C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

UT police helps accident victims, but late
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, Aug 22
The Chandigarh Police would do well to live by the promise it makes or not make the one it can't keep.

If this correspondent's first hand experience this afternoon is anything to go by, one particular claim of the Police Department certainly seems empty. Unfortunately this one has the maximum bearing on the health of those who meet with accidents on roads.

Contrary to its claim that the Police Control Room (PCR) vehicle takes not more than three minutes to reach the spot of accident or other occurrence, the vehicle took a good 15 minutes to turn up at the spot of an accident this afternoon - that too in the heart of the city.

The accident happened at the Sector 16-17 light points, before the road that leads to Matka Chowk. At 3.10 pm, a 60-year-old Inderjit Singh met with a serious accident in the most unexpected of situations. Coming in from the Sector 16 Cricket Stadium side on a motorcycle, he was halted in his tracks by a light that flashed red.

Barely had the man seen the change of lights at the point than he faced another formidable obstacle - a scooterist who, in an attempt to park safely, moved dangerously close to the old man's bike, which was already getting unstable on being confronted by a red light. The situation worsened when the scooterist hit the old man's bike from the right, bringing him down from the vehicle. The former left the spot, while the latter hit the road and began to bleed severely.

His injuries were serious and many; he needed immediate paramedical support to prevent the loss of blood. That apart, no help came. Even the PCR gypsy which should not have taken more than three minutes to reach a central spot as this one, was nowhere in sight until precious moments had been lost. By DSP, PCR,Mr P.K. Dhawan's own admission, "Our reaction time is three minutes. We have 35 gypsies and 35 motor cycles."

Only at that time, these claims sounded empty as for a long distance along the Janmarg, no PCR vehicle was seen under deployment. The one that came on the accident spot finally had been called in from the Kisan Bhavan area.

Earlier, intimating the PCR was a challenge as most of those who gathered at the spot had Spice mobiles which offered no connectivity with 100. Luckily, a person had a BSNL connection and managed to inform the PCR at about 3.18 pm. By that time, one policeman had managed to walk down to the spot from the Shanti Kunj area ,but instead of helping the victim of accident, he came over to this correspondent and asked, "Galti kiski thi?" (Whose fault was it?").

It was only after he was reminded of the UT Police motto, "We Care" that he went closer to the victim and assessed his injuries. He even prevented people from taking the old man to the hospital, saying, "The PCR is on its way". The van however came in not before 3.33 pm. And even when it came in, it was ill- equipped to handle a case as serious as this one.

The old man was literally pulled into the PCR van before it journeyed towards the General Hospital, Sector 16. Visibly critical as he was, he was referred from the General Hospital-16 to the PGI. 



Sandeep operated upon for 3 hours
Naveen S. Grewal
Tribune News Service

Friends of Sandeep Singh wait anxiously outside PGI emergency on Tuesday.
Friends of Sandeep Singh wait anxiously outside PGI emergency on Tuesday. — A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, August 22
Indian hockey star Sandeep Singh was brought to the PGI here with a bullet lodged in his pelvis before midday. The hockey player, who was accidentally shot while aboard the Shatabdi Express saw a series of ups and downs in his condition, before surgeons removed the bullet declared him out of danger after a three-hour long surgery around 5 p.m.

As the news was flashed on television screens, relatives, well-wishers, sortspersons converged on the PGI.

Initially, the security personnel had a tough time clearing the way for Sandeep Singh’s stretcher, who was brought here from Kurukshetra in an ambulance. The Commandant, 4 Commando Battalion, Mr Ajay Panday, personally pushed people back so that he could be taken for a scan.

Dr M.S. Dhillon, orthopadedic surgeon, repeatedly requested mediapersons before the arrival of Sandeep not to obstruct the way. But despite this hundreds of mediapersons, who had gathered at the PGI, did not refused to budge.

Mother of Sandeep Singh Daljit Kaur and his brother Bikramjit Singh on receiving the news about the incident at their home at Shahbad rushed to Kurukshetra and then travelled along with Sandeep to the PGI. She informed Sandeep’s sister, his uncle and other relatives. Within a short time Sandeep’s friends well-wishers and colleagues were at the PGI. Railways and the Indian Hockey Federation officials too arrived in the city.

Sandeep was very restless when he was brought to the PGI. Doctor at the PGI deliberated for an hour whether to go in for an operation or not. On way to Chandigarh he had been administered one unit of blood. After a CT scan it was found that he had a bullet lodged in the pelvis in front of the sacrum and there was a fracture of one of the vertebras. He has a pancreatic injury, but no injury to any vital organ.

Rajpal Singh, who was with Sandeep when he got injured, told The Tribune that when Sandeep shrieked he initially thought that some hot tea had spilled on him. But soon he and Saran Singh, the ticket checker who was standing close by, saw Sandeep collapse and blood gush out. That is when they realised that something bad had happened.

He said a doctor, who was also travelling in the same compartment, came forward to help. Meanwhile, former DGP, Punjab, and president of the Indian Hockey Federation K.P.S. Gill also called on the doctors concerned and enquired about Sandeep’s health.



Naya Gaon NAC: Centre urged to relax rules
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
The formation of the Notified Area Committee (NAC) at Nayagoan seems to be jinxed. Stuck with a “conditional” approval granted by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, regarding exemption of Naya Gaon, Karoran and Nada villages in Chandigarh’s periphery from the provisions of the Punjab Land Preservation Act (PLPA) 1900, the Punjab Government has now written to the Ministry to do away with the conditions.

The Government of India had, on August 10, 2006, approved the exemption of these areas from the provisions of the Act but had added riders to this decision asking the state government to ensure that no commercial activity took place in the de-listed land and that the land was used “only for bonafide use for agriculture and for sustaining the livelihood of the people,”

Virtually admitting that despite this approval the Punjab Government would not be able to go ahead with the constitution of the Nayagaon NAC, the Department of Forests shot off a fresh letter to the Union Ministry on August 17, 2006, requesting them to waive off these conditions in “public interest”.

The letter states, “The approval conveyed by you in no way serve, the purpose in mitigating the extreme hardship being met by the inhabitants of these villages. They will still be deprived of the very basic amenities and right to basic source of livelihood.

“Also no work of development such as roads sewerage electricity drinking water supply etc could be undertaken in the area which is otherwise a haphazard urban concrete jungle now.”



Unending battle for hotelier
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
If allegations levelled in a civil suit filed before an Ambala court and subsequent communications to the Punjab and Haryana High Court are to be believed, the Haryana Police subverted the legal process in 1994 for harassing a hotelier Parveen Sabhlok and his family after entering into a conspiracy with some others for grabbing their business.

Though the suit seeking the recovery of over Rs 1.5 crore as damages from the state of Haryana and other defendants was filed after they were given a clean chit in the matter, their application for declaring them paupers is pending for the past nearly three years.

Sabhlok has now submitted an application to the high court here for transferring the case to a fast-track court for its early disposal, besides, declaring the proceedings “time bound”. His family, he has added, has suffered since long.

In her suit seeking the recovery of over Rs 1.5 crore as damages from the state of Haryana and other defendants, the hotelier's applicant wife Geeta Sabhlok, along with her three children, asserted that a false complaint was filed against them in a court by a businessman interested in their business.

Even though the court did not order the registration of a criminal case — as admitted by a policeman in his cross-examination as a prosecution witness — the police registered a first information report number 58 on April 8, 1994, in the matter, she claimed.

The applicant added that her husband Parveen Sabhlok was handcuffed by the police before being produced in the court. Their troubles did not end there. As an Assistant Sub-Inspector continued to visit their fast-food joint, the number of visitors started to diminish, affecting their business in the process.

Going into the background of the case, the applicant claimed that they agreed to expand the business by entering into a partnership. For the purpose, necessary documents were signed.

After receiving the signed documents, the businessman did not make any payment. Rather, he allegedly entered into a conspiracy with a Deputy Superintendent of police and others for filing the false complaint against them. The applicant added that the police presented the challan in the case after about six months, but necessary documents, including the original partnership deed, were not a part of it. They were, subsequently, acquitted in the case on October 30, 2000. But the guilty “state personnel” were not punished.



Fire, safety week at Fun Republic
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
Fun Republic is organising a week-long fire and safety week to deal with any emergency. The idea is to make Fun Republic ready to counter any terrorist attack/fire etc.

The safety week began yesterday. Fire safety sessions under the guidance of the Fire Department, Chandigarh, would be held. First aid sessions by the Red Cross would also be held, besides mock drill sessions.

Customer awareness would be generated by way of posters and cinema slides.

Mr Devinder Singh Thakur, DSP, Chandigarh Police, conducted a guest lecture.



Of 56,000 jobless, only 145 got jobs
Employment Exchange’s startling figures
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
The number of the unemployed registered with the Employment Exchange in the Union Territory has crossed the 50,000-mark in 2005.

The data being updated for the Statistical Data (till December 31, 2005) puts the figure at 56,037. As many as 6,488 unemployed were registered in 2005 alone which includes illiterates, graduates, technical and medical professionals besides work force in other fields.

As many as 1,979 vacancies were notified last year for which the Exchange submitted a list of 8,226 candidates to various employers. Of the total, as many as 145 were placed in different areas of work.

A senior official said, “The Exchange caters only to the candidates who are residents of the UT, however, we do not seek any documents at the time of registration.

“The placement numbers are showing a downward graph and so do the number of unemployed youth registering at the Employment Exchange.”

While the latest numbers are being worked out, the Statistical Data reveals that the number of Engineering Technicians fell from 1,793 in 2003 to 1,555 in 2004.

The number of registered unemployed teachers in 2003 was 3,588 while the same was 3,384 in 2004; social work-related workers were 798 registered in 2003 and only 133 in 2004; number of unemployed matriculate in 2003 was 21,425 while the number was 12,356 in 2004.

The number of professional and technical unemployed workers in 2003 was 8,627 while the same was 7,247 in 2004. Reacting to the fall in the number of registered unemployed youth, the official said, “Following the Supreme Court’s decision, given a couple of years back, the employers (including government) are required to notify the vacancies in newspapers as well, besides informing the Employment Exchange.The decision has led to the candidates applying directly to the place of their work.”

“Another big reason was that a candidate who applied at an employment exchange had to wait for his chance for an interview based on his seniority on the waiting list which was calculated on the basis his date of application besides his academic merit.

“While applying in response to an advertisement, candidates can stand equal to another candidate who applied earlier than him,” it was pointed out. The total number of registered unemployed includes those registered in the past two years as well.

A candidate has to seek his name being updated in the list after every three years failing which his name stands deleted automatically.

The number of 56,000 in the waiting list can be better appreciated given the fact that only 145 were placed in jobs last year.



Two moons on August 27
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
While e-mails and mobile messages continue to announce that there will be two moons visible in the night sky on August 27, experts have termed it as rumours.

The e-mails doing the rounds of the Net states that Mars will come closest to the Earth in August. On August 27 Mars will come closest to the Earth with only 34.56 million miles between them. Mars would appear as a bright object in the sky just as the moon.

Meanwhile, Dr Sandeep Sahijpal, lecturer, Department of Physics, Panjab University, stated that these statements were completely wrong. “The last time when Mars was closest to Earth was on August 27, 2003, at a distance of roughly 56 million km. Mars comes close to Earth roughly at an interval of 26 months. Last year in October it was again close but not as much as it was on August 27, 2003. Mars will come close to Earth again in December 2007. In fact at this moment Mars is quite far away approximately 4.4 times farther than its approach in August 2003,” he said, adding that Mars would be a dim object in the sky contrary to the rumours.

He further pointed out that Mars and Sun were both in the same constellation, Leo. With this planetary configuration it was not possible to have Mars and Earth together in August 2006.

Dr Sahijpal added that during the next couple of months Mars would disappear from the evening sky. It would reappear in December.



Worried over children’s stress? try music therapy
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh August 22
If you find your children unduly stressed, try Indian classical music on them! A Panjab University study has found that music therapy is extremely effective in reducing stress and anxiety among adolescents specially school students.

The study conducted by Dr Saran Kumari Sharma, a psychology professor at the Department of Correspondence Studies, PU, and Mr Prem Das Sharma, a former faculty member of Chandigarh College of Engineering here has found that the music therapy has an almost magical effect on students who are suffering from high anxiety levels at school.

"Students of classes IX onwards are generally very worried about their academic performance, especially since competition among them has soared so much. Other than peer pressure, these students are cruelly burdened under high parental expectations," said Dr Sharma.

The study was done on over 150 students of Class IX of Shivalik Public School in Mohali. These students were tested for anxiety levels (using a scientific questionnaire) and found that some students were suffering from very high anxiety levels. Ten girls and 10 boys were selected from among such students for counselling and music therapy sessions.

The researchers interviewed the adolescents asking questions about their problems and suggesting strategies through music therapy sessions. These students were then subjected to 15 days of continuous music therapy coupled with counselling and the stress levels tested again.

"Students were given music therapy for half an hour daily. The audio cassettes included a mix of a number of classical, instrumental and film songs. Sitar vadan by Pandit Ravi Shankar, Mohan Veena 'relaxation' by Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, music of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Raag Ahir Bhariav which is known to tackle hyper tension were most effective," said Dr Sharma.

The music sessions were followed by a counselling sessions with the researchers. The students were tested again on the anxiety scale and the conclusions were encouraging. Most students had responded very well to the therapy and in some cases the score of over 40 on the anxiety scale had been reduced to as much as 15 after the therapy. The study also found that while in all cases music therapy had helped reduce stress, the extent of the affect varied among the students.

"Going by the results we recommend that schools should regularly expose students in higher classes to classical Indian music as it would help them relax and as a result perform better," said Dr Sharma.

As part of an earlier research Dr Sharma had undertaken the study of effect of music on primary school children. This study of mental health of grade V children found that vocal music was preferred to instrumental music, dance, sports, cinema for relaxation, study, concentration and peace of mind. A similar study conducted by Dr Sharma in 2002 on learning disabilities had showed how blind and physically handicapped were benefited through music therapy.



Another soldier does the region proud
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
Tales of courage continue to unfold even days after the Independence Day Presidential Awards were announced in New Delhi. After the name of Lt Col Rajeev Bakshi, posthumously awarded the Sena Medal, another officer whose name is doing the rounds is Lt-Col Aditya Vikram Singh Rathee.

Posted with Rashtriya Rifles in Jammu and Kashmir, Rathee has added to the prestige of the city by wresting this year’s Sena Medal for Gallantry. His generally reticent wife, still unwilling to be quoted, told The Tribune today, “It is a matter of honour for us and for everyone Aditya has ever been associated with. He has always reared a passion for the armed forces. Also, it is very much part of the family tradition. His father, a lawyer, took premature retirement from Rajputana Rifles.”

Based at Manimajra, Lt-Col Aditya Vikram Rathee’s family was elated with the news that came on August 14 through a telegram. It was an acknowledgement of years of labour that Aditya and his father JS Rathee put into the service of the nation. As for Krishna Rathee, the fearless soldier’s mother, the news came as a pleasant surprise.

And she shared with the TNS another piece of news that was as heartening as the first one. Decorated for an act of bravery while fighting the terrorists in the strife-torn Kashmir valley, Lt-Col Aditya Rathee has another credit to his name. He shares his nativity with Brig Hoshiar Singh, a celebrated soldier. Like Brig Singh, Lt-Col Rathee also hails from Sankhol, the nondescript village of district Jhajjar in Haryana that rose to fame during the Chinese aggression.

It was from this village that the hero of the Indo-China war Param Vir Chakra awardee Brig Hoshiar Singh came. Aditya Rathee obviously grew up on the diet of gallantry, made legendary by Brig Hoshiar Singh. But later he developed his own fancy for the forces - one that he nurtured after years of careful study of the battles and the war heroes who made the nation’s life worthwhile.

The Sena Medal is “part of that labour rewarded”. But for a soldier that Rathee is, it is obviously not the end all of anything. His striving lies in the higher reaches of gallantry or perhaps the highest.

Back home, his family is rejoicing. The soldier’s mother is proud to share his city connections, “He studied at YPS, Mohali, and was a pass out of Government Model School, Sector 16. His completed his college from DAV College in Sector 10 and was finally commissioned into the Brigade of Guards in 1991.”

Brilliant throughout his academic career, Lt-Col Rathee continued his romance with perfection later when he worked as instructor at the Ahmednagar-based Mechanised Infantry Regimental Centre.



Memorising his way into record books
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
Ten years ago Biswaroop Roy Chowdhury was all set to become an engineer. Never had he thought that life had something else planned for him. Today, he is better known for holding the Guinness world record for memorising the maximum number of dates of birth in two minutes. He also holds the Limca Book of Records for memorising the playing cards the way they were stacked in 1 minute 54 seconds.

A Punjab Engineering College graduate, 33-year-old Biswaroop is in town to conduct a series of workshop for children and their parents on how one can boost their memory. Son of an Air Force Officer, Biswaroop says that he was in fact known to be one of the absent-minded students in class. “I was known to be absent minded. It was only after I started reading books at the state library in Sector 17 that I realised there was more to the mind.”

Today Biswaroop is the author of 12 books and has also made a movie, ‘Yad Rakhenge Aap’, a movie he promises will help improve your memory. Six of his students have entered their names in the Limca Book of Records for various feats in memorising skills.

“Believing that you can do it is the key,” he states while talking to TNS. “What is even more important is that we should use our potential to the full and let our imagination soar,” he adds.

Biswaroop’s success can be seen in seven-year-old Dijoy Dintis who was here along with his mother Jolly Dintis all the way from Nagpur. He could utter names of capitals of all states and countries of the world at a rattling speed. His proud mother stated that his younger brother, who is just four-and-a-half, could also do the same.

Based in Delhi, Biswaroop has 71 centres across the country.



144 paying guest accommodations checked
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
In an early morning drive the Chandigarh Police today carried out checking of paying guest accommodations in various parts of the city.

Giving details, sources in the police said in all 144 paying guest accommodations were checked in a two-hour drive that started at 6 a.m. Nothing objectionable came out in the raids as all paying guests were found to be registered.

It is pertinent to mention here that persons who intend to offer accommodation to paying guests are required to inform the SHO concerned in writing about the particulars of their guests as per the orders issued by the district magistrate, Chandigarh. Failing which, the violators would be liable for legal action under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code.

All SHOs, police post in charges and the beat staff participated in the drive, which was supervised by the Deputy Superintendents of the Police, said a police officer.

The Chandigarh Administration had imposed certain conditions on the use of residential building as paying guest accommodation recently. 



Milkmen demand fresh election
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 22
Members of the Chandigarh Periphery Milk Vendors Union has demanded a fresh election as they alleged that the one held earlier was not according to norms.

A number of milkmen alleged here today that the election held by the union on August 20 was invalid as the views of the majority of the persons were ignored. They said the names of new members were proposed for the elections but the members of the old union announced the names of new office-bearers without holding any election.



Cong delegation meets jailed Lalru residents
Tribune News Service

Lalru, August 22
A Congress delegation, led by the Vice-Chairman of the Punjab State Industrial Development Corporation (PSIDC), Mr Deepinder Singh Dhillon, yesterday met the persons who had been jailed in Patiala jail in the wake of August 11 Lalru incident.

Giving this information to reporters here, Mr Dhillon said the jailed persons would soon by released on bail by the Congress.

It may be recalled that the Patiala MP, Ms Preneet Kaur, during her August 18 visit here, had assured the residents that the jailed persons would be released soon.

Mr Dhillon alleged that the Shiromani Akali Dal(SAD) had politicised the issue for its narrow political gains.Even its alliance partner, the BJP, was not seeing eye to eye in the wake of the protest following the Lalru incident.

He claimed that the Congress had genuinely been working for welfare of the residents of the area.



Welfare body meets DC on encroachments
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 22
A delegation of the Panchkula Joint Welfare Association Forum today met the DC, the SP and the Estate Officer of the Haryana Urban Development Authority(HUDA) regarding the removal of encroachments and jhuggi dwellers from public places.

The officials assured the delegation that appropriate action would be taken against the encroachers. However, the officials also underlined the need for rehabilitating the jhuggi dwellers.

According to a press note issued here today, concrete structures are being erected in Sector 1 at public places and Sector 2 of Mansa Devi Complex near HUDA Office.

It also alleged that the shuttering units, whose material was removed from Majri Chowk sometimes back, have now occupied land on the road diving Sectors 24, 25 and 26.



Union seeks filling of vacant posts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
Unemployed Agriculture Sub-Inspectors Union staged a protest at the Sector 22 Aroma Light points today.

The protestors formed a human chain at the light point after marching from the office of the Director, Agriculture, Punjab’s office in Sector 34.

The protestors have been sitting on a chain hunger strike for the past 37 days at the Director, Agriculture, Punjab’s office. The protestors are demanding that the posts lying vacant in the department should be filled.

A traffic jam was caused at the Aroma light points after the protestors formed a human chain there. The police however soon dispersed the same. Mr Kewal Krishan, president of the union, stated that they would wear black robes and protest again tomorrow.



Society to hold seminar on waste management
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
The governing body of Chandigarh Animal Welfare and Eco-Development Society held a meeting under the chairmanship of Adviser to the Administrator-cum-Chairman, Mr Lalit Sharma, at the UT Secretariat here today.

The Home Secretary, Mr Krishna Mohan, Finance Secretary, Mr S.K. Sandhu, Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation, Mr P.S. Aujla, Joint Secretary Finance, Ms Raji P. Shrivastava and the Deputy Conservator Forest, Mr Ishwar Singh, were also present at the meeting.

The society will hold a national seminar on solid waste management at Panjab University. The decision was also taken to support an animal welfare-related NGO to get a vehicle for animals.



Magic show on AIDS awareness
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
YUVSATTA in association with the State AIDS Control Society, Chandigarh, organised a magic show on HIV/AIDS awarness at Janta Colony here today.

Mr Gurbachan Singh, sarpanch, inaugurated the show.

Ms Yashwanti Arya, project manager, said they had formed a youth club of volunteers from the colony for counselling etc.

Ved Prakash mesmerised the audience with his magic.



Traffic police to reward good drivers
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
The Chandigarh Traffic Police is set to don a new avatar. In a people-friendly move, it has decided to reward good drivers.

It wants to change its image and wants to live up to its motto of “we care for you”, a traffic police officer said. So the next time if you are stopped by the traffic police, you need not be apprehensive about being challaned. Chances are that you can walk away with a prize for good behaviour on road.

Sharing the concept behind the move, the SSP (Traffic), Mr Dinesh Bhatt, said, “The idea is to inculcate the habit of abiding by traffic rules among road users. Earlier, we were only booking offender. But now we feel that those who display good road behaviour should be rewarded to set an example for others. Moreover, it will help in setting a new image of the traffic police

He said the decision would be finalised in a couple of days. The SSP said the traffic police had divided road users in 10 categories, including, cyclists, rickshaw-pullers, auto-rickshaw drivers, two-wheeler riders, drivers of cars, buses, trucks and other heavy vehicles. Traffic police personnel would observe their behaviour and check their documents. If everything was found in order, the person would be rewarded. From each category, 10 persons would be selected for the rewards.

Sources said the move would also help in reducing the accident rate in the city.

The prizes would include caps, mementos, reflectors, car cleaning kit or a booklet on road signs and traffic rules.



Challaned despite being not in town
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
You can be challaned for an offence by the Chandigarh Traffic Police even when you are not in the city.

Exactly this has happened with Mr Jaswant Singh, a Personal Assistant with the Bharat Heavy Electrical Limited (BHEL).

Yesterday, when Mr Singh was busy doing his household chores, a court official came knocking at his Sector-43 residence with a court summon asking him to appear before the court of Mr Balwinder Kumar, Judicial Magistrate (First Class) on August 28.

The documents read that he had to appear in the court in connection with a traffic challan of his Kinetic Scooter ( CH 01 B 3045) for a violation committed on June 15, 2006, and the violation was said to have been done by his son, Ramandeep. On the said date, neither Jaswant Singh nor his son was in the city at time of the offence.

Showing the supporting documents, Mr Singh said he and his wife were in Bangalore to meet their daughter and his son was in Australia since October 2004.



Andhra councillors visit MCC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
A 32-member team of councillors, along with Mr Raghuramai Reddy who is the Mayor of Kurnool Municipal Corporation, Andhra Pradesh, visited the Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, today.

A spokesman of the MCC said the delegation was on its study tour to learn the best practices of the Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh.



Lepers to launch agitation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
To press their demands, persons suffering from leprosy have decided to launch a national level agitation “Satyagrah” in New Delhi on Gandhi Jayanti i.e. on October 2.

This decision was taken on the concluding day of a two-day conference organised by a Japan-based NGO, Sasakawa Memorial Health Foundation, at a city based hotel, here today.

The leprosy afflicted persons have been demanding allotment of land and funds for construction of houses, pension and grant at the rate of Rs 1000 per month, employment, education and certain others.

The conference was addressed by delegates from various leprosy centres in the northern states and social activists of various NGOs.

Those who participated in the conference include Dr PK Gopal, president of Idea India, Dr Brahm Dutt, president of Federation of Leprosy Organisation India, Mr Vday Thakkar, secretary of Hind Kushat Nivaran Sangh, Maharashtra.

Besides Mr Surinder Singh, Mayor, Chandigarh Municipal Corporation Mr Veer Singh Dhingra, MCA Delhi, and certain others also attended the Press conference. 



Amritsar man helps nab snatcher
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
A Mohali resident was nabbed minutes after he along with his accomplice allegedly snatched a bag from two girls in broad day light in Sector 34 here. An Amritsar resident chased the miscreants and intercepted them near Burail village and the police arrested one of the accused.

As the girls raised the alarm, Mr Munish Arora of Amritsar, who was passing by when the incident took place, chased the miscreants on his motorcycle. A police party, which was also chasing the accused reached the spot and nabbed one of them. The other managed to give the slip.

The accused has been identified as 28-year-old Pushpinder Singh of Phase 3-B2, Mohali, and Anil Kumar of Phase XI. The police said the accused were involved in six cases of snatching.



Man posing as song writer arrested
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 22
A person posing as a Punjabi song writer and duping people of thousands of rupees by promising them participation in song videos has been arrested by the police from Patiala.

Sansar Singh, a resident of Dashmesh Nagar, Patiala, was arrested on a charge of impersonation. He was posing as Raj Kakra.

Mr Inder Mohan Singh, SP (Headquarters), who addressed mediapersons, said here today that Raj Kakra, who was a resident of Mohali, had lodged a complaint with the police on August 10, alleging that someone was using his name and duping people.

The SP said Inspector Tejinder Singh of the CIA staff was asked to investigate the matter. It was found that Sansar Singh had come to Mohali to meet Raj Kakra about six months ago.

Sansar then met Gurpal Singh, a resident of Jawahar Wala village in Sangrur district. He allegedly took Rs 6,000 from Gurpal after promising him a place in a video album. Gurpal kept waiting for a response from Sansar and contacted Raj Kakra from whom he came to know that he had been cheated.



Woman attacked with axe, injured
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 22
A woman was seriously injured when she was allegedly attacked by another woman with an axe in Matour village here today.

The injured woman, Amarjit Kaur, was taken to the local Civil Hospital.

According to information, Manjit Kaur allegedly attacked Amarjit Kaur when the latter was passing her house. A heated argument took place between the two after which Manjit allegedly took an axe and attacked Amarjit.

The police is investigating the matter. 



Ailing domestic help ends life
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
Tormented by his prolonged ailment, a domestic servant in his mid-20s allegedly ended his life by consuming some poisonous substance at his employer’s house in Sector 19 here.

He was found vomiting early this morning by his cousin following which he was taken to the Sector 16 General Hospital where he died.

The police, ruling out the possibility of foul play, termed the incident as a case of suicide.

Sources in the Sector 19 police station said the victim, Subodh, was found vomiting by his cousin at around 6 am. Foam was coming out of his mouth and he was semiconscious.

The employer and the victim’s cousin said Subodh was fed up of his prolonged ailment and used to say that he would end his life one day.



Oriental Insurance to focus on villages
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
The Oriental Insurance Company will now focus on the rural sector to fuel its growth plans. Over the next two years, the company will be appointing agents in every village of the country so as to increase its premium from the rural sector to Rs 200 crore this fiscal, as compared to Rs 110 crore last year.

This was stated by the General Manager, of the company, Mr B. K. Sarkar, while talking to mediapersons on the sidelines of an agents conference, here today. “Of the total Rs 4,149 crore premium targetted for this year, we hope to increase our rural penetration, from 3. 11 per cent last year to 4. 8 per cent this year”, he said.

A variety of insurance schemes were on offer for the rural sector — cattle insurance, Janta Personal Accident Insurance, Agriculture Pump Set Insurance, Kisan Credit Cards, Kisan Package Policy, Universal Health Insurance and Raj Rajeshwari Mahila Kalyan Bima Yojana.

“Though we are not launching any new product for this sector, but we will now focus on offering a bouquet of products, customised to each person’s needs.

We already have 160 products and we will now offer these as packages,” he said.

Earlier, addressing the agents from Punjab and Chandigarh, he asked them to bring down the claim ratio for Mediclaim policies from the current 155 per cent. “For Rs 100 premium received, we have to pay claim of Rs 155. Thus, we request you to maintain a ratio of 1: 9 (one senior citizen for nine youth) in this policy,” he said.

Mr Sarkar also gave away prizes to the agents who had earned the maximum premium. 



CII workshop on quality management

Chandigarh, August 22
To provide a unique opportunity to the industry in the region for developing house skills, reduce costs and improve competitiveness through total quality management (TQM), the CII organised a workshop on sustainable competitiveness here today.

Highlighting the importance of TQM, Mr Partap Aggarwal, Chairman, CII, Chandigarh Council, said the world was characterised by rapidly moving markets where competitiveness was not only essential to achieve success but also to survive.

Mr Harinder Jeet Singh, Head, CII - L M Thapar Centre for Competitiveness, was the faculty speaker. He said the total quality management was a systematic approach to productivity improvement using qualitative and quantitative methods. — TNS



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