C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Woman colleague complainant
Two councillors held for intimidation
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 1
Senior vice-president of the municipal council Rishiv Jain and another councillor Gurmeet Singh Walia were arrested by the police on charges of using force with the intent of outraging a woman’s modesty, criminal intimidation and wrongful restraint. They were later freed on bail.

While Walia was arrested yesterday, Jain was rounded up by the police today. Kuldeep Kaur Kang, a councillor from ward number 28, had complained to the police that when she was coming out of the council office yesterday after attending a meeting, Jain allegedly stopped her, catching her by the arm.

He told her that she would not succeed in “breaking away councillors from the ruling group.” She alleged that Jain called Walia, who also misbehaved with her. Both allegedly threatened her with dire consequences. She said she was rescued by Harvinder Kaur Lang, Harmanpreet Singh, Gurmukh Singh Sohal, Harpal Singh Chana and Paramjit Singh Kahlon, all councillors. The police registered a case under Sections 354, 506 and 341 of the IPC against Jain and Walia on the statement of Kang.

Jain said the allegations were baseless. He denied he had caught Kang by her arm or threatened her. She had been telling certain councillors, including Walia that Jain was joining the opposition group, which was wrong. He was only confronting her on the matter.

Kharar MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu, ex-officio member of the council, and hasthe support of the ruling group of the civic body, said it was unfortunate that members of the opposition group had given a wrong twist to arguments which had taken place among councillors. He alleged that the state government was encouraging certain councillors to indulge in such activities.

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Wire Trap
Fire in officer’s house
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 1
Last night at 11 p.m., a spark in a coil of live wires running through a building in a Sector 22 house resulted in a major fire which destroyed belongings in a room, including important official documents, belonging to Additional Director D.K.Guptain with the directorate of technical education, Haryana.

In a case of sheer official apathy, the department had simply not bothered to remove the cluster of wires, without a conduit, which form part of the supply line to the entire street, despite frequent reminders.

The cluster of wires carried electricity supply to the entire street.

The street has houses of senior officials from Punjab, Haryana and the Union Territory. When the Tribune team reached there, the entire house smelt of burnt wood and wires. A thick coil of wire could be seen protruding out of the wall of the room, situated on the top floor, at different places.

"There was sparking in this thick coil of wire during the summers. I was always scared to sit in the room," the officer said. “ The sparking started around 11 p.m. and my son ran downstairs, complaining of suffocation. Soon a large number of neighbours joined us. We went to the complaint centre and a lineman came along. He did not dare to go to the top floor, insisting that my son opened the door. We asked him to call a junior engineer to which the reply was that he did not have the phone numbers of his officers".

A neighbour suggested that the fire station be called. "The team from the fire department reached us immediately. In fact, they told us not to panic", Gupta said.

"I am surprised that, except for the junior staff, nearly 12 hours after the incident none of the senior officers from electricity department have bothered to check the spot,” he added.

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62 liquor vends sealed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 1
The UT excise department today sealed at least 62 vends across the city. Of the total 208 vends allotted so far under the new excise policy, 66 vends are in make-shift structures.

The vends were sealed as the allottees failed to convert the make-shift structures into pre-fabricated structures christened as ‘Taverns’. The deadline for raising the pre-fabricated structures was April 30.

Additional Excise and Taxation Commissioner I.S. Sadhu said the allottees would not be allowed to sell or serve liquor till they raised the pre-fabricated structures. The structure had to be raised as per the standard design approved by the architect department.

Since morning, teams of excise department along with police force inspected all the vends before sealing the same.

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Scandalous
Sub-standard notebooks cleared
G. S. Paul/Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 1
Obligation? Believe it or not, the inspection committee of the Chandigarh education department, headed by DEO Kamla Bains, recommended supply of ‘substandard’ exercise notebooks.

As many as 2, 83,701 notebooks were supplied in two parts for students up to Class VIII for the year 2006-07.

Tender specifications say the weight of the sample was 404 gm whereas the material supplied was 318 gm.When contacted, the DEO admitted that an objection was raised on the “inferior” quality at the first inspection committee meeting and the same material approved at the second meeting.

“Still, there is some lapse on the part of the committee. Since, many people were involved, how can I point out names. If there is any hanky panky, even then I cannot escape responsibility since I headed the inspection committee.”

A meeting of the committee was held on December 11, 2006, at Government Model High School, Sector 20-C, Chandigarh, which is also used as store for DEO office. The committee inspected the exercise notebooks supplied by Yamunanagar-based Rajeev Sales Corporation. After randomly picking up samples of the material supplied, it was reportedly found that the material supplied did not meet the standards approved in the sample supplied.

The committee also noted in the report: “On inspection of the supply of exercise notebooks (2,83,701), it is found that the binding cardboard is not as per the sample supplied. suitable penalty may be imposed. However, the material of the firm is approved by the committee with this condition.”

Ironically, after about 22 days, another inspection committee meeting was called on January 4 at GMHS-22C. This time also the meeting was held under the DEO.

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Sector 16 GH fined
Rs 10 lakh for death of patient
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 1
Death of a government teacher due to alleged negligence of the Government Multi-Specialty Hospital, Sector 16, has cost the hospital dear.

Coming down heavily on its three doctors for not administering timely and proper treatment, which led to the death of the Suman, a penalty of Rs 10 lakh was today imposed on the hospital authorities.

Another Rs 10,000 was awarded as cost of the case. The orders were passed by The State Consumer Commission’s Justice KC Jain ( Retd), Maj Gen SP Kapoor ( retd) and Devinderjit Dhatt.

The case dates back to June 2004, when the victim, working as a nursery teacher in a government school in Sector 40, was admitted to the hospital with chest pain. In his complaint before the commission, Jaswant Singh, husband of the deceased, had alleged that he had lost his wife to lack of proper treatment at the hospital’s emergency.

Dr VK Chopra, Dr Gurinder Singh and Dr Deepak Bakshi had been made respondents in the case.

“Though the compensation will not offset the loss, I will use the money for bringing up my two children, Bhuwan (son) and Jyatika (daughter) ”.

During the course of hearing, the applicant alleged that after being taken to the hospital on June 2004, a junior doctor on duty took the ECG and blood pressure. Thereafter, the patient was kept without treatment for over an hour.

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Cable TV services resumed

Chandigarh, May 1
The cable operators resumed their services this evening after daylong discussions between cable operators and officers. City residents will have cable television services by tomorrow.

As many as three local cable networks, including WWIL Siti Channel, Sector 20, Prime Channel, Sector 34, and Sky Vision, Sector 40, saw their amplifiers dismantled yesterday.

The cable operators submitted affidavits that they would adhere to the conditions laid down in the cable network Act. The channels have been asked to strictly follow the rules on airing at least four Doordarshan channels.They have been asked to air movies only on permission from producers. — TNS

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Speeding car kills man

Chandigarh, May 1
In a hit-and-run case, Arun Kumar, a Sector-34 resident, was seriously injured after a rash car driver hit his motor cycle near the traffic lights at the newly constructed road dividing Sectors 31 and 32 last night.

The victim was admitted to the Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries in the wee hours. He was in his mid-thirties.

A father of two minor daughters, Arun Kumar, was on his way back home from office in the industrial area when he met with the accident. — TNS

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Condolence meeting
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 1
A condolence meeting for Charu Puri, a final year student of the electrical branch, was held at the college auditorium of PEC, Chandigarh, yesterday. She died Sunday due to an asthmatic attack at her home in Karnal.

Charu was the general secretary of the Art and Photography Club and was very active in all extra-curricular activities of the college. A brilliant student, she recently got through the management programme of the MDI, Gurgaon and had got placement in 2 companies. The condolence meeting started with an address by Prof K.K Garg, dean student welfare, which was followed by a slide show of the fond memories of the student. All were left in tears by the end of the meeting.

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May Day functions held
Workers vow to fight repressive govt policies
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 1
A large number of employee unions today organised rallies on the occasion of Labour Day and paid tributes to Chicago martyrs. Anti-employee attitude of various governments and managements towards workers’ welfare was central to all rallies and other functions organised on the occasion.

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions, the All India Trade Union Congress, the Sanjha Mulajam Manch, the Chandigarh-Punjab Union of Journalists (CPUJ), the Tribune Employees Union and the Marxist Communist Party of India organised functions to mark the occasion.

Speakers, at different functions, criticised the anti-employee policies of the central government and cautioned the employees to keep themselves ready to mount a struggle against repressive policies.

While expressing concern over the way newspaper managements were trying to weaken employee unions, president of the Tribune Employees Union Jagtar Singh Sidhu expressed concern over the way newspaper managements were trying to weaken employee unions. He described the growing trend as dangerous and appealed to the workers to stay prepared to meet any challenge in the near future.

General secretary of the Tribune Employees Union Anil Gupta urged the workers to stand united. He also urged the Left parties to fight for the interests of the workers. Others who spoke on the issue included Balbir Singh Jandu, a former president, Surinder Singh, Haresh Vashisht, Mohan Varghese and Ghanshyam Pandey.

General secretary of CITU Raghunath Singh said the new economic policies were being imposed on the people of third world countries and were against the interest of struggling people of these countries. Prem Singh Bhangu, Politburo member of the MCPI (U), speaking at another function, asked the gathering to follow the path shown by Marx and Lenin for the liberalisation of the workers.

AITUC condemned the Chandigarh administration for acquiring land of a common man for cheap prices and selling it to business houses for huge profits. AITUC also demanded higher minimum wages for the workers.

Vinod Kohli, president of the CPUJ, said, “The wage board for journalists and non journalists employees of newspapers should be constituted immediately”. The Sanjha Manch also organised a rally.

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Trial not fair, says GCM defence
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 1
The defence in the general court martial (GCM) trying a Colonel for alleged misappropriation of ammunition today sought adjournment on the grounds that the trial was being conducted in a manner favourable to the prosecution.

In a petition submitted to the court, the defence contended that the court lacked jurisdiction to try the accused and that it was being denied justice. The defence claimed that neither was the prescribed procedure for incidental questions being followed nor were the trial proceedings being recorded as per provisions of the Army rules.

The petition said the prosecution had failed to place on record why the officers were not being made available. Unless the defending officer of choice, Lt Col Mukul Dev, who is willing and available is provided, the defence is not in a position to proceed further with the trial, the petition added.

The defence also raised objection to the continuation of Brig V.V. Raghvan as the presiding officer, contending that he had developed a personal interest in the case and was anti-defence. It claimed that the court did not permit it to examine witnesses in support of its plea to jurisdiction though its contentions were later borne out by prosecution witnesses.

On a number of occasions, questions asked by the defence were disallowed and submissions rejected even before they were presented before the court, the defence claimed. However, whenever a witness made a voluntary statement not even remotely connected with the questions asked in cross-examination, the same were promptly recorded despite objections by the defence.

Contending that the court was not prepared to accept genuine and legally sustainable concerns of the defence, the petition added that the defence felt that the interest of the prosecution was being safeguarded whereas relevant questions of the defence were being disallowed to avoid embarrassment to the prosecution or the court’s convening authority.

Claiming that the prosecution had committed perjury on at least three occasions, the petition claimed that the defence was handicapped because the prosecution was withholding all important documents which the defence required for cross-examination.

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‘Disturbed’ man enters IAF area, held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 1
The Air Force authorities this morning caught a man in semi-naked state, who intruded into the prohibited area. He was later handed over to the police.

The SHO of the Sector 31 police station told TNS that the accused had been identified as Paramjit Singh of Amritsar. He is in his late twenties. The police had contacted the sarpanch of the village Malook Singh, who was reportedly on way, along with Paramjit’s family, to the city.

The SHO said Paramjit Singh was in his shorts only and looked like to be mentally upset. A case of trespassing had been registered against him.

Malook Singh told the police that Paramjit Singh had gone missing for the past over four days and his family was looking for him.

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MC chief misusing powers: Forum
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 1
The Panchkula Joint Welfare Associations Forum said today that the president of the Municipal Council and the Executive Officer had misused their powers under Section 35 of the Haryana Municipal Act by spending public money.

President of the forum Hemant Kinger said the Section allowed him extraordinary powers in case of emergency, which included any event involving extensive damage to property or danger to human life or grave inconvenience to public. In such a case, the president shall be empowered to execute any work before the matter was considered by the council.

However, in case of the council all expenditure was being made before agenda items were placed in the House. Using the provision of Section 35 of the Act, the president was going ahead with projects of development of parks, curb channels and roads.

Stating that he sought information of all such projects, which had been executed under Section 35 of the Right to Information Act, Kinger said the day he gave his application, the MC fixed a meeting.

“The meeting is scheduled for May 4. Though there are no items of the same on the agenda, the last item on the agenda says that any proposal can be put before the House with the permission of the president.

“They will seek the approval of the House on all works executed using Section 35 of the Act. If the councillor approve this, they too, would become party to the misdeeds of the president. They should abstain from giving it their nod,” Kinger said.

He added that in a similar case in the Ambala Municipal Council, an FIR had been registered against the members of the House. “Here, too, there is a similar problem. The president is now scared of her fate after the Ambala case, which is why they are hastening the approval,” he said.

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HIV + woman opens first condom bar today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 1
It’s official. For the first time in Chandigarh’s history, a wing of the administration other than State AIDS Control Society will support an HIV/AIDS awareness project. Come tomorrow and Citco’s unique condom bar will open at Kalagram’s Baithak in the presence of Pooja Thakur, president, Chandigarh Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS.

There are two unique things about the bar. It has Citco’s support and it will be inaugurated by a woman, Pooja, who has no qualms about promoting condoms despite the stigma attached to them.

For Citco, it is part of corporate social responsibility to promote the bar which it treats as an addition to its tourism infrastructure.

Logo of the bar has been designed to incorporate the international red ribbon visual symbol which is used for AIDS awareness and prevention thereof. The bar will serve normal beverages like beer and wine along with food but it will have special decor that helps the promotion of condom use for safe sexual behaviours.

Pooja, who is looking forward to the project, says: “It will be a huge step forward. Even if one out of 10 visitors understands the purpose of the bar, he will have bought protection from HIV. The sexual route is a major cause of infection. At the bar, the attempt will be to destigmatise the condom by the display of AIDS awareness messages conveyed through specially designed laminates as table tops.”

J.S. Bir, managing director, Citco, says souvenirs have also been created for display and purchase by customers and patrons. These include T-shirts, caps, mugs and coasters. Money generated at the bar will be pumped back into HIV/AIDS awareness projects.

Condom vending machines have already been installed at different food outlets of Citco like Chef Lakeview and Drop In. But the Kalagram bar promises to offer a variety of condoms (apart from those provided through government networks) at reasonable prices.

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In some cases, cops just don’t move
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 1
The police is fighting shy of registering and investigating certain cases. A case in point is of a migrant labourer, who was allegedly robbed of Rs 3,000 and assaulted two days ago. Even as the matter was reported to the police yesterday, which had no knowledge of the alleged crime, cops let the victim go without investigating his allegations.

The victim, 26-year-old-Narain Yadav of Khalsa Colony Market in Rajpura came to The Tribune. He had stitches on his eyebrow, forehead and lips and injuries on other parts of the body.

Yadav said Rajinder of Rajpura took him to Chandigarh on the pretext of getting him a job for Rs 3,500 per month in a steel factory. On reaching here, the man gave him something to eat and then assaulted him near the railway lights point in Mani Majra and robbed him.

He fell unconscious and when he opened his eyes he found himself in Sector 32 hospital. He said the doctors discharged him today and he had only Rs 19 on him. Hearing his tale, this correspondent informed the PCR at 12.05 pm. When it failed to turn up, another call was made at 12.20 pm.

The officials on duty, when asked about the delay, said the man might have been drunk. It was at 12:27 pm, that a PCR Gypsy arrived there and started making enquiries.

The PCR officials, judging the victim’s condition, asked the control room to inform the industrial area police station to send a reserve officer (RO). The RO reportedly came to the spot and took away Yadav in a mini truck.

Later in the day, when the SHO of the Industrial Area police station was contacted, he expressed ignorance about the incident and said the matter pertained to the Mani Majra police station. He then put RO on the phone line.

The ASI told TNS that Yadav had said he did not want any action and had left in an autorickshaw. On the other hand, the SHO of the Mani Majra police station said he had confirmed from his staff and hospital police post about the incident and had no information about it.

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Woman sustains burns
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 1
A 25-year-old married woman allegedly suffered burns yesterday morning at her Ram Darbar residence while cooking meals. He sustained 20 per cent burns in the incident, said the police.

Sources said Sonia was cooking meals when her sari caught fire from stove around 9:30 am. Her husband Kamal was at home at that time and he extinguished the fire. He rushed her to Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32.

The police was investigating the matter.

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Letters

Tourist relief

Panchayat Bhawan located in Sector 18 was set-up by Sardar Partap Singh Kairon for tourists etc. who could not afford expensive accommodation. The tariff rates with effect from today have been increased manifolds from Rs 40 for a simple bed to Rs 50, Rs 200 to Rs 300 for a room and Rs 500 to Rs 700 for an air conditioned room.

Whereas, on the other hand, Gurudwaras of Sector 19, 34 and 22 provide accommodation to every visitor, irrespective of caste, nationality, colour or creed at a nominal rent of Rs 100 for a room with double bed, which is fully furnished and very clean too.

Apart from this, the visitors are also provided free food and tea. The city administration should think about it and a big janta hostel should be set-up.

Narinder Singh Chandigarh

Readers are invited to write to us. Send your mail, in not more than 200 words, at news@tribuneindia.com or, write in, at: Letters, Chandigarh Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh – 160 030

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Husband’s aunt sets woman on fire
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 1
Pardeepa, an 18-year-old married woman, was allegedly set afire by her husband’s aunt for dowry at her Dhanas residence last night. The victim was admitted to the Sector 16 General Hospital with 35 per cent burns, said the police.

The SHO of Sector 11 police station, inspector Puran Chand, said Pardeepa in her statement recorded before the duty magistrate in the hospital today alleged that her husband’s aunt, Nirmala, set her afire by pouring kerosene on her around 10 pm. Her husband, Ram Prashad, was not at home at that time.

Pardeepa alleged that Ram Prashad and Nirmala used to harass her for dowry. Earlier, Nirmala used to live with them, but had shifted to another house in the locality. Last night, she came to her residence and set her afire.

The victim told the police that she was married in January this year. A case of attempt to murder, dowry harassment and abetment under Sections 307, 498-A and 109 of the IPC has been registered against Nirmala and Ram Prashad. While Nirmala was arrested, Ram Prashad was absconding.

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Car crushes 5-year-old child, driver held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 1
Kartik, a 5-year-old child, lost his life after being hit by a speeding car on the road dividing Sectors 52 and 53 this morning. He was rushed to the Sector 16 hospital in a critical condition, where the doctors declared him brought dead, said the police.

Rajinder Kumar of Nehru Colony, Sector 53, reported to the police that the victim was crossing the road when a speeding Tata Indica car (CH-02-0944) hit the victim. The child was seriously hurt in the mishap.

The police said car driver Ramandeep Singh of Zirakpur has been arrested on the allegations of causing death due to rash and negligent driving in this connection.

The body was handed over to the family after post-mortem.

Held for cheating

Raj Kumar, a conductor in the CTU, lodged a complaint with the police alleging that Sonu of Sector 19, Panchkula, was caught while travelling in the CTU bus this morning on a fake bus pass. He was handed over to the police. A case of cheating and forgery under various provisions of the IPC has been registered.

Caught stealing

The police said Balwinder Singh, a government employee, lodged a complaint with the police alleging that Jaswinder Singh of Phase I, Ram Darbar, and Amit Singh of Sector 28 were caught red-handed while stealing steel plates from near a PWD store on Monday. The accused were handed over to the police. A case had been registered in the Sector 34 police station.

Theft

Tehal Singh of Sector 23 reported to the police alleging that three ACs were stolen from his shop in Sector 22-B on the Sunday night. A case of theft had been registered.

Trespassing

Jai Singh Chauhan of Colony Number 5 lodged a complaint with the police on April 27 alleging that Dina, Suraj, Mohinder and Sumitra forcibly entered into his house number 1720, K-block, colony number 5 during the night of April 24, after evicting his tenant from the house.

The SHO of the Sector 34 police station said the matter was being inquired and appropriate action would be taken in this connection.

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Bikes, cylinders recovered
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 1
With the arrest of four persons, the police today claimed to have solved six cases of thefts. The police said three motor cycles, three LPG cylinders and six mobile phones had been recovered from the accused.

Sources in the Special Crime Investigation Cell of the Chandigarh Police said following information, Upinder Singh alias Rocky (19) of Sector 56 and Gurpreet Singh alias Nonu of Jalandher (21) were arrested on Sunday while riding a stolen Bullet motor cycle in Sector 22. They were produced before a local court which remanded them to two days of police custody.

The investigating officer of the case said during the course of interrogation, Upinder and Gurpreet reveal names their accomplices, Ravinder Pal Singh of Shivalik Enclave, Kharar, and Mohammad Aftab of Manimajra. The police arrested Ravinder Pal on Monday while Mohammad was arrested late this afternoon.

He further said the accused confessed to have stolen three motor cycles, a Maruti car (RJ-07-3035) from Sector 16 and six mobile phones. The car was later found abandoned by the Mohali police in Phase VIII.

The police said all accused belonged to middle-class families and were drug addicts. While Ravinder Pal is a graduate, the other three were matriculates. They were earlier also involved in several cases of thefts and had been arrested by the police.

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Love story goes sour
Girl alleges torture for dowry
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 1
The couple who defied panchayat in Sanghi village of Rohtak to get married within the same caste is now on the brink of separation. Anju (22), who married Parveen Kumar of the same caste by running away from home and sought police protection, said today that her husband was harassing her for dowry.

Speaking to The Tribune, Anju said some days back Parveen’s sister arrived at their house in Sector 25. “Both have been harassing me for bringing dowry. Parveen has gone to the extent of saying that he would have got lots of dowry if he had married elsewhere. I also got to know that he had ruined the lives of two others girls before me,” she rued.

She also charged Parveen, who runs a photostat machine shop outside the DC office, with trying to poison her and had even asked her to leave his house. “My parents disowned me after marriage as did his parents. I have nowhere to go now. Though he has patched up with his family, I don’t know what to do. I fear for my life from this man,” she cried.

Later, the police intervened and asked her if she wanted divorce from Parveen, which she refused. She also refused to press any charges against him. She told the police that she only wanted some money from him to support her.

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2 killed in road mishap
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 1
Two persons, including an official working with the Punjab Ex-Servicemen Corporation, were killed in an accident near Bathlana village when a collision took place between a car and a canter.

The police said the canter hit the car while trying to overtake an auto-rickshaw. Amar Singh, who was driving the car, was killed on the spot while S.K. Divedi succumbed to his injuries on reaching PGI, Chandigarh.

A case has been registered under Sections 279 and 304-A of the IPC.

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Body found

Panchkula, May 1
An unidentified 70-year-old man was found dead near shops at Mansa Devi here today. He was carrying a prescription of Shree Bhagwan Mahavir Viklang Sahayita Samiti, Jaipur. The prescription carried the name Deep Chand. — TNS

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