C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

PGI doctor hangs herself to death
Husband, in-laws booked on dowry charge
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 21
The body of a senior resident in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecologist, PGI, Dr Rajpal Kaur, was found hanging from a ceiling fan in her hostel accommodation on the hospital campus here today.

Her death came to light this morning, when her colleagues came to her room after she did not turn up for duty.

Though no suicide note was found in the room, the police has termed it as a case of suicide. It is based on the fact that her room was locked from inside and no signs of struggle was found on the spot.

Following the incident, the police informed her parents, who live in Bathinda. They arrived in the city late tonight.

The police registered a case of dowry death, subjecting a married woman to cruelty and abetment to suicide against the doctor's husband, Yadvarinder Singh, his mother, Simranjit Kaur, his father Gurnam Singh, and his sister, Neetu, on the basis of a complaint filed by her father, Gurdas Singh.

Her mother, while talking to mediapersons, broke down and alleged that her daughter was subjected to cruelty and was being constantly harassed to bring dowry.

Dr Rajpal Kaur (30) was married two years ago and has left behind a seven-month-old son. Her body was found hanging from the ceiling fan hook with two dupattas tied around her neck in room number 302 of the Married Doctors Hostel on the campus.

The TV in her room was turned on, possibly to prevent any sound from being noticed outside. As the her hands and feet had turned black, the police said she might have hung herself last night.

Her husband, Yadvarinder Singh, is also a doctor and is employed with Escorts Hospital in Amritsar. Their infant son was living with her in-laws at Patiala.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, a colleague of the victim said:“After Dr Rajpal failed to come for her morning shift, the hospital tried to contact her on her mobile phone, but it was switched off. Then someone went to her room and found it locked from inside. The security staff of the hostel called the police which broke open the door and found her hanging”.

Mr Kulbir Singh, a cousin of the deceased, who is staying in Sector 15 here, said: “I met her on Thursday evening and we went to a market as she wanted to buy some things for her son. I dropped her back to hostel at around 9 pm. She was pretty normal at that time and there were no signs of depression on her face. I was shocked when I came to know about her death this morning. I still can't believe it to be true.”

When this correspondent visited her hostel room, the double bed was neatly laid out, indicating that she did not retire for the night. Some shopping bags were still on the bed, corroborating the statement of her cousin.

Dr Rajpal's colleague described her as a nice and very helpful person. “However, she was depressed since she rejoined the duty after her maternity leave last month. She never spoke about her personal life, but she was having some domestic problem. A few days ago, she met me at a gymnasium and said she was going to leave the PGI on July 25 as she had got a job in Amritsar”, the colleague said.

Ms Simarjit Kaur, her mother-in-law and Mr Yadvarinder Singh, her husband, reached the PGI in the afternoon.

Talking to mediapersons, Ms Simarjit Kaur expressed ignorance about the causes that may have led to the suicide. She said her son was keen to join the Army and had appeared in an interview in this connection. Dr Rajpal might have felt insecure over this or there might be some other reason about which she had no inkling.

The PGI fraternity expressing shock over the untimely demise of Dr Rajpal Kaur issued a statement that described her as an honest, hardworking and friendly person.



With son still missing, Rosy’s sun sets at 96
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 21
The story of Rosy has come to an end. Abandoned by her only son and spotted loitering about the Sector 8 residential area in April last year, she found a place in the Old Age Home, Sector 15, after her plight was highlighted by this newspaper. Aged 96, Rosy breathed her last in her newly found home on Friday morning.

She was ‘librated’ from her frail and weak body around 11 a.m. today. A Sector 8 resident, Mr M.M. Batra and his family, who had initially helped in highlighting the plight of the lady, accompanied by some other inmates of the Old Age Home performed the burial later in the day as no-body knew the name and address of any known relative of Rosy.

“We are happy that the lady had a peaceful end. From the roads of Sector 8 she at least found a home where she could rest her frail body before she passed away. Though, no one has come forward to ask about her well being or showed any remorse after turning her out of her house, yet we feel that her son and other relatives should be aware of the fact that the lady is no more”, Mr Batra said while talking to The Tribune.

A religious lady, who strongly believed in the power of prayers, Rosy had her prayers answered before her end. She did not want to die on the roads. Rosy’s case has generated a lot of debate about the plight of the old in society, but not much has actually transpired to improve their lot. There are many not so lucky old and disabled people living in and around the city with nowhere to go.

It may be recalled that Mrs Jean Rodrigues, wife of the Punjab Governor, had made a personal visit to Rosy who was temporarily living in the Sector 8 gurdwara in April 2005. The Punjab Governor House issued directions to the UT Social Welfare Department to take Rosy into the Sector 15 Old Age Home with dignity. Things had moved fast after that and by noon the same day, Director, Social Welfare, UT, Ms Madhavi Kataria, had passed the orders to lodge Rosy in the Sector 15 home, meant for destitute people. Rosy, originally from Nabha, where she was abandoned got ‘rehabilitated’ in Chandigarh and stayed here till this morning.

Rosy may have died, but even in her death she has done what many could not. She forgave her son for what he did to her. Through her plight she highlighted the case for the entire ageing community that has lost its voice in a changing society that treats ageing parents as a curse, overlooking the cultural and social ethos of India where a mythical figure like Shravan Kumar vowed to remain celibate to serve his blind parents.



Army truck hits motor cycle, 1 dead
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 21
A 22-year-old resident of Sector 49 succumbed to his injuries at the Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) while his brother is nursing his wounds, after they were hit by an Army truck on 3 BRD road, early this morning, here.

The police said both victims, who were real brothers, were on their way to Panchkula on a motor cycle, when the Army truck being used as school van, which was coming on the wrong side, collided head-on with their motor cycle, leaving them seriously injured. Both the victims sustained multiple injuries and were rushed to the GMCH.

The police said the victims have been identified as Anirudh Sood and 32-year-old-Amit Sood. Anirudh died during treatment at the hospital later in the day while his brother was still struggling for life. Amit told the police that the truck was coming on wrong side and they were going towards Tribune chowk. Anirudh was a student.

The police has lodged a case of causing death due to rash and negligent driving against the truck driver, Ishwar Singh, on the basis of statement recorded by Amit Sood.



Evidence completed in wrong diagnosis case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 21
The court of Judicial Magistrate (first class), Mr A.S. Shergill has completed evidence in the case of alleged wrong diagnosis of a Sector 40 resident, Mr M.N. Sharma, by a doctor of a reputed hospital in Sector 17. The case has now been fixed for consideration of charges.

The criminal complaint in the case had been filed in court in June 2005. The complainant M.N. Sharma had alleged that following pain in his abdomen, he went for a check-up to the doctor who prescribed a hernia operation which would cost about Rs 40,000.

When the opinion of another consultant surgeon and urologist, Dr P.N. Gupta, was sought, it was reported that there was “no hernia” problem. A check-up at the PGI also corroborated the opinion of Dr Gupta.

Seeking action against the doctor and the hospital under Section 368, 420 and 506 of the IPC, the complainant then sought directions from the police under Section 156 (3) of the Cr PC for initiating action against the doctor.

During the stage of recording the evidence, the statement of the complainant, Mr Aridum Sharma, son of the complainant, Mr Madan, servant of complainant, Dr P.N. Gupta and Dr Rajinder Singh were recorded by the court.

The complainant through Mr Arvind Thakur, a Human Rights lawyer, had also filed a complaint with the Medical Council of India (MCI), seeking action against the doctor.

The MCI has directed the Registrar of Punjab Medical Council seeking information about the case failing which the MCI would proceed as per the law.



Motorists, school bus drivers challaned
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 21
Waking up to the need for making journey to schools safe for students, the Chandigarh police carried out an early morning special drive and challaned 335 motorists, including 161 school bus drivers and conductors for not complying with the traffic rules and regulations. Besides, the cops impounded 22 vehicles during the drive for violating various traffic and the Motor Vehicles Act norms.

Giving details of the challaning spree, sources in the traffic police said in the drive the traffic cops booked 41 school buses and auto-rickshaws carrying students for overloading, 77 school bus drivers were challaned for not wearing proper uniform, eight for driving the school bus without attendants, five for plying buses without displaying route numbers, while 29 bus drivers were charged with driving without name plates and one bus was challaned for not carrying first-aid box.

Besides, the traffic police booked 138 motorists under miscellaneous category. The police impounded 11 buses, 10 auto-rickshaws and one motor cycle during its four hours drive in the morning and afternoon. The traffic police also challaned 36 two-wheeler riders for not wearing safety helmets while riding two-wheelers.

The drive was conducted in two parts. In the morning it was carried out from 6.30 am to 8.30 am and in the afternoon from 12.30 pm to 2.30 pm.

Meanwhile hundreds of the schoolchildren of several schools including Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School, Sector 26 were put to a lot of inconvenience as they were made to disembark outside the school gate.

The tiny tots of the primary section had to walk at least 1 km extra with their heavy school bags as this particular wing of the school was situated at the rear-side of the school, rued a parent. Similarly in the afternoon a majority of the students reached home late on account of the checking of the school buses and auto-rickshaws and their parents were a worried lot.



IT honchos favour public-private partnership
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 21
Information Technology honchos from all over the country, who had gathered here for the e-revolution conference, widely advocated the public-private partnership to ensure that the common man benefits from technological advancements.

Amenities like wireless technology and information kiosks have to be created for the rural population in association with private players as a majority of the population lives in rural areas. These amenities have to be manned by these locals and even physically challenged persons, thus providing them with employment opportunities.

On this occasion, Dr N. Vijayaditya, Director, National Informatics Centre, said that a national authority for gigabit network throughout the country to be used by the government as well as the private sector on pay per use basis, is in the pipeline to deliver better services to the citizens.

Mr Neel Rattan, Executive Director (Business Solutions), Price Waterhouse Coopers, said that need of the hour for the country is to put citizens first, and empower them and focus on governance rather than the technology, which is just an enabler. He emphasised that public-private partnership can speed up the process of delivering services to the citizens effectively and efficiently.

Mr Vinesh Paperwala, District Manager (South East Asia), Intel, said that in order to implement the e-governance issue and bring transformation in the fields of health, education, training, Intel was involved working closely with state governments and had been at the forefront in training over 550,000 teachers in various states including Punjab.

He said Intel was engaged in localising the technology to meet the needs of each country and said that special PCs were being developed in their facility at Bangalore. These systems are rugged and can face the rigours of operation in rural environments.

Mr Niraj Prakash, General Manager (Solutions and Technologies), Oracle India, informed that the company was working on various software solutions for the state and Central Government departments not only to manage the rural and urban development projects but also to enable internal efficiency within the departments.

Vijay Shekhar, Country Manager, India & SAARC, Cisco, spoke about wireless mobility expanding the reach to enable eGovernance, especially through rural broadband. Cisco has developed solutions for remote access through secured wireless systems.



Two nomination papers rejected
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 21
Nomination papers of two prospective candidates for the forthcoming municipal elections were rejected after scrutiny here today.

The nomination papers of Mr Jaswinder Singh from ward number 15 and Ms Pritam Kaur from ward number 7 were rejected by the SDM-cum-Electoral Registration Officer, Mr Sandeep Hans.

Mr Hans said the nomination papers of Mr Jaswinder Singh were not in consonance with Rule 36 (3) of the Punjab Municipal Election Rules, 1994. The poll papers of Ms Pritam Kaur were rejected because a no dues certificate was not made available. Ms Pritam Kaur was a covering candidate.

The authorities concerned had received two objections from persons who had filed their nomination papers from ward number 22 and 23. In ward 22 Mrs Prabhjot Kaur Sodhi had complained that the poll papers of Ms Sukhwant Kaur, who was also contesting from the same ward, be rejected as the latter had got her votes made from two places. Similarly, Mr Manjit Singh, who was contesting from ward 23, wanted that the poll papers of his opponent, Mr Paramjit Singh Kahlon, rejected as the latter had allegedly torn ballot papers during an election held earlier. A case was registered against Mr Kahlon.

Both Ms Sukhwant Kaur and Mr Kahlon had been asked by Mr Hans to give a reply to the objections against them. It is learnt that Mrs Sukhwant Kaur told the authorities concerned that she had gone in for a divorce in 2001 and if her former husband kept making her vote at another address , she was not responsible for that.

In the case of Mr Kahlon it was found out that he had not been awarded punishment by any court and as such his poll papers could not be rejected.



Plot owners rue HUDA apathy to provide basic amenities
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 21
The functioning of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) has once again come under a scanner for its failure to provide basic civic amenities to plot holders in Sector 17 here. HUDA had allotted sites to housing societies for residential and commercial purposes in this part of the sector that earlier used to be a temporary dumping ground.

Though HUDA had given possession of the land to allottees in March this year, roads, water and electricity connections were still a dream for plot holders, who had constructed houses here. In the absence of electricity and water connections the plot owners had to face a lot of inconvenience in constructing houses.

Moreover, the illegal dumping of solid waste was still going on at the site that had made the situation serious. Pits full of slush, a cesspool of filthy water and pigs rambling in them could be seen. Rag pickers could often be seen scattering polythene bags and filth all around thus aggravating the problem.

HUDA’s claims of constructing a boundary wall that would separate the area from a slum colony and developing a green belt here to attract investors had proved futile. Stray cattle menace and heaps of garbage emitting foul smell had proved to be a nightmare for residents.

Mr Virander Kumar, who is constructing a house at the site, had been facing problems for the past over one month. He lamented that in the absence of basic civic amenities the construction cost had almost doubled. Moreover, the unhygienic conditions at the site had forced him to discontinue construction work.

Though senior HUDA officials had visited the site several times and had directed the officials concerned to get garbage removed, nothing had been done so far, residents complained.



Selection of coach quashed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 21
The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) today quashed the selection of Nagesh Gupta, a cricket coach with the Chandigarh Sports Council. The tribunal also directed the Sports Council to conduct fresh selections.

The selection of the coach had been challenged by another candidate, Anju Pal Dass, on the ground that marks awarded for qualification, experience, merit in sports etc were not as per norms. The total marks awarded to the selected candidate were 58 and the second candidate was awarded 57 marks.

Application dismissed

The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) today dismissed the application moved by a nurse working at GMCH, Usha Rani, for stay on her repatriation to her parent department in Punjab. In her application, she had stated that she was forced by the authorities at GMCH to go back to her parent department. She had also alleged sexual harassment by officials at GMCH.

While the application for stay was dismissed, the complaint of sexual harassment has been referred to the sexual harassment committee constituted by the Chandigarh Administration.



Malayalees laud Railways’ role

Mohali, July 21
The Malayalee Samajam here has congratulated the Indian Railways on the first anniversary of Kerala Sampark Kranti Express which commenced operations on July 13, 2005 connecting City Beautiful with Kerala through the Konkan Railway route.

Keralites residing in Mohali, Chandigarh, Panchkula, Kalka and other surrounding areas have taken advantage of this great facility of direct train link with Kerala during summer vacations.

President of the Samajam, Benny Thomas said during his recent interaction with the community, most of them felt highly indebted to the railway authorities, local government bodies and some voluntary social organisations like Malayalee Samajam, who have played a major role in bringing this train. TNS



Cotton bales destroyed in fire
Tribune News Service

Dera Bassi, July 21
A major fire gutted the godown of the Winsome Yarns on the Dera Bassi-Barwala road late last night.

Hundreds of cotton bales stored in the godown were destroyed in the fire, which broke out around 11.30 p.m. The flames of the fire, the exact cause of which could not be ascertained immediately, even gutted tin sheets on the roof of the godown.

At least six fire engines from Dera Bassi, Mohali and Panchkula were pressed into service to put out the blaze.

Though the fire was controlled in the wee hours today, yet the cotton bales were still smouldering.

The manager of the factory, Mr Chander Dogra, informed that the cause of the fire was yet to be ascertained. The exact loss was being worked out, Mr Dogra added.



Travel agent turns hostile, denies paying bribe
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 21
A travel agent, Wasim Ahmed, who is a complainant in a case of trap against a former Protector of Emigrant (POI), Chandigarh, J.K. Sahu, today reiterated before the Special CBI Judge that he did not pay bribe to the POI. The CBI had claimed to have caught the official while accepting bribe from the agent on January 28, 2005.

The complainant turned hostile during the last date of hearing. While being crossed-examined by the defence counsel, the agent, who runs Zee Enterprises, said the POI had never demanded bribe, and at the time of the trap, four passports were in his possession but had been handed over to him by his relative, S.U. Khan, who looks after the Chandigarh-related business of the travel agency.

During his statement, the complainant stated before the court that paying bribe to get work done from the office of POI was a routine practice but denied the POI demanding bribe of Rs 25,000 for clearing four cases.

The POI had been invited over dinner at Piccaddly Hotel, Sector 22, where the trap was laid by the CBI.

The court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Chandigarh, has directed the Station House Officer (SHO), Sector 34, to investigate the complaint of a Sector 32-based widow, Ms Kanta Handa, who has alleged cheating and fraud at the hands of her son.

While seeking registration of a case under Section 420, 467, 468, 471 and 120 B of the IPC, the woman in her complaint alleged that her son was planning to grab the properties in the name of her late husband and sell these off.

She further alleged that the will of her late husband regarding a property in Sector 32 was also fabricated. The CJM has directed the police to report back after investigating the matter.



Thieves decamp with car tyres, speakers
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 21
Thieves decamped with tyres, speakers and stereo systems from four cars from a pocket of Phase IV last night.

Mr Karanbir Singh, an affected resident, said he was shocked to see that all the four tyres of his Alto car was missing in the morning. After the theft, the vehicle was parked by giving support of planters removed from a neighbour’s house.

He said the theft came to his notice when he wanted to use the car for going to a gymnasium this morning. He said the thieves had also stolen the stereo system from his car. A complaint in this regard was made to the police today.

Stereos were also stolen from cars owned by Ms Kulwant Kaur and Mr Vijay Singh. Mr Vijay Singh lived as a tenant in the house of Ms Kulwant Kaur. Stereo was also stolen from another car in the locality.

The police is investigating the matter.



One killed in mishap

Mohali, July 21
One person was killed in an accident near Amartex Chowk last night.

Karan, a B.Tech engineer, was going on a two-wheeler when he collided with a car. He was taken to hospital, but was declared brought dead.

The police arrested the driver of the car and registered a case under Section 304 A of the IPC. — OC



Effective laws needed to check cyber crime
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 21
Considering the rise in cyber crime cases, and its cascading adverse affect on the businesses in India, a database of perpetrators of such crime should be prepared. This database should be widely circulated in the industry, so that these persons do not ever get re-employment.

This was stated by Ms Naina Lal Kidwai, CEO, Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC), India, while talking to TNS on the sidelines of the e-revolution conference.

She said that most of the companies simply sacked the employee who was tracked as having committed a cyber crime/ fraud, which was not enough. "Recently, when we detected a major cyber fraud worth crores committed by one of our employees, we immediately got him arrested. But there is need for more effective laws which go beyond mere policing to take care of the needs of the IT investors," she said.

Ms Kidwai, who is the first woman to head operations of a foreign bank in India after breaking the glass ceiling, said that India is a much preferred financial destination for foreign institutional investors.

She said that improving the basic infrastructure, like airports, would further accelerate the growth.

Replying to a querry, if the swing in share market had been detrimental to FII's, she replied in the negative. "The swing was evident in all markets.

But India can no longer be ignored by FIIs. If earlier it was the South East Asian investors who were coming to India, now a number of FIIs from Korea, Japan and West Asia are also coming to India," she said, while adding that HSBC does custodian business management for 50 per cent of FIIs coming to India.

Ever since Ms Kidwai has taken over as the CEO of the bank since March this year, the bank has moved from strength to strength, especially in the area of wealth management, residential mortgage and personal loan across its 47 branches in India.

In the last financial year, the turnover of the bank was about $ 200 million. "The bank has had the highest growth in these areas of banking, as residential mortgages and personal loans here have crossed $ 300 million mark each. The Indian operations of the HSBC are also among the top 15 profit making operations of the bank worldwide," she added.

Ms Kidwai also said that the HSBC was a socially responsible bank and was widely involved in funding schools for street children and in environment related issues like water resource management in tribal areas in Mumbai." We are now involved in fund raising for the Mumbai blast victims, and will collect $ 525 million," she added.



Inside Babudom
A banker par excellence
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 21
From a mathematician-turned-bureaucrat, he has become a successful banker. In a little over a year of taking over a sick public sector bank which was on the verge of a takeover or a closure, he has turned it into a profit-making organisation.

The performance of Mr R.P. Singh, an IAS officer of the Andhra Pradesh cadre, drew appreciation from Union Finance Minister P.Chidambaram at a review meeting of Chairmen of various public sector banks in New Delhi today.

Mr R.P. Singh belongs to a rare breed of bureaucrats who, at the peak of their administrative careers, ventured into new areas, including banking. Two of his predecessors in Punjab and Sind Bank were Mr Kuljit Singh Bains and Mr M.S. Chahal who belonged to the Punjab cadre.

When he was chosen to head the bank, two other IAS officers—one each from Punjab and Haryana— were also in the run.

Mr Singh has held various field assignments as a senior civil servant with a wide experience in areas of finance, industry and urban development.

He worked as Commissioner of the Hyderabad Municipal Corporation as well as Vice-Chairman of the Hyderabad Urban Development Authority. Besides, working as Managing Director of the Andhra Pradesh Industrial Development Corporation, he also remained Commissioner of Taxation in Andhra Pradesh. He has also worked in the Department of Defence Production in the Union Government.

Only Canara Bank, Indian Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, the Punjab and Sind Bank and the State Bank of Hyderabad have been able to achieve the profit target.

The percentage of reduction in gross NPAs through cash recovery has been the highest in the case of the Punjab and Sind Bank. Except for this bank and the Bank of India, all other public sector banks have ended up with fresh slippages which are much higher than their cash recoveries. Appointed Chairman-cum-Managing Director of the Punjab and Sind Bank in March 2005, Mr Singh, born and brought up in Ambala and an alumnus of the Department of Mathematics of Panjab University, not only made the turn around possible, but also ended the last financial year (2005-2006) with a net profit of Rs 108 crore against a net loss of Rs 71.06 crore in the previous year.

The fiscal health of the bank in early 2005 was so bad that the Reserve Bank of India even prohibited it from purchasing new furniture. It happened when some experienced bankers were heading it. Now, the RBI has removed most of these restrictions. 



Bottomline of Puncom improving

Mohali, July 21
The bottomline at Punjab Communications Limited (Puncom) is improving through induction of new technologies, phasing out of low value addition products, increasing sale of high value addition products, reduction in expenses and improvement of manpower productivity.

This was stated by Mr S.P. Singh, Managing Director, Puncom, at a silver jubilee function held here today. He said sales in the financial year 2005-06 had seen a quantum jump of 48.6 per cent over the financial year 2004-05.

He said with the recent inclusion of the state-of -the-art technology products in Puncom through strategic tie-up , the company was looking at a sharp increase in its turnover with substantial value additions. OC



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