C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Delay in milling worries agencies
Gurdeep Singh Mann
Tribune News Service

Fatehgarh Sahib, August 20
Even as the new season of paddy arrival in market is to begin in next one-and-a-half month, rice millers of the district are yet to mill rice of previous season.

While officials of the district food and supply department said shortage of space had led to delay in selling previous yield, but millers opined that the delay had been due to damaged and discoloured 201 variety of paddy. Most of the procuring agencies borrow money from banks to pay farmers. The agencies in state have to pay extra interest on borrowed money due to delay in milling. More than Rs 16 crore of rice is yet to be procured.

Agencies purchase paddy from farmers and get it milled from rice shellers to send it for the central pool. However, the Central government releases payments only after consignments are delivered.

Though the last date of the milling has been extended up to August 30, but even then the millers of the area have expressed helplessness in completing milling process in time.

Various government agencies and others have procured 4.19-lakh metric tonne paddy in Fatehgarh Sahib district in 2008-09. Beside this, around 68,000 metric tonne paddy has also been brought for milling from other nearby districts.

3.26-lakh metric tonne rice, out of 4.87 lakh metric tonne, was supposed to be sent to the central pool before March 31, 2009. But even after the due date, rice could not be sent to central pool. So far, millers in the district have managed to mill only 3.14-lakh metric tones of rice. Around 12 lakh metric tonne rice is yet to be milled.

As per the officials, around 11,648 consignments were to be dispatched in central pool from Fatehgarh Sahib, but so far only 444 consignments have been sent. The cost of left-over consignment of rice is nearly Rs 16 crore. Officials of various state procuring agencies said the rate of interest on money borrowed by the state government to buy paddy from farmers would increase manifolds due to delay.

The rice shellers rued that the rice had been ready after milling, but the Food Corporation of India (FCI) had not been ready to take it. So far, lakhs of metric tones of rice are yet to be sent to the central pool in the state.

State president of the Rice Millers’ Association Tarsem Saini said some of the varieties of paddy had not been up to the mark and failed to comply with the specifications of the government, which had caused delay. The policy of the government had been responsible for the delay in milling of paddy, he said.

The rice millers said the rice procured by the procuring agencies had been delivered to the Food Corporation of India (FCI), but there was no storage space in its godown. District Food and Supply Controller Atinder Kaur said the efforts had been on to complete process of milling, after which all consignments would be delivered in the central pool.



Gang rape case
High cost may deter cops from conducting DNA tests
Megha Mann
Tribune News Service

Kharar, August 20
The high cost of DNA test and tedious procedure involved might help the three of four accused in the minor’s gang rape case from getting off the hook.

The Kharar Police had sent a request to a local civil hospital for getting the DNA test of the victim and four accused conducted to support victims’ statements, who was allegedly raped on August 12.

The girl had alleged that she was raped by all four accused.

However, during investigations, the accused told the police that only Paramjit Singh Pamma, a resident of ward no. 13, Kharar, had raped the victim and before the other three accused could act, they heard a vehicle coming in their direction and fled.

The investigating officer Ramji Dass confirmed that Pamma had used contraceptive during the rape. He added that a request had been sent to the civil hospital doctors to conduct a pregnancy test of the accused.

The DNA test is being conducted at CFSL laboratory, Hyderabad. Samples and swabs of victim or accused are being taken at CFSL, Chandigarh, and then sent to Hyderabad for testing.

Cost of per test is between Rs 15,000 to Rs 18,000. In case of gang rape, the police will have to shell out at least Rs 75,000 to get the DNA test conducted on the victim as well as the four accused. The police, however, does not have any special funds earmarked for such purposes.

The matter has also been sent to DA legal for being reviewed. Sources in the police said plans to get the DNA test conducted might actually be shelved due to high costs and tedious procedure involved.

DSP Simrat Pal Singh Dhindsa said CFSL authorities at Chandigarh were sent an application for DNA test. “We have got the application back with some objections. We will fulfill those objections and send it again,” he added.

Regarding the cost factor, Dhindsa agreed that there was no provision of separate funds.



Privatisation of PSEB draws flak
Members to protest in Patiala today

Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 20
Members of the Mohali circle of the Technical Services Union of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) refused to accept privatisation of the power board and were ready to make sacrifices to save it from being given into private hands.

Members of the union held a meeting here today which was presided over by the circle president Lakha Singh. It was pointed out that the Punjab Government had made all preparations to hand over the board to private parties by September 15. Even workers had also chalked out their strategies for saving the power board from being privatised.

Lakha said the state committee had presented a charter of demands to the management of the PSEB and demanded that employees should be given revised pay scales and allowances soon after settling the matter.

It was also demanded that the decision to privatise the power board be cancelled and after passing a resolution in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, the Central Government should be asked to cancel the Power Bill, 2003, and improve the present structure of the board after filling the vacant posts.

Members of the families of the persons who had died while working should be given jobs on a priority basis and the system of spot billing and contract be scrapped. He said members of the union would take part in the dharna being organised on August 21 in Patiala.



Labourer confesses to killing wife
Tribune News Service

Rajpura, August 20
Migrant labourer admits killing wife over a petty issue as both of them were in inebriated state.

Raj Bali, a resident of Rajpura, was arrested by the police yesterday and was sent to two-day police remand. He was accused of killing his wife on Monday over a petty issue.

He admitted before the police that he had killed his wife, Mittal Devi, with a sharp-edged weapon after she refused to give him food.

He said his wife used to consume liquor with him and on Monday after enjoying their drink late in the night he demanded food from his wife. Instead of preparing food for her husband, the wife started beating her four children between the age group of seven to thirteen. Accused Raj Bali objected the beating and in a fit of rage attacked his wife with a knife and Mittal died on the spot.

The couple was married for the past 11 years and had been surviving by doing menial jobs in Rajpura and adjoining areas. The police has registered a case against Raj in this regard at the Rajpura city police station.



Two booked in rape case
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, August 20
Two persons, including a woman, were today booked by the police, in connection with the rape of a 24-year-old woman of Panchkula-based Nada Sahib village.

The accused have been identified as Baba Jaspal Singh, hailing from Kula village in Hissar, now a resident of Aariya Society, First Floor 1195, Burail in Chandigarh, and Sonia, sister of the victim.

The police said the complainant had said in 2007, she had met with Baba Jaspal Singh at Nada Sahib in Panchkula, along with her sister, Sonia, where he had promised to help them after hearing their tale of poverty.

Baba Jaspal Singh called her sister many times and built good relations with her. He also helped her sister to get a job.

The complainant alleged that Jaspal Singh had taken the help of her sister, Sonia, and called her at Baltana, where he raped her.

Zirakpur SHO Sukhwinder Singh said a case had been registered on the complaint of the victim and the hunt had been on to nab the accused.



Pay Scale
BSNL employees continue protest
Our Correspondent

Kalka, August 20
On the call of VN Nabudri, general secretary of All-India BSNL Employees Union, local unit of the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited Employees Union staged 48 hours dharna on the second consecutive day outside the main gate of BSNL Telephone Exchange, Kalka.

Tarsem Gupta from Kalka branch said all technical employees of BSNL including, linemen, foremen, telephone technical assistants and regular mazdoors today anguished over their various pending demands, raised anti-government slogans. The employees demanded implementation of recommendations of the sixth pay commission, to implement promotion policy and to abolish contractual system.



Daughter shot at, man held
Our Correspondent

Ambala, August 20
The Ambala police arrested Roshan Lal, a resident of Ambala City, for allegedly firing at her daughter Shabnam on Tuesday evening. Shabnam was rushed to the civil hospital where she was referred to the PGI, Chandigarh.

According to information, Shabnam along with her mother had gone to meet one of their relatives in Badshahi Bag Colony. Roshan also reached there.

A dispute cropped up between Roshan and his wife over some issue and as a result he got agitated and allegedly fired at her wife.

In order to rescue her mother, Shabnam came in between and the bullet struck her and she got injured.

The police registered a case against Roshan Lal and investigating the matter.



Coloniser booked
Tribune News Service

Kharar, August 20
A coloniser was booked on the complaint of the Chief Administrator, PUDA, Mohali, for carving out a colony in the Sante Majra area without having a licence.

The police has booked Pawan Kumar Goyal, resident of ward number 14, for violating the norms of PUDA. The accused had bought 20 kanals and 8 marlas from Nachhattar Kaur in 2004.

He later sold parts of the land to be developed as a colony. He has been booked under Section 36 (1) of the Punjab Apartment Regulation Act, 1995.



Placement drive at Sri Sukhmani institute
Tribune News Service

Dera Bassi, August 20
Sri Sukhmani Institute of Engineering and Technology yesterday organised a joint placement drive at the Wi-Fi campus of the engineering college. Sri Sukhmani Group of Institutes chairman, Prof Avtar Singh, and director Kanwaljit Kaur inaugurated the drive.

The expert panel of recruiters comprising experts from 3A Mobile Technology recruiting team conducted the placement drive and decided to select the students of various branches based on pre-placement tests, presentations as well as one-on-one HR interview.

The company HR also gave a brief power point presentation and introduced 3A Mobile Technology Bangalore profile and future objectives. Around 222 candidates appeared for the first screening test and more than 10 students were selected with the salary package of Rs 2,36,000 per annum by the panel.

Prof Avtar Singh also gave appointment letters to the selected students.



Lectures on art and culture
Tribune News Service

Patiala, August 20
Dr Jaspal Singh, Vice-Chancellor of Punjabi University, Patiala, has started a series of lectures and demonstrations on art and culture for the new academic session.

Gurnam Singh, dean, faculty of art and culture, said various artists namely Rakesh Bani, Kalicharan Gupta and Jagdish Chander would be invited to deliver lectures.

A three-day lecture and demonstration was given by Surjit Singh, an artist from Shimla, yesterday at fine arts gallery, Kala Bhawan, Punjabi University, Patiala.

Surjit Singh has an experience of about 30 years in the field of art. He has served as director in the department of design in Punjab Government for 15 years.

In his lecture, Surjit said sketching and drawing were essential elements in the field of art.



Heart check-up camp

Patiala, August 20
As a social awareness and special initiative, Grecian Super-Speciality Hospital will hold a camp to detect and treat children with heart diseases across the state. In this connection, heart specialists from Grecian Hospital will be available at Dr Avneesh Gupta’s healthy baby clinic here on August 22. Children with heart diseases will be checked free of cost and echocardiography will also be done free of cost. — TNS



Charges framed against tainted NCB official
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 20
A local court today framed charges against Balwinder, suspended Deputy Superintendent of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) pertaining to a case registered with the economics offences wing of the UT police.

Additional District and Sessions Judge Raj Rahul Garg framed the charges of criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust and corruption against him for the embezzlement of Rs 13.81 lakh under Sections 409, IPC, and 120-B and other Sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act. The police had filed a chargesheet in the case on June 8. Balwinder was booked on January 31 along with former NCB, Chandigarh, Director, Saji Mohan, in this regard.

The embezzlement was detected a few days after the ATS, Mumbai, arrested Saji Mohan with 12 kg of heroin in Mumbai and an inquiry was conducted by the NCB, Chandigarh. Though both Balwinder and Saji Mohan are allegedly involved in the case, the charges were only framed against Balwinder as Saji is lodged in Arthur Road Jail, Mumbai.



Canadian Visa
Conman dupes applicants
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 20
High drama prevailed outside the Canadian Consulate in Sector 17 here this afternoon after a Ludhiana conman, along with a woman impersonating as a consulate employee, defrauded over a dozen persons and sent them to the consulate for the processing of their visa applications.

The conman, who identified himself as Gurvinder Singh Mahal, and the woman reportedly took $4000-6000 Canadian dollars from the applicants and accompanied them to the consulate.

The 14 applicants, hailing from various parts of Punjab, were shocked when consulate officials refused to entertain them. Suspecting that they had been duped, they came out and found the man and the woman missing. They then informed the police, which recorded their statements.

According to the victims, Mahal placed an advertisement in newspapers, claiming that he could arrange for a work visa for Canada. He called them to a hotel in Ludhiana, where he interviewed them and introduced them to a woman, saying that she was working as a translator in the consulate. They asked them to come to the consulate on August 20 with the fee to get the visas.

Amrajot Kaur from Nawanshahr said the duo told them to leave their bags and mobile phones with them before going inside the consulate and fled before they came out.

The SHO of the Sector 17 police station said the case pertained to Ludhiana and they had transferred the complaint to the police there. A daily diary report had been recorded.



Cheating Case
Babla claims innocence
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 20
A day after the registration of a cheating case against him by the UT police, Congress councillor and Pawan Bansal loyalist Devinder Singh Babla today cried foul and accused UT Administrator SF Rodrigues of “orchestrating” his “frame-up”.

“I am a victim of this conspiracy to settle a score will those who have campaigned actively against the mega projects mooted by the Administrator,” he alleged.

Maintaining that the Congress had “exposed” the wrongdoing under the garb of mega projects, Babla said the accusations against him were false as he was not the deciding authority for allotment of platforms at the grain market.

“The authority to allot the platforms lay directly with SDM (East) Prerna Puri and if anything wrong has happened, it is at the official level,” he said, claiming that he only had a “recommendatory” role in the affair and power for clearing the allotment list lay with the SDM.

However, Puri could not be contacted for comments. He claimed that apart from him, market committee director Jhujhar Singh Badheri had signed the list of allottees, which was approved by the SDM (East), who is the joint secretary of the market committee. Questioning the registration of the case against him only, Babla said if there was any irregularity in the allotment of platforms, why was the SDM not booked.

Terming the Raj Bhavan a den of conspirators against Congress workers, Babla said he was told by officials that there were 16 persons on the “hit list” of the Administrator and were expecting implication in some case.

Babla also produced Jatinder Singh, an auction recorder in the market committee, before media saying that Jatinder had given an affidavit claiming that he was pressured by the inquiry official to give statement against Babla.

Jatinder stated that Babla had not told him to change the list of 69 allottees. UT SSP SS Srivastva said the matter was being inquired into and they were collecting evidences to take the case to its logical end.

Meanwhile, the police has seized all computers installed at the market committee office. The police also conducted raids on Babla’s residence to arrest him. The police had registered a case of cheating and criminal conspiracy on Wednesday on the basis of an inquiry conducted by ADC PS Shergill.

It was alleged that Babla and Saini had manipulated the list of 69 allottees to accommodate his men in a complaint lodged by Suraj Parkash Ahuja, a shopkeeper in the market.

A lonely walk

Babla may be crying foul but he certainly doesn’t seem to have the numbers within the board of directors of the market committee on his side or an outright support from his party. While only four of the nine directors were present at the press conference, even CTCC chief BB Behl distanced himself from the controversy saying he “had nothing to do with it”. However, in a bid to hold the high moral ground, Babla said he would “quit” if proved guilty.



5 dowry cases registered

Chandigarh, August 20
The police has registered five cases of dowry harassment. Rajdeep Kaur of Sector 15 lodged a complaint against her husband Gurveer Singh Khullar and in-laws, all residents of Sector 70, Mohali, alleging that they had been harassing her to bring dowry.

Similarly, Veena Verma of Sector 30 reported that her husband Saman Deep and his family, all residents of Ferozpore, had been maltreating her for dowry. Sunita of Sector 32 reported that she was harassed by her husband Roop Kumar and his family for dowry. Also, Neha Sharma of Sector 45 filed a complaint against her husband Rishi Sharma and in-laws, all residents of Delhi-32. Similarly, Prem Puri Puneet of Sector 38 (W) reported that her husband Sudhir of Moga had been harassing her for dowry. — TNS



Speeding car runs over 67-yr-old man
Tribune News Service

SS Malhotra Panchkula, August 20
A 67-year-old resident of Sector 7 was killed when a speeding car hit his scooter near Shalimar Mall this morning.

The deceased identified as SS Malhotra, a retired official from food and supply office, was going towards Sector 8 at the time of mishap.

According to police, the car allegedly driven by a woman kept on dragging the deceasd and his scooter after hitting it at least till 50 feet before fleeing the spot.

Malhotra was declared brought dead at the General Hosptial, Sector 6. Deceased’s son, Vishvadeep, in his complaint stated that he was following his father on his scooter when he saw a woman driving a Santro car hit him and kept on dragging him.

“My father was going to meet some advocate and forgot to carry some important documents and I was following him to hand over the documents,” added Vishvadeep.

The police said the car was identified and its owner belonged to Housing Society no. 18, Sector 5, Mansa Devi complex.

Malhotra’s body was handed over to the family and cremated after the post-mortem in the evening.



Hockey Tourney
GMHS-18, CC-18 storm into final
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 20
Two strong contenders, Government Model High School, Sector 18, and Coaching Centre-18, are pitched for the final encounter in the girls hockey tournament being organised by Rock Rovers Hockey Club at the Sector 18 Hockey Stadium.

The final will be played tomorrow. In the first semifinal today, GMSSS-18 was awarded walkover after GMSSS-35 did not turn up for the match. While in the second semifinal, CC-18 routed Spartan Club by 7-1 to book the final berth.

In this one-sided fixture, CC-18 kept the pressure on its rival right from the beginning and made most of the goal attempts. High-spirited Pooja Yadav began the proceedings for CC-18 in the very second minute of the game with a field goal. After this goal their team made many attempts to score but they got success in the 18th minute when Sarita sent one home with a field goal.

With a lead of 2-0, the team continued striking goals, while the defenders of the Spartan Club seemed helpless. For CC-18, Shivani (14th minute), Anjali (16th minute), Pooja Yadav (32nd minute), Neha (35th minute), and Neha (38th minute) chipped in.

Spartan Club could score a single goal in 29th minute by Gurpreet.



GMSSS-35 players hold protest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 20
Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 35, today protested against the organisers of the ongoing hockey tournament for allegedly manipulating fixtures and filed a written complaint.

Two semifinals were to be held today but the first semifinal couldn’t be played, as the GMSSS-18 got the walkover after the GMSSS-35, who had filed a written complaint, didn’t reach for its scheduled match.

Speaking to The Tribune, Rajdeep Kaur, hockey trainer at the GMSSS-35, alleged, “According to the rules, in the semifinals the teams which have scored more points should be pitched against the teams which have got less points but here the situation is vice-versa.”



Iran shine with 13 gold
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 20
Iran powerlifters claimed 13 gold medals on the penultimate day of the Asian Bench Press Championship at Sector 28-B Himachal Bhavan.

Japan powerlifters won eight gold medals, while Kazakhstan and India won five gold medals each. Jagdish recorded a lift of 145 kg in 90 kg master II weight category to win gold and Mohammad Javed won gold with a bench of 167.5 kg in 100 kg junior weight category.


Men: 75 kg: Ujaal Roy (India) 145 (best) 3 and Saed Davood (Iran) 177.5 (best) 2; master (I): Ajit Utekar (India) 105 (best) 1; master (II): Ebrahm Zadeh Alireza (Iran) 167.5 (best) 1, Hashimmoto Masato (Japan) 132.5 (best) and Savinder Singh (India) 127.5 (best) 2; open: Arjmandfard Younes (Iran) 260 (best) 1, Arastehfard Mehdi (Iran) 245 (best) 3 and Takezawa Akihiro (Japan) 245 (best) 2; 110 kg-sub-junior: Rezabegloo Alireza (Iran) 110 (best) 1; junior: Sukhbir Singh (India) 140 (best) 2 and Devi Prasad Chatterjee (India) 190 (best) 1; master (I): Ishar Singh (India) 180 (best) 2; master (II): Saeed Aliazam (Iran) 220 (best) 1 and Nirmaljeet Singh (India) 140 (best) 1; open: Shahnavaz Majid (Iran) 275 (best) 3, Yulchiyev Rustam (Kazakhstan) 1 and Ghoreyshi Seyedsamed (Iran) 2.



Pauline, Sheena win I-Day Ladies Golf Cup
Our Golf Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 20
Pauline JM Singh and Sheena Sekhon clinched the Ladies Independence Day Golf Cup by defeating Ashu Singh and Hema Bedi on the 15th hole with a 4-3 margin on the par-71 greens of the Chandigarh Golf Club.

An annual prestigious tournament got under way in the middle of June with 14 ladies teeing off for the coveted cup. This is the only match play tournament on the Chandigarh Golf Club Ladies Calendar which is keenly contested.

The ladies braved the erratic conditions ranging from the heat and humidity of 40 degrees to the downpours that held up play on certain occasions.

After the preliminary rounds the semifinals threw up a major upset in Group B, when the favoured duo of Dimple Minocha and Babbles Singh were ousted by Ashu Singh and Hema Bedi. The Ashu-Hema duo dominated the match from the very outset and at the turn they were five matches up. The match ended on the 13th hole with a 6-5 verdict.

In the other semifinals, Pauline JM Singh and Sheena Sekhon defeated the duo of Pikka P Singh and Deepu Dhanoa with a 5-4 margin on the 14th hole.

The finals turned out to be a see-saw affair with the lead changing sides. Neither pair could go more than one-up. The winning pair were one match up at the turn.

Pauline claimed the 10th and 11th with consecutive pars and thereafter Sheena made good use of her strokes to halve the next 3 holes. Though Ashu had the advantage on the 15th green, her putting gave way to tournament nerves, and allowed Sheena to putt in for a nett par and a comprehensive win, thereby ending the match on the 15th hole 4-3.



St Mary’s, GMSSS-28 dominate
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 20
Government Model High School, Sector 28, and St Mary’s School, Sector 46, claimed both girls and boys titles, respectively, in the Chandigarh Mini State Netball Championship for St Soldier’s Trophy, which concluded here today on the school premises.

St Mary’s School, Sector 46, defeated Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 19, by 22-20 in the thrilling boys final. Piyush Garg (12) and Shubham Bali (10) fashioned St Mary’s School’s win. For Government Model-19 Ankit (12) and Vishal (8) put up a stiff resistance but all their efforts failed.

While GMHS-28 emerged champions at the cost of GMSSS, Mani Majra Complex, whom they beat by 13-9 in the girls final. Gurinder Kaur (8) and Himanshi (5) were mainly responsible for GMHS-28’s victory. Vandana (5) and Nikita (4) were the scorers for GMSSS, Mani Majra.

Mount Carmel School, Sector 47, beat DAV Model School, Sector 15, by 10-7 to secure the third position. Scorers for Mount Carmel School were Aashi (6) and Shikha (4). Scorers for DAV Model School were Arshiy Bajaj (5) and Apoorva (2).



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