Sunday, August 24, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


GMCH head puts in papers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 23
The Director Principal of Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) Sector 32, Prof S.B.S. Mann, today put in his papers before the UT Administration.

“I have resigned purely on personal grounds. I wish to go back to the PGI as Head of the ENT Department, so that I can do academic work and have a more relaxed and peaceful life,” said Prof Mann. He said he had requested the UT administration to relieve him immediately, so that he can join at PGI, on Monday. He added that his tenure at GMCH was a very fulfilling experience, during which he had tried to contribute in the best possible manner.

According to sources all formalities for the return of Prof Mann to the PGI would be completed by Monday and the desire of Prof Mann would be acceded to. Till the appointment of a regular Principal, the senior most doctor of GMCH will officiate against the post vacated by Prof Mann.

Commenting on the sudden resignation of Prof Mann, sources at GMCH said that the decision could have come in the wake of directions from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, that the senior most doctor should be made the Director Principal.

The resignation, on the other hand is likely to open up a pandora’s box, as there is a controversy regarding the seniority list of professors.”The seniority list circulated about a month back, has the names of Dr H.M. Swami, Head of Community Medicine, Dr Nageshwari, Head of Physiology, Dr K.Vij, Head of Forensic Medicine, followed by Dr Harsh Mohan, Head of Pathology ,” informed a senior doctor.

In the past also, a section of the doctors have on a number of occasion, raised objection on the anomalies in the seniority list, which they alleged had not been prepared on the basis of facts and objectivity.

“As per the seniority list of professors issued by Prof V.K. Kak, former Director, GMCH, the name of Dr Vij, was at number one but in the latest list Dr Swami’s name figures at the top,” informed a doctor.

While the basis of the list prepared earlier was the seniority, the latest list is based on the date of selection in the UPSC. So the issue of making the senior most professor, the Director Principal, will further add to the controversy.


Father donates son’s eyes
Pratibha Chauhan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 23
Even as he saw his 15-year-old son being crushed to death by a truck, right before his eyes, Mr Virender Sakhuja of Ambala, had the heart to think of the visually impaired person who could get the “gift of vision” even though he had lost his son.

Today, there are two persons, who can see the world with the eyes of Virat, a tenth class student of Major R. N. DAV Public School, Ambala, who died on August, 10. “Though it was unbelievable for me to think that my hale and hearty son was dead but then I thought by donating his eyes, he would continue to live in this world,” feels Mr Sakhuja, who runs a readymade garment shop in Ambala.

Person like Mr Sakhuja “have become a source of inspiration for others. Even in his hour of grief he can atleast derive solace from the fact that because of his noble gesture, two persons have been able to overcome the darkness in their lives,” is this how Dr Jagat Ram, Secretary of the Chandigarh Eye Bank Society and Professor in the Ophthalmology Department at the PGI, feels.

It was a family friend, Mr Ajay Mehta, who established contact with PGI doctors, so that the donation could be done well in time. “By the time the post-mortem formalities were over, the PGI team came and took the eyes, which incidentally Virat had pledged, as he had filled the form in school,” said Mr Mehta.

“Had it not been for people like Mr Sakhuja, my brother who lost vision would have lived in misery all his life,” says Deepak from Sadaura in Yamunanagar district. He says this has inspired his clan to pledge their eyes, so that they can repay the debt they owe to someone and reduce the suffering of those who have lost their vision. His 14-year-old brother, Nitin, who was operated upon on August 16, can already see the world around him.

At present 37,000 persons have pledged to donate their eyes, after their death to the Eye Bank Society, Chandigarh. “The actual number of donations taking place at the PGI, is about 200 every year, and even after this the waiting list is over 1,000, so you can well imagine the gravity of the problem,” informed Dr Jagat Ram.

He feels that even though the number of people who are pledging their eyes, is on the rise, but the actual number of donations materialising is small as after the death, either the family members are unaware of the person’s wish to donate eyes or do not bother about it.

Meanwhile, Virat’s portrait has been put at Donor’s Memory Lane, in the Ophthalmology Department at the PGI, so that other’s can draw inspiration from this commendable gesture shown by the Sakhuja family.


Doctor’s negligence case: family to meet Administrator
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 23
The family of Abhishek Ahluwalia, along with the Shivalik Enclave Residents Welfare Association, will be presenting a memorandum to the UT Administrator, Justice O.P. Verma (retd), to seek strict action against the doctors and Inscol Hospital, due to whose alleged negligence, Abhishek’s one leg had to be amputated.

“We have been given an appointment with the Administrator at 12.30 p.m on Monday, and we will demand strict action for the doctor’s negligence, because of whom my son has been disabled for life and that too after a simple fracture,” informed Mrs Anuradha Ahluwalia.

Meanwhile, the police is investigating the case on the basis of a complaint filed by the parents of the boy, who is a ninth class student at St John’s High School, Sector 26. The operating Surgeon, Dr Sanjay Saluja’s, statement has also been recorded by the police.

Though there is a strong feeling in all sections that a high level probe, headed by a senior PGI doctor, must be ordered into the alleged negligence, there is however skepticism over the outcome of such committee, constituted in the past also.

Interestingly, it was yesterday only that the UT State Consumer Redressal Commission, dismissed a complaint filed by the family of a patient, Mrs Mohinder Kaur, against three PGI doctors for negligence.

However, the committee constituted by UT Administration to look into the allegations of negligence made by Mr H.S. Tuli, husband of Mrs Mohinder Kaur, has yet to submit its report. The committee is headed by Dr Raj Bahadur, Medical Superintendent and head of Orthopaedics at the GMCH.

“In such technical cases, it is rare that one doctor will hold his colleague guilty, so the chances of a doctor being punished for negligence,” admitted a doctor at PGI. Similarly, the views expressed by some of the doctors, accompanying Dr Saluja, yesterday, that 99 per cent cases of negligence filed in Consumer Court are frivolous, amply reflected their.


BSNL subscribers await new telephone numbers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 23
About two lakh fixed-line subscribers of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) in Chandigarh, Panchkula and SAS Nagar are waiting for the introduction of the new telephone numbers with prefix 2 to their current numbers. The new 11- digit number have been introduced in the country, except a few towns in the south and Chandigarh region.

Sources in the BSNL here admit that technically the system to introduce the changed numbers had been upgraded months ago but the decision had to be kept in abeyance on official orders.

Mr R.C. Vaish, Chief GM, Telecom, Chandigarh Circle, admitted, “We had announced the implementation of the new numbers and even a separate STD code for SAS Nagar but the decision had to be postponed on the instructions of the headquarters. Now we have no clue when the decision would be implemented.”

The sources disclosed that the decision was postponed when a delegation of local industrialists and politicians met the Chairman and Managing Director of the BSNL, Mr Pritpal Singh, to oppose the new STD code for SAS Nagar on the plea that it was also the extension of Chandigarh.

Officials agreed that technically the issue of a separate STD code for SAS Nagar had no correlation with the introduction of nationally accepted new series of BSNL telephone numbers starting with 2 or 4.


Gains likely for UT staff shifted to MC
R. Suryamurthy
Tribune News Service

The Chandigarh UT employees transferred to the Municipal Corporation are likely to gain several benefits if the thinking in the Home Ministry is any indication.

Over 7,000 employees who have been transferred to the corporation since 1994 would benefit by the proposed amendment to the Punjab Municipal Corporation Law Act.

A meeting of the Consultative Committee attached with the Ministry of Home Affairs here earlier this week analysed the proposed amendment to Section 428A(2)(H) of the Punjab Municipal Corporation Law (Extension to Chandigarh) Act, 1974.

The beneficial implications of the long-pending demands of the UT employees were raised by the area Member of Parliament, Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal (Congress), who is also a member of the committee.

Mr Bansal said thousands of UT employees while working in the corporation would continue to enjoy the benefits of the UT Administration despite being “transferred” to the corporation if the proposed amendments are carried out.

The members of the committee have agreed in principle to the proposed amendment. However, the final view on the matter would be taken after inter-departmental consultation, which is in progress, Mr Bansal added.

The committee was of the view that the employees “transferred” to the corporation shall be treated to be on “deemed deputation” with the corporation without being entitled to any deputation allowance.

The employees whose parent cadre has ceased to exist under the Chandigarh Administration, shall not be entitled to seek repatriation to their parent cadre and those whose parent cadre continues to exist will be considered for repatriation only if their juniors are serving under the Chandigarh Administration.

The vacancies arising out of resignation, retirement, death of the employees treated on “deemed deputation” shall be filled by the corporation by appointment of its own employees.

The leave salary of such an employee shall be borne by the corporation in respect of the leave availed of by the said employee while serving in the corporation irrespective of the fact whether the same has been earned by him while serving in the corporation or under the Chandigarh Administration.

The expenditure on account of payment of pensionary and retirement benefits to those employees declared to be on “deemed deputation” with the corporation shall be borne by the Chandigarh Administration.

The meeting also observed that the grant-in-aid released to the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation over the past three fiscal years has been continuously increasing.

From the Rs 7375 lakh in 2001-02, it has increased to Rs 9905 lakh in the current fiscal.


Murder accused dies in custody
Tribune Reporters

Patiala/ SAS Nagar, August 23
Parampal Singh Matharoo, the main accused in the murder of executive engineer V.K. Chopra, died here today after being brought to Government Rajindra Hospital from the Central Jail.

The jail authorities said Matharoo, a former senior vice-president of the Chandigarh Territorial Congress, was shifted to the jail hospital after he complained of chest pain this morning. However, when his condition did not improve, he was taken to Rajindra Hospital, where he died shortly afterwards.

Matharoo, a resident of Phase IV, SAS Nagar, is survived by two children and wife. He was arrested by the SAS Nagar police on February 19 this year along with an accomplice, Ravinder Sharma, one day after the murder of V.K. Chopra, Executive Engineer, UT Administration. After spending some days in police custody, he was shifted to the Central Jail while on judicial remand.

A building contractor, Matharoo was allegedly one of the masterminds behind the murder of Chopra. According to the police, the five persons involved in the murder of Chopra had met at Matharoo’s plot in Phase II, SAS Nagar, and planned the crime.


Parted in death
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 23
Their love story ended in tragedy. Unable to make their respective families agree to their marriage, 26-year-old Jaswinder and 24-year-old Puja attempted suicide at their rented accommodation in Kalka this afternoon. While Jaswinder died, Puja was admitted to the hospital and saved.

The police informed that the couple were residents of Yamunanagar and had left home a month ago as their families disapproved of their relationship. While Jaswinder was married earlier, Puja was a widow. The two had reportedly been involved for the past several months.

Since Jaswinder was married, the couple eloped and began staying in Kalka.

According to the police, before taking the extreme step today, they had called up their parents and asked them to accept to their marriage. When the parents refused, the couple consumed some pesticide. A case under Section 309 of the IPC has been filed against Puja.


Zirakpur shops to close on Monday
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, August 23
The Punjab Government has decided to enforce shop Act in the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat area from Monday onwards.

This Act has been enforced by the government by issuing notices to the shopkeepers running their establishments within in the Zirakpur Panchayat limits under the provisions of the Punjab Shop Act and Commercial Establishment Act, 1958.

Sources in the department said notices had been served to the shopkeepers on the directions of the Punjab Labour Commissioner. The Labour Commissioner had directed the local Sub Divisional Magistrate to ensure that the shops were closed one day in a week.


Allotment of IT park sites from next week
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 23
The formal allotment of sites in the Information Technology (IT) Park here is all set to commence from next week. The Chandigarh Administration has sought a clarification from its lawyer Mr Soli J. Sorabjee, on an order of the Supreme Court passed on August 11. The allotment had been held up due to a court case filed by the people who had applied for industrial plots in 1982 but were not given allotment letters.

The first allottee is likely to be the Bangalore-based Infosys which has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Chandigarh Administration for investing Rs 20 crore in its facility here.

According to sources in the Administration it has been clarified in the Supreme Court that the plots being allotted to the IT industry in the upcoming IT park in Kishangarh village located on the north eastern tip of the Union Territory were not industrial plots.

These are commercial plots for office space and development of software. The IT industry is defined under software services through a Government of India notification, claimed official sources.

Meanwhile, the Industrial Plots Allottees Forum today gave its own interpretation of the Supreme Court order of August 11. The Supreme Court, on January 20 this year, had asked the Administration to make no allotment of plots for any industrial purpose, directly or indirectly. A part of the August 11 order says it is very clear that the undertaking is that there shall be no allotment of plots for industrial purpose and the position has to be maintained. This, the forum says, means no allotment can be made.

The Administration on its part had sent a senior secretary level official to the Supreme Court on the date of hearing and representing the Administration as its lawyer was Mr Sorabjee. Its stance is that the plots under the IT park are commercial and not industrial plots.

Once Mr Sorabjee gives his interpretation of the order the Administration will go ahead with its plan. The delay has, however, harmed the progress of the IT park.


Administration cautions Togadia
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 23
The international general secretary of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Dr Praveen Bhai Togadia, may not be his fiery self during his visit to Chandigarh and Panchkula tomorrow.

The Chandigarh Administration and the Panchkula district administration have told the respective local units of the VHP that Dr Togadia would have to refrain from making provocative and inflammatory speeches. A senior officer refrained from comment when asked what action will be taken if Dr Togadia defied the polite verbal ban on his speeches. The entry of Dr Togadia had been banned in Bihar a few days ago.

A heavy police bandobast has been made by the Chandigarh Police for the one-day visit of Dr Togadia to the city. The VHP leaders, who will be arriving at the railway station by the Lucknow-Chandigarh train, would led a procession on his way to Bhagwan Parshuram Bhavan in Sector 37. Dr Togadia will attend “Sankalp Sutra Abhiyaan” at the Sector 37 bhavan.

Sources in the Chandigarh Police said in view of the sensitivity of the visit, adequate security arrangements had been made. All DSPs concerned would be in charge of the security arrangements in their respective areas. Dr Togadia will also go to Panchkula to attend a function.


Cops to be trained to crack terror crime
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 23
With terrorists posing a challenge to investigating agencies by using ever-improving techniques of using explosives, the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD) has planned training programmes for the reorientation of officials of these agencies.

Police officers trained for the job by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), will impart training at a special 15-day course for police officers beginning at the Central Detective Training School(CDTS) here from August 25.

“As terrorist outfits are evolving new strategies to trigger blasts in trouble-infested areas, it has become imperative to train the police in the changing techniques of investigating post-blast spots and crimes perpetrated by terrorists,” said a senior police officer.

Inquiries reveal that on the initiative of the CDTS, a unit of the BPRD, at least 30 police officers from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttaranchal and Chhattisgarh will be attending the course. A mock post-explosion scene would be created for the participants as done by the FBI, said one of the trainers.

Apart from the National Security Guard (NSG) and the Army, which specialise in detonations, there are a few government agencies in the country which have trained personnel to investigate post-blast spots.

The Principal of the CDTS, Chandigarh, Mr B.S. Negi, said the course would begin with a talk on “Genesis of global terrorism and aims and objectives of terrorist groups”. A lecture by the course coordinator, Mr T.S. Shergill, DSP, on “Nature of terrorist crime and modus operandi” will follow the inaugural session.

Dr Gopal Ji Mishra would deliver a lecture on “Communication channels and hi-tech devices by terrorists and human bombs” would be the highlight on the third day of the course.


AN-12 crashed as it was flying blind: Sehgal
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 23
The last radio contact with the pilot of the AN-12 aircraft which crashed in the upper reaches of Himachal Pradesh 35 years ago indicates that the aircraft was flying in zero-visibility conditions and it had strayed off-course, which may have led to the disaster.

Recalling his last conversation with the pilot of the ill-fated aircraft, Air Cmde R. S. Sehgal (retd), who was flying another AN-12 about 28 minutes behind the aircraft on the same route to Leh, said he was over Checkpoint One when he radioed the other aircraft to inquire about weather conditions.

“Instrument meteorological conditions. Moderate to severe turbulence. Returning abortive,” the pilot of the crashed aircraft, Flt-Lt H.K. Singh had told Air Commodore Sehgal from his position at an altitude of 7,300 m between Checkpoints One and Two. This meant that he was flying blind, depending totally on cockpit instruments without visual contact with the ground. Checkpoint One is over Kanzam La, 180 km from Chandigarh, while Checkpoint Two is over Kartso Lake, 285 km from here.

While Flight Lieutenant Singh had decided to return to Chandigarh because of bad weather conditions, he inquired if the other aircraft would proceed to Leh. Air Commodore Sehgal, then a young flight lieutenant, responded that he would carry on. Thereafter, there was no further conversation between the two aircraft.

A few minutes later, Air Commodore Sehgal recalled, he heard the other aircraft’s crew over the radio, stating that it was 75 miles (140 km) from Chandigarh and that it was changing over from the forward area frequency to the Chandigarh airfield frequency.

“Seventy five miles out of Chandigarh means that the aircraft would have been abeam Kulu,” Air Commodore Sehgal said. “The traces of the wreckage were found about 60 km away, which indicate that the aircraft had gone off-course,” he added. At 75 miles, pilots make their first contact with the ATC here, seeking permission to descend.

“On reaching Leh, we found wind conditions impossible for landing and set course for base. When we contacted Chandigarh while overhead the Rohtang pass, we were informed by the ATC that aircraft 203 (the ill-fated aircraft) was not in contact and we were requested to give it a call,” Air Commodore Sehgal said. “A chill went down my spine and there was a hush in the cockpit,” he added. They tried to call the other aircraft several times, but there was no response. Before landing at Chandigarh, the crew also called up all other nearby airbases to ascertain if the other aircraft had landed, but without any success.

“In all probability, the aircraft had descended prematurely and as the visibility was nil due to cloud cover, it collided with a mountain peak,” Gp Capt A. S. Mann, a former AN-12 pilot who had flown search sorties, remarked. “It also appears that the air crew had miscalculated their position. Had the aircraft flown for just six more minutes, they would have been clear of the mountainous terrain,” he added.


90 kundi connections removed from district courts
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 23
The UT Engineering Department today removed kundi connection from 90 temporary chambers in the District Court Complex here. A team of senior officials of the UT Engineering Department accompanied by a police posse marched in the district court premises in the afternoon and removed the kundi connections from the temporary chambers made on the first and second floors of the building of advocates’ chambers.

Members of the District Bar Association (DBA) tried to intervene. But the officials went on with the job.

The members said that the advocates were ready to pay the electricity bill, but they had not been allotted meters. The DBA also made a representation to the UT Engineering Department demanding regular connections for these advocates. There are 108 permanent chambers and 250 temporary chambers on the court complex.


Cow case: 3 more MC employees surrender
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 23
Three more employees of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh, who were wanted by the Himachal Pradesh Police, today surrendered at Paonta Sahib in Himachal Pradesh.

Three of the seven employees of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh, who were named in the FIR registered in the case of death of 22 cows at Lal Dangh near Paonta Sahib, were arrested yesterday.

The employees who surrendered were — Rajbir Hooda, Darshan Singh and SI Om Parkash. Another employee, Sarjeevan, is yet to be arrested. Sources in the Himachal Pradesh Police said all six employees were today granted bail by the Paonta court.


2 cops suspended on woman’s complaint
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, August 23
Two policemen posted in the township have been suspended on charges of illegally detaining a woman and trying to outrage her modesty. Taking a serious note of a written complaint by Rajinder Kaur (name changed), a resident of village Sohana here, the Superintendent of Police, Mr Harcharan Singh Bhullar has ordered immediate arrest and suspension of Dilbagh Singh and Shamsher Singh, both constables.

The complainant has told the police that the incident occurred on August 20 when she was returning from a friend’s birthday party. She was being followed by a person on the scooter. Both of them were asked to stop for checking by the two policemen on the motor cycle. They used abusive language with the girl. They asked the scooterist, who identified himself as Aman Kumar, to take the girl on his scooter to the police station.


10-year-old electrocuted
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, August 23
A 10-year-old boy, Naresh of Bhainsa Tibba village, was electrocuted in Saketri village here yesterday. According to police sources, he had gone to attend a community kitchen in the village, when he accidentally touched a loose electricity wire attached to a fan.


Man accused of hiding first marriage
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 23
A 22-year-old woman has accused her husband of cheating her by hiding the facts of his first marriage from her. The two had been involved for the past 10 years before they decided to tie the knot.

The woman, a resident of Rajiv Colony here, today approached the Sector 16 police and demanded action against her husband. She alleged that though she got married to Krishan, her beau of 10 years on July 19, it was only a few days ago that she learnt that he was married earlier.

The victim informed TNS that she had also been involved with Krishan, also a resident of Rajiv Colony for several years and the two had illicit relations.

However, when her parents got to know of this in December last year, they married her off to Neetal in Karnal. “ It was within a few days that Krishan again approached me and asked me to leave my husband.

Since I was in love with him, I agreed and left my husband and the earlier marriage was legally dissolved. We came back here and resumed our relationship,” she said.

She says that it was on July 19 that they got married in the Shiv temple at Mauli complex, with her parents’ approval.

The couple stayed separately after Krishan said that he was looking for a room. “As the news of our marriage spread in the colony, one of his neighbours approached my father and informed him that Krishan’s parents had married him to another girl, Rajni, three months ago,” she said.

Boy injured: A 10-year-old boy, Shravan Suri, was hit by a speeding Maruti Esteem, while he was returning home from school this afternoon. He was admitted to a local hospital where he was diagnosed as having a fracture.


3 hurt in road mishap
Our Correspondent

Lalru, August 23
Three persons were injured, two of them seriously, when the vehicles they were driving collided head on the busy Kalka-Ambala highway here last night.

Two of the injured have been identified as Sudhir Kumar and Randhir Singh. Sudhir Kumar was driving his Tata 407 (HR-39A-1708) towards Chandigarh when a Truck (PB-12B-1259) approaching from the opposite direction hit it head on. The truck was being driven by Randhir Singh of Kurali.

Both the injured were taken to the PGI in Chandigarh where their condition is said to be stable. One more Tata 407 occupant escaped with minor injuries, the police said.

After impounding both the vehicles, the police has registered a case at Lalru police station.

Body found: The mutilated body of Ramesh Kumar (30), was found on the Kalka-Ambala railway line behind Lalru police station this morning.

The body was noticed by residents on the railway line and subsequently the Railway police in Ambala was informed.

Mr Gurinder Singh, in charge GRB police post, Lalru, said that the deceased was a rehri vendor of cassettes in Lalru Mandi for the past couple of years.

Hailing from Patrehri village in Ambala, Ramesh Kumar was staying with his brother Suresh Kumar in Hallo Majra village in Chandigarh. Ramesh’s body was identified by his brother, the in charge said.

The body has been sent to the Civil Hospital Rajpura for postmortem examination and inquest proceeding has been initiated by the police in this regard.


Girl’s body found
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 23
The body of Puna, an 18-year-old girl of Maloya colony, was found by her family members along the railway track in Panchkula last night. Later, they brought it to their house and informed the police.

‘‘I went looking for at Mansa Devi yesterday. There I was told by a sadhu that a body was lying along the railway track”, said Mahinder, father of the victim. The body has been kept at the General Hospital, Sector 16, and the government railway police has been informed. According to police sources, claims of the family members that they found the body along the railway track were being verified.

Puna was married to Raju in Patiala. However, the marriage did not last long as Puna was suffering from a mental problem.

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