C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Train to Amritsar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 1
After a long period, Amritsar was today again linked by rail with the Chandigarh. Northern railway officials have, however, said the train was being run on a trial basis to gauge the response.

Another train, Unchhar Express---linking Chandigarh with Allahabad---chugged off from the local railway station at 5.10 pm.

A senior railway official said due to popular demand, Unchhar Express running between Allahabad and Ambala had been extended till Chandigarh.

The train to Amritsar left the Chandigarh station at 4.50 pm. The scheduled time was 4.25 pm.

J.S. Bhogal, a member of the zonal railway users consultative committee, said since Amritsar had been declared a heritage city, a direct train should run between Amritsar and Chandigarh.

Sources in the railway said the timings of the train would get a lukewarm response as it should start early in the morning and return by night. Instead of linking it with the Jan Shatabdi, an exclusive train should leave after the morning Shatabdi Express.

An experiment done by the railways a few years ago had failed as the train departed in the evening.

Meanwhile, passengers boarding the Unchhar Express were confused as the signboards on the coaches mentioned Lucknow-Chandigarh-Allahabad. Explaining the faux pas, a railway official said since it was the first day there was some confusion. The coaches of the Sadbhavana Express, running between Lucknow-Chandigarh, were added to the train but the signboards could not be changed.




Unchhar Express 

 4.25 pm 

 9.20 am


 4.45 pm 

 12.15 pm



Robbers On Board
2 arrested
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 1
The government railway police today arrested two persons on the allegations of drugging and robbing passengers travelling on trains. The accused were nabbed from the railway station here while roaming under suspicious circumstances.

Sources said the accused had been identified as 27-year-old Dharmanider of Bulandshahr and 30-year-old Vinod Kumar of Colony Number 5. Vinod originally hailed from Muzafarnagar in Uttar Pradesh.

The SHO of the railway police station, Chandigarh, inspector Hakam Singh, said on June 29 Keshav Sharma of Bulandshahr lodged a complaint, alleging that he was drugged by two men on the Kalka-Hawra train. He boarded the train from Kalka on June 25 and the miscreants offered him bread slices laced with some drug. He regained consciousness when the train reached Ghaziabad and found that Rs 8,000 and his two mobile phones were missing.

The police said more cases of robberies were likely to be solved following their interrogation. They would be produced before the railway court in Ambala.



Fire dept inept
Amrita Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 1
Despite tall claims of the MC, the department of fire and emergency services seems to be not only ill-equipped, but also ineffective. While on the one hand the MC is ready to spend lakhs to purchase expensive equipment like hydraulic platform and turntable ladders, on the other hand it does not even have independent toll-free numbers in case of an emergency.

The department was cut-off to the common man for the second day today as its emergency no 101 was out of order due to the fire in the BSNL exchange.

The fire department also seems to be ineffective in the absence of a full-time chief fire officer as despite serving notices to buildings violating fire safety rules, no strict action has been taken against any. No public safety drills have been conducted by the department.

In the past, major tragedies have been averted as whenever a major fire occurred, it happened at odd hours when not many people were present. However, the fire department cannot always be in luck.

The lone ambulance, which goes to the fire spot, is not even equipped with a first aid box or an oxygen cylinder. The staff is not trained to handle burn injuries. Apart from informing the police control room, the department takes no initiative of taking trained paramedical staff with it or informing a hospital. The department also lacks basic equipment like breathing apparatus, which is in short supply and lying dysfunctional at the fire stations.

The fire department only has one thermal imaging camera, which helps locate the source of the fire. The firemen do not even have a medical insurance policy or risk allowance.

The laxity of the department can be judged by the fact that the advance fire fighting technology (AFT) equipment, which is sent in first to deal with a fire, is lying empty at various fire stations. Sources state it is because Bhushan Industries in the Industrial Area, which has the facility to fill AFTs, has decided to hike the price to Rs 200 from Rs 30-a price the department heads refuse to pay.

The new hydraulic platform-cum-turntable ladder which has been standing at the Sector 17 fire station is meant for the Mani Majra fire station, cannot be used as its “charge” has yet to be given. The breathing apparatus, which the firemen use in case of a fire, is also ineffective in the absence of oxygen cylinders which are empty.



Emergency services
No luck yet
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 1
Following the BSNL network collapsing after a fire yesterday, the telecom and related services remained out of gear for the second day today. Efforts by BSNL engineers failed to revive the system till late in the evening and there are no chances of the services returning to normal even tomorrow.

The BSNL authorities, however, maintain that the telephone services would be restored by late night today.

It was again a bad day for cyber cafes, hotels and restaurants as they lost business due to the breakdown of connectivity with regard to debit and credit card machines.

The ATM machines disappointed users as they could not withdraw money. “If the BSNL is not able to restore the lease lines by tomorrow, a number of employees of government and private establishments are bound to face harassment as they would not be able to draw their salaries,” said a bank official.

The ambulance services, emergency inquiries at hospitals and other emergencies could not be accessed.

The authorities have arranged to advertise mobile phone numbers of staff members on local cable channels on television and inform the police also.

Sri Guru Granth Sahib Sewa Society, which provides free ambulance and funeral vans service, has been flooded with calls as it has two mobile phone numbers of a private telecom company.

“We have four ambulances and two funeral vans,” said H.S. Sabharwal, convener and secretary of the society. “The society receives between 15 and 25 calls every day, but yesterday we got more than 35 calls on 9814017102 and 9814000110,” he added.



PU Flip-Flop
Exam fee cut to Rs 3,150
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 1
After days of confusion regarding the examination fee to be charged from students availing the “golden chance” as part of the diamond jubilee celebrations in September, the Panjab University authorities have rolled back the decision to charge Rs 10,000 from the students.

The revised fee is Rs 3,150, besides Rs 500 each for every subject pertaining to the BA/BSc/Bcom/BCA examination.

The authorities are claiming that all those who had paid Rs 10,000 will be given a refund. The last day for the submission of forms has also been extended to July 27.

The students who appeared for the April 2007 examination were charged Rs 3,000.

In February 2007, the Syndicate had decided to grant a special chance during the diamond jubilee celebrations to the students who were placed under compartment in BA/BSc/BCom /BBA/BCA/Prak Shastri/ BSc (home science) and could not clear the compartment examination between 1989 and April 2006.

The same concession was extended to MA students who were placed under compartment between April 1992 and April 2006.

A special chance was also extended for improvement of performance in BA/BSc/Bcom/MA/MSc(annual /semester) between April 1980 and April 2005. Yesterday was the last date for submitting the forms.

During the last fortnight, student activists had urged the vice- chancellor to reduce the fees. The VC had reportedly assured the activists that the fee would be rolled backed to about Rs 6,000.

The VC, when contacted, had claimed that a recommendation of the committee regarding fee reduction only came two days ago and a decision to reduce the fee to Rs 3,150 was taken.

For professional courses the decision would be taken later, he said, adding that the last date for the submission of forms had been extended to July 27.

“The special chance is losing its charm with the lack of communication and hasty decisions. Ultimately, it is the candidates who will be suffering. In fact if a decision was taken earlier, the authorities should have stuck to it,” a senator had said.



CBI no deterrent for corrupt cops
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Superiors to face the music

Dinesh Bhatt, who has been given the charge of UT SSP, today held a meeting with DSPs and SHOs and passed instructions that action would be taken against superiors in case their subordinates were found indulging in corrupt practices.

He asked them to apprise him of the steps being taken by the police to check the increasing incidents of snatching in the city.

Chandigarh, July 1
The CBI, which has spread panic among corrupt politicians and bureaucrats, seems to be no deterrent for the Chandigarh police.

Though seven police personnel, including an SHO, have ended up in the CBI net in the past less then two months, yet that seems to have had little affect on those indulging in corrupt practices in the UT police.

It seems that the arrest of seven persons in such a short span of time has also failed to shake the top brass of the force out of their slumber, as they reportedly have not come out with strong measures to curb this menace. This despite the fact that the department has suffered a loss of face in the public because of this.

Besides, 64 police personnel, including sub-inspectors, assistant sub-inspectors, head constables and constables have been booked for various crimes since January 2004 and June 15 this year. Among these 25 were sub-inspectors and assistant sub-inspectors.

Though senior police officials claimed to have initiated several measures to curb such irregularities and malpractices, the records of the force portray a dismal picture of the force.

The police personnel arrested this year includes constable Satish Sharma, SI Sukhdweep Singh, head constable Iqbal Singh, inspector Bishi Ram (the then SHO of the Mani Majra police station), SI Ashok Kumar and his brother constable Surinder Singh, SI Ved Parkash and head constable Shiv Kumar. Satish Sharma was arrested in February this year.

In the wake of the arrest of eight police officers by the CBI till date, the performance of the UT vigilance department and the top brass of the department has also came under scanner as the department appears to be unaware of the happenings in the police department.

Sources said the vigilance department had arrested two police officers this year on corruption charges.

The sources said the previous UT IGP Satish Chandra, in order to curb the menace of corruption in the department, had issued directions that a senior police officer should be held responsible if his subordinates were caught indulging in practices. During his tenure, two inspectors were placed under suspension when their subordinates were arrested on graft charges.

However, the police has stopped following this practice despite the fact that it gave positive results.



Who will recharge these wells?
Vishal Gulati
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 1
With the monsoon very much here, this year also the Chandigarh administration has failed to clean trench-cum-recharge wells constructed by the Central Ground Water Board in various sectors to harvest rainwater. Most of the structures, constructed on the request of the administration, are lying abandoned.

The ministry of water resources had funded the rainwater-harvesting pilot projects in the city to popularise the technique among government officials and the common man.

A visit to the Leisure Valley, Panjab University campus, DAV School, Sector 8, the CSIO, Sector 30, and the roundabout of Sectors 19, 27, 20 and 30 shows that the structures are in a state of neglect. Dense vegetation and silt have choked the mouth of the recharge wells.

With an investment of Rs 14 lakh, the administration had constructed eight wells with the assistance of the board along the choe in the Leisure Valley. The depth of the wells varies from 65 m to 80 m depending upon the aquifer.

On the Panjab University campus, Rs 2.56 lakh was spent on the construction of one recharge structure near the Basic Medical Sciences block in August 2001. Similarly, four wells were constructed near the Sectors 27, 19, 20 and 30 roundabout in 2003 at a cost of Rs 10 lakh.

When board’s regional director (north-western region) Sushil Gupta was asked about the poor maintenance of the projects, he said: “Our duty was only to execute the project. Now it’s the duty of the municipal corporation to maintain the harvesting wells at public places like the Leisure Valley and the roundabout of Sectors 27, 19, 20 and 30.”

He says cleaning of the structures and the catchment area is a must for proper harvesting of rainwater. The expenditure for maintaining a well twice in a year is less than Rs 1,000. The maintenance requires cleaning of trenches and filter material.

The life of each well is nearly 20 years, but sadly within a few years it’s recharging rainwater below its capacity.

Explaining the rationale behind setting up the rainwater harvesting wells, Gupta says the water table in the city and surrounding areas is depleting at an alarming rate due to over-pumping and urbanisation. The recharge wells play an important role in quenching the thirst of the aquifers.

Studies conducted by the board say the water is available at more than 60 m depth in most parts of the city. It is available at more than 60 m in Sector 17 and at more than 70 m in Sector 27. In case of the Information Technology Park, Mani Majra, the railway station and Kishangarh areas, it is available at more than 80 m.

However, in the southern sectors, it is available at around 40 m.



Man killed

Lalru, July 1
Jaswant Singh, a shopkeeper, was killed in a road accident here last night.

According to sources, Jaswant was crossing the Ambala-Chandigarh road when he was hit by a canter. He was seriously injured and died on his way to a hospital, in Chandigarh. — TNS



Warm send-off to Dr Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 1
Dr Pradeep Sharma, city's renowned surgeon and head of the department of surgery, Government Hospital, Sector 16, retired after putting in 27 years of service here yesterday.

Dr Sharma's simple yet warm send-off ceremony was marked by an emotional farewell from colleagues which included the medical surgeon, Dr Ashok Gupta, and Dr M.S. Bains, director, health.

Having achieved specialisation in surgeries like laparoscopy, gall bladders, kidney stones, hernia, hydroscene and all types of breast operations, Dr Pradeep Sharma excelled in conducting complicated surgeries like piles, fissures, fistula and thyroid operations. A member of the IMA, Dr Sharma attended an international conference on diabetic foot in Singapore early this year and with his range of broad experience in surgery, he was one of the most experienced surgeons in Chandigarh.

Dr Sharma plans to commit himself to the cause of poor patients now.



Residents form welfare society
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 1
Residents of ward No. 2 (Sectors 12, 14, 15 and Khudda Lahora) have formed a society for public welfare under the chairmanship of Surinder Sharma, a social worker. The president of the PGI Campus Residents Welfare Society, R.K. Khainchi, is the general secretary of the society.

The society would work towards bringing awareness among the youth regarding drug abuse, AIDS, needs of senior citizens, besides organising blood donation camps, said Khainchi. 



Parachute school unable to land on target
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 1
There has been a huge deficit in training at the elite Parachute Training School (PTS). Most courses relating to para-trooping were unable to achieve targets during the past five years, while certain envisaged conversion courses were not held at all during the period.

Audit documents have revealed that though the primary task of the PTS is training, only 18 per cent of the flying tasks were devoted to this. The PTS has 12 transport aircraft and 53 per cent of its flying time was involved in routine transport duties.

Most of the trainees at the PTS are associated with special operations, which include para-drop of men, machines and supplies during covert operations or in a battle zone.

The PTS fleet is divided in Flight-A, for basic para-trooping and medical basic para course, and Flight-B for conversion courses. Except for the basic para-trooping course, there was a shortfall with respect to annual targets in each year for all other Flight-A courses. Further, no medical para courses, refresher courses and air crew ground training courses to be conducted by the school when required were held during the period.

In case of Flight-B courses, for which six aircraft have been earmarked, it was seen that none of the envisaged courses like FA Controller Airborne course, Air Crew Para-trooping Course and Air Crew Conversion courses, which includes training of aircraft captains, second pilots and flight engineers, were conducted in the last five years. The facilities and aircraft earmarked for these courses remained totally unutilised, revealed the audit.

The PTS officials maintained the reason for the shortfall at the centre was on account of the Army not detailing troops for parachute training and non-allotment of tasks by Air Headquarters for other types of courses. According to Air Headquarters, medical courses were disbanded in 1999.

For some courses like the pathfinder course, the shortfall ranged from 17 to 100 per cent, while for the jump master course, the shortfall was from 24 to 100 per cent.

The situation has prompted the comptroller and auditor general to remark that the underutilisation of specialised facilities, created to equip the armed forces with critical capabilities, indicates inadequate attention in an important area.



Book on little-known facts of city proposed
Institutes, residents share anecdotes with Admin
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 1
Some of the oldest institutes in Chandigarh that are now living monuments of city’s history will provide inputs to the Chandigarh Administration for a proposed publication on ‘Little known facts about Chandigarh.’

The Tribune Chapter

The book will have a chapter dedicated to The Tribune. The Tribune’s reportage of the making of the city, landmark days in the city’s history and contemporary times along with photographs of the newspaper clippings will form a part of The Tribune Chapter.

The paperback book, to be published by the Tourism Department, will be a compilation of titbits of information about the city, which very few people are aware of. “Historical facts, incidents, data, maps and never-seen-before pictures would be a part of the publication,” said Vivek Atray, director tourism.

He added that many files and documents relating to the establishment of the city’s oldest institutes are still with these institutes. “We are writing to PGI, Panjab University, Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIO), Government College Sector 11, Government College for Girls Sector 11, Lajpat Rai Bhawan Sector 15 and some other earliest landmarks of the city to go through their oldest files and provide us with inputs for the publication,” said Atray.

Tourism Department officials will also hunt for such information from the earliest residents of the city. “Interviews with those who were involved in the making of the city will yield a lot of little known facts and amounts to delving into the city’s oral history. The aim is to make them delve into their memory and bring out small incidents and anecdotes which have otherwise not been documented,” said Rajnish Wattas, principal, Chandigarh College of Architecture, who is closely associated with the project. The Administration will also go through the data available in Chandigarh libraries, museums, official documents, maps and the secondary material available.

The Administration has also asked city residents to send information related to the city, which they feel is not known to many. “It is surprising how little we know of the city we live in,” said Atray. “In response to the advertisement calling for such information, many city residents have written to us sharing anecdotes and incidents which came as a surprise to us. City residents have also sent a host of pictures clicked in the 1960s.”

BM Manco, a Sector 11 resident, related that when Josip Broz Tito, Yugoslavian President visited Maharaja Patiala, a dinner was hosted at his palace. The crockery and cutlery was to be taken from Hotel Mountview. The dinner went off very well but the vehicle that was bringing the cutlery back to Chandigarh met with an accident at the sectors 17-9 intersection. There were no roundabouts in the city then, only intersections. It was, however, realised after this accident that the intersections are dangerous and it was decided to have roundabouts in the city.

Other than facts related to the history of the city the booklet would include some offbeat interesting facts about the city. “For example, how many bread loaves are consumed in the city each day? How many cars ply on city roads? And many more such interesting facts,” said Wattas.



Private agents to help corpn in loan recovery
2,163 SC/BC Defaulters
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 1
The Chandigarh Scheduled Castes Backward Castes Minority Financial Development Corporation (CSCBCMFDC) has listed 2,163 loan defaulters in different categories in the Union Territory and has decided to appoint private agents to hasten the recovery process.

Due to staff shortage and poor infrastructure, the corporation has not been able to follow up majority of the cases from the past several years.

Certain cases have almost gone into the blank as loan seekers have changed their address or shut down their business for the past many years. A decision to this regard was taken by the board of directors recently.

The loans have been advanced under five different heads for cars, scooters, homes, studies and business, besides other grounds.

Agents will be appointed under a recovery coordinator who will be a retired defence personnel or retired government officer. It has been officially accepted that “recovery was the backbone of the corporation. However, it was difficult to work with the existing staff”. Lack of infrastructure and manpower has made it practically impossible to make the recoveries. Private recovery staff has been recommended.

Confirming the development, Amandeep Kaur, managing director of the corporation, said, “We have decided to appoint a recovery coordinator on a commission basis who can engage his team to ensure recoveries. The defaulters have taken loans on various grounds, including cars, scooters education and homes, and have not bothered to return the amount.”

"Bad debts", as the disputed amounts are known could occur due to death of the borrower and non-cooperation by his heirs. The borrower might have knowingly become a defaulter or the activity for which he borrowed could have shut down. The corporation has decided to segregate the cases under the category of bad debts and prepare a separate plan of action which includes setting up a recovery commission.

The corporation has decided to follow up the case of the defaulters with their guarantors. The agents will be required to visit the house of the loan seeker every 15 days. They will be required to report in the office every day and submit a fortnightly recovery report. The agents have been asked to get the latest addresses of defaulters who had changed the residential address mentioned on their loan forms.

The recovery process will be scrutinised by a committee under the chairmanship of a company secretary which will conduct surprise raids on the recovery agents and also prepare a fortnightly report.



Mani Majra residents go without power
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 1
Residents of Mani Majra had an unpleasant weekly off this Sunday as the power supply remained cut off throughout the day. Against the announced power cut between 8 am and 12 noon, the residents were without power till 4 pm.

The supply was affected to parts of the Modern Housing Complex, Rajeev Vihar and certain other localities. Residents tried frantically to make calls to the emergency numbers of the electricity department. However, because of a snag in the BSNL lines due to a fire yesterday, they were more disappointed.

Dinesh Bali, sales head of an FM channel, said: “We expected the power supply to be restored around 12 noon and had planned certain academic activities on the computer for my daughter with the help of a software expert. She was very disappointed.”

Chandan Madaan, another resident, said: “We kept on trying the emergency numbers, but to no avail. The department needs to upgrade its supply lines because there is regular news about these being overburdened.”



Zirakpur Woes
Township reeking of garbage
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, July 1
Zirakpur, the township of apartments and shopping malls, lacks an effective garbage disposal system. A part of village Baltana has virtually turned into a garbage dump, posing a serious health hazard to the residents.

With the onset of the monsoon, dumping of the garbage in the open gives an open invitation to epidemics. The Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat is yet to spare a thought for this problem, said Ajmer Singh, a resident.

In fact, a bus stand is situated just near the garbage dump, causing great inconvenience for commuters.

Garbage disposal is not the only problem in the area with the power supply far from satisfactory.

Official sources said with the increase in the population, the provision of civic amenities left much to be desired. However, with the elevation of the township to the municipal council level, more resources will be earmarked. This in turn will boost development, the sources added.



177 booked for traffic offences
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 1
The Chandigarh traffic police today set up six pickets in various parts of the city and booked 177 motorists for various violations.

The police said officers on duty collected Rs 8,400 by taking on-the-spot fine from motorists.

Besides, the police impounded a vehicle, when its driver failed to produce valid documents.

The police booked 81 motorists for overspeeding, 27 two-wheeler riders for driving without wearing helmets, three for jumping the red light and 66 for miscellaneous offences.



Inspector given farewell
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 1
Members of the Society for Public Welfare, ward No. 2, organised a farewell function in honour of inspector Puran Chand, who retired as SHO of the Sector 11 police station on Saturday.

The function was held at the community centre in Sector 15-D on Friday. The function was attended by deputy superintendent of police (central) S.S. 

Puran Chand joined the Chandigarh police as constable in 1968. He was promoted to the rank of sub-inspector in 1987 and became inspector in 2005. He was posted as SHO of the Sector 11 police station in June 2005.

The society praised Puran Chand for his services. 



State Bank Day celebrated
Tribune News Service

G.D.S. Banga, deputy general manager, SBI, opens a battery box donated to the Bal Sadan in Panchkula on Sunday.
G.D.S. Banga, deputy general manager, SBI, opens a battery box donated to the Bal Sadan in Panchkula on Sunday.

Panchkula, July 1
The State Bank of India, Zonal Office, Haryana, celebrated State Bank Day by donating equipments, sweets, fruits and ration to the "Bal Sadan", a home for orphan and destitute children, here today.

Deputy general manager G.D.S. Banga handed over the articles to general secretary of the Bal Sadan Association Dr Devinder Kumar in the presence of other senior officers and staff of the bank.

The State Bank of India actively participates in community services through its Ladies Club and branches at various centres in Haryana.

Dr Devinder Kumar acknowledged the contributions of the bank and said the bank had also donated a Bajaj Tempo Traveller in July, 2003, and from then on had been regularly involved in their activities.




It’s not fair

Step-motherly treatment is being meted out to the teachers on deputation. While the UT teachers only have to give explanations for showing poor results, the deputationists have to go back to their parent states. It is really shocking. Moreover, following the same formula for judging the performance in all subjects is wrong. Subjects like social studies, science and maths carry practical and internal assessment marks which increases their pass percentage whereas English carries no such marks, hence pass percentage in the subject goes down.

Due to this, teachers who take board classes suffer while those who only teach up to Class VII never have to bother about their results.

The department should reconsider the decision of repatriation and instead take a fair and justified decision.

Sarabpreet 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



Tips for safe driving

Road discipline - Part I

Remember the most important rule for safe driving on the roads: Mirrors-Signal-Manoeuvre. Always check your mirrors for other traffic, give a clear signal well in advance, and then only turn, change lane or stop.

Important dos and don’ts for safe lane driving are

  • Get into the correct lane in good time before a junction
  • If there is a traffic jam do not ‘jump the queue’ by cutting into another lane or by overtaking vehicles ahead of you
  • On a two-lane dual road use the right lane only for overtaking or for turning right. Your normal position is the left lane
  • On a three-lane dual road stay on the left lane using the middle lane only for overtaking slower traffic. Come back to the left lane thereafter. The right lane is for vehicles turning right or for overtaking.



Two minor boys held for theft
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 1
Two minor boys were caught while stealing parts of water tanks from a government residential colony in Sector 33 here this afternoon. The accused were residents of Burail village. According to eyewitnesses, there were four boys who were stopped by a resident of the locality while carrying bags containing parts of water tanks. However, two of the miscreants managed to give him the slip. The other two were later handed over to the police.

The police said Harjit Kaur of the locality saw the boys loading bags on their cycles. She had seen them coming from the terrace of houses with bags. She stopped them and when she found stolen articles in the bags, she raised the alarm following which people gathered there.

Residents of the locality said incidents of thefts were on the rise in their locality for the past couple of weeks. The police has arrested the boys under sections 379 and 411 of the IPC.



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