C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


3 of family done to death in Sector 34
Chandigarh Police clueless; servant taken into custody
Our Correspondent

Ajay a servant being taken into police custody for interrogation
Ajay a servant being taken into police custody for interrogation. — Tribune photo by Vinay Malik

Chandigarh, February 7
The bodies of retired Gp Capt T.P. Singh, his wife and sister were found at their residence in Sector 34 here this evening. The police called it a “case of bizarre blind murder”.

Two of the bodies bore injury marks from stabbing. The Group Captain was shot twice. The third bullet mark was found on a wall. The police believes that he was shot while trying to escape. His body was found near the main door of the house.

The other two bodies were found from another room of the house with throats slit.

The murder was detected in the evening although the servant and the neighbours reportedly heard cries from within the walls of the house last night, which was locked from outside.

The Group Captain is survived by two sons working in private companies at Gurgaon and Hyderabad. His son in Hyderabad was informed about the incident. The officer had collected his elder sister from the railway station last evening at around 9.30 pm. They had dined together.

A police officer said robbery did not seem to be the motive of the assailants. The gold necklaces on the bodies were untouched. The murderers could be known to the family, the police said the house was locked from outside after the crime. The murderers escaped in the officers Maruti Zen (CH-03-R-0970).

The Group Captain, his wife Shibani and his sister were lying in a pool of blood when the police broke open the door lock this evening and entered the building. Ajay, a servant, was in the house during the episode. However, he claimed that he did not have any inkling about the crime. He said he had retired for the night at 11 p.m. on Monday.

“I heard loud cries late during the night. I thought Shibani madam was not well. I tried to come down from my room on the first floor but the door was locked from outside. When it was not opened even in the morning, I thought the family had gone out as I did not see the car either. I had heard the car engine start during the night.

The body of the retired officer was near the door opened by the police. The head had injury marks. The body of his wife was found near the dining table and his sister’s body in a bedroom.

There were reports of certain local residents visiting the house during the day. At about 8 a.m., a colleague of Ms Shibani, a schoolteacher in Bhavan Vidyalaya, Sector 27, came to the house. She was told by the servant from his first-floor room: “I have no information about the family as I have not seen anyone since morning” She went back.

Later, another neighbour asked him why he was still in his room. He replied that nobody had come for him. The neighbour asked him to come through another way and have breakfast.

After the meal, he went back to his room and remained there till a client of the Group Captain came to the house.

The client, Mr Pankaj Behal, phoned the police after he failed to get an answer on Mr T.P. Singh’s two mobile phone sets. A police officer came there after a while and was about to go when an onlooker peeped through a window and saw a body lying on the floor.

He informed the cops present on the spot, who did not look interested. The Senior Superintendent of Police was contacted on the phone who asked his men to swing into action.

The police entered the house at about 7.30 p.m. when DSP (South) KIP Singh reached the spot. Subsequently, Mr Satish Chandra, IGP, and Mr Gaurav Yadav, SSP, also reached there.

The police has rounded up the servant after neighbours expressed doubts over his behaviour.

“How could he have been unaware of the three shots fired in the still of the night when he was there at the time of the crime”, they asked.



SCO site goes for a whopping Rs 3.2 crore
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 7
History was created today when commercial sites offered by the Punjab Small Industries Export Corporation (PSIEC) here fetched prices which broke all known records in the township.

A shop-cum-office site of size 16'6''X 66' in IT City Phase VIII B, Industrial Area, fetched PSIEC Rs 3.20 crore, the highest ever amount that an SCO has been sold for in Mohali. The site has been bought by a Chandigarh based jeweller.

The other SCOs in the same pocket were sold for Rs 2.85 crore and Rs 2.26 crore each. These sites were bought by a doctor based in Delhi and an IT company from Noida, respectively. The coveted sites adjacent to Quark City and Dell sold like hot cakes for much more than their reserved price of Rs 1.25 crore each. The two booths sites each sized 8'3'' X 24'9'' were reserved at Rs 25 lakh each but sold for almost Rs 40 lakh each.

During the last PSIEC auctions on September 12, 2005 the corporation had collected over Rs 10 crore by auctioning 11 commercial sites in the same area while today’s auction of three SCOs and two booths fetched PSIEC over Rs 9 crore. Then, an SCO had been reserved at Rs 62.5 lakh but was sold for Rs 1.5 crore, the highest bid of the day. Today auctions registered a hike of over 150 per cent in commercial property rates in less than six months.

Similarly, today’s auctions beat the prices fetched by PUDA during the auction of its commercial sites in residential markets of the township held on September 20, 2005. PUDA’s SCF sites of the same size were reserved at Rs 73.4 lakh but were auctioned for about Rs 2 crore each.

More than 50 business houses from Delhi, Chandigarh and Mohali participated in the auctions held at the MIA Bhawan here. PSIEC officials added that these commercial sites were part of the IT city plan laid out for Industrial Area Phases VIII A and B.



Big players eye multi-storeyed project
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
Several big players have evinced interest in the 11-storey building which is proposed to come up in Sector 17, next to the General Post Office (GPO).

The response was witnessed during a pre-bid conference organised by the UT Estate Office here today. Various queries of the interested parties were clarified on the spot.

The main players who participated in the pre-bid conference were DLF, Omaxe, Vascom, Reliance Mega Project and Uppals.

As part of the city plan, most of the commercial buildings are four storeyed and six storey development is already there along Jan Marg and Himalaya Path. The 11 storeyed tower in Sector 17 has been planned on the intersection of two main axis of the central plazas. It would comprise of an 11-storeyed main block and double-storeyed adjacent blocks.

The UT Estate Officer, Mr R.K. Rao, said the total plot area for the building was 1.54 acre. The total covered area of the building was around 4,42,310 sq feet and that of the double-storeyed block was about 54,000 sq feet.

In addition to this, the basement area of around 1,20,000 sq feet in two levels has also been envisaged under both the blocks. Mr Rao said the design of the building would be state-of-art and would have all modern amenities.

The pre-qualification bid would close on February 14 and the bid documents would have to be submitted by February 16. The property would be given on a lease at a rate of 2 per cent of the financial bid payable to the Estate Officer for a period of 33 years, extendable by another two terms.

The pre-qualification would be carried out by a committee constituted by the Chandigarh Administration. The pre-qualified developers would be allowed to participate in the subsequent process of biding which include the submission of design bids and financial bids. Those who clear the design bid would be able to participate in the financial bid.



Tehelka prosecutor alleges interference
by senior officer in posting

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
Prosecutor in the Tehelka court martial cases, Lt-Col Sanjay Sitanshu, today alleged interference by a senior officer, believed to be a lieutenant-general, in diverting his posting from Kota to Agra.

In an affidavit filed in the Punjab and Haryana High Court today, Colonel Sitanshu stated diversion of his posting confirmed that interested persons were behind the move.

He alleged that the very fact that an officer not qualified to work on radar equipment repaired at the Army workshop in Kota was being posted there instead of him, indicated personal vendetta.

The officer said when he approached the Military Secretary's Branch at Army Headquarters, he was initially informed that his posting was diverted because of a demi-official letter received from the said senior officer, but later he was given flimsy excuses.

Earlier, the officer had filed a writ in the High Court, alleging that he was being victimised as he refused to help the accused during the Tehelka trials despite being allured repeatedly to do the same.

He added that he was threatened with dire consequences and later his citation for the Vishisht Seva Medal was also held up.

Further, his request for an interview with the Chief of Army Staff was denied and his application for permanent secondment to the Directorate-General, Quality Assurance, was also not forwarded. All these events, he contended, confirmed mala fide.

Following the courts directions on the petition, Colonel Sitanshu today named LT-Gen S. Walia, Brig S S Gill and Lt-Col V.P. Sayal, all retired, persons behind the alleged allurements and threats.

Meanwhile, sources said the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Command, has directed the Administration Branch at Command Headquarters to brief him on the whole issue.



UT restrained from dispossessing
land owners in Mauli Jagran
High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 7
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today restrained the UT Administration from dispossessing owners of a poultry farm at Mauli Jagran from their land, which has been acquired for the construction of a new road from UT to Panchkula. The order could hit the plan to construct an alternative route to Panchkula.

In their petition, Mr Jyoti Subramanium and Mr Jujhar Singh, owners of Dale Poultry Farm, Mauli Jagran, had challenged the urgency invoked by the UT Administration for acquiring their land for the new route. Emergency provisions had been invoked by the UT Administration for acquiring the land.

Saying that the stated public purpose — construction of 7-km Panchkula-Chandigarh route number 2 to avoid decongestion of traffic — was not such to warrant invoking of emergency provisions, the petitioners have contended that the act was not in good faith and was malafide.

Today, their counsels, Ashok Aggarwal and Amar Vivek, told the court that the UT move was only aimed at not allowing the petitioners to file objections to the acquisition. They told the Bench of Mr Justice J.S. Narang and Mrs Justice Kiran Anand Lall that the petitioners had proposed a definite, categorical, practical, viable and cheaper alternative to their land, but the same had not been even considered by the respondents.

After hearing their counsel, the Bench also issued notice to the respondents for July 17.



Farmers protest against PUDA's urban estate
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, February 7
Members of the Kisan Hit Bachao Committee today organised a rally at Singhpura, near here, against the acquisition of land by the Punjab Urban Development Authority (PUDA) for the development of an urban estate here.

Addressing the gathering, various speakers alleged that in acquiring land for the urban estate at cheap rates, PUDA was behaving like a "property dealer". Even in the acquisition of land for the proposed urban estate, the authority was adopting a "pick-and-choose" policy and exempting lands of certain influential persons.

Capt Kanwaljit Singh, general secretary of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the local MLA, threatened that the party would disrupt the coming Punjab Assembly session starting February 20 if the proposed urban estate was not scrapped. Even if the farmers' land was to be acquired, it should be acquired at market rates, he demanded.

However, Mr Balwant Singh, secretary of the Punjab unit of the CPM, called upon the people to form an "all-party front" to fight the "anti-farmer" policies of the Punjab Government and PUDA. However, there seemed to be not many takers for CPM's proposal at the rally, largely seen as a "SAD show". The Congress leaders were also conspicuous by their absence.

Calling upon the people to intensify the agitation against the urban estate, the president of the local Nagar Panchayat, Mr Narinder Sharma, demanded the inclusion of the three villages — Singhpura, Ramgarh Bhudda and Nagla — in the nagar panchayat.



Encroachments removed in Kishangarh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
The UT Estate Office today demolished a farmhouse which had been constructed by a former Sarpanch of Kishangarh village, Mr Prem Singh, on the outskirts of the village.

Officials of the Estate Office said 33 acres had been cleared of different type of encroachments. The demolished structure included nine rooms. Though the land had been acquired for the IT Park in 2004, the owner of the land had moved lower court that granted him stay.

But after the stay was vacated by the Punjab and Haryana High Court recently, the Estate Office carried out the demolition drive.



Admn fixes Rs 12 per km for new taxi service
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
Chandigarh Administration has decided to charge Rs 12 per km from the customers for using the services of the local taxi service set to commence shortly in the city. The Administration will charge a meter down payment of Rs 15 on the commencement of journey, sources in the administration said.

In a meeting held with the tour operators today, a comparison was made with the existing rates of the cab services at other places. “In Delhi the cabs charge Rs 15 per km. It was pointed out to the service providers that in the initial phase the rates need to be kept a little on the lower side to make it popular. One of the providers demanding a higher price said rate in Delhi was Rs 15 for the cabs which ran on CNG fuel which cost a lot less than normal petrol.”

Another cab service provider said the rates were Rs 16 per km in Goa. It was decided that in order to make the service more popular among the tourists and residents of the city, the Administration should start with lesser rates which could later be revised.

The Administration has decided to pick services of the Hertz, Mega Cab and Travel House, all Delhi-based companies and Indus Travels and Logistics, a Mohali-based company. The tour operators have been given a maximum time period of 60 days to commence the service on the city roads.

Sources said the operators have been given two months time to make the purchases of “new cars only for the service and the make should not be less than 999 cc or three-box sedan cars”. Cars in this category include Maruti Esteem, Ford Icon, Hyundai and Opel Corsa, besides certain others.

The Administration has decided that the service can be availed of through mobile calls too. “We plan to have a four-digit number for the service which we shall work out with the mobile services. Customer can call the number which will subsequently call up the taxis to reach a specific place”.

The service providers have been asked to have a fleet of at least 50 cabs each. The meters will be installed inside the cabs for easier visibility of the customers. All cabs will be white with the word taxi prominently printed on the sides and also for easy identity from the front even during night.

It has also been decided that all drivers would be dressed in proper uniform and would carry proper identity cards.



Bitta’s house issue referred to Secy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
The UT Estate Office has referred the case of alleged unauthorised occupation of government accommodation by Mr M.S. Bitta, to the Secretary, House Allotment Committee. The issue had been raised by the President of Federation of Lawyers against Corruption, Mr Arvind Thakur.

The houses allotted under the UT pool, the UT Administration charges house rent under the Punjab Land Revenue Act, 1887. Mr Bitta, President of the All-India Anti Terrorist Front, had been allotted the house no 77, Sector 7.

The UT Estate office in the communication to Mr Thakur said the concerned department would calculate the recoverable amount and declare the amount as land revenue. Mr Thakur had alleged that house rent had not been taken from Mr Bitta.



Stray dog bites 12 children
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 7
The Kharar MLA, the local SDM, doctors from the Civil Hospital, and a team of officials from the Veterinary Department today visited Mataur village after several children were bitten by a stray dog suspected to be suffering from rabies here yesterday.

The SDM, Mr M.L. Sharma, said he had directed the SMO of the Civil Hospital to prepare a list of children who were bitten by the stray dog and also to administer the required vaccination to the affected children. He said funds in this regard would be provided by the District Red Cross Society.

Dr Jai Singh, SMO in charge of the Civil Hospital, said 12-affected children were given anti rabies vaccine. The doctor in charge of the dispensary in the village had been handed over the complete vaccination course to be administered from time to time.

Dr Ram Singh, Deputy Director, Department of Animal Husbandry, Punjab, who visited the village along with doctors and pharmacists, said 16 dogs and one buffalo were also bitten by the stray dog. The affected animals were given vaccination against rabies and the course would be completed in due course of time.



Residents asked to donate books
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
The Regional Resource Centre, Panjab University, has solicited support from residents of Chandigarh and Punjab to donate books on community related issues in the form of textbooks, readers, magazines in Hindi and Punjabi for adult migratory population residing in slums and for other community members for use in their respective rural libraries and to inculcate reading habits for a learned society.

The RRC is involved in providing academic and technical support to the Adult Literacy Programme in the UT and Punjab.

The books may be personally delivered or mailed to reach the Director, Regional Resource Centre for Adult and Continuing Education, Panjab University, for categorisation and onward distribution and utilisation in the fieled. The desirous persons may contact Dr Manjeet Paintal, Director, RRC in this regard.



‘Moneygram Yatra’ flagged off
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 7
‘Moneygram Yatra’ was flagged off from Phase V here today. The yatra will cover a total distance of 3882 km in 30 days.

The 15-member team of participants will visit 12 cities, including Chandigarh, Patiala, Nawanshahr, Ludhiana, Moga, Hoshiarpur, Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Batala, Jalandhar, Kapurthala and Phagwara and 65 villages in Punjab to promote awareness regarding money transfer service.

The money transfer agent locations in Punjab make it safe, fast and easy for people of Punjab to receive money from their family members living in the USA, Canada, UK, Greece, the UAE, or from any other location in 170 countries.



CPI to protest against water, sewerage charges
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 7
The local city committee of the Communist Party of India will be organising a protest against the hike in water and sewerage charges outside the office of the Municipal Council on February 10.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the unit held here today under the presidentship of Mr Sanjay Gavera.

Condemning the government for the hike, Mr Baldev Singh Jhajj, secretary, said a dharna would be organised and a memorandum of demands would be presented to the department of Local Government, Punjab. He said the hike was totally unjustified as it had put an unnecessary financial burden on the residents of the town. He appealed to the residents of the town to take part in the dharna.



Demand for help to kin of ’67 aircrash victims
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 7
The All-India Defence Brotherhood (AIDB) has demanded that help should be provided to family members of defence personnel killed in an aircrash in 1967.

The AIDB lamented that the authorities concerned had failed to retrieve the defence personnel who had boarded an AN 12 aircraft of the Indian Air Force bound for Leh that got crashed on February 7, 1967.



Ghee samples collected
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 7
The district health authorities collected samples of ghee from a shop in Shahimajra village here today.

The officials raided a kiryana shop and took samples. An employee of the shop was also rounded up for questioning.

It is learnt that the office of the Civil Surgeon had received complaints that some shopkeepers were selling spurious quality ghee as Verka ghee.



Utter callousness on part of cops
Woman’s mysterious death
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu

Chandigarh, February 7
In a classic case of callousness, two days after the death of a woman both the Delhi and the Chandigarh Police have failed to take note of the unnatural death and also failed to register a case due to dispute over jurisdiction.

Poonam, a Delhi housewife, died in a city hospital two days back but despite being informed the Delhi Police allegedly did not notice the case. The Chandigarh Police, too, did not make any efforts for getting the dying declaration of the victim recorded though she remained on her death bed for almost three weeks.

The concerned Station House Officer (SHO) of the Delhi Police told Chandigarh Tribune over the phone that the Chandigarh Police should have proceeded in the matter. On the contrary, the Chandigarh Police maintained that the matter pertains to the jurisdiction of the Delhi Police as alleged “sexual abuse” took place there. A representative of the Delhi police today arrived in the city and the Chandigarh Police has handed over the documents pertaining to this case, including the statements recorded by victim’s family members to him.

Nineteen-year-old Poonam had died under mysterious circumstances in the Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) on Saturday. Her family members had alleged that Pooman’s husband had subjected her to “sexual abuse” which ultimately led to her death. She was admitted to the GMCH on January 16 after she was referred by a private hospital in Patiala, from where she was taking treatment earlier.

Alleging inaction on the part of the Delhi Police, the victim’s family had claimed that despite the fact they had brought the matter to their notice on January 20, the Delhi Police failed to proceed in this matter. Meanwhile, Poonam died on February 4 and the Chandigarh Police handed over her body to the family members after the post-mortem examination on Monday. The Chandigarh Police has also recorded the statements of victim’s family members. Mr Manjit Singh, the victim’s husband, had, however, refuted the allegations and maintained that his wife was suffering from “piles’ and that they had been getting her treated at Delhi.

When asked about the delay in police’s action the Station House Officer (SHO) of Gandhi Nagar police station, Delhi, Inspector Rameshwar Singh said, “There is no question of delay as we have not received any complaint in this regard. Moreover, if the woman dies in Chandigarh the local police should have proceeded in the matter. They can later transfer the case, even after registering an FIR, to the concerned police under which jurisdiction the crime took place.”

On the other hand the Chandigarh Police maintained that it was the case of Delhi Police and the local police has done its job. The Deputy Superintendent of Chandigarh Police (south), Inspector KIP Singh said: “We have got the post-mortem examination conducted and recorded the statements of the victim’s family. We have informed the Delhi Police about the incident and it was their duty to investigate the matter.”

When asked about the delay in recording the victim’s dying declaration, he clarified that the police never expected that she would died.



Smack seized, two arrested

Chandigarh, February 7
The police has arrested two persons from various parts of the city and seized 440 grams of smack from their possession.

Sources in the police said a team of the operation cell had arrested Surinder Dass of Sector 19-C and seized 250 grams of smack from his possession. In another incident, Nishant of Mandi district was arrested from Sector 20 for possessing 190 grams of smack.

Cases under Section 20 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance Act have been registered.

Vehicles stolen: Ms Anita Ahuja of Sector 16 lodged a complaint that her Maruti car (CH-01-K-6807) was stolen from Sector 17 on Monday. In another incident, Mr Rajnish Kumar of Sector 22-B reported that his motor cycle (PB-30-C-2956) was stolen from Panjab University on Monday.

Gambling: The police arrested Mangat Ram of Dadumajra colony for gambling on Monday. The police recovered Rs 581 from his possession. A case under Gambling Act has been registered. OC



Orientation centre planned
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
Kaff, a kitchen appliances and built-in systems company, today announced the opening of an orientation centre in the city shortly as part of its marketing plan in Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.

The company has made an arrangement of 1500 square feet space separately in the markets of Sectors 35 and 22 where the entire gallery of kitchenware will be put on display, senior officials said at a press conference here today.


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |