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No regrets for killing parents: Pawandeep
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 16
Pawandeep Singh, the main suspect in the triple murder case, today confessed to have committed the heinous crime through two contract killers. Justifying his action by saying his parents deserved to die and with no regrets whatsoever visible on his face, the elder son of the retire group captain, T.P. Singh, and Shibani, however, “disapproved” of the brutal manned in which his mother and aunt were killed by the men he put on the job.

Pawandeep (29) was presented before the media here this evening after being brought to the city in the wee hours today. He was produced before a local court in the afternoon which remanded him in police custody till February 24.

Later in the evening he was produced before the mediapersons where he confessed to have hatched the conspiracy of the murder, but maintained that his two accomplices had killed his father T.P. Singh, mother Shibani and aunt Ajit Kaur during the night of February 6 and 7.

Pawandeep said, “I have no regrets of having conspired to kill them. I only regret the brutal manner in which they were done to death. I hired the killers and hatched the conspiracy to eliminate my parents, but I remained outside the house when they were being killed”.

Narrating the sequence of events, Pawandeep said that day he along with his accomplices, Anil Tyagi and Ravikant Tyagi, reached the city at around 12 in the night. It was around 12:30 am when they reached his parents residence in Sector 34. He rang the bell, but there was no response from inside following which he knocked at the window pane and his father replied.

On being assured that his son was outside, the retired officer opened the door. No sooner that the door was opened, he along with his accomplices swooped down on his father and in process Ravikant allegedly shot at his father trice from his 9 mm pistol.

Hearing the noises outside, his mother came out in the drawing room and then she was also overpowered by Anil and Ravikant. They stabbed her repeatedly to which Shibani fought back, but in vain and was killed. His aunt also met the similar fate and was bludgeoned to death with a heavy flower vase, said the DSP (South), K.I.P. Singh. Pawandeep claimed that he was outside the house when the victims were being done to death.

He said he had the information that his aunt too was in the house as he talked with his mother that day in the afternoon. He told the police that he had come with an intension of committing robbery as he was aware of the fact that his father disburses salaries on February 7 and there would be around Rs 3-4 lakh rupees at home. He had promised the killers to share the booty and also promised them to share his property of that would be bequeathed to him after the death of his parents.

Ruling out the involvement of his girlfriend Pearl in the crime, Pawandeep maintained that she was innocent and was not aware of what he had done. He added that her parents were nice persons and were shocked to learn the reality.

Terming his action as a result of utter madness and infuriation, he said he was responsible for what he did and was ready for any punishment. When asked about his criminal bent of mind as he was involved in criminal activates in the past, he held that he was not a professional criminal. “Had I be a professional killer, I would have not been traced by the police as there are scores of killers roaming freely in the country,” asserted Pawandeep.

The DSP when asked to comment on the revelation made by Pawandeep said his statements were subjected to verification. Being a hardcore person who killed his parents in cold blood, there was every possibility of transferring the crime to others, who were yet to be arrested. Things would only be cleared about his role after the other two accomplices were nabbed by the SIT.

He also added that Pawandeep asked his accomplices to assure before leaving that his mother had died. He asked them to slit her throat properly as she was looking at him when he entered the house. He also checked the pulse of his father before leaving the place.

Police remand till Feb 24

The Judicial Magistrate (First Class), Mr R.K. Bhankar, today remanded the main accused in the Sector 34 triple murder case, Pawandeep, in police custody till February 24. He was brought by a team of the Chandigarh Police from Nagaland.

Seeking a 14-day police remand, the public prosecutor maintained before the JMIC that the other two assailants in the crime were yet to be arrested and the weapon used in the crime and valuables stolen by the assailants were yet to be recovered. 

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Foeticide: nursing home sealed
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 16
Officials of the Health Department today sealed a portion of the Singla Maternity and General Hospital in Phase I here today for allegedly carrying out activities in violation of the MTP Act.

The hospital as well the doctor who terminated a pregnancy in violation of the MTP Act were booked. The labour room and the operating theatre complex were sealed.

A team of four doctors led by Dr Maninder Jit Singh, SMO in charge of the Civil Hospital, raided the hospital and gathered the necessary evidence before the Ropar Civil Surgeon, Dr Yash Pal Singla, reached the hospital.

Dr Singla said a female foetus, which was terminated, and the instruments used in this regard were seized by the raiding team. He said the hospital was not authorised to carry out activities under the Act.

Dr Singla said medical termination of pregnancy was allowed only in government hospitals or those private hospitals that had been given an approval  in this regard by the government.

The termination could be done only up to 20 weeks, but in this case, the doctor had terminated a 23-week old pregnancy. He said action would be taken against the hospital under the PNDT Act.

The Civil Surgeon said that a reward of Rs 5,000 would be given to persons who would help detect female foeticide cases. He said information in this regard could be secretly provided to him.

Dr S.L. Singla, owner of the hospital, said the patient came in pain and was bleeding. Efforts were made to save the life of the patient. He said it was a case of delivery and not termination of pregnancy. The baby died before delivery and the patient was suffering from low blood pressure.

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Values on the slide
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
A husband's murder being orchestrated by a wife, a triple murder by a son and a feud over land in a village that leaves two dead---three incidents might not be enough to constitute a trend but they are sure indicators of degenerating societal values.

And relationships are falling prey to lust for money while patience and tolerance is fast running out from lives of individuals and families. The phenomenon of immediate family members being involved in heinous crimes might have evolved gradually but is fast "catching on".

Says Prof. Promilla Vasudeva from Panjab University,"It all boils down to debasement of values. Individuals are becoming over-ambitious and aggressively competitive. All relations are being weighed in terms of monetary gains and rewards. Money has become everything to people who are beginning to believe it can buy anything and everything for them, set all wrongs right and get them places. The deeper sanctity for relations is non-existent."

While relationships become more superfluous and frivolous, children in small families are not being taught to take a "no" for anything, take failure gracefully and defeat in sportsman spirit. Everything revolves around succeeding by hook or by crook. Comments psychiatrist Dr Preeti Arun of the local Government Hospital, "Tolerance in society is at its lowest ebb. Be it traffic lights, shops, temples----people are just not willing to wait for anything. They want their work done at the drop of a hat. Society is no longer a close-knit unit and materialism has taken over in every walk of life. Money does all the talking in society."

"Even before a child spells out his desire, the parents are half way to the market. They are not learning to wait for the realisation of a desire. Growing up with this kind of feeling leads to restlessness when things don't go their way," adds Prof Vasudeva.

Sociologist Dr Rajesh Gill from Panjab University maintains,"The kind of bonding that existed among family members, extended families, villagers and individuals is a thing of the past. Money is emerging as the most important force and 'monetarisation' at every level is taking a toll on values. When a child grows up hearing that money is the be-all and end-all for existence, he begins to apply it to himself and tries every trick in the book to earn that money. Over time, it becomes a part of his personality and character."

Working parents unable to give enough time to the child, the breaking up of the joint family system, the over-emphasis on "Me" instead of "Us", the growing on-screen violence and the media's indulgence in blowing up violent issues are all, in their own way, contributing to vitiating minds, individuals and society. 

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Powers of Protector of Emigrants withdrawn
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
In future, those recruiting drivers for deployment in Gulf countries will have to seek the clearance of the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs. The powers of the Protector of Emigrants (POE) to give such a clearance have been withdrawn by the ministry.

The permission documents to work in any of the other Gulf countries will carry stamp of "Not valid for travel to Iraq". The orders have come following media reports about Indian workers being routed to Iraq, despite a ban.

Recently, The Tribune exposed a "driver's recruitment" scam in Chandigarh by a Delhi-based recruiting agent allegedly for the banned Kuwati Transport Company, KGL Ltd. A Delhi-based agent, Mr VK Sharma, had forged the demand letter of a Dubai-based company, Drake and Scull International, to attract the gullible candidates.

Investigations by The Tribune had revealed that to fulfil the demand of manpower of the foreign employer, a forged demand letter and Power of Attorney of Drake and Scull International was submitted to the Protector of Emigrants (POI) for clearance. The Dubai-based company, Drake and Scull International, has categorically denied that it was conducting any interviews in India and no demand letter had been given by it to anyone for this purpose. On the basis of the reports, the Chandigarh Police had registered a case against the travel agent.

Sources in the ministry disclosed that following the reports, the offices of the POE have been told not to grant any emigration for Iraq and in case of grant of emigration clearance to any of the Gulf countries, the permission would have to be sought from the ministry. 

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Plan for forest ring
Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 16
To increase the forest cover and discourage encroachments along the periphery of Chandigarh, the UT Administration is in the process of acquiring land for creating a green belt in the form of a “ring forest” around the city.

Talking to The Tribune on the sidelines of the state forest ministers conference in the Capital yesterday, UT Deputy Conservator of Forests Ishwar Singh said for establishing the “ring forest”, private land, measuring approximately 50 m in width would be acquired all along the periphery.

The whole exercise, he said, would take about two to three years.

Asserting that Chandigarh had already surpassed the Centre’s target of having 33 per cent of the total geographical area under forest and tree cover by achieving 35.7 per cent green cover, he said the UT Forest Department’s problem instead was acute shortage of staff that was now being magnified by a substantial increase in the forest cover and additional responsibilities.

In this connection, the administration also sent a proposal to the Ministry of Environment and Forests last month for creating additional posts, to which it is still awaiting a reply.

Considering that since 1990, no new posts have been added to the department, Mr Ishwar Singh said the administration had asked the MoEF to lift the ban on the creation of the posts of at least three range officers, seven forest guards and one deputy conservator of forests.

“Due to increase in the forest cover we are terribly understaffed. An added problem is that the department has also been entrusted with the task of tackling with the ever-increasing monkey menace in the city, which in the other cities is taken care of by bodies like municipal corporations. In the past few years cases of encroachments in forest areas have also increased,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Forest Research Institute, Dehra Dun, would be ready with a comprehensive wildlife management plan for the Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary and other reserve forests for next 10 years by March next year. Among other facilities, two nature interpretation centres would be established at Kansal Log Hut and Nepli Inspection Hut for educating visitors about flora and fauna under this plan.

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Forest officers’ workshop ends
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 16
The produce of medicinal plants coming from forest areas and cultivated land should be certified by some agency so as to ensure better marketing of those.

This was agreed upon by 150 forest officers from all over the country on the concluding day of the two-day National Workshop on Conservation, Cultivation and Utilisation of Medicinal Plants at Pinjore today.

It was also felt that more medicinal plant conservation areas be established in all states and medicinal plants be cultivated according to provenance as a species gave best results in the area to which it belonged.

The foresters felt that techniques of cultivation should be standardised, value addition should be done to plants for getting a better market price and cultivation of medicinal plant species recommended by the National Medicinal Plant Board should be done.

It was also recommended that farming of medicinal plants be done on contract so that there was a buyback guarantee and the concept of herbal mandies be started so that farmers did not face problems in selling their produce.

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ITBP radio men getting raw deal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
Almost a decade after the rank structure of the central police organisations was rationalised after the implementation of the Fifth Pay Commission recommendations, hundreds of radio operators serving with the Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force (ITBP) continue getting a raw deal.

The ITBP has failed to create the additional rank of assistant sub-inspector (ASI) for the telecommunications cadre, despite the Home Ministry having issued orders for the same. This has not only resulted in the ITBP radio operators getting lower salary than their counterparts in other organisations, but also affected their promotional avenues.

Sources place that number of radio operators in the ITBP which could be affected by the anomaly at approximately 1,200. Several personnel affected are seeking legal redressal to their grievances. This step comes at a time when the setting up of the Sixth Pay Commission is due.

According to ex-Assistant Commandant Rajeev Anand, the Home Ministry had issued an order on October 10, 1997, rationalised the rank structure in the central police organisations to bring it at parity with the Delhi Police. Consequently, the existing rank of naik was re-designated as head constable and between the rank of havildar and sub-inspector, the rank of ASI was introduced. Though rationalisation was carried out, ITBP radio operators were left out.

In fact, in April 2005, the ministry had circulated another letter to all central police organisations on the subject of non-introduction of the rank of ASI. It also referred to the grant of assured career progression to head constables for promotion to the rank of ASI.

In a legal notice sent to the Home Secretary and the ITBP Director -General, several personnel affected have contended that in spite of provisions existing, they have been placed at a disadvantageous position vis-à-vis radio operators in other services as they are being paid less and their promotional avenues have been adversely affected.

They have also sought removal of anomalies which call for relatively higher technical qualifications of ITBP personnel for promotion to the same rank vis-à-vis other central police organisations.

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Programme on AIDS awareness
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 16
The Jan Shikshan Sansthan organised a programme on population and development education focusing on HIV/AIDS prevention education at its campus today. More than 50 students of various vocational courses took part.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Dildar Khan, Director of the sansthan, said HIV/AIDS was more a social problem rather a medical one. Despite advancement in diagnostic methods the increase in incidences of the disease was alarming.

Dr Satyavir Singh Malik, Coordinator, NSS Training Orientation Centre, Institute for Development and Communication, Chandigarh, in his presentation laid emphasis on the importance of providing sex education to the youth. Prof Asha Sethi highlighted various problems of adolescents like lack of guidance from home, teachers and peer group pressures to indulge in activities harmful for their growth and development.

Earlier, Mr Anand Mohan Sharma, programme officer of the sansthan, while introducing the theme said the programme was being organised with the assistance of the Directorate of Adult Education, New Delhi. 

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Illegal structures demolished in Sec 47
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
The anti-encroachment staff of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) demolished five rooms and a long boundary wall constructed on government land in Sector 47-C here today.

Certain illegal structures had been pulled down by occupants of government land themselves.

A senior official of the CHB said they had issued a notice to the occupants in advance and there was no opposition from the residents.

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Junk blocks road work
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
There are mounds of junk on and around the plot no. 111 in the Industrial Area, Phase 1. The junk is dumped on the road berms and around the plot, which has affected the mobility and recarpeting work on the road.

An affected unit owner near the plot has raised a fence to keep off the junk piles, but he was challaned for encroaching upon the public land.

Talking to TNS, Mr Vikram Sehgal, Managing Director, Microns Instrument Private Limited, whose unit’s back wall is covered by junk has shut the back door.

Mr P.S. Aujla, Commissioner, MCC, informed that an officer from the Health Department has been assigned to clear the encroachments and road berms.

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Theft by paying guests
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 16
Two women and a man lodged in a paying guest accommodation in a house in Sector 37-D allegedly decamped with household things. Sources in the Sector 39 police station said Arun Jain, landlord of the house in his complaint alleged that Sabina Raj, Bachan and Rozy decamped with a geyser, gas cylinder, gas stove, refrigerator, double bed, sofa set and other articles on Tuesday. Sabina, Bachan and Rozy had been living in his accommodation since December last year.

Girl injured

A motorcyclist, Yogesh Kumar of Dera Sahib, Manimajra lodged a complaint with the police alleging that a bus (CH-03-F-5915) hit his motorcycle near tubewell number 13 in Manimajra on Tuesday. His niece, Sawani, who was riding pillion, sustained injuries and was rushed to the PGI. The police arrested the bus driver Tarsem Singh of Saketri village in Panchkula district. A case of rash and negligent driving has been registered.

1 held for gambling

The local police arrested Rajesh Kumar of Phase I, Ram Darbar from near the Air Force Station on charges of indulging in gambling at public place on Tuesday. The police recovered Rs 265 from his possession. A case under the Gambling Act has been registered. 

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Luxury flats to come up in Mani Majra
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
The Uppal Group, who had earlier created ripples in the real estate market in the city after taking a 5.4 acre chunk of land in Mani Majra for over Rs 108 crore, has announced the launch of its high-end luxury apartments — Uppals Marble Arch — which would cost between Rs 1.14 crore to Rs 1.31 crore.

These prices are likely to send the real estate market in a frenzy because apartments in the surrounding Rajiv Vihar vary between Rs 60-70 lakh, while the prices of flats in Mansa Devi Complex, just 2 km ahead of this property, is between Rs 50-Rs 60 lakh.

The Group CEO, Mr Rumneek Bawa, however, declined to comment if the prices of their apartments would affect the real estate prices in the city and neighbouring Panchkula. “We are offering world class amenities in our apartments like wi-fi connectivity, a state of art gymnasium and swimming pool, refrigerators, modular kitchen, air conditioners, Jacuzzi, jogging tracks and a convenience store to be run by an international brand. Buyers will have to just move in with furniture,” he said.

As many as 164 luxury apartments, with a covered area of 1850-2100 sq ft would be constructed here, he said, adding that internationally renowned architect Oru Bose (who has also created Disney parks) has been hired for the project. 

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Feasible areas
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 16
The Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) has informed the general public that certain areas falling under the Phase XI telephone exchange have become feasible.

According to a press note issued by the BSNL, the areas that had become feasible were from house 2001 to 2930 of the Mandi Board Cooperative Society in Sector 66 and from house 1001 to 1206 and from house 2601 to 2756 in Sector 67.

The subscribers whose new telephone connections and shifting cases were pending for execution or subscribers who wanted to convert their WLL-FWT connections into landline connections could contact the local commercial officer or customer service centre in the telephone exchange in Phase IV.

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Traders resent Sector 17 trade fair
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
Chandikrit-2006, the three-day trade fair being organised at Plaza, Sector 17 has come under criticism from traders based in Sector 17.

The traders allege the fair is violating rules laid down by the Municipal Corporation Chandigarh and is obstructing the view apart from affecting their business.

Talking to TNS, Mr Jagdish Kalra, general secretary, Traders Association, Sector 17 said Chandikrit was violating rules as the organisers had dug up in the area, while according to MC rules it was not permitted. "It is a clear violation of the rules. Moreover, it is also affecting our business," he informed.

Mr T.Dhingra, OSD to the chief engineer said there was nothing "illegal" about the trade fair and all rules were being followed.

It may be mentioned here that the adviser to the UT Administrator, Mr Lalit Sharma had inaugurated the fair at Sector 17 yesterday. As many as 50 stalls have been put up by industrialists of the city. The exhibition has been organised to promote the local industry.

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