C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


SGPC honours Sikh boxer
Gurdeep Singh Mann
Tribune News Service

Fatehgarh Sahib, March 4
A boxer who was not allowed to play international matches due to his beard and long hair was honoured yesterday by the SGPC and was also given a cheque of Rs 1 lakh, as he refused to cut off his hair and beard.

National boxing champion, Pushpinder Singh, even refused a job in the Army for the same reason.

He was honoured and given the cheque during a function at Gurudwara Fatehgarh Sahib.

Pushpinder said he was denied permission to participate in the Puna Commonwealth Games recently and was also not allowed to participate in the coming YMC games in Delhi, due to his long hair and beard. “Though I participated in different games at national level but failed to attend any foreign tour,” he said.

Pushpinder had won two gold medals in the super heavy weight category during the national boxing games and got third position in the All-India inter-university championships.

According to the guidelines set by the International Amateur Boxing Association (IABA) one could not participate in the game with long hair and beard. Pushpinder’s father, Karam Singh, deployed as additional manager in Gurudwara Fatehgarh Sahib, rued that so far none of the Sikh boxers have initiated any step to get the rules changed for Sikh boxers. “In the past the Sikh boxers used to cut off their hair whenever they participate in the games and increase the growth of hair after the completion of matches,” he said.

He rued that none of the sportspersons or the concerned departments have raised this issue at any point of time.

Various speakers from SGPC and local political leaders assured to take up the matter with senior functionaries of sports department in the state and Central level. They also decided to meet Sports Minister in the Centre, Manohar Singh Gill, in this context soon.



Inventing affordable drugs for common man
Tribune News Service

Patiala, March 4
Efforts in drug discovery and research, particularly in the field of pharmaceutical sciences, should be directed towards inventing drugs that a common man could easily afford. Teachers and scientists should be given freedom by the government to work and invent cheaper drugs with infrastructure and other facilities made available to them.

This was the consensus evolved on the first day of the three-day national conference on ‘Innovations in Drug Discovery and Research’, being organised by the Punjabi University’s department of pharmaceutical sciences and drug research at the science auditorium here yesterday.

Dr B Suresh, Vice-Chancellor of the JSS University, Mysore, and president of Pharmacy Council of India said, “A proper coordination between the government, industry, research organisation and academic institutions was necessary for producing quality products that could be used by large number of people.”

He advocated the idea of forming a national health alliance, controlled by researchers and scientists instead of government making policies. Dr Suresh also emphasised upon using the digital technology for propagating the research findings.

In his presidential address, Vice-Chancellor, Dr Jaspal Singh, said the objective of providing new drugs with better efficacy at an affordable price could not be achieved without the combined efforts of scientists, coupled with government patronage.

Dr Jaspal Singh further said strict regulations and engulfing of pharmaceutical firms by the MNCs were making it difficult for the Indian companies. India, however, was fortunate having been blessed with ample skilled manpower and natural herbal resources, which could be exploited to the hilt by the pharmaceutical scientists for producing cheaper and more effective medicines for the poor patients. There was an immediate need of updating our knowledge and potential to strengthen our research inputs to fight it out at the global level, he said.



Uproar in MC over removal of Beant’s portrait
Megha Mann
Tribune News Service

Ropar, March 4
The meeting of Municipal Council Ropar turned ugly today over the issue of removing portrait of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh from the meeting room.

MC’s monthly meeting convened today witnessed boycott not over any developmental issue, but over the issue of Beant Singh’s portrait as well as axing down of an old peepal tree in the city.

However, due to model code of conduct implemented in the wake of Lok Sabha elections, the meeting was cancelled. MC President Amarjit Singh Satyal told the house that holding any meeting would be violating election code of conduct.

Just then MC Harvinder Singh, an independent candidate, said it was the SAD-BJP government that was ruling the state and henceforth portrait of Beant Singh should be removed. Satyal gestured Harvinder to remove the frame. Harvinder allegedly removed it unceremoniously and put it on the floor.

Irate Congress MCs lodged a protest at the kind of treatment meted out to the portrait at which Satyal ordered that the photo be put back on its place. The Congress MC protested against such attitude and the House was dismissed.

Later, Congress workers convened a press conference at the residence of PPCC general secretary Bhupesh Sharma. Party workers have given a written complaint to the Ropar police alleging Satyal and Harvinder of misconduct.

“We have been told that an ASI will investigate the matter and later case would be lodged. If no case is lodged within next 48 hours, we would be forced to take route of agitation,” Sharma said.

He added that the matter had also been brought into the notice of party high command who would pass necessary instructions.

Meanwhile, the monthly meeting of Kharar municipal council, too, was cancelled today due to imposition of code of conduct. Budget of MC Kharar was to be presented today to the tune of around Rs 12 crore. While all municipal councillors reached the MC office, meeting was declared cancelled.

Congress councillors raised slogans against the president alleging him of not introducing budget in the last MC meeting. The cancellation of today’s meeting means delay in budget and further delay in development projects.



Power board staff protest privatisation
Tribune News Service

Patiala, March 4
Punjab State Electricity Board Employees’ joint forum today held a massive rally in coordination with different farmers’ organisations to demand the scrapping of the Electricity Act of 2003 and also urged the state government not to implement the said Act. The rally was held by Gurdaspur, Amritsar, Tarn Taran, Kapurthala, Khanna, Sangrur, Jalandhar and Ludhiana circles in front of the PSEB head office at the Mall road here blocking the entire traffic and putting hundreds of commuters to inconvenience.

The joint forum leaders, including Pal Singh Moga and Karam Chand Bhardwaj, said if the demands of employees were not met, they would be forced to intensify their struggle and for this the state government would be held responsible. They said they would intensify their struggle by wearing black badges.

Today, thousands of employees started arriving in the city since morning and by noon the entire stretch of the Mall outside the head office of the PSEB was packed with hundreds of employees. They also demanded that the Board should implement its agreement signed on October 21 last year relating to pay scales.

They said the privatisation of the Board would mean handing over management of the key power sector to the private players and the employees and different sections of the society would be left at the mercy of the multinational corporations. On the occasion, various employees unions also passed various resolutions.



Pay Commission
Govt staff rally on March 8
Our Correspondent

Bassi Pathana, March 4
The government employees under the banner of Punjab State Karamchari Dal would organise a protest rally at Bhatinda and Badal village on March 8 against the anti-employees policies of the government as well as its failure to implement the report of the 5th Pay Commission, said Hari Singh Tohra, president Punjab State Karamchari Dal, while talking to the mediapersons here today.

He said the Badal Government failed to protect the interests of the government employees, he said even states like Bihar have implemented the report of 5th Pay Commission. He said government employees, including teachers, nurses, doctors, panchyat secretaries, patwaris etc. are being beaten mercilessly, when they protest to get their demands conceded.

He said Punjab is facing a big problem of unemployment, there are about 43 lakh unemployed youths in the state and the government is not making any sincere efforts to generate employment avenues.

He said the population of Mandi Gobindgar, Taran Tarn, Sunam and Jagraon towns have exceeded from 50,000 but still the employees are given house rent at the rate of 5 per cent, where as it should be 7.5 per cent.

He said employees of the state would lodge their protest peacefully to tell the government that employees are annoyed and are not in a mood to oblige the ruling alliance in the coming elections.



Lok Sabha Polls
Meeting of political parties convened
Tribune News Service

Ropar, March 4
The district election officer, Priyank Bharti, convened a meeting of political parties in wake of the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections here today. Representatives of all registered political parties participated in the meeting, where in, they were directed to inform the authorities concerned about their programmes for holding rallies or other gatherings. This was directed to avoid any kind of last minute chaos and to ensure security.

It was directed that no candidate will come with motorcade for filing nomination for the election without a permission. Also, the route and venue of the rally has to be first notified to the authority concerned before hand.

No political party or candidate will be allowed to indulge in any kind of campaigning at least 48 hours before the day of polling. Also, no canvassing would be allowed within 100 m radius of each polling station.

He called upon all political party workers to adhere to code of conduct.

Prominent among others present at the meeting were SDM Ropar Dr Basant Garg, SDM Chamkaur Sahib and Nangal Lakhmir Singh.



Woman empowerment day celebrated
Our Correspondent

Ambala, March 4
Woman empowerment day was organised in Sohan Lal DAV Education at Ambala City today.

The secretary of DAV College management committee, Vijay Sabharwal, was the chief guest. While addressing the students and staff he said women were always given high regards in the Indian society and they played the most important role in development of a family. He said it was the duty of the society to empower the woman for its bright future.

Neelam Luthra, a lecturer, said women should be offered equal status in the society.

She said that unfortunately women were not feeling safe in the country these days. Principal of the college, Vivek Kohali, was of the view that women could play better role in the development of the country and society. He also urged that a nationwide campaign should be launched against female foeticide. Several competitions were also organised.



Three injured in mishap
Tribune News Service

An accident that took place near Jawarharpur village at Dera Bassi on Wednesday. A Tribune photograph

Dera Bassi, March 4
Three persons were injured in a head on collision between a truck and a car near Jawarharpur village at Dera Bassi on Ambala-Chandigarh highway this evening. The injured were identified as S Kasturi, Anil and Randhir Singh, who were moving towards Chandigarh from Delhi.

According to police sources, the accident took place around 9 pm when the truck was coming from the wrong side and rammed into the car.

Sources revealed that the passers-by rescued the victims from the car and rushed them to Civil Hospital, Dera Bassi, where the doctors referred S Kasturi and Randhir to PGI, Chandigarh. The condition of the injured were said to be stable.

The truck driver escaped from the scene leaving the truck behind. However, no case was registered till filing of the report. The local police reached the spot and started further investigation.



664 EVMs needed for Ropar
Tribune News Service

Ropar, March 4
A total of 664 electronic voting machines (EVMs) will be required for the voters of Ropar district, including Vidhan Sabha constituencies of Anandpur Sahib, Ropar and Chamkaur Sahib.

Of the 664 EVMs, currently 317 electronic devices are available with the district election office, while remaining 347 will be given by the government. About 93.88 per cent of voters in all three constituencies have electoral photo I cards (EPIC), while 90. 16 per cent of them have their pictures on the voters’ list.

Anandpur Sahib has a total 1,59,914 voters, Ropar has 1,39,162 voters and Chamkaur Sahib has a total of 1,56,449 voters.

Verification of polling station has already been conducted. There will be a total 565 polling stations in the district. About 175 of these would be located in Anandpur Sahib. It will also have two more auxiliary polling stations (those with more than 1,500 voters), Ropar will have 179 stations and Chamkaur Sahib will have 208 polling stations and one auxiliary station.



Undertrial attempts suicide, another escapes
Our correspondent

Ambala, March 4
An undertrial prisoner, Rinku, lodged in the Ambala Jail attempted to commit suicide by slitting a vein here yesterday.

He had been arrested by the Ambala police on charge of attacking a doctor at Ambala Cantonment last month.

According to sources, the police brought him to the judicial complex to produce him before court.

He was locked in a room in the judicial complex along with other prisoners.

He slit his vein with the help of a broken glass. The other prisoners raised the alarm.

The undertrial was taken to the local Civil Hospital where his condition was stated to be stable.

The police has registered a case against the undertrial.

In another incident, a prisoner of Ambala Jail managed to escape from the Civil Hospital this morning by hoodwinking the security guard. He had been brought to the Civil Hospital by the security guard for treatment.



HC for day-to-day hearing of rape, dowry death cases
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 4
The Punjab and Haryana High Court wants the subordinate judiciary to expeditiously decide rape, dowry death and corruption cases. It also wants eviction cases of non-resident Indians to be accorded top priority.

The high court has, in fact, favoured “out of turn handling” and “day-to-day proceedings” in all such cases.

To begin with, the administrative judge of Fatehabad sessions division, Justice SD Anand, has issued a series of instructions to the district and sessions judge concerned. The directives have been communicated to the sessions judge by the high court registrar-general.

In the communiqué, the registrar-general has requested the sessions judge to ensure complete compliance of instructions. The communiqué has reproduced excerpts from Justice Anand’s orders, which say: “The pendency (of all such cases) is quite high. The disposal is not that quick as the nature of these cases would warrant.

“Though the dockets in the court are undisputedly heavy, rape cases, dowry death cases and Prevention of Corruption Act cases deserve out of turn handling”.

Justice Anand has asked the sessions judge to consider day-to-day trial or “grant of adjournment which must not be longer than seven days”. Justice Anand has also suggested “duly notified preponement, if the matter stands adjourned for a longer date”.

The directions are in sync with Punjab and Haryana High Court’s endeavour to cut down on the pendency of cases. Already the high court has made it clear that the oldest of the old cases in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh will be taken up on priority basis in all the subordinate courts. Otherwise, cases prior to 1998 are being taken up on priority.

Besides this, mega lok adalats are annually organised to bring down considerably the number of pending cases.

The high court, vide latter dated August 6, 2007, had also asked all district and sessions judges in the states of Punjab and Haryana, along with Chandigarh, to forward information on monthly basis on expeditious disposal of rape, dowry death and corruption cases.

Information received by the high court from Fatehabad in pursuance to the letter revealed in all 44 cases were pending. These included 18 cases under the Prevention of Corruption Act, nine dowry death cases and 17 rape cases.



Bar to decide on boycott issue today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 4
The General House of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association will on Thursday decide the future course of action on the boycott of Justice Uma Nath Singh’s court. Already, rumblings within the Bar members over the issue can be heard.

Sources suggest a section of the Bar feels the boycott must come to an end, as nothing is being achieved out of the entire process.

Justice Uma Nath Singh is currently adjudicating the matters, where the petitioners are appearing in person.

A meeting of the Bar with five-judge committee, headed by Justice JS Khehar, was, meanwhile, held this afternoon, but it did not end in a consensus over the issue of ending the standoff.

The other members of the committee were Justice Jasbir Singh, Justice Ashutosh Mohunta, Justice SS Saron and Justice Surya Kant.

Another section of the Bar, on the other hand, is in favour of not appearing before Justice Uma Nath Singh’s court till the initiation of action against him. They are, rather, seeking his transfer.

Justice Uma Nath Singh had earlier indicated he would issue a notice for initiation of contempt of court proceedings against Bar Association president and counsel MK Tiwari.

The Judge was visibly unhappy with the way Tiwari was arguing a matter on January 20 and had warned him of issuance of contempt notice.

Tiwari had taken up the issue with the Bar Association, which in turn had discussed it with the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Justice Tirath Singh Thakur.

Justice Uma Nath Singh had taken strong exception to the way the issue was being handled. Reacting to the move to issue contempt notice, the Bar had resolved to stay away from his court.



Bail plea of rape accused rejected
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 4
The bail application of one of the accused for the alleged rape of a patient at Command Hospital was dismissed by the local court here today. The court while dismissing the application of accused Iftikhar Khan said there were no fresh grounds in the application to grant bail to the accused.

Prosecution lawyer while contending had stated that the court had already dismissed the bail plea of the accused two months ago in December on the same grounds cited by him in the current application.

The accused in his plea stated that preliminary medical report of the woman had not confirmed rape. In the FIR, the victim had only named the other accused, Hautam Singh, as being the rapist, stated the plea. Earlier, the police had presented call details of the accused before the court.

The incident dates back to November 22 when wife of an Air Force personnel alleged that she was raped by two Army personnel deputed at the hospital in its dining hall when she had gone there for her treatment.



Two held for possessing ganja
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 4
A Bihar resident, Barinder Singh, was arrested from Hallo Majra for possessing 12 kg ganja here yesterday.

In another incident, Mukhsudan of Bihar was also arrested from Industrial Area, Phase-II, Ram Darbar, for possessing 11.5 kg ganja yesterday. Two cases have been registered under Section 20 of the NDPS Act at the police station-31.


An Assistant Manager of the State Bank of India, Sector 17, Pushpinder Kaur, filed a complaint with the police alleging that an unidentified person withdrew Rs 1,36,900 by putting fake signature of Parkash Kaur on a cheque in May and June last year.

A case under Sections 380, 419, 420, 467, 468, 471 and 120-B of the IPC has been registered at the police station-17.


Parvesh Kaur of Sector 37 lodged an FIR alleging that an Activa (CH 03 Z 0595) driven by Amita hit her on March 2. She was taken to the PGI.

A case of rash and negligent driving has been registered against the rider at the police station-39 and no arrest has been made so far.


A Sector 22 resident, Surinder Singh, reported to the police alleging that some unidentified person took away Rs 1 lakh from his house on the night of February 13.

A case of theft has been registered at the police station-17 yesterday.


Nathu Ram of Solan alleged that Vipin Sharma of Sector 22 duped him of Rs 43,000 in August, 2007 and not returning the money.

A case under Section 420 of IPC has been registered at the police station-17.


Sushil Sharma of Sector 15 alleged that Rajesh and Rakesh, both residents of Sector 25, assaulted and threatened him yesterday.

A case has been registered at the police station-11 and both accused have been arrested.



Youth found dead
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 4
A 22-year-old youth was found dead under mysterious circumstances at Naya Nagar locality, Pinjore, near here today. The deceased identified as Vikas, a resident of Jind, was staying at Dera Manav Ruahani Kendra. Father of Vikas is employed as a lecturer at Jind.

According to the police, Vikas who came to Panchkula for taking his exam in physiotherapy today told her sister, a resident of Panchkula, that he was leaving for Baddi to meet some of his friend. However, on the way he decided to stay at the dera. Vikas was follower of the dera, said police.

His body was found lying on the banks of rivulet flowing near the dera at Nava Nagar this morning.

While the relatives of Vikas alleged some foul play, the police has sent the body for postmortem after registering a case.



Motorcyclist run over by truck
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 4
Pardeep Kumar, a 24-year-old motorcyclist, was killed after being hit by a truck at Mani Majra last night. According to the police, the mishap occurred around 8 pm when Pardeep, who was coming to Panchkula on his motorcycle, was hit by a truck from the rear. He lost control over the motorcycle and fell in front of the truck and was seriously injured. His helmet was crushed to pieces due to the impact.

The police said Pardeep, a salesman with a private telecom company, was rushed to the PGI, where he later died. The police today handed over the body to his family after a postmortem.

A resident of Bir Ghaggar in Panchkula district, Pardeep was unmarried and had bought the motorcycle a few days ago.

The police has arrested the truck driver, Ranjit Singh of Solan district, on the charges of causing death due to rash and negligent driving.



Two held for theft
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 4
With the arrest of two accused, the local police has claimed to have solved more than a dozen incidents of thefts in cars in the town here today. The accused have been identified as Kamal and Surender, both natives of Nepal.

There was a spurt of thefts of music systems from the cars parked at houses during the night in different sectors of the town. The police said both the accused were staying at Budhanpur and used to commit crime, along with a few other accomplices who were yet to be arrested.



6 booked for kidnapping
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 4
Six persons were today booked by the Mohali police for allegedly kidnapping Hari Charan, head of Manuli-based dera. The dera head went missing on last Saturday around 2 pm when he was moving towards Chandigarh in his Honda City.

On the basis of the statement given by the son of the dear head, Deepak Vashist, the police has registered a case of kidnapping against Sunny, his mother and sister and three other persons. Deepak had earlier lodged a missing complaint about his father on March 1.

The police has ruled out the alleged kidnapping for ranson. The dera has a large number of followers, including senior officials.



City lad makes it to UAE team
Tribune News Service

Ravi Varma

Chandigarh, March 4
City lad Ravi Varma shot to fame recently after being selected in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) cricket team. “For my mates back home it’s a great thing, but truth is that cricket out here is not that jazzy,” he quipped.

Son of a Dadu Majra-based cycle mechanic, Ravi had always dreamt and toiled hard to be a part of the blue brigade but destiny had different plans for him. Though the success has left him elated but he still feels that spark is missing.

“In India, cricketers are nothing less than demigods. But things are quite different here and a cricketer is just like another sportsperson,” adds Ravi in a telephonic conversation from Sharajah.

Currently gearing up to leave his mark in the World Cup qualifiers starting next month in South Africa, he has a long trail of struggle behind it.

It was the family’s poverty that made Ravi to go to UAE but it was his passion that got transformed into profession.

Ravi’s story of success and his unfulfilled wish to play for the country once again raises the question that why does Indian talent has to either decay or migrate for want of fair opportunities?



Hockey: CISF, 3 BRD Air Force in final
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 4
After registering wins in semifinals, CISF and 3 BRD Air Force registered their berth in the finals of the Chandigarh State Hockey Championship for Seniors that will be played at the Sector 18 hockey stadium here tomorrow.

In the first semifinal, 3 BRD Air Force blanked Rock Rovers 2-0 by scoring a goal in the first half. The winning team that dominated the first half got a lead when Parminder converted a penalty corner in the 43rd minute.

After this goal, Rock Rovers proved abortive as they were not executed and the first half score was 1-0 in 3 BRD’s favour. While in the second half, 3 BRD got its second goal when Parbhakar converted a penalty stroke in the 43rd minute of the game whereas the Rock Rovers failed to capitalise on the few opportunities it got.

While in the second semifinal, the CISF riding high on Cyril Ekka’s hat-trick easily thrashed the Chandigarh Hockey Academy to enter into the final.



Pugilist Vijender Singh back in ring
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 4
After staying away from boxing tournaments for a long time now due to fitness concerns. Olympic bronze medallist, Vijender Singh, is now fit to participate in the upcoming championships.“I am fit now and will be able to tell in a week time that whether I will be playing in the forthcoming Kings Cup and Asian Championship to be held in Bangkok and China respectively,” said the Olympian while talking to mediapersons here at DAV College, Sector 10, during a college function.

Speaking over the recent blasts over Sri Lankan cricketers in Pakistan, he said: “It is neither good for cricket nor for Pakistan. I think India or world cricket authority will take some step against it.”

On Indian Amateur Boxing Federation’s plans to have Peter Tailor (Iran) and Halmond Ranze (Germany) as the foreign coaches, Vijender said, “Indian coaches are talented enough and we don’t need foreign coaches.”

However he maintained that the foreign coaches should be provided to the junior and sub junior players. The ace boxer who had to recently miss a practice camp in the UK due to visa problem, said: “There was some visa problem but I will be going to UK in summer which is ideal time for the practice.”



DACR Delhi down Haryana 4-2
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 4
DACR Delhi got the better of hosts Accountant General Haryana by 4-2 on penalties after a goalless draw in the stipulated period of the final played at the Sector-17 Football Stadium here today, to retain the North-Zone Audit Football Tournament.

The play was mostly confined to midfield as both played cautious game. Only two good moves were witnessed throughout the play but both proved abortive. Delhi tested the AG Haryana goal first in the 15th minute. Rishi Kapoor gave a minus to Samir Jung who unleashed a powerful drive, which was punched by Haryana goalkeeper Kulwinder Singh at the cost of a flag kick.

Five minutes later, AG Haryana initiated a move through Virender Kanwar who gave possession of the ball to Daljit Singh whose chest-high powerful shot was collected by Delhi goalkeeper Avneet.

Thereafter it was a dull affair. As the match ended in a goalless draw, the tiebreaker rule was applied to resolve the deadlock in which Delhi drubbed AG Haryana by 4-2 on penalties.

Delhi and Haryana have qualified for the Inter-Zonal Audit Football Tournament to be held here from March 6 to 8. Other teams qualified for the Inter-Zonal competitions are AG Bengal and AG Bihar (East Zone), AG Nagpur and AG Rajasthan (West Zone) and AG Hyderabad and AG TN (South Zone).



550 students take part in athletics meet
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 4
More than 550 students of Government Polytechnic College for Women, Sector 10, participated during the annual athletics meet here today on the college premises.

The college organised various sports events during the day, including long jump, javelin throw, high jump, 400m, 200m, 100m race, and 4x100m relay race.

The electronics and communication department emerged winner in the kho-kho championship while the department of pharmacy secured the second place.

While in a cricket match, the staff members beat the students of the college and in another cricket match the electronics and communication department grabbed the top honours. The department of architectural assistantship was declared the runners up.



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