C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Molestation case
German identifies Pankaj, Dalli
The other three accused refused to participate in the identification parade
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 5
The German tourist, who was allegedly kidnapped and molested last week, identified two of the five arrested accused in an identification parade held at the city’s high security prison in Burail this morning.

The three other accused Sukhwinder Singh, alias Sukhi, and Manveer Singh, alias Jolly, and Sompal did not participate in the parade. They refused to participate by moving a plea in the court that their photographs had been published in newspapers.

Accompanied by her father and two officials of the German Embassy, the 20-year-old girl arrived in the city this morning and left back for Delhi immediately after completing the formalities. The UT police had kept the details about her arrival and the identification parade a secret, apparently to avoid media glare.

According to sources, the other two suspects, Pankaj and Harpreet, alias Dalli, were lined up along with 14 other inmates, with similar physical features and outfits, for the parade and the victim recognised them instantly. The test identification parade was conducted in the presence of SDM (south) Prerna Puri.

“Making no mistake, the victim singled out both accused at the first instance. She needed no help of any interpreter or any other assistance during the parade, in which the jail superintendent and deputy superintendent were also present as witnesses,” said the sources.

The parade was conducted following the orders of the CJM. Later, the victim also identified the Scorpio in which she was allegedly kidnapped and the Maruti that was used to drop her back to the city. The police also took her to Ambala to identify the place where she was allegedly taken and molested.

According to ASP Madhur Verma, she recognised all three spots where she was allegedly confined. The places include the farmhouse owned by a relative of Sukhi and the tubewell room on Jolly’s farm.

Meanwhile, the fifth accused Sompal has been sent to judicial custody by the local court.

Victim thrashes Sompal

The victim, in an outburst of anger, reportedly thrashed and slapped Sompal, an accused. According to sources, she attacked him when both of them coincidentally came face to face as she was returning from identification parade in Burail Jail and the latter was being shifted there for his judicial custody



UT police for speedy trial
Akash Ghai and Archit Watts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 5
The Chandigarh Police is set to move the Sessions Court for fasttrack court in the sensational kidnapping and alleged molestation of the German tourist. The police may request the court to either transfer the trial to an existing fast-track court outside the city or set up one for ensuring a time-bound speedy trial for the victim.

The police is planning to move an application in a couple of days and reportedly apprised the victim and her family about their plans. It is to be noted that the police has nabbed all accused and claimed to have almost finished its investigations.

Madhur Verma, ASP, and supervisory officer in the investigation, said, “We are almost through with our investigations as only the CFSL reports are awaited. Now, we will request the judiciary to ensure a speedy trial to avoid any delay in justice. The police has worked hard to nab the accused.”

Denying any preference between the setting up of a special court and just shifting the case to the existing fast courts, he said it was for the judiciary to decide.

The police also claimed to have informed about it to the victim, who has appreciated the move.



Passport Scam
Kingpin nabbed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 5
After dodging the Chandigarh police twice, Gurjinder Singh Lucky, the prime accused in the passport theft scam, finally landed in the police net. A team of the crime branch of the Chandigarh Police arrested him from Begowal in Kapurthala district yesterday.

Lucky was wanted by the police in connection with the theft of 49 passports. Lucky, who is booked in several cases of human trafficking, admitted before the police that he had illegally sent 49 persons abroad.

DSP (crime) KIP Singh said Lucky was arrested by a special investigation team led by sub-inspector (SI) Charanjit Singh and SI Gurmukh Singh. The police has so far recovered 16 stolen passports. Lucky has also been booked for human trafficking by the Delhi Police in seven cases and by the Punjab Police in four cases.

Sources in the police said Lucky managed to give the raiding team the slip on September 30. The team nabbed his accomplice Bhupinder Singh, alias Binda, near Jandhiala while Lucky managed to escape. The police recovered two stolen passports from Binda. Finally, the Chandigarh police nabbed Lucky yesterday from Begowal. Both Binda and Lucky were produced before a local court, which remanded them in judicial custody till October 7.

Earlier in August, Lucky narrowly escaped from a Punjab police team, which conducted a raid at his acquaintance’s house in August on a tip-off given by the Chandigarh Police.

The police had earlier arrested nine persons in this case, including acting director of Air Slovakia Bharat Ghai. The other accused in the case are Sukhwant Singh, Raj Kumar, Neeru, Amarjit Singh alias Sudama, Upjit Singh, alias Monty, Joginder Pal, Naval Kishore Verma and Gian Kaur.

A case of cheating, theft, forgery and criminal conspiracy was registered on October 31, 2006, at the Sector 34 police station on a complaint lodged by the Regional Passport Office reporting theft of a bundle consisting of 49 printed passports along with other documents.

The serial numbers of the passport were G-0043901 to G-0043905 and G-0043907 to G-0043950. The passport office staff located a passport (number G-0043902) from the fourth floor of the building without its files. Out of total 49 missing passports, files of 44 passports without the passports were recovered from the basement of the building. 



BJP leader, son held in dowry case
Tribune News Service

Dera bassi, October 5
The vice-president of Mohali district unit of the BJP, Suresh Gupta, was today arrested by the police for allegedly harassing and intimidating his daughter-in-law Jyoti (26) for dowry. Gupta’s son and husband of the victim, Rohit, was also arrested for the offence.

A case was registered after the victim was admitted to the GMCH, Sector 32, Chandigarh, when she complained of vomiting and nausea. In her statement given to the SDM, Dera Bassi, she stated that her condition deteriorated after her husband gave her some medicine when she complained of stomachache. She was taken to a local hospital before being referred to the GMCH.

Other members of the family, including the victim’s mother-in-law, who has also been named in the FIR, are reported to be absconding. The SHO, Dalbir Singh, told The Tribune that a case under the Dowry Act had been registered on the basis of the statement given by the victim. The police has also booked the girl’s in-laws for intimidating her parents with a weapon. The couple was married in 2005.

According to sources, the in-laws had been harassing Jyoti for more dowry. The police had to intervene after the parents and relatives of the victim raised slogans against the BJP leader outside the police station. While the father and son (who run property business in the area) were arrested soon after the incident, the mother-in-law and two sister-in-laws absconded.

The SHO said any further sections in the FIR would be added depending upon the medical reports from the GMCH. “Though the victim is said to stable, we want to know the nature of the medicine given to her following which her condition deteriorated.”

A case was registered after the BJP leader’s daughter-in-law was admitted to the GMCH, Sector 32, Chandigarh, when she complained of vomiting and nausea. In her statement given to the SDM, Dera Bassi, she stated that her condition deteriorated after her husband gave her some medicine when she complained of stomachache.



Eyes on Sale
Remand of main accused extended
Patiala doctor sent to jail; Hospital staffer got Rs 1,500 for a pair of eyes
Gurdeep Singh Mann
Tribune News Service

Rajpura, October 5
Accused Sunil Kumar, who took out eyes of dead bodies and sold it to a doctor couple at Patiala, confessed to have removed eyeballs and then fill the void with polybag. He had been working for the doctor couple of Patiala since January, 2008.

"Sunil was contacted by Manjit Singh, driver of the doctor, who assured him Rs 1,500 per pair of eyes. It was not difficult for Sunil to take out the eyes from the dead bodies as he was posted in the mortuary of the hospital," said police officials, investigating the case.

The officials said Sunil used to remove eyes of two dead bodies out of five and sell it off to Manjit Singh by putting it in a polythene bag carrying it all the way to Rajpura.

"Instead of Sunil directly going to Patiala, Manjit decided that they would meet at a point between Ambala and Patiala to evade any kind of suspicion.

Rajpura was the meeting point. Sunil sold eyes to Manjit, who further handed these over to the Patiala doctor couple", said the police officials.

DSP Ashish Kumar, investigating the matter, said Dr Jaspinderpal Singh had admitted that more than four pairs of eyes, procured illegally from the civil hospital, Ambala, through Sunil, were transplanted during the past few months. "His wife Dr Neelima Sodhi maintains the entire record of patients and their addresses," Ashish Kumar added.

The police produced three accused in the court of duty magistrate Satin Goyal at Rajpura. While Dr Jaspinderpal Singh and Manjit Singh were sent to jail on 14-day judicial remand, Sunil was sent to one-day police remand. The police officials said Sunil had been taken to the Ambala Civil Hospital for the recovery of tools being used by him in the crime.

Though the police claimed to have reached at the bottom of the case, however, it failed to arrest Dr Neelima Sodhi. Also it did not took Dr Jaspinderpal and Manjit on police remand.

Meanwhile, the situation went out of control today when photo journalists from the media were stopped by supporters of Dr Jaspinderpal in the court premises. Around six people, who accompanied Dr Jaspinderpal to the court, had their faces covered with cloth. They manhandled mediapersons and tried to stop them from taking pictures of the accused.

The cops on duty outside the courts remained the mute spectators. The mediapersons also lodged a complaint with the police in this connection demanding action against the supporters of the accused.



Cops inspect hospital’s mortuary
Suman Bhatnagar

Ambala, October 5
The Punjab Police visited the Ambala City civil hospital in eye removing incident this evening. The employee Sunil also accompanied the police.

The police inspected the mortuary of the hospital where the dead bodies are kept. The police did not meet the hospital authorities in this regard.

Principal medical officer of the hospital O.P. Arya said neither the police checked the post-mortem report of Lalanan Shah, who was killed in a road accident on October 1 and his post-mortem was conducted on October 2, nor it demanded any record from the hospital authorities.

According to Rajpura DSP Ashish Kapoor, the police had taken Sunil to the civil hospital at Ambala City to recover the instruments through which he used to remove the eyes of unclaimed bodies. According to sources, the police could not find the instruments.

A senior eye surgeon of a local private nursing home said the removal of the cornea was not an easy work. One should have sufficient knowledge of surgery to remove this delicate part of the eye, he added.

Meanwhile, political parties have also started taking up this issue. Former MP of Ambala Ratan Lal Kataria demanded a CBI inquiry into the matter. President of the youth wing of the district INLD Harpal Singh Kamboj also demanded a high-level inquiry into it. He said the persons who were behind the curtain should be behind the bars. 


Pinjore Heritage Festival-2008
Grand finale by Sabri brothers
S.D. Sharma/Hemant Kumar

Panchkula/Kalka, October 5
A captivating spell of qawwali by the acclaimed Sabri brothers at Yadavindra Gardens provided a grand finale to the Third Pinjore Heritage Festival- 2008. The trio of Ameen Sabri, Sayeed Sabri and Farid Sabri took the centre stage for soulful rendition of qawwalis before the weekend crowd.

Coming from a rich lineage of the Hindustani classical music, the Sabri bothers had been credited with playback singing, especially qawwalis in films like ‘Bhagmati’, ‘Ishaq abhi tak zinda hai’. Endowed with a melodious voice with wider range, Farid Sabri had done playback singing for over a dozen films, including Hina, Barsaat ki raat and Pardes to name a few.

The maestros opened up with an invocatory ‘Kaul’ set in raga Yaman as a tribute to Amir Khusro, the celestial Sufi mystic, before doling out his popular creation ‘Chhap Tilak sab’. The maestros interspersed the musical rendition with divine utterances of Meera, Kabir, Sudas and others.

After a mundane beginning, the overall performance gained momentum with another Sufiana qalaam ‘Tu Karim hai’ weaved in raga Darbari. The trio maintained their excellence in ‘Daur-e-Harma’ lacing it with couplets like ‘Inbadat dil se hoti hai karaare se nahin hoti’. After a spell-binding ‘Kis baat ka rona hai’, they obliged the audience with a farmaish for Amir Khusro’s ‘Teri surat pe balihari’. Their film number ‘Der naa ho jai kahin’, however, induced some charm with mysticism and spiritual content melting into romanticism. J.K. Singh of AIR conducted the programme with admirable competence.

Meanwhile, the three-day 3rd Heritage Festival, organised by the state tourism department, concluded at Yadavindra Gardens, Pinjore, today. The festival left visitors thrilled, tickled and amused despite the fact that rain partially affected some of the activities. Due to Sunday, heavy rush of visitors from Chandigarh, Panchkula, Mohali and some parts of Himachal was witnessed in the festival.

People could be seen enjoying Rajasthani puppet show, Kachi Ghori. Traditional orchestra of Haryana, and Haryanavi folk dances like Phag, Ghoomer, Khoria performed by artistes of Jind, including Meenu, Pooja, Salim, Poonam, Arvinder was the main attraction.

The festival was declared closed by Haryana Governor, A. R. Kidwai. Haryana tourism minister, Kiran Chaudhary, was also present. More than 10,000 visitors attended the festival in three days. Dr A. R. Kidwai said such festivals preserved and promoted tradition and culture of the state.

Kiran Choudhary said the World Tourism Organisation would mark Yadavindra Gardens as a major tourism destination after declaration of Kalka-Shimla railway track as World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Various competitions were held on the last day. Muskan Sharma, Maureen Saini and Jyoti Arora won first, second and third prize, respectively, in fancy-dress competition. Rekha Jain, Umang and Anil Kumar Jain won prizes in Su-do-ku competition. In mask-making competition, Kavita of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Chandigarh, won the first prize, and Komal Saini and Deepika Saini of Kendriya Vidyalaya, Chandigarh, bagged second and third prizes, respectively.



Development At A Cost
Four laning: Green trees face the axe
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 5
Infrastructure development in the city is coming at the cost of greenery. A number of fully grown green trees are likely to be axed to lay a four-lane road in Mohali.

While the residents of the area allege that the road alignment did not necessitate removal of the fully grown trees, officials in the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) maintain that uprooting the trees was mandatory as it was coming in way of laying of essential services.

Due to certain litigations and encroachments, the road was being laid in a zigzag manner from Sohana traffic junction to Sector 71 traffic junction near the SCL. A number of trees have already been axed and some fully grown papal tress are to be axed.

An official looking after the road laying work said the plan given by the engineering department necessitated setting up of essential services along both sides of the road. “Saplings are being planted in place of the axed trees along the road,” he added.

The executive engineer, horticulture, said that following a complaint by the area residents, a spot inspection was carried out. Apart from the essential services, service lane was also being laid. The GMADA would soon undertake plantation along the road, he said.

When completed, the road starting from the Tribune Chowk, would pass behind Sector 68 and join the Chandigarh-Kharar road at Desu Majra village. 



Former IAS officer on a noble mission
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 5
Six years after resigning in protest of the Gujarat riots, former IAS officer Harsh Mander has kept himself occupied by working for the victims of the riots and has also started his own human rights organisation.

Recollecting the sequence of events during the riots, Harsh said, “I was 47-year-old at that time and took voluntary retirement immediately after the Gujarat carnage. On going through the details of the whole episode I realised the issue was larger than just communal riots and decided to leave the job at once. Since then I have been working for the victims of riots. It has been a completely different journey all together from being a part of the state to working for the cause of mankind with the same values.”

Contemplating on it Harsh further says, “At present the law has been unsuccessful in pulling up the criminals thus they don’t take a second thought before violating the human rights.”

On his experiences and work in past six years he divulges, “I was appointed by the Supreme Court of India as the commissioner of the right to food for children case in 2004. On a public interest litigation (PIL) the apex court had appointed me as the commissioner and we worked on the implementation of various schemes like midday meals.”

Harsh has also started an NGO that presently provides shelter to 200 homeless children who are either abandoned or indulges begged in New Delhi.”

Harsh was in the city for a symposium held by a human rights organisation at the ICSSR in Panjab University.

Among others Dr Pritam Singh Gill of Oxford Brookes University discussed the intrinsic worth and instrumentalist worth theories and strongly defended the former saying that the intrinsic worth theory ensured life with dignity and certain rights for everyone. Whereas the instrumentalists worth theory could sometimes easily be misused or ignored in the name of national unity and integrity and could lead to ethnic cleansing or genocide.

Other speakers Patrick Hoeing, former political officer of the UN mission, Abdulrahim P. Vijapur, professor of political science in Aligarh Muslim University and Sukhman Singh Dhami, MA from International Human Rights Law from Washington College of Law.



‘No one to check violation of human rights’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 5
“Poor enforcement of law and a casual attitude towards the judiciary has made India prone to incidents like mass killings, communal riots and bomb blasts.

There is no one to check violation of human rights,” said Indira Jaising, the eminent Supreme Court lawyer, in a seminar.

While sharing her views on violation of human rights that is rampant in the country she says, “The question here as to why we are not able to interfere the claims of the of the government that it is saving the interests of the common man, so the courts don’t want to interfere in the working of the government.”

Indira asserts, “If law is imposed properly and heavy penalty applied on those who violate it, especially on those who have committed heinous crimes, should be booked by the judiciary so that it spreads a social message and leave an impact on the minds of people for a long time.”

Elaborating on the involvement of government officials in helping the miscreants, she specifies, “Sometimes the representatives of the government itself indulge in unlawful killings that result in violation of human rights.

The judiciary should take stern decisions to curb such activities.”

However, Indira claims that the state should not give the liberty to the Armed Forces to conduct encounters like the recent one in Delhi.

Whenever the Armed Forces are going to nab some one who is suspected to be involved in the bomb blasts it should try to arrest them. While she feels that when the extremist indulge in activities like detaining innocent people to get the one in custody released from the jail are separate issues.

She was in town to attend the first symposium organised by a Nepal-based human rights organisation. In the symposium she spoke on insightful topic - “King can do no wrong” at ICSSR auditorium in the Panjab University.

Indira says, “As the title suggest it implies that the powerful people sitting on plum posts can do no wrong.

In the presentation I have suggested that the Armed Forces Special Powers Act should be repealed.

The act is presently enforced in Jammu & Kashmir, Nagaland, Manipur and Tripura.

The act gives the liberty to the Armed Forces to kill whosoever they suspect as the 



Residents exhorted to follow traffic rules
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 5
“Drive safely to save others” was the message that superintendent of police (traffic) H.S. Doon gave to the public during an awareness camp-cum-exhibition at Fun Republic, Mani Majra, yesterday.

The camp was jointly organised by the Chandigarh traffic police and Yuva Sankalp Foundation.

Addressing the gathering, the SP said the police was not there to issue challans only. Educating the public about traffic rules and regulations was also its duty.

Doon also laid stress on the importance of wearing helmets and seat belts while driving.

“Life is precious. So, it is everyone’s duty to drive safely and follow the rules and regulations on roads,” exhorted Doon.

DSP J.S. Cheema and Davesh Moudgil, president of Yuva Sankalp Foundation, were also present. 



Adopt healthy lifestyle to check depression
Tribune News Service


  • Feeling down and low consistently
  • Lack of energy and feeling tired all the time
  • Inability to enjoy life
  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • Irritability, anger or anxiety
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Significant weight loss or gain
  • Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Suicidal tendency

Chandigarh, October 5
In the present times of extreme stress, strained family relationships, fast lifestyle and career demands, more and more people are becoming victims of depression. According to experts, one out of five persons is suffering from depression. It's an illness that affects mind, mood and also health.

"Feeling down or low for a long time can be defined as depression. We all experience temporary blues when something doesn’t happen as per our expectation or when we face an unpleasant situation. But these feelings disappear after a day or two or when the circumstances change for the better. But when the negative feelings persist, it is depression," says Dr Kiran Bala, consultant psychiatrist, Cheema Medical complex, Mohali.

Life throws up innumerable situations every day. Some can be exciting when one feels on the top of the world while others can be unexciting when one feels low. "Sometimes, this negative emotion assumes a serious form. The person can withdraw himself and feel worthless, hopeless and helpless," says Dr Kiran.

She claims that women are twice likely to suffer from depression as compared to men. Change in menstrual cycle, pregnancy, miscarriage, menopause are some of the hormonal factors that contribute to depression.

Psychologists say that men, too, are prone to depression, but they rarely admit it and try to mask it by taking to alcohol and drugs. Elderly people, who find it difficult to face life after retirement, also plunge into depression. In the past two decades, depression in children has also shown a tremendous rise. A depressed child may refuse to go to school and pretend to be sick.

Infertility, heart diseases, migraine, diabetes and various kinds of chronic pains have proved to be directly caused by stress in life, comments Dr Kiran. Autoimmune diseases, ulcers, asthma, irritable bowel diseases, premenstrual syndrome and skin ailments are in a number of ways showing more incidence amongst stress-affected individuals. While hypertension, obesity, hormonal imbalances are the manifest forms of stress fallout among humans, emotional effects like depression, anxiety, eating disorders and substance abuse further accentuate the problem, asserts Dr Bala.

But it can be controlled by counselling and medication. These are extremely effective in fighting depression. Antidepressants are usually the first line of treatment for moderate or severe depression. Recent studies have shown that exercise also helps to prevent depression. "Adopting a healthy lifestyle is important to come out of depression," says Dr Kiran.

Generally people do not seek treatment thinking that depression is a character flaw. This makes many hide their problems. "One must understand that just as there can be problems with your body, there can be problem with your mind, too," says Dr Kiran. Depression brings suffering not only to those who suffer from it but also to those who are close to them. "We must remember that everyday is a challenge and nobody can be held accountable for your life," advises Dr Kiran.



Ayurvedic college to adopt senior citizens
Tribune News service

Chandigarh, October 5
Dabur Dhanwantry Ayurvedic College, Sector 46, has decided to adopt all senior citizens of the area, said vice-president of the college Dr Naresh Mittal.

Inaugurating a seven-day free medical check-up camp on the college premises, organised in collaboration with the Sai Tara Ummat Foundation, Mittal said that to take care of the senior citizens’ medical and other needs, one student of the college would be attached with a senior citizen. He added that those who were living alone and were incapable of moving out would be treated in the hospital as indoor patients, wherever needed, free of cost.

Dr Rakesh Sharma, director, Ayurveda, Punjab, inaugurated the camp and Dr Ashwani Kumar Sharma, director, AYUSH, Punjab, presided over the function. About 150 patients were examined and provided free medicines at the camp.

Earlier, A.K. Ummat, chairman, Sai Tara Ummat Foundation, highlighted the activities of the Foundation.

The Foundation also honoured five senior citizens on this occasion, including Maj Gen J.S. Bhullar (retd.), P.H. Vaishnav, Air Marshal K.S. Bhatia, Brig Keshav Anand and Dr Rajinder Kaur, who have been rendering yeoman’s service to the society. 



Stamp exhibition organised
Tribune News service

Chandigarh, October 5
A one-frame stamp exhibit competition was held at General Post Office, Sector 17.

The exhibition was inaugurated by the Chandigarh mayor and chief postmaster general of the Chandigarh and Panjab circle on October 2.

There were 24 entries on various themes like music, flowers, musical greeting cards, freedom fighters, Sikhism, India, Gandhi etc. Stamp collectors from the city, Rakesh Walia and Rakesh Khurana, also put up a slide show on stamps of Gandhi.

The show was appreciated by the chief post master general and he suggested that the same be shown to schoolchildren. The mayor promised to organise more such exhibitions. Various schoolchildren visited the exhibition.



City Scope
It's no way to go about!
Raveen Thukral

A lot has been written during the week on the disgusting and rather shameful abduction and the alleged molestation of the 20-year-old German tourist. The manner in which the victim was brutalised (she had over a dozen injury marks on her body, including private parts), is a repulsive testimony to the perverted acts of the suspects.

The nature of the crime and sort of publicity it has attracted has made the incident a hot topic of discussion in offices, schools, colleges, drawing rooms and even parties, with almost everyone having their own viewpoint on the incident. Facts like the victim was "drunk", a "smoker" (she was allegedly kidnapped when she had stepped out of Taj Hotel's lobby, where she was partying late night with friends, to light a cigarette) and an "extrovert" would have fired the imagination of many and attracted all sorts of comments.

While I respect everyone's right to an opinion and also the liberty to express it, my conversations with a cross section of people, ranging from professionals, including some journalists, to bureaucrats, cops and a couple of politicians, sadly reveals that many feel that the girl literally invited trouble for herself. The sarcastic manner in which facts relating to her behaviour are presented by these people, wittingly or unwittingly, appear to trivialise the ghastly act. At the same time, it also willy-nilly reflects their mindset and their insensitivity towards crimes against women.

In fact, such comments remind me of an article, published in a newspaper backed by Mumbai's right wing party, after the sensational rape of a girl by a policeman. While the author outrightly condemned the act as such, he blamed women for it on the plea that they dressed provocatively.

Similarly, many of us will find the German girl's drinking and extrovert nature unusual and perhaps unacceptable but we must realise that these aren't exactly a taboo in the society which she comes from. In fact, they are a part and parcel of their culture, which even considers saying a 'hi' to a stranger on streets as a basic etiquette.

I don't blame anyone here for finding such mannerism strange. Even I felt awkward on my first trip to the US when passers-by, including young smart girls, greeted me with a bright smile and "good morning". For a couple of days it was unusual but later it even became a habit with me. Their smiles were not a licence for anyone to misbehave with them.

It's sad that character assassination of victims of such crimes is an age old standard excuse of the criminals and their defence lawyers. And unfortunately many of us get swayed by such propaganda.

For the record, law does not give any importance to the character of the victim in such cases. In nutshell as per law, no one can even justify a rape of a prostitute. Thus the character or the behaviour of the victim should not generate any sympathy in the minds of the people of a civilised society about either the crime or those involved in it.

Now coming to the UT police’s role. While they have acted swiftly in apprehending the suspects (thanks to the presence of the mind of the victim who noted the vehicle numbers), they cannot absolve themselves of the lax policing that prevails in the city.

The dismal presence of the police on the city streets, particularly at nights, has been reported umpteen numbers of times in newspapers but little has been done to improve the situation. It seems the city police, which during the days of terrorism practised night dominance, has resorted to night surrender, leaving the streets unmanned. Thankfully the city, in terms of law and order, appears better off as compared to metropolitan cities but that certainly cannot be an excuse to relax vigilance.

The increasing number of cases of burglaries, thefts, riots and car lifting, which many officials prefer to attribute to their policy of free registration of FIRs, is a clear indicator that something is amiss somewhere when it comes to basic policing. Those at the helm must not ignore this aspect as high-tech equipments, modernisation and cyber cells can only help investigate cases and not prevent crime.

Crime prevention is the job of the police and unfortunately it appears to be low on its priority.

Write to [email protected]



Review decision, industry to PSEB
Our Correspondent

Mohali, October 5
Even as the Mohali Industries Association expressed its anguish over the decision of the Punjab Sate Electricity Board (PSEB) to increase the compulsory weekly off day to two consecutive days, it appealed to the government and the board to reconsider the decision.

The president of the association, B.S.Anand, said the industry was already suffering due to the one day compulsory off but the two-day off was adding to their troubles.

He said during October, there were several holidays on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti, Dasehra and Diwali. These holidays would add to the work pressure on other days.

Due to the festival season, the demand for products had also increased. The two-day power cut had further aggravated the crisis. The industry would not be able to distribute bonus to workers as work was affected and units were not able to meet production and delivery schedules.

The board was not able to meet the power demand of the industrial sector even when the paddy season was over and dams were overflowing. Enhanced role of power sector was critical for rapid economic development of the state. For the growth of the state economy, power supply needed to be augmented, instead the PSEB had increased the weekly off day, he said.



Supply milk in cardboard

Even though the use of polythene bags has been made a cognizable offence, no attention is paid to the need of replacing the present mode of carrying milk and other dairy products. Milk in lakh of litres is consumed everyday in packed form in the city.

The plastic pouches should be replaced with cardboard cartons. Not only are they ideal for delivery and storage purpose, but environment-friendly too. Milk bottles made out of cardboard will prevent thousands of tons of plastic from being dumped every day. Also, they can be recycled.

Rajesh Krishan, Chandigarh

Counselling is the solution

This is in reference to Raveen Thukral’s article regarding road rage, which appeared in the Chandigarh Tribune under ‘City Scope’. Although ours is a city of well-educated and well-mannered citizens, but with the rapid commercialisation, the morality has been the sole victim. As a result, nowadays, one seldom cares about the others.

Definitely heavy penalties and proper law-enforcement can curb this menace to a large extent, but in reality, much more needs to be done. We also require counselling to curb the problem.

The rude behaviour of a person while driving is the result of stress and psychological pressures he faces in daily life. It is the duty of the family to provide counselling to its members. Parents need to inculcate proper traffic sense among their wards.

Saurabh Sambyal, Chandigarh

Gentle behaviour needed

This is in reference to the article ‘Fear alone can ensure sanity’ by Raveen Thukral published on September 29. It is depressing that the city too, like metros, is turning out to be prey to the road rage. It is unfortunate that apparently normal people succumb to such hostile behaviour.

Buying a driving licence in India has become a piece of cake, and obeying traffic rules are considered troublesome. Most of the drivers, who indulge in reckless driving and kill people, are let-off with lesser punishment and are back on the roads again. Teaching them road etiquettes is like teaching monster to be a gentleman. Only law enforcing agencies can do so with the help of stringy laws.

By reminding ourselves that we live in a world that still needs civil and courteous behaviour, we can remain gentle amid this kind of hostility. A wave, a smile and a bit of generosity on your part will bond good drivers together and create role models. If someone makes obscene gestures, don't return him. Someone has to give in and allow life to flow.

Suresh Khosla, Panchkula

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Carnival ends at Pathfinder
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 5
A three-day ‘Family Rock Carnival’ concluded at Pathfinder High School in Sector 69 here today. Member of Parliament and general secretary of SAD, Sukhdav Singh Dhindsa, who was chief guest, distributed the prizes to the winners of various events.

Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa said such events were need of the present time. He appreciated the exhibition orgnanised by the students.



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