C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Builders ‘demolish’ rules as civic body looks other way
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, April 18
Certain unscrupulous builders are having a field day in Zirakpur. They are violating the rules with impunity with the Nagar Panchayat choosing to look the other way.

With this, the functioning of the civic body seems to have come under a cloud as a number of these housing projects have been approved by it. Even as the civic body virtually ignores the violation of the laid-down rules, the affected parties have raised a voice against this.

And to top it all, the Nagar Panchayat, which had collected crores of rupees from the builders and the general public by way of external development charges (EDC), has allegedly failed to provide any civic amenities, including sewerage, water supply and roads, in the new colonies.

Bhabhat village is a classic example of the ‘‘urban slum’’ that Zirakpur is threatening to emerge as in the months to come. A visit to the village revealed that the municipal rules had been given a go by the colonisers.

It may be recalled that through a resolution passed on September 29, 2004, the civic body had made it mandatory for the developers of the new colonies to earmark 30-feet roads. Similarly, the land developers were supposed to leave a 15 foot stretch along the link roads. However, in a majority of cases in the township, including in Bhabhat, these provisions seem to have been violated.

‘‘The violations are assuming alarming proportions right under the nose of the civic body. It is surprising that the Nagar Panchayat had passed the maps of these projects by ignoring ground realities,’’ alleged Mr F.S Nagra, and Mr Tarun Bhardwaj, president and vice-president, respectively, of the Godown Owners Association, Bhabhat.

Moreover, throwing various provisions of the Punjab Apartment and Property Act (PAPRA) to the winds, certain builders got map of a single three-storey unit passed from the civic body and later sold the individual units as apartments to different persons.

Source said PAPRA made specific provisions for the single-use buildings such as hospitals, marriage palaces and schools, which could be approved as a single unit. However, this was not applicable to apartments, the sources added.

The president of the Nagar Panchayat, Mr N.K Sharma, conceded that certain builders were violating various provisions of PAPRA. ‘‘The civic body had acted promptly as and when the matter was brought to its notice’’, Mr Sharma said, promising strict action against the violators of building plans.

Meanwhile, Mr Nagra threatened that the association would file a public interest litigation in the Punjab and Haryana High Court if ‘‘unauthorised’’ constructions were not checked by the civic body immediately. The haphazard and unregulated mushrooming of colonies and apartment blocks would lead to chaos and law and order problems in the times to come, he added.



City police may cancel case against Agarwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 18
Did the Chandigarh Police show haste in booking S.C Agarwal, under the Excise Act after recovering 38 bottles of whiskey from his house during a raid by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)? The Chandigarh Police, probably wiser in retrospect, today sought legal opinion on the matter.

It is likely that the case against Agarwal, Principal Secretary, Industries, Punjab Government, would be cancelled as no case seems to be made out under the provisions of the Punjab Excise Act, 1914, as applicable to Chandigarh. The number of whiskey bottles recovered from his house may be well within the permissible legal limits.

It appears that the Chandigarh Police got carried away by the frenzy created by the CBI raids last Thursday, on high profile bureaucrats.

The CBI, after raiding the homes of two IAS and two IFS officer in connection with the case against Forest Hill Golf Resort had recovered 38 bottles of whiskey from the house of Agarwal in Sector 5, here. It then directed the Chandigarh Police to take appropriate action, if required, under the Excise Act.

The Chandigarh Police registered a case against Agarwal the same night, without going into the details of the Act. With the dust raised by the CBI raids settling down, officials in the Excise Department have been asked to provide details of the law that lays down the limit on the quantity of alcohol that one can keep in one’s house without obtaining a licence. It was pointed out that the Punjab Excise Act allowed each individual to keep 12 bottles without the need for any licence. There are more than four adults in family of Agarwal.

The Chandigarh Police today sought legal opinion on the matter with a view to review it.

The Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Gaurav Yadav, told The Tribune tonight that the case had been sent for legal opinion and the matter would be reviewed once there was clarity on the issue.

However, sources pointed out that it had already been conveyed to the police that Agarwal was well within his legal rights and limits to store 38 bottles in his house. The Excise Act does not differentiate between men or women and drinkers or non-drinkers. Even a non-drinking adult is allowed to keep the same amount of liquor as a person who has stored it for personal consumption.

Sources in the police said technically no case is made out against Mr Agarwal, but the confiscated bottles that were sealed on the day of the raids are still in the Sector 3 Police Station as case property. Once the case is withdrawn, the Chandigarh Police will be bound to return them.

It may be mentioned that the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, has already taken up the issue of CBI raids with the Union Government and lodged a protest over ‘‘the manner in which the CBI conducted itself and overstepped its brief’’.

The CBI-raids followed the direction of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to conduct an inquiry into the violations in approving the Forest Hill Resort.



Show-cause notice served to CGA
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 18
Getting tough with the Golf Range, being run by the Chandigarh Golf Association (CGA), the UT Excise and Taxation Collector today served a show-cause notice to its management for violating provisions of the Punjab Liquor Licence Rules, 1956.

The CGA has been given two-day time to explain its position regarding the contravention of rules.

The notice has been served in light of the ruckus created by VIP brats at the bar of the Golf Range on the night intervening April 9 and 10, said a senior official in the Excise and Taxation Department.

Serving notice under the relevant sections of the rules which govern the grant and operation of the liquor licensing, the collector has asked as to why the licence not be cancelled or suspended.

After the ruckus created by certain influential persons, the Collector had directed the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) to provide details of the inquiry conducted into the incident by the police.

The SSP had, in his report, mentioned three main points: unauthorised persons were allowed entry and served liquor in the bar, the guests were in an inebriated state before entering the bar in the range, and the bar was opened beyond the closing time of 12 midnight.

On the basis of the findings by the police, the Excise Department found that provisions of the Section 38 (14) of the Punjab Liquor Licence Rules, 1956, order 17(6) of the Punjab Intoxicant Licence and Sales Order, 1956 and condition 75 of the conditions governing grant and operation of liquor licence.

At least five unidentified persons, accompanied by gunmen, had gone to the Golf Range and after running up a huge alcohol and food bill allegedly refused to pay it. They ordered eatables and drinks at the Hot Million-run club house. The police has registered an FIR in the Sector 26 Police Station against ‘‘unidentified persons’’.

It may be mentioned that a local court today has already granted anticipatory bail to the accused involved in the incident at the range.



UT all set to help women in distress
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 18
The Chandigarh Administration has cleared all groundwork for housing and helping women facing difficult circumstances in their daily life. This category of women includes widows, destitutes, deserted wives, former prisoners, victims of sexual abuse (those rescued from brothels), migrants, refugees and victims of natural calamity.

The Department of Social Welfare has initiated the scheme following communication from the Centre with regard to implementation of ‘Swadhar’, the scheme for settlement of women in difficult situations. Ms Amandeep Kaur, Director of the Social Welfare Department, said: "We have created a special place for housing the distressed women. At least six women have been interviewed for being provided the space for residency created in Nari Niketan, Sector 26. Of the total, three were found fit to be provided the residency. The current accommodation has place for six residents. In case of need we can expand our programme".

‘Swadhar’ is a part of the scheme launched at the national level by the Ministry of Human Resource Development. "The existing conditions in the Nari Niketans were not really catering to the needs of providing them training for employment. This scheme is launched for victims of the circumstances beyond their control", a senior official said.

The scheme provides for shelter, food, clothing and care to marginalised women and girls living in difficult circumstances without any social and economic support. It will be an attempt providing emotional support and counselling. All out efforts will also be made to rehabilitate them socially and economically through education, awareness, skill upgradation and personality development.

The target group includes widows deserted by their families and relatives. It also includes women prisoners released from jails and are now without family support, women survivors of natural disaster; victims of terrorist violence; and also mentally disordered women whose families have deserted them.



Pak may free 80 more Indian prisoners: Anand
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 18
“There is no immediate proposal for opening of a Pakistan visa office in Amritsar,” says Mr Anand Sharma, Union Minister of State for External Affairs, claiming that people-to-people contact initiative had been a considerable success.

A major effort has been made to improve people-to -people contacts with Pakistan through easier visa facilities, improved communication links and facilitation of visits to centres of pilgrimage.

“We are trying to simplify and improve visa issuance system. Last year, our mission in Islamabad issued 90,000 visas of which 15,000 were business visas. As of now both India and Pakistan are in the process of setting up their consulates in Mumbai and Karachi, respectively.

“In Pakistan, we have introduced a new system where anyone from anywhere can send his visa application through approved courier services. Unless required, we do not call applicants for an interview before grant of visa,” said Mr Sharma.

“As a result of various confident building measures and improved people-to -people interaction, there has been a considerable improvement in trade and other issues.

For example, another group of 80 Indians, who have served their sentences in Pakistani jails, may be released soon. The last batch, which included fishermen, was released in January this year. This group does not include any fishermen,” he added.

Mr Sharma said the Amritsar-Lahore bus and Amritsar-Nankana Sahib bus services had already been started. Some more links were being considered. Similarly rail service between Munabao and Khohrapar had become operational.

The permit system as introduced for the Srinagar-Muzaffarbad route cannot be applied for the Amritsar-Lahore or Amritsar-Nankana Sahib bus service. “If people are facing problems in getting visas, we will address those issues and sort them out,” he said maintaining that the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus service was across the Line of Control (LOC) while in case of Amritsar-Lahore or Nankana Sahib it was across international border which required passport.

Mr Sharma said India's foreign policy was being modified in accordance with its changing relations with other countries.

The new policy had to reflect the emergence of India as an economic power and every country was “viewing us” with tremendous interest. Many of multinational companies want to invest, enter into partnerships with our companies realising that India was country of the future.

Mr Sharma said a new policy on issuance of passports and visas was being finalised. “We are trying to make the issuance of passports simpler and quicker. We have requested the state governments to make the police verification faster. Computerisation is another area in which the ministry is working. It will facilitate machine-printed and machine readable passports. Issuance of long term visas is also under consideration of the government,” he added.

Mr Sharma said 35.71 lakh passports were issued in 2005 against 33.53 lakh in the previous year.

“No irregularity in the issuance of passport would be tolerated. Severe action would be taken against those found resorting to unfair practices,” he said maintaining that a special drive was being launched to clear backlog of cases. Shortage of manpower was one major problem. He maintained that as of now there was no shortage of passport booklets.



Europe to offer ‘better deal’ to Indian students
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 18
It was an interaction brimming with pertinent questions and some very candid answers, an interface between a group of delegates from the European Parliament and the young bright students of Carmel Convent School, Sector 9.

This working group of Parliamentarians led by their Chairperson Neena Gill, (from the UK) comprised eight representatives— Jim Nicholson (UK), Josef Leinen (Germany), Philip Bushill-Matthews (UK), Jean-Marie Beaupuy (France), Nirj Deva (UK), Jean Lambert (UK) and Marianne Mikko (Estonia), representing various committees in Parliament.

While introducing the group, Ms Gill spoke of the European Parliament being the only one which works across a number of member states, 25 to be precise. ‘‘It is not just about markets but also about rights, values and democracy. The laws made by us not only affect more than 475 million people across 25 countries but have an impact globally as well.’’

Stressing on education in her introductory talk, she said this was the one thing that would make each country and individual prosper. ‘‘We are trying to strengthen relations with India and have a new programme in place where grants are available to encourage Indian students to come and study in Europe for various Masters programmes.

Despite the reassurances about educational opportunities in Europe, most of the questions posed by the students raised the issue of the protectionist policies of the various member states.

Jean Lambert, on the Committee for Employment and Social Affairs, while acknowledging that the cost of education for foreigners was prohibitive and admission was based on qualifications along with the ability to pay for the education, said there was no ‘‘magic wand’’ to change the situation but ‘‘we will take this back to our education department.’’

Speaking about their mission while on their visit to India, Ms Gill said the effort was to break barriers, to build an action plan to the agreement signed between India and the European Parliament last September.

Finally, she spoke about the issue of female foeticide and hoped that the girls sitting across them would actively participate in stopping this.

The delegation is on a week-long visit which began at Amritsar on April 15, going on to Ludhiana and Chandigarh before ending in Delhi.



Delegation calls on Rodrigues
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 18
An eight-member European parliamentary delegation called on Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), Governor of Punjab and UT Administrator, at Punjab Raj Bhavan, here today and discussed various subjects of mutual interest, including agriculture, food processing, IT, tourism and power sector.

General Rodrigues emphasised the need for further economic and trade ties and long-term collaborative initiatives in agriculture, marketing of agriculture produce, sharing of technologies to enhance yield and setting up of food processing units for mutual benefit of the farmers and business and trade community.



Himachal girl shows there is life beyond HIV
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 18
Pooja Thakur is no ordinary girl. All of 22 years and she has endured a lifetime of trauma only to bypass pain on the road to joy. She knows happiness is as much her right as of those living without HIV/AIDS. And as president of the Chandigarh Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS — a group of HIV+ persons from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal and Chandigarh — she is helping others in her league believe it too.

At home in her workplace, Pooja reverses the flow of life leading us back to the fateful day in July, 2005, when her three and a half year old son fell sick and demanded medical attention. Tests revealed the child’s HIV+ status and raised apprehensions about the health of his parents, as also of his younger sibling.

What happened was least expected and most feared. In no time, Pooja’s world had crumbled under the weight of misfortune and there was nothing she could do to raise it back to fullness. Her husband, a truck driver on the Chandigarh-Shimla highway, had infected her and those she held dear. In the seven years of marriage, he had displayed risk behaviour and there had been times when Pooja had requested him to get an HIV test done.

But her words had fallen on deaf ears. And they continued to do so even when fears had become realities. After a long pause of reflection, Pooja recalls her pain, “My husband refused to take treatment. He left me and my sons to stay with his parents in Rajgarh — a place in Sirmour where we belong. When I went to them, they called me names. They said I had been possessed and that I was the cause of all trouble.”

Needless to say, Pooja was turned out of the house. She could not even bid her husband a final farewell as he died soon after. Left with two infected and one healthy son, she took control of her life and applied for a job with State AIDS Control Society, Chandigarh, which embraced her readily.

It was the job of a counsellor that brought confidence back into Pooja’s life, though she had to pay a heavy price to commit herself to the service of infected persons. Two of her sons now live at Dharampur under the care of Pooja’s sister. The youngest of all is also on his way out of Pooja’s life, which is seeking a purpose beyond the perimeters of family. Besides heading the network, she is also counselling patients who visit Chandigarh SACS’s drop-in centre in Sector 15.

“My colleagues are my family. I want to instill self-confidence in them and tell them that there is a full life beyond infection. The only way to fight HIV is to arm oneself with joy and all that it symbolises. As a counsellor I help them overcome the initial overwhelming grief and then take stock of life so that they don’t contract other allied illnesses like tuberculosis,” Pooja says.

For her part, she lives on small pleasures — like those of going home to her one and a half year old son and seeing him smile, despite HIV/AIDS.



Passing Thru

Neena Gill, Chairperson, Delegation for Relations with the countries of South Asia and SAARC, European Parliament.
Neena Gill, Chairperson, Delegation for Relations with the countries of South Asia and SAARC, European Parliament

Tell us about yourself?

I have been a part of the European Parliament for seven years now but I was born in Ludhiana. My family left for the UK 40 years ago and I grew up over there.

How did you get into politics?

It just happened. I was an active campaigner for several issues like single Asian women, elderly Asians and homeless people, and had started off while I was a student. When I stood for the first time for the European Parliament in 1999, I got elected.

Is the going tough, being of Asian origin and a woman?

It is tough only in the sense that women in politics are not taken seriously enough because the image of a politician is a male one. It is an image you have to reverse strongly and determinedly. In fact, we have taken several actions within the Labour Party for women to come forward and participate.

What do you consider your strengths to be?

I am confident and not easily intimidated by different situations. I am not restricted by roles and believe I can compete in any field. I have certain ideals and I want to put down discrimination. I feel very strongly about female foeticide. Why this pressure to produce only sons? You can rely on your daughters too. Just give them the opportunity.

— Gayatri Rajwade



Balancing rhetoric with reality
Aditi Tandon

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 18
Miss India Universe Neha Kapur is well aware of the spurious attractions of fame. No wonder she is firmly in control of life and the changes it has unleashed post Miss India pageant. ‘‘Change is a constant in my life and I don’t mind where it takes me as long as I don’t lose sight of the land,’’ says Kapur, the city girl on a country song.

In Chandigarh on the eve of the commencement of her training for the Miss Universe pageant, Neha presented herself more as a girl out of home than ramp. The conversation naturally centred on her life after victory, her concerns as a socially-inclined individual and her strong anti-Bollywood leaning.

‘‘I know how unreal the world of glamour is and how winners of beauty pageants take people for granted. They waste no time in espousing social causes but they waste no time in burying these causes either. There is a world of difference between rhetoric and reality. I want to bridge this difference by keeping the trust of people I represent. What good is my victory if it does not help change lives,’’ says Neha, who deeply aspires to work for the United Nations on causes close to the heart of the world.

As a daughter of a solar engineer, Neha could not have sympathised less with the cause of energy conservation. As a youngster she has been part of teams that have gone down to remote Himachal and Bihar villages to offer them the gift of light. ‘‘I have been working with my father on these projects, besides participating in entertainment programmes for HIV/AIDS patients. I support the activities of an NGO that works on AIDS awareness in Delhi,’’ says Neha who does a lot of other things on the sidelines, including painting, reading and backpacking.

Good luck to Neha for California then. July 23 will finally determine whether she has voice enough to make it to the UN.

NIFD goes international

Neha Kapur took the occasion to formally launch NIFD’s tie up with Los Angeles Design Academy which will now review and assess fashion curriculum for the institute. The function held at the Chandigarh Press Club marked a significant transition in the history of NIFD, which plans to send its students to the world by striking a purposeful collaboration.



New park to come up in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 18
In its commitment to upgrade and provide new infrastructure in southern sectors of the city, the Chandigarh Administration has conceived a new park-cum-recreational centre in Sector 23.

The identified site comprises 22 acres of land stretching from Kitchen Garden, Sector 23, to the Grape Nursery adjoining the Traffic Park along the Sector 23 and 24 dividing road at the back of Sector 23 Government Model Senior Secondary School.

Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), the UT Administrator, visited the site last week and desired that this park should be one its own kind in Chandigarh. It will have water channels , green areas and an oasis.

The design and layout will have special zones for children and senior citizens. Barrier-free facilities will also be incorporated for the disabled. Features such as walkways, flower beds, landscaping features, labyrinths, foot bridges, small library for children, sand pits, bird corners, rain shelters and refreshment kiosks will be the added attractions.

The natural rivulet passing through the site will also be channelised as a part of the beautification. There will be construction of foot bridges and new colourful trees will also be planted.

The park will be opened to the public within a period of six months.



Anganwadi workers stage rally
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 18
The Anganwadi Mulazaam Union, Punjab, today staged a rally at Matka Chowk here in protest against the non-acceptance of its demands. Women from all over Punjab took part in the protest. The call for the protest was given by the All-India Federation of Anganwadi Workers and Helpers.

The protest was first staged in front of the Department of Social Welfare in Sector 34 and later at Matka Chowk.

The protesters demanded that the Integrated Child Development Scheme, under which the anganwadis come, should be implemented.

“For the past 30 years it’s a scheme only and we want it to be a department,” stated Ms Hargobind Kaur, president of the mulazaam union.

She said while the anganwadi workers were called social workers, they had to work under officials. “We are paid Rs 1,400, while a helper is paid Rs 700. However, the officials are paid according to grades,” she stated. The workers demanded that they should be given a Class III status and the helpers a Class IV grade.

They also demanded that Early Child Care centres opened under the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan were still working and as promised by the government had not been stopped.

As many as 15,000 anganwadis are working in Punjab.

Their demands included maternity leave and summer and winter holidays.



Development plan for city soon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 18
A Memorandum of Agreement for Reform has been designed by the Ministry of Urban Affairs with 10 cities, including Chandigarh, where city development plans will be implemented. As many as 24 projects have been cleared for the reform.

This was said by Mr Rajamani, a Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Urban Development, while addressing a media interaction series organised by the Press Information Bureau here today.

He said "The renewal of 5,161 towns in the country under the Jawahar Lal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission was targeted to upgrade urban infrastructure and governance in cities, besides providing basic services to urban poor."

He said certain cities had been identified to prepare city development investment plans and detailed project reports would be submitted to the Centre. Under the project, seven cities with more than four million population had been identified.

Mr Rajamani said areas of urban infrastructure and governance reforms will include water supply, sewerage, solid-waste management, urban transport, development of heritage sites and preservation of water bodies, besides others.

The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) planned to launch an extensive sensitisation and publicity campaign with a view to tackle problems of Indian women getting trapped into fraudulent marriages overseas. This was stated by Mr G. Gurcharan, Joint Secretary in the ministry. A guidance booklet was being prepared in English and six vernacular languages.

A scholarship for children of people living overseas was being launched to provide them easy accessibility to education here. The ministry was providing at least 100 scholarships.



Book in memory of Prem Bhatia
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 18
A book, The Indian Media: Illusion, Delusion and Reality, published in memory of eminent journalist Prem Bhatia, was introduced to the local intelligentsia at a seminar organised at the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development here on Monday.

The book, edited by Ms Asha Rani Mathur, is a compilation of various aspects of the media, its functioning and challenges faced by it. These have been written by noted authors, journalists and thinkers.

A panel discussion was also held in which contents of the book and various facets of the media were discussed. Rich tributes were also paid to Prem Bhatia, who always expressed great concern for the masses.



Encroachments removed in Panchkula
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 18
In less than 36 hours before the Chief Minister’s visit to the town, HUDA today launched a drive to clear roadside encroachments along his proposed route.

The Chief Minister, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, would visit Sectors 1, 3, 4 and 20 to preside over five functions.

Over 100 rehris, including roadside vends, pan and tea stalls, were removed from the four sectors. HUDA had given notices to the encroachers to remove the vends and shacks by today.

A team of the enforcement wing of HUDA launched the drive under the supervision of Mr Bacchan Singh, Naib Tehsildar.

The drive will continue tomorrow.



Programme on road safety

Panchkula, April 18
A programme on road safety was held by the Haryana Highway Patrol Road Safety at KV-2, Chandimandir, today.

The programme was led by Dr K.S. Poswal, Medical Officer of the NDRI, Karnal, and Mr Raj Kumar, in charge of the Traffic Aid Centre at Surajpur.

A quiz on road safety was held on the occasion and prizes were given away to winners. Principal Rama Sharma exhorted students to comply with traffic rules. TNS



Sankirtan sammelan

Chandigarh, April 18
The 38th Sankirtan Sammelan will be held from April 19 to 23 at the Baba Balak Nath Pracheen Mandir, Sector 31, Kanthala village, here. Swami Saroopnath Ji Maharaj will preside over the function. TNS



Mishap victim succumbs to injuries
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 18
Ramesh Kumar, a 27-year-old city resident who was injured in a road accident on Sunday evening, succumbed to his injuries at PGI here today.

Ramesh, a night guard, was walking near the Tribune Chowk late in the night on April 15. A Punjab Police constable hit him while driving his motor cycle.

The constable has been arrested and bailed out for causing death because of negligent driving, reliable sources said.



SI held while accepting bribe

Chandigarh, April 18
The UT Vigilance Department today caught a Sub-Inspector (SI) of the Chandigarh police red-handed while allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 1,000 from a Ram Darbar resident.

Sources in the Vigilance Department said SI Mohinder Singh, posted at the Women and Child Support Unit, was booked under Sections 7 and 13 (2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act on the complaint of Bir Singh. OC



2.5 kg opium seized
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, April 18
The police yesterday seized 2.5 kg of opium from Sitabgarh village.

The opium was seized from Mukhtiar Singh, a truck driver from Fatehgarh village, near Dera Bassi, during a routine check by a police party. The party was led by the in charge of the Zirakpur police post, Mr Shaminder Singh. The accused had been smuggling opium from Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, sources said.

A case has been registered under the NDPS Act.



Man held for raping minor
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 18
The police has arrested a resident of Sector 22 for abducting and raping a minor. The suspect, Rajiv Gupta, was arrested from Sector 2 along with the girl.

According to the police, the father of the victim, a resident of Azad Colony, Sector 3, had earlier complained that the youth had abducted his daughter who was a student of Class X and had raped her. The girl was reportedly abducted over one-and-a-half months ago.

Rajiv was yesterday produced in a court and was remanded to judicial custody.


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