C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Poultry farmers lay siege to railway track
Hit hard by bird flu scare
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
The Chandigarh-Ambala railway track remained blocked for half an hour when poultry farm owners from Haryana, accompanied by hundreds of their employees, laid a siege to the track at the Chandigarh railway station here this morning.

The poultry farm workers were protesting against losses being suffered by them and rising unemployment after the bird flu scare.

Due to the blockade, the Jan Shatabdi was delayed by 20 minutes and the Himalayan Queen was stopped a few metres before the station. The police had to resort to a mild lathicharge to disperse the agitating crowd. A member of the association, Inderjeet, who was arrested by the Government Railway Police (GRP), was later released after the intervention of officials of the Chandigarh and the Panchkula Administration.

While officials at the station were able to clear the track within 30 minutes, the agitators again protested when one of their members, Inderjeet, was arrested by the GRP and taken to the GRP police post. The agitators then laid a siege to the police post and the Superintendent of Police, GRP, Ambala, Ms Suman Manjri, had to rush from Ambala.

Initially the GRP was reluctant to release him, but later the SP agreed. Mr Darshan Singh, president of the Haryana Poultry Farm Owners, said dipping sales and increasing unemployment were the reason for the protest. The association demanded compensation for the loses suffered by them due to the bird flu scare.

Meanwhile, a truckload of poultry workers who were coming to the Chandigarh station from the Mani Majra side were rounded up and taken to the Mani Majra police station. By evening, 22 of the 62 persons were released.



Bheora’s call to London did him in
Rajmeet Singh

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
A phone call to London by Paramjeet Singh Bheora, chief of the Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) in India, opened the vital channel for sleuths of the special cell of the Delhi Police to track his movement.

Though the phone call was meant to inform his mentors about his well-being, the call was intercepted by the special cell and ultimately he was rounded up while moving in a Santro which had a fake registration number of Amritsar. The vehicle had been stolen from Delhi and had been supplied to the BKI chief by Hardeep, who is lodged in a Delhi jail.

“In fact, the news in the second week of March that Bheora had been arrested helped the Delhi Police. On reading about the arrest, BKI sympathisers and harbours were activated and telephonic communication took place between Bheora and his mentors and thus the terrorist was arrested,” said sources in intelligence agencies. Last year, the Delhi Police had lost track of Bheora while tracking some calls of a contact in Jammu and Kashmir.

In the first week of March, sleuths of a central investigating agency visited the house of Bhupinder and Jasbir in Holka village, Patiala. After a few days, cops from the Punjab Police raided the same place and returned empty-handed. “The sympathisers were alerted at the movement of the police and thus Bheora’s arrest became difficult for the Punjab Police,” said the sources.

The special cell sleuths had been tracking the phones of mentors abroad ever since Jagtar Singh Hawara was arrested. Spilling the beans during interrogation, Bheora told the Delhi Police that he was freely moving among his sympathisers in Ropar, Jalandhar and Ludhiana districts, and had received several lakhs for carrying the movement.

Bheora reportedly told the police that a number of sympathisers of the BKI, including some from abroad, were present at the marriage of Sukhwinder Singh, alias Sukhi. The Chandigarh Police has arrested Sukhi and is analysing the CDs of Sukhi’s marriage to see those persons. The presence of some of the key persons of the BKI in Punjab during November 2005 is not being ruled out by the police. “Apparently, they were in Punjab to reorganise things,” said the sources.



Sukhi didn’t heed to Tara’s advice
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu

Chandigarh, March 23
Failure of Sukhwinder Singh Sukhi, alias Bullet, to comply with the wishes of Jagtar Singh Tara, alleged militant-cum-assassin of Punjab’s former Chief Minister Beant Singh, led to the establishment of reported links between the two.

Tara had categorically told Sukhi to delete the portions of the movie showing him attending the latter’s marriage. Sukhi, however, did not pay heed to the advice, leading to the ascertaining of the links. The CD showing Tara in Sukhi’s marriage is currently in the possession of the crime branch of the local police. It is likely to be used as evidence against Sukhi to establish his links with militants.

The movie shows Tara, in dark sunglasses, avoiding the camera. In fact, the alleged militant can be seen hiding his face behind his hand every time the camera focuses on him. Only once he is seen standing on the dais behind the couple after presenting them with “shagun”. As a result, he can be recognised only from his sky-blue turban and sunglasses throughout the movie.

The sources add that Tara wanted to step down immediately before being caught by the camera, but was called again by Sukhi. As such, he was forced to stay on the stage for a longer duration and was captured in the camera with the couple. The sources claimed that the police was minutely watching the CD for more clues and to identify persons wanted by the police for their alleged involvement in terrorist activities, besides associates and sympathisers of terrorist outfits.

Sukhi was arrested along with three other alleged Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) members, including Dilbag Singh, in Chandigarh on March 20 with arms and ammunition.

A senior police officer said Sukhi and Dilbag Singh were being questioned about the antecedents of certain suspicious persons visible in the movie. They added that it was too early to comment and added that without “solid linking evidence” they were not in a position to arrest anyone. The police also has a diary of Dilbag Singh in its possession and is verifying the contacts mentioned in the diary. Dilbag Singh is a senior vice-president of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) in Ropar district.

Sources in the crime branch added that the police had verified the registration number of the stolen Enfield motorcycle recovered from Sukhi’s residence from the registration authority and found it to be a fake one. The registration number belonged to a Kinetic Honda scooter. A police officer said they had traced a Delhi-based agency from where the motorcycle was purchased and had sought its records to trace the person to whom the vehicle was sold.

On the other hand, Mr Baljit Singh Khalsa, president of the Panthic Vichar Manch, today condemned the functioning of the Chandigarh Police, saying that after the arrest of Paramjit Singh Bheora, the police was arresting innocent people from Punjab terming them terrorists. He has submitted a memorandum to Governor of Punjab in this regard demanding a CBI probe into police action against innocent people. Today he met Dilbag Singh, who is in the custody of the police.



Demolition notices to Zirakpur shopkeepers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
The ambitious four-laning project of the Zirakpur-Ambala stretch of the national highway No. 22 is set to take its first toll with scores of shopkeepers along both sides of the highway here receiving demolition notices from the authorities concerned.

With this, the stage is set for a confrontation between the shopkeepers and the authorities concerned. The notices had been issued to make the land available for the four-laning project and the 1.8 km overbridge at Zirakpur, a move which is likely to be opposed by the shopkeepers.

Meanwhile, the notices have kicked up a row with the shopkeepers alleging false measurement by the authority. They claimed that they had constructed the buildings on their own lands.

Issued under the Control of the National Highways (Land and Traffic) Act, 2002, the notices have been issued after a survey by the administration. During the survey it was found that scores of shopkeepers and property dealers had allegedly encroached upon public land.

Terming these as unauthorised, the notices have asked the shopkeepers to remove them within seven days from the date of the issuance. The shopkeepers have been warned that if they do not comply with the order then they would be penalised.

Meanwhile, March 30 has been fixed as the date for hearing objections at Mohali.

On the other hand, the shopkeepers are up in arms against the “uncalled for and unjustified” decision of the administration to slap notices on them. Mr Baldev Goel, a property consultant who has been served a notice, claimed that in the revenue record 121 square feet of land stood in the name of PWD. Leaving the government land, he had constructed his building on his own land. He demanded that the measurement of the land should be done again.

The proposed demolition of the shops along the highway has had an adverse affect on the transaction of commercial property in the township. With the exact area to be covered by the four-laning and the overbridge still uncertain, people are wary of going for commercial property transactions.



UT has no panel on organ transplant
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
The Chandigarh Administration does not have any committee to clear cases seeking an organ transplant outside the Union Territory. The interested parties are busy making unsuccessful rounds between the PGI and the Director of the UT Health Services for a 'No Objection Certificate' needed for a transplant in a hospital outside the UT.

The PGI has a committee to see cases pertaining to organ transplants. However, these pertain only to those which are being handled by the institute itself. The brother of a patient seeking a kidney transplant said:" Hospitals outside the state do not have any problem to a transplant in case being done by a direct blood relation, including father, mother, brother or sister. In case the donor is a cousin or an outsider, the concerned state health authorities seek a 'No Objection Certificate' from the concerned state."

He said the purpose of the NOC is to certify that the donation was a voluntary act and not by threat or force. The angle of no monetary deal exchanging hands in the transplant was also required to be cleared by the state by issuing the certificate. ''I have made several rounds of the PGI which refers me to the UT Health Officer and vice versa. The Health Department says it was not authorised to issue any certificates and PGI says 'No NOC for cases outside the PGI".

A retired government official said: "I want a kidney transplant for my son at a hospital in the South. My nephew is willing to donate his kidney. The hospital there needs a 'No Objection Certificate' from the UT Administration. I have made several rounds of the Director's office and the PGI. However, to no avail. I have been promised all assistance by the senior officials of the administration and am hopeful of an immediate redressal".

A senior officer said: "The UT does not have any committee on the issue. We will be communicating with the Centre on the issue shortly. The Sections IV and IX of the Organ Transplant Act deal with the issue. There is a clear provision of the concerned committee in the Union Territories being constituted by the Centre. We will be writing to the Centre in this regard immediately".

The official said: "Since the matter has come up only recently, we will seek an immediate answer from the Centre to this regard. There are certain technical details which need a clarification and will be sorted out very soon".



Pending Haryana, Punjab consumer cases sent to UT commission
Yoginder Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
In a move which is likely to bring relief to hundreds of consumers of the region, who are aggrieved by the inordinate delay in disposal of cases by the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions (SCDRC) of Haryana and Punjab, the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC), New Delhi, today transferred more than 550 pending cases before these commissions to the Chandigarh (UT) State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission.

A fax message was received here today from Justice M.B. Shah (retd), President, NCDRC, by Justice K.C. Gupta (retd), President of the UT Chandigarh SCDRC.

The order notes that 250 original complaints and 12,169 first appeals are pending before the Haryana SCDRC and 117 complaints and 4,464 first appeals are pending before the Punjab SCDRC.

Justice Shah said it was practically impossible for a single Bench to decide these matters within the stipulated time of 90 days. Since only a few cases were pending before the Chandigarh SCDRC, hence, in the interest of justice, 500 first appeals before the Haryana SCDRC and 52 original complaints pending before the Punjab SCDRC were being transferred to the UT commission.

Justice Shah ordered the transfer of the cases under the powers available to him under Section 22-B of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.

According to informed sources, the issue was under consideration for the past several months. A technical hitch had been delaying the final decision. Section 22-B empowers the national commission to suo motto transfer, "at any stage", any "complaint" from one state commission to another.

Since the pending cases before the state commissions are mostly appeals against the decisions of the district consumer fora, one school of thought was that the Section did not grant power to the national commission to transfer "appeals" but only the "complaints", which are originally filed before the state commissions.

However, ultimately the other school of thought prevailed, which, according to Mr Pankaj Chandgothia, President of the Chandigarh Consumer Court Bar Association, was of the view that "appeals are nothing but a continuation of the complaints". He said the orders on a complaint achieved finality and binding force only after the appeal was decided. He said Section 22-B was incorporated in the Act only recently to expedite the disposal of the cases.

Mr Chandgothia further added that the pendency of consumer cases before the State Commissions had increased due to the failure of the respective state governments to constitute Circuit Benches which are mandatory under the Act.

In fact, the Punjab SCDRC, headed by Justice R.S. Mongia (retd), had been adjourning the cases by specifically stating that it was being done due to the "paucity of time, inadequate infrastructure and non-availability of requisite Benches".

Section 19 A of the Act says that “an endeavour shall be made to finally dispose of the appeal within 90 days...” However, cases before the Commissions have been languishing for years. The earliest appeal which is being transferred from the Haryana SCDRC is of 1998. Similarly, the earliest complaint case to be transferred from the Punjab SCDRC is of 1999.

The pendency in the Haryana SCDRC has assumed alarming proportions, among other reasons, due to the post of the president remaining vacant for almost one and a half years after the retirement of Justice Amarjeet Chaudhry (retd). The appointment of Justice Chaudhry's successor, Justice R.C. Kathuria (retd), was delayed because of a legal case.

Interestingly, the commissions in the two states are working from rented buildings, which are woefully inadequate of space and infrastructure. The issue of independent buildings for the State Commissions has been hanging fire for a long time.

The building of the Haryana State Commission is ready in Sector 2, Panchkula, but it is yet to be furnished. The Punjab SCDRC has also been sanctioned its independent building in Chandigarh. The land has been earmarked but the construction is yet to start.



Link airport to metros first: panel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
Members of the Airport Advisory Committee, Chandigarh, today raised apprehension about upgrading the Chandigarh Airport into an international airport.

Reacting to the development over the Union Government accepting in principle to upgrade the airport on a proposal moved by the Chandigarh Administration, Mr Surinder Bhardwaj and Mr Subash Kataria, both members of the committee, said at a press conference that there was around 7.5 acres available for upgradation of the airport.

"If it has to be made into an international airport, around 30 acres would have to be taken from the adjoining area of Punjab. An international airport requires at least 50 acres and it is not possible to do so without taking the help of Punjab," Mr Bhardwaj said.

Welcoming the move to upgrade the airport, the members said as per the past documents, the Airport Authority of India had denied the upgradation on account of lack of availability. The government should first link the airport with the metros.



Teams despatched to arrest suspect
Youth’s murder outside hotel

Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 23
The police has so far not been able to make any arrest in the case of the murder of an 18-year-old youth outside a hotel in Phase IIIB 2 around midnight on March 21.

The SP, Mr Varinder Pal Singh, said here today that Amarjit Singh, the person who had allegedly murdered Harpreet Singh, had absconded. Four police teams had been sent to different places to nab the suspect. He would soon be arrested, he added.

According to the police, Amarjit, who was a friend of the father of the deceased, was an NRI and had been deported from the US. He had a criminal background. However, the reason behind the murder is not clear.

Harpreet was allegedly stabbed by Amarjit after the two had an altercation over some issue.

The seriously injured youth was immediately taken to a private nursing home, near the scene of crime but when doctors refused to admit him there he was taken to Fortis Hospital in Phase VIII where he succumbed to his injuries about an hour later.

Mr Jagir Singh, father of Harpreet and resident of Phase X, said yesterday that his friend, Amarjit Singh, had met with an accident in Chandigarh and the police had detained him. Mr Jagir Singh said he had approached the Chandigarh police and got his friend freed on Tuesday.

Later, they purchased a bottle of liquor and went to the Asian Lodge hotel where they had drinks. His son was also with him at that time. The three of them were sitting in a room of the hotel, which is owned by his friend, when some argument took place between Amarjit and Harpreet.

He said the arguments between the two led to a scuffle and then both of them left the room and went outside the hotel.

He said, he saw Amarjit stabbing his son. An injured Harpreet fell down as Amarjit fled from the scene in his car. The father of the deceased said a police patrol party that happened to reach the area tried to nab Amarjit, who, however, hit the police vehicle and sped away.

The manager of Asian Lodge had told mediapersons that no drinks were served in the hotel. A room was given to Mr Jagir Singh as he had got a phone call from the owner to do so.

It is learnt that the hotel is owned by the son of a Punjab police official. The police had registered a case under Section 302 of the IPC.



PUDA razes 11 structures
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 23
The Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) today demolished 11 illegal structures at Jhujhar Nagar near Behlolpur village.

Residents of the area protested against the drive and even tried to prevent a JCB machine of PUDA from carrying out demolitions. Even though an enforcement team was accompanied by the security staff of PUDA, additional police help was sought.

Mr Balwinder Singh, a resident of Jhujhar Nagar, said PUDA staff demolished his shop, for which he had already paid regularisation fee. He said, initially, he had constructed a temporary structure, but got the building plastered after he had paid Rs 25,000 to PUDA on January 13 and got it regularised. He said he had suffered a loss of about Rs 70,000.

The enforcement team, which was headed by Ms Isher Roop Kaur, Estate Officer, Regulatory, later, demolished a showroom which was being illegally constructed outside Tangori village. The foundation of a tower, which was being raised without taking permission from authorities concerned was also demolished at Dehri village.

Mr Surinder Singh, subdivisional Engineer, however, denied that any regular construction was demolished by the PUDA team. He said the enforcement team visited Jagatpura, Kandala, Kandali, Nadiali, Dyalpura, Nabha, Jhungian, Raipur Kalan, Ajijpur, Khizragarh, Kot Bassi Isse Khan, Banur, Saneta, Bhagomajra, Landran and Lakhnour villages and stopped constructions going on in violation of the norms. A warning was also issued to the respective villagers in this regard.



Play on Bhagat Singh staged
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 23
“Jab talak bhi boo rahegi khoon mein imaan ki/ takhat-e-London takk chalegi teg Hindustan ki…” The couplets veritably express the buoyancy of the patriotic spirit and love for the motherland and its people that radiated the persona of Bhagat Singh, the peerless patriot and fearless fighter.

The National Integrated Forum of Artists and Activists (NIFAA) staged a play “A Misunderstood Hero of India — Bhagat Singh” in the light-and-sound form at Tagore Theatre today. The play had been subjected to certain aberration forms. Its last show was staged under the direction of noted thespian Dr C.S. Sindra, who has carried extensive research on the life and resolute resolves of the great martyr.

The ambience at Kala Gram was charged with emotions as the play unfolded the sequence of events leading to the supreme martyrdom of the Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev.

It projects that the national hero had not been projected properly in the films which were tailored to suit the commercial considerations, says Pritpal Singh Pannu, director of the play. The facts like the haphazard advancing of the scheduled time, date and place of Bhagat Singh’s execution besides the presence of only the British officers on duty there, unanswered so far, find clarification in the play though without historical authenticity.

The musical ingredient to visualise the ideology and dynamism of Bhagat Singh has been appreciable but the gestures and movements of artistes at times failed to synchronise with the pre-recorded dialogues. The director relied upon many theatrical forms like the Mahrashtrian Tamasha Nautanki Brechtian and the Persian theatre tradition.

Trilochan Singh, Karanbir and Parmavir portrayed Bhagat Singh while Riyaz Singh and Gaurav Chawla played Rajguru and Sukhdev, respectively. Sukhpal Pannu, Chaman Bhaskar, Komal Sharma and Kuldip played multiple roles in the play.

The chief guest at the play, Mr Chander Mohan, Deputy Chief Minister, Haryana, paid rich tributes to the great martyrs and exhorted the people to follow their ideals. Mr Ashok Khanke and Mr Suresh Goyal, both IAS, and many dignitaries watched the play.



Follow martyrs’ ideology, students exhorted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
Various student organisations today organised a series of activities at Panjab University to mark the 75th martyrdom anniversary of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev.

Members of the Students Federation of India organised three plays at the Gandhi Bhavan auditorium. While two of the plays were by the NETI theatre group, the third was performed by law students. The play “Chipan to Pehla” was directed by Gurcharan Singh and written by Davinder Daman. Raj Kumar Bhardwaj played the role of Bhagat Singh. a one act mono play “Damroo” was also directed by Gurcharan Singh and written by Ranbir Rana. “Rang de Basanti”, the third play, was directed by Danish.

Addressing students, SFI all- India president R. Arun Kumar exhorted them to follow the ideology of the martyrs. State president Harmandeep Gill, unit president Bhuvan Azad and members Sanjeev Kumar and Danish were also present on the occasion.

Members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad organised a “deepak samaroh” in the evening to mark the day and had earlier in the day organised an “expression campaign”. Over 100 students wrote on the 50-metre poster and also paid homage to the martyrs. Gautam Sharma, president of the ABVP, Punjab unit, talked to the students and exhorted them to stand for the principles these martyrs stood for.



Martyrs remembered
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
A conference was held under the banner of the Joint Platform of Mass Organisations in memory of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev.

Remembering the sacrifices made by the great freedom fighters, various speakers flayed the "anti-employee" and "anti-people" policies of successive governments.

Tributes were also paid to the martyrs by the Noujavan Karantikari Seva Dal at a function here.

Meanwhile, the Chetna Manch will organise a seminar on "understanding Bhagat Singh—our contemporary and future" at the Gandhi Smarak Bhavan here on March 26.



Sector 20 residents hold protest
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 23
Residents of Sector 20 today staged a dharna outside the office of Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) in Sector 6. They were protesting against the frequent enhancement costs being levied on them.

Led by Mr J.K. Malhotra, president, and Mr K.K. Jindal, general secretary of the House Owners Welfare Association, Sector 20, and the area Councillor, Ms Anjala Kataria, raised slogans against the HUDA administration, and demanded that the enhancement costs should be borne by HUDA.

The residents said a third enhancement cost had been imposed on them recently. "The first enhancement cost was levelled on us at the time of allotment of land, and the second enhancement cost was awarded three years ago. The third cost, awarded to original land owners too, will have to be borne by residents and flat owner will have to pay Rs 1 lakh. This is unjustified," said Ms Kataria.

The residents were peeved that the HUDA officials were not even willing to listen to their genuine demands. "We have sought an appointment with officers on a number of occasions, but the officers never turn up at the time of meetings, so we have had to resort to staging dharnas," complained Mr Jindal.

Residents were also protesting against HUDA for failing to remove encroachments from the sector and failure to have an effective sewerage system.



Trust clarifies on old age home
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
The Sri Sathya Sai Trust, Haryana and Chandigarh, has stated that some disgruntled elements were out to malign the image of the old age home being run by it in Sector 30 here.

The convener of the Trust, Mr A.K. Ummat, has said certain wrong elements had made false complaints about the home to the UT Administrator, the Adviser to the Administrator and the Inspector-General of Police. All complaints, after being investigated by the police, were found to be false.

He said the Trust was run by an organisation established by Sri Sathya Sai Baba for the help of the aged persons, who had been deserted by their families. Regarding the funds granted by the government, Mr Ummat said Rs 11,85,316 had been spent on the building of the old age home.

He said: “After certain reports about the activities of the old age home appeared in the media, officials of the Social Welfare Department have sought comments about those. We have sent the same to the Director, Social Welfare”, he said, adding that the Trust was open to any kind of screening.

The Director, Social Welfare, Ms Amandeep Kaur, said they were looking into the matter.



Hike in old-age pension lauded
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
The Social Security Foundation, a Jaipur-based pressure group, has lauded the Union Finance Minister for enhancing the National Old Age pension from Rs 75 per month, to Rs 200 per month.

Mr Triloki Das Khandelwal, Secretary-General of the Social Security Foundation, said it was because of efforts put in by organisations like the Social Security Foundation that the old age pension had been hiked by the Union Government. He also appreciated the Rajasthan government for revising the old age pension from Rs 200 per month to Rs 400 per month, in the Below Poverty Line bracket.

Mr Khandelwal said that measures like these would go a long way in helping 12.5 million aged and deprived senior citizens. This also shows the commitment of the Union and state governments to social justice, he added.



Ram Darbar residents stage dharna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
Residents of Ram Darbar today staged a dharna at the Tribune Chowk against the notices served on them by the Municipal Corporation for demolition of certain structures, “which have been raised in violation of building bylaws”.

The protesters have sought the corporation withdraws the demolition notices, an amendment in the building bylaws and certificates to the SCs and STs.



Ex-Market Committee chief held on fraud charge
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 23
A former chairman of the Market Committee, Chandigarh, and Hallomajra resident was arrested yesterday by the local police on a charge of a cheating a Naraingarh resident in Ambala district. It was alleged that the former chairman had taken Rs 6 lakh to send the complainant to the UK.

Sources in the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Chandigarh Police said the case was registered on a complaint filed by Mr Hardesh Kumar of Naraingarh. On the other hand, Kesar Singh, the former chairman, had also filed a complaint alleging that he was duped to the tune of Rs 6 lakh by a Sector 44-based travel agent on the pretext of sending his son to the UK.

A cheating case has also been registered against Rajiv Vaid and others on the complaint of the former chairman. However, no arrests have been made so far.

Meanwhile, the arrest of Kesar Singh has drawn flak from various sections, which have termed the police action as biased.

Giving details of the matter, sources in the EOW said Hardesh Kumar had alleged that he had given money to Kesar Singh for arranging a UK visa for himself. However, Kesar Singh neither sent him abroad nor returned his money. On the other hand, Kesar Singh maintained that he himself was duped by Rajiv Vaid and others to the tune of Rs 6 lakh for sending his son to the UK. He maintained that had he been hand in glove with the travel agent, he would not have filed a case of cheating against them.

Kesar Singh was today produced before a local court, which remanded him in one-day police custody.

Reacting to the police action, the president of the Shiromani Akali Dal, Chandigarh, Mr Gurpartap Singh Riar, alleged that the complainant had no evidence against Kesar Singh. He added that Kesar Singh was falsely implicated by the police as the complainant Hardesh Kumar was related to a local police officer.

Similarly, the president of the Panchayat Samiti, Chandigarh, Mr Didar Singh, and a former chairman and Congress leader, Mr Bhupinder Singh Badheri, have demanded a CBI probe into the matter. They said they would take up the matter with the Governor and senior officers of the Chandigarh Police.



Woman constable hurt in mishap
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 23
A woman constable sustained injuries after a car hit her scooter near the Mani Majra police station. The police has arrested a resident of Sector 38 on the charges of carrying four bottles of liquor, illegally. Elsewhere, a resident of Badheri has been booked for allegedly stealing electricity. Besides this, a scooter was stolen from the city.

Giving details about the mishap, the police said the woman constable, Ms Suman Rani, posted in Traffic Wing of the Chandigarh Police, sustained injuries after a car hit her scooter near the Mani Majra police station on Wednesday. She was taken to General Hospital, Sector 16. The police had arrested the driver of the car, Mr Charanjit Singh of Yamuna Nagar, on the charges of causing injuries by rash and negligent driving. He was later released on bail.

Liquor seized

The police arrested Moni, a resident of Sector 38, from Sector 38 and 40 dividing road on the charges of carrying four bottles of countrymade liquor, illegally on Wednesday. A case under the Excise Act has been registered.


The police booked a resident of Badheri on the charges of stealing electricity on Wednesday. The police said the SDO Electricity Department, Mr Deepak Sarat, had lodged a complaint against Sarwan Singh and alleged that he was stealing electricity through a kundi connection. A case under Section 379 of the IPC and Section 39 of the Electricity Act has been registered.

Scooter stolen

Ms Harpal Kaur Gill of Phase X, Mohali, reported to the police that her scooter (PB-65-7848) had been stolen from a parking lot near the Shastri Market, Sector 22, on Wednesday. A case of has been registered.



Chandigarh tourism gets boost
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
The Chandigarh Administration has been successful in promoting Chandigarh as a tourist destination during the International Tourism Bourse (ITB) 2006 as a large number of key global players have shown keen interest in promoting Chandigarh.

Mr Krishna Mohan, Home Secretary, and Mr Jasbir Singh Bir, Managing Director of CITCO, returned from a trip to Berlin yesterday organised in this regard.

An internationally known firm of Germany has been shortlisted for promoting Chandigarh tourism. Ms Warini Munshi, manager international sales, hotel de AG, Niederlassung Nurnberg, has also agreed for marketing CITCO hotels all around the world.

Similarly, detailed discussions were held with representatives of various companies, including Expedia Inc and TUI, which have tourism experts from 16 countries, for promotion of Chandigarh Tourism and CITCO hotels.

The representatives of Sea Bridges of Netherlands, which is famous for ferry business, have decided to visit Chandigarh shortly to study the viability of designing boats for Sukhna Lake as conveyed by Mr Winnibert L.A.Van Den Hoven, managing director of the company.

The discussions with Mr Hans Van Driem, Managing Director of Netherlands Board of Tourism and Conventions, also proved fruitful as he desired to visit Chandigarh in June to promote tourism between Chandigarh and Holland.

Similarly, Mr Hashim Khan, Managing Director, Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation, suggested to start travel tours between Chandigarh and Nankana Sahib, Panja Sahib and other historical places for which Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation will help in getting visa clearance.

Mr Maurus Lauber, marketing head, Zurich Tourism, gave an assurance to promote tourism on a reciprocal basis between these two cities.

Some Austrian tour operators of Vienna were also shortlisted, who will be offered special packages for promoting Chandigarh Tourism. These are: Jumbo Touristik, Tai Pan Touristik, Raiffeisen Reisen, RUEFA Reisen, Optimundus, Ganesha Reisen GmbH, Dr Maiers Studienreisen, Kompass Reisen, FTI Touristik GmbH, N-U-R NECKERMANN, Gulet Touropa Touristik and Blaguss Travel.



Global Companies keen on monorail project
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
Certain international companies have responded to the Chandigarh Administration seeking an expression of interest for the proposed monorail project in the city, reliable sources said here yesterday. Yesterday was the last date for filing the expression of interest.

Sources said the list of the final applicants was still being worked out. However, Siemens and Bombardier, internationally reputed for their work on monorail, had evinced keen interest in applying for the project. Reliance, a major company nationally, had also shown interest.

The sources said the Administration had received a reasonably good response for the project. Regarding the reported comments by Mr E. Sreedharan, the man behind the Delhi Metro, at a meeting with Haryana Government officials recently where he said that Chandigarh was not a feasible area for the monorail project, the sources said the project here would not confine merely to the geographical limits of the city. Covering Panchkula, Mohali, Kalka and certain other areas, the project presented a very positive picture of viability.

The sources said the UT had received enough responses to proceed on the project.

“The distance between the proposed stations of Kharar in Punjab and Kalka in Haryana gives a comfortable work area for success of a monorail project. At the same time, the UT is dwelling on the possibility of a light rail transit system, which costs lesser that the monorail.

The Administration will depend on the Rail India Technical Economic Services, which is its official consultant, to give the final recommendation on the system that best suits the UT,” they added.


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