C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Enough evidence against Pawandeep: police
Blood-stained jacket recovered from his Gurgaon house
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 12
The Chandigarh Police today claimed to have achieved a breakthrough in the sensational triple murder case with the recovery of a blood-stained jacket from the Gurgaon apartment of Pawandeep, the elder son of slain Group Captain T.P. Singh. The Group Captain’s car, allegedly used by the killers to get away, has also been recovered. The car was abandoned in a bylane near Pawandeep’s apartment there. Stating that this was enough evidence to link Pawandeep with the killings, the police today issued a look out circular (LOC) to trace him.

Group Captain T.P. Singh was found brutally murdered along with his wife Shibani and sister Ajit Kaur in his Sector 34 residence last Tuesday.

A senior police officer said Ms Chaya Chaudhury, mother of Shibani, told the police that she would provide the details of the missing documents on Monday. The police said the list of the missing documents would help link Pawandeep to the killings. About the recovery of the weapon used in the killings, the DSP added that the police was working on the case and soon they would be in a position to link the remaining parts of the case.

The DSP (South), Mr K.I.P. Singh, said the Special Investigating Team (SIT) constituted by the Chandigarh Police to solve the triple murder had recovered the Maruti Zen car (CH-03-R-0970) of the victim from near the Gurgaon-based residence of Pawandeep. The killers had taken away the car after committing the crime. He added that the search of the car led to the recovery of two blood-stained vests, believed to be left behind by the killers. The car and the blood-stained clothes would be brought to the Central Forensic Scientific Laboratory (CFSL) here for analysis.

About the possibility of Pawan’s involvement in the gruesome triple-murder, he added that the circumstantial evidence, so far gathered, definitely pointed towards him. He said despite the fact Pawandeep had been duly informed about the killings on Wednesday by the police and the family members, he did not turn up to the city till date. He also did not try to contact his family members during these days. Thus the needle of suspicion pointed towards him and it grew stronger with each passing day.

The police issued the LOC against Pawandeep following which all international airports, sea-ports and other exit points of the country were alerted to prevent him from leaving the country. The police has sent his photograph and other information to the authorities concerned, where he is likely to take shelter. His accomplice(s) are being identified for which separate police parties have been dispatched to various destinations across the country to apprehend them.

Asked how the police zeroed in on Pawandeep, the DSP said during the quizzing of the neighbours and the owner of the flat, where he was residing, they told the SIT members that Pawandeep had taken two floors of the building on rent. Out of which one was occupied by his colleague in the office, Ms Pearl, and the other by him and his unidentified associate. He added that according to information available Ms Pearl and Pawandeep were planning to get married.

The doors of the flats were open and no one was found there. The preliminary inspection of the premises it appeared that the occupants had left the place in a hurry and failed to lock it.

A strong team of police officials has also been rushed to the north-eastern state, where Ms Pearl is supposedly residing with her parents to conduct raids. Various police teams have fanned out in the area of Delhi, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh to nab the associates of Pawandeep.



Open liquor sale near Jayanti Devi temple
Police turns a blind eye as devotees protest
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 12
Even as the Punjab Government is spending crores of rupees to bring the 550-year-old Jayanti Devi temple at Kharar on the religious tourism circuit, the laid-back approach of the Punjab Police authorities could bring a bad name to the historic place.

For the convenience of the Bacchus lovers, a liquor contractor was allegedly allowed to run a mobile liquor vend and an ahata a few metres away from the road, which leads to the Jayanti Devi Temple.

A picture clicked by The Tribune lensman shows some policemen savouring drinks, indicating that the seller of liquor had the patronage of the police. For the past three days, the illegal vend operated from the roadside but none of the policemen on duty for the mela at the temple took cognisance of the activity

The Mullanpur SHO, Mr Tarlochan Singh, when contacted, claimed that on getting information around 4 p.m. the vend operator was directed to close his shop. However, when The Tribune lens man clicked the pictures around 5 p.m., the business was going on as usual.

“Since for the past three days a festival has been going on at the temple unscrupulous elements thought of using the opportunity to selll liquor near the temple”, said an irritated devotee, who saw the mobile vend doing brisk business.

On getting information about the activity, The Tribune team on reaching the spot found that a Mahindra Jeep was parked in a field along the roadside and the Bacchus lovers were savouring liquor, which was being sold at double the actual price. Enquiries revealed that liquor had been brought from a liquor vend at Mullanpur.

For the convenience of the tipplers, an ahata was also being run near the mobile vend where eatables were being sold.

Enquiries revealed that a few years back the villagers had forced the closure of a liquor vend in the village on sidelining the sanctity of the place housing the temple.



Mohali residents protest hike in water, sewerage charges
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 12
Mohali residents today held a rally against the hike in water and sewerage charges in the township.

Hundreds of residents gathered at the Phase 3-A park and raised slogans against the Department of Local Bodies for increasing the rates sharply.

According to Mr Manjit Singh Sethi, former councilor, "The increase in water and sewerage rates had been done in August 2005 but following a strong protest by the residents, the decision was revoked. This month the residents received bills calculated according to the new rates and additional charges had been added for pending payments on account of the hike," he said.

The worst hit are hundreds of residents living in kanal houses and those running commercial ventures in the township.

The water supply department has charged these residents sewerage rates equal to the water bill. Earlier the sewerage charges were calculated at the rate of Rs 15 per toilet seat in the case of domestic connections irrespective of the size of the house and Rs 30 per seat in the case of commercial connections.

In Chandigarh, water usage charges were calculated at Rs 4 per kilolitre per month and the sewerage rate was calculated at the rate of Rs 10 per seat per month. In Panchkula, the water use charges were calculated at the rate of Rs 1.24 for the first 15 kilolitres, at Rs 2.50 for 30 kilolitres and at Rs 4 for 45 and above kilolitres. The sewerage, in Panchkula, is calculated at the rate of Rs 8 per seat.

In Mohali, from August 2005, the water usage rate was increased from Rs 1.80 per kilolitre to Rs 3.20 per kilolitre.

Irrespective of the number of seats, sewerage charges have been made equal to the water bill in case of kanal houses.



Serving soldiers denied compensatory land
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 12
Serving soldiers, who were among those evicted from the Escorts Farm in Kashipur last month, are reportedly being denied allotment of alternate land by the Uttaranchal Government. Nor are they being considered for grant of compensation for destruction of their houses.

The plea being taken by the state government is that the soldiers concerned are still in service and hence, are not eligible for land allotment or compensation, according to members of an ex-servicemen’s association who visited the area recently.

Secretary-General of the Ex-Servicemen’s Wing of the Shiromani Akali Dal, Col P.I.S. Phukla (retd), told The Tribune that a delegation had travelled to Kashipur a few days ago and had met the aggrieved soldiers as well as ex-servicemen there.

He claimed that one of the soldiers concerned had even met Member of Parliament Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa at the residence of an MLA from Kashipur, Mr Harbans Singh Cheema, at the latter’s residence, where Mr Cheema had confirmed the state government’s denial of land allotment on the aforementioned reasons. The soldier had carried his service identity card as well as documents establishing his land holdings.

Several serving soldiers affected had also met the SAD President, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, earlier in this regard.

It may be recalled that about 250 families, said to be mostly Punjabis and Jats, had been evicted from 1,200 acres of farm land in Kashipur in Udham Singh Nagar last month after the land had been declared as surplus following a Supreme Court ruling. A number of ex-servicemen and serving soldiers were among those evicted.

After the issue flared up and acquired a political tinge, the Uttaranchal Government had worked out a compensation formula, where all married members of a land owing family would get 3.5 acres each, while people whose houses were demolished would get appropriate compensation.

Colonel Phulka said a detailed report, including the particulars of soldiers who are being deprived of their benefits, had been prepared and was being forwarded to the central and state governments for pursuance of the matter.

He said among the incidents which came to their notice were the destruction of houses of two serving soldiers, burning down of a cattle shed belonging to a soldier on active service and two instances where the fathers of serving troopers had been seriously injured in eviction-related violence.



Project to check dwindling population of foxes
Vishal Gulati
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 12
Capture Indian foxes and breed them in captivity. This is a programme to check their dwindling population.

A proposal in this regard, prepared by the Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological Park, Chhatbir, has been sent to the Central Zoo Authority, New Delhi, for approval. The five-year breeding programme will cost Rs 2.41 crore.

Known for its clever and shrewd nature, the Indian fox or “loomri” as it is locally called, is found throughout India, from the foothills of the Himalayas to the Indian peninsula. Its size is smaller, and is slimmer than the red fox. Its diet comprises rats, birds and insects. It is known for controlling rodent menace.

Like other states, so as in Punjab, it is rarely seen in fields and grasslands. It’s hunted for its skin and flesh. Excessive use of pesticides and urbanisation have also put the animal under stress.

The fox has been listed in Schedule II of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. The IUCN has put the animal in the “least concern” category.

Says the Director of the Chhatbir zoo, Dr Kuldip Kumar: “It is high time to save the species. To protect it from extinction and to preserve the gene pool, its conservation in the wild through a breeding programme is the only viable alternative.”

According to field studies, the species has already vanished from many parts of Punjab and is surviving only at isolated places.

Indian foxes are known to suffer from large population fluctuations mainly due to diseases such as rabies, canine distemper and canine parvo-virus that are transmitted from domestic dogs, says Mr Abi Tamim Vanak, who studied the distribution and status of the Indian fox in southern India in 2005.

Regarding the project, Dr Kuldip Kumar says initially three pairs of fox will be captured from the wild. The animals can also be brought from some zoo if genetically healthy pairs are available.

It is estimated that three pairs will be able to produce nearly 100 animals in five years. The reintroduction and release programme could be undertaken after third year if breeding becomes successful in the first year. The captive-bred animals will be released in protected areas.

Regarding the inbreeding problems being faced by captive species in India, Mr Vanak says: “It is usually not a problem in the short term. If the captive population is being maintained for several years (6 to 7 years) then new individuals need to be introduced into the captive population.

For setting up the breeding centre, the Chhatbir reserve forest has been identified.



Youth hangs himself to death
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 12
A 24-year-old youth allegedly hanged himself to death at his Sector 43-B residence here late last night when his beloved reportedly got engaged to some one else. The police said though he held no one responsible for his extreme step, the family of the victim told it that he was in love with a girl, who was engaged elsewhere.

Giving details of the incident, police sources said Mukesh Chander was working with a Sector 8-based call centre. The incident came to light when Mr Surinder Kumar, father of the victim, went to Mukesh’s room after he did not come out late in the morning. On finding the room locked from inside, Mr Surinder forced open the door and found Mukesh hanging from the ceiling fan. He raised the alarm and the police was informed about the incident.

Quoting the suicide note, the police said the victim held no one responsible for his extreme step. He wrote in the note that he did not want to live any more. The body was later handed over to the family without post-mortem.

The police has initiated inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the CP. Cr in this regard.



Smack seized
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 12
The police today claimed to have seized 20 grams of smack from two persons worth lakhs of rupees in the international market.

Giving details, the Station House Officer, Phase VIII police station, Mr Manmeet Singh, said Satnam Singh and Sartaj Singh were arrested from a naka in phase XI on suspicion. A case under NDPS Act has been registered.



Industrial Area roads to get new lease of life
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 12
Driving through Industrial Area may not be as hard. The long standing dispute between Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) and the local Municipal Council (MC) over the repair of roads in Industrial Area here has finally been resolved. The government has now entrusted the work to the state PWD department.

Senior officials in the MC informed TNS that the state government had recently sanctioned a sum of Rs 90 lakh to the local body for carrying out various developmental activities. The MC had decided to utilise these funds for the construction of roads in Industrial Area and Sector 16, after HUDA outrightly objected to repair of the roads.

Earlier, the roads in the township were maintained by HUDA. After the MC was formed, HUDA was supposed to transfer the maintenance work of roads to the MC, after having repaired the roads.

However, MC officials alleged that the roads in Industrial Area had been transferred to them by HUDA, without having been repaired. HUDA officials said they had repaired the roads some time ago, and when these were transferred to the MC, they were in good condition.

As the two agencies locked horns over the issue, the condition of the roads in Industrial Area worsened. Pot holes, lack of storm-water drainage, caved-in road stretches - the roads had become a nightmare for commuters. Rues Mr Satish Gupta, President of the local unit of Haryana Chamber of Commerce Industry,” On one hand, the government wants to promote industry in Panchkula and on the other, they have failed to give basic infrastructure like roads and street lights. Though the issue of repair of roads was discussed in various meetings with the district administration, nothing has been done to recarpet the roads”.

Senior MC officials informed TNS that after HUDA refused to recarpet the roads, the matter was taken up at the highest level and the PWD department was asked to repair the roads. The estimates for carrying out the repair/ recarpeting had been prepared and sent for administrative approval to the Financial Commissioner, Urban Development, Haryana, and for technical approval to the Chief Engineer, PWD Department. The PWD Department is likely to begin the road repair in March,” he informed.



Cong exploited backward classes, says Shanta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 12
The all-India vice-president of the BJP and former Himachal Chief Minister, Mr Shanta Kumar, today flayed the Congress for its alleged “exploitation” of the backward classes for the past over 55 years.

Addressing a function organised in connection with Guru Ravi Dass jayanti at Mauli Jagran here, the BJP leader alleged that the Congress had paid only lip service to the downtrodden. It was the BJP, which had launched the “antyodaya yojana” for the supply of rationed commodities to the economically-weaker sections of society at subsidised rates, he claimed.

He said the teachings of Guru Ravi Dass had given the message for the uplift of the backward class. His teachings of tolerance and universal brotherhood hold relevance even today, he added.

The BJP, he claimed, was not based on any particular religion and caste.When in power at the Centre, the party had given maximum representation to persons belonging to the Dalit community and the backward classes. A former local MP, Mr Satya Pal Jain, alleged that the UPA government was pursuing “anti-people” policies and the common man was finding it difficult to make both ends meet.

Prominent among those who spoke on the occasion included Mr Yash Pal Mahajan, president of the local unit, Mr Sachin Lohtiya, president of the SC morcha, Mr Anil Dubey, president of the Tenements Cell, Mr Bal Krishan Kapoor, general secretary, Ms Kamla Sharma and Mr Rajesh Gupta, both councillors of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh.



30,000 take Railways test in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 12
Much to the relief of the Railways authorities, around 30,000 candidates used special long-distance trains to reach the examination centres for the written test conducted by the Railway Recruitment Cell, Northern Railway, for Group D posts. The test was conducted at 127 centres in Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula.

Apart from the four special trains, two trains were run from Ambala. To ferry the candidates from the station to the examination centres and back, the Railways authorities had arranged 50 buses of the CTU.

Initially, the Railways authorities had expected that over 50,000 candidates could be using the trains to reach the city. The figure of the candidates, who reached the city by road, could not be ascertained.

A senior Railways officer told The Tribune that in the morning the special trains reached the station between 6 am and 7.30 am and the reverse trains were run between 2 pm and 5 pm. The special trains did disturb the movement of the other long distance trains and they were being run from platform no. 2.

Though the Railways had made additional arrangement for reservation, it took some time for the rush to clear. There was hardly any space left for the movement of passengers on the platform. A strong posse of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) was deputed to maintain law and order. The entire staff of the Ambala Division and the Chandigarh Railway Station was on duty to assist the candidates.

The second and third phases of the test would be conducted on February and March 3, respectively.



Dog show a big draw
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 12
Rhythmic beats of thumping music were not required for them to display their grace. No one even missed the psychedelic lights as they paraded across the lawn with the elegance of a belle dancer, or else marched up and down with the dignity of a macho muscleman. Oblivious of the effect they produced on the onlookers, they acted astutely during the question-answer session and carried out the instructions, obediently. As the rounds continued, man's best friend beamed at the crowd proudly — all during the dog show organised today in Leisure Valley, Sector 10.

But once away from the glitter, some of them huffed and puffed in closed metal cages placed in open stalls under the bright afternoon sun or barked anxiously as their owners went away even for a few minutes.

For some of the dogs, it was nothing less than an ordeal. Not used to seeing so many dogs at one place, except at the dog clinics, they huddled closer and closer to their owners. Tied to poles and to parked cars, some barked, others whimpered.

Their plight, however, went largely unnoticed by a majority of the onlookers as they gazed at the breeds they had seen only in posters, or had read about in the novels. They gathered around the stalls to admire Miniature Pinscher, Pekingese, Poodle Miniature, Welsh Corgi, St. Bernard, Neapolitan and Bull Mastiff, along with Great Dane and Rotweiller. For them, there were booths offering soft and cozy bedding, miniature folding beds, synthetic bones, special vitamin-enriched packed diet and steel utensils for feeding the "furry ones". Giving details of the show, one of the organiser said over 300 entries had been received by the club for today's show.

Meanwhile, for a large number of visitors, cute and cuddly tailwaggers were not the only pets getting approving glances during the show. Cats in golf caps and leather jackets over tight fits too attracted the crowd.



Guest house owners meet Bansal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 12
A delegation of the Village Guest House Association, Chandigarh, met MP Pawan Bansal in connection with the move by the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation to seal the guest houses in the villages. The problems being faced by guest house owners were conveyed to the MP.

Despite the assurance of the officers of the Corporation that no action would be taken against the guest houses till February 14, the guest houses were sealed.

The members of the association said all the guest houses were built up within the red line and only on the berms of the road. They further alleged that the Chandigarh Administration while allowing use of 50 per cent of the residential premises for commercial purpose had not taken their consent.

Mr Angrez Singh, an affected person, said after the acquisition of their land and shifting of milk diaries, the villagers had no other option but to built up the guest house for their survival. A number of people who could not afford expensive guest houses in the city depended on the guest house in the villages.



Bansal flags off “prerna yatra”
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 12
The Minister of State for Finance, Mr Pawan Bansal today flagged off the “prerna yatra” organised by the Chandigarh Territorial Youth Congress (CTCC) from The Tribune Chowk.

Addressing the CTCC activists, Mr Bansal highlighted various achievements of the UPA Government, including the Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and the Jawahar Urban Renewal Programme.He exhorted the party workers to take inspiration from the party stalwarts, who made supreme sacrifices for the nation.

The CTCC president, Mr H.S. Lucky urged the party activists to spread the Congress ideology to every nook and corner of the country.

The Mayor, Mr Surinder Singh, Mr Ram Charan Gupta and Mr Anil Goyal were prominent among those, who spoke on the occasion.

The yatra passed through Industrial Area and culminated at Ram Darbar.



Rodrigues for egalitarian society
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 12
Punjab Governor and Administrator, Union Territory, Chandigarh, Gen. S. F. Rodrigues (retd), in a message on the eve of Parkash Utsav of Sri Guru Ravi Dass, today called for launching a crusade against discrimination based on caste, colour and creed and emphasized the need to work together for creating an egalitarian society.

The Governor further said that Guru Ravi Dass was an apostle of peace and human brotherhood and preached the ideals of socialism, secularism, equality and fraternity. His sacred ‘Bani’ in Sri Guru Granth Sahib is relevant for all time and shows the people the road for leading a virtuous, noble and purposeful life.

The Governor said that Guru Ravi Dass was born at a time when society was ridden by caste prejudices and social inequalities.

Through his deep insight and bold actions, he worked for bringing about a social transformation. His message of truth, universal brotherhood and mutual tolerance is ever more important in today's materialistic world.

General Rodrigues appealed to the people to follow the path shown by Guru Ravi Dass, in letter and in spirit and to strengthen the bonds of amity and friendship between people of different communities.



Regularisation of houses demanded
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 12
Leaders of the Joint Action Committee of various political parties today met the Union Minister of State for Finance, Mr Pawan Bansal, and demanded the regularisation of the houses in the Deep Complex, Hallomajra, and the scrapping of the “lal dora” for the villages in the Union Territory.

Led by Mr Devi Dayal Sharma(CPI), the delegation comprised Mr Gurpartap Singh Riar(SAD), Mr Mohammad Shanaj and IS Grewal(CPM), Mr Gurbachan Singh(NCP),Mr Rajinder Mohan Kashyap(JD-S), Mr Dilawar Singh(BSP), Mr Shiv Kumar Nishad(RJD),Mr Ajay Jagga(Janata Party), and Mr Shivi Jaiswal(SP).

The minister assured the delegation that he would take up the case of the Deep Complex residents with the Chandigarh Administration.He said he always had a sympathetic consideration for the interests of the villagers.

It may be recalled that residents of the Deep Complex had been sitting in dharna in support of their demands for the past over three months.



CBI Judge summons duty record of cop
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 12
The CBI Special Judge, Mr Jagdeep Jain, has directed the Chandigarh Police to produce the duty record of a constable, Rajesh Kumar, in a case of corruption registered by the CBI against another constable of the Chandigarh Police, Jaiveer Singh.

The orders were issued after the counsel for Jaiveer Singh moved an application under Section 313 of the CrPC for summoning of the record.

On the request of the counsel, the Special Judge also summoned the record of account in the Sonepat branch of Punjab National Bank of Hazari Lal, father of Rajesh Kumar. Jaiveer was suspended after a case of corruption was registered against him by the CBI in January 2002.



17 bulls meant for slaughtering freed

Dera Bassi, February 12
The local police arrested four persons from Kheri Gujran village, near here, and recovered 17 bulls from their possession.

Acting on a specific information, a police party raided a premises in the Kheri Gujran village and freed the bulls. The bulls were likely to be taken to Saharanpur for slaughter. The arrested persons have been identified as Irshad, Iqbal, Matlun and Mohammad, all residents of Saharanpur. A case has been registered. — TNS



Sahara launches FILMY channel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 12
Sahara One Media and Entertainment Limited today launched its innovative new movie channel, FILMY.

Launching the channel, Sunil Grover, an anchor with the channel, said with FILMY we hoped to redefine the way the viewers had perceived Hindi film channels over the years as it would present more than just movies to its viewers.

"It will be a filmi channel, to be enjoyed exactly the way we have enjoyed films with family and friends with all fun and entertainment that Hindi films stand for. We hope to recreate the same experience for viewers in their homes," Anirudh from the channel, added.

Adding spice to its innovative content are the four hosts. While Rokkky is a flamboyant megalomaniac, who enthralls viewers with his gags and celebrity interviews, Lal Gulab is the owner of a DVD library, who transforms into Lal Gulab--the Red Don--by night and is much feared across the "Filmi" underworld.

Lallan, contrary to the other characters, is the erstwhile "star" of Jaunpur, a simpleton, who dreams of making it big in Bollywood. Finally, the character of Ruchi Reporter gathers and brings you the latest Bollywood gossip and the "real" exposes, Anirudh informed.

A former student of the Department of Indian Theatre , Panjab University, Sunil Grover, who plays the character of Lallan, said his role would provide him an opportunity to be part of a new and entertaining way of presenting Hindi movie entertainment to the film buffs across the country with a unique narrative programme format.

Earlier, the Sahara One took its FILMI Yatra, an initiative of the new channel, to the city streets where star anchor Lallan was greeted by hordes of movies lovers and fans.


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