C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Official Accommodation
DC, MC chief lock horns
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 14
High drama was witnessed in the Municipal Council residential complex here today when both the deputy commissioner and the president of the civic body tried to occupy a two-kanal house. It was being vacated by a council official.

The house was in the possession of former executive officer of the civic body A.S. Sekhon, who today shifted to another house in the town.

Truck loads of belongings of both deputy commissioner H.I.S.Garewal and MC president Rajinder Singh Rana arrived in the complex in Phase V. A dispute arose as naib tehsildar Sanjiv Kumar stopped the men of the council president from unloading his belongings from the truck. Some councillors present at the scene also prevented the personnel from taking the DC’s property into the house.

Arguments were witnessed among the naib tehsildar, the council president and some councillors. While Rana said since the house was the property of the civic body, it was his right to shift to the house, naib tehsildar said the house had been requisitioned by the DC and as such he should take possession of the building. He said if the council had any objection to the move of the DC it should have been brought to his notice soon after the requisition notice was sent by the district chief.

Rana, however, said he had not received any notice from the DC in connection with the possession of the house.

Whenever the men of the council president made an attempt to take his belongings inside the house they were stopped by the naib tehsildar and the police deployed at the complex. They were told by the naib tehsildar to wait till the SDM reached the scene.

The SDM, however, did not reach the complex despite a long wait by councillors. Around 2 pm, the naib tehsildar told the council president that a meeting was fixed with the DC and the issue could be discussed with him before proceeding further.

It is learnt that Kharar MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu and the council president met the DC, who was told that the council president was not aware about the requisition notice sent to the civic body. Executive officer of the council J.S.Thind knew about the notice and the matter could be discussed further only on Monday when the office would function.

Before the dispute arose, a double bed belonging to the council chief was lying in the drawing room. A treadmill and a settee belonging to the deputy commissioner were also kept in the same room. Later, in the evening the council president took a sofa set into the house while two big trunks belonging to the deputy commissioner were lying outside. The keys of the house are with the civic body.

It was highlighted in these columns on April 7 that the DC was eying the palatial house of the council.

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City roads test motorists’ skills
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
Roads of the “City Beautiful” do not qualify the epithet. Unkempt sections, broken portions, incomplete tracks, dug up sewer lines, mounds of earth sum up the state of the roads all over the city.

A casual survey of the city showed that road near majority of the roundabouts in the city had concrete bumps. The roundabout near the Sector 16 Cricket Stadium is the most untidy job done. The engineering department has put an SE on duty to level the road “immediately”.

“Isn’t it unfair on part of the public to crib about one of the best network of roads in the entire country”, a senior official said.

The road dividing Sectors 33 and 34 has been a picture of scattered earth with pebbles and stones for the past nearly three weeks. Huge mounds of sand had been left in the area for more than two weeks, inconveniencing motorists. Commuters had to test their driving skills in the slippery sand scattered on the road.

The concrete road dividing Sectors 31 and 32 was opened after six months in January earlier this year. It was closed down only after two months. A reopening in the near future is not in sight.

The Madhya Marg and the Dakshin Marg are full of potholes. The portions of broken roads get worse during rainy season. The stretch of the road opposite Batra Theatre, Sector 37, is really bad. The Udyog Path from Tribune Chowk to the Transport Chowk is also damaged at different portions.

The road dividing Sectors 28 and 29, 20 and 27, 20 and 19, 21 and 18 has sliproads, which have been left dug up for the past more than a year. Huge sewers lie alongside these sliproads. A senior official said, “This portion is being looked after by the Municipal Corporation”.

Dakshin Marg ends abruptly near Dadu Majra. The road becomes single and there are no markings on it indicating diversion. Accidents occurred at the spot very often, particularly during the night. The portion of road from Tribune Chowk to Mohali is also in tatters.

Pradeep Chhabra, a councillor said, “The city roads are divided between the MC and the administration and the blame game is very common when an aggrieved person approaches the authorities. We should have a common forum for the redressal of public grievances”.

A senior official said: “We are helpless in maintaining all roads because the duration of gap between work on each road is six years. The amounts are fixed in the budget each year. The department also does not have a very big work force to carry all works simultaneously”.

Resham Singh, a retired bank manager, said, "I have been reading the figures of the surplus budget in the city for the past six years. They are said to have increased from Rs 85 crore in 2001 to Rs 420 crore in 2006. Can’t we use that money? 

Power goes waste

Streetlights on the roads in Sector 38 (West) continued to be on for the fourth day in succession on the main roads during the daytime.

A.D.Tewari, a senior citizen, said: “I thought it was a casual overlooking on the first day. I was again travelling on the same road today when I again saw them switched on throughout the day.”

Yogita, another resident, said: “I cross the specific portion of the road everyday and have seen the lights on for the past four days.”

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Bridge open, no rollback in fare
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
Even as the Ghaggar Bridge has been thrown open to buses, state transport corporations running buses between Chandigarh and Ambala are yet to roll back the single fare from Rs 30 to Rs 26.

It was in August last year that the Chandigarh-Ambala fare was increased from Rs 26 to Rs 30 in the wake of the closure of the bridge to the buses. Then the buses had to take a diversion from Zirakpur to Banur-Tepla road to reach Ambala, covering an extra 15 km.

However, the same has been the case with at least one of the major transport players, Haryana Roadways, which ply hundreds of buses between the two destinations daily.

In fact, it all depends on the whims and fancies of the conductors, who charge Rs 26 or Rs 30, alleges Manjit Singh, a daily commuter.

“I was charged Rs 26 yesterday. But, today the conductor again charged Rs 30 and all my efforts to reason fell on deaf ears,” alleges R.K. Sharma, a salesman.

Other bus operators, including the private ones, are following suit. Haryana Transport Department sources claimed that the “necessary instructions” had been issued to roll back the fares. 

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Depression kills
99 victims in two yrs
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
Depression seems to have emerged as a major killer in the city. Resulting from various factors, including poverty and unemployment and drug addiction, it is taking its toll in the city with stressful life being the reason reported in over 50 per cent of the suicide cases.

A study of suicide cases reported to the Chandigarh police since January 1, 2005, till April 11 this year shows that of a total of 194 cases, 99 persons committed suicide due to acute depression. Among those who took the extreme step, 44 per cent belonged to the lower economic strata of society.

FACT FILE

Depression 99

Family dispute 32

Love affair 6

Studies 3

Harassment by in-laws 4

In March this year, being unable to support his large family of five sisters, three daughters and ailing grand parents, a mechanic in Sector 30 committed suicide.

Sources in the police said failure in examination, love affair, failing health and family disputes are the other reasons behind the rising number of suicides in the city. In the first three and half months, 24 persons committed suicide in the city. Among those who killed themselves was a son of a Punjab’s former MLA from Pathankot, who hanged himself to death, after being failed in a law examination.

According to a police officer, change in weather also plays a role behind the rise in suicides in this period of the season (from April to June). The atmosphere becomes somewhat gloomy during this period.

Head, department of psychiatry, Sector 32, Government Medical College and Hospital, B.S. Chavan said depression was of two types, internal and external. The internal depression is a sickness of brain known as neurotransmitter imbalances while the external depression is caused by environmental factors like socio-economic problems, problems of adjustment, drugs and alcohol, etc.

Domestic problems generally take their toll on women who comprise 44 per cent of the total number of suicides. In 32 suicides, domestic dispute was the reason.

A senior police officer said 115 persons killed themselves by hanging from ceiling fans and trees, 29 persons consumed poison and 15 set themselves ablaze. 

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Dog menace: NRI dies in accident
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
A 60-year-old non resident Indian (NRI) woman was killed while four persons were injured when the Maruti car they were travelling in rammed into Sector 39, 40, 55 and 56 rotary this afternoon. the police said the mishap occurred when the driver of the car lost his control over the vehicle while saving a stray dog.

Sources in the Sector 39 police station said the victim had been identified as Asha Sikka, who lived in Canada and was on a visit to Ludhiana.

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Crowds flock Nada Sahib gurdwara
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 14
Thousands of devotees flocked Shri Nada Sahib gurdwara to pay obeisance on the occasion of Baisakhi, here, today. The gates of the gurdwara were thrown open at 3 am.

The programme began with the “Nitnam” followed by the Baisakh katha by Inderjeet Singh who highlighted the significance of the month and the festival. A kirtan was held in the morning and in the evening by dhadis invited from across the region.

The manager, Bhupinder Singh, said over a lakh devotees visited the gurdwara. Special arrangements for langar had been made. Yellow rice and halwa, kaddi and vegetables were among those items especially prepared for the occasion. Devotees, too, brought lots of sweets.

Sixty four devotees were baptised on the occasion. In the city too, heavy rush was witnessed at gurdwaras as also in the Manji Sahib gurdwara in Pinjore.

Meanwhile, a two-day Baisakhi mela began at Yadavindra Gardens, Pinjore, in the evening. Day performers, including stick walkers, ragini, kachi ghori and puppet shows, were organised to mark the occasion.

Cultural programmes and dances sponsored by the the North Zone Cultural Centre, Patiala, were presented. The venue came alive with the ghoomar, khoria, dhamal, panihari and falgoon dances.

Commissioner and secretary, tourism Keshni Anand Arora said the next event at the gardens would be the mango mela slated for the last week of June. 

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Maj-Gen accused of interference in GCM
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
The defence in the general court martial (GCM) trying a lady officer for professional impropriety today accused the judge advocate-general (JAG), Maj-Gen Nilendra Kumar, of “improperly and without authority” interfering in the case on his own.

While submitting a detailed written representation in support of his contentions, defence counsel Col S.K. Aggarwal (retd) stated before the GCM that the JAG, whose own law degree was under challenge in the high court, was gunning for the lady officer as a result of which her career was ruined.

The accused officer, Maj Dimple Singla, was also from the JAG department, the Army’s legal wing, before being released from service last year.

“The JAG, arbitrarily and mechanically, without due application of mind on the available evidence, instructed the general officer commanding, 2 Corps, to bring the accused before a GCM. The JAG had no documents, including the summary of evidence, based upon which he could over rule the legal advice rendered by Headquarters 9 Corps,” counsel contended. “Corps Headquarters and Command Headquarters had recommended initiation of administrative action in the case,” he added.

Contending that there was no application of mind by the GOC while issuing orders to convene a trial, counsel contended that had the GOC studied the court of inquiry and the summary of evidence, he would have found that provisions of Army Rule 180 were not complied with in letter and in spirit.

He further stated that the evidence provided by witnesses did not lead to the contents of the first two charges against the accused, which include obtaining pecuniary advantage and taking active steps to negotiate engagement of a counsel for an accused in a GCM.

He said the third charge, which states that the accused had another officer not to disclose any information to the Press, was not maintainable as armed forces personnel in any case are prohibited from interacting with the media.

Similarly, he argued the commanding officer of the accused had not complied with provisions of Army Rule 22 and 23 and the convening authority did not examine the relevant documents to ensure compliance of these statutory provisions. 

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‘Saving Rs 10,000 cr on streetlights possible’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
“India can save over Rs 10,000 crore per annum through the management of streetlights. From these savings, the country can annually set up three power plants of 1,000 MW each.”

These are the findings of a Citizens Council report. The council has been formed by local residents aims to stop the wastage of electricity.

The convener of the council is Aneesh Bhanot, the publisher of a community newspaper - Sector News.

“As per the last Census, India has 5,161 towns, some of which are smaller than Chandigarh. In City Beautiful, we are looking at a saving of over Rs 2 crore per annum and similar savings are possible in all the towns. This means a combined saving of over Rs 10,000 crore per year throughout India,” says Justice J.C. Verma, a former judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and Rajasthan High Court, Jaipur.

“Interestingly, it is not necessary that the electricity saved in any one particular town needs to be used in that town itself,” points out Mac Sarin, a former advocate-general, Haryana.

“The electricity can be sold to other power-starved states and towns. Chandigarh can earn revenue from this while being of help to the community all over the country,” he says.

Talking about the possible saving of power in Chandigarh, Aneesh Bhanot says: “Chandigarh has around 26,000 streetlights with underground wiring. These are basically on the roads separating sectors and the main roads within the sectors. Essentially, these streetlights provide light to the motorists, pedestrians and provide a sense of security to the citizens. However, if you go on the streets after midnight, you will find no one on the roads, yet all the lights would be blazing on, consuming precious electricity that could be of tremendous use to a power-starved industry, farmers for their tubewells as well as the common man.”

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VHP to raise voice against female foeticide
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
Putting its rhetoric against other communities on the backburner, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) is all set to don a new avatar.

“Alarmed over the rising incidents of female foeticide in Punjab, we have decided to launch a statewide campaign against the social malady as the government campaigns and law seem to have failed to achieve the desired results,” VHP president Ashok Singhal said here today.

Terming the female foeticide situation in Punjab alarming, Singhal said a meeting of the Marg Darshak Mandal, the apex body of the party, would be held on May 23 and 24 where a strategy to tackle the foeticide would be worked out.

“We will ask the saints and religious gurus to tour Punjab for two to three months to convince the people against killing the unborn girls,” he added.

Commenting on the recent controversy of a Bhopal Muslim boy embracing Hinduism after marrying a Hindu girl, he termed it as “homecoming”. He called upon the Centre to enact a law under which persons from other religions marrying Hindus should convert to Hinduism.

Though he had not seen the controversial BJP CD, he defended it saying the Muslim’s “misdeeds” must be exposed.

Appreciating the gesture of expelled BJP leader Uma Bharati in asking her candidates to withdraw from the contest in the ongoing UP elections, he said the electorate should vote for those candidates who safeguard the Hindus and persuade the Hindu agenda.

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Sale of cut fruit unabated
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
The sale of cut fruit exposed to flies and dust goes unabated in the city in spite of a ban on it under the Epidemic Diseases Act.

Under the Act, all kinds of sweets, cut fruits, beverages, including lassi, juices, and sharbats, need to be protected against contamination by dust and flies when up for sale.

The sale of unhygienic ice, ice candy, aerated water and other food articles exposed to flies is also banned.

Additional medical superintendent S. Bhandari said the Act came into force in the city in February last year.

During a survey, the Chandigarh Tribune found cut-fruit sellers dotting various city markets. Also, the sale of unbranded aerated water being manufactured in city slums was on without any check.

Oblivious to the ban on the sale or protection of products from flies and dust, vendors continued to do business near the bus stand, Sector 17; Neelam cinema; city sub-center, Sector 34; and in front of many government schools at the time of closing hours.

Similarly, the sale of unbranded aerated water was on in many markets of the city, including Sectors 19 and 46, Attawa, Ram Darbar.

Fruit juice and lassi was also being sold in unhygienic conditions on carts at the grain market, Sector 26.

“The health department was doing its best to check the sale of unhygienic and spurious food articles in the city but found itself helpless as vendors could not be challaned in the absence of a permanent address,” said Dr Bhandari.

However, teams of officials frequently destroyed items confiscated during raids on markets, he added.

The problem could be checked only when enforcement officials of the Chandigarh municipal corporation took stern action against the violators and prevent them from running unauthorised businesses, suggested Dr Bhandari.

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ICCR council reconstituted

Chandigarh, April 14

minent persons from different walks of life have found a place in the reconstituted regional advisory council of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) which will meet here under the chairmanship of ICCR president Dr Karan Singh tomorrow.

According to ICCR regional director M.M. Sharma, prominent among those included in the council are Prof R.C. Sobti, vice-chancellor of Panjab University, V.N. Singh, director of Government Museum and Art Gallery, Chandigarh, Rashpal Malhotra, director-general of the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development, and theatre personality Neelam Mansingh.

P.S. Sahai, Dr Prem Bhardwaj, Mohan Singh, Maj-Gen Himmat Singh Gill (retd) and P.S. Haer have also been included. During his visit, Dr Karan Singh would also release a book "Moksha", English translation of Shrimad Bhagwad Gita, written by Rajesh Chadha at Government Museum and Art Gallery, Sharma added. — TNS

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Cashing in on Baisakhi spirit
Saurabh Malik/Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
Nothing attracts the crowd more than the assurance of taking people back to their roots. For, people’s march towards modernism evokes a strong desire in them to look back at the pleasures left behind in the race against time.

Cashing in on the “love for the past” sentiments of the residents, CITCO created a vehra complete with charpoys and hanging lamps during the Rose Festival this year for luring the people to its stalls.

And now, commercial houses across the city are sowing the seeds of traditional festivity for reaping the benefits.

On Baisakhi this year, a multiplex was given a rural touch and a mobile company came up with special ring-tones, logos and recharge offers. Not missing the opportunity, several car dealers across the city offered special Baisakhi deals. The good thing about the entire exercise is that the traditional festival has more or less been revived.

At Fun Republic, thumping beats of pulsating music filled the air as a bhangra team in cheerful “lungis and kurtas” descended upon the multiplex for performing to “a very receptive crowd”. In fact, lively folk music of Punjab, coupled with the traditional dances gave a new high to the Baisakhi celebrations.

The traditional Sikh martial art of gatka was displayed by an award winning team. For adding charm to the festive spirit, mannequins in traditional attires were placed all around. And then, there were horse carts, tiny huts and even gramophones.

Fun Republic ’s Senior Vice-President J. S. Jolly said: “You can feel the festive spirit as soon as you enter the complex. In fact, the entrance area has been given a village fair look”.

For ringing in the celebrations, Spice announced the launch of “exciting value-added services” exclusively for the pre-paid and post-paid subscribers. The company also announced special recharges for the prepaid subscribers.

The subscribers can access special ‘Baisakhi’ content like wallpapers, picture messages, ring tones and even religious quotes through multiple platforms ranging from GPRS, USSD, IVR - BGM and caller songs service.

By calling up 5703, the subscribers can also listen to Baisakhi stories and learn more about the celebrations in different parts of the country.

They can also set Baisakhi folk songs as background music by dialling 14324 at a price.

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Upcoming 'Parveen Bobby' a sleaze bag
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
Perhaps there are only two roads to success in Bollywood: either cast big stars or make a complete skin show in the film. This is precisely the case with forthcoming movie ‘Parveen Bobby.’

In town to promote the film, producer and lead actor Ravi Ahlawat, along with the lead heroine of the film, ‘Amrita Dhanoa,’ were present at Himachal Bhawan, here, today. Interestingly, the film is based on the life of actress Parveen Babi who went into oblivion after her alleged relationship with a superstar broke and she took to drugs and alcohol. Though Ravi claims that the film has a social message, a preview of the film shows just the opposite. The film appears to be a sleaze bag with a good measure of skin show added to it. When asked about the same, Ravi said, ‘A good amount of research on the life and history of Parveen has gone into the making of the film and it attempts to portray the truth of her life.’ The film shows Ludhiana girl Amrita who is making her entry into Bollywood.

The film is already surrounded with controversies, including comparisons with Mahesh Bhatt’s ‘Woh Lamhe.’ Nevertheless, the film, due to be released next month, is getting all the attention which it wouldn’t have received otherwise.

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BJP demands dissolution of MC
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 14
The Bharatiya Janta Party today demanded dissolution of the Municipal Council on the grounds that the situation of roads, lights and sanitation in the city had gone from bad to worse since its formation.

BJP vice-president Gian Chand Gupta said the Deputy Chief Minister Chander Mohan was demanding the dissolution merely because it was an election promise. "Let him demand the dissolution on grounds of non-performance by the House. It seems strange why he thought of writing such a letter when the elections are nearly there," Gupta said.

President of the local BJP unit Ravinder Sehgal said the Deputy CM had announced that the MC would be dissolved immediately if he came to power and house tax would be done away with.

"What was he waiting for these last two years. He should have acted immediately or should have taken up the matter when corrupt practices of councillors and horse-trading activities came to light," BJP office-bearers said.

"We demanded the dissolution of the House when Manvir Gill was chosen president wrongly, we demanded the same when the CD on horse-trading was made public and we are demanding the dissolution now since the MC has failed to produce any results in the matter," Gupta stated.

Chander Mohan had recently written a letter to the Chief Minister seeking dissolution of the House. While he has admitted in the past that he would press for dissolution of the House, Congress councillors have also met the Deputy Commissioner and demanded the same, expressing heir dissatisfaction on the way things were moving in the city. 

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Suicide victim succumbs to burns
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
Raveena, the divorced woman who allegedly set herself ablaze on Thursday, succumbed to her injuries at the PGI this afternoon.

The police said Raveena died around 1.30 pm.

She had been referred to the PGI from the General Hospital, Sector 16, with 70 burns. The police had registered a case of attempt to suicide against her on Thursday.

Raveena had divorced her husband, who lives in Assam, around three months ago. Her two-year-old daughter lives with her father.

Two held

A.N. Chawla of Mani Majra lodged a complaint with the police alleging that Prem Singh of Bhagwanpura stole two iron grills from his residence on Thursday. The police arrested the accused near the railway crossing, Mani Majra, and recovered the stolen property.

In another incident, Amit Kumar of Burail village alleged that Geeshan of the same village was caught red-handed while stealing a mobile phone from his shop yesterday. Two cases of theft have been registered.

Car stolen

Piyush Jain of Sector 20 reported to the police alleging that his Maruti car (PB 20 A 0011) was stolen from DAV College, Sector 15, yesterday. A case has been registered.

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51 booked, 21 billboards seized
Crackdown on tobacco Act violators
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
The Chandigarh police today booked 51 persons and seized 21 billboards as part of it special drive against violations of the provisions of the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act-2003.

The police said the drive was conducted under all police stations. All SHOs initiated searches at outlets where cigarette and other tobacco products were being sold.

The displayed advertisement material at shops in violation of Section 13(1) (b) of the Act were seized and challans were issued to the violators.

A senior police officer asserted the drive was initiated after the Chandigarh police received complaints of smoking at public places and sale of cigarette and other tobacco products to minors in violation of the provisions of the Act. The drive will continue in the coming days to enforce the law by booking the violators.

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Death in market quarrel
Police distorted facts, says victim’s son
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
Accusing the Chandigarh police of shielding the accused, family members of 58-year-old Lal Chand Gupta, who reportedly died following a quarrel with president of the Sector 34 market on Thursday, today alleged that the police has distorted the facts.

Pankaj Gupta, victim’s son, told Chandigarh Tribune that the police had called them to record their statements this evening. To their suprise, as they went through the daily diary report (DDR) at the police station, they found that the police had stated that both parties had engaged in a verbal duel from a distance while standing in their shops.

Lal Chand collapsed during the heated argument on his own, the DDR stated.

Pankaj said: “My brother Neeraj went up to father to see his condition when he collapsed and fell unconscious. In the meantime, the police was informed. The investigating officer reached the scene and asked my brother to give a complaint in writing. As he was in a hurry to shift the father to the hospital, he jotted down a few lines mentioning that our father was pushed by Narinder Bansal and Pradeep Bansal, president of the market. They along with other accused Gurmail Singh fled.”

He alleged that the complaint was lodged in the morning, while the time on the DDR showed 6 pm.

Additional SHO of the police station, Sector 34, R.K. Shukla maintained that the matter was under investigation and the police was investigating the matter on merit.

He added that the viscera report was awaited and they would corroborate the statement only after the the evidence was with them.

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Man commits suicide
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 14
A resident of Sukhgarh village allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself from a ceiling fan today.

According to the police, Satwinder Singh (30) took the extreme step after he was refused money by his father to get back his Skoda car which had been given for repair. The police said his father Kirpal Singh had told him that he would not be able to give the money today but he could take it later. It is alleged that Satwinder then lost his temper and damaged a car parked near the house.

He later went to a room and bolted the door before allegedly hanging himself from the ceiling fan.

The police has initiated proceedings under Section 174 of the CrPc in this regard.

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Kashmiris biggest consumers of chicken
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
It is the Kashmir valley and not Punjab which has the highest per capita consumption of chicken. It gets 30,000 chickens from Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh every day in addition to eight to 10 lakh birds it produces for the domestic market every month.

Interestingly, Punjab, which had been claiming that the bulging belly of Punjabis had been increasing in size because of the increasing consumption of chicken, fish and mutton, consumes 3 lakh chickens a day which, calculated on a per capita basis, falls short of the Kashmir valley claim.

Haryana, where the poultry industry is concentrated mainly at Barwala in Panchkula, consumes 30,000 to 40,000 chickens a day. This figure, however, does not include the consumption of chicken in the national capital region of Gurgaon and Faridabad.

The Kashmiri appetite for non-vegetarian dishes is not restricted to chicken but also extends to mutton. It imports from its neighbouring states 5,000 goats and sheep every day.

The Kashmiris’ new love for chicken and mutton is the highest in the country, claims Taj Mohiuddun, minister of consumer affairs and public affairs, who has been quoted in the media as saying that the neighbouring states of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Delhi and Chandigarh are the immediate beneficiaries.

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Biz Clips
Inaugurated

MOHALI: Sigma Vibracoustic India, a 50-50 joint venture with Vibracoustic, Germany, and Sigma India, has set up its third production facility for the manufacture of anti-vibration parts of automobiles. The new plant was inaugurated in Phase VII industrial area here by Dr Martin Stark, managing partner, Freudenberg, Germany, on Friday. Stark said India, with its economic development, had become the focus of international attention. — OC

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