C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


3 clubbed to death in UT’s vicinity
Armed robbers strike in Mastgarh, Tira villages
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 10
Three persons were clubbed to death and another six were injured in two separate incidents of armed robbery in Mastgarh and Tira villages in the wee hours today. The two places where the six-member gang of armed robbers struck are located within a distance of about one kilometre.

When the robbers struck at Mastgarh village a five-member team of the village was on ‘thikri pehra’ in the village but they did not hear any shrieks from the house of Mr Swaran Singh, one of the deceased.

The police suspects that the robbers fled towards the city with cash and valuables, taking advantage of the proximity of the crime scene to the border with Chandigarh.

A sniffer dog also took the police teams towards a road leading to the city before it lost scent of the assailants.

The incident has been reported within two days of a similar robbery by a ‘Kale Kachhewale’ gang at Lalru, in which three persons were killed and seven others were injured.

In today’s incident, the robbers struck at a house of Mr Swaran Singh, a milkman of Mastgarh village, where the owner of the house was killed and five other members of the family were injured.

In the second incident, the assailants struck at Ganji Tibi Ke Dera, Tira village, and clubbed to death two devotees, Mr Jaswinder Singh and Mr Tarlochan Singh, and injured a caretaker of the dera, Mr Lal Singh.

According to the doctors, the condition of two of the victims, Laxman and his grandson, Jaspreet, who received grave injuries, was being monitored. Eye witnesses in both the incidents revealed that the three victims, were done to death on the spot as they apparently resisted the attack. Excessive bleeding and fatal head injuries led to their death.

Shaken by the tragedy, Sukhwinder Singh, a ten year-old son of Swaran Singh, told The Tribune, “The robbers were speaking in Hindi and Punjabi. They were armed with rods and other crude weapons and searched all the items lying in the house. I was asked to hide under the bed but my brother and sister were hit by them”. Baffled, his younger sister and brother kept mum.

Reconstructing the sequence of events, the police officials reveal that the robbers first struck at the house of Mr Swaran Singh at about 1 a.m. The robbers scaled the side wall of the house and started hitting the family members one-by-one, who were sleeping in two separate rooms.

The first to be hit was the father of the deceased, Mr Laxman Singh, followed by his mother, Teji. The deceased was sleeping with his wife, Paramjit Kaur and three children, Sukhwinder, Kiran and Jaspreet. The police found a trunk and an empty milk vessel, about half a kilometre away from the house of Mr Swaran Singh, indicating that the robbers searched the belongings before leaving them behind.

Then the assailants went to the dera and pounced upon the devotees sleeping in the room. The caretaker was tied to a door and badly thrashed and he was unable to raise an alarm. He was rescued in the morning by a devotee.

Offerings were lying strewn all over the room and blood could be seen on the bed. The caretaker, Mr Lal Singh, alias Bajrangi, told The Tribune, “I was not given enough time to react to the situation. They started hitting the victims’’. 



Suspected meningitis patient’s condition serious
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh/Panchkula, May 10
The condition of 11-year-old Meena, admitted in the PGI with suspected meningococcal meningitis, further deteriorated today, with the doctors attending on her saying that the patient was in a state of shock and the final tests could not be completed to confirm the disease. “There is a very strong indication that she is suffering from meningococcal meningitis but the final blood test report is pending as the condition of the patient is not feasible to take the test,’’ said a doctor.

A resident of Sector 69, Mohali, Meena, was brought to the PGI on Saturday. The health authorities at Mohali have conducted a survey of Sector 69 to locate any other suspect case of meningococcal meningitis.

The Civil Surgeon, Ropar, Dr Harinder Rana, said during the survey of 500 houses in the sector in the last three days, one suspected case of meningococcal meningitis was referred to the PGI and 21 cases of fever were detected.

No fresh case of the disease was reported from the city today. However, after a suspected case of meningitis from Mani Majra, Ramu (17), who was referred to the PGI from General hospital Panchkula yesterday, two teams of the UT Health Department surveyed the area to detect any other suspected case. “Though Ramu was referred to the PGI, he is still not admitted in the hospital. But we sent our teams to visit the area but no other case has been reported from Mani Majra or elsewhere in the city,’’ said Dr C P Bansal, Director Health Services, UT.

Even in Panchkula, no fresh case of meningitis has been reported. The condition of the two suspected cases admitted yesterday, Peeti (six-month-old) and Neetu, 24, is stated to be stable. The health teams continued the surveillance in various labour and slum colonies in the district.



Cart owner pays price for cruelty on horse
Ramanjit Singh sidhu

Chandigarh, May 10
A greedy owner of a horse cart was today put behind bars for burdening his horse so much that it fainted.

The cart owner did not know that his routine would hurt an animal lover who then dragged him to the police. A woman animal lover also ensured that the horse was saved.

The cart owner, Madan Lal of Ram Darbar, could only get out of the police lock up after he promised that he would every day report the condition of the horse to the police. The police asked Madan Lal not to use the horse for a week in the cart till it fully recovered.

A judge later released him on bail with a fine of Rs 100.

The light point, Sector 26, saw a traffic jam when the horse fainted and fell under the cart. As there were grain sacks on the cart, they also fell on the animal.

Ms Vandana Dingra, who was coming from Sector 8 at around 9:30 am, saw the horse lying flat under the cart. The cart carrying grain bags was reportedly overloaded and its owner was trying to pull the horse out from under the cart. Ms Dingra, moved by the plight of the horse, went to help it. She asked the traffic policemen on duty at the beat box to call the police to the spot. She also called the People for Animals (PFA) to help the animal.

Ms Dingra told Chandigarh Tribune that the horse suffered injuries and the doctors treated the animal on the spot. They said the condition of the horse was serious.

According to the police, as per norms a horse cart could not carry more than 650 kg of weight but in this case the horse had to carry around 1000 kg of weight. The SHO of Sector 26 police station said the horse got injured because one harness shaft of the cart broke and the cart overturned.



CBI carries out checks in CWC offices
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 10
The CBI today carried out surprise checks in the offices of the Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) at its regional headquarters in Chandigarh and an office in Panchkula.

In another search, the CBI detected that poor persons from the Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe and minority community were allegedly being cheated by certain elements in the Sector 17-based office of the UT SC, BC and Minorities Finance Corporation.

The search was jointly conducted by a team from Delhi of the Chief Vigilance Officer of the CWC. The search was conducted amidst information that certain senior officials were involved in alleged irregularities in hiring godowns for storage.

The CBI and CVO teams checked and seized documents from these offices. Sources in the CBI said they searched the UT office of the Finance Corporation and found that in a number of cases, the Finance Corporation staff was issuing receipts of payment for large amounts but was not even depositing one fifth of the amounts.

According to the CBI, a search is on for records.



Tribune impact
Order to take over HUDA land, roads, road berms
Action taken against Wah Dilli, Pallavi hotels
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 10
The HUDA Administrator today called a meeting of officials of the Estate Office and the engineering wing and asked the latter to immediately take over the HUDA land, roads and road berms after the Estate Office had cleared the encroachments.

With the engineering wing failing to take over HUDA land after it was reclaimed from encroachers by the enforcement staff, the encroachments have been resurfacing all over the town. Thus, the encroachment drives launched by HUDA had turned into futile exercises. The issue was raised in Chandigarh Tribune, in its issue dated May 8, after encroachments cleared by HUDA resurfaced everywhere within a few hours of being removed.

Sources inform that the engineering wing has been asked to do fencing of the reclaimed HUDA land, thus ensuring that jhuggis do not resurface.

Meanwhile, the enforcement wing of HUDA today forced the management of Wah Dilli restaurant to remove the joyrides installed in the City Centre park of HUDA. The verandahs of Pallavi hotel, Sector 5, which had been encroached upon by putting up tables and chairs, were also cleared.

The issue of encroachments by these hotels had been highlighted in Chandigarh Tribune on May 9. Acting on the news report, HUDA Administrator, Panchkula, asked the Estate Office to remove these encroachments at the earliest.

Several joyrides had been installed outside Wah Dilli restaurant, on the HUDA park, and visitors were forced to shell out money for taking the joyrides. When the enforcement staff of HUDA led by five junior engineers reached there, they warned the management to remove the rides. The latter removed most of the rides and was warned that the park would be inspected again to see that all rides are removed within a day.

Pallavi hotel had constructed its garbage treatment plant on HUDA land near the hotel. The enforcement wing has warned the hotel to remove the construction on its own, or the structure will be demolished within a day.



Technology Park given special status
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 10
The Union Ministry of Department of Commerce (Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, New Delhi) has allowed grant of Special Economic Zone status to the Chandigarh Technology Park.

The Union Ministry of Finance will issue a formal notification of the SEZ on the basis of this permission of the Commerce Ministry. Once done it will pave the way for more investments in IT.

The SEZ will allow exemption from the sales tax, the property tax, stamp duty and electricity duty. The units operating in the SEZ are also exempted from payment of income tax for 15 years. With the setting up of an SEZ in Chandigarh, attention of the leading Information Technology companies in India and abroad would be focused on Chandigarh.

The Chandigarh Technology Park is likely to be one of the first IT Sector SEZ in the country.

The Board of Approval, under the Ministry of Commerce, for considering proposals for setting up Special Economic Zone (SEZ) held a meeting on April 25 where it was decided to give the SEZ status to the CTP where leading companies like Infosys are setting up their campuses.

The board has sent a communication to the Chandigarh Administration enclosing the minutes of the meeting on the grant of SEZ. At this meeting held in New Delhi, where a large number of applications of various State Governments and Private Developers for setting up of SEZ were considered.

Chandigarh’s case was presented by Mr S.K.Sandhu, Finance Secretary-cum-Secretary, Information Technology, and IT Director Vivek Atray.

The park spread over an area of 123 acres has been attracting major IT companies and is emerging as an IT destination. The Commerce Ministry was explained on how skills of young school and college going children were being upgraded through a special course called the Chandigarh Training on Soft Skills (CTOSS).

The members of the Board for Approval also appreciated the efforts of the Society for promotion of IT in Chandigarh (SPIC).



UT skyline for sale
The city of Chandigarh speaks
Dilvinder Kaur Dhillon

If any one wants to raise his voice, now is the time to raise it,/ Once an apartment building blots the sky, you will not be able to erase it;/ What a hue and cry is raised, when a vendor sits on my pavement,/ Yet the same voice is full of praise for this most hideous encroachment;/ There is absolutely no need to change my extra ordinary good looks,/ But there is definitely a need to change a certain parochial outlook;/ Thanks to which I am being turned into an eyesore,/ No appreciation for my beauty & charms galore;/ Only the earliest settlers on my soil my true worth know,/ They grew up within my walls, they also watched me grow;/ Indeed, they settled here because of the peace & harmony,/ And that is what is being sacrificed at the altar of money;/ Money is important, true, but is it the ultimate?/ Is it likely to accompany one to St Peter’s Gate?/ Thoughtless is the boy who breaks a lovely toy,/ The sensible one looks at it with a heart full of joy;/ Let me tell you friends that I am the direct result of Partition,/ I am a historical fact, I am a tradition;/ Corbusier thought me outright up to the backbone,/ Pandit Nehru with a smile laid the foundation stone;/ In fact many a good man were involved in my creation,/ Indeed I am Pandit Nehru’s gift to the whole nation;/ Yet my critics find fault with both my north and south,/ Isn’t it downright rude to look a gift horse in the mouth?/ My roads are already bursting with traffic,/ Parking vehicles is problematic;/ Accidents are daily on the rise,/ Do you want them to touch the skies?/ When all else fails, only God remains,/ And it is to Him I pray with a heart in two twain;/ I am Corbusier’s scheme, batter me not,/ I am Nehru’s dream, shatter me not;/ Yet if you are bent on bringing my beauty to a naught,/ Fill up the lake with mud, cut it into a hundred plots,/ So that avid builders can there hideous apartments raise,/ And finish me off completely with a ‘coup de grace’.



Development work being delayed, alleges councillor
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 10
The Municipal Councillor from Sector 5, Mansa Devi Complex, Ms Renuka Rai Walia, has decried the delay in carrying out development works in the area.

In a representation to the HUDA Administrator, the councillor said though these works had been approved during the Sarkaar Aapke Dwaar programme, but the works had not been started. She said grills on the central verges of roads, channelisation and beautification of the seasonal nullah passing through the sector and proposal for construction of an alternate route between GH- 29 society to Swastik Vihar, had not been taken up.

She said the water boosting station in the sector was not operational, affecting water supply in the area. She said demand for a park in Swastik Vihar, construction of a railway overbridge and installation of street lights in Chotta Bhainsa Tibba had not been taken up. 



I support Bansal: Bahl
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 10
“The local unit of the Congress is one family and I support Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, the local Member of Parliament, on all decisions and actions in favour of the party guidelines,” said Mr B.B.Bahl, president of the local unit, while addressing a press conference here today.

The question assumes significance in the context of the local unit witnessing several incidents of factionalism, particularly during the recent past. The president and the local MP have differed over certain issues which concerned the UT Administrator and the Deputy Commissioner. Mr Bansal has openly opposed the anti-encroachment drive in a portion of Mani Majra and the removal of Mr Bhupinder Singh Badheri as the chairman of the Market committee with alleged interference of the DC.

Mr Bahl, however, clarified that he differed with the MP over the issue of pointing fingers at the DC “because Mr Arun Kumar is an upright officer and I stand with him on certain issues. This, however, does not mean I am engaging in any anti-party activity. The Congress stands by its principles. There are certain children in the party who need proper guidance by elders, just like in normal families. The matter will soon be settled”.

When questioned again on differences between the party workers who hold offices in the municipal corporation and his group, Mr Bahl said “the talk was baseless. You can see councillors attending my press conference”. Mrs Shyama Negi, Mr Sohan Lal Vaid and Mr Kuldeep Singh Kahjeri attended the press conference. Mr Chandermukhi, another Congress councillor, arrived at the venue after the conference. Also present in the complex was Mr Vijay Pal Rana, a councillor of the Chandigarh Vikas Manch. Mr Sunil Parti, general secretary, shared the dais with the president at the conference.

Mr Bahl said : “The purpose of the press conference was not to discuss the internal party politics but to “leave aside unhealthy things in the Congress and point out certain key issues for the city’s development, which had been discussed with Gen S.F.Rodrigues, the UT Administrator, on two occasions in the recent past. “He has assured us to look into the matter,” he said.

The Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee demanded a rollout plan for development of the city, particularly in the southern sectors. The CTCC highlighted the need for a recreational zone, an international airport because the city is fast developing as a business hub in the north and a 500-bed hospital in the third phase of the city to ease burden on the PGI and the government hospitals.

The CTCC has demanded an early execution of a solid waste management plant. The administration should take the responsibility in case the corporation was facing certain problems, Mr Bahl said. It was also demanded that the city should look for services of a national or an international firm for planning the growth of the city to prevent unplanned environs which can create problems.



Mishap shatters sister’s dreams
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu

Chandigarh, May 10
A young girl in Saharanpur was waiting for her brother to perform “kanyadan” but now she is waiting for his body. Kanwarpal was happy before setting out from here to attend his sister’s marriage and asked brothers of his brother-in-law and their children to accompany him to the marriage. Kanwarpal, a resident of Muzafarpur in Uttar Pradesh, was visiting his brother-in-law, Vinod Kumar of Phase I, Ram Darbar, to invite them for the wedding.

But the journey of happiness turned into a tragedy when Kanwarpal and two of his wife’s cousins died in an accident near Ambala last night. Four members of this ill-fated family, including a six-year-old Nitin, are serious and are in the PGI.

Vinod Kumar, a jeweller, had no plans to attend the wedding but destiny seemed to have nearly drawn his son to the jaws of death. His son, Nitin, who was insisting on attending the marriage, is fighting for life, in the PGI.

A visibly shattered father of Nitin (6), who suffered serious head injuries and was unconscious, Vinod Kumar told Chandigarh Tribune that his brother-in-law, Kanwarpal (35) and two his cousins, Sunil Kumar (32) and Om Pal (27), died on the spot in the accident. They all were from Muzafarpur. The other passengers who were seriously injured are Subash Kumar (32), his brother Arvind (20) and his cousin Arjun (22). They all suffered multiple fractures.

The accident occurred on the Ambala-Chandigarh highway near the Baldev Nagar petrol pump when their Tata Sumo rammed into a stationary truck.

The vehicle was damaged beyond recognition. He said the driver of the jeep fled from the spot after the accident. The vehicle was hired from Hallo Majra.



Rights bodies release report on Burail jail
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 10
The Lawyers for Human Rights International (LHRI) and Punjab Human Rights Organisation (PHRO) today released a fact-finding report on the sorry state-of-affairs in the high-security Burail jail here.

The report, prepared by Narain Singh Chaura, an accused in infamous Burail jail break case, who was released recently, alleged gross violation of the human rights of the undertrials inside the jail. Various provisions of the Punjab Jail Manual were being violated with impunity by jail officials, Mr Amar Singh Chahal and Justice AS Bains, presidents of the LHRI and PHRO, respectively, told a press conference here today.

Saying that the undertrials were being denied the basic amenities inside the jail, they alleged that the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) had been closed down and the undertrials were not allowed to take exams to enhance their educational qualifications.

Certain undertrials, particularly Sikhs, were being discriminated against by the jail officials, Mr Chahal alleged.



Power supply disrupted
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 10
Power supply to most parts of the township remained suspended for several hours today, following a snag in the 66 KV transformer at Industrial Area here.

The residents had to sweat it out in the warm afternoon, after a technical snag in the transformer. Power supply to Sectors 16, 17, 8, 9, 12, 12-A, 14 and Industrial Area Phase I was disrupted for almost two and a half hours. The power supply in Industrial Area remained affected for almost four hours.

Officials in Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) say that they had diverted the power supply from the other sub stations in Sector 1, 3 and Mansa Devi Complex. They, however, said that the power supply would be affected till the transformer is repaired tomorrow. 



Power shutdown

Zirakpur, May 10
Zirakpur, Harmilap Nagar, Dhakauli, Dhakaula, Guru Govind Singh Nagar, Wadhawa Nagar, MS Enclave, Peer Muchhiala and Gurdwara Bauli Sahib will face a major power breakdown for over seven hours tomorrow.

A press note issued by the Executive Engineer of the Punjab State Electricity Board, Zirakpur circle, said power supply to these colonies located in Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat and the villages would remain suspended from 10 am to 5 pm. OC 



One held for carrying weapon on HC premises
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 10
The police today arrested a man under the Arms Act from the high court premises for carrying a weapon.

Gian Singh from Jalandher district was arrested today following information that a person was seen roaming on the high court premises with a double-barrel gun. A police party was sent to the spot which recovered the weapon from Gian Singh and arrested him.

Police sources said Gian Singh had come to the high court for a hearing with another person. He was waiting outside in his Santro car (PB-37-B-9535).

A case has been registered under Sections 188, IPC, and Sections 25, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act at the Sector 3 police station. He was later produced before a local court which remanded him in judicial custody.

One booked

The police today registered a case of kidnapping against Vivek Duggal of Sector 21.

According to the police, Mr Rajinder Singh of Sector 22, father of the kidnapped girl, lodged a complaint with the police that the accused has kidnapped his daughter. A case under Section 366, IPC, has been registered in this regard at the Sector 34 police station.

Booked for cheating

The Economic Offences Wing of the police registered a case of cheating against a Sector 35 resident who raised a loan of Rs 6.8 lakh from a private finance company by submitting forged documents.

According to the police, Arvinder Singh of the Birla Home Finance lodged a complaint alleging that Gurpreet Singh Grewal of Sector 35 had raised a loan of Rs 6.8 lakh by submitting forged documents in 2002. The company after verifying the documents detected the fraud.

A case under Sections 419, 420, 467, 471 and 120-B, IPC, has been registered at the Sector 19 police station. No arrests have been made so far.


Mr J.K. Dass, Medical Superintendent, GMCH-32, reported to the police that a car stereo, a credit card, Rs 6,650, a driving licence, an ATM card was stolen from his car, which was parked at the parking lot of the GMCH-32 on April 24. A case of theft has been registered at the Sector 34 police station.

Husband booked

Mr Usha Rani of Sector 38 lodged a complaint against her husband Ravi and in-laws, all residents of Sector 22, alleging that they were harassing and maltreating her to bring more dowry. A case under Sections 406, 498-A and 4 of the Dowry Prevention Act in this regard.



Dipti’s husband, in-laws in police custody
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 10
The local police booked the husband and in-laws of Dipti Sahu (21), who allegedly committed suicide at her Mauli Complex house on May 7, in a dowry death case late last night. The accused were produced before a local court today, which remanded them to police custody till May 12.

The police registered a case under Sections 304-B and 34 IPC in the Mani Majra police station after Mr Mukesh Sahu, brother of Dipti, filed a complaint against her husband, Mr Balak Ram, father-in-law Mr Jagdish Lal and mother-in-law, Mr Raj Devi, alleging that the accused were repeatedly beating his sister forcing her to bring colour TV and a motor cycle from her parents. Dipti unable to bear the constant torture allegedly committed suicide by hanging from a ceiling fan at her house in the afternoon on May 7.

Mukesh told the police that his sister got married to Mr Balak Ram in February 2003. Mr Balak Ram at the behest of his parents began to harass Dipti to bring more dowry after six months of their marriage.

In a letter to her mother dated March 15, 2005, Dipti had written that she would end her life by hanging as she could not find any solution to her endless sufferings at the hands of her husband and in-laws, who repeatedly harassed and beat her for dowry.

On the other hand, Mr Balak Ram while terming the allegation as baseless said that he loved his wife.

Meanwhile, the police has handed over the body to the family members of the deceased after post mortem.



Suicide by SI’s wife
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, May 10
Frustrated over her prolonged illness, the wife of a Sub Inspector in ITBP, Mr Rashpal Singh, allegedly committed suicide by hanging herself in a government house in the ITBP training centre, Bhanu, near here this morning.

The body of Mrs Ramandeep Kaur was found hanging from a ceiling fan of a room at about 8.15 am. It was sent to the General Hospital, Sector 6, Panchakula, in the afternoon.



Police directed to register case against SI
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 10
The Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mr Gulab Singh has directed the local police to register a case against Sub Inspector, Satish Mohan, on charges of extortion and under various sections of Arms Act.

Acting on a complaint filed by a Sector 11 astrologer, Mr Ravi Dutt Shandilya, the court asked the police to register a case against Mr Satish Mohan and report to it on May 11. The petitioner had alleged that the cop, now under suspension, had taken Rs 20,000 from him on the pretext of withdrawing a police case registered against him.

The petitioner has alleged that one of his female aides had stolen precious stones from his office in November 2002. When he went to Mr Satish Mohan, then posted as In charge of Sector 10 police post, the latter booked him on false charges of molestation. He says later a police inquiry was ordered against Mr Satish Mohan, and he was given a plain chit. However, a case of theft was registered against his aide.

Mr Shandilya alleged that a few days ago, Mr Satish Mohan accompanied by the father of his aide, Mr Nandan Singh, and another person came to him and threatened him to withdraw the case against his former aide. He has alleged that Mr Satish Mohan asked for a bribe of Rs 50,000,. and he paid Rs 20,000 to the cop.

He says he later approached the police, but no action was taken against Mr Satish Mohan. 



Award for milk plant

Chandigarh, May 10
Appreciating the performance of Milk Plant, Mohali in productivity enhancement, the National Productivity Council has awarded National Productivity Award to the plant.

The award was presented by the Union Minister of Agriculture, Mr Sharad Pawar to its Managing Director, Mr Vikas Pratap, in New Delhi today. The milk plant has bagged the award for the third time. TNS


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