C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Holiday confusion marks Id
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 24
Confusion played spoilsport on Id-ul-Fitr holiday today. Unaware that the Central Government, the Chandigarh Administration and the Haryana Government had declared the Id holiday today, hundreds of employees reported for work in various offices today, and could not make the most of their holiday.

Owing to the government’s decision to advance the holiday by one day, employees, who come to offices in the tricity from the surrounding cities and towns got to know only after reaching the offices that it was a holiday. In fact, many banks and educational institutes had already started work by the time the holiday was confirmed. It was only around noon that the employees could go back.

The Id holiday was notified in the official gazette on October 25. However, tomorrow’s holiday was cancelled in the light of the government’s step to announce the holiday today, after the Shahi Imam’s declaration last night that Id would be celebrated today and not tomorrow.

Though the Chandigarh Administration aired the announcement of today being a holiday on the radio (in the 8 am bulletin), a majority of the employees turned up for work today. The Punjab Government, however, did not advance the holiday, so its offices were functioning, though with a shortage of staff.

At the PGI and other government hospitals, doctors had already started performing surgeries and conducting OPDs when the holiday was announced. Since there was a shortage of staff, the Director held a meeting with the hospital administration and later spoke to the UT Home Secretary, seeking permission that the Id holiday be retained for October 25 only.

Most of the educational institutes, too, opened in the morning and were later closed. In some colleges, where cultural functions were scheduled to be held, lectures were suspended and colleges closed after the function. However, in Government College, Sector 46, the teaching and non teaching staff had to sit through the day. Schools were closed today and will remain closed today as well.

While today was declared a holiday at Panjab University, it will remain closed tomorrow as well.

Meanwhile, banking services in the tricity will be adversely affected all this week. A cheque submitted in a bank this week cannot possibly be credited before October 28. In the wake of the Id holiday in Chandigarh and Panchkula today, and in Mohali tomorrow, and the impending bank strike on October 27, the cheques that will be presented in banks tomorrow and thereafter this week are likely to be credited only on October 28 (or October 30 in Mohali).

This is because a cheque presented in the bank tomorrow will reach the MICR branch on October 26 and will be proposed the same day. However, it will reach the bank branch only on October 28, as October 27 is a bank strike. If you are lucky, it may be credited on October 28, but it being a Saturday and half day, most of the cheques will be credited only on October 30. Over the next five days, transactions worth Rs 1,000 crore may be affected.

Bank officers, under the aegis of the United Forum of Bank Unions, will observe a strike on October 27. 



India beat Pak in ticket game
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 24
While the PCA authorities are finding it difficult to sell tickets for the ICC Champions Trophy matches scheduled to be played at the PCA stadium in Mohali on October 25 and 27, the scenario is exactly the opposite for the India-Australia match scheduled for October 29.

All 7,000 tickets of the general block, priced at Rs 300 each, were sold on October 20, the day the sale of tickets started. Now the black marketers have started making the most of the opportunities by selling tickets of the “much-in-demand” block on double or more than double the rates.

When this correspondent talked to one of the agents involved in the sale of tickets at a premium on his mobile phone, he demanded Rs 600 for one ticket. “At the moment, I have only 15 tickets and if you want these, you have to tell me immediately, otherwise you will miss the bus,” said the agent.

According to him, the tickets are being sold outside the PCA stadium for Rs 1,000 each. On the first two days of the opening of sale of tickets, these were being sold between Rs 450 and Rs 500 each. But now they are demanding more than double the actual price of the ticket.

The Honorary Secretary of the PCA, Mr M.P. Pandove, showed ignorance on the issue. “We are not aware of any such development. This is surprising if such an illegal practice is going on,” he said.

He, however, assured that the PCA authorities would take steps with the help of the police to curb such practice. “We will send our men posing as customers to such persons and strict action will be taken if anybody is caught,” said Mr Pandove.

On the day the sale of tickets started, certain vested interests had reportedly hired labourers and made them stand in the queues to buy Rs 300 denomination tickets with an intent to sell these at a premium later on. One such agent had 20 labourers in the queue.

On the other hand, half of the stadium is likely to remain empty during the matches of Pakistan against New Zealand and South Africa on October 25 and 27, respectively. Till date, only 50 per cent of the tickets have been sold for tomorrow’s tie.



Widow leaves newborn son to die
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 24
It was the name tag that brought a tragedy to the fore. A couple found an abandoned newborn male child lying near the wall of the Golf Club in Sector 26 here this evening. The police later identified and arrested his mother, a widow, on the charge of deserting her baby.

The couple from the Mansa Devi complex was passing by the club when they heard cries of an infant in the area. They found an infant lying near the wall. Ants had swarmed his body and he was crying in pain.

The couple took the baby to the Sector 16 General Hospital. He was examined by doctors who said his condition was stable and referred him to the Nursery Ward of the hospital. It was a premature baby and weighed around 1.7 kg.

Sources in the hospital said a tag led to the identification of the mother as her name and serial number were written on it. The doctors at the hospital told the police that Renu, 36, a resident of Sector 9, had delivered that baby on October 22.

She was a labourer and was living in a makeshift accommodation. She left the hospital on Monday without informing anyone and did not come back.

Acting on the information, the police arrested the woman from her residence and registered a case under Section 317 of the IPC on the charge of abandoning the child.

Quoting Renu, the SHO of the Sector 26 police station, Inspector Sukhpal Singh Rana, said her husband had died. She has a son and was now living with another man, who deserted her recently.

During preliminary interrogation, she admitted that she left the hospital on Monday. She had abandoned the child believing that it had died, she claimed.



PGI fee counter closure adds to patients’ pain
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 24
Hundreds of attendants accompanying patients from far-flung areas have been put to great hardship following the closure of a fee counter at the Emergency OPD of the PGI for the past couple of days.

The counter was reportedly closed as the employees concerned were on leave.

The attendants, a majority of them uneducated and from rural areas, can be seen waiting restlessly for hours as there is hardly anyone to guide them properly.

As per hospital records, between 350 and 400 patients are registered at the Emergency OPD every day. The ratio of patients and doctors and other paramedical staff has been showing a rapid decline. The conditions were much worse today as a majority of the hospital women staff (paramedical and technical) had gone on leave by adjusting their holidays.

Mr Rulda Ram, a 65-year-old resident of Ropar, who was accompanying his ailing son, had to face harassment as he could not get a city scan of his son done in time today.

He had to face disappointment following the closure of the fee counter adjacent to the Emergency OPD.

“I do not understand terms like floor, block and room No. that employees have been using with me. When I asked them to guide me to the fee counter they were directing me, no one was ready.

Finally, a boy, attending to his relative here, took me to the ground floor of Nehru Hospital at the main reception of the PGI following which I could pay the fee for tests suggested by doctors,” he lamented.

Hailing from Sundernagar in Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh, Mr Sandeep Moudgil, who was attending to his brother, expressed concern over the “poor facilities” provided to patients and their attendants coming from rural areas by the authorities at the Emergency OPD.

He added that the authorities should appoint employees at the Emergency OPD to help uneducated attendants in getting various tests done at different blocks of the institute.

A PGI spokesperson, while admitting to the closure of the fee counter at the Emergency OPD, said when there was a shortage of staff, the hospital authorities generally closed the fee counter at the Emergency OPD and directed patients and their attendants to make payments at counter No. 16 on the ground floor of the main building. 



In Town

Pakistani fans will cheer their country’s team in the ICC Champions Trophy in a crucial day-and-night match against New Zealand at the PCA Stadium in Mohali on Wednesday.

Though hundreds of cricket fans were expected to be in town, yet, on account of the strict visa regime by the Central Government, only 27 cricket fans crossed over to India through the Wagah border on Tuesday.



Watch out

Rupinder Pal Singh
Rupinder Pal Singh

A product of the Chandigarh Hockey Academy, Sector 42, Rupinder Pal Singh is part of the Chandigarh team which will face the Orissa team in the 62nd Senior National Hockey Championship at Amritsar on Wednesday. The championship is being held at four venues of Punjab — Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Baini Sahib.

Rupinder, a national gold medallist, came to the limelight during the Under-17 National Hockey championship held at Chandigarh (2005-2006). It was his expertise in a penalty corner conversion and precise distribution skills which enabled him to net as many as eight goals. 



Passing Through

Andras Kozma
Dr Andras Kozma, sitar player, Director, Ravi Shankar Institute for Music and Performing Arts ( RIMPA), Budapest, Hungary

Originally an accomplished guitarist of national eminence and composer of western music and films what tempted you to opt for Indian classical music ?

With music in my veins I had studied contemporary music traditions and observed the Indian Classical system as the best and ultimate.

What inspired you to choose sitar and Pt Ravi Shankar as your guru ?

Sitar is best suited to produce emotional evocative effects of the ragas. I had extensive training from Padma Bhushan Pt Debu Choudhry before falling in the tutelage of Pt Ravi Shankar, whom I admire .

With 30 years of learning are you an established maestro of Indian music in Hungary or Europe?

Since Indian music is very complex and intricate people here hold a view that only an Indian artist is competent to bare its rich melody. Where ever I perform I prefer to be known as the foremost European disciple of Pt Ravi Shankar, the most revered sitar wizard.

How popular is Indian music in the West?

Indian classical music and dance took the world by storm after 1960 and there was a craze for everything Indian but during ’80s and ’90s there was a decline in its popularity. Indian music is practiced by esoteric group of people but whole heartedly with a dedicated devotion.

How do like the City Beautiful ?

Whatever I have seen of Chandigarh is a veritable testimony of Le Corbusier’s genius at its zenith but the warmth of the people here is very fascinating. Me and my co artists not only like all Indian traditions but have also named our ensemble ‘‘Calcutta Trio’’.

— S.D. Sharma



Soiled in blood by the roadside
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 24
Flies covered her from head to toe, a blood-splattered wound on her leg was a gory picture, and there was not enough clothing on her as she lay soiled in mud and blood by the roadside.

Horrific as it may sound, this unidentified woman lay for hours on the Ramgarh-Barwala road before she was spotted by a passerby who was kind enough to inform the police. For a change, the police acted promptly and even organised water and clothing for the woman.

Immediately, a constable was sent to the spot with water, but she did not seem to notice the company as she drifted in and out of slumber. With no clue of her identity and mumbling indiscernable words, all she managed to repeat to every question was “Saharanpur”.

In her mid-30s, she seemed absolutely disinterested in passersby who stopped out of curiosity as she lay almost half-clad while the policeman on duty made efforts to cover her legs with a small piece of cloth.

Meanwhile, a police gypsy arrived at the scene to access the situation.

The police, for a change, went all out to help the woman by organising proper clothing for her and offering water to drink.

“We got information of this woman from a passerby. She seems to be mentally unstable and has not uttered anything to enable us to trace her home. She was probably hit by a vehicle while she was walking down the road. We will admit her to hospital and record her statement once she feels better or feels like talking,” ASI Satbir Singh said.

A woman from an adjoining village was called to help the unidentified woman get into clean clothes. After this, she was taken to hospital where she is under treatment. 



Army evaluating miniature detectors
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 24
In the face of ever-growing threat of subversion and constant deployment in low intensity conflict, the Army is evaluating miniature, remote "substance detectors" capable of sniffing out explosives, narcotics and other substances.

Termed GT-200 Detection System the detectors is the size of a small torch with a foldable antenna, which is attached to a palm-sized pack mounted on an operator's belt. The pack contains the operating unit and sensor cards.

‘‘Trials have been carried out at all Army commands and we have also trained a few personnel from an Army bomb disposal unit,’’ Mr Manohar Pai. Assistant Vice-President of Nickung Group, the firm marketing the system, told The Tribune during a visit to Chandigarh. The system has also been demonstrated to the Chief of the Army Staff as well as the Engineer-in-Chief, he claimed.

It is expected that if procured, the system would be inducted by bomb disposal units at the command level and some select engineer and infantry units. Company officials said that the Defence Research and Development Organisation and the anti-narcotics cell of the Mumbai Police have already procured this system.

Claimed to be the most advanced remote detection system in the world, the GT-200 operates from static electricity generated by the body and does not require any external power source. Moreover, the unique feature of this system is its flexibility to detect any substance for which a sensor card can be developed. At present it can detect a vast range of narcotics, various types of ammunition and explosives as well as other substances like uranium acetate, human bodies, ivory, poison and currency.

It sniffs out substances by detecting the magnetic fields of the substance as programmed on the sensor card. Substances cannot be hidden from detection in traditional disguises like oil, petrol, metal containers fish or coffee. Further, it does not require a line-of-sight from the operator to the hidden substances and hence, obstructions like buildings, trees, tents and vehicles do not hamper its operations. Even a room can be "swept" from outside the building.

The area of operations extends to vehicle check points, port controls, open areas, air operations, naval operations and building searches. As many as 74 substances can be detected in a single operation. Once the presence of a controlled substance in a given area is established, its exact location is determined by triangulation. 



Widow alleges harassment by police informer
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 24
A widow staying in Old Panchkula here today alleged that a police informer staying in her neighbourhood ransacked her kerosene depot and fled with Rs 7,200 and nine ration cards last night. He also threw stones and bricks at her, she alleged.

Ms Suman Sood, who stays here with her two teenaged sons, said the police was also not cooperating with her and had not registered a case against the accused.

She said alleged that some persons used to trouble her and she had complained to the police about it. Last night, however, was a nightmare for her.

“A group of boys led by Roopa, the main accused, came there and began pushing through the queue of people lined up for kerosene. They spilled the kerosene lying in cans and ransacked the drawers and her house and took away Rs 7,200. “My suit was torn in the scuffle. Finally, we managed to push them away and locked ourselves in a room,” she said.

She informed the police and a flying squad reached the spot. However, after pacifying her and taking one of the miscreants, Vijay, in custody, they went away. “They had even rounded up Roopa, who claims to be a police informer. However, he fled from there later,” she said.

In the night, he came back to haunt them again. “He, along with other boys, threw stones at our door in an effort to break it open. None of the neighbours came to our rescue. I fear for my life and property since Roopa is at large and maintains that nobody can arrest him. I went to the police post with a complaint, but they said there was no new complaint. However, they assured action on my earlier complaint,” she said.

“Roopa managed to escape in the presence of four policemen. I am going to see the SP to apprise him of the matter. I don’t feel safe anymore even in my house,” she said.

While Roopa is absconding, his brother, Ramesh Kumar, ratified Suman’s statements. 



NORKA recognises Mohali unit of Malayalee Samajam
Our Correspondent

Mohali, October 24
The local unit of the Malayalee Samajam has recently been recognised by NORKA (Non-Resident Keralites Association), Non-Resident Keralites Affairs Department, Government of Kerala, on the onset of the closing ceremony of the 50th Kerala Piravi (Kerala Formation) day falling in November.

In order to ensure the welfare of non-resident Keralites (NRKs), redress their grievances and safeguard their rights, NORKA was set up by the Government of Kerala to help them at every step. NORKA is the first association of its kind in India.

Other states like Punjab and Andhra Pradesh have approached NORKA for guidelines in the constitution of similar associations.

Briefing about the activities of the samajam, Mr Benny Thomas , president of the local unit, said with a strong membership base in all three cities of Mohali, Chandigarh and Panchkula, all other Keralite organisations and Malayalee fraternity in and around Mohali subscribed to their common mission of setting up of a Kerala Bhavan at Mohali and form part of the Malayalee Samajam, Mohali.

The samajam also succeeded in securing a sizeable piece of land (1,000 sq yards) near the PCA cricket stadium towards partial fulfillment of the objective of setting up a Kerala Bhavan.

Thereafter, the possession of the land from Punjab Urban Development Authority (PUDA) had also taken place and the construction of Kerala Bhavan at Sector 65, Mohali, was presently in progress.

The first phase of the construction activity was almost over and the building, although semi-constructed, could be used for conducting various programmes, said Mr Thomas.



Gold palanquin donated at Mansa Devi shrine
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 24
A staunch devotee of Mata Mansa Devi, Mr Vishnu Goyal today chose to express his unflinching faith and love for the goddess by donating a gold-clad palanquin for her at the Mansa Devi shrine this morning.

“It’s just our way of thanking her for all the good luck and prosperity she has bestowed upon us in all these years”, Mr Goyal, a resident of Sector 12, said.

At the shrine where a special ceremony was held during the day to “offer the palki” to the goddess, Mr Goyal accompanied by his family, his father, mother, children and others, said that it was a dream realised to be able to give back to the goddess a part of all that she had bestowed upon the family.

“The idea first came to my mind a couple of years back when we thought of donating a gold ‘chhatar’ (umbrella) to the shrine board. During subsequent visits, we realised that the palki of clay and mortar needed to be replaced. After toying with the idea of funding such a huge project, we finally decided to go ahead,” he added.

Made of a copper base, the palki has been made of 2.8 kg gold applied in 24 foils on the palki. On the occassion, the Haryana Chief Minister’s wife, Ms Asha Hooda, was invited as a special guest for performing the puja to dedicate the palki to the goddess. She was appreciative of the family’s gesture in donating a golden palki.

The shrine board authorities said that the clay-mortar palki would be immersed at Haridwar. They said that along with the earlier palki, the authorities would also immerse the 400-odd chits containing wishes made by devotees at Haridwar in a bid to deliver these to the goddess.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Brijendra Singh, the Superintendent of Police, Mr Balbir Singh, and officials of the district administration were among those present. 



Zoos to have vulture breeding centres
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 24
In the wake of rapid vulture deaths, leading to the scavengers’ near extinction in the Indian subcontinent, the Ministry of Environment and Forests has now decided that vulture breeding programmes will be launched in various zoos across the country.

In first phase, Vulture Breeding Centres will be launched at about 10 zoos, located across the states of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Orissa. A sum of Rs 1 crore has already been set aside for starting centres in the above mentioned states. Later on, these vulture breeding centres will be set up in zoos located across all states.

It is thus that a training programme for Chief Wildlife Wardens of the above mentioned states, besides those from Uttaranchal, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab, will be held at the Vulture Conservation Breeding Centre, Pinjore next week (from November 1- 4). These officers will be imparted training by wildlife experts from the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), the Wildlife Institute of India and the Haryana Forest Department. “The officers will be trained on how to establish isolation enclosures for the vultures, where they can be allowed to breed in peace. The wildlife officers will also be told on how to catch the vultures living in the wild for their captive breeding in zoos,” informed Mr J.P.L. Srivastava, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Haryana.

Official sources informed TNS that the main reason for the catastrophic decline of the Gyps species of vultures (97 per cent decline in population) was the excessive use of diclofenac — a drug given by farmers to lame cattle. This drug poisons the vulture that preys on dead cattle. It is thus that the National Wildlife Board, headed by Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, had called for banning of diclofenac and testing of its non-toxic variant, Meloxicam.

“Considering that just 3 per cent of vulture population remains in the South Asian region, the Ministry of Environment and Forests has now decided that the best possible way to ensure a further decline in population is to start vulture breeding programmes on a mass scale,” informed a senior forest official, associated with the vulture conservation and breeding programme of the ministry.

After the successful establishment and initiation of vulture breeding programme at the Vulture Conservation Breeding Centre, Pinjore, the government had initially decided to open similar centres. While a centre has been recently started at Baksa in West Bengal, clearance is still awaited to establish a centre at Baddi in Himachal Pradesh. As of now there are 116 birds under captive breeding at Pinjore and 14 vultures at Baksa. It is because of the time required to set up separate vulture breeding centres that it has been decided to establish these within the zoos.



Aerospace olympiad to be held in Chandigarh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 24
As many as 14 school teams from all over the country would be participating in the first ever National Aerospace Olympiad, being organised by the Chandigarh chapter of the Aeronautical Society of India (AeSI) in the city from October 26-28.

The participating teams are required to present a project on “Putting a Satellite in Moon’s Orbit”, with special reference to propulsion system. Besides, a written 40-page report, the teams will be required to make an audio-visual presentation on their perception of planning, designing and launching the satellite.

Dr M. Annadurai, Director of ISRO’s Chandrayaan Project, Prof B.N Raghunanden, Chairperson, Department of Aerospace, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, Prof Vijay Gupta, Director, Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh, Wg Cdr D.P. Sabharwal (retd) and Mr S.C. Sharma, both vice chairmen, AeSI, are the judges for the olympiad. The event would be inaugurated by the Governor of Punjab, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd).

Besides the presentation, other events like aviation quiz, painting competition and general knowledge test would also be held to assess the overall aptitude of the participants.

The olympiad is aimed at creating awareness about India’s aerospace programme and to motivate students towards a career in the fledging field of aviation and space.



Hans lays stress on principles of Sikhism
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 24
Sikh politics cannot maintain a separate identity by staying away from the principles of Sikhism. This was stated by renowned Punjabi scholar, academician and author of several books, Dr Surjit Hans, during a book release function of his recent publication “Sada Sahit te Dharam” held  at Sector 26 Sri Guru Gobind Singh College, here today.

The function was attended by an impressive gathering of intellectuals, writers, scholars and critics as well as students of Punjabi literature. The seminar was presided over by Professor Mohan Singh Johal, former Registrar, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar. Mr Bharpur Singh, secretary Sikh Education Society, delivered the welcome address.

Talking about the contents of his book, Mr Hans said Mr Bharpur Singh, to whom he had dedicated his book, was the source and mode of inspiration. He added that “the best thing about the book is its dedication”. He expressed his pain that even the interpretation of holy scriptures was distorted by Sikh scholars.

Discussing the Sikh religion and its impact on social as well literary life of Punjab, Mr Hans stated that the 20th century Sikh politics was based on the idea propagated by Bhai Khan Singh.

His notion of Hum Hindu Nahin” (we are not Hindus) was established with the passage of time. However, the Sikh movement failed to go beyond this idea and faced a kind of inertia.

Giving reasons behind it, he pointed out that lack of historical vision was the factor that took its toll. Quoting some verses, he added that the historical facts were distorted by the scholars to support their ideologies.

Commenting on the present day Sikh politics, he went on to say that the leadership of “our times fails to abide by the  great principals of Sikhism enshrined in  our scriptures.

Rather it has chosen a way of acquiring power through petty politics”. Emphasising over the need of revival of great Sikh tradition of panth and guru (religion and teacher), he added that the Sikhs cannot boast of their unique identity which no one can match in the world. Besides this, he also highlighted the wrong practice of proving Sikh Gurus as incarnations. He pointed out that these were some of the reasons which restricted Sikhism to transcend.

Mr Bharpur Singh, while throwing light on the scholarly profile of Mr Hans, said he is a unique blend of incisive nature, tradition and progressive ideas, which cast an impact on the literary movement of Punjab.



Man alleges police inaction
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 24
If the allegations of a Mani Majra resident, whose daughter was thrashed by a woman constable of the Chandigarh Police, are to be believed then it means that the local police prefers to go rather ‘slow’ in proceeding against erring cops.

The father of the victim Mr Mam Chand, a resident of Subash Nagar, had lodged a complaint with the UT Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Gaurav Yadav, four days ago, but no action has reportedly been taken on his complaint. He is running from pillar to post to get justice.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Mam Chand, said the woman police Constable, Lalita Devi had thrashed his daughter in order to teach her a lesson. He said his daughter had a minor altercation with the daughter of Lalita Devi in her class last week.

When Mr Mam Chand went to the Mani Majra police station to lodge a complaint, the police officers on duty refused to lodge his complain and asked him to come later. When he met SHO of the Mani Majra Police Station, he told him to come after Divali.



Face-to-face with Punjabi litterateur
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 24
Kayanat Arts organised an interactive programme with Punjabi litterateur Amarjit Singh at Uttam Complex here yesterday.
Amarjit Singh had been the founder Editor of leading Punjabi magazine, Aks, published from New Delhi for the past 31 years. He discussed varied perspectives of proliferation of good literature through magazines. He also highlighted financial constraints faced by such publications.

He said there had been an alarming decline in the readership of Punjabi literary magazines while the circulation of magazines published in other regional languages had gone up substantially.

“Glamour is a big attraction for many readers and they fail to appreciate the content value,” he said. He, however, solicited patronage from art loving associations, corporate houses and the government to come forward in support of such publications.

He supported his view referring to the record growth of “India Today” that was launched with his magazine “Aks”.



Rs 20 crore honorarium for Nambardars
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 24
The Punjab Government has released Rs 20.03 crore for the payment of honorarium to 33,397 Nambardars of the state during the current financial year. This honorarium of Rs 500 per month would be paid from April 1.

Mr Jasjit Singh Randhawa, Revenue and Rehabilitation Minister, announced this yesterday during a meeting with a delegation of the Punjab Nambardars Union.

Mr Randhawa also declared that one member from the nambardars union would be included into the Tehsil and District Grievances committees in the state. Their demand of increasing the current share of 5 per cent revenue collection, popularly known as “Panchotra”, up to 10 per cent would be sent to the Irrigation Department for consideration, he added.



Forensic team inspects gutted battle tank

Panchkula, October 24
A team of the Forensic Department today collected samples from the Army battle tank on display at Shankla Chowk, Sector 2, here today. The tank caught fire on the Diwali night and it took 50 minutes for the firemen to douse the flames.

The SP, Mr Balbir Singh, who visited the spot with the forensic team headed by Ms Anita Kadiyan, said they found crackers, bottles, brooms, empty packets of chips in the tank.

“One outlet of the tank had been left open. It had a whole lot of things piled into it, including crackers. We have sent samples to the lab in Madhuban to ascertain if any chemical was also used,” Ms Kadiyan said. TNS



Annkut celebrated with fervour
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 24
Sree Goverdhan Puja Annkut Mahotsav at Gaudiya Math in Sector 20 here yesterday.
Starting with “yaam kirtan” at 4.45 am and “mangla arti” at 5.15 am, hundreds of devotees took out a huge “prabhat pheri” in Sector 20.

As many as 151 types of specially prepared items were offered to Lord Giriraj by the devotees.

In the Kartik month, daily “prabhat pheris” are taken out by devotees in different parts of Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali along with “hare Krishna” sankirtan.



Sai Baba devotees visit city temple
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 24
As many as 73 physically challenged devotees from Jyoti Seva Sangh, Vasai in Maharashtra, visited the Shirdi Sai Temple in Sector 29 during their annual tour here yesterday.

The local Shirdi Sai Baba devotees gave them a warm welcome. The visitors were also presented photos of the ‘god’ apart from clothing.

The devotees were on a spree for spreading the message of Shirdi Sai Baba in this part of the region.



Sector 47 burglary cases solved; 1 held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 24
With the arrest of a Burail resident the local police yesterday claimed to have solved two cases of burglaries committed in shops in Sector 47 in the past two months. The police said eight stolen mobile phones and other electronic appliances were recovered from the person arrested in this connection.

Giving details, the SHO of Sector 31 police station, Inspector Har Sahai Sharma, said they had constituted a special team following two incidents of burglaries in shops in Sector 47. As the modus operandi in both cases was found to be the same, the police started looking for a gang. On the basis of information gathered from sources, the police team managed to nab one person from near the Tribune Chowk on October 17.

The SHO said 23-year-old arrested person had ben identified as Anil Kumar who hails from Uttar Pradesh. He was working with a glow sign company in the city.

He also disclosed the identity of his accomplice Raj Kumar, who also hailed from the same village. However, Raj Kumar is still at large. Police teams had been sent to his native village in Faizabad district in Uttar Pradesh, but he managed to escape from there.

During interrogation Anil Kumar revealed that they had gained entry by breaking open grills fitted on the ventilators in the shop and had stolen articles.

The police recovered eight mobile phones, a DVD player, a walkman and other mobile phone accessories worth Rs 45,000 from his possession.

The police further said the remaining articles would be recovered with the arrest of Raj Kumar.



‘Tortured’ by cops, youth lands in PGI
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 24
Naresh Kumar, a 16-year-old youth from Morinda, who was allegedly tortured by the police, was tonight admitted to the PGI here.
Naresh was allegedly picked by officials of the Morinda police station on allegations of selling narcotics and booked under the NDPS Act. However, today Naresh was admitted to the Civil Hospital, Morinda, in a serious condition. Seeing his condition, he was referred to the PGI by doctors.

Jagpal Singh, a councillor of the Morinda Municipal Council, who accompanied Naresh to the PGI, alleged that the police was trying to target “innocent” persons under the garb of an anti-drug campaign. Balbir Kaur, Naresh’s mother, alleged that her husband, Leela Ram, was earlier detained illegally at the Morinda police station from October 11 to 15. He was picked up from an orchard of Mr Kultar Singh, president of the Market Committee, Morinda, at Rattangarh in Ropar district, where the family worked.

Later, after the release of Leela Ram, his son was picked up and detained illegally before being admitted to the hospital in a serious condition,she alleged. “We were threatened to confess by the police that we deal in drugs”, Leela Ram alleged.

Meanwhile, doctors attending on Naresh said he was unable to talk and was under observation. However, Mr B.S. Majithia and Mr Daljit Singh, SHO and DSP of Morinda, respectively, denied the torture allegations claiming that Naresh had been booked under the NDPS Act. He was to be shifted to Juvenile Home, Ludhiana, today, but could not be sent there.

In the meantime, Jagpal Singh, who is also facing criminal charges under Section 364 of the IPC, had enacted the “whole drama” to give the police a bad name and divert public attention from his wrongdoings, police officials claimed. Meanwhile, the Lawyers for Human Rights International has offered to provide free legal aid to the victim and his family, its local president, Mr T.S. Sudan, said.



Man injured in freak accident
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 24
A 60-year-old man crushed his leg under the wheels of a truck when the driver was reversing the vehicle unmindful of the fact that someone was sleeping behind it. The truck driver shifted the victim to the PGI in an unconscious state and sped from there.

The police said the accident took place in Sector 39, Grain Market, during the night on October 20 and a case was registered on Monday after the victim regained consciousness and recorded his statement.

The victim, Mr Ajaib Singh of Mauli Baidwan village in Mohali district, told the police that he had come to the market to sell paddy and was sleeping there. All of a sudden he felt excruciating pain in his leg and woke up to see that it was crushed under the wheels of a truck. He raised the alarm and soon people gathered there and alerted the driver about the mishap.

The police said the truck driver shifted the victim to the PGI in an unconscious state and left him there. Mr Ajaib Singh remained unconscious for days and was under treatment at the hospital.

A case of causing serious injuries due to rash and negligent driving has been registered in this regard.



JE held taking bribe
Our Correspondent

Mohali, October 24
A Junior Engineer (JE), Kulwant Singh, working with PUDA was arrested by officials of the Punjab Vigilance Bureau here today after he was allegedly caught red-handed while accepting a bribe of Rs 5,000.

Mr Gurmel Singh, DSP, who headed the raiding team, said a contractor, Mr Diwan Singh, had complained that the JE was allegedly demanding a bribe for releasing a part of the remaining payment. Mr Diwan Singh worked as a contractor for the horticulture wing of PUDA and had carried out some development work in the Neighbourhood Park, Sector 64 . He was given only a part of the payment and the remaining amount was not being released.

The DSP said the JE had demanded Rs 8,000 for clearing the remaining amount of the contractor, but the deal was finalised at Rs 5,000. A trap was laid and the complainant was asked to hand over the amount to the JE in the Neighbourhood Park. As soon as the amount was accepted, Vigilance Bureau officials conducted a raid and recovered the amount in the presence of Mr Sandeep Singh, SDO, and Mr Sukhwinder Singh, JE. Both official witnesses work in the office of the Municipal Council here. The alleged bribe amount was demanded and given in the presence of Mr Amrik Singh, a resident of Jangpura village falling under the Banur police station.

The police has registered a case under Sections 7, 13 (2) 88 of the Prevention of Corruption Act against the JE.

Mr Gurmel Singh has appealed to the public that if any government official demanded bribe for executing any work, a complaint could be made at the office of the Vigilance Bureau located on the premises of the Phase VIII police station.



Man duped of Rs 45 lakh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 24
A city resident was allegedly duped by a Mumbai-based filmmaker of Rs 45 lakh. The money was taken by the filmmaker as a loan. Sources in the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Chandigarh Police said Mr Sham Darshan Jaswal of Sector 33-A had lodged a compliant alleging that Mohinder Dhaliwal of Mumbai had taken a loan of Rs 45 lakh from him for making a film about two years ago.

At that time, Mr Jaswal was promised a share of 50 per cent out of the profit earned by the film. But the film was never made. Following this, Jaswal demanded his money back. He was handed over a cheque for Rs 25 lakh by Dhaliwal. However, the cheque was dishonoured as the account had been closed long back.

Mr Jaswal reported the matter to the police. A case has been registered under Section 420 of the IPC, but no arrest has been made so far.

Snatching incident: Ms Mumtaz of Sector 24-C has reported to the police that a scooter-borne youngster snatched her purse on the road separating Sectors 32 and 47 on Tuesday.

She told the police that she was going to Sector 47 on a rickshaw when the incident took place. The purse contained a mobile phone, Rs 10,000 and gold jewellery. A case has been registered.

Vehicles stolen: Mr D.S. Chandan of Kendriya Vihar, Sector 48, has lodged a complaint with the police alleging that his Maruti car (CH-01-H-0068) was stolen from the Sector 46 market on October 19.

In another incident, Mr Khem Chand Gupta of Sector 16 reported to the police that his Kinetic Honda scooter (CH-03-M-4745) was stolen from NAC, Mani Majra, on September 29.

Two cases of thefts have been registered.

Water meter stolen: Ms Dina Suri of Sector 44 has filed a complaint with the police alleging that a water meter was stolen from her residence on Monday. A case of theft has been registered.



MoD creates 100-cr fund to promote small, medium enterprises
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 24
The Ministry of Defence has created a Rs 100 crore fund to promote small and medium enterprises for participation in defence industry. This was stated by Mr T. Ramachandru, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Defence (MoD), while speaking at an interactive session on Private Participation in Defence Industry, organised by the CII Chandigarh Council here today. He said this fund had been created on the recommendations of the Kelkar Committee to support small and medium industry. A cap of Rs 5 crore had been kept for a single unit.

He said in order to achieve self-reliance by augmenting indigenous defence production capability, there had been a paradigm shift in the role of private sector. Indian private sector participation in defence sector had been allowed up to 100 percent, subject to licensing. “The Government has also allowed 26 per cent FDI in defence sector which has created an opportunity for various countries to establish joint ventures and technological collaboration with the Indian Industry to set up production facilities in India,” he added.

He also said that the government was now planning to name big private players in the defence industry, as Raksha Udyog Ratnas, provided these had a turnover of Rs 1000 crore. These will be at par with the defence PSUs, he added.

Mr T. Ramachandru further said that the Defence Production Industry in India had traversed from being reserved entirely for the public sector to moving towards greater participation from the private sector. “To ensure indigenous research, development and production of capabilities sought by the Armed Forces, in prescribed time frame, the guidelines incorporated in Defence Procurement Procedure 2006 offers help in neutralising the impact of taxes and taxes payable by Indian Industry and make it a level playing field,” he said.

Discussing at length about Defence Offsets, Lt-Col R.K. Verma (retd), Consultant, CII Defence Division, said, “The Defence Offsets would help the private sector in two ways: provide bargaining power for domestic government/firms in international agreements; and, technology transfer from private suppliers to buyers “Further offset benefits accrued are ploughed back to boost manufacturing capabilities, gaining access to technology, increasing exports, besides generating employment, he added.

Mr R.M. Khanna, former Chairman, CII Chandigarh Council said, “The CII National Committee on Defence as part of CII initiative to work in the area of defence, works closely with the government on Defence Procurement Policy, enhancing transparency, competitiveness, level playing field for Indian Industry vis-a-vis Defence PSUs and foreign suppliers and also expanding business opportunities for Industry through constant interaction with the Army, the Navy and the Air Force - the end users. The committee has been successfully able to institutionalise various annual programmes with the Indian Armed Forces, like NIP (Navy Industry partnership), AIP (Army Industry partnership), Defence IT convention, indigenisation programmes with the Indian Air Force etc,” he said.



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