C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Missing school kids found in Delhi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 12
Less than a week after the 12-year-old daughter of a senior CBI officer went missing and was later found at Jaipur, four students of Guru Nanak Public School in Sector 36 left their homes last night only to be traced at the New Delhi railway station in the wee hours today.

Yuvraj of Class IX, Anmol of Class IX and Inderpreet and Gurmanjot of Class VIII told media-persons at the Sector 36 police station this morning that the fear of “humiliation” on account of poor academic performance had forced them to flee their homes. Ashamed at their result card, they were unable to face their parents.

DSP (south) K.I.P. Singh said soon after the matter was reported to the police, a team was constituted to trace the children. As one of the students had a mobile phone with him, the police took assistance from mobile phone service providers to track them and draw a route map.

Meanwhile, parents of the missing children sought help from their relatives in Delhi and Gurgaon. Gurmanjot’s relative Darshan Singh Sidhu contacted the railway police at the New Delhi station and learnt that the children had been spotted there. He reached the station and was able to find them at 3.20 am just as they were planning to depart for Mumbai.

They children had purchased tickets for their onward journey.

Gurmanjot told mediapersons that the four boys, afraid to face their parents after their poor showing at school, first went to the Sector 43 ISBT and then to the Sector 17 ISBT and boarded a bus for Ambala.

Yuvraj and Inderpreet skipped school yesterday. They went to the Ambala railway station in the evening to board a train for Mumbai.

They were told that the next train available would leave in the morning. They then boarded a bus for Delhi and reached the railway station at 10.30 pm. They had their meals and waited for the Mumbai train scheduled for 5 am.

SHO Devinder Sharma said the police team contacted the Murthal police, the Delhi Police control room, the Kashmiri Gate police station and the Delhi railway police and gave details about the missing children.

After they were traced, a police team accompanied by their parents got them back.The children were carrying Rs 2,500 with them. 



Chief secys agree on metro rail
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 12
Hopes of reviving the mass rapid transport system (MRTS)have were revived today with Haryana and Punjab agreeing to jointly work for the project.

At a meeting attended by the chief secretaries of Punjab and Haryana, secretary in the ministry of surface transport and senior officials of the Chandigarh administration, it was agreed that metro rail was the best option.

A committee of officials from Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh to work out modalities is expected to be announced soon.

Sources said the report of the 10-member committee submitted by K.C. Sivaramakrishnan, Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, was discussed at the meeting. The officials will review the report in respect of population growth, transport needs for current and future populations and integrated traffic and transportation plans for Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali and other neighbouring towns.

In November last year, transport secretaries of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh were invited to a meeting of the special committee to recommend the best possible mass rapid transport system for the region. 



Dimpy: Case false, frivolous
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 12
Dimpy Gujral, fashion designer, held a press conference here today and denied allegations against her.

“I have faith in the judiciary. But surely none can believe the charge that two girls beat up a man. This is a false and frivolous case against us.” Yesterday, Dimpy Gujral was charged with attempt to murder after 14 months.

Dimpy and her daughters were booked for assaulting Darshanjit Singh Grewal, son of former High Court judge S.S. Grewal and his wife Upneet Grewal in October 2006.

She said it was the complainant who had abused her daughters. It was a minor altercation that had been blown out of proportion.

The parties had a row over Dimpy’s pet dog. The complainants alleged that Dimpy would bring her pet outside their residence and the dog would urinated there. 



Youth held for raping minor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 12
The police arrested 22-year-old Mohinder Singh of Darshani Bhag, Mani Majra, on the charges of abducting and raping a minor girl of his locality late last night.

The police said the accused was arrested last night from Kalka, where he worked as a labourer, and the 16-year-old girl freed. A case was registered against him on a complaint by the victim’s mother.

The girl has been sent to Nari Niketan.



After PHL, it’s six-nation meet
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 12
Buoyed up at the overwhelmimg response to the Premier Hockey League (PHL) in the city, the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) top brass is contemplating a six-nation hockey championship here.

Talking to The Tribune today, IHF secretary general K. Jothikumaran said: “In view of the tremendous turnout and the cooperation of the Chandigarh administration during the PHL, we are planning a six or four-nation international hockey championship in the city”.

Jothikumaran said the IHF intended to hold the championship after the Olympic qualifiers and before the Beijing Olympics, depending on the availability of teams of other countries.

Jothikumaran said the city had emerged as one of the biggest hockey centres in the country.

“With the coming up of the Centre of Excellence (hockey) in collaboration with the IHF and the Chandigarh administration, things are looking up.

“We have several plans to promote hockey in the city and its vicinity,” said the secretary general.

Praising the Chandigarh administration, hockey fans and the media, Jothikumaran said he had no doubt that the city was the right choice for holding big tournaments. 



‘Vision Millennium’ launched
Threat to Kashmiri Pandits, Muslims alike: Adbullah
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 12
Dr Farooq Abdullah, former chief minister, Jammu and Kashmir, today launched “Vision Millennium”, a think tank of city residents, that will work towards the revival of Kashmiri culture and ethos. A seminar was organised to mark the launch.

Delivering an emotionally-charged speech, Dr Abdullah pointed out the blunders committed by Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi over Kashmir. Lambasting the centre, he said he had faced “the wrath of Delhi” and he alone knew how he had suffered.

Condemning the government of India’s surrender during the Kandahar hijacking incident, Dr Abdullah said: “The centre chose to sacrifice India rather than 89 passengers.”

Addressing the gathering of Kashmiri Pandits, Dr Abdullah said not only were the Hindus but even the Muslims had left the state in fear.

“How can I ask you to come to Kashmir when I myself have to move around with hordes of gunmen,” he said.

Facing a barrage of questions from the audience, Dr Abdullah spoke to them in Kashmiri. “If the situation in Pakistan worsens, even I might have to leave Kashmir and settle elsewhere,” he joked.

Referring to the Simla Agreement and the Kargil war, he suggested that the Line of Control should be accepted as the permanent regular border between India and Pakistan.

Citing memoirs of P.N. Dhar, a close aide of Indira Gandhi, he pointed out that this was an unwritten secret understanding between Indira Gandhi and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto at Simla, which Pakistan had failed to honour.

Questioning a decision of the National Human Rights Commission of 1999, which had held that Kashmiri Pandits were not victims of genocide, Gupta made a strong plea for their return to the valley with equal rights, dignity and security.

Prof S.N. Pandita, a Jammu-based Kashmiri scholar, and Srinivas Joshi, a retired bureaucrat from Himachal Pradesh, read out academic papers expanding on various facets of the composite Kashmiri ethos.

Former UPSC chairman and ex-DGP J&K Gurbachan Jagat said the exodus of the Kashmiri Pandits was due to the failure of the state to maintain law and order.



Maintenance Command chief inspects 3 BRD
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 12
Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Maintenance Command, Air Marshal, Gautam Nayyar arrived on a two-day inspection visit to No. 3 Base Repair Depot (BRD) here today.

He is accompanied by his wife Rachita Nayyar, who is president Air Force Wives Welfare Association (Regional).

During his visit, he will review ongoing projects at 3 BRD and take stock of production targets and other activities. The depot is the IAF’s largest helicopter maintenance and repair facility.

He will be briefed about technical and administrative aspects pertaining to the depot by Air Officer Commanding 3 BRD Air Cmde S.C. Luthra.

Air Marshal Mayyar belongs to Chandigarh and started his career as an engineering officer at 3 BRD.

He has a vast experience in maintenance of various fighter aircraft of Russian and western origin.

As flight lieutenant, he got training in Spain in retarder bombs and underwent special weapons course in 1980.

On promotion to the rank of Air Marshal, he served as Air Officer-in-Charge Maintenance at Air HQ, where he was involved in implemented several measures to improve reliability and availability of various IAF weapon systems.

In mid-80s, he was associated with the induction of Mirage 2000 in the IAF.

As Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Engineering B) at Air HQ, he was responsible for maintenance of the entire Indo-Western fleets of the Air Force.



Applications sought for liquor licences
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 12
The UT excise and taxation department has invited applications for renewal of all existing retail sale licences of country liquor and IMFL and for grant of new retail sale licences for 2008-09.

A spokesperson for the department said an individual or a company will be allotted a maximum of four licences — two licences of IMFL (L-2) and two of country liquor (L-14A).

In case of commonality among board of directors of two or more companies, it would be presumed to be one company for the purpose of renewal/grant of a liquor licence. The last date for renewal of applications was January 31.

The new licences of retail sale vends of both country liquor and IMFL would be granted on first-come-first-serve basis in the commercial areas of Sectors, Industrial Area and rehabilitation colonies and in already existing pucca structures in areas where such structures are allowed by the administration in the villages.

There would be no time limit and any eligible applicant could apply for grant of a licence within the commercial areas of Sectors, Industrial Areas and rehabilitation colonies and already existing pucca structures.

No new licence would be granted in temporary structure. The licence fee of both country liquor and IMFL had been fixed at Rs 25 lakh under a single category.

In case of renewal and grant of new licences to a company, the entire licence fee would be payable in lump sum within 24 hours from the grant/renewal of the licence.

The individual allottee of the vend would have to pay 50 per cent of the licence fee within 24 hours from the grant/renewal of licence and remaining 50 per cent by July 31.



Govt to spend Rs 130 cr on education
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 12
Minister for Cooperation, Punjab, Captain Kanwaljit Singh, today laid the foundation stone of the Senior Secondary School in Nada village, here today. He said the Punjab government would use Rs 130 crore for the development of government school education in the state.

He said the rural-urban divide was increasing and it was necessary that the rural government school education be improved. He pointed out that most rural schools did not have basic facilities as a result of which the rural students would not be able to compete with the urban students. He also announced a grant of Rs 2 lakh for the school.



Anti-encroachment drive
Debris disrupts traffic
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 12
Even as the National Highway Authority of India has started lifting the debris from Pinjore after its two-day mass anti-encroachment drive, the condition was same for the commuters on the route for the third consecutive day as the vehicular traffic could not be on its normal course on the national highway.

“It was a difficult time for the commuters on the highway here for the last three days during the clearance of encroachments, however, widening of roads would bring a big respite from the daily traffic jams on the road as the NHAI would get substantial space to lay the road on the busy route,” said Xen NHAI B.R. Kapoor.

”In fact we had started lifting the debris in the evening and the labour was put on job throughout the night and today again the whole day was devoted in clearing the debris from the area”, added Kapoor. “Still it would take us a couple of days to clear all the area from debris before the movement of traffic becomes normal”, he said.



3 cops honoured for bravery
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 12
The Chandigarh police today gave a cash reward of Rs 1,000 each to three policemen who saved a woman from drowning in Sukhna Lake yesterday afternoon.

According to the police, head constable Balram Singh and constables Sube Singh and Hari Om rescued 22-year-old Aarti from the lake.

They policemen had jumped into the lake and brought the girl ashore.

UT IGP S.K. Jain appreciated the act and conferred first class commendation certificates along with a cash reward of Rs 1,000 each.



Police fails to trace missing resident
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, January 12
The local police has not been able to trace the 60-year-old resident of Baltana village here who went missing on December 30, 2007. Ramji Dass, a retired employee of the Haryana Civil Secretariat, went missing from his residence in Saini Vihaar. “He was wearing a beige kurta pyjama and light purple sweater. He had chappals in his feet and a blue coloured cap. He left home early morning that day and has not come back till today. He was in depression and was very weak, claimed his son Gulshan.

Gulshan added that the BSNL refused to give them details of calls made from their landline number. “We need the list to see who my father talked to before leaving home,” said Gulshan.



Stone of tennis complex laid
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 12
Punjab Governor and UT administrator Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd) laid the foundation stone of a new tennis complex at CLTA, Sector 10, here today. The integrated sports complex will be constructed at a cost of Rs. 1.44 crores on an area of 20,000 square feet. Entire work will be completed within 9 months and the complex will be equipped with modern, state-of-the-art facilities.

Rajan Kashyap, Chairman Lawn Tennis Association, in his welcome address said: “This new complex has been designed keeping in mind the city’s environment and architecture. It will have facilities for yoga, aerobics and a gymnasium.”

Arrangements for lodging at least 100 trainees and guest rooms for specialists would be made.



DVD fest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 12
Renowned Bollywood actor Jaspal Bhatti inaugurated a DVD festival at The British Library today. A collection of more than 400 DVDs were released, which will be on display for one week before they get added to the library stock.



Only bans don’t work

Chandigarh has become the first smoke-free city of the country and now, the administration is planning to make it honk-free. These seem to be the publicity stunts and alibis to make one more visit to a country where honks have been banned. In my opinion, bans serve little purpose. Creating awareness among people is more important.

The UT’s smoke-free campaign is already dying. No one has left smoking and most people still smoke in public. Rather, the sale of smoking material has gone up. It is ridiculous that on the one hand, the administration is banning smoking in the city and on the other, it is increasing flow of liquor in all nooks and corners of the city.

R.K. Garg, Chandigarh

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Mobile phones worth Rs 1.5 lakh stolen
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 12
Thieves decamped with cash and electronic equipment, including mobile phones worth Rs 1.5 lakh from a showroom in Phase 11, here today. According to the police the incident took place last night.

When the owner of the shop, Surinderpal Singh, opened the shop this morning he saw that the locks of the shutters had been broken and the shop ransacked. He told the police that Nokia mobile sets of the ‘N’ and ‘E’ series were missing and many mobile phones that had come for repairs were also missing. Rs 13,000 cash was missing from the shop.

A cabin in the same showroom run by Manoj Kumar was also ransacked. Thieves had allegedly decamped with Rs 6,500 and computer spare parts from the cabin. The police has registered a case.



Purse stolen from Sec-43 hotel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 12
A Ludhiana-based woman reported theft of her jewellery and other articles from a Sector 43-based hotel, here.

Baljit Kaur of Shere Punjab Colony, Ludhiana, reported that her purse containing Rs 20,000, four gold bangles, two diamond earrings, a gold set, a mobile phone, credit card and some documents was stolen from Hotel Western Court in Sector 43, last night.

In another incident, Hans Raj Aggarwal of Sector 37-C reported that Rs 50,000 were stolen from his shop on Thursday. Two cases have been registered.


Paramjit Singh of Sector 38 lodged a complaint with the police alleging that Joga Singh of Preet Nagar, Khanna, and others had duped him by forging documents for sale of a house in December, last year.

A case of cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy has been registered under various provisions of the IPC.

The crime branch of the Chandigarh police is investigating the case.

Vehicles stolen

Paramjit Singh of Sector 35-C reported to the police alleging that his Mahindra Scorpio SUV (PB 13 P 8678) was stolen from his residence.

Similarly, Sonu of Sector 46 reported that his Mahindra Scorpio SUV (CH 03 X 3281) was stolen from his residence on Thursday night.

In another incident, Lakhan Singh of Dadu Majra reported that his Bajaj Calibre motor cycle (CH 03 J 6893) was stolen from Sector 19 this afternoon. Three cases of theft have been registered.

Liquor seized

The police arrested Vicky of Dadu Majra Colony from the locality on charges of carrying 90 nips of country-made liquor this afternoon. A case under the Excise Act has been registered.


The crime branch of the Chandigarh police yesterday arrested Nasir of Mori Gate, Mani Majra, on charges of indulging in gambling at public place.

The police recovered Rs 2,156 from his possession. A case under the Gambling Act has been registered in the Mani Majra police station.



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