C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Officer, wife, sister cremated"
Elder son fails to turn up at funeral
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu

Chandigarh, February 9
The mortal remains of Gp Capt T.P. Singh (retired), his wife Shibani and sister Ajit Kaur were consigned to flames at the Sector 25 cremation ground this evening with a large number of family members, colleagues and students of the deceased paying homage to the slain victims.

Aman, the younger son of couple, lit the pyre. The elder son, Pawandeep, was absent.

The Chandigarh Police has obtained vital clues that could lead to solving this triple-murder, case. Important leads were established after the police reconstructed the crime scene with the help of forensic experts.

Police sources said they were “putting the pieces of puzzle together”, but they would eliminate various theories one by one over the next few days. Without commenting on the possibility of the involvement of a close relative, the police said they would be in a position to comment only after they had recorded the statement of the elder son, Pawandeep, who was yet to arrive in the city.

Asked about the whereabouts of Pawandeep, the police officials said they had failed to contact him, despite repeated attempts. They said Pawandeep was aware of the murder as he had spoken to a senior police official on the phone yesterday who had asked him to come to Chandigarh.

Pawandeep, who is reportedly working in a Gurgaon-based call centre and was reported to be in Assam yesterday, was neither present at the cremation, nor did he contact any family member through the day.

Another senior police officer said on condition of anonymity that they did not consider Pawandeep’s behaviour normal.

“Eversince he was informed about the tragedy, he has been telling the police that he is on his way to Chandigarh from Assam”, he said.

Earlier in the day, the police handed over the bodies to the family members after post-mortem. Sources said Gp Capt T.P. Singh was shot while his wife Shibani’s throat was slit. His sister Ajit Kaur was bludgeoned to death with a heavy object.

When contacted, the Senior Superintendent of the UT Police (SSP), Mr Gaurav Yadav, said there was no fresh development in the case and the police was working on several theories simultaneously, robbery being one of them.

He said the police had picked vital clues from the spot, like blood samples and hair from the hands of one of the victim, which would be sent for DNA and other examination.

He also said the viscera had been sent for examination.

The police indicated that its task had become easier as forensic experts were able to collect blood samples of the assassin. A senior police said the police was verifying the records of suspected persons and was cross-checking information gathered from various sources.

The police was also questioning Ajay, servant of the family, who had now altered his statement given to the police earlier.

Blood stains may provide vital clues

A reconstruction of the events leading to the triple murder in Sector 34, has strongly indicated that a scuffle took place between the assailant(s) and Ms Shibani Singh, one of the victims.

The assailant(s) after gaining entry to the house, first killed the Group Captain, then his wife followed by his elder sister. The fact that the victims were killed one after another indicates to a lesser number of assailants being present at the scene of crime, said a forensic expert.

A close examination of the scene of crime by forensic experts has revealed that the wife of the retired Group Captain had tried to physically challenge the advances of the murderer(s). She apparently threw a flower vase at the assailant(s).

In the scuffle, the assailant(s) also pulled the hair of Shibani Singh. Other circumstantial evidence also indicates that she gave maximum resistance to the assailants.

Three gunshots were fired from the weapon used by the assailant. Two gunshots were found in the body of the Group Captain. The shots were fired at his back. This shows that he had tried to escape when the gun was pointed at him.

Ajit Kaur, the third victim, was hit on the head which indicates that she was caught unawares. Three different knives were used to slit the throat and stab the Group Captain and his wife.

The presence of blood stains belonging to four different persons would give vital clues to the police if some family member was behind the crime.

From the scene of crime, the police has recovered one cartridge while two cartridges were found from the body of the Group Captain. — TNS

Students pay tributes

Still in a state of shock after the brutal murder of Shibani Singh, students, teachers and staff of Bhavan Vidyalaya today paid tributes to her at the Sector 25 cremation ground.

A popular teacher of English among the students, Shibani had been teaching at the school for the past 12 years. Even former students were present at the cremation.

Ms Menakshi Mohindra, Principal, said Shibani was teaching higher classes. She said Shibani was mentally upset over something but never confided in anybody. — TNS



Police rescues 51 “bonded” labourers on HC orders
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Lalru, February 9
On the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the police today rescued 51 persons, including children and women, allegedly being held as “bonded labour” at a brickkiln in Bassi village, near here.

Led by the local SHO, Mr Nachhatar Singh Bhullar, a police party raided the brickkiln and rescued the persons, who had allegedly been held “captive” at the brickkiln since December 11 last year.

As many as 30 children and 11 women were among those rescued by the police team, which was accompanied by the complainant, Naushad, a resident of Navada village in Muzaffarnagar district in UP, his counsel, Mr Diwan Chand, an advocate of the high court, and Mr B.K. Giri, an advocate from Meerut.

Naushad had moved the high court through Mr Diwan Chand, alleging that the persons were being held as “bonded labour”. Certain children, who had taken ill, were living in sub-human conditions and they were not being given money to buy even medicines, he had alleged.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, the victims alleged that they were brought to the brickkiln on December 11 by a contractor, Naseer. “Since the past several weeks, we have been having difficulty in making both ends meet as the contractor disappeared leaving us in the lurch,” Thakir (75) and Musharraf (30) alleged. Two women, Sanjita and Samo, alleged that they had been living at the mercy of the villagers for meeting their daily needs.

Ilyas Ali (50) alleged that the contractor had lured them by promising regular payments. “However, once at the brickkiln, we were confined to sub-human conditions and a close watch was kept on us,” he said.

However, the brickkiln owner, Mr Ravi Kumar, claimed that Rs 1.10 lakh was given as advance to Naseer to arrange for the labour. An amount of Rs 88,000 had also been paid to the labour at different points of time, despite the fact that their “output was much less than agreed upon with the contractor”. The victims alleged that Naseer did not pay them at all. Meanwhile, it is learnt, the problems of the victims compounded when Naseer, who allegedly has a criminal record, was involved in a case back in UP. He is now reportedly lodged in a UP jail.



UT plans to house 18 lakh residents by 2021
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 9
The Chandigarh Administration is planning to house at least 18 lakh persons in and around the city by 2021. A draft proposal on ‘‘Chandigarh Perspective: 2021’’ with regard to housing for the population growth awaits a formal clearance of Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), the Governor of Punjab and the UT Administrator, sources said.

The expected ‘‘massive’’ population jump from the current approximately 11 lakh has been charted in the plan corresponding to different zones in the city with a clear vision to ensure compliance with the corresponding greenbelt cover. The figures worked out under the draft plan show a corresponding increase in the density of population which has different figures for the northern and the southern sectors.

The Phase I of the city covering Sectors 1 to 30 showed a population of 2.5 lakh in 2001. The projected figure in 2021 is between 3.5 to 3.75 lakh. A senior official of the Urban Planning Department said the density of population in these sectors was about 35 per acre which was far lesser than the total average of the city because here plots were very big in size, some measuring two to four kanals. With permission for the apartments, a two kanal house will be able to have six dwelling units.

The phase II of the city covering Sectors 30 to 47 had a population of about 2.7 lakh in 2001. The units have increased under the new ‘Apartment rules’ and the projected figure in 2021 is four to four and a half lakh. The existing density is about 65 persons per acre.

Phase III of the city covers Sectors 48 to 56, including parts of Sectors 61, 62 and 63. The zone has several group housing schemes and has a density of 140 which is the highest in the city. Against the population of about 88,000 in 2001, the city expects to have population of about 2.75 lakh by 2021. Manimajra expects an increase of over one lakh and increase of more than one lakh is expected in the UT villages.

The official said ‘‘there was a major scope of building residential apartments in the northern sectors, the Phase III and Manimajra areas. A careful planning needs to be carried out in Phase II particularly with regard to saving the green cover area and space for parking as the number of vehicles was expected to increase corresponding to the population growth. 



Drugs based on antibodies to be safer: Prof Talwar
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 9
The country's renowned bio-chemist and drug discoverer, Prof G P Talwar, today exhorted scientists to focus on anti-bodies as agents of therapy rather than just being agents of diagnosis.

Prop Tawlar was delivering the key note address at the inauguration of the two-day symposium on "Emerging Trends in Biochemistry" organised by the Department of Biochemistry Panjab University, here today.

Stating that high affinity mono-clonal antibodies by virtue of their property bind uniquely with their

target ligand, sparing other tissues, Prof Talwar pointed out that these were the safest drugs for therapy devoid of any side reactions.

Talking to The Tribune after the inaugural session Prof Talwar, who is the Director of the Talwar Research Foundation, New Delhi, said his centre was working on three such antibodies.

"I have publically discussed one such antibody which should lead to more effective cure to cancer than chemotherapy. This is the antibody that reacts with the HCG-the growth harmone that is released in the body of the woman after she conceives. However, HCG is also released in cases of terminal cancer among men and women. We are working on humanising this antibody, after which it would be expressed using plants. We also realised during the course of our research that plants are very faithful agents through which humananised antibodies can be expressed. Attached to a radio isotope this antibody can be used against HCG and held curing cancer even when it is in an advanced stage," he said.

Stating that the duration between discovering a drug and finding it in the market varies a lot, Prof Talwar said nothing could be said when this anti-cancer drug based would be in the market.

Known the world over for his contribution towards the discovery of the birth control pill for women, Prof Talwar said drugs based on antibodies would be much safer. "Because of high specificity, the antibody would attack only the cancerous cell unlike traditional chemotherapy which has widespread harmful affects on the general health of the patient," he said

Inaugurating the symposium Dr A.R. Kidwai, Governor of Haryana said India had a natural advantage for biochemical genomic studies because of the immense diversity among its population.

A drug developed by Prof GP Talwar- Praneem- being produced by Panaca Biotec, Lalru, would be in the market within the next two years. "This poly herbal drug is cure for a wide range of reproductive tract infections that every third woman suffers from. My claim is that Praneem also has a cure for HIV, AIDS," said Prof Talwar adding, that trials were also on abroad to study the effect of Praneem on patients suffering from AIDS.



Need to understand mindset of Punjabis
on both sides, says Pak expert
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 9
“Do not enter into a ‘love marriage’ of two Punjabs without understanding the mindset of Punjabis on either side of the Indo-Pakistan border”, cautioned Mr Tahir Malik, Group Co-ordinator of the Pakistani delegation at a seminar on “Developments in Pakistan Punjab”, organised at the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development here today.

Mr Malik was speaking on the mindset of Pakistan Punjab’s journalists. He said post-1947 the mindset of the Punjabi in Pakistan was anti-India as it was he, who had suffered the greatest damage and seen the carnage of Partition. The issue of sharing rivers waters and its control had left an even deeper scar on the thought process of the Punjabi in Pakistan.

India, he said, was a big country and should have treated Pakistan with respect after Partition. He said both the countries were at crucial juncture and this opportunity of history should not be missed. Time that has gone past has gone, it cannot be reversed.

His colleague, Mr Jalil. H. Akhtar, made another important point. He said: “So far peace is our final destination. It has to become a habit for both countries to live peacefully. He said the time was for economic sharing.

Mr H.K. Dua, Editor-in-Chief of the Tribune group of newspapers, who chaired the session, said: “I would be cautious in my approach as there were enough people on both sides of the border, who could scuttle the peace process”.

There is no choice but to have peace. Mr Dua said people of both the countries were ignorant of each other as there was no information being exchanged through newspapers. He opined: “I do not see what security threat can a newspaper pose to either India or Pakistan”. Mr Dua, who plays an active role in the South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA), once again championed the cause of posting more and more Indian correspondents to Pakistan and vice versa.

Earlier, in the morning during the presentation on cultural exchanges between two Punjabs, Mr Nadeem Mizra suggested that there had to be a provision of free travel pass to move across two Punjabs divided across the Radcliffe Line. He reminded the audience that language was the strongest bond between the people. Folk tales, drama, poetry and music of both the Punjabs were common.

Among others, this session was also attended by Gen V.P. Malik (retd), who led the Indian forces during the Kargil war. General Malik said things were moving in the right direction and setting up industry in the border belt would provide for economic security that could prevent war. Economic goals stand a better chance than military might, said the General.

Mr Omer Farooq Mannan listed what could be shared between farmers of both the Punjabs to improve upon the existing conditions. The possibility of religious tourism to Sikh shrines and Hindu temples in Pakistan was presented by Mr Khalid Pervez.



‘Media also must be under scanner’
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 9
The SAS Institute of Information Technology and Research organised a symposium on “Right to Information Act: good governance and Indian Democracy” here today.

Prof Veer Singh, DUI, Panjab University, emphasised that the government was a service institution and state functionaries were public trustees. The right to Information Act ensured that citizens could not be taken for a ride.

“We have many institutions for good governance - public interest litigation, media intervention and now through the people interrogating functionaries,” he said.

Mr P.H. Vaishnav, former, Chief Secretary, Government of Punjab, said the Right to information Act must be used intelligently. This Act provided the right to the public to know as to what was happening to them by actions of service providers. He also questioned the areas excluded from this Act.

Mr Kanwar Sandhu, Resident Editor, Hindustan Times said successive regimes had failed to live up to the ideals of democracy, which led to an increase in demand for passing of the Right to Information Act.

He suggested that Jammu and Kashmir should be included in the purview of this Act since democracy was not for the best of times, but also for the worst of times.

He proposed the inclusion of media also under a public scanner through this Act or through an ombudsman.

Mr Bir Devinder Singh, MLA, Kharar said parliamentary democracy in India was on the verge of collapse. It was high time that legislative business was regulated.

Mr Satyapal Jain, former MP, Chandigarh, stressed that in a democratic society, people had enough powers. Only they had to learn how to exercise these efficiently and effectively. The Right to Information Act could help on this count.

As many as 11 university merit holders of the institute were awarded cash prizes of Rs 5000 each by the dignitaries. Dr J.S. Dhaliwal, chairman, of the institute, proposed a vote of thanks.



‘Relatives’ demand Lovely’s body for cremation
Our Correspondent

Kharar, February 9
The body of Manjinder Singh Lovely, who was killed in a mishap in Balongi village yesterday, was cremated today, even as some women claiming to be relatives of the deceased wanted the body to be handed over to them.

It is learnt that some women reached Balongi village and reportedly approached the family of Mr Tarlochan Singh, president of the gurdwara in the village, to hand over the body to them for cremation.

They tried to put a lock on the house owned by the deceased on the ground that the property belonged to Manjinder Singh, who was related to them.

The residents of the village questioned the women on their claims. The police also reached the village.

The deceased was looked after for the past about 15 years by Mr Tarlochan Singh, who had got a house constructed for Manjinder Singh.

Mr Tarlochan Singh, who was shattered after the death of Manjinder Singh, was admitted to Cheema Medical Complex in Mohali.

Manjinder Singh was killed when a dome of the gurdwara fell while carrying out demolition work.

The police has initiated proceedings under Section 174 of the CrPC.



85-yr-old found drowned in tank
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 9
Bogged down by illness, an 85-year-old woman was found drowned in a water tank in her Sector 24 residence in the wee hours today.

Giving details of the incident, the police said Batuli Devi was found drowned in the water tank by her daughter-in-law at 6.30 am. The police has initiated inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Code in this regard.



Kang seeks NAC status for Nayagaon
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 9
A deputation of Guru Nanak Nagar Welfare Society and other prominent residents of Nayagaon -Karoran area led by Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, M.L.A., Morinda, called on Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, and apprised him about unplanned development and growth in Nayagaon area and lack of facilities like pucca streets, sewerage, street lights, scarcity of drinking water and other amenities.

Mr Kang pointed out that the only way to the vexed problem was establishment of an NAC at the earliest, which was stayed by the High Court earlier, but now the stay had been vacated.

The Chief Minister assured the deputation that he was seized of the matter and would soon call a meeting of Forest, Revenue, Local Bodies and Rural development departments to resolve the issue.



Former Tribune employee dead
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 9
Samuel Banjiman Dean, father of Rajiv Dean, a messenger with The Tribune, died here today after a brief illness. He was 58.

A former shift in charge in the Rotary Section of The Tribune, Samuel had taken voluntary retirement from service a few years back. He is survived by two sons and one daughter.

His funeral procession will start from 3132, Tribune Colony, Sector 29-D, at 1 p.m. tomorrow.



Case of bid to commit unnatural act:
bail granted to scientist
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 9
The Additional District and Sessions Judge, Mr R.S.Baswana, today granted bail to the CFSL scientist, Dr Paul Ramesh, who had been accused of trying to commit unnatural sexual act with five youth at different times. Earlier, he was sent to judicial custody.

The victims had been sent to the CFSL for a lie-detector test by the crime branch of the police. The counsel for the scientist said his bail application would come up for hearing before the Magistrate tomorrow.

After being produced before the Magistrate, the counsel for the scientist stated that he was being framed up by the police. The public prosecutor, however, opposed the bail on the plea that after being granted bail, the scientist could tamper with the investigations and could influence the victims.

Judicial remand

A Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) here today sent an accused in case of theft, Sanjay Garg, a resident of H.no 406, Sector 30, to judicial remand. The youth was arrested by the Chandigarh Police in connection with theft of goods worth over Rs 12 lakh from a shop in Iron Market in Sector 29 here on February 1.

The accused, who is the son of Devi Chand, owner of Chandigarh Iron Store, Sector 29, had along with Bharpur Singh, Harpreet and Jaspreet and removed the goods from Venod Cement Company, Iron Market, to show that the show was not in occupation of Mr I.C.Aggarwal.

The police had registered a case under Section 452, 457, 380 and 120 B of the IPC against four youth. While three of the youth had been arrested few days back, Sanjay Garg was arrested yesterday.



Man run over by auto
Tribune News Service

Lalru, February 9
Gian Singh, a Class IV employee of the Haryana Police and a resident of Magra village, near here, died after being hit by an auto here today.

According to information, Gian had got down from a bus when he was hit by an auto. The auto was impounded and its driver, Kuldip Kumar, arrested. A case has been registered.


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