C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Thousands take PMET amid confusion
Tribune News Service

Same printer?

The Chandigarh police today said the original PMET question papers were got printed by PU from Lucknow. Sources in the university added that this was the same printer who had failed to deliver the CET papers to the university in time.

Incidentally, this printer is facing a penal action from the university following the cancellation of the CET due to non-delivery of the question papers in time.

Alternative papers go missing

While the set of original question papers set by Panjab University was withdrawn and replaced by an alternative set of question papers set and printed by Baba Farid University, highly placed sources said many centres reported receiving of a lesser number of these question papers than listed. PU observers have reported the total number of “missing question papers” from various centres to the university.

Chandigarh, July 2
Uncertainty and resentment hung heavy at various centres for the pre-medical entrance test (PMET) here even as Baba Farid University switched over to alternative question papers at the last minute following leakage of the “original” question papers.

Over thousand candidates landed in the city this morning to appear for the test for admission to various medical colleges in Punjab. Most of them were accompanied by their parents who waited anxiously outside city colleges that doubled up as centres for the test.

The test was conducted by Panjab University for Baba Farid University. Besides observers from Panjab University, the Punjab Government had deployed senior government doctors from the state on observation duty for the smooth conduct of the test.

Untoward incidents were reported from at least two of the centres. While at GGDSD College the police nabbed an imposter candidate, at Government College, Sector 11, parents of some candidates alleged that a student had been allowed to sit for the test almost after an hour of the test having started.

These parents barged into the college Principal’s room alleging that an Innova car carrying a youth was allowed to enter the college premises after 11 am. According to them, that youth took the test at the centre. The parents raised slogans against the university and demanded immediate action.

A three-member committee of parents was constituted, which, along with area SHO Puran Chand and university observer N.P. Manocha, went room to room asking candidates if a candidate had entered late.

“However no one complained and the matter was resolved,” said Mr Manocha. Gatekeeper at the college Harjinder Singh said the car was not carrying any candidate and there was only a driver inside. “He told me he was from the university and we allowed him in. However, he left in the car after 15 minutes,” he claimed.

With the possibility of the cancellation of the test looming large during the three-hour test, candidates wondered if they would be appearing for the test again in the coming weeks and distraught parents were sore over the state of affairs at Baba Farid University, which, according to them, had become notorious for paper leaks.

“This test has become a joke. Every year a day before the test we are told that the question paper has leaked. We are prepared for what might happen in the coming days. This paper might get cancelled and we will be here again next month for the test,” said Mr Dhillon, who had come with his daughter.

“Why cannot we make these tests foolproof? Last year, after Baba Farid University question papers leaked and Guru Nanak Dev University conducted the test, they were reprimanded by the Supreme Court,” said another parent.

“Our children are not vying for the top 15 per cent seats. We know that only those who have access to the question paper a day before would bag those positions. We are only trying to find a place in the rest of the seats,” said Dr Bhinder from Pathankot whose son took the test.

The candidates were also angry. “We came to know about the paper leak last night from TV channels and lost all interest in the last-minute preparations. Even if the university has changed the set of question papers, what is the guarantee that these had not been leaked?” asked Harish, a candidate from Gurdaspur.

Unlike earlier years, the test was held only in Chandigarh this time to ensure smooth conduct of the test. College roads lined with cars and taxis were witness to traffic jams following the end of the test at 1pm.



Impersonator in PMT nabbed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
The police today arrested a Bihar resident at S.D. College, Sector 32, here on the charge of impersonation. He allegedly appeared for the PMT in place of a Jalandhar-based candidate.

The police said, Mr Ashok Kumar, superintendent at the examination centre, reported the matter to the police after he got suspected over the antecedents of a candidate.

During the police verification the impersonator failed to give satisfactory answers and his photograph also did not match with that in the roll number.

He was identified as Sanjay Kumar of Nalanda in Bihar. A case of impersonation, cheating, criminal conspiracy and forgery under the provisions of the IPC has been registered against him.

The SHO of the Sector 34 police station, Inspector Mani Ram Kadiyan, said the youth was appearing for the test in place of Abhishek Kumar, a resident of Lajpat Nagar in Jalandhar. Police teams have been dispatched to arrest him, he added. 



Ex-distillery price issue not resolved
Firms selling liquor at higher rates
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
It has been three months since the new liquor policy was introduced, but the UT Excise and Taxation Department has not been able to solve the issue of ex-distillery price (EDP).

As a result, the liquor companies are selling liquor to the retailers at increased rates and that, too, without any proof of purchase. “We are told that money would be adjusted once the issue of Ex-Distillery Price was solved with the UT Excise Department,” said a liquor contractor.

In the standoff between the companies and the Excise Department, lakhs of rupee of the retailers was lying with the companies.

Sources in the liquor trade reveal that most of the companies have their godowns in the city. For the godowns, the liquor is brought to the retailers without any bill.

Officials of the Chandigarh Administration have categorically told the representatives of the companies not to form a “cartel” against the Administration stand of not agreeing to increase in EDP (Ex-Distillery Price).

The companies have also been told not to sell liquor and beer at increased rates till the issue of the EDP was resolved. But the companies are selling liquor at increased rates.

Enquiries by the Tribune revealed some of the companies were selling their stocks to the retailers at increased rates. This has been happening despite clear instructions from the UT Excise and Taxation Department. The Tribune procured documents, which reveal that wholesale licencee, were selling their stocks at increased rates.

“ To evade the eye of the Excise and Taxation Department, the companies were sending their consignment without bills to their godowns. In some cases the increase was being transferred on to the customer,” said another retailer. 



Man murdered
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 2
The body of a middle-aged resident of Dhaluwal was found in lying the Ghaggar riverbed at Surajpur near here this morning. According to the police, the deceased was later identified as Devi Sharan, a tipper driver.

The body, which was noticed by some migrant labourers, bore injury marks. Pawan Kumar, son of the deceased, later identified the body. In his statement to the police, he said his maternal cousins had killed his father over some old rivalry. He said his maternal cousins — Jai Prakash, Pappu and Omvir — had some disputes with his father that led to his murder.

The body was taken to the Civil Hospital, Kalka, for a post-mortem examination. A case of murder has been registered. However, no arrest has been made so far.



Parents abandoning kids in Chandigarh
Poor families, unwed mothers leaving children
Aditi Tandon
Tribune New Service

Some glaring facts

Most glaring of the facts surrounding the issue is that not even one out of the abandoned children rescued by the Chandigarh Child Welfare Committee is housed at the Juvenile Remand Home, Sector 15 — the official agency of the government under the Juvenile Justice Act. Although such a Home should have provisions to house two categories of children — those in conflict with law and those under neglect — the one at the Chandigarh Home is mainly meant for delinquents. The committee, therefore, keeps abandoned children away from this Home.

Chandigarh, July 2
On the night of June 24, a day-old girl child was rescued from a rivulet that flows past Mauli Jagran in Chandigarh. The newborn had been thrown into the rivulet from a height, with a motive to kill. To the surprise of the passer-by who saved the child, she survived without injuries. But it took six days of care at the General Hospital, Sector 16 to draw her out of trauma. She’s now at Missionaries of Charity, Sector 23 — an agency that stands a witness to the distressing trend of abandonment of children in and around Chandigarh.

As many as 12 cases of abandonment at the hands of parents have come to light since the beginning of this year. The number is disturbing keeping in mind the fact that it will swell in winters when it is easier to dispose of newborns who can barely withstand the chill.

Ms Madhu Singh, member, Chandigarh Child Welfare Committee, constituted for the care of children under the Juvenile Justice Act admits that the committee receives more cases of abandonment in winter as against summers when “getting rid of the child is difficult”. She adds that many of the abandoned children belong to unwed mothers and others to poor parents.

An even more bizarre case came to light in early June when a mother disappeared from the PGI after delivering a male child. A premature baby, he was found crying in pediatric care. The child’s parents had made a cowardly exit, leaving him to his fate. Thanks to the PGI Childline which arranged nursing facility and blood transfusion for the child, he recovered and was safely lodged at Missionaries of Charity.

The case is registered with the Chandigarh Child Welfare Committee, whose members say there is no special bias against the girl child in Chandigarh. “All children can land in vulnerable spots,” says Ms Singh, who is equally pained to recall another case involving a deaf and dumb child, found near Kaimbwala police post some time ago. “We could not locate the parents of the child who said his name was Kaalu. He’s now at Pingalwara in Palsora. No one came to reclaim him.”

Kaalu is not lonely in despair. In a report submitted to the UT Administration last year, the Child Welfare Committee listed 47 cases wherein children had landed in difficult situations, mostly arising out of abandonment by parents. Of these, 28 are in line for adoption at Missionaries of Charity; two are living at Pingalwara, another two at Nari Niketan and one at Savera, a short stay home in Sector 43. Eight children have been sent to Delhi after a call from prospective parents.

As regards this year, six of the 12 abandoned children are living at Missionaries of Charity — the official adoption agency in Chandigarh. Incidentally, the agency is ready to accept as many children as surface. Social workers say prospective parents outnumber children available for adoption.

If only parents knew there is a provision of relinquishment under the law, children would not have to face tough situations as they now have to. Ms Singh says, “Parents don’t have to leave the child to die. They can come to Missionaries of Charity and legally give up the child. In such cases, secrecy will be maintained and children’s wellbeing secured. We can then find a home for the abandoned child.”



BJP joins hands with Punjab farmers against UPA govt
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 2
The BJP has asked the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh to look into the plight of poor farmers of Punjab who are compelled by the government’s anti-farmer policies to commit suicide. To mark their protest against the insensitive state and Central governments, the party men held a protest along with the farmers at Desumajra village, near Chandigarh today.

It was an innovative way adopted by the workers of Punjab unit of the BJP to mark their protest against the diesel price hike, they were seen ploughing and riding the bullock-carts in the fields, today, at a village near Chandigarh. The protest was lead by a youth leader of BJP, Mr Vineet Joshi, who is also member of national executive committee of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM).

Mr Joshi along with district president BJP Mohali Khushwant Rai Gigga and member state executive BJP youth wing Punjab Sudhir Guleria and other party workers ploughed the fields in traditional ways using ox and plough at the village.

Talking to mediapersons, Vineet said the policies were anti-farmers, adding that the agriculture input cost had inflated manifold.

He further added that hike in the diesel prices has adversely effected the input cost of the farmers.

According to Mr Joshi an average of six litre of diesel was being consumed in producing one quintal of wheat.

For the past three years the rise in the price of diesel has been Rs 12 (approximately), which means that the diesel factor in producing one quintal of wheat has risen by Rs 72 but on the other hand the government had raised the minimum support price (MSP) of wheat only by Rs 30 (Rs 10 each year). This clearly indicated that farmers are in loss.

He further said the state’s farmers were providing grains to people at every nook and corner of the country but they themselves had not even a single time meal to feed their families. “More than 2,100 (as per government report) & 40,000 (as per CSO - civil society organisation) farmers have committed suicides across the state and state government is paying no heed to address the problem. It is quite unfortunate that most of the deaths have been reported from Patiala, Amarinder’s wife’s constituency,” he said.



Political system responsible for drug abuse: seminar
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 2
Our political system and administration are responsible for the spread of drugs at the behest of international drug mafia and capitalist countries, felt participants of a seminar on “Drugs a social evil” organised by the local Adara Tarak at Shivalik Public School here today.

Delivering the keynote address, Dr Anil Malhotra, Professor of Clinical Psychology, drug deaddiction centre, said the present rise in drug abuse cases was alarming. Almost 60 per cent of college youth, including girls, were trapped in the web of drugs. Now drug mafia had set their eyes on schoolchildren, he said.

The problem of drug addiction had aggravated in the Bathinda area. He stressed that a sympathetic attitude, cordial and friendly family atmosphere were essential for treating a drug addict.

Sharing his paper on “Drugs system and administration a nexus”, Mr Dalbir Singh, Deputy Editor, Punjabi Tribune, lamented that today politics was not based on pro-people agendas, but on money, which was procured in the trafficking of drugs. Governments with a capitalistic bent of mind shut eyes to drugs to be given to the downtrodden and working class of the country so that attention to key issues remained diluted.

The Mohali chapter of the Family Planning Association of India also organised an exhibition on the topic. Its head D.S. Sandhu shared the achievements of the association at the seminar.

Earlier, Dr Jaswamt Singh, executive member of Adara Tarak, welcomed the audience while Mr Karnail Singh, president of the group, thanked the guests. The stage was conducted by Mr Ranjivan Singh, general secretary. 



Forum for protection of human rights
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
The Dalit Rights Protection Forum has formed an NGO, Human Rights Protection Forum, to protect the human, constitutional, fundamental, and socio cultural rights of the members of the public.

Announcing the formation of the NGO at a press conference, Ms Pushpa Salaria, all-India president of the Dalit Rights Protection Forum, said not many organisations were working for the upliftment of the weaker sections, villagers, tribals and Dalits.

Despite constitutional provisions, an alert judiciary and some NGOs, about 60 per cent of the population was fighting for justice against atrocities, torture, custodial torture and cruelty. The NGO would begin its work from slum areas in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh.



Property dealers flay Hooda govt
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 2
Up in arms against the decision of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) for non-acceptance of general power of attorney (GPA) for transferring of property from one person to another, members of the Panchkula Public Peace and Welfare Association and local property dealers flayed the Bhupinder Singh Hooda government and HUDA, here today.

The protesters today constituted a seven-member committee comprising Mr Vivek Sharma, Mr OP Oberoi, Mr Roshan Lal, Mr Sethi, Mr Vijay Sharma, Mr JS Shangari and Mr Anoop Singh to fight against the high-handedness of HUDA. They also threatened to knock the doors of The Punjab and Haryana High Court and even the Supreme Court over the issue.

While interacting with mediapersons at a Sector 10 hotel, the committee members claimed that HUDA had no locus standi on changing GPA on its own. It was only that central government that could make amendments to the Act. They held the HUDA’s decision unjustified and illegal.

They said that the Haryana Chief Minister and Chief Administrator of HUDA were not apprised of difficulties likely to be faced by genuine parties after implementation of this anti-public decision. To ease the public the government has rather made an attempt to harass the general public besides giving a boost to corruption.

Mr Hemant Kinger, president of the association, claimed that HUDA was not going to benefit the state government with the decision, rather would suffer revenue losses, as people would prefer to purchase property in other states.

Mr J.S. Shangari, a member of the seven-member committee, alleged that HUDA had been taking working decisions for the last a couple of years thus putting scores of investors and common man into a great hardship.



Seminar on chartered accountancy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
As part of the Chartered Accountants Day, the Chandigarh CPE Study Circle of the North India Regional Council of the Institute of Chartered Accounts of India yesterday organised a seminar, focusing on various aspects of chartered accountancy.

Speaking at the first technical session, which was inaugurated by Mr Hemant Contractor, CGM of the State Bank of India, Mr K. Sampat, Mr Ajay Wadhwa and Mr J.K. Mittal, explained the main reasons leading to income tax raids, searches and seizure.

In the second technical session Mr Venod Jain detailed the concept of corporate governance, which was entering a phase of global convergence. Mr Sanjeev Malhotra spoke on VAT.

Mr Manoj Kohli, Mr Balwinder Singh and Mr Arvind Oberoi also spoke on the occasion.



Plantation drive at Siachen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
Siachen, the world's highest and coldest battlefield, is witnessing a plantation drive to green the desolate expanses of rock and ice. Taking note of global warming, a burning issue worldwide, the Army is planting over one lakh saplings in the Siachen Sector.

The saplings are being planted near the Snout of the Glacier and also along the Shyok valley, which do not remain snow-bound all year round, an Army spokesperson has said.

Each soldier, while moving further up on the gruesome heights of the Saltoro Ridge to safeguard the frozen frontiers, plants at least five saplings. The responsibility to keep them alive till he returns from his tour of duty is given to another soldier. Subsequently, on his return he looks after his own saplings as well as those planted by his fellow soldier while the latter is away.

The exercise to green the Siachen Glacier was recently kick-started by Lt-Gen J.K. Mohanty, General Officer Commanding, 14 Corps, by planting saplings at the Siachen Snout.

Since then, the Siachen bravehearts have planted about 70,000 saplings. 



SBI donates 5 almirahs to Bal Sadan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
The State Bank of India today donated five steel almirahs to the Bal Sadan Association, a home for destitute children in Panchkula, as part of celebrations of the State Bank of India, Chandigarh Circle, Establishment Day.

The almirahs were handed over to officials of Bal Sadan by the Chief General Manager of the bank, Mr Hemant Contractor.

He said the bank had been investing in such community welfare projects in order to improve the quality of life of the poor and neglected sections of the society.

Ms Nisha Contractor, president of the State Bank of India Ladies Club, along with other members of the club, distributed sweets among the children of Bal Sadan.



Tribune staffer bereaved 
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 2
Dr Shubhshil Desraj (59), mother of Senior Staff Correspondent with The Tribune, Ms Geetanjali Gayatri, passed away at her Sector 8 residence here this evening. She was suffering from cancer for the past three years.

A former lecturer in English, she retired from Government College for Girls, Sector 11, Chandigarh, last year. She is survived by her husband, Mr Ghansham Dass, a former Deputy Registrar, Panjab University, son, Mr Arjun Bhardwaj, besides Ms Gayatri. Her son-in-law, Mr Gurmeet Singh, is a Senior Staff Correspondent in Dainik Tribune.

The funeral procession will start from house No. 163, Sector 8, Panchkula, for the Mani Majra crematorium at 11 am.

The Chief Minister, Haryana, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, has condoled the demise of Dr Desraj.



Police probing complaint
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
The Chandigarh police is probing a complaint lodged by Ms Sohini Chowdhary, daughter of Ms Santosh Chaudhary, chairperson of the National Safai Karamchari Commission, against Dr Onkar Chand, owner of the ground floor of a house in Sector 15 here.

Ms Sohini in her complaint lodged with the police said the doctor and his wife allegedly used derogatory remarks against the girl and her family members.

After making an entry in the daily diary report (DDR), the Station House Officer of Sector 11 police station has been asked to inquire into the matter before lodging the FIR.

In the complaint, Ms Sohini has alleged that a constable of Chandigarh police came to their house on May 29 stating that they had wrongly parked their car on the road and the complaint had been made by the doctor. The constable reportedly left the place after being told about the position.

Later in the evening, the doctor and his wife allegedly started abusing the girl’s family. Ms Santosh Chaudhary was reportedly not at home at the time of the incident.



2 booked for attempt to dupe bank
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
The police booked two persons on the allegations of attempting to dupe HDFC Bank of Rs 2.25 lakh by producing fake documents to procure a loan. The police said Mr Davinder Dhayani, Deputy Manager of HDFC Bank, Sector 8, lodged a complaint with the police alleging that Bhupinder Singh of Phase XI, Mohali, and Vijay Kumar of Shivalik Vihar, Zirakpur, attempted to dupe the bank of Rs 2.25 lakh by producing fake documents to procure a loan in April.
The police has registered a case.

Killed: A motorcyclist, Rohit Sharma of Sector 48-A, was killed after being hit by a bus near S.D. Mandir, Sector 32, on Saturday.

Rohit (22), sustained multiple injuries in the mishap and was rushed to the PGI, where the doctors declared him “brought dead.”

The bus driver fled the spot. He was later identified as Rajesh of Ram Darbar. The bus belongs to the Swami Davi Dyal Institute of Engineering and Technology, Barwala, Haryana.

A case of causing death due to rash and negligent driving was registered in this regard.

Mobile snatched: Mr A.K. Aggarwal of Sector 44 complained to the police that a pedestrian snatched his mobile phone from near his residence on Saturday. A case was registered.

Purse stolen: Ms Madhu of Sector 4, Panchkula, lodged a complaint with the police alleging that her purse containing two gold bangles and two pairs of gold tops was stolen on Saturday from her scooter, which was parked at Shashtri Market, Sector 22. A case of theft was registered.

Three held: The crime branch of the Chandigarh Police yesterday impounded a truck which was being used to smuggle liquor out of the city to Rajasthan and Gujarat. At least 4,700 bottles of liquor in 392 cases were seized from the truck, which was bearing a fake registration number(PB 23 A 4453). The original number was HR 37 8471.

The police has arrested the driver of the truck, Tarlok Singh, and his two accomplices Kanwaljeet and Gurpreet. Liquor was being smuggled from a liquor vend at Daria village. The owner of the vend, Gurwinder Singh, has also been booked.

Booked for fraud: The local police has registered a case of cheating against Bhola Singh at the Sector 17 police station on a complaint made by Ashok Kumar, Senior Manager of the Union Bank of India, Sector 17.

The accused took a bank draft of Rs 500 from the Union Bank of Ludhiana in favour of the Director Panchayat and added zeroes, making the amount Rs 5 lakh. On verification, the draft was found to be fake.

Certificates lost: Mr Vikram Yadav of Sector 22-A, Chandigarh has reported to the police that he has lost his class X and XII certificates along with the migration certificate at the Sector 17 inter-state bus terminus on Thursday. The police has lodged a DDR in this connection. Whosoever finds the documents can contact him on his telephone No 2725666 or deliver the same at his residence at 202, Sector 22-A, Chandigarh. 



Minor girl killed in road accident
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 2
A 15-year-old girl of Sector 8 was killed, while her elder sister, Neha, sustained injuries when the scooter that they were riding had a head-on collision with a motorcycle on the road separating Sectors 9 and 16 here today.

According to the police, Sweta and Neha were on their way when a youth entered the main road allegedly taking a wrong turn, which resulted into a serious accident. Sweta sustained serious head injuries.

The injured were rushed to the General Hospital, Sector 6, where doctors declared Sweta “brought dead”. Her sister, Neha, was given medication.

The motorcycle rider reportedly sped from the scene. A case has been registered.



Oriental Insurance to target rural areas 
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 2
Oriental Insurance Company Limited plans to open more extension counters in rural areas, Mr G.C. Gaylong, Chief Regional Manager, said here yesterday. After inaugurating the newly-upgraded divisional office in Phase I here today, he said the need to open more extension counters had been felt as these areas were not adequately represented currently.

He informed that Oriental Insurance was the second largest insurance company after New India Assurance Company Limited. It had registered the highest growth rate at 17 per cent last year, he claimed.

On the entry of private players in the insurance sector, he claimed that this had improved the working of public sector insurance companies.

Yesterday’s function was presided over by Mr J.P. Nahar, Chief Manager, Head Office, New Delhi.



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