C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


After Kalka and Manimajra, 
Bassi Pathana residents to boycott elections
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Bassi Pathana (Fatehgarh Sahib), May 10
The national campaign “Jago re”, aimed at bringing out voters in large numbers, has struck a discordant note with residents here. Anger and frustration against political parties for being insensitive to their needs and grievances has made the electorate shun leaders.
Residents of Bassi Pathana protest against the indifference of political parties.
Residents of Bassi Pathana protest against the indifference of political parties. A Tribune photograph

So, when the parties started their campaign in the area, members of various apolitical organisations also started their parallel door-to-door campaign with the slogan “Jago re, eh jhuthe netavan nu vote na pao”.

With just three days left for polling in the Fatehgarh Sahib constituency, the electioneering should be at its peak, but it is not the case here. Only a few flags and hoardings of political parties can be seen fluttering atop houses and commercial buildings even as banners announcing the boycott of the polls have been displayed on shops.

“We have been highlighting our pain through bandhs in the town, but the elections are the best time to teach the leaders a lesson. They make false promises,” Manoj Bandan, general secretary of the Hindu Organisation, an apolitical organisation that has decided to boycott the polls.

The town, with a population of about 20,000, is located a few kilometres from Fatehgarh Sahib, which has seen a lot of development, especially with the upcoming project of the World Sikh University.

However, due to lack of connectivity with nearby industrial towns like Ludhiana and Jalandhar, a lot of people of Bassi Pathana have shifted their business to Sirhind, Mandi Gobindgarh and Morinda.

Once known as a centre for manufacturing industrial sewing machine parts, the historic city has been witnessing exodus as there is limited job opportunity and no new project has been brought here by politicians.

The locals blame the politicians for the state of affairs. “During the past five terms of the Congress and over two years of the SAD, no development has taken place. Even the sitting MP, SS Libra, who is again contesting on Congress ticket, did little for the area,” Pardeep Kumar, a resident, said.



Liquor Flows
Parties hoodwink EC over tea
GS Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 10
Don’t be startled if you find somebody asking for “chai” or “coffee” at a liquor vend because for the next two days, the names of these beverages would be a “camouflage” for popular brands of liquor for easy supply to supporters of various political parties.

“Chai” means a crate of “Officer’s Choice” while “coffee” means rum. This is the reported modus operandi being followed by local political parties to escape the watchful eyes of the authorities and ensure liquor is freely available to those who are willing to give their vote for a bottle. Signed slips are being distributed in resettlement colonies to facilitate the purchase of liquor.

It takes no time to the liquor vendor to understand that a slip with “mineral water” means a case of beer has to be delivered. Similarly, “Limca” means a crate of gin and “lassi” means a crate of “Boney Scot”.

Sources said the colour of the coded slips and the signs tend to change frequently and the liquor vendor was intimated about the specimen signatures well in advance. Some parties changed the validity of signature on the slips after every six hours, the sources said.

Suraj Bhan (named changed) of Mauli Jagraon had to return empty handed as his slip got expired by the time he reached at one of the vends last evening. His job was to pick up bottles of cheap liquor from specific outlets and transport them to demand points. He is also in charge of organising venues where party workers and supporters can join in for a drinking session.

“This slip was dishonoured last night because the party had changed the signatures all of a sudden. Never mind, they know that I have a long fan following with me. My slip would be updated this evening,” he said with confidence.

“Yeh to aise rahega chunav ke din tak” (It will remain like this till the election day), he added.

Like Bhan, there were others who are engaged as liquor supply coordinators these days.

The sources said this method of transaction of liquor beyond the prescribed limit was prevalent at liquor vends in Mauli Jagraon, Indira Colony, motor market at Mani Majra, Raipur Kalan and Behlana.



GMADA told to pay for delay
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 10
The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) has been caught on the wrong foot for forcing an allottee to pay an additional stamp duty of Rs 69,664 towards the registration charges of conveyance deed of his property.

GMADA officials delayed the processing of the complainant’s application by over six months, forcing him to pay the additional stamp duty.

While holding the officials responsible for deficiency in service, the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, SAS Nagar, comprising BS Mehandiratta, president, and SS Dhaliwal and HK Ghuman as members, directed the authority to reimburse Rs 69,664 and levied a cost of Rs 5,000 on it.

The order was passed after Manmohan Singh, a resident of Sector 65 here, moved an application before the forum, stating that he was a retired government servant and constructed a house in 2001.

To get the property registered, he moved an application with GMADA to get a conveyance deed on June 1, 2007. Twice he was asked to take his documents, but the authority failed to provide the same. He had to make at least 15 visits to the GMADA office to track his case. The papers were finally handed over to him on February 25, 2008.

When he went to the office of the registrar to get the conveyance deed registered, he was told to deposit an additional stamp duty of Rs 69,664, in addition to the due stamp duty of Rs 1,45,000. The additional cost was demanded on account of the enhancement of land price.

He said if the papers had been given to him before September 2007, the additional stamp duty would not have been charged.



Snatchers get active again
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 10
Even as the police claims to have arrested all four members of a gang involved in looting senior citizens here, snatchers have made their presence felt again after a lull of more than a month, targeting two women at different places.

In the first incident, a motorcyclist took away the purse of Sheela Walia, a resident of Sector 12, this morning. “Around 10 am I was returning home from the market, when a youth on a black motorcycle snatched the purse from my hand and sped away,” she said. A sum of Rs 300, a mobile phone and ATM cards were in the purse, she said.

In another incident of snatching, a youth took away the gold chain of a woman who was strolling in the park near her house in Sector 4 of Mansa Devi Complex.

The victim, Kusum Sharma, was accompanied by four women at the time of the incident. Several people were present in the park at the time of the incident.

It was around 6.30 pm when the youth snatched the chain and ran towards the road, where his accomplice was waiting for him on a motorcycle. Before anyone could chase them, they had fled, president of the local welfare society, said.

Meanwhile, the police claimed to have arrested Pardeep, Vikas, and Ravi for looting three residents on knife point. Pardeep is a resident of Mohali while the other two belong to Mauli Jagran. One of their accomplices, Anil, a resident of Mauli Jagran, had already been arrested.

The accused had looted two persons, including a 70-year-old resident of Sector 17, in the wee hours of April 15. Last month, they had looted a HUDA official, the Sector 14 SHO said.



Another liquor seizure
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 10
Less than a week after 100 cartons of liquor were seized from the house of BJP activist Rajiv Goel, the police today arrested his driver with five cartons of liquor in Sector 18 here.

The SHO of the Sector 19 police station, Inspector Ram Gopal, said acting on information, the police searched the Scorpio and seized five cartons of “Officer’s Choice” whisky from it. The driver of the vehicle, Rajiv Sharma of Sector 32, could not produce any valid permit for the liquor, the SHO said.

The Scorpio was registered in the name of Rajiv Goel and was parked outside his shop in Sector 18 when the liquor was seized. On seeing the police party proceeding towards him, the driver tried to speed away, but was nabbed.

Devinder Singh Babla, Congress leader, told The Tribune that he had information regarding the liquor, but instead of informing the police, he decided to call up excise officials and also took up the matter with the Deputy Commissioner.

He alleged that last time his opponents got a false case registered against him by mounting pressure on the police after creating a scene. To avoid any such scene this time, the matter was not reported to the police.

The seizure of liquor in less than a week indicates that liquor would be used to woo voters in slums. The police has impounded the vehicle and investigations are on to find out who were the other people involved in illegal trafficking of liquor.

The police had arrested Rajiv Goel and his driver on May 6 on Babla’s information.



Will ragging ever stop?
Raveen Thukral

I really wonder what would have happened in our colleges and universities if we didn't have a Supreme Court. I know this analogy - apex court and our so-called temples of higher learning - is hypothetical and may sound strange but just think and bear with me to read on.

No Supreme Court would mean no Lyngdoh or Raghavan Committees. And imagining a situation in our colleges and universities, without the implementation of the recommendations of these two committees, can be quite uncomfortable, if not scary.

For those who may have forgotten, the R K Raghavan Committee was appointed in December 2006 by the Union HRD ministry, after Supreme Court issued it a directive to suggest and monitor measures to eliminate ragging in college campuses. It was headed by former CBI Director Dr R K Raghavan.

The Lyngdoh Committee, headed by former Chief Election Commissioner, J M Lyngdoh, was formed to examine the alleged criminalisation in student union elections, financial transparency and limits of expenditure involved in such elections, eligibility criteria for candidates contesting in such elections including the maximum age limits and minimum standards of academic performance.

While the recommendations of these two committees are yet to be implemented in letter and spirit and much remains desired, the situation in our colleges and universities would have been undoubtedly worse without them. Last year's elections to students' bodies in various parts of the country, including Chandigarh, have proved that the implementation of the Lyngdoh Committee recommendations helped curtailing the role of muscle and money power and prevented criminals from entering the fray.

No apex court would have also meant no justice for Aman Kachroo, the 19 year old first year medical student at the Dr Rajendra Prasad Government Medical College (RPGMC), Tanda, Himachal Pradesh, or 30 other youngsters like him, who reportedly lost their lives in the past five years, in some part of the country, due to torture and humiliation in name of ragging. The manner in which state governments and college and university authorities have so far dealt with the issue of ragging is nothing but shameful and if left to them, there is no hope for things to change.

One can only laud the efforts of the apex court in this direction but it's sad that institutions on their own have failed to check this menace and enforce discipline on the campuses. The recommendations of the Raghavan Committee, like setting up of anti-ragging cells, toll-free helpline for victims, psychological counseling and stringent laws to deal with errant students, are not unique in the sense that no one else could have thought about them. The failure of the universities to implement such simple and logical deterrents on their own thus has more to do with the attitude of those at the helm rather than anything else.

I am all for autonomy of universities as it helps reduce red tape and insulates institutions from outside interference, which sometimes can be menacing, but politicisation of the top posts in places of higher learning has unfortunately taken toll on professionalism and is the root cause of all the problems. The appointments of Vice Chancellors and of those heading medical and technical institutions not only lack transparency but have no standard yardsticks. The situation in private universities and colleges is least to say much worse.

When Vice Chancellors have to lobby for their appointments and then run around politicians or the powers that be for their survival, they end up following a policy of weak-kneed appeasement of all. Inactivity usually becomes the key to their survival and they thrive by waiting for issues to die their own death rather than taking them headon and resolving them.

Though exceptions are always there, the situation is unfortunately like this in most institutions. Those at the helm are incapable of taking any tough and clinching decisions, be it in the interest of the institution they head or the students. They usually lack the courage of conviction and inherent strengths of an administrator, making them soft in their approach to delinquency and at times even scared of hooligans in their own institutions.

It's surprising that when nobody supports rowdyism, alcoholism or drugs, they still find their way to campuses and hostels easily. The apex court on Friday directed states to setup a committee for de-addiction of students hooked to alcoholism but I feel one should go a step further and make dope like tests mandatory for all students in colleges and universities. Though this suggestion may ruffle some, I see no harm in it since even Olympians undergo such tests.

In fact such tests should be made mandatory even in schools, as drug addiction and alcoholism is no longer limited to places of higher education. Early detection can go a long way in reforming and counselling wayward students and prevent them from becoming delinquents.

And above all incidents of ragging or the kind of violence witnessed at Sanawar 
School recently should be dealt firmly. There should be no misplaced sympathies for drug and alcohol addicts and inherently violent students. Immediate rustication and registration of a criminal case should be the only fallout of all such cases.

Write to cityeditor@tribunemail.com


Chief Ministers rally behind candidates
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 10
It was raining leaders of the Congress and the BJP on the penultimate day of campaigning in the city today. With just two days to go for the polls, leaders of both parties garnered votes for Pawan Kumar Bansal and Satya Pal Jain, respectively. If it was Uttarakhand Chief Minister Bhuvan Chand Khandoori campaigning for Jain, Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda chipped in for Bansal.

Khandoori bats for Jain

Uttarakhand Chief Minister BC Khandoori embraces BJP candidate Satya Pal Jain
Uttarakhand Chief Minister BC Khandoori embraces BJP candidate Satya Pal Jain

BJP leaders went about wooing region-specific voters today. Khandoori addressed a rally in Sector 29, which has a sizeable presence of residents belonging to Uttarakhand and nearby places.

Highlighting the achievements of the NDA regime during the tenure Atal Behari Vajpayee, Khandoori said the Congress had always been against making Uttarakhand. It was the NDA-led government that fulfilled its promise and created the state.

In his tirade against the Congress, he said the party and its leaders were neck deep in corruption and a large of money was stashed away in Swiss bank accounts.

While Khandoori tried to strike a chord with his own people and listed his government’s achievement in the state, Jain touched upon the local issues in his speech.

Lashing out at the Congress government at the Centre for not being able to control price rise, he said the corruption during the past five years was a major reason behind it.

Meanwhile, earlier DS Rana welcomed Khandoori on stage.

Later in the evening, former minister in the Vajpayee government ID Swami, Haryana’s former minister Ram Bilas Sharma, Haryana BJP former president Ratan Lal Kataria and Punjab Vidhan Sabha former deputy speaker Bir Devinder Singh addressed a public meeting in Sector 49.

Corner meetings were held by Zirakpur MC chief Narinder Sharma and SGPC member and SAD’s city wing chief Gurpratap Singh city villages like Behlana, Raipur Kalan, Kishangarh.

Jain also undertook a padyatra in Bhaskar Colony, Sector 25, and in the area around Valmiki Mandir in Daddu Majra colony.

The Aggarwal Pariwar Sangathan, several organisations of people belonging to Uttarakhand, Chandigarh Computer Dealers Association assured support to Jain.

The Ambedkar Awas Welfare society also assured support to the leader.

Hooda chips in for Bansal

Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda has a word with Congress candidate Pawan Kumar Bansal during their rallies in Chandigarh on Sunday
Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda has a word with Congress candidate Pawan Kumar Bansal during their rallies in Chandigarh on Sunday

“Congress is the best bet for India as it has experience, vision and determination to make the country a powerful and prosperous nation,” said Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda here today.

Addressing two rallies at Badheri and Maloya in support of Congress candidate Pawan Kumar Bansal, Hooda said the country had been on a progressive and upward trend during the past five years and had stamped its presence worldwide.

On the benefits given to the working class, he said the implementation of the sixth pay commission in Haryana was an economic booster to lakhs of government employees. “It will be implemented in Chandigarh also after the nod was given from Punjab,” he added.

Development, he said, would spell employment for youth and a better living for people in general. “Congress always has ‘aam aadmi’ in mind and all policies are directed towards their uplift.”

Bansal said the Congress-led UPA alliance had introduced an affordable housing scheme with four categories of houses for people not owing a house of their own.

The dwelling units, he said, would be constructed on an area ranging from 300 sq ft to 600 sq ft and 900 sq ft to 1,200 sq ft. This, he said, was a small effort towards the betterment of the common man.

No person would have to pay more than 30 to 40 per cent of his salary as installment.

These houses would be allotted to residents irrespective of whether they were government or private sector employees.

Among others who shared the dais were CTCC president BB Bahl, Rajiv Kathuria, DD Jindal, Lalit Joshi, Pawan Sharma, Khalil Ahmed, Mehndi Hasan, Bhajan Kaur, Manjit Singh Chouhan.

Meanwhile, Lok Janshakti Party (Chandigarh unit) general secretary Baljinder Singh Bittu today announced his party’s merger with the Congress.

At a function in Sector 43, accompanied by his party associates Sandeep Bhalla, Chandra Sekhar Pandey and Jalil Ahmed, Bittu pledged his support to Bansal.

A large number of members of the Balmiki Dharam Samaj (Bhawadas) including president BL Manchal, Ravindra Kumar, Pankaj Kumar, Devendra Kumar, Jogi Kumar Surendra Chhagad; Chandigarh Commercial Tenants Association and Chetna Manch expressed their solidarity with Bansal.



Haq dubs Bansal bundle of lies
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 10
Rashtriya Janata Dal candidate Hafiz Anwar ul Haq today dubbed Congress candidate Pawan Kumar Bansal a bundle of lies.

“Few days ago, Congress workers had distributed handbills glorifying the works done by Bansal. This is nothing but a bundle of lies. The Congress has credited all development works undertaken by the Chandigarh administration or the MC in a routine manner to Bansal.”

Addressing a public meeting at Sadar Bazaar, Sector 19, today, Haq also did a door-to-door campaigning.

Haq accompanied by his wife Jannat Jahan ul Haq listened to the problems and suggestions from the shopkeepers.

He said the bazaar did not have basic amenities on a par with other markets of the city and he would seek development plans for the market.

Haq said: “The policy of general power of attorney for group housing was framed by the administration. Also, the bus stand in Sector 43 has been built with the efforts of the administration. The Mohali International Airport had been approved by the Centre. Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav started eight new trains from Chandigarh and this had nothing to do with Bansal.”

He added that Bansal had failed on all fronts and the basic problems of the city had remained unsolved for the past two decades.

He said major local issues like Balanced Rent Act, SC/ST certification, etc. had always been a part of Bansal’s manifesto but these never met their logical end.

“Had he resolved these issues earlier, it would not have been his part of the manifesto this time too”, Haq contended.

Haq along with his party workers addressed several rallies and public meetings at Sector 19, Police Lines in Sector 26 and Mani Majra.

Lalu’s visit today

RJD supremo and Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav will visit the city at 10 am tomorrow to campaign for Haq. Lalu will address a rally at Sector 25 along with other senior leaders of the party and cabinet ministers. The RJD has nominated its candidate from Chandigarh constituency for the first time. Haq said there was excitement among party workers and general people ahead of Lalu’s visit.



NDA a stronger alliance, says Sushma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 10
For her, the UPA stands for “Unlimited Prime Minister Alliance”! That’s how BJP leader Sushma Swaraj put the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance while claiming that her party would emerge as the “single largest party”.

Here to campaign for party’s local candidate Satya Pal Jain, Sushma said unlike the Congress and its allies, the BJP had only one prime ministerial candidate, LK Advani, who would form the government with the help of NDA partners, after the Lok Sabha polls.

Speaking at a media briefing here, she said: “Congress-led UPA has fallen to pieces and now it should be called ‘Unlimited Prime Minister Alliance’ because the Left, the NCP, the RJD, the SP and the LJP were presenting their own prime ministerial candidate and ours is a cohesive alliance with an undisputed leader,” said the BJP spokesperson.

“Arjun ko machali ki aankh dikhti hai.... NDA ka apna lakshya aur neta hai - Advani hi PM,” she said.

The BJP, she said, had rather enlarged its base with the support of parties like the INLD, the AGP, the RLD and the Gorkha Jan Hit.

On post-poll allies, Swaraj said all energies were being concentrated on strengthening the present alliance partners in all possible ways.

She said the issue of “jaziya” levied on the Sikhs in Pakistan is shocking. “It is the duty of the government to ensure the safety and security of the Sikhs and other minorities in Pakistan. If the present government does not do this, we on coming to power would do it forcefully,” she said.

Sushma refrained from speaking about the controversial statements of Varun Gandhi.

She said her party was in favour of encouraging local languages in local administration - it should be Punjabi in Punjab, Telugu in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil in Tamil Nadu.

She felt that anti-incumbency factor prevailed not against the Congress here but against its candidate Pawan Kumar Bansal.

To a question on BJP alliance with the INLD in Haryana, she said it would benefit both the allies. She projected that the alliance would get a minimum of six seats in the state, and the SAD-BJP alliance would be way ahead of the Congress in Punjab.

On national security, Sushma said it would be the priority of the party to add more teeth to the security agencies.

Meanwhile, Satya Pal Jain in his introductory remarks said the city had made up its mind and the non-performing Congress MP would be shunned.

BJP national secretary Kiran Ghai, Chandigarh state BJP president Kamla Sharma; general secretary Sanjay Tandon and spokesperson Davesh Moudgil were also present.

Meanwhile, to seek votes for Jain, actor and BJP leader Shatrughan Sinha will adressa a rally at 3 pm at Mauli Jagran tomorrow.



SSP briefs cops on poll duties
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 10
The UT SSP today held a meeting of over 250 police personnel at the traffic auditorium in Sector 29 and briefed them about the election duty.

The police said the SSP briefed DSPs, inspectors, in charges of police posts and police booths up to the rank of assistant sub-inspectors (ASIs) regarding the deployment on election duties and instructed them on dealing with the electoral and other offences.

The SSP said he had instructed the police officers to remain alert about incidents of electoral offences, including impersonation and those violence.

He would hold a meeting with police personnel below the rank of ASI on Tuesday and also brief them regarding their duties.

The policemen have been asked to make their communication network stronger to tackle any eventuality.



Services to have joint training centres
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 10
To rationalise capital costs and promote jointness in training and operational capability, the three services are in the process of setting up common training institutes catering to specific areas.

Christened Armed Forces Training Institutes (AFTI), these would impart training to personnel of three services in aspects of warfare, logistics and maintenance that are common to all.

This includes nuclear, chemical and biological warfare, unmanned aerial operations and maintenance of helicopters like the indigenous Dhruv advance light helicopter.

There are a number of common fields where the three services are running their independent training establishments. The armed forces have already clubbed together some of them, resulting in cost-effectiveness and qualitative improvement in training.

There are also instances where the training establishment being run by one service is being made use of by the other services. The IAF is training Army helicopter pilots at its Basic Flying Training School in Allahabad and providing ab-initio training to naval and coast guard pilots at the Air Force Academy in Dundigal. Naval personnel are undergoing UAV training at Bathinda.

Headquarters Integrated Defence Staff had earlier carried out a review of the tri-service institutions and brought about changes in their training curriculum to bring in aspects enhancing jointness within the services.

Based upon its observations and recommendations, the process of establishing joint Armed Forces Training Institutes (AFTI) with focus to enhance jointmanship and optimise resources is underway. 



No takers for night driving filters
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 10
CSIO scientists may have developed “night driving filters” to provide a comfortable view to drivers at night by reducing glare from approaching vehicles on high beam, but it has failed to find manufactures to produce the product commercially for use of the common man.

Trials of the device, which literally converts “high beam to low beam” have been conducted on Ambassador and Maruti cars and on trucks, both on city roads and highways, during peak night hours and the results have been successful. Giving details of the product, PK Rao, scientist, CSIO, said the device had to be placed on the top of the dash board (near the windscreen) and it scattered rays from headlights of the approaching vehicles.

“The headlight of vehicles is thus viewed on dipper, making the left-hand side view of driver clearly visible while driving on dark roads,” Rao said.

He said the technology was very helpful for drivers and could reduce the glare from high beam to 30 per cent and from low beam to 40 per cent. He said this would help reduce accidents in a big way since most mishaps occur during night due to the strong glare from the approaching vehicles

However, despite all benefits, the CSIO has failed to find takers for this technology for mass production. Though five companies had shown interest in the prodcut, the huge cost involved in manufacturing the device on mass scale is said to be “exorbitant”.

CSIO’s business development head VP Giridhar admitted that companies who had approached them for the production of the device on a large scale had backed out due to cost factor.

“We will approach more companies and find someone for manufacturing the product,” said Rao, adding that the device also protected eyes from excessive visible and ultra-violet radiations produced by the headlight of the approaching vehicles.

The filter has been successfully tested by Automobile Association of India, New Delhi, police departments, government departments, Punjab and Haryana Roadways and the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking.

Scientists who were involved in the projects said the device comprises a gradient density absorbing film deposited on glass or plastic substrate by vacuum coating and also anti-reflections coating on both surfaces of the substrate. 



Play on Harivansh Rai Bachchan
SD Sharma

Mohali, May 10
The Mumbai-based Tarkash theatre ensemble staged a Hindi play “Mein Ikaki” (I am alone), in collaboration with NZCC and Language and Culture department, Himachal Pradesh, at Shivalik Public School auditorium here today.

The biographical play was written and directed by upcoming film and TV actor, Abhimanyu Pandey, based on the life and poetry of legendary litterateur Dr Harivansh Rai Bachchan, which depicts life’s elemental experiences, its recurrent joys, woes, mysterious denials and struggle to achieve the best.

The play presented in the theatrical form of “Constructivism”, now obsolete, is a reflection of poet’s perception and approach towards life as delineated in his poetry. Pandey had structured the play employing four statues representing various emotions like Shingar ras (Romantic emotion), Raudra (wrathful), Karuna (pathetic) and Nibhasta (odious) with Harivansh Rai in a constant dialogue with them.

Beside Abhimanyu Pande, other actors from Mumbai included Gladwin John, Upender Singh, Vivek Chaturvedi and Rishiraj Singh.

The light and sound effects by Gagan Pradeep Sharma deserve a special mention being the lifeline of the play.

The eighteenth show of the play, though of philosophical nature, was largely attended.



Sec-51 Suicide
Kin for transfer of probe to crime branch
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 10
Fed up with the slow pace of investigation into the alleged murder of his son, Karan Goel, whose body was found hanging in his rented apartment in Sector 51 last Sunday, Chander Mohan Goel, victim’s father, has sought the transfer of probe to crime branch for prompt action.

Besides, the father has alleged that the police has not given them the list of articles confiscated from the scene.

Goel had already taken up the issue of the confiscated articles with UT Inspector-General of Police (IGP) SK Jain last week.

In a letter to the IGP, Goel had sought copies of the photographs and video recording of the scene along with the list of articles sealed and confiscated from there.

The letter was sent to the IGP on Wednesday but was yet to get a reply from the police.

Sticking to his allegations that his son was murdered in a planned manner, Goel alleged that the police was conducting the probe in a clandestine manner and had not told them about its outcome so far.

“I believe that my son was killed. I have certain clues that raise doubts over the suicide theory, but no one from the police has visited us to date to discuss the matter. They are apparently stuck in suicide theory. The police is yet to find out who locked the door from the outside,” questioned the father.

While showing Karan’s room in his Sector-34 residence, which he had designed himself, Goel failed to believe that his son had no interest in life and committed suicide.

Karan’s elder brother Nakul Goel, who came from the US, said his brother was interested to marry a girl. They were known to each other and were living together.

The family had agreed to their marriage and the victim’s brother was planning to come to India in June for the marriage.

He, however, expressed surprise over the failure of the girl to visit the the family after the tragedy.

“I am surprised as to how someone who had such an intimate relationship could not find time to meet the family at a time of grief, even while she was living in the city.”

Nakul said his brother used to carry a briefcase with him and never leave it anywhere. They were not aware of whether it was taken away by the police or someone else. He also alleged that the girl had got her car removed from the house by someone and had not visited the house even as she had taken it on rent.

SHO of police station-34 Sudarshan Thakur maintained that the girl and her brother-in-law had recorded their statements and nothing incriminating had come out so far against them.

The police was waiting for the CFSL report to proceed further.

On confiscated articles, he said there was no need to inform the family about the articles, as they were not living with Karan.

He also held that the police was in touch with the family and was not hiding anything from them.



Maha Vir Chakra awardee dead
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 10
Members of the Rajput Officers Association have mourned the demise of Lieut-Col Gurdial Singh, who was decorated with the Maha Vir Chakra for his acts of gallantry in 1962.

Col Gurdial Singh was commissioned into the Rajput Regiment in September, 1943 and as a Major fought at Mankachu in the North Eastern Frontier Agency (NEFA), where he rallied the remnants of his troops to charge the enemy, leading the assault himself.

He commanded a Rajput battalion and after retiring in 1966, settled down in Chandigarh. He was also vice-president of the Punjab and Chandigarh chapter of the Rajput Officers Association.

Wreaths were laid by association president Lieut-Gen RS Dyal (retd) and also on behalf of Lieut-Gen VK Singh, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Command, who is Colonel of the Rajput Regiment.



Swine Flu
Drive to counsel pig owners
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 10
In a bid to take preventive steps against the spread of swine flu among the city’s pig population, the animal husbandry department has chalked out a strategy.

“The department has launched a special drive to counsel pig owners to not mix piggery with poultry to ensure that infection does not get transferred to birds. The priority of the department is to contain the disease at the level of the animal itself,” finance-cum-animal husbandry secretary Sanjay Kumar said.

He said the department would distribute pamphlets among people in Hindi and Punjabi languages in this regard. The municipal corporation has also been directed to spray and fumigate vulnerable areas.

“Although there is no cause of panic yet, we need to be ready with our contingency plan for dealing with the possible spread of the virus,” the secretary said.

As per the livestock census in 2007, there are only 271 pigs in the UT, out of which 164 are in villages and the rest in colonies.

The department had been directed to conduct routine surveillances, under which livestock owners would be educated on cleanliness and how to disinfect premises by fumigation and spraying 4 per cent formalin.



Act Violation
Court premises lack facilities for labourers
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 10
On the premises of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, which is known as the guardian of law, the Labour Act is being violated as children of migrant labourers are loitering around at a construction site, as there is no crèche for them.

According to the Act laid down for welfare of the migrant labourers, contractor at the construction site is supposed to have arrangements like the crèche for the children of the migrant labourers and basic facilities like drinking water and urinals.

The building and other construction workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Third Ordinance, laid down in 1996, provides for the following matters, namely, “Fixing hours for normal working day, weekly paid rest day, wages for overtime, provision of basic welfare amenities like drinking water and urinals, crèches, first aid, canteens, etc. for the building workers.”

The record room on the court premises is being renovated and has a whole lot of labourers employed there who are working with their families around.

While the migrant labourers and their wives were busy working, the children were loitering in dust and in case of any mishap, who will be responsible?

These children within the age group of two to five years are walking around barefooted in the uncongenial environment.

A regular visitor at the High Court and a social activist, Advocate Madhu P Singh said, “Other than dust there are sharp edged equipments which are used that can lead to an accident. Will the administration pay for the loss? A young child can become physically handicapped.”



Admn working on multi-level parking in big way
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 10
The administration is constructing various multi-level and surface parking in the city. The department of urban planning and town planning has earmarked sites with an approximate area of 5 acres for multi-level parking in Sector 17, the detailing of which would be done after receiving a comprehensive mobility plan by RITES.

The department has also proposed some parking sites along V4 roads. The Chief Architect said various sites had been identified in the Industrial Area for developing multi-level parking, which were at present being used as surface parking.

The engineering wing of the municipal corporation would undertake the construction work of these parking sites.

The department is also making plans to augment existing parking sites wherever there is a demand and amendments to the site are found viable.

There are also certain parking sites which are underutilised, and strategies are being made for the optimum use of these sites.

Finance-cum-engineering secretary Sanjay Kumar said around 11 acres had been earmarked in the Industrial Area Phases I and II for the development of multi-level parking. 



Chandumajra campaigns for Cheema
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 10
After polling in four Lok Sabha constituencies, the SAD general secretary and candidate from Patiala Lok Sabha constituency Prof Prem Singh Chandumajra, and Zirakpur Municipal Council president NK Sharma campaigned for the SAD-BJP combine candidate from Anandpur Sahib seat Dr Daljit Singh Cheema in Mohali today.

Addressing a gathering in Sector 66, Prof Prem alleged that Congress had always framed policies that harmed the interest of Punjab. Whenever the Congress came to power it framed development policies in which it made provision that did not even ensure a single penny of grant to the state.

The election meeting was also addressed by Harsukhinder Singh Bubby Badal, Hardeep Singh member of the SGPC.

On the other hand, Sharma held meetings with his supporters in different parts of the city canvassing for Dr Cheema. He also appealed to the people to vote for him.

Meanwhile, Harmanpreet Singh Prince, senior vice-president of Mohali Municipal council, organised a march from Phase I to Phase VII.



Evening of spiritual music
Tribune News Service

Ropar, May 10
An evening with the spiritual symphony of musical notes, named Bhaja Govindam, was organised by the Divya Jyoti Jagrati Sansthan at Ambedkar Bhawan here last night.

The programme was commenced by Sadhvi Tripada Bharti, who said a splendid and healthy society had been the dream of mankind since ages and to fulfill this, societal, political and judicial efforts are being made but all these attempts turn out to be failures.

She said we had forgotten importance of all heavenly values. Bhaja Govindam was a movement to re-establish lost Indian values on the basis of spirituality. The underlying objective of which is to generate awareness about knowledge, significance and values of devotional music.



City Scope Letters
Vote to keep away corrupt leaders 

By virtue of ‘I’ll vote. Will you?’ by Raveen Thukral’s City Scope after obtaining feedback and reader’s contribution, we can at least motivate voters in the tricity. Either exercise their voting right or exercise option available under rule 49. At the same time, tendency of pseudo welfare associations need to be exposed. Do these so-called associations have legal right to release press release in favour of a candidate. To some extent, professional association has got a right to adopt this option after taking approval in AGM. But residential welfare assocations representing various groups, professionals, religious beliefs have no moral right. What is the option available under election code of conduct is a matter of concern.

KNS Sodhi, Secretary general, Suchna Adhikar Manch, Mohali


If the educated people in India are made to confess about their participation in the election process, the results are not likely to be any different from the one made by Raveen Thukral.

Voting by the eligible electors is crucial for the success of a democracy. Past experience shows that it is the rural and economically deprived segments of the population, which comes out to exercise their franchise in the polls. Reasons for their overwhelming participation could be attributed to their vulnerability to the carrots being dangled before them by the moneybags. The role of moneybags is increasing by leaps and bounds with every passing election, which is bolstering the monster of corruption.

Disenchantment of the middle class and the educated people with the election process is largely due to the dirty game of politics being played in the country. This cynicism and indifferent attitude needs to be changed for the buoyancy of the democracy.

It is a sad revelation that only 20 per cent of urban population of Chandigarh exercises its voting right in the last elections. Every enlightened citizen should realize the worth of his vote and come out to exercise his right, otherwise the the day will not be very far off when the electoral process will entirely be captured by anti-social elements.

Lajpat Rai Garg, Chandigarh


Come elections, all the newspapers deal with election maters even as NGOs, newspapers and social activists make efforts and appeals to the voters to come out and vote. This time awareness campaign seems to be more vigorous even a PIL was filed in Supreme Court for making the exercise of voting a mandatory thing, of course the PIL was rejected as Supreme Court did not find it correct to make voting a legal duty.

Actually our leaders and politicians have ditched us so long that we have become alienated to the whole system. We do not bother about the importance of our voting and its impacts because nothing happened after the elections also. But we need to spread the awareness about the power of vote and during the last twenty years, the awareness about voting has certainly affected our polity as much as that no party is sure of the voters and hence they are afraid of voters. This fear of voters keep them of the tenterhook and people have stated talking about the calling aback and rejection of all candidates. But we have to understand that it is our voting power, which is very important. The elite and haves people do not bother at all and in our city, all the elite Sectors from 1 to 11, PGI and PU come out in thinner strength to vote. These people have the impact on whole of the society and should come out not only to vote but to encourage others also, but still I feel that mere appeals will not bring them out and our small voices will not reach to their ears, somebody has actually to meet them and request them to help us in strengthening the country. Let us all promise to self and have self-imposed discipline that we will vote in every election.

RK Garg RTI, Chandigarh


We should know that voting is not only our right but a duty also. If we do not vote, then we are not faithful either to us or to our country.

The voters of the Ambala Parliamentary constituency have exercised their right to reject en bloc and sent a message to whole of India that we can not only elect but reject also. The decision of Kalka residents and HMT employees will go a long way as they have at least come out and rejected. We, in the city, are also habitual of not coming to polling booth and exercise our right to vote or reject. We should take the initiative and say I will vote and ask others also the same question and see many will say yes and accompany you to vote.

Kumar Gaurav


Though we are more sensitive this time to exercise our voting right, but still, wee need to be persuaded personally so that our insensitiveness towards our voting right, which comes with a duty towards the nation, is addressed properly. We should understand that if we do not vote, then we do not have any right to grumble and complain against the system. The urge to vote should come from inside ourselves and any rule or any law cannot make us or carry us to the polling booth. If at all, we are not satisfied by the candidates, then we should go to polling station and make use of Form 17-A under Section 49-O and reject all the candidates. But we should come and show our determination and strength towards our nation.


‘I too will vote’

This is about ‘I’ll vote. Will you?’ by Raveen Thukral’s City Scope published. This is a good effort to make the voters aware how important has become now to cast our vote. In voting the theory propounded in the Gita does not apply that “one should perform one’s duty without any want of reward or result”.

Though in the election process, no choice is given to the voter to elect a man of his or her choice, but one has to select a lesser evil among the evils. Courtesy our faulty electoral procedures, out dated and irrelevant law of the land and offender-friendly judiciary, any criminal, current politician, at any age, from a beggar to big businessman can contest elections. The persons involved in criminal cases and undergoing imprisonment are given the benefit of “not being proved guilty”.

What public can accept from these persons elected to power. I understand that people must teach a lesson to this category of politicians this time by casting their vote. It would be better to vote to an unknown independent candidate rather than a seasoned politician or notorious politician known for changing his party and loyalties for personal gains, exploiting voters’ religious and cast sentiments, acquired huge money disproportions of their known financial sources. I have found that there are candidates, who are right but in wrong parties, and also wrong candidates in right parties. We, the voters, can fail all the mathematical calculation of every one if we learn to counter them by casting our votes to unknown individual and reject once for all the chronic politicians, who force themselves on us by taking the advantage of this fault of our system. I feel no hesitation in casting my vote like this only this time and appeal my fellow voters to give a checkmate to the faulty system.

Capt (Retd) Amar Jeet Kumar, Mohali



US scholarship for city student
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 10
The recent scholarship awarded to a city student Manbharat, who received $22,000 and a 100 per cent tuition waiver from Florida University has belied the myth that in the times of recession, scholarships are a passé.

The achievement has brought smiles to the faces of students, who aspire to go to the USA and the dwindling economic the world over had threatened to dampen their spirits.

Manbharat is just one of the students of “Fly Foreign”, a sister concern of Grey Matters, who excelled in exam of leading universities in the USA, others including Gurpreet Badesha was awarded the deans’ scholarship award at Michigan, Gagandeep Singh Randhawa was awarded $6,000 scholarships at Texas.

Munish Dhawan, director, Fly Foreign, said if the case was presented well before the university, there is no reason that the deserving candidate does not get the tuition fee waiver.

Students selected

Arni University, a private university in Himachal Pradesh, has selected five MBA students from Aryans Business School (ABS) for the post of marketing executive.

The selection was made after rigorous rounds of discussions and personal interviews held in New Delhi. The selected students will be placed at various locations of the university, including Delhi, Chandigarh and Kangra.

Expressing delight on the placements of the students, Anshu Kataria, chairman, ABS, said many reputed companies such as HDFC Bank, Club Mahindra, Accenture, Hindustan Unilever (HUL), India Infoline, SPA Capital, India Mart, ICICI Prudential, India Bulls, etc have already selected ABS students for final placements.

Education conclave

With the objective of providing an integrated platform to students, where they can choose a career of their choice under the guidance of professionals, the Education Conclave 2009 was concluded at Hotel Mount View, Sector 10, here today.

According to the organisers, the education fair received nearly 4,200 students from Chandigarh and the neighbouring states.

Organised by the MIS Outsourcing Pvt Ltd, a sister concern of Relio Quick, provided a common platform both for the students as well as the educational institutes of entire Punjab, Haryana, J&K, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh.

School and college students, looking forward to study abroad, parents, teachers, guardians of aspiring students, professionals in the field of education and government officials from the education sector, participated in the conclave.


To create awareness of the international education avenues, especially in UK, to the Indian segment of the students, ICL International College, in collaboration with University of Greenwich, UK, today conducted a seminar at Hotel Antheia, Sector 34.

The seminar was attended by students, parents and coordinators from various towns of Punjab and Chandigarh.

The ICL Hi-Tech Educational Society claims to have made assess to international education with twinning programmes with University of Greenwich of UK, in management, engineering and computing, where the students will study in India and the United Kingdom.



2,000 take free mock CAT
Tribune News Service

Students outside the venue of a free mock CAT and scholarship test conducted by Bulls Eye in association with The Tribune at DAV College, Sector 10, in Chandigarh on Sunday
Students outside the venue of a free mock CAT and scholarship test conducted by Bulls Eye in association with The Tribune at DAV College, Sector 10, in Chandigarh on Sunday. A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, May 10
With the Common Admission Test (CAT) conducted by the Indian Institute of Management going online this year, more than 2,000 MBA aspirants today tested their preparation in the free mock CAT and scholarship test at DAV College, Sector 10, organised by Bulls Eye, in association with The Tribune.

The paper was modelled on the latest CAT pattern.

"The mock test was an eye-opener," said Kushal Khanna, a BCom student, who came from Pathankot to appear in the test.

Hirdesh Madan, country head (North), Bulls Eye, said, “We have anticipated the shift of CAT going online quite early and for the last six months, have been ready with our online preparator, a student-friendly platform for online test preparation. We also have a vast pool of pre-tested and calibrated questions. These will be made available to all our students, in a convenient and easy-to-use format.”



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