C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Five more arrested in paper leak scam
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 3
The Chandigarh Police today arrested five more persons from Ludhiana, including three MBBS students, in connection with the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences’ PMET question paper leak scam. The students were allegedly involved in solving the question paper, which was later “handed over” to the candidates for memorising the same. The total number of accused arrested in the case has now gone up to 10.

Giving details of the modus operandi, the sources claimed that the three MBBS students allegedly charged Rs 50,000 from the other gang members for solving the paper. These students belonging to Lucknow and Meerut were specially flown in to solve the papers in an attempt to save time.

Another accused, Delhi-based businessman Pradeep Kumar (37) was allegedly entrusted with task of contacting willing candidates from Delhi, Punjab and other places with the assistance of local agents.

The sources added that they had identified a BDS student of Career College at Sitapur Highway in Lucknow. The student, Adarsh Thakur, is suspected to be involved in procuring the papers being printed at Lucknow.

The police are also looking for city resident Ram Kumar Dhaka on the allegations of being involved in the scam. His brother was booked by the Punjab Police in connection with the leak of PMET- 2002, along with Sirhind-based businessman Devinder Singh arrested by the Chandigarh Police on July 1.

The sources added that the teams of the local police also conducted raids at various places, including at a printing press in Lucknow, in an attempt to arrest more persons for their alleged involvement in the scam. They also said that the following a request made by the Chandigarh Police to Panjab University, the university authorities sent a communication to Chandigarh Police this afternoon after ‘initial hesitations’ admitting that they were responsible for conducting the test and the printing of the question papers.

Elaborating on the circumstances leading to the arrest of five arrested today, UT Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Special Crime Investigation Cell, Mr Davinder Thakur, said arrested have been identified as Anish Kumar (22) of Agra and Pankaj (28) of Novada Bihar, both students of MBBS (final year), King George Medical University, Lucknow.

The other accused are Diviesh Kumar (24) of Bijnaur in Uttar Pradesh, doing his post-graduation in physical education and studying at Meerut-based Chaudary Charan Singh University; Pradeep Kumar, a Delhi-based businessman, and Beant Singh (27); driver of Devinder Singh, a Sirhind-based Businessman arrested by the local police on July 1 in connection with the scam. Beant Singh allegedly used to transport the candidates to secrete places to provide them the solved question papers to memorise. The raiding police team also impounded two vehicles, a Toyota Innova (PB-23-E-0054) and Santro car (DL-9CN-2941).



Godrej employee’s murder: three arrested
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 3
In a breakthrough, the local police claims to have solved the murder of a Godrej employee with the arrest of three persons here today. Jatinder Singh was killed on a road near Sector 71 on May 10.

Jatinder Singh, who worked as an airconditioner mechanic in Godrej, was brutally done to death by the three persons when he was going to the factory around 8 p.m. The arrested persons are Nitin Dayal, Deputy Singh alias, DC and Satnam Singh, alias, Jhota, all residents of Matour village. The police has also recovered the weapon used in the crime as well as the motorcycle on which the three of them went to commit the murder.

Mr Naunihal Singh, SSP, told mediapersons at a press conference here that the Nitin suspected that Jatinder Singh had developed illicit relations with his sister which led to lot of embarrassment for the family in the village. Nitin then discussed the matter with his friend, Deputy alias, DC, and the two of them hatched a conspiracy to kill Jatinder Singh. The plan made about two years ago but the two of them did not have the courage to carry out the plan.

As such they approached Satnam Singh of the same village who they thought would be able to help them to kill Jatinder Singh, Satnam Singh was already booked in connection with a case of murder and was out on bail. Satnam Singh agreed to help them in killing Jatinder Singh.

The three of them confronted Jatinder Singh when he was going on a bicycle of Godrej.

While Deputy and Satnam caught hold of him, Nitin repeatedly kept hitting an ice pick in his stomach. When he got seriously injured the three of them dumped him in the bushes in the area and fled from there on their motorcycle.

Mr Varinder Pal Singh, SP, City, who headed the special investigation team formed to solve the case of blind murder, said the deceased belonged to Kapurthala and had started working in Godrej here in 2001 after passing an ITI course from Jalandhar. In 2004 he took a room on rent in Matour village.

One day Mrs Gurbaksh Kaur, the landlady of the house, saw two girls of the village sitting in his room which was bolted from inside.

She brought the matter to the notice of the girls and also asked Jatinder Singh to immediately vacate the room.

Since then Nitin developed a grudge against Jatinder Singh. The former, along with his friend, once confronted Jatinder Singh in the village itself leading to a scuffle. However, Deputy Singh intervened and told Nitin that they would settle the scores with him later.

The SP said in order to execute the plan of murder the three suspects studied the time at which Jatinder Singh went to the factory and at what time he came back.

The three of them waited for him in afternoon as well in evening on May 9 but he did not turn up. They again waited for him on May 10 and when they saw him coming he was stopped and later killed with the sharp-edged weapon.



Woman raped in religious study centre
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 3
Two employees of the Sector 28-based Shri Guru Granth Sahib Vidya Kendra allegedly raped a middle-aged woman on Sunday night on the premises of the institute. The victim told the police that the accused had called her there on the pretext of getting her a job in the institute.

Giving details about the incident, sources in the Sector 26 police station said the victim came to the police station early this morning and lodged a complaint alleging that she was raped by Santokh Singh and Harpal Singh, both employees of the religious studies institute.

The police said Harpal Singh was working as a driver, while Santokh Singh was a “sewadar” at the institute.

In her complaint, the victim alleged that she came in connect with the accused about a month ago, when she came to the institute to attend a function with an acquaintance. The accused offered her a job in the institute.

On Sunday afternoon, she came to the institute and met the accused for getting her a job. They told her that the “manager” was not available at that time and she should come later in the evening. She went away around 3 pm after partaking langar and spent time at a petrol station in Sector 28.

Around 7 pm, the accused came in a Scorpio SUV and asked her to accompany them to the institute. After reaching there, they asked her to wait in a room and kept on delaying the things.

Around 10 pm, they allegedly locked her in a room and raped her. They threaten her with dire consequences in case she reported the matter to the police.

It was only in the morning that they allowed her to go out, said the police.



PTI candidates clash with cops, 10 injured
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 3
Tear gas shells and water cannons greeted over 150 agitating unemployed PTI (Physical Training Instructor) candidates today at the Sector 17, Matka chowk, here. At least 12 agitating men and women fell unconscious while braving water canons and tear gas shells during the clash, which lasted for about 45 minutes. Besides this over 10 protesters were injured in the commotion.

After failing to contain the protesters the Chandigarh Police rounded them up following orders of Additional Deputy Commissioner Inderjit Singh Sandhu. They were demanding recruitment into the state government services.

The agitators, who included state and national-level players, braved water canons to the end, which failed to dampen their spirits. They were even injured in the clash with cops. The police thereafter resorted to tear gas shells, which proved futile.The protesters refused to move even after some women fell unconscious. Ms Mousamy and Harwinderjit Kaur of Pathankot remained seated on the road even as the cops tried their level best to push them back with water canons. Unfazed women kept on raising slogans against the apathy of the state government and did move even though they were caught amid the smoke of tear gas shells.

Kamal of Muftawa Jattan village in Gurdaspur and Bittu of Fazilka and over 10 other protesters collapsed in the process.

At around 2 pm DSP S.S. Randhawa warned the protesters and ordered his men to surround them. On the other hand, the leader of protesters Rajwinder Singh Dhillon and their general secretary Daljit Singh Khera announced that they would continue their protest until the Punjab's Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh himself assured them about their recruitment in government services.

While giving vent to their ire, the protesting candidates maintained that despite the fact that they had brought laurels to their state by winning trophies at national levels; the state government rewarded them with lathies at the hands of the cops. They blamed that earlier also the Officer on Special Duty of the Chief Minister had given them false assurance on behalf of the state government.

Following the order of Additional Deputy Commissioner, the police arrested the protesters and took them to the Sector 17 police station. Later in the evening, they were all released.



Newly built rain water drains washed away
Naveen S. Grewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 3
The Chandigarh Administration’s move to repair roads and build rain water drains along all major roads have come as a rude shock to city commuters with the newly built sewer drains giving way with the mild showers that hit the city last night and early today morning. Water accumulating on most city roads, turned ‘City Beautiful’ into hundreds of small puddles, making driving and riding a nightmarish experience.

The newly built drains along the road dividing Sector 18 and 19, that had heaps of mud piled up turned the entire stretch into slush and the newly built drains broke with the flow of water. “The media must question the Chandigarh Administration if it is contemplating action against the officer who delayed the monsoon related projects to the last minute, leading to their collapse with the first strong showers”, Mrs Kamla Sharma of Sector 21 said.

Similarly, Mr Ramesh Kumar of Sector 18 said: “Starting work of carpeting the roads and building sewer drains should be taken up in March/April and not in June/July when the rains start. Lakhs of rupees would be wasted on roads that would get washed away during the monsoon. This is a loss to the exchequer. The wisdom of delaying work till monsoon should be questioned and the guilty officials punished”.

Interestingly, on the road dividing Sector 29 and 30, road on one side of the divider has been carpeted while work on the other side is yet to start.

As a result the road becomes a death trap as soon as there is a slight drizzle. One side is filled with slush forcing all traffic to use the other side. This has resulted in some head on collisions.

Again, roads have been dug up for building cycle tracks in many areas. There are huge piles of mud that turn into slush and flow on to the road turning the road into a slippery zone causing accidents due to skidding and slipping.

Most city residents who have no choice but to travel on the city roads question the logic of the Engineering Department of Chandigarh Administration and the Municipal Corporation in carrying out last minute repairs of roads. Rains are bound to further delay completion of work on roads such as the one dividing Sectors 29 and 30. Similarly, the road dividing Sectors 21 and 34 gets very slushy after mild showers.

The road dividing Sectors 31 and 32 has been closed to the general traffic and is likely to remain closed till after the monsoons. And for constructing slip roads, the roundabouts of Sectors 32-33-30-20 and 33-34-20-21 are dug up.

According to official records, at least 37 works have been listed under different heads that need repair. The Chandigarh Administration has already spent upwards of Rs 5 crore on re-carpeting of city roads this year.

Though officials claim that the rains will not cause any financial loss it is common knowledge that besides material being washed away in the rains, the cost on labour too will have to be spent for repair a second time after the monsoon.



UT notifies twin basements in the city
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 3
In an important development, the Chandigarh Administration has issued a notification allowing twin basement in big buildings of the city.

In order to curb the problem of parking in a changed scenario of the city where the number of vehicles has multiplied manifold, the administration says “one basement shall be mandatory in specified categories of buildings.Twin basement shall be provided if the requirement of the parking as per the covered area provided in the building is not met through one basement”.

The buildings which have been identified for the construction of the twin basements include cinemas converted into multiplexes; sites in Industrial Area Phase I and II converted into commercial usage after payment of conversion charges.

The plot area of the sites should be a minimum of one ace and above; shopping malls; hotel sites on independent plots; sites in Chandigarh Technology Park; special sites as the proposed 11-storeyed tower in City Centre, Sector 17; commercial sites, offices and educational sites except educational and residential) comprising independent plots of one acre and above.

At the moment there was a provision for basements in the big buildings only. These include Batra and Piccadilly theatres.

There was a provision for basements in Sector 17 adjacent to big government offices and certain other places.

A senior official said “with coming in of the multiplexes, big structures like the 11-storeyed building in Sector 17 and other new structures, there was an urgent need to increase the available parking space in the city.

The basements are required to be constructed within the prescribed coverage norms and area of the basement will not be counted towards the FAR. It has been clarified that 75 per cent of the area of the twin basement will be used exclusively for the purpose of parking.

The lighting and ventilation has been given a special attention in the notification and it has been specified that Building Rules of the Punjab Capital, 1952, will be followed, strictly.

The maximum height of the twin level basement shall not exceed 27 feet from the floor of the lower basement to the ceiling of the upper basement.

It has been clarified that in no case, the number of basement levels shall increase and no mezzanine floors and lofts are allowed.

The structural stability the basement needs to be certified by a qualified structural engineer. Adequate arrangement needs to be made to ensure that surface drainage does not enter the health clearance is mandatory.

The twin level basement will be provided in accordance to the provisions of the national building code of India, 2005and the Delhi Fire Prevention Safety Act, 1986.



Chandigarh Calling

Cool showers for a thirsty city

The night of July 2 brought with it the blessing of rain and a good shower followed the next afternoon. Monsoon is here at last after a long dry spell of the sweltering heat scorching the earth and its inhabitants. Monsoon is the season of love, longing, and hope. Thus it brings along many celebrations and festivals. However, it is too early to start rejoicing. Let the good earth be soaked by more rain and then there will be time aplenty to rejoice. Many are the superstitions attached to rain. An old lady got angry with her tenant for putting up an umbrella. “One must never show an umbrella to the first rain or the clouds will get angry and fly away,” she grumbled.

Cab comfort

As the much-awaited rain showers finally start drumming on your roofs and windowsills, there’s some pleasant news pouring too. The city commuters no longer have to brave walk through those muddy puddles of water to hire an auto rickshaw or a bus. For, an air-conditioned plush cab, (not to miss the chivalrous driver) is now a phone call away. Just dial the number and the cab will soon be at your destination to pick you. The service has executives at its help-line call centre, who also confirm the driver’s name, cab’s number and the time at which it will land at your doorstep. The charges are not too cheap though, being Rs 15 the first kilometre and Rs 12 per kilometre after the first one. However, when you are no mood to reach office all drenched, or sweating and puffing of sheer humidity, that much doesn’t pinch. Does it?

Exotic flora

The Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, has invited Prof Ravinder Kumar Kohli, Coordinator, Centre for Environment, Panjab University, to present two papers on impact of exotic species on Indian flora. The papers will be presented at the Association of Tropical Biology Conference annual meeting to be held in Kumming from July 18 to 21. “Tropical biology: Meeting the needs of changing tropical ecosystems” is the theme of the conference. Nearly 300 participants from various countries are expected to participate. Prof Kohli will present papers on impact of lantana and parthenium, both species from the USA, on local flora.

Moon birds

Many have heard the legendary love that a bird called ‘chakaur’ has for ‘chand’. It is a case of the moon bird pining for the moon and crying out of unrequited passion. Remember a popular song of yore: ‘Chand ko kya maloom chahata hai use koi chakaur’. However, not many have seen this bird in this city of ours. Recently, a pair of chakaurs was spotted in the sleepy market of Sector 31-C. Incidentally, chakaurs are always kept in pairs and this pair was the pet of a meat-seller. However, the pair disappeared as the shopkeeper’s nephew sold them off. So now they must be elsewhere, pining for the moon.

Bus stand

The Sector 43 bus stand is still a long way from reaching the full-fledged tag. It wears a raw and unfinished look. It is desperately in need of more platforms, benches, fans and water taps. No effort has been made to provide a cloakroom or a night shelter. There is no police booth around. There are no shops and boundary walls need to be erected. Why isn’t the Administration giving attention to this second Bus Stand of the city?

Web poetry

Sharad and Nitin, two young and enthusiastic poetry fans, are all set to launch their innovative poetry portal called saypoetry.com. Tired of the prosaic, they decided that poetry must find space in young hearts. The inspiration for this portal comes from the fact that they not only love poetry but also write it. So poetry enthusiasts, here is a chance to reach out to muse and more in the poetic season of the rains.

Contributors: Ramesh K. Dhiman, Anandita Gupta, Sunil Minocha, Tarundeep Aggarwal, Vishal Gulati & Nirupama Dutt



Cong leader’s statement may stir hornet’s nest
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, July 3
The statement of Mr Balbir Singh Bartana, a veteran Congress leader and the father of late Ravinder Singh Sohi, that no member of his family would contest the coming Punjab Assembly elections may stir a hornet’s nest.

The statement is to be seen keeping in mind the claims of general secretary of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC), Ms Seelam Sohi, widow of Ravinder Sohi, who is being seen a prospective candidate from the newly-created Dera Bassi Assembly constituency.

Speaking at a function organised on the death anniversary of Ravinder Sohi here today, Mr Bartana made this politically-significant statement. In fact, he had even mooted the idea of a consensus candidate from the area to be selected by a “maha panchayat” irrespective of party affiliations.

Meanwhile, prominent among those who attended today’s meeting included Mr Dev Raj Garg, PPCC member, and Mr Malwinder Malli, Political Secretary to the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh. Both the leaders called upon the party workers to sink their differences ahead of the Punjab Assembly poll in February next year.

It may be recalled that Ms Seelam Sohi and Mr Deepinder Singh Dhillon, vice-chairman of the Punjab State Industrial Development Corporation (PSIDC), are seen as the two front-runners for the Dera Bassi Assembly segment. In fact, Ms Sohi had given a tough fight to the Shiromani Akali Dal(SAD) stalwart, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, from the Banur Assembly constituency in the last assembly elections.

As for SAD, the area had been a safe bet for Capt Kanwaljit Singh. There is tremendous pressure on the Akali leader to contest from Dera Bassi by various sections of society, including the powerful property dealers lobby.

This time, the delimitation commission had reportedly bifurcated the Banur Assembly constituency and formed a separate assembly segment for Dera Bassi. Certain parts of the Banur assembly had been merged with the Rajpura assembly segment.

Sources said though Mr Bartana might had made the statement, the Congress high command was yet to come in the open about the party candidate from the area. As in the past the high command would be under pressure to field the local candidate and not impose any outsider on the assembly constituency.

Meanwhile, a blood donation camp was organised on the occasion of the death anniversary of Sohi by the Youth Welfare Club and Baba Sheikh Farid Blood Donation Council, Mohali.



Cong office inaugurated
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 3
An office of the Mohali district unit of the Congress party was set up here today. The office was inaugurated by Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, president PPCC.

Mr Balbir Singh Sidhu, who was made president of the Mohali district unit of the Congress, took charge of the office.

While addressing the gathering, Mr Dullo said shops would be opened in the state where ration would be provided at cheaper rates to people living below the poverty line and others. Such shops would be opened in the next 15 days. He said he had discussed the ongoing inflation with the Punjab Chief Minister as well as Mrs Sonia Gandhi.

He said work on mega projects would be started soon so that youth of the state were able to get employment.



IAF reorienting aircrew training
Para-drops in shorter span of time
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

File picture of para-troopers lining up to board their aircraft for a night para-drop
File picture of para-troopers lining up to board their aircraft for a night para-drop.

Chandigarh, July 3
Consequent to lessons learnt during Exercise Sanghe Shakti, a massive exercise held over a month ago, the Air Force is re-orienting its aircrew training to conduct para-drops in a shorter span of time.

“During the exercise, the time between two aircraft over the drop zone was three minutes. We are now training to reduce the time to two minutes,” a senior IAF officer said. “During the next such exercise, we intend to execute the drop in a shorter span,” he added.

The exercise, organised by the strike corps was the largest exercise of its kind to be held in almost a decade. As part of the exercise, held to validate new concepts, the Army and the Air Force carried out a para-drop of a battalion in pitch dark over the plains of Punjab. About 20 aircraft were involved in the drop.

During the last battalion level para-drop carried out over the deserts in 200, the time between two aircraft was as high as five minutes. The time between two aircraft is the interval between two aircraft flying overhead a particular point.

Cutting down on the time means reduced exposure for the aircraft and troops to enemy activity. Shortening the time between aircraft will reduce the formation’s trail and consequently reduced radar signature, the officer said. The trail for the drop during the exercise was about 55 km.

The Air Force has also validated para-drops from an altitude of just 850 metres. Para-drops of this magnitude were made from this altitude for the first time during Sanghe Shakti. Earlier, the minimum altitude allowed was 1,150 metres. Lower the altitude, lesser s the time spent by the paratrooper in air and hence lesser the susceptibility to enemy fire.

The IAF is now concentrating on battalion level para-drops because in today’s battlefield environment, para-dropping a larger formation is not longer warranted of feasible.



Rotarians to focus on literacy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 3
Providing literacy to every individual will be the focus of the new team of the Rotary Chandigarh Shivalik. These were the words of the Rotarian Harshvir Singh Jaspal who was installed as the new president of the club at a function held here last night.

Rotarian said the club members would continue to put in their best in the fields of health, water management and literacy. He went on to say that it should be the endeavour of the educated to ensure that the light of literacy touches 100 per cent by 2010. This could be possible “if we all join hands to provide facilities to all those who cannot afford it”.

Earlier the new team was installed at a ceremony where Mr Vivek Atray was the chief guest. Mr Atray appreciated the word done by the club and hoped the new team would continue the good work.

The following are the office-bearers of the club for 2006-07: Rtn Harshvir Jaspal — president; Rtn Sajrabjit Singh — IPP; Rtn Suneeta Reen — president elect; Rtn Maneet Singh —secretary; Rtn M.P. Gupta — treasurer; Rtn Rachna Aggarwal — joint secretary; Rtn Sandeep Luthra — director; Rtn Dr Kuldeep Singh — director; Rtn Col A.P.S. Dhillon — director; Rtn Cjol Prithi Vohra — director; Rtn Umesh Ghai — director; Rtn B.S Anand —Sergeant-in-Arms.



Fauji Beat
Should we learn from American experience?

Lieut-Col Kartar Singh (retd) who was the first Indian Commanding Officer of Ist Mahar
Lieut-Col Kartar Singh (retd) who was the first Indian Commanding Officer of Ist Mahar

THE question currently doing the rounds in India is: Whether or not women should be drafted into the combat arms? To get a straight answer to this question, we can seize upon the American experience.

In the early eighties, at the instance of a strong women’s lobby, the US Congress introduced a provision to enlist 11 per cent women in the volunteer forces of the country. Among the US troops in the Gulf war, 8 per cent were women. In Saudi Arabia, the support battalion of the 24th Mechanised Infantry Division had 84 women soldiers. Most of them lived under canvas and camouflage nets in the desert and some of them shared tents with men. Almost all the senior officers in the US Army loathed this system of working of “girl friend”, “boy friend” scenario in units.

The worst came when two women Major Rhonda L. Cornum and Specialist Melissa Coleman became POWs and were sexually assaulted by the Iraqis. Relating her sad experience, Major Cornum said that she was not spared even when she was in great agony with both arms fractured, knee smashed and a bullet in her right shoulder as a result of the downing of her helicopter and was “violated manually, vaginally and rectally”. The Gulf war experience was enough for the US Army not to draft women for combat soldiering.

Can we reconcile to our women soldiers being sexually violated in battle? An honest answer to this question will also answer the question: should women be enlisted for combat soldiering.

Be fair to Army

Overreaction of some people to a woman officer’s suicide and some others attributing it to the Army’s gender bias, amounts to painting the Army in a bad light. If one case of suicide, that too by a woman officer who was under psychiatric treatment, since 1992 when women were inducted into the Army is being blown out of proportion, what would the same critics say about 430 officers and men in the defence forces committing suicide since 2002?

The Army service, undoubtedly, is much more hazardous, stressful and risky as compared to any other service, thanks to the ongoing militancy in J&K, which has made it nightmarishly more risky. Certain amount of stress and strain even in the non-combat units because of strict discipline and demanding routine cannot be avoided. Even in the civil services, including the police, we have suicide cases. Why don’t we do the same amount of drum beating then as we are doing now?

We have also heard a lot of tom-tom on two cases of alleged molestation and or harassment in the Army recently. In one of these cases, trial of a Lieut-Col by a general court martial (GCM) has already been ordered. The other case is under investigation. Admittedly, wherever men and women work together such cases are bound to occur. That due to its strict discipline, there are very few cases of this nature in the Army as compared to the civil services and that strict disciplinary action is taken in each such case cannot be denied.

Get-together with a difference

The officers of the Mahar Regiment, both serving and retired, held their first social gathering in this region at Shivalik Officers, Institute, Chandimandir, the other day. It was a godsend occasion for the veterans and their spouses to relive their days of yore. It was a get-together with a difference because of the presence of Lieut-Col Kartar Singh (retd) at it.

This 94 years’ old veteran was commissioned in 1937. He was the first Indian Commanding Officer of 1st Mahar from December 1947 to January 1951. “He follows a regular routine, has a good memory, reads for about eight hours every day and is well informed”, says his daughter with whom he is staying at Mohali.

Col Kartar Singh lost his wife about two-and-a-half years ago. “Our request to the officers of the Mahar Regiment is to keep in touch with him as this gives him a great pleasure”, says his daughter.

— Pritam Bhullar



Ex-AG Mattewal honoured in Canada
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 3
The Toronto-based Asian Connections Radio and a host of NRI organisations honoured Mr H.S. Mattewal, former Advocate General, Punjab, at Mississauga, Canada recently.

Mr Mattewal has been providing free legal consultancy to NRIs through a fortnightly one-hour live programme on the Legal Helpline broadcast on Asian Connections since the past two years. He was felicitated for the selfless legal services extended to the Indian diaspora.

Prominent personalities, including Mr Satish Mehta, Consul General of India in Toronto, Mr John Mccallum, former Defence Minister and Member of Parliament, Mr Gurbax Malhi and Mr Roy Cullen, members of Parliament and Mr Vic Dhillon, Member of Provincial Parliament, attended the function.

Among the organisations that honoured Mr Mattewal were Ontario Khalsa Darbar, Road Today, Nawanshahr Sports & Cultural Club, Midweek, Indian Overseas Congress, Shiromani Akali Dal, etc.

Many former classmates of Mr Mattewal from his school — Sainik School, Kapurthala — also came from Vancouver, Calgary and Detroit to attend the ceremony. The Saikapians also presented him a cheque as contribution towards the war memorial being set up on the school campus.



Saini is NIPM chief
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 3
The annual general meeting of the National Institute of Personnel Management (Punjab Chapter) was held here and an installation ceremony was organised for its unopposed elected office-bearers for 2006-2008.

Mr S.R. Saini has been elected chairman while Mr Varinder Verma is honorary secretary. Mr S.P. Bansal has been chosen vice-chairman along with Mr J.P. Singh. Mr Jorawar Singh is the additional honorary secretary while Mr Ravinder Chadha has been elected treasurer.

Mr Varinder Verma said the institute would be working in the field of human resource management by organising various seminars talks and confluences touching the contemporary management issues, such as employee retention, coaching, developing skill matrix and entrepreneurship within the organisation. It had more than 70 corporate and life members apart from 50 associate members.



Surprise over LTTE apology
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 3
Describing the LTTE as a terrorist organisation, the Rajiv Gandhi Society, in a press statement today said such elements should be dealt with sternly.

Expressing surprise over the apology by the LTTE men for the heinous crime of assassinating Rajiv Gandhi, India’s former Prime Minister, Mr Raj Nagpal, president of the society, said such apology should not be accepted in any case.

Other prominent persons attending a gathering were Mr S.R. Nagar, Mr Bhupinder Singh Sidhu, Mr B.S. Rishi, Ms Seema Sharma, Mr G.S. Anand and Mr Baljit Singh.



Youth drowns near Tohana
Tribune News Service

Dera Bassi, July 3
Maninder Pal Singh (28) of Shakti Nagar in Dera Bassi, had drowned in a canal near Tohana in Haryana on Wednesday. His body was brought to the township today

Maninder had gone to his in-laws in Tohana along with his wife. Maninder had got married only on June 4 last month.

According to reports received here, Maninder had gone to take bath in a canal, along with his 14-year-old brother-in-law.

While trying to save his brother-in-law, Maninder slipped into canal and drowned. His body was washed away in the gushing waters and could only be fished out from near the Rajasthan border today morning, the reports said.

Mr Parminderjit Singh Walia, deceased’s father, said the mutilated body could only be identified from the rings Maninder was wearing.



Man run over by train
Tribune New Service

Dera Bassi, July 3
An unidentified person was run over by a train on the Chandigarh-Ambala section at Lehli village, near here, around noon today.

According to railway sources, the deceased, in his thirties, was run over when he was trying to cross the railway line. The body has been kept at the Civil Hospital.



Airtel felicitates winners
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 3
Airtel felicitated winners of the Airtel Bid2 Win Contest from Punjab at a function held here today.

The winners for the month of June were presented Acerlaptops, Sony handycams, home theatre systems with colour TVs, Apple video ipods and 02 Atom smartphones.

The winners had come from places like Ludhiana, Dhuri, Mandi Gobindgarh and Mansa.



BC Bala is PCCF
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 3
Mr B.C. Bala has assumed the charge of Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF). Mr Bala belongs to the Indian Forest Service( IFS) cadre. Before his elevation to the top post, he held some important posts in the Forest Department.



Quack held on abduction, rape charge
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 3
The local police today arrested a self-style doctor and his wife on allegations of kidnapping and raping a minor girl of the Janata Colony in Sector 25, here. The police said they were arrested from Ambala Railway Station and the victim was also recovered from them.

Sources in the Sector 24 Police Post said the victim in her statement alleged that the accused Sunil Kumar had raped her twice in the colony before taking her to Rewari in Haryana and then to Ahemdabad.

Sub-Inspector Sanjiv Kumar, In Charge, Sector 24 Police Post, said a police party had been keeping track of the accused along with victim’s brother-in-law. Today they managed to nab the accused with his wife Sunita. The accused couple has an 11-month-old daughter.

The victim’s sister, Somwati, had reported to the police alleging that Sunil Kumar, who claimed to be a doctor, had kidnapped her 13-year-old-sister. He had assured the residents of the colony that he would employ Somwati in his clinic in Sector 10 after imparting her nursing training. Somwati said she had brought her minor sister with her later to take care of Sunil Kumar’s daughter. Then the accused couple had kidnapped her sister. The police took the victim for a medical examination and registered a case of rape on the basis of her statement.



One held for cheating insurance company
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 3
The local police today arrested a Sector 23 resident on the allegation of duping an insurance company by claiming compensation for his car after lodging a false case of theft of the same car at a police station in Haryana. The matter came to light when the insurance company detected the fraud from the agency from where he was getting his car repaired and brought the matter to the police. The police said the accused had also been claiming to be a CBI officer.

Giving details of the case, sources in the Sector 26 police station said Sukhdeep Singh of Sector 23 was arrested after booking him in a case of cheating under Section 420 of the IPC. A complaint was lodged against him by the Sector 7 based Oriental Insurance Company alleging that he had claimed compensation of a Tata Indigo car after getting registered a false case of theft in a police station in Ambala.

The police said the accused had purchased a car from a local car dealer and got it registered in Chandigarh. He then filed a complaint in Ambala alleging that his car was stolen from there. As per his plan he mentioned his temporary car number in the complaint lodged with the police. The matter was detected after the insurance company checked the record of the car from the car dealer where the accused had been getting his car repaired occasionally. The records with the car dealer exposed the truth and the insurance company reported the matter to the police following which they arrested the accused after verifying the matter.



3 hurt in group clash; shots fired
Tribune News Service

Lalru, July 3
Three persons were injured, one of them seriously, in a group clash at Khelan village bordering Haryana, near here, today.

According to the police, the fight broke over a land dispute between two groups led by Satinderpal of Babial village and Rajinder Pandit of Malheri village. Sharp-edged weapons were freely used by both sides. There were reports of firing shots in the air.

Satinderpal, Rajiv and Sushil Kumar, who were injured in the clash, were admitted to the Civil Hospital, Ambala cantonment. Later, Sushil Kumar, who was injured seriously, was shifted to the PGI, Chandigarh.

No case has been registered so far.



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