C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

SC order, Admn ban drown in Divali din
Anti-cracker rallies, pledges, lectures prove mere rhetoric
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

In an order pronounced on July 18 last year, the Supreme Court of India had ordered the imposition of ban on the bursting of crackers between 10 pm and 6 am. The apex court had also directed that every manufacturer would mention the details of the chemical contents of crackers on each box. It had also ruled against bursting of crackers at any time in the silence zones.

Chandigarh, October 22
For so many city residents celebrating Divali on Saturday evening meant playing not just with crackers, but also with rules. High on the festive spirit, they blew apart, along with bombs, the Administration’s ban on the bursting of high-decibel crackers.

Though the violation of the prohibitory orders issued by the Administration under Section 144 of the CrPC is punishable under Section 188 of the IPC, nothing was done by the men-in-khaki to proceed against the violators.

This was not the end of infringements, and the police inaction. Blatant violations of the law governing the sale of crackers continued throughout the city on Divali.

The rules clearly state that the stalls selling crackers should maintain a minimum in-between distance of 15 feet, yet at most places the space was less than 2 feet.

In Sector 20, crackers were being sold on the footpath and on folding beds in clear violation of the terms and conditions of the licences. Even the sign of “no-smoking” was missing at most stalls.

Otherwise also, in complete violation of the directions issued by the Supreme Court of India last year, the deafening din of bursting crackers filled the air even after 10 pm on the Divali night as the residents took to the streets holding rockets and other crackers in hands.

Anti-cracker rallies in schools and other educational institutes not withstanding, the noisy celebrations continued to blow up the peace till as late as 2 am with the authorities concerned apparently doing little to proceed against the violators.

A senior Chandigarh Police officer agreed that the ban went up in smoke largely due to the failure of the authorities concerned to enforce the same. He added that the police and other law enforcement agencies continued to receive complaints from residents, “but no one paid any heed”.

Even the inflated rates of crackers failed to dampen the spirit of enthusiastic revellers all over the city. Many of them came out of their houses to indulge in some boisterous celebrations right in the middle of the roads. Commuting within the sectors became almost impossible as Divali spirit took hold of the revellers.

Long lectures and rallies on fire safety, besides concerted drives by the UT Fire Department, were the last things on their minds as they lighted rocket after rocket after placing these in glass bottles placed bang in the middle of the roads.

By 8 pm, the sky was illuminated with thousands of falling stars in bright red, fluorescent green, electrifying blue, funky yellow and alluring silver hues.

The shopping for crackers started a little late this year. Till about four days prior to the festival, hardly any stalls selling fireworks could be seen in several markets in the city. Then suddenly on Thursday, cracker stalls came up throughout the city.

The decorations were also different this year. “With lights imported from China available for as less as Rs 25, very few residents illuminated their houses with candles and ‘diyas’ this year,” said electrician Raman Mohan. A number of residents took professional help for decorating their houses this year, he added. “You may find it hard to believe, but some of the residents shelled out as much as Rs 30,000 for getting their houses decorated with lights,” he said.



Festival of lights brings darkness for many
Tribune News Service

Some of the persons who were admitted to the PGI, Chandigarh, after being injured during Divali celebrations
Some of the persons who were admitted to the PGI, Chandigarh, after being injured during Divali celebrations. — Tribune photos

Chandigarh, October 22
The festival of lights turned into an evening of anguish and darkness for a number of revellers as celebrations turned sour on Divali night. In all, 107 patients from all over the region were wheeled into different city hospitals with burn and eye injuries.

Sources in the UT Health Department said a substantial number of victims were passers-by, who were caught unawares, while most others were children, lighting crackers, when the incidents took place.

Most of the victims were unwilling to talk about the incidents that changed their lives for the worse. But agony and regret was loud and clear in the voice of the victims who chose to narrate their tales.

Among them was 11-year-old Avtar Singh, a resident of Nabha, who was brought to the PGI last night with severe burn injuries on the face. While he stands to lose vision in his left eye, the doctors are hopeful of saving the other one.

“He was celebrating Divali with children of the neighbourhood, lighting crackers and enjoying himself. We were watching him from a distance. He lit a bomb that did not explode. As soon as he went near it to check if the fire had gone out, the bomb burst and he burnt his face. Since that moment we have had no rest and are worried sick about his fate,” a family member said.

As his family tries to come to terms with the loss, there are other children in the hospital, not as severely injured, but hurt none the same.

Jaswinder of Ropar, Vikas of Sector 26 and Manish, all 13-year-old, admit Divali has changed their lives forever. Admitted with injuries caused by bursting of crackers, they have pledged never to “play with fire” again.

While there are 15 cases at the PGI, the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, has 39 such cases. Twentytwo of them have received eye injuries.

In the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16, 53 such cases were reported. While 17 patients came with eye injuries, 36 cases were those where patients had received burns. All of these were minor injuries except two cases that were referred to the PGI.

A patient said: “Since childhood, I have been scared of rockets. But after having a couple of drinks, I gained confidence and ignited the rocket’s wick. But my reflexes did not support me. I could not get away in time and the rocket exploded on my face.”

Though majority of the doctors were unwilling to comment on the accidents, a senior professor said, “Some people feel they just cannot celebrate the occasion without having drinks.

They do not realise that heavy consumption of alcohol slows down their reflexes that increases the possibility of mishaps. In all such cases, no one except the victims are to be blamed.”

PANCHKULA: Around 25 cases of minor injuries were reported at the General Hospital, Sector 6, here. While patients came from all age groups, none of them had any serious injuries and were discharged after dressing.

Doctors attending on these patients said the injuries in most of these cases were caused due to explosion of “anaars”.

Eight incidents of fire were reported from different parts of the district. Two of them were from Bartana. Most fire incidents were minor. A jhuggi went up in flames at Majri chowk after a cracker fell on its roof.

The “strangest” fire incident was that on a tank on display at Shankla Chowk in Sector 2 that caught fire late last night. Suspected to be the handiwork of miscreants, the fire was noticed by a passer-by, Shashi Arora, who informed the fire brigade.

Firemen struggled for 45 minutes before the fire could be brought under control. “The fire was spotted around 1.15 am and it was only after 2 am that we were able to bring it under control,” fire officer R.P. Dhull said.



Over 10 cases of burn injuries reported
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 22
More than 10 cases of fire related injuries were reported at various hospitals in the township last night. While most of these cases were of superficial burn injuries on hands and feet among children, some serious cases involving injuries to eyes and limbs were also reported.

According to Dr Jai Singh, emergency in charge, Civil Hospital, all cases were treated at the hospital itself and no one was referred to Chandigarh.

However, despite tall claims made by the civil hospital doctors of having made adequate arrangements to deal with any emergency during Divali, it came to light that only one lady doctor, that too from psychiatry stream, was on duty on Divali evening. For the night, another lady doctor specialising in biochemistry was on duty. Interestingly, no ophthalmologist or skin specialist was on emergency duty on Divali night.

Two cases of minor burn injuries were reported at the Cheema Hospital Phase 4 also.

Other than this, three minor fires were reported last night. The most severe was at a house in Sector 70 where according to the fire department officials a short circuit led to a fire that gutted many expensive items in the house. The house is under renovation and most of the items in the house were collected at one spot, said the fire officials.

Another fire was reported from Sawara village near here where piles of wheat husk kept in the open caught fire. No damage was reported from the site, though the fire spread very fast and gutted the entire pile of wheat husk.

At SCF 9, Phase V, the second floor store house of a furniture shop caught fire probably due to a Divali fire cracker. A large pile of raw wood stored in the area was gutted.



No major fire incident on Divali
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 22
It was comparatively a safe Divali this year, with no major fire incident reported from the city.
However, a major fire tragedy was averted when a cracker stall caught fire in Burail. The incident occurred around 7.30 pm yesterday evening. The fire was immediately brought under control using a fire-engine. Goods at a cloth stall adjacent to the cracker stall were also damaged in the incident. No major loss was, however, reported.

The Fire Department received 11 calls on Divali. According to officials, all of these related to minor fire incidents most of which were caused by short-circuits. Sofas lying on the rooftop of a furniture showroom in Sector 7-C caught fire after a stray cracker landed there. A similar incident was also reported from Khuda Lahora where hay lying in a tractor-trailer caught fire.

A fire was also reported from Sector 15-D where an embroidery and tailoring shop caught fire after the shop owner left incense sticks burning in the shop. According to fire officials, a TV set and some clothes were damaged in the incident.



Two shops gutted
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, October 22
It was a black Divali for two shop owners of Baltana, whose shops were gutted in the fire last night.
According to sources, the fire gutted a sanitary store after 9 pm when the owners left for home. A short circuit is stated to be the cause of the fire, in which items worth several lakhs of rupees were destroyed.

In another incident, a fruit and vegetable shop was gutted when a fire cracker burst in the shop. Loss is said to be in thousands.

However, no loss of life was reported.



Cops get thrashing as ‘Divali gift’
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 22
PCR van driver Suresh Kumar and ASI Lipti Singh were beaten up by the public for demanding “Divali gift” here today.
The duo was also medically examined following allegations of being drunk. They were, however, given a clean chit by the doctor on duty. By the evening, they were let off the hook in connection with the incident that took place in the forenoon and all complaints against them stood withdrawn.

Trouble started from Rajiv Colony where the two policemen went to an iron store and allegedly demanded “Divali gift” in the form of a liquor bottle from the shopkeeper. On being refused the bottle, they demanded Rs 200 which was also refused by the shopkeeper.

Irked over the refusal, they began hurling abuses at the shopkeeper. Hearing the heated arguments between the shopkeeper and the policemen, people began gathering there. With tempers high on the “demand by the cops”, the public began chasing them.

While Suresh Kumar fled in the PCR vehicle, around 20 persons chased Lipti Singh for 1 km, caught him, thrashed him and handing him over to the police. The duo was taken to the General Hospital, Sector 6, were they were medically examined for liquor consumption. They tested negative.

SHO of the Sector 5 police station Zile Singh said the two men were supposed to be on duty in Sector 7 and 8. “They should not have been at Rajiv Colony at that time. We will look into the complaint and the allegations levelled by the public,” he said.

However, everything cooled down by the evening. The police said they were let off as it was a case of misunderstanding.



Passing Through

Mona Singh
TV actor Mona Singh

Are you planning to change the medium and move on to films now?

I will move on to films if I get a good offer. But otherwise, there is no difference in a small screen or a big screen for an actor. He has to work and win over people with his talent — be it on any medium. Personally for me, I can never leave the small screen because it has brought me into limelight and given me recognition.

What is the best thing you like about Chandigarh?

I am in love with the city, not just because of its well-planned sectors, but for its simple way of life. The people here are warm and hospitable. Given a choice I would like to settle down here.

What are your current assignments?

I am currently participating in a dance talent hunt show, ‘Jhalak Dikhla Ja’. I have already reached the finals and am discovering that it is fun to dance. Also, I will soon be hosting a live show on Sony Television where we will be sponsoring the surgical treatment of some persons who have disfigured faces.

— Ruchika M. Khanna



Watch out

Ritu Pradhan
Dr Ritu Pradhan

Dr Ritu Pradhan, Lecturer, Foods and Nutrition, Government Home Science College, Sector 10, has been selected for the Commonwealth Academic Staff Fellowship for the year 2006. The fellowship is a post-doctorate fellowship, that is, only qualified PhD individuals having two years of teaching experience are eligible for the same.

Ritu is pursuing her fellowship at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London, Keppel Street, London, UK, under the guidance of Prof Ricardo Uauy, Professor of Public Health Nutrition and president of the International Union of Nutrional Sciences, with specialisation in research areas of Child Health and Malnutrition. 



In Town

Jeetan Patel
Jeetan Patel

Jeetan Shashi Patel, New Zealand cricket team member of Indian origin, will be an added attraction for local cricket enthusiasts and mediapersons during the Pakistan-New Zealand tie on October 25 at PCA Stadium, Mohali. The right arm off breaker is in the town with his team and will take on nets on Monday at 1.30 pm at the PCA.

Patel, who made his international debut in the senior team against Zimbabwe in 2005, has so far claimed 18 wickets in 11 ODIs.



Admn yet to clear stand
Changes in marla houses
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Main demands of marla house owners

  • General survey of all properties and treating all violators equally.
  • Withdrawal of notices till a policy is framed
  • No extra charges for extra coverage and no revised plan required for extra coverage

Chandigarh, October 22
It appears that the UT Administration is yet to make up its mind regarding allowing need-based changes in the marla houses.
Despite an assurance by the UT Administrator about five months ago, the Administration has not made its stand clear so far regarding the demands of the house owners.

The Chandigarh Marla/ Flats Houses Residents Welfare Association, during its meeting with the UT Administrator, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), was assured that the Administration did not want to harass house owners and their genuine demands would be considered favourably, said Mr Surinder Pal Chauhan, president of the association

But despite the assurance, the Estate Office has been following a pick and chose policy while targeting the violations. The owners had been at the receiving end of the bureaucracy, particularly the lower level officials, lamented the house owners.

Though 99 per cent of the house owners had committed violation of the building bylaws, yet only 500 violators were being targeted. and this had become a source of corruption.

The association has impressed upon the officials that the balconies on both sides of the houses were need of the hour as with the changing times the requirements of residents had changed. Need-based rooms and toilets on the rear side of houses have led to demolitions and resumption notices.

On the pattern of the CHB, the Administration should also compound minor violations within the boundary walls of the houses not encroaching upon public land. It has also been demanded that a survey of the entire city should be conducted to find out the total need-based changes as about 99 per cent houses had in some way or the other violated building bylaws. After the survey a uniform policy should be framed to regularise need-based changes.

The association has also demanded that all demolition and resumption notices, issued to people, who have not encroached upon public land, should be withdrawn by the Administration as a ‘‘goodwill gesture’’.



Panth Rattan title for ‘Veerji’
Thousands attend bhog ceremony
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 22
Renowned kirtani Bhai Jasbir Singhji Khannewale who breathed his last on October 14 was awarded the title of ‘Panth Rattan’, the highest recognition in Sikh community, by Mr Avtar Singh Makkar, President, SGPC, here today.
Mr Makkar was among thousands who attended the renowned kirtani’s bhog ceremony at Sohana this morning.

Thousands of devotees paid their last respects to Bhai Jasbir Singh who was the founder trustee of Sri Guru Harkrishan Sahib Eye Hospital Trust.

Among those who attended the bhog were Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Jathedar Akal Takht, Giani Tirlochan Singh Jathedar Keshgarh Sahib, Giani Balwant Singh Khalsa Jathedar Damdama Sahib, Giani Iqbal Singh Jathedar Patna Sahib.

The bhog ceremony was performed under the guidance of new Chairman of the trust Bhai Devinder Singh. Others who attended the function, included Mr Gurcharan Singh Head Granthi, Darbar Sahib, Mr Jaswinder Singh Giani Darbar Sahib, Mr Jagtar Singh Granthi Darbar Sahib, Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna, President, DSGPC, Mr Sukhdev Singh Bhour General Secretary SGPC; Mr Bir Devinder Singh MLA, Kharar; Mr Balbir Singh Sidhu President District Congress Committee; Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, President, Shiromani Akali Dal Amritsar; Mr Prem Singh Chandumajra, Mr Hardeep Singh, member SGPC, Mohali, Mr Charanjit Singh Chadha Chief Khalsa Diwan, Mr Ponty Chadha, businessman, Mr Rupinder Singh IAS, Punjab, Mr Harjeet Singh Khalsa Magistrate, Mr Varinder Singh, Justice, Punjab and Haryana High Court, Mr Pritpal Singh, President Gurdwara Dukhniwaran Sahib, Ludhiana, Ms Lakhwinder Garcha OSD to CM and Mr Tirlochan Singh, former chairman National Minorities Commission.

Bhai Devinder Singh concluded the ceremony with kirtan. He also addressed the gathering and told the sangat that he would follow the guidelines of ‘Veerji’ and will fulfill all his dreams. Other personalities who performed kirtan on the occasion are Sant Anoop Singh Unewale, Bhai Harbans Singh Jagadhariwale, Bhai Devinder Singh Riar, Bhai Jaswant Singh, Bhai Tejinder Singh Simlawale, and Bhai Manjit Singh.



Minor’s marriage case takes new turn
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Lalru, October 22
The case of attempt to marry off a minor at Jaraut village, near here, on October 19 has taken a new turn with a noted BSP leader today shooting off a letter to the Punjab DGP to cancel the FIR in the case alleging it to be the result of ‘‘personal enmity’’.

Ms Leela Wati, a former member of the Block Samiti, who is also stated to be an accused in the case, alleged that the Jaraut Sarpanch, Mr Mann Singh, had got a false FIR lodged in the case as she had contested against him during the last panchayat elections.

Claiming that she was not even present at the ceremony, she termed it only as an ‘‘engagement ceremony’’. Even the grandfather of the would-be bride, who is said to be a complainant in the case, had not objected to the engagement ceremony, Ms Leela Wati, claimed.

It may be recalled that on October 19 the police had booked 11 persons, including three women, for allegedly facilitating a child marriage. The marriage of Paramjit, daughter of Mam Chand, with Anil Kumar, a resident of Bhano Kheri village, near Ambala, was slated to be held at the village. The marriage party also reached the village this morning in order to solemnise the marriage.

However, when Mr Mann Singh got a wind of the fact that the girl was underage, he immediately informed the police. A police party, led by the Additional SHO of Lalru Police Station, Mr Nand Lal, had stopped the child marriage.

It was also learnt that the bridegroom, Anil Kumar, was already married and had a three-year-old son from first marriage. The police has registered a case under Section 5 of the Child Marriage Act, 1929.



Police Commemoration Day observed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 22
The Chandigarh Police observed Police Commemoration Day in the memory of valiant police officers who died in counter-insurgency operations at Sector 17 police station here yesterday.

Contingents of Chandigarh, Haryana and Punjab Police participated in the parade and paid homage to the martyrs by reversing arms.

The day is being observed as Police Commemoration Day since 1959, when a small contingent of the Indian Police was attacked by Chinese troops and as a result 10 Indian Police jawans were killed.

The day is observed in all states and Union Territories on October 21.

The UT Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr S.K. Jain, who was the chief mourner, read out the names of 684 officers and jawans who laid their lives while doing duty from September 1, 2005, to August 31, 2006.

The IGP, while lauding the sacrifices of the martyrs, paid homage to them by laying wreaths on a memorial constructed in the lawns of the police station.

Other serving as well as retired police and paramilitary forces’ officials also paid tributes to the martyrs.



Sectt building: depts asked for space requirement 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 22
With the Chandigarh Administration going ahead with the construction of an additional secretariat building in Sector 9 here, various departments which are facing acute space crunch have been asked to give their space requirement. The new building will come up on a plot adjoining the Chandigarh Housing Board Building (CHB). A senior official disclosed that the distantly located offices would be relocated in the proposed building.

The public convenience and infrastructural demands of various UT departments would be addressed in the proposed building. The UT Engineering Department is expected to begin construction soon.

Departments like Sales Tax, Election Commission, Town Planning, Social Welfare , Pollution department, Election Office are working from congested space and are located in dingy buildings. 



Jama Masjid announces Id namaz schedule
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 22
The Jama Masjid, Sector 20, has announced the schedule for the Id namaz in the city and adjoining areas.
In press note issued here today, Moulana Mohammad Ajmal Khan,Imam of the Jama Masjid,Sector 20,here informed that if the moon was sighted on October 23 evening then the namaz would be performed on October 24 morning.And if the moon was not sighted on October 23 evening, then the namaz would be performed on October 25.

The Imam said the namaz would be performed at 9 am at the Sabri Masjid, Sector 45, Masjid Kajheri, Sector 52, Jama Masjid, Phase XI,Mohali, Masjid Baltana, Zirakpur, and Masjid Mullanpur Garibdass.Similarly, the timings for the Jama Masjid, Sector 20, Masjid at Dhanas, Masjid Palsora, Sector 56, Madina Masjid, Buterla(Sector 41) and Masjid Maloya would be 9.15 am.

The namaz would be performed at the Noorani Masjid, Sector 26, the Idgah, Burail, the Idgah,Sector 57, Mohali, the Jama Masjid, Sector 21,Panchkula, and the Masjid, Pabhat(Zirakpur), at 9.30 a.m.The namaz timings for the Jama Masjid at Lalru would be 9.45 a.m.

The Imam said the namaz would be performed at the Idgah in Mani Majra and the Masjid at Matour, Sector 71, Mohali, at 10 am.



Deepinder Dhillon felicitated
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, October 22
A senior Congress leader and Vice-Chairman of the Punjab State Industrial Development Corporation (PSIDC), Mr Deepinder Singh Dhillon, today reiterated the Punjab Government’s commitment to the overall development of the state.

Addressing a Vishwakarma Day function organised in his honour here today, Mr Dhillon said the Punjab Government, under the leadership of Capt Amarinder Singh, had launched major developmental projects all over the state for the benefit for all sections of the society.

Mr Dhillon was felicitated on the occasion for his services to the society. Mr Dhillon, who is credited with major developmental works in the Banur segment of the Punjab Assembly, said the Vishwakarma Day was the symbol of the rich composite cultural of the country and the people should vow to fight violence and communal forces on this day.

Earlier, various speakers lauded the efforts of Mr Dhillon for the overall development of the Banur Assembly segment.

Singer Harbhajan Mann enthralled the audience with his hit numbers.



Scholar’s kin explores role of women in Sikhism
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Nikky-Guninder Kaur Singh
Dr Nikky-Guninder Kaur Singh

Chandigarh, October 22
Dr Nikky-Guninder Kaur Singh, who holds the Crawford Family Professor of Religious Studies endowed chair at Colby College in Maine (United States), has come out with her latest book, “The Birth of the Khalsa”.

Dr Singh is the daughter of Professor Harbans Singh who has been credited with compiling “Encyclopaedia in Sikhism”. She was recently in New Delhi to speak at a seminar on martyrdom of Guru Arjun Dev. She, otherwise, belongs to Patiala.

This is the first work to explore the pivotal Baisakhi of 1699 in Sikh history from a feminist perspective, questioning the ways in which Sikh memories have constructed a masculine 
Sikh identity.

“I have argued that Sikh memory needs to acknowledge the vital female dimension grounded in the universal human condition and present at the birth of the Khalsa. Inspiration came from my father to rediscover the feminine side of the words and actions of the founders of Sikhism,” says Professor Nikky Singh.

She looks at the basic texts and tenets of Sikh religion and demonstrates the female aspect in the sacred text, daily prayers, dress code, and rituals of the Sikhs.

We are reminded that Guru Gobind Singh’s original vision was an egalitarian one, and are urged to live up to the liberating implications set in motion when he gave birth to the Khalsa. In today’s dangerously divided and polarized society, Dr Nikky brings out the common human heritage boldly imprinted in the vision of the Sikh Gurus.

Through her personal and scholarly engagement, she innovatively explains Sikhism to the general public, and makes a vital contribution towards understanding our own 21st century global reality.

She has published extensively in the field of Sikhism, including The Feminine Principle in the Sikh Vision of the Transcendent (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993). Her book on Sikhism (New York: Facts on File) was translated into Japanese and Croatian. The Sikh Foundation of America invited her to do the translation of Nitnem and other Banis, which was published first by Harper Collins and more recently by Penguin in their Black Classic Series, entitled

The Name of My Beloved: Verses of the Sikh Gurus. According to Sardar Khushwant Singh, Dr Nikky’s translation is “A significant contribution to the understanding of the essentials of the Sikhs’ sacred scriptures.”

Professor Nikky’s views have been aired on television and radio in America, Canada, England, India, and Australia. She is frequently interviewed by the BBC on different aspects of Sikh philosophy and society.

She has given over 100 lectures across the globe, among them the Baccalaureate Address at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

This summer, Dr. Nikky gave lectures on various topics at the department of Religious Studies at McGill University in Canada, at the Philosophy Department in Pune University, at the Central Institute for English and Foreign Languages in Hyderabad, and discussed her translation of Sikh scripture with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

She spent June as Professeure Invitée at the EHESS in Paris, France, where she gave a talk on the Five Sikh symbols.



Langars mark Vishwakarma Day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 22
Workers in the tricity of Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula offered prayers to Lord Vishwakarma and organised cultural functions. Some of the workers’ organisations held langars to observe the day.

The workers offered prayers at their workplaces and cleaned their tools in the morning. The Private Construction Labour Contractors Union, Chandigarh, and the Ramgarhia Sabha organised a function at Ramgarhia Bhavan in Sector 27, Chandigarh.



Vishwakarma Day celebrated
Tribune News Service

Dera Bassi, October 22
A function was organised by Sri Vishwakarma Sikhya Prachar Committee to celebrate Vishwakarma Day here today.
Punjabi folk singer Nachhatar Gill enthralled the audience with his hit numbers.

Earlier, Mr Y.N. Chugh inaugurated the programme by lighting the traditional lamp.

Capt Kanwaljit Singh, former Punjab Finance Minister, was the chief guest.

Besides Nachhatar Gill, the other artistes who performed on the occasion included Bittu Shahpuri, Bhag Kheri, Davinder Goldi, Biba Grewal and Master Vicky.

Capt Kanwaljit Singh felicitated Mr Narinder Sharma, president of the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat, on the occasion.

Prominent among those present on the occasion included Mr Dhanwant Singh Bhagwas, Mr Baljit Singh Karkor, Mr Harvinder Singh Pinka, Mr Rajinder Singh Issapur, Mr Jaspreet Singh Lucky, Mr Harjinder Singh Rangi, Mr Karam Singh Karkor, Mr Narinder Dhiman, Mr Bhupinder Saini and Mr Jasjeet Singh Bunny.



Colourful programme marks Vishwakarma Day celebrations
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 22
Members of the Baba Vishwakarma Sabha of Phase IX, Industrial Area, celebrated Vishwakarma Day here today. A pooja was organised in the morning while a colourful cultural programme was organised later in the day.

Hundreds of employees and labourers working in the area attended the function. Gurpratap Surapuri, Ms Neelam, Gurudev Dhillon, Gurtej Tej, Avtar Tari and Rupinder Rupi were among those who performed on the occasion.



Eight hurt as buses collide
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 22
Eight persons, including the two drivers and a conductor, were injured in a road accident involving two buses near Hallo Majra village, here today. They sustained minor injuries and were taken to the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) in Sector 32.

According to the police, the accident took place at around 4:20 am when a Gwalior-bound bus (MP-04-HB-9202) was hit on the rear side by a Haryana Roadways bus (HR-39-A-8494), which was on its way to Hisar. The Gwalior-bound bus had halted at the bus stop to pick passengers. The driver of the other bus, who was driving at a high speed, banged his vehicle on the stationary bus.

The impact of the accident was so strong that the driver of the Gwalior-bound bus thrown to the windshield. He sustained injuries on the head. The driver of the Haryana Roadways bus, Rai Singh, the conductor of the MP bus and five passengers were hurt in the mishap. Some of the injured were discharged after first-aid at the GMCH.

The police has arrested Rai Singh, on the charge of causing injuries due to rash and negligent driving.



Scorpio, motorcycle stolen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 22
A Scorpio and a motorcycle were stolen in the past 48 hours here.
Mr Anil Kumar of Modern Housing Complex, Mani Majra, lodged a complaint with the police that his Scorpio (CH-03-J-7388) was stolen from his residence yesterday. Mr Sohan Singh of Sector 47 reported to the police that his Hero Honda motor cycle (CH-03-D-3766) was stolen from a parking lot in Sector 17 during the night of October 21.

Two cases of theft have been registered.

Five held for gambling: The police arrested Chander Pal, Jagdish, Dheer Pal, Harpal and Lekh Raj, all residents of Rajiv Colony, Sector 38-West, on the charge of indulging in gambling at public place in Sector 38 on Saturday. The police seized Rs 2,600 and registered a case under the Gambling Act.

Shop burgled: Mr Megh Raj Garg of Sector 22 complained to the police that Rs 25,000 was stolen from his shop on Saturday. A case of burglary has been registered.

Three held: The police arrested Balkar Singh, Jagbir Singh and Raj Kumar, all residents of Dadu Majra Colony, for allegedly selling crackers illegally. They have been booked under Sections 4, 5, 6-B, 9-B and 13 of the Explosives Act.

Car stolen: A brand new car was stolen from Sector 42 here on Friday night. Ms Promila Garg of Sector 42 has lodged a complaint with the police that her Alto car was stolen from outside her house. The car was purchased two days ago. A case of theft under Section 379, IPC, has been registered.

Mobile snatched: Ms Sukhmani Ahluwalia of Sector 33 has lodged a complaint with the police, alleging that two scooter-borne youths snatched her mobile phone from the Sector 44 market on Thursday. A case has been registered.



People rue ‘short’ messaging service
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 22
The quickest way of exchanging Divali greetings through short messaging service (SMS) proved not so fast this Divali. In spite of claims by cell phone companies about enhancement of capacity to deal with the rush on Divali, mobile networks remained clogged.

Most of those who wanted to use SMS to convey Divali greetings to their loved ones found the messages were not being forwarded. In many cases, these were delivered after a few hours of having been sent.

Mr Anil Gupta, a resident of Sector 18, said from 8 am to around 2 pm, he was unable to send any message. “Even the calls could not be made, because of the excessive traffic on the networks in the morning,” he said.

Some of the subscribers complained that they received the SMS sent to them in the morning as late as 2 pm. Because of the network congestion, in many cases SMS delivery failed or remained pending till late in the night, many of them said.

Meanwhile, a press note issued by Spice Telecom claimed that around two crore SMS were handled by them on Divali. Subscribers also participated in a contest to add spice to the festival, called “Dice ka Kamal”. The contest saw an overwhelming participation by 50,000 subscribers from across Punjab. Around 25 per cent increase in traffic on services like downloading of Spice Divali special wallpapers, picture messages, ring tones, religious quotes, caller songs, jukebox, and background music services was also witnessed, the press note claimed.



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 |