C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S



PMET leak: modus operandi revealed
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 4
The inter-state gang, involved in the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences’ (BFUHS) PMET question paper leak scam, was to hold ‘memorisation classes’ in Ludhiana, Ambala and at two other places in Delhi on the eve of the test (July 2).

Meanwhile, the Mohali police today picked up a doctor of Anandpur Sahib sub-division in the district suspecting his involvement in the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences’ PMET question paper leak case.

A team of police personnel, accompanied by the SHO from Mohali, Mr Satnam Singh Bajwa, picked up the doctor for questioning but no case has been registered against the doctor so far, said the police sources.

Sources added that the Mohali police swung into action after getting feedback from the special unit of Delhi Police.

The fact was disclosed by the police after interrogating the accused arrested in this scam.

Sources in the Chandigarh Police said during the intervening night of July 1 and 2, the accused were planning to hold ‘classes’ for the candidates who had given them Rs 15 to 18 lakh for the solved question papers.

The sources added that after the word about the busting of the gang spread, the other gang members fled along with the candidates.

The police has identified a hotel at Paharganj in New Delhi, where a similar ‘class’ was to be taken and was investigating its role.

The sources further disclosed that the Nalanda and Lucknow-based prime accused, who procured the question papers, used to give Rs 1 lakh to their agents as ‘commission’ for selling the leaked question papers.

The gang after charging hefty sum from the candidates used to take them to their hideouts. They also provided food and lodging to the candidates during their stay.

The police said except Anil Bhelia, the nine other accused arrested by the police were either involved in contacting the willing candidates or were solving the question papers.

They used to give Rs 1 lakh each to their agents for getting them a willing candidate.

The police said the gang used to take blank cheques in advance from the candidates along with their original certificates.

Further, they allegedly used to take Rs 8 lakh from a candidate’s parents after their ward confirmed that the question paper delivered in the examination centre was the same as leaked to them.

The police has also impounded certificates and the blank cheques of some candidates.

It is also said the police would also involve the parents of such candidates at the later stage of the investigation.

“We are following the things one-by-one and it will be premature to say anything about the action against parents of the candidates at this stage. We are primarily concentrating on the main suspects,” said a senior police officer.

It is learnt that the Chandigarh Police has rounded up several persons in Lucknow and was questioning them in connection with the scam.

As some vital clues have reportedly come up during the questioning of some persons in Lucknow, another police team has been dispatched there.

The police said the Lucknow printing press had been working for the Panjab University since 1949.

The police is also probing the link between the earlier case of disappearance of a truck carrying the question papers of the Panjab University earlier this year.

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Two NRIs held with Rs 4-crore heroin
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 4
The local Narcotic Control Bureau (NCB) seized 4kg of heroin worth Rs 4 crore from two Canada-based NRIs, including a woman, near Zirakpur, near here, last evening. The NRIs were caught after a chase after they tried to give the slip to NCB sleuths at a special naka set up near the Shambhu Barrier on the Delhi-Ambala national highway.

Sources in the NCB said the contraband was concealed in wooden boxes by making false cavities in them. The suspects had allegedly procured the contraband from a local drug peddler in Punjab and it was to be taken to Canada.

The woman was to smuggle the contraband to Canada alone. The other persons involved in the drug trafficking were yet to be identified, said NCB officials.

Giving details of the sequence of events that led to the seizure of the contraband, the Zonal Director of the NCB said the bureau sleuths had received information that some Canada-based NRIs, who lived in Jalandhar, were involved in drug trafficking and suspected to carry the contraband in their personal baggage.

According to the information the suspects were travelling to Delhi Airport along with the contraband. The NCB officials set up a naka at the Shambhu Barrier, near the toll plaza.

In the afternoon, the NCB team spotted a Scorpio vehicle. However, before the officials could make a move, the vehicle sped past the toll plaza. The NCB officials intercepted the vehicle near Zirakpur.

The accused have been identified as 28-year-old Rajwinder Singh, alias Raja of Jalandhar, who works in a saw mill at Abbots Fort, Canada, and 35-year-old Paramjit Kaur. She has settled in Canada and is married. She had come to Indian on June 20.

A case under Sections 8, 21, 27-A, 29 and 60 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act has been registered against them. The NCB officials asserted that the seizure brought forth the fact that the Punjab was fast emerging as a haven for international drug traffickers.

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Tanushree says talent matters more than good looks
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 4
As the much-awaited rain showers kissed the City Beautiful on Monday, the city rejoiced with more reason than one. For, city's much hyped airhostess training school---Flying Cats---fastened its seat belts for a grand take-off. As a part of its series of interactive sessions with starlets, ex-Miss India (Universe)-turned Bollywood starlet Tanushree Dutta conducted a grooming session at Flying Cats, Sector 8, Chandigarh.

Having stormed Tinsel Ville with loads of oomph, Bollywood's latest teen-craze Tanushree had breezed the city with a whiff of her cozy sensuality. As students thronged for an encounter with the Bengali beauty, she made a no-fuss entry, throwing no tantrums but just a few words of wisdom here and there. Stunningly clad in a shimmering black top and denims, she asserted that looks were just a façade and what mattered was one's hand work and talent. Difficult to believe though, given the fact that she's always accompanied by a dedicated hairstylist and make-up artist!

Speaking on the occasion, the institute's Managing Director Priyanka Khosla clarified that Flying Cats was not just about aviation alone. Rather, a major part of it would be grooming students about the subtle nuances of the industry.

Dutta was at Flying Cats as a part of their serial training sessions that would be conducted by various starlets on their celebrity facilitator pattern-diction guru Sabira Merchant, style icon Malika Arora Khan, model-turned-actor Zulfi Syed, make-up magician Cory Walia and fashion idol Ashley Rebello. Seems like grooming gurus would soon be splashing the city with their words of wit and advice.

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Acting gives creative satisfaction: actor
Anandita Gupta
Tribune News Service

Tanushree Dutta
Tanushree Dutta 

Chandigarh, July 4
It may have been raining beauty queens in Tinsel Ville since long now, but former Miss India-turned-actress Tanushree Dutta has surely ended up steamrolling into the public eye. Her chestnut hair, dusky glowing complexion and perfectly figure have already set the screen on fire. But there is more to this Bengali beauty than her skimpy dresses and Barbie-doll-hairstyle.

What matters to her is holding up her head smartly in a world that was alien to her before 2005, when she made her debut in Aashiq Banaya Aapne . “Today, my looks are being talked about. But it’s just a platform, a stepping-stone to better offers. I believe, in the long run, it’s your hardwork, exposure and abilities that count,” she brims with vitality. With offers like Bhagam Bhaag and Good boy, bad boy in her kitty, the 24-year-old actress believes that she’s already embarked on a path on which she can show her acting talent.

And does she really believe in the words that shot her into fame and made her win the coveted Miss India crown — “When the competition is unhealthy, everybody is a loser?” Famous words that came as a response to Sanjay Dutt’s question about success to her during the Pond’s Femina Miss India Contest, 2004.And words that instantly struck some chord in the hearts of millions who applauded enthusiastically. “I’m a very fair person and partiality disgusts me. I’ve always believed in whatever I say and that is what made me win the coveted title,” comes a confession from her heart.

Having shot into fame by her zesty item numbers, the petite actress considers them a part of the fizz that is much needed in today’s films. Item numbers, for her, are not something to keep just the frontbenchers happy. They add that a whiff of vitality to Bollywood films. At this point, she also likes to dabble in another debate — her dresses. “And as far as the dresses are concerned, I think we Indians are shedding our mantle of inhibitions about being overly clad on screen and I don’t think it’s a part of morality anyways,” Tanushree opines.

But acting is what her real calling is. “Acting gives me a lot of creative satisfaction. Everyday, I learn something new and am growing as an individual. Moreover, it feels great to be a household name. The Government of Jharkhand has recently released postcards and stamps featuring me,” she laughs. Yes, modelling transforms you to the world of glitz and glamour but cinema does more. It makes your dreams come true.

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All set for Simran’s surgery
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 4
After surviving the worst physical odds, four-month-old Simran is finally ready for a major corrective surgery of her life. Until a few days ago, the surgery seemed next to impossible to the child’s mother Rajni.

Following The Tribune’s report on the critical condition of Simran, donations have poured in generously, so much so that surgery no more seems like a challenge. “There is enough money for the corrective surgery, and even more,” PGI’s Public Relations Officer confirmed.

Where a part of the problem has been solved, another bigger problem remains. The child, diagnosed with hydrocephaly (accumulation of water in the brain), is extremely vulnerable and may continue to remain so, post surgery as well. In fact, surgeons at the PGI’s Advanced Pediatric Centre have reportedly told her mother that corrective surgery may not guarantee a healthy life to Simran.

Already affected as the child’s spinal chord is, her lower limbs are dysfunctional. They may or may not get resurrected in the event of a surgery. There is a strong possibility of the child losing the mobility of lower limbs for life, in which case she will continue to suffer.

Despite awareness of the worst possibility in which Simran will have to depend on her mother for the rest of her life, Rajni is insistent upon surgery. Believing firmly in her prayers, she says, “My child will at least be cured of pain. She will at least breathe and smile in front of my eyes. What else can I ask for?”

At the PGI, meanwhile, the stage is almost set for Simran’s surgery which will happen on two fronts - surgery of the brain to prevent its enlargement due to accumulation of water and surgery of the swelling which has assumed an alarming proportion, preventing the child’s movement.

PGI Child Line volunteers, who have been following up Simran’s case since the day her plight was highlighted in these columns, today told this correspondent that all the formalities required to draw funds for surgery from the PGI Welfare Fund had been completed.

Rajni, for her part, has been praying hard especially after receiving financial support from so many Tribune readers.

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City reels under power cuts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 4
Residents of the city have been witnessing unscheduled power cuts, more particularly for the past couple of days. Residents are a peeved lot because unlike earlier this year, when the Electricity Department had announced all cuts and timing, the cuts now are being imposed without any information.

A senior official of the department, however, said “there are no cuts absolutely without prior information. Residents are facing power disruption because of power lines being affected in the inclement weather conditions. We received complaints from Mani Majra and Sector 48, besides certain other places. The supply has to be cut off for repair work”.

He said, “We have received a communication from the North Region Load Dispatch Centre asking us to reduce the power consumption as per the standards. In case, we continued to draw full power we faced the threat of being disconnected from the main grid. We are largely adhering to the load conditions so there is no need for cuts”.

Areas of Mani Majra had remained without power from the past midnight till early this morning. Many other areas also faced similar unscheduled cuts.

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Property on acquired land assessed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 4
Officials of the Engineering Department and the Land Acquisition Office (LAO) today carried an exercise to asses the residential properties and other structures standing on the acquired land in Kishangarh village. About 115 structures, which were there at the time of acquisition in 2003, were assessed.

The land was acquired under Phase–II for the IT Park in Kishangarh village, but the UT Engineering Department did not carry out the assessment due to opposition by the residents of the area.

Escorted by a strong posse of police, the Land Acquisition officer (LAO), Mr Vinay Singh and the SDM (East), Mrs Swati Sharma, today supervised the day-long exercise. But no survey of the houses which have come up on the acquired land after the acquisition was done.

A senior official said the owners of houses, which have come up after the acquisition, would not get any compensation.

Sources in the Administration said about 52 acres of land was acquired in 2003 by the Land Acquisition Officer (LAO) along with another 200 acres of land. While the 200 acres of land had been totally handed over to the Engineering Department, the remaining 52 acres of land of Kishangarh and Bhagwanpur villages could not be handed over as the assessment of the structures was pending.

The integrated township for the technology park being developed by the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) falls adjacent to the land under question.

“A similar situation exists in Hallomajra village where Deep Complex has come up due to laxity of the government officials. From few hundreds structures, the deep complex has now turned in to a full colony,” said an official.

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Power blues shock residents
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 4
Residents of the town are sweating it out in the humid weather due to long and unannounced power cuts. They also have to face shortage of water as the supply gets disrupted due to power shutdown.

Residents complain that life has become miserable due to the long power cuts following which everything comes to a halt. Work gets adversely affected not only in houses but even in business establishments and industrial sector.

A resident of Phase II complained that people not only had to bear long power cuts, there was voltage fluctuation also which was damaging various items in the house.

She said the power supply was shut down at 11 a.m. today and was restored only around 3.30 p.m.

By that time even the inverters had failed to keep the supply intact. She said power supply was shut down for more than four hours during the day but authorities concerned were not satisfied with the long duration and again the power supply was disrupted at 8 p.m.

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Man electrocuted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 4
A 30-year-old resident of Mauli Jagran was electrocuted in Iron Market, Sector 29, here when his employer switched on a wielding machine without noticing that the victim was lying in steel plates which came in contact with the live wire.

The police said, Ramesh Kumar, father of three children, was sleeping over the plates when his employer switched on the wielding machine and its broken wire came in contact with the iron plates resulting in electrocution.

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Two held for snatching
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 4
The local police today nabbed two Morinda residents on the allegations of robbing a woman of her purse in broad day light in Sector 46, here.

Ms Snehlata of Sector 46-A lodged a compliant with the police alleging that two motorcycle-borne youths had snatched her purse. The miscreants twisted her arm following which she raised an alarm, but before anyone could come for her help they sped away. The purse contained Rs 2000 and some documents. In the meantime, a passer-by rushed to help hearing her cries and he gave a chase to the miscreants.

Later a patrolling police team, along with the passer-by managed to nab the accused from a house. They were identified as Amarjit Singh and Sukhjit Singh of Morinda, both were in their mid-twenties. The police has also impounded their motor cycle and recovered the purse from their possession. A case was registered in this regard.

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Rash driving claims girl’s life
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 4
A girl got killed when she was hit by a vehicle while going to school. The police has registered a case of rash driving and causing death by negligence in this regard.

The case was registered here against the driver of the vehicle on the complaint of Ms Sunita, resident of Nehru Colony, Sector 53, Chandigarh.

She said that she was going to drop her children to a school when on the way her daughter was allegedly hit by the vehicle. She got injured and later succumbed to her injuries.

The driver fled from the scene of crime.

Jewellery stolen

Thieves decamped with gold and household items from a house in Phase III B 1. The police has registered a case on the complaint of Mr Partap Singh in this regard.

Purse snatched

Two persons riding a motorcycle snatched a purse of a resident of Phase VII and fled.

Ms Sangeeta Ahluwalia complained to the police that the purse contained cash, an ATM card and a mobile phone.

The police has registered a case in this regard.

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3 liquor smugglers held, 690 cartons seized
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 4
Three persons were arrested in Sector 44-C in the wee hours today while they were allegedly transferring liquor cartons from a truck to an oil tanker. The liquor was to be smuggled to Rajasthan. The police claimed to have seized 690 cartons of various brands of liquor worth Rs 12 lakh.

The SHO of the Sector 34 police station, Inspector Mani Ram Kadiyan, said the police received the information at around 2 am today that an interstate gang of liquor smugglers was transferring liquor cartons from a truck to an oil tanker. A police party raided the spot and on seeing the police vehicle some of the smugglers fled from the spot. However, the police arrested the three persons and impounded both vehicles.

The trucks were found in the vicinity of three liquor vends and the police was probing their involvement in the smuggling, said a police officer.

The SHO said the arrested persons had been identified as Raghbir Singh of Kurali, the driver of a truck (HR-37-A-0856), Narinder Singh, the driver of the oil tanker, and his cleaner Shailender Singh, both hailed from Hanumangarh district in Rajasthan. The police seized 5,688 bottles and 10,320 nips of various brands of liquor, including some premium brands. He said the estimated price of the liquor was Rs 12 lakh.

A case under the Excise Act had been registered against them. They had procured the liquor from a company’s godown in Industrial Area and had taken permission to carry it to a Transport Nagar-based distillery. 

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Driver dies in a freak accident
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 4
A 25-year-old truck driver was sandwiched to death between the steering wheel and steel-bars, he was transporting on his vehicle, on the “killer” Panchkula-Naraingarh road, in the wee hours today.

Resident of Nandpur Sahib in Ropar, Sushil Kumar was driving the truck from Kalka-Amb to Una, he failed to negotiate a turn near Nada Sahib gurdwara following which the vehicle rolled down in the fields about 10 feet down from the road level.

The police said due to the impact the steel bars were pushed forwards towards the steel-wall of the truck thus crushing the driver to death on the spot. The wind sheet of the truck was also damaged.

Receiving the news, the police reached the spot and extricated the body with the help of steel rods. The body was later sent to the General Hospital, Sector 6, and was handed over to the family members after the postmortem examination.

The police has registered a case under Section 174 of the CrPC in this pretext. 

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Motor cycle stolen

Chandigarh, July 4
Mr Varun Kumar of Hostel Number 6, Panjab University, lodged a complaint with the police alleging that his Baja Pulsar motorcycle (HP-06-3515) was stolen from Sector 15 market on June 26. A case of theft was registered in this regard. — TNS

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2 die in accident
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 4
Two person were killed while three others were critically injured after the three-wheeler they were travelling in rammed into a stationary truck in the wee hours today on a road dividing Sector 45 and 46, here. The truck driver reportedly sped away from the spot after the accident.

Sources in the Sector 34 police station said the accident occurred due to poor illumination and resultant bad visibility. The three-wheeler driver failed to notice the stationary truck ahead of him and rammed his vehicle in it. All the passengers travelling in the three-wheeler were seriously injured in the mishap. They were rushed to the Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital, where the doctors declared 28-year-old Hazi Mohammed of Makrana brought dead. Shaukat Ali succumbed to his injuries later. The doctors referred two of the critically injured persons to the PGI.

The police said the victim, all of them were menial labourers, had come from Rajasthan to the city in search of work. A case of causing death due to rash and negligent driving was registered against the unidentified truck driver. 

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Hotels gear up to cash in on soccer mania
G. S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 4
The countdown has begun for the first soccer semifinal between Germany and Italy at midnight. Big screens and beer bars are all set for football lovers in the city.

The event which comes once in four years and lasts a month, invites lot of action outside the field. The hysteria of the mega event is so intense that local football aficionados don't mind getting their day's schedule upset as soccer matches are scheduled at odd hours according to IST.

Mr Madhu Sudan Sharma, an employee of Oriental Insurance Company, he says “I am going on leave to sleep in the day with my mobile switched off and watch the game at night.”

“You don't get to see the football world cup every year. An event like this happens after every four years and no body wants to miss it,” said Sunaina, a Class XII student.

Ajay Pahuja, a tax consultant admits, “The world cup has turned many schedules upset. You are stressed out by night drinking and wake up late next morning. But you cannot help it before the temptations of watching the action live on big screen.” The Tribune checked out on places who have made arrangements to bring the action live on screens.

Maya Palace Hotel in Sector 35 has engaged a trained chef, Narinder Pal, all the way from Denmark, . One can try those special Italian delicacies while watching the mega event on the big projector screen specially installed for the purpose. “As a gesture, we are offering one pint of draught beer free with the purchase of two pints”, informed Mr Rajiv Kakkar, GM, Hotel Maya Palace.

At Hotel Mountview, Sector 10, you can watch the action on plasma LCD screen especially installed at its 24-hour coffee shop which offers a discount of up to 30 per cent on all bakery items from 5 pm onwards and another 25 per cent discount on food and beverages from 8 pm onwards. “We are also offering mini meals which includes south Indian food too, at discounted rates.

Our motto is to let the people enjoy the matches with less burdens on their pockets and make their visit a memorable one”, told Mr R.P. Singla, GM, Mountview.

The Taj, is serving special German cuisines and beer, besides, a question hour session, where the winners will go home with prizes.

Lake Sports Complex has a lot to offer. It is for the first time that an eight into six feet screen has been installed in its party room for the mega event. This privilege will be for the “users” only. Their guests will gain entry for a fee of Rs 25. A giant screen has been installed and equipment worth Rs 1 lakh has been purchased which includes a projector compatible to cable TV, DVD and a paid channel dish antenna, informed Mr Reet Mohinder Singh, GM, Lake Sports Complex.

Meanwhile, most of the hotels and clubs have dropped the idea of showing the matches on big screens or big plasma TV sets, for not possessing the licence to serve liquor at late hours i.e. after midnight.

City people were heard betting on the result this evening. Many hotels and restaurants have already announced the next schedule of the final match between France and Germany. “The final match will be between Germany and France only and would be worth watching. Both teams are likely to be at equal level till the last minute. But, reading the reviews in the newspapers, I think France has a slight edge and may win in extra time or tie-breaker as the situations is likely to arise”, said Manish.

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AC bus service soon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 4
The roads of the city will soon be witness to an AC bus service. In a strong signal for the implementation of the project, the Finance Department of the Chandigarh Administration is learnt to have cleared an amount of Rs 2 crores, reliable sources said here today.

The Administration will be floating the tenders seeking an ‘expression of interest’ to shortlist the genuine parties.

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