C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


27 key posts vacant in agriculture department
Salary of remaining staff not released for two months
Gurdeep Singh Mann
Tribune News Service

Fatehgarh Sahib, September 19
The entire working of the agriculture department here had come to a standstill for the past long time as all 27 key posts, including that of the chief agriculture officer (CAO), were lying vacant.

Even the salary of the remaining employees had not been released for the past two months as there was no CAO, who disburses the payments. The CAO was transferred to Kapurthala a month ago. Since then no other official had been appointed to take the charge.

One post each of agriculture officer, seed development officer, assistant statistician, two posts of junior statisticians, three posts of clerks, one post of baildar were also lying vacant in the department.

Out of requisite 33 employees, 27 posts were lying vacant in the entire department. The agriculture department officials revealed that this condition prevails for the past many years and the situation worsens with the vacant post of the CAO.

There was a panic among the employees as well as the farmers of the district who fail to get the benefits, counselling and other requisite agriculture related tips from the experts. The agriculture department officials questioned, “How could we continue work without salaries?”

“We brought the matter into the notice of the newly appointed deputy commissioner who assured to do the needful by talking to the director of the department, but nothing has been done in this regard,” said an official of the agriculture department here.

The officials revealed though this problem was witnessed in almost all districts of the state, however, Fatehgarh Sahib had got the distinction due the vacant posts of 27 agriculture development officers out of 33 and also the chief agriculture officer.

Now, there were no soil testing, no fresh surveys, no counselling and no implementation of the developmental schemes, said the department officials.

The soil testing machines, government machinery and other technical expertise was also not been used for the past many years, the officials added.

The Punjab agriculture minister could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.

Agriculture department director Balwinder Singh Sidhu said the deputy commissioner of Fatehgarh Sahib brought the matter into his notice about the problems and pending salaries of the employees. “We have already sent the file for clearance to the agriculture minister and the rest is up to him,” he said. He claimed that the matter would be resolved in the coming few days.



Morinda locales catch Bollywood fancy
Megha Mann
Tribune News Service

Ranjitpura (Morinda), September 19
What do “Veer Zaara”, “Namaste London”, “Singh Is Kinng” have in common? It’s the lush-green surroundings and “not-so-inquisitive” people from villages around Morinda that appear in these films.

These movies have been shot in the nearby Ranjitpura, Abipur, Thablan villages besides others.

Ask Kuldeep Singh Kang from Ranjitpura and he tells you with pride: “Hema Malini and Amitabh Bachchan shot their movie here. And then came Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif. First Punjabi movies and now Mumbai movies (Bollywood), our village is finding place every where.”

Kang is among a handful of 500 villagers who enjoy “lights, camera and action” and the fanfare associated with Yash Raj Films being often shot here quite often.

Currently shooting of production No. 25 of Yash Raj Films is under way, with Rani Mukherjee at centre state.

A fair sequence of the film, that has sets of “Jigri Yaar Dance Company”, was shot here on Wednesday.

Kang’s brother, Rajwinder Singh, has leased out two acres of land located on the outskirts of the village for shooting. These villages are doubly benefitted — villagers get a chance to watch Bollywood starts up close and make money by engaging their children for small roles as also renting out farm equipment like tractors to the film crew.

“Our people make Rs 500 to Rs 700 per shoot when their tractors or other equipment are borrowed by the crew,” Kang adds.

As Darshan Singh Aulakh, the actor-cum-writer who has been managing locations for Yash Raj Films, says the proximity of these villages to Chandigarh and their quintessential Punjabi culture attracts Bollywood filmmakers.

“Though there may be more rural looking villages in the interior of the state, there are no five-star hotels to house Bollywood stars,” he said.

For “Veer-Zaara”, the film producers needed a wide expanse of land without electricity poles or wirings. They ended up zeroing in on the fallow land near Abipur village.

Aulakh says behaviour of villagers matters a lot. “We have been allowed to shoot here peacefully and that is the main reason why we keep revisiting the place. Had it not been for the people, we wouldn’t have opted for the same location repeatedly,” he says.



Rice millers’ assn resents early purchase of paddy
Our Correspondent

Bassi Pathana, September 19
The Punjab Rice Miller’s Association has criticised the decision of the state government to advance the process of procurement of paddy.

Association press secretary Nakesh Jindal, in a press release issued here today, alleged that the government had decided to procure paddy from September 22, instead of scheduled October 1, under pressure of various farmer unions and political compulsions.

He said paddy was planted late in the state this season and all those varieties planted this year could not mature before Oct 1.

He said the government had declared to start procurement process so that farmers could reap raw paddy, which would be procured by procurement agencies and handed over to millers for custom milling of rice.

He said millers would be forced accept poor-quality paddy under pressure and suffer losses while milling it.

He urged the government to procure paddy strictly according to the specifications.

All-India Rice Miller’s Association president Tarsem Saini alleged that certain district food and civil supply controllers were harassing millers in the name of registration.

He said registration was meant for only those millers who were not registered yet. However, in certain districts, the controllers were directing millers, who were already registered, to get registered again by paying Rs 10,000.

He warned them against not harassing those millers who had already been registered with the government.



Singer alleges police-realtor nexus
Tribune News Service

Kharar, September 19
Punjabi singer Karan Jesbir has accused the police of being hand in glove with property dealers in Kharar. He alleged that in spite of registering an FIR against 12 persons last year, including property dealers, the police had not presented challan against them in court.

Jesbir’s widow mother Gurmit Kaur had a prime property opposite Sunny Enclave, measuring 2 kanal and 17 marlas. It was allegedly sold for a mere Rs 1 lakh as earnest money. “My mother got this land from her father in sharing with my three uncles. My uncles sold the land at low prices without taking my mother’s consent,” he said.

He said on September 11, last year, the Kharar police registered an FIR against 12 persons for forcibly raising boundary walls in order to take physical possession of the land.

“However, the police officials helped the accused secure bail on September 26, last year,” he alleged. He added that after registration of the FIR, three SP-rank officials had held separate inquiries regarding the authenticity of the FIR to date.

“In spite of this, no action has been taken against the erring policeman who gave a wrong statement in court,” he alleged.

Kharar DSP Raj Balwinder Sandhu said the department was waiting for the investigation report. He denied that any police official was supporting the accused.



Tributes paid to martyrs
Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 19
The First Armoured Division marked the Black Elephant Day, commemorating the surrender of Hyderabad army on September 18, 1948, by organising a ceremony at the Black Elephant Cenotaph here on Wednesday.

Wreaths were laid at the cenotaph by Maj-Gen R.S. Chand, General Officer Commanding, 1st Armoured Division, as a homage to the martyrs of the division.

Senior officers, JCOs and officers of other ranks paid a silent tribute to those who “gave their today for our tomorrow” as ceremonial guards reversed arms.



Library building opened for senior citizens
Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 19
State Bank of Patiala managing director A.C. Varma today inaugurated a library building at Bir Dasondhi Ram Senior Citizen home in Model Town, here today. Commissioner, Patiala division, S.K. Ahluwalia, was also present.

The bank has contributed a sum of Rs 5 lakh towards the construction of the library for the welfare of senior citizens.

Varma said senior citizens were an integral part of the society with their vision and wisdom.

The bank came forward to help senior citizens keeping in view its corporate-social responsibility.

Around 200 senior citizens were present at the inauguration.

Senior citizens home president B.S.Walia thanked Varma and Ahluwalia for the help.



One held with charas

Fatehgarh Sahib, September 19
The Fatehgarh Sahib police has arrested Shailender Singh alias Raju, a resident of division number 5, Manjit Nagar, Ludhiana with 1.4 kg of charas. T

he accused was roaming aimlessly near Bassi Pathana and somebody informed the police about it. The contraband was found from his possession on frisking, which he was supposed to sell off near Bassi Pathana. A case in this connection has been registered. — OC



451 cases settled in lok adalat
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 19
The State Legal Service Authority held a special lok adalat for bank cases here today. Member secretary of the authority Manjit Singh presided over the lok adalat. As many as 451 cases relating to HDFC Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank were taken up out of which 16 cases were settled in favour of the bank by amicable settlement.

The member secretary said the banking and financial sectors have been declared as public utility services and the permanent lok adalat, Sector 17, also deal with such cases.



Travel agents booked
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 19
The police has booked two travel agents on the charges of duping a Ferozepur resident of Rs 2.98 lakh on the pretext of sending him aboard.

Surjit Singh of Ferozepur had lodged a complaint with the police alleging that Deepak Sharma of Yamunanagar and Saravpreet of Ropar, running a travel agency from Sector 21-B, had taken Rs 2.98 lakh from him to send him abroad. However, he alleged, the duo neither send him abroad nor retuned the money. A case of cheating and criminal conspiracy under various sections of the IPC and Section 24 of the Immigration Act has been registered against the accused.

SBI employees booked

A Sector 11 resident, Raminder Vasu Kalsi, has lodged a complaint against the employees of the State Bank of India, Sector 12, alleging that they had forged the documents and cheated her. She alleged that she had deposited Rs 3.2 lakh in the bank in July but it was not credited in her account. A case of cheating, theft, forgery and criminal conspiracy has been registered.

Mobike stolen

Vikram Singh of Sector 26 has filed a complaint that his Bajaj Discover motorcycle (CH-04-6854) was stolen form the Jagat cinema parking on Thursday. The police have booked the parking contractor on the charges of misappropriation.


Sanjay Jain of Phase VII, Mohali, has filed a complaint that one Manoj Kumar and others beat him up in the Marble Market at Dhanas on September 16 and sped away. He was injured and admitted to Shivalik Hospital, Mohali. In another incident, Sugan Chand Sharma of Burail reported that two miscreants, identified as Chhinda and Kala, beat him up and threatened him in the locality on Thursday night. He was injured and admitted to Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32. The police have registered separate cases.



25-yr-old youth shoots himself in car
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 19
A 25-year-old student of fashion technology allegedly committed suicide by shooting himself with a pistol in a car near his Phase I residence late last night.

He was declared brought dead at the civil hospital, Phase 6, here.

The victim, Lovejot, who was pursuing his BSc in fashion technology, shot himself while talking on his mobile.

The badly injured youth was found leaning against a windowpane of the car. The cartridge after piercing through the victim’s temple hit the windowpane.

Not ruling out the possibility of a love angle, the police said nothing specific could be said as the investigations were complete.

Soon after the incident, Pritpal Singh, father of the victim, took him to the hospital. The police was yet to ascertain the source of the pistol used in the incident.

The call details of the victim’s mobile were also being procured to know the identity of the persons with whom Lovejot had spoken to before the incident.

Sources said the victim, while calling his friends in the day, had bade them goodbye.

Inquiries revealed that the victim’s parents and younger brother lived in Jalalabad (Punjab), while he was living with his grandparents since childhood to peruse higher studies.

He was living in a rented accommodation in Phase 1 here. At the time of the incident, the victim’s father was home and was waiting for his son to come.

When his son did not return after parking his car, the father went outside only to find him lying in a pool of blood in the car.

The police said circumstantial evidence could not be recorded as the victim’s body was removed from the scene and taken to the hospital.

The investigating officer said the victim was studying at Chitkara Institute, Chandigarh.

The victim’s father is a former sarpanch of Jalalabad. The body was handed over to the family members after a post-mortem examination. A case under Section 174 of the CrPC has been registered.

The police has impounded the car and seized pistol and mobile phone of the victim.



Former MLA’s car hits four
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 19
Four people were injured, two of them seriously, when a speeding car hit an auto-rickshaw parked on the roadside near Fun City on National Highway 73 here today.

The car belonging to a former MLA of Himachal Pradesh was reportedly being driven by a girl.

The injured included Tirath (65), Jayaram (40) and Tara Chand (30), all residents of Billa village, and auto-rickshaw driver Dinesh. While Tirath and Tara Chand were discharged after the administration of first aid, the other two were admitted to the General Hospital in Sector 6, with head injuries.

According to the victims, Dinesh was setting tarpaulin at the sides of the auto-rickshaw around 5.30 pm when a speeding Honda City car hit the vehicle, injuring the four.

The car and auto-rickshaw were also damaged in the accident, they said.

However, the girl, who was driving the car with another person, left the spot immediately and the injured were shifted to the hospital by passers-by.

The police confirmed the incident, but said no case was registered till night.



Assistant booked for taking bribe
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 19
The UT Vigilance Department today caught red-handed Jagmohinder Singh, a dealing assistant posted at the Haryana Civil Secretariat while allegedly accepting a bribe.

According to sources in the Vigilance, Rajinder Kumar, additional district attorney, fisheries department, Haryana, had lodged a complaint against Jagmohinder Singh, posted in jail and judiciary department in the secretariat, accusing the latter of harassing him and demanding Rs 3,000 for forwarding his application seeking transfer from Panchkula to Hisar.

The complainant said that he paid Rs 1,000 in advance.

The Vigilance sleuths today laid a trap and caught Jagmohinder Singh red-handed while accepting Rs 2,000 from the complainant.

A case has been registered.



Gang of robbers busted; 3 held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 19
The Chandigarh police claimed to have busted a gang of car lifters and robbers with the arrest of three of its members from Sector 44 here today.

The accused have been identified as Varun, Tafuzzal, alias Bittu, and Ravi, all residents of Dadu Majra. The police has also recovered two Maruti cars from the accused. The gang members have also confessed to their involvement in a robbery case in Sector 20.

While Varun and Bittu are in their early twenties, Ravi (15) is the youngest member of the gang.

According to DSP (South) J.S. Khaira, Varun, the kingpin of the gang, had earlier been arrested and convicted in a vehicle theft case. He said more recoveries were expected after interrogation of the accused.



Table Tennis
DAV-8 emerge champions
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 19
DAV Public School, Sector 8, maintained their dominance in the under 16 age group (girls) and under-14 (boys) by claiming the top honours in the North Zone Central Board of Secondary Education (Cluster XIII) Table Tennis Championship at the Table Tennis Hall, Sector 23, here today.

DAV boys’ team secured top position in boys U-14 section by beating Bhavan Vidyalaya of Panchkula by 3-1 while in U-16 (girls) the school team beat Manav Mangal High School by 3-0.

In the boys’ U-16 section, Manav Mangal High School, Sector 21, emerged champion by overcoming the stiff resistance from Ajit Karam Singh International Public School, Sector 41. The winning team beat AKSIPS by a 3-2 margin in the final.

The other results are as follow:

Boys U-16 (final): Manav Mangal High School-21 bt AKSIPS-41 3-2 (Tushar bt Ranjot 11-8, 6-11, 12-10, 11-7, Aditya bt Aishwary Mahajan 8-11, 11-9, 5-11, 11-9, 10-12, Kashish bt Himanshu 11-7, 9-11, 11-6, 11-5, Aditya lost to Ranjot 4-11, 6-11, 13-11, 6-11, Tushar bt Aishwary 11-3, 11-4, 12-10).

For third and fourth positions: Dayanand School, Shimla bt Bhavan Vidyalaya, Panchkula 3-1 (Abhey bt Vaibhav 11-6, 5-11, 11-9, Shivam bt Chaitanya 11-6, 11-9, 11-6, Kartavya lost to Shivam 9-11, 5-11, 5-11, Shivam bt Vaibhav 14-12, 13-11, 13-11).

Semi-finals: Manav Mangal-21 bt BV Panchkula 3-0 (Aditya bt Shivam 11-9, 11-5, 11-8, Tushar bt Vaibhav 12-10, 6-11, 11-3, 10-12, 11-8, Kashish bt Chatanya 11-9, 12-10, 11-7).

AKSIPS-41 bt Dayanand PS, Shimla 3-0 (Aishwary Mahajan bt Shivam Rana 11-9, 8-11, 11-1, 14-12, Ranjot Singh bt Abhey 11-3, 11-1, 11-8, Himanshu Goel bt Kartavya 11-5, 11-5, 11-5).

Girls U-16 (final): DAV Public School, Sector 8 bt Manav Mangal-21 3-0 (Barbie bt Kaveri 12-10, 11-9, 11-3, Naina bt Richa 11-5, 11-6, 11-8, Pareen bt Arshia 11-7, 11-6, 11-4).

Third and fourth places: BV, Chandigarh bt Sacred Heart 3-0 (Vibhuti bt Raveen 11-4, 11-5, 11-4, Garima bt Ishani 11-0, 11-2, 11-5, Surbhi bt Lavanya 11-3, 11-5, 11-3).

Semi-finals: Manav Mangal-21 bt Sacred Heart 3-1 (Arshia lost to Raveen 4-11, 4-11, 3-11, Kaveri bt Ishani 11-4, 11-9, 11-5, Risha bt Lavanya 11-5, 11-7, 11-7, Kaveri bt Raveen 11-7, 11-7, 11-4).

DAVPS-8 bt BV-27, Chandigarh (Naina Suri bt Vibhuti 11-7, 11-9, 9-11, 11-7, Barbie Nagpal lost to Garima 11-9, 11-9, 10-12, 4-11, 1-11, Pareen bt Yamini 11-6, 1-12, 9-11, 11-9, 11-4, Barbie Nagpal bt Vibhati 11-9, 11-8, 9-11, 14-12).

DAVPS-8 bt BV Panchkula 3-1 (Divabsh lost to Rishabh 6-11, 9-11, 13-15, Mayanak Sharma bt Divyankar 11-7, 8-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-4, Manu bt Anmol 11-8, 11-6, 11-5, Mayank Sharma bt Rishabh 11-4, 11-4, 9-11, 11-4).

For 3rd and 4th positions: Durga Public School, Solan bt SD Public School, Ambala Cantonment 3-2 (Madhav lost to Arshdeep 6-11, 9-11, 13-15, Nishant bt Chitresh 11-4, 11-4, 11-7, Madhav bt Chitresh 11-2, 8-11, 11-9, 12-10).



Golf: Rashid completes two-in-a-row win
Donald Banerjee

Chandigarh, September 19
Manav Das of Ambala fired a one over par 73 card in the final round to settle for the seventh slot at six over 294 as Delhi’s teenaged caddie Rashid Khan completed his two-in-row triumph on the LG Indian Amateur Tour winning the LG Golden Greens Amateur Championship by eight strokes at Gurgaon today.

Rashid fired the second consecutive round of five under par 67 with the only blemish coming on the 17th hole.

Starting from the 10th tee, Rashid raced ahead of the pack with a 32 on the outward nine and it was just a matter of keeping it steady after that to secure the title and he did just that. The chasing pack never really had a chance and had to be content fighting it out for the second place. Rudresh Sharma played four days of consistent golf to finish even par for the tournament and was the best amongst the rest. It was a commendable effort considering that he had to miss out on the LG Northern Indian amateur because of a ban placed on him. He came back stronger and more determined to put in a fine show this week.

Rashid, who has emerged as the most promising star on the amateur circuit, said: “I am very happy considering that I have just started playing on the amateur tour. It gives me a lot of confidence and I hope to perform well in the bigger tournaments ahead.”

Manav Das, who bounced back with a three under par 67 yesterday in which he sank a birdie, faced difficulties as he lost strokes on the fifth and seventh to be two over par 38 in the first nine. Back to back birdies on the 11th and 12th balanced the score. But then he bogeyed 14th to finish the fourth round at one over par 73 and a total score of six over par 294.

The other Chandigarh golfer, Harjinder Singh Kang put in a miserable show triple-bogeying the fifth and double-bogeying the 12th for a seven over par 79 card and a final score of 18 over par 306 (73-77-77-79) to finish tied 19th.

While experienced players like Gagan Verma, Moin Malak and Abhishek Jha finished in the top 10, the week belonged to the youngsters who dominated right from the start. The next tournament on the Amateur Tour will be played in Chandigarh in November.

Scores: 280 Rashid Khan (72,74,67,67); 288 Rudresh Sharma (72,71,73,72); 291 Abhinav Lohan (67,72,75,77) and Gagan Verma (74,70,74,73); 293 Karan Vasudeva (72,76,71,74) and Abhishek Jha (72,75,73,73); 294 Manav Das (76,76,69,73) and Moin Malak (72,73,77,72); 298 Rahul Bajaj (73,75,75,75) and L. Selvadurai (72,76,76,74); 299 Pawan Kumar Sr (75,73,77,74); 301 Saurabh Bahuguna (74,76,77,74), Samresh Sardar (74,75,76,76) and Hav. Jahangir (73,74,80,74).



Gurmit hockey from tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 19
The 38th edition of S.N. Vohra All-India Gurmit Memorial Hockey Tournament is set to begin from September 21 at Hockey Stadium, Sector 42 here.

The 10-day tournament, which is also the curtain-raiser for the hockey season, will witness a total 21 teams in the fray, vying for the title.

“Though most of the teams participating in the tournament are known teams of the country, clash of dates of the tournament with other hockey tournaments like Bangalore League and Guru Teg Bahadur Gold Cup have forced some of the top teams to opt out of the tournament,” said Y.P. Vohra, organiser of the tournament.

“This is the first time that the dates of big tournaments have clashed and some teams are losing the opportunity to play in other tournaments,” Vohra added.

Giving details, tournament committee chairman Chander Shekhar Ghai said: “In spite of the problem (clash of dates), many good teams, including Air India, ONGC, Western Railways and Punjab Police, are participating in the tournament. Giving Air India, Punjab Police, BSF, Jalandhar, and Indian Overseas Bank a direct entry into the quarterfinals, we gave other fours — Western Railways, Punjab National Bank, ONGC and Corps of Signal — a bye in the pre-quarterfinals on the basis of their general performance in the domestic circuit. This has been done to complete the schedule within the dates allotted by the IHF ad hoc comitteee.”

The winners of the tournament will receive a cash award of Rs 70,000, while the runners-up will be richer by Rs 45,000.

Besides, cash awards will also be given to outstanding players of the tournament. The inaugural match will be played on September 21 at 5.15 pm between CHFA and PSEB.



Rain plays spoilsport
Archit Watts

Chandigarh, September 19
Intermittent rains played spoilsport in the city, which has been buzzing with various sports activities of late. Overcast sky forced all organisers of various sports events to postpone their schedule or abandon the events altogether.

The worst affected was match between LIC and Rajasthan team of the ongoing JP Attrey tournament.

Fans of Bengal Tiger Sourav Ganguly, who is leading the LIC team, were left disappointed as the rain forced the organisers to postpone the match fixture for next two days.

“Now, matches scheduled for today will be played a day after tomorrow,” said Capt Sushil Kapoor, organising secretary of the tournament. The other tournament marred by rain was Yonex Chandigarh State Badminton Championship being held at the Badminton Hall, Sector 42.

Rainwater falling through the roof made the wooden flooring slippery, forcing the organisers to defer all matches. Not even a single match could be played due to the seepage.

Meanwhile, the organisers have shifted the under-10, under-13 and under-16 matches to the Government Model School Badminton Hall in Sector 23 for tomorrow.

The finals of the Katoch Shield between Chandigarh and Ludhiana at PCA Stadium, Mohali, could also not be completed due to rain.



National Football Tourney
A. Gomei to lead city’s campaign
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 19
A. Gomei of St Stephen’s School, Sector 45, will lead the city team in the 31st Sub-Junior National Football Championship (Under-14) for Mir Iqbal Hussain Trophy, starting from September 20 to October 6 at Mahilpur (Punjab).

According to association secretary Rakesh Bakshi, Chandigarh will begin their campaign with a match against Karnataka on September 21. On September 23, the team will take on Manipur and face Assam on September 25. Hosts Punjab, who have been clubbed with Puducherry and Nagaland in cluster IV, will meet Puducherry tomorrow.

“The Chandigarh team is fully prepared after attended a coaching camp conducted at DAV Senior Secondary School, Sector 8 under the supervision of Sports Authority of India coach Narinder Thapa. The team was finalised during the coaching camp,” said Bakshi.

The team: A. Gomei (captain), Wang, Rahul, Jasbir, Wanish, Lowang, Umakant, Arsh, Manish, Abhishek, Nishank, Sartaj, Parnav, Kartik, Jashanpreet, Balpreet and Sonu.



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