of Ravi Kirti, Phase II, Industrial Area, had lodged a complaint alleging that Ebony in Sector 9 and Buyer’s Den in Sector 26 had been selling duplicates artefacts, designer glasses, pottery items, wall murals, master pieces and other such articles, originally designed by him.

The sources said a case under Sections 63 and 65 of the Copy Rights Act had been registered today. The police carried out raids at the shops and recovered three duplicate pieces from each shop.

The officials investigating the case told Chandigarh Tribune that during preliminary investigation, the shopkeepers told the police that they had purchased the goods from one Inderpreet Singh of Phase IX, Mohali, and showed bills for the same. Mr Inderpreet Singh has been arrested.

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2 foreigners held for credit card fraud
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 10
The cheating spree of two foreign nationals including a South African, ended today in Chandigarh when alert officials of ICICI Bank caught them while using a forged credit card. The accused had reportedly defrauded a Delhi-based branch of the bank to the tune of Rs 14 lakh by using the card. The police said the fraud could be manifolds as it was yet to interrogate them.

Giving details, the SHO of the Sector 36 police station said 46-year-old Calra Moore of South Africa and 26-year-old Allen Taylor were caught this afternoon when a team of alert officials of ICICI Bank nabbed them in a bid to buy two mobile phones worth Rs 26,000 from the Sector 35-based Akash Mobile Phone Agency. The bank officials informed the police. ICICI Bank has constituted a team of about 30 officials to trace the accused.

The police registered a case of forgery, attempt to cheat and criminal conspiracy under various provisions the Indian Penal Code and Section 14 of the Foreigners Act as Allen Taylor failed to produced his passport. The police said it was verifying the passport of Moore as something “incriminating” was found during investigations. Both accused were under intoxication when arrested. The SHO said during preliminary interrogation the accused told the police that they had forged an international credit card of a South African bank. They used the card and made purchase on it in Delhi worth Rs 14 lakh. The police said the ICICI Bank contacted the bank on the basis of the credit card number and the bank did not confirm the account and told it was non-existent. ICICI Bank, realising the fraud, alerted its branches regarding the forged credit card being used. When the accused used the card, the massage “error” appeared following which the bank managed to nab the accused.

The police said both accused reached the city on Monday from Delhi. They were staying in a guest house at Burail village and went out for shopping this morning. They would be produced before a local court tomorrow. 

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2 held for cheating, impersonation
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 10
The local police today arrested a Hisar resident and his brother-in-law on the allegations of cheating, impersonation and criminal conspiracy. Sudhir Kumar, the accused, was caught red-handed while allegedly appearing in a physical test in place of his brother-in-law.

Giving details sources in the Sector 34 police station said a case under Sections 419, 420 and 102-B of the Indian Penal Code has been registered on the basis of a complaint lodged by Mr H.S. Kandhola, Joint Commissioner of Municipal Corporation. He was conducting a physical test for the post of driver and fireman in the Municipal Corporation.

The sources in the police said Mr Kandhola alleged that Sandeep Singh had applied for a job and had come for a physical test today. He sent his brother-in-law Sudhir for the test and the fraud came to light during the verification of documents. The photograph pasted on the documents also did not match. Both the accused were nabbed on the spot and the police was informed.

The police took both the accused in custody after the registration of a case.

Car stolen: Mr Anshu Nangia of Sector 24 reported to the police alleging that his Maruti Car (CH-01-M-9411) was stolen from Sector 22 Super Bazaar on January 7. A case of theft has been registered in this regard.

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