C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Keep an eye on those well-suited, uninvited guests
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 27
Look out for those strangely familiar youngsters, smartly dressed up as 'baratis' in three-piece suits, mingling freely with the crowds at marriage ceremonies. Chances are that these uninvited happy young men are pickpockets.

A day after some of their ilk managed to pocket the peace of mind of so many revelers at a marriage party in Hotel Mountview, the staff and the police believe these outlaws were no ordinary looking pickpockets like the regular ones you encounter on buses and public places.

In all probability, they were fine young men dressed up as 'baratis'. They managed to “steal” the show, and the valuables, while the ribbon-cutting ceremony was going on near gate number 2 “outside the hotel”.

The sources in the police headquarters assert that cases of pick-pocketing in marriage ceremonies are not uncommon in the city. But more often than not the thieves, not so well-dressed, mingle with the waiters for picking up the stuff.

For establishing the identities of the Hotel Mountview culprits, the hotel staff and the police have now requested the victims to provide them with a copy of compact disc of the ceremony.

The police has already registered a case in the matter on the basis of a complaint alleging the theft of cash and jewellery worth Rs three lakh from unsuspecting guests at the hotel.

The Deputy Superintendent of the Chandigarh Police, Mr R.S. Randhawa, says chances are that the thieves have been caught on the 'third eye' silently recording the proceedings of the marriage ceremony at the hotel.

Giving details of the preliminary investigations carried out by the police, Mr Randhawa says he visited the spot this morning and found that the pickpockets in all probability managed to take advantage of the commotion and pulled the valuables out of the handbags while both the sides were still outside the hotel gate.

Refuting the allegations of laxity on the part of the hotel staff, a senior Hotel Mountview officer says there was no way the pickpockets could have entered the hotel as two security guards and a supervisor were deployed at the gate when the incident occurred.

In any case, the hotel was immediately sealed from all sides to prevent the escape of the culprits.

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Promising life cut short by accident
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 27
A third year mechanical engineering student of Punjab Engineering College, Sector 12, was crushed to death under a CTU bus at the Sectors 16 and 17 traffic light point here this afternoon. His face was damaged badly under the tyres of the bus.

The victim, identified as 19-year-old Rajan Sharma of Zirakpur, died on the spot. He was rushed to the PGI by a Police Control Room (PCR) vehicle, where the doctors declared him brought dead. The other boy, Sachin, the victim’s classmate, was discharged from the Sector 16 General Hospital. The victim was not wearing a safety helmet, said the police.

According to eyewitnesses, the mishap took place at around 12:15 pm when the bus collided with the motor cycle, on which the victim was riding pillion, while the other boy riding the motor cycle escaped with minor bruises. The bus collided with the motor cycle from the right side, resulting which the motorcyclists lost control over the vehicle and fell on the road. The pillion rider was crushed under the rear tyres of the bus while the other boy escaped as he fell on other side. The victim was dragged to a distance of about 15 feet before the bus halted. Both the vehicles moved after getting a green signal at the traffic lights, just before the mishap.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Sachin, a resident of Sector 45, said that Rajan asked him to drop him at PGI bus stop. I used to drop him at the PGI bus stop as he did not have a helmet. As it was their first day of semester exams, Rajan wanted to reach home early. So he asked him to drop him at the Sector 17 ISBT. “Just after we started from the traffic lights, I felt a jerk and found that we were hit by a bus coming from rear. I lost control over my motor cycle and flew from the motor cycle with the impact before landing on the road. After getting up I saw Rajan lying listless under the bus and people were rushing toward him. Before I could judge his condition he was taken by cops to the hospital.’’

Later in the day the cries of the victim’s mother rented the air in the police station. The scene at the police station became emotional when the victim’s mother, who was crying inconsolably, held her son’s bag in her lap. She was repeatedly asking Sachin why he had agreed to take her son on his motor cycle. Unable to control herself she sobbed: "He asked me late last night to wake him up at 4 in the morning, saying that he wanted to revise his syllabus. He also asked about my health last night. Had I known that this would happen with him, I would have never sent him to college”.

She further added that Rajan used to ask them to buy him a motor cycle but they always persuaded him against it, saying that he would have cars in his life after he completed his studies.

Rajan was the younger son of his parents. He is survived by an elder brother, father and mother. His elder brother is a B. Com student. Describing Rajan his classmate asserted that he was studious and was counted among the brilliant students in his batch. He scored 70 per cent marks in his last exams.

Meanwhile, the police has arrested bus driver Dharamveer of Hisar on the allegation of causing death due to rash and negligent driving.

The driver had joined the service just one-and-a half-years ago. The postmortem would be performed tomorrow, the police said.

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Alert citizen gets cop behind bars
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 27
An alert complainant today managed to get a Punjab Police constable booked in a case of extortion and outraging the modesty of two women.

The accused constable was booked alongwith his other colleague by the local police in the case under Sections 382 and 345 of the Indian Penal Code on November 18. However, on that day he managed to give a slip to the local police while his colleague Naresh Kumar was nabbed by on-lookers on the spot.

Giving details of the sequence of events that led to the arrest of Constable Satnam Pal, who was posted in the security staff of a senior Punjab police officer, sources in the Sector 17 Police Station said the complainant Amit Kumar came to the police station to get back his mobile phone, which was stolen by the accused cops on that night. At the same time, Satnam Pal had come to the district courts to move a bail application. It was per chance that Amit noticed the accused and ran after him. He caught Satnam pal, who initially tried to evade him, but when Amit persisted the local police reached there and arrested the accused.

On November 18, late in the night the accused cops had manhandled Amit Kumar and his two women colleagues near Shanti Kunj in Sector 16. They were reportedly under the influence of liquor at the time of the incident, the police said. 

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Sans experts, infrastructure — govt multi-speciality hospital cries for cure
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 27
The Government Multi-Speciality Hospital (GMSH) — the name given to the General Hospital (GH), Sector 16 here, following its upgradation six months before by the Chandigarh Administration — seems to be a misnomer.

The public, especially patients, seems to have been taken for a ride by the administration. The claims of the hospital authorities regarding its full-fledged multi-speciality work force and the super-specialities available at the hospital are just on paper.

The hospital has been lacking even the basic infrastructure, including CT-scan, MRI and machines, required for conducting necessary tests apart the from the latest technology equipments.

The specialities and super-specialities are still a dream for patients visiting this so-called multi-speciality hospital of the city.

The critically injured or patients requiring immediate medical attention at the GMSH are being frequently referred to the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), thus adding to its burden.

Moreover, the GMSH has also inadequate strength of specialised doctors in various departments apart from the shortage of other medical and paramedical staff.

The GMSH has been crying for specialised doctors in neuro-surgery, cardiology, dermatology, psychiatry and numerous other departments.

Sources in the hospital revealed that a majority of the departments were being run by the MBBS doctors and resident doctors.

The skilled and experienced doctors were either transferred to health institutions in the city or sent to their parent states like Punjab, Haryana or on deputation with the Central Government.

Apart from this, only three — gynaecology, general surgery and eye and ENT — operation theatres (OTs) were functional.

The GMSH had made the trauma OT functional only three days ago. The CCU of the hospital had been meeting the demands of the ICU, the sources disclosed.

Patients, seeking CT-scan and MRI facilities at the government-run hospital, are being referred to the private laboratories and medical diagnostic centres in the city by the doctors, allegedly in connivance with their counterparts doing private practice.

Dr Usha Bishnoi Kapoor, Medical Superintendent, GMSH, Sector 16, claimed that the hospital was upgraded as a multi-speciality hospital recently and was in the process of development.

The specialities like endoscopic surgeries, TMT, advanced urology services and some other facilities had been introduced. The hospital had also introduced the DNB and a school of nursing recently. The procedure to buy the CT-Scan and the MRI machines was underway, she added.

Dr Kapoor admitted that the patients were being referred to the private diagnostic centres for the CT-scan and the MRI tests on the condition that they should be charged 'concessional' rates.

The GMSH authorities had been giving a form, duly filled by the doctors asking the laboratory or the diagnostic centre concerned to charge at a concessional rate from patients, claimed Dr Bishnoi.

The recruitment of skilled senior resident and resident doctors would be done shortly to strengthen various specialities.

She admitted that the senior doctors often opted to go back to their parent states and stressed that they were not being forcibly shifted out.

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Vendors selling 'advocate welfare fund stamp' without DC's nod
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 27
In what could have resulted in loss of lakhs of rupees to the state exchequer, stamp vendors at the Punjab and Haryana High Court and also at some of the subordinate courts in Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana are selling the "Advocate Welfare Fund Stamp".

The stamp, valued at Rs five, is being sold without seeking permission from the District Collector (DC) concerned.

According to the instructions of the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana, every practising advocate has to use the adhesive stamp on the power of attorney (vakalatnama) and memo of appearance.

According to the Punjab Stamp Rules, 1934, as made applicable to Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh, the licenced vendors are authorised to sell stamps of a specified description — non-judicial or judicial.

On the basis of the amount of stamps issued from a treasury or sub-treasury, the commission is given to a vendor. The commission varies from state to state.

In Punjab and Chandigarh, the commission allowed on court-fee stamp is at the rate of one per cent on the value of every stamp purchased and for a non-judicial stamp, the commission is two per cent.

The Rule 28 (IV) of The Punjab Stamp Rules, 1934, clearly specifies that licence granted was subject to the conditions that vendor would only sell stamps which he is authorised to sell at the place mentioned in his licence.

The Rule 28 (VII) states the vendor shall not sell stamps of any kind the use of which has been discontinued or prohibited by the competent authority.

The District Collector, Chandigarh, Mr R.K.Rao, said a vendor could only sell the kind and value of the stamps he was licenced to sell, adding that he would enquire in to the matter.

The Chairman of the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana, Mr Harish Rai Dhanda, however, maintained that there was no illegality in the vendors selling the 'Punjab and Haryana Advocate Welfare Fund Stamp'.

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Mohali also sings Singapore melody
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 27
Its not just City Beautiful that is selling Singapore dreams to its residents, the Punjab Government too has gone a step ahead and asked the Singapore government to help it plan and develop Mohali.

A high powered team of Punjab Government officials led by Chief Secretary K.R. Lakhanpal is in Singapore these days to work out the modalities of involving a Singapore firm to plan the 1350 sq km of area that now falls under the jurisdiction of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA). This Greater Mohali plan prepared by Singapore-based firms will act as a blueprint for the future development of the area.

However, eyebrows are being raised about the trip with sources pointing out that the Singapore trip seemed rather sudden especially when the GMADA had recently called for tenders from private companies to develop a master plan for Greater Mohali.

In August this year, GMADA had deployed Delhi-based Feedback Consultants for the preparation of a ''request for proposal'' (RFP) document to provide private consultant bidders with ‘’information to assist the formulation of their proposal.’’ The bids were called and scores of consultancy firms reportedly came forward to prepare the plan. However, even before these bids could be looked into, it was decided to contact the Singapore government to prepare the plan.

The Singapore government is said to have put the GMADA officials in touch with firms instrumental in bringing about infrastructural development in their country. Sources added that Mr Lakhanpal alongwith the Deputy Commissioner, Mohali, Mr Tejveer Singh, who is also Chief Administrator GMADA; Mr M.P. Singh, Director, local government, and Secretary Housing and Urban Development; Mr A.R. Talwar are holding meetings with representatives of these firms.

The drafting of master plans in the state is the duty of the Department of Town and Country Planning and this is the first time that the task of preparation of a master plan is being sourced out to private agencies in India or abroad. The role of the battery of professional town planners working with the Department of Country and Town Planning for years would be limited to providing inputs to the chosen private consultants in the form of sharing maps prepared already.

As many as 114 sectors have already been planned as part of the outline master plan of Mohali but following the constitution of the new district of SAS Nagar towns like Banur, Zirakpur, Dera Bassi, Kurali and Kharar form a part of Greater Mohali.

Already available with the Department are the various outline master plans of Mohali and other towns in the district, plans of Chandigarh inter-state region and the aerial photography of the Chandigarh periphery of Punjab region done in March, 1998. 

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Parents of dead Army officer petition to Kalam
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 27
Parents of dead Army officer who allegedly committed suicide while posted in Jammu and Kashmir have sent a petition to the President, seeking an independent probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the circumstances leading to his death.

Lt Rajesh Pandey of the Second Battalion of Jammu and Kashmir Rifles died of gunshot wounds in the abdomen while he was serving in Rajouri. The Army called it suicide but the family members allege foul play.

Local lawyer, Col S.K. Aggarwal (Retd) who is representing the aggrieved parents said a communiqué received by him from Rashtrapati Bhawan earlier this month had stated that the petition had been referred to the Ministry of Defence for appropriate action.

Mr R.P. Pandey, father of the deceased, had received a telegram from the unit’s Commanding Officer (CO), Col S K Datta on July 2, 2005, that he had died of bullet injuries received during accidental fire. A few days alter, a letter received by him from the CO stated that he had sustained gunshot wounds, the cause of which was under investigation.

The petition claims that while the Army had lodged an FIR with the police, it published the unit’s “part-II” order the next day which attributed his death to self-inflicted injury. The petition also states that no court of inquiry was held into the incident . Nor were any forensic or post-mortem reports received at the time the Army published the order.

The petition states that according to available evidence, the officer had not committed suicide but was fired upon from a distance. Further, the petition contends since it was a known fact that elements of Pakistan’s ISI and Lashkar-e-Toiba had penetrated the Army, he may have been the victim of one such operation.

The petition has sought that a copy of the police investigation report, forensic and ballistic reports, the court of inquiry proceedings and other pertinent documents be provided to the aggrieved family.

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Watch out

The city based Mr S.K. Sharma will be the chief-de-mission of the 47-member golfers, which will take on the Pakistan’s Punjab golf team for 2nd PUNJ-AAB Cup, from November 27 to December 3 at Lahore Gymkhana Golf Club.

Sharma, himself an accomplished golfer, is also president of Punjab Golf Association. In Pakistan, he, along with his sports delegates, will be on a mission to promote friendship, and goodwill among the people of both the countries through golf.

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In Town

On an invitation of Yuvsatta, Dr Subba Rao will be in Chandigarh tomorrow and will address the Peace Club members of the Dev Samaj College of Education, Sector 36-B, at 12 noon and young members of the Peace Club of KB DAV, Sector 7-B, Chandigarh, at 9 a.m., the day after.

Dr S.N. Subba Rao “Bhaiji”, as SN Subbaraoji is affectionately called, is an internationally known youth motivator and founder president of the National Youth Project Trust, which won the “National Communal Harmony Award” in 2004 for services rendered in spreading values of care, concern and compassion.

As a schoolboy, Rao joined India’s freedom struggle through the Quit India Movement. Inspired by Gandhiji’s principles, he dedicated his life inspiring youth to participate in development.

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Passing Through

Jeff A Brueggemann
Jeff A Brueggemann Baseball Coach from USA

What brings you to the city?

I am here to promote Baseball in India. My trip has been organised through the American Embassy. I have been in India for a month and have tied up with Baseball playing clubs and associations here to make the game popular among the youth.

Do you think the game has a future here?

Yes. Baseball seems to be already popular here. The children I have met are passionate about the game and want to play competitively and professionally. I saw the maximum enthusiasm among Manipuri children. The game is catching on among the youth also because there are no specific physical attributes required for playing it. Anyone can pick up the game and become good at it. It does not require you to be tall or very well built. One just needs to be athletic and alert.

What should be done to promote the game in India?

First, there is a need for permanent coaches who are skilled and match international standards. Secondly, you have to catch the players young, preferably while they are in school. Excellence will require years of training.

—Akash Ghai

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Chandigarh Calling

Bhangra, vibrant dance of Punjab, never ceases to enchant. And when it is performed by special children, its entertainment value increases manifold.

This was what happened at the 37th All-India Inter-State Inter-School Cultural Competitions at DAV Senior Secondary School, Sector 8, on November 26. Even as teams enthralled the audience, a special team from the Institute for the Blind, Sector 26, Chandigarh, stood out and won thunderous applause.

Visual disability was no deterrent for Palhoa and group as they put up a spirited performance which put even some of their competitors to shame. They deservedly walked away with the third prize.

Well! who says creativity is the preserve of only a select few?

Eye OPDs, special clinics

The OPDs and special clinics of the Ophthalmology Department of PGIMER that were shifted to the Advanced Eye Centre from the New OPD Block have started functioning from the complex. Unaware of the shifting of the department from the New OPD Block, patients who visited the PGIMER from far-flung areas, however, had a tough time.

The ground floor of the Advanced Eye Centre has the main entrance lobby, registration counter, emergency, faculty offices and academic facilities. The first floor has walk-in OPD clinic, retina clinic and rehabilitation area. The second floor has clinics for cornea and external diseases, glaucoma and lens services apart from tissue labs. The basement provides engineering services such as air-conditioning plant, electrical substation, telephone exchange, stores and parking for faculty members. The main lobby is designed to ensure vertical movement and provides a choice for patients either to use the lift, ramp or staircase.

Phulkari and home

For fashion designer Ranna Gill, ‘phulkari’ epitomises the flavour of home, Punjab. Although she herself did not grow up in the region (having been in Delhi all her life), her family still has its home and its roots here. ‘Phulkari’ for her signifies the beginning of spring and she “adores” it. “I have a whole collection of ‘phulkari’ with me, hand-me-downs, bedsheets, ‘salwar kameezes’ and it all reminds me from where I am,” she explains. She plans to pay homage to this silken yarn soon. “I love the meaning behind it, the romance and the sentiment,” she exclaims. And she promises that when she works with ‘phulkari’, everyone will stand and stare!

Utility of maths

Professor Michel Waldschmidt’s work deals with the number theory in mathematics. In India for a series of lectures earlier this month, this French mathematician hoped to help people understand the utility of maths in our daily lives and to change some negative perceptions of the subject in the minds of people. However, he may just have a long way to go as he related this rather interesting encounter he had while travelling in a train in India. He and his co-passenger started to chat and the conversation turned to the professor and his number theory. However, the co-passenger obviously did not understand. “He thought it very interesting that I was working on Number 3! Perhaps he thought number 3 held the key to arithmetic,” he laughed.

Some honesty

The other day, a friend on his way to the Regional Passport Office (RPO) unconsciously dropped his mobile set somewhere near the Piccadily lightpoint. When he reached the RPO, he was nonplussed to find it missing. He went to a PCO and dialled his mobile number. As luck favoured him, it was in the safe hands of a cop at the Piccadily lightpoint. He went to him and was shocked when the cop demanded a bottle of wine in return for the mobile set. But he showed his helplessness as he could not buy it with the only Rs 100 note he had. In fact, he was to take breakfast and buy other things with that money. As the cop insisted, he had no choice but to give in. As he was about to leave, the cop’s heart melted and he called him and returned him only Rs 20 for breakfast.

Contributed by Pradeep Sharma, Bipin Bhardwaj, Gayatri Rajwade and Tarundeep Aggarwal.

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Chandumajra’s son’s wedding a political gathering of sorts
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 27
Marriage of Mr Harinder Pal Singh, son of Mr Prem Singh Chandumajra, president of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Longowal) was a political gathering of sorts. From moderates to radicals, and left to right, politicians of all hues blessed the newly wedded couple- Mr Harinder Pal Singh and Ms Navpreet Kaur- at a well decorated marriage place in Zirakpur last evening.

By inviting politicians across the board, Mr Chandumajra has revived the old tradition when such social functions were attended by politicians of all political shades keeping their views and political differences aside. However, in the recent years, Punjab witnessed a fierce political rivalry among certain senior leaders of the Shiromani Akali Dal headed by Mr Parkash Singh Badal and the Congress government led by Capt Amarinder Singh.

And bitterness in their relations had an adverse effect on social relations among politicians of various parties in the state. Even certain senior politicians had stopped saying formal “Sat-Sri- Akal” what to say about talking to each other. They had stopped inviting each other on social functions. However, marriage of Mr Chandumajra’s son was a welcome break from the recent past as far its attending by political and social leaders was concerned.

Former Prime Minister V.P. Singh and Union ministers Ram Vilas Paswan, Pawan Kumar Bansal and Seilja were among those who blessed the couple. Former Chief Ministers Parkash Singh Badal and Om Parkash Chautala also attended the marriage.

And among the heads of political parties were Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, Mr Avtar Singh Karimpuri, and Mr Balwant Singh(CPM). Besides them, Dr Joginder Dayal, a member of the national executive of the CPI, was also present. Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna was also seen at the reception along with senior leaders of his party from Delhi. Mr Balramji Dass Tandon, senior leader of the BJP, also blessed the couple.

Mr Simranjit Singh Mann also made a visit to Mr Chandumajra’s residence on this occasion. Punjab Ministers Lal Singh, Jagjit Singh, Amarjit Singh Samra, Jagmohan Singh Kang and Jasjit Singh Randhawa were also seen at the reception.

Among the Members of Parliament were Ms Praneet Kaur, Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal, Mr Gurjit Singh, Ms Paramjit Kaur Gulshan, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa and Mr Raj Babbar. A good number of senior civil and police officers and mediapersons, including senior journalists and editors, also attended the reception party. 

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Thieves ‘do well’ at Mountview
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 27
Thieves continue to steal the composure of the guests at Hotel Mountview in Sector 10. Enquiries reveal that every year, one or two incidents of theft from the hotel are reported to the police. In a majority of the cases, the victims are either non-resident Indians or foreigners.

In May 2001, gold ornaments including a bracelet, a necklace and a ring were reportedly stolen from a first floor room of the hotel. The victim was a resident of the United Kingdom staying in the hotel for almost a week.

In October next year, incidents of theft were reported from the rooms of three foreign nationals staying in the hotel. The burglars entered the second floor rooms and decamped with expensive electronic gadgets, along with currencies of different countries, amounting to Rs 1.8 lakh in Indian currency.

The total loss to the foreigners was estimated to be about Rs 4 lakh. The three foreign nationals — a British and two Canadians — were in the city in connection with a Punjab Government project on food processing.

Interestingly, the CITCO management at that time tried to compensate its foreign guests by providing them with new laptop and palmtop computers, along with Rs 50,000 in Indian currency.

Earlier in December 2000, the police had claimed the solving of two theft cases in the hotel by arresting a Panjab University law student, along with another person. At that time, the police had claimed that goods worth Rs 4.25 lakh were recovered on the basis of their disclosure statement.

Commenting on the cases, a regular visitor to the hotel says Mountview is doing good business and a majority of the staff is also honest. In fact, there have been instances where the staff has returned wallets bulging with cash to the owners.

“The need of the hour is to extensively instal close-circuit cameras across the hotel premises to check the movement and actions of untoward elements,” he asserts. “The security should also be beefed up at the hotel gates, especially during large-scale functions in the premises like marriages and conferences.”

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She fights hyperactivity with Budhi yoga
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 27
It's the yoga for concentration and has the answer to the challenges posed by learning disabilities in children. Budhi yoga is the new mantra to deal with problems of hyperactivity as also anxiety in children. All it takes is a daily exercise regime of 20 minutes to keep the mind fit and healthy.

A combination of Dennison's Brain Gym exercises and yoga, Budhi yoga aims to develop concentration, attention and reduce anxiety and hyperactivity in children. "Our experience with Budhi yoga has been very good at our centre in Chennai. Most of the children came with short attention spans and hardly any concentration levels. After the exercises, not only did they become more focussed and attentive but they developed reading skills as well," says Sumathi Vasudevan, Director, Samvardhana, Chennai, a centre for children with learning difficulties.

In the city for a two-day workshop organised by Ode (optimising Development in Education) at Hansraj School, Sector 6, here today, she said it only took three months to produce positive results.

"Budhi yoga is mandatory for anybody attending our school. While it has proved to be productive for children with learning disabilities, it is as beneficial for normal children. It not only removes obstacles in learning, but enhances the learning process too," she explains.

The technique has found favour with a handful of schools in Chennai which have adopted it as a part of their curriculum. "This is my third workshop in the North and people have shown a lot of interest in adopting Budhi yoga for a healthy mind. In fact, I have had greater response for the technique from the North than the South where I practice," she says.

"Budhi yoga exercises are aimed at creating a sense of balance. The technique just came to me. I had learnt the Brain Gym exercises and thought of experimenting with yoga. Once I was done with yoga, I realised that a combination of the two helped children develop concentration and reading abilities as well as improving their spellings.”

Encouraged by the response, she gave shape to Budhi yoga, defining a set of exercises for all children-with or without learning disabilities. 

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Chill in the air
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 27
Snow in the upper reaches of the Himalayas and a cloudy weather throughout the day here, brought down the temperature to the lowest ever during this season.

There was a sharp drop in the maximum temperature - by almost 4 degrees — from 24. 6 degrees yesterday to 20.0 degrees today. The minimum temperature recorded in the city today was 6. 4 degrees.

The chill in the air and the sun being obscured from view by the clouds ensured that most people stayed indoors in the evening. For the first time this year, almost everybody had their heavy woollens out, tasting the first chill of the season.

Along most roads in the city, groups of labourers could be seen huddled close together around a small fire. The onset of winter also brought with it viral infections like common cold, sore throat and fever.

Medical practitioners across the tricity said a number of persons, especially children and senior citizens, suffering from these ailments had gone up over the past three days.

In the region, Ambala was the coldest with the maximum temperature recorded as 18.7 degrees and minimum temperature being as low as 6.4 degrees. The maximum temperature recorded in Patiala was 20.1 degrees and minimum temperature was 7.0 degrees.

Officials in the met department said the average temperature in the city, during the past one week had remained static between 23 and 27 degrees.

“The temperature started to dip since Saturday and would continue to dip further. It could get as low as 15 degrees in the coming next week,” said the official.

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Fauji Beat
Historic battle of Dera Baba Nanak

The Dera Baba Nanak bridge after its destruction in the 1971 war.
The Dera Baba Nanak bridge after its destruction in the 1971 war.

By capturing the Dera Baba Nanak bridge on December 6, 10 Dogra earned the honour of hoisting the first Indian Tricolour on Pakistani soil in the Western sector in the 1971 war.

Dera Baba Nanak town, which lies on the Indo-Pak border in Gurdaspur district, is connected to several important towns in Punjab by road. Across the border in the Dera Baba Nanak enclave was located the important rail-cum-road double-decker bridge connecting a number of Indian towns with Sialkot and Narowal in Pakistan.

For Pakistan, it was of paramount importance to hold this bridge at all costs. For this reason, Pakistan had turned the eastern end of this strategic bridge into an impregnable fortress with concrete bunkers and pilboxes covering all conceivable approaches that were heavily mined. For India, it was equally important to defend Dera Baba Nanak town, which was under constant threat from Pakistan.

In a determined attack, 10 Dogra captured the eastern end of the Dera Baba Nanak bridge. In this battle, the unit lost seven including Capt Devinder Singh Ahlawat. Among the 25 soldiers wounded was the Commanding Officer (CO) of the battalion, Lieut-Col N.S. Sandhu (now a retired Brigadier). The enemy had 30 soldiers killed and a large number of them were wounded. Besides, 14 Pakistani soldiers became prisoners of war (POWs).

Among the 17 awards won by the unit in this battle were two Maha Vir Chakras, which were won by Lieut-Col N.S. Sandhu and Capt Devinder Singh Ahlawat (posthumously). Capt J. Kumar, a gunner, won a Vir Chakra. The unit was awarded the Battle Honour of “Dera Baba Nanak” for its splendid victory in this battle.

Authority seeks accountability

It is the Commanding Officer (CO) whose writ runs in the unit and on whose orders all ranks under him are launched into battle. For this reason, it is always the CO who gets a pat from the higher authorities when his unit does a good job. And it is again the CO who gets the blame when his unit does badly.

Sadly, the Army has broken this well-established convention in the case of fake killings by 5/5 Gorkha Riffles (GR) in Siachen in 2004. For Major Surinder Singh, a company commander who stagemanaged these killings, was rightly dismissed from service and sentenced to three years’ rigorous imprisonment. But the then the CO of 5/5 GR, Col K.D. Singh, has been given a much lighter punishment — a loss of two years of service for pensionary benefits and a severe reprimand. This, despite the fact that culpability of Col K.D. Singh had been proved beyond any doubt.

Even his Brigade Commander had informed him in writing that he was in the habit of submitting wrong reports and concocting stories. He had also doubted him for his reliability. What to talk of several other serious irregularities that Col. K.D. Singh had committed, he had not even reported the loss of his own identity card to the higher authorities.

It was also brought out at a one stage that some senior officers were involved in this case. The general feeling has it that it is for this reason that Col K.D. Singh has been let off lightly.

Know ECHS rules

Half of the problems that the Ex-servicemen’s Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) members face stem from their ignorance of the rules. One of the many such examples is that of an ECHS member from Mohali who told this writer on telephone: “I went to the PGI and got my hearing tested. But no hearing aid was provided to me”. This member should have gone to the Chandigarh polyclinic, which would have referred him to the ENT Department at the Command Hospital, Chandimandir. Then, subject to his hearing test confirming the necessity of a hearing aid, his case, duly recommended by the Adviser ENT, would have been sent to the Central ECHS authorities for sanction.

— Pritam Bhullar

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Marriage on rocks, families fight
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 27
A matrimonial dispute took an ugly turn today when the families and relatives of both parties created a scene in Sector 35 over the possession of a house.

The police managed to bring the situation under control after taking preventive action against both parties, booking them under Sections 107 and 150 of the Criminal Procedure Code and deploying cops and a PCR vehicle at the house to tackle any untoward incident.

The police said Lovepreet Singh of Sector 36, who was now settled in Canada, got married to Monalika of Hanumangarh in Rajasthan in 2004. Later he went abroad and called his parents there.

Differences emerged when the boy reportedly did not call his wife to Canada. The situation deteriorated when Monalika lodged a dowry harassment complaint with the local police and a case was registered.

The case had been pending trial and both parties were also making efforts to reach a compromise. A few days ago, Lovepreet’s parents sought permission to enter their house in which Monalika has been living with her parents.

The court granted the permission, maintaining that they had the right to enter as they were the owner of the house. However, tension prevailed among the families when parents of Monalika denied Lovepreet’s parents entry into the house.

The police tried to resolve the issue. All of a sudden, the police received information this afternoon that the families were about to clash with each other.

“Following this, the police reached the spot and tried to pacify the parties. When both parties remained adamant, we took preventive measures and deployed cops. We have told them that only the close family members of both families will be allowed to stay in the house”, said Inspector Ishwar Singh Mann, SHO of the Sector 36 police station.

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Pedestrian hit by tractor, dies
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 27
An unidentified pedestrian lost his life after being hit by a rashly driver tractor near the Congress Bhavan in Sector 35 late last night.

The police said the accident took place around 11 pm when the victim was hit by a speeding tractor. The seriously injured victim was rushed to the Sector 16 General Hospital, where he was declared brought dead.

The tractor driver reportedly fled from the spot after the mishap. A case of causing death due to rash and negligent driving was registered in this regard.

Gambling cases

The local police arrested Vinod Kumar of Mauli Jagran from near a wine shop in the locality, Ram Gopal of Ram Darbar from near his residence and Jai Singh of Burail village from the same village on Sunday on the allegation of indulging in gambling at a public place.

The police recovered Rs 540, 750 and 3235 from their possessions. Three separate cases under the Gambling Act were registered.

Black marketing

The local police arrested Manish of Ram Darbar from near the Piccadilly cinema on Sunday on the allegation of selling cinema tickets on the black market. The police recovered four tickets from him and registered a case under Section 7-C of the PB Cinema Act at the Sector 34 police station.

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