C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Woman dies as CTU bus falls into ravine
25 passengers injured seriously
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 4
Widow of a martyr was killed while over 25 other passengers, including a four-year-old girl, sustained serious injuries when a bus belonging to the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking-III going towards Naraingarh from Chandigarh, fell into a deep ravine along the “killer” Panchkula-Naraingarh road near Nadha village this morning.

The bus with at least 35 passengers on board reportedly turned turtle almost four times before falling into the ravine, leaving Ms Jasbir Kaur (51), a resident of Daffarpur village in Dera Bassi sub-division of Mohali district, died on the spot. A majority of the passengers sustained multiple injuries while a few lucky ones escaped with minor and internal injuries.

A heart patient, Jasbir Kaur, was accompanied by her daughter Simran Kaur when the tragedy struck. They both were on their way back home after getting medicines from the Command Hospital, Chandi Mandir. Simran also sustained injuries.

Apart from Mr Kamal Kumar and Mr Raj Kumar, driver and conductor of the bus, those who were injured in the accident include Subhash Chand, Sandeep, Chamal Lal, Som Nath, Anita, Raj Kumar, Bilak Ram, Ravinder, Dyal Kaur, Kala Devi, Pal Singh, Chander Kanta and her 4-yead-old granddaughter Priyanka. Those who sustained minor injuries were discharged after preliminary medication.

The seriously injured Chander Kanta was referred to the PGI, Chandigarh, this evening.

After receiving information, the General Manager, CTU-III, Mr Ravinder Pathak, officials from the local administration and office-bearers of the CTU Employees Union visited the spot.

According to the victims, the bus driver lost control over the wheel while giving pass to a truck coming from the opposite direction and fell into 50 metres deep ravine. Motorists and passersby assembled at the spot and subsequently the police was also informed. The news of the accident spread in the area.

Controlling themselves and crying in pain, the bleeding passengers started looking for their relatives and companions after they found themselves in the badly damaged bus at the bottom of the ravine.

The passersby started the rescue operation and rushed the injured to the General Hospital, Sector 6. The police parties from Ramgarh and the Nada police post also joined the rescue operation. The news spread like wildfire in the hospital after some injured reached the hospital. The hospital authorities pressed two doctors and two ambulances into the rescue operation.

A victim Mr Subhash Kumar, a resident of Mani Majra, while narrating the incident said that the bus fell into the ravine when the driver was trying to give pass to a truck coming from the opposite direction. “I just noticed some unusual thing and the bus rolled down into a deep ditch. There were shrieks all around and everyone was struggling for life,” recalled Mr Kumar.

An elderly couple, Mr Pal Singh and his wife Dyal Kaur from Mulalpur, a village near Mullanpur Garibdass, who had boarded the bus from Chandigarh to Raipur Rani to see their daughter, were also injured.

Ms Santosh Kumari, the daughter of Chander Kanta who was travelling along with her granddaughter Priyanka, said that she rushed to the hospital after receiving the news. “My mother and niece Priyanka were on their way to Nagla village near Barwala after staying with them for four days”, she said while holding her tears.

Expressing her ignorance about how the accident occurred, Priyanka said, “I don’t remember anything”. She was in shock. Simran took another bus and reached Ramgarh. She made phone calls to her maternal aunts, who subsequently reached the hospital. “My mother was a heart patient and could not bear jerks. Some of the bus seats got detached and my mother was buried under them,” she recalled.

Meanwhile, the police has recorded statements of the accident victims and started investigating in this regard.



Admn struggles to find Dhingra’s replacement
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 4
The Engineering Department of the Chandigarh Administration continues to be a favourite haunt for the CBI, as it has trapped more 20 corrupt officials during the past decade.

The first major catch was a Chief Engineer who had a network of several other officers and the latest is a Superintending Engineer, V.P. Dhingra, caught red-handed accepting bribe.

The administration is stuck in an awkward situation as it does not have even a single name to replace Mr Dhingra, who was arrested day before yesterday.

The names of all probable officers, including Mohinder Singh, the senior-most executive engineer, who can step in his shoes have been rejected because they are facing corruption charges.

It is worth mentioning that certain senior officials of the Chandigarh Housing Board and the Municipal Corporation are also facing corruption charges, rendering them unfit for consideration for the post.

The name that tops the list of “tainted” officials still serving is that of MC Chief Engineer K.B. Sharma.

Others include XEN Mohinder Singh, XEN Harish Kumar, A.K. Gupta, Kewal Salgotra and V.K. Arora. One of the tainted officials has died, while several others, including B.R. Madaan, Jagdish Mittal and S.K. Vashishth, have retired.

A few years back, the name of Tarsem Lal, who had also worked with Mr Dhingra, had figured in a scam involving the use of letterhead for a “forged letter”.

The UT has been finding it hard to get an engineer on deputation as the pay scale of PSEB officials is higher than that of UT officials. “That is a minor issue and we have settled it,” a senior official said.

The official said: “We have been asking both Punjab and Haryana for a panel of names for some time. There has been no response from either of the two. Officers do not want to come here because of heavy workload. The work is always under the scanner here. A mistake in the list of power cut schedule had nearly led to the suspension of at least three officers. Frequent CBI raids are another deterrent for the newcomers.”


The Chandigarh Administration has suspended Superintending Engineer V.P. Dhingra following his arrest on Wednesday for seeking bribe of Rs 20,000 to clear a case. The administration will appoint a new officer from the PSEB to replace him. The front-runners are Deputy Chief Engineers Harpal Bains and Surinder Pal.

His rise

V.P. Dhingra went a long way up the ladder after he joined the Engineering Department as Line Superintendent (working charge) in 1970. He came from Hoshiarpur district and was regularised as Line Superintendent (Junior Engineer) in 1972. He was promoted as SDO in 1978 and appointed as Superintending Engineer in 2005. A senior official said he could not have risen to the rank of SE merely on the basis of his qualification as a diploma holder. He had upgraded his qualification equivalent to a degree by taking IEE examination in 1976.



Manhole Death Case
8 MC employees booked 
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 4
For the first time in the city, the Chandigarh police today held eight employees of the Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, including a junior engineer, Rajeev Kumar, responsible for causing death due to negligence in constable Jaswinder Kaur’s death case.

Constable Jaswinder Kaur, who was seven months pregnant at that time, had died when she accidentally fell into an open manhole where she had gone to ease herself. The incident took place near the CSIO boundary wall in Sector 30 on the evening of August 16 last year even as her husband and sister-in-law waited on a scooter near the spot.

The police filed the charge sheet in the case in a local court today after having booked eight employees under Section 304 A of the IPC. According to the police, negligence in leaving a manhole uncovered had led to the death of the victim. Jaswinder Kaur’s body was found after five hours at the water treatment plant in Mohali.

Initially, Rajeev Kumar allegedly tried to mislead the police by staging a demonstration using a sandbag and throwing it down the manhole to prove that the victim could not have travelled through the narrow water sewerage channels.

He even went to the extent of alleging that the victim had been murdered first and the body later dumped in a manhole.

The police as a result began investigations into the possible role of Jaswinder’s husband Gurnam Singh in causing her death.

Detailed probes including brain mapping and lie detector tests were carried out before he was declared innocent.

Further investigations revealed that the incident had happened exactly the way the husband had informed the police.

The police has now booked Jaipal, Raj Kumar, Prem Nath, Ram Pratap, Laina Ram, Vijay Pal and Subhash, all sewer men with the Municipal Corporation Chandigarh, for the accident along with Rajeev Kumar.



DAV College girl crushed to death
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 4
Reetu Singla had many a plan for forthcoming “Raakhi”. She was to surprise her younger brothers with her choice of threads this year.
The threads were to be “more vibrant and more beautiful than ever”.

But the brothers were deprived of their sister’s love as her life was cut short by a fatal accident this morning.

Reetu Singla (18), a student of BCom (I) at MCM DAV College, Sector 36, was crushed to death by a speedy truck. Reetu was riding the scooter of her friend Priyanka, who was seated pillion.

Around 7.30 am, they stopped at the traffic lights near the railway station when a speedy truck reportedly hit the scooter from the rear.

According to eye-witnesses, after being hit by the truck, killing her on the spot, while Priyanka escaped with minor injuries. The driver of the truck sped away after the accident.

The police said the victims were taken to the PGI, where Reetu was declared brought dead.

Priyanka was discharged from the hospital after being administered first-aid.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Reetu’s inconsolable cousin said: “She had joined college just a month ago. She was a brilliant student. A promising life was cut short by the cruel death.” Reetu’s father is a businessman and has two brothers.

It was second such accident in the past two days at the same spot.

Just two days ago, Sunita Sharma, wife of a Tribune employee, was crushed under a truck at the same place.

The police has registered a case of causing death due to rash and negligent driving against the driver.



UT, Punjab to resolve border dispute
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 4
A long-pending border dispute between Chandigarh and Punjab is finally set to be resolved. Officials of Punjab and Chandigarh have agreed to solve the problem of overlapping borders on the northern periphery of the city, adjoining Mohali.

This would lead to the straightening of the zigzag boundary between the two states. The exercise would entail exchange of 10 acres of land between Chandigarh and Punjab. A survey carried out by the UT’s Revenue Department with the help of maps provided by the Survey of India revealed that at several points the boundary in the records of the two states overlapped.

This was noticed regarding the agricultural land at Khuda Lahora, Khuda Jassu, Khuda Alisher, Kaimbwala villages on the UT side and in Karoran and Kansal village on Punjab’s side. A strip of land measuring 10 feet to 120 feet was overlapping, said a senior revenue official of UT.

The officials of the two states have agreed to find a permanent solution after a meeting between the Deputy Commissioners of Chandigarh and Mohali

While UT claims that pockets of its land fell in Punjab, Punjab has been claiming the opposite. The issue raked up during a demolition drive carried out by UT’s enforcement staff in Khuda Ali Sher village. The affected residents went to court claiming that the area fell in Punjab and the UT had no right to carry out the demolition.

Mr R.K. Rao confirmed that the revenue staff had been briefed on the points to be taken note of during the joint demarcation exercise. The Deputy Commissioner, Mohali, Mr Tejveer Singh, said the exact measurement of the land would be known only after the joint demarcation exercise. The findings would be forwarded to the revenue authorities of the state.

The revenue officials were talking to owners of the land in question. “After all, it is the people whose land has to be exchanged. The consent of the people would have to be taken”, said a senior official.

Sources informed that the demarcation was crucial as the Chandigarh Administration planned a series of projects like rural tourism, theme park and film city on the northern periphery of the city. It may be mentioned that a similar problem has arisen on the southern border of the city with Mohali.

Around two years ago, a joint demarcation of the border from Sector 56 ( Phase 6 SAS Nagar) to Sector 61 ( Phase 7 of SAS Nagar) was conducted by UT and Punjab officials. PUDA officials raised a 6 ft high wall to demarcate the inter-state boundary. 



Race for MC chief post intensifies
Bid to form front to oppose Sidhu group
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, August 4
Even as the race for presidentship of the Municipal Council intensified today, efforts are on to form a front of councillors to take on the group backed by the local District Congress Committee chief.

The situation remains fluid with several names of councillors emerging as possible candidates for the powerful post. Among the names doing the rounds are those of Mr Kuljit Singh Bedi, Mr Rishiv Jain, Mr Rajinder Singh Rana and Mr Phool Raj Singh.

There have been reports of horse-trade to win over councillors. One of the newly elected councillors said on condition of anonymity that as much as Rs 10 lakh each was being offered to certain councillors to get their support. He condemned such activities.

The Mohali DCC president, Mr Balbir Singh Sidhu, claimed that at least 16 of the newly elected councillors owed allegiance to the party faction said to be headed by him.

However, another group of Congress men, said to be supporters of Mrs Lakhwinder Kaur Garcha, OSD to the Punjab Chief Minister, said it had a substantial number of councillors with it to secure the post of council president.

Apart from these two groups in the faction-ridden Congress here going all out to get its candidate into the saddle, the role of the former council chief, Mr Kulwant Singh, in the election of the new president cannot be overlooked. Although Mr Kulwant Singh lost the civic poll held on July 30, certain councillors in the previous House who have now been re-elected owed allegiance to him during his term.

They are Mr Phool Raj Singh, Mr S.S.Barnala. Mrs Amteshwar Kaur, Mrs Prabhjot Kaur Sodhi, Mr R.P. Sharma and Mr B.B. Maini. Suppporters of Mr Kulwant Singh claimed that they had backed a few more candidates in the poll leading to their victory.

Whether the new councillors part of the Kulwant Singh group in the previous council will remain loyal to the former president, remains to be seen. Interestingly, two of these re-elected councillors — Mrs Prabhjot Kaur Sodhi and Mr R.P. Sharma — were seen at a press conference called by the DCC chief, Mr Sidhu, on July 31.

Reports indicate that the front which may be formed to oppose the Balbir Singh Sidhu group may comprise councillors owing allegiance to Mrs Garcha and Mr Kulwant Singh, besides certain others said to be backed by the Shiromani Akali Dal.

As all candidates did not contest the poll on the party symbol and were officially Independents, it is not clear as of date which political party or faction has roped in adequate number of councillors to secure the all-important post of president.

The support of at least 16 councillors in the 31-member House is needed to get the post. The Kharar MLA and ex-officio member of the civic body, Mr Bir Devinder Singh, also has the voting right.

Voting to elect the new council chief will be by show of hands at a meeting of the civic body called for the purpose. 



Soft drinks banned in Assembly canteen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 4
The findings on pesticide use in soft drinks is finally beginning to take its toll on their sale in the tricities. These aerated drinks have suddenly vanished from party scene, canteens and houses.

Today, a ban was imposed on serving these soft drinks in the canteen of the Punjab Assembly “in the interest of health of all concerned,” a spokesman of the House said. The ban has been ordered following the study report of the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) “which has exposed the high quantity of pesticides in these soft drinks,” Secretary of the Assembly Nachhattar Singh Mavi said.

He said the ban would remain in force “till the shadow on these drinks being deadly is cleared.”

Though retailers in the city said that they had not witnessed a sharp decline in sales, but said people were now preferring buttermilk and juices when ordering for parties. Mr Amit Singla, who sells computer hardware in Sector 35, said he had stopped stocking these soft drinks and was no longer offering these to his clients.

Many schools in the tricities had banned these cold drinks within their premises, when the report on pesticide content were first released two years ago.



Residents say conman moving scot free
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 4
If allegations of certain city residents are to be believed, a Mani Majra-based conman not only cheated them of lakhs of rupees, but also implicated them in false cases registered at police station in Punjab and Haryana. The victims have alleged that the local police is dragging feet in taking action against the conman, despite the fact that he is a ‘bad character’ in police records.

His victims include a retired Air Force officer, a Mani Majra-based eye specialist, a sub inspector in the paramilitary forces and a former Punjab School Education Board employee and a girl, from Himachal Pradesh studying in Chandigarh.

Talking to mediapersons at a press conference held at the Chandigarh Press Club, retired Major Dr S.S. Dadwal, alleged that the suspect, Vishal Vashist of Mani Majra, had duped him of Rs 10 lakh on the pretext of sending his son to the USA in 1998. Dr Dadwal alleged that he came in contact with Vishal, as he used to visit his clinic. Dr Dadwal had taken a loan to raise the amount. But he lost every thing when his son was deported for not having proper visa. On being asked to return the money, Vishal gave him a check, which bounced. Following this, Dadwal reported the matter to the police, but to no effect.

Dr Dadwal further said following the registration of a criminal case against him, Vishal, implicated his wife in a false case of cheating, but the same was dismissed by a court. The court even asked Dr Dadwal to take recourse to legal action, but he refused to avoid further harassment.

Similarly, other victims, a city-based eye specialist, Dr S.K. Kamboj, a sub-inspector paramilitary, Mr Dharampal, a driver in the fire brigade, Ram Dyal, and a former employee Yashpal Suri, narrated similar tales of harassment at the hands of Vishal. They all alleged that Vishal implicated them in false cases when they raised voice against his misdeeds. Despite the fact that all cases were dropped in courts, Vishal is moving scot-free in the city with the connivance of certain policemen, and no action has been taken on their complaints, they alleged.

Besides this, Mr Ram Dyal of Jyanti Majri village near Kharar has also alleged that Vishal had duped 45 persons, including him of Rs 70 to 80 lakh by promising them to get jobs in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

While talking to Chandigarh Tribune over telephone, Mr Satpal Thakur of Shimla, a brother of Mr Dharampal, alleged that Mr Dharampal’s daughter was seduced by Vishal. He alleged: “Nearly four year ago he managed to marry our girl claming that he belongs to a royal family of Shimla. It was only later that we came to know about his misdeeds through newspaper and severed ties with him and filed a civil suit against him, which is pending in court. His warrants have been issued by the court after he failed to join the proceedings”.

When contacted, the SHO of the Mani Majra police station confirmed that Vishal was a bad character. He said the police had conducted raids at his residence several times. But he was not found there.



A journey through ‘hell’ on rail
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 4
When Neerja Mittal boarded the Golden Temple Express at the Mumbai Central Railway Station on her way back home, she could only think about her approaching marriage scheduled for later next week. The Second AC sleeper appeared comfortable and she thought the journey would conclude soon, little realising what was in store for her and her fellow passengers.

The 24-hour journey turned out to be a nightmare.

Neerja, Operations Manager, ICICI Lombard, Mumbai, and other passengers on board the Golden Temple Express had to face inhuman conditions due to the irresponsible and callous attitude of the railway authorities, besides being tortured by an army of cockroaches and rats on board the train.

Talking to The Tribune, she said: “The train left the Mumbai Central station around 9.30 pm. I made a call to my father at Dera Bassi and then to my friends, exhausting the mobile batter without anticipating that I may need to use it later. The journey started well and people had dinner and turned out the lights to sleep.”

It was sometime around mid-night that the train came to a grinding halt. It was raining outside and there was some commotion that woke her up. To her horror, she noticed something crawling on her face. It turned out to be a cockroach. Neerja noticed two more nocturnal creatures running to hide under her pillow. As she shrieked and jumped off her upper berth, she missed squashing a rat under her feet.

By then many passengers had got up and almost everyone had cockroaches running around on their belongings. Some fellow passengers noticed more mice and rats in the compartment. “This was an AC sleeper. I was shocked as I never expected these creatures to be my fellow passengers”. As if this was not enough, the train that had stopped showed no signs of moving. It stood at one place for over 10 hours.

No announcement was made as to what had happened and how long it would take for the train to move. Finally, a passenger got information on his mobile from a relative in Mumbai that the train was somewhere in Gujarat and the tracks had been damaged due to incessant rains. There was not much passengers could do.

“This was my last train journey. Next time, I will fly by paying a marginally higher fare.” Neerja who paid Rs 1778 as train fare said for Rs 2200, she could have flown by Air Deccan. Are you listening Mr Laloo Prasad Yadav?



Delegation meets DC on merger of villages
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 4
A delegation of sarpanch, panch and members of the Zila Parishad, the Panchayat Samiti and the Market Committee today called upon Deputy Commissioner R.K. Rao and presented him a memorandum, addressed to the President of India, Prime Minister and Union Home Minister, expressing displeasure at the decision of the Chandigarh Administration to merge villages around the city with the Municipal Corporation.

The memorandum was signed by 15 out of total 17 sarpanches, seven out of 10 elected members of the Zila Parishad and 11 out of total 15 members of the Panchayat Samiti.

The memorandum said the Chandigarh Administration was not serious about the development of villages around the city. Instead, the administration was determined to abolish gram panchayats.

The memorandum also stated that though the government had been boasting of passing the Rural Employment Guarantee Bill, the UT had been left out of its purview.

The delegation demanded a compensation of Rs 1.5 crore per acre of land acquired and a plot for those villagers whose land had been acquired on the basis of an earlier scheme of the government.

They stated that earlier four villages — Burail, Badheri, Butrela and Attawa — were merged with the MCC in 1996 but these villages never became part of the city.

The delegation included former MP Satya Pal Jain, BJP unit president Yash Pal Mahajan, Market Committee Director Ramvir Bhatti, Maloya sarpanch Mam Chand Rana, Market Committee Kajheri vice-chairman Harbhajan Singh, Zila Parishad members Gurdeep Singh Attawa, Jai Chand, Bhajan Singh Maru, Rajinder Singh, Dharmendra Singh and Dr Hukam Chand, Hallomajra sarpanch Sukhjit Singh, Behlana sarpanch Mohinder Kaur, Khudda-Lahora sarpanch Kamlesh Sharma, Kaimbwala sarpanch Harmesh Kumar and others.



One killed as tanker catches fire
Tribune News Service

Dera Bassi, August 4
One person was killed and another was seriously injured when a tanker of a factory on the Dera Bassi-Barwala road caught fire following a blast in the wee hours today.
While Karam Singh, a native of Hamirpur in Himachal Pradesh and working as operator, died on the spot following severe burn injuries, another worker, Surinderpal Singh, was seriously injured. He was shifted to Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh.

Charanjit Singh, a factory manager, said the accident occurred around 2.30 am.The blast was so strong that windowpanes at hundreds feet away were shattered to pieces.

The tanker contained about 1,000 litres of chemicals used for manufacturing drugs.There was panic in the nearby area following the blast and the subsequent fire, Mr Jaspal Singh Saini, a resident, said.

A brother of the deceased, Ashok, said Karam Singh was working in two shifts as he was scheduled to visit his native place on August 8 for a marriage.

Meanwhile, the factory management said compensation as per rules would be given to the family of the deceased. The police has started inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the CrPC.



Jat Sikhs discuss problems
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 4
The Jat Sikh community residing in North India assembled at the Kisan Bhavan here to discuss the problems being faced by the community especially the youth who are straying from their roots, Mr Divjoyt Singh Sandhu, the press secretary of the newly formed Jat Sikh Welfare Association, said today.

It has been decided that a seminar be held in Chandigarh on the topic of “Challenges before the Jat Sikh Community in this century”. More than 150 persons attended the meeting and expressed concern over the increasing number of suicides by the farming community, wasteful expenditure on marriages, other social functions, problems like drug addiction and excessive intake of liquor.

The following will be the office- bearers of the association: president —Mr N.S. Bhangoo; vice-president—Brig Surjit Singh Kahlon; general secretary—Mr Harpal Singh Baath; joint secretary —Mr N.S. Sandhu; treasurer—Mr U.D.S. Sandhu and press secretary Mr Divjoyt Singh Sandhu. 



Cultural nite in aid of HelpAge India
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 4
Worldwide Immigration Consultancy Services (WWICS) is organising a cultural nite in support of HelpAge India on August 6 at the WWICS Head Office in Mohali. HelpAge India is a non-government organisation engaged in providing succor to aged needy persons.

The programme will be commemorating Surinder Kaur, the Nightingale of Punjab, for her contributions to Punjabi folk music and Punjabi culture. Her daughter, Ms Dolly Guleria, a well-known Punjabi singer, will enthrall the audience with her collection of songs. Other events on the programme include bhangra, gidha and comical shows.

Deputy Chief Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal will be the chief guest and will hand over the donation collected from the event to the Director, HelpAge India.



16 on ministers’ staff promoted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 4
The Punjab Government has issued orders to promote 16 employees attached with various ministers. Mr Sher Singh Kainth has been promoted to the rank of Special Secretary to Minister.

Three Personal Secretaries, Mr Sajjan Singh, Mr Jagbir Singh and Mr O.P. Verma, have been promoted as Secretary to Minister.

Twelve personal secretaries — Mrs Surjit Kaur, Mrs Baljeet Kaur, Mr. Mahi Paul, Mr Tara Singh, Mr Balbinder Kumar, Mr Lachhman Dass, Mrs Amarjeet Kaur, Mr Kabir Chand, Mrs Sukhvarsha, Mrs Satbir Kaur, Mr O.P. Goel and Mr Sushil Chand — have been promoted as Personal Secretaries (Group A).



One more AC bus for Delhi

Chandigarh, August 4
There will an addition of be one more AC bus for the Chandigarh-Delhi route. Punjab will launch the service tomorrow at 8.30 am. Haryana and Himachal Pradesh are already running AC bus services between Chandigarh and Delhi.

A spokesman for the Punjab Transport Depart-ment said the AC bus would start its regular operation from Chandigarh to New Delhi from Sector-17, ISBT. On its return journey, the bus shall start from the ISBT, New Delhi, at 2 pm. The fare from Chandigarh to New Delhi would be Rs 380, he added. — TNS



Raid on Sector 29 chemist shop
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 4
A team from Industrial Area police station today raided a chemist shop in Sector 29 and booked two chemists for allegedly selling addictive drugs without proper medical prescription and billing.

The raid was conducted following tip-off that Ajay Gupta and his brother Jamna Prasad, owners of Ganga Medical Store, had been selling addictive drugs like proxyvon, parvon, corex and phensydil to youngsters without asking for prescription of a registered medical practitioner and without issuing bills. The police also seized 107 proxyvon, 98 parvon, 142 spasmo proxyvon capsules, 63 carisoma, 77 nitrazepam tablets and 12 bottles of corex.

Both Ajay Gupta and Jamna Prasad were found to be flouting Rule 65 of the Act, under which selling these drugs without prescription is illegal. The police proceeded against the chemists when they sold corex, phensydil and proxyvon to a bogus punter without asking him for the doctor’s prescription and without giving him any bill.

The raid was conducted in the presence of Drug Inspector UT Gurdip Singh, who said the department would issue a show cause notice to the chemists following which their licence can be suspended and even cancelled. Meanwhile, the raid which continued for two hours, yielded information that the brothers were not even in possession of a pharmacists’ licence.

The SHO of Industrial Area Police station Mr Baljit Singh Chadha confirmed to Chandigarh Tribune: “The licence is in the name of Seema, who has pharmacy degree and is eligible to have a licence. The brothers say they have taken the “licence on rent”. We nailed them by sending a bogus customer who had in his possession a currency note signed by one of our personnel. The same note was seized from the drawer of these chemists.”

Mr Gurdip Singh added that the practice of selling Schedule H drugs without prescription was very harmful as it led to habit formation among consumers who find them easy to procure. “This particular case is all the more serious because the chemists are running a medical store without a proper licence.



Police uproots tent of NRI accused of stabbing
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 4
Ranjit Singh Saini, the protester who was jailed on Thursday for stabbing six daily wagers at the Matka chowk on Wednesday night is believed to have committed the crime in a “fit of madness”.

Saini, a non-resident Indian, had lived in France and other European countries for nearly two decades.

Following the stabbing incident, the Chandigarh police yesterday uprooted his tent from Matka chowk, where he had been camping for the past four months.

The other protesters camping at the spot today said Saini had launched a one-man protest against the Punjab police whom he held responsible for the rape of his wife and murder of his mother.

Mr Mohinder Singh Dhaliwal, the chief organiser of the protesting daily wagers said, “He looked mentally disturbed. Sometimes in the night, he would start wailing and cursing the Punjab police for the death of his mother and ruining his family.”

Saini had become the centre of attraction for having installed a dish antenna and a coloured television, two unlikely things at a place known for dharnas where one generally heard protesters shouting slogans at the top of their voices. The coloured TV is generally switched on in the evening inside his small tent.

“At times, he would switch on his TV or music system at a very high volume and play religious hymns. He even watched pornographic films using a CD player,” added Mr Dhaliwal.

The incident on Wednesday was triggered after he was requested to lower the volume of his TV. He stabbed six PWD daily wagers seriously injured two. The two are still nursing their wounds in the Sector 16 General Hospital.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune at the Sector 17 police station on Thursday, Ranjit Singh Saini alleged that Ludhiana police officials were responsible for the murder of his mother Nirmal Kaur who was working with a police officer in December 2000 and the subsequent rape of his foreign national wife Susana Singh. He had been demanding a probe into his mother’s death.

Police sources added that he had even admitted that he had been accused of murder in Belgium in 1991 following a group clash in a Sikh shrine and sent to prison for five years. His wife, who gave up her Swiss green card to settle with him here, is back in her country.



Tribune Impact
Mobile thief arrested; 2 cases solved
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 4
Technology caught up with mobile thieves last evening. In less than a month after the police ordered a fresh probe into the theft of mobile phones following the publication of a story in these columns, the cops managed to trace a Sector 46 resident with the help of call details. The police claimed to have solved two cases of mobile phone thefts with his arrest.

Giving details of the arrest the investigation officer of the case, Sub-Inspector (SI) Baldev Kumar said the accused, Ankush Thakur of Sector 46 was arrested on Thursday night on the basis of mobile call details. Thakur (21), who also works as an agent for an insurance company, was today produced before a local court, which remanded him to judicial custody.

Thakur, a student of BA 1st year, allegedly stole Mr Aayush Chopra’s mobile phone from Sri Guru Gobind Singh College during an examination on April 7 this year. Thakur was sitting next to Chopra in the examination hall. On the next day he stole another mobile phone belonging to Sunil Gautam. SI Baldev Kumar said the police procured the call details and also gathered the information about those present in the exam on those two days. Later the information was filtered and through examination of call details and surveillance of the suspects, the case was solved.



5 booked for woman’s death
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 4
A young woman living in a colony near Gurdwara Amb Sahib died under mysterious circumstances here today.
According to the police, the body of Rinky (18) has been sent for a post-mortem examination to the local Civil Hospital.

The police said that Rinky had got married to Deepak Kumar about a month ago but the couple was facing marital problems. They allegedly used to quarrel quite often. Relatives used to intervene and advise them to patch up.

The father of the deceased, Sagar, alleged that the in-laws of her daughter had murdered her by giving her some poisonous substance. He alleged that family members of Deepak Kumar had been harassing her daughter even since she got married. He alleged that they were demanding more dowry. A demand was also made to provide an auto-rickshaw for Deepak.

However, family members of Deepak claimed that snake had bitten Rinky and she died of it.

The police has registered a case under Section 304 B of the IPC against Deepak Kumar, his mother Shanti Devi and three more persons in this regard.



3 held for duping city resident

Chandigarh, August 4
The police has arrested three persons on allegations of duping a city resident of Rs 5 lakh on the pretext of sending him abroad. Sources in the Operations Cell of the Chandigarh Police said Gagan and Gautam of Sector 7, Panchkula, and Romi Wadhawa of Sector 30 were booked in a case of cheating on a complaint filed by Baljit Singh of Sector 30.

It was alleged that the accused had taken money to send the complainant to USA but never honoured the commitment.

Smack seized: The Special Investigation Cell of the Chandigarh Police arrested two persons from various parts of the city on allegations of carrying smack.

Sub-Inspector Harinder Singh Shekhon said Tehal Singh of Sector 25 and Vijay Kumar of Daddu Majra Colony were arrested with 15 and 20 grams of smack, respectively.

Two cases have been registered in this regard. — TNS



Slum kids dupe four

Mohali, August 4
Four persons were allegedly duped of over Rs 2 lakh by two small children in Phase II here today.
According to the police, the four persons were sitting in a car with a bag containing more than Rs 2 lakh. A small child came and started scratching the car with a stone. In order to stop the child, all of them came out of the car. In the meantime, another child allegedly picked up the bag containing the cash and ran away from there.

When the occupants of the car found the bag missing. They caught hold of the child who was scratching the car but ultimately let him go thinking that he was innocent.

The matter was brought to the notice of the police two hours after the incident.

The police said a search operation was carried out in a few slum colonies in search of the child who had fled with the bag but to no avail.

According, to the police, victims were carrying the cash as they wanted to buy a car.

The police has registered a case under Section 379 IPC in this regard. OC



Bus operator arrested
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 4
The UT Vigilance Department today arrested an owner and a caretaker of two private bus companies for illegally plying their buses.
Sources in the Vigilance Department said Gurdial Singh of Zimidara Transport Company and a caretaker of Parmar Transport Company, Wilson, were arrested following a raid. Two buses were impounded for plying without proper permits. They were booked for cheating and criminal conspiracy under Sections 420 and 120-B of the IPC.



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