C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Ward No. 7 goes to Cong
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 14
Congress candidate Phool Chand won the MC byelection from Ward 7 here today.

He defeated SAD-BJP-CVM alliance candidate Sachin Singh of the BJP by just 104 votes.

There was 58.58 per cent polling.

A total of 8175 votes were polled, with the Congress candidate getting 2808 votes, BJP candidate 2704 votes and BSP candidate Jagteshvar Bir Singh 2048 votes. LJSP candidate Rajesh Kumar polled 571 votes and NCP candidate Kartar Singh 44 votes.

There was a heavy rush of supporters outside the counting centre at the Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 23.

The counting, which began at 8 pm, was over in a matter of minutes. As soon as the results were announced, Congress supporters started cheering while BJP and BSP supporters protested, raising slogans.

The Congress win was being seen as a morale booster to the party.

It was felt that there might be tough times ahead for newly elected Mayor Harjinder Kaur of the SAD as the number of Congress councillors now went up to 13 from 12 in the House, taking their strength to 14, including MP Pawan Kumar Bansal.



Mafia eyes govt land in Mauli Jagran
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News service

Chandigarh, January 14
While Chandigarh Administration is going “overboard” in spending lakhs on rupees on constructing 23,000 dwelling units for slum dwellers after acquiring more land, it has failed to save its vacant land in existing resettlement colonies.

Such chunks of land are being eyed by land grabbers. The task force on encroachments has failed to take notice of such construction activity in Chanran Singh Colony, Mauli Jagran and unscrupulous elements are minting money by selling Chandigarh Administration’s vacant land.

Acting on a complaint by Suresh Kumar, a resident of the area, the Deputy Commissioner has directed the Additional Deputy Commissioner to probe into the matter.

A case of fraudulent allotment of plots in the same colony - on the basis of fake slips issued on behalf of a tehsildar - was still pending. Around ten persons were arrested by the Vigilance Department in 2001.

The modus operandi followed by the accused was to get the plot allotted on fake slips of the Estate Office in fictitious names. A person was produced under a fictitious name and the plot was allotted to him. Several persons including officials of the Estate Office were under the scanner for selling government land to unsuspecting plots seekers.

Sources reveal that around 100 such vacant plots in the colony were under threat from land grabbers. A visit to the area today revealed that construction was going on one such plot (861). In the past three years, around 15 such houses and shops had come up on government land.

“When the colony was carved out in 1990, chunks of land had been kept between clusters of houses. After the Vigilance inquiry, the Estate Office did not take any step to protect the area,” said Mr Suresh Goyal, a resident of the area.

“Instead of acquiring more land, such chunks of land can be allotted to slum dwellers in the existing resettlement colonies,” he added.

Going by past records, Mr Shambu Banerjee, Chairman of the Colony Cell of the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee, said a large number of jhuggi-dwellers from Colony No 1 and 2, Coal Depot area, Faidan Colony, near masjid Burail, near Kali Bari Mandir and jhuggis in Sector 35 had been resettled in Mauli Jagran in 1990-91.

There were a total of 957 plots and 650 were allotted. The remaining plots were lying vacant and it was for these vacant plots that the forgery was committed.



Attending classes? Other things to do at school!
G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 14
If you think that your child goes to school for the sole purpose of academic activities, you can be in for a big surprise.

They are put to sundry jobs which have no relevance to their pursuit of learning, found by a Tribune team visiting schools.

The Government High School at Karsan village here is a perfect example.

Just at the entrance to the school sit Rohit and Akash, Class VII students. They had to skip their classes that day to sit at the school gate.

It was no punishment, but their day duty to check any indiscipline by other students.

Moving into the school premises to meet the teacher-in-charge, the team found Ajay and Sushil, students of Class IX, sitting in the corridor.

There were supposed to sit there from 9 am to 1 pm on similar duties.

Another duo, Anup and Deepak, was found sitting elsewhere on duty.

The school-in-charge, Mr Sat Pal, was nowhere to be found on the school premises.

His deputy, Ms Ripu Daman, when contacted, said, “These duties are assigned according to houses of the students and is a routine practice”.

But when asked if these duties had an adverse affect on their studies, she could not come up with an answer.

When the Drawing and Disbursing Officer (DDO), Mr D.P. Singh, was apprised of the situation, he instructed the officiating teacher-in-charge to refrain from assigning any such duties to students.

Further down the corridor, three students were spotted with a serving tray bearing milk glasses.

Again, they were abiding the order placed by their teacher.

“We are bringing milk for our teacher,” they said innocently when questioned. A lot could be said about the arrangement inside classrooms. Some students of Class III were sitting on the floor.

The teacher said they had been made to sit on the floor because the blackboard was not visible from the angle where their chairs were placed.

The DDO, realising it to be an inappropriate and irresponsible act, directed the teacher to rearrange the seating pattern and make the children sat on chairs. Window panes in most classrooms too were broken.

With low temperatures these days and icy winds sweeping through the windows, the conditions were far from comfortable for the students.



Post Lohri, day temperature dips
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 14
Lohri bonfires seem to have made a difference. As compared to earlier days, the night temperatures recorded today were higher adding much-desired warmth to the weather.

Though all over the region, the minimum temperature rose by a degree or two, the day seemed colder than yesterday. The nip had something to do with the sky being cloudy coupled with windy conditions that prevailed throughout the region. Add to that, the fall in day temperature by about 2.2°C in Chandigarh.

Met officials told Chandigarh Tribune that maximum (day) temperature had recorded a substantial fall today, adding that extra chill to the weather.

“Yesterday, the day temperature was 19.6°C. Today, it was 17.4°C. As against earlier days that were sunny, today was much colder, with clouds taking over from the sun and chilly winds setting in,” Met officials said.



3 of family die in road accident
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 14
Three members of a Sector 33-based family were killed in a road accident today.

The victims have been identified as Harjit Kaur, in her mid fifties, her son, 25-year-old Sukhjinder Singh, alias Goldy, and her sister Bhupinder Kaur. They were coming from Hoshiarpur in their car, when their car collided with a Tata Sumo.

Mr Harjashanjit Singh Gill, a nephew of Harjit Kaur told TNS that his uncle, Bhupinder Singh, husband of Harjit Kaur, had gone to meet his other son in Hisar. Sukhjinder Singh, who was killed in the mishap, was working with a Panchkula- based private bank. He said two others, including a minor girl, were travelling in the car.



CSIO develops low-cost personal safety weapon
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 14
Credited with designing many innovative equipments and gadgets, the Central Scientific and Industrial Organisation (CSIO) has built a prototype of an electromagnetic weapon. This will not only demonstrate the use of electronics for national security and maintaining law and order, but can also be used for the personal safety of individuals.

Developed by Mr N. S. Aulakh, a scientist at the CSIO, and Ms Inderdeep Kaur, Lecturer at the University Institute of Engineering Technology (UIET), this low-cost electro-magnetic weapon will go a long way in terms of improving personal security and safety of individuals.

“The objective behind building the electromagnetic weapon was to tell the world that personal security is not the prerogative of the rich and influential. Even an ordinary person can walk into a electronics hardware store and assemble an e-arsenal for himself or herself, eliminating the need of costly personal safety equipment.” Mr. Aulakh told The Tribune.

The way this electromagnetic weapon works is that this equipment is capable of firing a burst of electro-magnetic energy that acts like a shockwave. A salvo from the gun can stun a anti-social element for anywhere between 1 to 4 hours. When fired at a point-blank range, it can stun a potential offender up to 6 hours.

Mr Aulakh disclosed that the electromagnetic weapon developed at the CSIO had an adjustable power setting that could be fixed based upon the requirement. “On lower power, this electromagnetic gun can fire a continuous wave that can cause severe headache and immobilise a person. It can also be modified to deliver a nerve-piercing electro-shock. The weapon’s range is 10 m and what is more it does not need a silencer”, he said.

The “e-arsenal” not only has lethal effects on human life, but can also be used to harm enemy electronic systems. It can also ensure the failure of semi-conductor devices in enemy territory due to the local heating that occurs, raising temperatures to near melting point.

During war the equipment can be used to destroy a semi-conductive chip, obstruct industrial processes, railway networks, power and phone systems, etc. The modern-day war is based on electronic technology and communication system. Therefore, this weapon can result in a bloodless victory, says Ms Inderdeep Kaur.

The duo revealed technical details of this weapon system in a paper at the national conference on “Emerging Trends in Wireless Communication and E-Security” at UIET, Panjab University Chandigarh, recently.



Prof Darshan Singh Maini dies at 88
Roopinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 14
A noted scholar of Henry James, poet, writer, columnist and a frequent contributor to The Tribune, Prof Darshan Singh Maini, died this morning. He was 88.

Professor Maini was born on January 8, 1919, in Jhelum, now in Pakistan. His family actively participated in the freedom struggle. After getting his Master’s degree in English in 1942, he taught at Khalsa College, Lyallpur.

After Partition, he shifted to Rohtak. He taught at various institutions like Khalsa College, Amritsar, Government College, Ludhiana, NDA, Khadakvasla, IMA, Dehra Dun and Mahindra College, Patiala.

Professor Maini did his PhD in 1961 from Panjab University, Chandigarh. He retired as Professor and Head, English Department, Punjabi University, Patiala, in 1979. It was at this time that I first met Professor Maini. He was warm and indulgent in handling often innumerable queries that popped out of a school student’s enquiring mind.

He was a UGC National Lecturer in 1979-80.In 1988-89, Professor Maini was also a visiting faculty in New York University, during which period we met again. A prolific writer, he was a scholar of Henry James and his books include “Henry James: The Indirect Vision” (1973), “The Portrait of a Lady: An Assessment” (1977), “Studies in Punjabi Poetry” (1979), “Walt Whitman and the Sikh Inspiration” (1981).

He was also a poet and his published volumes include “A Reluctant Flame” (1987), “A House of Dreams” (1995) and “The Aching Vision” (2000). He was the Chief Editor (Punjabi) for the series “Modern Indian Novels in Translation” (Macmilan India). He was also the Editorial Director of “Nishaan”, a quarterly started by the Nagara Trust.

He once told me that his first article had been carried by The Tribune when the paper was printed in Ambala. After his retirement, and especially in the 1980s and the 1990s, issues facing the Sikhs also received attention in Professor Maini’s writing. His essays, criticism, articles and reviews regularly appeared in various leading newspapers, including The Tribune.

His mind remained as alert as ever, but he needed care which was provided by his wife, Tejinder Maini. He is also survived by his daughters, Mrs Anita Lal and Ms Irma Maini, and his son, Mr Manoranjan Singh Maini. The cremation will take place at the cremation ground, Sector 25, Chandigarh, on Monday at 3:30 pm.



Watch Out

Inderjit Chadha
Another local hockey sensation, is showing his prowess on the Chennai turf where the third league of the Premier Hockey League Tournament is in progress. Inderjit, a product of the Chandigarh Hockey Academy, Sector 42, was instrumental in enabling the junior Indian Hockey team to clinch the World Cup in 2001-2002. He was declared the most outstanding player of the tournament then. Inderjit made his presence felt in the International Prime Minister Tournament held at Dhaka where his team finished first.



In Town

Sarabjit Cheema
A "bhangra star" of the Punjabi music world, will be in town on Monday to release his latest music album, "Nacho Nacho" at the Chandigarh Press Club. Cheema shot into fame with the "mela vekh diye mutiarre" in 1996 which had the chartbuster "Rangla Punjab". Teaming up with music mastro Sukhpal Sukh, Sarabjit Cheema had been churning out hit albums for the past several years.



7 councillors welcome idea to dissolve House
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 14
Seven councillors today welcomed the suggestion to dissolve the House and hold fresh MC elections. Holding that no works were being carried out in their wards, they held that the public interest was getting lost in the tussle for the MC President's chair.

Mr S.S. Goel said that he, along with six other councillors, had met the Deputy Chief Minister, Mr Chander Mohan, a fortnight earlier to press for MC President, Ms Manvir Gill's resignation. "He was non-committal but said that he would look into the matter," Mr Goel said.

Mr Pawan Mittal added that it was a welcome move especially in the light of the CD episode which had put a big question mark on the election of the MC president. The horse-trading charges should also be thoroughly investigated, he demanded.

Ms Jalmehga Dahiya said that the administration should take charge of issues dealt with by the Municipal Council. "At least, the work of the public will not suffer in this infighting. We are willing to work for the cause of the common man even without the tag of councillor," she said.

Others supporting the dissolution of the House include Mr Randhir Bhadran, Mr Randhir Malik, Mr Naresh Rawal and Mr Om Prakash. The Citizens' Welfare Association also said that the dissolution of the House would bring relief to the common man who has suffered because of the divided House.

Maintaining that the controversy has dogged the MC since its creation in 2003, he said that each councillor is only interested in being elevated as president and very few are really doing substantial work in their wards. He said that electing a new team to run the show would be a move in the right direction.

The MC will complete four years on January 19. In these four years, the House has seen three Presidents. While Ms Seema Chaudhary, the first MC President belonging to the Indian National Lok Dal, managed to complete two years in office before being voted out in a no-confidence motion, the next incumbent, Mr Tarun Bhandari, was also sent packing in less than a year after which the reins of the MC passed on to Ms Manvir Gill, the sitting President, in May 2006.

The Municipal Council is a 36-member House which includes 31 elected councillors. While the local Member of Parliament, Ms Selja, and local MLA, Mr Chander Mohan, are members of the House with voting rights, there are three other nominated councillors who have no voting rights.



Housing Problems
Now, water shortage in winter
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 14
Development comes at a price. Thousands of residents of several colonies in Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat are realising this the hard way. They had been facing a severe water shortage since the start of the flyover as part of the four-laning project of Ambala-Chandigarh highway.

In fact, with the water supply lines from the Water and Sewerage Department office reportedly being disrupted due to the construction, residents of Zirakpur village, Defence Colony, the Akali Kaur Singh Colony and the Jarnail Enclave are at the receiving end.

The commissioning of the new tubewell at the Jarnail Enclave recently has not mitigated the problems of residents as they say water supply is not enough to meet their requirements. This is despite tall claims by the authorities concerned that the new tubewell will go a long way in taking care of the water supply needs of the residents.

Only yesterday, a section of the residents protested against the apathetic attitude of the authorities concerned which had failed to take care of their problems despite repeated representations.

Mr Mewa Singh, a resident of Zirakpur village, alleged that with the demand exceeding the supply, the residents had to requisition water from water tankers. If this was the situation in winter, you can well imagine residents' plight in summers, Mr Inderjit Singh complained.

Residents alleged that water supply was not the only problem in these areas. The sanitation needed much to be desired as the drains continued to be uncleaned for weeks together.

However, officials sources while conceding the shortage of water, blamed it on the burgeoning population. With the population growing at a fast pace, the civic amenities had failed to keep pace with the ever-growing population.

He, however, claimed that the authorities concerned were aware of the matter and the situation should improve by the onset of summer.

Regarding other civic amenities, the sources claimed that the provision of other amenities was being taken up in a phase manner.



Officer’s conversion to JAG Dept raises brows
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 14
The conversion of an officer from a different corps to the Judge Advocate-General (JAG) Department despite a ban reportedly against him by the Discipline and Vigilance Directorate, has raised the brows in several quarters.

The officer faces a ban for his alleged involvement in irregularities in the hiring of civilian labourers. His former Commanding Officer, under whom he was serving at the time, is now facing trial by a General Court Martial in Rajasthan.

The issue came up in the Delhi High Court on Friday while a Division Bench was hearing a petition filed by another JAG officer, who is contending that he is being denied absorption into the JAG Department despite Presidential sanction having been accorded.

The officer had done his law degree from a college affiliated to Ambedkar University, Agra, in 2004 and was transferred to the JAG Department in 2006. Though the court did not take the matter on record, it was contended that from March 2003, the officer was posted in Rajasthan.

The Deputy Judge Advocate-General, Western Command, Brig A.K. Srivastava had also recently taken up the matter of the officer’s conversion to the JAG Department with the Army Headquarters as well as the Judge Advocate-General, Major-Gen Nilendra Kumar.

Several petitions have been filed in various courts, challenging transfers and posting within the JAG Department. Two officers, Lt Col M. S. Yadav and Lt Col C.K. Agarwal, have in their respective petitions filed in different courts contended that certain officers are being rotated between a few peace stations, thereby placing other deserving officers at a disadvantage.

In another case, Lt Col Mukul Dev has alleged that the Army is not converting him to the JAG Department although he has been attached to the department for about four years and doing all legal work. Some other similarly placed officers, on the other hand have been converted, which violates Article 14 of the Constitution.

A few months ago, the Delhi High Court had deposed a petition filed by Lt Col S.V. Rao, who had also questioned postings within the department. The officer had withdrawn his petition as he took premature retirement.



Stray dog menace on the rise
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 14
The stray dog menace is growing at an alarming pace in the city in the absence of any agency to sterilise the dog population. As night descends, the roads virtually become their domain and evening walks are a nightmare for residents.

All sectors of the city are under siege as these dogs race with moving cars, chase people into their homes or just scare the residents like a pack of hounds, fighting among themselves. "We can't move out of our houses once it is dark outside. These dogs seem to appear out of nowhere. Since it is winter and it gets dark early, we have no choice but to stay indoors. Going out for a leisurely saunter is out of the question," rues Sector 9 resident, Mr S.P. Sharma.

Ms Aruna Chaudhary of Sector 2, also voices the same opinion. "Since these dogs are not vaccinated, they are a hazard on the road. I have a small dog who I take out for a walk. With him, we have to be even more careful to ensure that he doesn't get attacked," she adds.

Others rue the inaction on the part of the Council and administration to sterilise these dogs. "We can only look towards them for help and relief from this menace. If they too express their inability in roping in agencies to control the dog population, who will we turn to?" asks Ms Poonam Katyal, a resident of Sector 4.

In the first few months after the formation of the Municipal Council, the modalities to tie up with the People For Animals were worked out but nothing emerged from the talks. As of now, there is no agency to tackle the problem even though cases of stray dogs biting people have been reported from different sectors.



IAF has all-weather recce capability: Tyagi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 14
Stating that some of the shortcomings faced by the IAF in the 1999 Kargil conflict have been overcome, the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal S.P. Tyagi, said the Air Force now had all-weather recce and surveillance capability.

“We have technology that can operate 24 hours a day in any type of weather,” he said. “We now have to look at weapon systems to exploit this capability,” he added. Precision weapons, he said, made an enormous difference in the Kargil conflict and the IAF needed more such ordnance. In Kargil, the IAF had oblique, side-looking cameras for aerial recce due to which aircraft could not overfly targets. Given the terrain, the exact coordinates and profiles of the targets could not be generated.

He was delivering the inaugural address at a seminar here yesterday on “Air Power in the Himalayas” by the Delhi-based Centre for Air Power Studies (CAPS). A number of the senior serving and retired officers who presented papers at the seminar were unanimous in their view that air power would play a dominant role in future and that the next war, though limited and intense, might break out in the mountains.

India could have played “merry hell” with the Chinese forces during the 1962 debacle had air power been used, the IAF chief said. The Sino-Indian border war was the only war fought by India in which offensive air support was not used and the only war to be lost.

Saying that a change in the mindset was required to break the continuing military stalemate in the subcontinent, the Air Chief stressed the need for air power to give suitable options to the political leadership should the people demand a change in the scenario.

He said as India grew economically, aerospace power would play a dominant role in the pursuit of national interests. “So far, we have been locked in a north-centric mindset. As we grow, we need to work out how to exploit the same machine over the sea, the desert and the mountains,” he said. “If a future war breaks out in the mountains, then air power is necessary to win as the terrain does not allow land forces to gain a lot of ground,” he added.

Observing that the driver of India’s security needs was socio-economic development, the Additional Director, CAPS, Air Vice- Marshal Kapil Kak (retd), said a multi-level security apparatus which, besides the state, also involved society and its components, was required.

Laying stress on synergy between the Army and the Air Force in planning and operations, Brig Gurmeet Kanwal (retd), Senior Fellow at CAPS, suggested the raising of a mountain strike corps and air assault formations.

Delving on the challenges of recce, surveillance and target acquisition (RSTA) operations in the Himalayas, Gp Capt D.K. Patnaik from Headquarters, Western Air Command, recommended radars mounted on terrestrial balloons, video cameras capable of operating in a harsh climate, UAV under a joint force having a single command and satellite data link and a dedicated satellite for the Air Force.

Speaking on helicopter operations in the Himalayas, Gp Capt Rajesh Issar suggested said a joint special operations command and a joint helicopter command for joint operations could be formed to cater to fast and intense conflicts. He also stressed the need for developing indigenous medium and heavy helicopters with inflight refuelling capability.



Lohri celebrations galore
Tribune News Service

Lohri being celebrated at the Ambika Public School, Kharar.
Lohri being celebrated at the Ambika Public School, Kharar.

Mohali, January 14
Shivalik Public School here celebrated Lohri and Makar Sankranti with great excitement and piety. Students of classes III to XII assembled in the school auditorium with the teachers. The programme included poems, songs related to Lohri and speeches highlighting the significance of this festival which marks the end of peak winters and announces the dawn of the spring season.

The occasion was also utilised to celebrate Makar Sankranti. Shabads and couplets were recited and explained. Speaking on the occasion, Director-Principal, Mr D.S. Bedi conveyed his greetings and entreated students to take pride in their rich cultural heritage and use such celebrations as a platform to develop and polish their skills.

Kharar: Lohri was celebrated at Ambika Public School affiliated to the CBSE and Ambika College of Nursing Badali here. The Principal of the school, Mr Mohan Lal Sharma, explained to the students the importance of the festival. Principals lit the bonfire and the staff and students sang songs and danced around the fire.



Mumbai firm captures Lohri on film
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Capturing real on reel: Lohri at its traditional best being celebrated at Vaseela near Zirakpur for a documentary on Indian culture.
Capturing real on reel: Lohri at its traditional best being celebrated at Vaseela near Zirakpur for a documentary on Indian culture. — Tribune photo by Vinay Malik

Chandigarh, January 14
While most city residents were busy celebrating Lohri gathered in circles around a bonfire, curled up to beat the chill and munching popcorns in front of their houses and the more urbane crowd dancing away to glory at discothèques, far in a sleepy village at the periphery of Zirakpur, a team of Humming Bird Films from Mumbai was busy shooting the traditional Lohri that was being celebrated in ‘Vaseela’, a farmhouse made on the theme of a Punjabi village. The ambience aptly created with a huge bonfire in the middle and a traditional rangoli pattern at the base made an exceptional sight.

The team of Humming Bird Films has been travelling all over the country with a purpose of making a documentary on Indian culture and heritage for a Singapore network. They reached Chandigarh after being guided by the Department of Tourism, Punjab, to shoot a traditional Lohri at the farmhouse, informed Vivek Mehta from Humming Bird.

After finishing a shoot in Patiala during the day for the shopping part of the festival, the team was busy capturing the event at night in Vaseela and nearby villages.

After wrapping up their shoot, the team today shot at Rock Garden for a series titled, ‘India’s Best Kept Secret’ and interviewed Nek Chand, the creator of Rock Garden.



‘Not much difference between Cong, BJP’
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 14
Pulangh, a social welfare organisation, today organised a seminar on the “Question of Punjab Assembly Election to be adjusted in the welfare of people” at the auditorium of Shivalik Public School, Phase VI, here.

The Chief Guest of the seminar, Mr Pramod Kumar, Director, Institute for Development and Communication, in his inaugural speech said the ideology and tendency of being a missionary is reducing day by day in political parties. Whether it was the BJP or the Congress, there was not much difference in the programmes of both these political parties.

Dr Prem Singh, prominent historian and ex-Chief Editor of Desh Sevak, in his speech said the BJP has the face of a communal party and this is an open fact while the Congress, with all its weaknesses, still has the face of a secular party.

Trade Union Leader Yashpal, General Secretary, IPTA, Sanjeevan, Hamir Singh, Shamsher Purkhalvi, President, Dalit Chetna Manch, Dr Daler Singh Multani, Dalvir Kaur and Jasvir Singh also spoke in the seminar.



Librarians should be information officers: Bansal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 14
“Libraries are the real temples of modern India and librarians should promote extra-curricular studies among their readers,” said Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, Chandigarh MP and Union Minister of State for Finance, here today. Mr Bansal was presiding over a thanksgiving function organised by the Confederation of Librarians’ Association of Northern India at the DAV College, here today.

He exhorted librarians to become information managers and inculcate the ability to provide information to readers on demand. He assured the librarians that their various demands will be looked into, including declaring August 12,which is the birthday of Dr S.R. Ranganathan as National Librarians’ Day.

Mr B.P. Dhiman, General Secretary of the Association, gave a brief history and background of the association and said that the association had organised the function to thank Mr Bansal for the role he had played in restoring parity in the pay scales of librarians with tat of college and university teachers.



3 of family sustain burn injuries
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 14
Three members of a family, including a minor boy, sustained burn injuries in a fire that broke out from smouldering coals that they had kept in their hut in colony Number 5, here, tonight. The police ruled out the possibility of any foul play in the incident.

The police said Kamlesh, her husband, Satish and their eight year-old- son Rohit were rushed to Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH). The doctors referred Kamlesh (28) to the PGI as she suffered 100 per cent burns, while her husband sustained 40 per cent burns and Rohit had 20 per cent burns. Both the father and son were admitted to the GMCH.

The police said the incident took place at around 11.30 pm when people heard their cries and rushed out to see flames rising from the hut. They informed the police and the fire brigade, which reached the spot with in minutes.



Punjabi magazine released
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 14
Chandigarh Digest, a monthly Punjabi magazine, was today released at the Chandigarh Press Club by Mr Surinder Kumar Jagota, councillor, Municipal Corporation.

The magazine will highlight issues pertaining to Punjabi language, culture besides covering subjects ranging from science, engineering, academics, cinema and literature.



Woman robbed of jewellery
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 14
Two unidentified youth robbed a 74-year-old woman of her gold ornaments from near gate number 2 of the Panjab University campus early this morning.

Ms Harjeet Kaur of Sector 15 said she went out for her morning walk as usual. The incident took place at around 6.15 am when she was intercepted by accused, who gagged her and forcibly removed her four gold bangles and a kara. She suffered minor injuries, when the bangles were removed from her arms.

Minor held

The local police arrested a minor boy of Sector 25 on the allegation of snatching a mobile phone of Mr Som Pal of Burail on Saturday. Mr Som Pal had reported the matter to the police alleging that an unidentified boy snatched his mobile phone from near Bhaskar Colony, Sector 25. The police recovered the mobile phone from the accused. A case has been registered.

Theft cases

Dr Pankaj of Mandi district lodged a complaint with the police alleging that two briefcases, a mobile phone, a purse and ATM cards were stolen from his car which was parked outside the DAV School in Sector 15, today. He had come there to appear in a test along with his wife and the theft came to light at around 2 pm when they came out of the school. A case of theft has been registered.

In another incident, Mr Baldev Singh of Yamunanagar reported to the police alleging that 22 plates of aluminium were stolen from his truck, which was parked in Phase II, Industrial Area, on Saturday. A case has been registered.

Ms Krishna of colony number 4 lodged a complaint with the police alleging that two gold rings, a pair of silver anklets, Rs 1,000 and other articles were stolen from her residence on January 12. A case has been registered.



Inebriated woman attempts suicide
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 14
Thirty-year-old Ameena, hailing from Bihar, allegedly set herself afire at her sister’s residence on the Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIO) premises in Sector 30 here this afternoon.

The police said she had been living separately from her husband and was under the influence of liquor at the time of the incident. The reason behind her taking the extreme step was yet to be ascertained.

Ameena reportedly came out of the house around 4 pm with kerosene and set herself afire before anyone could judge what was going on in her mind.

Her sister Kamla, along with her husband, Pehl Singh, a technician at the CSIO, rushed out and tried to douse the flames.

They informed the police about the incident and Ameena was rushed to the PGI. She reportedly sustained 50 per cent burns.

Doctors treating her said she was not fit to record her statement.

The police said Ameena, a mother of two, had come to meet her sister along with her 10-year-old daughter about a week ago.

The police said it would record the statement of the woman first and then decide the course of action in this regard.



Man dies in road accident
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 14
A 30-year-old man, Sameer Seth of Sector 45 was killed after an unidentified vehicle hit his motorcycle near the roundabout of Sectors 32 and 33 late on Saturday night. The police said the accident took place at around 11:35 pm.

The victim suffered serious head injuries and was rushed to the Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), where he succumbed to his injuries. He was working in a Mohali-based private firm.

The police said the body was handed over to his family after post-mortem. A case of causing death due to rash and negligent driving has been registered.



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