C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Double murder in Zirakpur
Victims are mother & sister of the girl who had allegedly made MMS of her estranged friend after stripping her in October, 2011
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, January 12
The mother and younger sister of one of the four girls, who had allegedly made an MMS (multimedia messaging service) clip of their estranged friend after stripping her in a car in October last year in Panchkula, were found murdered at their house in Har Milap Nagar (Baltana) here late this evening. Both bodies, bearing blunt injury marks, were found lying on the first floor of the house that was found unlocked.

The family was running “Ma Bala Sundri General Store” on the ground floor of the house. A girl living in the neighbourhood, who noticed the shop lying unattended, climbed to the first floor of the house and found the bodies of Shikha (42) and Priyanka (17) lying in a pool of blood.

Meanwhile, the elder sister of Priyanka, who was set to be missing for many days, returned home late in the night and is suspecting the role of their father, who is not living with them, in the murder.

While the throat of Shikha had cut marks (apparently inflicted with a sharp-edged weapon), there were strangulation marks on the throat of Priyanka.

DSP, Dera Bassi, Anil Sharma, said the duo had been murdered between 4 pm and 6 pm and there were apparent signs of struggle between the victims and the assailant (s), but no one in the neighbourhood seemed to have noticed any suspicious movement or shrieks from the house. It appears that the mother had been killed before strangulating the girl.

“Some unused condoms were also found near the murder spot,” he said. The police was also looking for the mobile handsets of the deceased.

Neighbours told the police that the girls’ father, who is a Sector 26-based transporter, had not come to see the family since last Diwali. The police was not ruling out the possibility of involvement of the person who had attacked the elder sister of Priyanka on October 6. Priyanka’s sister was attacked two days after the incident when she, along some other girls, had made the MMS of their estranged friend in Sector 4 of Panchkula. But the girl’s family did not pursue the case.

Unconfirmed reports said the police was questioning a Mani Majra-based jeweller and the girl whose MMS had been made by the victim’s sister.

A team of the CIA officials, led by SP (Detective) and fingerprint experts, reached the spot to collect vital clues from the spot. 

Entry was friendly: Police

Initial probe by the police revealed that the assailant (s) apparently made a friendly entry to the house. Circumstancial evidence suggested that there was an argument between the assailant(s) and the duo. The presence of unused condoms has made the police believe that the assailant(s) had come with a specific purpose.



SDM fails to pay guest house rent
Rent amount totals Rs 60,000 for 14 months
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 12
Flouting all norms, city SDM (South) Parshuram Kavle has been staying in the UT Guest House without paying a penny for the past 14 months and his outstanding dues have touched about Rs 60,000.

The UT Administration has now sent him a letter, asking him to clear his dues.

Kavle, an AGMUT-cadre IAS officer who is also the Registration and Licensing Authority (RLA), moved into the guest house on October 27, 2010, and has been since occupying room No. 321. Though all guests are supposed to clear their dues, Kavle has not paid even a penny, sources claimed.

Director, UT Hospitality Department, Tilak Raj recently sent a letter to the officer, asking him to settle his dues immediately. However, till date the payment has not been received, sources revealed.

Sources also claimed that Kavle's "extended" stay in the UT Guest House was against the rules, as no one can stay for more than 10 days. Though the daily rent for an ordinary room at the UT Guest House is Rs 900, officials are charged only Rs 150 for "official stay".

When contacted for his version this evening, the SDM said: “I did not get any letter from the Guest House. I am not aware about anything on the issue.” When questioned about the non-payment of his outstanding bills, he disconnected the phone immediately.

About any special concession to UT officials for their stay in the Guest House, Home Secretary Anil Kumar said he was not in the knowledge of any such decision to this regard earlier.

This is not the first time when bureaucrats have misused the facility of the UT Guest House. In 2006, the non-payment of bills by a Bollywood producer and his crew had grabbed the headlines. They had claimed to be making some film on Chandigarh with the support of former Home Secretary Ram Niwas. The bills were, however, cleared later.

Not a penny paid

SDM (South) Parshuram Kavle, who is also the Registration and Licensing Authority (RLA), moved into the guest house on October 27, 2010, and has not paid even a penny, sources claimed.



2 CBSE papers postponed
Tribune News Sevice

Chandigarh, January 12
The CBSE Class XII Board examinations, which were scheduled to end on April 15, will now continue till April 16.

In view of the postponement of the assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh to March 3 (instead of February 4), the papers of political science and lending operations scheduled for March 3, 2012 (Saturday), have been postponed to April 16 (Monday).



Love triangle behind murder at Mohali village
Police remand for the five accused in the case
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 12
A love triangle has turned out to be the reason behind the blind murder of a 32-year-old man whose body was found in the fields at Kandala village on December 8 last year. While claiming to have arrested five persons in the case, the police today identified the deceased as Kulbhushan, alias Tinu Rai.

Kulbhushan was murdered as he was allegedly pressing a woman for marriage with him and this irritated her paramour, Shamsher.

Giving details of the case, Mohali SSP GPS Bhullar said one of the accused, Shamsher, had an illicit relation with Madhvi, a married woman who lived in Sector 4, Panchkula.

On knowing about the illicit relation of her wife with Shamsher, the woman’s husband took her to their native village in Nainital. Meanwhile, Madhvi allegedly developed relations with Kubhushan. But Kulbushan, despite being married, started insisting upon Madhvi to marry him. On being pressurised by him, Madhvi told Shamsher about it and then they planned to eliminate him.

On the pretext of bringing him to Chandigarh, she told Kulbhushan that she had to collect some papers from the PGI, Chandigarh, and brought him along. Then she brought her to Kandala village and she, along with the other accused, strangulated Kulbhushan to death.

The arrested persons, Madhvi, Shamseher, Subir, Manoj and Rajinder, were remanded in police custody. The case was solved by a team of the CIA unit of the Mohali police.



security cover for courts
Chandigarh Police demands 900 cops
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 12
The Chandigarh Police has demanded a sanction of over 900 cops for security outside the Punjab and Haryana High Court and the district courts.

The force, equal to the strength of the entire Panchkula police, has been demanded in the wake of the blasts outside the Delhi High Court in September last year and recent incidents of violence and hoax calls outside the courts in the city.

A threat to blow up the Punjab and Haryana High Court last month and rising incidents of scuffle outside the district courts last year appeared to have spurred the UT police to demand such a large force for security outside the courts.

A proposal for the sanction of manpower for security in and outside the high court and district court complexes was sent to the Centre recently and is currently under consideration.

As per the proposal, a force of 799 cops, including one Deputy Superintendent of Police, two inspectors, nine sub-inspectors, 10 assistant sub-inspectors, 185 head constables and 592 constables, has been demanded for the purpose.

In addition, a sanction of 120 cops, including two inspectors, eight sub-inspectors, seven assistant sub-inspectors, 22 head constables and 81 constables, has been demanded for security at the district courts in Sector 17. The manpower is to be deployed for static guards at the residences of judges, PSOs with judges and safety at the high court and district court complexes.

Only last year, the district court complex was witness to two major incidents of violence. While a naib court was attacked by advocates and dragged outside a courtroom in full public view, a right-wing activist had attacked Beant Singh assassin Jagtar Singh Hawara as he was being produced in court.

On December 2 last year, a letter, purportedly written by Babbar Khalsa International terrorist Jagtar Singh Hawara, addressed to the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, threatening to blow up the high court building, had sent the UT police in a tizzy. 


Less power this winter
Unscheduled cuts make it worse for residents of city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 12
Local residents have been facing the problem of power cuts, both scheduled and unscheduled, this winter. Sources said the electricity department had started scheduled cuts to bridge the gap between demand and supply.

The department had announced the schedule of power cuts past month, but unscheduled cuts were also being effected as the supply was not enough.

The sources added that maintenance work on power-generation plants in the region had also been affecting power supply to the city.

The requirement of electricity in the UT during winters was around 210 megawatts. but it had been receiving 150 megawatts at present.

The power entitlement of the union territory from Central power-generation plants had also decreased from 8 per cent to 5 per cent.

Poonam Chauhan of Sector 22 said they had adjusted their daily routine according to the power cut schedule announced, but it was difficult in case there were unscheduled power cuts.

Arun Kumar of Sector 38 said there power cuts were being imposed in the morning, evening and night, of which the last one was unscheduled, making things difficult for residents.

When contacted, MP Singh, Superintending Engineer, said the department had not been receiving full supply, resulting in power cuts.

He denied that there were any unscheduled power cuts, adding that there could be some cuts, but only were due to maintenance work.



Traders protest as blast hits power supply
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 12
A high drama was witnessed in Sector 17-C when power supply in a number of shops got affected due to the explosion in underground power cables of the area.

Shopkeepers of the area staged protest against the authorities after the blast. Finally, power department officials transferred the load to another line in the evening and power supply was resumed.

An official of the electricity department said there was some problem in underground cables in front of the CMC building in Sector 17 and to repair the cables, they need to dig, but as there were paver blocks, they have sought permission from the municipal corporation (MC) for digging. Meanwhile, the supply has been resumed, he added.

On the other side, MC chief engineer SS Bidda said they had not received any application from the electricity department for digging and removing the paver blocks.

One of the affected traders, JPS Kalra, said both departments should sort out their differences, as the electricity supply was required to run their businesses. He added that today as well the supply was resumed when the shopkeepers started protesting.



Now, EC notice to Ramoowalia
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 12
The returning officer (RO) of Mohali, Amit Talwar, served a notice on the SAD candidate, Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, for being accompanied by more than five persons within 100 metres of the RO office when he came to file his nomination papers today. The Election Commission has issued strict guidelines regarding the number of vehicles accompanying the candidates at the time of filing of nominations.

A convoy of vehicles that accompanied SAD candidate Balwant Singh Ramoowalia when he came to file his nomination papers from Mohali on Thursday.
A convoy of vehicles that accompanied SAD candidate Balwant Singh Ramoowalia when he came to file his nomination papers from Mohali on Thursday. A Tribune photograph 

A large number of supporters of the SAD candidate accompanied him during the process of filing of nomination papers.

Earlier, Bir Devinder, candidate of the PPP, was also accompanied by a number of persons while he was filing the nomination papers.

Meanwhile, Balbir Singh Sidhu, Congress candidate from Mohali, reiterated revival of the industry in Mohali. While speaking at a function organised by the Mohali Industries Association, he said he would leave no stone unturned to revive the sick industry. President of the association KS Mahal and RP Singh also extended their unconditional support to Sidhu on the occasion.



Ball in court of MC Commissioner
Auction observers against parking lots’ allotment at low rates
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 12
The municipal corporation (MC) has failed to decide on the allotment of three parking lots for which bids received this year are at rates lower than those allotted past year.

As the panel constituted for the auction of the parking lots did not take a decision today, the issue was sent to the MC Commissioner for a final decision.

The department today prepared a detailed report on the auction of the parking lots held yesterday and submitted it to the MC Commissioner.

The MC put five parking lot sites for auction yesterday and bids for three of those sites were at rates lower than those for past year.

The two observers for the auction objected to the allotment of the parking lots to these bidders and recommended that those be auctioned again.

Due to the objections, officials kept the order of allotment of sites pending. Sources said as the objections were raised by observers, the issue would be sent to the MC Commissioner.

When contacted, MC Commissioner Prerna Puri said she had not received the report on the auction so far and a decision would be taken after the report was sent by the department concerned.

Sources revealed that according to the report, the department had suggested that the parking lots be allotted to the highest bidders to avoid any loss to the MC.

It had pointed out that the auction had been conducted twice and the response had been lukewarm. In their report, the observers had opined that the auction be held again to avoid monetary loss to the MC.



Battle of the ballot eludes military personnel
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 12
Tens of thousands of serving armed forces and para-military personnel as well as members of their families residing in Punjab will be unable exercise their right to franchise despite their eligibility to vote being guaranteed by constitutional provisions and Supreme Court rulings. The same may also hold true for other states which soon go to poll.

The crux of the issue lies in the definition and applicability of “Service Qualification”, contained in the Election Commission of India’s (ECI) handbook for Electoral Registration Officers (ERO), which has been changed over the years to render servicemen ineligible.

Armed forces personnel and their family members have the right to get themselves registered as voters at the place of their posting. Section 19 of the Representation of the People (RP) Act, 1950 lists only two conditions-above 18 years of age and being ordinarily a resident of an Indian constituency-to be enumerated as a voter.

Chapter 10 of the ECI’s handbook for EROs bars government employees with Service Qualification (SQ) from being registered as voters. In addition to a large number of military stations, Punjab has a huge presence of para-military personnel who, besides being on permanent government duty, are subject to local laws and taxes.

In a letter written to the Chief Election Commissioner SY Quraishi on the topic a few days ago, Punjab Minister for Legal Affairs and Defence Services Welfare Capt Balbir Singh Bath has termed the ECI’s handbook as “defective”. He said that such discrimination against soldiers was not justified and taxation without representation was a “tyranny”.

Several ex-servicemen’s associations have also taken up the matter with the ECI as well as state electoral authorities, adding that provisions of the ECI’s handbook are in violation of article 14 of the Constitution.

SQ was extended to armed forces personnel under Amendment Act 2 of 1956 and was applicable only to those posted abroad so that they could cast their vote through postal ballot. However, SQ was “wrongly” applied to those posted in India, amounting to denial of the right to vote, according to ex-servicemen who are pursuing the issue.

The problem was further compounded after Amendment Act 47 of 1966, which deleted the words “persons when posted aboard” from Section 20 of the RP Act. The deletion of the words was recommended by the ECI after the Home Ministry proposed extending SQ to the state armed police when deployed outside their home state, even though SQ was then applicable only to armed forces personnel posted abroad.

The deletion led to SQ becoming legally applicable to military personnel residing in India and it implied that they could vote only through postal ballot during elections in their native place.

The Supreme Court, in its ruling in 1971 upheld the registration of Assam Rifles personnel at their place of posting in Nagaland and ruled that SQ cannot take away the right of service personnel to be registered as their place of posting in India. Further, in 1984, the apex court ruled that the ECI cannot override provisions of the Act and rules and its powers are meant to supplement rather than supplant the law.

In March 1995, 24 years after the ruling, the ECI issued a letter stating that armed forces personnel can vote at their place of posting if they do not want to avail the facility of postal ballot. Based on this letter, Army Order 15/950 was issued, stating that service personnel can vote at their place of posting.

Armed forces personnel and their family members have the right to get themselves registered as voters at the place of their posting. Section 19 of the Representation of the People (RP) Act, 1950 lists only two conditions-above 18 years of age and being ordinarily a resident of an Indian constituency-to be enumerated as a voter. Chapter 10 of the ECI’s handbook for EROs bars government employees with Service Qualification (SQ) from being registered as voters. In addition to a large number of military stations, Punjab has a huge presence of para-military personnel who, besides being on permanent government duty, are subject to local laws and taxes.



Estate Officer to decide on representation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 12
Acting on a petition by a committee of Christians for the allotment of vacant land at Sector 25 here for the expansion of the burial ground, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today asked the UT Estate Officer to decide their representation on the matter.

The directions came as the Bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Mahesh Grover disposed of a petition by the local Christian Cemetery Committee.

The committee was seeking directions for allotting 1.7 acres adjacent to the old graveyard at Sector 25.



Bar council opposes education Bill
Advocates of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh to go on strike on Jan 20
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 12
Terming the Higher Education and Research Bill, 2011, as “undemocratic” and “motivated” to regulate the legal education sector in the county, the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana today opposed the bill.

Now on the call given by the Bar Council of India (BCI), advocates of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh would go on strike on January 20.

Lekh Raj Sharma, chairman, Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana, said with this Bill, the Union government had tried to take away the powers of the BCI to regulate the legal education sector of the country.

He added that the Union government was in so hurry for the bill that the new bill was approved without any consultation with the members of Bar.

An emergency meeting has also been called on January 15 in Chandigarh, he added.

Amrik Singh Kalra, secretary of Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana, said as per the Advocates Act, 1961, lawyers want to be independent of the government control but the Centre is trying to take control over the advocates and legal education.

He added that the Bar council can smell the hidden agenda of the government in bringing this Bill. With this Bill, the government is planning to allow foreign nationals to practice as advocates in India. The Bar council would also oppose any kind of the hindrance in the smooth functioning of the bodies established under the Advocates Act, 1961, he added.



  ‘Aap ki Yaad Mein’ a treat for music lovers
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, January 12
“Music is divine and musicians play an important role in making any composition magical and immortal,” observed acclaimed Bollywood music-director Uttam Singh while speaking at “Aap ki Yaad Mein”, a musical function, held at the Tagore Theatre here yesterday.

As many as 35 singers and musicians performed during the function. A well-known music director of the region, Atul Sharma and versatile artiste Poorvi Kautish gave a majestic start to the function with Jagjit Singh’s ghazal “Haath chhute bhi toh rishtey nahin chhora karte.”

Uttam Singh performed “Chura liya hai” on violin and also accompanied singers, Dr Pradeep Bhardwaj and Pratika Bhasin, for duets.

Haryana IG (CID) Rajbir Deswal surprised all present with an immaculate rendition of “Voh ham naa thhe”.

Winners of PTC Voice of Punjab Jaspinder, Voice of Chandigarh Neetu Bhalla and veterans, Naresh Jacob and Veenu Kautish, enthralled the audience with their recitals. Music arranger GS Lovely and Sanjeev Kapur also won accolades for their performances.



Hotelier accuses police of highhandedness
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 12
Panchkula-based hotelier Jatinder Kumar Sangaria, who was booked in a case of forgery registered in the Sector-19 police station, alleged that the police has registered a false case against him.

The hotelier has submitted a complaint to the UT IGP, UT Home Secretary and police complaint authority alleging the police highhandedness.

As per the case registered under Sections 420 and 120-B of the IPC, complainant Ved Parkash Goyal has alleged that the hotelier defrauded him.

In the complaint, hotelier Jatinder Sangaria has requested for conducting a thorough inquiry through some high rank official, as no proper chance was given to him to defend his case. It has been alleged that Sangaria sold an SCO in Sector 8 but refused to give possession. The allegations have been denied by Sangaria who alleged that the police was hand-in-glove with the complainant.



Ambulances may go in private hands
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 12
Emphasising that the safety of patients is paramount, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has said it would look into the issue of transferring the control of ambulance services in Chandigarh to private hands.

Acting on a petition filed in public interest, the Division Bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Mahesh Grover directed the Chandigarh Administration, along with the States of Punjab and Haryana, to study the successful models of other states where ambulance services were managed by private parties.

The PIL has been filed by a local trust through its counsel Ashwinie Bansal. The petitioners are seeking directions for improving the ambulance services. The bench also observed that funeral vans should be well equipped.



Anti-encroachment Drives
Mohali MC again requests SSP for security cover 
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 12
The Mohali Municipal Council has once again requested the SSP to provide a security cover to the employees who have been assigned the task of removing encroachments in the town.

The market verandahs and other areas are encroached upon by shopkeepers in most parts of the town and the encroachments multiply in the evening when other persons also put up temporary stalls outside showrooms. Eating joints put up chairs in the parking areas for the convenience of customers without realising that they are creating parking hurdles.

The problem of illegal plying of rehris has also been a menace which has been condemned by the residents several times.

Employees of the tehbazari wing have often complained that they have to face the wrath of shopkeepers who get united when the civic body employees go to remove encroachments.

It is learnt that the executive officer of the civic body had requested a DSP in November to provide a security cover to the MC employees when anti-encroachment drives were carried out. Later in the month, a joint commissioner requested the SSP to provide police personnel to the MC staff. In December, the administrator of the council, JC Sabharwal, again requested for police help but received no response in this regard.

Sources said another letter was sent to the SSP by Sabharwal on January 5 requesting him to provide a security cover to employees when they go out to remove encroachments, especially in the evening as heated arguments between encroachers and employees often took place. 



Sambhar strays into residential area
Tribune News Service

Officials try to catch a sambhar from a house at Sector 9 in Panchkula on Thursday.
Officials try to catch a sambhar from a house at Sector 9 in Panchkula on Thursday. Tribune Photo: Nitin Mittal 

Panchkula, January 12
Barely a fortnight after a panther had ventured into Sector 10 here from the Shivalik hills of Morni, today a sambhar strayed into a house of Sector 9 in the morning. The wild animal was spotted by a passer-by while it was entering house no. 314. He bolted the gates from outside and informed the forest officials who tranquilised the beast and released it in the forest area in the afternoon. It took the officials two hours to tranquilise the sambhar.

The owner of the house Sajjan Kumar was not at home when the beast was spotted.

The sambhar had minor injury marks, which indicated that it had been attacked by stray dogs before it hid itself in the house.




Hari Dev casts magic spell
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 12
Keeping alive the legacy of Sham Churasi gharana gayki classical vocalist, Guru Hari Dev cast a magical spell during the baithak programme held at the Pracheen Kala Kendra here yesterday.

Retaining the youthful freshness in his voice and an innate sense of music, Guru Hari Dev began his recital with the most appropriate and appealing raga jaijaiwanti, presenting bara khayal “Palana gharlah re bharanjiya” set to vilambit ek tala.

He gave the most befitting handling in the reposeful alaap, badhat, sargams and bol taans with tuneful phrasing and refreshingly deployed variations.



Chandigarh Scan
Mayor conducts review meeting

Chandigarh Municipal Corporation Mayor Raj Bala Malik on Wednesday held a review meeting of the ongoing works of the B&R department. Officials informed the Mayor that the construction work of the overbridge was underway and would help in easing out the traffic congestion and make the Plaza a vehicle-free zone. The Mayor stressed to speed up the multi-level parking project in Sector 17. She instructed the officials to clear the drawings from the office of the UT chief architect to commence the work. The meeting was also attended by MC Commissioner Prerna Puri and B&R superintending engineer Mukesh Anand.

Coaching centre

The World Wide Immigration Consultancy Services has forayed into specialised coaching of GRE, GMAT, SAT, along with IELTS and TOEFL to lay a strong foundation for the overseas experience in studies. Chief guest Lt Gen BKN Chibber (retd) launched the GRE, GMAT and SAT coaching wing.

Official relieved

The UT Administrator has relieved Ritu Chaudhary, Haryana Civil Service official, on Wednesday to enable her to join her parent state, Haryana. Ritu Chaudhary completed her term of deputation with the Chandigarh Administration on Thursday and was not holding any charge in the UT, as she was on ex-India leave for past about five month.

— Tribune Reporters



Nursery  Admissions
Last date to apply extended
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 12
Getting a lukewarm response to its ongoing nursery admission process, the UT education department has extended the date of receiving applications till January 25.

With over 45 per cent of the seats, out of 6,000, having failed to get any takers, the department has decided to give some more time to city residents to apply for the same. When quizzed about the reason, principlals exclaimed that it was imposition of neighbourhood limit, which has affected the number of applicants.



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