C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


15 pc quota for poor in city schools
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh February 17
The Chandigarh Administration has decided to make it mandatory for all schools in the city to reserve 15 per cent seats for students belonging to the economically weaker section. The schools have also been asked to charge very nominal fees from such students, which would commemorate with those charged from the students of a government school.

This decision has been taken to bring the children belonging to the economically weaker families at par with other children so that they

can also avail quality education and pursue studies in the schools of their liking.

These instructions have been issued under the enabling clauses of the allotment of land to educational institutions (schools) etc. on leasehold basis in Chandigarh scheme, 1996. As such the schools are divided into two categories. The first category of schools will be those which have been allotted land after the announcement of the scheme. The reservation in this category has to be made on the total strength of the school.

In the second category are the schools which have been allotted land before the scheme. The reservation in these schools will be introduced in the starting classes which will keep on increasing every year by one class.

The income of the parents who seek admission for their wards under this category should be upto 1 lakh per annum from all sources. The parents would be required to produce necessary income proofs and an affidavit. The school shall advertise and also put up on display on the notice board regarding such reservation in the school. The school shall provide the details of the admissions done to the Director, Public Instructions School by March 31.



Indo-Pak hockey: Tight security keeps stadium half empty
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 17
For such a high-profile fixture as today’s hockey match between India and Pakistan, the half-empty stadium told an altogether different story.

Despite enthusiastic hockey lovers making a beeline to the Sector 42 stadium almost one hour before the start of the match, heavy security and the fact that some sections of the stadium were out-of-bounds for the common spectators, almost half the seats were unoccupied. Just over 15,000 persons watched the high-voltage clash between the two hockey powerhouses. The stadium has the capacity to seat over 40,000 fans.

Even the VIP seats, meant for the high-and-mighty, who had been provided special passes, remained mostly empty. To the top of it, the sprinklers left at least three rows wet and therefore, unfit for seating.

Another dampener was the failure of the two electronic scoreboards just after five minutes of the start of the match. Soft drink major Coca Cola, which had reportedly coughed up Rs 50,000 to display its banner above the scoreboard, would be ruing the costly mistake.

The enthusiasts who came late were clueless about the developments of the match. Many were seen asking the latest score and time of the match from others. “It is really shameful and shocking that in an international match there is no scoreboard”, said Mr Harjinder Singh, who came from Ludhiana to cheer the Indian team.

In an indication of the manner in which the national sport is being run by the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF), the name of the player who would lead the Indian team remained mired in suspense till the very last day.

Meanwhile, the hockey lovers present at the stadium won the hearts of the guests across the border as many youngsters were carrying Pakistani flag to encourage the visitors. “The purpose behind waving the Pakistan flag is to make our guests feel at home”, said Mr Surinder Singh, a member of the group carrying the flag.

Though India lost the match 1-2, many people were cheering for both sides on displaying fine moves and skills. But the disturbing fact was the blowing of whistles by the fans from time to time, which caused problems and disturbance for the players.

Tomorrow, the match again starts at 6.30 pm.



Panchkula MC chief’s post: poll plea rejected
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 17
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today directed the Haryana Government not to hold election for the post of President of Municipal Council, Panchkula, till further orders.

The order in this regard was issued by a Division Bench comprising Mr Justice H.S. Bedi and Mr Justice A.K. Mittal, while disposing of the petition filed by Mr Tarun Bhandari, who was removed from the post of the President on February 15, following a no-confidence motion against him.

After 23 of the total 31 Councillors in the Municipal Council moved a no-confidence motion against Mr Bhandari on January 25, he had challenged the holding of the meeting, scheduled for February 15. He had pleaded that the MC meeting of October 19, 2005, could not be declared as null and void by Director, Urban Development. He said he had to face a no- confidence motion in this meeting, and the Councillors “withdrew” the motion, after the meeting had already begun, which was wrong.

However, the High Court had refused to grant him stay before February 15, and the General House meeting was ultimately held as per schedule, leading to the removal of Mr Bhandari. As many as 28 Councillors who had attended the meeting, besides the Deputy Chief Minister, Mr Chander Mohan ( who is the local MLA and thus member of the House) had voted against him.

Today, the court also allowed Mr Bhandari to file a fresh petition if he wanted to challenge his removal. Later, talking to TNS, Mr Bhandari said that he would file a petition, challenging his removal in the High Court tomorrow.



Killing for land: third brother dies at PGI
Our Correspondent

Kharar, February 17
One of the three brothers who had got injured in the shooting incident at Takipur village yesterday succumbed to his injuries at the PGI in Chandigarh today.

Kulwant Singh had got injured while his two brothers were shot dead by attackers allegedly over the possession of a piece of land. One of the brothers, Ravinder Singh, had died in the village itself while the elder brother, Balwinder Singh, died after reaching the PGI.

The DSP, Mr Raj Bachan Singh Sandhu, said that he along with the SDM, Mr Darshan Singh Sandhu, today visited the family of the victims. He said that the police had made six teams to conduct raids at various places to nab the suspects. Though raids were going on no arrests had been made so far.

The police had booked four persons on charges of murder. While one of them was admitted to a hospital, three had allegedly fled from the scene.



Foetus handed over to police
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 17
The female foetus recovered from a private hospital in Phase I here was handed over to the police today. No arrests were made in the case so far.

Officials of the Health Department yesterday sealed a part of the hospital as it had allegedly indulged in activities in violation of the MTP Act. The raiding team had seized a female foetus, which was terminated, and the instruments used in this regard.

The police had registered a case against the hospital and the doctor for allegedly indulging in illegal activities.

Dr Yash Pal Singla, Civil Surgeon, Ropar, said two ultrasound machines being operated at two centres in Phase I were sealed today for indulging in activities in violation of the PNDT Act. He said various shortcomings were found at the two centres.



CVM support for substitute members
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 17
The Chandigarh Vikas Manch (CVM) today supported the hundreds of harassed substitute members of the cooperative house-building societies over the regularisation of their membership by the Chandigarh Administration.

Taking the administration head on, the CVM president and former Union Minister, Mr Harmohan Dhawan, said “The society members should be allowed to transfer their ownership to anyone on the Punjab and Haryana patterns.” The ban on the power of attorney in the societies should be lifted immediately, he added.

In fact, the administration was losing a huge revenue by not recognising the substitute members. The administration should levy a nominal fee on the substitute members to transfer the ownership rights, he added.

It may be recalled that hundreds of substitute members are at the receiving end in the absence of the substitution policy. This was despite the fact that they had paid all installments, including the cost of land to the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB).

When the CHB, main construction agency of the administration, had accepted the land cost from substitute members, there was no logic in not accepting ownership rights of these members, the members argued.

At least a dozen house-building societies are at the “draw stage” but in the absence of the substitution policy, the draws cannot be held. Hundreds of the completed dwelling units are gathering dust and awaiting allotment.

The substitute members had been allowed by the societies by following proper procedure, the members claimed. Even the Supreme Court had ruled that the cooperative society was an autonomous body in its internal functioning.

Sources said with the election to the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) a few months away, the political parties could hardly ignore the hundreds of the substitute members and their families, who constitute a substantial part of the voters. The CVM’s support to cooperative housing society members was to be seen in the light of the civic body elections.

Meanwhile, Mr Dhawan alleged that the CHB was behaving like a “real estate agent” by fixing exorbitant prices of its dwelling units. The CVM demanded a review of the prices of its flats.

Saying that the CVM was against encroachments on the public land, the spokesman, Mr Sandeep Singh, demanded an end to the harassment by the administration on the “pretext of removing encroachments.” In fact, the administration officials were to be blamed for the construction outside the “lal dora” as they had allowed the registration of small chunks of the agricultural land in the villages.



Sidhu re-elected Tribune union chief
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 17
The panel led by Jagtar Singh Sidhu swept the biennial elections of the Tribune Employees Union held here today.

Sidhu, who polled of 595 votes for the post of the president defeated B.K. Saini by 208 votes. Anil Gupta polled 611 votes for the post of general secretary as against Rajinder Rautela, who polled 374 votes. Anil Gupta won the election by 237 votes.

While Sidhu was elected president for the second consecutive time, Gupta made it to the post for the third time in a row.

Rajiv Kaplish was elected as senior vice-president. He polled 595 votes against Dharam Pal Singh, who polled 383 votes. Uttam Chand and Sansar Singh Rana were elected as vice-presidents by getting 566 votes and 585 votes.

Rajiv Bajaj was elected secretary by getting 597 votes while Ram Abhilash and Sandeep Sharma made it to the post of joint secretaries by getting 581 votes and 601 votes.

Kasturi Lal and Ramesh Chand Sharma were elected as propaganda/organising secretaries by getting 593 votes and 601 votes. Raman Sharma was elected finance secretary by getting 599 votes and Ramesh Dhiman as office secretary by getting 593 votes.

Meanwhile, the Sidhu panel got 22 of the total 25 executive seats. The winning candidates of the executive are Dr Joginder Singh, Gian Singh, Ishwar Chand Dhyani, Jaswant Singh Rana, Yashpal Sharma, Puran Chand Sharma, Jagir Singh, Rajesh Kumar Sharma, Karamvir, Vikas Didi and Ajay Thakur, Rajesh Kumar, Naginder Dutt, Suneel Khurana, Tara Singh, Lalit Kumar Goel, Kalyan Singh Bhainsora, Balwant Singh-I, Jaikishan, Sohan Singh, Satish Chand-I, Inder Kumar, Rajesh Kumar-III, Kalu Ram and Somvir Singh.



Prosecutor sees Army nexus in Tehelka case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 17
The prosecutor in the Tehelka court martial cases, Lt-Col Sanjay Sitanshu, today alleged criminal nexus between serving and retired Army officers for furthering vested interests.

In a petition filed before the Punjab and Haryana High Court challenging his repeated posting orders, the officer has alleged that the nexus was exposed during the sting operation conducted by news portal tehelka.com by introducing a fictitious product into the Army.

Stating that the greed of rank and career progression had brought many to compromise on moral and ethical values, he contended that the obligations which had been bestowed by retired officers during their service, at times, demanded repayment from beneficiaries still in service.

This tendency, he added, set in the process of criminal nexus and as the army was not exposed to public scrutiny, various acts of appeasement, favouritism and discrimination went unreported.

Contending that the diversion of his posting was the result of such a nexus, he claimed that he was being victimised as he had 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.

The High Court today issued notice of motion for March 6.



Canada urged to speed up visa applications
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 17
Immigration expert Col BS Sandhu (retd), who is Chief Managing Director (CMD) of WWICS Ltd, has urged the Canadian government to fast-track the processing of visa applications, especially those filed by skilled professionals. According to a release issued here, Col Sandhu made this request during a meeting with Mr Gary Doer, Premier, Manitoba (Canada).

The CMD of WWICS informed the Manitoba Premier that Indian professionals can easily help Canada overcome the severe shortage of skilled professionals being faced by it. Similarly, hard-working Indian farmers, many of whom have applied for immigration to Canada, can help that country tide over the problem of fertile land remaining un-utilised due to paucity of farmers.

However, in order to achieve this, he said, the Canadian government must clear immigration cases faster.

Referring to the spurt in demand for skilled workers in oil-rich Alberta province, Col Sandhu said it needed over 3,000 professionals every month in order to sustain its growth.

However, since it takes over three years for visas to be processed by the Delhi Visa Post, it was leading to frustration among the professionals who wish to immigrate to Canada, the release said.



State-level panel formed to check drug-trafficking
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 17
The Chandigarh Administration has constituted a state-level coordination committee under the chairmanship of the Adviser on “Prevention of illicit production of drugs, leakage of drugs from illicit sources, smuggling of drugs from or to Pakistan and intensive campaign against the evil effects of drugs”.

The Home Secretary and Finance Secretary are the members of the committee. The Inspector-General of Police will be the Member Secretary of the committee.

The committee will coordinate activities of different agencies like the police, CID and Excise on prevention or detection of drug trafficking activities. It will recommend schemes for the organisation of task forces under the Police Department and the Excise and Taxation department for the purposes of prevention and detection of crimes under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.

The committee will also recommend schemes for creating infrastructure arrangements for de-addiction of drug addicts, establishment of counselling centres and other measures for intensive campaigns against the evil effects of drug addiction by government agencies and through voluntary organisations in the field.

The committee will also monitor the performance of various organisations about the detection and prevention of crimes under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act and will establish a process of proper information flow among different agencies of the Administration.



BIS officials conduct raids
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 17
The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), in its intensified vigil against the misuse of the ISI (standard) mark, sent teams of senior officials to conduct raids in the region with the help of the local police on February 15 and 16.

Trishakti Poly Vin Private Limited in Patiala district was found to be misusing the ISI mark on PVC conduit pipes.

A total of 135 bundles with brand names like Alpine and Triplast, along with polythene wrappers used for packing conduit pipes, were seized.

RM Plywood Industries Private Limited at Rohtak was found to be misusing the ISI mark on block board plywood.

Marking screens, rubber rollers with the brand name Greenwood and a rubber stamp with ISI mark were seized.

Mittal Metal Industries at Jalandhar was found misusing the mark on gate valves.

Finished and semi-finished gate valves and their castings, along with packing material under the brand name NK and Mittal, were seized.



Surjewala redresses grievances
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, February 17
Ten of the 14 complaints were settled on the spot at the monthly meeting of the District Public Relations and Grievances Removal Committee held under the chairmanship of Haryana transport minister Ch. Randip Singh Surjewala at the district complex here.

The complaints which came up for discussion were from individuals and organisations covering diverse issues of public interest. The minister directed the concerned officers to redress grievances like the provision of amenities, including hygienic pure water and uninterrupted supply of electricity, checking sale of spurious medicines, carpeting of roads near the Delhi Public School in Sector 12 and others.

Panchkula DC Brijendra Singh explained that a sum of Rs 97 lakh had been received against the proposed Rs 1.72 lakh sent to the government by the Municipal Council (MC). Mr Surjewala directed the officers concerned of the MC and HUDA to ensure completion of the roads within a stipulated period of two weeks.



Cigarettes Act notified
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 17
The Chandigarh Administration has notified the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and regulation of Trade and commerce, Production, Supply and distribution) Act 2003 for the year 2006 specifying warnings about smoking at public places and not following the rules for advertising tobacco products, besides others.

Smoke has been banned in public place. “ Public Place” means any place to which the public have access, whether as of right or not, and includes auditorium, hospital buildings, railway-waiting room, amusement centres, restaurants, public offices, court buildings, educational institutes, libraries, public conveyances and the like which are visited by general public but does not include any open space.

The owner or the manager or in charge of affairs of a public place shall cause to be displaced prominently a board of a minimum size of 60x30 cm in the Indian languages as applicable, at least one at the entrance of the public place and one at the conspicuous places inside, containing the warning.

Certain aberrations of the smoking bylaws are punishable.



Mayor promises new roads
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 17
Mr Surinder Singh, Mayor, Municipal Corporation Chandigarh (MCC), visited Burail village to learn about various problems of the residents. He was accompanied by officials of the MCC.

The Mayor took a round of the streets of the village and assured the residents that the MCC would spend Rs 25 lakh to construct roads in the village. A shed for a gathering of about 500 persons is also being planned to be built at Janj Ghar, near Gurdwara Guru Singh Sabha, Burail. A boundary wall would also be built around the school site.



Journalist bereaved
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 17
Veena Gandhi (58), mother of Jatin Gandhi, a journalist with Star News passed away at a private hospital in Mohali, this evening after a prolonged illness. She is survived by her husband, a son and a daughter. The cremation will take place tomorrow.



Man commits suicide, another found dead
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 17
The body of a 45-year-old unemployed man was found hanging in his Sector 56 residence, here, this morning. The reason behind the extreme step remains unknown as no suicide note was recovered from the spot, however, the family of the deceased ruled out any foul play.

In a separate incident, a highly decomposed body of a sweeper in the UT Health Department was found in his house in Sector 37 today. Quoting the family members, the police ruled out any foul play behind the incident.

Giving details about the suicide, sources in the Sector 39 police station said the deceased had been identified as Amarjit Singh. The suicide came to light at around 9 am when his wife Malika Rani came back home after visiting her sister in Maloya, last night.

She opened the door, which was locked from inside, and allegedly found her husband hanging from the ceiling fan hook. She informed the police and the body was shifted to the Sector 16 General Hospital.

Malika, who works as a domestic assistant, told the police that her husband was unemployed and used to stay at home and was alcoholic. She has two sons and a daughter.

About the recovery of the decomposed body from a Sector 37 house, the police said 47-year-old Ramesh, was found dead in his house. His brother Raju told the police that the death came to light when he noticed foul smell emitting out of his brother’s house. He broke open the door and found the body.

Quoting Raju, the police said Ramesh was a drug addict and was separated from his wife about eight years ago. He added that about 3-4 days back his brother had complained of fever and after taking medicine Ramesh went to his room. They had no information about him since then.

The police said the post-mortem would be performed tomorrow to ascertain the cause of death.



4 booked in attempt to murder case
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 17
The city police booked a Patiala resident and his three accomplices in an attempt to murder case for allegedly firing at a property dealer late last night here.

No one was reportedly injured in the firing as the bullet hit a tyre of the vehicle in which the property dealer was travelling.

The police cited an old feud the reason behind the firing. The accused managed to abscond.

The property dealer, Mr Pardeep, resident of Baltana village in Patiala district, in his complaint alleged that he was on his way back home in a Scorpio along with his friends, Sonu Dhir, Bhupinder and Parampreet Singh last night when Gurcharan Singh, alias Janta, of Hasanpur Shekhan village in Patiala district fired a shot at them near the Sector 29-30 traffic lights point.

Gurcharan Singh allegedly threatened to kill them if they did not take back the case filed against him at a Zirakpur police station.

He said Gurcharan Singh was accompanied by Harminder Singh of Banur, Rinku of Rajpura and Pamma of Dappar. After firing at them the accused sped away toward Sector 17.

When contacted, Station House Officer (SHO) of Industrial Area police station Baljit Singh Chaddha said a case of attempt to murder has been registered.



Woman, son acquitted in husband’s murder case

Chandigarh, February 17
After an year of facing trial in the murder case of a Junior Warrant Officer (JWO) in Sector 47 here, the wife and physically challenged son of the deceased were acquitted by Additional District and Session Judge B.K. Mehta today.

Seema and Chandershekhar were arrested in June 2004 for allegedly bludgeoning 46-year-old JWO Vijay Kumar Pandey to death.

They were acquitted as the prosecution failed to prove the charges and were released from the Burail jail this evening.

The investigating police officer and prosecution witnesses could not give satisfactory replies during cross-examination and the prosecution could not give satisfactory replies regarding loopholes in the investigation.

At the time of the arrests, the police had claimed that the accused had confessed to the murder. The prosecution failed to prove the JWO had been bludgeoned with the cricket bat seized from their house. TNS



Two motor cycles stolen
Tribune Reporters

Chandigarh, February 16
Two motor cycles were reportedly stolen from the city. Besides this, a pedestrian sustained injuries after being hit by a car.

Mr Munish Kumar of Sector 30 D lodged a complaint with the police alleging that his Bajaj Calibre motor cycle (CH-03-E-6171) was stolen from Kiran cinema parking in Sector 22 on Wednesday. In another such incident, Mr Jaspreet Singh Dhaliwal of Bathinda district filed a complaint with the police alleging that his TVS Victor (UA-06-6347) was stolen from Fragrance Garden in Sector 36 on February 13.

Two separate cases have been registered.

Injured: A pedestrian, Mr Sammer Singh of Sector 10 A, lodged a complaint with the police alleging that a car (HR-03-E-3772) near Sector 10 and 16 dividing road on Wednesday. He sustained injuries in the mishap and was rushed to the Sector 16 General Hospital. The car driver was later identified as Sahab Kumar of Sector 18, Panchkula. A case of rash and negligent driving has been registered in the Sector 3 police station.


Gang of thieves busted: The local police today claimed to have busted a gang of scooter thieves with the arrest of two persons. The accused, Gurcharan Singh and Gurjant Singh, both residents of Dhakanshu Kalan, were picked up for interrogation.

The SHO of the city police station, Mr Rupinder Bhardwaj, said the thieves had confessed to stealing scooters. As many as four scooters were recovered from their possession. They had also confessed to the theft of two buffaloes.



One convicted for attacking MC official
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 17
Rehriwala Mansoor Ali was today sentenced to three years of imprisonment and Rs 2000 fine by the Additional District and Sessions Judge, Mr BK Mehta, for allegedly attacking a Municipal Corporation Inspector during an anti-encroachment drive in the city.

Seven other accomplices of Mansoor were acquitted as they could not be identified by the corporation official. In 1999, they had been accused of attacking Inspector Kashmira Singh. The suspects who have been acquitted are Khem Chand, Nakai, Shkeh Mansoor, Dharamveer, Rajwinder, Asamdeen and Tirkhir Singh.



Retd IAF officer released on bail
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 17
The Chandigarh Police today arrested a retired Group Captain of Air Force who runs a workshop in the Industrial Area on the charges of outraging the modesty of his employee.

According to the police, the 21-year-old victim, a resident of Mauli Jagran, in her complaint alleged that the Group Captain (retired) S.S. Sandhu of Defence Autos in Phase I, Industrial Area, had outraged her modesty on Tuesday. A case under Section 354 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered against him in this regard. He was later released on bail.



Man shot at
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 17
A Khanna-based resident, Yadvinder Singh, today complained to the police that Ranjeet Singh, alias Jeeta, fired at him and ran away from the spot. Three other persons were accompanying the assailant in a Tata Indica car.

A case has been registered.


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