C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

School students sow seeds of peace
Children from St Anthony’s High School, Lahore, in city
G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 1
History was created on the grounds of St John’s School, Sector 26, here today when two school cricket under-13 and under-16 teams along with a 47-member delegation and teachers from St Anthony’s High School, Lahore, turned up in the city to play a series of matches with the St John’s Cricket Academy team.

The event was the brainchild of the coordinator of the academy, Deepinder Singh, and the chief coach, Nagesh, who executed the idea with the joint efforts of an industrialist Rakesh Vashisht, PU physics Professor Navdeep Goel, Mr N.K. Bhambri and Mr Bhupesh Malhotra, who came forward to bear the tournament cost, include the boarding and lodging of guests from across the border.

It is a rare instance that cricket matches at the school level have been organised in northern India and the Principal of St Anthony’s High School, Mr Cecil Chaudhary, was upbeat about this sporty venture. He justifies the famous saying, “Every long journey begins with a first step.”

Bowled over by the hospitality extended to them by the local academy, Mr Chaudhary believes, “It is a kind of diplomacy at the school level that helps foster cordial relation between students of our two countries. When we received an invitation from St John’s Academy, the parents of all children readily accepted it without prejudice in their mind.”

It is not only cricket but cricket with loads of fun thrown in for good measure where the children get to know about how young people on both sides of the border live.

This being the Pakistani kids’ first visit to the city, they are understandably excited. “We have heard about the City Beautiful, but I doubt if anyone of us know much about Chandigarh. We have plans after the matches to go sightseeing but from what we can see, the city is neat and clean, much like Islamabad.”

Mr Cecil Chaudhary is an illustrated man in his country. After spending 28 years in the Pakistani Air Force and the recipient of Sitar-e- Jurat, the second highest gallantry award twice, in 1965 and 1971, including a Sitar-e- Basalat for meritorious services in the Pakistan Air Force in 1978, Mr Chaudhary has always been on the forefront of programmes like these. “My school has been a pioneer in organising “Seeds of Peace”, a three-week camp at Lahore with 12 boys and girls from Mumbai”.

His school which was founded way back in 1892, boasts of students from India too. “Mr TPS Chawla, a former Judge, Delhi High Court, and Air Chief Marshall, DA Lafonetine, former Chief of the Indian Air Force and a host of others who held coveted posts in the government are also alumni of the school.” In 1992 old students from both countries participated in centenary celebration.



Raids continue in PGI amid protests
Tribune News Service

*An anonymous video CD was today delivered to the office of The Tribune. This VCD showed sealed lockers and medical items packaged in cardboard boxes, sealed with tape bearing the names of doctors.

*The OT Technical Staff Association has decided to wear black badges in protest against “selective raids”. The association also demanded the resignation of the Head, Anaesthesia Department for step-motherly treatment to the non-faculty staff.

*They claimed that the Vigilance Cell had recovered material worth Rs 15-20 lakh from the lockers of the doctors, an allegation denied by the Chief Vigilance Officer.

Chandigarh, August 1
Raids and inspection of lockers of faculty members and junior and senior residents in the Operation Theatres (OTs) by the PGI’s Vigilance Cell continued at the PGI here today, even as resentment over the “search” grew among senior faculty members.

Beginning at 7 am, the second round of raids primarily focused on opening the lockers of faculty and senior and junior residents in their presence. Also, the vigilance team sealed lockers in the Intensive Care Unit and the Critical Care Units of the hospital.

The raids, which began yesterday, came in the wake of a complaint by an “insider” made on July 31. The complaint maintained that some individuals were suspected of pilfering drugs and disposables from the main operation theatres of the PGI.

The PGI today also constituted a committee of senior faculty members to be headed by Prof Deepak Bhasin of the Department of Gastroenterology to provide the staff a chance to justify the presence of “objectionable” items in their lockers. The process would take a few days to complete.

The Chief Vigilance Officer, Prof Amod Gupta, said the committee would give a consolidated report of items found in the lockers of doctors within the next few days. However, he specified that the committee had not been given any time frame to submit a final report.

The official spokesperson for the hospital maintained that except for stray instances nothing objectionable was found in the majority of the lockers. However, sources said that drugs and disposables were recovered from a large number of lockers though their value could not be ascertained.

Meanwhile, the faculty expressed resentment over the search maintaining that at any given time the locker of a junior or senior resident would have some drugs or surgical items. “These items are not necessarily for sale in the market. It is very rare that a doctor would whack something for a patient. Whatever is usually found has been kept under the presumption that it can be given to a poor patient in need of it. The Vigilance Cell must realise that a doctor will not keep stolen items in his locker but will try to dispose them off at the earliest,” a doctor said on the condition of anonymity.

While technicians in the OTs were up in arms against the hospital authorities for having singled them out for a search yesterday after which raids were ordered for all lockers. Today it was the turn of the faculty to lodge its protest against the raids.

After meeting the Director, PGI, to express their annoyance and frustration, the faculty members stated that it was insulting to open lockers for search. “They should have been more careful in dealing with senior faculty members. Imagine walking into an operation theatre with your mind focused on the job on hand and being confronted by a team of the hospital asking you to open the locker. Obviously, they found nothing in my locker but is the hospital presuming that the senior faculty is a bunch of thieves,” an agitated doctor stated.

Most maintained that before opening or sealing lockers, the Vigilance team should have listed out charges for the action. “We feel very hurt and anguished at the move but no amount of apology can suffice for the damage the raids have done,” the faculty members emphasised.



Man murdered, body burnt
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 1
An unidentified man in his mid-twenties was found murdered in the jungle area in Sector 52-C here this morning.

The police said the killers dumped the body before burning it to conceal his identity.

A police official said the killers put the body in a plastic drum and set it afire after pouring petrol or diesel on it.

The incident came to light around 7 am, when a junk dealer of a nearby area noticed the charred body and informed the police.

UT Senior Superintendent of Police Gaurav Yadav also reached the spot for inspection.

Central Forensic Science Laboratory experts and the dog squad were pressed into service to pick possible clues.

The body was charred beyond recognition and was found about 125 yards from Mohali and about 100 metres from the busy road near the Nehru Colony.

Not only had the clothes burnt fully, but plastic had melted completely and stuck to the skin, making it impossible to recognise the body as no identification mark was found.

Sector 36 police station SHO Ishwar Singh Mann said an imported branded shirt was found in a plastic bag at a distance from the body.

He added that it could be a ploy to mislead the police.

About the time of the incident, he said the body might have been burnt after midnight as junk dealers of the area worked there till late hours and usually burnt plastic to extract metal.

The killers found it a suitable place to burn the body as fire was common in this area at night.

Messages were flashed to the Mohali police and the Panchkula police to verify if someone had lodged a missing person report matching the details of the victim.

The police registered a case of murder and disappearance of evidence under Sections 302 and 201 of the IPC.



Thief ends up with broken leg
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 1
In a bid to escape being caught a thief jumped from the third floor of a school in Sector 41 late last night. He was admitted to the Sector 16 General Hospital with a broken leg.

Giving details of the incident, sources in the Sector 39 police station said the incident took place at 9.30 pm when the school watchman, Opinder Kumar noticed some activity in the building.

At the third floor of the building, he noticed a man stealing water taps. Opinder told the police that he went downstairs after locking the man inside a room and raised an alarm. Some people gathered there. They went upstairs and opened the room, but found no one there.

They found the thief lying on the ground behind the school building. He was crying in pain. The police took him to hospital at 10.30 pm.

The SHO of the Sector 39 police station, Inspector Nanha Ram Kadiyan, said the accused had been identified as Vishal Masih of Sector 41. A case of attempt to suicide, theft and trespass under various Sections of the Indian Penal Code had been registered. A local court today remanded him to judicial custody.



Workshops of goldsmiths pose health threat
Chemicals like cyanide used
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 1
Despite knowledge about harmful chemicals and other hazardous material being used by goldsmiths in their workshops in Sector 22, the illegal practice goes on unabated and that too right under the nose of the Chandigarh Administration.

The issue cannot be ignored because the crowded Sector 22 marketplace is located bang next to a residential area. There are more than 20 such workshops using hazardous material, including potassium cyanide and sulphuric acid.

The Chandigarh Pollution Control Committee had sent three communications to the Estate Office to look into the matter, but to no avail. Only site owners have been sent letters that merely mention that the premises are being used for “alternate” purposes.

The workshops emit a pungent odour, which is heightened at times during the day. “We have to lie to our unwary customers about the foul smell citing odd reasons,” confessed a shopkeeper. Illegal pipes from the first floor can be seen going straight into the city sewers. “Those pipes carry obnoxious and unhealthy waste which needs to be checked but no action has been initiated,” he said.

The units are not using the BAT (best available technology) for treatment of waste water, poisonous substances and affluent like acids. “They have not sought the mandatory permission as prescribed under the Manufacture, Storage and Import of Hazardous Materials Rules 1989,” it was pointed out. Mr Arvind Jain, president of the Market Association confirmed the problem. He said: “I am first writing to the Estate Office to provide all relevant information regarding these units under the Right to Information Act. These units are clearly violating building bylaws and also the government controls provided for water and air pollution.”

The Pollution Control Committee in a letter to the Estate Office had said: “The units be closed since they are operational in violation of the building bylaws.” The committee had sought suitable action and also action-taken report within 30 days. Mr Jain said the period of 30 days had elapsed long back.



Notice to Chandigarh MC
Violations in paid parking norms
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 1
The permanent Lok Adalat For Public Utility Services, Chandigarh, today issued notice to the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation and Star Group, parking contractors of Sector 17, on a public interest complaint, alleging deficiency in service and violations of paid parking norms.

It has been sought that the MC and contractors be directed to streamline the system of paid parking in the city, especially in Sector 17.

The complainant, Mr Pankaj Chandgothia, stated before the adalat that most of the paid parking lots in Sector 17, had been cornered by a “group of contractors” the “Star Group”. They were allegedly flouting the rules with impunity and the corporation had failed to check the “malpractices” being adopted by the parking lot contractors.

The complainant stated that each time he visited the Sector 17 paid parking, he was asked to pay for the parking at the entry point instead at the place of parking. Apart from being a violation of the terms of contract of parking, there were cases of charging fee from the persons who come just to drop a person.

In Sector 17, there are parking lots near the MOH building, on the bridge road and near the CMC. The parking slip issued by the Star Group in Sector 17 does not mention the parking lot and not even the sector number, thereby making the slip meaningless.

It was further alleged that staff of the parking lots was only interested in collecting money which was evident from the fact that the parking fee was collected at the entry point itself. “There is no one to guide the public about where to park the vehicle. Also while one leaves the parking lot, most of the time there are no employees to collect the slip back or to verify that who is taking out the car. This system defeats the very purpose of safety and increases the chances of theft”, Mr Chandgothia further stated.

Even the boards displayed by the MC at various parking lots are not as per law. None of these contain any particulars of the contractor nor their licence number and its period. The parking area of a particular contractor is also not specified for the knowledge of the general public. Many times, staff of the parking lots misbehaves with visitors when they point out deficiencies in services.

After hearing the petitioner, the Lok Adalat headed by its Chairman, Mr R.P. Bajaj, issued notice to the corporation and to the contractor concerned appear and file reply by August 22, 2006.



BJP opposes abolition of gram panchayats
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 1
The local unit of the BJP today opposed the move of the UT Administration to abolish the gram panchayats of various villages and to merge them with the Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh. The party demanded that these villages be developed as model villages instead of abandoning the basic units of rural development in the country.

Addressing mediapersons here today, Mr Satya Pal Jain, ex-MP and national convener of the legal and legislative business cell of the party, said that earlier 4 villages — Burail, Butrala, Badheri and Attawa — were merged into MC, Chandigarh, by the then Congress-led Central Government in 1996, but the experience of 10 years shows that neither these villages could become a real part of the city nor could they maintain their identity as villages.

Mr Satya Pal Jain blamed the Congress (I)-led Central Government of being anti-rural, anti-people and anti-poor. He said that though every leader of the Congress had been boasting of passing the Rural Employment Guarantee Bill, this Act has not been made applicable to the UT. This is a big discrimination and stepmotherly attitude of the Central Government with the people of this city.

He also said that though elections of 10 members of zila parishad, Chandigarh, were held in June 2005, yet even after 13 months the Congress is not holding elections of the chairman and vice-chairman of the zila parishad.

He also criticised the large-scale demolitions in UT villages, which started after the Congress came to power in Centre in May 2004, in spite of statements by Congress leaders to the contrary.

Mr Satya Pal Jain said that the rural wing of the BJP would be starting an agitation in all villages against the anti-rural, anti-people and anti-poor policies of the Congress from today. A delegation of panches, sarpanches and members of the zila parishad panchayat samiti and market committee will submit a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner on August 4 at 10 a.m. for sending it to the Prime Minister and Home Minister of India. The party will organise public awareness programmes in all villages against this “anti-rural attitude” of the Congress in the coming week.

The party will also hold a protest rally to protest against the “anti-poor and anti-rural policies” of the Congress.

Among others Mr Yash Pal Mahajan, president, BJP, Chandigarh, Mr Ramvir Bhatti, secretary BJP, Mr Mam Chand Rana, sarpanch, Maloya, Dr Tarsem Lal, sarpanch, Daddu Majra, Mr Gurdeep Singh Atwal, ex-sarpanch, Attawa, Mr Rajinder Singh and Mr Hukam Chand members, zila parishad, Chandigarh, Mr Bhajan Singh Maru, director, market committee, Chandigarh, were also present. 



Power of attorney led to mistaken identity, says Daljit Kaur
Malaysian fugitive issue
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 1
A piece of property in Sector 21 is turning out to be the reason, leading to speculations about a Malaysian ‘fugitive judge’ hiding in the city. The Chandigarh police has been unable to trace Balbir Kaur, the fugitive judge, from any part of the city even though a Malaysian newspaper, New Straits Times, reported that a former judge of a Malaysian court was hiding in the city.

Though no formal request has been received by the Chandigarh police by the Malaysian counterparts to locate the woman, but it so transpires that it was a nephew of the woman in question, who allegedly misappropriated the property after getting a power of attorney (POA) issued from her brother, Jasbir Singh, in his name. Jasbir Singh is said to be settled in Malaysia.

Clarifying her stance, Ms Daljit Kaur, who is being wrongly identified as Balbir Kaur, alleged the case had the sale purpose of entangling her in a controversy. While sharing the background of the matter, Daljit Kaur said, the house in which they were living belonged to Balbir Kaur’s father, Sadhu Singh. He had two daughters - Balbir Kaur and Dr Parkash Kaur and two sons - Jasbir Singh and Dilbagh Singh. After his death, the property was divided into four parts.

She further narrated that Jasbir Singh went to Malaysia after completing his graduation in 1980 and later gave a power of attorney to his nephew, authorising him to manage his part of the house. His nephew further let a part of house to his acquaintance. After sometime the “tenant” asked Daljit Kaur’s family, who was also living in a portion of the house, to vacate the house claiming ownership over it.

Following this, her husband, Sukha Singh, a friend of Jasbir Singh, informed Jasbir about it and asked him to intervene and “check the things”. Jasbir Singh being unable to come, withdrew the power of attorney from his nephew and made a new one in the name of Daljit Kaur. It reportedly become source of trouble for her, and for her family.

Mr Sukha Singh claimed that they had nothing to do with Balbir Kaur. She had met them only twice or thrice in life and that, too, for a few minutes. It was only an unconfirmed report blown out of proportion which had put Admn to unnecessary harassment.

“Trouble for us began, when we alerted Jasbir Singh about the “misappropriation” regarding his property following which he made a power of attorney in the win name of my wife. It became an eyesore for people living in the house.

However, Daljit Kaur expressed her ignorance about the whereabouts of Balbir Kaur. She said Balbir Kaur had either settled in New Zealand or in Australia. The reports in Malaysian newspaper says that Balbir was first arrested by the Anti-Corruption Agency in Malaysia in October, 1987, for allegedly accepting bribe to acquit three Indonesians facing charges under the Customs Act.



Four municipal council candidates demand repoll
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 1
Four candidates from Ward 29 have demanded a repoll in the area, alleging that a large number of bogus votes had been polled in the ward during the municipal elections.

Mr Ashok Kumar, Ms Baljit Kaur, Mr Lakhwinder Singh and Mr Kamaldev said at a press conference here today that they would file a joint writ petition with the state Election Commission and demand a high-level inquiry into the matter and action against the erring employees.

They alleged that votes of 135 persons existed in the voter list of Ward 5 and as well as in the voter list of Ward 29.

They alleged that under a well-planned strategy, the votes that figured in the list for Ward 5 were polled in Ward 29.

They further said some residents of the ward lived abroad and their houses had been lying vacant.

Votes had also been allegedly made on such addresses and polled by using persons from outside, they alleged.

On the day of the elections, a couple, who had come to cast bogus votes, was handed over to the police, but no action was taken against them, they said.

A complaint regarding bogus votes had been made to authorities concerned before the elections, but to no avail.

Mr Ashok Kumar had polled 183 votes, Ms Baljit Kaur 303 votes, Mr Lakhwinder Singh 407 votes and Mr Kamaldev 201 votes.



21 candidates to lose security deposit
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 1
At least 21 candidates who had contested the municipal elections here on July 30 will have to forfeit their security deposit.

According to rules, a candidate who is not able to get 6 per cent of the votes polled in his or her ward loses the security amount deposited before the elections. However, the security amount is only Rs 150.

Officials said since the amount was small, most candidates who secured more than the minimum number of votes usually did not turn up to claim the money.



MC inducts 2 latest fire tenders

Chandigarh, August 1
In an effort to modernise and strengthen the fire and emergency services of the Municipal Corporation, two dry chemical powder (DCP) tenders and two water tenders were inducted in its fleet today.

Mr P.S. Aujla, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, flagged off the tenders on the office premises here today.

At present, there are only two DCP tenders in the fire services. The two DCP tenders will be useful in controlling industrial and electrical fires. There are three old water tenders, which often remain in an off-road condition and require frequent repairs. The new tenders are fully equipped with latest fire-fighting technology and will replace the old ones and will be used for effectively augmenting the fire-fighting capabilities.

One DCP tender and one water tender will be stationed at Fire Station-17. The other DCP tender will be stationed at Fire Station-32 and one water tender will be stationed at Fire Station-11. The corporation has also inducted one hydraulic platform-cum-turn-table ladder in the last year, besides two water mist technology equipment. TNS



Bill meant to loot public: Jain

Chandigarh, August 1
The Office of Profit Bill passed by Parliament is a “seal of Parliament on looting of the public exchequer by MPs and MLAs,” said Mr Satya Pal Jain, former member of Parliament, while talking to The Tribune here today.

Mr Jain said the Bill passed was a gross violation of the Constitution. “We appeal to the President of India to look into the matter and seek the opinion of the Supreme Court. In case the Bill gets his approval, the legal cell of the BJP will examine the matter and might also approach the court,” he said.

MPs and MLAs should not be allowed to hold any office except those concerned with parliamentary business, he added. TNS



Couple held with smack
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 1
The local police today arrested a husband-wife duo on the allegation of carrying smack. According to the police, Mustak and his wife Sudesh were arrested from a naka in Mani Majra this afternoon. The police recovered 2 gm of smack each from their possession. A case was registered against them.

Scooter stolen

Mr Balbir Singh of Adarsh Nagar, Zirakpur, reported to the police that his scooter (PB-70-2246) was stolen from near Sukhna Lake on Monday. A case of theft was registered in this regard.

Purse snatched

Two unidentified motorcyclists snatched a purse from a woman in Sector 22 tonight. Roopinder Kaur of Sector 45 lodged a complaint alleging that she was in a rickshaw when two unidentified youngsters riding a motorcycle snatched her purse near the Piccadily light point at 9.30 pm. The purse contained two mobile phone sets and cash. A case was registered.

Burn injuries

A 28-year-old woman sustained 20 per cent burn injuries while preparing meal at her Daddu Majra village residence here on Tuesday evening. She was admitted to the Sector 16 General Hospital.



Body found near Hotel Sunbeam
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 1
An unidentified man in his mid-thirties was found dead near Hotel Sunbeam in Sector 22 here this afternoon. The body was lying in a park near the hotel. There were no visible injury marks.

The police shifted the body to the Sector 16 General Hospital and initiated inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the CrPC in this regard.



Biz Clip

Workshop: A workshop on “e2 — IT for Indian Dairying”, organised by Rajasthan Electronics and Instruments Ltd, Jaipur, was held at Kasauli recently. It was inaugurated by Haryana Milk Federation Ltd Managing Director Devendra Singh. The aim was to highlight the use of electronic, energy and Information Technology for socio-economic uplift of dairy and village milk producers. It was attended by officials from Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. TNS



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