C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


German tourist alleges rape
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 28
In what could be a major embarrassment to the UT administration, a German national was allegedly raped in the wee hours of today, even as Chandigarh Tourism and the police launched tourism police on the occasion of World Tourism Day yesterday.

Tourism director Vivek Atray had underscored the need for such a police squad, saying that it was required to promote safe tourism in the city.

Six youths abducted a 20-year-old German tourist from the parking lot of Hotel Taj in Sector 17 here in the wee hours of today and allegedly tried to rape her. She was later dumped in Sector 20 in the afternoon.

The victim alleged that she was beaten up by the accused and had bite marks on her body. Her clothes were also torn.

The police said she had been giving conflicting statements and it had registered a case of attempt to rape as per her initial statement. Later, she said she had been raped. Further charges would be added if her medical examination confirmed rape. Police sources, however, said the way she had been beaten up and the bruises on her body indicated that it was more than a molestation bid.

The victim told the police that she had gone to the hotel for a party last night and had some drinks there. At around 2.20 am, she stepped out for a smoke. A youth standing near a black Scorpio pulled her into the vehicle with the help of his friends. Before she could raise the alarm, they sped away.

They dumped her on the rear seat and one of them sat on her while the others pushed her face towards the seat, preventing her from screaming for help.

She said they kept driving for some hours before taking her to a room, where they tried to rape her. When she resisted their attempts, one of the youths began to thrash her and tore her clothes.

At around 9 am, they took her out of the room and again drove for about four hours before shifting to a white Maruti car in which two persons were sitting. The duo dropped her in Sector 20.

A police officer said she had given the registration numbers of the vehicles, but one of those had found to be fake. She said she had come to the city on September 23 for the marriage reception of her Indian friends.

According to another version, she had come out for a puff and saw some youths standing near a Scorpio. She was in an inebriated condition and told them that they had parked the vehicle wrongly. One of the youths then told her to park it the right way. She sat in the vehicle and drove out of the parking lot. She drove towards Matka Chowk, from where the youths took the vehicle from her and took her along with them.

Sources said the police swung into action when the incident was reported in the wee hours. Police teams were dispatched to conduct raids on resorts, hotels and guesthouses in Zirakpur, Panchkula and nearby places. The SSP said the accused had been identified as residents of Ropar and raids were being conducted to nab them.

Meanwhile, the victim was taken to the Sector 16 Government Multi-Speciality Hospital for a medical examination. The security staff at the hotel denied any such incident.



Bomb scare at Dera Bassi
High-intensity crackers found
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Dera Bassi, September 28
The discovery of five suspected bombs in Bhankarpur village on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway this morning spread panic not only in the area, but also had the entire nation on tenterhooks.

The explosives, which turned out to be “high-intensity crackers”, were declared harmless by the police after an analysis by the CFSL and bomb experts.

Close on the heels of yesterday’s Mehrauli blast, the discovery of the “explosives” created panic in the area even as the news was flashed on television.

The ball-shaped devices, each weighing between 100 gm and 200 gm, were found by Jasbir, a resident of the village, at about 9 am. He immediately informed the police. It took some time for the police to reach the spot, exposing its “preparedness”.

Without using any safety measures, the police stacked these objects in a pit and covered those with gunny bags to prevent any damage. The police did it even before forensic experts reached the spot. “Had these been live bombs, the damage could very well be imagined. The situation should be handled in a more professional manner,” a senior official remarked.

Police officials and forensic experts examined the bombs for about two hours. A search operation was also launched in the nearby fields to recover more such bombs. A sniffer dog and bomb detection devices were also pressed into service.

The immediate reaction of Gopal Krishan Mishra, a former director of the Forensic Science Laboratory, Punjab, who was called to the spot, was that the objects appeared to be low-intensity bombs containing potassium black powder and ball bearings and enough to cause damage within a radius of 50 m.

The composition indicated that these had imprints of low-intensity bombs used in Delhi blasts. These were put in a bucket of water to make them inactive.

In the evening, the Mohali police rushed to clarify that there was need to panic. Plastic balls had been used to fill chemical-laced aluminium powder used in rockets (cracker). The SSP, J.S. Aulakh, and Mishra said no detonator, time device or remote control had been found at the spot. “Nothing related to a bomb has been found in the material,” the SSP said, adding that they were still examining the material. Asked about the presence of the “explosives” along the highway, he said a naka had been put up at the Bhankarpur bridge last night and someone must have panicked and threw the crackers along the road.



Road Rage
Army men illegally detain car driver
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 28
In yet another incident of road rage, some Army personnel allegedly bundled a car driver in their vehicle after a minor accident, for which they themselves were responsible, and illegally detained him for over an hour at their headquarters.

The incident occurred at the airport traffic light when Sanjeev Nehra of Sector 15 was on the way to Patiala with his wife and their five-year-old son.

He was reportedly waiting in his lane for the light to turn green when an Army truck, parked towards his right, tried to take a wide turn and hit his Maruti Zen.

Rather than apologising for their mistake, the Army men tried to flee. Sanjeev told The Tribune that he parked his car on the side and ran behind the truck to talk to the driver.

They refused to admit that it was their fault and manhandled him before bundling him into their vehicle. They then sped away, his wife Shikha alleged.

Shikha, a Punjab government employee, immediately called the police control room and a PCR van reached there. Accompanied by the PCR staff, she reached the headquarters, but the guards refused to let them enter the premises. They also ignored her request to allow her to speak to senior officers.

It was only after a wait of over an hour that Sanjeev came out. When this correspondent reached the spot, some personnel, including Lance Naik A.K. Singh, was trying to persuade the couple not to pursue the matter and promised to initiate departmental action against those guilty.

SHO Bhupinder Singh asked the Army personnel to produce those involved in the incident. When they refused to do so, he threatened to “drag them out” and book them.



Cash Scam
Members of probe committee arrive
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 28
The probe by the three-Judge committee into the cash-at-judge's doorstep case started off with the arrival of the penal members at the UT guest house this afternoon.

The committee consists of Allahabad High Court Chief Justice Hemant Laxman Gokhale, Jammu and Kashmir High Court Chief Justice K.S Radhakrishnan and Justice Madan B. Lokur of the Delhi High Court.

The panel has been thought of by the CJI, Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, as an internal mechanism to inquire into the serious charges of corruption and the alleged nexus between the judiciary, a lawyer and a businessman, that have come to the surface.

Soon after their arrival little after 2 pm today, the committee showed its disinclination to divulge the details of the probe to the media, which was waiting for their arrival at the guest house.

The committee members were immediately escorted to their rooms by the Punjab and Haryana High Court staff which was present at the guest house to accord a welcome. High Court Registrar-General too was present.

On way to his room, Justice Gokhale did not interact with the media but simply said, "Please leave us alone.”

The members will stay here till September 30 to carry out the probe. They have already sought the assistance of Justice Nirmaljit Kaur of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to unravel the truth behind the scam that surfaced on August 13 after Haryana law officer Sanjeev Bansal's clerk erroneously delivered Rs 15 lakh at her house.

During their stay, the members will also examine prime accused in the case Sanjeev Bansal, his clerk, co-accused Ravinder Singh and others allegedly involved in the scam that has rocked the judiciary. Bansal is currently in judicial custody, while Ravinder Singh continues to be in the custody of the CBI, which is now probing the corruption case registered in the matter.

Available information suggests Justice Gokhale committee will also examine Justice Nirmal Yadav, whose name had surfaced in the statements of some of the accused in the case.

She is currently on leave. Before recusing herself from judicial work after the surfacing of her name, Justice Yadav said to the Chief Justice Tirath Singh Thakur that she was not in a position to concentrate. 



Gunners celebrate 181st anniversary
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 28
The Regiment of Artillery celebrated its 181st anniversary at the Western Command headquarters at Chandimandir today. The Gunners' Day commemorates the birth of the first Artillery unit, the Bombay Battery, on this day in 1827.

Serving as well as retired officers and other ranks of the Regiment paid homage to martyrs at the Command Memorial, followed by a religious function and a special Sainik Sammelan. A tea party was also organised for all ranks of artillery posted at the station.

A social get together at the Shivalik Officers' Institute was also organised, which was attended among others by Lt-Gen T.K. Sapru, GOC-in-C, Western Command.

The motto of Gunners is "Savatra Izzat-o-Iqbal”, meaning omnipresence with honour and glory. The battlefield of the future holds immense promise for the Gunners with the induction of the latest state-of-the-art weapon systems into their armoury. 


Southern sectors getting raw deal
MC spending meagre amount on development of wards having colonies 
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 28
The North-South divide in the city which is clearly visible in the difference of infrastructure available these areas, perhaps has its genesis in the account books of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation.

The manner in which the funds are being allocated by the MC not only gives credence to the charge of favouritism to the VVIP sectors in comparison to the Southern sectors, which houses numerous colonies, but also belies the Congress’ slogan of being a party of “aam aadmi”.

The funds spent by the civic body from January to September this year clearly shows the north-south divide. Out of Rs 121 crore, around 25 per cent of the total amount had been spent in the wards having colonies.

The ward-wise expenditure incurred by the MC for development works showed that over Rs 60 crore had been spent on the northern wards whereas around Rs 27 crore had been spent on the wards having colonies and the rest Rs 34 crore on the development of southern wards.

The councillors, including those belonging to the Congress, representing the wards having colonies have been discriminated in utilisation of funds and execution of works.

The maximum amount of Rs 16 crore has been spent in ward no 3 represented by Mayor Pradeep Chhabra. The ward includes Sectors 16, 17 and 22, whereas in ward no 7, represented by deputy mayor Harphool Chand Kalyan, only around Rs 2 crore had been spent. The ward includes areas of Maloya, west of Sector 38 and the grain market in Sector 39.

Other councillors representing sectors where maximum amount has been spent include Raj Kumari Mishra of ward number 20 (Sector 29 and Industrial Area Phase I) where over Rs 10 crore had been spent followed by Chander Mukhi Sharma of ward number 1 (from Sector 1 to 11) where over Rs 8 crore had been spent.

In comparison to this, the highest amount spent in wards having colonies is Rs 5 crore in ward number 23. Surprisingly, in ward number 13, represented by Ram Sumer Morya, which includes Sector 49, 50, 51 and Colony number 5, the expenditure had not even crossed the Rs 40 lakh.

Nominated councillor Amrit Bolaria suggested that the area councillor and the officials should work out on the feasibility of the projects before approving and allocating funds for it. Referring to the proposal of establishing an amusement park in Sector 17, she said, “What is the need of having another park in the city when the administration had already sanctioned setting up of a theme park at Sarangpur. The execution of the projects showed that the councillors were more interested in completing development works in their areas only.”

BJP councillor of ward number 23 Ram Lal alleged that since February this year, a number of development works had been approved by the MC House for his ward, but the officials concerned had failed to sanction funds for the same.



Another feather in PGI director’s cap
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 28
On the occasion of the World Heart Day, the Kurnool Heart Foundation honoured the “Outstanding person of the year” award to PGI director, Prof K.K. Talwar in Kurnool today.

Professor Talwar, who is heading the department of Cardiology at PGI, told The Tribune over phone that the award was given to him for his contribution in the field of cardiology. Professor Talwar is also a recipient of the Padma Bhushan, Dr B.C. Roy national award, Ranbaxy research award for clinical research and Amrut Modi UNICHEM award of Indian Council for Medical Research.

He has been credited with initiating the technique of endo-myocardial biopsy at AIIMS and has used it extensively to study various tropical heart muscle diseases. This unique contribution has earned him membership of Scientific Council of Cardio Myopathies, World Health Federation and Asian Region of Global Physicians Network on Myocarditis and related disorders and Fellow of the International Academy of Cardiovascular Sciences.

The Kurnool Heart Foundation has been observing the World Heart Day function since 2003. This year they released a poster designed by the World Heart Federation as part of its public education campaign. 



Hundreds walk for healthy heart
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 28
Hundreds of enthusiastic health-conscious city residents participated in a walkathon here today to mark the World Heart Day.

The walkathon, organised by cardiologist Dr H.K. Bali and flagged off by UT home secretary Ram Niwas, started from Sukhna Lake and culminated at the Bougainvillea Garden in Sector 3.

According to Dr Bali, walking was the cheapest form of preventing a coronary disease. “It is the best and most cost-effective way of keeping your heart in order. You don't need any fancy treadmills, convoluted steppers or trendy gyms. All you need to do is take a walk and your heart will thank you for it,” he said.

Giving tips about heart care to the participants during his lecture, Dr Bali said physical workout and regular morning walk routines are effective ways to avoid heart failure and cardiac arrest which are on an rise due to reduced physical activity.

"Such walkathons should become a regular feature and a milestone in raising health consciousness of the denizens of city beautiful,” said UT home secretary Ram Niwas. He added, "It's something that you can do anywhere, anytime, and it's good for all age groups."

Renowned physician Dr G.P. Malik was also present on the occasion. He said that people need to be more proactive. “All you need is about 40 minutes a day with five minutes for warming up and five for cooling down,” he added.

Sharing his experiences, former DGP M.S. Malik said a healthy lifestyle prevents
heart disease.

Children, youth and elderly from different walks of life participated in the walkathon. A medical check up camp was also organised on the occasion by a team of doctors from Fortis Hospital, Mohali. It was inaugurated by Sister Maria Christie, principal, Convent Carmel.

The School of Public Health, PGI, in association with the state NCD Control, under the aegis of National Rural Health Mission, also organised a “Walk for Healthy Heart”. It was flagged off from Kairon Block, PGI, and after passing through Matka Chowk, ended at Sukhna Lake.

Around 70 people, including faculty members of the PGIMER and senior health officials of the UT administration, participated in the event. Dr J.S.Thakur, associate professor, School of Public Health, PGIMER, H.C.Gera, nodal officer, IDSP, Chandigarh, and Dr Sharma, nodal officer, NRHM, were leading the walk.

On this occasion, an exhibition on “healthy lifestyle” was put up at the Sukhna Lake. A memento was also presented to Harjinder Singh Talwar of Talwar Dairy, Sector 15, Chandigarh, for his selfless services in health promotion activities.

Meanwhile, a free angiography camp was organised by Oxford Hospital, Sector 19. 



UK firm plans $60 m investment
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 28
Pavers England is planning to invest $60 million for its India operations that will spread across footwear research and development, manufacture, retail and real estate sectors.

Ritesh Tandon, executive director, Pavers England, said while $30 million had been set aside for the real estate business of the company, the remaining amount will be used in setting up the design studio, manufacturing base and for retail business.

Pavers England, a leading footwear retailer in the UK, has entered into a joint venture with Mauritius-based Foresight Group. The new company, Pavers Foresight Smart Ventures, is presently retailing their footwear through multi-brand outlets and leading retail chains like Reliance Retail (Footprints), Central and Makson Retailers in north India.

“We are already in the process of setting up a footwear design development studio at Ambur in Tamil Nadu. A manufacturing facility is also being set up there at an estimated cost of $12 million. This studio and facility will be operational in November and will be linked with other design and production centres in Europe, Brazil and the UK. Though the majority of footwear manufactured here will be used for the domestic market, we will also be looking at the export market in the future,” he said.

Tandon added that the studio would focus on new designs and would be the first-of-its-kind in the country. It would provide a unique advantage in developing European comfort footwear customised to the needs of the Indian consumers. He also stated that after the two-year window period till 2010, the company was targeting a turnover of $2 million from its India operations.

Talking about the real estate business, the executive director said the company had tied-up with the Rs 1,000-crore Agarwal Group to execute real estate projects in metros.



‘People losing faith in courts’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 28
A seminar on the ‘Role of judiciary in society: modern perspective’ was held at St Stephens School, Sector 45 here today. The seminar was attended by around 500 professionals pertaining to judiciary and academia and was organised by the Intellectual’s Society of India. Justice G.S. Singhvi was the chief guest on the occasion.

S.D. Sharma, chairman, Intellectual’s Society of Chandigarh, welcomed the participants and elaborated on the importance of the issue and the purpose of the seminar.

“We all belong to that section of society that determines its face and fate. Judiciary forms a very important aspect of our society but unfortunately most of us confine ourselves to its criticism and evaluation is generally evaded,” he said.

The brainstorming discussion was presided by P.K. Palli, former Judge, HP High Court, who raised the issue of delayed justice.

“Judiciary is supposed to be the most revered pillar but unfortunately, due to the persistent delay in justice, people have not only lost their faith but have started avoiding approaching it altogether,” he said.

The view was unanimously accepted by all present there. Justice Singhvi, addressed the issue saying, “Our Judiciary is efficient but some lapses that surface from time to time has lowered its image. It’s not only delay but also lack of introspection that ails usJudiciary forms an important pillar in any society and its importance cannot be overlooked but it has a major responsibility on it to ensure the implementation of values and laws enshrined in the Constitution.”



Cyber crimes on the rise
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 28
A national-level seminar on ‘Law and Technology’ is being organised by the University Institute of Legal Studies (UILS) and the University Law Students Association, PU, in association with the Asia Pacific Jurist Association and the department of technology. The chief guest, Justice Surya Kant, Punjab and Haryana High Court, inaugurated the function at the university auditorium.

In his inaugural address, Justice Surya Kant said the day was not far when lawyers would argue using their laptops and judges would deliver judgements there and then with the help of information from their laptops. He added that there had been a sea change in the natures of crime like transmitting virus, pirated software, infringement of the intellectual property rights etc.

Prof Gurjeet Singh, vice-chancellor, Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Patiala, in his keynote address, said the cyber crimes were moving at the speed of light and with the growth of cyber space, its misuse had also increased.

Satya Pal Jain, dean, faculty of laws, said the coming times would be tough and competitive for those who wanted to join the judiciary.

M.S. Brar, director, department of information technology, Chandigarh, released the souvenir prepared by the UILS. He also presented a memento to Justice Surya Kant.

Meanwhile, parallel working sessions were held on law and biotechnology and intellectual property rights. 

Universal laws needed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 28
The University Institute of Legal Studies (UILS), University Law Students’ Association (ULSA), Asia Pacific Jurist Association and Department of Technology, UT, Chandigarh in co-sponsorship with CITCO and Central Renewal Energy Science and Technology Department (CREST), organised a seminar on ‘law and technology’. The major themes discussed were Information Technology and crime and forensic sciences.

Six parallel sessions were held where issues like cyber crimes, e-commerce and e-governance, cyber stocking, information technology, digital copy right, internet treaties, cyber privacy, legal issues in cyber area, analysis of the IT Act and the need for implementation of universal cyber laws were discussed.

Justice M.M. Kumar delivered the valedictory address and motivated the students to carry on with such academic activities.



Dumping ground in front of church
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 28
The unchecked disposal of toxic oils and dumping of regular waste in front of the IP Xion Church and Mardoma Church, Hallomajra, has raised serious concerns not only among the local residents but also the devotees.

If residents are to be believed, the land pieces have been encroached and transformed into dumping grounds, where in addition to regular waste intoxicating industrial waste is also being dumped and burnt.

“Many of us are having various diseases but nothing can be done as they not only dump the waste here but also burn it. Our constant complaints or pleas to authorities have fallen on deaf ears,” said a local resident.

According to Pastor John Oommen, “These people continuously burn toxic substances in these grounds. At times the smell is so foul that prayers get disrupted. I even approached the Sarpanch, but authorities seemed to be least bothered.”

The local residents claimed to have been shooed away numerous times by authorities. Speaking to the Tribune, one of the Panchayat members on condition of anonymity confirmed the claim, “The authorities are not ready to listen. Not only the local people but also the church has approached us and we sent complaints and also met the officials concerned, but they are not ready to listen.”

Meanwhile, when contacted, nobody from the administration was ready to comment on the issue.



‘Faulty policies responsible for inflation’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 28
The BJP Traders’ Cell has flayed the “complex” tax and legal structure of the Central government at the state-level traders' conference held at Makhanshah Lobana Bhawan, Sector 30, here today. They added that the “faulty” policies of the Centre were responsible for inflation.

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, who was the chief guest, inaugurated the conference by lighting a lamp. Former MP Satya Pal Jain was the guest of honour, while Chandigarh BJP president Kamla Sharma presided over the function. Over 500 traders, entrepreneurs and industrialists from the region participated in the conference.

The traders rued that they have been burdened by a variety of taxes. VAT, sales tax, income tax, market fees, entry tax, services tax, excise duty, import duty and export duty all add to the burden on the common traders, they alleged. The highly complicated tax regime has further added to the woes to the traders. Moreover, difference in VAT rates in various states has also left the traders high and dry, they added.

The traders also complained of lack of pension and medical facilities for the tax paying traders. “The government is willing to extract a large portion of their income in the name to taxes without providing them even basic facilities. When the traders retire or need medical assistance, the government leaves them to fend for themselves,” the traders said. Harassed by C Form troubles, futures trading, multinationals entering retail, small traders are in immediate need of assistance, they added.

The small traders rued that they are finding it hard to face the challenges posed by the multinationals in retail segment. Multinationals are influencing not only government policies but also the entire market with their cash power, they said.

The Traders' Cell demanded that the food & supply licensing system under the Essential Commodities Act be scrapped, forward trading of agricultural commodities be banned, multinationals and corporate houses be restricted from entering the retail Segment, Packaging Act for traders be abolished, uniform VAT rate throughout the country, provision for just one C form per year, tax regime be simplified, the impending ban on polythene bags be permanently revoked, pension and medical insurance be provided to traders over 60 years of age and advisory boards consisting representatives of traders be formed to advise various government departments on pertinent issues.

Prem Kumar Dhumal promised the traders to take up their demands with the Central government.

Speaking on the occasion, Satya Pal Jain said that the complex tax and legal structure was the bane of the trading community. “The highly complicated system led to the honest common traders making mistakes, which were taken advantage of by dishonest government officials. Simplification of the legal system was need of the hour,” he said.

Speaking on the occasion, Chandigarh BJP chief Kamla Sharma said the traders had always been the backbone of BJP and the party would stand behind them in this crisis. She promised that all the trading community's problems will be given top priority when her party came into power.

Regional president, BJP Traders Cell, Chandigarh, Kailash Chand Jain said, "Ttraders, entrepreneurs and industrialists play a vital role in the success of any country's economy. The motive of the Cell is to highlight the challenges faced by the business community." 



Cong, BJP flex muscles
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 28
It was a show of strength by the Congress and the BJP in the city today. With the Lok Sabha elections round the corner, top leaders of the two mainstream political parties today took potshots at each other in a bid to activate their cadre for the electoral battle ahead.

Senior BJP leaders, including Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and former MP Satya Pal Jain speared no chance to “expose” the Congress-led UPA government for its “failure” to fulfil its promises to the people in general and traders in particular at the BJP traders’ cell meeting here today.

Meanwhile, the region's top Congress brass, including Dhumal's bete noire and Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee chief Thakur Kaul Singh, Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee chief Phool Chand Mullana, former Punjab deputy chief minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, former Punjab minister Jagmohan Kang and union minister of state for finance Pawan Bansal, did not lag behind in exposing the "communal face" of the BJP at a function in Sector 40. The Congress leaders alleged that the BJP had always put a spoke in the developmental process as was evident from its opposition to the Indo-US nuclear deal.

Addressing the traders, the BJP leaders alleged that the multinationals were influencing government policies aimed at controlling the Indian economy. With retail revolution by the MNCs in full swing, the small traders have to bear the brunt of the onslaught of big corporates, they alleged.



Suman refuses to eat, insists on meeting DGP
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 28
Suman, who attempted to end her life yesterday at Haryana DGP office, refused to take food before she meets director general of police Ranjiv Dalal. Suman was admitted to General Hospital, Sector 6, after she reached DGP office after consuming some poisonous substance. She could not meet the DGP yesterday as Saturday is a holiday in the police headquarters.

Suman had to take such extreme step when the Panipat police allegedly delayed action against the accused in the murder of her brother and even harassed her. Surprisingly, no family member had come here till today evening to meet her in the hospital.

Suman did not eat anything since yesterday when she was admitted to the hospital in the afternoon and her stomach was washed up.

“Though she remains under sleep most of the time, she started cursing the Panipat police and the police personnel deputed with her as soon as she gets up,” said the sources at hospital.

While the staff at the hospital and even the police personnel offered her food time and again, but she refused to eat, insisting upon to meet the DGP.

Suman would be able to meet the DGP tomorrow when her condition would be improved considerably and the police headquarter opens on Monday, said a police official on the condition of anonymity.



City Scope
Fear alone can ensure sanity
Raveen Thukral

Chandigarh roads, where traffic is getting chaotic by the day, witnessed its first case of road rage death on Sept 20. The senseless killing of 21 year old youth, Nitin Bansal, of Talwandi Bhaike, by a 28 year old resident of Mohali, Vishal Sharma, is a chilling wake up call of how dangerous the city roads are becoming for all of us.

Many people will find solace in the fact that we Chandigarian's are better off than our counterparts in Delhi or Mumbai, as they face much more problems while commuting daily on the metro roads. But the question is for how long? The way things are going- more and more vehicles being added to the streets every day, the city's periphery expanding at a fast pace but unfortunately in an unplanned manner, and no early signs of a viable public transport system coming up - driving conditions on the already congested roads is set to get worse. "Ab Dilli Door Nahin", a recent ad campaign of the UT Traffic police aptly describes the scenario.

For the readers who either missed the news or have forgotten the sequence of events, here's a brief recap of the incident that claimed Nitin's life. On the fateful evening at about 11.20 pm Nitin and his two friends, who were travelling in a Skoda car, stopped behind an Indica at the traffic lights on Sector 15-16 intersection. When the light turned green, the Indica didn't move despite the fact that Nitin and his friends kept honking. In the meantime the light turned red.

However, when the signal again turned green, the Indica's driver reportedly moved his car a bit and then stopped again. When the driver of the Skoda honked, the three occupants of the Indica car came out hurling abuses and in the melee that ensued, Vishal allegedly took out a dagger from the Indica car and stabbed Nitin on his waist and head. Nitin's friend, Saidajkot also sustained cuts when he tried to grapple with Vishal, who was reportedly in an inebriated state.

While many people perceive road rage only as hyper and abusive drivers coming to bloody blows on roads, the truth is that each one of us is either a victim or a perpetrator of this phenomenon every day even without stepping out of our vehicles. Experts describe road rage as menace provoking activity that can be manifested by Speeding and Aggressive Acceleration; Tailgating; Cutting others off; Weaving in and out of traffic; Forming a "convoy" to block access to a traffic lane; Honking the vehicle's horn or flashing lights excessively; Rude gestures; Verbal abuse; Deliberately hitting another person, vehicle or object with one's own vehicle; Hitting a person or vehicle with a weapon other than a vehicle; Threatening to use a deadly weapon; and Revengeful feeling.

Going by these descriptions, it's scary to think what we undergo everyday on our streets. And we all are equally to be blamed for this messy scenario on the roads as we simply lack basic driving etiquettes and behave as self-centered people, giving a hoot to the rights of our co-commuters, when behind the wheel. It's sad that this city, which boasts of highest literacy, cannot do the same when it comes to driving etiquettes.

Lack of driving etiquettes is all-pervasive in India and the primary reason for it is the lack of fear of the law among us. Though we have laws in place to check errant drivers, their enforcement remains a problem and thus people, including our law enforcers, break them at will. Getting driving licenses is a child's play and those at the helm at the transport authorities have made a mockery of the process, defeating the very purpose of this document.

The answer to these and perhaps other problems relating to law enforcement lies in zero tolerance to violators. Piecemeal and short sighted measure, gimmicks like the Gandhigiri - giving token gifts to traffic violators - resorted by the UT police recently won't do any good as we have crossed those limits of decency on roads long ago. We have forgotten that it is 'right is right' and not 'might is right'. Only fear of heavy penalties and proper enforcement of law can tame the monster.

Write to rthukral@tribunemail.com



Tinu, Ajay win acting contest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 28
The final of North India Acting Contest was held on the campus of the Institute of Technology and Future Management Trends at Hoshiarpur village, near here, last night.

Organised by the Centre for Media and Entertainment Studies the acting contest was spread over a month and covered major cities in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh. More than 500 young boys and girls, who were keen to carve a niche in various segments of the entertainment industry, participated in the auditions, which culminated in the finals.

In the girls' category, Tinu Sharma from Jalandhar and from the boys' category Ajay Sharma from Himachal Pradesh were adjudged winners.

Film producer and director Harry Baweja and Manmohan Singh were among the judges. 



Rinipa lights up ‘Avnand’ music concert
S.D. Sharma

Chandigarh, September 28
City audience was treated with a spectacular event of a solo tabla recital, a rarity in the region, in "Avnand" concert held at the Randhawa auditorium here today. The programme organised by the Haryana Institute of Fine Arts (HIFA) in association with NZCC and Punjab Art Council featured Rinipa Siva, tabla maestro of international eminence.

After the chief guest, Kuldip Sharma, working president HPCC lighted the traditional lamp, Rinipa transported the audience to a celestial delight. She commenced the recital with delineation of Peshkar followed by rhythmic pattern like Kayda Rela, Chakardhar, Parans and Tukole.

She embellished the recital with adroit mastery weaving pattern of cross-rhythmic complex beats. Vijay Mishra provided excellent nagma on sarangi starting with raga kirvani.

In the second spell of captivating fusion programme, Akbar Bunny (sarod) Chhandan sirca (vocal), Mrinmal Sarkar (tabla), Ashutosh (dholak) gave a magical jugalbandhi. While vocalist, Chhandan Sarkar, led with Ganesh vandana, lagi re lagan and albela song the artistes presented composition in raga yaman, ahirbhairau and hanasdhwani. CLKA, chairperson Dewan Manna, Amardeep Dahiya, Promila Issar IAS (retd), Rajpal Singh graced the function.



Cleansing students’ politics

This refers to S.K. Khosla’s letter, “Curb indiscipline,” published in Chandigarh Tribune. There is no denying that there had been violations of Lyngdoh committee recommendations, but taking these as a “better late than never” effort to set things right for student union elections, we must not expect miracles overnight. We should be able to distinguish between different kinds of violations. One, those that are linked with minimum standards of academic performance of candidates. The criteria for this include, besides others, the requirement of 75 per cent attendance. The academic criteria of eligibility are central to the success and implementation of the Lyngdoh committee’s recommendations. The other violations mentioned by the author (S.K. Khosla) in his letter are that the “leaders addressed students in classes” and “to woo the voters, students were taken to movies”. Election time must be seen as an energy outlet for youngsters for a day or two. It is far less harmful than those peculiar situations where students are neither playing nor working. For example, the annual sports meet when teaching is suspended but empty stands in the playgrounds tell a sad story. And what about “mass bunks” by students?

Under the circumstances, we must appreciate the spirit of the Lyngdoh Committee recommendations and endeavour to keep it alive.

Dr. I.M.Joshi, Panchkula

Fighting terror

This is in reference to article “Meeting terror threat” by Raveen Thukral on September 22, 2008. I salute M.C. Sharma, Inspector, Delhi Police who sacrificed his life for the nation while fighting terrorists. This was the rarest occasions when this officer of Delhi police left for a dangerous operation leaving his ailing son waiting in hospital.

Though to thwart any attempt of terrorists the entire force of UT had been alerted yet better intelligence, administrative action and aggressive intervention by trained police forces rarely used to pre-empt.

I agree with Mr Thukral that there should be an inter-UT transfer policy for its personnel as with long stint they develop strong vested interests.

S.K. Khosla, Chandigarh


I agree with Raveen Thukral that the city residents owe a lot to Inspector M.C. Sharma, and he was right in saying that nothing is done unless it takes a couple of blasts and deaths of innocent people to move our law-enforcers into action. CCTV cameras must be installed at all the busy places. I disagree with him that uniform can combat the situation, it is not the matter of clothes here but strong intelligence is more important. City being the IT hub is indeed at a target, so the police has to be more vigilant and must not allow anything unattended in busy places like Sector 17.

Opinder kaur Sekhon, Chandigarh

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