C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Debt-ridden PGI employee ends life
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 28
A debt-ridden employee of the PGI allegedly ended his life by hanging from the ceiling fan at his residence on the PGI campus this evening.

The police said the man has been identified as Chattar Singh (50), a security man in the PGI. Holding no one responsible for the extreme step in his suicide note, he said that he was ending his life as he failed to pay back his loan.

Giving details of the incident, police said the death came to light at around 5: 30 pm, when Bir Singh, also a security man, came to meet Chattar Singh at his type 14 residence. He saw the door locked from inside.

He repeatedly knocked the door and when his efforts went unanswered, he forced open the door and found his friend hanging. Shocked at the sight, Bir Singh called the police.

Chattar Singh lived in this house along with his two sons while his wife lived in their native village. The police has informed his son, Sunil Kumar, who is working in a private company in Sector 15, about the incident.

Meanwhile, the police has initiated inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the Criminal procedure Code in this connection.

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Campaigning ends in Mohali
Defacement: over 2 lakh posters, banners removed
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 28
Even as the campaigning for the municipal elections to he held here on Sunday ended here today, employees of the Municipal Council removed 2.21 lakh posters, banners and small flags put up in violation of the norms.

As it was the last day for the contestants to campaign, efforts were made to gain the maximum advantage. Even though campaigning through loudspeakers was allowed only till 4 p.m. one could here the noise created by these loudspeakers even till about 5 p.m.

  • Voters to carry identification documents.
  • 42 teams put on the job of videography during polling.
  • Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPc issued on the polling day.
  • Liqour vends to remain closed on July 30
  • July 30 declared as a holiday for commercial establishments and factories
  • Mr H.S.Nanda, Director, Colonisation, appointed Election Observer.

Even as the authorities concerned had appealed to candidates not to indulge in violations, including defacement, the contestants did not pay any heed to the directions of the authorities.

Defacement continued unabated and the administration did not take any serious action in this regard, except issuing warning to those indulging in violations.

Employees of the civic body had removed 2.21 lakh banners, posters and small flags put up by candidates in almost all parts of the town. While 1. 52 lakh small flags were removed, the number of posters and banners removed from tress, poles, transformers stood at 69,000.

Supporters of certain candidates have also been busy holding rallies. While some of them had organised car rallies, other who did not want to create pollution marched through the streets of their wards.

Though most of the candidates have worked day and night to garner support, they are keeping their fingers crossed as they say that nothing in certain in elections.

Meanwhile, as many as 42 teams will be doing videography during the elections. More than 550 police personnel would be deployed on duty as part of security arrangements.

While 32 teams will be covering as many polling stations in the town, 10 teams will be left at the disposal of the police to be used wherever required for covering violations.

Each team has been asked to cover all the polling booths falling under one polling station. Though the teams would videograph poll proceedings, special directions have been given to focuss on people trying to indulge in violations.

Mr Tejveer Singh, District Magistrate, said that separate videographers would accompany mobile teams of senior police officers and Duty Magistrates on the polling day. The town would be divided into areas of responsibilities between senior police officers and Magistrates.

Mr Tejveer Singh has ordered the imposition of Section 144 of the CrPc in the town keeping in view the municipal elections and imposed a ban on carrying of firearms and other lethal weapons at public places within municipal limits on July 30. Liqour vends falling in the same area had been ordered to remain closed on the polling day.

The District Magistrate said that voters should carry some identification documents like the passport, PAN card, driving license, service identity card, bank passbook, ration card, pension card, senior citizen card or freedom fighter card so that they do not face any inconvenience in case they were challenged by someone at the polling booth.

The SDM-cum-Electoral Registration Officer, Mr Sandeep Hans, said that a holiday had been declared for all commercial establishments and factories on the polling day. Mr H.S.Nanda, Director, Colonisation, will be the Election Observer.

Mr Naunihal Singh, SSP, said that 500 to 600 police personnel were being deployed on the polling day as part of the security arrangements. He said 24 patrolling parties would be on duty. As many as 20 check posts will be set up on the periphery of Chandigarh. Two officials of the rank of SPs and two DSPs would be supervising different aspects.

He said that 10 wards were declared as sensitive and three as supersensitive. The categorization was done on the basis of past history, close contest, being politically sensitive or on the basis of its demography.

Mr Naunihal Singh further said that a dedicated communication network would be set up so that the entire staff on duty could be contacted whenever required. Special security arrangements would be made the council office in Sector 68 where the result would be declared the same evening.

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File IT returns on Sunday too
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 28
For the convenience of the tax assessees, the postal department today decided to open certain counters for accepting income tax returns this Sunday. The counters which will be opened are the GPO in Sector 17, Mohali Post Office in Sector 55, Mani Majra post office, Sector 47 Post Office and Ropar post office.

Senior Superintendent of Post Offices Nirmaljit Singh said apart from this arrangement, all post offices will remain open on all the working days.

The arrangement between the Postal Department and the Revenue Department has been worked following the one-day strike call given by the Income Tax Employees Federation on July 31. A senior officer of the Income Tax Department disclosed that instructions have been issued to the officials to man the tax returns collection counters daily till July 31.

Meanwhile, to facilitate the filing of the tax returns, the facility to accept the returns has been started at 19 post offices in Chandigarh, Mohali and neighbouring towns of Kharar, Morinda, Nurpur Bedi, Ropar and Nangal Township. The post offices in the city where the facility has been started are the GPO in Sector 17, Sectors 8, 11, 14, 12, 15, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23, 30, 36, 47, 55, 59 and 62.

The assessees have to do give the income tax return, a photocopy of the first page of the return and an open envelope with a peel of adhesive flap. The assesses have to write the PAN number, assessment year, circle/ward number of the assessing officer and name and address of the assessee.

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Emaar can withdraw plea on Technology Park
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 28
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today allowed M/s Emaar-MGF Properties, which had challenged the award of contract for the development of residential, commercial and other related infrastructure facilities as an integrated project at the Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technology Park to M/s Parsvanath Developers Private Limited, to withdraw its petition.

Today, when the hearing resumed, the counsel for M/s Emaar-MGF Properties informed the Bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Mr Justice H.S. Bedi that the company intended to withdraw the petition, following which the Bench dismissed the petition as withdrawn.

M/s Emaar-MGF Properties had challenged the award of contract to M/s Parsvanath Developers, alleging serious irregularities in the process. It had stated that while its bid was rejected at the technical evaluation stage, two senior IAS officers, both members of the technical bid valuation committee, were not present when it made its presentation.

Also, the decision to reject the bid was allegedly intimated to the petitioner at 8 pm on June 8, just 15 hours before the completion of the process.

On June 13, a Vacation Bench of the High Court had restrained the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) from finalising the contract.

At a subsequent hearing on July 13, the CHB had claimed before the High Court that it was suffering a huge loss of Rs 16 lakh per day due to non-finalisation of the contract between it and M/s Parsvanath Developers.

In its reply filed by Mr S.K. Setia, Secretary, CHB, the Board had claimed that it could even suffer a loss of Rs 821.21 crore - the total amount that it would earn from the successful bidder - if the stay was not lifted.

Spread over 129 acres of land, the project contract requires the selected bidder to pay Rs 100 crores within 30 days and the remaining amount within 18 months. The project is to be completed within three years.

CHB to sign pact with Parsvanath Developers

Chandigarh Housing Board sign Development Agreement with the Parsvanath Developers Private Limited next week for the development of residential, commercial and other related infrastructure facilities at the Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technology Park. The CHB has bagged Rs 821.21 crores in the auction bid.

The development follows the Punjab and Haryana High Court dismissing the petition filed by the EMMAR-MGF Developers against the contract being handed over to the Parsvanath Developers.

The group will be required to pay Rs 100 crores within 30 days and the remaining amount within 18 months. The developers will also make a payment of 30 per cent of the revenue collected for the residential area to the CHB. The project is coming up through a Public Private Partnership(PPP) mode.

The project is spread over 129 acres of land.

Of the total residential quarters, at least 10 per cent will be reserved for IT professionals. The area will have at least 1500 dwelling units in the category of one, two, three and four bedroom flats besides the villas.

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Applications for govt houses invited

Chandigarh, July 28
The Administration has invited applications for allotment of Type 12 (old) and Type II (new) houses in the city.

The heads of the departments of Punjab, Haryana, UT and the Punjab and Haryana High Court have been asked to forward the due applications to the Secretary, House Allotment Committee, by August 31. The employees working on a regular basis in the government departments in the city, Panchkula or Mohali are eligible.

The 12 Type (old) is available only for the employees who joined government services as Class-III regular on or before January 1, 1988. The II type (new) house is available only for the employees who joined government services as Class III regular on or before January 1, 1989. — TNS

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Vishal dares to indigenise ‘Othello’
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 28
‘Omkara’ stands testimony to Vishal Bhardwaj’s cinematic genius. Powered by basic human emotions of passion, integrity, avarice and distrust, it comes encouragingly close to the Shakespearean classic ‘Othello’ whose adaptation it claims to be.

That the film takes you back to the key plots that muscle the original play augurs well for the filmmaker who has dared to fashion an indigenous version of ‘Othello’ and succeeded in it.

Small wonder then that the first day, first show of the film at Fun Republic was a total sellout. The USP of the film, besides Vishal’s signature, is its thoughtful casting, which shines with Ajay Devgan in the lead role of Omkara. Kareena Kapoor as Desdemona, Saif Ali Khan as the evil maker, Viveik Oberoi as the diehard loyalist and Konkona Sen as the conscience keeper live their roles to perfection. So does the Chandigarh-based Kamal Tewari, whose short but provocative presence leads the tragedy forward.

In the role of Kareena Kapoor’s father, Kamal Tewari is impressive as can be, so is his wife Dolly Tewari who does a fabulous job with costumes.

The credit of bringing the rural heartland of Uttar Pradesh alive with the power of costume design goes to Dolly, who repeats the masterful stroke we first saw in Shekhar Kapoor’s ‘Bandit Queen’. It would be no surprise if she again bags nominations for the best costume.

In ‘Omkara’, she uses costumes not only to authenticate the settings but also to lend powerful image makeovers to her actors — be it Ajay Devgan whose machoism is enhanced by the loud, unkempt fabric that falls loosely on his brawny form; Kareena whose natural beauty is underscored by soft, subtle shades; Saif whose evil is emphasised by a routine but robust attire or Naseeruddin Shah whose political clout drips from his virgin white garb.

The film scores well on other counts — script and screenplay is laced with wit, typical to rural dialect, cinematography is striking and adds tremendous punch to the film which has key characters sweating it out for power in the backdrop of dirty politics. Lyrics by Gulzar, music by Vishal and rendition by Rekha, Vishal and Sukhwinder Singh are power packed — just right to bring a dead audience alive.

A fine balance of realistic and commercial cinema may well make the film a box office favourite as Kamal Tewari believes, “It has the right ingredients - music is vigorous, lyrics are impressive, script is raw as and delivery is flawless.”

The only heartburn though is that ‘Omkara’ like ‘Othello’ is a tragedy which Indian audience may find hard to digest. While the film keeps them on tenterhooks throughout the span, it leaves them defenceless in the last moment, when death and dryness take over.

It is then that you wish Bhardwaj had cheated on Shakespeare a little. The ‘desi’ version of ‘Othello’ could well have ended with a ‘baraat’. Though a deathbed for Desdemona is a mightier choice for the denouement of a film that wishes to recall ‘Othello’ and does!

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Residents urged to vote judiciously
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 28
The Citizens’ Awareness Group (CAG), an NGO comprising prominent citizens from all walks of life in Mohali, yesterday urged the voters to elect honest, educated and dedicated candidates during the Municipal Council (MC) elections on July 30.

‘‘We have gone through the manifestoes of the prospective candidates during the ongoing election campaign for MC elections. There seems to be no substance in the said promises as these are totally misleading and false just to lure the voters and in many cases the works promised do not come under the ambit of the municipality’’, CAG convener, Mr J.P.S Kalra, said here yesterday.

Significantly most of the important issues of public interest like the introduction of property tax, enhancement of water and sewerage charges have been skipped. Either the candidates lack the knowledge of basic problems of the populace or they, just aiming at winning the elections, are befooling the public, he said.

‘‘Can you expect people-friendly policies for good public health, sanitation and pollution-free environment from the candidates indulging in defacing public property and violating noise pollution rules’’, a statement said.

CAG appealed to the Mohali voters to exercise foresight while exercising their right to vote and get commitment in writing from the prospective candidates that problems of the area would be solved.

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YC appointment

Chandigarh, July 28
Mr Devi Dayal Sharma who has been appointed as vice-president of the District Youth Congress (Rural) by Mr Didar Singh, president of the District Youth Congress (Rural) in consent with Mr H.S. Lucky, president of the Chandigarh Territorial Youth Congress.

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Man electrocuted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 28
A 28-year-old man was electrocuted at his rented accommodation in Darua village this afternoon here. The police has booked the landlord of the house for causing death due to negligence.

Giving details, the SHO of the Industrial Area Police Station, Inspector Baljit Singh Chaddha, said the incident took place when the victim, Ram Gopal, after taking a bath touched the bathroom door.

An metal wire had been tied from the hook of a ceiling fan to the iron frame of the bathroom door. The wire was reportedly used as a string to put wet clothes to dry.

The victim’s brother Lal Bihari told the police that as soon as he came to know about the accident, he raised an alarm. Soon people gathered at the spot and rushed the victim to the PGI, where the doctors declared him brought dead. The police booked the landlord Daya Singh of Mohali for causing death due to negligence under Section 304-A of the IPC.

Ram Gopal was staying in the room along with his brother and an uncle. He was married and his family lived in his native village in Gorakhpur district in Uttar Pradesh.

The police said the landlord had rented the house to more number of people than its capacity and thrown safety measures to the winds. The house was rented to the migrant labourers.

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9 booked for running fake lottery
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 28
The police has booked nine persons on charges of cheating, forgery and criminal intimidation.

According to the police, these persons were running a computer lottery of the Punjab Government in Phase I here but were allegedly issuing their own chits to customers. By this they were not only duping public but also causing a loss to the state exchequer.

The police has arrested Pritam Singh and his two workers, Sagar Pandey and Bahadur, and Meherban and Kamal from booth number 59.

A case has been registered.

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Man held for duping employer
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 28
One person was nabbed by the police on charge of withdrawing over Rs 1 lakh by using an ATM card of his employer. According to the police, Mr Ravneet Singh had complained that Jasjit Singh, who worked as a driver with him, had taken away his ATM card along with the pin number and withdrew Rs 1,00, 250 from different ATM booths on different dates.

However, a police party was able to nab Jasjeet Singh and recovered Rs 90,000 from him.

A case has been registered.

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Two burglars arrested
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 28
With the arrest of two alleged burglars, armed with a stolen .32-bore Spanish pistol and three crude bombs, the Chandigarh police yesterday claimed to have solved four cases of burglary committed in various parts of the city.

A local court today remanded them in police custody till August 1 even as police teams have dispatched to UP and other places to recover the stolen goods.

The UT Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Crime Branch, Mr Om Prakash, said the accused, Vikresh Kumar of Colony Number 5 and Raj Kumar of Kajheri, were arrested on the basis of secret information from a special naka set up at T-Point near Kajheri village, this afternoon. He added that the accused tried to dodge the cops, but was soon nabbed.

He said the accused were employed with a gas agency and used to supply gas cylinders. After quitting the job, they took to burglary, finding it convenient to strike the houses, where they used to supply gas, as they were well acquainted with those houses.

The DSP said the search of the accused led to recovery of a Spanish pistol along with 11 cartridges, which was stolen from a house in Sector 43 in February this year and three crude bombs. They reportedly revealed during preliminary interrogation that the bombs were procured from Uttar Pradesh. They were earlier also arrested by the UT police in other cases of thefts and burglaries.

Inspector Satbir Singh, in charge of the Crime Branch said, “So far, four cases of burglary were solved with their arrest and more cases are likely to be solved after subjecting them to sustained interrogation. We have recovered seven stolen LPG cylinders, a camera, a music system and a gold locket from their possession. More recoveries are likely.”

Inspector Satbir Singh said they had plans to use the bombs to scare the people to make good their escape in case they were caught during the crime. It is a novel modus operandi. He added that the accused had sold some of the gold ornaments that they had stolen from the city in Uttar Pradesh.

They disclosed during interrogation that they had stolen 17 cartridges with the pistol and they had used six cartridges while practising to learn to use the pistol, said the police. A case under the Arms and the Explosive Substances Act has been registered against them and they would be produced before a local court tomorrow. 

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Case registered for fraudulent bank transfer
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 28
The police has registered a case of cheating and impersonation against some unidentified persons for fraudulently transferring Rs 4.3 lakh from the account of an Australia-based NRI at the HDFC Bank in Sector 8 here.

Sources in the economic offences wing of the Chandigarh police said Mr Iqbal Singh, manager of the bank, lodged a complaint that some miscreant had fraudulently got Rs 4.3 lakh transferred from the account of their customer, Mr Pargat Singh, the NRI.

The fraud came to light when Mr Pargat Singh checked his account and found that Rs 4.3 lakh had been transferred from his account in February.

He had approached bank officials in this regard and following a complaint, the bank had conducted an inquiry.

It had found that someone impersonating as Mr Pargat Singh had given an application to the bank, seeking the transfer of the amount to an account of someone by the name of Balkaran Singh of Ludhiana.

The account number mentioned was of a bank in Ganganagar district of Rajasthan.

The inquiry conducted by the bank had revealed that the address and other details were fake, after which the matter was reported to the police.

The police was at its wits’ end to solve the case as it could not identify any of the miscreants involved in the case.

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1 booked for cheating
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 28
The police booked a Shimla resident on the allegation of cheating a local trader of Rs 3 lakh.

Giving details sources in the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Chandigarh Police, Mr Amar Nath of Shiv Trading Company, Grain Market, Sector 26, alleged that Bhagwan Dass of Sawan Enterprises, Shimla, had purchased sugar from him worth Rs 3 lakh on February 20. The accused had given cheques of the said amount. The alleged fraud was detected when the cheques were dishonoured by the bank as the account had been closed in 2005.

A case has been registered under Section 420 of the IPC.

Held with dagger

The police today arrested Jatinder Singh of Colony Number 4 from the forest area near the locality on the allegation of keeping a dagger. The police said he was caught on suspicion after he tried to run away on seeing the police team on patrol. A case under the Arms Act has been registered.

Houses burgled

Ms Madhu Sharma of Sector 45-C lodged a complaint with the police alleging that a gold chain, a gold bangle, a diamond ring, Rs 2500 and other ornaments were stolen form her residence during the daytime on Thursday. She told the police that the miscreants broke open the locks to gain entry.

In another incident, Ms Subha Kanta Mahapatra of Sector 33 reported to the police alleging that Rs 5000, a gold chain and a gold bangle were stolen from her residence on Thursday. Cases have been registered.

Motor cycle stolen

Mr Randhir Singh Rawat of Mauli complex, Manimajra, has reported to the police alleging that his Bajaj Pulsar motorcycle was stolen during the intervening night of July 26 and 27 from his residence. A case of theft under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered.

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Shalimar promoter booked for cheating

Zirakpur, July 28
The local police has booked Prem Chand Singla, a promoter of the Shalimar Enclave, at Himmatgarh village and a resident of Sector 12-A, Panchkula, in a cheating case.

Acting on the complaint of Maj-Gen AK Vasudeva(Retd), a resident of Sector 6 in Panchkula, the police booked Singla for cheating in the deal of plots, the police said here yesterday. Meanwhile, the name of Singla also appears in another case of cheating. A complaint in this case had been lodged by Ms Vijay Oberoi, a resident of Sector 66, Mohali.

Besides Singla, the other persons, who have been booked are Prem Parkash Singh Dhindsa, Madhu, Baljit Kaur and Malwinder Singh.

Cases have been registered in both the cases. TNS

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Man booked for molestation
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, July 28
The police has booked Ramveer, a resident of Dhakoli, on charges of outraging the modesty of a Baltana resident. The lady alleged that Ramveer tried to molest her when she had gone to the market .

Meanwhile, Arsad Ali, a resident of Faridpur in Sangrur district, has been booked under the Animal Cruelty Act for loading 12 buffaloes in one canter. 

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Mega tourism convention planned
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 28
For the promotion of Tourism, the Chandigarh Administration in collaboration with the CII will hold a mega tourism convention in October annually in City Beautiful, in which Departments of Tourism from all over the country and delegates from abroad, will participate and deliberate on various issues of tourism.

This was decided at the first meeting of the newly reconstituted Tourism Advisory Committee chaired by the Home-cum-Tourism Secretary, Mr Krishna Mohan. It has also been decided to organise the New Year Festival in the last week of December and the first week of January in a big way.

During this festival, all government buildings will be illuminated, fireworks organised and a shopping week held.

Mr Krishna Mohan disclosed that the strength of the existing AC taxis will be increased to 350 and non-AC taxis introduced to suit every pocket. 

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Partial bank stir hits clearing
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 28
Banking services in the city were partially affected because of the all-India strike called by various bank employees. With employees of the State Bank of India, Indian Overseas Bank and Bank of Baroda opting out of the strike, it did not have much impact in the tricity.

The branches of all other banks remained open with the officers attending to the customers, though clerical staff and Class IV employees stayed away from work.

Even in the nearby towns like Kalka, the strike did not have much affect and banks like State Bank of Patiala, remained open. However, the clearing work was affected because of the clerical staff being on a strike.

Sources in the local banking industry said clearing worth Rs 200 crore could have been affected because of the strike. “Tomorrow is a half day, so the clearing would be complete only by Monday,” said an official.

The bank employees under the aegis of the All-India Bank Employees Association, All-India Bank Employees Federation and All-India Bank Officers Association are protesting against the outsourcing of services in the banking sector.

Mr Devinder Singh of the SBoP Employees Federation said they were also against the ban on fresh recrutiment as lakhs of posts were lying vacant in most of the public sector banks. They are also demanding that the pension option to bank employees should be revived.

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