C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

SAD-BJP rally chokes city roads
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
The SAD-BJP rally at Matka Chowk this afternoon resulted in traffic bottlenecks, jams and police barricades on major roads in the city which left commuters harassed.

The commuters were left stranded for hours at several places, including Madhya Marg and roads around Sectors 15, 24, 23, 22 and 21.

Students returning home via these routes were delayed by over an hour. Over 1,000 police personnel, including additional force from the Punjab Police, had been deployed on duty. In an unsuccessful attempt to control the situation, the police cordoned off several roads along Sectors 16, 17 and 23.

In fact, the police itself started diverting vehicles used by the demonstrators towards the wrong-side. The vehicles coming from Madhya Marg were made to enter Sector 17 from the Hotel Taj side.

As the day progressed, the demonstrators started leaving behind vehicles in a haphazard manner on all roads leading to the venue, resulting in traffic bottlenecks. By afternoon, there was hardly any place left for the vehicles to move about within a distance of about 2 km.

As a result of the jams, the commuters on the road separating Sectors 15 and 24 were forced to enter Sectors 23, 22 and 21, resulting in a heavy rush on these roads.

The situation worsened in the evening. When the rally concluded, vehicles carrying party supporters clogged Madhya Marg and roads in Sectors 17, 34 and 32, besides those leading to Zirakpur, Mohali and Mullanpur.

Traffic moved at a snail’s pace. People remained stranded for hours. Motorists were seen taking alternative routes near Sectors 20, 21, 33 and 34 and roundabouts of Sectors 34, 35, 21 and 22, but in vain as the inner roads were also blocked.

At the Sector 17 ISBT, passengers had a tough time as the buses could not move out, failing to make way for other buses waiting outside the bus stand.

It took over three hours for the traffic to get normal. Traffic police personnel were helpless in controlling and managing the flow of traffic.

Senior police officers maintained that things were under control. Sources said this was not the first time that the motorists had to struggle in such a manner.



Fun time after ‘duty hours’
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
Punjabis’ love for liquor is legendary. This was demonstrated yet again in the city today after the conclusion of the SAD-BJP rally in protest against farmers’ suicide in the state with hundreds of farmers thronging liquor shops in Sector 17 and 22 to have their quota of the “fun drink”.

In fact the “cooperative trait” of the Punjabi peasantry was evident with the groups of farmers pooling money and preferring to buy liquor cases instead of bottles and then distributing the bottles among themselves." Buying a liquor case makes economic sense as the cheap whisky was available at Rs 900 and the regular whisky at Rs 1,400,” informed Mr Surjit Singh, a farmer from Patiala district.

While a few addicted among the motley crowd comprising farmers, farm labourers and trade union activists preferred to start early even before the rally with a beer or two, the majority waited for the rally to end. As the rally came to an end, the serious issue of farmers’ suicides took a back seat with the rallyists having fun and frolic.

The open areas and corridors of Sectors 17 and 22, besides certain other sectors on the Chandigarh-Punjab border, turned into open air “ahatas”. Roadside vendors, including juice sellers, fruit sellers and tea vendors, did a brisk business as the activists preferred to drink in the open and procured eatables from them.

The liquor cases disappeared from the shelves as quickly as they were requisitioned with the liquor shops in Sector 17 and 22 alone registering a 200-300% increase in sale making the liquor shop owners laugh their way to the bank.

The day’s fatigue vanished into thin air with the downing of a few drinks.“Kidda ho” (how are you?), when this correspondent posed this question to a group of inebriated activists from Banga, straight came the reply: “Chardhi kala” (in high spirits). Indeed they were in high spirits!

And for a change, the Chandigarh police personnel preferred to remain mute spectators and only regulating traffic on the roads around the rally venue — Matka Chowk. With the CII Fair in progress in the Parade Ground, the entire stretch opposite the Parade Ground remained chock-a-block in the afternoon.

However, though a few hardcore liquor addicts did make a fool of themselves, no untoward incident was reported. In the meantime, a tipsy Joginder Singh from Bhadson in Patiala district made a pertinent point. In the coming elections to the Punjab Assembly, the power will not flow from the barrel of gun but from the “daru di bottle”, a staggering Joginder shouted. Perhaps that sums up the shape of things to come in the run-up to the Punjab elections in February 2007.



Suspected dengue death at PGI 
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
In less than a week after the death of 6-year-old Harsh from Ambala due to dengue in the PGI, another Patiala-based woman lost her life for want of adequate medicare at the premiere health institute late this evening.

The PGI authorities reportedly asked her to go to the Civil Hospital, Mohali, for treatment. Durgesh Nandini (28) was shifted to the Civil Hospital but was again referred to the PGI where she died this evening.

According to her family members, Nandini was admitted to the PGI with high fever on Wednesday. Doctors treated her for dengue but they later asked her to shift to the Civil Hospital, claiming a heavy load of patients at the PGI.

The doctors attending to Nandini at the PGI claimed that her platelet count had decreased to a great extent. They, however, ruled out the possibility of dengue.

Dr Anil Kumar Gupta, Medical Superintendent of the PGI, refused to comment on the issue. He advised this correspondent to contact the Public Relation Officer for queries.

It may be recalled that Harsh was admitted to the PGI on October 4 and he died on October 7. The PGI authorities have not been able to confirm the cause of his death till date.

The PGI authorities are also not disclosing the number of confirmed dengue cases reported at the institute since the death of Harsh.

Giving information regarding the present status of dengue cases, a note issued by the PGI stated: “In the past 48 hours, 34 new cases of suspected dengue fever have been reported in the PGI. At the moment, there are 46 patients who have been admitted to the PGI. One patient had been critical for the past two weeks but is now improving. Four patients who are clinically stable have been shifted to the Civil Hospital, Mohali, in consultation with the Punjab Health System Corporation in the past 48 hours. Till date, 276 patients of suspected dengue fever have been treated at the PGI.”

Ropar: Most people having high temperature and suspected dengue are not happy with the facilities in Government Hospitals and at the same time can’t afford treatment at private hospitals.



Changeover of Sec 21 likely
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 16
The city’s Sector 21 is in for a likely changeover which will cost a whopping Rs 37 crore loss to the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA). It could also invite legal and financial implications. Also, none of the wings of the authority have given any positive feedback to this proposed planning change.

Being dubbed as “corrective planning of old sectors”, the plan entails widening of roads, reduction of saleable area in the sector, reorganising the network of electric wires and identification of unplanned pockets in the sector.

Sources in HUDA said while the top authorities are keen on executing the revised plan for the sector in which the house of a senior bureaucrat is under construction, the reports received from individual departments — engineers of the horticulture and electrical wings, the financial wing, and estate office — are not in favour of the change, primarily because the changes entail a loss of nearly Rs 37 crores in the overall scheme of things.

“A report from each of the wings was sought separately and none of them have given any positive feedback to the proposal. In fact, each of the departments has clearly stated the financial loss resulting from implementation of such a plan. However, the top brass seems keen on going ahead, evident from the fact that they have gone a step ahead and invited proposals to make good the loss resulting from the revised planning,” an officer said on the condition on anonymity.

Strangely, none of the officers of the departments involved in the exercise are ready to speak about the revised planning. Pleading complete ignorance despite having sent their reports about the project, they maintained that they had no indication of such a proposal being considered.

However, sources said the maximum loss would be incurred in widening roads from 18m to 30 m at two locations, both of which are major circulation roads. “Increasing the road-width would mean reduction of commercial area in the sector. This would have very heavy financial implications and could also invite legal problems for the Authority for modifying the sector plan especially since the location of plots vi-s-vis road would be altered after their widening. All this is being looked into,” he stated.

Sources added that the Chief Town Planner had also been directed to frame schemes to make good the loss.



In Town

vincent Nicod Vincent Nicod, Regional Delegate, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Mr. Vincent Nicod, Regional Delegate of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) will be in Chandigarh today to attend a national media workshop on international humanitarian law being organized jointly by ICRC and the Press Institute of India. Mr Nicod, a Swiss, joined ICRC in 1981 as a field delegate in Thailand. He is now ICRC’s senior resource person for the various dissemination sessions. These IHL sessions are imparted to the Armed Forces, Navy, and Police and to Universities and students all over India. 



Watch out

Dharamvir A product of Chandigarh Hockey Academy Dharamvir will take on Punjab and Sind Bank team in the practice match to be held at Jalandhar on Tuesday.

An integral part of the team Dharamvir plays as right out of the forward line. He also represented the country in 4-Nation Under 18 Tournament held at Singapore last month, where the team finished as runners up.

The team has big expectations on the ace forward in the forthcoming Nehru Hockey Tournament to be started from November 1 to 13 at Delhi. 



Passing Through

Anurag Seth
Anurag Seth, Group Engineering Director, Cadence Design Systems (India) Ltd. 

What brings you to Chandigarh?

I am representing Cadence and am here with my partner— Child Rights and You (CRY) —to flag off the CRY Cadence Corporate Cricket Challenge Sports Complex, Sector 3, Panchkula. The annual tournament is being played for the fourth successive year in the city.

What are the objectives of the CRY Cadence Corporate Cricket Challenge (5Cs)?

The main aim of 5Cs is to raise awareness and unite people for India’s underprivileged children. By getting people together and raising resources, 5Cs is able strengthen communities and their children, to stand up for their rights.

Tell us something about CRY ?

‘Child Rights and You’ believes that all children are equal and must they be ensured a childhood-without discrimination. By working with NGOs, children, and communities, CRY eliminates discrimination and inequality. It makes sure that children have a happy and secure childhood. In 27 years, CRY has changed the lives of 1.5 million children in over 2,500 villages and slums across 18 states in India.

How has 5Cs grown over the years?

In the past six years, the CRY Cadence Corporate Cricket Challenge has raised over Rs 1 crore, making impact on the lives of over 11,000 children and their families across India . Starting with only 12 teams in Delhi in the first year, this year, the 5Cs will unite with 100 corporates and raise Rs 29 lakh from 3 cities— Delhi, Chandigarh and Bangalore. This year 5Cs has also had its first global leg in London where 16 teams have played.

— G. S. Paul 



Chandigarh Calling

Sector 22 market leads the way: With the run-up to Divali, what with an overdose of Divali melas and exhibitions, there is bound to be a focus on options for gifts. As the two bodies of traders in Sector 17 battle it out and the market is yet to warm up to the festival, the bedecked Sector 22 market has stolen the march. The consumers who are happy following the shop-until-you-drop mantra the year round are on fast-forward around this time. While some are all for the mela in Sector 34, others adore the buzz of the CII fair at Parade Ground.

Poetic truth: Nothing deters eminent Pakistani feminist poet Kishwar Naheed from her chosen path of writing and fighting for women’s rights, not even threats to her life. She has weathered many storms but one of the most difficult ones was when, during the time of General Zia’s martial law she was told to back off in her writings otherwise her children would be abducted. “My friend had a travel agency and I had to smuggle my children out of the country.” Today both live outside Pakistan but they do come back at the time of Basant, “to fly kites in Lahore, where they spent their formative years and then to come back to Amma’s warmth in Islamabad.”

Knowledge lane: The Banur-Rajpura road is fast acquiring the name of education road, with half a dozen private educational institutes coming up at this stretch. With private money coming into the sector the road has the Swami Vivekanand Institutes of - Engineering and Technology, Pharmacy and Education as well as the 1000 bed Gian Sagar medical college and hospital, Gian Sagar Dental College and Hospital and Gian Jyoti College of Nursing. The student traffic on this stretch sure promises more development for the ‘Knowledge Lane’ already having three professional institutes.

Business sense: The quicksand of show biz have made even starters very smart when it comes to cashing their popularity for good business sense. Take for instance the dimpled beauty Kulraj Randhawa, one film-old, the pretty damsel is already endorsing designer labels. She got together with her friends Priyanka Choksi and Pooja Chhabria from Mumbai to introduce Adara and ensemble of western cuts and Indian embroideries.

Laurels home: Mr R.K. Rana, district governor, Lions Club International District (321-F), has brought laurels to the city by participating and presenting papers on membership development with service to humanity at the international convention held recently in Boston (USA). Participants from more than 200 countries participated in the convention. During his one-year tenure, he plans to cover nearly one lakh children under the child care project, conduct 10,000 cataract operations and collect 15,000 units of blood. As many as 140 clubs in Punjab are working under his leadership.

Garbage land: With dengue topping the race of epidemics in the country, followed closely behind by chikungunya, the next epidemic will not come as a surprise. Chandigarh - once upon a time titled the cleanest city— is also being counted amongst the affected. And why not! For wherever we see, people are living like pigs enjoying eating amongst the litter and ensuring it remains! The difference lying only in, the people not eating straight off the Bin! The city is turning into a huge garbage can and all are contributing in turning the nightmare into a reality by presuming- any place outside home is of course a dustbin!

Contributors: Aruti Nayar, Gayatri Rajwade, Anuradha Shukla and Deepika Pundir



Humanitarian law workshop today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
Although enshrined in the four Geneva Conventions of 1949, the international humanitarian law continues to remain an obscure subject for the public at large.
This despite the fact that almost every country in the world has agreed to be bound by them.

Driven by the need to create an understanding of the law, which seeks to protect people who are not participating in hostilities and restrictive methods of warfare, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is organising a day-long national workshop on the subject at the Panjab University (PU), Chandigarh, tomorrow.

Partnering the ICRC in the project is the Press Institute of India, New Delhi. The workshop seeks to disseminate information on the international humanitarian law and its implications for world peace, with reference to the hostilities in India.

The highlight of the workshop will be the inaugural address by the Haryana Governor,Dr A.R. Kidwai, and a presentation on “Changing nature of armed conflicts and challenges for humanitarian action” by Mr Vincent Nicod, Head of the Regional Delegation of ICRC.

The workshop will dwell on the nuances of the international humanitarian law, which applies only to armed conflicts and not to internal tensions such as isolated acts of violence.

The secessionist movement in Kashmir falls under the purview of the law that limits the effects of armed conflict.

The ICRC has been working to inspire respect for the law in India. Its national media workshop on the subject is a part of the larger mandate to spread the right information on the law so that matters of conflict can be highlighted in a manner that is conducive to peace.

Another address on the occasion will come from Mr Philip Stroll, Communication Coordinator, ICRC, who will detail ICRC’s mandate and mission.

Dr Benarji Chaka, Legal Officer of the ICRC, will then delineate the law, its origins, applicability and scope.

The law covers those who are not taking part in fighting. It also imposes restrictions on certain forms of warfare, including some weapons and military tactics.

The workshop will be held at the Golden Jubilee Hall of the PU from 9 am tomorrow.



Muslims hail policy for minorities
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
The United Progressive Muslim Front (UPMF) has welcomed the Administration's new welfare policy for the minorities.
Mr Arshad Khan, spokesperson of the front, said "the UPMF is confident that given the proper implementation and strict monitoring, the programme will make a positive impact on the education, economic and social condition of the minorities".

It has been pointed out that the need for such a policy has been on the anvil for several years. Gen S.F.Rodrigues, Governor of Punjab and UT Administrator, had a series of meeting with leaders from different religions to come to a consensus.

Cutting across political and social affiliations, an empowered group of approximately 100 Muslims met yesterday at Jama Masjid, Sector 20, under the chairmanship of Dr A.A.Siddiqui, a former Director-General of Punjab Police. Mr Ashwini Kumar, DPI(Colleges) of the UT, was also present on the occasion.



BJYM memo against clemency to Afzal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
A delegation of the Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha, Chandigarh, led by Mr Davesh Moudgil, president, today submitted a memorandum to the DC to be forwarded to the President of India. It was regarding the campaign launched by those who were sympathetic to terrorism and were seeking clemency in favour of Mohamad Afzal Guru, a convict, in the Indian Parliament attack case.

The memorandum states that the attack on Indian Parliament on December 13, 2001, was masterminded by those who wanted to eliminate the political leadership of India. It was an attack on India’s democracy, its sovereignty and its leadership. 



Freedom fighter dead
Our Correspondent

Baba Kartar Singh
Baba Kartar Singh

Mohali, October 16
A freedom fighter and trade union leader, Baba Kartar Singh, breathed his last here today. He was about 90 years old.
Baba Kartar Singh was suffering from health problems for some time. He had become frail and mostly remained confined to his bed. He was staying with his son, Mr Sarandev Singh, in a rented accommodation in Phase IV.

His body was cremated here today.

Tributes were paid to the departed soul by Communist leaders like Mr Madan Lal, Mr Piyara Singh Deosi, Mr Bant Brar, Mr Joginder Dyal, Mr Harbhajan Gambhir and Mr Harpal Singh.

According to the office secretary of the CPI, Punjab, Mr Saudagar Singh Garewal, Baba Kartar Singh was employed with the Railways as a storekeeper. He used to secretly distribute a newspaper ‘Lal Jhand’ among Railway employees and played a major role along with Mirza Mohammad Ibrahim and Laeek Ali to organise Railway employees. As such, he was dismissed from his job. He continued to work for the Kirti Party remaining underground .

At a trade union convention in Jalandhar he was made president of AITUC and he remained at this post for 35 years. He dedicated his life for the welfare of the labour class and himself lived a very simple life. His death had resulted in a loss to the trade union, added Mr Garewal.



Fauji Beat
Trim, but don’t make Army non-functional

THE Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence recently made a recommendation to the government to carry out a thorough review of the structural set-up of the defence forces, especially of the Army. The emphasis in the recommendation is on trimming the force size by increasing the “teeth to tail” ratio. What it means is to increase the combat punch by pruning the administrative back up.

A similar exercise was carried out after the 1965 war to reduce manpower and equipment for raising new units such as guided missile and mechanised units, etc. We got so over-obsessed with the economy factor that some of the units were made non-functional/non operational.

In 1968, the then Director of Staff Duties (DSP) at the Army Headquarters took a cue from the other tanks (having a crew of four) and reduced the Sherman tank’s crew from five to four. The Director, Armoured Corps, protested against this decision for there were still 54 Sherman tanks in service at that time, which had been rendered unbattleworthy. This unsound decision had to be reverted after much pleading with the Ministry of Finance (Defence). While slashing transport fleet of the Army Medical Corps (AMC), the then field hospitals were left with no light vehicle for the Commanding Officers. The result was that they had to travel in ambulance vehicles for official duties. These are two of the several such examples.

Indian Air Force

The Indian Air Force, which came into being in 1932 as a result of the Skeen Committee recommendations, celebrated its 74th anniversary on October 8. The first batch of six Indian cadets was sent to Cromwell in England for flight training in 1930 and they were commissioned on October 8, 1932. After a few Indians joined the Royal Air Force (RAF), a small flight unit consisting of six officers, 19 airmen (then called Hawai Sepoys) and four Wapiti aircraft was set up under the command of Flight-Lieut C.A. Boucher (an RAF officer) at Drigh Road, Karachi (now in Pakistan).

Then World War II broke out, the IAF had only one squadron. But by February 1944, it had grown into nine squadrons. Because of its commendable performance in World War II, the British Monarch honoured the IAF with the title of Royal and, thus, it became the Royal Indian Air Force (RIAF) on March 16, 1945.

The RIAF flew the first unit of the Indian Army i.e. I Sikh from New Delhi to Srinagar on October 27, 1947, to push back the Pakistani infiltrators from the valley. The late Air Commodore Mehar Singh was the first Indian to set a world record in 1948, by flying a Dakota at a height of 11,540 feet to Leh. Not only that, he also used Dakotas for bombing Pakistani concentrations. The RIAF dropped the title of Royal in January 1950 when Indian became a Republic. The rest is history.

Why these aberrations?

The flypast by two aircraft of the IAF over the Lawrence School, Sanawar, to mark its 159th Founder’s Day on October 4, has evoked severe criticism from some of the retired officers. One of them says. “There are well-defined rules on fly pasts. How come that these rules have been flouted without batting of an eyelid by the authorities?”

Yet another news that has raised many eyebrows is that this time the passing-out parade of the National Defence Academy (NDA), Khadakvasla, is being held on November 29, and not in December as has always been done in the past. The reason is that Lieut-Gen A.K. Copra, who is the Commandant of the NDA, is retiring on November 30. “What has the passing-out parade got to do with the retirement of the Commandant? This change will set a wrong precedence and should not be allowed. Let us not make it a private army?” Many veterans have commented on the change of the parade date this way.

— Pritam Bhullar



6 luxury buses to Punjab flagged off
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
The Punjab Transport Minister, Mr Raghunath Sahay Puri, flagged off six new super luxury airconditioned buses of Punjab Roadways from the Interstate Bus Terminus, Sector-43, here today.

These buses have been equipped with PVC flooring, luxury seats and tainted window glasses. They will run on the Chandigarh-Amritsar, Chandigarh-Jalandhar, Chandigarh-Hoshiarpur, Chandigarh-Pathankot and Chandigarh-Ferozepore routes.

Mr Puri said 292 more hi-tech air-conditioned buses would be added in the fleet of roadways for operation on various routes.

Also, the government was proposing to ply 300 new ordinary buses.



New buses to Rajasthan launched
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
Mr Ved Parkash Gupta, Chairman of Pepsu Road Transport Corporation (PRTC), flagged off new bus services to Rajasthan i.e. Chandigarh-Budajohar, Chandigarh-Suratgarh via Ganganagar and Chandigarh-Suratgarh via Sangriah from the Chandigarh depot on the occasion of completing 50 years of the PRTC.

A cultural programme, blood donation camp, a medical check-up camp, eye check-up and on-the-spot painting competition were organised at the local depot of the PRTC.



Gate rally by transport workers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
The Chandigarh Government Transport Workers Union held a gate rally in support of their demands at the Administration Block of the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking office in the Industrial Area here today.

Mr Jagdish Singh, president of the union, said: “To intensify the struggle, we will organise a dharna at Matka Chowk on October 18 in the association with the UT Coordination Committee of Government Employees and MC Workers. Indefinite fast will commence in front of the office of the Director from November 6 to 10 to pressure the management to accept our demands.”

Their demands include over time arrears, improvement of the grid system by withdrawing buses from low receipt routes and filling of posts of conductor.

General secretary Satinder Singh and senior vice-president Vijay Kumar also addressed the rally. 



Gen Sandhu awarded honorary doctorate 
Tribune News Service

D.D.S. Sandhu
Lieut-Gen (Dr) D.D.S. Sandhu

Chandigarh, October 16
Lieut-Gen (Dr) D.D.S. Sandhu, Director-General, Ordnance Services, and Senior Colonel Commandant, Army Ordnance Corps, was awarded an honorary doctorate by the President, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, at a convocation in Jabalpur on Friday.

It was perhaps for the first time that a serving Army officer had been conferred with such a degree. General Sandhu, an alumnus of the National Defence Academy, was commissioned in the Army Ordnance Corps in 1967.

General Sandhu had an inclination towards research on vital issues of military logistics and his forte was management and automation.



Nagar kirtan tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
A meeting of the Chandigarh Gurdwara Parbandhak Sangathan was held at Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha, Sector 37-C, here today. Members of the sangathan decide at the meeting that a nagar kirtan would be taken out in connection with Gurgaddi Nashini Divas of Guru Granth Sahib from Sector 37 gurdwara on October 18.

The nagar kirtan will start at 3 pm from Sector 37 gurdwara and will pass through sectors 37, 38, 24 , 23, 22 and 21 markets and will terminate at Sector 21 gurdwara at around 8 pm.



Lottery shop gutted 

Lalru, October 16
Property worth thousands of rupees was reduced to ashes in a fire that gutted a lottery shop here on Sunday.
According to sources, computers, furniture and important documents were destroyed in the fire. A fire engine from Dera Bassi was called, which was able to control the fire. The exact cause of fire could not be ascertained immediately. The shop owner, Mr Pradeep Kumar, alleged foul play. TNS



2 hurt as liquor shop looted at gunpoint
Our Correspondent

Mohali, October 16
Two persons were injured, one of them seriously, when a liquor shop was looted at gunpoint in Bakarpur village last night.
Mr Puran Singh and Mr Pardeep Kumar, alias Sonu, were brought to a private hospital in Phase VII. While Pardeep Kumar was discharged after a pellet was removed from his body, Puran Singh was admitted. Both them were employed at the liquor shop.

Narrating the sequence of events, Mr Puran Singh told Chandigarh Tribune that after closing the shop last night he and Pardeep Kumar were sleeping in it. Around 11.30 pm a shot was fired through the window after which some smoke spread in the shop and both of them got scared.

Initially, they thought some bulb must have burst. They got up to go out in the open but found the door bolted from outside.

In the meantime, another shot was fired from the window. Then the miscreants entered the room after cutting the metal door. He said both the employees were asked to stand facing the wall after which a shot was fired at them from behind which injured him on his shoulder. Pardeep Kumar also sustained some injuries. They were then locked in a room after which the miscreants carried out a search of the shop and took away the cash and some liquor bottles.

He said three persons who had come to loot the shop had muffled faces. Two were carrying pistols. They spoke in Hindi and claimed that they were from Bihar.

He further said that after sometime he tried to open the door of the room in which both of them were locked and with some effort he succeeded. Both of them then went to a nearby farm and found that the doors of the rooms of labourers working there were also bolted from outside. The matter was brought to the notice of the village Sarpanch.

Mr Amandeep Singh, in charge of the liquor shop, said he got to know at about 2.30 am that two of his employees had got injured after which he brought them to the Phase VII hospital. He said the owner of the shop, Mr Amarjeet Singh, said he would pay the medical expenses of both the injured employees.

He said liquor shops were often being targeted by miscreants but the police was not allowing them to keep any arms as part of the security arrangements. About 20 days ago a liquor shop was looted in Dera Bassi. An employee working at a liquor shop in Chhat village was booked by the police for keeping a sword in the shop.

The police has registered a case under Sections 307, 458, 380 and 342 of the IPC and 25, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act against three unidentified persons on the complaint of Pardeep Kumar. Raids are being conducted to nab the miscreants.



Drug addict ends life

Chandigarh, October 16
A father of four children ended his life by hanging at his Ram Darbar residence. The deceased, 36-year-old, Pardeep Kumar, was found hanging from a ceiling fan hook by his wife early this morning.

The police, while quoting the family of the deceased, said he was a drug addict and unemployed. His wife told the police that the death came to light at around 6 am when she went to the second floor room of the house and found him hanging. The police was informed about the incident which shifted the body to the Sector 16 General Hospital.

The police said Pardeep came home late on Sunday night and was under the influence of intoxicants. He took his dinner and went to the second floor of their house to sleep. Though no suicide note was recovered, the police has ruled out possibility on any foul play behind the death as no one has expressed suspicion.

The body was handed over to the family after a postmortem examination later in the day. Meanwhile, the police has initiated inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Code in this connection. — TNS



Body found in open drain
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
A body of a 65-year-old man was found drowned in an open drain in Mani Majra this afternoon. The police while quoting the deceased’s family ruled out possibility of any foul play. No visible injury marks were found on the body.

The deceased has been identified as Charanjit Singh of Kurali. He was mentally upset and had come to Panchkula at his son’s in-laws’ place for treatment. He had gone out of the house without informing anyone early this morning and the family was looking for him since then. The family had reported the matter to the police.

The incident came to light when some ragpickers saw the body submerged in the drain water and raised the alarm. The owner of a nearby sawmill informed the police about the incident, which reached the spot around 2 pm. The police officers remained at the spot for about one-and-a-half hours, but did not make efforts to retrieve the body from the water. The body was retrieved only after the DSP (East), Mr Prem Singh Malik, arrived at the spot.

Minutes before the police retrieved the body, the victim’s relatives, who were looking for him, reached the spot. The son of the deceased, Mr Denender Singh, told the police that his father was mentally upset and they had come to Panchkula for his treatment.

The police handed over the body to the family without a post-mortem following their request. The SHO of the Mani Majra police station, said as no foul play was found behind the death the body was handed over to the family without a post-mortem. The police has initiated inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Code in this regard.



84-year woman dies in accident
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
In a hit-and-run case, an octogenarian woman died after being hit by an auto-rickshaw while in another incident a motorist sustained serious injuries after being hit by a car.

The police said, 84-year-old Gulab Kaur of Sector 33-B, lost her life after being hit by a rashly driven auto-rickshaw on Sunday morning. The accident took place near the Sectors 32 and 33 small chowk. She sustained multiple injuries in the mishap and was rushed to the Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital, where the doctors declared her brought dead. The auto-rickshaw driver reportedly sped from the spot.

A case of causing death due to rash and negligent driving has been registered in the Sector 34 police station.

In another incident, a motorcyclist, Mr Nand Kishore of Behlana village, suffered serious injuries after being hit by a car near the Sukhana lake parking lot on Sunday. He was admitted to the Sector 16 General Hospital. The police has arrested the car driver, Gurdev Singla, of Patiala on a charge of causing injuries due to rash and negligent driving. He was later released on bail.

Scooter stolen: Ms Ruchi Sharma of Sector 15, Panchkula, lodged a complaint with the police alleging that her Kinetic Honda Scooter had been stolen from Sector 11 Market on October 12. A case of theft has been registered in this regard.

Gambling: The local police arrested two persons on the allegations of indulging in gambling at a public place on Sunday.

Babu Ram of Bapu Dham Colony was arrested from Grain Market in Sector 26 and Rs 5000 was seized from his possession.

In another incident, Naresh Kumar of Bapu Dham Colony was nabbed from Grain Market in Sector 26. The police seized Rs 21,855 from his possession.

Two separate cases under the Gambling Act have been registered in this connection.



Boy missing since August
Tribune News Service


Chandigarh, October 16
A 16-year-old mentally challenged boy of Ram Darbar has been reportedly missing since August this year.
Mr Joney, father of the missing boy, Bunty, said they had lodged a complaint with the Sector 31 police station on August 30. But till date they had not been able to trace his missing son.

He said Bunty had gone missing on August 30, when he went out of the house without informing anyone. He was wearing a yellow shirt and black knickers.



Farmers take fancy to backyard poultry
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
In a bid to give boost to the backyard poultry breeding in the rural areas, the Central Poultry Development Organisation (CPDO), poultry promotion agency of the Union Agriculture Ministry, has initiated an ambitious project.

Being implementation as part of the centrally-sponsored “assistance to the state poultry farms”, the project envisages the imparting of short-term training to farmers and the supply of the parent and commercial stock to supplement their incomes.

“The endeavour is to provide single-window service to the poultry farmers of the northern region to promote rural backyard poultry, “Dr JN Bora,CPDO Director (Northern Region), told The Tribune here today.

With that end in mind the CPDO has procured two parent stocks of dual purpose(for meat and egg production) birds “vanaraja” and “nirbheek” from the Project Directorate on Poultry, Hyderabad, and the Central Avian Research Institute, Izatnagar.These birds produced good number of eggs, utilising the locally-available feeds and adapted to all climactic conditions, Dr Bora informed.

In fact, if the number of farmers undergoing training at the organisation premises here is any indication, the farmers seemed to have taken a fancy to the backyard poultry.

Data revealed while 100 farmers were trained here in 2002-03, the figure went up to 257 in 2003-04. The figure was 397 for 2004-05 and touched the 450-mark in 2005-06, officials highlighted.

The backyard poultry breeding provided ready income to the farmers. With landholdings shrinking in the states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal and Chandigarh, the poultry breeding had enormous employment potential not only for the farmers but their entire families.

Meanwhile, the CPDO has gone in for a diversification drive with the quail breeding programme for evolving quail, broiler and its popularisation for commercial exploitation.

The CPDO has earned an amount of about Rs 33 lakh through its commercial activities. While the parent hatching of eggs was done at the rate of Rs 8 per egg, the commercial hatching is done for Rs 4 each egg.A day-old broiler parent was available at Rs 35 per female with 15 per cent chicks as free. Similarly, a day-old chick was available at Rs 1.5 each. The hatching of Japanese quail egg was done at 0.75 paise. The live adult quail was available at Rs 15 each, officials informed.

It may be recalled that CPDO is one of the four premier organisations working under the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying of the Agriculture Ministry to impart poultry training to farmers about the awareness of rearing the poultry birds as backyard poultry farming. The other CPDOs are at Bhubaneswar, Mumbai and Hessarghatta.



Thai pavilion at fair a hit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
The Thai pavilion at the CII Chandigarh Fair drew huge crowds. With beautiful flowers, door decorations and accessories, bright and colourful lights and personal care goods, the exhibitors from Thailand got a lot of visitors.

The International Arcade turned out to be the major crowd puller. Almost all the stall managers seemed thrilled as the sales were beyond expectations- and the discussions in the decisive stages. The jewellery, the flowers, the glassware, the furniture… all kinds of items made their way to Chandigarh homes.

The event is sponsored by three concurrent sponsors Nokia (Infocom), Godrej (Décor) and Samsung (Megabrands). The Tribune Group of Publications is the print media sponsor and Radio Buzz is the radio sponsor.

The Fair was also the venue for new launches. The Fair proved a perfect launchpad for EON range of refrigerators by Godrej. The company officials expressed their happiness that the fair was a perfect launchpad for them to showcase their new range to the world. Sharing the same sentiment, exhibitors at the stall put up by Nokia, also seemed visibly impressed with the response. Though participating for the first time, they found the Fair an excellent platform for concept selling and imparting awareness about their new product launches for enterprise solutions like N series and E series.

The Fair also has on display export quality hand made paper and exclusive products on 23 stalls representing 10 states by exclusive participants like Khadi and Village Commission. The North India Auto Show 2006 has a gleaming array of vehicles including at display MUV Rhino by International Cars and Motors Ltd. Rhino has got overwhelming response from elite class of Chandigarh. Huge number of bookings for the top-end, limited edition model are an indicator for the same, informed the officials at the stall. Hyperperformance Motorsports, Chandigarh also did their launching in the region at the CII Chandigarh Fair 2006.



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