C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Extortion through Net
Woman held for luring, cheating Sector-33 youth
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 12
In a first of its kind extortion through web, a Ludhiana resident and his Chandigarh- based girlfriend, allegedly lured a youth into a relationship by chatting on the Internet and forced him to part with valuables by threatening to expose his “illicit” relations to his parents.

The youth was forced to give away valuables worth over Rs 1 lakh, including a Rado watch. He approached the police yesterday and the woman was nabbed. Her accomplice is still at large.

The police set up a trap in Sector 17 yesterday when the woman asked the youth to buy her a mobile phone and some prepaid recharge coupons. The police marked the articles and nabbed her when she took them from him.

She has been identified as 26-year-old Pushpa Negi of Sector 39. She is married and has a one-and-half-year-old son.

She named her accomplice as Suryaansh and said he blackmailed her to take things from the victim after trapping him.

Sub-inspector Hardit Singh told The Tribune that Sandeep (name changed) of Sector 33 and a B.Com (first year) student, lodged a complaint saying he began chatting on a Yahoo id [email protected] <mailto:[email protected]> in October this year.

The user of the id identified “himself” as a young and rich girl from a business family. Soon, they developed intimacy on the web and exchanged their mobile numbers.

Little did Sandeep know that the person on the other side was a youth from Ludhiana. The accused then gave Sandeep’s number to his girlfriend, who began talking to him in an intimate manner.

Later, she threatened to expose the relationship before his parents if he did not meet her demands. She took from him a mobile phone worth Rs 12,000, a play station, CDs, sunglasses, a web cam and a watch worth Rs 40,000, among other things, the police said.

Pushpa disclosed that she had come in contact with Suryaansh about four years ago when she was working at the customer care service of a mobile phone operator. He talked to her about his bills and they became friends and remained in touch even after her marriage.

A case of extortion, criminal intimidation and criminal conspiracy under Sections 384, 506 and 120-B of the IPC has been registered. She was produced before a local court today and was remanded in one-day police custody.

A police officer in the cyber crime cell of the police said people should refrain from chatting to strangers on the Net as a lot of conmen were on the lookout for gullible targets, especially youngsters.



Diwali shoppers dispirited
Markets which are usually decked up and teeming with
Diwali shoppers this time of the year, are wearing a
deserted look with people hardly in a mood to splurge

Himani Chandel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 12
The global financial meltdown and spiralling prices of commodities is likely to cast a shadow on Diwali festivities this year.

Even the recent pay hike of the Central government employees has failed to bring cheer as its benefits are yet to reach them.

The cash crunch is being felt across the board. Markets in the city, which are usually decked up and teeming with Diwali shoppers this time of the year, are wearing a deserted look with people hardly in a mood to spend extravagantly.

“The Diwali spirit is missing this time,” said a businessman, aptly describing the prevailing mood of customers and traders.

The usual Diwali sale offers, a huge attraction for customers, are nowhere to be seen and even electronic giants that come out with attractive offers during this season are not giving discounts.

On the contrary, the losing value of the rupee, which has touched a record low in the past several years, is set to further jack up the prices of electronic goods.

“TVs, ACs and fridges are going to witness a hike by Diwali,” a Sector 22-based electronics dealer said.

The prevailing negative sentiment in the market can be judged from the fact that market associations are looking for help from the administration to change things.

“We had an emergency meeting to plan out a strategy to get a boost in sales,” J.P.S. Kalra, president of the Sector 17 market association, said.

Owners of some leading sweet shops said inflation had pushed up the prices of sweetmeats by at least 25 to 30 per cent. Prices of all ingredients have gone up, be it khoya, sugar, or oil.

Not only this, exchanging gifts on Diwali will also be an expensive affair. The prices of dry fruits, chocolates, soft drinks, etc starts from Rs 1,000 to Rs 2,000. Even earthen lamps and decorative diyas have become costlier by Rs 5.

Moreover, Diwali falls in the last week of the month when most households exhaust their monthly budget.

“We are hoping that we will get our salaries early,” said Ram Kumar, a salesperson in Sector 22. He said the festival bonus had not been given as the sales were down.



Fatal Mishaps
Cops want blind curves on Barwala road to go
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 12
Alarmed at the frequent fatal accidents on the Panchkula-Barwala road, the police has written a letter to the national highways (B&R), Haryana, to remove blind curves on the road.

The police has also requested the general manager, roadways, to increase the frequency of bus service on the route so that the problem of overloading of buses could be checked.

According to figures obtained from the police department, more than 100 persons have lost their lives in road accidents this year.

And most of the fatal incidents were reported from the Nada Sahib to Barwala stretch of the NH-73. Every week, one or two persons get killed on this road, and several major accidents occur.

Four passengers in an overloaded autorickshaw were killed and nine injured seriously on Wednesday when a truck hit the autorickshaw near Ramgarh.

Four teachers were killed and 11 injured in April when their maxi cab met with an accident on the same road.

In another accident, two persons were killed when a truck loaded with iron pipes ran over a scooterist before overturning at Ramgarh in January.

Several pedestrians have been run over by speeding vehicles as drivers could not notice them due to blind curves on the road, the SP, Sandip Khirwar, said. “We have identified many such points and have written to the national highway authorities to take remedial measures,” he said.

Also, the cooperation of the roadways authorities was been sought to check the overloading of autorickshaws and maxi cabs.

B.R. Kapoor, executive engineer, national highway, said he was aware of the problem and work on the widening of the road would be started this week. The width of the road would be increased to 10 m from the present 7 m, he said.



Mullanpur Master Plan
Ministry’s suggestions brushed aside
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 12
The Punjab government has “ignored” the recommendations of the town and country planning organisation (TCPO) of the union ministry of urban development regarding the Chandigarh inter-state metropolitan region plan while coming out with the master plan of the Mullanpur local planning area.

Many bigwigs have stakes in Chandigarh’s periphery, including the Mullanpur area. After a detailed study, E.F.N. Ribeiro, a former chief planner with the TCPO, submitted the concept plan for the Chandigarh region plan. Officials of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh were involved in the exercise to prepare the plan.

The recommendations cover the UT and eight tehsils in its immediate periphery --- four in Punjab and two each in Haryana and Himachal.

Sources in the government reveal that one of the major recommendations was planning a new settlement at Siswan for a population of about 2 lakh by 2021 on wasteland along the Baddi-Kurali state highway, with a road link to Chandigarh.

It was suggested that the township should be 10-15 km away from Chandigarh with a sizeable buffer of agricultural land. The township would help take the load of population in the Chandigarh capital region.

The new township at Siswan, instead of Mullanpur, could be built on the wasteland about 18 km from Chandigarh without disturbing the periphery of the Chandigarh metropolitan complex.

“First, the new Chandigarh, then the Anandgarh project and now the Mullanpur master plan have been planned in the same area and violates the inter-state region plan,” J.K Gupta, a former chairman of the Chandigarh and Punjab chapter of the Institute of Town Planners, said.

The coming up of the Chandigarh International Airport and the Chandigarh- Morinda- Sirhind broad gauge track, besides a rail link to Pinjore-Ropar via Baddi-Barotiwala and Nalagarh had been advocated.

Work on these recommendations had begun, a Punjab government official said. A metropolitan or regional rail shuttle system had been advised for the region.


BJP cell burns Bansal’s effigy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 12
The Bhartiya Janata Party (colony cell), Chandigarh, today burnt the effigy of local MP and minister of state for finance Pawan Kumar Bansal in protest against the dictatorial attitude of the Chandigarh Housing Board in cancelling the allotment of 31 dwelling units planned for people belonging to the Sector-52 transit camp.

District vice-president of colony cell G.P. Saklani, who was addressing the gathering at Sector 52 colony, said it was improper for the CHB to send ‘threatening’ notices to the colony residents for making need-based changes in their houses.

On the other hand, the administration has failed to provide basic amenities to colony residents. “We have brought the matter to the notice of Bansal many a time but in vain. If the CHB does not withdraw the cancellation of allotment letters, we will gherao the CHB office and residence of Bansal,” said Saklani.

Among those present were BJP (Chandigarh) state president Kamla Sharma and district president Ramesh Kumar Nikku.

Meanwhile, former BJP MP Satya Pal Jain yesterday accused the Congress-led central government of ignoring the interests of residents of Chandigarh villages during its past four-and-half-year rule.

Jain was speaking at a joint meeting of BJP-SAD workers held at Khuda Ali Sher. The villagers, including sarpanches and panches, participated in the meeting.

Jain said the Congress was forcibly purchasing land from villagers for a song and further selling it to big companies and corporate houses at market rate, which ran into crores of rupees per acre.

“Let alone extending the ‘lal dora’, the government had demolished houses of people on a large scale. The Rural Employment Guarantee Act was also not implemented at villages in Chandigarh,” he said.

BJP (Chandigarh) state president Kamla Sharma termed Pawan Kumar Bansal the weakest and most ineffective MP and minister from Chandigarh.

Zila parishad chairman Bhajan Singh Maru, market committee vice-chairman Ramvir Bhatti, market committee director Jhujhar Singh, zila parishad member Dr Hukam Chand, BJP panchayati raj cell convener Shingara Singh and panches and sarpanches from various villages of the city attended the meeting.



Residents up in arms against ‘kabari market’
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 12
Residents are up in arms against a “kabari market” near the Shastri Nagar, Mani Majra, in the vicinity of a road leading to the IT park here.

In fact, the recent ban on polythene bags in the city is being flouted with
impunity by scrap dealers there, who litter the area posing a serious health
hazard to residents.

With polythene bags scattered all over the place, the Sukhna choe is being choked, blocking the natural stream of the Sukhna Lake, a representation by residents to the deputy commissioner-cum-estate officer alleges.

The approach road for residents of this area is around 12 feet wide. With
scores of heavy vehicles, including trucks, operating for the major part of
the day the road remains blocked for traffic for hours, thus inconveniencing
residents, complain residents.

Scores of labourers and scrap dealers, whose identity is not known, work in the area, creating insanitary conditions. In the absence of any water supply and sewerage disposal system, filthy conditions prevail in the area. Besides, several thefts have taken place, making the area unsafe.

The representation claimed that the land on which the “kabari market” had been doing business for the past over a decade belonged to Gurdev Singh, a farmer of Mani Majra. In spite of repeated attempts, he had failed to evict the scrap dealers from the land. The dealers were hand in glove with enforcement staff of the estate office, it alleged.

In spite of several representations of officials concerned, nothing has been done to remove illegal squatters. Even personal requests to the officials to check the menace have fallen on deaf ears, the representation added.



Alarming rise in cases involving juveniles
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 12
Yesterday’s incident involving students of a local school in a sodomy case once again brings to focus the involvement of juveniles in illegal and immoral activities.

Though the complainant settled for a compromise instead of taking legal recourse after the school authorities rusticated the accused, the seriousness of the crime cannot be whiled away.

In a dangerous trend in society, the involvement of juveniles in the crime in the city is on a sharp rise. And this is well reflected in the police statistics.

Though, so far no juvenile has been found involved in any heinous crime like rape, murder and attempted murder, there’s a sharp rise in their involvement in other crimes like snatching, robbery, burglary, theft and kidnap.

Notwithstanding the decline in the total number of juveniles’ arrests (118 in 2007 and 116 in 2008), there is around 20 per cent rise in cases registered against them.

This year as many as 81 cases have so far been registered in various police stations against the last year’s figure of 68.

Recently, the local police busted a gang of car thieves by arresting three of its members, including a 15-year-old resident of Dadu Majra.

In snatching incidents, which have been giving the police sleepless nights, four juveniles have been arrested in four different cases this year (till October 1).

The police statistics show none of the juveniles involved in such incident last year.

Similar is the case with crimes related to the NDPS Act as also kidnapping, assault and accident incidents. Where last year no juvenile was involved in such cases, this year the police arrested four juveniles, one each in the aforesaid cases.

A sharp increase can also be seen in incidents of burglaries, thefts and robberies.

On the issue, UT SSP S.S. Srivastava said: “There has been a rise in crimes involving juveniles but in many cases the police found that the accused told wrong age to avoid stringent punishment. Social welfare agencies should play a more active role to check this menace.”

Changing trends of society and materialistic lifestyle are responsible for pushing vulnerable youngsters into crime, he added.



Crime and punishment
Raveen Thukral

Raveen Thukral So the truth is finally out. The recent suspension of 11 personnel of the Chandigarh Police for their alleged, direct or indirect, links with drug peddlers has proved what people like you and me always suspected about the men in Khaki.

While senior police officials are usually in a denial mode about the involvement of their men in any shady deals and make every effort to protect them, it’s a rare occasion when the top brass of the UT police has risen to the occasion and shown the courage to call a spade a spade.

It’s particularly heartening to see the statement of UT Inspector General of Police, S K Jain, that no guilty personnel would be spared and strict action taken against all those who are sullying the image of the force by their deeds.

It would be unfair to paint the entire police force with the same brush but there is no denying the fact that most illegal activities go on and thrive because of the deep rooted nexus between the cops and the criminals. The image of the police in our country is low and its actions are always doubted.

A recent report of the Asian Human Rights Commission states, “local police in India are, by and large, corrupt, although this reality is often disputed even by some human rights organisations and by the government of India. However, the experience of the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is that the majority of police officers in India —both high and low ranking—are corrupt. Although there is, indeed, a legal framework in India to punish corrupt public servants, the functioning of this mechanism, like the human rights commissions at both the national and state levels in India , is dependant upon police officers or equally corrupt officials”.

On the nexus, the reports states, “police officers associate themselves with criminals in their locality as the police are often involved in the same crimes and/or in many cases seek to claim a share of the money collected by the criminals. The police assist the criminals by either refusing to take any action against them or, if under pressure, by registering cases but failing to properly investigate them”.

While police officials would prefer to debunk this report, people, by and large, will tend to agree. Even I am a firm believer that if cops desire, organized crime, like drug peddling, can be minimized, if not curbed all together.

In fact no unlawful activity can carry on for long if those responsible to curb them, be it in the administration or the police, perform their duties honestly and sincerely.

As far as drug peddling is concerned, I consider it as one of the most heinous crimes since those targeted by such pushers are youngsters, who either because of peer pressure or just for the sake of a ‘kick’, get dragged into the dark world of addiction.

The city being an educational center, with students coming from all parts of the country, has in the recent past become a major destination for drugs and the increasing seizures indicate the trend.

The drug trade has been flourishing in Punjab because of its proximity to Pakistan , a major transit route for the contraband emanating from Afghanistan.

According to officials of the Narcotics Control Bureau, which has played a pivotal role in exposing the drug-cop nexus in the city, drug consignment from Pakistan are smuggled from Amritsar and Ferozepur borders and brought to this city through towns like Ludhiana and Nawanshahr.

Officials say that the city is also a major transit point for drugs since they are further transported to Delhi, from where it is smuggled out on flights to Europe.

Apart from contrabands like heroin and cocaine, there is dire need to check
the sale of psychotropic drugs, which are being used by many youngsters in
the city, by chemists.

Psychotropic drugs are a loosely defined grouping of medicines that effect psychological functioning and include antidepressive agents, hallucinogens, and tranquilizing agents (including the antipsychotics and anti-anxiety agents).

Such drugs are being sold across the counters without prescriptions and perhaps the mushrooming chemist trade in the city’s periphery is an indication of how lucrative this business has become.

Coming back to the cops’ suspension, while the Chandigarh police has rightly taken action on the NCB report and initiated action against its men, names of certain Punjab policemen had also reportedly figured in the Bureau’s investigations.

It will do well for Punjab police to conduct an internal inquiry and weed out such elements. There is no use in denying their presence and protecting them.

A right trend has been set by the UT police and would be in the interest of the society at large if Punjab and Haryana also follow suit.

Write to [email protected]



Councillor, Cong leader squabble over parking
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 12
A dispute over a trivial issue of parking of cars between Ram Lal, area councillor of ward No. 23, and Satish Kainth, general secretary of the district Congress committee, reached the police station this evening, with Kanith alleging that Ram Lal had hurled abuses at his wife.

Kainth alleged that he had parked his car behind Ram Lal’s, to which he took offence and began hurling abuses at his wife Jaswant Kaur and him.

When he failed to calm down in spite of repeated pleas, the police was summoned.

People gathered outside the community centre in Ram Darbar following commotion.

Both sides reached police station-31 along with supporters and lodged complaints.

On the other hand, Ram Lal told the TNS that he had gone to the community centre and on coming out found Kainth parking car behind his.

“I told him to remove his car to make way for my car, but he told me to wait and did not move. He then began arguing with me. I never used foul language against his wife, who is like a daughter to me,” said Ram Lal.

Police station-31 SHO Bhupinder Singh said he had received complaints from both sides and would verify the allegations and take action against those found guilty. Kanith had lost municipal corporation elections to Ram Lal.



Plays bare social themes
S.D. Sharma

Chandigarh, October 12
Far from the glamour of city beautiful, the Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Akademy (CSNA) ventured to stage a two-day festival of socially-relevant plays at Kaimbwala village, adjoining the Sukhna lake.

Such was the response that scores of inquisitive villagers thronged the venue.

While the spectacular yet simply crafted set under the trees formed the perfect ambience for enhancing the impact of all socially-relevant plays, the village inmates relished the thematic content and presentations.

The festival opened up with the staging of Pali Bhupinder Singh’s play denouncing the rampant social evil of female foeticide and suggestive of corrective measures.

Nawana Janam’s another play sculpted by thespian Gursharan Singh exposed the caste prejudices still ailing the society.

Director Anita Shabdeesh led the cast with Baljinder Kaur, Harish Verma, Harmanpal, Iqattar Sahota and others.

The second day belonged to playwright-actor-director Dr Sahib Singh. He casts a spell with staging of “Zakhimi Kahmba di Talaash” and “Anni Gali da morh”.

The immaculately staged plays brought alive the drug menace among the youth.

National Sangeet Natak Academy award winner, Rajinder Rosy supported by Baninderjit Singh, Harjot, Vinod Kumar formed the cast.

Talking to the Tribune the villagers hailed the bonanza of plays brought to them by the academy. The drug abuse and dowry are very common here endorse Rakesh and his wife Jaswinder.

Sarpanch Romesh Kumar expressed gratitude to academy chief Kamal Tewari and DPR, Chandigarh, for awakening the people through the powerful medium of theatre. Thespian Kamal Arora conducted the programme. Theatre and film artist Devinder Daman and Jaswant Daman were guests of honour.



Sec-17 visitors treated to rock show
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 12
To add fervor to the festive season, a live rock show was organised at Sector-17 plaza by a promotion agency today.

A rock band performance and rap singing was the main attraction of the programme, which was witnessed by over 1,000 visitors to the market.

Rap singing was done by Luxx, a band of DAV College, Sector 10. While a Landran College band, Swastik, played rock songs.

“We wanted to present something different in this festive season, as bhangra is the only predominant form of art in Punjab. So we thought of organising a rock evening so that people familiarised with the style,” said Rocky Tapia, a members of Desire.

“We got great response from public, especially youngsters, as they are our main focus,” he said.



Canada goes to polls on October 14
30 Indian-Canadians in fray, 14 on Conservatives ticket
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 12
Canada goes to polls on October 14. Thirty Indian-Canadian candidates are in the fray, 14 of them representing the ruling Conservatives.

Though Liberals have put up six Indian-Canadians, the third major political party has seven from the community in the contest.

Poll surveys hint that the strength of Indian-Canadian community nominees is to rise from the present eight to double figures, but will it equal or surpass 13, the representatives Punjab sends to the Lok Sabha in India.

The strength of the Indian-Canadian community is estimated at 1,50,000, 80 per cent of which comes from Punjab.

Indian-Canadians of Punjabi origin have been doing well in Canadian politics representing all major political parties there.

Punjab with a population of over two crore sends 13 members to the Lok Sabha.

Though global financial crisis has reverberated as a major poll issue due to the impending impact on the Canadian economy, changes in immigration policy and creation of new job opportunities are the issues that have made the Indian-Canadian community tilt towards Conservatives.

So the number of contestants from Alberta, home state of Prime Minister Harper, has gone up from two, Rahim Jaffer and Deepak Obhrai, sitting MPs, to four with Tim Uppal and Devinder Shorey as new candidates.

If Ujjal Dosanjh a decade ago became the first immigrant from South Asia to be Premier of British Columbia province by heading the NDP government there, a few years later, Herb Dhaliwal, also from British Columbia, became the first Indian-Canadian to become a federal minister.

Earlier, Gurbax Malhi was the first Sikh outside India to be elected to Parliament
of any nation.

He is certain to make it to the House of Commons on the Liberals ticket from Punjabi-dominated Bramlea-Gore-Malton riding, winning six consecutive elections.

Navdip Bains became the second Sikh to enter the House of Commons on Liberals ticket. He too is seeking the third term from Mississauga-Brampton South.

Another record claimed by a Punjabi section of the Indian-Canadian community has been of Grewals, also of British Columbia.

Gurmant Grewal and his wife Nina became the first-ever Sikh couple in the world to be elected to the House.

Now Nina is certain to make her third entry to the House of Commons from the Fleetwood-Port Kells constituency. Gurmant also remained a member of the House for three terms.

Nina and Gurmant are considered close to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who after heading a minority government, hopes to win with a clean majority.

Dosanjh, who later joined Liberals at the instance of then Liberal leader Paul Martin, and also remained health minister in the last Liberal government, is also seeking the third term from Vancouver South.

Besides Nina from British Columbia, Ruby Dhalla, a chiropractor, also hopes to return to House of Commons on Liberals ticket from Brampton-Springdale.

Former Miss India-Canada, Melissa Bhagat, is contesting on Conservatives ticket from Mississauga East, again a Punjabi-dominated riding.

Also in the fray is Anita Aggarwal, representing the third major political party, the NDP. She is in the run from Ontario province.

This contest also brings Sukh Dhaliwal (Liberal) and Sandeep Pandher (Conservatives), Gurbax Malhi (Liberals) and Jaswant Singh Puniya (NDP), Ruby Dhalla (Liberals) and Mani Singh (NDP), Sanam Kang (Liberal) and Tim Uppal (Conservatives) face to face, thus dividing the Indian-Canadian community vote.



Indian women prone to heart-related diseases: Experts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 12
Heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular diseases are devastating for women too, according to experts.

In fact, it kills a higher percentage of women than men in many parts of the world.

While the exact figures are not available, the incidence of heart-related diseases is definitely on the rise among Indian women also, they add.

In the premier institute PGI, there have been no conclusive studies, but the picture is not much rosier.

According to Prof K.K. Talwar, cardiac surgeon and director of PGI, Chandigarh,
“Our observations have been that five years back, out of the approximately 20
bypass surgeries performed, one has been on a woman. Today, it is four women
in 10,” he said.

According to experts, women have one advantage over men as they produce- "oestrogen". But, it protects the female heart till a woman attains menopause that happens generally between 45-55 years.

Then, the safety net is withdrawn and they are as much prone to heart disease, he added. However, that does not entirely rule out the pre-menopausal woman.

If a woman is diabetic, the pre-menopausal protection did not work, he warned.

“One of the reasons for this rising trouble is the fact that many Indian women do not exercise enough and usually lead sedentary lives. Also, overworking, under-resting and a higher level of frustration at work bring about greater aggression and take a toll on the quality of life,” added Prof Talwar.

All these factors make heart diseases manifest in a more severe form among women.

Dr Yashpal Sharma, head of Cardiology department, PGI, said, “Indian women have the maximum incidence of heart diseases and diabetes in the world. They are 17 times more prone to heart problems than women in the West.”

"Out of 100 women with heart trouble, 20 would be pre-menopausal of which 10 are diabetic and rest of them probably has high cholesterol, blood pressure or other unspecified reasons," said Dr J.P.S. Sawhney, chairman, department of Cardiology, Ganga Ram Hospital, Delhi.

“Women, who use oral contraceptives, are also at risk of hypertension that could lead to a heart problem,” he said.

He added that any specific test is not needed till they attain menopause unless they have a strong family history, lipid abnormality or diabetes.

If they do have one or more of these, then tests should be carried out every year after they turn 40.



Women more prone to cardiac disease
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 12
Women are prone to heart disease though it is another thing that due to typical symptoms the problem does not get diagnosed at early stages, said experts at the continuing medical education programme (CME) organised by Prime Diagnostic Centre and Heart Institute here today.

Addressing the one-day “Prime CME 2008”, Dr. J.P.S. Sawhney of Ganga Ram Hospital, said the US studies have shown cardiac problem resulting in more deaths of women than men.

Referring to another study of European clinical data, 53.4 per cent of women as compared to only 41.3 per cent of men have died of cardiac disease.

Dr. T.S. Kler, executive director, Escorts Heart Institute, said cardiac resynchro-
nization therapy, which involved implantation of specialised pacemakers, are not only improving the quality of life of heart patients but also adding to longevity.

He also inaugurated the latest 3D echocardiography machine. He claimed that it is one of the very few installed in the country and the first one in the northern region.

Dr. U.P. Singh, director, Prime Diagnostic Centre, informed that the exceptional
3D imaging capability of the newly acquired iE33, which provides three-
dimensional view enabling the cardiologist to easily diagnose the heart problem
with complete accuracy.

Dr. K.K. Talwar, director, PGIMER, spoke about the new pharmacological agents available in cardiology. Dr. U.P. Singh, director of Prime Heart and Vascular Institute, Mohali, shared the latest advances in echocardiography, Dr. Puneet Verma, executive director, Prime Heart Institute, Mohali, shared the latest practices in managing a heart failure amongst patients.

Dr. T.P. Singh and Dr. Amit Chandra, of Prime Heart also spoke about the newer procedures in cardiac diagnosis and surgery.



Conference on hospital administration concludes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 12
The second national conference on “Hospital administration recent trends-2008” concluded here today. Dr Rajiv Bindal, health minister of Himachal Pradesh, chaired the valedictory session.

Bindal said more hospital administrators were needed to manage healthcare sector.

The chief guest honoured senior hospital administrators who took part in the conference for their contribution in the field of hospital administration.

The second day started with a session of “Healthcare policy — Strategy and
global challenges”.

Starting the session, Indian Confederation of Health Care Accreditation CEO
Dr A.K. Sangal stressed the need for building trust in healthcare through
transparency and transactions.

ICRI-Health director Maj-Gen M. Srivastava described the potential of India in becoming a medical tourism hub.

In a session on “Outsourcing and public-private partnership in healthcare”, Prof Anil K. Gupta, medical superintendent, PGIMER, shared his experiences and stressed that all laws and statutory provisions with regards to outsourcing must be followed in letter and spirit for successful implementation of outsourcing hospital services.



Mayor to visit wards to redress grievances
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 12
Municipal corporation mayor Pardeep Chhabra today said he would visit wards in the city on a daily basis to listen to the grievances of area residents.

He said he would cover all 26 wards in the city in October and November. In a statement issued here today, the mayor said his itinerary would include visit to parks in the morning to inspect maintenance of green belts and inspection of streetlights in the evening from 7 pm to 9 pm.

Besides, meetings will also be held with the Resident Welfare Associations on the corporation office premises in the afternoon to discuss various issues and problems.

“Focussing on need of interaction with public in coming 26 days on their doorstep, we will appeal to people to participate in programmes and contribute towards the growth and development of the city,” said official spokesperson for the corporation.



Now, ticket kiosks for film buffs
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 12
Buying a movie ticket at a multiplex is set to become hassle-free. Standing in queue to buy movie tickets will be a thing of the past.

The Centra Mall in Industrial Area has got the go-ahead for starting “ticket kiosks”
for sale of tickets through credit card besides ticket windows for the convenience
of film buffs.

With the estate office clearing the setting up of “ticket kiosks” at the mall, the stage is set for the setting up of the innovative concept, the first of its kind in Chandigarh. The kiosks will help reduce rush at ticket windows and go a long way in saving time of movie goers, sources said.

Under the plan, the management will set up four kiosks to facilitate the visitors. The movie tickets can be bought through credit/debit cards. The facility will be available both for current and advance bookings.

Confirming that the proposal had been cleared, sources in the administration said this had been done to make ticket bookings “people-friendly” and is another initiative to provide maximum facilities to general public.

Currently, with only three multiplexes - Fun Republic, DT Cinemas in the IT Park and PVR Cinemas - functioning in the city, visitors have been facing difficulty in purchase of tickets, particularly on weekends.

Long queues are a routine affair inconveniencing cinema goers and sometime they have to miss the show due to non-availability of tickets.



IMC opens P’kula chapter
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 12
Panchkula chapter of the Indian Media Centre (IMC), a national-level body of journalists and civil society, was formally founded here today.

A meeting of the Panchkula chapter was also held. Prominent among those who attended the meeting included national vice-president of Indian Media Centre Ashok Malik, national secretary Jitender Awasthi and executing member of Chandigarh chapter of the centre Avtar Singh.

During the meeting, executive body of Panchkula chapter was also announced. Rajesh Moudgil and Arun Sharma were elected as founder president and founder general secretary, respectively.

Nainu Rohtaki was nominated as secretary finance. Surinder Bhatia, Dr Sohan Lal Sharma, Rohit Rohilla, Jitender Bhardwaj, Rajinder Nagarkoti, and Arvind Goel were elected as members of governing council of Panchkula chapter of IMC.

Indian Media Centre focuses on the issues pertaining to journalism and ethics like in-service training of media professionals, improving and strengthening media education, protecting and defending independence and freedom of media.

In addition to it the centre is involved in highlighting, through international networking, the incidents of denial of freedom to mediapersons and attacks on them anywhere in the country and abroad.

During the meeting it was decided that Panchkula chapter of IMC would soon organise a seminar on some prominent issue pertaining to the region.



One-acre plot for Mohali Press Club: Kanwaljit
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 12
Cooperatives’ minister Capt Kanwaljit Singh announced that the state government would provide one-acre plot for setting a complex of Mohali Press Club.

At the site, Housefed would be constructing the residential colony for scribes.

The minister stated this yesterday while presiding a free medical check-up camp organised jointly by the local press club and the Swami Vivekanand Institute of Engineering and Technology. As many as 150 persons were examined during camp.

Regarding the allotment of land, he said the Balongi panchayat had passed the resolution in this regard and Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had been consulted. On the same pattern, a colony would be constructed at Banur also.

He announced a grant of Rs 1 lakh to the press club. A directory based on telephone numbers of the journalists of various districts of Punjab was also released.



Stern punishment for rape culprits must

I agree to what Raveen Thukral has written in his article ‘Its no way to go about’. All of us belonging to Indian heritage are extremely proud of our culture, especially the respect we have for the female members of our families. Nobody should be able to defend the stupidity of these few spoiled young-men. Not only are they disgrace to their own families, but an embarrassment to the city and the country.

These people should be treated as dangerous criminals, who should be punished sternly. The young persons must realise that this was a senseless crime, which would not be tolerated in our civilised society.

Sonny Sra, USA


This is degradation of Indian values, and probably would go to get worsen. Every paper, especially in western world and Europe, would have carried the news. Unfortunately, good economy has brought many vices with it. India is changing, not the Indian mindset.

Jaideep Bali


The article has awakened my grim memories of 1979-80, when my wife and I goaded our children to visit India, particularly Punjab.

We enjoyed visits to places of interest in Delhi, Agra, Rajasthan, Mumbai etc. In a train to Jalandhar from Ludhiana, five young men in our tiny first-class cabin started boisterous, loud and indecent talks such as “Sharat lao, eh kuri hai ke munda” (Let’s bet if she is a boy or a girl).

Though the children did not understand much, but I got so enraged that I
thought of pulling the chain. But my wife restrained me, and I had to sit like
a man with dead conscience.

It further infuriated me to observe that as a ticket checker entered our cabin, they kept their vulgar behaviour, and poor ticket checker, having no nerves to ask them for tickets, meekly moved to the other cabin as if he had never noticed the rowdies.

That period of one hour turned into a nightmare, and all our pride in Punjabi culture went down. The minute we got off the train, our children started to impress upon us to go back.

Gian S. Thind, Canada


Some people are stating that the German girl herself invited the trouble as she was drunk. These days, young girls dress up so vulgarly that our heads are bent seeing them. They invite trouble for themselves as no criminal dares to come close to one dressed up properly.

Unfortunately, policing in India is also not reliable. Still, the police in Chandigarh is better than other states. There must be full vigil by the police at night.

Opinder Kaur Sekhon, Chandigarh


The author has done candid analysis of the molestation case of a German tourist in Chandigarh. It is right that character-assassination of victims in such cases is an age-old excuse. For many, it cuts too close to antiquated notions that women invite rape, and are therefore responsible for the crime.

Rape or molestation committed in any circumstances is a crime in the eyes of law. Daily reports of rape appeared in newspapers show that either there is something wrong with us or western disorders are being imitated blindly.

I overheard some foreigners that Indians are sex-starved people. Today, not only the rich disregard the fair sex, but the people from lower strata of the society are more prone to the illness. We have lost our cultural values due to demonstration of adultery on television and films.

Setting up of fast-track court in such cases is the ultimate answer to boost the morale of tourists and underprivileged women.

Suresh Khosla, Panchkula


Thukral has rightly said the dismal presence of the police on the city streets, particularly at nights, has been reported umpteen a number of times in newspapers, but little has been done to improve the situation.

Instead of the reassuring sight of policemen patrolling the streets and catching criminals, one sees them in VIP cavalcades and at political rallies.

The country’s police-population ratio is low compared to many other countries, which is 126 in India against UN’s norm of 222. Undoubtedly, the police, barring a few, is in connivance with bigwigs in crime.

S. K. Khosla

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