C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S



Goldy is PU campus council president
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
Dalvir Singh Goldy from SOPU was elected president of the Panjab University Campus Student Council here today.

Goldy (Department of Fine Arts) polled 2,706 votes against 2,125 polled by Rupinderjeet Singh Mann (Economics Department) of PUSU. About 4,945 students out of 7,828 cast their vote.

Girls in a jubilant mood after Manjot Kaur, was elected president at Guru Gobind Singh College for Women, Sector 26.
Girls in a jubilant mood after Manjot Kaur (second from right), was elected president at Guru Gobind Singh College for Women, Sector 26. — Tribune photo by Parvesh Chauhan
Gagan Deep Kaur, PUSU candidate, is lifted by students of Government College for Girls, Sector 42, after she won the elections.
Gagan Deep Kaur, PUSU candidate, is lifted by students of Government College for Girls, Sector 42, after she won the elections. — Tribune photo by Pradeep Tiwari

Dhol beats resounded on the campus as an open jeep carried Goldy. The posts of president and the vice-president were won by the SOPU-INSO panel (Indian National Student Organisation). Divya Gill (INSO) was elected vice-president.

Naushad Ali, who contested the elections independently, won by the biggest margin of 917 votes. He polled 2,757 against 1,840 by Parvinder Singh Pallu of PUSU. Virender Singh Negi of PUSU polled 2,606 against 1,966 by Sukhjit Singh of SOPU.

SOPU has a president after four years. The power seat in the council is usually divided between SOPU and PUSU camps with a different panel in alliance each time.

The polling started around 9.45 am. No student was allowed inside department buildings that had polling booths. The polling finished around 11.15 am.

The trends were known by around 1 pm and by 1.30 pm, the SOPU camp had started celebrating. Around 2 pm, the victory procession began with Goldy and Vikas Rathee, president of the local unit of INSO, occupying the front seats in the jeep, leading a procession that first went to the girls’ hostel. They reached the Students Centre around 3 pm where Dr Naval Kishore, Dean, Student Welfare, announced the results.

PUSU had an alliance with the Haryana Student Association and the Himachal Pradesh Student Union and had to pack up early today. A group of PUSU supporters got agitated and left their tents in protest against the early celebrations by SOPU. They marched towards the SOPU camp, hurling abusive slogans. The police, however, controlled the situation. At least 300 security personnel had been deployed and the poll ended peacefully.

From left: Simranjit of Government College for Girls, Sector 11, elected president; Sukhmit Singh Sra of DAV College, Sector 10, elected president and Jujhar Singh Grewal of Government College, Sector 11, in PU elections in Chandigarh on Friday.
From left: Simranjit of Government College for Girls, Sector 11, elected president; Sukhmit Singh Sra of DAV College, Sector 10, elected president and Jujhar Singh Grewal of Government College, Sector 11, in PU elections in Chandigarh on Friday. — Tribune photo by Manoj Mahajan

Naushad when asked if he had joined SOPU, said. "I was a committed PUSU worker till the last elections. I have contested the elections independently this year, only with a commitment to serve my electorate".

For the second time, the council recorded a divided result this year. This is the fourth time when a candidate who had lost the presidential election last time won it this time.

Harjeet Singh (wearing a garland), who was elected president, along with his supporters at Sri Guru Gobind Singh College, Sector 26.
Harjeet Singh (wearing a garland), who was elected president, along with his supporters at Sri Guru Gobind Singh College, Sector 26. — Tribune photo by Parvesh Chauhan

In 2004, the president and the vice-president were from PUSU, secretary from the HSA and joint secretary from the NSUI.

Abhilasha (NSUI), the first-ever girl presidential candidate, said: "We have lost the battle but the war to work for the student community will continue".

HIGHLIGHTS

Much before the result was announced by the DSW, SOPU supporters blocked traffic on the road leading to gate number one and started dancing and shouting.
PUSU supporters reacted to the celebrations by the SOPU camp by using provocative language. The police cordoned their camp.
The winning camp visited the girls’ hostel much before the results were declared.
Rain dampened the celebrations as students, particularly girls, rushed to their hostels.

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Goldy promises loads
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Dalvir Singh, ‘Goldy’ Chandigarh, September 8
“I was very scared this morning. I feared that I would lose the elections like last year.” This was said by Dalvir Singh, ‘Goldy’, the new president of the Panjab University Campus Student Council, following the election results here today.

Goldy was hugging his supporters and expressing happiness. “Ek vaari ta lagga ki pher gaye (At one point, I felt we had lost once again). Now that we have come to power we shall show them that we can do it any time,” he added.

Goldy said “we will take all elected councillors together as a team to work for the welfare of students. Once we take over the office, we will bury all differences and work collectively”. “My first prerogative is to set the house in order. We first need to assure common basic facilities for students. Things like fans in hostels and classes, streetlights and adequate facilities in hostels might sound trivial, but, they are very necessary to provide an amiable atmosphere on the campus,” he said.

The new president also assured to ensure a late-night bus service for girl students from the library. The service for them is also important from the security point of view late in the night.

Goldy pointed out that one of the biggest issues on his agenda for work was to sort out the controversy regarding misuse of student funds by the last council. “The sponsorship for the shows should be done through the office of the Dean Student Welfare. The last council organised functions independently involving huge amount of money without informing the DSW. An enquiry had found lacunae in the expenditure. We shall look into the matter.”

Goldy said “one of the top priorities is organising more functions on the campus, both academic and cultural. More students will be goaded to participate in the university affairs”.

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Peaceful poll in colleges
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
The student council elections in various colleges across the city were held peacefully today. The heavy showers in the afternoon, however, played a little dampener in the festivities of students as they had to run for cover.

Heavy traffic jam was witnessed in front of DAV College, Sector 10, where cars were parked. Students could be anxiously seen waiting for the results in the make shift tents outside the colleges.

There was tight security outside colleges and police personnel were heavily deployed. A minor alteration took place outside the SGGS College, Sector 26, when the results were declared, however, the police personnel present at the site immediately swung into action and brought things under control.

It was celebration time for SOPU as in most colleges the SOPU party members were elected to office. Meanwhile, PUSU activists protested at GCG- 11 for bogus voting. The activists raised slogans against the college authorities in the heavy rain. Harman, a contestant, for the post of general secretary stated that despite informing the authorities about the bogus voting no action was taken. She further alleged that teachers were biased and had favoured the independent candidates.

In DAV College, Sector 10, SOPU INSO, the HIMSU and the UPSU alliance bagged three seats, including that of president, general secretary and joint secretary. Sukhmit Singh Sra for the post of the president got 859 votes defeating his rival of Balraj Singh Randhawa of the SOI, who got 479 votes. While Subhash Thakur for the post of the general secretary got 931 votes and Mayank pratap Sisodia for the post of the joint secretary got 787 votes. Gaurav Deep Saharan of the ABVP, who got 1,212 votes, bagged the post of the vice-president. As many as 2,270 students cast their votes.

In GCG-11, independent candidates (IC’s) won three seats, including president, general secretary and joint secretary. Simran Deol for the post of the president got 565 votes defeating her rival Mani Mittal who bagged 505 votes, Geetanjili, who bagged the post of the vice-president got 595 votes, while Anushree was elected as the joint secretary by bagging 555 votes. The post of the vice-president went to Manisha of the ABVP who got 645 votes. Around 1,500 students cast their votes.

In GC-11, GCSU bagged three posts, including that of the president, the vice-president and the secretary. Jujhar Singh Grewal was elected as the president defeating by bagging 1,096 votes defeating his rival Parminder Jaswal of PUSU, who bagged 1,014 votes. Vikram Singh was elected for the post of vice-president by bagging 1,089 votes, while Vishal Gupta was elected the general secretary by getting 962 votes. Kamaljit Devgan of PUSU, who got 956 votes, won the post of the joint secretary. Around 2,000 students cast their votes.

In Guru Gobind Singh College, Sector 26, KCSU swept their polls with Harjeet Singh for the president’s post bagged 837 votes defeating his rival Jaswinder Singh of CSU, who bagged 550 votes. Kuljeet Singh was elected as the vice-president and got 793 votes, while Rupinder Singh for the post of general secretary got 809 votes and Paramjeet Singh for the post of joint secretary got 786 votes. Around 1,400 students cast their votes.

In Guru Gobind Singh College for Women, Sector 26, independent candidates contested the elections . Manjot Kaur was elected as the president by wining with a margin of 303 votes, Gaitri Naroiam became the vice-president, winning by 229 votes, Parminder Kaur was elected unopposed for the post of secretary and Silky Sharma won by 79 votes and bagged the post of joint secretary.

In SD College, Sector 32, all posts were won by SOPU. Here Amit Bhatia, a B.Com final year student took lead with 60 votes, where he got 635 votes against his rival Ramanjeet Singh Bawa , who got 565 votes. Ruchika has been elected as the vice-president with 606 votes while Ashish Rathi (679) from BSC second year was elected as the general secretary and Baldeep Kaur (614) from BA second year as the joint secretary. The total vote cast in this college was 1,200 out of 3,000 students.

In GCG-42, PUSU, SOI made a clean sweep. Gangandeep Kaur was elected for the post of president got 323 votes defeating his rival Rajwinder Kaur of SOPU, who got 207 votes. Apoorva Sharma got 335 votes and was elected as the vice-president, Esha Walia was elected as the general secretary and bagged 293 votes, while Rajveer Kaur was elected as the joint secretary by bagg 360 votes. Around 530 students cast their votes.

In Government College, Sector 46, two posts went to SOPU while two to PUSU. Nardeep Singh of SOPU, a BA final year student won by 28 votes. Nardeep got 553 votes against 525 votes bagged by his rival, Rakesh. Naveen Bhardwaj, BA second year student was elected to the post of vice-president from SOPU bagged 514 votes, while Sanjeev (Sanju) from PUSU as the joint secretary bagged 528 votes and Mohan Lal again from PUSU as the general secretary, bagged 642 votes. The total vote cast in this college was 55 per cent where 1,100 students casted their vote out of 2,059 students.

In MCM College, Sector 36, all candidates stood independently the total vote cast in this college was 884 out of 3,335 students. Anupreet Sidhu a BSC final year won by 48 votes. She got 332 votes. Talking to TNS Anupreet stated that she would like to work on issues like foreign exchange and exemption from classes before competitive examination apart from other things. Shazina Khan, BA second year student, was elected as the vice-president bagged 515 votes, while Swati Rawat ,BA second year, has been elected as the general secretary bagged 428 votes and Shivani Raina BA first year student was elected as the joint secretary with 251 votes. 

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College office-bearers

DAV College, Sector 10

  • President: Sukhmit Singh Sra, SOPU;
  • Vice-president: Gaurav Deep Saharan, ABVP;
  • General secretary: Subhash Thakur, SOPU;
  • Joint secretary: Mayank Pratap Sisodia, SOPU.

SGGS College, Sector 26

  • President: Harjit Singh Baidwan, (KCSU);
  • Vice-president: Kuljit Singh Jeeta, (KCSU);
  • General secretary: Rupinder Kaur, (KCSU);
  • Joint secretary: Paramjit Singh, (KCSU).

Government College for Girls, Sector 11

  • President: Simranjit;
  • Vice-president: Rajeshwar;
  • General secretary: Renuka;
  • Joint secretary: Urvashi.

Government College, Sector 11

  • Government College Students Union (GCSU) and SOI are fielding
  • President: Jujhar Singh Grewal, GCSU;
  • Vice-president: Vikram Singh, GCSU;
  • General secretary: Vishal Sharma, GCSU;
  • Joint secretary: Solin, PUSU.

Government College, Sector 46

  • President: Nardeep Singh, SOPU;
  • Vice-president: Naveen Bhardwaj, SOPU;
  • General secretary: Mohan Lal, PUSU;
  • Joint secretary: Sanjeev, PUSU.

MCM DAV, Sector 36

  • All candidates contesting were independent.
  • President: Anupreet;
  • Vice-president: Sazina Khan;
  • General secretary: Swati Rawat;
  • Joint secretary: Shivani Raina;

Government College Sector 42

  • President: Gagandeep Kaur, PUSU;
  • Vice-president: Apoorva Sharma, PUSU;
  • General secretary: Isha walia, PUSU;
  • Joint secretary: Rajveer Kaur, PUSU;

Dev Damaj College, Sector 45

  • President: Shamini Kaushik;
  • Vice-president: Priti Pasii;
  • General secretary: Sonia;
  • Joint secretary: Amarpreet Kaur;

SGGS (Women) sector 26

  • President: Manjot;
  • Vice-president: Gaitri;
  • General secretary: Parminder;
  • Joint secretary: Silky Sharma.

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Case against Gaganjit may fall flat
CFSL report finds nothing incriminating
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
The alleged rape case involving SAD MLA Gaganjit Singh Barnala, son of the Tamil Nadu Governor Surjit Singh Barnala, appears to have fallen flat with medical reports from a forensic laboratory giving a clean chit to the accused.

He has been languishing in the Burail jail, almost a month after the alleged rape took place in his Sector 3 MLA flat on August 12. The Central Forensic Science Laboratories (CFSL) report released today has not found any semen on samples collected from the scene of the alleged crime.

Giving details, an official of the Chandigarh Police said the DNA test had also failed to strengthen the case against the accused as it failed to link the samples picked up from the spot with those of the accused. He said the swabs collected from the vest of the accused and the vaginal swabs had not shown the presence of any sperm under microscopic examination. The examination also did not reveal any DNA profile for sperms.

These revelations have weakened the case of the prosecution which was depending on the results of the tests, besides the statement of the victim. However, the police says that it still has a good case as the victim has already recorded her statement on oath as the victim’s statement in such cases are considered sufficient. The police had video-graphed the event after taking the victim to the spot and the narrated the entire sequence of events. She reportedly told the police that Gaganjit had asked her to close the door and draw the curtains.

About the absence of semen on the vest and the vaginal swabs, the police reasoned that doctors had earlier expressed apprehension in this regard, saying that excessive bleeding of the victim could have destroyed or washed away the semen.

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Insect-infested rice found in school meal
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 8
Insect-infested rice was being given to students as part of midday meal at Government Elementary School, Shahimajra, here. The matter was brought to the notice of the Kharar MLA, Mr Bir Devinder Singh, who along with the SDM, Mr Sandeep Hans, visited the school today. The rice was checked and found unfit for eating. The entire stock of the insect-infested food was sealed.

The MLA then called officials from the Health Department to take stock of the situation. The District Health Officer, Mr V.K. Jain, took a sample of the food stock. A sample would also be collected from the Punsup store.

Mr Bir Singh Bajwa, chairman of the village education development committee, told Chandigarh Tribune that some parents of the students studying in the school had brought to his notice that food which was unfit for eating was being cooked and given to children as part of midday meal.

He then went to the school to find out the reality. He said he found that rice stock stored in the school was insect-infested. He then brought the matter to the notice of the MLA for further action.

Mr Bajwa said that nearly 130 students studied in the school.

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‘Everyone in UK has woken up to India’
British Council Director keen to seize moment
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
The British Council of India (BCI) is scouting for Indian talent like never before. Within a year, it has floated a range of projects aimed at exploring the possibility of joint initiatives between India and the UK, focus area being scientific research and creative industries.

In Chandigarh today to launch the Spoken English Club at the British Library, Mr Rod Pryde, Director, BCI, discussed two of the council’s most ambitious projects, designed to revitalise Indo-UK ties. The first of these has at its heart the need to strengthen knowledge base of the two countries by promoting exchanges at the level of schools, universities and research institutions.

Launched recently, the UK-India Education Initiative seeks to bring the research potential of the two nations together. Powered by an initial funding of £ 10 million, put together by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, BCI and the Department of Education and Schools, it offers big incentives, including scholarships to innovative individuals and organisations.

The initiative will run for five years and it has already evinced the interest of the Department of Science and Technology which has agreed to match the funding up to £ six million. The project is thus well-fed, financially.

“The big awards and fellowships will go into joint research sector, mainly science and technology. We are already flooded with applications from schools, colleges and institutions eager to share ideas and knowledge,” said Mr Pryde, who has been in India for over a year now.

During his tenure here, he has overseen another fascinating project created to promote the Indian creative industries. Designed to encourage ventures in creative futures, the initiative invited proposals from people engaged in graphics, visual art, films, media, communication, TV and publishing. Twenty of the short-listed individuals are now pursuing a special course at IIM, Bangalore.

“They are being trained as cultural entrepreneurs. In the final stage of the competition, we will have zeroed in on three entrepreneurs who will get a chance to go to the UK, pitch their ideas to British investors and make a life,” Mr Pryde said, expressing a keen interest in the nature of the proposals received as part of the project.

The BCI is also planning to extend its Public Diplomacy Initiative programme under which it recently invited a noted British director to create a Shakespeare production with a predominantly Indian cast. The result was Tim Supples’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, which travelled to all major Indian cities. “There is a huge demand for the production. We are thinking of ways to get it back to India,” said Mr Pryde, whose main concern lies in seizing this fascinating moment in the history of Indo-UK ties.

“Everyone in the UK has woken up to India as a cultural powerhouse. There is a growing demand for Indian talent. Also, there is an increasing interest for our services in India. We are working very hard to stay on top of the demand,” admitted Mr Pryde.

As regards the council’s library services, the focus will be on strengthening the existing structure, Mr Pryde said as he launched the spoken English Club to assist students and teachers of the English language. The club has been equipped with 200 materials to strengthen English learning techniques.

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COMMUNITY
 

EC order on armed forces personnel
Can cast vote at places of posting
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
Serving armed forces personnel will finally be able to exercise their franchise at their places of posting. The Election Commission (EC) of India has issued revised directions to electoral authorities at the state level to undertake house-to-house enumeration for registration of voters in military stations.

A letter received from the commission by an ex-servicemen’s association here this week states that instructions have been issued to register service personnel as voters at their places of posting.

The commission’s directions assume significance as Assembly elections are due in the states of Punjab, Uttaranchal, Uttar Pradesh and Manipur. According to estimates, over two lakh military personnel and their eligible family members stationed in these states would be able to participate in local democratic process.

The Army, under the existing provisions of law, had initiated the process to enroll service personnel as general electors in various military stations, including Ambala and Mathura, a few months ago.

However, the process had run into trouble as electoral officers, according to reports, had refused to accept the registration forms (Form-6) in bulk. The former Director, Sainik Welfare, Punjab, Brig H.S. Ghuman (retd), who had taken up the issue for compiling electoral rolls with the commission, said the matter was brought before the commission several times.

The commission’s letter also states that the non-registration of service personnel at their place of posting earlier could have been the result of legal position not being clear at the local level. Electoral officers at the state and district levels have been directed to ensure compliance of the legal provisions in future, the letter added.

Earlier, service personnel could cast their vote through postal ballots or through proxy voting. These options could be exercised only for elections concerning their home town and not their current place of posting. As has been seen in the past, a large number of service personnel could not participate in the electoral process.

Under Election Commission regulations, service personnel and their family members can get themselves registered at their places of posting.

Brigadier Ghuman said though provisions for compiling electoral rolls of service personnel at their places of posting existed, these were never implemented before. While a door-to-door survey is conducted by electoral authorities to compile nominal rolls, military areas were invariably left out by them. One reason for this, he observed, was lack on pertinent information with the military as well as civilian authorities concerned.

Last year an attempt was made to give service personnel the chance to exercise their franchise during elections in Ambala, but it could not be accomplished. Though nominal rolls were complied, Form-6 could not be procured by the military authorities. Consequently, about 60,000 otherwise eligible voters could not cast their ballot.

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Swank RLA office makes visitors happy
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
Gone are the days when the visitors at the Sector 17 office of the Registration and Licensing Authority (RLA) had to sweat it out while waiting in the queues for their turn.

Thanks to the long-due modernisation of the RLA office, the entire public dealing area in the office has been centrally air-conditioned. “ It took me some time to realise that I was in a government office and not a private bank. The place has improved for the better”, said Amrish Kumar, a senior citizen, who was waiting for his turn to renew his driving licence.

The authorities are trying to bring down the processing time at the counters. The counters have been increased to 12 and are being further increased. By rough estimates, about 1500 persons daily visit the office.

A visit to the office revealed that the entire place has undergone a major makeover. Apart from adding new flooring, physically challenged friendly tiles have been laid new the counters. The height of at least of the counters has been lowered for the physically challenged visitors.

Mrs Swati Sharma, Registration and Licensing Authority, told Tribune that as per the specifications separate toilets have been provided for the physically challenged persons. A ramp has been raised to allow the senior citizens and physically challenged persons to reach the counters. Fire-fighting equipments have been installed in the entire complex.

To keep a watch on the functioning of the employees and movement of the agents, at least 20 close circuit television camera (CCTV) are being installed in the public dealing areas.

Mrs Sharma said under the project, the entire record from 1996 onwards would be computerised. The record room would be separated from the public dealing counters. Apart from the web site of the Chandigarh Administration, the office of the licensing authority and state transport authority were jointly designing a web site. The web site would have complete information about the offices, notification, most frequently asked questions and other related issues.

The Chandigarh Administration has plans to introduce the token system in the RLA office. The visitors would have to wait for his turn. A number of chairs are being added in the waiting area.

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Chaos on city roads
Rain exposes city’s poor drainage

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
There was mayhem on city roads as heavy showers lashed the city this evening. From 4 pm to 7 pm, there was chaos inner roads of sectors, including northern sectors, became virtual waterways.

Traffic had halted almost everywhere for over two hours.

The situation worsened when vehicles developed snags while passing through flooded roads. Within an hour, the city’s poor drainage stood exposed yet again. To make matters worse, the dug-up earth got washed away onto the roads, creating hurdle in the flow of traffic.

The Delhi-Ambala highway was hit due to flooding, stranding vehicles. Traffic took more than two hours to clear. A large number of traffic police personnel were busy with PU elections.

Traffic remained blocked around the Transport chowk area and Sector 17 for about two hours. On the road dividing Sectors 17 and 18, confusion compounded following an accident between two cars. The police had to summon a recovery van to pick up the damaged vehicles.

The SSP (Traffic), Mr Dinesh Bhatt, was spotted supervising the situation around the Sector 20 roundabout. The roundabouts were the worst hit in almost all sectors.

Meanwhile, the Met Department said it could not get data to measure the rain as the phone link with the Air Force Defence Met Service could not be established. Mr A.P. Bhardwaj, senior observer at Met, Chandigarh, said, “We have not been able to get the relevant data as the phone lines remained disrupted.”

Power breakdown was also reported in several sectors, the situation being particularly bad in Raipur Khurd where electricity went off at 3.30 pm and had not been restored until 11 pm, when the reports last came in.

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Demand for disqualification of councillor to be probed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
The municipal corporation has ordered a probe into the demand for the disqualification of councillor Chander Mukhi Sharma. A letter to the UT Finance Secretary regarding the same was forwarded to the MC for action.

Mr Sharma runs a company in the name of M/s De-graphic Advertising Company which procures public advertisements and notices from various agencies, government offices and statutory bodies and gets them published in newspapers.

The complaint has been made by Col Bakshish Singh (retd), president, Ex-Army Officer’s Welfare Association, Sector 34. He has stated that Mr Sharma is the Director-cum-MD of the company. The letter states that he is receiving and obtaining advertisements from the MC through the Assistant/Additional Commissioner and earning a profit of Rs 1-2 lakh per month apart from profit. The role of Mr O.P. Popli, former Additional Commissioner, MC, has also been questioned.

Col Bakshish said in the letter that Mr Sharma owned a car belonging to the company.

Under Clause 13(1) (i) of the Punjab Municipal Corporation Law Act, if a councillor is “interested in any subsisting contract made with or any work being done for, the corporation except as a share-holder (other than a director) in an incorporated company or as a member of a cooperative society,” he can be disqualified.

According to MC Commissioner P.S. Aujla, an inquiry has been marked to the Joint Commissioner, MC, Mr H.S. Khandola.

Mr Sharma stated that he had nothing to do with the advertising agency. “I have nothing to do with the advertising agency. I will in fact file a defamation case of Rs 1 crore against the complainant.”

He alleged that this was an outcome of his questioning the MC functioning and asking for transparency. “This has been happening to any councillor who has questioned and demanded transparency in the functioning of the MC. I will cooperate in any inquiry which is conducted,” he added.

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Of frenzied escapes and unending journeys…
Aditi Tandon

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
A rare show was marred by the rain today. Just when the exhibition of unpublished Partition photographs by Margaret Bourke-White was about to open at Sukhna Lake lawns, the sky screamed panic.

Within seconds, the schedules went haywire and the invitees disappeared, leaving White and her heart-rending accounts of the tragedy alone. The only saving grace at the Roli Books event was the presence of Punjab Governor and UT Administrator Gen S.F Rodrigues (retd) who ensured the exhibition was inaugurated. Though the customary ribbon was not cut, the Governor marked his attendance at the event. He took a quick note of the works that bring to life the gory reality of Partition days. Soon after he left, the venue became deserted.

The pictures arrested attention, nevertheless. Not one person walking past the montages escaped their magnetism. With the power of their narration, the photographs pulled the passers by into the past and into the moment which White captured unflinchingly in her camera. While executing her brief as a photographer for the Life magazine, she produced the most insightful account of India’s Partition, one that remains unparalleled in content and composition. Some of the pictures which White during her travels through East and West Punjab were used by Life.

The rest, unpublished ones, are being shown at Sukhna Lake. They now form part of “Train to Pakistan” whose 50th anniversary edition has just been published by Roli Books. Back to the images—they capture the range of tragedy, as and when it happened. They tell of mighty moments that changed the history of India and scarred its soul forever. On display is the aftermath of the Partition. And in the aftermath lie the horrors of partition–horrors that have never been recounted earlier.

The exhibition opens with a frame in which a train to Pakistan is being bid a warm farewell. As you move further along the montage, you discover a deadly trail – one along which humans lie scattered like garbage; vultures remain on prowl. Each photograph tells a tale deadlier than the past. One of them captures carcasses strewn across the road and vultures in the waiting; another one mirrors miseries of the worst flood Indian endured in 100 years that year (1947). Then there are pictures of people fleeing home in search of another – one that is not meant to be.

Together, the photographs bring to life Khushwant Singh’s account of the Partition as narrated in “Tain to Pakistan”. They tell of brutal violations, of frenzied escapes and of unending journeys. But even in their despair, they inspire hope. They scream: “When all is lost, the future still remains.”

The exhibition will be on till September 15.

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CVM to contest all seats in MC poll
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
The Chandigarh Vikas Manch plans to contest all the seats in the ensuing Municipal Corporation elections.

This was disclosed today at a press conference addressed by Mr Harmohan Dhawan, former Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation and party president at his residence this afternoon.

“In order to end the Congress misrule the CVM will strive to have a broader alliance with other like- minded political parties,” he stated. When asked to specify, he stated that they had been approached by the local Akali Dal and also the BJP (Uma Bharti). “We are considering alliances, anything to beat Congress,” added Mr Dhawan.

He said: “In the last five years of the Municipal Corporation, our elected members in the house have always stood against all anti-people policies of the Congress regime. Listing their achievements Mr Dhawan stated that the local Member of Parliament Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, has been a mute spectator to all this. The CVM condemns the “sky high prices” of all commodities under the Congress-led government.” He further added that the Congress in its manifesto of 2001-2006 elections had promised a tax free regime and contrary to this the Congress had enforced property tax and parking tax on the people of the city. “The parking tax has become a source of nuisance and is causing inconvenience and harassment to the people.

“The property tax has been enforced on even educational institutions like S.D. College, Guru Gobind Singh College, DAV College and other such educational institutions. He stated that the property tax was a small fraction of the total budget of 346 crore. These taxes are only about 3.75% and to collect this revenue the corporation is spending about 45% as establishment charges.

Mr Dhawan stated that their top priority would be to abolish property tax and parking tax.

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Teachers, doctors discuss girl child problems
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 8
A seminar to discuss various problems faced by adolescents was organised at Fortis Hospital here yesterday. Teachers from a number of schools were invited for discussions with special emphasis on the girl child.

Doctors of the hospital presented their views on various aspects to the teachers who in turn were asked to share the same with students of their schools to create awareness.

Dr Simi Waraich, psychiatrist, pointed out that children in the age group of 10 to 18 years got exposed to a lot of information and much of it could be harmful if not conveyed in a proper perspective and at a proper time.

Dr Anita Sharma, who heads the HIV/AIDS awareness programme, gave a presentation on HIV/AIDS and said the age group between 15 and 24 years was the most vulnerable. She said that it was very important to overcome the alarming situation.

Dr Rashmi Garg, gynaecologist, was very expressive about the need for educating school going children on sex related issues. She said that there were no hard and fast rules and each age group would have different levels of curiosity and knowledge. She also said between teachers and parents, the child should be able to discuss problems and satiate his curiosity leaving no space for misinformation. In an era where HIV, AIDS, Hepatitis was rampant, it was a must that all communication channels were left open to school going children so that they were correctly guided and informed.

The seminar concluded with Dr Manmeet Mann speaking on the importance of changing attitudes in the present scenario. She also spoke about the relevance of educating the girl child about her rights and her responsibilities so that she was not exploited at any age.

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Jaundice claims 2 teenagers’ lives
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
Two teenagers from Shahabad Markanda reportedly died of jaundice after being admitted to the PGIMER about four days ago. Resident of Majri Mohalla, Mahima Chawala died on Friday while Nagpal of Satya Nagar died of the same disease three days earlier.

According to sources, the jaundice patients Mahima, Nagpal, Hatinder Gupta, alias Hanny, and some others from Shahabad Markanda locality were rushed to the PGI after being given treatment at Kurukshetra Civil Hospital.

Jaundice has spread in Shahabad Markanda and surrounding areas and has virtually hit dozens of people in last a couple of weeks. Over half-a-dozen patients suffering from the jaundice and other water-borne diseases are being registered at the Civil Hospital, Kuruksherta, daily in last a couple of days, claimed Mr Surinder Gupta, father of Hanny.

The number of patients suffering from Kurukshetra at the PGIMER has multiples in last one week. Authorities of the Civil Hospital, Kuruksherta, have also sent blood samples of suspect jaundice patients to the PGIMER for their examination for the disease. The reports were expected in a day or two, sources in the PGI disclosed.

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Plea against raise in retirement age

Mohali, September 8
Members of the Joint Struggle Committee of the water supply and sanitation wing, Punjab, appealed to the Punjab Government not to raise the retirement age of employees as the decision would adversely affect the interests of the younger generation.

At a meeting held here today, the employees pointed out the government was planning to raise the retirement age to protect the interests of a handful of officers even when the youth was facing widespread unemployment.

They said that stagnation was going on in various departments as the promotional scale on the completion of four, nine and 14 years of service was not being given and the government was taking any step to remove this stagnation being faced by class III and IV employees. — OC

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Federation seeks information on MC works
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 8
Alleging poor quality of work leading to financial loss, the Panchkula Welfare Federation supported by residents’ welfare associations has sought detailed information regarding the current works being carried out by the municipal council.

They said these might be written on the board provided in the office of the president or Executive Officer, Municipal Council, so that the residents were able to keep a tab on the kind of work being carried out at various sites.

The representation added that certain roads requiring large-scale repairs had not been attended to in the past 10 years while the record of the council stated that the same was done a couple of years back.

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Fire in Sec 28 house

Chandigarh, September 8
A Sector 28 resident was in for a shock when a fire broke out due to short-circuit caused by loose electricity wires outside her house. Though no loss of property was reported, but some walls of the house turned black with smoke.

Ms Pallvai, a resident of house No. 10, Sector 28, said the fire last for about 20 minutes and to her utter shock to the flames kept on rising with each passing moment. As the fire broke out near the main entrance of the house, she was trapped inside. When the fire continued to spread on, she then called the fire brigade. TNS

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CRIME
 

Tohana man booked for fraud
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
The local police has booked a resident of Haryana and his associates on allegations of duping a city resident of Rs 36 lakh by handing him cheques, which were later dishonoured by the bank. The complainant was a partner of the accused and when the money was to be given to him in lieu of his share that he surrendered.

Sources in the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Chandigarh police said Mr Ashok Goyal of Sector 28 in his complaint to the police has alleged that Mahavir Prashad of Tohana and his associates had duped him of Rs 36 lakh by handing over a cheque, which was later dishonoured by the State Bank of India, Sector 7.

Mr Goyal told the police that he had been a partner in a firm, Aggarwal Builders, Tohana. They purchased a plot measuring 3650 sq yards in the firm’s name.

Later he decided to drop out of the firm and it was agreed to give him Rs 40 lakh in lieu of his share.

It was alleged that he was given a demand draft for Rs 4 lakh and for the rest of the amount cheques was given to him.

When he deposited the cheque the same was returned by the bank citing ‘payment stopped’.

The police has registered a case of cheating under Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code in this regard.

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Three held for murder of driver
Tribune News Service

Lalru, September 8
The murder of Sunmasti, a driver whose body was found from the near the railway tracks near here on August 6, has been solved with the arrest of three persons.

According to information, the trio-Amandeep, Lakhwinder and Balbir, were arrested by the Ludhiana police recently and they confessed to the crime. The trio had hired an Indica car from the Chandigarh railway station on August 6 and allegedly killed the driver and dumped his body near the railway tracks. They later took away the car.

The local police had registered a case under 302 of the IPC.

Meanwhile, the trio was brought on a production by the local police. Important documents confirming their role in the crime were also seized.

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Students clash in college, 3 hurt
Tribune News Service

Lalru, September 8
Three persons, including two students of Punjab Polytechnic College at Malakpur, near here, were injured when two groups of students clashed on the college campus this morning.

The trouble arose when a group of students comprising Karanvir Singh, Gaurav Singh and Kulwinder Singh Dhaliwal, had an altercation with two final year students Manmohan Rana and Bunty Rana. Following the altercation, Karanvir called his brother and his friends from DAV College, Ambala.

Karanvir and his accomplices allegedly attacked Manmohan and Bunty with sticks and chains and fled from the scene. An employee of the college, Ravinder Kumar, was also injured in the fight. A case has been registered.

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BUSINESS
 

PunCom bags Rs 16-crore order
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 8
Punjab Communications Limited (PunCom), a Punjab State Government Undertaking, has bagged orders worth Rs 16. 4 crore.

According to Mr S.P.Singh, Managing Director, PunCom had emerged as the lowest eligible bidder in the four Railway tenders for setting up optical fibre-based communication networks and orders worth Rs 8. 8 crore were expected to be placed by the Indian Railways on PunCom in the next seven to 10 days.

He said that PunCom would be executing these turnkey projects with its own primary multiplexers and power plants with the SDH equipment from its partner, Tejas Networks, Bangalore. PunCom hoped to increase it’s market share in the Railways- optical fibre based communication network through a state of art primary-mux designed and developed by PunCom which was tailor-made to meet the latest Railway specifications.

The MD further said that PunCom had received a major purchase order from BSNL on August 28 for supply of STM-4 equipment to BSNL worth Rs 7.6 crore against a tender which PunCom had earlier successfully competed in and won against stiff competition from other companies like Marconi, Fibcom, SCL, etc.

Entering into SDH market was tactically a very promising move as these products complemented the present product range of the company and the order worth Rs 7. 6 crore would provide impetus to these efforts of the company, he added.

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‘Magical Mauritius Vacation’ launched
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
North India contributes to almost 50 per cent of the total tourist traffic from India to Mauritius. Thus, a special campaign, ‘Magical Mauritius Vacation’, is being launched in the region.

This was announced by Mr Vijaye Haulder, Deputy Director, Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority, during a visit to the city here today. Accompanied by a delegation of businessmen, hoteliers and tour and travel operators from Mauritius, he was here to meet tour operators and launch a promotional campaign consisting of road shows in major towns of Punjab, to promote Mauritius as a perfect tourist destination.

Talking to TNS, he said about 30,000 tourists from India visited Mauritius last year, which was an increase of 20 per cent from the previous year. “This year, from January to July, we have already seen an increase of 30 per cent in the tourist inflow from India. We are here to influence the choice of leisure tourists for Mauritius,” he said.

Mr Haulder said the purpose of his visit was also to attract businessmen, especially from the textile industry, jewellers and realtors to invest in Mauritius. “We are offering incentives like tax holiday for 15 years and will also be renewing the double taxation treaty with India, so as to extract maximum investment from here,” he added.

He also specified that Mauritius was a perfect destination to set up BPO operations, especially for France and French-speaking nations.

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New Corolla variant launched
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
Toyota Kirloskar Motor today launched its new Executive variant of Corolla in the city.

The new model, priced at Rs 8.85 lakh (ex-showroom Chandigarh), will be minus the airbags, alloys, music system and keyless entry — features present in the present version of Corolla.

“This is primary aimed at the business executives who did not want to exceed the Rs 9 lakh bracket while purchasing the car. So we introduced value engineering in the car, and came up with the new version,” said Mr Vikas Jain, DGM, Sales, Toyota Kirloskar Motor.

He also said that at present Toyota was selling 50,000 Corollas and Toyota Innovas, and was planning to increase its share to 2 lakh cars a year by 2010. He also said that the company was planning to launch a mid-size car in the Indian market in the near future.

Diet Whisky launched

Keeping in mind the consumers concern for health and fitness, the United Breweries Group today launched the world’s first diet whisky, Mc Dowell’s No 1- DietMate here. “With increasing stress levels, health complications ad work taking its toll, a number of youngsters are looking for healthier alternatives that fit into their lifestyle,” said Divisional Vice-President Dalip Garg.

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