C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


IT raid on offices of 3 big realtors
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
The premises of big realtors in the city’s periphery, including president of the Zirakpur nagar panchayat Narinder Sharma, were raided today by IT officials in Zirakpur and Panchkula.

Acting on specific information, sleuths from Patiala and Ludhiana ranges swooped on the premises of three big real estate players to look into the "mismatch" between their income and the amount shown in the returns.

Besides Sharma, the offices and residences of Prem Bansal and Ranchal and Vijay were raided.

While Sharma, a protege of cooperation minister Capt Kanwaljit Singh, is a major developer with a chain of residential projects such as Savitri Enclave, Savitri Towers and Defence Enclave in Zirakpur, Prem Bansal is developing a residential project under the name of Swastik Vihar on the Zirakpur-Patiala road.

Ranchal and Vijay are promoters of Skynet Towers on the Zirakpur-Patiala road.

Apart from Sharma's office on the Chandigarh-Ambala road, his residence in Zirakpur was also raided. The residence of Bansal in Sector 9, Panchkula, and of one of his relatives was also searched.

Cash and documents to determine the “evasion” of tax were taken into possession by the IT sleuths.

These documents will be tallied with the income tax returns filed by the realtors, a department official told Chandigarh Tribune.

Claiming that a lot of “black money” was in circulation in property transactions, the official warned that more real estate players would be on the radar of the department in days to come.

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Ramlila festivities washed out
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
A moderate to heavy rainfall lashed the city and its surrounding areas today, throwing life out of gear. The rainfall, accompanied by thunder and lightning, lowered the temperature substantially. Certain areas in and around Chandigarh had hail too. According to the Met office here, light to moderate rainfall is likely to occur in parts of Punjab and Haryana.

Ramlila festivities had to be called off in the city as the downpour, accompanied by winds, brought down “shamianas” at a number of places. Rescue operations had to be undertaken in Industrial area where a CTU bus and a few other vehicles got stuck in the water that had collected on the overbridge.

At 7.30 pm, the passengers called the fire department, which took an hour to rescue them. A water- cum-rescue tender and an emergency tender were used. At Mansa Devi, the downpour caught the organisers and devotees by surprise.

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Connectivity
2 roads to Mohali to be 4-laned
Rajmeet Singh/TNS

Chandigarh, October 16
Vital roads between Chandigarh and Mohali will now have improved connectivity.

Apart from completing road links between the two cities, the Chandigarh administration has decided to four-lane at least two of the major roads which witness heavy flow of traffic.

On a priority basis, the administration has sought around Rs 5 crore from the union ministry of surface transport to four-lane the Sector 51-52 road that leads to YPS School, Mohali.

To resolve inter-state issues of integrated development, a meeting of the UT finance secretary and the chief administrator of GMADA, Mohali, was held here today.

Four laning of the remaining portion of road from Sector 47 to SAS Nagar, running parallel to the Chandigarh-Ludhiana railway line, is also being taken up by the administration.

The finance secretary, S.K. Sandhu, said the issue of the missing inter-sector link between Sectors 50 and 51, up to the Mohali boundary, was also being taken up.

The road line between Sectors 54 and 55 was expected to be completed by December 31.

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Security not an issue with banks
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
Recent incidents of thefts in banks in the region notwithstanding, there is no uniformity in securing nationalised and private banks in the city.

While nationalised banks continue to follow the security drill that was introduced when terrorism was at its peak, private banks prefer gadgets to armed men.

The banks, especially private ones, have deviated from the guidelines issued by security agencies with regard to keeping the entry doors partially chained and locked.

The Chandigarh police holds regular meeting of security heads of banks to review the arrangements.

Until a few years ago, the task of securing nationalised banks in Punjab and Chandigarh was given to the ITBP but after it withdrew cover, banks were left to look after their own security set-up.

An alleged theft in the Sector 17 regional office of the RBI hit headlines last week. It is the RBI which issues basic guidelines to all banks but the laxity in following its own guidelines has put it in an embarrassing situation.

It has been found by investigating officials that the RBI had allowed labourers, whose police verification had not been done, access to its vault.

As per the guidelines, the banks are required to hold meetings with the police after every three months to discuss the threat perception and improve the security of their premises.

More and more banks are installing CCTV cameras on their premises, but these fail to serve the purpose as either the cameras are not properly positioned or lack focus.

A police officer said the footage recorded by banks was not of help as the recordings by the swing camera failed to catch the suspect since the duration of the swing was 47 seconds, which gave miscreants enough time to avoid being caught on the camera.

He said the banks should be asked to install a CCTV camera at the main gate of the bank to capture the face of the person. The UT SSP, S.S. Srivastva, said the police regularly held meetings with banks and advised them to improve security. About issuing specific guidelines, he said such guidelines were issued by the RBI.

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Fauji Beat
High casualties: Blame lies with senior officers

In no other army of the world, the casualties of junior officers, from Lieut to Maj, in counter-insurgency operations or war are so high as in the Indian Army. The reason is that they lead from the front. Take the recent example of Maj K.P. Vinay and Maj D. Raghuraman of the 34 Rashtriya Rifles who got killed at Tangmarg in Baramula district. In the Kargil war in 1999, the junior officers earned great praise by setting an example of valour and sacrifice.

Can an army afford to lose disproportionate number of junior officers just to prove that they lead from the front? The answer is no because in most cases they get killed while doing the job of JCOs and NCOs. If you do the job of your juniors, you not only snatch their initiative but also inject a feeling in them of avoiding their responsibility.

The blame for this should go to the senior officers because to play safe they always want that even a section commander’s job should be done by an officer. It is difficult to replace a Major who commands a rifle company of over 100 men. There can be no disagreement on the point that for a special task a Major may be deputed to command a few men. But to make it a routine practice is not in the interest of the Army or the country.

Baba Mehar Singh

“What Mehar Singh did not know about the Air Force was not worth knowing”. This was the comment of the British press on the death of Air Commodore Mehar Singh in an air crash while on his way from Delhi to Patiala in 1952.

The name of “Baba Mehar Singh”, as he was known to his friends in the Air Force, forces itself to your mind when you talk about the Platinum Jubilee of the IAF. Hailing from Lyallpur (now Faislabad) in Pakistan, Mehar Singh joined the Air Force in the late 1930s. When he was commanding the No. 6 Squadron in Burma during World War II, his squadron created a record of the highest monthly average of operational sorties flown per pilot. For this, he was awarded the first and the only one Distinguished Service Order (DSO) to an IAF officer. Yet again, it was Air Commodore Mehar Singh, who set a world record when on May 24, 1948, he landed a Dakota at a height of 11,540 feet at Leh, thus helping to secure Ladakh.

Missing war personnel

Although 54 missing Indian defence personnel of us 1971 war are believed to be in the custody of Pakistan, the latter has always denied it. In June, a delegation of 14 relatives of missing defence personnel had visited 10 jails in Pakistan, but they did not find any missing soldier in these jails. Defence minister A.K. Antony said in the Rajya Sabha the other day that the government would continue to pursue this issue with Pakistan.

As per the rules on the subject, a missing person, who remains untraced for seven years, is presumed as killed and his family is given liberalised family pension, gratuity and education allowance for children. Families and children of the missing personnel of 1971 war are receiving these benefits.

— Pritam Bhullar

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Piccadily Cinema penalised
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
The UT excise and taxation department has imposed a penalty on the management of Piccadilly Cinema here for refusing entertainment tax exemption to a senior serving Army officer.

Defence personnel are entitled to entertainment tax exemption. Cinemas and multiplexes were not following the rule, so fresh instructions were issued by the excise and taxation commissioner in March this year.

The officer, a colonel from the artillery, had gone for an evening show at the theatre on August 25. Despite instructions, he was not exempted from entertainment tax. The matter was brought to the notice of the administration.

Thereafter, the management of the cinema apologised to the officer and also maintained that no such incidents would recur. A similar apology was tendered to the administration.

The department, however, issued a notice under Section 16 of the Punjab Entertainment Duty Act and imposed a penalty on the cinema.

There have been several complaints of violation of the said provisions and the matter has been taken up repeatedly by the military authorities with state 
governments.

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Dhaba auction fetches MC Rs 1.96 cr
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
The municipal corporation has fetched Rs 1.96 crore from the auction of four dhaba sites at the idle truck parking in Sector 26.

The dhabas have been auctioned on leasehold basis. A total of 13 bidders placed their bids in the auction. Almost all sites fetched double the reserve price.

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Letters

Hail Lyngdoh!

It is encouraging that the Lyngdoh Committee recommendations are finally being implemented. Although the court decision has affected the functioning of student organisations, it will certainly change the way campus elections are held. A student leader represents an institute and, therefore, he/she should be a role model and should not take part in criminal activities. The recommendations will help in producing good leaders and it will definitely make our country a better place to live in.

Mandeep Puri
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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Murder Case
Accused falsely implicated: Kin

Chandigarh, October 16
Accusing the Chandigarh police of implicating five persons in the murder case of Dadu Majra Colony resident Ranbir Singh early this week, family members of the accused today sought UT IGP’s intervention in the matter.

A delegation of the family members led by Vaypar Sadan, Chandigarh, president Arvind Jain submitted a representation to the IGP office.

Alleging that officers from the police station-39 had implicated Rajinder Singh, Mahaveer Singh, Kishore Singh, Rajender Singh and Satish, all residents of Burail, in a false case, the family demanded a fair probe. The families maintained that the youths had never come in contact with the deceased.

They were on their way back home when they saw a group of seven persons involved in commotion near the Sectors 37-38-40-41 rotary.

Before they could understand the matter, the police reached the scene and bundled them along with the group into a vehicle. As the vehicle was about to move, some persons from the group talked something with the policemen, who allowed them to walk away. The next day, the five realised that that murder charges had been slapped against them.

The families demanded that the probe should be handed over to the crime branch to unravel the mystery behind the death Ranbir Singh so that the culprits could be punished. — TNS

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Woman convicted of killing daughters
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
UT additional and sessions judge Raj Rahul Garg today convicted Gurdeep Kaur of the murder of her two daughters. The quantum of the sentence will be pronounced on October 18.

It was on August 27, 2005, that 23-year-old Gurdeep Kaur jumped into the Sukhna Lake with her two daughters - four-year-old Jyoti and two-and-a half-year-old Manpreet. Although Gurdeep survived, her daughters did not. Financial problems, coupled with the indifferent attitude of her mother-in-law, were cited as the reasons behind the drastic step.

Gurdeep was booked under Section 302 of the IPC for the murder of her daughters as she had intentionally committed the offence. She was also booked for attempting to commit suicide under Section 309 of the IPC.

According to senior police authorities, around 22 cops were ‘maintaining vigil’ at the lake. However, they failed to prevent the young woman from taking the plunge.

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