C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Cops turn car thieves
7 of them among 9 held; 11 cars recovered
Our Correspondent

Nine car thieves, including seven Punjab Police constables, along with stolen cars at the operations cell of the Chandigarh Police in Sector 26, Chandigarh, on Friday
Nine car thieves, including seven Punjab Police constables, along with stolen cars at the operations cell of the Chandigarh Police in Sector 26, Chandigarh, on Friday. — A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, March 10
The operations cell of the Chandigarh Police arrested nine members, including seven Punjab Police constables, of an inter-state gang of car thieves and claimed to have recovered 11 stolen cars from their possession.

The police said several other members of the gang, including its Mumbai-based kingpin, and certain registration authorities were yet to be arrested and more recoveries were expected with their arrest.

Two of the arrested constables were posted as personnel security guards of two MLAs from Punjab while another one was posted with the District Transport Officer (DTO), Patiala. The Chandigarh Police has also informed the Punjab Police about its constables arrested by the operations cell. A Punjab Police official said the suspects were also wanted by the Punjab Police in several cases of vehicle thefts. Sources said the arrested constables were living a lavish life and used to travel in new swanky cars.

The police has recovered four Tata Indigo, four Maruti Zen and three Tata Indica cars from their possession.

Addressing mediapersons today in the operations cell, Sector 26, the Superintendent of Police (SP) (Operations), Mr Dinesh Bhatt, said the gang used to steal new cars from Maharashtra, Gujarat and several other places and smuggle these to Punjab. After the vehicles reached Punjab, the accused constables of the Punjab Police forged fresh sale invoices of these cars and got these registered in Patiala, Gurdaspur and Kharar in connivance with certain registration authorities in Punjab. Mr Bhatt said the in charge of the operations cell, Inspector Vijay Kumar, developed sources and obtained information about the gang. On March 4, Inspector Vijay Kumar, along with Sub-Inspector Jasminder Singh, managed to arrest Constable Harminder Singh, posted with the CID unit, Samrala, in Ludhiana. His arrest led to the recovery of a stolen Indica Car (PB-06-D-6540) and two registration certificates and forged documents. It led to the busting of the gang. Harminder led the police to arrest constables Kulwinder Singh and Balwinder.

About the modus operandi of the gang, Mr Bhatt said the gang worked in three modules. In the first module, Satnam Singh, a Mumbai resident, along with two accomplices, used to steal new cars from that part of the country and they smuggled these to Punjab by road. At the second level, a Sector 29, Chandigarh, resident and computer operator, Jatinder Singh, alias Jeetu, and his accomplices prepared forged invoices of the stolen cars and finally the cops of the Punjab Police arrested in this case prepared registration certificates of these cars to dispose of these.

The police managed to arrest another Constable Sukhpal Singh, who was involved with the other constables and the computer operator. Sukhpal disclosed to the police about the Mumbai-based gang members and following his information, Kulwant Singh, alias Kanta, was arrested from Mumbai.

The police has also arrested Constable Haridial Singh, posted with an MLA from Verka, Amritsar, and recovered three stolen cars from him. Two other constables—Surinder Singh, posted with the DTO, Patiala, and Jujjhar Singh, posted with a member of the Industrial Disputes Tribunal, Punjab, were arrested later. 



Rain spoils Kumble’s party
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

The family of Monty Panesar waits in the lobby of the PCA stadium in Mohali to meet him on Friday
The family of Monty Panesar waits in the lobby of the PCA stadium in Mohali to meet him on Friday. — Tribune photo by Vinay Malik

Mohali, March 10
The day two of the second Test match between India and England was expected to be special for two people — Indian spinner Anil Kumble and Monty Panesar of England.

While Kumble, and his fans, was hoping to clinch that elusive 500th Test wicket, Monty was looking forward to perform in front of his father and members of his extended family, who had come in large numbers to see him in action.

As it turned out, both would remember the day, though for the wrong reason.

Rain, which arrived about one hour after the start of the day’s play, ensured that Kumble bowled only seven overs in which he took the wicket of Paul Collingwood.

The situation is not likely to be any different tomorrow as well as the local Met Office has predicted light to heavy rainfall tomorrow.

Monty and his family, on the other hand, will have to wait till tomorrow and pray it doesn’t rain on Saturday.

The story of the second day was no different from yesterday’s. If the one session of the first day was marred by intermittent rain and bad light, continuous rain spoiled the whole day, except for one-hour play in the morning.

This is what Monty’s father Paramjit Singh had to say: “We are very disappointed as many relatives and friends left the city today without either seeing Monty in action or meeting him.”

Today, the entire family spent several hours in the Pavilion lobby in the hope of meeting Monty. But, strict disciplinary rules of the English team forced them to return empty-handed.

“Monty is very particular about discipline as well as rules and regulations. Only I could meet him, that, too, for just a few moments,” said his father.

But, his grandfather, Mr Hari Singh, did not hide his disappointment and confessed: “It is just like a torment as I could not meet my grandson who is just behind the wall. But I know that it’s part of the team’s discipline and this is the prize we have to pay for it.”

Even Barmy’s Army chose to skip the stadium as less than 150 of them were present to cheer their team in sharp contrast to yesterday’s number of 600-700.



All set for city-Morinda electric track
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 10
Decks have been cleared for the electrification of the 45-km section of the rail track between Chandigarh and Morinda. The non-electrified section of the Chandigarh-Ludhiana rail link is otherwise ready to run trains and is awaiting the green light by the Commissioner, Railway Safety.

Electrification of the tracks means faster connectivity between Chandigarh and Ludhiana. Sources in the Railways said around Rs 14 crore had been sanctioned for the electrification. Initially, the authorities had estimated around Rs 11 crore for the work. The total cost of electrification up to Ludhiana has been estimated at Rs 42 crore.

To study the feasibility of erecting the high tension power traction line, officers of the electrification wing, led by the Chief Electrical Engineer (Principal), Mr S.S. Khurana, surveyed the track. Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Mr Khurana said it could take around two years or more to electrify the track. “If by that time the Morinda-Ludhiana section is ready, the electrification will follow,” he added.

The sources said since the rail section till Morinda was complete, the work of electrification could be carried out even if some trains ran on the track.

Explaining the significance of electrification, the sources said without electrification, rail connectivity to Chandigarh would have been a major hurdle despite the new track. All major routes in North India are electrified.

It would be possible to divert any long distance train presently running on the Ambala-Rajpura-Ludhiana section to the Ambala-Chandigarh-Ludhiana section. Non- electrification would have meant changing of locomotives at Chandigarh and then at Morinda.

The Chandigarh-Ludhiana route had been planned in 1997 with electrification and latest signalling and telecommunication system as a high speed corridor. There was no direct rail link between various parts of Punjab, including Jalandhar, Amritsar, Ferozepore and Pathankot, and Chandigarh.

Due to the delay in the implementation of the project, the overall costs of the project have shot above Rs 400 crore against the initial estimate of around Rs 377 crore. A total of Rs 200 crore had been spent so far of the Rs 270 crore sanctioned by the Railway Board for the project.

The work on the remaining 67-km-long Morinda-Sahnewal- Ludhiana track was expected to take another three years as the process to acquire land in nine of the 15 villages was in progress.

Till the line up to Ludhiana was not completed, the Northern Railways had announced to run two trains daily, including a diesel multiple unit (DMU), on the Chandigarh-Morinda-Una section. The existing DMU, running between Ambala and the Una section would be diverted through the new section, the sources said.



Rain dips mercury, hits life
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 10
Moderate to heavy rain accompanied by high velocity winds lashed the city today throwing life out of gear and lowering the temperature by six degrees from normal.
Dark clouds hung over the city and the adjoining areas since morning, turning the weather freakish. City residents, who had tucked away winter clothes, were once again seen wearing woollens. The bad weather played spoilsport for cricket fans. 



U.K. High Commission's drive against unscrupulous agents
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Mike Crozier Chandigarh, March 10
Unable to take direct action against the growing number of travel agents who commit a fraud on innocents by promising them visas and permanent immigration to the U.K, the British High Commission has launched an education- cum- awareness drive. The High Commission will tell prospective travellers and immigrants to the country to get in touch with the High Commission directly instead of dealing with touts and unscrupulous travel agents.

Talking to The Tribune,Mr Mike Crozier, Entry Clearance Manager at the British High Commission, New Delhi, said "more and more people are being exploited by travel agents who cash in on their desire to travel overseas. We, at the High Commission, cannot take any action against these travel agents, but surely would like to stop people's exploitation at the hands of the agents who give them 100 per cent assurance in securing a visa. These people must be told that no one can give that kind of assurance".

Mr Crozier said all services offered by the High Commission, except the visa fee, were free. Therefore, people should not spend any money on getting information.

People in the northern region, especially those from villages of Punjab are being duped daily by travel agents. Nearly half of the visa applications received by the High Commission(1,40,000 annually) are from the Visa Facilitation Centres (VFC) at Jalandhar and Chandigarh. While the Chandigarh centre gets between 25 and 30 applications a day, the flow at Jalandhar ranges between 150 and 200 applications daily.

Mr Crozier said a large number of people were coaxed into submitting false supporting documents by these travel agents. This was one of the major reasons for the rejection of their visa applications.

He said the proposed change in the visa rules to make the system more transparent was likely to clear many misgivings. He specifically pointed out that the agents were spreading all kinds of misinformation on the Working Holiday Visa (WHV) and the Highly-Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP). The WHV, he said,did not lead to permanent immigration as this programme was aimed at those under 30 so that they could travel across the UK and Europe and also work to fund their travel.

About the HSMP, Mr. Crozier said this was based on a points system and targeted to attract professionally qualified people. "But agents do not tell people that even if someone makes the points, the visa could still be refused if the visa officer thinks that the person will not be able to settle in the UK". The country, was, however, not getting many applications under this category.

He said the British Government was of the opinion that the country did not benefit from inward migration and it encouraged genuine migrants. The new immigration policy was based on this assumption.

The new immigration policy integrated over 80 existing work and study immigration schemes into five tiers comprising high-skilled individuals such as doctors, scientists or entrepreneurs in the first tier, skilled workers with a job offer such as nurses, teachers or engineers in the second tier, low-skilled workers filling specific temporary labour shortages such as builders for a particular project in the third tier, students comprising the fourth and the fifth tier comprising "youth mobility" and temporary workers, such as working holidaymakers, musicians coming to play a concert, sportspeople coming to compete, volunteers or non-preaching religious workers. The existing immigration routes, such as the one run by the Department of Health for postgraduate doctors and dentists, would end with the new system, he said.



Sikh art to be showcased in New York
Roopinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Caron Smith Chandigarh, March 10
“The Sikh identity, especially for those who live elsewhere, is so marked by external, visible signs that sometimes people don’t see them and their beliefs for what they truly are. Everyone is aware of what the Sikhs stand for— courage and enterprise — but not of what they believe in,” says Caron Smith, Deputy Director and Chief Curator of Rubin Museum of Art, New York.

Though various other cities, including San Francisco, Toronto and Washington have held major exhibitions of Sikh art, it is for the first time that there is going to be one in New York. Dr. Smith was in Chandigarh recently in that connection.

“The proposal of holding the exhibition came from Dr Narinder Singh Kapany, of Palo Alto. Though we are primarily a museum of Himalayan art, we go where the Himalayas take us,” she said. “This time, they have taken us to the Sikh art.”

Dr. Smith is primarily a scholar of Japanese and Chinese art, but she has been increasingly engaging with India, and the art of the land and its people. Much of this comes from her association and friendship with the noted art-historian, Professor B.N. Goswamy.

The forthcoming exhibition at the Rubin Museum will be titled, “I Know no Stranger: Early Sikh Art and Faith”. Here in Chandigarh, Dr. Smith worked with Prof. Goswamy and spent time researching the collection of the Government Museum and Art Gallery. The exhibition is scheduled to open in New York in September 2006.

The focus of the exhibition will be on the ‘early period’, Guru Nanak and the truths that he stood for being a central concern. Piety and “the wonderful iconoclastic freshness of Sikh thought” will be showcased as much as the simplicity and the importance of brotherhood in the faith.

On view will be a hundred exhibits, including drawings, paintings, textiles, and objects. The Janamsakhis, as written and illustrated, will provide the substance of the material, Dr. Smith says. “We will be taking some exhibits from India; some will come from Dr Kapany’s collection; and others from private collectors in America,” she adds.



PSHRC seeks report on couple’s harassment 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 10
The Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) has sought a report from the Home Department, Punjab, in a case of alleged violation of human rights of a Mohali couple - Ms Ranjit Rani and her husband, Mr Paramjit.

The commission had taken up a petition filed by the couple, alleging that despite the fact that they were both major when they married on February 25, they were being harassed by the police at the behest of the family of the girl.

Ms Ranjit Rani and Mr Paramjit had married against the wishes of the girl’s family. In order to force them to abandon the marriage, the parents of the girl had involved the Phillaur police in the matter and their house in Mohali was recently raided by police personnel from Phillaur.

In their complaint, they stated that they feared that they might be arrested in some fake case by the police.

After hearing their counsel, advocate Amarjit Singh, the PSHRC said it was satisfied that there was a prima facie violation of human rights of the complainants. It also ordered that a copy of the order be sent to the SSPs of Jalandhar and Ropar for necessary action. It later adjourned the matter to April 7.



Land mafia behind dist status to Mohali, says Navjot Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 10
The BJP MP from Amritsar, Mr Navjot Singh Sidhu, sees land mafia’s hand in granting the district status to Mohali.
“What is the need for a separate district in the state”, he said, alleging that it had been created to hike land prices on the Chandigarh’s periphery at the behest of the land mafia.

The investment “promises” in the state are fake and are done just to promote the mafias, he said while addressing a press conference at the Chandigarh Press Club here yesterday.

Without quoting any names, Mr Sidhu went to the extent of accusing the Amarinder government of patronising land and liquor mafias in the state.

Even as the common man was finding it impossible to buy even a small piece of land for his housing needs, the Punjab Government and the civic bodies were giving concessions to the influential developers to carve out colonies to be sold at exorbitant rates, he said.



City gains prospects of heritage status
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 10
The stake of Chandigarh for its name on the World Heritage Project of UNESCO has doubled with the French Government and the Le Corbusier Foundation showing keen interest in borrowing from the local relics of Corbusier, the designer of the city, to be presented as a serial nomination on his works.

The city has already staked its claim to the Ministry of Tourism, independently, to be forwarded to UNESCO claiming its “rightful status as a classic case of a modern heritage city”. The name of the city on the list as a modern heritage city gains strength because examples have been set in the names of Brasilia(Brazil) and Tel Aviv (Israel) on the UNESCO list.

An important meeting of UT officials was held at the French Embassy in Delhi recently, with the French Ambassador and Mr J.P.Duport, director of the Le Corbusier Foundation. Mr Duport said the foundation was keen on placing Chandigarh on the list of Corbusier’s creations to be given to UNESCO. The French Ambassador has communicated to the Ministry of Tourism and the UT is also expected to forward the communication shortly.

The Chandigarh Administration has already made a presentation separately, seeking its name on the World Heritage Project, based on its unique architectural design. During the process of staking the claim individually, Administration officials were contacted by the French Embassy, saying that they were betting on a claim for the World Heritage Project in the name of a serial nomination for creations of Le Corbusier.

Punting a claim in the name of Le Corbusier will mean that Chandigarh will not count individually in the UNESCO project. The master designer has creations in other parts of the world as well, including Ahmedabad in India and in several other countries like Japan, Germany, Switzerland and South Africa.

A senior official of the Administration said, “We have justified our demand for nominating Chandigarh on the list of heritage cities. We will also contribute our bit in case it is cleared for the nomination on behalf of the Le Corbusier Foundation. If the city gets a nomination, it will be a big boost for its tourism. The name of the city on the list as a heritage city gains strength because we have the examples in Brasilia (Brazil) and Tel Aviv (Israel)”. Certain other Indian cities on the tentative list include Mumbai, Pondicherry and Goa.

A senior official pointed out that the city needed to work out the details of certain crucial aspects before applying for the project. Certain legislative provisions needed to be incorporated to conserve important original architectural designs and creations in times to come.

The list of the selected heritage projects and cities is likely to appear by May.



Residents demand restoration of old CTU routes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 10
Residents of a number of southern sectors are complaining against certain loopholes in the grid system introduced by the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking(CTU) in January earlier this year.

Residents of Sectors 46, 47, 48 and 49 and certain parts of Mohali are demanding the restoration of bus Numbers 123-A, 10 and 141. Senior citizens and students travelling to Sectors 10 and 11 and patients travelling to the PGI have been hit the most.

Mr G.R. Kalra, a resident of Sector 49-B, said, “We have sent a communication to the UT Administrator and the Home Secretary with regard to our problem, but to no avail”.

Residents of Sector 40 are also complaining against certain new routes. Mr S.K.Khosla, general secretary of the Residents Coordination Committee MIG-I Houses, Sector 40-C, said, “I appreciate the grid system in terms of the speed it has introduced on the straight routes. However, certain old routes need a rethought. Residents of our area, particularly daily travellers, are demanding that the administration has a relook at the grid map and old routes”.



Chinese delegation on goodwill mission
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 10
A six-member delegation of Chinese Peoples’ Association for Peace and Disarmament (CPAPD) arrived at Panjab University’s Golden Jubilee Hall, this evening. It called for greater cooperation between India and China and more people-to-people contact between the two nations.

Liu Jingqin, vice-president of the association, led the delegation and was accompanied Niu Qiang, general secretary, Hou Hongu, deputy director; Miss Jiang Ling, associate research fellow; Cui Guozhong, staff member; Miss Shi Dongmei, interpreter. Sponsored by the All-India Peace and Solidarity and Organisation (AIPSO) and the India China Friendship Association (ICFA), the delegation is on a goodwill mission here to celebrate ‘India-China Friendship Year-2006’.

Mr Liu stressed to both the countries that they had the capacity to lead the world in economic, educational and IT sectors. He said at least 50 cultural and educational activities had been listed from China’s side to be organised in India during the year.

Mr Liu appreciated the residents of the city who were eager to revive India-China friendship. “Both India and China stand for peaceful co-existence and the time has come to join hands and strengthen ties to create a stronger Asia,” he said. He also added that the two nations could have other interests than economic and share solutions to problems like rural development, social security and unemployment.

The function was presided by Mr Justice J.C. Verma who urged people-to-people exchange of views for trade and economic pursuits.

Maj Jiwan Tewari, president of ICFA had warmly welcomed the CPAPD delegation and assured full support to strengthen the ties between both the countries. “Our friendship should be continued by forgetting the past bitterness,” he said.

Those present at the function included Mr Justice S.K. Jain, Mr Ashok Goyal, member, PU Senate; Mr Dalbir Singh, Deputy Editor, Punjabi Tribune; Mr Nahar former Senator, Prof H.S. Mehta, Dr Sawaranjit Mehta, former DSW, Dr Anirudh Joshi and many advocates and educationists. 



Dy CM holds open darbar at Kalka
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 10
The Haryana Government would provide a sum of Rs 2.9 lakh to those panchayats which would deposit Rs25,000 besides giving 200 sq yards of land for the construction of Anganwari centres in their villages.

This was disclosed by the Haryana Deputy Chief Minister, Mr Chander Mohan, while redressing grievances of people of Kalka Assembly constituency at Ambedkar Bhawan, Kalka today.

The Deputy Chief Minister said that with a view to providing ample potable water to the residents of Kalka, which had been declared as urban feeder. He said that four new tube wells had been sanctioned for Pinjore and Kalka towns. He assured that a bridge would be constructed to provide facilities to the people of Tipra.

While referring the power situation in the state, he said that efforts were being made to solve the problem of power. He said that four new power plants were being set up in the state so that sufficient power could be generated to meet the growing demand.

The Deputy Chief Minister said that a survey would be undertaken to identify the consumers so that their ration cards could be prepared. He maintained that the matter regarding the preparation of ration cards was in the Supreme Court and that the decision was expected within next two months.

Mr Chander Mohan also directed the officers to redress the grievances of the people promptly. He assured efforts would be made execute the developmental projects within a timeframe.

The SDM Kalka, Mr Maheshwar Sharma, assured the Deputy Chief Minister that all problems would be sorted out amicably to provide benefit to the people. He said that 195 applications of various types were received during the open darbar held here today. 



Tibetans observe Uprising Day, seek freedom
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 10.
Tibetans commemorated the 47th year of their national uprising today and re-asserted the demand for their independence. Taking out a procession in the city, Tibetan students carried placards that read, 'Free Tibet", along with the picture Nobel Laureate Dalai Lama.

The Tibetans, mainly students studying and living in Chandigarh, also paid their homage to martyrs and patriots that have fought for the liberation of Tibet from Chinese control. The students took a pledge saying, "We rededicate ourselves to the struggle with steadfast resolution. On this day, we also reassess the course of our freedom struggle and revitalise and restrategise our movement, efforts and resources to realise the sacred goal of the liberation of Tibet".

They further said that all Tibetans must continue to maintain a rock-solid unity and consolidated effort, as history has shown that a half-hearted and unorganised freedom struggle has never yielded any result.

They said that despite the ongoing efforts for a dialogue between Dalai Lama's envoys and Chinese leaders and the hullabaloo over the possibility of an early return to Tibet, the reality has not changed a bit. The major "fundamental differences" on key issues and the absolute lack of genuine interest and efforts for sincere resolution of the Tibetan issue by the Chinese leaders continue to persist. On the contrary, China continues to aggravate the level of its repression inside Tibet, and abuse and accuse the Dalai Lama as a separatist. The latest slandering came during Dalai Lama's visit to Israel, the Tibetans said.

They further disclosed that the situation in Tibet continued to deteriorate with the reintroduction of apatriotic re-education campaign. Illegal detention, arrest, torture and execution continue unabated throughout Tibet.

Thousands continue to languish in the Chinese dungeons in Tibet such as the Drapchi, Gutsa and Powo Tramo and Chushur prison for the freedom of Tibet, Tibetan leaders said.

Deprivation of basic rights, acute discrimination and marginalisation of the Tibetans in every sphere of work and field, and the practice of unfair and unconstitutional laws complimented by restrictions and persecution of Tibetans depict the truth of China's "brotherly treatment", they added.



Recommendations invited for national child award

Chandigarh, March 10
The Union Ministry of Human Resource Development and the Department of Women and Child Development have invited recommendations for the “National Child Award for Exceptional Achievement” this year in order to give recognition to children with exceptional abilities and outstanding calibre in the fields of academics, arts, culture and sports.

The ministry has instituted the award for honouring the children in the age group of 4 to 15 years, who have shown exemplary courage at the risk of their own lives. The award will be announced on November 14 every year. One gold medal and 35 silver medals will be given annually to the deserving children.

Gold medal will be given to one child on an all-India basis and silver medal to one child from each state and Union Territory. For the gold medallist, a cash prize of Rs 20,000, a citation and a gold medal will be given and winners of silver medals will be presented with a cash prize of Rs 10,000, a citation and a silver medal each.

The names of the children for the award can be recommended by the state or UT departments, any Central Government department or the district authority, local self-governments, which include panchayats, zila parishads and municipal corporations, experts in the respective fields, MPs, legislative Assemblies or councils and reputed voluntary organisations. The recommendations with full detail can be sent to the Social Welfare Department by April 30. — TNS



Book on Cellular Jail heroes released
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 10
"The Heroes of Cellular Jail", a book written by Mr Justice S.N. Aggarwal, a sitting Judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, was released by Lieut- Gen Madan Mohan Lakhera (retd), Lieut-Governor of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, at Raj Nivas here on the eve of the centenary celebrations of Cellular Jail yesterday.

According to information received here, Justice Aggarwal collected the material for the book during his posting as Law Secretary in the Andaman and Nicobar Administration.

The book unfolds the saga of the heroic deeds of young revolutionaries during India's struggle for freedom.

The book details how many of them gave up a life of luxury and comfort and opted for the long and arduous journey of suffering and sacrifice; how many of them languished in prison cells for long spells of solitary confinement; how many died of hunger strikes and brutality inflicted on them in the prison cells; how many were sent to the gallows;have we done enough to honour the memory of these valiant men; and has the nation adequately paid the debt of gratitude it owes them.

The author attempts to answer some of these questions in this documented account.




Association urges Punjab CM to check piracy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 10
The Music Association of India, at a press conference held at the Press Club, Sector 27, yesterday, stressed the implementation of strict laws for curbing piracy in Punjab.

Mr Gaurav Trehan, president of the association, accompanied by a number of artistes, including Sardool Sikander, said at present the legitimate sale of audio-video CDs was only 30 per cent of the total sales resulting in a loss of around 70 per cent of sales of their products.

He said around eight lakh people in Punjab, directly or indirectly involved in the trade, were affected due to piracy.

Talking about the Gunda Act, he said the law introduced by the Tamil Nadu Government had immediately checked the problem of piracy and led to the increase of sales of audio-video CDs by about 60 per cent.

Mr Trehan said the piracy had also affected the quality of the audio/film projects as the returns were not attractive. He suggested that an anti-piracy cell, comprising police personnel, should be formed to implement strict laws in the state.

The association made an appeal to the Punjab Chief Minister to take immediate step to curb the menace of piracy.



BJP holds mahila sammelan 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 10
As part of the International Women's Day celebrations, the BJP Mahila Morcha organised a "mahila sammelan" in Phase I of the Ram Darbar here yesterday.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Satya Pal Jain, former MP, supported the demand of the 33 per cent reservation for women in the Lok Sabha and the state Assemblies of the country.

He said the Bill of 33 per cent reservation for women was tabled in the Lok Sabha by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government but the Congress and its allies, then in the Opposition, did not let the Bill pass.

He appealed to women to associate themselves with the BJP so that maximum representation should be given to them in the forthcoming election of the Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh. (MCC). 



BJP activists burn effigy of UPA govt
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 10
BJP activists of Colony No. 4 today burnt the effigy of the UPA government in protest against the "anti-people" policies of the government.
Addressing the protesters, Mr Satya Pal Jain, a former MP, alleged that with the coming of the UPA government in power at the Centre the prices of essential commodities had skyrocketed .

The Congress-ruled Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh(MCC) has failed to provide adequate water and electricity to the residents of the Colony No. 4,alleged Mr D.D. Tripathi, president of the Mandal No. 15.



Blood samples of migratory birds taken
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 10
Officials of the Forests and Wildlife Department took blood, sputum and faecal samples of migratory birds at the regulator end of the Sukhna lake here on Wednesday.

Mr Ishwar Singh, Deputy Conservator of the Forests and Chief Wildlife Warden, said, “Sample extracts of blood, sputum and faeces were taken from nearly half a dozen birds. The samples will be forwarded to the Regional Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, Jalandhar, to check the presence of the avian flu, if any”. Samples are being taken regularly since November 2005 and sent to the lab in Jalandhar. All tests have shown negative results, till date.



Stir threat over closure of road
Tribune News Service

Lalru, March 10
The alleged closure of a link road in this area by the Nahar Group of Industries has stirred a hornest’s nest with the Sarpanch Union threatening to launch an agitation on the issue.

At a meeting here today, the union alleged that closure of the link road, constructed by the Punjab Mandi Board, by the Nahar management would virtually cut off several villages, including Magra, Jalalpur and Bassi villages.

The union demanded that in case the link road was closed, the existing alternative road should be augmented for the convenience of the residents. The alternative road should be registered in the name of the Punjab Mandi Board or the gram panchayat.

Meanwhile, the factory management claimed that the land on which the link road was constructed was acquired by the Punjab Government and was handed over the management later. The management had constructed an alternative road in place of the link road, it claimed.

Official sources informed that as per the revenue records the link road fell in the area owned by the management.



Assns to have representation in MC

Chandigarh, March 10
Members of the sector resident welfare associations will soon have their own representations in the functioning of the municipal corporation here. Each ward will have a committee comprising 11 members, including nominated and elected councillors of the ward, with an elected councillor acting as the committee chairman. The term of the committee will be of one year and an officer of the municipal corporation will function as the secretary. TNS



Scooterist killed in mishap
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 10
A 45-year-old Dhanas resident was killed after his scooter was hit by an unidentified vehicle. In another incident, the local police booked three persons for allegedly forging a will to grab property of a widow living in Sector 16.

Sources in the Sector 11 police station said Subhash Chnad of Chaman Colony, Dhanas, suffered multiple injuries after the scooter he was riding was hit by an unidentified vehicle near the PGI Chowk on Wednesday. He was rushed to the PGI, where he succumbed to his injuries later. A case has been registered.

Booked for forgery: Ms Rameshwari of Sector 16 reported to the police alleging that her mother-in-law, Kuldeep Sandhu, brother-in-law Yasdeep Sandhu and Banta Singh had forged a will allegedly of her late husband to grab her property. A case of forgery and criminal conspiracy under various sections of the IPC has been registered.



Kenya, Pak, B’desh to take part in trade fair
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 10
The Haryana Backward Classes and Economically Weaker Sections Kalyan Nigam and the National Minorities Development Corporation (NDMC) are jointly organising a trade fair in Chandigarh for promoting cottage and handloom industry products.

Mr Dalip Singh, Secretary of Haryana Social Justice and Empowerment Department, and Mr Dhanpat Singh, MD of the nigam, said the fair would have a unique flavour as authentic cottage industry products would be exhibited in the event. The fair, to be held at the Parade Ground here for nine days, would be inaugurated by the Haryana Governor, Mr A R Kidwai, tomorrow.

Mr Dalip Singh and Mr Dhanpat Singh said besides nine Indian states, artisans from Kenya, Pakistan and Bangladesh would also participate in the fair. The Indian states taking part were J&K, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Delhi, Uttaranchal, Punjab, Orissa and Haryana.



Wholesale price index discussed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 10
An interactive session on “New series of wholesale price index (WPI)” was organised by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry in coordination with the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry here today. The session was attended by representatives of various industrial and government orgnisations.

Mr Ashok Khanna, a former president of the PHDCCI, said it was good that the government was contemplating to revise the price index by changing the base to 2000-01. He said the new series of the WPI would serve to act as a reliable gauge of inflation and would present a realistic picture of price movements of tradable commodities in the economy.

Mr Som Parkash, Labour Commissioner of Punjab, said people should be made aware about the importance of the WPI so that maximum cooperation could be achieved in collection of information about the prices. He said most people were aware about the consumer price index as it had link with wages and other incentives.

A presentation was given by Dr R. N. Pandey, Director, Office of Economic Adviser, Ministry of Commerce. He said wholesale prices which broadly corresponded to the producers’ prices represented bulk transactions, generally, at an early stage of trading. The changes in wholesale prices, both absolute and relative, influenced a wide range of economic activities and a constant watch on price movement became necessary for operation and regulation of the current economic policies. In this context, the WPI served as a tool for measuring inflation, changes in credit and fiscal policies by the RBI and the government. It also helped business and industry in taking care of escalation in their projections.

As the WPI did not include services, which contributed about 50 per cent of the GDP, process for compilation of the business services price index was already under way. As per the new series of the WPI, the number of items to be included would be more than 1,000 in comparison to only 435 in the current series. The support of the industry associations and individual manufacturers in the supply of price data would go a long way in making the WPI representative of market forces, he added. 



PunCom to export equipment to Russia
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 10
Punjab Communications Limited (PunCom), based here, has signed an agreement with the Tento Group to export power line carrier communication (PLCC) equipment to Russia.

According to Ms Ravneet Kaur, Vice-Chairperson and Managing Director, PunCom, the Punjab Government undertaking will initially supply a few systems on a trial basis under the agreement with a leading Russian power company. After successful trials, PunCom is expected to export PLCCs worth about Rs 25 crore to Russia in the next year or so.

She said PunCom had been able to secure a strong position in the Indian PLCC market on the basis of quality and cost competitive bidding. The export order would not only open new emerging markets for the product outside India but would also boost the turnover of Puncom and increase profitability.



Special offer for mobile users
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 10
Tata Indicom today announced its latest offer on the occasion of Holi — the Kyocera prisma colour mobile phone with a Tata Indicom connection, which will be available for Rs 1999.

The offer provides special benefits and gifts like a mobile key chain watch, free with the purchase of every new connection.

The handset comes equipped with trendy features like a speaker phone, latest polyphonic ring tones, games, screensavers and wallpapers. 


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