C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Death stalks city; mishaps claim 3 lives, suicides 2
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 2
Death stalked the city roads today. Three persons died in three separate road accidents while two others allegedly committed suicide in the past 24 hours in the city. In a separate incident an unidentified motorcyclist was seriously injured this afternoon after his motorcycle rammed into a rickshaw.

Also a conductor of a school bus was crushed to death this afternoon on a road dividing Sectors 8 and 9 here. In two other fatal accidents yesterday a newly married woman and an old man lost their lives after being hit by rashly driven vehicles.

Giving details, sources in the police said, a conductor of a school bus, Tul Bhadur, in his mid-thirties, was crushed to death under a bus of Yadvindra Public School, Phase VIII, near the Sector 8 Gurudwara. Tul Bhadur was the conductor of the bus. According to the eyewitnesses, the accident occurred, when Tul Bhadur was hopping on the bus and the driver, unmindful of this, drove the bus. The bus was stopped there to drop a student. When Tul Bhadur saw the bus moving, he ran after it and tried to hop on the running bus through the front door, in process he lost his balance and fell down. Subsequently, his head was crushed under the rear tyres of the bus. Following which, he was immediately taken to a hospital, where the doctors declared him “brought dead”, said the police. The police has arrested the bus driver, Shiv Kumar.

In a hit and run case, a 19-year-old newly wed woman of Sector 20 succumbed to her injuries in the PGI in wee hours today. A speeding car had hit her on Monday afternoon. The mishap took pace when the victim, Rekha, was crossing the road and a car (HR-31-C-7441) rammed into her in front of Government College for Girl, Sector 11.

She had reportedly gone to the college to take an exam. She suffered multiple injuries besides sustaining severe head injuries.

In other fatal accidents a cyclist, Jagat Ram of Sector 30, was seriously injured after being hit by an unidentified rashly driven vehicle near the Sukhna Lake light point last night. He was rushed to the GMCH-32 where the doctors declared him “brought dead”. According to his post-mortem report the death was caused due to brain haemorrhage and his ribs were also crushed.

About the unidentified motorcyclist, who was injured this afternoon, sources in the police said he was riding on a motorcycle (CH-03-V-6209) without wearing a safety helmet. The accident took place near the Cremation Ground, Sector 25 when he allegedly rammed his motorcycle into the rickshaw from rear. His condition was stated to be serious. He was booked for rash and negligent driving.

About the two incidents of suicides, sources in the Sector 11 Police Station, said 26-year-old Harpreet Singh of Sector 15 consumed some poisonous substance on Monday morning. He succumbed in the PGI late last night. Harpreet was depressed due to some financial issue as a Ludhiana resident has duped him of his money, alleged Ms Sukhdeep Kaur, the victim’s wife.

According to the police, Harpreet Singh had consumed some poisonous substance yesterday and informed his family after his condition began deteriorating. He was rushed to the Sector 16 General Hospital, from where the doctors referred him to the PGI, judging the seriousness of his condition.

Harpreet was living with his in-laws and was married last year in October. His wife was in family way. She told the mediapersons in the PGI, that a Harpreet had borrowed money from a Ludhiana resident. When the Ludhiana resident demanded his money back, Harpreet said he had no ready money with him and gave him gold ornaments saying that he would get the gold ornaments back after returning the money. However, the Ludhiana resident later denied having received gold ornaments from Harpreet. He also allegedly threatened Harpreet to sue for him for the same. The police has earlier booked Harpreet in an attempt to commit suicide case.

About the other suicide, the police said, 30-year-old Satish Kumar, allegedly hanged himself to death in his PGI Colony residence late last night. His death came to light this morning when his mother went to his room this morning. In a suicide note found on his body he held no one responsible for his extreme step.

Satish Kumar, a private taxi driver, was found hanging from a ceiling fan hook. Satish Kumar was married and is survived by four children. His wife had reportedly gone to her parents in Sector 25 to attend a marriage.



Rain brings down temperature
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 2
The city finally had rain this evening. In the sky, the dull silver synonymous with heat paved way for shades of pink and rust. On ground, the earth smelt fresh, while its greens donned a verdant look, bringing alive all that is worth living (and dying) for…

The rain brought the temperature down from 40.6°C recorded yesterday to 36°C. Four degrees above normal, yesterday’s temperature, the weathermen said “was too high for this part of the season”. But as the nature turned a new leaf today, it was time for weather fact sheets to change. Today’s temperature was one degree below normal.

Though the Metrological Department did not rule out the possibility of a prolonged spell of respite, it did warn about the unpredictability of the weather conditions. “We are expecting a partly cloudy sky tomorrow. Today’s temperature has been brought down by the evening rain, though the morning was hot. But tomorrow should be cool,” sad a weather-data analyst.

As for the rain, it came in traces, thanks to the intensification of a certain western disturbance that had started building up sometime yesterday. Ludhiana recorded about 1 mm while Ambala received a meagre 0.2 mm.

By tomorrow, however, weather might change. But it is expected to let some clouds hover around for a while.



UT seeks more financial powers for senior officers
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 2
The Chandigarh Administration is facing difficulty in the implementation of major high-cost projects in the city because of financial limits on the administrative officers imposed by the Ministry of Home Affairs. The administration is learnt to have communicated to the MHA seeking a revision in the financial powers of at least the senior officers.

Reliable sources said that the UT Administrator and the Adviser to the UT Administrator, in separate communications to the MHA, have pointed out the need to revise the financial limits which should be allowed to the senior authorities. At the moment, the maximum limit that the UT Administrator can sanction for any major project is only Rs 10 crore. The limit was increased only a few years back from Rs 5 crore.

A senior official said that there has been no immediate reply to the communication.However, the UT expected a change in the powers because the project costs had gone up considerably during the recent past. "It will be not be an exaggeration to say that project costs of no major project could be worked out within the prescribed limits", he added.

One of the major projects hanging fire in the Union Territory is the desilting project at the Sukhna Lake. The final clearance for the project needs an intervention from the MHA. "Details of the desilting have been worked out on several occasions and in different ways. If not overall enhancement, the MHA can at least give powers to the top officials with independent charge over financial details to work out specific projects," the official said.

The UT might also need major finances for the metro rail, major hospital projects, besides developing other infrastructure. The UT has already envisaged a future plan for the overall development of the periphery which can work out well with financial independence, feel the top officials. Another major project hanging fire for a very long time now is the overbridge to Panchkula. "The overbridge near Zirakpur came up for deliberations very recently and the project implementation is already underway", it was pointed out.

"Wanting little more independence and more powers does not mean we will not be accountable to the MHA. The move is only aimed at speeding up the work process", it was pointed out.



Capt Kohli’s body brought to Chandimandir
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 2
The body of Capt Sumit Kohli, who died in Kupwara on April 30, reached here late this evening. It is being kept at the Command Hospital, Chandimandir, and will be brought to his home in Sector 40 tomorrow morning to enable relatives and people to pay their last respects.

The body was airlifted to Delhi from Srinagar in the afternoon and was brought here by road. While the Army has maintained it is a case of suicide, his family has refuted it. It said the Army had not informed them of the exact cause of death and was holding back details.

Sumit’s father continues to be in coma after suffering a brain haemorrhage and is undergoing treatment at the Command Hospital.



Capt’s death: family contests Army version
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 2
The family of Capt Sumit Kohli today strongly refuted the Army's version that the officer had committed suicide.

Meanwhile, a case has come to light where the Army first declared an officer's demise as a case of accidental death, but later declared him an a battle casualty when the Army's claim was challenged by his father in court.

Speaking to The Tribune, Capt Kohli's sister, Namrata, termed the Army's version as a "cover up" and that there was more to the incident that is being let out by the Army. "We want the picture to be clear as to what exactly happened," she said.

She claimed when her brother's commanding officer called up the family after the incident, he had told them that Sumit's weapon had been withdrawn from him. "If this was the case, then where did he get the weapon from with which he allegedly shot himself," she questioned.

Namrata said contrary to the Army's claim, there was no family problem concerning her brother.

"He was here just a few days ago. Even when he called home in the morning on the day he died, his conversation was normal and there was no indication of any distress," she said.

Sumit had been decorated with the Shaurya Chakra for gallantry just three months earlier. "He was neither so weak nor was there any reason for him to take such an extreme step," Namrata said. Meanwhile, the condition of Sumit's father, Mr Satish Kohli, reportedly worsened today and the family rushed to the Command Hospital, where he is admitted. He had suffered a brain hemorrhage on hearing about his son's death and has been in a coma since.

Recalling the case, Major P.L. Sharma (retd) said his brother-in-law's son, Major Randish Dogra had been found dead in his room in Rajouri where he was posted with the headquarters of a brigade.

"The Army had initially insisted that it was a case of death resulting from accidental discharge from his service weapon, but later termed it to be a battle casualty when the authorities were confronted," Major Sharma said. Major Dogra's mother is presently undergoing treatment at a local hospital and his father, Mr J.L Dogra, could not be contacted.

Mr Dogra has moved the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, seeking a CBI inquiry to ascertain the circumstances leading to the incident and the cause of his son's death. The case is pending before the court. In a representation forwarded to Army Headquarters last year, Mr Dogra had alleged that his son was murdered to cover up the misdeeds of certain officers.

Sumit was alleged to have died from a bullet which entered his body below the chin and exited from the rear of the skull while he was sitting on his cot. The bullet was recovered embedded in the ceiling.



Passing thru

Prof Samdhong Rinpoche
Prof Samdhong Rinpoche, Prime Minister of the Tibetan Government-in-exile

What has been India’s role in solving Tibetan problem?

India has been playing an important role in finding a solution. The Sino-Indian treaty has opened the gates for talks between the Tibetan leaders and the Chinese Government.

What has been the outcome of talks between the personal envoys of Dalai Lama and the Chinese Government?

So far five rounds of talks have been held between the two sides. And it has been a confidence building exercise. Soon the sixth rounds of talks are expected to take place. It could go a long way in solving the Tibetan crisis.

Since you are expected to once again become the Prime Minister of the Tibetan Government-in-exile, do you believe that the problem would be solved in the next five years?

I can not give any time frame for solving the issue. We are not demanding complete independence, but are asking for greater autonomy with the Chinese constitution.

What do the Gandhian values mean to you ?

Gandhi’s ideology was crucial to find an alternative solution to the capitalist economic system. The global problems of conflict between nations and environmental degradation can be addressed through Gandhian philosophy

— Rajmeet Singh



Govt allocates Rs 1.5 cr for Morni motel
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 2
To attract more tourists to the hilly terrains of lower Shivaliks, the Haryana Government has decided to refurnish the existing Mountain Quail, a motel, besides adding more rooms at the bank of Tikkar Tal lake, an upcoming tourist place in the Morni Hills. The government has allocated a sum of Rs 1.5 crore for the motel and Rs 32 lakh for adding four rooms at the lake.

This was stated by Ms Kiran Chaudhary, Minister of State for Tourism and Forests, during her visit to the area. A new tourism policy would also be announced soon, she added.

Ms Chaudhary said there was a great potential for promoting tourism in the area and directed the officers of the Tourism Department to explore the possibility of starting paragliding here.

She revealed that the motel would be dismantled and eight rooms would be constructed, including two VIPs rooms. Besides this, a conference hall and an underground parking would also be a part of the new building. The work would commence in next fortnight and be completed within next eight to nine months, she added.

While reviewing the working of the Tourism Department, the minister said four rooms would also be constructed on the bank of the Tikkar Taal lake so that tourists could enjoy the beauty of nature. She also directed the officers to ensure that the construction work of the restaurant was completed within next one month with some modifications. She also instructed forest officials to plant more trees in the vicinity of the lake.

The fast food joints will be provided in the tourism complexes constructed on the National Highway.

She also visited the pheasant-breeding centre at an old fort in Morni, where 50 wild-pheasants had been kept. She asked the Forests and Wildlife Authorities to ascertain the possibility of shifting the centre from the fort to another place, so that the glory of the fort could be protected.



25 bus drivers challaned
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 2
Tightening noose around traffic rule violators, the traffic wing of the district police challaned 50 vehicles, here today. A majority of the violators include 25 buses of different private schools.

The police has also impounded five vehicles for being plied on the road with incomplete documents. The impounded vehicles include a bus of Delhi Public School, Pinjore, Daily Public School, Mani Majra, and a bus of Sacred Heart School, Chandigarh.

A scooter and an auto-rickshaw were impounded for the same offence.

According the police, the drivers had been challaned for violating traffic rules and not compiling with the Punjab and Haryana High Court directives. The police authorities claimed that the drive would continue for a couple of months.



34 get notices for violating water ban
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 2
Within two days of starting the ban on misuse of water in the morning hours, the Municipal Corporation has issued 34 notices to violators across the city.

The Municipal Corporation introduced a ban on irrigation of lawn or washing of cars and courtyards from 5:30 am to 8:30 am in the morning from May 1.

Residents would be issued a notice on the first instance.

In case the violation is repeated for a second time, the violator will be issued a challan and fined Rs 500. The fine would be procured along with the water bill by the MCC. In case of a third violation the connection can be cut.

Besides, misuse of potable water for watering lawns and washing of cars by using plastic or booster pumps from the main supply line will also entail notice from the MC. The booster pumps will also be confiscated.



Admn objects to MC’s water kiosks
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 2
Water kiosks put by the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation in Sector 17 has attracted the objection of the Chandigarh Administration.

Pointing out that these were in violation of the Punjab Capital Project Act and disturbed the mater plan of the shopping area, the Chief Architect, Chandigarh, has shot off a letter to the Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, stating that prior permission of the Estate Office had not been taken in this regard. The MC Commissioner has been asked to remove the kiosks.

At least four kiosks have been set up on an experimental basis to provide chilled water to visitors. The land for the kiosks was provided to private companies to provide free water to the visitors. In lieu of that the companies had been allowed to put up their advertisement on the outer side of the kiosk.

Earlier, the Chief Architect had objected to the erection of steel railings in Sector 17 by the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation. The railings had been erected without the permission of the Chief Architect and the Estate Office.



Poultry farmers meet Finance Minister
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 2
A delegation of the Haryana Poultry Farmers’ Association hold a meeting with Mr Berender Singh, Haryana Finance Minister, and gave a memorandum containing the problems being faced by them for the past a couple of months finance minister.

The poultry farmers explained the reasons to the Finance Minister that have virtually made a majority of them bankrupt. The members of the association lamented that the registration of criminal cases against certain poultry farmers after the death of 5,000 chickens in Barwala, recently, had further compounded their problems.

The association also said that various banks, financing them, had stopped increase in their limits of loan and had even started delaying releasing of funds. This all started after “bird flu” scare.

The meeting was attended by officials of various banks, the Haryana Animal Husbandry Department, and district administration. The Finance Minister directed the bank officials to follow the Reserve Bank of India guidelines while releasing funds to the poultry farmers.

He also assured the poultry owners that matter had already been taken up with the Jammu and Kashmir Government .



Chicken pieces found in cheese ‘nan’
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 2
A vegetarian family of Sector 8, Panchkula, was shocked when they found pieces of chicken in "cheese nan" which they had ordered at a known hotel and restaurant, Wah Delhi, tonight.

This is another case of sheer negligence on the part of another well-known restaurant in the city.

Mr Akash Jain and his family had gone to the restaurant for dinner but they found chicken pieces in food. While talking to The Tribune, Mr Jain complained that the restaurant management had hurt their religious sentiments.

Meanwhile, Mr Anil Thakur, manager of the hotel and restaurant, admitted if having chicken pieces in the vegetation food ordered by Mr Jain. He also accepted negligence on the part of employees.



VHP condemns J&K killings
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 2
The local unit of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad strongly condemned the killing of 32 persons in the Kashmir valley.

In a joint statement, Col Dharam Vir and Mr Shakti Prakash Devshali, president and publicity in charge of the VHP, respectively, said the terrorists were killing people throughout the world and the Government of India was doing nothing about it except condemning these acts.

The parishad demanded resignation of the Chief Minister, Mr Gulam Nabi Azad, as he had failed to provide security to the people.

The VHP further demanded that the Jammu and Kashmir Government should be dismissed and the President rule should be imposed.



Swami Narain Satyarthi cremated
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 2
The mortal remains of Swami Narain Satyarthi (67) were consigned to flames at the Manimajra crematorium near here today.

He was suffering from blood cancer for the past some time.

The treatment did exhaust him, but did not make him less endearing.

Only a fortnight ago he had called his poet friends over to the Oshodhara ashram and participated in the kavi darbar.

The end came last evening listening to Buddhist chant ‘Om Padmaye Namha...’ along with the family and sanyasis.

Before the final journey the sanysis sang, danced with tears rolling down their eyes. Among the sanyasis who had come to bid farewell to Swamiji was Swami Amritvairagya.



Doc held for causing death due to negligence
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 2
The police today arrested a doctor on the charge of causing death due to negligence following the death a woman of Daria village who had come to her clinic for a delivery case.

Sources said the victim, Soni, in her early twenties, was brought to the clinic of Dr Nirmala Thakur at Daria Village by her neighbours on April 29 for a check-up.

The victim’s husband, Mr Ram Sumer, was away to his job at that time. Dr Nirmala admitted Soni to her clinic and the same night Soni delivered a baby.

Mr Sumer, in his complaint to the police yesterday, had alleged that Dr Nirmala told him in the evening that his wife had given birth to a dead girl child. She, however, told him that his wife’s condition was normal and asked him to take her home.

He alleged that during late in the night on that day when his wife developed some complication, he contacted the doctor, who prescribed a medicine to her. When the condition of Soni further deteriorated, the doctor refused to attend to her and she died.



Couple robs woman of gold ornaments
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 2
A woman was robbed of her gold ornaments in broad daylight by a couple, near Phase II, here today.

It is reported that Mrs Nirmal Kaur, a resident of Mohali village, was robbed of two bangles, two rings and a set of earrings after she was allegedly hypnotised by a couple who stopped her when she was going towards Madanpur village.

The couple stopped her on the pretext of asking the way which led to the dera of the Radha Soami.

Soon after the couple hypnotised her and robbed her gold ornaments.

A complaint was made to the police in this regard by her husband, Mr Surmukh Singh Dhindsa.

One dies in mishap

One person was killed and another seriously injured in an accident in the Phase IX industrial area here today. According to the police, Baljinder Singh died after his bicycle got hit in an accident involving a tractor trailer and a motor cycle.

It is alleged that the tractor trailer which was loaded with gas cylinders, collided with the motor cycle and caused injury to the rider. Later, it hit Baljinder Singh who died on the spot.

The police has arrested Parag Singh, driver of the tractor trailer, and also impounded the vehicle. A case under Section 304 A of the IPC has been registered.

Summer camp

Bal Bhavan will hold a three-week summer camp in Phase IV here. The camp will start from May 23. According to a press note, children in the age group of 4 to 15 years will be helped to show creativity in art and craft, western dance, bhangra and aerobics in the camp.

The children will be divided into two groups according to their age.

On the last day of the camp, a function will be organised to show what the children had learnt during the camp.



Security guard held for beating up servant
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 2
The security guard of Madhu Bains was arrested today on the charges of assaulting her servant. He was later released on bail.

The police said, Dharminder, the security guard, was arrested following registration of a case under Section 325 of the IPC against him. It was alleged that Dharminder had beaten up Mathur Singh on April 26 due to which Mathur Singh suffered a facture in his leg.

When asked about delay in the registration of the case, the SHO of the Sector 3 police station said, the police was waiting for the medical report.

Vehicles stolen

Mr Pardeep Sharma DGM of the Steel Strip Private Limited, Sector 26, lodged a complaint with the police alleging that his Maruti Car (DL-6-CD-0594) was stolen from near Pizza Hut, Sector 26, on Monday. In another incident, Mr Nirmal Singh of Sector 34 reported to the police alleging that his Kinetic Honda scooter (CH-O3-J-3483) was stolen from Apni Mandi in Sector 33 on Sunday. Two separate cases have been registered.


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