C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Day of balloon sellers and cops
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 14
Where has all the love gone? All that could be seen on St. Valentine’s Day in Chandigarh today were khaki-clad policemen outside colleges and forlorn heart-shaped balloon vendors on roadsides.

Young hearts which should have been beating with love were either too bored with the same old thing or too scared of police lathis.

The Chandigarh police derived satisfaction from rounding up students from outside colleges this morning and later harassing car occupants taking rounds of Panjab University.

“Nowhere did students resort to action that would have given cause for police intervention. Can these guys be fair?” said Jaipreet, a student of the SGGS College, Sector 26.

According to a group of students standing outside the college, two boys were picked up while they were entering college. “They removed their helmets on nearing the college gates. Without provocation, policemen stopped them and took them to the police station. We have no idea why they did so,” they said, waiting for their friends to return.

The police seemed to be everywhere. At least 30 policemen were deployed at the SGGS College for Women, the Sacred Heart School and the St. John’s School.

The college had declared a holiday for today, but that did not deter the police. “We are sitting here since morning,” said the ASI outside the college.

The scene was similar outside the Government College for Girls and the Government College, Sector 11. “We are not bothered about the police. We are just waiting for our friends to arrive. Since we do not have vehicles, we will get into friends’ cars and go on the geri route,” said Harpreet, a student of the Government College, Sector 11.

“Today the geri is just for fun. We will go towards the girls’ college, after which we may go to the Rose Garden. It has nothing to do with girls,” he added.

Girlfriends and love seemed to be a big no-no at the university too. “Who has the time or the money to maintain a girlfriend? Girlfriends are a headache. I am happy without one,” said Naushad Ali, a university student.

Agreeing with him, Tarun said, “Girls do too much ‘nakhra’. The whole day is spent on trying to keep them happy. It is not worth it. Valentine’s Day is not the day one should propose. On Valentine’s Day, it seems fake. It is a day for those who are in love.”

Said Harry Sharan, an actor who had passed out of the university some years ago, “It is too filmy to propose on Valentine’s Day. Love is about feelings and not showing those off. If love has to be expressed, it can be done without saying a word. I do not believe in giving gifts and flowers as it raises expectations.”

“We are new to the college. This is our first year. We are excited, but there is nothing that seems to be happening here,” said Pooja, a student of the Government College for Girls, Sector 11, who entered the university with friends.

The university’s Students Centre seemed to be the Mecca of lovers today. Bored with inaction, the police resorted to making mountains out of molehills.

“The police stopped a car full of youngsters. There was no loud music. They had stuck red heart-shaped balloons on top of the car. The cops struck the car with lathis and forced the occupants to remove the balloons. Why do they not show this much alacrity in catching thieves?” said Sajan, a visitor to the university.

While Valentine’s Day turned out to be a damp squib in the city, love seemed to have found a new place to come alive — Mohali and its periphery, which housed many private colleges and had enough student population to make its presence felt.

“We had a steady stream of girls and boys buying flowers. Roses are selling like hot cakes,” said Ram Jasbir, a roadside flower vendor in Mohali. He added that he sold bouquets in large numbers today.



Very much in love even after six decades of marriage
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Octogenarian couple Tara and Jagdish celebrate Valentine’s Day in Sector 11 of Chandigarh on Tuesday.
Made for each other
: Octogenarian couple Tara and Jagdish celebrate Valentine’s Day in Sector 11 of Chandigarh on Tuesday.
— Tribune photo by Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, February 14
Youngsters do not have the monopoly over the Valentine’s Day celebrations. This is the impression one gets after talking to the octogenarian Malhotras — Jagdish Chander Malhotra and Tara — one of the oldest couples in the city for whom “everyday of the life has been a Valentine’s Day”.

In fact nearly six decades after they tied the knot, the happy-go-lucky couple continues to be on cloud nine even as the youngsters go berserk in the wake of the commercialisation of the “festival of love”. The simple joy of not only falling in love but “continuing to be in love” seems to be the guiding principle of their relationship.

“Jagdish brought me a box of chocolates today for he knew I would be annoyed if he did not. I love chocolates,” said Tara flashing childlike smile on her lovely face.

“There is nothing wrong in Valentine’s Day celebrations. Chandigarh has scores of discos and clubs to have fun and there is no need to display rowdyism on the streets,” quips Jagdish, a retired Chief Engineer from the BBMB, sitting in his Sector 11 residence just behind the notorious “geri route”. In fact, Jagdish came to know about the V-day celebrations when he shifted here after retirement in 1982.

“In our younger days, there was no Valentine’s Day celebrations. But that does not mean that love and affection were missing. Letters were favoured means of expressing one’s feelings for someone special,” Jagdish said.

“We knew each other before marriage as it was not a taboo in our family set-up,” said Tara, who was a student of Jesus and Merry Convent School at Dehradun. Jagdish was a student of the famous Doon School and couple had a “arranged-cum-love” marriage in 1947.

Though the commercialisation may have taken over the celebrations yet that does not bother the couple. After all it provides the couples—young and old—a chance to have lots of fun. What is the life without a little fun, summed up the couple, whose love for each other grows with the each passing day.



More balloons than couples on “geri route”
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 14
The flower of love did not bloom in the city as girls and couples stayed away from public celebrations — at least in the morning. Even the geri route, by and large busting at the brim with youthful exuberance, wore a near-deserted look as more balloon sellers than youngsters patrolled the streets on St Valentine’s Day.

In Leisure Valley and some other green belts across the city, the situation turned ugly as the activists of a political party indulged in “moral policing”. Some of the couples, whispering sweet nothings over the cacophony of affection, alleged that they were grabbed by their collars and forced to leave the place. In Panjab University and some other educational institutes, it was the local police playing the spoilsport.

It was only in discotheques, and in the evening, that tearing excitement broke loose. Soon after the cops pulled back the barricades erected on both ends of the geri route, enthusiastic revellers rushed down the fast track of affection in wildly honking semi-limousines with music blaring at full volume. No wonder, the forsaken love-lane running through the city’s history zoomed back to life even before the exhausted evening sun disappeared behind the buildings in the west.

Earlier during the day, old-timers cruising down the road cutting through Sectors 10 and 11 realised that love doesn’t live on the geri route anymore. The blockades were there, so were the cops, but the men-in-khaki did not declare the area out-of-bounds — something they had been doing for years. For, the usual furore was not there.

Even guys in jeeps decked up with fluttering balloons did not chase pretty damsels in cars with impressive speakers booming the latest hip hop numbers during the morning hours. This was not the end of it. Couples sitting tight on the motor bikes were also missing.

The scene was hardly any different on the Panjab University campus — so far the venue of prime celebrations. Scanning the horizon for affection, the youngsters could only spot idle cops leaning against the barricades using twigs as toothpicks. 



Washerman gets taste of Valentine fever
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 14
Riding high on the Valentine spirit, a youngster rammed his car into the boundary wall of a house in Sector 18 before tearing down a washerman’s kiosk erected along the fence this afternoon. He also hurled the choicest of abuses and blows at the cops trying to round him up. He was finally bundled in a truck by the cops and taken to the Sector 19 police station.

In the entire process, at least four cops sustained minor injuries, while the washerman Manjot Singh had a narrow escape.

Determined not to give up, the driver allegedly tried to wriggle away from the cops even as they sat on his chest and tied his feet with a muffler while nursing their wounds. He tried to muster help on his mobile phone and threatened the cops with dire consequences, eye witnesses said.

It all happened at about 2.10 pm. Allegedly driving the car at break-neck speed, he tried to negotiate a curve, but lost control and brushed the vehicle with the railing surrounding the green belt situated along the road before pulling down the washerman’s kiosk.

He himself had a narrow escape as a wooden beam supporting the canvas roof of the kiosk shattered the windshield. He then tried to pull the car out of the debris. Failing to do so, he allegedly rushed towards the road diving Sector 18 and 19, but was picked up by the cops on the way.



Taan-Trikz pull heart strings on Valentine’s Day
Tribune News Service

Two members of the pop band ‘Taan-Trikz’, Ulrich Gomes and Adil Manuel, pose before the Valentine’s Day concert of the band at Kala Gram in Chandigarh on Tuesday.
Two members of the pop band ‘Taan-Trikz’, Ulrich Gomes and Adil Manuel, pose before the Valentine’s Day concert of the band at Kala Gram in Chandigarh on Tuesday.
— Tribune photo by Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, February 14
“Till Bollywood is churning out music, why do you want us bands to produce records?” laughs Ulrich Gomes, the keyboard player of the Delhi-based band, ‘Taan-Trikz’, performing at the Airtel Valentine Concert at Kala Gram today.

A self-confessed “pop” band-Tony Fernandes guitarist, Braulio Soares bass guitarist, Greg D’Souza vocals (who incidentally is unwell so “session’s musician” Adil Manuel will play in his place) and Ulrich Gomes on the keyboards-this quartet from Goa with varied musical roots and affinities is ready to rock.

On the go since January 1996, when the band first came together to jam in Goa “for fun” and found they “clicked”, this motley bunch has managed to unite their individual interests into a cohesive unit of music.

“Between us we love hard rock, jazz, blues and pop. However, we are a commercial band as we have managed to put together all our styles and can play anything that the audience wants us to,” says Ulrich.

Formerly known as the “Rome of the East” alluding to Pope John Paul II’s reference to Goa, the band believes they need corporate backing and a strong doze of individuality to become truly global. “Although we have not even recorded our own album as yet, we are in the process of doing so. The music is largely pop with our own interpretation of course!” smiles Ulrich.

So how do they feel playing to cosy couples on Valentine’s Day today? “We are missing our own Valentines playing for someone else,” quips Ulrich. So today the crowds are going to be regaled with a repertoire ranging from the recent Bollywood craze, ‘Kajrare’ to the peppy ‘It’s the time to disco’ from the film ‘Kal Ho Na Ho’ to Kunal Ganjawala’s love anthem, ‘Bheege Hont Tere’ from the film ‘Murder in addition to “some rock”.

All of them self-taught musicians, they do believe training of some kind is beneficial to their understanding of music. While Ulrich is learning to play the piano, Adil has taken a course in western classical guitar.

Apart from music, which rocks their souls, Ulrich is a firm supporter of the animal rights groups PETA and PFA and is an avid collector of toy cars no less! “The best of antique cars, including a recently bought 1969 model Mercedes.”

While Braulio cannot be separated from his shades, Greg is a mirror freak and aspires to learn the sitar and Tony loves bikes, is a national footballer and loves his food!

Having performed in Chandigarh on numerous occasions, this is a home-coming of sorts, for they know how to make the city groove to their brand of melody. 



Euphoria 2006 ends on a euphoric note
Tribune News Service

Raveena BediRaveena Bedi, a second-year student of Guru Ram Dass Medical College, Amritsar, who was adjudged Miss Euphoria — 2006 held in Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh.

Chandigarh, February 14
Euphoria 2006 ended on a euphoric note with a Valentine’s bash at Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, here today. While folk dances ruled the day at the fest, the evening saw love strike the medicos as they participated in a “Made for Each Other Contest”.

Pooja and Pawan of the PGI, Rohtak, emerged winners in this contest which saw seven rounds in which each of the five couples tried to prove they were most compatible. From dumb “sharads” to dancing in sync with each other, musical chairs to letter writing, activity to impromptu answers — the contest came as a mixed bag for the participants.

Having danced the night away in the Valentine’s bash that rocked the students, they all seemed rearing to go this morning when the contests took off. A performance by singer Yugraj Singh was a surprise package for the students who thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

The organising committee of Euphoria 2006 too expressed satisfaction at the way things went during the four-day fest which took months of preparation and long hours of work.

Their efforts were applauded and recognised at the prize distribution function where winners and teams were awarded prizes by the Director-Principal of the college, Prof H.M. Swami.



Mohali to be hub of Edusat programme
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, February 14
Mohali will be the hub of the new Edusat programme for giving a boost to higher education in Punjab. A sum of Rs 10.33 crore has been released by the Chief Minister for providing Edusat facilities in the state. Kerala is the only state in the country so far to take advantage of Edusat.

The designs for the mega project, which is at a take-off stage, have been prepared and other formalities worked out. The work on the project is likely to start in February itself. The central hub and studio will be set up in Government Senior Secondary School, Phase III B 1, or Government College, Phase VI. Availability of space at both the institutions was being studied for the purpose.

The Indian Space and Research Organisation (ISRO) will be helping the Punjab Government in setting up satellite interactive terminals (SITs) in government colleges for improving standards of higher education.

Mr Bir Devinder Singh, Kharar MLA, who has put in concerted efforts for getting funds released for the Edusat programme, said here today that Rs 7 crore would be given to ISRO for setting up structures, antennas, etc, and Rs 3 crore would be spent on setting up studios.

He said Microsoft was interested in setting up an academy of computer sciences here and was also ready to set up studios for the Edusat facility in the same building. He said if the plans materialised the government would be able to save about Rs 3 crore that would have been spent on setting up studios.

The MLA said under the project 36 SITs and 12 receive only terminals (ROTs) would be set up in government colleges. Using SITs the state could set up a network of delivery nodes for taking higher education to remote areas. The Edusat facility would offer an enormous opportunity for exchange of quality knowledge and also bridge the gap between various locations. It would turn a new leaf in the system of higher education through dissemination of quality knowledge as well as offer an opportunity to a large number of students to seek clarifications.

He said since higher education was a key to acquire a competitive edge in knowledge-based society, Punjab aimed at developing a flexible and dynamic system of higher education which would respond to challenges in this competitive world.



Grid system not on course
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 14
A large number of nearly empty buses running on local routes indicate that the grid system of the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU), introduced more than a fortnight ago, needs a major relook for making the service more people-friendly and for its acceptance as an effective mode of mass transport.

Says Mr Ranjit Singh, president of the CTU Workers Union, “Buses plying on route numbers 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 14, besides several others, are loss-making propositions.”

He adds, “The CTU has been running into losses of about Rs 3 lakh each day. The system needs immediate review.”

A senior official says route numbers 2, 22, 9 and 10, besides several others, have been doing well.

The official confirms that the CTU has been witnessing a fall in revenue of about Rs 70,000 daily, but this is because of several other reasons.

The official says the revenue loss is largely because buses running out of the city have now been charging Rs 4 less for travel on city roads and long-route passengers in the city have also been paying less.

The CTU is reviewing the situation and an alternative action plan is expected soon.

The official says different routes are being studied on the basis of feedback from staff and the public and a report will be prepared and alterations will be made.

Officials say people are yet to familiarise themselves with the new routes and timings, but they will soon see the practical benefits of the system and bus routes will be displayed more prominently.

A section of CTU employees feel that no effective study was carried while planning routes and the idea is appealing, but several important routes have been left out.

A bus conductor says one of the biggest drawbacks of the new system is that most buses are not going to bus stands.

Mr Ranjit Singh says a rally will be organised at the ISBT in Sector 17 tomorrow to protest against the current form of the grid system.

He says slabs of passenger fares should be changed and the CTU should charge between Rs 2 and Rs 10, depending on the distance.



No lab test to diagnose Kawasaki Disease
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 14
There’s no laboratory test to diagnose the disease. There’s not even a known cause for it. While there is treatment available to tackle it, why it works is also an enigma that’s foxed doctors the world over. But that’s not all as far as Kawasaki Disease (KD) goes. KD is fast emerging as the commonest cause of acquired heart disease in children across the world

In India like elsewhere in the world, the disease is going underdiagnosed, observes Dr Jane Burns, Professor of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, University of California, San Diego,USA). She along with Prof Howard Kushner (Nat C. Robertson Distinguished Professor of Science, Emery University, Atlanta, USA) visited PGIMER, to record the emergence of KD in India.

“It’s very important to tell everybody about the disease because the diagnosis is being missed. The only information pool from the many cases identified worldwide is the similarity of symptoms. We can’t say why it happens, how it happens and what is the extent of its spread. We just know that KD exists in our world and there is an efficacious treatment for the problem,” she says.

Kawasaki Disease, affecting children under five years, leads to acquired heart disease. If not detected and treated immediately, it can result in heart damage and death. Its symptoms include high-grade fever for over five days which persists despite anti-biotics, extreme irritability, rash especially in the groin area, red lips and a “strawberry tongue”, redness of eyes and a peculiar swelling over the hands and feet.

“The diagnosis is based solely on the recognition of characteristic sequence of clinical features, which progress temporarily over a few days. All clinical features, however, are usually not present at one point of time — rather these evolve over a period of time. Since there is no laboratory test that can confirm the diagnosis, KD can easily be confused with other common febrile illnesses of children,” she added.

While the PGIMER alone has had 91 cases of KD, there are no statistics about it prevalence. “The catch lies in identifying and treating the disease early with intravenous gamma globin which must be administered in the first 10 days of the illness. However, the treatment is expensive, costing Rs 10,000 in a one-year-old and nearly double the amount in a fiver-year-old,” Dr Burns stated.

Maintaining that at least 20-25 per cent children of those affected with KD go on to develop severe coronary disease, the doctor explains. “We know this treatment with gamma globin works. We can’t say why it works but it definitely does.”

This visit to the PGIMER is part of a project funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Library of Medicine, USA.

The team would also be visiting centres in New Delhi and Thiruvananthapuram, where this condition is being diagnosed regularly.



MCC budget on all-time high

Chandigarh, February 14
The budget of the Municipal Corporation Chandigarh (MCC) seems to be on all time high. The estimates prepared by the MCC for 2006 has a proposed budget of Rs 165 crore.

The proposed budget (planned) shows a 123 per cent increase from last years’ budget estimate. While the non-planned budget shows an increase of about nine per cent. The MCC proposes to spend a large chunk of the money, about Rs 41 crore on acquiring land in various villages of Chandigarh and Manimajra.

The next major expenditure of about Rs 32.10 crore should be spent on improvement of roads, parking places and infrastructure facilities.

The MCC also plans to spend about Rs 9.46 crore for setting up a birds slaughter house and rendering plant and sanitation programmes. New tube wells, multi-storeyed parking facility in Sector 17, landscaping for the development of green belts/ parks, conversion of the existing circus ground of Sector 17 into exhibition ground are a few other areas, the MCC has made provisions for in its proposed budget layout.

The drastic increase in budget is being attributed to the income generated by the MCC by selling property, especially a Rs 108 crore deal in Manimajra. The UT administration would also give Rs 15 crore to the MCC. — TNS



30 J&K kids see world beyond valley
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 14
For 30-odd students from the remote confines of Kupwara in Jammu and Kashmir, traversing the national highways to Chandigarh and beyond was an altogether new experience.

It was for the first time these children had moved out of the Kashmir valley under the army sponsored people-friendly operation ‘Sadhbhavan’. Some of them had not even ventured beyond the environs of their native villages.

The aim of the tour was to familiarise the children with the rich and diverse Indian culture and have a glimpse of the lifestyle of people in different parts of the region. It would also provide them a window to the rest of the world and given them an opportunity to take note of the pace of development possible in an environment of peace and tranquility.

Ms Jawahira, a computer teacher accompanying the students, who now wants to join the army as an officer, said this was the children’s first exposure to the world beyond Kupwara. Kaniza Fatima, another teacher said the children were thrilled and often amazed at the sights they saw. She liked the markets here, but said shopping was an expensive proposition.

Acres of flat land and wide open spaces enchanted 12-year-old Mohamad Latif, while 14-year-old Taslim Ahmed was fascinated by the unending traffic whizzing by. Visits to the Sukhna Lake and the Rock garden were a novel experience for the children.

During an interaction with Lt Gen Paramjit Singh, Chief of Staff, Western Command at Chandimandir today, the visiting children expressed a desire to see the Taj Mahal.

The educational tour, which includes five teachers, was flagged-off on February 10 from Kupwara. During the 18-day trip, the boys and girls would visit several places in North India, including Delhi, Agra, Amritsar and Jammu and interact with civilian and military dignitaries. They left for Delhi today.



They tie the knot under High Court order
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 14
After months of struggle, her perseverance has paid off. On Valentine’s Day, Sammanna, the Chennai girl, finally married her elusive lover, Dildar Singh, at a Sector 38 gurdwara here today.

The couple tied the nuptial knot following a Punjab and Haryana High Court order. After initial reluctance, the boy agreed to marry the girl when she got a police case registered against him and his bail application was rejected by a local court.

But getting married was not a cake walk for this 20- year-old girl, who had resolved to fight for her right after being deserted by her lover in December last year. After facing piercing queries of the media and repeated visits to the courts, hundreds of kilometres away from the safe environs of her home, today she walked up to hold the hand of her truant lover.

“I love him and want to forget the past to live with Dildar”, she said as tears rolled down her cheeks. But the boy kept mum. Apparently opposed to the marriage, neither the family of the boy and the girl turned up at the wedding. A human right lawyer, Mr Arvind Thakur, who had been in fighting the case of the girl, acted as the girl’s brother. Other members of the Lawyers for Human Right International, Mr A.S. Chahal, and Mr T.S. Sudan, were also present on the spot. The lawyers and a handful of mediapersons were the baraatis.

The marriage was delayed for a few hours when the boy objected to the presence of a crew of TV channels. He gave some impatient moments to the human right lawyers and the media when he almost ran away from the Sector 38 gurdwara, only to return. He was in constant touch with her family members over his mobile.

Mr Thakur said we would argue in the court to put a binding on the boy so that he did not leave the girl again.

It may be mentioned that the girl moved by Punjabi men’s loyalty, love and valour, as portrayed by Sunny Deol in the block buster, “Gadar,” had fell in love with a Amritsar-based youth, Dildar Singh, while chatting with him on Internet.

The youth had brought her to the city on the pretext of marrying her. Narrating her woes to the police, she alleged that in January last she was forced to abort pregnancy by the boy and his family. Dildar had assured to marry her, despite the opposition by the boy’s family. And for now, all is well that ends well.



A ‘KIRAN’ for HIV positive
Sai R. Vaidyanathan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 14
A self help group— KIRAN (Knowledge for Information, Rights, Advocacy and Network) was set up today during a workshop on the rights of people living with HIV/AIDS.

The workshop was organised by the Voluntary Health Association, Punjab at Indira Holiday Home, Sector 24, Chandigarh.

The workshop was attended by over 30 HIV-positive persons who included BSF jawans, women and children. Executive Director Manmohan Sharma of Voluntary Health Association, Punjab; Coordinator Navendu Jha of the Drop-in Centre; Pushwinder Kaur of the Community Care Centre, Khuda Ali Sher and Dr Avnish Jolly, Coordinator, Chandigarh AIDS hotline discussed social and health issues with the audience while advocate Samreena Toor of the Human Rights Law Network discussed the legal issues related to their vocation and treatment.

"Valentine Day is meant to bring people together. KIRAN has been set up to gather HIV-positive persons at one platform, addressing their grievances and fighting for their rights," said Manmohan Sharma.

KIRAN plans to have similar workshops in different parts of the region. "We plan to raise the issues of free travel for HIV patients, pension for their dependants etc at various levels. Also, we want philanthropist organisations to join us to sponsor an affected kid's education or to support an affected family," said Dr Jolly.

KIRAN's coordinator, Narayan Das, who is HIV positive himself, can be contacted on mobile phone at 9815955484 or help can be sought at KIRAN's helpline at 0172-5016299.



Raising Day of Corps of Signals
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 14
The Corps of Signals celebrated its 96th Raising Day at Chandimandir cantonment near here. A social get-together, which was attended by serving as well as retired Signals officers was organised to mark the occasion.

For the Corps of Signals it has been a long and arduous journey from the days of pigeons, lamps, flags, hello and semaphore to state-of-the-art electronic exchanges, satellite communications and modern information convergence technology.

With emerging technologies transforming the very face of war and information being the new currency of warfare, “information warriors” of the Corps of Signals have enhanced and pivotal role to play in the future .

The Signallers in Western Command had provided communication support during the unprecedented floods in Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana recently. With elaborate access to the Army Switched Static Communication Network (ASCON), engineering of theatre specific voice and data network and laying an extensive network of optical fibre cables, communication infrastructure in the Western Theatre had been made adequately robust and reliable.

The Chief Signals Officer, Western Command, Major Gen A.S. Bakshi, has been appointed as the 46th Colonel Commandant of the Corps of Signals.



Pawandeep on way to city
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 14
Pawandeep, the main suspect of the triple murder case, who was arrested by the Special Investigation Team of the Chandigarh Police from Nagaland on Monday, is yet to arrive in the city. According to the police, he had reached Delhi in the evening on his way to the city and was expected to reach here late at night.

Pawandeep along with two other accomplices had allegedly killed his father Group Captain T. P. Singh (retd), his mother Shibani and his aunt Ajit Kaur in their Sector 34 residence on the night of February 6.

Sources in the police said during the preliminary interrogation, Pawandeep had identified his accomplices as Ravikant Tyagi and Anil Tyagi. Ravikant and Anil are cousins and were involved in criminal activities. Pawandeep had hired them for contract killing.

Chandigarh police has dispatched its teams to Ambeta Shekhan near Deoband in Saharnpur district to trace them. Sources in the police said the 9 mm pistol used in the murder of the Group Captain might have been procured by the Anil and Ravikant Tyagi from western Uttar Pradesh.



Accident victim succumbs to injuries

Chandigarh, February 14
Parbhash, who had sustained injuries in an accident on Monday, succumbed to his injuries in the General Hospital late last night. He was admitted in a critical condition after the auto-rickshaw in which he was travelling rammed into the Tribune chowk and turned turtle.

Giving details about the accident, the police said Uttam Singh of Kansal village, the driver of the auto-rickshaw, was driving his vehicle in a rash manner which led to the accident.

The police has arrested the auto-rickshaw driver on the charges of causing death due to rash and negligent driving. OC



Two held for killing old man in 2004
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 14
The special crime investigation cell of the Chandigarh police today claimed to have solved a blind murder case, in which 65-year-old newspaper hawker Hari Singh was strangulated to death at his Sector 30 house in April 2004.

The police arrested two persons in this connection, who along with their third accomplice had gone to the victim’s house to commit theft, but killed him instead.

They would be produced in a local court tomorrow.

The accused, identified as Kaka of Bapu Dham Colony and Vinod, alias Bittu, were arrested this afternoon.

The third accused, Anand, is dead.

The accused had earlier tried to mislead the police by saying Kulwant Singh, son of Hari Singh, had hired them for a contract killing.

The police had zeroed in on them and when the police called them to join the investigation, they allegedly tried to elude the police.

It was after the police nabbed them that during interrogation, they confessed to have killed Hari Singh.

They reportedly told the police that on that fateful night, they ransacked the house and were taking away Rs 50,000 and jewellery, but Hari Singh woke up, following which they overpowered him and Anand strangulated him.



Man sets self afire

Mohali, February 14
One person tried to commit suicide by setting his clothes on fire in Phase I here today.

According to the police, Ashok Kumar, a resident of Phase I, was taken to the PGI, Chandigarh. He reportedly sustained 40 per cent burn injuries. It is reported that Ashok Kumar, who plied a rehri, tried to take the extreme after he had a quarrel with his wife. — OC



Cop drowns to death
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 14
A constable of the Punjab Armed police allegedly committed suicide by drowning in the Sukhna Lake here this evening. The police was yet to find out the reason behind the death as no suicide note was recovered.

The victim was identified as 40-year-old Pawan Kumar, a resident of Phase VI, Mohali. He is survived by his wife and two children.

A woman told the police that she saw a man in an inebriated condition going into the water near the tower. The cops on duty pulled out the victim.

The victim had tied his hands and feet with a string. As he was breathing, cops shifted him to the Sector 16 General Hospital, but he was declared dead on arrival. 


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