C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

One-time road tax for MUVs
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

One-time registration copy for commercial buses

Officials in the RLA office said that on the demand of vehicle owners, the Chandigarh Administration was contemplating to prepare a one-time registration copy for the owners of vehicles being used for commercial purpose, including school buses. The entry of road tax and vehicle passing would be made in the RC instead of the existing practice of preparing a new RC document every year. The Chandigarh School Bus Operators Welfare Association has urged the Chandigarh Administration to issue one-time booklet of the RC.

Chandigarh, July 20
In a significant move, the Chandigarh Administration has decided to charge one-time road tax from the owners of vehicles with more than five-seat capacity for personal use.

This would save the vehicle-owners from the harassment of visiting the office of the Registration and Licensing Authority (RLA) every year to deposit the road tax and pay extra money for preparing the registration documents, said a senior official.

The orders would benefit the owners of several categories of vehicles, including Maruti van and a wide range of multi-utility vehicles and sports utility vehicles being sold in the market.

The decision would apply to the old vehicles already registered with the RLA, Chandigarh, new vehicles and the vehicles registered with other states. The decision, however, would not apply to the vehicles being put to commercial use.

Sources in the Administration said the amendment in the Motor Vehicle Act was pending for long and was sent for approval to the Union Ministry of Surface Transport. About two years ago, the transport authorities had clarified that the residents using vehicles with more than five-seat capacity for personal use need not get the vehicle passed each year for road -worthiness. The vehicles had to be passed by motor vehicle inspectors for road worthiness.

On the other hand, the passing of vehicles for commercial use would continue as usual, said the official.

On the pattern of vehicles with up to five-seat capacity, the tax would be charged for a period of 15 years. This means that the tiring exercise of preparing a new registration document for paying of the road tax has been done away with. Now a one-time fee of Rs 200 would be charged for preparing the registration copy instead of the previous practice of charging Rs 200 for the document every year.



University staff greet Prof Sobti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 20
Within hours of the announcement that Prof R.C. Sobti would be the next Vice-Chancellor of Panjab University, the university’s teaching and non-teaching staff made a beeline for his residence on the campus to congratulate him.

Prof Sobti’s father was the first to bless him and his family rushed to buy sweets The Vice-Chancellor-designate was greeted by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof K.N. Pathak, who arrived at his house to congratulate him and told him to be ready to take over the office on July 22.

Prof Sobti’s wife, who is head of the psychology department at Government College, Sector 11, and his daughter Aastha were with Prof Sobti as he received guests. His elder daughter, who is married in the USA, called to congratulate, while his brother, who works with Markfed, reached home to congratulate him.

There were many who arrived at Prof Sobti’s house whom he greeted by touching their feet. A priest also performed a small thanksgiving ceremony at his house.

Prof Sobti thanked everyone and specially mentioned the role of his supporters within the university and outside for his elevation to the highest position.

Other than officials of the university, members of the faculty and student union leaders came to congratulate him.

Mr G.P. Chopra, president, DAV College Management Committee, Mr S. Marriya, Principal, DAV College, Sector 10, Chandigarh, congratulated Prof Sobti.

Mr Jagwant Singh, general secretary, Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union, welcomed the appointment of Prof Sobti and hoped that he would take care of the interest of the teachers and employees.

Mr Anmol Rattan Sidhu, president, Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association, and Mr Harish Rai Dhanda, chairman, Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana, have also welcomed the appointment.



Communication is the key: PU VC-designate
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 20
In 1974, when Ranbir Chander Sobti joined Panjab University as a teaching assistant in the Department of Zoology here, not many could have imagined that this humble bright scientist, who was still doing his PhD, would one day head the university as its Vice- Chancellor.

“The credit goes to my parents, my teacher, Prof G.P. Sharma, and my two daughters who are my guide, my ideals,” said the VC-designate while interacting with mediapersons at his residence this evening.

Recipient of the prestigious Young Scientist Award of the Indian National Science Academy in 1977 for his doctorate work on cancer and genetic disorders, Professor Sobti branched into cell biology and has to his credit today 16 books and over 175 academic papers. Deeply involved in high-end collaborative cancer research, Professor Sobti intends to generate further tieups with the PGI, AIIMS, IMTECH and PU’s science departments.

“The key is communication. Enhanced coordination among faculty and students, among the faculty itself and the various wings of the administration can sort out a large number of problems that occur in a university system. The closest to my heart is the wish to see teachers interact more with their students. Whatever I am today is because of the role that my teachers have played in my life,” he said.

Son of a former Assistant Secretary in the Punjab Education Department, Professor Sobti did his schooling from a government school in Sector 23 and later joined Government College, Sector 11. “I have been in this university since 1966 when I joined BSc (Honours) in Zoology. Then I did MSc and PhD, and a certificate course in German from this university,” he said.

“I am a soldier of this university. Fault-finding does not lead any one anywhere. The aim is to strengthen the work done by Prof K.N. Pathak and to identify the lacunas and plug them. I have received support from every quarter. The biggest challenge before me is to build confidence in the public and students that this university has great potential,” he said.

Having received the science award of the Kothari Scientific and Research Commission in 1977 and the Young Scientist Exchange Award between India and the UK in 1978, Professor Sobti made a mark as a lecturer in the Department of Zoology from 1976 to 1985. He served as a Research Associate Professor at the University of Miami, Florida, for three years. “I had just become a Professor in the department when Prof R.P. Bambah asked me to start a centre of Biotechnology. I hesitated initially but started working on it and in 1995 the Department of Biotechnology was established,” he said.

A supervisor to over 32 researchers, Professor Sobti intends to carry on research along with his administrative responsibilities. “Another eight students are still doing PhD with me and I intend to do complete justice to them and the various projects which are under way. I will have to plan my time better as now all 55 departments of the university would be my babies,” he said.



I had a full innings, says Prof Pathak
Tribune News Service

Prof K.N. Pathak
Prof K.N. Pathak

Chandigarh, July 20
Having served Panjab University for six years as its Vice-Chancellor, Prof K.N. Pathak said today that he would be embarking on projects for which he got little time all these years.
“I had a full innings and am ready to move on,” he said talking to The Tribune this evening.

“I cannot comment on my performance as the Vice-Chancellor of this university. But I am happy and satisfied that I have contributed my best to this university.

It is for the public to decide if my role has been positive and what my contributions to this university have been. I have done my best in the given circumstances. This university is one of the best universities in the country and it is a matter of pride to head it for two terms. This university also has the potential to become one of the top universities in the world and I wish my successors take it to the position it deserves,” he said.

In a separate communication from the Chancellor of the university, Mr Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, he appreciated the services of Prof Pathak and wished him best wishes to you for a long, healthy and active life.

Prof Pathak, a physics scientist, had joined the university as Vice-Chancellor in July 2000. Despite having taken over as Vice-Chancellor in troubled times, Prof Pathak managed to turn the tides and put the university back on track of progress. His six years of leadership in the university saw progress in various departments of the university.

Prof Pathak was the 10th Vice-Chancellor of the university since independence. His predecessors include S.B.S. Teja Singh (9.2.1948 to 31.3.1949), G.C. Chatterji (1.4.1949 to 31.7.1949), Dewan Anand Kumar (1.8.1949 to 30.6.1957), A.C. Joshi (1.7.1957 to 30.6.1965), Suraj Bhan (1.7.1965 to 30.6.1974), R.C. Paul (1.7.1974 to 31.12.1984), R.P. Bambah (1.1.1985 to 25.6.1991), T.N. Kapoor (22.7.1991 to 22.7.1997) and M.M. Puri (23.7.1997 to 22.7.2000).



Woman lured, discarded
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 20
For the sake of a son, a local goldsmith had allegedly remarried the mother of a daughter after luring her, but discarded the woman after she failed to fulfil his wish despite two abortions.

The case came to light this afternoon after the victim, Ms Nanda Gautam, alias Rubby Sharma, a resident of Sector 15, reached the office of Mr Balbir Singh, Superintendent of Police, and lodged a complaint against her husband Jeewan Kumar Luthra.

Hailing from Rampur Bushahar in Himachal Pradesh, Rubby and her daughter had been earlier deserted by her first husband in Abheypur village in Panchkula. She had been earning her livelihood by running a boutique.

Mr Luthra, had been running a goldsmith’s shop in the locality. They developed relations and later got married.

Mr Luithra, who was also available at the SP office, denied to comment on the issue. In her complaint, the victim alleged that Mr Luthra, father of two daughters, lured her and they tied the knot in a Sector 2 temple on Divali in 2005.

Mr Luthra, instead of taking her to his house, had kept Rubby at her rented accommodation.

Ms Rubby further alleged after the marriage, her husband took her to Devas locality in Madhya Pradesh on the pretext of the outing. He later got a sex determination test conducted as text she was about four months pregnant.

“The texts confirmed a baby girl and he forced me to go for in an abortion against my wishes there,” she alleged.

The complainant alleged that after returning to Panchkula, her husband, along with his wife and brothers, took away her clothes and other items from the boutique and Rs 30,000.

They couple later came closer and Ms Rubby conceived. 



11-year-old servant beaten up
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 20
An 11-year-old domestic help was allegedly thrashed by her employers, a doctor couple, in Sector 38-C here on the night of July 18.
They gave Shushma, the domestic help, a sound beating for almost six hours and a neighbour couple was called in.

The reported fault of the victim was that she had mistakenly removed the trousers of her employers’ daughter along with her clothes from a clothes line.

A resident of the Janta Colony in Sector 25, Shushma had been working as a domestic help at the house of Dr Sandeep Singh Rana for the past over an year and had been staying with her employers at 2113, Sector 38-C.

Shushma alleged that Dr Rana’s wife started beating her up after noticing her daughter’s trousers with Shushma’s clothes, adding that the couple thrashed her on Tuesday night and called her mother the next day.

Shushma said Dr Rana’s wife charged her with stealing Rs 10,000 and a necklace worth Rs 15,000, adding that two men, introduced to her as police personnel, came to the house later and beat her up.

Ms Kanta Devi, mother of the victim, claimed that Dr Rana sent her a message yesterday that they did not need Shushma’s services anymore.

She went to Dr Rana’s house and was shocked when she was not allowed to interact with her daughter.

She alleged that the doctors threatened her and demanded Rs 10,000 and the necklace worth Rs 15,000. Relatives and members of her family took up the issue with colony president Lakhvir Singh.

They later informed Ms Namrta, chief of the Chandigarh unit of the National Domestic Workers Movement.

Scores of domestic helps assembled in the Janta Colony and protested against police inaction in the case.

The police swung into action after irate residents of the colony threatened to block the road.

The police registered a case of assault and illegal confinement against the couple at the Sector 39 police station.

Doctor refutes charge

Dr Rana refuted the charge of having thrashed Shushma and denied that she had been staying with them.

He said Shushma’s grandmother and mother had been working for them and the girl used to accompany them.

According to him, some of their belongings, including cash and ornaments, started going missing during the past over three months.

He claimed that his wife caught the girl red-handed one day and seized stolen goods from her possession, but denied having kept the girl in captivity.

He alleged that Shushma and Kanta had admitted to have stolen money and had agreed to return it in instalments.

He said residents of the Janta Colony had been raising the issue so that Kanta could keep the money, adding that a complaint against Shushma and her mother had been given at the Sector 39 police station.



MC staff kept away from poll duties 
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 20
Even as employees from different departments have been put on poll duty for the forthcoming civic body elections, the staff of the local Municipal Council has been kept away election duties.

It is learnt that not only employees of the local council have not been given poll duty but also those from the civic bodies of surrounding areas like Kharar, Kurali, Dera Bassi have not been assigned any poll duty.

Employees from the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority, the Punjab School Education Board, the PWD and teachers from schools, ITIs and others have been put on poll duty. As many as 120 parties comprising one presiding officer, one alternate presiding officer and three polling officers have been constituted for polling work.

Mr Sandeep Hans, SDM-cum-Electoral Registration Officer, said the civic body staff had been kept away from poll duties so that the elections could be held in a fair way. He said the employees might have links with certain candidates and as such there could be a possibility that they might indulge in favouritism.

He said directions to this affect were given by the State Election Commission.

Mr Hans said the nomination papers would be scrutinised tomorrow and Saturday had been reserved for withdrawals. He said if more than one candidate opted for the same symbol, the authorities concerned would have to go in for a draw of lots.

He said the counting of votes would be done on July 30 itself at the polling booths. The result would also be announced the same day. 



Filing of papers for MC poll ends
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 20
The filing of nominations for the Municipal Council elections scheduled to be held on July 30 ended with 61 prospective candidates filing their papers here today. With this the total number of nominations has reached 175.

After seeing a heavy rush of supporters of prospective candidates at the council office yesterday, the administration today restricted entry to the premises. Both gates of the building were closed for supporters. Only candidates, along with one or two persons were allowed to enter the council office premises.

As a number of prospective candidates had to go back without filing their nomination papers yesterday because of the heavy rush, they returned in haste today and the work of filing nominations ended much before the expected time.

Following are the names of those who filed their nominations papers today. The number of the ward is given in bracket: Mr Ravinderjeet Singh (5), Ms Kuldeep Kaur (28), Ms Daljit Kaur (28), Mr Mohanbir Singh (14), Mr Bharat Bhushan Mynee (3), Mr S.N. Mynee (3), Ms Manpreet Kaur (10), Mr Manjit Singh (23), Mr Ghansham ( 2), Mr Jaspinder Singh (2), Ms Gurpreet Kaur (7), Mr Bhupinder Singh (6), Mr Tilak Raj (12), Ms Rajni Bala (12), Ms Kiran Bansal (1), Ms Meena Kaundal (4), Ms Urmila (4), Ms Sukhwant Kaur (22), Ms Baljinder Kaur (22), Ms Surinder Kaur (28), Mr J.S. Gujral (9), Mr Surinder Singh (5), Ms Usha Rani (28), Ms Paramjit Kaur (28), Mr Jarnail Singh (20), Mr Rajiv Malik (9), Mr Balkaran Singh (23), Mr Paramjit Singh Kahlon (23), Mr Ravinder Singh Sodhi (29), Mr Amrik Singh (26), Ms Daljit Kaur (31), Mr Malkeet Singh (29), Mr Rajinder Parsad (2), Ms Joginder Kaur (4), Ms Rakesh Rawat (29), Ms Usha Sahi (28), Mr Karam Singh Dhanoa (24), Mr Bharat Bhushan (2), Mr Harbhajan Lal (18), Mr Babu Ram (18), Mr Gian Chand Aggarwal (9), Ms Raj Kaur (25), Ms Parvinder Kaur (25), Mr Sarvinder Bir Singh (24), Mr J.S.Grover (24), Mr Karnail Singh (27), Mr Sukhpreet Singh (30), Mr Kulbir Singh (23), Manpreet Kaushal (3), Mr Amrik Singh (24), Ms Pritam Kaur (7), Mr Harjit Singh (21), Mr Jaswinder Singh (15), Rakesh (24), Mr Baljinder Singh (5), Mr Charanjit Singh (23), Ms Surinder Pal Kaur (23), Ms Meena Garg (4), Mr Jaspal Singh (30), Ms Ravinder Kaur (12), and Mr Jaspal Singh (6). 



Rodrigues calls for improving life through technology
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 20
The Punjab Governor and Administrator, Chandigarh, Gen. S.F. Rodrigues (retd.), called upon leading IT professionals to create special programmes and software to help improve lives of people through modern information and communication technologies.

“It is a big challenge and we must make sincere and committed efforts collectively to ensure the benefits of IT revolution reach the masses and empower them to be equal partners in the socio-economic change”. Inaugurating an IT conclave on the theme, “Developing a collaborative model for IT enablement in Chandigarh and regions” here today, General Rodrigues said time had come to sit together and put in place innovative strategies, with efficient support structures, to expand education and societal initiatives and improve teaching and learning processes.

He said there is a need to launch holistic programmes covering various aspects aimed at developing the potential of our youth and making them competent and confident to compete successfully at the global level in different fields of endeavour. He emphasised the need for collective effort of the government and corporate sectors to launch human resource development programmes on a partnership and collaborative basis for producing trained manpower in different spheres of activity.

General Rodrigues said the Chandigarh Administration had embarked upon computer interactive programmes in 80 government Schools with the infrastructure support of Infosys and Wipro, with the task of training our teachers and students in various computer and professional learning skills with the help of Intel-trained teachers and experts. The Administration has also planned to set up smart schools for taking education to the next level to enable our children to learn in a state-of-the-art technology enabled environment. He said the Administration had also launched Chandigarh IT reach-out programmes, in collaboration with leading technology companies for empowering the youth and young children in rural areas in our 17 villages through IT technologies. The aim of this programme is to narrow the gap and bridge the digital divide to integrate all sections of society.

“We are also developing an entrepreneurship development centre equipped with a lab for research into IT-related issues and a regional centre for NASSCOM together with a center for research into cyber security,” he said. He also suggested a collaboration to develop new applications in multi-media technology.

Mr Kiran Kanik, president, NASSCOM, while speaking on the occasion, said education and industry contribute significantly in creating a knowledge city and bringing about socio-economic change. The Education Minister, Haryana, Mr Phool Chand Mullana, and Principal Secretary, Industries, Punjab, Mr S.C. Agarawal, who represented the Punjab Government in this seminar, dwelled on the roadmap of IT sector and other related fields in their respective states. Mr S.K. Sandhu, Secretary, Finance and IT, gave an account of infrastructural facilities available in Union Territory, Chandigarh for attracting investment in IT and other areas of human resource development.

Top IT honchos, who have gathered here for the IT conclave, lamented the poor connectivity of city with Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. Mr Kiran Karnik, President, NASSCOM, and Mr Mohandas Pai, Head Education, Infosys, said the airport needs to be upgraded and better rail connectivity is needed for sustaining and further developing the growth in the IT sector. They also said that a night culture has to be evolved and a mass rapid transit system should be put in place here. 



Drive against defacement soon
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 20
The Panchkula Municipal Council chief, Ms Manveer Kaur Gill, on Tuesday claimed that investigations in a case of alleged irregularities in allotting tenders of recarpeting of roads to a company, had been completed by the district administration.

“The company has been given a clean chit by the Deputy Commissioner on the reports submitted by city Magistrate Vandna Disodia in this regard,” she claimed. She, however, denied having received any official letter from the DC’s office as yet.

On June 7, in a representation to the DC, 10 councillors had alleged that the civic body president had violated norms while allotting the tenders to Akriti Construction and Development Limited, a Panchkula-based company.

The councillors had also levelled charges of favouritism against the civic body authorities while allotting the tenders. They had claimed that HUDA had already blacklisted the company for leaving works of about Rs 15 lakh unfinished in the last two years. Ignoring the previous history of the firm, the MC had again allotted tender worth crores of rupees to the same company, the MCs had alleged.

Ms Gill further claimed that the Panchkula Municipal Council had also decided to launch a massive drive against the defacement of walls in the city.

While talking to mediapersons at her office this afternoon, Ms Manveer Kaur Gill claimed that all objectionable posters, pamphlets and banners, pasted on government property in and around the city would soon be removed. She also claimed that the stray cattle menace would be taken seriously while scavengers leaving filth scattered all around would be penalized as per the law.



Dharna against retrenchment
Tribune News Service

Dera Bassi, July 20
High drama was witnessed outside the premises of the SR Industries on the Dera Bassi-Barwala road here today with the employees’ union alleging forcible ferrying of female employees by the management to the factory.

The president of the employees union, Mr Mohinder Singh, alleged that at least three vehicles today forcibly took the female employees to the factory in connivance with the police. Meanwhile, certain female workers were “rescued” by the employees and shopkeepers from the factory.

Agitated workers and nearby shopkeepers deflated the tyres of the vehicles used for ferrying the workers to factory premises. A complaint was also lodged with the police for strict action against the persons responsible for ferrying the factory workers.

It may be recalled that the workers are protesting against the retrenchment of coworkers by the management. On the other hand, the management has denied that it had retrenched any worker.

Meanwhile, the dharna by the employees against the retrenchment, which began on July 6, continued today also.



BJP holds rally against terrorism
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 20
In protest against the alleged revival of terrorism in the country, especially the serial bomb blasts in Mumbai and Srinagar, workers of the Haryana Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) organised a rally here on Tuesday.

Mr I.D. Swami, spokesman of the BJP, led the rally from the Sector 2 BJP office to the Matka Chowk in Chandigarh.

Interacting with mediapersons, Mr Swami said the Centre had failed to bridle terrorist activities in the country.

He criticised the UPA government for being in a deep slumber as terrorism had restarted raising its ugly head. The law and order situation had taken a back seat while ministers had been turning a blind eye to it.

He flayed the government for abolishing POTA, enforced by the NDA government. He demanded that the government quit over its failure to provide security to the citizens.



Kumhar Colony residents to be relocated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 20
The Chandigarh Administration has identified a chunk of land in Sector 52, near Kajheri village, to rehabilitate slum-dwellers from Kumhar Colony, Sector 25. Sources said the site was being cleared for rehabilitating the slum-dwellers. They said July 21 was the deadline for shifting the slums.

It may be mentioned that in a bid to vacate prime land from slum-dwellers across the city, the Chandigarh Administration has decided to temporarily rehabilitate them at suitable places in southern sectors. About 50 acres would be required to rehabilitate the encroachers. The land in Sector 25 was being vacated on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

A large chunk of land in Sector 25 had been allotted for dental college to Panjab University. Already about 2800 jhuggi-dwellers (as per the 1996 cut-off list) had been shifted. The remaining 2500 jhuggi-dwellers would now be relocated at the new site being identified.

In another case, about 750 sites allotted to industrialist near Colony No 4 had been under illegal occupation of slum-dwellers. Another cluster of slums in Madrasi Colony near Bapu Dham Colony in Sector 26 is also to be shifted. About 5000 hutments of the slum-dwellers are to be relocated at the new site, said the official.



PUDA staff present memorandum
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 20
PUDA Employees Federation today presented a memorandum to the PUDA Authority indicating apprehension of PUDA employees regarding the Greater Mohali Development Authority (GMDA).

Mr Hardev Singh, chairman of the federation, said there was a lot of resentment among PUDA employees in view of the decision of the government to set up GMDA. PUDA employees wanted that the authority should take up the case with the Punjab Chief Minister so that the decision of the government regarding GMDA was deferred. He said PUDA employees were capable of delivering the desired results. They were able to achieve targets fixed for them and that, too, to the satisfaction of the public and the authority.



Tributes paid to Qasmi
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, July 20
The fact that art and literature are the genuine unifying force which transcend territorial barriers’ found its true meaning at a meeting of the literary persons and artists who converged at the Haryana Urdu Akademy complex to pay tributes to the Lahore based legendary poet , critic, columnist and fiction writer, Ahmed Nadim Qasmi today.

The function was organised by the Haryana Urdu Akademy to mourn the demise of Qasmi , aged 90 plus who died at Lahore last week. Akademy secretary Padma Shri Kashmiri Lal Zakir, recalling his association with Qasmi since 1946, hailed the literary contributions of Qasmi, the most admired fiction writer of the century.

Noted poets Deepak Tandon, BD Kalia ‘Hamdam, Shams Tabrezi and others gave analytical overview of Qasmi’s writings. Reitera-ting his resolute defiance towards death Qasmi said once “Kaun kehta hai ke maut ayi to mer jaunga, Mein to darya hun samandar mein utar jaunga.” 



Factory worker run over by train
Tribune News Service

Dera Bassi, July 20
Harmail Singh (36), an employee of the PCPPL here, was run over by a train near Dappar late last night.
A resident of Bairmajra, Harmail was run over by the train when he was crossing the railway line around 11 p.m. He is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter.



Tribune manager retires
Tribune News Service

Vinay Saini Chandigarh, July 20
Mr Vinay Saini, who joined The Tribune in 1978 and rose to become the Advertisement Manager in 2003, has retired from service. Mr Saini was given a warm farewell by his colleagues. Among others, Mr O.P. Arora, Additional General Manager, lauded Mr Saini’s services to the organisation.



Sahit akademy director honoured
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, July 20
C.R. Moudgil, Director of the Haryana Sahit Akademy, has been honoured with the “Sarvottam Sahitkar” award by the Namdhari Sahit Sabha.
Credited with over 20 published works, Moudgil was felicitated at a function held at Jeevan Nagar in Sirsa district. Mr H.S. Hanspal, former Punjab Congress chief, presented the award carrying a citation, shawl and Rs 20,000 in cash.



Man held for kidnapping girl, refutes police charge
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 20
Even as the Chandigarh Police today claimed to have solved the alleged kidnapping case of a minor girl of Sector 51 with the arrest of a Sector 22 shopkeeper and the recovery of the girl, the accused refuted the charges of the police and the victim’s family and maintained that he was being implicated in the case. The girl was allegedly kidnapped from near her house on Monday.

The police said the girl’s mother had lodged a complaint alleging that her daughter had gone missing on Monday when she left her house to bring some clothes from a washer man in their locality. Later, the police registered a case of kidnapping in this connection.

Sources in Sector 34 police station said the accused, Vikas, was arrested and the girl was recovered from his possession on the road separating Sectors 50 and 51 in the wee hours today. While on the other hand, Vikas while talking to Chandigarh Tribune claimed that it was he who dropped the girl at her residence around 10 pm on Wednesday and later in the night the police arrested him from his residence.

He further maintained that the girl approached him on Wednesday requesting him to arrange for her stay somewhere as her landlord turned her out. He claimed that he persuaded the girl to return and sent her back to the place where she was living as a paying guest.

As it was not enough, tragedy struck Vikas’ family when after hearing the news of his arrest his father suffered a heart attack and later died. Meanwhile, the police today produced him before a local court, which remanded him in police custody for three days. When he came to know about his father’s death, Vikas’s counsel moved an application in the court seeking permission to attend the cremation of his father.

The girl reportedly told the police that she had gone to fetch clothes from a washer man. Some boys travelling in a Cielo car took her forcibly in the car and made her inhale something. She fell unconscious. She claimed that when she gained consciousness she was in Vikas’s company.

The SHO of Sector 34 police station, Inspector Jagir Singh, said the girl and the accused were sent for a medical examination and the reports were awaited. He added that further action would be taken on the basis of the reports. The accused is a garment supplier and used to come to the area of the girl. The girl’s father is living abroad and she is living with her mother.



Student leader held for cheating
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 20
The police today arrested the president of the Students Organisation of India (SOI) and his supporter, both students of Government College Sector 11, on the allegations of cheating, impersonation and forgery for using fake stamps and letter pads of college Principal to procure bus passes.

Sources in the Sector 11 police station said Vikram Singh, alias John, president of SOI, and student of BA II year, and Arshjit Singh of BSc first year were arrested following a complaint lodged by Mr Avtar Singh, chief warden of the college.

Mr Avtar Singh, in his complaint, alleged that they had information that the accused were making fake recommendation certificates on behalf of the college principal to procure bus passes. Acting on the complaint, the police conducted a raid in their room and recovered four-five such certificates along with a fake stamp of the principal and a letter pad.

A case of impersonation, cheating forgery and procuring a fake stamp was registered against the accused in this connection.



Youth held on rape charge
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 20
The local police today arrested a 20-year-old-Darua resident on the allegations of repeatedly raping a minor girl in her locality. The police said the accused was threatening the victim with dire consequences in case the matter was brought to the notice of her parents.

Giving details, sources in the Industrial Area police station said the matter came to light when the victim reported the matter to her mother after having some complications. After realising what had happened with their daughter, they informed the police and a case was registered following a statement given by the victim.

The victim told the police that Mithlesh, a plumber, in their neighbourhood, repeatedly raped her. She alleged that the accused used to come in the absence of her parents and seduced her to develop relations with her. Later, when she tried to object to his activities, he threatened her with dire consequences. She told the police that the accused was exploiting her for the past three months.

The police said the victim’s medical examination confirmed the rape and a case of rape, criminal intimidation, and trespass was registered in this regard.



1 held for duping bank
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 20
The police has arrested a Mohali resident on the allegation of duping a bank in Sector 9 here of Rs 2 lakh by procuring a loan on the basis of forged documents.
The police said Mr Ajay Sharma, Deputy Manager of the Kotak Mahindra Bank, Sector 9, had lodged a complaint that Manmeet Singh Sohal of Phase V took a personal loan of Rs 2 lakh and submitted fake documents.

When the fraud was detected, the matter was reported to the police. A case of cheating and forgery was registered.

Smack seized: The police arrested Nazmudeen of Milk Colony in Dhanas from Sector 38-A on July 19 on the allegation of carrying 1 gram of smack. A case under Section 21 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act was registered.

Motor cycle stolen: Mr Amrik Singh of Kishangarh village reported that his Hero Honda motor cycle (CH-03-W-6318) was stolen from his house on the night of July 16. A case was registered.



Pirated CDs seized
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 20
At least 55 pornographic CDs and 8000 pirated CDs were seized from a music shop in Sector 22 here this evening. Two persons, Jaswinder Singh and Balwinder Singh were arrested from the spot. Both were remanded in three-day police custody.



SEZ policy biased: IT honchos
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Mohandas Pai
Mr Mohandas Pai

Kiran Karnik
Mr Kiran Karnik

Chandigarh, July 20
The Special Economic Zone (SEZ) policy is biased against small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the information technology sector, and in favour of real estate developers.

These reservations were expressed by IT honchos who had come here to participate in an e-revolution conference being organised by the Chandigarh Administration and the Punjab and Haryana governments, in association with NASSCOM. The industry leaders also expressed fears of a severe human resource crunch in the future, in the wake of the rigid education system, which, they said, was not in tune with the industry needs.

Mr Kiran Karnik, President of NASSCOM, said the SEZ policy was intended to promote builders and realtors, but was not good for promoting exports and development of small businesses. “Small companies, who have started their operations, cannot invest in infrastructure to shift here. We, instead, recommend strengthening of the Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) to help small entrepreneurs and widen its scope so that they can dedicate a part of their facility to starters,” he said.

Sharing his views, Mr Mohandas Pai, Member of Board and Head, Education, Research and Human Resource, Infosys, said this policy was in favour of big companies, who could shift to SEZs to avail sops. “In fact, the government can start a fund to finance these small entrepreneurs,” he said.

The two IT bigwigs also expressed fears that in spite of the demographic advantage (over 450 million people in the country are less than 20 years of age) that India had over the other countries, the inability of the education system to change in tune with the industry needs could lead to a severe human resource crunch. “Unless the education system turns responsive to the needs of the industry, the IT industry in India may actually have to get trained personnel from outside the country,” said Mr Karnik.

Mr Pai said the need to double our education workforce was one of the biggest challenges facing the IT industry. “Besides quality education, we also need to provide equal opportunities to the youth. The government should create a national student loan programme, wherein beneficiaries can take loan and pay back once they get employed. We should not create a non-egalitarian society, and should include the poor to reap the benefits of economic empowerment,” he said.

City may get cyber crime forensic lab
The IT industry, through NASSCOM, has suggested amendments to the IT Act, 2000, whereby the Internet Service Provider (ISP) should not be made liable in case users commit a cyber crime. These amendments will come up in the monsoon session of Parliament.

They have also suggested that enforcement agencies be trained thoroughly in dealing with cyber crime cases, especially as cyber crime by drug dealers and terrorist organisations is on the rise.

“While two cyber crime forensic labs have been set up by NASSCOM in Mumbai and Thane, we propose to add another two at Pune and Bangalore in the coming weeks. We are also examining the possibility of setting up this lab in Chandigarh,” said Mr Kiran Karnik, President, NASSCOM. 



Special counters for IT returns
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 20
For the convenience of income tax payers, the Income Tax Department will set up special counters at the Jat Bhavan, Sector 27, from July 24 to 31.

According to a press note issued here today, income tax payers from Chandigarh and Mohali falling within the jurisdiction of Ranges IV, V and VI will file returns at these counters only.

However, the Range I assessees will file returns at SCO 45-46-47, Sector 17, Bassi Building, Sector 17-A. The Range II assessees will file the returns at SCO 73-74-75, Sector 17-D, Hot Millions building.

The counters will remain open from 9.30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Separate counters are being provided for senior citizens, the press note added.



New WagonR launched

Chandigarh, July 20
Maruti Udyog Ltd (MUL) today launched the new fuel-efficient WagonR, functional on both petrol and LPG, in Punjab, Chandigarh and Haryana.
The cars were unveiled the two variants of WagonR, with the ex-showroom price in Delhi at Rs 3,40,106 and Rs 3,68,160, respectively. Both these variants run on alternate fuels of petrol and LPG, claiming a fuel efficiency of 10 per cent more than that of the previous versions. TNS



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