C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Healthyway Immigration raided
Provided ‘fake’ documents for visa; director absconding
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
Following complaints of fraud by a prominent travel agency operating from Sector 42, Chandigarh, a team of the UT Police today raided Healthyway Immigration Consultancy and registered two separate cases of cheating. 

The company owner is absconding and raids are on to nab him, the police said. The travel agency, operating since the past 10 years, is in the dock for allegedly providing fake documents for obtaining visa in return of money.

The police said it received five complaints against the company. While the police acted on two complaints, antecedents of the rest of the three complaints are being verified.

The police registered a case under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471 and 120-B of the IPC at the Sector 36 police station. The case was registered on the complaint of Mandeep Singh, a resident of Dhuri tehsil in Sangrur district of Punjab, against director of the company Amit Kakkar, his mother Saroj Kakkar, employees Kuldeep Singh, Seema Dogra and others.

Mandeep alleged that he applied for a visa through Healthyway Immigration Centre, Sector 42-C, Chandigarh, to send her wife to UK for study. He alleged that he paid Rs 1.85 lakh to the company. However, she was neither sent abroad not the company return the money, the complainant alleged. 

Another complainant Jaswinder Singh, a resident of Professor Colony, Karheri village in Patiala, alleged that Amit Kakkar along with others took Rs 66,000 from him to send him abroad (UK). He alleged that the company failed to sent him abroad and also did not return the money.

The police also raided the Mohali, Phase 3B-II residence of the accused. No arrest has been made so far. The owners of Healthyway Immigration have been making tall claims of paving the way for a number of students to fulfil their wish to study in countries including the US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and Spain.

DSP (Headquarters) Ashish Kapoor, who is heading the special investigating team, to look into complaints of immigration fraud, said the company provided fake documents to a number of clients whose applications for visa were rejected. The clients, who lost their hard-earned money complained to the police following which a case was registered. 

Who leaked the information?
As a huge posse of police raided the Mohali residence and the office of Healthyway Immigration in Sector 42, but the director of the company, Amit Kakkar, was nowhere to be traced. Questions are being raised as to who amongst the police team leaked the information to the accused prior to the raid.



Vision defects on rise among schoolkids
Cases of refractive error more than double over last year
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
Nearly 15,000 children studying at government schools in the city are suffering from refractive error (RE), an optical defect that hampers clear vision and can lead to serious eye problems if undetected for a long time.

According to figures available with the School Health Programme, a subsidiary of the National Programme for Control of Blindness (NPCB), 14,990 children were detected with RE in 2010-11, more than double the number in the previous fiscal in which 6,193 children were detected with the vision defect.

Though there has been an increase in the number of students with RE, the huge jump over last year is primarily due to the fact that fewer schools were screened during 2009-10. Dr Paramjyoti, programme officer of the School Health Scheme, said of the nearly 150,000 government school students screened in 2010-11 almost 10 per cent were found to be having RE. She added from the current fiscal private schools too would be involved in the screening.

Experts however say this number could be much higher as refractive error is not easy to detect in children at a younger age. They say most children do not complain about their defective vision as they do not realize it themselves and try to overcome the defect by sitting near classroom blackboards, holding books closer to their eyes, squeezing their eyes and even by avoiding work that requires visual concentration.

“With lack of awareness about refractive error and its impact, particularly among family members of many children who attend government schools, simple and manageable conditions can take the shape of a complicated and irreversible state”, said Dr KS Rana, NPCB state programme officer. He added under the programme 2,827 vision correction spectacles were provided free of cost to students in 2010-11 and 2,088 in the preceding fiscal

And if one has to blame one common factor for the increase in the number of RE cases, the modern day marvel- the computer - is the culprit, say doctors. Contrary to the general perception that excess TV watching can harm the eyes, doctors say working on a computer can take a bigger toll on vision.

“I’ve parents who walk in and blame TV viewing for their children’s vision problems”, says Dr Jagat Ram of PGI’s ophthalmology department. “A little prodding actually reveals it’s not television but the computer that is the villain, as children now depend of their PCs and laptops for even entertainment”, he added.

Ram says TV is less harmful as it is watched at a distance, while computers are placed closer to the eyes, which causes the strain. “I get 40 to 50 children every week with RE and 50 percent of them are prescribed vision correction spectacles”, he added.

For healthy eyes, he recommends intake of lots of green leafy vegetables, multicoloured fruits and a vitamin A rich diet. “Besides, TV should be watched from a distance of at least six feet, and reading while lying down should be avoided at all costs”, he avers.

Lack of awareness
With lack of awareness about refractive error and its impact, particularly among family members of many children who attend government schools, simple and manageable conditions can take the shape of a complicated and irreversible state.



Man loses Rs 4.19 lakh through ATM fraud
Had given ‘blocked’ debit card to bank employee for destroying it
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 13
A local resident who had handed over his “blocked” debit card to an employee of a private bank for destroying it and was shocked to discover he had been duped of Rs 4.19 lakh. Rather than cutting the card into pieces as requested, the suspect, identified as Nikhil Sharma, made fraudulent ATM withdrawals from the customer’s account with the card (with the maximum amount being Rs 40,000 a day) for almost a month.

The fraud dates back to the time when Sharma, posted as a relationship officer at the Sector 9 branch of IndusInd Bank, contacted Attar Chand who has a savings account in the bank’s Sector 11 branch. Sharma assured Chand he could get him a higher rate of interest on his fixed deposits if he shifted them from the bank’s sector 11 branch to the one in Sector 9. After a few meetings Chand gave his debit card to Sharma saying his card had been blocked and requested the former to arrange for a new card. However, instead of destroying the debit card, Sharma managed to reset the card’s PIN (personal identification number). With the new pin number he withdrew Rs 4.19 lakh from various ATMs of the bank, but a few days later IndusInd Bank officials detected the high volume of transactions and contacted Chand.

A surprised Chand said he was not aware about the fraudulent debit transactions from his account. The bank officials then checked ATM withdrawal records and found that on one occasion Rs 29,000 had been withdrawn from one of the bank’s ATMs. After going through CCTV footage they discovered it was Sharma who had made the withdrawals.

Following a complaint filed by IndusInd Bank branch Manager Sandeep Anand, the local police filed an FIR (first information report) under sections 406 (criminal breach of trust) & 420 (forgery) of the Indian Penal Code against Sharma. 



Woman snatches chain, flees in car
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 13
In an incident that could set a new trend in everyday crime, a woman snatched a gold neck chain from another woman who was getting into a bus and sped away in her car that she had parked nearby.

Amrita, a resident of Kalka, was about to board the vehicle at a bus stop in old Panchkula when a woman came up from behind and snatched her chain. The suspect then made off in her Indica car in the direction of Pinjore.

According to the police, neither the victim nor other bus passengers managed to note down the car’s registration number as it was not legible. The cops immediately set up ‘nakas’ (barriers) on the Panchkula-Kalka road and also alerted their counterparts in Kalka and Pinjore but failed to nab the suspect.

Till date this year, 32 cases of snatching have been reported in Panchkula of which only one has been solved. A total 35 snatching incidents were reported in 2010; 51 in 2009; 32 in 2008 and 54 in 2007.




She owed one to PGI, ‘pays back’ 20 yrs on
’90 bomb blast victim’s kin fulfil wish, donate her body to institute
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
While thousands of people in the city owe their lives to hospitals and doctors who have treated them in their hour of distress, not many remember to pay them back either in their life or after death.

Chanchal Jain (71), a victim of a bomb blast that took place at the Central Club, Sector 9 — during the heyday of militancy in Punjab — on November 16, 1990, chose the latter to show her gratitude to the hospital that saved her life.

Owing it to the PGI for giving her a new lease of life, she decided to “pay back” to the institution by donating her body to the hospital. Her wish was fulfilled today by her husband, Jai Kumar Jain, who handed over her body to the anatomy department of the hospital.

Chanchal Jain, a resident of Sector 8, was grievously injured in the blast, which had claimed several lives, and was admitted to the PGI.

According her husband, she remained admitted to the hospital for four months in a critical condition and during that period, Dr NM Gupta, the then head of surgery department, looked after her.

In January 1991, the doctors gave up on her and from then on, Dr Chari, the then head of the plastic surgery department, took over her treatment.

She subsequently made good recovery and in March was sent back home to avoid hospital infections.

Jai Kumar said they always considered Chanchal’s life a “gift” from the PGI and they both had decided long back to donate their bodies to the hospital. He said she formally pledged her body to the PGI on September 30, 2009.

Recalling the fateful day in November, 1990, Jai Kumar said Chanchal had gone to attend a social function when the blast took place. The first year after the tragedy was agonising, as Chanchal, a beautiful woman, was left badly scarred by splinter injuries.

“She was so conscious about her appearance that for a year she stopped meeting people or going out,” recalled Jai Kumar. It took a lot of motivation from the family to get her back to her normal self, he said.

“We had not doubt that she owed her life to the PGI and the doctors who treated her,” he said, adding that their decision to donate their bodies was a small gesture of being of some use to the hospital and the medical profession.

According to Dr Daisy Sahni, head of anatomy department, PGI, Chanchal’s body would be used for teaching and research purposes.

She said they had received 10 bodies this year and would be handed over for a workshop on endoscopic sinus surgery on cadaver being organised by the ENT department, PGI, on September 2.

Expressing her gratitude to the family, Dr Sahni hoped that the noble gesture would motivate others to donate their bodies to the hospital.

Indebted to PGI
Chanchal Jain, a resident of Sector 8, was grievously injured in a bomb blast at the Central Club, Sector 9 — during the heyday of militancy in Punjab — on November 16, 1990, and was admitted to the PGI. She remained admitted to the hospital for four months in a critical condition



Burail Jail set to go solar
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
Burail Jail is all set to get powered by solar energy. The Chandigarh administration has sent a detailed project report (DPR) in this regard to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) for approval.

Under the Rs 2.5-crore project, the advanced solar photovoltaic panels (SPP), with a capacity of 2x50 kW, will be set up at the jail. This will significantly reduce the electricity expenditure of the premises from the current Rs 20 lakh per annum.

Talking to The Tribune, Rahul Gupta, Additional Inspector General (Prisons), said the MNRE would bear 50 per cent of the expenses after it accorded its approval to the project.

The step to set up solar panels at the jail is aimed at converting the city into a “solar city” under the pilot project of the MNRE, which has selected 60 cities across the country for the purpose.

Out of these, only four, including Chandigarh, are proposed to be made ‘Model Solar City’.

Other buildings, including the UT Secretariat, Punjab Raj Bhawan, Haryana Raj Bhawan and Police Lines in Sector 26, will be powered by solar energy under the project.

Fails to catch residents’ fancy
The system has apparently failed to catch the fancy of local residents. The Chandigarh Renewal Energy, Science and Technology Promotion Society (CREST) has installed just 210 solar systems in the city since 2004. Till last year, 30 per cent subsidy was given by the government on the solar units. However, an additional 25 per cent subsidy is being given by the Chandigarh administration



Bhajans to mellow inmates
Jail authorities to initiate string of activities
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
In a bid to instill moral values in jail inmates, the Chandigarh police has come up with an innovative way of inculcating the values by playing bhajans and devotional songs in the inmates’ barracks at Model Jail, Burail.

The police has also decided to start job-oriented courses and training for the inmates, besides initiating campus placements for them.

The UT police will install a sound system in the barracks, and play devotional songs and speeches during morning and evening hours. The police claims it will help reduce aggression and frustration among inmates.

Besides, yoga classes and devotional sessions will be added to the daily schedule of the inmates.

The decision was taken by Inspector General of Prisons Alok Kumar during a recent meeting held with prison officers.

As part of the rehabilitation scheme, the UT police has decided to start job-oriented courses for the inmates so that they can start their life afresh after their release from the jail.

The department will launch campus placement schemes periodically to provide jobs to those inmates who are about to be released.

The police will start outdoor and indoor training for the jail employees. Initially, a 10-day residential refresher course has been planned to be conducted at the Recruit Training Centre of the Chandigarh police. In-service training courses will also be included in their service charter.

Apart from this, feasibility of installing a biogas plant for kitchen to save energy will be explored.



Abducted man escapes
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 13
Zirakpur resident Bhim Sen alleged that around 12 persons kidnapped him from Panchkula on Thursday and kept him hostage for two days. He also alleged that the accused had taken away his car and gold jewellery.

On the complaint of Bhim Sen, the Panchkula Police has registered an FIR in the Sector 5 police station.

Bhim Sen alleged that on Thursday when he was returning to his home from Panchkula, around six men intercepted his car on the road separating Sectors 5 and 6. He alleged that accused trained a pistol at him and took his signatures on some documents.

Later they took him to a house in Sector 2 and kept him hostage there. He further alleged that last night he managed to escape from there and reported the matter to the police.

The police has registered an FIR against Sampuran Singh, Amarjeet Singh and few others. Sources said the complainant had a suspect past and a criminal case was lodged against him in the Zirakpur police station.



Rakhi rush causes traffic jams
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, August 13
Traffic on the Chandigarh-Ambala and the Zirakpur-Patiala national highway here moved at a snail’s pace today due to Rakshabandhan. Long queues of vehicles were seen on the highways. The traffic police had a tough time managing the traffic.

Meanwhile, the movement of traffic was also affected in the evening as vehicles moved slowly on the Zirakpur-Kalka highway due to ongoing shopping festival at the mall.

Besides, there was chaos on the road as many of the commuters had parked their vehicles on roadsides and there were many cases of traffic rules violation.

However, the traffic police had stopped the vehicles near Sharma farm house and diverted the traffic over the flyover, causing inconvenience to commuters who were going towards Panchkula and Patiala.

Traffic in charge Devinder Singh claimed that traffic cops were deployed at every busy intersection to regulate traffic.



Tricity scan

MC elections: Former MP Satya Pal Jain, former MP and national in-charge of the legal and legislative cell of the BJP, has urged the Union Home Minister and the Administrator of Chandigarh to take the residents of Chandigarh, both political as well as non-political, into confidence before taking any major decisions about the forthcoming Municipal Corporation elections, so that the people for whom this Corporation was created could also have a say in its constitution and working.

School student invited: Saanya Ojha, the school captain of Vivek High School, has been invited to London in October as a part of the school delegation to participate in a 10-day “round square conference” at Wellington College. She recently attended a three-day (August 5-7) conference at Udaipur on ‘Leadership Initiative for Excellence’. In June, Saanya attended a summer programme at Brown University, USA, on a 100 per cent scholarship sponsored by The Global Education and Leadership Foundation.

Circle committee meeting: A circle committee meeting-cum-seminar on service conditions of bank employees was organised by the Canara Bank Staff Federation at Kisan Bhavan, Sector 35. The meeting was addressed by G Radha Krishan, general secretary of the federation.

One held with revolver: The Chandigarh Police on Saturday arrested Pardeep Singh Gill from the Inter State Bus Terminus-43 with .32-bore revolver and 16 live cartridges. According to the police, during a check at the ISBT-43 Gill was found carrying arms and ammunition without any permission. Gill is a resident of Punjab Bagh, Kacha Malik Road, Jagraon, Ludhiana district. A case under Section 188 of the IPC has been registered and an investigation has been initiated.

mohali scan

Teej celebrations: Teej was celebrated with traditional fervour at a function organised by the Mohali district administration at Mohali Club here. The wife of the Mohali Deputy Commissioner, Simarpreet Kaur Roozam, was the chief guest. Renu Bhullar, wife of the Mohali SSP GPS Bhullar, along with the wives of other officials of the district administration, was also present.

65-yr-old becomes father: A 65-year-old man of Mohali has become father after 25 years of marriage. Dr Vandana Narula, in-charge of infertility and IVF Centre at Cosmo Hospital, said the wife of the man is 50-year-old. After undergoing IVF cycles, the woman delivered a male child by caesarian section.

Annual meeting: In an annual general meeting of the District Tax Bar Association, Mohali, held at Hotel GK International, following were elected office bearers: JP Dhiman - president; Dharam Singh - senior vice-president; PK Jindal — vice-president; Ranjiv Loomba - vice-president; Mukesh K Ghai - general secretary and Madan Gopal- finance secretary.

Literary Week ends: Literary Week was celebrated at Gurukul Junior School from August 5 to 12. During the celebrations, competitions like paragraph writing, poem recitation were held. The presentations by the students on great Indian authors and poets were applauded by the audience. — TNS



53 to get awards on Independence Day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
The UT administration today announced the names of 21 persons, including six cops, who would get commendation certificates/administrative medals for rendering outstanding service, on the Independence Day here.

Eight UT employees have been selected for the awards in the public service category while the number of awardees in social service and art and culture is three each. Only one sportsperson, Vidushi Rawat, has been selected under sports category.

Among the awardees, the fire wing team would also get certificates that would be received by ML Sharma, Station Fire Officer, Municipal Corporation.

The cops, who have been selected for conferring honours, included Inspector Jaswinder Kaur, Inspector Sucha Singh, Sub-Inspector Daya Ram, head constable Nihal Singh and constables Satyabir Singh and Kushal Singh.

The list: (public service) Rajinder Kumar, Senior Assistant, UT Estate Office; Prem Sagar, Junior Assistant, labour department; Seema Handa, Law Officer; Vineet Chopra, chef, Hotel Shivalikview; Rajesh and Ram Raj, Municipal Corporation; RK Sharma, Range Forest Officer, forest and wildlife department; (art and culture): Rinku Kalia, Bhim Sain Malhotra, Janhavi Malhotra; (social service): Parmdeep Singh, Isha Kakaria, Satish Narula; (sports) Vidushi Rawat.

Panchkula: The district administration would honour 32 people of the district on the Independence Day for their outstanding contribution in the various fields.

Among the 32 people there are names like Archana Sardana, India’s only woman skydiver, mountaineer, base jumper and deep sea diver and Sector 20 police station SHO Dharambir Singh. The administration would honour school students, sportspersons, teachers, policemen, social workers and many others.

(Row 1)Vineet Chopra, Seema Handa, RK Sharma, Sucha Singh, Vidhushi Rawat, BS Malhotra 
(Row 1) Rajesh, Daya Ram, Isha Kakaria, ML Sharma, Rajinder Kumar, Satyabir Singh
(Row 3) Janhavi Malhotra, Parmdeep Singh, Ram Raj, Jaswinder Kaur, Rinku Kalia, Prem Sagar
(Row3) Satish Narula, Kushal Singh




rafi nite
Singers enthral audience 
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, August 13
A larger than life image of invincible Mohammad Rafi swelled in the minds of inquisitive fans as accomplished singers from the region vied for laurels in the 19th music contest of Bollywood songs immortalised by legendary Mohammad Rafi and Lata Mangeshker.

The annual bonanza organised by the Yaadgar-e-Rafi Society and the Desh Bhagat Group of Institutes with The Tribune as the media sponsor featured over two-dozen participants who doled out 37 songs.

Society president BD Sharma said the finalists were selected after several rounds of auditions from among 310 prospective competitors. The society also paid tribute to city-based music director Prithvi Raj.

The panel of judges led by PK Sharma (HCS) declared the following as winners in respective categories.

Male Junior: Yajur Kapoor of Ambala (I), Akash Sharam of Mahindergarh (II), Harnoor Bhullar of Amritsar (III).

Female Junior: Alisha Deen of Mohali (I), Simranjit Kaur of Amabla (II), Sugandh Khanna of Chandigarh and Rishu Chopra of Khanna (III).

Male Senior: Prashant Khairwal of Hissar (I), Nachhatar Singh of Ferozepur (II) Sajid Ali of Chandigarh (III).

Female Senior: Sukhna of Kharar (I) Atima Nayyer of Delhi (II) and Kavita Choudhury of Saharanpur (III). Sheenu was awarded a consolation prize.



From Schools 
Rakhi, I-Day celebrated with fervour

Century Public School, Naya Gaon, held a Rakhi-making competition on Thursday. Students were told about the importance of the festival. Prizes were given to the best Rakhis of each class.

St Xavier’s Mohali:St Xavier’s, Mohali, celebrated Raksha Bandhan and Independence Day with great fervour. Various activities were organised to mark the occasion. Children enacted a skit on the significance of the festival.

Sant Isher Singh Public

Sant Isher Singh Public School celebrated 65 years of Independence of India enthusiastically. A tribute was paid to the martyrs. The students of the school from the junior as well as the senior section participated in the celebrations. Inderjeet Sandhu, principal, encouraged students to be independent in true sense by being disciplined citisens.

Students of of Euro Kids celebrate Independence Day in ChandigarhEuro Kids: Euro Kids, Mohali, celebrated Independence Day with fervour. Kids danced on the tunes of patriotic songs. Children were offered sweets.

Students of of Euro Kids celebrate Independence Day in Chandigarh. A Tribune photograph

St Soldier’s Mohali: Students of St Soldier’s, Mohali, celebrated Independence Day in the school. The youngest patriots of the school, comprising toddlers of playgroup and pre-nursery, presented a soulful rendition of patriotic songs.

Giggles & Coos: Tiny tots of Giggles & Coos, Phase 3 B1, Mohali, celebrated Rakhi and Independence Day with enthusiasm and fervour. Kids came dressed in traditional and leaders’ outfits and danced to the tunes of patriotic songs. Teachers told the kids about the importance of Raksha Bandhan and Independence Day. Sweets and chocolates were also distributed among kids on the occasion.

Golden Bells: Independence Day was celebrated at Golden Bells Public School Sector 77, Mohali, with joy throughout the week. A number of competitions were held on the occasion. Students displayed their emotions through dance and paintings.

Plantation drive: A tree plantation drive was held on the campus of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 37-B, on Saturday.

The event was sponsored by the State Bank of India, Sector 37 branch, Chandigarh. TK Berry, regional manager, Chandigarh, participated in the campaign and planted herbal and ornamental plants on the school campus. — TNS



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | E-mail |