C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Man selling bullet-proof cars to mafia held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 24
The Chandigarh Police today cracked a case pertaining to the manufacture and sale of high-technology security equipment by a Jalandhar-based industrialist.

The industrialist, Sandeep Sobti, was making bullet-proof vehicles and protective security material like bullet-proof jackets for unauthorised use across the country.

The police arrested Sobti and impounded his bullet-proof Ford Ikon (CH-03-E-6065). Sobti had acquired the registration number of the car by producing fake documents.

The arrest followed specific information collected by the police over the past few weeks.

Sobti told the police that he had converted several vehicles, including some luxurious ones into bullet-proofs and sold them to mafia dons across the country. He had also manufactured and supplied bullet-proof jackets to criminals of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand, the police claimed.

At the Press conference, in charge of the Crime Branch of the Chandigarh Police, Inspector Satbir Singh, said Sobti was arrested from the Loggger Industries, Noorpur village on the Jalandhar-Pathankot road, and brought to the city this evening.

Inspector Satbir Singh said, “Sobti had registered the Ford Ikon car in the name of Logger Industries and had given fake address of SCO 89-90, Sector 34-A. The car was registered in 2001. Acting on a tip-off the Crime Branch verified the antecedents of the accused and the fraud was detected. It was found out during investigation that the given address was that of Punjab Ex-Servicemen Corporation and they clarified that they had no connection with Sandeep. The police then registered a case of impersonation, forgery and criminal conspiracy under various provisions of the IPC. He will be produced before a court tomorrow”.

The Inspector added that Sandeep during preliminary questioning admitted to have supplied vehicles to PU-based notorious criminals like Mukhtar Ansari, Krishna Nand Rai, Jawahar Jaiswal and Suresh Singh of Jharkhand. He told the police that he had sold a Scorpio and a Mitsubishi Lancer to Suresh Singh, who is a coal mafia man of Jharkahnd. He said the police was yet to find out as how many vehicles he had provided and who were his clients.

When asked about the rules and guidelines in manufacturing such stuff, a senior police officer said no bar as per law for use and possessing of protective gears such as bullet-proof cars and jackets was there. But government agencies were obligatory to ensure that such gears were used by security forces and those under genuine threat.



Food inspector held for accepting bribe
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 24
Sleuths of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today caught red-handed a food inspector of the UT Health Department while he was allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 2000 from a juice vendor in Sector 7 here.

Sources in the CBI said Mr Sanjay Kumar Bharol, food inspector in the office of UT Directorate of Health Services, was caught red-handed while accepting a bribe of Rs 2000 from Mr Naresh Kumar, a juice vendor, in Sector 7. Mr Naresh Kumar, owner of Bobby Juice Shop, Sector 7, has filed a complaint with the CBI alleging that Bharol had been demanding financial favours from him and threatened that in case he did not fulfil his demanded he would book him. Mr Naresh told the CBI that when he told Bharol that he may take a sample if he wished so expressing helplessness in meeting his demand. However, the inspector refused to take the samples and insisted on taking money.

Fed up with the attitude of the food inspector Mr Naresh reported the matter to the CBI this morning. Acting on his complaint Dr Armandeep Singh laid a trap. The accused was swooped down upon by the sleuths while taking the marked currency notes from the complainant at the latter’s shop, said a CBI official. A case under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 has been registered in this regard.

A scene was created on the spot when the CBI sleuths made the accused to take off his trousers as he had put the marked currency notes in the pockets. The CBI officials said they had to take the trousers as evidence as they got the marks of the currency that he had taken. The raiding team purchased a sheet on the spot and gave it to the accused to cover.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Mr Naresh Kumar said: “Bharol had come to his shop two days ago and told him that he would take samples of patties as they were unhygienic. That day a man accompanying Bharol told him to sort out the issue by paying Rs 5000 to Bharol. At last the deal was struck at Rs 3000”.

Mr Naresh further alleged that after striking the deal the officer asked him that he would not take samples of patties but take coke. When the latter told him that he did not have coke, then the accused took three bottles of Limca from him.

A senior officer in the CBI said the sleuths have also rounded up the driver Surinder Singh and the peon Bihari Lal of the said food inspector for questioning. The official vehicle of the accused (Mahindra Jeep CH-01-G1-1365) has also been impounded. He further added that raids were being conducted at the office and residential premises of the accused and certain incriminating documents pertaining to the case were recovered from the office of the accused. 



Four of family killed in road accident

Ropar/Panchkula, August 24
Celebrations over the approaching marriage of the eldest daughter of the family at the Gupta household came to an abrupt end, here today, when news of the death of its four members in a road accident near Ropar came in.

Five persons, including four members of the Gupta household were killed in an accident near Toansa village on the Ropar-Nawanshar road about 15 Km from Ropar this afternoon. Those killed in the accident were identified as Pardeep Gupta (55), his wife Renu Gupta (50), daughters Anchal Gupta (21) and Megha Gupta (18) and their driver, Bharat. While Pardeep Gupta, his wife, and the driver died on the spot, Anchal and Megha succumbed to their injuries on their way to the Civil Hospital, Ropar.

The mishap took place when their ill-fated Honda city collided head-on with a BSF ambulance coming from the opposite direction. The ambulance was carrying a patient from Jalandhar to Chandigarh. The driver of the ambulance, Pritam Chand, and Ram Lal, helper attending the patient also sustained minor injuries in the accident.

Meanwhile, a pall of gloom descended at the Sector 8 home of the Guptas as the news of the accident was broken to Mr Pradeep Gupta's parents K.C. Gupta and Santosh Gupta. Even as they wept inconsolably, Pradeep's son and the only surviving member of the family, Abhinav, still in a state of shock, tried to put up a brave face and even went to Ropar to bring back the bodies of the family members.

“Their eldest daughter, Anchal Gupta, was to get married on October 1 to a computer engineer. Infact, the family had gone for shopping to Delhi last week. The police has arrested the ambulance driver, Pritam Chand, involved in the accident and registered a case. — TNS



Mohali boy found dead with head injury 
Our Correspondent

Mother of Vivek Gupta being consoled by relatives in Mohali on Thursday.
Mother of Vivek Gupta being consoled by relatives in Mohali on Thursday. — A Tribune photograph

Mohali, August 24
A pall of gloom descended on a Phase-VII house here following the death of a young medical student in Patiala today.

Vivek Gupta, alias Jimmy, aged 23 and a final year student of MBBS, was found dead under mysterious circumstances in the Senior Boys Hostel of the Government Medical College.

The body of the deceased was brought to his house in Mohali at 1 pm from Patiala after a post-mortem examination. The cremation was attended by a large number of people, including students from the college.

Vivek’s parents were inconsolable and so were the relatives and neighbours who had gathered at Vivek’s house hearing about his death.

Incidentally, Abhishek Gupta , a younger brother of Vivek, was also studying in the same college and was in the second year of MBBS.

He told the Chandigarh Tribune that he got to know about the death of his brother from his friends this morning.

He added that he had last met his brother around 4 pm yesterday when he had gone to his room to find out about a doctor as his (Abhishek’s) friend was not well.

He said Vivek’s friends had come to his room last night around 11 pm to enquire about him but he was not in his room.

Abhishek said he came back to his room at around 11.15 pm but nobody contacted him after that. A maternal uncle of Vivek, Mr Vimal Gupta, who lived in Patiala, said he got to know about the death of his nephew from his friends who came to his residence at 6.45 am.

He said when he reached the college he saw the body of the deceased lying on a bed.

Mr Vimal Gupta added that Vivek had sustained a head injury and one of his eye had turned blue. His mobile phone was still in his hand which was later taken away by the police.



Cops search city hotels for jehadis
Naveen S. Garewal and Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 24
Following a tip-off from Central intelligence agencies, the Chandigarh Police scrutinised guest booking registers in some top hotels of the city in the past 10 days. Senior police officials confirmed that they had received specific information that certain Islamic fundamentalists had held a meeting in the city this month.

Initially, the central intelligence agencies tried to get the details on their own. Finding it difficult to scan each and every hotel and guest house they sought cooperation from the Chandigarh Police. The latter said they had collected information, but not did find anything conclusively suggesting that jehadis had planned out any subversive activity in the city.

Mr Gaurav Yadav, SSP, said some surveillance of hotel guests had been carried out in the recent past, but it was more around Independence Day. The Chandigarh Police was in touch with the Central intelligence agencies, who keep sending advisories on a regular basis.

The Station House Officer of Sector 36 police station, Inspector Ishwar Singh Mann, said a verification drive was conducted in hotels, restaurants and guest houses last week.

He said nothing suspicious was found in the hotel records during the three-day checking around Independence Day. He termed these as a routine affair. Sources in the Chandigarh Police also indicated that three top hotels in the city were put under surveillance. They indicated that the operation was more than just looking at guest registers.

The sources said that the information gathered during the drive helped the police in cracking the case involving Sandeep Sobti, a Jalandhar-based industrialist, who has been making and supplying bullet-proof cars and jackets to subversives in the country.



UT starts talks on solar energy project
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 24
Faced with a peculiar situation of having no independent source of energy, the Chandigarh Administration has initiated work on important projects to harness non-conventional sources of energy.

The Engineering Department has engaged the services of the TATA BP Ltd, a private consultancy, to file a project report on the feasibility of harnessing non-conventional sources of energy, particularly the solar energy in the UT.

Confirming the development, Mr V.K.Bhardwaj, the Chief Engineer, said the administration had already identified the spot for setting up the solar-energy plant on the banks of Patiala Ki Rao, a seasonal rivulet.

“The study will be basically a preliminary report, however, the UT is making sincere efforts to generate energy through independent sources to reduce dependence on other states,” he said.

Reliable sources said the administration was also a signatory to the Memorandum of Understanding on a natural gas pipeline being set up by the Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL).

The pipeline is being set up for the gas supply to states of Punjab and Haryana. The exact usage details of the project are still being worked out, however, one of the possibilities being explored is a power station for the UT.

The issue gains importance in the light of the administration having to resort to the power cuts in the city during the peak season, particularly during summers. The UT uses nearly 250 MW daily during the peak season in the summers.

“The city gets about 30 MW less than the total requirement which leads to the power cuts,” the official said.

“There is nothing denying the fact that the UT has one of the most enviable power supply systems in the entire country going by the fact that it has no independent source of power generation.

“The issue needs immediate attention because of repeated warnings regarding penalty because of overdrawing from the national grid,” the official said. 



Rain comes as a respite
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 24
Rains came in as a welcome respite from the sweltering heat as the day temperatures fell down by around one degree as compared to yesterday’s temperature. The day was more pleasant due to clouds and the accompanying gentle breeze.

The rain, which started around 3 pm, continued gently except for a brief heavy downpour till about 5 pm.

Caught unawares, scores of daily commuters could be seen taking refuge under the bus-stand shelters by the roadside.

According to the MET Department, the cyclonic circulation over Southeast Himachal Pradesh and neighbourhood, along with another upper cyclonic circulation over HP and adjoining Jammu and Kashmir, were the reasons of today’s showers. The low pressure over northwest Jharkhand and neighbourhood was another cause.

However, the rain could not cause any change in the normal temperature of the day. Today’s maximum temperature was 33.2 degree celsius in comparison of yesterday’s 34 degree celsius. Although there was no significant change in temperatures technically speaking, weather improved considerably as compared to yesterday.

Many school students, who were going to their homes, were caught in the sudden spell. While the girls were looking for the shelters, many boys preferred to continue their journey to their homes while enjoying the rains.

According to the Met Department, the city may have one or two spells of rain or thundershowers tomorrow.



Seminar on Science of Belief
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 24
A seminar on the ‘Science of Belief’ was organised by The Tribune for the parents and students of the schools associated with the Tribune in Education programme here today.

The hour-long lecture on memory enhancement delivered by Biswaroop Roy Chaudhry of Imatrix was an eye opener for parents and students alike. Mr Chaudhry practically showed the audience how within minutes of practice students could remember words, names and 

Many school principals and teachers also attended the seminar which was held at the Makhan Singh Lobana Bhavan Auditorium, Sector 30.

The audience was told about the first memory enhancing film, “yaad rakhenge aap”. Schoolchildren who had seen the film related their experiences on stage about how their capacity to remember things had increased.

Mr O.P. Arora, additional general manager of The Tribune, was the chief guest on the occasion and appreciated the role played by school principals and teachers in moulding the lives of children. Principals of many schools associated with The Tribune were also honoured on the occasion. 



Lalru incident: PSEB engineer shifted
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Lalru, August 24
The Punjab Government has found another scapegoat for August-11 Lalru incident, which snowballed into a major confrontation between the ruling Congress and the Opposition Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) ahead of the February 2007 Punjab Assembly elections.

After the transfer of the SHO, the authorities concerned have shifted the Additional Superintending Engineer (SE) of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB).

The transfer of the Additional SE, Mr G.S. Brar, is seen as a part of the strategy by the authorities concerned to assuage the feelings of the residents, who had alleged police brutality on the night intervening August 11 and 12.

The residents were protesting against alleged bias in the power supply to them as compared to industrialists.

Meanwhile, the trade unions are up in arms against the transfer allegedly under the political influence, which they alleged could undermine the morale of honest and upright officials.

The transfer of Mr Brar would give a fillip to the anti-social elements, who ransacked the PSEB property and damaged other public property on the night intervening August 11 and 12, alleged Mr Swaran Singh and Mr Chander Mohan, presidents, respectively, of the Mechanical Services Union and Technical Services Unions.

Demanding the withdrawal of the transfer orders, the unions leaders threatened that the employees would be forced to launch an agitation if the honest workers and officials were “victimized” by the authorities concerned.

It may be recalled that the protesting residents, who had blocked the Chandigarh-Ambala highway on that fateful night, were allegedly lathi-charged by barging into their houses.

The police action had come in for a severe criticism from various quarters with the SAD starting a hunger strike.

However, rattled by the criticism of the Punjab Government, the Patiala MP, Ms Preneet Kaur, and the Finance Minister, Mr Surinder Singla, had announced a relief package on August 19.

While announcing the relief package, including a compensation of Rs 50,000 for the each affected family, the Congress leaders had ordered the shifting of the SHO, Mr Nachhattar Singh Bhullar.

It was widely believed that Mr Bhullar, who had just obeyed the orders of higher police and administrative officials, had been made a scapegoat to assuage the feelings of the irate residents by the Congress functionaries.

Meanwhile, police and administrative officials have resented the alleged “shabby treatment” meted out to the SHO and the SE ahead of the coming Assembly poll with an eye on the vote bank.



PUDA booths lying unused
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, August 24
Booths worth crores of rupees constructed by the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) are lying unutilised even as applicants are eagerly waiting to shift to these.

As many as 130 booths had been constructed by PUDA in Phase III B-1 in 2003 to accommodate shopkeepers of the Janta Rehri Market. The value of the constructed booths, including the land cost, is around Rs 3 crore but the area is lying in a state of neglect over the years.

A round of the market revealed that a few booths were being used illegally by outsiders. Fruits and others items were seen lying stocked in some of them. Only a few were found locked. There was filth all around and the manhole covers had been stolen.

Kamla Devi , who had stored fruit boxes and empty paint tins in booth No. 551, said she had taken permission from the contractor to use the booth till PUDA allotted these.

Mr Maninder Singh, running a shop dealing in kitchen items, said the rehri market had come up in 1981 in temporary wooden and tin structures. The temporary structures often leaked during heavy rains, damaging property. He said they had been eagerly waiting to move to the booths but PUDA had delayed the allotments.

Mr Devinder Singh, vice-president of the market association, said they had been taking up the matter regarding the allotment of booths with the authorities concerned from time to time. Even yesterday he along with Mr Mangat Ram, Mr Lashkar Dass and Mr Joginder Pal had met the Additional Chief Administrator (ACA) of PUDA, who had promised to make allotments within 15 days. Each allottee would have to pay about Rs 3.25 lakh for the booth.

Mr M.S. Narang, ACA, said the matter kept delaying because PUDA had constructed only 130 booths when there were 377 persons seeking the same. He said now it had been decided to allot the booths to 130 persons through a draw. The remaining shopkeepers would be shifted from the area to a temporary site so that PUDA could construct the booths here and later allot these to them. 



Juhi, Divya excited to work in Waris Shah
Gayatri Rajwade
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 24
Spunky and bubbly, quite like champagne, epitomise these two beautiful actors. As Juhi Chawla and Divya Dutta exchange affectionate banter in the midst of a motley gathering of people, their camaraderie and liveliness is unmistakable. In the city with the rest of the cast and crew of Sai Productions Punjabi feature film, ‘Waris Shah, Ishq Daa Waaris’ they were eloquent about the whole filming experience as they do about the music, which was released in the city today.

“Each song is there for its own reason,” aver Juhi and Divya. “Not only are they integral to the film, they flow with the story and it is not just Waris Shah’s eloquence that finds expression, there is a variety to look forward to.”

In fact, the whole experience has been a “different one” for Juhi since this is a period film that looks at the great Sufi poet’s life in lyrical detail. “In a nutshell, my role is a romantic one with emotional strains but I did not have to do much homework for it because the brief I got was-minimum makeup and look pretty,” she laughs.

“I choose from the roles I get. After my first baby I really thought no-one would approach me, but they did,” she smiles.

Today, family, interesting films and her music, Indian classical vocal, hold her complete attention and looking beautiful in a pretty green outfit, she waves all compliments away. “I still sometimes cringe when I see myself on screen and say oops,” she laughs.

A mantle which is now beginning to sit pretty on the head of her ‘Waris Shah, Ishq Daa Waaris’, co-star Divya where this feisty actor essays the role of a “seductress with shades of grey”, a woman obsessed with Waris. “It is great to do a period film like this because you get to look really beautiful,” she smiles.

Riding on the crest of success post ‘Veer Zaara’, Divya has her fingers in several interesting projects which include a silent film which is an international project, a Pakistani one where she is the only Indian actor besides roles in ‘meaningful cinema’ and ‘masala’ ones like J P Dutta’s ‘Umrao Jaan’, and Anil Sharma’s ‘Apne’.

However, it would really have thrilled her if she were born in the same era as Madhubala or Meena Kumari, “doing fewer films and really great roles like them.” And until such movies come her way, she is content with what she has, along with spending her free time writing a book or spending the night out in a jungle. 



1 held for using fake No. plate

Chandigarh, August 24
The local police arrested a Kajheri resident for using a fake registration number on his scooter.

Sources at Mani Majra police station said Amit Kumar was arrested from a naka laid near Durga Nursery yesterday while he was riding a scooter displaying the fake number plate. A case has been registered in this regard.

Vehicle stolen: Mr Pardeep Kumar of Sector 22-B reported to the police that his Bajaj Pulsar motorcycle (CH-03-U-8618) was stolen from the market place in Sector 23 on Wednesday. In another incident, Mr Jagdev Singh of Sector 25-D lodged a complaint with the police alleging that his motorcycle (CH-03-W-7766) was stolen from the Sector 35 market area on Tuesday.

Two cases of theft had been registered in this regard.

Mobile snatched: Sonu Verma of Sector 32 reported to the police that two persons on a motorcycle snatched her mobile phone from near her residence on Wednesday. A case had been registered. TNS



Man nabbed for selling beef
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 24
The UT police arrested an Uttar Pradesh resident on the allegations of possessing and selling beef in the Bapu Dham Colony, Sector 26, here this morning.

Sources in the police said Mr Raj Kishore and Mr Inar of the Bapu Dham Colony lodged a complaint alleging that Mohammed Fakhar-ud-Din of the locality was selling ‘beef’ in the locality.

Acting on the complaint, the police raided the premises of the accused and allegedly recovered two sacks of ‘beef’ weighing about 40 kg from his possession.

The police arrested the accused, while his wife, Gulshan Akhtar, and another man, a resident of Sector 29, managed to give a slip to the police.

A case of hurting religious sentiments of a particular community under Section 295-A of the Indian Penal Code was registered in this regard.

The SHO of the Sector 26 Police Station, Inspector Sukhpal Singh Rana, said the accused would be produced before a local court tomorrow.

The police would seek his remand to further interrogate him so as to find out from where he had bought the stuff.

He added that the flesh recovered from his possession would be sent to laboratory for examination to find out whether it was beef or any other meat. 



Woman dies after consuming poison
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 24
A woman of Jhurheri village died after allegedly consuming some poisonous substance.

According to police, Jaswinder Kaur took the extreme step as she was not able to bear the insult when she was allegedly abused by some persons during a clash in the village. It is alleged that a family dispute over property was going on among some relatives and the village panchayat had struck a compromise between both groups.

The police has registered a case under Section 306 of the IPC against Jagtar Singh, Tej Kaur, Nirmail Singh and Rajinder Kaur on the complaint of Mr Avtar Singh.



Cyclist killed in mishap

Lalru, August 24
Harbhajan Singh(35), a resident of Kurli village, near here,was killed when his bicycle was hit by a vehicle on the Ambala-Chandigarh road last night.

Harbhajan was on his way to his home from his factory when the accident took place. Harbhajan died on the spot. A case has been registered. — TNS



Industrial Area to get facelift
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 24
The Chandigarh Administration is working on a master plan for development of Industrial Area, Phases I and II.

As per the directions of the Administrator, a comprehensive master plan for development of industrial area is being prepared with the help of experts, which will have specific bench marks to unfold a comprehensive infrastructure development plan.

A single agency will be identified for the development and maintenance of the Industrial Area and act as a single point of contact regarding the issues of the area. The name of the Industrial Area will also be changed.

Feasibility for subways/overhead passages wherever required, is being explored. The shifting of CITCO stock yard from Industrial Area to a location near the railway station is also being examined.

The Administration has decided that encroachments and garbage will be removed from the area. It will ensure that there is no misuse of vacant plots. Green areas and parks will be properly maintained.

A special mural depicting industrial development will be made at a vantage point. The Hallo Majra roundabout and Industrial Area will be beautified with a suitable landscape.

Mr M.P.S.Chawla, president of the Chandigarh Industrial Association, said the Administration should make use of the services of a consultant of international standing for better results.



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