C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Home Dept under fire over Sec 506
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Allahabad HC order

The Allahabad High Court while disposing of a criminal miscellaneous application of 2002 had observed that there is another reason why notification of 1989 is illegal. The CPC of 1973 is a Parliament enactment. An Act can be amended by another Act or by an Ordinance, not by a simple notification. Moreover, a Central Act cannot be amended by a simple notification. The Central Act cannot be amended even by a UP Act unless the assent of the President is taken vide Act 254(2) of the Constitution. The notification of 1989 purports to amend a Central Act (the CrPC of 1973) even without the assent of the President. 

Chandigarh, September 4
A notification issued by the Chandigarh Administration’s Home Department regarding declaring Section 506 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) —- punishment for criminal intimidation —- as non-bailable offence has come under fire.

An amendment has been made by the Administration by exercising its powers under the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) to declare the offence as non-bailable instead of it being a bailbale offence.

As a result, the notification is allegedly being misused by the Chandigarh police to book persons. The notification issued by the Home Department is in force for a period of one year with effect from February 1, 2006.

“A similar notification is being repeated by the Home Department for the past few years as no has bothered to point out the error which is resulting in harassment to hundreds of persons,” said Mr K.S.Lamba, Secretary of the District Bar Association.

Terming the amendment as illegal, the District Bar Association has shot off a letter to the UT Administrator stating that the Home Secretary, Chandigarh, has wrongly interpreted the provisions of Section 10 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1932. The Act allows the state government to make an amendment by issuing a notification under the Criminal Procedure Code of 1898, and not the Criminal Procedure Code of 1973.

“It appears that the Home Secretary has not applied his quasi-judicial authority in the correct perspective and has wrongly issue the notification,” the Bar has pointed out.

The Secretary of the Bar has quoted a judgment of the Division Bench of the Allahabad High Court. The amendment carried out under Sub-Section (1) and (2) of the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1973 was illegal as the Act had been passed by Parliament. For amending the Act, the assent of the President had to be taken. 



PU Elections
An all-boys affair in colleges
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 4
Student elections in the city are slated to be an all-boys affair. With barely three days to go for college elections, girl students seem completely uninterested in the hurly burly of elections.

While the scenario in the colleges for girls in the city is just like any other day at college, the colleges for boys, on the other hand, present a different sight.

At the SGGS College for Women, Sector 26, one has to look for signs of the forthcoming elections. There is no campaigning and there are no final candidates as yet. “We have a quiet affair here when it comes to elections. The students have been asked to submit their nominations and we are still waiting,” said the Principal, Mrs Harinderjit Kaur.

The SGGS College, Sector 26, is a riot of colours. Buntings, posters, pamphlets, banners, are all there. With party stickers on every shirt sleeve, students seem to have decided whom to vote for. There are two main contending parties here.

The Khalsa College Students Union (KCSU) which is fielding Harjit Singh Baidwan, alias Bholu, as its presidential candidate. The other candidates from the party are Kuljit Singh, alias Jeeta, for the post of vice-president (VP), Rupinder Kaur as general secretary (GS) and Paramjit Singh as joint secretary (JS).

The contending party here is the Chandigarh Students Union (CSU) which has fielded Jaswinder Singh Jassi as the presidential candidate. The other candidates include Jaspreet Singh (VP), Navjiwan Rahul (GS) and Gurlal Singh (JS).

The DAV College, Sector 10, is also awash with colours. Banners the length and width of the entire building are hanging in the college. Larger-than-life faces of candidates greet visitors and it is obvious that large amounts of money is being spent by the candidates for campaigning.

The toughest competition among students in colleges is set to take place here. There are four contending parties. The Panjab University Students Union (PUSU) has fielded its own panel here which includes Rupinder Singh Chahal, alias Rimpy, for the post of the president, Prabhnoor Kaur (VP), Ankush Sharm (GS) and Gurinder Singh Sidhu (JS). Retaining their PU tie-up, the Students Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU) has tied up with the Indian National Students Organisation (INSO), Himachal Students Union (HIMSU) and UP Students Union (UPSU) fielding a joint panel—Sukhjit Singh Sra (P), Upinder K Sharma (VP), Subhash Thakur (GS) and Mayank Pratap Sisodia (JS).

The Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) is fielding Saurav Joshi as the presidential candidate and Gaurav Saharan (VP), Harmanpal Singh (GS) and Tony Kansam (JS). The Students Organisation of India (SOI) is fielding Balraj Singh Randhawa as president, Satnam Kaur (VP) Amanpreet Singh Bhandari (GS) and Vickey Sharma (JS). The party is demanding an open house debate among the parties in the college.

At the Government College for Girls Sector 11 red posters announcing PUSU candidates in the college are the only stray pointers that student elections are round the corner.

Mani Mittal is being fielded as the presidential candidate, Rajeshwar (VP) Renuka (GS) and Urvashi (JS). “We have allowed the candidates to go into the classes and address the students,” said the college Principal, Ms Upinder Mehra.

Heavily manned tents put up by parties greet visitors at Government College, Sector 11.

Classes seemed to have been sacrificed for campaigning and hundreds of students were gathered near the college gates camping near the party tent they were supporting.

One after the other one group would break into sloganeering.

The PUSU here has tied up with INSO HPSU and UPSU fielding Parminder Jawal, alias Goldy, for the president’s post, Rajat Ghabru (VP) and Rajesh Kumar, alias Pahalwan, (GS).

The party claimed to have forced the Chandigarh Transport Union to stop buses outside the college.

The Government College Students Union (GCSU) and SOI are fielding Jujhar Singh Grewal, alias Savi, as president, Vikram Singh, alias John (VP), Vishal Sharma (GS) and Solin (JS).

The Indian Student Union (ISU) is fielding Vishal Gautam as president, Dharminder Singh Dhaliwal (VP), Ashwani Chowdhry (GS) and Sandeep Rawat (JS).



Free rickshaw service for maids
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 4
In a unique initiative, the Resident Welfare Association of Ram Darbar has provided rickshaw facilities to women residents of the colony who work as domestic help in the city.

A rickshaw was flagged off today by a handicapped child. Mr Satpal Silan, president of the association, stated that 25 rickshaws had been provided free of cost for women who worked as domestic help. “There are around 70 women who go from the colony everyday to work.

These rickshaws will not only drop them to work, but also bring them back. It is a small token for these women who work so hard,” he said.

The expenses would be borne by the association, Mr Ramesh Tank, general secretary of the association, said. This initiative, he elaborated, was taken because the women were facing problems in reaching on time. Moreover, ever since the bus routes had been changed, they were getting late for work.



Beware, women on the prowl
Dupe man, dump him in Sec 52
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 4
Breaking into yet another male bastion, two young women "thugs", smartly dressed up in jeans and T-shirts in a Qualis, asked a city resident to help them and then decamped with his money and mobile after rendering him unconscious.

The victim, Jatinder Kumar, realised that his kindness had cost him dear only when he found himself dumped in Sector 52 after regaining consciousness.

The incident took place in a broad daylight on September 1, in the busy Sector 22 market in front of Paul Merchants. Stopping the victim — working as a helper with a travel agency — the women requested him to help them in putting some boxes in the vehicle they were driving and in the process he was made unconscious and duped of his belongings.

The victim told the police that he was sent for some official work by his employer on that day at around 10:15 am. He went to Sector 34 and later gone to Sector 22 after receiving a payment of about Rs 15,000 from someone. He was stopped by the women requesting him for help.

In his complaint to the police on Sunday, he added that while he was helping the women with the boxes, some men sitting in the vehicle forcibly administered some intoxicant and before he could realise what was happening to him, he fell unconscious. When he regained consciousness, he found himself dumped in Sector 52 and his mobile phone and Rs 15,000 were missing.

Jatinder Kumar told the police that after recollecting himself, he made straight to his house, which was nearby. As his body was aching and he felt drowsy at that time, his family took him to Sector 16 General Hospital.

It was then the police came to know about the matter and a DDR was lodged in this regard initially. However, a case of causing hurt by means of poison with an intension of committing a crime and theft under Sections 328 and 379 of the IPC has been registered in the Sector 17 police station.

Describing the women, Mr Jatinder told the police that one of them was in black jeans and white T-shirt while the other was wearing jeans and red T-shirt. Both the women appear to be in their mid-thirties. Mr Kumar claimed to the police that he could identify the women if he came across them.



Chandigarh Calling

Playing the game of polls on campus: With students whizzing around and gathering in clusters and the security forces stopping and checking vehicles, there is a buzz of frantic activity on the Panjab University campus as the countdown to the elections to the students’ council begins. Besides excitement, it is also the time to tempt. While students are being ‘bribed’ with outings as well as eats, the prospective voters feel important at being wooed in style and with persistence. The bribes range from picnics, movies and treats ranging from free juice to chicken, the holiday until the D-day is the icing on the cake. Wheels within wheels are also there. Besides the political parties who patronise their respective youth wings as always, states back candidates from their region. For instance, the apple growers association is financially backing students from HP. The students on their part feel well and truly mobile after the MCM incident. Says one “that was a battle won. Let’s see how the war is won.” A retired academic, however, says, “It is a wee bit sad to see them operate like mini politicians. If this is our youth power, what will the future be?”

Nine to five: After witnessing the behavioural pattern of four tigers at the Chhatbir Zoo, one can safely say it is the government rule that reigns supreme! It was five minutes before 5 pm and four Royal Bengal Tigers started acting fidgety, pacing up and down in front of their abode. No amount of catcalls (read tiger calls) from the admiring visitors, still crowding outside their green enclosure, could deter them from making a beeline at the entrance. The door opened at sharp five and the royal ones walked inside one by one, even without a backward glance. Upon enquiring, one came to know that their show time ends at five sharp. The proverbial ‘nine-to-five job’ now has a new meaning.

Legal outsourcing: The hard work and intelligence of our lawyers is ready to be outsourced as their calibre has been recognised by the Maurya Solicitors U.K who were in city to chalk out a plan to have legal documents prepared by local lawyers for law firms abroad through legal outsourcing. What the four-member British lawyers’ delegation liked about Indian lawyers was that the fees charged were not too much, well that makes sense for outsourcing and that they were more hard working and intelligent according to the head of the delegation from Maurya Solicitors, Makhan Singh. He also offered the Indian law students who have finished their graduation in Law to clear just one paper and they could be eligible for taking up cases in U.K and Wales.

Green apathy: Environment-related issues may have succeeded in securing space in the news columns but not in the hearts of Chandigarhians. The recently held three-day Environment and Wildlife Travelling Film Festival, organised by the Centre for Media Studies (CMS) at Tagore Theatre, was covered extensively by local newspapers but the general public stayed away from it. Even the free entry label was not enticing enough for Chandigarhians to get a few green lessons. The CMS had also set up a stall to sell the CDs of environment films but there too the response was woefully poor as only two CDs were sold.

Buri nazar wale…: No not the usual ‘…tera muh kala’ as one is in the habit of reading behind every truck or a bus but this canter driver in Panchkula had a better idea. He came up with an add-on to the oft used line ‘Buri nazarwale tera muh kala’ and the back of his carrier read ‘Buri nazar wale … tu Pakistan chala ja’. However, one wishes that it would be ‘Achhi nazar wale’, who should be sent to our neighbouring country.

Contributors: Aruti Nayar, Parbina Rashid, Anuradha Shukla & Vishal Gulati



SAD, BJP to contest MC poll jointly
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 4
Mr Satya Pal Jain, ex-MP and senior BJP leader and Capt. Kanwaljit Singh, former Finance Minister, Punjab, and now general secretary of Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal), today jointly addressed a press conference.

Addressing correspondents, both these leaders said that BJP and SAD will jointly contest the ensuing elections of the Municipal Corporation.

It is worth mentioning that SAD had constituted a coordination committee of both BJP and SAD on the pattern of the committee formulated in Punjab, in which Satya Pal Jain, ex-MP from BJP and Capt. Kanwaljit Singh from SAD have been appointed as the conveners. Both the above leaders said that a coordination committee would be formulated on behalf of the BJP and SAD, which would prepare a joint strategy in connection with the coming elections of MCC. This committee will launch the election campaign.

BJP leader Satya Pal Jain has demanded that at least 30 wards should be made for the forthcoming elections of MCC keeping in view the population of the city, and that the population of all the wards should be equal. There should not be any disparity in terms of population in any of the wards.

These leaders also said that a detailed memorandum will be prepared highlighting all these issues and the leaders of both the parties — the BJP and SAD — will submit the same to the UT Administration.

These leaders said that both BJP and SAD will soon finalise the issues for the coming elections of MCC under a joint political strategy.

Meanwhile, in a press statement issued by the local SAD office, it was stated that no alliance would be formed with the BJP unless new structural set up is announced by the party high command. It further stated that an emergency meeting under the presidentship of Mr N.S. Minhas was held and the said decision was taken.



Encroachments in the name of beautification
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 4
In glaring instances of encroachment on public land, residents in several parts of the city have dug up gardens around their houses by cordoning off the area with barbed-wire fences. If in the process they are having a dig at the law, the residents are just not bothered about it.

At several places across the city, these barbed-wire fences have made the process of commuting all the more thorny for the residents. Go to the area just behind the showrooms on the Madhya Marg in Sector 8 and you will find the way blocked for the general public by a barbed-wire fence surrounding a garden outside the boundary wall of a house.

The situation is hardly any different in other parts of the city. Travel down to Sector 18, 19, 21, 22, 33, 34 and even 46. You will find fenced gardens outside the houses with nice little wrought iron gates. Though such gardens leave little space for pedestrians to walk, threatening their safety in the process, no action has so far been initiated in the matter by the authorities concerned.

“The rules in Chandigarh are very clear on this aspect,” says Punjab and Haryana High Court advocate Raman Kumar Sharma. “Though the residents can carve out gardens for the purpose of beautician around the boundary wall of houses, they just cannot encroach upon public land by way of installing gates and fences”.

Other legal experts are also of the opinion that the rule-violating residents can be proceeded against by the local police for obstructing the free flow of traffic, and other offences under the provisions of the IPC.

Quoting directions issued in the traffic regulation and pollution control case, legal experts add that the Punjab and Haryana High Court had categorically asked the Chandigarh Police to ensure the free flow of traffic on all the roads. A senior officer of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh says action is time and again initiated against the violators during special drives launched by them in the city. Though the gates and fences are often pulled down, they surface again soon after the conclusion of the operation.

“The problem is basically with the attitude of the residents,” the officer says. “Instead of just beautifying their surroundings by planting trees and flowers around their dwelling units, the residents try to give the impression of possessing bigger houses by putting up gates and fences. Despite constant monitoring, they continue encroaching upon public land, incessantly. The need of the hour is to make the rules more stringent to prevent the activity”.



More accommodation for married armed forces personnel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 4
About 35 per cent of armed forces personnel would be able to get married accommodation in military stations when the mammoth married accommodation project (MAP) is complete. At present only about 15 per cent are able to get government accommodation.

Stating this after laying the foundation stone for the MAP scheme in Chandimandir, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Command, Lt-Gen Daljeet Singh, said the project was aimed at fulfilling the basic and fundamental requirement of military personnel.

He said with increase in accommodation, there was simultaneous pressure to build allied infrastructure such as roads, schools, welfare centers, medical facilities as well as provision of civic amenities.

As many as 1,855 houses are to be built at Chandimandir, K-area near Zirakpur and N-Area near the Chandigarh airport. The cost of the project at Chandimandir, where 1,176 houses are to come up, is about Rs 110 crore. Most of the houses are for jawans.

The design of houses being built under MAP are of a different design than existing houses. With a change of socio-economic conditions and general increase in the standard of living, several new features and facilities have been added to the new design.

MAP was launched about two years ago and it envisions construction of two lakh dwelling units at 79 stations across the country at a cost of Rs 16,000 crore.



Fauji Beat
Barki battalion wins UN citation

THE winning of the United Nations Force Commander’s Unit Citation by the 4th Battalion of The Sikh Regiment during peacekeeping operations in Lebanon takes one back into the glorious history of this battalion. Because of paucity of space, only one of its gallant actions is briefly mentioned here.

During the 1965 war, 4 Sikh was given the task of capturing Barki village in the Lahore sector on September 10. This village is located on the eastern bank of the Ichhogil canal. The enemy positions around the village were formidable, containing a chain of over a dozen concrete pillboxes. No sooner was the attack launched at 8 p.m., than the enemy opened up with artillery, mortars and automatic fire. The fire was so heavy that the assaulting companies could move only in short spurts, that too with great difficulty. On hearing the Sikh war cry, a sizeable number of the enemy troops ran back from their defences. When a grenade was lobbed in one of the pillboxes and another pillbox was surrounded, the enemy surrendered.

Thus was captured Barki by 4 Sikh, which enabled the Indian Army to reach the Ichhogil canal. The casualties suffered by 4 Sikh were two JCOs and 21 other ranks killed and two officers and 94 other ranks wounded.

The awards won by the unit in the Barki battle were one Mahavir Chakra, three Vir Chakras, three Sena Medals and four Commendation Cards. The unit also won the Battle Honour of Barki 1965.

The battle of Barki figures prominently in the 1965 Section of the Barki-Sehjra Hall, which was built by the Golden Arrow Division in Ferozepore in 1998.

ECHS test list

The Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) rate list does not contain all tests that have to be carried out by empanelled hospitals for investigation of various diseases. The result is that for all such tests, the ECHS has to pay rates, which are fixed for other patients.

Since the general rates are much higher than the ECHS rates, the ECHS has already wasted and is still wasting crores by paying higher rates to the empanelled hospitals for these tests. The variation in the rates can be gauged from the fact that whereas a general patient is charged from Rs 250 to Rs 400 for consultation depending on the doctor that he wants to consult, the charges for an ECHS patient are only Rs 61 for this.

There are many tests, which are not included in the ECHS list. To quote only a few, these are serum parathvomone, urine for haemosiderin, Beta 2 microglobulin levels, CD34/C68/marker, etc. Most of the blood cancer tests are not included in the list.

The ECHS authorities should prepare a comprehensive list of all tests by including the missing tests in it.

The ECHS rates for the missing tests should be worked out in consultation with the empanelled hospitals at the earliest so that there is no further wastage of ECHS funds.

Pay panel

If not a separate pay commission, the defence forces should at least have their representative on the Sixth Pay Commission so that injustice is not done to them. This point has been raised by many serving and retired defence personnel.

It has been experienced in the past that since members of pay commissions were not conversant with the terms and conditions of service of the defence forces, they could not do justice to them. This has always resulted in some of the crucial peculiarities of service being completely ignored by the pay commissions.

Having faced numerous difficulties in the past, this time, the Army Headquarters had taken up a case with the government a few months ago that a representative from the defence forces should be nominated on the Sixth Pay Commission. The government’s reaction to this is not yet known.

— Pritam Bhullar



A blow of fate
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 4
Trauma writ large on her face, 25-year-old Nisha is unconsolable. Surrounded by family and friends, she is in shock over the loss of her one-and-a-half-year-old son who drowned in a tank at a construction site in Sector 17 yesterday. She says her family is cursed.

“God’s been very unkind to us. He has dealt blow after blow to us. First, my husband became incapacitated after he developed complication in his nervous system. Then, I met with an accident and now I have lost my son in the most unexpected way and in my own house. This is destiny and it has been cruel to us,” she said.

She was getting a massage from her mother-in-law as treatment for her injury in the room when her son went off in the direction of the tank filled with water at the premises on the house under construction.

“For very long, we didn’t realise he had fallen into the tank and kept searching for him in the vicinity of the house. When he was finally pulled out, he was still breathing and we took him to a private hospital nearby. The doctor sent us to another hospital in Sector 7 before finally referring us to the General Hospital, Sector 6, where he was declared brought dead. We ended up wasting a lot of time running from one hospital to another,” she rues.

Maintaining that tragedy after tragedy had befallen the family, the boy’s grandmother Rani says, “My son had undergone a critical operation and can’t work at all. Nisha used to work as a maid and was the breadwinner. Her four-year-old daughter would accompany her to work sometime. All this was before she met with a freak accident. A bus rammed into an iron board which broke and hit her. She’s been on bed since then while I have been managing the house.”

Nisha laments, “I wasn’t even able to go to my son’s funeral because of my injury. It can’t get any worse for us. We came from Hardoi in Uttar Pradesh to earn a decent living. We have lost whatever we had. I don’t want to live anymore. My life has been full of pain and suffering. I don’t even know how we will fend for ourselves since I can’t stand on my feet”.

Back after burying the baby, the father, says, “We have no means of livelihood. We are in desperate need of help, financial and moral. The only solace is that we have a roof over our heads because I am a watchman in this house. This tank is a painful reminder of what happened on Sunday. It’s taken our life away.”

Meanwhile, no compensation from the Administration or HUDA is likely. “We have nothing at stake in this incident since it the premises were private, an official siad.



Nominations for Neerja Bhanot Awards invited
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 4
The Neerja Bhanot PanAm Trust today announced the "Call for Nominations" for the prestigious Neerja Bhanot Awards 2006. The awards were constituted in 1990 and are given annually in the memory of Neerja Bhanot, 23-year-old Indian airhostess who gave up her life while saving the lives of hundreds of other passengers on board a PanAm flight hijacked at Karachi airport on September 5, 1986. Neerja is the youngest recipient of India's highest civilian award for bravery— the Ashoka Chakra.

There are two awards consisting of Rs 1,50,000, a trophy and a citation each. Award I is given to an Indian woman who, when subjected to social injustice like dowry, desertion, etc. faced the situation with grit and then helped women in similar social distress. Award 2 is given to a flight crew member, worldwide, who acts beyond the call of duty in a difficult situation

Nominations can be sent on plain paper by anyone, including self-nominations in English or Hindi.

There is no nomination fees. Nominations must be supported by as much documentary evidence as possible.

A specially constituted jury will select the recipients of the awards and the awards will be presented at a special ceremony which will be held at Chandigarh in October.

The last date for entries is September 25 and the nominations can be sent to Harish Bhanot, managing trustee, Neerja Bhanot PanAm Trust, First Floor, House No. 3727, Sector 46 C, Chandigarh, e-mail-aneesh.bhanot@gmail.com. 



Machinery sought at waterworks
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 4
The Consumers Protection and Grievances Redressal Forum has demanded the immediate installation of machinery at the Sector 57 waterworks so that the town’s share of water from Kajauli waterworks could be utilised by the residents.

The general secretary of the forum said Mohali was to get 2.5 mgd of water from Phase IV of the Kajauli waterworks. As PUDA had not installed the required machinery at the waterworks in Sector 57, the additional share was being utilised by residents of Chandigarh even when the town was facing water shortage. He said the water pressure was very low at the first floor level and above in certain areas and as such residents faced problems.

He further said the state was facing a power shortage due to the wrong planning of politicians , bureaucrats, and technocrats as they had failed to assess the energy requirements for the agricultural, industrial and domestic sectors. Electricity was being purchased from other states to the tune of Rs 12 crore daily. If this amount would have been spent on power generation, the power requirement could have been fulfilled in a few years.

He said transmission losses in Punjab were more than in other states which were not being plugged by the authorities concerned. Power shortage would discourage new industrial units from coming to the state.



Jobless farm SIs hold protest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 4
The Unemployed Agriculture Sub-Inspector Association, Punjab, today staged a protest march at Matka Chowk, Sector 17. Protesters were asking for regular recruitment against vacant posts.

A memorandum of demands was submitted to the OSD to the Punjab Chief Minister.

Mr Kamal Kishen, president of the association, stated that they had been protesting for the past 50 days in the form of a relay fast in font of the office of the Director, Agriculture, Sector 34. “We will intensify our stir until our demands are met,” he stated.

Members of the Punjab Polytechnic Staff Association, meanwhile, also staged a dharna and burnt effigies of the Punjab Chief Minister and the state Education Minister.

They staged a protest in front of the office of the Punjab Technical Education Office before marching towards Matka Chowk.

They were protesting against the government’s decision to bring polytechnics under private societies.

According to the president of the association, Mr Gurbakshish Singh, this was a move of the government to privatise the institutions.



Sewing machines distributed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 4
As part of a plan of empowering the women and youth from disadvantaged sections of the society by combining their creative talent with the traditional artistic skills, Mrs Jean Rodrigues, wife of the Punjab Governor, today distributed certificates, sewing machines and tool kits to the beneficiaries trained by the Jan Shikshan Sansthan, Chandigarh, at a function in Sector 38, here today.

She also inaugurated an exhibition showcasing the efforts of the trained women and youth through fabric paintings, stitched garments, household linen, embroidered garments, decorative pieces professionally produced with fine design work and craftsmanship.

Mrs Jean Rodrigues went around the exhibition and took a keen interest in the exhibits. She interacted with the disadvantaged women and encouraged them to develop confidence, competence and professional skills in different fields.

Mr K.L Zakir, Chairman of Jan Shikshan Sansthan, gave the welcome address.



Dhillon nominated Yuva Janshakti chief
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 4
Mr Desraj Gupta, president of the Chandigarh unit of the Bharatiya Janshakti, has nominated Mr Gurpreet Singh Dhillon as president, Bharatiya Yuva Janshakti (youth wing).

Mr Dhillon recently joined the Bharatiya Janshakti after resigining from the BJP. He has been active in youth politics for the past one decade. He joined the BJP in 1994 and remained on various posts, including Mandal secretary, Mandal president, district secretary, disdtrict president and state secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha.

He was the founder-chairman of the DAV Students Association. Under his leadership, the association won college elections for three consecutive terms. 



Sharma joins as IG, North-West Sector

Chandigarh, September 4
Mr S. C. Sharma has taken over as Inspector General (IG), North-West Sector, Central Reserve Police Force at Chandigarh. Prior to this appointment he was serving as IG, North-East at Shillong.

A CRPF cadre officer, he has wide experience of anti-terrorist operations. During peak terrorism in Punjab, he served in Ferozepore, Chandigarh and Hoshiarpur. — TNS



Licences, ration cards made at camp

Mohali, September 4
A special suvidha camp was toady organised at Kurali which was inaugurated by Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, Minister for Animal Husbandry, Punjab.
As many as 254 driving licences were prepared, corrections were carried out in 10 ration cards and six duplicate ration cards were issued. Cases relating to old age, widow, and disability pensions were also prepared by the Child Development and Project Officer. OC



Jhuggis removed

Panchkula, September 4
Under tremendous pressure from social organisations that have raised their voice against the growing menace of encroachments, the Haryana Urban Development Authority today removed 100 jhuggis from Sectors 11 and 14, here today. Accompanied by the enforcement staff, labourers removed jhuggis from the open areas. However, as soon as the staff left, the jhuggis were back in place.



No breakthrough in Sec 15 murder case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 4
The Chandigarh Police has put paying guests and other suspicious people living in the vicinity of Sarla Rani Anand, who was found murdered in her Sector 15 tenement
on Saturday, under surveillance.

Sources at the Sector 11 police station said so far the police has not achieved any breakthrough in the case. The police today sent the sample of the figures prints to Phillaur for matching.

A police officer, who is a member of the special investigation team (SIT) constituted to crack this case, said the police has been keeping an eye on the movements of paying guests, drug-addicts and persons with dubious past.

Apart from this, the police has recorded the statements of the victim’s neighbour and would match them later on.

The police has also met the officials and colleagues of her late husband, hoping to get some possible leads.

The neighbours told the police that the victim never kept any servant. She also never sought help from anyone.



Three youths hurt in market brawl
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 4
At least three young boys of SGGS College Sector 26 were severely injured when a group of youths attacked them in the Sector 44 market here this evening.
The incident took place at about 8.30 pm when the three Jaswinder Singh, Harsimranjit Singh Sidhu and Rahul Jaswal were standing in the market of Sector 44D and were allegedly attacked by over half a dozen youth.

The group of attackers were known to the victims. The victims told the police that they had a verbal spat with this group yesterday when they had encountered each other in the Sector 44 C grounds. They had exchanged abuses which led to a verbal duel.

Allegedly laced with sluggers, bats, batons and rods the attackers hit the three boys today and ran away. The three received serious head injuries and other injuries and were rushed to the hospital. While Jaswinder is admitted to the Government Hospital Sector 16, Rahul and Harsimranjit are admitted to the Government Medical College and Hospital sector 32.

The police has booked the attackers for rioting and other offences under Sections 147 148, 149, 506, 323 of the IPC at the Sector 34 police station. Among those who were booked by the police include Amanbeer Singh, Vineet Saini, Sukha, Chajju, Anil and others. NO arrests have been made as yet.



Woman succumbs to burns, husband held
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 4
In an alleged dowry death, 24-year-old Anu, a resident of Mandanpur in Sector 26 here, died of burn injuries at the PGI in the wee hours today. She was referred to the PGI from General Hospital, Sector 6, on August 25, a day after she was admitted to the hospital. Her husband, Rajesh, was arrested by the police today while other family members are still absconding.

Police sources said Anu had alleged that her in-laws were harassing her for dowry. On August 25, her in-laws had bolted her in a room. The mother-in-law sprinkled kerosene on her while her husband, a small-time electrician, set her on fire. The father-in-law and brother-in-law stood on guard outside the room and hurled abuses at the victim.

However, Rajesh, in his statement, told the police that Anu had immolated herself though he could not give any specific reason for the act. A case was registered against the family the day the immolation took place.



Earring snatcher nabbed
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 4
An earring snatcher was nabbed in Phase I when he tried to flee soon after committing the crime.
According to the police, Ms Paramjit Kaur was going to a gurdwara along with her husband when Amrit Kumar, a resident of Chandigarh, came on a scooter and allegedly snatched her earring.

He made an effort to flee but was nabbed by Nr Narinder Singh, husband of the victim. He was then handed over to the police. A case under Sections 356, 411 of the IPC was registered in this regard. Further investigations are on.

Car stolen: A resident of Phase X complained to the police that his car was stolen from outside a house.

Mr Kamaljit Singh told the police that he had parked his car outside the house of his in-laws on September 2, but in the morning he found the vehicle missing.

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



Driver blinded with chillies to steal car
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 4
This is straight from a Bollywood film. Three persons stole a car by throwing red chilli powder in the eyes of the driver. The incident took place on August 31 when Gurdeep Singh, a taxi driver, had taken three persons in his taxi to Chandigarh from Kharar. On their way back, they asked the driver to take them back to Kharar via Landran. On the way, one of them asked him to stop the car. When the car stopped, one of them got off and threw red chilli powder in the driver’s eyes.

A case under sections 382 and 34 of the IPC has been registered.



One killed in accident
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 4
One person was killed and six others injured in an accident near Gharuan village today.
According to information available, Bawa, who had sustained serious injuries, was brought to the local Civil Hospital where the doctor on duty declared him as having been brought dead.

The injured persons were Karam Gill, Krishan Kumar, Bhupinder Kaur, Sonu, Sukhpreet and Amritbir. While Amritbir was brought to the local Civil Hospital others were admitted at a hospital in Morinda. It is reported that a collision took place between a car and an auto-rickshaw. The injured persons were travelling in the auto-rickshaw. 



Kurali girl missing

Chandigarh, September 4
A mentally retarted girl of Kurali (aged 19 years), Miss Bhupinder Kaur, alias Motto, has been missing since August 23 last.
The father of the girl, Mr Balbir Singh, who was visibly upset, said that his daughter had gone to a nearby village shop to bring some eatables. Since then she did not turn up. He further said although the police had registered an FIR on August 27, there has been no information about her whereabouts so far.TNS



Drug manufacturers resent tax holiday in 3 states
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 4
Drug manufacturers in Punjab and Haryana are up in arms against the decision of the Central Government to extend the sunset clause for tax holiday in the hill states of Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal and Jammu and Kashmir.

These drug manufacturers have pleaded that this would mean death knell for drug industry in the two states, especially as Punjab and Haryana were land-locked between the three hill states enjoying tax holiday.

"For the past 18 months, we have been crying for justice upon being slapped with a 40 per cent excise duty, under the MRP-based Excise Notification (since January 2005), which also truncated our Small Scale Industry exemption of Rs 1 crore to one third overnight.

This MRP-based excise regimen is specific to the pharma sector only. Now, this has added insult to injury, with extension of sunset clause of tax holiday states by three years," said Mr Jagdeep Singh, President, Punjab Drug Manufacturers Association.

Talking to TNS here today, he said the association also submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, last week. "More than 55 per cent of the total pharma production has already shifted to the three tax exempt states. By the end of this fiscal, almost 60 per cent of pharma production would have shifted to these three states. Now that the sunset clause has been extended, there will be no stopping the further exodus of industry," he said.

It is estimated that about 80 per cent of the pharma industry has already shifted out of the two states to Himachal, as there is a 40 per cent disparity in taxes between the tax exempt and non-tax exempt states.

Also, no new pharma units have been set up, or expansion of the existing units taken place in Punjab and Haryana.

There is also a lurking fear that if units shut down in non-tax exempt states ( because of being unviable owing to a magnified disparity caused by MRP-based Excise), the country will also lose the capability to provide medicines to consumers at the lowest price in the world.

With major pharma production migrating to tax holiday states, drugs produced in these states is not under pressure of MRP-based excise. As a result, increase in MRPs for profiteering and to woo the traders is a disturbing trend by units in these states. 



Technical snag in bank
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 4
A technical snag in the main server of the Union Bank of India here severely affected the transactions in the computerised branches of the bank in the tri-city today.

Officials in the bank informed TNS that the problem occurred for about two hours from 11 am to 1 pm, as the server was very slow.

It was only around 3. 30 pm, that the problem was completely solved. 



Biz Clips

Hutch on Monday announced the opening of Hutch shops in Phase 3B2, Mohali, and Sector 11, Panchkula. These shops will offer facilities like activation of postpaid connections; sale of prepaid SIM cards and recharge coupons, besides information on and subscription of value added services, Mr Arun Kapoor, CEO, Hutch-Punjab, said. — TNS



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