C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


German tourist denies rape
But claims otherwise to doctors

Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 29
The German tourist who was allegedly abducted and sexually assaulted by six youths yesterday, recorded her statement before judicial magistrate (first class) Palwinder Kaur in the wee hours of today.

Sources in the police said soon after her medical examination, her statement was recorded under Section 164 of the CrPC at about 1.55 am at the Sector 16 Government Multi-Speciality Hospital.

Police sources said she denied rape, but during her medical examination, she confided in the doctors that she had been raped.

The doctors revealed this to the police, but when they were asked to give it in writing, they refused. Later, when her statement was recorded, she stuck to her original statement and denied rape.

Police teams conducted raids throughout the day in various parts of the city, besides Kurali, Panchkula, Morni, Parwanoo, Pinjore, Zirakpur, Morinda and Dera Bassi. The victim was also taken to some suspected places, including farmhouses, for the identification of the crime spot.

The police said the accused had put fake registration number on the black Scorpio that they were driving.

The victim told the police that they had changed the number of the vehicle on Sunday morning. She said a toll barrier had came on the way and it took them about half hour to reach the city from there.

Quoting the victim, a police officer said, she came out for a smoke and found some youths standing in the parking. They entered into a conversation and discussed “funny things”.

One of the youths told her that they would be staying at the hotel for a night. She told them that they had parked their vehicle wrongly and they asked her to park it in the right manner.

She sat in the vehicle and they drove out of the hotel. She drove on the wrong side and after some time, the youths asked her to stop the vehicle. They began to molest her and she started screaming. The accused then gagged her and threw her in the vehicle. They drove for about two hours and went to several places before stopping at a house in a field. She also spotted a buffalo in the house.

Sources said two youths caught her by the arms and two others by her legs. The remaining two stood guard outside the room. One of the youths put a dagger on her throat and threatened to kill her. They tore off her clothes and she began crying for help.

A youth who was standing outside told his friends to let her go. He gave her clothes to wear and directed them to drop her at Sector 20. She said they put a jacket around her and drove her back to the city.

The police said a board of doctors conducted her medical examination and the samples were sent to the Sector 36 Central Forensic Sciences Laboratory for chemical examination today. The victim had sustained a deep wound, besides other injuries.



Rape Bid
UT police has egg on face
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 29
The sensational kidnapping and the alleged sexual assault on a 20-year-old German tourist has exposed the security claims of the UT police, which incidentally was on high alert following the Delhi blasts.

According to the police, the suspects, after abducting the woman from Hotel Taj GVK, located in the heart of the city, drove around the city in their Scorpio for over an hour. And shockingly, none of the so-called “special nakas” in place during night, stopped the vehicle even for a routine check.

The ease with which the suspects managed to drive out of the city --- again without being checked at interstate borders --- speaks volumes about the callousness of the personnel manning these nakas.

“It’s shameful. The UT police has egg on its face,” a former city cop said.

The Chandigarh Tribune had only recently highlighted that the city streets are usually deserted and there is no night patrol. Hardly any nakas are set up and there is dearth of PCR vans. Barring VVIP sectors, the other parts of the city are virtually without police patrol.

However, the police had claimed to have beefed up security after the Delhi blasts. Even earlier, the police had claimed of having more security on roads on weekends to prevent any untoward incident.

“Yesterday’s incident not only exposes the ill-preparedness of the police, but also reflects how serious the police is about the security of the people,” Vikram Khanna, a resident of Sector 45, said.

On the fateful night, the “special nakas” had been put up in the southern subdivision, a police officer said.



Hosts seek police help
Archit Watts

Police personnel outside a house in Sector 20 where the German woman was staying
Police personnel outside a house in Sector 20 where the German woman was staying. A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, September 29
An eerie silence prevailed at a Sector 20 residence where mediapersons had thronged to talk to the host family and the German tourist who was allegedly raped yesterday.

The family preferred to remain indoors. Feeling harassed by media queries, they even called the police which remained stationed outside the house throughout the day.

The entire day, Hardeep’s family was busy in assisting the police in investigations. One of the family members told this correspondent that the victim’s father, a police commissioner in Germany, arrived in the city this morning. He was accompanied by his friends and had gone to meet senior officials of the Chandigarh Police.

“She was here to witness an Indian marriage and was so much mesmerised that she was planning to marry and settle here,” said Sandy, cousin of the Hardeep Singh, friend and host of the German woman.



Shraddh: 0001 fetches only Rs 2.11 lakh
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 29
The craze for VIP numbers seems to be waning in the city. This, coupled with “shraddh”, seems to have played a spoilsport during the auction of such numbers by the registration and licensing authority (RLA) here today.

The number CH-04-F 0001 was sold only for Rs 2.11 lakh against Rs 5.15 lakh during the last auction while 0009 went for Rs 1.5 lakh. The number 1111 managed to get Rs 1.05 lakh and 0011 made the authorities richer by Rs 75,000.

Though the RLA got about Rs 9.75 lakh through the auction, the response was poor, probably due to shraddh, Niharika Rai of the RLA said.

The other numbers went for Rs 30,000 (0002), Rs16,000 (0003), Rs 17,000 (0004), Rs 30,000 (0005), Rs 16,000 (0007), Rs 15,000 (0008), Rs 16,000 (0010), Rs 31,000 (0016), Rs 72,000 (0017), Rs 21,000 (0021), Rs 21,000 (0025) and Rs 51,000 (0027).

Sources said there was less enthusiasm among bidders this time as the last date for the submission of applications was September 24, which fell in the shraddh period, and was considered inauspicious for buying new products or services.

The auction could not have been postponed as it would have upset the schedule of allotting registration numbers.

Also, with the auction of fancy numbers every now and then, the craze for these numbers was bound to come down, Gurmukh Singh, a private sector employee, said.



City industry on decline
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 29
While corporate India makes giant leaps in the rest of the country, it apparently has nothing much to cheer about in Chandigarh as the industry here is in decline over the past years.

Data showed that even before the conversion of about 150 industrial plots under the Chandigarh administration's much-debated conversion policy, the industrial production, workers and number of factories had been stagnant in the city giving a severe blow to the administration's claims of industrial development in the city.

Official "statistical abstract 2007" showed that the number of registered factories have been same in 2004 and 2006 at 436. The year 2005 actually showed a decline in the registered factories with the figure coming down to 434. Similarly, there had been a sharp decline in the average workers from 16,355 in 2004 to 16,228 in 2006. In 2005, the number of workers was pegged at 16,235.

On the small-scale industries front, there was no much good news for Chandigarh. While number of industrial units increased from 1,943 (2004-05) to 2,019 (2006-07), the production was not commensurate with employees' strength as it went up from Rs 1,338 crore to Rs 1,390 crore only.

Industrialists stated that with Chandigarh promoting the IT industry through the establishment of IT park here, there was not much scope for traditional industries here. With neighbouring states like Himachal offering bonanza to the industry, Baddi in Chandigarh's periphery was emerging as the industrial hub.

In fact, with the conversion of about 150 industrial plots, mostly large-sized plots in the Phase I of the industrial area, the image of the industrial area is set to be changed for all times to come. Swanky offices and multiplexes-cum-shopping malls are set to dot the area that was created for the promotion of the industrial activity here.

"The administration's total focus seems to be on promotion of the shopping mall culture while the industry is being meted out a step-motherly treatment," alleged Rajiv Gupta, general secretary of the Federation of Small Scale Industry.

Sources said in the backdrop of the advent of the retail revolution, the industrial profile of modern cities such as Chandigarh was undergoing a change. In fact, the office complexes and shopping malls would also create employment opportunies for a cross-section of people and contribute to the economic development of the city, the sources added.



Cash Scam
Justice Yadav not called for inquiry yet
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 28
The three-Judge committee, set up to look into the cash at judge’s doorstep case, has so far not sought Justice Nirmal Yadav’s assistance in the matter. It is believed that Justice Yadav has till date not been contacted by the committee, but she is willing to give her version on the matter.

But the possibility of her being called at the end of the inquiry cannot be ruled out, as her name had surfaced in the statements of the accused.

In fact, the committee followed chronological order in its endeavour to examine as many as eight witnesses and others on the very first day. Amidst tight security, each witness was examined anywhere between one and three hours.

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 first to arrive was Justice Nirmaljit Kaur. It was on her instructions that a complaint in the matter was forwarded to the police after the money had erroneously landed at her house.

A little before 9 am, Justice Nirmaljit Kaur was with great deference taken in the chamber by Justice Gokhale. This was before the media was forced out of the guesthouse by the security. What took place inside is not known due to the “closed chamber” nature of inquiry. But in all probability Justice Nirmaljit Kaur narrated the sequence of events as earlier told to the CBI.

Justice Nirmaljit Kaur had told the investigating agency that the bag containing money was opened by her clerk Amrik Singh, after which High Court Chief Justice Tirath Singh Thakur and another senior judge was informed.

At around 11 am, Justice Nirmaljit Kaur, completely at ease, walked out of the guesthouse. Almost simultaneously, prime accused Sanjeev Bansal’s wife Renu Bansal, escorted by an advocate, arrived. Her deposition assumes significance as one of Bansal’s clerks had claimed that she had directed the delivery of Rs 15 lakh at Justice Nirmal Yadav’s house. Within the next 15 minutes, Bansal, his clerk Parkash Ram, Nirmal Singh and Rajeev Gupta were brought in a mini bus with “bomb detective squad” painted on the sides.

At around 3.00 pm, advocate Pankaj Bhardwaj, accompanied by a battery of lawyers, came to the guesthouse. Bansal had tried to use his name as an alibi in the initial stages of the case.

After a gap of around five minutes Parkash Ram and Rajiv Gupta were taken away. ASP Madhur Verma reached the spot around 3.30 pm. He was the investigating officer before the case was handed over to the CBI. Within five minutes of his arrival, the media was asked to clear out the parking lot. The inquiry will continue tomorrow.



Aircraft Security Lapse Case
Buck stops at captain, says HC
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 29
Upholding the forfeiture of pension of two Air Force officers who had been caught ferrying contraband and dutiable items in service aircraft 20 years ago, the Delhi High Court has ruled that the captain of an aircraft cannot absolve himself of the responsibility to ensure that nothing illegal is carried, even if he shifts the blame on subordinates who assisted him in performing luggage checks.

In its order issued earlier this month, a division bench has observed that a briefcase containing gold biscuits that was loaded on to the aircraft, for which there was neither any claimant or and identification of ownership, was a serious security lapse.

A team of 32 personnel was deputed to ferry three AN-32 aircraft from Russia to India in 1988. The aircraft, after refuelling at Dubai, landed at Jamnagar on June 8, 1988, where the IAF personnel were asked to declare items bought by them.

On inspection of the aircraft by officials of the department of revenue intelligence a large number of dutiable items were discovered in the three aircraft. Two gold biscuits of hundred grams each were found concealed in a briefcase. No one claimed ownership of the gold and all items were seized by the Customs.

The IAF ordered a court of inquiry (COI) into the incident and the captains of all three aircraft were found blameworthy for serious lapses. The COI recommended a serious view to be taken of the alleged mass connivance of all crew members and called for disciplinary or administrative action against 14 persons. An additional court of inquiry was ordered on January 28, 1989, which took a serious view of the matter.

Before leaving for Russia, all crew members were given a detailed briefing at Air Headquarters regarding Customs rules and regulations and each members signed a declaration of having understood them. The rules included that no contraband, unauthorised parcels or luggage was to be accepted or carried onboard the aircraft. 
The captains of the aircraft were blamed for failure to ensure that their crew complied with Customs rules, failure to ensure that no unidentified or unaccounted baggage was loaded onboard that could jeopardize the security of the aircraft and failure to ensure proper security of the service load, in that the official cases were not tampered with and items of personal baggage were not put inside them.

Air Headquarters had decided to dispose of the case administratively as trial of the officers by court martial was considered inexpedient. The services of two of the captains, both Wing Commanders, were terminated while the third, a Flight Lieutenant, was awarded a censure.


Oppn councillors accuse MC of bias
Question criteria for allocating funds to wards

Tribune News Service


  • The MC’s much-publicised drive against fire safety came under an attack from nominated councillor P.K. Mukherjee who said that it was strange that the MC’s building itself does not have any arrangements for fire safety. He also took the MC to task for not providing facilities to the handicapped, which was mandatory as per the administration norms.
  • Another nominated councillor, A.P. Sanwaria, said if the councillors get laptops, there would be no need of any study tour, as every information was available on Internet these days.
  • Congress councillor Anu Chatrath raised an issue to unanimously pass the construction of concrete roads near the residential area in Sector 15.

Chandigarh, September 29
Noisy scenes were witnessed in the meeting of Chandigarh Municipal Corporation (MC) House here today on the issue of alleged favouritism of the authorities towards the development of the VIP sectors of the city in comparison to the wards having colonies.

Referring to a report published in the Chandigarh Tribune today “Southern sectors getting raw deal”, BJP councillor Anil Kumar Dubey accused the MC of bias and questioned why Rs 16 crore had been spent in ward no 3 represented by Mayor Pradeep Chhabra. He said it was shocking that some other wards had received a meagre Rs 40 lakh. Questioning the very basis of such allocation, he demanded that the MC should clarify the criteria for allocating funds.

Expressing resentment over delay in completion of projects in his area, Dubey said that it is strange that the MC and the administration always raised objections to the projects framed for the welfare of the residents of the colonies of Chandigarh. “Do the authorities forget the guidelines of the administration while making plans for the colonies because every time we are told that proposal of our area had been rejected by the administration,” he questioned.

Dubey added that in most of the cases, the House had passed estimates of the projects of the colonies in his area, but the department concerned had not started the work so far.

An MC official, however, said that there was no favouritism in execution of works in any area of the city. He informed the House that the work was under progress in a number of projects passed for the colonies by the House. The problem was that department was over burdened due to shortage of staff, he added. Akali councillor Harjinder Kaur Akali Dal also objected to the lack of civic amenities for the residents of the southern sector of the city in comparison to the northern sectors.

At this stage, nominated councillor P.K. Mukherjee inquired about the criteria adopted by the authorities in execution of the development works in the city. He suggested that there was a dire need to create a special cell in the corporation where the councillors could register complaints of their areas for early redressal.

Reacting on this, Mayor Pradeep Chhabra said the authorities had never ignored any area in execution of development works.

The House also passed the agenda of purchase of 100 garbage containers of 4.5 cubic metre capacity, revised estimate for augmentation of water supply in Maloya, rough cost estimate for widening and strengthening of main road from district industries centre to fire station, Industrial Area, Phase II, estimate for the work of providing, fixing testing and commissioning of 500 KVA silent generator set at water works at Sector 26, recommendation for disposal of e-waste and concrete road on V-4 at Sector 27.

Union minister of state for finance and parliamentary affairs Pawan Kumar Bansal also attended the meeting.



Councillors unhappy with civic body functioning
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 29
Municipal councillors today said the civic body had failed to free the town from illegal ‘rehri’ menace even when an assurance in this regard was given by the executive officer at a meeting held last month.

These views were expressed at a meeting of the civic body held here today. Councillors stated that the executive officer Amna Kumar Goyal had told them during the meeting held on August 29 that the town would be freed from the ‘rehri’ menace within a week provided elected representatives did not interfere in the working of the civic body. An assurance by showing of hands was taken from the councillors, which failed to yield the desired results.

Rajinder Sharma alleged that certain employees on tehbazari duty were adopting a pick-and-choose policy while removing ‘rehris’. They did not bother if any councillor opposed such an attitude. He said that one employee even said that he would do as he wanted to and nobody could take any action against him. Councillors demanded that this employee should be removed from tehbazari duty. Sharma suggested that all employees working in the tehbazari wing should be replaced with new ones so that work could be carried out properly.

Kuljit Singh Bedi questioned as to why the civic body was not pressurising authorities concerned to hold elections to the posts of senior vice-president and vice-president, which were lying vacant for the past more than one year. Democratic norms were being violated by the indifferent attitude of the authorities, he added.

Paramjit Singh Kahlon said the GMADA authorities had given a public notice stating that residents had to get the conveyance deeds of their houses or plots done within three months at the prevalent rates. He said this was totally unjustified as a large number of residents had purchased houses or plots many years ago when prices were low. They should be allowed to get the conveyance deeds done at the allotment rates.

Kharar MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu said he had raised this issue in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha because this was a major blow to service class people who would find it very difficult to shell out a huge amount for the conveyance deeds. The House unanimously passed a resolution against the GMADA announcement.



Master Plan
Mullanpur belt set to give city a run for money
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mullanpur (Mohali), September 29
Credit to landholdings by the VIP’s the area, the Mullanpur belt is set to give Chandigarh a run for its money in the years to come.

In the master plan of the Mullanpur Planning Area, released by the Punjab Town and Country Planning Department, state-of-the-art health village, knowledge village and eco-tourism related activities have been planned on the foothills of Shivalik Hills and Punjab Land Preservation Act (PLPA), 1900.

GMADA consultants for the project, Jurong Ltd, has proposed recreational facilities like amusement park, spa village, open-air theatres, theme parks and lifestyle hub including golf course and sports facilities around the seasonal rivulets passing through the area.

A large chunk of land, owned by IAS and PCS Officer Cooperative Society and some other land holders along the Chandigarh-Mullanpur road have been allowed mixed land use, thus allowing the setting up of commercial, institutional and residential structures, hotels, hospitals, marriage palaces there.

The mixed land use has been allowed along the Siswan seasonal rivulet and another location along the Mullanpur-Siswan road. A large chunk of land of Mullanpur gram panchayat along the Jyanti Ki Rao is under dispute.

No development will be allowed within a distance of 100 metres from the outer boundary of the Mullanpur Indian Air Force Station.

A senior official said at the health village proposed in 144.6 hectares (adjacent to the Shivalik Hills) the intensity of development would be as low as 1.0 floor area ratio (FAR) and the height of buildings would not exceed 20 metres.

In the industrial zone, only high technology in the form of Science Park, Business Park, R and D Park have been allowed with a permissible FAR of 2.0 and height of 40 metres.

Road and rail connectivity has a special mention in the plan. Since the proposed Chandigarh-Baddi metro link will pass through the area, a metro station and a bus station has been proposed in an area of 15 hectares along the Chandigarh-Mullanpur road.

The 6,123 hectares of the planned area will have to be developed in two phases. In the first phase, 5,460 hectares will be developed, while 663.4 hectares will be developed in the second phase.

The entire area has been divided into three zones — between Chandigarh-Mullanpur road and the PLPA area; between Chandigarh-Mullanpur road and proposed express highway from Mohali and Anandpur Sahib; and the third below it.



Kites cross boundaries in Peace Fest
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 29
Two flags soaring high both of them epitomising the prayers for universal peace but in a slightly different way as one read ‘aman’ and other ‘shanti.’ The painting exemplified the motive behind the students from various regions getting together to commemorate the 3rd International Peace Festival in city.

Marking the second day of the festival, the students got together at Gurukul school, Manimajra, to enjoy the much awaited kite-flying event.

“I have never flown a kite back home. Though it’s a popular sport there, but girls are generally not into it. More than a sport, it’s the sheer excitement that thrilled me,” said an overexcited 23-year-old chirpy Fazia Aziz.

“Basant is a big festival in our country. The sky is full of kites. Things are sometimes difficult for individuals as dreams fail to fall into the pre-casted mould of norms, but it’s always the best to enjoy the moments,” said Laila Sheraz.

A day together and city students have gelled marvellously with them. The way ‘buddies’ were enjoying and giggling around it left everyone wondering what is the difference that holds us back?

For Simran, a city student, the interaction has really given her good friends. “For me a Pakistani girl would mean a simple and timid women in a fully clad dress, but after spending a day with them, I found most of them so upfront and confident. They are wittier than many of us.”

As kites soared and dashed, the campus was abuzz with excitement and fervour the entire day, and when it was the time to pull back the threads, all of them excitedly rushed to get their bags and move on to tread the city markets for best of deals and ‘masti.’

As Goudnil Gill sums up for all, “Any region, any nationality, every girl loves to shop.” She hops on giggling at her quick one-liner.



Hooda to lay stone for senior citizens’ club
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 29
Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda will lay the foundation stone of a senior citizens’ club in Sector 25 on World Elders’ Day here on October 1.

With this, Haryana will become the first state in the country to set up clubs for its elderly.

The foundation stones of such clubs, to be set up on a plot of 1,800 sq m consisting of a reading room, card room, two dormitories (one each for male and female members) and one kitchen, would be laid at Jhajjar, Hisar, Bhiwani, Rohtak and Hisar the same day also.

A scheme to set up senior citizens voluntary service association will also be launched on the occasion.

The clubs, to be run on the pattern of daycare centres, will help encourage senior citizens to come together on one platform and interact with each other on a regular basis.

It will also fill the vacuum created after retirement from service or active work, leading to frustration and loneliness among senior citizens as well as their family.

In addition, this will boost various programmes of the government relating to social issues like female foeticide and literacy.

The senior citizens of Panchkula, however, will have two such centres with the district administration making arrangements for indoor and outdoor games for them at Red Cross building in Sector 15 as well. The games include volleyball, badminton, table tennis, chess, carom and playing cards.

In addition, a music system, gym, library and a physiotherapy centre will also be provided.



Hike in charges at hospitals opposed
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 29
The Consumers Protection Forum has opposed the hike in the rates for various services being provided by government hospitals.

The forum said that charges for registration slip, laboratory tests, operations, ultrasounds, ECGs and X-rays were raised by the government in hospitals. Such hospitals were meant for the welfare of poor and middle class people who would now be adversely affected. It demanded immediate withdrawal of the hike in the charges.

The forum further stated that a large number of BSNL phones were not functioning for the past many months leading to great inconvenience. Residents who were already feeling harassed were being sent bills for services which were not being provided to them.



High security at Mansa Devi temple
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 29
The devotees will witness high security arrangements at Mata Mansa Devi Temple during the Navratra mela starting from tomorrow as the visitors would have to go through door frame type and hand held metal detector at the entry point of the temple. In addition to it, a counter assault group would remain alert throughout the day at the spot to meet any eventuality.

Keeping the threat perception in the light of recent incidents of terrorism at the different parts of the country, the local police has deployed more than 400 police personnel, including two parties of mounted police.

Informing about the programme, Rajinder Kataria, deputy commissioner, Panchkula, said Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Hooda will be the chief guest of the inaugural ceremony of the mela tomorrow.

Special transport arrangements have been made by the Haryana Roadways and CTU for devotees coming from Chandigarh and adjoining areas. To the advantage of the devotees, buses will drop them in the parking of the mela area instead of Sector 5 Mansa Devi Complex. The health department will set up a food lab to test the quality of food items being sold at the temple complex. The lab will also test ‘parshad’ items being sold by vendors.

Dispensaries with 24- hour ambulance service will be opened at the complex. In addition to this, 10 beds each have been reserved in Manimajra and General Hospital, Sector 6, to meet any emergency and special arrangements have been made to ensure uninterrupted supply of electricity during the Navratra celebrations.



Anandmurti’s ‘Shakti’ offers analytical synthesis of social evils
S.D. Sharma

Chandigarh, September 29
“With the spiritual wisdom and social ethics reigning supreme, the Vedic age certainly was the golden era of the Indian civilisation which has been influencing the life of the contingent much after its antiquity.” Asserted the spiritual guru Anandmurti Gurumaa here today. All religions teach and propound the philosophy of humanism, mutual brotherhood and communal harmony, she maintained while talking to the Tribune after the release of her 26th book “Shakti- The Feminine Energy”.

The book is an authoritative treatise of divine utterances offering an analytical synthesis of social evils deeply rooted in the society, their bearing on the life of people in all sections and finally the suggestive and constructive measures for building an ideal society. As a saint does not live up in clouds, Gurumaa, living amidst realities of life has watched the gender disparity for woman. Referring to Vedic period again, she maintained, that woman was regarded and extolled as an angle while today she is tortured victimised and condemned to hellish living in the male dominated society. There used to be the tradition of “swayamber ” granting the right to marry a man of her choice and now in the modern period the “honour killings” are common, she lamented.

The book provides the general awakening and measures for resurrection of life of those victimised.

There is a need for the woman’s self realisation with insight in to her strengths and weaknesses. Proper education of academics, moral ethics and even yoga and martial arts will empower the woman both mentally and physically to fight against all odds, she emphasised.



Hindi fortnight celebrated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 29
Surjit Singh, senior manager II, emerged winner in “ashu bhashan” and “shrut lekh” contests during Hindi fortnight, which concluded at the local head office of the Punjab and Sind Bank in Sector 17 here.

Kirpal Singh Sadar, general manager, gave away certificates and prizes to the winners. He emphasised the need to use Hindi in the day-to-day working of the bank.

Assistant general manager Ravinder Gosain lauded the role of officials who got Hindi listed as “rajbhasha”.

The results are:

Ashu bhashan: I Surjit Singh, II Madhu Saran, III Gurdas Singh

Shrut lekh: I Surjit Singh, II Rajesh Kashyap, III Jagjit Singh Bhalla and Satinder Kaur

Sulekh pratiyogita: I Amarendra Khatra, II Rakesh Kumar, III Rakesh Mehta

Shabad nirman pratiyogita (team competition):

I Dhariya Samooh: Surjit Singh, Karan Vir Singh, N.P. Singh, Daljit Singh and Gurjit Sing

II Shaleen Samooh: Rajesh Kashyap, J.S. Bhalla, M.S. Kang, Madhu Saran and R.S. Mann

III Shourya Samooh: Gurdas Singh, I.S. Sondhi, Amarvir Singh Sodhi and Nirmal Singh



Musical tributes to maestros
S.D. Sharma

Panchkula, September 29
Since the Indian classical music concerts are a rarity in Panchkula, and the music lovers made most of a Sarod recital by the Pune-based maestro Surmani Rajan Vinayak Kulkarni held here recently. The musical soiree was organised by Gandharv Mahavidyalya at their complex to pay tributes to the legendary Pandit Vishnu Digamber Paluskar and acclaimed musicologist Pandit Romesh Chander Dutt on their anniversary.

After a Saraswati Vandana by disciples of Vidyalaya, director Anita Sharma, Surmani Rajan Kulkarni commenced his recital delving into the alaap of raga ‘Madhuwanti’ and doled out the crisp jod and jhalla.

He paid tributes to Pandit Paluskar by presenting his compositions like the one in Bageshwari and jhap tal, which captivated the audience.

He concluded the recital with a popular composition of Ustad Amjad Ali Khan in raga Kafi and later all joined him to a devotional ‘Aarti’ dhun immortalised by the great pioneer of Indian classical music Pandit Vishnu Digambar.

Dr Mahendra Parsad accompanied the maestro on tabla. Chief guest Navjivan Khosla, IAS (retd), and guest of honour S.D. Bhambri, former chief secretary, Haryana, honoured the artistes.



Now, ‘poetry film fest’ in Chandigarh
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 29
Chandigarh is all set to open a new chapter in the entertainment field. Come October 4 and the city will host first-of-its-kind two-day "Sadho poetry film festival" in the city, bringing a rare treat for poetry and art film buffs.

Brought to the city by Sadho, a voluntary organisation committed to taking great 'poetry to people' through the innovative use of art, media and social action, in collaboration with Society for Tourism and Entertainment Promotions (STEPS), the festival will showcase around 30 films at the Government Museum and Art Gallery, Sector 10, and the Rock Garden.

The festival will have a Chandigarh connection as curator of the festival Jitendra Ramprakash hails from Chandigarh and will return to his roots with a cocktail of "finest poetry in action".

Besides, the screening also includes a film by Amtojh Sandhu, a filmmaker-photographer-painter, who also originally hails from Chandigarh. An alumni of the College of Art, Chandigarh, and now based at London, Sandhu's film "Ya Devi --The Goddess" had got rave reviews during the poetry festival in October last year at New Delhi.

Launched in October 2007, Sadho endeavours to present some of the finest poetry and poetry films from around the world to discerning audience. The festival also aims at building collaborative linkages with festivals and organisations in other parts of the world and features 85 films from 23 countries, including the USA, the UK, France, the Netherlands, Austria, Crotia, Israel, India, Brazil, Argentina, and Venuzuela.



‘Kul Birtaant’ staged
Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 29
National Theatre Arts Society (NTAS) today organised Marathi dramatist Varindavan Dandvate's ‘Kul Birtaant’, adapted and directed by duo Pran Sabharwal and Sunita Sabharwal to mark its 8th Foundation Day celebrations.

Inder Mohan Singh Bajaj, city president, Shiromani Akali Dal, was chief guest, and Kunwar Aggarwal from Banaras and Balbir Kaur, director languages, Punjab, were special guests.

NTAS president G. S. Kakkar and dignitaries dedicated the celebrations to Saheed Bhagat Singh by garlanding his portrait placed at the Bhasha Bhawan.



Death of Bull
Gate rally by MC staff
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 29
Employees of the municipal council today continued their protest against the registration of a case against their colleagues by the police, with councillors unanimously supporting their agitation.

The employees held a gate rally in support of their demands, including withdrawal of case and security for employees working in the field.

The rally was addressed by union leaders of other employees welfare bodies as well.

The protesters said the administration had demanded one week’s time to cancel the FIR registered against five employees of the civic body who were engaged in a drive to catch stray animals. If the FIR was not cancelled by October 3, the agitation would be intensified, they said.

Five employees of the civic body were booked by the police under Section 429, IPC, after residents of Lambian village complained that a stray bull had been tortured by employees on duty while trying to load the animal on to a vehicle. The animal died later.




Threat to tourism

Though the ministry of tourism has launched a campaign to inspire people to respect tourists, there has been a certain change in people's behaviour, especially the youth, towards the tourists.

The unpleasant incidents involving foreign tourists are on the rise, which poses serious threat to tourism in India.

As tourism is one of the main revenue-earning sectors, serious efforts are required to make India a safe tourist destination.

While giving training to the taxi drivers, hotel staff and police personnel are welcome steps, there is a need to involve the youth as well.

Rajesh Krishan, Chandigarh

Readers are invited to write to us. Send your mail, in not more than 200 words, at news@tribuneindia.com or, write in, at: Letters, Chandigarh Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh – 160 030



Committee fails to submit report
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 29
While the statements of the victim and accused got recorded two days prior to the speculated date, UT administration is yet to get the committee’s report on the recent incident of alleged ‘bashing’ up of a student by fellow students at MCM DAV college, Sector 36, recently.

Following the request of Priyanka, the victim, UT administration nominated Jagdish Arora, registrar (colleges) and Shashi Malik, principal, GCG-42, to overlook and ensure a fresh probe by the college committee constituted by the principal.

Priyanka had accused the college authorities and the committee of pressurising her to ‘compromise’, and approached administration, whose intervention was welcomed not only by the students but also by the principal.

The committee visited the college on Saturday and recorded the statements of the victim and the accused, however, failed to adhere to the deadline of submitting the report today.

Raji Shrivastava said, “I am yet to receive the report as some members of the committee were unavailable to sign it. It might reach me by tomorrow or latest by Wednesday. I will be able to decide only after going through it.”



PU student shines in world conference
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 29
Gaurav Gaur from department of social work, Panjab University, has received second prize in documentary-presentation competition during a three-day international conference on ‘Human Rights and Mental Health’ held at department of social work, Madras Christian College, Chennai, from September 24 to 27.

More than 150 delegates from 33 schools of social work in seven countries, including Australia, Denmark, Sweden, and Canada, took part in the conference.

Gaurav presented a documentary titled ‘Udaan-- fly for freedom’. He showcased the work done by him and Commonwealth Youth Ambassadors for HIV/AIDS.

Dr Ambumani Ramadoss, Union minister for health, who was chief guest on the occasion, gave away the prizes to the winners.



UBS Name Row
Controversy refuses to die
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 29
The issue of the name of the Panjab University’s B-school has become a bone of contention for the authorities as the controversy engulfing the school’s name in the regional centre, Ludhiana, refuses to die down. The management students met the officials once again today to discuss the matter.

The students had come to meet the members of the committee constituted by the vice-chancellor in this regard. In the meeting, the students again demanded to rename the school as University Business School (UBS), Ludhiana, instead of the present name, Business School, Panjab University, Regional Centre.

The students also claimed that the name was already changed in one of the syndicate meetings, however, the same was somehow not implemented. On the contrary, according to the syndicate decision, it was clarified that to avoid confusion, the names of the two institutes, UBS, Chandigarh and Business school, RRC, Ludhiana should be distinct.

The committee comprising Prof Anil Saihjpal, director, UIAMS, Prof Naval Kishore, Prof Ronki Ram and Prof Dinesh Gupta, chairman, UBS, deliberated upon the issue with the students. The students also discussed other problems with the members including lack of adequate faculty, insufficient infrastructure and other facilities such as wi-fi etc.

The students were assured by both Prof Naval and Prof Saihjpal that the matter pertaining to renaming the school would be taken up in the syndicate meeting to be held tomorrow. It must be mentioned here that even after one and a half years of the institute, out of total requirement of seven faculty members, only two faculty members were available for teaching. The students are paying more as compared to the students of UBS, Chandigarh, it being a self-financing course, yet they are not getting their due, claimed the students.



Varsity restoring old security system
Archit Watts

Chandigarh, September 29
It seems that the experiment of deploying private security at Panjab University has flopped as the authorities have started revamping the old system of having its own security personnel.

With the appointment of as many as 39 security personnel, the authorities have been doing away with the hired security system by and large. Recruitment of 60 more personnel is on cards.

Giving reasons, Naval Kishore, Dean Students’ Welfare (DSW), said: “Private security is not efficient. A review of the entire campus is enough to highlight their shortcomings. So the university has decided to take arrangements in its own hands.”

It is to be noted that the university adopted the private security system just last year due to lack of security staff on the campus.

“Deploying them along with our own guards was also an experiment. But now we have realised that these security guards are not trained enough to meet the security requirements. The only criteria of private agencies for the recruitment is well-built and healthy people. But most of these guards are not trained enough,” reasoned Vijay, chief of PU security. “After completing the recruitment, we will provide them 100-hour training, covering all aspects of self-defence, weapon usage, first aid and fire fighting,” said Vijay.



Tiny tots try hands at cooking
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 29
A unique kitchen activity organised for children at Ashmah International School here today witnessed an enthusiastic participation by tiny tots who tried their hands at cooking.

The unique kitchen classes saw small kids dishing out sandwiches, bhelpuri, biscuits with toppings, fruit chat, sprouts and lemonade as part of exercise which was meant to educate and train kids in taking care of their eating needs and helping out their mothers at home. The kitchen classes primarily included cooking without fire, keeping in mind the safety for kids.

Principal Roopinder Ghuman said the purpose of the activity was to inculcate a sense of dignity of labour amongst the students who must be considerate to the pressures upon their parents, especially in the nuclear families these days.



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