Saturday, August 30, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Servant held for attack on couple
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
A day after a robbery attempt on a lonely aged couple in Sector 9, the Chandigarh Police today arrested a domestic help while preparing to flee to Nepal after allegedly making an attempt on his employer’s life on the intervening night of August 25 and August 26 in Sector 18.

Ram Prasad was arrested from the bus-stand of Sector 18 today after the Sector 19 police station Assistant Sub-Inspector Harjit Singh came to know from Delhi that Ram Prasad was to return from Delhi to Chandigarh to collect some money to get back to Nepal.

Nabbing Ram Prasad became difficult for the police as his employer Jatinder Kumar Jain, who was attacked by Prasad, and even the previous employer Ashwani Kumar did not inform the police about the address of their servant and had not gone for the police verification of their servant.

Addressing a press conference while presenting Ram Prasad before the mediapersons, DSP (East), Mr S. C. Abrol, said the servant could be identified with the help of a Sector 19 washerman Shiv Ram who had sent the servant to the house of Mr Jatinder Kumar Jain, House number 589, Sector 18 B.

Mr Abrol claimed that the servant had assaulted the the lonely aged couple with an intention to kill them after getting enraged over a minor incident.

Mr Jatinder Jain and his wife Asha Jain had sustained grevious injuries as Prasad had made an attempt on their life with an iron rod. The accused had also allegedly attempted to strangulate Ms Asha Jain.

The police said it was difficult to locate the servant but when Assistant Sub-Inspector Harjit Singh searched the accommodation where the servant used to live in the house in Sector 18, an address of a chemist in Preetampura in front of the TV Tower was found.

A police party went to the chemist who said they knew of a Nepali, Sunil, who used lived near Kashmiri Gate in Delhi and one of his relatives lived in Chandigarh.

The police went to Sunil, who informed the police that Ram Prasad was his relative and had gone back to Chandigarh yesterday. The police party came back to the city and caught Ram Prasad with the help of the washerman.


In the dock but not to blame
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
A teacher marked by Panjab University to be punished for “wrongly booking” a student for copying in the annual examination now awaits the university to reverse the decision and announce him innocent. The reason is that a number of university Fellows who form part of the Syndicate, the cabinet of the university, have pointed out the impeccable track record of the teacher and also hinted at procedural wranglings in drafting of the case which led to this “peculiar situation”.

In this case Dr Prem Sagar, a teacher at Government College, Sector 46, caught a student copying in the annual examination of April, 2002. Dr Dinesh Talwar, a fellow, said the student did not cooperate with the staff who were on duty when the case was being prepared by the invigilators at the centre for perusal by the unfair means committee.

The case also figured names of Mr Jagdeep Singh from Government College, Ludhiana, who was the centre’s superintendent and a deputy superintendent. The university dropped charges against the deputy superintendent because she has already retired.

Prof Charanjit Chawla, another Fellow, said “Due to clerical mistake” the sheet used for recording the details of the case had been earlier marked for someone else. When the case was finally taken up Dr Sagar was accused for helping a student against whom a case had already been made by replacing it with the name of the accused.

Prof Chawla said Dr Sagar presented himself before the UMC and recognised the student. In the ultimate analysis, however, he was held guilty of having tried to shield some other student in the name of the student under question. The student was given a clean chit, thus giving him the benefit of doubt. When Dr Sagar was held guilty, the list also figured names of teachers from Moga and Ferozepore. No one except Sagar pleaded his case saying he was innocent.

Dr Talwar raised the issue in the Syndicate saying no teacher would perform his examination duties fearlessly in case the university did not take a stand to vindicate the teacher’s position under the current circumstances. Others who pleaded the case of Dr Sagar included Mr S.S. Virdi, Mr Gopal Krishan Chatrath, Mr Ashok Goyal and Principal P.S. Sangha. Dr R.P.S. Josh, a Fellow, said no care had been taken in drafting of the case and even lesser care was taken during the decision making. Such cases set poor examples for teachers to follow while performing their duties.

Dr Talwar said: “Only one among the 20-odd cases detected at the centre had been discharged.” The boy is also learnt to have approached the consumer court alleging university harassment.

The case has been transferred to an already existing sub-committee comprising Prof S.L. Sharma, Mr Virdi, Dr Talwar and Mr Goyal.

PU to remain open today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
Despite Saturday being a closed day, Panjab University will remain open tomorrow. The university will remain open because August 30 was listed as the last date for normal admissions.

An official press note said: “In order that the students do not suffer on account of a holiday, it has been decided that all the teaching, non-teaching and administrative offices of the university will remain open on Saturday (August 30).”

The university will observe one of the Monday’s in the month of September as a closed day in lieu of working day tomorrow.

Departments have been asked to follow the time table of Monday for tomorrow.Back


PSHRC orders probe against DSP
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 29
Taking cognisance of five separate complaints of alleged human rights violations filed against a DSP (Detective), Patiala, the Punjab State Human Rights Commissions (PSHRC) today directed the Director-General of Police (PSHRC) to inquire into the matter.

Member of the PSHRC R.L. Anand said in the order: “Since the allegations are traded against a gazetted police officer, on inquiry into the case is entrusted to the DGP of the PSHRC, who is directed to get the matter inquired into by an officer not less than the rank of DSP. The DSP is also directed to submit the report by the next date of hearing on October 24”.

All complaints, related to one incident, were filed by Prof Harpal Singh, Mr Bhupinder Singh, Mr Hari Kishan, Mr Major Singh and Mr Ramandeep Singh.

The complainants alleged that on August 20 they had called a press conference at a tea shop near the Patiala Railway Station, when three police Gypsies with officials reached there. The police personnel asked the complainants to accompany them to the police station and were given lathi blows. Mr Bhupinder Singh sustained injuries. Thereafter, they were forcibly taken to the C.I.A staff, Patiala.

Mr Anand said in the order: “Prima facie allegations do constitute a violation of human rights of the complainants.”


Kalam to meet city teachers
Ajay Banerjee

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
For about 1000 teachers drawn from government and private schools in the city this will be one class they would not want to miss. The President of India, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, will hold a 60-minute exclusive interactive session with them on September 4 when he arrives in the city on his first visit after becoming the President. Officials have kept some additional time in case the programme spills over the scheduled time.

The session will have no fixed agenda or subject, it will be an open house where questions can range from mathematics to Sanskrit and from history to science. The President will just listen and answer queries from teachers. The missile-scientist-turned-President known for his penchant for discussing issues with children on his visits to places across the country has sought an audience with the teachers of the city. Luckily for the teachers since most of them know English there will be no need for translators, thus enabling a more direct interaction. Earlier on the same day he will visit Ludhiana and translators have been arranged for sessions involving children and Dr Kalam.

He will hold the session in complete isolation from the government machinery and in the absence of any frills of Presidential protocol at the Bhargava Auditorium at the PGI in Sector 12 here. The teachers will be from various streams like medical, non-medical, English, Hindi, social sciences, mathematics and Sanskrit.

Well-placed sources said the protocol for the President — he is known to hate the protocol part — will end at the airport itself when the Governors of Punjab and Haryana and also the Chief Ministers of the two states accompanied by senior functionaries of the defence forces and UT Administration will receive him. As per the laid down protocol the President, whenever he arrives for the first time at a place, has to be given a gun salute. The number of guns that are to be fired is specified in the laid down protocol procedures.

From the airport he will proceed to the PGI with just his security for company. The dignitaries will again assemble at the airport when he leaves to see him off about 2 hours after his arrival. In the auditorium he just wants to be left alone with the teachers to absorb their views and ideas. Officials are yet to get a nod from Dr Kalam’s office if anybody else, including the media, will be allowed inside the auditorium or not.

Officials in the Chandigarh Administration are in tizzy on how and when tea and snacks are to be served to the dignitary. Well, the President’s office says Dr Kalam will go straight for the interactive session and return straight away. There is no other engagement of him in the city. The decision on tea and snacks can wait.


Gurbani prompts murder accused to surrender
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
A shabad of Gurbani brought the main accused in the Ram Darbar murder case into the police net when Sukhjinder, alias Chhotu, today gave himself up the SHO, Sector 31 police station, after a change of heart.

“I went to Ambala after the murder of Jagdish, alias Rinku, and then to Poanta Sahib Gurdwara where I heard a Jathedar saying jo karega so bharega (as you sow, so shall you reap)” Chhotu told reporters here today in the custody of the police at Sector 31 police station where DSP South S. S. Randhawa and SHO Jaswant Singh were present.

He said the teachings kept haunting him. He said “I decided to face the consequences of the wrongdoing under the influence of liquor and anger.”

The police came to know that Sukhjinder had reached the city and SHO Jaswant Singh went to Ram Darbar to arrest him.

The police said Sukhjinder confessed to having stabbed Rinku several times under the influence of liquor in the night of August 25 following an altercation that broke out during the day with the deceased. He also said his accomplice Baljit Singh alias Soni, held the deceased when he stabbed Rinku.

The murder accused said after getting enraged during the altercation, he went back home and brought a knife. The murder weapon has not yet been recovered by the police.

Baljit Singh had earlier surrendered before the police and narrated the incident, which was virtually corroborated by the main murder accused today.

Chhotu told reporters that he had gone to Ambala on the night of the crime and stayed on the railway station where he read in the newspapers that the person, whom he had attacked, had died. He said fearing arrest he went to Poanta Sahib and got his beard shaved to hide his identity but the teachings of Gurbani changed his heart.

After the arrest of Soni on August 26, the police had said that he had confessed to threatening Jagdish with dire consequences on the evening of murder in Ram Darbar.

The DSP had said it was third such murder, after the ones in Sector 44 and Sector 38, in which a minor tiff had resulted in the killing of one of the parties involved in the confrontation.

The police said during the investigation the alleged murderers revealed that there had not been any clashes between the deceased and they had fought earlier in the day on the day of murder.


Contractor accuses Chief Engineer of bid on life
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
A contractor of the Punjab Urban Development and Planning Authority (PUDA) has complained to the police that the Union Territory Chief Engineer Puranjit Singh and Executive Engineer Anoop Chauhan had allegedly attempted to kill him on August 9.

The UT Chief Engineer and the Executive Engineer said the complaint had been made as they had “black-listed the contractor” when Mr Puranjit Singh was Chief Engineer of the housing board.

The contractor, Mr Surjit Singh Sodhi, has alleged that two top engineers had manhandled him and caused a damage of Rs 1.5 lakh at his work site.

Mr Sodhi is working on the extension of the UT Guest House at the rear of the Punjab Raj Bhavan here.

The contractor has made a representation to the Administrator, Justice O. P. Verma, alleging the police was dragging its feet on his complaint.

An entry has been made in the daily diary report (DDR) at the Sukhna police post. It has yet to be converted into an FIR.

Bulldozers of the UT were sent on August 9 to level the area behind Raj Bhavan. Mr Sodhi has alleged that the bulldozers had damaged the manholes prepared by him under a contract, causing a loss of Rs 1.5 lakh to him.

Mr Sodhi has alleged that when on August 9 he opposed the use of bulldozers, the driver of the bulldozer and the Executive Engineer manhandled him and threatened to crush him under the machine.

Mr Sodhi has given representation to Justice Verma, Adviser Virendra Singh, Home Secretary R. S. Gujaral and SSP Gaurav Yadav.

The UT Chief Engineer, refusing to comment, said Mr Chauhan “knows of the entire matter”.

Mr Chauhan said when he reached the site on August 9, Mr Sodhi was lying before the bulldozer and abusing the officials.

Mr Chauhan said he had complained to the PUDA in this regard on August 11 and demanded an inquiry. Mr Avtar Singh (SDO) had made a complaint to the police in the regard.


Pipe burst endangers two houses
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, August 29
Two houses in Phase XI here were exposed to danger when there was a big cave-in of earth in front of them yesterday due to the bursting of a water pipe.

Labourers were engaged by the Department of Public Health today to provide support to the boundary walls of the two houses with bags of sand. The ramp of one of the houses had totally caved in. Occupants had to jump over the walls to enter their houses.

The pressure of water from the damaged pipe eroded the earth from the area. Even a wall of the chamber of the storm water sewer was damaged which would have to be constructed again.

Mr Kulwinder Singh, owner of one of the affected houses, said as it started raining heavily in the morning they had to cover the damaged area with metal sheets for fear that their houses might be damaged.

He said that it was the fourth time that the residents of this row of houses had to suffer due to pipe burst. The authorities concerned had failed to find a permanent solution to the problem.


PUDA auction fetches Rs 5.90 crore
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, August 29
PUDA earned a revenue of Rs 5.90 crore as 25 sites, including constructed houses, in different parts of the town went under the hammer at an auction held here today. Ten per cent of the bid amount was paid at the fall of the hammer.

Eleven residential plots, eight MIG houses, three commercial booth sites and four shop-cum-flat (SCF) sites were put on auction.

The residential plots were located in Sector 53, 61, 65 and 71 while the MIG houses were in Sectors 63 and 66. The booth sites were in Sectors 55 and 60. The commercial SCF sites were in Sectors 60 and 65.

The reserve price of the 700 sq ft MIG houses offered for auction in Sector 66 was fixed at Rs 6,83,000 lakh.

The two houses were sold for Rs 10.55 lakh and Rs 10.15 lakh. The maximum price a 575 sq ft house in Sector 63 could fetch was Rs 5.77 lakh and the minimum amount was Rs 5.40 lakh.

The reserve price in this category was Rs 5,09,700.

Out of the three booth sites offered for auction, PUDA could sell only two. The booth site in Sector 55 was disposed of for Rs 14.80 lakh while the one in Sector 60 was sold for Rs 14.10 lakh. The reserve prices of the booth sites varied from Rs 12,67,529 in Sector 60 (22.95 sq yd) to Rs 14,61,543 in Sector 55 (31.69 sq yd).

All four SCF sites in Sectors 60 and 65 were sold by PUDA. While the two sites in Sector 60 were sold for Rs 81.05 lakh and Rs 63.65 lakh, the two sites in Sector 65 could fetch Rs 42.75 lakh and Rs 42.05 lakh. In this category the reserve price of sites varied from Rs 36,27,000 in Sector 65 (121 sq yd) to Rs 60,19,900 in Sector 60 (123.75 sq yd).

The two residential plots in Sector 53 were sold for Rs 22.40 lakh and Rs 21.65 lakh. The two residential plots in Sector 61 could fetch Rs 31 lakh and Rs 17.60 lakh. One plot put to auction in Sector 65 was sold for Rs 13.70 lakh. All six plots in Sector 71 were sold by PUDA. The reserve prices of the residential plots varied from Rs 5,180 per sq yd in Sector 53 (282.91 sq yd and 277.08 sq yd plots) to Rs 9,270 per sq yd in Sector 61 (150 sq yd plot).

Extra charges of 10 per cent were added to the reserve price of corner residential plots and houses.


Unlit roads cast shadow on residents’ lives
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29

* A car driver suffers injuries and the vehicle is badly damaged after it hits a stray cattle squatting in the middle of the road separating Sectors 51 and 52 due to darkness. The animal dies in the accident and the carcass has to be removed from the road to avoid more accidents;

* A scooterist hits a cow which strays on to the road separating Sectors 34 and 35 as the sodium vapour lamp overhead was non-functional. The scooterist suffers multiple fractures;

* Burglars strike at the house of Mr R.D.Sahay, a resident of Sector 23, as the streetlight in front of his house was non-functional. Thefts of goods worth lakhs were reported from a shop in Sector 8 as the streetlights in the area were out of order.

Causing road accidents with stray cattle
*Thefts due to poor light
*Poor lighting in commercial areas

Such counts are many. After the sunset, parts of the city slip into darkness, thanks to the apathy of the Municipal Corporation and the Chandigarh Administration. It’s not the story of residential areas alone, the business community is also at the receiving end.

"The non-functional streetlights are also a cause of worry for the Chandigarh Police as several incidents of burglaries have been reported from the northern and southern sectors. The issue has been taken up with the authorities concerned, but to no anvil," says a senior police official.

A member of the Residents Welfare Association of Sector 23, Mr R.D.Sahay, said for 15 days in a month, streetlights in the sector remain non-functional. A theft took place at the house of Mr Sahay due to the non-functioning of streetlights. He says the complaints lodged at the Sector 22 complaint centre are generally not addressed for a long period. He quotes instances of senior citizens getting injured due to damaged roads, as the potholes could not sighted from a distance in the darkness.

A random survey of the city reveals that the situation in certain areas in the southern sectors is worse. Mr Ramesh Chander, a paying guest in Sector 11, says while he was riding a motor cycle, he hit a pedestrian near the Sector 11 fire station as there was no streetlight at that point. Residents in Sectors 8, 9, 10 and 11 complained of poor streetlighting.

Mr Abishek, a resident of Sector 47, complains that there is no streetlighting on the road leading to Phase 11 of SAS Nagar, despite it being a busy road. Mr Bidhi Chand, a central government employee, who resides in Sector 46, finds it difficult to take a walk after the dinner.

The most neglected sections are the roads in the residential areas which open in front of sector markets. Mr Vikram Sharma, a shopkeeper of Sector 34, says accidents take place on the road in front of the market as motorists are generally not able to see the vehicles coming from the other side. Mr Anil, a shopkeeper of Sector 7, complains that streetlights on the road leading to Sector 26 remain out of order. Accidents take place in front of the market, as a road divider is not visible from a distance due to non-functional streetlights, he adds.

Air Marshal Randhir Singh (retd) says there is a confusion among distribution of streetlight points between the corporation and the Administration. He says there is a facility of making a complaint on the telephone, but no body attends the phone. Mr Pala Ram, a resident of Sector 27, however, expressed satisfaction with the condition of streetlights. The corporation staff regularly come to repair streetlights, he says.

An official of the electrical division of the corporation, says complaints are received at the office of the Executive Engineer and at various centres in the city. He says about 18,000 streetlight points are with the corporation and remaining are with the Administration. While the streetlights fed by underground cable are with the corporation, others are with the Administration, he adds.


Friends, kin bid adieu to Prof Prasad
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 29
The mortal remains of Dr R.S. Prasad of Punjab Engineering College was consigned to flames this morning at the Sector 25 cremation grounds in the presence of friends, relatives, colleagues and officials of the UT Administration. Dr Prasad had died in a road accident near Zirakpur on August 27.

Among those present at the cremation ground were Mr Puranjit Singh, Chief Engineer, UT, Mr Vivek Attray, Director, Information Technology, the Principal, PEC, Dr Baljit Kapoor, staff members and students. 

Office-bearers of the Sri Sathya Sai Sev Organisation (Haryana and Chandigarh Unit) of which Dr Prasad was a senior member, paid floral tributes to the deceased. 

Meanwhile, the executive committee of the PEC Teacher’s Service Association (PECTA) at a condolence meeting today mourned the sudden and untimely demise of Dr Prasad. 


Student’s death was due to head injury: report
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
The death of a girl student of Dr Ambedkar Institute of Hotel Management, Sector 42, was caused due to shock and haemorrhage due to a head injury, says the post-mortem report. However, the possibility of poisoning has not been ruled out.

Teaching work at the institute, which was affected following the girl’s death on Thursday, was resumed today.

Sources in the Chandigarh Administration said the girl’s family had not lodged any complaint with the police.


2 injured in accident
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, August 29
Two persons were injured, one of them seriously, when their vehicle collided near PTL Chowk here today.

It is reported that the drivers of an auto-rickshaw and a Cielo car were injured when their vehiles collided. They were taken to Cheema Medical Complex in Phase IV. Ramu, who was driving the auto-rickshaw, was referred to the PGI, Chandigarh.

The police had impounded the vehicles.


Registration of case against two cops ordered
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, August 29
The Panchkula police has not registered a case against two policemen of the Kalka police, who had allegedly picked up Vijay Kumar, a suspect in robbery cases, from the district courts complex and kept him in illegal detention for over four hours yesterday.

The police said the court had not specified under which sections the policemen, Gurmail Singh and Raj Singh should be booked.

While talking to the Tribune Mr Ranbir Sharma, SP, said the two would be arrested and cases registered against them after proper investigation. The two had picked up Vijay Kumar from the court complex where he had come to surrender before a court. He was also dragged and beaten up.

After detaining him illegally the policemen later dropped him at the court complex at about 4.15 pm.

Brig Pritam Singh Ghuman, defence counsel of Vijay, has complained against the highhandedness of the police before Judicial Magistrate P.K. Yadav. The Magistrate directed the district police to register a case in this connection.

Meanwhile, the court has issued a notice to the state in this regard for tomorrow.


Chamber seeks resumption of supply by TISCO
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
The Chamber of Chandigarh Industries today demanded that the supply of certain steel components, required by various small-scale industries (SSI), should be continued by TISCO.

The general secretary of the chamber, Mr A.L. Aggarwal, said TISCO had arbitrarily stopped supply of wire rods on the plea that CITCO is not the actual consumer, although it has to cater to the requirement of a number of SSI units.

He further said there should be a mechanism under which penalty could be imposed on main producers in case they violated the conditions of allocation. 

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