C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Anuradha murder: Noor records statement
Remanded for 2 days in fake licence case
Swati Sharma/Mandeep Puri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 24
Though ostensibly arrested on charges of possessing a fake driving licence, the Chandigarh police today got the statement of the controversial city-based model, Noor Kataria, recorded before a magistrate (U/S 164, CrPC) in the sensational Anuradha murder case.

Though the police made no mention of her involvement or links with Anuradha’s murder while presenting her before judicial magistrate, first class, Praveen Kumar Lal, for a police remand, the court room was got vacated midway during the hearing to get her statement recorded in the murder case. In the fake licence case, Noor was remanded in two-day police custody.

Interestingly, while the courtroom was jam-packed with media representatives and lawyers, who were there to catch a glimpse of the model, Noor’s family was conspicuous by its absence. Her sister, Bulbul, whose named figured in the kidney scam was nowhere to be seen.

During the arguments for the remand, public prosecutor (PP) Ashok Rohilla pleaded that the police was yet to ascertain the source from where the fake driving licence was made and obtained by the accused. He said when the police inquired if the licence was genuine, it was found that the licence was actually issued for one Manjit, a resident of Amritsar.

The police recovered the fake licence from the Sector 38 flat of Baljinder Singh. The PP argued that the police was yet to investigate the others involved in issuing fake licences. He added that Noor had taken a mobile connection - 9914822872 - in her name after depositing the fake licence as identity proof.

Meanwhile, the defence counsel, on the other hand, defended the client by saying that the police recovered the licence from a flat and not from her possession. He asserted that there were doubts as to who got the said licence issued and then kept it in the flat.

Sources in the police revealed that during interrogation of Noor, late in the night, she confessed that she had met Baljinder one and a half years back. She disclosed that Baljinder had warned her of dire consequences if she was seen with another man. Furthermore, he had assured her that he would settle her abroad and would marry her. However Noor didn’t comment on Baljinder’s masterminding his wife’s murder.

During the search of Baljinder’s house, the police recovered .12bore, .22 bore revolvers and 9 mm pistol licensed arms. The police also seized about 150 cartridges. According to the police, action will be taken against Baljinder. Later tonight, the police booked him under Sections 25,54 and 59 of the Arms Act in the PS-39



Panchkula builder threatened to pay Rs 10 crore
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 24
A city-based builder has got a demand for Rs 10 crore as protection money through an anonymous letter. The police has registered a case after receiving a complaint from the builder.

Sources in the police said the contents of the letter seemed to be a hoax. However, the builder, feeling disturbed after threats to his family, has left the town for now.

According to the complainant, who was also a former journalist with a national news channel in Himachal Pradesh, first he got a letter demanding Rs 5 crore on April 16. In the letter that mentioned the name of the gang as Shiva and Bagga international group, he was threatened that his family would be wiped off in case their demad was not met.

“I did not take the incident seriously. Another letter was received yesterday with the warning that as their demand was not met, now the amount had been doubled to Rs 10 crore,” said the builder. The money was to be delivered in New Delhi.

The builder was asked by the gang to board the Shatabdi Express, put the money into a bag and reach the New Delhi railway station.

Interestingly, the letters prepared on a computer contain each and everything about the builder and his family. The routine of the builder and his family members has been mentioned in the letters in detail, convincing him that he was under observation of the accused.

The builder has even been warned against complaining to the police, claiming that the gang with its roots in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chandigarh and Nepal has links with higher police officials and politicians.

Superintendent of police Sandip Khirwar said the police had started an investigation into the matter.



Bank embroiled in recruitment scam
Members demand CBI probe
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 24
An alleged recruitment scam is rocking the State Co-operative Bank Chandigarh. At a recent meeting of the general body of the cooperative bank, several members raised serious doubts over the manner in which the bank filled the posts of junior clerks and junior accountants.

The issue attracted the ire of some of the members of the new body who questioned the manner in which the entire recruitment process was carried out. The members are now demanding a CBI probe into the entire matter.

RS Sangwan, general manager of the bank, denied that there was irregularity in the selection process. We have not received any complaint in this regard, he said.

The members allege that the entire recruitment process was a “sham” and all rules were flouted to accommodate certain people over the genuine and deserving ones.

Sample this: Instead of using the local papers for advertising the jobs, the bank management opted for a leading financial daily, published from Delhi but having a very limited circulation in this region. The last date for accepting applications was May 30, 2006. Last but not the least, the bank authorities were ‘magnanimous’ enough to accept fee from certain candidates even six months after the last date.

Documents in possession of The Tribune reveal that the bank not only extended the date to accept the applications, but also accepted examination fee till December 2, 2006, one day before the date of conduct of the written exam. As per a letter of the general manager of the bank, written to the employment exchange, the last date to accept the application forms should be May 30, 2006. But the bank accepting examination fee from candidates five months after the closing date.

Out of the 39 applications received in the extended period, even the fee was accepted at the bank in form of cash from at least four of the candidates, indicating favour shown to certain candidates.

Interestingly, seven of the candidates finally selected were from those who applied between November 28, 2006, and January 2, 2006. Around 165 candidates had applied for 12 posts of junior accountant, junior clerk and steno. “A close scrutiny of the educational qualifications of the candidates selected and those who could not would make the picture clear. Better qualified candidates have been ignored”, said a member on condition of anonymity.

A number of members present at the meeting have confirmed the development. Kamal Sood, a former director and member of the bank, confirmed that the issue of the “shady” selection process was raised. When some of the members raised their voice over the manner in which the selections were made, the officials called off the meeting.

During the beginning of the selection process, the board was being run by an administrator and the general manager. Though the new board was constituted in 2007, the appointment was never put up before the board directors.



HC intervenes to get patient discharged
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 24
The state of private health care services recorded a new low today. A resident of Behlan Khanpur village in Fatehgarh Sahib had to approach the Punjab and Haryana High Court to get his ailing mother discharged from a private hospital here.

Daljinder Singh filed a petition in the court this morning alleging that his mother, 75-year-old Nachatar Kaur, was being “illegally detained” at Apex Hospital. Taking up the petition, Justice Rajesh Bindal ordered a warrant officer of the court to visit the hospital and get Nachatar Kaur “released.”

The warrant officer, R.S. Khera, arrived at the Apex Hospital in Phase 3B2 here this evening and found that the patient was indeed admitted to the hospital and did not need any further treatment. However, she was not being allowed to go with her family, as there were some charges pending, to be paid by the family to the hospital.

While Daljinder claimed that he had paid Rs 55,000 to the hospital, Dr Vinod Kumar in charge of the hospital, told the warrant officer that the patient’s family had only paid Rs 15,000 and Rs 45,000 was still to be paid.

Daljinder alleged that he had paid Rs 15,000 when his mother was admitted on April 12 and subsequently on two occasions he paid Rs 40,000. He said he was not given any receipt for the payments nor was he shown the bills. He added that despite repeated requests, doctors had not even explained to him what medicines were being used and how much these cost. Daljinder said he was unemployed and his father had been borrowing money from arthiyas in the village to pay for his mother’s treatment.

Nachhatar Kaur was admitted to the hospital with a boil in her back which was removed the next day. However, the doctors told the family that she had developed septicaemia and needed to be kept in the hospital for more days. “She had come to the hospital for a small problem but was kept for two weeks. She was due to be discharged on May 19 but later we were told that she needed more treatment. She was to be discharged on May 21 but again it was delayed,” said Daljinder.

Daljinder added that yesterday evening the doctors called the police to the hospital to threaten him. “Why should I pay the money again?” he asked.

Dr Vinod Kumar, however, said Nachhatar Kaur had come with many problems including uncontrolled diabetes. “After we operated upon her for the boil, she developed septicaemia and had to be kept for more days. Now she is fine and the family can take her,” he said, adding that the matter regarding the payment would be settled in the court. Dr Vinod alleged that Daljinder was browbeating his staff last evening and threatened to leave without making the payment due to which he was forced to call the police.

“The court will decided about who is right,” said the warrant officer, adding that he had taken the record of the patient from the hospital. The case has been adjourned to May 26.



Ration Scam
Questionnaire sent to former Army chief
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
The Army has sent a questionnaire to former Chief of Army Staff and now Governor of Arunachal Pradesh, Gen J.J. Singh, eliciting his remarks on issues pertaining to alleged irregularities in the procurement of dry rations for troops that were detected during his tenure as Army chief.

Summary of Evidence (SoE) is being recorded in the case, where former Director-General Supplies and Transport Lt-Gen S.K.Sahni was prima facie held blameworthy on several counts for alleged irregularities. The SoE is being recorded at New Delhi by Chief of Staff of the Jalandhar-based 11 Corps, to which Sahni has been attached.

Besides Gen J.J. Singh, similar questionnaires have been sent to a few other top defence functionaries, sources revealed, adding that since the former chief now holds a constitutional post, it was not prudent for him to appear before an inquiry.

Counsel for General Sahni, Maj K. Ramesh (retd), told The Tribune that when the matter came up before a division bench of the Delhi High Court on May 21, the court was informed that the deposition of witnesses in the SoE had been completed, but the Army authorities were yet to receive the completed questionnaire.

The court has fixed July 10 as the next date of hearing.

General Sahni had retired in September 2006 and was recalled from retirement for facing disciplinary action for alleged acts of omission and commission in procurement of supplies, misappropriation of funds and other irregularities during his tenure as Commandant Army Service Corps Center, Bangalore, and later as the DGST at AHQ.

In 2006, a court of inquiry (CoI) had held General Sahni, along with several others, blameworthy for irregularities in the procurement of supplies for the Army.

The GOC-in-C, Western Command, had directed disciplinary action (court martial proceedings) against General Sahni and five other officers.

This was the first time that the Army had initiated court martial proceedings against an officer of the rank of Lieutenant-General. Thereafter, he moved the Delhi High Court, which set aside the CoI as certain mandatory procedures had not been complied.

General Sahni had also contended that he was being implicated in the matter and that no case was made out against him.

Though the CoI was quashed, the court gave liberty to the Army to proceed against General Sahni by exercising any other power available to it under the Army Act, as long as it did not rely on the proceedings of the quashed CoI.



UT Home Secretary
54 days gone still counting ...

Divide the dept

The delay in selection of Home Secretary is directly affecting the city residents. Due to one official holding the post of Finance Secretary and Home Secretary, the public meeting hours are reduced. Consequently, the process of redressal of public grievances suffers. If UT fails to get the new Home Secretary, it should divide the department among the senior IAS officers in the administration.

— Dr A.P. Singh, paediatrician



James Plaza Hotel
Estate office videographs construction site
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 24
After resuming the site of the James Plaza hotel site in Sector 17 city centre here, the estate office today videographed the construction going on at the site.

This would ascertain whether the proprietor of the hotel had completed the hotel or not.

The estate officer had yesterday resumed the site as the owners of the property had failed to complete the building within a period of one year of restoration of the property.

The one-year period ended on May 2 last. The appeal against the resumption lies with the high court. “The order of the estate office would be inoperative the moment the high court grants stay and the builder would have infinite time to complete the building,” said an official.

The previous adviser, Lalit Sharma in his quassi judicial capacity while restoring the site on May 2, 2007, has quashed the orders of the finance secretary, who while exercising the powers of the chief administrator had rejected the appeal of the allottee company, James Hotels (P) Ltd. on March 7, 2007.

Though the owners of the hotel said they had already applied for partial completion as per the revised building plan much ahead of the May 2 deadline, officials said it held little significance in light of the orders of the court of the adviser to the Administrator.

The order of the estate officer is seen as an anti-hotel industry step as crores had already been invested in renovating the building which had been under litigation for long. “If the

administration can give relaxations in case of the Taj Hotel at the behest of the top UT functionary, same relief could also be given to James Plaza,” said an official.

While pronouncing the orders, the advisor had stated that he was aware that the termination of resumption proceedings would add substantial value to the property.

“The possibility of the property being alienated and there being a further delay in the construction of the hotel needs to be guarded against. Even change of ownership or change of management would affect the condition of completion of the building within one year of the date of the order,” the order had stated.

Even as controversy over advisor’s court restoring resumed properties at less than market rate continues, advisor’s court has restored the resumed site of James Plaza hotel in Sector 17.

Sources in the administration said though the case of the hotel relates to non-construction of the building, the cases of restored site being probed by the vigilance relate to non-payment.

The restoring of commercial and residential properties at much less than the market value could attract audit objections, said an official.



Anuradha Murder
I am innocent, says Noor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 24
While Noor Kataria’s mother and sister remained missing during the hearing of the court, some of her friends and a youngster, who claimed to be one of the close relatives of Noor, said she is being falsely implicated in the case.

Outside the court premises, Noor’s relative told The Tribune, “The cops are framing her in a false case. Though, Noor knew Baljinder and was a friend of his, but she is nowhere to be blamed for being involved in the conspiracy of killing Anuradha.”

Residence of infamous city-based model Noor Kataria is deserted from the day her name was linked with Baljinder Singh Sandhu, who allegedly murdered his wife Anuradha.

Addicted to parties the model was said to have an affair with 40-year-old Baljinder. Noor’s house was locked when our correspondents went there.

On the condition of anonymity one of the neighbours said Noor had a shady past. He added that a fleet of cars, bearing VIP numbers, were usually parked in the locality. However, not a single vehicle was seen in the area today. The close associates of the Kataria family denied of having any relations with them.

Noor, who was often seen at high-profile parties, recently celebrated her birthday on May 7. Baljinder gave her a laptop worth Rs 57,000 on that day.

According to her friends getting involved in a controversy was nothing new thing for Noor. Noor was associated with many VIP offspring. 



Exposure to Crime
Growing violence triggers insecurity among kids
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 24
"I wake up in the middle of the night dreading about what had happened to Arushi and that it could have happened to me also. I get nightmares of eyes peeping from behind the gate and following me wherever I go," says 12th standard student, Divya Kundra. “A father killing her daughter... this thought is making me insecure. I don’t want to go outside without my mom,” admits 15-year-old, Surbhi Shrama, a class 10th student of Bhavan Vidyalaya. It is difficult to trust anyone, she says.

With headlines in newspapers narrating violent crimes every day and news channels’ ‘breaking news’ of murders, rapes, and killings by the minutes, Divya and Surbhi are perhaps not the only ones feeling insecure. “The newspapers and TV have become depressing. It seems there is nothing happening in our country except killings,” says Raghav Arora, Class 9th student. However, he claims that this does not affect him.

While no concerted effort has been made, at least in this part of the region, to assess the effect of the growing crime coverage in the media on children, a UNESCO’s Global Study on TV violence and children has concluded that “children turn violent to solve problems and they admire macho trigger happy superheroes such as The Terminator.”

According to a psychologist, repeated exposure to violence can cause deep changes in a child's personality. But how the child is affected, it depends on his innate personality. Dr Tarundeep Kaur, psychologist, at Fortis, explains: A timid or sensitive child is more likely to get influenced by violent imagery.

Expert says, that sometime they can stop reacting to violence, this is called 'Desensitisation' and it occurs if a child experiences or observes violence regularly. ‘Crime’ based shows also affect child psyche. Victims of real life violence can also become desensitised to their own pain, thus making it extremely difficult for them to be sensitive to another's. Dr Hardeep, psychiatrist said, “Many violent criminals have been victims of violence as children.”

"Vigorous fulfilling relationships with adults help children escape the harmful consequences of violence," says Dr Tarundeep, "A warm-feeling ambience at home as opposed to a religious or intellectual ambience is required. If children are emotionally connected to siblings and parents, they are calmer.”

Coping with fear

The following are the most effective therapies to overcome fear: An individual should learn how to think of less anxiety provoking situations. If you are afraid of something and can't overcome the fear, stop for a while, relax and think calmly.

Try to imagine images or situations that have the opposite effect of fear. This way you will automatically start feeling better. Reinforce: This works best with children. Parents can help prevent children's fear by instilling a sense of trust and normal caution without being too protective, and by overcoming their own unrealistic fears. Fear is contagious, especially with children as they react to fear in the same way that the parents do. 



Pan masala packet uses National Flag as trade mark
Admn forwards matter to Central govt
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 24
After holding an inquiry on the National Flag being used as a trade mark on the packets of pan masala the administration has forwarded the matter to the Central government.

Tiranga or Tricolor is being used as a trade mark for selling a pan masala by its manufacturer, but the UT administration has so far been ineffective to check its sale despite a fiat from the Union Consumer Affairs Ministry to the advisor to administrator.

In a letter dated December 14 last, G.S. Negi, a director in the said ministry, while referring to the advertisements of ‘Tiranga Pan Masala’ wrote, “Section 3 read with item 3 of the Schedule to the Emblems & Names (Prevention of Insult) Act, 1950, prohibits misuse of National Flag without the permission of the Central Government. We therefore request you that the Union Territory of Chandigarh may get the matter investigated and take appropriate action.”

Thereafter an application was filed under the RTI Act in the office of advisor, seeking information as to what action was taken on the Union government’s letter.

The Home Secretary wrote to the IGP, UT Chandigarh, and the DC Chandigarh on February 11 stating, “You are again requested to investigate the matter and take appropriate action against the manufacturer of the products bearing the trade mark and send the report on action taken to administration immediately.” The DC, UT Chandigarh, wrote back to the Home Secretary on February 29 stating that an inquiry conducted through the local police has revealed that ‘Tiranga Gutka’ (Pan Masala) is very much in circulation in Chandigarh.

This product is being manufactured at Bahalgarh in Sonepat, Haryana, and the name of the company is “Kays Fragrance Pvt. Ltd. Its local distributors are Dev Raj Pan Bhandar at Sector 26, Chandigarh, and Roshan Pan House, in Sector 22, Chandigarh.”

The DC further stated in his letter, “As per Section 6 of the said Act, no prosecution for an offence punishable under this Act shall be instituted, except with the previous sanction of the Central government or any officer authorised in this behalf by general or special order of the Central government.”

Thus, the ball has again been pushed towards the Central government. With no action being taken on it for the past five months the sale of ‘Tiranaga Pan Masala’ and ‘Tiranga Gutka’ is in full swing in the City Beautiful.



Electricity wires catch fire in Sec 38-C
Phone calls to dept go unattended
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 24
A locality in Sector 38-C had a harrowing time during the wee hours today when overhead high power electricity wires caught fire and snapped following a series of sparks before falling over a house and on cars parked in the lane.

Worst, the frantic phone calls made to the electricity department went unanswered leaving the harried residents high and dry. In the end, the residents called the police control room and fire brigade for help.

Among others, who had a traumatic time, was a family living in house number 2158 where the entire electricity wiring got damaged after the support wire came under heavy load. Besides this, the water pipes also burst owing to the intense heat caused by the wires, thus flooding the house. The entire family was trapped inside the house for over half-an-hour and was rescued only after the electricity department employees reached there.

According to Dinesh Ghai, an advocate in Punjab and Haryana High Court, at around 4 am they woke up to a shock after hearing blasts outside their house. They came out and saw sparks in the connector wires and fell on their car parked outside their house.

There were around 40 cars parked in the lane, the incident could turn into a major disaster if the cars caught fire, a resident told the TNS. The fire tender could not enter the lane due to haphazardly parked cars.

Another resident of the locality added that they went to the Sector 38 sub-station to report the matter and found it locked. He went to the Sector 40 main station and brought the officials from there. The officials disconnected the power supply after about 45 minutes and the repair work was started at 10:30 pm and power supply was restored at 3 pm.

The residents when asked the officials to change the old wires, they were told that it was a cumbersome task taking around 15 days and there will be no power for that period. They alleged that about 4 years ago, they faced a similar problem and the department fixed wooden sticks as spacers to separate sagging wires.

Superintendent engineer Surinderpal Singh stated that the residents were dialling a wrong number instead of their round-the-clock help line 4639999. The problem was caused due to sagging wire, which came in contact in the absence of proper spacing.

It would be done after taking permit from the department, as the power supply would remain affected for a long time due to the repair. He added that the makeshift arrangement would be replaced with permanent solution to the problem.

Meanwhile, uprooted electricity poles in Sector 47-C market are lying unattended for days in the parking lot and are evidence of electricity department’s apathy. The poles lying in the lot are a source of nuisance for the visitors and motorists, who stumble over them. 



Fire at beauty saloon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 24
A minor fire broke out at a beauty saloon and at a photo studio in Sector 9 here this evening, due to a short circuit in an air conditioner.

According to the sources, the fire department received a call at around 7:20 pm, immediately two fire tenders were rushed to the spot, who brought the fire under control.

A bookshop and a photo studio were adjoining the beauty saloon. Though, there was no loss to human life, but the fire department had a tough time to control the situation. 



Constitute panchayats through consensus: Minister
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, May 24
Cabinet minister Capt Kanwaljit Singh yesterday appealed to residents of villages in Dera Bassi, Kharar and Banur that they should constitute panchayats through consensus.

The Banur MLA was addressing media persons at a press conference.

Capt Kanwajlit Singh added that the government gave Rs 3 lakh to those panchayats, which chose their panchs through consensus and did not go in for elections.

Regarding Zirakpur municipal council elections, the cabinet minister said the BJP and Akalis would jointly put up their candidates. “Sharing of seats will be done during a meeting of the coordination committee that will be set up after the elections are announced,” he said.

On his relations with former MC chief N.K. Sharma being sour, Capt Singh said said there were no differences from his side. “The party should be supreme and we all should follow party discipline. If someone has some difference of opinion, it should be resolved within the party,” he said.

The cabinet minister added that he had elaborate plans for the development of the three towns. “A common manifesto of Banur, Dera Bassi and Zirakpur will be announced soon. This entire belt will be developed as a single unit,” he said.

About the problems being faced by residents of Zirakpur like electricity and water supply, Capt Singh said the area had developed very fast but infrastructure upgradation had not taken place at the same rate.



Pinjore shop owners to protest delay in road repair
Shops to remain closed today
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 24
The woes of shop owners of Pinjore have not ended even after the repair of the national highway passing through the main market by the local police on Wednesday night.

The town is free from traffic jams now but dust in the area has made it difficult for the shop owners to keep their shops open.

Disappointed over the attitude of the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) as well as the local administration, the shopkeepers have decided to register their protest by keeping their shops closed tomorrow.

The business in the area, in fact, has been suffering since January when the NHAI demolished many shops during an anti-encroachment drive. After the demolition, the authority did not bother to repair the road damaged at that time, resulting in frequent traffic jams in the town. This led to dip in the business activity in the area. Now when the problem of traffic has been solved, temporary repair of the road has turned the area into a dust chamber.

In fact, earlier the pace of traffic was very slow on the road which was full of potholes but now, after its repair, thousands of heavy vehicle pass through the road at high speed which leads to dusty conditions.

“It has become impossible to sit here and many old shopkeepers have started feeling uneasy due to the dust,” said Gurdial Sing, a dhaba owner, adding that sale at his shop has come to naught as, “Since the past two days, nobody has dared to come here to have food.”

Piqued over the situation, the Pinjore vyapar mandal has decided to observe a strike tomorrow. Mahender Kakkar, president of the mandal, said if no action was taken in this regard, they would be forced to sit on an indefinite hunger strike. And later, shops would be closed for an indefinite period, he added.



Central Varsity Status
Now, Physics dept joins stir
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 24
The teachers and students of the department of physics joined the relay fast today demanding central university status for Panjab University. C.N Kumar, Bimal Rai, and A.K. Bhatti were three teachers and Vineet Khullar was a research scholar from the department who joined the stir. Gautam Bahl, Suman Sumi and Gagandeep Kaur Uppal, staff members of AC Joshi Library, also sat on fast today.

The physics department at present is facing serious crisis of faculty, technical staff, and other lab facilities. The sanctioned strength of the faculty is 45 whereas only 29 teachers are on the rolls at the moment. 



Engineer’s Suspension
Union to stage protest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 24
Chandigarh Municipal Corporation Employees Union (CMCEU) today held a meeting and decided to protest against the suspension of junior engineer Balraj Singh. The union decided to hold a protest march on Monday in the Municipal Corporation (MC) building in Sector 17 against the commissioner’s decision to suspend Balraj without any reasons.

The commissioner had placed Balraj Singh under suspension with immediate effects on Friday after he was found guilty of dumping debris and garbage in front of shops in Phase II Industrial Area on Thursday.

A.K. Dadwal, president of the union, in a statement said they would disclose the name of the officials and the councillor involved. He also expressed resentment over the interference of councillors in the working of the MC employees and officials. He further stated that the councillors should prove their charges on the floor of the house or face action.



Play on foeticide
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 24
A play “Hum Kathputli Nahi Hain”, based on female foeticide, was staged by the students of the GMSSS-40 in the school campus today. DPI (S) S.K. Setia was the chief guest on the occasion. While addressing, he said such play give a strong message to the society against female foeticide and this campaign will give a platform to the budding artistes. DEO Khushinder Sharma and AEO Saroj Mittal and school principal Rajinder Kaur were also present on the occasion.



220 passengers caught without tickets

Chandigarh, May 24
Northern Railways today apprehended 220 persons for travelling without tickets on 24 different mail express trains in the Ambala section, A fine of Rs 66, 700 was levied by the railway officials led by the railway magistrate, Maj Phalit Sharma. All express trains passing through Ambala City station were randomly checked.— TNS



Service tax on free service

when I took my motorcycle for service to a dealer in Chandigarh I though that it would be free. On return from the workshop I got a cash memo for Rs 164.27, Rs 155 as engine oil charges and Rs 9.27 as service tax. On enquiry I came to know that first three services are delivered free of cost from the manufacturer. The service provider gets reimbursed from the manufacturer to the extent of Rs 75 per vehicle, but in addition to that, Rs 9.27 as service tax is passed on to the customer. It is requested that central excise department should look into this issue and if the service tax has been recovered against the rules, then entire amount should be recovered from the service providers.

R.K. Garg, Chandigarh

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Arts dept to have semester system
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 24
Panjab University is all set to switch to semester system, instead of annual system, in almost all postgraduate courses under the arts department from the ensuing academic session.

The faculty has already recommended having semester system in the departments, including history, geography, economics, ancient history, public administration and mass communication.

“The semester system should be encouraged as both the students and teachers remain busy throughout the year. Unlike, in the annual system where the students tend to take their studies lightly and study only in the latter half of the session,” said a member of the arts faculty. In the semester system they will have to clear two internal tests and an assignment, altogether of 20 per cent marks, within the tenure of the semester. The problem of attendance would also be addressed simultaneously, he added.

In fact, in the western education system there is trimester pattern where all the evaluation of a student’s performance is a continuous process. If the recommendations get final nod, quality of education in social sciences would improve tremendously, said a PU professor.

The departments of sociology and department of political science have already adopted the semester system and the students take their exams twice a year. The recommendations will now be taken up in the academic council’s meeting scheduled for June 10 for a formal nod.



Style, attitude mark Anukama-08
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 24
Style and attitude marked the evening at ‘Anukama-08’, a design collection show organised by the Northern India Institute of Fashion Technology (NIIFT) at Shivalik Public School here today.

The designs created by final-year fashion graduates of NIIFT were unveiled at the show against a spectacular background. Students came up with fabulous collections ranging high on style quotient from wearable to experimental ones. The collections had a trendy and youthful edge.

‘Spy’ a collection by Sunder, was inspired by women in comics. He used leather for his collection which gave a rough and hard look to his women.

Taking inspiration from the ‘phad painting’, Parul Kakkar created ‘The Royal Heritage’. Rich in colour and texture with the use of pure silk, the collection presented the age-old art form in a very contemporary manner. The juxtaposition of the traditional with the western silhouettes made it a wearable attire.

‘Anti-child labour’ by Kundan Kumar, a thought provoking conceptual collection based on a social issue, was beautifully depicted with cartoons showing how happy a child could be if left to his or her innocent rituals.

‘Bani Thani’ by Amandeep Singh was yet another Indian and western fusion collection, lot of fabrics juxtaposed together along with ‘gota’ and a variety of colours.

Different hues of imagination marked ‘Little Picasso’ created by Astha Nagpal and was presented at the show by small children. ‘Sui Mui’ by Vipra Khullar depicted traditional Indian women, while western wear was given a touch of Indian look in ‘Bohemian’ by Ashima Verma. Vibha Bisht tried to mix and match different colours in ‘Monks on the Street’.

The show was choreographed by Kaushik Ghosh. Punjab minister of industries and commerce Manoranjan Kalia was the chief guest.



Geology dept invites visitors
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 24
The geology department of Panjab University has invited the citizens of the city and adjoining areas to visit its Museum of Natural History from May 26 to June 7 to celebrate World Earth Day.

The recent discoveries of dinosaurian fossil eggs and bones housed in the museum would especially attract young school children. From 8.30 am to 11.30 am everyday, there would also be free screening of earth, environment and wildlife films in the seminar room of the department.

The films include productions supported by the British Council. BBC’s film on dinosaurs’ dynasty and US geologists’ research.



Lok Adalat settles 3,000 cases
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 24
Lok Adalat was held today in the district courts and around 3,000 cases were disposed off.

The Lok Adalat was held under the guidance of Justice J.S. Khehar, Justice K.S. Grewal, administrative judge, Sessions Division.

Around 23 cases were settled under the MACT Act and a total compensation of Rs 43,72,000 was awarded.

About 62 cases under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instrument Act were settled. Next Lok Adalat will be held on September 6.



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