C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


2 constables held for murder attempt
Rajesh Kumar, lover had pushed his wife Santosh into the Ganga; remanded in three-day police custody
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
In a major embarrassment to the UT Police, two constables, including a woman, were today arrested for attempting to kill the wife of the constable by pushing her into the Ganga in Haridwar. The police has arrested constable Rajesh Kumar and his paramour, constable Niharika, for attempting to murder Santosh Devi, Rajesh’s wife.

Both of them were produced in a court and remanded in three-day police custody. The incident was reported in September. However, the case was registered today after a detailed inquiry report found the two constables guilty of attempting to kill Santosh.

The attempt to murder took place on August 18. Santosh Devi, constable Rajesh's wife, survived the murder attempt and returned to her house in the Police Lines, Sector 26, on August 20. She confronted her husband, who had by then cooked up a story of his wife’s death. He had told his family that Santosh died after falling into the Ganga in Haridwar "accidentally".

High drama was witnessed when Santosh returned and narrated the story to her parents on how she was pushed into the river by her husband and his paramour.

In her statement to the police, Santosh stated that Rajesh had picked up his paramour Niharika in his car from Mani Majra when they were on the way to Haridwar and had told her that Niharika was asking for a lift. He did not disclose his paramour's real name to her.

Santosh told the police that her husband took her to Haridwar and then he, along with Niharika, pushed her into the river. She had a miraculous escape and returned to narrate her story, after which an inquiry was marked.

The police said the role of some family members of both the accused was also under the scanner.

Constable Niharika, posted at the Sector 17 Neelam police post, was recently in the news when she alleged that constable Ramesh Kumar had slapped her on September 23. Constable Ramesh is the brother of Santosh Devi. Her allegations were found to be false.

A case of attempt to murder has been registered at the Sector 26 police station. The police said they would visit Haridwar to colect more evidence in the case. 

Miraculous escape

Santosh told the police that her husband took her to Haridwar and then he, along with Niharika, pushed her into the river. She had a miraculous escape and returned to narrate her story, after which an inquiry was marked.



Road sweeping machines to run in single shift 
Sanitation committee overrules decision of MC House 
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
Overruling the decision of the municipal corporation general house meeting on running road sweeping machines in three shifts, the sanitation committee has decided to run these only in one shift as a cost-cutting exercise.

Interestingly, councillors, who were also present in the general house meeting where this decision was taken, seem to be suffering from "short memory" as two months ago they had taken a decision on the floor of the House that running the machines in three shifts would be costeffective. However, some councillors changed their viewpoint in the recent sanitation committee meeting and asserted that running the machines in three shifts would increase the financial burden on the corporation.

At a meeting of the House held in July, a report was tabled by the authorities depicting the economics of both manual and mechanical sweeping in the city. According to the report, for a 56-km road length, the sweeping machines, working in a shift of eight hours, will cost Rs 17,367 to the department, which includes depreciation of the machines, spares and the maintenance cost, while for the same road length, 112 sweepers are required, which will cost the department Rs 24,080.

The House had unanimously approved that the machines would have three shifts, including a night shift, and the sanitation committee would finalise the modalities. However, instead of discussing the modalities, the committee overrode the decision of the House and passed orders for using these only in a single shift.

Mayor Raj Bala Malik expressed surprise on how the committee could overrule the decision of the House when it had been mentioned in the agenda that a decision on running the machines in three shifts had been taken by the House.

MC sanitation committee chairman HC Kalyan said the committee had cut the shift schedules as otherwise the authorities would have had to bear a huge financial burden on it. He said members of the committee were also not satisfied with the performance of the machines. During the meeting, they had stated that the machines did not clear dry leaves and garbage lying on roads and only cleared the dust.

Congress councillor Subhash Chawla expressed surprise at the decision and said members should go through the agenda before attending meetings of any committee.

The department had purchased three road-sweeping machines through a single tender in 2008 by paying an extra amount of Rs 32 lakh while ignoring the total sanctioned amount Rs 5.10 crore by the MC House.

Mayor’s take

Mayor Raj Bala Malik expressed surprise on how the committee could overrule the decision of the House when it had been mentioned in the agenda that a decision on running the machines in three shifts had been taken 



17 more dengue cases confirmed 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
With 17 more cases of dengue being confirmed today, the number of city residents having contracted the disease so far this year has reached 139. While UT Health Department officials claim to have carried out fumigation drives across the city, the number of cases is on the rise.

With more than 100 patients afflicted with dengue and malaria being admitted everyday, the emergency wings at city hospitals have run out of space. The number of patients visiting the OPD at the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, daily has doubled over the past two weeks. In order to accommodate the patients, beds at the emergency ward have been shifted to the medical OPD and the waiting area.

At the city’s tertiary care unit, the PGI, more than 25 patients of dengue have been admitted, while the overall number of patients visiting the OPD in the hospital daily is more than 500. At the Government Multi-Specialty Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, the average number of patients (running high fever) visiting the OPD daily has remained above 500 for the past one week.

At the GMSH, Sector 16, a high-fever patient’s clinic has been set up with five counters for conducting tests and four doctors have been appointed for round-the-clock medical aid.

Dengue cases
Suspected cases at city hospitals: 213
Confirmed cases: 139
Dengue deaths: 2 



Unaware of golf cart facility, devotees have a harrowing time at Mansa Devi
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

A physically challenged man uses the stairs at the Mansa Devi temple in Panchkula on Tuesday.
A physically challenged man uses the stairs at the Mansa Devi temple in Panchkula on Tuesday. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

Panchkula, October 16
With the Panchkula administration having failed to create awareness about the novel idea of golf carts for the elderly and the differently abled at the Mansa Devi shrine, devotees had a harrowing time on day one of the Navaratras.

The nine-day Navaratra festival kicked off this morning at the Mansa Devi temple.

No banners, hoardings and signboards were put up to inform the differently abled regarding the golf cart facility for a hassle-free darshan.

In a first-of-its-kind initiative, the Panchkula administration had introduced golf carts to transport the elderly and the physically challenged people from the entrance to the temple. Three golf carts were arranged for the Navaratras.

“At least banners should have been put up at the entrance regarding the availability of the golf carts. After going upstairs, which took us 45 minutes, we came to know that golf carts were also available for people like us,” said Randhir Chaudhary, whose legs got amputated in an accident. Chaudhary is a resident of Sector 15, Panchkula.

Rajni Shukla, another devotee, voiced similar sentiments. “We are illiterate people.

How will we know about the golf carts until we are informed about the same,” said Shukla.

She said, “I had to take my mother through the stairs with the support of the railings.”

“Initially, we weren't aware of the carts and when we were told about these, all three of them were occupied and we were told that our turn would come in about an hour,” said Vishnu Sharma. He said, “I decided to go upstairs with the support of my hands as both my legs are polio-stricken.”

The golf carts were introduced to provide hassle-free darshan to the physically challenged.

Senior citizens and the physically challenged face problems while covering the long distance from the parking lot to the temple. 



Admn in a fix over one-year extension to staff
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
The UT Administration is in a fix whether to give a one-year extension to UT employees after the retirement age of 58 years on the pattern of Punjab Government or not.

The UT Administration, which follows the Punjab service rules, is studying the notification issued by the Punjab Government, in which it has given a one-year extension to its employees after the retirement age of 58 years.

A senior official of the UT Administration said they had got a copy of the Punjab Government’s notification. He said the copy of the notification was in Punjabi and they were translating it into Hindi and English.

The official said they would soon hold a meeting on this issue and then forward the case to the UT Administrator for a decision. Sources said officials of the UT Administration were divided over the issue.

Some of them maintained that Punjab had extended the age as there was a financial crisis in the state. However, that was not the case with the UT Administration. Some officials, however, are of the view that the Administration should extend the retirement age as it always followed the Punjab service rules.

The Punjab Government had decided that the employees would be given due promotions during this period and would also receive other financial benefits. The salary and other perks would remain the same. Gopal Joshi, general secretary of the Federation of UT Employees and Workers, said the UT Administration followed the Punjab service rules and it should not hesitate in giving a one-year extension to the employees after the retirement age.

Punjab pattern

The UT Administration, which follows the Punjab service rules, is studying the notification issued by the Punjab Government, in which it has given a one-year extension to its employees after the retirement age of 58 years 


Navaratra festival
Over 80,000 visit Mansa Devi on day one

Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 16
Thousands of devotees thronged the Mansa Devi shrine on the first day of the Navaratras during the fest held at the temple. The fest was inaugurated by Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.

Around 80,000 devotees had visited the shrine till 7.00 pm in the evening. Rs 6.65 lakh were received by the shrine board in the form of donations on the first day. While 9 nags of gold were offered, around 97 nags were of silver.

Visitors to the temple started queueing up by 4.00 am. Meena Kumari, a devotee said, "We have come all the way from Raipurrani and have been standing in the queue for the past five hours here."

CCTV cameras were installed at various places and a special bus service was also started for the convenience of the devotees.

Deputy Commissioner Ashima Brar, City Magistrate Vandana Disodia, president of the Haryana Chamber of Industries Vishnu Goel were also present on the occasion.

Commandos enter the premises with shoes on

The practice of walking barefoot on the temple premises was not respected by the commandos present at the shrine. During the Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda’s visit, the commandos were seen with their shoes on inside the darbar.

“It is the duty of the authorities to tell the security personnel to remove theirfootwear. The practice is the same for everyone. If they are there for the VVIP security, that doesn’t mean that they will disrespect the goddess,” said Prajakta Thakrey, a devotee standing in the queue at the temple.

Another devotee, Rishi, said, “If the commandos are not aware of the tradition, the authorities should act responsibly and tell them.”

Non-functional LCD screens

Some of the LCD screens installed for the devotees were found to be not working. LCD screens were set up to show the activities going on in the temple so that visitors don't get bored standing in long queues. Near the VIP, VVIP and the general public entry, some of the LCDs were not working.

“Since we have to wait in the queue for hours together, viewing temple activities on LCD screens would have helped us pass our time. But unfortunately they were not working,” said Babita Sangha, a devotee.

(1) Devotees throng the Mansa Devi shrine. (2) Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda takes part in a havan. (3) A non-functional LCD screen at the temple. (4) A commando inside the premises with his shoes on.
(1) Devotees throng the Mansa Devi shrine. (2) Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda takes part in a havan. (3) A non-functional LCD screen at the temple. (4) A commando inside the premises with his shoes on. Tribune photos: Nitin mittal



Dandiya adds colour to Chandigarh Haat
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
A ten-day dandiya festival kicked off today amidst lots of fanfare at the Chandigarh Haat situated at the Exhibition Ground, Sector 34, Chandigarh. A Bhavnagar-based Dandiya dance troop, "Aum Shiv Sanstha", led by Heena Patel, performed a scintillating show at the Chandigarh Haat.

This troop has performed over 1,100 shows across India and overseas and has the distinction of winning the President Award. The troop is under the affiliation of West Zone Culture Centre, Udaipur, and has performed in their over 800 shows.

Chandigarh will have the cultural night featuring Dandiya on a daily basis from 6 pm to 11 pm. According to Shiv Patel, troop coordinator, "It is a privillage for us to perform in front of the people of Chandigarh. We know the ciy residents respect art and culture and this is the reason why we are here for the tenth time. The craze for dandiya in this part of the world also inspires us to visit here frequently. We expect people would add more spark to the festivity of the Navratras by visiting to the dandiya festival."

The stage was managed by Anchor Adhikhari and Co and compered by Angel. Dandiya festival will continue till October 24, 2012. The troop not only performs dandiya but also imparts the basics of this folk dance.



City sees decline in snatching incidents
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
The city witnesses decline in snatching incidents this month compared to last year as only five such incidents were reported so far. As per records, there were 20 snatching cases on October last.

The UT Police claims to have reduced the snatching incidents with increased number of ‘nakas’ in the city.

In September, a total of 12 snatching incidents were reported as compared to 19 last year. In August, 14 such cases were lodged (22 incidents in August last year). Form January till July the numbers of chain snatching incidents were 113.

A senior police official said the police has doubled the number of ‘nakas’ laid in the morning and evening to curb such incidents. It is their efforts which have led to the decline in the number of snatching incidents in the city.

“Statistics speak for themselves. The numbers of snatching incidents have declined since August when we started the drive. The figures are low as compared to last year,” said a senior police officer.

The drive against snatching proved to be most effective in the southern sectors where ‘nakas’ are laid in the morning between 5 am and 8 am and in the evening between 6 and 9 pm.

Moreover, all Station House Officers were asked to pull up their socks, issued censures and directed to get after snatchers, added the police officer.



DEO’s office sans power for second day
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
The district education office continued their work without electricity even for the second day.

The electric meter was taken away yesterday by the electricity department after the adult education department, on whose name the meter was registered, sent them a letter stating that their electric supply will be disconnected.

Chanchal Singh, who heads the adult education department, said the communication was forwarded to electricity department as well as to the DEO office for their perusal in this matter. “I can’t comment as to why they did not apply for a new electric meter, he said.

DEO Ram Kumar Sharma on the other hand said he had no idea of any communication in this matter. It was a rather shock for them when the electricity department took away with the meter, he added.

Amidst this lack of communication and co-ordination, the official work of the DEO suffered a lot today. Most of the offices in the department wore a deserted look. An official said they could not work on the computer, besides, file work was also affected.

DEO Ram Kumar, however, said all the major work was done. “We have applied for a fresh meter and hopefully the power will be resorted by tomorrow,” he said.



Monica committed suicide: Police
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
A day after the mysterious death of a computer teacher, Monica Goyal, at her Sector 21 residence, postmortem report revealed that her death was due to hanging.

The report has strengthened the police’s claim that it was a case of suicide and not murder as alleged by the victim’s parents. Meanwhile, a local court has remanded the victim’s husband Vikas, father-in-law GP Goyal and mother-in-law Prem Lata Goyal to one-day in police custody.

A police officer said the postmortem report has stated ‘asphyxia due to hanging’ as the cause of death. “We are looking into the allegations of murder but prima facie it is a case of suicide as is clear from the postmortem report,” said a police officer, investigating the case.

Monica Goyal, a 35-year-old computer teacher at New Public School in Sector 18, was found dead under mysterious circumstances yesterday. The victim was brought to the Government Multi Speciality Hospital, Sector 16, where she was declared brought dead. Family members of the victim alleged that her in-laws murdered her.

The police had then registered a case of abetment to suicide under Section 306 of the IPC against her husband, father-in-law and mother-in-law.

Monica’s father Bhagwan Das, a Sector 15 resident, had alleged that his daughter has been murdered as her husband and in-laws were torturing her to bring them dowry.

Mother used to be tortured: Son

A day after the death, Monica’s father Bhagwan Das said Krish, Monica’s eight-year-old son, had even told the class teacher yesterday morning that his mother used to be beaten up.

The teacher had in fact called up Monica to find out if she was alright. She was told by Monica’s mother in-law that the boy’s claims were false. It was later found out that at the time of their conversation Monica was already dead.

Bhagwan Das said the two families were not on talking terms. “My daughter faced harassment and was tortured ever since her marriage. She has been murdered,” he alleged.



No poison found in Mehak’s body n Homicide cannot be ruled out, say doctors
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Mehak, victim Panchkula, October 16
The viscera report of Mehak, whose body was found under mysterious circumstances at her in-laws’ residence about two months ago, states that she was not poisoned. However, homicide cannot be ruled out, stated the team of doctors who studied the report.

The doctors did not rule out the theory of homicidal hanging contending that injuries on the arms of the victim are a clear indication of torture.

Two police officials of the state crime branch today sought opinion of the doctors on Mehak’s death.

“The viscera report is out today and it indicates that Mehak was not poisoned. However, the theory of homicidal hanging still exists,” said a doctor of the committee which studied the report. The report states, “No common poison or ethyl alcohol present.”

“The bluish contusions present on the left elbow and right arm of the victim indicate that she has been held tightly,” added another doctor.

The doctors, answering police officers’ question, said that in a suicide case, injury marks on both arms are not possible.

It was on August 20 when the body of 23-year-old Mehak was at her in-laws’ residence in Sector 16, Panchkula. Mehak who hails from Delhi got married to a Panchkula-based businessman, Sandeep Garg.

It was after the parents of Mehak met Panchkula Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Parul Kush and protested outside her office with Nari Niketan members that the police took the action of arresting her husband to pacify the agitated members. Garg was arrested later.

The case was transferred to state crime branch from the local police after the family of the deceased alleged that the local police was favouring the accused and his family.



30% patients visiting psychiatry dept suffer from depression: PGI 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
Of the total 9,000 patients visiting PGIMER’s Department of Psychiatry over the past one year, more than 30 per cent were found to be suffering from depression. According to experts at the department, depression is a serious disease and must not be undermined by the individuals.

While addressing a gathering of reporters here today, experts said sustained mood change, which persists as long as two weeks, in an important indication of depression.

“Increase in severity of depression elevates the risk of suicidal tendencies among the patients. It is crucial to identify symptoms of depression in an individual and ensure proper and timely treatment,” said Dr Ajit Avasthi, Professor, Department of Psychiatry.

50% of them stop taking medicines midway: Experts

Tendency of adherence to medication has been found to be low among depression patients. Among all the patients of depression, availing treatment at PGI, more than 50 per cent of them have dropped out of treatment immediately after seeing initial signs of recovery.

“It is very important for the patients to continue with the medication even after the symptoms start fading away. However, what we have observed is that the patients often, either reduce the dosage or drop the treatment midway once they begin to recover,” said Dr Savita Malhotra, Head of Department of Pyschiatry, while addressing reporters here.

The experts also said even a patient overcomes symptoms, he must continue with the medicine until the doctors’ ask him to stop it. 



from schools
Healthy tiffin competition

Students of Shivalik Public School, Phase VI, Mohali, participated in healthy tiffin Competition on the World Food Day. The students were told about good eating habits. They were also encouraged not to waste food. They brought green vegetables, curd, salad, sprouts and fruits.

World Ozone Day celebrated

Sarvhitkari Eco- Club celebrated the 'World Ozone Day' on Monday. Drawing and poster-making competition was organised on the occasion. Students of class IX and X participated in the competition. The students artistically conveyed the message of saving Ozone layer. Many ways to protect the layer were beautifully presented on the drawing sheets by the students. They highlighted the causes, consequences and the ways to protect the layer. — TNS



Panel to solve problems of schools constituted
Our Correspondent

Mohali, October 16
A high-level committee has been set up in Punjab to the tackle problems faced by schools and hospitals, falling under zila parishads.

The Additional Deputy Commissioners (Development) of Patiala, Ropar and Gurdaspur and the Deputy Directors concerned have been included in the panel. This was stated by Balwinder Singh, Director, Rural Development and Panchayats, at a state-level meeting to discuss the problems of rural veterinary officers and ETT teachers. During the meeting the Additional Deputy Commissioners (Development) and Deputy Directors were also present.

Balwinder Singh said nearly 180 teachers, working under zila parishads, were on leave and some of them had gone abroad. He said a strict action was being taken against the teachers, who had not joined their duties after the completion of their leave. He said the Additional Deputy Commissioners concerned had been told to ensure that schools under zila parishads were not closed down. He said 183 posts of rural veterinary officer and 176 of rural medical officer were lying vacant in the state. The process of recruitment to these posts would begin soon, he added.



PCA now gets more teeth
It was earlier a recommending body
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
The Police Complaints Authority (PCA) is all set to become a more potent body.

As a petition on its powers and jurisdiction came up for hearing this morning, the Punjab and Haryana High Court directed Chandigarh Administration to amend its notification, whereby the PCA was made just a recommending body. Once the necessary amendment in the notification is carried out, orders passed by the PCA will become a binding on the Administration and the Chandigarh Police. The directions by the Division Bench of Chief Justice Arjan Kumar Sikri and Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain came during the resumed hearing of a public interest litigation filed by advocate Arvind Thakur. The Bench ruled the notification passed by the Administration was not in complete conformity with the Supreme Court order. The UT Administration had earlier opposed the PIL on the ground that the petitioner had never challenged the notification in question.

The Administration had earlier claimed that the Authority had exceeded its jurisdiction by ordering the transfer or suspension of police officials found guilty by it. In an affidavit submitted before the High Court on a previous date of hearing, Home Secretary Anil Kumar had said: “There are certain instances, which have come to light where the Police Complaint Authority has actually ordered the suspension or transfer of an official, exceeding its jurisdiction”.

The Authority was set up to inquire into allegations of "serious misconduct" against police personnel, either suo moto or on a complaint received from a victim or any person on his behalf, the police or any other source.



Techno-management fest Aavishkar-12 concludes

Chandigarh, October 16
The last day of the techno-management fest Aavishkar-12 of UIET, Panjab University, was as eventful as it was on its first.

The day commenced with the events like ‘circuit king’ and ‘mind boggle-the quiz’. ‘robowars’ and ‘mud rally’ invited registrations from a large number of participants, wherein the students constructed robots, which were up against each other in a robo-fight. The events demonstrated the superior technical skills of the students. — TNS



PU to digitise Phd theses
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
In a move to assist thousands of students willing to pursue Phd, Panjab University will soon digitise around 8,000 theses written by research scholars at the PU between 1956 to 2007. The university has earmarked Rs 24 lakh for the proposal, which would be tabled before the Board of Finance (BOF) for the final approval on October 17.

The step will help the students in knowing about the research done in the past and would help in detecting plagiarism. Every page of each a thesis would be scanned and uploaded on the PU website. Although many universities across the globe have already provided research theses online, yet the PU had no such facility.

The PU officials said that the pages of all theses would be scanned and uploaded on the PU website, which could be viewed by anyone around the globe. The officials said once the proposal finalised, the students would be able to go through research works by logging onto pu@ets (Electronic Thesis System). “It will be a major breakthrough in research as students will have an opportunity to know about the research done by the Phd students in the past fifty years”, said Dalip Kumar, one of the members of the BOF. Earlier, the university had purchased Turnitin, a software to detect plagiarism. 



Job-oriented courses remain a non-starter
Our Correspondent

Mohali, October 16
An ambitious scheme of the Central Government to run job-oriented courses at Government College, Mohali, has turned out to be a non-starter with students evincing little interest in these classes. As many as 40 seats were kept for these hospitality diploma courses, which covered the fields of food preparation, bakery and confectionery, food and beverages and accommodation operation. According to the norms, at least 25 students were required to be enrolled in the courses.

The college had received Rs 25 lakh out of a Rs 1 crore grant from the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, to run the diploma courses. The laboratories to run the courses were made ready at the college and their Inspection was also done by the authorities after which approval was given. The recruitment of teachers and laboratory staff was to be done after the completion of admission process but due to the poor response the required staff could not be appointed.

Mohali Government College was among the five colleges in Punjab, which were selected to run the job-oriented trade diploma courses under the Central Government scheme.

The teachers of the college said the college had majority of students who were from rural areas and they could not be convinced about the utility of the courses, which was the main cause behind the poor response. Seeing the lack of interest in the job-oriented courses, the college management has prepared a presentation and from December it has planned to launch a drive at the school level to attract students for the diploma courses.

Meanwhile, a meeting between college representatives and the Principal Secretary (Education) was held in Chandigarh to discuss the issue. During the meeting It was proposed that postgraduate diploma courses should be introduced to use the laboratories 



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