C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


New Year gift: 3rd Shatabdi
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 29
The third Shatabdi from Chandigarh to Delhi will chug off in January, 2013. An announcement to this effect was made by the Union Railway Minister, Pawan Kumar Bansal, here today. The 13-coach Shatabdi will leave the city at 12 noon and reach Delhi at 3:15 pm while on the return journey, it will start from Delhi at 7:15 pm and reach Chandigarh at 11:30 at night.

Bansal said the proposal of starting the third Shatabdi Express had been pending for a long time. "The need for the third Shatabdi was felt as the two other Shatabdi train run at full capacity throughout the year," he said.

With the launch of the third Shatabdi Express, the passenger capacity of the express train from Chandigarh to Delhi would increase from the existing around 2,000 passengers to around 2,800 passengers.

The minister said after he assumed the charge of the railway ministry, the officials concerned informed him that they were getting a large number of queries regarding the start of a third Shatabdi. The records of the city railway station has revealed that the morning Shatabdi Express runs near full capacity and in the evening there is a waiting list of around 700 passengers.

Commuters from the city believed that travelling to New Delhi by the existing Shatabdi trains was a bit tedious as for one train, a passenger has to get up early in the morning and in case of the other, he reaches New Delhi very late at night. Another train with timings between that of the two trains will be beneficial to commuters who prefer travelling along with their children.

Another passenger opined that the third Shatabdi express would be beneficial for those who missed the morning Shatabdi and preferred to make alternative arrangements than wait for the evening train.



gang rape victim’s death
Bitter memories of Ruchika’s friends revived
Hina Rohtaki/Ritika Jha
Tribune News Service

Panchkula/Chandigarh, December 29
The death of the Delhi gang rape victim today revived the bitter memories of the friends of Ruchika Girhotra, who died this very day exactly 19 years ago. She was allegedly molested by a high-profile official. On December 29, 1993, Ruchika Girhotra, a promising tennis player, committed suicide. Around hundred people took out a candle-light march demanding en exemplary punishment for the rapists.

The fact that on the 19th death anniversary of Ruchika Girhotra the accused in the case is yet to be punished reflects the lackadaisical approach of the authorities.

The candle-light march, which was taken out near Yavnika in Sector 5, Panchkula, was headed by Anand Prakash, father of Ruchika’s friend Aradhna. Police personnel were also deployed outside the Mini-secretariat in Sector 1, Panchkula, in order to prevent agitators from holding a protest there. Students from colleges and schools joined in the march.

Meanwhile, all the Resident Welfare Associations in Chandigarh have decided not to celebrate New Year this time, said PC Sanghi, Chairman of FOSWAC.

system did not learn any lesson 19 years ago

DK Bansal, Panchkula MLAIt was heart-rending when I heard about the Delhi girl’s death. I can just say that it is the failure of the system. There should be an amendment to the sections of the law and the rapists should be hanged. I just want that no other girl should become a victim of such a horrendous crime.

DK Bansal, Panchkula MLA

Prof Pam Rajpoot, Member, High-level Committee on Status of WomenIt is indeed the saddest day in the history of our country. It reflects a complete failure of our system. It is not the women only, who need to be sensitised about their vulnerability but also the men who need to understand victims’ plight. Unless you engage men in awareness drives, society cannot move forward.

Prof Pam Rajpoot, Member, High-level Committee on Status of Women

Anand Prakash, father of Ruchika’s friend AradhnaOur system did not learn any lesson 19 years ago when a molester claimed a young girl’s life. Had an exemplary punishment been given to him, these rapists would have not dared to do such an act. She is not a victim of the rapists but actually our system.

Anand Prakash, father of Ruchika’s friend Aradhna

Dr Daisy Sahni, Head of Department of Anatomy, PGIMERNot only the young girls but also aged women like us are terrified following the incident. Women are no longer safe even during daytime, it seems. The accused must be punished in a way, which could set a precedent for all such criminal cases. The general public needs to keep reminding the decision-makers about the incident until justice prevails

Dr Daisy Sahni, Head of Department of Anatomy, PGIMER



Cop booked for extorting money
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 29
Two years after the UT police received a complaint against a constable for extorting money, a case was finally registered against the constable today after an inquiry by the police found him guilty. The police has booked the constable, Randeep Singh for extorting Rs 30,000 from a resident of Sector 44, Sushil Kumar. The constable was threatening him over a molestation complaint pending against his son.

The incident occurred when Randeep Singh was posted at the Sector 34 police station in July, 2009.

In his complaint, Sushil told the police that he got on friendly terms with the constable when he used to reside at Milk Colony in Dhanas. The constable asked Sushil to let him stay on rent at his place for some months before he was allotted a police quarter.

The constable initially assured Sushil of getting his relative Sunil transferred to the UT police from Gurgaon where he was serving as a constable. Randeep fooled Sushil into saying that he had good links in the UT police and would get his son transferred.

However, he then began to threaten the complainant, saying that there is a case of molestation against his son and he should pay him Rs 60,000 to settle the case. He also took Sushil to the police headquarters to give him the impression that he had come to meet senior officers there.

After an inquiry, a case was registered under the charges of the Prevention of Corruption (PC) Act, 1988, at the Sector 34 police station. The preliminary enquiry was conducted by then crime branch in charge, Inspector Charanjeet Singh.



Hira Lal Sibal July 16, 1914, to Dec 29, 2012
Case that remained close to his heart
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Hira Lal Sibal Chandigarh, December 29
Back in 1945, the two famous Urdu writers, Saadat Hasan Manto and Ismat Chughtai, were made to face a legal trial on charges of obscenity in the Lahore High court. And one man who witnessed the whole drama unfolded in a the court was the departed 98-year-old legal luminary, Hira Lal Sibal, who not only defended the two writers as their legal counsel but also helped them acquitted in this case.

In his over 60 years of legal career, he defended several high-profile cases, but one that remained highly famous, especially in the literary circles, was this particular legal case, which, many believe, was also close to his heart.

While the case against Man to was dismissed, Chughtai was acquitted with a fine.

“Literature was never his world and it was not that he became interested in literature after this particular case but he always cherished his memories of Manto and Ismat,” said Delhi-based scholar, critic and poet Sukrita Paul, who recently interviewed him regarding the documentation of this case.

People often have the perception of Manto being an extremely sad or bitter person, but, according to Heera Lal, he was a very pleasing personality. He was even taking that case in a very light humour, said Sukrita.

Manto was charged regarding his stories “Kali Salwar” and “March Ki Ek Raat” that dealt with extra-marital sex, and Ismat was charged regarding “Lihaaf”, a story about a lesbian encounter.

City-based senior journalist Nirupama Dutt, who also interviewed him regarding a documentary, said: “Sibal was very active in literary circles in Lahore and this is how he came in touch with these writers. In his young days, he fully defended this case as he found nothing obscene in their writings”.

Recalling an anecdote, she said: “In my interview with Sibal, he shared that during the trial, the prosecution found a word ‘aashiq’ objectionable in Manto’s writing. Sibal made the court laugh when he jokingly suggested the word to be replaced with another word ‘yaar’”.

As many believed, this case got a lot of publicity since its witnesses had people like Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Ahmad Nadim Qazmi and Rajinder Singh Bedi among others.

Meanwhile, VK Sibal, his eldest son, said it was indeed a very sensational case in pre-partition days. As a lawyer, his father overcame all the professional and personal challenges and remained an inspirational figure for all of them. He was happy that his father enjoyed the life to the fullest but he would miss the evenings without him.


mayoral election
Party leaders decide to woo nominated councillors
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 29
Jittery of cross voting in the Mayoral elections, the leaders of the two political parties-Congress and BJP-SAD alliance today held hectic parleys with their party councillors in order to consolidate their vote banks.

The senior leaders of both the parties have decided to woo nominated and BSP councillors for mayoral elections. Parties have also decided to meet one-to-one with nominated and BSP councillors to seek vote for mayoral elections.

In congress, Union Railways Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal today held a meeting with Congress councillors in Congress Bhawan at Sector 35. In the meeting, he advised Congress councillors not to carry mobile phones in the polling booth to avoid any untoward controversy. BJP-SAD alliance has already demanded that mobile phones should not be allowed inside the polling booth.

Bansal also told the Congress councillors to vote and support the party candidates for the Mayor, Senior Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayor's posts. Bansal also told CTCC president BB Bahl to meet with nine nominated councillors and two BSP councillors along with candidates and congress councillors to seek vote and support for elections.

In BJP-SAD, candidates have already started the exercise of meeting with nominated and BSP councillors. Candidates along with BJP local president Sanjay Tandon are meeting with nominated and BSP councillors.

In the mayoral elections, nine nominated councillors, majority of them have close affiliation with congress, are ultimate king makers. The corporation has a strength of 36 members, including 26 elected councillors, nine nominated councillors and an MP. The Congress has 12 councillors, the BJP-SAD alliance 11, the BSP two while one is an independent. The local MP, who is an ex officio member of the House, also has a vote.

Chawla tenders unconditional apology

In the Congress meeting, Mayor candidate, Subhash Chawla, tenders unconditional apology to all councillors on two occasions. While addressing to all the Congress councillors, he said if he hurts any councillor in the last one year not intentionally but if unintentionally he is ready to tender unconditional apology. He seeks support of all Congress councillors for mayoral elections and said that congress will win elections with huge margins.

Independent councillor to support Congress

Independent councillor Gurcharan Dass Kala has decided to support Congress candidates in the mayoral elections. Kala said he will not vote for BJP-SAD alliance candidates and would prefer to vote for Congress candidates. In the MC, BJP had not given ticket to Kala and after that Kala had contested elections independently and ultimately had won the elections from ward No. 25, Manimajra.



Facelift of railway station to begin in 2 months: Bansal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 29
Facelifting of the Chandigarh Railway Station will commence in next two months on ground, said Union Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal who inspected the station along with officials today.

Bansal mooted fresh projects for parking and circulating area and asked the officers to explore its feasibility. He informed the mediapersons that he inspected the food quality in the morning Shatabdi in which he travelled today and more or less the commuters were satisfied with the quality of the food.

He said that by the month of February the trial run on Ludhiana track would start. Even the proposal of second phase for doubling the track from Dappar to Chandigarh will also be speeded up by the authorities, he added.

Revealing his future plans for the renovation of the city station, he said to streamline the parking space he has asked the officers to survey the feasibility of construction of multi-level parking here. He added that the pre-paid taxi and auto facilities will soon be introduce at the city’s railway station. The minister who was accompanied by the secretary railway board HK Jaggi inspected the circulating area where he proposed the installation of accelerators, state of art food plaza and new booking counter outside the station.

Divisional railway manager, PK Sangi informed the minister that by next month the work of the face lifting of the platform would commence. Bansal asked the officers to install an accelerator on the platform number 2 from outside the station to reduce the pressure of crowd on platform number one. He said another accelerator for the commuters would be installed on the Panchkula side of the station.

Pawan further added that a team has been asked to renovate the waiting room at the station, as with the increase in number of trains to Chandigarh the requirement will also increase.

The minister also inquired from the officials when the work for the state of art food plaza will commence. The officials assured said that in the next two months its work would also be started.

While interacting with the porters at the city station, Bansal asked them about their requirements and they demanded a rest room for them in the station premises. Reacting to it, Bansal asked the officials to work out the feasibility of a rest room for them and construct it at the earliest.



Railway light point mishap
Victim had given car to his father
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 29
Having lost his only son to the gruesome road accident in which a truck went on rampage at the Railway light point yesterday, Malwinder Singh, father of deceased Ajinder Singh, today said his son had dropped his car with him when he last came home on December 25 and himself chose to drive a bike.

“He was so concerned about me, he came home to Sangrur on Christmas and dropped his car with me. I told him that the weather is cold and he should take the car with him. He told me he will manage with his bike in Chandigarh and gave the car to me so that I should not suffer in this biting cold,” said Malwinder Singh.

31-year-old Ajinder Singh was crushed to death by the speeding truck that went on rampage last night and rammed into as many as seven vehicles in succession. Ajinder was returning from his office in IT Park and was headed home to Silver city Zirakpur where he stays on rent with his wife.

“He got married only a year and a half ago and had settled in Chandigarh with his wife. The couple was pursuing Mtech from a private institute and had just begun their life when this gruesome tragedy stuck them,” said the father who was inconsolable.

“I received a call at 8 pm yesterday and was shocked to hear that my son has expired. We have another daughter who is younger to him. Our life is shattered now, our small and happy family has been wrecked,” he said.

The postmortem examination of Ajinder’s body was conducted today at the Government Multi-Specialty Hospital, Sector 16. The Ajinder had come under the wheels of a truck and the upper body was crushed to beyond recognition. It was on the basis of a driving license recovered from his pocket that his identity was established. The family of deceased took the victim’s body to Sangrur where he was cremated.

Truck’s keys lost, police to make duplicate ones

The driver of the truck Jaspal Singh was produced in court today where he was granted bail. The police said they would conduct the mechanical examination of the truck tomorrow when they will get a duplicate key of the truck. The driver has been telling the police that the brakes of the truck had failed resulting in the mishap.

“The claims of the accused driver will be checked ascertained if the truck actually had some fault or it was the reckless driving by the driver that resulted in the accident,” said Inspector Narinder Patial, SHO, Industrial Area police station.



Now, women can dial 1091, elderly 1090 in emergencies
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 29
The police has set up helpline for women, children and senior citizens at the Phase VIII police station here. The helplines, which will cover the entire district, will function 24 X 7 and be run by nine women police officials assisted by four male personnel. The staff, which will be under an inspector, will have a vehicle at their disposal to attend to emergencies.

Senior Superintendent of Police Gurpreet Singh Bhullar informed the mediapersons here today that the toll-free helpline numbers were 1091 for women and children and 1090 for senior citizens.

The numbers had been displayed on the vehicle allocated to the helpline personnel.

Senior Superintendent of Police Bhullar said that the aim of setting up the help lines was to provide immediate assistance to the three sections of society.

The personnel on duty would reach the spot and inform the SHO of the police station concerned to solve the problem.

SSP Gurpreet Singh Bhullar said that had recently dismissed two personnel for allegedly harassing a girl and her fiancé who were sitting in a car here.



CITCO cancels musical evening at Sec 17
Instead, holds candle-light vigil to condole death of Delhi gang rape victim
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 29
Showing solidarity with the nationwide grief over the death of Delhi gang rape victim, CITCO called off its musical evening at Sector 17 Plaza here today. The performance of Punjabi singer Manak Ali was scheduled for the evening as part of New Year celebrations.

Officials informed that the scheduled programme for tomorrow evening had also been cancelled due to victim’s funeral.

CITCO general manager AK Malhotra said it was an unfortunate incident that shocked the entire nation. “As part of our tribute today, we gathered people in Sector 17 and lit candles in memory of the departed soul,” said Malhotra.

The programme scheduled for the New Year eve is expected to be held as planned, but the final decision will be taken on the morning of Decemeber 31, said an official of CITCO.




Training camp

A five-day training camp was organised by the Hindustan Scouts and Guides on the premises of DAV Senior Secondary School, Sector 8. The dignitaries who visited the camp from various states included Ravinder Talwar, VPS Rao, Harishbhai Bhatt, Niwas Sharma, GK Saxena, Vinod Kumar, Maqbool Ahmad, Narender Auditya, Mukesh Sharma, Parmod Kumar, Falguni Bahan, Kuldeep Sharma, GK Hullan, Nageshwar Rao, Jatin Bhai and Satyanarayan Suman.

Traders’ body releases directory

The Chandigarh Beopar Mandal released its new directory during the annual general meeting on Saturday. The meeting was attended by more than 200 members of the body. During the meeting, 19 new members were also inducted. Beopar mandal’s president Charanjiv Singh said that it was very heartening to see the body growing from 11 members in 1992 to a strong trader welfare body of more than 382 members. He said on basis of the opinion rendered by the Legal Department of the UT Administration regarding the Chandigarh Estate Rules 2007 not being applicable retrospectively, they were hopeful that the penalty and sealing of buildings will not be imposed on any building sold and auctioned prior to 2007.

Office-bearers elected

New office-bearers of the Mohali-Panchkula-Chandigarh unit of the Khatri Chetna Manch were elected on Saturday. Dharam Dev Latava and Ishwar Chander Syal were elected as the chief patrons and Raj Kumar Sahi became the president of the organisation. Other office-bearers include KL Verma as the general secretary, Diwan Varinder Kumar as the senior vice-president, KR Latava as the vice-president; Harmesh Dhand as the cashier and SK Pandhi as the joint secretary.

Prize distribution

The Chandigarh College of Engineering and Technology, Sector 26, celebrated its annual prize distribution function here today. VK Singh, Finance Secretary cum Secretary Technical Education, Chandigarh Administration, was the chief guest on the occasion. The event commenced with the lamp lighting ceremony followed by Saraswati Vandana performed by the students. Dr MS Gujral, principal, CCET, presented the annual report of the college and highlighted the academic and other achievements of students at various inter and intra-college events. The college released the second issue of its annual magazine CIVIZINE.

Symposium on architecture

First Friday Forum organised a symposium on architecture, science, and art. Dr RS Khandpur, director general, Pushpa Gujral Science City, Kapurthala, was the chief guest on the occasion. He called the science city an “architect’s paradise” in his presentation, and lauded the forum’s role in educating the citizens in aesthetic appreciation of various forms of arts. Dr SS Bhatti, former principal, Chandigarh College of Architecture, and founder, First Friday Forum, delivered the theme oration titled “Architecture, Science, and Art”. He pointed out, through illustrated analysis supported by historical examples, how science and art supported each other’s growth and enabled architecture to realise its full potential. — TNS



654 JBTs for govt schools in Jan
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 29
As a New Year gift to government schools, the Education Department is all set to recruit 654 contractual junior basic teachers (JBTs) by the first week of January. Officials said the fresh appointments would give a major relief from the shortage of teachers in the government schools of Chandigarh.

The process of recruiting 654 JBTs had started in the second week of September and after several rounds of submission of applications and verification, the provisional merit list of the candidates has finally been uploaded on the department’s website (www.ssachd.nic.in).

All the candidates, who applied for the post, have been given time till December 31 to submit their objections and grievances against the provisional merit list, and after that the department will finalise the list of the selected candidates. No claim will be entertained after that date.

DPI (S) Upkar Singh said the list of candidates would be finalised by January 2-3, and thereafter the department would issue the appointment letters to the selected candidates.

“Recently, more than 200 TGTs were recruited. With the recruitment of 654 JBTs, the shortage of teachers in government schools will be taken care of to a great extent," Upkar Singh said.

The merit list uploaded on the website carries the names of general category candidates only. The provisional merit list for 48 posts under the OBC category will be uploaded separately in a few days.

The recruitment of these teachers is being done under the Chandigarh Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan Society.

shortage of teachers will be taken care of

Recently, more than 200 trained graduate teachers (TGTs) were recruited. With the recruitment of 654 junior basic teachers (JBTs), the shortage of teachers in government schools will be taken care of to a great extent

Upkar Singh, dpi(S), UT ADMINISTRATION



panjab university
Despite extension, BEd colleges fail to fulfil NCTE norms
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 29
Even after the period of three months given to the BEd colleges to fulfil all the conditions laid down by the National Council for Technical Education (NCTE) lapsed, not a single college out of a total of 64 BEd colleges affiliated to Panjab University has complied with the directive.

The university, taking a strong stand against the colleges, has sent compliance reports of all the colleges to the NCTE and the Punjab government, recommending necessary action.

In the Syndicate meeting held on August 4, it was decided that all the BEd colleges be given another three months to submit their respective compliance reports as per the designated pro forma. The deadline to submit the report ended on November 27, and based on the compliance reports submitted by each college, the university prepared the reports and sent them to the regulatory body and the state government.

This was the second extension given to the colleges. Earlier, the university had given the colleges a month to comply with the NCTE norms.

“The university had also sent two reminders to the colleges before the deadline ended,” PU officials said.

PU’s Deputy Registrar, Colleges, Janak Raj Dhiman said not even a single college had fulfilled all the required norms. “All the colleges are having one or the other deficiency; the common violation being the non-payment of salaries to teachers as per the revised pay scales of the UGC,” said Dhiman.

The PU official said the teachers should be receiving around Rs 39,000 per month; however, the colleges are paying less than Rs 20,000. “Some colleges are even paying between Rs 10,000 and Rs 15,000,” he said.

A large number of colleges also lack regular teachers and qualified staff. “The colleges are also not paying Dearness Allowance (DA) to the teachers,” Dhiman said.

Officials said the NCTE will now take action against the colleges as per its rules.

The report that has been sent to the NCTE will also be forwarded to the Syndicate for necessary action.




Exchange programme

Chandigarh: Amaritya Acharya, a class X student of Gurukul Global School, was among the 92 students who visited Japan as part of an exchange programme -- JENESYS 2012-13. The students were selected by the Central Board of Secondary Education in association in association with the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development on the basis of merit. Upon returning, Amaritya said, “It was indeed an experience of the lifetime. I never imagined that a person could make such amazing friends in such a short span of time. I recited haiku in front of the Mayor of Kummomoto, wandered in the streets of Tokyo at midnight, had snow fights in Urabandai, had a home stay and watched the wrestling festival.”

Alumni meet

Mohali: An alumni meet was organised at St Soldier School. All the former teachers of the institution were felicitated on the occasion. President Karandeep Singh Brar and principal V Tiwana cut a cake on the occasion.

Cultural programme

Panchkula: Blue Bird High School held the inaugural function of its newly constructed auditorium PLUME. The programme commenced with the invocation of Lord Ganesha through a dance performance. Students from class II to VIII presented colourful dances on the occasion. Students spread the message of environment conservation through a poem.

Book fair

A book fair commenced at The British School. The fair was open to all and saw a footfall of over 1,000 students from the tricity. The students compiled long wish lists of the books they would like to read during the winter break. — TNS



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