C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Dara Singh’s son beats up wife, held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 7
Amrik Singh Randhawa, son of MP-cum-actor Dara Singh, was arrested for assaulting his wife, Amrita Randhawa, at their Sector 8 residence here today.

Amrita alleged she was beaten up by Amrik, who was accompanied by his maternal uncle Gur Rattan Singh Aulakh and two friends-advocate Kanwar Pal Singh Cheema and Varinder-last night.

“The four started beating me and a family friend, Rinku Roy, who had come to meet me,” she alleged. On getting information, the police reached the spot and arrested the four accused.

Rinku Roy was hospitalised. He said he had come for dinner with Amrita, whom he knew from Bhopal, from where she belongs. “Amrita used to teach me in Class VIII,” he said.

“When Amrik attacked Amrita, I was petrified and hid myself in the bathroom. I was caught me and was beaten up brutally.”

On the other hand, Amrik alleged that instead of taking action against Roy, the police had registered a case against him and his friends.

“I caught an unknown person with my wife in my bedroom. Instead of taking action against the man, the police has implicated me and my friends in a false case,” alleged Amrik ,who lives at Dara Studios in Mohali.

The couple has three cases pending at the District Courts here- a divorce case, another one on Amrita seeking permission to stay in the Sector 8 house and the third by Amrita for maintenance.

The couple has two daughters. Amrik Singh and his associates were produced before the court of duty magistrate Praveen Kumar Lal at the District Courts.

They were sent to judicial remand for 14 days. A decision on the bail application moved by the defence lawyers will be announced tomorrow.

The advocates boycotted the court proceedings in protest of the arrest of lawyer Kanwar Pal Singh Cheema in the case. Two others arrested are Amrik’s uncle Gur Ratan Singh and hisVarinder Singh.

Defence lawyer N.K. Nanda sought bail for his client. He said lawyer Kanwar Pal Singh Cheema was not involved and was present at the place of occurrence as counsel for Amrik. So should be allowed to go.

Referring to the allegations as false, Amrita lawyer, advocate Rajan Malhotra said: "All allegations are wrong. These are just to defame my client.." 

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Mayor’s road show reveals it all 
In Sector 42 JE found missing from duty, in Sector 23 both JE & supervisor 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 7
Accompanied by the chairperson of the road committee, mayor Harjinder Kaur today inspected work on various roads in the city and undertook a surprise check at the Sector 23 and 42 offices between 8 am and 10 am. She found several persons missing from duty.

In Sector 42, she found the JE missing from duty while in Sector 23 neither the JE nor the supervisor was on duty. The mayor said she had been received complaints that the labourers were not doing the work assigned to them. “I checked the records and found several workers missing from duty.”

Refusing to take names, she acknowledged that three or more workers were found to be working at an MC official’s house instead of their assigned duty. When contacted, councillor Surinder K. Jagota, chairperson of the roads committee, said they were informed during the check that a woman labourer was working at former mayor Subhash Chawla’s residence and another at OSD P.B. Dhingra’s residence.

Meanwhile, the mayor has seized the records of both offices and asked the chief engineer and superintending engineer to give details of where the labourers have been deployed.

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‘Student leaders should be what they claim to be’
Gayatri Rajwade
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 7
Friday’s remarks that we need good students first by a Supreme Court Bench could not have come at a worst time for students and their leaders. It is a trial by fire.

Clearly, the Supreme Court is in no mood to give concessions to “full-time leaders and part-time students” and says it “will not allow that type of situation in this country.”

The directive comes in the context of a hearing on intimidation and violence in student elections at Delhi University. The Supreme Court has clearly said what is needed is “good students, not goondagardi and dadagiri.” So, what makes for a “ good student?”

According to academicians, scholars and those associated with students in the city, the definition is bound closely to the social order. “An ideal student is one growing or being groomed as a responsible, good citizen of organised civic society,” says Prof D.N. Jauhar, department of laws, Panjab University.

PU fellow Dharinder Tayal believes that a good student looks forward to his education as a “twin means” for his career and to become a better person. “It is not enough just to aspire, positive steps in a positive direction are imperative,” he adds.

Interestingly, this debate arises at a time when elections to the students’ council in Panjab University are yet to be announced but the authorities have made it clear that they will go by the Lyngdoh code.

PUSU president Abhishek Puri says he joined the university for an education and not politics. His politics stems from his desire to bring “change” that is positive and for the benefit of his fellow students.

However, students on the campus speak of need for leaders who believe in “holistic” development.

Sophia Christina is a student from the Department of Mass Communication at PU. She says: “Student leaders should be what they claim to be. They must be good at studies and at extra-curricular activities with proof to show their proficiency.” She equates good polity with motivation and commitment.

“If they promise they are here to listen to the problems of students, they should be around. Soon after elections they vanish,” she avers.

Prof Shelley Walia, department of English, believes students are the best instruments for change and can be responsible for bringing transformations to the existing structures of education.

“An ideal student has an ideology in which honest politics becomes integral to thinking. A student also needs to learn the art of intervening. For that you need to be introspective to balance politics and education.”

Student and politics go together believes Professor Walia, “but there should be no derogatory value associated with it. We tend to give it that value. But these students are not political, so they do not have an ideology,” he adds. 

Asked if they will get votes for being an “ideal
student”, this is what two of them had to say:
Yes, I have. I have been working for the welfare of students. I will get votes for my efforts
— Abhishek Puri, PUSU president

I am committed to furthering the interests of the student community. Only good students make good leaders
— Archit Watts, SOPU leader

An ideal student is one growing or being groomed as a responsible, good citizen of organised civic society
— Prof D.N. Jauhar



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Development Works
Oppn councillors allege discrimination 
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 7
Municipal councillors belonging to the Opposition in the civic body have demanded the presence of an observer during monthly meetings to stop the alleged unnecessary interference by Kharar MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu, who is an ex-officio member of the council.

The councillors demanded this in a letter to the principal secretary, department of local government, Punjab. The councillor alleged that Sidhu was acting like the president of the civic body during the general house meetings, and it seemed Rajinder Singh Rana was the council head only on paper. They said the councillors had requested Sidhu many times during the meetings not to behave in such a manner.

Opposition councillors also complained to the principal secretary that discrimination was allegedly being done against them by the president in regard to the clearance of estimates for development works were concerned. They alleged that estimates for development works for the wards of various opposition councillors were not put on the agenda of the meeting. Most of the estimates cleared belonged to the councillors of the ruling group. They alleged that in the meeting held in March the wards of seven councillors were totally ignored. During the meeting held in June development works to the tune of Rs 52.91 lakh related to the wards of the ruling group members were cleared as a table item. Now, when development works worth Rs 4 crore were cleared at the meeting held on August 31, the share of opposition councillors was only Rs 32 lakh.

Rana , however, said the allegations levelled against him were baseless. He said that the estimates for the development works to the tune of Rs 3.85 crore were cleared at the meeting held in March and out of which estimates worth Rs 2.46 crore were of 19 councillors of the ruling group and estimates worth Rs 1.39 crore were of 12 members of the opposition group. Even then the opposition councillors got development works stayed which adversely affected the town.

He said during the August meeting the estimates for works worth Rs 3.95 crore were cleared and out of which works worth Rs 2.21 crore were common to the town and not related to any particular ward. Out of the remaining budget Rs 45.48 lakh was to be spent on the wards of 12 opposition councillors and Rs 75.87 lakh on the wards of 19 councillors of the ruling group. 

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BSP leaders meet IGP
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 7
A deputation of senior BSP leaders, including Harmohan Dhawan and M.C. Suman, met IGP S.K. Jain here today.

The deputation explained the September 4 incident in which 19 women, including Sarita Sharma, BSP councillor, were booked by the police.

The delegation demanded an independent inquiry into the incident.

Jain assured the deputation that he would consider these demands sympathetically. In view of the assurance by the IGP, the BSP leaders reviewed the situation and decided to suspend the “jail bharo andolan” on September 10.

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Urdu ignored since Partition: Asghar
Gayatri Rajwade
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 7
As the voice of the marginalised, Dr Asghar Wajahat takes everything with a pinch of salt. “I am no social scientist. I write as I see it,” says the writer and professor of Hindi at Jamia Millia Islamia at Delhi.

Critics of my writings tell me I write comic tragedies. I cannot define my writing but I do use satire to make my point. Where it gets comical I do not know

However, a ringside view of social issues, human relationships, disparities, exploitation and human suffering has its flipside.

“Critics of my writings tell me I write comic tragedies. I cannot define my writing but I do use satire to make my point. Where it gets comical I do not know,” he says.

In the city to deliver a lecture on “Muslim Minorities in India after the Partition: Problems and Challenges” at Panjab University today, he spoke about the external and internal conflicts facing Muslims in India. “The Partition resulted in the migration of the Muslim middle class to Pakistan. These were intellectuals, writers, teachers, jagirdars and religious leaders, while those who remained here were the lower classes that did not indulge in intellectual debate and were marked by stagnation,” he explains.

Post-1947 was also characterised by a guilt complex in which the responsibility of the Partition was thrust upon the Muslims. In this atmosphere grew a feeling of insecurity and lack of confidence and over the years Hindu fundamentalist forces worked against Muslims overtly. This combined with a subtle negative positioning of Muslims as a minority community that plays no significant role in the democratic set-up resulting in them getting relegated to the backdrop, said Dr Wajahat.

“However the Muslim community, with their tendency to lead a ghettoised existence, are unable to create an intellectual relationship with society at large,” he added. Their own sense of self-worth, criticism, analysis and how to attach themselves to national politics remains negligible and with leadership largely in the hands of a religious few, no secular democratic leadership seems to be emerging and that is the need of the hour.

Interestingly, Dr Wajahat’s own writings reflect these points of anguish and it is best reflected in his views of how Urdu, a language of the masses and intellectuals before the Partition, was forced to become peripheral.

“It was considered the official language of the North India (UP and Bihar). All major literary works, even by Hindus in that period, were in Urdu. However, with the freedom movement and the separatist tendencies it brought with it, Urdu was eased out and English, Hindi and Sanskrit introduced in its place when Pakistan adopted it as their national language.”

He remembers that as a child in post-partitioned India there was no Urdu offered in the government school he went to in UP. When finally he was offered it as a choice in the 10th, he could not take it because he had never studied it till then.

However, with this definitive work in Hindi and Urdu literature and his own writings, Dr Wajahat has his hands full. He is currently working on a trilogy “Kaisi Aagi Lagai”, which deals with societal changes, social conflicts and human relationships from the 1960s to the present day.

His play, “Jis Lahore Nai Dekhya” produced by theatre doyen Habib Tanveer, is now being made into a feature film by film director Raj Kumar Santoshi and is being scripted by the film-maker and him jointly.

“When our leaders, Gandhi and Jinnah, conceived of the two countries they never believed they were not a part of each other,” he says summing it all up.

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Canada calling
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 7
There is good news for those looking to migrate to Canada. Canada is short on manpower and urgently requires doctors, engineers, truck drivers and other skilled and unskilled workers. About 3 lakh people are needed.

Doctors and engineers are required for all streams while workers are required in cities around oilfields in Alberta, Patrick Brown, MP from Canada and head of the Canada-India committee in the Canadian Parliament, said.

“We need people to run restaurants in the areas near the oilfields,” he said.

The Canadian delegation of MPs today briefed a team of the Punjab Government led by the chief secretary, Ramesh Inder Singh.

The possibility of employing Punjabi youth in Canada was the prime agenda at the meeting.

Talking on the sidelines of this briefing, Brown clarified that people who would get employment would not automatically qualify for permanent residency. However, those who were adequately qualified, could get permanent status.

Doctors were required as several posts were lying vacant across hospitals in Canada while engineers were needed in the oilfields and other places.

The Canadian government has opened a foreign credentials agency to register foreign qualified professionals. Doctors from any country would have to do their “residency” in a hospital in Canada and take a test.

The engineers would also be required to get a licence.

Brown said Canada would aim to have a direct link-up between medical colleges in Canada and India.

The committee of MPs from Canada has met parliamentarians in India and have suggested that a similar committee be formed of Indian MPs to have better interaction.

On the controversy over the alleged refusal of visas to women with “Kaur” as surname, Brown said the nation had a five lakh-strong Sikh population and “we will not tolerate any prejudice against people of Sikh religion in Canada.”

Canada was also looking to provide technology to Punjab in managing solid waste and treating sewage. The two countries had already signed an MoU to deal with technology transfer.

Later, the delegation met Bikram Singh Majithia, minister for science and technology, and assured him that they would speak to the Canadian government regarding the opening of a visa centre in Amritsar.

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Tacky tracks: Cyclists rough it out
Rajay Deep
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 7
The Chandigarh Administration has built cycle tracks to decongest traffic on main roads and for the safety of cyclists and rickshaw pullers as well. But ill-maintained, potholed and poorly illuminated tracks, apparently, seem to be waiting for a tragedy to happen, especially during night time.

The administration has spent lakhs of rupees to construct these tracks. But many of the pathways are now dotted with potholes, ditches, pebbles and filth as well as overgrown grass. All this not only shows the careless attitude of the authorities but also indicates that a lot of money has been wasted.

The slow moving traffic including cyclists, pedestrians and rickshaw pullers can be seen avoiding these pathways and prefer to remain on the main road.

“These tracks are too narrow to use and along with this overgrown weeds and grass, potholes and broken brims add to the woes of the users”, said Radhey Mohan, a rickshaw puller.

Even, our passengers instruct us not to use these tracks, he added.

The non-existence of proper lighting system on these tracks is another serious problem. Most of the tracks are rendered useless after sunset due to poor-illumination.

Many people have got injured, even seriously, because of the ditches on the tracks during night. The darkness on these tracks also make them unsafe as anti-social elements get a free hand to run their activities here.

“I had a very bad experience about five days back when taking the advantage of darkness someone tried to pull my bag on Sector 25 cycle track. Now I avoid using these tracks in the evening”, said Chander Parkash, a cyclist.

Shivani, a resident of Sector 20, rued while showing her wound, “Due to poor illumination, the pothole was not visible and as a result I got injured. It is a matter of shame for authorities concerned if they can’t repair these tracks.”

Accepting the fact that some tracks need repair, UT Chief Engineer V.K Bhardwaj said, “We have come up with new ideas and techniques for roads and pathways. As soon as the rainy season gets over the work according to the new plan will be started.” 

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Viewers go without DD Sports 
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 7
The residents of various sectors have not been able to catch the action on Doordarshan Sports after Siti Cable has reportedly stopped telecasting the channel.

Though the Siti Cable officials claim that they are relaying the sports channel on serial number 62, however, during its random survey at many sectors, The Tribune could not find the channel on air. The channel has not been airing in Sectors 39, 33, 27 and Industrial Area.

Hockey Olympian Harmeek Singh, who resides in Sector 39, said, “DD Sports is the true sports channel as it also shows the less popular sports including athletics, swimming and volleyball, thus not only promoting these disciplines but also encouraging those who play these games. But I am very disappointed as most of the times, the channel goes off air. My requests to cable operators in this regard have fallen on deaf ears.”

Like him, there are many others who want to catch their favourite game but the cable operators have been depriving these sport buffs of the chance to do so.

On the issue, additional deputy commissioner and director sports department, I.S. Sandhu said as per notification, cable operators are supposed to telecast four Doordarshan channels - DD-1, DD-2, DD (Punjabi) and DD National. Though DD Sports does not fall under the category, they should put it on air in the interest of sports lovers.

Echoing the views, SDM Ankur Garg said if irregularities were found in the airing of the mandatory DD channels, action would be taken against the erring operators. “I personally feel that the sports channel, which has a large viewership, should be telecast to promote sports. I will ask the operators to give it due priority”, he said.

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Seminar on water resources today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 7
The Asia Pacific Jurist Association, Punjab and Haryana Chapter, in association with the Department of Laws, Panjab University, is organising a seminar on ‘Water Resources and its Future Management’ on September 8.

Justice Arijit Pasayat, judge, Supreme Court, will be the chief guest on the occasion while Justice Vijender Jain, Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court, will preside over the seminar.

Justice Surya Kant and Justice Rajesh Bindal of the high court are the president and senior vice-president, respectively, of the jurist association.

Atul Lakhanpal, secretary-general of the association, said the focus would be on sensible utilsation of water resources lest the country plunges into a crisis.

The Bar association acting president, G.S. Attariwala and general secretary, Onkar Singh Batalvi said the seminar was aimed at educating the Bar members on the need to preseve water resources and take positive steps to stem its misuse.

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Dhumal to chair annual function

Chandigarh, September 7
The Himachal Sarav Kalayankari Parishad President Rajindra Rana says that the annual function of Himachal Sarav Kalayankari Parishad (HSKP), Chandigarh, will be held at the Law Auditorium of Panjab University on September 16, 2007.

BJP MP and former chief minister, Prem Kumar Dhumal will be the chief guest for the function. Former MP Satya Pal Jain and Jai Ram Thakur, president, Himachal Pradesh unit of BJP, will also attend the function. Noted folk singer of Himachal Pradesh Dheeraj Sharma will also perform in the function. — TNS

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Stone laid for vocational centre for street kids

Chandigarh, September 7
The Punjab Governor and UT administrator, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), today laid the foundation stone of a vocational training centre for 900 street children near Maloya village.

The centre will be equipped with facilities for education, vocational training, residence and playground for children. To come up at a cost of Rs 7.40 crore, it will offer training to street children in computers, electrical, electronics repair/assembling services, beauty culture, cutting, tailoring and embroidery, carpentry, food processing and dress designing. — TNS

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Hoax call has them on toes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 7
A hoax call about a CBI raid at the Chandigarh railway station kept railway officials and also mediapersons on their toes this evening.

As soon as the message about the raid spread, mediapersons rushed to the station to cover the event. After checking from different quarters, railway officials dismissed the information as false.

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Letters
Parking blues

It is a known fact that if one goes out in Chandigarh by car or on a bike then that person will be charged parking fee of Rs 5 or Rs 2. By giving parking fees at different places in a day one spends a good some just for parking their vehicles.

It is high time that Chandigarh administration and MC looks into the matter and introduce one time parking programme.

To say that when one enters the parking lot he or she will get parking ticket. Having time, place and date printed on the ticket after paying Rs 5 or Rs 2 (parking fee) as the case maybe.

After this he or she can move out from one parking place (after showing the ticket at the exit point) and enter the other parking in the same Sector or some other for the whole day.

Municipal Corporation will earn more as the public will not hesitate to give one time parking fee. Furthermore, there will not lesser traffic hazards as all the vehicles will be parked in the parking lot.

G.K. Chopra, 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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