C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Dry run causes traffic snarl-up
Motorists advised to avoid PM’s cavalcade route
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh/Mohali, September 26
If you wish to avoid traffic jams, keep off certain roads that may witness heavy VVIP movement over the next two days.
The most busy roads are likely to be those leading from the PGI to Panchkula (Madhya Marg); from Tribune Chowk to Transport Chowk (Purav Marg), Sector 26, and the one connecting Punjab Raj Bhavan, Sector 5, with the PCA Stadium, Mohali.

Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh is also expected to visit the house of late Professor Sudan in Sector 4, Panchkula, to offer condolences to the family.

The three roads will be closed to traffic at different intervals in light of the two-day visit of the Prime Minister, beginning tomorrow.

As per the itinerary of the dignitary, the cavalcade will follow the route from the airport to Raj Bhavan, passing through Tribune Chowk and Transport Chowk.

“Traffic moving on the three roads will be stopped for a few minutes, while the PM’s cavalcade passes by. The roads will not be closed for longer intervals,” said a police official overseeing the security arrangements.

Ahead of the PM’s visit, traffic policemen were on their toes all day today. In the evening, they brought the city traffic to a complete halt for well over 10 minutes as part of a security dry run to ensure a smooth sailing tomorrow.

Over 1,000 policemen, including sharp shooters, have been deployed all along the route for the PM’s visit.

Vehicles were stranded all along Sarovar Path (the road leading to Sukhna Lake), which was the scene of frantic activity. The flow of traffic was further disrupted due to lack of coordination between the “warning” vehicles and those that will form a part of the VVIP fleet.

It was not until alarm bells were sounded and coordination restored that vehicles were allowed to take their desired routes.

Residents were irked and naturally so. Some even tried to hoodwink the police, standing guard on both sides of the road to prevent the enterprising lot from slipping away quietly.

Similar situation prevailed at other locations where several road users were caught in traffic jams for around 15 minutes.

Mr Naresh Kumar, who was going to Sector 8, had to wait for over 15 minutes when the traffic moving on the road leading to the Madhya Marg was stopped around 4.30 pm.

In Mohali, the police will block entry to all heavy vehicles from 4 pm to 9 pm from all roads entering the township.

The roads running through Phases VIII, IX, X and XI will be barricaded for traffic flow at least an hour before and after the movement of the cavalcade in and out of Mohali.

According to SP (Traffic) Raj Bachan Singh Sandhu: “Traffic will be diverted from the old octroi point at Sector 49-50-Phase IX-X intersection, the Kumbra light point on the road separating Phase VIII and Sector 69 and Amb Sahib Gurdwara and Bawa White House.

“The NIPER road starting from the Kumbra light point till Bawa While House will be closed for traffic during the evening,” he said adding that the traffic would be stopped for at least 15 minutes at 5 pm.

Commuters going towards Sectors 66, 67, 68 and 69 have been advised to take “B” roads of Sector 69.

The traffic approaching from Chandigarh and heading towards Phases IX and X has been advised to take the outer road parallel to the railway track.

The traffic from Chandigarh heading towards Phases VIII and IX can use the route from the YPS roundabout to the traffic lights near Amb Sahib Gurdwara.

Following the directions given by the Special Protection Group (SPG), all houses within view from NIPER in a 500-m radius will have at least two police officers covering the rooftop and balconies. 



Rly line clips go missing, replaced
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, September 26
Top district and railway officials were in a tizzy here following reports that certain small parts were missing from the Chandigarh-Morinda railway line, which is to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh tomorrow. However, a trial run of the train was conducted safely today.

The parts, technically called pendrol clips, were reportedly found missing yesterday. These were replaced immediately and a complaint made to the police the same day, Divisional Railway Manager based at Ambala Rakesh Tandon told Chandigarh Tribune this evening.

He said he had, however, not received any report of missing parts on the railway line today.

There were rumours here this evening that some fish plates were missing from the railway line.

SP (City) Varinder Pal Singh said he had got a piece of information that some fish plates were reportedly missing from the railway line.

He then sent Phase XI police station SHO Jarnail Singh to contact railway officials in this regard.

He said he had given directions to the Railways to inquire into the matter and inform the police.

Railway Executive Engineer Brij Bhan said he had no information about any missing part on the railway line.

He said he was on the railway line the whole day and did not receive any such information.

A trial run of the train from Chandigarh to Morinda and back was carried out today and all went as per the plan.

Deputy Commissioner Tejveer Singh said tonight that there were rumours about missing fish plates.

He said he contacted senior railway and police officials but they refuted the reports.

He said the Chandigarh-Morinda line was not a conventional one in which fish plates were used.

He said it was a welded track and nothing that could cause impediment to the safety of the line was found.

30 official cars requisitioned

In light of the Prime Minister’s visit to the city, the Chandigarh Administration today requisitioned over 30 white-coloured air-conditioned Ambassadors cars from different offices of the administration. “The vehicles had been requisitioned as per the security parameters of the SPG,” said an official.



Traumatised, but resilient
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Rape cases

  • In February, a case was registered against a person for raping a 21-year-old college student after kidnapping her from Sector 36.
  • In May, a 12-year-old boy was arrested for sexually abusing a two-and-half-year-old girl in Nehru Colony.
  • In June, two employees of Sector 28 institute allegedly raped a middle-aged woman on the institute premises.
  • In June, a woman was raped and killed and her body was found in a jungle area near the Chandigarh railway station.
  • In July, police arrested a Bapu Dham Colony resident on the charge of kidnapping and raping a 14-year-old-girl.
  • In July, a 20-year-old Darua resident was arrested on the charge of repeatedly raping a minor girl in her locality.
  • In September, a 71-year-old woman was raped and murdered by her neighbour in Sector 15.

Chandigarh, September 26
Cheeks stained with tears and an empty gaze said it all. No night could have been more harrowing than this. Her five-year-old daughter was enjoying with her friends just an hour back at the ‘jagrata’ organised in the neighbourhood and now she lay traumatised in her arms.

Her child’s brutalised body was being checked by doctors, trying to ascertain the extent of the crime.

The innocent face bore marks of the attempted rape the five-year-old was subjected to last night within walking distance from their house.

Nails were dug into the face, probably while the criminal was forcing himself on the child.

Not knowing why some ‘bhaiya’ picked her up and ‘hurt’ her, she showed remarkable resilience, bearing the pain as silently as her mother, who understood the gravity of the crime, but went through police paperwork bravely.

Begging mediapersons not to highlight their names, the mother whispered that a daughter’s honour was everything. The visit of SSP Gaurav Yadav to the their house this morning could have been only of little help.

He said they assured the family of all possible help, but understood that the family was traumatised beyond repair.

He added that the medical report showed that the child was not raped, but an attempt was made to rape her.

He said they were taking serious cognisance of the crime and a special investigation team was constituted under DSP South K.I.P. Singh to nab the criminal.

Stating that in light of the incident, security arrangements were beefed up at all Ramlila venues and large neighbourhood ‘jagratas’, the SSP pointed out that each neighbourhood function could not be given police cover.

He appealed to the public to increase vigilance by the community during such functions.

More neighbourhood bonding was required, at least for the protection of children, he added.

Police sources added that the criminal was from the neighbourhood, which bordered a slum colony, from where some persons were rounded up for questioning.



Speaking Out
City residents fear for safety of kids
Smriti Sharma

Chandigarh, September 26
The rape of a five-year-old girl on Monday night has left city residents shell-shocked. The girl was apparently picked up by a stranger while she was playing with her friends in the neighbourhood and molested barely a few yards from her house. This has set the city residents to rethink about the security of their children, specially little girls.

Mrs Poonam Tyagi, who works as adviser with a private firm and a mother of a 10-year-old girl, said the incident had left her scared. “Safety of children is our primary concern and for this we should be ever ready to give up our jobs, if need be”.

Ms Roopinder Kaur Thind, a lawyer in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, opined: “Law is there to enforce discipline but culprits take refuge in the belief that there are several escape routes in the judicial system. Enforcement agencies need to ensure that the culprits get the punishment they deserve.”

Mrs Ranjit Kaur Bedi, Principal, Gian Jyoti Public School, Mohali, said: “Since such cases are on the rise, I ensure that none of our school and college functions stretch till late in the evening so that my students can go back home well in time.”

Ms Sumita Bakshi, a Public Administration lecturer in DAV College, said: “Parents should not leave kids with male servants but at daycare centres instead.”

Mrs Yasha Mathur, a media professional, said the problem was not for working mothers alone but housewives too. “A lot of construction work is going on in and around the city, leading to a large number of people migrating from other states for work. This is also responsible for the increasing crime.”

Mrs Anu Chatrath, a former Mayor, said: “Joint family system is diminishing and children are left on their own, making them vulnerable. Children should not be left alone at home.” 



CBI searches at XEN office
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
CBI today carried out searches in the offices of the Electrical wing of the Engineering Department located at the second floor of the UT Mini Secretariat here today.

Sources said there were allegations that the XEN, Electrical, Mr Mohinder Singh, and the SDO, Mr S.C. Sharma, had passed some tenders without following the requisite procedure.



Watch out


Deepika, a trainee at the Sector 18 SAI Coaching Centre, will be donning national colours when India opens its campaign against the Netherlands in the Women’s World Cup Hockey Tournament starting in Madrid in Spain on Wednesday.

Deepika, 19, has already represented India in 39 internationals. As a forward, all eyes would be on her expecting her to score against some of the best women hockey teams in the Madrid tournament.

The Sector 18 SAI centre has been contributing regularly to the national team for the past several years. Deepika joined the SAI Centre in 2000 and burst into prominence during the junior Asia Cup tournament held at Hyderabad in 2004 where her team finished third. 



Original cycle track on paper only
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Services

Chandigarh, September 26
The original cycle track may still be existing on Chandigarh’s road map consulted by so many tourists struggling hard to appreciate the city’s once beauteous and pristine environs! But it has simply disappeared from the face of the earth!

Even as the Chandigarh Administration is carpeting new tracks throughout the length and the breadth of the city in “violation” of the rules, a part of the original track — now running from nowhere to nowhere — has ruthlessly been gobbled up by a massive paid parking lot bang opposite the Sukhna Lake!

A visit to the area is enough to reveal that the rest of the track, covered under weed and Congress grass, is now almost impossible to find. A traffic sign, still standing tall at one end of the trail, is the only indication of the tracks once not-so-glorious existence.

The sources in the UT Administration assert that the concrete track, meandering its way through the hustle and bustle of city life, originally ran from the cricket stadium in Sector 16 all the way to the Sukhna Lake in Sector 5.

A brainchild of the then Adviser to the UT Administrator, Mr Baleshwar Rai, the work of laying the pathway started on a war-footing in the 90s even though there was no provision for the same in the city’s master plan. Passing through the high-security zone, it also gave rise to safety concerns.

“Still, the project was completed not just to divert the slow-moving traffic from the busy freeway but to encourage the habit of cycling amidst the city residents for health reasons, also to keep the environs clean and pollution free,” says a senior officer in the UT Administration.

He adds: “But even before it could be put to use, a portion of the track was dismantled by the authorities concerned for extending the parking area along the lake to accommodate the ever-increasing rush of vehicles”.

This was not the end of it. Another segment of the track gave way during the rainy season, rendering it worthless. The track was never repaired properly again. “In no time the very purpose of enabling enthusiastic city residents to cycle their way to health and pleasure on route to Sukhna Lake without facing traffic was defeated,” the officer asserts.

Interestingly, the Administration, instead of repairing and re-carpeting the original pathway, has now embarked upon the task of setting up new tracks along with rear boundary walls of houses throughout the city.

A retired town planner, now settled in Mohali, says these tracks are in “violation of the rules” which “prescribe a minimum distance of four-feet between the wall and road”.

Claiming non-violation of rules, UT Chief Engineer V.K. Bhardwaj says: The rules prescribe the maintenance of minimum distance between the construction of structures, not between the wall and the road. “The tracks are being laid on government land and, thus, are justified,” he concludes.



Dera Bassi-Ramgarh bridge opened to traffic 
Tribune News Service

Dera Bassi, September 26
The strategic Dera Bassi-Ramgarh bridge on the Medhkali river was today opened to traffic for the convenience of commuters.
The Vice-Chairman of the Punjab State Industrial Development Corporation, Mr Deepinder Singh Dhillon, inaugurated the bridge in the absence of Mr Partap Singh Bajwa, PWD Minister, who was earlier slated to inaugurate it.

The opening of the bridge assumes importance in the wake of the closure of the Ghaggar bridge on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway near here last month. The closure has forced the heavy vehicular traffic and the traffic bound for Panchkula from Ambala to use the Ramgarh-Dera Bassi route.

Besides, the heavy vehicular traffic, thousands of people from the nearby villages, including Ramgarh, Kakrali, Mor Thikri and Daffarpur will benefit from the bridge built at a cost of about Rs 4.13 crore. The foundation stone of the bridge was laid by Ms Preneet Kaur in May 2005.

Those present at the function included, Mr R.R. Bhardwaj, Deputy Chairman of the Punjab State Planning Commission, Mr Amritpal Singh , president of the Block Congress Committee, Ms Geetanjali Gujjar, chief of the Dera Bassi Market Committee and Ms Narinder Sangha, SDM.



Idols of Ram, Sita for Sri Lankan temple
Amrita Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
Ramayan is finding new devotees in Sri Lanka and they are all out to ensure the world knows about it. Here on a 'personal' visit, Mr V Radhakrishnan, minister of Central Province in Sri Lanka was in town today on his way to Banga where he will be handed over idols of Ram, Sita, Laxman and Hanuman to be installed at 'Seetha Temple' in Sri Lanka.

The idols are being handed over at the initiative of Mr Ashok Kainth an NRI based in Kuwait. Talking to TNS a close friend of Mr Kainth, Sanjeev Talwar said Mr Ashok is a devotee of Lord Ram and on his visits to Sri Lanka he tried to find out something about Lord Ram and that of Ashok Vatika as stated in Ramyan.

It was during one such visit that he was informed that there was a place called 'Seetha Eliya' which was similar to the description of 'Ashok Vatika'.

Mr Ashok Kainth subsequently helped raise donations for the renovation of the temple. He finally decided to donate the idols.

Talking to TNS Mr Radhakrishnan, who is also the trustee of the temple, said the idols would be installed after Divali. "We will also be meeting Mr Rajnath Singh, national president of the BJP later this week in Delhi and request him to be part of the installation ceremony."

Each idol is made of granite and will be about 2 feet tall, according to the organisers the idols have cost about Rs 1 lakh to make. Mr Radhakrishnan said idols made of marble were already there in the old temple, "we do not perform 'pooja' on marble idols, we, therefore, will be changing the idols."

"The renovation work on the temple in Sri Lanka was started in 1998 and was completed in 2000. The work was undertaken by south Indian architects according to the north Indian scriptures," stated Mr Radhakrishnan. At least 5000 devotees visit the temple every week. "We hope to make it a tourist spot, especially for Indians and we have already putforth such a proposal to the Tourism Minister." 



Poor woman needs renal transplant, awaits help
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
Twenty-seven-year-old Sudesh Kumari can barely walk or do ordinary chores like sitting and take her medicine, without panting for breath. Holding her seven-year-old daughter, something she longs for desperately, is just out of question. Today, as she lies on the hospital bed, awaiting financial help for her surgery, her only desire is to be able to play with her daughter like any other doting mother.

Hope is all she has, to think of and to live on — that a helping hand will help her recover. A resident of Karnal, she had hoped to help her husband, Rakesh, set up his own tailoring unit and improve their economic status. But fate had other things in store for them. A year ago, she suffered from a renal failure, and now she desperately needs a renal transplant.

Forever short on breath, Sudesh relates her story with difficulty. Now at the PGI waiting for money to start the treatment, she says: “I would frequently run temperature, would get medication from the village doctor and get on with my work. In the last one year, things worsened and the fever would not go. A villager asked us to pack our bags and go to the PGI,” she says.

Says Rakesh Kumar: “For the past four months, I have been unable to do any work, because of the failing health of my wife. There is no one else who will tend to her and I had to leave my job.”

“The doctor says the surgery will cost over Rs 2 lakh. We don’t have that much money. In fact, we have nothing. Our meagre savings got exhausted when we shifted to Chandigarh.” The family sleeps in the serai and eats from the langar outside the Emergency.

While Rs 2 lakh is required just for the operation, doctors attending on her say that the cost of drugs required before and after surgery, daily hospital charges and other investigations will total up to a lot more.

“If God has given me this illness, I know there are people who will help here. God won’t just let me die like this,” she says.

Contributions for Sudesh Kumari can be made through cheques in the name of the Director, PGIMER. Cash can also be deposited with the Public Relations Officer, PGIMER, Chandigarh or the PRO can be contacted at 0172-2756003.



Set up vet research council, says Kang
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 26
To provide impetus to socio-economic upliftment though development in livestock , poultry and fisheries, there was a need to create an Indian council of veterinary research.

This was stated by Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, Minister for Animal Husbandry, Punjab, in a letter written to Mr Sharad Pawar, Union Agriculture Minister. Mr Kang said that the Planning Commission had agreed to the creation of an Indian council of veterinary, animal, and fishery research in the Ninth plan but unfortunately it did not attract the desired attention and remained unimplemented.

He said the issue had already been discussed at a meeting with Mr Pawar last year and he had appreciated the idea of establishing a veterinary research council.

More than 15 central and state veterinary and animal sciences universities and research centres had been established and several more state universities were in the pipeline . As such there was an urgent need to set up a central body to govern teaching , research and extension in veterinary, animal and fishery sciences, added Mr Kang.

The state minister pointed out that the growth of conventional agriculture had gone down to an all time low of about 1.5 per cent whereas the livestock and fishery sector was expected to grow at more than 7 per cent. The value output contribution from this sector, to the GDP of the country was about 40.6 per cent of total contribution from agriculture.

However, the Central budget on livestock sector was meagre (less than 0.8 per cent) and the emphasis in terms of funds and planning still remained tilted towards conventional agriculture. A radical change in the administrative set up was needed to bring about a revolution in the livestock and fishery sector which was important for the economic development of the country.



City-Morinda train inaugural run today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
Preparations were in full swing today at the Chandigarh railway station for tomorrow’s inaugural run of the Chandigarh-Morinda train.
The special train arrived this afternoon at the railway station and was soon decked up with flowers. The train is a diesel multiple unit and consists of eight coaches.

Senior officials of the Northern Railways along with Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, Minister for Animal Husbandary, Dairy Development, Tourism and Fisheries Punjab, Mr Sukhdev Singh Libra, Member of Parliament are expected to be present at the station to witness the inauguration.

TV screens have also been installed at the railway station, platform no 2, for the dignitaries to witness the ‘remote control’inauguration, which will be done by the Prime Minister at Ludhiana.

The train will be open for travel to general passengers tomorrow. 



Demand to reopen post office
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
Ms Shyama Negi, Senior Deputy Mayor, municipal corporation, has asked the postal authorities to reopen the post office in Sector 40. She stated that there was resentment among residents of the sector against the closure of the post office about a year ago.

She stated that despite several representations made to the postal authorities including the one given to parliamentary standing committee headed by Ms Sushma Swaraj members of which visited the city a few months ago, nothing had been done.

In the absence of the post office that was catering to the needs of Sectors 37, 38, 39, besides Sector 40, residents of these sectors are suffering.

“There were more than 10,000 accounts holders when the post office was closed down abruptly. Surprisingly, all accounts have been first transferred to Sector 17 main post office and now in Sector 36 where the residents, particularly the senior citizens feel difficulty in operating these accounts,” she stated.



Fire in shop; loss in lakhs
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 26
Goods worth Rs 3 lakh was destroyed in a fire that broke out in a shop in Mauli Baidwan village last night.
By the time the owner reached the shop, the fire had caused a lot of damage.

Mr Paramjit Singh, who owned the shop, said he could not get through to the police control room and the fire brigade despite efforts. The flames were brought under control by residents of village.

He said he had closed his shop around 10 p.m. Around 1 a.m., he was told by neighbours that fire had broken out at his shop. By the time he reached the site, the damage had already been done. The fire had also damaged the ceiling of the shop and cracks had appeared in walls.

He said kiryana items worth about Rs 1.5 lakh, a TV set, a refrigerator and other items got destroyed. He was not aware how the fire had broken out.



Parking site being used as dumping ground
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 26
Residents of Sector 70 have demanded that a garbage collection point be fixed and cleanliness be maintained by removing various eyesores from the area.
A number of residents of a pocket in Sector 70, including some shopkeepers, have complained that the parking area near the booths is being used as a dumping ground and garbage is daily being thrown here. The area is also used by residents of Mataur village for dumping cowdung.

Mr Gurkirpal Singh Mann said buffaloes were let loose by Mataur residents in the area for grazing. This had often led to accident on roads. He said recently a child had to be hospitalised because be was injured by a buffalo running on a road. There is a lot of wild growth near the market and the area is used by persons to ease themselves.

The residents appealed to the authorities concerned to get the area cleaned on priority so that it remained pollution-free.



MC councillors’ strength fixed at 26
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
The Chandigarh Administration has decided to fix the number of elected Councillors of the municipal corporation at twenty six. A notification to this regard was issued today.

The number of seats for Councillors reserved for women belonging to the Scheduled Castes to be filled by direct election has been fixed at two. While the number of seats for Councillors reserved for members of the Scheduled Castes to be filled by direct election has been fixed at five.

Sources in the Chandigarh Administration said the decision to earmark reserved wards under different categories was yet to be taken.



Smart card manufacturers resent Punjab Govt move
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
The smart card industry is up in arms against the criteria of the Punjab Government for inviting expressions of interest for the issuance of smart cards for driving licences and registration certificates.

A press note issued by the Smart Card Forum of India today alleged that the criteria had rendered a majority of smart card manufacturers ineligible.

The Transport Department had invited expressions of interest for the selection of vendors for the execution of a turnkey project for issuing smart-card-based driving licences and registration certificates.

The Punjab Government had not followed the criteria adopted by several states, including Delhi, Kerala and Gujarat, the press note added.



World Tourism Day celebrated at Plaza
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
The Sector 17 Plaza here came alive with music this evening as the Centre for Carnival Arts and the Chandigarh Tourism joined hands to celebrate World Tourism Day.

The event was sponsored by The Tribune.

The occasion was all about music and dance as groups from different regions presented choreographed pieces on folk traditions of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Kerala. Well-conceptualised and well-rehearsed programmes kept visitors glued to the site of action.

They enjoyed the varied hues of India as dancers brought flavours of the land to life. Brilliant performing artistes cast a spell on the audience.

A team of visual artists, led by Prof Ravindra Sharma of the Government College of Art, Sector 10, painted the ambience bright and chose themes to go with the mood.

They indulged in card making and portrait sketching.



ITFT celebrates World Tourism Day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
Punjab needs to develop a comprehensive and holistic tourism plan with a long-term perspective in mind.
This was stated by Punjab Tourism Minister Jagmohan Singh Kang at a function organised by the ITFT on the occasion of World Tourism Day here today.

Mr Kang said Rs 30 crore was being spent on the development of birth places of freedom fighters, Patiala, Amritsar, Wagah and pilgrimage circuits.

The minister added that equal emphasis needed to be placed on the promotion of fairs and festivals that reflected Punjab’s true spirit and enthusiasm.

He appreciated efforts of the ITFT in promoting tourism in the region and hoped that it would continue to offer innovative ideas and pragmatic strategies to the government.

A declamation contest was organised as part of the celebrations, in which Neha Oberoi won the first prize.



Gang of robbers busted
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 26
The CIA staff I today claimed to have solved a number of chain-snatching and robbery cases with the arrest of a three-member gang comprising Mohammad Suleman, Mohammad Sabir Ali and Mohammad Gulzar, all hailing from Uttar Pradesh. The three were arrested from Ambala cantonment following a tip-off.

The DSP Kalka, Mr Mahabir Singh, addressing a press conference at the CIA staff office, Sector 26, said the gang was responsible for a number of crimes not only in Kalka but also for chain-snatching incidents in Shimla and robberies in Muzaffarnagar.

“The three suspects have admitted to their crime. We received a phone call, hinting their location. Immediately, a police team left for Ambala and caught the three from the Kali Paltan pool in the cantonment. The police recovered the ornaments reportedly looted from a Kalka resident on the night of September 6,” he explained.

Booked under Sections 458 and 380 of the IPC Suleman, Sabir and Gulzar will be produced in court tomorrow. In Bitwa Seuri (Kalka) they had entered a room forcibly and taken away all ornaments of a woman at gunpoint.

The police recovered earrings from Sabir and Suleman. A countrymade pistol and a knife used in the crime and a sickle used by Gulzar were also seized from their possession.

Stating that Suleman and Sabir were involved in six different incidents of crime in Muzaffarnagar three years ago, the police said all three had a criminal past. While Suleman is on the “most wanted” list of the Uttar Pradesh police, Sabir is a proclaimed offender, wanted for a number of cases. The three were employed as labour in a brick-kiln, working only to hide their identity. After committing thefts in Uttar Pradesh, they would cross into Haryana and go underground.



“Kidnapped” man returns with one arm amputated, other burnt
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 26
Thirty-one year old Gurnam Singh, a resident of Vasudevpura in Pinjore, has nothing to look forward to. He's a man shattered as he lies on the hospital bed in Sector 32. His tears have not stopped flowing since he regained consciousness.

With both his arms amputated, he doesn't know how he will fend for himself and earn for his family. "He left the house on September 19 with truck driver Baldev Singh as a cleaner who had to deliver a cargo to Bulandshahr. However, when they reached Yamunanagar, they were issued a challan receipt for overload. While Baldev Singh returned home to pick up the money, Gurnam Singh stayed behind," his maternal uncle, Charan Singh, narrates.

Before Baldev could return with the money, Gurnam's family members received calls from him, saying he had been kidnapped. "He also said that the kidnappers were asking for a ransom of Rs 2 crore for his release, adding that he was in a train compartment but did not know his whereabouts," his younger brother Sham Singh said.

Though the family could not arrange for the money, they approached the police who, in turn, directed them to the railway police.

"We also traced the telephone number of the call made from the Ambala railway station. Immediately, we left for Ambala and got in touch with the railway police. They sent us to the district police who informed us that a man by the same name had been admitted to hospital. We rushed to the hospital and found Gurnam. However, while one of his arms was amputated, his other arm was burnt. The doctors had to amputate it to save him," the brother said.



Ornaments worth Rs 5 lakh stolen
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, September 26
A major theft was reported from Govind Nagar in Baltana here yesterday.
According to Ms G. Chellapappa, she along with her daughter and son-in-law went to Ambala to attend a religious discourse in the morning.

When the family returned in the evening, it found the house broken into and ransacked by burglars.

She claimed that ornaments worth over Rs 5 lakh and a mobile phone were stolen.

A case was registered by the police.



HFCL to make CDMA phones
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
Himachal Futuristic Communications Limited (HFCL) is set to manufacture CDMA mobile handsets and fixed wireless phones (FWPs) in India. The HFCL has acquired the licence from Qualcom Inc., a US-based developer of the CDMA technology, to develop, manufacture and sell CDMA mobile handsets and FWPs in India.

“These indigenously-produced handsets will be available in the country by January, 2007, which is expected to bring down the prices of CDMA phones, according to Mr Surendra Lunia, CEO, HFCL.



SBI’s “loan utsav”
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
The State Bank of India (SBI) is offering various concessions to customers during its ongoing “loan utsav”.
According to a press note issued here today, a concession of 0.50% has been given in interest rates and processing fees on home and auto loans. A concession of 5% in margin money is also being offered to attract customers.

The bank is offering to its customers a unique product SBI Life —”Group Swadhan”— which provides a life cover up to Rs 5 lakh for 10 years and the entire premium is refunded at the end of the term, the press note added.



PNB opens accounts of 300 children
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
In an endeavour to inculcate banking habit in students Punjab National Bank, Sector 8, Panchkula, has launched a special campaign and opened “PNB Vidyarthi Zero Balance Zero Charges Saving Fund Account” of 300 students at DAV Senior Secondary School, Sector 8 Panchkula.

ATM cards have been issued and internet banking facility provided to the students to enable them to operate their accounts.

Before opening the accounts of the schoolchildren, Mr V.K. Mahajan, Chief Manager of the bank, gave details of the benefits of the PNB Vidyarthi Saving Fund account to the students. Mr Mahajan informed the students that for PNB Vidyarthi account holders, no fee would be charged for issuing of demand draft for all type of fee/examination fee

Incidental charges and ledger folio charges would also be nil. Retail Internet Banking services, ATM card/debit card and cheque book facility were also free for students, he said. 



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |