C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Young models exhibit oomph and confidence at pageant
Natural charm takes backseat
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 23
Silky brown highlighted tresses tumbling down the shoulders, short skirts with slits teamed with backless spaghetti tops, and high-heel ankle boots completing the ensemble — for so many young innocent children, the Rose Prince and Princess “pageant” was nothing less than first step towards flowering into models.

The contest was held at the Sector 16 Zakir Rose Garden as a part of the on-going Rose Festival. As many as 474 blooming youngsters from across the city and its surrounding areas took part in the competition. In all, the budding contestants vied for the titles in three categories.

As the overhead speakers blared out one hit number after another, gold and silver bangles with tiny bells around fragile wrists jingled. Adjusting floral bands around the hair, they waited patiently for their turn outside the makeshift chambers of the judges.

Naturalness in dresses was missing as some of them twinkled in silvery gowns with embroidered stars cascading down the sheer fabric. Others wore multicoloured tops and voluminous skirts with chic urbane, yet traditional touch.

Gala was the word to describe the prêt design collection showcased by the children. In fact, the “hot couture” had a poetic charm with an unpredictable and dramatic look. Brought from stores offering branded wear, the ensembles involved the reinvention of the classics with layering and random prints overstating the old to give that contemporary look.

Tired of standing long hours in high heel slip-ons, they shifted weight from one leg to another. To a discerning mind, it all appeared so strange. After all, children under the age of three are supposed to pet Barbie dolls, instead of dabbing cheek paint and dressing up like contestants for the Miss India pageant. But to them, it all came naturally.

More than a few elders accompanying the contestants agreed they had taken great pains to ensure immaculate dressing of the little ones. Wiping clean the tender face of her neighbour’s daughter, Sector 37 resident Ruchika Sharma agreed that they had taken the young girl to a salon for giving final touches to her looks.

Not to be left behind in the little game of fame, the young boys too took part in the fun by liberally applying gel for creating spikes. If hairstyle of the majority was an indicator, cricket sensation Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s cut was the hot favourite.



Krrish, Harnoor youngest prince, princess
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
Krrish Guleria was crowned Rose Prince in the age group of 12 to 18 months, while Harsh Preet Singh was bestowed with the title in the 18 to 24 months category.
Idarsh Khurana was declared winner in the two to three year category.

The competition was a part of the ongoing Rose Festival at the Zakir Rose Garden, here.

In the Rose Princess contest, Harnoor Kaur was declared the winner in the age group of 12 to 18 months, Harshita in the 18 to 24 months category and Ashmeet Kaur in the two to three year category.

In the Rose Prince  contest Dilraj Singh, Kanwaljit Singh Sidhu and Angad Sachdeva were declared the  runners-up while Danika Bhatia, Ishani Batra and Kuhu were declared the runners-up in the Rose Princess contest. 



Sanu leaves audience spellbound
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
Expression of love could have never been the same in Bollywood without the romantic and melodious renditions by Kumar Sanu in numerous films. With a career span of almost three decades, Sanu has to his credit more than 14000 songs, a count that puts him in the league of one of India’s most prolific singer’s category.

Hailing from Kolkata, Sanu alias Kedarnath Bhattacharya is perhaps the only Indian Singer who has recorded 28 songs at a stretch in a day, an achievement that fetched him a mention in Guinness Book of World Records. His list of achievements doesn’t just end there.‘One of my most popular songs, ‘Jab Koi Baat Bigad Jaye’ is believed to have cured a Hong Kong woman suffering from breast cancer under the music therapy being used to cure patients in a Hong Kong hospital”, he claims.

One of the social obligations, which Kumar has taken up voluntarily, is to help the daughter of Dada Saheb Phalke, father of Indian cinema. A patient of leukaemia, she never found any help within the film fraternity. Sanu today said that he took up the cause of helping her voluntarily. “I have given an undertaking to pay all her medical bills through out her life”. “That is my way of honouring the memory of Dada Saheb who gave so much to Indian cinema”.

In town to perform as a part of the on going Rose Festival, Sanu, talks about his newfound role as a film producer and more about his singing career. In continuation with the trend of celebrities trying their hands at doing different things in the world of cinema, Kumar Sanu made an attempt at film production. 'Utthaan', starring Neha Dhupia and Priyanshu Chatterjee in the lead, was his first film under the banner of ‘Kumar Sanu Communication private limited’, directed by Ujjwal Chatterjee who has earlier made 'Escape From Taliban’. Unfortunately the film did not do well as was expected. Giving a low down on his film, Sanu, who is undeterred by the failure, blames it on the wrong choice of actors in the film. “These days a film is decided by its location, vulgarity and pre publicity. Perhaps my film lacked all three”, he articulates.

Nevertheless, his second production ‘Sunday Kyu Ata hai’, is underway.

“We were working on the script and were thinking to finalise the cast when I happen to visit Borivilly railway station and picked up four shoe-shine boys from there”, tells Kumar. Visibly upset over the current music scene in films, Sanu, believes that melody and meaningful lyrics are going to make a comeback soon. “Nothing remains constant. The era of soulful music is bound to come back”. A singer, composer, music director and now a producer, Sanu, does feel the pinch of unavoidable restrictions on music directors in the present times. “Owing to over commercialisation of films, music directors are not given the amount of freedom to make music of their own choice unlike in the past”, he rues. As a music director.

With variety as the keyword, he feels, singers must include versatility in their singing so as to increase their shelf lives. “Even actors are supposed to bring variety in their acting to survive in this era of cut throat competition”. Defining his singing style as the one that paves its way to the hearts of listeners, “My aim is not only to please the ears but to touch the hearts of those who listen to me”, he avers. On being asked to choose between playback and singing for albums, Sanu, lost no time in stating that, “Playback singing always has an edge over private albums for the publicity reach that film songs have”.

Later in the evening, he went on to regale the audience who arrived much before the singer had descended at Leisure Valley in Sector 10. The jam-packed venue had people of all age groups looking out for seats. Finally when the singer arrived, he immediately started belting out his hit numbers starting with ‘Sanso Ki Zarurat Hai Jaise Zindagi Ke Liye’ from ‘Ashiqui’. The crowd was swaying to his tunes when he sang ‘Chand Sitare Phool Aur Khushboo’, ‘Tum Dil Ki Dhadkan Me’, ‘Jab Koi Baat Bigad Jaye’ et al.

After a long time, a star night saw such a huge crowd pouring in; thanks to Sanu’s live singing unlike many who prefer to just lip sync their songs.



Youth hangs himself
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 24
Twenty-three-year-old Suresh, a native of Uttar Pradesh, committed suicide by hanging himself from a tree near Sector 25,  here, today.
The deceased was unmarried and had been staying at Vikas Nagar. No suicide note was recovered from him and the reason for his death is still unknown.

He was found hanging with a nylon rope from a tree near a dargah by Krishan Lal, who manages the affairs at the dargah, at 10 am when he came to open the entry to the dargah.

Kishan Lal immediately informed his son, a resident of Mauli Jagran, who called in the police.

The police recovered the mobile of the deceased and called up the last dialled number only to find that it belonged to an STD at Vikas Nagar near Rajiv Colony. 



Parks in 12 sectors to get treated water soon 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
The irrigation network on both sides of the Shanti Path covering 12 sectors was today commissioned by Krishan Mohan, home secretary, UT, in the presence of mayor Harjinder Kaur and municipal commissioner P.S. Aujla. Now, green belts and parks in southern sectors will get treated sewage water soon.

The sectors which will be covered include sector 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46 and 47. Around 238 acres will be covered by this.

According to a spokesman of the MC, the green belts of additional eight sectors on Udyog Path (sector 28/29 to 22/17) will be covered in March.

At present, 10 MGD of sewage is treated up to the tertiary level but its capacity was not being fully utilised due to the non-existence of adequate distribution network to supply for irrigation purpose. About 3 MGD tertiary water was being utilised for irrigation, whereas the present irrigational requirement of the city is around 20 MGD.

The MC, therefore, prepared a project amounting to Rs 443 lakh to utilise the balance the treated capacity of seven MGD by laying the pre-stressed cement concrete rising mains and distribution network to irrigate the green belts of various sectors.

To meet the entire irrigation demand of Chandigarh through the treated sewage water, the MC has prepared an action plan wherein another 10 MGD of sewage water will be treated for which a project amounting to Rs 36.80 crore was recently sanctioned from the Government of India. 



Man killed as tractor hits bike, wife serious
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
Kunal Kaura, a resident of Manimajra, died in an accident after a tractor trolley, with registration number HR 37-4233, hit his motorcycle at the dividing road between Sector 27 and 7 near Khalsa College in Chandigarh.

Twentysix-year-old Kaura was shifted to GMCH-32 where he was declared brought dead. Kaura’s wife Gunjan has also sustained head injuries and is in the hospital. Her condition is stated to be serious. The two got married on February 19. 



MHA for cut in UT staff
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
The Department of Personnel and Training, Ministry of Home Affairs, has asked the Chandigarh Administration to reduce the strength of its employees by one third. The present strength of the employees has also been sought. The communication has come in response to a letter for additional strength sought by the Chandigarh Administration.

Following the communication from the ministry, the department of personnel has sought staff strength from different offices. Reacting to the development, the employee leader said the administration had not been filling the vacant posts. From a strength of 25,000, the strength had come down to 21, 000 in the Administration and Municipal Corporation. 



IAF to showcase para-jump by Air Chief Tyagi
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
A para-jump by Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal S.P. Tyagi and 75 air force personnel would be among the highlights of the IAF’s fourth Presidential Fleet Review (PFR), to be organised here on March 7 as part of its Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

A spectacular fly-past, a multi-faceted aero display and grand parade have also been lined up to mark the occasion, say sources. A formation of 17 Jaguars forming the figure of “75” would fly overhead.

Starting with three helicopters trailing the Tricolour and the IAF ensign to herald the arrival of the President, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, IAF colours as well as the standards and colours awarded to 40 IAF Squadrons and establishments so far would be “trooped”.

The Big Rotor formation, comprising the giant Mi-26 flanked by two Dhruv advanced light helicopters and two Chetak helicopters would lead the fly past. Next would be the Chakra, a formation of three Mi-35 attack helicopters, followed by the Spectrum, comprising an Avro, two AN-32s and two Dorniers in an inverted wine glass formation.

Training the Spectrum would be a lone Canberra on one of its last sortie, the type being phased out by the IAF in May this year after about 58 years of service. There after would come the Eklavya, a three aircraft formation of the HPT 32 trainer followed by an IL-78 aerial tanker with two fighters in tow.

After a brief interlude during which the President would release a commemorative stamp and address the gathering, which would include the defence minister, governors, chief ministers, service chiefs as well as senior government officers and the service brass, fighter aircraft would come in.

Sources said that there would be five fighter flights in arrow head formations comprising the MiG 21, Mig 23, MiG 29, Su-30 and the Mirage 2000. Special heli-borne operations, including insertion and extraction of special forces, combat air patrol by armed helicopters and combat aircraft and a simulated air attack are also on the schedule.

Aerobatics b the Sarang helicopter display team, the Surya Kiran team and low level aerobatics by a Su-30 are other attractions. A para-motor display, micro-light flying and aero-modelling will also be organised.

The review by the President, who is also the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, is an opportunity for the nation to witness the growth and prowess of the forces.

The fleet review by the President owes its origin to the pattern of reviews of the Royal Air Force by the British monarch.



Sexual Assault Case
JAG told not to carry out revision
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
The prosecution in the General Court Martial (GCM), which has re-assembled at Tibri to revise its earlier findings in a case pertaining to alleged sexual assault by a colonel, today stated that the Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Branch at the Army Headquarters had been advised against carrying out any revision.

According to sources, a letter was written to this effect by the JAG Branch on January 31, which was received at Headquarters Western Command, Chandimandir, a few days later.

The court had earlier held the officer not guilty of all charges levelled against him, but the GCM’s convening authority had ordered that the court reconsider its findings when these were forwarded for confirmation.

The prosecution, in its reply to pleas raised by the defence earlier, also conceded that the military intelligence (MI) had carried out investigations in the case when confirmation of the court’s findings was still pending and the matter sub-judice.An MI officer had reportedly visited the unit concerned and questioned witnesses in the case.

The prosecution also said the complainant officer had sought an interview by with the general officer commanding-in-chief of Western Command, but maintained that the interview was granted with the president of the Western Command Army Wives’ Welfare Association and not with the Army commander.

When the court had reassembled earlier this week, the defence had raised pleas that a grant of interview to the complainant officer and investigations by the MI when the matter was still sub-judice were against the principles of natural justice. These actions, the defence had contended, made the authorities concerned liable for contempt of court.



Probe into NRI’s kidnapping soon 
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 24
In a case of alleged kidnapping from Sector 25, the medical examination of the victim, Harjit Kaur, an NRI, was carried out at the General Hospital, Sector 6, late last night.
On her complaint, the police has also registered a case under Sections 365, 323 and 506 of the IPC.

Meanwhile, the girl's family arrived from Doraha in Punjab. Her brother, Daljeet Singh, said his sister's kidnapping was the second attempt to usurp their property. "In November last year, I, too, was kidnapped by these persons owing allegiance to a particular baba from our area," he said.

"We had not pressed any charges against the accused because they had threatened us with dire consequences. The family had decided it was best to keep quiet about the whole affair," he said.

However, since the release of his sister by the abductors, the family was scared about its fate. "We own nearly 12 killa of land in our native village which has generated a lot of interest from the head of a sect. We have conveyed our disinterest in the sale of the land. However, they use all means to grab the land," Daljeet remarked.

"Each killa costs nearly Rs 1.25 crore while those people are insisting that we sell the entire piece of land for Rs 2 crore. They have done this only to build up pressure," he added.

Harjit Kaur, too, substantiated this by saying that she was made to sign on blank papers at the court premises and was photographed for completion of various formalities. "They even registered a case with the Khanna police against my brother on grounds that he had not returned Rs 2 crore that he owed to them. That case is pending because the other party has failed to produce evidence about when, where and for what the money was given for," he said.

Police sources said they had only registered a case and got the patient medically examined at the hospital. "We will begin investigation shortly. The case may not be as simple as it appears but there certainly is a property at the centre of it all," he said.



Training Command chief visits High Grounds
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the IAF’s Bangalore-based Training Command, Air Marshal G.S. Chaudhry, arrived at Air Force Station High Grounds here today on an inspection visit.

He was received by the Station Commander, High Grounds, Gp Capt B.K. Sood. This is the Air Marshal’s first visit to the High Grounds, which houses the MiG-27/29 Technical Type Training School (TETTRA) since he took over as the Training Command Chief on November 1, 2006.

During his visit, Air Marshal Chaudhry visited various sections of the station, including X-ray model of the MiG-27 as well as the recently set up MiG-29 training complex.

A presentation was made by Gp Capt Sood on various activities at the station, including the training being conducted for Indian naval as well as foreign pilots and technicians. The Air Marshal was also briefed about various innovations and training aids developed by the TETTRA School.

Lauding the achievements of the personnel at the station, the Training Command Chief urged the instructors to strive for excellence in training. He also interacted with the trainees at the station and motivated them to be professionally sound.

The Air Marshal was accompanied by Mrs Manjit Chaudhry, regional president of the Air Force Wives Welfare Association (AFWWA). She was briefed by the local AFWWA president, Mrs Preetika Sood, on various welfare activities being undertaken for airmen and their families at the station.



Retd officer awaits outcome of never-ending enquiry
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
A retired senior assistant from the office of the deputy commissioner Satish Dutt Sharma is waiting for the outcome of the departmental enquiry pending against him for the past over six years .

This enquiry is going on despite the fact that three years back the CBI court had exonerated him from the charges of corruption. Several enquiry officers from Punjab came on deputation and went back but red tapism apparently struck up the conclusion of the enquiry.

Irritated over the delay, Satish Dutt, had in December, 2006, moved an application under the Right to Information Act (RTI) to know the outcome of his enquiry. “I was informed on January 12 that the response would be communicated within a week after due procedure of submission of the enquiry report to the deputy commissioner.” he said.

In April, 1992, the CBI had registered a case of corruption and recommended departmental enquiry against Satish Dutt. However, the CBI judge exonerated him of the charges after the prosecution failed to prove the charges. On the basis of the judgement, he applied for pending benefits but to no avail as the departmental enquiry was still pending.

The senior assistant then sought premature retirement and suffered mental torture due to red tapism. He was devoid of the pension benefits due to the pending enquiry.

“Will the enquiry officer complete the enquiry after my death. I am tired of making rounds of the offices,” lamented the assistant.



Plot encroached by bureaucrat
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
A Punjab bureaucrat has encroached upon a vacant piece of land adjoining his house in Sector 39 here. By raising a cane fence, the occupants of the house (H. No 1619) is doing landscaping on the plot.

A visit to the spot revealed that the house had been recently allotted to a bureaucrat. The land adjoining the house is meant for construction of houses for Punjab Government officers.

The house is located at a short distance from the officers flat. An official in the UT Estate Office revealed that since the land had been allotted to the Punjab Government, checking encroachment on the land was its responsibility.

Sources said though the land had been leased out to Punjab for construction of houses, the maintenance of the basic amenities was with the UT. 



Traffic trouble
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
The vehicular traffic on the Panchkula-Kalka highway came to a near standstill as the Ghaggar bridge remained partially closed today also due to the ongoing repair work.

As the traffic flowed one-way on the bridge throughout the day, the situation remained particulalry bad near the Sector 21 area. The station house officer of the Chandimandir police station Narinder Singh was present at the spot to control the traffic but the problem persisted.



Bomb hoax

Mohali, February 24
A bomb hoax call kept the police on its toes in Phase IX here yesterday.
According to sources, the call was received by the police around 1.30 p.m. that a bomb had been planted near Hotel Majestic in Phase IX. Police parties and fire brigade personnel rushed to the spot. However, after the area was cordoned off, nothing was found. TNS



Three booked for forgery
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 24
The local police has booked three residents of Amritsar on forgery charges.
According to the police, Partap Krishan Aggarwal, a resident of Sector 2 in Chandigarh, alleged that Ajaib Singh Chadha, Harpal and Rupesh Kumar issued him cheques for making payments which bounced.

Mr Aggarwal runs a factory in the Industrial Area here which provides the services of call centres. A consultant, Parveen Chander, introduced him to the owner of PDL Companies owner Ajaib Singh and they entered into an agreement for providing services to the call centre. The complainant received the payments till June,2005 regularly and in the month of October 2005, the PDL Company issued him two cheques which could never be encashed. A case has been registered

Booked: A car driver has been booked for causing death of a cyclist. Acting on the complaint of Swaran Bhunia, a resident of Hallo Majra in Chandigarh, against the driver of car no.PB-65 B-1939, the police registered the case. It is alleged that the complainant and his brother-in-law were going back to the residence on their bicycles. His brother-in-law was behind him when the above mentioned car came from PCL Chowk side in a rash manner and hit his brother-in-law, Gora Chand. He was admitted to Cheema Hospital from where he was referred to the PGI, Chandigarh, where he died. A case has been registered.

Car snatched: A case has been registered on the complaint of Madan Lal, a resident of Sector 69, against four unidentified four persons for allegedly snatching an Indica car(PB-65-D-3568) from near city park in Sector 65 yesterday.



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