C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Come July, city to kick the butt
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 22
Chandigarh will become the first city in the country to be declared smoke-free on July 1. A decision in this regard was taken at a meeting of the administration constituted specially for promoting the city as a smoke-free zone.

Under the new law, smoking at public places, including bus stands, restaurants, clubs, theatres and parks, will be banned. Specific areas will be marked for those who smoke. "Smokers could continue to consumer tobacco in their private dwellings" or other places as specified by the administration.

" The ban always existed, but we are trying for its strict implementation," a senior official said.

A decision in this regard was taken by the special committee which met under the chairmanship of Krishna Mohan, director, health services. Other members included SSP Gaurav Yadav, CTU chief P.S.Shergill, the DPIs (schools and colleges), the deputy excise and taxation commissioner and chairperson of the Burning Brains Society Hemant Goswami.

It has been suggested that officers of the rank of sub inspector should be empowered to "compound" the offence on the spot. It was also pointed out that as per the new Act banning smoking at public places, the maximum punishment had been enhanced to five years from two years. The administration will be shortly forming a “Tobacco Control Cell."

The director of health services said the city had 85 hotels and restaurants with a seating capacity of 30. A majority of them had put up 'No Smoking Area" signs. Restaurants with a seating capacity of more than 30 should have a smoking area , if they wished to allow smoking. The area needed to be demarcated and segregated.

It was decided that details of vendors operating within 100 yards of any educational institution would soon be provided to enforcement agencies. The committee also discussed a proposal for issuing licences to cigarette vendors to regulate the trade within the city limits. 

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Another murder; Motive unknown; Killers absconding
CA knifed to death in Sector 42
Tribune News Service

Parents of Rajesh Goel being consoled by a relative in the Sector 42 market outside his office in Chandigarh on Tuesday evening.
Parents of Rajesh Goel being consoled by a relative in the Sector 42 market outside his office in Chandigarh on Tuesday evening. — Tribune photo by Pradeep Tiwari

Chandigarh, May 22
A 37-year-old charted accountant was allegedly stabbed to death by four unidentified persons at his Sector 42 office here this evening. The police said the motive behind the killing was yet to be ascertained.

The victim has been identified as Rajesh Goel of Phase I, Mohali. His body was lying in a pool of blood in the cabin on the second floor of SCO 46, Sector 42. There was a deep stab wound on his throat.

Forensic experts said it appeared from the wound that the assailant had been repeatedly stabbed in the throat. There was no injury on other parts of the body. There were marks of blood-stained shoes on the floor. Things in the cabin were found scattered.

Goel’s peon Kamlesh was in the office. He told the police that two persons, who had visited Goel about 10 days ago, had come to meet him again. They held a discussion with Goel for about 20 minutes and after that two more persons joined them.

He was reportedly told by Goel to get photocopies of some document. On his return, he was detained by one person outside the cabin. He heard loud noises inside.

According to eyewitnesses, the incident took place at 6:30 pm when a client of Goel, Bedi, saw three unidentified persons rushing downstairs. He asked them about Goel’s office and they told him that it was closed.

At the same time, a fourth person whose clothes were splattered with blood, was seen rushing down the stairs, trying to hide a blood-stained dagger in a piece of cloth.

When Bedi reached Goel’s cabin, he found his body in a pool of blood and rushed downstairs shocked, raising the alarm. He informed the police and a crowd gathered there.

Bhagwant Singh, another eyewitness, said he was sitting with his friend at the rear of the showrooms. They saw four persons running towards a Golden Hyundai Santro car. They reversed the car at great speed, banged it against a road divider and rushed towards the furniture chowk.

The police called experts from the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) to examine the spot. A dog squad was also pressed into service.

Goel is survived by his wife and two minor children. The police has registered a case of trespass and murder on the statement of Kamlesh.

Goel’s father, Rattan Goel, said his son was a kind-hearted person and had enmity with none.

The police has questioned employees working in Goel’s office, including a girl, said to be a trainee.

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Double Murder
Inquiry into car crash case
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 22
The Chandigarh Police has ordered an inquiry into the accident of the Esteem car (TN-04-E-7020) which was damaged in a crash in Sector 18 on May 13.

The car owner was later found to be retired Major Gen K.C. Dhingra, who was found murdered along with his wife in their Sector 25 residence in Panchkula on May 15.

Talking to TNS, the senior superintendent of police Gaurav Yadav said a fact-finding inquiry had been marked to deputy superintendent of police (East) Davinder Thakur. The report was expected to come in a day or two.

The DSP said the matter was under investigation. He said investigations conducted into the matter revealed that the accident was caused when the car driver lost control of the vehicle while saving a dog. Moreover no one had filed a complaint in this connection.

Asked about the two occupants of the car, allegedly found to be under the influence of liquor as pointed out by eyewitnesses, DSP Thakur said a case could not be made out only on the ground that the occupants were drunk. It was the driver’s condition which mattered and in this case he had escaped from the scene after the mishap.

As the owner of the vehicle had been murdered, the police may not succeed in reaching the bottom of the truth. It is believed that the car was driven by the General’s driver-cum-servant, Anand.

The SHO of the Sector 19 police station maintained that a police officer went to the General’s house twice after the vehicle was found to be in his name. Each time he found no one in the house.

It was only on the third day that the stench from the house made him suspicious and he informed the Panchkula police, which led to the detection of the double murder.

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SAD leader holds march despite ban
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 22
The response to the call for a bandh by Akal Takht against the actions of the head of the Dera Sacha Sauda was total and peaceful, even as a group led by a SAD leader violated orders under Section 144 of the CrPc here today.

Shops and other commercial establishments, including chemist shops and eating joints, remained closed. Branches of private banks also did not function. Schools and colleges remained closed. Industrial units also did not function.

Some municipal councillors tried to get government institutions closed and were successful to some extent. Even CTU buses did not ply in the town, causing inconvenience to commuters, who had to depend on autorickshaws. Traffic was thin.

Harsukhinder Singh Babi Badal, a senior Akali leader, along with 30 supporters marched from Gurdwara Amb Sahib in Phase VIII to Gurdwara Sacha Dhan Sahib in Phase III B 1, raising slogans like “Bole so nihal…” right under the nose of the local police, which outnumbered the marchers. Surprisingly, SP(D) Pritpal Singh Virk and DSP Swarandeep Singh, along with the police force, followed the marchers without taking action against them for violating orders issued by the deputy commissioner under Section 144 of the CrPc.

After Badal and his supporters entered Gurdwara Sacha Dhan Sahib, SSP R.S.Khatra and SP ( City) Varinder Pal Singh reached the spot. Asked by mediapersons why no action was being taken by the police against Badal and others, SSP Khatra said the marchers were not carrying arms and SAS Nagar district was peaceful and he did not want to create any disturbance.

Badal, however, said he had held the march to thank the people of all religions for making the bandh successful in the town.

Paramjit Singh Kahlon and Gurmukh Singh Sohal, municipal councillors, and others approached Semi Conductors Ltd here and requested the authorities to close down the unit. It is learnt that a number of employees went on leave though the core work of the unit went on undisturbed.

Similarly, the councillors requested officials of the Punjab School Education Board and the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority to close their offices. Though the institutions were not closed, many persons left office to join the protest. Some shops in the Phase III B 1 rehri market were also got closed by councillors.

Chandigarh: The bandh call in the city witnessed a poor response. Shopkeepers downed shutters in the morning but as the day progressed, they opened their shops and market places were crowded towards the evening. All government offices were open. The police arrested more than 12 persons.

Shops in markets in Sector 22, 8, 10, 9 and 26 remained closed till the noon, but were opened in the afternoon. About 30 to 40 per cent shops in Sector 17 remained closed throughout the day.

Commuters at the bus stand faced anxious moments, particularly those travelling outside the city. Harvinder, waiting for guests at the ISBT, Sector 17, said: " My relatives started from Ambala more than three hours backs. However, they are yet to reach the city. I am very anxious." 

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Two Lalru girls go missing
Tribune News Service

Lalru, May 22
Two young girls have gone missing from the Lalru area under mysterious circumstances. Acting on the complaints of their families, the police has booked four persons, including a woman tailor. However, no arrests have been made so far.

The police has booked Ajay, a resident of Ambala, Gurcharan Singh of Bakarpur and Pinki, the woman tailor of Dera Bassi.

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Happy End To Sad Tale
Assamese girl reunited with kin
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 22
The hapless girl found by the police in semi-nude condition on the Ramgarh-Barwala highway in October last year, came out of the shadows of anonymity today.

For the first time since she landed in the city eight months back, Renu managed a fragile smile from the hospital bed. Her family arrived all the way from Assam to get back the daughter they had presumed dead after months of futile search.

Reunited with his daughter due to the efforts of the Assamese Welfare Association, 65-year-old Lakshan, a small-time farmer in Barpeta of Assam, said: “She was studying in Class XII in the village school.That was more than a year back. One day, her friends returned from school while she was left behind. Ever since that day, we heard nothing about her. We searched up to Guwahati and finally gave up. We presumed she had died and mourned her death.”

It was about a week back that his elder son, a schoolteacher, received a call from the association, saying Renu was alive and recuperating in the General Hospital, Sector 6.

“I have six daughters and five sons. She was the youngest and the only one not married child. She used to take care of me after my wife passed away six years back. When news of her being alive came in, it sounded unreal. I had never heard of Haryana. I don’t know what she went through since the time she went missing, but I am happy to have her back and can’t wait to take her home.”

Accompanied by his 30-year-old son, the father and son tried to make conversation with Renu, but she only smiled back, saying little. “ I think she is under shock. She has become unstable. She says she was repeatedly exploited,” her brother said.

A member of the association, Bhabit Deka, explained: “An Assamese boy working in the Industrial Area spotted Renu at the hospital and told us about her. We came to meet her and found that she spoke Boro language and not Assamese. We identified a woman who understood the language and found out her home district and village. We got in touch with the Boro Association in Delhi and they, in turn, contacted the local Boro chapter in Assam. The exercise took a month before we zeroed in on the family.”

“It is satisfying to know that we have reached a happy end to a sad tale. We could not have asked for more,” the members said.

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PU museum’s structural flaw
Prized paintings feel the heat
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 22
At a time when the UT Administration is pursuing Chandigarh’s case for inclusion in the world heritage list, one of its best landmarks is crying for attention. Panjab University Fine Art Museum, rated among the best museums of modern art in India, is losing its sheen due to structural problems inherent in its design.

Created in 1960s on the pattern of Israel Museum, Tel Aviv, the PU museum scorches in summers due to heat traps created by its design. Vast gallery spaces, high ceilings and complete dependence on natural lights have not served the museum and its 14 galleries well. Its best pieces are now feeling the heat and succumbing to cracks, peeling of canvas surfaces and fading. The museum has the best collection of contemporary art other than the National Gallery of Modern Art.

It features works of M.F. Husain, Bhupen Khakhar, Ghluam Sheikh, Jamini Roy, Satish Gujral, Suza, among others. In all, it has 1,300 works, stacked away in a storeroom, which needs proper air-conditioning. The urgency is apparent from the cost of works, estimated at Rs 30 crore. Most of these were acquired at incredible low prices by B.N. Goswamy, who built the collection bit by bit. He bought a Khakhar work for Rs 500. Its current value is over Rs 25 lakh.

Concerned about the collection, Goswamy said: “This museum is a major national resource. Its value is infinitely greater than the attention it has received. We need money to correct its structure, air-conditioning the store and sun proof glass panes. Some refurbishing has been done but more is desired to save this collection.”

For PU, sparing a handsome budget is tough, although it has in the past sanctioned lakhs for roof repair and anti-termite treatment.

Rajinder Bhandari, head, fine art department and museum, PU, has now asked for funds to air-conditioning of five galleries and fix permanent lights in three. At present, the department gets Rs 60,000 for annual purchase and maintenance. It has asked for Rs 30 lakh.

Admitting to heat traps spoiling some works, Bhandari said: “A Jivan Adalja work is under repair. Its red surface had faded. Some wood sculptures are also affected but we are repairing them. Our works are indeed precious. When we loaned a Bhupen Khakhar work recently, its insurance amount was Rs 10 lakh. You can imagine the actual cost. For summers, we have removed all precious paintings from the galleries and mounted prints which are more enduring.”

With PU facing a fund crunch (Punjab owes Rs 20 crore to it), the onus of protecting the museum lies on the UT Administration, which can include it in its much-hyped tourism circuit.

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GCM turns down defence plea for adjournment
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 22
Maj Dimple Singla, who is being tried by a general court martial (GCM) on charges of professional impropriety, today sought adjournment of the GCM proceedings on the grounds that the Punjab and Haryana High Court has summoned all records pertaining to the case. Acting upon a petition filed by Major Singla, the High Court yesterday issued notices to the Centre and others for the record to be placed before it on May 28.

Arguing before the GCM, defence counsel Col S.K. Aggarwal (retd) said judicial propriety demanded that the proceedings of the trial be adjourned till the record is summoned by the High Court.

In an application submitted before the GCM, Major Singla contended that mandatory provisions of Army Rules 22 and 37 were not complied with during pre-trial proceedings, thereby making the convening of the GCM illegal. Nor was the defence allowed to examine any witnesses in support of this contention.

The application stated that the GCM had passed a cryptic and non-speaking order, rejecting the defence plea to jurisdiction and the High Court has now taken cognizance of the aforementioned aspects.

Prosecution counsel Col A.K. Malhotra (retd) argued that since the High Court had only summoned records and had not stayed the proceedings, there was no reason for granting adjournment. The court thereafter rejected the defence plea for adjourning the proceedings and will re-assemble for further hearing tomorrow.

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Child-swapping Case
Report bails out GMCH-32
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 22
A DNA report by the local Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CSFL) has bailed Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, out of the baby-swapping controversy. In fact, the GMCH authorities had been at the receiving end of the allegations of the swapping of a baby boy with a baby girl. Shagufta Praveen of Mauli Jagran leveled the allegations.

“The controversy was triggered off by a clerical mistake in which the word ‘male’ was written on the wrist band of the baby girl and the DNA report had vindicated our stand,” GMCH medical superintendent Harsh Mohan said today. Shagufta delivered her first baby at the hospital on April 12.

“At the time of the discharge we noticed that the word ‘male’ was written on the wrist band and this created doubts about the sex of the baby in our mind,” Zeeshan, a brother of Shagufta, said.

“We wanted the DNA test for our satisfaction to rule out the doubts whether the baby was a boy or a girl,” a jubilant Shagufta said while caressing the girl now named Mehak.

Since the issue involved medico-legal and social issues, the hospital thought it prudent to go in for the DNA test to satisfy the family, Mohan asserted.

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MC to upgrade infrastructure in nine villages
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 22
The Chandigarh municipal corporation has decided to upgrade the existing infrastructure in all nine villages that were recently transferred to the corporation by the UT administration.

In a statement here today, the corporation stated that the infrastructure in these villages would be improved in a big way with the aim to bring these on a par with that existing in the city.

Under the plans, the corporation intends to replace existing brick-on-edge flooring with PCC interlocking paver blocks, besides, recarpeting phirni roads, improving existing ponds, converting kucha roads into interlocking paver block roads, renovating existing public buildings, if any, and augmenting rainwater drainage and sewerage network.

The municipal corporation has already approved a plan outlay that is to be executed in 2007-08.

The MC has sanctioned Rs 4 crore on upgrade of these nine villages. The roads committee has already approved this plan.

Even as the street-lighting system in these village is with the UT administration, the MC is going to augment street-lighting with sodium vapour lamps to give better illumination.

Currently, there are 22 villages under the jurisdiction of the UT administration. Out of these, four - Burail, Attawa, Badheri and Buterlla - were transferred to the corporation at the time of its inception in 1996 and since then the development of these villages has been carried out by the corporation.

Recently the Chandigarh administration transferred five more villages - Hallo Majra, Kajheri, Palsora, Maloya and Dadu Majra - to the corporation.

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Malba dumps altering city’s topography
Manish Sirhindi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 22
With “planned dumping” of malba at various low-lying areas in the city, the Chandigarh municipal corporation is fast changing the topography of the city that can have far-reaching consequences.

Dumping of malba is bringing about alterations in the landscape and affecting the natural flow of rainwater.

Several places in the city where malba is dumped have developed ponds as it obstructs the flow of water.

Dumping also leaves these places unfit for use, as malba seldom consolidates. It is only wild bushes that grow on malba, making is difficult to clean the area.

In case of stray animal death in these bushes, sanitation teams struggle to locate and remove the body. Consequently, foul smell envelopes the area.

Water that gathers due to obstruction caused by the dumping and provides perfect breading ground for mosquitoes, thus becoming a health hazard for those living in the vicinity.

Besides, the roads formed on malba remain susceptible to breakages.

Though the officials of the MC are aware of the problems that are an outcome of the “planned dumping”, they refuse to bring about any changes.

SE S.K. Chadha said the corporation had marked certain low-lying places in the city for dumping.

Even as he admitted that dumping of malba created problems, he added that nothing could be done in this regard.

City mayor Harjinder Kaur said the corporation had saved huge money by allowing dumping of malba at several areas to raise the level of low-lying areas in the city.

She said the problems could be area-specific and in case the matter was brought to the notice of the corporation, dumping could be stopped there. On roads that get washed away in the rains, as these were laid on unconsolidated malba, the mayor said the corporation was planning to re-carpet complete areas wherever the problem existed to prevent damage.

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Drug Abuse
Cops shrug off responsibility
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 22
A day after the Chandigarh Tribune reported consumption of banned correction fluids by children of Bapu Dham, things have not changed much. For the addicted children, most of whom have been abandoned by their families, it was business as usual today. They were nowhere to be spotted when this correspondent visited Bapu Dham this morning. Onlookers, however, said they had seen the group of 10 addicts going out towards Industrial Area this morning.

When contacted, neighbours of Shibu, leader of the gang which openly indulges in the purchase and consumption of banned whiteners, said Shibu and his friends were physically weak and sick.

“When they are under the influence of drugs, they don’t eat for days together. Sometimes they remain hungry for four to five days. Their parents are fed up with their activities and have left them to their destinies,” said a neighbour of Shibu, the 12-year-old, who posed as a He-man after inhaling the fluid yesterday.

For their part, the police maintained a distressing silence over the matter. In charge of Bapu Dham police post Maninder Singh, when contacted, plainly abdicated his responsibility and said: “We are thankful to you for bringing the issue to light. But we are sorry, we can’t do anything about it. It’s neither in our purview, nor a part of our job.”

The police did not raid Sector 28 market from where the boys said they had been buying the banned correction fluid bottles. For the police post in charge, denial was the end of matter.

On the other hand, the health department said the matter was a police matter. Gurpid Singh, drug inspector, UT said:“These whiteners were banned following police initiative and the onus of ensuring that the ban is effective also lies on the police.The health department has nothing to do with it as correction fluids are not drugs. They fall under a different category.”

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Chemical plant fire claims life
Tribune News Service

Rajpura, May 22
A worker of Siel Chemicals at Damanheri village, near here, was burnt to death and two others were injured in a fire this afternoon.

According to sources, the fire broke out in the heap of bags of bleaching powder when about 25 workers were working in the plant. While the rest of the workers ran away three workers, Joga Singh, Baljinder Singh and Amir Singh, were seriously injured. Baljinder died on way to Rajindra Hospital in Patiala.

The sources said hot bleaching powder was made to cool down for at least 15 hours before being packed. However, if the powder was not cooled for this duration it became highly inflammable, which probably resulted in the fire.

Fire engines from the local fire station rushed to the plant. Property worth several lakhs of rupees was destroyed in the fire. The exact cause of the incident and loss is being worked out. — TNS

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ZP meeting on May 30
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 22
A meeting to discuss the no-confidence motion against Zila Parishad chief Varinder Singh will be held on May 30 at the district secretariat. Deputy commissioner Neerja Shekhar finalised the date of the meeting after receiving a representation by parishad members Umesh Kumar, Rajender Singh, Pankho Devi, Kamla Devi, Tripti Devi, Poonam Devi and Ram Singh.

Postponed

The ghazal samaroh to be organised by the Haryana Urdu Akademi and the Education Department, Haryana, tomorrow has been postponed. The programme was to be held at Indradhanush Auditorium, Sector 5, here. 

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Sant Samaj: Centre must ban dera
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 22
The All-India Sikh Students Federation and the Sant Samaj today praised the Hindu community for its contribution towards making Punjab bandh a success today.

Manjit Singh Bhoma, president of the federation, and leaders of the Sant Samaj said they were happy that people maintained peace and harmony. Addressing a press conference, Bhoma, who was accompanied by Sant Man Singh Pehowa, Sant Manmohan Singh, Sant Avtar Singh and Sant Dilbagh Singh, said the Union Government should impose a ban on Dera Sacha Sauda and its branches.

They said the head of the dera should apologise. Without his apology, the issue would not be resolved.

Bhoma said panthic organisations had not resorted to violence at any place during the past days. It was followers of the dera who had attacked members of panthic organisations at Bathinda and Sunam.

He said the federation and the Sant Samaj would go by the directions by the Akal Takht with regard to the ongoing struggle against the dera.

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Nothing amiss in IPL, claims official

Chandigarh, May 22
Reacting to a news-item, "CBI sleuths swoop down on stockist of Indian Potash Ltd", carried in these columns on October 19, 2006, the Senior Regional Manager of Indian Potash Limited has asserted that the inferences drawn in the news report have been found to be baseless.

In a communication to The Tribune, he has added that the CBI, as well as their internal inquiry, has "not found an iota of truth in the allegations".

He has added that the CBI has returned all stock registers and other documents after a thorough perusal and scrutiny. In any case, the premier investigating agency "has designated officers for briefing the Press if they find anything really incriminating in a raid of this type after the data and the records seized by them are properly scrutinised and analysed, which certainly was not the case in relation to this story". The same godowns were checked before the raid by the Agriculture Department of the Punjab Government and "nothing was found amiss by them". — TNS

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Letters

Treat officers better

Thanks to brave and courageous police officials who fought terrorism during the dark days of militancy, Punjab is basking in peace today. But it is tragic that the same officers who were instrumental in restoring normalcy in the state are being targeted and implicated in various cases. They surely deserve a better deal.

The suicide of asst IG Vivek Mishra, who served Punjab during the peak of terrorism and had been charge sheeted in a fake encounter case, has raised certain questions.

Are we not demoralising the entire police force by adopting this ‘use’ and ‘dump’ approach? Are we not being harsh on these gallant soldiers by ignoring the testing times in which they waged battles against terrorism?

We cannot overlook the turbulent times in which certain short cuts, though dubious ones at times might have been used to counter terrorism.

R. Kashyap, 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 – 160030

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Chain-snatching
ASI nabs 5 women after long chase
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 22
The police today claimed to have solved at least 10 cases of chain snatching with the arrest of five women of a gang active in the area. The arrests came following a 10-km chase by the Barwala police post in charge ASI Narinder.

A resident of Barwala today complained to the police that two women, traveling in a car with Punjab registration number, snatched her chain while she was standing at a bus stop. On receiving the complaint, the in charge immediately set up a naka to intercept the car. However, the car sped away from the naka and was driving into Punjab when the ASI began the chase.

Finally, the driver of the car fled the spot leaving the vehicle behind and the occupants were arrested. During investigation, the women admitted to several chain snatching incidents in Panchkula and Punjab while the gang leader, Chhinder Pal, admitted that she had been in the “business” for more than 15 years and began her “career” from Ambala.

Incidentally, all five women, in the age group of 30 to 35 years, belong to Patiala and the gang was reorganised only 10 days back after the release of Chhinder Pal who got arrested some eight months back after being declared a proclaimed offender. She said they had been arrested in connection with a chain snatching incident in Pinjore also and claimed responsibility for a number of incidents.

Meanwhile, SP Balbir Singh announced a cash award of Rs 1,000 for ASI Narinder for single-handedly nabbing the culprits. All five women, Rano, Kalo, Balbiri and Debo and Chhinder, have been booked and further interrogation is on. 

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Another radio taxi service
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 22
The City Beautiful will soon get another player in the radio taxi service. V-Link Taxis, a leading fleet management company, will soon launch its services in Chandigarh.

An official press note said the company would launch the service in major cities, including Chandigarh. The company plans to extend its fleet to 10,000 cabs across major cities of the country in the next three years. Other than Chandigarh, the company proposes to extend the radio taxi service to Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore and Pune.

V-Link Taxis Private Limited is a wholly-owned subsidiary of V-Link Group, set up with an aim to provide cab services in key cities of India. The press note said keeping in view its expansion plans, the company would hire some 200 drivers in the next two months.

''We are offering drivers an opportunity to work in the organised sector, where they will earn well above the average industry standards. We provide a one-week extensive training programme on customer handling and safe driving skills, which ensures that our customers get the best service possible,'' said Anjan Deb, chief operation officer of V-Link Taxis.

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