C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Eve-teasing: Interaction with police prompts victims to raise voice
Be bold, call police: SSP to girls
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
The UT SSP’s interaction with over 1,000 college girls at the Government College for Girls in Sector 11 bore fruit today when a girl student raised her voice and narrated the harassment she faced at the hands of a policeman who misbehaved with her while she boarded a bus to the college.

Narrating the incident in a jam-packed auditorium, the girl urged the SSP to take stringent action against the eve-teaser, who incidentally is a policeman. “All I know is that he is a policeman and his name is Om Sharma and I can identify him,” said the girl student.

The girl’s narration shocked the audience and left the police brass red-faced. The police is already shaken by a number of eve-teasing incidents in the city the past few days.

The girl’s complaint was met with a quick response from the SSP who asked her if she could identify the accused and immediately ordered the area SHO to investigate and arrest the accused. Further investigations revealed that the eve-teaser was either a home guards volunteer with the UT police or from the Punjab Police. A special team has been formed to identify and arrest him.

“No such incident of eve-teasing will be tolerated. We will get to the accused and he will be punished,” said SSP Naunihal Singh.

Inspired by the girl’s boldness, another student, who hails from Ladakh, stood up and said that she was facing harassment because of her ‘Chinese’ looks.

“Wherever I go, I get to hear vulgar remarks on my looks. The bad elements say Chinese items come without warranty and guarantee. Is this the way girls should be treated in an educated city like Chandigarh?” she questioned.

Addressing her problem, the SSP deputed policewomen in civvies to guard the girl so that they can get to the eve-teasers and take action against them.

Girls shoot volley of questions at SSP

Why is police so slow?
I dialled the 100 number when some boys were following me and were passing indecent remarks. A policeman, who answered the call, told me to report to the nearby police station. Was it possible at that time when I was being followed? If we have to go the police station, what is the use of the 100 service?

Never on time
Like rightly shown in movies, the police never reaches on time. Once arrested, what is the further course of action by the police?

A lot of eve-teasing instances occur in buses. Is there any solution to it?

What if the eve-teaser attacks us again after he is released on bail?

Most of the times when we complain, the police starts putting the blame on girls which is the reason why they hesitate to approach the police. What were you doing there at that time? Why did you wear such clothes? These are some questions which we have to face.

Can the police ensure that the social status of the accused does not affect the case?


In a vibrant interaction encouraging the girls to speak up and to build on their confidence, the UT SSP asked the girls to raise their voice, use their sixth sense and also gave examples from advertisements and movies urging them to wage a battle against eve-teasers. He asked a girl from the audience to dial 100 and check the response.

Don’t hesitate dialling 100

“Intimation to the police is most important. The situation has become brazen with increased vehicles. Guys are now even manhandling girls. We have the best control room in the country and a large fleet of vehicles. Call the police again if the same accused does it again on being released on bail. There should not be any fright and girls should speak up. We assure that the identity of the girl will be kept a secret.”

Make use of technology

“All of you have a mobile phone. Why don’t you make the best use of it? Just click the picture of the accused or make a video. It will be extremely useful for our investigations. You all must have seen the latest advertisement of a cellphone in which a mischievous youth is tackled and scared by downloading songs. Make maximum use of the technology.”

Web page being created

“We have mooted a proposal to create a web page where girls can post their complaints of eve-teasing without disclosing their identity.”

Deploy police in civvies

“We will be deploying police in plain clothes at bus stops, in buses and near colleges to curb the menace of eve-teasing.”

Make use of your sixth sense

“All girls have an advantage over men as they have a sixth sense. An intuition always tells you that the person is wrong and acting weird. Make use of that and call the police even before any incident takes place if you suspect something.”

Rockstar song should inspire

Motivating the girls to fight for their rights, the SSP urged the girls to sing ‘Sadda Haq’ song of Rockstar and raise a voice. The seminar room echoed with the voices of girls who then sang the song with the SSP.

Only 1 % victims approached police

When asked by the SSP as to how many girls out of the audience of 1,000 have ever called the police, there were only five girls who responded in the affirmative. “How many girls here have become victims of eve-teasing?” asked the SSP. More than 70 per cent of the girls present at the jam-packed hall raised their hands in response.

Interaction effect: Callers increased

While the police will conduct more such interactions at colleges urging girls to report incidents of eve-teasing, the number of calls relating to complaints of eve-teasing has doubled in the past two days ever since the SSP first interacted with girl students at Government College, Sector 42.



Four held for eve-teasing
Police fails to act swiftly, ASI suspended
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
Almost six days after an incident of eve-teasing, the police has arrested four accused in the case and suspended an ASI who failed to take immediate action resulting in harassment to the victim.

The victim, a student of Government College, Sector 42, faced a harrowing time as the police failed to act swiftly in registering her complaint. The girl, who had noted down the registration number of the motorcycle of two miscreants, was told to return to her house without registering her complaint at the Mani Majra police station on September 21.

The girl student was again teased by two other youths who were accomplices of the other two miscreants when she was returning home in Mani Majra on September 26.

The complaint was attended by ASI Devinder Kumar, posted at the Mani Majra police station. ASI Devinder has been suspended with immediate effect for not registering the FIR and taking action against the eve-teasers.

The police has arrested all the accused, including Rakesh and Mangal, who had teased the girl on September 21, and two others, including Sohib and Lakhbir Singh, on Wednesday night. Sohib and Lakhbir teased the girl student on September 26.

DSP (East) Vijay Kumar said orders had been issued for quick registering of FIRs whenever a girl lodges a complaint of eve-teasing or molestation, but ASI Devinder failed to comply with the orders and hence has been suspended.



Scrub typhus surfaces in city, 62 test positive
It’s a killer mite-borne infectious disease; leads to multiple organ failure in humans
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
After claming many lives in the neighbouring state of Himachal, scrub typhus, also known as bush typhus, has surfaced in the city with 62 patients testing positive for the disease at the PGI.

Cases of scrub typhus are usually found in hilly regions, including Shimla, Assam and hilly areas of West Bengal. "We have received 62 blood samples of adults and children which were found to be positive for scrub typhus following the Weil-Felix test. This is an agglutination test for the diagnosis of rickettsial infections," said Dr Sunil Sethi, department of medical microbiology, PGIMER, Chandigarh. Most of the patients came with complaints of fever, cough and myalgia, he said

Dr Sethi said severe scrub typhus leads to multiple organ damage, including carditis, acute respiratory distress syndrome, hepatitis, renal failure, encephalitis, disseminated intravascular coagulopathy (DIC) and septic shock.

The disease is caused due to bacteria known as orientia tsutsugamushi that lives primarily in mites (the primary reservoir) belonging to the species leptotrombidium akamushi (chiggers mite). The infection is called scrub typhus because it generally occurs after exposure to areas with secondary (scrub) vegetation.

It has recently been found that the disease could also be prevalent as sandy beaches, mountains, deserts and equatorial rain forests, said Dr Sethi.

Humans are infected accidentally, usually during rainy season.

The site bitten by mite forms an eschar. The eschar resembles skin burn of a cigarette butt. The lesions are painless and without any itching sensation in most cases, causing the infection to be undetected by most patients. Scrub typhus can mimic acute abdomen which sometimes can lead to even surgery.

What is scrub typhus

Scrub typhus is an infectious disease that is transmitted to humans from field mice and rats through the bite of mites that live on the animals. The main symptoms of the disease are fever, eschar at the sight of the bite that resembles skin burn of a cigarette butt. Symptoms usually appear within 10 to 12 days after exposure, but may appear anywhere from 6 to 21 days after exposure

How it spreads

Scrub typhus fever is not directly spread from person-to-person. The disease is spread to people by the bite of a mite infected with the bacteria that causes scrub typhus fever


The diagnosis of scrub typhus fever is based on signs and symptoms of illness, as well as laboratory tests


Without treatment, the disease is often fatal. Scrub typhus fever is treated with antibiotics. Healthcare providers choose the antibiotic based on the patient's symptoms


Covering the body and avoiding contact with sand and grass can help in preventing scrub typhus fever. Proper diagnosis test is the only solution to the problem

Difficult to diagnose

Scrub Typhus is diagnosed with difficulty because of its non-specific, varied clinical presentation, long list of differential diagnosis and non-availability of recommended serological tests at the primary healthcare level. Diagnosis of scrub typhus in this region thus demands a high degree of clinical suspicion and familiarity with the various clinical manifestations, availability and use of rapid immunological test in suspected case to allow early diagnosis and timely initiation of appropriate therapy, thereby reducing patient morbidity and mortality.



Criminal conspiracy: 2 Australians among 5 convicted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
The court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Preeti Sahni today convicted five persons, including two Australians, two years after they were arrested by the police for trying to kidnap a person in the city. They have been convicted under Section 120-B (II) of the IPC.

The court sentenced Australian Simon Galti to six-month imprisonment while his accomplice Grant Alanstein has been sentenced to one-year rigorous imprisonment as he was also convicted under the Arms Act, besides criminal conspiracy.

Public Prosecutor Munish Dua said that the crime branch of the Chandigarh Police had arrested two Australian nationals in August 2010 for planning to kidnap a person in order to extract ransom. “Besides the two Australians - Grant Alanestein and Simon Galti – the police had also arrested Gursher Singh, a resident of Ropar, and other accused, identified as Gurpreet Singh, Surjit Singh and Manjit Singh,” he said. The police had monitored the movements of the accused and arrested them before they could attempt to execute the kidnapping,” said Munish Dua.

While Manjit Singh has been acquitted of all the charges, Gursher and Alanstein have been sentenced to one-year imprisonment as they were convicted under the Arms Act also. Simon Galti has also been sentenced to six months imprisonment under the NDPS Act.

As per the prosecution, the police had also recovered some hashish and charas from the possession of Simon and two knives from Gursher and Alanstein and booked them under the Arms Act and various sections of kidnapping.

Defence counsel Inderjit Bassi said the police could not prove charges of bid to kidnap even though common conspiracy had been proved on the bases of a CD of their recorded voice. The person who was to be kidnapped had also turned hostile in the court, said Bassi.

Accused sent to jail

The court sentenced Australian Simon Galti to six-month imprisonment while his accomplice Grant Alanstein was sentenced to one-year rigorous imprisonment as he was also convicted under the Arms Act, besides criminal conspiracy. The police had also arrested Gursher Singh, a resident of Ropar, and other accused, identified as Gurpreet Singh, Surjit Singh and Manjit Singh, in the case.


Sukhna eco-sensitive zone
UT departments differ
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
Two departments of the UT Administration differ on declaring the area around the Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary as the eco-sensitive zone (ESZ).

The Deputy Commissioner’s office and the Chief Architect office have submitted different points for finalising the area around the Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary as the eco-sensitive zone.

The committee of experts constituted under the Deputy Commissioner had recommended that 5 km area around the sanctuary should be declared as the eco-sensitive zone. Besides, the committee had maintained that construction should be allowed as per the UT building bylaws in the area from the boundary of the sanctuary up to a distance of 500 metres.

However, the Chief Architect department in its master plan committee report had stated that the instead of 5 km, the area of the eco-sensitive zone should be 2 km. The committee stated that no new construction should be allowed up to a distance of 300 meters from the boundary wall of the sanctuary. The committee suggested that a maximum of two-storeyed new construction might be permitted in the zone beyond 300 metres of the boundary wall up to 1 km.

The UT Forest Department had also raised objections on the DC’s report. The Forest Department had stated that instead of building bylaws, the height of structures should be fixed between 24 feet and 26 feet. The Forest Department had also pointed out that the building bylaws would be changed with time, but the height of buildings would not be changed if it was fixed.

Giving details about the importance of eco-sensitive zone around the Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary, a senior UT official said: “With the declaration of the eco-sensitive zone around the sanctuary, the forest area will be conserved and it will also help restricting haphazard construction around the sanctuary.”

What is eco-sensitive zone

An eco-sensitive zone is a fragile ecosystem area where conservation or preservation of the natural environment is sustained by state control and grants. In a bid to prevent ecological damage caused due to development activities around national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, the Ministry of Environment and Forests has come out with new guidelines to create eco-sensitive zones that will work as shock absorbers for protected areas. The aim is to regulate certain activities around national parks and wildlife sanctuaries to minimise the negative impact of such activities on the fragile ecosystem.


Prohibited activities

Commercial mining
Setting up of saw mills
Commercial use of firewood
Establishment of major hydroelectric projects
Discharge of effluents and solid waste in natural water bodies or terrestrial area
Use or production of any hazardous substances

Regulated activities

Felling of trees
Establishment of hotels and resorts
Widening of roads
Use of polythene bags by shopkeepers

Permitted Activities

Ongoing agriculture and horticulture practices by local community
Rainwater harvesting, Organic farming
Use of renewable energy sources



Mythical dragon to set festive mood in city
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
A mythical beast will rise the residents of the city from their slumber before this festival season. The organisers of a private consumer goods exhibition, starting at the exhibition ground at Sector 34 from September 28, has created a 60-foot long and 200-foot wide dragon to draw the local people to the exhibition.

The mammoth head of the dragon will pave the way to the exhibition area.

More than 60 Chennai-based artists had worked overnight for the last 15 days to complete this rare piece of public art. Its estimated cost is around Rs 10-15 lakh.

The designer of this piece of public art, GA Velu is one of the few artists of India, who are capable of making such pieces.

Visiting Chandigarh after 16 years, Velu said this kind of huge structure demanded immense hard work and patience besides a concerted effort of committed artisans, and they were satisfied that they could complete the structure on time.

The plaster of Paris is the main raw material besides wood tiles used for making the structure, said the artist who has made over 100-foot-long Titanic, Taj Mahal and other famous monuments across India.

On how he manages such huge structures, he said a particular assembling technique and long years of experience made this art possible. Moreover, his family has been involved in such works of art for the past several years, he said. The exhibition will open tomorrow.



Street Art and Food Festival starts tomorrow
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
Huge easel entry, Rajasthani puppets, violin, piano and folkdance performances would cast a spell on any one visiting the two-day Street Art and Food Festival starting in the city Saturday.

Local artist Praveen Behal said the easel entry, which is 20-foot tall and 22-foot long, would have big canvas which would sync well with the theme of the festival. As the festival will began in the evening, people would cherish an amazing ambience, he said.

The Rajashtani puppets will further enhance the mood of the festival. Local artist NK Sathi who has designed these puppets said about 30 puppets would be on display starting from the gate till the lake. It will definitely complement the graffiti being prepared by artists of Government Art College, besides reflecting the Indian cultural and ethos.

The road leading to the lake has been the recent attraction in the city as the local students of Government Art College are painting beautiful graffiti on walls on bothe sides of the road near the lake.

Violin and piano artistes will also bring in western classical performance during the festival. Local pianist Aayush said he would give solo performance on September 29 and 30. I would be playing western classic as well Hindi songs.

The whole festival has been conceptualised on the pattern of art festivals being held in the USA and European countries. The festival, besides having live street art event, will also have street foods for the foodies.



MC in a fix over mobile phone towers at community centres
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
The Municipal Corporation is in a fix over the issue of removing 25 mobile phone service towers from the buildings of community centres in the city. These towers were disconnected four years ago. Resultantly, plans for the extension of these community centres are lying in the cold storage.

It is expected that the issue will be taken up at a meeting of the MC general house scheduled for tomorrow.

A senior official said until the mobile phone towers are removed from these buildings the Engineering Department could not chalk out the plans of their extension.

Reports of the corporation revealed that four years ago the Finance and Contract Committee had decided to disconnect all the mobile phone towers installed on the rooftops of community centres as they were causing damage to the buildings. Sources said the arrears of rent were yet to be cleared by certain mobile phone service providers. Even though the towers had been disconnected, a conflict is going on between the corporation and the companies over the clearance of the dues.

Meanwhile, Additional Commissioner of the MC Lalit Siwach said all those mobile phone towers had been disconnected on the directions of the Finance and Contract Committee, but it had given no instructions to remove the towers from the buildings.



AIDS cases decline
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
The cases of HIV and AIDS in Chandigarh are on the decline and the things will improve as the authorities are working hard in this direction. This was stated by Dr Vanita Gupta, Project Director, Chandigarh State AIDS Control Society, here today.

Dr Gupta, who was speaking at a workshop on updating the print and electronic media on the guidelines on the reporting of HIV/AIDS cases, as issued by the Press Council of India, said there were 292 such patients from Chandigarh who were under treatment at the local ART Centre. Madan Mohan Sabharwal, Director, Public Relations, Chandigarh Administration, was the chief guest.

According to the website of the Chandigarh State AIDS Control Society, the rate of adult HIV prevalence in Chandigarh has decreased from 0.5 per cent in 2003 to 0.25 per cent in 2006 and has remained the same till date.

Dr Gupta said the total number of patients under treatment at the centre was 2,586. The number of deaths due to HIV is also decreasing. A total of 39 cases have been registered in Chandigarh since January, 2012. She stressed the need for the Press to ensure positive reporting as that would motivate people to avail themselves of free services provided by the society.

It is necessary for the people to know that regular treatment of HIV positive patients gives them a comfortable life of 20 or 25 years and reduces the chances of spread of infection by 96 per cent, she added.

Regular treatment a must

Regular treatment of HIV positive patients gives them a comfortable life of 20 or 25 years and reduces the chances of spread of infection by 96 per cent, she added.



Ex- MLA’s guard fires into air
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 27
In yet another firing incident in the area, a security guard of former MLA opened fire from his carbine in a room of the MLA’s residence at Phase VII last night.

The accused Nissan Singh (35), who is a head constable in 7th battalion of Punjab Armed Police and presently in the security cover of former MLA Ranjit Singh Chhajalwadi, has been arrested by the police. The police has confiscated the weapon.

Nissan Singh was in an inebriated condition when he fired three gunshots into the air while sitting in his garage last night. All the shots hit the roof of the garage.

The police sources claimed that he fired the shots in a fit of rage. “He wanted to go home but he was not allowed any leave. He was frustrated at the time of incident,” claimed the sources.

Today, Nissan Singh was produced in the court, which has sent him to judicial custody. He has been in the security cover of Ranjit Singh for past two months.

Meanwhile, the MLA could not be contacted for his comments. “We don’t want to talk on the issue,” said a person at the residence of the MLA before locking the gate of the house.

Notably, this is the second such incident in which a security guard has been involved in firing gunshots. On September 22, another security guard, Daljit Singh, who was posted with a Congress leader, opened fire from his AK-47 rifle at Jasdev Singh, Superintendent of Police of IRB at Sangrur following an argument during a marriage ceremony at SR Farms, located on Kharar-Landran road. The accused in the case is yet to be arrested by the police.



Dhrupad singers give impressive performance
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
Performing in the city on the invitation of SPIC MACAY, Dhrupad singers Umakant and Ramakant Gundecha held the local audience mesmerised with their skills. The Gundecha brothers held shows at two places - at the GCG, Sector 11, in the afternoon and at Punjab Engineering College in the evening. Their younger brother Akhilesh Gundecha was on the pakhawaj.

The students enjoyed the soulful rendition of Krishan Vandana and several other compositions. While interacting with students, Umakant said that Dhrupad was the oldest style of Indian classical music and all ragas have originated from this style of music. In their performance at PEC, they sang raga malhaar and its different variations. A Shankar Shruti presented by them left the audience spellbound.

Tomorrow they will be performing in Himachal Pradesh at Kendriya Vidyalaya, Sabatoo, near Solan.

Gundecha brothers learnt muisic under the renowned Dhrupad vocalists Ustad Zia Fariduddin Dagar and Ustad Zia Mohiuddin Dagar (the distinguished performer of Rudra Veena) from Dhrupad Kendra Bhopal. They have performed for many television channels in India and have been broadcast on British, US, German, French, Japanese and Australian radio stations as well.



P'kula to host conference on space
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
Second National Conference on Space and Astronomy will be held in Panchkula from February15 to 17. It will be organised by International Space Society. The chairman of the society, Suresh Naik, also the former group director of ISRO, said that eminent space scientists from NASA, ISRO, IUCCA (Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics) and space agencies from across the globe will participate in the conference as guest speakers.

Naik also gave an interesting presentation on ISRO’s MARS project. He said Mangalyaan will be launched in November next year from Sriharikota and for the first time the spacecraft to Mars will use Electric Propulsion Technology. In this, gas will be converted into ions by use of electrically charged particles.



Two cops suspended for losing wireless sets
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
Two constables were suspended today for dereliction of duty as they lost wireless sets and reported late about the missing sets.

The DSP, PCR, Roshjan Lal, said the constables posted on a PCR motorcycle duty lost their wireless sets at Sector 34. The constables concealed the facts and lodged the missing DDR at the police station of Sector 34 after the delay of two days and misled the department by giving the information about them late. In view of their negligence and dereliction of duty, constable Somvir Singh and constable Pardeep Singh have been placed under suspension and sent to the Police Lines with immediate effect.



central club
Women members return disappointed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
As the UT Administration has sealed the Central Club in Sector 9, the women members of the club were not able to hold their scheduled programme today. Around 40 members of the Ladies Club turned up at the club today to attend the programme but had to go back disappointed.

Manju Jain, president of Thursday Ladies Club, this year being the golden jubilee year of the Thursday Ladies Club, a number of programmes were planned.

Manju Jain added that the members of the Central Club had already met the UT Adviser and the Deputy Commissioner and both the officials had assured them of an alternative arrangement till the club was opened.



Police seeks DFO’s advice on animal specimens
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 27
The police today sought District Forest Officer’s (DFO) recommendation on action to be taken against the authorities concern for keeping specimens of prohibited animals in a laboratory of DAV Public School at Phase X.

DSP Darshan Singh Mann said they have sent the report along with the confiscated specimens of the prohibited animals to the DFO. “The DFO has been asked to recommend the action to be taken in the case. After his reply, we will register a case in this connection,” said DSP Mann.

The management of the school today met the police and gave their statements in the case. “The specimens had been lying in the school for over 12 years and we were not aware about the guidelines by the CBSE on this matter,” said one of the members of the school management while adding that these specimens were not used in any research work.

A team from People for Animals (PFA) had seized around 15 specimens of prohibited animals, including cobras, lizards, turtles and frogs, from a lab of the school yesterday.



Man, son killed in road mishap

Panchkula, September 27
A 26-year-old labourer and his a year old son were killed last night when an unidentified vehicle hit them at Maouli village in Barwala block here. Two other persons were also injured in the accident.

The deceased has been identified as Baldev Kumar, a labourer at a poultry farm, located nearby. –– TNS



Auto-rickshaw driver killed

Chandigarh, September 27
An auto-rickshaw driver died in an accident last night. The auto-rickshaw of Kishan Lal (33) overturned at Sector 32 near the Nirman theatre. He succumbed to injuries today.

Raka Gira case: CFSL report submitted

The CBI today submitted a CD and the CFSL report to the court in the case involving a woman DSP from Punjab Raka Gira who was arrested last year in a case of corruption. The case is listed for hearing on framing of charges in October — TNS.



Chandigarh scan
E-governance training

A specialised two-day training on e-Governance kicked off at SPIC -Centre of Excellence here today. The workshop is organised by the Department of IT, Chandigarh Administration in accordance with the guidelines for implementation of capacity building scheme. Officers of the various departments of the UT Administration attended the training. Dr JK Suri, the speaker for the first day session, is a practicing IT Consultant with over 35 years of experience in the field of Information Technology, with many national and international software projects to his credit. The first day of the training focused on providing insight into the concept of e-governance to officials and to give them an overview of the necessary tools for conceptualising, developing, implementing and management of e-governance projects.


MCM College today organised a programme with Shirley Wajda, an American studies expert and historian. The speaker engaged the students in a deliberation on “American Studies and the American Dream” and shared their views on the subject. She expressed that the 'American Dream' was not merely economic progression but achieving a stronger and cohesive society. Economic concerns during the period of Great Depression and their influence upon the American society were also discussed.

Refresher course

A three-week refresher course for college and university teachers concluded at Guru Tegh Bahadur Bhawan, PU Campus, here today. The course was organised on the theme ‘Classic & Modern Indian Languages’. Twenty participants from various states, such as Punjab, Haryana, Himachal, Chandigarh, Delhi, Rajasthan and Bihar attended the course. Resource persons from all over India delivered lectures on the the theme. The co-ordinator of the course, Prof Jaspal Kaur Kaang, chairperson, Department of Guru Nanak Sikh Studies, PU, expressed how the course was unique as it focused on unity in diversity which is an urgent need of the Indian society.

World Tourism Day celebrations

The week-long celebrations on the occasion of World Tourism Day concluded on the PU Campus here today. The week witnessed a variety of academic and cultural activities. The final day started with a tourism walk within the campus. The walk was flagged off by the Vice-Chancellor, Arun Grover. Later in the day, the USOL auditorium hosted various events, like 'Cuisines of India', poster-making, rangoli-making, quiz, 'Dresses of India' etc.

Direction to immigration companies

To put a check on immigration, the District Magistrate, Mohammed Shayin, has directed student-visa companies running in Chandigarh that before establishing such companies, it is mandatory for the owner of the company to provide complete antecedents in writing to the Chandigarh Police, Police Headquarters, Sector-9 within 7 days of starting their business in the city.

Revision of electoral rolls

The Election Commission of India has ordered a special summary revision of the electoral rolls for the parliamentary constituency, Chandigarh, with January 1, 2013, as the qualifying date. The draft electoral rolls have been made available for inspection at all the polling stations between October 1 to October 31, from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm. In case any eligible resident of Chandigarh finds that his/her name is not included in the electoral rolls or needs amendment, he/she can submit his/her claim alongwith relevant documents in Form 6 (New Voters), Form 6-A (Overseas electors) or Form 7 (Objection/Deletion of Existing Name), Form-8 (Correction of Existing Name) and Form No. 8A (Transposition of Entry) with the Booth Level Officer who will be available at the designated polling stations on all working days from October 1 to October 31. — Tribune Reporters



pu senate election
Recounting of votes begins
Contestants demanded recount after 10,534 votes were declared invalid
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
High drama was witnessed at PU’s gymnasium hall past Wednesday midnight where counting of votes for the graduates constituency is taking place. Candidates for the 15 seats and their supporters were charged up at 10,534 votes being declared invalid. They entered the counting area and climbed onto the stage, asking the Registrar of Panjab University (who is the returning officer) for a recount of votes. The counting was suspended at around 2.00 am, and, after the protest, it was decided that recounting of votes will be done again, starting at 5.00 pm in the evening.

The counting was earlier suspended for two hours on Wednesday after the candidates and their supporters misbehaved with the counting staff. The counting resumed at around 11 pm.

However, just a few hours after the counting resumed, the candidates started demanding that the invalid votes should be verified again.

The situation went out of control when the supporters of candidates climbed the stage at gymnasium hall where Registrar AK Bhandari was sitting and started misbehaving with him.

The counting was immediately suspended till the situation got under control. It was then decided that the invalid votes would be scrutinised again.

Out of around 3 lakh registered votes, 75,520 votes were polled at 278 polling stations in various parts of North India for the 15 seats of the graduate constituency. A total of 65 candidates are in the fray.

With the scrutiny of votes to be done again, the number of invalid votes is likely to change, based on which the quota of minimum votes required to get elected would be finalised. Earlier, the minimum quota was 4,000 votes.

During the last elections, held in 2008, around 66,000 votes were polled out of which about 11,500 were invalid.



Two-day long symposium on biotech begins
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
A two-day national symposium on "Biotechnology in India: Opportunities, Challenges and Future Aspects" was inaugurated by Prof Arun Kumar Grover, Vice-Chancellor, Panjab University, on the PU campus today.

Prof RC Sobti, former Vice-Chancellor, during his key note address presented a talk on the role of ancient history and culture of India forming the basis of modern biotechnology.

He emphasised that the need of the hour is to adopt innovative technology not only in the life sciences, but in other allied sciences as well. He also said that we should learn from the wealth of information our forefathers have left us, rather than blindly imitating the western methods. He encouraged young students to come forward and take initiative.

Prof RK Saxena, Department of Microbiology, University of Delhi, South campus, highlighted the importance of synthesis of microbial cellulose as compared to plant cellulose. He also emphasised the need for youngsters to work towards making the concept commercially viable.



Glaring case of paper waste at PU
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
Unconcerned about saving paper, or trees, Panjab University authorities have send fresh copies of the agenda (of around 460 pages) to each member for the Syndicate meeting to be held on September 30, even though the same agenda (with around 50 additional pages) was sent to the members for the meeting held on September 8.

Due to the agenda being lengthy, and only 15 issues out of 70 being taken up in the meeting on September 8, it was decided that the rest of the issues would be discussed in the next meeting. However, the university sent the same agenda, after excluding the 15 agenda items already discussed, to the members again.

Around 25 fresh copies of agenda were taken out for 15 Syndicate members, Vice-Chancellor, registrar, director public relations, ex-officio members etc.

One of the Syndicate members said that when the university had decided that the meeting would continue with the same agenda, they should have asked the members to bring along copies of the old agenda to discuss the items that were left pending. There was no need to get the agenda copies printed again.

"When the notice served to the members itself says that the meeting of Syndicate will continue with the unfinished agenda, and there is no new item in agenda, what was the use of getting the same agenda printed again?" said a Syndic.

Another senior Syndic said,” On the one hand the university talks about environmental issues and on the other it is totally unconcerned about such large scale waste of paper. Even in this era of technology, the university spends a huge amount of money to get agenda copies printed.”

The Syndicate meeting this time will begin at 10 am, instead of the usual 6 pm, as the agenda is quite lengthy. It has also been decided that in case the house fails to discuss all the items in the meeting on September 30, the meeting would continue on the very next day.



PUSU announces new working president

Chandigarh, September 27
The Panjab University Students Union (PUSU) today announced Sanjeev Kumar Sharma as the working president of the party. He would be taking charge of the party and work on issues related to student welfare.

A meeting of PUSU Executive was held here today at the registered head office of the party under the leadership of PUSU president Sukhjit Singh Brar.

The meeting was also attended by all the four contestants who contested the student elections at PU. Party members said that despite PUSU candidates losing in the elections, they would continue working for the students and the community.



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