C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Upset Chander Mohan for dissolution of MC
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 13
Expressing his displeasure over the goings-on in the municipal council, Deputy Chief Minister Chander Mohan today said that the House should be dissolved and the people should be allowed to make their choice again.

"I don't think we need a municipal council in Panchkula, but we can't have different policies for different districts," he said while addressing a press conference here, indicating that he was unhappy with the happenings in the House chaired by the president, Ms Manvir Gill.

Replying to a question, the Deputy Chief Minister said that the inquiries initiated at various levels of the Administration would take their own course and those found guilty of corruption in carrying out development works would be punished.

District Congress president Om Prakash Devinagar, too, minced no words in condemning the municipal council president's husband, Mr Kulwant Gill, for abusing and threatening contractors, journalists and fellow councillors at the drop of hat.

"We will summon him and ask him to explain his behaviour. Also, he cannot be allowed to operate on behalf of his wife, who is the MC president. We will act on the basis of his statement," Mr Devinagar said.

Sources in the district Congress also added that the party's dissociation from Mr Gill and her husband was indicative that her days as president of the House were numbered. "The Deputy Commissioner has to send her report to the government which can recommend the dissolution of the House. Given the present state of affairs, it seems only a matter of a few days before action is initiated in this regard," a local Congress leader said.

In yet another controversy involving the municipal council president's husband, Mr Kulwant Gill, the BJP councillor, Mr V.K. Sood, alleged that the former threatened him and used abusive language.

Ms Manvir Gill, in a complaint to the police, made similar allegations against Mr Sood.

Councillor V.K.Sood said that he went to the MC office and met the Executive Officer to know the status of pending payments to be made for park maintenance. "He told me that the payments had been stopped by Ms Gill. I called her up from there and she assured me that she would come to the office of Monday and clear all payments,” he said.

Mr Sood added that he left the office after the conversation.

However, the councillor was called back inside by the EO, who said there was a call on the latter’s mobile for Mr Sood. “The caller said that he was Mr Kulwant Gill and that he would take me to task for calling up the MC president and asking her to clear payments due to the park maintenance committee. Without provocation, he began abusing me and threatened me with dire consequences,” Mr Sood alleged.

Mr Sood also met the Deputy Commissioner, Ms Neerja Rajashekhar, and the Superintendent of Police, Mr Balbir Singh, to register a case against Mr Gill. “The police must ask the mobile companies for the conversations details,” Mr Sood claimed.

Meanwhile, the MC president said that Mr Sood, irked by the warm reception given to her during a recent visit to his ward by the people, had concocted the story. “He spoke to me, he used abusive language and threatened me before going to the Administration to lodge his protest. He did this after he realised that I had complained to the police against him,” she said.

Clarifying the call on the EO’s mobile, she said that Mr Gill frequently talks to the EO and Mr Sood has no proof of the call. “I have proof that he called me at 11:01 a.m. on my mobile number,” she said. 



Students’ clash turns Lohri celebrations sour
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 13
Lohri celebration in the Sector 46 Government College took an ugly turn this afternoon, when two groups of students clashed following which three students were seriously hurt. They have been admitted to the Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital.

Taking serious note of the incident, the police has registered a case of attempt to murder, criminal intimidation and rioting against Kala, Saudagar, Kang, Somal and other 10-12 persons in this regard.

According to eyewitnesses, it started all of a sudden at around 1:40 pm during the Lohri celebrations on the college premises, when two groups of boys, who were under the influence of liquor, clashed with each other. Within seconds, they took out knives and rods and attacked each other for almost 10 minutes. Teachers and students scurried for their lives.

Eyewitnesses add that two policemen, who intervened to disperse the warring parties, were also attacked during the melee. However, the police has denied it.

The SHO of the Sector 34 Police Station, Inspector Jagir Singh said that Mandeep Singh of Burail had an altercation with Kala of Mani Majra following which Kala left the place saying he would return to teach him a lesson.

After a while, Kala, along with his friends, Saudagar, Kang, Somal and 10-12 other unidentified persons reached there. They were armed with knives and rods and openly attacked Mandeep and his friends, resulting which Mandeep suffered a cut on his thigh, his friend Vinod was stabbed in the stomach while another boy Sumit suffered a head injury on being hit by a rod.

In an attempt to cover up the entire incident, Mrs Usha Jindal, the principal of the college, denied that anything happened in the college. She claimed that the festival was celebrated with great fervour and very peacefully.

When asked about the brawl, she said that she herself was present during the programme and nothing unusual took place. 



‘YouTube Gandhi: It’s for nation to decide’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 13
“Mahatma Gandhi does not belong to me only but to the entire country. It is for the nation to decide what action should be initiated against persons responsible for maligning his image through a clipping on a website.”

Stating this after presiding over a function at KB DAV School here , Ms Tara Gandhi Bhattacharjee, grand-daughter of Mahatma Gandhi, today reaffirmed the principles espoused by her grandfather throughout his life. “Non-violence is not only action and introspection. It means much more. It is the courage of truth with love,” she said.

Mrs Bhattacharjee was reacting to reports that a New York-based NRI had posted clippings on a website showing Mahatma Gandhi as a pole dancer clutching an AK-47 rifle.

“I am the grand-daughter of Mohandas Karam Chand Gandhi, not of Mahatma Gandhi. He attained the title of Mahatma by practising spiritualism, courage, truth, and non-violence. The world today is in desperate need of these important ingredients of life,” she said.

Commenting on the Sanjay Dutt starrer “Lage Raho Munna Bhai”, she said: “Though I have not seen the film but I have read its reviews. I see no harm in using the word ‘Gandhigiri’ for the philosophy of Gandhi. It is an appreciable endeavour on the part of the movie makers to spread the message of peace and non-violence.”

Mrs Tara Gandhi, daughter of the late Mr Devadas Gandhi and Mrs Lakshmi Devdas Gandhi, was born in Delhi on April 24, 1934. Mr Devdas Gandhi was the youngest son of Mahatma Gandhi and Mrs Lakshmi Devdas Gandhi was the youngest daughter of Mr C. Rajgopalachari, the first Governor General of India.

Having graduated from Delhi University, Mrs Gandhi spent some time in Rabindranath Tagore’s Santiniketan in the University of Visva Bharati in Bengal. Later, she spent several years with her husband, the late Dr Jyoti Prasad Bhattacharjee, and their two children, daughter Sukanya and son Vinayak, in Rome. Dr Jyoti Prasad Bhattacharjee was a Director at the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations.

Mrs Gandhi has also been appointed as Vice-Chairperson of Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti. Fluent in several foreign and Indian languages, she taught Hindi to Indian children and was directly involved in promoting Indian culture in Italy.

As per family traditions, she has been working for the welfare of spinners and weavers. “The hand-spun and hand-woven cloth called ‘khadi’ is a thread of creation. Being a source of bread and beauty to millions in India , a hand-spinning wheel is also a meditational therapy. The world again needs to get acquainted with the fabulous texture of the handspun fabric and the hand-spinning wheel.” She promoted the idea of ‘khadi’ for Italians through articles, interviews and TV programmes.

Travelling all over India, she has taken the message and philosophy of the spinning wheel and ‘khadi’ to Austria, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Canada, France, Ghana, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mauritius, Pakistan, Portugal and Uruguay. She has organised several exhibitions and workshops of ‘khadi’ at these places.

She was a member of the All-India Khadi and Village Industries Commission of the Government of India for five years. The Kasturba Gandhi National Memorial Trust, Indore, brings Tara close to the needy women and children of rural India.

She has approached the establishment for help to the needy victims through work and finances. As the Vice-Chairperson of the Kasturba Gandhi National Memorial Trust, she organised shelter and work for nearly 50 victims of the Gujarat violence.

“ It was the charm of celebrating Lohri in Punjab which tempted me to come here. After a day, I will be going to see the Amritsar branch of this trust for the first time.”

“The world is passing through dreadful and violent times. Somewhere, someone will have to give up the idea of taking revenge. We have to break this chain of continuous violence. Fear and love do not go together. Non-violence is fearlessness.”



Scooterist dies in road accident
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 13
A 22-year-old man was killed in a road accident involving a bus and a scooter at the Housing Board intersection here this morning. Three other persons, who were riding on the same scooter, were seriously hurt in the mishap and were rushed to the Sector 16 General Hospital and PGI.

The police said the victim, Sargam, died in hospital. The accident took place at around 6:15 pm when the youths riding on a scooter collided head on with a speeding Haryana Roadway bus. They were on their way from Panchkula to Chandigarh while the bus was going to Kalka from Chandigarh.

Twenty-four year old Rohit of Bansa Tibba village in Panchkula district was driving the scooter while Ravi, Kamal and Sargam were riding the pillion. The police has arrested the bus driver on the charge of causing death due to rash and negligent driving.



Watch Out

NAVDEEP: Apart from the Chandigarh Dynamos’ local bigwigs like Rajpal and Inderjeet Chadha, there is another city-based hockey player Navdeep, who has the capacity to make his presence felt on the Chennai turf in the ongoing Premier Hockey League Tournament.

Navdeep, born and brought up in Chandigarh and a product of the Chandigarh Hockey Academy, Sector 42, is part of the Chandigarh Dynamos for the second time. Earlier, he appeared in the very first edition of the PHL, held at Hyderabad (2005), in which the team won the Gold medal. Navdeep was also the second highest goal scorer of the tournament. He was part of the Indian team in the Sydney Olympics. Lately, he appeared in the Nehru Cup tournament held at New Delhi



In Town

Bhagwant Mann: Renowned Punjabi comedian and star of the Great Indian Laughter Challenge Bhagwant Mann will be in town on Sunday. Mann, who has made millions laugh with his jokes and acting, will perform at the Chandigarh Press Club, Sector 27, for the special "Lohri" celebrations.



Independent units to house slum-dwellers in Panchkula
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 13
The town is all set to have independent units to house slum-dwellers, said Deputy Chief Minister, Mr Chander Mohan, at a press conference, here today. He said that that the state government is working out the modalities of the construction of these units.

Mr Mohan added that 7500 units will be spread over Sectors 20, 25 and 26. "These will be three-storey buildings with enough accommodation to house slum dwellers," he said.

Elaborating on the development works being carried out in the district under the Congress government, Mr Chander Mohan said that nearly 84 crore rupees had been spent on social welfare, education, non-conventional energy, and health in the district.

"Besides this, the Haryana Urban Development Authority has incurred an expenditure of Rs 60 crore, the Municipal Council has spent Rs 13 crore while MCs of Pinjore and Kalka have spent Rs 4 crore, taking the total funds pumped into the district to Rs 161 crore. Some on these projects are still in progress," he stated.

The Deputy Chief Minister also announced that the Kurukshetra University will start law classes in the evening at the Government College, Sector 1, and an all-girls college will also come up shortly. "We have also proposed the opening of a regional centre of the KU in the district as well as an ITI in Khatoli village of the Barwala Block," he added. 



Poll in Ward No 7 today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 13
The elections in ward no 7 of the municipal corporation will be conducted tomorrow.
Thirteen booths have been set up in the area of ward, which consists of Maloya, EWS Colony Maloya, West of Sector 39 and Grain Market. Five candidates will contest tomorrow’s election or the SC reserve Ward No 7, which consists of the area of Maloya, EWS Colony Maloya, West of Sector 39 and Grain Market.

The Congress candidate is Phool Chand, for the SAD-BJP-CVM alliance Sachin Kumar of the BJP is the candidate, LJSP candidate is Rajesh Kumar, MCP candidate is Kartar Singh and BSP candidate is Jagteshvar Bir Singh.

The Election Commission has deployed a staff of 125 for the smooth conduct of the elections, informed officials.

Appropriate security arrangements have been made for the elections.

Voting will take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The counting of votes will begin at 8 p.m. in Government Senior Secondary School, Sector 23-A. The results are expected to be declared within half an hour.

It may be mentioned that the elections of ward no 7 had been countermanded after the death of the BSP candidate from the ward. 



Voters not interested in I-cards
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, January 13
Voters in urban areas like Mohali and Kharar are showing lack of interest in getting voter photo identity cards made for use in the Assembly poll being held in Punjab next month.

Officials engaged in the preparation of identity cards, which have been made mandatory by the Election Commission of India for casting one’s vote, say that urban voters in general have been showing disinterest in getting the photo identity cards made.

However, officials concerned are not facing problems in villages while going from door to door to persuade voters to get their identity cards made.

Reports say that often when officials go to houses, particularly in Mohali and Kharar to give slips indicating the voter’s name and number and the place where the identity cards can be made, some residents objected to their being disturbed. In some cases residents even got annoyed and irritated when officials rang the doorbell to urge them to get their identity cards made.

According to figures available from the office of the SDM-cum-Electoral Registration Officer, in certain booths in the 69-Kharar constituency, the preparation of I-cards varied between 80 per cent to 100 per cent. The overall percentage in the constituency was 81.72 against the order of 90 per cent given by the Election Commission.

It is learnt that the officials have been able to achieve 100 per cent success at booth numbers 8 and 9 and 99 per cent voters had been issued I cards at booth number 60. Similarly, booth number 34 achieved 98 per cent success while 97 per cent voters were issued cards at booth numbers 5 and 113. As many as 96 per cent voters were given I cards at booth number 154, 95 per cent at booth numbers 1, 11, 63, and 166, 94 per cent at booth numbers 7, 89, 114 and 167 and 90 per cent at booth number 35.

There were as many as 2, 44,754 persons registered as voters in the Kharar constituency out of which a little over 2 lakh had been issued voter identity cards so far.

Mr Sandeep Hans, SDM-cum-Electoral Registration Officer, said efforts were on to achieve the target of 90 per cent but had urban voters been more cooperative it would not have been difficult.



Delhi police action resented
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu and Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 13
Should a law-enforcing agency resort to unlawful means for carrying out its activities? A debate is raging over the manner in which the Delhi Police allegedly picked up two persons in broad daylight from the busy Sector 15 market on Friday.

A cross-section of people, including lawyers, have taken strong exception to the manner in which the “whole operation was carried out”.

The local police, too, was shaken by the “sensational incident” and was left with no choice but to register a case of kidnapping. What will be the fate of the case remains to be seen.

The “shocking incident”, said a cross- section of people, not only erodes their faith in members of the “disciplined” force but also leaves Samaritans wondering about their role, in case such an incident - kidnapping of an innocent man - takes place in their presence. Should they or shouldn’t they act spontaneously to help the victim?

Such a situation would only lead to chaos and lawlessness. It would ultimately help the culprits in getting away from full public glare after carrying out their activities. Just 24 hours after the incident, residents are saying that the police action could have far-reaching consequences.

Legal luminaries insist that the police action was not only illegal, but in violation of the directions issued by the Supreme Court in the D.K. Basu versus State of West Bengal case. The judgement clearly states that the identity of the arresting officers should be well established. Besides , the relatives and others living in the vicinity of the arrested person should be informed by the police.

On the issue, noted advocate of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Ranjan Lakhanpal opined: “As the act of the Delhi Police was in total violation of the Supreme Court ruling in DKBasu’s case, it amounted to contempt of court. According to the CrPC, it is mandatory for the raiding police party to take into confidence the local police before arresting someone. The Delhi Police has not only flouted all laws, but is also liable to contempt of court. The Chandigarh Police has to arrest all raiding police officials”.

Echoing the views, another advocate Ashish Pathak viewed, “The matter is very serious because here the law protectors acted as law detractors. Prima Facie, the Delhi Police is also guilty of using fake number plates, besides carrying out an operation without informing the local police. In such operations, the possibility of shootout could have given rise to serious law and order problem. The local police should take up the matter seriously and start proceedings against the culprits to curb such illegal activities at the hands of another state’s police”.

It also raised doubts about the ability of the police to check and nab fleeing suspects. It may have taken more than half an hour for the Delhi cops to kidnap and flee the city without being checked at any of the nakas manned by high-speed Gypsies and motor cycles. The local police kept groping in dark in order to identify the victims and their kidnappers, as the registration number of the vehicles used by the kidnapper turned out to be fake.

The Chandigarh Police heaved a sigh of relief late in the night when it came to know about the fact that the youths were picked up by the Operation Cell of the Delhi Police and were not kidnapped.

Deputy Commissioner of Delhi Police (Operation Cell), Alok Kumar, asserted that Manoj, alias Lakhmi, of Kansala village in Sonepat district was wanted by the Delhi Police in a case of extortion registered in 2006.

He was arrested from Chandigarh on Friday along with another person Nitin Miglani. Nitin was handed over to his brother Naveen Kumar, an advocate, after nothing incriminating came out against him during verification.

On being asked about the manner in which the youngsters were picked up, the DCP tried to avoid answering the question by saying that Manoj was wanted in a case. He maintained that they had informed the local police about the arrest, but refused to divulge the details about the time of furnishing the information.

Inspector Satbir Singh, in charge of the Crime Branch of the Chandigarh Police, said the case would be investigated and they would apprise the senior police officials of the Delhi Police about the irregularities being committed by the raiding police team. He added that the Delhi Police officially informed them about the arrest late this afternoon.



Multimedia project: Unsuccessful bidder cries foul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 13
A day after the financial bids for the ‘Multimedia-cum-Film City Project’ in Sarangpur were opened by the Chandigarh Administration, an unsuccessful bidder has cried foul.

Alleging partisan role of the Administration in allotting the financial bid to a Delhi-based company, Parsvnath Developers Limited, the other bidder M/s KRBL Ltd has sought the revaluation of his documents, which were rejected at the time of the evaluation.

Claiming that he was never informed on time about his documents being rejected, Mr Jagjit Singh Kochar, chief executive officer of the Green Field Ventures Ltd, said the certification of the documents submitted by KRBL Ltd by an international evaluator had given 90 per cent marks.

Denying any partisan role, a spokesman of the Administration said the KRBL did not qualify at the evaluation stage. It did not cross the bench mark of 70 per cent set by the Administration for those to qualify for the financial bid. The spokesman claimed that evaluation was delayed but KRBL officials were informed about the rejection of their papers on January 10.

Mr Kochar, however, said that he was never informed on December 29 and January 2. He claimed that he was never informed about the date of opening of the financial bid. In his request for re evaluation of the documents sent to the UT Administrator, he has pointed out that his financial bid was for Rs 207 crore against Rs 191 crore quoted by Parsvnath Developers.

The spokesman of the Administration said once rejected before the final stage for selection, there was no point for entertaining the documents. A Multimedia-cum-Film Centre with digital studios and facilities for post-production processing of digital film and also modern hi-tech facilities for animation and gaming laboratories would be set in the project.

The other short-listed bidders were M/s Emaar MGF Lmited and M/s KRBL. The Bid of M/s KRBL Ltd was not opened, as it did not qualify at the final stage for the project, said the spokesman.



New-look gallery tells glorious tales of martyrs
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 13
For the National Gallery of Portraits, Chandigarh, it has been a virtual rising from the ashes. Until last year, the museum - once a treasure house of knowledge on the Indian freedom struggle - wore a dull look with soiled exhibits and faded glory. But today it turned out in a brand new avatar, surprising everyone with its reinvented charm.

Nursed back to life by dedicated volunteers and the staff of Government Museum, the revamped gallery opened after a year this morning. And though the old timers missed its familiar layout, once characterised by panels spanning 12 landmark events in India’s history, they were happy at the freshness of the space. More so, at the range of 41 digitised panels that offer priceless insights into the life of freedom fighters.

Most of the panels are loaded with rare information that changed the course of India’s history. So you have for the first time the detailed list of 68 Kuka Sikh revolutionaries arrested in Patiala on January 16, 1872, the rare picture of Veer Savarkar taken outside London’s Victoria Station before his arrest, the handwritten note where Madan Lal Dhingra’s father makes a personal account of his son’s sacrifice and the only authentic photograph of Sukhdev, otherwise portrayed through oil paintings.

Each piece of information has been sourced for the Gallery by Malwinder Jit Singh Waraich, a Chandigarh-based historian, who is spirit behind the new-look museum  inaugurated by UT Administrator Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd) today. Engaged in collection of documents from families of martyrs since 1966, Waraich has dedicated all his treasures to the gallery. Among the digitised panels he has conceived are The First War of Independence, The Trials and Hangings of Ghadarites, The Jallianwala Massacre, the Kakori Case, the Soldier Martyrs, the INA Trials and others.

The gallery, in its present shape, is indeed one stop shop for anyone interested in India’s Freedom Struggle. It has documents pertaining to the San Francisco conspiracy case and those where the British suspect Rabindra Nath Tagore’s involvement in it; the picture which the British secretly took of Bhagat Singh before his arrest; Bhagat Singh’s execution warrant; and a rare letter which Ghadarite Harnam Chand wrote to his brother from jail. In the true spirit of a revolutionary unfased by death, he wrote - “I have been awarded death sentence. Please do not worry and let my wife settle down with our younger brother.”

These and other accounts bring alive the conviction whereby the revolutionaries lived and died. In many ways, the gtallery’s exhibits are splendid because they don’t just repeat what has been seen and heard. They go beyond, to tell tales of martyrs who shed their blood but who never rose to glory like Mahatma Gandhi, Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and others did.

The gallery also has portraits, murals and dioramas related to the freedom movement, besides a separate section on soldiers of the Lahore Division who died fighting for the British in the first War for Civilization (1914-1918).

The gallery will remain open from Tuesday to Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm.



Well-known educationist Goraya dead
Tribune News Service

Dr Pritam Singh Goraya
Dr Pritam Singh Goraya

Chandigarh, January 13
A noted educationist and reformist, Dr Pritam Singh Goraya, has passed away. He was admitted to the PGI where he breathed his last on Tuesday. He was 84.
Born in Sialkot, Dr Pritam Singh, was a versatile person.

He did M.Ed from Delhi University and was awarded a gold medal for topping in the university. He was also holder of Rattigan medal. Dr Goraya, who loved Punjabi language and did a lot for its promotion, also served the Kendri Lekhak Sabha as its elected vice-president.

Strongly opposed to growing tuition culture, he took a strong stance against this phenomenon and urged teachers to refrain from tuitions. He also did doctorate in homeopathy and naturopathy after his retirement. Forty years ago, he fought for the rights of teachers and remained on fast unto death in front of the Civil Secretariat. He was arrested and lodged in the Patiala jail where he was forcibly fed by the government authorities concerned. As an elected senator of Panjab University, Dr Goraya played a key role against favouritism and nepotism.

He had been ill for the past one month and was admitted to Rajindra Hospital, Patiala, from where he was shifted to Fortis and thereafter to the PGI.

Honouring his desire, he was cremated in electric crematorium in Sector 25. Tributes will be paid to him on January 22 at a SAS Nagar, gurdwara in Phase-VI from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Expressing shock over his death, Mr Raghbir Singh Sirjana, an eminent Punjabi writer and critic, said Dr Goraya was a man of principles. He was a man of high integrity and a genuine lover of Punjabi language for which he did a lot. He was a great fighter for social causes. Similar views were expressed, Santokh Singh Dhir, a renowned Punjabi writer.



Body to promote tourism, entertainment activities

Chandigarh, January 13
The newly formed Society in Tourism and Entertainment Promotion in Chandigarh (STEPS), under the aegis of the Department of Tourism, will work to enhance the level of entertainment and tourism promotional activities in the city in music, theatre, films, and fine arts.

STEPS will assist organisations such as the Chandigarh Arts Council, the Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Akademi, the Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi, the Chandigarh Sahitya Akademi, the North Zone Culture Centre and other private and public organisations in the promotion of these activities. STEPS will also assist the Department of Tourism in promoting Chandigarh as a tourism destination. Initially, STEPS will be housed in the Institute of Hotel Management,Sector 42.

Two activities which have already been planned under the ambit of STEPS are the Acting Institute to be set up in collaboration with Anupam Kher and the Chandigarh Film Circle in collaboration with the National Film Development Corporation. TNS



Dogra Sabha celebrates Lohri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 13
A colourful function was organised here today by the J&K Dogra Sabha, Chandigarh, to celebrate the festival of Lohri. Mr Justice Tirath Singh Thakur, Judge, Delhi High Court, who hails from Jammu region, was the chief guest on the occasion, while Mrs Ravinder Kaur, wife of Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, Minister for Animal Husbandry, Fisheries and Sports, Punjab, presided over the function.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Justice Thakur said Dogras had a cherished history, full of acts of bravery and sacrifice for the country. He called upon the Dogra youth to maintain the high traditions set by their ancestors and play their part in nation-building. He recalled his association with the state and said he was proud of being a Dogra. In her address, Mrs Ravinder Kaur appreciated the efforts of the Dogras in the service of the nation. She said her family would always have high regard for the Dogras and offered all assistance in their uplift.

Earlier, Mr Kuldip Singh, president, J&K Dogra Sabha, while welcoming the guests, stated that the Sabha, which is an association of residents of Jammu province who have shifted to Chandigarh to follow their economic, educational and other pursuits, was a social organisation.

He said Dogras had produced as many as three Governors, many Army Generals, renowned doctors and academicians. He also outlined the future plans of the Sabha and disclosed that efforts were on to start a helpline for people from J&K coming to the tri-city of Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali for education and jobs.

Former Director-General of Police, Punjab, Mr P.C. Dogra, pointed out that Dogras had their own unique culture and ethos and the same needed to be preserved.

Among others who spoke included Dr A.K. Gupta, Medical Superintendent, PGI, Dr Ajit Awasthi of Department of Psychiatry, PGI, Mr Kamal Dogra, Mr Amrit Lal Mahajan, Mr Jagan Nath and Jatinder Sharma.

Several prominent persons were also honoured for their achievements in various fields. They include Dr K.C. Dubey, Station Director, Chandigarh, All India Radio, Dr B.R. Sharma, Mrs Monica Chhibber Sharma, advocate, Punjab and Haryana High Court, academician Dr Sansar Chand and Dr Vipin Kaushal, Deputy Medical Superintendent, PGI.



Blankets distributed
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 13
The Piya Sharma Charitable Trust today distributed blankets, socks and Lohri sweets to children at a function organised in Rajiv Colony at Balmiki Mandir, Sector 17, here today.

The Secretary, Health, Ms Urvashi Gulati, presided over the function.

Ms Pooja S Passi, director, Piya Sharma Charitable Trust, said their NGO was dealing with the health of women, children and adolescents, education of children, employment- oriented courses, AIDS awareness, among other things. She added the main objective of the Trust was to uplift the status of women and children with special focus on healthcare and education in the colonies.

Ms Gulati, in her speech, spoke on the need for general hygiene and on various programmes running in Panchkula. She spoke to the children about the importance of health and education. She handed over the blankets, sponsored by DELL International, to 100 children.



Short stories presented

Chandigarh, January 13
Eminent litterateurs presented their short stories in 'Katha Savera', a function organised by the Chandigarh Sahitya Academy at their conference hall, here today. After a welcome by Dr Naresh, chairman of the academy, Dr Rajinder Kumar Kanaugia, Assistant Professor (Orthopaedics), PGI, depicted the psychological mind-set of a retired employee in his story, “Gharonda”. 'Hasse De Jhakham' in Punjabi by Sirsa-based writer, S.S. Bhandari, won applause for the theme of the story while Anjuman Asmani from Delhi depicted the pangs of partition in his Urdu story, 'Virsa'.

The chief guest, Jagjit Puri, IAS, complemented Dr Naresh for promoting the growth of language and literature. He also gave cash awards to student winners of the short-story contest held earlier. Anubav Sharma, Nakul Kundra and Phaguni Jaglan bagged the respective top places. — OC



Irregular power supply

Chandigarh, January 13
Residents of Maloya colony and Maloya village are up in arms against the Electricity Department for irregular supply of power. Mr Ram Nidhi Maurya and Raj Kumar Maurya, both residents of the area, complained that problem of erratic power supply was witnessed throughout the day. — TNS



Gen Rodrigues lends ear to Muslims

Chandigarh, January 13
The UT Administrator, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), visited Jama Masjid, Sector 20, here yesterday and listened to the grievances of the Muslim community.
General Rodrigues emphasised that he had a great reverence for all religions and their followers. General Rodrigues suggested the creation of a core group to establish a mechanism for the implementation of various programmes. — TNS



Journalist held for suicide bid
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 13
High drama was witnessed in Sector 17 this afternoon when a local mediaperson attempted suicide by allegedly jumping from the first floor of a showroom. The police arrested 33-year-old Tejinder Bains, for attempting suicide after he was discharged from Sector 16 General Hospital.

Bains was saved by the cops on duty. The police officials called the Fire Brigade and also arranged a ladder in order to reach the journalist wanting  to end his life, but he jumped before they could do anything. To his luck, some cops saved him from falling on the ground, said a police officer.

The police cited some family dispute as the reason behind the extreme step of Bains. The police said he was upset and was saying that someone would kill him. Bains was seen leaning from the window of a building at a height of about 35 feet. The police officer tried to persuade him, but in vain. He had also locked the door of the building.



One booked on rape charge
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 13
The police has booked a resident of Nayagaon on the charge of raping a minor girl. According to the police, Umid Kumar had called the girl to his house on the pretext that she was wanted by his wife, Vandana. But when the girl reached the house of Umid Kumar , his wife was not at home.

He asked the girl to prepare tea and later asked her to pick up a gift lying in a room. When the girl entered the room he allegedly tried to rape her.

The police has registered a case under Sections 376 and 511 of the IPC in this regard.



Body of child found
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 13
The body of newly-born male child was recovered by the police from near Verka milk plant here today.
According to the police, the body was seen by a passerby who informed Mrs Swaranjit Kaur, a resident of Balongi village and president of the village unit of the Mahila Mandal, about it. She came to the spot along with another woman to see the body of the child. The police was also informed in this regard.

The police had taken blood samples to find out about the parents of the deceased.

A case has been registered under Section 118 of the IPC on the statement of Mrs Swaranjit Kaur against the unknown parents of the child. Investigations are on.



Industrialists’ team meets Director

Chandigarh, January 13
A delegation of the Chamber of Chandigarh Industries today met the UT Director of Industries, Mr PS Gill, here.
The delegation, demanded regular meetings of the single window committee and demanded proper planning by the department regarding tours for the industrialists. TNS



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