C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Kanwaljit Singh hat-tricks in style
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

SAD supporters celebrate the victory of former finance minister Kanwaljit Singh in Chandigarh
SAD supporters celebrate the victory of former finance minister Kanwaljit Singh in Chandigarh on Tuesday. — Tribune photo by Manoj Mahajan

Dera Bassi, February 27
Riding on the wave of anti-incumbency, the former finance minister and the SAD-BJP candidate from Banur, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, today secured a hat-trick defeating his nearest rival and the Congress candidate Rakesh Sharma by a massive margin of over 42,600 votes.

In fact, for Capt Kanwaljit Singh, who secured 6,933 votes in the first round as against 2808 by Sharma, there was no looking back as he continued to consolidate his lead till the 13th round.

Capt Kanwaljit Singh, who entered the Punjab Assembly for the fourth time having first won from Banur in 1985, polled 79,324 votes as against 36,673 votes by Sharma.

All other six candidates, including Jasvir Singh(BSP), who polled 12,515 votes, lost their security deposits. A total of 1,33,415 votes were polled in the strategic constituency in Chandigarh's periphery.

The one-of-the-largest victory margins in this election seemed to surprise even the hardcore Akali supporters in the wake of the slender victory margin of 714 votes in the 2002 Assembly elections against the Congress candidate.

Capt Kanwaljit Singh had romped home with a victory margin of over 22,000 in the 1997 elections .

For Sharma, who was imposed by the party high command ahead of genuine candidates, including Deepinder Singh Dhillon and Seelam Sohi, the "outsider" tag proved to be his undoing.

With factionalism coming to the fore, the election campaign of the Congress candidate never seemed to have pick up momentum.

Earlier, the counting started at Government College premises amid tight security at 8 am. Both Capt Kanwaljit Singh and Sharma were seen taking rounds of the counting tables to know the latest trends.

The counting was a quick affair and by about 11 am, the Returning Officer, Narinder Sangha, declared Capt Kanwaljit Singh as the winner amidst thunderous applause and slogans of "bole so nihal sat sri akal".

As the Akali stalwart emerged from the counting centre, hundreds of SAD-BJP supporters gathered around him to congratulate him.

Accompanied by "dholis",they danced to the beats of the drum and distributed "ladoos". Later, Capt Kanwaljit Singh was taken to the streets in an open jeep where he was greeted by hundreds of residents.

Talking to the Chandigarh Tribune, the Akali leader said the massive margin would singularly translate into greater public expectations and more responsibility on his part.

It was an anti-Congress verdict and vote for the development works undertaken by him in the Banur Assembly segment, he added.

Meanwhile, Narinder Sharma, president of the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat, Bhupinder Saini, president of the local Rotary Club, Nirmail Singh, SGPC member, Jagjit Singh Dalli, Dhanwant Singh and Baljit Singh Karkor hailed the victory of the Akali leader.

Also, the house of the Akali leader in Sector 9, Chandigarh, was abuzz with activity with scores of party activists thronging it to congratulate him.

However, disappointment in the Akali camp was apparent at the defeat of his son and Kharar candidate, Jasjit Singh Bunny, who put up a brave front and received the supporters.

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Third-time lucky for Morinda, Kharar winners
SAD (Mann), independents also-rans
Chitleen K.Sethi
Tribune News Service

SAD-BJP candidate Ujagar Singh Badali being taken in a procession after his victory in Morinda
SAD-BJP candidate Ujagar Singh Badali being taken in a procession after his victory in Morinda on Tuesday. — Tribune photo by Vicky Gharu

Kharar/Morinda, February 27
The winning candidates from Kharar and Morinda proved to be ‘third-time lucky’ today.

The Congress candidate from Kharar, Balbir Singh Sidhu, won the Assembly elections today after a long struggle of 10 years. He had stood for elections twice, first as a Congress candidate and then as an independent, losing on both occasions.

Similarly, Ujagar Singh Badali, SAD candidate from Morinda, defeated Congress heavy weight Jagmohan Singh Kang after having lost two Assembly elections earlier.

While the rural vote bank in Kharar and Mohali played a key role in leading Sidhu to victory, the urban vote bank from Morinda and Kurali went markedly against Kang leading to his defeat. In both constituencies, barring the top two contenders, the other candidates fared very poorly and had to forfeit their security for not having mustered even 10 per cent of the votes polled.

Results of the Morinda constituency were among the first to the declared this morning. The six candidates in fray were present at the Government College in Khooni Majra and by 10 am, Badali had been declared won.

Accepting his defeat with grace, Kang left the counting venue immediately while Badali waited for another hour before the Election Observer V.B. Pathak issued the certificate to him. “I will abide by the promises made by the SAD leadership to the electorate,” said the 58 year old Badali.

“The Congress has paid for its misdeeds and we will ensure that the residents of Morinda have no reason to complain,” he added.

Badali was polled 58,608 votes and Kang secured 50,188 votes. Rajinder Singh Nanheria of the BSP got 7,633 votes and an independent candidate, Harbans Singh, got 3,104 votes.

Kuldeep Singh, SAD (Mann), got 812 votes, Gurdev Singh of BSP (Ambedkar) got 713 votes. The total of 1,21,058 votes were polled out of the total electorate of 1,57,561. The polling percentage increased from 70 per cent in the 2002 elections to 77 per cent this year.

Hundreds of SAD supporters had gathered outside the college and cries of “bole so nihaal’ ranted the air when Badali reached the waiting crowds. Many supporters broke into a dance to the tunes of ‘dholis’ who accompanied the victory procession to Morinda villages.

Almost a similar sight was witnessed outside the Shivalik Public School in Mohali here where the counting for Kharar segment took place. After a tense morning when Congress and SAD supporters were sloganeering outside the venue, by the time it became clear that Sidhu was winning, the Akali supporters left.

Sandeep Hans, SDM, Mohali, who was also the returning officer, declared the final results. Sidhu got 85,092 votes, Jasjit Singh got 71,477 votes. Both Sidhu and Bunny fared well in Mohali city. Sidhu secured 30,090 votes here and Bunny got 30,902 votes here.

While in Kharar city, Sidhu got almost 4,500 votes more than Bunny, in Zirakpur, Bunny got about 700 votes more than Sidhu. In Mohali rural, Sidhu got over 4,000 votes more than Bunny and in Kharar rural he got about 5,000 more votes than Bunny. In Bassi Pathana rural, Sidhu got about 300 votes more than the SAD candidate.

The other candidates could barely muster around 10,000 votes. Jaswinder Singh of BSP got 3,611 votes, Anil Kumar of the Bhartiya Janshakti party got 1,187 votes, Swarn Singh Bangar of BSP (Ambedkar) got 287 votes and Joginder Singh Sahota of SAD (Mann) got 442 votes.

Among the independent candidates, Ishwar Kaur got 194 votes, Gurnam Singh Sewak got 351 votes, Tarlochan Singh Mann got 4,636 votes, Nachattar Singh Baidwan secured 701 votes, Parmod Kumar got 411 votes and Bhajan Singh got 1,726 votes.

The total number of valid votes polled in Kharar were 1,70,115 out of the total electorate of 2,44,587. The polling percentage in Kharar in these elections is 70 per cent, which is 10 per cent more than last elections.

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SAD wins Anandpur Sahib, Cong takes Nangal
Chamkaur Sahib goes to independent
Kiran Deep
Tribune News Service

Ropar, February 27
In a mixed verdict in the three assembly segments in the district, SAD patron Sant Ajit Singh won from Anandpur Sahib by defeating two-time Congress MLA Ramesh Dutt Sharma, while K.P.S Rana of the Congress defeated three-time MLA BJP heavyweight Madan Mohan Mittal in Nangal segment today.

In a surprise result in Chamkaur Sahib segment, independent candidate (Congress rebel) Charanjit Singh Channi defeated four-time Akali MLA Satwant Kaur Sandhu.

Former chairman of SAD parliamentary affair committee, Sant Ajit Singh, who has rejoined the politics after a gap of 15 years, defeated the district Congress president, Ramesh Dutt Sharma by margin of 9898 votes. Sant polled 47810 votes, while Ramesh Dutt Sharma got 37912 votes. Amarjit Singh Saini, former Congress district president, who contested as independent, stood third, scoring 5666 votes.

However, the two assembly segments - Nangal and Chamkaur Sahib - witnessed a close fight. The Congress MLA K.P.S Rana defeated the former food and supplies minister Madan Mohan Mittal by a margin of 2676 votes. Third front candidate Gurdial Singh stood third by getting 4608 votes.

In Chamkaur Sahib, independent candidate Charanjit Singh Channi defeated Akali nominee Satwant Kaur Sandhu by margin of 1758 votes. Channi polled 37,946 votes while Sandhu 36188 votes. The Congress candidate Manmohan Singh stood third by getting 10,227 votes. A Total 90,353 votes were polled to the candidate in this segment.

In Anandpur Sahib segment, Sant got votes from rural and urban areas following strong anti-incumbency factor. The people were deadly against the Congress government for curving out Mohali as separate district from Ropar. Zila Bachao Sangarsh committee formed against the move of Congress had extended its support to SAD. Besides, factionalism also contributed to the defeat of the Congress candidate.

In Chamkaur Sahib, president of municipal council, Kharar, Charanjit Singh Channi, after being denied Congress ticket, contested as an independent candidate. He had campaigned heavily with all his resources with assurance to the people to develop the segment that still considered to backward.

In Nangal, despite anti-incumbency factor, Rana managed to win for the second consecutive term. Factionalism could be the cause of defeat of the BJP candidate Mittal, opined the political observers. Besides, the Left parties votebank spilt this time. Rana who campaigned intensively managed to score split vote bank and also those of employees.

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INLD celebrates SAD-BJP victory
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 28
If supporters of the SAD-BJP combine celebrated their win in the Punjab elections, the city, too, rejoiced as activists of the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) distributed sweets in the city markets.

Local leader of the INLD, Dilbagh Nain, led the celebration bandwagon through the city beginning with the Sector 7 market. As activists danced to the beat of the dholis, a few supporters, carrying boxes of sweets, lent an air of celebration.

The INLD activists went from market to market, offering sweets to the public to "mark the ouster of the Congress government in Punjab and the rise of the Badal clan".

Stating that it was an indication of things to come, Nain said that the Congress would be wiped out from Haryana as well in the next election. "We will return to power with a thumping win," he said as he proceeded from the Sector 8 market to the Sector 11 market.

Earlier in the day, Sukhbir Badal, son of SAD president Prakash Singh Badal, paid obeisance at Nada sahib gurdwara.

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Chandigarh Calling

Chandigarh is known for the quality education its institutions offer. Looking at the present scenario of early employment and part-time education, the need for a 24-hour library facility seems pertinent.

Of the three libraries in the city, only one is open round-the-clock, the one at the Panjab University, and that too, for students of the university. Being located at the other end of the city, many living in southern sectors cannot benefit from it. The other two libraries are open from 10 am to 5:30 pm and are closed on Sundays and gazetted holidays. This bothers those who start working at an early age and continue studies. The reading hall in one of the two should be kept open either 24x7 or till late hours.

Govt exempt?

It appears that the Chandigarh traffic police loves to find fault with private vehicles and ignore violations committed by government vehicles. It has been observed that a registration number series (CH-01-G1) issued to government vehicles has not been in accordance with the Motor Vehicle Act.

As per specifications, the state code along with the registration authority code should be displayed in the first line, with the rest forming the second line, one below the other. The Act mentions that in the second line, it should only be a four-digit number, but the series CH-01-G1, with four digits added to it, turn out to be a five digits, defying the law.

HUDA helpless?

Staff-starved Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) is having a tough time keeping its head above water and as a result, encroachments are spreading like wildfire in Panchkula. Taxi stands are the latest to occupy prime parking places.

A taxi stand operates from Sector 10, two from Sector 5 in Mansa Devi complex and another from Bhainsa Tibba. Those have begun putting up tents and bringing beds and bedding for a comfortable stay. Their comfort has attracted autorickshaw owners and rickshaw pullers as well, adding to the displeasure of the public.

Best bhavan

It is a hat-trick with a difference for the Baba Makhan Shah Lobana Bhavan, Sector 30. It has been adjudged best bhavan among bhavans and non-government premises during the competition organised as part of recent Rose Festival.

Parking blues

Parking problems left visitors to the Rose Garden wasting time trying to find parking space. People had a tough time reaching sectors south of sector 17.

Contributed by Harbinder Singh, Ramanjit Singh Sidhu, Pradeep Sharma, Rajiv Bhatia and Geetanjali Gayatri

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CBI faces allegation of tampering with records
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 27
Now it is the turn of CBI officials to be in the dock. Brij Mohan, an assistant engineer (AE) in the building branch of the UT’s Estate Office, today levelled serious allegations of tampering and removal of some file notings, regarding amalgamation of two booths in Sector 22, from the documents by some CBI officials .

The file notings went missing during the recent raid by the CBI in connection with the scam involving building violations at Fun Republic, Mani Majra, the AE stated while moving his application before the CBI Special Judge here.

Anticipating his implication in the case multiplex case, the AE has also moved an application for anticipatory bail application before the judge. Both applications would be taken up on March 2.

While moving his application, the AE has put on record an official document sent to the assistant estate officer (AEO) on February 25, wherein he has stated that a few days back, two CBI officers had come to the building branch to enquire about the case of amalgamation of two booths in Sector 22 ( booth no 35 and 36). Some irregularities were allegedly found and it was explained to the CBI officials.

The applicant has further alleged that on being told the factual position, he was threatened with dire consequences. The happenings were recorded on file and same were sent to the AEO. Then, the file was returned to the building branch.

Alleging malafide intention by the CBI, the applicant has stated that file notings were entered much before the CBI raids were conducted.

The investigating agency, in its reply before the court, has stated that the multiplex was reconstructed in 2003, contrary to the sanction plan approved in 2001. The sanction plan was submitted to the Estate Office in 2003 and the building was constructed in violation of the revised plan.

It has been stated that searches were conducted at the residence and office premises of the AE and incriminating documents were seized. The scrutiny of the same is in progress.

It has further been stated that prime facie it has been revealed that the file regarding the issue of permission in form “b” was put up to the SDO ( Building), T.P. Singh, through the AEE, Brij Mohan. The AEE dishonestly and unauthorisedly forwarded the same to the SDO and permission in form “B” was issued.

Replying to the queries raised by the AE, the CBI has stated that he played a key role in the whole matter and no CBI officer had threatened the AE. Stating that Brij Mohan could tamper with the evidence in the case, the CBI has sought custodial interrogation to unearth a significant part of the conspiracy.

Admn officials examine files

Though it could not be ascertained whether the CBI has sought comments from the Administration regarding the negligence on part of its officials in ignoring the violations, sources confirmed senior officials in the Administration in the past three days had summoned the records pertaining to relaxations given in various cases and were examining all the aspects.

In light of the Fun Republic case, the officials want to be sure about the facts and the justifications to be given for the relaxations. The entire record of the Taj hotel, some other hotels and some important cases was being examined. 

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Dr B.N. Goswamy bereaved
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 27
Renowned city-based art historian Dr B.N. Goswamy lost his mother to a long-standing illness yesterday. Kaushalya Goswamy, 96, passed away at the residence of Dr Goswamy last night. Chautha will take place at House no 171, Sector 19 from 3 to 4 pm on Thursday.

Remembering his mother, Dr Goswamy said she was an ordinary woman who lived an extraordinary life. "She came from a middle class family and had no formal education of any sort. Yet her memory was phenomenal. She would memorise verses from Guru Granth Sahib and recite them to us, when we were children. She also had a sort of raw courage."

Since Dr Goswamy's father passed away 20 years ago, his mother had been staying with him. And he remembers her very fondly, especially for the one gesture she made when he was leaving home for his first job as an IAS officer.

She had told him never to forget that a tree laden with fruits always bent low. He cherishes the message day in and day out.

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90 p.c. use mobile 18 hours a day: Survey
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 27
It may set surprise bells ringing, but a survey conducted by a website has revealed that over 5 lakh residents of Chandigarh, Panchkula, Mohali and the surrounding areas have mobile phones. About a lakh of them have access to the Internet via GPRS on their mobile sets.

The open-ended survey conducted by "www.chandigarha2z.com" further reflects that nearly 90 per cent of the mobile holders use it for 18 hours a day. It includes time spent on playing games on the net or at the set. Other than this, 85 per cent of the Internet users believe concrete information about Chandigarh on the Internet is missing. The people are of the firm belief that they are spending more money than their budget allows them to as they are just not aware of "good bargains" on the product they are planning to buy. They do not even know the right place to buy the product from.

The survey also reveals that the centres like Chandigarh, Panchkula, Mohali and surrounding areas are playing a major role in the "empowerment" of "brand India". The region has tremendous scope for growth due to young and enterprising workforce. As many as 50,000 people from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and other parts of the country visit the tri-city daily. Over 5 lakh shuttle between these three cities on day to day basis!

Tourism and business opportunities are bound to increase in the city with tentative tag of World Heritage City by the UNESCO. Already, the city’s economy is logged on to a programme of development in the information technology (IT) field. In fact, the city is expected to have 75,000 IT professionals in the days to come. The IT cluster in Mohali is also doing well for itself and soon will be joined with IT park in Panchkula.

The residents now have access to local information through a number of websites. Rather, the promoters of "chandigarha2z.com"have floated other websites also, including www.chandigarhnaukri.com, www.punjabnaukri.com, www.himachalnaukri.com, www.haryananaukri.com and www.upnaukri.com The sites help residents in performing their day-to-day chores and solving problems that accompany daily existence. In case of a car breakdown, a motorist can click help from his GPRS-enabled mobile and search the nearest mechanic out.

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Civilian pilots show higher locus of control than
military pilots

Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 27
Civilian pilots in India have a higher “locus of control” than their military counterparts. This has been revealed in a study undertaken at the IAF’s Bangalore-based Institute of Aviation Medicine.

Locus of control (LOC) has been defined in the study as the degree to which an individual perceives that control over events is under his own influence and the outcome of situations their experience is under their personal control.

The study done by Dr Catherine Joseph and Dr Ganesh A. also found that transport pilots had the highest LOC score, followed by fighter pilots. Helicopter pilots had the least score. This gives an insight into the operational parameters and environmental factors affecting different types of aircraft and organisations.

During the study, the responses of 101 male pilots to a specially designed questionnaire containing 20 items were analysed. The questionnaire was divided into two parts, dealing with “internal” LOC and “external” LOC.

Individuals with internal LOC orientation perceive they can exert control over the outcome of a situation and they have significant control over the course of events, the study observed. They are confident that their actions lead to predictable results.

On the other hand, individuals with higher external LOC orientation attribute outcomes to external factors like luck, fate, chance, actions of other persons, the weather of factors external to themselves.

In situational terms, the perception of control has long been recognized as an important mediator of stress. People object less to an aversive stimulus when they possess some type of control over its administration, the study remarked. Possession of external LOC has often been associated with greater vulnerability to stress.

The results of the study revealed that scores of internal LOC of the aviators who were involved were significantly higher that external LOC scores. Of the group 51 were civilian pilots.

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For cops, senior citizens are no different
Cops register elderly’s case after six days
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 27
The tall claims of the Chandigarh police in helping senior citizens has fallen flat with 74-year-old B.K. Nirola of Sector 40 alleging a raw deal at their hands.

A widower and issueless, Nirola alleged that six days had lapsed since he reported the theft of the tyres of his car to the police, but had no information about the status of his case.

He added that he even did not know whether the police has registered a case on his complaint or not. The police had told him that he need not come to the police station and that they would inform him about the proceedings.

Recalling the incident, Nirola, who lives alone, said that three tyres of his car, which was parked outside his residence, were stolen during the intervening night of February 20 and 21. The theft came to light when his servant told him that the car was placed on bricks.

“I immediately informed the police and was told that they were coming. But after waiting for over an hour, I rang up again only to get another assurance. After another hour, I called up again and head constable Makhan Singh came and noted down the details. He left saying that he will report the matter to the SHO”.

Nirola, said that the harassment did not end there. As no one from the police approached him till late in the evening that day, he went to the police station in a rickshaw and had to wait at the police station to lodge his complaint. It was after prolonged persuasion that the officer on duty agreed to put a seal on the copy of the complaint as an acknowledgement.

Since then, Nirola has been waiting for the cops to inform him about the fate of his complaint. It was only after Chandigarh Tribune approached the SHO of the sector 39 police station Nanha Ram Kadiyan, a policeman went to Nirola’s residence. The SHO, however, expressed ignorance about the episode and said he would look into the matter.

Nirola told TNS that a cop came to him today evening and said that they had lost his complaint and asked him to give a fresh one. Later, the police said a case of theft under Section 379 of the Indian Penal Code had been registered today in this regard.

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Tributes paid to Munir Niazi
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 27
The Haryana Urdu Akademi paid rich tributes to the late Pakistani poet Munir Niazi during a seminar and musical function in Panchkula today.

Education minister Phool Chand Mullana hailed the literary prominence of Niazi for his prolific creations in Urdu, Hindi and Punjabi.

Akademi secretary Kashmiri Lal Zakir said Niazi, born and brought up at Rampur in Hoshiarpur, had migrated to Pakistan during Partition.

Urdu scholars Farooq Argali, Nand Kishore Vikram, Narang Saqi and Deepak Tandon read out papers on the life and achievements of Niazi.

Singer Vinod Sehgal presented ghazals from the repertoire of the poet, besides numbers from the film ‘Maachis’ and serials ‘Mirza Ghalib’ and ‘Kaikshan’.

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3 sambars succumb to injuries
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 27
Three sambars, which strayed into Khudda Ali Sher this morning, succumbed to their injuries after being entangled in the barb wires surrounding the nearby area. the animals were running for life after dogs chased them injuring them in the process.

According to Avtar Singh of Khudda of Ali Sher village, he saw the animals when he was taking a morning walk at around 8 am. Barking dogs drew his attention and he saw the animals being chased by the canines. The sambars in a bid to escape into the jungle area jumped over the barb wires, but their antlers got entangled in the fencing and the animals were severely injured.

In the meantime, another villager, Balkar Singh, reached there and they went to the injured animal to rescue them. At the same time, forest department guards also reached there and tried to take out the bodies. Balkar Singh intervened and told the guards that should take away the bodies after meeting sarpanch of the village.

Highlighting the problem, Balkar Singh told TNS that the animals stray into the village area in search of food and water. They also added that at least 15 to 20 sambers had died in the recent past. On Monday, also they found a body of a sambar near their village.

Balkar Singh further said that not only a lot of animal lives were being lost, but the menace is also taking its toll on the peasants of the area as their crops are damaged by the sambars, which stray into the area in search of food. 

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Sector-21 resident booked for assault
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 27
The Chandigarh Police today booked a Sector-21 resident and his relatives on the allegation of thrashing his son-in-law and his family members following a matrimonial dispute.

The police said a case of rioting, theft, criminal trespass, outraging the modesty of a woman and causing injuries had been registered under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code against Surinder Kumar of Sector 21 and his relatives.

Amit Goel, resident of Sector 35, told the Chandigarh Tribune that his father-in-law, Surinder Kumar, accompanied by his brothers, Rakesh Gupta, Anil Gupta and Krishan Gupta, and his two sons, Pankaj and Vaneet, his wife, Santosh, along with about 25 other persons came to his residence on Monday evening and assaulted them.

He alleged that the accused assaulted all his family members, including his parents, brother and sister-in-law.

A software engineer working in Bangalore, Goel further alleged that the assailants torn clothes of his sister-in-law before leaving the place. He was left with an injury on his eye and his family members suffered bruises.

The matter was reported to the police, but the police registered a case only after repeated requests. He also alleged that the police was forcing them to reach a compromise. 

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Man held with poppy husk
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 27
A Hoshiarpur resident was arrested on the allegation of carrying 18 kg of poppy husk from the ISBT in sector 17 here. The police said Devinder Singh of Basi Kalan village in Hoshiarpur district was arrested on suspicion on Monday night while he was waiting for a bus.

His search led to the recovery of 18 kg of poppy husk, which he confessed to have brought from Uttar Pradesh.

He was produced in a local court, which sent him to jail till March 12.

Youth held

The police arrested 20-year-old Puran Chand Kala of Kajheri on Tuesday on the allegation of attempting to forcibly taking away a 14-year-old girl.

The accused stopped a girl and tried to force her to accompany him. The girl resisted and raised the alarm, following which a relative of hers came.

The accused fled, threatening her of dire consequences in case she reported the matter.

The police registered a case under sections 341, 506 and 509 against him.

Theft

Shyam Sunder Bhasin of the Panjab University filed a complaint that Rs 26,000, jewellery worth Rs 60,000 and a mobile phone were stolen from his house on Tuesday afternoon. On coming home, he found locks broken and the house ransacked. A case was registered.

Assault

The police arrested Ram Singh, alias Pappu, of Burail on Tuesday on the allegation of assaulting Balkar Singh, an employee at a drycleaning shop.

The victim reported to the police that Ram Singh assaulted him with hockey sticks following a dispute over money. He suffered a fracture on his leg and was admitted to hospital. A case of causing grievous injuries was registered at the sector 34 police station.

Vehicles stolen

Mandeep Singh of sector 43 reported to the police that his Mahindra Scorpio SUV (CH-03-U-3072) was stolen from his house on the night of February 25. Tikal Raj of sector 20 lodged a complaint that his Bajaj Caliber motor cycle (CH-03-L-7654) was stolen from the free parking lot near the Neelam cinema on Sunday.

Two cases of theft were registered in this regard.

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3 held on kidnapping charge
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 27
The Kharar police has booked three persons on the charge of kidnapping a minor girl.

Acting on the complaint of Ghanshyam of Badmajra, the police booked Dhani Ram of Saharanpur along with Anita and Bhagwandeen and registered a case.

Fraud case

The police booked a Meerut resident on fraud charges.

The case was registered on the complaint of Paramjit Singh of Phase X, Mohali, who alleged that Tarun Sharma of Meerut had taken Rs 2 lakh and his passport on the pretext of sending him abroad.

2 youths snatch purse

Panchkula: Two youths on a motorcycle snatched the purse of Suksham Chopra of the PGI, Chandigarh, in Sector 16 here today. She was returning from work when the boys pulled up alongside her, snatched her purse and drove away before she could note down the number of the vehicle. In her complaint, she said that her purse contained cash amounting to Rs 1400, her mobile, her PGI identity card and keys to her office and home.

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Union Bank of India to open three overseas branches
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 27
Union Bank of India has embarked upon technology-aided mobile banking initiatives in rural areas. The bank will also be expanding its base overseas, with new bank branches at Shanghai, Doha, Qatar and Dubai.

Talking to TNS here today, Mr R S Reddy, Executive Director of Union Bank of India, said the bank was now looking at expanding its base in rural areas.

“Since it is economically unviable to open more branches, we have decided to introduce technology-aided techniques like hand-held computers for mobile banking in rural areas,” he said.

Mr Reddy informed TNS that the bank had launched a pilot project in Warangal (Andhra Pradesh), in association with the Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology (IDRBT), wherein a hand-held computer has been designed to aid banking in rural areas. “This hand-held computer will be taken to rural areas by volunteers/ business facilitators of the bank, which will biometrically identify the thumb impression of the customer and then allow him to withdraw / deposit money from his account. A receipt will also be issued to the customer, while the transactions made will later be fed in the bank’s main server at the branch to maintain records,” he said, while adding that other than banking transactions, the hand-held computer can be used to disburse old age/widow pensions in rural areas.

The Executive Director said the bank was also associated with a similar project of rural banking through hand-held computers, being designed by Financial Information Network and Operations (FINO). This project is being initiated by ICICI Bank, Union Bank of India and some other banks.

“We are also planning to open kiosks in rural areas in association with the Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services. The latter proposes to set up one lakh kiosks in rural areas across the country. The bank will operate some of these kiosks, which will offer a bouquet of services on revenue records as well as financial services. These kiosks will be operated by rural youth, who will be paid a commission by the bank. We have already started one such kiosk in Baramati,” he said.

Mr Reddy said all 2162 branches of the bank had been computerised and 900 branches were on core banking. “By the end of this fiscal, we plan to have over 1000 core banking branches,” he said, adding that 77 per cent of the bank’s business was through the core banking branches.

The Executive Director said Union Bank had obtained RBI clearance for three overseas branches - at Shanghai, Doha Qatar and Dubai. “We have already got the local clearance from the Chinese Government and the Shanghai branch would be opened next month. The other two branches will be operational in the next fiscal. We also propose to add 150 branches within the country in the next financial year,” he said. 

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Biz Clips
Connect STD calls cheaper
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 27
Connect has now made STD calls cheaper for its fixed line users. STD call charges per 60 seconds are now 99 paise as against Rs. 1.99 paise earlier. Connect has also reduced its cost for ISD calls to the US and Canada from Rs.5 per minute to Rs. 3 per minute. These rates will be applicable for existing subscribers under selected Mega Value plans also with effect from March 1, 2007, said a company release.

Syndicate Bank scheme

Syndicate Bank has launched two new term deposit schemes. Synd 400 Plus earns an interest of 9. 20 per cent per annum for deposits for Rs 15 lakh and above 9 per cent for deposits below Rs 15 lakh and the term of deposits is 400 days to 499 days. Synd 500 Plus earns an interest at 9. 40 per cent per annum for deposits of Rs 15 lakh and above, and 9. 25 per cent per annum for deposits below Rs 15 lakh and the tenure of deposits is 500 days to less than two years.

Uco Bank branch

Uco Bank will open a new branch in the Chandigarh region at Mandi Gobindgarh on March 1. An official press release said that the bank already has 95 branches across Punjab with a total business of Rs 3025 crore. The new bank will be on core banking.

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